Wowsa! What a summer it's been!
As we transition into the fall season, I'm excited to once again offer classes at the Village Ballroom in NE Portland, on 7th and Dekum, starting September 15th at 12:00PM. I am offering classes independently, and not through a yoga studio, which I am quite excited about. The grassroots feel of coming together as a community, to move and breathe in a safe space, is an opportunity that I really hold close to my heart.
If you would like to attend my classes, please reach out to me on my contacts page and I will send you all the information you need to know about attending.
As we continue onward during such a difficult time, I consistently continue to examine how I can best help my community. Knowing that so many are confined to a chair to execute work from home (me included), I want to continue to inspire you to move. Although the online platform has plateaued in novelty for some, I realize for others an online platform is still keeping you going while also allowing you to feel safe. My hope is to continue to offer a range of varied options, that make continuing to commit to your practice, both diverse and inspiring. Although not every class will feel that it's the perfect fit for you, certainly there are nuggets of information that can unexpectedly land on us when we least expect it. This is the true beauty of continuing to show up.
With all of this in mind, I will be offering a Holistic Yoga Therapy class on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30PM, online through Woodlawn Yoga throughout October. The purpose of the class is to deepen your awareness and understanding of how your body compensates, to accommodate the way your move through your life. Each week will layer upon the previous, as you gain tools and skills to create more integration, strength and stability.
Please feel free to drop in to check it out, or to sign up for the entire month here: woodlawnyoga.com/schedule/
Please come prepared with two blocks (or books that could stand in), a blanket, two therapeutic balls (tennis balls work well too), a wooden pole at least 60" long (a broom handle will work just fine), and a folding chair (or something of the like).
I'll close with one of my favorite quotes from B.K.S. Iyengar, 'Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is a more conscious movement, more action."
See you on the mat.
Hi there! I'm SO EXCITED to announce that I will be teaching TWO, IN PERSON CLASSES for Woodlawn Yoga in July! Since we have closed our original location, for the time being, we will be teaching in the following location:
704 NE Dekum Street
Portland, OR 97211
This location will allow up to 20 PEOPLE, able to be 9 FOOT DISTANCE from one another.
I will be teaching these following dates and times:
July 1st, Wednesday, 12:30-1:30PM
July 29th, Wednesday, 12:30-1:30PM
Please note that I will be DONATING THE PROCEEDS of these two classes, to the URBAN LEAGUE OF PORTLAND. Learn more about them here: https://ulpdx.org/
Following are answers to questions you may have:
How do I sign up?
Please sign up online at Woodlawn Yoga's website, at least 45 minutes prior to class, at https://woodlawnyoga.com/schedule/ Please no drops- ins, as we prefer to know in advance how many will be attending.
How much is the class?
There is a sliding scale, $5-$25. Please note, I will be donating my personal income to the Urban League of Portland.
Do I need my own mat and props?
Yes! There will be no mats/props provided. If available to you, please bring a mat, two blocks, and a blanket. If you do not have these items, please contact me and I'll see if I can help.
What is the social distancing protocol?
There will be hand sanitizer at the entry of the ballroom. Please wear a mask before and after class. If you do not believe in the hype of a mask, please do it on behalf of those who do. A MASK WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE WORN THROUGHOUT CLASS.
How many students can attend?
The ballroom can hold up to 20 students, at a 9 foot distance. The floor will be marked in advance to indicate where you can safely arrange your mat.
Where will you be as you instruct?
I will be teaching from my mat throughout the class. I will not be offering hand-on adjustments, or close up cuing.
Will you be offering classes here permanently?
For the time being, we will be assessing the schedule monthly and in keeping with the ever changing climate. I will be sure to update you in advance so that you know what to expect.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via 'Contact' on my website, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I strongly believe that yoga is a healing modality, that offers so many diverse tools to help guide us through our own process of growth and healing. I am so excited to have the opportunity to meet with you in person, while also supporting a cause that we cannot turn a blind eye to.
I hope to see you soon.
With love and action.
My journey began with this community, nearly 20 years ago, when I took my first yoga class at Yoga Union. I would go away, and return many years later… a more seasoned student and a teacher, with nearly 850 hours of training. My passion and fire had grown, and was fueled by the realization that yoga could help heal the traumas I had personally experienced in my own life. Yoga offered me the perfect platform for growth, and as time goes on, the practice still shapeshifts to offer the safe container I need as I continue my life work.
For the last handful of years, like you, I have come to the Breathe Building as a student of Yoga Union. I have taken in the teaching and practices of so many wise, compassionate, and devoted teachers. I am beyond grateful for the space they have held on our collective behalf. I have also come to the Breathe Building, as a Yoga Teacher for Yoga Union and a Holistic Yoga Therapist for Prema Health. Within that time, I have experienced so much. I have been absolutely challenged, humbled, and honored by what it means to show up in these capacities both for you, and with you. I am extremely grateful. The experience has been a validation to continue building my skills, and growing my voice. I have forged lasting relationships, that I know will extend beyond the boundaries created by a building or a business model.
In the midst of the current climate, on both the microscale within our very community and also at the macroscale across the country and the world, like you, I am taking in a lot of information, and I am processing. We are in the midst of a transformation, and there is much to take in and learn from. It is my hope that the heartache and grief we are experiencing both individually, and collectively, will not be in vain and that our efforts will shift and heal us for the better.
At this time, I will be taking a break from teaching on the Yoga Union online platform, to spend time with family, listen more deeply to the messages and voices that require and demand my attention, and to continue growing my personal and professional education. I am in conversation regarding the return of my work as a both a yoga teacher, and a Holistic Yoga Therapist. As our collective paths unfold, I will be looking to find my seat next to you in some capacity, as I always have. As we look ahead, our actions will guide our direction forward. To quote Coretta Scott King, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate action of its members.”
Yours, with love and compassion.
Are you able to recognize your own patterns of feeling ‘less than?’ How do you respond or react to those feelings? What practices do you have in place to address them?
The first sign for me in recognizing that I’m not feeling like enough, is when I begin to compare myself to others. A mental cycle ensues, and an anxious desire to do something about it, sets in. If only I do this, then I will have that.
My own internal thoughts of being ‘less than,’ reflect outwardly. Mentally, I cut others down as ‘less than,’ so that I can more easily cope with my own feelings of inadequacy. Although it’s hard to admit that truth, it’s there…quietly existing within me. These feelings, are human feelings. However, these habits do nothing to accentuate my (our) true growth as humans.
Certainly, we are a competitive culture. We often view our success through quantitative tick marks. Not just in the wealth we accumulate, but also these days, through the number of viewers we gain on social media. We thrive on getting this kind of conditioned feedback. Although numbers certainly are a necessary and logical way to quantify success, it does not always lead to internal peace and contentment.
So what does?
There is a basic quality to our existence. It's the simplified quality that exists, every time we take a breath. It exists with each heartbeat.
We glimpse upon this basic quality when we experience something meaningful like the birth of a child, when we peer at a photo that evokes a simple memory of time spent in celebration with those we love the most, or when we taste a passed down family recipe we grew up with. This basic quality exists, in the simple things.
It exists when we are surprised by the beautiful sunset that we unexpectedly view from our kitchen window. It exists when we swim in the ocean, come upon a beautiful view while hiking, or when we lie in the sunshine and take in its warmth on a sunny day.
For many of us, it takes hardship or tragedy to rattle us back to remember (and honor) the simple things. We forget in our world of accumulation, to take in the enjoyment of those simple things that bring us back into our true nature. There is typically so much noise, occupying our hearts and our minds. Like a giant clap of thunder demanding our attention, tragedy rearranges our worlds in such a way…that we’re reminded of the simple things, and the simple times. For in the wake of tragedy, it’s the simple things that help us piece ourselves back together again.
