Shantala is coming to SLC

Great news! We’ve just learned that local musician, Leraine Horstmanshoff ( Leraine Music), will be joining Shantala, The Music of Heather and Benjy Wertheimer for their kirtan performance at Full Circle Yoga and Therapy, 1719 S Main St, SLC, on May 9th at 7:00 PM..

Leraine is an exceptionally talented musician and we are delighted to have her artistry added to what’s sure to be a wonderful evening of music and celebration. You can sample her music at

This is sure to be a highly pleasurable experience. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets, $20.00 in advance and $30.00 day of:

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Learn To Meditate

I’ve been working on creating a Learn To Meditate program. What I’ve got is a combination of written material on learning to meditate as well as an audio recording that will guide you through the process of meditating. Follow this link to my counseling web site to get started. Let me know how it works for you.

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8 Ways Yoga Makes You Better At Life

8 Ways Yoga Makes You Better At Life

Yoga for mental health

Yoga for mental health

I really like this post by Megan Bruneau, a psychotherapist from Vancouver, Canada, that appears on She talks about some very important concepts that present themselves in our lives that we can experiment with in the safety of our yoga practice: comparing, expectations, kindness toward self, the journey, discomfort, non-judgment and compassion. Give it a read.

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5 Things You Should Be Learning In Yoga Class (But Probably Aren’t)

I think I’ve mentioned each of these 5 things you should be learning in yoga class many times in class. These are some good suggestions for bringing more to your practice.

Below are the five lessons from an Elephant Journal article by Julie Bernier.

1.  Practice yoga on an empty stomach. 

2.  The best time to do yoga is in the morning before breakfast. 

3.  Each yoga posture has a purpose and benefits.

4.  We can get so much more out of yoga than just exercise—it’s actually a spiritual practice.

5.  Practicing with awareness is imperative.

Read the full article:

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Lots of changes

You may have heard that my near and dear, home yoga studio, Prana Yoga Trolley Square is closing on June15, 2014. It has been a long series of battles with the owners of Trolley Sq. Not sure what their intentions are. They don’t seem very willing to work with their tenants and, as a result, more and more are leaving. I love the space and community at Prana and will miss it dearly. The bright side is that Prana Yoga is merging with Centered City Yoga, as of June 1, 2014. I will be joining some of the other Prana Yoga teachers as we take our kula (community) and merge with CCY. Look for my Thursday 8:40-9:40 AM and Friday 9:15-10:30 AM Fundamentals class starting July 1, 2014.

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Not Flexible Enough…

notflexibleforyoga“I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.” That is one of those wish-I-had-a-dollar-for-every-time-I-heard-that-line lines. At the heart of it is the belief that yoga is about getting somplace that you aren’t already, that where I am right now doesn’t qualify me to do something as amazing as yoga. Anyone who has embraced the essence of yoga can attest that yoga is about anything but getting better than who, what and where you are right now.

No matter what your level of flexibility, allow yourself to move through the ego-limited belief that “I am not enough.” Acknowledge the mind’s fear-inspired effort to keep you in a place that feels safe to the mind (the familiar) and take yourself into the unknown, trusting that you are safe. I often remind my students, if falling out of a yoga pose or feeling like you’re the only one in the room who can’t touch her toes is the worst thing that happens to you all week, then that’s a pretty good week. Hope to see you in class. (BTW: Everyone can touch their toes. Just bend your knees)

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Yoga Videos

Looking for yoga videos? Here’s a place to start.

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What kind of yoga mat should I buy?

People often ask my opinion about yoga mats. With so many of them on the market, I have a difficult time offering advice. A good place to start might be Hugger Mugger, a local company with a huge web presence and a local outlet. You can go there and check out a variety of mats from their own brand as well as others. You can also check out a variety of mats at REI.

Brands that I like: Jade, Manduka and Gaiam

You’ll have to decide how thick you want your mat to be. The thickness, combined with the material used, will determine how much padding the mat offers. You want enough thickness to cushion but not so much that it causes an unstable, mushy feeling under you. Definitely avoid the cheap, soft, rubbery feeling mats that are easy to stretch. Their cushiness may seem appealing but they move around too much under you and do not provide a stable surface on which to practice.

Mats come in different lengths from approximately 68″ up to 85″. They also come in different thicknesses, the most common being 1/8″ (3mm), 1/5″ (5mm), 1/4″ (6.4mm). Some manufacturers use inches, others mm.

