Grand Theft Auto: A Study in Mindfulness

Yoga Amalfi Coast

Yoga Retreat Along the Amalfi Coast

May 26–June 2 2018. Only 3 Spots Left!

Part 1: Chubby Hula Dancer's Last Ride

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Ever feel like life is all some absurd cartoon? Let me fill you in. This story is how my truck got stolen and how it helped me be more mindful. 

See, I used to drive a wonderful old truck ('93 Nissan) which was very generously given to me in February 2006 when crisis came to visit for a winter. Different story, different day. 

chubby hula dancer.jpg

My truck's name was Nina cuz she was red and sultry like Nina Simone and sounded like she'd been smoking without a filter and drinking gasoline her entire life. Over the years, I'd put a little money into her to keep her running, but largely she was a wonderfully reliable part of my life.

Nina was a great old lady. She was missing a tailpipe, her radio was broken, sun visors missing, driver's side mirror broken, and one of the windows on her shell was shattered, but she started up almost every time. It was a stark moment when I realized that the exterior had reached such a point of dereliction that washing her would only harm her more. 

I had a constant companion riding shotgun in this rusty ride. Affixed to the dash was Chubby Hula Dashboard Dancer. Over the years I'd learned that we share a love for jazz organ music. I know this because that's when did her best dancing. I mean she REALLY got into it. I'd often car-dance along with her but I couldn't compare to the sweet moves of Chubby Hula Dashboard Dancer.


Another fun feature of my ride was the sticker on the back window which read 1". You know those stickers people post on the back of their cars that simply say 26.2? They are bragging rights for those who have trod the distance of a marathon. Well, I made a sticker in the same style that simply read 1". And yes, in a hyper-masculine world of lift kits and truck nuts it takes someone very secure in his manhood to roll around town with a 1" sticker on the back of his truck.

The sticker is a references to one of my favorite poems by Wendell Berry called "A Spiritual Journey." 

"A Spiritual Journey"


And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,

no matter how long,

but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch,

very arduous and humbling and joyful,

by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet,

Nina 1 inch.jpg

and learn to be at home.

To me, this poem reminds me that the greatest journey I will ever travel or the greatest place I might ever hope to arrive is the distance of 1", to the ground at my own feet, the awareness of my True Self, the real, Divine me, and to feel at home in my own heart, and to know whatever lives there.

Honeymoon is Over

So, in August of  2014 my wife and I were living in Salt Lake City. We'd only been married for a few months and already we had been through tremendous highs and lows. Literally one week prior to getting married, I'd closed the doors on the two yoga studios I owned, both of which had been limping along for years. But getting married was bliss and we'd just come home from our honeymoon to Greece and Spain where we lay on the beach, ate pastries with abandon, and fell deeper in love with each other.

Before getting married, I had been under enormous stress and now, back from our honeymoon, I was eager to move forward in my life with more bliss, happiness and stability.

Not long after coming home from our honeymoon, Seneca's car, received a terminal diagnosis from the auto shop and we decided to sell it—I posted it online and it sold in 14 minutes for cash. So, for a few weeks were sharing my truck. Sharing a car made getting around a little tricky but we managed. Compared to the stress I'd already had that summer, the stress of sharing a car was nothing.  

Super-human Core Strength

One Saturday we decided to drive my truck down to the Farmers Market. We parked and walked the few blocks over to buy our produce. 

On our way back, we returned to the place I'd parked my truck and it wasn't there. Instead, it was parked about 100 feet away in a different spot. Confused, I started to think through the possibilities: Had I left the truck out of gear? Maybe it started to roll and someone had kindly parked it on flat ground for me? Was I parked illegally and law enforcement had moved it? Was there a free valet service at the Farmers Market? I hadn't given anybody my keys.


None of these options made sense and as I got closer to my truck I saw someone milling about it and it dawned on me what was happening—someone was stealing my truck at that moment!

I broke into a dead sprint toward my truck and the Truck Thief. Truck Thief saw that his heist's owner was bearing down toward him and panicked. He immediately jumped into the cab and started the engine. I saw that he had parked in front of a large concrete barrier and couldn't move forward and I soon arrived arrived to the back of the truck before he could back up preventing him from getting away. I began to scream at him to stop stealing my truck. 

At that moment, Truck Thief and I had the exact same thought: There's no way to steal this truck with someone standing behind it. Truck Thief soon thought of a different option, one I had not considered up to that point, which was to run over the lesser of the two obstacles blocking his way (read the crazy dude standing with his hands on the back, screaming).  Without a hesitation, Truck Thief threw Nina into reverse and floored it. Fortunately the tires we pretty bald, giving me a warning screech and a half of a second delay to jumped out of the way. 

As the truck whizzed past me,  I did the first thing that came to mind which was to grab onto the half-rolled window on the driver's side and proceeded to run with him as he was backing at an incredible speed. I don't know what I was hoping for with that desperate action. I'm a yoga teacher and I know that with enough core strength you can do anything. Perhaps I thought that if I could just lift the car up, immobilizing all four wheels, I could hold it there until the cops came. For a brief second we were our faces were mere inches apart. And though I was so close, I honestly can't say what his face looked like because it wildly distorted with a look that said, "Holy shit! That dude's running next to me and holding onto the window while I'm stealing his ride!" 

He then popped the truck into gear and shot off, ripping my hands from the window and tearing out of the parking lot then down the road like a fugitive, leaving me standing there like an idiot—but an idiot who didn't get ran over. Seneca stood 50 feet away and watched the entire event transpire in complete horror.

After it was all done, we stood there staring at each other with a look like, "Well, that just happened." It was over in 10 seconds or less.

We called the police. They filed a report.

Then we walked a half block to one of Salt Lake City's best coffee shops, The Rose Establishment, to have some coffee and wait for someone to come and give us a ride. While waiting for our ride, I posted on social media, "Because when someone has just stolen your truck, you deserve a really nice cup of coffee." While waiting for the baristas to make our brew, it dawned on me that in a matter of two weeks, we had gone from having two cars, to one, to none. And while we don't mind walking, it feels differently when you gotta walk cuz someone ripped off your ride.

Mindfully Pissed


Here's where this get's a little deep. This might sound out there but, even while my truck was being stolen and then directly after, I felt a strange sense of grand awareness about the whole thing. Even while it was happening, I could see that in the big picture, what's true is that getting your truck stolen really isn't that big a deal. In fact, in some ways it feels completely absurd, like I'm staring in my own cartoon, as my friend Nan puts it. I'm sure I'd feel differently if the guy had ran over me. 

Yet with the very same awareness that getting your truck stolen is ultimately inconsequential, came the realization that what is also true is that my smaller self has real and intense feelings about getting my truck stolen. Despite my intermittent "grand awareness," the stoic and bland "it-is-what-it-is" mindset doesn't cut it with me. Not entirely. "What it is" sucks! And to deny that is to deny the part of me that despite not having the grand awareness, still exists, at least to some degree.

Yoga and meditation has taught me not to deny my feelings but rather to drink them in and thereby use them to illuminate the True Self, tools for practicing being aware. 

Awareness of the True Self is actually about freedom. The freedom , for example, is to be absolutely present with emotions, not to deny them. So with that in mind, I felt free to choose to be mindfully pissed off and honored my primal need to shout loudly through my clenched teeth every four letter word I know . . . besides love . . . and hope . . . and nice.

I wonder if Truck Thief was thinking to himself, "I'm very mindfully pinching this dude's ride. Vrrr-Ommmmmm."?

As I saw my truck reseed into the distance, my 1" sticker reminded me that the crucial step along the journey toward the True Self is to be at home in my heart and to learn to be comfortable with everything as just it is. This spiritual journey of 1", like Wendell Berry says,  is "arduous, humbling and joyful by which I arrive at the ground at my feel and learn to be at home." And at that moment I was forced into learning this lesson which lay at my feet because for the unforeseeable future, I would be walking. 

Driving It Home

May our practice, whether on or off the mat, be to strive to always experience this "arduous, humbling and joyful" journey of the human experience to the fullest, and use the events which befall us as tools to become ever more aware of our True Self. Be the small self of emotions and the True Self with the grand perspective. Practice this and be responsible and kind to other people. 

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Sometimes this life really does feel like some wild Sponge Bob Square Pants episode that the Divine is Netflixing alone on some late night while drinking a beer and eating some non-GMO corn chips and salsa.

In the big picture getting my truck stolen wasn't very important. I actually enjoyed riding my bike for a while, burning off some of the pastries I ate while on my honeymoon, and simultaneously burning off some of the anger resulting from getting my ride pinched. 

I'm sure Chubby Hula Dashboard Dancer never danced for Truck Thief as wildly as she did for me. 

And while I pedaled around Salt Lake City,  I hoped that Truck Thief would return my truck with a full tank of gas.

The story continues . . . 

