Be Kind to Yourself – Opening your Heart

Supported Fish Pose

Supported Fish Pose

Are you compassionate with yourself? It is not always easy. We tend to be even harder on ourselves than we are with other people.

I took karate for many years but then stopped because of a knee injury. It ended up being a break of about 10 years. Last year I decided to get back into martial arts.

I was not the same person that I was  back then! Physically I didn’t have the same strength or stamina. But the hardest thing was the mental game. I used to feel like the dojo was my second home. I knew everyone, was comfortable in my body and I knew the moves. [Read more...]

Bring on Kindness and Compassion

DadRecently I reconnected with a childhood friend on Facebook. He had been a member of my dad’s Scout troop. I remember my dad talking about him very fondly.

My friend shared with me that my dad had a huge impact on his life and that it was from him that he learned what real dads were like. It turns out that his own dad was not a very nice guy at all, something that I didn’t realize at the time. [Read more...]

De Profundis


Yesterday I saw one of those horrifying videos of an American cop savagely beating up a woman, and another casually spraying Mace into the eyes of a terrified little girl. My inner rage-beast was instantly hooked; I inwardly snarled, “Of COURSE it’s a white cop beating up on black women and children.”

Then I caught myself. The fascist impulse, of course, has nothing to do with race, nationality or religion. 20th century fascism was not exclusively German, Italian or Japanese (although it was in those countries that it took hold most firmly). The impulse is part of the shadow side of humanity, the side that’s comfortable with the concept of Homo homini lupus (“Man is wolf to man”). It’s every bit as universal as the altruistic impulse and the instinct to protect the innocent. [Read more...]

A Fantasy Tribute to Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsRobin Williams was a seemingly unstoppable force of nature; one is tempted to say supernature in his case. He seems to have been an open conduit for a thousand voices and another thousand personalities.

Conduits trafficked that heavily have a way of giving out under the load.

It seems that genius often consumes its weight in mental stability. How can we know the insistence, the seductiveness, the irresistibility of the inner voices that drive an individual to self-destruction? Highly unusual individuals such as Vincent Van Gogh and Robin Williams? Perhaps genius–such a rare phenomonon in Homo Sapiens–takes more than most humans can give at this phase of our evolution. It certainly leaves a great many casualties in its wake. [Read more...]

Breath of Joy Will Make You Smile

Breath of Joy

Laughing … my son told me I looked funny doing Breath of Joy!

These past few weeks I have been talking about the challenge of starting and maintaining a home yoga practice. Some things that have really helped me have been figuring out why I really want to practice and also having a plan. Last week I shared a simple yoga sequence that I have been using. I hope you had a chance to look at it and maybe even try it out!

A few days ago Violette wrote to me and mentioned that she had just learned Breath of Joy and thought it would be a nice addition to our yoga sequence.

Great idea! I haven’t done this particular breath practice in a while and was so happy to be reminded of it.

I first learned Breath of Joy when I did my 200-hour yoga teacher training and loved it from the start. It is energizing and uplifting and it really will make you smile. It is a wonderful way to add vitality to your morning yoga practice (or anytime really…!) [Read more...]