The Hidden Obvious

Anyone who knows me know that I’ve been finding the latest transition – from east coast to west, from single to engaged, from renter to homeowner – a little overwhelming.

For a long time I didn’t talk about it, even with those I loved, because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for all the amazing gifts that are presented to me daily. “First-world problems,” my friend calls them.

After long talks and crying jags, my partner reminded me how helpful yoga has been in my life for healing and for clarity. The hidden obvious, number 1. But despite his encouragement, and the warm and tender support of friends, I was still so resistant. But eventually I got back on the mat. (Thanks, also, in part to Vern Yip and HGTV.)

With daily yoga, sometimes twice a day, even in the last week, I am noticing a difference. I’m not dwelling in the panic place, but I’m not ignoring it either. Instead I seem to be focusing on the potential for good.

I’ve had some unusual things going on in my body lately. Stomach problems and menstrual changes – both of which can be attributed to stress. But both of which were causing me more stress.

Last night during class, I had one of those seriously OBVIOUS revelations. The kind that make you slap yourself upside the head and say “D’oh!”

Either because of all of these changes, or as symptoms of something larger, I am blocked. My energy is blocked in such a way that I can’t recognize my own emotions, I can’t express creativity or self. And all of this is manifesting physically. My brain being cut off from my body, and my body entrenched in fear.

The shock of this realization was that I spent a year studying the energy body in my Prana Yoga training. Five hundred hours plus of dedication to learning how to move energy through the body, to create balance and remove blocks.

It’s as if I woke up from amnesia. Opening my eyes to “I know what this is,” and “I know what to do.”

It’s not that I assume that I’ll chant chakra sounds for 20 minutes and everything negative will disappear. But this is a tool for me to use to get to a more clear, more energetic place. Or, honestly, to get into the muck and mire and really look around in there.

There is a part of me that is SO relieved, and part of me that is just so shocked that I ever forgot this wisdom. It’s as if all that learning happened to a different person. And the person here, right now, was lost and flailing.

But yoga means union, as someone tells me almost every day. And right now, I feel like if I can ‘get myself together’ almost literally, more and more will become clear.

When You Need It Most

No one came to class tonight. I’m not surprised. The holidays are full of resting, traveling and overeating. When Christmas is done, New Year’s is right around the corner. It’s all too much.

But this might be the very best time to get on the mat. Even if it’s only for ten minutes. Taking time for yourself, to breathe deeply, and to move is a gift we all deserve to give to ourselves.

Happy New Year, Yogis.

Prana Yoga

The rain here is so different than on the Pacific coast. The fog is heavy here and the mist shows no sign of burning off in the afternoon sun. I feel enveloped and isolated by the rain this morning.

I went back to my Prana Yoga practice this morning, diving into the prana body, feeling the electricity throb and tingle in my hands. A simple three minute asana sequence is so much deeper and blissful when I’m plugged in to prana than any “full” practice of just going through the motions. Sometimes I have to do that, the going through the motions part, just to get the practice moving. But today, I seemed to be able to start in deep, which was beautiful.

I feel alright leaving the job search and questions behind for the day to relish time with my family. A day of connection in the rain.

Being Here

Even though I am leaving for Oregon in 48 hours, and had my last day of full-time work 24 hours ago, I’m working hard on being in the moment today. When I was vacuuming, I was vacuuming. Eating, eating. When I walked out on the piers, I closed my eyes and breathed in the water in the air and relished the river waves lapping up under the docks. When I look out my window, I’m taking in the view. The skyline. I will never cease to be impressed by it.

By the Sea

On a hungover morning a walk down by the piers on the East River I stopped to smell the flowers. One giant blossom caught my eye – a bloom bigger than my open palm surrounded by a cluster of just-about-to-burst buds weighed down heavy by the rain. Such arresting everyday beauty inspired a deep, deep morning breath.

I almost wish I could have captured that moment, bottled it and saved it for later. I think I’ll need it then too.

The Yogini Martini [via Yoga Dork]

Yogini Martini: With Liberty and Just(Watermelon)Ice For All

(inspired by Martha Stewart)


* 7 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, fruit cut into 1-inch cubes
* 4 teaspoons agave (if desired)
* 6 ounces (3/4 cup) silver tequila
* 24 basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
* 3 ounces (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) triple sec
* 6 cups small ice cubes

1. Place 24 watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover, and freeze at least 1 hour (up to 2 days).
2. Puree remaining watermelon and agave in a blender until smooth. Pass through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. (You should have 3 cups.)
3. Place tequila and basil in a glass pitcher, and crush with a wooden spoon. Stir in watermelon juice and triple sec.
4. Pour and serve with frozen watermelon cubes! Not officially a martini, but you can serve in martini glass 🙂

Of course this can be made for teeny yoginis/yogis too, without the alcohol (try a little OJ or splash of lemon/lime)

Happy fourth, and thanks again to Yoga Dork (my new fave yoga-life site) for the recipe.