Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spring Shifting


"You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather."

Pema Chodron

April is here with fragrant blossoms reaching toward the sun, robins searching for food from the softening ground, and buds forming on the trees (pollen!), but the cold winds of March are still in the air.

Season to season transitions unravel slowly, there is a constant quality of change. We can see and feel this as the weather shifts in spring, showing up as snow, rain, clouds, or sun as nature begins to wake up from winter. Just like the seasons, we awaken to these in-between moments of shifting within movement, breath awareness, or mindful concentration as we meet the daily fluctuations within our day. These changes can overwhelm us through our emotional reactions or steady us with the constancy of knowing that this too shall pass. 

When we take the time to notice these moments, we have the capacity to meet ourselves within all the shifts of life. 

April offerings from my home to yours...

Virtual Slow Flow Yoga

Wednesday evening

4/7/21 and 4/14/21

730p-845p Eastern Time

This is a pay as you can class ($5-$15)

Click here to sign up via Paypal

*NO class on 4/21/21

FREE Community Care class 4/28/21

I share virtual classes that focus on moving, breathing, and meditating. The style I teach is a mash-up of hands on meditation in the form of reiki, slower paced movement, longer held poses, breath awareness, and mindfulness. The classes I share are open to anyone who can move from lying to seated to standing positions. 

I offer free guided meditations on Insight Timer and free movement videos on YouTube. Once a month I teach a free community care class highlighting an organization that promotes equity, anti-violence, anti-oppression, environmental protection, social and racial justice. 

For April, I am supporting Stop AAPI Hate and Moms Demand Action.

In the past, I have supported other organizations and charities listed below in no particular order.



World Central Kitchen

Audre Lorde Project

Black Visions Collective

Black Lives Matter

Trans Justice Funding Project

Ocean Conservancy

I understand we all have different values, ethical standards, morals and wish to support various groups that align with our personal beliefs. There are so many causes to fight for, take time to consider what is important to you, your family, your neighbors, your community, and our world. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Dynamic Movement

Utkatasana (Chair Pose or Fierce Pose) is a vibrant standing pose that strengthens the lower back, tones the torso, thighs and legs while uplifting the spine. Utkat is translated as intense or powerful.  Asana is translated as pose/posture. This standing pose brings balance into the body, and determination into the mind. A gentle tuck to the pelvis supports the low back. A round of 3-5 full body breaths is a good place to start with holding more challenging poses. As you breathe in and out, your heart rate will most likely increase to adapt to the physically demanding shifts within your body. This image is shown with a folded blanket under the feet for extra support within the pelvis, hips, and knees.

The practice of moving, breathing, and meditating have the power to adjust our heart rate. Heart rate variability is a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat, it is controlled by our autonomic nervous systems. Purposeful fluctuations of heart rate through dynamic movement alternating with rest trains your body to circulate oxygen and blood more efficiently, which helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and increases your metabolism. When we look at the way our nervous system reacts to work, stress, emotions, thoughts, or feelings, we are better able to understand the shifts in our sympathetic (fight, flight, or freeze) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems, which directly affect our heart rate variability. This is why the practice of yoga is so beneficial, it brings balance to our body, mind, and heart. 

Deepen into the pose by bending into hips, knees, and ankles. Use your breath as a guide.

Explore movment within the pose, add in a twist (alternating sides) lifting up and out of the waist. 

After transitioning into a more supportive or restful position, breathe naturally for 3-5 minutes. After a few moments of rest and easeful breathing, your body will adapt and adjust your heart rate. Check your radial pulse by placing two fingers over the thumb side of your wrist. Use a stop watch to count your heart beat for a full 60 seconds. 

Take time to check your pulse at different points of activity and rest throughout your day will determine your heart rate variability. 

If you are interested in learning more about the autonomic nervous system, I found Krista Tippett's most recent On Being podcast 'What's Happening in Our Nervous Systems?' to be helpful in understanding the physiological effects of living in a pandemic year and how it relates to our mind-body connection.

Virtual Slow Flow Yoga


730p-845p ET

This is a pay as you can class ($5-$15)

Click here to sign up via Paypal

Stay safe, move slowly guided by breath. Listen to the language of your body.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Writing as Meditation


"Leaning into gratitude, we begin to notice the everyday miracles that were right in front of us all along."

Katrina Kenison

Writing has always been a way for me to bring understanding within my relationship to self, others, and the world around me. To reflect deeply is to look, listen, and feel. Writing can be transforming, I use it as mediation, as therapy, it helps me to find clarity when emotions build up, or when grief, sadness, and anger feel overwhelming. Writing is a release. I write to let go of thoughts, experiences, and things I can't change. I write to make sense of the senseless, when confusion, uncertainty, and fear surrounds me.

Writing is a process of inquiry, it can be used as a practice of meditation or it can be added in before or after a seated or lying meditation. Creating space within the mind helps to sharpen our ability to be present, to relax our hold on attachments, and to become aware of habitual patterns. 

I love a good writing prompt, and my friend Katrina Kenison who celebrates the ordinary moments of our days asks, "what have you made this year? 

This past year, I have learned new ways of doing things. I have made new friendships, new connections, and met with people all over the world virtually. As a nurse, I have made awful situations more comforting to those who have lost loved ones and supported my colleagues during physically and emotionally draining circumstances. As a mother, I have created safe spaces inside our home for my kids to grow into kind, caring, compassionate human beings who are able to adapt to new surroundings and persevere. I have made art, poetry, and music as a way to nourish my spirit. I have made a winter compost,  planned out my garden for spring, and took a hard look at how much plastic I use and waste I create. I have made choices that support and lift others up instead of staying silent, turning away, or ignoring that injustice, racism and oppression don't exist. I have made time for conversations and discussions that are open ended, so my kids know they can always come to me with their questions and thoughts. I have read other people's words, listened to their stories, and uncovered what hope really means; hearing other people's emotions. I have written in my journal as a form of therapy and meditation. I have made space in my heart for patience, forgiveness,  generosity, and love for myself and for others. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Marching On


March is here and it is the month that leads us into spring! I bought some bright, colorful tulips and I've been watching the blossoms slowly open and unfold. These flowers symbolize love, hope, and cheer ~ all that the season of spring has to offer. This time last year was just the beginning of a difficult and challenging journey, one that we are all still enduring. I began offering these virtual classes as a way to create a space to share resources of moving, breathing, and meditating for our physical and mental well being. It has taken a few months, but my goal of connection and support has expanded into a welcoming online community that I am grateful to be a part of. We will meet a few times this month, I hope you will join me on Wednesday evenings for slower paced moving, focused breathing, and moments of mindful meditation.  

Virtual Slow Flow Yoga 
(*No class on 3/17/21)
This is a pay-as-you-can class ($5-15).

Click here to sign up via Paypal. 

If you are having issues with the link, or you don't have a Paypal account, please email me.

Once you pay for class, members of your family/household are welcome to attend. 
My goal is to offer consistent, accessible classes with a free community class once a month. If you have any questions/feedback or requests for practice please reach out. 

In an effort to maintain accessibility and equity within these offerings, I have chosen to teach a free community care class once a month. I also highlight a charitable organization to support to bring awareness and attention to the many issues that need help and repair in our world today. 

Slow Flow brings the element of time and space within transitions of movement and breath awareness. Longer held poses and mindfully paced movement promote safety, strengthening, and balance. This class is open to all levels who can move from lying to seated to standing positions. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Self Care


Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Parsvottonasana/Pyramid pose is a standing forward bending side stretch of effort and ease. This stretch strengthens the legs, lengthens the hamstrings, helps improve stability, and allows release in the spine/upper body. Breathe in, expand your lungs, soften your upper chest, back, heart, head and neck. Connect your mind to your breath and your breath to sensation. 

Take care with moving, listen to the language of your body. 

To stay awake and aware in our world today requires a lot of effort. This past year has proven to be a difficult and heart breaking one for many of us. In addition to the devastation of the pandemic, we are dealing with continued violence, oppression and racism in all its ugly forms. To care is to put yourself in a place of vulnerability and exposure. 

As a daughter, sister, nurse, partner, and friend it is my job to care. As a caregiver, it is easy to put yourself aside and take care of others first. I know this because I have done this. Not putting boundaries or personal needs first creates depletion, strain and eventual breakdown. This wearing away of resilience and strength looks different for everyone, it may not be externally visible to others, and it doesn't happen overnight. Recognizing when we need to step back and find equilibrium is self care. Personally, I have many responsibilities that extend outward from my home into my community, and even further globally. As someone who believes in equality and justice, it is a struggle to fight such a large system that feeds on greed, power, money and selfishness. That struggle can wear you down, making self care an essential resource to keep going, to keep helping, and to keep supporting those in need.

For the past 20 years, I have worked with families in crisis. I know what suffering looks and feels like. I have had the privilege to care for people in all transitions of life and death. The witnessing of suffering, knowing the inevitability of it, and recognizing it is the first step to helping. Soothing others suffering is possible. It requires you to stay open, patient, and available without expectations. Sharing a moment with a stranger or a friend is humbling. I remember as a young nurse, many mentors told me not to cry with patients and families as it can be emotionally draining. The job remained exhausting on many levels despite my reaction to it. In time, I found that allowing myself to feel my emotions instead of masking them improved my ability to let go of the stress related to the difficult experiences, to be more present at work and at home. The willingness to listen to other people's stories and feelings is essential to begin the process of helping and healing. This is the act of compassion; to understand, to empathize, to sympathize, and choose to take an active role in relief. 

To live compassionately is to own your self care. 

The origins of self care are deeply political. I urge you to research the history of self care and the moments it received attention and promotion in the media. Self care is a practice of survival. Rest is essential, but is particularly important when anxiety, stress, fear, and grief become part of our everyday experiences. 

In my life, I have chosen to move, breathe and meditate as part of my self care practice. It helps, even small movements, a few deep breaths, and short moments of quiet time. This practice is one that I share in the form of Yoga and Reiki. 

                                     Virtual Slow Flow Yoga


730p-845p ET

DM for details/link.

For those who can't make it to the live class, I've recorded free movement/meditation offerings. The most recent video focuses on Reiki as a (~ 20 min) self care practice, shares the 8 Reiki Self Holding Techniques: hands to head, eyes, ears, back of the head, shoulders/neck, upper chest/heart, upper abdomen, and lower abdomen. Reiki holds space to continue to care and support each other through compassionate help. Reiki is flexible, adaptable, it meets you where you are with no agenda, no judgment, and no expected outcomes.

"Caring for myself is not self indulgence, it is self preservation 

and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde 

2/18/1934 ~ 11/17/1992

In support of the importance of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self care this months free offering highlights the efforts of 'The Audre Lorde Project' (ALP). This months donation has been made to the ALP, which is a Community Organizing Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming (LQBTSTGNC) People of Color Communities. Through mobilization, education, coalition building, and advocacy, the ALP promotes community wellness, progressive social and racial justice. 

As I write this, many states within the United States are considering legislation that will restrict healthcare, impose criminal penalities on medical professionals and parents that offer care to transgender youth. Even though these proposals are not happening in the state in which I live, the United States is an extension of my home which continues to promote inequity, violence, and ongoing discrimination. I have found that researching and educating myself has been the largest part of my activism. Reading and listening to other people's stories is an important part of finding connection and understanding. The Trans Justice Funding Project is a grant funding group that helps local communities organize, they offer great resources to groups who are committed to freedom of self expression.

Anti-racism, anti-oppression, and anti-violence work is ongoing and will continue for the rest of my life. My activism starts in my own heart, my home. I share the work with my kids to provide opportunities for discussion, to further understanding and open communication. It's challenging and difficult, but doing the right thing has never been easy. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Slowing Down

"We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again."

Katherine May 

In 'Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times', Katherine May gives a meditative honoring to the season of winter. She marks the feeling of a season in one's life as a wintering season. The joy, the sadness, the cozy, and the cold are all woven into this beautiful book about the need for rest, replenishment, and renewal within the seasons of our lives. 

In New England, where the glory of each season is only here for a short while, there is a need to pause, to connect with the beauty in nature, to hold the moments with all your senses, to remember the feeling of each passing month.

Supine twist with extended leg supported by a strap. 

Being in the season of winter now, there will be some days you may not want to get out of bed. Do it anyway. Find some space to lengthen, reach out your arms and legs, reawaken, and linger in the first stretch of the day. Lean into your supports, a wall, a block, or a strap can encourage and promote a softening within sensation. I'm not a morning person, in fact, morning is a difficult time for my body as it takes me a while to comfortably move my tight joints and stiff muscles. As the day progresses, I move more fluidly and the season of my day arrives. 

Just like there are seasons within a year, we have seasons within our days. 

As humans, we move with purpose. We rise from sleep to attend to our body's needs. Most of us work and have responsibilities to care for those we love. The job runs the game. Lately, I've been trying to carve out small moments within my day to pause, move, breathe and take time to concentrate on a single task. It's not as easy as it sounds! My busiest days are working days, and those are the days I need to slow down more, take intentional deep breaths, and make space to stretch. 

Throughout the day there are so many transitions happening moment to moment we barely notice the transformations within them. As a lover of movement, I take great care in how I move throughout my day and am influenced by how others move, communicate, and express themselves. Another layer of this gentle observance can be found in nature. The way plants and animals adapt in an effort to survive is a full awareness of the season they are in, and they move based on their needs. In opposition, we have the luxury to open into the season we are inspired to become.

 Different seasons are felt by our senses and our emotions as they move through us. 

When I wake up in the morning my body is cold and needs time to wake up. My whole being feels like it moves from winter into spring as I make preparations to nourish myself (coffee!), and get ready for the day. After moving and a shower, my body is warm, limber, and a feeling of summer settles into my bones. The sun sets, the temperature cools, and evening winds down the day. There is a gathering to make dinner and a grateful feeling of fall fills my heart.

As a child, I've always enjoyed discovering the seasons through fresh eyes. Every year I grew and matured within my abilities to really see, hear, smell, taste, and touch all that nature has to offer. When I became a mother, sharing in the joys of a first snow in winter, a little green in spring, the warm summer sun, and the abundance of fall guided our days as a family. Slowing down to celebrate and honor each season as it arrives is a way to connect the magic of my childhood and pass it on to my children.

This February I will be sharing offerings that inspire moving, breathing and meditating.

Free 4 part meditation series inspired by nature.

Rest & Restore brings a winter's rest into the body, heart, and mind.
Relax & Renew guides us into spring. 
Soften & Shine honors the light and warmth of summer.
Unfold & Unwind creates space as summer fades into fall. 

Virtual Slow Flow Yoga 



*(no class 2/17)

This is a pay-as-you-can class ($5-15)

Click here to sign up for class via Paypal.

If you are having issues with the link, or don't have a Paypal account, please email me. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Poetry as Meditation


Hydrangeas in winter
stalk and stem in hibernation
blanketed beneath the snow

Quiet, still, a meditation
sweeping wind gusts blow
the cold, sharp air turns bitter

Reading or writing poetry is much like meditation. It is a practice of centering on a few words or a group of thoughts. Poems, essays and stories have the great capacity of slowing down time, finding pause within a moment. Poetry brings reflection and an opportunity to look at oneself from the inside out. Anything in life can inspire poetry, but it is choosing to be present with an idea, an image, a place, a sound, or a sensation, and sitting with it for a while that is the act of meditation. Reading a poem or writing one allows you to express what it means to be alive, fully aware and in the moment. If we define meditation as an experience where you practice presence with the thoughts, feelings and sensations that occur in your mind and in your environment, then it isn't a practice of thinking, but one of being.

I have attended classes in movement and meditation where the facilitator begins and ends with a quote, a story, or a poem. This sets a tone for the experience, and allows the receiver to relax and enjoy the benefits of a practice with a focused mind rather than a distracted one. Some meditation practices are built around a one or two word mantra that helps to guide awareness and concentration. Words have the power to soften an angry, grieving heart, to change people's minds, and create large scale movements toward a common goal. 

Words have the ability to heal.

Since I was young, I have turned to writing during difficult times of my life. It is a way to work out my feelings and unravel confusing ideas that hold me hostage causing anxiousness and fear. For me, writing has been a form of therapy. For many, watching stories through movies or shows can help shift perspectives and open new ways of thinking. From the beginning of time, humans have been sharing, drawing, and communicating stories to find connection and ease the feeling of loneliness and sadness that life can bring. Writing also brings joy. My kids love comedy, joke writing, and making people laugh. It's all words put together in specific ways from minds that choose to stay open and creative, to find inspiration in the ordinary and the extraordinary. 

My free verse poem, 'Hydrangea in Winter' was inspired by the blue lace hydrangea at the foot of our back door. Yesterday, I paused to stand within the quiet before our snowstorm. I felt the hope and peace of the firmly rooted plant that will rebloom in spring and summer, but was quickly snapped out of that thought when the bitter wind hit my face and watered my eyes. A momentary meditation in my garden contrasted by the heaviness of winter and our current world events. 

Writing poetry takes courage. It is an act of facing vulnerability, to invstigate one's existence, to stay awake and aware. Just like meditation, it is sitting with discomfort, fear or sadness, and choosing to observe and acknowledge it. It is a practice of training the mind and body to be, start with just a few minutes a day. Sit or lie down quietly, settle your physical body and center your mind by reading or writing a poem at the beginning or end of your meditation.

How does it makes you feel before, during and after?
See where the journey takes you. 

This February I will be sharing weekly classes that inspire moving, breathing and meditating.

Some weeks I may read a poem or two...

For those that like to plan ahead, there will be *no class on 2/17.

Virtual Slow Flow Yoga 



This is a pay-as-you-can class ($5-15)

Click here to sign up for class via Paypal.

If you are having issues with the link, or don't have a Paypal account, pleae email me. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Gentleness and Rest

It's been my goal to share a consistent and accessible practice with a few pay-as-you-can classes and a free offering. In honor of MLK day and his legacy of service, the continuing devastation of the virus, and with everything going on in the world, I think this is the week for a free class. 

Slow Flow Yoga
(DM for zoom link)

Focused breathing, mindful movement, and meditation are powerful coping mechanisms.

Gentleness and rest are encouraged as a form of self care, increasing one's capacity to be of service to others. Take care of yourself first. Once your needs are met, you are more present for those you love in a deeper, more meaningful way.

These past few months I 've been sharing a combination of live classes and videos in an effort to meet the needs of those with varying schedules and comforts within online movement classes. 

My newest video is a short session using the support of the wall. 

This months gift has been made to BEAM and BLM.

BEAM is a national training, movement building and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities. 

BLM is a movement to end State-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, 
and end white supremacy forever. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Reflections and Intentions


Today the kids and I made a crystal grid (a group of stones laid out in a particular way for a specific purpose) as our January new moon mandala. We only had a few minutes between work and school prep, but it was worth it.

These are dark days and we are all coping differently. I'm grateful for the consistency of prioritizing ritual to help manage the fatigue of being a nurse in a pandemic, to support my kids while remote learning, and hold space for open communication and connection. Carving out the smallest amount of time for creativity can spark discussion about what weighs heavy on the hearts of the young. It is in the processing of thoughts, opinions, and discussions that can reveal the truth of words as action and activism. We infused our crystal grid with reiki (positive intention sent through the hands) for justice, equality, peace, and accountability.

Intention and reflection is a powerful form of action.

I'm feeling like we need to keep connecting virtually, to keep breathing and moving collectively. I find it easier to get quiet and still for meditation when there is a surrounding circle of support. Consistency within the practice is a big part of it too. 

This week calls for gentleness, we will begin with the breath and see where it takes us.

Let's keep finding opportunities for reflection within the transitions of our bodies, the thoughts in our minds, and the changing emotions within our hearts.

#activate love power

From my home to yours.

Slow Flow Yoga



This is a pay-as-you-can class ($5-15).

Click here to sign up for class via Paypal.

If you are interested in class and are having issues with the link or don't have a Paypal account please email heronyoga@gmail.com


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy New Year! January Offerings

"If this is our only time, and it is, then surely we do owe it to ourselves, and to each other, 
to pay attention, to look deeply, to listen closely, and to respond to all of it, 
somehow, with love and gratitude."
Katrina Kenison

Happy New Year!

I hope this note finds you and your families safe and healthy. 
I would like to continue to share practice on 
Wednesday evenings, my aim is to offer class a few times a month. 

Please join me for virtual Slow Flow Yoga!
730p-845p EST
We will move, breathe and meditate together setting an intention of connection and acceptance to meet ourselves as we are. 

This is a pay-as-you-can class (suggested $5-15).

Click here to sign up for class via Paypal. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Reflect and Release


Billboard picture credit: GreenPeace. 

This beautiful quote by the wise Sonya Renee Taylor is truth.

On these last few days of 2020, I'm looking, listening, and feeling my way through to 2021. I'm sitting with discomfort, grieving the losses, and the injustice of many years culminating into this past year. This year has exposed a lot to unravel and will have mental and physical impacts on many of us in the future. In an effort to stay hopeful, I've been cultivating a gentle observance with myself and others, taking a long deep breath before I speak or react, consciously choosing non-judgment and neutrality over an explosive response. I listen and read to find understanding, to learn more, to help me parent two beautiful humans who have so much love, patience, and generosity to give. I tune in to how I'm feeling and use my senses as super powers to activate an awareness that is open hearted and trusting of my own gut instincts.

This look, listen, and feel paradigm is one I learned in school and work; a life or death assessment in some cases. Look, listen, and feel can also be a practical tool for coping with new and uncertain experiences. If a situation unravels, taking the time to look at it from different angles can be helpful. Listening to all sides and talking it out usually brings insight. Interestingly, the body can react differently than the mind in any given situation. The way things are said or taken in through our senses can stimulate emotional responses that the rational mind doesn't connect with. I know I've been quick to anger, feeling frustration or irritability that blocks my seeing a bigger picture scenario. I've also taken things personally, and felt hurt with harsh and insensitive words. This is a process, I make mistakes often, but I apologize and forgive. Take the time to feel the language of the body, it is a form of compassionate communication to oneself.

This year I have had uncomfortable conversations, held the hands of dying strangers unable to be with their family, watched my friends and coworkers struggle in situations that aren't sustainable, and made decisions that will change the way my kids learn and live. I've also seen the power of the human spirit thrive, that change and adaptability is possible, discovered that love continues to grow, found hope in unlikely places, and faced many personal fears along the way. 

Embrace discomfort

Choose courage

Reflect and release


Garland pose is a deep squat that opens the hips and knees, strengthens the calves, ankles, feet and toes. It creates more mobility in the lower body, tones the abdomen, improves digestion and supports release. 

Malasana is a sanskrit word that can be broken down into two words. Mala translated as garland, and Asana translated as posture/pose. Squatting poses connect us closer to the Earth providing a calm connection to free up stress and negative feelings that can gather in our hips and lower abdomen, further clearing what is no longer needed. This pose helps to engage our core and pelvic floor muscles protecting the low back from injury and strain. 

There are many variations of this pose. This image is a gentler version with the hands showing self holding techniques to the heart and low belly. Modifications and adjustments can be made with the heels down or lifted, a rolled or folded blanket under the heels can be a useful prop to support this pose.

This New Year has the potential to be transformative on many levels, it won't happen overnight, but change is constant. If we look, listen, and feel into each moment we can witness the unfolding of it, and become an active part of the process. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Shine Your Light

 Today is the Winter Solstice in New England and the sky is gray and overcast. There is not much light from the sun that rose at 7:10 this morning. The shortest day will be a dark one, as the sun sets at 4:13pm. Last week we received a large amount of snow. It has been cold, snow is still covering the trees and piles of it line our streets and sidewalks. 

Welcome winter. 

Typically, winter is a time of rest where many of us hunker down in our houses and enjoy time off as we transition into the new year. But this year has already been a long one with much suffering and loss, and those who have been masking and distancing, in attempt to slow the spread of this insidious virus have already experienced the separation and isolation that winter can bring. This year has been an eye opener for those who choose to stay aware, engaged and curious. World and local news has been difficult to bear witness to, it can feel apathetic to many who don't know how to help or be a part of the solution. I worry for families in crisis, victims of unjust violence, and the helpers who are fatigued mentally and physically. Some people have told me I care too much, and I do. It's also my job to care. I work in healthcare and have had experiences in my career that I never thought I would see. 

