E S S E N T I A L

Last night I was honored to teach an amazing group of students at Yoga on the Pier in Philly. It is located at the end of Race street and right below the massively beautiful Ben Franklin Bridge. This is a spectacular location and one of the coolest places I have ever taught yoga. The packed pier was vibrating with urban sounds and the union of breath and movement. This, along with the sunset, gave me the courage to read aloud a poem that I wrote this winter. 

During a silent meditation retreat this past winter I wrote a collection of poems. While writing is a solitary venture, writing poetry feels like a partnership with the rhythm and sounds deep in my soul. It requires courage to sit in the stillness, silence, spaciousness and listen to what is working through me and wants to emerge. 

Here it is:

E S S E N T I A L

Clear out all of your stuff

inside and out.

Keep only that which is essential to your spirit.

Be ruthless and shed.

Come to what is essential and steep there.

It is here at this place you will see clearly.

This place you will let go.

This place where you will finally be fully alive and free. 

Yoga on the Pier. September 1, 2015

Yoga on the Pier. September 1, 2015

My Spring Garden

As I prepare to plant my spring garden, I am reflecting on what worked in last years garden and what did not.  The eggplants were beautiful and prolific. The tomatoes were just ok. The cucumbers were a bust, and the jalapeño peppers were really pretty, but not a lot of kick. And honestly, what is the point of a jalapeño that doesn’t knock your socks off?  Last year was my first year attempting to grow vegetables in a small plot next to our home. With the encouragement of my step-mom and the joie de vivre of my youngest son, we planted our first garden on Father’s Day 2014. Three months after my sweet Dad had passed. It was part tribute to my Dad and part caving into my son Jack’s request for a garden. He likes to get his hands dirty and build stuff; Sally and I just needed something to do to make it through our first Father’s Day without my Dad.

pink socks help with planting!

pink socks help with planting!

Planting a garden in June meant we were about a month behind, or so I am told. But this seemed appropriate given the previous months and general way in which life was unfolding. Time and circumstances were not mine to arrange and dictate. Life was happening as it was supposed to happen and when it was supposed to happen. Perhaps even in a way that was divine.  All of this life and loss, coupled with joy and grief, was teaching me how to, once again, let go and allow.

Not a lot happened in the first several weeks, but Jack and I continued to water and watch, and watch and water. As we tended to our garden the stubby little plants began to bud flowers. Really amazingly beautiful flowers; especially the eggplants! Have you seen an eggplant flower? They change so quickly so it is easy to miss the wonder of it all. Ours were green buds, then yellow flowers, then miraculously they sprouted a purple burst of a baby eggplant. Perhaps this is just the course of eggplant growth, but it felt like it was just for us.; a beautiful marvel in our back yard. Just for us.

Eggplants!

Eggplants!

Those beautiful and delicious eggplants gave me the budding spark of confidence that I can do this again! I know that nothing lasts forever and it doesn’t always work out as planned, but that is ok because given time, patience and love, it seems to work out exactly as it should.  

So, onward!

It takes some work, patience and trust to cultivate a garden. Which, by the way, is EXACTLY like yoga. I have to clean out the winter that hardened the ground. I have to clear away the sticks and rebuild the soil with compost that I have been gathering all year. I need to plan, gather and plant. And then, I need to water the seeds and let them grow. Trusting that what is meant to root down, given the right amount of sunshine and love, will grow. Rooting down to expand, even if only for a moment. Trusting the process and in the experience of all of that, opening my heart to the beauty all around.

some harvest from last year, including very blah jalapeño's !

some harvest from last year, including very blah jalapeño's !

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing Gold can stay.
— robert frost



December Meditation

December is the perfect month to learn to meditate, or perhaps to reconnect with your meditation practice. Why December, you ask? Well, December is the month that most of us get caught up with the frazzled pace of getting stuff and going places and doing things. While there is some joy in that, it is temporary and can be depleting. It is a conditional type of happiness. There is a deeper, more sustainable type of happiness and joy that is available ALWAYS. One way to reconnect with this lasting, always available type of peace is the simple act of sitting quietly and connecting with your breath.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Look up in the sky (Ahhhh-mazing, right?)
  2. Find a comfortable seat (maybe it is in your car?). Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Count them as you breath in, and as you breath out.
  3. Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and listen to a short guided meditation (click below for a 4 minute guided meditation)

If you are interested in finding out more about meditation, click on the meditation tab on my website or email me kristinpage@comcast.net

 

L-O-V-E

Yesterday I hit a wall as solid as a concrete block. My ego wanted to fight through with dark destruction. Then a whisper in my soul said, “this is grief and it needs LOVE.”

So, I took a breath, which felt like love, and then another, and felt the quiver of solid destruction turning into open raw space.

I guess that is how this grace thing works, we breath into the pain and give it love.

I need to remember this!

Gratitude

GRATTITUDE

Eagle Arms

That’s right, being grateful is an attitude and a blessing. I say this as a reminder to myself as sometimes I get in a funk about all of the blessings that happen in life. You know, the blessings that show up as anxiety, grief, annoyances, relationship issues, time constraints, traffic, etc….

I am speaking from experience here when I say that an attitude of gratitude for all of it is the only answer. If we are only grateful for the good stuff that brings us joy, laughter, peace and love, we end up missing an entire realm of life, and ultimately, an entire aspect of ourselves. What if we were grateful for grief, loss, pain, and the annoyance of being stuck in traffic, not to mention all of the issues that come from having relationships with other humans? What if we said a wholehearted thank you very much for ALL of these experiences instead of just picking the sweet, joyous pretty ones for which to be grateful?

The good stuff is such a delight, but it’s the messy, dark, difficult, experiences that can not be easily fixed that are the pot of gold. It is always darkest before the dawn and I am always, usually in retrospect, deeply grateful for these lessons, I mean blessings. Sure, the shiny pretty stuff is nice, but the dark, messy, “sit in the muck of it’, “how the hell did I get here” kind of stuff breaks me open in a way that other stuff cannot. And, for those blessings, I am grateful!

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”

-Mary Oliver

Good morning Sunrise

Practicing yoga outside can be delightful, especially when this sun is rising and the weather is agreeable! Waking up early to breath deeply and move slowly admits friends, morning dew and birds chirping just adds to the delight. Thank you to all of the morning yogi’s!

A beautiful morning poem to start your day:

Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Paying Attention

I discovered this poem while in Charleston, SC. I was in a yoga class at Mission Yoga with Elli Boland when she read from the poetry book by  Tara Sophia MohrYour Other Names. I was in Charleston to be with my Dad who sadly passed away a few days after I heard this poem. While I am still on the tip of the impact of such a huge loss, what I do know for sure is how important it is to Pay Attention. In the moment. That is really all we have.

This Poem…..It is like a prayer to me. Maybe a Mantra. I particularly love the the last line!

Thank you Elli for introducing me to this

by Tara Sophia Mohr

In the end
you won’t be known
for the things you did,
or what you built,
or what you said.

You won’t even be known
for the love given
or the hearts saved,

because in the end you won’t be known.

You won’t be asked, by a vast creator full of light:
What did you do to be known?

You will be asked: Did you know it,
this place, this journey?

What there is to know can’t be written.
Something between the crispness of air
and the glint in her eye
and the texture of the orange peel.

What you’ll want a thousand years from now is this:
a memory that beats like a heart–
a travel memory, of what it was to walk here,
alive and warm and textured within.

Sweet brightness, aliveness, take-me-now-ness that is life.

You are here to pay attention. That is enough.

Stargazing

One of the Yoga Deck at Jakes Hotel

One of the Yoga Deck at Jakes Hotel

Last week I was on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Jamaica. I don’t know if I have ever seen a star filled sky like I saw last week.  As I attempted to capture the Caribbean night sky with my phone, my friend Margot said to me, “A camera can’t capture God.” So I put down my camera and looked up. The longer I looked, the more I saw. The deeper the stars went and the brighter they became. It was magically and miraculously endless.  In a way, that night of stargazing was a perfect metaphor for my experience at Jakes Hotel.

