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A blog post by Mary Moscarello. Read all of Mary’s blog posts here

Photo credit: Mary Moscarello. Banner image by Niklas Weiss on Unsplash

“We are all walking each other home.” ~Rumi

I love the idea of walking each other home from the Sufi poet, Rumi. There’s action implied in that phrasing of how we move through life. There’s community suggested also. I see a peaceful destination as well in those seven words. It doesn’t have to signify the end of life – which is often the understanding – but a temporary stop on our journey as well.

A walk is a journey.

A yoga session on the mat, whether practicing pranayama, meditation, asana or a combination of those can also be a journey.

Recently while I led friends of mine in a simple little practice – I had the added task of working to keep the noise of chainsaws from distracting me. 

The above photo is the last of that tree’s tall, beautiful life. 

Blame it on “The Giving Tree” but the idea of cutting a tree down is one I can never make lightly or without a sense of pain and loss. I used to talk to trees, playing outside as a young girl. I fully believed they had spirits and heard my stories – even as I strained to hear what they might whisper back.

We had that tree cut down – and every mental answer to the question “why?” that I come up with sounds mean. Thanks again, Shel Silverstein.

It took a team of two guys and what sounded like a dozen chainsaws and leaf blowers a few hours to finish the job. I had a yoga class for friends scheduled right smack dab in the middle of it all. And so it became the backdrop to my practice in more ways than one. 

The act of leaving the backyard where all the tree murder tree cutting was happening and walking to my yoga studio upstairs on the third floor gave me physical space from the noise. In no way was it quiet, but the noise was softer somehow.

I got to walk to a more quiet area of my home. I took action to create space. It was still noisy and very challenging for me to stay in the moment, especially as the asana portion of the class began to wind down. My students were gracious of course and didn’t register even the slightest complaint about it, but as a yoga teacher, I admit to an ever-present – yet wildly unattainable and extremely misplaced – intention of wanting to “make things right” for my students. 

That is not my job.

My job is to create a safe pace for my students to come back to the present moment. To walk them away from noise. Back to safety. To calm. To walk back to peace and perhaps open them up to being more in touch with the experiences they might be having.

Sometimes you find it on the mat, but only if you look.

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!