Sunday, September 27, 2015

Embrace your fear

Had a blast doing a yoga photo shoot in the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wi this afternoon.

Some recent health concerns have made me sad, withdrawn and feeling helpless, so I haven't been on the mat much. I used to turn to yoga when I needed a boost in my energy and confidence levels, but lately it's been hard for me to practice because I haven't felt genuinely myself, and I felt that darkness would invade my presence, even on my mat. So I stayed away, hoping to protect that sacred space and save it for a time when I could be reflective and truly embrace it and make myself powerful again.

This past week, I took a yoga class with a room full of strangers and tried to imagine what I'd want if I could completely reinvent myself. The yoga teacher's message to all of us was "embrace your fear." She shared a personal story of the fears she had about her 23 year marriage, and openly cried in front of us. I ran up and wrapped my arms around her and gave her a hug and thanked her for sharing her vulnerability, and at the same time, her strength. I am constantly relearning how to be brave, how to be open with myself and others, and to embrace the things I fear and dread, knowing I cannot allow them to define me.

So today, I finally got back on my mat, and dedicated my practice, and the resulting photos, to the strength I know I have, and the strength yet to be realized after I fully embrace my fears.

#exaltedwarrior #yoga #yogaeverydamnday

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Back in the practice

Been having a hard time, being too hard on myself and going thru a health scare that's been making me reevaluate what is important in my life, how I spend my time, knowing that is my most precious resource. Trying to remember to be humble as I face the great unknown, even as I try to define what I want the greatness of my life to be.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Feeling the weight of so many things lately, but mostly sadness at seeing so many good people come and go from my life so quickly. It's been taking a toll on me, making me afraid to open my heart to new people lest they disappear. To love others is to become vulnerable and it can sometimes make you feel like you are not enough, that other people make you better and you are more complete with their presence. It is a difficult thing to grow as an individual -- in strength, in self-knowledge, in self-reliance -- and still keep other people close to you throughout that process. To still find the energy and strength to love just as fully in the face of that pain. Trying to find that balance every day, and some days are harder than others.

This week I've been spending a lot of time in the pool, swimming laps for hours until I feel physically exhausted, then floating on the surface staring up at the sky while hearing my breath under water. Swimming, floating, breathing and pretending to fly... The closest I can get these days to feeling weightless. In honor of that feeling, flying fish pose. #yogaeverydamnday #sadness #selfacceptance #depression #bedtimeyoga

Sunday, July 12, 2015


from Sunday July 5

do this without judgment, of yourself or others. the only thing to turn your attention to is your body, can your physical body achieve what you intend for it to do, can it honor the feelings in your heart? can it fulfill the ideas your mind can imagine? let us help our bodies grow so they can do the work of our hearts and minds.

breathe. set that intention. let go of anything that does not serve you.

fragments, shored

**author's note: i started this blog a few days ago in order to formalize and publicize some of the thoughts i've been having around democracy, community, access/ibility, ability, bodied perceptions, teaching, yoga, practice/praxis/action. in order to start getting some muscle on these bare blog bones, i'm going to start posting these little thought snippets -- previously stored privately only as little autonomous pieces in a notebook, never meant for more than private remembrance -- baring in mind that these are the little nuggets that accumulated, eventually reaching a critical mass, and gave rise to this document, which i hope will birth other beginnings in turn.

there is something invigorating and radically hopeful about acknowledging the potential contained in each small thought, every minute action. the little things from forgotten corners of memory, the small acts we perform each day, when taken together can transform the fabric of our existence and understanding.

so it seems fitting that the start of my writing here should begin with some of these fragments, markers on the path that got me here.

"O swallow swallow
These fragments I have shored against my ruins."
-T. S. Eliot, V. What the Thunder Said, "The Waste Land"

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Perhaps my favorite yoga pose, and definitely the one with the best name -- Camatkarasana -- which translates to "the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart." I started this blog today for the purposes of documenting my work and growing passion around yoga and am so excited for the possibilities to come, the work that will continue to grow out of this, and the community that was waiting for me when i was ready. There is so much in this crazy, beautiful life to love and be grateful for and I can think of no better pose to encapsulate how I feel right now.

#yogapraxis #yoga #praxisingyoga #aposeadayuntil30 #ecstaticunfoldingoftheenrapturedheart

bonus: funny things happen when you try to photograph yourself in a yoga pose with nothing but the self timer on your smartphone. sometimes you get video instead.


i've been tossing this idea around in my head for a few weeks and decided, why not take a leap? yoga has taught me so much but i've never thought to encapsulate any of it into words. i used to think of my practice on the mat as enough of a moving tribute to those idea(l)s.

but in recent weeks i've been talking more about yoga, teaching yoga to other people, and thinking more intentionally about how yoga affects me, its potential to transform my world and those around me, and how i want to actively engage it and share it with more people. and then as part of a personal project to document the last 6 months of my 20s with a yoga portrait a day, i started photo-documenting my self in a pose every day. as i started this practice -- of daily yoga, of daily documentation, of what became a daily reflection on my practice and my life, this became a natural outpouring and growth from what felt like an eventual, inevitable process.

here's what to expect, and what i hope for:
  • discussion about yoga practice (the how's, the what's)
  • how yoga can transform daily life, interactions, self-perception, self-growth, self-acceptance
  • sharing ideas for yoga community, specifically how to make yoga accessible and attainable to people of all walks of life
    • i recently started teaching yoga to kids and teens with disabilities and their caregivers, so there will be lots of lesson plan ideas, lots of ideas on the meaning of community, what it takes to foster it, and how to fold that into a yoga practice, and how to use yoga to bring those sentiments into daily life
    • yoga has been highly commodified in America and turned into an industry. i'd like my practice to be highly democratic in philosophy -- literally the only thing you need to be a yoga practitioner is an open heart and mind. what does it mean to democratize yoga? we'll see, but some thoughts right now: "yoga for all", open studios, free clinics, apprentice models of teaching, yoga collaboratives, open air yoga sessions, and random acts of yoga in the park -- more on that soon :-)
  • yoga portraits as i document my own journey with yoga (basically i want a place to put all my #ayogaposeadayuntil30 posts so i'm not clogging my Instagram and Facebook feed with them)
  • the occasional pithy inspirational post as i learn things from my practice
  • research and resources i find as i explore yoga pedagogy and mindfulness research
  • collections of resources for fellow practitioners (yoga flow combinations for classes, playlists for different situations, ideas on various poses, quotes to contemplate, resources and ideas for cultivating a home practice)
  • endless possibilities! the leap is taken!
i'm excited to begin a more intentional examination of my practice and to see where this new form of exploration leads me!