Love Love Love

Valentine's Day is upon us and I find it the perfect opportunity to reconnect with you, with this blog, my website, and Heartbeat Yoga.  First and foremost, to tell you how much I love you!  I do!  Really!  My heart swells when I think about how many of you have taken part in Heartbeat Yoga, have come to my classes, have read my blog posts, etc.  

These last 6 months have been a mix of hundreds of emotions: fear, excitement, nostalgia, satisfaction, happiness, fatigue, frustration, and to name a few.  As you know, I started a new legal job this past July that has allowed me to step into a whole new level in my legal career.  It has been exciting and challenging, hard, but rewarding.  

With this new opportunity, though, I feel like I'm drawing myself further away from you and from Heartbeat Yoga.  I have learned over time that I'm not very good at doing two things with equal amounts of energy and vigor at once.  I am the kind of person who needs a lot of down time to restore and rejuvenate, to refill the energy coffers so to speak.  I learned that lesson the hard way last year when Heartbeat Yoga was taking off and I was teaching in the mornings before work, in the evenings after work, and on the weekends.  I love teaching so much that I took every opportunity that came to me, but quickly burnt out got fatigued.  The fatigue actually led to me getting many injuries from my own yoga practice (more on that in another post).

I decided it would be best that in starting my new job, I should focus on that exclusively.  Better to do one thing well than two things half-assed.  This decision did not come lightly.  In fact, I agonized over the fact that just as I had begun to build a yoga business and gain momentum, it came to a halt.  I applied the ever wise principles of yoga philosophy to combat thoughts of defeat and disappointment in myself.  Rather, I am thrilled that I had the chance to lay the foundation of a business that I can pick back up when the time is right.

For now, I am still teaching private lessons.  Please consider taking a private lesson with me if you want to continue your yoga studies with me.  It's a really special way to focus on your own practice, tailoring it to your schedule, your body, and your needs.  

But this blog post isn't a veiled attempt at advertising for private lessons!  It is truly my way of saying thank you and I love you.  Thank you for being on this incredible journey with me.  Thank you for your unique contribution to this world.  I love you so much!

Stay tuned for subsequent blog posts that delve even further into what I've been up to lately, including this whole injury issue and also my latest adventures in yoga training!

Much love and be well. xo

Life is an Ebb and Flow

They say, the only thing that is constant in life is change.  Life is constantly moving, shifting, and changing.  This keeps us engaged, active, and interested.  Without change, life becomes static and boring.  Though change can be scary, that comes more from the uncertainty of things than the actual change itself.

I'm facing big change right now.  The Sara you know of Heartbeat Yoga is a yoga teacher/yoga enthusiast/business owner.  Did you also know I'm a full-time practicing lawyer?  In fact, it was in large part due to the stress of law school and the bar exam that led me to find yoga and it's calming benefits.  Without becoming a lawyer, I may have never become a yoga teacher.  

When people who know me as a yoga teacher learn that I'm also a lawyer, they're often surprised.  They say I don't strike them as a lawyer and I take that as a compliment.  What I think they're trying to say is that I'm not aggressive, cutthroat, manipulative: traits that people often associate with lawyers.  People are also surprised that a lawyer can also be a yogi.  Actually, I find a lot of overlap between the two.  Primarily in that both disciplines are ultimately about seeking the truth, and I am nothing if not a seeker of the truth: both in finding legal justice and finding my own inner truth, my true identity.

In the last year, I had the opportunity to develop Heartbeat Yoga and the classes that I've been teaching.  That journey has been one of tremendous abundance and it is a journey that I will continue to be on for this lifetime.  But at the same time, I have continued to develop my legal career and I have an opportunity to step into a new position that will take my career to the next level.  This means that I will have to scale back my yoga teaching so that I can focus on my new job.  While this makes my heart ache, I remain aware that life is a constant shifting to maintain balance.  Which means this is in no way an end to my time as a yoga teacher.  Rather, a temporary shift in focus toward my path as a lawyer and I will resume teaching just as soon as I can.  I'll be sure to keep you in the know about The Bridge Yoga Class and my other yoga offerings.  

My life has truly been enriched by each and every one of you.  Your support, your efforts in class, your beautiful personalities.  I can't wait to see you all very soon.  In the meantime, enjoy your summers and stay in touch!

Much love always,

Sara

My Intuition Told Me To Do It

One thing that I'm reticent to talk about freely, but feel so passionately about, is how my yoga practice has strengthened my intuition.  As a lawyer (did you know I'm a lawyer? Yup, a full-time practicing attorney right here - more on that another day), whose work relies on reason and fact, my intuition isn't exactly something I can cite to when making a legal argument.  

But as a yogi, teacher, and human being, my intuition has played an enormous - and magical! - role in my life.  

I have had so many intuitive experiences and have learned so much about how to strengthen this muscle, that I'm dying to share all of this information with you, which is why I am offering a workshop on the topic!

