Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mockingbirds on the mailbox

mockingbird fledglings
chirp back at my birding sounds
who’s mocking who now

yellow beaks always wide
begging to be filled with fat
grubs flies bees and worms

mockingbird mother
dives feather close to my ear
she knows i’m a fraud

curious how they
cock their heads sideways not just
wary but observing

three weeks to learn all
the different avian tunes
they’ll sing when they leave

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Featured on - Finding my Passion in Accessible Yoga

Find your Passion and Center in Accessible Yoga

My name is Jackie Gadd, and I'm a certified Yoga Instructor. I specialize in Adaptive and Accessible Yoga, which means I utilize props, tools and special skills to bring the principles of yoga to unique populations. I currently guide 14 different adaptive style classes each week in San Diego (mostly chair-based), including ones for adults with ID/DD, active older adults, assisted care seniors and children.

Journey from Traditional to Adaptive Yoga

In 2004, I began taking yoga classes to help my own tired body and stressed mind. Right away, I found the physical practice very challenging. 

It took some searching to find a teacher that resonated with me, from whom I could learn how treat my body kindly (ahimsa/non-harming) and focus my mind appropriately (dharana/concentration). It was a breakthrough to figure out that yoga was so much more than just stretching and twisting.

I loved learning how yoga related to both physical and energetic anatomy, and how yogic philosophy and the universe are enmeshed. Equally fascinating was the East Indian mythology and history that are embedded in yoga's 5,000-10,000-year-old DNA. Regular discussion about these topics with friends became part of my practice as well.

Continue reading here:

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Give something

In Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, there is a Law for each day of the week. Monday is for the Law of Giving. He writes, "Today, bring whoever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower. Gratefully receive gifts. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love."

You don't have to practice yoga, asana or otherwise, to see the power in this. One might at first think all the benefits would be in what the other person receives. But it very much is in the giving where the power resides. 

I'll explain... 

My husband does not practice yoga, at least not asana. However, he has been studying mindfulness through the lens of Stoicism, by reading Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" and listening to podcasts like the Daily Stoic. During our morning chats (however brief in our busy-ness) we find like-minded intersection on mindfulness topics like: putting space between stimuli and reaction, and comparing perception versus observation. 

As an introvert his internal struggles often lend themselves toward rumination, and that can turn toward darkness and even depression. He shared with me recently something he does that is quite yoga-like, without him having studied the Sutras, or Eight Limbs at all.  

He said that when he feels that downward spiral starting (especially at work), he takes a break, gets up, and finds someone to give positive feedback, like, "You did a good job today." I asked him how this helps, to get his analysis. He said, it takes him out of his own head, and he feels better making someone else feel good.

I've been trying to use the language of yoga to describe the process, and so far I've come up with this:
  1. He makes a mindful observation about the effect his thoughts have on his well being
    • I think of this as pratyahra and dharana, or withdrawing the senses and concentrating. he is tuning IN and becoming aware of his state (of mind). He also is aware he wants to change it as he feels it is doing him harm (ahimsa is non-harming).
  2. He takes action by exchanging positive energy with another person.
    • Taking action, using discipline or practice is tapas. He needs to put his idea of changing his state of mind into action, and practice regularly to have it work, have the desired effect.
  3. Both people feel better. 
    • The action itself creates something positive for the recipient. This gift is part of the the "Law of Giving" and is a positive action for his karma (life actions). It creates happiness for both people (ananda) or even bliss (samadhi).
Perhaps someone out there has another way of analyzinng in terms of philosophy, but the gist of it is that the mindful approach, the desire to change, and willingness to create that change all result in a shift in energy. In sum, his perception of his mental state improves, so even if the stressors are the same, he has put some space between himself and his reaction to them. That space includes a positive energetic exchange with another person.

The present is a gift. We have that to give to ourselves. Enjoy your day, enjoy your yoga. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Free Yoga @Libraries SD City and County

Looking for free yoga classes within San Diego City limits?
Point your browser at, select your branches (or ALL), and on the filter page type the search term "yoga" and APPLY.

Looking for classes outside the city, from Alpine to Oceanside, Chula Vista to Poway?

 Either start at and click events, or route directly to Select the branch(es) you want, type the search term "yoga," and click FIND.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Two Yoga Therapy Workshops: The Spine, and The Pelvis/Psoas

Unwind and lengthen your spine in this workshop 
with Jenn& Jason

Yoga Therapy Workshop: Pelvis & Psoas

Yoga Therapy for Pelvis & Psoas 
w/ Dr. Alison McLean PT, E-RYT, C-IAYT

  • Do you feel like you've tried everything to help your low back, and nothing seems to work?
  • Or, do you feel like your pelvis and/or hips are out of alignment contributing to a deep ache and soreness?
  • Have you been told you have a reversed cervical curve and this could be contributing to your neck and shoulder pain?
Your psoas muscle could be a contributor to this problem. Do you fear you are missing out on life because you can't get to the root source of your discomfort? Your answer maybe in this workshop.

Join Alison on Saturday, August 17th to learn more about the psoas muscle, it's relationship to the nervous system and how it can impact how you feel in the low back, hips, pelvis and even in the neck.

In this workshop you'll:
  • Learn a sequence you can practice at home to reduce stress, boost energy and unlock tension in your body, specifically in the psoas and pelvis
  • Learn how to strengthen your hips to take tension off your psoas
  • Unravel asymmetries in your body side to side and learn how to bring balance

Leave feeling restored, replenished, stronger and equipped with tools to implement right away.

Fee: $40 by 8/15; $45 thereafter

Prana Yoga Center | 858 456 2806 |