May the 4th Be With You

This morning, Jim walked downstairs to find the Star Wars theme song blasting in the kitchen. Star Wars was a major part of my childhood … the first movie came out when I was 3 years old. Gah! The whole thing was EPIC. When prequels started coming out not long ago, I felt a bit snitty about the whole thing … NOTHING could compare to the originals (spoiler alert: I still kinda feel that way).



So I’m listening to the Star Wars playlist on Amazon Music today.

In other news related to the stars, I completed a revolution around the sun on May 1st. As with all of us, a lot has happened in a year. My grandfather moved into an assisted living home, away from my grandmother, which has been challenging for the whole family. I’m far away & unfortunately removed from day-to-day events. My aunt & her family have been solid rocks with my grandparents day in & out for many years. I’m beyond grateful to know there’s love around my grandparents from their kids, grandkids AND great-grandkids!

My father, whom I’ve rarely seen sick or out-of-sorts, was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia … so that rocked my world a bit. I know many of you in our yoga community have cared for or are caring for parents / loved ones … Does your yoga practice benefit you? My parents are independent, each doing their work, making decisions, & living their lives … I still feel like the “kid” even at my age …

My boys, Baxter & Tortilla, are now part of what Jim & I call “the white-chinned posse” — Baxter is 10-ish & Tortilla 8-ish. We’ve noticed Baxter a little more deliberate when going down the stairs, & 9:30pm zoomies around the house are getting more rare. We have old yoga mats on the hardwood floors to reduce their sliding around as they rush to bark at the mail carrier or out the door for a W-A-L-K (yes, we spell it out in our home 😉 ).


It can be a bit sobering for me, this getting older. I know there will be loss to come — of my loved ones, of things I used to be able to do, etc. I don’t “think” I’ve been around 45 years most days … the mirror & my joints tell me differently sometimes, haha!



The New Moon is TODAY.

What an opportunity for reflection, for going inward. I won’t claim to be a master meditator … I’ve been sitting most mornings for a while, that’s what I can say ;). Most of the time I’m distracted or thinking about where I need to be in 10 minutes. Or angry with myself for being so distracted.

In those rare moments when I get a glimpse of going inward & settling, I realize how grateful I am for that unchanging part of me, that Spark of the Divine (you may call it God/dess, Higher Power, The Force ;), etc.). A bit of stability in changing times.

And there is much gratefulness for my grandparents, parents, & family members — & now for my extended family through Jim! — we don’t see each other often or talk daily, yet they are such amazing souls doing their lives & being there for the people around them. They inspire me to be where I am & add something positive to the world around me.

Speaking of doing something positive … Just in time for my birthday, I accepted a part-time position with Penn State Extension working with the Fayette County 4-H programs. As you know, my background is in outdoor & adventure education, & I very much enjoy teaching & working with youth in school, in the garden, & in the Great Outdoors. I’m discovering that 4-H is so much more than agriculture-based (though the foods we eat & how plants/animals are raised is crucial to our health & well-being). I’m looking forward to supporting local kids in their learning about everything from engineering to dog training to plant science to mindfulness <– yep, mindfulness!

With this new work, I’ll be looking at my yoga teaching schedule & adjusting the summer schedule … Stay tuned. It’ll be one year (!!) in June that we’ve been enjoying the space at The Ave for yoga classes, & almost one year that I’ve been fortunate to be part of  The Yoga Garden community. The weekly class at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is in its 3rd year I believe! You continue to be an important part of embodying & spreading the benefits of traditional hatha yoga practices in our modern community.

My goal is to continue my yoga training & study so that 1) I continue my own Yoga journey & 2) I provide you & those who join our community with high-quality, time-tested teachings & practices. Specifically, I’ll be saving my pennies for the 500-hour teacher training at my alma mater, Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh. This almost 2-year program is the real deal — steeped in traditional teachings for the modern yogi.

I believe the more people who practice Yoga (not only asana/poses, but ALL of Yoga) … the better our world becomes for everyone. We choose how to practice, but we practice — for our Selves in the beginning, then for our families, our communities, our world. We choose to see ourselves as light … & as not separate, rather part of a whole … & we see that our practice matters to that whole.


May the Force be with us. See you on your mat or meditation cushion soon, E

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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