I respect the beautiful and complex seasoning of long life. I welcome opportunities to celebrate longevity.

Please read this article by David Brooks of the New York Times. It offers interesting thoughts on some of what may be lost as we age, but also what is gained over the years 


Autumn, again.


As I look out my window in New England, I see the beautiful palette of fall colors. It is the turning of the leaves, again. The annual evolution from green to every variation of gold to red and purple and beyond. 

And most likely, in a few months I will be looking out of this very same window remarking in awe-struck terms, of the return of the ubiquity of green.

I love the change of the seasons. I love the trasitions. I love that I am reminded that nothing lasts forever, and also that renewal can be right around the corner.

So, this is a kind of appreciation that is all wrapped up in yoga, too. It is as simple as the inhale and the exhale. It is celebrated in the strength we build and the calm we accept.





Stall falls.

It is not new for me to say that yoga done seated in a chair or on a mat on the floor, can help build strength and balance. 

Of course I recommend yoga practice. And also be aware; be careful and be smart.

I recommend the following article:

Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation


Please read this important article.

And consider the following study too!

Yoga for Prevention of Fall
 by Kathleen K Kelley*
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac University, USA

Shells supported in the sand

Shells supported in the sand


More soon.


One of my most dedicated yoga students is a beautiful woman, well into her nineties. During class, she sits in a chair right in front of me, insistlng on following every word and movement. Her regular attendance is with determination. The strength of her intention to keep to a yoga practice is doubtless. Recently, at the start of class she mentioned to me that a hip felt a little sore. 

"Well, take it easy." I told her. " You know what to do."

After class she smiled broadly, eyes twinkiing, "You cured me!" She laughed.

Well, I think we did that together.

Sometimes she leaves class a minute or two early, and she always apologizes in advance for this.

"I have to get to my bridge game," she says.


Mr. Iyengar

B. K. S. Iyengar died yesterday at the age of 95.

The Iyengar style of yoga practice is in his name. 

As I began a dedicated study of yoga, my teachers were those who came from the Iyengar tradition. They were students of Mr. Iyengar.

He was always referrred to as Mr. Iyengar, always with the utmost respect.

I learned the great value of the precision of alignment in  yoga asana, posture.  I learned about this precision as the foundation of strength that comes from the practice.

I learned about breath.

Coming from ancient writings,  and as taught by Mr. Iyengar, I came to appreciate a most important lesson.

Yoga is the quieting of the fluctuations of the mind.




Chair yoga celebrated.

Just a reminder: We can sit with yoga!

The chair is support. The chair is a tool. The chair offers us assistance to experience yoga and to breathe and move into the yoga postures in ways that are most beneficial to us.

In an online article published on YOGA, Ann Pizer discusses the benefits of yoga for seniors.

Go to the link! Nice to see the kind of work I do discussed here.

Chair yoga is gaining more and more recognition.

Turn to it!

Find support!


Yoga. Exercise.

We are our minds and our bodies.

An inspiring story of teaching and learning and love.

A Chiseled Bodybuilder, Frail Clients and a Fitness Story for the Ages

By LOUIE LAZAR JUNE 20, 2014 New York Times

Click to read this.  Here.

And please view the video.   Video.


"Yoga, on a chair?"


Yoga, on a chair? Yes.

We often see images of yoga postures done by those with the luck of great flexibilty, or great strength. We may imagine that yoga is an unattainable, extreme physical practice.

Strength and flexibility can be gained over time,  with benefit to our bodies. But it is important to remember that yoga, as defined as breath in partnership with movement, is most valuable as a method for quieting the chatter of our minds.

What does that mean? In a moment with breath, the chin is level with the floor; the top of the head is called gently up to the sky lengthening the upper body; the chest is open; arms are long at our sides; our palms face forward softly opening our shoulders; our feet press into the earth. We inhale here to lengthen the spine, gently pulling the naval in.

Exhale.  Strength in tadasana,  mountain pose. We are seated on a chair.

The yoga is attention to these directions. And in that moment, the details of everything else soften.

Yoga,  on a chair.   


"Chair Yoga at Work"


Long days sitting at work?

Try this wise direction from my teacher, Lakshmi Voelker, founder of "Get Fit Where You Sit."

Lakshmi says:


It is common to spend hours upon hours on your chair at your desk doing your job, especially with the popularity of the computer.  The time just slips by as your body fills with stress and fatigue.  Only when you finally get up to get something to eat, to go to the bathroom, or to attend a meeting, do you realize that your body has become a tight rubber band and your mind is dull.  If, every few hours, you do the spinal movements and focus on our inhaling and exhaling breath for just a few minutes, your body/mind stays alert and flexible.

While in the office you can incorporate chair yoga poses throughout the day without anyone even noticing.  A few simple spinal movements, a lower back circle, facial and eye movements, wrist and ankle rotations, deep breathing techniques–replacing things like coffee and sugar.  Production goes up, self-esteem goes up, and weight goes down.  (Chair yoga at the office has positive effects on carpal-tunnel syndrome.)  All this benefits you and makes your employer smile.


For more,  please visit Lakshmi Voelker's "Get Fit Where You Sit" website.  Click here.

Injury. Opportunity.

Life happens, and something hurts.  A bump. A pull. An ache of mysterious origin.

As we approach our yoga practice with a physical injury,  we have special needs. We need to take care to avoid pain. We need to avoid further injury.We need to be able to continue to practice.

We need to remember to know the difference between sensation and pain. This is a common direction in yoga.  We always need to be aware of that balance.

Injury as opportunity? Yes. It offers a chance to pay special attention.

