A Story From a Yoga Teacher

July 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

In my Saturday morning yoga class I always start with a round of introductions. To get everyone’s voice out, to hear names, and to find out about injuries or if anyone is brand new to yoga.

Yesterday the class was as usual a mix of regulars, experienced practitioners of all ages and skill levels, and a couple of beginners.

One lady in particular mentioned that it was her very first yoga class. Nadia.

As soon as she spoke I knew she was a fellow immigrant from the former Soviet Union. She looked to be about my mom’s age or maybe a little younger.

The class is 30+ people so I don’t get to give anyone a whole lot of individual attention. What I do is I feel into the energy of the room and watch for signals to see if anyone is tired or bored or perplexed or angry. Then I see what I can do to help (via verbal instruction and asana sequencing).

I don’t take it personally. That’s one lesson I learned in my 10+ years of teaching.

Actually the folks who have the scariest faces during yoga class, who look enraged, angry or just super irritated, more often than not they are the ones who come to me afterwards to express thanks for a transformative experience.

During class I noticed Nadia fidgeting during the mindfulness meditation at the beginning. There were a few poses that were obviously challenging for her.

I told the class that it’s important to rest when your body needs rest.

I encouraged the participants to listen to their bodies’ wisdom and also to ignore me if what I’m saying doesn’t feel good, doesn’t feel aligned, with their body’s needs and desires.

After class a few students came up to me to sign up for my email newsletter or ask a question.

I really love that part. When I get to intuit the message each student needs and transform myself into a transmitter for that missive. Usually it works and I can tell by the way their eyes soften and shoulders relax upon hearing the answer.

Nadia also came up to me after class.

“What do you think?” she asked me. “Should I keep doing this?”

“Well, how did it feel?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I couldn’t do most of it,” she replied.

“From what I saw you did great!” I told her. An Open Level vinyasa flow class and is not an easy feat for anyone (myself included).

“Maybe I should take a beginner class?”

“Sure. Why not check it out,” I encouraged her.

“How will I know?” she asked sincerely.

“By how you feel. If you feel comfortable, feel good in a class, then there’s your answer. “

She seemed to be considering that thoughtfully.

That’s when I switched to Russian, which maybe jolted her a little bit, but also helped to create another link between us.

“You did really great in class today. “

She denied it. “Oh no,” she said. “My knees barely work. I couldn’t do many of the poses at all.”

I didn’t argue or try to contradict what she’d said.

But I pointed out that she stuck with it. She stuck it out for the full 90 minute experience.

My point was that it’s an accomplishment in and of itself. Something to be proud of.

She pretty much brushed those comments aside. Not in a mean way or anything. It was like my words flew past her ears and not in.

Message not received.

It’s ok.

I know it can take quite a few repetitions for the message to reach the heart of the seeker. For someone to actually hear the answer to their question. Accept the solution. It can take years. Lifetimes.

Nadia and I chatted for a bit longer.

She asked if I teach any other group classes. I told her that no, currently the Saturday morning class is my only regular group session. I also teach privates (online and in person). She said she’ll be back.

I hope she comes back.

Meeting her was such a stark reminder to me of where I was not too long ago, and where a lot of us are… this land of self-doubt and confusion.

Is it a Soviet immigrant thing? In part, yes.

Is it a woman thing? In part, yes.

Is it a … living an illusion of a consumerist society where we are programmed to ignore our connection to Nature to our God-Self and to each other… thing? Yeah. You already know what I think 😉

So… This is a message from my heart to Nadia’s:

Woman! It’s your first yoga class. You did great. You feel great! I know your mind is playing back to you the remembrances of wounding, of lack, of a basic not-good-enough-ness. But listen… if it helps to hear it from your yoga teacher, from an authority figure…

I believe in you!

I believe in your elevation.

Yes, you bet you’ll get better at yoga. Give it a year, my friend.

Give yourself time to get to know yourself. Give yourself that gift.

I honor you.
I have faith in you.
And I am here to support you. Happily.

Because it is not about the poses. It’s about ease. Ease of living in a human body.

And it’s about trust. Trust in the wisdom of your Heart.

And, of course, it’s about Love. Big L love. Discovering the joy, the bliss, the ecstasy of self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-LOVE is your human birthright just as it is mine.

We owe it to ourselves to keep making those small, seemingly insignificant, steps toward self-care.

Because from a small seed a great tree grows 🌳


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Life constantly presents us with choices

July 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

Opportunities. We get to choose: do I vibe higher or do I vibe lower? 

Right there in the NOW moment we have the power to choose. 

When we mess up, do we pile on the blame, the reprimands, the recriminations? Or do we shrug and keep it moving?

Discernment is key of course. 🔑 

If we keep making the same mistake over n over again, then clearly we are still missing the lesson. 

If we choose to look beneath the surface of our own reactions, we inevitably find that there are various options available. 

Free will is so miraculous, so potent, and so fierce. The responsibility, the ability to RESPOND, is ours. 

The gift of presence in the Now moment allows us to flow with Life consciously choosing our next new moment, reaction, response, creation. 

Oh! It’s Fear, my old Friend

June 28, 2019 § Leave a comment

Realizing… recognizing… remembering… oh THIS is what it’s like to feel scared.

I’m f*cking terrified of change.  The great big looming change which I feel is coming.  I’m terrified of the changes to come.

The scariest part is… it’s ME who has to change.  It’s me who IS changing.  No getting around it.

My desires are growing wings and I’m sitting on earth watching them soar and feeling… terrified.

They say Awareness is the first step.

Like most of the time we dissociate and we may be feeling scared, really f*cking scared, but instead we are drinking a beer, or smoking a joint, or scrolling through tinder, or eating pints of ice cream… the fancy term for it is dissociation.  It’s a common side effect of trauma.  And we are all traumatized by the anti-human system in which we are existing.

The whole Debt Economy is a sham.  Our cultural obsession with physical “beauty” is ridiculous.  Our careers are stalled.  Our time is negotiated and re-negotiated between chores, necessary tasks, day-to-day stuff, and scrolling through Facebook.

We are living in an apocalyptic world that has its head in the sand.

Our gods are – Technology, Adrenaline, and Dopamine.

We are aging out of the program.

And we are feeling confined.  Many many many many of us ARE confined, physically confined, trapped by the system.

So yeah… hey!  Hello, Fear!  I’ve met you before many times.  And now that I realize it’s been you all along I just want to say…  have at it, bih!

I’m down to sit and have tea with you all day, Fear, if that’s what it takes.  I’ll be your ear, your shoulder to cry on.

I will listen to you, Fear.  But don’t expect me to agree.

Because I KNOW in my bones that more and more of us are awakening from the spiderweb slumber.  We are slowly blinking ourselves awake.

Fear, you can have your spotlight for now.  But I love a chance to shine as well… and my turn is coming.

What Could I Possibly Be Missing?

June 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

Do you ever find yourself asking yourself what am I missing?  That nagging feeling…  of missing out, on something.  What could I possibly be missing?  

That programming of…  I’m fine I have everything under control.  I understand the world.

We need to throw that away, fam

Why?  Because it isn’t authentic.  Why?  Because we don’t really believe it even when we say it to ourselves.

It’s cozy to think that you know everything you need about the world, about creation, that you understand physical reality… but the more you grow, that ideology becomes increasingly more and more UNCOMFORTABLE.

You are a butterfly in the cacoon ready to take flight. But before you can fly, you must make the choice to leave your comfortable cacoon.  Take flight, mariposita!

You are free to soar.  

Wiggle your way free of that old chrysalis and decide to trace the rainbow with your glittering wings.

It will take effort to push through the cacoon.  That outer layer does not simply melt away.  No.  

We have to PUSH.  

So PUSH, dammit.  You have it in you.  You GOT this, boo.

Gaze At Your Own Beauty

June 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

Gaze at your beauty.  Look at yourself in the mirror and SEE yourself as DIVINE.  See the Divinity, the Fire, the Action, the Love in your physical vessel.  

Let’s VIEW our bodies as sacred, as divine, as special, as temporary, and as beloved.

Can you make your relationship with your own body your primary relationship?

Or does that feel like making friends with your minivan?  Or your iPhone?

Do you see your body as a machine?  Or do you see it as a divine mystery?

There are teachings and practices which will gently guide you to the inner resource that is the BALM you’ve been seeking for quite a while now.

All you have to do is close your eyes reach out your hands to touch your destiny.

Will I Ever Feel Complete?

June 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

Will I ever feel complete? 

Yes you will.  That’s pretty much guaranteed.  You will either be complete in life or complete in death for death is the greatest final completion.

Of the chapter.  

Of this single quantum life stream.

Multi-dimensionality is not just for physics nerds.  This idea of us existing in many different dimensions at once is PURE AF MAGIC. 

Don’t be afraid to take a hit.

Basically Good

June 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

If you really take a long hard look at your life do you find that it’s basically good?  That you are where you are supposed to be.  That you are the captain of your destiny and life ( just as it is) is somehow exactly perfect for you.  And yet…

Something is missing.

What could it be?

Is it a dose of stodgy Old Faith, religion, pageantry, sacrifice, devotion?

Is it hedonism, a drowning in the pleasures of the flesh?

Is there another way to access, to appease the hunger, to relieve the longing?


There is a path which leads the seeker to a meadow, where they find relief from that itch, that drive, that urge, that irksome desire… for Wholeness, for Holiness, for Unity, for Oneness.

The Path of Equanimity.  

Equanimity? Yeah.  Let’s look it up.