I am thrilled to offer private yoga sessions, yayyy!
Yoga is all about connection – spending one-on-one time together is the ultimate way to deepen your connection with yourself (and with me!) I hope that we can meet on our mats together and achieve your mental, physical and spiritual-related yoga goals.
Learn a little more below and register HERE. (Sessions are limited!)
I have been so excited to share this week’s quote during each of my yoga classes (you can watch those replays here!)
This bit of poetry totally resonates with me – I wonder if you feel the same way! Let me know in the comments below.😊
Each time I have shared this quote recently I have entered into a daydream about immediately throwing a bunch of beach gear into the car and hurrying to the shore. Summer is in full swing and I haven’t made it to the beach yet! I am craving the feeling of sun on my skin, sand between my toes and – of course – some rejuvenating beach yoga! Here’s to hoping I make it there soon.
The poem has prompted lots of deeper contemplation for me, though. The speaker addresses the reader directly and I can’t help but feel… well… seen. 🙈
Mary Oliver’s poem offers the juxtaposition of a benevolent being with that of a wicked and devastating force. These two parts form a single whole – embodied together in the entirety of the ocean.
The invitation is to examine this juxtaposition within ourselves and then to integrate that sense of wholeness. (Even if it feels tricky or uncomfortable.)
No one escapes the observation of the narrator; the sea behaves and misbehaves “As I can too, and so, no doubt, can you, and you.” That last part leaves no escape for anyone in the reading audience: if you skirted by the first direct address, then surely you can’t avoid the second. By owning the full spectrum of destruction and healing that lives inside of themselves, the narrator makes it okay for us to recognize and own it inside of ourselves, too. We’re all in it together. We make up an ocean of humanity that ebbs, storms, gently undulates and thrashes for the sake of thrashing, sometimes. We’re just as beautiful and severe as the sea.
The ocean can be cruel and fierce, but that doesn’t make you any less excited for a trip to the beach, does it? The ocean is also soothing, cleansing and lots of fun, too! As with anything in life, we have to take the good with the bad.
Learn to love yourself – all of yourself – as you love the ocean. With admiration, delight and awe. Embrace all of your strength and power, while tenderly nourishing the shorelines of your life. 🌊
This equanimity is a part of the process of yoga. It’s the work of threading a peaceful connection between all aspects of mind, body and spirit – with yourself and with everyone else.
I encourage you to practice yoga with me. I can help you along this path of integration and connection – we will ride the waves together!
PS – I started a YouTube channel! 🥳 Subscribe here and hit the notification bell while you’re there so you don’t miss new posts! 🔔
PPS – Join the Compass Yoga Community Facebook Group here and sign up for my FREE beginner-friendly guided meditation for sleep and relaxation here.
Have you ever noticed how thoughtful movement and exercise clears your mind and elevates your spirits? If you are present to this sensation then you know it’s really kinda magical. ✨
On the flip side: have you noticed how impatient, achy and withdrawn you feel on a day when you don’t incorporate enough movement? I have certainly noticed, and this is why I have made daily yoga practice a part of my routine for many years now.
Maybe you haven’t thought about any of this before and this is a new opportunity for reflection. 🤔 No matter where you land, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to explore healthy, relaxing movement and tune into the nourishment that your body craves. When you nourish your body it helps relieve your mind and spirit, too.
I offer free virtual yoga classes every Monday that can help set you up for success throughout your whole day! (I also make the replays available in my Compass Yoga Community Facebook group, so that you can revisit and harness that success throughout the whole week!)
Relax every muscle in your body, quiet your racing mind, and spend some quality time with yourself during any of my 3 free classes.
Sign up here for tomorrow’s FREE online yoga classes and learn more about each class – Align, Center & Release – below:
Welcome to Align: 30 minutes of gentle movement to ease you into your day and help you set a meaningful intention. We explore breathing exercises, yoga asanas (poses) and meditative reflection to help us ALIGN ourselves with our best intentions and our highest Selves.
Incorporate movement into your day with Center – a 15-minute Chair Flow
This class is great for all ability levels! Whether you are chair-bound or working at a desk all day, this will help you get some blood flowing and clear your mind before you dive back into your day.
Perhaps you had a great morning with a clear sense of purpose and boundless energy…but then life happened. 🙃 Work, parenting, chores, Mercury retrograde… something may have knocked you out of peaceful alignment and into a tailspin.