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    I Don't Know The Name of This Bird

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    wolf creek snow.jpg

    White Eyes

    by Mary Oliver
    In winter
        all the singing is in
             the tops of the trees
                  where the wind-bird
    with its white eyes
        shoves and pushes
             among the branches.
                  Like any of us
    he wants to go to sleep,
        but he's restless-
             he has an idea,
                  and slowly it unfolds
    from under his beating wings
        as long as he stays awake
             But his big, round music, after all,
                 is too breathy to last.
    So, it's over.
        In the pine-crown
             he makes his nest,
                  he's done all he can.
    I don't know the name of this bird,
        I only imagine his glittering beak
             tucked in a white wing
                  while the clouds-
    which he has summoned
        from the north-
             which he has taught
                  to be mild, and silent-
    thicken, and begin to fall
        into the world below
             like stars, or the feathers
                  of some unimaginable bird
    that loves us,
        that is asleep now, and silent-
             that has turned itself
                  into snow.
    I read this poem and imagine this Spirit-Bird wrestling with its ideas in the tops of the trees manifesting as the brilliant winter storms we sometimes experience in winter.

    I think of this Spirit-Bird as something large and definitive, a creator or director, or maybe simply a grand observer, who puffs and blows the turbulence we all sense in the storms of the sky, and the storms of our lives. I imagine this Spirit-Bird as blustery at times, yes, but also as a being who ultimately touches me with Divine love, a real touch, by sending gentle, delicate, and cold kisses floating through the air in the form of snowflakes, landing silently on my face and shoulders and eyes.

    Like Mary Oliver says, I don't know the name of this bird. But I can feel it whatever it is. Sometimes, it stops me in my tracks along this tempestuous journey of life, ankle-deep in dark and cold, my brow furrowed and mind brimming with business, and lifts my gaze for a moment to watch its dazzling spectacle of fat, silent flakes filter through the streetlight or moonlight.

    The beauty of it all!

    I don't know the name of this bird, but I can feel its breath move through me in yoga. It makes my body move and sway, undulate and reach. It arrests my busy mind and opens my eyes.

    Come out of the cold, both physically and spiritually, and warm up with a yoga practice. Watch as The Spirit-Bird, or whatever name you give it, slowly unfolds its ideas and gives you divine kisses through breath and movement. Then you'll feel it too outside in the form of snow or rain or cold, anything, but nevertheless touches everything around you. 

    Selfie Conscious

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    The following is a rewrite of a piece I did a few years ago and which was recently published on Medium  under the title Selfie Awareness. It outlines and experience I had which taught me more about being conscious with trying to capture the moment with photos and selfies. 

    A few years ago, I was in Paris for the first time, visiting the Louvre, perhaps the finest art museum in the world. While there were many paintings I’d been waiting my entire life to see, and I know I’m cliché here, the Mona Lisa was primo on my list.

    I mean, almost 60 years ago, they tried to insure the Mona Lisa for 100 million dollars* but had problems because many felt that the sum was much too low, and that was 1960s dollars. Today, they value the painting at closer to 800 million!

    Fun fact: Napoleon used to have the Mona Lisa hanging on his bedroom wall and would spend hours in rapture starting at it.

    So finally here, and giddy with anticipation, I stepped into the spacious, well-lit gallery, dying to get a glimpse of the most (in)valuable painting in the world. There she was at last! At a distance, I could see the renaissance rockstar enshrined on her own dedicated wall, protected behind a guardrail and bulletproof glass, and flanked by two bouncers.

    Suddenly, the hallowed hush of the Louvre was irreverently replaced by the din of excitable tourists. As I approached her, I felt pressed in a hot vice of adoring fans, all craning to ogle the most mysterious woman on canvas. The venue felt transformed into an arena at a rock concert where I was squeezing through hordes of fans, desperately hoping to making eye contact with that infamous seductrice and her inimitable half-smile.

    As I jockeyed my way forward, I began to notice something very peculiar. Nobody was looking at the paining. Not really. Rather, everyone was looking at the viewfinder on their smartphones, tablets, and cameras. More than taking a moment to drink in this priceless work of art, most people were worried about getting the perfect photo of it.

    And as I looked around at the crowd, I noticed a distinct pattern. People would fire off several photos, including a few selfies with the Mona Lisa, then without so much as a pause, would scurry off to some other masterpiece to do likewise. For what? To brag to their friends that they were in the same room as the Mona Lisa but never took a second to actually see it?

    Something about this phenomenon is natural human behavior. Hasn’t everyone been guilty of experiencing something extraordinary, a resplendent sunset, an aromatic cup of coffee, or a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa, and we’re afraid the moment will end, so we try to capture it with a photo because doing so and posting it to social media will somehow make it permanent?

    And have you ever tried to show some innocent, unsuspecting person the photos of that moment? It goes like this, “Here’s the great hotel I stayed at, only it’s so much nicer than the photo suggests, you should really see it. Oh, and here’s the most amazing latte I had at the perfect café, but you had to be there, this photo doesn’t do it justice. Here’s the Mona Lisa but she’s much smaller than you’d expect. . . ”

    This is when you look up to see your friend’s eyes gloss over or start to check their watch. The photos don’t translate because the optics of the picture represents only the smallest part of what you hopefully experienced in the moment. Or which perhaps you didn’t experience . . .

    Trying to capture any moment ironically prevents you from having it in the first place. It’s because you’re thinking about the future rather than experiencing the present. To really experience a moment requires a practiced presence with all of your senses. Your senses are an incredible tool for presence.

     Photo permission by John Cottrell

    Photo permission by John Cottrell

    Without being present to the experience, when you’re back at home, looking at your dozen or so selfies with the Mona Lisa, you’ll have no connection to that moment. The photos will mean about as much to you as they would to your friend whom you abused with photos of your latte The photos won’t recall an experience you thought you had because you never really had the experience to begin with.

    And this is getting a little Zen here, but since our identity is the product of our ability to pay attention, if you weren’t present with all of your senses, there was really no “you” to have the experience in the first place.

    I’m just as guilty as the next guy of trying to capture the moment with a photo. But by bringing my unconscious actions to consciousness, I can deliberately make a choice to do something different.

    So never take photos, right? Never post anything on social media? No, let’s not be luddites. But maybe try having the moment first, then if you want to, take a photo to remember a moment you truly experienced.

    And sometimes, try allowing yourself to simply experience a moment without a camera. Soak it up and be 100% there by consciously involving all of your senses, raw and unfiltered.

    Before there were cameras or smartphones, people had to use memories to recall experiences. Go old-school and create a real mental repository of experienced events. What did the light look like in the gallery? What does the smell of paint of canvas evoke to your imagination? What sounds did you hear in the gallery? What were the textures and temperatures you felt on your skin? How did it taste? And remember that if you try to taste the Mona Lisa you better be prepared to lose a tongue.

    I realize that it’s a little glib to simply say simply, “be present.” But practices like yoga and meditation help us to establish presence as our default when we are having any experience, whether mundane or extraordinary. And with presence, even an otherwise mundane experience can prove to be extraordinary once your come senses alive.

    Without presence, even the miraculous or priceless moments (read experiencing the Mona Lisa) will pass you by without leaving an impression. I’m thinking about those simple but perfect moments like hanging with our kids, focusing on good work, or experiencing live music, dance, or poetry. To receive the gift of these moments truly requires presence.


    The immortal poet Rainer Maria Rilke speaks to being existentially destitute as the result of lack of presence in his rather stark poem, "Already The Ripening Barberries Are Red."

    Already the ripening barberries are red,
    and the old asters hardly breathe in their beds.
    Those who are not rich now as summer goes
    will wait and wait and never be themselves.
    Those who cannot quietly close their eyes,
    certain that there is vision after vision
    inside, simply waiting until nighttime
    to rise all around them in the darkness
    it’s all over for them, they feel old and tired.
    Nothing else will come;
    no more days will open,
    and everything that does happen
    will cheat them.
    Even you, my God. And you are like a stone
    that draws them daily deeper into the depths.

    He’s saying that without presence, without any poetic imagination for things as they are or could be, you’ll never experience the heaven which is here. Indeed, he suggests that even the notion of God offering you a future heaven is itself like a stone drawing you deeper into the depths of hell, the product of unconsciousness.

    I teach yoga for a living and sometimes in a yoga class, I see the fidgets, the distant stares, and the vacancy of someone whose mind is somewhere else. It happens to all of us sometime or other. Still, I want to say, “Come back. We’ve missed you. Be here now. Be there later.”

    When you sense you’re having an extraordinary moment, or hell in any moment, try closing your eyes and run through all of your senses for a minute or two. Then open your eyes and add the most dominant sense. Ask yourself, how does this make me feel? Truly involve all your senses to practice being completely present to the experience.

    This might all sound like a Mr. Miyagi mantra and probably is. But hey, that dude could break boards with his forehead so that’s gotta count for something. Plus you can’t break boards with your forehead if your head is somewhere else.

    This week, I invite you to practice being fully present in all your experiences whether mundane or extraordinary. Be completely present by using all your senses and truly experience the moment.

    When that’s done, then you can take your selfie.


    Have you had an experience like this? Have you ever tried to capture the moment and realized that by doing so, you actually lost the moment? Leave your comments below. 

    Do you mind sharing this with a friend?


    The Meaning of Life: To Join The Dance

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    Once, just before beginning a yoga class, I asked if anyone had any requests for poses. One woman raised her hand and timidly asked, “I don’t have a pose to request but . . . um . . . why is that guy standing on a baby?” pointing to the five-foot statue of the Shiva Nataraj, the Royal Dancer, on the altar of our studio.

    I replied that the statue represents the dance between us and the cosmos as we uncover the secrets of our hearts to evolve into our highest beings.

    Shiva represents the creator of the universe. He has many arms to depict his many tasks and invitations as we experience our own personal evolution. He is the god-amalgam of consciousness and movement, of order and chaos. He is grinning as his hair is literally on fire, riding the wave of chaos in the universe.

    In his first hand, he is holding a drum, creating a vibration which is the heartbeat for the entire universe. In his second hand, he is displaying the abhaya mudra, the compassionate and sacred gesture that holds and sustains us on our path. With his third hand, he is holding a flame suggesting that we don’t get too comfortable with things because as soon as he creates it, he will also destroy it.

    It’s his last arm which is truly the most provocative. His last arm conceals his heart. He creates you, builds up and tells you you’re wonderful, only to scorch you to ash when you least expect.  When you’re at your lowest point, hoping for a little help from the big guy, he covers his heart in a gesture that says, “I’m not going to give this sacred heart away for free, you must earn your way back to your new life. And by the way, you can never go back to where you were. You’re coming back but better, stronger, and wiser.”


    Now, why is that Shiva standing on a baby, again? It’s actually not a baby but an impish being called the Apasmara who represents the ignorant or unrealized version of ourselves. Shiva is literally taking a stand for your higher, most divine self. He’s squelching the old version of you and with his other leg, his only remaining limb, inviting you back into the dance of birth, growth, sustaining, destruction, and rebirth, but on a new and more enlightened level the likes of which you couldn’t not imagine in your old way of being. That’s why he had to burn the old you to a crisp.


     By Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA.jpg, photographed by the LACMA.derivative work: Julia\talk, Public Domain,

    By Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA.jpg, photographed by the LACMA.derivative work: Julia\talk, Public Domain,

    The statue depicts Shiva looking compassionately but directly straight into your eyes with a fierce imperative that says, “This is your destiny to discover the mysteries of your heart and grow into what I know you to be. Come and join the dance!”

    Perhaps this statue represents an invitation to you to join the dance and step up to the next stage of your own evolution. Perhaps there is something inside of you that is sensing or needing a change. Are you embarking on a new stage of life? Are looking to make a bold move in your career or your relationship? Would you like to discover or reignite the flame of your calling in life, your heart’s gift to the world, and learn how to boldly share it? Sharing your heart’s gift to the world is your ultimate life’s work.

    This is your invitation, just like the statue. I’m asking you to step up, connect to your heart, and courageously make your next bold move. It’s not easy. There’s work involved but I’m here to help.

    I invite you to join me for my next online course, Sourcing Your Heart’s Gift, your guide to help you to do the work necessary for your next evolution. This work will come in the form of Yoga Nidra (guided meditation), yoga, breathing practices, journaling, and more.

    Join the dance. This course starts today. There’s no better time than now to step up.

    Sourcing Your Heart’s Gift: February 12–March 26.


    You’ll love these modules:

    Week 1: Uncover or Rediscover the Mystery of Your Heart: Walking your Dharma

    In this module, we will begin the process of discovering or rediscovering the terrain of your heart. We will lay the foundation for personal optimization with the introduction of simple but powerful daily breathing and mindfulness exercises. We will discuss and experience ourselves as the universal origin of all things, or Source, and feel that kernel of Source which resides in our hearts. How does your heart answer these questions: What is your life’s path, how do you begin to find it, and what does it look like to follow it? We also will explore the notion of Dharma, or your life’s pathway.

    Week 2: Sourcing your Heart to Truly Know Thyself

    In this module, we will follow the yoga process of self-discovery as outlined by the Yoga Sutras. How does the heat of transformation lead us to self-knowledge and ultimately letting go of control over the process? What does it mean to be at one with all things and how does that help us to know ourselves and our heart’s gift for the world? We will model our self-inquiry after Socrates and his journey to seek wisdom and ultimately “know thyself.” In this module we will seek out the wise, prophetic Oracle that lives within our hearts.

    Week 3: Breathing Life into Your Gift

    In this module we will practice using our prana (life-force energy) to move into the realm of the extraordinary. We will breathe onto embers of our hearts with “Heart’s Breath” to stoke our heart’s boldness. We will also explore what it means to live forward with your heart’s gift for the world with some wild visualizations coupled with practical planning about sharing our heart’s gift to the world. What do you do when you find yourself in a rut, and how can your favorite childhood book help you remember your purpose? As you learn to go with the flow, you’ll begin to notice everyday how life seems to be going your way and supporting you as you share your heart’s gift with the world.

    Week 4: Braveheart: Sourcing and Leveraging Fear to Blast Forward

    In this module, we will examine fear as a driving force for good, one that will move us forward along our path instead of causing us to retreat. We will reexamine the notion of fear and understand it’s true message as one of attention and action rather than retreat and hide. We will see fear for what it is, a messenger and an invitation to experience our True Self. When grounded in our identity as Source, fear becomes almost fun. In this module we will be inspired in the face of fear and walk away with empowering and simply tools to harness and leverage our fear to go out and kick ass!

    Week 5: Ultimate Success

    What does it mean to succeed? Success isn’t necessarily about financial or social status. It’s about the satisfaction of sharting your heart’s gift with the world. In this module we will begin to set up the metrics for success which you will be able to track everyday to recognize success every day. You’ll create your own success with small mile markers which turn into vast journeys. You’ll notice how every day you are moving through life grounded in the satisfaction of real and lasting success. Your confidence will rise and you will glow with success each day, a quality that will be contagious to those around you.

    Week 6: Time to Jump: Sharing Your Gift with the World, Stay the Course, and Unimaginable Possibilities

    Now that we are familiar with our heart’s gift for the world, know how to laugh in the face of fear, and understand what success looks and feels like, we will do some exciting visualizations, some practical journaling, and some powerful action to share it. This module will prepare us like never before to move boldly into the world, ready to share our heart’s gift. In this module we will learn the spirit of Joe Polish’s quote, “The world gives to givers and takes from takers.” This will be an exciting moment!

    This is an online course with modules being released each week for 6 weeks. In it you’ll find:

    • A weekly live Yoga Nidra session where you will join students from all over the world. This will be followed by a group discussion where we can share our journey together

    • A profound weekly recorded Yoga Nidra practice exploring the theme of each module

    • A daily optimization practice, including a short daily meditation, breathing exercise, and mantra designed to help you start your day at your best

    • Weekly instruction about the theme and process for the week

    • A weekly journaling exercise to hear yourself speak the unfiltered wisdom of your heart

    • Calls to action to apply the heart wisdom unearthed through each module

    • Supporting materials including affirmations, quotes, articles, videos, podcasts, and interviews

    You can also do this course at your own pace. All of the material will be available to review when you’re ready. You can move as fast or as slowly through the content as you’d like. Even the live sessions will be recorded so you can review those later if you have to miss a session. And I offer a no questions asked, money-back guarantee if the course doesn’t meet your expectations.


    The world needs your gifts. Please join me.

    As soon as you register, you’ll receive a welcome email and the instructions to access the course material.

    I’m so excited about this and I’d love you to join me. Remember, today is the last day you can register. Join the dance!




    This Is Courage

    Will you do a quick courage exercise with me?

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    What is your biggest dream? Is it to be an actor, to write a NYT bestseller, or to run an ultra marathon? What is it? Give yourself a second to visualize how incredible it will feel to succeed at this dream, and do so by involving all of your senses. Allow the excitement which surrounds that dream to surface in your heart.

    After a minute or two, ask yourself what perceived limitations seem to stand in your way between where you are now in relation to that dream and where you dream to be. And while there might be a hundred practical reasons why it’s not “reasonable” to reach for your dream, I ask you to get real and ask yourself about how much of that perceived limitation simply comes from good old fear.

    How often is fear getting in the way of you having the kind of life you want to live?

    Now, close your eyes for a few seconds and give yourself a few deep breaths into your heart. Connect to your heart by remembering something that you love, maybe your biggest dream, and bring to mind again the excitement you feel when you imagine your biggest dream. Now you are connected to your heart and from this place, re-examine your fears with a full heart. Any new insights?

    This is courage.




    1. the ability to do something that frightens one.

    Courage comes from the French word for heart, Coeur. It literally means full of heart. Courage isn’t the opposite of fear but rather is the action of putting fear in its proper place. Some may argue that fear is good, it keeps us alive. I say that fear merely keeps us safe. We must learn to walk through the flames of our fears, with full courage, toward that which makes us truly alive.

    Living courageously, from your heart, gives you a relationship with your world that is beyond fear, a presence and perspective that can hold life’s losses and joys, struggles and possibilities, understanding that life’s joy is bigger than merely ease and comfort.  


    Caroline Paul is a NYT Best Seller and was one of the first women ever to serve in the San Francisco Fire Department. She was on an elite team that performed very dangerous rescues. Caroline is expert at acting courageously in the face of fear and speaks about doing so in one of her books, The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure. Paul says that courage can be taught, that it’s okay to have fear, but that despite fear you must take action. She encourages a practice called micro-bravery, which is doing small courageous acts regularly to build your courage muscles. After all, your heart is a muscle.

    Fear is an excellent tool to help you be present. To use fear as a tool, instead of pushing it away, lean into it. Notice how your body feels fear and ask fear what it’s really trying telling you. With this presence, you’ll begin to notice the other emotions that often coexist alongside fear when taking important action in your life. Emotions like excitement and anticipation sometimes have the same physiological effect but are very different than fear. Don’t let fear squash these other emotions, but  put it in the back of the line of emotions, instead of the front where it often it is used to being.


