Tools I Used to Get Me Peacefully Through My Divorce

In the beginning, everyone kept saying, I’m not sure how you do it all as a single mom, you are so strong. I would politely say thank you as I internally rolled my eyes and prayed that someday I would see the strength they were taking about.

When you’re a single mom (especially a newbie), you have no idea how you do it or where the strength comes from. There is no time to evaluate or calculate, no time to mourn; the only thing you can do is move forward with one foot in front of the other. My son needed love, shelter, food, stability, family. He needed everything a child from a “normal” family would get and it was and still is my job every single day.

Strength to me was a delicious goal, a reach in my mind from where I was to where I wanted to be. I didn’t see what they saw; I did what was necessary.

Looking back on the last three years I’m realizing I was a fuck of a lot stronger than I ever believed. (And no excuses for my language there because it’s the only way to accurately express how strong I was). To leave someone I loved, to break the cycle of alcohol and abuse, to pack up my entire life in the bed of my brothers truck and my daddy’s Jeep; that is strength.

The comeback is stronger than the setback. Always.

Today I stand tall. Almost two years after leaving (and if we are being fully honest, I’ve been a single mother for his entire 3 years on this earth). I’m stronger than ever before.

How did I get here? What were my tricks and tips? How did this yoga mom stay so “yoga” throughout a traumatic divorce, at times including the police, raising a toddler, running two businesses and building a non-profit? What were the tools in my toolbox?



My time on the mat is the most precious time in the world. I don’t often get time to be on the mat in the public world, but I am constantly in my yoga, daily. I often tell my students that the easiest way to bring yoga off the mat and into the world is with our breath. We breathe when Zyan has a rough morning, we breathe when a toy needs to {unwillingly} be shared, we breathe during potty training and sometimes just because we can. Mama breathes in traffic, the courtroom and everywhere in between. It saves my life.

As someone who had never experienced real anxiety before, the weeks following my divorce were difficult to navigate. I couldn’t be left alone in large stores any longer, had no interest in interacting with others unless we were close to home and had a panic attack when my mom left to use the restroom on our mother/daughter vacation. The tool I relied on the most to get me through these moments was my breath. It was the only way I knew to get one foot in front of the other.

My favorite breath to use, especially in moments of stress, is ujjai breathing. You breathe in through the nose and exhale deeply through the nose. As you exhale, your mouth is closed and you’re activating the whisper muscles at the back of the throat. This produces a Darth Vadar kind of sound in your throat. Ujjai breathing calms the nervous system and brings you back to the present moment.


Essential Oils

Using my ujjai breathing is key, yet there is another very quick and easy way to calm the nervous system and connect to the present moment : essential oils. Those of you who have been following me for sometime, know I use only Young Living essential oils. These therapeutic grade oils reach your brain in 22 seconds, can be found in your bloodstream in 2 minutes and if applied topically can reach every cell in your body in 20 minutes.

They have helped me navigate some of my toughest moments. I used valor for courage the day I walked into the courtroom to ask for support. I dabbed harmony oil over my heart as I calmly walked into each and every law office, courtroom, parenting class and more. We use helichrysum, frankincense, lavender & tea tree for all our playground bumps and bruises. We use gentle baby on mama and baby while we had diaper changes {and now potty training}. Raven & Snifflease are on hand and in my purse all winter. Thieves in mama’s purse for the unexpected snake visit in church, “what’s this” in the bathroom and trips to the farm.

Needless to say, essential oils save my life in the little moments. Especially on the tough days, my “emotional support roll-on” gives me the deepest support, or on the strong days, “light my fire” gives me life.


Support, Alone Time & My Tribe

I am part of a mom TRIBE. This isn’t a typical “moms group” where we meet once a week and talk about our pros and our cons. That’s how we began, in a beautiful space where we could nurse or give bottles to our little ones; a place free of judgement. When our “babies” started to turn into crawling toddlers, we realized we no longer belonged with the red eyed mamas holding 2 week old newborns and begging for tips on where to go next. We were starting to become “seasoned” at this whole moms thing, and some of them were already beginning to grow their families.

As we continued our group online, we began going on more adventures together and formed what is now our tribe. Let me tell you people: THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN HAVING A TRIBE. This is a space where we are entirely judgmental free. Want to formula feed? YOUR KID IS ALIVE. Want to go on a date with your husband? SEX, LOVE + ROCK N’ ROLL. Want to wear an amber necklace around your little boys neck? FUCK YES TO LESS PAINFUL TEETHING. Want to spend time alone for the afternoon while paying someone to watch your kid so you can take a nap, read a book or get a pedicure? FUCKING DO IT.

We are a tribe of women with vastly different views and opinions of the world. Technically for some of us, the only thing we have in common is our children. But my God we rock it. We lift one another (often in the middle of the night) with a Facebook group chat, meet-ups mid week and a lot of love. This week alone, I’ve “stolen” two crying babies. In an outward appearance (and it’s true), it was because I love these women and wanted to give them a moments break. In a much more selfish view, my baby is no longer a baby and I need to snuggle a newborn.

All this to say : I cherish my alone time and feel zero guilt about it. I get pedicures, I go boxing, I take moments to swim at the lake or rest while he’s at daycare. I work my ass off while he’s there as well, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there are days when daycare is strictly for self-care.

My support from these women is only the tip of the iceberg. We live with my parents, my brother is one of the most incredible human beings I know and love, my friends would lay down on the line for me and many of them have picked me up off the floor (literally) to remind me to take a deep breath, being my legs when I couldn’t figure out how to walk forward. The people I have surrounded myself with in the last few years have blown my mind in ways I can’t even begin to describe and to say I’m grateful for them would be a vast understatement. I would not be where I am without their support, especially these women and my family. I recently read that on one day in 2017, Massachusetts domestic violence programs served 1,760 victims and were unable to meet 298 requests, 64% were for housing… to say I’m blessed with an incredible family is an understatement – so grateful.

You want to know the best piece of advice I have while going through a divorce?


You have so many more people than you realize. I promise you that.

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Aside from yoga, I move constantly. Over the last two years, my personal trainer has become one of my dearest friends. Once a week for the last two years, she has shown up to help me move. If she arrives and I’m a ball of tears, I am prescribed restorative yoga and reiki. If she arrives and I’m angry, we box or complete {the worst} legs + cardio. If she arrives and I’m neutral, she’s kind and I get to pick my own workout itinerary.

On top of meeting with Kendra, I picked up boxing this year and love it. The movement, in a way, is similar to yoga. You need to be constantly connected to your breathing and your alignment simultaneously. Zyan, Apollo & I are also huge walkers. We love to go for walks around the lake or underneath the trees in our favorite spots.

I move my body and my energy at every moment. I give all of us reiki daily and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Keep moving. It helps balance the mind and the soul.

Did I mention yoga?

Honestly, my friends. Teaching & practicing yoga was and is my personal lifeline to wellness.





– xx namaste, Jenny

I wasn’t ever supposed to be divorced

I wasn’t ever supposed to get divorced.

Every time I try and come back here, to my blog, my happy place, my words – I seem to get stuck after that sentence. It’s so difficult for me to articulate something so intense and complicated and yet so easily written in one sentence.

Growing up, I dreamed in white gowns. I have pictures of me dressing up as a bride when I was 5 years old in our living room, dancing by the fireplace with my dad. When we played house, I was always the mama. It was (and is) a roll I played well. My husband was usually my next door neighbor (who I loved desperately by the time I was 6 years old) and he would wiggle away from our make believe game as he ran off to play cops and robbers with the other boys in the neighborhood, while my girlfriend and I stayed behind playing in our fort.

I knew what I wanted. My whole life all I wanted was to be married, to be a wife. To be with someone who loved me for everything I was, who treated me the way I watch my dad treat my mom. To be with someone who made me laugh and who made me happy. I resigned myself to the idea that someone else could create happiness within me by the time I was 17 years old and would cry myself to sleep at 21 thinking I would be alone forever (because I am nothing, if dramatic).

I remember one night in particular at my girlfriends house. We were sitting on the couch in her living room, having a few drinks when I started to get teary eyed and said “I’m just afraid I’ll be alone forever.” My friend Lynde laughed until she couldn’t breathe, reminding me that I had just had my first legal drink a month ago and that she was sure I’d be fine.

Sure enough, I was married by the time I was 25.

I had everything I had ever wanted.

It’s not to say that I didn’t want Zyan, quite the opposite. But I waited for him to come along so I could enjoy every moment of being a family of two.

The problem came in the secrets of the night. The verbal abuse, alcohol and slew of slow betrayal that broke my heart bit by bit. And every time something would happen, I would call upon my faith. I would pray. I would look up biblical passages on the vows and commandments. I would cry myself to sleep. And then in the morning, it would be as if nothing had happened. A happy family once more, full of love and joy.

The thing about denial is this; you won’t wake up until it’s time. You can have a friend witness behavior and say “are you okay?” You can watch the faces of someone who loves you scrunch up during an incident and tell them with every inch of belief in your heart: “I’m okay.” Until the moment you realize you aren’t, you will not wake up.

It took years for me to open my eyes. And the most telling moment was when I arrived at al-anon one day prior to the beginning of the end. I learned so much from them: how you can stay and love someone who needs you, how you should leave if you feel unsafe, how faith is always there for us, how we need to be gentle with ourselves and most importantly, we are never alone.

But the lesson I heard the loudest that day was “when something is happening, allow.”

I am a healer. A rescuer. Someone who is always saving others. Every fiber of my being screams to help others when I can feel them hurting and I will run to anyone’s side. Especially my ex-husband. I would drop everything, always, to make sure he was okay. In my mind, that was what it meant to be married. To be by their side, to love, cherish and yes, even obey.

But that one night, I didn’t run to his side. I let events unfold. And in that moment, I awoke.

I opened my eyes the next morning and stared deeply into Zyan’s eyes – knowing in that moment that I could make a choice to create a safe environment for the both of us. In the past two years, I have done just that. I pulled my shoulders back and lifted my head high in order to do what I needed to for us as a new family of 2 (+ Apollo).

I was never supposed to be divorced. I didn’t believe in it.

In the moments to come since I left, the most telling conversation I had was with my cousin’s minister. I ran into her the night I was officially divorced and told her about a conversation I had with my own minster; how I was still grappling with the idea that I’m divorced. She leaned over and held my hand, saying “just because you didn’t break vows, doesn’t mean they weren’t broken.”

In that moment, my heart broke. I awoke even more. I stepped into my new path as I lowered my shoulders and lifted my head as high as it can go for now.

Two days later, I left someone who had held my heart all last summer. I started reading more books, going back to my mat and taking time to re-develop programs and plans for the studio and my new non-profit. And I could feel my head rise even higher as I walked into who I will become.

It’s been months since the moment came, the one I never thought would arrive. And it’s a strange feeling.

Heavy. Light. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Lonely. Scary. Amazing. Rejuvenating. Restful. I feel every emotion now, deeper than I have in years (even if I have tried to actively keep that big ole’ heart of mine closed).

I never thought I would be divorced. But I am.

And now it’s time for me to start writing to you once more.

The journey of being a single mama.
The divine acts of self-care.
The awkward moments of first dates.
The laughter of girlfriends.
The support of my incredible family, friends and loved ones.
The joy of alone time. (BOOKS!! Writing. Yoga.)

It’s time for me to be open and honest in it all. It’s time for me to share.

The Releasing Ceremony

Recently I stumbled onto the world’s best therapist. I am so grateful for her guidance, but mostly I’m grateful she is so in tune with her spiritual side that she allows me to dig deeper into my own spirituality and yoga practice every time we meet. The first time I met her I opened the door to see a large sparkling amethyst seated on a table in front of the couch I would sit upon, and as we sat surrounded by crystals and gentle mantras being hummed in the background, she placed a pyramid over my head for sound healing as she reminded me to take a few deep breaths. I had known her for five minutes.

It’s important to have people in your corner. Always, but especially when you’re going through crisis (and even more especially when you start to emerge from the cocoon). Bizarrely I need more help now then I did when I was in full crisis mode. I need more help ALLOWING myself to be happy. Because that’s the hardest part.

You leave an unsafe space. You create a new world full of possibility and love. You open to the idea that your world can look fresh and new and fun. You open to creation.

But inside you’re still scared. Afraid that one day you’ll wake up to the exact same mess you left. Afraid of what it means to commit again after years of deep, spiritual connection that was ultimately one sided. Nervous with every step I take as a parent because there is no handbook to being a parent, and especially no handbook for single moms who left an addicted and abusive home.

But my therapist is an amazing, incredible beam of light who frequently reminds me that I’m good enough and I’m making all the right choices. Even and especially the choices I make in joy.

This week brings about an intense anniversary. One I will never celebrate nor mourn, and one that I hope in time will fade back to being my favorite holiday. As such, my therapist suggested I do a releasing ceremony this week to let go of the trauma. Being the yogi I am, all I needed was the words “ritual” and I knew instinctively where to go and what to do.

I walked to the beach at sunset and watched the sun fade behind the trees. I knew I would be lighting my words on fire and tossing them into the lake. I want to romantically tell you that I was alone and it was a bug free evening. But alas I was with my 15 year old cousin, covered in bugs and wearing his towel and my sweatshirt for protection.

I wrote my releasing statements:

I am letting go of my marriage and all that surrounds its ending.

I am releasing the trauma of last summer.

I am letting go of all negativity surrounding me.

And then I wrote my intentions:

Love & Abundance

You are worthy of all the goodness, love and financial abundance that are on the way to you.

You are worthy of the one who makes you laugh.

You are worthy of every single person in your life who helps lift you: spiritually, emotionally, lovingly, financially.

I light them on fire and allowed my ashes to float into the lake. Not very gracefully, but allowing it to be what it was while laughing and teaching my cousin about rituals and ceremonies.

I’m reminding you today that there will always be intense anniversaries if you love an addict. Anniversaries of the first time they hurt you, the day your family or friends knew you were in criss, the wedding they partied a little too hard at, the night of their first DUI, the night your son survived but his friend did not, the afternoon you brought your wife to the emergency room or the day you received the worst phone call of your life. These mini or major traumas make up our world, no matter if we are in the thick of loving them, mourning their passing or moving forward without them.

I’m also reminding you :

You are stronger than you’ll ever know.

You are WORTHY of love. You deserve love. You are love.

You are brave. No matter where you are in the process of loving your addict.

You have nothing to be forgiven for by loving them.

You have nothing to be forgiven for by leaving them.

You are allowed to love someone and move on while keeping them in your prayers.

You are allowed to love someone and move on without keeping them in your prayers.

You are love. You are worthy. You are brave. You are more than enough.

Because sometimes it’s our therapist while other days it’s a single mom yoga blogger who is reminding you of your bravery and strength. Take your strength and your love with you as you move forward in this life. Take your light and continue to be the beacon of hope for others. Or hold my hand and watch my light until you’re ready to shine from within again. I promise the light will return. I promise you’re stronger than you know. I promise I’ll always be here with you on this journey as we hold hands either in person or via the written word.

Today, give yourself permission to release something or someone who no longer serves you. It doesn’t have to be a fancy ritual on the beach with your mandala blanket, surrounded by your favorite crystals. It could be five minutes of writing as you hide underneath a beach towel. Or a moment alone in the bathroom as you scribble in your journal. Whatever it is; write it down and let it go.

You deserve the opportunity to release in order to make room for something so much better to enter your world.

Release shame, receive love. Release anger, receive love. Release pain, receive love. Release trauma, receive love.

Sending you all an abundance of love, joy and laughter

Feeling ALL Your Feelings

I’m not sure where along the line of the journey to becoming spiritual, the idea came that you must not feel anger, sadness or lack. Nor do I understand why it isn’t spiritual to make money (but that’s an entirely different post).

The last few months have been some of the most difficult of my life. Bizarre twists and turns that are the stuff Lifetime movies are about. When you leave a marriage, for whatever reason, you question everything.

Will I want to remarry?

Will I want more kids?

How will I afford insurance on my own?

What if he never chooses to become healthy enough to co-parent?

How can I make it through my friends wedding with a smile on my face?

Why am I sad? Happy? Angry?

Will I ever feel emotionally safe again?

Did I make the right choice, today? Yesterday? Ever?

Will I make it?

I’m discovering the answers to many of those questions daily. But here’s the one thing I know for sure: You are “allowed” to feel however you want, whenever you want.

I am allowed bliss.

What a strange concept. To think that I wouldn’t be allowed joy after a divorce. But so much of the good, loving Christian girl that I am questioned that in the beginning and occasionally I struggle with it even now. I even went so far as to ask my minister (who gave bundles of permission for happiness) and then prayed to Ganesha to remove that mindset. I’m releasing the guilt I feel over my joy because there is no room for it in my heart.

Of course I’m allowed joy. And lately there has been an abundance of it. I am slowly starting to feel emotionally safe, stable and loved again. I’m allowing deep, internal smiles to creep back into my heart without the guilt that so often surrounds it. When you leave someone who is an addict, deep down you know they are in the throes of disease and that their dis-ease is a piece of your sorrow, a piece of your world. Their addiction isn’t your choice, but it is a part of your journey and how you choose to move forward is your choice in that journey. I am choosing to walk a path of joy as I move forward and thrive in this new life I’m creating. A life with toddler kisses, love, new friendships, OMazing programs and even a few chickens and puppies! I get to create and feel all the feelings I so choose.

I am releasing guilt, allowing for anger when it arises, saying a quick hello and even faster goodbye to fear ….but I am embracing all of it as I give myself permission for happiness.

While we’re here I’ll give YOU permission to feel all your feelings as well (especially the bliss).

You’re allowed to smile and laugh when a loved one passes. Not for the glee that they have left this earth, but for the joy that they bought you while they were here.

You can laugh during your best friend’s chemo treatments while you hold her hand. At her jokes. Or the patient next to her who was a Scrabble champion for 10 years and brought you the knowledge that there are no two letter C-words. Or because a therapy dog jumped on her lap. Or because blood transfusions really do look like jello sometimes.

You can be furious at your sister for not attending your destination wedding in Aruba because she is afraid of Zika, while also being elated that she just announced her pregnancy. You’re getting two new family members. Allow for the frustration, anger and bubbling butterflies that come with family, weddings and babies.

You can cry at your friends bridal shower because everyone is comparing wedding rings and you just donated your wedding dress to someone in need.

You can be furious when you find out yet another lie during your divorce. But also feel extreme joy when you receive flowers from the one who is softening your soul and reminding you that you deserve so much more than you ever believed.

You can be embarrassed because you made a mistake at work in front of your boss. Beat red, sweating with the fear of being fired. And then moments later when you know you’ve been forgiven, you can laugh wholeheartedly at his dad jokes and mean every inch of that belly laughter.

You can cry, laugh, smile, swell with pride or anger, find fury buried deep inside you heart that you didn’t know existed, allow for every emotion… even the ones you didn’t know were ever there and especially for the emotions that surprise you.

Today, I give you full permission to feel. Feel the anger. Feel the sorrow. Feel the happiness. Feel the guilt. And then release what doesn’t serve your soul. Hold on to whatever makes you smile from the liver. And walk forward shining that internal smile to everyone around you.

Sending you oodles of love, light, FEELINGS & yogalove.

Finding Balance in the New

Finding balance is something so many of us deem unattainable. A foreign concept for most, and yet something we still strive for. We balance our checkbooks, our schedules and sometimes our bodies. We go to yoga. We use crystals and essential oils. We meditate. We breathe deeply.

But today I’ll let you in on a little secret: we will always strive for balance and we may never attain it.

Balance is like enlightenment, samadhi, nirvana – we reach it for a moment and then it disappears.

Balance, like yoga, is a practice. One in which we take the time to mindfully craft day by day and sometimes even hour by hour. As a single mom, business owner and yogi – there are days when none of it seems possible. Moments when I stop and wonder why I didn’t choose a more stable career. Moments of overwhelm being alone as a mama. Moments of heartache as I re-navigate the dating world. Moments my breath gets taken away and I’m not sure which direction I’m spinning.

Those are the moments I take my deepest breath and look around me for all the goodness I have in my world: a beautiful, healthy baby boy, an energetic and loving puppy, a family who loves & supports me and a yoga community that will lift me as high as they can, always.

Gratitude is the easiest way to bring ourselves back into balance.

This past week was seemingly more difficult than weeks past. I think the combination of finally opening to my authentic truth and exploring what that looks like online, in combination with Holy Week was a lot on my heart and soul. I needed more yoga, more meditation, more alone time. I needed to listen to my body and take a nap, cry into my pillow and fall asleep with Zyan on my shoulder and Apollo at my feet.

Everyone has told me in the last few months how “brave” I am for leaving a situation that was’t good for my mind, heart or soul. But it doesn’t feel brave and it never has. It felt necessary. To do what was right for Zyan and I. To do what I needed to in order to live a balanced, loving life that is full of gratitude.

The hardest part of leaving someone you love for your highest good is just that. In some sense, there is so much love. And yet in another there is heartache and pain. Opening my heart to both aspects requires balance. It requires knowing I’m finally ready to step forward and move into a new chapter in my life. But it also requires honoring where I am in this moment.

This moment is glorious. I’m sitting at my favorite cafe as I write to you. My son is playing with one of his favorite vacation babysitters until I run home to him to play in the yard. I taught yoga this morning and have just enough time to meditate alone in the studio before I go home.

Last week when my moments looked more like falling apart crying during the Maunday Thursday service and laughing as I reconnected with an old friend, I needed a different kind of balance. Ylang Ylang was in my diffuser every night to balance the energy of extreme masculine energy (yang) and the divine, surrendering feminine energy (yin). I also meditated to my new favorite mantra: Humee Hum Brum Hum. It brought me right back into my body and soul, allowing my heart to soften just enough as I released the final pieces of my brokenness into the universe. I trusted that as I let go of what no longer served me and stepped forward, that I was divinely supported.

Today I am challenging you. Challenging you to listen to your heart. Take a moment today to breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Count your breaths. Count your blessings. And then truly decide what it is you need to do to bring yourself back to balance. Is it a specific essential oil? A new meditation? A nap instead of yoga? A coffee or a walk in the sunshine? A hug from a friend or a little extra alone time?

Listen to your heart. Then step forward with love and abundance.

Happy springtime vibes coming your way yogis!

Empower, Renew, Restore

It has been over six months since my last blog post.

Let that sink in for just a moment. I’m a writer, who has had not only the world’s worst writer’s block, but also a lot of emotional turmoil and vinyasa waves happening in my world.

I love to live parts of my life online. As a yoga teacher and a self-proclaimed spreader of joy, I love being present and giving myself as much as I can and as honestly and authentically as I am able. But our lives are actually LIVED offline and out in the real world. So much was happening at once that I couldn’t figure out (and didn’t want to) a balance between being authentically open in my story and retreating into my personal space for a bit of rejuvenation and solitude. The only place I seemed to be able to release a little of my writer’s block was on Facebook, in mini posts on my yoga page.

But as of today, it’s no longer enough. I finally feel ready to open and connect. I feel ready to share.


In the last six months, Zyan and I have been on quite the journey.

September 2nd, 2016 brought us into our brand new family home.

October 11th, 2016 brought us back into my childhood family home.

And there we remain, with love and support and so much joy.

This year my world was flipped upside down. I finally opened my heart, mind, soul and throat chakra to EXACTLY what I was going through. Denial is a powerful concept. Love and kindness are the way I navigate the world. And I took every ounce of my loving kindness and poured it into my life in order to “save” my picture perfect identity.

As my world crumbled, I did my best to put on a happy face and pick up the pieces around me. I did my best not to let anyone see what was happening beneath the surface. But as time went on, the surface began to crumble. There were bricks being thrown at the walls I had created and everyone around me began to see inside as the cracks of light opened to our darkness.

When you love someone, you love them deeply. You want nothing more than love, joy and abundance for your partner. But we are not our partner. We are ourselves. And it is our responsibility to make sure we have love, joy and abundance in our hearts. And then we HOPE to radiate that love to our partners. It is their choice, however, to pick it up or pack it away.

My beloved decided not to pick it up and is on his own journey of (someday) recovering from the awful family disease known as addiction.

But this isn’t his story, it’s mine.

In the last six months I have rebuilt my life to be even richer and full of so much joy. I’m practicing yoga more every day, standing stronger in my truth than ever before and allowing for my own healing from addiction.

While I was at Kripalu this past weekend, enjoying a weekend of solitude, I realized that my mission has always been to empower women. It started with Journey to Hope, the non-profit I started in Cape Cod. It served women in domestic violence shelters and a homeless shelter on a mission to empower others to gainful employment and creating lives for themselves. It moved to The Ahimsa Project, which was my online yoga course teaching women to reconnect to self-esteem and remembering how beautiful they were inside and out. And it culminates here, with my own journey being weaved into every inch of my latest offering: Yoga for Families of Addiction.

The course isn’t quite live yet, it’s still in the infancy stages. But it is coming full force, and it’s coming very soon. We will be traveling to studios around Massachusetts (and someday beyond) to spread this mini teacher training. Certified yoga teachers will be given the opportunity to learn how to create a safe space for families of addicts. We will be learning how to integrate restorative poses, al-anon principles, essential oils and more into this customizable class. It will be 20 CEUs from yoga alliance.

Every day for me is different now. I wake up happy, sad, angry or anxious. I have moments of overwhelm. But I readjust to my happy and vibrant self quickly when I see my son smile and my puppy running in circles. I adjust the moment I walk into the Shala and feel the sense of community. And I adjust within seconds when I see my family, who has supported me on every inch of this journey. Today though, I am grateful.

Grateful for the opportunity to be faced with challenges. With my practice, I have the tools to create balance and love in my life almost daily. And I cannot wait to teach YOU to do the same.

Sending you buckets of joy and love,


June Ambassador: Judy Sinclair

Woooo hooo!!! It’s September and I’m finally writing to you about our OMazing June Yoga Ambassador: Judy Sinclair. Judy is such a gift and how fitting is it that I’m writing to you about her on the 1st of September, the official start of National Yoga Month.

