Tag Archive: Yoga for Gardeners

Perfect Weather Forecast for “Yoga for Gardeners” Fundraiser on Saturday

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and unseasonably warm, one of those bright days right when the seasons are changing that bring a giddiness to our hearts and can incite us to premature planting.

The forecast for Saturday is cool and gray, with a high of 54F. Not only will it be a great reminder that the danger of last frost is weeks away, but also of how important patience and preparation are in the early part of the season, so that our gardens will flourish most optimally throughout the season.

Tomorrow is the afternoon and early evening to do a little weeding, to see what is volunteering, to check in the health of your perennials, and to sit with your vision of the garden for the year. Then on Saturday, nurture yourself and nurture nature by bringing yourself and your alignment questions to “Yoga for Gardeners” (to register and/or get more information please visit www.willowstreetyoga.com).

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


Web Version of E-Newsletter “New Year’s Greeting”

Dear Friends,

The changing of the calendar gives us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past year and think of how we might wish to grow or shift to best serve ourselves and others in the coming year.  2010 was such a difficult year for so many, with suffering of a magnitude of which I can hardly conceive, even though I have had my own struggles.

In the midst of the challenges we are facing globally, societally, and locally, 2010 was a good year for me, although it had some partings and disappointments that were painful.  With all the challenges and suffering of so many, I am especially conscious of how fortunate I am.  John Friend, at the weekend workshop in Bryn Athyn, reminded us that with the privilege of having the material, physical, and intellectual well-being to be able to study and practice hatha yoga as we do, comes the responsibility to serve, to share in the best way we can and to seek to illuminate not only our inner world, but the world around us.

In 2010, most important of what filled my year was that I deepened and committed further to my studies of meditation and tantric yoga philosophy with Paul Muller-Ortega.  I have been invigorated by my continuing studies with John Friend and other senior Anusara yoga teachers.  I am almost overwhelmed by how much joy I get from practicing and studying and the community of fellow practitioners and look forward to going deeper and sharing my explorations in 2011.

Three new things that were not part of my formal yoga practice brought great joy into my year, and I am sure, in the years to come.  The magnificent and enormous middle-aged cats, Uma and Sully, who moved into my house on an emergency fostering basis, quickly became permanent inmates and  unceasingly offer entertainment and comfort.  I had a solar array installed on my roof, which was an inspiring way to see technology in a positive light.  I look forward, as the days start lengthening, to watching the electric meter run backwards. Most recently, I was led to the DC Contact Improv Jam, which I am finding just wonderful.  I am sure the delight of dancing and the freedom and play of contact improv will shift my own practice and expand the offerings for class.

What I have learned during my time practicing is that when I am sick or injured or feeling excessively challenged my practice supports me and helps me remember what is good and nourishing and sweet.  When I am feeling exuberently full of life then my practice just expands the joy.  Most of the time it is somewhere in between.  With the expansion of my own studying and practice, I will be teaching a little less and, in my offerings at Willow Street, emphasizing healing, nurturing, and a sweet opening to supportive shifts; all are welcome both to the Gentle/Therapeutics Saturday noon-time class (registration preferred, but drop-ins always welcome) and to one or all of the restorative workshops that will be held the last Saturday of January, February, and March.  The William Penn House class is as all levels an embrace and invitation  as you need it to be for your support and delight–from chair yoga to drop backs, depending on your practice and the day. Drop in any week; no advance notice required.

Proceeds from the house classes will continue to go 100% to environmental causes in 2011.  In March, I will again be offering at Willow Street, “Yoga for Gardeners,” with my profits going to benefit the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum.  And if you are ever looking to browse for used books — or looking for a good place to donate some of your own — please visit the Lantern Bookshop in Georgetown, where I have been volunteering one Sunday a month for 15 years or so.

Whether 2010 was a more a year of challenges or joy and expansion, I wish you the best in 2011 and hope to see you soon, sharing in the joy and support of the yoga.

Peace and light,


Tomorrow Will Be a Great Day for Indoor Gardening! (Yoga for Gardeners Reminder)

It’s still March, and we’re in the middle of one big and fabulous rainstorm.  Tomorrow (Saturday) might not be a great day for getting out into the garden (unless you like wading in mud), but it will be an absolutely fantastic day to do yoga with an intention of readying body, mind, and spirit for the garden and to get in tune with all that is growing and has the potential to grow inside and out.  Come join me for Yoga for Gardeners at Willow Street Takoma Park and help support the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum.


Gardening When It’s Not Quite Time (and Sauca)

The first of Patanjali’s niyamas (part of the ethical precepts that are precursors to the practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation) is sauca — purity or cleanliness.  The practice of sauca includes in it a literal exhortation to be physically clean.  I think it also carries with it a sense of order, a cleaning out of physical, mental, and emotional clutter, so that we have more clarity.  When we find more clarity, we can be more in the flow with the inexorable sequence of time and space.

Experiencing how we fit into the pulsation of time and space is one of the exquisite joys of gardening.  This time of year, avid gardeners are eager to get int the garden, and it is tempting to get started to soon, to start new things without cleaning out the old.  When we are more experienced (and know better the optimal sequencing of starting the garden with the shifting of the seasons), we also know that we might have gotten a few days in the 50s F, but it is still winter.

Emphasizing the practice of sauca now will serve the whole gardening season.  When it is still cold, but the heart yearns for the garden, is the time to be planning, reorganizing, and cleaning to get ready for the days when it will stay warm enough for growing outside a cold frame or protected area.  As I use a lot of containers, now is the time for me to see what containers need repairs, removal of perennials that did not make it through the winter, and new soil.  It is the time to prune what is better pruned now than in the fall.  This is not just trashing everything, but seeing what should be preserved, what should be repaired, what should be cleaned, and what should be discarded or given away.  It is cleaning out what gets in the way of an optimal flow of energy to experience the greatest effulgence of nature.  By practicing the cleaning and clearing out phase with intention and enthusiasm, I am present with the garden and also in sequence with the light and the temperature.  In this way, just as I am when I practice these principles on the mat, I get the bliss of yoga.


March News (website version of e-newsletter)

Dear Friends,

It has been a longer winter than usual for DC, but that will make spring even more special.  This month is filled with opportunities to start to flower along with everything around us, including your own garden.

Tuesday night Wm Penn House classes are always available for all levels on a drop-in basis with special pricing for not-for-profit workers, students, seniors, and those between jobs.  Drop-ins also welcome any time at Willow Street Yoga — level 2 at 8:30 am (great way to start your weekend) and gentle/therapeutics at noon every Saturday.

On Saturday, March 13th, on the eve of Daylight Savings time, come join yogins and gardeners alike at this year’s Yoga for Gardeners. 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM, Willow Street Yoga Center, Takoma Park, $40.00.  Whether this is your first time taking the workshop or a repeat visit for the love of yoga and gardening, get ready to grow, align, cultivate, and rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit with joyous anticipation of spring and the coming gardening season! Suitable for novice and experienced yogis and gardeners alike, this workshop shows ways to align most optimally when digging into the dirt and also provide an opportunity for your true self to blossom. I will bel donating a portion of her profits to benefit the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum, so coming to the workshop will be yet another way to foster gardeners and gardens in the city.  To register, please visit www.willowstreetyoga.com.

The third Saturday of the month wouldn’t be the same without the Serenity Saturday restorative workshop from 3-5 at Capitol Hill Yoga.  This month will be extra special invitation to welcome the light on the Spring Equinox.  For more information and to register, please visit www.capitolhillyoga.com.

Coming in April, along with the usual array, I’ll be teaching one of the special charity classes at Capitol Hill Yoga on Sunday, April 4th, from 3-4:30.  Details to come.

Stay warm, enjoy the new budding of spring, and the last of the snow and winds of winter.  Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Peace and light,



Winter Yoga Greetings (Web Version of Winter Newsletter)

Happy new year to all! I hope 2010 is off to a good start for you. My days are full with work and practice and teaching and photographing and cooking and indoor gardening and telling stories (aka blogging) and connecting with friends and the general miscellany of life.

My intention for the year to approach each day with a sense of fullness and wonder, whatever comes. A key element of feeling things are deliciously full rather than overly busy is appreciating how things are and can be ordered in space and time. This winter, in classes and workshops, we will be exploring the mysteries and techniques of sequencing on and off the mat. Come join me.

The Willow Street session started this week, with my first classes this Saturday, January 16th (Level 2 @ 8:30 and Gentle/Therapeutics @ noon on Saturdays in the Takoma Park studio). It’s not too late to register. It’s great to come every week to get all a session has to offer, but feel free to drop in any time. Register on-line at www.willowstreetyoga.com or in person.

William Penn House all-level classes continue on Tuesday nights @ 6:30, with the special reduced rate of $12 for not-for-profit workers, students, and seniors. This month’s Wednesday night intermediate/advanced group practice proceeds are going to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Feeling a bit tight from the cold? Join me from 3pm-5pm this Saturday, January 16th at Capitol Hill Yoga for the first “Serenity Saturday” restorative workshop of the year. There will be a special focus on opening up muscles tightened from the cold, including self-massage techniques. To register, please visit www.capitolhillyoga.com.

Dreaming of Springtime in the garden? Put it on your calendars: I’ll be offering “Yoga for Gardeners” again on Saturday March13th, just in time for the season to get started. More details at www.rosegardenyoga.com.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.


Yoga for Gardeners Workshop — Call for Questions

Next Saturday, March 14th, 2:30-5pm, is the Yoga for Gardeners Workshop at Willow Street Yoga Center’s Takoma Park Studio.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the benefit of the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum.  It will be a most enjoyable way to prepare for the gardening season, especially after having been inspired by this weekend’s incredibly spring-like weather.   Advance registration is appreciated, though not required, and all levels of yogins and gardeners welcome.

You can come just open to what will be offered — I’ve got lots to share — but if you have specific questions about how to use yoga alignment while gardening, how to address various challenges of embodiment in the garden, or even yoga philosophy or other gardening/yoga topics, please feel free to send them to me as a comment to this entry or by separate email.  I may not be able to get to every question right away, but I will try to address common questions in the workshop and here on the blog and am also always available after class to discuss individual questions.