Head, Heart, and Covid-19

I was devastated when I got the news that my India trip in March was cancelled. I had been looking forward to this for about eight months. I got all of my immunization shots, spent considerable time and energy purchasing airline tickets, making travel arrangements, and purchasing travel paraphernalia like suitcase locks, a money pouch, anti-bacterial wipes, and masks (well, masks were sold out everywhere.)

Then a colleague of mine asked for my advice about whether or not to cancel her sold out yoga retreat in Morocco. While telling her my story about cancelling India, an insight emerged.
How much is my personal attachment to go through with the retreat clouding my wisdom about doing the right thing?
You have to discern between your attachment and what you know in your heart. Attachment comes from the head. Wisdom comes from the heart. To make good decisions and feel integrated about it afterwards (rather than doubting yourself, feeling guilt or shame), you need both head and heart to work together.

Here’s an inquiry that really helped me get clear:
How do you go through loss? Do you accept it easily or do you resist it and fight back? How does your personal attachment get in the way of your judgment?
To arrive at a conscious decision that unites mind and heart, you have to sort out the various voices in your head. I had a few different voices – the voice of denial, the voice of fear, and the voice of anger, sadness, and loss, that covered up my voice of wisdom.

Voice of Denial: “The virus isn’t really that bad. I’m healthy. It will just be like a mild cold. So what’s the big deal?”

Voice of Fear: “I could get really […]

Meditate. Activate. Generate.

Meditate. Activate. Generate. This is my mantra and reason for meditating. Understanding this inspires me to prioritize meditation, not only as a daily spiritual practice, but as a practical tool that supports my vision for following my heart and living my dream. If it can do that for me, meditation can do it for you too.

Meditate: When you sit for meditation you draw into the source and dwell in the light of the primordial life force, the essence of the pulsation of life. In that space, you connect more deeply with your life purpose.

Activate:  You activate and wake up to your reason for living and touch the immense good fortune and joy of being alive.

Generate: Meditation is preparation for activity in your day. It carries you deeply inward which activates the memory of why you are here. Then you move into your day and generate results making good things happen, serving others, bringing in the light, and manifesting your dream for a better world full of meaning, joy, and freedom.

Meditation, as taught in the Kashmir Shaiva Tantra tradition, is preparation for activity.
That’s not normally what people think meditation is for. Most people think meditation is about calming the mind, or increasing concentration and focus, or for transcendence.

Meditation is all those things. But when you meditate, you consciously move closer to the source of life. You automatically sift through the field of thoughts, releasing them one by one, until you settle into the depths of your own being. One image that comes to mind was when I taught on a yoga cruise for Yoga Journal years ago. We toured the Western Caribbean and on one of the islands, we swam with the stingrays. The stingray is an […]

By |February 28th, 2020|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

What Must We Risk to Give and Receive Love?

With Valentine’s Day coming up this month I’ve been reflecting on the topic of love and relationship. According to psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Sue Johnson, it’s not sex that drives our deepest urges and actions in life. It’s our need for emotional connection and attachment. Human beings are bonding mammals. We need connections with others, not only for our own survival and safety, but for emotional stability.

Then why is bonding, connection, and love so difficult? Among the many possible reasons, fear of pain is the main one.
We fear the very thing we long for – connection.
Falling in love or getting closer to another person brings the risk of rejection and hurt. We can’t live without it. Yet living with it can be challenging.

Pain seems to come with the territory. There’s pain either way. When you shut down, close your heart and isolate to protect yourself from pain, paradoxically there’s pain. Similarly, there’s pain in opening your heart and being vulnerable.
But the pain from closing down is the pain that deepens the pain, while the pain from opening your heart is the pain that heals the pain.
Stay Open:

In yoga, we want to choose to open up and be vulnerable. This is the first essential of Ashaya Yoga, Open. Of course, there are times when we feel that we have to close down. There are appropriate times to put up a boundary. Sharing what’s really going on in your heart and being able to listen wholeheartedly with curiosity and interest to the other’s experience is what opens the relationship and creates the bond. When you feel safe to be in your most vulnerable self, healthy attachment forms.

The love attachment bond strengthens us. If the attachment […]

By |February 2nd, 2020|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Intention: From Dream to Reality

Intention is a powerful tool that makes dreams come true. Five or six years ago, I set an intention to create a music CD with some of my favorite musicians, Benjy and Heather Wertheimer and Steve Gorn. I’ve known them for at least 20 years and I always feel tingles in my bones when they play. Their music is so heart-felt and pure. I sense their joy and strong intention to bring more light and beauty into the world through their music. I’m so grateful to announce that my dream has come true.


My new CD, Invocation: Heart of Darkness and Light, Music and Mantras for Creating Sacred Space, is now a reality! What’s so great is that it came out even better than I had imagined. It’s the most comprehensive music project I’ve created to date and I’m so thrilled it is here.


We are the powerful beings who can intervene with grace.
Setting an intention, or in Sanskrit, a Sankalpa, is the way we intervene. We co-participate with grace every time we wish for something. When you put your intention out there, it’s like a seed being planted in the soil. The greater your passion and desire for something, the richer and more fertile the soil. When your desire comes from deep down in your heart, it is bound to manifest.

Just like nurturing a plant to grow, after you set your intention, you have to nurture it. You have to think about it often, envision it, and then eventually do something about it. For me, I had to wait until the time was right. Then I jumped in and didn’t stop creating until the project was completed. It took me about nine months. (It’s my baby!)
The […]

By |December 30th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Set Your Intention for 2020

The new year is nearly upon us and talk of New Year’s resolutions will soon be inescapable. Madison Avenue makes it sound as if we can say some magic words and poof! Everything will be different as soon as we tack our new calendar to the wall. Of course, the reality of life is very different. Whether it is your intention to effect change or you intend to continue to attract what you want and need, persistence will be required.

What are you willing to do to live the life you desire?

We all have desires. We seek love, improved health, financial stability, and more. Setting an intention is like planting a seed. The concrete steps that we take to attract what we want are like sunlight and water, allowing the seed to blossom. Here are some strategies for you to try in the new year:

Clarify your intention. Be specific. Instead of “I want more money,” tell yourself, “I will find a new job that brings me professional fulfillment and increased compensation.” Instead of, “I want to do more yoga,” try, “I will attend three weekend workshops” or “I will sign up for a Yoga Teacher Training.”
Visualize yourself living your dream. Imagine yourself working at that new job or taking notes at that YTT. Create a vision board. Write in your journal.
Use affirmations. These are powerful tools! Speak to yourself in the present tense, saying things like, “I am capable and deserving of professional success” or “I have studied yoga for years and I have wisdom to share. I am ready to take the next step.”
Take action. For many of us, this is the hardest part. Identify the things that you can […]

By |December 17th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|