Show me someone who tries to predict what 2021 will be and I will show you a fool – and yet, I am trying to predict how I will behave in the coming year.

No longer a resolution-maker as the calendar moves from year to year, I shy away from this practice, taking instead a more practical and actionable approach to daily small shifts and habits that can be managed with precision and dedication. However, I understand the desire to assign goals to the blank slate a new year can provide. It is neat and tidy to compartmentalize this way. Our brains respond well to planning and somehow finding order in the unknown.

Last year around this time I shared how I playfully planned a party with my bonus father in law, Abelardo. Ah, such a simpler time! When I wrote the post, I admitted being on “family overload” from having  completed a whirlwind of gatherings (non-existent this year) and enjoying the hugs, meaningful conversation, and quality time that went along with it all. 

Of course we all notice the difference a year made. There was sadness and loss in 2020. I miss my dog, Bongo, terribly, every single day.

On my birthday, Bongo was a source of joy

It is still hard. But I’m focusing on noticing the good things.

Zoomas Eve 2020

2020 was a year of cancelled plans, however playfully made. We held Zoom graduations, virtual visits, screen enabled sharing of major life events. When we gathered, we wore masks. We met outside, weather permitting. We did the best we could.

Obviously, employing technology to make connections is flawed at best. But it does make it possible to connect in a more broad way. Distance prevents me from seeing far-flung family on the regular, but for a time – I hosted a weekly yoga session for my family and got to connect regularly with loved ones in other states and time zones even! 

Family Yoga 2020

On Christmas morning, I got to hear my father reading the Gospel.

Screenshot of Christmas Mass

My sisters and I connected – the four of us in one “room” for the first time in a really long time.

The Moscarello girls

I could go on and on about the ways in which I’m grateful to technology this year, my job, my family’s business, my ability to teach yoga in a virtual setting. 
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t honor those moments that needed none of that. 2020 brought an abundance of outdoor time. Many of us took advantage of that this year. The outdoors provided a safe place to gather, move and breathe fresh air.

My resolution is to notice.

To see when connection happens, despite obstacles.

To observe the effect of quality time spent outdoors.

Let 2021 be the year we all make it our business to connect with others whenever and however possible, safely – and do our best to incorporate a daily practice of being outdoors, no matter the weather. 

All good things to you in 2021.

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!