In time of healing we can strengthen our understanding of the limitations posed, but we can also discover other strengths.  First of all, we can discover patience. 



"Say, Ahhhh. Say, Ommm..."

I have recently learned about an organization based in the Washington DC metropolitan area called "LifeinYoga." It is a non-profit, teaching and research organization.

According to the Kaiser Health News Organization, in an article published online on February 26, 2014,  LifeInYoga presents continuing medical education courses, on the health benefits of yoga practice, to physicians and other health care professionals.  Regarding a recent session, attendees reported their impressions.

"And at the end of the course, the students -- a group that included cardiologists, psychiatrists, and physician assistants -- stood up to speak about their experiences over the weekend. Almost every person used the word inspired."

In the Kaiser Health News Publication,  Ankita Rao reports on the efforts made by LifeinYoga.

Please read about this fascinating work by clicking here.




We begin to breathe from the moment we are born. It is simply automatic. The sanskrit word for breath is prana. It is translated as "life force."

Practicing yoga offers the opportunity to notice and appreciate breath. Breathing is the natural cycle that offers us the rhythm for our movement. Every inhalation  is followed by an exhalation, and again and again and again in a natural cycle.

I think about the seasons. I think about the ocean. I think about the cycles of life.




We are in the midst of a strong, snowy winter here in the Northeast. There is much ice. 

Our seated yoga practice is full of work done to build strength, which helps with balance. 

Embrace the efforts made to build strength for balance, but in facing that glistening surface, it's important to respect the limitations posed by slippery walk-ways.

That's the yoga, finding balance in effort and limits.

And hang in there. Spring will come!





Travel with yoga, and roar.

Today I was lucky enough to share a yoga practice with my friend Marianne.

Marianne is 15 years old and travels by wheelchair.  I invite you to read about Marianne and her family.

Visit,  the wonderful blog written by Marianne's mom, detailing experiences they have getting around, near and far.

Marianne and I talked about yoga history and the importance of breath. We flowed through a gentle sequence of yoga postures including lions' breaths and laughter. 


What's a Lion's Breath?

Read this article from

11 Benefits of Lion’s Breath

Sep 13, 2012

Okay, I’ll admit it. Lion’s Breath looks a little silly, but you have to just suck it up and get over it.

Lion’s Breath with Gigi Yogini

Lion’s Breath (Simhasana) is an invigorating and liberating Pranayama technique that can be practiced anywhere and anytime (as long as you don’t mind spectators!). Incorporate a few rounds of this breath into your day to uplift your energy and release negative accumulations. Plus, soak up some extra juicy benefits.

Lion’s Breath Incentives

  1. Boosts vitality
  2. Enhances circulation
  3. Relieves neck, jaw, chest, and face tension
  4. Fortifies voice
  5. Provides headache relief
  6. Promotes a healthy, open throat chakra (Visuddha)
  7. Enhances self-expression
  8. Tones the platysma muscle that controls the front of the throat
  9. Increases confidence
  10. Releases stress, fatigue, and negativity
  11. Relieves TMJ


Read more:

Do the twist.

Some yoga teachers describe the benefits of twisting poses in terms of wringing and rinsing the internal organs.

Julie Gudmestad, physical therapist and yoga instructor, presents the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar in a column about twists. (

"Indian yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar describes twists as a "squeeze-and-soak" action: The organs are compressed during a twist, pushing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When we release the twist, fresh blood flows in, carrying oxygen and the building blocks for tissue healing. So from the physiological standpoint, twists stimulate circulation and have a cleansing and refreshing effect on the torso organs and associated glands."


I appreciate twists.

I feel invigorated in a twist.

I believe that practicing twists over time will lead to better spine health and stronger abdominal muscles.

I embrace the notion of the cleansing nature of twists at least as metaphorical; as a way to understand that the mind/body efforts of yoga are beneficial in both measureable and immeasureable ways.




Let go.

In class, I often include a series of movements linked to the notion of intentionally sending away something we would be better off without-- a worry or concern. 

It is described in terms of the movement of archery.

A sweet student sent me the attached photo, with reference to our practice.




2013-12-27 11.26.36.jpg

Preventing Falls

Outside my kitchen window it is quite cold and the ground is covered with snow. This is not unusual for New England in December. It can be lovely, sparkly and magical. But it is also time to remember to take care.

Along with snow and cold, of course comes ice. Please be careful when walking outside.

Yoga practice helps with strength and balance, but ice is a challange to both.

Click here to read this blogpost from Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, which outlines some helpful tips for preventing falls outside in winter. 

Be mindful.


Yoga and Arthritis

An article published by the Arthritis Foundation in their online publication "Arthritis Today," offers a discussion of yoga as a means of exercise for people with the condition.

In the article, by Susan Bernstein, Dr. Sharon Kolasinski of the University of Pennsylvania is quoted as saying,  “Yoga is definitely one option for patients with arthritis, but it also has benefits in the mind/body area. Yoga helps you relax and helps with stress reduction.” 

As I read the article, I am reminded to be sensitive to the limitations arthritis may present. But I am also encouraged by this endorsement. 

"Scientists are just beginning to examine yoga’s physical and mental benefits. A number of recent studies, including some conducted by Dr. Kolasinski, show that regular yoga practice can reduce pain and improve function in people with arthritis. With its gentle stretches and weight-bearing resistance moves, yoga can help build muscle strength and improve balance and posture."

I believe that the benefits of yoga are not reached by pushing beyond our limits. The benefits of yoga are reached by understanding the balance of effort and availability.