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Category Archives: Uncategorized

pain is a request for strength.

A while back a yoga teacher friend told me that I say, “if your yoga practice isn’t healing you, you have to ask yourself while you’re practicing the same ol’ way.” I didn’t remember saying this…it sounds kinda, well, mean. This must be why people say I’m “straightforward.” But, it was this epiphany which led me into the gym three years ago. After massage and acupuncture and reiki and yoga and yoga therapy and somatic therapy and cranial sacral work and chiropractic and physical therapy and every other expensive homeopathic woo woo option, I thought, “Maybe I need to do something other than yoga.” I’d not done anything other than yoga for about 9 years so it was scary. At the time I could balance in handstand but couldn’t stand on one leg; my psoas was on fire all the time from repetitious stretching a weak muscle; I had over developed quads and underdeveloped glutes…the same was true for my triceps and biceps, respectively.

With the help of a trainer and some significant strength work and changes to the way I practice asana, I’ve healed many of these imbalances. But, my jaw. My jaw has hung on for dear life. A physical therapist gave me some strange exercises to do which involved staring at my third eye and moving my tongue which sounded kinda like kundalini – which my dear friend Annie calls kindaloony – so I was never too disciplined with these exercises. I just kept wearing my expensive night guard to sleep and begging my dentist to readjust my bite every six months.

When I went to California for a yoga retreat last month, I realized – for the first time in years – I had no jaw pain. I thought, “5 hours of yoga each day and the ocean must’ve done the trick.” but upon arriving home, the pain soon returned. and it occurred to me randomly – which is often how insight for my students’ downloads too – that at that training we did tons of fish pose and exercises to strengthen the neck which kinda resembles what the P.T. had suggested minus the kundalini. (By the way, I love kundalini yoga and often integrate it in my classes…sat nam, my friends).

I’ve brought fish and some other poses back into my home practice and already I feel more ease in my face. I’ve long understood pain in the body to be a request for more strength. and here the lesson is again with the jaw and neck: work the muscles and they’ll release.


when you pursue the Path, the Path pursues you.

Most of the time, when I tell people what I do, they find it intriguing. Sometimes these same people have succumbed to a job with a stable income while their dream career haunts them as they lay sleepless on expensive mattresses and high thread count sheets at night. And they say, “that inspires me,” or “I’m trying to figure out how I can do what I love.”

Often, it seems, I have these conversations in the studio bathroom. Typically as I’m changing clothes from a yoga class to a sunset shoot. Perhaps the bathroom is safe sacred space to ask the yoga teacher / artist how she manifested her dreams. Or, at the very least, as I wash my hands and inspect my teeth, I’m a captive audience for someone who’s inevitably changing from their work to yoga clothes.

Occasionally, when I tell people what I do, however, they look at me with pity. it’s not compassion – there’s a difference. the “oh you poor thing” look. I assume – though I don’t know – it’s: “oh you poor thing, you have to teach yoga / take photographs / write / sell essential oils just to make ends meet.”

And that’s ok. Maybe I’m emitting a frequency of poverty. The first year or so, it certainly was touch and go.

Indeed, I occasionally have to pull back the reigns when my boundaries get lax and remember that I am one person with the same 40 hour work week as everyone else. I used to pride myself on working 60-80 hours per week. But, why? Is busyness in business what I seek to teach?


Busyness distracts me from my Path.

But, I will say this for my friends in the bathroom who are looking for a way to pursue their passions: multiple revenue streams are helpful, if not absolutely necessary, to loving what you do in times of both busy and slow, in sickness and in health, for as long as you shall seek to work happily.

When I have felt that I *must* pick up another class / take a job I don’t want / undersell myself / forego vacation in order to make ends meet, this work – as much as I love it – ceases to be my passion. So, my point is this: seek your Path – your dharma. Your dharma might be to teach yoga. Your dharma might be to create art. But, if you’re a single parent or the primary breadwinner or would like to retire in this lifetime, your dharma might be to have a well-paying job that requires minimal brain power so you can spend the remaining waking hours pursuing whatever lights you up inside.

With my upcoming yoga teacher training, prospective students want to know, “Will I see a return on my investment?”

I’m the same way. I own $50,000 in photography equipment and would wager to guess I have spent at least that in yoga trainings over the past 5 years. and, I invested in a graduate counseling degree that I’m going to pay for monthly, for at least 5 more years. And with each course and camera, website upgrade and training trip, I’ve wanted to know “will I see a return on my investment?”

“You have a degree you don’t use,” my now wife who once helped me start my business, said to me when I was working my magic on our budget a while back. She’s kinda right and kinda wrong. If not for that decision to finish that degree, I’d not have pursued yoga teaching as a part time, temporary thing. I wouldn’t have met the friends I did – one soul brother who married us nearly a year ago. I don’t think I’d draw the private clients I do. I don’t think I’d know how to get the people I photograph to open up to me and my lens.

