Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Madison & Culpeper Yoga Update

Just a quick reminder, that both my Madison and Culpeper yoga classes will be off through the holidays.

My Monday Madison classes resume on Monday, January 8 (at 4:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m.). My Culpeper class will be on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. That class resumes on Tuesday, January 9.

If you haven't unrolled your yoga mat in awhile, maybe the New Year is a time for a fresh start! If you have any questions you can call me at 540/672-9528, email me at peacefulhands (at), or post a comment here.

Wishing you a joyful New Year!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Wish You Peace. I Wish You Joy.

After all the running ... all the stress ... is there anything left for your holidays? Having seen so many people -- at yoga class and at their massage appointments -- recently, it seems that very few people have had a moment's peace these past many holiday weeks. No time to sniff a fragrant wreath. No time to sit with a cup of tea. No time for quiet, meditation, or prayerfulness. No time to reflect on the beauty of this season.

In my classes and in my massages, I make a very small intention for those I serve -- "I wish you peace. I wish you joy."

In 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a piece titled "What I Hope to Leave Behind." She wrote:

"As I grow older I realize that the only pleasure I have in anything is to share it with someone else. That is true of memories, and it is true of all you do after you reach a certain age. The real joy in things, or in the doing of things, just for the sake of doing or possessing, is gone; but to me the joy in sharing something that you like with someone else is doubly enhanced. ...

"With advancing years I feel I must give this question of what I want to leave behind me greater thought, for before long I shall be moving on to fields unknown, and perhaps it may make a difference if I actually know what I would like to bequeath to a new generation. Perhaps the best I can do is to pray that the youth of today will have the ability to live simply and to get joy out of living, the desire to give of themselves and to make themselves worthy of giving, and the strength to do without anything which does not serve the interests of the brotherhood of man. If I can bequeath these desires to my own children, it seems to me I will not have lived in vain."

And, so, my Christmas wish for you is a simple one:

I wish you peace. I wish you joy. May you live simply and get great joy out of living.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. May the season shine brightly in your heart.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Peaceful (and Healthy) Gift Ideas

I go back and forth on the issue of holiday gifts. After all, is it really necessary to buy something for someone as a way to tell them we care for them? And, is it really necessary to expend so much time and energy every December prowling in shopping malls in search of a perfect gift that probably doesn't even exist? Still, I appreciate this time of year, because it may be one of the few times we really reflect on, and show gratitude for, those people who enrich and cheer our lives.

But, in the interest of stress relief, I'd like to suggest four gifts that promote peace and good health ... as well as save a stressful trip to the mall.

1) A Gift Certificate for a soothing, relaxing, peaceful massage. I offer 30-minute, one-hour, and 90-minute sessions. A massage is a wonderful way to provide a healthy gift that will be truly enjoyed. My gift certificates are good for sessions in either my Orange or Madison office, or you may purchase a pamering in-home session for your loved one. I have beautiful holiday gift certificates that will look gorgeous just wrapped in a bow. You can order a gift certificate by phone at 540-672-9528 or email me at peacefulhands (at) If you're in the area, I will happily hand-deliver the gift certificate to you, so you'll have it in plenty of time for the holidays ... or I can drop it in the mail to you.

2) Or ... give a Yoga Gift Certificate for a session of yoga in Madison or a very special in-home private session. This is a unique and fun gift for a loved one as well! Just contact me by phone or email (see above) for more information.

3) Adopt A Wild Animal. Support the health and well-being of a special wild creature. The Wildlife Center of Virginia, a wonderful organization and one of the nation's premier wildlife hospitals, offers special "Caring For Critters" adoption gift kits that provide food and care for its education animals. You can adopt a possum, a bald eagle, a screech owl, a vulture, and a number of other non-releasable animals that the Center cares for. There's even Monty the Python (he's one of my favorites!) You'll get a sweet little "adoption kit" to wrap and place under the tree. (You can also add a Wildlife tee-shirt to your adoption kit ... another great stocking stuffer!) For information, visit and click on the "Caring For Critters" link at the bottom of the page.

4) Mercy Kits. Mercy Corps is another one of my favorite charitable organizations. They provide critically needed support to people in need throughout the world. They are one of the world's most effective providers of food and medical supplies in the wake of natural disasters and in war zones. Mercy Corps offers special holiday "Mercy Kits" that earmark donations to specific projects they carry out around the world. What a wonderful way to honor a loved one and make a difference in the life of a person in need. Visit for more information.

I hope these ideas save you a trip to the mall ... so you can spend that time with those you love!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Blessing

This is the blessing from our Thanksgiving yoga classes during the past week. Each year, I look for a new Thanksgiving blessing to share with you ... and each year, invariably, I come back to this one. It is from W.E.B. Du Bois, the tireless civil rights leader and author.

Give us thankful hearts ... in this the season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independence nor satisfaction, but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form.

Feeling Blessed? Here's more on gratitude from our Yoga classes over the years ...

Click here for the Gratitude Savasana and Energy Bridge instruction: Thanksgiving Yoga ~ A Blessing, Part 1

Click here for another beautiful blessing that guided our meditation at the end of one Thanksgiving Yoga class: Thanksgiving Yoga ~ A Blessing, Part 2

And, for a beautiful poem of Gratitude from Harriett Kofalk that served as the foundation of another Thanksgiving Day Yoga practice click: I Give Thanks

And, here The Buddha explains why we should be thankful, click: So, Let Us All Be Thankful

May you have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving ...


Friday, November 10, 2006

Madison Yoga - Holiday Session

The holiday session of Yoga in Madison begins on Monday, November 13.

This will be an 8-week session, running November 13 thru January 29, 2007.

There will be 2 classes each Monday: at 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. and at 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. Classes are held in the Library at Wetsel Middle School in Madison. (Wetsel is on Route 29, next to the high school.)

There will be no classes on the following Mondays: November 20, December 25, January 1, and January 15.

Cost is $64 for the 8-week session or $11 per class for drop-ins. (If you're new to my classes, your first class is free, so you can try it out.) Classes are offered through Madison Parks & Facilities.

Yoga is a beautiful way to counteract the stresses of the busy holidays. It's an opportunity to allow yourself to relax and absorb the joy and peacefulness of the season ... if only for an hour!

If you haven't unrolled your mat in awhile, this session will be a nice way to ease yourself back into the benefits of self-care.

Let your yoga be a holiday gift you give yourself by bringing health, flexibility, and strength to the body; calm to the mind; and fresh, new energy to the spirit. The class is appropriate for adults of all fitness levels.

If you have any questions please call me at 540/672-9528, email me at peacefulhands (at), or post a comment here on this blog. I hope to see you at class.


Monday, November 06, 2006

New (temporary) Orange Massage Location

Perhaps the patience paid off.

I have a new Orange massage office location, albeit temporary, while we continue to seek a permanent home.

Beginning today, November 6, my colleagues and I will be located just off of Main Street in Orange at 101 N. Madison Road in Perry Plaza. That's the back of the Main Street building on the NE corner of Main Street and Madison Road (Route 15). (There's an Antique Store on the Main St. corner; we are directly behind them.)

The easiest way to get to us is to drive through the McDonald's entrance and snake around the back of the buildings until you come to the parking lot for Perry Plaza (and for the nearby Sun Trust bank). Our old "Paradigm Health Practice" sign is already hanging on our front door. If you need more detailed directions, I can email a map to you.

The space is not ideal -- it's far bigger than we need. But, our treatment rooms are up and running! I look forward to seeing you in my new space and I'll keep you posted on our search for a permanent location.

~ Jackie

Friday, November 03, 2006

Culpeper Yoga: Holiday Session

The holiday session at Namasté Yoga Studio in Culpeper begins on Monday, November 6. This will be a short 6-week schedule that will run through December 21.

