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...