Daily Archives: June 23, 2010

You spin me right round baby, right round…

Dear Oprah,
Happy Summer!
It's Summer babies and the sun has spun its magic core and rays right round us full circle.
Celebrate it's path and reflect on your own full circle and path of your life. This is the longest day of the year and when the energy we put forth is as strong as the sun beating upon us.
It's also a great time of reflection and stripping down, literally of clothing and tasks as we put our energy towards opening the windows and our souls to fresh air and new possibilities.
Perhaps a new romance, a new book, a new career path?
The sun has made it's loop around the earth and any novice or expert will tell you that no path the sun makes around is a perfect circle or the same path each year.
Much like us as human beings. We make goals and have dreams but as we are on our path, those goals and dreams shift with us.
As we look back at our paths while looking ahead, fully lit but UVA protected, it is common for us to go full speed into the tapas or heat in Sanskrit, not the appetizers at your local hang out, and literally 'burn out'.
Take the time to conserve this new energy and reflection and keep yourself steady and strong, cool as we heat up.
I know, easier said then done. You want a strong yoga practice. You want to go out in your tank tops and strappy sandals and dance a glow go. Until you wake up the next morning sluggish and sore with blisters on your feet.
It's an exciting time, but spend that excitement wisely, because with that heat and passion and long days comes the flip side of the heat...anger, aggression, anxiety. Yup, even the party is fun until the hangover sets in.
In yoga, we have the science of Ayurveda and even for those unfamiliar its easy to understand that we as human beings like all beings survive with the seasons. Our bodies are seasons and what we do and what we put into our bodies aligns with the seasons. It's no wonder that in the winter we crave comfort foods from warm soups to hot cocoa and mac n' cheese. Go for the latter to stay in balance. In the summer we crave sweet fruits like melon and veggies like cucumbers and mixed greens and yes, sangria and ice cream. Indulge if you must but go with where nature naturally leads you - the healthy choice - to stay in balance. Opt for a more restorative or gentle and slow Vinyasa practice, walks instead of runs. Go mild in the heat and you will still burn calories and be peaceful conserving your energy for more fun things like swing dancing at the 3rd Street Promenade or Lincoln Center.

We have an opportunity now to use nature to lead us down the right path. We have longer days to do so.
Obligations are at half because our focus leads us out doors away from school and the office. Follow that distraction, but follow it with purpose to enjoy what nature has provided and play. Come back to childhood and the playfulness of 'just a few more minutes, Mom!' as you wander down a longer block on your after work walk. Add a skip to your step to raise your heart rate but only add a few, then take it down to a stroll. Add some Gaga to your playlist and a curl of your mouth upwards as you pass a stranger. Actually stop to smell the Jasmine or watch the kids play in the fountains of NYC parks.

When I was in NY last week, I forgot about all the summer street fairs, the shoes tied on wires and the smell of grilling corn cobbs and barbeques. I love the kids playing in the streets till dusk. I don't see that too much in LA. I also forgot about the sweat that collects under my boobs. Only in NY. I know, TMI, but the humidity, oy! I know I'm not alone. But I love it and miss it. Shower only to get wet in the humidity of NYC!!

In Los Angeles, we have the most fragrant flowers to enjoy now. Now is the time.

Now is the time to look at all the hard work you do throughout the year and take stock of what you are passionate about. Ask yourself, are you going around in the path that you feel 'summer fabulous' about? Or, do you need to shift direction.
When summer closes the doors and turns off the ac and we start retreating into autumn, we go back into heavy work mode till the end of the year. School starts and deadlines are heavy. We are back in the rat race, firmer schedules and plans in addition to cooler weather and introspection. Our bodies actually slow down after the summer even though we 'gear up' to close down towards the holidays.
They are right around the corner my friends.
So, enjoy the time you have now...more than any season.
The energy you put forth now is the highest it will be. The sun is the closest it will be. Use the brightness to reflect your own greatest light and purpose. Do not waste it or spend it swiftly.
Savor it and let it glide upon you like Coppertone.
Lady Yoga

Have you ever?

