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Theme: Igniting our tejas, melting into shanti

Heart Quality: Expressiveness, Freedom

Action: Melt the Heart

Pinnacle Pose: L at the Wall

Looking at the last 2 lines of the Anusara Invocation: Nishprapanchaya Shantaya, Niralambaya Tejase. The translations are descriptions of the inner light, the wisdom of the teacher within and without, what we call Shiva, the auspicious ground of being. I want to focus on Shantaya and Tejase, the last words of the last two lines. Shantaya comes from shanti, which means peace, or freedom. And Tejase comes from tejas which means brilliance, the tip of the flame, the heat of our awareness, the burning light of the soul. Tejas shines through the eyes and it is what makes our yoga yoga – when we add our own light to the poses, when we express that light through our movement and action. And what happens when we ignite this inner light, the light of our awareness? We melt. We become liquified by heat and we melt into an experience of shanti – of peace, of freedom. So today we are going to work on the action of melting the heart. We will build the heat of our awareness, our inner light, and that will melt us into peace.

The lesson that I’ve taken away most from my yoga practice is learning how to melt myself, learning how to soften when I want to harden. I notice sometimes when I’m in a difficult situation, in a tricky relationship I can feel myself tensing up. Do you ever notice yourself doing that? So my yoga practice helps me to remember to soften, to melt myself, to bring the light of my awareness to the situation and to breathe and soften. And when I can do that, the whole interaction transforms. So we are going to practice that on our mats so that we can practice that in our lives. So we can melt ourselves again and again, to soften when we want to harden. Tejas. Shanti. Let’s do it.

Context Statements: The action of melting the heart becomes more and more important as we move into trickier and trickier poses. If we can truly melt the heart we can come easily into the trickiest poses. Similarly  in relationship, the more we can melt ourselves, the more we can soften when we want to harden, the more flexibility we have to encounter those tricky times in relationship.



– shakedown

-rolldowns (open to breath, brighten with tejas, melt towards the floor)

-crescent moon

SN – airplane arms (meet your eyes in the mirror – tejas shines through the eyes – sense into your brightness)

-gentle twist (express your brightness through the pose – this is where yoga becomes artful expression)


SN – runners stretch>full stretch

-hip opener

(LOCUST – hands behind head, or hands clasped)


Melt the Heart –> Opens our back, prepares us for deep backbends. Brings flexion to the mid back, where many of us are tight. The components are: the fullness of inner body bright, shoulder blades drawing onto the back, heart softening down between the shoulderblades

Demonstrate in table, have everyone try it. Bring it back to downward dog, work the action there.

Cobra –> Contrast. Have everyone push straight up from their hands. Ask: Where do you feel the backbend? In your low back, huh? Not delicious. So let’s bring the backbend evenly through the whole spine. Try cobra on fingertips, hands a bit out to the sides. Inhale draw the shoulders up towards the ears, then draw the shoulderblades together on the back, heart melts forward.

L pose at the wall

Vinyasa –

heat (tejas) building vinyasa with downward dogs and cobras in between to melt the heart into shanti

warrior 2> high lunge

warrior 2>high lunge> twisted lunge

warrior 2> high lunge> twisted lunge>triangle

warrior 2> high lunge>twisted lunge>triangle> half moon


Child’s pose

Pigeon Prep

Upavista Konasana


Supta Padang




Sama Theme, Week of Nov 7


Personalize: I started yoga when i was 13- saw poster at the YWCA for a class and thought “I think i want to try that… it sounds really different and unique… It’s definitely something none of my friends are doing.” In our culture we’re training to see differences and emphasize our individuality.


Contextualize: The reasons I started in retrospect is kind of funny and ironic, because one of the most important aspects of the practice is to look for sameness, for the unity and connectedness in all things.

Same- in english comes from Sanskrit

sama (Sanskrit word meaning “same”, “equal”): harmony, equality.

Learning to see the unity takes sensitivity. Anusara yoga developed by John Friend. He is master and looking for patterns and similarities- from studying different systems of yoga and different therapeutic approaches and working with hundreds of students, he started to see patterns to the way the body can optimally align and heal. And he created that apply to everyone.

