All Together Now….A Long, Steady Exhale


Michelle wrote an excellent piece about breathing called Epidemic Inhale. Please go read it.

No, really.




Ok, while you were there did you follow her directions for a long, slow, steady exhale?

Feels good, doesn’t it?


This is what yoga is for me now: one giant exhale.

A time and a place to just LET.IT.BE.

Reminders to pause, yawn, and be conscious of my breathing and how my body feels.


It hasn’t always been this way.

I’m pretty sure most people are thinking I’m making funny shapes with my body when I’m “at yoga” and for a long time that is exactly what I did. The more difficult the class, the better.

I was ‘doing’ yoga, damnit.

But now, I’m focusing on the not doing. Letting things go. Asking myself what my body really needs in this moment.

More often than not, my body is craving rest.

And exhaling.

As a culture we spend so much going, going, going. Always pushing forward and racing from one project, meeting, soccer game to the next.  I am totally do this too. Even as I sit here with seven open tabs on my computer – including three email accounts, Twitter and Facebook.

So I rest.

You can too.


All together now:

A long, steady exhale.

Spring Cleaning and Planting Seeds

Spring Cleaning – out with the old:

Comparisons be damned!

– Glasses organized – hanging on a white wooden clothes hanger and now I’m wearing ALL my glasses and feeling fancy with my cute glasses wardrobe. Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration!

– Emptied out my sock and underwear drawer and tossed all the ugly and uncomfortable. Why did it take so long to do this? Only cute and comfortable belong in those drawers.

– Purged my entire wardrobe to make room for my new wardrobe from Swap Asana. I totally scored.

–  Sorted, stashed,  and organized all Ruby’s toys into daily toy bins. Less choice makes for a less chaotic house and kid.

– Stashed almost all Ruby’s board books – turns out babies love repeats so much, this mama was going a bit kookoo.

– My sinuses – so many allergies going on here lately. Early to bed and lots of medication and I’m making it outside every day without sneezing like a crazy person.

Planting Seeds – in with the new:

– Daily park visits with the baby in hopes of planting the seed of daily physical exercise. {Maybe I can finally learn this lesson, since I’m responsible for teaching Ruby}.

– Boot organization project envisioned and supplies procured.

– Cooking 3 meals a day for the tiny girl in hopes we’ll all have a lifetime of mindful meal times. {A girl can dream}.

– Added yoga classes to my calendar – twice a week. I remember why I love it so much – quiet, community and savasana.

– Table manners – teaching the tiny one how to use a napkin and utensils and sit at the table instead of the Exersaucer. Now if only I can get her to stop dropping the napkin and utensils on the floor…

– Reading with that girl every day from her stack of library books because children are made readers on the laps of their parents. {someone please make me a t-shirt}.

Mama meditation group – next meeting May 10th.

What have you been clearing out? What are you planting the seeds of?

photo credits: we heart it – click image for source

11 Things For 2011

December 11th’s Prompt:

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011?

How will you go about eliminating them?

How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?


1. Cable TV. One phone call and we’re free! Or at least that’s how I hope it works.

How will it change my life? Saving money and not falling into the I’ll-just-turn-it-on-for-a-minute trap.

2. My subscription to Yoga Journal. Just letting it run its course.

How will it change my life? I’ll get my yoga writing from blogs like Michelle’s, Madeleine’s, Kim’s… and I’ll stop wondering why I keep subscribing to a magazine I don’t have much in common with.

3. More books and clothes – can’t wait until the next swaps.

How will it change my life? Saving a ton of money on new-to-me clothes and books and I’ve got an outlet for my stuff I no longer need. Spring SwapAsana anyone?

4. Sugar, dairy and bread { just for a month!}

How will it change my life? I’m not sure other than I’ll have to be more mindful about what I am eating. Want to join me? {then click workshops}

5. Screen time after 8:30 pm – a girl has got to read books.

How will it change my life? I’ll sleep better and get through my huge stack of library books faster.

6. Clutter10 things at a time.

How will it change my life? Getting rid of stuff I don’t need will make room for what I do. Plus knowing I don’t have to do it all at once will take the overwhelm out of the job.

7. Signing up for e-courses – I think I’ll finish 2010’s.

How will it change my life? Less guilt about spending and not using.

8. My sedentary ways. Consistent cardio here I come!

How will it change my life? It will help keep moodiness at bay and maybe even help my trousers fit better.

9. Taking it personally. {A 2010 resolution that needs repeating. –Daily.}

How will it change my life? I won’t be so shaken and stirred by other people’s opinions of me.

10. Guilt about housecleaning – we’ve asked for help.

How will it change my life? More time to focus on projects and fun.

11. Waiting.

How will it change my life? How won’t it?


What things will you let go of in the new year?

(Author: Sam Davidson)

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 9


Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Why wait for Teacher Appreciation Day to feel some love?

Mrs. Ripp is at it again. Last week she asked if teaching is a lonely profession and this week she is asking for teachers to notice what is going well with other teachers in their classrooms.

I’ll admit it, sometimes I find teaching to be a pretty thankless profession. I think the simple act of noticing others would help set the intention of gratitude and good will. I’m intrigued by the practice of noticing the positive and acknowledging someone else’s good work.

What do you think?


This time of year brings up a lot of sadness for lots of people (including me). Between the darkness, gloomy weather, and holiday expectations people struggle. The theme of letting go what no longer works is one many of my favorite bloggers are talking about this week.

Hollee’s hip release and subsequent surrender to the unknown is inspiring.

Do you ever want to let go of what isn’t working (or decluttering your life), but get overwhelmed by the thought?

Havi has simplified and taken the scary and overwhelm out of decluttering with 10 Things Gone.


Looking for your Christmas shopping dollars to go toward something meaningful?

TODAY ONLY you can!

Check out these oh-so-cute one-of-a-kind Sophie and Lili dolls up for auction. All proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It’s a win/win – a special girl in your life gets a friend for life and a sick kid gets a wish of a lifetime.


What do you get when you cross Gwen Bell + social media + yoga? A must read!


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives: Volume 8, Volume 7,  Volume 6,  Volume 5,  Volume 4,  Volume 3,  Volume 2,  Volume 1

Loosening The White-Knuckled Grip and Finding A Little More Peace Along The Way

Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?


A short list of what I’ve let go of this year:

My ego.


My regularly scheduled life.

Why did I let go so much?

It just wasn’t working anymore.

Or ever, really.

To be honest, I was tired.

Tired of fighting every single battle in the world. I was tired of the constant struggle of trying to be in control. I was tired of learning the same lessons -over and over again.

The experience of loosening up my grip on everything has been nothing short of revolutionary. I feel lighter and less anxious. My connections are more heart felt and to be honest, scary. I feel vulnerable. Not in the oh-my-god it’s so scary way, but in the let’s try it this way and wow the level of kindness is awe inspiring.


Is there something in your life that is no longer useful to you – an old story, an outdated belief, a pair of shoes? Can you let it go?

Author: Alice Bradley
Let’s Panic About Babies

Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day97) – #SwapAsana Edition!


What does it mean to you?

Maybe it means cleaning house.

Exchanging your warm winter clothes for sandals and t-shirts.

Maybe it’s a process of letting some things in your life go, in order to make room for new things.

Maybe it’s about shaking things up and trying new things.

Maybe it’s about shedding your usual thoughts or trappings of life and trying on something a little out of the ordinary.


This past weekend, I went to my very first clothes swap  — #stitchswap  (click the link for photos).


For a $5.00 donation (all proceeds going to charity) and one article of clothing, I had access to mounds of clothes.

I made out like a bandit.

Three super cute bags – check out the photos – Yes, I took that flowered one home with me!

Three necklaces

Two deliciously pink scarves

Six t-shirts

Six blousey blouses

One poke-your-eyes-out-cute sweater

Two pairs of perfectly fitting jeans (including a pair of black skinny True Religion jeans!)


April 24th from 3-5pm

It’s All Yoga is hosting their first ever #SwapAsana!


It’s a clothes swap being held in a yoga studio.

Get it?

Swap in the place where you do asana (poses)… ok, maybe not the best name for it, but it makes me giggle every time I say it.

What’s the little # for?

That’s a Twitter thing. If you add a # to your thing’s name, it makes it easier to search. So if you are on Twitter and talk about #SwapAsana – be sure to add the #, so we know who is in the conversation.

Ok, back to the details.

WHO: You and all of your female friends

ALL SIZES are WELCOME! We are trying to share the swap-asana love with all of our friends. So bring yours – we can’t wait to meet them!

But, what if I don’t live in Sacramento?

If you are close enough to drive, I think it’ll be worth the time. Snacks, cool women, the CLOTHES….

WHAT: Bring a $5 donation and at least one article of gently used clothing to swap for a new-to-you piece for your wardrobe

WHEN: April 24th from 3-5pm

WHERE: It’s All Yoga at 21st and X Streets in Midtown Sacramento.

WHY: It’s eco, it’s affordable, it’s awesome to get “new” clothes!

RSVP here.

Leave me a comment if you have any questions. I hope you all can make it!

JCrew halter dress

JCrew halter dress - Will it go home with you?


Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day97)

Today’s yoga brought to me by ME. A home practice is in order.

Today’s music is Rhett Miller – Self-Titled. A fellow Rhett fan is in town, so in her honor we’ll be listening.


Yoga Teaching Update:

FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online 

* I’m teaching May 14th with Donna. Put it on your calendar so you don’t miss it!

Free class for School Teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st.

Yoga Nap+Milk and Cookies.

Yoga+Music365 (day41) – The Con by Tegan and Sara – Refinements Edition

This week I’ve thought a lot about this Yoga+Music365 project.

I’ve reached the 40 day milestone, people in real life have talked to me about it (which is such an amazing feeling) and I simply feel different from when I started.

I feel lighter, more clear-headed, more fun.

Maybe it’s the daily yoga.

