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otto cutieIn any given year we can reflect back and recant our experience, both good and bad. Yoga, in its many forms, has helped me to gain a deeper understanding and more importantly, acceptance of life’s inevitable shifts. It seems no one is exempt from experiencing both the beauty and the challenges of life.

The Yoga Sutras explains this so elegantly through the dance of the Gunas: the braiding of the integral flavors of life. We live in the continuous movement from light to dark and every shade in between –all adding to the richness of our experience here.

When we can truly see that nothing is wrong –or right for that matter, but that both sadness and happiness are inherent in the cycle of life, the challenging times become richer in their lessons and the gifts more precious in their beauty.

Knowing that the times of my life are as magical as the changing of day to night, or as beautiful as the turn of the seasons, offers me deep peace and awe in the knowledge that I am part of something much bigger than my particular life situation. We are both vast and minor in the lens of this world.

When we can find the wisdom to simply allowing life, we can see the innate beauty in everything. My newest teacher Otto shows me this each day. I plan for every moment and in those moments I let go and allow his tiny needs to guide me. I never know what we will need next but when I can let it be he smiles and we are doing just the right thing.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your incredible love and support this year. Reflections continues to grow in many new and exciting ways for our community to find their path and their own voice as we all walk this amazing journey of life. Whether you explore in our teachers training, yoga, dance  or meditation classes or find new ways in Reflections After Dark (RAD). The Reflections family hopes your light gets brighter and we are here to serve you in any way we can

Love and Light

And the happiest of holidays

 

Bring in a New Year with reflection, meditation, music, and love with New Years Eve at Reflections and start the New Year restoring, and rejuvenating in silent bliss at our Urban Silent Retreat.

morning yogaMorning is said to be the most auspicious time of day. The energy is calm, our minds are clear of busy thoughts and the channels are open  for possibility.

This is the time when I most like to get in touch with what my body is calling for. I have the energy to move in away that engages my muscles, deepens my breath and gets my blood circulating. I always start slow, first connecting inward and then mindfully moving to a tempo that feels invigorating and life affirming. I never –and I mean never try to compete with my body. Well, I did when I was younger and got a boat load of injuries as a result. Now I much prefer to serve my body — as it serves me so well everyday.
I enjoy an early morning stretch and strengthening practice that is in total synchronicity with the rhythm of my bones, muscles and fluids. I am certain this is why I had such a great pregnancy, and was on my feet just two weeks after Otto’s birth.  Although I had a major surgery, I stayed in tune and continued to breath and move everyday.
This is why I thought it was important to add the Kick Start classes to our schedule. I wanted there to be a sacred time for our students to have with their body and mind and where they could find a balance between strength and flexibility.
I hope you enjoy this practice as much as I do.

1094747_10153178624688032_5345327478532825887_oI could write forever about what this last month has meant to me. So many wonderful things happening all at one time – In moments the love was so big it spilled over and I felt lost in a sea of its beauty.

In these past few months I was as helpless and vulnerable as I have ever been. Nine and a half months pregnant – then Otto, my new son, born in the hospital by C-section. I had to open my heart and let people do all the things I felt I was “supposed” to do. I had to let go and surrender – I had no choice.  In what seemed to be my most low moment, I cannot express the amount of love that came my way. What surprised me and equally astonishing was the sheer joy people had in giving, it was palpable.

People from my many years of my teaching came forward to support Reflections crowd-funding campaign to help us move the studio’s location, others sent love and gifts to Otto — I was stunned by the amount of people who cared about us. People from high school that I had not seen in years, students from my first year of teaching all offering help and wishing us well. Reflections teachers and managers were unstoppable, taking the campaign and the move from 49th street on as if it was their own studio and again I had a realization – it is. Reflections is about the people in it. Its not about our location, it’s not me, it is about all the those who have come to heal and grow in that space. This is their studio and they were working to save it — Otto and I became a symbol of that. Those who knew how long I wanted this little guy and how hard I tried to have him saw the birth of this baby much like the studio – they are both in existence against the odds.

