Super Bloom Summer 2023

Updated 2023 Summer Yoga schedule below. As my son says when he gets excited, “Let’s goooo!” I’ve heard rumblings of a super bloom in Oregon, something that happens if the conditions are just right. There’s gonna be an early bloom for sure, and I feel grateful that I get to teach so many Lavender Yoga classes this summer! Three locations in total so make sure to reach out for all the details.

Check out these local Lavender Farms where I’ll be teaching this summer! Carriage House Lavender & Thistle & Bloom

🟣Wed 6/7 5:30pm donation outdoor

🟣Wed 6/14 5:30pm donation outdoor

🟣Wed 6/21 5:30pm donation outdoor

🟣Wed 6/28 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 7/5 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 7/12 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 7/19 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 7/26 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 8/2 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 8/9 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 8/16 5:30pm donation outdoor ALSO>7pm LAVENDER YOGA $15

🟣Wed 8/23 5:30pm donation outdoor

🟣Wed 8/30 5:30pm donation outdoor

Cancelations no later than 2 hours prior to class start time may occur due to weather. Keep an 👁️ out for these cancelations on Liz’s stories on social media sites & the original posts.

🟣Lavender Yoga Saturdays 9am:








$15 per class

Have questions? Need a location (there are 3!) message me on my social media or email! 💌

Spring/Summer Newsletter 2023: BALANCE

Well, well, well the days are getting longer in Oregon & it was too hot to wear my sweatshirt in the car last Sat! I remember thinking adults were so weird when they obsessed about the weather as a kid, but here in Oregon everyone’s moods start to shift in March! People can’t wait to wear shorts & sandals in 60 degrees. Seems like all my friends & I talk about sometimes is the weather, “Wasn’t it SO pretty yesterday..?” Or, “Uhhh did you see the forecast for this weekend? Gonna rain again.”

So far the theme of my 2023 has been about finding balance. There is much in the media about diets & toxic food practices, but my goal is to let others ‘other,’ & to take the focus back to myself & works best for me. As someone who gets fluffy by just looking at a potato chip (since the 90’s when I went through puberty) I have always had weight fluctuations. Women have had historically complicated relationships with their weight & what they look like. It can be really damaging to obsess about weight & diet culture. I mostly refuse.

Balance has been hard for me to find. I have long committed my mental energy to being strong instead of looking a certain way & I achieved another level up so far this year with finally signing up for some local classes that focus on weight lifting. It’s hasn’t been easy to get up early for these classes, but my physical & mental leaps have been huge. I feel better, SO much better, & for me that is the ultimate goal.

I also recently committed to eating what I crave while loosely intermittent fasting. I have committed to not going to bed hungry so my fast might break for that reason. Life is too short for me to suffer to attain a certain ideal & feeling that in my bones feels really nourishing.

I’m excited to start Summer Outdoor Yoga again, perhaps in June! It will be on Wednesdays at 5:30PM in the same location as last year in the hills of Sherwood, OR (message me for location!) with suggested donation per person from $7-20 per class. I’m moving away from calling it, “Farm Yoga,” as there aren’t any farm animals at the new spot.

Life still feels like A LOT. When I just add one extra variable to my schedule I feel burned out. I go back to that picture I took of myself last summer right before farm yoga when I remember being SO tired, but unable to get off the hamster wheel. I had to compulsively DO IT ALL. Since then I’ve been working towards scheduling work time away from rest time. I get itchy on the weekends, sleeping 10 hour nights, wanting to be way more productive than I am but also not getting burnt out. We really just can’t do it all. But I can do some things well.

Hope to see some of you this Summer whether it’s at the climbing gym in Tigard at 7pm, or at Outdoor Yoga.

Peace & love to all 💮

Fall/Winter Newsletter 2022: Let’s Hibernate

It’s fall! As much as I love summer it has been nice to feel the need (want?) for a sweatshirt & notice a few leaves turning gold.

As I enter this fall season my yoga classes get whittled down to 2 per week. It was amazing to teach at a new location for Farm Yoga this last summer. I am hoping to teach there again summer 2023. I had a hobby lavender farm reach out & we did 2 yoga sessions in the middle of a lavender field. That was pretty amazing. I was reminded again to go where the love flows when I am getting new outdoor gigs. I don’t have to push any doors open in that regard, I can walk through the already, wide open doors.