This I know: when you pursue your Path, your Path pursues you. So I’ve stopped asking, “Will I see a return on my investment” and I’ve started asking myself, “Will this propel me on my Path?” And then I get quiet and listen for the wisdom within. In August that wisdom led me to turn down job after job after job in favor of a foray in film where I took photos mostly of the ground and the sky and when I could catch them off guard – my Dana and Cash Diehl. And this time allowed me the space and dedication to get outside help for an eating disorder that’s plagued me off and on – mostly on – for years. I can’t pursue my Path if I’m starving myself. And, I can’t write much about this part of my journey just yet.

Seeking the Wisdom within has yet to steer me wrong. Yoga helps me tap into it. May you – all of you…those who meet me with curiosity and pity alike – have the courage to follow the Path which lights you up inside. With or without a financial return, your soul will be fuller for it. And all we take with us when we leave here is the light we garner in this life.

Whole Heart Yoga Fort Worth | WHY FW


Pema Chodron writes, “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” We awaken gradually. And thank Goodness we do not awaken to everything all at once because it would be too overwhelming. If you’d told me twelve years ago of all the changes yoga would accompany me through, I might have thought twice about stepping on a mat.

When I began practicing yoga, I was in an abusive marriage that was not working. Meanwhile, I was working as a cocktail waitress at a bar. I drank sauvignon blanc regularly for breakfast and vodka for dinner. I smoked a cigarette before class and another one immediately after. I was a senior in college, taking 21 hours to complete my degree in education. Panic attacks brought me to my knees most days.

These were the muddled circumstances under which yoga slowly and quickly transformed me and my life. That was 2004. I left that marriage in 2008. I went to yoga teacher training in 2011. I got sober – for what I hope is the final time – in 2013.

I had access to yoga through the campus recreation center and the two yoga studios on my side of town. I had health insurance (it was the psychiatrist who recommended yoga to me). I had enough cash in my pocket for the $20 drop-in.

But, what if I hadn’t had access?

I shudder to think.

What might have happened?

Where would I be?

Yoga threw me a life vest when I was content to sink. I was hooked instantly. I knew the first time I rolled up a borrowed mat that I couldn’t wait to do that again. I felt alive. Each class armed me with more strength and hope. I kept coming back until I wanted to live, even when I wasn’t on my mat.

As a teacher, I strive to pay forward the gifts that yoga’s given me. Through giving, we receive. And, in addition to the physical strength, emotional healing, and spiritual experiences that yoga has given me, yoga has also afforded me a career and life beyond my wildest dreams.

Last year I attended Off the Mat, Into the World Leadership Training, and an ethically charged debate arose about yoga pants. One woman who was there on scholarship began to cry and then vehemently explained, “I don’t care what pants you wear…they’re cute and all, but I’m just trying to put food on the table to feed my kids.”

I’ll never forget her face. Her solitary pain. Our collective shame.

I’ve been in conflict since that defining moment. I believe that a yogi is a person who uses everything that’s happened to him or her. No experience – no matter how challenging – is cast out. Yoga brings unity to it all.

But, over the past year, I’ve not been able to integrate these experiences:

I wave at the folks leaving the men’s shelter down the street and drive 3 miles to a beautiful studio and see people who look mostly like me.

I see a man digging through my dumpster ten minutes before someone at work asks me if I’m doing the latest diet or cleanse.

A battered woman in withdrawals from my same disease asks me for spare change to feed her kid breakfast, and I throw down $100 for a farm to table meal I wasn’t so hungry for to begin with.

My spouse tells me about a kid who came to school dirty again and I keep encouraging our cleaning lady to eliminate the toxic chemicals in our household.

I can’t come to yoga until I get the right clothes, she says. What brand of yoga pants are those? another asks me.

I see a person of color killed by a police officer. I see a police officer killed by a person who served our country in the military.

These polarized dichotomies left me feeling confused and powerless. I’ve felt compelled to do more. I believe in the power of love and light, I do. I believe prayer is healing. But, I also believe in action. I’ve been inspired to see the work that various individuals are doing throughout the community and thought that together we could do more. I reached out to 2-3 yoga teachers from each studio in Fort Worth and a couple surrounding cities. Through these texts, emails, and Facebook messages, I discovered there were others who felt as I did. We are never alone, you know? Through these conversations, Whole Heart Yoga Fort Worth, or WHY FW, was formed. It is best described as a collaboration among local yoga teachers and students, who’ve formed to promote peace to our greater Fort Worth community through education around mindfulness, yoga fundraising events, and widespread outreach.

Our kickoff event is a FREE pop up yoga and meditation practice for peace at Burnett Park on Friday, August 5th at 7:30 pm. And we have a partnership in the works with The Leg Up Program, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness by providing caring support, education, employment and innovative programs designed to empower individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. We’ll have a special class at their building on September 17th where the proceeds will benefit their clients in living independently.

