Monthly Archives: May 2011

Meditation nation…

So, I have this beautiful student at Hot 8 Yoga in Santa Monica, that's created a group on facebook about meditation. It's inviting us to engage in one hundred days of meditation. We are at day 39.
It's a difficult task to commit to, but once you do, you have many others that, even if you don't know them, you are secretly accountable to and for to hold you to your meditation practice. And, it's also amazing that, once you put it on your schedule of 'to do's', you WILL do.
Meditation, for me, was always difficult.
I know, I'm a yoga teacher AND superhero so it should be easy for me to sit in a cross legged position for hours with no sound, clear my mind and raise the frequency of my energy to a dog's hearing.
But alas, I always remember where I came from...
a NY girl (with Superhero strength she got from her dad) and a NY state of mind.
I love NY but have lived in LA longer in my lifetime than NY. NY always reminded me of a geographical me. The place is frenetic with tons of energy - every which way and rarely sleeps.
I'm still that way, but a little more balanced. If it wasn't for yoga, my prana, life force or energy, would be seeping out of every hole and pore in my body. With yoga, now I can harness that energy and use it when I want. It's like having an energy savings account.
But I'm still out of my the cutest way possible.
Remember that kid at your last family function that was running around the room like a lunatic knocking into your legs and flailing their arms all over the place only to pass out on the floor moments later after eating too much sugar? You find her an hour later...her little dress blanketed over her head, black paten leather shoes knocked together and half off, arms and legs are sprawled out in an exhausted wonder for adults to laugh at and ooh and ahh at the cuteness of the whole thing? FINALLY, she calmed down!!
That's me, at 36. I really have so much energy that sometimes, I don't know what to do with all of it. So, when I did my first yoga teacher training almost a decade ago, and was informed that meditation would be part of my daily, 'at home' practice, I almost threw up in my mouth.
To be still AND conscious, no freekin' way!! Could I get away with it if I didn't do it?
But, it happens and it happened.
In fact, meditation creates so much more energy in a controlled IV drip sort of way that it's impossible not to want to hit the meditation cushion or mat and feel the bliss of dumping out the excess mind, listening to the quiet and finding the solutions to all life's problems and questions in one fell swoop. For real.
I've done Yoga Nidra, guided meditation, silence and still point focus. I've done specific yogic traditions of meditation Buddhist and non linear, just sit and 'be' meditation.
And, nothing is more fascinating then making up a meditation right where you are, in the middle of everything busy and hectic in the day and finding the yoga and meditation in it.
Case in point,
the other day, I was walking to teach class. I always have my iPod mini playing just the right songs to keep my energy up to teach and stay focussed. Today, my iPod died in mid stride.
It's going to be quiet, I thought. I am going to feel lonely, I thought. There is nothing like the companion of distraction to get you through.
Instead of being annoyed at the circumstances, I decided to take in this universal decision to deprive me of music and get me out of my regular routine.
Use each step as a moment to take in the auditory stimulus and engage in its wholeness.
A child laughing. The crosswalk telling me to walk. A couple discussing plans for the weekend. A car driving by and playing Nicki Minaj, a runner stops in mid stride to answer his iPhone. He answers, 'Wei." I know this to mean, talk or talk to me in Chinese and I'm mentally propelled to when I lived in Shanghai. A nice and distant memory. I smile. I remember the foreign sounds of China and then I move on...
I hear a car coming up a drive way, the gate closing behind the car. I hear the bouganvilla rustle in a short breeze. The sound of a bike locks in it's position. A rustle of lazy beach feet on concrete.
Each moment was 'heard' till the next.
Each moment was 'felt' to the next.
Each moment was present, until the next.
This morning, one of my favorite clients was stressed out and told me she didn't want to move quite yet, but sit in meditation for a while so she could get into the space of 'doing' yoga.
She doesn't like to sit still and finds it difficult to close her eyes without 'falling asleep.'
It's hard to disengage the multi-task and engage in the uni-task of just
I told her to just sit as comfortably as possible, keep her eyes open and watch her dog. We work in the peaceful courtyard of her house in Beverly Hills so I told her to watch Ellie as she sits in the sun, her eyes squinting then releasing, her front paws tucking under her chin and tongue pressing through her teeth then retracting.
Watch Ellie as she gets up and slowly saunters to my mat.
She sniffs my nose and wanders to my bag.
She climbs the handles and snoops inside.
She retreats and walks over to my client, sits, watching patiently as if waiting for instructions.
The postman comes and Ellie runs to the gate and barks.
The postman leaves and she hops several hops to a torn rope at the corner of the courtyard and gnaws at it. She comes back and licks my clients toes.
Then, Ellie calms down and sits beside her, lying down again, squinting in the sun, her front paws tucking under her chin and tongue pressing through her teeth then retracting.
She reaches for my client's sock and brings it under her chin.
She stays...adorable and peaceful in the sun with a little sock under her chin.
Each moment, slow and thoughtful. Each moment brought that sweet dog to the next. Each moment was a reminder to live in just that.
I'm reminded of my eating disorder.
It was difficult to be an overweight overachiever as a youth but even more difficult to be an adult in the fitness, health and mindfulness industry and know that it never goes away.
You always have to keep the disease in check and as I do, I think of my breath.
I fill up my belly, expand my side ribs and back body with breath and hold.
How does it feel to be full? Full of breath and life and stillness. To be grounded in the fullness of life - the nurturing of the spirit and the mind is a blessing.
I let go of the breath slowly and controlled. I hold.
To feel empty, with nothing but the beat of my heart and pulse of blood moving throughout is a blessing.
I savor the space between feeling full of life and letting go. The union of them both as it fuels and expends.
And it is a blessing everyday.
To treat the body with such care instills the mindfulness necessary to treat everything else with just as much care.
You don't have to sit still on a cushion to find your meditation.
I watch surfers at sunrise simply sit on their boards, riding the pulse of the ocean before a wave propels them to stand.
I watch my sister bake cakes and cookies and extravagant deserts and she is quiet and thoughtful, measuring each ingredient then blending in sweet repose.
I watch my mother with her cup of tea in the afternoon. The ritual of filling the kettle, opening the tin for her green tea bag, finding the cup amongst other cups for the one cup she uses every time and sit to enjoy, not walk around the house to busy herself, but to enjoy and sip and watch Oprah.
I watch trained athletes in the playoffs, with strong muscles engaged everywhere dancing from one side of the court to the other, with there mates, pause and toss the ball into the net, the crowd quiet for a moment until they roar in unison when the ball makes it through the net.
Meditation is mindfulness. You can find it anywhere you are present with the breath, what or who you are with and what you are doing.
You can find it sitting still and you can find it moving around.
You can find it if you BE it.
When you ARE it, everything shows up, the good and the bad. What you need comes up and what you don't falls away.
Try it, you'll like it. Money back guarantee.

