The Gift of a Spiral Life [Writing Yoga® Prompt # 1003] Week 4 of 28 Day Challenge!

Welcome to the last week of our 28 day Writing Yoga® "Feel Amazing" challenge!  If you are just joining us, go back to week 1  and start fresh. If you've been with us since January 6th, have you been able to sit, write, and move for at least 5 minutes each per day?

Don't worry if you skipped a day or one of the 3 steps toward an amazing life. Humans, just like all of nature, move in spirals. We may even feel crushed by backward momentum, but once we see the other side, our rewards can be tremendous.  That's the gift of a spiral path.

Week 4 Writing Yoga® Prompt:

Lumi Sit: Take 5 minutes in silence. Close your eyes. Breathe. Say to yourself, "I am here." Repeat. Slow down the words inside your head. "I am here." Repeat.

Lumi Write:  Draw a picture of a spiral. Take your time and notice what thoughts and images appear in your mind. You can color it in with pencils or decorate it any way you wish. Write down any words that come to mind inside the...

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Milestone 2020: You Made It. [Writing Yoga® Prompt # 1002] Week 3 of 28 Day Challenge!

Do you remember thinking as a kid that the year 2000 was some mythical place in the future where robots ran the world? The robots aren't quite there yet and 2000 was 20 years ago! 

There is a good chance that this is a milestone year for you. Where were you in 1900, 2000, 2010?  Maybe you were a kid, maybe you were having kids, maybe you were dreaming of a future that is quite different from where you are today.

Week 3 Writing Yoga® Prompt:

Lumi Sit: Take 5 minutes to acknowledge your milestones. Close your eyes. Think of something that 2020 represents for you. Maybe it is an anniversary or birthday. Not everyone made it this far so at the very least, breathe deeply, celebrate with each inhalation your arrival on this planet at this time.

Lumi Write:  Let your subconscious be your inner writer. Take 5 minutes to celebrate this milestone year using any thoughts that arose during the Lumi Sit.

Lumi Move: Mountain pose (wall optional).  This is an excellent pose...

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Do Vision Boards Work? [Writing Yoga® Prompt # 1001] Week 2 of 28 Day Challenge!

It used to be a big joke in my house. Mom’s got a vision board. Let them roll their eyes at me and my ‘little arts and crafts project.’ I don’t care. They work.

In 2015, I dreamed up beauty, wishes for my family, success and travel on a cheery pink piece of construction paper. I dreamed of love, determination, and kindness. It reminded me to live in the now and to practice all my practices daily (yoga, meditation, writing) wherever I go. Five years later, my vision is not exactly what I thought it would be, but life is definitely moving forward!

Why does it work? You see your goals happening as if they have already happened and a vision board helps to activate your imagination. Your brain can be fooled into thinking that what is sees is reality. It's a positive step toward the life of your dreams.

Week 2 Writing Yoga® Prompt:

Lumi Sit: Take 5 minutes to honor your inner dreamer. Close your eyes. See, touch, hear, smell and taste the life you will create....

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Dear 2020, I Challenge You to Feel Amazing! [Writing Yoga® Prompt #1000] Week 1 of 28 Day Challenge!

Hello 2020 & happy New Year, dear reader!  I have a lot to say to you, new decade. We’ve only just met, but the zero at the end of your number means a whole lot of anticipation. What can we expect from you? What toll will 2020-2029 take on us?

The baby boomers paved the way for us to think differently about getting old. They just aren't having it!  Studies show that it's possible to feel and look years younger than you are by developing healthy habits including practicing yoga, journal writing and meditating. Writing Yoga® combines all three to help balance your mind, body and spirit. And that balance is what makes you feel AMAZING!

Let's take a page from the boomer's book not because we actually want to be younger, but because we want to experience a life filled with child-like wonder and possibility.

Ready to take the Writing Yoga® challenge to experience youthful excitement, better health and life balance???!!!  I’ll be posting a prompt on...

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Yoga Journal Conference, NYC 2018. Masterclass with Master Teachers & How to Remove your Armor. [ Writing Prompt 266]

  One morning, I set an intention to go to the Yoga Journal Conference and just like that, a ticket somehow manifested for me on Facebook.  No joke. Cindy Mussman Valentine and Michele DeNocola of Yoga Shack in Bethpage had made an offer to donate a ticket and I was the lucky recipient.

The next day, I got a sub for my own class and arrived 30 minutes early for Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee's 8:30 am sequencing workshop. Question: Do I prop up against one of the pillars in the middle of the room, hide on the side, hide in back, or just go for it and put the mat right up front?

The workshop was like one long dance. I've taken many of their classes, online workshops, and yes, Rodney Yee's videos dating back to the VHS days over 20 years ago! Those two are a powerful, lovely team and when they alternate voices as one gives cues as the other adjusts students, it sounds like music and poetry.

