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To Be Present Gratefully...

If you must look back, do so forgivingly,

If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.

However, the wisest thing you can do is to be present in the

present gratefully.

- Maya Angelou

Troutbeck in Amenia New York

Earlier this month I spent a weekend at Troutbeck in Amenia, New York to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of my nearest and dearest. Emily and I met the first day at college at the University of Vermont. We have been dear friends ever since. It was a special weekend with some very special women. Troutbeck has a rich history and has been a place to retreat to since the 1700s. A fun fact..... Thoreau, Emerson, John Burroughs and Theodore Roosevelt were frequent visitors of Troutbeck. During our weekend we took a yoga class and sound bowl meditation. We walked in the woods and ate incredible meals. It felt like a true retreat.

One rainy afternoon we ventured out to a nearby town called Millerton. The Main Street had all sorts of sweet little stores you only find in a small town including an old book store which we wandered into with its old creaky floors and crowded book shelves. Not surprisingly, I found myself in the spirituality and religions section. I picked up How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is quite small. I mean very small and can likely fit inside your pocket. It is one in a series called Mindfulness Essentials. I had picked one of these up years ago called How to Eat. The week before my good friend Stefanie Haberman (and amazing yoga teacher by the way) was reading from one of Thich Nhat Hanh's "tiny books" in her class and so it caught my eye. When I brought it to the register to purchase I told the man at the cash register, "so much wisdom in such a tiny book". I have been enjoying How to Relax and it sits in my kitchen and bedside table as a daily reminder and as something I can refer back to when life's pace gets the best of me. Recently I have been sharing passages from this book in my is one of them.

Awareness of Breathing

Your breathing is a stable solid ground where you can take refuge. No matter what thoughts, emotions, and perceptions are going on inside you, your breath is always there, like a faithful friend. Whenever you're carried away by thinking, overwhelmed by strong emotions, or feeling restless and dispersed, return to your breathing.

Bring body and mind together and anchor your mind. Become aware of the air coming in and the air going out of your body. With awareness of the breath, our breathing naturally becomes light, calm, and peaceful. At any time of day or night, whether you're walking or driving, working in the garden, or sitting at the computer, you can return to the peaceful refuge of your own breath



Sundays 4:30pm-5:30pm

Mondays 9:15am-10:15am Summit YMCA

Tuesdays 11:15am-12:15pm

Tuesdays 6pm-7pm Summit YMCA

Been awhile since you unrolled your mat? Email me if you are interested in starting back quietly for privates or small group privates at your home including guided meditation sessions




Sunday April 7th 10am-11:15am


Slow flow yoga & ayurveda

Location: Kanibal & Co. 27 Maple Street, Summit

Pre registration required


New class on YouTube

Low & High Lunges for the hip flexors

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Best yoga instructor - miss your class - Will check out the Summit YMCA. Check your Instagram - Milt

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