A Journey Inward

Do you see that shadow?  Or is it a reflection?  That reflection, the journey inward, to see my true self is really what brings me to my mat.  Yoga is a practice.  It’s not meant to be perfected. It’s not meant to begin or end.  It’s meant to be with us, to be a mirror, to show us what’s really going on and heighten our awareness both internally and externally.  

Each time I step on my mat isn’t pretty.  It isn’t always fluid.  It doesn’t always feel good.  

Sometimes I don’t like what I see, feel, and discover.  But it’s real.  It’s raw.  It’s transformative.  

I’m not talking about the superficial practice of yoga poses without any mind body connection or attention to what you are doing.  I love working out but that’s all yoga postures are when done without the true heart mind connection.  

My invitation or should I say challenge to you is to take the leap … to allow the practice to really be transformative.  That means come in and take advantage of all of those opportunities to look inward and really understand the workings of your mind.  As you learn to quiet the mind, you can connect with truth that’s in your heart.  That’s the real transformation. 

I hope to see you on the mat looking at your own reflection.  


Book Club Workshop

Last weekend our yoga book club met to talk, practice, eat, watch a documentary and talk some more. The three hours flew by. Jacqueline lead us through a beautiful asana practice inspired by mantras from the book. We talked about the difference between ambition and greed, between pain and suffering. We talked about what we […]

via Wobblyogi Wednesday: Book Club Workshop and Eats — The Hungry Philosopher

Book Club Week 5

If you are reading along, we are up to the second four sections of part two in our book Living Your Yoga: Finding your Spiritual in Everyday Life. Here author Judith Lasater addresses issues of Attachment, Suffering, Impermanence and Empathy. Attachment is the process which occurs in the body-mind when you do not get your […]

via Wobblyogi Wednesday: Yoga Book Club Notes #5 — The Hungry Philosopher

Book Club Continued

Hello, Everyone! Our adventure in self-study through reading Judith Lasater’s Living Your Yoga continues. How is reading going for you? What are you asking yourself? Finding any surprising answers? If you’re not reading the book but just checking in with the blog….. perfect. That’s what this blog series is for. This effort is less about […]

via Wobblyogi Wednesday – Book Club Notes #4 — The Hungry Philosopher

Book Club Week 3

So….how’s the reading going? Do you find yourself noting moments of mindfulness during your day? Do you hear Judith Laster’s gentle advice to heed the feelings of impatience and fear? Somedays I am more self-aware than others. This week’s notes cover topics about our relationship with ourselves: faith, perspective, courage and relaxation. “….I came to […]

via Wobblyogi Wednesday -Book Club Notes 3 — The Hungry Philosopher

Book Club Continued

Hello, fellow yogis engaged in self-study! This week my notes are about the first 4 chapters of Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater. Spiritual Seeking Whether we seek something called spirituality, holiness, or enlightenment, the route to it is through our humanness, complete with our strengths and our weaknesses, our successes and our failures…. To […]

via Wobblyogi Wednesday – Book Club Notes 2 — The Hungry Philosopher

Yoga and the Stress Response


It’s pretty common to be stressed out in our society these days. I’m not talking about the presidential election or any specific event in society.  I’m talking about the way we live.  The way we rush from one thing to the next while our mind is going in many more directions that we can physically go.  I’m talking about the ways we abuse our bodies, hold tension and don’t sleep well.  This constant state of stress has serious effects on your body and how our body operates.  The good news is that you can consciously do something about it.

Our nervous system is an amazing, complex system that ultimately connects so much of our body and our mind. It’s the part of our body that transmits signals to and from the different parts of our body.  The autonomic nervous system is a part of the nervous system that unconsciously controls and regulates bodily functions like heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal.  The system has two branches:  the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

When we are stressed our body triggers the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is commonly called the “fight or flight” system.  It is responsible for quick mobilizing responses.  Adrenaline excites the body, the heart rate increases, respiration increases, blood sugar rises to increase fuel, blood flow moves away from the skin and core of the body and moves into the brain and limbs so you are prepared to run or fight.  This response is great when you are in danger or in need, but it’s not meant to operate all the time.  When it operates all the time, other systems lack or fail.

The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is commonly called the “rest and digest” system. It is responsible for more slowly activated responses.  These sympathetic and parasympathetic systems work as opposites so while one activates the other inhibits.  If one is working, the other can’t be doing its primary functions at the same time, instead its inhibiting.  When the sympathetic system is running all the time, our parasympathetic system remains at bay.  That means hormones rush through our body almost constantly that cause elevated blood pressure, rapid shallow breathing, high blood sugar, indigestion, diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppression, and more.  It makes us more prone to diseases:  cancer, Lyme, hepatitis, and more.

Both of these systems work well and have purposes that support us, but commonly we are living in a state of over activation of the sympathetic nervous system.   The constant state of stress we live in causes the “fight or flight” system to be on more than it is off.  This creates an imbalance in our systems.  This causes changes in our body that affect our heart, our organs, our brain, and more.  This imbalance can lead to many forms of suffering:  anxiety, colitis, arteriosclerosis, sexual dysfunction, and neurological damage for example.   Living in a constant state of sympathetic activation changes our brain and changes the way our body functions.  Instead of functioning in a normal homeostasis, it functions as if we are being chased and only need survival functions.  Chronic stress leads to symptoms like headaches, indigestion, ulcers, tight muscles, high blood pressure and more.  Digestion slows and other systems stop because your body is acting like it is being chased and switches to survival mode.