Universalize: Basic premise- nature is orderly, the body is orderly- it’s not complicated. It’s complex, elegant. And I’m trained to guide you in learning how to apply these principles to our own unique body and circumstances in order to have more freedom and ease. This approach is empowering, because over a number of months and years of steady practice anyone can learn these principles and learn how to practice yoga safely and create healing themselves.

Actions: OTG (sensitivity) and Evenly hugging muscles on all sides of bone (steadiness)

Context statements:

Sama- same, harmony (universal)

Sthitih- being completely and firmly established; steadfastness.

Tadasana = Samasthitih> Even quality of light and consciousness that shines through every part of body. Harmonious balance of sensitivity to the unity and steadfast expression of the individual.

  • Look for the similarities first- feel the bigger energy not just specifics…. look for what unites us all.
  • Then secondly we look at the individual, from the periphery we draw into our center with steadfast effort. We honour our uniqueness and our individual expression of the bigger energy of life.
  • Samana: one of the five main pranas, energy responsible for bringing nourishment and balance to all parts of the body.



Q: Why do we use themes in Anusara Yoga?
A: Teaching with a theme is just easier.

Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. “What do you mean, easier? Themes are the most challenging part of my teaching and the hardest part to improve!” I hear this a lot from teachers I mentor. If that’s you, I totally understand. Developing, delivering, and wielding a good theme is the most challenging part of my teaching too.

I think of a theme as a complex instrument that can either be used crudely or with great refinement. I’ve delivered meaningful, moving, beautiful themes at the beginning of class and then found myself utterly unable to render them effectively during asana. On those days, it’s as if I’ve carved a very elaborate, refined sculpture and then picked it up by the base and used it as a club.

On rare days, I simply do not have a theme: I didn’t plan ahead, I’m uninspired, and I got nothin’. Those days…are rough. Sometimes I bring in a great theme, but I haven’t fully considered it and it falls flat. There are times when I put a great deal of thought and effort into a theme that does not mesh well with either the sequence, or the students, or my mood. On the other hand, sometimes what I think is a lame duck theme transforms, swan-like, into an amazing inspiration in the context of the class.

I recently tweeted, “A good theme connects the dots between an easily-relatable anecdote and the highest, subtlest virtues of the Universe. Or vice versa.” That’s a tall order! And you have maybe five minutes to set it up at the beginning of your class!

It’s a challenge, but consider this: the presentation of a theme is one of your first opportunities to help your students Open to Grace. Open to Grace is Anusara Yoga’s First Principle, and it contains all other Principles within it. When you’re truly O2G, your foundation is strong and resilient, your inner body is bright, and your outer body is soft. If the theme is rich with meaning and you deliver it effectively, the students’ inner bodies naturally expand with joy, wonder, strength, faith, and love. Because their inner bodies are bright, their form is effortlessly in alignment with the flow of Life. You don’t need a lot of alignment instructions. Your words will have created First Principle in your students without you teaching a single pose.

Without a theme to help create an Opening to Grace, our elegant alignment principles are brittle, wooden. It takes a flood of very detailed alignment principles to even come close to what happens when a Being Opens to Grace. On the few occasions in my teaching career that I’ve taught without a theme, I’ve been utterly exhausted by the end of class. I just can’t give enough instructions to make up for the lack of inspiration.

Yes, good theming is hard. And in my opinion, it’s not hard like math or social studies is hard. It’s hard like finding your life’s purpose is hard. Or having faith in a time of darkness is hard. Or loving a person who is driving you crazy is hard. However, while it may be hard to know your life’s purpose, it’s even harder to live a purposeless life. It may be hard to have faith in a time of darkness, but it’s harder to navigate darkness without faith. It’s hard to love people who drive us crazy, but it’s crazy to live without love. Themes are challenging, but we use them because they channel the blazing mystery at the heart of Life. That mystery is the source of yoga’s transformative, alchemical power.

You get me now? Teaching with a theme is just easier.

