InShaler Magazine and Details on the Park Program

Hello new readers and those just discovering that Shaler Township has had a community yoga program in place for the third year starting this May.  The program is truly inclusive and made available to anyone that is able to attend.  You do not have to be an established practitioner or have any other kind of yoga acumen.  We are a mix of all experiences and walks of life.


We meet on the tennis courts before 8am with class starting promptly at this time.  We go through a gentle series which can be made more difficult should the practitioner desire that.  One’s practice is always a personal endeavor even with someone guiding you, it should only be about where you feel safe to go and no one can make you do otherwise.  As teachers, we give you an offering and what you do with it is by and large, your choice.  the goal is to create more unity  between mind and body and self-care is oart of that.

You will need a mat, a towel for cushioning or rolling otherwise known as prop use!  if you have a block or strap or both–bring what you have 🙂  there is no such thing as “yoga clothes” that should preclude you from a practice.  anything light and comfortable.  dress in layers as the season is so unpredictable right now.   we do not want to be distracted by the ideas about how we look, our concerns are about whether we have comfort and how that allows us to more truly deeper into a mind/body practice.

I would like to mention something about religion in relation to yoga as i have had some interesting diaologue as of late.  Yoga is absolutely not a religion and there is no one looking to recruit anyone!  The yogic practices are philosophies.   Some are devout in their practices of the “8 limbs” and some incorporate just a bit into their lives.  It is not anything you have to even consider.  The physical practice known as “asana” is just one limb and it is what most people understand in the western world that “yoga” is primarily.  “yoga” is beyond this and has nothing to do with trying to indoctrinite those who discover it via movement (primarily).  In order to experience life, one must be present/connected and if anything, yoga can be our greatest tool or instrument to facilitate this.  The masses are discovering this.  Learning how to live a life where fear does not drive us is something we all work on.  This is a struggle united that we all can work to neutralize in many ways.  Yoga is one very powerful option.

Parking and set-up can be a little tricky with everyone coming right before start time so try and give yourself ample time.  If you are new, there is a simple waiver to complete.  The word is out and everyone knows that yoga under the skies of breaking dawn is a glory to behold!  Come share the power of your own being and discover that if you can breathe, you can call yourself a yogi!  ;^)

Be sure as we move through the season, to “follow” this site, so when cancellations are posted, an email link will be sent to you.  You can also follow/check the “lizzzrrd lounge studios” facebook page and twitter @lizzzrrdlounge.  We try to go for as l9ng as we can tolerate the changing season.

Thank you for staying connected here and “Welcome” to all the new faces that we will meet and are reading this, and to the existing yogis–BIG GROUP COLLECTIVE HUG!!!!  I can almost smell the warm asphalt of the courts!!!  :))))

Any questions or concerns, please send me an email.

Namaste all and see you soon!!!

🙂 lizzie







kiwanis park saturday morning update

no rain, all gains! see you on the courts at 8am, yogis.

if you can bring a long scarf, belt or extra light, long sleeve shirt that will be a great substitute for a strap this morn. and as always, an extra cushiony towel–bath, beach–whatever you have.

see you soon!

Kiwanis Park Season Opener Update

good morning, community. the rain appears to be holding off and as long as that happens, we should be fine. the tennis courts have been able to dry out a good bit.

the reminder is given that this program is open to all. neighborhood is irrelevant and who you are, what you look like and who you love is irrelevant.

many know the “what to bring” protocol but for new folks, they are not so sure. here is the easy short list if you have not already looked through the archive messages or come via the route of direct linkage from the shaler township newsblast.

Do bring…

– a mat (beg, borrow or improvise!)

– drinking water (lukewarm is best)

– a beach/bath towel if you have it

– a long belt or stretchy scarf (surely you can’t have packed them away already!) 😉

– wear comfortable lose clothing or anything you feel you can move well in and not be distracted by other thoughts (AND DRESS IN LAYERS)

– if you have any yoga props such as blocks, etc bring them (we use belts/scarves to simulate the strap)

– a friend if you can wish!

– allow extra time if you are new to fill out a short waiver form

– parking is up in the hill and try and be careful as plant sale folks will be there early to set up (not usually the case otherwise)

see you there but not the 🐻!

– lizzie

Angel of Life

Adagio – Part II


Shall we begin—again…


Many of you might not have realized that you had heard that composition before.  It has been the accompaniment to some of the world and nation’s greatest public broadcasts of loss.  An anthem of sorrow and grief.   When I heard it first, I heard it in a place that began from the inside, out.  I was young, about four and wading around on a humid evening where the sun was still high and shimmering, in the long island pool of my mother’s best childhood friend.  I listened to what I should not have, and soon found myself moving from a place of safety and sinking, as I watched that sun with a trail of bubbles and fight—leaving me quickly.  When the fight left, the music began.  It came and permeated every part of me and as I looked at the sun still, the music told me it was okay to close my eyes and let go.  I knew that I might see my friend Billy again.  So that sorrow comforted me along with the music, and I was at peace. 

I do not remember being pulled from the pool.  I do remember coming to as they had me on my side and worked to get me back.  That was almost 50 years ago.  That experience in its totality has never left; the serenty that came from those moments and the memory of that music were absolutely indelible.  Descension and Ascension.  The fall before the rise…only to fall again many years later.

