Manifestation Yoga Dance Party!
Fallen Empires by my friends Snow Patrol
Manifestation Yoga Dance Party!
Fallen Empires by my friends Snow Patrol
I also picked up Origin Magazine for September where I have a whole layout on manifesting on page 50. It is a beautiful magazine. Please check it out. You can get it at Whole Foods, among other places!
***Philly Fri. Sep 7th workshop at Dhyana Yoga Old City has 2 spots left
Sunday Manifestation Workshop at Pure Yoga East has only 2 spots left so act fast! Click here.
To book me for a workshop or Karaoke Yoga please email Barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Dear Manifesters!
My latest just went up on Positively Positive and I would love to hear your comments. Please comment on actual Positively Positive post and not here. I will pick a commenter at random and give away a spot at my Manifestation Workshop June 2 in Santa Monica, too. Here is link. It is a very personal one to me and your support and love mean a tremendous amount to me. I read each and every one of your comments and take them to heart. I love hearing how you all define success. Also, feel free to share if inspired.
On a side note, I am teaching a very special candle-lit class this Sunday night at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica on 2nd St. I have never taught there and would appreciate the love if you are in town. 8 pm! Candles and deliciousness. If I continue on there, you will be able to see my classes live streamed.
Love you all. Keep manifesting your life, one laugh at a time, and as always, keep me posted on YOU!
PS, a spot just opened for my Italy retreat July 2-9. Email me if you want to come. One word: MAGIC.
“Thank you, Jennifer, for shining your light on mine.” ~Christy Turlington
Just a quick post to let you all know that due to popular demand (ok, a few tweets and Facebook messages) I am doing another Manifestation Yoga® Workshop in Santa Monica on June 2nd at Pop Physique. The last one oversold and sold out fast. You must pre-register here via my paypal http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html
Join Jen Pastiloff as she brings her signature Manifestation Workshop® to the brand new Pop Physique in Santa Monica! http://popphysique.com/.
The cost is $45 and can be paid via paypal here http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html or directly to Jennifer. Email Jen firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be Jen’s last workshop in LA for until next fall. The last one we did here was a jam packed sold out success so by demand we are back!
Space is limited to 26 people. You must pre-register (we will have a wait list after number 26.)
Prepare to sweat, laugh, twist, open your heart, go upside down, write, sing, dance and manifest your dreams! We will have dance parties on the mat and in the soul!
There will be wine and treats after of course. Please rsvp asap to email@example.com.
*****You will also get a Manifestation bracelet and Manifestation tattoo by Conscious Ink when you attend and Manifestation tank tops and tees will be for sale where all $$ goes to Prader Willi Research.
* About Pop Physique: PopPhysique incorporates a ballet barre inspired exercise system into an efficient one hour class set to excellent music that blends ballet, pilates and light weight work into a methodical series of strengthening, isometrics, core shaping and luxuriating stretches. ( there is street parking and a public lot directly across street.)
I was born in Philly.
I spent the first few years of my life there then moved over the bridge to Pennsauken, NJ. Then a lot of stuff happened and my dad died and my mom moved my sister Rachel and I to California to start our lives over. Then a lot of stuff happened and after about 4 years my mom decided she wanted to move back to NJ. Then a lot of stuff happened and when I was 20 my mom and sister moved back to California. I came out a year or so later. The end.
Oh, and my mom dates Neil Diamond after she moves back to California when I am around 21.
A brief history of the Pastiloff family as told by me.
I go back to Philly quite often now and teach at my home studio there: Dhyana Yoga.
It’s a deep connection I have with this city. One filled with sadness and nostalgia and memories both real and made up. One filled with ghosts and places my father visited and streets he stood on corners of.
In South Philly, back in the day, everyone had a nickname. My dad’s was: Mel the Jew.
Yes, you read right.
My uncle, who isn’t really my uncle at all, was Johnny Boy. He is still called that by many.
I walk around the city and imagine Mel the Jew with a cigarette hanging from his lips and wonder what he would think about what I am doing now.
Tonight in L.A., as my whole class laughed at something I said, something corny, a small part of me high-fived my dad in Heaven because he would be so proud. He would be most proud of my sense of humor and my ability to connect with others. He wouldn’t care about much else.
