Monthly Archives: May 2013

It’s an inside job.

I read a little to my Yin Yoga class today and was asked by a student to share this excerpt from Being of Power by Baron Baptiste. I love the quote from Albert Einstein and think the message and book are so powerful.

“We always want to fix something outside ourselves, rearrange the pieces, repair whatever we think is “wrong.”  We can change jobs, relationships, cities, and circumstances.  And yes, maybe for a while that gives us some relief.  But no matter what we do, where we move, or who we’re in  a relationship with, changing the form of something is temporary, and fix its never work in the long-term.  Unless we transform our way of being from the inside out, it all ends up being and feeling the same, because we’re still showing up with the same mind-set.

As Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

“When you undergo a transformation, the world is unchanged.  Your environment, situation, and immediate circumstances are all the same.  How you feel, see, listen, think, and act are what have been altered, and who you are and how you relate to the individuals and things in your life is what shifts.  Imagine feeling completely renewed, without having to change a single thing about your physical reality.  The beautiful thing here is that by transforming the way you relate to life, circumstances around you will ultimately shift as well.” 

~From the book, Being of Power,  by Baron Baptiste


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By |May 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Welcome Back!

Wow!  It is amazing how easily I was pulled down in to a total funk!  I had a couple bumpy days, well a couple bumpy weeks, and let so much slide.  Everything that makes me feel great, I just dropped!  Barely juicing, eating crappy food, still practicing yoga but not as regularly, just generally letting that old story of  “See, when you take care of yourself, everything else falls apart”.  Nothing earth shattering but, anyone with a teenager can relate.  Someday, the unnamed party may just google what Mommy’s been up to so we will leave all the boring details out.  Suffice it to say, I feel like I am on the rollercoaster of slamming doors, eye rolling, dumpster bedrooms, I love you/I hate you all in the same breath, drama …  the rollercoaster is running and no one is at the controls.  I fell back into, just hold everything as tight as you can, manage, control and things will feel safer.  Not true!  My story is, Be Prepared, the rug will get yanked!  And you know what, sometimes it does get yanked. But, when I spend all my time holding on for dear life, I miss all the other wonderful moments in between.  I can’t believe how those old feelings came back with a vengeance.

Here is what I learned.  Breathe.  The tools and power I have found in my yoga practice really do work!  Sure it’s easy to spout off all kinds of advice and yogic wisdom when things are going smoothly.  It’s when the ‘you know what’ hits the fan, you feel yourself slipping back into old patterns of coping, that you really need to put your money where your mouth is.

happinessToday I woke up, made my green juice, practiced yoga and got on with my day.  I am reminding myself to keep coming back to the center where I feel whole and where I can, most easily, see clearly and move forward.  If the peace and serenity aren’t happening on the inside, no way will I find it on the outside.

Wishing you that peaceful place!  Love ~ Carlene

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By |May 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

My latest adventure ~ Yin Yoga!


As most of you know, I practice and teach Power Vinyasa Yoga based on Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga.  I love, love, love this practice!  It is dynamic, sweaty (around 92 degrees), empowering and transformative.  It works on your strength, balance and flexibility.  One of the best parts is that it is accessible to all!  It truly meets you where you are, no matter size, shape, age, experience or flexibility.  You can practice this yoga every day and find something new each time within it.  It takes you to your edge and shows you that there is more!

Yoga has truly sparked the learner back up in me.  I am constantly looking for more to read, learn and experience.  Recently, I took a little “yoga field trip” to take a Yin Yoga class in Boston.  The romantic weekend away with my husband was really a ploy to practice Baptiste and Yin Yoga at studios in Cambridge.  Yes, the guy who bought me Bruins tickets for our first Christmas together, is going on some yoga field trips…no questions asked!

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

I was excited to try Yin as a contrast to my regular Power Vinyasa Practice.  Of course, once I tried it, I knew I wanted to train in and teach it.  Wow!  I was not disappointed!  Yin Yoga is the perfect balance to a more dynamic, muscular yoga practice.  While dynamic forms of yoga use muscle, yin primarily targets the connective tissues.  It is a deep stretch!   When our range of motion is limited by soft tissue resistance, 41% of that comes from muscle tissue and 47% comes from denser connective tissues.  If we are working muscle and not targeting the connective tissue, we are only getting the job half done.  I definitely feel that Power Yoga works both but it primarily works muscle.

Yin Yoga focuses on stressing the connective tissues.  Connective tissue is the environment your cells live in.  It is everywhere.  Healthy connective tissue means increased flexibility, prevents joint degeneration and increases hydration, which will detox your joints.  The benefits of Yin Yoga go on and on.  Take a class and see how you feel, mind and body.  You will instinctively know that you did something wonderful for yourself.

What can you expect in a Yin Class?  Class can range from 60-90 minutes.  Most of the class is held in seated or reclined positions.  You will be holding poses anywhere from 2-5 minutes.  The teacher will guide you to a pose; encourage you to stay at the edge of first resistance and let time and gravity work on the tissues.  I hope I sparked a little interest in you as well.  Come try a class at or book a private, semi-private or small group class with me.  I can be reached at .

Wishing you Health, Happiness and some Yin Yoga!


Suggested websites for more info:


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By |May 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What’s your story?

I’ve had this conversation so many times this past week, I figured why not…

What’s your story?  We all walk around with this jumble of stories floating around us… (see Pigpen with the big cloud of dust:) ) pig-pen-lrg

These are stories that, while possibly based out of fact, are nothing but a made up interpretation.  Your stories are the ideas you have about who you are, why you are that way and why certain things happen or don’t happen for you.  If you took the time to write out this story, you could extract very few FACTS!  You really have to be perfectly honest with yourself for this to work.  Each moment, we judge ourselves and others based on that story.  Here’s a little tidbit of mine… I’m not athletic.  I’ve believed that about myself forever.  I tried softball when I was about eight but the tall, lanky girl couldn’t catch the ball.  One day… smack!… right in the face!  “Honey, maybe softball isn’t for you.”  Whammo!… I’m not athletic.  I was eight, got hit in the face with the softball and decided that I would believe for the rest of my life, I am not athletic.  I know what you’re thinking,  the happy, healthy, yogi thinks she’s not athletic?…really??  Well it wasn’t until my beliefs were tested, right there on my mat.  My mat is my mirror.  It’s also a testing ground for all the stories I believe about myself.  My mat is where I learned that I am athletic and a whole lot more.

These stories can layer onto just about any belief we have.  Someone changes plans last-minute and all of a sudden you are back in high school when you didn’t get asked to the party.  A husband or wife makes a comment and you are transported to back to the child that didn’t this he/she was good enough for the love or attention of a parent.  Where are your facts?  Come through the cloud of dust to find that it’s a simple as a change of plans or a poorly thought out comment.  The meaning comes from our story.

Try it out.  You can write your own new story.  All those things you belive about yourself…I’m not athletic, smart, loveable, worthy, as good as, blah, blah, blah.  Choose something different for yourself.  When the stories start brewing, just stop and ask, “Is this true, fact, absolute, or am I making it mean something, writing a little story?”

Wishing you health, happiness and yoga!

Love, Carlene

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By |May 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

I choose LOVE. Everytime.

When I decided to share my passion for health, happiness and yoga, I wanted to make sure I was pretty clear on my motives.  Certainly, the ability to write that first post about the bombings at the Boston Marathon was a powerful catalyst for me.  It felt so reassuring to see in black and white how my yoga practice has nurtured a new peace within me.  The thing is, I can write to make it all look beautiful and perfect on the outside or I can write straight from my experience and heart.  Its like either struggling on my mat to muscle into a yoga pose so it looks good on the outside or letting the yoga pose meet me right where I am on that day and have it work its magic on the inside.


Yoga certainly has worked its magic on my inside.


“What’s up with you and that yoga?” my father said to me during his last visit.  (If you know him, you can hear it right?…heavy, snarky accent on the “yoga”) He’s the most loving, sweet, caring, nurturing, but at times, old school man you’ll meet.  Not always a filter between brain and mouth and, sarcasm was the native language in my house growing up.  But, I always felt loved, protected, and encouraged!  Here’s the thing Dad, yoga has let me find myself.  It showed me that the story I’ve been dragging around with me about who I am, who I am supposed to be and who I am not is total made up bullshit. (sorry for the swear, Dad, but its important)


I spent a good part of my young adult life just being sad and mad.  Sad because my mother died and there I was, a teenage girl without a mother.  Mad because it made it easier to not feel sad.  What was my story here?  Fear!  Big time fear.  Fear, that the next bad thing would happen.  My father would be taken from me, something would happen to my little brother, or that I would feel and be stuck in this sad/mad place for the rest of my life.  As I got older and had my own family, the fear overtook all of it.  Fear for my children, fear for my husband, fear for my own health.  Totally exhausting!


One yoga class, a teacher of mine, Philip Urso said, “fear is not real”.  What??  I’ve based most of my life on fear!  It’s the cornerstone of my existence!   Who would I be without fear?  Philip went on to say that, “love is the opposite of fear”. “ You cannot have love if you have fear” he said.  Ok, this guy must not know me.  That’s how I love…in total fear of losing!  I let all that simmer for a looooong time.  How do I let go of all that fear?  It’s a habit, comfort, an old friend I’ve been using to protect myself since I was a little girl.  But, it lied to me, it can’t protect me.  It can only rob me of the present moment.  Rob me of the blessings I have right before me.  After a lot of time thinking, digesting, reading and practicing…I get it.  If the opposite of fear is love, I choose love.  Do I still have fear?  You bet!  I do, however, recognize that fear is a lie.  It’s a made up story of what ifs designed to keep me small, anxious and, closed.  Not me, I may still feel the fear but I choose LOVE.  Everytime.

Thank you for reading!

Wishing you Health, Happiness and Yoga

Love Carlene

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By |May 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Thank you Mother Nature!

I named this site Happiness ~ Health ~ Yoga for a reason.  I have always felt that without health and happiness it can be a pretty big struggle.  I am immensely grateful for both.  Yoga has added a totally new dimension to this for me.  When I practice yoga, I feel fabulous… I want to keep coming back to my mat and feeling great.  This is what started a shift in how I eat and how I take care of myself.  Just because I practice yoga doesn’t mean I’m going to turn vegan and drive a prius!  I love yoga, I love practicing yoga but I still drive my kids and their friends around in my SUV, color my gray hair and cook a big juicy burger on the grill (just not for me anymore).  One major change occurred right before my fortieth birthday.  For our fortieth birthdays  (well not quite her’s, but I like to pretend we are exactly the same age) my best friend, Aimee ( to you), and I each, 4 months apart, got some pretty scary news.

Mine came first.  What I thought would be a little pre 40th birthday perk up (aka breast reduction/lift…shhh, we still aren’t telling Matt it was a reduction) turned into some of the scariest news of my life.  Upon returning to my doctor’s office for my post op unveiling, she greeted me with a card and an appointment that same day to see an oncologist/breast specialist at the Cancer Center at MGH.  Who knew that during any procedure, its routine to send out tissue for testing?  Rarely does it ever show anything, she said… Yeah, that’s reassuring, as I sit in a puddle of tears in her office.  She said the fact that it did show something for me, was something I wouldn’t have known about for a long time.  I felt like I had just been punched in the gut.  Ultimately, it gave us a heads up and an opportunity to take the bull by the horns.  Without boring you with all the initials and names and fast forward 4 years,  I am followed every 6 months with MRI/mammogram. I’m healthy, I cross my fingers every six months and move on.  Every morning I drink my green juice, I try to make the best choices I can and I thank my lucky stars for my health and happiness, and truly the ability to “let food be thy medicine”!

Aimee wasn’t as lucky.  Her news came a few months later, after feeling a lump in her breast.  It happened all at once, both in slow motion and like a lightning bolt…diagnosis, surgery, bilateral mastectomy, 4 months of chemo, radiation and reconstruction.  She was amazingly strong, smart and driven.  When the dust settled, hair growing back, energy coming back, daily life setting back in, Aimee was left with a plan to see her oncologist every few months and go about her life as normal.  Normal!?  How do you go back to normal after months and months of chemo, medicine, radiation all aimed at truly fighting for you life?  It just felt like letting her guard down… fight, fight, fight…now, just go about your business.  That wasnt good enough for Aimee and slowly we learned together how important what we put in our bodies is.  How empowering to make simple changes that fight cancer instead of feed it.

So the “health” part of this website is where I hope to share lots of healthy ideas, delicious recipes and the things I learn along my journey.  So today, I planted my kale and said thank you to Mother Nature for the ability to grow an abundance of food right in my own back yard and for the saggy, post baby boobs that my vanity may have just saved my life.  If you take anything from this, know that you don’t have to wait for a scare to make great changes that will leave you with more energy, feeling uplifted (no pun intended) and healthy.  Start small, add in some good, it will crowd out the bad!  Each choice means something.  Take it one choice, one moment at a time.  Each choice will either feed your health, or steal from it!

Wishing you Health, Happiness, Yoga and some perky green kale!

Love, Carlene

P.S. If you like my posts, please sign up for email updates or “like” my facebook page.  I promise to share all kinds of good stuff:)

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By |May 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|