two kinds of people…

world-renowned social scientist that i am, i have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in the world. yes. just two.

a bit of background…

for those of you who have not been to my classes (why haven’t you been to one of my classes???), they are hard. as in, damn hard. like, really damn hard. the kind of classes that many people would classify as “not for everyone”.

but i disagree.

i believe my classes are for precisely everyone. everyone who wants to test their limits, find their edges, and drop their egos.

when new people come to one of my yoga classes, they see some very advanced practitioners. and here is where the wheat separates from the chaff. there are those who look at these stud muffins and come out feeling inspired. and there are those who watch them in amazement and come out feeling belittled.

of course, those who feel inspired come back week after week, chipping away at their weaknesses and challenges, getting stronger and stronger in their practice until one day they are the ones that newbies watch with dropped jaws. ironically, these are often the students who come in with the most beginnery-beginner practices. they start with nothing and stick it out until they have it all.

then there are the rest…sadly, accounting for most. they watch people handstanding and backbending and touching feet to all sorts of body parts they wouldn’t normally touch…and they freak out, deciding they will never be that person. they give up in frustration. usually after just one class.

you’ve heard the story about the caterpillar, haven’t you? here it is:


and so, i ask you. are you willing to die as a caterpillar or do you hope to one day fly like a butterfly? because it doesn’t happen by sitting in a cocoon.

the hardest part about coming to a hard class is coming back. from there, it’s all downhill (in a good way) and then up, up and away!

instagram has ruined my yoga practice!

i love instagram. i hate instagram. ugh! instagram!

instagram was not made for yogis over 40. or yoginis, for that matter.


can you see the joy and ease on my face?

you may think i’m saying this because i’m not as pretty as the hot, young girls yoga posing on instagram. or maybe because i’m not as sexy. true…i’m neither as pretty or sexy. or popular, for that matter. see above.

but those are not the reasons why instagram is for young people.

oh…and it has nothing to do with technology moving so fast, i can’t keep up with it. though, i can’t. (what is the point of snapchat, exactly? and what is a vine anyway?)

yeah, being the old woman in the game (45!) means that i still have to post every day. it still has to be cool pix of awesome poses. i’m blessed that i can still do a lot of truly awesome poses at my advanced age, and i love experimenting and trying new stuff each day.


when i was younger–say, in my 30’s–i could do any pose without warming up. want me to show you how to drop back into backbend, through handstand to standing? no problem. badda-boom-badda-bing. leg behind the head arm balances? in my sleep. twisting like “the exorcist”. sure, no problem!

img_4493not any more.

honestly, i can still do all the stuff now that i could do back then, but now i can only do it warm. like, really warm.

and, so, posting on instagram every day means shooting photos an hour into my practice. during the heat, before the cool down. which means that in the middle of my practice, i need to get my phone, set up the shots, check the lighting, the position of my mat, get everything just right (or as just right as any media i partake in ever gets…which is never quite just right) and shoot.

my daily practice, which used to be so focused and concentrated is now punctuated by this weird social media diversion that completely takes me out of my mental game.

social media is convinced that yoga is purely physical. it’s all about the poses. but i have to say that all this focus on the external has really compromised my internal practice. it’s sad and it’s a real loss for me, but do you really just want to see photos of me lying around in savasana each day? because at least that’s a pose i can do without warming up.

Greedy Yoga

We live in an instant gratification society. Text messages, microwave ovens, teletransportation. Okay…we don’t have teletransportation yet. But, admit it, you’d take it if we did.

Everyone wants everything and they want it today. Yesterday.

In yoga, this is a problem.

Practitioners have become greedy in their practice. Wherein yoga was once a holistic, lifelong practice of patience and evolution, today–more than anything–it’s just a physical workout that seeks immediate results and egotistical gratification.

Let’s pretend this is not an issue in regards to the yoga tradition and philosophy of mental and spiritual dedication and discipline. As if yoga were, in fact, nothing but the practice of asana. Instagram would like you to believe that anyway. And Instagram rules! So…

Say hello to Mr. Chiropractor. Or, if you’re lucky, Mr. Orthopedist.

Your asana practice is meant to unfold over time. Not overnight.

So many yoga practitioners (you can’t really call them yogi/nis) these days are so eager to just nail their poses that they force themselves into things they have no business being in. It’s like applying to be CEO when you haven’t even qualified for the mailroom. You may get lucky and get the job, but there’s a really good chance you’re going to crap it up.

Patience, I hear, is a virtue. Everything in good time.

If you are practicing your asanas with the sole goal of accomplishment with no mind for form, safety, or–well–mindfulness, you are not only not doing yourself any favors. Not only asking (practically begging) for injuries. But, quite frankly, you are not even practicing yoga.

Aparigraha, or non-greed, is one of the yamas of the Astanga. It’s sort of important.

Greed takes many forms, but always comes back to the basic kernel: taking what is not yours.

If you haven’t done the work, if you haven’t practiced with sound mechanics, if you haven’t earned that badge, no wine before its time.

Build a foundation. Start with the basics. Master them. Build upon them. Evolve.

Even the most complex yoga poses rely on your comfort with the fundamentals. The only part of you that needs to push so far beyond where you are ready to go is your ego. And it’s time to let go of that shit.

Getting to the Core with Sadie Nardini

On October 5-6, the inimitable Sadie Nardini will be gracing the stage of the MINDBODY BOLD Conference in Los Angeles. Such a deliciously unique yogini. Think Sid Vicious meets the Dalai Lama…in female form. Sadie marches to the beat of her own (punk) drummer and looks at yoga and life (isn’t yoga life afterall?) in a way that is intelligent, open, and totally accessible.

I had the honor of interviewing this maverick of the yoga mat and I know you will be as blown away and inspired by her responses at I am.

  1. You have a unique story about how you came to yoga. Can you tell me a bit about the circumstances that led you to yoga and how it helped you heal?

When I was a teenager, I was standing in the shallow end of a public swimming pool, and a big guy cannonball-jumped on my head from the side of the pool. It dislocated my spine in 3 places seriously and caused damage to my spinal cord. For a few years I was partially paralyzed, unable to control my breathing, and weak as hell. I had to fight for 10 years just to be a viable member of society, and yoga helped me to overcome the diagnosis doctors gave me, which was to invest in a wheelchair, because I was too far gone to probably ever heal. 

  1. You use food and diet as tools to empower your life. What are the cornerstones of the diet that you follow?

Well, I’m French, Italian and Native American by heritage, so I tend towards a whole-food version of those cultures. Some yogis are shocked when I say I love red meat and drink wine, and then of course, there are the fries…and butter….but most of my tribe of yoga and music lovers know that I recommend that whatever one is eating, they keep it clean. All of the most long-living, healthy populations in the world eat a balanced, local, fresh and mostly organic or naturally-grown diet including meat, cheese, wine, veggies, fruits, nuts and some grains.

But for me, when people ask me what my diet type is, I say “Sadietarian”. We all have something called ‘biochemical individuality’, and most people know deep down what diet is best for them uniquely. The problem is, we have often developed this ‘yogier-than-thou” attitude in the yoga community that tries to use individual ideas of morality to tell everyone else how they should eat, how they should practice yoga, how they should (or mostly, shouldn’t) be “yogic”. I say, hey–whatever gets you through this life with a little more conscious behavior, and tries to help the world while also helping and healing yourself is a pretty good balance to strike. Even if that way contains tofu. I don’t judge.

  1. I always say, no matter what the question, the answer is core. How do you define core for your Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga?

Haha! Love it. I also think that all roads lead to the core. But what the core is tends to be an area of partial knowledge for many yoga practitioners, including me, 10 years ago! So I studied for a decade with some of the top anatomy and biomechanics of yoga masters, and discovered a whole new world of what we now know is the whole body Core. Almost no yoga student or even teacher knows what it is, or can instruct through it in order, so I bring that teaching to people of any yoga style! It’s amazing to illuminate it for them, and have people realize that the way they have been craving to move in yoga but weren’t taught to, is actually the way we are born to move!

PS: On another, equally as important Core note, I’m at my local LA restaurant right now, having a Pinot Grigio and seltzer (separately), and the bartender and I are talking about relationships, and how she has been through a lot of toxic interactions and disappointment lately around them. I asked her, “what part of your own inner relationship is still toxic and disappointing?” and she knew the answers right away. I invited her to move into a period of time, at least 40 days, where she allowed no one else to try and fix her, but that she refocus on having a fun, creative and more healthful love affair with herself. Because once we learn to respect, love and honor ourselves within the Core Relationship, all others will transform as if by magic. I know. I met my soulmate and married him, but only after I righted my own Self, from the core, out.

