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“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
~Oscar Wilde


When was the last time you actually interrupted the relentless flow of tasks, emails, texts, calls … and took a real moment for yourself, BY YOURSELF and stood in front of the mirror and had a conversation with yourself? And what if you actually made yourself turn off the bad radio inside your head, the one that is ceaselessly self-critical? And what if you stood there basking in the wonderment of who you are as a perfect, loving, whole being on this earth?

Maybe today’s the day you need to do it. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I say you do it … And this is how the conversation should go:

“Hello there, stranger. How have you been? How are you today? Right this minute? Right here, right now?  Did you know that I love you and I appreciate you? All of the little things you do for me, body and mind, to keep all of my finely-tuned involuntary systems humming along … keeping me alive so that I can stop and smell the roses and share a smile with that lovely child holding his Mother’s hand? Here I am, self, here I am spirit, saying hello and giving you some much deserved, overdue love.

I did this very thing today, and was surprised and delighted to find that when I looked at myself, I felt a sudden sense of comfort, peace and quiet. It was some kind of unexpected magic. There I was floating inside this bubble of surreal amazement, this rare opportunity that I had chosen to create, suspended in time, holding the rest of the world at bay in order to have this very important conversation … with myself.  I was suddenly no longer just a person, but an entire world unto myself– yes, that’s right, bigger than my own reality outside- no longer merely a person, a person who interacts with the world and focuses most of her energy and attention out there, but pristinely alone in this stolen, dedicated moment in time.  I was the only one alive and ready to be lavished with the love that only I knew how to give. And I smiled at myself- I felt overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to be alive, in this body, with this heart, silently pumping inside. And I gave thanks to myself, my body, my mind, my soul and I kissed myself on the forehead, the way I would tenderly kiss my child. And then, I smiled, a deep, broad smile that lit up my face- the face that was staring back at me, and inside, I could feel the new, life-giving energy that can only come from love zephyring up and down my spine and traveling to every part of my being, igniting me with inspiration and epiphany. It led me to put fingers to keyboard today and share this with all of you … that to love yourself is the only way to go. I highly recommend it, this loving of yourself, this smiling to yourself in the mirror, and I have vowed to myself, that even on my darkest days, I will perform this most sacred ritual of not just checking in with myself, but loving myself and giving myself a smile, which serves as a perfect segue to the “Inner Smile,” perhaps one of the most powerful ways to love thyself, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.
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Welcome, Resilient Rabbit!


“The year of the metal rabbit is about harmony and goodwill,” as well as a time to rest and recuperate from the wild ride we all had with the Tiger … and what better way to do this than with a Yin practice?! Join me, February 19-20th at YogaWorks NYC Soho for a rejuvenating, harmonizing weekend of Waking Energy and Yin Yoga

And tonight, in honor of the delicate, elegant and peace-loving hare who brings great treasures of fortune and blessings, I am featuring this excerpt from Susan Levitt this evening … Enjoy!


Hare year can be a nurturing time of peace, calm, leisure, and rest after the intensity of the previous Tiger year. During gentle Hare’s influence, good taste and refinement are valued, and comfort is desired. Money can be made easily, but spent easily. Dragon year 2012 will be a wild, exhausting time, so appreciate the small pleasures of Hare year as opportunities to heal, relax, and entertain. Make time for family gatherings and comfortable travel. Expect political compromise and diplomatic peacemaking on a global level. Discretion and persuasion are effective in a Hare year, whereas force does not work.

The year of the Hare begins on the new Moon of February 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM PST. This is also the date of Imbolc, or Candlemas, the cross quarter-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Lovely Hare is a symbol of purity: fastidiously clean Hare washes its face with its front paws to look beautiful as polished jade. According to Chinese legend, a magical jade Hare lives in a palace on the Moon. The Chinese Moon Goddess Ch’ang-o allows this charming jade Hare to keep her company so she will not be lonely. The Hare is an herbalist and alchemist who peacefully mixes elixirs of immortality under a cassia tree on the Moon for the Great Mother of the West, a Chinese Goddess of death and rebirth. Hare’s Moon palace is delightful, and the company of the Moon Goddess so enjoyable, that Hare never leaves the Moon. Over time, Hare has become a yin Moon spirit.

For more from Susan Levitt: The Hare


101220-winter-sunset-hmed-1139agrid-6x2This Winter Solstice is a special one, folks … it will not come again any time soon, and it is a magical window to fly through. It is a time of both letting go and ushering in- a time when the combination of the full moon, total eclipse and solstice is so powerful, that the energy of the three can literally catalyze instantaneous transformation in our beings- if we are willing to offer up what is old and say goodbye to it to make space for what is new, for what we wish for in our deepest hearts - what we ARE manifesting.

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Today, you are 127 years young. Happy Birthday!


You were a Saggitarius! You HAD to be a cool dude. How could you not have been?! It’s one of my favorite star signs for a man- exemplifying all of the character traits and qualities I esteem: Pioneer, visionary, freedom-lover, philosopher, multi-talent, generous spirit, man for the people. Describes you to a “T” from what I have come to understand, and all that I have personally gleaned by being an avid fan, student and teacher of your work all these years…
Your revolutionary system changed the face of fitness today.
And I can’t help but grow nostalgic and take a stroll down memory lane on this special day. As a budding baby ballerina at age 13, I had no idea what that first mat class taught by the illustrious and endlessly elegant Eve Gentry, one of your beloved disciples, would mean to me one day … that your work would inform and influence the better part of most of my years since then.

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In the spirit of thanks and the holiday that is fast approaching, I would like to thank Lynda Lippin, my Turks and Caicos colleague, for her wonderful review of The Master Trainer DVDs!

In honor of my teachers and all of you out there who are helping to share the genius of Joe Pilates’ revolutionary work, this is for you!


The series has been touted as “THE definite resource for Pilates professionals, teachers-in-training or Pilates devotees wishing to deepen and refine their practice. The most complete DVD series available to help you understand every aspect of the Pilates Method and truly learn the “art of teaching.”

Lynda Lippin’s Pilates Master Trainer DVD Review:

<<Kries is engaging, funny, and clear, while Kim Reis’ form is so perfect you can see every adjustment and movement perfectly. Watching Kries take exercises and break them up into tiny component parts while discussing exactly what is happening with teacher, client, and equipment will make even complex exercises seem easier to teach for pilates teachers of any level. These DVDs will also help teachers learn to take clients into exercises that they may not be comfortable teaching, such a tendon stretch on the chair. I highly recommend this series for any Pilates teacher of any lineage and experience level. You will learn something new in almost every exercise that will be of value to you and your clients.>>

Thank you, Lynda!

Here is the direct link for those of you who would like to purchase a copy of your very own!




This blog dedicated to the exceptional women who joined me on a wonderful weekend journey in the Berkshires October 1-3 and gifted me with their abundant positive energy, enthusiasm and open hearts.


Every time I teach, I receive the incredible gift of knowing that we are all on this path of life together, that we are all teaching and guiding one another, whether we are officially in the “teaching” or “learning” position … and I experience an expanded sense of consciousness and satisfaction each time I see the light of recognition go off in someone’s eyes, because of something I have shared or a sign of true body-mind integration after giving a specific cue. And each time this happens, I receive a gift.


And therein lies the secret joy of teaching for me … that the true gift of teaching, of giving is in witnessing others’ transformation, because as we see those around us harness the information and tools that we give, we grow and transform at the very same time. That’s how the phrase “Heal Yourself, Heal the World,” came to me when I was creating *Waking Energy- we are all one, and when we give to others, when we share the fruit of our life experience with others, it’s literally the same thing as giving to ourselves- when we give, we receive, and we receive ten-fold in return.


And it is these shared experiences, especially those that happen in the intimate and beautiful environment that a place like Kripalu offers that serve as catalysts for significant change and growth in our lives. It is these moments that inspire us to find ourselves again, to acknowledge and care for ourselves and reclaim our power, our lives, our selves.

So it is with great gratitude that I write this blog to all of you who filled my heart with fulfillment and joy and helped me to transform and empower from the inside-out the weekend of October 1-3, and I can’t wait to do it again and see you all next time!

And just to whet your appetite for next summer, I wanted to share a descriptive excerpt from the “New Body Pilates: Transform & Empower” Workshop I have written about here today … the preview for Summer, 2011’s Waking Energy Workshop will be featured in my next Blog.


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Today, I want to thank Molly Napolitano for her very gracious and inspiring article on her first Pilates experience, by making her the subject of today’s Blog entry!

I invite you all to visit Molly’s site:, a site dedicated to something very near and dear to my heart: the art of empowering women.

Thank you, Molly!

<July 28th, 2010 Posted in Exercise Routines ~Injury Prevention & Treatment ~Preventative Health Solutions

By Molly Napolitano

I have resisted Pilates since it became popular in the 90’s. It’s not because I didn’t want to look like all those sexy celebrities who swear by Pilates, I just thought it wasn’t for me. I always believed that running and lifting weights was all I needed to stay fit. Boy was I wrong.


As you know, some things happen for a reason. For quite some time, I’d been thinking I should give Pilates a try to see if it would help alleviate some of the dysfunction in my thoracic spine. One day I woke up and decided that was the day I would find a Pilates Studio and give them a call. Later that morning, I met Jennifer Kries while walking Stella and Jessie in Washington Square. She told me she taught Pilates and I promised I would set up a session with her. After 3 months of emailing each other back and forth, I finally scheduled my first lesson. I knew it would be an educational experience but had no idea:

How much I would learn
How many misconceptions I had about Pilates; and
How incredibly talented Jennifer is
Jennifer is a true healer with an extensive background in mind-body arts and fitness. Her knowledge of anatomy, her verbal cues and her incredible teaching methods impressed me beyond words. She has inspired and empowered women around the world with her award winning Method Series DVDs (which she did not tell me about when I met her).

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Some new “tools” for strength-training and rehabilitation!

Today, I wanted to share some inspiring programs that can help to make your body feel “new” again–wonderful “private” instructional classes on DVD and audio that you can participate in any time the spirit moves you, so that you can cultivate greater mind-body awareness and reach new heights in your Pilates practice!

I am especially excited to announce the release of New Body Pilates III, and the upcoming release of New Body Pilates Toys (Fall, 2010)!


The long-awaited, New Body Pilates III, is now available on my website, and is the most advanced installment of the New Body Pilates Series and features my dear friend and Senior teacher, Kim Reis, Pilates devotee extraordinaire!

For all of you advanced students and teachers out there who want to experience an inspiring advanced session, I wouldn’t miss it.

*Includes the “Bonus Feature,” The PhysioBall workout; learn new techniques for increasing your overall core strength and balance, as well as bringing your mind-body awareness to a whole new level! The Physioball workout, though it does appear in this Advanced DVD, is suitable for All levels, so if you find yourself working out at home and you have a friend visiting who is new to Pilates, you can invite him or her to join you for this section- fun!

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Wanted to share my morning meditation today that followed my Yin practice:
We are all energy beings–we vibrate with our thoughts; Whatever we think about becomes our reality. When you are in the vibration of hope, you align with the energy of manifestation. How do you create abundance? Imagine how much fun it would be to have it, rather than thinking about what you do not have. Feel appreciation for the tools you possess, your natural gifts … How do you get where you want to be? Look in the direction of where you want to go and never look back over your shoulder with regret. Love yourself for your humanity, if you feel frustration or sadness because of the past, allow yourself to feel the feelings, and cry — move the feelings out, and if you do look back over your shoulder, look back in gratitude, for the past is what brought you to this moment of awakening. This moment where you can decide that anything is possible.



contemplative-girl_1024x7685This past week I was at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. What a beautiful, gentle place, there in those motherly mountains of Massachusetts … I went for a walk yesterday on the grounds and found myself at a crossroads in front of a babbling brook. I was suddenly overcome with emotion, and the only way I can describe the feeling is by describing what happened in my stomach … I felt it rise and expand in an instant– it swelled with a kind of mini-explosion of joy that flooded my entire system, and then washed over me the way the water in the stream below me was washing over the river rocks. I was immersed in a sensory bath– the sun on my skin, and sparkling through the trees, dappling the forest floor, the pungent smell of winter becoming spring mud, coming alive again, birthing … the gorgeous, calming sound of the brook, playing its way down over the rocks into a larger source, its destiny someplace far away and of course, the breeze blowing through my hair and cooling the tears on my cheeks that were streaming down into my mouth– and then the taste of those salty tears. All such a cycle, all so connected, no separation between my tears and the water flowing through that brook. No separation between my skin and the air around me, the sun on my body, the rich smell of the earth I was standing on.

And my thoughts now go back to what happened inside me when I came to that place — that clearing where I was overwhelmed by the simple, powerful, healing beauty I was a part of … what flipped over in my stomach– what the ancients called “True Mind.”
Never mind what we know as “the mind.” I am smiling as I write this … your true, thinking self is your feeling self, your intuitive self and it resides in your stomach, in your very center.

I attended a talk on “Clearing Energy Blocks,” given by a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and most of what he discussed was how much of our body systems are controlled by the stomach, or our “second brain.” Whatever we think and feel, manifests in our bodies, and very often, more specifically in our stomachs, of course showing up as digestive disorders of all manner and variety– so many of which would be easily healed alternatively– with mind-body practices, such as yoga, Pilates and my favorites: Yin yoga and Waking Energy.  What most of us don’t realize is that we are our thoughts and our feelings. We ARE physical manifestation of the energy of what we focus on, and very simply, when something hurts us in our bodies, when something causes us DIS-ease, it is our body’s way of communicating that it needs attention. And usually, the antidote to the pain or disease is so very, very simple and obvious: movement!


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