Winter Yoga Session


A cold January evening of 2014.

As I look into the last years photos, it seems that we have only two seasons in yoga – we are either doing yoga at the beach or we are warming up by the fireplace at our beloved Liberty Lodge. But then, I remember there was a short – for me – fall and a glimpse of spring long time ago!

Thanksgiving to Christmas is a hard road to navigate. Between darkness, cold, panic at the thought of Christmas shopping, planning and hosting parties and wondering how to avoid the holiday weight gain, it is easy to let go of walking (too dark), of working out (too tired) or doing yoga (too dark & too tired).

2014-11-05 17.08.15

A Buddha statue in front of Open Sky Studio.

A couple of weeks ago I caught myself heading towards hibernation and it took me a while to deal with it. Over the years, I considered a bunch of strategies – the SAD lamp (no, have not bought it yet), being more outside (aghmmm, not really up to it yet) and the most trusted one – back to my yoga classes (yes!). For 5-6 years now I commit to take classes throughout the year at Open Sky Yoga studio, where I completed my yoga teacher training. Regardless of my financial situation, I find the money to pay for the whole year. I know that every Wednesday and Friday I will head to that familiar place, into the Zen center, by the Buddha (photo) and up the wooden stairs. I will immerse in the class and come out of it fresher, clearer and more myself.


Liberty Lodge during our yoga classes.

Liberty Lodge class I teach on Tuesday evenings in Webster is the only yoga class I teach which has that extra something of doing yoga at a special and a beautiful place. It may be that it is secluded and quiet, it may be that we have the fire going on, it may be a longer session than usual. Whatever it is, it works!

Hope you join me:

Liberty Lodge 850 Maple St Webster NY

Tuesdays from 5.45 – 7.15 pm  – Level 2 Yoga (33704 Yoga For Everyday Life)

Tuesdays 7:30-8:30 pm – Level 1 Yoga (337042 Gentle Yoga with Marijana)

Start: December 9 2014 – 7 sessions: December 9, 16 and 30. January 6,13,20 and 27

Price $55

To register please use the link:


Nature & Yoga


(I was going to write more about yoga, nature, Ayurveda, but then decided that a picture and a Mary Oliver’s poem will suffice)

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
Mary Oliver

Yoga@ Beach July 13 2014 at 7.30 AM


You are warmly invited to my 2nd Yoga@Beach, a free community event happening once a month over the summer. We will meet at the far WEST entrance to the Durand Eastman beach- the one closest to Charlotte, across from Eastman Camp.

Time 7.30 am -8:30 am
Level – gentle yoga
The best yoga beach combo is a big sheet and a mat on top of it.

Now when I talk about this event, I use words “gentle yoga” which it is, and it tends to translate into “easy yoga” or “beginners yoga” which it also is. But there is something more advanced about it. Yoga @ Beach is not about stretching your muscles. It is about being out in sand, sun, fending off sand flies, listening to water. Very carefully. This is not a teaching class. It is a being event. Do come!


Into a Joyful Life – Yoga & Personal Writing


On Thursday May 15, 2014 I am starting yet another yoga/creativity/writing adventure and I would like you to join me!

First of all – what is this course about?

It is mostly about figuring out how we can live with less stress and more enjoyment. There are days, like today’s, when the sun is shining, birds are chirping, the sky is showing off its best blue colors, and I am working like the planet depends on me, forgetting to breathe, to get up or, God forbid, to smile.

There are days when things are not going right, when some serious problems happen, and I think that this is the end of the world, not really, but emotionally quite so. After a week or so, you can ask me about that problem and I will not even remember it. I will not remember it, but five days of my life will have been consumed by it.

This course is about learning to hold on life, on beauty, on joy and all good there is in it, despite everyday life stress.

“This course is about learning to hold your ground and not give in to depression and anxiety.”

Sounds complicated? Not really – we’ll meet every Thursday at 8.30 am till 10 am. We’ll spend time in meditation, breathing practice and soft yoga practice. We’ll write a little and observe a lot. Every week will have a new theme for writing – we’ll look for ways how to simplify our lives, how to weed out things and people who do not belong to our space.

Who is this course for? For people who want to enjoy life more AND who are willing to work some on it.

So yes, do join me! For registration, please visit Writers & Books web-site  at

ImageTurning Point Park Summer 2010. 

Dealing With Life

At the end of the morning class, the volunteers asked us to leave the stuff in the room if we were staying for the next session and to  make sure we save the spot. “There are 150 people signed up for the next session,” the woman explained. To put it in the perspective, most classes were filled with up to 40-50 people.

It was Sunday, the last day of the Yoga Conference in Toronto and the last session for me. I signed up for this session a while ago, and was happy that I saved the spot right up front, next to the teacher-presenter so I do not miss anything.

‘What was the session?” you wonder. Well, it was not Bikram yoga, a current rage in the mainstream yoga.  It was a completely different topic, most likely something that is underneath high energy exercises like Bikram, Crossfit , or Zumba. The workshop was on Anxiety, Depression and Chronic Stress taught by Bo Forbes, a psychologist and a yoga teacher.

Most of the attendees were women -a surprisingly large number of young women and girls, the ones you would expect in Power Yoga classes, were sitting cramped on their mats in this class. As we started, Bo asked “How many of you suffer from anxiety?” Most hands went up. ‘How many suffer from depression?” Many hands went up.”How many suffer from chronic stress?” Again many hands up.

“Not a surprise” she continues, ” World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 (6 years from today) anxiety and depression will be #2 illness and by 2030 they will be number 1 health issues in the world.”

In the next two hours, we dived into the ocean of research and latest development in the neuro-plasticity (brain study); we heard about the currently studies to find the scientific proof for the connection (or lack of it) between exercise, yoga and meditation and depression… we followed a complex web of theoretical work and anecdotal evidence from Bo’s work as a psychologist and a yoga teacher.

“So what are the answers?” you wonder. Here are some of my take aways:

  • “Whenever they interview me” says Bo, “they ask me for 3 or 5 poses for depression or anxiety” She stops and adds “And it is always 3 or 5.″ No, there are no 3 or 5 or 10 poses that will cure depression and anxiety and stress. There are no “cure all” poses, but there is a way to be in the poses, transition into them and out of them.
  •  Body is a powerful vehicle in balancing anxiety, lifting depression and strengthening resilience. Can we work through and with body vs. just with the head? To paraphrase Rumi: “Can we meet in the place beyond words?” Though this may sound complicated, it is not – we have 1,440 minutes in the day, and we can take 3-4 minutes to listen to the internal sounds.
  •  We can and should create our own research – by observing our body, our reactions and by becoming experts in it.

These oversimplified three, yes, I know, three, take aways are just a tip of conversation that will continue through my upcoming “Yoga And Joyful Life “course at Writers & Books.  Throughout the course we’ll explore the ways to reduce what prevents us from living a joyful life.  The course is focused and practical. It will be a great challenge and adventure to add what I learned at the this conference to my teaching, and yes, I am up to it!

ImageThe yoga mayhem in the exhibit hall of the conference. Here you can spend the whole day doing yoga with various instructors for $15 a day.

Relax Into Writing – a Day of Writing & Yoga

You are warmly invited to “Writing and Yoga”, a day of writing, yoga, good food and nature in the beautiful setting of The Gell Center, Naples, NY, 45 minutes east of Rochester.The Gell Center is a beautiful retreat place ( tucked in the woods and close to the trails. The workshop will be on Sunday, April 6  from 10 am to 4 pm. It is organized through Writers & Books.

Sejal Shah will teach the writing part of the workshop: she is a writer, a teacher of creative writing and a yoga practitioner. You can read more about her at

Marijana Ababovic will guide you through yoga practices including asanas (poses), breathing practice and relaxation.

The price is $95 for the full day and includes a gourmet lunch and beverages.

This is a limited capacity event and it was sold out every year- please save the date!

Elijah Bossenbroek “A Song Of Simplicity”

This young man delights me – because of the music and maybe also because he looks a bit like my older son. And he is too young to be composing this beautiful music!


Elijah Bossenbroek was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started playing the piano at age six, but wasn’t a typical piano player. He often hated the dull repetition behind learning notes and playing to metronomes. Frustrated, Elijah began writing his own piano compositions at age fourteen. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he spent the better part of 5 years traveling to places such as Mississippi, Japan, California, and Kuwait. Upon his return from the deserts of Kuwait, Elijah purchased a home recording studio and began working on his first album, “Harmony In Disarray,”. In 2007 after gaining a lot of popularity and momentum in the music industry, he was noticed by an A&R at “A Matter of Substance Records” which signed him to a record deal and produced his anticipated second album “Carpe Lumen”.


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