Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buddha Baby

This video clip says it all. Little Anahata is quite a heart baby these days. Here she shows her affection for the Buddha statue.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Anahata takes a ride

Anahata takes a ride and teaches us about enjoying the ride, getting back on and re-directing when you hit an obstacle. Now all we need is a stuffed Ganesh and a wooden horsie to try it out ourself!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Upcoming Events

June 26th
Therapeutic Yoga Workshop
The Yoga Workshop
2020 21st Street, Boulder
Drop in for $14 or use punch card
Yoga & Art: Empower & Refresh

With De West & Sue Hammond-West

Humans are designed to

be a force of nature, empowered,

to enjoy the senses, to be fulfilled with ease.

This workshop focuses on refreshing our empowerment.

Yoga stimulates the sensibilities, awakens our nervous system, refreshes our minds, calms.

The practice of art heightens our ability to see our essential inner lives. From painting quietly, healing images emerge and our self unfolds empowered anew.

August 2, Saturday, 9-5
August 3, Sunday, 9-5
Naropa, Nalanda Campus, Boulder, CO $195/$50 deposit
register early to secure your spot!
Email De at

Current Teaching Schedule

Tuesday: 9:30-11:00am Prenatal/Postparum
The Yoga Workshop

Thursday: 5:30-7:15pm
Level 1, Form & Foundation
The Yoga Workshop

Friday: 8:50-10:20am
Beginning Yoga Class
North Boulder Recreation Center
Child Care Available

Saturday: 4:00-5:15pm
Mixed Levels, Vinyasa
The Yoga Workshop

Sunday : 7:30-9:15am
Level 2, Form & Foundation
The Yoga Workshop

Monday, May 26, 2008

Using a Water Bottle?

The other day, I did it, the full primary series. It has a been a long while since I pulled out the water bottle to spray my legs to get my arms through my lotus posture and roll my body back and forth around in a circle (garbha pindasana). But my intention was to stay focused, breathe and do the whole primary series. All the jump backs, all the chakarasana's, even setu bandasana. I felt cleansed afterward. I felt sore afterward. I felt like I could do anything afterward.
Even though it was FAR from "perfect" in form, I felt a calm come over me.
Breathe and move......Vinyasa yoga!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Okay, this photo is of when I was pregnant over a year ago, but it is the only one I have on file of me all propped up. For those of you who come to my public classes you know I love to use props. Not just to use them, but to teach something of value. For this same reason I love to practice with them. They are my teacher.
This morning, after 5 days of the stomach virus, I got a chance to go to the studio and practice. I went to The Yoga Workshop, my second home, and did morning "mysore" practice. "Mysore" refers to a place in Southern India and to a specific sequence of poses done in a room with a teacher who assists you through out your practice. You go at your own pace so everyone in the room is at a different part of the sequence.
I start with the sunsalutes, all the standing sequence.........then I start to think about my twisting workshop this Sat. and do some exploratory positions on the wall. Then I pull out the HUGE backbender and do a few poses there to open my spine and hips. Then I decide I better not use all my energy before 9 am, I still have the whole day with my toddler! So I do a long shoulderstand with the chair, strap and bolster and a reclining pose to open the lungs and rest the legs (supta virasana) on the heart bench. ( a cool wood structure that opens the chest) Then relaxation pose.(corpse) on the heart bench also.
Okay, now the point. I am thinking afterwards that my practice with the props may be distracting to others. (Very few props are used in the Ashtanga practice. But, I think again, wouldn't someone with stinky feet or a loud breath also be distracting? Can't we just practice and trust that the teacher and the student will make the right choices in the moment to support that student?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Seva and the Stomach Flu

It started on Friday. Anahata came down with a stomach virus. Lots of bodily fluids. You don't even think about how gross it is. You clean it up and serve. Wow, no one mentioned this part when I was pregnant or loving up my newborn. But, here it is!
Saturday morning I am not feeling so well. I stay in bed in the morning and by noon, I am emptied of all of my fluids. Anahata is still sick and will pretty much only ingest breast milk. So I do what any mother would do and has done, serve.
Saturday night Stephen comes down with it. He spends most of Sunday resting. Anahata is still sick but picking up a bit of steam.
Monday we lay low. Anahata is still sick but eating a little and I re-schedule my Tuesday morning but keep my plans to go to a yoga class for the evening.
Tuesday starts out good but after Anahata's nap more fluids are flying. I am still not 100% and I cancel my Tue. eve plans go for a walk with my sweet daughter. I wipe her forehead and do another load of laundry. This is hard work this mothering job!
So, send a lot of love your mothers way this weekend. We don't even realize how much they have served us and how much they love us that they would do anything for us!
Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great Spirit-The Eagle