  1. It’s clear that you take a comprehensive mind-body approach to health and wellness. If you had to choose one “tool” to help people to get past their mental blocks and challenges, what would it be?

Honestly? I would recognize that the mind makes an awesome secretary, but a horrible boss. I ignore most of what my mind says, if it’s making me anxious. I use another part of me, in place of my mind, called the Witness. Here’s how I get there:

My Sitting in Steve Meditation:

There’s a calm, quiet, place inside of you, and if you:

1) Close your eyes, and imagine you’re sitting in a comfy chair (I named mine Steve…no idea why), in a comfy, safe room, just chilling, and

2) Outside the door, your thoughts are happening, and other people’s choices are going on, and your emotions are flowing in and out like the tide, but that’s all outside your peaceful room, then

3) You can find and more easily sink into that Witness place, into your comfy chair, whenever you, or your mind lies to you and tells you that there’s anything to lose, or anything to be afraid of. Remember all your clarity and potential, and make your decisions from a clear and loving heart and core.

  1. You have dedicated your practice to inspiring others to positively change their minds, bodies and lives. So, what inspires you to be your best every day?

Suffering inspires me. I don’t like to do it, and I don’t like to see other people doing it, either.  That’s pretty much it.

  1. You’ll be talking about business and leadership success at the upcoming BOLD Conference in Los Angeles. Can you give me a quick sneak peak at one or two of your strategies for building a successful yoga business?

I won’t share any of the 10 Core Strategies to Success, because they each build on one another, and so they don’t make sense except in relationship, however, I can tell you that all successful business–and abundance in any way in life, relationship, finances, creativity and health– comes from the Core of a Leader, or individual who creates anything out into the world–and I will be inviting the leaders (and we all are one, in our own ways), to investigate where they are resonating off alignment with their stated goals, since we know that true success can’t come to people if they are not participating in it between them and themselves…and how to get back on track, fast. I look forward to expanding more on this with the attendees of the MINDBODY Bold conference.

Want to catch Sadie at the BOLD (oh…and Deepak Chopra and Jillian Michaels, too)? Please visit for registration and more information. See you there!

there are options

so…you say you really, really want to take my 200-hour teacher training, but you can’t afford it.

hey! there are options!

have you considered selling your organs? i’m sure you already know that you don’t need that second kidney. and your gall bladder…what does that thing do, anyway? have a gold tooth? you can melt that and sell it. there are even people out there who need new toes. maybe just a little pinkie toe?

or…if selling body parts is too gruesome, have you considered selling your actual body? you know what i mean. prostitution. if you look like most of the yogi/nis on instagram, certainly you could sell yourself on the street corner for a little while. over the course of the month before training, you’re sure to be worth at least $2500.organs

oh, you say you have too much respect for your body to do that? good for you! that is an important quality in a yogi/ni. ahimsa with a smattering of brahmacharya thrown in. good call. how about selling someone else, then? your firstborn? if s/he is young and cute, there are millions of loving parents out there who cannot have children of their own and would love and cherish yours if you were willing to sell.

but if you like (or even love) the little bugger, that might not be your best option. how about stealing the money from your mother’s underwear drawer? you know…that little wad that is crammed between the old pair of granny-pants with no more elastic and one lost ped sock from the 80s?

right…then there’s asteya. non-stealing. don’t do that. don’t steal from mom.

perhaps, though, to steal from a big bank would be okay. i mean, they’re such jerks anyway. remember that whole housing crisis thing? they did that! certainly they wouldn’t miss $2500. in fact, make it $3000, so you can buy some cool yoga pants, too.

not the rob-a-bank type? okay…so how about this…

you can borrow from a family member, a friend, or even (gulp) a bank. there’s credit and there are payment plans. you can drink less alcohol, do your own manicures, clean your own home.

or…you can just pay and know it will all come back in enormous dividends over the course of your career. usually, not committing to training is more about not wanting to spend the money vs. actually not having it. if you earn even just $25,000 a year for ten years as a yoga instructor (and chances are that you will earn a lot more), then you just earned back your investment 100 times over.

all i’m saying is: there are options.

if  you really want something, just make it happen.

asana’s worst enemy

if you’re like most people on earth, you probably spend a good part of your life sitting around. sitting at the computer, at meals, while driving, watching tv, hanging out on the toilet, and whatever else you sit around and do.

