Archive for People’s Climate March

May 2017 Schedule; DC Climate March; Sun Salutation Workshop; Love Your Street Tree Day

Happy May!  I am back from an inspiring weekend in DC, marching in the People’s Climate Movement “March for Jobs, Justice and Climate.”  In a sweltering hot and humid day of 90 degrees, over 200,000 diverse people joined together in creative solidarity seeking a safer, cleaner, and better future for all. Just like the 2014 historic march in NYC, the vibe in DC was so uplifting, the artwork beautiful, the signs super creative, witty, and poignant.  It again demonstrated (no pun intended) how beautiful it is when people from all walks of life peacefully come together in support of causes greater than themselves to envision policies that curb runaway climate change, create a clean energy economy, support ethics in government, and bring about a more just system. I truly hope these newly invigorated political and environmental protests manifest those visions.  For those of us too young to remember the Civil Rights, Peace, and Anti-Nuclear movements that started in the 1960s (not to mention the preceding Suffrage Movements), the last six months has witnessed a remarkable shift in our country and in many other places abroad.  I do believe we are a part of a historic shift at this time – and all shifts have challenges, struggles, disappointments, successes, failures and victories along the way. Just like an EKG reading of our heartbeat, movement is not a straight line but rather a zigzag.  Let us rejoice in this new spirit of shared positive activism and keep the faith.

One tip for keeping the faith: I have been more content since I recently reduced my post-election habit of TV news watching time.  I am still staying informed, and not burying my head in the sand, but I have made a conscious decision to limit the amount of television news that I watch as, no matter the network, they focus on the drama, the negativity, and conflicts in a away that is emotionally draining (I believe) to the viewer.  So for me, I am learning to find that balance of being informed and not overwhelmed. Anyone else in a similar state of mind?

For  the climate march, I created a “vision board” on the back of my climate march poster.  I love creating vision boards, as the process is meditative, artistic, and a visible manifestation of one’s desires and intentions (either conscious or unconscious).  Perhaps, if there is interest, we can do a vision board circle in the near future – please let me know your thoughts!

On Monday, May 8th I will be teaching a “Sun Salutation Workshop” at Integral Yoga during which we will break down each pose and transition of the famous yogic salute to the sun, and explore ways to make it more easeful for each participant. If you have ever struggled with all or parts of the Sun Salutation, then this workshop is ideal for you.  And don’t worry, there will be lots of discussion time – so we will have breathers between the physical practice.  🙂  Bring a pen for note-taking as I will hand out take-home outlines.

For those of you interested in neighborhood beautification activities in NYC, my neighborhood non-profit organization (along with many co-sponsors such as elected officials, environmental groups, local businesses, students, government agencies) is hosting a large community cleanup and planting day on Sunday, May 21. It is rewarding to know that this is our Third Annual “Love Your Street Tree Day” Spring event, and each year it has been a fun and effective way to clean up our tree beds, bring awareness to our street trees, and beautify various NYC blocks!  If you are interested, please rsvp via the Eventbrite link. Please note it is first come, first serve for a free gardening bag, with tools, educational materials, and a “Love Your Tree” double-sided Curb Your Dog sign.  See
for more information!

April Yoga Schedule; Spiritual Aspects of Easter and Passover; Earth Day and Climate Marches in April; Dorot Chair Yoga Article

Happy April! This month brings us the Spring holidays of Easter and Passover, and for those of you who celebrate these holidays for religious and/or traditional reasons, I hope you enjoy wonderful celebrations. I grew up in a non-religious family, but with parents from different religious backgrounds so my memories of both Easter and Passover basically revolve around chocolate Easter egg hunts and searching for the matzah! Holidays were about gathering for that once a year traditional food at large family dinners with my two sides of the family. Passover and Easter tend to coincide each Spring, and according to Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, “in both festivals, nature and history converge with a resounding message of hope …. [and} the renewal of nature that comes with spring…”. In the Christian holiday of Easter, the “resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate affirmation of life ….” and in Passover, the Jews celebrate their freedom from slavery. So freedom is a mutual theme.  Other mutual themes are the celebration of life transitions and the aspiration to see ourselves into the shoes of another; wishing that all those on Earth also achieve freedom.  See  (Max Palkowitz).  

To many of us, we may not be in physical bondage (although unfortunately modern slavery exists and is far too prevalent).  Yet, we may be struggling with the mental bondage of our anxious thoughts, our worries, regrets of the past, and fears for the future. We may wish to have hope, but find that the negative thoughts outweigh the positive ones. In these modern stressful times, that is understandable. Yet, each generation has had their own stressors. The ancient yogis created a practice that is still relevant today as a way to counter that mental bondage, and that is pratipaksha bhavana – “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite positive ones should be thought of.”  Yoga Sutra 2.33 (Translation and version by Swami Satchidananda, Integral Yoga Publications).  An example of that is when hateful thoughts surface, to switch one’s thinking to loving thoughts.  Because this can be easier said than done, one recommendation to assist with focusing on the positive is to meditate on an inspiring object, such as a flower, artwork, or a photo of a loved one. Energy goes where our attention goes. It takes practice and will to use this practical tool for freedom from negative thinking, but practice is part of the process, so we must be patient with ourselves and have faith. Yoga Sutra 1.14. Spring, with its emergence of colorful flowers bringing life up to the surface after the dormant Winter, is a wonderful time to connect with the energies and thoughts of hope and faith.        
Due to the holidays, the Dorot Center where I teach Chair Yoga most Monday mornings, will have a more limited class schedule as they use the large movement room for organizing holiday food deliveries to the home-bound elderly (one of many wonderful services this upper west side non-profit offers to seniors). So please see my schedule for the April changes. Recently, in Dorot’s “Generations” Magazine, my class and some of my students were featured. I think you will enjoy the article, and hopefully will be inspired by my students as much as I am!  Click here to read the article:  

April also brings us Earth Day on April 22!  This year there are going to be large-scale events here in NYC as well as in DC (and just like the recent Women’s March, simultaneously across the planet). One week later on April 29, the historic 2014 Peoples Climate March will be resurrected in DC as the “March for Climate, Jobs, & Justice”.  It promises to be a very exciting time as people join in solidarity demanding protections for nature, for our planet’s natural resources, and for those most negatively affected by climate-change.  The technology now supports our people’s movement that seeks clean energy jobs, “green” infrastructure, and a just transition away from the polluting and toxic fossil fuel and chemical economy. Now more than ever, we need to join en masse to advocate for protecting our environment for our generation as well as all future generations.  The Peoples Climate Movement march will also have sister marches in other cities, but the main march will be in Washington, DC to counter the Trump agenda of rolling back climate protections, removing anti-pollution regulations, while catering to fossil fuel corporations, the chemical industry, and climate-change deniers.  For more information on the march, check out  and sign up for email updates!  
To sign up for bus transportation to DC from NYC see 


In 2014, we gathered as yogis and spiritual seekers at the NYC climate march, and the yogic principles of ahimsa (non-harming) to the Earth are even more important now under this new government administration. In keeping with our Spring theme of hope, faith, and freedom, I urge you to march being guided by those emotions and themes, and you will be uplifted by the positivity of your message. It is much more inspiring to march for something, than to be marching against someone.  So we emphasize that this is a march for protecting the climate, creating jobs in the clean energy sector, and bringing justice to those marginalized and disenfranchised in our current societal structure.  Joining with others seeking a just and positive future for all and not just the privileged few, reminds us that we are all interconnected. Spiritual practitioners know that we are all one, connected to one another as well as to the earth and environment.  If you would like to join our “Yoga & Spirituality Group” of the Peoples Climate Movement, please “like” .

For information on the Earth Day rally in NYC, Saturday, April 22 noon at 111 Worth Street & Centre Street, 
The Rally will be followed by the March for Science:

Protect Mother Earth!

October 2014 – Overview of Climate March with Yoga and Spirituality Group

I hope you are P1120802enjoying this beautiful Fall season.  I am headed to Omega for a 5-day retreat, and am looking forward to visually feasting on the vibrant hues of the Hudson Valley’s Fall foliage, and taking long walks in the crisp country air. 

Tonight, as I took a break from packing, I uploaded my photographs from the People’s Climate March this September 21 in NYC.  It is hard to believe that less than a month ago, 400,000 people from all over the world came together to march peacefully in defense of clean energy policies, and a non-toxic, safe, and democratic planet.  Organizers had expected ¼ of the attendance, and the crowds were so large that those of us who were gathering towards the end of the waiting areas along Central Park West did not start actually walking until after 2 pm – over 2.5 hours from the start of the March at Columbus Circle, where UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon was marching alongside Mayor DeBlasio, Al Gore, Leonardo DeCaprio, and my personal favorite, the anti-fracking activist and lovely actor Mark Ruffalo.  Indigenous people were part of the groups leading the March, a large number of City Council members marched at some point behind them.  Labor unions and inter-faith groups gathered in large numbers, and were involved in the organizing of the March from early in its’ inception.  What struck me as I spent the day walking amidst the colorful crowds was how diverse the March was in all respects.  It was a true melting pot of humanity, and an example of how people from all walks of life can peacefully join together and act towards a common goal – and yet have diversity within those goals too.  There were many anti-fracking signs, divest from fossil fuel banners, flood wall street art, signs promoting socialism, marchers seeking a ban on mountain top removal coal mining, marchers carrying flowers and seeking protection for the bees and butterflies, beautiful artwork depicting the planet, puppets embodying the greed and destructive practices of certain corporations, people seeking climate justice for island nations and victims of hurricanes, protestors seeking bans on oil and gas pipelines and LNG ports, posters demanding clean, renewable energy policies and implementation, and so much more! 

The Yoga & Spirituality Contingent started our March with a powerful meditation at 10 am.  At that early hour, we were a small group of six who sat in a circle on West 83rd Street and Central Park West listening to the Sri Shankar meditation that was being broadcast all over the world simultaneously on cellphones!  It was a very beautiful meditation for peace and unity, as Sept. 21 was also World Peace Day.  After our meditation, the crowds started forming and our group was joined by many of you – yoga practitioners from many studios and ashrams, such as Integral Yoga Institute, Sivananda Yoga, World Yoga, UWS Yoga & Wellness, and others.  Some people had instruments and we created a large circle on the street for a high energy “call and response” kirtan.  In keeping with the democratic theme of the People’s Climate March, we took turns leading chants and even my Omega friend, Izzie, who happened to be walking by joined in to lead a 60s’ song!  We sang, danced and chanted until everyone began lining up preparing to walk.  Then came the 2-minutes of silent contemplation for the victims of climate change.  The energy was intense as hundreds of thousands of people stood still with hands raised over head and joined together in mindfulness.  The stillness was moving and profound;  it felt as if we were all breathing as one.  After our 2-minutes of silence, a wave of sounds started from the front of the march and cascaded to the back in beautiful discordant harmony.  

In Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, Yoga means “union” and “to join”.  Yogis recognize the underlying unity of life, the interconnectedness of all, and that we are One.  At this pivotal time in history, spiritual practitioners, joining with political, environmental and social activists, and others, and are being called in many ways to protect Mother Earth.  One such way, was on September 21, 2014, when we left the yoga studios, meditation centers, and ashrams and marched on the streets of NYC, joining our voices with hundreds of thousands of others in seeking government and corporate energy policies harmonious with the planet and all beings.  On that historic day, many of us felt more connected to one another, to the earth, and to our true selves as we joined this vibrant example of the best of humanity. 

It was a March filled with such beautiful and creative art, joyful music, festive colors, and good vibes that it was almost hard to believe we were basically marching for our future and next generations’ futures.  Usually, contemplating the seriousness of what humanity is facing is discouraging.  That people still have to advocate for their rights to clean water, land and air, and now additionally to prevent climate catastrophe is daunting.  Yet, on this very special day, the mood was so positive and elevated, it made one feel that real, positive change is possible.  The People’s Climate March was Day One towards a better future.  It has changed the conversation, and now we will continue with our next “steps” on the long and every day march towards a just and safe future.