    Speaking of fear, I’m deathly afraid of bungee jumping. The mere thought of it makes my stomach churn and adrenaline begin to pump through my body. That’s a fear which simply keeps me safe. While there may be some sort of small value in “conquering” that fear by going out and jumping off a bridge with rubber bands strapped to my ankles, I believe that there is really no benefit to humanity or myself for doing so and therefore will most likely go to my grave having never bungee jumped.

    I have a greater fear, however, involving what I’m doing right here—teaching and writing about yoga and mindfulness. It’s scary to expose myself (my spirit, my thoughts feelings, and fears) by stepping up in front of a room to lead a class or push send on an email to thousands of people. Each time I send an email, I’m afraid that it will be riddled with typos and that people will learn my dark secret that I can’t spell my way out of a paper bag.

    Send Anxiety.png

    The reason teaching and writing about yoga causes me fear is because it’s one of my greatest dreams and my heart’s gift to the world to share yoga and meditation with people to make the world a better place. I’m afraid of not reaching my potential or failing in my job. I think it's a very big deal and I take it very seriously. But, I look at those fears squarely in the face and practice courage by continuing to step in front of the room to teach and sitting down to write and publish. Often times, I hover over the publish or send button wondering why I do it. Then with courage, I push send, close my laptop, and walk away knowing I just made one small, brave step. I practice this courage regularly because I believe that what I do matters, both to me and to the world. I still have fear around teaching and writing but I’ve also built up my courage greatly and push those fears to the back and bring excitement and possibility of connecting to people to the front. Plus, the more you do it, the more confidence you have about it.

    The world doesn’t care if I bungee jump.  I yield to that fear and it keeps me safe. However, the world does care if I connect people to their best selves through yoga and meditation so I walk past that fear in the hope to possibly make a difference in people’s lives and therefore I experience courage which make feel truly alive.

    What is one small, courageous step you could take today that will push you toward your dream? You don’t have to register for an ultra marathon today but maybe you could go buy some shoes and begin walking.

    Or perhaps that small, courageous step might be to register for my next course: Sourcing Your Heart’s Gift. It’s an online yoga and meditation course that helps you live an extraordinary life from your heart. The world needs your gifts. Dive deep into your heart to discover and develop your purpose and courageously share them with the world. 

    Registration ends next Monday, February 12th!

    If you've ever been moved by any of my emails, would you mind please forwarding this onto some friends who could use this message or post it on social media? It helps me enormously.


    Sourcing Your Heart's Gift

    an online meditation and yoga course designed to help you to dive deep into your heart to discover and develop your purpose and courageously share it with the world.

    6 weeks February 12—March 26

    To The Brim My Heart Was Full

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    Lake District.jpg

    Do you remember learning about William Wordsworth in your high school English class? He was a big deal among the British Romantic poets, lived late 18th/early 19th century, was Britain’s poet laureate for a spell, and was the kind of poet that other poets write poems about. (By the way, in case you were wondering, this is what an English major ends up doing for a living—teaching yoga, writing about it ad nauseam, and making endless references to poetry and poets and how they are all basically pointing to the same thing—presence.)

    So, as a child, Wordsworth and his siblings were basically orphaned. Though relatives became reluctant guardians, from an early age William had enormous pressure on him to choose a respectable career which would enable him to move out and support himself and his sister, Dorothy. William was incredibly close to Dorothy, who was of a social class that simply wouldn’t allow her to work.

    His guardians expected William to become a vicar for the Church of England, a respectable career, but one for which Wordsworth had no love. William’s love was poetry, but to his guardians, poetry was the career-equivalent of homelessness.

    As a young man, one early-summer’s morning, Wordsworth was walking across the meadows and heathlands toward his home at Hawkshead, no doubt burdened by the tension between following his passion of poetry and taking a job doing what others expected him to do.

    As he walked, the sun began to rise and light up his senses with a splendor of the majestic landscape, also brightening and dissolving his dark and heavy worries. Soon, he was brimming with joy, drunk with the dawning light on the meadows, the dew and vapors on the heath, and a vision of the “sea laughing at a distance.” He speaks to this magical moment in perhaps his finest and most enduring poem, Prelude, in which he says,

         Ah! need I say, dear Friend! that to the brim
         My heart was full . . .

    And then, with his heart brimming, with his senses thrumming, the dawning light of the morning began to work a miracle on his heart by illuminating it to the sure and deep knowing of its gift for the world as a poet. It’s as if God, the Cosmos, or Creation—whatever—spoke and made promises to him that he must follow poetry, must offer it as a gift to the world, and that it would all work out.

    Check it out. In the same poem he says,

         . . . I made no vows, but vows
         Were then made for me; bond unknown to me
         Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly,
         A dedicated Spirit. On I walked
         In thankful blessedness, which yet survives.


    Boom! Drop the mic. Walk off stage.


    drop the mic.gif

    And from that moment forward, with such clarity, joy, and peace in his heart, Wiliam never doubted his purpose again.

    And speaking of the Church, with this sure knowledge of his heart’s gift to the world as a poet, Wordsworth felt he would be sinning greatly against an even higher power than the Church if he didn’t honor the vow which was so clearly made to his heart.

    Spoiler: being a poet worked out great for Wordsworth. Actually, more than great because Wordsworth devoted himself to poetry and set up a house for himself and his sister where they could immerse themselves in the craft of poetry. Dorothy was also a poet and this setup gave her the freedom to write. William and Dorothy were a poetry tour de force as they lived a life of all things poetry. They would discuss, analyze, and workshop poems and upon completion, Dorothy would pen them in her immaculate handwriting.

    Perhaps most importantly to William, his sister Dorothy was his purest love, his North Star, and his muse. If he would have relented to a career in the Church, he would have been exiled from his two loves, Dorothy and poetry.



    Ultimately, my point here is that with presence you too can hear (or have heard) the vows that the world is making to your heart about your gift to the world. It may not be as public or as grandiose as William Wordsworth’s but regardless, is nonetheless just as important, the world needs it just as much, and it is your own private marriage to the world.

    I always say that poets are yogis with a pen, or yogis are poets with poses. In both disciplines, one comes to know themselves, their True Nature, by practicing regular and abiding presence. Whether poet or plumber, it takes a fierce presence in conversation with that thing that is larger than all of us, but to which all play an integral part, in order to do any good work in this world.

    This week, I invite you to practice listening. Go to a yoga class. Sit and meditate. Go on a walk and leave your phone at home. Open up to creation by drinking in your senses, a profound and delicious way of practicing presence. Listen and hear the world speak to your heart. Allow your heart to speak to your mind.

    I also invite you to join me for my next Yoga Nidra course: Sourcing Your Heart’s Gift, a supportive practice that regularly takes you deep inside to hear and develop your heart’s gift for the world.

    This is the last week to register!



    Sourcing Your Heart's Gift: an online meditation and yoga course designed to help you to dive deep into your heart to discover and develop your purpose and courageously share it with the world.

    February 12–March 25 2018

    Go with the Flow: Following Your Life's Purpose

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    It’s your life’s deepest work to discover, unlock, and share your heart’s gift with the world. And to know it requires a deep and regular turning inward, to learn to know your heart through regular practices like yoga and meditation.

    Yoga and meditation are perfect mediums to help you reveal your heart’s gift because they simply reveal what already exists inside of you. These practices help you to come to know your True Self, and when you are aligned with this infinite part of you, the part that is tapped into your Universal blueprint, your purpose, your gift becomes clear to your conscious mind and so does the invitation to share it with the world.

    As you begin to tap into your heart through meditation and yoga, you begin to hear it whisper its purpose. That message becomes clearer and clearer the more you listen. But it takes time and dedicated work to arrive. Likewise it takes work and inspiration to learn how to give this gift to the world. But when you abandon yourself to the work of discovering and offering your heart’s gift to the world, you’ll be amazed at what starts to align and proliferate in your life.

    In part, this alignment happens because you’ve suddenly started swimming in tandem with the current of your life’s purpose, rather than against it. That’s not to say there won’t be obstacles in the way. It simply means that when obstacles do arrive, you’ll know that they are the ones that were meant for you and that will give you the courage and insight to surmount them.


    Enter your email address to receive one of the most relaxing and profound methods of meditating I've ever experienced. This will help you to regularly listen to your heart. Then, I'll send you some of my best practices for meditation. Regular meditation will begin to uncover the jewel of your heart and teach you things about yourself you didn't know, namely it will refine or define your heart's gift for the world and will help you to learn how to share it with the world. 

    Please join me for my next online Yoga Nidra, yoga, and optimization course beginning on February 12 2018


    Sourcing Your Heart's Gift 

    an online meditation and yoga course designed to help you to dive deep into your heart to discover and develop your purpose and courageously share it with the world.

    February 12- March 25 2018

    Would you mind sharing this?

    Sourcing Your Heart's Gift: What is the Meaning of Life?

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    What is the meaning of life? Specifically, what is the meaning of YOUR life?

    What if Vincent Van Gogh were a Real Estate Agent, Rather Than a Painter?

    What is a heart’s gift? It’s that thing a person was put on Earth to share and by so doing makes it a better, more-evolved, and more beautiful place.

    Your heart’s gift is the thing that only you can offer the world, in the way that only you can offer it. Your heart’s gift can be public or private, subtle or grandiose, but it is what you were meant to share.