This past year of 2018 brought another challenge.  It all seemed pretty wonderful until that October 27thSaturday.  The world knows what happened that day.  I happened to be teaching in Squirrel Hill as I normally would.  Class had started at 10:15amand then it all began to go awry.  I will not go into detail but I will simply say that something on a cellular level changed inside of me that day.  The horror of all of it, and the fear of not knowing if he was charging toward our space as there was a temple just up our street on Shady Avenue, was something I can’t ever describe.  I am of Armenian and Jewish heritage so this hit in a way that reached so profoundly deep.  The world responded with love and helped lift this city again.  It was a time also for each of us to look within ourselves and see where we can do better.    

On December 2nd,  I was teaching my Sunday morning class and believed I was in the middle of a heart attack (considering my mother died at 51 of a massive heart attack,  I thought I was out of the woods after I passed my 51styear).  I called a dear friend and asked if they would take me to the ER.  Off we went and about 6 hours later I was sent home after many tests with the hypothesis that I was suffering from severe flu symptoms.  On Wednesday, December 5th I awoke and was delirious with fever and severely dehydrated.  I called my friend who came and carried me out of my house and drove through a raging white out to the ER after I refused an ambulance; I will never be so stupid again.  Unbeknownst to either of us, I was in full septic shock.  I was taken to the ICU right away because I was in complete organ failure with almost no blood pressure.  Cognitively I was all over the place.  My dear dear friend was next to me and when a nurse said something that bewildered me, I just remember I froze thinking I will not have time to see my children before I die!  It was so unbelievably sublime and not something that I want to claim as mine—but it was all there at that moment.  I was truly dying.  I asked my friend if that is what she meant because my personal google was coming up with only that!  And the answer given was “yes”.   So again, miracle number two happened.  I am sitting at my keyboard batting out to you all!!!!  Had I not made that call for help I would have died in my bed alone.  Many do and I am certainly not exempt.   But on that day, an angel definitely carried me and told me to “shut the f*** up!” because apparently I could not stop talking and saying why I needed to walk and if you know me well—all the inane bantering that goes on inside my head, fever or NOT!

So here I sit and guess why they believe my body was able to come back?!  That’s RIGHT!!!!  The state of strength and perseverance which my body was able to endure—they BELIEVE—was because of my (physical) yoga practice (and my herculean friend of course).  The things we can control are our physical and spiritual health and that was my yoga.  And what about the music you ask?  It was there too but not on my iphone or any other playback device…it was in me.  I heard it over and over again.  The ascension.  I was fully alive again.

This all happened in a snap so when it did, my teaching went out the window.  I was out of the ICU in 3 days and then home the following Sunday.  There was a protracted recovery because my whole body was flooded with arthritis and all kinds of after-affects.  Suddenly I was gone from Schoolhouse Yoga and no one knew why.  I had actually asked for privacy with the hope of coming back in a month or two.  That was one of the things keeping me motivated because part of my biggest “shadow” was the depression that set in from all of this.  Things took a different course at Schoolhouse and I was not able to return nor say my good-byes after over four years there.  This was pretty devastating on its own.  Students are so very special and the duration I was at Schoolhouse brought so many truly dear connections.  There is always the memory and the hope that our paths will cross again in this “little pond” that is Pittsburgh!!

My recovery has taken time but I was up and around and feeling more myself in about two months.  There is some permanent damage and some that is still hopefully going to get better.  Quite honestly, it’s like everything in life—ABSOLUTELY UNKNOWABLE!  I am not who I was, again.  The evolution continues.  There are some things I am not able to do anymore.  Accepting this is all part of my yoga practice.  Letting go is the forever challenge for all of us.

If you are wondering what caused the sepsis, they do not know.  It is a complete mystery TO THEM.  To me, I believe it was October 27th.  The trauma of that day set the stage for the breakdown of my body and spirit.  Even though my experience was more on the periphery, it should drive home to every one of you how you ABSOLUTELY need to take care of and PAY ATTENTION to your state of physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Do not brush something off when you are feeling that you have been deeply affected.  Even if others do not understand, get help.  Do what heals, not harms you.  Your body will pay the price.

The sepsis caused some pretty challenging stuff and as devastating as it seemed initially, the blessings have been just enormous.  Those who stood by and cared for and about me with calls and visits.  You are everything to me.  My circle is small but it couldn’t be more tremendous.

So, the really fantastical news is that I will see so many of the faces that I know and just adore and others who are completely new.  This is the highlight that has punctuated months of recovery and I am doing great!  There will be some who can see very easily that something is different and others who have no clue.  In any case, we shall all come as we always do, with the resolve to hold ourselves with the most precious of embraces and THE PROMISE that nothing is expected other than,

 we came

 and we were present

 in the best way

 we knew how. 

And the music lives within us all.



And a lovely little professional footnote…

I continue to teach and am moving into other teaching capacities.  The details are forthcoming as I am working in conjunction with Shawn McGill MSW Consulting LLC on further serving the autistic/intellectually challenged community/clients and also working with the neurotypicals at-large!   No one gets left out of the mix 🙃






The Adagio – Part I

Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings Opus 11.  Listen with your eyes closed to the whole movement, if you are able.  No multi-tasking while listening.  Listening with that big beautiful heart—not your ears.  If you have been to a class I have taught, you have often heard this.  What you do not know, is that there is a story.  A little girl’s story.  I will share with you very personally how this story has joined with an adult story and where the adagio of life and yoga, for me, have intersected and saved me.  But that is for Part II on another day, if we are all lucky.  Live now.  Truly live.  Until it finds us, tomorrow is just a dream…


(And you were thinking you were going to hear about some yoga in the park news!)