Sunday, September 30, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Days 15 & 14

It was a great weekend. So good that I didn't get to write until now.  I wrote about Day 16 from the road with Burnt Sugar, which was amazing! We played in Philly on Friday night, but I did my due diligence and went to class on Saturday morning.  No too early, but morning nonetheless.

The strange thing about Saturday (Day 15) was that I got up and was ready to go to class in plenty of time, but for some reason I was still late.  Well the reason is that I always forget how janky the trains are on the weekend. I hate getting to class late, but it happens. Luckily Saturday's class was an hour and a half.  Most of the classes at Area are an hour and ten minutes.

Saturday's class was a Basics class and Angela was teaching.   She took her time in class and allowed me to really think about the postures a little more. I'm really into foundation work right now and I've  really been thinking about and working on my chaturanga. I think I might have been doing it a bit wrong for a while because when I try to do it correctly I can really feel my shoulder and not in the best way.  I'm not beating myself up, but it is something to focus on going forward. I know I need to strengthen my left shoulder.  I know it's not 100%, but I will get there or do the best I can trying.  All in all it was a great class. I'm glad I made it even thought I was a little tardy to the party.

Today (Day 14), I did as I will be doing at Kripalu, which is take the day off.  I will only have 4 Sunday's off the whole time I'm there. I didn't just laze about today though. Once a month I volunteer at a alternative healing center for women with breast cancer or survivors called You Can Thrive!  It's an amazing place and I get to do Reiki on the women who come and help them in their healing process. These women are so inspirational.  I feel blessed to be a part of that healers community.

Besides that my day was pretty regular. Cleaned house a bit, biked to see my cousin for a while, came home, made dinner and then had rehearsal for my shows this week.  It was a great day.

I received a few donations over the weekend and I am so thankful. We are almost there folks!  Just about $300 to go to make tuition! It's really amazing how generous everyone has been. I am so humbled and thankful.  There is still time to donate so please help out in any way you can. Either by donating or spreading the word.  Thank you so much!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 16

This morning when I woke up my knee was hurting.  I knew that after a few days I might feel something other than my shoulder.  I have all kinds of potions that I've made or were given to me for joint pain so today was the day to put them into action.  I contemplated not going to class, but then I remembered that at yoga teacher training I'm not going to have that choice. Of course if I get hurt or something then I could sit something out, but for the most part you have to be there. So I pulled it together and went to class.

I had to go early this morning because I have a gig with Burnt Sugar today in Philadelphia.  So I went to the 9:15 class with my new favorite teacher Keri.  The class at that time is Power Yoga and I was a little concerned about what the pace might be with my knee hurting, but I promised myself that I would go the edge and if it really hurt then I would back off. It was raining this morning, which also didn't help my energy level, but I pushed on.

In class today the power was really more in the core and back then in the pace, which I was glad about.  I moved through the asanas pretty well, but I was having a little bit of issue with my chaturanga.  I was tired for real so my vinyasa was a little sloppy today.  I felt myself getting sleepy at points while practicing, which is crazy, but I stayed focused the best I could.

Today Keri gave me more great shoulder advice. I have so much work to do in that area since I have pain   sometimes.  I also went up into full wheel today after not going it for a long time.  It was a challenge to say the least.  My left wrist was really hurting and it was tough to push up into the pose, but Keri helped me out.  Then she suggested that I do the pose against the wall with blocks and that really helped.  I am pretty clear what I will have to work on in school. Full Wheel and strangely enough, Tree pose.  Seems simple, but gives me a little trouble.  I am so thankful for these classes with Keri before I leave.  I'm so excited about it all.  At the end of class my knee wasn't hurting anymore. This is the power of yoga.

As we close the week I want to thank everyone once again for your donations to helping to make my dreams come true.  We are almost at our goal! The deadline to turn in the final portion of the tuition in October 9th.  Please keep spreading the word.  Thank You!  Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 17/The N word and I don't mean Namaste

Yoga in the city can be tough sometimes. Not the classes themselves, but what you walk in to after you leave class. I guess that's why we do it. So that we can have a better disposition and more compassion for everyone in world. For our fellow human beings.  But sometimes it's a challenge.  It's a challenge to stay grounded even when you've just left the studio 15, 20 or 30 minutes ago.

In today's class I definitely stretched some muscles that I haven't in a while. So I know I will be feeling that, but I've been feeling pretty good over all. I was thinking that my shoulder might give me some issue, but it's been pretty minimal. Maybe I'm a bit stronger than I think I am or maybe I just haven't hit that Power yoga class yet. LOL! Either way, I feel good.

When I left class today, I made a stop at Trader Joe's and then headed for the bus home.  For the folks reading this in Brooklyn, then you may know the joy and the pain or riding the 65 bus. The joy is that it drops me right in front of my house. The pain is that you might not ever know when it's coming.  The bus is notoriously late and today was no exception.