    Can you imagine a world where everyone shared their heart’s gift?


    sourcing your heart's gift

    Watch this video to understand how to understand how you make make the biggest difference for the world and find the greatest personal satisfaction in life.

    an online meditation and yoga course designed to help you to dive deep into your heart to discover and develop your purpose and courageously share it with the world.

    February 12- March 25 2018

    Please share this with your friends! Thank you!


    Join me for the retreat of a lifetime!

    May 26-June2 2018

    I Have A Dream

    I Have a Dream

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    12 hours before the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver his iconic I Have a Dream speech, he still didn't know what he was going to say. But on that historical day, August 28th 1963, Dr. King lead the march, and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial delivered one of the most important speeches in American history. 


    In his speech, Dr. King references the opening lines of Shakespeare's Richard III's when he said, "This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn. . ." portending the change of season in America's social climate.

    Free At Last!

    But toward the end of his speech, something miraculous happened. The famous gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was nearby and used her commanding voice to shout, "Tell them about the dream, Martin."

    At that point Dr. King stopped delivering his prepared speech. He stood powerfully and began preaching to the quarter of a million people in attendance on the lawn of the memorial, and prophetically to the millions and millions of people who have since heard his words, punctuating each point with "I Have a Dream."

    According to U.S Representative John Lewis who also spoke that day, "Dr. King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized. . . he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations." more than 50 years later, we are those generations.


    Free at last!

    Part of the power of Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech was his important references. In it, Dr. King references not only Shakespeare, the Bible, gospel spirituals, political and religious leaders, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitution, but also Dr. King's speech and entire social message was a strong, tacit reference to the principle of non-violent revolution for the sake of making lasting social change. This principle of non-violence was championed by the social revolution led by Mahatma Gandhi who referenced the ancient Yoga Sutras. In Sanskrit the word Ahimsa means non-violence. The Yoga Sutras state that in order to become one's highest self, one must embrace the seminal principle of non-violence which is truly the gateway of unconditional love.

    In fact, Dr. King was so inspired by Gandhi that in 1959 he visited Gandhi's birthplace in Gujarat, India. This visit left a profound impression of the concept of non-violent civil disobedience and further strengthened Dr. King's commitment toward America's struggle for human rights. And just like in India, it was a non-violent revolution that drove lasting change in America's social attitudes.

    Free at Last!

    In his speech, Dr. King also references transformational heat. In the Yoga Sutras, Tapas is defined as the heat necessary for transformation, like pottery fired in a kiln. Yoga means union. In yoga, we practice implementing this transformational heat to bind body, mind, and heart in our own person to work toward our highest self. With this proverbial heat, we then direct and bind the larger body of our family, our community, our nation, and our world in the spirit of its highest self. Growing pains are evidence of Tapas. Certainly there were growing pains in the Human Rights Movement. This heat was Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. It was The Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. It was The March on Washington in 1963. It was Bloody Sunday in 1965. The heat that causes change can be necessarily uncomfortable, sometimes outright painful. Dr. King was on the burning tip of the spear of social transformation, a searing heat that would eventually take his life. But because of the heat of this social movement, The March on Washington and the I Have a Dream speech were two events that helped signal America's transformation of becoming a greater nation. That speech marked and catalyzed significant growth in this country. We are still growing. 

    Transformation starts with an individual. Gandhi said,

    "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.... We need not wait to see what others do."

    How are we willing to step into that heat of personal transformation? Are we willing to personally grow to ensure a strong body, bright mind, and open heart and grow into our highest potential? Are we willing to stand up for an injustice? And how do we make that change both as an individual and as a nation that allows all parts to grow stronger rather than being cut or compromised? Surely this is a difficult task. To ensure mutual growth, we change while practicing non-violence, Ahimsa. Like Gandhi and Dr. King discovered, Ahimsa is both the personal and global non-violent revolution that makes lasting change. Whether it's internal change like greater mindfulness or a more healthy body or external political or social change like gun control, same-sex marriage, political partisanship, undocumented immigrants, or anything else, the question is how can we instigate a change that invites all parts to grow in the process?   


    We've grown as a nation since 1963 but we still have much more to do to honor all the beings who live here. It is because of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. that we have a strong foothold on freedom, a firm platform where we can step into America's future and truly become the nation that our forefathers like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy and leaders like Dr. King believed we could be, one where people dare to dream. We can't go back and we can never unlearn what we've learned.

    We can move forward. We can grow individually and as a nation by referencing the past. We can reference both the failures of social inequality, and the inspiration of the I Have a Dream speech, as mile markers that will direct us toward protecting the freedoms that make us all grow closer to actualizing our highest potential, individually and as a nation.

    And we can use the principles of non-violence (Ahimsa) through understanding the principle of heat necessary for transformation (Tapas) to help us in this practice. We can practice moving toward a future where, like Dr. King says, children of all races (and I believe given current social and political issues he would include people of all sexual orientation, documented and undocumented immigrants, gun lovers and gun haters, Republican and Democrats etc.) could all hold hands and with exuberance shout the refrain, "Free at last! free at last! thank God almighty, we are free at last!" 

    Join me this week as we continue Dr. Kings legacy by practicing transformation through non-violence and growing individually as the first step to continuing our growth as a nation.

    Mindful-Mojo for 2018

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    New Years Resolutions 2018


    It's 2018, we made it!!

    2017 was quite a year . . . (let me catch my breath)!

    A few big events that stand out for me were: 

    • Moving to New York (that was a big one)
    • Co-raising a 2-year-old (that's an even bigger one)
    • Learning to be a yoga teacher in NYC and learning how to take my yoga online
    • Some incredible yoga retreats, including my San Francisco Yoga Tour, Dream & Write with Nan Seymour in Idaho.
    • Mentoring some incredible yoga teachers
    • Co-teaching a Restore Yoga Immersion
    • An incredible vacation to London
    • A wonderful trip to D.C.
    • Some great writing opportunities, including writing with Conscious Life News, regarded as one of the top 3 consciously-minded online journals on the web, as well as having my blog considered for the top 25 yoga blogs in the country by Thoroughly Reviewed. 


    But that was so 2017 . . .


    2018 is going to be really, really good for me, I can feel it, and I feel like 2018 is also going to be good for you, full of possibilities and opportunities. And with a little mindful-mojo, you and I can shape this year to be our best year yet.

    There is immense power at the beginning of any year. There's energy to create and build, there's power of clarity and insight, and there's a determination to continue moving forward, driven by hope and the human spirit of growth and evolution.

    Open your body, mind, and spirit to untold possibilities in 2018!

    Like I mentioned last week in my message about The Cosmic Taco, there's untold power in simply knowing what you want, even if you're not sure how to get there.

    A mentor once told me, "First, figure out what you want, then you'll figure out how you'll do it." Both understanding what you want and setting the intentions for possibilities in the new year takes practice.

    So, I've created a special Yoga Nidra practice designed to help you sow the seeds of intention deep within in your mind and heart. Visualization is very effective for outcomes and performance because if you can see it, you can achieve it.

    This recording will help you become very relaxed, while helping you to define what amazing things you want for yourself in this new year and then visualize what your life is going to look like when this thing happens.

    Get ready to rock and roll because it's going to be good!

    The meditation is about 31 minutes long, so plan on setting aside just a little bit of time take care of yourself in this way. 

    I invite you to do it today. What are you doing right now? Can you give yourself the next 31 minutes to set in motion an incredible year?

    Don't worry if you fall asleep, the part of you that I'm speaking to is still paying attention. Plus you can always do it again, refining your vision and intentions. 

    I've made two versions, one with background music, and one without. I like the one with the music (a drone) in the background. It's light and nice. You can stream or download them by clicking the buttons below. 

    Please share it with anyone you can think of. Consider practicing it regularly, maybe daily for a week or so, then at least once or twice a week after that. Come back to it regularly to keep your mind and heart honed to your forward motion of 2018. Then, tell me about it. I'd love to hear what happens as you do this practice. 

    Speaking of what's to come, SOMETHING AWESOME THIS WAY COMES. In January, I'll be unveiling something that has everything to do with understanding and sourcing your gifts to be an extraordinary presence in this world. Stay tuned . . . 

    Lastly, I love hearing from you! If you have literally 60 seconds, would you mind replying to this email and telling me two things:
    1. Why do you practice yoga and or meditation?
    2. What do you feel you need most in your life? 

    Happy New Year! 
    Tell me how the New Year Yoga Nidra goes



    The Cosmic Taco

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    The Cosmic Taco
    Rotten Tomatoes.jpg

    2017 is making its final bows while some of us are throwing roses and others are throwing rotten tomatoes. And some of us are putting in our orders for our Cosmic Tacos. Stay with me . . .

    Regardless of what you’re throwing as 2017 leaves the stage, it’s an important time to start thinking about 2018. Intentions and vision for what's to come really make a powerful difference for the direction of our lives. During the last week of the year, this is the time to quiet and clear our minds and get really clear about what we want.

    The Cosmic Taco

    Several years ago, I had to leave the place I was living and find a new place. I was dragging my feet, procrastinating and just couldn’t find anything I wanted or liked or would work for me. It dawned on me that I wasn’t even really sure what I was looking for, what I really wanted. So, I sat down, and literally in 2 minutes, I listed about 15 things on a piece of paper that I wanted in a new place to live, down to the amenities, price, location, and even the era of design and construction for the building.