I was on a yoga retreat with Verge at Jakes Hotel in the delightfully un-touristy Treasure Beach, Jamaica. I was there to teach yoga and meditation. My intention going into the week was simple:

Allow

Be of Service

Love

To some extent I have always known that what you put out, you get back. Call it Karma, Divinity or The Universal Law of How Things Just Are (I just made that one up). You see, I know this, but this week I REALLY learned it and felt it and now “know” it in a whole different capacity than before. It’s like knowing something intellectually or knowing it in your heart with your whole being. The latter being a deeper and more stable place to inhabit.

In setting my intention to just allow (and repeating this intention), I was able to be more open, less controlling and way more in the flow. It is so simple, really (I say this as a reminder to myself now that I am back in the fullness of my life). It just takes some letting go and allowing for whatever is to be exactly as it is.  Being in the flow is a cool place to be. It is where I wish to reside!

In setting my intention to Be Of Service, what actually happened was that I got to hear, see and be witness to so much wisdom from all of those around me. This was especially poignant when I visited a local Jamaican Elementary School.  The wisdom, love and joy that I felt from these children is still resonating with me now. Surely they served me more than I could ever imagine serving them.

In setting my intention to Love I was able to follow through with the other two intentions. And in return, I was the one that felt so much love. Isn’t that just so awesome how it all works? You get exactly what you put out and it all counts; each breath, each thought and each precious moment!

This week reminded me that intentions really do count, that what we put out into the world we get back. It also reminded me to slow down and look around. There is so much to see out there and within ourselves if we are willing to put down our phones and look.

Sunset from our front porch at Jakes Hotel

Sunset from our front porch at Jakes Hotel

The Yin and Yang of Life…..

Tomorrow morning I will wake up with a heart full and empty all at once; a pulling here and there. Tomorrow morning I take off for Jakes Hotel in the dreamiest of places; Treasure Beach, Jamaica. I will be  “getting out of Dodge.” This has been a long hard winter (saying this makes me feel like Laura Ingles from Little House on the Prairie). This winter has been cold and snowy, there have been health dramas and a dozen snow days, plus all of that other stuff that happens in life regardless of weather patterns. To be honest, at times I have felt totally overwhelmed. But it has also been a great winter with many unexpected and heartwarming gifts. For starters, I loosened the house rules and my three boys are now expert indoor rip-stickers. Have you ever tried rip-sticking? It is NOT easy. Another gift: My middle son taught his younger (and much louder)  brother how to play chess. I also watched my one son fall in love with our dog. He has always “loved” him, but not like he does now- all in with his whole heart kind of love. I got to have more snuggly sofa time and more family games. The family games were not all “fun and games”. I learned that my kids are ruthless when it comes to monopoly. They cheat, steal and have no qualms about going after each other physically. We now have a non-negotiable rule that monopoly MAY not be played without an adult present.  So while this cold and snowy winter has lasted longer than I would have liked, and has caused some snafu’s, it has mostly been pretty great.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” –Rumi

Loving what you do can cause a tug at your heart. I have come to learn that this is just how it is. So, rather than push it away and squash it, I will feel the love of what I do along with the missing in my heart. Tomorrow I leave for a warmer and more bohemian place than I normally inhabit. I will be teaching yoga and meditation, I will be visiting a school to teach adorable children yoga, I might even zip line through the tree tops at YS Falls. This is a dream come true. My heart is filled with gratitude for this opportunity to go deep into a place of stillness and strength with yoga and meditation practice, along with lots of wonderful people in a beautiful setting. When I was at Jakes last year I was so moved by the people of Jamaica. Their tender soft hearts and mindful way of moving through life touched me deeply. So while I am going to miss my family a LOT, with my whole-being kind of missing, I am also filled with gratitude. I guess this is life……the yin and yang of existence.

Namaste. Xo

Charleston…….

Morning view of Charleston waterfront

Morning view of Charleston waterfront

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” -Woody Allen

God had a different plan for me this weekend.

I walk around thinking I am in charge, but really I have no clue. At best, I can show up for what life throws my way with an open and light heart and that is on a good day.

Here’s a Story:

A priest was walking down the road and saw a little boy jumping up trying to ring a doorbell. The priest crossed the street to help the little boy. He rang the bell for him then said, what do we do now? The little boy said, “Run like HELL!”

I first heard this story from Tara Brach and it always makes me laugh. For me, it highlights that we never really know what’s going to happen next. We think we know, we plan and analyze and stress, all the while we miss the precious and present moment that is right here and right now.

Instead of driving to Massachusetts to attend a silent meditation retreat, I am in Charleston with my Dad who is in the ICU . My Dad is dreamy! He is the nicest, calmest, sweetest, most awesome person I have ever met. And I get to call him Dad. I literally hit the JACK-pot with Dad’s (his name is Jack).

So this weekend I will practice staying present for each moment. Not stressing about what might be, or what should be, but just being with what IS. I will look for light in everything, even the rough spots. It is easy to sink into the fear and darkness but that takes me away from what is right here and right now which is full of light.

Silence is my Secret

Tomorrow morning I will get in my car and drive to Massachusetts to spend a weekend in silence at Insight Meditation Society. It will be my second trip to IMS.  You can read about my experience last year in an article published in MindBodyGreen.  Last year I drove up and roomed with a friend. We maintained our silence the entire time and didn’t talk until we were on our way home to Philadelphia (65 hours later!) This year I am on my own. In Silence. With no one I know anywhere nearby. Just me, the trees, the vegetarian gluten free-food and over 100 other people. Yes, there are other people who choose to do this!

I am a little anxious about going, but mostly I am looking forward to this time to go deep into silence. As Roland Becker said, “Our Lives manifest in motion, but the power of our lives resides in stillness.” As I emerge from the busy-ness of November and December I find myself craving more time and space to do less, but to feel more. Bussy-ness and schedules can act as cloaks and cover up so much. While I have a daily practice of yoga and meditation, the quality of stillness and deep knowing that occurs over several days in silence is profound. It can be compared to skiing one day, or skiing for several consecutive days. The impact of the consecutive days allows you to become better at skiing; more in the “flow”. The impact of several days in silence allows me to be more in the flow of life. It allows me to tune into the frequency of my heart where all of my wisdom emerges. It allows my busy mind to take a much-needed rest and see with more clarity how I habitually meet life. And, most importantly, it allows me to show up more fully in my life and the life of my loved ones.

As Jon Kabat-Zinn has said,

 “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf.” I am thinking of this as my annual surf camp.

Gratitude

I recently had the amazing opportunity to spend almost 9 days in Baja Mexico right at the edge of the Sea of Cortez. The magical place where Whales go to give birth!  I flew across the country with my family and found myself transported both physically and spiritually by the journey. It was my first time in that part of the world. I had no idea what to expect, mostly because I was in a state of hustle and bustle with my teaching schedule, my kids schedules and all of that other stuff that seems to fill my days. So, I didn’t spend any time researching anything. In fact, as I was filling out the immigration forms I leaned over to my husband and said, where are we staying again?

When we finally arrived at our destination I was travel-worn but feeling light-hearted. I had NO SCHEDULE (yay!). NO PLACE TO BE (yippee!).  As we were checking in I was drawn to the loud cacophony of thundering water below.  We were high above the Sea of Cortez; about 5 or 6 flights of beautiful Mexican tiled stairs carried us down to our room with a beautiful view of the Water. But, before I saw the Sea of Cortez, I heard it. And before I heard it, I felt it in my chest and throughout my body. It felt something like being at a football game and feeling the beating vibration of the drums in your chest. It was powerful! The kind of powerful that shakes you AWAKE!

This feeling and state of being awake is something that I literally think about constantly. I practice yoga and meditation to touch into this feeling of freedom. I teach people how to breathe and be in the moment in their bodies. I guide people through meditations to feel what it is to be fully alive and in the moment. Sometimes I think of myself as a space maker of sorts, starting primarily with myself. Through the breath in our bodies we find space, first physical, then mentally, then eventually we find it in our hearts. Space for more love, joy, peace and freedom. We also find more space for presence and love through the shaky times. Being in the moment is key and I was feeling very in the moment. 

I thought of the quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

Any body of water, especially a powerful Sea that attracts Whales to birth their babies, can be a powerful metaphor for life. There is so much energy and vibration, yet still and peaceful. Looking at the Sea of Cortez and the flow of the waves is like seeing your entire life within one wave; it is all contained right there: peace, love, misery, angst, freedom. Every emotion and experience contained right there in both one wave and the entire magical Sea all at once.

It can be really nice to “get out of Dodge” and slow down a bit. Plus being in another part of the world offers another perspective. This trip gave me a chance to slow down and take in all of the love, joy, peace and freedom that exists in my life.  As I head into this last month of this incredible year, I am grateful for the reservoir of space and love that exists within me and all of us. I am grateful for the time in Mexico to slow down and notice all of the blessings that have touched me this year. Several of these blessings showed up in my life as “problems” and turned out, as they always do, to be amazing gifts. I am grateful to have touched my toes (I never went deeper!) into the most powerful body of water I have ever felt. I am grateful to feel awake and alive!

Rumi said:

“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the ground”

Being in this magical and powerful place, so far from my regular life, gave me a chance to reflect and feel deep gratitude for this life.

Adios Mexico. Te Amo!

Radical lessons from my Dog


We can learn so much from dogs. They are natural Yogi’s. They don’t have to try to be mindful, they just are. They don’t have to practice “letting go”, they just do! They love without ANY conditions. They show up in the moment with whatever it brings. Including the chaos and (sometimes) drama that ensues when three kids need to leave the house at the same time. They instinctually know that nothing else needs to happen or change, they don’t need to be anywhere else but exactly where they are. They show up fully in this perfect moment in time, this perfect breath, right here, right now contains all that they need.

From the Taoist Lao Tzu:

“Always we hope someone else has the answer, some other place will be better,  some other time it will all turn out”

Dogs know, and somewhere in ourselves we do too, that we have the answers, there is no other place and it has already turned out. How radical is that! Imagine being in a place that requires no fixing. Sometimes in my yoga practice I can touch into this, but it takes practice. My intention today is to be more like my dog, minus some of the stuff he does outside.
Namaste!

For the love of trees (and yoga)

Have you looked outside lately? I mean really looked at the trees and the sky? I was reading something recently about all of the benefits of yoga. I have to say it all sounded great and most of it rings true. But, really the biggest benefit of my yoga practice is that I notice things, like the trees and the grass and the way my kids spirits are shining brightly (or not).  Most days, after I practice yoga I notice the grass is greener, the sky brighter and my spirit is lighter. My yoga practice has eased my body into become more healthy, it has helped me approach life more open heartedly, it has settled my busy mind, it has helped me to forgive, to love and to see more clearly. This “seeing more clearly” thing is so cool, especially this time of year!  In honor of Fall and the beautiful changing colors of the leaves on the trees, here is a poem by Joyce Kilmer:

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

(drum roll, please)…..It’s November 1st!

Yesterday I woke up in a funk. Truth be told, I really do not like Halloween. My youngest son woke up with more energy than I have ever had in my life. He is just the opposite of me…he LOVES Halloween. He loves decorating, dressing up, admiring himself in the mirror, buying candy, eating candy, the parties, the festivities, ALL OF IT!

As we were eating breakfast, he said, “What’s wrong, Mom”. In an effort not to crush his amazing spirit, I said I was just a little tired. With great clarity, he said, “I know…I woke up a little tired too, but then I thought about Halloween and it all went away and I feel GREAT!” He insisted I close my eyes and try it. I did. But instead of thinking of all of the reasons I dislike Halloween, I thought about all of the blessings I have in life. And guess what?? It worked!

This morning I woke up thrilled that it is November 1st! But, as the day progressed I bumped into a few obstacles. Instead of lamenting and worrying and all of that other habitual junk that happens when things don’t go exactly as we want them to go, I remembered my breakfast session with my (halloween) guru. I closed my eyes and thought happy thoughts. And guess what? It worked again!

A Season For Everything

My boys at Skunk Hollow

My boys at Skunk Hollow

Summer 2013 is officially over. I know, I know, it is not technically over as the solstice is later this month, but “summer” in the Page household is O-V-E-R. I say that with both nostalgia and joy. The nostalgia is that this season of my boys’ lives is speeding by. This summer they all started wearing deodorant; only one of them needs it. Have you ever seen a 7-year-old put on deodorant-it is very funny! This summer was magical; we spent A LOT of time together, we surfed, rainbow loomed, hiked, went on long trips, danced, made up rap songs, got annoyed at each other-then tried to worked it out. I am keenly aware that all of this time and togetherness is fleeting. My joy for this change of season comes from having a little more personal space and time while my boys are at school. I am ready for more structure with meals and bedtime and school work. And, as much as my boys think they would love to be foot-loose and fancy- free forever and ever, what they actually need is this change of season. We all do!

This song by the Byrds has been floating in my head this week:

To Everything There Is a Season, by The Byrds

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late!

Showing up

Tomorrow I will wake up “ready” to swim, bike and run. I have spent the past seven months training for and competing in various triathlons. I was moved deeply by my friends battle with cancer and I wanted to do something to honor him. For whatever reason, competing in triathlons was how it manifested. As I put on my goggles and race gear tomorrow I will be thinking of Dan and all of the other people who have been affected by cancer. I will move through the race with the awareness that I am blessed to be able to wake up and do this. While I will not be crossing the finish line first, or even close, it will be a win for me in that I set a goal, trained and showed up. Sometimes that is all it takes; just showing up.

I am practiced in showing up for yoga and meditation. That is my daily practice. But swimming, cycling, running is a whole different story for me.  In setting out to honor Dan through this very physical training, that was way outside of my comfort zone, I found something deeper within myself. I found my strength in a way that I had forgotten.  Thanks Dan Schultz for being such an inspiration!

Namaste

“I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you, where when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

-Namaste, as defined by Mahatma Gandhi
Yoga with lululemon athletica Wayne!

Yoga with lululemon athletica Wayne!

Tonight I practiced yoga outside under a wide open sky with birds chirping and my three boys all around me. lululemon athletica in Wayne organizes an awesome community yoga Wednesday nights throughout the summer.  I was hesitant to bring my boys with me as I thought maybe they wouldn’t be able to “hang”. I ignored that nagging anxiety and brought them.  I am SO glad I listened to my heart and brought them!  They didn’t follow all of the directions, they giggled, jumped around in balance poses and went to refill their  water a few times.  BUT….they held my hand in savasana and that made my heart feel so full of love, of light, of truth and peace.

Namaste :)

Balance

Balance can be tricky on and off our yoga mats. It requires presence, a solid base, an open heart, a willingness to be strong but flexible and the courage to fall. The things that help me balance on my yoga mat are the same things that helps me balance in life. Sometimes I am strong and light and can balance like a flamingo. Other times I am clumsy, heavy and can barely stand on two feet. This practice is exactly the same on or off my yoga mat. The key element that connects the two is the willingness to be present for all of it.

As I glide through the sweet spot of summer. That in-between time where there is no unpacking the book bags or preparing for a new school year, where the days are hot, the nights are long and there is a lot of  together-ness, I am keenly aware that time is precious and each moment matters.  While I may falter in my balance many (millions) of times throughout the day, what yoga has taught me is the ability to remain present through it all.