After a bad night, to recover I clear my schedule and take a bath. Or give myself a love rub. Hey, that would be a self-massage!
On my nightstand is a huge stack of books, a scented candle and a feather.
My go-to boredom buster is television.
My favorite wellness drink is coconut water, cacoa powder, almond butter, vanilla extract and a banana.
The snack that uplifts me the most is avocado with cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt on a rice cracker. Love that!
In a crisis, I call one of my dear friends.
My most sacred object is my charm bracelet.
For a guaranteed laugh, I watch John Olivier – finally someone who can make news funny and engaging.
The book that influenced me the most – it’s really hard to say just one. How about 3 – Katherine by Anya Seton, Justine by Lawrence Durrell and The Passion by Jeannette Winterson.
The most beautiful place I’ve ever visited is the Turks & Caicos.
I wish for laughter, side-splitting laughter. I look for it every day.
After finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia August 7, 2001, I struggled to find accessible and applicable help on how to live well with illness. I was determined to prove that wasn’t an oxymoron. That’s why I created Wellspring Stones. As a life-long learner and an avid reader, I assiduously explore ways to help alleviate suffering. My personal mission is to create space for change.
I can throw a fun party without much preparation. I’m wicked good at charades, particularly for those with accents. I try to be a closet romantic but concede that’s not so closeted because I love novels and the turn of a great phrase — especially in poetry.
I value the life of the mind, believe what’s past is prologue, and that the pen is a tool that can, when wielded effectively, confer immortality. I know this because I know the minds of a lot of dead writers. I love imagination.
I graduated Vassar (where, despite my fierce independence, I served as captain of Vassar’s synchronized swimming team). And law school. And a masters in creative writing from Johns Hopkins. Yes, I’m collecting initials after my name, since none have changed before my name. Oh and I have a RYT, too. That’d be a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. For my 50th birthday year, I’m plan to immerse myself again in yoga training and complete 300 additional hours.
My truer than true cliché is my belief that yoga saved my life. I don’t care if its a cliché. Because it did. I believe in yoga’s power, and that’s why I became a yoga teacher. That was harder than law school.
Yeah, my mom didn’t believe that either.
Here’s why: yoga training is a face plant into life scariest truths: vulnerability and uncertainty. And I grew a courageous, nuanced and powerful kind of strength, very different than the force of law. A whole new world opened up before me, and then in me. I grew to value the vitality of the body.
One translation of a yoga teacher is a darkness dispeller. I love that because yoga dissipated so much darkness for me. I want to dispel darkness for others. I bring a sensitivity and intuition to my teaching that helps me to help others.
I live in Washington DC, partly because I love discussing politics with the smartest cab drivers anywhere. They can debate not only because they listen to NPR all day but often have advanced degrees from universities in other countries. I learn a lot – information is in the air here and the currency. And I love learning. Books invade my home (for some reason!) – especially historical novels, biographies of fascinating women and poetry.
I love the arts and politics, and my first job after college combined the two at the Congressional Arts Caucus (back when Mapplethorpe made public funding of the arts hard). And I also love PBS and adored working there using my law degree to guide producers to conform to the very narrow (and not very dynamic) set of laws ruling the use of public money. The best part about working there were the committed, super smart people I worked with and the ability to borrow screening tapes to watch programs before broadcast. Loved that!
Born in Evanston, Illinois, I grew up in Summit, New Jersey, a small town high on a hill overlooking New York City. I studied at a Catholic girls school with some awesome nuns, danced ballet as much as I could and read historical novels the rest of the time. Favorites include Norah Lofts, Anya Seton, MM Kaye and Jean Plaidy. At one point I planned to read the entire fiction section of my town’s library. I got up to author Madeline Brent.
I’m favored to have the best friends ever! Including a bigger and better group of Vassar grads than Mary McCarthy. And lucky to have a great family with the most intelligent, most talented, and most beautiful 9 nieces and nephews anywhere!
I love and miss you mom, and dear Aunt Monica and my first yoga teacher, Savitri. Thank you for all the mama blessings you still share with me. I hope to continue to honor your legacies.
Second, David Shulman. The man who introduced me to yoga. Who’d have thought that our meeting in Italy would have brought on all of this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
My long time friend and teacher Juliana Fair, an awesome Aussie mate and incredible Iyengar teacher. My personal teacher since 1999, I am beyond grateful to her for her massive knowledge, caring touch and stunning soul. She’s a rock. And very funny.
I thank Cyndi Lee and David Nichtern. Their 2002 retreat changed my life and started me on this path. As Founder and Director of OM Yoga Center, Cyndi created a special place – physical and spiritual. OM will always be a part of my psychic home. I urge you to check out Cyndi Lee and David Nichtern – both beautiful souls with generous gifts.
The extraordinary trainers at Om Yoga Center including Jennifer Brilliant, Christie Clark, Jason Ray Brown and Joe Miller were generous in their knowledge, dedication, time and support. They inspire and challenge me still. Other OM teachers Margi Young, Mary Lemmon and Lippy Orem offered encouragement, motivation and stimulation. I’m indebted to them as well.
My fellow teacher trainees, especially Paige Chapman, Kate Hanley, Natalie Levin, Alexis Lloyd, Coleen Ellis Maguire, Angela Ortiz, Elizabeth Shammash, Kim Stetz, Shayna Samuels Turner and Ana Marie Velasco were absolutely integral to my development as a teacher. They each were and remain invaluable companions on this journey to bring the benefits of yoga to others. All that I am able to bring to you is due to each of them.
My current influencers include Elena Brower whose book The Art of Attention is a treasure. Her healing retreat as well as her workshop in DC re-engaged my heart and soul. I’ve long been a fan, and she first spoke aloud in public Wellspring Stones. I’m tickled that she made it manifest for me that way. Shiva Rea also inspires and her contributions to vinyasa are immeasurable. She’s smart, knowledgeable and generous and I love her music and dance influences too. I look forward to learning more. And the beautiful group of folks here locally at Flow Yoga Center including the founders Debra Person Mishalove and Ian Mishalove as well as Maggie Grant and Jessica Lazar and Greg Marzullo. I feel so lucky to have you close!