Happenings

Yoga this week… new classes!

Hello friends and yoga lovers!

There are some exciting new changes to my teaching schedule beginning this week. Firstly, I have two new weekly classes at Black Sheep Yoga in Oceanside. I will be teaching The Rocket (a heated class) from 12-1 on Fridays and Yoga 101 from 11-12:30 on Sundays. Additionally, I will be subbing an all-levels flow class this week on Friday night (6-7:15). It’s a great space with a wonderful atmosphere. Please drop by if you have never been there and give one of my new classes a go!

Also, I will be teaching at the beach twice this week- Thursday at 9am and Sunday at 9:30am. Please note that the Sunday class has been changed going forward to accommodate the changes in my schedule. It will begin at 9:30 rather than 10, and it will be held at the beach rather than the park. I have gotten such great feedback about the Thursday classes at the beach, and so many of my students who are unable to attend during the week have been asking for a weekend class at the beach. I can’t wait to kick it off this weekend! Hope to see you there…

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

Yoga break, anyone?!

Who’s in?? I will be teaching tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am and Sunday at 10am.

The theme of the week is getting into those spots where we accumulate tightness and tension and unlock them with a focused, gentle yoga practice. Make it conscious and let it go!

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

We’re going to have a sunny, sunny beach day for yoga tomorrow! Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen!

I will be teaching regular Thursday class tomorrow at 10am. The roses are still looking fine and the hummingbirds are stopping by to say hi. Join me for this gentle, all levels flow. We will focus on connecting with our calm and quiet center and exploring expansiveness via the side body. Sound fun? Be there!

I will also be teaching on Sunday in the park (weather permitting).

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

Yoga this week… with special guest stars! Yes, in fact, I am referring to the return of the roses in the yoga garden. They seemed to fully pop over the past few days. I love teaching and practicing yoga there when the roses are in bloom, so you know this week’s class is going to be a special one.

My regular Thursday class will be held in the yoga garden, and I will also be teaching Sunday at 10am in the park.

We’ve just passed Earth Day, and Mother Nature is working over time to make our practice space lovely. Join me on the mat this week to join the party!

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Yoga for healthy roots

If you are not familiar with ‘inner body’ awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don’t ask your mind. It will say, ‘I can’t feel anything.’ Probably it will also say, ‘Give me something more interesting to think about.’ So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. Your may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won’t even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their ‘inner hands’ at the same time as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body- legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on- into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness.

~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

That was where we began class this week. Since my inspiration this week was metaphorical- preparing the soil for the seeds we will be planting and growing in the rest of 2013- this passage from A New Earth served to anchor our practice in our bodies rather than our minds.

Spring is a time of renewal, and I find myself excited and inspired annually at this time. I have had a backyard vegetable garden for a few years now, and the process of preparing, planting, and tending that garden has connected me more deeply to the unique qualities of this part of nature’s cycles. I’ve become more aware of how my efforts in the garden can serve as a template for renewal in many areas of my life- and how those efforts can be bolstered by the prevailing conditions of the season.

As any gardener knows, before you can begin planting the seeds and watching them sprout, you must uproot the weeds and prepare the soil. Our practice, therefore, comprised of grounding, standing postures and special attention to the flow of apana vayu. Standing postures activate and balance the root chakra, which governs our sense of security, stability, and safety. A healthy root chakra is an essential foundation.

Apana vayu, one of the five “winds” or aspects of the life force, is associated with the lower abdomen and pelvis and relates to eliminative functions. Shedding, of sorts. It is the downward-flowing energy that allows the old to be released and transform into the fertilizer for the new to grow. Staying in the “inner body” awareness where we opened our practice together, we used various standing postures to explore apana vayu and connect with this “shedding” energy that enables renewal. To learn more about apana vayu and yoga postures that activate it, check out this article from the Himalayan Institute.

I’ve created a Pinterest board to gather my “spring cleaning” inspirations. As I said, this is one of my very favorite times of the year, so I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress throughout the next few weeks. Stay tuned…

Namaste, yoga lovers!

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Yoga this week!

