Peter Warshall – Tribute

Updates and links to tributes and memorials about Peter. June 6th, 2013 — Northern Jaguar Project remembers Peter Warshall. This is a great read about his work with my aunt and Jaguars. June 9th, 2013 — Central Coast Bioneers remembers Peter … Continue reading

Cleanse Day Three

Day 3: Tribute, Funeral, Emotions & Travel I arose with purpose and went through my practice with dedication. Through it all was the sense of fortifying myself for the day’s travel and work. I love my family dearly, but family … Continue reading

Cleanse Day Two

Day 2: Inertia & creativity As a part of the cleanse, the suggestion is to wake with the rising sun or before. So far, that has been next to impossible, even though I have set the alarm for it. I … Continue reading

Cleanse Day One

Day 1 : dealing with dietary shifts, grief and loss I began with: cleaning my tongue hot water with lime neti (cleaning of the nose with water) followed by nasya oil (special ‘medicated’ oil to keep the nasal passageways moist) garshana … Continue reading


Even though it feels a little like summer here in Tucson, it is Spring and it is time to Cleanse. I decided that I want to use this blog to share with everyone the effects of a cleanse. I am … Continue reading


This week, my husband and I had to put our beloved dog Cleo to sleep. No amount of practice could have prepared me for the loss that I am feeling. There is a gaping hole in the middle of my … Continue reading

Atma Hrdaye

Ātma hŗdaye Hŗdayam mayi Aham amŗte Amŗtam anāndam brahmāni Translation: My true nature is the heart. The heart is my true nature. I am the bliss of the heart. The Heart that I am is the unending bliss of Oneness. … Continue reading


Every Tuesday & Thursday in my Yoga for Anyone Touched By Cancer class we draw a card from The Virtues Project deck. This week I drew Unity: “Unity is inclusiveness. It brings people together. We see our commonality without devaluing … Continue reading


Sankalpa – setting intention

Sankalpa, often defined as intention, is one of the most powerful practices in Yoga. It can and does change your life. Intention is so powerful that Rhonda Byrne wrote a best-selling book about it, The Secret. For a seemingly simple practice, there is a lot more to setting intention than meets the eye.

Rama Jyoti Vernon ( defines sankalpa as: san, “to become one with,” kalpa, “time,” sankalpa = becoming one with time. I love this breakdown of the Sanskrit word but I would like to look a little more at the word “time.” There are a number of ways to define the word time and we all have an understanding of it when we look at a clock, or feel its passage. But, what is time? Is it future? Is it past? Is it something that we can tangibly interact with (other than the counter that tells you where you need to be)? Time is an abstract notion and we have all agreed on a method of keeping it, so that we can meet each other in the same place at the same time. For the purposes of this discussion, it may be helpful to think of “time” as the present moment. From this thought comes my preferred definition of sankalpa, “becoming one with the present moment.”

In a Yoga class or session, a therapy appointment, even a meeting, you may be asked to set an intention. I always begin my classes, sessions and workshops, with an invitation for a sankalpa. Through my work with Amy Weintraub (, I have learned that this is a very integral portion of the Yoga practice. Your intention sets the stage for the work that you will be doing during the session/class. It may be the reason that you have come to the mat, or it may be the change that you are manifesting in your life through your Yoga practice. Whatever the origin of your sankalpa, think of it as your guide for your practice, on and off the mat.

Key points to setting an intention:

  • Positive – focus on what you would like to manifest or bring into your life, rather than what you would like to get rid of
  • Present Tense – as though it was already happening in your life
  • Short – if your intention is too long, you are likely to forget parts of it
  • Simple – stay away from complicated intentions, you don’t need more work

An example:
Let’s say that you tell me you would like to be less stressed out. I would ask you what the opposite of stressed out is, or what would it look like if you were less stressed. A couple of examples might be: peaceful, easeful, relaxed, calm, tranquil, etc. Then I would ask you to bring it into the present moment, following our guidelines. For instance, “I am peaceful,” or “Relaxation breathes through me now,” or “I am open and available to receive tranquility” (credit to Amy Weintraub).

The last piece, that I feel is really important, is to anchor your intention. This can be done by cultivating a visualization, an image, or a feeling in the body. It may be a visualization of yourself achieving your intention; down to the minutest detail (what you are wearing, where you are). It may be an image that represents your intention. It could also be the feeling in the body when your intention is achieved.

“Whatever the mind thinks of, that alone it sees” Vasishta’sYoga, Swami Venkatesananda, page 92.