September 2018

Dear Yogis,

Every September, I feel this little bit of electricity in me. I hear a little whisper. Get going, shed the stuff that's holding you back, be alive, let the magic begin. And I tend to listen. I started my blog in September, which pushed me into wanting to teach yoga. The first Jumpstart I ever did was in September. The first studio I opened ( just me doing privates) was in September. I opened Shine in September (Happy Birthday Yogis). I make big moves in this magic month of transition. 

Almost every time, it was a very big leap of faith. But I knew that I could do it and I knew other people needed what I could give, so I just began. Now, it's not just me. I have eleven amazing teachers working with me and a community of generous, kind students, all interested in making the most out of their lives and buoying the lives of the people around them. This September, along with the normal change in the schedule that we do every season, I'm making a few big changes.

As some of you know, when I first started doing wellness work outside of my career, my idea was that I would help other cancer survivors who were in this place of barely being well. The aftereffect of treatment is a very scary place and I wanted someone to give me the tools to make living not so scary. So, I started figuring out what those tools were and putting them together. I started teaching yoga as part of that vision and our seasonal jumpstarts came from that place as well. But, as I taught more and more people, I realized that it wasn't just cancer survivors who needed help navigating life.

Everyone is carrying something heavy, and we come to yoga to find relief, sanctuary, and help. I want to give that help. Yoga is one heck of a tool, but I want that desire for your best possible life to be with you all the time, not just when you are on the yoga mat. We are all different. We all have different barriers, and different hopes. In our busy lives, it's easy to loose track of what we really want.

So, beginning mid September, I'm going to offer twenty minutes of life mapping to everyone who walks through the doors of Shine. This will be twenty minutes of one-on-one time with me, thinking about your goals and what tools we can give you to help meet them. You will come away with a plan, ideas, and your own fresh start. Beginning September 22nd, I will have an iPad in the studio with my availability. You can make an appointment with me for a twenty minute time slot. I know for a lot of us pain and injury are a big hurtle, so I will also do mini postural analysis in that time, 


We are beginning an arm of Shine that will be devoted to Special Programs for Women and Girls. The RISE program (our 20 hour empowerment retreat) was remarkable, and we want to keep that going, but we are also planning a RISE teen program, Self-care for Teens, Quarter Life Support for (18-25 year olds) and a whole bunch of workshops devoted to things that effect women's lives--fertility, menopause, chronic pain to name a few. At our birthday party, we will be raising funds for scholarships for women who can't afford these high quality programs. 

Well, not all change is pleasant. This fall we are changing our pricing. Our intro special will change, and we will add in more membership options, and in general, prices will increase. When we were less than a year old, our rent doubled. We've been working really hard this year to avoid a raise in price, but now it's necessary. It is partially because of the change in pricing that I've gone back to my roots. I don't want to raise prices without offering you something exceptional, something life changing, that allows the magic to begin in your life. 

There is a little good news built into the pricing change. One is that with the exception of the intro special we are looking to customize the packages so that they better fit your needs. You can talk to us about what you really need. Are you typically away for a few months of the winter or summer? Can you only come once or twice a week? We will build your membership to meet your needs. Lots more communication coming out on this. Look for more emails from me. 

Second, you are the reason Shine is what it is. You are the reason for our growth and my ability to take the leaps I have. You are our founders and our rock. For that reason, I want to give you the opportunity to buy memberships and packages at your current rate. Pricing will change in our system on September 17th. You can purchase as many packages as you like at your current rate until then. You can do this in the studio or through your Wellness Living account online. You all have an account if you have taken a class at Shine. If you can't remember your password, go to and request a new password. The e-mail will be the one you gave us for your account (this one).

I know how much many of you value what we do. So often, I hear that Shine has changed your life or that it was the best thing in your day. I can't begin to tell you how happy that makes me, but I want to do more. I want to keep providing those life changing classes, keep building this exceptional community and I want that Shine you get, that electricity and magic I see in you when you finish a class, to continue shining--at the kitchen and thanksgiving table, at your desk, when you go to sleep and wake up in the morning.

