The True Meaning of Valor

Photo by Robert Sturman for Veterans Yoga Project. We all have heroes-men and women who go above and beyond the call of duty in moments of great challenge to themselves, their communities, and in some cases-their country.

But what happens after their moment of heroism has passed? After the memory of their courage has receded for all but a few? For veterans with symptoms of post traumatic stress, daily life becomes the battle.

It takes true valor to gracefully bear the symptoms of post traumatic stress, to re-enter a community, and to do the hard work necessary for memory integration and symptom management.

This is where amazing organizations like Veterans Yoga Project come in, offering a beacon of hope in the form of yoga and mindfulness practices designed specifically for veterans. I’ve volunteered as a teacher at several NYC VYP events, and this Veterans Day weekend, I’m raising funds for this nonprofit by teaching a class at Broadway Dance Center as part of the BDC Gives Program.

VYP is tremendously transparent-they post their financials online. Please vet them and  join me Sunday, November 10th for a Yoga & Meditation class that is part of the Veterans Gratitude Week campaign. Class info below:


Sunday, November 10th, 3-4:30PM at Broadway Dance Center. BDC Gives Yoga & Meditation class benefitting Veterans Yoga Class.

All levels are welcome and mats & blocks will be provided. Regular class rates apply with a discount for military, union members, and students over 50. Online sign up begins November 8th at

Class photo by Eric Lommel for Lululemon NYC Lincoln Square.



Calling All Bedazzled Ducklings!!


In my nearly eight years of teaching Yoga & Meditation in NYC, I’ve been blessed with wonderful students and even more extraordinary assistants. How do I choose my assistants from the crowd of freshly minted Yoga Alliance-card-carrying eager faces? I look for Bedazzled Ducklings!!

A few years ago, I was teaching a lot of donation-based meditation classes around the city to help a very special and underserved population: trauma survivors, both with and without a Post Traumatic Stress diagnosis. A studio owner commented on the endless stream of assistants following me with dogged determination like ducklings from location to location all over the city. “Assistants…or stalkers?” she wanted to know.

She had no idea just how miraculous my Bedazzled Ducklings are: each one an extraordinary, creative, intuitive yoga & meditation teacher in their own right. I’ve never had to formally schedule my assistants. They just keep showing up…literally everywhere I teach! What do they have in common? Humility, creativity, a willingness to learn, punctuality, devotion, dependability, a sense of humor, deep spirituality, and a willingness to truly, fully be their own Bedazzled selves within the warm embrace of Yoga structure. In fact, I’m the lucky one!

I remember volunteering as an assistant at Sonic Yoga under original owner Jonathan Fields, whose ethics and business practices dovetailed nicely with my own. On purpose, I chose a teacher whose circus-like acrobatic asana and courageous spirit were the polar opposite of my own natural tendencies towards restorative yoga and meditation. While assisting Kate Greer, I also had the chance to sit at the feet of Krissy Shields and Jen Whinnen during their first pregnancies. Eyes wide and slack-jawed in amazement, I soaked up their collective knowledge and learned how to truly support women during their first trimester.

Fast forward a few years, and this process has been formalized in Yoga teacher trainings as a Mentorship. March to the beat of your own drum?  Then you just might be one of my Bedazzled Ducklings!! Join me this Fall for two very different and extraordinary Mentorship Programs:

**Meditation Mentorship with Three Sisters Yoga begins October 1, 2016. There are flexible options: class module only, mentorship only, and full 300-hour Yoga Alliance Certification. For more info on my Meditation Mentorship with Three Sisters Yoga:

**Yoga for Trauma Professional Practicum & Mentorship with Prema Yoga Therapeutics runs October 1-December 31, 2016 with a flexible schedule. Although designed for medical professionals, any students interested in trauma-sensitive yoga training may attend. Medical professionals are eligible for CEUs. For more info on the Yoga for Trauma Practicum with Prema  Yoga Therapeutics:

Yoga and Meditation videos coming soon to my YouTube channel! To subscribe:

Dare to be different - rubber ducks on black

Bedazzled Duckling!!




FREE Yoga in NYC!!

Please join me for a FREE Yoga class for Veterans & U.S. Military this Sunday, April 24th from 9-10AM at Broadway Dance Center. Beginners are welcome, and all you need is your military I.D. to register. Mats & blocks will be provided by the studio. Please help spread the word about this FREE class! For directions and details, please visit

In other news, I’ve created a YouTube channel that highlights both my worlds: Acting and Yoga & Meditation. Meditation videos are coming soon, and please enjoy my acting clips in the meantime. All you need is a gmail account to subscribe!


Wanna Sleep On the Job? Try Savasana!


I know it’s a shocker, but many people misinterpret savasana as sleeping! Despite all the wrap-your-leg-around-your head-and-balance-on-one-hand poses I might teach, savasana is the yoga pose that is most challenging for people to understand. Why? Because it’s so simple. And so important. In fact, it’s the most important pose of the entire yoga class.