He might care that I married a Jew, which I didn’t.
No harm no foul, right?
Part of my reason for going back to Philly is to stay connected to my father.
This past workshop in Philly at Dhyana was oversold. It was mat to mat to mat.
I really felt like I had come home.
I booked a photo shoot with my talented friend Joe Longo. We drove to Philly from NJ before my workshop and landed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I used to watch Rocky with my dad. The same dad, Mel the Jew dad who made me memorize each city’s hockey team. The same dad who mooned people at holiday parties.
I stood on the steps of the museum with Joe and I looked out at this city of my father’s and felt a deep ache for him, for all the years I missed with him, for how different I think my life would be. I realized how far I have come as I looked out at at this city with different eyes.
My eyes are the same, come on now.
It’s a metaphor.
I see the world through different eyes now, through a different lens than I used to when I actually lived here. I used to be scared, sad and depressed. I looked down from the steps of the Museum and felt good, I felt happy in my skin and my body and although I missed my dad and what may have been, I felt confident that I was actually where I was meant to be.
A feeling I had never had before.
I did this shoot for my dad.
I wanted to lay in the grass he walked in. I wanted to stand on the sidewalks he knew. The buildings he leaned against I wanted to touch.
Here I am in Philadelphia, the city of my birth, the city of my father (and mother’s) birth.
I have come home.
Does that mean I will stay?
No. It means I can always come back and feel this connection.
Joe immortalized it for me.
There are well over 120 shots so I will just add a few.
We had a blast!
I will be back at Dhyana Yoga in a few months so stay tuned to my blog.
It’s very hard for me to describe my workshop.
It’s NOT a “yoga” workshop.
Someone just wrote this blog about my workshop on Sunday in NYC at PURE YOGA WEST so I thought I’d share to give you a glimpse of what it is and the effect it had on someone. To say I am touched would be an understatement.
This week’s theme is ” I take responsibility for ______” especially your own awesomeness.
I take responsibility for being me, sure. Yea. I take responsibility for that part.
But beyond that, the lovely gal who wrote this, Dana Jacoviello, must take responsibility for all she is and all she has done. I didn’t do anything.
I just showed up.
It’s all her.
Here’s the post:
I can’t begin to express what Jennifer Pastiloff’s Manifestation workshop did for me right at a time when I needed it, but I will because I am a writer and that is what I do. If you would have asked me the other day if I was writing or doing much of anything, I would have to say that was a big NADA! The past month and a half for me has been nothing but one thing after the other. So much sad news on top of other stress factors is just too much in a very short period of a time. I was feeling extremely lost, stressed, and overwhelmed with so much anxiety, anger, and frustration. There were times I felt like a volcano about to erupt at any given moment. I knew there would be that one thing that just set me off and that would be it.
Suffering one loss and than another MAJOR loss changed me for a moment in time. The most heart breaking of all was losing one of my most favorite people in the world. My grandmother was a big piece of me as I was her. Talking to her always made everything seem ok. When she got sick that is when I knew that our time would be over soon. It was something I had to come to terms with quickly as it happened faster than I expected. It was as if something punched me in my heart and made a hole.
Anyway, this was all happening after a friend and I had made plans to go to Jennifer Pastiloff’s Manifestation Workshop in NYC at Pure Yoga. This was something I was greatly looking forward to as Jennifer and I connected awhile back through social media. She was a friend I couldn’t wait to meet and also experience her amazing workshops and classes I heard so much about. She was coming to New York, and I did not want to miss seeing her again as I did the last time. I knew by the time I got out to LA it would be awhile, but was I up to it being in the place that I was? The answer was at first no! I wrestled with the fact should I go or wait until next time. At that moment I realized how often we say those words and later possibly regret the decision. This is much like saying your going to go visit someone and never do until it is too late. Yes, these are two different arenas but with the same principle in mind.