Most days I am taking one moment at a time, not focusing too far in advance, holding on to the gifts of ordinary days, and staying inspired as best as I can. We need each other, especially now when we can't touch or see our loved ones. It's easy to get lost in fear when we are left alone for too long. I talk to my Mom everyday and stay in touch with friends and family. I'm so grateful for modern technology! 

While winter can be a dark time, it is also a time of transition, and every day that passes we get closer to the light. We need the balance of dark and light to appreciate the beauty all around us. In the meantime, we can shine our own light outward and help those in need with simple acts of kindness. Sending letters or emails, talking on the phone, checking in on neighbors, or waving at others when we walk outside are all reminders that we are not alone. 

Caring gives hope and when given collectively, it can bring healing. 

Keep caring.

Keep helping.

Keep hoping.

With regard to self care, here are some video practices I recorded filled with movement, breathwork and moments of rest to bring increased energy, stoke our inner fire, and keep your light shining strong and bright. 

Winter Solstice Flow

Yoga for Increased Energy

This month has brought bright beauty in the sky too! Keep a watch on the "Great Conjunction" of Saturn and Jupiter in the south western sky tonight. Read more about this exciting planetary alignment here!

Wishing you all a Happy Solstice and Holiday season!

With love and care,

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December Offerings


December is here in New England and we have a few more weeks of fall left before we transition into winter. The changing seasons offer us opportunities to notice more, observe the natural world around us and feel into that connection of living, breathing and being. This time of year, the leaves have completely fallen off most deciduous trees and the evergreens remain. The season of late fall seems most stark as the tree limbs stand bare, the weather becomes colder, the days are shorter, and the call to stay warm and rest more is strong. I live my life by these nature rituals of noticing what changes and what stays the same. It gives me hope to know its rhythm and consistency.

R E L A X 

As I reflect back on the last 15 years of sharing yoga, I am clear on one thing; change is constant. When I first started teaching, a few friends gathered to give me support and help build my confidence in my new endeavor. Their presence and feedback in my life has been such a gift. As I moved on to show up in studio spaces, I continued to confront my fears of public speaking, and developed my own style of teaching. My classes were always small as I didn't feel comfortable promoting myself, but I kept going and my connections kept growing. Years went by and I continued to meet wonderful people who it seemed were teaching me more than I was teaching them. With all the highs and lows of how life unravels, I am still inspired by the beauty of this moment. 2020 has shown us all that nothing stays the same. 


In an environment of constant change, it is in the consistency of returning to the pratice that helps me stay present, focused and grounded. There is a lot about the study of yoga that is different for me now, I'm unsure of many things related to the practice, and my place within it. The way I share and embody movement has morphed so much that I'm not sure I could even call it yoga anymore. Honoring the roots of the practice is a process of constant learning and unlearning. Here is a link to an article written by Susanna Barkataki, author of 'Embrace Yoga's Roots': Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. When I think about teaching yoga, I have to constantly remind myself that the movement or asana part of yoga is only one limb and the philosophy compiles the larger aspects and should be shared appropriately. I will continue to stumble on this path as I attempt to find my way in and through it. 


Movements and meditations that are familiar feel good to return to, they encourage us to stay strong and open to new ways of doing things. Creating potential and fulfillment within our days helps to cultivate a sense of purpose, peace, calm, presence and joy. Staying awake and aware to what is happening to us and in us should be the focus. If I can look more closely, listen more attentively, feel into the moment, and speak the truth instead of what I think others need or expect, then that is the true practice. 

A L L O  W

Finding time to slow down, listen to the mind/body, move purposefully, and breathe with intention has always been the foundation for creating an authentic space that continues to grow beyond the limitations of walls. Returning to rest, ease and comfort is the theme for December. I remember my early days of learning the practice of being present during my teacher training at Kripalu. Stephen Cope shared his thoughts and mantra 'BRFWA' (breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allow), a powerful tool for coming home to ourselves. Read more about it here.

Many thanks for your patience while I navigate a new path, there will be bumps in the road, but life is for learning. 

Virtual Slow Flow

Free class on 12/2 & 12/9

Wednesday evenings 730p-845p

email: heronyoga@gmail.com for details/link.

This is the season of giving and I'm happy to gift 2 free classes this month. Please join me as moving, breathing and meditating is about creating space in your life to find steadiness. My goal is to share a few live movement practices to wrap up our season of late fall before winter begins and see what our New Year of 2021 will bring. Until then, I have free movement videos on YouTube and free guided meditations on Insight Timer

With love and care,


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Connections & Gratitude

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie

This time of year can bring up different emotions for many people depending on your family experiences, beliefs, customs and cultural lineage. Thanksgiving has never been a holiday I enjoy or like to celebrate. As a nurse, I typically sign up to work the holiday as a way to avoid it and divert my attention towards attending to others. As a parent, I have taken the time to share the truth of our history in an age appropriate way through books and discussions with my kids. Honoring traditions is important, but not at the expense of others grief or loss. As I continue to grow and learn, cultivating new rituals, and staying open to human connection through helping and caring is the true gift of abundance. 

Acknowledging this gift is in the practice of gratitude. 

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia or gratus, which means grace, graciousness, or thankful pleasing. This act of appreciation either expressed or received, releases potent neurotransmitters in the brain. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are responsible for our emotions, and when they are released they enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.

Take a moment to remember a time when someone said something to you that genuinely recognized you in a meaningful way. Perhaps it was something you did or said, now think about the sensations that were released when that moment happened. Typically, when feel good hormones are released, there is a sense of warmth that radiates throughout the body, causing temporary feelings of bliss, happiness and contentment. Practicing gratitude can increase neuron density, establish new neural pathways for the brain, and lead to greater emotional intelligence, all while making you feel good!

With gratitude, there is a reflection on what you have as opposed to what you don't have. That reflection acknowledges the goodness in our lives.  Once our basic needs are met, there is an extension of that goodness outside of ourselves that helps us to connect to something larger and beyond. This expanded awareness of gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, positive emotions, improved health, and stronger relationships.

Gratitude is a daily focus in our family. I share my morning meditation with my kids, bringing hands together palm to palm or to rest on our upper chests, we take three deep breaths and state three things we are grateful for, aloud or in the silence of our hearts. 

When we verbally express our gratitude, it is a recognition that you see, hear and value someone or something. It's a way to honor an interaction, connection, or validate an experience.

There are many ways to express gratitude to ourselves and others. Wishing someone well, saying thank you, sending a hand written note or email, and recognizing an opportunity to verbally express appreciation for a moment of connection can have a serious impact on someone's life for the better.

My younger son is creating a gratitude journal for school and sharing his thoughts about our current living conditions during this pandemic. Our discussions about what we are grateful for now are really the little things we took for granted before. We truly miss the simple things we live without now, daily meet-ups with friends and neighbors, after school play times, sports, and heartfelt conversation over a cup of tea or coffee. When both my kids were younger, we would write down a few things we were grateful for and place them in a jar to read aloud at special times. We still have the jar, and we still write down what we are grateful for, which in turn have shaped our hopes and wishes for the future. 

When we endeavor to connect gratefully with others, we open ourselves to what it means to be fully human. Embracing our vulnerability in the need to interact with others honors the profound opportunity we have to share the experience of being alive, together, in this world. 

It is my sincere hope that we can all interact safely and meaningfully while giving thanks this year. 

Connections & Gratitude

I've added a short practice of moving, breathing and meditating to boost our immune systems and our feel good hormones. This slow flow utilizes breath centering to connect with gratitude and mindful movements. 

This practice is dedicated to those that help and serve others. 

A donation has been made to World Central Kitchen, an organization that creates smart solutions to hunger and poverty. World Central Kitchen are 'Food First Responders", they serve millions of meals each year and provide disaster relief to those in need. They provide training programs, strengthen economies and empower communities all over the world. Consider donating to their amazing efforts this week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Slow and Steady


"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."
Emily Harrington is the first woman to free-climb the Golden Gate route up to El Capitan, a 3000-foot-high monolith in Yosemite National Park, in under 24 hours on November 4, 2020.

Close to 18 years ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to California with my husband to visit our family. While we were there, we camped and hiked in Yosemite National Park. It was a wonderful adventure, full of so many amazing experiences in nature. One of which was watching the climbers of El Capitan through binoculars. The strength of spirit, will and confidence was awe inspiring to witness. We saw climbers in tents and hammocks resting on the side of this steep cliff between climbs, and the slow and steady ascent of the people who risked their lives to crest such a massive vertical rock formation. Many unsuccessful attempts to climb El Cap were made in the late 1950's. The earliest successful ascent was in 1957, using supports such as pendulum swings, pitons, and other climbing gear which took 45 grueling days to accomplish. There were many attempts between that first climb in 1957, to Carolynn Hill, who was the first woman to free-climb 'The Nose' of El Capitan in 1993, repeating her climb again the following year under 24 hours. Free-climb means the climber uses ropes as safety precautions and protection, but doesn't have equipment that assists in the journey. When I read about Lynn and Emily's feats, I was amazed by the concentration, strength, stamina and endurance to experience such a day of exertion! Emily's focus was held by a mantra, which she shared as, 'slow is smooth, smooth is fast." The simplicity in this single statement kept her present and on task. I can only imagine the fear that was building and the thoughts that were swirling as she climbed higher and higher. Emily's accomplishment is exciting and worth celebrating, steeped in the beauty of the power of meditation in nature. Emily's climb is a beacon for our own day to day efforts to keep going and growing, to stay steady, move slowly, and breathe one step at a time.

Mantras are powerful. 

A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. 

Mantras have become somewhat mainstream as a form of intention, but the sanskrit word can be broken down into two parts, "man" meaning mind and "tra" meaning vehicle or transport. In practice, mantras are instruments of the mind. We use a mantra to maintain focus, concentration and direction to assist us in staying present with sensation and experience. As we enter a meditative state, thoughts can flow in and out taking us in the past and too far into the future, redirecting us from the present moment.

I have used mantras in the past while practicing movement in the form of yoga postures, walking and hiking. If I am feeling anxious or unsettled and I need grounding, I will use a mantra to reconnect and bring me back to what is important. I think choosing a mantra is a personal decision. Someone can give you ideas or inspiration, but ultimately what works is what feels right in your mind and heart. I also think mantras can change depending on what the desired outcome is, for example Emily's mantra " slow is smooth, smooth is fast" related to her intention of climbing swiftly and gliding towards her goal. 

There is a rich history in the use of mantras, and you can read more about them here. For the purpose of this post and the use of mantras in our everyday life, I find simplicity is key. I love teaching movement under the title, 'Slow Flow'. My idea is that if we move purposefully, connect to breath and stay aware of each transition between movements then we are practicing a form of meditation in motion. To stay focused at this pace, a mantra or theme is used when I teach, 'slow and steady' are the words that continuously resonate for me. When we move slowly, we move with intention, when we ensure we are steady, we build strength and focus. 

Join me Wednesday evenings for Slow Flow 730-845p. 

My goal is to create an online space where we can breathe, move, breathe and meditate together as 2020 comes to a close.

Our last class of November will be 11/18, there will be no class on 11/25.

We will resume class in December on 12/2, 12/9, and 12/16.

I hope to see you virtually on the mat!

With love and care,

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Perception, Potential and Possibility

 "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

William Blake

October into November brings us into the darker days of fall. We turn the clocks back here in the northern hemisphere to perserve the light during our waking and working hours. Feeling into the seasonal shifting is a moment to moment awareness that sometimes is forgotten, overlooked, or unseen in the bustle of day to day life. The older I get, the faster the days go. While the leaves change color and the air turns colder, the world is more chaotic, violent and frightening with each passing day. One week bleeds into the next, I struggle to hold on to the beauty of transition and let go of fear and worry.

These last few months I have walked everyday, immersing myself in nature as much as possible. It has helped me to make sense of the senseless, to find hope in the hopeless, and remember that nature unravels herself gently and patiently. When I expand my awareness to what is beyond my immediate world, it's like a door opening into the unknown.

Carving out moments in my day to move with intention and breathe deeply has brought insight into the passing of my days. Some of which are filled with rage, sadness, and moments of joy. The emotional range is wide and I've leaned into it, gathering strength from the stillness of observing, listening, and feeling. If we close ourselves off to that which is too painful or uncomfortable to feel and fail to look beyond what is plainly seen or heard, we limit our potential. We shut down all possibility of infinite perception. 

Parighasana or gate pose is a side body stretch that uses the breath to expand one's awareness into all dimensions of the body and beyond.

Parigha translates as door or gate, while asana means seat or posture. 

A gate is defined as an access, an entrance, or a portal permitting passage. 

Gate pose is an embodiment of perception, potential and possibility.

Lay out a mat or folded blanket and try these variations on Parighasana or gate pose. Support for the grounded knee is essential in keeping the joints of the body safe and aligned. Press down through the top of the back foot, gain strength in your foundation before opening up the opposite leg into an extension. Press through all four corners of the front foot. Find a pace to your breathing that feels supportive and steady yourself through the low body before uplifting through the upper body. A block can be grounding and allow for the release of the opposite arm that lifts up and out of the pelvis. Adjust your head and neck for comfort and breathe into the spaces of the rib cage. Explore the expansion in your body as you lift up and out from your strong center.

Cultivate strength.

Let go of expectation.

Extend out to create space.

Pay attention to the wisdom of your body.

Perception is a portal that opens possibility and potential.

Slow Flow virtual class Wednesday 730p-845p EST

Free guided meditations on Insight Timer

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Fall into Winter Yoga Offerings


"The uncertainty will not hinder her from making bold, courageous choices."
Morgan Harper Nichols

While it saddens me that so many shops, restaurants, and yoga studios must let go of their physical spaces due to the pandemic, small businesses still need your support. We are all learning new ways of doing things and the need to offer opportunities to strengthen our perseverance is more important than ever. Online classes to move, breathe and meditate are abundant. I have been grateful for my friends, colleagues and mentors who are showing up, adapting and pushing forward. Their actions inspire me to keep going, to keep growing, and remember that life is unfolding in the beauty of the seasons that surround us and guide us. My hope is that we can expand our perceptions and connections to continue to support each other in a welcoming online community. 

My goal is to livestream a slow flow class every Wednesday evening (730p-845p EST) that will carry us from fall into winter. 

To register please visit Joy Yoga, adult yoga classes are offered Monday with Meghan, Tuesday with Rachel, and Wednesday evenings with me. All classes are $15, no packages or memberships. Virtual kids yoga classes will be happening soon. 

My heart is with our sister studio Borealis Yoga, who will also be closing its doors to a physical studio space. They have in-person classes to attend for a few more weeks and will continue their online offerings as well. The teachers there are wonderful. 

Despite these changes, we are still here and hope to see you (virtually) on the mat!

With love and care,