Official News Letter

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This beautiful photo from Pichet’s altar, completely captivated me. It is of Khruba Si Wichai, Northern thailand’s most venerated monk.

This beautiful photo from Pichet’s altar, completely captivated me. It is of Khruba Si Wichai, Northern thailand’s most venerated monk.

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STRESS - What to do?

One of the most profound understandings that I came to while in Thailand and Laos was the importance of deep relaxation. It’s amazing how chilled out people are there!  Studying Thai massage for 2 weeks meant I gave and RECEIVED a thai massage every day! I was soooo deeply rested and blissed out….!

It’s totally the opposite of our fast paced hectic go…go…go lifestyle here in NYC. We are STRESSED OUT PEOPLE! I know we all know this, and it feels like there is no other way but just push a little bit more, work a little bit harder until….you know it well…burn out—adrenal fatigue sets in. I’ve been working with this for a long time personally and try to share as many practices as I can with my students on ways to de-compress and RELAX. My thai massage studies with Pichet really drove home how much this stress eats away at our vibrancy and creates a constant state of agitation in our minds.

Pichet, talked alot how this state of constant activity, worry, stress, mental rumination, emotional holding and constant distraction adversely affects our organs, nervous system, and well being. “Worry too much”, says Pichet as he points out the particular areas of tightness in someone’s body.

We often are so wound up that we can’t sleep, tossing and turning into the wee hours of the morning, or waking up and staring at the ceiling or clock watching as the hours slowly pass. The consequences to our health and quality of life are really disturbing.

As Pichet says, “What to do?”

Here are a few offerings I have to help…

EYES WIDE OPEN-Yoga for Insomnia

Sun March 23, 2:30-4:30pm, Pure Yoga West



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Offerings from Thailand & Laos

I just returned from an amazing journey to Thailand and Laos. I was very moved by the daily ritual of offering and devotion that I experienced in all walks of life. I experienced the similar daily acts of ritual beauty and offering during my previous journeys to India and Bali. It was such a sweet reminder.

Each day began with the monks alms offering in which the people of the town give rice and food to the monks as they silently walk in their saffron robes as the darkness of the night turns to day. For these people their first action of the day is an offering of generosity which will bring them merit and opens their heart through the act of giving.

The first day of my thai massage training with master teacher, Pichet Bontumee, we were instructed to arrive with incense, lotus lowers, and fruit. These were offered to to the buddha and the lineage of teachers through our chants and prayers. Pichet is a very inspiring teacher who began every class with an hour dharma talk in broken English and  dramatic gestures. He talked alot about how he felt one thing we are missing in the west are the acts of devotion, offering and prayer. We are all wrapped up in  “I think, I want, I need”. He encouraged us to practice opening the heart through generosity and by doing what we can to help others. His gesture for this was slightly bowing his head and touching his heart with both hands then opening his arms outward in a forward sweeping motion…”do like this”…

In the early hours of the morning, flower markets are bustling with vendors creating exquisite flower sculptures for daily offerings. These gorgeous ephemeral flowers are offered in generosity, gratitude and devotion everywhere, to the buddha, to one’s ancestors, to the spirits of the land for protection and blessing. You see them hanging around the neck of the Buddha, placed before the feet of the buddha, on the altar, on every boat, taxi, spirit house (miniature house for the spirits of the land that your house or building is built on), on rocks, trees, in every dwelling.

I return to my home here in Brooklyn with a deeper understanding of generosity, devotion and offering. How I can incorporate this more into my life and teaching will unfold each morning as I start my day.

in sweet gratitude,


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Nourish, Renew and Retreat

Winter is upon us. Bare branches carve patterns in the sky.  A coat of leaves offering their last gestures covers the ground. The thin veil of snow dusting the withering plants brings a quieting hush and invites us inside. The frozen water on the surface of the earth provides the necessary darkness and quietude for the seeds and roots below to tap in with their source and nourish germination. As we too are part of nature, in Winter our beings need to draw inwards to consolidate our essential energy, qi or prana. As we let go of our constant outward activity and take rest, we return to our source and preserve our roots. The world is quiet now, providing us with the support to refine our spiritual essence, settle down and meditate deeply. It is a time to listen inside, crystallize our intuition, pay attention to our dreams, and envision our intentions.

