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Bold + Beautiful

30 Dec

The New Year is a real gift.  A structured part of our lives where we are encouraged to reflect back at what was and look ahead thoughtfully at what could be.  I love it.  A clean slate where we can create what we crave.  A way to start new.  Whether our desired outcomes last the whole year or not… well that is a different story.

I have been slowing down a bit, doing yoga, meditating, reflecting, reading, and journaling – all in the name of getting clear of what I want 2013 to be, how I want to feel, what opportunities I want to find.  I have been thinking about what  essence I want to embody, words came up like: spaciousness, creative, and beautiful.

With that in mind I’d like to offer you this 37 minute vinyasa flow yoga class that you can use to create a clear intention for the days ahead.  Expect to move, build heat, ground down, and open up.  So go ahead and sneak a little practice in today, or schedule it into your days ahead.

 

‘Immerse yourself in the energy of what you desire.’ – Hiro Bogu

3 Dec

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I’ve bent thinking about this a lot lately, what did the 8 year old me love?

Dancing, playing with my brothers, hanging out with my friends, playing outside, being with my family, making art, sneaking cookies, laughing, running to the ice-cream truck, hanging upside down, campaigning for a dog, and making myself beautiful with whatever make-up I could find.

What would that little girl think of the grown up me now?

What did you love to do?  Are you still doing it in some way?

A Thoughtful Read

28 Sep

It’s not often I find a magazine that has rich and meaningful content on nearly EVERY page.  So when I stumbled upon Origin Magazine I knew it was something special.  With meaningful musings about YOGA. ART. MUSIC. CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE. HUMANITARIANISM. &  SUSTAINABILITY,  it is jam packed with interesting and inspiring articles.  I haven’t even finished this issue yet, but here are some of the gems I have found so far.

On Yoga:

“We watch our depths rise to the surface, and if we are sensitive enough, allow that which does not serve us to be released without judgement or disdain.” – KK Ledford

On Life:

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

On Food:

“Energy is like money; once spent, it’s gone. – Will the nutritional return justify the digestive energy expenditure?”              – Brendan Brazier

So pick up your copy at Whole Foods and see what you find.  🙂

Mindfulness Magic

1 Jul

When my elementary students walk into class they find their spots, close their eyes, place their thumb and pointer finger together, and breathe quietly for a few breaths together.  This beginning routine gives me a chance to catch my breath, but it also gives the kids a chance to get ready and get centered for our time together.  Those beginning moments are peaceful, but the best is when I see a student fall into that shape and breath without my instruction.  I see it working, and I want to offer more.  So I went on Amazon and gathered all I could, and have been on a major mindful kick lately.

Kirpalu Yoga – by Richard Faults
Origin Magazine
Planting Seeds – Thich Nhat Hanh
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Mindful Child – By Susan Kaiser Greenland

I have been devouring any and every resource about mindfulness.  Being mindful is something that seems obvious, simple, and accessible, but how often throughout the day do we really focus on our breath and the thoughts in our mind?  Mindfulness is being present – and with all the to do lists, replays of past events in our brains, and constant internal dialogues – it takes practice to know when and how to press the      p a u s e  b u t t o n  &  b r e a t h e.

I notice a big shift when I am able to slow down and bring my awareness to my breath – no matter what I am doing, my mind slows down, even if for only a moment.  I become more clear, calm, and grounded.  I have experienced the actual benefits of being mindful and I am  thrilled to share these lessons of mindfulness to my students as they begin to navigate through life.  More practical and age appropriate activities to come.

Giving Myself Credit

16 Jun

As I drove to one of my last days of school last Thursday, I was quite sad, crying behind my sunglasses.  They weren’t  tears of sadness – or even joy, but rather tears of dissatisfaction with how I played my year as a dance teacher in DC.  I find the kids’ reaction at the end of the year is a clear way to gauge the impact I have made, and the entire week of goodbyes was extremely underwhelming.  I wondered if I had really taught anything.

The school year was complete, there were no do-overs, and I got out of it exactly what I put into it.  Of course, I could give you a list of excuses based on the very non-ideal circumstances I was in, but I won’t.  If there is one thing that I learned from my friend Raul it is that circumstances  don’t rule me, I rule them. 🙂

But you know, it is so easy to be so hard on yourself, find your faults and forget the good stuff.  When I sat back and thought of all the things I took on this year (in addition to teaching at school) I realize it is the first year I:

-Taught yoga at a studio (at least 3 times a week)

-Taught yoga to an older generation during their lunch break

-Taught pre-school and pre-K (and LOVED it!)

-Taught pre-ballet after school (which was a success)

-Had a husband!

-Taught tap dance to middle school and high schoolers

That’s a lot, and it’s important to give myself credit for those new ways I branched out and learned from them.  And if I look at how I taught dance from a different angle, I can find many moments of success as a dance teacher in the schools.  I was a bright spot for most of those kids many of those days, I provided an opportunity for them to explore, create, and move!  Although there weren’t any huge performances, or any real tangible evidence – I did make a difference, and maybe it was just smaller than I would have liked.

So now I get to have a second chance.  I will be teaching a camp for three weeks that I am prepared to kick butt in and give it as much as I can.  So I can leave those three weeks with an extreme sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  When I give it my all, that is when I find the most value in my work and in myself.