Thursday, May 19, 2016

YogalosophyIS Book Launch

The hustle and bustle of this week began with the long-awaited launch of Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy, and with it came my own heart-opening and joy-filled book signing.

So many terrific people came to take my class at the beautiful flagship Ron Robinson store in Santa Monica. I was greeted by some of you, as well as many of my dear friends, and expert contributors to the book. Attendees included my supportive family, and even an old love who inspired the broken heart that drove me towards the healing that I shared.

I had a few wonderful surprises as well. The amazing Chelsea Handler showed her support along with dear old friends Ricki Lake, Joely Fisher and Melora Hardin. Best of all, my former co-star from the cult classic Teen Witch (yup. Top That. That's me.) Robyn Lively showed up for a reunion. I was truly blown away.  The guests were served Owl Tea cocktails, Beaming gluten, dairy free snacks, and yogurt parfaits by Tarte.

I wore CO+CO straight off the rack and was both sporty and spicy. 

The Gift Bags by Rachael were awesome, filled with goodies from Bombas Socks, Coobie seamless bras, Erno Lazlo, Essentia Water, Go Organic Candy, Hail Merry, Hello toothpaste, Larabar, Organic Living Superfoods, Philosophie, Pixi Beaity, Smarty Pants and Violet Love headbands.

Now I find myself on a plane to do my book tour. If you attend a class, you can get a free goody bag and you can enter to win a book for a friend. I'd love to see you in ChicagoNew York CityRhinebeck, D.C.Corte Madera, Portland or Vancouver. 

One of the greatest gifts I receive from teaching is connecting with people. In every way, this brings such meaning to my life. I wanted to thank you for loving me in this way. I can't wait to meet you and love you right back. 

As I mark the 20 year anniversary of being a teacher, I can say that everything I learned about loving, I have learned through teaching. 
Ta da! 

My book is my new baby.

Stretching ourselves on a Sunday morning.

Sharing wisdom and a zen moment at Ron Robinson

Wonderful friends Joely Fisher and Ricki Lake 

Mixing and mingling over Owl Tea-tinis, and snacks by Beaming and Tarte 

Goddess friends and book contributors Laura Amazzone and Andrea Bendewald

Signing books! 

Chelsea Handler showed up to support!


From my days as an actress, a long lost friend , Robyn Lively appeared...Teen Witch reunion!  The cherry on top.
Fantastic goodies for the guests courtesy of Gift Bags by Rachael.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

THE ABUNDANT PRESENT

It's the season to manifest. To reap what we have sown. The time of year that has us coming to our senses with all of earth's delights. The night blooming jasmine pulls my olfactory sense while I am taking my grounding neighborhood walk. The shores of the beach draw me in with the ocean’s roar. I get the feeling I am anchored deeply into the earth, mirrored by the palm trees that line my treasured Santa Monica bluffs. Even the sweet tanginess of ripe strawberries from the Farmer’s Market tastes more flavorful in Spring. I come alive when I get present to this moment. Just today I was cruising in my convertible and the Red Hot Chili Peppers came blasting on my radio and it felt as if I was hearing that song for the first time. A feeling of deep gratitude came washing over me, due to the grace of experiencing the present. It made me feel like my whole life up until this point has been a blessing.

I have an extra special month ahead. I am so excited to officially launch my book on May 10th! Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy is here. This book is about healing by coming to your senses to use physical actions in order to feel better, get present and find JOY during life’s transitions. So many are going through so much change. My last couple of years have been a time of letting go and shifting on a foundational level. The process of writing the book was filled with challenge and sometimes doubt, but showing up daily and returning to the present once again really paid off.

I feel so proud to be able to hold a copy of my book in my hands and feel its weight and texture. It's my baby. I own it. And I want you to own it too. It's available in stores and online.

I'm equally excited to get to come meet you in real time for class events and book signings in a city near you. Find a class near you here.  I will be in Chicago, New York, DC, Corte Madera, Portland and Vancouver!  I look forward to playing with you and hearing your stories. Click on your city to join an event and get your book signed.



Here are some ways you can come to your senses today and increase your joy:
·      TOUCH: Hug someone! A 10 second hug will increase your happiness hormones.

·      SMELL: During your neighborhood walk, take a moment to smell a flower.

·      HEARING: Listen to jazz or classical music. It will stimulate your brain.

·      TASTE: Nature provides. Taste your favorite fruit in its natural packaging.

·      SIGHT: Watch a sunrise or sunset.

Stay tuned for more news and a special event in the upcoming days!
 