I was waiting for quite a while when the bus finally came. I found myself a seat in the front and started to settle in when I realized that the woman sitting next to me was having a really loud conversation in which every other word out of her mouth was N***a.  If you are not clear what that is, it's Nigga. Yeah I said it!  Lol!  Now mind you, I am not naive.  I know that the word is used all the time and without thought on a regular basis. But sometimes, many times, it's just used in excess and for no reason or in a spot where another would could be used to create the same emphasis.  Sonia Sanchez once said that if people curse all the time in what would be considered "normal" conversation,  it's probably due to a lack of vocabulary. She believes, if you are going to curse in life, in your writing, etc. you should make it mean something.  Give it real weight.

To this case in point, the woman next to me would not calm down, pipe down or slow down. She was just going on and on with n***a this and n***a that, and that n***a and this n***a,  and well, you know what I'm saying.  When I hear people do this on the bus, train or even in the street talking to friends about other people who are the brunt of the word, I really want to walk up or slide up next to them and repeat the word every time they say it within earshot of them to see if they can hear themselves. See if they can really hear the words coming out of their mouth as it is coming out of mine.  I wonder if it would get me in to an fight. Would someone wonder why I'm calling them a n***a not realizing that it is them saying the word and I'm simply a mirror.

I know you might wonder what this has to do with yoga. Well when this started happening I took a breath. I really tried to find some compassion for my sister.  Clearly there was some drama going on and I honestly hoped that the situation would resolve not just for the sake of my ears, but for the sake of her journey. But you know what, I guess this is her journey.  Hmm...  Then I looked around the bus and found another seat, away from the noise.  Trust me when I tell you that  I'm not like this everyday, but I think today it did help that I had just come from class.  Sometimes it's the little things.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 18

Hey Everyone,

It was another great day of yoga. I know that might sound like an ultra-hippie statement, but it really was good. At first I could tell I was a little grumpy because the teachers voice was getting on my nerves. LOL!  You know how some yoga instructors sound like they smoked a joint right before they came to class? Their speaking voice is so relaxed that you might think, "Are they really that cool?"  Well I felt that at first, but then as I went on I could feel the cobwebs clearing. Today's class was Slow Flow and I have to say that I really like that kind of class. You hold the poses longer and you can really work with the breath.  Also doing a Slow Flow or Basics class gives you an opportunity to really examine your poses.

I know you might wonder why I would take a Basics class after all these years, but it's just like anything else.  Sometimes you have to go back to the basics to get your foundation. Although my practice is intermediateI still have a long way to go. I guess that's why it's called a practice and not a perfect.

In class today and yesterday there was a lot of focus on breathing into our back and today the teacher also talked about breathing into our hands and feet.  I really like the feeling of breathing into certain parts of out body that we don't think about having air.  It's a really amazing feeling to move the breath around the whole body.

I'm feeling good! Sometimes I still feel that grandma shoulder, but I'm going to breath some life into her too.  :-)

Day 3 down, 17 to go.
Thank you for your continued support. $580 to go and the tuition is paid in full!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 19

Hey Everyone!

Day 2 of my lead up to yoga school and I'm starting to remember why it is important to practice every day if you can.  It's the breath. Even though I have been doing yoga for so many years, sometimes I just forget that it's all about the breath in a big way.

Today I had class again with Keri and I forgot one thing that she focused on yesterday and that was the breath. Filling your whole "cylinder" as she would say, with air. She's talking about the whole torso from the belly to the chest. She also talked about lengthening as you breath out.  Now I know this, I really do know this, but today it just felt like something new.

So today in class I really focused on my breath and it just reminded me of how much I don't breath.  Of course we have to breath in order to stay alive, but ofter our breath is shallow or we just take it for granted. We forget or don't even know, that conscious breathing can help release toxins from our body as well as relaxing the mind and body.

I'm so thankful for this practice.  Rock On!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 20

Hey Everyone,

I am officially 20 days away from beginning yoga teacher training at Kripalu!  After I paid my first half of my tuition for school I was sent the official welcome package with information on what to expect, a tentative daily schedule, reading list and some suggestions of things to do before arriving at school.

One of the things that stuck out for me was the suggestion that we do yoga once a day for a month before we arrive. Uh...what??!!!  I mean it makes sense, but I have not been practicing like that for a bit. I've been going 2-3 times a week, but not every day.  In fact I haven't done yoga every day since a while after I did my 30 days of yoga (Facebook: Reflections on 30 Days of Yoga/Feb. 2010).  So I needed to get on it and quick.

I do Karmi (Karma yoga) work at Area Yoga in Brooklyn. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's work/study. So I work at the studio four hours a week and I get all my yoga for free!  Lots of studios do this so if you are looking for a way to practice more, but can't afford to pay for regular classes, consider work/study.  It has been a blessing to me.  Especially right at this moment.

So today I started my once a day yoga and it just so happened it turned out to be a private lesson.  Why? Because I was the only one who got up and made it to the 8:15 class!  I've never had a private lesson before and I have to say that now I totally understand why people do it.  In my mind I was thinking that the energy of doing the practice with people is so powerful because there is a lot of energy moving through the room and sometimes that helps to keep you moving, but the one-on-one was really powerful too. Maybe it's because you actually get all the attention on you. The teacher can really help you make adjustments so the next time you go into the pose you have a new outlook on it.

Keri Setaro was my teacher today. Little does she know she's another one of my inspirations. She's a yoga instructor, but she is also an actress and a voice over artist.  I love to meet people who are combining their traditional artistic love with the healing arts.  That's totally my plan so I love to see other people working it.  If you are ever in Brooklyn and are thinking about class and maybe find yourself thinking about Area, look up Keri. I really like her style. In 2003 I had shoulder surgery and although I'm fine, sometimes I feel like I have grandma shoulder. You know the one that acts up when it's going to rain or some other weather change happens. Well today, Keri gave me some great suggestions on how to work with my shoulder to give myself more space across my shoulders and upper back.  It was amazing!  This was a great way to kickoff my countdown to school. 

Speaking of school, I am still in fundraising mode.  I have until Oct. 9th (15 days ) to get the rest of my tuition in. I have to be paid in full before I walk though the door.  So if you are inspired, please donate to making this dream come true by clicking the GoFundMe button below. I am confident that I will get there, but I do need your help.  If you cannot donate at this time, please spread the word. You can do that by clicking the link below and "Like" the page if you are on Facebook, Tweet about it or Pin it. It all works.

Thank you so much for waking this journey with me.  I'm so excited and I can't wait to share all the details.

Have a great Monday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

We Made Our First Goal!!!

Hey Everyone,

I'm so happy to announce that we made our first financial goal for yoga school! I am officially registered at Kripalu for teacher training this fall. I'm so excited. Every time I turn around there is another sign showing me that I'm on the right path.

I am excited that we made it over the first hurdle, but we still have one more to go.  I need the other half of the tuition in order to walk though the door.  So please continue to be a part of making this dream come true.  I see myself there so I know it will happen, but we still need you.

The we in the equation is myself and my friend Katie Elevitch. She has graciously stepped in the help me fund raise. So please check out her blog Rock and Roll Yogi as well and learn more about her music and life as a yogi.

Thanks so much! October 9th is the new DEADLINE! I will continue to keep you posted on the progress! In gratitude!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yoga School Fundraising Update

Hi Everyone!

We are well on our way to reaching our first goal to reserve my space for yoga teacher training! As of today we have raised $1,015 so we are just $378 away from reaching our goal!  I'm so excited.  I've been doing my do diligence on the mat and in meditation to help womanifest this dream! Thank you so much for putting your energy and love into it as well. Let's do this!

I'll keep you posted on how the thermometer is going up. Yoga, Music and Healing for All!


Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm going to Yoga School at Kripalu!!

Hi Everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I have been on the blog page. So much has happened that it would honestly take too much time to recap it all. But you can check out my music blog (the burning büshe: In Gratitude) and get a clearer picture of what I’m talking about.

I was away most of the summer and I have to admit that I’ve been out of practice. Funny thing is that I was probably out of practice at the time I should have been in it the most. I think that was lesson #1 for me. When we are feeling the worst is when we need to go the mat or the cushion most even if our mind and body are saying something else.

I know that yoga helps me with so much including keeping my stress levels down and my spirits up. So on that note I am back to the mat.

I’ve been back now for a few weeks and in that time I found out that I got into yoga school! Before I left for Michigan Womyn’s Music festival I applied. I didn’t expect to hear back to quickly, but I’m in! So I will be going to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA to do my yoga teacher training! I’m so excited about the possibilities. This is a major life shift for me because although I am a musician, since I live in New York I have to do a few other things to keep the bills paid. I have made the decision that if I have to do something or things outside of music to make a living I want it to be something that I love. Something that has healed me and others and that something is yoga.

I got a partial scholarship to school, but I still need to raise some money. I was so stunned when I got an email from my friend Katie Elevitch saying that she wanted to help me raise the rest of the money through the launch of her website! She started something called "Pay it Forward" and I am the first person she is reaching out to help. What a blessing! So if you feel so inclined to help me reach my goal of going to yoga teacher training please make a donation at We have great incentives so check it out! Half of the the money MUST be in by September 13th to secure my reservation. So remember that a donation of any amount will get me closer to my goal.

While I’m away I will blog as often as I can about my experience. I’m going to do my best to make it daily, but I’m not making any promises. The blogs might be short because I know I’ll probably be exhausted, but I want to share this experience with you. So let’s make this happen. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I am a healer and I’m so glad to share this journey with you.

Om Shanti.

Trikonasana: Triangle Pose