Catching Up

A couple of weeks ago I started a Yoga Teacher Training that focuses on working with people who have Cancer and who are recovering from Western Cancer Treatment. The program runs through May concluding with a weekend intensive Memorial Day weekend in New York. Looking forward to being there for an extended weekend to see old friends and absorb some culture. For now, I’m in Dallas the month of April helping a friend who is recovering from Western Medicine Cancer Treatment.

I’m grateful to be learning something new that is useful both professionally and personally.

In addition to the coursework, I’ve been working on a few creative projects. Finished the first round of beeswax wraps made from old pillow cases and the first of many cradled wood panels for future art making. The beeswax wraps vary in size. I used organic wax pellets and organic jojoba oil. I like that they aren’t too stiff. I am going to look into using resin in addition to the other ingredients for the next round.

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax Wraps

10” x 10” Cradled Wood Panel

10” x 10” Cradled Wood Panel

This week I plan to glue together some cutting boards and make more panels. Stay tuned.

Heart Warm And Full

After each class, we have the opportunity to send an email to people who attended. It’s a great way to keep track and nurture relationships. Every once in awhile someone responds. (I think I’ve gotten 3 responses out of probably 100 sent.)

A few days ago, I got a particularly heartwarming response:

Hi Emily! 

Thank you so much for hosting that class on new years eve! I absolutely loved it. That was my first time practicing again since moving to Utah and the way you taught really helped me get back into my body. I'm going to be taking the 200 hour teacher training in February and I'd love to take more of your classes and learn more about your style since I enjoyed it so much. You have a very calming demeanor. 



*not her real name

It’s always so nice to receive feedback, and especially wonderful to hear how I affected someone’s practice. I was expecting 9 people for the class on New Year’s Eve. When I left the house at 10am, it was snowing furiously leaving me to wonder how many people would show. 5 people came several minutes early, and they were the only 5 there when class started at 10:30. I let them know we were expecting 4 more, and that they may trickle in. Ultimately 15 people trickled in by twos and threes. I couldn’t believe it. The room was full. The energy was amazing, and it stayed with me all day. To then receive her reply to my email warmed my heart and made me feel full.


I haven’t written at all about my rideshare driving experience even though I have loads of great stories. 95% of the time I meet people who are interesting and/or kind. 4% of the time it’s just pleasant, but nothing to write home about or store in my brain. .7% is time that I won’t get back, and the other .3% are miserable human beings who are so miserable with their own lives they behave like an asshole. This morning I was inspired after my encounter with Kurt.

I arrived at the given address and my blue dot was right smack on top of the location pick up pin. It was a very busy morning at the Little America Hotel, chaotic even. Lots of people, mostly women, waiting. People loading luggage into suburbans and piling into them. The one man waiting didn’t budge when he saw me pull up.

So I text this person I’m trying to find.

“Hey Kurt, are you at the Little America?”

This is a nice way of saying, “Hey, I’m here. Where are you?”

He responds almost immediately.

“I’m at 500 Main Street. Where are you?”

I respond.

“I’m at the Little America, right where the pin is.”

He responds.

“When I put in 500 Main Street, I expect to be picked up at 500 Main Street.”

I think to myself, wow, what a douchebag. I get out of my car and ask the valet person, “what’s the address here?” It isn’t posted, and I know 555 Main Street is The Grand America across the street.

“500 Main Street. What are you looking for?”

“500 Main Street”

“Did you call the person?”

“I texted him. He told me that when he puts in 500 Main Street, he expects to be picked up at 500 Main Street.”

Valet person smiles, his blue eyes twinkle just a bit.

“Well, you’re at 500 Main Street.”

“Yep.” I get back in my car.

There’s a message from Kurt.

“I’ve had this problem with Uber before.”

I respond.

“500 Main Street is the Little America.”

I close out the conversation, because I have nothing more to say. I don’t know who Kurt thinks he is, but now he needs to find another ride. Immediately after I hit cancel, another person a few minutes away pops up.

She gets in my car. I ask her how her morning is going. She says it’s fine. She asks me how my morning is going. I tell her about Kurt. We laugh and she agrees that he can go fuck himself. We have a nice conversation about people who think they are important and entitled and behave like assholes. Turns out she’s my neighbor down the street.

Later, as I’m giving the play by play to my mother on the phone, I realize that I have new material for my yoga class. Who knows how the rest of Kurt’s morning went, or how the rest of his time in Salt Lake will be. Who knows why Kurt is apparently miserable. Wouldn’t surprise me if he has a difficult time wherever he goes. It is important to remember how and what we contribute to our shared experiences. We get much further in life, in this case literally (even though he was just going somewhere on State Street one Brigham Young block east), when we treat people with kindness.

FWIW, Uber does have Community Guidelines. It plainly states that riders and drivers are expected to treat each other with respect. Kurt failed this morning.

Tuesday Classes!

Happy Monday! That means tomorrow you have three opportunities to catch me for a yoga class! Beginning at 11am with a Restore class. It’s 50 min long, totally relaxing and soothing.


Next up is a 45 min Express Class. Here we do a little Core work and break a sweat before you head out to the rest of your day.


Then at 7:15pm we do Guided Meditation, Core and Restorative asana, and pranayama (breathwork).


National Cat Day

Oliver thought every day is National Cat Day.


In this house, every day is National Cat Day.

Sweet snuggler

Sweet snuggler

He’s going to be really disappointed tomorrow morning because I forgot to pick up some more wet food for him. He loves his morning ritual. He has a little breakfast. Then heads outside. This time of year he doesn’t stay out long. He comes right back inside and gets back in bed. What a great life he has.


Studio Classes @ Centered City Yoga

It’s been fun designing promo bits for my classes. Combines my passion for photography and design with my passion for yoga and teaching. Again, not going to win any design awards, but it’s great for nourishing my need to be creative. Join me for a class on Tuesdays! 11am/12pm/7:15pm All three classes are totally different. Restore is very slow and mellow, Express is a 45-minute mix of Core strengthening and some Restorative, and Move Breathe Meditate combines guided meditation and breath work with asana. It’s mellow, but there is still core work. You can still break a sweat if you want!

Tuesdays, 11am Restore Class @ Centered City Yoga

Tuesdays, 11am Restore Class @ Centered City Yoga

Tuesdays, 12pm Express Class @ Centered City Yoga

Tuesdays, 12pm Express Class @ Centered City Yoga

Tuesdays, 7:15pm Move. Breathe. Meditate. @ Centered City Yoga

Tuesdays, 7:15pm Move. Breathe. Meditate. @ Centered City Yoga

Promo Postcards

Excited to get these 4 x 4” postcards printed! I know they aren’t going to win any design awards, but I had fun creating them.



I chose 4 different images for the backside:


Warrior 2 is one of my favorite asanas. Strength and determination.


Side plank is another favorite. It opens the heart, but also provides the feeling of strength and determination with the support of the earth beneath you.

Silver Lining

The other day an older gentleman was in one of my classes. He arrived early, so we had some time to chat. I asked him how his morning was going. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he wasn’t very convincing that he was having a pleasant morning even though his words said it had been. He then asked me about mine. I mentioned I’d gotten my car back from the body shop, having smashed it a week before. I commented that I had enjoyed slowing down and doing some walking around through my neighborhood while my car was in the shop.. His blue eyes beamed, and he told me how great it was that I could find the silver lining. He said maybe he should work on that himself. I told him I have plenty of stories of tough times that turned out to be really wonderful. I mention bed bugs, he thought I’d said I’d been mugged. Hah.

It got me thinking about how we get to that place. The place where we can take a step back see the chaos or discomfort or tragedy around us, and accept it for what it is. We can find joy there, or at least a semblance of happiness. When we can acknowledge that we will make it through whatever the challenge that’s been presented, and enjoy the challenge. Laugh at it, even. 

Watching your house burn down, looking the other direction, and finding some sort of silver lining is not what I’m talking about. Non-acknowledgement does not promote growth. Really digging in to the challenges life throws you, and being able to take some pause, taking time that has been offered to peel back some layers is the gift. You may never have an answer to why, but it could point you in a direction that makes your life more rich. You experience growth, that’s the silver lining, however it manifests.

It’s okay to grieve, to be angry, to be frustrated, to feel. It’s okay to be a hot fucking mess, to be devastated, to be lost. Sometimes walking helps, sometimes sitting in silence. Drinking excessively does not. Chewing does. Slower movement and stillness. Slowing down and focusing on nothing else but the breath can help. Bringing ourselves into awareness is the only thing I know to do during challenging times. You can get there a number of ways. Some make it easier and more enjoyable. Letting go is key. Embrace the fact your world is fucked.

Acknowledge it. Breathe into the discomfort. Discomfort and agitation are places where changes are made. Let it go. Trust the process. Take care of yourself.

Teacher Highlight!

Check out my story from Centered City’s Teacher Highlight! It was fun to write and inspired me to write more. I swore at the beginning of the year I would start writing another book this year. Time to start writing!

Stop in next Tuesday for my class: Move, Breathe, Meditate, 7:15pm. Every Tuesday! It’s a great mix of meditation, pranayama (breath work), and asana.

And! Stay tuned for details about the workshop I’m offering early December. After a light asana and meditation session, we’ll let our creative energy flow and create a small mixed media art piece that you can take with you!



I've been teaching a yoga class at Centered City for just over a couple months now. I only teach one regular class, Move Breathe Meditate on Tuesdays at 7:15pm. (Come check it out--It's a mix of asana, pranayama, and meditation.) Teaching at Centered City has given me the opportunity to sub other classes, though, which has been a tremendous help to grow as a teacher. Ultimately I would like to teach 4 classes each week, work with private clients, teach group events, teach at retreats, and host workshops incorporating my feng shui practice. 

One of the things I love about my regular class on Tuesday nights is the time I spend culling wisdom and meditation practices to share. In the beginning it was a huge challenge--most of my focus in class was spent thinking about what comes next in the sequence or the directions to give to get in and out of a pose. It takes practice to get there! When you're looking at your notes or nervous about performing in front of a group of strangers, it's difficult to think of wisdom to share. Now that I have the sequence down (timing was a huge challenge in the beginning), I can focus more on students and even improvise. It's very exciting to experience growth in any endeavor.  


Come check out my class! 




Weekend before last I went out to Duschesne County for the weekend after a Trauma Sensitive Yoga workshop in Lehi. The workshop was great. Yael Calhoun is wonderful. I learned about some of the subtleties that create a trauma sensitive environment in a yoga class. Yael works with veterans and military sexual assault victims. She taught us some powerful techniques using basic communication. I'm glad I attended. 

Afterwards I drove two hours, partially through Provo Canyon for the first time, it was stunning. Saw kayakers and fly fishers. It was fun to come up to Heber from the other side of the mountains than I normally see on this trip out to the country going the long way out past Strawberry Reservoir. 

As always, being out in there is delightful, therapeutic, a treat. We made foraged dandelion pancakes for breakfast! Who knew? My cousin Brock heard about it from a person in his foraging class. So we tried it.  


Definitely learned some things here, too, but they were delicious and fun. Will definitely try it again.

We also cut down a box elder tree. It was my first tree chopping experience. We all got to hack at it. (Yes, it would have been easier with a chainsaw. This was more fun, less noisy, and didn't require gasoline fumes.) I got to throw the rock attached to the rope up into the tree. Sometimes you aren't fully aware that you have unexpressed anger or frustration to release. Swinging an axe to a tree takes care of that. 

We saw a crane! I thought she was talking about a crane that falls on to the sidewalk in NYC and kills people, so I didn't bother to look at first. I'm glad she was persistent. I love how we look, watch, then go right back to what we were doing. 

So the tree finally came down. Success. 

Feeding and petting the horses also was a much needed therapeutic activity. We started with carrots, but they were still hungry. Who can walk away from a horse. 

Happy Horses

Happy Horses

Heidi and I went for a hike up the hill to look for frogs in the pond. Along the way we found wild asparagus, picked it and ate it. We brought some back and ate that, too. It's so fresh you can eat it raw. 


Then it was time to go back home. I always feel so energized and happy after a weekend like this one. 


Letter writing has been a part of my life since I could write words to form sentences. Handwritten notes received in the mail are one of the many delightful components of life and human relationships. When I was helping my mother pack her house a few months ago, I discovered a small box that read "Dad's Correspondence". Inside was a letter his sister, my Great Aunt Emily, wrote to him. It was a letter I'd heard about. Other people in the family knew about it and also wanted to read it. 


