Ever Expanding Joy


Joy is the feeling of grinning inside. – Melba Colgrove

At the hospital last night, I sat bedside with a friend, Cheryl*, who was suffering with pain and nausea from a surgery. It was one of many treatments she had endured in her fight against cancer. She was unable to see any relief in the near future. As she went in and out of consciousness we talked about her life. She told me of her fears and wishes and the loves in her life. I left the hospital with uncertainty of what would be her fate. She was unable to eat and her will to live was slipping away.

This morning as I practice yoga, my heart is heavy and crazy fears circle in my head about my mortality. What would I do if I was in her shoes? As I stand in Warrior Two, I think ‘allow your lips to to turn up in a little smile’. As I do, the dark clouds covering the sun in my heart move apart leaving a subtle feeling of ‘joy’.

Joy is the feeling of grinning inside. – Melba Colgrove

Joy building poses:
Warrior One – with a smile on your face
Wild Thing
Half Moon

Breathing exercises:
Energizing Breath – 2 quick inhales through the nostrils and 2 exhales through and open mouth
with the vocal sound ‘ha ha’ (repeat as many times as you like).

NOTE: I received a text later in the day from a friend. Cheryl was going home! The nausea subsided, she was able to eat breakfast and keep it down!

* fictious name 🙂

The Creation of Sing and Play Yoga

I started teaching Mommy & Me Yoga at Desert Song in 2010. At first the babies were very restless, until I incorporated singing and playing into the class. This made for happy babies, which meant we were all happy and enjoyed our yoga time together.

In 2013 I was a student in a 95-hour Kid’s Yoga training at Desert Song Yoga. My teacher, Mary asked me to teach a Mommy & Me Yoga class for the teachers. While preparing for this class, I realized that creating a set of yoga cards would be a wonderful idea.

My partner and I have been working on this project for the last 2 and half years. We are pleased to announce that the beautiful cards have arrived. Namaste!

Countdown from Fifty – Body Relaxation

Sometimes it is really nice to just relax and let go! I created this deep relaxation just for that purpose. Hope you enjoy!

Stands With A Fist

Mary McDonnell - Stands with a fist

Do you remember the scene from the movie, Dances With Wolves, when Kevin Costner’s character, John Dunbar, asks the Lakota woman her name? By pantomiming and roughly speaking a little English, she is able to tell him her name is “Stands With a Fist.”

One of my teachers, Matthew Taylor, gave a speech on the interconnectivity of life. During the speech he mentioned that he was a recovered hand clencher. This was my first realization that I, too, had a hand clenching problem.

I now pay attention to my hands. When I drive I hold my hands with “soft hands” instead of gripping the steering wheel. I walk with relaxed fingers and so that my arms can comfortably move at the shoulders. Lastly, when I sit I pay attention to the fingers so that my hands stay relaxed. Slowly the life long practice of hand gripping has almost disappeared. By releasing the tension in my hands my mental, physical and emotional state has improved too.

Tension shows up in the physical body in a variety of places. In me it is my hands but in someone else it may be the jaw, the muscles in the face, the buttock muscles or even the feet. The only way to know is to start paying attention to how you handle day-to-day life by watching and feeling the sensations in your body. I am happy to say that I do not Stand With a Fist anymore.

Below is an audio I made. It is a guided relaxation technique.

Make yourself comfortable and please enjoy,

The Guided Butterfly Meditation…