I think I have been hesitant to speak about intuition because, perhaps incorrectly, I worry that some people perceive it as some sort of woo-woo hippy dippy thing.  But the more I talk about it with others, the more I realize that intuitive experiences are something we have all had happen in our lives, even if not everyone realizes that what they have experienced is their intuition talking.  

Which leads us to ask, what exactly IS intuition?  Yes, it's in part that "gut" feeling we have about something.  The dictionary defines intuition as:

Direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process.

Mainly, I think of intuition as that inner voice that resides in all of us that, as the definition states, speaks the truth.  The problem is that often, our brain and the voice of reason, speaks louder than our intuition.

The thing is, if we are able to quiet the voice of reason and empower the voice of intuition, it can be an incredibly useful tool in life.

Even more fascinating, to me, is that once I started to listen to my intuition, and even asked for its input, I saw and heard it everywhere!  Especially in synchronicities.  ALL THE TIME in synchronicities!  To the point where it almost got comical the way it would pipe up at the most conspicuous times, like it refused to be ignored. 

A perfect example of this is taking the risk to offer this workshop in the first place.  Though I believe everyone has an intuition muscle and that we've all experienced the intuition at work, I have wondered whether people would really be interested in attending a 2-hour workshop on it??  Would it make me seem crazy to offer this workshop?  Maybe.  But I feel compelled to do it, like I almost don't have a choice in the matter.  My intuition is telling me to do it, where my reason is giving me doubts.  

But here's the craziest thing, as I was explaining this intuitive compulsion to do the workshop to my accountant-husband, a most magical synchronicity happened that even convinced him, the most rational man I know, that there's something to all of this intuition/synchronicity stuff.  

We were sitting in a burger joint having dinner (tuna burger for this pescatarian, lest you should worry), and I was telling my husband why I'm offering this workshop.  He, Mr. Level-Head, worried that there wouldn't be enough interest in the workshop (his worry was in a loving way, not unsupportive).  So I proceeded to give him my most impassioned explanation, feeling that I had made a very good case for it.  And he responded, "Okay, cool."  To which I replied, "Okay, cool?!?! That's it??  Here I've just laid out something that is so special and meaningful to me and all you can say is, 'okay, cool'?"  My rant was partly in jest, but also a little serious.  And then, as if perfectly timed, my friend responded to a prior text message with, "Okay, cool."  HA!  I showed it to my husband and he just completely guffawed.  

It was as if the universe handed me the perfect tool to show him that there are signs everywhere, encouraging us that we are on the right path, and we just have to use our intuition to see and acknowledge them.  

So I'm asking you to join me, to learn more about intuition and synchronicity and how we can use the yoga practice to tap into all of it.  Find out all of the information here.  Peace and namaste.

Yoga Retreat Magic

This time last week I was on the road, heading down to rural Maryland to co-lead my very first yoga retreat.  I remember as I was driving down, I was trying to gauge my expectations for the weekend.  But I couldn't.  I had never led a yoga retreat nor had I even attended a yoga retreat myself.  I had nothing by which I could measure this weekend.  Nonetheless, the experience absolutely blew out of the water any expectations I could have even mustered.  The retreat was pure magic.

We held the retreat in an old farmhouse looking out on rolling hills.  Though the weather was gloomy and rainy outside, we hardly noticed.  We were warm and cozy next to two fires we kept roaring the whole time.  The house had a special energy to it that was palpable.

And while I felt that the pace and schedule of the weekend went well, what I could not have anticipated was just how easily the group felt comfortable and cohesive in this type of setting.  Very quickly we felt like old friends and we were able to share our hopes and struggles, feeling safe and supported by each other.  This, to me, was so much more valuable than learning the proper alignment of chaturanga (which is saying a lot, because I kind of have a soap box passion for chaturanga alignment!).

What is more, I had the honor of leading this retreat with one of my longest and closest friends, Erin.  Erin and I are so similar yet so very different and we were able to bring two different energies and perspectives to the retreat.  It could not have worked out better.

We received so many requests to hold this retreat annually, so the wheels are definitely turning.  What I know for sure is that the experience showed me just how special it is to get away with other like-minded souls, interested in learning and going deeper into self-examination.  It's hard to achieve this kind of depth in an hour-long yoga class.  My excitement for retreats was sparked by this experience, so keep an eye out for future retreats!

Namaste.

It's Make it to the Mat Month!

You guys, it’s DecemberDecember!  How did this happen?  Seriously, how??  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that we are entering the last month of the year.  The last quarter of this year has been an absolute blur.  I feel like my body is in December, but my mind is still back in early September.  The end of the year usually feels like it comes quickly, but this year it has hit me harder than normal.  I gave a lot of thought to why this is and then suddenly the reason bonked me over the head as being so obvious I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you, but here goes: since mid-August only a ton of major life events have occurred…

1.      My husband and I bought our first home together, which we then spent many many weekends devoted to getting up and running

2.      I created Heartbeat Yoga and got it up and incorporated as an LLC

3.      I created The Bridge yoga class and threw a launch party

4.      I started teaching The Bridge 4 nights a week (on top of my full time job as a lawyer and teaching private clients)

5.      I became an aunt for the first time!

So yeah, I think the last few months have whirred by because I’ve hardly had time to come up for air!  It’s all been amazingly wonderful stuff, but to say it’s kept me busy would be an understatement. 

