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Something's Blooming

I am back from an AMAZING retreat experience at Blossom & Bliss Women's Yoga Retreat. We really couldn't have asked for better weather, better hosts, or better connections. The whole weekend was about what's blooming in our lives, and we discovered something that I found quite interesting:


Something is always blooming, but it's not always joyful. 


When I was planning our intention for the retreat, I had thought to focus on what's blooming, as in what's good and going well. And we did do that. But it turns out we were more confronted by things that occupy our mind and need our attention. The things that are making us stop and inhale for a moment. For some of us, change and transition was in bloom, for others it was recognition of sadness, or that it's time to move on from something. These experiences lend their own bouquet to life, and they are as a part of life as the joy and celebrations are. 


As I was driving home from our weekend, I couldn't...

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Delight in Letting Go

Happy Equinox and first day of Spring! Is it just me, or did this come up quickly this year? I am enjoying the longer days and Varsity Baseball games that end with the sun still up.


In fact, I had the first whispers of Spring Fever today, which has me DOUBLY excited for my Springtime retreat next month! There's still some great accommodations available for you, so if Spring Fever is hitting you and you want to pause and soak it all in, come join me April 12-14 in Marble Falls. According to the Farmer's Almanac, the weather will be fantastic! www.jessgoulding.com/blossom


This season, this year, for me is so much about letting go. And although the process can be tough, the results are quite delightful. In this week's podcast episode 35, Delight in Letting Go, we continue with our seasonal theme of delight, and this one is spot on, as it's the Chakra Two episode. 


We hold so much within us, and letting go is a practice that leads to openness, freedom and space...

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The Power of a Stable Root Chakra

Do you ever stop to consider the sources of support in your life, and ways you are a cornerstone for others? It’s a question that presented itself in my meditation yesterday morning, so it became the theme for class in OYM


Support is the main quality of Chakra One, Muladhara, located at the base of your spine. It means “root support,” and is where we consider all the things in our lives that are foundational to our safety, security, and stability. Relationally, we are supported by family, friends, healthcare providers, teachers, communities, and other experts we hire to help us in business and life. You are also a source of support for others in myriad ways like these. 


The yantra, or drawing, of Muladhara, has within it a square, representing a stable base or foundation. You can use this as an image for grounding and meditation, whether seated, standing, or reclining. The color associated with Muladhara is red, so when you visualize the...

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Letting Go of the Plan

I hope you're feeling well today. I just returned from a delightful weekend in Mexico City with Nick and the kids. We had mostly beautiful weather, and we immensely enjoyed the food, the architecture, and the people we met and saw.


Not all vacations are delightful, as I'm sure you know. Beyond the things out of our control, I think a lot depends on our attitude. To each his/her own, but I like trips with lots of space for nothing. For example, we had lots of plans to see different sites and get to all the museums you're "supposed" to see there. But when Sunday morning presented us with a beautiful day where everyone took to the streets and the parks (MANY on roller blades--what a sight!), we decided to slow ourselves down a bit as well and just enjoy the city like those who live there. We watched groups rehearsing for a TikTok (we think), young couples practicing for their first dance, toddlers chasing soccer balls, and percussionists providing a background beat to the whole...

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A Practice for Peace

When I was around 10 years old I received First Holy Communion. (This is when Catholics learn the meaning of the Eucharist and how to take it during mass.) We had to learn some prayers and traditions to go with the sacrament. It was at this time that I received a little white book with a plastic cover and a rosary. I don't remember what the book was called, but I know it had the instructions for the rosary prayer beads.


And, like a devout little Christian, I remember kneeling at my bedroom bay window and learning the prayers of the rosary. I was amazed at how simple it was. It was a couple prayers I knew, plus Hail Marys, which I did not. But once you've recited it 50 times, you've got it. There was something about this simple repetition that I loved.


From that time through my mid-twenties, there was a rosary under my pillow and the prayers were the last thoughts going through my head every night as I fell asleep. It was a beautifully peaceful way to fall asleep. The...

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Get Out of Your Own Way

Have you ever had one of those days that started out as one thing, then ended up taking you in a very surprising, and exciting, direction? I certainly did this week!

I was digging into my plans for the Blossom & Bliss women's retreat, and I realized that we have a campfire! And what goes with a campfire, but songs? So I started to make a list of songs I know that might be good contenders for our group...and then I realized: I can't sing, and I've never led songs before. Bummer.

BUT I REALLY want to have a sing-along. There are so many great benefits to communal singing, like 

~ reduced stress hormones.

~ increased cytokines, proteins that can boost the body’s ability to fight serious illness.

~ lessened anxiety.

~ stimulated memory.

~ increased lung capacity.

 See The Washington Post article

and more! Singing stimulates Chakra Five, which houses our ability to communicate our truth and be a good listener. Creating sound through buzzing, humming, singing, and...

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Your Energy and Vitality That Comes From Within


Now that we are back in action in Monday Morning Yoga, I'm again reminded of something I love to see in a group practice: the generative energy of asana!

Since asana simply means posture, you are actually in an asana right now as you sit (or stand) and read these words. And how is your seated posture? Do you succumb to gravity and slouch, or is there a lift within you that, at first, takes effort, and over time gets easier?

When we forget that we can be our own engines of energy, we tend to shrink down and collapse a bit. Our breathing gets shallower as our diaphragm has less space to move and pull oxygen into our lungs. We get tired, even sad. Then core muscles grow weaker and aches and pains ensue.

But you are generative! You have "the power or function of generating, originating, producing, or reproducing." ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


Just try this with me:

~ Whether you're sitting or standing, interlace your fingers on the crown of your head.

~ Now pull down on...

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It Takes Two

Did you know I've been writing this blog/email every week since September, 2020?  Obviously if you've been a student of mine since before then you heard from me a lot previously, and I have missed a week here and there, but pretty much every Tuesday morning you can count on me showing up in your inbox with something to say, offer, question, or promote. And as we enter this month of gratitude, I am so very grateful for your readership, response, and engagement. Some of you I've known for over a decade, some of you just joined up through my podcast or a friend sharing an email. Regardless, there are now over a thousand of you who receive my missives, come to events, listen to my podcast, or study with me online. We are a strong bunch of yogis, and it is my immense pleasure and joy to connect with you here every week. So thank you for reading! 


This week I want to reiterate what Jess on the Mountain podcast episode 30 is all about, and invite you to two...

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Surrendering Power vs Surrendering Control



We talk about this a lot in transformational spaces and conversations. It’s even the third part of Yoga in Action. And until I had a great conversation with Shannon Jamail, founder and creator of the Mind & Body Complete, who literally wrote the book Surrender, I didn’t question this concept very much. I’m all for it, as I know there’s only so much I have power over in my life. But then in Jess On The Mountain Episode 28 , she lay this little gem on me:


“I don’t surrender my power…I surrender control.” 


Surrender your power.

Surrender your control.

Both sound pretty powerless at first. But when we surrender control, but not our power, it means using our power to open our clenched fist and let go. (Which, Shannon points out, is then open and able to receive.) 


Your power is yours, and it’s for you to maintain and use for good. Control, and the desire to control, often stem...

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The Yoga of Forgiveness

How are you settling into this new season? Did you do anything to mark the time, set an intention for Autumn, or do a ritual to release some baggage you don’t care to bring with you into the next cycle? I cleaned out my car, inside and out, which led to the garage, and trickled out to the shed. I was beet red with heat by the end of the day, but it was so great the next morning to enjoy the fruits of those labors. 



Another thing I did was attend a half-day retreat with Dr. Deb Kern. She teaches Prana Shakti dance, and comes to town from Mexico from time to time so we can dance in person again. This mini-retreat was in celebration of the Equinox, and it took me to a far out place in my heart!



I’m not entirely sure what all went on inside me, but after dancing for a long while we rolled out our mats and did some Wim Hof breathing exercises. I combined this with some rib and diaphragm massage as recommended by my massage therapist,...

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