Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Psoas Workshop this Sunday!

Just a reminder that my Psoas workshop is this Sunday at 2:30p at Yoyo Yogi. We will use movement, meditation and self reflection to understand more about this powerful and amazing muscle that is called "the muscle of the soul".  All levels welcome as this is not a flow class. Come learn how to understand how this muscle is related to our digestion, sexual organs, breathing, emotions and how we are moving through life. Aromatherapy treats included. Register online at Yoyo yogi or call 503-688-5120 . More details on my events page on my website. It's only $32..come nurture and learn more about yourself!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Changing Routines..

I realized it has been quite some time since I have posted on my blog. It is amazing to me how quickly time can evaporate even when you are intending to "slow down". I confess I have not been writing because I have been in the process of changing routines and trying to listen more to my body's direction and that has required me to be on many hikes in the woods. I realized that although my routines were filled with really "good" things. They were habits that I sunk into that allowed me to "check out" of what my body was asking for and allowed my mind to direct what I "should do". We all love our habits whether it is going to a class you love, drinking a morning cup of tea or coffee, reading before bed...so much of our days can be filled with habitual things..even washing the dishes. I am not saying that we should all throw all of our habits out the door. Habits are good for creating efficiency in our life, giving us something to help create ease for ourselves as we rest in the familiarity. Where I think we miss some beauty and some spontaneity is when we stop asking ourselves "Is this still working? Do I really enjoy this? What does this do for me? Is there something else that can do this? Am I attached to this thing? I found that all of the sudden I really needed more outside time. I was not feeling the same connection that I was previously experiencing in some of my activities and I realized that some of my choices were costly time wise and yet still something felt missing. I decided for a week that I would wake up and ask myself about each choice and feel out what I wanted to do. I was shocked to find that everyday something different arose. Yet from each new choice came a new type of connection to listening and hearing my body's voice. Some days instead of yoga, I went for a hike. Some days I stayed home and wrote in my journal and did a home practice. Some days I was really tired and didn't do anything but rest. I even started running again and reconnected to a previous habit in a more mindful way that I had left about a year ago. It has been a really amazing unfolding!

I guess my point in sharing all of this is that our body really does communicate with us its needs and the wisdom about what we need to feel balanced in our own unique way. Just because you read that you need X amount of exercise every day doesn't mean that it has to look like the magazine articles (in the gym gutting it out on the treadmill for 30 minutes-1 hour). Many of us that give lots of energy in our daily jobs can end the day really "spent" energetically and we actually need to "take in" some energy through more nurturing activities like walking in the woods, gentle yoga or just taking a break to sit down and rest our minds and bodies. Some of us that sit lots of the day need to release some energy and get it moving so a more active yoga, run, active hike, etc is just what we need. We just have to get out of our head and listen and tune into what is really for our spirit and try to soften the voices of habit and "shoulds".

This is a great time to practice this during Mercury retrograde which just started last weekend. This is the planet of communication and connection to our thoughts. When this planet is retrograded the habits of communication and our means can throw us for a loop. This is a great time to explore what thoughts and what types of communication with others and our body are not working. Where are we being challenged to prune?

So here's to changing things up a bit in whatever ways are meaningful!

Unleash Your Potential, An Exploration of the Psoas

Hi friends!
My workshop at Yoyo Yogi is now open for registration! Register here

An exploration of the psoas, the muscle of the soul". The psoas (SO-as) influences every aspect of our health and integrates body, mind, emotion and spirit. It has found to be key in releasing pain in the hips, knees, low back, feet,and jaw.... Tight, exhausted or "sleepy" psoas muscles can also be linked to digestive issues and headaches as well as unreleased emotions of fear and anger. In this powerful workshop you will learn ways to connect to this muscle and how to freely move from your center with a sense of flexibility, suppleness, strength and stability. 
The workshop is Sunday, June 29th from 2:30-4:30p. The cost is $32. 
Come join me! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Practicing Effort & Ease in our Aspirations and Surrendering to What Is...

The yoga sutras say that the poses we make in our yoga practice should dance the balance of effort and ease. We don't want to over effort in them..trying to make them perfect, exerting too much muscular force, pushing past the edge, etc. We also do not want to fall asleep the poses ie: checking out, holding back, fearful of not getting it right, staying way below the edge in our comfort zone..etc.   For my journey with yoga, I have been attempting to pull the dance back from the over effort spectrum. I can see that I have made some progress but just as soon as I notice that, then I am noticing again where  is still alive and thriving within me.

