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Join me for this Season of Embodiment

One of my favorite things to think, talk, and teach about is embodiment. As a dancer and yogini, I truly believe that our physical bodies play a crucial role in shaping our experiences, perceptions, and understanding of the world around us. There is a tangible interplay between the physical and the mental, and the mind cannot be entirely separated from the body. 

 

So often in life and in yoga we think of moving in an upward and outward direction; that progress goes in the direction of liberation and expansion. But there is an equally beautiful flow in the inward and downward direction, towards the body, towards our root. It’s the way to avoid being “so heavenly focused that we’re no earthly good!” 

 

This season, for the next few months, we will be focusing on embodiment in everything we do. We will be walking, talking, and practicing being embodied, present, and grounded in the here and now. So get out your calendars, because...

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Celegrieving Back to School

Well, it's back to school time here in Austin, and none too soon. Since it's too hot to enjoy any outdoor activities, it's best to send them back to school, I say! But this year is a little different, as it's filled with bitter-sweet feelings, or, as I've come to call it, celegrieving.  It's a thing. Feel free to use it.

 

Nate is now 18 and entering his senior year. It simultaneously feels like the right time and where-did-the-time-go. (This is the thing everyone warned me about when he was a toddler, and there's just no escaping it.)  Match that with Havia turning 16 tomorrow, getting her license, and attacking independence like it’s her job, and we have a lot to celegrieve in the Goulding house. Everything with Nate feels like a “last time,” and everything with Havia feels like “So long, suckers!” It’s also exactly what should happen. Nate should finish up living under our roof, and Havia should want to hit the road with the wind...

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Homecoming on the Mat

I'm home!! After three and a half weeks on the road visiting friends and relatives, I'm happily back in my home studio with Georgia (our Fiddle Leaf Fig), my yoga mat, and other creature comforts I missed during my travels. I'm slowly and surely getting back into the swing of things, which is why this blog is a day late. There is simply a lot to do after a trip like that! I'm giving myself the grace this week to move at the tempo I need as we gear up for fall and all the events we have in store. I hope you can do the same if you need that as well. 

 

I'll admit to you right now, I'm not great about practicing yoga when I travel. Between the irregular schedule, small spaces, and days filled with sightseeing or sitting and talking, my down dog gets neglected. So when last week I taught from our family cottage on Lake Okoboji, Iowa, it felt like an early homecoming when I took child's pose on my mat. I felt my shoulders melt, my breath slow down, and my eyes water as I...

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Was Charles Darwin a Yogi?

I've got Darwin on my mind, and for good reason! Angela, our beloved Community and Events Coordinator, and I recently put our heads together to decide on the theme and of our Galapagos retreat. Yes--the islands and the adventure will certainly speak for itself, but you can do that on your own anytime.

 

What's the difference between doing a Galapagos vacation and a Galapagos Yoga Retreat?

 

Intention.

This trip will have deep intention behind it, which means it will be more meaningful, transformational, and memorable. Intentional doesn't mean stodgy! It means breathing extra yogic life into the whole experience. We get more out of anything we do when we do it with intention.

Although Charles Darwin, the renowned naturalist and author of "On the Origin of Species," is not typically described as a yogi in the traditional sense, it is possible to draw some parallels between Darwin's work and certain aspects of yogic philosophy. After all, when you think about it, it's all...

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A Little Parental Advice

Do you have a favorite piece of advice that came from a trusted source? Did they always make sense? I got tons of advice from both of my parents. Good stuff from my mom like stand up straight, napkin in lap, don’t try to change a man, write thank-you notes, eat breakfast, take care of your neighbors, get really good at something, wear lipstick, and shut up and have fun. I took it all in, and I appreciate the wisdom and pithiness every day! 

 

I also got advice from my dad, which was a little less straightforward and more open to interpretation.  In this week’s podcast season finale, I share with you three pieces of advice from my dad that connect the head to the heart (sahasrara to anahata!) and, as it turns out, can be found in the Yoga Sutras:

 

Don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands.  (This one came from a third-grade breakup.) 

Don’t let your shorts catch on fire. (This one was when I was dating in high...

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Object Meditation and Evolution

I’m a bit hyper as I write this, because I am so excited to share two things: One is my recent interview with Amanda Green about object meditation and chakra six, and the other is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine adventure, yoga, and both the spirit and reality of evolution. 

 

First, on episode 19 of Jess on the Mountain, I talk to a woman I have known for many years, and have been a big fan of for just as many.  She is the real deal when it comes to understanding the sutras, meditation, and transformation. I was encouraged to reach out to Amanda several years ago when I was studying with Chase Bossart during my Yoga Therapy training at Yoga Yoga. He saw a couple of kindred spirits, encouraged us to get together, and he was right.  She’s one of those people with whom you get together and go deep and go fast. So I was thrilled when I invited her on the podcast and she was all in.  There are many takeaways from this rich conversation...

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It's Time to Feel WonderFULL

I have some WonderFULL news for my yoginis out there! 

 

Nope–that’s not a typo. That is the name of my upcoming retreat, and my hope for all who attend this Women’s Retreat for Full Moon Radiance. 

It’s happening October 27-29, 2023 at the spectacular Retreat Ranch in Marble Falls, Texas. 

I’m over the moon excited about this! 

 

This weekend retreat is your chance to pause, have some fun, refresh your spirit, and pamper your soul. Beneath October's full moon and surrounded by the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, we will tune into the rhythms of nature with yoga, meditation, labyrinth, and play. Our own personal chef is creating a custom menu for full bellies and nourished bodies. Relaxing wading pools, nature trails, and glamping at its finest makes this retreat a one-of-a-kind experience to remind you just how radiant you are!

 

Earlier this year, Angela and I went all over the Hill Country seeking out the BEST...

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My FavoRite R's of Yoga Retreats

There are countless benefits to taking a yoga vacation with an experienced teacher you know and love to a place that is heaven on earth.  Here are my five favorites:

 

Remember

We each carry around several identities.  We wear them in layers around our True Self. They are the labels of our life, like mother, director, husband, employee, caretaker, and leader.  Each label carries with it its own responsibilities and obligations.  When you go on a retreat...they all go away.  You get to be the person you were before you got married, before you had kids, before your time became swallowed up with adulthood.  You get to remember who YOU are, with no strings attached. 

 

Replenish

There are “vacations”  there are “trips,”and there are “oblications.” They are all different degrees of fun, and they get you out of normal day-to-day activity.  But afterward, you often need to recover! Rest after a...

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When You're in the Rocking Chair

If you've been a student of mine for any length of time, I'm sure you've heard me quote my dad.  And though he passed away 18 years ago, his voice still advises me in my head. 

One of my favorites came to mind today, and that is how he sometimes made decisions about what he should do at any given time based on what he would think about in the "rest home."  I don't know how p.c. it is to say "rest home," but that's what he called it.  (Also "old folks home," if you prefer.) 

For example, when advising me on who to marry, he suggested I marry someone I'd want to still talk to in my "rest home rocking chair."  Or should I spend money on a certain extravagance? Well, what do you want to count in the rest home, money or memories?

Experiences were always important and worth it, in my dad's opinion.  Worth the time, the money, the risk, and the effort.  This guiding principle has pushed me out of my comfort zone to go for it so many times, and...

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