5 Weeks in the Birthplace of Yoga

From the villages of India to the streets of NYC, some lessons don't need a passport.


Dear Readers,

It's been a while. I miss you! Some of you know that I spent the first 5 weeks of the New Year traveling with my boo through India and Nepal. “How was it?” is the invariable question. My response: “It was everything.” There was beauty and decay, confusion and delight, shivering and sweating, all the extremes that inhabit two sides of every coin. I had to keep reminding myself “This is India. This is not the United States.” And drop the judgement. 

There were awe-inspiring mountains and perfect beaches, street samosas and curries, plastic hills and poop. There were kind strangers and swindlers. The details don't really matter. I left India with an enduring sense of the new possibilities for living life (that, and a book I'm swearing by, Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver). A new perspective on letting myself go into the flow, trusting in divine timing and harmony, rather than the stereotypical New Yorker way of trying to manipulate every little detail of life. As if the switchboard to the Universe responded to my touch alone. It's a lot of deep work, but in going forward I am committed to surrendering into trust and dropping my ego's tyrannical to-do list. As a result, I like paying attention a lot more now. And breathing. 

My new urge in this direction was strongest during the first week of my return to New York City. EVERYONE noticed. The same New Yorkers I had interacted with daily on the streets, the subway, the cafes, the yoga studios - were kinder, more talkative, more open to me than their reputation would predict. Strangers smile at my all the time now (or do I smile at them first? Either way, everyone's smiling). I learned to be truly inspired by wide diversity of human experience – to be curious and ask questions. To share my experiences. This instantly shatters the illusion of separateness.

No, it isn't necessary to be open ALL the time. Actually, I don't believe that is healthy. There are times when we naturally want to introvert, to ground, to rest and digest, and that is also good and necessary. Even the moon needs a break from being adored by human eyes. It delighted me to learn that the leaves of plants actually serve dual functions: the top side of the leaf is for photosynthesizing, and the bottom side is for breathing. The top part takes in light and makes food, the other half just breathes, just IS.

With this new knowledge and perspective, I am pleased and honored to offer a range of healing services to you, my beloved New Yorkers: private yoga, corporate yoga, and Rolfing bodywork sessions. Book your sessions online. 

“It's all how you hold your vibration...and your mind.” -Tosha Silver

Wisdom Arrives

A state of open, relaxed receptivity may bring about novel insights.


"The information you need is not that which you can obtain." - O.L Bear

I think a lot.
And sometimes as I think, I think about how everyone else is thinking, too.

All. The. Time.

I think my way out of problems. I think my way into them. I think about what happened, what will happen, what could I have done better, what would happen if, and what should others do. I think about what was said, and what was not. 

I was sitting on a mountaintop in Colombia, after paragliding for my first time. The experience was strangely relaxing, but after landing my stomach was doing flips nonetheless. So I sat along the vista in view of the city below, sun pouring its love onto my hungry skin, the sound of voices and excited tourists on the hillside, and for just a moment, I was one with my senses. Not thinking. Just taking it all in.

And then I had an intuitive download which could be summed up as this:

Wisdom arrives not through thinking, and not through linear processes, but through being present with experience. Wisdom transmits into you as aphorisms scrawled into your very Nature, embedding itself in your very being, or perhaps uncovering what was already known. Wisdom arrives, and it changes you forever. When the time is right, when the information that is being transmitted can be safely absorbed, wisdom arrives.

This is probably what people mean by a “religious experience.” It certainly feels divine.

Somewhere in the world,
In time’s winding labyrinth,
In a view from high above
In a tranquil afternoon
In a splash of color
In a look shared between you and another soul
In the sun’s rays on your soft eyelids and shoulders

There are answers waiting to be uncovered. They have been ripening slowly. 

Put the pause on thinking. Find your joy. Allow life to flow and the endless conundrums to dissolve in its bounty. 


Shadow Pain: Repatterning and Remapping to Heal Old Aches

How Rolfing Can Help

 Photo: Martino Pietropoli

Photo: Martino Pietropoli

The typical recommended waiting time to receive Rolfing after a surgery or injury is 6 weeks. It may be more or less depending on the nature of the procedure or injury. After 6 weeks, the body has typically completed its healing process, and then the very important work of repatterning and remapping needs to be done. Let me explain:

Remapping: one of the reasons why acute pain turns into chronic pain is because the brain has deemed a certain part of the body “in danger” and as such, we are highly sensitive to any stimulus from the outside world. We may even register harmless input (like a person’s light touch or a gentle bump against an object) as very painful. After the 6 week healing has completed itself (and ALL tissues complete their healing cycle), people may continue to feel pain or restriction in that area. This hyper-sensitivity may not be because of damage to the tissue but because you are subconsciously protecting the area. The table below illustrates this concept:


Effective remapping removes this subconscious over-protection. It occurs due to positive input, which can be from many sources; Therapeutic touch, pleasant movement, laughter, social engagement, and even affirmative language can reinstall pain-free confidence in a previously injured area. The languaging piece is incredibly potent. Look for bodyworkers, movement instructors, and medical professionals who speak about your body’s potential and strengths rather than what is wrong, or what will never be right. One example of this is the debunked myth of the chronic low back pain due to a bulging/herniated, or "slipped disk" (see above table taken from the US National Library of Medicine). It is a proven fact that most of us have some sort of disc issue, especially as we age, but without any reports of pain whatsoever. Therefore, there is much more to pain than damaged tissues. With this in mind, notice how you perceive and talk about your own body in your words and thoughts. 

Repatterning is about how we use our bodies to navigate our lives and the world. It is a big picture that includes how we feel about ourselves, our jobs, our friends, family and partners. In a Rolf Movement session I focus particularly on physical sensation: how does it feel to be in your body, how do the various parts speak to you, how do they relate as a whole? Does your pattern serve a seamless recovery post-injury or post-surgery, or can you resource your movements in a more efficient and stress-free way? 

In my experience, people are generally quick to be able to remap (likely due to neuroplasticity) but repatterning can take time, effort and patience. This is probably because our dominant patterns operate below the level of the conscious mind. Most of our patterns set in as soon as we attempted to stand for the first time as babies, and they were also subconsciously influenced by environmental factors like how your parents behaved. Our movement and postural patterns are intricately tied in with our self-identity.

We may think that by doing certain physical activities, like yoga or running or CrossFit, that we are learning new movement and postural patterns and it is enough. This belief is bolstered by obvious physical changes like weight loss and muscle gain. The truth is that we usually resource complex movements in the same ways we resource normal everyday activities, in other words, our original pattern is the foundation upon which we do all that we do. An example of this is if you overarch your back to stand up from a chair, you might also stress your low back to do squats or yoga poses.

Injuries and surgeries often add more disorderly noise to the mix, while what we want in a balanced body is a melody of poise and harmony in movement. Rolfing can help to instill a sense of effortless alignment, length, freedom and ease which is the basis of mind-body health. We need this solid, stable, balanced yet adaptable foundation in order to truly excel at any physical endeavor, including finding comfort and alignment in everyday movements like sitting, standing, walking and breathing.