Jennifer’s blog is very inspiring and real. She does not hold back much like myself :0). I love that about her. I am always pulled into people I feel that type of connection with. Of course we want to have people in our life we can relate to or have things in common with, but what it is really about is just a simple connection! Seriously look up her many accomplishments and sites. She also is a contributor on other sites such as Positively Positive, which is just positively fabulous. Jennifer also has shirts and bracelets she sells, which you can find information on through her sites. All proceeds go towards a charity very close to Jennifer’s heart, which is called Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Look it up, get involved, donate, and do what you can. Anything is always something.
Anyway, as I was saying, this workshop blew my mind. It was so much more. I did not go there for yoga, but a connection. I felt I NEEDED to go for that purpose alone. I am so glad that I made the decision to go. It was one of the most enlightening experiences I have had in my life in a long time. My faith gets me through everything in life; however, I think it is important to have several outlets. The more positive you can put into your life the better. Jennifer’s workshop certainly put that into perspective for me. I sat there in awe of her. I might have a similar calling, but it is often hard to do it for yourself. It is much like a therapist going to see a therapist. We all need people in our lives like this, because we can’t do it alone.
I laughed so hard for the first time since my life became a whirlwind of mixed emotions. I can’t fully convey what it was like to be in her workshop. All I can say is look her up and experience it for yourself when you get the chance. She travels all over, so it’s not like you necessarily have to fly to LA. Two hours of pure thought, feeling, emotions, meditation, and yoga. She posed several questions and thoughts to me that I could have written a novel about at the time. See below:
1. I AM…(As in finish this sentence)
2. Who would I be if nobody told me? (This was a question I never asked myself. Why? Well, because I was always concerned of what others wanted to be or what I was expected to be)
3. Things that bring me joy…(List what makes you jump for joy)
4. If I wasn’t afraid I would…(How many of us really think about this question that would REALLY makes us think about our lives)
5. Dear sixteen year old me…(Oh how some of us could answer this question. I am sure all of us would have plenty to say to our teenage selves. Very deep question)
6. I feel fear when…(Here is another most of never really think about. How often do we analyze our fears without just moving past them rather than dealing with them?)
7. Where does fear stop me in my life…(How often do we not do something because we are afraid of the what, why, where, when, and how?)
8. I take responsibility for…(Exactly what it say. How often do we make excuses?)
9. My calling is…(What do you feel you are meant to be or do?)
10. I forgive blank for blank…(Who do you forgive and for what? Often we believe we have forgiven and in reality we have not)
11. I forgive myself for…(This is GOOD one because we are so busy forgiving others we forget about ourselves. We deserve forgiveness just as much as the next person)
Now, really marinate on these questions. They are not just for people who participate in yoga. These are life changing questions that most of us probably never think about. I know I haven’t, but it was not until her class that I focused on them in detail. I usually just sweep it under the rug until it would creep back up. When we were in complete darkness at one point, which is where I feel I have been lately, she came to me and laid her hands on me. I felt the love she exudes, her big heart, and her compassion. At that very moment I knew I was supposed to be there. Everything happens for a reason. We connect to people we are meant to connect with and have in our lives.
You might find a completely new and different path. You have no idea how simple questions we put on paper can change our direction in life. It can open your heart. Many think it might be silly or yoga is for stereotypes, but it is not. Jennifer is unorthodox, but in a AWESOME way. It is not just an hour or two of this pose and that pose. She really delves into each of her students and the class as a whole. It is about dancing, laughing, crying, and whatever other emotion you want to show. She plays incredible music that just magically goes along with each moment. Each song she played meant something to me as I use music an outlet at times. It was so incredible for me. I felt as if I was dreaming what was happening to me. She lets you go with whatever you are feeling. If you can’t do something, than do whatever it is you need to do. You can write, take a break, or choose to do your ow thing. Nothing is forced on you.
Again, I can’t stress enough how it is more than yoga for her. It is about connecting. She wants to connect with each person she comes into contact with or leave a mark. She is and represents what she wants and who she wants to be, which is love, inspiration, compassion, joy, and so much more. She stands for many things. She says what she believes in, and she makes you laugh as well, which is the best medicine anybody could give. You might think you go in just for yoga, but you walk away with a gift.
Everything I participated in was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! As I said already, it is hard to put into exact words. I fully opened my heart for the first time in awhile. I felt it open, because the pain I felt while it was closed was at times unbearable. The smile on my face that I walked out with was big and bright.