Theme: Exuberant expression of the heart! Inspiration: Michael Jackson

Heart Quality: Exuberance/Expressiveness

Action: Shoulder Loop, Organic Extension

Pinnacle: WILD THING


The theme is: Michael Jackson! Ok maybe unconventional but let’s take a look: Michael Jackson has been a huge inspiration to me as a performer. He was such an incredible innovator and dancer, and what touched me most about watching him was the way he just gave everything away when he was onstage. Everything he did was totally FOR his fans. There is one stance he would take, where he would throw his arms out to the side, thrust his chest out and yell “AAAAAHHHH” and wind would blow and ruffle his shirt. And that could have been a really arrogant gesture. But I always experienced it as incredibly humble. I always saw that as an expression of “This is all for you. Everything i do is for you”. So I want to look at that as inspiration for some backbends we are going to do today. To cultivate that kind of energy, that kind of exuberance, where we can give it all away. And this relates hugely to our core purposes in yoga: Chit – Remembrance and Ananda – Celebration. Remembrance is tapping into the deep core of who we really are, and then once we’re connected to that, to celebrate it, Ananda, to express our hearts with exuberance. So let’s dance!

Centreing: Where does exuberance come from? It’s an expression of the heart. As you breathe, begin to expand the torso on all four sides, creating a real sense of space around the physical heart. And as we drop into our hearts, really occupy and move from that space, we can begin to feel that exuberance arising.



-sun breaths

-uttanasana folding

-SN – straight leg lunge, gentle twist

-SN – hip opener>holy ham, full stretch

-partner stretch – palms touching, SBL, HAB, squeeze bottom tips together, then lift heart and press into hands

-cobra x 3


-utka>prayer twist


-triangle>ardha chan>standing split

-vira 1>vira 3

-baby dancer

-side plank

-wild thing



-setu bandha

-janu sirsasana (if you have conflicting feelings of michael jackson, lets make this pose an expression of compassion for him and for yourself)

-ardha matsey


Yoga For Performers Class 2

Heart Quality: Fullness and Expressiveness

Action: IBB (side body long, head of the arm bone back)

Pinnacle: Ardha Chandrasana

Theme: Adding brightness to our creative work – Being aware of the importance of our attitude and intention

focus:  – review Setting the Foundation, Moving with the Breath

vocab: -head of AB, review IFM, SB, BTM, COH, kidneys

Attitude changes everything – not just a trite slogan but a testable truth! Today we are going to be focusing on attitude, looking at the way our energetic attitude can transform our practice of yoga and our creative work. In Anusara Yoga, attitude or intention is the most important aspect of the practice – it’s what gives the movement meaning. It gives us a reason to keep doing it, aside from just fitness. We learn the poses and then through our attitude and intention we learn about ourselves.

The action we are going to work on today is called Inner Body Bright, which I love, and it it is an attitudinal shift as well as having physical characteristics. It’s the first thing we do in a pose, we brighten from the inside and we remember our intention. And we carry that through the whole pose. And as we learn what that feels like in our yoga poses, we can begin to bring that brightness, that sensitivity and awareness into our everyday lives, into our creative work.

So today I want you to connect to a specific area of your life that you want to add an attitudinal brightness to. Maybe it’s a specific creative project you’re working on. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s an area of your life, like your relationship to your body, your job, maybe it’s a challenge – you could be feeling a lack of creativity or inspiration. Whatever it is, choose something specific, and really connect to it. And through the class, we are going to focus on adding brightness to your poses and to that specific area of your life. We’re not trying to figure anything out with our intention, or fix anything, we’re just trying to be more aware and approach those areas with a softer, lighter attitude.

Centreing: Soften your skin and feel yourself release down into your seat. Take a few moments to connect with your breath – the gateway to the present moment. Remember your intention from last week – what are you hoping for from the session? Softening into that, connect to a specific area of your life that you want to add some brightness, some luminosity to. It could be part of your creative work or another part of your life. When you have the area clear in your mind, rest around it. Return your focus to the breath and start to breath into it. We are not trying to fix anything, we are just changing our approach.


Warmups            7:10

  • sun breaths and folding (tadasana to uttanasana)
  • utt shoulder stretch>DD>dolphin
  • DD – fire hydrant
  • SN – straight leg lunge, full stretch
  • SN – crescent lunge>runners stretch, gentle twist

Teaching Action            7:25

  • IBB demo

Gather around. Today the action is IBB, physical components of that are lengthening from waist to armpits, the heart lifts and the head of the armbones pin back. It’s also an attitudinal shift – we energetically soften and open, we make more space in our body to approach the pose.

Biomechanical as well as attitudinal – keeps us safe in every pose.

Try in tadasana – contrast.

  • See the contrast in plank (Demonstrate – sagging, crunching in back vs. inner body lifting, integrity)  Now everyone try that standing, pretend you are in plank, let body sag, now, (instruct actions of IBB) feel the difference.

