Sway, Sweat and Sip in Costa Rica

Think back to memories where you were so immersed in the experience that either you couldn’t or wouldn’t stop to take a picture. For this reason, cherished memories of my recent trip to Costa Rica doesn’t make for a good social media post.

For my own sake, I’ll try my best to share and reflect on a few moments. Prepare to use your imagination…

Gentle swinging in a hammock: It was warm and quiet except for the chirping birds of all colors and sounds. The hammock was soft and enveloping, enclosing me like a cocoon. (It wasn’t on of those horrid ones that flip over as you try to find your balance. So awkward.) Above through lacy vibrant green leaves, the sky was cloudy blue. Rain was approaching. There were a few moments when I did feel a few raindrops but by then I was too relaxed to be bothered. Of my two session hammock afternoon, the first involved quiet rocking with friends reading books in other hanging hammocks, while the second session, after my tea break, I was joined by my beloved, who swayed across from me as we talked about our time in Costa Rica. I have never enjoyed a hammock supported afternoon so much.

Temezcal Sweat Lodge: Darkness, stones, heat, ancestors, sweat, doors, herbs, sweat, intentions, chanting, sweat, wash off, cool pool, return, darkness, hot stones, steam, sweat, confusion, darkness, screaming, fetal position, sweat, cool, heat, forgiveness, love, sweat, cleansing, heat, steam, sweat, friends, ease, OM.

Sacred Cacao Ceremony with Tibetan Healing Bowls: Mindful sipping for unsweet hot-chocolate-like liquid in a circle with friends, rest, sound resonating through us. Sipping, rest, heart pulsated with stronger beats, melted emotions for some, reassurance for some, just relaxing for some, talking stick, offerings, invoking ancestors, parents. Who knows whether the ceremony was authentic or not? What ceremony is? As a tourist, authenticity of experience is always suspect. Does it matter, if it leaves you feeling good and joyous?

I learned to mindfully sway, sweat and sip during my trip to Costa Rica.

Thank you, Community Yoga for organizing the retreat, Thank you Vida Asana for being a welcoming place and host.

Here are some moments with pictures of beautiful things, places, and people.







Exploded view of my now

Living forces honesty. Answers are seasonal, losing their sense precisely as they become scripture. You will die: this is the first meaning. The world around you seems to bear helpless witness to your wandering. Other people suffer in the same way, and yet this seems to increase loneliness. But you can welcome despair like gravity, for at some point the sheer pressure, tectonic in the soma, compels a violent break in pattern: running through the woods, making love with an utter loss of self. The reality of your condition offers a stark gift you accept through sudden discharges of rage and rage’s joyful shadow: this is the only life you know, and it fills you to overflowing. You live your life, yoga happens to you.

You thought you were alone. You tried to be independent. Then, standing in the market with your hand on an orange, children underfoot, traffic humming, conversations blendingwith the radio by the cash register, shoes you did not make on your feet and clothes you did not sew on your back, sun slanting through rips in the tin awning, you’re almost late for meeting someone, always almost too late. You know this orange will give you life, and that you did not grow it. Someone else gave it to you, it will become your flesh. Its colour adds immeasurably to your language and dreams while its name rhymes with nothing, and you did not conceive of it. The old grocer’s hands have become gnarled through a lifetime of handling boxes of oranges for you to eat. Someone else gives you your flesh. They could not give what they do not have. Someone else holds their flesh forth until it becomes your flesh.

A child triggers an internal laugh. A dog slaps her thick tail against your shin. Every single object that gives you life surrounds you. If you really were alone you would not exist. You did not make the air you breathe. You can’t say where the inside of your flesh begins. You are naturally reaching out as something reaches into you. No one and everyone taught you this. You surrender to the always-already-there, and yoga happens around you, through you.

– Matthew Remski, Threads of Yoga

Beautiful example of philosophical object orientation and mindful awareness, Ian Bogost style, maps, meanwhiles, lists and ontographs, Timothy Morton style thoughts of gravity, weird reality, shredded wheat magical simplicity.

