April 28th, 2022
Lena Madsen Yoga Image 1
My yearlong training in contemplative care is coming to and end. One of the many assignments that we are given is to present a final project at the four day retreat in May that marks the end. It is a very open-ended assignment that in one way or another will relate to our experience over the last many months. To my big surprise I ended up, (very clearly prompted by my gut), writing what actually can be called poetry. Something I have never ever done and certainly never even dreamt of doing. Reading poems by Marie Howe in her book "What the living do" opened up my eyes to a way of writing that I immediately resonated with. I have decided to share the first of the two poems that I will present at the final weekend. The title of the training is Foundations in Contemplative Care.


I looked it up. 
 Merriam-Webster dictionary


An underlying base or support 

What is my foundation?  

What is my foundation for being the daughter that I am? 

The sister? 

The mother?


What is my foundation for being a fellow human being? 

There is a current. 

It flows underneath all of those roles. 
A founding intention. 

I name it “Presence”. 

Presence is powerful. 

And, Presence makes a difference. 

Actually, Presence is the difference. 
Presence is the most precious gift I can give someone. 

May they be someone I know. 

My partner, my friend or my fellow student. 

May they be someone I just met. 
The bank teller, the waiter, or the person drying my car at the car wash. 

Or, someone I see on a regular basis but I don’t know much about. 

The mailman, my neighbor, the owner of the pizza place. 

It doesn't matter the nature of the relationship. 

What I can offer, always, is my presence.  

This is a choice. 

A choice, and willingness, to be open to the “other”. 

To accept them, and respect them. And to see them. 
To see them just the way they are, in this moment. 

It’s a choice and a willingness to empty myself.

To let go of my expectations. My agenda.

So easy to say, sometimes, so hard to do. 

This is what I choose.
And I choose it over, and over and over again. 

Presence is my foundation. 

Please note that I will not be teaching any of the weekly classes on Thursday May 5th through Sunday May 8th due to the ending retreat of my contemplative care training at the Garrison Institute.

My intention is to be teaching all other classes according to schedule during the month of May.

Peace and light,


Weekly classes via Zoom


Mixed Level Zoom Class 9:00am - 10:15


Level 2/3 Zoom Class 9:00am - 10:15

Yoga Nidra 10:30am - 11:15 Every other week starting 1/15


Mixed Level Zoom Class 9:00am- 10:15

The zoom ID : 355-453-9271

The passcode: 2468

This is the URL for the classes if you can't download the app:

Class Exchange

Asana classes: 1st class in a week: $20 and 2nd in a week: $15

Yoga Nidra : $15

Payment options:



All you need for these is my email: lena@lenamadsenyoga.com

If you can't use these electronic options please put a check in the mail to:

Lena Madsen

P.O. Box 845

Nyack NY 10960

To join me

Download Zoom App

Download the free "Zoom Meeting" app on the device you want to be using.

If you do not have a device on which you can download the app, you use the URL above. Your options are different if you do this, but you can still follow along.

Video on or off

You have a choice to keep your video on, or, to turn it off.

Important before class

Turn off all other devices that stream media in your home during class.

Place the device so you can see it easily from the mat for the mixed level classes. Although understand you might have to move it when we practice.


I know some of you have props, but if you don't, you will be fine. Look around your home and find things that will work for you. Folded blankets or bath towels for sitting, a thick book or two for a block, especially for you that need them in a standing forward bend. A belt, tie or hand towel to use instead of a belt. Have them all ready before we start, so if you need it, you have it.