Poem- The Spirit Likes to Dress Up by Mary Oliver

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 5:50 PM
This poem made me think of yoga asana, and how spirit inhabits the physical body and you can feel it when you practice in the way of steadiness and comfort. Hope you enjoy Mary Oliver's talent!

The Spirit Likes to Dress Up- by Mary Oliver

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids:
it needs the body's world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is-

so it enters us-
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning:

and at night
lights up the deep and wonderous
drownings of the body
like a star.

Ahimsa! Living with Compassion

Monday, November 17, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 5:36 AM

Happy November Yogi's!

This month my students and I are studying the idea of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is one of the Yamas or moral social contracts in the 8 limb path of yoga.

8 Limb Path Of Yoga-(this is more like a wheel shape, not a linear path. You practice all or several at a time)

1. Yama: Moral Social Contracts
2. Niyama: Personal observances
3. Asanas: Body postures
4. Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana
5. Pratyahara: Control of senses
6. Dharana: Concentration and cultivation inner perceptual awareness
7. Dhyana: Devotion, meditation on the divine
8. Samadhi: Union with the Divine

 Ahimsa is translated as Non-Violence but is more than that. It is cultivating compassion in life, compassion for yourself and for others. If we look at non-violence, we may think its not physically hurting others, but it also includes how we treat ourselves and how we treat others, how we think, speak, eat, treat the planet, etc. So how do we do that? How do we live non-violently? I believe it begins with having compassion on all levels. Realizing that everyone is just bumpin' around trying to do the best they know how. Seeing past the fear that are those proverbial onion layers to the real SELF, and seeing the light that is in everyone. When we see their light and our own, we start to ask, how can I help this person see it too? Or how can I help the planet heal? Or where can I be of service to people who are less fortunate? These questions are the first signs of compassion. When we take action from there we start to heal and so does everyone else we come in contact with. It has the ripple effect. Yoga is about being the best version of ourselves we can be and to help others see it in themselves. So it is perfect that Ahimsa is the first of the Yamas in the 8 limbs of yoga because when we start with this idea everything else just falls into place.

So here is a link to the audio clip:

Compassion meditation

for you on creating Compassion with in. Enjoy and I hope it is of help to you on your path!

Much love!



Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:04 PM

Hi Friends!

I need your support!!! I am currently working on creating a DVD  called Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you! This DVD is for people who are living with or survivors of cancer. The diagnosis of Cancer is a scary one, and the stress of living with this disease can be just as debilitating as the cancer itself. Studies have shown how successful yoga is for stress reduction. When trying to heal, reducing your stress is extremely important in helping your immune  function. When you are stressed it makes it hard to sleep, your more at risk to sickness, pain may feel increased, and emotionally it can really take a toll. So when practicing yoga, you can feel like you are taking control of your healing journey, and letting the endorphins help you reduce stress and lift your spirits. Yoga is not meant as a cure to cancer, but can aid in healing on many levels. This DVD will begin with a restful breathing practice, then it will continue with gentle yoga postures and end with a deep relaxation. The gentle yoga postures are for bringing some strength and flexibility back after going through treatment that can cause a feeling of weakness in the body. The deep relaxation portion is a guided meditation that is to used inspire a  positive outlook on life and helps to befriend the body again. I truly hope that by creating this DVD for this population of people that it gives them some peace in their lives. It is also a beautiful practice for the loved ones as well, they can practice along with them, giving support and also getting wonderful benefits for themselves. 

So why did I choose this specific topic for a yoga film? Personally, cancer has touched the lives of many of my family and friends. My grandmother and grandfather,whom were very special to me,  both passed away from lung cancer. Watching them decline was difficult as well as watching friends suffer from this disease. The horrible side effects from radiation and chemo are intense and cause such pain and sickness. Its heartbreaking and I wanted to give to them something that could help them feel better, even if it is just in their outlook on what's happening. 

The money that I am raising for this project will go to paying for the production costs, pressing, packaging, distribution of the film, music and location costs. All of the information is on my Kickstarter-Therapeutic yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you page, you can find it at this link:  

Whatever you can donate to the project is greatly appreciated. There are several tiers for donations and all have great rewards that go along with them!

The progress so far:

We have filmed the DVD. We are currently working on editing, voice over and aquiring the music. Once those things are completed they will be sent to pressing and packaging for distribution. I am hoping to have the project complete and ready for distribution by March 2015. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I will answer them the best I can. If you know anyone else who may be interested in supporting this project please feel free to pass this along, it would be much appreciated!

So thank you so much for your support on this project in advance. It means alot to me to get this film out there and share it with others. With your help I know we can do it!

Much love and blessings!



And Westward We Went

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 4:30 PM

I have returned after a month long trip with my family. We went to Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Really God's country. Nothing like seeing wide open space for miles and miles.  We decided to take this trip for a couple of reasons. 1-We love to travel any chance we get.  2-Work. We decided to go West to film a few yoga dvds (available soon!) Which I am really excited to share with everyone. And 3. Because LIFE IS TO SHORT!!!! So many times you hear people say I wish I would of. We didn't want to come to the end of our lives and make that same statement. See my boys are 9 and 11 and there is this very short window when they still think were not totally lame. (although many days they think we are) We wanted to take advantage of that time to spend time with them, show them some of the world and have adventures. Hopefully to inspire them to take chances and have fun in their lives too.

So what did I learn from this experience? Well, to begin, financially it may of not been the most logical choice, but really when is it the most logical time? There are always what if's. Sometimes we as a society spend so much time planning for the future and saving for the proverbial "rainy day", that we end up passing that day by and find ourselves saying that dreaded question. So I learned to take a bit of a chance and trust the universe is going to have my back.

The next lesson was surrender.(see previous post about surrender!) Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned so I had to go with the flow.

Next was to slow waaaaay down and enjoy the world around you. 4 days without internet service was AWESOME!!! Spent lots of time in nature, hanging out with my family, reading, painting, and chillin'. It was really great and I need to commit to more of ditching the tie to technology.

Lastly (well not lastly, because there were so many lessons but...) walking through Fear! That means feeling courageous on the other side. There were so many opportunities to walk through fear. Alot of it was self created fears, such as talking on camera,  putting myself out there with my teaching, meeting new people, showing others my art, taking my kids on really looong hikes!! :) and trusting the future will all turn out ok.

The experience was amazing and I am so happy we took the chance. I will forever be grateful to all of the help along the way, that my students were so kind to let me take a month off and that I got to spend this priceless time with my family.

So I hope it inspires you to take a chance, walk through those fears, go on some adventures and spend that, oh so short time, with your family while you can!! Much love!