Yoga invites us to the stillness of an exploded view of our present moment. Notice yourself, your body supported by the ground, your arms reaching to the sky, your breath, feelings, thoughts, sensations. All material, all fleeting. In stillness watch yourself move in thought and breath. Yoga offers such quiet power ❤️

Wishing you a weekend of mindful nows,


Lurking Dangers of Online Images

Dear Readers,

A confession. No. A lamentation.

Recently my beloved Community Yoga, (West Lafayette, Indiana) was sued for copyright infringement based on a re-posted Hungryphil blog post.

I am mortified and confused. In all my work, I aim to always attribute images and honor the work of writers, artists, and designers. I quickly learned that “free downloads” and filtered public domain images are not so, attribution and plagiarism are not same, and the copyright/fair use issues are very gray.  The image I had used was a comic cartoon of a yogi doing a handstand, sideways (funny and creative work, thank you artist whom I don’t know and have inadvertently offended). Ironically the post was about the dangers of ego-focus. It had the website and the image id number ON the image. I wrongly assumed the on-image attribution would operate as an advertisement. A very unintentional misunderstanding of “free downloads” and fair use. Confessedly, I’m ignorant of the shades of copyright gray not malicious. What makes my mistake worth $660 for a third party who simply re-posted?

The system, or rather the single letter received over mail is based on guilt, shaming and punishing rather than creative protection and public education. How is the calculation made that one can be sued for an indeterminate amount between $660 and $150K for an $11 image? How much of the $660 would the artist get? Once I have a clear view of the rules regarding online image use on personal blogs, I’ll be sure to post it. So far I haven’t found an easy list to follow and would be grateful for recommendations.

It doesn’t help that the law firm suing Community Yoga has an unsavory online reputation for copyright infringement related “extortion.

This makes me hesitant to use ANY online imagery. So, from now on I’ll be posting random potentially unrelated images of things, myself and my family.

Community Yoga did not make a penny from the image I posted. Yes, I should pay for my unintentional mistake, like I would a traffic ticket. In this case, the passenger is getting the ticket and the fine is random.

Part of me wants to sulk quietly in fear of being sued myself. If I’m quiet maybe they won’t hit me with a lawsuit too. But, I believe it is important to share and warn of the dangers. In a moment of unaware image use, I opened myself and those who would support me up to legalized blackmail by online ambulence chasers.

Let this be a gentle warning to you, my dear blog reading and writing friends. Protect yourselves and your friends. I’ll try my best to do better.










Meditative Monday: Lessons from a Labyrinth


At first glance, this patch of grass looks like a creative mowing project. Like anything, how you approach it makes it either a frustrating walk in circles going nowhere or a transformative inner journey of self-awareness. For most of us, it may be both.

I crossed paths with this labyrinth courtesy of a recent Community Yoga Retreat. This was my first time. If you have never meditatively walked along a labyrinth let me try to describe my first experience.

We, about 16 of us, were asked to walk slowly in silent meditation through the labyrinth. As we walk in we were to consider all the things we are grateful for, after we reach the center indicated by a bowl of floating flowers and as we walk out of the labyrinth, we were to mindfully shed all the things we want to be free of.  This walk, warned the retreat center director could last 45 minutes.  Simple enough. Right?

I was the last to enter the labyrinth. I watched as everyone entered the labyrinth and walk slowly along the curves. My feet were bare. I could feel the cool grass below my feet. As I first entered the walk, I noticed my arms shivering and tingling. Maybe I was just cold, maybe I was feeling something. I don’t know. I felt calm and quiet. I also felt like I was walking with many others, in front and behind me (there was no one behind me). The labyrinth felt full. The first few moments of reverie soon dissolved into…why is it so hard to step slowly? is this ground uneven? Am I making the right turns? am I walking too closely behind? am I going to fast? oh, there’s a branch, gosh I’m cold….you get the point. It was a flood of how long is this going to take and am I lost? I can’t be if I can look up and step out at any time. My mind was playing weird games.

