Our Habits Define Us

I hope your year is off to a great start!   Like many of us, I have set intentions for the new year which has had me thinking about my habits. The mind is a habit making machine and what we do over and over again is who we become. Our habits define us. One of the intentions of yoga is to replace old habits that may have served us at one time but no longer do with better habits that bring us more health, happiness, pleasure, meaning and peace.  We are constantly changing and in order to keep our suffering Read the full article…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  As we move into a new year, it is a great time to set intentions and begin to organize ourselves to bring those intentions to life in the coming months. Rather than setting resolutions this year, I have decided to set New Year’s Creations.  I feel like I have been resolving things for so long that I am ready to ease up on my resolve and consciously create instead. I think for many of us, life can seem to be a series of challenges and obstacles to overcome.  Obstacles are a part of life indeed, but when Read the full article…

Changes in the New Year

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

I hope you are having a great December so far and are able to experience the magic of the Holiday season, however you celebrate!  As we approach the darkest time of the year, it is a perfect time to go inward and spend time in reflection as we prepare to receive the light once again and make way for a new cycle to begin in the new year. With me being across the country more often as Yoga Blend approaches its 10th year and as studios continue to open up all around us, I have spent a lot of time Read the full article…

Get my head right

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy December!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  As I was thinking about what to write this month, the opening line of a song a friend of mine wrote is what kept coming up:  “Get your head right.”  This phrase pretty much sums up the practice of yoga for me.  Getting my head right has made all the difference in my life. My mind used to play pretty harsh tricks on me, leading me down some very dark, confusing and lonely roads, convincing me of things that I believed as truth which I then would unconsciously play out in Read the full article…

Growth & Gratitude

I hope you are having a great month!   Next week is Thanksgiving and though I am in favor of Giving Thanks and Being Giving all year long, it’s seems the appropriate time to reflect on gratitude. Our society tends to value growth more than anything.  The story goes that the more we have, the more we strive for and the harder we work, the happier we’ll be because then we will be worth something.  But science tells us otherwise.  Constantly striving for the next goal without appreciating what we already have and what it took to get to that Read the full article…

The problem with problems…

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy November! I hope your month is off to a great start.   I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about this month until yesterday when I was doing something really simple and my back went out. I was just leaning over a sink to wash my hands and it seized up and I couldn’t straighten up.  The rest of the morning was spent moving very consciously trying to keep my core engaged while trying to undo the severe forward folding motion and gently ease the intensity of the pain I was feeling.  By afternoon, I was able to stand Read the full article…

Choose better thoughts

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

I hope you are enjoying your month and the transition into shorter days and longer nights.  As the earth turns towards my ‘darker’ and more challenging cycle, the mantra I’m incorporating is: Choose better thoughts.  Can it really be that simple? Yes.  And so extremely complicated at the same time.   What do you give your attention to?  Thought has form.  It just happens to be very subtle.  But the more we think something, the more gross it becomes.  Over and over we think thoughts.  And over time, they take shape.  They form into the world around us.  Many thoughts Read the full article…

Community as Teacher

I hope your month is off to a great start.  I just returned from 4 days in Joshua Tree where I was co-leading our 9th annual Chakra Retreat.  The long weekend was incredible in so many ways but the thing that has been resonating the most in my mind is the concept of ‘community as guru’ Guru itself is not a bad word.  Guru means teacher, one who brings light to the darkness, a spiritual guide or leader, a person who mentors or counsels.  All of these are good things.  Finding someone who can help guide us along our path Read the full article…

To Happier & Healthier Relationships

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Hello and happy middle of the month. I hope you are enjoying the transition of the long days of summer towards the longer nights of fall. One of my teachers, TKV Desikachar, says “One of the best indicators that your yoga is working is that your relationships get better”.  As I look back on the past 2 decades of yoga practice and reflect on my relationships throughout the years, I can say without a doubt, according to Desikachar, that my yoga is working. We are in constant relationship, not only with ourselves (in body, breath, mind, etc), but also with Read the full article…

Celebrating Yoga

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy September! I hope you had a great Holiday weekend celebrating this beautifully mysterious and challenging life.  September is Yoga Month which is a great time to introduce those you love to the practice of yoga or to re-commit yourself to your own practice in our annual Yoga Month Challenge. Next year will mark 20 years since I started this incredible practice that literally changed the course of my life.  I can’t even imagine what life would be like today were it not for a friend who casually mentioned that yoga might help me with my low back pain.  And Read the full article…

Life, Death, and the Present

I hope you are having a beautiful week and are feeling lots of love in your life.  I have been struggling for days with what to write. As some of you may know, and some of you may not,  Marriah who manages the administrative work at Yoga Blend, teaches belly dance, and happens to also be one of my dearest friends, lost her fiancé last week. What to say?  There are no words.  Only feelings.  And lots of them.  Life can be really sad and seem so unfair.  It is in times like these we tend to wake up more fully Read the full article…

Create Your Happiness

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy August! I hope you are enjoying your summer and that it is filled with lots of love, laughter, celebration and excellent food. We are just past the midway point between Summer and Fall known in earth based traditions as Lammas.  It is the time of reaping the first harvest which is an excellent time to check in, reflect upon and receive the benefits of the intentions, projects and seeds you have planted this year. Life is up to us to create.  Beyond our basic survival needs, circumstances have very little to do with how happy we are.  Instead, our Read the full article…

Live, Love, Let Go

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far! The following quote is hanging in my bathroom and I see it at least 2 times a day if not more: In the end what matters most is How well did you live? How well did you love? How well did you learn to let go? It has become a mantra for me, causing me to take pause and reflect on a daily basis. Am I living well? Yes, I truly feel that I am. Check. Am I loving well? Definitely. I do my best to show love to all parts Read the full article…

Mindfulness in the Present

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy July!  Can you believe we are already halfway through the year? My mom always told me that time moves faster as you get older and I totally agree.  A day goes by and I often think, did I miss anything today? It is so easy to get caught up in all there is to do and the roles we play in life that we can miss the moment that is before us. I will often do something and then realize as I am doing it, that I am thinking of something else.  This is the opposite of mindfulness. Mindfulness Read the full article…

Union in Diversity

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

I hope you are having a wonderful month!  We just returned from Bonnarroo which is a 4 day music festival on a farm in Manchester, TN.  This is our 3rd year going and one of the many things I love about it is the coming together of over 80,000 people from all over the world to listen to and celebrate great music of all genres from country, to rap, to electronic, to hip-hop, to folk, to rock, to bluegrass and everything in between. We are all so very different.  Not only on the outside, where we are indeed vastly different, Read the full article…

That which we resist, persists

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy June! As I was considering what to write this month, I kept getting the same message over and over. That which we resist, persists. I have heard this over and over again from my own teachers and also teach it myself. However, as simple as it may sound as a concept, it is not something that comes easily to most of us. We are taught early in life to separate things into good and bad. Then, as life unfolds, we are encouraged by examples from others to complain about and resist the things that we deem as bad and Read the full article…

Every moment is a choice

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy middle of the month! I am typing at 30,000 feet on my way to Nashville. People often ask how we are doing all the traveling back and forth and exclaim how hard it must be. I usually tend to agree but lately, I have been stopping myself and saying instead, ‘it is going great because this is what we are choosing.’ As I reflect on this further, I acknowledge that yes, it may be hard sometimes, but it is what we have chosen for ourselves and we did it consciously. Anytime we are aware of and dedicated to our Read the full article…

The courage to change

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy May! I just got back from Costa Rica and am feeling incredibly inspired by so many things, particularly the work that other people in the world are doing to make a difference by restoring and preserving our natural resources while at the same time creating a sustainable future through permaculture practices. It was such a profound experience and I left feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering where to start in my own life in order to make a difference. A teacher I admire once said, “No one else is coming.” In other words, it is up to me, to Read the full article…

It takes courage to change

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy May! I just got back from Costa Rica and am feeling incredibly inspired by so many things, particularly the work that other people in the world are doing to make a difference by restoring and preserving our natural resources while at the same time creating a sustainable future through permaculture practices. It was such a profound experience and I left feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering where to start in my own life in order to make a difference. A teacher I admire once said, “No one else is coming.” In other words, it is up to me, to Read the full article…

Just keep practicing

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy middle of month! I hope you are living well and enjoying the coming of Spring and all the energy that comes along with it. I love this time of year and I also find it extremely challenging. When all the energy from the seed is bursting forth into creation, I have a hard time slowing down and keeping my energy in check. You know the little snippets of inspiration we have at Yoga Blend? I have drawn the same one 5 times in the past 2 weeks. “Don’t just do something. Sit there.” When I read it, every part Read the full article…

Growth Takes Time

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy April! I hope your month is off to a great start. With Spring off and running, it is a great time to start taking action towards the seeds we planted during the winter but it is equally important that we be patient with what we are personally growing and not expect it to move faster just because we want it to. We have to believe in what we have planted and give it time to grow. We live in a world that craves instant gratification. It is easy to go full speed ahead and want things now because the Read the full article…

Remember the Light within you

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy Spring Equinox and International Day of Happiness! With the budding of Spring and the longer days resulting in more external light, it can be a nice complement to explore the light within us as well. One of the definitions of yoga is to unite. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Union. To join together to form a complete unit. This has always been the intent of yoga and now science is hopping on board by stressing the importance of mind-body connection. We experience disharmony when what we think, what we do and what we feel are Read the full article…

Trust that you are enough

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy March and Happy 9th Birthday to Yoga Blend! I have just arrived in Lenox, Massachusetts for the graduation of a year long training in Positive Psychology and I am very much looking forward to finally having some time to integrate and organize all that I have learned so I can bring the science of what makes us happier to Yoga Blend! If it weren’t for this very significant and required part of my training, I would definitely be at Yoga Blend this week to celebrate the anniversary of the place so many of us call our yoga home. I Read the full article…

Balancing the duality of life

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy middle of the month! I’ll be honest, I have been struggling about what to write for this newsletter so I decided to just start with being okay with being uninspired. As we all know very well, life is wonderful, beautiful and sweet in so many ways and completely challenging, sad and frustrating in many others. Sometimes we feel great and other times we feel awful. Sometimes ‘good’ things happen and sometimes ‘bad’ things happen. Sometimes we’re in the mood to dance and other times we just want to lie on the couch. Sometimes we have something to share and Read the full article…

Practice with enthusiasm

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy February and Mid Winter! We are a month into the new year which is a good time to check our pace and see how we are doing with what it is we want to create for the year. How’s it going for you? For many years, I would set a goal for the New Year and if I ‘failed’ the first month, I would just give up. I would feel I wasn’t good enough or truly committed enough. My self esteem would plummet and I would wallow in how hard it is to make change and stay there feeling Read the full article…