.blog-item-wrapper { background-color: #fff; max-width: 100%; } .blog-item-wrapper .post-title, .blog-item-wrapper .post-date {color: #f1641e;}
Nourish Your Love to Thrive and Be Fully Alive

Nourish Your Love to Thrive and Be Fully Alive

The great meditation teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, often speaks of nourishing your love. If we know how to feed our love every day, it will stay for a long time.

One way we nourish our love is by being conscious of what we consume. Many of us assume our daily nourishment only in terms of what we consume as food. But there are many kinds of food that we need in order to thrive. Yes, edible food nourishes our physical bodies and nervous systems, but we need sensory food as well: what we smell, what we hear, what we feel, and what we touch.

In addition, the intention of thought is food for moving us in love and the ability to experience consciousness. This includes our individual food of conscious awareness for both those around us and for our environment. To be fully alive, we must be fully nourished to thrive and maintain our full capacity to love. 

When we are malnourished in unhealthy thought, our habits of wrong thinking bring on actions of bad behavior. Our lifestyle becomes one of limited love, resorting to small thinking and selfish actions. The teachings of yoga says that energy goes where attention goes. Unplugging from all the media, and letting go of all the daily roles we have at home, is one of the most important things we can do to maintain the nourishment of this inner landscape of loving kindness. 

Our retreat this past month in Greece was just that, a time to unplug and seek out sensory nourishment. The light of Greece was healing. The brilliant blue tones of the sky meeting the water and the vibrant painted doors against the white of the buildings were breathtaking. The sensory pulse of the wind against the ocean crashing waves. The robust favors of the delicious culinary dishes combined with the radiant passion of the Greek people, who joyously shared their loving smiles and full hearts!

The trip fully embraced the meaning of the Greek word for love, agape. This is unconditional love for humanity in the presence of shared respect for mankind. We fed our souls by offering service projects and shared in a coming together as one community. Each day welcomed us with the friendly hello of good day, kalimera! Reminding us we were blessed! Greece was truly a bounty of life’s true abundance in all that nourishes!

Creating a sacred space to feed the deeper aspects of love is the joy of my teachings. I am passionate about feeding the soul. The soul needs to live, to dance, to laugh, to cry and to be actively engaged in feeling. We need to share hugs, be outrageous and also feel safe enough to be seen by others with loving eyes. This is agape, the love for all beings, the love that perhaps the great mystics and teachers inspired us to live. We need to trust that humanity is good and that life is full of love.

In this spirit, I invite you to come celebrate our 20th anniversary with the sharing of nourishing food and the abundance of stories on Saturday, September 22 (a new date). We're hosting a big bash, and everyone who has participated in the journey of yoga is invited to celebrate! And hopefully, this will also inspire you to nourish yourself at our winter retreat in Cabo when we return the week of February 16-23, 2019. It's never too early to reserve your place at the table of LIFE.

Love and blessings,
Laura Jane


Holding the Opposites and Living in Balance

Holding the Opposites and Living in Balance

I am leaving on my first summer retreat to Greece on Monday morning. Seeking the light and beauty of the Greek Islands with fifteen adventurous souls willing to seek higher ground. I am always open for the unexpected and feel that the opportunity to travel offers a profound opening for magic to unfold. Travel is not necessarily only an outer experience where the senses get an abundance of new awakenings; the travel I seek also nourishes my inner landscape and awakens my deeper soul’s need to grow.

This is been a difficult time in our world, and the past year has exhausted my spirit. It is so easy to be distracted and project outward with reactive emotions. To hold the space of opposites is a very important tool of yoga, and looking inward is the only way to have clarity when we are navigating our outer landscape. Polarity is everywhere, and I am saddened that dialogue and listening are being replaced with sound bites. The angry tension of confusion that what we think is right is wrong, and what we think is truth is not.

When we refuse to hold the light on both, we loose our balance and project from memory into future. I struggle with getting out of my anger when I feel gaslighted with what I hold as a moral compass. I grew up in the rebellion of the 70s, and my entire life has been to see the world with possibility and freedom. I believe in women, the power of voice, and the integrity to have one.

I have to remind myself to come back to my physical breath and witness how I am contributing to this disharmony with my thoughts. I will not lose my voice, but I can change my tone. I can inspire harmony within my thoughts and go to the opposite.

In the yoga sutra 2.33: Vitrka-Badhane Pratipaksa-Bhavanam, when we are bound by negative thoughts, the opposite thought should be cultivated. Rather than in indulging or rationalizing negative thoughts, Patanjali prescribes direct action, the cultivation of reframing the mind into a new thought.

These teachings tell us we have no idea of what someone is experiencing until we can put ourselves in someones else’s shoes. To walk in their shoes is to get out of our own way. If there is fear, cultivate courage or confidence. Where there is doubt, cultivate an inner confidence of knowing truth. Where there is hatred, cultivate compassion and kindness. 

We can extend ourselves beyond our typical ways of approaching things. Learn by doing and make effort to move beyond our normal habit of thought. We must be willing to risk being awkward and uncomfortable when moving into a new way of handling a situation.

Perhaps sit and listen to someone that sees differently. In my own family, I am at times a lone pioneer in seeing outside the box. Growing is my soul desire, but living my best self means sometimes I am just wrong in my thinking! I have found myself moving into judgement. 

At other times, I find my moral compass is strongly activated to speak and act in kindness, but I refuse any collusion towards bullying, defending or shaming those that proceed to put me into a box. Name calling is harsh, and it hurts. I will try and listen and be present, that is my yoga practice.

I hope that as the heat of summer continues to warm our sweet planet, we can find a way to cool the agitation of our differences and meet at a place of balance, holding onto the conscious awareness that life is only a pair of opposites.  As life is only pairs: sun and moon, light and dark, inner and outer, small self and the greater self, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and inhale and exhale. In its pure state of being, life is wholeness.

When we hold this awareness, as the mind moves deeper into a state of yoga, we find an inner state of balance. Yoga is tools for seeking balance. Please look inside and appreciate the grace of the present moment to respond as loving and compassionate listeners as we proceed forward in love.

May this summer bring sweet opportunities for travel, not only to distance lands, but into the vast inner landscape of our true selves. Let's be willing to keep growing and extending the olive branch of forgiveness. Let go of resistance, fear, and live in peace. Happy summer!!

Love and light,

Laura Jane

Belonging—the Longing to BE

Belonging—the Longing to BE

Yoga is a journey into the heart of possibility. Our lives can be overwhelmed with the details of daily living. We are constantly being bombarded by unlimited outside stimulation of distracted bias opinions.

The amount of information being directed at us on a daily basis is never given an opportunity to be digested, assimilated and ultimately eliminated. Even as I write this piece for our newsletter, I question how many of us are able to actually read it and even sit in reflection on what my heart is trying to share.  

Life is at times extremely lonely for the soul when our lives are too busy just existing. When we are fully engaged in all our various roles, who can pause enough to make space for being insightful to our deeper longings?

Our inner landscape is ignored when our outer commitments take our attention into worry and fear and ultimately exhaustion. It is in those deep moments of inner pain, that we are humbled to our knees asking for help. It is in those private moments in the willingness to ask that we begin to listen to our inner voice begging to belong.

Every human has the profound need to belong. We find ourselves searching for our tribe, our familiar company that feels inclusive and welcoming. We strive for connection, looking outward to be included in community that nourishes and validates our existence. And yet, there is still an emptiness that cannot be filled with external attachments.

This longing to be seen is an inside job. The depth of true belonging exists in our willingness to remove the barriers of hiding behind our roles, our personalities, our patterns of learned habits. It is a willingness to open and reveal that essence of our true nature, our inner light, our heart.  The longing to BE.

Belonging is not to something attached outside but to be present to our beauty, our grace, our magnificent light of our intrinsic nature—kindness and love. Resting in this quality, which is beyond words to describe, presents itself as a peaceful pabable experience.

The pathway is not easy and it takes a courageous longing but our souls are always seeking for this BELONGING. As I journey deeply into the teachings of yoga, I return daily to my practice not just physically but as a way to nourish my emotional and spiritual wellbeing, as a way to be enough.

I hope that this inspires and encourages you to begin to listen to the longings inside yourself and know that nothing can fulfill that void of loneliness except going into your own beingness. YAF is holding the space for your own inner journey! LONGING TO BE IS BELONGING to the space of self love. Anything is possible when we feel enough! 

We are thrilled to be a community of yoga for twenty years and on September 15 we are inviting everyone to help share in our celebration! Please save the date. 



Laura Jane

*Our June newsletter mistakenly listed the date of our 20th anniversary party as September 15, 2019. It should be September 15, 2018 - THIS YEAR!