Unfortunately, our fast paced lives don’t allow us much time and space for internal reflection. This disconnection between the call of our inner being and the constant outward and active needs of our day to day lives, causes us to deplete instead of nourish our essential energy in Winter. This often gets heightened as we become caught up in a whirlwind of extra activities around the holidays.

To help you release your habitual outward activity include Garudasana, Eagle Pose, in your yoga practice. In this powerful balancing pose, your arms and legs, the limbs that usually physically engage you in activity in the world, are wrapping tightly around themselves like a double helix. This double spiraling action encourages a release of outer engagement and a drawing into the interior of your being. Garudasana helps us reconnect with the central channel of the body, the spine, and the essential energetic channel, Sushumna nadi. Physically balancing in this precarious situation requires concentration, demanding the mind to relinquish any distracting thoughts that may be thwarting your efforts. With our outer grasping harnessed both physically and mentally, our inner awakening can take flight.

To help you delve deeper into your interior and replenish the well of your being, include more restorative poses in your yoga practice this Winter.

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This Fall I’ve been waking early and taking a walk in my neighborhood park, McGorlick Park, feeling the morning light on my skin, and enjoying the trees as they change daily. I’ve been embracing the process of of letting go and distilling that the Fall season offers. It is the perfect time to reflect and see what isn’t essential in your life and let it go. By releasing the unnecessary, we create space for the recognition of what we do want and for who we are. Fall is the time to contract and draw inwards—the time to study, meditate, and embrace more focused internal activities, plan, and store up only what is essential for the deep hibernation of Winter yin. I’ve been spending alot of time journaling, harvesting my dreams, and clarifying my vision for my life. It’s been very grounding and I feel more connected to my inner voice. I invite you to try some of these practices this Fall to help you refine your essence and connect with your deepest self.



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Honey has powerful anti-viral and anti-microbial properties! In clinical studies, honey has shown to be just as affective in alleviating coughs as over the counter cough medicine. Honey is also known to help alleviate allergies. According to this article, taking a few teaspoons of local raw honey a day prior to pollen season can be affective in boosting your immunity to pollen!

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is often used in home remedies for a good reason! It is known to help boost the immune system and also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. I personally like to drink lemon juice when I have a stuffy nose. It helps to clear my sinuses so I can breathe better. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and contains lauric acid, which is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Coconut oil can be used to help prevent colds by boosting the immune system. Once the cold is set in, coconut oil can help reduce the length of sickness and can be quite soothing when added to warm honey-lemon water or tea.

Mix these three ingredients together and you have yourself a super immune boosting syrup that will help alleviate coughs and sore throats!



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101 Uses for Coconut Oil: From

101 Uses for Coconut Oil from

  1. In cooking as a great oil with a high smoke point. Great for baking, stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter.
  2. Taken supplementally for daily energy
  3. As a coffee creamer when emulsified into coffee (The only way I’ll drink coffee)
  4. On the skin as a basic lotion
  5. In homemade lotion bars for soft, smooth skin
  6. In homemade deodorant or deodorant bars
  7. As an eye-makeup remover
  8. As a cloth diaper safe diaper cream (just rub on baby’s bottom)
  9. In making your own Remineralizing Toothpaste
  10. To lighten age spots when rubbed directly on the skin
  11. To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
  12. To support healthy thyroid function
  13. In homemade Mayo without the high PUFA vegetable oils
  14. To help increase sun tolerance and avoid burning
  15. As a naturally SPF 4 sunscreen
  16. In homemade lotion recipes
  17. To get rid of cradle cap on baby- just massage in to head, leave on for a few minutes and gently rinse with a warm wash cloth
  18. Topically to kill yeast or yeast infections
  19. As a delicious tropical massage oil
  20. It’s high Lauric acid and MCFA content helps boost metaboism
  21. A tiny dab rubbed on your hands and then through hair will help get rid of friz
  22. As an intensive nighttime facial moisturizer
  23. Mixed with equal parts sugar for a smoothing body scrub (use in the shower)
  24. Rubbed on lips as a natural chap stick
  25. Topically, can help skin heal faster after injury or infection
  26. Directly on the perineum to help heal after birth
  27. As an incredibly intensive natural conditioner- Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours
  28. On feet to fight athlete’s foot or tor fungus
  29. In place of Lanolin cream on nursing nipples to sooth irritation (also great for baby!)
  30. Can help sooth psoriasis or eczema
  31. There is some evidence that regular ingestion of coconut oil can help prevent or reverse Alzheimers
  32.  With apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment for lice that actually works
  33. In natural Homemade Sunscreen
  34. In healthy brain boosting snack for kids like Coconut Clusters
  35. In a filling and energy boosting Brain Powder Smoothie
  36. Rub coconut oil on the inside of your nose to help alleviate allergy symptoms
  37. Nursing moms can take 3-4 tablespoons a day (and Vitamin D) to increase milk supply and nutrients
  38. There is some evidence that coconut oil helps digestion and may even kill intestinal parasites or yeast
  39. Mix a tablespoon with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an all-day energy boost (do NOT take this at night!)
  40. Can help improve insulin levels
  41. Oil pulling with coconut oil and a drop of oregano oil helps improve gum health
  42. Can help improve cholesterol ratios
  43. Blend a tablespoon into hot tea to help speed recovery from cold or flu
  44. In Homemade Natural Bug-Off Lotion Bars
  45. As a replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe
  46. Better for high-temperature cooking than olive or vegetable oils
  47. Can help reduce appearance of varicose veins
  48. After initial heat is gone, can help speed healing of sunburn
  49. Is an immediate source of energy when eaten and isn’t stored as fat
  50. As a natural personal lubricant that won’t disturb vaginal flora
  51. As a naturally antibacterial skin cream
  52. In natural homemade diaper cream
  53. As a natural shave cream and after shave lotion
  54. When used consistently on skin it can help get rid of cellulite
  55. To season cast iron skillets
  56. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can help lessen arthritis
  57. Can reduce the itch of mosquito bites
  58. Can help resolve acne when used regularly
  59. Can be rubbed into scalp daily to stimulate hair growth
  60. I’ve used in kids ears to help speed ear infection healing
  61. On split ends to de-frizz
  62. A small amount can be rubbed into real leather to soften and condition (shiny leather only… test a small area first)
  63. By itself as a great tanning oil
  64. Mixed with salt to remove dry skin on feet
  65. Can help speed weight loss when consumed daily
  66. Can help improve sleep when taken daily
  67. Can be used to speed healing of fungal infections when taken internally and used externally
  68. A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat
  69. To help sooth the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy
  70. It has been shown to increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
  71. Internally as part of the protocol to help remineralize teeth
  72.  Some evidence shows that the beneficial fats in coconut oil can help with depression and anxiety
  73. By itself as a natural deodorant
  74. By itself or with baking soda as a naturally whitening toothpaste
  75. For pets struggling with skin issues when used externally
  76. Some evidence suggests that the beneficial fats in coconut oil are helpful for those with Autism
  77. In homemade vapor rub
  78. As a safe cooking oil for deep frying
  79. A tablespoon taken before each meal can help improve digestion
  80. Can be taken in warm ginger tea to sooth heartburn or nausea
  81. As a completely natural baby lotion
  82. On hands after doing dishes to avoid dry skin
  83. Mixed with catnip, rosemary, or mint essential oils as a natural bug repellent
  84. Can be used on mom’s nipple and baby’s mouth to help treat thrush
  85. Many use it as an anti-aging facial moisturizer
  86. Use to make coconut cream concentrate for a brain boosting snack
  87. Can be used internally and externally to speed recovery from UTIs
  88. When taken regularly, it can help fight candida
  89. When taken regularly, it can boost hormone production
  90. Can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids when used topically
  91. Can boost circulation and help those who often feel cold
  92. On cuticles to help nails grow
  93. Rub into elbows daily to help alleviate dry, flaky elbows
  94. Add to smoothies to give them a nutritional boost
  95. Internally during pregnancy to help provide baby necessary fats for development (especially when taken with Fermented Cod Liver Oil)
  96. In any recipes where vegetable oils are used
  97. Whipped with shea butter for a soothing body balm
  98. One reader swears by using coconut oil to treat yeast infection. She suggests soaking a tampon in it and inserting the tampon for a few hours.
  99. Naturally clears up cold sores
  100. Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms
  101. Ingesting coconut oil daily can increase mental alertness