Live Music donation yoga class with The Voice’sAnthony Riley tomorrow! Class taught by one of my favorite Philly yoga instructors and owner of the at The Yoga Den, Michelle Bucci. Anthony will be singing on Season 8 of the Voice representing Philly!! Come bust your moves on your mat listening to Anthony Riley Saturday, February 28. Two classes 4-5pm and 5:30-6:30pm followed by refreshments and live performance by Anthony Riley!
Join an Exclusive Party of 8 Dinner for a fun night out meeting new people! Parties of 8 will be arranged at selected restaurants throughout Philly! After dinner, each Party of 8 will meet the other Parties of 8 at a central location for dessert & drinks. A minimum donation of $20 to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will reserve your spot to join seven others (individuals) or six others (couples) for a fun filled evening. Participants will pay for dinner on their own. Your tax-deductible donation to the The MMRFwill go directly towards the research and development of a cure for cancer.
Reservations for individuals and couples offered. Dinner reservations will meet Friday, April 10 at 7:00pm.
MUST SIGN UP IN ADVANCE. We will not be able to add anyone once event fills. Must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Happy PLANKSsgiving! Did we work up a sweat this morningor what? From poses that aid digestion to bird poses to marathon recovery poses to relaxation and a guided gratitude meditation we had some serious fun at Priya Hot Yoga.And yes, I made sure to include a sequence of planks because it is indeed a Happy Planksgiving!
Every year at Thanksgiving, family and friends offer gratitude among themselves giving thanks for comfort, for joy, for love, the abundance in our lives and for one another. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because the awareness of gratitude comes up. Giving thanks on only one day a year is simply not enough, however, for the benefits of gratitude to take root. Gratitude and yoga go hand-in-hand, both beneficial to our well-being. Yoga teaches us to be grateful in the present moment. It allows us to appreciate the full spectrum of life, from pleasure to pain and joy to sorrow. Through the practice of yoga we even express gratitude for the darker moments, the fear, the anger and weaknesses in human nature and acknowledge darkness in the human spirit is temporary and creates, through contrast, the moments of joy and love that shine even more brightly.
Thank you to everyone who joined me for the Thanksgiving Gratitude Class this morning. It was truly an honor to guide seventeen students through yoga on such a meaningful holiday. An extra special thank you to Priya Hot Yogafor opening their beautiful studio and offering me the opportunity to guest teach on the holiday to support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and my efforts on the MMRF Team for Cures. Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and while there is no cure, great progress has been made. I will be racing in the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Placid on the Myeloma Research Foundation Team For Cures. My commitment is to increase awareness and raise funds for the MMRF over the next six months. It fills me with joy to be able to practice for 75 minutes together and raise $279.25 for the MMRF. The word namaste is an expression of deep gratitude and recognition. We began and ended our practice in Anjali mudra, the seal of gratitude, with our palms together in front of our heart center as we brought awareness to many of the things we are grateful for beginning with the breath.
In a power yoga class I encourage students to push to their edge while at the same time expressing gratitude for where they are today, respecting their limits and honoring when to ease back. We come to yoga for a variety of reasons and although yoga may often be a challenge, yoga is not a competition. Many people are drawn to yoga for fitness or even weight loss, which is a wonderful thing however I encourage you to recognize that fitness is not the intention of yoga. It is simply often one of the results or benefits of a regular practice. Yoga exercises gratitude as it does every other muscle. Just as asana and pranayama practice opens up the breath, and meditation the mind, the practice of yoga contributes to the gratitude that exists within you and our mental, physical and spiritual overall well being. By practicing gratitude, in essence, we create more reasons to be grateful. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.
If you were unable to join us and would like to make adonation to the MMRF your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Thank you Penn’s Abramson Cancer Centerand the Luekemia & Lymphoma Societyfor today’s incredible 8th Focus On: Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma and Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplantation.The conferencewas held in Philadelphia at the Hilton and presented cancer experts throughout the day, speakers on the latest research and clinical advances being made in the treatment of blood cancers and where it is taking us in the future, and sessions including Acute Leukemia (ALL, AML) and Myelodysplasia (MDS), Allogeneic (Donor) Bone Marrow Transplant, Autologous Stem Cell Transplant: Everything You Need To Know, Cellular Therapies, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and Myeloproliferative Diseases, Follicular/Low Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin Lymphoma and T-Cell Lymphomas, Mantle Cell, Large B Cell and Other Aggressive Lymphomas, Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) and Asymptomatic Multiple Myeloma (AMM) and Multiple Myeloma (Active Symptomatic).