To stay informed about all upcoming events, follow on social media.


Instagram : @whyfw

I’ve practiced yoga long enough now that I no longer believe it could singlehandedly save the world. But, I am living proof of the impact yoga can have on a single life. Through organizing this effort, I no longer feel powerless. When I lay my head down at night, I want to know that I’m doing all that I can each day to help others. This, I believe, is why we are here. This is the yoga.


Leslie Prince | Fort Worth Yoga + Smart Barre Camp Bowie

I was thinking last night about how I don’t always know when I’m being humble. When someone says to me, “You’re so humble,” I think, “Wow, ok, I must be doing something right.” I’m kinda leery of people who describe themselves as humble. How is it humble to say you’re humble? Always, I look to people’s actions. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this life is that people show you who they are. And, I know that people who exude humility – people who *act* humbly – are always people whose company I enjoy. And in the hour I spent with Leslie Prince, a Fort Worth area yoga teacher and Smart Barre teacher, I was touched by her humble spirit. You can tell that her light is as bright as a Texas sunset. And she doesn’t have to say a word for it to shine through.

She wanted to know if she could bring Cuddles, her “semi-well-behaved” pup for a couple of shots. I’ve got one of those “semi-well-behaved” dogs, too. Um, how cute is he?! What he lacks in discipline, he makes up for in cuteness.

“Where did you get him?” I asked.

“Craigslist…how could someone give him away?”

Find her sharing her love of yoga at the Fairmount  Library Tuesday evenings this summer for the human friendly price of $5 donation. More info here.

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Isabella Breedlove | Fort Worth Musician

Isn’t she a beautiful human? At 15, she’s paving her own path – and an artsy one at that. She sings and plays guitar. The music kept her moving throughout the shoot. To help others co-create their dreams – this is what I love.

You can hear her voice here: https://soundcloud.com/bellabreedlove/heart-like-yours-willamette-stone

I get the feeling that one day I’ll say, “I remember when we did that shoot with the vintage cars.”


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Note: the two men who brought the cars over on an overcast day were so sweet. They chauffeur people. They take the cars to hospice for people with cancer to take a ride. My heart melted when he told me that. So, of course, during wardrobe change, I said, “I’m sure you have a bunch of photos of the cars, but do you want one?” And they both said that they’d never been photographed with their cars. Would I text them the images so they could send to their kids and grandkids? Certainly.


light + laughter | Prana del Mar sunset shoot

All my favorite people laugh well. If I was to travel the world teaching yoga, I’d take this gorgeous woman with me so she’d laugh at my jokes. Her presence in class is always a gift. So 7 days with her on a fabulous yoga retreat – wow. I think God gives us people who help us along our collective and individual paths. I know she’s done that for me. She wanted to do a shoot for a big upcoming birthday.

“When was the last time you had your portrait taken?” I asked her as we traipsed out to the beach.

“Olan Mills,” she laughed. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable with anyone else,” she said.

You are worth celebrating. Who you are…what you do – it matters. You matter. Never will there be another soul exactly like you. You, make a difference in this world.

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one day young

There’s a purity about photographing a baby who’s mere hours old. These new parents are smitten. What a gift to photograph their first born, Luke Everett Taylor.

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wind + water | sunset at Prana del Mar

This beauty turned 25 while we were on retreat in Cabo at Prana del Mar. We celebrated with a windy and whimsical photo shoot. Ahhh, that light. Maybe someone will hire me to tag along on retreats and take sunset photographs each evening. A girl can dream…


light up your life retreat 1.0

you plan and you pray and you pray and you plan and sometimes an experience defies your wildest dreams. these women. this place. beautiful. sacred. all of it makes me weep. they showed up in the most magnificent ways  for one another. my heart is full. my life is changed. how this is my path, I’m unsure. grace. gratitude. joy beyond belief.

Prana Del Mar


Thank You Again Music Release Party | Michael McGlone + Kristi & Darren Taylor

Michael McGlone is an actor, comedian, singer and songwriter. He met Kristi Taylor when he took her yoga class at a Yoga Journal Conference in NYC a while back. Somehow by a strange string of events that can only be described as divinely inspired, Michael, Kristi, and her husband, Darren, co-wrote a song together in the Taylor living room in January.

“Have you ever written a song before?” I asked her. I know Kristi as an acro queen /  stand up paddleboarding / glitter wearing / laughter inducing yoga teacher.

“No!” She said and then explained how the song just streamed through them. And, I nodded my head like a bobble head because I can so relate.

I know what it’s like to have something Larger and more Powerful than me stream from my heart and soul onto the page.

And I know what it’s like to have many passions – so many that you can’t just choose one.

And Michael described it best when he said about his many careers in the arts, “All of these things bring me joy.”

Their song – “Thank You Again” – is to be released today online. More than once, Michael moved the room to tears and laughter and every emotion in between.

What an honor to memorialize the magic of it all!

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