"...Ripples turn into waves and get larger and larger as they work to the edges of your being..."--Source unknown
Ripples on the Beach


June, 2011




          "Be the change we wish to see in the world."--Gandhi  


peace muralThis Gandhi quote is quoted and written over and over again for good reason. It hits home. I am still on a high from Newark's Peace Education Summit that took place on May 13-15th. The Peace Mural on the left was unveiled the day before.  I actually painted some of the black in the peace sign and Mayor Cory Booker painted some of the pink.  This was an amazing collaboration by Interfaith Coalition for Hope & Peace and the incredible Barat Foundation where over 600 Newark school children got involved to paint this permanent mural.  More to come for sure.



dalai lama at NPES

Check out the art from Newark Public School Children for NPES

The Newark Peace Education Summit included over 100 incredible presenters who were intelligent, inspirational, sometimes quite funny and other times full of emotion.  The Dalai Lama is the true epitome of peace as his religion is compassion and kindness, although according to Christy Turlington when she interviewed him year's ago he admitted he is still practicing patience! (hey he might be the Dalai Lama but he is still human). And then at the summit, Roshi Joan Halifax pointed out that yes, HHDL religion is kindness and that we should notice the word has "kin" in it and how important that is.


deepak and debby

There were so many other wonderful messages from folks like Deepak Chopra who said,"There's a part of you that is already experiencing peace, hang on to it." to Goldie Hawn who hit home on a huge issue: "When we ask our children to come to class and pay attention,they don't even know what attention is."  


goldie and debby

Many of us keep saying, the messages were great and our hope is that folks will embrace the messages and take action to in their own way to create and foster peace. As yogis and yoginis, we have the gift of yoga to share with so many.  We all have "spanda" or vibrations inside and all we need to do is pay attention to and watch how it creates the "gotta do this mentality" and propels us to create, do and say things. Lets use it to make positive differences in our world.  


debby and HHDL

A person I know who is connected with the Dalai Lama told me that he has personally asked for a report on what folks are doing as an outcome of the peace summit to keep and spread peace.  I love that he has taken an interest in Newark and asked for follow up.    




molly and kateI find that the Universe thought this was cool, especially since EARTH DAY falls on my birthday each year!  Needless to say, Kate and Molly were not as excited as me to be sharing their 18th day of birth with the peace summit!  All their mom (me) talked about on the way to their birthday dinner with family was the Dalai Lama, Goldie Hawn, Deepak Chopra, Street Doctor, Cory Booker.  And then everything changed when they walked into the restaurant to find that their mom had planned the best event yet of the day...their surprise 18th birthday with all their friends!!  Whew!  




little cupcake bakeshop

Speaking of the Universe, many who know me know I am obsessed with cupcakes and when a cupcake place opens in NJ, NYC, wherever, I check it out.  Last week I was in SOHO and craving a cupcake so I sent google a text (# 466453) for cupcake places in Soho.  The response noted places in the 20's or West Village.  I looked up from my phone resolved not to have a cupcake and instead, across the street was greeted by "Little Cupcake Bakeshop", a place I had never tried. These cupcakes were great. Thanks Universe. P.S.  Next week my husband and I are taking a cupcake class at Butterlane in NYC.  Will definitely report back after my "shots" of icing!! Lesson Learned:  LOOK BEFORE YOU TEXT!



asta vakrasana
Photo: Lauren Rutten

Spring going into Summer is crazy in a great way. And with the beaches officially open since Memorial Day, it is time to check in with our cores!  This Thursday June 9 and next Thursday, June 16, I am teaching special "Prana Flow with Core n' More for Summer" at BHAKTI BARN, Millburn.  Class is 7:15-8:30pm.  If you want a double class on these two Thursdays, I invite you to come to my weekly public class at KARUNA SHALA, Glen Ridge at 9:30am. See you there!!



newark yoga movement 



We have almost completed our second full year in Newark schools and are proud to have shared the wonders of yoga to over 5500 students and 550 teachers. We've done many experiments with our schools and the bottom line is students are enthused as best captured by one University High School student at  a press conference when she said "First of all, we have a 

broadway girl with hands at heart
BROADWAY ELEMENTARY.  Photo Credit: Lauren Rutten.

a yoga movement going on at our school."  The teachers love it and even the skeptics are converting.  Parents love parent yoga.  We've participated in the  NJ Food Bank's "biggest loser" event and had everyone practicing yoga.  We shared yoga with children from Burnett Street School who are part of "I have a Dream Foundation" at an event sponsored by BASS FOUNDATION.  We are continuing to work with ALL STARS and more. We've offered peace yoga at, the PEACE Walk, Newark Public Library branches and One Washington Park.  We'll be part of Lets Move Newark summer program offering yoga in the parks on Saturdays in conjunction with Lotus Yoga.


All this is exciting but what really keeps me jazzed is what happened at the peace summit before the Dalai Lama spoke on his first plenary....                                                   


peace summit yoga down dogs


Photo: Laura Olsson


childen at peace summit yoga
Photo: Laura Olsson

At 7am on Friday the 13th, students from Newark Public Schools (Broadway and University), Charter Schools (TEAM Academy) and Private Schools (St. Benedict's Prep) came together as one.  They convened under a tent at Newark Museum for Peace Yoga at the Museum.  They led yoga for the community. They were ONE unified force.  They smiled.  They relaxed. They gave their perspective on what peace within meant to them.  The Street Doctor came and shared his new book, The Fingerprint, printed just in time for the summit.  Some folks left with free yoga mats.  These students experienced live music and crystal bowl meditation by Dalien aka 13 Hands.  They are still talking about it. Thank you to all the volunteers, Newark Museum staff, yogis and yoginis who came out at 7am in Newark on Friday the 13th!  Want to volunteer or learn more about Newark Yoga Movement.  Please visit our website or sign up for our quarterly eletter via email with " NYM e-letter" in the subject line. 




   Global Mala NJ  September 18th.   Get ready...  


saluting the sun
Photo Credit: Dina Bustin 


Here we go. You are invited to join 40+ yoga studios and their communities in the biggest peace wave ever in Newark!!   Taking place at the state of the art Central High School in Newark on Sunday, September 18th 9-2pm.   


                   Amazing yoga. Amazing music. Amazing raffles.

                   Amazing Vendors, food and massage.    


Your guides and speakers joining the wonderful NJ community of teachers and yogis/yoginis includes:  The Honorable Cory A. Booker, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Dave Romanelli, Elisabeth Halfpapp, Fred DeVito and Elana Brower.  Our live music is provided by the return of the incredible Dalien aka 13 Hands and Go-Ray and the Duke--maybe you've heard them in NYC or Wanderlust?  We have a hunch there might be more.  There will be awesome t-shirts and tanks for sale at the event.  Our two incredible grand prize raffles are due to the extreme generosity of two of our platinum sponsors  KRIPALU and EXHALE MIND BODY.  You will have a shot at two nights at Kripalu  and/or a night at Gansevoort Park NYC and 10 free classes from Exhale!!!  WOW!  First 200 who sign up get gift bags full of free yoga classes and other exciting items.  We are excited to have many partner organizations in Newark join us as well as some new yoga studios. Thank you so much Ras Baraka, principal of Central and Newark Public schools for generously opening your doors to this extraordinary peace event.  Sign up, updated website, flyer and more will be available end of June/early July.




Almost the End.  Keep reading....  

I know this was a long letter but whew...there was a lot to say.  And with all this, I didn't really touch on the rest of the month of June that includes getting ready for my twins' senior prom,  high school graduation and all the parties, a three week trip to Africa and all the crazy packing that goes with it!  Thank goodness for yoga.  Yoga truly knows how to ground, relax, pace and prepare one to be flexible and fluid for all that unfolds.  OMMMMMM.



IMPORTANT, please read the side INSPIRATION COLUMN on my friend ELA and also DEBBY RECOMMENDS.  SOME amazing things happening this weekend and beyond, some great services not to be missed, restaurant recommendation and more.  TRULY!!! 


           I look forward to seeing all of you on or off the mat on the path.