Standing Poses            7:30

  • Vira 1 with thumbs hooked, really get experience of IBB
  • Utkatasana > prayer twist
  • SN – prayer twist lunge>DD>side plank>prayer twist lunge
  • Parsvakonasana>Trikonasana
  • Trikonasana with partner (one hand on hip rooting, one hand on top of head, extending out – really focus on action of lengthening out of waist, fullness of torso, extending through head)
  • Tree
  • Pigeon Prep
  • Trikonasana > Ardha Chandrasana

Cooling            7:50

  • Upavista Konasana
  • Ardha Matseyendrasana
  • Setu Bandha
  • Thread the Needle
  • Upavista Konasana

Savasana            8:05

Yoga For Performers Class 1

Heart Quality: Receptivity

Action: STF, OTG

Theme: Returning to the breath, opening to inspiration

I want to begin by comparing the practice of yoga to the process of rehearsing for a performance, either as a dancer, actor or musician. At the beginning we learn the outer form, and through the rehearsal period we add layers of precision and articulation as our skills and awareness builds. Today we will learn the outer forms of the poses, like learning the initial form of a song, lines or blocking. Throughout the session we will add pieces each week that will allow us to become more precise and articulate. We will layer these on top of the outer form. So today is about learning our lines, learning the song.

But in order to connect this to creativity and the artistic process, to move away from just stretching or just working out, we are going to be very clear on our attitude, or intention. Wherever we are in the stage of learning something, we can always be clear in our intention. So I want to take a moment here for you to contemplate your intention for coming to this class. What are you hoping for?

So we’ll take a moment here to centre, to close our eyes and drop into your intention for coming here. Maybe you don’t know what that is yet. Maybe it’s really clear for you. What are you hoping for? Why are you taking this class? And even wider for that, What is your intention as an artist?

As you hold your individual intention for coming, I want to set a group intention for today, of the quality of receptivity. How can we cultivate this quality in our practice today, in order to move towards fulfilling our own intentions?


7:10 -cat/cow>knee to chest>opp arm and leg>hip circles

-sun breaths (connect to breath/intention)

-forward folding (tad>utt)

-dolphin>dolphin pushups


-utt>straight leg lunge>DD>step forward (both sides)

-utt>gentle twist>DD>step forward (both sides)

Teach action

7:25 -moving with breath, let breath initiate movement (sun breaths)

-filling front back and sides of torso with breath (breathing in tadasana)

-in yoga we learn to pay attention to the breath, important because it is the gateway to creativity. The breath brings us into the present, opens us up. As you watch your breathing, notice your skin softening, your awareness clearing.

-Inspire: to breathe in God or spirit (IN-SPIRE). We are looking for inspiration – the first place we can turn to is the breath.

Standing poses

7:30 -Crescent moon, dancing moon

-crescent lunge (both sides)

-wide legged forward fold>extended side angle>triangle

-runners stretch>quad stretch>DD>side plank>DD>step up

-pigeon prep

-lying down thigh stretch (ardha bhek)

-X pose three ways


7:50 -seated twist (ardha matsey)

-bridge (setu bandha)

-windshield wipers (jathara pari)

-thread the needle

-supta padang

8:03            -SAVASANA

Theme: Expanding the present moment

HQ: Steadfastness and Expansiveness

Action: OTG, SITO

Pinnacle: Bound Parsvakonasana

Today the theme is “expanding the present moment”. This is something that I have been thinking about alot, something that is hard for me. To be present, not stuck worrying about the future or re-living or running from the past. I think this is a challenging thing for everyone. There can be a real agony about being in the present moment. But I’ve come across some definitions of the present moment that have helped me think about it differently.

The first definition is called “the fleeting present” and that’s the one I think we’re most familiar with. If time is a line, the fleeting present is a dot moving along that line, so everything before and after that is separate from it. That is the kind of present moment that I often think about when I try to be in the present moment. But that feels so isolated and cramped and tiny! So the second definition has really changed my thinking about the present. The second definition is called “the eternal present” and it is an expansion that includes all time. So the dot on the line expands to include both past and future. The power of the past and the potential on the future are all included in this moment, they are all acting on us all the time. So that feels really exciting and different to me, it doesn’t feel so isolated and tiny. Suddenly being in the present moment has this fullness to it.
And the expansiveness, the moving from being a dot on the line to becoming the whole line (or even more than that) is part of this process of awakening, of awareness. That is one of the highest purposes for our practice, to awaken, to expand our understanding of ourselves to a wider view.

