Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Hibernation?

The seasons have changed, and with them the inner world has shifted. It is deep winter here in the north: snow on the ground, aurora sometimes overhead, and we are entering the time for hibernation. The time to feed the slow burning heart fire that warms soul and body both through the long cold. 

For me, the last workshops of the year have culminated. Frontline Wellness was a true honor and a joy to teach.  The group of providers who joined me on this first journey inspire me in so many ways. They are brave, vulnerable, strong, smart and gifted. Their experience has enriched me, my teaching, and this program they helped me to pilot. 

I spent the early part of this week in Anchorage sharing yoga wellness practices with a room full of vibrant, courageous women who work as legal advocates. ANDVSA (The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) hosted a conference addressing topics on legal advocacy and wellness. I had the opportunity to bring the Frontline Wellness workshop tools and share them with these inspiring women.  

With this cycle of workshops finishing, and the winter fully present, I have the chance to breathe deeply into my own practice, and let that feed my weekly teaching. In FW, we talk about the idea of practice, as something we return to, as something to cultivate. Teaching is, in many ways, my true practice and I am learning to bring ever more authenticity to those moments when I speak from my mat to that of a student. Winter is a time of drawing in, turning inwards and of diving deep, and as a teacher it is a time for me to both bring back what I find there, and create the space for my students to dive down deep into their own selves. 

What is winter's hibernation for you? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Frontline Wellness: an offering


This is a state that is attainable for everyone.  In every day and in every moment, it is possible to practice peace.  It is even possible to reside in peace while listening to someone else's trauma, while caring for the sick, for the dying.  It is possible in the ER.  It is possible.  Even if you experience it for only a moment.  Day by day, those moments add up, and a habit grows.

That is why I am offering "Frontline Wellness: a Yoga Workshop for Care Providers," to offer skills to help create those moments of peace that add up to a lifetime of wellness.  

Fairbanks, and the interior of Alaska, sees more than its fair share of depression, alcoholism, and trauma.  This workshop is my offering to those people in our community who work every day to heal the scars of mind, body and heart that the people of Alaska carry.

May we all send a moment of gratitude and appreciation to the healers, the care providers, the health care workers in our world.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gratitude Practice: Thankful Thursdays

Today I am grateful for a gift of time.  For the dropped-in-my-lap chance to take my own teachings to heart.

I am grateful for a husband who will let my over-tired, under-rested, rather anxious self lecture him ad infinitum about tropes and character types in historical romance novels ... and still look me in the eye and tell me I'm amazing and he loves me.

I am grateful for the best sort of friends...  both far and near.

I'm so grateful.  so overwhelmingly, full-of-awe, grateful for the manifesting of a vision I've been holding for a long time. 

I'm grateful for dreams.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gratitude. Or, Thankful on a Thursday.

I am grateful. so grateful.  I just am.

I'm grateful for the man, patiently waiting for me.

I'm grateful for love.  For the many paths and ways the universe opens for me to share, support, hold, cherish, nourish, cultivate and experience love.

I'm grateful for rainy cool days.  I'm grateful for a summer of sun.

I'm grateful for the art of others.

I'm grateful for my own, sadly neglected, art.

I'm grateful for teaching.  So so grateful for teaching.  Grateful to be able to give the world what is sitting in my heart and longing to be shared.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Introducing "Frontline Wellness: a Yoga Workshop for Care Providers"

I am excited to announce the dates for the pilot series of my new workshop "Frontline Wellness: A Yoga Workshop for Care Providers"!!!

This seven week workshop will be held at HeartStream Yoga and Wellness, off of Airport Road.  It will be held on Sunday afternoons from 2-4 pm beginning September 29th to November 24th.  Due to scheduling conflicts in the studio space, there will be two "break" weeks.  I invite you to utilize these "break" weeks as a time to integrate the practices into your daily life and as a time for reflection on how these practices are serving you.  Perhaps you will choose to come to one of my regularly scheduled yoga classes on Wednesday or Thursday evening to help support you in this process.

Please see the "Frontline Wellness" tab above for more information.

~ ~ ~

Dear Provider,

You care about the people you serve.  You are passionate about helping others to live a better life.  You are committed to your work, your career, and to caring for the people of this world we share.  Imagine holding yourself with the same compassionate, unconditional regard that you offer the people you work with.

