beyond asana

If you’re finding 3 Jewels Yoga for the first time or visiting after an absence, you may be wondering where the “yoga” classes can be found.

For 10 years, I’ve been cultivating my teaching practice on the foundations of Movement, Mindfulness + Meditation. Of these three, the movement has transformed the most — expanding from asana-on-the-mat to meaningful movement in our daily life to the dynamic force of gathering as community to generate the energy of mindfulness and embody compassion, skillful understanding and authentic connection.

Over the course of two years, I gradually scaled back my schedule from a full roster of weekly asana (yoga) classes down to seasonal workshops and programs. This was essential not only to discern what I felt most compelled and committed to teaching, but also to honor my long-held desire to homeschool my son. With time and space reclaimed, it became clear to me at the end of 2015 that I had to respond to a deep call to focus on and lift up what first drew me into this practice: its potential to unify, reconcile and restore us to wholeness!

Sri Aurobindo’s adage “all of life is yoga has been a centering mantra for my learning and teaching endeavors. As with so many of life’s lessons, we journey through and cycle back to explore, transform, release, refine, and renew our understanding and practice of each of the 8 limbs of yoga. It is how we live fully into the depth and breadth of our human being-ness. We grow and let go, making space for new possibilities.

While I am not eliminating movement-based programs entirely, I have let go of asana as the primary focus of my teaching and am not centering yoga as a fitness/movement format in my public programs. I will continue to offer meditation-focused workshop and will consider requests for private lessons in asana and other movement-based formats. These changes enable me to expand my capacity to hold space for what has deep heart and meaning at this juncture in my life.

In November 2016 (which officially marked my 10th year of teaching), I announced that I would be renewing my commitment to community wellness by exploring professional opportunities to broaden my facilitation skills in health equity and social justice. That decision necessitated changes to the description and design of 3 Jewels Yoga that align clearly with my original vision for teaching. Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s evocative words about the powerful role a Buddhist practice community serves:

3 Jewels Yoga continues as a Sangha —
a Community of Refuge, Resistance + Resilience
for Good Spiritual Friends.

Here’s how you can connect with us and learn, grow, and live into beloved community!

3 Jewels Yoga Sangha

Private Lessons for individuals or groups
All ProgramsWorkshops can be designed for private study.

Practice By The Season
Special Events

[updated december 2016]

special event series {6/26}: gentle yoga at the labyrinth

Inspired by Sangha’s spring series on Body As Nature, my dear friend Ann Lapo and I are delighted to combine our shared interests by offering three extended practices of movement + meditation at the Labyrinth.

JUNE 26  |  JULY 24  |  AUGUST 7 | SEPTEMBER 11

10 – 10:45  am ~ Gentle Yoga
11 – 12 pm ~ Walking The Labyrinth
12 – 1 pm ~ Cushion-To-Community Park Clean-Up
Food + Fellowship

*weather permitting*

{Updated 10 August 2016}


Ann is passionate about the practiceannlapo.bio2 of Yoga in all its manifestations in our daily lives. Whether through a formal posture sequence to gain awareness of the body and breath, meditation, a walk in nature, the notes in a song, a commitment to ourselves or making a deeper connection to others in work or play, Ann welcomes it all into her teachings. 
She is proud to have been an educator for over 25 years, loves playing guitar and singing with best friend/life partner, Jeff, loves the land, and cherishes this beautiful life with loved ones near and far. 
Learn more at Yoga with Ann.

teaching empowered with mindfulness

a couple years ago, i volunteered to teach yoga and mindfulness to elementary schools in my district. when the coordinator shared the announcement that i (and a fellow yoga teacher friend) would be offering 30-minute sessions for 4 weeks, she was met with overwhelming requests from teachers who were eager to introduce these calming, focusing practices into their classrooms. that spring, i was able to teach about 45-50 kids in 3 classrooms at 2 different schools.

since then my focus of my programming has been rooted deeply in the call for spiritual self-care that fosters compassion, skillful understanding, authentic connection and healing justice. and, as such, focused on serving adult practitioners.

but i was happy to accept the invitation from Lansing Schools Education Association to participate in its Teaching Empowered Rally on Saturday, May 7, where i offered two mini-movement demos.

i had oodles of fun co-creating adventures–stretching our imaginations into silly stories and bodies into silly shapes–and teaching my new little friends to wake up the bell and to listen closely to the sound as it faded.

the joy in sharing this practice with children for as  little as 20 minutes: the sweet connection that develops when we offer them our attention, care, smiles, laughter, and the freedom to make a contribution. bursting with energy and kindness, they helped arrange, reset, and roll up the mats; fed me snacks; hung out with me between sessions — sticking close by as i enjoyed a chair massage (where i could hear the middle of 4 siblings explain that she was waiting for ‘my yoga teacher’); and even took over my camera to get silly with the selfie stick and snap a dozen random photos!

when we nourish kids with the gift of our compassionate listening and empower them with mindfulness, they will shine.


embodied practice: delighting in breath (cooling + calming)

I have found Kaki (Beak) breathing technique to be one of the simplest to teach, learn, and, most important, to make a regular part of my practice.  I use it to cool down my body when I’m running or practicing an energizing yoga sequence, to quiet and center my mind while meditating or when a task that requires my full attention, and to feel relaxed whenever I am feeling stressed.

You may practice this anywhere, at any time—sitting, standing, lying down or walking. With eyes opened or closed (as long as you’re not moving, that is!)

Begin by observing your natural breathing cycle for several moments.  Use each exhale to relax your muscles and to feel connected to the earth.  Use every inhale to create space in your body and to maintain a lengthened spine.

Relax your tongue and gently bring your lips together to form an “O” as if sipping through straw.  Allow your tongue to rest in your lower palate (perhaps touching the tip against the bottom teeth). Be sure to keep the lips softened—when pinched too tightly, you may feel deep creases in your lips and tension around your mouth and jaw.

kiiks does kaki breath.inhale
my kiddo–ever the willing model–sweetly demos “O”-shaped lips!

Slowly inhale through your mouth.  Feel the cool air flowing across your tongue. You may notice a sipping sound with the incoming breath, but don’t force it.

kiiks does kaki.exhale
ah, yes, to relax the mouth during the pause + smile gently sweetens the exhale!

Close your mouth. Pause briefly to retain your breath for a beat or two.
Feel the fullness of breath in your body. CAUTION: Only hold your breath for as long as it is comfortable—you should never feel any strain, dizziness or light-headedness.

When you are ready to exhale, slowly breathe out through your nose.  Feel the sense of relief in your body as it relaxes and becomes steady with this release of breath. [Allow your mouth to slowly stretch into a gentle smile, as my lil guru does above!]

Continue this breathing pattern for 5 – 10 repetitions. Inhale through your mouth with softly pursed lips; exhale through your nose with your mouth closed and relaxed. Invite the cooling sensation to spread from your tongue to the rest of your body. Allow a sense of calm and ease to prevail. As you cycle slowly and steadily through this breathing pattern, notice your mind beginning to soften, sort, and settle into a steady rhythm of awareness.

Return to your natural breathing rhythm. Spend a few moments noticing thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgment.  Delight in this quiet state of being—feeling cool, calm, and centered in body, breath and mind.

embodied practice: “taking refuge in the island of self”

breathing in, i go back
to the island of myself.

there are beautiful trees
there is water, there are birds,
there is sunshine and fresh air.

breathing out, i feel safe.

~thich nhat hanh
Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go: Waking Up To Who You Are

zen in motion:
as a mountain,
half moon, waxing: open heart,
balancing: steady of body + heart + mind,
taking refuge in the wisdom of breath,
refuge in the self
~t scott


embodied practice [for deep listening]: attuning the heart

May our hearts be as full, open, strong + clear as the bell itself.

bell meditation practice with sangha [sit+study, 4 may 2014]

my gatha for attuning the heart to mindfulness