Try Yoga Free.

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Photo credit: Go Interactive Wellness

One of my goals for 2013 was to begin teaching yoga again.

Lucky for me, a brand new studio with good floors, vintage chandeliers and fairy lights opened up five minutes from my house. Last week I taught my first class in more than a year. The practice is shaking off dust, greasing a creaky joint or two and shedding light on corners I’ve let grow dark and cold.

People often say, ‘I can’t do yoga because I’m stiff,’ but that’s like saying, ‘I can’t go to dinner because I’m hungry.’ If you made a New Years Resolution to try yoga, come see me at Serenity Yoga in Mineola. Your first class is free. Or if you want to try at home first, visit:

Do Yoga With Me -A solid resource, chock full of free yoga classes, taught by good practitioners – some in lovely seaside locations. There are plenty of beginner classes along with anatomy lessons, breathing practices and meditations. All free! You can also purchase dvds to support the site.

mountain yoga

Photo credit: PaddyMurphy

And for my Christian readers who are leery of yoga because of its Hindu roots, please get over it. Yoga isn’t about worship, it’s about mindfulness and practice and growth. Its purpose, as my teacher is fond of saying, is “to impose order on chaos,” to breathe through all manner of stress and challenge; that has practical implications no matter what your faith.

Plus, after a bit of practice, you can stand on your head in stunning alpine locations.

Who doesn’t want to do that?

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The New Year Got You Feeling Pruney?

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“Meh”

I haven’t posted in a few days because my mind has been a stinking, burbling cesspool of negative mental energy and I figured I’d just keep it to myself.

I think New Year’s Day can be harder than people admit. What if you don’t feel eager, motivated and confident about the future? Even my favorite bloggers are bubbling with enthusiasm for the goals they’ve set, the ten pounds they are sure to lose and the sheer excitement to see what Jesus will get up to in 2013.

Me? I’m just…Meh.

And I’m a Christian. I’m supposed to be full of joy regardless of circumstances.

Today, Pastor Dennis nailed what I already suspected was the problem: I’ve run out of gas. I’ve gotten out of my routine and haven’t spent my regular time meditating on the word of God. I’m like a plum that’s dropped to the ground, and absent my connection to the tree, I’m shriveling into prunedom.

Well now, isn’t that a lovely corner to paint yourself into? I got addicted to Jesus and now if I don’t get enough of him I’m a mopey, shriveled up mess. There is no Before Christ available to me anymore.

Making matters worse, I am reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a book about life in the Mumbai slums, which makes for feel guilty for whining because I have literally NOTHING to complain about.

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Thanks Dennis!

But from time to time when I can’t figure out how to act, I remember to look at the gospel and find out what Jesus did. It helps. Today, Pastor Dennis pointed us to Mark 1:35 wherein Jesus got up before the sun, alone, talked to God and waited for direction.

Can it be that simple?

Yes, it can. I know because for two years, I got up at 5:30 and spent two full hours reading the bible and praying before starting my day. That time was arguably the hardest period in my life, yet this practice held things together like a good pair of spanx.

It is no different now. It’s still about practice and without it I get sloppy. Like Dennis said this morning, God is just waiting for me to stop freaking out and lock eyes with Him, so He can remind me what joy is, and how to do it.

I know I can’t do this without God, yet, amazingly, I still try.

Sometimes the New Year isn’t about grand gestures and plans; sometimes it’s just about setting the alarm.