Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our network of fantastic women

Last year, I had the privilege of having Alejandra Ramos feed the participants in both the Mythic Beings Retreat as well as the Yogawood Change is the Only Constant Retreat to Good Commons. This morning Alejandra shared her talent and taste with the viewers on Good Morning America. Check it out here:

Alejandra Ramos on Good Morning America

Congrats, Alejandra! Join a retreat-- a big world opens to you.

The Catalyst of Our Story

On this New Year's Eve, Kevin and I went to watch the movie, "Wild." We both relished the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. It's her swan song. It's her big moment of claiming her life and she shares that process with the reader in full color.

Watching a cherished book transform into movie is always delicate. What will they edit out? What will they highlight and emphasize? I thought they did a wonderful job clarifying the central story for those who had read the memoir and those being freshly introduced to the story. I mainly wanted to see "Wild" adapted to film to know the scenery of the Pacific Crest Trail. It didn't disappoint. What surprised me a little was my own ability to visit her journey with fresh new eyes. I didn't expect to be able to find pain the most beautiful catalyst-- because that's the potential, right?

I've long had a theory that none of us makes it out unscathed, or put differently, that we all have a story. We all have scars, we all have been hurt. Some of us pretend otherwise. Some of us loudly proclaim our stories. In my own life, I'm seeking to transform the pain, to let the moments that hurt me most also propel me towards my best self. If there is a point, that's it right? Otherwise. Well, that's a darker investigation.

Strayed's grief lead her into her darkest self and then ultimately onto the trail. She literally learned how to carry herself again. She learned how to live again. It was an actual walk-a-bout, which has a pretty good track record for folk's reconciling with the great overwhelm.

I never hiked or backpacked a trail. I did blaze out on my own and it was scary as shit. It also taught me my mettle. I gained confidence knowing I could care for myself, that things are tough plenty, but there is a way through.

Kevin and I have been talking recently about that weird tension between loving and wanting to care for another but also create the space for independence and freedom. Of course, we try to do that for one another. That's the line between interdependence and co-dependence, right? That's the space we create for intimacy and vulnerability. That's the space we make for the important, deep living.

It feels pertinent that we shared this story on New Year's Eve, the big day of accounting for many of us. We tally up the last year's highs and lows and make some determinations for what's ahead. In the space of "Wild," I resolve to make the pain beauty. I resolve to make the pain beauty. I resolve to stay in it, all of it. I resolve to let it all be. The pain. The beauty. To be. I resolve.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter Mountain Retreat President's Day Weekend!

Winter Mountain Retreat to the Catskills with Dee Joline and Carrie Sarlo-Randazzo
President’s Day Weekend
Friday Feb 13 - Monday Feb 16

Journey a quick three hours north for a warm and bright weekend at the Menla Institute in Phoenicia, NY. Enjoy six sessions of both vigorous and restorative yoga taught by two of your favorite Yogawood instructors, sleep in the gentle elegance of the Menla Mountain Lodge, be nourished by fireside organic vegetarian meals, book a treatment at the on-site Mahasukha Spa, or venture into the excitement of winter in the Catskills mountains. Know that Best-of-Philly massage therapist, Carrie Sarlo-Randazzo, will massage students while Dee leads practice. A short drive to snow tubing, enjoying the shopping or great dining in Woodstock and other neighboring towns, visit a winery, or ski in one of three mountains within a half hour radius. We’re told the most popular downhill ski mountain is Hunter. Yoga classes will be timed to give you a full day of skiing at Hunter on Saturday and Sunday. As many have off for President’s Day Monday, you may even get in some more trails before heading home!

In addition to this being President’s Day weekend, our retreat is also over Valentine’s Day! Bring yourself and let us cherish you or feel free to bring your sweetie and steal away for a snowy walk hand in hand. All are welcome.

Our retreat participants will be housed in homes on Menla’s campus. Examples of rooms are shown below:

Take both vigorous and gentle practices with Carrie and Dee in one of Menla’s beautiful studios:

Book a treatment directly with Mahasukha. All information can be found here:

*Please note that we urge you to book treatments in advance. The spa will be staffed based on appointment. Bookings can begin Jan 12, 2015. Contact

Though Belleayre Mountain is closest, and Windham Mountain is also in the vicinity, most prefer skiing the trails at Hunter Mountain.

*As this is a holiday weekend, we recommend that those planning to ski, snowboard, or snow tube book ahead.

Not a skier? Not a problem. Curl up with a book, take a walk on one of the many trails, and simply be. For a good picture of all the area has to offer, visit


Private room, shared bath $795 (There are only 4 spots!)

Please email if you have a preferred roommate. If not, we will pair you with another participant and make sure both of you are in communication and comfortable with the arrangements.


Dinner on Friday Feb 13. Three meals on Saturday Feb 14 and Sunday Feb 15. Breakfast and lunch on Monday Feb 16.

Yoga practice on all four days.




Optional Spa Treatments.

Skiing or other optional activities.

Cancellation Policy

We understand that things come up. As this is a sweet, spontaneous offering, we can only transfer your tuition to another participant if you make the arrangements. To keep our obligations to our providers, we are unable to offer refunds.

There is no cell reception at Menla. However, there is free wifi in the yoga studio to check in with loved ones.

Sample Itinerary

Friday Feb 13

Check-in and arrival 3 pm
Rigorous vinyasa 5-6:30 pm
Dinner 7 pm

Saturday Feb 14 & Sunday Feb 15

Rigorous vinyasa 7:30-9 am
Breakfast 9-10
The day free to ski, snowboard, snow tube, explore towns, hike, arrange a spa treatment, or snuggle with a book!
For those sticking around Menla, lunch 12-1 pm
Bonus afternoon practice with Carrie for those enjoying Menla!
Restorative yoga practice 6-7 pm (with adjustments and massage from Best-of-Philly massage therapist, Carrie!)
Dinner 7-8 pm

Monday Feb 16

Rigorous vinyasa 8-9:30 am
Breakfast 9:30-10:30
Lunch 12- 1
Check-out 1 pm

Suggested Packing

Good winter gear! A warm coat for appropriate for outdoor activities, including Menla’s lovely trails, good snow boots, gloves, and hats!

If you plan to ski, bring what you have and hope to have.

Yoga attire appropriate for 4 sweaty practices and two gentler practices.

The studio has mats & props. If you’re especially attached to your own mat, bring it!

Downtime clothes good for reading, going to meals, or taking a stroll.

Sleepwear and warm slippers.

A good novel for evenings of any time you spend hanging out.

Flashlights for evening walks.

Toiletries, including shampoo.

If you like having wash clothes, bring them!

Read Menla’s suggestions here: