La Dolce Studio interviewed me with the following questions:
How did you first get into pilates or yoga?
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
What is your proudest moment/accomplishment in pilates or yoga?
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Do you think there is any trait that all exercise practitioners share?
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
Do you like classical or contemporary pilates/yoga more? Why?
What advice would you give to people wanting to start pilates or yoga?
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?
How would you describe pilates/yoga in 1 word?
What's something exciting you're currently working on/learning that only a few people know about?
Most satisfying experience practicing yoga/pilates?
What are your biggest pet peeves about the culture/community of your chosen practice?
What is your favourite thing about the culture and community of your chosen practice?
Do you tend to use a lot of different equipment when you practice? Why/Why not?
Click the button below to view the answers on their site.
By Hannah Faulkner Roman
Let me start off by announcing that I am not Irish, nor have I been to Ireland. But, since childhood I’ve somehow worn green every year on Saint Patrick’s Day and as an adult found this day as an excuse to have a beer. Americans have celebrated the Irish saint on this day since at least the early 18th century.
St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century. As a teenager he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave. After escaping, he later returned to convert the Irish to Christianity through establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends developed over the years, including how he used the shamrock to explain the holy Trinity. Likewise, the yoga trinity involves connecting the mind, body, and spirit. Today, this holiday honors St. Patrick's efforts to unite Celtic and Catholic Ireland through wearing one of the forty shades of Ireland's green, dancing, parades, drinking beer, chasing pots of gold, and making merry.
Through the following 10 Yoga Poses, I explore the meaning behind some common Irish symbols.
1. Four-Leaf Clover
The Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland. This three-leaved plant was used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the presence of God in the natural world as the trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but in ancient times it was used in fertility rituals, to scare away snakes, to heal diseases, and to ward off evil spirits.
However, a four-leaved clover is not technically a shamrock, it is much luckier as they appear only once out of 10,000 clovers. The petals represent faith, hope, love, and luck.
This posture is also known as Star Pose, or Utthita Tadasana. It’s a variation of Mountain Pose. To get into the posture, stand with your feet much wider than your hips. Exhale to root into the ground and tone the muscles throughout. Inhale to lift the crown of the head, allowing the spine to elongate. Extend your arms out wide to gently open the chest. Relax the shoulders down and back while lengthening through the fingertips. Continue to breath calming in and out through the nose for several breaths, connecting with your good luck.
Vegetables, Meal favorites, Inspiration and more...
Don’t miss the recent Redfin article I was featured in: “Serene Tips for Designing an at Home Yoga Space” on January 21, 2021 by Alison Bentley
As many of us still work from home and the world is ever-changing, some of us feel like there’s no
escape from home. You might be looking for a way to relieve some stress with some peace and serenity in your home. The answer could be as simple as finding the perfect place in your house for a yoga space. Whether you live in a studio apartment in Seattle, WA or a large home in Dallas, TX, all you need is a little space and some calming decor for the perfect at home yoga space.
To help you get started, I, along with other yoga teachers from across the country, shared some of our
best tips and tricks for creating a peaceful at home yoga space with Redfin. Check out what we had to
say so you can so you can design a serene space for your yoga practice!
Find my advice and more on the link below
Magenta, emerald, aquamarine, and violet powders were sprinkled onto our foreheads, cheeks, chins, and noses! Blessings of light and love, warmth and goodness, flowed upon willing recipients here at Fun Yoga on the Bay. Anita brought this tradition from her homeland, and she looks forward to sharing this fete with fellow yogis here in San Diego each year during March. Together we welcome the changing of seasons, springtime and all the colors of life. Symbolic of flowers, the colorful powders used during Holi Festival all around India, and neighboring countries, explode onto faces and clothes of joyful celebrants. Everyone frolics in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. It is believed that the combination of different colors take all sorrows away and makes life more colorful.
Me and a sweet camel in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
In April of 2017, I had a 10-hour layover in Cairo, so I stopped into Giza to explore the Great Pyramids. Pyramids are thought to be extremely sacred in many cultures around the world. Many churches are built with pyramid-like steeples and ancient pyramid constructions can be found not just in Egypt, but also in South America and parts of Asia. Feeling an intense energy of excitement, I later learned that significant sites like this one, and many other sacred palaces, royal burials, or megalithic structures of the ancient world, are built on specific intersections of geologic ley-lines called tuleric lines of electromagnetic currents.
"I am tired of seeing people fall for the illusion that a dead tortured bird and a bunch of sides served at some family gathering is the proper way to be thankful. Many people in the world right now would be thankful for a cup of rice or a peanut butter sandwich to eat, yet in America, we have to promote death and gorging ourselves to show we are thankful."
A year and a half ago, I experienced an awakening relating to the food that I put in my body. Becoming vegan is not a fad diet. It’s not about my waistline. It's about a lifestyle of mindfulness, knowledge, and kindness. Yoga philosophy has Eight Limbs to practice on the Path to Enlightenment. Enlightenment is about awakening to the truth and knowledge. One of these limbs is about Universal Morality, Yamas. This includes kindness, Ahimsa, to all beings.
Saying hello to animals along the Camino de Santiago 2018
What does ceremony mean to you?
If you grew up in a western society like mine, perhaps you think of ceremonies as formal acts of conventions and etiquettes, performed without deep significance, but with much elaborate pomp. We celebrate events like holidays, birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries, and weddings with traditional cakes, balloons, flowers, food, cards, and fancy clothes accompanied by physical rituals like sprinkling water, saluting flags, opening gifts, blowing out candles, first dances, vows, walking down the aisles, exchanging rings, etc.
However, sometimes we lose touch with the why.
What are we trying to accomplish with this ceremony?
What is the intention?
What is sacred and how are we growing through this?
Throughout the last several months, I’ve explored many ceremonies related to my intentions of deeper sacred connection and personal growth. Ceremonies can be an individual experience, or one to be shared with a loved one, group of friends, or a larger community as a tool for transformation and healing.
In The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life, Sandra Ingerman describes, “Performing ceremonies creates a bridge between the material world we live in and the world of the unseen, the divine, the power of the universe.”
While walking the Camino Frances, the most popular route of the Saint James Pilgrimage in Spain, I encountered a special opportunity to practice, Pratyahara.
Often times, this is the forgotten limb of the 8 Limbs in Patanjali's Path to Enlightenment. It means to control what we take in, or to retreat from the sensual world of temptations. Imagine a turtle pulling it's head and limbs back into it’s shell.
Have you ever heard the old wise saying, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” We are so accustomed to ongoing sensory activity that we don’t know how to keep our minds quiet. If we don’t discipline our senses they dominate and disturb us with their endless demands. The senses are like holes in the vessel of the mind. Although we are constantly surrounded by distractions, this form of meditation is about recognizing how we let these stimuli affect us.
Pratyahara is about the right intake of the sensual experience. Strong sensations dull the mind, and a dull mind may lead us to act in ways that are insensitive, careless, or even violent. Just as junk food makes the body toxic, junk impressions make the mind toxic. The body benefits by fasting from food, just as the mind benefits by fasting from sensations.
Did you know that the elements are one of the most universal insights in ancient philosophies?
In Sanskrit they are known as the pancha-maha-buthas, the great states of existence.
Each time we ground, flow, transform, or breathe, we are connecting with the earth, water, fire, and air.
Have you ever felt suspension...hanging or floating, waiting for an action or response?
Did this instability and movement bring feelings of anxiety or excitement?
When you approach an obstacle in your life, how do you choose to accept this bump in the path?
Are you frozen with fear, or joyful with curiosity?
“Haven't you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security,
Have you heard of the fountain of youth?
A fountain is a source or origin of a desirable quality. Youth is the quality or state of being young, especially as associated with freshness, energy, resilience, and vitality. Is there such a thing as an origin of vitality? Most of us associate aging as the opposite of youth, when we become boring, tiresome, or wrinkled. Can we reverse, pause, or slow down the aging process?
"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination, nor both together, go to the making of a genius.
So much love at Cafe Gratitude!
Did you know that deep in the heart of all of us is a source of pure, unconditional love?
The Greatest Love is free flowing timeless love with no limits. It is the love that a mother can feel for her child. It is the love we read about in poems. It is the love we long to have. Although most of us have experienced different forms of love like romantic affection, comradeship, appreciation for family and friends, have you tapped into the unconditional love is the highest form? It is extensive, true, and eternal.
While trekking through the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, on my way to Everest Base Camp (March 2017), I came across this sign, Lovism.
My heart was filled with warmth as I contemplated this term.
Surrounded by striking trees, mountains, and sunshine, I realized that love is everywhere all around me. I felt an intense warmth and gratitude for nature as well as my life and body in this place, at this time.
I remembered Rumi’s quote,
Did you know that symbols and architecture of many ancient civilizations imply a synchronistic source of higher inspiration?
There are some close parallels in the meaning and formations of pyramids of the Ancient Maya to the Pyramids in Ancient Egypt and the serpent sculptures of MesoAmerica to Angkor Wat in Cambodia (Mayan Yoga).
December Nights at Balboa Park
With the winter holidays approaching, do you ever take the time to notice the world with a unifying perspective?
Are you open to beliefs from people that practice different customs than you?
Are your traditions in line with your evolving values?
Tradition refers to beliefs, objects or customs performed or believed in the past, originating in it, transmitted through time by being taught by one generation to the next, and are performed or believed in the present.
Years ago, I was kicked out of a dance club while yelling these words at the security guard, “Let me move my body!” We were being packed and roped into the center of a room and some of my curves drifted outside of the imaginary lines. Okay, there were some actual ropes, but it felt arbitrary.
Perhaps this wasn’t my finest moment, but in retrospect, I believe there was some divine insight to this riddle of authenticity.
This spring at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, Jivamukti teacher, Jules Febre, led a Hip Hop Asana class along the Ganges River and encouraged us to let loose and travel around the space, moving our body however it wanted to move. My face could barely find room for the smile that was brimming past my ears. My limbs encountered no boundaries and my hips whirled to infinity.
“With amazing creativity, we can design our lives and become the driver of our destiny. No matter what difficulties we may find ourselves in, we are able to change them and create them anew according to our choice.”
"In time and with water, everything changes."
“You’ve lost weight!”
I’m surprised at how many people notice and comment. I’ve always been pretty comfortable with my weight and size. Trimming down was not my motivation for starting this juice fast, but after three weeks of a liquid-only diet, I must say I do feel lighter and some of my pants are feeling quite loose.
A monster is a threatening force, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is often a creature of strange or terrifying shape, and may produce fear or physical harm by its appearance or its actions.
Well-known monsters in fiction include Count Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, werewolves, mummies, and zombies, yetis, sea-monsters, and dragons.
We carefully tied the scallop shells to the backs of our packs. When pilgrims carry the scallop shell it represents our personal journey, the sacred path that we must take within. Starting on the outer rim of the shell, we try to find our way back to our center. Many pilgrims along the Road to Santiago wear the scallop shell to identify other pilgrims. When we see other scallop shells, we are reminded of why we are walking. Even though each person has their own story, the shell itself represents the many different spiritual pathways that lead to the same place. We are ultimately bound together by this oneness of the universal center, the spirit. On a more universal note, scallop shells relate to travel and movement.
Over the past hundreds of years, pilgrims would also be given food at churches and other establishments, and a scallop shell scoop was the measure for the food they would be donated. Further, this symbol guides pilgrims on the way, as a milestone marker pointing you in the right direction, and can provide reassurance at some points that you are still on the right path, The Way of Saint James.
A combination of diverse elements forming a more or less coherent whole, perhaps as piece of art or picture produced by arranging together small pieces.
It is often used in decorative art or as interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat, pieces of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae.