Where did Journey to Hope come from?

Journey to Hope started as an idea. In December of 2009, I had heard of yogaHOPE, a non-profit organization in Boston serving yoga to underserved women in recovery. The moment I heard of this organization, I knew I needed to be a part of it.
I was living in the Boston area at the time and continuously emailed Sue Jones & Amanda Richter asking about the teacher training program. By March of 2010, I had become a yogaHOPE assistant teacher and began working with Amy Cluff in The Meridian House. As the house was co-ed, the occasional male would show up for class and to my surprise they didn’t chuckle or laugh, but truly participated and wanted to be in yoga class with us!
A few months later I attended Saluting the Spirit, which was the most beautiful & enriching practice I have ever had the chance to partake in! Saluting the spirit benefits Pathways to Wellness & yogaHOPE as a part of their fundraiser and I was happy to have raised $500 to contribute to my favorite non-profit organization!
My own 200 hour teacher training and master’s degree program interrupted my volunteering for yogaHOPE and a few months later I traveled over the bridge to being my journey on the beautiful Cape Cod. Although I did not move far, I had moved far enough. Only two weeks after arriving, I realized there was no low cost yoga on Cape Cod (save for a few community classes) and I wanted to bring my knowledge and experience over the bridge and into the heart of the Cape. By beginning publicly with the West Dennis Library, I was and still am able to include both men & women (as we had in the Meridian House). By working privately, we are also able to serve other non-profits who do not have extra income for health & wellness programs.
Cape cod sunriseCape cod sunrise
As Sue mentioned this week on facebook: “People often thank me for doing what I do. Let me make one thing clear, I am thankful for GETTING to do what I do.” And I couldn’t agree more. Being here in the Cape and providing yoga to those who need it most, feeds my soul in so many unimaginable ways. I couldn’t ever imagine another lifestyle and I am so grateful to provide this service to others.

Journey to Hope is just that, it is our personal journey to hope. As my husband says: “Why else are we here? What do we hold onto? HOPE!” Hope makes the world go round’. It is why we chase someone down to return the $200 they left on the counter. It’s why we light our trees and wait for Santa. It’s why we want to bring a child into the world. Hope is the string that holds us together.

Ae you ready to grab a hold of that string and join us? Today is as wonderful a day as any to sign up for our teacher training“like” us on facebook, make a donation or leave a comment! Any love & encouragement helps us on our journey as Journey to Hope begins our first expansion!!!

Today it is time to take your yoga off the mat & into the world! Get out there, do yoga & make life sparkle!


Educators ARE Students

Any educator will tell you that the best teacher is also a student. We learn from our students everyday just as a parent learns from their child.
On Monday I learned I could do a handstand. I’ve been doing forearm stands for quite a while now and desperately wanted to conquer the challenge of the elusive handstand! At my class on Monday night, my teacher showed up to take class. It is extremely difficult to be a student, especially if you own the studio, but Maureendid a great job – until inversions. I had everyone at the wall, flipping their physical and mental perspectives and having a blast, when Maureen did a handstand.
My green eyes came out immediately and I said something I tell all my students to never do: “Woah! I’m jealous, I wish I could do a handstand!” (More proof that I am as much a student as a teacher). Maureen interrupted class and told me I could. She then challenged me in front of all my students and told me to do a handstand: right then and there. 
Not one to back away from fear, I walked {on my hands} right into this new, exciting and challenging pose. I did a handstand in front of my class and conquered my own unique challenge.
It was a wonderful lesson for all of us! For myself, I learned a new trick & I re-learned to control my jealousy and ego. For my students, they saw their teacher experience and conquer fear in her own class.
As we giggled our way back into balasana, I helped them channel their positive energy through the rest of their practice, and hopefully their evening. I used a few of my top 10 least favorite words during class, but I used them in a positive way. Fear is okay, it’s healthy, if we use it correctly. Try can manifest into an accomplishment and can’t will become already did! As long as we use these words the right way, we do not need to cut them from our lives, but rather, they will fade on their own.
Get out there, do yoga & make life sparkle!!

Magical Mondays

This week, as always, I have many blessings!
But to start, our weekend adventure! We got our first Christmas tree as a married couple. It is quaint and perfect for our apartment. Even so, there was a lot of detail and thought put into it, from the tree topper (which took two months to find!) and my favorite ornament (an octopus my brother gave me a few years ago)! Our house looks & smells delicious and our little house feels like a home!!
Our first tree!!Our first tree!!
Both myself & Journey to Hope are very blessed this week. We have added another location: The Transition Centerin South Yarmouth. We are so excited to serve with them starting in January. We are also speaking with a few other top secret locations to be revealed soon!
We are getting geared up for the weekend of December 16th! Many adventures will be had that weekend, including our second benefit class held at the Mid-Cape Raquet Club on December 18th @ 8:30am. By Donation. Please stop by & join us for a beautiful flow to calm your nerves this season! Also being held that weekend is our first teacher training! Mark your calendars for December 17th 12-4pm!
By the way, have you “liked” us onfacebook yet? We are trying to reach 150 “likes” by Christmas!
I am wishing you a week full of blessings, joys & adventures. Do yoga & make your life sparkle!