In Myths of the Asanas, authors Alanna Kaivalya and Arjuna van der Kooij assert that savasana “represents the surrender of all things that are foreign to our soul. When we have completed our yoga practice and given it our best, it is time to let go.”  Maybe it is this mystery of letting go that leads people to crowd at the door or window of the studios, boardrooms, and classrooms where I teach and whisper: Why are they lying on the floor with their eyes closed? WHY ARE THEY SLEEPING ON THE JOB?!?

Adult mid-day nap jealousy aside, savasana really is the most important pose of the entire yoga practice. Yoga asana is designed to prepare the body to sit for meditation, and savasana is the pose at the end of class that allows the body, mind, and spirit to integrate all the benefits of the physical practice. It can also be a transition pose between asana and meditation, easing your concentration from external to internal practices.

How do you do it? Lie down on the floor on your back, let your feet and hands relax open, and close your eyes. Think of savasana as a re-set button for your mind, body, and spirit. If you fall asleep during those precious 5 minutes, all it means is that you are relaxed. And that you need more sleep! Savasana is the one pose that most leads to wide-eyed wonder for my first-time yoga students. As one of my freshly minted yogis excitedly asked me after class on Sunday, “How do I return to this ecstasy?”

Simple: Take a yoga class. And at the end, rather than rushing off to your next pressing engagement, be sure to take 5 minutes to close your eyes and relax on your back. It is healing, transformative, and the very best gift you can give yourself. And after recharging your batteries, integrating the benefits of your physical efforts in asana, and just plain relaxing for FIVE MINUTES, you’ll no longer need that nap at your desk!

The Great Meditation Mystery

My students LOVE meditation! Whether in the boardroom, college classroom, dance studio, or veteran’s center, they enjoy meditation’s gifts: the sense of serenity, connection to higher consciousness, and the ability to solve challenges from a spiritual viewpoint. But the most common comment I hear from my blissed-out students at the end of class is, “I love meditation! But what IS it?”

So let me Nancy Drew this situation for you! When hearing about meditation, some folks may conjure an image of half-naked men walking unscathed on hot coals or people hiding in a mountain cave and signing strange chants. Although these experiences are part of some meditation traditions abroad, this ancient practice is just as accessible to the modern Westerner living in the most expensive, fast-paced, and fabulous metropolis in the U.S.-New York City!

Meditation includes everything from simple concentration exercises to achieving enlightenment. People of all spiritual backgrounds can practice meditation, and most forms of worship already contain meditation, although called by other names. The practice of meditation results in common human experiences across gender, culture, age, language, religion, and educational background.

The actual practice of meditation can be done seated, lying in savasana, walking around, with the eyes open or closed, and for the lucky few, lived as a state of existence 24/7. Like learning any new skill, meditation is designed to be practiced (not perfected!) each time you feel the desire to go within and calm the mind.

Meditation trains the mind to concentrate steadily on a point of focus (breath, mantra, even thought itself) so that the mind relaxes and higher consciousness has a chance to expand. With practice, even this focus falls away and you’re just in a state of meditation. Our minds are designed to think rapidly, so gratitude and compassion for your thoughts is often the first step in relaxing the mind. There are as many methods for achieving this goal as there are global cultures, and all that matters is that you find the right one for you!

To that end, I teach a guided meditation class every Friday in Midtown Manhattan from 1:30-2PM at Reflections Yoga. This class is donation-based, so it’s FREE for all who need it to be. Donations are welcome but certainly not required. Each week, I teach a different style of meditation focusing on universal themes. Beginners and students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome. So if you’d like to solve the Great Meditation Mystery for yourself, come join me!

FRIDAY, 1:30-2PM

Refections Yoga, 250 West 49th Street, 2nd Floor (Just off 8th Avenue), NYC 10019

I also teach weekly Yoga & Meditation classes at Broadway Dance Center in Midtown Manhattan. This class follows the format of 1 hour of gentle vinyasa yoga followed by a 30-minute guided meditation. For class rates and schedule, see below:

Broadway Dance Center, 322 West 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue), NYC 10036

Both locations provide free mats and meditation props. See you in Blisstown!


We’re deep into Fall, the season of discipline, hard work, and the loooong school semester. I’ve got a brand new schedule of MEDITATION and YOGA to help you relax and unwind….

All classes are in Midtown Manhattan, including my weekly donation-based meditation class!


322 West 45th Street, 3rd Floor

MONDAY through FRIDAY-All Levels Vinyasa Yoga


SUNDAY-Yoga & Meditation


One hour of relaxing vinyasa yoga followed by a 30-minute guided meditation. Beginners and students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome!



250 West 49th Street, 2nd Floor

FRIDAY-Donation Meditation


Enjoy a 30-minute guided meditation on your lunch hour! Donations welcome but not required.