Tuesday, April 26, 2011

pain and meditation...

Pain has many faces, many expressions. physically our muscles and joints may ache, mentally and emotionally we deal with anger, loss and sadness. Any yogi will tell you that a little meditation can help but who really listens to yogis except for other yogis right? Well, a fancy schmancy research fellow by the name of Fadel Zeidan did a study last year with students at the University of North Carolina showing that, "Meditation reduced subjects' feeling of pain from electrical shocks during testing and increased their baseline pain tolerance." That's pretty sweet with the exception of the electrical shock, yeah?! Since most of us aren't exactly subject to systematic modes of pain such as this we can look at it in terms of a headache or other minor aches and pains in our bodies.

Through meditation we cultivate an awareness of our bodies, minds, surroundings etc.. When we train ourselves to bring our focus to the breath, these distractions become less important. When we feel a pain coming on, or an emotion welling up inside, rather than a siren sounding off in our heads we learn to approach these feelings nonreactively. Zeidan explains that even a basic meditation practice allows us to focus our awareness on the breath. When other distractions enter we are able to observe without judgment and gently bring our minds back to our breath.

He says that, "Pain is a subjective experience. Meditation is a way of changing the context of that experience. In meditation you experience each moment as it rolls by, and you realize there's no reason to react. You appraise sensory experience differently." And on that note I'm off to breathe this nagging homesickness away!

Love and miss all of you!

everlasting light...

Here's another playlist I've been using lately. One of my favorites right now! Melanie this one's for you. Just like ya wanted ;)


Friday, April 22, 2011


I don't know how they do it. Those teachers who teach everyday, two sometimes three classes per day 5 - 6 days a week. How does one manage it physically, emotionally, and mentally? I suppose it's one thing if you eat, breathe and sleep yoga but this girl doesn't. She helps run a hotel, organizes a spa, runs another business from 2,200 miles away, acts as counsel to countless numbers of women every week, and teaches. My body is rebelling against me and my heart aches at the end of each week. As a teacher you put yourself in a position of unconditional and constant giving. And it's not that your students don't give back. They give plenty, but it is a different kind of giving. They inspire, fuel my love for teaching, and give an open heart, but ultimately their role is to receive. After 7 days with the amazing women and men who pass through these doors, all of which are here dealing with their own issues, finding their own answers, discovering their own selves, I feel both exhilarated and depleted.

Little do our students know that we, as teachers are going through many of the same trials and tribulations. We are in a constant state of finding balance. For me, right now the balance is between work and life which is becoming ever more gray as the months pass. It's finding balance between work and play.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


The thing I miss the most when traveling? Food from home. And coffee. Oh, coffee. Don't get me wrong, there is something wonderful about drinking a hot cup of Nescafe every morning but damn it, I miss my ethiopian yirgacheffe! So the spoiled, amenities and stuff loving lady is coming out in me today.

- 2 lbs of coffee from Heart
- small grinder
- french press
- 5 gallon tub of peanut butter
- American Apparel racer back tank tops
- TYR reversible bikini
- Any lululemon apparel
- st. eve cotton panties from The Rack

I always bring along a couple of comforts that make anywhere feel like home; the medicine bag my sweet mama made me, mala beads, journal and my yoga. What do you miss most when you're traveling? What are the things that make home home for you?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Playa del Carmen...

Due to an insane craving for peanut butter and the inability to find such a thing in Tulum I spent the second day off I've had since arriving in Mexico in Playa del Carmen. Yep, an hour and a half on a bus to get peanut butter. Playa used to be a quiet little beach town on the highway heading south from Cancun. Not so much anymore. Restaurant after restaurant, pushy sales people peddling the same blankets, scarves, sombreros, steaks, lobsters and massages as all the others, dance clubs next to one another so that as you walk down the street your ears and organs are filled with the thump thump and whoop whoop of 5 different techno songs converging into one seemingly discordant yet beautifully crafted score of beats.

All in all the experience was, at best mediocre. Found a great little place to sleep with a balcony overlooking the main drag through Playa. There was some question as to the legitimacy of the place while standing at the reception desk which doubled as the cash register of a cd store around the corner and down the block from the actual room, but everything worked out fine and Pedro and Aldo said they'd give us a deal next time. Unfortunately I don't think I'll make a point to get back to Playa anytime soon. Give me a sleepy beach town like Bacalar any day over the insincerity and exploitative qualities of Playa. If I want to party party party I'll head to Ibiza. However, the beach was beautiful and in the end I got some peanut butter, crema de avenella, natural yogurt, and a sports bra. Success!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Known as corpse pose - it is here in these final moments that we die. Not just as an idea but actually. Understanding that one has collected so much during their lives. Not only books, clothes, houses, but inwardly the memory of insults, flattery, neurotic achievements which give your position. to die to all of that without argument, without discussion or fear - to just give it up will create freedom. Die to everything you know psychologically so that your mind is clear, not tortured.

You come to your mat as one person, as a thinker. as you leave your mat today you are brand new. You are no longer your thoughts, your doubts or your fears. Each and every day you come to your mat this is what you do - you shed the old and become new - innocent...fresh. Through this innocence this is where you live. In compassion

Monday, April 4, 2011

no envy, no fear...

Another group leaves :(

I've said it before, each group is so different and the connection made is unique to the the each. The collective touches you deeply as do the individuals. I've had the chance to make special connections with so many people this past month and it's always hard when they leave. Each person touches the heart in a different manner, inspires something inside of me. Whether it's to be a better teacher, listener or all around better human, every person I encounter here drives me to look inside and be more (and sometimes less).

On a completely unrelated note, I just started a ping account on itunes and will be putting playlists up there. Here is the first one! Just click on the link below the playlist to link to my ping. You can keep up with new playlists on this blog or follow me on itunes. Either way it would be great to have your feedback about songs you like (and don't) to yoga to!