Tuesday, December 27, 2016


As we conclude a year of many endings, we turn inward to regroup and to accept the barrenness that accompanies loss, endings and release. Winter is the time to hibernate, find stillness and enter a place of solitude~grieving as needed.  There is a beauty in stillness, an inner strength that stems from becoming rooted in the self mastery of peace in the face of whatever befalls us.

We have collectively lost many great artists, authors, musicians, writers and leaders in 2016. Many in my circle have lost relationships to break ups and close family members to death. On a global scale, we are  transitioning and losing the political leadership with which we are familiar. There is seeming unrest and distress across the world.

Personally, the matriarch of my family~my grandmother Bubbie Sonia who was a Holocaust survivor and a resilient bubbly mischievous woman passed less than 2 months ago. Additionally. I have let go of my typical daily activities and have settled into a period of waiting. It is a death of sorts. This waiting may feel like a forever sentence, but the slumber is where the healing is.

What can we say about loss and grief? It isn't flashy, bright or shiny. Were it not a required part of the process, very few would sign up for this course. Yet we are choice-less in this arena. Life moves in cycles. Even our greatest celebrities cannot escape the fate of death. No work of art, Nobel Peace Prize or amount of money in the bank can lift us from this harsh truth. Yet, it is this truth that inspires the greatest art, our most tender human moments and encourages us to come alive. But not before the grief.

Take some time to yourself to be still. You needn't force a feeling of sadness if it isn't there. What you find in the stillness; in the nothingness, will be the seed you plant for the next correct action. Do not be afraid of nothing. Nothing is the most creative space of all. It is where all possibility lives and it is where you will find all that you dream of.

Trust the process.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shadow Dancing

Meeting my shadow is essential to being comfortable in my own skin. My self acceptance is deep in my bones. Any parts of me that remain hidden have a subtle psychic hold of me. This has been a year of great depth for me, and I intend to go deeper. Where are these fears hiding? Deep within my body, I hear the cries of the child that has been abandoned. Then there is the reckless risk taker that throws it all away; avoids responsibility, knowingly setting the place on fire: my Inner Teenager. I have a damsel in distress who wants to be rescued, or drown in the endless sorrows and ugliness of her own overt emotions. There are parts of me that are apathetic and do not care. I have selfish parts of me that only do the right thing because I don't want to get caught. Lazy parts of me that don't want to do the work like everybody else or stay awake and aware to the things I need to work on. Let's open the doors and invite these demons in for tea, the way we say we will when we speak wisdom. Many of us talk about the shadow; however, it is often after the fact, once the issue is resolved and wisdoms have been gained. What if, today, we reveal the open wound that is not yet healed?  Let's face the place where there is no fast resolution. Sit in the discomfort and awkwardness of how truly vulnerable it is to be in the "I don't know". Today, I don't. I don't have the answer for you. 
Yes to yoga. To sitting and facing the darkness. 
Yes to hitting the edge. 
Yes to the feeling and emotions that arise in the meditation. To the awkward blankness that meets me in that 20 minute space today. 
Yes to green. Green tea, green vegetable juice and nature. To the choices I make that support self-love and transformation. 
Yes to being naked. Ridding myself of any habit that puts a wedge between my truth and the image I project. No coffee today for me. 
Yet none of these is the whole truth. Always, laying dormant beneath these routines is the darkness. 

It's scary to open my closet to you this way. I don't have a yoga trick for you that will eliminate the discomfort you feel in your life that doesn't quite fit anymore. I don't have the perfect "treat"meant for you. Or the treat that offers you no consequences.

My advice today is simply this: go deeper.

Find acceptance and embrace the parts of you that repel you most (clue: what disturbs you in another may be the very key to your own shadow). Invite them for a green tea and a shadow dance.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life in the Balance

The pendulum swings again. Yang becomes Yin. Day becomes night. Summer gets replaced by Fall. Today marks the Fall Equinox when light and dark get equal air time. The transition times require careful attention. The air thins, the shadows lengthen. My body readjusts after the extroverted Summer months. Life hangs in the balance. What next? After hard work, we must plan a retreat.

It is in these moments of recalibrating that we tend to fall, literally. Just as if I begin to lose my footing in a standing posture if I move too quickly into said pose, or if I avert my gaze towards something that is moving~the way my mind moves into the future, so can I throw myself off if I plan too far in advance. Presence is required. My attention on this moment. What is needed? Perhaps more energy, a stronger engagement of my thighs, or a shift in my gaze that brings my awareness an eight of an inch back behind my eyes. Balance is active.

