Bliss Bites

Get Grounded Part 2

03-Nov-2017 - The temperature has finally dipped toward freezing, and it's really feeling like late fall up in MA.  We've experienced some major rain storms with powerful wind gusts - it's a wonder there are still leaves on the trees!

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy these last few weeks of Fall while you ground and center yourself:
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Simple Sequence to Balance Vata

10-Oct-2017 - Cow-Cat-Child's Pose Sequence to Balance Vata
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Happy Fall Y'all

06-Oct-2017 - Happy October!!  If I haven’t said it before, I love this time of year: the colors of the leaves as they shift from the vibrant greens of spring and summer to the earthy and majestic reds, oranges, yellows and browns; the crispness of the air and the way it smells – both fruity and earthy-musty; the longer nights, which for me feel cozy and comforting; I even love the foods that are being harvested like apples and pumpkins and squashes.  But it's a big shift as we move from the expansive days and heat of summer toward the long cold nights of winter.  And given all the changes that are happening in nature it’s easy to feel out of balance and ungrounded.
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Happy Back to school: Happy back to practice!

20-Sep-2017 - Happy September and happy back-to-school time!  It’s so wild to see the rise in class participants in my yoga classes as we head into September.  It seems like no matter what kind of work we are engaged in we still carry that mentality of getting back into our regular routine once September rolls around.  But truthfully,  you can recommit to your yoga practice any time you want – you don’t have to wait for the back to school energy or the beginning of the new year to give you kick in the tush.
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Feel great while you travel!

10-Aug-2017 - We are in the thick of summer, and what a beautiful summer it has been so far! 

We actually got to go away for a week – a mix of some time off for play and exploration, and some time to learn and meet amazing people. 
 
It felt so wonderful to free ourselves of the day-to-day tasks of cooking and cleaning, even walking the pups, and to simply be together, enjoying each others’ company.  It was also very freeing to unplug a bit, and not worry about emails and work responsibilities – to just be. While some days were a little more structured, others were wide open allowing for things to happen with a sense of looseness and spaciousness. How nourishing!!
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5 Poses to keep you Feeling Great

09-Aug-2017 - Enjoy these 5 Poses to help you feel great while you travel!
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A Hit of Inspiration for You!

25-Jul-2017 - I came across this poem about a month ago, believe it or not, on the back of a lighting catalogue.  It touched me and resonated with me so I thought I’d share it with you:
“Be easy. Take your time. You are coming home. To yourself.” Nayyirah Waheed
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Get Outside & Play!

03-Jul-2017 - Happy summer dear friends!  It’s such a wonderful time of year to be outside – to play, to ride bikes, to run, to picnic…and of course to practice yoga! 
One of my favorite things during my summers as a yoga teacher in NYC was to practice and teach free yoga in our neighborhood park. Luckily, I’ve been able to do some outdoor yoga here in Northampton too.
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REST: You Know You Need It!

13-Jun-2017 - Several weeks ago, I began teaching Discover Bliss, a self-care class for women who don't think they have time for self care.  In each class the participants experience self-care practices like gentle and restorative yoga, Reiki, meditation…while they are discovering for themselves what self-care means, what practices and activities light them up, and how they can bring all of that into their lives in a more consistent and realistic way.  It has ben a joy to share this class with this amazing group of women. 


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Happy YOU Day!

10-May-2017 - Mother’s Day is quickly approaching - and it's always a tricky one for me.  As many of you know, parenthood was never in my life’s plan.  But, spending my life with Jonathan was, and it was his desire and persistence that led us down this road of parenthood. In partnership with Jonathan, parenting Maddie Rose has been quite surprisingly wonderful.  While it challenges me every day, I think she’s a pretty amazing kid:  I love her humor and her quirks, and I so admire her inner strength – much of which she has yet to fully realize – and yet I see it.
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Bliss Bite 78: National Stress Awareness Month

25-Apr-2017 - Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month?  Listen, we all are affected by stress in some way or another.  And just as each one of us manifests the effects of stress differently (headaches, stomachaches, acne, insomnia, high blood pressure…), each one of us manages stress uniquely as well.  I think it’s vital to have tools in place to help us manage stress so it doesn’t become chronic and debilitating.

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3 Poses to Help You Manage Stress

23-Apr-2017 - Enjoy this brief practice designed to help you still your body, quiet your mind and ease your stress level.
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3 Poses to Awaken Your Inner Strength - Part 1

09-Mar-2017 - Happy March! Last week was one of those up and down weeks.  The up was having Jonathan home for mid-winter break. The down was losing Maddie Rose’s long-time lovey, “Meow”. It was hard on all of us. Meow, who has been with Maddie since she was about 3 weeks old, brought her such comfort and security. 
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3 Poses to Awaken Your Courage and Inner Strength

07-Mar-2017 - Here are 3 poses to awaken and reconnect with your inner strength and courage.
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Connect In to Connect Out

24-Jan-2017 - As I’ve continued to think about building community, I was reminded that in order to build community and be in community we need to be open enough to connect with someone or something. We have to be willing to peel off some of the protective layers we all put on so that we can let ourselves out and let others in.
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Choose to Connect

10-Jan-2017 - “When we embrace our importance, we are living our connection with others and the world around us. In this state, we can change the world. Just a kind gesture or a generous word can change another’s day. Stopping to pay attention to what another person may need right now in her life and helping when appropriate can change that person’s life. Connection is that process of knowing our importance to the Whole, as well as comprehending that others share this importance with us. When we do so, we are less likely to hate or fear. We can rest, secure in the knowledge that we are all eternal threads in the grand design.” Judith Lasater, Living Your Yoga.
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Double Down on the Good!

20-Dec-2016 - As we draw toward the end of another year and reflect on 2016, it's so tempting to focus on all the things that didn’t go the way we hoped, with the intention of fixing them to make 2017 even better.  And while I agree on learning and growing from our mistakes, I’m curious about looking at things from a slightly different perspective.
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A Gift for You

06-Dec-2016 - “It’s okay to do something nice for yourself.”
From It’s okay to be different by Todd Parr.
 
Isn’t that a nice reminder, especially as we move into this gift-giving time?  I can’t tell you how many times I say things like, “I don’t really need that,” or “I’ll just run tomorrow – I should really dust the house,” or  “I can wait 'til after Christmas to get my hair cut and dyed.”  In the grand scheme of things none of those things takes that much time and preparation or even costs that much money…it’s just that so many other things seem to push me and my needs off of the top of the list.

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Blessings to You

23-Nov-2016 - As I move into this holiday season, I find my usual anticipation and excitement tempered by the post-election uncertainty and unease I still feel.  In talking with friends and students, I’ve found I’m not alone in that experience.

As I think about how to fully embrace this season in the way that I’d like, not only for me, but for my daughter, who at 4 doesn’t really understand the impact our president-elect and his potential staff will have on her and the world, I’ve realized that holding both the feelings of uncertainty and fear alongside with the feelings of excitement and joy is really and truthfully all I can do. It’s important to stay connected to everything that is in your heart and your gut – the truth in your heart and your gut is real and not to be ignored. 
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Express Gratitude

09-Nov-2016 - I write to you with deep sadness in my heart, which I know is shared by some of you and not by others.  As we land on the other side of the election, I draw strength from this practice of yoga - from breathing and moving mindfully, from meditation, from the teachings that remind me to not only stay in the present moment and be with what is real and true, but to also find gratitude for what is still working and positive in my life so that I am not paralyzed by the sadness.  So with that I say to you all, Happy November.  I do in fact love this month, partly because it’s my birthday month and my anniversary month, but mostly because of Thanksgiving.  I deeply love Thanksgiving –  I think it’s my favorite holiday.  There’s something magical about it – and not just because it’s the kick off to the holiday season and all those Hallmark channel holiday movies, which I’m a sucker for :-). I find that there’s a genuine warmth and sweet simplicity to Thanksgiving. I love my family’s tradition of being together – family and dear friends - sharing a home-cooked meal; I love baking and sharing those sweeties with the people I love; I love the feeling of taking care each other.  Love and gratitude seem to fuel this holiday.
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Are you seeing red?

18-Oct-2016 - What I wanted to be such a glorious, exciting morning turned into a grouch-fest melt-down. It was Maddie’s first day of her last year at the magical day-care/pre-school she’s been attending since we moved to MA. I was feeling sad at the thought that this was her last year there, and wistful for those early days of day care when I would get her ready and keep her on schedule, because it was my schedule – there was never really any morning stress or worry. 
Now that Maddie is 4, we have quite a different scenario: I go in to the room of a 4-year-old who hates getting out of bed, whom I can barely lift out of bed, and whom I have to expend tons of energy cajoling and delighting and tricking out of bed just to eat breakfast; a 4-year-old who sometimes wants my help and other times doesn’t; a 4-year-old who sometimes seems like 4 going on 40, and other times 4 going on 2.  On this particular day, I encountered both!
Soon after waking, getting somewhat dressed, and eating breakfast our morning quickly dissolved into a puddle of not wanting to finish getting dressed and resistance about leaving.  We’ve been talking about the zones of regulation in my family a lot over the last few months. 


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Get Back to Green Tool Box

18-Oct-2016 - Stop talking, stop moving
Get down on the ground –sitting, even lying down, just to physically ground yourself
Take one breath and then another and then another – feel the breath moving in and out
Feel your feelings – whatever they are, as dark and mean and murky as they are
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It's You We Like!

29-Sep-2016 - We started watching Mister Rogers a few months ago with Maddie. We had no idea how she’d take to it -  a) because she doesn’t watch that much TV and 2) what she had been used to watching was a little bit of Sesame Street, with its high energy and fast-paced style.   Well, she took to him in no time flat.  She, like I at her age, was mesmerized by him.  He was talking to her and she was really listening to him.  And to be honest, Jonathan and I got sucked right in as well.  The way he communicated to the camera, his slow paced tempo, his quiet, sweet energy - all so calming and comforting and grounding….A little like yoga, no? Truth be told, I find myself actually craving to watch the show – to be lulled into that sweet, simple, innocent space of the “neighborhood”.  To be in the “presence” of someone who seems genuine and honest – true to himself in some way.
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Self-Care - what is it good for? Absolutely everything!