I will be teaching classes on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (My Thursday morning class will be on break for this session.)

The full schedule is available at:

Have you taken 3 deep, mindful breaths of fresh air yet today? Well, now's your chance ... breathe!

~ Jackie

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Why Vote?

Ahh ... November! This is my annual reminder that voting is part of our yogic duty.

It may seem strange because much of the time our yoga seems like solely an inward journey ... a journey to expand and enlighten our own body, mind, and spirit. After all, when we step on the mat -- it is just your two feet planting, your two arms reaching, your one heart beating, your one spirit shining. But, as we respect and foster our own inward growth through yoga, we must also remember -- as the word Namasté reminds us -- that we are all one.

Our actions, our efforts, our yoga are for the “all one” ... not the “just me”.

And, so, we must respect and honor ... and take responsibility for ... our journey as a society.

Yoga is not about isolating ourselves from the world. It is about non-attachment to the things of the world, true. But, that's something altogether different.

We seek our inner growth as a means not only to help ourselves, but also to be of benefit to others.

Voting is a very easy way to do that. It shows your support and concern for the wellbeing of your neighbors, friends, and your community. It shows that on your yoga journey you seek the highest good for all.

How lucky we are to have some say in how our society operates.

And, as always, there is someone who says it far better than I ever could. Dorothy Day, a Catholic leader and social activist of the early 20th century, has inspired me in so many ways. She once said:

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”

Let your yoga light serve all of us on November 7. Please vote.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Madison Yoga: No Class on 10/30

Just a quick reminder ...

There will be no yoga class in Madison on Monday, 10/30. We'll be back on Monday, 11/6. I hope to see you then!

~ Jackie

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Orange Massage Space - The Search Continues

I suppose it is fitting that my last post -- nearly a month ago -- was on the need for patience. Much of this past month, I have tried to remind myself of this ... patience! patience! patience!

As many of you know, especially if you are one of my Orange massage clients, my colleagues and I must leave our current therapy offices. We have been seeking a suitable new location in Orange for many, many months ... to no avail.

So, I wanted to quickly update you on the situation. We are committed to staying in Orange, although we may need to extend that notion of patience a bit longer.

I will be at my current location through Saturday, November 4. After that ... well, it's still a bit up in the air. But, I will have some options for you.

I still have a therapy office in downtown Madison -- about a 20-minute drive from Orange.

And, if nothing presents itself in the next two weeks, I will also do sessions in my home -- just 10 minutes from the town of Orange.

There's an old Dutch proverb that goes:

"A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains."

I'm hopeful that with just a little more patience, we will be able to find a new location in Orange. (And, of course, if you have any thoughts or ideas, please do let me know.)

I'm grateful for your flexibility as we continue our search for a new "home". I will keep you posted!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


As the season begins its change from summer to fall this week, I thought about this little quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.”

Recently, I discovered the context for this Emerson quote. In fact, it is part of a longer piece on education. In it, Emerson urges teachers to have patience. Rather than resort to punishment, he encourages teachers to give their young students both the time and opportunity to bloom into adulthood on their own.

I think it’s good advice for us, too. Why hurry toward every goal we set for ourselves? Instead, we should take time to explore and enjoy the journey itself. What a nice gift to give oneself -- the gift of a bit of time and a bit of space where you can enjoy this moment, without hurrying off somewhere. (Easy to say, I know. Much more challenging to actually do!)

In the spirit of the quiet rhythm of nature, be mindful of this moment now – try not to stretch your neck into a future you can’t control (you won't get there any quicker and you'll only hurt your neck). Be patient with your journey and kind with your self. Take the time in the days ahead to watch and enjoy the change of the season ... the changes in the trees, in the plants, in the wildlife, in you.

And, breathe.


Friday, September 15, 2006

White & Gold -- A Balancing Breath

The “White & Gold” breath is a mindful way to fully expand the lungs, draw in fresh prana (the life force that surrounds us), balance and harmonize the body’s rhythms, and empty out negative congestion in the body (those things that slow us down).

We practiced this breath in yoga class on 9/14 ... and we will use it in next week’s classes as well. (So you can try it out before class if you like!)

Sit comfortably. Or lie down (if you promise not to snooze). It is possible to do this breath while sitting at your desk or sitting in traffic. (I wouldn’t advise you to do it while driving ... but I have been known to slip a breath or two in when going from here to there.)

Just relax a bit and find your breath. Try to ignore the other distractions of life, and just listen to air as it journeys in through the nostrils and finds it way into the lungs and journeys out through the nostrils. This sound of the breath can be very quieting for the body and mind. (I always like to imagine that even as I am doing nothing – being completely lazy – the restful rhythm of my breath is carrying on ... sustaining and renewing me.)

After a minute or two, begin to focus on just the right side of the body. Imagine the breath coming into the right side of the body as though it were a vibrant and radiant white light, flowing into the right nostril and filling the body – filling the head, the torso, the right arm, and right leg – with healing prana white light.

As you begin to exhale, gently move your awareness to the left side of the body and imagine the left side of the body exhaling fully – from the left leg and left arm, from the left side of the torso, and the left lung – sending a strong golden light of empowerment and cleansing out through the left nostril.

So, the in breath becomes a vibrant white light for healing, coming into the right side of the body, and the out breath becomes a radiant golden light of cleansing and empowerment as it goes out through the left side of the body.

Try this for several breaths and then switch sides. With the white light now coming in on the left, filling the left side of the body, and the golden light now moving through and out on the right side.

This is not the alternate nostril breath we sometimes practice in yoga, where we physically block one nostril as we breathe. Instead, we are simply using our inner awareness – our imagination – to focus our attention on the breath ... to pay attention to just one side of the body as the breath flows in and out.

By moving attention from right to left we help to not only calm the nervous system, but to harmonize and balance the energies of the body.

Visualizing the healing energy of the in breath as a white light is a nice way to remind ourselves of how healing our breath (and yoga practice) can be. And, as we cleanse with the golden light of the out breath, we also are reminded of our own personal power – that we can, indeed, rid ourselves of stress and other challenges. We can control our tension and stress and we can let it all go ... with simply a breath.

I hope you enjoy this nice little practice. Play with it ... and simply breathe!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

"Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we must try." Those words come from Thich Nhat Hanh in his book Being Peace. He continues: "A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile."

This is the meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh used in yoga class on 9/11 and 9/12. Each line corresponds to either an inhalation or an exhalation. Play with this meditation and see what blooms in you:

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.

You may shorten this meditation. Simply follow your breath with the words: Calm ... Smile ... Present Moment ... Wonderful Moment.

Enjoy your present moment today ... let go of the past and try to not stretch into the future. Let a little smile creep onto the edges of your lips. And, then let your body smile.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Madison Yoga - Fall Session

The fall session of Madison yoga begins on Monday, September 11.

There will be 2 classes each Monday: at 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. and at 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. Classes are held in the Library at Wetsel Middle School in Madison (next door to the High School on Route 29).

This will be an 8-week session, running September 11 thru November 6. (There will be no class on October 30.) Cost is $64 for the 8-week session or $11 per class for drop-ins. (If you're new to my classes, your first class is free, so you can try it out.) Classes are offered through Madison Parks & Facilities.

We practice basic hatha yoga and explore and play with many different yoga practices -- including gentle Tibetan yoga, Anusara yoga, and energizing Ashtanga yoga. In addition, I like to blend in other beneficial practices, including a bit of pilates and tai chi now and then.

Yoga is a wonderful way to bring health, flexibility, and strength to the body; calm the mind and relieve stress; and rejuvenate the spirit. The class is appropriate for adults of all fitness levels.

If you're interested in the class and have any questions, you can leave your question as a comment here on this site, or you may email me at peacefulhands (at)

I hope to see you at class!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Fall Yoga & Massage Schedule

The fall yoga sessions begin soon, so I wanted to let you know my upcoming fall schedule for yoga and massage.

Yoga ...

MONDAYS ... Yoga in Madison. All-Levels Classes are held at 4:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. Eight-week session begins Monday, September 11. (More info coming next week.)

TUESDAYS/THURSDAYS ... Morning Yoga in Culpeper at Namaste Yoga Studio. All-Levels Classes at 10:00 a.m. Eight-week session begins Tuesday, September 5. (More info online at

Private single and group Yoga Sessions available by appointment.

Massage ...

TUESDAYS thru FRIDAYS ... Massage appointments available in Orange or Madison office. (Tuesday/Thursday appointments are available after 1:00 p.m.)

SATURDAYS ... Massage appointments available in Orange only.

Private on-site sessions by appointment.

I hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Creating A Peaceful Spirit

This is from Thich Nhat Hanh's book Being Peace ... a gentle and hopeful suggestion for us all. After all, if we can bring a bit of peacefulness into our own life ... no matter how small our efforts may seem ... there is that much more peace that exists in our world that wasn't there before.

If we are peaceful,
if we are happy,
we can smile and blossom like a flower,
and everyone in our family, our entire society,
will benefit from our peace.

I hope you let your inner flower bloom today -- I'm feeling a bit sunflower-y myself. Wishing you peace today!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Seated Massage At "Taste Of The Mountains"

Madison's Annual Street Festival -- "Taste of the Mountains" -- is coming up on Saturday, September 2 (Labor Day weekend). It's one of the nicest street festivals in Virginia ... and, as always, I'll be there with my Madison colleagues at MountainWood Massage, offering seated chair massages all day. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our booth is under the trees in the War Memorial courtyard (#72 if you have a festival map).

Here's how to spend the perfect Saturday. First, stop by for a seated massage, then wander down Main Street and stop at the 4-H booth for some homemade ice cream. Enjoy the music and the vendors and the clean, fresh mountain air. (Here's hoping the sun is shining!)

I hope you'll stop by and say "hi"!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Loss of Leisure Time ...

“Who knows where the time goes?” Sandy Denny sang so sweetly back in the 1960s.

A revealing story in The New York Times on Sunday (8/20) reports that this summer “American workers, who already take fewer vacations than people in nearly all industrial nations, have pruned back their leisure days even more.”

When we cram our days full of chores and give up our free time, we lose so much. Time we need for our body to rejuvenate itself ... to heal. Time we need for our mind to unclutter, to rest and restore. Time we need for our spirit to blossom and play.

The Times cites one recent survey that found that 40 percent of consumers had no plans to take a vacation over the next six months — the lowest percentage recorded by the polling group in 28 years.

I firmly believe if you allow yourself just an hour a day ... for yoga ... for a massage ... or any other soothing, mindful activity you enjoy ... you will more than make up that hour with increased productivity. You will return to your daily tasks rejuvenated, revived, and with increased, and more efficient, decision-making abilities. You will be taking care of yourself. And, that can do much long-term good.

Won’t you take a moment today, to give yourself a tiny gift of leisure?

Indulge yourself, if only for 15 minutes. Unroll your yoga mat. Sit in your garden (and let the weeds go just this once). Take a walk. Soak in a bath. Or plan a weekend getaway or a retreat that will allow you to rest, revive, and blossom with new energy.

And, now, for my play time! I’m off to dig out that wonderful old Sandy Denny album ... unroll my yoga mat ... and take a little time for leisure. I hope you’ll have some playtime, too.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Culpeper Yoga Update

Next week's classes mark the end of the summer session at Namasté Yoga Studio in Culpeper. There will be classes next week, including my 10 a.m. classes on Tuesday (8/22) and Thursday (8/24). We will be off the following week, through Labor Day. The new fall session begins September 5. The new schedule will be posted soon. I'll still be there on Tuesday/Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and hope you'll join me!

If you have any suggestions for special workshops or retreats you might be interested in this fall, please let me know.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Chinook Blessing from Thursday's Class

You know, any time is a good time for a little dance of joy! May you walk in peace ... and dance in joy. This is an old blessing from the Chinook tribe of the Pacific Northwest. Just like the Sanskrit word Namasté, which serves as a foundation of our yoga classes, this blessing celebrates the warmth and unity of knowing we all are one:

May all things move and be moved in me,
And know and be known in me.

May all creation
Dance for joy within me.


Wildlife Center Of Virginia ... Fall Open Houses

Many of you have asked me about the Wildlife Center’s open houses. The Center offers open houses just twice a year – in the spring and fall. It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit the Center, see the Center’s medical facilities, and meet some of the education animals – including hawks, owls, and possums – that live at the Center. The open houses are free, but you must reserve your spot in advance, and the spots fill quickly.

Here are the upcoming dates:

· Sunday, August 27;
· Sunday, September 10;
· Sunday, September 24;
· Sunday, October 1; and
· Sunday, October 15.

The Center will have three separate sessions each day – at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

This is a rare opportunity to see the inner workings of the nation’s premier wildlife hospital, as well as meet some of the wildlife that serve as the Center’s education staff and ambassadors. It’s well worth the pretty drive to Waynesboro!

For more info, visit the Wildlife Center’s website at Or to reserve a place at the open house contact the Center at 540.942.9453 or

Friday, July 28, 2006

Madison Yoga: Summer Session Ends July 31

This Monday, July 31, will be the last yoga classes of our summer session in Madison. There will be classes at the Wetsel Middle School library at 4:00 and at 5:30 on Monday.

The 8-week Fall Session will begin on Monday, September 11.

(My Culpeper summer session classes -- on Tuesday and Thursday mornings -- will continue through August 24.)

I hope you'll check back here for updates on classes ... and other things, too.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Peace Blessing From The Vedas

This is the peace blessing from yoga class on Monday & Tuesday (7/24 & 7/25). It's from the Vedas, ancient sacred Hindu texts. While the blessing is thousands of years old, its call for peace feels especially right in today's world. Perhaps you can add this blessing to your yoga or meditation practice, or your Reiki work this week, allowing the sweet intention of peace to bloom in you and in your practice.

May there be peace in the higher regions;
May there be peace in the firmament;
May there be peace on earth.

May the waters flow peacefully;
May the herbs and plants grow peacefully;
May all the divine powers bring unto us peace.

May we all be in peace, peace, and only peace.
And may that peace come unto each of us.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."


Welcome to the present moment. I have no grand notions for this blog. Primarily I hope that it serves as a helpful tool for yoga students who attend my Madison (and Culpeper) classes, Reiki students and practitioners, and massage clients (both current, former, and future).

(If there's something on here of interest to anyone else, then I've greatly exceeded my teeny expectations.)

On this site, I'll try to ...

  • Keep you up-to-date on yoga classes in Madison & Culpeper ... alert you to the start of new sessions ... answer or expand on questions that were raised in class ... and chatter on about, or expand on, themes in recent classes;

  • Provide the latest info on my massage schedule in both Madison & Orange ... further describe my practice, specialties, & techniques ... offer online only "specials" ... and make it easy for you to make an appointment or order gift certificates with just the click of a mouse;

  • Let you know about my upcoming workshops and retreats;

  • Give special info and news on the world of Reiki to help support the practice of those practitioners who have attended my trainings and workshops; and

  • Share a peaceful journey with you ... by offering inspirational quotes, news, and other bits of info that I come upon that inspire my journey ... and, perhaps, yours as well.

I'll be back to you soon with some of all of that. In the meantime, don't forget to breathe!