Singing to Meditate

Unknown-1Kirtan: Kirtana practice involves chanting hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmoniumtablas, the two-headed mrdanga and hand cymbals (karat alas).

One night she attends a Kirtan.

She holds onto her warm tea, in a clear glass jar with a soft white handkerchief delicately  wrapped around it.

She lays out a small wool rug and a beautiful cushion. And takes off her chunky black cable knit sweater.

Her  black mineral ring sparkles in the candlelight.

She sits by the door and waits for the the band to play.  She makes eye contact with the sitar player and the harmonium player. He is the lead and sings like an angel. However she still prefers the sitars player voice.

She opens her lips and begins to sing softly to herself.  Singing to meditate. To release the emotion of the worlds troubles.  Of her troubles. Tears gently stream down her face.

She keeps her eyes closed as to not flaunt this rare state of expression.

Songs change and she feels more uplifted, she begins to rise up off the floor. Allowing the drums and voices in the room to move her body.

When the women are asked to sing, their voices are so pure- she joins them.

Feeling a deeply repressed feminine energy awaken.

She can’t help but feel utterly moved when the men sing back, so strong their voices move through every fiber of her being.

She is nostalgic for such an ancient ritual in a modern world.

Although trying to go un noticed, she is noticed. For the healthy glow of her hair and skin, the physical health of her body and the look of ease on her face.

Secretly… her favorite part came at the end, holding her neighbors hands.  Sitting next to each other singing one last final AUM together.  Feeling the strength in her hands leave her and reassure the others.

She slips away in the night making no more sound. Only filled with song.




Who is She?

The Spiritual It Girl- Free spirit, gypsy heart.


Her hair is beautifully undone.

She probably has a yoga mat tucked under her arm.

She always carries a spare bikini bottom (just in case)

Half her pantry is her hair and skin care.

She’s vaguely aware of time because she doesn’t believe in it.

She cherishes the earth.

She is guided by the moon.

She wakes up and meditates and stretches.

The world is her oyster and she is the pearl.

She’s friends with the stars. Figuratively and literally.

She collects crystals.

Her eyes are always sparkling.

She always enters the room wearing her smile.

She has the confidence of a lion.

Her vibe is sexy, cool and mellow.

She thought she loved selfies, but now she loves that her boyfriend is a professional photographer. Click.

She loves the idea of it all.

She loves yoga for the art of it.

Her mind is on a butterfly farm.

Her heart is a cave full of diamonds.

Her soul is elegant and timeless.

Her spirit swims with the dolphins.

She hails from a palace of thought, a kingdom in the sky.


Yoga and My Depression

I used to be so depressed.  I know, judging my photos you would never believe it! Or, you don’t even care because based on my photos what on earth does a girl like me get depressed about? I live in La, it’s in the water.

No but seriously, it was dark, vast and endless. I would close my eyes and black out, feeling title waves crash down on me to the point where, it’s not that I couldn’t breathe it’s just that I didn’t want too. It always came and always lingers in the dark edges of my psyche.  Waiting for me to abandon myself and it to resume control.  I am a musician and the depression would be hand in hand with highs and lows.  I always could go so high into a thought and into a song or musical moment… but what goes up must come down.  I also act and model and those, were like taking shots of rejection. Thank you casting director may I have another door slam in my face? Thank you modeling agency may I have another comment about how I am not tall enough, thin enough or “there’s no place for you in high fashion” or better yet…”No.”

Oh ok, cool, I’ll just go home and write a song about how shitty this city is (<- click the link to hear).  No worries, brush this all off my shoulders, wake up a new day, with a new attitude. Except, I couldn’t wake up. I couldn’t get out of bed. When I first moved to LA I layed in bed until night time or as close to the night as possible so I could go to sleep and make it all go away again. I thought sticking to music, being the master of my domain was a safer avenue. I could build my own studio, I could teach myself to produce music, I wouldn’t need anyones praise or critique I could just go off with my mind and play and sing and write and create and I did. And after I wrote albums of songs alone, I would go drive hours to  a studio in the middle of nowhere at all awful hours of the night and make the final recordings.  I would wake up and work in a retail job for minimum wage and completely frizz out over the fact I decided to leave college and pursue something I thought I could make happen no matter what the world stacked against me. But slowly my world started to crumble. Black out. Sob. Fantasize about death. Wanting to die. Black. A pile of bricks stacked on my chest. Writing happy songs, singing my soul to hope. Kept singing hopeful, kept dreaming brightly. Black out. Fall out. Fall down. Crushed. Bad people, bad business. Bad luck. Black. Blackness. It was so heavy. It was so terrible. Because everything about it betrayed all the gifts I was granted. If blessings could be counted, I’m a billionaire. I’m really good at writing music, I am a really good artist. But every path to pursuing is extraordinarily difficult.  I didn’t realize this until later, but similar to women who develop post partum depression, I too developed depression after creating. Especially albums. Holy moly, the end of an album you don’t want to know me in a month.  A complete psychological break down of doubt comes over me beyond comprehension. Crippling me.  Then depression. Then horrible cancer like doubt.  Eating away at every moment of truth I was ever granted in seeing and writing and creating.

Ok ok, now the yoga bit where I tell you it saved me and cured me and it is a wonderful thing.

Well…yes. But let me explain why.

On a physical level, the body holds stress and yes through a practice one opens the body and alleviates it.

On a psychological level, the body opening up allows the mind to do the same and start to regulate it’s thinking patterns so one is less reactive to the world around it and more of a “peaceful observer” if you will..not really affected or reactive.

On a spiritual level, there is something called a “Kundilini Experience.”


 It is reported that Kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss.
 I want to highlight this because, that is the level I feel when creating music.

So what I suffered from was something called Kundalini Syndrome. And it all made so much sense! I had intense spiritual experiences through music (see I kind of skipped the ladder of yoga) and went straight to euphoric heavenly states. I mean really beautiful out of the realm, heavenly blissful extraordinary visions. From those visions I would write music.  But what happens is, when you go that high in meditation, one must be guided safely back to the ground.  And since no body ever knew where the heck I was going, I would just plummet out of the euphoric state. No guide was there to show me the way back. It would send my entire nervous system into a shock.  Handling a reality, that I spiritually knew wasn’t real.  Feeling like a failure for not belonging in a  world that wasn’t the world I even wanted to belong too.


Yoga, brilliantly provided me a step ladder, from the ground, up to heavenly thoughts and gently back down again.


Do I still go high to low? Sure, I am not a yoga master.  Does it go from bliss to suicide? No, the spectrum no longer goes that vast and severe. I just go to bliss, and back to earth to handle… bills and other human tasks.

I learned in my meditation, that sadness does not have to become depression. I can be sad over something and not become depressed. It was, the holy grail of relization to my delicate beautiful mind.

I think this is why, I like to teach yoga to artists.  I know where they go. I know how to take them there physically, mentally spiritually and I also know, how to bring them here into the present moment. Into a world that most artist use drugs or anything else to deny them that. And once you become strong in the present moment, you become a conquerer of your dream. It’s such an exciting state to be in new  possibilities at every turn.

I no longer black out, I am able to handle any and many jobs. I also teach yoga to whomever I can whenever I can. I take yoga every day to help regulate my mind and keep me in state of “wellness.” When I am here in that state I am the most creative and productive and most importantly happy. So happy. I see how beautiful every moment of life is. And never take for granted the breath that I used to wish away.


The Samurai Warrior & the Zen Master

The Samurai Warrior and the Zen Master


I’m going to tell you a story about a Samurai warrior and a Zen Master. The warrior was big and strong and had won many battles. The Zen Master was a rather small old man with merry eyes, and was well-known far and wide as being one of the wisest and kindest men in the land.

One day, the Samurai warrior went to the Zen master for instruction. “Please,” the huge man asked, “teach me about heaven and hell.”

The master scowled at the swordsman, then broke into mocking laughter. “Me, teach you about heaven and hell? I wouldn’t waste a moment trying to instruct the brain of an overweight ignoramous like you! How dare you ask me for such a lofty insight?”

Well, upon hearing these words, the Samurai grew furious. No one could insult him like this and get away with it. Enraged, his face flushed and he drew his sword to chop off the teacher’s head. Just as he was about to strike, the master raised his hand and calmly said “That, sir, is hell.”

Upon hearing this, the samurai suddenly realized the profound lesson the master had just taught him – that we make our own hell by indulging in anger and resentment. The warrior was so grateful for this teaching that he dropped his sword and fell to his knees in front of the Master, bowing in humility and gratitude. When he looked up, the old man was smiling.

“And that, sir,” the teacher noted, “is Heaven.


All of us have the power to create peaceful moments for ourselves.  When was the last time you took a restorative yoga class? It had been years since I took the time to go to a class that wasn’t a workout.  I task each of you to schedule time in this week to find a local yoga restorative class and allow your body to reenergize.

There is as much yoga in the pause, as there is in the pose. Namaste.


Yoga Saint

LE BLORR_FEELS_KAI_STILL_01_020213I think today, was my first encounter with a Saint.  Her eyes had the light of a thousand stars, her presence was so peaceful. Her name, is Lisa Walford.

Today I had the privilege of learning from her.  She taught me and my classmates Yoga for chronic illness.  After hours of deeply restful poses and profound words of wisdom, I emerged renewed.  Open. Vulnerable. Healed.  I looked at my reflection in the mirror when I got home and I noticed I looked “restored.” As if I had slept a thousand nights underneath a glimmering ocean of starlight.  As if I had awakened into myself.  Finally appearing through all the harsh realities that age us.  Her touch was as light as feather.  She adjusted my poses many times and instantly I clicked into bliss. I will never forget her words, and I will never forget her lesson which ended with this final prayer:

“May my heart grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 -Lisa Walford:


Her resounding message over all, was care for yourself, care for others.  I am almost speechless about the experience but wanted to write down what little I could, although it hardly does her justice.


She is the definition of a Spiritual “It” Girl!

Bathing in the Yoga River

unnamed-1Some of us, are disciplined. Some of us, are not. I always walk a very fine line between the two. I do yoga a lot! I teach a lot, I study it a lot,  I certainly talk about it a lot…and I try to practice a lot. Usually I make it to the mat 2 -3 times a week for my own practice.  I really really try. My students,  who initially hired me for one private lessons a week, are now up  to 2-3 times a week. They have begun to see that their yoga practice is not just a one time thing. As much as we would love it to be.

Oh how I wish the zen like state I achieved, the mental clarity, the abundance of energy I get (from just one practice) would be enough to last me a life time! But one must consistently dive into the yoga river.  We are jagged rocks in need of smoothing by the rapid and pure yoga water. It is something we must dive into as often as possible, constantly cleansing and purifying our minds and bodies.  Making our thoughts and bodies as smooth as the stones at the bottom of a river bed.

Each day is a new day to check in, and no practice is ever the same.  I would love to tell you “try it once and enjoy the benefits.”  I would LOVE to bottle up in a pill the wonderful effects this practice has, but it is a life long practice for you now. Face it head on. Do it regularly, do it always. Do it now! Namaste.

My Proudest Moment in Yoga


unnamedMy proudest moment in yoga happened in my 200 hour teacher training course.  The teacher went around asking each student if they planned on becoming teachers after the course was finished.  Many students said “yes” and a lot of others said “no, not for me, I am just here to deepen my practice.” We were half way through the course and that day the teacher said, we were ready to teach each other.  We split up into pairs and were each given a pose to instruct to the other student.  The pose I was assigned was Virabhadrasana II (Warrior pose).  I read through the manual, memorized all the points. I needed to make, starting instructing my student. We began from the feet, to the legs, hips, torso, arms, shoulders, neck breath- and voila! It was like the clouds had parted over my head and a beam of sunlight came shining down on my student who, with my instruction, achieved her pose!  I could not have been more delighted.  That truly was my most proud moment as a yogi because in that moment I became a yoga teacher.  That was the first time I took the yoga knowledge out of my mind and body and placed it into someone else’s body.  The feeling was ecstasy.  I know for many yogis, their proudest moment is when they’ve achieved a pose they’ve been working on for months and I too feel good about myself when I achieve a pose, but nothing, absolutely nothing makes me more proud than to help YOU achieve yours.


The Meaning of “OM”

stardust_by_danich01-d5atc0xAt the beginning of nearly all yoga classes, the instructor calls out for a group “Om.” When I started as a student I was a little shy to use my voice.  Personally I was not very comfortable with group chanting.  Little did I know, it was another very powerful way to activate and stimulate a higher vibration.

It is written in Vedic texts that there are 4 stages of consciousness:

Om Cara's story

  • Jagrat (waking)
  • Swapna (dreaming)
  • Sushupti (deep sleep)
  • Turiya (bliss)

These stages of consciousness are visual but also are in sound. This is all represented in the symbol of “OM”

“When we chant Om, we are really singing a three part sound: AUM, Ah…oooh…Mmm. Each part vibrates in a different part of the body and represents a different state of consciousness. The Ah blooms in the lower abdomen and represents Jagrat, the waking state. Oooh vibrates in the solar plexus and heart and represents swapna, the dream state. Mmm occurs when we put our lips together, sending the vibrations into our skulls.  With this sound we are calling to our awareness of sushupti, deep sleep. And finally, Turiya exists in the continuing vibration, resonating, unstuck sound of Om.” -Jivamukti Yoga

The most powerful experience I’ve had with chanting “Om” was at the end of my practice.  I had an “ok” practice, nothing spectacular, no wonderful visions or ephiphanies , but when the teacher called for a collective OM at the end of class, I closed my eyes and I could literally feel stardust swirling all around my body.  That was my first encounter with the power of chanting, so please in your next class don’t be shy! Activate these vibrations of the soul.



Yoga and Meditation- The Third Eye

tumblr_n6u427iVAF1s030vgo1_250Before I just take you on a guided meditation exercise, I wanted to take the time to explain to you the Third Eye.  This is a term we have heard and seen many times in media and in our culture.  But what is it really? Why is this important to know? It is important because when you meditate, it is where you look when your eyes are closed.  The reason it is important to gaze up at the Third Eye with our eyes closed is because it is a place one can focus.  This area stimulates the Pineal gland and allows our thoughts to become so concentrated they become one focused. This is why it is often referred to as the “all seeing eye” due to the fact that is actually our mind doing the seeing.  When you begin to see with your mind it is a completely new and wonderful experience.  The Third Eye is a portal to what many say is another dimension.  Meditating and focusing with the Third Eye allows us to experience deep and wonderful access to new worlds and vibrations.

“The pineal gland is the ‘mind’s eye.’ ” – Dr. Cheryl Craft, Ph.D.,  Chair of the Department of Cell and Neurobiology, University of Southern California.

Ancient cultures have been obsessed with this area of our mind for thousands of years.  It is strongly linked to spiritual experiences.

Where is it when I close my eyes?

I want you to read my instructions then take a moment to sit back and do it yourself:

Gently lean back in your seat or lay down.

Closing your eyes begin to relax all the muscles in your face.

With the eyes closed, begin to gently roll the eyes towards the space in the middle of your forehead, slightly above your eyebrows.

That is the location of your Third Eye.

Still not finding it?

Close your eyelids and imagine the blackness in front of you is a dark movie theater screen. Ready for you to project and create any image onto it.  Focusing your eyes and thoughts towards the Third eye will your thoughts to become one pointed. This is a very powerful tool for focusing.Third_eye

After you have practiced experiencing gazing at your Third Eye it is much easer to be instructed in guided meditation. It also helps after your yoga practice, when you are in the final pose Savasana.  Many people do not have practice with meditation. Understanding where to focus  will help you become more in touch with your higher psyche.


With this knowledge one begins see the true majesty of Nature and her design.

Still curious? For 18 cool facts about the pineal gland click here:

Timeline of My Day

unnamedSince we are starting a new year, it was time for me to buy my annual date book. Now this is a book I put a lot of time and research into selecting, since I’ll be writing in her all year.

I know, many of you use your phones for scheduling, but I am a yogi! I find something so cathartic about writing it down, and checking it off once it’s completed! Oh the joy!

This year I had told myself I want a book with the whole month laid out in front of me so I can finally see ahead! I had visited numerous books stores many times waiting for the perfect one. But the universe had other plans.

I get to my favorite cozy book shop, I head to the section of 2015 planners, and low and behold, there was only one book left!  Not the size I wanted…not the layout I wanted…not anything that I wanted. But was New Years eve! My new life was starting tomorrow! I was out of time! I had to buy it.  I was. So. Upset.

This particular book, was a day calendar. Day. By. Day. Hour. By. Hour. And as soon as I opened it, I HATED it. I felt exposed. “What if someone looks at me writing something down and sees how much free time I have?” I angrily and embarrassingly muttered to myself. Suddenly,  I had an epiphany! Why not fill up every hour! Surely there is much to do in day! And this miraculous little book opened my eyes to see that. Suddenly, I was booked solid from my new book!

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.”

― Jack Kerouac

So here it is, my schedule for today:

8 am: Wake up, eat breakfast. Release blog.

9am: Leave to assist yoga class at Yogaworks in Larchmont

10am-11:30: Assist class

12:00: Teach client

1:30: Eat salad!

3:00-4:00: Guided meditation at Bellmont Village Seniors Home

5:00: Eat fish and brown rice!

7:00: Do my own yoga practice

8:00: Tidy music studio.

9:00: Write next article

10:00: Bed!