I am honored to invite you join me in the pilot series of "Frontline Wellness: A Yoga Workshop for Care Providers."  This seven week, evidence-based transformative workshop is designed specifically for front line care providers who face burn-out, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. These are three silent killers that go mostly un-recognized in our personal lives and under-reported in our workplaces.

  • Do you find yourself so drained at the end of the day that engaging with your family, cooking dinner, or spending time on a hobby seems like an impossible demand? 
  • Do you feel like no matter how much you give, or how hard you work, you are still not doing enough?
  • Do you find it difficult to focus, listen, and care about the daily concerns of your family and friends?  Do they seem almost trivial compared to the issues you face at work?
  • Do you question whether what you're doing is worthwhile?  If it’s even making a difference?
  • Are you always tired?  Do you have trouble relaxing even when you have time to?
  • Have you watched colleagues suffer burnout and quit their job?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this workshop is for you.  Yoga teaches the skills to build resiliency and to cultivate capacity.

I worked for years as a victim's advocate, and yoga allowed me to rejuvenate my mind, my body, and my emotions when I faced burnout.  Yoga kept me resilient and able to be fully present with each person I served.  My friends and family definitely noticed a difference between when I was practicing regularly and when I skipped my practice.  I designed this workshop in order to share some of the life skills that yoga taught me. 

Each workshop session is two hours long.  The first hour will be a complete Kripalu yoga class, including asana (postures), breathwork and meditation.  The yoga component is suitable for beginners; each week will build on the week before to provide you with a foundational practice you can return to in your daily life or as introduction for other yoga classes.  The second hour of the session will be focused on a single topic designed to provide you with a discrete practice or approach to cultivating resilient wellness.  Topics include meditation, conscious communication, gratitude practice and yoga nidra.  Each session will provide time for integration and skillful relaxation.

The series will be held on Sunday afternoons from 2-4 pm at HeartStream Yoga.  The first class will be on September 29th, and the last class on November 24th.

For more information please visit my website ( and click on the "Frontline Wellness" tab.  Feel free to email me ( with any questions.  I hope to see you this fall.

May your inner light shine brightly,
Jai Baghwan,

Jasmine Johnson-Kennedy
RYT-200 Kripalu Yoga Teacher

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A Gratitude Meditation

Today I am grateful for my students, for seeing learning and listening on the faces of others.
I am grateful for sister souls who share my path.

I am grateful for ripening berries.

I am grateful for steady work and constant inspiration.

I am grateful for home and for a patient husky.
I am grateful for chanting.
I am grateful for risks.
I am grateful for love.

Thank you Beloved.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A Gratitude Practice

I am thankful for dreaming together.  I'm thankful for the rain.  For grand plans and little steps.

I'm thankful for the hearts innate capacity for healing, for breath and blood and bone.

I'm thankful for friendships.  For family.  For those taking great leaps into new places on bright scary paths.

I'm thankful for flowers blooming, for herbs eaten and dried and growing in pots.  I'm thankful for good greens to eat and meals to share.

I'm thankful for the lives that sustain my own.  I'm thankful for inner listening, for dancing with joy, and for crying my heart out.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A Gratitude practice

Lingonberry flowers, from a week ago, when it
was cooler.

Its been 90 + degrees and fire season is upon us, this means a blanket of wildfire smoke in town and constant sweat.

I am striving to be thankful for the heat, after grumbling over the extended winter that called itself spring.

I am thankful the fire is no where near my house.

 I am thankful for seedlings leaves becoming stronger and darker green every day.

I am thankful for the strength I cultivate hauling water.

I am thankful for my love.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for blooming flowers and sunny nights.

I am thankful for the more scenic, residential route into town that road construction on the highway is giving me the opportunity to use.

I am thankful to teach.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude practice

Thank you sun!

Thank you warmth!

Thank you students, thank you practice, thank you authenticity.

Thank you thawing earth, thank you fallen trees!

Thank you husband, thank you mother, thank you sister, thank you friends.

Thank you Dad for bags of delightful green tea and fresh fresh cinnamon!

Thank you universe, for manifesting.  Thank you light for dancing.  Thank you life for living.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

What are you grateful for???

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A Gratitude Practice

Today I am thankful for body and breath.

I am thankful for change.

I am thankful for the way life is manifesting oh-so-rightly for someone very dear to me.

I am thankful for new paths unfolding.

I am thankful for friendship, for love.

I am thankful for sunshine on frozen earth.

And as ever, I am thankful for my students, and for my teachers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I teach people, not pretzels.

Several times recently, I've been told by different people that "oh, I can't come to a yoga class, I'm so not flexible," or "I want to come to yoga, maybe once I can touch my toes, I can go to a yoga class."

I hear this, and I get it.  But it makes me sad.

It makes me sad because, for years, I took yoga classes and could not ever touch my toes.  I'd be holding onto my knee or my shin and looking around me and being maybe a little jealous of the all the toe touching going on around me.  I'd ask teacher's after class, "how can I work on my hamstrings flexibility?"  But there's no magic ticket to any kind of flexibility.  And if I'd waited to take yoga until I had that flexibility, I surely would not now be teaching. 

I now tell my students that forward folds teach patience.  And patience is its own kind of flexibility.

It makes me sad because it speaks to the way our culture views 'yoga' as being that magazine cover photograph of a superstar yogini with seemingly no physical limitations.  Yoga may very well get you to that pose one day.  But this perspective misses the whole point of yoga as a practice.  The practice that is yoga is an internal one, slowly unfolding moment to moment, breath to breath, over the course of years.  Yoga is a bringing-into-balance, not a getting-to-extremes-quickly.

It makes me sad because maybe these people don't actually want to come to a yoga class.  It could very well be that for whatever reason (they've heard so much about the health benefits and think they *should do yoga or they just don't want to insult me) they're just saying that they would come to a yoga class if it weren't for their inflexibility as a nice way of saying "I don't like yoga."  Maybe they DONT ACTUALLY WANT to do yoga or come to a yoga class. And that means that they are hiding thier own truth, they are habitually lying to self and to others.  I would rather hear that yoga sucks than see someone hiding from their own experience in this way.

It makes me sad because if these people do actually want to come to yoga, and really do feel they can't until x y or z; then they are missing out.  Not only are they missing out on time on the mat right now, chances are they are missing out on life.  Our daily responses are manifestations of our habits.  So if I put up barriers and reasons why-not against this one thing I really want to do; its likely I am doing exactly that in other aspects of my life.  What else is this person saying no to when they could be saying yes?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude practice

Today I am thankful for inspiration. For vision - both in the sense of envisioning and as eyesight.

I am thankful for the sight of grass next to slowly melting snowbanks in town. And I am grateful for the hope that sight lends me, the hope that the snow at our home on its northern hill will melt to make way for green growing things.

I am thankful for found and re-found communities and people.

I am thankful for my beloved man, that he follows his heart and that even when so far away in remote communities reached only by plane and dogsled, he is still so near, here in my heart.

I am thankful for my ability to catalyze healing, however incremental.

I am thankful for the return of late night platinum skies behind white birches, and for this grace of time to see them stark and subtle against each other before the trees fill the spaces between branches with leaves.

I am thankful for mud puddles!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Things

Last week my Darlin'Man toured Lear Khekwaii on the Kenai Penninsula (where Seward is; next week will be the Seward Penninsula, where Nome is).  They went, among other places to Homer, where the road ends at the sea, and volcanoes rise above the shore, and people make Alaskan wines and meads.  I've never been, and would dearly love to spend a few weeks camping down there.

Coming home he brought me gifts:  Three Things.

1- a sea shell from the shore
2- Coffee beans from a local roaster
3- a set of 7 notecards, each an image of a chakra.  The cards were drawn by inmate in an arts-in-the-prisons program, and the proceeds of their sale go to supporting said program.  I like to think that he (the artist's name was male) found some solace in attuning to these vibrant and transformational energies in his own body while he was dealing with everything that comes along with a prison term.  Maybe he found some healing for what ever wound led him to commit whatever act landed him in jail.

My Darlin'Man knows me well.  I cherish all three of these.

(This post crossposted to

Sunday, April 21, 2013

“Love is the only path, love is the only god, and love is the only scripture. Impress this verse upon your memory and chant it constantly if you want to realize your dreams of growth.”—Swami Kripalu

Saturday, April 20, 2013

TOMORROW! Heart and Throat Chakra

Tomorrow at HeartStream, we will be exploring the Heart Chakra, Home of Unconditional Love  and the Throat Chakra, home of Truth and self -Expression through yoga Asana, mantra, aromatherapy, and guided meditation.  Come join us!  If you have them, bring a pendulum, a peice of rose quartz, and peice of lapis lazuli. 

The Heart Chakra or "Anahata"  is located at the physical heart, itself the endocrine gland associated with this energy center (research shows that the Heart is not only regulated by the hormones in the bloods stream as other organs are, but actually secretes hormones to help regulate the rest of the body as well, making it function as an endocrine gland).  The Heart is made up 60% neurological cells and creates a measurable electro-magnetic field that extends 6-8 feet outside of the body.  The Heart Meridian begins at the Heart and extends out through arms and into hands, allowing us to physically hold the world or eachother in our heart energy.

We will use the sanskrit mantra "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" to practice extending our heart energy through compassion, and practice a series of heart opening asana. 

The Throat Chakra or "Vishuddha" is the home of Truth and is associated with our ability to express ourselves.   Verbal expression of course resides in the throat, but the chakra is also associated with our ablility to artistically express ourselves through any medium, our physical self expresssion, and our connection to our own beliefs and opinions.  The Throat Chakra is associated with the thyroid and parathyroid endocrine glands.

We will explore yoga poses that provide compression and release through the neck and throat, and also to release the neck and shoulders of the habitual tension and strain we carry that constrict the full functioning of our voice.  Then we will chant our way throug the Bija or Seed mantras that are associated with the first 5 chakras. 

"Did You Know: To produce a single phrase of speech - about 100 muscles of the chest, neck, jaw, face, tongue and lips must collaborate. Each muscle is a bundle made of hundreds or thousands of fibers. For the coordination of these muscles much more neurons than necessary are required for contracting the muscles from an athlete's feet. Just one motor neuron can trigger movement in the 2,000 muscular fibers existent on a calf muscle. But the neurons controlling the vocal cords or the larynx can be bound just one to two-three muscle cells" From AnatomyinMotion via

Check it out some more!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude Practice

Today I am thankful for spring! Spring, spring, spring! It really is in the air folks! There was - get this - LIQUID water... puddles of it! melting on the side of the road as I drove to the studio today!

I am grateful for two nights with my most darlin' man between his travels to the far ends of the state this month. I'm grateful he gets to experience small Alaskan communities we've neither of us ever been to. (He is touring with Lear Khekwaii - Fairbanks folks, there's another weekend of shows at the Empress May 11th. It is a PHENOMENAL show!)

I am thankful for sun on snow, and still stars at night.

I'm thankful for light in the sky past 10 pm.

I am thankful for my practice, for my teachers, for my students, and most especially for the students who teach me things about myself.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sunday Workshop: The Seat of the Self and the Core of your Being

This Sunday's workshop in the Chakra series moves into the Svadisthana and Manipurna chakras located at the Sacrum and at the Solar Plexus. 

Join us to explore these vital energy centers that help form the very basis of who we are!  We will meet from 3:30-5:30 at Heartstream Yoga.  If you have a pendulum, a peice of cornelian and a peice of citrine, please bring these with you for the guided meditation.  They are also available for purchase.  We welcome all levels of experience in this workshop. 

Svadisthana translates from the Sanskrit as "The sweetness of being" or "One's own place."   It is the seat of creativity and sexuality.  This chakra can hold emotional memories and is one of the body's places for storing intense experiences and/or traumas.  The svadisthana is associated with the element of water and the color orange.  This Chakra corresponds with the DanTian of Tai Chi and Qigong practices.

Our Yoga practice for the Svadisthana will be one of deep hip openers and nourishing restorative poses for the hips. 

The Manipurna chakra is the seat of our will power and joins with the Manipurna to form the core of our being.  This chakra is associated with fire: the agni fire of digestion and metabolism, the rajas fire of discipline, and the shining center of our being. 

Our Yoga Practice for the Manipurna chakra will be an exploration of the warrior poses, and how we can use internal core support to find the ease within the joyful fire of the manipurna.  To stoke this fire, we will explore kapalabhati pranayama.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am grateful for clarity and space. 

I am so very grateful for the opportunity and the ability to hold space for inner work and transformation, to share a practice that has been (and still is) so incredibly supportive and life affirming for me. 

I am grateful for feeling adept and productive.

I am grateful for tears and for laughter.  For old old hands that put a live yarn into mine and taught me the act of creation and about myself.  

I am thankful that my Darlin'Man made it safely south through snowy mountains.  I am thankful his show is being received well.

I am thankful for the forced quiet brought by the recent snow and cold, cold temperatures.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for the sun. For melting snow. For Dry Roads on the way home!

I am thankful for my health, and the vibrancy of those around me.

I am thankful for my practice.

I am thankful for my students and for my teachers.

In memoriam: MLK

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today marks the forty fifth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was many things, and I could speak at length about his vision of equality, about the parallels between the grand struggle he helped to lead and inspire and the struggles of so many around the globe today.  But the vast scope of such a discusssion bears too much potential for distancing oneself from the reality, too much potential for a beautiful vision to become merely a rhetorical exercise or an analytical construct.  Too much potential for apathy and dispair.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."   This belief however, is one that we can bring into our lives on a daily basis.  It speaks to an approach to life that asks to be affirmed and re-affirmed on a moment to moment basis.  MLK led by example.  To embody his teachings is one of the highest honors we can pay him.  To ourselves lead by example in our daily interactions is to "be the change you wish to see in the world,"  (itself a teaching from Ghandi, who was one of MLK's own inspirations).

How can we walk into the world rooted in unarmed truth and practicing unconditional love?  How can we face hate with pure and honest love?  How can we hold the pain of others, pain that breeds hate, with compassion? 

It has to begin at home.  It begins with you.  It begins with me.  I know I become defensive when I hear truths about myself or see my actions reflected back to me in a way that shows how I am not living my from highest self.   When I become defensive, I am arming myself.  Perhaps I even go on the offensive, attacking my family or my husband with words and jabs at their percieved flaws.  This is a natural reaction.  It is easy to spiral into this pattern, begining a blame game against myself and my loved ones in order to blind myself to the entirety of my truth.  This is inherently violent, it cuts at me and it cuts at my loved ones.  So how can I disarm?  I remember to practice unconditional love.  By holding myself in compassion, I honor my own reactions and recognize that they come from a place of pain.  I breathe deeply, and know that as I inhale, I inhale love.  As I exhale I exhale peace.  By inhaling love, I soothe and heal the hurt parts of myself.  And so as I exhale, I am engaging with the world from a place of compassion rather than pain.  When I practice this with myself, I am more able to practice it with others.  I realize that I do not need to force my truths upon others, arming them to take over the minds and hearts of all who come.  All I need to to do is meet the world- hurt and healing, sorrowful and joyous - with unconditional love.  All I need to do is breathe and walk and speak from a place of compassion. 

This practice is so perfectly simple, and one of the hardest things I've ever done.  When I am defeated in my intention of living from a place of compassion, from living in unarmed truth and unconditional love, I react humanly, from a place of pain or of fear.  But with each breath I can choose again.  And again.  So many fresh starts in each day.  One for each breath. 

"This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant," (as proved by every quest fantasy novel, ever). 

Jai Bhagwan,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra Coming Soon!!!!!

Starting NEXT WEEK, I'll be offering a Yin Yoga class on Wednesday nights at HeartStream Yoga and Wellness.  I'm very excited to have the opportunity to offer this class.  I first encountered Yin yoga 4 or 5 years ago, and have taken every chance since to engage in this luscious practice.  It is a very simple, but very deep and very effective practice of long holds (3 minutes or more per pose). 

Yin Yoga with Yoga Nidra

Yin Yoga is a quiet, internal practice of being present with the body and with what is arising in the mind.  It is a physically passive practice of deep compression and release.  It is derived from Taoist Yoga and is a beautiful complement to an active (vinyasa, yang) yoga practice by making your regular yoga practice ‘juicier.”  Additionally, Yin Yoga can be an effective way to address postural and structural imbalances in the body.

In this yin yoga class we will:

  • Create space in the body
  • Lubricate the joints to find ease and greater range of motion
  • Clear and open the energy channels in the body, allowing from greater circulation of chi and prana
  • Release the tension held in the Fascia (this is the same tension that massage practices such as myo-fascial release and Rolfing address)
  • Marinate the connective tissues- tendons, ligaments and fascia- as well as the bones and joints in order to increase ease and flexibility and improve the functioning of the body as a system

Each class will end with a Yoga Nidra session.  Yoga Nidra is a practice of dynamic relaxation that has been shown to dramatically reduce stress.  In studies, it has been shown to be effective for battling burnout, curbing anxiety, and alleviating PTSD.  It is also incredibly supportive to creative work.  Yoga Nidra is practiced in a comfortable lying down position and is similar to a guided visualization.  It encourages the body’s parasympathetic nervous system to engage the rest and heal response while it invites the mind to drop into theta brainwaves thereby effecting profound restoration and healing. 

For More info on Yoga Nidra, Check out these articles:

 Reflections of Peace: Yoga Nidra for Anxiety article in Yoga Journal by Katherine Griffin

Healing Life's Traumas article in Yoga Journal by Denis Wills

Article by Karen Brody (iRest is a version of Yoga Nidra)

For More info on Yin Yoga, Check out these sites

Paul Grilley's Website

Yin Yoga article by Paul Grilley in Yoga Journal

Yin Yoga Interview with Sarah Powers

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Equinox

It is snowing today.  Yesterday marked the Spring Equinox, the mid point fo the solar year - the moment of balance between night and day, between light and dark.

It is a time for reflection, as moments marking shifts always are.  It asks what part of yourself hides in darkness?   Can you choose to honor that part of yourself?  What part of you walks in the light?  Can you choose to celebrate that part of you, in all its imperfect glory?

On the equinox we balance on this cusp between the flood of summer sun and the chill of winter dark for one moment only.  For one day of 12 hours sun and 12 hours moon.  We are poised to begin movement again.  We can only move forward into the lengthening days.  We cannot walk backwards into the future.  What in your life is no longer serving you?  Does it consume your energy and your vision?  Can you choose to let go of anything that is keeping you from living fully in the here and in the now, poised in balance?  It is only by releasing that we make space for the growth of what we already are.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Donation Based Lectures at HeartStream!

This coming week on Tuesday and Wednesday nights you'll find me at HeartStream, participating in what promises to be a couple of pretty amazing lectures.  They are being offered for a suggested $15 donation, so if you're a poor hippie/student/yogi, they are still accessible.

Its so exciting when we get to experience master teachers here in our own frozen and remote northern home!  I personally thrive on the chance to engage in learning from amazing human beings, and would love to see this continuing to happen in Fairbanks.  So if you're at all interested, please come join us!  These lectures promise to be as rewarding for the student of philosophy or the student of life as for the yogi. 

Jai Bhagwan,

More information is available at

Donna has invited Christopher Tompkins to visit Fairbanks   before his workshop at Inner Dance Yoga Studio in Anchorage!     His weekend workshop in Anchorage will be an in-depth 10 hour workshop, March 23-24. Visit Inner Dance for more details. Christopher Tompkins, MTS, MA, PhD track, has 3 degrees in Religion and Sanskrit, including Master’s Degrees from Harvard and UC Berkeley. Christopher lectures nationally in Universities and Yoga centers on the history, philosophy, and practices of Indian Yoga. He is the co-originator of the Foundation for Yoga (

March 19- 7:30-9pm- I. Defining Yoga. Come and learn what it means to experience ‘Yoga’ as the liberated state of Being, how this state is accessible to us in every moment, and how we may attune to it.
“Yoga is the state experienced when the cyclical, anxious activity of the mind (suddenly) dissolves.” –Yogasūtra I.2.
March 20- 7:30-9pm   Samskāras: Identifying Our Unconscious Mental Habits (citta-vritti) that Trigger Cycles of Suffering 
Christopher will guide us toward identifying and eliminating the source of all self-created suffering–the subconscious ‘impressions’ which unconsciously perpetuate the anxious ‘mind cycle’ (chitta-vritti), that obscures the Self within and causes us to unconsciously grasp for happiness in the materialistic world of impermanence. Visit Christopher Tompkins on Youtube.

Both are donation based lectures. Suggested donation $15/lecture

Inspiring me :

image courtesy of

Sometimes the universe sends us the message we need to hear.
And when we don't listen, we are sent it again.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Workshop: Chakra Journeying

Chakra Journeying
with Elissa and Jasmine

All Workshops on Sunday from 3:35-5:30
All Levels; Beginners Welcome

$100 for the entire series or $30 drop-in
Stone sets and pendulums available for purchase

April 7: Introduction and the Root Chakra:

Have you ever wondered what exactly the chakras are, or why this energy system is so important?  Do you know about the chakras but want to engage with your own energy more consciously?

In the Introduction you will learn

·        What is a chakra
·        How to use a pendulum to dowse your own chakras and read what they have to say
·        Advanced pendulum techniques for in-depth personal exploration
·        How to tell if you have a block in your chakra
·        How to re-balance a blocked or excessive chakra using aromatherapy and the energies of stones
·        What is the relationship between the chakras, the nadis, kundalini, and samskaras
·        What do chakras have to do with electromagnetism and the endocrine system
·        How Peruvian Shamans use the "rivers of light" and the chakras to heal
·        How body language, posture, chakras, and your aura effect what happens in your life

The Root Chakra provides our foundation and is associated with grounding, manifestation, security, the skeletal system and the color red.  We will:

·        Dowse the root chakra with a pendulum and discover what your root energy is
·        Work with a "balance" aromatherapy blend to target the root chakra
·        Explore the resonance of hematite (emotional protection, assists with grounding, maintains boundaries) through a guided meditation
·        Energize the muladhara through a practice of grounding asanas
·        Explore the relationship of the bones and skeletal structure to energetic and postural stability
·        Celebrate grounded energy with the mantra "om gam ganapatayai namahah"

April 14: The Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras

In this workshop we will celebrate the sweetness of life, passion, and creativity.  We will explore the seat of our personal power and the fire of our will.

The Sacral Chakra is the seat of our emotions.  It is associated with movement, water, creativity, desire, pleasure, and the color orange.  We will:
·        Dowse the sacral chakra to see the sacral energy's movement
·        Work with "allure" essential oil blend to access this chakra
·        Explore the energies of carnelian (increases concentration; helps find courage) in relation to the sacral chakra through a guided meditation
·        Unlock the svadisthana through a hip opening asana practice

The Solar Plexus Chakra is the home of the will and our personal power.  It is associated with the sun, transformation, fire and the color yellow.  We will:
·        Read the solar plexus chakra with a pendulum
·        Use "harmony" aromatherapy to release this powerful chakra
·        Access the energies of citrine (manifests abundance, transmutes negativity, energizes) to support this chakra through a guided meditation
·        Stoke the fire of your solar plexus with kapalabhati pranayama
·        Energize your manipurna with an asana practice of warrior poses and core support

April 21: Heart and Throat Chakra

Join us to celebrate our expansive capacity to hold love and express truth!

The Heart Chakra is the home of unconditional love.  It is associated with compassion, devotion, connection and the color green. We will:
·        Read the heart energy with a pendulum
·        Greet the heart chakra with "compassion" essential oil blend
·        Engage the vibrations of rose quartz (unconditional love for self and others) to support the heart's expansive nature through a guided meditation
·        Unlock the anahata energy through a backbending asana practice of heart openers
·        Celebrate love and compassion with the mantra "lokah samastah sukino bhavantu"

The Throat Chakra is the home of self expression.  It is associated with communication, creativity, truth and the color blue.  We will:
·        Dowse the throat chakra with a pendulum
·        Access your "expressive" self with aromatherapy
·        Engage with the energy of sodalite (stone of truth; enhances communication) through a guided meditation
·        Open and Energize the vishuddha through an asana practice balancing compression and release of the neck and shoulders
·        Explore the resonances of the bija mantras: lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om.

April 29th: Third Eye and Crown Chakras

In this fourth and final workshop, we move into the chakras that are our connection with the subtle and the universal.  We will access our intuition to perceive our connection to the divine. 

The Third Eye Chakra is the seat of our intuition.  It is associated with imagination, clear-seeing, insight, dreams, and the color indigo.  We will
·        Use a pendulum to dowse the third eye chakra
·        Open the third eye with an “insight” aromatherapy blend
·        Invite the qualities of Amythyst (opens intuition, enhances psychic gifts) through a guided meditation
·        Use the microcosmic orbital breath to invigorate the third eye
·        Support and activate the Ajna through an asana practice of supported forward folds
·        Follow your own inner wisdom in a guided posture flow of meditation-in-movement

The Crown Chakra is the seat of wisdom.  It is associated with divine connection, bliss,
Consciousness, and the color white. We will:
·        Read the energy of the crown chakra using a pendulum
·        Expand into our own consciousness with a “cosmic” blend of aromatherapy
·        Attune to the resonance of clear Quartz (stone of power, raises consciousness, purifies) through a guided meditation
·        Energize the sahasrara through an asana practice of engaged standing poses and gentle inversions
·        Celebrate your connection to your own higher self, the universe, or the divine with the mantra “So Hum

The Teachers:
Elissa Turner is a gifted energy healer.  Her healing practice SoulAscent operates out of HeartStream Yoga and Wellness.  She is a Certified ChiBall instructor.

Jasmine Johnson-Kennedy is a 200-hr certified Kripalu yoga teacher with a fascination for the relationship between the energetic and physical bodies.

For more information or with questions please contact