Health & Fitness, kripalu, massage therapy, meditation, yoga nidra, somatic meditation, body-based meditation, meditation for beginners, Yoga

Hlo Heaven

Today’s post will be brief, as I’ve been procrastinating (watching Great British Baking Show, cooking food, looking at Facebook, you know 🙂 ), and I still have lots of studying to do, and Tim and I are supposed to play Jaipur too!

ANYWAY,  I wanted to let you know about an exciting development.  We are bringing The Roll Model® Method Teacher Trainings to the Center for Neurosomatic Studies! I cannot convey how excited I am about this.  The whole reason I found out about neurosomatic therapy is because a Yoga Tune Up® teacher took her son to an NST therapist and was blown away by the treatment. She commented on it  on the YTU Teachers Facebook page. I was in the middle of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life (I wanted to help people in the health/wellness arena, but did not want to go back to school for 6 more years and spend $100,000 on tuition). Her post sparked my interest, and upon Googling, I found  my school.  And here we are, about 2 years later, and I am on the cusp of graduating from CNS!

Anyway, back to my original point, in school we are taught how invaluable it is to give patients “homework.” It’s vital to help remodel their bodies, and it also helps them realize they have an internal locus of control. Their therapist/doctor is not responsible for their health, the patient himself/herself is!  The self-massage that is taught in Yoga Tune Up® is a perfect compliment to the work we do in NST.  This has become abundantly clear to me as I’ve progressed through the program, so much so, that I thought, “We HAVE to bring a YTU training to this school!”

I talked to my teacher, mentor, and school-owner, Randy, and he readily agreed.  And my dream is coming to fruition!  In March, we will offer both of The Roll Model® Method Trainings at CNS!  One of my teachers from my Yoga Tune Up ® Level 1 training is going to teach the class.  She  made a huge impact on me during the Level 1. I remember telling her, “I’m just a part-time yoga teacher. I just do this on the side…”  And she called me out on minimizing myself and my skills, and it solidly hit home!  The fact that this super-talented, intelligent, gifted woman thought I had something real to offer to people gave me a whole new perspective on what was possible!  And she is the person who will be teaching this class.  🙂

Here are the links to the classes:

The Roll Model® Method – The Science of Rolling

The Roll Model® Method – Ball Sequencing & Innovation

If you are at all interested in learning some easy-to-use self-massage techniques for yourself or your clients/patients, I cannot recommend this training highly enough. I would so love to see you there!

Hope you are having a great Sunday!





Books, kripalu, Uncategorized, Yoga

The Great Work of My Life

Why am I here?  Why did I incorporate into this body, this family, in the time, in this place?  How can I best use my skills, abilities, knowledge and idiosyncranies to serve humankind?  What will light my fire and keep it burning?  For what am I willing to be “used up?”

Are these questions you have ever asked yourself?  They are questions I have been struggling with answering for the past few years.  Tired of thinking myself in circles, I met with a psychologist/yoga therapist to get some outside feedback. I needed some help getting out of my head.  As I explained my quest to her, she informed me that I was looking for my dharma (aka sacred duty).

This was a word I had encountered briefly in the past, but I never really knew what it was.  Based on her recommendation, I read The Great Work of Your Life: A guide for the journey to your true calling by Stephen Cope.  It is a beautiful, beautiful book that provides lots of guidance (some of it divine) about finding your calling and purpose.

I won’t write a review of the book, except to say it’s really good and you should read it post haste. 🙂  But I do want to highlight some of the passages that especially struck me (I love the word “passage” to refer to sections of a book – gateways to expanded thought!).  Page numbers are taken from the 2015 Bantam Books Trade Paperback Edition.

  1. Page xviii (Introduction). Regarding writing his books, Stephen says that “It seems that it was the effort required to bring them forth itself that saved me.”  Having written his books did nothing for him – it was putting that work into writing them that was truly satisfying.  DOING the work (not necessarily the end product) is the important thing.
  2. Page xxiv – “People actually feel happiest and most fulfilled when meeting the challenge of their dharma in the world, when bringing highly concentrated effort to some compelling activity for which they have a true calling.”
  3. Page 11 – “It increasingly begins to dawn on her that in order to find the next expression of dharma she is going to have to take a leap of some kind.”  Page 38 – “…Dharma always involves, at some point, a leap off a cliff in the dark.”
  4. Page 16 – “Success and failure in the eyes of the world are not your concern. “Better to fail at your dharma than to succeed at the dharma of someone else,” he says.”” The “he” in that sentence is Krishna (aka God).  Smart guy.
  5. Page 32 – “We have a responsibility to The Gift.  The Gift is God in disguise.”
  6. Page 36 – “Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference.”
  7. Page 42 – “We only know who we are by trying on various versions of ourselves.”
  8. Page 44 – “”Be resolutely and faithfully what you are,” said Thoreau – not who you think you should be.”
  9. Page 46 – An explanation of Indra’s Net.  We are all jewels on an interconnected web, shining forth onto others and reflecting all the other jewels in the net.  “The action of each individual soul holds together the entire net.  Small and large at the same time.”
  10. Page 47 – “Our actions in expression of our dharma…are infinitely important….They create the world.”
  11. Page 56 – “Careful attunement to dharma will demand that we reinvent ourselves periodically throughout life.”
  12. Page 62 – “…(ambivalence, it turns out, is an unavoidable companion in the search for a new dharma).”
  13. Page 64 – “Each of us feels some aspect of the world’s suffering acutely. It tears at our hearts.”  “This little corner of the world is ours to transform.  This little corner of the world is ours to save.”

Well, I will stop at Lucky 13. This covers my highlights from the first 1/4 of the book.  I will write more starting with The Second Pillar:  “Do It Full Out!”

What do you think your dharma is?  Have you found it?  If so, how?



kripalu, Uncategorized, Yoga

My First Trip to Kripalu

I am 5 days returned from my first trip to Kripalu.  My purpose of going there was two-fold.  Firstly, my friend Angela said it’s an amazing place, and anyone I have talked to who has gone there has echoed that sentiment.  Secondly, of late I have become enamored with Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls, and I discovered that the creator of the balls was going to be teaching a seven-day certification class.  I didn’t really know much about Yoga Tune Up (outside of what I had learned via their blogs and the weekly YouTube videos), but I figured it would be a good chance to check out Kripalu whilst also increasing my yoga knowledge. I assumed (erringly I found out) that since the class was going to be held at a retreat center, it would be a relaxing experience with plenty o’ time for reflection, massages, energy treatments, and just general relaxation.

I was disabused of this notion the first evening of class, during which we were provided with the manual for the class, along with the homework assignments.  Yes! Homework.  And AssignmentSSS not just Assignment.  We are told that we would be expected to do 1-2 hours of homework each night.  All of us looked at each other with wide-eyed confusion.  What were we in for??

Now that it’s all over, I can look back on the initial days philosophically, but at the time, I was, to put it bluntly, rather pissed and overwhelmed.  Each night we needed to read and post on 3 blogs and write 3 context grids for poses we learned that day (the grids consisted of breaking down the pose into what it does, how it does it (using muscle names/direction of movements/actions, etc.), what other poses it’s good for, and what it’s good for in daily life).  Later in the week we also needed to prepare 4 to 10 minute sequences and present them to the other students and teachers of the class.  It was overwhelming.

BUT.  But, while it was very overwhelming and stressful and not at all what I was expecting, it was also a really unusual, amazing, edifying experience. I learned SO MUCH in those 7 days.  I learned actual anatomy! I learned that I still stick out my ribs and jut my head forward although I am ALWAYS trying to not do that!  I learned that I use a ton of repeat words in my teaching.  I learned that it’s important to have fellow teachers watch you teach and provide feedback.  I learned that sitting in a sauna for 10 minutes with conditioner in your hair makes your hair look amazing.  I learned that I’m scared of Jill Miller. I learned that everyone is riddled by FEAR, including myself (but I already knew that last part).  I learned that I don’t like to be gone from Tim for 10 days.

I learned that I’m a bit of a loner.  Several of the other students paired up and worked on homework together, but I preferred to blaze through it, hazarding guesses instead of spending time talking through it with fellow students and/or the teacher’s assistants.  I just wanted to get it done and go to bed.  Looking back, I realized that I could have learned so much more by being more patient and open-minded.  I’m always in a rush to get to the NEXT THING even if the current thing is pretty great.  Now that I am friends with most of my fellow students on Facebook and Instagram, I’ve learned more about them and have come to realize what amazing and experienced people they are!  I wish I had taken more time to discover that while I was with them in person.

On a positive note, however, I tried hard to live up to my sankalpa for the week:  I am serenely fearless.  I spoke up in class more than I wanted to. I went skinny dipping in 50 degree water.  I befriended a beautiful yogi at the airport (I assumed she was on her way to Kripalu, and she was).  I took walks by myself around the beautiful grounds of Kripalu.  I taught 3 short sequences in front of professional yogis.  I touched a friend when he broke down.  I sent Reiki energy to the people around me who broke down in tears in class (which happened every morning).

It was a very intense week – emotionally, mentally, and physically.  It was not what I was expecting, but I am so happy that I did it. I’m still processing the experience and trying to figure out how to move forward – trying to figure out how what I learned fits into what I want to teach and how I want to teach and if I should teach and if so, where and how.  The week may have brought up more questions than it answered, but I think it moved me down the path closer to discovering why I am here and what gifts I have to share with this world while I am here. Even if I eventually realize that I am not meant to teach, at least that is another discovery that I have made – one more stone that I over-turned.

Now I want to return to Kripalu for a TRUE yoga retreat. I want to wake up whenever my eyes naturally float open, walk down to the lake, take a dip (clothing optional!), sit in the sauna to warm up, go to yoga, eat a delicious breakfast in a silent room, sit outside and stare at the mountains and imagine riding the mists, eat some more good food, do some more yoga, get my energy body re-situated, attend a seminar taught by an enlightened soul, do some more yoga, chat with amazing interesting people, and then go to bed for a blissful sleep.