Kiwanis Park Saturday Morning Update

it pains me to say that with the drenching rains of last night, quick shower this morn and what looks to be more around our start time–just roll back over! when it’s this wet it is not very fun or safe.

take care of yourselves and we will keep our hopes high for next saturday.

be well.


Kiwanis Park Saturday Morning Update for 5/11/19

Practice starts promptly this morn at 8am on the tennis courts. if you have a big beach towel or bathtowel please bring it. we use it for cushioning and protecting the knees when on the ground.

New folks come a bit early to fill out a short waiver.

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!)


kiwanis park saturday morning – UPDATE

i have my last half of training and can’t manage the park in addition tomorrow. please accept my apologies again. let’s hope that the following saturday pans out and we can close the season on a high note. that is the hope!

it will be dark and cold tomorrow morn and we could all use some extended time under the covers. take care of yourselves and tune in next week. i am only teaching my sunday morning class at schoolhouse yoga in the north hills on sunday then back to regular teaching with one more blip on the radar on tuesday, oct 29th!



kiwanis park saturday morning – UPDATE

i am needing rest this morning and have to cancel. please accept my apologies as we may be close to a season wrap. next saturday is cancelled too as all energies need to go to training leaving october 20th as probably the season end for the park. i will send a final update this week on this.

thank you for understanding as always.

teaching schedule update for this week

hello all:

just a quick reminder i am of town this week and classes will be running with subs. also, for the next TWO WEEKENDS, i will be in a specialized yoga training workshop so my SATURDAY schoolhouse yoga classes are RUNNING WITH SUBS. KIWANIS PARK YOGA WILL RUN IF WEATHER PERMITS!!!! always check this site and social media for real-time updates. i AM TEACHING my normally scheduled SUNDAY MORNING schoolhouse classes BOTH WEEKENDS.

i will end with a rare moment of a ridiculously wonderful schoolhouse yogi! schoolhouse is a special home for teachers and students alike–robe and slippers are optional. 😉

momma carol rockin the robe!

kiwanis park saturday morning update – CANCELLED DUE TO HOMECOMING

i am just as sad as you are!!! in years past, we have held class but each year we had the encroachment of pre-festivities parking and high traffic at 9am. because i do not want to contribute to the chaos (and thank you beth for reminding me about homecoming!), it really makes sense to not have us struggle with anything. so this way you don’t have to feel badly about missing it! 🙂

i am taking a quick road trip to the metro new york region next week and will be back in time with a special class to make up for our consecutive saturday losses. isn’t it good to know how much it means to us when we don’t have it?!

you all take care and enjoy the festivities if you are attending! you might challenge yourself to set aside time on your own and play a bit with what you remember. a home (asana/pose) practice does not have to be complicated and you might truly surprise yourself with your own handling of it once you allow yourself the time and space. believe that you are enough.

so happy friday and keep in mind there is lots of local “celebrating” now through the weekend. BE SAFE!