As I felt like I was spinning in circles becoming myself a labyrinth of confusion, I decided to enjoy the experience, to find a way to savor each step, each thought of gratitude, to send love to my friends walking with me. Magically, the craziness eased. I began to notice the journey, my unsteady steps, my worries, my fellow walkers, the sun, the warmth, the shadows, the trees. I began to move in and out of the labyrinth to find my horizon, feeling both lost and located at the same time. By the time I reached the bowl of floating flowers at the center, it felt like a long-delayed accomplishment. Joy and relief. Walking out of the circle as I allowed self-doubt drip down my fingertips I began to feel lighter. When I crossed paths with another, I felt a rise of self-judgment, am I going the right direction? Should we be crossing paths? Again, I reminded myself, it doesn’t matter, just walk, breathe and enjoy this morning.

Like life, there were rough patches, beautiful views, isolation, company, obstructive twigs, comforting sunshine, confusion, and clarity, ground and sky, turns and curves, crazy mind, calm mind, grateful heart, irritated heart. Maybe we are always in a labyrinth, either imprisoned and trapped or liberated and exploring.

There was a sense of relief after completing what felt like a long journey. As I stepped out, following a lady in front of me, also named Lisa, she said “Thanks for keeping me company.” I returned my gratitude for her company as well.

It was a trip, best, shared.

Last to exit, I joined the others, some resumed their conversations, some sat quietly, some shared their confusion about the labyrinth. We all survived and learned something about ourselves. I learned that I can make walking in circles bearable and even enjoyable, if I want. Maybe I can make anything bearable…….almost, with fellow walkers.

Happy Monday, everyone. Happy walking the week.





Wobblyogi Fall Schedule


Hot Vinyasa

Join me for a steady, mindful, and warm practice that cultivates a calm heart despite sweat and effort. Let’s burn and detox from what no longer serves us.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm Tuesday and Thursday

Community Yoga, West Lafayette, Indiana

For more information and to register go to: 


“tapah svadhyaya isvara pranidhanani kriya yogah”

concentration- self-reflection-surrender



Gentle Yoga

Join me for a mindful practice that helps develop body awareness, range of motion, and overall mind-body-spirit health. We will use relaxation, breathing, and meditation techniques to help us stay in ease and balance.

Wednesday 10:00 am – 11:15 am

Session 1: September 6th – October 11th (6 weeks)

Theme of Yoga Philosophy (Sutras)

Session 2: October 18th – November 15th (5 weeks)

Theme of Great Questions (What, When, Where, How and Why)


Morton Community Center, West Lafayette, Indiana

For more information and to register go to:



The posture steady and comfortable


Continuing Yoga (Gentle – Intermediate)

Join me for a mindful practice that helps develop body awareness, range of motion, and overall mind-body-spirit health. We will use relaxation, breathing and meditation techniques to help us stay in ease and balance.

Thursday 9:30 am – 10:45 am

Session 1: September 7th – October 12th (6 weeks)

Theme of Yoga Philosophy (Sutras)

Session 2: October 19th  – November 16th (5 weeks)

Theme of Great Questions (What, When, Where, How and Why)


McCallister Community Center, Lafayette, Indiana

For more information and to register go to: 


“heyam duhkham-anagatam”

That which is to be overcome is sorrow yet to come.


May I Be Happy Workshop Invitation

Hello Local Yogis,

I’m planning snack boxes for our upcoming yoga book club workshop! You know that I, hungryphil/wobblyogi am super excited about combining my two loves: food and yoga.

Summer is Pitta season. According to Ayurvedic tradition, summer is the time to enjoy bitter, astringent and sweet tastes (eat less sour, pungent or spicy foods). So, I’m looking for tasty afternoon bites that would be cool and light. Please sign up for the workshop ahead of time so I know how many snack boxes to make. Here is more information about the workshop [Saturday, August 12, 2-4].

Let’s try these treats together………………….

Summer Samosas

Baked light and flaky pastry filo- dough filled with potato and cauliflower spiced with summer Pitta-seasoning (includes warm sweet spices like fennel and coriander)

Sweet Coconut Dusted Raisin Almond Balls

Almonds and raisins ground together and rolled in shredded coconut

Cooling Co-Cu-Mint Mocktail

A blend of coconut water, cucumber, mint, and lemon

If you read “May I be Happy” by Cindy Lee, wonderful! Jacqueline will lead an extended asana practice inspired by themes from the book that will be familiar to you. If you haven’t read the book, you’ll enjoy the practice focused on cultivating personal happiness, just as much. The book is not a prerequisite, only an inspiration to ask: How may I be happy?

And, there will be snacks!!! I don’t know about you but that makes me happy 🙂

Enough said.

Hope to see you in a few weeks,

Wishing you a lovely late summer,

the hungry and wobbly yogi

May I Be Happy Workshop Flyer




Wobblyogi Wednesday – Summer Book Club!

May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing my Mind

by Cyndi Lee


Take this book to the beach with you as you relax in the sun and bask in your own happiness. Read a few pages, pause, close your eyes and reflect.  Cyndi Lee talks about body image issues, mom issues, spouse issues, teaching issues and almost everything in between. Some I related to and other I did not. Eitherway the book offers a good focus for conversation about how we each invite yoga principles into our lives.

Here is my favorite passage:

I’ve learned to listen to feelings in my body, as another form of meditation practice. Often when I’m walking home form the studio, I’ll realize that I have a butterfly in my stomuch or I’m gripping the strap of my yoga bag too hard. I practice being curious about it. It’s fun. I investigate by asking myself, “Okay, what’s bothering me?” The answer is usually right there on the surface and then I can puzzle it through, either coming to a resolution or at least gaining enough awareness of the issue to be able to table it for now and bookmark it for later. The body knows, the mind clarifies, and when I can get them to hold hands with my breath, things usually work out all right.

I wonder what questions the book sparks for you. Share your comments here or come join us (whether you read the book or not) for discussion, an asana practice, snacks and more August 12th 2:00 pm-5:00 pm at Community Yoga, West Lafayette, Indiana

Sign up online at https://communityyogalafayette.com/workshopsevents/

May you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be happy,

the Wobblyogi



Wobblyogi Wednesday: Book Club Workshop and Eats

Last weekend our yoga book club met to talk, practice, eat, watch a documentary and talk some more. The three hours flew by. Jacqueline lead us through a beautiful asana practice inspired by mantras from the book.  We talked about the difference between ambition and greed, between pain and suffering. We talked about what we liked about the book and what we didn’t like. We talked beyond the book about the challenges of a home practice, about how we came to join the book club.  We watched and talked about the documentary: Yoga Is. It was movie night, book club and tea time rolled into one. What a wonderful way to spend a Spring Sunday afternoon!

Usually after practice we rush back to our respective lives. What a welcomed treat to sit and laugh with my fellow yogis.

Our snack menu included items to balance Spring Kapha flavored with heat building spices of ginger and black pepper.

Corn Tacos with Tofu and Bitter Greens Scramble

Cucumber Slices with Hummus and Feta Crumbles

Dates stuffed with Crystallized Ginger and Almonds

Roasted Chickpeas

Spiced Ginger Tea

All of the snacks were easy to assemble. The most “cooking” I did was the tofu scramble. The “heat inviting” meal ironically required very little fire to prepare.

Here are a few directions.

For the Corn Tacos (less gluten and dairy helps balance Kapha): Break up a box of extra firm tofu. Add any spice mix of your choice to the broken up pieces. I used a spring spice mix with turmeric, fennel, cumin, ginger, black pepper and chili powder. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wide pan or wok. Add tofu. Let it dry out and even brown on one side before you move the pieces around. You can take the tofu out of the pan or just have it waiting on one side of the pan, while you wilt some greens (spinach, arugula, chard). You can also add onions or garlic, if you like. I didn’t. Once wilted, toss greens with tofu and your filling is done!Warm some corn tortillas with ghee, butter or an oil of your choice. Add filling. Maybe top with shredded carrots or avocado slices. Enjoy.

The stuffed dates were simply crystallized ginger and almonds pulsed together into a grainy consistency. Stuff the mixture into de-seeded Medjool dates.

The cucumber slices were just that. Sliced cucumbers topped with hummus and sprinkled with feta.

The roasted chickpeas (deep frying is tastier but not very healthy) were drained canned chickpeas, tossed with vinegar, oil and a spice mix (I used the same spring spice mix as the tofu) and baked at 400 degrees until crispy. Between 30-40 minutes. During cooking you’ll need to moves the peas around to get an even bake. That’s it.

The spiced tea was regular tea with milk, a touch of sugar, spiced with ginger and black pepper.

If you couldn’t join us, I hope you can find the time to enjoy the book, the movie and the snacks with your friends. Next time, join us.

Looking forward to our next book club meeting in late summer,

The Wobblyogi





My favorite Ayurveda Cookbook is this one by Kate O’Donnell. I modified the taco recipe offered in this book. It has many other recipes that are easy to to prepare and have easy to find ingredients. O’Donnell reminds us that Ayurvedic cooking is not limited to Indian food!



Wobblyogi Wednesday: Yoga Book Club Notes #5

If you are reading along, we are up to the second four sections of part two in our book Living Your Yoga: Finding your Spiritual in Everyday Life.  Here author Judith Lasater addresses issues of Attachment, Suffering, Impermanence and Empathy.

Attachment is the process which occurs in the body-mind when you do not get your preference; aversion is a form of attachment. Both create bodily and emotional reactions. Aversion may create frustration, anger, and blame of self or others. I find that fear is often at the root of my reactions when I am in a state of aversion. Clinging to a preference, whether it is from attachment or aversion, creates suffering. It is also the precise moment when you can grow by choosing to recognize attachemtn or aversion for what it is.

How do I know when to persist and when to let go? When to notice a preference or aversion, honor it and when to simply go along? Any creative work involves a degree of attachment, sometimes veering on obsession. Shouldn’t that creative preference induced suffering be endured? I’m confused. When I ask “How should it be?” as Laster suggests, my internal answer is “better.” Do hope and aspiration lead to suffering? Should I not be attached to my preference for ease, clarity, beauty, calmness etc.?

I suppose this dilemma leads to questions about the nature of suffering, the next topic. Laster explains,

…we suffer because of the process of identifying with pain. If we have an internal dialogue that reinforces the belief that we are suffering, that we have no choice, that the whole world is doing it to us, then we will remain stuck in our suffering. The paradox about suffering is the no one can make us suffer. We can choose to feel left out, incompetent, or inferior. Others may act in unkind ways. But there is no way that we will feel left out, incompetent, or inferior unless we participate in the process. Although we may have feeling about what is happening to us, whether we suffer is up to us. It is a matter of choice.

The idea that suffering is a choice is an idea I’m working hard to hold. It requires a level of personal responsibility regardless of worldly demands, while at the same time promises a level of freedom from worldly demands. I can choose to bask in my suffering, big and small or refuse to identify with it. Again like addressing attachment, this is difficult. How can I honor what I am feeling without becoming imprisoned by my feelings? Surely if something irritates me, or hurts me, I should notice………. yet not let it become a part of me. My suffering may shape my experience but does not define me.

Identification seems to be a key switch between self-awareness and self-absorption. The next topic Lasater invites us to consider is impermanence. To illustrate the permanence of change she quotes Thich Naht Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, who summarizes the five remembrances:

  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

  2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape having ill health.

  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

  4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

As a philosopher (defined as one who practices the art of dying) this realization comes easy to me. Everything changes. It is both sad and wonderful. Everything is old and new, always. Including my kids. How limiting it would be to confine them to my memories and expectations. I try my best to see them as they are right now and not as I saw them when I first looked down on their little faces. That is my cherished memory, not theirs. Similarly, I enjoy whatever thing I have but I also know that these things do not define me. More things, big as property or small as books, will not solidify my existence into permanence.

If I consider all that I have in light of what those things help me do then the value of my laptop, my phone, my pencil, my coffee mug and my soft fuzzy boots emerge. I belong to my actions. I read-write, eat-cook and hopefully care for people in the process. Most of my life I have felt homeless, this realization gives me much comfort.

Completing this section about how we relate to others, Lasater talks about, empathy.

To cultivate empathy means to see the world through the eyes of another without judgment, without trying to “fix” it, without needing it to be different. It is acceptance independent of agreement, understanding without any implied coercion for oneself or the other to change. There is also no sense of wanting to “educate” the other person about how their perspective is wrong and ours is right.

As a recovering academic, the idea of not trying to “educate” is so counter-intuitive. It is difficult sometimes to just listen and support each his/her own journey. When should I “help”? Only if and when asked? The problem with empathy is that it makes me want to ease the suffering, makes me want to “fix” it. But, I suppose I’m only supposed to see from a different perspective without making it my own. So many unresolved feelings.

I have much work to do in addressing my attachments, suffering, impermanence and empathy.

How was this section for you? Do you find it as messy as I do?

Happy reading,







Lasater, Judith Hanson. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life (Kindle Locations 1527-1530). Shambhala.

Wobblyogi Wednesday – Book Club Notes #4

Hello, Everyone!

Our adventure in self-study through reading Judith Lasater’s Living Your Yoga continues. How is reading going for you? What are you asking yourself? Finding any surprising answers?

If you’re not reading the book but just checking in with the blog….. perfect. That’s what this blog series is for. This effort is less about the book more about asking ourselves questions about what irks us and how can we limit those small and big irritations.

The first part of the book was about awareness within and addresses themes of discipline, letting go, faith, perspective and more. Part two is about how yoga helps with our relationships with others and the world. Judith Lasater talks about compassion, control, fear, and patience. One of the reasons I love her book is her constant reference to motherhood and stories related to her children. Using yoga principles to guide our role as moms, for me really resonates.


As a parent, I have often wrestled with what it means to be compassionate toward my children…………..I have learned that the most compassionate response I can have is to be willing not to judge their behavior, but to try to see the situation from their point of view. This does not mean that I forfeit my opinion on the most effective course of action they might choose. Rather I have the intention to truly feel the situation from their narrow views, thus stepping back from my own narrow views.

What! Not judge the behavior of my children! Isn’t that my job? My interpretation of what she is saying is this: really listen to what they are saying, repeat back to make sure I understand their perspective, “so you are saying that you really need to go the party because all your other friends will be there and your the acceptance of your friends is very important to you”….or something like that and then I offer my opinion about why that request or feeling has multiple considerations attached like, “Did you do your homework?” “Do you need a ride”, “is it on a school night?” and maybe “why is the acceptance of this group of friends so important”, etc. Compassion may not alter my expectations as a mom, but it can help me see the issue from my kid’s perspective. I’ll try.

Do you judge yourself if a yoga pose doesn’t look “perfect”? Can I be compassionate with my own body and its abilities? Allow my left knee to crunch without judgment?


Who among us hasn’t been accused of being controlling, particularly when it comes to our kids? Here is Lasater’s advice:

Dr. Rosenberg explained that if you coerce your child into doing something, you will pay a price. For example, even if you could exert enough control to make him take out the garbage, he would make you pay for getting your way…. If we try to control the behavior of others, we may get what we want but we won’t enjoy it. If we have the thought that we are making someone do what we want without eliciting their true cooperation, that control is the greatest of illusions.

What to do if the other’s behavior is self-destructive? If they are not invested in their own well-being, ultimately I, as a mom can’t sustain control over them. That is truly difficult to accept.  She later addresses this issue by writing,

But where does letting go of control end and taking responsibility for my life begin? We must understand (and accept) what it is exactly that we can control and what we cannot control. In the final analysis, we can control only ourselves. But we are often dismayed at our inability to master even this. What prevents us? When we feel out of control, it is usually when there is a conflict between what we think and what we feel. Our feelings may scream one thing while our minds demand something else.

