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What are you feeding – fear or joy?

I’ve been ruminating on this topic — What are you feeding? — for a while in my private time because I think it’s a pretty big deal. If we feed our fears, if we feed our anxiety, if we feed relationships with people who don’t really care about us or, even worse, make us feel “less than,” we throw a spark on the dead leaves lying around on our spiritual doorstep. Eventually it becomes a raging forest fire of self-doubt or unhappiness and, if we’re not careful, it will siphon off all the energy that should be feeding the good things in our lives.  Read more

Of course yoga is spiritual. That’s the point!

A couple of friends sent me an article today called “Yoga – A Catholic Perspective,” and as soon as I saw the graphic and the one-line synopsis, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. But after getting through about three paragraphs, I realized I was wrong. I didn’t dislike the story; I HATED it. I have to say that this is one of the most insulting pieces — and that’s being really kind — I’ve ever seen written on the topic, and that’s saying something. I mean, I don’t know what this priest’s experience with yoga is personally, but there is almost nothing about this story that holds water for most of us who are intimately involved in the two aspects of his topic: Catholicism and yoga. Read more

Why I’m canceling my subscription to Spirituality & Health magazine. I hope you will too.

Here’s the Letter to the Editor I fired off to Spirituality & Health this morning. I think it pretty much says it all. (A special thank you to my friend Jeanne G. for inspiring me to speak up on this.) 

To the editors,

I recently subscribed to Spirituality & Health. I was so excited to get my first issue (May/June 2013) — until I opened it up to the Rabbi Shapiro piece and was stunned to see wildly inaccurate and incredibly offensive statements regarding my Catholic Christian faith. I was so upset I almost called immediately to cancel my subscription, but I tried to let it go, assuming (hoping) it was an isolated incident. I have to admit, however, that I could not read the rest of the issue because I was so turned off by what I’d seen up to that point. Read more

Yogis in the mist

Today was a classic case of turning lemons into lemonade. What had at first seemed like a potential inconvenience became a blessing. Read more

A little honesty from the back row of yoga class

I returned to yoga class this week after a long hiatus, and while it was sooooo good to be back on my mat, it wasn’t without its challenges. But probably not the challenges you would expect. When it comes to my Y-based yoga classes, my struggles have less to do with balancing and strength poses and more to do with other people. I know, that’s probably not something I’m supposed to admit when I’m trying to reach some higher level of spiritual development, but I think a little honesty is a more direct route to that spiritual place than total denial and the inner wailing and gnashing of teeth. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, I guarantee you know what I mean. Hear me out… Read more

More wisdom lessons: Embracing ‘what is’

I almost didn’t go to yoga class this morning. I was awake at 5 a.m. but my body felt worn out, more so than usual. I wanted to “sleep in” until 6:15, except I couldn’t sleep. So I figured, if I’m not going to sleep, I might as well do yoga. And off I went. Read more

Finding patience on the mat — and off

I always get to the 5:45 a.m. yoga class at least 10 minutes early, better to settle in and spend a little time in silence before the studio fills up. Today was no different, at least not at first. I stretched a bit before closing my eyes and taking up half-lotus, patiently waiting for our teacher to arrive. Soon. Shortly. Any minute now…. Read more

Praying in the company of Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Earlier today, I was out in our sun porch doing some gentle yoga in hopes of loosening up a nagging back muscle problem. As I stretched upward to begin a basic sun salutation, I realized I was looking up at my beautiful clay crescent moon, given to me by a good friend many years ago. Then later, as I turned to do a warrior pose, I noticed the clay sun hanging directly opposite. Suddenly all felt right with the world on this Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
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The space between fear and trust

This morning I returned to my beloved early morning yoga class after a very long hiatus due to a physical condition/injury. I won’t bore you with details. Suffice to say, I had and will have for the rest of my life a situation that prevents me from fully doing yoga the way I like to do it.

I was supposed to be starting 200-hour yoga teacher training this month. Instead, my favorite yoga teacher is recommending I learn to be satisfied with taking classes in “chair yoga” and “water yoga.” I’m not good at being satisfied with what I view as “less than,” but perhaps therein lies the lesson. Another thing I really don’t want to hear. Read more