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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.

Keeping the Faith

imagesAs I sat chatting with a very sad and anxious friend the other night I found myself looking to my own life and speaking to her from the deep wisdom of knowing– which was born of years of FREAKING out!!!!  I tried to explain as she sat, tears running down her face, that all we can do is trust that when we aren’t getting what we want its because there is a better plan out there for us. That over years I have come to believe that the episodes of life are already written, and it is merely our job to stay present and learn the lessons they hold for us to grow and mature as conscious beings. 

The truth is we learn as we do, and change reluctantly. It’s always curious to me what we, as humans, believe we are holding on to when we resist change. What are we so afraid of losing? Why can we never see that there might be more to gain instead of living in this constant worry of impeding loss? In the case of my friend it wasn’t possible for her to see that her life might turn out for the better from where she was sitting.  I could see in a few months time it might all become humorously clear that what she wanted so badly was not what was best and perhaps not even what she really wanted in light of the new gifts life might offer. I knew that to be true from times in my own life where I clenched my heart to the unfairness of it all only to later dry my tears with humility and gratitude for what it eventually offered me.

Today I find solace when I turn to my practice and work the tenets so I am reminded how impermanent it all really is. Life is always changing and all I can do is be present for what is there for me in any moment. If I hold on to the past or rush to some unknown future, I fail to live. Instead, I can choose to be here now and let the water rush over me. I simply shift with the moment that is before me and suddenly I find myself in alignment with the master plan! 

Not easy, for sure. Often we need to sit with others to help us see how this is possible. It is difficult to find our way alone, we need good tools to be so versatile… but versatility– or surrender is what is needed–  and our ability to respond to what life is offering is directly related to the level of our overall happiness. The more I struggle with things not being as I would like, the more pain I am in. The more I awaken and sit with what is, even if what is–is pain, mourning, loss, happiness, success, failure, death, birth … the happier I am – because I am in alignment with nature. If I have faith that the divine is a much better artist then I could ever be I can see the amazing tapestry which has been created for me. If I choose a false sense of control I find myself lost in the failure and pain.

Here’s the thing: the more I am  capable of maneuvering through the flow of life, like a bird or a fish, just riding the flow, not thinking, just gracefully responding to what is, then I am always in the right place with no fear of loss. When I can find the courage to let go of my fear, what I am offered is the ability to ride life in its fullest expression. I sat with my friend for a long time knowing that part of this awakening is experiencing the pain of resistance and the best I could do for her in the moment is let her be and keep holding love and faith in my heart trusting her own divinity would do the rest.

 

Oops, I’m Running Low on Love

lovetapThis week was our time to tell my partner’s children that they soon would be having a new little brother or sister. I was more excited than nervous, but having never had a child before I was taken by surprise by their reaction. They first looked stunned and then cried. Needless to say, both Ed and I were concerned. Wells of love and tenderness starting pouring out of me, almost wanting to take back what I’d said. Since that was clearly not a possibility, I asked them what was upsetting them. What were they imagining this meant would change in their lives? Scarlett piped up right away and said. “Daddy will love the new baby more. I want it to be just us!” Archer went silent.
 
Luckily I had seen this type of emotion in different forms in many of my adult clients who I lovingly refer to as tall children. There is a feeling out there in the world that love is a commodity and this resource is set at a fixed amount!  As a result we love in a precious way — not wanting to give too much to too many. We hold it back and often use our love as in various plays of power. If we are hurt, we almost immediately pull our love out of the game to show our assailant “who is really in charge!”. More often, we never get to this point because we are so afraid of opening to love that we never even enter the game. We make strange decisions like love and sex are mutually exclusive and that we can easily offer sex but not our heart. 
 
I noticed right away that what I was seeing in these children were the seeds of these feelings. I was deeply saddened that such small ones had already decide these things about love and affection, but was hopeful that Ed and I could soften this belief. In our own relationship, we had been working on similar feelings and were making conscious decision to love each other more at those familiar thresholds when we would typically pull back on our hearts. As a result, we have hit some beautiful peaks in our love for one another.
 
I told the children a little story that Ed had shared with me when we found out I was pregnant. He told be that after his first child, Archer was born, he was pretty sure it was impossible to love anyone or anything that deeply again. Two short years later, he discovered he was going to be a father to a second child. He seemed to have some of the very same feelings the children were expressing. Of course, when his daughter was born, he loved her deeply and differently. I personally believe that the individuality of people bring about different aspects of our infinite ability to love. I have found that the more people I open my love and kindness to the more textures and colors my love can express.
 
I told the kids this story and then asked Archer if daddy loved him. He said ” A lot!” Then I asked Scarlett. Her response ” More than anything!” I asked how that could that be. How could he love each of you? Isn’t he going to run out? They both giggled at the silliness of this statement. I then explained how much their daddy loved me. Ed told us all that the more he loved us, the more love he wanted to give us love. Ed and I explained that instead of running out of love, we would all have this new little person to help us love more!
 

The tears stopped and the smiles came. Though I think this story still has some unfolding to do, I know in my heart that giving unconditional love is why we are here. I try each day to open my own heart fully and especially when I am frightened by the act of loving. I feel blessed beyond words to have this family that has already brought me to places of love in myself I didn’t think possible. I can say that I am certain beyond all else I will never run out of love!