OH, the Anxiety

November 18, 2013

In 7 weeks I am heading to India to study with my teacher and some dear fellow teachers and I’m super excited. I am also just a tiny bit anxious about it… I’ve known for months that this trip was happening but suddenly it is VERY real – rooms are booked, flights within India (um, there are FIVE) have been secured and we are talking carry-on luggage only folks. Yeah, this is very real.

delhi people

Last week, as we started the main portion of our cleanse and I realized how close this trip to India actually was, anxiety hit in a hard way. And, as anxiety usually does, it came under the guise of frustration, hunger and irritability. If you asked me about India, I wouldn’t have said I was stressed. If you asked me how I was doing in general, I would have said that I was overwhelmed by emails, by my very messy home office and I really wanted a slice of pizza. In truth, my emails were fine (I’m a yoga teacher for heaven’s sake; email is not that big of a deal), my home office looked no different than it does any other day of the year, and every time I eat pizza I get a stomachache. In truth, I was feeling the fear of flying for 18+ hours, of being away from home/family/work for an entire month, and of having to get what seems like 800 immunizations. That was what was real. But my mind funneled all that fear into being worried about things that didn’t need worrying instead.

It took me awhile but once I realized where these feelings where really coming from the pizza craving disappeared, I shut the door to the office and instead took out a pen and paper and wrote down a packing list for India. I realized that I have everything I need in place. I picked out a few books to take care of the flight and laid it all aside to pick up again in 6 weeks. Taking a moment to find the root of my feelings and then acknowledge them has helped some. Am I still nervous about my trip? Yes. Will I likely continue to feel this anxiousness leak into other corners of my life? Absolutely. But, can I use my practice to notice at every opportunity how I am acting and why? Can I pause a few times a day to breath and to search for the causes of these actions? Yes, I can do that. And so can you.

If you have just finished up your cleanse with me this is a wonderful time to get really curious about how your feelings affect your hunger and cravings. Likely you are feeling light, clear and healthy right now. When life goes astray and throws you an anxiety-filled moment/day/week, can you use your practice of breath and mindfulness to NOTICE how you are feeling. Ask yourself what is causing this feeling; get really curious here as often the first answer that comes to mind is a scapegoat. Dig deeper. Get to the root. We are trying to build a relationship with what moves inside us. Acknowledge it. Write it down. Make a List. Talk about it with a friend. Do what you need to do to address the root cause. Then set the pizza aside and get on your mat instead. You’ll feel better for it. I did.

Pure: Cleaning the Slate

November 11, 2013

And, so it begins… We have just finished our preliminary week of our fall Ayurvedic cleanse and are starting the main cleanse tomorrow. So far, all I’ve done is give up my morning coffee and start my new daily habits of hot water with lemon in the morning along with Abhyanga – a super sweet, pre-shower oil massage. As of tomorrow, we’ll be gulping ghee and saying goodbye to many favorites – wine, bread and cheese are a few on the no-go list for the week.

Every time I start a cleanse I end up answering the question, “why do you do this to yourself?” Why do you give up coffee if you love it? Ditto the wine and bread? On the outside, I get that it seems weird to do something that is clearly going to make us grumpy – pushing up against our egos, our own understanding of who we are and how we eat and therefore feel on a daily basis. And, yet, the reason it is weird is also the reason we do it. To purify ourselves. As we clean out the clutter and the heaviness of over-labored digestion, we experience a brightness and clarity to ourselves. To quote on of my favorite authors, Deborah Adele, “Cleansing strengthens the body and insulates the mind, preparing us for the awakening of the energy within us. Cleansing prepares us for the greatness of our spirit. Cleansing lightens us to experience more of the divine mystery.” Seems worth a few grumpy days of detoxing to me.

Last week, we talked about Macrocosm vs. Microcosm – all that is going on outside in our worlds is also happening within our bodies and vice versa. Happily, this means when it comes to cleansing we can start super simple – clean your living and work space. Clear off the desk, fold the laundry, etc. Then we can clean the body, and finally, clean the mind. We don’t have to be pure and perfect instantaneously, but we can make steps in that direction. Making the bed each morning might be just the nudge you need. That one act might encourage you to add something simple like using a Neti Pot to your routine. This leads to another step and another until lo and behold, suddenly you are the one answering, “why do you do this to yourself?” as you talk about your seasonal cleansing routine. And, the best part is, you have the answer to that question.

“Being pure with ourselves means we are not afraid of our thoughts or our feelings, and we do not have to hide anything from ourselves.”

Taking Small Bites

October 29, 2013

Last week, I had the incredible privilege of attending a talk with Ayurvedic master Dr. Suhas thanks to my friend Anna Russ of Pure Science & Soul. In truth I went to this talk feeling that I could better spend the time catching up on email and the like; thank goodness my smarter subconscious pushed me to make the time!

There were so many valuable nuggets in this talk about the importance of self-care. Something we likely all know but rarely actually make the time for.  Our goal, Dr. Suhas shared, is to take better care of ourselves each day. I love this both because it makes such obvious sense and also because it seems so doable. He isn’t saying you HAVE to meditate 5 x a week or give up coffee forever; he simply encouraged us to do a little better than yesterday.

The other thing I truly loved from his talk was also so obvious but something we all need to hear: there is no right way to do a wrong thing. In other words, if you are violating nature, there is no natural way to do it. An example, if you are a brunette there is no “natural” way to be blonde. There just isn’t it. Accept it & move on instead of searching for a natural solution.

In light of taking better care of ourselves everyday, Anna & I are hosting a two-week Ayurvedic detox at Atlanta Hot Yoga starting Nov 4.  I hope you’ll consider joining us on this self-care journey! I’ll leave you with one more tidbit from Dr. Suhas:

Don’t watch others & think to yourself, “oh, s/he is so good /healthy/motivated.” Instead, bite off a small piece & metabolize it yourself!

Lastly, if you are interested in hearing Dr. Suhas speak, he is hosting a free talk on Friday, Nov. 1 at Tough Love Yoga at 6:30 pm. I highly recommend taking the time for yourself!!!

Enrolling Now

14-Day Guided Yogic Cleanse

In Partnership with:

&    merylarnettlogo

Investment: $200 Buy Now

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 Monday, November 4th

Reserve your Kit today!

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 Monday, November 4th
8:00-9:00 p.m. – Determine your ideal dosha, the very key to a balanced life! Review food guidelines, provide a weekly menu and all the tools you need to get organized for the main cleanse phase.
Monday, November 11th
8:00-9:00 p.m. Pick up your cleanse kit. Main phase begins and we are here for you every step of the way!
Monday, November 18th
Time TBD – Celebratory dinner at Cafe Sunflower! Learn how to maintain the positive results and hit the holiday season looking and feeling better than ever!

What does the Cleanse involve?

A comprehensive daily plan, 4 weekly yoga classes with Meryl, weekly check-in meetings and online community support. 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 Liver Support to optimize 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.


Investment: $200   Buy Now

This month we are reading Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. Yoga Book is free & open to all; please join us on Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 8 p.m. for discussion, tea and community. Location TBD.



Editorial Review:

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders …until he meets Donald Shimoda – former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard’s imagination soar…In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don’t need airplanes to soar …that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them …and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places – like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.

Thanks to the Monsters

October 21, 2013

Last night, I had the incredible privilege of attending Sacred Thread Yoga’s One Year Anniversary celebration. The celebration was a night of sweetness: a free yoga class taught by the beautiful Deborah Quibell and then chai, sweets and community afterwards. As a teacher at Sacred Thread, Deborah asked all of us to record “an invitation” that we would like to share with yoga community during this class. She wove all of our invitations into the evening’s playlist for one of the sweetest yoga classes I’ve ever attended. Every time I heard one of my fellow teachers’ voices, my eyes filled with tears and my practice moved another layer deeper.

The request for an invitation caught me a bit off guard though, I was spending the weekend with a girlfriend and wasn’t at home with my usual resources of yoga books, journals and saved quotes to inspire me. As I sat on my friend’s couch reflecting over the weekend and wondering what I would share in class this week, my eyes fell on a beautiful piece of art created by another dear friend.


“Here’s my thanks to the monster that didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.” Created by Laura Martin

And as simple as that, I pulled out my phone and recorded an invitation for you:

An Invitation for You


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