    The. Next. Day. I found the exact place I’d envisioned which met every single one of the criteria I was hoping for. It taught me that it really pays to know what you’re looking for. I told this story to a friend who said jokingly that I have such a way with fate that if I ordered a taco to the Universe and held out my hand, one would magically drop from the cosmos.

    Cosmic Taco.jpg

    An idea was born: The Cosmic Taco. Essentially, the gist is that the Universe doesn’t know what you want on you taco unless you put in your order, so go ahead and get specific.

    Here’s your homework:

    Spend the next week, just clearing your mind. Do a some meditation, take some yoga classes, listen to some Yoga Nidra. Then on or before December 31st, sit down and put in you order for your Cosmic Taco. In other words, how do you want your life to look? Be very specific. Like one of my mentors says, shoot for the stars but keep one foot grounded in reality. Do it. What do you want your relationships to look like, your finances, your drives and goals? Just putting it out there will start a new world of magic to begin to open up to you. I promise.

    Then, on January 1, start to do whatever goals you set for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how easy this all comes, especially if you’ve spent the time to open yourself to mindfulness through meditation and yoga. When your highest self is driving, you find that everything flows with the Universe much easier. Essentially they are one and the same.

    I’d love to hear how it goes. Comment below or email me at for questions or help on this.

    Happy end of 2017, my friends.


    Ode to Solstice

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     Photo by Alex Adams

    Photo by Alex Adams

    As we stand on the edge of darkness and look over to the immense gulf below, as we look up toward the elevated mountains, what confirms the majesty of this moment in our hearts is not merely its beauty but more specifically our own vulnerability. As we see our own insignificance against the backdrop of such immensity, we are humbled and awestruck.

    So in this vulnerability, we stand on the edge and cling to each other in that fierce heat and embrace of profound love. We hold tight, not knowing any other way, like two moths beating their wings furiously at the screen door, looking for the light and warmth beyond the threshold. This is our hope and our faith.

    The snow, and ice, and the deep abyss of dark may come, and bring it on because, HERE WE ARE, standing on this edge of darkness, willing to take anything that this enormous, loving universe can throw at us. And by God, we will stand here all day and all night, this furiously long night, with death below us and heaven above us, and we will be here when the morning light creeps over that horizon, still clutching each other tightly.

    We will be here on this edge. We will be here with this one heart, not just beating but pounding. We will be here, still bleeding from this long night. And we will be here, weeping with joy at the divine privilege of standing on the edge of heaven and hell and earth combined, in the majesty of these mountains, in the wonder of this wind, at the hope of heaven for we have tasted heaven in this fierce embrace.

    Happy Solstice, everyone. 

    Yoga Poses for Sleep

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    Sometimes, getting to sleep is a process, one that involves a conscious winding down and changing of energy from waking to sleeping. One excellent way to wind down is by doing a few gentle yoga poses for sleep which take any frenetic or awake energy and helps change that to relaxing and sleep energy.

    These yoga postures promote grounding, calming, and drawing inward. As with every pose, listen carefully to your body and never stretch beyond what feels comfortable. The goal of these poses is not to become flexible per se, but rather to flip the energy in your muscles from tension, which nags your nervous system and can prevent you from sleep, to a sleep-conducive feeling of ease, lightness, and vitality.

    Hold each pose for at least 10 breaths (or 10 breaths per side) using ujjayi breathing (whisper breath). Aim to inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Refer to the Pre-Sleep Breathing Exercises to learn more about ujjayi breath and the importance of the 5 to 8 ratio of inhale to exhale. You may also watch my friend, Matt explain it here. Regular, deep breath, combined with visualizing your breath moving into your lower-back, pelvis, and legs, will decrease the energy moving to the awakening, upper chakras (energy centers), and will instead help you to become grounded and rooted in the lower chakras.


    Yoga Poses for Sleep

    Janusirsasana: Head toward Knee Pose

    Yoga Poses for Sleep Janushirshasana.jpeg

    This posture draws body, mind, and spirit inward to prepare for sleep while releasing tension in legs and back that can radiate into emotional or mental tension.

    If you are tight in your hamstrings, feel free to bend your extended leg (the one receiving the stretch). Visualize your breath and energy moving into the area you are stretching and if you are feeling a sharp pull behind your knee or high in you butt (the attachments of this muscle), bend your extended knee.



    Paschimottanasana: Westward Stretch

    Yoga Poses for Sleep Pachimotanasana.jpeg

    This posture also draws body, mind, and spirit inward to prepare for sleep by releasing tension both in the legs and the lower back. This pose evokes a personal solace, retiring, and quietness. It’s nice to close your eyes in this posture and direct your breath and energy to move into your low-back and legs. Bend your knees if you need to.




    Suptakapatasana: Supine Pigeon Pose

    Yoga Poses for Sleep Suptakapatasana.jpeg

    This is one of my favorite poses. This grounding posture relaxes and supports your back by lying flat while stretching some of the muscles that largely contribute to tight hips and lower-back, including the Piriformis muscle, deep under your glutes in your butt.





    Jathara Parivartanasana: Supine Twist

    Yoga Poses for Sleep Jathraparivartanasana.jpeg

    This pose is excellent for wringing out tension from the nervous system as well as the deep and superficial muscles in the back. Italso gives a gentle twist to the abdomen, helping digestion and releasing the Serotonin (feel good chemical) which is activated by your gut.

    It’s important to ground both shoulder blades, even if you need to put a pillow between your knees or under your bottom leg.



    Suptabaddhakonasana: Supine Cobbler’s Pose

    Yoga Poses for Sleep Suptabadakonasana.jpeg

    This relaxing pose passively stretches the inner-thigh muscles (adductors) and grounds your energy for good sleep. Be certain to support both knees with cushions. You may choose not to lie on a cushion if it makes your lower-back hurt.

    Join me for the retreat of a lifetime Along Italy's Amalfi Coast May 26-June 2 2018. Spots are limited!

    (Teddybear optional)


    I'd love to hear from you about what helps YOU to fall asleep. Are there any poses you love that help you to fall asleep?

    Guided Meditations for Sleep: It's Finally Here!

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    Guided Meditations for Sleep

    I’ve been teaching yoga and meditation for more than 15 years and one of the needs I hear most from my students is the need for better sleep. I hear that need literally by the many snores in savasana. So many of you have asked me to put something like this together and I'm so happy to tell you that finally, it's here!

    As a culture that values productivity above almost everything else, the one things we seem to sacrifice most is our need for good sleep.

    I don't have to tell you that good sleep promotes wellness in body, mind, and spirit, and helps you to be alert, productive, and fulfill your purpose for being on the planet. So much is riding on your ability for good sleep, so let’s learn how to do it well.

    This week, I've shared with you the ways that meditation helps us to quiet our minds to get that good sleep we really need. Now, the theory is over and it's time to put this into action.

    I've incorporated my 15+ years of experience teaching meditation and yoga, and I've put a lot of time and energy, into creating Guided Meditations for Sleep™. My intention with this product is to help people be at their best because they have learned the yoga of how to get really, really, solid sleep. 

    Guided Meditations for Sleep™ is a complete system designed to promote deep, nourishing, and peaceful sleep. It incorporates body, mind, and spirit to relax the nervous system, still the body, and quiet the mind, to train yourself to get excellent sleep. It also gives you productive ways to help you get back to sleep in case you're someone who wakes up a lot during the night. 

    Check out everything contained in Guided Meditations for Sleep:

    • Welcome Letter & How To Use This PDF
    • 5 Guided Meditations for Sleep audio recordings
    • Body Scan with Deep Relaxation (31:15)
    • Body Scan with Deep Relaxation with background music (31:15)
    • Dream imagery Relaxation (28:25)
    • Dream Imagery Relaxation with background music (28:25)
    • Sanctuary Practice (10:21) Awesome!
    • Pre-sleep Breathing Techniques audio recording (10:02)
    • Pre-sleep Gentle Yoga Stretches PDF
    • Pre-sleep General Guidelines for Good Sleep PDF
    • Pre-sleep Checklist PDF
    • Why Mindfulness Helps You Sleep PDF
    • Tech Tips PDF

    Check out what people are saying about Guided Meditations for Sleep™

    Check out what people are saying about Guided Meditations for Sleep™:

    "Best sleep I've had in weeks!"~ Nan

    "Scott's calming voice helped me to first focus, then relax and meditate. The next thing I knew I woke up, having drifted off." ~Chris

    "Your voice was perfect. It was calm, relaxing and inviting me to relax and get myself ready for sleep.  When I finished the tape I immediately fell asleep.  When I woke up I felt like I had experienced a deep sleep." ~Carol

    "These relaxation visualizations really work! I can sleep much better now." ~Steve

    "Scott has the ability to nurture and empower at once, connecting you with your own heart to find that which you need the most. Scott is a humble loving guide." ~Marit

    And for everyone who buys Guided Meditations for Sleep™ this weekend, I'm including a bonus recording of original music, the profoundly relaxing Clarinet Lullaby with Ocean Soundscape (30 minutes.) You're going to love this! 

    You might find other recordings out there that use meditation to help you sleep but nothing is as effective, extensive, and enjoyable as Guided Meditations for Sleep™. In fact, you’ll most likely never know what is in the last several minutes of each recording because you won’t be able to stay awake.