The good news is we can affect the balance of our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  Limiting your stress and changing how you react to stress is important for your health.  Relaxation, deep breathing and gaining control of your relationship to your mind can help.  All of these things are done in yoga which is one of the many benefits of doing yoga.  Yoga practices have been proven to relax the sympathetic nervous system and activate the parasympathetic.  They’ve been proven to increase your health and neurologically change what’s happening in your body.  We can use tools from yoga to bring a state of “rest and digest” back to our system.


In yoga, we focus on the breath. Our movements follow and our breath leads.  Our mind focuses on our breath and pays attention to what arises in our mind and what arises in our body.  The breath we deepen and slow down.  This diaphragmatic, deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and leads to many calming side effects.  As we stimulate the vagus nerve, we send a message system wide to activate the “rest and digest” system.   We start a yoga practice by turning our attention to our breath which already begins to send signals to your body to relax.  We then start to move mindfully, focusing our mind on our breath and paying attention to our body.  We move through postures to ultimately bring about a freedom of the mind and a relaxation of the body.  Deep breathing is the first step, but we then move to relax and free the body.  Systematic relaxation exercises are done in yoga to relax the whole body and mind and give you tools to take off of your mat and use in stressful situations to change your relationship to the experience.  Stress is defined by what you are considering stressful.  The more you can relax during potentially stressful situations, the more you can retrain your mind to not create stress surrounding the situation you may be in.  You can train your body and your mind to not go into fight mode.  The more we can relax and retrain our mind from creating habitual, harmful thought patterns, the more we can stop the stress response and break the cycle of living in a chronic state of stress.  Optimally, we can learn skills to take into our daily life that allow us to remain calm, breathe easily, and keep our stress response from activating.  Ultimately, we can use a yoga practice to free ourselves from the harmful effects of stress to lead a happy, healthy life.

We have the choice.  We hope to see you on your mat.



I’m just now realizing the irony of this being written days away from Halloween! Nevertheless, I’ve had this topic on my mind and in my heart for awhile. Up until now, I haven’t been able to figure out how to approach it. Nor have I had the time to even brush my teeth until 2 in the afternoon so… that’s scary. But in light of all the things life has been chucking in my face recently, I thought I’d write out what I’ve been feeling before my heart explodes. 

Abhinivesha (fear or fear of death) is one of the 5 Kleshas in yoga philosophy.  You can read all about them in the Yoga Sutras book by Patanjali. The Kleshas are obstacles in our spiritual paths hindering us from experiencing Yoga, and union with the Infinite or what I like to call God. Of course, if it’s not your personal goal to achieve union with the Infinite, I guess you needn’t read further. 

There is another book called The Bible and it tells us not to fear 365 times; that’s a daily reminder for us to not be afraid. While I find that rather incredible and also take great comfort in it, I still experience fear in some form on a daily basis. I mean, we have to be afraid sometimes right? It’s what keeps us safe, even alive in some respects. Fear comes from our ego which, again, is there to protect us. But here’s where it gets real. 

When I think about the decisions I’ve made based on fear, regret almost always follows. I wish I would’ve done that. Or damn, I shouldn’t have done that. We learn from practicing and living yoga that we should be living by our spirit, not our ego. I say in my class all the time, find that connection you have with your true inner self. We are love inside and out. Our spirit says, “take the chance” and “make your decisions with love in the forefront.” I have to remind myself to do those things DAILY. Discipline my children with love instead of fear that if I don’t, they’ll become apart of the ever growing asshole of society. Love, trust, and initiate affection when it comes to my husband even though I have scars on my heart from the first man in my life. Wah wah wah. 

I watch the people I care most about miss out on what I think could be great opportunities for them because they’re afraid. Afraid to put themselves out there and love again. Afraid to live their lives true, open, and honest for fear of judgement. Afraid to slow down and actually take a moment to listen and feel what’s going on inside themselves. 

So here’s the kicker, fear will always be there because ego will always be there. I think the key is to recognize fear by stepping back and taking a third person point of view and figuring out why it’s there. I’d like to live my life with an open and fearless heart on and off the mat (heart opening poses are my favorite).  This wise gal says it best, “Openness doesn’t come from resisting fears but getting to know them well.” -Pema Chördön. 

Well that’s what’s going on in my life currently. Maybe you can relate. Maybe not. Maybe you can start to see where fear shows up in your life or even just on your mat. I’m encouraging myself and those of you who took the time to read this to choose love over fear every time. 



Exciting News!

We have an announcement!  And we are excited to share it!

We are partnering with Dr. Pestle to share some space on the south side of town!  Dr. Pestle has his office next to us on the west side, but he also has an office on the south side.  In his south side office, he has an open space that we will be using to expand our services into Lafayette.

With that, nothing changes at the west side studio.   All of the same great classes and teachers will be there!  We are just adding some classes in Lafayette to better serve our community as a whole!  We know not everyone can drive across town so we are.

This does mean all of your class passes are good at both locations.  We will be offering more classes, more workshops, and more options for private sessions.  All in service to you!

South Side Classes will begin Oct 1st.  They are located inside of Dr. Pestle’s Chirpopractic Office at the address below:

3554 Promenade Pkwy Ste A

Lafayette, IN 47909

We will be there to greet you and show you in!

South Side Community Yoga Schedule

Starts Oct 1

Monday 6pm Vinyasa with Jay

Tuesdays 6pm Classic Yoga with Cheryl

Wednesdays 6pm Classic Yoga with Meridith

Fridays 6pm Yin/Restorative Combo with Cheryl (Starts Nov. 4th)

Saturdays 9am Vinyasa with Betsy or Jon

Coming soon Jacqueline will also be teaching a group yoga therapy class for low back pain.  More details will be coming soon about this!

Please share with your friends and family!