We’re transitioning into one of my very favorite times of the year, and I am so stoked for class this week. We’re a week away from the spring equinox now, and that is going to serve as the inspiration for our yoga practices together for the rest of the month.

Tomorrow (Thursday, March 14), we will explore apana vayu, the downward-flowing energy of elimination, along with grounding standing poses to “prep the soil” for new beginnings this spring.

What seeds are you ready to plant for the rest of your year? What do you wish to manifest?

Join me on the mat to put those visions into action!

ps- The photo above from Kamelienyoga.com was selected to be on YogaPoseWeekly.com. Click here to vote for my photo by clicking on the heart in the upper left-hand corner or ‘liking’ it below the image. Thanks!

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Thank you, everyone!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to offer a deeply heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported me in my involvement with the 2013 “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K. It was a huge success on so many levels, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

In the end, we raised $555 for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation through my fundraising page, exceeding my goal of raising $500! I am in awe of the support that came in from every direction. It was truly a team effort, and we did it!

I also gave my all to represent our “team” in the race. I clocked a sub-30 minute 5K, which was a personal performance goal for me. It was that much more challenging because of the enormous number of participants in the race. I’m not sure of the exact number yet, but it was around 6000 people. The huge number of people who stood up for Chelsea and committed to “finishing her run” certainly made for more traffic to negotiate through during the race, but it was also very inspiring. Some racers carried sunflowers, some pushed strollers or wheelchairs, some had their dogs with them… people of all descriptions coming together to stand up for hope and positivity.

It was a beautiful experience that I will not forget, and it was that much more special to me knowing that I had cheerleaders all over the country backing me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you… from the bottom of my heart! I can’t wait for next year to do it again!

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Yoga this week!!

This week, I’m a woman on a mission! On Saturday, I will be participating in the “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5k, which is the primary annual fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and their Sunflower Scholarship Fund. I’ve written a blog post in which I’ve tried to convey why this is so important to me. If you are interested in learning more, you can find that post here.

Since I’m giving this race all I’ve got this week, this week’s class is inspired by my experiences in the weeks leading up to this race. It will be an exploration of gratitude and Being. 100% of the proceeds from this class will be passed along to my fundraising page for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.

Please join me on Thursday at 10am to take it to the mat and give thanks for the simple gift of having the present moment to express the very best of ourselves.

See you on the mat!

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Help Chelsea’s Light shine

We moved to north San Diego County on February 1, 2010. I didn’t know a soul here- not one for miles and miles. I didn’t have a car, and I had a baby who was about 15 months old. I spent my days (all 24 hours of each of them) in my new home with my baby boy. During the first weekend after the move, I made my way to the local swap meet and bought a used jogging stroller.

The jogging stroller was my pass to get out of the house, get some exercise, and get to know my new surroundings. Max and I spent hours and hours exploring our new town- sometimes traveling 10 miles or more in a day.

I remember in those first few weeks, while we were walking downtown or near the beach, the flyers for a missing local girl began popping up on telephone poles and in store windows. I remember her brilliant, blue eyes. Something about her caught my attention, something seemed amiss. There wasn’t an ounce of trouble in her eyes or her smile. She radiated a goodness that was apparent to me from the moment I first saw her. How could it be that that girl, Chelsea King, was missing?

For that reason, I followed her story closely. The picture of Chelsea that emerged in the media drew me in even more. I learned that there were quite a few similarities between Chelsea and my 17-year-old self. She was a very serious student- very focused on preparing for continuing her education. She was a passionate writer and devoted to the environment. She wanted to do good in the world. Nothing I read or heard contradicted the initial impression I had had of her. She was a good girl. A good person.

I prayed for her safety and her safe return to the bright life that she was building for herself. I prayed that she would be able to turn all the opportunities that would clearly arise for her into gold- in a way that I hadn’t always succeeded in doing.

After a few, short days, however, that hope was lost. Chelsea had been found. While out on a run in a local park, her path had intersected with the darkest evil.

Throughout the years since then, I have been reminded of Chelsea from time to time. More than once, when telling someone of my love of taking my son and the jogging stroller out for a run, I’ve been asked, “But aren’t you scared? Didn’t you hear about that girl in Rancho Bernardo?”

