Into the Exhale

Much attention is spent on the breath in a yoga class.  Vinyasa Flow is focused on movement with breath.  Each posture is paired with either an inhale or an exhale.  Every so often we remain in a posture for 2, 3 or 5 complete breaths, but movement with breath is the intent.

I have begun to truly notice my exhale.  In times of stress it seems almost double in length to my inhale.  Knowing what I do about the experience of yoga I know that forward folds are always practiced on the exhale which allows the lungs to empty and release toxins.  And yet, I know the lovely sound of wind instruments is created by the exhale.  In fact, it is the exhale that drives the heavenly sound of the trumpet Chris Botti plays.

I also know that the very last thing I will do on this earth is exhale.

So the value of the observation is this; if heaven (Or for me, the presence of my Higher Power) is where I am to return at the end of this life, then maybe the exhale is more relevant than anything else I do!  Perhaps one must be in the process of releasing in order to experience the goodness of my Higher Power.

For me, the practice of yoga is synonymous with release.  True release allows for the creation of space for something new and good to enter.

Get into your exhale and be grateful!

Jennie Ray Hart,
October 24, 2013

Do Over

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” -Carl Bard


A few years ago I decided it was a good idea to shed what was no longer serving my higher purpose.  One of the things I “shed” was my reliance on alcohol.  I’d seen my brother live without alcohol but really did not have many other examples of sobriety in my life.  While he is the strongest man I knew (and still is), I foolishly felt that if he could do it, so could I!

Just as a new posture on the mat takes time to develop, so did my “new” life.  I began living a more health-full lifestyle.  I continued to “shed” and found there were a few other things that needed to be released for my life to feel truly balanced.  I found myself in a more peaceful place.  This new life journey began and was FULL of goodness.

So, I offered myself a celebratory glass of wine!!

Then in September 2015 the moment came again of realizing that I needed to start again.  I needed a do-over.  In December 2016 I found myself to be a very “dry drunk” and knew more, MUCH more, needed to happen. I needed ANOTHER do-over!

I started from the very unfortunate position I was in and found a 12 Step Program.

With new tools in hand and a wonderful new studio nearby (Humble Haven Yoga) I began practicing with my “do over” self and a new appreciation for just how simple and yet, how difficult it can be to create a “new ending”.


Help is NOT on the way

“If you are finding it hard to access ease in this posture…don’t worry…help is not on the way”  -Kirsten Mooney

While on a trip in 2014 to Naples, Florida I was fortunate to practice at a studio by the name Bala Vinyasa Yoga.  Bala VInyasa was a studio inspired by the Baron Baptiste form of Hot Power Yoga.  The classes there were the most challenging I’d ever taken!  I always left having given it my all and truly feeling “the burn”.

I am a “sit with it” yogini who believes that in time, and with practice, the inaccessible poses may become less so.  After all, it is easy to become injured if we push ourselves beyond our edge.

Does it sound as if I am relaying two different messages?  Practice Power yoga ie. “feel the burn”, but at the same time find ease and allow your body the grace to meet it’s edge when it is ready?

I AM!!!!

This is the “work” of yoga for me.  It is finding the balance between effort and ease.  It is recognizing that this very work must be done on and off of my mat.  If I push too hard, then things will break.  The “work” is accepting that the “help” I may seek in challenge is my own to provide.  I do have it within me to be both courageous and strong but also gentle and graceful.

Maybe this is your “work” too?  Perhaps in struggle you can go inward and find peace.  Know this, YOU CAN!!!   We all have the tools we need to find balance.  This work is our own to do.  No one is on the way to rescue us…we are our own best teachers.




Dive In


There are things we may need to pretend not to know about ourselves in order to make space for change in our lives.  New beginnings require us to “dig deep” and “dive in” to what IS rather than what we anticipated or thought might be. More succinctly, some times we have to live what we want to become.

When I was 50 lbs. heavier, I had to go deeper into my core to believe myself to be a more active person.  When I was a very heavy drinker, I had to believe myself to be a more sober person in order to become one.  When I was a budding yogi (which I would argue I still am!) I had to allow myself to live as a yogi in body, mind and spirit in order to find my own truth.

It’s been said that “we have to start from the unflattering position of where we are”.

Take inventory. Take note.  Aware yourself of exactly and precisely where you are in this moment.  In order to know who you want to become you must know who you are.  Maybe make no effort to change, do or fix anything for a while.   Then make space.  Allow.  Dive in.  Like a wave in the ocean…there is always another one on the horizon. Dive in!