After the luncheon a panel of patients along with Holly Auer, Selina Luger, MD, David Porter, MD, Stephen Schuster, MD, Edward Stadtmauer, MD provided The Patient-Doctor Journey and offered us a chance to hear people’s experiences, insight and inspiration through doctors, blood cancer survivors and caregivers as they shared their stories. Thank you, Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, Luekemia & Lymphoma Society, the event planners, volunteers and patients for hosting this incredibly inspirational and educational event today.
While I was at the event I met volunteers and patients involved with Philadelphia Multiple Myeloma Networking Group.I look forward to volunteering with PMMNG and offering yoga and wellness events along with assisting them in future event planning. I also look forward to my first meeting at the Penn Abramson Cancer Center next week with Integrative Medicines and Wellness Research and Education.It is my hope and intention to volunteer, assist with event planning and teach yoga at Penn Medicine. If you are involved or have suggestions I would really appreciate hearing from you.
My dear friend Kara, my friend is no longer here. Why were you taken so soon? I went outside last night and lit a candle in the final minutes of your last day here on earth. I sat in the same seats we sat in together drinking red wine when you told me cancer returned. I poured a glass for both of us and lit a candle to honor the brave, strong, courageous, kind, soft, caring and loving person you are. The flame kept blowing towards your glass. It was cool outside, but not nearly as cold as I felt inside. I sipped our wine staying close to the flame, allowing your flame to keep me warm as I remembered all of our times. I am pretty sure two nights ago when we chatted you said goodbye to me. I didn’t know it although as I look back I see it now. We were supposed to see one another this morning to share something special and to attend a yoga class to support cancer. But last night you died from cancer. How can this be? A little piece of me thought you’d still be here this morning. I woke up heavy in my heart knowing that we would not see one another today. Kara, I still went this morning because I know you wanted to go and would want me to go. I brought an extra yoga mat and set up my mat for you. I placed them in the same spot we practiced together last time. I practiced on my spare. The edge of your mat touched mine and you were there with me. I tied two pink ribbons around my wrists for you. My voice trembled as I opened class and spoke about you. I stepped onto your mat for dancer’s pose because you like that one and I saw your “Last Dance” video on Facebook this morning. It made me smile to see you dance in some of your final moments on earth. I danced for you today, Kara. As we laid in supta baddha konasana… you know….with one hand on our heart and one hand on our belly…. I struggled as I listened to the sounds of my uneven breath, feeling the beating of my heart, knowing that there was no heart beat on the mat right next to me. You know how sometimes they say “breathe for your neighbor” in yoga? Well today I did that but not in the way it’s intended to be. I gave thanks for our times together. Our final pose was supine twist. As I crossed my right leg over to the left, my arm and leg rested on your mat. I swept my hand up and down your mat only wishing I could hold your hand. I practiced for us today, Kara.
I was grateful Alain taught yoga and that I was able to open and close the class. I was able to hold myself together to practice for us and I practiced strong today, Kara. Because you were so strong. You were an inspiration living life to the fullest. You had the most positive outlook on life. You went out and did things and you explored the world. I will never forget those days you took me out to ride hills before my first big race. I read your card again today that you wrote me for that experience. You taught me so much. You were the one who knew I could do it. You inspired me, encouraged me, and cheered me on in life. You were a true friend. I wish I had told you that you were with me in my mind and heart last month while you rode over 100 miles in Tour de Pink the same day I raced. Nothing held you back. You were and are a true inspiration. The world is a darker place today although the sun is shining…just as you always shined bright. You have left this earth to rest peacefully, but the memories of our times will stay in my heart forever.
I played a song for you and closed class with a reading about savasana…
Yoga is a celebration of life. When we move our bodies through poses that make up the sequences we practice, it is a movement through life, a celebration of life. At the end of every practice though lies savasana, our final relaxation. There is no yoga without savasana. And after the celebration of life comes we lie in stillness and surrender. Why is it that savasana is the easiest pose to do and often the hardest to for so many? For a long time I felt savasana was a difficult part of yoga class. I’d find myself thinking about what I had to do that day, daydreaming of upcoming events, and so on. And then it happened. Gradually, as I took steps inward, I began to feel my mind and body welcome and move into this still neutral space. As a yoga teacher, I often notice students fidgeting (I still do it at times) during savasana. Perhaps you open and close your eyes, wondering, “What is supposed to be happening here and why am I just lying here?” This sometimes bumpy road of relaxation while being in corpse pose gives us an opportunity to become more clear and to start again.
I never really understood why some yogis refer to the practice of savasana, corpse pose, as the practice of dying. It even disturbed me at first. This morning I thought about this and how the practice of savasana is a way of resting the body while allowing unwanted elements within us melt away…or even to die, encouraging us to surrender to life. We are not trying to create an experience in savasana, only making room for experience to happen. Savasana is an act of both dying and being born. Our minds are often very busy thinking about so many choices and we are often looking around for what’s next. Corpse in some respects resembles death but it is also a wake up call and practice for peace within ourselves. Sometimes we underestimate the practice of savasana and how essential it is to our asana practice. Remember that when we lie in savasana, we are exercising our inner peace practice. Savasana teaches you this. It teaches you that the movements of life are important in contrast with the stillness of death. So next time you find yourself in savasana, treat it as if it were as important as any of the other asanas you practice. Because it is.
I love you, Kara. You were there today and a piece of you will always be with me.
Love and peace, my friend.
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
“I wish you were here, but you’re not. You’re there. And there doesn’t know how lucky there is. You live on now in our memories.” Unknown
A big thank you to Sporting Club Bellevue for their support with my first charity event for the Multiple Myeloma Team for Cures.The charity spin class and Bike-a-thon took place Sunday and Monday. It was a blast although I can’t remember the last time I was as exhausted as I was on Tuesday! While I was on the bike a client went into labor so straight from the 5 hour bike-a-thon off I went to the hospital. Twenty-seven hours later my head hit the pillow for a few hours before heading back to Sporting Club for the BELONG launch party.I’m not even sure how it was possible to host the bike-a-thon and attend a successful VBAC birth all within 24 hours but I’m thankful it all happened. Thank you to all who supported the event and donated to MMRF.And welcome to the world, beautiful baby Penny!
This morning’s Charity Spin Class kicked off a two day event to raise awareness and funds for the research and development of a cure for cancer. Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. I will race the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Placidon the MMRF Team for Cures and will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles and raise at least $5,000 for the MMRF. I’ve shared more about the MMRF and my goals ahead here.A BIG thank you to each and every person who took time out of their Sunday morning to ride with us and donated to this cause that is so dear to my heart. Your support means so much to me. Thank you for letting me share a little piece of my story and the story of many faced with the challenges of MM. If you were unable to join us I hope to see you at upcoming MMRF Events to support the cause. Donationsgo direct to the MMRF and your donation is tax-deductible.
And finally a huge thank you toMYZONE,who has kindly donated a MYZONE device to our raffle for our all-day cycling charity event tomorrow at the Sporting Club Bellevue. My chest strap and monitoring system keeps me motivated throughout rides and workouts. I’m aware of how hard (or not hard) I’m working and it’s awesome motivation. MYZONE transmits heart rate, calories and effort in real time to a live display and uploads data to a logbook accessed online or through the free app. MYZONE monitors display your effort levels live in real timewhen used in a class or it stores your effort levels in the memory of the belt when you’re working out independently. It is the only exercise tracking system that provides real-time feedback of exercise intensity. The device also offers a social and group ‘game’ based features to encourage friends to be active more together.
Hope to see some of youtomorrow as the charity eventcontinues! I will ride 100 miles and there will be spin bikes on each side if you’d like to join me. Stop by for a ride or just to keep me company. There will be raffles to win a MYZONE, and gift certificates from Tria Wine Bar,Down Dog Healing Cafe,Advocare,yoga and more!
Come join us next Saturday at Anjali Power Yoga Philly for an all levels power yoga class taught by my dear friend and instructor Alain to support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Class is by donation and all proceeds from class go directly to support the research and development of a cure for cancer.
If you are unable to join us you are still welcome to make a tax-deductible donation.Every amount helps. Thank you for your consideration.
Sunday, October 19 Robby is leading a 75 minute spin class. Robby is one of Philadelphia’s greatest instructors and has hugely influenced my Ironman training. If you haven’t taken a spin class with him this is a great chance to check him out.
Monday, October 20 Join me on a spin bike while I ride 100 miles on my bike between noon and 7:00pm. Workout with me, keep me company, and learn about yoga, triathlon, Ironman and the MMRF.
The goal of the Ironman Charity Race? I will be participating in the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Placidon July 26, 2015 on the Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team For Cures. Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. My commitment is to increase awareness and raise at least $5,000 for the MMRF. Learn more about the MMRF and my goals ahead here.
If you’re unable to join us and would like to donateto the MMRF, your donation is tax-deductible and will go directly toward the research and development of a cure for cancer. I appreciate your consideration and support. I am really looking forward to being part of the team for MMRF 2015 Ironman Lake Placid.