Come back to yourself with Center. This quick class is designed to give you a grounding break so that you can face your day feeling refreshed and ready.
Unwind and get ready for sleep with Release – a 30-minute evening flow.
Enjoy a gentle flow to ease tension and soothe your body for a restful night! This class incorporates asana (poses) pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.
You’ve worked so hard all day and now you have earned a treat: deeply relaxing and soothing self-care in the form of feel-good yoga poses and gentle encouragement to Release what is no longer serving you.
I love Emily Dickinson’s imagery of hope as a bird. I can hear birds chirping outside my window now, as I type this. Something about birdsong is truly uplifting! 🐦
Sometimes hope can feel as light and ephemeral as a feather in the wind. It can feel hard to grasp and tricky to hold onto. But if hope were any heavier, then it might not feel as great when it perches near our hearts and flits among our souls. Our job is to trust that hope is just as available and weightless as it needs to be, and to listen to the birdsong when we are blessed with it in our lives.
Here’s to trust and faith in the mysterious workings of the universe. 🌌 There is always hope!
Sign up HERE for my free guided meditation for relaxation and sleep. It is easier to feel hopeful when you are refreshed and relieved! Give it a try and let me know what you think. 🙂
I come back to this Caroline Myss quote time and time again – I’ve been sharing it in my free yoga videos this week, and I thought it was important to share it here with you, too.
(Remember – you can join my Compass Yoga Community on Facebook and meet me virtually for free live yoga each week! And sign up HERE for help falling asleep with my free, beginner-friendly guided meditation. 🙌)
Now, back to our quote….
When you take the bold and brave move to step out of your own way, you make room for your wonderful life, exactly as it is, to play out around and through you. Maybe it doesn’t look or feel too wonderful, and that’s okay – this quote offers a simple invitation to stop adding additional pressure to the situation. The pressure of expectation and control takes you farther from contentment and satisfaction, farther away from wonderful.
The pain and the friction in your life? That’s rope burn, and it comes from clinging too tightly to things that need to be let go of. The only relief from the struggle will come from YOU as you resolve to let go. You can’t change the weather, someone else’s habits, the housing market or bad driving, and you will waste a lot of precious time if you try.
Notice where frustration and disappointment are showing up in your life, gift yourself compassion, and then accept these things that you cannot change.
Follow the simple directive that Caroline Myss has to offer and “Just let go.”
It certainly takes practice. But the price you pay for neglecting this practice is to head down a path that winds you away from wonderful. Gently, as slowly as you need to, lift one finger at a time up and away from your clenching grip until you are ready to release the illusion of control. It is only when you commit to this surrender that you can see the gifts of your life more clearly and dance a little more gracefully through the twists and turns.
Personally, I’m practicing the art of letting go at work a lot lately. It feels way easier to complain about circumstances and heap blame. But easier doesn’t always feel as satisfying or fulfilling. In fact it feels draining. When I catch myself gripping to an idea of “how things should be” I course-correct, reminding myself that things can’t be any other way then how they are…otherwise they wouldn’t be this way! 😉
That might be a lot to chew on, and it might sound really hard. Maybe like wishful thinking. But isn’t it more delightful to wish that these scenes are showing up in our lives for wonderful reasons, instead of wishing these scenes away?
I’ll be curious to know how letting go shows up for you in your life – leave a comment and let me know! 🙂
This is the quote that I’ve shared in this week’s Compass Yoga Community videos – I wanted to share here with you, too, in case it offers you valuable reflection. 💭
Before I expand on this quote, I want to remind you to sign up HERE to receive my *free* guided meditation for sleep and relaxation. If you need help unwinding during/after a long day, let me help!
It’s really easy to get caught up in the self-doubt and negativity that may swirl around your head. 🤯 It can lead you to make impulsive choices out of desperation – choices that don’t really feel much like “choices” in the end.
What if, instead of letting fear take the wheel, you were to operate from a place of thoughtful, empowered choice? What would that life look like? Feel like? You can always offer yourself love, and you can always make decisions from a heart-centered place. 💓 It takes practice, but it’s worth your life to prioritize your highest self and your highest values. Don’t let any part of you be compromised along the way.
I’ve found that through yoga I am able to connect with my heart a little easier, a little deeper. Again, it has taken practice, and I still have a lot of work to do. But it’s been a powerful journey.
If you’re looking for access to more love in your life, and less fear, join the Compass Yoga Community and practice yoga with me. I truly believe yoga can help.
PS – I’d like to add some context here about Osho, or Rajneesh. Have you seen that Netflix docu-series Wild Wild Country? Well…this quote is by that guy. To be clear, I don’t condone the dangerous criminal acts that any of his followers enacted within their community in Oregon. Admittedly I’m uneasy about sharing the words of a man who ran what was ultimately a radicalized cult. But the sentiment shared here is universal and potent – no matter who the words are attributed to, it’s important to let love and joy guide your life. That message is resoundingly clear.
👉 Don’t forget – I can help you alleviate stress in your life. Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Are you looking for a simple way to relax? Try my *free* meditation offering.
❗ Subscribe here – when you sign up for the Compass Yoga email list you will receive my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation Practice.
Read on for free live yoga details.
Replays will be available in the Facebook group. Don’t worry if you can’t catch the livestream! You can fit any of these videos into your own schedule throughout the week. Enjoy!
Start your week off on the right foot with Align – a 30-minute Wake Up Flow This class will warm you up for your day and incorporates asana (poses) pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation. We will set intentions for the week ahead in this morning class.
Incorporate movement into your day with Center – a 15-minute Chair Flow This class is great for all ability levels! Whether you are chair-bound or working at a desk all day, this will help you get some blood flowing and clear your mind before you dive back into your day.
Unwind and get ready for sleep with Release – a 30-minute Evening Flow A gentle flow to ease tension and soothe your body for a restful night! This class incorporates asana (poses) pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.
For Align and Release you will need a mat (or comfortable surface) to practice on. Props are not required, though you might like to have 2 blocks (or water bottles, soup cans, etc.) and a strap (or tie, belt, scarf) as well as a cushion/blanket for sitting and kneeling on.
For Center you will need a sturdy chair. Props are not required, though you might like to have 2 blocks and a strap (see alternative suggestions above.)
Questions? Comment below!
See you there!
PS – Class is free, but donations are always appreciated!
The story of how I found and fell in love with yoga – Part Three
So I quit my desk job… and then I felt kinda sorta guilty about my unemployment! I told myself that I needed a job and some hobbies to fill up my days so that no one could say I was loafing around aimlessly. So I applied to and was hired at a local bakery.
Working at a bakery can be just about as awesome as it sounds. For starters, your customers are primarily joyous. People are out of their minds with delight and anticipation from the moment they walk in the door and there you are: the hero, handing down cakes, cookies and muffins from a bright, spotless and magnificent pastry altar. That’s not to say that the random odd entitled person with a bad attitude doesn’t occasionally walk through the door, but for the most part you are surrounded by intoxicating smells and fantastical sugarcraft all day as you connect with people on their way to celebrate birthdays and holidays. (You also get to take home day-old pastries.) This was not a bad part-time gig for me to land as I navigated the liminal space between unemployment and my next career. It also left some time for reflection.
After years of telling myself that I was frail and that I shouldn’t push myself, I hit a wall in this lame, self-limiting story – a wall about as tall as the mountain I had climbed. My body, apparently, is capable of great hiking feats! My story had to change. This opened up a world of possibility for me – I felt truly liberated, knowing that I could likely trek anywhere I wanted to if I just had the presence of mind to show up and get it done. My part-time job at the bakery afforded me a good amount of downtime, so I began hiking more and more.
The bakery also afforded me a lot of sugary calories, though, and I worried about when these would catch up with me. Hiking was great exercise, but there were rainy days and busy days mixed in there when hitting the trail wasn’t an option. I needed something to fill in the gaps. Something that wasn’t too exercise-y, because I still held some baggage about my physical prowess.
Indoor gyms held little appeal for me, and eventually the thought of yoga bubbled up into my consciousness. I had experimented with yoga in college and really enjoyed the serene environment of the yoga studio; it offered a vibe of peace and calm that I was totally unaccustomed to (especially as a college student!) I was pretty broke and I couldn’t afford a yoga studio membership, so I developed a home yoga practice by following along with yoga teachers on YouTube. I considered myself to be “trying yoga on for size” – I didn’t foresee that it would develop into a passion of mine.
Eventually I left the bakery to become a seasonal Park Ranger for the local county park system – all the hiking I had been doing led me to course-correct towards a job that emphasized the outdoors. The job consisted of lots of hard, physical labor in the hot sun and I loved it! I was blown away by all that my body could do, and I was becoming strong. (I could really go on all day about this job, but for now I will leave it there!)
Even though I was no longer working at the bakery and consuming an impressive amount of muffins, and even though I was getting all of the exercise I needed (and more!) in my role as a Park Ranger, I still stuck with the yoga. I spent time on my mat each and every day. Maybe, I pondered, yoga wasn’t just about the exercise after all…
Looking back on it now, my initial pursuit of yoga was rooted in vanity and misunderstanding. Yoga was going to be my ticket to a toned body ahead of bathing suit season – that’s how yoga is primarily represented. (This is problematic – it represents a pernicious, whitewashed/Western and culturally appropriated version of yoga as just a physical exercise.) As I kept returning to the mat for more yoga, though, my reasons for showing up evolved. My cheap and “low impact” avenue for exercise transformed into…well…a transformative experience.
What started as a fitness pursuit soon turned into a mind-bending soul explosion. Through practicing yoga I gained a sense of purpose and pride and I tapped into my rich inner world for the first time. Yoga encouraged quietude and stillness, contemplation and self-compassion. I was able to bring the peace and calm of the studio into my home and increasingly into many aspects of my daily life. I was taking care of my body from a place of reverence and compassion instead of from a place of expectation and pressure.
Previously prone to staying up late, binge-watching Netflix and scrolling past my own reality in favor of the fantasy offered to me by social media, I noticed myself going to bed earlier. Through experience I learned that if I didn’t do yoga first thing after waking up, then the rest of my day would get in the way and I wouldn’t make it to the mat at all. So, I had to rise a little earlier to make sure I could accommodate yoga into my schedule. I also noticed myself drinking less often – if my head was foggy in the morning, it was likely that I would sleep in and skip yoga. Skipping didn’t sit well with me. Slowly, incrementally, prioritizing yoga in my life helped me to actually prioritize my whole life. I started taking care of my body and respecting it, deeply. I made commitments to myself and then honored them. This helped me build confidence, and lots of dumb stories I had been telling myself since my time on the grade school soccer field began to fall away. It all happened gently, with lots of compassion for myself, and it happened subtly, without me being totally aware of all the changes.
During all this change, I never heard a voice say, “Wait, wait! You’re veering a little too far away from your exercise goals and getting carried away.” Instead, I heard and felt deep appreciation for giving my body and soul exactly what I needed – careful reflection, gentle movement, a safe space to process my life, kind guides to help me along and a way to ground myself whenever I felt life having its way with me. These were all the gifts of yoga at work in my life. Eventually I felt called to share these gifts with others, and I completed my yoga teacher training. If you’re reading this then I hope I can share yoga with you, too.
So much of my worldview has changed thanks to the spiritual practice of yoga. Yoga is not an exercise program – the physical poses that are so often emphasized actually only represent one small part of a rich and complex philosophy. Yoga encompasses the ability to harness lifeforce energy and the recognition of the inherent value of all beings everywhere. Yoga guides you to lead a life in integrity with your highest self. I still have so much to learn about yoga and yet ultimately the goal is to know thyself. There is no finish line – just a call to embark on a mindful, steady path towards meeting your highest self. I’m certainly no expert, and so I hope to remain first and foremost a student, even when serving as a guide through my capacity as a yoga teacher.
Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.
It feels important to share the story of how I came to find and love yoga with you – I’m new on the scene and I want to lay it all on the table for you! Maybe a piece of my journey may resonate with you, or maybe it may inspire you to share your own story with your own audience. Either way: thank you for following along. 🙏
I would love to hear about your own journey, whether through yoga or a different transformative experience/practice – please leave your comments below!
👉 PS – Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Are you looking for a simple way to relax? I can help! Subscribe here – when you sign up for the Compass Yoga email list you will receive my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation Practice.
👉 PPS – Stay tuned for an announcement very soon about a regular live yoga schedule in my Compass Yoga Community Facebook Group! (Go join!) I’m really looking forward to growing the community and offering more yoga practices that hopefully encompass all that yoga is, beyond just the poses.