The divine plan is a mystery.
It’s intelligence is beyond our understanding. It is only in our surrendering to It do we have any sense of knowing It. It’s truth lives deep in our Mind, and is untouched and unaffected by our disbelief. It continues radiating Its true Light, reminding us that we are a part of the Mystery. Our purpose is important, and we are worthy of being a part of It simply because it is our nature, instead of it being something we need to earn, It is there as a gift, speaking to who we really are, as a holy child of
That which create the sun and moon and stars and seas. Synchronicity, what we like to call “It’s Yoga Moments” happen all around each day, if we are willing to notice.
Today I woke up with my children, breakfast, packed lunches, dressed and out the door. Buckled the babes in, turned on the car and “Shakedown Street” by the Grateful Dead begins. Ruby says, “Mommy, is this your favorite song?” I said “yes, Ruby, it is one of my favorites.”
Every day since I was 14 I have been listening to the Grateful Dead. I remember the first time I listened to American Beauty. Their music is the vibe that I want to be on, and now that my children are also on the vibe, I feel the another layer of gratitude for the “Grateful Dead.”
When they named themselves this cryptic name, it was through one of the band members reading something and there was a phrase, “Grateful Dead” and they liked it. I found them confident and fearless to call themselves that. When I was teenager my mother told me they were evil, symbols of skulls and skeletons…I didn’t know about all that – I just liked the music, I felt like I remembered it somehow.
After I dropped my beautiful babes at school, I got back in the car to “Til the Morning Comes,” another one of my favorites, and a call from my dear friend Michele who was in Brighton UK at the new It’s Yoga Opening. She had planned to be there since July for another event, the studio was meant to be open in July, and all was in Divine Plan for them to all be in the same place at the same time, to celebrate the birth of this new Center.
She spoke to the Centers’ beauty, the flowers, the energy, the Love that is signature It’s Yoga. She said the Yogaman (Larry) was there, and I felt my heart expand inside my chest. There is still a core group of us, that are fully committed to It’s Yoga, to extending our love of the practice through with the system that Larry began in San Francisco. And although many have left, the ones who are here, and the new that come, remind me that the essence of It’s Yoga is still alive and thriving…and in the foggy town of Brighton, another Rocket takes off.
As I arrived at the It’s Yoga International Center here in Toledo, I looked at the pictures of Larry on the wall. What a mysterious man he was. I wanted to move the frames in front of me, like the old days when we practiced across from each other all those mornings. I felt his presence, the energy of the It’s Yoga Center in SF, and as I began to move, I was Grateful to the Dead.
To be “dead” means to have left this world, this body, for the next. To be at peace with the sequence of life, and death, whether I know it or understand it, or agree or disagree, means I am One with the Divine Mystery, and I trust that all is in Divine Right Order. I know that for me, and for those of us devoted to surrendering to the Divine Plan, that we will keep moving, gratefully, Til the Morning Comes.
Namaste friends, make it easy on yourself and surrender to the Divine Plan….
Lyrics, Til the Morning Comes
Songwriters: Margaret A. Lewis / Mira A. Smith
Till the morning comes, it’ll do you fine.
Till the morning comes, like a highway sign,
Showing you the way, leaving no doubt,
Of the way on in or the way back out.
Tell you what I’ll do, I’ll watch out for you
You’re my woman now, make yourself easy, make yourself easy
Make yourself eeeeeeasy
Till we all fall down, it’ll do you fine,
Don’t think about what you left behind
The way you came or the way you go
Let your tracks be lost in the dark and snow
Tell you what I’ll do, I’ll watch out for you
You’re my woman now, make yourself easy, make yourself easy
Make yourself eeeeeeasy
When the shadows grow, it’ll do you fine
When the cold winds blow, it’ll ease your mind
The shape it takes could be yours to choose,
What you may win, what you may lose
Tell you what I’ll do, I’ll watch out for you
You’re my woman now, make yourself easy, make yourself easy
Make yourself eeeeeeeasy
Peace and LOVE
You may or may not know that I was raised in the Antiochian Orthodox Church. My family of origin is deeply rooted in this ancient tribe that ties itself back to the earliest of Christians. It is committed to its rituals, its legacy and its culture.
When I was in my late teens early twenties, I served at the “Antiochian Village” as a camp councilor – and one evening session the Metropolitan, kind of like our version of a Patriarch/Pope/High Priest was visiting – when he gave his sermon, he said being there was like an “explosion of Love.”
