when i began teaching yoga 6 years ago, i had not anticipated how much it would change my life, how much the practice would help me guide others to enhance their life, and really serve as my lighthouse. recently, i have found myself either with my students, or with friends, in a deep space of gratitude for this practice. i am beginning to notice in others, soft spaces, where the person is aware and present with their lot in life in a very compassionate and open way. allowing ourselves the space to be soft and vulnerable is what this whole life is about, the more we allow ourselves, the more we will allow others.
last weekend, i graduated my first student from the mindful movement school of yoga private teacher training program. i founded mindful movement last year in an effort to create a structure that influences and supports the next wave of teachers, one teacher at a time. it took us one year, and at least 200 hours to arrive at the end of our journey, but we did it! when we can take something that has deeply impacted our life for the better and offer it to others, we are consciously creating a vibration that heals all those with whom we come into contact.
in a few weeks, i am headed back to ethiopia for my annual visit. to give back through the practice, myself, core72, and wydler brothers real estate are putting together 4 free yoga classes to benefit orphanages in ethiopia on october 21 and october 28, 2018. we are requesting donations in the form of children’s clothing that can be worn year round that are gently used or new. you can sign up here for classes at cathedral commons and here for classes in chevy chase. space for yoga is very, very, limited.
making your unique impact on the world doesn’t have to be a daunting task, it can be something small that you do each day. your good deed will then inspire the person whom you’ve just touched to pay it forward, thereby creating a ripple effect of goodness in our world.
my life has been touched by each of you, let’s keep spreading the light!
is it really september already? i don’t know about you, but once it hits labor day, i start planning out 2019! my summer was full and rewarding with travel in and out of the country and lots of lazy days sunbathing. while i am in disbelief that summer is over, i am overjoyed for fall, it is my favorite season!
keep a pulse on my notes the next few months for some awesome yoga collaborations in the city. fall is a great time to fall-back-in-love with your yoga. i want to hear all about your summer, drop me a note, and lets grab something warm to drink and go for a long walk.
while your kids are going back to school, and your friends are trying to schedule you for coffee, lunch, or dinner. while the whole of washington seems like its getting ready to come back in full swing, contemplate on what you can give to those you encounter without draining your own supply of energy.
here is a suggestion of 10 things you can give this fall…start with yourself, then your partner, your children, friends, and the rest of the world.
benefit of the doubt
effort — go the extra mile!
i am here to support you in your practice and anything you need. my instruction is transmitted one-one-one to maximize your energy, goals, and most importantly, your time. i am wishing you a beautiful september day filled with endless possibilities.
after years of therapy, i have come to learn and realize that the language of love is composed of a four part harmony. the acronym for this harmony is RSHV — respected, seen, heard, and valued. every relationship is contingent upon the synchronization of this harmony. when a note falls, it isn’t without compromising at least one persons needs in the process, leading to conflict and distress. however, when all persons in a given relationship experience an exchange of all four harmonies, the result is love in its highest vibration. an affirmation that we are respected, we are seen, we are heard, and we are valued.
it is for us as individuals to decide what a healthy, loving, and supportive relationship looks like. what we need to feel respected, seen, heard, valued and how we can consciously choose to engage in relationships that aim to strike this four part harmony. next time you are in disagreement with someone, ask yourself if one of these four notes is missing and you will get to the root of the conflict much sooner.
as i learn what my needs are and how best to articulate them, it has become increasingly important to observe how i show up in my relationships. what messages i am transmitting by my actions, words, or lack thereof. it is a long time habit of mine to over give largely due to the fact that i never learned moderation when it comes to love. i have always been an all or nothing person because a lot of my primary experiences gave me just those two options. my brain is conditioned to believe in zero percent or one hundred percent and so my heart learned to give in the same manner. i am still learning how to move the lever in values other than all or nothing.
i don’t anticipate that we will all wake up tomorrow and become people who have conscious relationships built on RSHV, i do however anticipate that we will wake up and try. and the next day, try again. every day, patiently working toward being the best version of who we know we can be and what we know this world can become with our contribution to doing the work.
my yoga practice has returned to the space where it began, at home. my teaching has followed suit, leading classes solely through private instruction. my schedule for fall has a few slots open, send me a note to discuss your needs and how this practice can serve you.
i am so proud of you for doing the work. and know, at the moment that you read this, i respect you, i see you, i hear you, and i value you.
earlier this month, i accompanied my partner to his 25th high school reunion. beyond telling me where he had gone to school, he never at any point in time described the setting. similarly, i had not looked up the school on my own. when i arrived, i found that not only was he educated in a natural setting with lots of greenery, but also in an environment that believed that there is the light of God in us all. it occurred to me in that moment that this man that i have so deeply fallen in love with has been cultivating and nurturing his inner light since before i became aware of my own. and while i was busy competing for the head cheerleader position at portland high school, he was learning how to “mind the light.”
i am fascinated by how much our environment particularly as young people shapes who we become in our adult lives. when i look back at high school, i cannot recall being concerned with much beyond my grades and sports. high school was not what i would consider “enriching” and while we contemplated a bit, it certainly was not about seeing the light in everyone or shining the light for others to see themselves and the world more clearly. it has taken years of individual work to understand that there is light in us all, it has always been there, and always will guide our way.
what if we taught our children from birth to see their light and to recognize that light in others? what if we held the light for each other when we had trouble seeing? what if we entered every relationship with the intention to mind the light? my heart is overfilled with hope just contemplating such a world.
the fundamental purpose of a yoga practice is to create clarity, calm, balance, alertness, and ease. and in my experience, it has been a practice of seeing the light in myself and in others. the following quote from yogi bhajan says it beautifully …
you are a lighthouse,
so no one can wreck near you.
that is the one thing in life you have to do.
spread the light. be the lighthouse.
so every journey, every destiny,
every distance will be safe.
i challenge you today to be the lighthouse.
just the other day, as i was cueing up my first of the month to do list, i paused and glanced at my name on a pepco bill. Nesanet N Alemayhu, followed by my address, Washington, DC 20016. it was a strange sensation. i don’t think i had ever looked at my name on a document and paused before. i thought, who is this Nesanet N Alemayhu? what has she become over the years? and is her external personality, the one that people receive, the same as what she feels inside?
last week, i spent a few days in portland, maine and boston, massachusetts visiting family and friends. it had been some time since i was in boston, the place where i feel like i did a whole lot of growing up. i actually experienced a deep longing, likely because i was sitting right outside the boston commons, on a glorious sunny day, wondering if i could in fact live there again. Nesanet Alemayhu was a young college student in those days, running around between fenway park and the south end, certainly not visualizing a future in Washington, DC.
the mystery of life is so mysterious! when i lived in boston, my immediate concerns were about my classes, my girlfriends at simmons, baseball games i did not want to miss, and maybe a few other things. when i look back today, i think, if that girl only knew where her life would go.
if we knew with certainty what would come next, would we be more open?
i find myself in constant awe of this universe, what my life has become, the experiences i have had, and those that are headed for me now. wherever you are reading this today, i hope you find comfort in knowing that there is so much more to come!
in the words of dr. seuss:
you have brains in your head.
you have feet in your shoes.
you can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
you’re on your own. and you know what you know.
and YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
practice continues with me on saturdays, 10:30-11:45 am at fuse. a 75 minute opportunity to move contemplatively from space to space and allowing those small journeys into yourself to serve as guidance for leading a conscious life.
happy may, i am excited for all the places you will go!
“with the exercise of self-trust, new powers shall appear.” -ralph waldo emerson
i found this quote on a package that splendid spoon sent recently and i find myself returning to it multiple times throughout a given week. currently, it is on my vision board. i have spent a considerable amount of time ruminating on the behavioral characteristics of fear. what it smells like, tastes like, and feels like at the time that it has taken up residence in my mind. with all the transitions in my life lately, i have found it difficult to tune out, or rather, tune in to what fear is trying to communicate to me.
a lot of my anxiety and impatience is stemming from life asking me to bend and stretch in ways i never have before. buying a car, navigating the valleys of a new career, entering a new portal in my relationships, it all seems so overwhelming! and then i read, "with the exercise of self-trust, new powers shall appear." is that what it takes? trusting myself? that and being open to the lessons.
i think part of the challenge is that i see fear as an enemy rather than an ally. despite how mean it may sound sometimes, ultimately, fear is a motivator that has the intention of keeping us focused on the path, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
are there areas in your life in which you are being asked to stretch in new ways? how can you remember to pause and trust in yourself?
saturday morning practice from 10:30-11:45 takes place at fuse in foxhall. come, move, and create new space in the body.
when leaping into whatever, try your best to not be afraid. be patient and when all else seems to fail, bet on yourself!
in the past 3 weeks, i have celebrated the entry into my third decade, started a new position, and reflected on my move to DC exactly 7 years ago. i remember the morning i woke up in my studio apartment in the back bay of boston knowing it was time to leave. i had visited DC a couple of times throughout college and had decided it was the place i would move next despite that i knew nothing more than the fact that DC was considered a second Ethiopia. i cannot express how right that decision was and how much i have grown since moving here. i heard somewhere recently that the gateway to change has three phases: pre-contemplation, contemplation, and finally, change. i realize today that my life is a good life because despite how much i fear change, i tackle it head on.
which area of your life requires you to change?
for some of us, change is very difficult. it is almost as if we are allergic to it. some of us are "cold turkey" people ... wake up, decide, and move. and the rest of us, well, we take up that grey area ... the area that needs encouragement, guidance, and a bit of hand-holding to get to the next place. no matter which type of person you are, know that your process is perfectly fine, you are perfectly fine, and your life is a good life.
i have returned to guiding one studio class per week at fuse in foxhall. fuse is known as a pilates studio until this year where they chose to add a yoga component. i am addicted to building, cultivating, and growing something from scratch and i am excited about building a yoga program that can continue to serve DC and humanity as a whole. practice with me every saturday morning from 10:30-11:45. the flow, called mindful movement, is loosely inspired by my ashtanga practice. it is ethereally slow, alignment focused, and just the perfect thing on a saturday morning.
i love hearing from you, receiving your emails, texts, and phone calls and knowing how i and this yoga practice can serve you.
sending you love from my heart and wishing you a sweet valentines day!
i love it when the calendar starts over with the number 1 — something about a fresh start really brightens my world. 365 new chances to begin again and continue to work toward what it means to live your best life!
this year, i dare to try new activities, adventures, destinations, and new ways of seeing. i vow to leave the people, places, and things that make me uncomfortable, that kill my vibe, and dim my light. i will continue in my healing, in my quest to find and trust in God, and leap into whatever is next!
i hope that you, too, dare to not be afraid!
below is an affirmation i shared with those who attended the 4th annual new year’s eve intention setting and asana practice. write your name in the blank space, feel free to print and place on your fridge or anywhere that is visible to you on a daily basis.
i ________________ am grateful for all that i am and all that i have.
i receive all blessings and abundance that come my way.
i remove all blockages hindering my emotional growth, financial growth, and spiritual growth.
so. shall. it. be.
happy new year!
sending you courage in abundance…
on sunday morning, i had a strong craving to attend church. last week i was out of town and so the yearning to reconnect with God was very deep. my reconnection with the church is very new and although i should know, i did not know that it was the first sunday of advent. i smiled inside thinking, “i am always arriving at the right time.”
it has been very sweet to reflect on this past year. witnessing my own becoming with minimal judgment is the best gift i have given myself yet. through my partner,through therapy,through my new neighborhood,through the church, through returning back to ethiopia, and through yoga, i have found a whole new layer of being. even in becoming, it takes a village.
yoga teaches us that the “self” is not a permanent fixture. it is ever changing — everything is always changing all of the time. it is the reason we are also taught to pause, because in the pause is the lesson. i have had many meltdowns this year, but i have also had some awesome experiences.
last december, during the New Year’s Eve workshop, i asked everyone to make a list titled, stop. start. continue. each column had three things that one would like to stop, to start, and to continue. one of my start items was to send out a monthly note. and here i am, on the twelfth month of sharing and continuing to cultivate a community of people who can learn from one another.
this year, i will be hosting the NYE practice of chakra meditation, intention setting, journaling, reflection, and yoga practice. we practice 6-8:30pm, early enough of an ending to make plans for the rest of your night. we are very fortunate to return to the beautiful space at dock 5 above union market dc, reserve your spot here and bring a friend, i cannot express how much i love leading this workshop — this is the 4th year!!
i have opened up slots for private instruction in the new year. private instruction is great for you if you want to focus more deeply on your yoga practice and also to have something to look forward to weekly on your own schedule and at your own pace. private instruction packs also make a great holiday gift! send me a note to connect.
while we still have 3 weeks before christmas, now is the perfect time to cleanse from fall and our thanksgiving day feast! i am enjoying rebooting my system with splendid spoon’s juices and smoothies. you can take $20 off your order by using code: splendid.to/NYASPOON20
it has been an absolute pleasure to share with you these past twelve months and to receive your feedback. thank you, thank you, thank you, for showing up to my classes, my workshops, my times of need. thank you for allowing me to be there for you during your times of need. this yoga practice is one of the pillars of my life, it is an honor and a pleasure to experience it with you.
