[Full Moon Video] Finding Joy and Vitality When You Feel Out of Balance

I’m heading off to vacation in Mexico!  It’s SO important to take time to rest, especially in February, when many women can get exhausted and run down.

I shot a quick video for you before I left.  It’s about how to take GREAT care of yourself, even when you feel too busy (or especially then!).

You need to put your own vitality and happiness FIRST, every single day.  It’s not selfish ~ it’s essential!

Watch now, then post on Facebook how YOU take care of yourself when February is feeling just a little bit too long. 🙂

Here’s that link: Click here.

Whether you’re a yoga teacher, a studio owner, a 9-5 job holder, a busy mom, or all of the above, you need to do this!

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Quotes and Poems for Year’s End

Last week I had the honor of celebrating Winter Solstice in a sacred circle of friends ~ a gathering which also served as my birthday party!

This week I got to relive those memories as I cuddled up with my mom in rainy Seattle. A dear friend had gathered all the quotes and poems shared in that Solstice Gathering, and sent them to me along with photos and lots of TLC.  How precious to spend sweet time with my mom reading and savoring each word!

I share a few favorite quotes and poems from the evening with you below, in hopes they bring deepening peace to your year’s end, and joy to your heart. Feel free to share with friends, in your own Sacred Circles, or in your yoga classes.

With love, Laura


First, please step into our circle, with commentary and poetry compilation by Hemasri Chava, photos by Dhiraj Makam….

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Leading a Women’s Circle: Part 7 Reflecting and Continuing

Over the past 6 issues of this newsletter, I have shared the necessary steps for you to birth a new women’s circle into the world. From brainstorming your creative ideas, to establishing a structure, to filling your circle with the ideal women and welcoming them into your space with heart wide open – we’ve covered a lot of ground!

And there are a few more powerful tips I want to share with you to help make your circle vital and strong as it finds its legs in the world. Here are 3 steps to take after your first meeting.

1. Nurture Yourself!

Like a new mama who has just given birth, after your first circle you may feel jubilant, grateful, and peaceful – or you may feel exhausted, drained and self-critical! It’s so important to be gentle with yourself and to give yourself room for all of the emotions that come up.

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Leading a Women’s Circle: Part 6 Conduct the First Circle

Now that you have the outline for your first circle, and you’ve enrolled the ideal women to join you in your sacred circle, you are almost ready for lift-off! I want to share with you some of the nitty-gritty details that ensure your circle will flow smoothly and that the Goddess’s energy will be unhindered.

Have a Checklist
In the days before your circle, create a checklist of EVERYTHING you will need to bring with you. As you think of things throughout the week, jot them down on the list. Before you leave, check your list! We always think we’ll remember certain items, but it’s best to leave nothing to chance.

Remember to include on your list:

  • The outline of your circle activities
  • A clock
  • Music equipment (MP3 player, speakers, power cords)
  • Refreshments, if planned (including cups, napkins, serving utensils, dishcloth)
  • Extra yoga mats

Create a Welcoming Space
First impressions are so important. You want your participants to feel welcomed from the moment they step onto the property. Make sure the pathway to your space is clearly marked, or add signs if necessary.

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How to Have an Awesome Retreat ~ By Guest Author Dani Cirignano

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Dani Cirignano
DFY’s Executive Assistant and Retreat Coordinator

One of the cooler parts of my job is getting to meet our clients in person at live retreats. A long-time yoga teacher and practitioner myself, I’ve attended many retreats over the years as a participant. Now, working behind the scenes at our Divine Feminine Yoga retreats I have an entirely new view!

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CDC Reports Sleep Problems are Epidemic (and Serious) ~ By Dr. Jim Otis

Like you, I do my best to live a healthy life. I take good care of myself, eat right, try to cut down on stress and get to bed on time, and yet there are still times when I suffer from a rocky night’s sleep. It makes me feel crazy!

You may think poor sleep isn’t a big issue, just an annoyance or personal inconvenience perhaps ~ but in fact millions of Americans are battling with sleep problems, and the repercussions are much more serious than most of us realize.

As yoga teachers, it’s our calling to help heal ourselves, our students and the world. I hope you’ll find helpful information below to share with your students and family. ~ Laura

CDC Reports Sleep Problems
are Epidemic (and Serious)

We all know how important sleep is to feeling our best. When we sleep poorly or are woken up in the night, we struggle the next day. We may feel more cranky than usual, or it may even push us down the slippery slope towards real sickness.

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Leading a Women’s Circle: Part 5 Invite and Enroll the Perfect Women

In my last article, I helped you narrow down your brainstorming options into an exciting outline for your first circle that draws on your unique gifts and inspirations. Now that you know what you are going to do in the circle, it’s time to draw in your ideal participants whose energy will truly create your circle.

There are two main strategies you can use to invite your circle participants. The first is to hand-select a small group of women who you know would love your circle, and invite them personally to join you. A second strategy is to throw the doors open and invite everyone you know and see who accepts your invitation! Let’s look at each option.

Hand-Selected Group Invitation
To invite a selected small group, write an invitation that spells out the juicy benefits of your circle. Start with why you are creating this circle, what good feelings your circle sisters will experience when they join you in this gathering, how it will change their life. Don’t jump into the logistics right away ~ focus on the results they will notice, what feelings they will experience during the circle, WHY they will love it.

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Leading a Women’s Circle Part 4: Outlining Your First Circle

In my previous article in this series, I encouraged you to let your mind run free as you brainstormed all of the possible elements and activities you could bring into your circle. I hope you enjoyed stoking your creativity and uncovering some unexpected ideas!

Now is the time to narrow in on the specific elements you want to incorporate in your first circle. While you can include some different elements in different circles, it is good to have some consistency from meeting to meeting to create a sense of continuity and ritual. 

After your brainstorming, you may already have a clear sense of the most important elements to you ~ perhaps one or two really light you up when you imagine sharing them with your ideal participants. Maybe one element has emerged as a defining theme for your circle. If not, sit in quiet and open to the goddess’s wisdom and see which 2 or 3 elements rise to the top. 

As you start to define your outline, remember the importance of creating emotional safety for your participants. In order for women to tap into their hearts and share deeply, they have to feel in their bones that this is a safe place to bring their true selves. 
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Leading a Women’s Circle Part 3: Brainstorming for Creativity and Fun

Now that you’ve defined the sacred intention for your circle and set the parameters of where to hold it, how frequently to meet, and who to invite, it’s time to throw the doors open to the inspiration of the Goddess.

What are the elements you’d like to include that will make up each circle?  Let your mind run free, and open yourself to many possibilities.

If you’re contemplating starting a circle, most likely you have many skills you can bring to your leadership. Don’t underestimate your potential!

You may have expertise as a yoga teacher in leading yoga poses, guided visualization, chanting, and/or meditation.  You might have other relevant experience, such as training in coaching, journal writing, sacred dance, spiritual direction, art therapy, massage, mythology, storytelling, music making, gemstones, Ayurveda, the 5 elements, puja and ritual, wicca and seasonal ceremonies, non-violent communication, public speaking, transformational learning, women’s spirituality, or more!

You name it ~ each of these skills can enhance your circle, and make the experience you offer uniquely yours.

The Goddess is wide and wild, and she loves your circles to have a good dose of basic elements (like movement, sharing, and simple ritual), and always some new, playful ones!

There is no one right way to lead a circle, and there is no one standard formula for what must be included.  In a future issue, I’ll tell you the elements I include in mine (and the time allotment I give to each) but for now, let’s throw the doors open wide to what YOU want to include.

Start by gathering the resources you have to bring to the circle ~ like an inventory of your assets. When I’m brainstorming, I like to gather the hands-on materials that would make a circle fun, and also consider the internal assets (such as yoga poses I know, group exercises I know how to lead) I can bring to the circle.

After gathering physical materials, take out a piece of paper and make a list of additional ideas for what you might integrate into your circle.

Here are some materials and ideas to gather:

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Leading a Women’s Circle Part 2: Envisioning Parameters

This is the second in a series of 7 articles I will be sharing on starting a women’s circle.  In a previous newsletter, I wrote about Step 1: Setting Your Sacred Intention.  I shared reasons to start a circle and gave journaling questions for you to consider as you explore your greatest desires and motivations for starting a circle.

In this article, we will cover Step 2: Envisioning Parameters. Future issues will cover resources you will need, planning your circle, marketing and filling it, leading the first circle, and more.

Once you’ve set your sacred purpose and are allowing the Goddess to hold it with you, the next step is to get clear on the kind of circle you’d like to lead, and specify parameters that will build your circle’s integrity.

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