Have a beautiful week. It’s a good life. Appreciate what you have. This life is a gift.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Find Your Center

Here I am. About to launch my new book. About to embark upon my eight city book tour. Usually by now, only one month before my publishing date, I like to have a plan. I like to have all my ducks in a row, my loose ends tied and my $h!t together. What is occurring is very different. I feel unhinged, messy, untethered, lost and overwhelmed.

I know. I know. "I'm a YOGA instructor." I'm supposed to have unlimited resources of zen calm and access to balance in the face of chaos. Even my book is a workbook of tools and tricks, exercise and routines to help ground you,the reader, into a state of well-being and inner strength during times of transition and grief.

I'd like to tell you that all is figured out. I'd like to be untouchable and super human like the yoga masters that I see in the magazines and in the videos on my Facebook page. The 95 year old who looks 55 and can still do the splits in every direction and has achieved mastery over life's little problems, only I'm the yoga instructor who is split wide open. I'm the one who comes to you uncensored and imperfect. My heart in a sling. That's me.

They say you teach what you need to learn. I am a living, breathing example of that. This weekend has had me bursting into tears, without warning, feeling a lack of identity and lost as to how to perform the simplest of tasks, like making my travel plans. It's true, folks. This deep rooted insecurity is coming up for review at the exact most inconvenient moment possible!

What to do? Well, in my book (I wrote a book????) the first step in all of this is to accept where I am. To land squarely, right here, right now. I sit. I take a deep breath. I feel. I cry. I write this blog. I breathe. I stop. I sit. I allow. I allow the feeling of fear to rise up in me, from my gut and upward streaking my spine like a flash of yellow and I let the tears flow and spill out through my words to you. I allow myself to feel this fear and to witness it, and to share with you anyway. I let the weakness permeate my entire being and I lay myself before my closest friends. Then I choose to reveal myself to you in this moment. I know that it's okay to be here and to be human.

The spiritual path has been romanticized. It is seen as a place of serenity and pleasant energy. I find the exact opposite to be true. The path of the yogi is the yes/and path. The word guru itself means darkness/light. That is the path of the teacher. I am able to sit here and witness the dark. Bring it to light. Feel it all. I feel it all.

Today I offer this to you: if you feel lost or confused you are not alone. Even those who you see living a serene life and having external successes don't always feel like they know the way. Today I land where I sit. I breathe. I cry. I express. I expose. I hold space for myself. I give up. I start fresh. This is how I find my center.
Malibu. Photo credit Javiera Estrada

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Renewal

Spring time is for starting fresh. Nature tells us so. The moment of balance when light and dark get equal air time is fleeting and potent. I come alive in that moment. That moment of integration, when I have just let go, and am embarking on a new journey. I feel ripe and empty. I am aware and falling. My gaze is fixed upon my new aim. The warrior embraces the dark and light. The warrior is well-rehearsed and knows nothing, but feels what is correct in the moment. The warrior is relaxed and at ease, yet is a stalker.

Today is new for me. I have never been here before. Never. Yet, I have journeyed and have experienced my cycles. Death, rebirth, death, rebirth. It keeps happening. I keep waking up. I keep waking up in the dream again. Once again, refreshed. Forgetful of the impending finality of the new conquest. Of course, each beginning carries within it the potential for its inevitable ending. But I am a quick forgetter. Thank goodness.

My emptiness feels freeing. A new chapter. Spring.

I open up. I stand firmly planted. I stretch and reach. I am wide open spaces. My moments of stillness eternal, my senses active, my mind present, my gaze fixed, my body firm and active. When I stand, erect and empty, grace fills me up and moves through me energetically. What looks effortless has been well rehearsed in the dreams I don't remember. It is time.

The real new year begins now. In the first moment of Spring. The Winter resolutions that you grapple with have been turned over in your mind, flushed through your nervous system. They have been consumed, digested and released. What remains? Look around. What you see is what wants to be birthed.

Here it is. I want to be seen. Here it is. I want to share. Here is is.
Death Valley. Photo credit David Korman.
I want to give and receive love. Here is it. I want to lead. Here it is. I want to play. Here it is. I want to create more so that I may feel my impact on the world in order to know myself more deeply. I want a new experience of myself.

What do you want? Don't wait any longer. Act.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Let Go Into the Unkown

It seems my entire life is a series of lessons in letting go. No matter how attached I become or how permanent something feels, there comes that completion part of the cycle where I have to release my grip either by choice or force. It is a natural part of the process, yet each time I arrive again it tears me apart, breaks me open and leaves me in a puddle that is soon dissolved.

What choice do I have? The end is inevitable. It is contained and planted in the seed of the beginning. No matter how tightly I hold or try to establish my foundation into solid ground, in the end I must say good-bye again. Learning to release is what I came here to do. All of these dress rehearsals for the big let-go, but with training wheels.

As I linger in the last moments of the inward pull of the barren Winter and assess what no longer serves, I look towards the Spring with its hope of renewal.

It is in these moments where my tools of yoga and meditation, detachment and the boundless moments of blissed-out emptiness are tested. I have come to relish the feeling of missing; of saying good-bye; of completion. I am learning to embrace the dissolution of things that have been important to me, yet whose usefulness has been outgrown.

In the ongoing ebb and flow, I look to the past with reverence and let myself wash up on this brand new shore. Knowing that the emptiness will be filled once more. Dissolve and let go.

I look forward to sharing with you in Spring all of the new projects upcoming:
The onlineYoga Is conference
My new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy
The book tour that will have me coming to a city near you, for a book signing and class event.
And a facelift to my website.

Joy Joy!

 Yoga Is

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Full Moon on Monday

Monday at 10am Pacific, we welcome our monthly Full Moon. Full Moons bring our intentions to fruition and reveal what has been hidden. The Pisces/Virgo polarity is the meditation/yoga axis. There is a balance and an opposition between faith and action. It is common to rely upon one or the other. Without practice and daily healthy habits, there is no container for the essence of universal love and spirit to move through us with grace. Without surrender and release, our efforts towards living a healthy life become dry and critical. It is essential to find the balance in this dance.

I need both consistency and the feeling of letting go into the unknown. I need discernment. I need free flow. Yoga is the practice of both/and. The sign of Pisces is representative of universal love, spirit, compassion, surrender and merging. Virgo symbolizes healing, the physical body, specificity, analysis and service. Each of these signs have a shadow side as well. Pisces can devolve into addiction, Virgo into being critical. When we bring consciousness and awareness to these energies, we are more able to utilize them towards a positive end.

Practical ways to express compassion are:

  • Helping those who are in need
  • Meditating on feeling the more subtle energies at work within your physical body. 
  • Writing a poem. 
  • Dance
One of the tools I use to bring people into gratitude for being in a body is to speak the sensation as we work out together. For instance, when you are on a spinning bike, you can close your eyes and feel your palms on the handle bars as you pedal your legs. As you breathe and ride, notice the vibration coming back through the handle bars. This is your vibration coming back to you. A closed circuitry. Then feel the pleasure of your breath moving through your body; into your lungs. Feel the expansion and contraction of the lungs as you breathe and how good that feels to have a basic need met. Feel the aliveness in your body as your heart pumps your blood to all your extremities. Enjoy the experience of gravity planting you down into your saddle seat as your sternum lifts up, engaging your core and your center. The place that is the original cell in your body. You are at the center of inspiration growing you; lifting you up and the weight of gravity, grounding you and planting you. This is the feeling of heaven on earth. 

Throughout your day, find ways to soften the space around your heart and to maintain a sense of service. Remember to give the benefit of the doubt to others today. Each of us on his or her own journey. Honoring one another all along the path. Give. Receive. Give. Receive. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Monkey Business

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year, Dear Monkey.

As we ring in the Chinese New Year, we say hello to the Monkey and its business. The monkey brings the energy of fun and play, unpredictability and action. The monkey loves children, mischief and family. It has a tendency to over indulge, so keep an eye on your habits. This high-activity year is an optimal time to take a risk, make a change or go with the changes that come your way. Look forward and make the impossible possible.

The Chinese New Year begins at the astrological New Moon in Aquarius, at 630am Pacific. Aquarius is a detached sign that is connected to the higher mind, brilliant new ideas, inventions and the strange.  We are shifting mentally and there is an innovative energy supporting our ideas that sets the tone for the entire year. On some level, we begin the new year today.

When the winds of change are blowing this wildly, it is essential to maintain a sense of grounding and stability. Walks (and low risk physical activities) are optimal. Deep breathing, deep sleeping and meditation are key. Calm the monkey mind by sitting, preferably in a natural setting, to off set the excitement that will likely come your way.

Both Monkey and Aquarius love people. Lots of people. Make time to be social. Enlarge your circle. This is a great opportunity to expand and engage in group activities. One of my all-time favorite aspects of teaching in my local community was creating and connecting people to one another for the common good. Do more of that.

Play. Laugh. Make business deals. Try to be honest and upfront. (Monkey can be a trickster...so keep an open mind and take promises with a grain of salt.) Overall, this should be a positive and energetic year~may your thrive and feel alive!