14-Sep-2016 - What do you think of when you think of Self-Care?

My immediate thoughts go to vacations at resorts or retreats with massages, having no cell phone/internet connection, someone making me food, someone else doing the cleaning and the laundry, having the days unfold out before me completely open for running, taking yoga classes, and meditating, having nowhere to be, going to bed early, getting up a little later – sounds really delicious, right?!

Realistically, however, we may not have the time or the funds to make these kinds of things our regular self-care practices.  I know I can’t, anyway. That said, it doesn’t mean that we should give up on the idea of self-care completely just because we can’t go away on a retreat for 10 days.  Instead, we can start to look for the opportunities to feed ourselves throughout each day.  Anytime we do something good for us, it is an act of self-care; if it feeds you mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, it is self-care.
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Beth's Self-Care Menu

14-Sep-2016 - Beth’s Self-Care Menu

Making well-being a priority


Daily:
· yoga (60-90 minutes every morning)
· meditation (10 minutes every morning - I’m adding this in a more committed and specific way this fall, rather than just lumping it into my yoga time)
· running (3 days/week)
· reiki self-care practice (every night, even if I fall asleep doing it)
· long, before-bed showers
· reading (10 minutes before bed)
· writing in my gratitude journal (every night before bed)
· working on not working after 9pm so I can get 7 hours of sleep each night

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Being Human is Being You!

24-Aug-2016 - I recently read this wonderful book called, Becoming Nicole. It was about a young person’s journey toward realizing the person she was meant to be. Nicole was born Wyatt, but from a very, very young age knew that he was meant to be a girl – that somehow he was not in the body he was meant to be in. Luckily, her parents supported her and helped her realize her identity to becoming Nicole. At age 18, Nicole underwent sex reassignment surgery. I was struck by how fully this young boy knew himself – inside and out. He knew, without a doubt that he was meant to be female, despite what his birth anatomy dictated. As Nicole, she stood fully in herself, never wavering about who she was, even in times of harassment and fear. How remarkable for someone so young to know themselves so deeply.
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Tongue Tension Tamers

09-Aug-2016 - I'm super excited for this week's Bliss Bite, which comes from one of our YB community members. She emailed me last week about tension in her tongue - which she called a "stressed tongue."


I’m not an expert on tongues or mouth/tongue positioning, but I have read some interesting information on it. It seems like the best place to rest the tongue is toward the roof of the mouth – with the tip of the tongue on the roof just behind, but not touching, your top teeth, (like you were saying the letter “n”) and the back of the tongue up as well toward the roof of the mouth. From what I understand this positioning can help with head, teeth and jaw positioning, tmj, swallowing, singing and more. Again, I’m not an expert but I’m interested in learning more.

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Restorative Yoga Helps and Here's Why

15-Jul-2016 - Welcome back to part 4 of our survey question responses. Over these past few weeks, we’ve been talking about Reiki and Restorative Yoga and their benefits as a way to clarify the importance of these practices. While it may seem like a luxury of time and money to give yourself the gift of these practices, I hope you’re beginning to see their value, and how they can support you in carving out time that is just for you so you can improve the quality of your life.

When you stop and think of how run down and depleted we can get and how that affects our health, our mood, our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, even our relationships with ourselves and our work, it seems like a no-brainer to make a commitment to taking care of yourself, making your well-bring a priority, so you can move back to being rested, balanced, and at ease. Reiki and Restorative Yoga with Reiki can get you there.

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What is Restorative Yoga Anyway?

06-Jul-2016 - So now that we’ve explored a little about Reiki, I thought we’d spend some time exploring Restorative Yoga, which is a practice that is very dear to me. Restorative Yoga is a physical practice of yoga where we place the body in mostly reclining positions and support it with yoga props like blocks and blankets to facilitate opening with the least amount of effort.

Unlike active asana (yoga positions) practices, where we use muscular energy to position the body – to build strength and flexibility – restorative yoga is a very passive, introspective and meditative practice. By placing the supports very specifically, we allow the bones and muscles to be relieved of their work of supporting and moving us through space. Plus, we can choose how to place the supports depending on what areas of the body we want to open and stimulate or quiet and calm. We use the breath to help the body let go of stress more easily and to help quiet the mind.

Since we spend the bulk of our days working, running errands, taking care of our families, and maybe even exercising, restorative yoga invites us to pause and consciously choose stillness as a way to restore our bodies, minds and spirits. It’s through this restful practice that we recharge our batteries.

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Bliss BItes # 61: Reiki Can Help You

28-Jun-2016 - Welcome back to part 2 of our survey question responses. We left off talking about “What is Reiki?” Now we head on to “What are the benefits of Reiki and how does it actually work?”

While we can’t say exactly how Reiki works, studies have shown that Reiki can help in a variety of ways. “Studies and anecdotal evidence has shown that, in addition to promoting relaxation among patients, Reiki can also be used to encourage healing and provide other benefits.” (How Reiki Helps Cancer Patients, www.iarp.org) The benefits of a regular Reiki practice can be experienced physically, mentally/emotionally and energetically.

Physically:

•Reduces muscular tension in the body
•Strengthens the immune system
•Supports healing after injury or surgery – even speeding up recovery time
•Reduces aches and pain
•Reduces nausea and vomiting post chemo treatment

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Bliss Bites #60: What is Reiki?

21-Jun-2016 - A few weeks ago I sent out a brief survey on busting stress and improving our overall well-being through Reiki to see how I might be able to better support you on your wellness journey. It was great to see your responses and learn more about what you are in need of. Some of the questions that came out of the survey have also been useful to me too, so I’m devoting the next several Bliss Bites to answering those questions.

Plus, I’m creating 3 FREE practices to help you reduce stress, rebalance, and center yourself so that you can move toward living with more ease and balance. Be on the lookout for those!
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A Great Makeover in 1 Simple Step

15-Feb-2016 - Greetings dear friends!

As many of you know, when we moved to Western MA two years ago, we did so with the notion of exploring a different way of life, trying something new, even recreating ourselves to some extent. How we were doing our lives in NYC was just not working in the way we had hoped anymore. Armed with that, as well as images for how we wanted our life to look and feel, we shook up the snow globe and made the leap from super-city -living to small-college-town living.

Like any big change there’s always a period of adjustment – and we had much to adjust to: a house, and all that goes with that (hint, when there’s a leak, there’s no super to call – you are the super!), driving (20 years is a long time to not be behind the wheel), new jobs and communities…you get the gist. And adjust we have: we’re getting the rhythm of the area, meeting nice folks, building relationships with colleagues, in essence building a life here.
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A Fresh Start

15-Jan-2016 - Happy 2016 everyone! It’s hard to believe that another year has ended and a new one begun. But that’s the nature of things isn’t it? The tide rolls in and rolls out; we move from season to season, sometimes more seamlessly and other times more abruptly; we breathe in and breathe out, with one breath moving into the next; we move from one month to the next and one year to the next. The practice of endings and beginnings is all around us.

And with each new beginning we get to start fresh – it’s like a magic re-set button.

Beth


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Awaken to your Light!

21-Dec-2015 - Dear friends,

The holidays are just around the corner and winter officially starts today - Happy Winter Solstice!

As we move toward the longest night and the dark we are reminded that on the other side of the darkest day we move back toward light. As we approach the joy, excitement, and busyness of the holidays and move through the dark and cold of winter it’s important to remember to slow down and take some time to get still and quiet, and go inward – to go in to the dark and move toward the light within you..

Here are a few easy things you can do for yourself to stay tuned in to you when things feel a little overwhelming as the holidays and the new year approach
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A full heart=GRATITUDE!

10-Nov-2015 - Dear friends - What a magical time of year this is. We are transitioning ever closer to winter, and the wonder that is the holiday season. No matter what is happening, or how old I get I can’t help but feel the tug of excitement and anticipation of this season: being with family and friends and celebrate; enjoying yummy foods; feeling the warmth, joy, and sense of fullness this time of year evokes – mmmmm.

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to return to NYC to share yoga with some of my long-time students and friends. For me, it was the most heart-warming and magical day. We all met at a friend’s studio, unrolled our mats and began class as if we had just had class the week before. What a joy to see everyone moving together, breathing the same breath, exploring their practice with mindfulness and curiosity. We all shared a similar language of body, breath, mind and heart. My heart swelled during Savasana, knowing that our time, for now anyway, would soon be over. But the feeling of fullness and buoyancy in my heart has lingered now for weeks, and I’m so grateful to all of you for that.

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Don't Forget About You!

23-Sep-2015 - Well here we are friends – back in the middle of September. It’s hard to believe summer is over, fall officially begins today, and before we know it winter will be revealing itself, with all its beauty and challenges.

Sunday, in fact, was a gorgeous day – a perfect fall day with bright, dazzling sunlight, cool. crisp air, and the luscious smell of leaves, grass, and apples. A perfect day for running, biking, apple picking, and then of course, baking – all of which we did!
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Wake up call!

30-Aug-2015 - “Grow where you are planted.”

Have you ever had the experience where something kept turning up, be it a situation, a person, a recurring problem…and you felt like there just must be some reason for it, but you didn’t know exactly what it was?

Well, that’s been my experience with the above quote. I keep coming across it (or variations on it) - be it in other newsletters, notes, readings…and it dawned on me that I in the last 20 months, I have neither planted myself nor grown. Despite my efforts to settle in and my “belief” that I was settling in, I really haven’t. Yikes, what a huge and scary wake-up call. I decided that it was time to really look at this quote, as simple as it is, to see how I could more fully apply this to my life.
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It's Not Just Physical

20-Jul-2015 - “This yoga is not for exercise. Yoga is showing where to look for the soul.” Sri K. Patthabi Jois
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Pop Up for a Cause

05-Jul-2015 - Over the years, during the month of July, Jonathan and I would make it a priority to receive a hug from Amma and soak in her warm, peaceful, radiant energy. Amma is known as the hugging saint. She travels the world spreading her message of love through hugs and Dharma talks. The last time, though, that we were able to be in her presence was in 2012 when Maddie was only months old. She too received Amma’s warm, loving embrace.
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Summer of Change

22-Jun-2015 - Happy Summer! It always seems so strange to me that in mid-June we move toward the longest day and the shortest night and begin to transition to shorter days and longer nights. It seems too early in the summer season for this to be happening. When I was a kid, the days seemed to go on forever – we’d play outside until 9pm, and in my memory we had some bit of daylight. Funny that…

And just as we begin our official shift into the summer season and all that it brings, and we come to the end of another school year (can you tell I'm married to a school teacher?!), I am once again struck by how challenging and unsettling transitions are for me.
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Chakra 8: Good Vibes!

10-Jun-2015 - So, my friends, we have explored all 7 chakras. I hope you had as much fun as I did and learned a little something new about yourself along the way.

Hop on over to our Facebook page and share one thing you liked or learned from our Chakra sessions.

In many traditions there are only 7 main chakras. But, there are schools of thought that consider the energy around us – our aura, or electro-magnetic field - to be the 8th chakra. I like to think that too. Have you ever been around folks how just give off a really good vibe and you just want to hang out with them? Or perhaps you’ve been in a situation where the opposite is true – you’re around perfectly nice people, but something about their energy drags you down or clashes with your energy. I happen to think that those “feelings” are important to notice.



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Just Listen

08-Jun-2015 - So, slowly we’ve begun to make connections in our new town. I’ll admit, it was difficult during the winter months to meet people. We were all darting from the cold to the warmth of cars or houses with not much more than a wave or a “Hey, how’s it going?”
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Chakra 7: You are Divine!

25-May-2015 - The 7th chakra, Sahasrara (thousand-fold), resides at the crown of our head. The image associated with this energy center is a lotus flower with one thousand petals, which is said to symbolize purity and spirituality.

This chakra synthesizes all the other chakras. When we bring this chakra into balance we feel connected to the Divine source within and around us. Meditation is probably the best way to tap into the 7th chakra; through meditation we work with observing our thoughts and thought patterns, and guiding the mind toward a more focused place, or at least a place where the mind isn’t as disturbed by the thoughts.

Here’s a simple meditation practice you can do anywhere, any time:
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Chakra 6: What do you really see?

11-May-2015 - My experience, as we climb up the chakra ladder, is that our work becomes a little more subtle. Working with our lower chakras encouraged us to get grounded and take care of our basic needs; get fired up and awaken to our creativity and inner power. The 6th chakra, however, asks us to go in and get quiet and simply listen. Easier said than done :-)

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Chakra 5: Express Yourself

14-Apr-2015 - Our 5th chakra lives in the throat region and affects our throat, jaw, and mouth. As you can imagine this chakra has a lot to do with speaking. But looking at it from an even larger perspective, it has to do with communication: not only speaking, but writing, listening, moving…however you interact with the world around you. It’s about conveying our voice, our purpose to the world, expressing ourselves, and “speaking” our truth so that we can show up fully and authentically in our lives.

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Chakra 4: Open your heart and say...

23-Mar-2015 - The heart chakra: Anahata, which translates into “unstruck” or “unhurt”. As we explore the 4th chakra, we are reminded that deep within us, beyond the painful and broken-hearted experiences we’ve all suffered, we are whole and complete, filled with love and compassion.

Through the heart chakra we open ourselves to others and are able to experience a sense of deep connection, harmony and peace.
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Ignite Your Inner Fire: Chakra 3

03-Mar-2015 - Hi everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying our chakra exploration thus far. Please leave a comment on You Tube or Facebook and let me know what you’re digging and what you’d like more info on. We’ve got five more chakras to go and five more practices to explore, and I really would love for you to experience the powerful effects of balancing these energy centers!

So, the 3rd chakra – Manipura – this is where we create the power for transformation and change.
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Let Go & Go With the Flow: Chakra 2

16-Feb-2015 - So how did your exploration with the 1st chakra go? Did you find yourself feeling more grounded and centered? If you’re not sure, keep a journal and take a moment after each practice session with the chakras to write down what your experience was like – how you are feeling post-practice. It can be really informative and illuminating.

Moving onward and upward to the 2nd chakra – Svadisthana – which lies in the pelvic region. Our hips, pelvis, reproductive organs, low back and kidneys are governed by this chakra. This chakra is about opening to and experiencing joy and pleasure. Water is the element associated with this chakra. Since water flows and moves, balancing this chakra can help us learn to “go with the flow.”





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Chakra 1:  Getting Grounded

04-Feb-2015 - It’s hard to believe we are already into February. 2015, while still new, seems to be going fast. As we begin a new year, it can be really exciting to have 12 months out in front of us, full of possibility. But it can also be really scary and daunting to have 12 months out in front of us, waiting for us to create something wonderful with.
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Spinning Your Wheels

19-Jan-2015 - When I first started teaching yoga to my community in Harlem I ran the classes as eight week series. I found having a theme running through those eight weeks helped to give me and the folks in class a focus. As I began this year, I felt very muddy in my brain and in my gut as to what I wanted to offer my classes. So I decided to utilize this practice of an on-going theme to help give me some direction. I came back to the chakras. It seemed perfect, as we begin a new year, to spend some rebalancing our energies.

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Intention: You

06-Jan-2015 - Happy New Year everyone!! Wishing you all deep contentment and fulfillment and loads of laughter and happiness in 2015!!
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You Matter

30-Dec-2014 - As we move into this festive, exciting and busy time of year, it’s so important to remember to make yourself a priority.  As you buy and make gifts for your loved ones, remember to give to yourself the gift of self-care.
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With Gratitude

27-Nov-2014 - If the only prayer you say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice.
- Meister Eckhart (from Attitudes of Gratitude by M.J. Ryan)
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3 Simple Poses to Help You Relax

09-Nov-2014 - Welcome to November! As we move deeper into this glorious fall season, we are beginning to see the signs of winter quickly approaching: chillier mornings, earlier sunsets, animals scurrying about preparing to hunker down for the next few months, and maybe even a little frost on the ground in the morning. We might even notice shifts within ourselves: the desire to eat warmer, thicker foods, the need to cozy up with a blanket, the challenge of getting up in the darkness of the morning, and even the tendency to want to do more indoor activities.
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You’re Grounded

27-Oct-2014 - Hi guys! How’s your practice been going? As I shared in our last Bite, it can be really challenging to maintain a sense of order and consistency with our practice during this change of seasons. But it really is THE Perfect time to reestablish your rhythm and connection to your practice, especially as the holidays draw near. There will be a million reasons not to practice – holiday shopping, parties, cooking, baking – so set the tone now and make your practice a regular, realistic, and yet not-negotiable part of your schedule.
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Happy Fall

13-Oct-2014 -
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Mat Motivation

30-Sep-2014 - Yikes – it is really dark in the morning these days! It makes getting out of bed and getting motivated to do anything really difficult. And, if you’re like me, the wee hours of the morning are my yoga time. But with the slight chill in the air and the darkness of night still lingering, in the bed vs yoga mat dual, bed often wins!
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Breathe and move

14-Sep-2014 - Happy fall everyone! This time of year is rich with freshly harvested foods, gorgeous colors of fruits, veggies and leaves, and of course, crisp, bright days. It’s the perfect time of year to reconnect with the practice of gratitude. I know one thing I’m grateful for is being able to teach yoga and share reiki up in Western Massachusetts. I feel quite blessed to be connecting with wonderful people who value, as my NYC yogis do, the many benefits a consistent yoga and reiki practice can bring.
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Back in d’groove

01-Sep-2014 - Okay gang, here we go again: back to school, back to regular schedules, back to our post-summer real-life routines. For some of us it’s a big shift, while for others, it’s a more subtle shift. But, nevertheless, there is a shift occurring: if nothing else, we are in the beginning stages of the weather changing from summer to fall with fewer hours of daylight, and that definitely can affect our internal clock, our mood, and our energy level. No matter how drastic the changes this time of year brings, with a little awareness and fine-tuning we can still maintain our wellness routines and take good care of ourselves.
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Walkin’ Your Talk

13-Aug-2014 - Maddie Rose is a little over 2 years old now, and is talking up a storm. She’s so aware of everything around her; comments on everything she sees, much of which I don’t notice until she’s pointed it out; and mimics everything she hears, which isn’t always great for me. The other day, for instance, the dogs were having a rough day; there was a lot of activity in and around the house, and they were barking for what seemed like all day long...
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Meditation in Motion

20-Jul-2014 - ast Saturday I had the wonderful opportunity to take a Reiki workshop with an extremely gifted Reiki Master Teacher. I was so excited to take this workshop, meet other people in the Reiki community and deepen my skills. The only catch was that it was almost 2 hours away from me. In the past, I wouldn’t have cared – I’d hop on the subway with my Yoga Journal, my Reiki notebook, some snacks and I’d be set. In this case, however, I had to drive – strangely there are no subways from Northampton to Newton. Now remember, prior to moving here 8 months ago, I hadn’t really driven a car in about 20 years. And since I’ve been here, I’ve only been doing local driving. I think my longest excursion thus far was about 45 minutes and I took the back roads.
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It’s Interesting…

06-Jul-2014 - t’s so interesting…to me anyway…

Since last August, when Jonathan started his new job and I became full-time-dog-and-baby wrangler, I’ve been dreaming about what life would be like once June arrived and Jonathan would be done with school
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We Are All Connected

22-Jun-2014 - About 2 years ago or so, Jonathan played this song for me, and I fell in love with it instantly: the sounds, the rhythms, the words all spoke to me on a very gut level. At the time, I wanted to choreograph something to it, but I knew I could never do it justice. I was reminded of it again a few weeks ago when Jonathan played the Muppets episode that featured Harry Belafonte and the song for Maddie. She, like I, was enthralled by the song (and the muppets), and we watched at least 3 times in a row.
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Peace

25-May-2014 - Hi friends! You know, every now and again I like to share quotes or passages that resonate with me, in the hopes that they will resonate and inspire you as well. Well, here’s an excerpt from a favorite author we’ve been reading a lot of in the Tascione-Weil household. I’ll admit that it’s from a children’s book, but the message in this particular book, and honestly in all of the books we’ve read by this author, is beautiful and simply powerful.
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Chill Out with Soup

11-May-2014 - The photo of Soupy inspired this Bite. In fact, when I sat down to write this, both dogs where lounging in the living room. They looked so peaceful I thought I’d join them. Upon closer inspection, I found Soupy asleep (see above-mentioned picture) and Maisie staring out the window, waiting, I’m sure, for something to happen. ...
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Why do you practice?

27-Apr-2014 - Hi friends! Hoping this note finds you well. As I mentioned back in January, establishing my personal practice up here in Northampton has been more challenging than I imagined it would be. I still struggle with my time on my mat, largely I think, because my schedule is lacking the structure it had before. When I was living in NYC, even though I was getting on my mat for my personal practice, it was always guided by the fact that I was teaching at some point in the day. As you know, all of my classes came in some way, shape or form from my personal practice, and that demanded me to bring awareness, clarity, and intention to those practices. And, even though I’ve been carving out time at night for practice it somehow is still not feeling like my practice.
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Catch some zzzzz’s

13-Apr-2014 - It’s so great that, despite the distance, we can all stay in touch via email and facebook. After the last Bite on breathing your stress away, I received an email from one of our Yoga Bliss community peeps.  She was emailing to let me know how stress reveals itself in her life and in her body.  Her email became the inspiration for our latest Bite – stress and sleep and how yoga can potentially help - so thank you for your contribution!
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Practice Something

15-Oct-2013 - With all the changes going on in my life right now, it has been difficult to maintain a consistent practice.  And honestly, I've been a little less inspired to get on my mat and practice and meditate.
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Wondrous You

25-Sep-2013 - A colleague of mine sent an email with a portion of the following poem, and it prompted me to look for the whole piece.  I thought it was a beautiful reminder that where you are is where you are supposed to be, no matter how challenging it might feel; and to never doubt, even in your darkest, murkiest times, how truly wondrous you are.
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Lay it on the Table

12-Sep-2013 - Yesterday was the first time I was not in NYC to honor September 11th its casualties. While it's hard being there remembering what happened, it was much harder not to be there.  I couldn't even watch the ceremony on TV.  I felt very far from my city that I love so dearly and my friends who struggled alongside me during the horrific events that unfolded that day 12 years ago.
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"SPREAD GOOD VIBES!"

20-May-2013 - I saw this on a bumper sticker on a car in my neighborhood.  It made me smile and got me thinking about the energy I put out in the world on a daily basis.
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Make Peace With the Moment

06-May-2013 - The next time you get on your mat and you feel tight and stiff, or sit to meditate and notice your mind jumping all over the place, or are faced with a challenging situation, can you simply acknowledge that this is the way things are at the moment and make peace with the moment?
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Reiki Self Care

22-Apr-2013 - As you know, Reiki has become a very important practice and a growing part of my life.  I find it incredibly soothing, peaceful, and centering, especially before I fall asleep.  But, I also call on it during the day when I feel stressed or disconnected.
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Yoga in Action

08-Apr-2013 - I read this in Yoga Journal the other day, and I thought it a great reminder of how our yoga practice can be with us all the time.
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Stay Present

11-Mar-2013 - Here's a simple way to stay present and connected with everything around you.
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This is Bliss - Spring 2013

01-Mar-2013 - Shifting and giving in are not the same thing. (from A Year of Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater.)
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Express Gratitude

25-Feb-2013 - Very simply, take a moment and either mentally note or write down something you are grateful for.
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BREATHE

11-Feb-2013 - Right now, pause and take 3 conscious breaths.  Notice how you feel. (these breaths don't have to be the deepest or fullest.  Just try to pay attention to the fact that you are breathing.  Very naturally and organically  they just might deepen on their
own, simply because you are paying attention.)
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This is Bliss - Winter 2012

01-Jan-2012 - As we come to the end of another year, and I finish up my ninth year of teaching yoga and running Yoga Bliss, I find myself thinking about what practicing and teaching yoga mean to me. Some of the things I've been reflecting on are the beauty and synchronicity of the body and the breath; how the practice encourages us to not only go inward and honor ourselves, but to adapt the practice to meet our needs; how grateful I am for the practice and its ability to soothe my soul and get me out of my head and ultimately out of my own way; how I love our yoga community, and the variety and range of personalities of people coming together to practice; how the practice can teach us whatever it is we need to learn and how it helps us to get in touch with the best parts of ourselves. And while I value all of these things immensely, one of the things that I value most is the fact that it is a practice - how great is that? Just by calling it a practice and framing it in that way allows me to keep coming back to my mat day after day, year after year, and playing with the poses and figuring out how the teachings can be a more integral part of my life. Looking at it through that lens gives me permission to not know, to explore, to be uncertain, to try and even fail and try again. And all I have to do is simply unroll my mat and sit and breathe and move. But the rub is that I, we, have to show up regularly on the mat to sit and breathe and move.
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This is Bliss - Fall 2007

21-Sep-2007 - For the first time in a long time I’m sad to see the summer go. When I was a kid the end of summer meant only one thing – back to school, lots of homework, no more playing jailbreak until 10pm, no more chasing after the ice-cream truck, and no more bike rides to the candy store… When I became an adult, however, summer only meant going to work in the heat, sweating a lot, feeling low energy, and sick to my stomach most of the time. I couldn’t wait until the heat and humidity were gone and the cooler weather arrived.
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This is Bliss - Summer 2007

21-Jun-2007 - As I sit down to write the summer issue of this is bliss, my mom is closing the sale on the house that I grew up in. Luckily I got to go home last weekend to say my final good-byes: to walk through each room and remember the feelings, sensations, and memories associated with each room; to hang out in the backyard where I learned to play football and baseball, where we hosted many outdoor family gatherings, where, with my dad’s coaxing, I first let Jasper, the ex-street dog, run free. I realized we had really done a lot of living in that house.
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This is Bliss - Spring 2007

21-Mar-2007 - Spring always feels like a very creative time of year to me. As I see the flowers and trees getting ready to bloom, I can’t help but think what kinds of things will be blossoming in my own life. Lately I’ve been thinking about how my yoga practice has been growing and changing over the last few years. As many of you know, my first taste of yoga was in a gym class in high school. That was the beginning of my fascination with this practice. My second foray came much later, while I was living in Manhattan during the height of my acting/auditioning “career” when I was busy trying to be tall, small, funny, serious, the young mom, the quirky best friend. But I believe my yoga practice truly began when due to limited financial resources (i.e. no money) I was forced to stop taking classes. Having fallen in love with yoga I wasn’t about to give it up again, so I basically started practicing at home, trying to re-create some of the asanas and sequences as I remembered from class. I would supplement those memories with bits that I read in Yoga Journal and things I would pick up from videos. In the end what was so interesting is that none of those things solely made up my practice. It became a smorgasbord. Before I knew it I had created my own yoga practice and it was coming from me – how I felt, what I needed to explore that day. I had a loose idea about sequencing, but it was really about what felt good.
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This is Bliss - Winter 2006

01-Dec-2006 - One way or another, life is a rush. It can be a rush of time flying by us, or it can be a rush of excitement sweeping us up. Time flies on its own. The rush of excitement comes through the actions of people building a life that they love. You have to create it yourself. from Live What You Love, by Bob and Melinda Blanchard
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This is Bliss - Fall 2006

01-Sep-2006 - We are moving into my most favorite season of all – FALL! One of the things I love most about living on the East Coast is that we get to experience the beauty of each of the four seasons and the changes that arise with each season. By noticing the difference of each season, we are reminded that it is the nature of things to change. Just look outside – the parks that were once filled with people basking in the sun and barbecuing are now a little less populated, the once green leaves start to take on those orange and red hues and flutter to the ground. Even in our homes we see change – like the strategic shifting of our closets from summer clothes to winter clothes (that’s for my NY folks in tiny apartments); or look in the kitchen - one minute the sink is empty of dishes, the next it’s full, and then you clean them and it’s empty, and then of course you eat, and it’s full, and so on.
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This is Bliss - Summer 2006

02-Jun-2006 - Sweet Summer Salutations!!!!
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This is Bliss - Spring 2006

01-Feb-2006 - Well my friends…another season, another issue of this is bliss. I always have mixed emotions as spring arrives. I feel the tinge of anticipation for the warmth of the sun and the sweet breeze on my cheek mixed with the sadness of leaving winter with its holidays, the cuddliness of blankets, the rich darkness, topped off with dread over the heat of summer and joy over having a little extra time with family and friends once the school year is over. (As you can see this is a very confusing time for me!!!!!)
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This is Bliss - Winter 2005

01-Dec-2005 - Welcome to winter my friends. Despite a fall of wind and rain, chilly, chilly days followed oddly by balmy, spring-like days, we have arrived in the dark season of winter. As we move toward colder weather and shorter days, we might very naturally move toward a sense of quiet, hibernation, turning inward, which seems very much in tune with what is going on around us; the trees are barren, the flowers are no longer in bloom, even the squirrels in my neighborhood are all hidden away preserving their energy. And thank goodness for that - my dog, Jasper hates, or shall I say cares very little for squirrels - we can finally walk around the park in peace!
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This is Bliss - Fall 2005

01-Sep-2005 - Happy fall everyone - after a grueling summer we are well-deserving of a lovely fall, abundant in the rich vibrant colors of reds and oranges, the crispness of the air, and of course, cooler weather. This is truly my favorite time of the year. I love the way the air smells – crisp, alive – how it energizes me. I also love that fall is traditionally a time for harvesting. When I was a kid in Cherry Hill there was an apple orchard (you thought I was gonna say cherries didn’t you???) behind my house. The owner of the farm would let us have the apples that had fallen to the ground during harvesting for free. Now it wasn’t much of an apple picking ritual, but there was something special about running through the rows and rows of apple trees and collecting as many apples as possible. What kindness and generosity to allow this privilege of traipsing through the beautiful trees, smelling the fragrance of the apples, and of course delighting in their sweet juiciness. That memory serves me as a reminder that it is also a time for giving thanks. In the past, people may have given thanks for a good harvest that would sustain families through the long winter months.
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