Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 11, 2015

Beautiful Minds

In support of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s Stop the Stigma campaign.

Bliss Blog

Many of us do daily battle with addictions, disorders or diseases invisible to the eye.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

In October of 1984, my pediatrician referred me to Strong Memorial Hospital. I was 17 and was to begin treatment for anorexia nervosa. My  first appointment was scheduled on Columbus Day. 

Years before I had an eating disorder, I knew something was wrong. My parents didn’t. It wasn’t until I literally began disappearing that I flagged their concern and protection. 

On the same day of my appointment, in the same hospital, my older brother died from a motorcycle accident. As loving and strong as my parents were, despite their overwhelming grief, they couldn’t save me from what was coming. Any more than my brother could be saved. As much as they tried. 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost

Fast forward through an 11-week inpatient program for eating disorders/major depression…

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May 31, 2014

A Powerful Argument against “Body Shaming”

 Teen Tennis Star's Success Is A Powerful Argument Against Body-Shaming

Teen Tennis Star’s Success Is A Powerful Argument Against Body-Shaming

I am beyond inspired by an 18-year-old tennis player. Taylor Townsend was told she would not be supported by the United States Tennis Association until she lost weight. She didn’t and last week the 205th-ranked player became the youngest U.S. woman to advance to the third round at the French Open since 2003. Her success speaks for itself. 


Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors … I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour. — Serena Williams 


Many Americans struggle with being overweight and overeating. And for many this issue is kept not only private, but proliferating due to body shaming, or even the fear of being judged. 

Most of us who struggle with overeating feel embarrassed when we gain weight. As a yoga instructor and group fitness instructor, I find this particularly true. 

It has been a struggle to accept myself at my current size. I didn’t gain the weight overnight, nor will I lose it overnight. And at times, I decline invitations to things I would love to do. 

Ironic that although I think body shaming ishurtful and unacceptable behavior, I do to it myself every time I turn down an opportunity. 


If your comfort zone is misery, it is time to get uncomfortable.  — Coach MD


For those of us that may be big or bigger than we want to be, let’s still think BIG about who we are, like Taylor Townsend did.

If we don’t believe in body shaming, we ought to extend that same respect to ourselves.

This one is for the woman who is heavier than ‘they’ think she should be.

This one is for the woman who is heavier than ‘they’ think she should be.














June 16, 2011

Something for Every Body

Like I remember my first kiss, I remember my first yoga class. After running the Boston Marathon, I decided to “pamper” myself and tried yoga for the first time.  The class I walked into was Baptiste power vinyasa — just the opposite of cushy. It was vigorous and fierce;  at moments, more so than a marathon. My saving grace was the amazing angel teacher, Alyssa.  Her power, encouragement and energy ignited the confidence I needed to build strength and breathe easy.

Unlike my first kiss, I fell deeply in love. I was devout. I changed cities but not yoga styles. It took many years, but on Sunday at Love Your Body day I broadened my horizons. Perhaps I had been living too long in Power Yoga, USA, but I was about to see the world!

I arrived early and stayed late, sampling every style of yoga offered. A  one-hour Hatha flow taught by Beloved Yoga  set the stage for the day. Just like our host, Beloved, it was welcoming, opening, and accessible.  Health Advantage Yoga led us through a beginner series, based on Anusara yoga and Iyengar focusing on optimal alignment. As we moved from pose to pose, the teacher briefed us on the benefits to each body part.

The next session was Kundalini, a style most people tend to associate with yoga. You know, sitting cross-legged, chanting, eyes closed. Some may balk; I found beauty in the breathing, in the mantras, in the mudras. Our teacher guided us on a  tour of our energy centers (chakras) that span the body, from pelvic floor to head. The teachers were from Radiant Sun Therapies and let’s how I left their session: radiant.

I tried Bikram Hot Yoga and Ashtanga, two forefathers of Baptiste Power Yoga (the third is Iyengar). I have to say I was finally in over my head during The Rocket . . . a form of Ashtanga and power yoga that launches you into a handstand. I put my hands together for my fellow yogis but I need more practice. I was ready to see more of the yoga world but wasn’t quite ready for outer space. (Jen Niemeyer is teaching The Rocket at Beloved Yoga this Friday night)

Back on Earth, Love Your Body yoga took a fun and festive turn.We rounded up our mats for Synergy Yoga served up family style. We shared poses, partnered up and took turns. After all of  this wonderful  bonding, we got down and jiggy with Let Your Yoga Dance. We moved in and out of yoga poses with freedom with fire to great tunes: Lion King’s Circle of Life, Dirty Dancing’s Do You Love Me and even a mellow James Taylor Shower the People. I loved that everyone I looked at was smiling. It may be called Dance Yoga; I’d call it beaming.

After dancing, we dropped. Wade Morrisette put the perfect finishing touches to Love Your Body day with his guitar and soothing vocals. I stayed for the closing celebration circle, until the very last om. After experiencing so many new things from this ancient practice, I left with a parting mantra:

It’s All Yoga. It’s All Good.

I’m back in the Reston Town Center Pavilion this weekend,  June 17-18, for The Living Well Expo, a part of Taste of Reston. I will be joining Worldgate Sport & Health instructors on stage at 5 p.m. for a Zumba demo. Come out for Reston’s first region-wide health expo inspiring families to live their healthiest lives, presented by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, powered by Radio Disney.

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