I try to be realistic and honest about what I can do and what I can’t in relation to my kids and others. I feel, if I hear and try to understand my kids, they, in turn, hear me better too. They may not like my preferences as I may not like theirs, but being open about what we can do individually helps us in being compassionate with each other. My beautiful and talented dancer daughter understands that loud noise and big crowds are overwhelming for me and doesn’t insist on my presence throughout all her dance competitions (of course she wants me to see her dance, as I do but she understands if I don’t stick around). I let go of the fear that my daughter might see my limitation as a lack of care. If we scratch deeper we always find either love or fear. Laster appropriately continues the next section on the topic of fear.

On the yoga mat, when I am overthinking a pose, I know I’m trying to control. Alignment cues are directions, not destinations. Yoga is not a “follow the leader” kind of activity. My role as a teacher is to stand a guide and demonstration with my body, my abilities, and limitations. I also have to accept however a student interprets and acts on my guidance, as long as he or she doesn’t hurt themselves. What is the difference between correction and control?


The most interesting thing that Lasater says about fear for me was that if you are really living the present moment there is no fear. And, if you say “I am afraid,” admit and name the emotion, fear loosens its grip. I’ve tried this when afraid to drive on icy roads and found it helped me find ease. About being present and unafraid she writes,

If you are involved in actually fighting for your life, there is no time to be afraid. The sympathetic nervous system is mobilizing you to run or attack, and your bodily functions are working full blast. For example, the eyes open wider to see the danger better, blood is shunted to the muscles so that you can use them in the fight, and the mind becomes completely focused in the immediate need at hand. Your nervous system is not distracted by thinking in the abstract about what may happen. Rather, it is dealing with what is happening. It is only when you think about what may happen or what could have happened that you feel afraid.

Fear is, unfortunately, a standard and inevitable mom-emotion. It is challenging to find the balance between fear and love. I try not use my fears as an emotional weapon to limit the growth of my children. There is a difference between saying “please lock the front door” and “never go out.” Caution and fear. Instead of hoping that nothing bad ever happens to them, I hope they cultivate the strength to recover from anything. This takes practice and trust.

When I practice crow pose, I’ll bring a bolster or block in front of me to allow my head to come down. Somehow that eases the fear that I’ll come tumbling forward.



Patience is another absolutely required parental skill. My favorite part was when she talked about our concept of “wasted time.” I am guilty of considering most of my day as “wasting time.” Lasater’s explanation struck a nerve for me when she talked about impatience arising out of a feeling of wasting time as associated with a fear of being devalued. The thought that – I could be doing better things than sitting in traffic, doing the laundry, waiting in line –  etc  is a symptom of feeling “I’m not doing enough.”  Lasater explains it better:

What is really wasted? Nothing. All gives me the opportunity to live in the present moment. When I do, I am patient. This realization supports even the most mundane events of my daily life. I can wait in lines, sit in traffic jams, and understand when someone is late for an appointment. All of these times – waiting, sitting, and understanding – are valuable. I can choose not to experience them as wasted time by choosing to be present and actually live these precious moments. After all to reject them is to reject life itself………..

Beneath my “time-wasting” thoughts was the most startling realization of all. I was afraid. You see, my self-worth was so tied to how much I accomplished. I thought that if I could speed up things around me, then I could get more done. If I did that, then I would be more valued, therefore more loved, therefore happier.

The next time I’m waiting in the school parking lot for my daughter to emerge, I’ll try to think of it as a practice in patience, and self-value. Waiting as mothering.

Maybe I can practice patience when in a forward fold, standing, seated and wide instead of judging my tight hamstrings.

For me, this section tugged at my mommy heart. What stood out for you? Was it teaching and control? Dealing with difficult people with compassion? Fear and anxiety about what we can’t control? How to accept control as an illusion?

I hope it was a good read for you. Looking forward to hearing your comments.

Happy reading Community Yoga Bookclub!