Creating A Home Altar
I have a special place in my home devoted to my spiritual practice. My altar includes photos of my teachers (yoga and family) and some objects that inspire me: statues of Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance, and Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, some rocks, crystals, and trinkets I’ve collected, and a Catholic prayer card given to me by a dear friend. I like to spend a few minutes in front of my alter every day contemplating my life and my practice, but what I’ve learned over the years is that this physical space I’ve created in my home is really just a reflection of the altar within me. Every object, every photo is simply a manifestation of that which lies deep inside. I carry it with me always.
2016 Gift Guide
I can only speak for myself, but I know I’m not alone when I say that it’s been a rough year. For many, that is the understatement of 2016. Given the weight so many of us feel for a myriad of unimaginable reasons, I struggled to find the point of a holiday gift guide. Who needs a scented candle when the world feels like it’s in the toilet? (Come to think of it, maybe it’s actually the perfect time for a scented candle. Ha! I recommend Aesop’s “Post-Poo / Anti-Merde Drops.” I can’t help but think that they would make an incredible, albeit cheeky, hostess gift. I mean, everyone needs them. But I digress.) Who wants a beautiful tea towel unless it’s to mop up all the tears we’ve cried over any number of tragedies, injustices, and heartaches. I, for one, do not want any gifts this year. I want to channel my feelings, my fears, and my frustrations into meaningful action. Isn’t that what a gift is, anyway — the manifestation of how much you care?
The art of arranging flowers is, for me, all about letting go. I might have an idea of what I want the arrangement to look like, but it never ends up looking like what I had imagined. If I focus on the act, itself, and give up my attachment to the end result, my arrangement will take on a life of its own. Devote yourself and then surrender to the process — that is yoga.
Dressed for Transition
Fall is coming, can you feel it? The days are getting shorter, the light is changing, and you can now find Halloween candy at your local drug store. Also, it’s still hot. Just last weekend I sought refuge from the oppressive humidity in an air-conditioned Williams Sonoma that smelled like pumpkin spice. And even though today the air feels crisp, I’m just not ready to drag all of my sweaters out from underneath my bed. As summer lingers and fall flirts, there’s really only one thing that seems clear: we’re in the throes of transition.
Brow Bar Confessions
I was eleven years old when I experienced my first beauty trauma. Much to my mother’s dismay, my grandmother had convinced me to cut bangs and perm my hair. At the time, it seemed like a fantastic idea, but the perm only solidified my awkward phase by becoming the tragic cherry on top of the braces, acne, and lime green school uniform in which I spent my tween years. It’s a look that still haunts me to this day.
Weekend at Home
I’m curled up on my sofa wearing ripped jeans and my favorite sweater, enjoying every single second of being at home with nothing to do. Actually, I have about a million things to do, but I’m not going to do any of them. That’s the real gift of spending an entire weekend at home: it’s an invitation to make a conscious choice to let go, spread out, and see what happens. I may just lounge around and veg, but I also know full well that as soon as I declare autonomy from my to-do list, I immediately feel reinvigorated to get things done; it’s like reverse psychology for my nervous system!
2015 Holiday Gift Guide
There’s no greater pleasure than finding and giving the perfect gift, but nothing diminishes that pleasure quite like the pressure to deliver the holiday goods. I think it’s a total waste to buy a gift for the sake of buying a gift. We all have too much, and yet we run around like maniacs this time of year desperately trying to buy something (anything!) for everyone on our list. The truth is, no one wants that mediocre, last minute, had-to-buy-you-something gift. What we really want is meaning.
Thanksgiving dinner is more than just the meal. It’s more than the table decorations and the pumpkin pie; it’s about the meaning behind our traditions. I think that’s why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; more important than the results is the intention behind what we do.
No More Stretchy Pants
I’m writing this from the comfort of my home, in the comfort of my favorite pair of yoga pants, an old t-shirt, and my Crocs flip-flops. I haven’t brushed my hair today; I just threw it up into a messy bun. I’m not wearing any makeup. I literally showered, brushed my teeth, and ran out the door to teach.
Today’s “outfit” is what we yoga teachers commonly refer to as the “yoga uniform.” Yoga clothes are not only comfortable, they have been my comfortable choice every morning for the past eleven years. Some days it feels like elastic has interdigitated into the fabric of my skin. While some have perfected the art of dressing up their stretchy pants, I’ve always struggled to transform the sporty look into anything other than what it is: spandex.