Yesterday Anahata and I went for a walk near our home. On the trail we saw a man and a woman on bikes stopped off to the side. The man was looking up, the other biker was on her cell phone. Of course I looked up also to see what he was looking at. A majestic bird, up quite high, in full wing span flew over my head. Next, the man yells, "watch out, he dropped it!" Not knowing what was happening or where "it" was I moved forward a little quicker. I then heard a loud thud behind us.
A falling prairie dog. The sky wasn't falling, but a prairie dog was. The man said it was an eagle and that he was glad he was there and said something or it would have hit us. I asked him, "how close was it?" He responded, "very close!". I walked on a bit dazed, but not too terribly freaked out. I was looking for the meaning of it all.
I called my sister in law, Sue West. She had an animal book with meanings of these kind of things. This is what her resource said. What a message!
The Eagle is a representation of the Great Spirit. It is of the realm of spirit and of the realm of earth. Take heart and gather your courage the universe is giving you the opportunity to soar above the mundane level of your life. Broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible. Attack your personal fear of the unknown. Love the shadow as well as the light, to see beauty in both and take flight like the eagle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peace is Every Step

For the last three nights, my daughter has woke up in the middle of the night, screaming. Those of you who are parents have been there. Those of you that are not parents, you might be able to relate to this by imagining what is was like for friends, family or your parents. It is terrifying.

Anahata is only 1 year and so far can only sign, "milky". So telling us what is wrong is out of the question. With tears down her eyes, her little back arching and her crying loudly, she tries to communicate that something is wrong. Stephen and I are challenged to speak and listen to one another as we panic. We wonder if we should be heading to the emergency room as we helplessly trade her off to comfort her and flip through our pediatric health book. I wonder if the piece of yoga mat she ate earlier today is lodged in her intestines or if the eucalyptus oil I used in the bath and on her bed is burning her skin and nostrils.

The more we panic, the louder she cries. After singing, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and dancing with her in a circle, Stephen hands her off while I try to comfort her. I decide to calm down and really listen to her. I try to connect on a level of intuition. I am quiet. Peaceful. I breathe in and out. Soon she is quiet too. She takes my breast and starts to fall asleep. I stay here on the couch for another 10 minutes or so. Then we go to bed.

Peace is every step. It is every moment. Present moment. Wonderful moment. Even in our fear.

I thank Thich Nhat Hanh for his wisdom and inspiration.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rejuvenate this Spring

April 26th at 2-3:45 I will teach the Rejuvenate/Restore Yoga class at The Yoga Workshop.

For more information you can scroll down to prior postings or go to

Monday, April 7, 2008


Just 1 year and 1 day ago a huge blessing came into this world. Our daughter, Anahata, was born! The journey to that day and the journey to today was a huge leap of faith, sraddha. In 2004, I found out that I had three large tumors on my ovaries. They had to be removed because of the risk of them rupturing or twisting my ovaries and damaging my ability to have children. So, 6 weeks before my wedding I decided to have open abdominal surgery to remove them. It was supposed to be a 1 1/2 hour surgery, it took over 4 hours. When I came to, my doctor told me that we would have to see if I went into menopause since over 1/2 of each ovary had to be removed. I prayed. I chanted. I believed I would be able to have a baby, to not go into early menopause. I had faith that what ever happened it was a journey into the unknown.

4 weeks to the day after my surgery I had my cycle. I celebrated like it was my first cycle! About 4 months after that, with a clear bill of health, we decided to start trying to get pregnant. We did about 1 year later, but lost the baby soon after finding out that we were pregnant. So, back to the faith! After another year, we got pregnant again and then our sweet Anahata came to us on April 6, 2007.

In Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras, 1:20, Pantanjali writes, "Wholeness is preceded by faith, energy, mindfulness, union, and awareness. " We need to have faith in the process, the practice, the outcome, the teacher, and the yoga. Faith is made up of trust in ourselves and trust in the experience of life working out. Faith is the williness to step forward with no guarantee that we won't fall. The mystery of the universe and our existence in it demands faith in all that we do.

Cheers to Faith........Sraddha!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Tuesday: 9:30-11am Prenatal/Postpartum class at The Yoga Workshop
Thursday: 5:30-7:15am Level 1/Form&Foundation at The Yoga Workshop
Friday: 8:50-11:20am Beginning at North Boulder Recreation Center
Saturday: 4:00-5:15pm Mixed Levels/Vinyasa at The Yoga Workshop
Sunday: 7:30-9:15am Level 2/Form&Foundation at The Yoga Workshop
March 29th: Restore/Rejuvenate at The Yoga Workshop, 2pm
April 11th: Subbing for Richard at The Yoga Workshop, 5:30pm
April 26th: Restore/Rejuvenate at The Yoga Workshop, 2pm


This Saturday at The Yoga Workshop I will be teaching a special Rejuvenate/Restore class from 2-3:45. I hope you can come experience the peace of this class.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ring the Bell

Anahata starts early with ringing the bell. When we hear the bell we can stop and breathe. We can stop and listen. We can be present in the here and now. At any age we can practice!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sanskrit Lesson

To learn a chant in sanskrit, the tradition is to have a teacher chant a line, then you repeat it back. It is an oral tradition and we often don't have it written out for us to read. So, repeat after me.


