Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Orange Yoga 2013 ~ Classes on New Year's Eve AND Day!

Finally ... the holiday glitter is beginning to settle, so Christmas must be over.  The roads are slushy, icy and slick, so Winter must be here.

That means it's time to roll out the 2013 Yoga schedule!

The WINTER SESSION officially begins on Wednesday, January 2.  But, you'll have a chance to unroll your mat on New Year's Eve & Day, too ...

Remember, all Yoga classes have moved to ORANGE!

Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio
307A Madison Road in Orange
we're with Hamiltons Day Spa 
Classes begin on New Years Eve AND New Years Day ...
Monday, December 31 at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, January 1 at 9:30 a.m.
Time to "wring" out the old, as you ring in the new.  Two special holiday morning classes to help squeeze out the stress of 2012 and prepare for a vibrant 2013.
Monday's class will focus on Vinyasa -- the flowing energy of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) will guide us through this warming practice, as we empty out the sluggish, tired-out, old energy of the year just ending.
Tuesday's class will be our traditional Kundalini-inspired New Year's Practice -- using Yoga from the Kundalini, Taoist, & Tibetan traditions to move and unblock energy, open up spaciousness, and enter 2013 with a refreshed spirit and open heart!
$13/class.  Or, start the year off right and get these classes for FREE! 
Here's the Free-Deal ... come to class on Monday or Tuesday, and if you sign up for and pay for the upcoming 8-week Winter Session ... take either one of these classes for Free.
Or, an even free-er Free-Deal ... sign up for the two classes weekly option and BOTH the Monday and the Tuesday class are Free for you!
The 8-week WINTER schedule begins on Wednesday, January 2
MONDAYS at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAYS at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
New Fees, plus a new option to take two classes weekly!
$13 ~ drop-in to a single class
Or, enjoy a lovely discount when you commit yourself to your Yoga practice:
$70 ~ 8-week session (1 class weekly / 8 classes total)
$120 ~ 8-week session (2 classes weekly / take as many classes as you like!)
The Winter Session begins on Wednesday, January 2 and is scheduled to run through Monday, February 25, weather-permitting, etc.
Bad weather and other bugaboos will occasionally lead to cancellations here or there.  So, watch this website: for changes in the schedule, or "LIKE" us on Facebook at: so you'll be in the loop for changes and things like that!

PLEASE NOTE: Classes have been VERY full this Winter.  If you are new to my class please call or email ahead to ensure there will be space for you. 
And, just to clarify ... My Yoga classes have moved to Orange.  But, my Massage studio stays in Madison. I love a change of scenery throughout the week! :)
If you have any questions or need further info, you may email me at or call me at 540.672.9528.
I hope that the holidays have been peaceful and warm for you.  I look forward to seeing you soon!

Wildlife Center of Virginia Yoga Fundraiser ~ You Made It The Best Ever!


Our Wildlife Center of Virginia Yoga & Open House in Orange on Saturday was the most successful yet! 

We raised nearly $1,600 in donations ... PLUS a carload of supplies valued at hundreds of dollars.

Your generous hearts and spirits will provide lots of nourishing food and life-saving medical care to the animal patients the Center cares for. 

(There are 56 wild animal patients receiving medical care at the Wildlife Center as I write this -- that's a whole lot of mouths to feed!)

Thank You for Supporting
The Wildlife Center of Virginia!
Here are just a few patients who we have helped ...
Fox Kits
A different kind of "Kit" ~ a Bobcat Kitten
A Kestrel Chick ~ who received care from the Center
AND from the Center's adult Kestrel resident who served as a surrogate parent
and taught this chick how to survive in the wild.
An injured barn owl, rescued recently in Orange County
The Wildlife Center now has an online "CRITTER CAM" ~ you can watch their patients rehab and prepare for their release back to the wild.  Recent Critter Cam "stars" have included Bald Eagles, Bear Cubs, Owls, & Hawks.  To watch LIVE, click here.
Thank you for unrolling your Yoga mat
with me again this year and for helping the Wildlife Center!
(All these sweet photos are courtesy of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Open House in Orange ~ Sat, 12/22!

The Wildlife Center of Virginia depends on our help!  For a list of supplies the Wildlife Center can use, and for more info on the Morning Yoga class before Saturday's Open House, click here.

If you have questions or need directions, email me at  I hope to see you!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Letting Go Of The External "Stuff"

In Yoga, we often say “Let Go” during our practice. 

But, what are we letting go of?  What are we holding on to?
As we settle into our practice we try to let go of the tight muscles that might be hiding in our shoulders, neck, back, hips, or elsewhere in our body.  We try to let go of thoughts and stress and worries and the busy activity of our mind.  We try to let go of these things so that we can free ourselves up so that our breath can widen out into the space.