I have been blessed to have Judy in class these last few months and have gotten a chance to get to know her better through our yoga ambassador program and on the mat. She came to me explaining her severe vertigo and within a few months was doing headstands on my studio floor. She’s progressed in her asana practice so much and I am in awe of her as she does so.

Not only does she have an incredible asana practice, but more importantly she has an incredible heart and practices yoga off the mat daily. She is a nurse who is obtaining her nurse practitioner degree and certification. Her wisdom shines through in her job as she brings her holistic and loving nature to her patients and co-workers while working overnights. She then rushes to get to our early morning classes in order to restore her own mind after giving so much to those around her.

As I said: she’s a gift!

Let’s dive in and learn more about her:


How long have you been practicing yoga?

I have done yoga in the past but I have only been regularly practicing since January 2016.

Why did you choose barefoot yoga shala?

A friend who is a yoga instructor recommended Barefoot Yoga Shala. Taking up yoga for me has been life changing. I feel so much more energized and centered. I took up yoga at this point with the specific goal of improving my balance after a two year period of vertigo that negatively affected my balance and overall energy levels.

What’s your favorite pose?

My favorite pose is any pose I have been able to achieve that, at first, seemed impossible. But seriously my favorite poses are probably headstands and wheel because it taps into my inner child. I remember doing these as a child when I was much more flexible than I am now.


What would you tell your pre-yogi self?

I would tell my pre yogi self that yoga is for every body and provides so much more for the mind, body and spirit than any other form of exercise I have done before.

What’s your favorite quote?

I love quotes and I have many favorites, here is one of my favorites:

“Life is short and we do not have too much time with those who travel the way with us, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind.” — Henry Amiel

Tell us two fun facts about yourself.

First let me say that I am a late bloomer I guess and I believe it is never too late to learn something new. I learned to play my first musical instrument at the age of 45. I was going through a tough time in my personal life and a focus on music provided much solace to me. Also, after raising my three children and putting them through college I am working on my third degree since entering my mid 40’s. I am currently taking classes to become a nurse practitioner and would love to work in primary care.

Goodness I love her and I hope you do too!!

I bow to you Judy for sharing your story on the blog and am sending you a million good vibes and happy thoughts.

Get out there – do yoga and make life sparkle!

June Ambassador: Marco Vinci


Welcome Marco to the blog!! He’s our latest Yoga Ambassador.

As a studio owner, I have the opportunity to meet some of the most beautiful souls in the world. When people walk through our front doors my heart lifts and jumps every single time I meet someone new. Especially if they are full of love, laughter and happy vibes. Marco is JUST THAT PERSON. He walked into my life just a few months ago and I can’t quite remember the Shala without him. His happiness spills over his mat onto others and his strong, fierce practice is something to marvel at. I cannot wait to teach, practice + play with him all year in our teacher training and watch as he explores this new avenue in life.

I am so excited to present his interview and dig deeper with all of you to get to know Marco a little better!! Without further ado…

1) How long have you been practicing yoga?

My yoga journey started 3 1/2 years ago, December 21, 2012. Yes 12/21/2012, the same day the Mayan calendar ended. I’ll always celebrate this day as a holiday of spiritual growth and renewal.

2) What drew you to the mat?

The universe gave me an open invitation to come and play. The open heart and divine love of another. My first instructor and long time family friend, Marlena Bruno, summoned me to a remote location before she built Mantra Yoga Studio. The poses were extremely challenging and at times defeated a number of claims I had through my personality dominating ego. The 10-15 minute savasana felt like an eternity of bliss. Through guided meditation, I could feel my mind body and soul unify after missing that connection throughout my entire adult life and most of my childhood. Divinity drew me to the mat and calls me back every day since.

3) If you could tell your pre-yoga self anything, what would it be?

Enjoy the junk food lifestyle while you still can. Pretty soon you will question everything you were once sure of until the weeds of what is are ripped up to become what was. All that will be left is vacant soil to begin anew. You will manifest most everything through positive affirmation and by attracting it with good intention. The only thing proven about hard work is that it’s simply hard.

4) What do the words SOUL WARRIOR or SPIRIT JUNKIE mean to you?
A Soul Warrior is one who fights for justice through the ethics of their spiritual being. A man or woman who can see into themselves what is truly calling. To be just on a spiritual path is to be honest with oneself. A Soul Warrior can pick out the rouse of ego driven behavior and replace it with intuition and love. Soul Warriors know the value of saluting the sun. Being the sun in someone else’s life should be the goal of any Soul Warrior.
5) Why did you choose to practice at Barefoot Yoga Shala?
BYS has the best energetic frequencies out of all the yoga studios I have downward dogged my way into. It feels like a loving family lived in this Shala and had yoga dinner together everyday. I can’t say enough about how good it feels to practice in this space. The people who invest their energy, sweat, and time into the Barefoot Yoga Shala everyday are the reason I choose to practice here.
6) What’s your favorite pose?
Toes Pose. Because it’s equally fun to say as it is sensationally painful to hold. I remember wanting to cry the first time I sat on top of my heels with my toes buried in the ground. The benefits of toes pose appeared to me immediately after the instructor showed mercy and said we could hop off. This showed me the light to cleansing by facing your own negative thought. Wrenching through the joints of my little piggies made space where there once wasn’t. If I can improve the base in which I support my entire body in 90 seconds, what else can yoga do for me?
Marco - June Ambassador
7) Tell us a fun fact about you that we wouldn’t expect!!
I collect vinyls. Even though I pay for a Spotify account and have over 1000 songs on my iPhone, I prefer to listen to music through a record player. The first time I listened to the Rush album Moving Pictures on vinyl, my media preference was made up. The sound is undeniably richer. Geddy Lee’s bass riffs in the epic classic YYZ never sounded better. It is something you can only really know for yourself once you try it.

