Nourish Ayurveda Workshop – audio recording

Hi, yoga friends!

The audio recording below is a 10 minute follow up for those who participated in my Nourish Ayurveda workshop series, part 1 – yesterday. But even if you didn’t attend, you might find this recording interesting and helpful to learn a few nuggets about the holistic healing practice of Ayurveda.

Send me a note if you are interested in attending the Tuesday, July 7 workshop from 6-9 pm. There are currently 3 spots left. This session is same class I taught yesterday – Part 1.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Verdict: delicious! Here’s what I juiced this morning

juicingI feel like a million bucks! This juice felt right as rain this morning.

Here’s what I juiced this morning:

  • handful of beet greens
  • 2 small raw beets
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • chuck of ginger
  • bit of cilantro
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 cup of chopped pineapple

Do something that makes you feel great this morning.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Pets and pops in the park June 28

Suzanne Morgan:

Olivia and I will be there! Hope to see you. ;)

Originally posted on Two Dog Tales:

popslogo-final_print-227x300If you read the title really fast it looks like pets and POOPS in the park, doesn’t it? OK, enough potty humor, sorry. There hopefully won’t be any poops (or if there are, responsible owners will pick it up right away), but there’s be a bunch of pets and their people chillaxing to the sounds of the Arlington Philharmonic this Sunday, June 28, at the Lubber Run Amphitheater in Arlington.

This fun, outdoor dog-friendly event is a fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Bring a blanket and a picnic and spend an hour and a half listening to the talented orchestra churn out lively classical music. Last years’ event drew a couple hundred people on a sunny, relatively sufferable weather evening.

See pictures from 2014.

View original

a few spots left in my upcoming Nourish Ayurveda & Yoga Workshop

Hello, yoga friends.

My lovely, self-healing Nourish ayurveda series starts this Saturday, June 27th from 11 am to 2:30 pm or with a second optional start date of Tuesday, July 7 from 6 pm – 9 pm. I have 2 spots left for this Saturday and 3 spots left for July 7.

In the first of this series, I’ll give you practical wisdom and help you develop the skills to build resilience in your life. Check out the details here. To sign up, please connect with me soon!

Namaste + love,

Suzanne

Nourish, an Ayurveda and Yoga Self-Healing Journey – Starts Sat, June 27 and Tues, July 7

butterflyNourish is a simple, lovely self-healing journey that offers practical solutions for well being. Each month you will learn Ayurveda practices that will help you live a vibrant life. You will become deeply aware of the natural world, who you are and why one food might be healing for one person and a poison to another.

Here’s a quick 6 minute introduction:

Join me for Part 1 at my lovely home and try out the first month for $75. (Each month after is $100 but no commitment is necessary.)

Part 1: Due to popular demand, you have the option of coming to one of two dates for the June/July workshop:

  • Saturday, June 27 from 11 am to 3 pm
  • OR
  • Tuesday, July 7 at 6 pm to 9 pm.

 

This program is flexible. You can join the program at any time. You can skip months. Or you can commit to a year of well-being for $850 and receive a certification for 100 hours of training. (Note this certification is not accredited by any association, but since I am an E-RYT-500 through Yoga Alliance, you can use the hours to fulfill CEUs with Yoga Alliance.)

Each month will have a different focus, different skills and will directly reflect the seasons.

Taking this course over a period of time is instrumental as it takes a while to change our health habits and develop more sustainable and joyful relationships with food and our environment.

You will learn skills that increase your awareness of who you are. You might already be on a healing journey. If you are a yoga student, a yoga teacher, a nature lover, a food lover, an animal lover…all will deeply benefit. Whatever your starting point, you’ll be able to enrich your life.

The June Nourish Workshop will take place at my home in Arlington, VA from 11 am to 3 pm. I’ll cook for you and teach you skills for self-healing (and I’ll record the event for those of you who can’t make that date). You’ll also receive an educational recording during the month, homework assignments, weekly practices and food challenges. The June focus is on building resilience, not only to physical disease but to emotional, mental and environmental stresses.

To register:

Send a check for $75 payable to “Suzanne Morgan Yoga” to reserve your spot.  Mail to: 2100 N. Potomac Street, Arlington, VA 22205.

Call or email me at any time with questions: 703-626-8349 or suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com.