But, often we’re holding tightly to more than just a few tense muscles. 
And, that’s the more subtle part of “letting go.”  And, it’s just as important.

We’re holding tightly onto our external selves.  Who we think we are.  Who we want to be.  How we want to look.  What we do, what we have, and what we want.
Because, that’s often how we define ourselves.  We are our age, our height, and – oh my! – our weight.  We are our jobs, we are our education, we are our social standing, we are our bank account.

That’s a lot to let go of. But, it’s an essential part of Yoga.
If we hold too tightly to those external “definers”, we will never reach our truest, purest spirit that hides under all that external stuff.

Today, I was part of a conversation and the topic was all the external stuff.  What they were getting their spouse for Christmas, how much they were spending, how indispensible they are to their job, how much they know.

It was a little uncomfortable, but mostly it was a good reminder.
We all do this. We all hold on.

It’s not our job to judge what someone else does or what they hold on to.
Instead, Yoga asks you and me to hone in on what we're holding onto that is stopping us from finding our own inner pure light.
I hold on, too. (If you’ve seen me in the past few weeks as I have prepared for my move to a new Yoga studio, you know how I hold on … and worry … and lose sight that Yoga is much, much more than having a perfect floor to practice on.)

It’s hard enough to let go of our stressed shoulders (see, didn’t you just check your shoulders and drop them down alittle?).
Now, Yoga asks us to let go of the other things we hold tight. Who we are on the outside. That takes more effort.

But, the reward is great.
The light at the very center of your being is pure and perfect. It is healthy, it is wealthy, it is wise. It is everything. But, to find it means you have to dig a little bit. And, you have to let go of everything that is getting in the way.

It’s not easy. But, practicing Yoga – on your mat, or just by slowing down and paying attention to your breathing – can give you a peek at the “True You.”
And, then, what you look like on the outside, or what you have, or what you want, begins to fall away on its own. It starts to become superfluous.

I am not my weight. I am not my job. I am not my Yoga studio.
I’m just me.

After the earlier conversation about Christmas presents and stuff, someone shared this post with me. How perfect! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 22, 2012 ~ Yoga & Open House To Benefit The Wildlife Center of Virginia!

On SATURDAY, December 22, 2012 join me for a special morning Yoga class in Orange to greet the Winter Solstice and warm your internal holiday lights!

Join in some joyful yuletide Yoga flow!  A special Open House of our new Yoga studio follows!

Class at 9:30 a.m. at Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio in our NEW location in the historic SILK MILL, 307A Madison Road in Orange, Virginia (in Hamiltons' Day Spa). Open House follows from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This class will benefit
Your class “cost”? 1) Make a cash/check donation to the Wildlife Center of Virginia or, 2) If you prefer, bring a bag filled with helpful supplies for the Center. Please choose items from this list:
Paper Towels w Tissues (no lotion) w Glad/Hefty Trash Bags (all sizes) w Dawn Dish Detergent (blue) w Ziplock Bags w Dishwashing Gloves w Safety Glasses/Goggles w 10-gallon Aquarium w Tuna/Sardines in Water w Canned Dog Food w Large, heavy duty "Kong" toys w Pillowcases w Basic office supplies: 20 lb. white paper, pens, padded mailing envelopes, dry erase markers & erasers.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia depends entirely on the generosity of individuals like us to support their life-saving work. They’ll care for more than 2,600 wild animals this year. Please be generous!

Even if you can't make it to class ... stop by anyway!

An OPEN HOUSE in the new studio follows class
from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

You can pick up nice, last-minute stocking stuffers from my new line of Peaceful Gifts including, finally, my hand-blended massage oil in take-home bottles!, as well as gift certificates from Peaceful Hands and Hamiltons Day Spa.  Enjoy some hot apple cider and a little sweet treat, and see the "OM-azing" space that is our new Yoga home.

To learn more about the Wildlife Center of Virginia, their animals, and to watch bear cubs, owls, eagles, and more on their "addicting" online LIVE Critter Cam, visit them online, click here: Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Have questions, need directions, or info? Email me at or call 540-672-9528.


Friday, December 07, 2012

Orange Holiday Yoga Schedule!

Ready for some change in Orange? 
Spend the Holidays with Peaceful Hands Yoga!

Here's our December 2012 schedule:

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 ~ 4:30 & 6:00 p.m. Come say goodbye to our current space on Byrd Street.  Thank you Little Studio for five good years!

Then, we move to our
NEW Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio … in the historic Silk Mill (307A Madison Road)!