I had also heard that Chelsea’s family had created a charitable foundation to keep Chelsea’s radiant spirit alive… to do the good in the world that so obviously seemed to be her destiny. They called it Chelsea’s Light.

Alas, years have gone by now. In late summer of last year, Max outgrew the jogging stroller. He didn’t so much outgrow it as he outsmarted it. He learned to unlatch the safety belt and jump out while we were traveling at full speed. No good for anyone… so that was the end of our beloved jogging stroller. I wasn’t quite sure where to go with my running from that point, so I stopped for most of the second half of the year.

As 2013 approached, I resolved that I would lace up my running shoes again and get back out there. I’ve always been most motivated in my running when I’m training for a race, so I found a training program app for my phone and away I went. I also began looking for a race that would coincide with the end of my training schedule. I went on Google and searched for races in early March in the San Diego area. The first that came up was the “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K.

I knew immediately which Chelsea and why she hadn’t finished her run. My eyes filled with tears. I also knew immediately that “Chelsea’s Run” would be my next race.

In some ways, the preparation for this race has been the easiest ever and in others it has been, by far, the most difficult. There hasn’t been a single “running” day when I’ve thought of skipping my run or taking it easy. Running does not come naturally to me. Honestly, I only began running because the jogging stroller offered some physical activity and a sanity break. The race is just over a week away now. At this point in my training for races in the past, as the runs are growing longer and longer, I’ve had difficulty staying focused and motivated. Not this time. Motivation has not been a problem at all.

The emotional challenges that I’ve confronted in the past two months are unlike any I’ve experienced in prior races, though. There have been days when I have literally had to fight back tears as I was running on the treadmill (in a “resolutioner”-packed gym, no less), experiencing a mix of gratitude and confusion. I’ve felt gratitude that I get to be running, breathing, alive. I’ve felt confused… about why terrible things happen to wonderful people, about how to hold space for goodness in the face of incomprehensible evil, about why I’m feeling so deeply about all of this?? After all, I never knew Chelsea in life. She wasn’t a close friend or a loved one. I had never met her.

Coming to terms with all of that has been the greatest challenge. To me, this race has been the most meaningful one I’ve ever participated in from the get-go, but what is that meaning, really? As best as I’ve been able to determine, it is that Chelsea touched my heart with her radiant spirit, and I want to do my best to honor that. I want to do my part to hold space for positivity around her memory and in the world, in general. She deserves that. It is what she stood for in her life, and it is her legacy. Not one terrible, dark moment.

The “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K is the primary annual fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and its Sunflower Scholarship program, which provides educational opportunities for outstanding students who might not have access to them otherwise.

I was blessed and lucky to receive an education at some of the nation’s best universities thanks to scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Paying that forward by contributing to scholarships for today’s youth would mean a great deal to me in and of itself. But to do it in Chelsea’s name and in her honor is such a profoundly beautiful thing to me. It touches my heart in a way that I am having difficulty putting into words.

I know that even after March 2, 2013 has passed and the race is over for another year, I will carry a part of this time in my heart. I’ve gathered wisdom and insight in the past few weeks that I’ve absorbed into the very core of me. It drives me to give my best in every situation and to be grateful for every opportunity. Tomorrow should never be taken for granted. It is not guaranteed to any of us. The only certainty is that we have this moment to express our highest potential and to bring more of what we hold most dear into this world.

Thank you. Thank you, all. Thank you, Chelsea.

If you would like to join me in supporting the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and their Sunflower Scholarship Program, please visit my donation page by Saturday, March 2.

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Yoga this week!!

Well, hello there, yoga lovers!

The website issues are sorted. The galleries seem to be back in order. I have a new (to me) car, and the breakdowns and crises of the week are a thing of the past. Goddess willing.

After all of the “excitement” of the past few days, it’s time to take a yoga break- take a deep breath and anchor in awareness of the present moment where everything is a-ok. The present, after all, is where our power lies. The past is history, the future is a mystery, as they say.

Join me for a gentle vinyasa practice Thursday morning at 10am. We will focus on staying connected to our breathing as a way to deepen our awareness of our bodies and of the present moment.

See you on the mat!

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