                             XO Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih

debby head shot

Photo: Lauren Rutten 





kino macgregor1. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday is your chance to practice and learn from an astanga yoga goddess.  Kino MacGregor comes to town for the whole weekend, sponsored by Asana House.  She was the first female to be certified by Sri Pattabhi Jois.  Will be awesome.  Click here for all the information.  Classes are being held at Yoga Desha in Montclair. (I just love when studios work together--right on!!).


tao porchon-lynch2.  If you catch Kino on Friday and Sunday and want a shift to another incredible yoga master--truly, go to Strala Yoga  for 1-4pm class with my new friend, Tao Porchon-Lynch.  She is 92 years young and an amazing inspiration.  You will also be able to catch her at Global Mala NJ 2011 on September 18th!!  And Strala Yoga is an amazing studio!! 


tapas party3.  Saturday night  June, 11th 6:30-9:30pm is Parents who Rock benefit at Clubhouse 131 Glen Ridge Ave. in Montclair.   A Spanish Tapas cocktail party with great organizations being supported including Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Lotus In Action and LINK schools.  Click here for all information and sign up.


4.  Double dose of yoga classes with Debby for two Thursdays in a row June 9 and June 16.  Regular Thursday morning class at Karuna Shala in Glen Ridge 9:30-10:45am and special Prana Flow with Core n' More for summer at Bhakti Barn, Millburn  7:15-8:30pm


shiva rea5.  Wondering what to do in July?  I'd say go to visit and learn from my teacher Shiva Rea when she is at Kripalu from July 3-8th with summer prana flow immersion and July 8-10th for one of my fav's yoga trance dance.  I'd be there if I weren't dancing with gorillas in Africa at that time!!


shredding visual6.  NEED TO SHRED YOUR PAPERS?  Here's an amazing way I highly

recommend if you live in NJ.  PRIDE C.O . (career opportunities), a part of ECLC.  PRIDE recently started a shredding business to give adults with developmental disabilities opportunities to more fully develop their life goals through experiences that Promote Independence, Responsibility Decision-making and Employability aka PRIDE! It's a win-win. We recently had a ton of stuff shredded and left with warm hearts because of how empowered these career minded folks felt.  To find out more about PRIDE and ECLC school run for children with disabilities, please  click. They have been recognized for so many wonderful innovations. To make a shredding appt. contact Keldrick Wright at 973-951-8787 or Dot Libman at 973-665-4558


lisa schrempp7.  One of my earlier yoga teachers who I hold a continued deep fondness for is returning to NJ for one of her sensational ayurveda workshops at Asana House on Saturday, June 18th 8:30-11:30am.  Lisa Shrempp is the one who initially peaked my interest in ayurveda and ashtanga yoga. 



topaz8.  Like Thai Food?  If so, you must go to TOPAZ in Belleville.  See Juanita, the owner when you get there and tell her that Debby the yoga instructor sent you.  You'll be calling her mama by the time you leave and plotting when you'll return.  Purple rice and more!




queen latifah10. On Sunday night I was honored to attend NJ Hall of Fame Awards.  It was so exciting. I am New Jersey PROUD.  Queen Latifah.  Mary Higgins-Clark.  Gov. Byrne.  The one that got me most excited was Franco Harris, former Pittsburgh Steeler and Penn Stater!  And when coach Joe Paterno surprised him by walking on the stage to honor him, I was ecstatic.  Check out NJ Hall of Fame.  It rocks.   






                    INSPIRATION MEET ELA!!
Ela and Sean Corn   

Everyone, meet Ela.  She is an incredible inspiration.  I first met her when she came to Global Mala NJ 2010.  She's a woman after my own heart. She seizes 

every moment.  She lives life fully.

Ela was born pre-maturely and with cerebral palsy.  But that hasn't stopped her. Her life is full.  In fact, she recently completed the six mile March of Dimes Walk.  She came to one of my workshops and was awesome.  Ela says "if I hadn't come into the world the way I have, I wouldn't have met the people I've met.  I am here for a reason."  Ela recently met her idle Shania Twain and got an autographed copy of her new book!!  We talked about how she got into yoga and she said "yoga came to me at the right time, I didn't come to yoga."  
I am so grateful to count Ela as my friend and am excited for her presence at this year's Global Mala event.  Meanwhile, if you are going to Wanderlust, look for her there and get a piece of her contagious zest for life... 
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