A deep thanks to you all for your patience with us during our babyhood. I am excited to see where we go together this year. I hope to see you at our birthday party this Friday--7pm and Saturday for 10am class, and/or 12:30pm-4:00pm festivities including photoshoot, cake, and aerial yoga. Little yogis welcome Friday evening and Saturday from 12:30 on. Mature yogis 12 and up are welcome in our 10 am class.

Namaste ( I honor the light in you. It's the same as the light in me),

Jumpstart Documents

Our Jumpstart is in full swing. Here are the documents to help you stay on track--the manual and the Detox recipe and menu book.

Here's the list of special events as well. All are free and open to the public. The Wednesday ones will be videotaped: 

Wednesday, Jan 10th at 11:00: Bullet Journaling and Detox Prep
Friday, January 12th at 7:00pm. Making Mandalas
Wednesday, January 17th at 11:00. Food as Medicine
Friday, January 19th at 7:00pm. Soul Collage
Wednesday, January 24th at 11:00. Making Healthy Food Easy
Friday, January 26th at 7:00 pm. Yogic Philosophy
Wednesday, January 31st at 11:00. Self care rituals
Friday, February 2nd at 7pm. Jumpstart celebration

Goodbye Sweet 17

Dear Yogis,
What an amazing year 2017 has been at Shine! Over the last year, we grew from four teachers to twelve. We were chosen as one of the best sites in Western New York for improving the health and wellness of Buffalo by Project LeanNation, we were honored as a Champion by Roswell, and grew from 15 to 35 classes per week. We raised more than $2000 for local non-profits, were featured in the Hamburg Sun, and celebrated our first birthday with more than 60 Yogis practicing beautifully together. Just this week, we made the select list of yoga-studios-to-go-to in Buffalo Magazine.

But the most exciting thing to me has been the way we have become a community. This fall, eleven Yogis did 30 days of yoga in a row. I watched as they exchanged numbers and when one of them got scary news I saw one-after-the-other provide support. I also saw school teachers learning together and sharing ideas at our summer teachers’ camp. Tools that they would take back to their own students. And the preteens! To see them loving themselves and each other in yoga class was beautiful. The greatest privilidge of being a yoga teacher is seeing the effects of your teaching on an individual’s life and health. This year I saw that go beyond me. I got to see the impact of other teachers and students on each other.

Thank you to each and every one of you, whether you are one of the original 30 who followed me from studio to studio or have just joined this week, thank you for building this beautiful place of refuge, where we can all be our best-selves. 

Looking towards 2018, the Shine teachers and I have been putting together programs to help foster and grow our bright community.

We are about to embark on our January Jumpstart, which I hope will be as wonderful as the fall one. Everyone on this email list will receive a manual (please opt out if you don’t want one) that will include reflection questions and activities; diet guidelines staged over four weeks, recipes, meal planning, and menus; sleep guidelines; and self-care approaches. This time, we will do a week-long detox and a digital detox. We will have a free Yoga Talk each week as usual, but for those who feel they need a little more structure, we will also have a weekly meeting, to go through components of the manual and prepare for each week. We will encourage 30 days of yoga by providing weekly prizes and the grand-prize of an annual membership for those who have completed 30 days in a row at the studio. The beauty is that we do our jumpstart every season. Every three months you have a chance to re-evaluate your life and try again. The wonderful thing is that we all do it together.

Also in January, we will begin our RISE program. RISE is a program for women developed by our teacher Beth. It begins with an in-studio retreat that will stretch across one weekend a month through March. That time will be spent in reflection, lecture, yoga, activities, and discussion in order to examine what holds us back as women and to provide tools to help us be grounded and powerful. The retreat will be co-lead by Beth and myself.  Once participants have completed the retreat they will be a member of the first generation of The RISE sisterhood at Shine. The RISE sisterhood will meet regularly throughout the year for specialized workshops, conversations and celebrations. 

Look out for more information on these programs and upcoming workshops that help you refine your practice and dive into the deeper levels of yoga. Leigh, Jessica, and Allison are planning workshops for the upcoming year. We also plan to have more fundraisers, concerts, special events, and of course the core of it all— the highest quality yoga classes around.

Here’s to another wonderful year. Thank you for being in my life.