May News 2022

Dear Friends and Family,

I send you greetings of good will and best wishes for your health — in body and mind. Mother's Day is coming up and I've been thinking about my mother and the women who've most influenced my life. This prompted me to choose Compassion as May's theme.

In spiritual, religious and mythological iconology, compassion is most often represented by female deities and saints. I've experienced the compassionate blessings, inspiration, creativity and strength of many female mentors. There are too many to acknowledge here. I'll highlight one.

Deborah Szekely turns 100 on May 3. She is the co-founder of Rancho La Puerta located in Tecate, Mexico. Deborah helped cultivate the "Ranch" as a spiritual retreat for healthy living through natural foods, exercise and communion with nature. The Huffington Post named Deborah the "Godmother of Wellness” and she’s widely known for her activism, philanthropy and authorship. In 2010, Deborah created "Wellness Warrior,” a web-based initiative to promote sustainable living as part of a national wellness movement to increase awareness and advocacy for human and environmental health. She also founded San Diego's New Americans Museum to celebrate the contributions of America's immigrants. Deborah and her husband, the late Professor Edmund Szekely, began Rancho La Puerta in 1940. It is currently one of the world's top destination spas according Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure.

I have a special place in my heart for the Ranch and a profound admiration for Deborah. My tenure as a yoga instructor at Rancho La Puerta and it's sister spa, the Golden Door, from the mid-eighties to the early nineties was a great opportunity for personal growth, and some of the best years of my life. I met Jane Fonda through the Ranch and was hired to create Jane's first yoga fitness video. Subsequently, I came to the attention of Yoga Journal, which resulted in my writing Yoga Journal's Yoga Basics. Additionally, the Ranch supported my education and fitness-related travel. I ventured to Brazil as the American yoga representative for a South American yoga conference and spent three months in Japan working on the Queen Elizabeth II Cunard cruise ship as part of the Golden Door Spa-at-Sea program, which Deborah created. I’ll be forever grateful for my association with these spas as they broadened my horizons and shifted the trajectory of my life and career.

I hope you reflect on compassion, Mother Nature and the gifts from the females in your life. 

"I have a very simple personal practice. I inhale peace. I exhale love." 
– Deborah Szekely

Tuesday Yoga Zoom Group & Private Training

I'm available! If you'd like to try my online Tuesday 4pm Yoga Basics Plus class, let me know. The first class is free, thereafter you can either pay on a drop-in basis or sign up for a series. I also see clients privately, on online or in person, in the North County San Diego area.

As always, I enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to text, email or call anytime.

 Happy Mother's Day

With heartfelt compassion,


Motivation For Good!

May Theme:

May's theme is compassion. Its saboteur is punitive. Penalization and punishment seem to be in abundant supply these days. The world could do with a lot more compassion. Not to say that all wrongs be dismissed as a matter of course. Evil deeds have consequences. However, when compassion rules the heart we're more able to help those affected by evil as well as those misrepresented by ignorance. We're more equipped to find resolutions which are fair and protect the innocent. 

For more on compassion, read my blog post »


May Pose of the Month: 

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog Pose

This pose is a posterior stretch and a form of inversion, with the head below the heart. It extends the spine, lengthens the hamstrings and strengthens the arms. Although often given in beginners' classes, it requires proper preparation and modifications for many.


May Oil of the Month:


This essential oil has a sweet floral aroma with a hint of fruitiness. Magnolia is known for its therapeutic, health and beauty benefits. It's good for the skin, as a pain reliever and often suggested as a remedy for respiratory issues.

 For more on essential oils visit Doterra and The Oil Mission.


Images: Deborah Szekely and Rancho La Puerta, from Mara's media library.


Fifty years of teaching yoga – Wow!  Hard to believe, but it's true. I started my yoga training in 1968 at the Self Realization Fellowship in Hollywood. My first teaching gig was at the Pasadena YWCA in June of 1971. Quite a journey!  


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Celebrating 50 Years

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