‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly! ...But' 

By Laura Ahrens

‘Tis the season to be jolly!'  
But, we may also be heartbroken, overworked, overwhelmed, or lonely.  

Our yoga invites presence, which is inseparable from authenticity. To be present, we also have to be open to our current experience, regardless of whether or not we would have chosen it. When we deny our current state, a mental war is waged between what is and what we wish would be. This causes suffering. We then tend toward judgment and admonishment, and away from the loving relationship we so desperately need from ourselves.  
This season, we can gift ourselves moments of spaciousness amidst potential chaos. It is here that we can laura bowtap into the awe of being alive in all of our humanness and with our full range of emotions. Only here can we open the space within ourselves for presence and authenticity. 



1. Focus on your breath. The breath is ever present. Even as the mind time travels, plots, or worries, the breath serves as the touchstone for coming home to the present moment. Every time you focus on the breath moving through your body—its inception, its exit, and the sensations of breath moving within you—you’re choosing yourself and your life over imagination and conjecture. 


2. Let the tears come. They’re a very real expression. Not only tears make space for you to be how you are and feel what you are feeling in the moment, but you’re also cleansing and releasing.  


laura hand on heart3. Put a hand on your heart and take a few breaths to allow   yourself to feel whatever you’re sitting with. In our busyness, we often neglect our emotions, which then get buried in endless lists and urgencies. Place a compassionate hand on your heart with no need to fix or change yourself or the situation and feel your own warmth. 


4. Lie in savasana for a few minutes (more if you have them!). Give yourself the chance to rest, process, and integrate. While you’re on the ground, perhaps you can appreciate how the body is caring for your well-being. You haven’t scheduled your liver to cleanse you, or your heart to pump. You’re not overseeing your cellular regeneration. Your lungs breathe even while you’re sleeping and completely unconscious of taking a breath. If you’re dealing with an injury and illness, even a small scab over a scrape can show you how the body wants your wellness when health feels far away. You can practice this pose before you go to sleep, at the end of your yoga practice, or in the midst a busy day as a self-care act of rebellion. 



How to Practice Savasana: 

Savasana translates to “corpse pose,” and is practiced lying down. For some added weight and warmth, place a blanket over your pelvis or, if you prefer, your entire body. Optionally, place a pillow or blanket under your head for softness and support. If you have yoga blocks or a bolster, you may decide to elevate your shoulder blades and skull to open the chest to stretch across the muscles that tighten when you’re fearful, shut down, or shivering in the cold. To emulate the photo, use two blocks, with one under your head and the other under the back of your heart/shoulder blades at the same height. For more neck support, lift the block under your head to one height taller. If your lower back is sensitive, a rolled-up blanket, pillow, or bolster can help create relief. 


Take Coolidge Yoga Home for the Holidays!

By Elizabeth Heller


Is there anything better than going to a yoga class and doing your holiday shopping all in one place? You can do just that at Coolidge Yoga’s Brookline studio this holiday season. Do Good with your consumer dollars and Feel Good about your gift choices with the plethora of beautiful, nourishing, and eco-friendly gift options for everyone on your holiday list—and you, too! 



Top 5 Holiday Picks:

1) Under $15

Triloka incense and elephant incense holder at Coolidge yogaScent your home or someone else’s with Troika Chakra Incense and a darling elephant or lotus flower incense holder. Holders are under $8 and a wide variety of incense is $3.50 each.  




2) Studio to Street! 

The CYB clothing racks are bursting with edgy and eco-friendly yoga clothes for women and men. These items will take your from the studio right into your busy day! Try these on for size:


manduka faux shearling jacket and beyond yoga leggings at Coolidge YogaAnything But Basic, Black: Add your own heeled black booties or knee-high boots and off you go:

  • Manduka Shearling Jacket in Black Shimmer 
  • Beyond Yoga Tank Open Up Tank in Black
  • Manduka Essential Leggings in Black Pebble 


Holiday Shimmer: Investing in the Manduka Shearling Jacket in Black or Beige Shimmer, or the Beyond Yoga High Waisted Midi Leggings in Ombre Sparkle will brighten those gray winter days. In a lighter color, the sparkle is wearable and relevant right into the chilly spring.




3) RAD Roller Tools

RAD Roller self massage tools at Coolidge YogaGive the gift of self-massage! Who doesn’t have a sore or knotted muscle (or two), especially during the holiday season? Have you enjoyed the benefits of these amazing roller tools in a class yet?  Now, you can continue that self-care at home. The RAD system is available in a variety of sizes and price points and is the perfect gift for anyone you love—including you! 




4) Spa at Home
Love Lotus Beauty essential oil and bath salts at Coolidge Yoga

No time to escape on a retreat this month? Take that just-left-savasana feeling home and create a luxurious spa moment (or ten) for you and your loved ones with one of the all-natural products from Lotus Love. Choose from skin nourishing soaps, essential oils, bath salts, and more! 




5) The Gift of Yoga
Yoga props for home and gift card at Coolidge Yoga

Well, here’s the gift that keeps on giving! Encourage your friends and family to join you at Coolidge Yoga with a class pack or gift card. Or set up your friend's home with all the tools they need for a home practice. 




And, the Best Idea Yet …

Yoga bundle with mat, carrier bag, and yoga towel at Coolidge YogaCan you imagine receiving anything more fabulous than a yoga gift basket? Choose a yoga outfit, RAD roller, incense and holder, soap and essential oil, and a 10-class yoga pack, all arranged in a pretty basket. Create your own or ask a CYB manager for ideas. 


Do Good, Feel Good all year, but especially during the holiday season. We’re sending all of our favorite yogis wishes for a healthy, peaceful, and love-filled holiday season!



By Lauren Massalas, Ayurvedic Health Counselor


“I’m never drinking or eating anything ever again! Except kale. And I’m going on a juice cleanse. And I’m going to start training for a marathon.”  


The holiday season can leave one feeling like a hot mess.  The kind of mess that makes us say dramatic things like this, hating on the body and past choices.  It doesn’t have to be this way. Ayurveda offers us tools to find equilibrium in the body. Here, I’ll give you 3 strategies for coming back to balance this holiday season that emphasize skillful wellness rather than punishment.


Strategies for Holiday Season Survival:

1. Ground and nourish the body and the mind, to build your reserves

2. Cleanse when appropriate, after indulgent events

3. Bring back the light


First and foremost, incorporate everyday nourishment and grounding to build your reserves. We tend to punish and deplete ourselves, which isn’t a helpful strategy for health and balance. This is vata season, meaning the qualities of the New England environment are cold, dry, light, and mobile, which you’ll find in the windy weather, crunchy leaves underfoot, and snow that will eventually fall.  If these qualities show up in your food and lifestyle, your digestion, immune system, and mental stability can suffer. Seasonal medicine comes in the form of all things cozy.


Choices that can cause vata imbalance:

-Ice water

-Raw, cold salads and smoothies

-Eating while walking, or in a moving plane

-Overscheduling, living a FOMO life (fear of missing out)

-Poor sleep quality

-Running outside


Ways to ground and nourish:

-Sipping hot water, especially first thing in the morning

-Cooked veggies, soups, and stews

-Schedule quiet time everyday, practice JOMO (joy of missing out)

-Proper deep sleep

-Warming yoga, gentle yoga

-Alternate nostril breathing, daily, for at least 2 minutes



Cleansing vs Nourishing

Cleansing must be done skillfully, when appropriate, with the right attitude.  In fall and winter, long-term fasting starves and threatens the body. Ayurvedic cleansing takes a gentler, more common-sense approach.  Enjoy your celebrations with friends and family. However, the day after a heavy meal your body and mind might feel heavy or dull, so here are some ways to regain lightness in the body and invigorate the mind.  



Bringing back the lightness

-Take a walk with your people (or fur friend) after a big meal

-The next day, eat only when you’re hungry (a sign that the previous meal has been fully digested)

-Drink ginger tea, a root that dissolves ama, or toxic accumulation in the body

-Practice kapalabhati pranayama, a breath technique focusing on forceful exhales to eliminate waste and remove dullness in the mind.  Do this on an empty stomach, like first thing in the morning (ask a Coolidge Yoga teacher for guidance).

-Make an “Ayurvedic Green Smoothie” as a meal replacement. It’s warm to keep vata under control.



Ayurvedic “Green Smoothie”:

3 cups veggie broth

1 inch ginger, peeled

1 tsp ground turmeric, or Ayurvedic spice blend

5 cups packed greens like kale, swiss chard, baby spinach

1 bunch parsley

1 tsp ghee (coconut oil for vegan)

Pink salt and black pepper


Bring ginger, spices, and broth to boil.  Add greens and lower to simmer for 5-10 minutes, until tender but still vibrant.  Turn off heat, add parsley, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend with a hand blender, or transfer to high speed blender.  Let the soup cool before blending, then blend until nice and smooth.


This is incredibly light, quick to digest, full of bitter, vibrant, cleansing greens and Ayurvedic digestive spices.  Blanching greens does not lower the nutrient content. Instead, your body will find it much easier to digest and assimilate by enjoying it warm this time of year.  



May your holiday season be merry and bright, and may you feel grounded but light!


Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston? 

I am originally from Portland, ME but have been in Boston since 2014.  


What was your first yoga class like?

My older sister dragged me to a hot yoga class in 2007 (kicking and screaming) but thank goodness she did. It was love at first tadasana and I have never looked back! I loved the way the practice connected me with my body and made me feel. 


What’s your favorite pose to teach?

