Photo from My Spoonful of Inspiration

If you can’t change it, embrace it.  Accept it as an opportunity, a challenge, or at the very least recognize what you can learn from it and grow. Last night I attended a power yoga class and for the first time a friend joined me.  I was so excited to have him join me.  It was a challenge for me to get through the class though.  It was not a typical power yoga class and I wasn’t particularly fond of the instructor;s style or sequences.  It was a struggle to eliminate the negative chatter in my head and for a brief moment thought “I can’t stand this class!”  Getting upset is not fair to myself or the instructor.  Yoga is always a practice and each practice on the mat will always be different.   I asked myself “How can I embrace this opportunity and benefit from the experience?  and “What could I learn from this teacher?” The mind and body benefits from doing something different and new so I accepted the class, took away what I could from it, and felt proud after completing it.

This morning I woke up to an email that had me upset and rather annoyed before my first sip of coffee.  (lesson one:  always have a few sips of coffee before opening email!)  I was annoyed and wanted to go back to bed but knew that was not an option.  I kindly responded to the email and went straight to the gym for cardio.  In my frustrated state of mind I must have misread the group fitness schedule and ended up in a challenging and fun body works weight class.  I felt refreshed and happy upon my return home.   When I checked email again it turned out that the messages earlier were really nothing more than a simple misunderstanding which lead to even better things between me and this person.  I’m sure glad I took a kind and courtesy approach in my response to their initial email!  Think about it…and respond before you react.

My day continues to get better.  I discovered an amazing product last night and I can not wait to try.  This afternoon I connected with the company by email and telephone.  Stay tuned next week as I will reviewing and sharing the product with you.  It’s a product that I am very excited about.  To give you just a hint their email signature was signed with “Stay balanced, stay grounded, feel the buzz!”

To close, I’d like to leave you with a short story that I found this morning on the back of a newsletter I received in the mail from 4 Star Smiles Dental Care  in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

SOME THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE…

A young man named Nasreddin planted a flower garden, but when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nasreddin consulted with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.

Finally, Nasreddin traveled to the palace of the sheik to seek the wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But alas, Nasreddin had already tried all the methods the kind old man recommended to him for eradicating such troublesome weeds.

Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal gardener looked at Nasreddin and said, “Well, then, the only thing I can suggest is that you learn to love them.”  Nasreddin’s Flower Garden-Traditional Sufi Story


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“It happens to the best of us” photo from Ashtanga News

Tonight I decided to head to an 8:00pm gym yoga class, which isn’t very common but I do from time to time.  I arrived early and chatted with a few girls while the class prior finished up.  The class was packed and at 8:10pm the gym announced the instructor called and canceled.  Someone asked “anyone here able to lead a class?” and a bunch of people pointed to me and asked me to teach the class.  My face lite up flattered, but I was just too chicken.  A few of them kept asking and encouraging me and the thought of how to teach was flashing through my head.  As much as I would have loved the opportunity I realized I really couldn’t lead a class for five minutes!   If I had been just a few weeks into training maybe I would have but I don’t know the dialect at all and between the sequences, dialect and leading inhales and exhales I really wouldn’t know what to do.   The timing of this was great though.  It made me decide to stay after everyone left…and “instruct” a class out loud to myself.   I felt a little silly in that huge room with no music talking to myself so I asked the gym if I could get some music.  The guy handed me a small boom box with a hip hop CD in it.   Do you know how silly it feels to speak out loud to yourself in a large room while doing yoga?  I needed some kind of background noise so yes, I made do with the hip hop background!  I actually got through 35 minutes of yoga by myself (10 minutes of talking out loud before it turned into just talking in my head.)  I’ve only lead myself through yoga a few times on a pier in Belize when I first got into yoga.  That was over 2 years ago, click here to check out my hilarious first week of yoga picture!  It felt both great and stressful (an anti-yoga word) to get through it tonight.  I realize there’s a lot ahead and look forward to learning.  200 hour Training starts this Saturday, June 18 and I’m looking forward to the experience.  It seems so far away but I know soon enough I will have the honor of guiding others through something that benefits the mind, body and heart… and one of the things I enjoy most, power yoga.

On a scale of 1-10 I give my “instructing” a 2 and my yoga “quality” I performed this evening a 6.  But wait, it’s yoga… so no judgement right?  Om Shanti.  Namaste.

Being Grateful

June 7, 2011

I just returned from a 9 day trip to Israel with a group of 40 people.  The trip itself was not what it was said to be.  I was disappointed and sad with the overall  program and organization.   That said, I know to be appreciative of the opportunity and remember the things I got out of the trip.  I reminded myself during the most difficult times how wonderful it is to just breathe.  There were moments and experiences on the trip I am grateful for, here is one I’d like to share.

Today is my first day back and this morning attended aerobics followed by 90 minutes of hot power yoga.  I feel so happy to be back and wore such a big smile on my face all day long.

I came across article on Yoganonymos written by a fellow yoga instructor in Philadelphia. It’s a light read and great reminder.

Your life might be an aquired taste.

wine yoga Acquiring a Taste for Your Life

Do you remember the first time you had a glass of wine, how awful it was? Do you remember the dawning of awareness, as you realized the depth, the complexity, the beauty? Have you ever listened, as a vintner discussed what goes into every bottle, the effects of the soil and the atmosphere and the wood of the casks? Or as a connesiour encourages you to absorb every last bit of flavor? Have you seen their faces light up as they describe what they love about wine?

This is your life. Your life is an acquired taste!

You have created your life. You have done the best you could, given your particular environment, genetics, and karma. You have crafted something, that just might be wonderful. Sit back, light a candle, and taste it. Savor it’s complexity. Consider the possibility that nothing in your life needs to change except the way you taste it. Extract every nuance. Give yourself a chance to sift through what you may have initially written off as unpleasant. Allow the flavors to open and reveal themselves to you. Let the bitterness, the grit, the swarm of seemingly conflicting impressions melt into a harmonious blend of experience. Marvel at the richness and the beauty

In my favorite Bukowski poem, ‘The Laughing Heart’, he agrees,

‘Your life is your life, know it while you have it. You are marvelous, the gods wait to delight in you.’

Join them, all the gods, masters and holy ones. Join the winos, and the beats. Delight in your life.

Author Daniel Shankin (Sitaram Das) teaches classes, workshops and teacher trainings in ayurvedic and yin yogas, and offers transformational Vedic Thai Bodywork. Sometimes he teaches meditaion, and he thinks that’s pretty fun, too. It has been his experience that his students are the cutting edge of consciousness, and is honored to guide and encourage, to travel the path with them. He mostly teaches in Philadelphia, but if you can cook, he’ll probably travel. Daniel can be contacted through his website http://www.sitaramdas.com.

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Photo of Kukhahn
Quote by G K

I’m so excited! I mean I am really excited! I had a very upsetting, sad and scary weekend. Saturday was the scariest day with my beautiful yellow labrador Karmin who is 9 1/2 years old.  She seems to be recovering and I can’t hug and kiss her enough. Right now I am smiling just listening to her snoring loudly as she naps.

Karmin swimming in the ocean in Belize

So why I am excited today...I just started my yoga blog two weeks ago and a reader and now online friend in Philadelphia sent me an “application for yogi partner” after seeing today’s Photo of the Day (amazing partner yoga) and reading my past article I posted just one week ago “Yogini seeks Yogi for Yoga in Tandem”  (click to read).   This means I have readers!   Many thanks to the early readers and support.   This yogi happens to practice yoga at the studio that I am taking my certification. How cool is that?  He also happens to be a dog lover and has a dog of his own close to Karmin’s age.  We’ll be meeting up for yoga, coffee and friendship upon my return from Israel in June.

His email reads:

“I saw your article about yoga in pairs. I would love to apply to be your yoga partner. Ive always wanted to do something like that and my past relationships and friends where not really into yoga. I would send my resume but i think a yoga class will say more than words :-):-) btw i think we can do that crow in top of camel!!! Do you know any instructor that teaches this kind of stuff? -H.”

Who did you huge today? Who do you hug the most? I can’t get enough hugs from my loving dog Karmin and my little niece and nephew. I just love hugging them, makes me feel soooooooooooooooo good and puts a big smile on my face.


Photo from Angry Little Girls

Watch the video of the Free Hugs Campaign by Juan Mann.  He reached his target of 10,000 signatures on his petition.  While it’s a little goofy the music is great and it should make you smile or laugh. 

Karmin and I November 2010 just before her 9th birthday

My niece dressed up as an owl for fun and I just a few weeks ago

Meeting my nephew for the first time May 6, 2010

My sister and I on her wedding night February 21, 2008

My nephew hugging his dog Stella

My niece and Elmo

A friend and I

Two friends and I

And now some very silly hugs…

Coconut Leo Belize (a well known legend of Belize) and I

A snake in the Amazon of Iquitos, Peru August 2008…

Monkey hugging (maybe attacking) my head in Peru


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