    Plus, Guided Meditations for Sleep™ is a digital download so you will get it even faster than Amazon Prime! You'll be able to download it immediately and use it tonight for an incredible night's sleep! 

    I want to make this affordable so I'm only charging,


    Guided Meditations for Sleep™ is second only to hiring me to personally come and tuck you there's an idea. 

    I absolutely loved putting this together and I hope you love it too. I really wanted to spend the time and effort to make this great because I understand how important it is and wanted to give it my best.

    So, you can buy a different guided meditation CD online for $15, or go to iTunes and download something for cheap. Hell, you can even go to YouTube and watch a video for free. But what I've created, I feel, is something special which is hugely valuable and I designed it with YOU in mind. You'll have this in your digital library for years to come. 

    There's so much content here that I think you'll agree that is well worth the price.

    Plus, I stand behind my work so if you're not completely satisfied with it, I'll refund your money, no questions.

    You're going to want to check out these samples (click below) and buy Guided Meditations for Sleep™ today.

    Remember that if you buy it this weekend, you'll get the mellifluous sounds of Clarinet Lullaby with Ocean Soundscape (30 minutes).

    Namaste and nighty-night,


    You'll love the visualizations, the detailed and easy-to-follow pre-sleep breathing practices and yoga poses, as well as essential sleep information to cultivate your stellar sleep habits. This is so much more than just a recording.

    This system even guides you through the process of creating your optimal sleeping environment, then you slip into bed and listen to me lull you to sleep. It's so nice!

    One thing I've learned in my many years of teaching is that everyone has a beautiful life to live and that everyone's pathway to wholeness is different. Nobody knows what you need better than you. So I've built Guided Meditations for Sleep™ to work with all kinds of brains: the analytical, visual, musical, instructional, etc. Surely there's something in here for you. 

    Guided Meditations for Sleep


    A Mindful Writing Practice to Source Your Magic

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    I write. And I love it when I'm writing and something magical happens, like words that I didn't know could even come out of me start popping out onto the page. But writing takes practice. And what if you could also practice accessing the magic within you. 

    Writing Practice

    I love this story. It's about just that. 

    Once, Laurence Olivier, the master of masters, perhaps one if not THE best play-actors of our time, had just delivered his finishing lines of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The entire theatre was cupped in a quiet, magical revery, a rare experience that only happens when witnessing a spell-binding performance. Then after several long seconds of pure reverie, the audience exploded in exuberant applause.

    Instead of graciously accepting such resounding adoration for his magical performance, Olivier stormed off stage, marched straight to his dressing room, and slammed the door in a huff.

    Perplexed, the stage manager eventually gathered his courage and knocked timidly on Olivier's door.

    "Mr. Olivier, what's the matter? You were absolutely brilliant!" the manager said. To which Laurence Olivier roared, "I know, and I have absolutely no idea how I did it!"

    Have you ever read a poem, seen a performance, heard someone speak, or witnessed or something, where you sensed that the performer was tapped into pure magic, something enormous, much larger than just the every-day conversation? 

    I'm confident that YOU have had an experience where you sourced that kind of magic within yourself to do say, or create something extraordinary.

    Sometimes, experiencing that kind of magic is purely accidental. But what if you could practice sourcing that magical part of you so that you could somehow turn it on at will.

    The Writing Practice

    Well, my good friend, and writing facilitator, Nan Seymour and I have developed a beautiful method of accessing that magic within you through mindfulness and writing. It's called Dream and Write and it's brilliant.

    Dream and Write is born from two practices: Yoga Nidra, a relaxing Awareness practice that feels like guided meditation, and River Writing, a writing practice of inviting words to flow, unobstructed from a river of inner-narrative. Paired together, this practice creates a unique mindfulness writing experience that taps profound Awareness for clarity and flow of writing. 

    Nan and I have hosted several Dream and Write workshops and retreats. However, THIS Saturday, December 2, Nan and I will be hosting our first ever virtual Dream and Write workshop. This will be live but online and hosted in the comfort of your own home via the internet. This relaxing and heart-opening workshop will help you source the magic inside of you. 

    Once you register, you'll receive a link to join us online at a virtual meeting platform called Zoom. 

     Anders Carlson-Wee

    Anders Carlson-Wee

    As a writer, I've experienced first-hand the miracles of Dream and Write. Through this practice, I've witnessed incredible memories, stories, and beauty in the form of words spill across the page. I've had delightful ideas appear through this process. Those words were  already in there, I simply needed the process of Dream and Write to get them out, to  help organize them, and to cut them down to find their raw expression. 

    There are several advantages to having this event be live but online. First, you can do it in the comfort of your own home on your computer, laptop, or smart device. Also, Nan and I can co-teach despite the fact that I will be in New York City she will be in Salt Lake City. And last but not least, we will get the pleasure of having the incredible poet Anders Carlson-Wee joining us live to share his astounding and beautiful poetry with us as prompts to inspire our own writing. (Read his poem Birdcalls)

    This will be a unique and special event. We are limiting the size of this event to only 20 participants, for intimacy and efficacy. Please register today before the spots are gone; they've already started to go. This event will sell out and s.

    Hey, you have gifts and the world needs your gifts. Practice sourcing the magic within you. 


    When: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 from 12-3 pm ET, 11 am-2 pm CT, 10 am-1 pm MT, 9am-12pm PT. (There will be bio breaks.)

    Where: Your house, via the internet

    Price: $57.  20 spots


    I hope you'll join us.


    Join me for the yoga retreat of a lifetime. One week along the Amalfi Coast doing fantastic yoga and meditation, breathtaking ocean excursions, and eating authentic Italian food. Space is limited. 

    May 26-June 2 2018

    Take Me To The River: Yoga Nidra Meets + River Writing Makes Dream and Write

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    Yoga Nidra

    I have a notebook full of words I will only read once.

    It's dedicated to my River Writing practice. River Writing is a beautifully generative writing group that my good friend, Nan Seymour, hosts. She does so in intimate groups around a warm, wooden table, at her writing studio, in Salt Lake City.

    I teach Yoga Nidra, a very relaxing form of guided meditation. Nan has been as profoundly affected by my Yoga Nidra as I have been by her River Writing. So we decided to combine the two practices and call it Dream and Write. 

    The purpose is to create a writing practice of inviting words to flow, unobstructed from a river of inner-narrative. Paired together, this practice creates a unique mindfulness writing experience that taps profound Awareness for clarity and flow of writing. 

    Over the past two years, Nan and Scott have offered several Dream and Write workshop, classes, and retreats. The intention of Dream and Write is to use mindfulness, poetry, and gentle encouragement to source the words that are within you in. We insist on a judgement-free, non-editing, and mutually supportive environment.

    River Writing

    Nan's true gift is creating a safe and inviting space to write. She nurtures a judgement-free environment, both from other writers but most especially from that harshest of critics, you.

    She opens a session, sets the guidelines, and then reads a prompt to inspire or begin your writing ideas. Then, she starts a timer as asks you to write without stopping for 12 minutes. 

    Yoga Nidra

    Your job is to keep your pen moving across your paper the entire time without edits, whether you're gushing words or simply repeating, "I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write," just to keep the pen moving. And if ever you feel really stuck, there's a life-saving phrase you  can write, "What I really want to say is . . .," and magically the words start to flow again. More often than not, it's astounding what River Writing coaxes onto the page.

    After the timer has rung, you're encouraged, but not forced, to read to the group what's on your page, without qualifiers, without apology. No one is allowed to offer any critique or praise to your work other than a simple, "Thank you." We are simple witnesses to ourselves and each other, something which is much more abiding than praise.

    Through River Writing, I've written some incredibly profound words, words that I didn't know were inside of me. This process has also helped me to generate brilliant ideas for my work that have literally changed my career. I owe it to the genius of River Writing and Nan's  warmth and skill of facilitation.


    Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra

    I'm passionate about Yoga Nidra because simply put, it's a revelation. It's also incredibly relaxing. I love it because through Yoga Nidra, I've learned more about myself and the Universe than any other practice.

    Yoga Nidra is simple: You lie down, close your eyes, relax, and listen to me guide you toward acute Awareness,  of yourself and everything around you. That's it. It's actually quite a bit more sophisticated than it sounds but the results can't be quantified. I'm telling you, after the clarity you gain through Yoga Nidra, your whole life feels like it makes sense. After, you feel energized and alert, like you took a satisfying nap while learning the meaning of the Universe. I'm not over selling this.

    But I'm rambling, what I really want to say is . . . Since the birth of Dream and Write, we have hosted a suite of workshops and two multi-day Dream and Write retreats and the results have been nothing less than beautiful and inspiring.

    Sadly, I moved 2,600 miles away from Nan and that warm, wood writing table to NYC. But thanks to the internet, we are closer than we appear.

    What I really want to say is it would be our honor to invite you to experience our first ever Virtual Dream and Write Workshop, happening in YOUR living room, on YOUR computer, smartphone, or tablet, on December 2nd 2017.

    This will be a unique opportunity to gather with people all over the country and world to meditate, write, and share in real time. Every Dream and Write have been touching, inspiring, and affirming. I have every confidence that this will be likewise. And, because on this internet meeting space we'll only see your upper half, you don't even have to wear pants!

