Yoga Under the Full Moon

Happy Full Harvest Moon, yogis! I'm a few days late, but hey :)

I had an incredible teaching experience on Monday. I was lucky to get to teach a flow class outside under the light of the moon! It was beautiful.

On my way to the studio I saw this incredible sunset:

Before the class, I was feeling a little nervous, especially as more and more yogis started showing up. Even though I've been teaching for several years now, I still get a few butterflies before teaching a big class, or teaching something I've never tried before.

At the full moon class, I prepared myself to try something a little out of my comfort zone-- some different sequencing than I usually teach, and more along the lines of my own practice. More fluid movement, and a series of poses that focuses on opening the spine and strengthening the core. It felt vulnerable to share my practice in that way, but also exciting. 

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with the owner at my studio and received some feedback on my teaching that helped me realize the ways I've been playing it safe, and how I can challenge myself by being willing to make mistakes.

I'm proud to say that when I taught Monday's class, I made it a priority to release my fear of 'messing up' this different flow, and I just went for it. And it went just fine! It was fun offering something out of the ordinary.

We also chanted during the class. What a powerful practice, inviting these mantras in! The chant was kali durga, an invocation of love and transformation.

I also offered a reminder that the full moon energy gives us an amazing opportunity to release the old and make space for what's new. My hope is that all of the yogis who came for the class had an experience of release-- however that looks for them-- and that their lives would be enriched by that releasing, that sense of surrender.

Yoga isn't easy, whether you're teaching it or practicing it. It requires being vulnerable-- stepping out of your comfort zone, and embracing the growth that follows.

I'm so grateful for the experience of sharing yoga under the full moon, for that reminder: that even within the struggle and the challenge, we're in it together. Collectively and within ourselves, we're able to release what is old, stagnant, and no longer serving us.

We can grow from that, and move forward.

Hope to make this full moon yoga experience a regular thing-- stay tuned!

PS How did you celebrate the full moon and eclipse? :)

Distraction and Devotion

 Photos by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

There is this constant balance between devotion and distraction. 

In this moment, where do I focus my attention? 

And when I step back and look at my life, what have I devoted myself to? 

Am I distracted by what surrounds me-- or have I set my gaze on what I most desire? 

Every moment has purpose. Every life has purpose. 

What holds your devotion? 

The Yoga of Devotion

Photos in this post by Lily Michael Photography. Model is Allie Rae.

What have you devoted your life to?

What work are you here to do?

The effort we make in the poses is like the effort we make in our lives; the intention behind every action matters.

Do I choose to open my heart, or close it?

Where have I set my gaze, my focus?

Can my practice guide me to love myself and others?

Enthusiasm, dedication, consistency: these are what build the foundations of a fruitful practice.

When I am firmly invested in my own practice, with an attitude of devotion, service and love, yoga will fill my body with health, my heart with healing, and my mind with peace. The more I practice, the more benefits I receive from the yoga.

“Yoga is one percent theory; the rest is practice,” as Pattabhi Jois said. In order to benefit, we must become devoted to the practice.

Wishing you a peaceful, consistent yoga practice throughout your week! Remember to thank yourself for showing up on your mat.


Photos via Pinterest. 
Kirtan is a calling out to the divine.

A pause, so that we can release negativity.

A clearing, so that blockages in our bodies and obstacles in our lives may dissolve.

A gathering, so that we can witness each other doing the work.

Singing mantras together can be really powerful work. If you’ve never tried it, I recommend doing a little research to find a yoga studio or community center in your area that offers kirtan. Often there are free classes around; you just have to do a little digging to find them. If you’re working on releasing fear, deepening your yoga practice, and having fun with new friends, kirtan is waiting for you :)

Tonight I’ll be singing with fellow yogis, and I’m dedicating my chanting to you, dear reader. Happy Friday! 

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (May All Beings Be Happy and Free)

Photos via Instagram.

Lately I have been singing this chant: lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.

It is a Sanskrit phrase that means may all beings be happy and free.

Photos via Pinterest.
Today, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this is my mantra.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

May every action you take today be in service, and may we be reminded of the importance of peacefulness, humility, courage, and freedom. We are blessed beyond measure.

Take a moment today to be grateful for the freedoms in your life, and perhaps give your practice away to all of those who are fighting for freedom. Namaste.

Singing Kirtan in the Park

Yesterday I brought my djembe to the park to sing some kirtan.

Chanting is a great way to get grounded, connect with spirit, and tune in with your inner world of emotion. I often feel I am closest to experiencing divine energy when I sing from the heart. 

Hope you're enjoying a happy Easter today! What a beautiful chance to celebrate love, healing, rebirth, renewal, and all things light.

Feeling very blessed, and sending you love!


The Breath as Prayer

This morning I offered my practice as a prayer. Let every movement, every moment, come from devotion. This was my intention at the start of class.


I closed my eyes so as not to seek answers from the mirror before me.

Listening. Drawing inward. Stilling the mind.

I did not look for perfection.

If there was any to be found, I stumbled into it with my eyes closed and my heart open.

The teacher reminded us about Thanksgiving week. "I'm sure you've been doing a lot of classes centered around gratitude," he said. "But why not let gratitude be an every day, all day kind of thing?"

When I sat beside him with my djembe for the chanting, I closed down my eyes. I let my heartbeat be an offering. I let my hand on the drum be an offering, a drawing out of sound.

In yoga, my purpose is to draw out more love from my heart, my core, my very being. Today I was reminded of the power of prayer, of letting the body be a moving, singing prayer on the mat.

Om bolo shri sat guru bhagavan ki... jai! To my teacher within, the only teacher of truth... victory.