meditation, wellness, yoga

Yoga & Wellness Newsletter May 2019

Below are a few yoga and wellness events in the East Bay Area, followed by the latest Yogapedia podcast and a good read from the Greater Good Science Center.

Bay Area Events

May Day Yoga Dance @ North Berkeley Library
Wednesday May 1, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
North Branch Berkeley Public Library

dance logoPlease join Angela, an instructor from Big Yoga Life, for a very special May Day version of Sit Stand Dance, a fun new event that blends meditation, yoga and dance. We will start with a brief meditation, chair yoga (sitting and standing) and then moving our bodies in a free-flow dance. You will have the option to sit down and pause at any point during the event. Our main focus be about your own personal experience with movement and what feels good to you to move.
These take place the first Wed. each month, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM.
FREE! Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library

Yoga for UC Berkeley Staff
Friday, May 3, 12:10 – 1 PM
251 Hearst Gym, UC Berkeley Campus

This is the final class that I teach for UC Berkeley faculty and staff during the spring semester, but I’ll be back in the fall! Come early and you’ll get to try  aromatherapy oil to relieve stress. Please bring your own yoga mat as our supplies are limited. We’ll breathe, move, meditate, and relax.

Reminder: Bring your passport to have the last square stamped for the Yoga Passport Challenge prize. Get a bonus entry for filling out the evaluation that is emailed to attendees after class.

If you can’t attend my class, stop by Llamapalooza, details below!

Llamapalooza 2019

Llamapalooza 2019
Friday, May 3, 12 – 3 PM
Memorial Glade, UC Berkeley Campus

I have to admit, I love working at the University of California Berkeley, in part because of the fun events like this! The llamas are brought to campus each semester to help students de-stress during finals. They’re gentle, majestic creatures that are well cared for by their shepherd and student volunteer handlers. It’s really fun to see them walk around the lawn with students taking llama-selfies. This is for the benefit of students, but it is open to anyone on campus. If you want to enjoy a fun Berkeley day, get some takeout lunch and have a picnic on the steps of the library or in the shade of the trees on the east up-slope of the lawn. Read more about it on the Facebook event.

Hosted by ASUC Office of the Academic Affairs Vice President.

Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Newsletter May 2019”

Journey to Inner Peace Hawaii
meditation, wellness, yoga

Yoga & Wellness Newsletter April 2019

Below are a few yoga and wellness events in the Bay Area and Maui, followed by online freebies, including a new podcast series by Saraswati Clere, owner of the YogaKula studio in Berkeley.

Later in April, I’ll publish some exciting news on my blog about: a campus wellness award we just received; yoga mat tips and bargains; and a “rolling joints” yoga sequence for 4/20. This is separate from the free monthly wellness newsletter that I send to subscribers via Mailchimp. Follow my wellness blog at so you don’t miss out on the occasional bonus content.

Bay Area Events

FREE Sound Meditation with Melissa Felsenstein
Saturday April 6th, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
North Berkeley Library
1170 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA 94707

Start your morning with a Sound Meditation and then peruse your imagination in a world of books and ideas after. North Berkeley library is a gorgeous space, come see it and enjoy this free library hosted community sound bath! No prior yoga or meditation experience needed, beginners and all ages welcome. See library details and directions.

Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Newsletter April 2019”

EQUANIMITY~ Spring Equinox Sound Healing Bath by Inner Sounds Meditation
meditation, wellness, yoga

Yoga & Wellness Newsletter March 2019

Wellness and yoga events are mainstays on this newsletter, but I’ll occasionally include a review of a book that I enjoyed — one that you might find inspiring or useful on your own journey. The first of my “Required Reading” series is a book I highly recommend, Perception and Deception: A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures, by Joe Lurie.

Below are a selection of Bay Area events, followed by online freebies, the book review, and an update on my birthday fundraiser.

Bay Area Events

Yoga for UC Berkeley Staff
Friday, March 8, 12:10 – 1 pm
251 Hearst Gym, UC Berkeley Campus

View from Hearst Gym

It feels great to be teaching yoga again at the beautiful studio in the Julia Morgan designed Hearst Gym this semester.