We are sharing a space with Hamilton’s Day Spa – just park in the main lot and come in through the spa’s front doors (there’s a Peaceful Hands Yoga sign on the front door). The Silk Mill is a block from the Sheetz. We are located between Briarwood Florist and Virginia Physical Therapy.

If you haven’t seen the new space yet, take a peek: click here.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19 ~ 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.  Bring your Yoga spirit to our new "home". Just $8 for the class. But, if you registered in the Madison/Fall or Orange/Holiday session, your class on Wednesday is FREE.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 ~ 9:30 a.m. Yoga & Open House!
Do Yoga & Benefit the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Your class "fee" helps the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Bring a monetary donation or a gift of supplies … & enjoy your yoga while helping wild animals in need! The supply list is here: Wildlife Center Yoga. Thank you so much for helping the wildlife patients at the Center!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 ~ Peaceful Hands Open House ~ 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
If you can’t make class that morning, please stop by anyway to see the new studio (and the day spa).
Enjoy some holiday treats, or maybe even pick up a stocking stuffer from my new line of Peaceful Hands gifts and care items. Yes, finally, you can buy my special hand-blended massage oil, an array of essential oils that will bring the peaceful spirit to your home, soy candles infused with essential oil (and no candle soot!), and other Yoga and massage-inspired items, including beautiful items from Madison’s own Windrose Trading Company!

TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2013 ~ 9:30 a.m.
Make it your New Year’s treat, start the year with an invigorating Yoga class that will shake out 2012 and refresh your spirit for the year ahead. $13/class. Or, sign up for the upcoming Winter Session and your New Year’s class is FREE!

And, speaking of 2013 ... 

Peaceful Hands Yoga in Orange is
EXPANDING! Beginning in January 2013, Yoga classes will be:

MONDAYS at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAYS at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

8-week WINTER session, one class a week … $70
8-week WINTER session, take as many classes as you like throughout the session … $120
Single Class drop-in: $13

Classes begin Wednesday, January 2 & Monday, January 7. Also, there will be a more regular variety of Saturday classes and maybe even the return of our Yoga workshops!


Just wanted to get all those dates out there for you.  I’ll fill in the details and remind you of all this as the month goes on.  To make sure you're "in the loop" you can sign up to get emails whenever this blog is updated ... just fill in the Email sign-up form on the right column.

I'm very excited to begin this new adventure in Orange & I look forward to sharing Yoga with you in our new space.  If you have questions or comments, you may email me at peacefulhands (at) or call me at 540-672-9528. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Madison Yoga: Changes For 2013

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change.”  ~ C. Joybell C. (author)
After 10 years, this month is my last teaching Yoga on Mondays in Madison. I am so blessed to have had the chance to share Yoga in Madison with so many inspiring and wonderful people for so many years. 

Thank you for sharing your Yoga with me and enriching my Mondays!

My last class in Madison at Wetsel Middle School will be Monday, December 10. (Classes at 4:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.)

But, don’t pack your mat away just yet!

Monday classes will continue ... in Orange at my new Peaceful Hands Studio in the historic Silk Mill.  Classes there are Mondays AND Wednesdays at 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. beginning in January 2013. 

For the latest schedules click here.

My massage studio remains in Madison … and stay tuned … because lots of exciting Yoga news will continue to unfold in Orange … including a new studio, more weekly classes, and lots of other special things will be blossoming there in the weeks ahead.  I’ll post all those updates soon! 

Oh, so much to do!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Orange Yoga ~ A New Home!

Ganesha has arrived to banish obstacles. The bells have arrived so class can start.
We're just waiting for you & your Yoga mat!

Yes ... it's official (finally!) 

Peaceful Hands Yoga in Orange has a new home!

Beginning with our December 19 class, we will be located at 307A Madison Road in the historic Silk Mill Building, Orange, Virginia.

I'm hopeful that our new home will give us a bit more room to spread out, a nicer space, and better ventilation and temperature.  While no space is perfect (or so I am told), I hope this will become a sacred space for you to share your Yoga with me each week.

We'll be sharing space with Hamilton's Day Spa -- our studio is at the back of the spa.  So, you'll park in the central Silk Mill lot and come through the Day Spa front door (next door to the florist and physical therapy office).

We'll continue to have class in our current Byrd Street location until the 19th. 

Lots of floor space so you can stretch out without knocking your neighbor over!


Yes, even a window (which overlooks the Silk Mill Restaurant Courtyard).
I'll be getting shades or a window treatment, so that we may be open to the sky
or quiet in our private cocoon during our classes.
(But, that may not be completed until the new year.)

And, the ocean wall I've always wanted! There should be ample wall space for everyone
to flip over and kick up our legs from time to time.
I hope this will become an inviting and sacred space for your Yoga journey.
I hope that it feels like home. 

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. You can post your comment here, email me at peacefulhands (at) or call me at 540-672-9528.  Thank you for being part of my Yoga family!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

So, Let Us All Be Thankful ...

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.”

~ The Buddha

During this time of Thanksgiving, it's nice to sit back and reflect on the many things for which we are grateful. But, sometimes, as we tote up our lists, we can lose sight of the basic, simple things in life which are deserving of our gratitude, but often get lost in the shuffle.

There is a sweet cartoon from Patrick McDonnell -- who does the Mutts comic strip -- where Earl the dog asks Shtinky the Little Cat, "Hey, Shtinky, what are you thankful for?" And, Shtinky says, "This moment!"  Earl asks, "Anything else?" "Yes. THIS moment!" 

That cartoon is 10 years old, but I think of it often (and, as you can see, I know it by heart).  Thanksgiving is a lovely time to tell the people we love "thank you." To sit and reflect on the gifts in our days that make our lives special.

But, we should also remember that each moment is a gift -- whether a special moment or just a very simple one.

So, every once in awhile, just stop and say to yourself. "THIS moment." And, let that be your little prayer of thanks.

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

For the savasana "Energy Bridge of Gratitude" meditation that anchors our Thanksgiving Yoga class, click: Thanksgiving Yoga ~ A Blessing, Part 1

For a meditation of gratitude that served as the ending moments of our Thanksgiving Yoga class, click: Thanksgiving Yoga ~ A Blessing, Part 2

To Read the timeless and inspiring Thanksgiving Blessing from W.E.B. DuBois that has been part of our Thanksgiving Yoga classes for a decade now, click: A Grateful Heart

For a Beautiful Poem of Gratitude from Harriett Kofalk, that served as the foundation for another Thanksgiving Class, click: I Give Thanks

For "Thanksgiving Yoga: Rekindling Our Light", click: Rekindling Our Light

Our website has moved!  For more Yoga blessings and meditations to inspire your practice, plus updates on classes at Peaceful Hands Yoga, visit our website:

Monday, November 05, 2012

VOTE! It's Your Yogic Duty

Voting is part of our Yogic duty. The time to take your Yoga off the mat and into the world.

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.

It shows that you care.

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

I've been a bit overwhelmed by all the political anger in this election season -- less from the candidates themselves, but from friends and others who think that by raising their voices, by shaking their fists, by being loud and rude, they will force me to their way of thinking. And, I've heard it on both sides.

I'm so tired of, and disappointed by, the mean-spirited links and "likes" that my Facebook community has been forwarding. I've kept quiet. Because anger, mean-spiritedness, sarcasm, and yelling will accomplish nothing -- no matter who wins on Tuesday.

Voting is not about disagreeing and being angry.

Democracy is about working together. Compromising. And, making a difference in our community, our country, and our world.

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.”

The work begins on Tuesday. Vote.

Let your Yoga light serve us all.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Who Decides What's 'Proper' Anyway?

"There's no 'properly'. There's just how it makes you feel."

~ Keith Richards describing playing guitar

Maybe it was only rock & roll that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was talking about, but he did an incredibly good job of summing up my Yoga path and practice, too.

Yoga is about feeling ... and letting that feeling blossom from within. 

Yes, there are great books of Yoga wisdom and sutras to guide and inspire us. But, they are just that -- guides. They are meant to guide us so that we may find the true reward of Yoga ourselves. From within. Both on and off the mat.

Let's just talk about the "on the mat" part today.

I know that a lot of my students wish I would spend more class time pushing them into poses ... or pulling their arm one way and their leg another.  Isn't that what Yoga teachers are for?  Pushing or pulling you into something deemed 'proper'? Something someone has decided is correct or, even, perfect.

But, as I think most of my students know, that's not my style. Afterall, I could sculpt a body into a beautiful Downward Dog or Warrior Pose. I could move a limb here an inch ... or push your hip a schooch in the other direction.

What does that give you? It gives you a fleeting moment of something that may look like it belongs in a Yoga magazine, but isn't really your Yoga.

It may look all pretty on the outside, but it may hurt on the inside. It may make a muscle tense or a joint ache. You lose the ease. You grit your teeth. You count the moments until you can come out of the pose. 

You lose the Yoga.

I may move a student or encourage a change in the pose with my touch, but that's merely a suggestion or an invitation to move out of discomfort. But mostly I like to adjust my students with my words, with verbal suggestions that allow a student to find the pose from the inside.

Yoga is about finding the pose on your own ... truly owning it and feeling it within you. No teacher can move you there. You have to find it yourself. And, what a great feeling it is when you do.

I wonder if Keith Richards has ever done Yoga? He should. He's got the right heart for it.

Because Yoga isn't about doing something 'properly'. It's about feeling the spirit of the pose inside, letting it come to life, and letting it shine out.

I hope you're feeling some good Yoga!  Rock on, Yoga friends!

(And, yes, I AM reading Keith's autobiography 'Life' ... again. One of the five greatest rock-and-roll books of all time. And, a great read whether you love the Stones or not.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Holiday Yoga In Orange Begins Oct 31, 2012

Fall should be the time for beginning to slow down. Just like trees and plants and nature ... the gentle slowing down, cooling down, resting time begins.  So tell me again how did this got to be the busiest time of year for us humans?

The Holidays and Year-End stress seem go against everything that nature teaches us. We just never slow ourselves down.   

But, really … if not now, when?

Researchers have found that those who spend an hour or so in a stress-relieving yoga class or who receive a massage get that time back (and then some) in renewed energy, improved clarity, and a stronger, healthier immune system. It’s like recharging your cell phone. You do that all the time … so why not give yourself that same opportunity to recharge?

So, even though this time is busy, I hope you’ll join us.

6-week Holiday Yoga Session
Peaceful Hands Yoga in Orange, VA
On Wednesdays, beginning tonight!

Wednesday, October 31

Wednesday, November 7
Wednesday, November 14
Wednesday, November 28
Wednesday, December 5
Wednesday, December 12

(There is no class Thanksgiving Week.) The 6-week session is $48 or $12/class.

Two classes in Orange on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Classes are at Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio at 145 Byrd Street in Orange.

And, mark your calendar for our annual NEW YEAR’s YOGA in Orange on January 1, 2013.
More info to come ...
The Madison On Mondays Yoga schedule had to do a bit of juggling ... and we're still working our way through the current fall schedule.  The Madison, VA Fall/Holiday schedule for the rest of 2012 is here.

If you're new to Yoga, or to my classes, and need general information like directions to the studio and what to expect ... just click here.

And, you can always reach me by email at peacefulhands (at) or by phone at 540-672-9528.

Be Gentle With Yourself This Holiday Season.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Madison Yoga ~ October/November Class Changes

2013 UPDATE!
As of January 2013, all of my Yoga classes are now held in Orange, Virginia.
Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio
307A Madison Road in Orange
For the latest class schedules click:
Remember that thing about Yoga making you flexible? Well, there are some Yoga class schedule changes coming up for our Madison, Virginia classes that will call on your kind flexibility in the weeks ahead.

Here we go with the upcoming Yoga calendar for Madison for the rest of 2012.


The 2012 Fall session in Madison continues. We have THREE classes left in this current session. The dates of those classes are:
  • Monday, October 22
  • Monday, November 12
  • Monday, November 26

$12/class for drop-ins.
These cancellations ONLY affect our Madison classes. There will be NO classes on October 29 and November 5 due to schedule conflicts at Wetsel Middle School. The school cannot accommodate our classes on these days, so I have no option but to cancel. Please know that I would have classes, but the school has no available space for us. As always, we are also off during the week of Thanksgiving.
There will be TWO classes in Madison in December on:
  • Monday, December 3, and
  • Monday, December 10.

You may take either/both of those December classes at the special discount of $8/class.
Two classes on Mondays in Madison … at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Wetsel Middle School in the Library.
I'll be posting the upcoming Orange, Virginia Holiday Session dates in another post. 
To make sure you're seeing the most up-to-date Yoga schedule, visit the main Peaceful Hands page by clicking here
Feel free to contact me with any questions or for more info ... email me at peacefulhands (at)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day With The Dalai Lama

Last week, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Charlottesville, Virginia.  I was fortunate to be able to attend both of the events where he spoke.

I took lots of notes, because remembering the things that people say can get in the way of the experience. I have a tendency to forget. It's much easier for me to just write down the things I want to remember.

I posted a few short reports on my "other" blog: Baseball, Yoga, Life ... (and me).

But, I wanted to include the links here as well ...

In Part 1 of my "Day with the Dalai Lama", the Dalai Lama talks about happiness and the benefits of being positive.  Click here.

In Part 2, His Holiness discusses cricket, exposes my baseball-watching habits, recommends a good night's sleep, and inspires my cat Stevie.  Click here.

There is a Part 3 coming soon ... and it will include a discussion on comfortable and fashionable footwear ... so be sure to check back.

And, you can always sign up to receive posts from this blog ... and from my "other" Baseball & Yoga blog ... via email. A sign-up form is on every page.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thank You!

‎Ten years ago, on October 9, 2002, I passed my national certification exam and became a massage therapist.

The exam was at a testing facility just outside of Richmond. On the drive home, I got a call from a person with deep and unrelenting hip pain. I did my first massage as a Certified Therapist later that afternoon. (That the client never came back was a little disappointing, but I did my best.)

Ten years is such a long-short time!

When I graduated from massage school I was asked to give the commencement address.  I shared these words:

"The noted natualist and poet Diane Ackerman once wrote, 'Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight.' How lucky we are to have found a way to share this most basic -- and healthful -- gift with others. May we all create a healing touch that will, in its small way, give peace and comfort to this world."

Ten years ago, I had no idea if this would be a career or a hobby.  If my work as a massage therapist would last one week, one month, one year ... or just one client.  But, you had faith in me. You helped me learn. You allowed me to explore. You allowed me to work my way through your aches and pains.

The National Certification Board made me "CERTIFIED."  YOU made me a THERAPIST.

I want to thank each of you who put your trust and faith in me, who enrich and inspire me in many, many ways, and who teach me so much about living a healthy and rewarding life.

I am so grateful for all you have given me ... here's to another 10!

If you'd like to visit my massage website ... here it is:

One day, I will figure out a way to merge this Yoga blog and my massage website into a single place.  Sometime.  In the next 10 years.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

No Madison Yoga on Monday, October 8

There will be no Yoga Class in Madison on Monday, October 8, 2012.

This class cancellation is only for Madison ... classes in Orange are "on" as scheduled this Wednesday.

As I said in classes last week, I very much appreciate your understanding, good humor, and flexibility! :)

We will extend the Fall calendar in Madison accordingly.

Remember, you can always drop in to one of my classes whenever your schedule allows. No need to wait for a new session to start.

For the latest updates on Yoga classes and schedules, click here.

If you have questions or need further info, you can reach me via email at peacefulhands (at)  Or call 540-672-9528.

I hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Say "Cheese"!

This is Stevie.  Yes, another cat.  She's one of my favorite "models".

But, her Yoga is sloppy.  Oh, sure her Down Dog is kinda cute.  But, really, Warrior 2?  Very lackadasical.  And, you can just forget about Bridge Pose.

That's where you come in.

I’m looking for some help – and a smiling face!
Would you be willing to be my Yoga model on my blog?

I need someone (or two "someones") willing to pose in a variety of simple Yoga poses for use with my blog posts.  Nothing fancy, all poses we’ve done in Yoga at some point.   I would need you for about one hour at my Orange studio at a time that works for both of us.  You just need to do a handful of basic poses and that’s that. 

Think of it as having your own personal Yoga session … and you can forget there will even be a camera there.  I’ll do my best to make it fun and beneficial.  You'll look amazing.  And, yes, I’ll even bring snacks!

You won’t become famous, because my readership is small.  But, you’ll help to illustrate the beauty and power of Yoga … you may help someone improve their own pose or inspire someone to try Yoga for the first time.  How cool is that?!

In return, I’ll gift your next Yoga session (in either Madison or Orange).  I will be very, very grateful and will thank you profusely.

Requirements: You should be familiar with my classes and basic Yoga poses.  You should know a Down Dog from a Warrior 2.  You should have an hour to spare (probably on a weekend) when you can come to my Orange studio.  You should be able to smile!

If you’re willing to give it a go … please let me know.  Email me at  Or, call me at 540.672.9528. 
Thank you for helping share Yoga!

UPDATE:  Thank you so much to the kind people who so generously -- and so quickly -- responded to my Yoga Model search!  Two beautiful and kind-hearted Yoginis are joining me this weekend for our "photo shoot".  I can guarantee you that their Yoga is inspiring and beautiful.  I hope ... hope ... hope that my rudimentary camera skills can capture their practice so that I can share it with you in the days, weeks, months to come! 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Fall 2012 ~ Yoga in Orange & Madison, VA

Did you give your Yoga mat the summer off?  Time to get back on track and there's no better time than the Fall, when the air turns cool and maybe just a little more stress creeps into your days.  Yoga can be just the thing to warm the bones and soothe the mind!

Classes are ready to begin in Orange and Madison, Virginia.  Here are the details:

at Peaceful Hands Yoga Studio
145 Byrd Street, Downtown Orange, VA
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

New 8-week session begins Wednesday, September 5 and is scheduled to run through Wednesday, October 24.

$12/class or take the full session at the discounted fee of $64. 

Your first class is free.  But, if you're new to my classes and are interested in coming to Orange, please call or email first, as classes have been nearly full.  Spaces are reserved for those students who have taken the full session; drop-in students are certainly welcome, but only if there's space available.

at Wetsel Middle School
Route 29, Madison, VA
Mondays, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

New 8-week session begins Monday, September 10 and is scheduled to run through Monday, October 29. 

(We often have a Monday cancellation or two due to the school's schedule, so be sure to check this blog for the latest updates.  When we have a cancellation, we simply extend the session an extra week.)

$12/class or take the full session at the discounted fee of $64.

Your first class is free.  Classes are in the Middle School Library which is nice and spacious, so there's always space available. 

Classes are for all levels, beginners on up.  If you need general information, including directions to the studio, what to bring/wear, make-up class policy, please visit the General Info page:  General Yoga Class Info

If you have questions or need additional info, please contact me.  You can reach me via email at peacefulhands (at) or by phone at 540.672.9528.

I hope to see you ... and your Yoga mat soon!

For the latest Yoga class schedules, check for the latest posts here:  Or, even easier, follow this blog by email, by filling out the box on the right-side column. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Yoga's 8 Limbs ~ More Than Just A Pose

It all began when I was asked a simple question over dinner last week, “How is our Yoga progressing?  Do you see us getting any better?” 

This person has been doing Yoga with me for many years.  And, there’s not a single thing wrong with her Yoga – she tries every pose, including the tough ones; she looks lovely in her poses; she comes to nearly every class.  She is a beautiful and inspiring Yogini!

But, it was a good reminder for me about what it means to “teach” Yoga.  Because, Yoga is so much more than just stretching out on the mat.  Even if the physical exercise is extremely beneficial to the body and the poses look lovely.

Asana is the limb of Yoga we practice most here in the West.  It is the Yoga of movement and exercise.  For most Yoga practitioners in the West it is the only Yoga they know.

There’s just so much more to Yoga than a sticky mat and a Sun Salutation. Asana is just one of eight amazing, powerful, and transformational Yogic limbs.  

We cheat ourselves if we fail to experience the rest of Yoga.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall 2012 Yoga Sessions ~ Coming Soon!

Just a quick reminder ...

Yoga Classes have been "off" this week, but we're back with the Fall Session very very soon!

NEXT WEDNESDAY ~ September 5
8-Week Fall Session in Orange, VA
4:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.

MONDAY ~ September 10
8-Week Fall Session in Madison, VA
4:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

More details coming soon ... but mark your calendar, because Fall has arrived!

You can always find the latest schedules online at and on Facebook at

And, the massage info is right here:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Wild & Precious Life

Oscar is my cat.  He's 20.

Although he has his share of stiffness and achy joints in recent years, he can still hoist himself up on the barn roof for an afternoon snooze.  Just yesterday, for instance.

I share him with you, because he's a good reminder of Poet Mary Oliver's words:

"Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild & precious life."

Oscar came to us about eight or nine years ago.  So, he already was an older cat -- nearly elderly.

But, he was unhappy with his people up the road, I guess.  And, so he packed up and moseyed through the fields.  A half-mile.  He just showed up one day.  Moved in.  And, never left.

We always joke that he saw our place as a retirement home.

But, in fact, he didn't retire.  Instead, Oscar found a second chance and a new life -- rich, rewarding, active, and comfortable.

And, his decision to make a fresh start ... at an age when he should have been winding down ... is a daily inspiration to me.

It's never too late to start again.

So ...

"Tell me, what it is YOU plan to do with your one wild & precious life."

P.S. Oscar would be delighted, I'm sure, if you would share his photo, and message, with your friends and loved ones.  Because he carries Mary Oliver's inspiring words.  And, they are very good reminders that we all should live our lives to their fullest.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Earth, Wind, & Fire ~ The Keys To Life

"Where Agni is enkindled, where Vayu is controlled, where Soma overflows, there the higher mind is born. ... All of the five elements are connected in the action of Yoga."
~ from the Upanishads

So let's break this beautiful scripture down ... and translate the Sanskrit:

Agni = Fire
Vayu = Wind (Air & Ether)
Soma = Earth & Water

And, so the Upanishad now reads:

"Where FIRE is enkindled, where WIND is controlled, where EARTH & WATER overflow, there the higher mind is born."

As I said in our EARTH class last night ~

Earth & Water give us physical substance, structure, and form. 

Wind gives us movement (air) and the space that we move within (ether).

Fire gives us the tools to digest and consume; it allows us to thrive.

These 5 elements must be in harmony and balance.  And, our Yoga classes this week focus on helping support that balance.

For Earth & Water ... Without Water, our Earth gets hard, dry, and rigid.  Our bodies become hard, our mind becomes rigid.  But, with too much Water, our Earth turns to mud.  We get sluggish and slow in our bodies and in our minds.

For Wind ... Too little Wind makes us stagnant and we fall in physical, mental, and emotional "ruts".  We lose our ability to expand ourselves.  Too much Wind makes us physically dried out and brittle, and "air headed."

For Fire ... A lack of fire, means we lose the "fire in our belly" ... not only emotional drive and focus, but also the ability to properly digest nourishment and nutrition from food, from our senses, and from our experiences.  Too much ... well, we burn ourselves out.

But, when things are in harmony ... then we have good health, strong energy, and a peaceful heart that allows us to transcend the challenges of our day.  We move a little bit closer to that higher mind of serenity and bliss.

And, that is why we finish this week of Yoga-Palooza with 3 focused classes to find the balance ... Earth.  Wind.  Fire.

Earth was last night.  Next up ... Wind Wednesday!  And, Fire Friday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Earth Wind & Fire ~ Yoga-Palooza's Final BIG Week!

Still planning to get a yoga class in before the summer ends? This coming week is the final week of our 5th Annual Yoga-Palooza in Orange … and it’s a BIG one.

Monday. Wednesday. Friday.
4:30 & 6:00 p.m.

Earth. Wind. Fire.

Every living being is composed of a unique blend of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, ether. Our classes for this final week of Yoga-Palooza will explore each one … with asana, breath, music, and mindfulness that will massage and revitalize the elements within us and bring them into balance.

Monday, August 20. EARTH YOGA ~ Explore the deep grounding nature of earth, and its “partner” water.

Wednesday, August 22. WIND YOGA ~ Dive into the breath and soar with the energy of air and ether.

Friday, August 24. FIRE YOGA ~ Charge up Manipura, the third chakra and the seat of Fire within us.

All three classes bring you the complete package. But, if you can only get to one or two … then do that. If you’re not already signed up for the session … it’s $12/class.

(And, yes, there is a select group of special folk who are very, very close to attending EVERY class this summer … July and the Yoga-Palooza session! Will they make it to the end with perfect attendance? Stay Tuned!)

We’ll be off the last week of August.  The Fall Yoga Sessions will begin on Wednesday, September 5 in Orange and Monday, September 10 in Madison. More on those sessions coming soon …

In the meantime, check back for class updates and other things:

Peaceful Hands Yoga Online

Peaceful Hands on Facebook

Stay cool and shady on these remaining summer days and I hope to see you (and your Yoga mat) soon!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Sometimes A Flower Is Only A Flower

Sometimes a flower is only a flower. 

There's no real reason for this post.

Except that this morning, I went out to take a photo of the single sunflower blooming in my garden. 

But, that photo didn't turn out.

And, then I saw this tiny little morning glory, just tucked in amongst the weeds and vines.  And, so I took a photo of it.  And, the photo was sweet and the morning dew looked so glittery.  

So, I didn't get the photograph of the flower I wanted.  I got something I didn't expect.

This flower is only a flower.

And, there is no purpose to this post.

Except that sometimes a flower is only a flower ... and that's quite simple and beautiful enough.

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Heart Sutra

Wednesday's Yoga class was "Heart Opening" ... and we began and ended with the chant of perfection and wisdom known as the Heart Sutra.

As I said in class, many Sanskrit blessings and sutras rise above mere mortal translation.  They are about vibration and energy and while they may not translate into words easily, their effect can be profound and transformative.

In Sanskrit, the Heart Sutra is this:

Teyaté Gaté Gaté Paragaté Parasamgaté Bodhi Soham

So, while the Sutra defies easy translation, here is the basic intent of the chant:

Empty body, Empty mind.  What is left is the divine and pure energy of the heart which entwines with all others.

In other words, a simple translation could be: I am not my body and I am not my mind.  I am the pure spirit of my heart -- the Purusha.  And, the pure spirit of my heart joins with the spirit of all other beings.

Of course, there are many true scholars who spend many many years absorbing and studying these beautiful sutras.  They offer much deeper and far more complex translations, but this simple translation serves me well and I love to carry this Sutra in my heart. 

Yangjin Lamu is a Tibetan woman with a beautiful voice ... she sings the Heart Sutra with such sweetness and strength.  Her video on YouTube is so worth the visit!

Yangjin Lamu sings the Heart Sutra

I hope that it touches you deeply and feeds your heart.

For more Yoga meditations and blessings -- and the latest class info from Peaceful Hands -- visit our website: