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compassion in action

Compassion in Action

More than sympathy/"I feel for you" or empathy/"I understand what you're going through," compassion embodies both and combines them with a deep rooted desire to alleviate another's suffering.
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April Fools

With March coming in like a lion and going out like a lion, we've sometimes had to dig deep to keep that attitude of gratitude going. Through it all, we keep coming back to being grateful for the simple things - food on our plates, a roof over our heads, a jacket to keep us warm, family, friends, community. Funny how we consider these things essentials when they are luxuries for so many - it's not a stretch to say that we are truly blessed. Read More

Unmasking
Later this month we celebrate Halloween, a night to indulge our senses, our sense of imagination and to let our spirits soar, sometimes literally! On Halloween we dress up, put on a mask and "poof" we're someone else. Of course, Halloween isn't necessarily the only day we put on a mask and our masks aren't always the physical material that disguises or conceals our face. We don masks to conceal our feelings, our thoughts and ultimately, our true selves. This can be borne out of fear, a desire to fit in, a choice to take the path of least resistance. To which we can only respond, breathe into your fear, let go of conformity,resist choosing what's easy over what's necessary. Read More

Live the Season
It's summertime, yogis and yoginis, and with longer days, brighter skies and the sun at its most radiant, we certainly hope the livin' is easy! We're amazed at how it seems we were just thawing out from a severe winter and in the blink of an eye we'll be heading into Fall.  "Wait a second, the summer just got started and you've already got me into Fall?!?!?"  We're not trying to bum you out, dear friend, the reality is time flies, whether or not you're having fun.  So other than encouraging you to have fun, we encourage you to take Henry David Thoreau's sage words above to heart - savor each and every season, each and every moment.  Not by looking back, but as it passes.  Just as yoga teaches us, breathe the air - full inhales and exhales.  Read More

May and Mother's Day
As we head into May and Mother's Day, we're sending big PROPS and THANKS out to all the moms for everything that you do, day in and day out, rain, shine or whatever that crazy ol' Mother Nature has in store for us these days.  We don't always remember to say thanks, we don't always see that you have our best interests at heart, we don't always realize how much it takes to say no when it would be so damn easy to say yes-- but every now and again, in our moments of clarity, when our defenses go down and we set all those years of accumulated stuff to the side, it's hard to be anything but humbled, awed and grateful for you, mom.  Maybe we don't say it enough, but your moms, and as part of a breed that at your best personify karma yoga (selfless service) in action and at your worst simply personify being human, we know you'll forgive us this.  Thanks, mom.  Namaste.

Try, Try Again
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. But who defines success? Whether it’s getting ahead or standing on your head, we always seem to gauge ourselves by the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Along the way, we are blind to the beauty of the rainbow itself. The prism becomes our prison, the pot of gold some holy grail, always beyond our reach. And even if we get that pot of gold, in a short time it turns back to lead and we pick up our search again, looking for our next success. That’s our definition of driven, but for many of us we leave off the “crazy” and “to despair.” Read More

Being Whole
My mantra – be happy. Me and a billion others. So we go on our happiness quest—we try new things - jobs, friends, situations and locations. We acquire - homes, cars, clothes, a host of "luxury" goods, diplomas, titles, consciously or not, in the hope they will make us feel "better." We travel far and wide hoping to find the answer, that happiness stone we simply slip into our pocket and and have our worries magically fade away. Unfortunately, too often that stone just piles up with everything else we accumulate and weighs us down. Read More

A Resolution Revolution
New Year’s Resolutions can be extremely powerful tools for creating change in our lives-- improving ourselves (though one could argue you could never improve upon your Self), realizing goals, putting an end to “bad” habits or patterns or just plain shaking things up. Often times we shoot out of the gate like a fireball and all too often we burn out soon thereafter. With this in mind, we encourage you to embrace a healthy mix of abhyasa, sanskrit for constant and determined effort and vairagya, non-attachment to results. Read More
The Gift of Re-Gifting
Every time you step onto your mat you are giving yourself a truly incredible gift. Whether it's peace of mind, focus, spaciousness, the euphoric feeling of synchronizing breath and movement or <insert your feeling of choice here> our practice so often provides us with just what we need. And here's the beauty part-- these gifts were meant to be shared with others. Read More
A Thanksgiving Message
As we prepare for a day of festivities and feasting we couldn't help but think about what truly nourishes us. Go on, take a moment, what nourishes you? Read More
A Proclamation
I was on the mat this morning and had a sudden inspiration,
sat down to pen this communication,
open and honest, no misinformation.
what the world needs now is cooperation,
unification and education,
most definitely some cultivation--
whether it's vegetation or civilization,
a global nation, no separation
do you have a problem with that, why the hesitation?
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Community
In the poem, With That Moon Language, Hafiz captures one of the most basic human desires, the desire to be loved, to connect and to be accepted with open arms into the community of humankind. He goes one step further by daring us to act in kind-- to extend our hands, hearts and words to others. To say the words that they are dying to hear.
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Play
On Friday March 23, we had a Pot Luck and Yoga event at Yoga Life. The acronym for Pot Luck And Yoga is P.L.A.Y. and play we did – the evening started with a lively yoga practice led by Joanne and Drew accompanied by an inspired Brandon Silaco on drums and percussion. There is nothing like live music to stoke the spirit and in this case, our appetites, too. A savasana with more than a few growling stomachs was followed by a spectacular assortment of food that crossed the full spectrum of flavors, textures and cultures.
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Spring Ahead
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
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Inspiration
Where would intention be without inspiration? If intention is the fire then inspiration is the spark. Simply put, inspiration is the people, places and things that trigger a response in the form of ideas, actions or feelings. Inspiration can come in as many varied forms as what it inspires you to do, or not do. Read More
Intention
Intention is a course of action that one intends to follow, an aim that guides action, an objective. It brings meaning and power to our actions and leads us toward our goals. We mostly do this on autopilot—we eat to satisfy our hunger, we sleep to satisfy our need for rest, we work to earn a living, and life goes on. And nothing is wrong with this. And everything is wrong with this. Read More
Giving
As we transition from Thanksgiving to Giving season we encourage you to let go of the anxiety, trepidation and worry that so often accompanies finding just the right thing for your friends, family and co-workers. The essence of giving isn’t the gift, it’s the giving—whether it be material or through your words or actions. And the Yoga of Giving is doing so in a way that connects us to the recipient rather than separates us by how we gauge their reaction.
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Thanksgiving
This is the time of year where no one should go hungry. Though the large majority of us have the means to keep ourselves well fed, we hunger for something more. Whether it’s familial, material, spiritual or just a sense that something’s missing, this “lack of” manifests itself as anything from mild hunger pangs in the form of dissatisfaction or “not feeling right” to an insatiable growling of envy, depression or needless striving. Read More

Fall Back
It was with a mix of dread and gratitude that we prepared to set our clocks back one hour this past Sunday morning--gratitude for the extra hour of sleep and dread at the prospect of losing an hour of daylight each evening. There is something profound and fascinating about setting our clocks back-- we are in essence traveling through time, taking a trip one hour into the past and re-living the hour between 1 and 2 AM. Read More

Trick or Treat
October is a month that culminates in trick or treating but it certainly has its share of tricks and treats along the way. One day we're blessed with warm weather and the prospect of a return to summer while the next morning we're met by our own breath, visible right there in front of us. Our first reaction may be to shout "TRICK!" as if Mother Nature were teasing us, but upon further reflection, what a TREAT to be greeted by our breath-- to have this nutrient and energy filled force that keeps us alive take on a life of its own. Read More
Hope, 10 Years Later
I read a piece to start the first class I taught after September 11, 2001. Four days had passed and sorrow, despair, anger, confusion, hatred and emptiness were still having their way with me. Everything about that day was still fresh and so surreal-- getting the news in my office, just blocks away from the UN; walking across town to Penn Station as black and gray fumes billowed into the sky. More so than hysteria, there was heaviness in everyone and everything on the street. Read More
Breaking Through
Walls can serve varied and opposing functions in our lives-- protecting us from the outside world, providing us something to lean on and at times, obstructing us and keeping us from getting where we need to go. When travelling the road toward liberation, fortify the walls that provide support and structure; tear down those that act as obstructions and obstacles. You may find you need to go over, under or around the wall today, only for it to block your path again tomorrow. Keep at it, unwavering, and you just may find yourself breaking through… Read More
The End of the World as We Know It
With everything made of the Mayan calendar and the end of the world on May 21, 2011, we are very pleased to say that with the exception of some Armageddon-like rain just before the clock was to run out, the evening passed without incident. The world did not come to an end, but still it begs the question—what are you going to do with all this time? Read More
Mother's Day
The very word “mother” conjures up images of nurturing, caring and providing for our loved ones. Mother represents strong and powerful feminine energy (shakti) that isn’t measured by how much it can get, but rather by how much it can give (and often, give up). Read More
Spring Unfolds
As spring unfolds we are reminded of the old adage "in like a lion, out like a lamb." Though typically associated with the month of March, we're finding it applicable to a week or even a given day. One can only imagine Mother Nature kicking back with a cup of tea- hot or iced, depending on the time of day- and having a good laugh as we find ourselves overdressed, underdressed, over-prepared or underprepared and our immune systems thoroughly confused by whatever curveballs she throws at us. Read More
Spring
It looks like we may be turning the corner on winter, Spring is finally springing. And with that, we encourage you to keep your eyes, ears and heart open to the changes all around you- daffodils and crocuses begin to peak out from their underground hideaways, the geese make their way back to Mill Pond and the sun whispers good night later and later. Delight in the sounds, the smells, the scenery, the Spring. Read More
Celebrating Love
Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone, we can say with great conviction that one day a year isn't nearly enough to celebrate love. Love is always celebration - of our current loves, love we've had and love we've lost, love reciprocated and love unrequited. Love and pain, bliss and fear - they are all sides of the same coin. It can't be any other way, really - with reward comes risk and even in the face of failure or rejection, reward is there- granted the reward may come weeks, months, years or even lifetimes later, but it eventually arrives. Sometimes it already has, we just haven't woken up to it yet.
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