There is also a wide range of pricing from the low end (Target or Walmart) $10.00 to $120.00. If you know that you love yoga and intend to continue practicing, I suggest investing in a higher end mat. Some of them are guaranteed for life and will be replaced if they wear. Good mats can be found in every price range.

I suggest going to Hugger Mugger or REI and, literally, get a good feel for different brands and styles. Keep in mind that all mats come out of the factory with a thin coating that makes them slippery until the coating wears off. You can speed up the process by putting your mat in the bathtub with a small amount of water and a very small amount of soap. Go over the surface with a soft brush or rough cloth. (depending on the material, it may suck up a lot of water and take several hours to dry) The more you use your mat, the less slippery it will be. Manduka describes a procedure using rock salt to help put the sticky in your sticky mat.

I have The Black Mat from Manduka. After 7 years of steady use, it is starting to show signs of wear. I recently contacted Manduka about it and they are replacing it with a new one. Feel free to ask to test mine out after class. If you see someone in class with an interesting looking mat, ask them about it and ask if you can feel the texture and thickness.

Happy shopping.

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5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your First Yoga Class

Attending your first yoga class takes a lot of courage, especially if you are going it alone and don’t have a guide.  Read here for some tips from Elephant Journal about getting the most from your first class.

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Yoga Saves Lives!!


Two survivors heading toward the ocean

I was in Puerto Vallarta last week. For part of the trip, we stayed in a beautiful resort in Nuevo Vallarta, a place to which three different varieties of endangered sea turtles return to lay their eggs. There is a sea turtle hatchery located near the resort that incubates and protects the eggs and then releases the hatchlings in a controlled manner to increase their chances of survival. Visitors can go to the hatchery at sunset to participate in the nightly ritual of releasing the day’s hatchlings.

Locals who work on or near the beach: hotel employees, lifeguards, vendors and citizens participate in the efforts to save the turtles by noticing when a turtle climbs out of the ocean and creates a nest. The spot is marked by the observer and reported to the hatchery. The hatchery workers dig up the nest and relocate it to the hatchery where it will be kept safe for the approximately 60 days it takes for the eggs to hatch.

Mornings, before the sun heats the air, are beautiful here. I found a quiet, secluded spot behind the hotel where I practiced yoga in the morning. There’s a beautiful, outdoor wedding chapel that overlooks the ocean and is surrounded by a huge expanse of grass and tropical trees. With the sounds of the ocean as a backdrop, this is an idyllic place to practice. As I rolled out my mat, I noticed one of the black birds that frequent the area shaking its head to subdue a baby turtle that the bird held in its beak. I went back and forth between cursing the bird and accepting this as part of the cycle of the life of a turtle. Only 2 out of 1,000 baby turtles will live to reproduce at age 6-8.

As I turned back to my mat, I noticed some movement in the grass and an increase in the number of black birds in the area. I walked over to the movement and saw a hatchling, struggling to move about in the grass. I picked it up as I saw another and another. I had six of them in my hands, each trying to get away and make it to the water. Their chances were slim. Between them and the water was a rock garden, a two foot high stone wall, a four foot drop to the 50 yards of treacherous sand and an untold number of predators hovering overhead.


I took the circuitous route, through the hotel grounds, to the beach. The whole time, my six charges were struggling to get out of my hands. Once I got close to the water’s edge, I put them down, far enough back from the water to give them opportunity to smell the sand and water. No one fully understands how the turtles find their way back to the beach on which they hatched to lay their eggs in adulthood. Allowing them the opportunity to take in their environment might increase their chances of making it back to reproduce.

Five of the six took right off and ran into the water. The sixth seemed disoriented and hung around for a few minutes before heading into the water. I went back to the grassy spot and found four more hatchlings. I repeated the release ritual and went back to find one more, which I also released.

I wondered how the mother turtle had made it up this far to lay her eggs. The area was surrounded by obstacles, including a fence, and the area was planted and manicured. I looked around, with no luck, to see if I could find any others.

I checked back a few times during the day to see if any others had hatched and found none. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction to know that I helped 11 little souls survive certain death at the hands of the heat and predators. Had I not gone to the area to practice yoga, none of them would, probably, have made it.

See, yoga does save lives.

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