No Mud No lotus

Here is my muddy story.  Part of the yoga journey is that it brings its own unique way of awareness.  You become aware of the “muddy” parts of you, as well as the “lighter” parts of you, ie:  the good that you have done, but also the bad.  

I drank in high school, quite a lot.  I also didn’t know where to put the empty bottles after I drank the beer, so I threw them out the window, on the way home.  Definitely knew better, but getting caught with a bunch of empty bottles of beer was enough incentive to look the other way when I trashed them.   Long story short, after a sickening evening, I gave up my alcohol, not looking back a minute.

That brings me to today, 40 years later.  This is how yoga works.  Every action you do creates either “mud” or “light”.  I know back in high school, trashing those bottles was a hassle to the home owners who had to pick them up.  I had created some mud in my body, mind and life.  

I love to swim every day, it doesn’t matter in what condition, I usually swim in the Little Miami River, close to my house.  In my favorite swimming hole, for the past couple of years a big Rumpke trash can has found its way along the bank, and settled in amongst a dead tree. There on the bank it filled up with sand, lodged its self into the tree and stayed put, even when spring rains came, and the river rose.  The other day I decided I was going to dig this out, and clean up this very pretty spot on the river, in lue of the bad karma I had planted years ago with the bottles.   Got my husband, the dog, a shovel, and my suit on, and started the task.

Lord, I wish I knew how much those big trash cans can hold, because this one had concrete like silt sand and mud wedged into every crevice of that can.  I began to dig, curse, shove, rock back and forth, and dig some more.  After 4 hours, and a broken lid, it finally freed its self from the tree.  Covered in filth, little knats were all over me, and needless to say, I was a cranky camper.  While I was digging, I thought about stamping out that “bad” deed I did, so many years ago, and vowed never to do this again.  

I “saw” that trash can only because I had planted some bad deeds in my life years ago.   I should expect to see cleaned up areas in my life, because I had taken a drastic step in cleaning up my mind and life.  You see the seeds we plant, either good or bad, never go away, unless we take action against them.  In fact, seeds that you plant years ago, not only don’t go away, but they get bigger, kind of like the action of someone cleaning up maybe 30 bottles of beer, that would equal an hour of time, to 40 years later, to cleaning up a trash can along a bank that equaled 4 hours of time.  Seeds get bigger over time.  

When you step on your mat, you do more than stretch your body, you CLEAN it out.  You clean out the clutter of your mind, and the tightness in your body, so you can reflect on the good you have done, along with the bad.  This is really beautiful, because it puts us completely in charge of our destiny.  We can control our future.  For what you sow, you shall reap.  They say the lotus flower that blooms a beautiful pedal flower comes from the muddiest part of the lake. I understand that now. if we can right our actions from the past, think on how the whole world would change from people cleaning up their past wrongs.

See you on the mat,


Fear? No, That’s confidence!!

Most people think that when you take a Yoga Teacher Training Course that you have desires to become a yoga teacher.  I did not feel that way.  I knew that I loved yoga, and every class made me feel awesome, so much so, that I wanted to continue feeling awesome for the rest of my life, so that is why I signed up.  I thought I would receive training on how to live, and that these poses could make me a healthy person.   I also felt like my angels (and inner gut) were practically shouting in my ear to do this, that it will be good for you, and to trust the process of learning.  I did get all that I expected, and so MUCH more!  

But I also had some major questions coming into training.  I was/am Catholic, would I be taught a different religion?  Was yoga a religion?  (answer:  No yoga is not a religion, but a way to live at peace with yourself and others, that aligns with your religion values, no matter what religion you happen to be). My biggest fear was still lurking…..I didn’t feel worthy enough to teach this awesome practice.  I couldn’t do ½ of the poses, I was very stiff and inflexible.  And, Oh the horror of standing up and teaching others how to do this??!!!  Very intimidating!!  But I put in the work of learning.  I was horrible at pronouncing Sanskrit, so my teacher made a cassette recording (back in 2006!) on how to say everything.  I went home, studied, worked, and put in the time to learn.  

You know, when you are ready, the teacher appears.  Thus, is how I happened to fall into teaching yoga.  Mid way through teacher training, I got asked to teach a class, and accepted, and things naturally fell into place.  Although I was nervous before, probably during and after teaching, it felt right to do this.  Probably more right than most decisions I had made with my life.  It took many years of teaching not to be so nervous, and to stand up and really know I can teach.  

I tell this story to my trainees to let them know, it’s ok to have many fears, it’s not ok not to do anything about them.  Sure, you might feel difficult overcoming any hurdle, but it’s better than doing nothing about getting over that hurdle.  

And the best part?  All these years later, when I stand up, teach, I still get a thrill!  I feel humbled and honored that people want to come to my class, but I get it’s not about me!  It’s about the student’s experience of yoga on their mat, and I’m just a “guide”.   If I have done my job of learning how yoga works, I can be a better teacher, and I’m still learning!  I work hard to “lighten” the load everyone carries, and to bring a little calm in their day, and to see them smile on the way out???  Bonus!! My friends!  Pure bliss!

See you on the mat,


“everything you want is on the other side of fear”

Spread your Wings!

Here’s Morgane and Shreparna spreading their wings!!

How many times have you got a message from the Universe calling you to do something, but old patterns or fears stopped you from doing that?  Some people say it takes us more than 7 times to hear some advice, before we are ready to “act” on that advice, and see how it works out in our lives.  

Have you ever heard the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears?”.  This has been true in my life lately.  In February, I visited a yoga studio in Miami, and just signed up for a vinyasa class.  Well, little did I know how much this class would affect me.  I arrived, and this very big room had over 75 people in it….all ready for yoga, mats were being re-arranged for late comers, and people were getting caught up with their friends, chatting.  It started.  This teacher started playing the harmonium, got us OMMMMing, and then moved on to chanting.  Immediately, tears started rolling down, as emotions I held onto are being released.  After chanting, we did some very fast asana, before melting in some long hip/ low back releases.  The sweat was rolling.  After a very peaceful welcomed savasana, we sat up again, and did some final chants, before Omming for the last time.  

Some of you know how much I love to chant.  Chanting regulates the breath, opens up the chakras, very similar to the asanas or postures we do in yoga..  Some people do chanting as their yoga practice;  Called Bhatki yoga,  it is very powerful indeed!  This got me to dreaming, and recalling about wanting to do this when I first became a yoga teacher, ie:  chant + yoga.   I purchased a harmonium, and then started to look online wanting to take lessons.  Basically, my lessons fizzled out, as online and what was being offered was not working to teach me.  So the harmonium went into the closet and sat for 10 years or so.  Coming home from Miami, I just knew the time was right, and dug it out of the closet.

I started calling around, and found someone, who could meet individually with me.  Well, don’t want to toot my horn, but after 2 lessons, I am singing a song, and playing the harmonium with it, and chanting to Kali.  This teacher is floored, saying most people have a much harder time getting this instrument.  Well, I guess in my mind, I have been working up a long time to this moment.  I can’t wait for the day to sit down, and bring this amazing experience to Anahata;  it’s time, and feels OOOHHH SOOOOO RIGHT!!!  

Are you the same?  Have you been thinking about doing a yoga teacher training, or teaching aerial, but fears, timing, or just life has stopped you?  Well, I was reminded today, how very precious each day is, as I learned of a friend’s passing.  We only have this life, and if we are getting a message to do something, it’s probably because NOW is the time.  Pocket your fears, and sign up.  Maybe I’m the teacher you have been looking for.  

See you on the mat,