Monday, February 27, 2012


Yogi masters say that the true yoga is meditation. We twist, contort and exhaust ourselves with the physical practice so as to open up the physical and energetic body for sitting still with mindful breathing. Easier said than done, right? My mind is going 20 miles a minute with plans, thoughts and reruns of the last scene I just played out with my boyfriend, best friend or mother. “I like it when...” “I wish I had...” blahblahblah. Seriously, sometimes it seems impossible to stop the mental whirring. Some say that the breath is the bridge from the mind to the body. It carries with it the life force energy which can be spread throughout the entire physical being. It is a tool, and I find that when I breathe, I feel more. My emotions are released, and while at first that can be daunting, it is that release which allows the openness that I long to feel.

Meditation is simple, mindful breathing, watching the thoughts go by like clouds. Stilling the gaze and stilling the mind. Turning inward. But how? Lloyd Ingber, my dad, was the original meditator in my life. I remember his 70's comb-over, glasses off to his right, those same yellow sweat pants. He would sit... and sometimes glance over in that silent but oppressive way letting me know that I was disturbing him. No wonder I felt intimidated. Yet, I have always known that this is something important, have been attracted to meditation, and have practiced in different ways at different times.

Different types of meditation include mantra (repetition of a phrase), kirtan (chanting), mindful breathing, visualization, meditation groupVipassana (silent meditation retreat), shaktipat, contemplation on a spiritual teaching, becoming present.

Here are a few great ways to get started:
  1. Start a meditation group. My friend, Helen who was a big meditator, decided to start a small women’s group to use the buddy system to stay on the track. We would gather once a week and create a sacred space with candles and sit for 20 minutes together. At the end of the sit, we would have tea and share where we were at. This was a great way to keep up a consistent practice and spend time connecting with friends.
  2. Find a group. There are many places to find people who are meditating. A Kirtan may seem intimidating, but losing yourself in a group and song can help you to quiet your thinking mind. If you feel hesitant to get out in public, there are online meditation groups.
  3. Travel to a meditation retreat.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seeing Your Future

Something has happened astrologically to the collective consciousness. The planet Neptune, which rules all things not seen, psychic and artistic, poetry, film and insanity... the place where the lines are blurred and everything is dreamy and water color... has moved into the sign that it naturally rules, meaning it has returned home. Think of the ocean's vast mystery. Or imagine looking at your hand when it is underwater. Tangible images, yes. But part of the beauty of this energy is that it's non-linear, creative, intangible, it is endless and quite psychic.

Tarot Card
My mother used to give me TAROT card readings when I was a child, and we became interested in the intangible thread that weaves all information together. At age 14, I went to my very first psychic with my mom. It was her first reading as well. She was the first to go in, and emerged in tears due to a prediction that her 17 year marriage to my dad was ending because of an 'outside energy'. (In psychic speak, that means another person: an affair.) I went in next and the psychic, Norma, told me that I needed to learn to 'detach with love'. She  told me that I would be an actress for 8 years, and then I would have a career in the healing arts, teaching exercise. That was NOT what I wanted to hear at the time. I was just beginning my budding career and going to Broadway. I wanted to hear that I would be a famous and successful actress! Somehow this information seemed correct even though I couldn't quite imagine how it would coexist with my own dreams of being fully and artistically expressed. Soon after the reading, my parents divorced, as predicted by the psychic, and thus sparked my belief in psychic powers. It would be years later when the prediction came clear for me: as a health and wellness expert.

It happens like a flash... is it a memory of the future? We get these flashes sometimes, and in an instant we can understand and absorb the future and the as yet unseen. I have explored many tools, from I Ching and astrology, to philosophies, energy workers, healers and tinctures. I am a believer in whatever works, and that we all have these instincts; this knowing from within. My New Year's Resolution is to follow my instincts. Going with my gut is essential. I tend to second guess myself, assuming that if I organize and arrange my actions in a particular way, things will manifest as I want them to. However, this planner is linear. This part of my brain fails to make the quantum leap. After all, the young girl with a dream of being an actress couldn't deny the years of wonderful jobs up ahead. Just as the teacher in me could not be quelled by my fears of returning to the public, or my childhood resentments that turned my nose up at yoga and the yoga community. Somehow, everything came together to make perfect sense.

What do you sense is happening around you? We are in a phase where each of us is way more tuned in psychically, and tapped into the collective unconscious. Use your tools. Follow the signs, and trust your intuition. You know where to go. Even if it doesn't make logical sense. Leap into the unknown and watch... your dreams will come true.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be (in love with) Yourself

Fall in love with yourself! My journey in finding my individuality started at a very early age. I have never been in sync with the way society says we are supposed to do things. I went to a mobile school for experiential learning. And yoga in the 70's - it just wasn't cool back then. It was weird. I was raised to question authority and think different. Now that authority has come into it’s own and yoga IS the mainstream! Talk about everything being inverted! I started acting and moved to New York to do a Broadway show when I was 15, never lived with my family again, and did not have a real boyfriend until I was 30 years old. Imagine how out of sync I felt every February 14th! 

This year I find myself just fresh out of a 5 1/2 year relationship with a man 9 years younger than me, so for Valentine's Day, I am taking myself out on a date. Romancing myself. Finding the love from within. This is a day to fill your own cup and to fall in love with you. That crazy creature, that lovable, adorable, "special being" - YOU!

Let's face it, nobody loves you like you can. Nobody gets your jokes like you do, and you never need to wonder what you are really thinking thinking about you and you know you are going to go home with you! Just look right in that mirror and say, "I get you, I am committed to you, and I am going to be with you the rest of your life". One thing that will always be with you, the one relationship that you have to the end is your relationship to your body. In all my years of teaching, I've come to realize that there is no 'typical' body. We each have such a unique package, and it's time to treat yourself like you are special.
When I was a child, my dad was a great example of self-care. He was in a definite relationship with himself. Dad brought yoga into our home and turned our household upside-down. Literally. He had no shame. If he felt he needed to do a headstand in a restaurant or a handstand at the gas station, he did it. Dad was big on the inversions. Anything upside-down. Sometimes his example made me feel neglected, and so I did not want to be like him. I have a tendency to completely discount and forget about myself, due to the idea that it may be too selfish. It occurs to me that on this Feb 14th, Valentine's Day, I need to take the contrary action. It's time to be bold and get selfish! Who knows who may benefit. After all, dad may have been self-absorbed, but I became a yoga teacher, and now it's connecting me with all of you!

I remember when I became an instructor and would share personal stuff about my family, talk about sexual energy, and discuss radical ideas, including astrology. It felt SCARY! But it was the only way I knew how to be. I was not a super hero icon fitness guru. Nor was I an uber-spiritual, exclusive, devotional yogi. So... I just decided to risk being myself. Imperfect. Radical. Irreverent. And, oh my great joy is witnessing you being yourself among the collective. 

EXPERIMENT: Write yourself a love letter, and take yourself on a Valentine's Date that you wish someone else would take you on. Fall in love with you!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Ghandi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world". Speaking out and helping others, not turning the other cheek on atrocities, is unusual. After all, how did we get this far? Sometimes it is easier to keep ignoring things and maintain status quo, as opposed to reeducating ourselves. Each of us has a unique perspective, angle and voice. We have a duty to speak from that truth, which may be unpopular at first.

Lifestyle can make you an activist. Growing your own foods, choosing locally run businesses rather than large corporations. "Opting out" of the full body RAPISCAN at the airport. There are many small changes you can make. Even selecting the companies from whom you purchase your goods is quite political. It may be your  greatest power. By speaking up and bringing awareness to causes, we help to educate each other and ourselves. We discover what is truly important. It even gives us the chance to face being unpopular, which is strengthening. It moves us past right and wrong towards what is intrinsically true. There are many sides, and they are all valid, but your voice must be counted. No one else can tell you what is true for you. See my below list of great organization and charities. Oh, and here's a station identification break:
When Jennifer Aniston was filming “Marley and Me”, I went to visit her, and she directed me in this skit that was designed to bring more awareness to the atrocities in Burma. Even though I was terrified at first, I felt so lucky to be able to participate, and it turned out to be really fun. The fact that it was to help others, got me out of my self and into action.

Here are some worthwhile charities and organizations. Put your humanity into action! Share some of your favorites organizations by responding below. Voice Yourself!!!