Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Solstice 2008

1. Amiina:  Glamur
2. The Album Leaf:  Last Time Here
3. Bon Iver:  Lump Sum
4. Broken Social Scene:  Capture the Flag
5. Broken Social Scene:  Looks Just Like the Sun
6. Bjork:  Frosti
7. David Newman:  Radhe Suite II--The Dance
8. Mum:  Faraway Swimming Pool
9. Thievery Corporation:  All That We Perceive
10. Frou Frou:  Breathe In
11.  Jean-Yves Thibaudet:  Liz on top of the World (Pride & Prejudice)
12. Jonatha Brooke:  Little Bird
13. Madredeus:  Oxala
14. Lymbyc Systym:  Rest Easy/Age Kindly
15. Mum:  Finally We Are No One
16. Seabear:  Hospital Bed
17. Ray LaMontagne:  Gossip in the Grain
18. Mum:  The Ballad of the Broken String
19. Sigur Ros:  Fljotavik
20. Sigur Ros:  Straumnes
21.  The Album Leaf:  Thule

The first full snowfall.  There is such beauty to be seen in this time of taking it slow and watching the natural spectacle of the divine mother share her presence.  This presence caused there to be no special candlelit solstice class as planned...but I have had some beautiful classes with everyone before  leaving for the holidays.  I have rescheduled my free candlelit class to you all for New Year's Day at the dojo in Union Sq.  I'll remind you again as it draws near.  
For now, take a cue from the words of one of the songs on my latest playlist for you all, as how I feel about all of you (my students and friends) and the attitude to take with you as you celebrate what you celebrate:
"Ride a wave on my inhaling...because I love you more."

Thank you all for a beautiful year of growth and confidence and strength.  Cheers to '09!    

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kali coming out...

So I had a "moment" in class this morning.  It was an interesting thing, and was needed, though made me feel a little strange.  Basically, it was time to address tardiness to class and the issue of respecting the practice.  This is something I've struggled with since becoming a teacher.  During my training to become a yoga teacher, it was imperative that we were on time to class in order to get grounded and be able to take the full benefits of our practice in.  If I were going to be late to a class, then I would usually just skip it and go to the next one or go home to practice.  But then I started teaching and having to figure out what to do when students were arriving late or leaving early.  I never really want to turn anyone away, however sometimes due to available room, it can be necessary.  I also am usually not great at confrontation.  But, I've also never been one to just let something I believe in fall to the wayside either.  
Now, I'm a really laid back kind of gal.  And those of you who come to my classes know that I will be cheerful and welcome everyone, no matter your experience, and even if you're late/leave early.  In the end it's all relative and at least you came.  It's also different (more acceptable) if you tell me before class begins that you have to leave early and then you exit before we get settled into savasana, or even if you let me know in a previous class that you might be a few minutes late to the next class you'll attend.  Those situations arise and if told, I will hold with gratitude.  Certain time slots (say lunch hour, or evening after a work day) are more likely to bring people stumbling in right at the time class starts.  This is life.  There are many different reasons and issues that might come up where you will be running late to class or need to leave early.  This, I do understand...and have been there myself.  
However, when a class starts at 10:15, and there is already a full room (or even if it's not a full room), and you're signing in at 10:20, then that could cause an issue.  20 people in the yoga room already finding their zen in child's pose and setting their intentions by 10:20 will then have to lift out of it to move their mats and throw off the course of the integration of practice.  This is what happened this morning.  It has been happening pretty frequently as of late.  Not just on Saturday mornings.  I love, love having a full room of people.  The energy is on fire and there is always something special, but it's even better when we're a room full of people ready to find ourselves in our practice when class is slotted to begin.  ;)  I've been letting this issue slide off my shoulders because it was easier at the time just to be chill about it and try not to let it bother me.  But this morning I suppose it just bubbled up and came out.  I had already told the deskie not to let anyone else in (but I know she was probably put in a hard place), when about 4 more people came into the room around 10:25.  At this point my short reprimand to the class about respecting the practice just sprang out from my lips.  I then knelt on my mat with eyes closed to breathe and continue to get them to breathe as I let it roll off again.  And then we went on to have one of the most joyful, rockin' classes!  And in the end, it felt good to allow some of my Kali energy to spring forth in order to stand up for myself and the practice.  So maybe it was simply time for the issue to happen because the joy we all felt after class was something awesome.  
So, in the end...when you're late, or when you leave during's not so much a disrespect to me or your fellow students as it is to yourself and your own practice.  I just ask you to be more mindful of your time and how you enter into your practice.  If you're late, then come in quietly instead of throwing the mat down or plopping the strap to the floor.  Peacefully ask your fellow students if you can fit in between them.  And those of you already settled in, be compassionate to them as they come in quietly and make room!  There are times we can't control and when we enter the space to practice, let's not only have fun but be open to change, forgiveness, and becoming one as a community, and as ourselves.  This is the ultimate goal after all.  
So, to those of you in class this morning...thanks for putting up with my little "reprimand" and it wasn't targeted at anyone in particular.  It was as simple as finally addressing the issue at hand.  I love you all to pieces and look forward to continuing to grow as a teacher, as a student, and as your friend.  :)