That phrase has stayed with me, and arises most often when I am with my family of origin and extended, international family. This past weekend we had a family wedding, and people literally joined from all over the world. It is as if they all just stop their lives, rearrange their schedules, pack their bags, and come to what we affectionately call, “Holy Toledo.” Somehow this place in the world, has become home to a large tribe of Lebanese peeps from the Bekka Valley.
I wonder often what would have happened if my father had gone to Chicago, LA or New York when he came to North America in the early 70s. He had come for school, and didn’t necessarily intend to remain, and then there is circumstances of living in this world that inspire different outcomes than we may have imagined. Nonetheless, he landed here in Toledo, Ohio, and about 100 others joined us this weekend, for an “explosion of Love.”
They all said, “yes” to Love. Maybe it made them uncomfortable, to not be in the church for the “sacrament of marriage.” Maybe the other side of the family had expectations about what they wanted to experience – but whatever they thought, or felt, they showed up, and said, “yes,” let’s celebrate Love. Let’s rearrange our lives, our minds, our feelings, and say “yes!” every opportunity we have.
Let’s say “yes” even when we know it will make others uncomfortable. Let’s say “yes” even when we feel afraid that we are making the wrong decision. Let’s say “yes” when we know in our heart that it is time to make a change. Love is gentle and kind, and in my experience, it also asks us to stretch, to break through the limits we place on ourselves. Love is also endless, open and accepting.
My husband took this picture of me by my dad’s 66 Cadillac. It was late in the night after the wedding, the children were asleep and we were having a little party ourselves. I am so grateful I said “yes” to him, to love, when it came knocking on my door in Stockholm only 2 months after Larry had passed. What if I had said “no” – people will talk (they did anyway), “no” I’m not ready – I am too sad, or “no” I’m afraid that others will think I didn’t love Larry. What if I said, “no” I don’t want to share this picture, it’s too revealing! Or whatever my inner critic wants to say….then we wouldn’t be having this conversation on, Love.
Love requires us to be brave. To step out of the box. To be confident. To be open to its gifts in packaging we may not have asked for. Saying “yes,” brings us many more gifts than we could ever see with the body’s eyes. Dad said “yes” to Toledo, and a beautiful life unfolded, family said “yes” to travel and bring the love of family and culture together at the same place and the same time, I said “yes” to Love again, and became a mother among a multitude of other blessings – and you say “yes” to love everyday you decide to smile at someone on the street as your brother and friend.
Love will lead us to the places we want to go – even if we don’t have a 66 Cadillac to drive us, Love knows the way, all we have to do, is say “yes” sit back, and enjoy the ride. Let’s trust Love, it is indeed intelligent and has a Master plan, dear friends. Say “yes” as much as you can, and experience daily, “explosions of Love.”
October 4 2007, I walked up a hill to a door on Franklin Street in San Francisco. I knocked, and the door was answered by the magnificent Dorothy Divack. As my mentor and coach, the Godmother of It’s Yoga, and who we like to refer to as the “oracle” she greeted us with her signature smile and warm embrace – and in we walked. This was a big day in my evolution, and she knew it.
I went into the back room, changed my clothes, and met her and Larry in the living room. Flowers, clean and spacious, of course. Larry and her were laughing about something, and before I knew it, we began.
About 20 minutes later, we signed papers, took some pictures and off we went over the Golden Gate bridge, as husband and wife.
Since this day, 10 years ago, when I decided I would indeed, marry my yoga teacher, who was 30 years my senior, and raised Jewish to my Christian, I have attended my sister’s wedding to a beautiful black man whose father immigrated to the US from Nigeria, a cousin married a lovely Indian woman raised Hindu in Bombay, a friend’s brother married his (male) college sweetheart and danced to Frank Sinatra so tenderly, a (female) colleague married a woman she loved through facebook in Germany, and this upcoming weekend another cousin from Dubai will marry her best friend, who happens to be Muslim.
A lot has changed in the last 10 years. We have grown in so many ways, we have celebrated our differences and come to the conclusion, again and again, that Love is so much bigger than colors and body parts and the places we choose to be born and the families we choose to raise us. It is ever more clear, that to the extent that we continue to nurture that truth, that only LOVE is real, and fully embrace our fellow human beings as friends, as brothers and sisters, as extensions of ourselves – the end war and suffering will follow. All our problems today and always have been our inability and unwillingness to realize that we are all rays of light coming from one Sun, that we are united whether we want to be or not.
Today, 10 years ago, I was brave enough to listen to my inner guidance, and that decision, has brought so much more love and light into my life than I could have ever seen back then. I trust that as we continue to watch our Mother Earth, un-Earth, and political systems shift and change, that we will in our own worlds, love each other, unconditionally, and with our whole hearts. Only love is real friends.
Love and Peace today and always, and in all-ways,
In the third week of my teacher training at It’s Yoga SF, the instructor for the 930 AM class didn’t show up. I was there, journalling after my 7:30 AM practice with “the Yogaman,” and Larry said, “Guess who is teaching at 9:30?” I said, “who?”He said, “YOU!”
I said, “I’m not done with training yet!!!!!!!!” He said, “Me either! Take the handout in with you. Put everyone in a circle.” It was so hard to say “no” to Larry.
So I walked in the room, and asked the 3 students to make a circle…I began, and led them through the MPS – Modified Primary Series, with my handout close. After the class, Patricia walked up to me, she said, “Thank you. That was amazing.”
I said, “Really? It was my first class!”
Fast forward 13 years. Patricia wrote this to me yesterday:
‘Sometimes when things are a bit hectic here and I don’t have time to practice, I do what I call “yoga moment”! I stop what I’m doing, breath, close my eyes and do whatever pose I feel like! When I open my eyes, I very often see my boys next to me trying to do the same pose and it is so beautiful, it brings so much peace to my heart! I light an incense, we have a group hug and celebrate life!”
For the love. IT IS SUCH A PRIVELIGE TO SHARE YOGA….The gifts of giving just keep coming…and I realize, that I am the one receiving all the gifts.
Let’s FaceTime live Wednesday, February 8th, 6 AM in SF, 9 AM in Toledo, 1 PM in Florence, 2 PM in Tenerife, 4 PM in Beirut, 6 PM in Dubai….if you miss it LIVE, watch later…we can do this!!!
Greetings and Love from Tenerife,
I find myself in this question today, how do I keep it real, when it has become so unreal.
It’s hard to believe what’s going on the yoga world. I suppose after two babies and being in my “yoga cave” the last few years – I am emerging into new territory. Other than classes, workshops and trainings moving online, it seems that more than before, everyone is a yoga teacher. My observation is that there is A LOT of skin showing!!!
I’ve been invited to go there, online. I wonder. What would Larry do? Would he go? Accept the invitation? What about privacy, for me, and for you. Can we do this? Do you want to do this?
Some benefits: we get to see each other and practice together regardless of where in the world we are….Costs: there is a screen between us, literally.
So here’s the in between, let’s meet in private first, just you and me, and we step carefully into the new technology, while Keeping it Real. Email me at email@example.com for times….
Namaste and Love from the middle of the Atlantic.
It was time, so thankfully and gratefully, I rolled out the mat.
I felt the breath deep in my chest, opening my heart, to another day of lessons in life, love and “getting here faster.” What does getting there faster mean, anyway?
It means that I shift sooner, than later. I am in touch with my mental modifications, and I know when I am healthy, or unhealthy, authentic self, or adapted self.
And that means, I am acutely aware, of when I am in Love, or when I am in fear.
Since I know that only LOVE is real, I go there, faster. This way, I reside in REALity, in the energy of the divine, and I am at peace. I am one with my Creator, and all is Right in the world.
All that from a few deep breaths?
I did it, I rocked it at home. And I want to share that with you. I want to practice what I teach, and teach what I practice. I want to show you, that you too, can shift, faster, from fear to Love, and to stay there, in the Light and Peace that was intended for you. It is your Choice. It’s a holy choice, and it emcompasses everything on the mat, and more so, off the mat. Every moment counts, in the journey hOMe.
More Rocket Streams, coming soon, to a Theatre near YOU.
Namaste and Love dears, am here for you, as we hold the Vision of: “all beings everywhere, being happy and free.”
It’s a new year, and with it a new-ness to everything. And I realize, that indeed, I am a beginner, again.
Larry Schultz used to say that the only difference between you and me, is that I have 63,000 Sun Salutes in my hands. Then he would hold out his large and spacious hands, and laugh his signature laugh. “Every day, I wake up,” he would say, “I am a beginner again.”
Today, I find myself very much a beginner again in all that I thought I mastered. In A Course in Miracles, lesson 7 – “I see only the past.” On my mat, moving through the Salutes with presence of my hands and feet, in my life as a mother, in my home – in this new country, a beginner learning a new language. Everything is new again, and I am beginning to understand what it means to be a beginner, again.
So I read my Purpose for being here, and continue breathing, being, and bending, deeply at times, to see that there is Light in all things, and when being a beginner is hard, I know that I am judging my process. The only difference between us, is the number of Sun Salutes in our hands. I can choose again, as a beginner, and simply observe the rising of the sun within me as I begin another year of Mastering….
Keep breathing friends, let’s join in being beginners this year: open, fresh, curious, new and Trusting that all things, are exactly as they should be.
With Love and Namaste,
Greetings Friends of It’s Yoga International:
Trust all is peaceful with you, as we celebrate what is Larry’s 66th birthday today, November 14th. I am yet again, invited to reflect upon his gifts to the world. As the Founder of The It’s Yoga® System of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Larry’s vision of unity opened the doors to anyone and everyone who wanted to practice Ashtanga. He was brave enough to create The ROCKET® when the system in place was closed to any modifications. He listened to his inner guide, his internal wisdom, and made choices that reflected his willingness to take the path less traveled, to co-create with the Divine, and to share his love of the practice with the world. I am honored that Larry entrusted me with his most precious gifts to the world, and I am committed to sharing them with authenticity, grace, and excellence.
Larry used to say it was going to take “a million yoga teachers to save the world!” What I’ve come to understand from that statement, is that it is going to take ALL of us, to step up our game, to be the LIGHT we see and feel when we’re on the mat. And even more so, in these times, it is the way that we show up OFF the mat, that is going to make all the difference. If you are a yoga instructor and want to expand your practice and teaching, consider It’s Yoga® and The ROCKET® as your vehicle. Our new 300 Hr. Program is designed to give you the tools that will inspire, inform, and direct your life’s work.
Click here for more information on our 2017 Trainings
We look forward to seeing YOU in the circle.
Oh, and Happy Birthday Larry, we love you.
With love, respect and NAMASTE,
It’s Yoga International
Lately there has been a lot of social media posting of trainings, classes in “Rocket Yoga.” It reminds me of how Larry Schultz, (the creator of It’s Yoga® and The Rocket®, 1950-2011) used to say that you should never put your name in front of Yoga.
I am also reminded of when Larry was invited to Kripalu to share The Rocket.® They published marketing materials calling his event, “Lift off into the New Year with Rocket Vinyasa Yoga.” At first, he thought it was great, “look at this Inny “(his nick-name for me), “The Rocket is its own Yoga now!”
Then he contemplated, as most Yoga masters do, and had me call Kripalu to see if we could get it changed. “Never put your name in front of Yoga” he said. “That’s why we call it “It’s Yoga, ” because It’s about the Yoga. The Rocket® is a part of It’s Yoga.” And It’s Yoga, is a progressive, modern perspective on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
The Rocket® originated as a series that Larry created when he was on tour with the Grateful Dead. The Rocket® is a sequence that brought advanced postures of ASHTANGA VINYASA YOGA to beginners. The Rocket® is based in a faster tempo, and is comprised of 3 main routines, Rocket 1, 2 and 3 – and their variations. The routines evolved over time, and as Larry continued to teach them to the members of the band, he asked Bob Weir, “what should we call this Bob?” And he said, “The ROCKET! ”
“Why?” Larry asked, “because it gets you there faster! ” Bob said.
“I love it!” Larry said.
And that is why we still call it “The Rocket®.” Larry brought The Rocket® Routines back to It’s Yoga SF when he came home from touring with the Grateful Dead. Some old time students remember the controversy of changing the Primary series/second series/third sequences of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Purists in the Ashtanga Vinyasa community left, and many more were attracted to this fun and inclusive practice at It’s Yoga. The practitioners at It’s Yoga got seriously strong, and it happened at Rocket speed, no pun intended. Over the years, people started to literally fly.
And it was all happening at It’s Yoga San Francisco, The Rocket blasted off each day at 4:30 in the afternoon. It really wasn’t practiced anywhere else. When Larry started to teach teacher trainings around 1996-1997, people began to come from all over the world. They loved It’s Yoga and The Rocket. The energy, the people, the practice. It’s Yoga SF was the 3rd Yoga studio in SF and there are now over 140 in the Bay Area! Larry’s classes were full, loving and transformational and It’s Yoga SF was a unique and beautiful space to welcome people to each day.
Time to TRAIN….
As It’s Yoga grew internationally, more and more people requested Rocket Trainings. The It’s Yoga 200 Hr. is based in Ashtanga Vinyasa, and has its own genius around how to modify the practice for western practitioners. Larry started getting together a manual, and some videos, and began offering trainings in The Rocket® for people who graduated the It’s Yoga 200 Hr Training. It was so important to have the foundation of the 200 Hr. Larry knew there was no way teach people in 5-10 days, without that basic It’s Yoga training under their belt. Even then, it was clear, more and more training was essential to maintain authenticity and establish trust with those taking The Rocket® out into the world.
Larry really wanted to have standards and organization for It’s Yoga and The Rocket. He trademarked It’s Yoga® and as he used to say, he “ran out of money” in the process of trademarking “The Rocket.” So, it was important to IYI that we follow this through….I am grateful to say that now, The Rocket ®, is a registered trademark (another article on this coming soon). IYI has spent considerable time and energy to bring The Rocket® full circle, and I am confident to say, with certainty, that Larry is in LOVE with the fact the IYI has created 300 Hr. and 500 Hr. Programs to offer a comprehensive program in the It’s Yoga Rocket System.
Larry often shared, “practice what you teach, and teach what you practice.” It sounds so simple, however, we see every day, those trained in one thing, teaching another. Our Trainings are designed to support people in becoming great practitioners, on and off the mat. The Rocket® deserves that and more, after all, It’s Yoga!
The bottom line, The Rocket® and It’s Yoga® are in a sacred union. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, shiva and shakti, yin and yang. Larry brought The Rocket home to It’s Yoga in the early 1990s, and It’s Yoga nurtured, expanded, and blew The Rocket® out the door and into the world. That’s a beautiful thing. Many people believed It’s Yoga was Larry, and with him gone, it does not exist anymore. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Larry used to say, I am not “It’s Yoga…..I work for It’s Yoga! Each day I wake up and say, ‘How can I serve It’s Yoga today?…” It’s Yoga is the rock from which The Rocket® takes off. It’s Yoga and The Rocket came through Larry, they are his gifts to the planet and they belong to the Universe. IYI is fully devoted to maintaining their legacy, and authenticity.
And thus, as the steward of It’s Yoga, it is my request, and invitation, that those that want to teach The Rocket®, come to It’s Yoga®, to learn of its ESSENCE. So when people ask you, what’s “The Rocket?” you will know with your whole heart, It’s Yoga.
February 27th, marked the 5 year anniversary of our Founder, Friend and Teacher, Larry Schultz’s transition from this life to the next. In these 5 years, It’s Yoga has changed form as well, although, our dedication and commitment to the Rocket® and Larry’s Living Legacy remains strong and continues to expand the vision of It’s Yoga: to share the love of the practice!
This last month, I was, yet again, reminded of the essence of It’s Yoga. We completed a 200 Hr. Training in Mexico City, and in the final circle a few of the participants shared how they had been a part of many teacher trainings, and that the It’s Yoga Training stood apart in it’s ability to inspire a family atmosphere rooted in love. It warmed my heart to hear this, and I shared this with the group, and now with all of you, that that is what Larry was all about, and that is the Spirit of It’s Yoga: family and love.
Larry was able to transmit the practice with a generosity of Spirit and humor that was truly unique. As the Founder of It’s Yoga and the Creator of the Rocket®, his vision was a million yoga teachers to change the world. Larry committed his life to empowering practitioners of yoga with the tools to share their practice in their communities. He inspired everyone he trained, all over the world, to pick up their mat and commit to their personal practice. Knowing that, from a daily connection to our inner teacher, all would be revealed, all would be healed, and we would indeed manifest our dreams.
And that is what we are up to, with It’s Yoga International.
Check out our IYI Community Page on itsyoga.com! It’s Yoga has trained over 5000 students in our life-affirming curriculum, and I invite you all to get on itsyoga.com and fill out the form and register with IYI! This offers us the opportunity to deepen our connection and offer the world ways to find It’s Yoga trained instructors.
In addition, visit the IYI Certifications Page, clarifying the 200 Hr., 300 Hr., and 500 Hr. designations with It’s Yoga International. We look to inspire you to continue and/or to start your journey on the Rocket®, and join the It’s Yoga International Family! We are dedicated to extending Peace on Earth through the practice of yoga, on and off the mat, and you are invited.
Thank you for you reading this newsletter, and for your continued support of It’s Yoga and the Rocket®. We truly are changing the world, one training at a time.