As always,

May you embody love, speak truth & perceive kindness,

I Have Root Chakra Issues

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true. I own my problems. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was talking about the Landmark Education, which helps you realize your deep-rooted issues, and began talking about her experience. I waited patiently, and then told her I knew mine: I don’t feel worthy of money, and I am afraid people seeing straight through who I am now and see the 14-year-old girl quivering inside. Not many people, however, know their problems, or can own them outright to acquaintances and friends.
With that said, I always have a positive outlook on life. I am no longer a scared 14-year-old girl (although she does crop up occasionally in my self-esteem), but a proud, loving & loved married woman who owns two businesses. I have changed my lifestyle from funny bones to green smoothies and will never look back, but there is always that fear. I try my best to look fear in the eye and chase it away as quickly as possible, but some days it threatens to never leave! Fear ishealthy. It helps us to understand certain situations and recognize danger, but often times it isn’t necessary. 
When I was younger I was afraid of the ocean. I grew up with summers on a murky lake, full of soft sand and clay, sunsets and mountains. Seashells were mysterious and sharks could kill you at any moment – so I stayed clear. My dad, a scuba diver since birth, always tried to get us to go with him. I remember being 5-years-old and watching him jump off our boat and into the ocean. Mom and I ate PB&J sandwiches as I watched his bubbles disappear. We would watch for what seemed like hours, for his bubbles to reappear (and yes he was alone, a lot of rules have changed in scuba since then!). Finally, his bubbles would return to the surface and in his neoprene covered hands would be strange creatures with claws. In my mind I had no business being in a land where bubbles disappeared and strange creatures live (the same creatures, who hours later, would scream while being boiled alive in our kitchen…. I still don’t eat lobster). NO THANK YOU.
Then one day, things changed. My 13-year-old brother got certified while on a work vacation with my dad. Now, I am not athletic, and with many people I am not competitive. But being seven years his senior, there was no way my little brother would upstage me. I called home one night in September and asked for the first time if I could take the scuba class offered in college. Three days later my dad took me shopping for my first pair of fins.
Needless to say, I looked fear in the face, with a slight mix of competition, and dove into the ocean blue, never looking back. Six years later, I visually hunt for octopi and sharks (my favorites)!
There are many days, however, when this bravery isn’t present. Doubt always has a way of creeping into your soul, especially when you start of on a new venture. Journey to Hope could be one of the scariest things I’ve done. Doubt crops up everywhere: Will we find grants to fund our efforts? Will people like my idea? Will anyone believe in my mission? Am I even worth a salary, or the praise I receive?
But that is doubt. And I am not doubts biggest fan. I believe in a strong handshake (especially in women), I believe in confidence, and I believe in being true to yourself. I do not believe in letting doubt sink in too far. Without truth, confidence and handshakes, doubt will grow to be bigger than yourself and you will lose track of your dreams.
Although I have a few deep seated root chakra fears (Am I fat? Is my inner 14-year-old showing? Does anyone even read this blog?), I am still positive!!! I look fear and doubt in the face and try to laugh: loudly! As a theater major I learned to fake it until you believe it.
So here’s to faking it! Here’s to chasing fear, hunting octopi, and always trying to lasso that positive attitude. Because if you do, maybe, just maybe, we will create reality from our dreams!
As always,
May you embody love, speak truth & perceive kindness!

Thanksgiving week always gives me amazing blessings, joys & adventures!!! First of all, it is my birthday week, which is always a blast. I got so many wonderful gifts of love, as well as some fun material gifts (a HUGE octopus necklace, ornaments, and a cooking class!). But more importantly, I was able to spend time with my wonderful family. I could not be more blessed, not only with the family that I’ve always known, but with my husband and in-laws who are such an amazing addition to our family!!
Highlights of the week: a class with Lauren Egavian on Thanksgiving day, a chakra cleanse with Jaqui Bonwell (seriously, check her out!!), cousin day in Boston, seeing old high school friends, an engagement party for one of my favorites, and finding a tree topper for our first Christmas tree.
Journey to Hope has so many adventures lying in the weeks ahead. Please check out our benefit class on December 18th @ Mid-Cape Raquet Club at 8:30am!!!
Also, please take a look at our training section, as we are still looking for more volunteers. We will begin teaching in January with 4 new classes added and would love help spreading the love & light of yoga.
As always,
May you embody love, speak truth and perceive kindness,

25th Birthday Letter

Dear 25th year,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you have done, been and ever will be. You were the year that changed my life, and I know that it can only improve and get better with age.
This year, you helped me found a non profit organization, graduate with my master’s degree from Cambridge College, graduate from my yoga teacher training from the Yoga Loft, watch my baby brother graduate from high school and my cousin graduate from Salem State. We got engaged together and then I married the love of my life (!!!) all before Christmas.
I learned a lot about myself during this year. I learned that I am brave enough to start a business from scratch because I believe the people in Cape Cod need better access to yoga.
I learned way too much about idioms and how to write an amazing graduate thesis on teaching idiomatic expressions to English language learners. I finally understood the difference between being a teacher and an educator, of which I am the former.
I learned the value of commitment, and what it means to be a life partner. I learned a lot about communication, vows and love.
I learned about blogging, technology, social media, business marketing and telephone marketing. I learned about promoting myself as a business and constantly being on the look out for more opportunities.
I learned that I am much braver than I think I am.
I learned that with a little support and a lot of love, you can get anywhere. AND I learned that even without the support and the love, manifesting a positive attitude and putting dreams into actions will help you achieve any dream.
I learned how to cook. American and Indian food.
I learned how to clean an oven, how to make coasters, and the importance of candles, lyscol wipes and a swiffer.
I learned about aerial yoga (which I hope to be certified in next year), and took a class with David Magone from Pranavayu yoga.
I learned that the beach can solve any problem. Ever.
I was already blessed, but this year proved to me that life can get better and better everyday. If we keep our positive attitudes and our dreams alive, we will manifest the most amazing and wonderful life. I am so grateful for my husband, my family (including my very new family), friends and new faces!

Bring it on 26! Let’s see what you have to offer, what obstacles I need to remove or encounter, what positive, blessed and amazing events can happen and where I will end up next. I am so excited to be with you on this journey.

Forever & always,