Namaste,

Suzanne

 

Yoga for Nourishing the Liver

My new 12 minute video offers a tailored yoga practice to strengthen and nourish the liver. I created this video to heal my own food allergies and I can report that it’s working! This video is also great for maintaining good health, daily gentle detoxification and any liver irritation or disease.

Enjoy your beautiful life.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Wild Horses at Assateague Island

Wild Horses on Assateague Island“Did you see any wild horses?”, that’s the universal question I get when I mention my recent camping trip to Assateague Island National Seashore. My sidekick Olivia the Whippet and I just got back yesterday and I have to say that Assateague has one of the most beautiful, serene beaches I have ever seen. Assateague and it’s sister town, Chincoteague are reknowned for the wild horses who populated and remain on the Island after a Spanish shipwreck hundreds of years ago. (Note: that famed shipwreck has not been verified, but the horses are truly wild and have a long history on the island.) The story and the towns came into national consciousness from the 1970 book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguarite Henry. I was obsessed with horses when I was young and Henry’s book thrilled me. So at age 51 I finally delivered on my childhood self-promise to see the wild horses at Assateague.

And to answer the question above…did I see the wild horses? Oh yeah! I had six in my tiny campsite. That’s my picnic table and campsite above!

Namaste,

Suzanne

Yoga for Cyclists Workshop, Thurs. March 12 – 7:15 pm

cyclistCyclists have specific physical challenges and goals. Yoga is the perfect complementary cross-training tool and support to help you enhance your strength, flexibility and endurance. Those who cycle extensively may have years of tight muscles and repetitive motion to unwind. Come to this workshop to learn how to recover from intense workouts more quickly, to encourage your body to work at optimal levels and to enjoy this wonderful sport more fully. I love teaching yoga therapeutics and think that you’ll benefit from this informative and fun special workshop.

When: Thursday, March 12 – 7:15 to 8:45 pm.

How much: $35 per person (cash or check). Pre-registration is a must! Call or email me to reserve your space!

Where: Arlington Community Church, 6040 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

Come to this special workshop to:

  • Learn the one Pranayama (breathing) practice that can help you improve your speed, build your respiratory power and endurance
  • Learn yoga poses for strength and flexibility, targeting the key areas for cyclists:
    • greater lower back strength
    • relieving the pain of tight hip flexors
    • build leg strength
    • enhance concentration
    • fluidity for overworked joints
  • You’ll receive handouts and a simple yoga program that you can use pre or post-workout

www.suzannemorganyoga.com

Cell: 703-626-8349 – Suzanne Morgan

Email: suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com

Suzanne Morgan – breathe.love.relax

You’ve Just found the perfect healthy muffin recipe

muffin 2 17 2015Hello, my yoga friends!

As you know, I just love to cook and my latest creative food venture is the following healthy muffin recipe that I worked and worked to get to perfection. I hope you agree! I’ve struggled with gluten intolerance, so I wanted to create an incredibly tasty gluten-free muffin. Give this a try. I bet you can’t have just one.

You’ve Just Found the Perfect Healthy Muffin

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of maple syrup

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tins with paper liners or lightly oil with coconut oil, butter or canola oil.

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Divide batter into muffin cups. This recipe makes 12 to 14 muffins. Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note: almond flour doesn’t rise much

Bon appetit!

Suzanne

sweet deets on Mexico retreat – join me April 25, 2015!

from the Petite Suite

from the Petite Suite

Xinalani is one of the 7 most spectacular places to practice yoga in the world.” Yoga Journal

Can you imagine yourself doing yoga in paradise?  Won’t you join my yoga retreat at Xinalani, Mexico from April 25-May 2, 2015?

Bonus! Airfare from the Washington, DC area is insanely low… Just sayin’.

View my 24 page PDF handbook of my fabulous yoga retreat, here.

For pricing, check here:

Only five rooms left! Please let me know ASAP if you are coming!

Namaste,

Suzanne

Great Airfares to Mexico! Join My Yoga Retreat in Late April!

xinalani 118“Xinalani is one of the 7 most spectacular places to practice yoga in the world” – Yoga Journal Magazine

It’s not too late to join my lovely yoga retreat on April 25 to May 2 at the spectacular Xinalani Yoga Resort outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Airfare to Mexico is unbelievably low right now – and the rates for this all-inclusive vacation are very reasonable. There are plenty of shared rooms left – but only a handful of private rooms. Please be sure to let me know if you are considering this trip so I can reserve a spot for you.

I have a ton of information on my website:

Download my 24 page PDF with details about this fantastic yoga adventure here.

Welcome packet:https://suzannemorganyoga.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/welcome-packet-for-xinalani.pdf

Also, see an extensive photo library, FAQ’s and basic information on my website here.

Photo library: http://suzannemorganyoga.com/retreats/xinalani-mexico-retreat-photos/

FAQ: http://suzannemorganyoga.com/retreats/more-information-about-mexico-march-2014-faq/

Pricing and basic info: http://suzannemorganyoga.com/retreats/

Soothe your body, mind and soul in paradise.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Come to My Nourish Workshop – Valentine’s Day!

hands with roseNourish Workshop

When: Valentine’s Day 2015 – Saturday, February 14 from 4 pm to 6 pm

How much: $40 per person (cash or check). Pre-registration is a must! Call or email me to reserve your space!

Where: Suzanne’s yoga studio – Arlington, VA 22205

Come to this delightful, loving workshop that will nourish your heart and soul. You’ll receive:

  • A gentle heart-opening yoga practice
  • Sweet meditation
  • Tips for setting up an Ayurvedic self-nourishing home practice
  • Yoga Nidra – a complete guided visualization that will calm your body and mind
  • A little love package – with tea to open your heart and healthy sweets

www.suzannemorganyoga.com

Email: suzanne@suzannemorganyoga.com

breathe.love.relax. – Suzanne Morgan

Join Me In Paradise! Mexico Yoga Retreat April 25-May 2, 2015!

beach at night

beach at night

Yoga In Paradise With Suzanne Morgan – Mexico Yoga Retreat April 25 – May 2, 2015

It’s not too late to join me, yoga friends, for my 7 night/8 day yoga retreat in paradise on April 25-May 2, 2015. But do let me know ASAP if you want to join my fab trip!

This retreat will rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Held at the luxurious Xinalani Retreat Center located on the south shore of Banderas Bay, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Xinalani is built on the unspoiled jungle with a beautiful, pristine beach. It’s only accessible by boat, so be prepared to get your feet wet as you step out of the boat and onto this secluded, private resort. We’ve made travel super easy. We will meet at the Puerto Vallarta airport and will have a private shuttle take us directly to the dock and then take a private boat ride to Xinalani. The resort is 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta Airport. Important for us yogis, this resort is eco-chic – meaning that it combines luxury with the most thoughtful care for the environment. Our yoga retreat, Yoga in Paradise with Suzanne Morgan, will focus on incorporating the wisdom and beauty of nature to lead us to better health, prosperity and peace of mind.

RATES:

** The prices listed below INCLUDE three meals a day at Xinalani, transfer to and from the airport, PLUS taxes! All pricing in USD.

SHARED ROOM – PALAPA:

Pricing between $1,370 and $1,720 per person

ALMOST SOLD OUT! Deluxe Rooms:

Single: $2,070 per person

Double: $1,615 per person

Petite Suite:

Double : $1,990 per person

Single : $2,385 per person

Eco-Chic Suites :

Double: $2,200 per person

Single: $2,693 per person

For more information on Xinalani, go to: http://www.xinalaniretreat.com/

Or see our slide show here:

What’s included:

  • 7 nights of accommodation at the gorgeous Xinalani Retreat Center; 8 days of great relaxing fun. All rooms are ocean-front and open-air. It’s stunning!
  • 3 gourmet meals a day, plus snacks all day
  • Transfer to and from the airport to Xinalani
  • Social hours most evenings – bonfire on the beach, salsa dancing
  • Group meditation each morning
  • 6 morning yoga classes and workshops
  • 5 early evening meditations or short yoga classes
  • Classes take advantage of this unique, eco-friendly location and incorporate the theme of nature in our yoga sessions
  • Hasta mudras for health & healing
  • Restorative yoga
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Pranayama (breathing practices)
  • Taxes!

Not included:  Airfare to and from the retreat, extra excursions (whale watching! swimming with dolphins! shopping in small, sweet Mexican towns!), alcoholic drinks, spa treatments and hotel gratuities.

Be sure to check all three pages below for full details:

To see the main page of information, complete pricing and information on making a deposit to secure your spot, click here.

To get tons of details about the trip, go here.

To see the slideshow pictures of this stunning resort, go here.

Join me for a trip of a lifetime!

Namaste,

Suzanne Morgan

P.S. For questions, call me at 703-626-8349 or contact me at suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soupHello, yoga friends!

It’s cold outside and the perfect time to nourish your body and soothe your soul with my butternut squash soup. Like most of my recipes, this soup can be done three ways:

  • vegan
  • vegetarian
  • friendly animal elements

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • plus 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee (optional)
  • 1/2 onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 5 cups butternut squash, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped – Granny Smith Apple is best
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4-5 cups of vegetable broth (or water) (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of good quality maple syrup
  • Goat cheese, optional

Heal oil and butter in large soup pot. Add onion & carrot and cook on medium for 5 minutes until they soften. Season with salt & pepper Add butternut squash and apple. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add broth and thyme. Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add maple syrup, starting with 1/8 cup – taste. Add more if needed.

Vegan:

Omit butter. Use vegetable broth or water for base.

Vegetarian:

Use vegetable broth or water for base.

Omnivore:

Use a good quality, organic chicken broth.

Creamier:

Serve with goat cheese as a topping or stir in 1/2 cup of goat cheese at the end for a super tasty, creamy soup!

 

Namaste,

Suzanne

 

 

 

Today I Start My 500 Hour Masters Ayurvedic Nutrition & Digestion Program

suzanne at grand canyonI’m going back to school! Super yay! I’m so excited to start the journey into this 500-hour Masters Ayurvedic Nutrition & Digestive Program. By adding this intense 40 week program into my current yoga and Ayurvedic training, I will be able to run a clinic that specializes in digestive issues, nutrition and weight-loss. I can’t wait to share more of my love of healthy eating, yoga and holistic healing with all of you! I’m just bursting at the seams with love and gratitude and pinch myself everyday saying “Wow, I really get to do this for a living!”.

Thanks for all your love and support.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Yoga in Paradise – Come Join Me In Late April, Early May for a Fabulous Yoga Retreat

from the Petite Suite

from the Petite Suite

Today, I’m announcing a return to our fabulous yoga retreat in Mexico. In March 2014, fifteen participants enjoyed 8 days and 7 nights of wonder. I received rave reviews for the event and hope you’ll join us April 25-May 2, 2015.

Our 2015 retreat will have special training for yoga teachers, so if you are a yoga teacher or a teacher-in-training, you’ll love what I have in store. I’ll teach you how to create your personal brand as a teacher and how to create class plans on the fly. You’ll learn how to make your “weaknesses” your strengths and how to teach with authenticity.

All yogis are welcome though. If you are new to yoga or a casual practitioner, you’ll get support and help no matter what your level.

If you are interested in attending, be sure to secure your spot with a deposit of $400. You’ll find details at the links below:

The details

FAQ

Pics of the fabulous resort

Namaste,

Suzanne

Yoga for Your Dog Workshop – Join Me Saturday September 27 & Sign up Early!

peanut dog and peanut manHi, yoga friends!

I will hold my super-fun, educational Yoga for Your Dog Workshop on September 27, 11 am at Potomac Overlook Park. Olivia, the wonder Whippet will be co-teaching with me.olivia head shotWhat is Yoga for Your Dog, you ask? Well it’s not about shaping your dog into crazy yoga poses. Yoga for Your Dog combines the therapeutic and energetic benefits of yoga with dog psychology and dog behavior. I teach ways to connect with your fur-child/best friend while taming your energy and learning to read your dog’s body language. Details below, but here are a few quick notes:

If you are interested in attending with your dog, PLEASE sign up early. I can accommodate up to 15 dogs (and yes, there can be more than one person per dog, so bring your significant other, child, friend, etc.). I charge $30 per DOG (I don’t count people) for the early-bird registration by September 19th. Registration increases to $35 after Sept. 19 – but do know that this event will sell out early. I only do this event a few times a year.

You can pay here via PayPal.
Please be advised that I cannot offer refunds due to the nature of this event. However, if it rains, our rain date will be Saturday, October 4 at 11 am.

Date: Saturday, September 27 – 11 am – noonish

Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road Arlington, VA 22207 (park near the pavilion/paved parking area. Walk thru the metal gate and down the paved path. The event will be on the right in a grassy hollow with a small wooden bandstand.)

Cost: $30 for early-registration until September 19, $35 after

Please register early!

About Yoga for Your Dog Workshops

Bring your favorite four-legged friend to this fun workshop designed to help you build a better connection with your dog. Yoga for Your Dog is a heart-centered practice that focuses on the energetic connection between you and your dog. You’ll learn how your own energy greatly affects your dog’s behavior and how to adjust it. You’ll learn how to soothe your dog and how to be more playful together. You’ll learn yoga techniques such as pranayama (breathing exercises), a few asanas (poses), meditation and lecture that will help you build a stronger relationship with your animal companion.

This workshop is perfect for dogs who:

  • are anxious
  • are too rambunctious and full of energy
  • are shy and afraid
  • bark too much

This workshop is also perfect if your dog is happy, well balanced and well behaved. You’ll learn ways to connect and bond even more with your fabulous fur-child.

No prior experience with yoga necessary.

Unfortunately, due to the limited space, if your dog doesn’t get along with other dogs, you may attend but we ask that you leave your dog at home.

Bring a blanket to sit on. Bring poop bags to scoop poop.

Questions? Email me at suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com

Namaste,

Suzanne

Learning New Things: I’m going backpacking to learn herbology!

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Woo-hoo! I’m headed out early tomorrow morning for a promising long weekend get-away. I’m going backpacking on the Appalachian Trail near Asheville, North Carolina to learn herbology from Ayurvedic expert John Immel of the renowned Joyful Belly. Cool, right?

I’m a nature buff, but I’ve never been backpacking. Car camping yes, but backpacking no. I hike often, but it’s a thrill to learn a lot of new things. I hope to learn skills that allow me to go backpacking with my dog, Olivia. I will be learning how to find and identify common herbs and learn their healing benefits. (I hope to share those healing benefits with my yoga students.) I’ll learn how to  prepare wildfood and I will be doing a weekend detox with twelve strangers.

I’ve bought a super cool tent, a small shovel for proper pooping in the woods and a water filter. My borrowed large backpack is packed and ready to go!

After the weekend on the Trail, I’ll be staying in Asheville which is said to have lots of wonderful vegetarian restaurants and yoga studios.

Wish me luck! I’ll report back at the end of the trip.

Namaste,

Suzanne

get your yoga for free

meditatingToday, one of my yoga students asked me for a receipt for recent classes because her workplace will reimburse her for yoga and other health-boosting investments. Great right? Check with your place of work to see if they offer the same. I am happy to give you a receipt to help you with your self-care. If you have a HSA account, you may be eligible for tax savings. Also, you may be eligible to write off (all or part) specific training such as my upcoming Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive program (starts August 22) on your taxes. Note: Your accountant can advise you regarding this. I am not an accountant, so I can’t advise you specifically. Check it out folks! Namaste, Suzanne

how to make homemade dog food

ipad 3 12 2014 381If you know me, it’s likely you also know my gentle, sweet Whippet Olivia. She’s my best friend, constant companion and fur-child rolled all into one. As such, I want to give her the best in life, including the best food. She was on a great quality raw food diet, but the food was really expensive, so I decided to cook my own. I find great JOY in cooking for Olivia and I save a lot of money too.

olivia head shotHere’s how:

I start with a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals from JustFoodForDogs.com. Just Food For Dogs has do-it-yourself recipes that I tested and then modified according to Ms. O’s preferences. (No, blueberries and cranberries don’t work. A big YES to liver, but not so much for pasta or rice. She picks out carrots and drops them on the floor, but she loves sweet potatoes.)

I start with the veggies and cook in olive oil until soft. I add the liver and meat and cook until pink. Once the mixture has cooled, I add the vitamin mix, stir and then scoop a day’s worth (2 cups for a dog Olivia’s size) each into containers. If I’m making a big batch – more than 4 days worth, I freeze some of the food and then thaw when I need it.

The recipe below provides about 10 day’s worth of food.

Homemade Dog Food

  • 1 head of broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large zucchini, , finely chopped
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cups of green beans, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of calf liver, chopped
  • 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground meat (turkey, chicken, lamb and/or beef)

Oh, and let’s not leave cats out (pun intended). If you are looking for homemade cat food, see my friend Anne J’s website, www.catnutrition.org. She has done an amazing job of creating DIY recipes for cats.

Be well, my yoga friends!

Namaste,

Suzanne

NEW! Suzanne’s Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

curried chicken salad wrapsYoga friends: I’ve been working on this recipe for a few weeks and just got it right. Try this for lunch. You’re going to love it!

Namaste,

Suzanne

Suzanne’s Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia, Wala Wala, etc.) or shallots
  • ½ cup of roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup of grapes, sliced in half
  • ½ tsp – 1 tsp of curry powder (or more if you love curry)
  • 2 T of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk or mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Kale leaves, butter lettuce or other broad lettuce leaves

Directions:

Simply mix together. Serve on lettuce leaves for a nice, healthy treat. Or go decadent by serving on a butter croissant. A side of grapes is nice.

Yoga Awakenings: the yoga training that will change your life

butterfly turquoiseFor a 24 page PDF that details my Yoga Awakenings 200-hour Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive click on the butterfly.

 

 

The way I feel about yoga could be summed up by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous line in Sonnet 43 “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Yoga has literally changed my life. From my twenties to early thirties I had constant, nagging low-grade pain from scoliosis. Yoga healed the pain and I wanted to give that gift to others. Becoming a yoga teacher has been the gift that keeps giving. What I got back will sound like a promotional ad for yoga:

My concentration improved greatly allowing me to focus fully on my work and my life.

I became a much nicer person. I wasn’t a bad or unkind person before. But I certainly spend less time thinking about myself than I used to. I become softer, more authentic, courageous and powerful each year by practicing and teaching. The more I allow me to be me, the more I allow you to be you.

I have become more vulnerable, hence my relationships have deepened and expanded.

I can’t even describe the changes in how I manage stress. I’m free from that constant tension in the eyes and the belly. And the constant worry.

My faith is richer, my friends closer, my relationships steady.

I feel good in my body.

And that’s just a few ways in which I’ve benefited.

If you’ve experienced one or more benefits of yoga and would like to enrich your life or the lives of others, come and join my 200-hour Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive. It starts August 22. I am accepting applications now. Join me on the beautiful path.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Meditations On Life: A truckload of dung

wheelbarrowI read the following story, A Truckload of Dung, in my yoga class this week. I just love it.   It’s from Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung by Ajahn Brahm.

Namaste,

Suzanne

UNPLEASANT THINGS, like becoming last in our class, happen in life. They happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters.

Imagine you have just had a wonderful afternoon at the beach with a friend. When you return home, you find a huge truckload of dung has been dumped right in front of your door. There are three things to know about this truckload of dung:

1. You did not order it. It’s not your fault.
2. You’re stuck with it. No one saw who dumped it, so you cannot call anyone to take it away.
3. It is filthy and offensive, and its stench fills your whole house. It is almost impossible to endure.

In this metaphor, the truckload of dung in front of the house stands for the traumatic experiences that are dumped on us in life. As with the truckload of dung, there are three things to know about tragedy in our life:
1. We did not order it. We say ‘Why me?’
2. We’re stuck with it. No one, not even the ones who love us most dearly can take it away (though they may try).
3. It is so awful, such a destroyer of our happiness, and its pain fills our whole life. It is almost impossible to endure.

There are two ways of responding to being stuck with a truckload of dung. The first way is to carry the dung around with us. We put some in our pockets, some in our bags, and some up our shirts. We even put some down our pants. We find when we carry dung around, we lose a lot of friends! Even best friends don’t seem to be around so often.

“Carrying around the dung” is a metaphor for sinking into depression, negativity, or anger. It is a natural and understandable response to adversity. But we lose a lot of friends, because it is also natural and understandable that our friends don’t like being around us when we’re so depressed. Moreover, the pile of dung gets no less, but the smell gets worse as it ripens.

Fortunately, there’s a second way. When a truckload of dung is dumped in front of our house, we heave a sigh and then get down to work. Out come the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade. We fork the dung into the barrow, wheel it around the back of the house, and dig it into the garden. This is tiring and difficult work, but we know there’s no other useful option.

Sometimes, all we can manage is half a barrow a day. But even so, we’re doing something about the problem, rather than complaining our way into depression. Day after day we dig in the dung. Day after day, the pile gets smaller. Sometimes it takes several years, but the morning does come when we see that the dung in front of our house is all gone. Furthermore, a miracle has happened in another part of our house. The flowers in our garden are bursting out in a richness of color all over the place. Their fragrance wafts down the street so that the neighbors, and even passers-by, smile in delight. Then the fruit tree in the corner is nearly falling over, it’s so heavy with fruit. And the fruit is so sweet; you can’t buy anything like it. There’s so much of it that we are able to share it with our neighbors. Even passers-by get a delicious taste of the miracle fruit.

“Digging in the dung” is a metaphor for welcoming the tragedies as fertilizer for life. It is work that we have to do alone: no one can help us here. But by digging it into the garden of our heart, day by day, the pile of pain gets less.

It may take us several years, but the morning does come when we see no more pain in our life and, in our heart, a miracle has happened. Flowers of kindness are bursting out all over the place, and the fragrance of love wafts way down our street, to our neighbors, to our relations, and even to passers-by. Then our wisdom tree in the corner is bending down to us, loaded with sweet insights into the nature of life. We share those delicious fruits freely, even with the passers-by, without ever planning to.

When we have known tragic pain, learned its lesson, and grown our garden, then we can put our arms around another in deep tragedy and say, softly, ‘I know.’ They realize we do understand. Compassion begins. We show them the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade, and boundless encouragement. If we haven’t grown our own garden yet, this can’t be done.

I have known many monks who are skilled in meditation, who are peaceful, composed and serene in adversity. But only a few have become great teachers. I often wondered why.

It seems to me now that those monks who had a relatively easy time of it, who had little dung to dig in, were the ones who didn’t become teachers. It was the monks who had the enormous difficulties, dug them in quietly, and came through with a rich garden that became great teachers.

They all had wisdom, serenity and compassion; but those with more dung had more to share with the world. My teacher, Ajahn Chah, who for me was the pinnacle of all teachers, must have had a whole trucking company line up with their dung at his door, in his early life.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that if you want to be of service to the world, if you wish to follow the path of compassion, then the next time a tragedy occurs in your life, you may say, “Whoopee! More fertilizer for my garden!”

Help Me Celebrate! My Yoga Awakenings 200-Hour Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive Sails Through Yoga Alliance’s Rigorous Standards

 

S01-YA-SCHOOL-RYS-200

Hi, my yoga friends!

I am so thrilled and honored that my upcoming Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive sailed through Yoga Alliance’s standards. I now have a Registered Yoga School (RYS) that meets and exceeds the rigorous standards set by yoga’s leading association and registry, Yoga Alliance. Help me celebrate by doing one or more of the following:

  • Get crazy – do a headstand, handstand or your favorite yoga pose!
  • Reflect on how yoga has changed your life.
  • Share the love. Know anyone who would like to deepen their knowledge and practice of yoga. Send them to the Yoga Awakenings Program Overview and Detailed Course Descriptions. Our program starts August 22, 2014.

And a huge heart-felt THANK YOU to my students, yoga friends and followers. You inspire me!

Big love + Namaste,

Suzanne

 

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training and Yoga Intensive is a 200-hr Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. At completion of the program, graduates are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training Program and Yoga Intensive will help you more deeply connect with your body, tame your mind and let your spirit soar. This program offers practical solutions both for those seeking to teach yoga and for others who simply want to deepen their yoga practice. Learn tangible therapeutic, energetic, yoga skills to help yourself or others who suffer from illness and pain, stress or a mind that won’t seem to quiet.

This 200 hour program is firmly grounded in yoga philosophy. It offers very practical applications for how to teach yoga and therapeutics for healing the body. It will help you build confidence that you can apply to all areas of your life. Living and teaching from a place of authenticity and love is the heart of this program. It’s a passionate playground where awareness, inspired action and wellness skip hand-in-hand. Come and join me on the playground. You’ll laugh – I promise.

Overall Learning Objectives

At completion of this program, you will (1) have practical knowledge to enable you to start teaching beginner and all-level yoga; (2) have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of yoga therapy; (3) have learned the history and basic philosophy of yoga. You’ll learn how to begin to teach these fundamental principles in a yoga class and/or how to apply it to your life; (4) learn specific skills on how to become an effective and ethical yoga teacher; (5) become a more adept yoga practitioner having learned different tools, styles and energetic practices to open the body and calm the mind.

If you have benefited from yoga and would like to share the gift, consider joining me on this spectacular journey. I welcome all inquiries and will not discriminate based on your age, weight or current profession.

This is a foundational course that is meant to help you deepen your own practice so that you can share the love (in a classroom of your own someday or in the supermarket) with others. If you are interested, please sign up today! Program starts August 22, 2014.

Suzanne Morgan

703-626-8349

suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com