Home Run…


In Lady Yoga fashion, it is my goal to look back in history to see where we have come from, find the yoga in the moments past to keep us rooted in the present and passionate about where we are going in the future.

On May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babe Ruth hit his 714th home run, it was a record that wasn’t beat for 40 years (by Hank Aaron in ’74, the year Lady was born!!). He was a pitcher for the Red Sox and outfielder for the Yankees and one of the greatest baseball players and attractions of all time even past his retire year in ’35 and death in ’48. 22 seasons, 10 world series and the hall of fame.

This was one of Ruth’s last games, and the last home run of his career. Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth was called Babe because of his youthful attitude but maturity in skill.

He Dreamed. Reached. Succeeded and kept his youthful babeness. Let's use his record, youthfullness and strike our practice out of the ballpark. Reach past what you think you can do and go for it. Strike out, fall and pick your butt up again. Set your record, beat it and set a new one. It's all good. Hot dog!

Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back. - Babe Ruth

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. - Babe Ruth

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way. Babe Ruth

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime. Babe Ruth

You just can't beat the person who never gives up. Babe Ruth

And some other home runs...

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act. Anatole France

We need men who can dream of things that never were. John F. Kennedy

The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning. Oprah Winfrey

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Les Brown

The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. Doug Larson

Goals are dreams with deadlines. Diana Scharf Hunt

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up. J.M. Power

Life's problems wouldn't be called "hurdles" if there wasn't a way to get over them. Unknown

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Unknown

God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them. Unknown

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle. Unknown

How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to? Anthony Robbins

Sometimes the path you're on is not as important as the direction you're heading. Kevin Smith

The impossible is often the untried. Jim Goodwin

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs. Vance Havner

It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is best from the top. Arnold Bennett

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done. Henry Ford

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. Jack Penn

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Beverly Sills

Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them. Unknown

Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that's one of the hardest things to do because you don't always know exactly where you're going, and you shouldn't.George Lucas

The greatest dreams are always unrealistic. Will Smith

Out of the strain of the doing, Into the peace of the done. Julia Woodruff

The only thing that has to be finished by next Tuesday is next Monday. Jennifer Yane

Map out your future, but do it in pencil. Jon Bon Jovi

Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.Charles C. Noble

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. John Dewey

I’m you’re guide buy you know what you want to see. Each hold, each moment and movement creates the space you need to grow, change, dream, reach, succeed or just enjoy being exactly where you are.

Running home,


In a galaxy far far away…


In Lady Yoga fashion, it is my goal to look back in history to see where we have come from, find the yoga in the moments past to keep us rooted in the present and passionate about where we are going in the future.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away,

On this day May 25th,1977, Memorial Day weekend opened with an intergalactic bang!

The first of George Lucas' blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters. It was and is a cultural phenomenon that’s spanned generations. Consistency.

The incredible success of Star Wars, it’s groundbreaking special effects, 5 more films in the series, five tv series, comic books, toys, games, two sequels, seven Oscars, $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide. Going Beyond your limits.

Let's set the collective intention to be consistent in our commitment to practice, whatever your yoga is, whether it's on the mat or in your life. Go beyond what you think you are capable of emotionally and physically. It's usually the mind that will tell you first that you can't do something. Shut that off and change your perspective. Even if you do the same thing, the same sequence, the same routine every day, take another perspective, another view of it and see how it looks and feels to go beyond your limits.


Be still and know it. - Oprah Winfrey

Star Wars Quotes

[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.

Yes, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will... – Yoda

A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. - Yoda

Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Yoda

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is. Yoda

Always in motion is the future. Yoda

Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is. Yoda

Named must your fear be before banish it you can. - Yoda

You will find only what you bring in. – Yoda

There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. HAN SOLO

The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side. YODA

Your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them. OBI-WAN KENOBI

Who's the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him? OBI-WAN KENOBI

I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur. - Han Solo

There's always a bigger fish. Qui-Gon Jinn

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yoda

Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing thru him" -Obi-Wan to Luke

Stretch out with your feelings. - Obi-Wan to Luke

You've got a lot of guts coming here… - Lando to Han

You have your moments, not many of 'em, but you do have 'em." - Leia to Han

Difficult to see, always in motion is the future. - Yoda to Luke

You cannot escape your destiny. - Ben to Luke

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. ~Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back

Did you think Star Wars ever had so much Yoga in it!!??


Just change it to GA and you've got YOGA! May the force be with you,