15 May

Summer Solstice Workshop in Kalamazoo


The solstice is a time of transition – from spring into summer, the season of flowering, growth, playfulness, and wonder. Join us for a Kundalini Yoga workshop designed to open your awareness to this new, fruitful season.

2017 Theme: Vibrate the Cosmos ~ The Cosmos Shall Clear The Path

Each year, the international Kundalini community focuses together on a theme for the summer solstice celebration. This year, we’ll work with Yogi Bhajan’s 5th Sutra for the Aquarian Age. “To vibrate with the Universe is to vibrate the higher frequencies of love, compassion, and kindness. One of the best ways to be in the flow of the Cosmos is through yoga, meditation, and chanting mantra—sacred sounds that attune you to the Universe.”

When: Saturday, June 17, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Where: Upaya Yoga Studio on the 2nd floor at Michigan Holistic Health, 500 West Crosstown Pkwy, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

Cost: $25 general, $20 students with valid ID

Space is limited! PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED; please use the contact form to sign up.

This workshop is appropriate for all levels – more experienced practitioners may enjoy the chance to reconnect with the fundamentals of this transformative practice.*

Sat Nam, and Happy Solstice!

* Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

14 Sep

What I believe (and why Retreat just has to happen)

I think it’s important for you to understand my motivation in building a space like Retreat. Today, I want to share with you some of the beliefs that are guiding this business:

* I believe that everyone – EV-ERY-ONE – has the capacity for creativity. Creativity is the ability to create – to make stuff. Have you ever made something? I bet you have.
* I believe that people spend too much time interacting with their phones and not enough time interacting with each other.
* I believe that rest is necessary for all of us, and in a quantity that is larger than most of us allow in our day-to-day lives. Rest does not have to mean laying down for a nap (although those are good, too!). Rest is slowing down, stepping away from the activities that drain you, and refueling.
* I know that it can be hard to find real connection – especially with new people – in these fast-paced, Facebook-friend times.  I believe that building true, deep, soulful friendships is still possible.
* I believe that learning something new – together – is a great way to build that friendship.
* I believe that arts like embroidery, knitting, and sewing persist not only because they add beauty to a home but because they add connection to our lives – to ourselves, to our past, and to each other.
* Ditto for writing.
* I believe that making something with your own two hands builds confidence in a way that few other things can.
* I believe that we are all connected through one universal spirit, and that our individual actions – large and small – have an impact on the whole.
* I believe that practicing yoga is one effective way of growing our ability to connect with that spirit, and by extension, with one another.

I have been learning to listen to my heart. This may sound trite, but
it’s a big deal for me nonetheless. As this business has taken shape
over the past weeks and months (and really, almost years now), I have
tried to listen ever more closely to my inner guidance, to worry less
about what I think will work, and more about what matters
(to me, at least). What will work is still important, of course, but
there’s a realization here that I cannot control all of the factors that
must come together to make a business successful. What I can control
are the steps I take each day toward having a positive impact on the

What that “positive impact” looks like is defined by my own
values and beliefs, ideas that I’ve had to get really clear on long
before Retreat opens its doors. With this studio, I want to build a home where like-minded folks can hang out and build friendships in person. I hope that includes you!


06 Sep

Okay, no more excuses.

It is Tuesday, September 6, the day after Labor Day. And so begins a new season. Everybody knows that the “new year” doesn’t really start on January 1 (right?). It starts that morning when you get up early for the first time in a long time, put on your new jeans (90 degree weather be damned), struggle with your new haircut, and head out to the bus stop.

And so, with that spark of back-to-school excitement in the air, I am getting up early, putting on a clean pair of pants, and getting to work. I’m starting my 40-day yoga challenge, and along with that, my 40-day (no) alcohol challenge and (what the heck) my 40-day (no) caffeine challenge. Feels like New Year’s, doesn’t it?

I’m ready. I’ve had a long, beautiful summer of resting, connecting, dreaming, and figuring things out. And now it’s time to switch gears and turn those dreams into something real. It’s not about the new year’s resolutions – those are commitments that help me mark my January 1st and get things off to a healthy start, but they’re not the real story. What it is about is creating a plan for my business, getting the word out, and making this Retreat right here in your own hometown happen.


24 Aug

It’s long, but it helps explain how I got here

I wrote this piece about a month ago with the intention of posting it to my personal blog. Somehow, it never made it to the publisher. (Go figure – read my last couple of posts, and the reasons may become apparent.) I’m glad it waited, though. It fits better here anyway.

19 July 11

They had to kick us out of the pool at Deep Eddy this afternoon after I’d been there for only an hour and a half. Because of thunder. Who’d a thunk it? My parched and weedy grass is looking at me in disbelief (and despair) as I write this. I wasn’t ready to leave, of course, but I figured it was finally the time I needed to sit down and work out a post about this miracle of a summer. I’ve been putting it off for too long.

My day didn’t turn out as planned – even without the unexpected closing at the pool. I actually worked my Google Calendar this week with an office-like mentality not seen since May; Rachel (my coach) tells me I’m in the Land of Both right now, giving up a little of the rest time I’ve been cultivating to make room for some work again. Today I had intended to go to my usual 6:30am yoga class, stop home for a little breakfast, get to the pool by 9:30, spend the afternoon crossing off some to-dos (drop off clothes at Goodwill, deposit cash from a craigslist sale, email recruiter re: contract work, knock out some necessary household shopping), then be back at home in time to shower before meeting some other craigslist buyers at 4:30. I made it to yoga (I’m still hitting the snooze, but this survives as a priority), but when I got home I was so sore and exhausted from the Ashtanga class I’d ventured into yesterday that I couldn’t resist a little nap. Which turned into a big nap. At 11:45 I accepted that I’d missed the morning pool time I so love, and resigned myself to an afternoon indoors.

As soon as I’d gotten lunch, though, the phone rang – my craigslist folks wanting to reschedule for the weekend. So… pool time after all! Goodwill, bank, Target, at the pool before 2:00. And then 90 glorious minutes of sitting in my float, watching people and their tattoos, getting splashed by the kids, lounging under the trees, smelling like sunscreen, reading my Eckhart Tolle (and feeling my I Am).

And thunder! Gray skies! Who could have predicted there would ever come a day when this sight would be such cause for celebration, or even attention? To be excited about the rain, for a Michigan girl whose summers were nothing if not gray and always too cold to go to the waterpark. Huh.

No rain today, of course – just a spitting – but worth getting excited about all the same.

So… the back story here is… I quit my job about a month ago, with no real idea of where to go next. That’s twice in the span of about a year, for those of you keeping score out there. I’ve come to see that there was just too much uncertainty and too little security last summer for me to fully embrace what I had planned (and still needed) to do then. (Leaving my very safe job in Chicago and packing up the car with an unsold condo on the market were enough for me at the time. Add to that those very shady movers and you have one young lady who’s ready to settle down and take the first job that will have her.)

After a year of working in… let’s just call it the wrong job, I’d forgotten what I had come back for. Or maybe it seemed like it wasn’t here after all. But it was here. I just needed to open my eyes and see it.

In the past month, I have driven home in a towel and a wet bathing suit more times than I have in all of the 10 years before that. I have slept weekends away without a hint of guilt. (What was there to feel guilt over? I needed the rest.) I have also:

– had fantastic conversations with my coach, Rachel (she’s wonderful)
– been inspired by the following books: The Alchemist (Coehlo), Finding Your Own North Star (Beck), A New Earth (Tolle), The Purpose of Your Life (Adrienne), Making a Living Without a Job (Winter), I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was… (Sher)
– learned to make yoga pants out of an old t-shirt, embroidered cocktail napkins for my mom, and refashioned a beloved dress I’ve had since college
– sold some possessions, donated others (also beloved, but past their prime in serving me)
– spent so much time with good friends
– shared margaritas at 2:00 on a Wednesday
– cooled off and relaxed at Barton Springs and Deep Eddy
– Kundalini’d my heart out at YogaYoga
– cleaned the studios in seva there, too
– had a Vedic astrology reading (so worth it, and believe me, I understand your skepticism)
– indulged in a hot stone massage (also so worth it)
– gotten to know myself, and what I need
– started to fill in the vision I have for the next step
There are times – lots of times – when I worry. I am a worrier by nature. I worry that I will not be able to find a job when I’m ready to find it. I worry even more that I will give in to the temptation to find something whose primary quality is security, and take that job out of fear. I worry that this time is too self-indulgent. And I worry that my dreams are just that, and too silly to ever come true. But then there are other times when the picture is very clear to me, when it seems like the dream can’t nothappen, when I know that a life in line with my values is possible (and even necessary), and when I see how much a month in the right space can change everything.