Back to School!

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Starting in September, I’ll be spending my weekends in Maryland, studying for a M.Sc in Yoga Therapy.

MUIH

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Over the past year I’ve been teaching chair yoga for the Philly School District, through a grant for the early childhood education Headstart Program. It has taken me into the communities of Southwest Philly to North Philly. The classes are sweet, as a teacher often challenging, some days, like today, no one shows. This work is some of the most rewarding work I’ve done. I believe in the possibilities of greatness, and that even a little bit of this practice can shelter you from great sorrow.

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Moon Glow Flow: Moon Salutations and Yin Yoga

photo by elliot polinsky.

Lately I have been asking myself: what would it be like to let go of the need to be somebody and instead open up to simply being?

As these new sparks of change make their way through my synapses, I am humbled to be leading Moon Glow Flow: A Moon Salutations and Yin Yoga workshop. This is a practice of being with the big questions without actually having to ask them, and instead, simply feeling, breathing, and yes, being.

Please glow with me:

December 12th, 12-3 p.m. Wake Up Yoga South

December 19th, 2-5 p.m. Pacific Yoga Philly

As I wrap up another Brand New Beginner’s Series (Level 2), I am reminded of the importance of the beginner’s mind: to stay curious and to always be learning.

The next Level 1 Series begins 9/8 and runs until 10/27: Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at Wake Up Yoga Fairmount.

Register here.

“Yoga = 99% practice, 1% theory

Practice = 99% failure, 1% success

therefore

unceasing curiosity wins the day

sustained enthusiasm is a great boon

be happy with the tiniest of gains.”

-David Garrigues, Philadelphia based Ashtanga teacher

Messenger

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?

Let me keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

-Mary Oliver

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann

“Being human cannot be born alone. We need other presences. We need soft night noises- a mother speaking downstairs, a grandfather rumbling in response, cars swishing past on Philadelphia Avenue, and their headlights wheeling around the room. We need the little clicks and signs of a sustaining otherness. We need the Gods.”

-John Updike