Monday, January 28, 2008

the breath

This past Friday, Anita Courtney joined us for part of yoga teacher training. For an hour and a half she spoke and taught about pranayama (breathing techniques) with such enthusiasm, such passion. The breath is clearly "her thing". It was really quite refreshing. She presented the group with a bold statement, telling them that if there should be a tool for transformation, it would be the breath.
The breath. Such a simple yet profound and complex thing. Luckily for all of us, it occurs naturally, without putting any thought in it. We enter this world taking that lovely inhale and when it's our time to depart we finish with that one last exhale. In between are moments that take our breath away, moments of sheer joy, suspense, excitement and fear. All of those can be directly related to our breath and how it's affected. For those of us lucky enough to know the power of our breath we can tap into this. Tap into the breath and use it as a tool for transformation.
Take a deep inhale and fill your body with all things wonderful....exhale and let go of stress, tensions and worries. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

guest house

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes in,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
By a fave.....Rumi
I hope that these words of inspiration serve you as much as me.
Things are super busy around the land of Barefoot Works. Blog postings are more random, meals are irregular, and I'm lucky to spend an hour with Andy before crashing on the couch. I'm so very grateful that Andy and I had some time in DC, to play, to indulge, to reconnect, to have fun. Without fun getaways, I'd be a very sad, sad soul. I don't need a lot to make me happy. I don't care about expensive cars, fancy jewelry or the designer clothes. A week at the beach is like a rebirth for me.
PS - Bella, I get quotes and passages from all over the place. I have books of quotes and poetry and many of my yoga/meditation/spiritual books have beautiful words that inspire me to dig deeper to discover my true self.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


"Happy is the person who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the transient and the good from the pleasant by his discrimination and wisdom. Twice blessed is he who knows true love and can love all God's creatures. He who works selflessly for the welfare of others with love in his heart is thrice blessed. But the man who combines his mortal frame knowledge, love and selfless service is holy and becomes a place of pilgrimage, like the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Saraswati and Jamuna. Those who meet him become calm and purified."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

yoga journal conference

Hey All! I'm freshly back from the yoga journal conference that was in San Francisco and it was ahhhmazing. I loved everything about it. Gosh, so much to tell about but that would be a book. Here are some notes that I took while in San Fran:
Shiva Rea: "Wink at the creative force as you move through life." That's what Shiva Rea said. I love the thought of this. The creative force in me, in you, the gal at Krogers, and even the sometimes scary security folks at the airport. Smile and wink at em' all. She also spoke about all the spontaneous movements that occur from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed. Think about it. How many times throughout your day does spontaneous movement just occur. Without you thinking about it or worrying. It's pretty cool when we can move with that "creative force" and sad when we feel self conscious about it. She advised that we all "receive instruction from the inside out."
Sharon Gannon - She's so humble and she's so childlike (even though she's 57). She's passionate about being an animal advocate and that always came through in her teachings. In speaking about being vegan she says "We cannot be free if we take that freedom from others." Later on during a panel discussion she said that "How we treat others will determine how others treat us. How others treat us will determine how we treat ourselves. How we see and treat ourselves will determine the type of life we life." Makes sense, huh?
Seane Corn....hmm, where do I start. I've always had a bit of a crush on her. Yes it's true. When I spotted her Friday night before the Michael Franti concert I felt like I little giddy girl. "Oh, there she is, there she is." You'd have thought I was at a Bon Jovi concert!" She proved to be as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I loved that she was humble, down to earth, inspiring, accepting and funny. She's a very small petite gal, but she has a powerful voice. She speaks with conviction and she speaks her truth. I attended two sessions with Seane, Yogini and Detox Flox. My plan in going to the conference was to study with people that I had the most interest in. Seane is the one that I will study more in depth with. I've already got a training with her scheduled into my planner for this May. She was phenomenal.
I'm happy to be back here at the studio and ready to share some of the teachings I received with you in class! So, so nice to get away and focus solely on my yoga practice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

yoga teacher training

A circle. A bond. And books.
Eager yogini's. Open. Kind. Inquisitive. Ready to learn.

And a yoga teacher. Ready to teach. Ready to be taught.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I love this picture. Sadly, it's not one that I have taken (but boy I wish I had)! If you come to the studio you've probably seen it in fliers and maybe in an ad while flipping through a local publication. It sums up how I feel these days....joyous, excited and open to life. In a single word, I am grateful. I've been so super busy since the day after Andy and I got home for DC. Day after day, going, running, planning, prepping, pondering, teaching, practicing. It's a busy time. But I say it over and over again. When it's something that you Love (with a capital L) it's much different. So here's my "grateful" list....