As the cold seeps in slowly (let it be slow!) I will be focusing on yet another new job. It’s been amazing to transition to a new career that I really love. I feel like I’ve been in training mode for the last 2 years & am looking forward to staying at the same job(s) for a while & getting into a nice groove. I crave stability.

I also hope to rest a lot more this winter. I took a picture (as I often do) of myself before Farm Yoga & when I was about to post it I had to pause. I looked tired. Like dead bone tired. I was reminded again that it’s not good for me to burn the candle at both ends. The scary part about this was that I didn’t even realize it until I saw myself. So I hope to have days when I don’t have as much planned, I can get into nature, or even lay around & do nothing. I also have been pretty committed to attending my good friends kundalini class every Sunday. It is a type of rest for me, I feel invigorated & reset to start my week.

Catch me for now at the The Circuit (bouldering gym) in Tigard, OR every Thursday at 7pm. It’s $20 to drop-in but that includes the whole day so you can climb too.

May you be happy.

May you be peaceful.

May you be free.


Raining as I took this picture.

Shrug off those sweatshirts, Farm Yoga is here. We have been up & going for the last of May & month of June.

MAGICALLY, even though it has already been a rainy end to Spring, we have had amazing weather these past Wednesdays. It will literally rain all weekend and start clearing up on Tuesday, seemingly so we can have dry ground.

All I can say is that I am really grateful. I am grateful for whoever comes out, I am grateful for my sweet friend’s generously letting us use her space, I am grateful for the epic views, & I am grateful for the way teaching Farm Yoga makes me feel. It’s one of those feelings you cannot describe because it is so good.

How did Farm Yoga begin? A few years ago I was teaching for the school district & like it happens when you teach yoga, students become friends & one of these friends kept telling me that we just HAD to do yoga on her property. It was an amazing property with some horses (later goats), a dog & a cat. The strange thing about me & life sometimes is that when there is something too good to be true presented to me, I really doubt that good thing. I have a really hard time believing that something wonderful can be dropped in my lap. I didn’t vibe with the idea. I didn’t want to do it. Then some things happened in my yoga career that caused me to rethink some stuff, I had to shift the way I taught & the places I taught at. I told my friend, “Okay, let’s do this.”

It was a very serendipitous event right away. We priced it low, later it went to pure donation based only, all of her friends & my friends came (seemed to be drawn towards it way more than my studio classes), & I was able to promote on social media pretty well. Later my friend got two active & cute goats, many times during class her dog would run back & forth & ‘play’ with the goats across the fence. It was something EASY in my life where many things seemed difficult or hard. EASY. Farm Yoga was a no brainer. Farm Yoga was great & fun. Many nights my friend had snacks & drinks after & we would hang out, talk, & laugh. It was one of those moments when your job is not your job, it’s that good.

She moved in 2021. I was heart broken but very happy for her. ‘That’s it,’ I thought. ‘End of Farm Yoga.’ We meandered through the rest of 2021. We practiced at other people’s neighboring farms. We even had a good run of Barn Yoga one Winter. All that to say, Farm Yoga for 2022 wasn’t on my radar. I was immersed in a new career, I had a lot of stuff going on, I truly didn’t believe it could happen again.

‘Come check out my property, just come,’ the familiar entreaty was voiced during one of my parks & recs classes. I’m not completely bull-headed, I l DO learn a bit from past experience that when the Universe tells me to check out a pretty outdoor spot to teach, I should probably just go.

So, Farm Yoga gets another life. It’s also looking like an Indian Summer here in Oregon. Heck, it’s already been amazing enough. If you’re in the area come practice with us! We are waiting to meet you.

Spring/Summer Newsletter 2022: Treat Yo’self

As the warmth slowly begins to creep back into Oregon & I have already seen the first Spring blooms (!), I realize I have entered a new phase in my yoga teaching career: not teaching as much. This is strange for someone who went hard even during the pandemic, offering Zoom yoga classes every chance I got, or taking almost every teaching opportunity that came my way.

For the first time since beginning to teach yoga since 2015, I am TAKING MORE YOGA CLASSES as a student. It’s so strange, I recall teaching 15 classes a week but never practicing myself except to do handstand or downward facing dog at home. How else does this feel, to be a student again? It’s blissful & amazing. Is it anything else? Yes. It’s like coming home. I don’t have the words to describe how it feels to be back in the studio more on the mat, me just sitting there in the crowd, practicing & silent. Being anonymous. It’s amazing & long overdue.

I didn’t expect it, nor plan it. I got (another different) full time job and I work on the side another gig as well, so I’m only teaching 2 classes a week. There’s traffic on the way home from my full time & there happened to be a Core Power close by, so I thought, why not? My goal was to go once a week, then it felt manageable to go twice a week, & now some weeks I go 3 times. I transitioned to a different hot yoga studio a little further away. It reminds me of how it feels to have that discipline, to remember to get my mat & clothes in the car, to drive a little further, to show up for a class when I don’t want to. It reminds me of the magic of being a yoga student. It reminds me of my first love: YOGA. I’m so grateful for yoga & it’s roots. I’m just so, so grateful. I feel better too, physically. I’m healthier than I’ve been for a long while. My injuries whine at me occasionally, but they don’t yell. I am eating healthier. I am sleeping better. I am drinking more water.

It’s also been really unusual for me because I am a die hard vinyasa/Iyengar junkie & not just much of what yoga I’ve been doing, but ALL of the yoga what I’ve been doing is Bikram based. Who knew. Today I went to a 90 minute class & didn’t do one chaturanga. I don’t think the Bikram is sustainable for me long term, but it feels right for now. It’s still really cold here & the heat is divine. There’s a really good ramen place next door & I’ll hit a class & get some good ramen after. I’ll go home, rest, read to my son, & drink lots of water. On good days I’m asleep at 9:30.

It’s been difficult for me to prioritize my health these last 2 years. Running was my thing in 2020 & rowing was my thing in 2021. Both left me with injuries that die away when I stop those activities, only to come back again on a hard hike. I haven’t felt like restricting my eating so my body has changed. I haven’t felt like really worrying about either of these two things so I just stopped. I would pick up a routine every now & again, but would just stop all over again. I haven’t felt motivated. I have also been completely fine with that. My career has taken the front seat & I have had to pour a ton of energy into that. I just didn’t have the capacity for anything else for a while. 3 years ago when I taught yoga all the time, I would go to the Y on a regular basis and work out for TWO HOURS. It was insane. Not bad exactly, but I just am not there at this time in my life. Yes, I know I did also admit to going to a 90 minute yoga class today, so I’m not far off, I’m just now back where I was 3 years ago.

I’m okay with that. I’m okay with yoga being my main physical activity again. This may change again someday, but it feels right for now. I also feel inspired to just FEEL GOOD. To smell good things, to eat good, to do things that are positive, to maybe book a massage soon, to treat myself. I encourage you to do the same! Treat yo’self! I also am interested in stepping out of my comfort zone in pursuit of this. Believe it or not, getting an actual massage scares the sh$t out of me. Should I do it anyway? I encourage you also to take baby steps. Just like I started with committing to one yoga class a week. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Do something small to NOURISH yourself today & I promise I will too.

FARM YOGA is back this Summer at a new location. We are thinking of beginning sometime in May. It will be more towards the Sherwood area off of Parrett Mountain. It has views. It’s new. Message me & I will keep you informed & you can always stay updated by following @shelteryoga on Instagram or Facebook. Follow me on Facebook too, Liz Brower, the Liz with the arm tattoo mirror picture!

Have an amazing Spring. Go lay in the sun & drink some ice water. Treat yo’self.

Fall/Winter Newsletter 2021: The Long Game

I’ve noticed myself shrugging on a sweatshirt in the mornings and evenings the last two weeks. I near my 8th year of being an Oregonian, and I have to confess I’m eager for pumpkins, orange leaves, and all of the magic that comes with fall. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be okay with winter in February, but every year that passes, there’s a little more space within welcoming the shifting seasons.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a yoga teacher in this modern time, studios recovering, in the age of Zoom. Recently, a yoga teacher friend and I were laughing about how hard it can be when we were starting out, how you’ve paid a sitter, driven 40 minutes one way, and arrive to just a few students in the class you’ve paid rent for. There are two lessons here: abundance vs. lack, and what it means to play the long game.

“How long have you taught yoga?” is a common question for a yoga teacher. Or, “How long have you practiced yoga?” I usually have to compare both of these with my sobriety and my son being born. I went to my first yoga class right before I got sober in 2008 and I completed my teacher training when my son was one. I remember someone telling me at one of my first auditions, “You’ll get burnt out as a yoga teacher, sooner or later, it will happen.” I remember being shocked at the time, thinking, me burnt out on this practice I’m obsessed with? Never.

I admit that in late 2019 I was disillusioned with what it meant to be a yoga teacher. I had just quit a studio that I really loved to work for, a studio that I felt, ‘made me’ a yoga teacher. I had up to 16 classes at one point per week in 2019, a pretty big class load for a fitness instructor. Then enter 2020, rife with surprises, the biggest being that I could branch out on my own more, teach Zoom classes (no rent nor babysitter to pay!), offer donation based out door classes that grew in numbers every week, and rented some space above a local clothing shop. I entered a new portal with teaching yoga and it was so good. It was also unexpected, teaching on someone’s property while the dog played with the goats during sunset wasn’t what I expected. It was better. Teaching 2 to 4 classes each week during a global pandemic felt like a blessing.

I had some yoga teacher friends who took a break in 2020, something I really respected. Slowly their classes and offerings are coming back and I love to see it. As farm yoga winds down for the summer and I decided to put a pause on Zoom, I am reflective on what it means to be a yoga teacher and where my intuition is leading me. I also started another part time gig and it would be very easy to just teach 1 class a week.

As scary as it is to say, this may be the case. I may be able to offer small group barn yoga sessions like I did last winter, but it’s not set in stone. I taught yoga right after teacher training and haven’t stopped since, and it’s strange to think I am going back to not having a lot of classes like I did before.

But also maybe it’s all supposed to be this way, a step out into the great unknown. I know I love teaching yoga, have so much to offer, and only want to teach in places I resonate with, I just don’t know how and where. It’s vulnerable and exciting. I’ll be updating my schedule on here after I finish writing this and the list will be short with a few maybes thrown in. Yesterday someone messaged me that she was interested in me teaching at her lavender farm next summer. Remembering what happened in 2020, maybe its going to be unexpected and BETTER. What’s your long game? What have you been soooo long suffering with? A person, a job, a kid, an ideal? I encourage you to continue, and be open to abundance you aren’t expecting.

Updates>>> I’m still teaching every Thursday at the Circuit in Tigard at 7pm. It’s a nice, “Foundations of Yoga,” class and I throw in some optional vinyasa here and there. The music is loud and amazing. I’ll maybe be offering some barn yoga sessions if you live close by to Canby/Oregon City/Wilsonville/Molalla, OR, they are usually $50 per six week classes on Wednesdays at 6pm. The pin remains in Zoom offerings for now, but if I start up again updates will be in your face on my social medias.

I don’t know how long I’ll teach yoga for. I don’t know what my yoga teaching future looks like. I don’t know if I care about how many classes I offer per week. I know I’ve been through some highs, lows, and in betweens, and for now I’m still here.

~Wishing the best to you and stay warm this winter.

Spring/Summer Newsletter 2021: Purusha

As summer approaches I am reminded of this newsletter endeavor and my yoga teacher friend who encouraged me to get back after it.  She said (or maybe I said),“People forget where you are.”

Well, hello again and I’m finally ready to see you and be seen.  The winter was hard.  I felt as though it would never end at times.  I’m glad it’s over and the sun has already made multiple appearances out here in the glorious Pacific Northwest this spring.  I don’t know if you can relate but at times I don’t even want to talk about much from the past year (not that anything is wrong with that).  I have talked enough.  It’s important we all talk it out, be silent, yell, cry, scream, laugh and do what we gotta do to take the best care of ourselves.  It’s different for all of us.  I feel a deep sense of gratitude for all of you.  Process on your own terms!

I just want to sit in the sun/partial shade, do yoga, and heal.  I want to see and smell pine trees and listen to birds talk.  I want to walk along the creeks edge and get my shoes all muddy.  I want to sit next to ANY natural body of water and think about nothing.  I want to write what comes out of my mind and not worry about commas or perfection.

I have also had a lot of, “at this time last year…” recollections.  Some make me shudder and some make me feel proud because of all the ways I’ve grown.  I have felt BIG feelings, have cried, and now I feel a shift back to a place of rebuilding.  I’m thinking of Prakriti= all of the things we can visibly see (physical things) & Purusha= the indescribable life force that we cannot see or really fully define (essence/our souls).  In simple words, I’m wanting the latter.  I want my soul to be filled with all of the goodness which cannot be named.  I want the scorched part of myself to REGROW.

As far as my yoga schedule I’m sticking with my two Saturday zoom offerings, gentle yoga at 9am and all levels vinyasa at 10:15am. If you haven’t been a part of these and are interested and I’ll send you the link.

I’m teaching a limited spaces public class again beginning 4/29 at The Circuit a bouldering gym in Tigard.  Sign up to attend as space is limited.  Thursday’s at 7pm, Hatha.  (503)596-2332, http://www.thecircuitgym./tigard/

I’m also very excited to get back into Farm Yoga (sooo excited).  We have two locations now just minutes from each other (Canby country) that are pretty amazing and that class is every Wednesday at 6pm as long as the weather is nice.  It’s a great opportunity to find your public class practice again, while maintaining distance in the fresh open air.  Let me know when you’re coming so I can differentiate the address location for you.  These are private residences so please be respectful of hosts wishes as far as anonymity of location, parking and etc. 

Contributions for all of these classes are still donation based with suggested donation of 7-12$ per drop-in class or for the first time a punch card styled payment: $50 per 6 classes, you keep track, honor system style.  Venmo is @LizBrower77 or cash if in person.  My social media’s will be below as well.

I hope I see some of you this summer!  Let’s see each other again and check in with where we are.


Instagram: @shelteryoga
Facebook: Shelter Yoga or Liz Brower
Venmo: @LizBrower77


I had a really good pact going with this winter. I was born in Southern California and have lived in sunny places for most of my life. I usually I have days when the gray and cold of Oregon really get to me, but this one was different. I had a peace with it like I was the first year I lived here. I imagined in my minds eye anointing the physical embodiment of winters neck with a sparkly, diamond crusted half of a heart shaped, best friends forever necklace. Me and winter, we were finally at peace with one another. Cold air on my face reminds me that I’m alive, it’s not annoying at all. Perspective had also shifted during these pandemic times, seeing a friend in person for an hour ranked higher on my list than having a sunny day. I was grateful for these new things pain and experience had grown. I also got a magic coat, the first coat in 7 years that kept me warm outdoors in Oregon.

One upcoming weekend we were all anticipating a February fluffy snow, for the first winter in years, I had no yoga classes to drive to, I had a good attitude about it, was looking forward to it. I would teach my Zoom yoga while watching flakes pile up outside. But then an ice storm hit & our power went out. Trees split open everywhere. We got used to hearing them crack and fall all around us. The cold seeped into my bones & frayed my mind. I wanted warmth, any kind of warmth so bad. We had the privilege to escape from the cold into a hotel room that sold out hours later. The front desk staff was harried, they somehow managed to have a sense of humor, be kind, and check us in early. I crunched on my salad, waiting for a room, the doors to the lobby whooshing open and shut bringing a rush of icy air in every time they opened. An older man approached me & asked me where I got my food. Everything around the hotel was closed and they didn’t have a car. The front desk warmed some cup ‘o’ noodles from their small pantry for them and I watched them, huddled over the styrofoam cups, steam rising up, eating. People flitted about the small lobby with frenetic energy. “Can we stay over?” Someone asked. “Our power still isn’t on.” The front desk replied grimly, “I’m sorry, no, we are sold out.” The irony isn’t lost on me that after almost a year of low occupancy due to covid, now it’s difficult to get a room in all of our surrounding area hotels. A credit to them when I called, they honored a emergency rate, when they could have spiked prices easily.

Never one to have idle time, I filmed myself briefly practicing pigeon pose on the hotel bed. Just a moment before I twisted and reached, (those who have back pain know how a twist and reach can incapacitate) and a burning pain shot up my left hip. It’s an old injury that I believed had mostly healed. I kept moving, I filmed, I padded around the hotel room, I prepared snacks for myself and my son.

Here’s the thing about all of this: there’s no stopping me. This, over the last almost 13 years of sobriety has finely honed into both my greatest asset and one of my my worst character defects. I don’t know when to stop. I don’t know when to rest. I associate resting with waving the white flag, with giving up and this could quite possibly be my biggest fear.

More ice than snow.

Friends took us in. We sat around, ate, pulled cards, laughed at inappropriate things. I felt good. Acceptance and life and life’s terms had carried us through another one day at a time. The power came back on but I watched social media posts continuing, “going on day 5, still no power,” and in Texas my step-dads family reporting back to him about the ice cold and powerless conditions there.

My pain came and went. I rowed for 40 minutes stubbornly, feeling the burn on my left side as my knees sucked into my chest. Pain not so gently knocking on the door to my soul saying, “stop, stop, stop.” I worked out for another half hour. I hung upside down on my trapeze and rolled my muscles out with my trusted spiky massage ball, willing my body to heal to get better, to be strong like it was so many times before.

Nope. I woke up the next day in so much pain that I could hardly get up. Thinking of teaching the planned hamstring classes the following morning made me both want to laugh and cry. Still, in the midst of such pain I posted about my classes, staring at the picture of me folded in half, uttanasana, in disbelief. Was that even me anymore? I had taken the picture just weeks before. The hyper mobile body that had been such a refuge to me for years was now, gone.

It was either teach in pain (Zoom/virtual class requires more physical demonstration) or call and ask for help. I called my friend (who still has no power out in the country) and she said sure, she’d be willing to do the the physical portion of class while I just taught.

Imagine that. I asked for help and I got help. I don’t always have to be the strong one. And as I type this here in bed I acknowledge that I’m stuck in a very dark tunnel. My physical body and what it can do is something I cannot access right now. My dark fears whisper that I am broken, too broken. Am I? I don’t know. Just for today I’m just resting and facing my fears.

I am grateful I can still wake and move. I am grateful out house is warm and I can read or watch movies. I’m grateful for all my crystals at my bedside. Im grateful my son is happy and safe. I’m grateful every time another friend says their lights are on. I’m grateful I can look outside and see the changing sky. I’m grateful for my sobriety which taught me the only way out is through.

Send some good vibes to me and I’m sending some out to all those still existing in cold, dark nights, physical or spiritual.

A Love Letter to Astoria

This could really be a love letter to many coastal towns in Oregon, and inland towns as well! So many times in the past 6 years I’ve packed my son and I up for a quick getaway and we are never disappointed with what the state of Oregon (and Washington!) has to offer.

Many know Astoria by way of the movie, Goonies, and I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I just had listened to a podcast (if you want to listen the podcast is called Thrillest Explorers/‘the pros & cons of living in a very famous house’) about the relationship between the city and the movie. As children, Goonies was one of maybe 3 movies we were allowed to watch so it has a special place in my heart, like it does for so many other people. Goonies never say die.

On our first night in Astoria, I scrolled through pictures of the Goonie house, some with big, happy tourist faces in the foreground and the famous house in the background. Other pictures were less joyous, the owner pasting up tarps so no one could get a good selfie in. If I was in her shoes, I would have probably done the same. Evidently the house is hard to drive to and away from and no one wants that kind of frantic energy where they live, in my opinion at least.

Astoria homes seem to be creatures from another time and most are. There are many Victorian styled homes there and with time and weather, many have turned slightly green. I even saw one that had a sorts of moss and ivy over grown over half the side of the large structure! They look like giant wraiths sticking up from the steep hill overlooking the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. They seem to say to me that they aren’t going anywhere and I hope when my son is my age he can visit Astoria and see the same striking site.

Pier 39

Many of the old canneries survive as museums or converted space for restaurants and other businesses. Just like Goonies never say die, the town of Astoria seems to have the same character and attitude. There is a definite stubborn atmosphere that hangs over the one of a kind city.

Fort George Brewery

My son and I traversed the Astoria-Wegler bridge. I honestly could have just gone back and forth over it a few more times. Visit this blog post for more on Astoria and also some good snaps of Astoria and the loooooong green bridge! The Wandering Nomads

We traveled to Long Beach, Washington, rain pelting us from above and gray water on all sides. I drove my car out into the beach and we watched the waves and few other parked cars and some individual people walking around. It feels so fun to be able to drive your car on the sand! I had been to Long Beach before, but had always wanted continue and ride up to the end of the peninsula, because, er, it was there? Being home so much in the last year, I had forgotten how good it felt to just drive and explore. We made it to Ledbetter State Park right at the tip.

The weather wasn’t great and my son kept lecturing me about tsunamis so we basically just parked, snapped some pictures, and drove on back to Astoria. I could see that the spot was lush and inviting, but probably thick with visitors during the summer. It was nice to be there, only with a few cars here and there, so quiet and isolated. We drove back, bought some Thai food along with several other fast food spots to cater to a picky 6 year old, and had a feast back at our hotel overlooking the looooong green bridge, docked boats, ducks and seagulls below us, and Columbia. All was gray and sopping wet the entire time we were there and even this sun lover wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I had a 10am virtual yoga class to teach so my alarm went off at 5am the next morning. I did my best to meditate bundled up on the balcony with hotel coffee, but it was just too damn cold. I hustled my son into the car with our bags and we barreled down the 101 to Seaside back to the the 26. I love to drive early in the morning before anyone has gotten up, and it was pretty magical to take that familiar route back home with all of the Christmas lights sparkling bright in the darkness. We made it back right as it was getting light as it doesn’t get really light here in the winter till 7/8am especially when it’s so cloudy.

It was a good little trip. I’m grateful for my life. May you be happy, peaceful, and free as you step into 2021.

White Like Me

Nervously I entered the Air BnB out in Welches, OR last week.  I love women & it’s not difficult for me to have healthy relationships with women, not on the surface either, I really enjoy being vulnerable with other females.  But I was about to engage in an overnight with 5 strangers, I only knew one of these women well.  After months of sheltering at home for the most part it felt good to get out and take some small trips here and there.

Later that night when we were in the hot tub surrounded by Oregon pine trees, the tub far too small for seven ladies, some of us sitting on the side to make room for others, I was  asked two questions: “How’d you become a yoga teacher?”  &  “How do you deal with cultural appropriation as a yoga teacher?”  Obviously the latter being way more difficult to answer, especially as a white person. Especially as a white person I better have an answer!  I found myself deflecting, making it about someone else.  A studio I worked at for a really long time whose owner recently changed the names of classes from vinyasa and hatha to english words because she felt like it would be more palatable and attractive for the students paying to go there.

But lately I have had a come to Jesus moment as they say, both wondering and at times realizing that others are always going to do their own shit.  WHAT AM I, JUST I, DOING ABOUT IT???  I am SO grateful for that question in the hot tub because even though I have always found the roots of yoga compelling & do my best to honor them, it’s like: DO I REALLY?!  Which to be honest if I really want to evolve be better, & be sensitive really is a question I should be asking myself daily.  Do I mention the sanskrit enough in class? Do I go back to study the sutras enough?  Do I honor & teach this practice the way it was first taught? Do I realize what an honor it is to teach such a sacred practice as a white person?

Do I make sure it’s accessible to all even people who don’t have a lot of money?  Do I go out of my way to make it available inclusively to all races & to not just white people?

I had a Nepalese friend from CA recently ask me if I knew to respect yoga’s roots, that it originated in India.  It was important for me not to get defensive and ask him if there was an instance that I hadn’t been respectful?  To which he replied no.  But I think that I can still do better.  We can all do better.

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION defined in case you haven’t researched or heard about it yet:

  1. the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

In South India women make ‘kolam’ every day in the early morning, sand art made with rice flour or chalk, beautiful mandalas that invite abundance. Even in tiny apartments some version of this art is made.  Throughout the day the kolams get walked on & then washed away to make a new one again the next morning. The first day of my teacher training there we all sat coloring mandalas. For me this can be yoga as much as this pose in this picture.  Was it the same as the original and did we invent that?  Hell no.  Can we learn where it came from, appreciate it, and teach others the same?  YES.  So much yes.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Let’s add the footnotes. Let’s orally recite the origins.  Let’s not gloss over the past to make things more palatable and comfortable for ourselves and other people.  Lets honor the past and other culture’s ancestors. Let’s keep this magic alive.  I have put my moccasins away for now.  I will keep my dutch braids but I will remember that braids are sacred parts of others cultures.

Peace and love to you all.

~Namaste, a word I have ended these posts and my yoga classes with every time.

Namaste:  A Sanskrit word, and Indian greeting upon meeting and leaving.  Arguably it could transcend race as an interpretation of meaning can be, “The divine in me salutes and bows to the divine in you.”

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