The biggest indicator that things are shifting in my life came to me yesterday. At school we give HUGE assessments every six weeks and a week or two later get together to discuss the results. We’re looking at data to see how well our instruction is reaching each student and then make a plan how to refine said instruction before the next set of exams.

In the past, testing week was hell. I was very crabby and only worried about results. My stress and results driven ego would essentially ruin everyone’s week.

This time I decided to change my perspective. I would face the assessment results with a sense of curiosity.

Did this last round of instructional refinements make a difference in outcome? Can everyone survive testing week intact?

While testing week isn’t over yet, I am happy to report I have felt a definite lightness in myself. I’ve also seen that lightness translate into encouragement for students working hard and seeing them relax more.

The biggest growth I’ve seen in my students are from my two that struggle the most. I’ve been watching them take their tests this week. Instead of giving up and guessing, each of them is spending time trying to sound out each word and giving their all.

It’s been one big proud teacher moment all week with these two.

So has the refinement in instruction worked?

I would say so.

Has the daily yoga helped me be a better teacher?



Today’s yoga brought to you by Kim at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento.

Today’s music is The Con by Tegan and Sara.

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online

I’m teaching 3/5/10 – so mark your calendar.

For the month of February, I’m teaching a Level 1/2 on Mondays at 5:45. Come join me.

Letting go a little improves life. Letting go a lot brings happiness and joy. — Jim McGregor

Letting go for me is a relatively recent phenomenon. Up until about a year ago, I was your go-to gal for righting the wrongs in life – big and small. You could hardly find a fight where I didn’t have a dog in the ready or a sword to fall on. However, I realized I was exhausted from carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. As a result, I’ve been practicing letting things go.

In the beginning it was really hard to let things go. I definitely had to practice. In fact, it was a serious fake it, til you make it kind of a deal. Someone would do or say something stupid and I’d have to make a choice on how to react. Most times I’d mutter to myself through clenched teeth, “Whatevs” or “Look at me, letting it go…”

You know what I learned from letting things go? The world kept revolving, the sun came up, the seasons changed and life just kept on going. I also learned I felt better about the world. I slept better. My face started to clear up and my back muscles were more relaxed. I laughed more and I had more fun.

I thought I had this beast tamed until I started this program. The anxiety around teaching and the pressure to get all the work done — and failing miserably despite my efforts not to —  was really wearing me down. It was coming out in how I was treating myself and dredging up all those yucky feelings of not being good enough.  Not fun.

I talked to my teacher about my feelings and she gave me some really good perspective. She reminded me that we aren’t working in the emergency room, so no one’s life is at stake. I was glad for the reminder that we’re not saving babies here. She offered loving words of encouragement, told me that I didn’t sound nearly as maniacal as I felt and that over time I’d feel more comfortable teaching.

So rather than grip to those anxious feelings and let them keep me from teaching, I decided to jump back in. Yesterday I opened a small class with some other TTs. I spent my 15 minutes guiding my students through some gentle movements and offering a reading as a theme for our practice. While I was in the front of the group I decided to just do what felt good and to breathe. A lot. Admittedly, there may have been too many audible sighs, but I suppose that’s better than not enough.

The point being, I taught yoga without freaking out!

Lighten up, Francis.  –words to live by.

Letting go of the doing.

Day 2

12 hours down, 4.5 to go for the weekend. Sounds crazy because most people think of yoga as active asana (poses) with a little meditation at the end of the practice ususally in Savasana. In reality though all of what we’re doing – studying, discussing, making body shapes, meditation – is all yoga.

Yin – the feminine aspect of yoga. It’s the practice of holding more passive poses for longer periods of time. It feels amazing because it is a slow letting go of the doing.  I haven’t always felt this way about Yin. I used to look at people and think they were just laying there. Really what were they getting from “just laying there”? Now that I’ve expanded my view of what yoga is, I get it. I’ve drunk the Yin koolaid. Now I love this gradual letting go. This is my yoga. Letting go of the doing…

Personal values and how we live (or don’t live) them is also a big part of this new yoga. Glad to report I’m living my most important personal values most of the time (yay ego!). Mostly what I learned about this is in my previous career in politics and living a really ambitious go-getter life didn’t serve these values and through the process of changing careers, I have been able to live more closely to these values. I’m so glad I already figure some of this stuff out! (ego rules!)

Here are my values in ranked order:

  1. humor
  2. family/friends/personal connections
  3. passion
  4. courage
  5. activism
  6. books
  7. music
  8. travel
  9. food
  10. green living
  11. enough (self acceptance, non-perfectionism, self kindness)

We were only supposed to choose ten, but that’s like asking someone to choose amongst her kids. Enough said.

Teaching yoga is an art and a science. Today we spent some time on each.  Practicing looking at each other’s alignment and giving corrective feedback was both an exercise in the science and art. How does one teach body alignment to people that seem to have no awareness of their body in space? How do you help someone change life long habits of clenching their butt or sucking in their bellies? What language do you use to help someone become more aware of what they are doing? Best answer we got today is to ask, “How does it feel?”

Today it feels a lot like letting go.