(Say it like you feel good, Like ahhhhhhh this massage feels great, ahhhhhhhh what a beautiful sunrise, ahhhhhhhhh what a cute baby, you get it now.)

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (like Nah)

Ha Ha Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Ta Ta Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (strong T sound like "Tea" not Da)

Now put it all together. Ahhhhhhhhnaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaataaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

So it is not:

Ann A Hata
nor is it
Anahaddddda ( not hello madda, hello fadda here is my daughter anahaddddda)

It means, heart center or from the heart. If you think about it coming from your heart your eyes will soften and an inward smile comes.

Thank you for the lesson today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Cleaning

So.......I am a winner. I won a 10 week makeover. A transformation of choice. I wrote an essay when Anahata was 10 weeks old to win a makeover offered by women entrepreneurs in Boulder County. Ten women would win 10 weeks of services based on their goals, what they wanted to transform in their life. At the time I wrote the essay I was so overwhelmed with the change that the first baby brings to a family. Being sleep deprived a massage and spa treatments sounded heavenly.

Well, I won and the makeover started about 5 weeks ago. One of the areas I wanted to transform was "my stacks". Being a visual person, I like to have things out to remind me to do them, or in my case now, to have them accessible when I have time. So I have stacks. Four or five of them. There was a Professional Organizer with the makeover, so I decided to get some help.

In yoga philosophy there is the 8 limbs of yoga. The first limb is the yamas or observances the second limb is the niyamas or disciplines. The first niyama is sauca or cleanliness. I knew if my space had some order my mind might be able to follow along. Simplify. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The professional organizer, Liz, came over last week. I was nervous. To show her my stacks and my closet seemed exciting and overwhelming! She came to the door and we spoke a while then she asked for a tour of our home. We went to one end of my home and we started.

"What do you like about this room? What works? What is in there?(pointing to a closet). What are all those boxes, that stack of papers, the stack of books.............?????" After one room I wanted to curl up and stop! But we continued on. Next some hall closets, a small bathroom, Anahata's room and her closet, the living room, kitchen (including the cabinets), the laundry room, the master bedroom and my closet and the master bath. Opening up cabinet after cabinet and closet after closet the same thing kept coming up, DISORDER! It was laugh or cry. I laughed.

We sat down and started to go through one of my stacks. Piece by piece of paper. We came up with a plan that made sense and I agreed to get what I needed to start on that project and we used the remainder of our time clearing out the first room of all the clutter to make room for my sister visiting this next week. We schlepped out items to the shed, took things to the curb (that were all taken to be reused by others) and threw out or recycled the trash items. In 2 hours time I felt like a spring cleaning plan had started to unfold. I don't feel overwhelmed by my stacks or junk, but inspired to simplify and apply yoga to my closets!

I have started a plan for my stacks and only have one stack yet to go through. I have started my closet after walking in there multiple times, looking around, feeling overwhelmed and walking out and I am ready to start on one project at a time and get through it!

Stay tuned for more on this. She is coming again in April!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Is Goodnight Moon a Yoga Book?

I read this book every night to my daughter. After a recent conversation with my friend Mary I started to contemplate why is this book, Goodnight Moon, a classic? Why is it "timeless"? It is so simple. Almost too simple. It starts out noticing parts of a room. Then it says goodnight to parts of the room.
Like yoga practice. We take notice. We become aware of our room. We come into our body like we come into a room. We come into the present moment by noticing, becoming aware and taking our attention to different parts of our body and our breath.
Like yoga practice. We say goodnight to our body parts, our yoga practice and even our breath in Savasana, the corpse pose.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Women's Body Stories

We had an amazing journey today at the Women's Body Stories workshop. 16 women of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds and stories came together today. We practiced postures, breathing, listening and writing. We shared some of what we wrote in a circle. We laughed, cried, felt connected in our sisterhood. Thank you all you wonderful women and for those of you who couldn't come..........write!

My Guru Anahata

This is my sweet daughter, Anahata. She is my movement teacher nowdays. My friend and yoga teacher, Kimberly, asked me what is informing and inspiring my practice and teaching lately. Well, this video says it all. The way she moves her hips, organizes her crawling and how she gets around. It is art. It is the most beautiful movement I have seen. I often get down on the floor and say, "let me try that".

Friday, March 7, 2008

This weekend workshop

Women's Body Stories: A writing and yoga workshop
This Saturday, March 8th, 12-4pm
Boulder Circus Center, located in North Boulder

Hello Blog

Hello Blog,
Well, here I go. It was suggested by some wonderful women in the "how to get your information out there field" to do a blog. It makes sense to me. I get to share what I love about yoga and keep my friends up to date on current classes and workshop offerings. I have had fun on picking out colors, photos and what to post. Hello Blog! Hello World! Hello Yoga!