September 30, 2014

Hello, My Name is Bernadette…

Does the thought of doing a Sugar Detox scare the pants off you? It sure scared me!

In fact, I dragged my feet for an entire year before I bit the bullet and did it. I just…felt like I wasn’t ready. As a person with Celiac Disease it seemed, well–unfair. Hadn’t I given up enough already?

Look, I’m a lot like that person often described on mugs–the one who never gave up anything that wasn’t left with deep claw marks gauged into it.

I was a sugar addict. I didn’t want to make changes.

Then I started to learn more about nutrition, and I started to think about things from a different perspective. I realized that I could focus on the unfairness of it all, and bemoan giving up sugar. Or, I could focus on deciding to feel physically and emotionally spectacular. Instead of asking myself whether I was ready to give up sugar–and truly I am a stellar bemoaner and genuinely wasn’t sure–I decided to ask myself whether I was ready to give up feeling crummy.

Even with that key change of perspective I still wasn’t 100% sure. It turns out that I was readier than I’d thought, though.

I used Diane Sanfilippo’s program. You should get her book, by the way. It’s awesome. It’s a great resource for people who want more information.

But you want to know what really made the difference for me?

I did the detox with my friend, Emma Magenta.

Having someone to do the program with was the key. I didn’t feel like a freak or a failure for being addicted to sugar. I didn’t feel alone because I wasn’t alone. I didn’t feel like I was somehow living on the fringes of society all by myself. I felt supported, and cheered on, and encouraged. Emma and I shared pointers, recipes and snack ideas. It was pretty awesome, actually.

The first 2-3 days were the toughest. I had a lot of cravings, and was–well, detoxing. I was headachy and a little bit nauseous. My skin was kind of clammy. Then it passed. My blood sugar started to level out, and I started to feel amazing.

The thing I kept saying over and over was, “This is such a non-event compared to how tough I thought it would be. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.” #TrueStory

I wound up sailing right past the finish line, and just kept going. I just…wasn’t tempted by sugar. I wan’t even interested in it. As someone with a life long indulgent sweet tooth that was pretty unfathomable and weird, but I didn’t want to go back to my old way of eating. I didn’t want to go back to feeling crummy, irritable and exhausted. So I stayed with it.

For a good long while.

Then…I sort of let down my guard. Sugar was like fog. It crept back in on little cat feet. Oh, just a bit at first. A shared dessert. A taste here. A nibble there.

Over a year later, I indulge less often than I used to. When I do indulge it’s almost always on less crappy stuff. Still, right now my blood sugar isn’t as level as it could be, and I feel the difference. See–now I know what it’s like to really feel good. Whereas before I didn’t even have a clue.

Listen–I don’t believe in perfection models. Maybe some day I’ll quit eating sugar once and for all, and never indulge in another bite again. But I doubt it. Sugar addiction is something I have historically struggled with, and sometimes I still struggle. I’ll probably do a sugar detox every single year for the rest of my life, because I’m not perfect, and I’m not an automaton. I have to work at the stuff that makes a difference in my life. It’s worth it.

So this October I’m offering a group sugar detox program. The protocol simply consists of nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory real food. The program isn’t fancy and it isn’t a secret. You can email me at through the contact form on this website and I’ll send you the whole darned enchilada for free. (Not this week though. This week I have somewhere to be and am taking myself offline. So,when I get back online.)

What makes this program special–and what sets you up for success–is doing it with support. Doing it in a group. I’m on a mission, and one of the things I’m really good at is coaching people. I think that’s probably because I’ve struggled with plenty of stuff in my own life, and am not some kind of b.s. holier than though role model. I get it. I’ve been there. I will continue to be there and I’ll continue to work at it. My strategy is usually to take tiny doable steps bc that’s the only way I know how to roll that doesn’t send me right back to bed with the covers over my head.

So you’ll find me doing the program right along with you. Because I need to do it. It’s time.

Sugar is more addictive than heroin and cocaine, and it does really terrible stuff to us both physically and emotionally. It creates inflammation, which we are starting to understand is the root cause of almost all ailments.

I’m offering the program as a tele-course because I want it to be easy. As easy as it can be, at least. So, you can do this program from wherever you call home. The hardest part is just deciding to do it.

I hope you’ll learn from my mistake, and drag your feet for less time than I did.

Most of the time, I try really hard to fight my inclinations to tell people what to do, but in this case I’m making an exception.

Do it. Do it now. Don’t wait.

Because it will probably be easier than you think.

FREE informational call on Tuesday October 14th at 7pm.

Or just take the plunge and REGISTER HERE before early bird registration ends.


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September 15, 2014

Maps Are Many

Once upon a time…I taught a particular method of yoga.

And it was good. I came to understand the benefits of working within a krama, or a particular order. As in–first you set a solid foundation; then you can reach to the moon and back.

First do this; then do that. 

I got good at the application of a method. I’m grateful for that time. In some ways it served me well. In others, not so much.

Then I stopped teaching that method of yoga. I resigned for ethical reasons. I’d had no quibble with the method itself, and thought I would continue to teach the method, simply calling it something else. I’d thought that would be that.

But it was not that.

I have spend the years since indulging my curiosity and my agency. Trying on. Discarding. I have retained and I’ve replaced. I’ve kept what tools I deemed useful, and–dare I say it–procured better tools.

I’ve come to understand in a way I previously did not that alignment methods are not absolute. Oh, sure–I had already known that in my head, but I had not had that experience in my body.

(I may not have been quite 100% convinced in my head.)

Alignment methods are maps. They are maps for somatic travelers who seek holy grails concealed within the body. Grails are many. Each map delineates a particular grail–a particular constellation of somatic awareness.

O seek and ye shall find.

Thinking that there is merely one alignment method of yoga is like believing that there is only one constellation of stars in the sky. Of course, you already know that the stars are many, and there are infinite ways to draw connections between them. Luminous points of consciousness within the body, too–infinite. Infinite ways to map the patterns they can take.

It’s the difference between believing that all asana distills to Tadasana, aka anatomical neutral–and recognizing Tadasana as the latent leaping off point for all asana. (By the way, understanding the way that yoga poses revert to anatomical neutral is both important, and important in the order or understanding. First we do this; then we do that. First we walk; then we run. First we distill to Tadasana. Then–if we want to–we may expand from it.)

I have never particularly been driven by the idea of yogic unity. I take interconnection as my given. It’s the foundation; it’s the matrix of being. Are we not, after all, all evolved from the same star stuff? What has taken the universe billions of years to achieve is the taken-for-granted point of departure for each of us.

Lucky, lucky us.

It’s the diversity of experience–my own and others’–that’s interesting to me. It’s the difference between peering backward through time to recognize oak trees as the acorns they once were, and peering forward to glimpse the oak tree that has always been concealed within the acorn.

Perhaps this is not particularly meaningful to you but yesterday it hit me. It hit me hard while I was going 70 mph on I-95. My approach to the practicing and teaching of asana has FINALLY come truly to mirror my most fundamental philosophic point of view. It feels good.

It feels very, very good.

Not one method but many methods.

Not one map, one constellation, one oak tree. Many.

Even multiplicity is not my point, though. Not quite. My point lies in knowing that there are both infinite destinations and infinite routes. The skilled percussionist knows that a snare drum will not evoke the same kind of experience as the hand bell. (Apparently there are infinite ways to mix a metaphor, too.)

My point lies in knowing that even the destinations and maps that we really, really enjoy, are just constellations in a vast night sky. My point lies in knowing which destination you would like to visit, then having just the right map to get you there. My point lies in knowing that no matter how many destinations we draw maps for, there will always be both more destinations and  more constellations and more maps.

My point is–where would you like to go?


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May 6, 2014

Mudra: Not Just Something Groovy to Do with Our Hands

For many people, a meditative figure seated in Lotus Pose–hands upturned upon the lap with forefinger and thumb touching—is the stereotypical image of a yogi. But mudra isn’t just something groovy to do with our hands! It’s actually a teaching—a fundamental, philosophical, tantric teaching in which the hands act as an outer expression of our inner experience…

Read the rest of this post over on Teachasana. 

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