What worked for me yesterday, may not work today. My routine was interrupted last week. Just when I thought I had the formula figured out for my self-care, I got thrown a curve ball: an injury. I had incurred a back injury just prior to my book tour, which magically disappeared for my entire Summer, yet as Mercury retrograded my old injury returned. When my body talks, I listen.

Flat on my back, and with no terra firma, I surrendered to the moment. My job is to find balance, and when I am injured, this is just a hint that I am not. What did I need to do? Ask for help. Accept my body as is. Inhabit my body in the present moment; not the way I want it to look or feel, but right now. Rest. Find ways to love myself without extreme action. Get touched in the right ways. Find enjoyment amidst it all.

I did it all. I used social media to reach out for rides to the doctor. I meditated from my bed. I asked my neighbor to bring me water. I had the TLC of my doctor who is hands on and hands down the best magician/healer and I even got myself to the concert that I had tickets for. I just got myself premium parking and brought a pillow.

There is a balance when it comes to self care. The body doesn't lie. It tells you daily what it needs. Each day we adjust to what the body requires. What felt good yesterday may not work today. Yesterday it was Summer and today, it is Fall. I hear the leaves rustling, my wind chimes singing. My allergies kick in, and I need a sweater on my walk. Moment to moment. This is balance.

In balance postures, we learn to live present moment. Energizing our stance. Stilling our gaze. Checking in. I used to wish I could just know how to fix it, get the job done, or do the right thing. But today, I love that life is constantly changing, forcing me to engage and dance with it like grace in motion. Life hangs in the balance. I dance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Self-care Intensive

I found myself waking up this morning in a post-Summer stupor. I really allowed myself to relax, expand, and let go over the past couple of months. After unwinding from my book launch and tour I just wanted to play and have fun. I wasn't overly concerned about being pristine in my diet or super rigid in my exercise routine. A little bit goes a long way. I love indulgence as a spiritual practice, but when I go unconscious it can turn right around on me.

I found myself 7 lbs. up and a little lethargic, so I know that I need to play the reset game. Today I put myself through an intense regime of self care. Here's how it went:

  • More than 8 hours sleep. Since I wanted to make sure of this and to rise early, I turned off all electronic devices and put myself to bed like I was my own baby at 9 pm. That's right, folks. 

  • Upon waking, I moved to my meditation area and spent 20 minutes in silent contemplation. Inhale. Exhale. Continue. 

  • Journaling for 20 minutes clears my mind of needless thoughts. When I keep running a thought through my brain again and again, I remember that I may be detoxing an idea, much like when I crave sugar it means that the sugar is actually leaving my body in that moment. Writing helps to usher my automatic thoughts out. 

  • Dry brush my body followed by Epsom salt bath. Look it up. Dry brushing is good for circulation and the lymphatic system. The skin is one of the major ways the body detoxifies. You can get a dry brush glove at your local health food store when you are picking up your epsom salts. 20 minutes to soak, if you have time. 

  • The work out. I did a 100 minute work out. Barre/yoga and spinning. I got my stretch and tone plus cardio. Ready to go! 

  • Green juice at the co-op and stocked the fridge with healthy eats. Lots of organic produce, Kombucha for a treat beverage, water water water....Drink at least 2 liters a day. 

  • Next, some creativity and writing. Reading and exploring some new ideas was possible after all of this opening and emptying. I was starting to feel really stretched out and receptive after all of the attention I gave to my physical body. The endorphins help to elevate my mood and stimulate my mind. 

  • Being of service is a huge part of what heals me and helps me to feel good. I set aside some time to mentor a friend. We are reasoning things out and prioritizing. When I reach out to help another by sharing my experience, I benefit ten fold. 

  • The rest of the day will be tasks like post office, bills, reconciling my accounts and work on the computer, followed by a field trip to a part of my city I rarely visit. I am taking myself to a class that I haven't been to~stretching myself to try something new is another way to reset myself. 

Even one of these activities can be beneficial, however as I reboot my health regime, I have decided to have a self care intensive once a week through the end of September. Join me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Creativity, Sexuality and Play

There are three primary topics on my to-do list these days: Creativity, sexuality and play.
As fun as all of this sounds, believe it or not, they are often the first areas of life that we shelve. Making money, taking care of children, being of service, health, relationships all seem to come to the forefront as adulthood responsibilities call. I have flung myself into the realm of juiciness and joy with fervor as a get my last gasps of middle aged life before (gulp) the third act!

1. Creativity is the life force itself. Creating is the song of my heart. Everything I am today is a creation of my own making. The culmination of creative energy has brought much to fruition: books, DVD, workshops, talks, and years worth of classes (my disposable art) under my belt. Even my former acting career has flowered and flourished bountifully. I am reminded each time I receive a $100. residual from Cheers, which I did thirty years ago, that my creativity lives on. However, what more is beneath the surface? It's been so long since I have painted for fun, written a poem or made a model city out of clay. I am craving the act of creativity just for the sake of creating! So I have begun. Each day, I take some time to write, draw or make a cake.

2. Sexuality. Oooh. Aaah. Yes. Feeling my body. Being present. Breathing. Feeling sensation. Sensing. Noticing where I am magnetically drawn and what repels me. The very same energy that is creative is sexual. We are all created from sexual energy. The dance of opposites and that play in its ultimate form is you and me. I've been making it a priority these days, mostly to be present in my body. Nothing to accomplish. Everything to experience and explore. When channeled, this energy can create an entire being, so the more I am connected and feeling alive~the more I am able to create.

3. Play. Yes! Play is the most important element in my life. In my work it has been paramount. I must enjoy and feel childlike in my dance with life. It is this feeling of exchange, of heart motivated movement that I come alive and truly become myself. My real self, the me that I have been since I was 6 years old has not changed. She needs fun. She needs to mix it up. She needs to approach life and feel its impact in this way. Just like a child. Just like a pet. Dance, cartwheel, make jokes with the barista at the coffee shop. Say something surprising. Give a hug. Skip across the street. Make popsicles. This life is a beauty to enjoy!

This homework is optional. This assignment is extra credit. I'd love to have some company. Wont you join me?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Summer Vacation

 As the sun shines upon me like a bright spot light on the center stage of my Summer, I find myself on an adventure in Morocco. I am steeped in a foreign culture and new customs, languages I do not speak, music I don't understand and I am soaking it all in. Life is just like a drama; a play. Be willing to play your role with gusto and remember that these moments in time are fleeting. One thing I can say for age is that this concept feels more real...so many moments of my life, now gone, were half lived. Today I remain open, present and grateful, for I only have today. 
Our collective environment around the first leg of Summer has been eye-opening, nerve-wracking and down-right disturbing. What role are you playing during these turbulent and exciting times? Change is occurring; that is certain. It's time to speak up, take a stand and be yourself. I have been examining my own views, fears and position on so many topics. It feels most important to go within to check with my heart before I express that outwardly. How can I take more responsibility, and where can I be more open as I move through this rumbling and tumbling world? I find it particularly interesting that I am visiting a primarily Muslim culture amidst our xenophobic American attitudes. I can tell you that from where I sit, the people are good, lovely and simply living their lives in as wholesome a way as possible. I have adjusted completely to burkas, donkeys and no helmets on cyclists. I have even seen two accidents that were dealt with calmly. Ive seen goats up close and men pausing for prayer on the regular. 
My inner strength comes from the pauses that I find in my thinking. I can admit that I had fears traveling at this time and into an Islamic culture, but fears did not hold me back. Now that I am here, I wonder what I was so worried about. How many other adventures and experiences have I cut myself off from due to my unwarranted fears and ideas that I have been fed. Of course, I am human. I must use my tools to detach myself from the national conditioning that I have been insidiously programmed with. Centering myself through stillness, emptying myself through writing, and surrendering with intention as the day unfolds helps me get calm and relaxed before I step onto the stage of my life with openness and spontaneity. When I am in this state, I am always lead to the next right action. I have been so fortunate to play with you in person during my Yogalosophy for Inner Strength book tour. Thank you for attending and sharing the experience with me.

Onward to the next adventure!
Moroccan sunset from my room.

The old city. Tanger.

Beach day in Tanger.

Beautiful city.
Rosy hue on Morocco.


Hello goat. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Home is Where the Heart Is

Chicago, you gave me a warm welcome. I was reconnected with a radio show host that I quite like as a human. I met some true blue fans that felt like family.You gave me new friends who took me in, and gave me rides. You gave me a delicious breakfast.

New York City, you gave me a beautiful temporary apartment in a part of you where Ive never spent time: Gramercy Park. You gave me a local farm to table restaurant and my new favorite coffee joint. You gave me old friends, lots of visits to magazines, interviews and on-camera appearances. You gave me rainstorms, sunlight and an incredible rainbow. You gave me intimate conversations, martinis and long walks. You gave me a place to wait for a new phone.

