A Tribute to My Mom On Her 80th Birthday!

I was recently in California for my Mom’s 80th birthday celebration and family reunion organized by my sister. It was a huge success. A partial surprise party, my Mom rose to the occasion and allowed herself to be bathed in the love of the family that is so abundant and powerfully present for her. I was so proud of her ability to receive. This reunion was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream of hers to bring the family members (scattered all over the US) together in one place. Kudos to my sister for pulling off this magnificent event!
May I brag about my Mom? My Mom is a great being. A cancer survivor of over 10 years, living alone, supporting herself, and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, she plays tennis three times a week, paddle ball once a week, and takes yoga and aerobic classes. In addition, she volunteers, takes educational classes, is a Hadassah past president and helps out when needed, sees all of the newest movies as they come out, and goes out on dates with her “man-friend” Lenny. Her zest for life and will to be fully alive never ceases to amaze me.

In addition to her active lifestyle, she has an extraordinarily warm and accepting heart. She is open, understanding, and compassionate. She and I can sit down and talk about anything. She has opened herself totally to yoga and all of the various philosophies I expound. My mom has always been my greatest fan. She supports me to follow my heart and become the best version of myself. I want to thank her for loving me and believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Click here to read […]

Bhakti Shakti

This morning in meditation I had the distinct experience of the longing of my heart for freedom. Not that I’m suffering from anything in particular. I just felt a deep inner urge to merge with something bigger; to grow and evolve, to expand beyond previously held limits within myself. This morning my heart was open. It was not a normal practice or normal meditation. I was elevated.

After my practice, I reflected on what happened and why was this meditation different from any others. I realized that it was the quality of my heart. It was my attitude that was different. When I meditate with an open heart, a heart that is on fire with the longing for freedom or longing for anything deeply meaningful, it shifts the potency and my ability to focus in meditation. Not only was I more still inside my head, I was also more open, spacious, and blissed out. I melted into the mantra and the mantra melted into me.

This is what I call Bhakti Shakti. (Bhakti means devotion or heart-centered awareness.) It’s the powerful energy of the uprising aspiration of the heart to become more of who I am. It is nothing less than Shaktipata (the descent of the life force), which can only come when your heart is open and ready. What makes your heart ready? It’s how you live your life, what you do, say, and eat, how you listen to others, how you listen to yourself, what you say to yourself (are you kind or self-critical? can you accept and forgive or do you hold grudges?), and in general, how you are.

When you align with your highest self and strive to do your best and make […]

Grace: Music of the Universe

Dear Friends,

Greetings! Spring is just around the corner. The air smells fresh. The bird chirps are beginning to return. The light of the sun is bringing back the promise of warmer weather, new life, creativity, and ease of being. Speaking of fresh, I have a fresh new website. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks to Taylor McFarland of Revive Creative!

I just completed part 3 of 4 of the premier Ashaya Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training. It is a miraculous event on all levels. The students’ dedication and longing for freedom is unparalleled. We practice asanas, kriyas, pranayamas, mantras, and meditations every morning. We study the science and art of teaching yoga and how to create a space where students’ hearts crack open. We explore the amazing teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and reflect on how these teachings show up in our lives. We listen and share. We laugh and cry; tears of deep suffering and joy. Our hearts fill with the light and compassion of the universal as we chant kirtan. It was such a magical time to savor the gift of yoga, community, and life. Thank you to all of the participants and staff who helped create sacred space.

A function of consciousness is the gift of awareness. Grace is always being dispersed. But generally we are unaware of it. When you notice the little things in moments of reflection or deeper contemplation, you begin to see and experience the energetic fabric of life surrounding you. It’s like being wrapped in a cocoon of comfort that always takes care of your needs.

Have you ever become aware of a synchronicity that you know could have only been choreographed by grace? […]

Choose to Be the Adult

I heard a great teaching from Rolf Gates recently: Choose to be the adult. He gave this teaching to his advanced teacher trainees for their homework assignment over the holidays. This is a brilliant assignment for everyone! As I’ve reflected on this teaching, I’ve had profound insights. Choosing to be the adult is hard work and is usually the last thing I think about when visiting family over the holidays. We all have a need to be heard, understood, and loved for who we are and what we are feeling in the moment. But most adults do not have the skills to offer this kind of listening. When hurt or insulted, we tend to fall into a knee-jerk reaction or pattern of either lashing out (the maximizer) or disappearing and going silent (the minimizer) whenever our feelings are hurt.

By |November 27th, 2013|Yoga Off the Mat|Comments Off|

Shri: the Yoga of Excellence

Greetings! I want to talk about going for excellence. We sometimes settle for mediocrity, only doing the minimum in order to get by. Especially when no one is looking, we feel we can get away with doing less. But we come from an excellent universe, a universe that rewards those who strive to be the best they can be and make the best out of whatever they’ve been given. Shri means auspiciousness, alignment, or divine beauty, and is the yoga of excellence. When you live a life of excellence, you honor Shri. Shri is the highest intention of the universe. To align with Shri is to create order, clarity, and beauty in order glorify the gift of life.

By |September 3rd, 2013|Yoga Off the Mat|Comments Off|