Gemini Full Playlist:
1. Amiina:  Rugla
2. Sin Fang Bous:  A Fire to Sleep In
3. Leona Naess:  All the Stars
4. Avi & Celia:  Rollin' & Tumblin'
5. Qwill:  Find Your Way
6. Dido:  It Comes and it goes
7. Brandi Carlile:  Downpour
8. Tegan & Sara:  Dark Come Soon
9. Cat Power:  Maybe Not
10. Jamie Lidell:  Out of my System
11. Dido:  Never Wanna Say it's Love
12. Leona Naess:  Promise to Try
13. Otis Redding:  Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)
14. Avi & Celia:  Aged Pine
15. Qwill:  Arrows
16. Mum:  Don't Be Afraid, You Just Have Your Eyes Closed
17. Avi & Celia:  Gnomes Time & Place Part 1
18. Amiina:  Kolapot   

Quote of the day:  "Some day perhaps the inner light will shine forth from us, and then we'll need no other light."  --John Wolfgang Von Goethe

Monday, December 8, 2008

Support local artists and the local economy

Playlist from the new moon in June:
--I made this way back in summertime.  Pretty mellow one with lots of Bon Iver and Cat Power.  I was so obsessed with the Bon Iver album for awhile.  It's a pretty great one now for wintertime too.  
1. Kyte:  Sunlight
2. Kyte:  Home
3. Sigur Ros:  Gobbledigook
4. Bon Iver:  Skinny Love
5. Cat Power: Maybe Not
6. Kyte:  Boundaries
7. Bon Iver:  Lump Sum
8. Cat Power:  Werewolf
9. Cat Power:  Evolution
10. Kyte:  Planet
11. Cat Power:  Free
12. Kyte:  They Won't Sleep
14. Bon Iver:  Flume
15. Bon Iver:  Blindsided
16. Bon Iver:  Re: Stacks

There's great, great art all around us here in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston.  So, on some of these cold winter nights...I recommend getting out to check some out!  Currently the theatre company I am a part of (11:11 Theatre Company) has a show up at the Boston Playwright's Theatre (849 Commonwealth Ave.) called "Bella Muerte."  I'm not in this one, but it's awesome.  Totally different, dark, eerie, and very well-acted.  Go check it out!  
Lots of local art studios are having open studios for the holidays, so check out your area.  And also winter craft markets.  On top of that, there are so many great local artists being sold in boutiques in our area.  Some of my fave places to shop?  
Topaz --Harvard Sq. (check out Nyx Studio Jewelry, and Jaunty Jewels--local artists)
GRAND --Union Sq. (amazing array of artsy, cool things...everything from hoodies, to journals/books, to home items, to nooka watches)
Hope & Glory Vintage--in Union Sq.--I follow their blog, so check it out.  Great, great finds here!
Poor Little Rich Girl--Davis Sq.  
Magpie--Davis Sq.  (you can find Theai Designs, the jewelry line I create with my best friend, here)
Irish Imports--between Porter & Davis Sq. (my favorite winter accessories to keep warm)
Elle Boston-- Chestnut Hill Mall (check out August 15th collection jewelry, the owner's line)

And music!  There is SO much great music in our area.  Pick up the Weekly Dig, Phoenix, or something to scope out which venues have what this month.  Some that I recommend checking out soon:  
Avi & Celia at Club Passim this Wednesday (12/10), also with Annie and the Beekeepers
Andrew Hoover at the Paradise this Friday (12/12), also with Sister Hazel
The Seamonsters every Sunday night at Precinct in Union Sq.  
Jenee Halstead at Toad on Wednesday (12/17)

Friday, December 5, 2008

12/3 sending out xo's

It was my little brother's 18th birthday on Wednesday.  I woke with some new verve to start the long yoga day, and cranked out this new playlist for classes.  While he was visiting me over the holiday, my bro took to sourcing through my itunes and also working with my garageband application to make some beats.  We share a love of music.  So, he in some part inspired this playlist that turns out to be one of my favorites for the year so far.  It worked so well for each class that day as we sent some b-day love out there...and I'm pretty sure I'll use it throughout the month to get everyone into their practice.  
All of the songs by The Album Leaf are from their old album, "One Day I'll Be On Time."  

1. The Album Leaf:  Last Time Here
2. The Album Leaf:  The Audio Pool
3. Sin Fang Bous:  The Jubilee Choruses          "Shake the men that don't dream at all..."
4. Marc Broussard:  Come in from the Cold
5. The Album Leaf:  The MP
6. Sin Fang Bous:  Carry Me up to Smell Pine
7. The Album Leaf:  Vermillion
8. Sin Fang Bous:  Fa Fa Fa                                            *my fave song as of late ;)
9. Otis Redding:  That's How Strong my Love Is        *shout out to AH on the road rockin' it
10. Brett Dennen:  There is So Much More
11. The Album Leaf:  In Between Lines
12. Sin Fang Bous:  We Belong
13. Arms & Sleepers:  Rooftops/Lanterns
14. The Album Leaf:  Asleep
15. The Album Leaf:  The Sailor
16.  Tim Pici's beats
17. The Album Leaf:  Wet the Day

It's been a beautiful week with winter skies and clouds and bare tree lines against them.  Hope you're taking it in.  And hope to see you on the mat to de-stress and come alive for this peaceful and loving season.  
Keep transforming, imagining what you want for your life, and dreaming!  

"The psyche of man is dreaming all the time, consciously as well as unconsciously.  The dreams we have at night are only a small part of this totality."  --Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Special Yoga Stuff this Month

December De-stress
Workshop at Karma Yoga this Saturday
Dec. 6 --2:15-5:30pm
We will be looking at what makes us anxious and stressed during the start to winter/holiday season, and then yoga-ing it out!  :)  We will be going over triangle poses such as intense side stretch and twisting triangle.  Then some inversions such as tripod and headstand.  And finish off into hip openers such as half pigeon and frog.  We'll take time to get warm and practice, go over alignment, and most of all go inward to journal and meditate a bit.  We'll have one break for tea in the middle as well.  
It's drop-in, so if you've got nothing else going on this Saturday, then I'd love to see you!  
Karma is at 1120 Mass. Ave in Cambridge, just outside of Harvard Sq.

Free Winter Solstice Class
Dec. 19  7-8:30pm
Shobu Aikido Studio, 34 Allen St. 
Union Sq., Somerville
This will be a special candle-lit class that I will be holding to celebrate the start to the winter season, but also just share my spirit and love with you all.  It will be a free class, so especially if you've never done yoga before...I encourage you to come and check it out.  It will be full of peace, offering each of our peaceful intentions up and out into the world.

Tuesday, Dec. 16th
Karma Yoga Studio, Cambridge
7:15-8:30pm Vinyasa Flow all levels Class
*This night class will be a special one.  In honor of the holiday season, this will be a donation class for the animal shelter that Doina & Jesse (the owners of Karma Yoga) have started.  Anyone that comes to Karma probably knows of Doina's amazing animal rescue efforts and the shelter she's putting together is such a great cause.  All of my earnings for the night will go towards the shelter, and then if you would like to donate something, then that'd be great!  We'll yoga for the animals.  And then stay after class for a vegan potluck!  Feel free to bring a vegan dish, appetizer, snack, drink, or dessert to share with your fellow students in some holiday cheer.   

*And my Winter Yoga Utopia Retreat to the Caribbean island of Dominica still has open slots!  Jan. 24-31st, come treat yourself to a healing, rejuvenating, and joyful adventure with me.  Check out, and go to the retreat section to click on mine and find out all the details.  I can also hook you up with a $100 coupon discount and offer you flight advice.  Just shoot me an e-mail at  :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rutabaga is the Word

Gratitude is a beautiful thing.  If you truly take it can light up all that surrounds you.  Just feel it in your face so you can smile, feel it in your veins so you can glow, and then feel it in your heart so that you can react and act with love.  Thanksgiving can get overplayed like any other American holiday but in the end, it's such a special, low-key day where all we have to do is show up in gratitude to share with our family and friends, and then try to let it last us til the next year.  :)  

Playlist for Thanksgiving Week in Yoga:
1. The Album Leaf
2. Dido:  If I Don't Believe in Love (from her latest album "Safe Trip Home")
Tracks 3-14:  Sin Fang Bous
*He is the optimistic, creative, spirited Icelander who started up one of my fave bands ever, called Seabear.  I play Seabear a lot, and am excited now that he came out with his first solo album, called "Clanglour."  So, I put every single track on here and it makes me so happy and joyful that I just couldn't not share it with you all during class.  So...check it out.  ;)
15.  Dido:  Look No Further
16.  Dido:  Burnin' Love
17.  Dido:  Northern Skies (Remix)
18. The Album Leaf
19.  The Album Leaf/Explosions in the Sky remix

My family came to my cozy apartment this year.  We usually have a big, extended family shindig to chow down...but this year it was different.  My older bro is married (and lives way down south), one of my sister's is expecting and with her other half's family, and the rest of the relatives were scattered about.  So, I jumped at the chance to host my parents, my other sister, my younger brother, and our family dog!  My parents (who are not yogi's mind you) joined me for my friend, Chanel's thanksgiving donation class in Davis Square!  It was so joyful for me to be able to practice with them and share some yoga-love with them.  It was a beautiful offering of love to a Peruvian orphanage that Chanel works with.  Very special.  
Then we spent the rest of the day taking it as it came...and having a very relaxing and lovely day in my apartment.  I made butternut squash soup as an appetizer, my parent's cooked a turkey breast, and I made lots of yummy vegan-friendly side-dishes with the help of my mom and sister.  We had green bean/sun-dried tomato salad, sweet potato salad with a mustard vinaigrette, rutabaga (a favorite word of mine)/turnip mash, cranberry relish, corn, red wine, and vegan pumpkin pie!  We ate off of Nazarene's reiki table (thanks gal!)...nothing like impromptu creativity to gather everyone around...and we became silly and thankful and happy with all that we have.  It was such a joy for me to be able to share a bit of my life/way of living with them.  It's nice to feel more understood and loved just for being who you are.  We took walks with Cali (our awesome family dog), listened to music of all kinds, talked of all things, scouted around all my fave local squares, went to the North End, to the Celtics game, and simply took in the couple days together.  They dropped me off this morning before teaching, and as I now re-assemble my apartment...I miss them!  My family has very different personalities, shapes, feelings, but in the end when we are together, we are one.  We are strong as a unit and always have each others' backs.  It can be hard to please each attitude, but I suppose that could be what we miss in the end?  How hard we try to show our love by making each other happy, or satisfied, or just noticed.  Hmm.  Yeah.  I look forward to Christmastime.  :)

And on a final note about also fell this year on the Sagittarius New Moon!  This one brings up words like:  courage, verve, optimism, flexibility, CHANGE, elegance, rebirth, and shifting perspectives.  Asking us all to be thankful for our hardships and challenges because they are what allow us in the end to see our divine, true nature.  We can radiate that "realness" if we want to.  If we trust ourselves and stay open to our true capabilities.  

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bring on the Cold

This week I've been playing a mix that has some chill reggae that a friend of mine gave me.  Unfortunately at the moment I am not sure of the artist, but I'll try to find out.  However, lots of you have been asking about the end songs on the playlist.  The Bjork songs are from her album "Telegram" and then the last songs are Sigur Ros.  I have one remix on there that is them with Mobb Deep, "Shook/Emancipator."  The last songs are "Staralfur" and "Olsen Olsen."  They are 2 faves of mine and great for savasana.  They are from the album "Agaetis Byrjun."  ;)

On another note, it's cold out, yes.  But at least it's been sunny.  And there's lots to stay positive about.  The last week has been full of learning and growth.  Nazarene and I had our first couchsurfing experience.  We hosted 2 Germans (shout out to Haensi and Rafa!) who taught us a lot about their culture, but also how to stay open-minded to new experiences and light-hearted fun.  Now we're inspired to travel the world like they are.  
The cold weather has made me more inclined to walk, rather than hop on my trusty Miss Rita.  This makes for more time management, but also a reminder to take in the beauty of our city and the ability to slow...things....down.  
I've been fortunate lately to take yoga classes last week and this week from my peers and friends at Karma: Jesse, Elizabeth, and Erica.  Keep on learning, keep on growing.  We're all here for that one way or another.  And now another weekend begins.  Get out and breathe it in!  New updates  on life and inspirations are waiting.  One of my biggest inspirations is my beautiful and awesome Mom.  Happy Birthday today, Mom!  

"Love is manifest where there is an able vessel."  --Bhakti Narada Sutras

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Old playlist that's New again

"When the movement in the direction of becoming something other than what you are isn't there anymore, you are not in conflict with yourself."  --U.G. Krishnamurti

1. Amiina:  Seoul
2. The Album Leaf:  Enchanted Hill
3. The Ditty Bops:  Wake Up
4. Feist:  Secret Heart
5. Ryan Adams:  My Winding Wheel
6. Jem:  Finally Woken
7. Stars:  Today Will be Better I Swear
8. Madredeus:
9. Stars:  Midnight Coward
10. Ryan Adams:  Come Pick Me Up
11. Tori Amos:  Sleeps with Butterflies
12. Feist:  Intuition
13. Under Byen:  Tindrer
14. M Ward:  Psalm
15. Sigur Ros:  Gong

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November Hope Playlist

So, my word for this month has continually been "hope."  I've decided it's very fitting for this month.  Lots of change happening in the world.  It can be a little anxiety-ridden to honor change, but mostly just inspiring and exciting!  Today we experience the Scorpio Full Moon in Taurus, which honors our ability to celebrate what is possible in each of us.  We have to dare to believe and risk trusting in what we know we can do, change, feel, and give.  There is always room to transform.  One of my favorite fashion designers, Zac Posen, recently said in an interview, "Always create.  Never doubt."  That seems to sit with me this week, as I began to feel certain doubts creep into my mind.  We're always creating.  Whether it be new thoughts and ideas, or something tangible like music or art.  And how often do we doubt those thoughts?  Probably too much.  
I invite those of you in the Somerville and Boston communities to join me for change through yoga!  Find me in Cambridge at Karma Yoga Studio most days of the week.  And most recently, I am excited to bring restorative vinyasa and gentle yoga to my neighborhood of Union Sq. in Somerville.  The picture I've posted above is the beautiful aikido studio located at 34 Allen St. (near the Target) where you'll come to honor what you create with me.  Find out more about Shobu Aikido and the classes I'm teaching there on their community website.  I'm there Mondays at 6pm, and Fridays at 4:30 and 6:00pm.  :)

Finally, my new November Hope Playlist has been fitting in perfect this week.  Using music in yoga gets a bad wrap at times.  Some yogis think that it's a cop out.  For me, personally, it enhances the experience that much more.  I usually start class in silence as we set our intentions and get grounded, but the music I choose plays such an impact on the emotions we can invoke/release and move through during specific asanas I choose for the sequence.  There is so much that goes into the practice I choose to teach for the day.  The overall outlook of the day, the cycle of the moon, the time of year, personal inspirations, and my intuition of what the students need.  So, take it as you'd like, but music will continue to guide and inspire me in my teachings and my practice...hopefully for you too.  

1. Four Tet:  My Angels Rocks Back and Forth
2. Four Tet:  Glue of the World
3. John Legend:  If You're Out There (been calling this the "Obama for hope" song)
4. The Album Leaf:  We Need Help
5. Ray LaMontagne:  Let it Be Me
6. Marc Broussard:  Gavin's Song
7. Ray LaMontagne:  I Still Care for You
8. Amos Lee:  The Wind
9. Ray LaMontagne:  Gossip in the Grain
10. Broken Social Scene:  Pitter Patter Goes my Heart
11. Feist:  Tout Doucement
12. The Low Anthem:  Charlie Darwin
13. Gorleys Zygotic Mynch:  Hush the Warmth
14. Kirsty Hawkshaw:  Whisper
15. Arms & Sleepers:  Seems (If Ever)
16. Arms & Sleepers:  Lausanne
17. Deva Premal:  Gayatri Mantra
18. Four Tet:  Harmony One

"Sometimes when the winds of change are storming around you, the best way to stay grounded is to focus on the prayerful predictability of breathing in and out."  --April Elliot Kent

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Come to the Caribbean with me this winter!

So, there is about one more month for people to register to join me on my upcoming winter yoga retreat!  I am so excited and grateful to have this amazing opportunity to travel to the gorgeous and peaceful island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic), and lead a rejuvenating yoga experience.  Check out the link to the Tropical Escapes website.  The owner, Trish, is an awesome woman who has helped me put this trip together.  A yogini herself, she will be with us on Dominica a bit to take us on some excursions.  
We'll stay in a beautiful mountaintop lodge where there is an all natural hot spring, hammock, greenhouse that's growing the organic food we'll eat, and full-on relaxation/comfort.  I will lead yoga in the morning and at sunset.  We'll go swim in the sea.  We'll hike in the rainforest.  We'll experience the local culture.  We'll sit and listen to the wind.  And we'll just chill and be friends.  
On top of it all, my best friend Nazarene, is accompanying me as my assistant on this trip!  She is a reiki practitioner and botanist/herbalist.  She did part of her undergrad plant studies on Dominica and will give us the lowdown on the local flora and fauna.  Plus she'll give personal reiki attunements and talk of holistic living.  
So, check out the link and the website for all the information on me, Nazarene, and this trip that we so yearn to bring you.  I would love, love to see friends old and new join me for this adventure.  

p.s. If you have any questions about flight info, etc. then feel free to e-mail me: 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Playlist from Saturday

I pulled out this old playlist from last February and it really worked in class this weekend.  Check out the tunes.  

1. Olafur Arnalds:  3055
2. Lymbyc Systym:  Love Your Abuser
3. Rilo Kiley:  Give a Little Love
4. Sara Bareilles:  Many the Miles
5. Rilo Kiley:  Dreamworld
6. Clinic:  Earth Angel
7. Glenn Michael:  This Town
8. Yoav:  There is Nobody
9. Sara Bareilles:  Love Song
10. Rilo Kiley:  Under the Blacklight
11. Clinic:  DJ Shangri-la
12. Clinic:  The Second Line
13. 7oi:  Find Someone Else to Play With
14. Olafur Arnalds:  Fok
15. Olafur Arnalds:  0040
16. Olafur Arnalds:  Himininn er...
17. Amiina 
18. The Album Leaf/Explosions in the Sky

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope Renewed, this Playlist was a Catalyst

Tuesday night to my surprise, I had a really nice-sized class!  Thank you to those that came out for such a powerful class.  I truly felt the most amazing energy in that room.  I had chosen for some reason this old playlist that I created back in July, 2007 to play that we vinyasa-ed our way with intentions set for belief in the change that was about to occur for our country.  Everything brought that night, was simply love.  I felt strength.  I felt courage.  I felt most of all unity.  Students from other countries that couldn't vote, those voting for the first time or with many elections behind their belt.  No matter what the votes, opinions, beliefs were that night, we were all there together with the spirit of love and hope guiding us.  By the end of practice as savasana brought stillness and I sat with everyone, there was an honest to goodness vibration of light energy just radiating the room.  It was pure magic.  And so I only hope for more chances to create such moments.  

1. M Ward:  Well-Tempered Clavier (instrumental)
2. M Ward: Paul's Song
3. Feist: I Feel it All
4. Michael Franti & Spearhead:  Hello Bonjour
5. India.Arie: Video
6. John Mayer: Belief
7. Tori Amos: Taxi Ride
9. Feist:  My Moon My Man
9. Citizen Cope: Hurricane Waters
10.     "           "    :  Deep (instrumental)
11. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (Once): When Your Mind's Made Up
12. Leona Naess:  One Kind of Love
13. Once soundtrack:  The Swell Season (instrumental)
14. Joanna Newsom:  "En Gallop"
15. Mum:  We Have a Map of the Piano
16. Sigur Ros:  Staralfur
17. Sigur Ros:  Saeglopur

Monday, November 3, 2008

Time for us all to be Hopeful

It's been a really fun past few days heading into the big election day tomorrow.  All the anxiety, stress, and conflicting opinions all come to a close after tomorrow (hopefully), and I am so ready.  Either way, there will be change and it's time for everyone to be hopeful of the future, even if hope is all you have.

So, Halloween was on Friday.  It turned out to be a beautiful autumn weekend.  Leaves danced in the air, light-hearted spirit was all around, and candy/fun was shared.  In class on Friday, I wore elf ears and we all had a good time laughing during class, and then eating dark chocolates.  :)  It's important to me to have a child-like spirit at times.  Halloween is always one of those times of the year.  Saturday morning I felt strength from everyone as we vinyasa-ed our way into the weekend.  I played the entire Sigur Ros "Takk" album during classes Fri/Sat.  It's a magical one, so it felt suiting...with my elf ears and all.  And heading out of class into the autumn-fest weekend, hope seemed to be springing up on every street.  
Saturday/Sunday brought good music to my ears, harvesting/nourishing foods to my belly, and wonderful company to my heart.  All sense of time and place seemed to disappear as the days suddenly turned shorter and darker.  I felt so lucky to be in the moment; full of connection, beauty, passion, and spirit.  And last night the crescent moon in Capricorn shone down on us all with a golden, soft-focused hue.  How can you not look up at it and smile back?  
I ended the weekend watching a must-see film, as recommended by a friend.  "Reign Over Me," starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle.  I think it came out a couple years ago now, but it's seriously on my top list now.  Such a moving film that takes you through contemplation, sadness and loss, child-like wonder, memories, self-discovery and strength, and most of all...hope.  I cried, cried (in a good way).  Adam Sandler is amazing in it, as you feel for his character as he fights post-traumatic stress after losing his family in 9/11.  Each character is relatable in some way.  And I was thankful in the end that it took me through all of those emotions, and even allowed me to release some of my own.  

With that, I woke this morning to a grey, cold day and managed to use the hope and warmth from the weekend to float into my week in joy.  And tonight I begin teaching restorative vinyasa classes in my 'hood of Union Sq. in Somerville.  I'm looking forward to a new challenge with hope to reach more people with all levels of yoga experience.  It's at Shobu Aikido, 34 Allen St. (near Target), 6:00pm in case anyone cares to join.  
And tomorrow we all can hope for peace in the result of the presidential election.  For change.  For love.  For more hope.  
I'll be at Karma Yoga Studio from 7-8:30pm as usual...anyone care to join me for meditative hope?  ;)  I realize I might be all by my lonesome as everyone watches the results go down, but I'll do my best to spread positive energy into the nation's heart.  

Song for hope:  John Legend's "If You're Out There" from his new album, Evolver

More playlists and news and thoughts to come...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I found myself coming home tonight to a discussion with my roommate about love.  "Is there something wrong with me?  How can I have gone through life this far without having fallen in love?" she says.  Her dilemma, which I suppose must be all of ours at some point in life or another, comes at a time when questioning and change is on many a minds.  (Plus, the new moon occurred in scorpio yesterday, asking us to transform, hmmm....)  
She is coming off of about 5 days spent with someone from far away, with whom she connected intensely.  And then had discussions with previous love interests in the past day or two.  And continues to question the difficulty that lovely gals like us have in order to actually fall in love.  Many a connections have been had, sure.  But, love?  True, beautiful, romantic, deep, love?  Not so much.  What to do about this?  Not fret, my friend.  

So, I sat across the table from her exhausted after a day of teaching 4 classes, and I am no sage I tell you, but here's what my usually always optimistic self came up with:  

People have different paths in life.  Some people yearn for love too much (or think they know it but don't know what they need) and end up being stuck in something not great for them.  Some people find their life partner at a very young age and build on their love each year they are alive.  Some people are meant to have various loves and soul connectors throughout their life to guide them.  Some people have such tumultuous love that it's more of a curse.  
We, are young women who have been forging paths for other women.  How can we be heading into our late 20's and never been in love...when even our young sisters claim to be in love?  Well, their path is much, much different.  Ours is and has always been a path to seek higher ground.  This is not such a bad thing.  We have been independent, creative, reflective, soul-searching, and journey-seeking since our adolescent years.  Our path to find romantic love is not going to be easy.  Especially not in our society.  Gals like us have high standards and we're not gonna waste time (so we've learned) with those that aren't going to allow, respect, and love this path that we're on.  But even beyond that the words keep spilling out of my mouth to her and I realize something...
She and I have been and always will be so full of love that of course we've been in love.  Not romantic love yet, maybe.  But that could be why!  We have such love for the people in our life, for our families, our passions, the higher spirit power all around us, for all of life; and this abundance and wealth that we store up each and every day inside just keeps nourishing us on our path.  Maybe because of this, and having the unconscious knowledge of it, makes it hard to discover that that person could be and is there somewhere.  And maybe it's hard for that person to recognize it in us because we are already so full of love?  
I don't know.  I think now I'm just getting loopy.  Basically, I still believe in love.  And maybe haven't found the romantic version quite just yet.  But, it's really on the verge.  Every day we put ourselves out there and it's a possibility.  If I can feel love so immensely all around me from the yoga mat & beyond, from the wind, from musical notes to my ears, then I know it is there.  And lately I find myself smiling just because of...well, you never know.  And we just have to be ready for it.  So, cheers to you, Ms. NZ and our quest for it.   

Song about love for the night:
Frou Frou:  "It's Good to Be in Love"
"It's good to be in love...  I'm happier in love.  Because every color goes where you do."  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awakening Autumn Playlist

You might notice a lot of the same artists continuously appearing on my playlists...I just like them and these songs have inspiring and/or fun messages.  Created this one for my "awakening" workshop this past weekend, which was very special and fun.  

1. Arms & Sleepers-- Seems (If Ever)
2. Sigur Ros- Godan daginn
3. India.Arie- I See God in You
4. Andrew Hoover- Getting Out of Boxes
5. Stevie Wonder- Have a Talk with God
6. Ray LaMontagne- I Still Care for You
7. Jesse Dee- Still Here
8. Kate Nash- Pumpkin Soup
9. Amos Lee- Colors
10. India. Arie- Ready for Love
11. Ray LaMontagne- Words (without)
12. David Newman- Sita Ram
13. Sigur Ros- Takk
14. Sigur Ros- Glosoli
15. Arms & Sleepers- Butterflycatcher
16. Arms & Sleepers- 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance

Friday, October 24, 2008

Importance of Impermanence

It's been almost the perfect kind of day (completely perfect would have included a smoogle).  Perfect autumn temperature where you need to be wearing sleeves and a scarf but the sun makes it comfortable.  Classes this morning/early afternoon rejuvenated my spirit.  The past couple days of teaching have been emotional for me.  I seem to be feeling what everyone else is feeling...taking it on or away from whoever walks into class.  And sensing an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability to it.  Knowing that change is all around.  Every day is change.  We can either go with it or continue to be afraid and closed off to it.  This afternoon I chose to read a passage about impermanence.  It just kind of presented itself to the day.  Offering up the intentions that we can rise from the changes we feel in our minds, bodies, spirit and allow those changes to humble our hearts and understand the idea that all things are impermanent.  Then we can stop going after what we "think" will be the perfect thing/answer for us.  I see myself change constantly.  Usually in subtle reading new things, listening to new things, and staying open to love.  If I were permanently in the same frame of thought, imagine how boring I'd be?  
This week, I've been challenged with impatience having to keep a secret that a family member chose to spring on me.  I've been running on a thousand springs of ideas...choreography for a play, new yoga classes in Union Sq. (coming in a couple weeks), jewelry ideas, music...the list goes on.  My gals at Topaz have brought fun to the week and much-needed insight (reminding me that things change).  I've eaten home-cooked Danish food, northern African food with friends, heard moving new music (check out Qwill at Toad this Tuesday), and mostly been motivated and inspired by a new friend of mine who continues to strive for life's purpose based on the belief, magic, power, and strength of simply "wonder."   
And now that the weekend invites more opportunities for being open to change, I see the way life synchronizes as a constant cycle of change.  It happens all the time.  Reading a passage that someone in class has a strong connection to that day, thinking of someone and then running into them, contacting someone at the same time they contact's the power of thoughts.  The trick is learning how to use them.  
Tomorrow is "Awakening Autumn" workshop at Karma and I can't wait!    

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Earth Spirit, and needing patience

"See how nature- trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence.  See the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls."  -Mother Teresa

I just watched the movie "The New World" last night.  It's directed by Terrence Malick, and was out a couple years back.  A good one to watch at this season.  It was beautiful.  The "story" of Pocahontas and John Smith.  Been wanting to watch it b/c I'm having a "moment" with my connections to Native American spirit.  I've always connected to the earth and have referenced the higher Divine as Mother for years now.  Last weekend, a friend of a friend who is an energy reader did a reading for me through all my chakras.  She saw a Native American Indian woman cultivating and loving the earth.  She kept seeing me with greens, conducting the sway of the flowers in a meadow, at a flowing well and riverside.  She saw me as someone with flowing energy.  A strong feminine energy of lightness and healing.  This was insight I know I already knew b/c I wouldn't otherwise be on the path that I'm on.  However it was a positive reminder to keep striving for that silence.  That stillness from the Mother that rejuvenates me so.  
And beyond that, my friends and I have been discussing our animal totems this week.  One of my friends has realized she has been strangely drawn to the octopus lately.  Another has discovered he is a passionate, powerful tiger.  My totems are the deer and the hawk...another connection to the spirit of native tribes.  Not sure what I'm getting at here, other than my need to continue to be nourished by nature and see what's in store for me next.  

On another note, I spoke in class today about being patient.  Something we can all use help with from time to time.  Also, being mindful about what you spend time dwelling on and thinking about.  Your thoughts are powerful and they can become use them wisely.  
I can get uber anxious just like everyone else.  Especially after been given news of something suprising and possibly that one is not ready to hear from someone (a sibling) they care so much about.  With something like that it can be hard to not think of it all the time.  It can be hard to look at the positive and remain true to simply love.  That's when turning to the yoga mat can be the strongest healing one can give yourself.  And I must say that seeing so much love around me from all my students and friends, can be the largest eye-opener to realizing that love you didn't think you had, is still in there.  I continue to bring intentions for love in all shapes and forms into my life daily.  And my hope for staying positive to it is what carries me through.  Add in some music and fun, and all will always be okay.  :>

August Mix '08

I made this playlist a couple months back, but played it this morning in class and lots of you all were into it, so here it is:

1. Arms & Sleepers- Arms/Sleepers                                    -ambient electronica, etc., local guys
2. worriedaboutsatan- The Butterfly Effect                       -more electronic interesting stuff, U.K
3. Arms & Sleepers- Beneath Bricks & Books
4. Amos Lee- Listen                                                              -you should definitely look up this guy
5. Natalie Walker- Now or Never                                       -beautiful voice, based in Philly
6. Leona Lewis- Bleeding Love                                           -U.K. hit from summer, can't not love it
7. John Mayer- Slow Dancing in a Burning Room       -emotional and random for this, but love it
8. Natalie Walker- Lost My Shadow
9. Andrew Hoover- Someday We Can All Be Free       -good lyrics in mind as we near elections
10. Amos Lee- What's Been Going On
11. Jamie Lidell- Green Light                                             -soulful, crazy, U.K./Berlin-based talent
12. Amos Lee- Ease Back                                                   -Amos is from Philly
13.       "      "  - Better Days                                                 -He's soul, roots, blues, and amazing
14. Natalie Walker- With You
15. Tim Fite- Big Mistake                                               -craziness from brooklyn, wacky but love it
16. worriedaboutsatan- Noise 01 (reprise)
17. Arms & Sleepers- Warm                                          -been obsessed with this song...
18.     "             "        -  Untitled

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shout Out to Iceland Artists

In honor of the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival that is taking place right now and into the weekend...I am posting some of my old playlists from the past year chalk full of Icelandic music.  

My Iceland Prep Mix, from April '08:
1. Amiina - Seoul
2. Bjork - Isobel Remix
3. Sigur Ros- Hafsol
4. Seabear- Cat Piano
5. Gus Gus- Purple
6. Bjork- Possibly Maybe Remix
7. Gus Gus- Barry
8. Sigur Ros- Refur
9. Seabear- I Sing I Swim
10. Mum- Green Grass of Tunnel
11. Sigur Ros- Rafmagnid Buid
12. Sigur Ros- Svo Hljott
13. Sigur Ros- O Fridur
14. Amiina- Glamur

SOS Mix from May '08:
1. Seabear- Hands Remember
2. Olafur Arnalds- Fok
3. Borko- Spoonstabberinn
4. Bloodgroup- Red Egypt
5. Borko- Continental Love
6. Bloodgroup- Hips Again
7. Bloodgroup- Rain
8. Mr. Silla & Mongoose- How Do You
9. "        "                   "        -Do Not Know
10.  "     "                  "         -Organ Deviltry
11. Borko- Dingdong Kingdom
12. Sigur Ros- Agaetis Byrjun (live)
13.      "      "  -  Untitled #3
14.     "       "   - Andvari

More music lists to come...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Aries Full Moon Today

It's a new week after a beautiful New England long weekend...and there's much to be looking forward to.  
With all the challenges lately of staying positive amidst the state of our country's financial institutions, corporations, politics, may wonder what there is to look forward to?  Well, that's when I turn to what's around us already.  This lovely place we live in.  Wherever that may be that you read this from, we are all here on this earth.  We can't change that.  We are lucky to be alive and able to breathe in the moon's wisdom.  So today's Autumn "blood" moon takes us out of our selfish "me-first" nature, and into an awareness of how our lives and culture become out of balance.  Today we can take responsibility for looking deeper into ourselves and reminding one another of our interconnectedness.  We can become a part of a more loving world just by realizing more often that we're not alone.  Time to continue to strive for balance and fight the negative reactions in favor of more positive ones.  
And beyond that, I mean, the new Ray LaMontagne record came out today!  That is reason enough to make me happy.  After a weekend of friend's b-days, dinner parties, sunshine, and yoga, there's a new week led by a strong moon to proceed forth in the adventure.  Keep invoking your strength from wherever you get it.  I continue to count on Saraswati and the green Tara.  And finding stillness.  Sitting for just a couple minutes in our crazy world, to notice the wind or be in complete silence might just bring that dose of serenity, or spark of creativity one needs for the week.  
Karma yogis...look out for moon salutations and the like tonight!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Playlist from 10/11/08

The "Getting Over Being Sick" Playlist:

1. Arms & Sleepers- Arms/Sleepers -from Cambridge, innovational
2. Jesse Dee- Yet to Come -also local, amazing voice live
3. The Watson Twins- How Am I to Be -L.A. twin sisters, saw them at TT's
4. James Morrison- Please Don't Stop the Rain -U.K. raw-voiced talent
5. Leona Naess- Swing Gently -U.K./NYC raw-voiced female talent
6. Andrew Hoover- Someday, Cecilia -Conn. bred, true voice and spirit
7. James Morrison- You Make it Real
8. Alicia Keys- The Thing About Love -think you know her
9. James Morrison- Dream on Hayley
10. Rachael Yamagata- Elephants (instrumental) -soulful, raspy singer/songwriter
11. Rachael Yamagata & Ray LaMontagne- Duet -just lovely
12. Olafur Arnalds - 0048/0729 -composer/amazing talent from Iceland
13. Olafur Arnalds - 0952
14. Olafur Arnalds - 1440

Vegan Apple Muffin Recipe

Hi Friends,

So after apple picking and getting my hands dirty all week concocting different apple recipes...I baked these lovely, light muffins for my yoga class!  The recipe upon request:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  
Mix: 2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon

Then mix: 2 c. soymilk (or almond, hemp, rice milk), 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla in a separate bowl.

Then pour liquid mix into dry mix, and mix in at least 1 apple that is peeled and chopped up.  Mix all together and then pour into muffin pan and bake until ready!  
The great thing is you can experiment...add chocolate chips, a different fruit, etc.  

Happy baking!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Latest Yoga Class Playlists

Autumn Equinox '08:
1.David Newman- Bajarang Bali       
2. Leona Naess- Shiny on the Inside
3. Sigur Ros- Saeglopur
4. Leona Naess- Un-Named
5. Sigur Ros- Hljmomalind
6. Leona Naess- Learning As We Go
7. Andrew Hoover- Never Have I Ever
8. Sigur Ros- Agaetis Byrjun
9. Leona Naess- When Sharks Attack
10. Sigur Ros- Vidrar vel til loftarasa
11. Sigur Ros- Heysatan
12. David Newman- Shiva Bolo
13. David Newman- Shiva Om

*I've gotten to see each artist on the equinox mix perform within the last 3 weeks or so, which has been such a joy and inspiration to me.  I am grateful.  
David Newman performed at Global Mala Boston and it was beauty and peace radiating through each person that night.  
Sigur Ros played the BofA Pavilion on a really chilly night to an obnoxious Boston crowd, but they are beyond words my favorite band ever and the most powerful/emotional.  Nostalgia of Iceland swarmed all around in my body...
Andrew Hoover played a little bar in Watertown and he is on the verge.  Definitely watch him within the next year.  He's got soul beyond his years.  
Leona Naess opened for Ray LaMontagne at the Opera House.  Her music has gotten me through many years now and she is all I'd want to be if I were a singer/songwriter.  

October skies:
1. Isan- Ship
2. Sigur Ros- Med sudi eyrum
3. James Morrison- Fix the World up for You
4. Andrew Hoover- Get to Love You
5. Bran Van 3000- Everywhere
6. Frightened Rabbit- Head Rolls Off
7. Bliss- Wish U Were Here
8. Frightened Rabbit- Backwards Walk
9. James Morrison- Love is Hard
10. Leona Naess- Swing Gently
11. David Newman- Bhadra Kali/No Stranger
12. Arms & Sleepers- A Mission to Prague
13. Maneesh De Moor- Pure Essence