June 2019

I'd like to share an important event taking place in July and it has to do with the power of collective consciousness. Best of all it's free. No money. But it takes commitment. You in? Then read on. What you need to do is meditate for one full year. You can decide how long each day: 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 1 hour. Track and total up your time with a nifty app designed for this challenge. Then, your number will be multiplied by the thousands of people who are also taking this pledge to meditate for one full year. Pandit Tigunait, Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute is striving for 1,000,008 hours from everyone participating.
For the first two weeks of this meditation event, July 15-28, I'll be at the Himalayan Institute (Honesdale, PA) practicing live with a large group of yogis and Pandit Tigunait. This one year practice is to celebrate and consecrate the unveiling of the new Sri Vidya Shrine Temple that Swami Rama envisioned back in the 1970's. Now, 40 years later, it is almost here. Learn more and watch a short 2 minute video here.
I sincerely hope you'll consider joining me in this challenge.  
Jayne

May 2019
One of yoga’s most popular postures is named after our canine friends: downward facing dog. So doesn’t it just seem natural that dogs should be practicing, too? I used to have a dog that would lay down on my mat as soon as I rolled it out.  Even though dogs can’t do the majority of the normal yoga postures, they enjoy stretching, dog massage and the calming energy of a practice. The concept of Doga was created by Suzi Teitelman, a Jacksonville yoga teacher, and one of my former students, Kater Leatherman, who teaches Doga in Annapolis.

April 2019
According to the yoga tradition, nature is our Divine mother and she is supremely elegant. She is efficient and doesn't waste any energy. She helps to calm our nerves when we've been inside on the computer too long. She gives us food and the breath we need for breathing. She grows beautiful blossoming trees we pass on our way to work. How can we not notice those bright green budding leaves sprouting out all over the maples and oaks? And, most importantly, she gives and doesn't ask for anything in return, except to treat her with love and respect.
This Monday, April 22, please take pause and a few deep calming breaths to remember our Mother. Maybe before wrapping your teeth around that first bite of food on Monday, stand in Tadasana (mountain pose), feel the earth beneath your feet and raise your water glass to the earth: "Here's to the sun that grows the seeds, and to the water and dirt and worms and winds that help grow our food to keep us healthy in body and mind." 
"I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts,
her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing between me
and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts,
and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver

March 2019

Spring has arrived on this day of a SUPER moon and it feels like an auspicious one. Night and day are equal lengths....equinox means equal. In the yoga tradition the sun is honored as it gives us energy and the moon is honored as it calms our mind. Hopefully you are finding balance in your sun, moon and internal equinox.
"And then March swept in with its breezes and rain, readying the lands for spring with scattered bursts of sudden color, rising from the dull ground while announcing their desire to breathe life again. I don't know anything about certainty or being sure or steadiness in this unforgiving world. But I do know about seasons, especially spring. Spring always comes again." Victoria Erickson.

February 2019

I’ve had a longtime fascination and curiosity about the vagus nerve, the largest cranial nerve in our body. So, I recently read two books on the VN and WOW!..... I’m astounded at how this nerve rules our body. AND I also found that yoga plays a key component in keeping this nerve toned because of the amount of breath work we do for our nervous system. 

 

Viva Las Vagus

The vagus nerve is like hitting the jackpot in our body.  It starts at the brain and weaves its way down and throughout the torso, sending signals through the cells to all of our organs: lungs, heart, gall bladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys and down into the gut and the digestive organs.

 

This nerve is connected to a lot of our inner “stuff” including physical, emotional, and social. Just as we keep our muscles and body toned, we also need to tone our vagus.

 


January 2019

28 years ago today (Jan. 17, 1991) I performed in The Last Supper At Uncle Tom’s Cabin a very controversial dance choreographed by Bill T. Jones. It was on the eve of the first Gulf War. Bill’s company performed at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vermont, the first stop on a national US tour.  The dance title came from his partner, Arnie Zane’s favorite painting and Bill’s favorite book. When Arnie was dying of AIDS in 1988, Bill and Arnie fantasized a “what if” dance. As the story goes, Bill said to Arnie: “What if we combine our two favorite works of art into a dance performance.  Well, Bill kept his promise to Arnie after he passed and created this evening length work that tackled social issues such as: justice, racism, homophobia, repression and faith. After 4-5 hours of rehearsing every night for two solid weeks, local dancers would join Bill’s company to perform in the last of 4 acts called “The Promised Land.”   The Last Supper...was made into a documentary and goes down in history as one of the most treasured modern dances of our time.  I have the performance poster framed on my living room wall (see above) and just now as I walked past it, I heard it say: “Pssst, remember me?" 

Take a moment this Monday to reflect on your "Promised Land" as we celebrate a great leader... MLK.