2019 Summer Newsflash!

Welcome to what I sincerely hope is a joy filled summer.

Perhaps you are wisely doing some supported Downward Facing Dogs to help you through these Dog Days of Summer!  Our Pitta dosha (think fiery energy) is aggravated by excess heat and we want to calm and quiet the nervous system through more cooling poses, such as a supported Dog Pose, gentle Twists, Forward Bends and supported Inversions.  Our summers are getting hotter and that’s not “fake news!”  It was 113 in France recently. No longer can we say we are in the midst of Climate Change – we are full on into Climate Crisis. I believe we must do all we can individually and collectively to save our planet.  Our lifestyle is at risk and may change drastically as early as the next 5-10 years, not to mention the future suffering of our children and grandchildren.  If you’ve done any reading from the top scientists, you know how dire the situation is.

Besides joining a local chapter in your area, please consider donating to a reputable organization such as Climate RealitySierra Club  or 350.org.  And do check out my dear friend and climate activist Betsey Downing’s amazing resource list on what else you can do.  It is a goldmine!

John and I spent two and a half glorious weeks in June driving around the Scottish Highlands (Isle of Skye is magnificent) and then on to Ireland and the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.  All were fabulous!  It is amazing to see how these countries are so far beyond the US ecologically on many levels.  We especially loved the openness and friendliness of the people, eating at many of the local pubs and striking up conversations with our neighbors at the next table. Getting used to driving on the left side of the road was challenging. After taking out the left passenger mirror two hours into our first rental car, I did quite well the rest of the trip! Many of the roads are “one track” which means one lane, with no shoulders and prayers that big lorries and tourist buses don’t show up! All makes for a more exciting adventure!
 
Wishing each of you a playful and joy filled rest of your summer.  I believe joy is our birthright. It is innate and natural. I immediately recognize when it wells up in me; that sense of elation, optimism, and knowing that all is truly well, despite outer circumstances. My energy seems to move upward!  Joy connects what once felt separate. Joy has within it great strength and a great vulnerability. I feel joy is the movement of divinity within and it is ever present.  We have only to take time to tap into what’s already there, finding it in small things as well as large. I try to bring a sense of joy into all my classes and workshops because we all deserve to remember that we are joy!

Please scroll down for a peek of the joy that might await you!

Namaste,

Upcoming Events

Italy Yoga Adventure

October 14 – 22, 2019 in Umbria, Italy

Our Italian adventure this coming October has only one space left! This would be for a woman sharing a beautiful spacious room with another female student who would love a roommate. No more singles available unfortunately.

The event will be near Spoleto at a Farm to Table beautiful resort. You can look forward to fabulous day trips and many are returning for their second time.

All information for this event is HERE.

Meditation & Yoga Weekend

Dec. 6-8 at Hallowood Retreat Center, MD

Whether you are an experienced meditator or new to the Art of Meditation, we will all learn to deepen the silence already within our very hearts. Join us at the Hallowood Retreat Center  (www.hallowood.org) less than an hour away from the DC Metro area for this Meditation & Yoga Retreat. I will focus on teaching and guiding those, both old and new, in the Art of Meditation. The benefits in our everyday lives are enormous. Meditation has been the mainstay of my spiritual practice for over 40 years. Click HERE for the flyer with info and registration form.

Regular Classes and Private Sessions

My weekly teaching schedule is as follows, both at Willow Street Yoga Center in Takoma Park, MD & Silver Spring, MD as well as in Oxford, MD on the Eastern Shore.  All classes are Alignment based and in the tradition of both Anusara and Iyengar.I also offer private sessions that include designing a Home Practice tailored to the student’s needs, learning the Art of Meditation, and Spiritual Direction.

Email me at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

Willow Street Yoga Classes

Yoga 1/2: 6:15-7:45 pm Tuesday in Sliver Spring
Yoga 2: 6:15-7:45 pm Wednesday in Takoma Park
Yoga 2: 10:30-12:00 Thursday in Takoma Park
www.willowstreetyoga.com

Coastal Retreat Oxford Classes

201 Tilghman St, Oxford, MD.
Beginners/Advanced (Yoga 1/2): Monday 1:30-2:45
Intermediate (Yoga 2 & 2/3): Saturday 9:30-11:00
www.suziehurley.com

Upcoming Retreats

Jamaica 2020 with Maria and Suzie

Feb. 1-8, 2020

Join Maria Hamburger and me for our fifth Yoga Vacation on the cliffs of Negril at Coral Seas Resort.

This is for all levels of yogis everywhere. Not to be missed!

Click HERE for the brochure and and registration form details.

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

January 30 – February 6, 2021

Tierra de Suenos Retreat Center (on the Caribbean coast near Puerto Viejo) with Suzie & Maria Hamburger.Save the dates! Much more to come!

In the meantime, check out the following link!

Tierra de Suenos Lodge

Spring 2019

I’m quite sure I’m not the only one looking forward to Spring! It’s been a cold, wet, snowy winter and am looking forward to getting back on my bike and in my kayak. We’ve had some spotting of eagles in Oxford recently, and I hear we’ve even had a couple of early Osprey sightings. I wish you all a most lovely blooming of new growth in body, mind and spirit this season.

Thank you all who came to Jamaica last month with Maria Hamburger and I, we had a fabulous time and this group was particularly full of laughter and joy. Next years dates are Feb. 1-Feb. 8, 2020, and then the following year we will forgo Jamaica for a Costa Rica Yoga Retreat. The dates for that are Jan. 30-Feb 6, 2021.

Coming up fast is Betsey Downing’s and my Kripalu mini-retreat for all spirited women everywhere. The dates are April 28-May 1 and if you haven’t been to Kripalu, located in Lenox, Ma., nestled in the Berkshire Mts., it is a real treat. Our theme will be Yogic Teachings for the Great Transition, and you can read more about it here on the website. We are no longer doing a longer summer Spiritual Women’s Retreat, so we hope we will see many of you at Kripalu.

I’m excited to present a Yoga Workshop for Climate Action with my friend and colleague Galen Tromble, a Willow Street teacher and quite the expert in climate change. Our workshop will be at our sweet Oxford studio at 201 Tilghman on Sunday May 5 from 3:00-5:30. There will be a short presentation, discussion, yoga asanas, and relaxation. Galen’s website is www.climateyogi.org 

Our Italy adventure this coming October filled quickly, tho unfortunately one couple had to cancel, so we have an opening for two people, not necessarily a couple. The dates are Oct. 14-22, 2019 and promises to be just as awesome as our first visit.

And lastly, I’m thrilled to have found a place less than an hour away from the DC Metro area to offer a Meditation & Yoga Retreat December 6-8, 2019. We will be at Hallowood Retreat Center (www.hallowood.org) I will focus on teaching and guiding those, both old and new, in the Art of Meditation. The benefits in our everyday lives are enormous. Meditation has been the mainstay of my spiritual practice for over 40 years.

There is more detailed info on all of these events by clicking on the appropriate links on the home page.

Have a beautiful Spring and hope to see you on the mat somewhere sooner than later.

Namaste and Blessings, Suzie

Hello again, dear friends!

I’ve always loved Fall’s amazing display of transformation. From the lush green shades of Summer, we are transported to the radiant red, gold, orange, yellow and brown hues that mark yet another season of life. Watch the trees effortlessly let go of their leaves and seeds to nurture the earth for new life in the Spring. The trees don’t try to hold their leaves back from falling, nor are the leaves in any rush to fall. Both simply let go. Letting go into the present moment is the only real way to experience that sense of wonder and awe (adbhuta in Sanskrit), to find the extraordinary within our ordinary everyday life.  When I watch my two-year old grandson Otis’s eyes light up over a rain puddle in the street, I am immediately both amused and brought back to this moment.

Sweet Otis, those eyes!

I’ve just returned from leading the Tasting Gratitude yoga retreat in Umbria, Italy. I have brought back such a deeper appreciation for how simply being present to what is enhances any experience. Lex Ulibarri, our host, tour guide, yoga teacher, friend and more, has lived in Italy for nine years and speaks fluent Italian. He gave us an insider’s view of life in the Italian countryside and each site on our day trips, conveying both a historical knowledge and a spiritual perspective of the many places we visited. Being in the moment was never so easy!!  Everyone had such a great experience, we are planning on doing it again in October, 2019!

 

But until then, Maria Hamburger, my close friend and colleague for many years, and I will be leading our annual Jamaica Yoga Vacation on the cliffs of Negril from January 27 to February 3, 2018.  This will be our third year teaching together and it is a continuing joy to infuse our love for Yoga to our students.  You can download the brochure and registration form HERE. In the dead of Winter here in the USA, there’s nothing like loving the present moment with turquoise waters and warm breezes in Jamaica!

 

In April, as Spring returns again, I will have the great pleasure of teaching with another of my dear friends and master yoga teacher, Betsey Downing, at Kripalu for a Mini-Spirited Women’s Retreat for women over 45.  The dates are April 15-18.  To register, call Kripalu Center at 1-800-741-7353 or 413-448-3400.  More information is available HERE.

 

Summer will bring us to the ocean shores of North Carolina at Trinity Retreat Center for Betsey’s and my 12th Spirited Women’s Retreat. The dates are August 21-26 and we are so looking forward to presenting The Divine Feminine Arises.  In these tumultuous times we have an opportunity to stand up and speak up from our full presence as the embodied Divine Feminine and fight for the heart of what matters.  It was so inspiring and empowering to see that manifesting in the number of women recently elected to statewide positions across the country. Brochure and registration form are both HERE and HERE.

 

I hope you can make it to one or more of these offerings. And though they are in the future, and certainly something to look forward to, I invite you to stay right here, right now, as this is where life happens. This is where wonder, astonishment, awe and amazement happen, right under our very noses. Adbhuta! All we have to do is to notice!

 

Blessings & Namaste,

Suzie

 

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2017!

I write this on the first morning of 2017, waking up early and surprisingly optimistic in the face of so many troubling and destructive events that are now present in our country and world.

Entering the sacred space of my meditation seat, I welcomed in the energies that would serve me best in the new year. I welcomed in clarity, strength of heart, the courage of my convictions, gratitude, and the resolve to be truthful on all levels with myself. To not only be flexible and strong in body but also in mind, and to live deeply from Spirit. I resolved to listen to my own compassionate and intelligent wisdom that drowns out the negative sound of critical judgment. My intention is to do my best to stay steady within myself, above the harmful emotional fray in the political arena, and observe the wildness, the craziness from a position of power where it cannot feed on me.

Following my 40 minutes of meditation, I felt strong, centered, open and ready to face whatever challenges 2017 will hold.  In the last few minutes of practice, my orange tabby Molly jumped up in my lap, purring away, reminding me of my intimate and loving connection with the animal world and all they bring to us.

Meditating kitty

Meditating kitty

I continue to live in two wonderful worlds, on the Eastern and Western Shores of MD. Teaching my three classes at Willow Street Yoga in Takoma Park, seeing private yoga and meditation students, and playing with five of our seven grandkids each week is a total joy.  Only an hour and a half away is much more rural Oxford, surrounded by water on three sides, with good friends and a slower and more natural pace of life. I cherish my long walks or bike and kayak rides and watching the occasional eagle and the geese migrate each year. I teach two classes in Oxford as well, and still find my role as a yoga teacher to be creative, fun and rewarding. I know that is a great blessing.

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Oxford at sunset

Recently we went up to Stowe, VT to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of John’s sisters, which was a total blast. John comes from a close-knit family, the oldest of six siblings who still love to be together for family reunions and special occasions. Both his sisters and I skied for much of the day in soft new fallen snow, and it was indeed a winter wonderland. I had not skied for at least 35 years, and was very pleasantly surprised that I could still, after a bit of practice, go down an intermediate slope without a spill. It was a fantastic combination of exhilaration and natural beauty that will stay in my memory bank for a long time.

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Maria and I

I am excited about my upcoming annual yoga events with dear colleagues and close friends. At the end of this month Maria Hamburger and I will be teaching our second annual Jamaica Yoga Vacation. We just had two unexpected cancellations due to injuries, so we have two rooms available, which I will discount should anyone want to be a last minute sign up!!  The dates are January 28-February 4.  Please click here for brochure and registration form.

Betsey Downing and I will be again be teaching a mini Women’s Retreat at Kripalu in Lenox, MA, from May 18-May 21. We will practice Cultivating Courage and Compassion as our retreat theme. More information on that by clicking here. Spring is fantastic in the Berkshires and it will be in beautiful early bloom at this time.

Betsey & I

Betsey & I

Betsey and I will also be offering our annual Spirited Women’s Retreat at Meadowkirk Retreat Center at Delta Farm, near Middleburg, Virginia from Monday August 7 to Monday August 14th.  It is only about an hour from the Washington DC area.  More details by clicking here.

I am very excited to be leading a Yoga Retreat in October 2017 in Umbria, Italy. The dates are October 18 to 26, though we and many are already planning to tag on some extra days for sight seeing!  You can read all about it and sign up by clicking here.  I am taking 25 participants total, (non-yogis welcome), and already have 18 or 19 signed up, so don’t wait too long!

Retreat spot in Italy!

Retreat spot in Italy!

 

 

 

 

I wish each of you a hopeful, joyful, and peaceful entry into 2017.  May we all have the strength of heart, the steadiness of mind, the clarity of vision and the courage of our convictions to face the challenges that will undoubtedly arise, and indeed are already present. May we each find a way to contribute to a cause for justice, for combating climate change, for more kindness and inclusivity, and to keep our hearts open in the face of resistance and struggle.

 

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.

~Goran Persson

If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.”

~Cyril Cusack

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

~Oprah Winfrey

We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.

~Marianne Williamson

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

Warm Summer 2016 greetings!

My two week sojourn on the midcoast of Maine is drawing to a close. As I look out from my cabin porch into the vastness of sea and sky, I am filled with as much awe and gratitude as I was in 1996 when I first started coming to Greenwoods. Though I haven’t returned each and every year, when I walk onto the deck of “my” Mountain Spruce cabin overlooking the Penobscot Bay far below, it’s indeed a coming home – a coming home to my heart above all. (See photos from this beautiful space in the bar to the right!)

It is not only an awesome place of beauty but a haven to reconnect and source Spirit within and without. Settling into the profound quiet of the woods, waking to the pungent smells of pine and spruce, swimming in the chilly Penobscot Bay or resting by a clear lake, hiking the Camden Hills or scrambling over the huge rocks below me, eating the most delicious lobster rolls ever  – these are all experiences that continually open me to Spirit and expand my awareness of the Infinite.

As I head back in a couple of days to the busy-ness of my life which I also love and am ever grateful for, I know I will take much of the stillness and silent Presence that is so profound here. How can I not? That very same silent Presence is who we are under the noise of the mind and the bustle of our lives. As we begin to live and abide more and more in this eternal wakefulness, separation and division begin to drop away. An intimacy with all things, a quiet happiness and sense of peace pervade, even under whatever turmoil may arise. And yes, it still arises!

I look forward to sharing what I’ve gained here with our Spirited Women in our upcoming retreat on Emerald Isle, NC, in the latter part of August. This will be our tenth SWR with my dear friend and political and climate savy colleague Betsey Downing. It is so inspiring for us to be with amazing women each year and learn, love and evolve from our shared strength together. For more information on this, please click here. (and we do have one shared space left!)

Fall will bring yet another change to my schedule at Willow Street, as John and I make our slow transition to Oxford on the Eastern Shore of MD. I gave up my Yoga 3 class last Winter Session and beginning in the Fall Session I will give up my Monday night Silver Spring Yoga 1 class. That will mean I spend 5 nights in Oxford and two in Silver Spring. No plans to give up my remaining three classes in Takoma Park for some time however, as we also get to spend time with the grandkids on Tuesday and Wednesday. I will also be teaching a 6-week special on Core and More in the Fall after my Yoga 1/2 on Tuesday evenings. Please go to www.willowstreetyoga.com for information onlots of great classes and opportunities. And thank you Joe and Natalie for all you continue to do to make Willow Street Yoga a warm and welcoming school of excellent alignment-based yoga.

On the Eastern Shore I will begin 8 week sessions of both Beginning and Intermediate classes on Saturdays at the Oxford Community Center. Oxford continues to bring us peace and joy, both in the wonderful friendships we’ve cultivated, and being in a more natural environment. We still love kayaking and biking everywhere, as well as getting out on the rivers in our old 17’ Boston Whaler Newport. For Oxford class times and dates, please click here!

I will celebrate my 72nd birthday in October, and gratitude overflows for a healthy body and fairly sound mind on most days!! Good genes play a part for sure, but my continued yoga and meditation practice are the key. After almost 40 years of practice, it still holds magic for me. I am still blown away by how even 20 minutes can shift me back from forgetfulness to remembrance. This Presence or Awakefullness, the I Am, Consciousness, the Divine…so many names for our own true nature which can never leave as it is what we are. It is human nature to forget and to let the ego run the show. It is our practice that brings us back again and again.

2017 will bring our annual Jamaican Yoga Vacation. It will be the second year for Maria Hamburger and I to lead a group to the Cliffs of Negril. We will be at Sunset on the Cliffs from January 28 to February 4, where we will do asana, meditate, swim, eat great food, laugh, dance and joyfully celebrate ourselves and each other. Rooms go quickly so register early by clicking here!

Betsey Downing and I will be giving our 2017 Spirited Women’s Retreat in the summer again and are finalizing plans for it now. It looks like it may be very convenient, in Northern Virginia at a wonderfully inviting retreat center. More info on this to come soon!!

And then because, as it turns out, it looks like I have really no retirement plans, I’ve decided to take a group to Italy in October of 2017. This will be an adventure in Food, Wine and Yoga and it may not necessarily be in that order. It can actually be in whatever order you prefer!!! (LOL) We be in the beautiful countryside of Umbria, where one of my former teacher trainees and a long time Willow Street student, now lives. I must say he has made this so easy, I couldn’t refuse!! The day trips will be fabulous and are all included. It is a great price, especially if you’re an early bird. Click here for more info and registration form!

One more thing. It’s an historic political year. More is at stake in whom we support for President than at any other time in our lives. Our children and grandchildren will be most adversely affected by climate disruption, but all our lives will be impacted by the leadership of the next 4 or 8 years. As President Obama so succinctly put it in his amazing speech at the DNC, “Don’t boo, Vote!” But do more than vote – donate, volunteer, knock on doors in PA where it’s needed, make calls, drive people to the polls, help in any way you can to get the vote out.  I know some of you are not overly enamored with Hillary. But hold your nose, do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump does not become our next President. Know you’re voting for the greater good, and know that a vote for the Libertarian Party or for Jill Stein (and I do like her platform) is a vote for Trump. They are not viable candidates – it’s that simple.

I will leave you with a poem that I read for my Dad’s eulogy. He was instrumental in my life for showing me by his example how to live from love rather than fear. He died on Thanksgiving Day morning in 1995. I think these words apply more than ever today.

The Choice for Love ~ Emmanuel

“What does the voice of fear
whisper to you?

Fear speaks to you
in logic and reason.
It assumes the language
of love itself.

Fear tells you,
“I want to make you safe.”
“You are safe.”

Fear says,
“Give me symbols.
Give me something
I can rely on.”

Loving truth says,
“Only give me
this moment.”

Fear would walk you
on a narrow path
promising to take you
where you want to go.

Love says,
“Open your arms
and fly with me.”

Every moment of your life
you are offered the opportunity
to choose–
love or fear,
to tread the earth
or to soar the heavens.”

And Love Trumps Fear every time!