January 2, 2017

Shine-y Friends I want to make sure you know about a new class that will be happening on Tuesday mornings at Shine. Wendy is still teaching the 9:30 - 10:45 Mixed Level Class and I am taking over the Tuesday late morning class and am revamping it a bit. It is called "Yoga 4 Life." It's a class near and dear to my heart and that will combine my love of Yoga with my appreciation for the way the Functional Exercise effectively improves quality of life and movement. Please read more below about the inspiration of the class and how I hope it will help the students who will be able to participate. 

Before I was a yoga teacher, I was a college athlete, springboard diving coach, and then a fitness trainer & group exercise teacher. I have never been a killer coach nor have a been just a cheer leader for my clients. I tend to find the middle path, or as Henry David Thoreau writ...

October 12, 2015


For today's #MeditationMonday moment, I'd like to introduce the mala. A mala is a "garland" of beads used for the repetition of mantra to help focus the mind and clear energetic blocks to allow for a greater state of inner harmony. A traditional mala will have 108 beads (108 is a sacred number). I am in love with my new wrist mala created by Jeanne Verger. This petite beauty has 27 beads that you can use for a shorter chant/meditation session or repeat it 4 times for the classic 108 rounds. I like to wear my mala throughout the day as a reminder of the intentions I set as I chant/meditate. 


The options for what mantra to use are unlimited! You can use a one word chant or choose longer versions that perhaps hold a little more meaning and purpose for you. If you are uncomfortable with the Sanskrit, there's nothing to say you can't choose a word or phrase from the Engl...

October 1, 2015


Often when you strain or injure your back, the back muscles and muscles that support the back, seize up in an attempt to brace your back and prevent further injury. This natural reaction is a good thing. But... sometimes the muscles have a hard time letting go of the tension. When you add chronic tension to a low back strain or injury, a chain reaction is enacted where stiffness, tension, and pain get caught in a feedback loop that limits mobility and slows healing. This short exercise or sequence allows the back to rest supported in it's natural alignment without strain. It also allows the muscles to rest in their contracted state. Once the tension begins to dissolve in their protective contracted state you can begin to encourage greater movement and length in the muscles that is necessary for everyday comfort and ease. As is in all things, nothing works for everyone 10...

September 28, 2015



I stayed up late to watch and meditate on the moon magic happening in the sky last night. The first of my two big insights last night related to how it seemed as if I was watching a whole month of a moon cycle happen in two hours. As many traditions encourage connecting intentions & wishes with the cycles of the moon, I decided to do a little intention setting for some things I’d like to see happen a little quicker than the casual route. The other insight goes along the lines of understanding that our perception of the world is made of light and shadow. When the light is shining bright we sometimes miss the more subtle details of things. You can see in the pictures when the light is so bright we miss a lot of really beautiful detail. The eclipse can be a time to let ourselves go into our dark corners in order to understand what’s happening deeper beneath the surface of...

September 21, 2015

I've been working through a few mudras (hand gestures) that add significance to meditation practices. This week I decided to showcase Sankalpa Mudra. This was the first mudra to really pique my interest in that I felt the hand placement create a dramatic shift in my awareness. I first practiced this mudra with my teacher, Sianna Sherman, in my second level teacher training more than 15 years ago. I believe that it was passed on to her by our philosophy teacher, Douglas Brooks, and may have it's roots in Tantric Philosophy. As usual, I am not too particular about the physical roots of things because I believe they all come from the same spiritual space. I believe it's up to us to explore the unique practices of yoga, honor to the best of our ability the teachers who practiced and evolved the techniques, and ultimately to fine tune the practices to meet our individual needs...

September 14, 2015


My cursor blinks before me.... reflecting on 9/11 there is so much on my mind. At times like this, the only solace I have is to drop into my heart. It's scary to go there. As much beauty and bliss that lives there, there are also broken dreams, bruised hopes, and daggers of disappointment. These aren't all my own. As my eyes see the pain that grows into anger and even into hate, it's hard not to absorb these feelings and make them my own. 


For me Yoga was a true salvation. The invitation to see the world through the eyes of love is a daunting task. It was always easier to be pissed off than to really feel the depths of emotion that come with being embodied. Yoga was the first practice that asked me to rise above. To envision what I wanted to see and feel in the world --- and then --- go look for that. Looking through the eyes of love you will allow you to find it much mo...

September 7, 2015


So far our Meditation Monday series has focused on Mudra and Mantra Meditation Techniques. Today's hand placement may or may not have a particular history but is personally symbolic for me. Placing hands on heart and belly can be very soothing as well as deeply meaningful. Asana practice often focuses on physical body alignment. A complete yoga practice will also help us learn to create inner alignment. By remembering to act in alignment with our gut human nature, spiritual heart, heart, and higher mind we may experience greater personal fulfillment and harmonious living.


Today's seated meditation pose is called Siddhasana. I am showing two variations here. Crossing your ankles in front of each other will allow you to settle into your seat and open your hips more fully. If your knees lift high, you can place yoga props under them for support. As your hips open you may...

August 31, 2015










Some days I'm just really blown away by the synchronicity of events. I'm trying to get ahead of the game and plan these Meditation Monday posts out ahead of time. My daughter took this photo while we stopped for a lunch / meditation / skipping rocks break last weekend during a canoe trip. Today's post is to share Ganesha Mudra. Ganesha or Ganapati, is the elephant headed deity who is said to rule both the placement and removal of obstacles that will aid us on our spiritual path. I found it interesting to see that the now late, great Wayne Dyer had an elephant nickname.


I thought it would be sweet to share the story here behind that nickname here, "When Wayne Dyer was living in foster care as a little boy he over heard his teacher at school say that he was a scurvy elephant. He asked his foster mom what a scurvy elephant was and she called the school and found out...

August 24, 2015

Hakini Mudra


With fingers pressed together and the heels of the hands pulled apart, raise your arms overhead in either a seated or standing position. Take a moment to remind yourself of what is most important to you at a deep core level. Make space in your life to soften the outer gaze that delineates form into a sense of seperateness. In truth, all manifestations of energy, both sentient and non, are deeply interwoven. The energy that we bring to the world matters! Taking time to nurture and balance your whole being and reminding yourself of how you want to show up in the world is a great offering to the infinite web of life. 


Hakini Mudra can be used to balance brain energy. It is symbolic of left and right brain currents uniting and finding harmony. Connected to the energy of the 6th chakra (Ajna Chakra / third eye), Hakini Mudra is intended to help us perceive th...

August 3, 2015

Good Afternoon. We are finding our way out of a super charged energetic weekend. The blue moon on Friday also marked Guru Purnima --- the Guru or teacher full moon. The weekend commenced with the cross quarter day of Lammas. We have now reached the zenith of summer as we now sail on through harvest days and into Autumn. I chose a few meditation and yoga practice tools that are designed to remind us of our highest aims, to honor the light that dwells within all of our hearts, and to add a dash of summer fun. 


Today's Practice:

Mudra - Uttarabodhi Mudra - Mudra of Supreme Enlightenment

Also called Vira Mudra and sometimes Kali Mudra. For me this mudra exemplifies two complementary halves coming together to  create a sense of focus, direction, and determination. 


I like to use this mudra in asana practice at times as a way to engage the arm muscles evenly. With even exten...

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