Here’s my BIG secret: when my life gets this busy, the first thing to give is my yoga practice.  GASP.  I know.  Of all people, this girl, completely obsessed with all things yoga and I stop practicing yoga!  What?? 

But it somehow becomes the easiest thing to lose.  I’m guessing you know what I mean. What’s completely idiotic is that yoga should be the ONE thing we hold on to when life gets crazy.  Yoga is what keeps us grounded, in both a literal and figurative sense.  To be aware of the feeling of our bodies touching the earth.  To give the mind the time and opportunity to be present.  These are the ways in which we stay grounded when everything else around us spins madly. 

So here we are, in December.  I refuse to allow the last month of this year, 2014, a year that brought me so much happiness and abundance, to whiz by without the chance to stop and savor it.  And with the holidays and revelry and the overindulgence that comes along, the opportunity to lose one’s grounding is so easy to do. 

So I am making a commitment to MAKE IT TO THE MAT at least once a day.  Even if it’s just to take child’s pose.  And I invite you to join me.  Let’s do this together – strength in numbers, yeah?

You can start tonight by coming to The Bridge yoga class at 7:30PM!  See you there. xo

No, Thank YOU

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and boy was I thankful!  I have been thinking a lot lately about just how grateful I am that Heartbeat Yoga is up and running and I have to pinch myself when I think about all of the help and support I received by you wonderful people.  I am so lucky to have you all in my life.

Teaching yoga is my dharma, my life’s work.  It’s my passion, it’s my heart, and teaching yoga never actually feels like work.  That I now have the privilege of teaching yoga through my very own company feels like a dream come true.

The thing is, even though it makes me feel great, I can't help but wonder if it’s making my students feel equally as great.  And then I got this text message yesterday from one of my first students:

Happy Thanksgiving!!  I am thankful I met you and fell in love with yoga.  Enjoy your day!

I mean, whoa!  What more can I ask for than something like that?  This student had never practiced yoga before coming to my class.  If I can impact only a handful of students in my time teaching yoga in this life, then I know it’s all worthwhile.

I am not a yoga teacher without students and Heartbeat Yoga would not exist if not for all of you amazing people out there who read this blog, attend my classes, and cheer me on from near and far.  I am so grateful.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

The Voice of Fear Shouts Louder than the Rest (if you let it)

Since my last blog post, THE BRIDGE yoga class has kicked off!!  The first class was held on Monday, October 20th and every night thereafter (Monday - Thursday) of each week.  It has been an honor to teach this new class that I created and to hold it at the Ashtanga Yoga Shala.  Even though I've been teaching yoga for the last three years, I have had to find my unique voice to teach this class, which has been both fun and scary!  

Speaking of scary; as I find my way into this new studio, into this new class, I have been reminded that the voice of fear shouts louder than the rest.  I know you know what I'm talking about...that voice in your head that tells you all the reasons why you're not enough, why you're going to fail, why you're crazy for even trying.  We all have this voice.  It's unrelenting.  No matter how much you try to silence it, it pops back up.  Like whack-a-mole.  If it pops up over here, you whack it down only for it to pop up over there. 

In creating Heartbeat Yoga, my new company, and in launching THE BRIDGE yoga class, this voice has had a lot of new material to shout about.  I used to believe that this voice spoke my truth.  I believed this voice and all the terrible things it told me about myself.  But now I know better.  I know that this voice, in fact, speaks lies.  And I've done a pretty great job at quieting it, or should I say, drowning it out.  Because what I discovered is that inside of me, I also have a wondrous chorus of beautiful voices that sing sweet music and tell me that I'm following my true path. These are the voices I pay attention to, that I revel in, and that I use to guide me.  I find that the chorus can be heard most clearly right after my yoga practice, when my body and mind are still and receptive.

I invite you to quiet "the voice" and find your chorus.  Come take this journey with me - on your mat - and we can all sing loudly together.

Heartbeat Yoga ... it's alive!!

Today is the day I announced my yoga company, Heartbeat Yoga, to the world!  At once it feels like this was a long time coming and that it happened in literally one heart beat.  It's at once exhilarating and terrifying.  This company is my soul, it's my being, it is me.  Not to be dramatic, but I have put so much time and energy into this and now it is out there for everyone. Truly, I know this had to be.  I have been working toward it and the universe has been paving my way to this day: everything that has happened in my life has led me to this point.  I could not be happier.  

Life only has so many days like today: only so many firsts, only so many beginnings.  I'm going to go and revel in this feeling, soak it in, and try and hold on to it as long as I can.

Thank you, whoever you are out there, for taking time out of your day to read my words, to find my company and blog, and to hopefully reach out to me and maybe even do yoga with me.  It would be an honor.