I love so many things about this letter. Starting with the envelope, it was before ZIP codes, which started in 1963. Before that, there were postal zones. Salt Lake 5 and Chicago 23. That she addressed it to his office and wrote "personal" at the bottom is also endearing to me. 

The letter is postmarked June. She opened letting him know she hadn't heard from him since Christmas, and that she was worried about him. He was going through a divorce. Who knows how often was their normal communication.

The other best part was when she mentioned he should come for a visit with the girls [my mother and aunt]. She told him Fred, her lawyer husband, said he should consult his lawyer first. She had a sense of humor, but I don't think she was trying to be funny. She authentically expresses guilt, love, and compassion.

I love it because it's a window into her life, his life, and their relationship with each other. In 1960 they were in their mid-50s. Emily's children were grown already and about to start having children, Walter had two teenagers. They hadn't lived in the same city for 30 years. 

What I love most about this letter is that it is so clear from the communication that she truly loved her brother, and she was willing to do whatever she could to help him when he was suffering. 

Raven Magic

This raven stopped by yesterday while it was drizzling rain. I heard him first and had to find out what creature was making the croaking sound. It's funny how the mind works. Oh, that's big, is it a hawk? No, it's black. Is it a crow? A raven? Quoth the Raven, Nevermore. So of course I also had to go back and read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.

After it flew off I noticed it was flying with another ginormous black bird. Turns out the way you can tell the difference between a crow and a raven is the sound they make, the tail feathers, and ravens fly in pairs. 

Anytime I witness some sort of seemingly random experience with an animal, I check out the symbolism related to the animal. Raven is about travel inward to the darkness. I love it. Shape shifting time bender, facilitating transition and transformation, Raven is a wonderful totem. All this time I just associated it with a man's descent into madness over his loss of Lenore. 

How thankful I am to add to that the energy: changing consciousness, honoring ancestors, mysticism, rebirth and renewal, creation, healing, courage, and introspection. I suppose a person would go mad if she never looked inward, into the shadow. 

Snowstorm Stripes

I drove this dude from Ft. Worth, Michael, out to Park City this morning from the airport up through Parley's Canyon in a snowstorm. Before we reached Sugar House there were warnings for semis to put chains on their tires. (I grew up in Dallas and lived in NYC as a pedestrian for 7 years before I moved to Utah a year and a half ago.) Parley's Canyon on a good day is treacherous because it's steep, curvy, and people drive like maniacs. Before we reached Lamb's Canyon, traffic reached a standstill. I offered Michael to take him back to Salt Lake, but he flew in to go skiing. 

On the way to pick him up I was thinking about my very first friend Michael, who died 20 years ago with his girlfriend after colliding with a semi driving from Keuka College to his girlfriend's parents' house upstate in a blizzard. He was killed instantly, she died later at the hospital. It must have been gruesome and horrific. The accident happened shortly after his 21st birthday, he was buried days later on my birthday. 20 years ago last Sunday. 

I learned how to drive in the snow last year after I moved to Utah. Everyone's advice is to go slow, avoid hills and other drivers. It works pretty well, except when you're on a highway during morning rush hour traffic. 

I was telling Michael from Ft. Worth about my mom and brother getting stuck in the snow in Bears Ears a couple weeks ago on their way to Salt Lake from Dallas. Spending the night in the car, how they could have died, and that they were rescued by a satellite phone feature in the rental car and an $1100 tow. We approached what appeared to be the snarl, a car on the shoulder turned over on the driver's side. 

"They survived!" I told him, finishing the story, hoping the same was true for the occupants of the turned on its side car. He laughed. 

We finally got past Jeremy's Ranch, snow and slush became wet road and sprinkling rain. The clouds began to break. I could go the speed limit again. Captain Badass played as we exited Kimball Junction. I'm pretty sure Michael from Ft. Worth took notice and acknowledged quietly to himself what a badass job I did getting us through that snowstorm through Parley's Canyon without incident. When I dropped him off I gave him a fist bump and said thanks for being on that adventure with me. He gave me a nice tip. 

As it turns out, as it is in favorable weather conditions, the drive back to Salt Lake through Parley's Canyon is more treacherous. The snow had stopped and roads were plowed. People drive like maniacs, and it's mostly downhill. The left lane was closed because a subaru ran into a guard rail just before the runaway semi exit. The whole right fender was gone and it was turned around 360 degrees. After the curve a compact chevy almost drove into my line and would have hit me if I hadn't slowed down (and honked). Shortly after that, a semi changed his mind about exiting 215 and just started moving into the right lane almost taking out the compact chevy. I had time and space to move to the left lane, but the semi was making no excuses about coming over. That could have been real nasty.

I earned some driving courageously in the snowstorm through Parley's Canyon stripes today. I've often thought of driving as a metaphor for life. Sometimes you have no choice but to face what's thrown at you with courage and humor. 

I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles since the mid-90s, about 20 of those miles have been in the snow, none on the highway until today. Michael from Ft. Worth was pretty chill about it. He even told me he wasn't nervous when I asked if he was. Thank goodness, I needed him to be not nervous. He laughed quite a bit, and he seemed to have a good time. So did I. It was for sure a rite of passage. 


Last week I started a volunteer gig teaching yoga and art to a group of elementary school kids for their after school program. They're calling it YogART. The kids range kindergarten through 4th grade, all super sweet. They have been playing a yoga spinner game that they all enjoy, so I've continued with that. For the art portion, I just had them do a free draw so I could assess where they are for our first session.  This week I'm going to see how far we can get with Surya Namaskara A (sun salutations) and self portraits. It's definitely important to meet them where they are instead of being attached to the outcome. My number one goal is for them to have fun. If they get more out of it and learn anything, that's great, too. It's great practice for me. 

I also had the amazing opportunity last week to scribe for Arun Deva while he was giving consultations in Salt Lake. It's amazing how much you can learn by sitting and typing all the words two people say. I love how aligned Ayurveda is with my feng shui practice. While I know I have no ambition to become an Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, I think it is a wonderful tool for the tool box. I also attended his Emotional Intelligence workshop and a 2.5 hour yoga therapy asana practice. He is truly a wonderful teacher and has inspired me tremendously. Feeling very fortunate and grateful for the whole experience. He reminds me of my mentor, William Spear, but an Ayurvedic version. 

I'm looking forward to attending two of Benjamin Sears' Sacred Geometry Vinyasa classes at Second Side City in Dallas when I'm there in a couple of weeks. I seriously can't wait. So glad my trip coincided with it. Unfortunately it ends the day after I arrive, so I only can attend 2 classes. Oh well. I'm loving the idea of attending super awesome yoga classes when I travel. Sacred Geometry is one of my most favorite subjects. 

Next month I will be finished with the Level 1 Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. Level 2 does not start until mid-June, so I have time to focus on teaching. That's exciting. I can't believe it will be next December before I will have C-IAYT after my name. It is the highest level of credentialing in yoga, so I am grateful for the long process. Otherwise it wouldn't be as meaningful. Salt Lake has been such a wonderful place to be for this part of my journey. 

Mean Streets of Salt Lake

At work today three cops walked in. I asked if they were in for coffee or if something had happened. The lead man replied they were looking for someone with teal glasses and a brown beanie. I paused and noticed his entourage was smiling. I pointed to my beanie and said: this is yellow. We all laughed. 

It was a reasonable question because it's the first time in 7 months of working there I've seen a police officer. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to live in a police state. You'd think a cop would come in for coffee or food every once in awhile. We have decaf espresso. Since #operationRioGrande dispersed the Pioneer Park population, an influx of drug addicts and people in need of mental health services has saturated the neighborhood. Also a reasonable question because in the last month or so these two things happened, one around the corner from the shop and the other shut down the whole city. I was at work when I heard about the shooting and noticed he was still at large. I also live a direct shot between the U and Main Library, where he was apprehended the following afternoon thanks to a librarian. Turned out he went through the Aves, but it was all a big mystery while it was happening. At least 8 agencies, including the FBI, were on it. It was nuts. 

I joked that I've experienced more crime here in Salt Lake than in New York City. We talked about how the feeling of safety is different here versus there. 

Upon further reflection, it's possible I did experience more crime in New York. 

1. The time the dude bodychecked me on 8th Ave near Penn Station when I was meeting a second date for dinner before going to hear Dark Sisters. (Ironically, an opera about polygamist family) When I arrived at the restaurant and told my date what had happened and that I felt rattled, he said to me: It's not what happens to you, but how you deal with it. Totally agree, but don't ever say that to someone who has experienced a trauma, especially as recently as the last half hour. 

2. The time I was walking home to my apartment in Queens and a strange dude, who was out of place, followed me up the street at 2 in the afternoon. He had just been hanging out, leaning against a chainlink fence when I turned the corner. It seemed like he was on something. I was trying to locate my keys buried in the bottom of my bag the rest of the way up the block. When I got to my front door keys in hand, I turned to look.  There he was on the sidewalk on the end of the walkway to my door staring me down like a wild animal ready to attack. He was definitely on something. I'll never forget the sight. It was horrifying, something out of a zombie movie. I don't know how he ended up on 71st street and 41st avenue. Or why. I'm glad I got away safely. 

3. The time I lost my wallet. Must have dropped it between the bodega and my apartment in PLG. That someone who picked it up bought a $1500 plane ticket to the DR and went on a shopping spree around Union Square. That was the same incident where months later my social security card, license, and health insurance card arrived in the mail via a good samaritan who works for the railroad and my former roommate in Queens.

4. The time I lost my wallet again within a month of the aforementioned loss. Switched trains at Union Square after the OHNY party in Meatpacking, and it was just gone. That was embarrassing. It was the second time in a month John Fontillas paid $30 on behalf of H3 to get me to work. 

5. The time I was walking home from Prospect Park stop and the trio of men called me Snow White among other names. Catcalling isn't a crime. It is harrassment. Thankful the #postWeinsteinEra has finally arrived.

6. The time I served Jury Duty in Kings County. We watched the video of the double homicide shooting over and over and over again. Even in slow motion. Deliberated for 3 exhausting days. 

In Salt Lake, crime and anything underworld really is hidden. Car break-ins are what I've heard about mostly. My direct experience has been:

1. Someone was hanging out in my car in the middle of the night after I left it unlocked. Thank goodness that person vacated by the time I was getting in my car at 5:30am

2. Watched people getting arrested at different locations around the city

3.  Watched a drug deal go down in parking lot under bright lights

4. First Encampment defensive stabber live news report 5 days after crime (link above)

5. The crazy lockdown manhunt murderer with a multi-state rap sheet (link above)

One of the things I noticed about Salt Lake shortly after I moved here: I rarely see cops. It's sort of nice, but a palpable vibe that nothing is happening and everything is fine. #Utah Perhaps this is why they popped in today. They were canvassing the neighborhood talking to people. Establishing a presence. I tip my hat to that. Take back the streets action. As much as I don't want to live in a police state, it makes sense that a police officer is part of the community they are patrolling. Cheers to Chief Brown for being awesome. 


Today at YTT we worked on planning sequences. Our homework from last week was to come up with a 9-pose sequence, 20 minutes long. I put mine together focusing on the chakras. I brought along my tibetan tingsha. We worked in groups with one person teaching, one person practicing, and one person observing. It worked out really well. It was so great to give and receive feedback. Then an awesome person, Meg, came in and talked to us about planning sequences based on season, themes, and peak poses. I feel like I'm learning so much, and that I'm going to be well prepared to give people an awesome experience with yoga and meditation. 

On top of all that wonderfulness, I feel so grateful for all the family and friends I have in Salt Lake. I spend so many hours each week surrounded by amazing wonderful people. My coworkers, friends, and family are such a big part of my life. 


A year ago my mom and I arrived in Salt Lake after a 4-day trip across I-80 from New York. It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. I'd say it's been a success. It's been wonderful spending time with family, making new friends, creating a new life. It didn't turn out exactly how I'd planned, but I'm happy with the way things have evolved. 

I love this time of year as summer comes to an end and autumn begins. I'm having a party this week to celebrate my anniversary with Salt Lake. Hoping for no rain so we can have a fire in the fire pit. Everyone will have the opportunity to write down something they want to let go on a piece of paper and put into the fire. It's also a wonderful time to celebrate accomplishments and establish new goals.

I'm almost finished with my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. I've just begun the 300-Hour program and plan to continue to receive a certificate for Yoga Therapy. It's been an amazing journey so far. It will be a wonderful compliment to my feng shui practice.