Monthly Archives: October 2009

Halloween Observance

Dear Oprah,
Happy Halloween!
Here's a treat...
It is totally ok to dress inappropriately and act naughtily whatever your age.
On that note.
It is 6AM. I'm up.
A burst of cold air trips me as I open my door and tie on my sneakers.
My dad's voice inside my head...are you warm enough dahlin?
Yes, dad, I'll warm up soon enough. Brush the tear from my eye.
The tear from my nose.
It's cold!
It's LA. The good cold.
I prepare for my yoga today.
Today, my yoga is a run on the beach.
I watch the sun rise over the city of Santa Monica.
The beach is being coiffed to perfection.
I gain a steady pace.
I am warm.
Good morning sun.
Good morning beach.
I smell the coffee brewing and blowing my way from Shutters.
I smell the incense as I cross Santa Monica to Venice...the boardwalk just inches from the shore.
I smell eggs and toast from the apartments that line the sand.
I smell the salt and breathe it all in.
The surfers stand on their boards and look out to the sea.
I run in place to watch the bliss. That is their yoga and I'm so lucky to observe it.
I think about a student I had in class the other day. I watched him float forward and back through his vinyasa with effortlessness.
As a teacher, I'm so thankful that I can observe and watch students as they progress and work through things. Sometimes it is not so pretty and by that I don't mean, the way it looks. I mean the way it looks and feels within me to watch.
I am fortunate.
I watch the surfers, watch the sea and it is serene.
Then I watch as a wave builds and the surfer prepares to coast or crumble. My heart pounds a bit as I watch him glide above and beyond it, back to quiet, clear contemplation. What must have been going through his mind? In my mind, I felt fear. Then I felt it dissipate because he rode it with ease. If he had fear, it was replaced by inspiration.
The yoga practice is much like staring out at the sea.
Mat or board, the water or practice can be serene or rough. It can be peaceful or scary, or both.
I think, how lucky to be able to watch as a teacher and then I think, well as a student, it is quite the same thing.
The whole practice is about watching what happens.
When in our practice we are observing the inner world. As a teacher, I can only watch your result. As a teacher and student, I can admire and adjust.
As a teacher and student, I have a choice how a posture or anticipation of what comes next in a practice will make me feel.
We all have a choice.
I watch my student float, so he is floating inside. There is no way he is at battle within.
I watch the surfer, steady as his practice builds fervor. I get anxious and he just glides.
We observe. We feel. We train ourselves that no matter what comes towards us, the vinyasa or wave, we can chose to conquer it with frustration or effortlessness.

We can also chose to put on a costume and be something we are not. That is not yoga. That is just Halloween.

Eat candy, but watch yourself,

Fear and other nonsense….

Dear Oprah,

I haven't written in a while. Sorry for that. Been busy. Yea, who hasn't. I don't have a kid or a husband and I'm still busier than most people I know. Must be my cat, whose name changes everyday. Hey, I committed to the dang thing for it's life, probably about 15 years, so I can waiver on the name. Today...this week, it's been Karma. Bad Karma!!! She climbs up on the sink and eats my make up brush. Good Karma!!!! She snuggles with me as I the nook and purrs like there's no tomorrow.
What can I say. I have priorities. My students and classes, videos and podcasts. Oh yea, and I'm an actor, mostly auditioning. Which makes me laugh. Because sometimes, you can book a role or shoot something and never see it. Or worse, never get paid. So...I look to yoga, always as my source of...everything.
I have a wonderful new clothing company called Our Love Yoga sponsoring my yoga videos. This isn't a first but I must say, their clothes are divine, well designed and the quality is amazing. They are up and coming and great for the yogi on the go. Their clothes will take you from the mat to the cafe afterwards with the girls in super style.
So, we're happy.
We are not happy to go to see Couples Retreat on our lonesome and be antagonized by the theatre ticket? Single? I thought you were being sarcastic. Nope. Single, one ticket, matinee in the middle of a workday no less, bring it the f on.
I needed my retreat. I needed a dark space and loud sound to marinate and contemplate the fun my week holds in store. Lots of it. Lots of driving. Lots of clients and teaching. Lots of auditions. I ain't complainin'. Kitty is not complainin'. She has clucktail hour promptly at 6 where she meows till infinity till I serve her her cluck a doodle doo. A favorite of the family cats in NY.
It's been discontinued. Sad, but true. They must have crack in this food 'cause my cat, my family cats go freekin' nuts for this cluck. By Whiskas. Shout to Whiskas!
OMG. Yup, cat lady.
And Santa Monica, my dear Santa Monica. I don't spend nearly enough time with you but I love you to bits when I do. A great teacher hear in this hood has allowed me to sub her classes and I feel like a rock star having so many students I can lead to bliss. They come there for her but I'm glad they stay for me. It's an honor.
I set my intention everyday with a friend via email. We keep each other accountable by days end. By days end I send my gratitude list to another friend. 5 things we are grateful for in our lives. Sometimes I look at her list and I'm like, hey, I'd like your list, but then I look at mine and I'm ok.
I'm re-shooting a video from last week because the tape stopped in the middle of our shoot.
The benefits of rogue shooting. Public access where did you go? Frustrating, yes. A yogic challenge, heck yeah!! Lovin' it...not so much, but alas...
I'm pimpin' my wears and it ain't easy, but Oprah, I'm not you and though I wish sometimes I could don those tall designer heels you only wear while sitting in a chair talkin' to peeps, my life ain't so bad.
My eyes are open and I am grateful. I'm a small fish and this is a big pond.
Not all the fish are nice and accepting. Sometimes I still feel like I'm in High School, but I'm doing the best I can to set an example for people. I'm not perfect but I'm leading when I can and following when I need.
I'm content with what I have even when I want more.
That's all from here. Two more videos by weeks end, Yoga With Weights and Yoga for Strong Hands and Wrists.
It's a work in progress but the work is great and I have the support I need, even though there is noone working the camera and telling me if it shuts off...we do a great class in one take...recorded or not.
And, inspired by a student of mine recently who set the goal to go up in headstand in a year, I too have set a physical goal for my yoga practice. There is a first time for everything.
By April 2010, I will go up successfully into a handstand, no wall, no spot, holding for at least 10 seconds.
I have never set a physical goal for yoga but realized recently that there was a lot of fear for me attached to inverting. It's not something I thought about consciously. I have an extremely strong practice, but have not been challenged by myself or the classes I have taken. I have found the teachers to lead me and so, I go.
And so, I learn. So I can lead a little better myself.
Here's to abandoning fear in gratitude of someone else.
There is no one I would rather offer my practice up to than my dad. So there you go. And there I go.
Here's to abandoning fear and embracing laughter...and falling in the face of both,


Dear Oprah,

Oh goodness. Do you remember the theme song? You remember from Ally McBeal, the TV show from long ago and how Calista Flockhart's character felt better about herself once she knew her theme song? I think you even did a show about chic's finding their theme song.
I totally forgot mine. On a whim, whilst cleaning my apartment and putting my iTunes on shuffle, it began. Alone, in my studio, I put the moves on and broke out my best Fosse. Not good, but I get by with an audience of my cat and it was on. I felt better immediately and forgot how super perfect having a theme song is, especially when one is down.
So, my theme song, which happened to be my theme before McBeal and a great, get ready to audition or feel good about yourself song, is...drum roll please...
One, from A Chorus Line, the reprise/finale version. The best song ever from the show that made me want to be a triple threat, or at least want to be a performer...without the dancing.
Enjoy your theme song and if you don't have one, find it now.
Off to dance, hold on...
Here I go!