Sleeping Swan (it is the yin version of Pigeon). There is such power in slowing down to stillness and being able to look inwards while in an uncomfortable position.  


As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?

Sirsasana (headstand)


Where can we find you when you’re off your mat?

Bookstores, coffee shops, or at home :) 


What’s your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist right now?

Human Right by the Strike, puts me in the best mood! 


To Celebrate the Earth and its Beings


The average t-shirt requires between 400 and 600 gallons of water to produce (that's equivalent to 10 bathtubs full of water!). The fashion industry uses 1600 chemicals in their dyeing process, only 1 percent of which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. We consume 400 percent more clothing than we did twenty years ago, and the average garment is only worn seven times before it is thrown out.


Ignite your power as a consumer!


1. Hug the earth

The fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint, from the pesticides that are used to grow materials to landfills bursting with cheap and discarded clothing. Conventional cotton requires one-third of a pound of chemicals to produce just one t-shirt. How many t-shirts does each of us have tucked away at home?


Choosing organic fibers and sustainable fabrics like bamboo and hemp can reduce carbon output and help you and your family avoid unnecessary chemicals.


2. Hug ourselves

Support the people making your clothes by choosing companies which provide sustainable and caring environments (sweatshop free!) and who pay living wages under safe conditions. Exercise your purchasing power to demonstrate to companies that humans matter more than a bottom line.


3. Hug animals

Countless animals are harmed and/or killed in the name of traditional fashion. This includes the manufacture of materials like leather, wool, and silk, and the practice of animal testing. Stock your closet with cruelty-free clothing to take care of all beings. There's no need to use animal products when plant-based clothing is so comfy and conscious.


4. Hug longer

Reducing waste and cutting back on consumerism by purchasing clothing that is made to last will make your wardrobe more sustainable and timeless. Trends come and go, but durable and carefully chosen materials, pleasing silhouettes, and classic pieces all make for a curated closet that can be smaller and last longer. Quality over quantity.


Ways to help:


*Shop local! Whenever possible, choose products that were made as close to home as you can find. This means less transportation, fresher goods, and an opportunity to support your neighbors and local economy.


*Look for key words like plant-based, local, sustainable, cruelty-free, and fair trade. These labels mean better conditions for workers, better clothing quality and safer products.


*Before purchasing something, ask if it will add quality to your life and the lives of others.


Occupation: Manager of Coolidge Yoga


Fun Fact: My first yoga class (over a decade ago) was at Sadhana, what is now Coolidge Yoga South End.


Favorite Yoga pose: Ardha Chandrasana, half moon! I love the energetic feeling of all my limbs reaching in energic opposition; I feel a sense of weightlessness. It’s a challenging combination of flexibility, strength and play!


How long you have you been practicing and what’s your latest Yoga breakthrough?

I’ve been practicing since 2006. My hips are very weak and tight. Lately, I’ve found that with scaling back and leveling my hips in a pose like three legged dog or standing split (where I would love to stack my hips and be a half moon!!) I actually find more strength and space. So letting go a little to move forward has been my latest breakthrough on and off the mat.


When you’re not on the mat, where can you be found?

With my favorite being on the planet, my dog, Fred! We love getting outside. I’m also a trained chef and love to cook so I’m often in my kitchen. 


How has Yoga impacted your life?

Yoga began simply as a way to decompress from a stressful career and offset the physical strain of long distance running and being active. Coming full circle I’ve now found a way to make yoga my career and use my practice not only to offset but to compliment the other physical and mental stress we all encounter in our current environment. I’ve always found home and community on my mat wherever life has taken me and always find a sense of grounding in the teachings of yoga on and off the mat.


What do you do when not the friendly face behind the cart? I am usually adventuring in the woods somewhere. I am currently hiking all the 4000 footers in New England and have been spending much of my time in NH. If I am not outside, I can be found snuggled under a blanket with my 2 pit bulls and a lot of coffee.  Read More

The Ultimate Ayurvedic Summer Guide

With so many evanescent health perspectives out there, I’m comforted by Ayurveda’s time tested wisdom.  Like yoga, Ayurveda originates from the Vedas, classical texts from ancient India.  It is the oldest continuously practiced healthcare system in the world. Read More


What do you do when not the friendly face behind the cart? I like to travel, read, ride my bike, and play with my kitty Binx! Where are you from and what brought you to Boston? I'm originally from CT, but I lived in Los Angeles for 3 and a half years, and after moving home, I realized I missed being in a city. Boston was my next stop, and I've been here for two years! Read More

Face Behind The Desk: Natasha Sheehy

What do you do when not the friendly face behind the desk? I am an elementary school teacher in Dorchester on weekdays and play Irish music in bars around Boston on the weekend. If you ever saw anyone playing an accordion in the front room of the Burren in Somerville that was most probably me! Read More

Unused Content: