Namaste Yogi Friends, 

In yogic mythology NATARAJA, literally the King of the Dance of Existence represents the power of Destruction, Shiva, and yet in it's hands it holds in one the power to destroy but in the other the power of Creation. All of us are dancing between endings and beginnings. 

Some say this Cosmic Dance of destruction and creation creates this vibration which is the sound of OM (AUM), movement, stillness and then something beyond that.

So when we see Nature, which is always one of our best teachers, dance a dance of destruction with Snow (or anything else) we are reminded to appreciate endings as much as we do beginnings.  This is too why we practice savasana at the end of class, we let die a little our petty dramas, our real challenges and well all the rest. And upon rising up, we BEGIN AGAIN. We are creating a new life!

So let's follow the example of nature - we see it is making us pause. ALL CLASSES CANCELED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2011 (our first time ever)  Enjoy your families, your friends, yourself and remember you have been born in this body, this heart, this soul to CREATE something beautiful for your life.  

And this opportunity won't last forever.  Let's all give birth to our best lives ever once the blizzard ends.  Make a new beginning!  Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia   


PS - I would love to have 5 more Yogi Friends come to sunny Paradise with me! See or or email me at Photos at



JANUARY 9, 2010:  Today we talked about the body as a container.  There is a boundary of who we physically are and the truth of who we are spiritually.  Recently when I saw Jersey Boys for the first time I saw that they allow beverages into the actual theater during the performance, as long as you put a lid on it. So you see folks walking around with cups of wine and lids, beer and lids, soda and adult sippy cups.  I get it. The lid is helping to keep a healthy boundary so the beverage doesn't spill on you or anyone else.  It informs us of what is really inside.   On the mat we use this practice to turn inwards to restore emotional equilibrium. We examine our breath for its beginning, middle, end noticing that even the breath has a boundary of when it starts and when it ends and that every ending is making way for a new beginning.  There lies the premise behind why bother setting healthy boundaries to begin with.  The body serves as a container to hold our spirit, and energies of thought and emotions.  If we can learn on the mat that even our emotions can be contained with beginning, middle and ending we rediscover our balance.

This is accomplished by remember the self, Vairagya chapter 1 verse 15.  Enjoy this excerpt from my favorite book by Nischala Joy Devi, Secret Power of Yoga.  "As our focus turns toward remember the true self we naturaly identify less and less with external desires or wants.  This perspective reveals that we are merely the temporary caretakes of whatever we possess.  With this attitude, nothing binds us.  As life bestows gifts upon us, we are delighted. With their revocation, we may feel momentarily upset, but with the grace of remembering our self, our emotional equilibrium is quickly restored.   Through remembering the self we become lucid and virbrant like a diamond. Millions of years of pressure on a simple lump of solid coal transforms it into a pure, transparetn diamond that reflects and refracts light.  This prismatic effect showers rainbows of colors on everything without discrimination. The diamond also appears to take the color of any object nearby. But once removed, it is perfectly colorless again.  Likewise, when our minds and hearts clearly reflect our true nature, we may acquire many things, but nothing permanently taints our clarity.   With this lucidity, we enthusiastically adopt that which enhances the light, and redirect that which dims it.  As we bcome free, we become more and more comfortable with the naturel flow of material things. Much of what we yearn for comes to us. We enjoy the treasures of the world while they are with us, knowing full well we will not bind to them, nor they to us.  This concept has its greatest challenge when we are separated from our friends or loved ones, especially without our permission or when it seems permanent. Our heart feels a vast emptiness where it was once filled with love.  At these times ti takes great strength to restore and sustain our equalibrium. By securing a place within our hearts to hold their love and by continuing our practice our balance is more easily restablished."  

1/9/2010   Tags:  boundaries, beginnings, endings, balance, remembering, self Direct Link


AUGUST 19th, 2009:  Hi Total Body Yoga friends, I want to share my theme with you from class yesterday in case you weren't able to join us. I was inspired by the cyclical nature of life. In nature, we see the cycles of the seasons, as we now feel the height of summer beginning to crest and fall into autumn. The moon, the earth, the stars, the tides are all in their own cycles of life. I always loved being a school teacher since you are engaged in a yearly cycle with the students and staff and perhaps you are a parent or teacher about to make a turn into your own school year cycle.

The thing that inspires me about this succession of life is that it never ends. After every ending, there is a new beginning. For instance, when a bone breaks, some of the cells will die but the bone will quickly start regenerating and will actually seek out similar cells to mend. Then the place where it was broken but has come together now becomes the strongest part of the bone! It is the death, that allows the rebirth of a stronger, transformed body. Another example is the prairie, where the burning of fire is necessary to release the seeds that are captured in strong shells.

Shiva, the destroyer is celebrated in Hindu mythology as much as Bhrama, the creator, or Vishnu, the sustainer, since they are connected in a constant loop of life and death and rebirth. A study on longevity found a common thread among those who live long is their ability to endure loss. This shows me it is not the losses that define us but rather how quickly we recover our emotional equilibrium after difficulties and allow the healing cycle to take place.

The inspiration for me comes when we remember this succession of life as we live our yoga. When we are in a challenging situation in life, do we cling to the drama, rehashing it over and over, staying stuck in past and future? We can actually get in the way of nature's cycle by not loosening our grip on our difficulties. I know I do this as I over analyze my life, trying to figure out my next steps or trying to understand the why things happened the way they did. Yet, the gift of the present moment is constantly moving, with or without my connection with it. 

So we practice this on the mat; we present each other with challenges to learn about ourselves and practice the art of staying calm, centered and connected to the present moment. Our breath is there to help us on this journey and we practiced 4-part breath. We moved in circles to remind the brain that life is not a linear race but rather a series of cycles that expand and contract as we live our days.

As Rolf Gates states, We wake up, we are stiff, we are fatigued, our minds wander, we come to the mat, we forget, we loosen up, we relax, we have energy, we remember, we live, we sleep, we wake up, we are stiff, etc.

I hope to see you soon on the mat where we will continue to connect with our unique current moments within the cycles of life.  Much peace, Mara
8/19/2009   Tags:  cycles, change, challenge, attitude, rolf gates, present moment, shiva, bhrama, endings Direct Link


JANUARY 8, 2009:  I dedicate this day, this practice to one of my dear girlfriends, you know who you are!  I am deeply honored you consider me your friend and I hope this year brings the fulfillment of your most authentic self.  Namaste from my heart to yours: "the beauty in me recognizes and revels in the beauty of you and we are one!" 


Yoga helps us to appreciate endings and beginnings with equal enthusiasm.  Really every ending signifies a new beginning and even inside the breath there exists a beginning, middle and end.  For most of us we are better at initiating new stuff or completing tasks, there arenít many of us that without trying are equally balanced in doing both.  So thatís where the yoga comes in handy.  If you have a million new ideas and new projects for the year but you look around you at home and have the million things from last year started but never finished then focus a little bit more on the compliment or completion phase this year. Or for those of us that are afraid of making new starts, trying new things then this is the year to boldly set our course for uncharted waters. 


Start where you are and commit to the new beginning you wish to experience in your life.  I want to thank our Thursday night Level 1 friends for honestly sharing what they would like to begin this year:  fly fishing, rock climbing, making breakfast for a partner, hip hop dancing, guitar lessons, snow shoeing, making new friends, working less, stripping class (and more!)  Thatís awesome! 


Whatever you decide you need more of in your life I implore you not to just stand at the shore looking out onto the ocean but dive into the water, surf water, sail the water but get involved with your life. As Jon Kabat Zinn says, ďwhen you cease working at life it ceases working for you.Ē  Aspire to live life more FULLY!  Big Love to each of you! Silvia


Rumi says, "Very little grows on jagged rock, be ground, be crumbled, so wild flowers will come up where you are. You've been stony for too many years.  Try something different."

1/8/2009   Tags:  Beginnings, Endings, Courage, Hope, Jon Kabat Zinn, Rumi Direct Link


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