Long Island, you gave me an early morning drive with a small dog in my lap and Hamilton the musical playing on the stereo. You gave me comfort, the ability to zone out completely, naps and laundry to fold. You gave me sticky heat and thick fog. You gave me space and support. You gave me the down time with a close friend that I can really relax with.

Toronto, you gave me a bedroom in an old students home where I was fed, welcomed to lay in the sun, watch movies on Netflix in between all-day interviews for radio and an appearance on a talk show that I haven't been on in years. You gave me a driver who needed my help. You gave me an adventure of being locked out of the place where I was staying....with my hosts. You gave me precocious children and floppy big dogs. You gave me a spinning bike in a basement and a glass of red wine. You gave me healthy, delicious greens. You gave me an Enneagram book in my guest room, that took me way back to memories of the '90's.

Rhinebeck, you gave me grounding. Oak trees, local organic foods that were cooked for me and served in the common cafeteria. You gave me willing women to practice with and to go deeper with during my long trip away from my home base of Los Angeles. You gave me bad reception, non-dairy chocolate, and a library filled with books on philosophy, religion, psychology, yoga, meridians, sexuality, health and mysticism. You gave me a sauna and nature.

New York, you gave me a second chance, and a few surprises. You gave me laughter and the opportunity to make a new friend. You gave me anticipation of passion, and long baths. You gave me activism and activity. You gave me friendly business meetings and make up artists. You gave me a short fuse and immediate opportunity to come clean.

D.C. You gave me play, an upgrade and a roof deck. You gave me great weather, the white house and the feeling that I was privileged. You gave me the Frank Sinatra Suite. You gave me a heatwave, #DCPride and willing participants. You gave me a fine host and a pair of cheap sunglasses. You gave me animal crackers and an organic manicure that lasted an entire week. You gave me two airports and a missed flight. You gave me a breakdown and a breakthrough.

Los Angeles, you gave me the chance to unpack, regroup, repack, revisit, revise and unwind just in time to leave you again.

Corte Madera, you gave me incredible weather, a surprise extra class, an athletic bunch to push, a bedroom with skylights, friendship, new friends for a pool side hang, walking into a strangers house by accident on fathers day, the last 5 minutes of game 7 and an historic moment in the NBA, a good nights sleep and organic cherries.

As I travel for this tour, I am finding love wherever I go. Truly living the meaning of "Home is where the heart is". Thank you thank you thank you. See the love wherever you land. Happy Summer Solstice.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Accidents

I remember being in an art class in my mobile school for experiential learning. The first lesson was: "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents". This stuck with me, probably because I am such a natural born perfectionist. The idea that art transcends linear thinking, judgement and structure is a lesson I can (un)learn. I am perpetually faced with happy accidents, and challenged to remember this kind lesson in acceptance.

Just today, I woke up at 5am Eastern to make my Sunday early morning flight. As I arrived at the airport, groggily checking in just 90 minutes before take off (thinking: "I don't really need to be at the airport 2 hours in advance. I've cinched this."), it came to light that I WAS AT THE WRONG AIRPORT! Oh, how I wanted to blame someone, or force my way on to a flight from that spot...yet I knew better. I simply observed my frustration with myself grow and swell in my throat.

When I got into the taxi to take me to the correct location, my driver kindly reminded me that I could maybe make my flight. Perhaps it was delayed. Then he said something that struck me: "Everybody makes mistakes. But you never know. Maybe it will get you somewhere 10 minutes later for a reason." I knew he was right, because I started to release my tears. I was trying to make it right. I was being very hard on myself internally, thinking that if I got my way I could correct this debacle. What a relief. Acknowledging and accepting.

I didn't make the flight. I am happily at the airport, organizing and enjoying my four extra hours here. I was reminded of yesterday at my class/book signing in D.C. There was a miscommunication, and so there were no books! It seemed tragic when I found out, but my publishing house came up with an even better solution: those who would order the book would receive a two for one and get my first book along with my second. Perhaps an even juicier deal! A very happy accident.

I'm taking deep breaths, reminding myself of that famous saying (was it John Lennon?) "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans". How true. Let's experiment together, and allow the saying "everything happens for a reason" not to be an annoyance, but a guideline for staying present, fluid and adaptable. This way, we can enjoy the discovery process, and be gentle on ourselves and others at the same time.

May you make a beautiful mess today!
receive your happy accidents with joy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mind Your Words: Intention Setting

In the middle of my book tour,  I had an opportunity to spend a long weekend at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies with an inspiring group of women. As we gathered together for a "Love Your Body NOW" workshop that I was leading, which fell upon a Gemini new moon, we experienced the magic of group intention setting. 

The plan was to allow the plan to unfold. I am an over-preparer, so this decision was contrary action for me. As fate would have it, we were an all-women group. I did not specify that it would be women only, but this is what occurred. It so happened that one of the attendees had lost her mother just two days prior to the workshop, another had lost her mother one month prior, and one woman's mother-in-law had a heart attack on the first night of our workshop. 

The loving attention that the group energy provided amidst the healing that was underway was certainly beyond me. However, the trust in the support of the surroundings, our lush home base, the incredible staff, and my twenty years of holding space as an instructor was all we needed to allow nature to take its course. Naturally, we were unified in the exact correct configuration, with just the right amount of levity, understanding, activity and space. 

The steps I highlighted were: 1. Intention setting 2. Grounding the energy 3. Mind your Words 4.Feel the energy in motion 5. Create/re-create 6. Define healthy habits 7. Balance in all things 8. Transformation will occur 9. Journey 10. Goals that are met 11. Share with the community 
12. Let go

Through vision boarding, grounding into the body with meditation, reframing our thoughts, feeling through the physical practice and creating we emerged from our second day. By day three, our morning was spent discussing healthy habits and relating with one another. A transformation did occur. We spontaneously began a circle and a conversation about the pressure on body image and what defines us as women. How much of that is a set up, rather than our organic wild nature. What a juicy delight to allow this learning, sharing and growing together. 

We then emerged from our group stronger as we said our good-byes. 

Where will this path lead?
Welcome to Omega! 
How beautiful to behold and uphold one another in that special jewel of a moment. Here is what it looked like:

We gather together in a circle
Gratitude abounds! 
Humor in the Cafe

Ram Dass Library

Some sunning by the lake.

Inspiration from the Vision Board

Hard at play.

Nature walk.

Journeying the labyrinth.

We stand together in the power of nature.

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


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


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!

Saturday, January 30, 2016


One of the most gratifying aspects of my work has been the ability to bring together a group of people who are completely unique, yet are gathered for a common goal of self care. Many have found the support they were looking for within the four walls of my classes. Break-ups, chemotherapy, losing jobs, getting married, having a first baby, rehabilitation from a physical ailment; these are some of the circumstances I would hold space for in the exercise rooms of Santa Monica and Venice. Time and again, I would gaze upon a room filled with the beauty of humanity, knowing the details of the individuals, while feeling the palpable healing powers of the collective.

I am no stranger to this energy. I, myself, have benefitted from group classes from the early age of 16. I became a gym rat and found so much solace in losing myself to the unifying energy of a group of people working rhythmically, collectively and in unison. The power of the others who show up and give their energy can uplift my spirit, allow space for the emotional release as my tears roll, and satisfy my need for connection without invasion. Without saying a word, I feel a release of the tensions that were blocking my heart. I feel deeply intimate with not one, but with the whole.

The power of community is certainly a key to the popularity of yoga, spinning, cross fit...whatever mode floats your boat. When you find the place where you belong, there is a feeling of support. This is why we keep returning. It becomes necessary. There is a neutrality that we feel when we drop our roles at the door. When you walk in to my class, I no longer know what your profession is, who you are related to, your last name... status and bank accounts are gone. There is a purity in the fitness rooms we inhabit when we are stripped down to our sweat pants.

When I became the leader, I found yet another key to my own healing. Finding my place in the circle, as the guide, transformed my ability to connect, to share my vulnerability, and most importantly to be responsible to others. Participation gave me a sense of happiness and of purpose. In giving my self over to this service role, I found a power that I had never experienced in any other area of my life. The power of giving to the community. Not everyone can be the leader, yet anyone can participate.

Find ways this week to participate in your community. Find the place where you can give of yourself. Here's a clue: just showing up to class is a form of giving. You never know who you may be inspiring. We gather, we sweat together, breathe the same air. We give and take simply by taking care of ourselves. Do not under estimate the power of your presence in the community. We need you. We need your exact perspective, energy and participation.

Now get to a class!
My 40th birthday spin

Maria Menounos in Malibu class

Pop Sugar Yogalosophy class