As you read this column I am on a retreat in Vermont with my daughter Kayla with a group of yogis from Jaya Yoga in Park Slope, my home town. I have gone on this retreat before and it has been one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. We will not know most of the people but will become friends in a short time. It is a lifetime experience without a doubt, and I am with my best friend.

Park Slope is a connection I am very proud of since my roots are from this wonderful neighborhood where I learned to be who I am today.

My mom and dad raised seven children in a nurturing, loving, supportive environment. We had the most amazing childhood. Lots of great memories. We vacationed in Rockaway Beach, renting a bungalow where nine of us

I get a deep sense of pleasure from watching vegetables grow.  Well, I don’t actually watch them but witness the changes in height, fullness and strength. Summer is an abundant time in my backyard.  Even though I don’t have a lot of time to tend, everything seems to flourish, weeds included.  Every spring, I have a new “landscape” and I look forward to tenderly transporting seedlings into the ground and then joy in the growth.  Of course I enjoy the fruits of the plants – but the joy for me is

June is a month where a lot seems to happen in my family, and this year is no exception. It started well this year, as I celebrated 12 months without an alcoholic drink, which in some ways was less challenging than I expected because I have friends taking this adventure along with me, and it was so nice to feel healthy, clear-headed and full of energy. Even at dawn!

I have really enjoyed some beautiful sunrises over the ocean, which is absolutely the best way to start the day. Then I went on

Going on a retreat is a special time for yourself to withdraw from the normal everyday life and cocoon, so that you emerge ready to return to life with a new perspective. It can be one of the most uplifting experiences. Pausing and stepping off the hamster wheel. Retreat time in the mountains at Menla Retreat House allows time to relax, meditate, practice yoga and live in a community with like-minded people who support and guide you on this journey called life.

To be silent is to listen to

Speaking words of gratitude will bring you happiness and your world will become a bit brighter. You will begin to see things in a different way and your burden will lighten. We are here in gratitude for the blessing of life. Looking around we see love in all things. Sometimes we need to be reminded of all the good things we have in this world. 

Start by greeting each day with a breath of fresh awareness. When you awaken, find the time to say a simple thank you for this day. Think of your

The sun in summer - intense, irradiant, long in the day – brings to mind its intense energy without which there would be no life here. Our bodies need energy in order to function, which we obtain primarily through food intake. Even if we eat properly for the most part, however, the demanding parts of our lives often zap our energy and we find ourselves out of fuel with still more to do.

I tend to separate my work day (whether that be the job duties or tending to my vegetables or family

“Notice that the stiffest tree is more easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Susi Hately, “Anatomy and Asana.” Through gentle stretching and yoga practice, the body becomes more limber, allowing for a feeling of physical openness and increased balance. Being limber could be a protection against sudden harm just like the bamboo or willow resists the break, not by being rigid, but by yielding to the outer force. Imagine the body as a complex array of

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