"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds." ~ Bob Marley

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." ~ Patanjali

Kasper van der Meulen Action

Immerse yourself in your interests, quench your curiosity, develop any skill you want, follow your passion, dive in and see where it takes you, fail as much as you can, and indulge in the learning experience. Play, party, eat and drink, fall in love, and enjoy all the beauty in each moment. Not as a flight out of reality or to deaden your emotions, not because your are habitually conditioned to do so, but because you made a conscious choice. When life gives you lemons, explore, experiment, focus, practice, upgrade and create the most optimal darn lemonade the world has ever seen. ~ Kasper Van Der Meulen

ocean shala

"What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create." ~ Buddha

"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." ~ Rumi

time - hourglass

"When you start to do some serious mental planning, you can become aware of these attention expenditures and start filtering out all of the unwanted, unimportant things, and start consciously investing that valuable attention into what your really matters to you." ~ Kasper Van Der Meulen

"What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body." ~ Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

This week lets do some "Mental finance planning". Make a list, where are you spending your energy that is a good investment with energetic returns. Where are you making poor mental energy choices?

Richard Beatie - Love BIG

"Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life." ~ Mary Oliver

What I am doing with this precious life?
Love, service, inspiration, challenge and gratitude. ~ Richard Beatie

Richard's message from his big lion heart... "LOVE BIG".

Diana & Richard - community love

"We are all just walking each other home." ~ Ram Das

"I think the dying pray at last - not "please" - but "Thank You" - as a guest thanks his host at the door." ~ Annie Dillard

Diana & Richard - community love

"When all desires are distilled you will cast just two votes - to love more and be happy." ~ Hafiz

"For all that has been - THANK YOU - For all that is to come - YES - " ~ Dag Hammarskjold


"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." ~ Lao Tzu

I invite all of you to embrace the moments of your life as well as the small and large choices you make on how to show up for those moments, every single day of your life. I am most grateful for the gift of your love in my life. ~ Diana


The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

beautiful shala
Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
~ Kahlil Gibran

beautiful shala

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives." ~ Annie Dillar

Play each note of your life beautifully - listen to Chopin No. 4 in E

clutter clearing

"The reason why clutter clearing is effective is that while you are putting your external world in order there are corresponding changes going on internally too."

"As you release the things you no longer love or use, you call back to yourself the parts of your spirit that have been attached to them, and attached to the emotional needs and memories associated with those objects. In so doing, you bring yourself powerfully into present time. Your energy, instead of being dispersed in a thousand different, unproductive directions, becomes more centered and focused. You feel more spiritually complete and more at peace with yourself." ~ Karen Kingston

Do not mistake the method for the goal.

The method of ashtanga yoga is sound. However, the goal or essence of any yoga practice is elevation of consciousness... The magic is not in the pose, or how you do the pose. or in wether or not you practice ashtanga yoga, Iyengar or Shivananda. The magic is in YOU, in you day after day, week after week, returning to your practice.
That is the magic. ~ Katherine Pew

shala compass

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau

May the Shala Compass remind you that you are the hero/heroine of your life story. That each day is your adventure. May it remind you of your TRUE NORTH. May the practice alway be a light that guides on your life journey.


"Life is either a Daring adventure or nothing at all." ~ Hellen Keller

"It's not about where an adventure ends because that is not what an adventure is."
"You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it."
~ We Bought a Zoo ~ the movie

urdhva dhanurasana

"This type of total transformation occurs only after an arduous climb up the trunk of the tree
and a perilous trip out onto the barest branch
Risk is the cost of attaining anything of real value."
Tao de Ching, Passage 78th, Translated by Dorien Israel

"Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often." ~ Steven Kotler

Find your internal compass
Svadhyaya-self study questions:
  • Where is your water?
  • Know your garden. What is your garden?
  • Speak your truth. What is your truth?
  • Be good to yourself. How are you being good to yourself?
  • Look at your internal compass. Where are you? Where are you going?

"...The elders say that we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river... See who is in there with you and celebrate" ~ The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

  • How will you push off into the middle of the river? Who are you with? How will you celebrate? What do you stand for?


"What I "discovered" was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy." ~ MIhaly Csikszentmihalyi

"The truth is, bad things don't affect us as profoundly as we expect them to. That's true of good things, too. We adapt very quickly to either." ~ Daniel Gilbert

Alchemy - Through heat/fire - To convert base metals into gold. To use challenge to become strong.

