Browsing Tag

yoga

Writing Retreat in Vermont with Emily Rapp & Jen Pastiloff.

October 22, 2015
Annual Vermont retreat with Emily Rapp.

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Quaint, picturesque, honest and completely unique; Stowe is better than anything out of Rockwell’s imagination.

Stowe Mountain. This is a true New England four-season location. Yoga retreats in spring and summer are perfect for hiking, horseback riding, swimming and tractor hay rides to the Stowe Farmer’s Market. Fall yoga retreats include all of these wonderful activities, but add in New England’s fabulous and unbeatable fall foliage. Winter brings skiing, skiing and more skiing. Downhill or world class cross-country are minutes from the retreat doorstep along with guided snowshoeing and the winter-wonderland that is Stowe village.

All retreats include three meals a day prepared by a local chef, natural horsemanship classes, yoga and unlimited dips in the outdoor jacuzzi or stops in the indoor dry sauna.

All rooms on property are unique, many with multiple beds to fit almost all room sharing requirements. Please note that all bathrooms are shared with multiple rooms or people.

Outfitted with warm duvets and views, these cozy rooms all meet up in the heart of the lodge, the yoga room and kitchen.

Natural horsemanship is open to all, but is, of course, optional.

Join us in the beauty of any season and come see what all the fuss is about!

Join Jen Pastiloff and Emily Rapp once again in Stowe. After the last two year’s sold-out and life
changing retreats, they knew they had to do it again.

This retreat is nothing short of life-changing!

Jen Pastiloff is best known for her Manifestation Retreats® around the world and for her essays and online presence. Emily Rapp is a renowned author and professor. Join them both for 4 days of yoga, Manifestation Workshops with Jen, workshops with Emily, gorgeous foliage, wine tasting, horses, hiking and whatever else your heart may desire in the Vermont mountains. This is the perfect retreat for all level yogis and writers. It will be a journey into the self and out into the world. There will be a yoga/Manifestation workshop every day as well as a writing workshop with Emily.

How do you write the story of a life? Why is it important to tell these personal stories? Memoir is an art form that shines a light on deeply subjective experiences in order to illuminate universal truths about being human. Through discussion, writing exercises, and supportive sharing, we will generate material, consider issues of ethics when writing about ourselves and other people, and map out a plan to deepen your writing life.

Writing sessions will be generative and focused on mining your memory for significant details/memories/experiences. Discussions and exercises will be geared specifically toward writing personal narrative. Yoga with Jen includes writing as well but will be less focused on “craft” and more on exploring the unconscious mind and beliefs. Jen uses the yoga as a vehicle to get you to go deeper into your writing.

Emily has taught writing in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, The Taos Writers’ Workshop, University of California – Palm Desert, and the Gotham Writers’ Workshops. Her second book The Still Point of The Turning World (March 2013 Penguin Press) is the story of a mother’s journey through grief and beyond in dealing with the fatal Tay Sachs Disease.

Atlanta! The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human.

August 8, 2015
Join Jen Pastiloff in Atlanta March 8th. March 7th sold out. Click the photo above.

Update: The workshop in March was so full that we added a second, and there was still a long wait list. Unfortunately, I am only doing ONE in August so book asap.

This workshop is NOT your typical yoga workshop nor is it about the asana (poses.) It’s about being human. It’s about letting go of fear. Join us in welcoming Jen Pastiloff back to FORM {yoga} with her signature Manifestation workshop. What are you manifesting? If I wasn’t afraid I would…? How may I serve others? What makes me come alive? Who would I be if nobody told me who I was? Questions like this and many more will be sought out and answered in this unique workshop which truly connects the mind and body. This truly unique workshop combines body movement and writing (as well as a few dance parties and singing and some kicking and laughing ). All levels welcome. Expect to flow, sweat, sing, write, dance and laugh as you let go of what is no longer serving you and manifest what you want in your life. This workshop is nothing short of a life changing immersion.

Expect to go beyond your comfort zone. Come see why Jen travels around the world with this workshop and sells out. This experience is about life: unpredictable, sometimes messy, beautiful and human.

*Please bring a journal & pen, some water, an open heart and a sense of humor. Studio will open 20 minutes prior to the workshop.

Workshop purchases are non-refundable, but may be transferred to another individual for the same event only. If you notify us via email a studio credit LESS a $25 administrative fee will be issued (yogareformers at gmail dot com) with at least 72 hours notice before the start of the event. No other refunds or credits are available under any circumstances. Due to space restrictions our workshop policy is firm.

 

Jen Pastiloff’s The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human. Seattle April 26th.

April 26, 2015
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beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88*Please note that I am doing TWO workshops in Seattle. Saturday April 25th a nd Sunday April 26th.

Book Sat here.

Book Sun here.

You do NOT have to be a yogi or know yoga.

I led 4 sold-out workshops in Seattle in 2014 and I am headed back April 2015. I love my Seattle tribe so much!

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Here is a little blurb I just wrote on my Facebook page:

Vulnerability alert: Let me tell you about stepping out of your comfort zone and fear and being ballsy and what that looks like to me. A few years back I started doing these workshops which have since morphed into something else entirely. I have no idea what to name this thing. What to call it. It’s not really a “yoga” thing but I do it at yoga studios and we sit on yoga mats. It’s not really a writing thing because you don’t have to be a writer or even like writing but we write. And we share. And we laugh. And we cry. And it’s heavy but also really really light. And like, how do you describe that? How do you say, call up a studio in Chicago and say, “Hey, I want to come do this thing I do there at your place. I can’t really describe it. You’ll just have to see for yourself. People will come. Trust me.”

And I mean, there’s a deep knowing that I will sell it out (but there’s also the other part of me that’s like, “OMG, you have never been to Chicago or Vancouver or whatever city it is. Who do you think you are?”

But

I do not listen to that voice for very long. I put on my big girl panties and shut that voice up and carry on with my cup of coffee and hush that little voice that says, “How dare you create something that is not definable and expect people will show up?”
Why do I hush that voice?
Because I did do that. I am doing that.
Is it scary as f*ck? Yes.
I do this ALL BY MYSELF. I have no team of agents or managers or bookers. Just some balls. (Well, not really. Betty White says a vagina is tougher than balls, but whatever.) I pull my bootstraps up and carry on.
My word right now is TRUST.
I do not fit into any mold or any “yoga” box or literary box or self-help (it ain’t that, nor is it ‘woo-woo’ or airy-fairy) so I simply have to trust that I am on the right path. That people will keep coming.
A couple weeks ago at my Miami workshop, people drove from all over the state and country. I had a moment where I thought, “This is what trust looks like.”
It’s like that line from the movie Field of Dreams. Maybe that is what I am saying in my long-winded Jen Pastiloff way, “If you build it, they will come.”
They will. they do.
Nonetheless, it’s so nerve-wracking and scary and exciting and all of that, each time I book a workshop. It’s terrifying and exhilarating to stand up there and be totally vulnerable and naked and well, human.
That is why it’s called The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human.

I know some of you are new to this page as it’s grown quite a lot in the last few weeks and are probably all, “Who the eff is this Jen?” I’m just a human being (as wayne Dyer says, “I am a human being, not a human doing.”) I’m just a human being who is trying to make her way in the world. I bump into a lot of things, I drop a lot, I mess up, I curse. Sometimes I am an asshole (thus, I created the “Don’t be an asshole” series) but every day I am trying to be a better human. I am trying to listen more, to be more open, to be less afraid. That is what my workshop is about. And I intend to take it all over the world. I am.
Is it scary? Yes.
Do I need to trust? Yes.
Do you need to trust more? I have no idea.
Do you? Only you can answer that. I am not going to sit here with my coffee and make blanket statements about you. You need this. You need that. I have no idea. Only you do.
I just know that no matter how freaked out I get that I am going to another country or another city to do my wacky indescribable workshop, I will go anyway. I will lead it as best as I can, with as open of a heart as I can, with my deaf ass ears as open as they can be, with my sense of humor intact. And I will do my best to show you what it looks like to do something even when you are shitting bricks of fear. I love you guys. Here’s to forging into the unknown with grace. xo
Jennifer Pastiloff

Take that, fear!♥

There’s beauty in being afraid, ya know? What does it look like? It looks like doing it anyway.

**Bring a journal and an open heart. There is yoga but you do not have to be a yogi. All levels welcome!

Read this to get an idea of what my workshop is like. 

ps I will also be in Seattle at Hauteyoga’s sister studio shefayoga Saturday April 25th. Book that one here. 

 

Jen Pastiloff’s Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human. Seattle April 25th.

April 25, 2015
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*Please note that I am doing TWO workshops in Seattle. Saturday April 25th a nd Sunday April 26th.

Book Sat here.

Book Sun here.

You do NOT have to be a yogi or know yoga.

I led 4 sold-out workshops in Seattle in 2014 and I am headed back April 2015. I love my Seattle tribe so much!

Here is a little blurb I just wrote on my Facebook page:

Vulnerability alert: Let me tell you about stepping out of your comfort zone and fear and being ballsy and what that looks like to me. A few years back I started doing these workshops which have since morphed into something else entirely. I have no idea what to name this thing. What to call it. It’s not really a “yoga” thing but I do it at yoga studios and we sit on yoga mats. It’s not really a writing thing because you don’t have to be a writer or even like writing but we write. And we share. And we laugh. And we cry. And it’s heavy but also really really light. And like, how do you describe that? How do you say, call up a studio in Chicago and say, “Hey, I want to come do this thing I do there at your place. I can’t really describe it. You’ll just have to see for yourself. People will come. Trust me.”

And I mean, there’s a deep knowing that I will sell it out (but there’s also the other part of me that’s like, “OMG, you have never been to Chicago or Vancouver or whatever city it is. Who do you think you are?”

But

I do not listen to that voice for very long. I put on my big girl panties and shut that voice up and carry on with my cup of coffee and hush that little voice that says, “How dare you create something that is not definable and expect people will show up?”

Why do I hush that voice?

Because I did do that. I am doing that.

Is it scary as f*ck? Yes.

I do this ALL BY MYSELF. I have no team of agents or managers or bookers. Just some balls. (Well, not really. Betty White says a vagina is tougher than balls, but whatever.) I pull my bootstraps up and carry on.

My word right now is TRUST.

I do not fit into any mold or any “yoga” box or literary box or self-help (it ain’t that, nor is it ‘woo-woo’ or airy-fairy) so I simply have to trust that I am on the right path. That people will keep coming.

A couple weeks ago at my Miami workshop, people drove from all over the state and country. I had a moment where I thought, “This is what trust looks like.”

It’s like that line from the movie Field of Dreams. Maybe that is what I am saying in my long-winded Jen Pastiloff way, “If you build it, they will come.”

They will. they do.

Nonetheless, it’s so nerve-wracking and scary and exciting and all of that, each time I book a workshop. It’s terrifying and exhilarating to stand up there and be totally vulnerable and naked and well, human.

That is why it’s called The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human.

I know some of you are new to this page as it’s grown quite a lot in the last few weeks and are probably all, “Who the eff is this Jen?” I’m just a human being (as wayne Dyer says, “I am a human being, not a human doing.”) I’m just a human being who is trying to make her way in the world. I bump into a lot of things, I drop a lot, I mess up, I curse. Sometimes I am an asshole (thus, I created the “Don’t be an asshole” series) but every day I am trying to be a better human. I am trying to listen more, to be more open, to be less afraid. That is what my workshop is about. And I intend to take it all over the world. I am.

Is it scary? Yes.

Do I need to trust? Yes.

Do you need to trust more? I have no idea.

Do you? Only you can answer that. I am not going to sit here with my coffee and make blanket statements about you. You need this. You need that. I have no idea. Only you do.

I just know that no matter how freaked out I get that I am going to another country or another city to do my wacky indescribable workshop, I will go anyway. I will lead it as best as I can, with as open of a heart as I can, with my deaf ass ears as open as they can be, with my sense of humor intact. And I will do my best to show you what it looks like to do something even when you are shitting bricks of fear. I love you guys. Here’s to forging into the unknown with grace. xo

Jennifer Pastiloff

Take that, fear!♥

There’s beauty in being afraid, ya know? What does it look like? It looks like doing it anyway.

**Bring a journal and an open heart. There is yoga but you do not have to be a yogi. All levels welcome!

Read this to get an idea of what my workshop is like. 

ps I will also be in Seattle at shefayoga‘s sister studio Hauteyoga Queen Anne Sunday April 26th. Book that one here. 

 

Guest Posts, motherhood, Yoga

The Impulse To Breathe

April 2, 2015
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beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Wendy Fontaine.

As soon as one contraction ended, another began. The pain erupted from beneath my hip bones and a twisting, angry heat spread in all directions: up into my hardened belly, down to my bare legs, and out through my arms to my fingers, which were clenched into fists at my chin.

I asked the midwife, Renata, when I could have something, anything, for the pain. I had always expected that, when the time came, there would be some kind of medication. But labor rarely goes as planned, and in the moment – that wretched, unbearable moment – there was nothing safe for me to take. My baby girl was lying on her umbilical cord, and every time I had a contraction, her body and my body squeezed against the cord in a deadly embrace that pinched her only connection to oxygen. Drugs might have slowed, or even stopped, her natural impulse to breathe on her own once she was born.

Renata held my hand and rubbed my back. She pressed a cool cloth to my forehead, while I wondered if my child would survive. With each spasm, I filled my lungs and exhaled, over and over, like a surfer riding wave after wave.

I had learned how to breathe five years earlier, in a yoga class I signed up for after the World Trade Center towers burned and crumbled before our collective eyes. I had been a newspaper reporter then, writing stories about the people who died and the spouses and children they left behind. Quickly, the stories of loss had all become too much to bear. The images of people jumping from burning skyscrapers had taken my breath away. I wanted to go inward, to shut my eyes for a while. So I found a yoga studio, where the walls were the color of Nantucket hydrangeas and the candles smelled like lavender.

The teacher, Karen, was a petite woman with a soft voice and a graceful manner. She moved deliberately, with more awareness than I had ever seen in one person. Near the front of the studio classroom, I unrolled my mat alongside the other students and sat cross-legged, waiting for something I couldn’t name. Inner peace. Serenity. I didn’t know what.

The first thing Karen showed us was how to slow our breath by matching the lengths of our inhalations and our exhalations. Pranayama, she called it. Controlling the life force. It felt unnatural at first, but after a few moments, breathing seemed more like undulating – smooth and rhythmic, circular and endless. I could feel it and hear it. I could trust it.

I went back every Saturday, settled onto my mat and found that familiar pattern. We moved through the asanas, or poses. Some were challenging; others seemed nearly impossible. Just breathe, Karen reminded us. The trick was to keep a steady breath even when things got tough – when the room was hot, when our muscles were tired, when our minds were telling us to quit. Breathe in and out. Be full, then empty. Take it in and let it go. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Manifestation Workshops, Women

Women Are Hurting.

March 31, 2015
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beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Jane Eaton Hamilton.

Jen Pastiloff & The Hunt For Beauty.

There’s something I can’t get off my mind; it’s been nagging.

A couple months ago, Jen Pastiloff came to town.  She’s the wunderkind behind the online home for great essays, Manifest Station, and a yoga/writing workshop phenom.  I first came to know Jen through her site when she published my essay about Paris, ‘Things That Didn’t Happen,’ which now appears in the Caitlin Press anthology This Place a Stranger, about women traveling solo.

All this is a long-winded introduction to the fact that Jen asked me to attend her yoga workshop here in Vancouver, BC, when she came to town earlier this year at Semperviva Yoga, and, reluctantly, I went.  (Jen knew getting me out of my house was like pulling teeth, but she kept at me.)  Despite a background in dance, I’ve never been a yoga enthusiast, and I’m also an atheist, and morbidly shy, and the whole spiritual thing makes me roll my eyes.  I slid down the wall at the back of the room, gamely played along to the limits of my creaky old body, and kept my eyes and ears open.

And, folks, a bunch of things happened.

She calls the workshop, after all, “On Being Human.”

But the transformative thing, the thing that hasn’t gone away, was this:

Women are hurting. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, healing, Self Image, Self Love, Yoga

Teaching Yoga To Teen Girls With Sexual Trauma and The Connection To Us All

March 26, 2015
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beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Anne Falkowski.

 

I had my own sexual trauma at thirteen. It took only a few minutes. I can’t remember it all, but can still feel the pebbles and grit embedded in my opened-up palms, see my ripped jeans, and taste the blood inside my mouth from where my face was shoved into the ground. I can still smell their boozed-up breath on my neck and feel their thick hands and fingers. It was a one time event, but my perpetrators went to school with me. I had to face all three of them for the next five years in classrooms and even at parties. I had no one to talk to, no therapy, no coping strategy.

I begged my parents and the male police officer, who spoke with me about it immediately afterwards, to drop it. I gave no details. Details would have made me cry.

I’ll be fine.” I said.

What I wanted to say was, “Shut up. Shut up.

And like a miracle, they did. My parents and the cop, they shut up. In a span of less than fifteen minutes, they were gone.

I was left alone with the sound of my body hitting the pavement hard and the boys laughing and squealing in my head. It was like taking a deep inhale, closing off your ears, eyes, nose and mouth, and never exhaling again. I failed to mention “the event” again until I was 30 and in therapy for self-hatred so thick, I could stir it. Thanks God for the panic attacks that led me to the office of a persistent and wise therapist. I had no idea my low self-esteem and carefully hidden self-destructive behaviors were linked to what happened at thirteen.  All I knew was I had spiraled to a black bottom and couldn’t find my way back up. Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts, Self Image, The Body, Women

On Being Naked.

February 17, 2015
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By Christine Molloy.

I have always felt awkward in locker rooms. I mean, REALLY awkward. So much so that since I left high school, I have not changed my clothes in one. This is pretty impressive considering how many gym memberships I have had and that in the last several years of going to my current gym, I have been in the gym pool hundreds of times.

I had a strategy for these pool trips though. First of all, I live five minutes from my gym and yes, that is as awesome as it sounds. So I would towel dry off, throw some ratty clothes on over my suit, and head home. Maybe twice I went down to the locker room to use the toilet. Maybe.

In the dead of winter, when it was too cold to do that, I would switch to another form of exercise and just not deal with the locker room issue. However this winter is much different because I have been battling foot injuries in both my feet and on top of a nasty autoimmune illness, the pool is really the only good exercise I can get at the moment. And, I enjoy it. I especially enjoy the hot tub before and after!

The locker room at my gym was recently renovated and has two showers and three or four toilet stalls. There is a sauna, lockers, and benches. That’s it. Which means there are no changing rooms, unless you use the shower and it is rare for one of those to be open. And here is where we get to the root of my problem with locker rooms:

People will see me naked.

Hey, we all have our hang-ups.

There’s no changing room, no cubicles, not even a more secluded corner of the locker room to tuck away my less-than-perfect body into. Total exposure of a body that many times, I even have a difficult time looking at. One that has the dreaded apple shape, cellulite, and just stuff hanging everywhere. You know how women start to complain about how as they get older, their breasts begin the downward descent into hell and they miss their perky boob days? Yeah, not me. My boobs started at the place that most women dread going to.

I know, I know. I have had people tell me that the other people in the locker room are so focused on themselves that they are not even bothering to look over at me. They are all thinking about their kids or pre-planning their work day in their head. I think that is true for some, but I am not buying that explanation for everybody. People are curious. It is just human nature.

I have not always hated my body and even now, I don’t always look at it in a negative way. But I definitely need more balance and more positive self-talk. This body has seen me through some serious shit and on two different occasions, brought me back from the brink of death. This is the body that has survived cancer, round after round of prednisone and so many other toxic medications, a daily battle with an autoimmune illness, a heart procedure, blood clots in my lungs, and a neurological condition that almost paralyzed me. After going through these experiences, you have to garner some respect for the body that gets you through day after day; but I still criticize my body. I think that is probably the main reason why I do yoga; by doing poses, it helps me focus on not only my strength, but also on the life force inside of me. Yoga reminds me of what I am capable of and the good that my body can do.

But it does make me wonder, when exactly did this start for me? That feeling that my body wasn’t good enough? That I wasn’t good enough? I do know with absolute certainty that there was nothing in my childhood that made me feel ashamed of my body. According to my mom, as a toddler, it was hard for her to keep clothes ON me! And in my household growing up, being naked was not a big deal. We all walked naked from the bathroom to our rooms and back and once the teenage years came for me and my brother, the walking became a fast streak! And a T-shirt for me. As a kid, neither one of my parents every pressured me about losing weight and I was never told that I was ugly by either one of them. Even well into my adulthood, my dad has never mentioned one word about my weight or my eating habits, although on occasion he has tossed a positive compliment my way when a weight loss has been noticeable. Dad, you did well!

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that's it! Summer or Fall 2015.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that’s it! Summer or Fall 2015.

Continue Reading…

Anonymous, Guest Posts, Pregnancy, The Hard Stuff

Sharing Your Worst.

December 1, 2014
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By Anonymous.

 

They say everything happens for a reason- and I found that easier to believe for a while.

But I call bullshit. Sometimes the worst happens for no reason whatsoever.

My daughter is a deep empath. She absorbs all of the family stories, feels sad for Godzilla when the M.U.T.O.S. are getting the upper hand. When she was about five when she wanted to take every homeless person home with us, as we had plenty of good food. They could sleep on her floor, she offered, or in sleeping bags in the living room. When I tell her stories about my childhood and how my brothers were mean to me (I usually tell them because the stories are hilarious,) she feels terrible for me and wants to somehow make it better.

So I can’t publicly write about one thing that happened to me because I’m worried it will somehow hurt her. There’s this part of me, this protective mama instinct that wants me to keep the truly ugly shit from her. I want my daughter to grow up thinking that pregnancy should be healthy. That the stories she hears that happen to strangers couldn’t possibly happen to her. When I thought of writing about this before, I imagined her years down the road thinking of this story, having been told, and worrying through her own first pregnancy, “What if it happens to me?” Or worse, that she would spend her pregnancy feeling sad for me and my experience – because that’s how she’s wired. Maybe this is the wrong approach, but as I’ve found in parenting, this is seat of the pants instinct stuff, so I’m going with my gut on this one. Hence, the anonymous story.

So why write it at all? To work it through?

No. I made my peace with this-or as much peace as you can make with the truly bad things that happen in your life- years ago. But there’s another part of me that remembers how very alone I was when all of this happened. I had heard no other story like mine, had nothing to compare to or sympathize with. Aside from the nurses who worked at the place where I got the procedure done, and my mother, and my husband, there was no one to talk to about this. It took a few years before I even saw an article where this had happened to someone else. And I did write about it once, anonymously for Salon in an op-ed piece because they were going to make “late-term” abortions illegal in my state. And for a time, they did. And I would have had no help at all had this happened to us a few years later.

My husband and I had shacked up for a few years when he figured it would be a good idea to get married. I was working, he was working, we enjoyed our early marriage as we had our first years together and four years into our marriage we bought a house. All of our ducks were in a row, he had a profession that could support us both, it was time to have a baby. I had contracted Lyme disease- nowhere near its east coast origins and had just finished my course of antibiotics and at my doctor’s advice, had allowed a month to pass after that. It was time to give it a whirl. I got pregnant in the first month. My husband had wanted kids since he was small, I was a bit more apprehensive about the whole thing, but was thrilled nonetheless. We were twelve weeks in and everything looked fine, so we came out of the closet, sat on our sunny bed on a Sunday morning with the phone (back when they were attached to walls) and called everyone we wanted to share the news with. Everyone was thrilled. This was really happening. I got the standard blood tests and we celebrated Christmas with family and I was 14 weeks along. My belly was getting round and hard. My brother said, “Oh, I just thought you were getting fat.” The day after Christmas I got a phone call. My doctor said that something in my blood test said we should probably get an in-depth ultrasound and an amnio. The chances were small, but something was up. Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Grief, Guest Posts

Down The Rabbit Hole Into Paris: Healing After The Death of My Sister.

November 29, 2014
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By Kate Sutton.

I was sleep deprived, having not slept a wink on the plane. It had been an eight hour red eye and although I had tried too sleep, I couldn’t. Thoughts racing through my head. Love, loss, anniversaries. It was all painfully there. A huge hole in my heart that didn’t want to heal.

Part of me hadn’t wanted to go to Paris. But, as I stepped off that plane and breathed in the French air, I was struck with the sudden sense of freedom. It came as a shock. It was a feeling I hadn’t expected.

The last two months had been a calamity of vomiting, drinking, vomiting, drugs, binging, vomiting, blacking out and more bingeing and purging. All in an attempt to forget the emotional pain I was in, which was only made more brutally aware, as I approached the first anniversary of my sister’s death.  Continue Reading…

Abuse, Guest Posts, healing

Standing In Truth.

November 8, 2014
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by Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemingo

“Yoga Sutra 11.36: Dedicated to truth and integrity (Satya), our thoughts words and actions gain the power to manifest.” – Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi

I came to yoga for the physical, but somehow the truth of the practice, the raw honesty it required, snuck up on me. I’ve been a teacher for over twelve years and so many times I watch students come for the body sculpting and walk away when the yoga started to penetrate them—when the yoga started to ask more of them than physical postures.

I would often watch students who were wavering in their practice, knowing they would either choose ‘the path’ or walk away. Once you begin this path of awakening, if you stay, you absolutely have to do the work.

Almost all the classes I teach are wrapped around a theme. So many times, my themes were about truth, about authenticity, about being who you really are and living freely and honestly.

I said all this, I knew all this, and still there was this one lie, a big lie that I hid about myself, about my past. I hid it from my students. I hid it from my yoga colleagues. I hid it from my best friends, from my family members. Only my husband knew and I only told him once.

I was afraid of what others would think of me if they knew the truth. I didn’t want anyone to know, least of all my students. For years it was easy to stuff it away, compartmentalize it, and believe it wasn’t necessary for me to share. I was certain it would hurt my reputation, damage my career. Yoga teachers are held to high standards—and I had to live up to them. I had to maintain my integrity, but was it real without sharing my whole story? Continue Reading…

depression, Guest Posts, Yoga

Guidance.

September 26, 2014
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By David Henault.

Things in my life were coming to a boil. I had a dead end job with no clear direction in sight. I was drinking a lot to numb the harsh reality that I was finally at a loss and I was chest deep in depression. I knew I was at a turning point in my life but didn’t know which way to go. I could stay on a self destructive path or beat the odds and become something. I just didn’t know how to do it.

With every step, I watched my breath as it exhaled from chapped lips while I made my way up the half snow covered concrete stairs and to the weathered screen door that lead in to her apartment building. At the top of the porch, I looked over my shoulder for the third time just to make sure her beat up blue car was still parked on the street, as if somehow she could slip out and away without my noticing and be gone again.

I pulled the screen door open and turned the knob on the freshly painted wooden interior door. The hallway was dimly lit and musty, reminding me immediately of our basement on Normandy Road where I grew up. The old woman that lived on the first floor opened her door to see what the noise was and shut it again quickly, sheltering herself from the interruption in her day. I made my way up the creaky wooden stairs and stood in front of her apartment, watching for a moment the playful shadows from under the door that were cast by the lamps inside.

I took another breath and knocked quickly on the center of the door with my knuckles, which immediately started to sting from the cold.

I watched as the shadows from under the door stop moving. Silence.

My heart began to sink a little at the thought of missing her again and then out of nowhere, the door swung open.

She immediately smiled a big smile which comforted me and all was suddenly okay.

“Hi Davey!”, my mother said, letting the door to finish swinging open on its own as she walked straight back down the dark hallway in front of me and past three rooms to the bathroom where the light was coming from.

I had never seen her look more beautiful. The soft glow of the lighting behind her made her look soft and young. Her eyes bright, full of life and reminiscent of someone in their mid-
twenties. Her hair was full with bouncy locks styled like those in old yearbook pictures of people you see in the boxes your parents keep in the attic. When she smiled, I felt warm and calm. Safe.

Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Inspiration, Manifestation Workshops

Not Just For The Ladies.

September 24, 2014
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By David Krause.

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Note from Jen: David just attended one of my workshops in South Dakota and posted this on my Facebook wall. I am blown away, to say the least.

ManifestStation Workshops-Not Just for the Girls.

I was in Santa Monica last April visiting some friends and thought I’d try yoga.

Jen instructed the 2nd class I ever attended (I had no idea how big of a deal she is-I was pretty lucky). I struggled through class but loved it. Afterward I thanked her for being patient with a rookie from South Dakota. She laughed and invited me to her workshop in Sioux Falls, SD in September. ‘See you there!’ I said, having no idea what a workshop was, but struck mainly by her enthusiasm and energy.

Months later, I learned that 1-Jen is a legend in the yoga world, and 2-yoga workshops involve journaling and talking about feelings.

I like to play sports, climb mountains, shoot trap, fly fish, and look for sweet deals on shotgun shells to shoot trap with. So I don’t have a journal, and I will listen to anyone talk about their feelings but don’t do much with mine. Skeptical about attending, I thought Jen would forget and I could stay in my comfort zone.

More months later, Jen remembered, and wrote on my Facebook timeline where, when, and that I should bring a journal.

Like an absolute goofball, I messaged her – ‘what is class like? I don’t journal much. I’m not sure if this is for me.’ She got down to brass tacks and told me it’s about getting out of my comfort zone.

For 3 hours that night I could be found 100 miles from my nearest comfort zone-45 female yoga pros and the lone male in his late 20s.

It was totally necessary and entirely enlightening. I could end up being pretty damn boring if I’m focused only on being a resident the next 5 or 6 years. I could miss the moments in life to smile, to make somebody smile, and to be fully human.

I could neglect current relationships and not make new ones.

But for 3 hours Jen led and taught me how to prevent that with introspection and a consistent sense of wonder. Jen has that light which lets you know she’s fully human. It is evident that she feels more intensely, more keenly, more loudly. She’s sharing that with the world-the boys just need to show up with an open mind.

And yes . . . a journal!” ~ David in South Dakota.

 

Note from Jen again: Hi, it’s me again. I wanted to share this for the men. You can come. You see? It’s not just for the ladies!  See you Sat in NYC!
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For a list of Jen’s upcoming events click here. 

click to order Simplereminders new book.

click to order Simplereminders new book.

Beauty Hunting, Guest Posts, Manifestation Retreats, Manifestation Workshops

Sometimes It’s Easy To Forget Who We Are In The World.

September 6, 2014
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Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

By Jen Pastiloff.

Jen Pastiloff here. Cassandra Kirwan just posted this on my Facebook page but since some of you may have missed it, I wanted to post it here (see excerpt below.) I am deeply grateful and utterly blown away by what she wrote. Like jaw dropping blown away. Like these frozen grapes I am eating keep rolling out of my mouth onto the floor, blown away.

Cassie has been on 4 retreats with me in the last 6 months or so. I am deeply touched by her words and incredibly proud of her.

I am also sharing this to give a better understanding of what I do. Yoga is involved, but asana is not the focus. The actual physical yoga practice is not what it’s about.

That scares me sometimes. I think maybe I should go back to teaching straight yoga and that maybe I should just hide in my apartment.

And sometimes I do hide.

Sometimes I feel shut down and broken and I can’t hear even with my hearing aids turned up and I think the whispering in the back is about me and I get so scared to go to a new city and walk into a workshop I’m hosting and ask things of people that I know make them squirm. I think that people just want to stay busy, to keep going, to keep clocking in and out of work, to be left alone to scroll through instagram and watch t.v. and why in God’s name would I ask people what they would do if they weren’t afraid? Just shut up, Jen, and eat your fucking frozen grape. (It’s really hot in L.A. today, ok?)

Sometimes it’s easy to forget who we are in the world.

Continue Reading…