I remember getting one of our last donations from Brenna and Sam. Many of you will remember Brenna was the manager when we opened Reflections 5 years ago and she left and married our beloved Sam.  As luck would have it, she passed her seat over to the girl I couldn’t live without–Hedy! Getting that donation was such a poignant moment. Both of these women have poured so much love and time into Reflections- I was moved beyond words when it was Brenna’s donation tipped us to the $25,001 mark. I broke down sobbing in the CVS getting bottles for my breast pump!!  Ed literally had to walk me out.

The amount of love and the amount of people who have gone out of their way to help us just overwhelms my mind. I actually cannot understand it on the level of the mind, but I can feel it in my heart. I feel one of the most important vibrations we can live in as humans, is the vibration of gratitude. Gratitude now fills my every day — When I look at Otto, when I step into Reflections and see how beautiful it is, when students come all the way from the west side to take classes, when I think of all the work that went into putting this studio together while I could hardly lift my head.  I sit in the seat of my heart and feel so much gratitude for the people who are in my life and I can only hope to pass on a portion of the love I was given in this very special time… I am humbled – thank you

Please join us for our Open House Oct 11 and 12th. There will be free classes, lots of fun workshops and so much more.

Reflections East OutsideI’m having twins!!

Well at least that’s what it feels like! My sweet baby is due at the end of this month and I am also unexpectedly birthing a new addition to the family: Reflections East! 

After five years on the west side, Times Square NYC, Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga must move. I have to say, it wasn’t our choice. We love our west side community. After all these years on W. 49th St., we have built a community that feels like family. But New York City real estate has gone out of control and we, like many, have fallen victim to the market and inflated prices. Don’t even get me started!

When I got the news that we needed to leave our home on W. 49th St., I opened my heart and asked if Reflections had run its course. What I received was an even more beautiful space on a quiet, tree-lined block, and can you believe it…at a lower rent! A more clear message could not have been given!

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Moving a business in NYC is very expensive, and we were caught unprepared by the loss of our space on W. 49th St. To help us with this major expense, Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga  will be running a crowd funding campaign to raise money for renovating and moving into the new space.

This is how you can help and become a greater part of your Reflections yoga community:

Go to our Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign and enjoy some of the amazing perks.  Your donations will enable us to open up our new doors.  We would LOVE for this to be theMOST SHARED indiegogo campaign EVER.  Please go to our Facebook and Twitter pages and share the post with your friends, family and community!

We are very lucky to have found a beautiful space on E. 24th st. and 2nd ave. The new 3,000 square foot duplex would not be complete without a homey Reflections kitchen, a relaxing lounge, private healing rooms for massage, meetings, or private yoga sessions, floor to ceiling windows, a Zen garden, showers, two bathrooms, and changing rooms. It is simply perfect for us. Reflections East will open in September.

Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga will continue to offer the yoga classes you’ve come to love and appreciate as well as being a resource for cutting edge in healing, wellness and movement.

Here are a few important dates we’d love you to keep in mind. Be sure to check the website, newsletters, Facebook, andTwitter for updates and new information, and we look forward to seeing you and serving you in our new beautiful home!

Here are a few save the dates at Reflections East:

  • Wed 9/10: Studio blessing and concert with Shyamji Bhatnagar
  • Thurs 10/9 Opening celebration hosted by Body Local, from 7-10pm with Guest Speaker Mark Hyman (author of the 10 Day Detox Diet)
  • Sat/Sun 10/11 and 10/12: Open to the public with a weekend of FREE yoga classes

Oneness

onenessThis was my third year teaching at the amazing Time Square Solstice event.  There were so many familiar faces. It seems to have become a tradition for many. This year I brought an additional family member tucked deep in my belly.

Nothing has brought me more into my practice then this sweet soul. It has taught me, on the deepest level, the experience of oneness and unconditional love.

Before this baby, on a certain level, I’d been living in the illusion of separation– from the world, from others and often from myself, even though I have been teaching about oneness my entire adult life. In my work I have come to realize that this is an illusion we all share and the one that causes us the most pain.  If I feel disconnected and that no one understands or feels me I experience a deep primordial pain that causes me shame and seems to be unhealable.