Grateful for the intensity of the days.

Grateful to see people learning to teach yoga.

Grateful to have a husband that supports me in my sometimes crazed yoga life.

Grateful to go to San Francisco this weekend for a yoga conference. And that's it's actually "work".

Grateful to have support in other yoga teachers that are dear sweet souls and friends.

Grateful to share yoga with people for the first time ever.

Grateful for inspiring words and books.

Grateful for the simple pleasures like drinking coffee and writing in a journal.

Grateful to dream about faraway places like India. And know that the dream will turn into a reality.

Grateful to have dogs that greet me late in day with such big, great enthusiasm.

Grateful to know that there are others out there that care as much as I do about making a difference, living a life full of joy and passion.

What's on your grateful list?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

yoga teacher training

Hi All! Blog postings have been a little scarce this week due to a busy, busy week. Our first ever sold out, 200 hour yoga teacher training begins tomorrow and I am soooo very excited! When I'm not teaching (or prepping to teach) I've been squaring away the final schedule, copying materials, typing out notes to present on everything from the history of yoga to observing your students while teaching, corresponding with the lovely yogini's signed up, shopping for materials and supplies, and planning some fun little details for our first weekend together. We'll meet Fridays from 5:30 pm till 9:30 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am till 6:00 pm....every other weekend through the end of June. I plan to spend lots of time getting to know these gals and at some point you'll get a sampling of taking a yoga class from these gals!
Here is a great quote I've come across in planning for teacher training....
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" - Sir Isaac Newton
It's a great reminder that all of us are where we are because there were people before us that forged the way, educating, inspiring and motivating us along on our chosen path.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

what if

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the earth
If forests were our church
If holy water - the rivers, lakes, and oceans
What if mediation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

yoga retreat in mexico

There is another article on MSN listing Maya Tulum Resort as one of the "Ten Can't Miss Spas" saying that Maya Tulum is "perfectly situated on Mexico's gorgeous, low-key Riviera Maya, about an hour south—and light-years away, atmospherically—from the nightlife hubbub of Cancun."
Seems like heavenly place is popping up everywhere and I find myself fighting the urge to count down the days when I'll be back leading our yoga retreat there. If you know anyone that might be interested in doing yoga on the beach of Mexico, please pass along this link. Gracias! Also, you can check out the links I've added to the right for additional details. I'm hoping to do a fun slideshow of last year's yoga retreat soon.

Friday, January 04, 2008

yoga books and burn

You know you have a lot of yoga books when:

*Your husband mistakenly "returns" a brand spankin' new yoga book to the library. His answer, "How was I to know? You buy yoga books, check them out from the library and borrow them from friends and they're scattered all over the house?" Oh, good point.
*Along those same lines....You have yoga books in your craft room, yoga room, office, living room, bedroom, bathroom and your box car. Oh wait, there's even a yoga book or two in the guest rooms, just in case our visitors want to do a little bit of yoga in the morning.
*When you have to buy the same yoga book that you already have.... somewhere, in one of those spaces mentioned above. Or your husband "returned" it to the library. ;-) Too many books, or not enough organization. You decide.
On a totally different note...I have my very first yoga wound. It's been around a little bit of time. Before Andy and I went to DC, I was practicing at the studio. I was in tripod headstand for about 25 loong, slow breaths when I decided to lower my knees down to arms to lift into crow. Well at that point my arms were well past the point of holding all my body weight. I lifted just a tiny bit into crow....then I crashed down, landing on my elbow, side of my face and somehow my right knee. I assessed myself happy that I felt fine. Later than day I noticed a burning sensation on my knee. I took a look and sure enough, I have sticky mat burn. I'm officially a yoga warrior now.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

the trees and me

"When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me,
and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness,
and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly,
and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves,
and they call out, "stay awhile".
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple" they say.
"and you too have come into this world to do this,
to go easy,
to be filled with light
and to shine.
-Mary Oliver

That was tonight's reading at the end of yin yoga. Isn't it beautiful?? Nature has a way like no other.

I'll be on channel 27 at noon tomorrow. Tune in to see me chatting it up about yoga. The lovely Sarah Frank will be with me showing a couple yoga poses.