Just the other day, after a frustrating moment of realizing how difficult this balance is and how often hard it is to practice my aspirations it hit me why sometimes it feels so hard. We all come to the mat because some amount of resistance has caused us to "wake up" to realize we have a preference for a state different from the one in which we are standing. Maybe we want to be more flexible, we want to reduce our stress, we need more strength, we feel we need to exercise...anything that drew you is wonderful and valid. Our preferences are real and we all have them. I went to yoga because I realized I needed to be more flexible and less stressed. It got me in the door and I could not be more thankful for that. The slippery slope though is when we use yoga as the "self help" tool and allow the ego to navigate the process. Yoga was never designed to be a self help tool so that we improve ourselves and be better people. Yoga is a remembering tool to allow us to remember our natural state. Our natural state is flexibility, balance, peace, joy, strength, connection....anything that most of us desire. Most of  what all of our aspirations distill down to is becoming truly connected and present to our larger Self..not our identity. You may say, yes but my body will never be really flexible..and I believe that unfortunately we have become inundated with photos of what flexibility should look like and what strength should look like. Who says we all need to put our foot behind our head? Who says we all need to do handstand on one arm? Who really defined that definition for us besides what we saw as the model based on others experience. I am not saying you cannot aspire and one day do anything that you practice but I guess the larger question is why are you doing it? Do you think this will make you happy? More at ease with life? A better person? A real yogi?

Turning my realization full circle, I realized that in my aspiration to allow more ease into my asana practice I became aware that I also needed to invite that balance of effort and ease into my aspiration. I cannot allow my ego mind to tell me how much effort I need to make my body more flexible. It is like saying that dumping lots of yellow food coloring into water will yield lemon-aid. Actually, they are not born of the same substance although they do both share a common denominator..water (practice). I actually need to surrender more to my inflexibility and my over efforting and just practice being conscious and present with myself in my current state...realizing that yes, my current state is at times over effort and inflexibility but that I cannot over effort my way back to my natural state. I must just see myself as I am and become so aware and awake to myself without bringing in the extra ingredients such as yellow food coloring (ego effort) that are not needed. The more accepting and awake (the practice part) I am in my current state the more these roadblocks can crumble away. I need to be more like a scientist..observing myself without trying to change it but really to just become more compassionate and accepting of my state. Not that I do not want to change it but if my change comes naturally through making conscious decisions that are kind and loving to myself then that is different that being like a dog trainer to myself. Dog trainer self would see my behavior, deem it is as "bad", not desirable, not acceptable, needing to change and will try to change it through ego/mind means hence for me over efforting for other maybe giving up or closing your eyes. If I can find ease in myself and where I am right now then ease is already in my body and I will not have to strive so hard to find it in asana or anywhere else for that matter.

I think this is why the yoga sutras tell us to do yoga (live life) with practice and detachment (surrender). We practice opening our eyes to what is.. and then we surrender into it with full attention and arms open to embrace it. It is through this means that we are able to start to move towards our heart felt aspirations...real and lasting connection to ourself and others and to feeling alive!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

New class at Yoga Pearl

I am excited to announce that starting this Sunday I will be teaching the 12p Vinyasa class at Yoga Pearl. This is a 90 minute all levels class with plenty of time to get a little bit of everything to prepare you for the upcoming week. Please let me know if you would like a free class card to come try Yoga Pearl! Yoga Pearl offers  great new student specials as well. Hope to see you soon!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Full Moon Yoga Flow on May 14th, 7-8:30p

The intuitive, watery scorpio full moon invites us to reflect and go inside. Let's use the energy charged evening to find community and a pause using breath, yoga and meditation.  Guided meditation & chanting...candlelit vinyasa based yoga class ending with long, deep stretches....aromatherapy.. What better way to celebrate the beauty and charge of a full moon! Class is open to all levels. Hope to see you there!
LocationSW Community Center 6820 SW 45th Ave 97219 
Cost: Donation
Bring: An offering for the full moon alter (flower, food, rock, poem, candle...something to share with another as we will take home something from the alter.) Yoga mat, block, blanket or anything else you enjoy for your practice. 
RSVP: Please call or email me to register. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What is an intuitive energy session?

I consider myself an intuitive energy translator. I am able to read and interpret the body energetically and then translate that to you in meaningful ways. I also act as a channel for the spirit guides that wish to assist us with our physical experience.