and this may or may not come as a shocker to you, but sitting around is one of the worst things you can do for your health and your yoga practice. the biggest culprit, of course, being sitting at work (unless you’re one of those people who spends most of your time sitting around in the bathroom).

as a dedicated yogini who spends way too much time at my computer (like now, for example), i can tell you that sitting causes your hamstrings to tighten, which also has negative repercussions for your poor little low back.

but there are other risks that come with a very sitty, sedentary lifestyle such as increased risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and, according to the mayo clinic, even cancer. nuts Workplace Hacks

hold on one second…i need to get up and stretch…

okay. i’m back. and my back is happy and back in action.

it didn’t take much!

simply getting up once an hour (or, in my case about every fifteen minutes) and doing a stretch or two–or taking a little stroll around the office–helps to fend off the tightness and illness that sitting can bring on.

wondering what stretches you can do in heels and a dress, or a formal business suit?

well, i’m not talking full wheel here. think things like interlacing your hands behind your back and lifting up your arms to open the thoracic spine, doing wrist circles to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome, or just drop and do ten. joking about the ten…sort of…

two super-easy ways to keep active during the workday: always take the stairs instead of the elevator, and whenever possible, walk to your coworker’s desk instead of emailing when you need to talk to them.

once you’ve got the movement habit down, don’t forget to maintain strong posture at your desk. it’s so much easier to slump than sit up straight. and there’s a reason for that. sitting up straight requires muscles. core and lower back in particular. that’s good news and bad news.

bad because it does mean that posture takes work–and who wants work and work? but good because you are actually strengthening your core as you sit…and you have the added benefit of long-term stability for your lower back.

in my estimable opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. so, watch that posture! until it becomes a habit, consider setting reminders on your phone or computer…sort of like your mom, but without all the guilt.

so, that’s all fine and good, but perhaps the hardest part of spending a day at the office is all the bad, unhealthful, but oh-so-yummy food that’s lying around.

your first line of defense is a great offense.


healthy vegan truffles! recipe at!

your offensive team:

  • water. and lots of it. not only is it the healthiest thing in the world for you, but it also fills you up so you aren’t so hungry for all that other stuff.
  • healthy lunch. going out for lunch–or even worse, eating at a cafeteria–often leaves you without many fresh, healthy options. pack your own and you always know you are getting something nutritious.
  • healthy snacks. forget the chocolate, cookies, doughnuts and pastries that seem to be ubiquitous around every workspace. but you don’t have to forget to snack. snacking is a great way to keep your energy–and your metabolism–in peak condition. check out’s healthy snacks page for all sorts of awesome recipes (including vegan ones!) that i would totally make if i ever stepped foot in a kitchen or could boil water without burning it.

and now,  you are armed and dangerous! ready for anything that comes your way! full wheel anyone?


E.T. Phone Home!

When I was a kid I was completely traumatized when a mean girl at camp saw my legs dangling over the side of the bunk bed and squealed loudly “Oh my God! You have ET feet!”

All in all, it was a very unimportant event in the history of my very eventful life, but somehow I still remember it to this day.


Some small (in many ways) and insignificant person said something mean to me 30 years ago and I’m actually taking time to write a blog about it today???

Well, I’m not writing for the reason you may think.feet

I’m not writing because it traumatized me for life and I can finally look at my feet again and say “I love you.”

I’m writing because this story tells a lot about us as human beings (or extraterrestrials, as the case may be) and how we react to criticism.

When someone says something mean to us, we cringe, get ashamed, take it deeply to heart, maybe carry it with us the rest of our lives. People who are told they are fat when they are teens tend to see themselves that way for their whole adulthoods…regardless of how thin they may get. Those who are told they are stupid or unable tend to underperform because they believe it.

And here is the irony: if someone says something kind to us, we dismiss it, hem and haw, deflect and say they’re just being nice. Compliments fall by the wayside like old tissues, only to be swept up by our insecurities and fears again.

Why do we do this?

Instead of dismissing the nice people as just being nice, how about we start dismissing the mean ones as just being mean? And instead of taking the insults to heart, how about we internalize the compliments?

Our lives would be so much better, so much more enriched, if we allowed ourselves to be empowered by others’ words instead of broken down by them.

I’m not talking about constructive criticism, of course. That should always be taken to heart and we all have room to improve. But it’s time we owned our beauty and our talents and our brains and our all around awesomeness so no one can ever take that away.