if you are into social media, lets stay in touch! follow me on instagram keep a pulse on my facebook page or drop a note any time to say hello!
wishing you a beautiful transition into the new year.
i returned from ethiopia early last monday morning. for the first time in my life of traveling, i slept through the first leg of the flight from addis ababa to dublin. one could even say, i had a smile on my face for the 6 remaining hours that i stayed awake until arriving in washington's dulles airport.
my homecoming has been jubilant, peaceful, and quiet, all at once. while adjusting to the time change, i have been up very early in the morning baking, awaiting the birds to rise, and enjoying the stillness. it has made me very heart happy.
i feel no sense of urgency. no sense of obligation. just a peaceful cloak around me as my eyes and ears re-adjust to the life i once lived. as i become one with my freedom, i am open to whatever is next. in my meditations, i have repeated the mantra, “clarity — direction — guidance” opening myself to re-alignment. as i watch the world around me travel at a pace that i am yet not ready to join, i embrace the stillness i found back in ethiopia and rest in its comfort. as the holiday rush begins, i hope you, too, find quiet moments to breathe, to make your coffee slowly, and to wait for the birds to rise.
in an effort to get your body moving this fall, i have teamed up with core72 at cathedral commons to offer free community yoga on sunday november 5, 12, and 19 from 10:30-11:30am. registration is not required, all that we ask is that you bring your own mat.
the end of the year is fast approaching! the 4th annual New Year’s Eve intention setting practice is scheduled for sunday, december 31st from 6-8:30pm. i absolutely love leading this practice which is compromised of asana, chakra balancing, and intention setting. by reflecting on the year that has passed and inviting the new, we consciously create space to manifest what we desire in our lives. the evening has always been filled with the most exquisite energy that reverberates for the days, weeks, and months to follow. reserve your spot here, it is always sold out!
i am always delighted to support you through private instruction, and to share with you the gift of this yoga practice. send me a note to get together.
be still and watch the universe open up for you.
i have come to the realization that as i age, i want my experience on earth school to soften me, not harden me. i want to be fearless in giving myself the kindness, love, and respect i did not receive. and i want to use all that i learn to live my best life.
in january 2016, my intention for the year was returning. a conscious past life regression in order to cleanse, heal, and unearth the roots of my patterns. it has been a deeply painful yet rewarding self-exploration journey, one that has left me in awe. and one that will put me on a plane to my birth country, addis ababa, ethiopia, after nearly 10 years tomorrow morning.
a lot has changed for me over the course of these last 24 months. in an attempt to align with my highest self, i changed neighborhoods, made tremendous breakthroughs through counseling and yoga, and resigned from my post at Ann Mashburn. as i continue to get closer to my why and shed the layers that no longer serve, i am humbled by the universe asking, are you living your best life?
guilt, fear, and shame, were keeping me from daring to live my best life and tuning in to the things that matter most to me. guilt of appearing too selfish. fearful that i am leaving others behind. and shame for not being content with what i have and where i am, and instead wanting more. i realize that what i want is to cultivate relationships (emotional, financial, mental, physical, spiritual) that are rooted in love, reciprocity, and respect. and that actually, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
what does living your best life mean to you?
i will return from ethiopia on october 23. join me for satsang on sunday, october 29 from 10:30am-12pm focusing on inversions. if you are terrified of getting into headstand, don't let fear stop you. come and be guided intelligently and safely into the world of inversions. coffee, discourse, and pastries to follow.
to keep up with my active and busy lifestyle, i teamed up with splendid spoon for meals throughout the week. all of the meals are plant based and free of gluten. the best part is that there is no cooking involved! you can customize your delivery to reflect all three meals of the day or choose what suits you. as a gesture of my gratitude, use this code: NYASPOON20 to receive $20 off your order!
i hope that you, too, return and reclaim what is rightfully yours. a life filled with an abundance of creative space, relationships rooted in reciprocity and respect, and a healthy lifestyle that will carry you for years and generations to come.
live your best life!
fall is my favorite season. i love when the air turns and i can wear my scarves, sweaters, and boots again. i love the colors changing. i love a hot chocolate in the morning warming me from the inside out. and mostly, i love falling back in love.
it has been an intense summer for all of us, each of us changing and transforming in our own way. and with the recent eclipse, i know so much continues to change and shift. it is an amazing time to stay observant and receptive to all the unexpected.
fall is a great time to fall back in love with our friends. our self care rituals with meditation and yoga. our trail runs and long walks. falling back in love with baking blueberry muffins when everyone is still asleep inviting them to awaken to the sweet smell of love. throwing in all of the veggies in the fridge into a pan and making a huge frittata, and whatever else fell off our plate for the summer.
i know for certain that i am looking forward to hot chocolate dates with friends, trail running in rock creek park, and falling back in love.
join me for satsang on september 24 from 10:30-12 focusing on cooling seated postures. coffee, discourse, and pastries to follow.
fall back in love with your yoga practice with 20% off a private instruction 5 pack and invite a friend to share the time with you! from the drop down menu, choose 'class pack' and 'fall back in love.' private practice is a great time to customize what you want out of your practice, ask questions, and work on the more challenging postures you have been curious to try all in the comfort and safety of your own home.
i am all about falling in love, every day!
i have just returned back from a 4 week sabbatical. there were days of contemplation, days where the whole day was spent in pajamas, days where i had nothing planned, days where i cared for others, and a day when i knew it was time to return to my tree house in washington, d.c.
i feel very much at peace. a sort of full acceptance that everything is temporary anyway, so what's the big deal? where before i would get so upset with myself for not knowing what i want to do with my one-wonderful-life, now i just take it one day at a time. and let my one-wonderful-life reveal to me what it would like to do today.
this life is a gift. time is a gift. the privilege to use time as currency every day is a gift. if we were more open in the way life leads us, imagine all the surprises we would find!
i am still taking a teaching sabbatical, but join me for private instruction on monday's, you can reserve your spot here.
satsang this month will be held on august 27, coffee, discourse, and pastries to follow.
i hope you are enjoying the warm sun loving on your skin. sunday morning pancakes. and all the surprises. and while time may not heal all wounds, it certainly does make things more clear.
"now is the season to know that everything we do is sacred." -hafiz
healing is a topic of life that i am deeply interested in and devoted to. i became conscious of my own healing journey about 18 months ago when i hired a therapist to help me understand my individual traumatic blueprint. it has been an awakening and awe inspiring journey, and while sometimes painful, it has been worth every hour we have spent together. i had always interpreted healing to mean that it was an inside job, but what i have learned is that healing is actually an outside job. the depth of ones healing isn't fully realized until there is an interaction with the universe where one is shown that they are actually learning acceptance, intimacy, safety, and trust. when these states of being are mirrored back to you from the universe, healing is accomplished.
i thought it would be a joyous exercise to jot down some of what healing means to me and perhaps this will inspire you to create a fun list for yourself.
healing to me means...
lots of sleep
long days of living without doing
listening to the birds sing
a long hot shower
lighting a candle
hot lemon water
living my best life
a beautiful glass of wine
kneeling for prayer
long aimless walks
taking care of mom
what does healing mean for you?
i am on sabbatical and focusing on each part of what healing means for me. satsang is on july 25 from 10:30a-12pm focusing on balance and standing postures. reserve your space here. coffee, discourse, and pastries to follow!
keep a pulse on me this summer through my social media outlets, or shoot me a note.
sending you healing in abundance!
i fell into a very fascinating conversation regarding time this past weekend. i am one of those folks who is perpetually busy. with the exception of the hours i use for sleep, my days are usually fully scheduled. it had never occurred to me that this was a “problem” because in my mind, i was choosing this way of life.
as far back as i can recall, my schedule has always been full. while in conversation, effortlessly, the words “you know why i do this, right? when i was a girl, in order to avoid being abused by my step-father, i scheduled myself for activities after school” flew out of my mouth. it was as if something was speaking through me — a new portal of insight. and here i was, still scheduling myself for activities even though there was no longer anything to hide from.
it is amazing what happens when we accept the responsibility of being an aware, conscious, and softened human being. habits long formed are willing to reveal their source and permit the path for reformation. what a gift in this life to work through the anatomy of our being and recreate a harmonious world within ourselves. i have been over scheduling myself for nearly two decades and it is just now that i can clearly see why.
what is the source of some of your habits?
in honor of slowing down and assessing how i use my temporal currency, i will be taking a teaching sabbatical beginning july 1. you can still practice with me through the monthly satsang in my home and through private instruction.
enjoy final days of practice with me at georgetown yoga this month on tuesday june, 13, 20, 27 and thursday june 15, 22, and 29 at 7:45pm. satsang this month is on sunday, june 25 from 10:30am to 12:00pm. reserve your spot here. coffee, discourse, and pastries to follow.
so with that, use your temporal currency well. i wish you the best of everything.