    Also, get this: Nan discovered a truly brilliant and accomplished poet named Anders Carlson-Wee who agreed to join us as our poet-in-residence for our Dream and Write Retreat. Anders is a very gifted but down-to-earth poet who read several of his poems as prompts for our writing and taught us about poetry and its embodiment.

    Well, Anders has also agreed to attend our Virtual Dream and Write Workshop to share with us some of his sublime poetry as fodder for our own creative juices to flow. Anders Carlson-Wee's poetry, from his own mouth, in real time. Damn, you can't get better than this! Run don't walk, friends. (Read his poem Dynamite)

    Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, there are words or a stories inside of you that need to get out. This workshop is the opportunity to do free those words in a supportive and nurturing environment with kind and experienced facilitators.

    Oh, did I mention it's fun?

    Please join us for this truly unique workshop.

    We only have 20 spots available.

    When: Saturday, December 2nd 2017 from 12-3 pm ET, 11 am-2 pm CT, 10 am-1 pm MT, 9am-12pm PT. (There will be pee breaks)

    Where: Your house, via the internet

    Price: $57

    Yoga Nidra
    Yoga Nidra


     Anders Carlson-Wee

    Anders Carlson-Wee

    by Anders Carlson-Wee


    My brother hits me hard with a stick
    so I whip a choke-chain

    across his face. We’re playing
    a game called Dynamite

    where everything you throw
    is a stick of dynamite,

    unless it’s pine. Pine sticks
    are rifles and pinecones are grenades,

    but everything else is dynamite.
    I run down the driveway

    and back behind the garage
    where we keep the leopard frogs

    in buckets of water
    with logs and rock islands.

    When he comes around the corner
    the blood is pouring

    out of his nose and down his neck
    and he has a hammer in his hand.

    I pick up his favorite frog
    and say If you come any closer

    I’ll squeeze. He tells me I won’t.
    He starts coming closer.

    I say a hammer isn’t dynamite.
    He reminds me that everything is dynamite.


    “Dynamite” originally appeared in Ninth Letter

    Magic Words for Happiness

    Magic words for happiness

    Throughout time there have been stories, myths, and legends where people merely have to utter some magic words, a spell, or mantra, and POOF! their desires manifest magically before their eyes.

    Even if you don’t believe in “magic words,” I’ve discovered a real-life mantra which are magic words for unfettered happiness. Well, almost. Actually it’s even better than it sounds.

    I don’t know how I discovered this mantra, perhaps it found me.
    A few weeks ago, I was running around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, pushing my snoozing two-year-old son in the jog stroller. The autumn temperature was beautiful and crisp, ideal for a run. The diffuse afternoon sunlight was filtering through the rice-paper sky of wispy clouds making the panoply of fall colors practically burst each tree into flames. My lungs were breathing deeply and effortlessly in sync with my footsteps making my head feel clear and my body feel alive.

    Magic Words for Happiness

    That’s when these magic words just popped out of my mouth: “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment!” I repeated it a few times, feeling ever more enthralled with each repetition.
    A few days later, while at the playground watching my kid play with all the other kids, I stepped back and repeated that same magic phrase, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment.”

    Again, a week or so later,  I was taking an ordinary walk and not really feeling much of anything and decided to try the phrase again to see what would happen.  “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment.” Again, almost instantly a wave of happiness and contentment washed over me.

    Then, I decided to really put this mantra to the test. A few days later, when I was feeling particularly crabby, and despite my own momentary cynicism about this mantra, I somehow found the fortitude to whip out these magic words, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment,” even though suffering these tight, constricted feelings in my chest caused by crabbiness wasn’t what I wanted to be doing in this moment.

    I’ll admit, crabbiness didn’t disappear instantly: I didn’t immediately start dancing and singing around the streets of Brooklyn, like the Maria von Trapp. But it did have a remarkable effect on me by pulling me into the present moment and my crabbiness did subside by substantial degrees. The presence this mantra gave me was to look objectively at the emotions in the moment as physical sensation and adopt the vantage point of observer rather than victim of the circumstances which led me to being crabby.

    Cuz, I think this is the thing, here: the magic of this phrase is that it locks me into presence. It wakes me up from projecting to past or future and opens my eyes to HERE.

    We stop blackmailing our happiness by insisting that we will only feel happy when the circumstances in our lives align to ways we think they ought to be.

    When we take a good look at HERE, we realize that this moment is not only void of the stressors or worries that past and future want to impose on our minds, but most often, this practiced attention to the present helps us to see all the beauty that surrounds us at all moments, perfection which is often masked by momentary emotions that cloud our vision.

    The Yoga Sutras point to a foundational pillar of our own evolution called Santosha, which means the practice of personal contentment. When we practice this mantra, we are practicing Santosha in a practical and real way.

    Taking it one step deeper, ancient yoga wisdom also states that our most natural comportment is that of boundless equanimity, a joy that exists despite the events or circumstances of our lives. 
    By dialing in to the perfection of this moment, we cultivate our own capacity for contentment. Soon, we train ourselves to experience this natural contentment as the underlying natural way of being, which is always present, despite events and circumstances.

    Warning: Crabbiness, and all the other negative emotions will continue to surface. But with practiced presence, we cultivate Santosha, contentment, and these emotions will have less and less power to pull you away from presence. In fact, with practice we can use those negative emotions, and all temporary emotions, as a way of feeling into this moment and becoming more present.

    This may be a lifelong practice to perfect. Just take it moment by moment.

    I invite you to practice these magic words, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment. ” Starting today, cultivate your own capacity for deep, lasting contentment and a happiness that isn’t dependent on events or circumstances.

    I’ve recorded a Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) that feels amazing by cultivating this joy beyond events or circumstance. It takes about 30 minutes.

    If you use social media maybe capture the moment with #thismoment


    Join me for the yoga retreat of a lifetime along Souther Italy's Amalfi Coast, May 26-June2

    The World Needs YOU to Teach Yoga

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    Yoga Teachers Workshop

    Can you remember a yoga class that really changed you?

    This email is for my everybody, but especially my yoga teaching friends or those who might be interested in teaching Yoga.

    Have you had a yoga class that for some reason really moved you? What was it about that class that made such a difference? What did that teacher do that moved you so much?

    If you're a teacher, do you realize that YOU have the power to powerfully touch people's lives like no one else can? It's true. Your unique, gifts, interests and talents make you uniquely qualified to touch people in a way that only you can. 

    Ever wonder why your yoga classes aren't thriving, or you're feeling a little burned out with teaching, or questioning whether or not you even want to teach anymore? Do you wish you were making more money teaching yoga so you could quit your day job and only teach yoga?

    One reason your teaching and opportunities aren't thriving could be because you're not tapped into and teaching from your own authenticity.

    When you're teaching what you love, what interests you, and what you're not only passionate about but what you know a helluva lot about, teaching is not only effortless, it is abundant. 

    If you read my 2nd to last blog post, I spelled out the formula for success as given me by my favorite business prof in college, which I live by, and truly believe. He said:

    Interest breeds excellence. Excellence breeds opportunities.

    When you are teaching what interests you, what you're passionate about, your excellence, your natural talent for teaching, rises to the surface. Opportunities arise as you attract the people who are pickin' up what you're puttin' down. 

    Don't worry about the rest of the people who aren't interested in your offering. Other teachers with other gifts will teach them.  

    If you're interested in optimizing your teaching and learning how to grow your opportunities to teach yoga, and get paid what you're worth, I'd like to invite you to attend my live and online Yoga Teachers Workshop this Saturday, November 11th at 2 pm ET, 1 pm CT, 12 pm MT, 11 am PT.

    It's virtual so you can do it from your own home. Besides learning key principles about teaching and the biz of yoga, you will meet with teachers from all over the country for discussion and networking.

    Also, if you can't make the time, I'm recording the audio/video so you can still register and watch it later. 

    In this workshop, I want to share with you some of the invaluable things I've learned over 17 years of teaching yoga, not only about leveraging your gifts for extraordinary teaching, but also about some of the industry secrets to make a living which I've learned over in the past 17 years.

    There's a good chance you can write this off on your taxes, plus it counts as hours for continuing education for Yoga Alliance.

    This could be the most valuable workshop you will ever attend for you yoga teaching and your career.

    Plus, I'll give you your money back if you don't think it was worth your time.

    Join me!

    Check out what one of my Mentor Students said about my yoga teachers coaching:

    “I have followed Scott’s career for years. He is someone who walks his talk and shows his deep knowledge for all things yoga in every class or conversation. He is extremely grounded and dedicated to this work. As a mentor, Scott was literally “an all things” coach to me. He helped me overcome mindset of owning this soul calling of teaching and supported me in times of doubt. He helped me discover my strengths as a teacher, ways to make this into a thriving business and conceptualize an idea into a breathing business. From technical help on my website to marketing and deepening the mechanics of teaching, he helped me with all of it. He is extremely professional with a very personal approach. He truly cares about his clients and the integrity of this work. I am so grateful for this program to work one on one with such a well-rounded leader in the yoga space. ” J.J.


    How much: $45

    When: Saturday, November 11th 2-4 pm ET, 1-3 pm CT, 12-2 pm MT, 11 am to 1 pm PT

    Where: Your house, via our virtual learning space. You'll need a laptop, computer, iPad, or smart device with an internet connection.