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Alohilohi

Hau’Oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year! If you’ve read much of this blog or follow me on social media, you probably know I have an affinity for all things Hawaiian. So this is the third year in a row, I’ve selected my #oneword from the Hawaiian language. #oneword2020 was mohala, a beautiful word meaning to …

Reflection on the journey

So, I’ve been teaching yoga for six months, more or less. More if you count the classes I created and taught online; less if you count teaching in studio. The other day I turned to one of the first pages of the journal where I plan my yoga classes and read a version of my …

Becoming more of who I am…

I am a teacher. I used to teach kindergarten. I used to be a principal, teaching whatever needed taught to whomever was learning at the moment. Now I teach yoga. Actually this isn’t true. I don’t teach a subject or a discipline or a practice. I never have. I teach students. People who wish to …

A visit to the Valley of the Sun

The plane touched down at Phoenix-Mesa Airport right on schedule and we headed to the rental car counter to pick up our chariot that would take us on our planned scenic adventure through the Arizona desert to our destination in Sedona. My new friend and I were headed to a yoga retreat. Our friendship born …

Three words

Sometimes less is more. I recently read the book, Teaching beyond the poses. As a teacher, I love a good theme and this book had great ideas for theming classes and a convenient framework for planning themed classes. But, I think the most valuable aspect of the book was the journaling prompts. This was my …

Forget-Me-Not

If you’ve read my bio, you know that I am a widow. I don’t write specifically about it much anymore, but the experience of loss and living with loss shades my perspective of everything I experience. Valentine’s Day. It can be a difficult day when you’re “alone.” There used to be flowers and fancy dinners …

Just monkeying around…

Today I celebrate my 500th class at Kom Hot Yoga. My 500th class was actually a few days ago, but who’s counting? Well, I am! I chose my “90% Monkey Pose” to commemorate the occasion. Why? Because it represents important things I’ve learned: *It’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect. This is my monkey pose today, …

The Essence and the Flow

“…both essence and flow can exist in the same breath.” – D. Arguetty. (2009). Nourishing the teacher. Yoga is balance. Yoga is paradox. Darkness and light. Movement and stillness. Grounding and flight. Today I consider “essence” and “flow” as it pertains to the study of yoga, inspired by a selection in one of the books …

The Monkey and the Latkes

As an assignment in my YTT, for one week we were to keep a log of our daily activities and record whether they were energizing or an energy drain. This was a self-study of brahmacharya, or “right use of energy.” “Entering this realm of more pervasive exploration, we must still bear in mind that anything …

This is how I roll…

Today when Wheel Pose was offered during my practice, the Yoga Voice from within encouraged, “Do it.” My body resisted initially. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the pose, but when I’d done it before, it was a struggle, with my arms fighting to lift my head and chest. Sometimes I’d get part way up …

I am Enough

“Let go of the frustration and the judgment and work with your unruly mind as you would with a child or a puppy.” – Gates & Kenison I’m grateful to have found my “yoga voice.” When I speak it to myself it is much kinder and gentler than my critical voice that internally spoke of …

Living and Learning

“You can’t step into the same river twice.”* Each breath is new. Isn’t that nice? This is your moment to seize and explore. When it fades, it returns no more. The past is over; the future lies ahead. But, grounded in this moment, find your peace instead. Inhale. Exhale. Feel and let go. In the …

Wisdom in the Dance (Parts 1 and 2)

“While performing asana, the student’s body assumes numerous forms of life found in creation, and he learns that in all of these breathes the same universal spirit, the spirit of God.” -B.K.S. Iyengar Part 1 While many of us equate yoga and asana (postures) as one and the same, asana is only a part of …

I am a Teacher

In my YTT journey, there is a lot of reading. A lot more reading than I’ve been used to. Sometimes the words flow through my brain like a river, not really seeming to stay (but I know they are filed away somewhere for a time in the future when they will serve me or serve …

Atlas, Ruby Slippers, and the Onion

As I delve into the 5000+ year history and philosophy of yoga, I’m learning more about the spiritual aspects and working to develop my own understanding and way to explain my understanding, if someone asks me. In addition to reading assigned texts, I’ve done a little Googling on the topic to read what others have …

Teaching is a work of heart

“To teach a yoga class well, the teacher must hold back nothing. The teacher’s heart must be entirely open.” – Gates & Kenison. Meditations from the Mat. Page 127. This quote jumped off the pages of my book this morning, the day following my first experience teaching a public yoga class. My yoga school arranged …

Happy Yogaversary!

Today is my two-year “yogaversary.” It’s been two years since the day I decided to use the extra 15 minutes I had each morning during summer school to start a yoga practice. I figured I could build a habit during the month of June, continue in July during my vacation and then it would be …

Dreams of travel in the time of the pandemic…

These are strange times. I’m interrupting my series of stories from my beloved Maui to write about our current reality. I’ll try not to use words like “unprecedented,” “pandemic,” or “COVID-19,” but it’s almost impossible while writing about the today’s state of affairs. As you read this, most states have some form of “stay-at-home” order, …

I am a Tree

I am a tree. I am strong. I am grounded. I am flexible with branches waving. I extend from all directions accepting what I need from the universe. I am a shelter. I am a protector. I am beauty. I am dormant and resting. A shadowy figure on a backdrop of grays. Learning to appreciate …

Don’t Worry, Beach Happy…

If you’re looking for the compromise between a deserted beach and retail tourist attractions on the Florida Gulf Coast, try Madeira Beach. We stayed at Madeira Bay Resort, which just across the road, with a sunrise view of Madeira Bay. The condo was clean and seemed recently remodeled. The less than five minute walk to …

Who ever said principals were boring?

I met a kindred spirit at Anamaya. She was a lovely lady with a quick smile and a patient voice, who quickly became an inspiration to all in our group. We sat together at dinner one night and through conversation discovered that we were both retired principals. E had been retired for several years and …

Heart Prints and Wings…

It was my first trip out of the USA and I was traveling solo. There were many firsts on the trip… Costa Rica… the smallest airplane I’d ever been on… living in the Casita with three ladies I had never met… and more. I should have referred to “the three ladies I’ve never met” as …

Beautiful Voices

Every yoga practice has been beautiful in its own way. Thursday was about opening the throat chakra. Breathing in the ocean air and gazing across the turquoise and azure waves is the ultimate blue experience. Communication originates here, listening and speaking. The reflective properties of water, particularly when still, mimic listening and water in motion …