Why would you come for an energy session?
When a client comes to see me usually they are working on an area of pain or discomfort in their physical body, have unresolved emotions that they are unsure how to release, feel stuck or dispassionate about their life, or posses a desire to feel more peaceful in how life unfolds. Some just feel disconnected to their soul, their purpose, their inner knowing and intuitive self. Really you can come for any reason that makes you want to ask the question why or fosters a desire to move on with your life in a greater state of connection and joy.

What is the session like?
I start with a foot bath of various salts and essential oils. We start by talking about goals of the session or what is on your mind or what you are feeling currently. Please see my how to prepare for a session section on my website to ensure we have the best success for your intentions.  It is helpful if you know what you want to cultivate or release. For example, I want to feel less stressed. I want to be inspired. I want to feel less emotionally unstable. I start sensing your energy and I am led by what your body tells me.  I will channel information from your spiritual guides. These guides will sometimes talk to you directly through me or they will pass along helpful information to me about you or suggestions for your well being. I will start helping your body release stagnant energy, old habits, stuck emotions and such by touching your feet or body either directly or indirectly or by allowing you to hold crystals, mudras or by using your intention. Truly, each person and session is unique as I am guided by what makes you feel at ease and what will work best for you that day.

How will I feel after a session?
Some people feel very relaxed right after similar to a massage and some feel sleepy, tired and feel the need to go home and rest.  Others feel energized and grounded. Everyone responds differently. I advise not having to go back to work or to workout or doing anything stressful or strenuous after a session. Sessions work best if you can arrive and depart without having to rush. The next day and following days you may experience some soreness or heightened states of awareness in your body. I compare this to doing a new workout and being sore the following day. You may also find that you experience vivid dreams after the sessions as well.

How long will it take to "work"?
Each person of course in unique in their readiness to make positive changes their your lives.  After the session you will have some tools to work with on your own to continue you healing process. Sessions are team work between me as your guide/translator and you as the director/captain of your healing process. I am not present to "heal" you or "fix" you but to help you clearly open to yourself in the present and to compassionately identify obstacles that prevent you from experiencing your true self.

What is my role in the session?
Your role is to remain aware and present in whatever you are experiencing. You can ask questions or share what you are experiencing or you can be inside with your experience. At times I will give you directions or suggestions to assist in moving energy. Sometimes you are only to hold to space or to set the intention.

How is this type of work similar to massage or other therapeutic body work?
Many different modalities work on the energetic body. My sessions are are similar to a massage or an acupuncture session but with the massage often happening without direct touch and with more awareness at times as to what the physical sensations of tightness, pain, etc are related to on an emotional or experiential level. You may feel afterwards similar to a massage or acupuncture. As with any healing modality your openness and belief in your ability to manage your energy and heal your body is the key.  The physical body is your reflection of how you are managing your energy.

Can you do phone sessions or sessions at my home?
Yes! I can work with you to accommodate your situation.

More information is on my website!



Four Directions Prayer



Creator, it is I. Thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations. Creator, hear my prayer, and honor my prayer.

As the day begins with the rising sun, I ask, Spirit keeper of the East, Brother Eagle, Be with me. Fly high as you carry my prayers to the Creator. May I have eyes as sharp as yours, so I am able to see truth and hope on the path I have chosen. Guide my step and give me courage to walk the circle of my life with honesty and dignity.

Spirit keeper of the South, Wolf, Be with me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all mankind. Help me to walk my path with joy and love for myself, for others, for the four legged, the winged ones, the plants and all creation upon Mother Earth. Show me it is right for me to make decisions with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt. Help me to grow and nurture my self worth in all ways.

Spirit Keeper of the West, Brown Bear, Be with me. Bring healing to the people I love and to myself. Bring into balance the physical, mental and spiritual, so I am able to know my place on this earth, in life and in death. Heal my body, heal my mind and bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.

Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo, Be with me. As each day passes, help me to surrender, with grace, the things of my youth. Help me to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort in the silences as they become longer. Give me wisdom so I am able to make wise choices in all things which are put in front of me, And when time for my change of worlds has come, Let me go peacefully, without regrets, for the things I neglected to do as I walked along my path.

Mother Earth, Thank you for your beauty, And for all you have given me. Remind me never to take from you more then I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take.


- Vera Dery, 2002

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heart Forward...

Full moon today and lunar eclipse last night! Lots of great energy to work with. My inspiration this weekend and into this week is to move heart forward. I am mindful of how my mind can so easily confuse me with justifying its causes and my habits. When I truly listen to what my heart has to say then the confusion is eliminated as the answer is always felt as true. Fall into the energy of this full moon and listen to what your heart has to say and perhaps let go of some baggage that prevents you from truly hearing your heart more often......



"The heart is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive. It lives entirely in the present and is at every moment accepting of reality as it is. Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance itself from or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. Rather, it begins with an awareness of its relationship with the rest of creation and everything and everyone in it. It accepts rather than objects, it finds similarity rather than alienation, and likeness rather than difference. Your heart knows no fear. It experiences no desire and never finds the need to defend or justify itself. And, unlike your mind, your heart never seeks to impose itself. It is patient and undemanding and does its work with no prompting. It nourishes your body in every moment. Little wonder then that the mind, always impatient and very demanding, manages to dominate the heart so thoroughly unless we are vigilantly watching and making our hearts the absolute kings of our beings."
{~Fr. Archimandrite Meletios Webber}


Let It Go from Danna Faulds

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.





Monday, April 7, 2014

Inhale Longer...

It is amazing to reflect on the inspiration to make changes that all the sudden appears one day and you make the first step. It can be something that you have been considering for a long time and then the day comes when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired or you just decide today is the day! I felt this intensely this spring. I have seen this felt by others in the means of needing to detox or cleanse. As stuckness, heaviness and old wants to break down and release our bodies sync with us to allow this to happen physically as well. Sometimes, this happens with dramatic releases and sometimes we just notice the releasing and the need to go with it. I see it happen in the form of getting ill, sudden aches and pains, bouts of emotions that seem to come from unexplained places...so many forms. This can feel good and we want to push it on and assist the process.   I think it is equally necessary to keep "watering" and supporting what we want to nourish which is our center, our spirit, our soul. While our bodies want to exhale it all and push it out, there needs to be an equal surrender and conscious intention to bring in support, the inhale, the anchor so that we are continuing to feed what is going to be strengthened. If we exhale and let go too much then we are depleted and what is left is not supported enough to carry us to the next phase which is the building, the growing and the nourishment of what we are trying to bring out. So, we need to ride the wave of release while all the while drawing in with the same tenacity our ability to feed ourself the breath, pleasure, good thoughts, beautiful food, positive words...anything that comforts our spirit and allows it to shine brighter and feel expanded.

My challenge for me is to "up level" my physical practice by first up leveling the breath and my allowance of support of my deep center before I move and go deeper in the poses. I can easily just muscle my way into a deeper twist with my shoulders and neck and say..."I am releasing out tension and stress" but am I then supporting this with a deep inhale to spark more of the spaciousness and ease that I want to create more of in my body and am I doing this from a place of groundedness and anchoring of what I want to move from?

I have been practicing Forrest Yoga with Angelina Vasile for about 6 or so months. This yoga style has heavily influenced me and my teaching. Originating from founder Ana Forrest, this practice allowed me to truly see some physical and emotional barriers to me really seeing and stepping into my true self. One of the physical items this practice showed me was my moving and holding of my body up by my shoulders and neck. This had been a place of chronic tension for me for so long and after a few forrest yoga classes...ding, ding the light when on as to why. Of course this also had a deeper more emotional correlation but for now I want to focus on what I learned physically. I was trying too hard to exhale and force the asanas to do their thing for me with a dismissal of the importance of supporting myself and moving from a deeper more connected place. For me "up leveling" became not making the poses more challenging physically but doing them from a different place and not trying so hard. Learning to use different, less developed muscles was challenging as I saw how "weak" these were and how "over developed" my neck and upper traps were. Balance was not a factor. I had to also start to breathe more and notice when I cut myself off from this important anchor."Inhale longer" my teacher told me today and "Ah ha!", it all made more sense.

 Sometimes, what we need more of is not the exhale or the letting go but a strong focus on filling up with the support so that when we exhale and let go it is from wholeness, from integration, from a place of knowing we are supported that we can ease into the new creations that are opening up for us.


Retreat Update and Extra Classes this Week and Next

Hi friends!
I have 1 room left for the yoga retreat in Cannon Beach. I also have 1 Yoga only (no housing required spot). That is it so if you are still on the fence grab your spot and then get excited. I am so excited for the wonderful group that we have attending!

I am subbing some extra classes this week and next as well as my new schedule starts tomorrow at Yoga Pearl and Monday at Root!
Here are some extra classes:
Tuesday, April 8th: 6:00a-6:55a Cardio and Strength Combo at March Wellness
Wednesday, April 9th 6:30-7:45p Power Vinyasa at Yoga Pearl
Monday, April 14th: 6:30a Power Vinyasa at Yoga Peal and 7:30p Hatha + Restorative at Root
Yoyo Yogi, Yoga Pearl and Root all offer new student specials and free trials so come on in!

Yoyo Yogi: 1st class is free/12 classes in 30 days for $38 New Student Special
Yoga Pearl: 2 weeks for $20 or 1 month unlimited for $50
Root: 1 week free classes

Have a great week! Hope to see you on the mat!



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Exciting News and Changes for my Teaching Schedule

I feel nothing but 100% gratitude for how the puzzles of my class teaching schedule have been perfectly arranged. Here are the changes and new additions to where I will be teaching...
New Class at Yoga Pearl: Starting Tuesday, April 8th I will teaching a Hatha Yoga class. I am so thrilled to be on the permanent schedule at Yoga Pearl! I have been attending yoga at Yoga Pearl since I moved to Portland.  This Hatha class is great if you enjoy a slower paced, alignment focused, mindful practice. Beginners will be comfortable and all levels will be challenged and allowed to explore how you can use the postures and your intention to heal and restore your body!
New Classes at RootStarting Monday, April 14th I will be teaching the Monday and Friday 12-1:15p Vinyasa class. I am so honored to be a part of the Root community. This is such a peaceful and healing wellness center that I am lucky to be able to share my yoga with. I previously announced teaching a Tuesday and Thursday evening vinyasa class but this change is for the better! Please come visit me here and enjoy all Root has to offer. 
Keeping Tuesday classes at OHSU March Wellness: With the changes at Root, I am able to keep my Tuesday classes at March Wellness. This is such a gift as these classes are so special to me!
Thank you to all my 24 Hour friends that have been with me for Body Pump and Cx and Yoga. I will miss your smiling faces each week but I hope you will join me at some of my other locations. 
I really excited for these new shifts to my schedule and for being able to venture into new locations that really excite me! I could not be more honored to be a part of Yoyo Yogi, Yoga Pearl, Root and March Wellness. I truly feel a deep love and connection to the students and  the owners/managers at these places.  I hope that you will come try out some of my new classes!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Temperance...

You have probably heard of the yoga pose and the phrase "cat chasing its tail". Well that could describe my most recent lesson on thinking you learned the lesson only to learn that I was in the middle of the lesson but on the other side of it. Yes, I got it basackwards.

This Aries energy came in quick and strong and I allowed my habitual pattern to take it and run with it. Run and do and expend and.... forgetting all the work of winter in slowing down, feeling it out, and moving from an integrated mind/body/spirit. I think that is the temptation this month. We have been feeling so sluggish and sleepy and when the energy comes and we just want to do it all. The problem comes when we are not aligned with what it is we truly want to do.  Our ego mind wants to do it all and get all the credit now. Our body may be leading us to a different direction...start action but temper it and ensure it feels right. .. don't over do it and don't do it all. Hence, the cat chasing its tail...we end up running in circles and thus running out of energy for the actions that truly feed us or we make decisions that box us in to old patterns.

I have found that the lesson is to feel the inclination to act, the rising of the energy of creation and then sit with it. Inquire about why? What is the intention? Where is it coming from? Feel it out. How does the decision make you feel? Get your foundation and from that place of integration determine if this is the right action for now. This helps us grow our energy and channel it appropriately. We can then avoid chasing down rabbit holes that do not really lead us into new growth. Our habits are familiar and often what appears to be "new steps" are just habits being reformed in new situation. That was my case. I didn't spend the time feeling it out. I thought it out but that is still the work of the ego and it can always justify the cause.

On the mat, you can practice temperance by really drawing your energy to your center and moving from this place, holding poses from this place. Feel yourself being held by your center...notice when the head, the neck and the shoulders want to take over...notice when you want to fidget and move restlessly. Can you temper your energy and stay in the fire and let it build? The fire of the poses can help you really see your patterns and your need to move and be held from places that are not integrated. I notice that my shoulders sometimes turn on when the poses get fiery and that is when I notice my habit of forging my way ahead and losing my center. Can you find balance with the breath..equal inhales and exhales...so there is no depletion or excess? This is what I can advanced yoga. If you can sit with all this on the mat..then this yoga is way more advanced than any arm balance or tricky pose.

I will end with compassion....if you like me notice yourself in the midst of "chasing your energy", breathe in some compassion. This is also part of the lesson. We learn and sometime re-learn and sometimes in thinking we got it we miss it. But we are again returning again from a place of greater awareness.

Cheers to temperance for me this week and for moving ahead into spring "feeling" first!