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Your Body is on My Mind

I hope you don't find the title of this blog post offensive--but it's true! Everything I've been working on these days is highly body-oriented.

You might be thinking, "Well of course, Jess! You're a yoga teacher!" And that's true! But believe it or not, to me the yoga asana (postures) are more of a means to an end than an end themselves. And that's not just my opinion. That's in the texts as well. There is no Yoga Sutra that says,


"True happiness will be found in the perfection of a triangle pose."


You WILL find text that says happiness is found in friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity though. (Learn more about the "Locks and Keys" to happiness HERE.) These days, however, I'm thinking about these same words and themes as directed towards the body. Better said, towards my body, or you towards your body.

Considering our body as an entity worthy of loving attention, rather than submission or disregard, is a chakra one, muladhara, issue.

My three...

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You Can't Outsource Embodiment

Have you ever thought about how much is required to keep these bodies going? There are so many doctors, trainers, therapists, and instructors out there ready to help us keep this "earth suit" in tip-top shape!  And I'm so glad for all of them.  (Are you a wellness professional? Please take this SURVEY--I'd love to know!)


Personally, I love to strike a balance between knowing what I need in order to fix it myself, and putting myself in the hands of a pro that's ready to guide me to feeling better and knowing more. I don't intend to learn acupuncture, but I sure love the way it makes me feel! So I outsource that for sure. I have big thoughts and questions about my relationship with God, so I have a spiritual director for that. I also don't do blood work and I can't reach the tightness between my shoulderblades, so I have a doctor and massage therapist I see when the need is there.


My expertise is in yoga, specifically the chakras. So if I have an issue that I...

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Are You OK?

"I'm ok."

How often do you use this phrase, and what do you mean when you do?


I was recently in an enlightening conversation about how many ways these two sweet little letters come together and create meaning. I know I've said, or signed, OK a million times, but taking a pause about it showed me something new.

The conversation started at our weekly team meeting when we did a little check-in.  The simple question, "How are you?" was met with a pause and a hand on the heart.


"I'm ok," was the response.


This little 'ok' meant "Yes, I'm ok. Also, there's some stuff that's so not ok." It's the pause that said, "Hold on, checking in...this is not the time to totally share, but I'm in my body, I'm present, I'm safe."


That pause is a pause of self awareness. (Listen to my podcast episode, What is Self Awareness?) In a different time or place she might have told the whole story, beginning to end, because that's what that moment and audience called for. It...

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A Valuable Lesson From My Dental Hygienist

I was inspired last week by my dental hygienist, and so naturally I want to share it here. Consider it my Valentine to you


I've been going to the same dentist for about 15 years, but this hygienist has been in the office for the last 3. She's a machine. She has a full schedule every day the office is open, so she's doing cleanings, x-rays, treatment plans, and trouble shooting with dozens of patients each week. She's fast, friendly, a little rough sometimes but not too bad. She's always in a good mood!


I am no one to judge someone else's career path, but cleaning teeth has never seemed that tantalizing to me. So I asked her point blank, "Do you enjoy it?" She says, "Of course! I've been doing this for 18 years! I better enjoy it!"


Naturally that led me to ask, "What do you enjoy about it?" as I pictured her staring into mouth after mouth in varying degrees of sanitation.


"Are you kidding me?? Patient care!! To help someone come up with a plan to make...

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Yoga for the Season of Cupid

January is in the can, February is off and running! This month makes me think of chilly weather, my lifelong friend Kelly (happy birthday!), and other people’s Valentine’s Day.  You see, when you own a restaurant, Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest and busiest days of the year.  It also means never celebrating Valentine’s Day ON the day!  So to me, February feels more like Valentine’s season.  A season of celebrating love and relationships of all kinds.  It might even be celebrating your relationship with your favorite football team (go Chiefs!). 



What better way to have fun and celebrate the season of cupid than with partner yoga? We sold out last year, had a great time, and can’t wait to do it again. It’s this Sunday, February 12, from 2-4, so plenty of time before Super Bowl kickoff.  This is an annual event for friends, partners, and spouses to have some time for connection, release,...

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A Sun Salutation for the Mind and Spirit

Hello! I'm just coming down from a very high weekend of teaching the chakras to the teacher trainees and yoga therapists-in-training at My Vinyasa Practice. They were a bright and engaging group, and I believe we all came away with a new understanding of ourselves in relation to our energy, life story, inhibitions, and gifts.  But since I had never taught for 10 hours over a weekend before, I had to think a lot about preparing myself and conserving my energy for the long haul.  My personal routine was paramount to my preparation. That routine starts first thing in the morning. 


I believe that how we enter the day can set the tone for how the rest of the day will flow. So we best be mindful about it!


I was recently looking through some poetry in my personal library and came across a Mary Oliver poem that I think inspires a beautiful start to the day.  We often practice Sun Salutations in yoga class, so a salute to the sun is a long standing practice...

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How to Get Energized When You're Feeling Low

I don’t know how much you think about your energy, but when you’re in my line of work it comes up a lot.  Every Yoga Therapy session intake asks about it, every class considers it at the beginning, and engaging with the chakra system brings it into full focus.  This past weekend was no exception–and it was SO FUN!


At the monthly Chakra Savvy Yoga Practice at Castle Hill Fitness we went through every chakra, charging, releasing, and energizing our way up to finally a very quiet, balanced mind.  Quiet enough to listen to our inner wisdom.  One woman even remarked it was the first time she had ever experienced true stillness in her mind.  To me, that’s a HUGE win.  I mean, that’s what it's all about, really! So fun.


During the Chakra 3 (power center) portion of the class we stopped and did some partner work that so beautifully demonstrated charging and releasing energy that I wanted to share it with you here, and...

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What's a Chakra?

After teaching yoga for 18 years and chakra yoga for much of that time, there is still one question that people ask me that gets me a little stymied:

What's a chakra?


You'd think I'd have a stock response by now, but I really don't. I might be so entrenched in the depth of that question that the simplicity evades me.  I know the beauty and the complexity of the chakra system.  But complexity is not useful to anyone who hasn't experienced this work or studied it in their own life. 


Simply put, chakra (pronounced chaa - kruh) is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disc.  These wheels or discs are vortexes of energy in your body. In the modern context, there are seven of them.


How's that for a clear and concise answer? 


If you're like me, it leads to more questions, so if you'll allow me, I'll continue...


Chakras are part of your subtle body system, which is what controls your physical body. Your subtle body is what senses the...

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Let the Tinsel Settle

How long do we get to wish each other happy new year? I know there are some strong opinions out there about this (just ask Seinfeld).  Personally, I think we get to say it all month.  If we can't think of the year as new for four weeks, I think we have a problem trying to move on too quickly! 


And speaking of moving too quickly...a conversation I had recently made me think about New Year's Resolutions/Intentions/Words in a new and interesting way.  I now believe there is an argument to be made for holding off on big New Years intentions and themes for a little longer than we even wish each other happy new year.


I wonder if we need to let the tinsel and confetti settle down before our grand ideas emerge.


Don't get me wrong--I'm a HUGE fan of yearly intentions and themes. I have already chosen a word that will be a guide for me this year, and I usually prompt my classes to do the same.  You might recall I typically ponder them here in my...

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Happy Holidays! A Year In Review

I hope you are well, snuggled up warm and cozy. This is an auspicious week for sure!  We are in the middle of Hannukah, the Winter Solstice is Wednesday, and Christmas arrives on Sunday. (It's also Crossoword Puzzle Day and Humbug Day, so if none of the others suit you there's still something to celebrate!) 

As I write here in my comfy overstuffed chair, I am feeling the brightness of these holidays a little extra this year.  I took a few minutes to turn back the pages of my calendar to remember where 2022 began and what yoga we have done since it’s beginning. 

Ya'll--we did a lot. 

  • We kicked off the New Year with a Reboot workshop, getting our energy flowing and chakras spinning with plans for 2022.
  • A second cohort of Chakra Savvy: Reset Your Life Game Plan yogis dove into their mind-body connection, changed patterns, and healed old wounds. 
  • We had fun with our Gal/Pal/Valentines at a Partner Yoga Workshop at Castle Hill Fitness.
  • Two ...
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