Later in the class Jennifer said something to me that caught me off guard in a good way. It doesn’t matter what she said because she knows, but for me it meant something. It is truly amazing when certain moments like those happen in our life. It just reaffirms the connection.
I felt so free and and relaxed during and after the class. I still feel her words, and I embrace everything I learned. The light I needed I found along with myself. I walked out with so much more than I expected. Not that I expected anything less, because I already knew what she was capable of. It is almost like flying when you walk out of her class. I only wish I could be a full time student. Maybe one day? You never know what life brings you. Her manifestation is all about that. Put it on a board, create it in your mind, or say it in the mirror everyday. She creates her goals and her life. There are no hand outs. Manifest what you want, pray, and you shall receive all in good time when it is right. That is what it is all about. In her class she reveals things about herself and her own life as well. She teaches and learns at the same time. You will find some just teach. Jennifer is adorable is so many ways. I thought I adored her before, but she more than confirmed those feelings.
I can write a short story on this experience and life her up in so many ways; however, it would not do her justice. She builds relationships with amazing people and just reaches out. Though, she is not one to reach out without telling you to reach out as well. It is a two way street with her. I know if I needed a friend she is one of those friends and people out there that would reach right back in an instant. There are no excuses…just action!
I asked her before I went to her workshop to rock my world. I needed her to do something for me that most would consider a heavy responsibility. She never said I can’t or I don’t want to. She said I WILL! I felt like I put a bit of pressure on her, but of course she knows I was playing around with her. Well, you know what I have to say about that? She took it completely serious and did it.
Ahhhhhhhh…I can’t stop writing. This is what she did. My writing was completely blocked before her class. I barely opened my computer. Now, I am back to work on my script, my book, and my blog. I am ready and willing to go for my dreams. I am ready for anything! We all are in negatives places at times. She does stress that about us and herself, but we have to find a way out of that tunnel. She does not preach happy happy joy joy every moment in our lives, but she does preach that something good comes out of things we feel are bad. I do the same.
Take note: She blogs about and discusses her being hearing impaired, but she does not let that stop her from living life to the fullest. Don’t let an ailment control you or your life. Find a way to CONTROL IT, ACCEPT IT, MAKE IT A PART OF YOU, EMBRACE IT, AND RELEASE IT.I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE….FREEEEEEEEEEE FALLINNNNNNG! 😀
Look her up, follow her on Twitter, look her up on Facebook, check her sites out because she is one to keep an eye on. She is going to blow the scene up!
So much love for Jennifer Pastiloff aka ManifestYogaJen!
Be grateful! Everyday is a blessing!
“Own your awesomeness” – Jennifer Pastiloff
And which, was my most popular blog post to date. I had thousands (yes, you read right) hits on this particular piece yesterday. Guess we can all learn from children?
I got an email later that day from the mom of Little Jen (L.J.), the 8 year old I learned so much from. I met her mom through social media. She found me on Positively Positive and then entered my Twitter Contest I was running with Karen Salmansohn about inspiration. I loved reading her hourly tweets.
With her permission I am sharing the email she sent me yesterday. It made me cry and it also inspired me to be a better person. To be the best possible parent when I have kids. To live more fully and be more vulnerable. To be real. To connect with people I might never have connected with. To allow life to touch me.
She did not win the contest ( by choice). Katherine, a young college student who tweeted us about every 15 minutes won instead. It was a tie between the two and the “mom”, in true mom fashion, let the kid win.
Without further ado, here is the email.
It is beyond gorgeous. I am humbled.
Wow. Seriously? Wow, Jen.
After reading your post today, my mind is spinning. There are both no words and a flood of words swirling around in my head.
Let me share with you what brought me to your class on Saturday.
Last year I was offered my dream job. It had the big fancy title, an impressive paycheck, and lots of prestige. It was in my area of expertise and a field I wanted to explore. I leapt at the chance. My heart swelled. I was so excited that finally, FINALLY, I had the brass ring. This past January, a little over a year after accepting my dream job, I resigned. It broke my heart, but my year working at my dream job was one of the worst years of my life. I was constantly stressed out, unhappy, unhealthy and I now had both Xanex and Prozac in my medicine cabinet. But worst of all, I felt like a failure. By the company’s standards I was doing well. By my standards I was failing. After a year, I wasn’t making the progress or having the impact I knew I could make. I felt like I could have been doing so much better. My whole life I’d gotten ahead by working harder and being smarter than the average bear. That didn’t work here. It was too political and I’m too blunt and impatient. I had ideas and strategies that I knew would be successful, but couldn’t get approval to implement them. Mediocre is not my style. I couldn’t do the work I set out to do and I was MISERABLE. And worst of all, my misery was impacting my sweet family.
So, without another job lined up, without a clue what my next move would be, in a crappy economy, I quit my job. Everyone told me I was crazy. For decades, I have worked my ass off to be successful, thinking success would make me happy. I was wrong. I had literally won showcase #2 and I was miserable. I had saved up enough money to give myself some time to figure things out. I am blessed that my husband has a good job, so I didn’t have to give up any benefits. But still. I’m used to taking care of my family and myself, so this was scary.
I moved forward knowing three things:
1. I had to find a way to be my own boss so I could set my own hours and be able to put my family first.
2. I had to be able to wear flip flops and jeans every day. No more dress up.
3. Whatever my new venture would be, it would be a social enterprise that benefitted my community.
My first course of action was to read. I read books, blogs, magazines, recipes for success and the back of cereal boxes. I read your Manifesto Of My Identity on the Positively Positive website and started following your blog. I read the books You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, among others. I started reading A Course In Miracles. A whole new world opened up to me. One based on Love, Faith, and more Love. One where fear did not exist. One where happiness was a decision, not a result. A world where I am amazing and not less-than. A world I wanted to share with my family and friends.
I also entered your amazing twitter contest. I wanted to go to Ojai – I even wrote it on my manifestation mirror. The retreat pictures were intoxicating and I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that building in a previous life. For the contest, I made rules for myself. I couldn’t get out of bed until I found something inspiring to tweet. There were days the kids were almost late for school. Also, I couldn’t stockpile inspirational tweets. If I felt inspired at any time, I made myself tweet it right then– no saving something for tomorrow. Halfway thru the contest I almost quit because the exercise of saying Wow, Life is Great one or two times a day was its own reward. Ojai became irrelevant.
Flash forward to last Saturday. I almost didn’t come. I was listening to my fears:
1. I’m out of shape and Austin is filled with healthy, athletic people and I knew I’d be the biggest one in the room.
2. You would be disappointed meeting me, like online dating 🙂
3. I was worried I had put you on a pedestal and that you’d turn out to be human.
But I really wanted to meet this sparkplug, rock star, manifesting yoga teacher I had found on the Internet – there is a reason I found you when I did. I really wanted to experience manifestation yoga. More than anything, I really, really wanted the opportunity for my daughter to meet you. She is amazing and along with her twin brother (!), a gift from the gods. It’s my job to show her how wonderful life is and have her meet amazing people (Someday, some way, someone will break her heart. Someone will try to crush her dreams. I need to fortify her for that time so she can say “So what. Life is still amazing, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. Next”). Finally, I really felt the need to tell you in person how happy I am that you are on this earth, doing what you are doing. I don’t think we tell each other those kind of things as much as we should.
I’m so glad I came and brought Jen. I fell in love the minute you were kind to my daughter and I could see that you got her. She is over the moon about you, too.
You have helped me on my journey more than you will ever know, and for this I am eternally grateful. I hope all your dreams come true.
Jen will be sending her own note 🙂 Thank you for all of your kind words about her.
By Jen Pastiloff.
This past weekend I taught my first workshops in Austin, Texas.
I have been holding a Twitter contest with my friend Karen Salmansohn. It goes like this: Whoever tweets us the most what inspires them, wins. They also have to use the hashtag #manifest.
It’s been a little life changing to see what everyone has been tweeting to us.
It’s a win-win contest. The actual prize is a spot at my May Manifestation retreat to Ojai and a book by Karen (notsalmon.com).
So two people are in the lead for the contest. One woman lives in San Antonio and has a family and one is a college student who lives in Santa Barbara. I look forward to their hourly tweets. It’s a bit of an addiction. They keep me going throughout my day. Here are a few examples of their tweets.
@CarolJackson365 Inspired by kick ass cool contests that make me a better person. Thank you @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
The sun rising on unfamiliar horizons inspires me to replace concept with reality. #manifest @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen
Inspired by chats w/strangers that fill heart w/joy. Funny how lovely folks r when u let them b them @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon#manifest
Inspired by london and the oneness and connection of different cultures. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
inspiration is a cheeky pub waitress who gives you hell when you order a diet coke. such a delight! @ManifestYogaJen @Notsalmon
Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us-Pema chodron. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest
@KthrnGee The past couple of years I’ve been SO inspired by those who are AWAKE..if you know what I mean 😉 @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest
Inspiration makes my heart beat faster, it excites and motivates action for a better self. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
8yrs ago I was pressured to be in a gang. Crazy, right? Inspired by how far I’ve come. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
Lately, friendships have inspired me to stay away from those who add little value to my life. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
I choose to be inspired by the beauty of everyday life. I also choose love & wisdom. What do u choose? @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
People who are cold towards me inspire me to be kind. Love is a human need. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen #manifest
What would you do if your toddler told you she’s too fat? Love your INNER child; this inspires me. @Notsalmon @ManifestYogaJen#manifest
Carol is the mom who lives in San Antonio and Katherine is 21 and in college.
Carol shows up to my workshop in Austin. Get this: with her 8 year old daughter! Naturally at first I am thinking: Oh Shit!
Because yes, I say Shit a lot and I was a bit afraid I would have to censor myself.
Boy was I wrong!
(As a side note: Carol lives in San Antonio. She drove all the way to Austin. How did she find me in the first place? From my articles on Positively Positive. That my friends, is the power of social media. )
So Carol walks in with her daughter wearing my “What Are You Manifesting” tee which she had ordered last month. Her daughter gives me a gift. Two books about poetry. Because she told her 8 year old that I love poems.
(As a side note. Dear Universe, Thank you for sending me these people. There. Are. No. Accidents.)
I immediately ask Carol if she won the Twitter contest (as I knew at that time she was tied with sweet young Katherine) would she be able to fly out to California and get away? She said ” Oh, let someone else win. I have gotten more out of this then you will ever ever know.”
To say I was touched would be an understatement.
The people you need to meet always show up when you need them. I feel that way about them and I am sure they feel that way about me. Bam!
I needed to meet someone who was participating so fully in their life. Who was raising a child in this way. Who was so willing to be attentive and present and inspired.
And did I ever need to meet this kid of hers.
By the way, the 8 year old? Her name was Jen, too.
So at one point I ask the group to write a letter to their 16 year old selves. (Everyone had journals in the class. It’s a big part of the Manifestation workshop.)
I felt bad because Jen was only 8 so I said to her ” Jen, you can write a letter to your 5 year old self, ok?”
She wrote ” Dear 5 year old self…. being 8 is awesome!”
At one point everyone was in child’s pose. I was reciting one of my favorite quotes:
“If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
No one budged from child’s pose except 8 year old Jen.
She got up to pick up a pen and write down what I was saying!
I needed to meet this little angel to be reminded what is possible and to be inspired again.
To allow myself to be surprised.
She asked her mom after they got back to San Antonio if, for her birthday in July, she could have a yoga lesson by me.
I learned from an 8 year old: how to be brave, how to ask for what you want, how to pay attention, how to listen, how to laugh, how to do a fierce backbend, how to show love, how to be okay with the fact that you might be the only one in the room who doesn’t understand something and conversely how to be the only one in the room who DOES understand something.
So here is a letter to my 8 year old self, which is the age I somehow feel I stopped growing. It’s when my dad died. (Maybe that little Jen was a version of me. I have to make sure I didn’t imagine her.)
Dear 8 year old me:
Being 37 is awesome! I know you don’t believe me now because life sucks since your daddy died but it will be ok. You will fall in love and you will go out and inspire people with dance parties and twitter contests and you will meet little girls who will show you what it means to be fearless. You will never get over that little piece of sadness, that part of you that died when your dad died but you will indeed transform that into a whole lotta love. You will make up for all that frowning you do now when you are 37. You will remember who you really are. I’m here waiting for you.
Oh, and that noise in your head? Get used to it. It’s called tinnitus.
Wanted to share a short little interview I did with Lilyana, who manages, and teaches at Black Swan Yoga. Please run, don’t walk there, if you are ever in Austin. Stay tuned for my next date at BSY.
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing Light of your own Being.” ~Hafiz
A more apt title would be: To Austin, With Love.
It was the second time I’d been to this fantastic and charming little city.
The first was about ten years ago when two of my best friends were living here and I acted in a short film they were making in Austin. Needless to say, the short film is probably somewhere in short film heaven, but one of the girls, Shana Feste, has gone on to write and direct The Greatest and Country Strong.
I didn’t really remember much of that first trip. Those were sort of the Dark Years for me, I was deeply unhappy and I have somehow managed to unglue most of those memories from my mind from that period of time.
Most of my 20’s fall into that category. TDY= The Dark Years.
I remember I had liked Austin. I had covered a few shifts from my waitressing job so I could fly out and ‘star’ in a short film being shot somewhere near the University. I remembered that the people were really friendly. We had gone out and listened to music. I think we’d eaten good Thai food. I remembered my character’s name in the short film was “Jane.” I think.
I was excited to come back to Austin during this particular period of my life. I am more alive and present and, as far as I can tell, doing my life’s work.
I figured it would make for a different experience.
I was right.
My Manifestation Workshop on Saturday was at Black Swan Yoga (which is now my yoga home in Austin, Texas.)
To be clear: I had no students to speak of in Austin, prior to this workshop. I knew only one person: my beloved friend Amy Esacove, who happens to be an incredible teacher at Black Swan Yoga.
What can I say about the workshop last Saturday?
It was like coming home.
That’s how I described it to someone last night. The first thing that came to my mind was: it was like coming home.
The students were so receptive, so open-minded, so gracious, so full of beauty and humor that it was hard for me to process the fact that I had never met them before. That I hadn’t personally picked all my favorite people on the planet and asked them to come support me at my first ever workshop in Texas.
After the workshop ended, I jokingly suggested that I moved here. I won’t move (not yet) but I will be back. Often.
The workshop itself was beautiful, heart-achingly so. I wish I could describe it to you in words but it doesn’t work that way. As most experiences go, you simply have be there, body and soul to understand what transpired in those moments. You can get close to an experience, through words or music or art, but in order to fully live it, you must be there.
And boy, were we we ever there.
They laughed and cried and sang and danced. They did handstands and worked with partners and journaled and meditated. It was like a full experience of “Life” condensed into two hours.
It’s hard for me to describe what it is that transpires in my workshops and retreats. Here is what one student said of the workshop: “it was a blissful self immersion. Like being wrung out and reawakened.” Another said it “was a a forest of love love love.”
One woman who showed up after reading my blog said “workshop was incredible! Tears, laughter, singing, dancing, asanaing and loving every minute of it!”
(As a side note: this is what is great about social media. You can touch people you might never have touched before and profoundly affect their lives. And vice versa.)
What struck me most about this group in Austin was their willingness.
They were willing to show up and go on this journey with someone they had never met. They were willing to trust, themselves, the others in the room, and me. They were willing to leave fear and judgement at the door.
They were willing, and this is perhaps my favorite, to play.
Regarding our dance party, one person said “I didn’t exactly expect this out of a yoga class…and yet, it was just a small part of a hugely awesome, totally perfect, much needed class. Thank you so much!”
They were true yogis, through and through.
I am honored I was able to lead this group on this journey. I am honored to say “I taught at Black Swan Yoga.”
I am not sure what is going on down there. I am not sure what sort of Awesome they’re drinking but I do know this: I want some.
I am going to steal a bit of of their Awesome and bring it back to LA with me.
Hope y’all don’t mind.
Dear Austin, I love you.
I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Dear Black Swan Yoga, keep singing and dancing until I return.
To learn more about me or to book a workshop with me email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit my site jenniferpastiloff.com.
I lead workshops and retreats around the world.