When I was 14 my family went to Jamaica. I loved it – the culture, the beautiful people, the weather…
One day in the market – I came across these necklaces that had the statement “One Blood” on the pendant. All different sizes, colors, they were everywhere! I asked one of the men selling them, what does that mean, One Blood?
He took my hand, and wrapped his around it, and said with a brilliant and bright smile, “One Blood.”
The truth to that statement still brings chills to my spine. One Blood. One family, one race…. just One.
Today is what would be Larry Schultz’s 68th birthday here on Planet Earth. As I go about my day, the memories of celebrating his birthday’s together are with me. I feel held by the IYI Rocket® trainers that have shared messages and pictures in our It’s Yoga International WhatsApp group knowing that legacy continues through them – it truly warms my heart. It reminds me that each day with the ups and downs, the challenges of operating an international business, of preserving Larry’s gifts to the world, of growing as a woman, a mother, and a wife, as a human being – that we are One Blood. The ones who have left are simply in the other room, still One with us, In Love.
So, Happy Birthday Larry. We are still here sharing the Love, like you inspired, taught and trusted us to – and we carry the torch forward to future generations as we grow It’s Yoga, The Rocket, as we share the trainings, and as we contribute to the awakening of humanity to our Divine reality, we are One Blood.
The Yoga room in San Francisco was really big. We used to call it Yankee Stadium for yogi’s.
It smelled like insence, sweat, and chilled foggy air. The ceilings were very high, and there were seven sky lights that lit the room with well, a shade of gray, if you will. It’s Yoga was a haven in the concrete jungle South of Market.
During my training, I remember the classes being full and fun. People waltzed through the doors at 4:20 each day – and I couldn’t understand how that was, doesn’t anyone work in San Francisco?
One class, I vividly remember this quote come from Larry’s mouth:
“You’re not your car, you’re not your job, your not your body, you are your breath.”
I am my breath? What does that mean?
Those early days of transformation were intense for me, I questioned everything, I looked for inconsistencies, and was trying to intellectualize everything I was learning. My ego was fighting for its life, and I was beginning to wonder why on earth I was listening to the “inner critic” in the first place. Surely, all this San Francisco talk is all hippie stuff, but something inside was really triggered, there was a flutter in my heart center that invited me to be open to the possibility, that maybe just maybe, there was truth in all this.
I am my breath. I am Spirit. I am the air, I am the unseen and the untouched, I am that which keeps me alive. I am that which is the intelligence that makes my heart beat without my asking it too. I didn’t make myself, and the Creator and the created are the same. So I must be that too, right?
And if that’s the case, then what about what I am “not.” If I’m not my car, my job or my body, then that must mean when I identify as those things, or have attachment around those things, I am not what I truly am.
I am my breath.
Gosh, most of my days and nights I spend time not then, as I am not, with my awareness focused on my body – what it looks like, feels like, what is happening in my “job” and I guess to a certain extent, my car too! Where am I going today?
Larry loved to say that there was no where to go, nothing to do, and no one to be. Just relax and breathe, and go with the flow.
I used to get so confused by that! I have lots of places to go, lots to do, and everyone to be. Relax and breathe? Go with the flow?
Yes, surrender, Marie. You will gain control when you let go, when you are guided, and allow Spirit (your breath) to lead the way. When you learn to listen to your inner teacher.
I used to sit in that room pretty much every morning, day and evening. If I want to, I can go there right now in my mind, and even smell that smell of It’s Yoga.
I am my breath.
So friends, if I am my breath, you are too. Notice when you are holding it, when you bend down to get something and you’re holding your breath, when you pick up the phone, and hold your breath, when you have to make a decision, and you hold your breath.
Then listen to the sound of your inner voice say, “BREATHE” Take a full one. Pause right there and then, and know, you are not that which you are holding your breath about, you are not your car, your job or your body. Slow down a moment, and realize, You, are your breath.
We enrolled our children, Ruby (3) and Adam (1), in the oldest Montessori school in our area this September. When we went to our visit during the summer, Ruby was enrolled in another “Montessori” school, however, we had started to realize that it may not be the most inspiring or consistent environment for her and as aligned to the Montessori system as the name would imply. We scheduled and met with an administration advisor who generously spent an hour with us discussing the method and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, and offered us the privilege of observing the classrooms in action and speaking with teachers.
In the first 5 minutes, we knew that this was the real deal. The energy was peaceful, the teachers were bright, patient, pleasant, but even more important, the children were peaceful & kind, little masters welcoming our Ruby into the room. There was an energy of equality and respect in the air that I could literally reach out and touch. I informed our guide that Ruby was currently in a “Montessori” school but it certainly wasn’t the same experience and she said, well, this is the only accredited, authentic Montessori school in the area.
This fact statement rang a bell for me and Daniel. We locked eyes and knew instantly that this was the place for our children. We are all about authenticity. Say what you are and be what you say you are – Larry would say, practice what you teach, and teach what you practice.
This experience nurtured me big time, as we are again in the conversation with It’s Yoga® International and The Rocket® – around how to best serve the community while maintaining Larry’s Legacy, the authenticity of the It’s Yoga® System, and of course, the well known and much loved Rocket® Routines. Here’s my take away: the school that Ruby will be moving from, that says it is Montessori, only has a semblance of the “Montessori” method. You see, not all the teachers are certified from an accredited school, standards are not presented and met, and the facility does not meet the requirements to be a accredited on Montessori school. To be accredited Montessori takes a major commitment and full devotion to the Montessori method, and not everyone choices to go the distance – although many schools in the area call themselves Montessori, there is only one that embodies its genius 100%.
In terms of It’s Yoga, we see this often. It looks like the Rocket, sometimes it feels like it, but without the It’s Yoga accreditation, the standards and authenticity are absent, or let’s just say, there is more to be desired in the off the mat expression of The Rocket. I see it online – teachers teaching the “Rocket” and their language and energy is not aligned to the language of the Authentic self…its only an observation, and believe me, we want students who study The Rocket to get the experience of It’s Yoga that inspires the practice to be attainable and real.
As we move forward and continue educating, informing and inviting Rocket® practitioners and instructors to re-engage and fully step into accreditation and certification through It’s Yoga® International, we ask that you remember Larry’s quote, “It’s Yoga is the Montessori school for Yoga Instructors.” This primary education is essential, grounding, and designed to affirm in each person, the training tools/techniques, authenticity and generosity of Spirit that is essential to bring the planet to a higher vibration. Rocket® Instructors in the It’s Yoga® system and accreditation, have been trained in the highest level of education in the Rocket® available – not only in the physical aspects of the practice, but in the emotional, intellectual, and Spiritual aspects so that we are serving from a place of WHOLENESS.
Consider this: The Founder of It’s Yoga®, Larry Schultz, is the creator of The Rocket®, that is a Fact. Where else could you find his full Legacy and more importantly his intentions and vision for the Rocket carried on? It’s Yoga® International is 100% committed to maintaining his Living Legacy, and as I have been so blessed to experience recently, the difference is palpable. The purpose of accreditation is to be fully aligned to the Founders’ intentions, genius, and discoveries and the institutions that are in place after Founders have moved on – with the intention of preserving the methods to be passed on and utilized to the the fullest potential.
Our invitation? Go for the real deal. It may be more difficult at first, there may be additional costs, you may need to sit in the circle with us, but the bottom line is that if you want to experience the The Rocket in its essence, it is through an accredited It’s Yoga. This is not about a specific teacher, its about the System. And It’s Yoga® is the partner to The Rocket® that grounds it so that it can truly Soar. Like Montessori, “We believe that each person is unique and capable. We believe in nurturing the whole person by creating a community where the heart of the individual is as important as challenging the intellect.” Whole is the key word here – that’s the main reason we created 300/500 Hr. Programs in The Rocket® – without It’s Yoga the Rocket would become just another physical activity spinning around the universe aimlessly. After all, when students ask what is “The Rocket?” It’s only natural to reply, “It’s Yoga!”
Montessori philosophy and curriculum promotes an understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all that exists and a consequent social policy that teaches we are stewards of the earth…Larry was so spot on to call It’s Yoga the comparable for yoga instructors….
Visit the program description page to see about becoming a registered member of It’s Yoga International – continue your learning, be humble, be open, and remember, you can’t DO yoga, it can DO you. We hold the vision that all who are teaching the Rocket and the It’s Yoga System in the world, will join us, after all, “Now is the time for Yoga.” Sutra1:1.
A curveball, in the It’s Yoga lingo, is anything you didn’t ask for, but got anyway, something you didn’t see coming.My first “curveball” that I remember being dubbed as such, was when I left San Francisco after my training, got in the car, arrived to the airport, and realized I had forgotten my phone and wallet in the car. I called It’s Yoga SF freaking out. Larry, who never answered the phone, answered the phone. When I told him what had happened he said, “Well, that’s a curveball, do you trust It’s Yoga?”
“Yes,” I said, “but I can’t get on the plane without my ID.”
He replied, “Take three breaths, then go back outside and I bet Wisler is there.”
As fate would have it, Wisler, Larry’s personal driver, realized I had left my belongings and was waiting for me just outside the door. He had already called Larry and said that if I reached him, that he’d wait by the entrance for me. And thus, began the many opportunities I would have to process and experience “curveballs,” and learn about “trusting It’s Yoga.”
What I learned?
That if it wasn’t for all these and many other curveballs, I wouldn’t know how to hit a ball.
I got a tumor in my hip at 19 and was guided towards It’s Yoga for healing on a deeper level. I would learn to take responsibility for that tumor during teacher training a few years later, when I learned (thank you Ashley Nunn for that presentation on Chakras) that hips are where we hold emotions and feelings of guilt about our sexuality. Interesting!!! Around 18-19 I was just coming into my sexuality and was judging myself SO fiercely about having “sex out of wedlock” —and liking it!!!! My negative thoughts were so unhealthy that I literally created a mass of energy in my hip. For sure I was going to be punished for this “sin” and thus, learned about the power of my own thoughts to do just that! But even what seemed like a “punishment” was a blessing and gift. I was going to soon learn to ultimately embody a whole new thought system – where punishment is impossible where Love is present (pre-sent).
I fell in love with an older man who taught me about yoga (union), love and life to the point that I became a Master directed to carry on his legacy & lineage. I followed my heart in the relationship despite the judgements, and got “barbequed” by how that decision was seemingly tearing my friends & family apart – which led Larry to introduce me to Dorothy Divack, my coach and mentor for over 12 years. She opened up a whole new thought system that encouraged me to own my truth and trust the process. That only Love is Real. That I am not responsible for everyone’s happiness. That it was actually egoic to think that I could make others happy. That I could have faith that everyone in my life and in the world had a path, and that God was with them every step of the way. My family learned acceptance and now we have all sorts of crazy beautiful Love happening all around.
I abandoned my career path and embraced anew lifestyle. Did not see that coming. I learned how to walk the walk and that sometimes I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. That commitment to my purpose in life would be a full time job. I learned how to lead international trainings with confidence, passion and expertise. I watched friends and colleagues make decisions that broke my heart, and practiced and learned about forgiveness and tolerance. I became a widow at 30 and met Daniel 3 months later. I miscarried more than I’d like to admit, and learned how to heal my relationship with mySelf, and now have two gorgeous angelic children from God.
Curveballs are the stuff we didn’t ask for, but got anyway. They make us stronger, they teach us how to shed the layers of our armor to get to the Truth of who we are and what we are here to experience – and ultimately to transcend. To learn that the thoughts we choose to value have a direct and real relationship with our bodies, and that in order to be truly healthy, and authentic, we need to heal our relationship to our Creator, and learn to Trust again.
Larry would say often that when we were “getting barbequed” or feeling afraid, we should ask for more. That transformation was happening, and that you can’t mess up. It’s all for learning. He was so right.
I am eternally grateful to the Weaver of this tapestry called Life, that brings together the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad, the disturbing, the unacceptable and the beautiful, in one big colorful quilt, to keep us warm, while leading us to realize that we are, indeed, “stronger than we think we are.”
Namaste, friends. You’ve got this. When a curveball comes your way, take three breaths, and Trust, it’s Yoga. If I can support you in any way, let me know, I am here – and it’s a privilege to serve you on your journey through curveballs and beyond. Let’s do this together.
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….
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.
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!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for times….
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.”