Thank you, Marco for coming into my life! I am lucky to know you.

Love Sweet Love + Happy Vibes!

Sthira and Sukha: Strength & Ease

Sukhasana – vorigin is Sanskrit A simple seat. Sukha meaning simple or ease. Asana meaning seat or more commonly known in English as a yoga posture or “pose.”

When you arrive in yoga class you may hear a teacher prattle on in English and some other foreign language. In the back of your mind you may have wondered if it actually is a foreign language or if what they’re saying just sounds foreign. You’re not crazy, I promise! Many yoga teachers integrate Sanskrit (the ancient Indian language) into their classes. Sanskrit is the Latin equivalent for our culture, a dead language only spoken during ceremonies and moments where English just doesn’t quite create the bhav (mood) you’re looking for.

Almost all of my classes have Sanskrit. Many of my colleagues choose not to use it for a myriad of reasons: too complicated to learn, students may feel overwhelmed etc. But for myself, as a self-proclaimed word nerd and someone who loves to watch words dance across the screen or the beauty of hearing new syllables and chants creep into my eardrums, the idea of not using Sanskrit is a sin. I love everything about the language: the rich, deeply rooted sounds and syllables, the idea that you can replace letters without corrupting the word itself, the meaning hidden behind each word and the idioms that sink you deeper into the authenticity of a culture. Sanskrit is a beautiful representation of the Indian culture and I adore each moment and each letter.

Sthira and Sukha are two of my favorite Sanskrit words at the moment. Sukha may sound familiar to you if you’ve ever sat in a simple seat. Sukhasana means simple seat or easy pose. Sukha means the art of being in ease. Other than being connected to this asana, it is almost always referred to alongside sthira.

One of the most difficult concepts that I teach to beginners is the idea of letting go.

The moment you STOP grunting and sweating, pushing yourself into a contorted pose, you’ll likely find it. Sthira and Sukha. Strength and ease. Yang and yin.

Deepak Chopra’s 4th spiritual law is the law of least effort. It allows you to accept where you are in that moment. Let go. Surrender. You’ve done the work and now is the time to rest and release. And sometimes in that exact moment when you “give up” or let go of the ego, you find the pose you’re so desperately craving.

One of my favorite examples is how I found lotus. It was my birthday and I decided to skip work (naughty, yes – but it says a lot about where I was in my life that I skipped work to go to yoga). And go to yoga I did! I attended three classes that day and that evening while I was in class with my mom, I just let go of any ideas of what I wanted my poses to look like or where I wanted to be. I surrendered into the class and gave way to the permission of actually doing what I needed and wanted on the mat. At the very end of class our teacher Jen offered out lotus. I had wanted this pose for so long that I had all but given up. I decided to just try it without judgement to see where I was and magically I found my way into it with complete ease. It was as if I had been doing the pose for years. Pure magic!

Singing Bowl

One of my favorite “real life” examples was when I took my yoga off the mat. October 23rd, 2009 I went on a date with my mom. I “hated men” and had (actually) just been on the worst date of my life the week prior. On our way to the restaurant I was singing along to Michael Bubles “I just haven’t met you yet” and told my mom the song was bullshit and that I would never, ever, ever meet anyone and I was destined to be alone. I also told her I was taking a break from dating. I met my husband that night.

Release. Let go. Surrender. You’ve done the work. Sthira and Sukha. It’s now time to surrender and trust that the most beautiful thing (pose, life event) is coming. It’s around the corner. And today your job is to sink into ease.

Love you yogis!

Mama Bear Confidence + How It’s Different From Before

When I found out I was pregnant I threw my diet out the window. I didn’t know much about being pregnant and knew nothing from firsthand experience, but I knew that if I felt restricted it wouldn’t be an easy road ahead. I spent much of those first few months in a junk food haze until I woke up after the Superbowl and said “no more.” I turned to fruits and veggies and had all sorts of delicious cravings in the healthy food department but my desire for green smoothies and too much broccoli had gone out the window. I snuck in delicious bacon covered donuts and ate to my hearts content.

As with most eating, it was a mask. I wasn’t eating to fuel myself and the little guy but rather to hide my feelings. In the beginning of my pregnancy I was ashamed that I didn’t like being pregnant. I’m a yogi after all: joy + rainbows and such. But it felt difficult. I was tired, I didn’t feel like practicing and I had the worst writers block on the planet. It just wasn’t joyful. I had the easiest physical pregnancy in the world, thank goodness… I just didn’t LIKE being pregnant. I could feel every movement he made, EVERYTHING that was happening I could feel energetically and physically and it was just exhausting.

Then everything changed. Zyan was born and it was and is the most magical time. I’m back to my body and the happiest I have been in a long time. My labor was easy and beautiful. My son entered this world covered in love and has been giving and receiving it since.

But it wrecked havoc on my body. These photos weren’t easy to take but I knew I needed them for many reasons: proof of where I had been, what my journey was and how I could share it with others. I took photos of my body in front of mirrors and in yoga poses along the way and in the last 7 months I have changed drastically and for many reasons. First, I wanted to come back into myself. Not necessarily losing the weight (which of course I wanted) but more to practice. I couldn’t lift myself in crow or feel powerful in warrior without a lot of strain and exhaustion and if I couldn’t do those poses with ease, how was I supposed to chase Zyan around once he was mobile?

Mama Bear Confidence + How it Differs from Before
1 Day Postpartum

The very first day after he was born, I started doing simple stretches in bed: a few seated twists and a forward fold all done in the safety of my hospital bed. I was told not to move too quickly as I wouldn’t heal well and so I promised myself I would move once a day no matter what that looked like.

The first week postpartum was a blur. Insane hours with a beautiful newborn who was nursing like a champ and making everyone around him want to cuddle and take naps. I slept when the baby slept but in those rare moments I was awake when he was asleep, I did a half sun salutation. I did a few half suns in the first week and started to feel a little bit of my fascia stretch and come awake and alive again.

On the second week I was sick of being cooped up and decided to go for a walk. There is a fabulous coffee shop down the street from our old apartment and I would walk there every or every other morning to grab a cup of coffee: 0.5 miles total. At home after I would sit quietly with my coffee and do a simple twist.

By the time I was four weeks postpartum I had walked up to 3 miles and was practicing regularly at home. I had the autumn equinox workshops to teach and wanted to at least be able to move my body and connect to others while teaching. I didn’t need to be in shape or “working out” too hard but at least enough to model some poses. Exactly four weeks after Zyan came into this world, I taught my first yoga class.


2 weeks postpartum - Newborn Photoshoot
2 Weeks Postpartum – Newborn Photoshoot

I felt amazing after teaching those two workshops and was already starting to “get my groove back” so to speak. I felt empowered and not the least bit exhausted. I continued on this path and was feeling great, but oddly I had started to bleed again (not a good sign). I called and was told that if I was bleeding after my walks, it was normal and I was going too fast. I was listening to my body but also being overzealous. I knew I needed to rest and took 4 days off of any movement. I rested. I napped. I recovered. And then I got back on the horse and kept moving.

Mama Bear Confidence + How it Differs from Before
8 Weeks Postpartum

Two months after he was born I was back to teaching twice weekly classes regularly and had been approved to workout. I phoned my friend who is a personal trainer and started working with her once a week on top of practicing yoga at home and on the mat whenever I had childcare and a moment to myself. My road to recovery after pregnancy was easy because I wanted to embody my inner mama bear. After Ziggy was born I knew I needed to be in the best shape of my life in order to run after him and this morning I couldn’t be more grateful than to be where I am right now. It’s not my ideal body or my ideal weight but I feel damn good and as I watch him crawl/run/slink away from me towards those outlets he’d love to chew: I am so grateful I’m faster than he is! As the mama of a boy I know it’s crucial that I’m faster than him. I always want to be able to play in the dirt and run and haphazardly throw footballs in his direction (I won’t be good, but I can sure as hell try).

My confidence is through the roof at the moment and I know it’s because I’m a mama. I am still conscious and very self-aware. There are days when I’m tugging at my shirt to get it back down over my hips and I’m not quite yet ready to rock that pink bikini I have my eye on – but I’m getting there day by day.

Mama Bear Confidence + How it Differs from Before
Last week – 6.5 months Postpartum

And so instead of overanalyzing every wrinkle and roll in the postpartum photos I have taken, I am celebrating them. Those bacon covered donuts didn’t fuel me or Zyan and I’m certain they all went to my hips instead of his belly or my aching heart, but at the time I needed to eat them. I don’t regret one moment or morsel last year and couldn’t be happier to be where I am in this moment.

Being his mama changed me to the core. He gave me more joy than I could’ve ever imagined, more love and happiness than I can describe. And he gave me the confidence to step forward every day in life through my writings and teachings. I love him so much and when I look at all these photos all I can see now is that effervescent joy and those rainbows that are shooting out of both of us.

This mama bear confidence is so much different than ever before. I’m stronger, happier and more confident than I ever have been.

Mama Bear Confidence + How it Differs from Before
3 months postpartum
Mama Bear Confidence + How it Differs from Before
Lululemon Ambassador Shoot – 7 months postpartum

Thank you Zyan for letting your mama in on the secret to life: confidence arrives with love. Both self-love and the intense love of those around you. Thank you for leading me on this incredible journey, especially because I resisted the hard parts. It made the experience even better knowing that on the other side of last years journey would be YOU and the rest of my lifetime. Thank you for making me a mama, for choosing me to be the one to guide you in this lifetime and on this earth. I am so proud of both of us for how far we have come already and cannot wait to see the rest of our journey ahead.

I am so happy to get on my mat tonight and teach. I’m blessed to be back in my mindset as a writer with the block entirely gone. And this body finally feels on track. I’m treating my temple well with whole foods and deliciously difficult workouts and soothing yoga sessions. I’m meditating and reading spiritual books once more. Mama bear confidence is an entirely new kind of living and I am honored to be living in this new truth.

Get out there. Live your truth. Do yoga. Make the world sparkle