I am the poet of the body. I am the poet of the soul.

~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

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ShawnIt’s too bad our problems don’t stay behind with our shoes when we step into the yoga studio. Too often, we get on the mat feeling overwhelmed with worry or stymied by a relationship conflict or in need of an energy boost. But the right class can leave us feeling clearer, lighter, and refreshed. Credit the stress-busting powers of a good workout? Sure. But the ancient yogis, and many teachers today, would also chalk this up to the unique way that yoga poses and breathwork move blocked prana (life force) through the subtle body.

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DSC_0436    Does Your Breastpump Say Redrum Too?

We’ve turned to an expert in language, yogic philosophy and mystical poetry to decipher what your pump might be telling you. Shawn Parell not only has undergraduate degrees in English and Religious Studies at Georgetown and Oxford University, but she has a delightful new guru in her just-turned-one daughter Kavi, thus we felt she was singularly suited to the task of translating the best of the breast pump incantations.

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Meditating at Vallecitos retreat Center near Taos. Photo courtesy of Shawn Parell htaylor@abqjournal.com Wed Jun 24 11:29:20 -0600 2015 1435166956 FILENAME: 194415.jpg

Meditating at Vallecitos retreat Center near Taos.

“Ommmmm.” Twenty-five voices chanted the universal unifying yoga mantra. Natural hot springs warmed our muscles, the moon illuminated our paths, a river offered meditative reflection.

My husband and I recently joined together with couples, singles, mothers and adult daughters for a day-and-a-half yoga retreat nestled within the rocky peaks of the Jemez Mountains.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.33.11 PMFlow is the state of unified consciousness, wherein all component parts absorb into wholeness. The natural world is governed by flow – it’s some-thing we can all relate to before we get to our first yoga class. In practice, flow is an organic entrainment of movement, breathe, intention, and awareness. It’s experiencing ourselves as not just what we think or what happens to us, but as an evolutionary process. The great invitation of yoga is to awaken to that process.

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3. 10 TOWNS WITH TOP NOTCH YOGAShout Out: “So many people come to DC because they want to change the world they live in,”says Shawn Parell, yoga teacher and director of programs for the nonprofit Anahata Grace, which provides yoga and wellness services to vulnerable populations. “Whether they’re working inside Capitol Hill or protesting outside, so many people here are driven by a deep sense of dharma, whether they call it by that name or not.”

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6. CNN iReport DC Global Mala Members and fellow yogis join together for 108 Sun Salutations for peace and healing.

On September 18, 2011, the DC Global Mala did celebrate its fifth birthday. Funds raised are going to support two projects – funding the wellness room at a domestic violence center and providing teacher training in collaboration with a community yoga studio in Palestine.

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Once you know the way, the nature of attention will call you
to return, again and again, and be saturated with knowing,
'I belong here, I am at home here.'  Answer that call.
~ Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Sutra 26

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