Category Archives: Uncategorized

Filling the Empty

Before a regular meditation practice, I had to be busy.  I filled my life up with business;  listening to radio, TV, or always doing something.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I think looking back now, I was not OK being by myself.  It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s really true:  I didn’t like to be by myself, especially being quiet.  

I had shut down the channels in my mind/body connection, so when a cold/flu/sinus infection came, I was surprised by it.  I tried to fill up this incomplete “hole” in me by other things.  

I believe all of us have an “incomplete part”, or dark hole that screams for us to fill it up.  Some of us pick drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, or even that occasional wine, for which we tell ourselves it’s ok, we deserve it. Yoga teaches us to be ok with ourselves.  To be ok when we fall out of a pose; we get back up, and realize it’ ok.  Yoga starts to merge our body with our minds, and start to fill that empty hole inside of us.   

Years ago, a funny thing happened:  I texted what I thought was my sister, but unbeknownst to me, her number had changed, and another person (by the same first name) responded to my text.  She and I started exchanging texts.  She shared now she had 4 stage breast cancer.  I shared I had a yoga studio, and she might find some healing in yoga.  I guess she hadn’t long to live, and as we talked, she regretted not taking more time for herself when she was working full time.  She said she filled up her days with nothingness, thinking at the time, that’s what you’re supposed to do.  

I encourage you to live life to it’s fullest!  To take that plunge, whatever you thinking about doing, it’s never too late, unless you are on your death bed.  Fill up all the empty holes in your soul, until you know who you really are:  all of your wonderful strengths and all your empty failings.  You will be glad you did!

See you on the mat,


Regret? Never.

Becoming a yoga teacher has changed my life in mysterious ways, that I still can’t comprehend today. Not only has it changed my life for the better, but my family as well, and I would hope my circle of friends. One of the many things it has changed is my ability to move from the side lines to playing on the field.

Before being a yoga teacher, I would like to myself, “that would be awesome to do that, but I’ll wait until my kids are older, or I have more money, or I’ll have more time, or I’m good at yoga, or I’m 20 pounds lighter.” Taking the plunge when we are not perfect, is actually the right time because our minds are ripe for learning more information, so we will try that much harder on this new endeavor.

Going from the sides lines of life, to actually playing is a big deal for most of us, and a strategy for yoga success I tell people is this….

Show up for yourself; sign up for class, or that training.

Do the work.

Yes, you will doubt yourself, and yes you will feel uncertain, but those feelings go away each and every time you go from the side lines of life to playing life.

Who knows how much time we have left, because on my death bed, I’m not going to regret the things I went for, I’ll regret the time spent on the side lines.

I said at last night’s class. “I haven’t regretted one minute of time spent on my yoga mat, because each and every time, I get exactly what I needed.”

It’s time to step into the light, and be the STAR of your life.

See you on the mat,


Yoga High

What sets people apart who consistently practice yoga, and those who do not? Is it that they are totally healthy, and suffer no ill’s, surgeries, or problems? Is it the secret long living elixir of life they gain? Does the practice of yoga make you popular among your friends, and be a success in life? I would say, that yoga can help with these issues, but that is not what sets yoga practitioners apart from everyone else.

I think the biggest thing that sets yoga people apart is their attitude about themselves, others, and how they view life. Lets take a look at the yoga practice itself to see how it’s valuable.

Let’s look at a balance pose, tree pose, where you are standing on one leg, and the other leg is resting near the top of the inner thigh. 24/7 we have “information” passing through our nervous system, from internal and external forces, physical demands of our physical body, and emotions we are feeling. From day to day our vrkasana tree pose, can look differently, and feel differently, with somedays succeeding and feeling good, and others falling out of our trees.

Our attitude about ourselves, others, and our life really can shape who and what we are. Yoga practice helps us understand that some day’s we might fall out of our poses, but built up overtime, our tree’s become steady. If we could look at our emotions, and view them as steady, wouldn’t that be alot better than the emotional roller coaster that some of us are on?

I can say for certain, yoga practice has helped a great deal in managing my emotions. I used to cry at the drop of a bucket, literally. This was not good for my body. Now, I am much more steady, and view the “dropped buckets of life” just temporary road blocks that one must surpass.

If I wasn’t crying I was angry. Angry at slow drivers, Angry at annoying people. Angry at myself, because I was feeling angry. After visiting Miami last week, where there are 8 lanes of traffic on the highway, people weaving in and out, I can honestly say it did not ruffle my feathers in the least. Singing along to my yoga music, I always arrived calm, cool and collected, uhh, even when I accidentally drove down a one way street the wrong way!