Dear Oprah,
Have you ever gotten food poisoning and can never go back to eating that food again?
Have you ever been hurt by a boy or a friend and forgive them but never forget?
Well, I have.
And, although I still enjoy eating the spinach and artichoke dip at California Pizza Kitchen, I will never forget the day Eve and I ate at the Newbury Street CPK in Boston and had to stop 5 times off the T for 'bathroom breaks' that I won't get into detail about. Ok, well one detail...because it wasn't about me but still makes me laugh. Eve literally couldn't find a public bathroom and had to go behind a dumpster. I'm LOL'ing now as you are probably gagging, but I still eat that stuff and gobble up the goodness of it whilst remembering my dear old friend Eve and her dumpster, behind the Wing It on Com Ave.
I don't know what happened to her. Perhaps I should look her up on facebook...
I also still love the friends I have been hurt by.
But I never forget.
I remember the good times.
The boy who hurt me, hurt, but I still remember the good times.
The dad who passed wasn't always the best person to my mom or family, but, he is my muse. We are so deeply connected and for that, I can only remember the good times.
Today, I went for a run on the beach and it didn't feel right. I have an injury that I am trying to take care of, but I also have an addiction to running (is that possible? Is there a support group for that?) that no matter the pain, makes me feel good to get out there and feel my heart and music pumping.
But today, it was different.
Today, I feel betrayed.
Today, my playlist bored the crap out of me, but not like Eve. And the run was boring even with the sun and sand and water next to me. I looked at it all and felt silly. I felt alone and wrong.
Today, I have been hurt and I can't forget.

If you read my last blog you'll know, summer solstice, the sun has made it's circle around the earth and here I am...
almost through the year of firsts with my dad's passing.
And two years since I lost what I thought was the love of my life.
I made it through my birthday and my mom and sisters birthdays. I made it through the holidays. But Father's day?
Seeing the cards and adverts for gifts for dad? It made my blood curdle in ways it hadn't all year.
I made it through an eight year relationship with a man that took no responsibility for the demise.
I made it through...on my own...in LA...with the support from friends near and far and my family.
But it all seems so far. Too far.
Too much now, more than ever, to endure any more.
The sun has made its path around the earth and so naturally we reflect on our path. I look at my life and I am proud, mistakes and all.
But what of it? What now?
What next?
More of the same?
Even my running playlist is tired and it's just getting too hard.
I don't want to hear life is hard. If it is, I want it to be hard with fun. If life is hard, change it. I'm the queen of change.
When my dad died, my family and I were still laughing. That's life. That's where I came from. It wasn't that we were laughing because he had died, but that we find the laughter in the sadness.
And I'm sad. And I'm away from the laughter.
I want to be sad with laughter, not sad alone in my apartment because I choose to live by the beach, alone away from my family.
I know I could call a pal and have a drink with them, but I don't call.
I stay here, because, I can't get in the car and drive another mile after being in the car all day. And, of course, not after a drink. That's obvious. But that aside...I'm exhausted all the time, because all I'm doing is working my asana off to stay here and work more so I can eat and pay my rent. I'm missing the moments of my life.

I have lived in LA for seven years.
I lived in LA after I graduated college for five years. That totals my time here to 12 years.
I just came back from NYC where I had several people remark to me that I was 'very NY'. It makes me laugh. I came from there but haven't lived there for a long long time. I lived in Boston for 4 years in college. That totals my time away from NY to 16 years. So, I have lived half my life in NY and half my life in LA and Boston.
But I'm always a New Yorker. When I walk in LA, I walk like a New Yorker.
But I live in LA. I love LA. I love LA with such passion that it hurts a little to write this.
I love what I have created here. I love being inspired at every neighborhood and corner of this great city. I love Santa Monica and living here is like the beat of my heart.
I grew up here more than in NY.

I have been traveling back and forth between NY and LA or Boston for 16 years and it NEVER gets easier to leave NY.
Not because of NY, the place, but because that is where I am from. It doesn't matter where I live now, I am from NY. I am from Searle. I am from my mother and my father and my sisters and my dog and cat. I am from New Rochelle and from the sweat and humidity and salt covered snow drifted and Macy's Day Parade New York.
I can't pack another bag or go through another security check point in tears leaving them and that and all that it feels inside me. I am Los Angeles. I am Santa Monica. But my blood is New York. My tears are for New York.

I have built a tremendous life in Los Angeles. I have the greatest friends and teachers I could dream of knowing.

I have had such great successes and such tremendous failures.

I don't associate those with the 'place' that I live even though the memories I have are colored with the time and place of these experiences.

I've lost my most important and valued family client this year.
I lost my father last year.
I lost my boyfriend of eight years the year before.
Because of these trials I have been forced to lose, my possessions, my health insurance and some of my dreams have had to be filed away until I come from beneath.
In these trials, my friends and family have supported me sustaining my life and dreams here in Los Angeles.
For that, I am so very grateful.

But, I was just in NY for one of my shortest trips ever. I had to come back to my obligations, all of which fell through. I could have stayed in NY longer and savored my time with my family longer had it not been for these obligations. And, they fell through. Which, made me realize that I am at the whim of too many others to get by.

My mom says, don't woulda, coulda, shoulda. I love that woman. Like Santa Monica.

I am being strung along by uncertain and untrustworthy things that make me begin to resent what I do and where I am going.
I would never blame place for my circumstances. But when I come back to LA to have things crumble because others have 'changed their mind' I am left alone and wondering...is it all worth it?
A dream of mine is coming true as I write and I couldn't be happier. And, I am also sad.
Because, dreams and goals are nothing without love around you - RIght next to you, up in your shit, sharing a bathroom and invading your personal space - around you.

I don't necessarily mean love of a boy or friends, but true love. I mean the love of family. You can have that with your relationships. I value my LA relationships so much that I wouldn't be able to go on without them.

But, after 16 years, how is it that it still gets harder to leave my mother and sisters?

Part of me thinks, I had to leave, to learn the lessons I needed to on my own, separate from my family. I needed to work though insecurities that I had in childhood, attachments I had for approval, so that I could stand on my own AND go back and feel secure with myself. I feel so strongly about who I am alone and who I am with my family. Perhaps I wish upon that revelation before my dad passed. Perhaps I should have broken up with my boyfriend years ago when I knew I should but stayed because it felt comfortable, but wrong. Perhaps and woulda. It didn't happen that way and it often doesn't play out how you think. The only thing you can do is go forward from where you are.
And now, even amidst these trials, I feel better about who I am and what I love and do and put out there for public consumption then ever before. I work in service and am so very proud to do that. My dad did that. And he was proud.

It's taken me a long time, and maybe it's just 'being in my 30's' but I'm ready to go back, without intermission.

And, I'm used to taking risks. What's life without risks. I've failed miserably from those risks and I have lost it all and gained so much from the loss of the past few years. Full circle, I am. Around and around again. Like a carousel..scary freekin' music and all.

My dad isn't around anymore. I had my chance to go back when he was sick and move home. Why didn't I do it then?

And now, I'm really considering it? I feel foolish.

I feel alive and sad and happy and alone and peaceful.

But, I'm missing the moments. The moments with my true loves. Not Santa Monica. It's not a person. My mom and sisters and little dog too.

I'm missing it folks. And I teach you how not to miss it.

I am so very grateful, for all the experiences and people I have met here.

I am so fortunate, even in loss.

But, I must grab life by the balls and take all risks necessary to be happy. If I'm not happy, I can't teach happy.

I'm the best teacher I have ever been in my teaching career, not because I have the numbers in my classes or notoriety to back it up, but because I teach from experience, failure and success. I feel good about what I am producing and hope that the students that come to my classes feel the same way.

It's my goal to make fitness and yoga a part of every single day for every single person regardless of physical or schedule limitations.

And, now that I am actually in the middle of a dream coming true, I must say that it is time to keep that inspiration flowing for me to stay at peak as a teacher and person.

I'm willing to lose the rest to gain much more so I can share much more.

My energy has been depleted with struggling to stay here. It's not worth it. I love it here, but I love being a teacher more.

I am publishing a monthly written and comic column for LA Yoga Magazine called Lady Yoga, Superhero starting in July that will also have an online presence nationally and internationally.

I am so fortunate that the editor of LA Yoga, Felicia Tomasko has supported me as a teacher, writer and visionary.
She is a gifted teacher, writer, editor and soul that I have crossed paths with in LA.

I am honored to be a contributor to the magazine. It is my dream and passion to get across what my mission is through Lady Yoga.

I will continue to produce my yoga and fitness videos on Youtube and teach my classes at Liberation Yoga in Hollywood.
I am committed to the great private clients that allow me into their home and lives to integrate yoga, fitness and meditation into their everyday lives so that they can be the best people they can be with their families and loved ones.
I wish that this work I do will lead to a greater audience and platform to share my passion and fun for it all, including pee in your pants laughter. I wish that my daily work will afford me the safety, sanity and a few nice things including medical insurance and a trip abroad now and then.

But, to quote the great Real Housewife of New York City, Jill Zarin, I'm done. For now, I will look not to New York, the place, but New York, the family, to go back to and recup, recharge and reignite my passions and dreams.

In my tears, I must find pee in your pants laughter.

Even if you forgive, you don't forget. I won't forget the hurt from friends or food poisoning, but I will remember the laughter that surrounded the experiences outside.

Right now, I'm having the experience, but not the laughter.

And so, it's up to you, New York, New York!

With love, laughter and a New York accent,

Laurie/Lady Yoga