Perfect and beautiful

"I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down." ~ Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Perfect and beautiful

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." ~ Leonard Cohen

"Beauty of things imperfect, impermanent & incomplete. Perfect and beautiful in it’s imperfection." ~ Wabi-Sabi - Japanese art & philosophy

"You have been telling people that this is the eleventh hour.
Now you must go back and tell people that this is the hour!
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your Garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to yourself.
And not look outside of yourself for a leader.
This could be a good time!

"Happiness, not in another place, but this place... not another hour, but this hour." ~ Walt Whitman

Diana in  Wim Hof

Diana's on the training in Colorado - one of 30 first Americans to be instructors in the Wim Hof academy!

Believe in the impossible

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." ~ Alan Kay

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~ Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Happy Diwali, This year is your year of possibility; what will you bring into your life? Believe in the impossible!

shala changes

"Paraminavada - The recognition that all we perceive is subject to change. Yoga claims everything is in a state of change and flux. We will not see things tomorrow the same way we saw them today." ~ T.K.V. Desikachar

"I could tell you my adventures-beginning from this morning," said Alice a little timidly: "but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." ~ Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The word for this week is POSSIBILITY.

mysore ashtanga

Yoga is about changing, evolving and becoming our best. A powerful practice to stretch to become our best. It is a life long practice both on and off our mats.

"Wherever you go, there you are." ~ Jon Kabat -Zinn


I believe yoga is transformative; it can change the way you move and hold your body on your mat and in life. It has the potential to transform how we DO life.

Ask yourself this question: How do I move through life?
How do I show up for Life?

Let this question inspire a practice in how we do life as yoga students. May this practice gives us strength and grace for all life has to give us. This is the heart of yoga. ~ Diana

Capo Beach

"The cure for everything is salt water; tears, sweat or the sea." ~ Isak Dinesen

On the first day of practice at the Ocean Shala I said, "what is better than this?" The sound of breathing & white water, waves crashing. The blue beauty of the water and the light glistening. The Ocean Shala calls, listen to your heart, passionate & moved by the oceans power, always reminding you, embrace life, now! ~ Diana

Vitruvian Man

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." ~ Michelangelo

Guruji "practice, practice, practice" until you set him free. Find your beauty!

Ocean Shala Constructions

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." ~ Michelangelo

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." ~ Michelangelo


"While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside of us." ~ Benjamin Franklin

"The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Shala - ocean view

"Trust yourself, doubt nothing that comes from inspiration, deny nothing that comes from imagination, dismiss nothing that comes from intuition."
"It is your heart that holds your vision, trust yourself." ~ Unbound by Dorien Israel

"Trust yourself and you will know how to live" ~ Goethe

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~ Harriet Tubman

Load the ship and set out. No one knows for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor. Cautious people say, "I'll do nothing until I can be sure."

Merchants know better. If you do nothing, you lose. Don't be one of those merchants who won't risk the Ocean! This is much more important than losing or making money. This is your connection to God! ~ Rumi

"Life is the constant opportunity to wake up. " ~ Byron Katie

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Ana's Nin

"Open your body, your heart, extend your energy through your heart and throat. Love, expand and take a risk." ~ Diana

"In oneself lies the world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand." ~ Krishnamurti

"Chi... when channeled to our muscles, can give us great strength and, when channeled to our brain, can give us great insight and understanding." ~ from "The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee", by John Little

Article: Enter the mind of Bruce Lee

I am the master of my fate

"...Yogis are people who carry all their prana within their body therefore means that they are their own masters" ~ T.K.V. Desikachar

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
~ William Ernest Henley

Shala Anniversary

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~ Shakespeare

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. ~ Johann Von Goethe

Shala Anniversary

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi

"You will find truth more quickly through delight than gravity. Let out a little more string on your kite." - Alan Cohen

I chose both of these quotes for this week’s inspiration; as we study Sthira & Sukha. in yoga as in life, it is important to know when to use our "indomitable will" and when to "let out more string on your kite " - Diana

Shala Anniversary

Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala is dedicated you the student.
May this always be your sacred place your school of higher education ~ the place where you nourish your body and spirit and soul and respect yourself, your sanctuary.

"For all that has been, Thank you. For all that is to come, Yes!" ~ Dag Hammarskjold

I am grateful to have each of you in my life and excited for our unfolding yoga path into "yes". ~ Diana

Mysore  - Work In The Invisible

Work In The Invisible

The prophets have wondered to themselves,
"How long should we keep pounding this cold iron?
How long do we have to whisper into an empty cage?"

Every motion of created beings comes from the creator.
The first soul pushes, and your second soul responds,
beginning, so don't stay timid.

Load the ship and set out. No one knows for certain
whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor.
Cautious people say, "I'll do nothing until I can be sure."


"Happiness, not in another place, but this place... not for another hour, but this hour." ~ Walt Whitman

On our anniversary I honor each of you for your commitment to your practice and to the health of your mind, body and spirit. I feel privileged to open the Shala doors and light the lanterns, candles and hold a sacred space for you. ~ Diana

Blessings and happiness for another year of practicing together.

Boys and Butterfly

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." ~ Anais Nin

Mysore Alessandra

"Excellence of daily life finally depends not on what we do, but on how we do it."

"It is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art."

~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology Of Engagement With Everyday Life.

leaf and light

"I cannot cause light; the most I can do is put myself in the path of its beam." ~ Annie Dillard

"The practice is our Guru, shedding light on our path. May its wisdom and medicine be transformative." ~ Diana

Diana Christinson and Sri K. Pattabhi-Jois

"Anyone can practice. Young man can practice. Old man can practice. Very old man can practice. Man who is sick, he can practice. Man who doesn't have strength can practice. Except lazy people; lazy people can't practice Ashtanga yoga." ~ K. Pattabhi Jois

"In the beginning you have to make room for yoga in your daily life, and give it the place it deserves. But after some time yoga itself will pull you up by your hair and make you do it." ~ Vanda Scaravelli

Diana with Mama Pat

We honor our mother first - in the Vedic tradition the mother is the first Guru, our first teacher.

"Guru" ~ "Gu" ~ darkness, "ru" ~ the destroyer of darkness
Hence, a guru is one characterized as someone who dispels spiritual ignorance (darkness) with spiritual illumination (light).
~ Upanishad

Robert Cooper

"The yogi's life is not measured by the number of his days but by the number of his breaths." ~ BKS Iyengar

May you take your practice off your mat and breath deep into all the precious moments of your life. ~ Diana

Irish Butterfly Blessings
May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to light on, to bring you luck, happiness and riches - today - tomorrow and beyond.
"May the beautiful and magical transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly remind you of the powerful transformation in your yoga practice and your life." ~ Diana
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Tao de Ching, 78th Passage


The Tao turns the tides
and changes caterpillars into butterflies.
Do you truly believe that it has less magic,
mystery or meaning in store for you?

Pay attention to what within you
is beginning to awaken.
The caterpillar can feel the essence of the butterfly
even before it begins to emerge.

Remember, butterflies are never born on the ground.
This type of total transformation occurs only after
an arduous climb up the trunk of the tree
and a perilous trip out onto the barest branch.
Risk is the cost of attaining anything of real value.

Create your own chrysalis of consciousness;
a protective cocoon in which
you realize yourself more wholly.
Dawning as a radiant light,
awakening others in the same way.

"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds." ~ Carl R. Rogers

"There are two ways to live:
You can live as if nothing is a miracle;
you can live as if everything is a miracle." ~ Albert Einstein

flowers - Miracles
Let's Party

"Spring is natures way of saying 'Let's Party!" ~ Robin Williams


Spring is the time to wake up from our winter routines and stagnation, the smells and colors of spring remind us to stir things up. What will you resurrect this Spring? ( and have a blast " a party" doing it) ~ Diana

Dare to be Silly

Inhale In Life!

"Do you think I've gone round the bend?"
"I'm afraid so. You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are." ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland ~


"Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland ~
Imagine 6 impossible things this week - preferably before breakfast.
Recite them all day, all week.

"You used to be much more 'muchier'". "You've lost your muchness." ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wondeland ~


"The more you believe in the power of thought, and the more you listen to your breath, the greater changes you can create in your life." ~ Stig Avall Severinsen, Breatheology
Stig Severinsen - How to Hold Your Breath for 20 Minutes

"When all desires are distilled you will cast just two votes - to love more and be happy." ~ Hafiz

spring flowers

"Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinating obsessions, and compulsions. TRUST THEM. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest will take care of itself." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

spring flowers

"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?" ~ Mary Oliver

From Big Magic -Elisabeth Gilbert (The lobster story)
"...What you absolutely must not do is turn around and walk out. Otherwise, you will miss the party, and that would be a pity, because -please believe me- we did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last minute."

My dear students, Breath big and long, step into your expansiveness and show up for the party. ~ Diana (and make sure to tell me all about it).