Meditation/Centreing: Visualization – Imagine your past and future are contained in two separate bubbles floating over your head. As you sit here, lift your awareness up and prick holes in the bubbles. Feel the past and present begin to leak into and fill this present moment. What does that feel like?

  • warmups — cat/cow & hip circles
  • SN > straight leg lunge, gentle twist lunge > open dog
  • SN > crescent lunge > full stretch
  • ACTION- since we’re already tackling DEEP THOUGHTS about time, i thought i would tackle another age old question you’ve probably been wondering about, which is “what is the governing principle for the legs in any yoga pose?” I know this has been keeping you up at night, so I will answer that for you now: Shins In, Thighs Out
  • Tadasana – instruct SITO
  • Uttanasana – instruct SITO
  • DD – instruct SITO
  • 30 sec utkatasana – instruct SITO
  • SN – lunge with hand on outer shin
  • SN – elbow lunge > parsvotanasana
  • prasarita padottanasana (jump out)
  • parsvakonasana
  • eagle
  • pigeon prep
  • silver surfer > bound parsvakonasana
  • child’s pose
  • ardha matseyendrasana
  • upavista konasana (with partner, feet to shins, hug shins in, thighs out, fold forward)
  • janu sirsasana
  • savasana

Love this grounding class. Subtle awareness of organs bring us out of the thinking mind.

Tara’s cues I love:

– lean back into the support of the back lungs.

– jumping up to utt- soft heart before jumping so you center in heart focal pt

– tailbone anchors down like a rutter

– expansion of inner body out towards outer body

– dog- limbs move in opposite directions to make for great expansion of trunk.

-plank- back body magnetized to ceiling

– hip openers teach you process of taking on any intense experience and staying with your own inner peace. organs are peaceful.

– ME- intelligently organize muscles to shape the matrix of the skeleton

– being mind- when the thinking mind see’s a white wall, it is like 3 yr old saw a white who has a crayon- color all over it. the being mind can just see the white wall and let it be.

– pause, breath, harmonize

– in prasarita- pull feet in, feel inner thighs fire. pull feet out, feel outer thighs fire. pull feet back feel hams fire, pull feet forward, feel quad fire- this is ME on all four sides

– santosha= peace, natural state of being. yoga bringing us back to natural state.

– as you breath into the back of the lungs notice, how does that shift your experience?

– agnistombasana + twist= yum!

– not measuring against another but coaxing yourself into a deeper experience.

-how do we find being inside of ourself?

– really appreciate seeing people’s patience with their bodies. How we are with our bodies is an indicator for how we interface with everything else.

– set foundation cue- “organize feet’

– if our practice simply restores us to the ground of being… to that feeling of peace and wellness, it is a good practice. So to that grounding supportive energy please bow.


  • dog pose
  • lunges
  • SN x 5 (just utt, plank, chat, cobra, dog, utt)
  • parsvok stance with hands down to inside- big IS
  • Triko> prasarita> triko
  • dog leg lift
  • warrior 2
  • road kill pigeon > x-pose
  • anjaneyasana
  • parvritta parsvo – twist originates in organs)
  • pigeon
  • thread the needle in pigeon
  • agnistombasana
  • paschimott
  • janu shirsh twist
  • pasch
  • hug knees in
  • savasana
  • meditation

Theme: Adding more beauty to the world

HQ: Fullness and Expressiveness

Actions: IBB (SBL, HABB)

Pinnacle: X pose (twisted lunge thigh stretch)

The theme for today’s class is “adding more beauty to the world”. I chose this theme after seeing a few plays this week that got me thinking about art and artistic expression. The plays were dark and political, one of them was kind of disturbing. They were important plays, but difficult to watch. They got me thinking about the way that I choose to express myself, what is important to me in art and what I think will be effective. What I came to in thinking about this was that the way that I choose to express myself in art directly aligns with one of the highest purposes of Anusara Yoga, which is celebrating the Supreme by adding more beauty to the world. It becomes a service to add beauty, to the world, that becomes our worship.

I think this is because beauty inspires me. When I see or create beauty, it builds my appetite, I want to see and create more beauty! So beauty builds on beauty. And this doesn’t just apply to art, it also applies to the way we live our lives. We can live in a way that adds beauty to the world, just in the way we hold our relationships, do our work, cook our food. Our yoga practice can be a way of adding more beauty to the world also- in Anusara, part of the practice is making the pose a full expression of yourself, leaving an energetic imprint on the world.

So today we are going to play with that, making the poses a full expression of ourselves, and adding more beauty to the world.

Meditation: set an intention, where in your life do you want to add more beauty? seal this into your heart.

  • warmups – sun breaths and folding (tadasana to uttanasana)
  • SN – straight leg lunge, full stretch
  • dancing crescent moon (one foot behind)
  • SN – crescent lunge, gentle twist
  • IBB demo     -everyone come into plank, let bum sag down, how does that feel?  Gather around. Today the action is IBB, physical components of that are lengthening from waist to armpits, the heart lifts and the head of the armbones pin back. See the contrast in plank (Demonstrate – sagging, crunching in back vs. inner body lifting, integrity)  Now everyone try that standing, pretend you are in plank, let body sag, now, (instruct actions of IBB) feel the difference.
  • Vira 1 with thumbs hooked, really get experience of IBB
  • Utkatasana > prayer twist > prayer twist lunge
  • Parsvakonasana>Trikonasana
  • Trikonasana with partner (one hand on hip rooting, one hand on top of head, extending out – really focus on action of lengthening out of waist, fullness of torso, extending through head)
  • Natarajasana > Standing Split > Lunge > Side Plank
  • Cobra > Salabhasana > Ardha Bhekasana
  • Anjaneyasana Prep > with thigh stretch
  • X pose (pinnacle)
  • Pigeon Prep
  • Setu Bandha
  • Ardha Matseyendrasana
  • Happy Baby
  • Savasana

Transcript of the Interview:

Q. So I wanted to start with a question around inspiration.  What gives you inspiration in this life and who?

A.  So I’d like to begin with my parents, because I feel that my parents and my sister really embody love, and they help so many people and they are totally committed to helping every single person that they meet that could require help in some way, and they have been this way ever since I can remember and even in the times that I personally have felt maybe more like going into my room and being private and quiet they were the ones who were just like come on, you know and connect with us and let’s go help someone.  It’s amazing that they hold this very constant state of love for each other and for the people that they meet, and so that’s really one of my biggest inspirations. I’m also immensely inspired by nature and especially trees.  I love to be in forests, I love the redwoods of California.  I love all trees, but 5 years ago it was really the Redwood trees that drew me out here when I made a big move from the East Coast out to here.  So I love trees and I love all of nature.   And I love poetry, it inspires me greatly and Tantric teachings inspire me a lot, the text of Tantra, the stories, I love story tellers, {I} forgot about that, story tellers and music, absolutely light me on fire and there’s more too {laugh}.

Q. in a nutshelll {laugh}…yeah…Can you speak about the power of Revelation, you mentioned the Tantic teachings, what in particular inspires you about Anusara?  Why Anusara of all the of yoga systems?

A. Oh, okay that’s beautiful.  So Anusara, for me one of the things that just sort of went like this to me {gestures an embrace} invited me right into the best parts of myself is that in Anusara, we have what’s called First Principle and it’s called Opening to Grace. And in this First Principle, it’s allowing ourselves to be become more sensitive, more spacious, more with attunement, more listening, more present with however something is in the moment, and allowing ourselves to feel compassion and love in ways that we’re connected to ourselves and more than just ourselves in the moment, connected to the bigger picture we like to say in Anusara, so for me when I first started studying Anusara, it was so huge, because it wasn’t just about being in the pose, like okay, come to your breath, we have all these ways of opening to grace, come to your back body, your foundation, but it was more like what was happening in my life.  So when I would be inside a situation in my life that was maybe challenging for me, I would actually start to ask myself, what does Open to Grace look like right now in this moment in this situation, when I’m off my yoga mat, and here I am feeling all these challenges or intensities, or something that is pulling me off-center in a big way, and I started really asking the question, what does Opening to Grace look like right now in this moment and what would happen was an immediate bonding with a greater sense of love and self-love inside myself.