The first time I felt this baby kick — inside my body! —  I suddenly knew the deep level of connectedness we actually are and my whole being rushed with love and then joy. I had been found. I was in fact connected, felt and no longer alone.

Ridding ourselves of the myth that we are all separate can be done in one way – with love — like most things. If we fill our practice with sensitivity, connection and feeling then we are nurturing this love on a genuine level. If we can only give our practice the permission to show us the way to self love instead of competition and struggle then this myth is no longer valid. When we stop working beyond or outside of our practice and get humble, even vulnerable, self love is there waiting. I learn and will continue to learn this on many levels as this baby asks me to surrender, literally at the core of my being and I do so not only willfully but with joy.

The great yogi  and philosopher, Richard Freeman once told me yoga offers us the space and freedom to stop pretending and the opportunity to get real with who and what we are. I would add to that — when you discover who that person really is love them with all you got. Love them as if they were your child.  Because if I can love me unconditionally then I can hold that compassion and love for all.

Coming together in the greatness of an event like the Times Square Solstice gave me the extraordinary chance to love myself, my child and to love and understand all people as part of our connection in the pot of separation. What separates also holds the road to integrate depending on how we look at it.

The fact is, re-discovering this oneness, time and again is really the evolution of humanity. Every time this baby kicks I come to know again that I hold life inside of me and that we are surely a miracle. The re-occurring murky waters of my mind clear for the billionth time and I remember there is no where to look but here inside of me. What more of a miracle can there be than to live a life — to create a life. We are a conduit of connection and if we accept this we come to understand that WE are what we seeking. We are the miracle and hold the highest vibration right inside of us.

Our True Presence

organ movingI am just back from Denmark where I taught a week-long training on Yoga and the Organs. I’d never taught this before in this much depth and I was a bit nervous about getting across all that I felt in my own body. In addition I am quite pregnant and having this beautiful life in me has put a bit of a spin on my teaching. I know my body pretty well but the body I have today is very different than the one I have been working with for all these years. The process of continuous movement has helped me to integrate all this newness – but it takes time and it seems always to be changing.  To prepare for this training, I went back to read something I had written about being a teacher a few years back and I thought I would share it once again because it rings even more true to me today.

All of my gratitude rests with my teacher Bonnie Bainbridge. This wisp of a woman has changed my life in so many ways. When people ask me why I love Bonnie so, what in particular is special about her teaching, I have no need to think: yes, she has taught me things about the body and movement that I could never have dreamt; yes, she has filled my mind with anatomy and philosophy and so much more; but beyond this, the teaching she has offered and that I had not gotten from any other was… how to “be”. Nothing exists without presence. Yes, you can meet a person or go to a place, but the level of presence you hold within that space relates directly to the depth of your “knowing”.

I remember an occasion at one of Bonnie’s workshop in Massachusetts, when the classes were small and intimate, and we felt like a little family. The days were filled with rolling around and bouncing on balls and moving like starfish. Within all of that we mostly hung on her words, and sat eager for her touch. On this one day she held my hand. It may sound crazy, but it felt as if the eternal mother was holding me. She never even said a word. We simply shared space. She taught me everything possible in that single moment. If I never saw her again, it wouldn’t matter, because it was left to me to cultivate in myself that which she so generously offered.

In this we are all teachers — and students. Whenever we bring with us our true presence, we are both open to receive and grow as well as offer ourselves up. My learning from Bonnie was never about how many notebooks I could fill with her words… She gave me my life’s lesson with a simple touch.

I wished to impart this to my students in Denmark. They asked many wonderful questions and I hope I answered them to some level of satisfaction. In the end what made me feel like I made some difference in their embodiment was how each of these sweet souls opened their bodies and hearts in the morning free movement. It went from slow and a bit awkward when we first began to the most loving expression of beauty toward themselves and each other by the time I left. By the last day, I was certain I had helped open the door to their presence.