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My Journal

April 13, 2016

Reach & Raise Event

IMG_3836.JPGOn Monday morning my friend, Dawn Altman​, introduced me to Usha Lakshmi, a yoga teacher at Still Point Yoga who said, “Oh, I love yoga on the steps! My daughter and I do it every year. It’s so inspiring and it’s our thing. I can’t wait.”

Yoga On The Steps (now known as Reach & Raise) IS one of THE MOST inspiring yoga classes I know.

People often ask, How did the event get started?

Fifteen years ago, I was 35 years old, alone up on the top steps of the Art Museum practicing yoga, thinking, I have got to share, share this view, share this optimism, share this beauty and meet new people. I need to get out of my rut and expand.

Two years later, Courtney Kapp, a student who I’d worked with who recovered from breast cancer, introduced me to Jean Sachs​, President of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. At our first meeting at Yoga Schelter studio, I shared my vision and we discussed the large fund raising event on the Philadelphia Museum of Art​ steps.

The first year 175-200 people showed.

Last year we had close to 2,000. Family, friends, loved ones: All invited.

No previous yoga experience necessary. The yoga class is for all levels.

If you ever need a boost of inspiration and confidence this is your event.

Next week I’ll post on the basics of the yoga practice and the inspiring theme of the class.



January 15, 2016

Monday Evening – Inspirational Yoga

YogaClassJennifer’s Inspirational Yoga style works for all ages and stages of yoga practitioners to feel Inspired to trust and move at their own, comfortable pace.
Classes Include:

– Inspirational Vinyasa Flow Yoga
– Mindfulness Meditation
– Breathing Practice
– Guided Relaxation

Benefits Include:
– Balance – Body and Mind
– Relaxation and Ease
– Balance, Agility, Flexibility, and Strength
– Core stability
– Letting go stress, and anxiety

All levels welcome.

November 3, 2015

On The Waters Edge at Kripalu

IMG_3943Below the Berkshire mountains, and the sound of geese, I’m dipping my toes in the waters edge, thinking about swimming out to the red buoy; about half a football field.

There’s no lifeguard on the stand. It’s less than 70-something, and I rub my goosebumps. But it’s the last swim of the summer and my bones are screaming, Do it!

Two women under the golden trees, chat and take photos.

One calls out, “Do it! Go for it! Go!”

“Yikes. It’s cold,” I say.

“Nonsense!” says the other.

“You’re right,” I say and tip-toe to the lifeguard stand, leaving my stretch pants, sweater, towel and sunglasses.

“C-ooo-old,” I whine.

“Who cares. We got your back,” says the one taking pictures.

“Okay, here goes.”

I wade into the gravelly sand.

“Yikes. Cold. Go!” I say, lifting my shoulders and sucking in my stomach. One more deep breath and I lounge forward and begin to paddle, head up and dry. I’m kicking and breathing and stroking.

“Whoo-hoo!” I call out.

“Whoo-hoo!” they echo.

Six years ago I swam out and around the same buoy while attending a writing workshop at Kripalu. Now I was co-leading a retreat called Being Fully Alive with Cara Bradley at Kripalu and leading a meditation and writing workshop.

Earlier that day, while checking-in at the front desk, I noticed my name tag said: Faculty.

I kick, breathe and sink my head under the water and say Heaven. It sounds like: Haa-bin.

Rounding the buoy, I backstroke. A fireworks of autumn trees frames the lake. I’m in no rush for shore.

Magnificent, I say to the sky.

My eyes, face and lips descend into the water and towards the fire of leaves again and again as I crawl towards shore.

I wait until the last possible moment to touch bottom, icky, gooey.

The taller of the two women, take my picture before I grab my towel and says, “Amazing and worth every minute, right?”


Before the gold flame dims, we take each others pictures and turn to walk up the hill.

Five days later I find and read this poem by David Whyte.

The Journey

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes
of your life.

You are not leaving.
Even as the light
fades quickly now,
you are arriving.

October 7, 2015

First Night of Contours of A Rich Life – Mika Brzezinski and Emile Brzezinski – Mother and Daughter

FullSizeRenderLast night I spoke for the first time at Bryn Mawr College for Main Line School Night. I was honored to kick off the workshop called “Contours of A Rich Life” about the skill and dedication to loving our life, creativity, inspiration, and self-care.

How do we honor who we truly are? How do we get out of a rut?
How do we let our well-being and positivity lead the way?

The speakers, Mika Brzezinski, the host of Morning Joe and best selling author, and Emilie Brzezinski, artist, talked about their mother-daughter relationship and Emilie’s art career.

Mika admitted it wasn’t easy to  grow up with an artist; a mother who was in love with her art, her chainsaw and ax, who loved carving trees.


What I learned from watching Mika honor and launch her mother’s book “The Lure of The Forest”:

When we honor the best of our mother,
we honor the best in our self.

My good friend Cheryl Rice recently said is best: “Mothering yourself is a profound act of self-care.”
In the workshop we discussed that most women think of “mothering” (who have children or not) as care giving others.

And ultimately, mothering it’s what we can do for ourselves.

For whether we are:
a biological mother,
never had a mother,
are a mother by adoption,
are a mother to cats or dogs,
are a single woman,
are childless,
are with child,
are working,
are caring for elderly,
are grieving for the loss of a mother,
are looking for how to mother our transitions and inspiration,
We all crave the energy of being safe and uplifted.

Q: What is mothering?
A: The relationship between the joy you find and accepting the joy others find.

What are you mothering in yourself?

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.



PS. I need to give a big thank you and bouquets of flowers to Noelle Ricca Peter (thank you for being the one who first suggested I develop this course!) Cara Ferrara Bradley (for all the support from Verge Yoga and these photos) and fellow travelers on the path of inspiration – Jen Torpie, Elizabeth Farquharson Norris, Lisa Bardarson, Main Line School Night, Claudia McBride, and many others who influenced the shine of the evening and workshop.
PSS. A big thank you to Heather Sellers, who’s brilliant teaching style and writing shines the light of care and exemplifies beauty.

September 11, 2015

Being Fully Alive

kripalu-e1407949597832This Fall I’m living a dream, and I invite you to join the adventure to Kripalu.

I’m offering and co-leading “Being Fully Alive” retreat at the famous Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, October 12-16.

I’m collaborating with a wise teacher/author, Cara Bradley, Founder, Verge Yoga Center, Wayne, Pa. and her soon to be published book On The Verge. We are thrilled to be offering this retreat together.

I invite all friends students and lovers of health, self-discovery and inspiration to share the adventure and join us October 12-16, for this precious retreat to explore:

– stability and strength in all-levels yoga
– mindfulness meditation
– how movement and breath can harmonize the nervous system
– nature to inspire tranquility and vitality
– writing combined with meditation and yoga for self-reflection and joy.

What brings you fully alive? What are your next steps?

In the rolling hills and autumn leaves of Stockbridge, Massachusettes, Kripalu is one of the most special places I’ve found to rejuvenate and gain perspective. Plus, the food is marvelous.

The retreat is open to all ages and stages of yoga experience.

Read more about For Being Fully Alive: The Joy of Clarity, Strength, and Freedom, October 12-16, 2015, Kripalu, Center for Yoga & Health. Register on-line or click here for more information.

I can’t wait to share this celebration of inspiration and purpose with you!

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