Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Ending Has A Beginning

some of my beautiful yogini sisters

I'm happy to say that I'm back to attending a couple of yoga classes a week and teaching Allan at home (best student ever!).  My yoga teacher training ends this weekend, and its going to be extremely bittersweet.  I've been on this journey since the beginning of October, and still have a little make-up work to do (because of the ol' hip hurdles).  It's been a long road, and I can't wait to put all of this knowledge to good use.  I've met some of the most amazing women who have inspired me, lifted me up, challenged me, opened their hearts and shared their stories with me. They will always have a near and dear space in my heart.  I thank them for that.

I've had lots of time to think lately, and it has brought me back to what made me love yoga in the first place. What got me here?
It all started in Puerto Rico, 2006 .  I was a bored, military spouse, living on base with nothing to call my own.  I knew that yoga was supposed to be good for me, and I knew that with all of my hip pain--it couldn't hurt.  So, I started out doing random yoga dvd's in my living room with my girlfriend, Carina. We laughed and joked and took none of it seriously.  I later decided to give it another try and moved on to local classes that were only in Spanish. That was quite funny. I could swear that the handsome Puerto Rican yoga teacher was walking past me was telling me that I was excellent, only to find out he was telling me to exhale.  Yeah, I know.  My ego was crushed, and my spanish got a lot better after that.  ;)
Yoga friends in Puerto Rico
The Secret Garden

Then I started going to this place in Rincon, PR.  A place called the Secret Garden.  Yes,it was as magical as it sounds.  It was an art gallery, guest house, and "yoga studio". There was a giant, wooden, yoga deck outside that faced the ocean and was canopied by luscious green tropical trees and plants.  Random dogs would come by and you never knew if they belonged to the owner, or if they were just strays that wanted to hang out there as much as I did.  I didn't blame them.  The setting was serene and peaceful.  Cool ocean breezes randomly gusted at you while practicing and no music was needed--the sound of the ocean was enough.  It was amazing.  I was hooked.  How could you not be?  
After practicing there for a bit, I decided to take some workshops and I did a teacher training when I went home to Houston to deepen my practice. I was not really sure if I'd ever teach, but I knew that I needed to know more.  The thought of teaching had always appealed to me, I just don't think I ever had the confidence to do it.  Its not like when I was actively involved with theatre. Teaching yoga is not like doing a play, you have to be yourself, and if you're not--it really shows.  No masks, no stage-makeup or costumes, or script.  Just you--bare bones, open-hearted. That's scary to me for some reason.  

 a temple in Northeast Thailand

Things really changed in the Spring of 2008. I visited Thailand for the first time with my Mom and her husband. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime--getting to meet my family for the first time and see where my Mom lived, grew up and eventually met my Dad...
Those things did happen, but it ended up being a really hard and emotionally challenging trip for me.  Luckily, I was able to tap into my yoga and meditation practice to ease my pain.  I knew that it could calm me, and put my mind at ease.  I knew it was a safe comfortable place for me to be when I was sad, couldn't sleep, or simply missed my husband.  It allowed me to control my anxiety and find peace. Thats when I really realized that it was more for me than just some exercise.
Thailand, in general, is a very spiritual place.  It was everything I imagined--beautiful, exotic, full of smiles, and I felt comfortably at home there.  We spent a lot of time visiting beautiful golden wats (buddhist monasteries) and temples with large buddha statues, and even met with a monk.  It hit home for me not only spiritually, but in a weird deep-rooted, these-are-my-peeps kind of way.  I had never been to Thailand, and although the trip was not easy on me emotionally for various reasons, it was just what I needed to fill an empty void in my heart.  I had a moment of, ahhh...I understand. That "other" half of me made sense now.

We soon thereafter transferred to Philadelphia, and a lady had recommended that I go to an "amazing yoga studio" called Yoga Schelter.  I came home, looked it up, and it was literally around the block from me--walking distance...SCORE!  It was meant to be. She was right, it is amazing, and I have been a regular student there ever since.
This leads me to where I am now, in the Yoga Schelter/RYAH yoga teacher training.  I have decided that it is now time for me to take this whole "yoga thing" to a whole other level. Its been an interesting experience--some days sweeter than others.
 Everything seems to fall in place, though.

During this journey, I have realized that it's okay to be who you are, that I can't do everything alone, but yet, I can do a lot on my own in the same.  I have learned that I am incredibly emotional (many of you know this already--I cry at the drop of a hat), and truly care about other's well-beings.  Also, through this YTT I have come leaps and bounds with the healing of my hip and getting on this hip surgery(s).  This was a huge discovery for me, considering I may have waited years to feel better.  All of this had to happen when I was ready, and I feel that I am.  I do believe that the universe has set this up for me, and that there is a reason why I am here doing what I am doing right now.  I just have to trust it and go with the flow, count my blessings and put out what I want in return.

My yoga teacher training may be ending soon, but I feel like its just the beginning...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yoga Unites For Living Beyond Breast Cancer

I am blogging to let you know that I am participating in a very important event on Sunday, May 16, 2010 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.(Since this event is right after my 2nd hip surgery, I will not be participating physically in the yoga class, but I will be there in spirit and support.)  This cause is truly important to me since I have personally witnessed many friends and family members who have been affected in one way or another by breast cancer. I'm the team captain for Team Yoga Schelter, and we are trying to set our goals high this year and raise $4,000.00 all together! I think it can happen. :)
Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer is an annual fundraising event that provides an opportunity to join the community in celebrating the lives of those who have had breast cancer and try an activity that promotes a sense of well-being and a healthy lifestyle. You can support me, our team, and Yoga Unites/LBBC by making a contribution today!

Click here to donate!

Pics from: YOGA UNITES for LBBC 2009

This is a beautiful event--class led by founder of Yoga Unites, 
Please consider participating or donating.
Thank you, & much gratitude!

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. 

Monday, April 5, 2010


I've been juicing quite a bit since I've been in recovery from hip surgery #1.  I'm attempting to flush out all the toxins that are in my body from the anesthesia and medications.  It just feels good to drink fresh, organic juice that you make on your own, knowing that there are no added sugars or preservatives.

A lovely friend of mine that I met while doing a vinyasa yoga teacher training workshop in Puerto Rico, Mary McGuire*, recently wrote a book called  The 7 Day Total Cleanse.  It is absolutely perfect for anyone considering a cleanse for health, weight loss, or just ridding themselves of the everyday toxins that we all encounter.  The book has a holistic approach, which incorporates yoga, meditation, juicing, and even daily beauty regimens (Mary calls them indulgences--and ooh, they are!), with an addition of creative inspiration exercises.  You don't have to be a skilled yogini to do this cleanse--she explains everything to you.  I haven't done the full cleanse and won't until after my second surgery, but I'm so excited to do it full-out!  

I've been tinkering with some of the recipes in the book, and here I tried some of the "yellow" and "green" juices.  The juices are cleverly categorized and coordinated with each of your body's chakras.  Yellow juices in the book are representative of the third chakra (located in your solar plexus) and Green is focused on your fourth chakra (your heart chakra), and so on...  If you are not familiar with the body's chakra system, Mary does a fine job explaining it to you simply.  

You could also go to
 I feel this website has some helpful explanations.

Each juice has qualities that help to open up that chakra.  Its pretty profound, yet very simple to follow.  You should give it a try. Maybe we can do it together once I get out of the hospital.  I know my guinea pig, Allan, is game.  ;)

All organic, pineapple (rind intact), green apple, lemon, celery, ginger and cilantro

by Mary McGuire-Wien

This one was sooo good! Pineapple, celery, cucumber, lemon, and yes, jalapeño!

The jalapeño in this juice adds the perfect little kick.  Its actually very refreshing!  I use my Breville juicer which to me, is the best.  It really could juice a baseball, I think.  I juiced the pineapple rinds (scrubbed well, of course) and everything!  Its well worth the investment if you think you might like to make your own fresh juice.  

I've been juicing kale, apples, carrots, ginger, oranges, pears, herbs, well...almost anything I get my hands on, really.  Its a great way to clean out the fridge!  :)
It is yummy-goodness, I swear!!! 

(Who knows some of you may be lucky enough to actually look cute in a pair of Juicy sweats after drinking enough of these! ha!!!--I think those things are horrible!)

**Mary also is the owner of American Yogini, and a beautiful eco-retreat "hohm" located on the East End of Long Island, near the Hamptons. Check out her website--its incredible! (Definitely on my bucket list!)  

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Just in case anyone out there was wondering...I haven't been blogging in a while because my computer was "out of order".  I had to get a new internal and external hard-drive and blah, blah, blah...(All I have to say is, God bless the people at the Apple Genius Bar). Anyways, I'm just happy that I didn't lose any of my photos or music.  My babies. :) 
 I did lose some contacts, but these days, with Facebook around, I don't think that will be too hard to retrieve. 

Enough about that.  I've been doing really well since the surgery.  I am no longer using two crutches, and only using one when I know I will be walking around more than 100 yards or so.   I seem to have it down around my home and down the hallways in my apartment building.  I skim the perimeter of the building or rooms like an uncoordinated child ice-skating for the first time.  It's pretty funny.  One hand on the wall at all times.  I just never know when my leg will give out.  I feel stronger every day.  

Actually, today, the husby and I went for a bike ride.  Weird, I can totally bike, but walking seems to be a problem.  I biked 11.4 miles!  I thought that was pretty amazing--considering.  It was just way too beautiful outside, and I wanted to keep going.  
We had a couple of breaks here and there.  Pit stops for water ice (I had cherry and Allan had watermelon), and lots of photo taking of all of the beautiful Spring colors outside.  Today was a sunny day in the low 70's, and the yellow daffodils were standing tall everywhere and pink and white cherry blossom trees were canopying picnic-goers all up and down Kelly Drive.  It was just gorgeous!  Ahh, I love Spring...ahh-choo! 

What a romantical day...

Love that Philly skyline!

Boat House Row

Mr. Goose (I'm guessing its a male???)

Now, I am just awaiting my May 4th surgery date (for surgery #2).  Yes, and my 7 year wedding anniversary (May 6th) will be spent at the hospital...ooh, lucky us!  We will be staying in the penthouse suite at the Johns Hopkin's Inn.  At least there is a gift shop where Allan can get me flowers!  HA!  I just had a visual of rose petals splayed all about on my hospital!  Hmm...maybe some champagne in my I.V.?  

Happy Spring and Happy Easter, everyone! xo