Yoga + Nature, and why you should try it.

Out in nature is my favorite place to teach yoga.

I believe yoga and nature both serve the same purpose in their own way, and that purpose is connection. Yoga is about connecting mind, body, and spirit, and through this awareness connecting us to all beings and entities in our infinite universe. I believe being in nature, truly experiencing the natural world around us, does the same. A lack of connection with nature contributes to our stress, anxiety, depression, and general feelings of less-than-ideal well-being. The comfort, quiet, and rejuvenation of being in nature calms the body and mind and can help you connect with your truest self - just give it the chance, and to learn to listen.

Growing up in rural New Hampshire, I have always felt the greatest sense of peace and contentment when I'm walking in the woods. In fact my "happy place," the vision I imagine when I want to feel calm and connected, is laying in my hammock as a child, at the edge of our woods, looking up at the trees and sky. It feels only natural that yoga, something that also brings me a sense of peace and clarity, should be combined with nature.

This is one reason why I am passionate about leading yoga outdoors and on retreats. I want to make it easy for others to disconnect from their technology, their daily grind, and get into nature to restore and rejuvenate both mind and body. My upcoming retreat in Maine this June 2017 (co-led with Ellie and Dave from Venture Outside) is a way to do that.

Photo credit: Matt Lambert

If you haven't participated in an outdoor yoga class, do your best to try one as soon as you can. Whether it's beach yoga, stand-up paddleboard yoga, island yoga, a yoga retreat, or yoga on your own in the woods - I guarantee you it will take you to a different head space than your typical studio or home practice.

What has your experience been with outdoor yoga?

If you could try yoga in one new space - where would it be?

Let me know in the comments!

Yoga Mix Tape: Volume One

"Jen was an expert mix-taper in the 90s. Cassette deck perpetually poised and at the ready, radio consistently playing in the background, Jen could often be found diving across her wallpapered bedroom to press record and snag that song she'd been waiting for. Times have changed, and Spotify has made all of her dreams come true, but we don't have to lose the vibe of this beloved memory."

Yoga Mix Tape is my first original yoga series where I am tracking back to my childhood to bring something fun and lighthearted to the yoga community. I hope to attract like-minded people who love music, love moving, love community, and love fun. At each Yoga Mix Tape event, you can expect a themed throwback playlist - something that would have appeared on the homemade mixed tapes of the 90s. I hope to bring a little fun and good memories into the positive yoga scene.

On December 8th I hosted Vol. 1: Throwback Holiday Jams. We moved and sweat to a holiday playlist filled with 90s and 00s goodness...from Mariah to Britney to NSync and even Adam Sandler. A few of my favorite classics (including Dean Martin's version of Baby It's Cold Outside, my most favoritest ever) rounded out the mix.

Check out the playlist here and on Spotify - maybe it can become a part of your holiday yoga repertoire?

NamaStay Sober: Synchronicity in the City

I have the pleasure of being on the team of volunteers for a wonderful Boston nonprofit and charity called NamaStay Sober. The goal of NamaStay Sober is to connect recovering addicts with free yoga, fitness, and meditation classes to aid in their recovery and connect them with a healthy and positive community. In addition, NamaStay Sober hosts sober fitness and community events around the city and gives Boston a fun and healthy alternative to the social bar scene. Here's a pic from our "Raw Yoga" event at Brooklyn Boulders.

How I became involved with NamaStay Sober is where the synchronicity comes in. One evening last winter, I was sitting in Boston Common Coffee doing some "yoga work" and applying for yoga positions. At the same time I overheard two people nearby in the shop chatting about yoga and what a difference they feel it makes in their lives.

I became overwhelmed with the feeling that this must be a sign from the universe (of which I had become more aware since teacher training), and I felt compelled to go introduce myself. When I met Nicoletta, the founder of NamaStay Sober, and realized what she was doing - I knew I had to take part. As someone who has lost a loved one to addiction, I feel close to the cause. In fact, yoga for addiction was one area of interest before meeting the NamaStay Sober crew! The rest is history. I now help secure food and beverage sponsors and donations for our fundraisers and events.

Check out our next event on City Hall Plaza, the NamaStay Sober Fit Fest

September 11, 2016 ~ 10am-5pm

Facebook Event link here:

Playing with AcroYoga

In January and February I explored a few AcroYoga/Thai Massage workshops in the Boston area and absolutely loved it. I had the pleasure of learning a few things from local teachers Izzy Vanhall and Brian Lam, but then ventured out to the burbs for some more fun.

Centre Yoga in Woburn (a really beautiful studio) hosted a fun and relaxing AcroYoga night around Valentine's Day. Some yogini friends and I had fun getting upside down, trying not to fall (but still falling...), and just enjoyed trying something for the first time. It was a blast, and so rejuvenating at the same time. You do not need to be an acrobat or expert to give this a try - you can even be a newbie in yoga! The benefits are endless and I encourage everyone to try it.

Thanks to my friend Anne for being an amazing and trustworthy base!