It’s All A Practice

August 26, 2013

I keep reading books that require me to work.  I want so badly to pick up a fluffy little novel and read without thinking or feeling the need to highlight every other sentence… But, for some reason, the books that stack up on my nightstand are the books of practice.

I shouldn’t be surprised; I’ve always picked practice.  I love to work, to learn in whatever ways life allows.  Most often, this practice shows up on my yoga mat.  If you are reading this blog post, I’m guessing you unroll your mat on occasion too.  Regardless of whether our goals on the mat involve finally balancing in Flying Pigeon or more deeply understanding ourselves, the work is a PRACTICE.  We have to try, to study, to experiment and, sometimes, to fail.

When it is on the mat and our practice involves a physical pursuit, it seems likely to use the word – PRACTICE.  But, when we start to talk about some of the larger things we’d like to cultivate in our lives: courage, compassion, connection – the word PRACTICE isn’t used as frequently.  Why?  Why do we expect ourselves to “just be” courageous or compassionate?  As if those mighty words were easy feats to accomplish.

The book that has been the most recent victim of my highlighter is Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, and I love it.  I love it not because the writing is brilliant or I’m reading ideas that I’ve never read before; I love it because she takes huge concepts and defines them clearly and concisely, and perhaps best of all, she reminds us that we have to PRACTICE these concepts if we want to live authentically.

This week, I am practicing:

1. COURAGE: To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart

2. COMPASSION: To Suffer With

3. CONNECTION: The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

I’m also practicing Flying Pigeon.

30 Day Challenge Rx

August 19, 2013

30 DAY CHALLENGE Rx Workshop
September 2, 2013
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Cost: $30

During this workshop / lecture combo, I will discuss how to best prepare for your 30 DAY Yoga challenge so that you can stay strong, safe and motivated throughout.

This workshop/lecture will cover:
Benefits of proper hydration and nutrition
(review) sound postural alignment for common postures
prevention and care of muscle fatigue
how to find your edge, yet be kind to yourself over the course of your dedicated 30 days of practice
and MORE!

Register Here

30 Day Challenge at Atlanta Hot Yoga begins September 9!

Gratitude To You

August 19, 2013

Often times, as a teacher, when I walk into a room at the beginning of class I am looking forward to sharing a message and an energetic experience.  I love taking what I feel in the room and using words, music and postures to help shift the energy so students leave feeling strong, open and centered.  But just as often, the practitioners in the room share something with me as well.

I might only get to do a handful of postures while teaching but I almost always receive a lift, an energetic boost from the class I lead. This boost comes from the student.  Whether you offer it intentionally or not, your presence on the mat affects my day and my mood just as much as when I’m on the mat practicing myself.  Sometimes more.

So this week, I want to take the time to say in each class, “Thank You.”  Thank you for pushing the pause button in your day to come to class; thank you for rolling out your mat and practicing with me.  You uplift me, you support me and you share with me.

I am so grateful.

This month’s Yoga Book Club selection:  The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.  I know, I know – Oprah is all up on Brene’s bandwagon these days but even so, I thought her Ted Talk was spectacular and I am very excited to read this book!

Join us the last Tuesday of every month at 8 p.m. at Sacred Thread Ashram for snacks, tea and discussion.  We’d love to have you!


Book Description:

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, “What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?”

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough,” and to go to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

Ayurveda Cleanse 8.13Join Ayurvedic Health Coach, Anna Russ, and me for a 14 Day “Release the Heat” Summer Yogic Cleanse at Sacred Thread Ashram.

Reset Your Body the Right Way:

  • Improve digestion
  • Loss Weight
  • Flush chemical and emotional toxins
  • Boost your energy
  • Get Radiant Skin
  • Sleep Better

Kick-Off Meeting on Thursday, August 15th

Reserve your Kit by August 8th!

Comprehensive Cleanse Kit Includes:

  • Ayurvedic Detox Herbs
  • Cleansing Pukka Tea
  • Purification Oils
  • Balancing & Moisturizing Body Oil
  • Cleanse eBook
  • Meal Planner
  • Home Practice Yoga Sequence
  • 1 Month Access to the System

Effective Meal Plans to Fit Your Needs:

  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian
  • Traditional Ayurveda

Dates & Meetings:

Kick-Off Meeting on Thursday, August 15
6 p.m. – come to Meryl’s level 1 class themed around the cleanse.
7:45 – 9:30 p.m. – meeting in the Ashram to receive cleanse kit, e-manual/recipe book and get the scoop.  Includes a brief cooking demo so we can all sample some dishes
Friday – Sunday (Aug 16 – 18): preparation.  get your head in the game, grocery shop, maybe start the elimination phase if you need a few days head start to nix caffeine, etc.
Monday, Aug 19 – 7 day cleanse begins.  you’ll have the recipes, herbs, oils and tea you need to take.  you’ll receive 10 minute yoga video for your home cleansing practice. Optional Monday/Wednesday practice at the ashram led by Meryl at 6 p.m..
Thursday, Aug 22 – meeting #2 7:45 – 9:30 p.m. at Ashram – check in, encouragement to make it to the finish line and explanation of the next step – phasing foods back in. Optional take 6 p.m. class
Friday, Aug 23 – optional Yin class at STY studio at 6 p.m.
Monday, Aug 26 – phasing food back in begins.
Thursday, Aug 29 – celebration potluck at the ashram 7:30 p.m.

What does the Cleanse involve?

A comprehensive daily plan, weekly yoga classes with Meryl, weekly check-in meetings, online community support and post-cleanse potluck! You will do a daily practice that includes yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. You will incorporate Ayurvedic tools and herbs such as abhyanga massage, and Triphala to support the detox process, as well as eat a nutritious, clean diet during each phase of the process:

Preparation & Elimination Phase
To prepare your body to flush toxins, we will first make sure that your natural detoxifying processes are functioning optimally by starting to gently eliminate toxic foods and patterns. This will help:

  • Balance Blood Sugar
  • Stimulate the Lymphatic System
  • Decongest the Liver Channels

Cleanse Phase
During the Main Cleanse, you will eat a nutritious diet free of refined & processed sugars, gluten, caffeine and alcohol. You will drink increasing amounts of ghee each morning for several days. You will also carve out some time to rest & reflect.

Goal being:

  • Support the Liver in Flushing Toxic Fats & Chemicals
  • Reset your Metabolism

Reintroduction Phase
After the Main Cleanse, it is time to rejuvenate! You will continue on the  Elimination diet and gradually reintroduce foods. Now that you have a clean and primed digestive system it is the perfect time to identify any food sensitivities. A step-by-step guide for how to reintroduce food and track any issues is provided. You will continue to boost your digestive fire while supporting your lymphatic system and liver. You will continue taking herbal supplements and teas for several weeks and incorporate a seasonal, whole foods diet.

Price: $200.00

Register online today to claim your cleanse kit!

I spent the morning typing up my outline for Tuesday’s book club discussion on The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell, and I thought maybe I would share a nugget or two from his book in class this week. My problem though has been trying to figure out which nuggets… I’ve practically underlined or *** every other sentence in this book?!



Yet, I keep coming back to this one passage that ties in so nicely with Surrender. I’ve been sprinkling surrender into most classes this month since it is Sacred Thread’s theme of the month and my personal focus for the year. So, Campbell states that your life is the fruit of your own doing. The problem is not to blame or explain but to handle the life that arises. To “love your fate”. Perhaps most crucially, he says that if you say no to a single aspect of your life the whole thing begins to unravel. Whoa.

I know. I can hear the argument now – “how can you say that XYZ terrible thing is MY own fault?” I get it and I would never say that to anyone. But, can you see how quickly we look for a way to assign blame for the yuckiness in our lives and how quickly we take credit for the good in our lives? How much additional suffering does this cause – this constant need to blame or take credit for?

Can you imagine, just for a second, how it might feel to let go of the need to assign blame/credit and just be with what IS? To say yes to the good and the bad equally for the sake of living a fully experienced life. I’m not suggesting that this is easy but is it a valid exploration? I’m going to argue that yes it is and I’m inviting you try it out one day this week. When that thing arises that we immediately start to blame on someone/something else, can we open our mind & heart to this experience of our life and be with it? Surrender to it. Be soft enough to accept the moment as it is without needing to change it, and be strong enough to interact with the moment with integrity.

Thanks, Joseph.


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