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A blog post by Mary Moscarello. Photos by Mary Moscarello.

We made it to October – just a couple days left in this month. I must apologize for my unplanned hiatus from writing on this blog. I’ve missed writing here and sharing my thoughts with my teeny tiny readership. What kept me away, I can’t begin to say. Yet here I am and continue to be, grateful that my family is healthy and we are all doing pretty okay, considering.

We’re almost done with ten months of the year 2020. This year, marking time has taken on a different feeling. For the most part, I’m going to assume we’ve all just been trying to make the best of what has been an unusual and eventful year. The challenges need not be enumerated – we’re all dealing with them – and there’s no one on earth who’d argue they’re unchanged by this year. Every year changes us somehow, I’d just wager that this one saw some major shifts in lots of people.

Few have escaped experiencing, in some form or another, pain, anxiety, and grief at some point in 2020. No matter when you can pinpoint the beginning of your grief – there’s something significant about that first moment you can recall someone you’ve lost without immediate tears. That moment you can share a memory without the dissolution into sobbing and inability to keep from full on crying.

I don’t remember exactly when, but I do remember that happened for me regarding Bongo when I was on the phone with my mom. Frequent readers have come to know that calls and discussions with her are often fodder for this blog. 

There are some losses for which I probably will always feel that sting in my eyes or lump in my throat, but not every single time. As I’ve moved farther away from the intense pain of losing Bongo, I’ve noticed some things about what takes up residence in my heart.

I’ve observed that there are still tears when I watch a video from the past. Today – thanks to an app that reminds me of things I recorded in the past – it was one of of all of us playing in the snow nine years ago. The joy in the video can be heard, seen and at least by me – fully felt as if it were happening right now for the first time. 

Of course I cry while watching it. But the tears come along with a smile and maybe, just maybe spring from a different place now. I wouldn’t call it joy – but it is definitely not sadness. Yes, I’m still sad I don’t have my dog around me in the physical sense. Intensely sad some days.  

What I am unable to recall as tangibly was that feeling of helplessness during the October snowstorm that downed power lines and left us without power for a while. I can’t even remember how many days we went without power or if it was even long enough to turn on our generator. 

My point is, the grief gave way. I can recall the joy. Other minor details of the day – during which I’m sure were not minor in the least are difficult to recall. It was snowing like crazy – trees still had a good amount of leaves on them, making branches more likely to break and cause more damage. The house was cold. We didn’t have power. But none of that matters today.

A lesson in the all too important aspect of non-attachment and remembering that everything, yes everything is temporary.

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!