Next up, a spring reset class with Jillain Pransky and live music by Scott...

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Dodge Poetry Festival 2014: Four Days in One Post

dodge poetry festival Oct 28, 2014

Wow! My head is spinning from the Dodge Poetry Festival this past weekend. So many incredibly brilliant poets who kept us thinking, moving, teary-eyed, inspired and falling even more deeply in love with the art of poetry.

Alice Oswald

The poet Alice Oswald who lives in Devon, England recited her poems from memory. She spoke about living in the English countryside where “there is the almost rude energy of the natural world.” She made buttercups seem erotic. Hmm. She also said that she is “taken by the moon and water because they both know how to change their form.” I have been devouring her book, Spacecraft Voyager 1.


Tracy K Smith

And then there were poets whom I have been following and reading for years.  Life on Mars  by Tracy K. Smith is one of my favorite books of poetry ever. We were treated to new poems by Tracy too.


Conversation: Mirror, Blossom, Urn, Collage.  Cathy Park Hong, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patrick Rosal, Brenda...

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How to Find your “Peaceful Place” by Trying Something Challenging: Yoga on a Paddleboard

As a creative person with a busy life, where do you go to relax, unwind, and let ideas flow?

Practicing yoga on a paddleboard in the middle of the Long Island Sound is how my friend Michelle does it.  It’s one thing for most of us just not fall off the board into the water, but moving through sun salutations, hanumanasana, and headstands is a whole other story.

Or is it? “Trying something challenging is a way to find your peaceful place,” says Michelle, yoga teacher and owner of Shore Thing Rentals in Glen Cove, Long Island.

It can be difficult to maintain steadiness during balancing poses in a yoga class, but what if there are waves moving you too? There is no wall to hold on to. There is no teacher in the room and no one next to you on your mat. It’s just you and the board. Somehow the flow of the water aligns with the water in your body and before you know it, you are balancing with the wild current.

Michelle on Sea...
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Steady, My Gaze: Why You Should Read This Book by Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Like the glowing match on its cover, Marie-Elizabeth Mali’s book, Steady, My Gaze, is spiritual chiaroscuro, a quiet conversation between light and darkness. Reading Steady, My Gaze, makes me feel as if I’m on retreat. I’m uplifted one moment, carried away in gorgeous imagery and masterful writing, and then slammed by reality in the next. Although, in these poems, the slamming is beautiful too.

“Silent Retreat,” The final section, is among my favorite. The words of Adyashanti, the retreat leader, are threaded throughout each poem. “The image you have of yourself/ is unworthy because it’s an image,/ unreal. You interpret it to mean/ you are unworthy, but it’s the image/ that’s unworthy, not you.”  The next stanza is in the speaker’s voice, “Resonant body strings, our sitting/ thrums the room./ At the back of the hall, a toilet/ flushes like thunderclap.”  Such is life; the...

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Living the Intention in a Room of Your Own (AROHO): Writing on Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch

intention setting writing Sep 01, 2013

All I wanted was a week to write without getting up to walk the dogs, sit in traffic, clean the kitchen, or answer the phone. I had work to do and it wasn’t getting done. A writer friend told me about AROHO (A Room of Her own). She said it was a writing organization for women and that I should apply for their retreat on Georgia O’Keefe’s “Ghost Ranch” in New Mexico. It sounded fantastic. It was fantastic. I didn’t know that it would change my life.

It has been over one month since I left the desert but I’m still adjusting. It’s a good life here in NY, but I miss sunset colored mountains and breathing in readings and workshops all day long.  I bonded with more women in one week than I had during the past decade. If you met them, you would see how such a thing can be possible. We were in synch.

I took a small group poetry workshop with Evie Shockley.  I’m a fan, so of course it was very...

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“Oh, No, Don’t Work Us Too Hard Now!” Words in Motion: On Teaching Creative Writing and Yoga to Senior Citizens by Melanie Pappadis Faranello

When I arrived at Federation Square, an independent living facility for senior citizens, I went to the dining hall and began arranging the chairs in a circle for our first class. The Connecticut Humanities Council’s Center for the Book approved my proposal for a course combining creative writing with yoga and I was excited to see how it would go.
When the seniors arrived and took their seats, I explained that our regular chair yoga that I had previously taught to many of them would be a little different this time around, that we would also be doing some creative writing together. I was met with blank stares and concerned looks. “Writing?!” one woman exclaimed, “Oh, no, don’t work us too hard now!”
We began with our usual mediation and then I explained we were going to begin warming up our minds with our first creative writing exercise. In the spirit of Yoga, meaning union, we were going to be exercising our bodies and our minds.
After...
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