Loving life with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What I Learned About Forgiveness from Dada J.P. Vaswani

    I was raised by church going parents who gave me the complete Catholic education from grade school and into College. Spirituality was always a part of my life whether I understood it or not the virtuous seeds of love, forgiveness, compassion and gratitude were planted deep within my heart. By the time I was 20 something, I had some strong decisions to make that weighed heavy on my heart. This led me to a daily yoga practice, study, work and about 15 years later to my husband Amit. His family's Guru Dada J.P. Vaswani from the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India came once a year to the New York/New Jersey area where I live. I was lucky enough to meet with Dada when he came to town, invite my friends to meet him plus support Dada's events in my area in anyway I could. I felt privileged and honored to be so close to a holy man such as Dada.

   As the years went by I was asked to do a little more. I always jumped to it because all I saw was good when it came to Dada and the Mission. The Mission was aware of my blog Glamorous Yogini and asked me to write a post about Forgiveness. It was explained to me that August 2nd is Dada's birthday and it is his wish at 2pm wherever you are in the world on that day for 2 minutes to reflect on forgiving someone. This day has become Global Forgiveness Day. Imagine this wave of positivity! Sadly I was not able to write that Forgiveness post. I remember writing to my friends at The Sadhu Vaswani Mission saying I was sorry and was practicing forgiving myself for not doing it. I share this with you because finding forgiveness is not easy. Having this feeling to push forgiving another to the side is a very human and real response.

    I eventually came to learn the power that comes with embodying the teaching of forgiveness. This enabled me to write about forgiveness and I now find it to be an easier topic to ponder. I say this after meeting Dada several years ago. Here he told me it is very important to forgive if you are looking to transform and move forward in your life. If you don't forgive you carry a heavy burden within your heart. A wound that hurts only one person and that person is you. Your peace and happiness is waiting for you. You have a choice to find it if you let go.

   Fortunately Dada has written countless books on the topic plus there's YouTube clips you can listen to. I hope this personal account has inspired you to participate in finding forgiveness this coming Friday August 2nd at 2pm for 2 minutes. Please visit momentofcalm.org to learn more about Global Forgiveness Day.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Summer Yoga and Creative Core Conditioning Schedule

      How would your day go if your mantra was "I don't know?" If you could be schooled by your breath? Your mind and body following your present moment teacher, your breath. None of yesterday's concerns or tomorrow's worries, simply you sitting in the here and now. Please join me for class this summer where I will reacquaint you with that powerful present moment guide, your breath. It's waiting for you to say "Hello!"

Mondays 10am Level 1 Creative Core Conditioning 1hr

An upbeat barefoot body sculpting class which focuses on strengthening your abdomen and lower back as well as toning your buttocks, chest and arms. 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

11:45am Easy Flow 1hr 15min

A step up from gentle yoga with easy to follow yoga flow sequences and meditative moments. 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

Tuesdays 9:15am Level 2/3 Vinyasa Yoga 1hr 30min

Alignment Based Vinyasa Flow style yoga with Iyengar Yoga style peak pose breakdowns. 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

12noon Gentle Warrior 1hr 30min 

Like a level 1 posture class with Sun Salute variations, restorative yoga, meditation, breath work and no inversions. 

www.bamboomovesenglewood.com Englewood, NJ

Wednesdays 11:45am Easy Flow 1hr 15min 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

Thursdays 9:15am Level 2/3 Creative Core Conditioning 1hr 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

12noon Gentle Warrior 1hr 30min 

www.bamboomovesenglewood.com Englewood, NJ

Fridays 9:30am Level 2/3 Vinyasa Yoga 1hr 30min 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Meeting a Master: Dada J.P. Vaswani


     A couple of weeks before my wedding to Amit, it so happened that his Father's Guru, Dada J.P. Vaswani from the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India was in the New York/New Jersey area. He was scheduled to speak at several venues and I was looking forward to attending these events which included Dada leading a meditation at The Town Hall in New York City. I was honored when Amit said Dada was coming over to his parent's house to bless us as a couple.

     I previously attended events in Manhattan where Gurus were present but I never had a face to face meeting before. I was a bit nervous but at the same time thrilled. Being raised Catholic I was accustomed to getting dressed up for special holy events so I made sure not to wear my yoga teaching work clothes but to change into a simple summer dress with a light scarf in case I needed to cover my head and shoulders. I had no idea and was guessing what was appropriate. Amit insisted not to worry about these details. He encouraged me to simply show up and enjoy.

    I arrived at my soon to be in-Law's house and the suburban streets were covered with parked cars. This was not typical nor was the crowd of people in the house. The floors were covered with white sheets and everyone was wearing white except for me and Amit. I was overwhelmed with hugs and kisses and words of Congratulations for my upcoming wedding. Eventually Dada arrived and all eyes turned towards him. It was hard not to stare at him. He's a luminous being. He entered with his assistant Krishna Kumari by his side and about 10 other people. I heard a tambourine, people bowed as he walked by while a photographer filmed his every move. Things got quiet and cameras were turned off when Dada sat with Amit and I where he meditated with us, blessed us and mantras were repeated.

    What touched my soul was Dada looked at me and quietly told me something I was thinking about the day before. I told no one about these thoughts. How did he know? He continued to look at me and told me something I was thinking about when I was a teenager. Then he told me something I would think about in the future and as I'm writing this exactly ten years later he is correct. He was able to know my past, present and my future mind. Not in a way that anyone ever did before. He continued to look at me. This time there were no words. Rather a feeling of unconditional love came from him. I was in awe that he was able to look at my mind with all its thoughts including the confused ones and he continued to send me unconditional love. I never felt this feeling before. It was an incredible feeling that was healing my heart. When I looked back at Dada I loved everyone including myself. I imagined this must be what heaven feels like. After our meeting I remember trying to hold onto this high frequency love vibration. Life and its challenges sure does make it rough to always embody loving thoughts, words and actions. The beauty of spending time with a Master like Dada is I have the memory of this feeling in my heart. It's a feeling that I visit often to stay soft and approach my life with an open and brave heart.

    I'm sharing this personal memory of Dada J. P. Vaswani because July 12th is the sacred day a year ago he dropped his physical body at the age of 99. I'm so grateful to have had magical healing moments with Dada. Above is a picture of our last face to face meeting on September 13, 2017. I will be posting more photos and tributes in the coming weeks up to his birthday August 2nd which is observed as Global Forgiveness Day. Please visit momentofcalm.org and sadhuvaswani.org to learn more.

Monday, July 1, 2019

New Moon, New Vinyasa Yoga Flow

    Tuesday July 2nd's New Moon is a Total Solar Eclipse. A day where the Moon covers the Sun's light for a few minutes. This lack of light show will be visible in the South Pacific, southern Chile and Argentina. I once asked a spiritual teacher named Alexander Murray, what it means spiritually to experience an eclipse? He said "Imagine water moving through a creek and its path being blocked. The water doesn't stop moving. It finds another way through." I love his simplistic and profound answer. 

     Every New Moon I bring new yoga flow choreography into all my classes. The postures vary from month to month while some postures are repeated from the months prior. What can be expected is classical yoga postures and exercises to get into them that are strung together in such a way to stimulate your mind and body to be in the present moment while developing both strength and flexibility. I teach a variety of Yoga class levels including body sculpting classes called Creative Core Conditioning

     I hope to see you this summer on the mat at: