I’m celebrating my yoga practice anniversary this week (12 years!) and it got me thinking as to why I ever stepped into my first yoga class back in March of 2003 and how I’ve never looked back since! Lots of people start practicing yoga by recommendation of their friends; if they’re doing it, I want to do it too. Some folks find it after bouts of injury and their physician suggests they try getting more flexible as a way to heal. Still others find yoga because it’s offered at their gym, or workplace or maybe their drawn to it to help relive stress. My good friend lost her daughter at six months and she swears yoga is what saved her and made her sane. And then there was me, 23 years young and quite the angry bird, if you will, looking for something to melt the fire inside of me.   

A student of mine posted on Facebook yesterday that the most challenging thing for him in his yoga practice is the ability to hold onto anger for long periods of time and how he wants to let go of his anger without actually being used as a doormat for other people, meaning he doesn’t want to be seen as too soft. This post spoke volumes to me and made me remember why I originally sought out the practice of yoga.

When I moved to Chicago in August of 2002, I was fresh out of college and in a new relationship with a guy who I decided to follow/move cross country to be with. This should have been one of the happiest times in my life except it wasn’t. Just a couple of weeks shy of my leaving the great state of Rhode Island, I decided to end my rocky and tumultuous relationship with my father. Without legally doing it, I kinda decided to “divorce” my dad. The reasons being we won’t go into here except that he was (and probably still is) an alcoholic. And as you know, alcohol is THE worst drug/addiction to kick. So instead, I kicked him out of my life.


My Ma deserves all the credit! I am what I am because she is so strong and her love is all encompassing!

I was angry; more angry than I’d ever been with anyone in my whole life. I would walk around the city of Chicago and cry because I was torn between embracing my new life and grieving for the relationship I once had with my dad. It was at this time that a fellow waitress at the restaurant I worked out suggested I come with her to a yoga class. “You need to breathe girl,” was all she said. And she was right. Up until that class, I felt like I had been holding my breath for the past six months. For that 90 minutes, I felt pure joy and I allowed myself to be totally selfish- focusing on myself alone and not thinking about my dad, or how angry I was, or how the guy I moved in with wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Yoga taught me how to love myself. Because before that time, I really did feel like a doormat for anyone, at anytime. Yoga helped me heal my heart and forgive myself of all the anger I had been carrying around for the past year. When I released all that “negative energy” I started becoming the most positive person I knew and I loved every second of the new me. I watched my anger slowly melt away through my practice and I know you will too!


Around this time I started dating Andy, my now husband, I met Jean Ann, my best friend in the Midwest, I moved into my own “big girl” apartment and adopted my first dog, Irie, and enrolled in the 200 hour yoga teacher training at my studio. Ahhhh the power of yoga! That was 12 years ago and I’m still in love with my job, my mat and the practice of yoga itself. So thanks Sarah Charipar for introducing me to yoga- I totally owe you one!


You know what else makes me happy? Cookies! And books! If I could have a cookie everyday I totally would right in between my nap and my four o’clock class… this is when I feel the need for sugar, caffeine or a Kombucha to wake me up… If you didn’t know teaching yoga means you always have to “be on” so there’s no faking it or acting tired or letting your head cold get the best of you. So I treat myself to a cookie now and again.. until today when I discovered this healthy cookie recipe that I can see myself snacking on like everyday, no really, I may!



Cookies for Monsters- serves two or more 


-1 apple, sliced, each piece about an inch thick

-peanut or almond butter

-coconut flakes



1. Slice your apple making 6-8 “cookies” if you will.


2. Smear the apple with peanut or almond butter and top with coconut flakes.

IMG_8808 IMG_8810

3. Finish with some chocolate chips and nuts of your choice. Grab some milk and enjoy!


Easy peesy cookies!


Lastly, let’s explore my other way to spend a “happy hour” if you will, curled up with a good book with Corduroy and Sugar on my lap! I’m on a Cheryl Strayed kick right now and no I haven’t seen the movie Wild, and yes, I did the read the book even though I wasn’t as “moved” as most of my friends were. But her first book, Torch is an excellent read and it was sad and very surreal. It’s a story about love and the loss of a mother who was everything to her kids and vice versa. It made me think of my Ma and the sacrifices she has made over the years for me and my brother Andrew. Strayed’s writing was beautiful and this book really moved me, almost to the point of tears.



I’m dedicating this post today to my friend Candy who passed away last weekend after battling breast, bone and then liver cancer. Although she is not physically here, I can feel her presence and her spirit daily. Candy worked the front desk at Harmony House Yoga where I worked for over three years, and she touched the lives of almost everyone she met. She had a dry sense of humor (my kind of lady) and she spunky, athletic, funny and most of all courageous. Even in her final hours, she would write on her blog to stay “positive, positive, positive” each and everyday.

It’s a message we could all use to hear. I love you Candy, thank you for letting me be your friend. It was a gift, even if it was shorter than I would have hoped. Those of you who knew Candy should come celebrate her life this Saturday, at 3 p.m. at the Sukha Wellness Center in Avila Beach.


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