Free Yoga Sunday

Just a quick heads up that I will be teaching a free CommUnity Yoga Class this weekend.

Location: Yoga Tree of Boise, 207 W. Washington Street, Boise, Idaho 83702

Time: Sunday 10:00-11:00 am

Cost: Free and open to all!

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Don’t take life too seriously…

…it’s not permanent.

~’bumper sticker read #1′

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm  Comments (2)  

Budget Cuts

The following was sent to me by NAMI~Boise and I believe it is of utmost importance.

Due to recent budget cuts:

450 people lost their regional mental health services as they no longer meet the criteria for the new limited priorities.

300 children and 300 adults were forced to choose between receiving either mental health services or developmental services as they were eligible for both.

Now, the Legislators are contemplating the elimination of all Psycho Social Rehabilitation (PSR) services and make other reductions in service to help balance the Medicaid budget.

The members of the Health and Welfare committee and the Joint Finance and Appropriations (JFAC) committee and your local representatives need to hear your story about how further decline in Medicaid funding would impact you and your loved ones.

On Friday, January 28 from 8:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.  JFAC will hear from citizens who are willing to talk about Health & Welfare funding.  These hearings will take place in the Capitol Auditorium on the Garden Level.  Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per person on a first come first served basis. Please arrive early as the opportunity to testify will be given on a first come, first serve basis – with the co-chairs using their discretion to allow for geographic diversity. Legislative staff will begin taking sign-ups at 7 a.m.

Also, due to the limited time, all who come may not get a chance to testify before the committee. We still need your presence.  Six hundred people interested in Idaho’s education system showed up at the State House to testify and show their support for education.  Will we have 600 people show up in support of mental health and substance abuse treatment?

Please note that all written testimony will be taken, added to the public record and distributed to all committee members. You are encouraged to bring your testimony in writing as well, for that purpose.

Those unable to attend the public hearing are strongly encouraged to send their thoughts to Any comments sent to this email will also be added to the public record and distributed to the members of the committee.

The following link will help you find the contact information for committees and your local representatives. (

For tips on what to say or write please email Anne Shoup at

If not now, when? Please come. And please contact your legislators, they represent you!!! YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD–IT COULD BE THE VOICE THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Winter Blues

Many of us experience low moods, irritability or even depression during the dreary days of winter. It is important to be kind to yourself and recognize that being effected by the seasons is natural. The farther our society has moved away from living in sync with the seasons, the less excepting we have become of our body’s need to slow down in the winter. When we feel sluggish, less energetic or less social we often beat up on ourselves….asking “what is wrong with me”….. well nothing…..just some winter blues. There are a number of things that might help you weather the winter with a little more ease.

  1. Go outdoors everyday. Even if it is just for a quick walk around the block.
  2. Get some sun exposure or exposure to a full spectrum light.
  3. Read a good book.
  4. Drink hot herbal tea throughout the day.
  5. Dress in your favorite most comfortable cloths.
  6. Eat satisfying, tasteful and clean foods.
  7. Add an extra hour to your nightly sleep.
  8. Take some things off your to-do list. (the world won’t end if you wait till the sun comes back to mop the floor or clean out the garage)
  9. Get 30 minutes of exercise everyday (doesn’t matter what kind)
  10. Be kind to yourself, make yourself comfortable, do the bare essentials and then let yourself be. This is temporary the sun will come out soon.

Quick self-care resources:


Neti Pot –

Breathing Exercises & Tools –

Reading List –

Library –

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Comfort Foods

If any of you are looking for some great new recipes, I recommend the Esalen cookbook.  Stu has been cooking up a storm and every recipe we have tried out of this cookbook has been excellent. At first I scoffed at the $35 price tag, but it was well worth it.

Esalen Cookbook – Hardcover (Sept. 8, 2006) by Charlie Cascio


Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Incrementation seems like a logical and self-explanatory word to me, but I can’t seem to find its existence anywhere. So I will provide my definition….

Incrementation = the process by which a large undertaking is broken down into smaller steps to lessen the anxiety related to the overwhelming nature of the overall task.

What has me thinking about milestones and incrementation? My father retired today from his work and I started the first day of my last semester at BSU. I starting teaching a weekly group yoga class again and so much more. It seems to be a time of transitions.

Transitions can be stressful, but they can also be exciting. Enjoying the process and staying in the present moment are key to maintaining happiness. This brings us to the nature of happiness.

I deeply believe that being happy is something we actively do and not something just happens to us. Yes external circumstances play a huge role in our happiness, but even if the whole world is on our side and we are not actively being happy we will not be happy. The most unhappy person I have ever known lived in beautiful sunny California, was educated at the best schools and had more money than any one person should have. He was absolutely miserable. In contrast the happiest person I know has just enough to be healthy and sheltered.

My point is not that we should live an ascetic lifestyle to be happy, but that happiness is influenced by many factors besides our external world. For me the most important external factors are; clean food, plenty of sleep, friends and yoga. But what about internal forces? Some of the most obvious are:

  • recognition and acceptance that everything is temporary
  • detachment from outcomes of our actions
  • passion for our work
  • belief in self-worth

There are many, many more. I would like to compile an extensive list of internal factors that encourage happiness. Please help me with this task. What ideas do you have regarding the action of being happy? Once we have an extensive list we can then break it down into categories and begin to look at direct action to improve the growth of these internal factors. Once we engage in that action we will be working directly on BEING HAPPY! Now that is incrementation of a big task 😉


Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm  Comments (2)  
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Friend or Foe

Whoever sees You and doesn’t smile,

whose jaw doesn’t drop with awe,

whose qualities fail to increase in a thousand ways,

can only be the mortar and bricks of a prison.

– Rumi

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Milestone to the Now

I often use the term milestone, but just realized that I have never given the word much thought. What does it really mean? You may be asking why does it matter….I figure it has some importance, since it is often used to describe emotionally significant transitions in life.

Wikipedia’s definition includes this excerpt: ‘Milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination.’

Sometimes a little reassurance is all that is needed to keep us going. I know this is a very linear view of life, but let’s face it our brains usually think in this way, moving from point A to B. In my opinion the valuable nugget of truth to be pulled from this investigation is that by breaking tasks/goals/accomplishments down into smaller increments they become less overwhelming. We are able to move through the present moment with less anxiety about the future. In fact with each ‘incrementation’ of our life path we move closer to being in the present, to being in the now.

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Early Bird

…gets extra hours to feel sleepy! I have had to get up at 6:30 am ….or close to it….and I don’t feel human. I know some of you love your mornings and everywhere I turn I am reading about meditating or practicing yoga in the am. Well, here is my take on that.

Listen to your natural rhythms. Think back to when you were a kid in the summer and out of school. Without external forces (parents, camp counselors, work etc.) what time of the day would you have slept and awaken? I have tried for years to make my body and mind conform to the “early to rise and early to bed” motto. I now am looking at 37 years of sleeping experience and don’t feel any closer to being a morning person. So, you know what, I give up. Yes, you heard it right! I give up!

I will never choose again to get up early if it can be avoided. I love the wee hours of the night, the quiet secret world after the rest of the world has drifted off to sleep. It is my time to reflect, read, write or even indulge in some comfort food. You heard me right, I eat after 10 o’clock at night and sometimes it is carbs!

I am a good yogini who does her best 23 hours of the day and what truly makes me better is that final hour of the day without rules. So if you call me at 10pm I won’t answer because I am focusing on me and if you call me before 10am I will still be focusing on me. Did I really just say what I said? Of course, because 10am to 10pm are pretty good office hours.

Now keep in mind I won’t remember what I have said due to the fact it is currently 8am.

Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm  Comments (4)  

The Family Pervails

Unfortunately I had to miss yoga today in lieu of writing a paper for school. I have been taking a cinema class over the holiday break. I really enjoy Wes Anderson films and decided to analyze The Darjeeling Limited for my cinematic essay.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I would call it a ‘must see’. As like most Wes Anderson films it is very stylized, vivid in color and makes you think. Each time I watch it I see new details I didn’t see before. I had to keep the essay somewhat short so I focused in on the examination one of my favorite features of the film. The ironic use of a group of inanimate objects to drive home a deeper message about life. See if you agree or have a different take.


Original art by Elloh on Etsy

Analysis of The Darjeeling Limited

When taking a deeper look at the movie The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson, it could be difficult to choose what to focus on. His work is very stylized and could be analyzed purely on the movie’s visual impact as art, but I believe the true value lies in the movie’s implicit message. Yes, the movie is about three brothers on a journey after the loss of their father, but although this is the structure by which the story is told, it is not the message of value I am referring to. The real message of the story lies in the universal relationship between individuals and how not only their experiences, but their material world influences their relationships.  This is a dilemma that most of us living in the developed world face every day. What is important to happiness or a high quality of life? How do we determine our priorities and do the decisions we make everyday reflect what we truly desire from life? This dilemma is not unique to the western world, but it is definitely intensified by our capitalist culture. This is why I believe the movie is placed in India. The setting of India presents a stark contrast between wealth and poverty. This contrast is the perfect backdrop to present the question, how do the external world and our relationship with it affect our life satisfaction?  There are many ways the movie presents this question, but I would like to look more closely at the use of a set of luggage.

The three brothers meet on a train traveling through India. The first scene presenting all three brothers also presents the luggage. They are packed into a tiny room with a mountain of luggage piled on all sides of them. It is a matched set and pieces are hanging from hooks, stacked on the floor and sitting on the benches next to them. With each cross-cut from one shot to another the luggage appears at different places within the frame. One shot there is a piece in the bottom right of the frame, the next shot a piece is at the bottom left of the frame and the third shot there is a piece in the center of the frame. By strategically placing the luggage in different places within each shot the sense that the brothers are completely surrounded by the luggage is psychologically enhanced. It becomes immediately evident that they place a lot of importance on the ‘things’ in their life.

We soon find out through a flashback that the luggage belonged to their late father. It is implied that the brothers, even before the father’s funeral, began splitting up the father’s belongings including the luggage. It is in fact their desire to get the father’s Porsche from the mechanics shop that makes them miss the funeral. They are so busy gathering and hoarding their material inheritance that they perpetuate the dysfunction within their family.

The brothers get kicked off the train after a fight that turns physical and includes the use of mace. Jack says, “I love you too, but I’m gonna mace you in the face!” Standing on the platform outside the train the camera cuts to a shot of Jack with the mountain of luggage stacked behind him. It is not long before we pan along with the brothers as they trudge across the dessert weighted down by their luggage. This is the point where it becomes explicit that the luggage is truly representative of the emotional baggage they family carries around between them. It weighs on them, slows their progress and stands between them.

Daylight finds them hiking along a canal where they are required to temporarily throw the baggage aside to jump into the current and save three young boys’ lives. Peter fails in saving ‘his’ boy. The family of the dead boy brings them into their home and asks them to stay for the funeral. The baggage is only shown from a distance. It is still present but no longer in the foreground. Each brother is shown individually taking part in the daily rituals of the Indian family.

Upon leaving the village the camera again pans with the brothers’ travels. This time the three are seen riding together on a small motorbike. We smile at the three together, so physically close, on a little bike. We have a hope that the child’s death and the connection to his family has been a catalyst to bring these brothers closer. But the hope is short lived as the camera zooms out to include within the frame a small truck overloaded with their baggage following close behind.

The baggage is at a distance, but continues to stay ever present through the film. The baggage no longer crowds into the frame. The brothers seem to have found a bit of comfort or acceptance of each other in the final scenes. Each brother is shown making an effort to take part in the present moment and each other’s lives. With this new sense of contentment the brothers ride to the train station with their baggage. They arrive late and rush toward the train. The baggage is hanging from their shoulders, clenched in their hands and balancing on porter’s heads as they race for the train. It looks as if they will miss the train. We get a close-up of all three brothers, then cross-cut to a panning shot in slow motion. The music picks up tempo and the back of the train edges almost out of the frame. One by one the baggage gets dropped and each brother closes in on the train. Finally all three make it aboard without baggage in tow and with a bit of help from each other. Jack gives a hand to Francis and they both help Peter. The family prevails. Francis says, “Let’s go have a drink and smoke a cigarette.”

Written by Angela R.  Bryson

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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