When fear can be awesome

We often talk about fear as a by-product of not being present, of letting our thoughts consume our identity.  However, there are those times when fear dangles us off the precipice of change and we can transform it into courage.

I recently took a leap of faith and left the comfortable discontent of a corporate job.  I struggled with the concept for almost a year, going back and forth about why I should or shouldn’t leave — with both extremes being tent poles of fear.  In the end, I decided that fear in the form of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and uncertainty that comes with change was the more appealing option.  So, I lept.

But, I didn’t feel brave.  Not at first.  I felt like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade, when he came to a deep cavern with no bridge to get him across.  His choice was to turn back, or to move ahead and trust that the bridge will be there when he needs it.  He was given instructions that the bridge would appear once he stepped off of the ledge.

Like Indy, I decided that I would take the the walk of faith, and step off the ledge.   And, just like the message in the movie, there was a bridge to get both of us across the abyss.  The universe delivered the support I didn’t even know I needed, and I was able to turn fear into motivation and strength.

What leap are you waiting to take?


– Your Charmed Yogi

Give Yourself a Time Out

Source:  Charlotta on Pinterest

A friend of mine recently posted on her Facebook wall that she was giving herself a “timeout” and I loved it.  What a novel concept.  I talk a lot about presence and dedication to your yoga practice, but sometimes that means recognizing when you need a break.  As Westerners, we are inherently goal oriented.  Despite our best efforts, even as yogis, we rarely give ourselves a break. Continue reading

Today is Yoga Play Day

a yoga dance

Ok, there’s no nationally declared day…yet. So, I’m unofficially declaring Fridays, Yoga Play Day! We often take yoga WAY too seriously, so take a step back, and then a step forward, and make it fun. Clear out the dharmic cob … Continue reading

Seize the Moment: Let Your Yoga Pants Get Furry

For those of you under the age of 40 (yea, I can say that now), you may not know who Erma Bombeck is. She was a humorist and newspaper columnist from the 1960s through the 1990s. She wrote a column after she found out that she had cancer entitled, “If I Had My Life to Live Over.”

In the piece, she talks about all of the little things that she took for granted that she would embrace if she had to do it over. Two of my favorite lines are, “I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage,” and, “I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.” Well, my children have four legs and fur, but I still love how she articulates “seizing the moment.”

I think about this piece very often when I catch myself becoming overly concerned about the superficial at the expense of the deeply meaningful. When I come home from work, I’m greeted with the unconditional love of my two dogs, Hattie & Ivy — 120 lbs. of unconditional love that is. As soon as I walk in the door, they’re bursting with so much excitement to see me that they just about knock me down. Continue reading

Light a fire under your asana & transform


Photo Credit: Amarha58 Flickr

Fire is transformative.  As a bolt of lightning, it has the power to turn sand into glass.  As the sun, it has the power to bring life through it’s warmth, and illuminate the darkness with its light.  As passion, and dedication to yoga practice, fire has the power to transform the body, mind and soul.

In Sanskrit the root of the word tapas is “tap”, meaning to heat, burn, purify.  In yoga, Tapas is one of the Niyamas, or observances of self-control, in the Yoga Sutras that refers to an austerity or strict discipline of practice.  Tapas is the burning zeal in practice that comes from the desire to purify the body and seek spiritual enlightenment.  A desire to transform. Continue reading

I have a “dessert” stomach for yoga

cupcakes with yoga poses on themThere’s a running joke in my family about my appetite.  When I was little, and one of the neighborhood parents would take the kids out to Dairy Queen, all of the kids would usually get a cone.  Then, I’d step up to order.  At 5 years old, and 35 pounds soaking wet, I’d order the peanut buster parfait and a frozen slushee.   I’ve always eaten like it’s my last meal, and dessert in particular is a weakness.

No matter how full I am at the end of a big meal, if the server brings about the dessert tray, I suddenly have room.  The joke is that I seem to have a separate stomach for dessert.  And, I’ve come to realize that I have the same type of room in my life for yoga.  No matter how much I’m dragging or reluctant to do my practice in the  morning or catch a class after work, once I step onto the mat, I have boundless energy.  It seems I have a ‘dessert’ stomach for yoga.

Take this past Wednesday, for example.  I teach a Tuesday night aerial class until 8:30, so I don’t get to bed until 10-ish.   Then I teach a Wednesday am class at 6:30, and then work my “real job” all day.  By Wednesday at 5, I’m starting to feel like all I want to do is crawl into bed.  But, I know how awesome I feel after yoga.  So, I made it to a 6:00 class, and the moment I step into the studio, I begin to awaken.

When I stake my claim on the floor, and unfurl my mat, I’m even more alive.  And when I step onto the mat, my body begins to connect with my practice leaving my brain behind.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t have to give myself a little push sometimes, because I do.  I just try to remind myself how amazing I’ll feel after, if I catch myself starting to make excuses why I don’t need to go.  This also doesn’t mean that I don’t skip asana every once in a while; everyone needs a break from their regular ‘something’.    I just try to hearken back to those periods in my life when I let my practice slip and what that felt like.

Yoga is a part of me, like Laverne is to Shirlely; like day is to night, like dessert is to dinner.  Yes, yoga and me make a great pair.  And, all without the sugar crash.

Yoga is my passion.  Yoga is my dessert.  Do you have a dessert stomach for yoga?


– Your Charmed Yogi




Photo credits: The Chocolate Swirl Blog