For me, that tragedy happened less than a year ago when my Dad died. Within two hours in learning of his passing, I was on a plane. My world as I knew it up to that point, was turned on it's head.
After arriving to the funeral home to make decisions that I was aware I would have to make, after viewing my Dad’s lifeless body, and after weeping in the arms of family members that I had not seen in years…I sat alone in my hotel room. In the wake of making some of the most difficult decisions that I had ever made in my life, a voice quietly came over me, “You are enough.”
It dawned on me. Everything I do, in this world, occurred to me. All the efforts I (we) make, both small and large...matter. Sometimes we don't really realize that, until we experience a loss. By losing something or someone we care very much about, we are reminded of those small, even meaningless experiences. The same experiences that seem to transform into something profound when it's no longer there. With our changing perspective, comes waves of confusion and then simultaneous waves of clarity. We have to settle into that, which feels unsettled. Within that space, is an opportunity of deepening the experience of our existence.
We are reminded what it means to be alive. We are reminded that it’s about the simple things. It’s about our deeper connections to ourselves, to others, to our earth…that brings meaning into our lives.
In that connection, we our reminded that we are enough. As I now reach the year anniversary of my Dad's death, I reflect on the moment of confusion that brought about the clarity of being enough. As I've work through my own grief, I have solidified practices that remind me of the simple things, and the feelings of being enough.
For the next week, try these practices each day
I have not posted here for a long time. As I read my previous posts, I realize that my words had nothing unique to say. I was holding back because I was afraid. I was afraid of what you might think of me, and I was afraid of the commitment it would require to post here consistently.
I have since come to realize, that it is my duty to you, to be courageous enough to show my true self. If I am to post here at all, I should do it honestly and fearlessly. I should speak my truth so that I can more genuinely connect with you.
A local Portland teacher, Chris Calarco, whose yoga class I frequent, recently quoted the following:
I’m human, and I will disappoint you.
I am scared, but I believe in love.
The quote is so simple, and so powerful. It has no religious sway, no personal opinion, no recipe for conduct, no academic or scholastic philosophy…it is simply the truth behind being human. The quote has taken root in me, and I find myself sitting with it again and again.
There is no doubt that I have disappointed people in my lifetime. Although I’m not proud of this fact, I am aware that this is the simple truth behind being human. We can all recall a moment in time, when we could have made a better choice. A time when we could have been more aware of how our actions affect those around us.
As I reflect, I can see that many of my poor choices were attributed to insecurity, ignorance, confusion, pain…fear. I simply did not have the knowledge, the resources, the tools, the patience, the strength, and at times the support, to make the best decision. How vulnerable it is to admit this, but how human it is to acknowledge this too.
I have been afraid of being alone, afraid of rejection, afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of not being loved, afraid of making the wrong choice, afraid of failure, and afraid of what I don’t understand. As I admit these things, I am aware that I may sound weak. However, I know that this is not true. I know that I am simply experiencing what it sometimes means to be human.
So often we are afraid to even admit what scares us. We’re afraid to get real with ourselves, and with others. We might actually have to do something to make a change, which will put focus on our vulnerabilities. We might be harshly judged, and misconstrued by others if we speak our truth. Within this fear, we become stuck in the space of immobility: we do nothing, we speak nothing, and we experience nothingness.
However, if we can begin to fully see ourselves, we can begin to work on fully loving ourselves. We can stop beating ourselves up for all the ways that we’ve failed, made mistakes, and made the wrong turn…and just accept the space as it was. Forgive yourself. Let go. Move towards love.
What I have found is that by forgiving, letting go, and loving…I am more capable of doing the same for others. I disappoint less often, and I am less often disappointed. If I feel afraid, I can recognize it and embrace it. When I recognize fear in others, I am quicker to make space for it. Overall, there is more love.
I’m human, and I will disappoint you.
I am scared, but I believe in love.