And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

– John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

Almost 60 years ago, President John F. Kennedy shifted the country’s mindset with this now-famous speech. His words echo in the cavern of our current predicament in which a worldwide pandemic has killed 152,000 Americans – and yet some citizens of our country are rejecting a simple, low-cost deterrent to this abhorrent disease.


“A small sacrifice reliant on a highly effective, low-tech solution that can turn the tide favorably in national and global efforts against COVID-19” is how Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes the use of facemasks to fight the spread of COVID-19.


So what’s behind our resistance? Why are Americans outraged by this supposed “submission muzzle” that some feel is being forced upon them when we’ve seen the clear efficacy of this tool in fighting a worldwide pandemic? (Texas A&M study on mask efficacy,


Where is our sense of civic duty that President Kennedy promoted, which he followed with the creation of the Peace Corps? The Peace Corps sent young Americans around the world on a mission to promote social and economic development, offer technical assistance, and nurture mutual understanding. We could certainly use some mutual understanding within our own country about now!


As always, yoga has a brilliant prism through which we can view these current events. Consider the  Kleshas, sometimes called “The Poisons.” These human inclinations common to all keep us from being our best selves and living our fullest lives.


Klesha #1:  Avidya or Ignorance

What we don’t know, we don’t know about ourselves, about others, or about the way things actually occur. Our lack of information can engender misunderstandings and lead us to create stories that lack any basis in truth.

I’ve got my story, and I’m sticking with it!


Klesha #2:  Asmita or Egoism

When “I” become the most important thing in my life, suffering arises. When we become egocentric, instead of expanding and blossoming our souls, our awareness shrinks, and we get selfish.

No mask for me – you’re not the boss of me now!


Kleshas #3 and #4:  Raga or Attachment and  Dvesha or Aversion / Hatred

We all have deep-seated emotions that we aren’t even aware of that direct our actions. This catalogue of pleasure and pain in our hypothalamus is deeply ingrained in us. As a result, we become attached to and avoid different ideas, thoughts, activities, and people.

 I won’t talk to you because your ideas are wrong, and mine are right. So there!


Klesha #5:  Abhinivesha or Fear of Death

We all have it – the fear of our passing. Despite the surety of this event, our capacity to deny its inevitability is legendary. This is why we practice  Savasana or Corpse pose EVERY practice! We humbly acknowledge both the great gift of a human life and the truth that it is time-limited.

COVID is just a hoax, and I don’t know anyone who’s died of it!


So if our story is that COVID-19 is fake news made up by the media / the Deep State / your favorite YouTube spokesman or Bill Gates, we become attached to that story, and it gives us a sense of security. If we are convinced we are the most important player in this play of life, then wearing a mask for the benefit of others is unnecessary because our needs and wants always trump everyone and anyone else’s needs and wants.


The practice of yoga involves the difficult, internal, and honest work of examining ourselves, our attitudes, our commitment to our highest selves, and to our community. Yoga unequivocally calls us to assist those in need through  Seva or selfless service. The victims of COVID-19 have been 23% Black, a much higher rate than the U.S. Black population of 13.4%. In Louisiana, Blacks account for 70% of those COVID-19 deaths. We all bear part of this suffering due to systemic racism and unequal freedoms and opportunities in our country.


Yoga calls us to look at ourselves and to our society and to do the right thing. As my now 100-year-old Mother taught me, we help others; fight against racism, oppression, and ignorance of the truth; and use our yogic practices of meditation, breathing, self-study, and mindful movement to move towards our highest selves.

As the yard sign says:


We Believe:

Black Lives Matter
Women’s Rights are Human Rights

No Human is Illegal
Science is Real

Love is Love

Kindness is Everything


Stay close to your practice. Yoga helps us find our path so we can bloom and expand, so we can breathe, and so we can help others to do the same.

Hari Om Tat Sat



It is with both gratitude and grief that we close the doors of Awaken Yoga in Mentor and Jasmine Dragons in Chardon. Jasmine Dragons, created by Matt Martsolf, ceased its yoga programming in July. Awaken Yoga, led by Jennifer Langsdale, will close on August 13. I’ve been at both locations for more than a decade and am deeply grateful to both Matt and Jennifer for their vision and dedication to these spaces, where I have been able to teach and meet a myriad of marvelous souls!


When we walk into a space to take a yoga class, I don’t think we’re aware of the blood, sweat, and tears involved with creating and maintaining a practice space. I never wanted to own a space for that reason, but I am enormously grateful for my friends who have been willing to make this significant sacrifice, which has allowed me to have spaces in which to teach. Please remember to support your yoga facilities and your yoga teachers as you are able!


I still have a few props from Jasmine Dragons for sale. Please contact me if you’re interested in purchasing blankets, blocks, bolsters, or straps.



I am deeply grateful for my students who have bravely made the transition to online classes! I continue with my regular weekly schedule, teaching on Zoom from my home:




Mondays 9:30 – 11:00am

Functional Movement & Energetic Centering


Tuesdays 9:00 – 10:45am

Therapeutic Movement & Energetic Centering for Women


Fridays 10:30am – 12:00pm

Chair Yoga


If you’re interested in attending any of these classes, please email me for the link and payment information. 



Props for home include one or two firm blankets (yoga blankets preferred), two blocks, a strap, a folding chair, and Yoga TuneUp® balls for myofascial release, including a pair of small Yoga TuneUp® therapy balls (green balls in the picture in the link below) and a soft, larger Coregeous ball (black or purple ball in the picture). I’ll give suggestions for modifying if you don’t have the props, but they’re highly recommended not only for class but for daily use!


Here is the link to the site to purchase Yoga TuneUp® Therapy Balls:




If you’re accustomed to private, in-person sessions, you may not be aware that through the magic of Zoom, I offer healing practices tailored to you online. I have a limited number of online sessions available. If you’re interested in an online session, email me for pricing and information.


Saturday, Aug. 1

Which Way Do You Roll: Investigating Twists

12:00 – 3:00pm (Recorded version available if registered and unable to attend live)

Register through Yoga108, Akron:

Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credits Available for Yoga Instructors


Become more aware of your spiral patterns and inclinations when you rotate so you can open new pathways for functional movement in your body.


Saturday, Sept. 26

The Art of Restoring: Understanding the Parasympathetic Nervous System Process

9:30am – 12:30pm & 2:00 – 4:30pm

Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credits Available for Yoga Instructors

Email me to register


Relaxation is an art that requires our intelligence and practice. Learn to understand the relaxation process so you can build downregulating-practices into your daily life, especially during these times that increase our allostatic load (and learn what your allostatic load is!)


Since the murder of George Floyd, I am trying to expand my knowledge and understanding of what it means to be Black in America. Two books that I can recommend to you include:


My Grandmother’s Hands: A Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menaken


White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo


If you prefer podcasts, you can hear Menaken & DiAngelo on the On Being Project podcast.

This image from Terri Sharp on Pixabay.



Complete the Five Universal Shapes Exercise: The Square, Circle, Spiral, Triangle & Equidistant Cross – Angeles Arrien

(Our focus during current weekly classes)


How’s Your Cervical (Neck) Rotation? Check out this video! It's also embedded above for easy access:

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