Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nora the Piano Playing Cat

Lil Bub, Colonel Meow, and Nora the piano playing cat, have you heard of these guys?  They are online celebrities with hundreds of thousands of online fans across the world.  Lil Bub is now helping PETA promote spade, neutering and adoption.  

Lil Bub with DeNiro-- Wow!
Colonel Meow plotting revenge

So who are these guys' agents?  I need to talk to them.  Maybe next year I could be on Ellen dancing and meditating with her.  Here's to 2014- the year of Swami Cat!

Om Purr,
Swami Cat

Last minute holiday gift wrapping.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Hope you enjoy our new video.  Let us know if you have any questions for Swami Cat.  We'll make a video out of it!  
Happy Holidays!

Swami Cat & Yoga Girl

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

I've used the same ten Yoga mats for years at school and for two summers for outdoor Yoga events.  I promised myself I'd give them a good cleaning before bringing them back into my classroom.  Well, they have been sitting on my terrace since the summer.  I thought if I brought them into the living room, I'd pop in a movie and I'd clean them.  So I there they sat for two weeks.  They mocked me every time I walked by.  I would try not to look in their direction.  Well no more.  
Tonight I finally sat down (literally) and wiped them down with vinegar, warm water, a touch of soap, and a mix of a few drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus oils.  
J says they smell horrible, but I think the vinegar will evaporate just like when I clean the bathroom mirrors.  This is a no Windex or cleaning detergent household.  We use baking soda, vinegar and Dr. Bronner's soap.

Now they are all over the house, spread open to dry.

I don't smell the vinegar at all, or maybe I'm just used to it.
You might want to try cleaning your Yoga mat as well.  It really doesn't take long.  It was just daunting looking at ten of them and knowing they were not just dirty, but grass-stained and had a few mud stains.  I think yours might be a bit easier to clean.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray

1 part warm water with 3 parts white vinegar
  • Add 8-12 drops of essential oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, mint, or tea tree oil
Mix them up and put them in a spray bottle.

If really dirty (like mine) first wash down with a few drops of Dr. Bronner's soap in warm water.

Then towel off the whole mat as much as you can, to take out the excess water.  It should dry in about fifteen minutes.  If it doesn't wipe it down one more time with a dry clean towel.

Then enjoy your clean, fresh smelling mat.  (Let me know if you still smell the vinegar.  I swear I don't.)

Many Namastes to you,

Yoga Girl

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Writing or Yoga?

I’ve been writing since I was twelve.  I wrote my feelings about the holocaust and other atrocities out as a sad (and bad) song, as a descriptive depressing poem.  There was also a diary.  A Barbie Diary with a lock and key. I wrote about how I liked a boy and he liked me.  Then I wrote about how the boy didn’t like me anymore.  I’ve been writing down the guts and glory of who I am for thirty years. 

Now, I am done. I don’t like it anymore.  I am giving up writing in a way.  I thought I’d be writing for television by now, or have my plays produced across the country but I guess that is not my fate. 

I’ve been struggling with what to put my energy into for a decade.  Writing or Yoga? Guruji Rev. Jaganath Carrera has always said go where the energy is growing.  I told myself I’d focus on writing for a year and it looked hopeful for a little while but suddenly I feel as if I’m in the zone, reading aloud one of my plays standing in the middle of Giant Stadium (yes I know it’s gone but that’s my image) and I look up and there is no one in the seats.  No one.  Cue the crickets.

Ah, my Ego.  For years I’ve been saying to myself that I just didn’t put enough effort into it.  I should send out more plays.  Meet more people in the “biz,” and network, network, network.  But things got real this year.  Maybe it was the death of a college friend who was my age.  Maybe it is my desire to buy a house and make roots serious roots in suburbia that is making me taking stock of my life, where I live, how I live and with whom I associate.  It’s all making me realize that I’ve been living just around the corner from La La land.  I don’t think making a living off my writing is my path anymore.

It’s a hard thing to admit to myself.  But if I am really honest, I have to admit; I’m really a teacher.  Yes, that’s who I am.  Wow, I don’t know why it’s hard for me to say I’m a teacher without a little bit of downward sliding of an inflection, as if embarrassed.  Maybe it’s the saying, “Those who can-- do; those who can’t-- teach.”  Who started that?  It’s really detrimental to the egos of those of us who do teach.  Maybe it’s time to tell myself that I’m really good at the job of sharing knowledge and my excitement about a subject with others.  What’s wrong with that?

Maybe it’s not as sexy as creator of imaginary worlds, (Of which I love to partake in—streaming online hours and months of my life away with episodes of Lost, The West Wing, Orange is the New Black, Top of the Lake and currently Frasier.)

I can see now how I’ve always been a teacher.  You can tell by my posts on Facebook—they are always about health or the environment, hoping that the provocative picture or scary informational chart will encourage others to save themselves and the world. 

This admission to myself is so freeing.  I am a teacher.  I feel like Nick Nolte at the end of Teachers the 1984 movie starring Ralph Macchio.  (Who I thought was so cool in this movie—but now I see as a troubled kid who really should take a shower and wash his hair.)  Nick Nolte runs out of the school and admits as the camera zooms in for a close up, “I’m a teacher.”  Then the credits role.  Okay, so I admit it.  But I’m not yet ready for my credits to roll.  I still have creative projects to do. 

Just finished editing a film for an artist in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.

Promoting Swami Cat books at Wellness Festivals and workshops.  Next one is on December 29th at the Yoga Life Society’s Kids Yoga program at the Yoga Loft.

And Save Feb. 27th or 28th evenings for a really thrilling production of the Churchill Jr. High’s Night of Thrills and Chills – Two One Act Plays, The Hitch Hiker (Was also a Twilight Zone episode) and The Real Margo, a modern suspense play. 

So it’s not like I won’t be busy.  Imagine me in this video eating lunch at my desk, updating lesson plans, adding to the drama club calendar and planning a new Swami Cat song all at the same time.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summertime, lots of relaxing by the pool, napping with a book in hand, walking by the ocean-- wait a moment... I'm not doing any of those things.  I am busy trying to promote Swami Cat's new book and get together a press kit for his workshop: Family Fun Yoga.  Swami Cat, I need a vacation!

Oh well, it is fun sharing all of the fun Yogic lessons with new friends.

I thought I posted this already but if I did.  Enjoy it again.

Gotta run.  I'm teaching class soon.

Blessings of love, light and laughter to you all.

As Swami Cat says, "You are the cat's meow."

Enjoy the sunshine!

Yoga Girl

Friday, July 26, 2013

So much to catch you up on...

1. Swami Cat book available on Amazon.  (And from me, just ask me.)

2. Swami Cat and I (Yoga Girl) will be leading our first Family Fun Yoga event at Soulsational Music & Wellness Event Saturday (tomorrow) July 27th!  Whoo-hoo!  Bring the family, bring friends, all free!

3. Outdoor Yoga classes are gaining momentum!  Join us next next Saturday August 3rd at 8am at Mercer County Park Marina Pavilion.  By Donation (100% proceeds go to Yoga Life Society.) Kayaking afterwards if you sign up-- contact me and I'll make sure they know you're joining us.
If we get many Yogis, I'll change the weekly classes to Saturdays at 8 am until the last week in August, we'll be away.   What do you think?  Fun, right?!

4. Lower Back/Buttock muscles causing you pain?  We were talking about this in class today.  (With the cool breeze off the lake, and the sun shining down-- really if you weren't there, you missed a relaxing Yoga class)  So many of my students ask about this problem.  We all know we sit too much, at the computer, in the car...

What are you doing to combat this?

Found this online today:

Also try pigeon pose and locust.  Most of all, stop sitting so much.  Stand up and type.  Okay you can't stand and drive-- yet-- but someone should invent that!

And soon-- Yoga Girl and Swami Cat are doing a new video that might help you.  It's for all you Car Yogis out there.  You know what I'm talking about.  You use the back of the other chair to stretch your arms and shoulder blades.  Yes, I've seen you.

May you find peace, joy, sunshine and a smile today!

Om and Purr!
Yoga Girl

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Hello my beautiful friends, it is time to ask you for a favor.  I will be posting more and more on the Swami Cat Facebook page, and it would be lovely if I could get 100 likes by the end of this month to kick off Swami Cat's new book.  Would you be ever so kind and go to and like his page!

Oh and Swami Cat, Yoga Girl and Nitya have published their first Children's Book of Yoga Philosophy.  Do you know any children that can do Tree Pose and love to "Om?"  Then you could share Swami Cat's words of wisdom with them.  If you buy Swami Cat's book before July 21st -- you'll get his autograph- just let me know and I'll send it to you or give it to you when I see you.  (It's a cute little sticker.)
Here's the link to the book:

Very exciting!

May your Bliss be overflowing this summer.


Yoga Girl

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"You don't have to be afraid of anything."

Ah, yes it has been awhile since I wrote.  I've missed you all.
Tonight at Yoga class I read the April 6th passage from Swami Satchidananda's book The Golden Present, although it wasn't the one I planned on reading.  The passage must have been needed by someone in the class.  Maybe you need it as well?

"Have complete faith. Don't even go near fear. Remember: If anything has to happen, it will happen. Think, "All right, let it happen. I am bold! What's the use of being afraid of it? I'm not going to be able to stop anything that is meant to happen."

If you really have faith, you don't have to be afraid of anything. That doesn't mean that you should not be careful. Be careful, but don't be afraid."

Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi

Funny thing is, I was afraid to read the first sentence.  Since I teach in a gym I'm always trying to leave out any mention of God or faith and make it more universal.  Sometimes I replace the word God with "the universe" because I fear any new participants at the gym might find it too Spiritual and not be introduced to the Yoga style I know and love.  What do you think?  Anyway, I love the quote and it reminds me of Eleanor Roosevelt's quote which hangs in my room-- 

Hope it inspires you to enjoy life to the fullest.  Yoga Dog and I are facing our fear of lightning and thunder by sitting and watching the light show on the terrace.  Bravo!  It's July 4th in April!

P.S.-- I just started a new meetup group for the Yoga Life Society.  Would love it if you joined!  Check out the link:  Yoga Life Society Meetup Group

Monday, February 4, 2013

Back pain.
It's been on my mind a lot lately.
Maybe because it is my number one issue-- back, neck, down the left leg pain.
I know the causes-- scoliosis, flat feet and from birth my hips were off and one leg was turned in.  I almost was Laura from the Glass Menagerie.  I wondered why I adored the writing of Tennessee Williams so much.  Maybe that is why.

That's my problem, but yet, so many of us have back problems and it can't all stem from the same problems that I have.

It is our culture of sitting that does us in.

I've had several chiropractors tell me not to sit anymore.

Oh okay, when they make a car and desk for writers that allows me to stand all day, I'll get 'em.

I've been contemplating what to do about my on again, off again back pain for over fifteen years.  What helps-- Yoga of course.

Yet, it was getting really bad a few weeks ago.  I had the pain down the back of my leg stemming from my hip.  I was told it's not sciatica (phew) but I was still in pain.  You should have seen me driving.  I'm sure someone thought I was dancing.  I sat on my left leg.  You only need your right in an automatic.  Then I'd have my left ankle on top of my right thigh.  When I couldn't take that anymore I'd stretch the leg out as straight as I could, moving my seat all the way back.  I would have swung my leg out the rolled-down window if it wasn't so cold.

I tried all the usual suspects.  I tried the wedge or Cush Tush some manufacturers call it.


I tried back cushions, the massage seats for cars, the beads, etc.

Then it came to me.  I should try sitting like I do in Yoga class with my tailbone lifted.  It couldn't hurt. Right?  So I rolled a blanket and put it under my tailbone and not soon after I was feeling less pain.  Today I drive with it every day and I haven't felt pain in months.

The only problem is that it moves around a lot.  I was thinking of buying this...  anyone try it yet?

So how is your back?  

Here's what I do to make sure I keep my back as healthy as possible.

Cobra nice and slow



Sun Salutations

Janu Sirsanana - Head to Knee pose

These and a back massage sure do help.

Here's to a healthy back for us all!

Om Shanti,

Yoga Girl

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What does Yoga in action look like?
It looks like the parking lot of Trader Joe's compared to Shop Rite.  If you watch, you will see Trader Joe's patrons bringing the carts all the way back to their metal cart home right in front of the store.  At Shop Rite people leave their carts in the middle of parking spaces.
Taking the extra few steps to make it easier on others.
That is Yoga.

Soon to be kale chips!

Have you got an example of Yoga in action?

You could be a guest blog host!

Let me know.

Yoga Girl

P.S. They now sell cocoa almond butter.  Just in case you are a chocoholic but trying to be healthy like I am.