Remastered Leftovers

[Posted to Chalkboard Mag, May 2012] ODE TO THE MODERN FAMILY: my boyfriend and I have a fun revolving schedule of kids (we each have one) and exes (we’re both close with them). So we spend as much time as we can together with family and friends, and while meals are often out at restaurants or ordered in, we do love to sit down with these various iterations of family and share meals when we can. The frequency of those restaurant meals yields plenty of leftovers, and now that we’ve settled into our new place in Spanish Harlem, I’ve begun designing meals around the leftovers with some super simple additions to round things out.  And we do have a table, but we always end up gathering around the island, where I love playing bartender. This lunch was made with our leftovers for some dear colleagues during the week of the Yoga Journal Conference in New York City, and we enjoyed a really sweet, nourishing meal. This was the haul from a meal at Persepolis, a genius Persian restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To work with, I had salads, creamy dressing, hummus, lentils, babaganoush and some yogurt with chopped beets. I …

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The Art of Virtual Attention

“my LA desk, April 2012” [Posted to Chalkboard Mag, 17th April 2012] EVERY SIX WEEKS OR SO, I fly west to my beloved Los Angeles to film classes at Glo. A now-global phenomenon, this gorgeously sun-lit white studio in Santa Monica is the practice backdrop for so many people worldwide. Going to teach there is precious time for me: I’m reaching so many discriminating yogis and I get to practice for hours on end, so I take the preparations seriously. For at least 3-4 weeks prior, I’ll practice teaching on certain topics and ideas in my classes in NYC at Virayoga, so I’m relatively clear on the sequences I’ll be filming, saving my notes and unearthing quotes to support the messages. And I always leave Glo feeling like I’ve been on a retreat – all that time on the mat leaving me with a strong body, a soft mind and a listening heart. About a third of the classes I film are public classes, meaning there are students with me in the room, and we thoroughly enjoy the exchange of energy. The remainder of classes we film are “privates”, meaning I’m solo, mic’d up, teaching whilst practicing the sequence by myself. …

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Teaching Kids to Lie

[Published in Origin Magazine March 2012] There’s a First Time for Everything Once upon a time, a superb New York City mama (let’s call her Sylvia) took her 5 year old daughter (let’s call her Lili) and her daughter’s friend ice-skating in Central Park. It was a beautiful day for ice skating; the sun was shining, the air just the right kind of winter warm. And as a result of the sunshine, the line to get into Wollman Rink was about two hours long. Sylvia remembered last year, when she had the brilliant idea to jump to the front of the line, claiming that her daughter needed to use the bathroom. In the door and into a pair of rental skates they went. “Hi there, Sir, my daughter really has to go to the bathroom, is that possible?” “Why yes of course, please, go right ahead.” And off went Sylvia, Lili, and friend, “victorious,” to “use the bathroom.” Then Sylvia exclaimed, “Well, since we’re HERE already, let’s just get some skates on!” Wink, wink. That, dear friends, was Lili’s first lesson in how to lie. Victory? Typically, victory means dominance over someone or something, using pressure, effort, wit, artistry or …

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Why to Meditate

Citation – Database: PsycARTICLES [ Journal Article ] Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for individuals whose lives have been affected by cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Foley, Elizabeth; Baillie, Andrew; Huxter, Malcolm; Price, Melanie; Sinclair, Emma Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 78 (1), Feb 2010, 72-79. doi: 10.1037/a0017566 Abstract Objective: This study evaluated the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for individuals with a diagnosis of cancer. Method: Participants ( N = 115) diagnosed with cancer, across site and stage, were randomly allocated to either the treatment or the wait-list condition. Treatment was conducted at 1 site, by a single therapist, and involved participation in 8 weekly 2-hr sessions that focused on mindfulness. Participants meditated for up to 1 hr daily and attended an additional full-day session during the course. Participants were assessed before treatment and 10 weeks later; this second assessment occurred immediately after completion of the program for the treatment condition. The treatment condition was also assessed at 3 months postintervention. All postinitial assessments were completed by assessors who were blind to treatment allocation. Results: There were large and significant improvements: in mindfulness (effect size [ES] = 0.55), depression (ES = 0.83), anxiety (ES = 0.59), and distress (ES = …

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Eleven Teachings

There is nobody to blame nothing to fear nowhere to hide no secret to keep. There is one Love one Light one Heart one Body one Privilege one Source one Family.

9 Poses to Connect Body and Mind

[Posted to Hufftington Post Healthy Living, 14 November 2011] Body vs. Being In our quest for fitness, the ideal is to feel fit both in our bodies and in our emotional lives. In yoga, my mission is to bring you an experience of both your strong physical body and your clear emotional body. The relevance of this mission: we all need to address both our how we live in our bodies and how we live in our households. The big secret to both: approach not just your muscular fitness, but the wellness of your entire being. Resonance Resonance occurs when a system is able to store and easily transfer energy between two or more different storage modes (such as with a pendulum, able to transfer between kinetic energy and potential energy). When you align your physical body in yoga, you’re raising your resonance because you’re more able to shift “modes,” or move from place to place elegantly poised for any transition and the possible emotional challenges that may arise. In other words, physical exercise really does help you keep your cool, no matter what. As we refine our resonance of our entire being via the practice, we become more easeful, …

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One Life

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems


“Tell the truth about feelings and experiences – the good and the difficult – and see the golden road appear that immediately connects you to others. It’s my favorite alchemy: this turning the garbage of shame and pain into the gold of understanding and friendship.” -an amalgam of thoughts from Katie Horn, my verybest friend from 7th grade

Shake the Dust

This is for the fat girls. This is for the little brothers. This is for the school-yard wimps, this is for the childhood bullies who tormented them. This is for the former prom queen, this is for the milk-crate ball players. This is for the nighttime cereal eaters and for the retired, elderly Wal-Mart store front door greeters. Shake the dust. This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them, for the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns, for the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children, for the nighttime schoolers and the midnight bike riders who are trying to fly. Shake the dust. This is for the two-year-olds who cannot be understood because they speak half-English and half-god. Shake the dust. For the boys with the beautiful beautiful sisters, for the girls with the brothers who are going crazy, for those gym class wall flowers and the twelve-year-olds afraid of taking public showers, for the kid who’s always late to class because he forgets the combination to his lockers, for the girl who loves somebody else. Shake the dust. This is for the hard men, the hard men who want to love but know that it …

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13 Grandmothers

Jonah and me with Grandmother Mona Had an inkling that this would be a very good idea, an evening with the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers at Urban Zen, and that it would be an even better idea to bring Jonah, my almost 5-year old son. To see his face, full of awe, watching these women speak; to see his body move when the music and blessings commenced, was affirmation enough. The 13 Grandmothers, a Council of women from all over the world who descend every six months on one of their homelands, sink into every culture, honour it fully, and encourage the preservation of its wisdom. These women stand for our future, for the environment, for our children. They urge us to harvest good relations, so that we can experience love for our Creator and love for the beauty all around us. Bernadette Ribenot, a grandmother from Gabon, said “Once we heal our inside, everything else will heal; I remain optimistic. Even when I think of the difficulties, I just face them. We speak for the cause of our children and grandchildren who are born into a world very different from the one we were once born into.” Maria Alice Campos …

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