Yep, that’s a Yoga High. Come on, and give it a try!

Here is 7 minutes from CNN, a yoga practice to make you happy.

See you on the mat,


I’m going to topple over!

Help! I’m going to topple over!

Ever feel like you’re a ball of energy trapped into many boxes?  From our past experiences, actions, and the people we live with, we lay upon the body layers of tension, and Dis-EASE.  Through our yoga practice, we begin to take off these layers, one by one. This is how yoga works to keep us free from DIS-ease.     This happens when we surrender, find optimal alignment, and use our breath to release these coverings.  These coverings affect our posture, our health, and most of all, our wellbeing.  

What are some things that can affect your posture, or the way you carry yourself?

  • Who we know…..we can copy our friends postures, even family members..
  • What we do….if we favor one side of the body, due to injuries, or say, playing a violin
  • Yoga!!  What we do on the right, we do on the left, this balances the body, also back bending, forward bending, and side bending all even out the body.
  • Spiritual connection…..yes, if we meditate, or pray, this affects our posture in a good way

So, it’s time…’s time to take off that huge snow suit that you can’t walk in.  It’s time to gently peel away the layers of fear, doubt, and worry.  This is no easy task, but yoga works when done every day, with effort and ease, consistency, and JOY! 

Don’t believe me?  Try the March Yoga Challenge…..31 days for 31$.  Go ahead, come every day, and tell me you don’t feel better after 31 days of consistent practice.

I know you will!

See you on the mat,


Planting Good Seeds

Our physical yoga practice is a great metaphor for how we show up in the world and how the world shows up in our lives, or you could say, how you do one thing, is how you do EVERYTHING.  A couple of weeks ago, my 2 boys exchanged some heated words.  Because they work together, it’s sometimes hit or miss, but in the end, they always love each other.  I noticed how I was in that moment.

My oldest came in the house, dropped the baby in my arms, and went to go find the youngest, and have a “talking”.  During the argument, I noticed that I just “checked out”, and went to the other room, away from the conflict, because that is what I do.  In yoga texts, philosophy, they talk about this, because I’m guessing a fair amount of us do it.  What they talk about, is stopping violence with loving effort.   That means stepping in, and actually stopping the person who is being the most confrontational, and in that moment, if you can do it without being violent yourself, a tremendously good seed will be planted in your mind; that stops violence from happening around you permanently.  Yes, what that means is this:

“in your presence all violence will cease”.  

Can you imagine a better world that this?  I cannot.  After everything settled down, apologies were made, I noticed my response.  When I was holding my granddaughter in the heat of the argument, she started crying, which made me try and comfort her.  Anyone of us would do the same, and offer hugs, especially to little ones who are upset.  What would have stopped the strong words immediately, would have been my granddaughter, because everyone has a soft spot for her.  Instead of running away (my typical response) I should have walked in with the baby, and believe me, those boys would have stopped fighting immediately.  

The yoga practice we do off the mat can be more important than the time on our mat.  If we can notice our behavior, and then try to change our thought patterns, we are truly making excellent strides in the practice of yoga; a body that is free from dis-ease.  It’s not easy, it takes a humble heart of noticing what you are doing, as you are doing it.  Looking at past mistakes, and try to make things better the next time around.  At first you just have to recognize your behavior. That is a huge effort.  (We all want to think we are above everything, and don’t need to change a thing about ourselves!). After recognizing the way you are, you can visualize a different ending scenario.  This helps when this argument happens again.  If you don’t recognize how you are “feeding” this energy, it will happen over and over again, until you “get it” or understand this is for you to change about yourself.  

This is how we change our world around us.  This is our yoga practice on and off the mat.  In our yoga practice are we being kind to ourselves? 

See you on the mat,


The vital need for touch

Here is my grand daughter Ellie (on the left) touching a friend in day care.

Did you know how important touch is to your well being? Touching can:

Reduce stress hormones and increase “well being” hormones

Lowers blood pressure

Balances the immune system

Lifts depression

Hugging someone for 20 seconds will put the body and brain in balance

Before Covid, touch was paramount in the classes I taught. A light touch here, can awaken the body part I’m trying to get to move. A nudge there can help the student feel and activate that muscle, and everyone loves a low back release from someone pressing on your sacrum in downward dog.

But what about the touch your partner gives you? Do you feel like you need more? I think most of us do. Touch connects us to each other, and promotes a strong bond of loving communication.

I will be going back to my old way of teaching and communicating the yoga, through demo’s, sight, using my voice and my body to adjust the asana. I believe though touch that the student understands so much more of the energy of the asana or posture, and can avoid pitfalls of pain in the long run.

Come and Learn a new way to communicate with your partner in our Thai Yoga Massage workshop. In Thai yoga you use a pressing down technique with your palms, as well as other methods to promote health to your partner. It’s incredibly relaxing technique that you can take home and practice with each other.

See you on the mat,


Dark vs. Light

One evening, a Native American grandmother sat around the crackle of the village fire telling stories to the young.

“There is a battle going on inside every human. Including you. It’s a battle of two wolves — a dark and a light wolf. The dark wolf represents envy, arrogance, anxiety, ego, inferiority, regret, greed, self-pity, guilt, false pride, fear, pain, anger, jealousy, rage; the light wolf represents love, peace, humility, kindness, serenity, generosity, trust, tranquility, compassion, empathy, joy, gratitude.”

The grandmother sips her tea and turns silent, waiting for one of the wide-eyed kids to take the bait.

One finally does. “Grandma, which wolf wins?”

The Grandmother responds, “Whichever one you choose to feed.”

At first when you come to yoga, you may be unaware of the dark places that are in your body.  But just as much as yoga brings out the light, happy, carefree moments, it also highlights the dark;  sadness, loss, anger.  This becomes the work of yoga;  to get rid of the dark, or at least dim the dark.  

What separates us, and really transforms us is our CHOICES.  We CHOOSE to eat healthy, because great food creates health in our body.  We CHOOSE to practice yoga, because the practice makes us feel good in our body.  We CHOOSE  to work because we have gifts to contribute to others, and yes, money is a side benefit.    We CHOOSE to spend time with family and friends, because our mental health depends on healthy interactions.  

All of these are important things to CHOOSE, but did you know that near the top of your CHOICES should be a yoga practice?  And WHY??  Yoga practice begins to bring more light in our bodies, thoughts and minds, so that dark CHOICES cannot rule our thoughts.  Everyone knows that sitting down binge eating and watching leads to unwanted pounds, and feeling off.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, we CHOOSE to travel down the dark path.  We blame the family, weather, or others for feeling down or blue.  Luckily, for some of us, it is short lived until we snap out of that way of thinking.  Just this morning I woke up, and started to run down the things I had to do, and WOKE up, made the change into Gratitude.  I can and do CHOOSE my thoughts, and good thoughts come easier with yoga practice.  As I started my day with Gratitude thoughts, my body lightened up, and gave me fuel for all of those things I had to do.  

I realize now that before Christmas I was also letting my thoughts travel in the wrong direction.  It’s no surprise that I got a head cold.  I also took a week off of yoga practice.  When I came back I had some shoulder pain and stiffness.  Thank God for all the years of consistent practice I had built up, because within 2 practices the pain was gone.  See, the dark travels and tries to settle somewhere in your being:  your joints, heart, organs.  If you shoo it out of one area, it might settle somewhere else, until finally with consistent yoga the dark finally gives up trying to find a home in you.  Despite darkness trying to get into your mind, or your body, you feel light.

I’m finding there are levels to our light/dark ratios.  When you bump your head on the next spiritual level, more darkness comes in.  I think the saying goes, “new level?  new devil”.

Thank God there are yogi’s that came before us, and gave us tips, and guidelines on how to live and banish the dark.  It’s important not only to do the yoga physically, but to sit down and learn the philosophy behind the poses.  That is where change really happens, when we live the yoga off our mat as well.

In Lightness,

See you on the mat,


Your super hero is closer than you think.

Did you know that right now, other people in your life are waiting for you to shine your light brighter?  We are all on a “spiritual ladder”, with people higher than us, and people lower than us.  We are all interdependent on each other’s help.  Some are waiting for us to show up, so we make that connection, share our stories, and evolve higher.  

For instance, I have taught a lot of people a lot of yoga throughout the years.  Occasionally I will hear back from my students.  One such student always joked around and called herself a “human ironing board”, she was so stiff.  We practiced yoga together for probably 3-4 years, and she even followed me to my house when we started practicing there.  Tearfully, we said a good bye, when they decided to move down to Florida.  We still kept in contact, through email, and she said I really miss my classes, so I urged her to go and find herself some other yoga classes.   Months went by, and life passes quickly enough.  Some time ago I heard back from her.  She did indeed find another studio, and took their teacher training, and now she is teaching yoga!  Little did I know that I had influenced her to take this journey. 

You see, we really don’t know how our lives touch others.  (btw….love the movie, 
“It’s a wonderful life”, because it reminds us of this fact!). Getting back to my first paragraph, what really holds us back in moving forward is fear.  In our mind, we set limitations, unfounded boundaries, and false information to “us”, until we start to believe those things we are not.   Our yoga practice starts to erase that “false information”.  

Our life is full of potential, and sometimes, we just need to take the plunge.  Walk into that yoga studio.  Make that speech in front of others.  Go back to school.  Make that shift.  Do what scares you, or for some of us, gives us a chill down our back.  Other people are just waiting for you to “show up, and be your own hero” to help them!

See you on your mat,


The ultimate Gift

Setting time in my life for……ME!

I wish I could set down with my younger self for a conservation. It would go something like this…..

Wise self:  “You know, Paula, you seem a little short tempered, how about doing something good for yourself?”

Younger self:  “When I leave the husband and kids, I feel so guilty about the time being gone.”

Wise Self:  Having a healthy body, mind and spirit is a gift to others, because you have more love to spread around”.

Younger self:  “Really?, it seems like that wouldn’t be the case.  Maybe I will sign up for that yoga session, and really stick to it.  That made me feel the best I have felt in a long time.”

Wise Self:  “Taking care of yourself, is really the ultimate love you can share among family.  Taking the time for self-care says I love you enough to want to be healthy for you and me.  Taking time for yourself will also make you really present the times you are with your loved ones, instead of wishing you were somewhere else.”

I started my yoga career when my youngest was in kindergarten.  And yes, it is so true; the more I did yoga the more energy I had for everyone, and everything on my plate.   That has helped my practice stay consistent. Doing the yoga for them, helped me on the days where it was hard to start practice by myself.  

You just need to start doing yoga until it becomes something very regular; like brushing your teeth.  You wouldn’t dream of going out with a dirty mouth, just like your day is not complete without some yoga in it.  You notice the days you do yoga, there is more of an ease, a flow, and a sense of gratitude for your practice.  You wouldn’t know how this would feel when you only do yoga once or twice a week.  

Our body is our temple.  It is up to us to love it, and take care of it.  It’s the only one we have, so it’s vital to keep it strong, flexible, and healthy.  Yoga will do that.  

Give yourself the ultimate gift of health this year.   The Gift of yoga everyday.  You will not regret or look back the time spend on your mat.  

See you on the mat,


The best gift of yoga.

This gift of yoga comes unannounced, and quietly comes into your mind, body and heart without fanfare or bells and whistles.  It is not a particular pose, like finally nailing your handstand. It doesn’t come from a particular teacher, nor a particular class or even a particular yoga center.  It comes from practicing yoga, day in and day out.  It is born of struggles, disappointment, pain, and wanting to give up, because you know, life; you are busy.  But something inside of you persists, practices and doesn’t stop.  That someone or something inside of you that yearns for light, 24/7; that sees a bigger picture than strength or flexibility combined, that sees you for you, how you really are, what and who you are.

As I woke up this morning, life’s troubles stared me right back in the face, with a big smirk.  Life has thrown me a 1/2/3 punch that has threatened to take me down.  All that I love and cherished has been on the line.  Times where I have gone into the darkest places in my mind, that I ever have.  Threatening to consume, and spiral downward, I have rose up.  Well, I should say the practice of yoga has lifted me up.  

This is a feeling absent from your circumstances.  For instance, if we have 2 weeks of solid rain, it might make you feel a little blue or down, or even big life events, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a home.  At times like these, when we are at the lowest of lows, it would be really difficult to see how doing some yoga poses might help you feel better.  It’s at this point, even seasoned yogi’s might want to give up their practice.  

The yogi’s have a special sanskrit word for this.  “Ananda”.  Ananda is bliss, joy that comes from these physical postures.  It’s not the bliss you feel when life is going right;  you have the right job, secure in your finances, secure and happy with your friends and family.  But this is the bliss and joy you feel despite circumstances telling you to feel down.  This joy brings tears to your eyes, it is so bright, so full, so complete.  

This Ananda is within each and every one of us.  This is within our grasp, and embedded in our soul.  It is who we really are, when we remove all of what life has thrown our way.  This is the real gift of yoga.  This is why I practice, although I didn’t come to the practice looking for this.

Don’t believe me, like a real scientist, go and practice yourself.  And then we you “think” you know all of what yoga is, step up your game.  Go to someone who will find your tightness, or the area you are most weak in.  That leads you to this path of Ananda.

See you on your mat,