I like to have students face the windows during class, not just for the nice view of the Campanile, but to witness the prana (life force energy) that surrounds us. After our last class, one student wrote, “The amazing windows of Hearst Gym is the perfect backdrop. We even had a hail storm during class that ended with perfect timing as we came out of shavasana to sunny skies! Dreamy!” Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Newsletter March 2019”

meditation, wellness, yoga

Yoga & Wellness Newsletter February 2019

“Faithful followers, there is no shadow of me and a beautiful spring it shall be!”
– a reading from the groundhog prediction scroll on Feb 2, 2019

My birthday is on Groundhog Day, and both Phil and I didn’t see our shadows this year, which means there are only six more weeks of winter. Woohoo! For my birthday, I decided to do a fundraiser for my favorite non-profit, International House at UC Berkeley, which is also where I work. Its annual online fundraiser takes place on March 14th, but this year there is a VIP link for early access to donate.

If you are looking for a great non-profit to support, please consider making a donation of $10 or more to help me reach my goal. To sweeten the deal, I’ll send you a free “I Gave Big” sticker, as well as a “The Camino Provides” sticker that I sell on my Camino Etsy shop. Gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated! I have a few Camino de Santiago books for donations of $30 or more, and I’ll include some free patches. 😉  What do you say?

Below are the steps to donate:

Go to:

Enter $ amount, click Continue.
Click Browse List. Make sure you click Programs!

Choose a Program > International House
Choose a Giving Opportunity > The Fund for I-House, as pictured above.
Fill out the secure donation form and follow the steps. You can make your gift anonymous, or to identify yourself and get your free stickers, put my name in the “In Honor of” section.

You will receive a thank you email / donation receipt for your tax records.

Click to donate: 
As of today February 8th, I raised $201 towards my goal of $500, thanks to some Very Important Peeps. 👏 Thank you for your consideration. 🙏

Bay Area Events

Yoga for UC Berkeley Staff
Friday, February 15, 12:10 – 1 pm
251 Hearst Gym, UC Berkeley Campus

Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Newsletter February 2019”

Grace Cathedral Sound Symphony
meditation, wellness, yoga

Yoga & Wellness Newsletter January 2019

Happy new year, and happy new moon! Below are some upcoming events, followed by an art exhibit, online freebies, and the January happiness calendar. If you are interested in hiking and Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, check out my Camino Provides blog for more exciting events in January, including a labyrinth walk.

The photo of the full moon eclipse over the San Francisco Bay was captured by one of my favorite photographers, Joël Thai.

Photo by Joël Thai -
Photo by Joël Thai –

You will have a chance to witness a “blood moon” eclipse on January 20-21, 2019. To see times, viewing locations, or to view live streaming video of the event, check out this website. East Bay residents might consider Chabot Space & Science Center’s Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing party on January 20th for just $8 with hot chocolate included!

Bay Area Events

FREE Sound Meditation – West Berkeley Library
Tuesday, January 8th 6:30-7:30 pm
West Berkeley Library
1125 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

Come on by and enjoy this free library hosted community sound bath! No prior yoga or meditation experience needed, ages 12 and up are all welcome. This is a seated meditation, but bring layers as the room is chilly. More details:

About the Presenter
Melissa Felsenstein is a certified 750 hr yoga therapist and sound healer. A self-proclaimed “reformed” relaxer, Melissa focuses her work on restoring the nervous system through the use of live sound with quartz crystal singing bowls and specifically tuned gongs. Melissa used these unique instruments as therapeutic tools to rid herself of severe anxiety and depression.

Her mission is to offer others a soft, receiving, space for inward journeying, truthful listening, and sustaining change. Learn more about her at

Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Newsletter January 2019”


108 Sun Salutations for Fall Equinox

Happy Fall Equinox! In some yoga circles, it is a ritual to celebrate the changes of seasons—the autumnal and vernal equinox, and the summer and winter solstice—by doing 108 Sun Salutations. This practice is most often done in large groups and often as an offering, such as an offering of peace or unity. However, you can do these in the comfort of your own home with videos I created to guide you (linked below). But first, what exactly are Sun Salutations?

Surya Namaskar (Sanskrit for Sun Salutation) is a series of yoga poses done in a continuous, flowing sequence, intended to improve the strength and flexibility of muscles. Sun Salutations are an excellent way for hikers to warm up and stretch their body. You can benefit with just a few rounds before any workout or hike.

For a complete cardio workout, challenge yourself to do 108 Sun Salutations upon the change of seasons.

Continue reading “108 Sun Salutations for Fall Equinox”

Yoga & Wellness Tribe Newsletter September 2018

Greetings! This newsletter will encompass a variety of wellness topics — from peace walks and intercultural talks, to yoga workshops and a happiness class. I hear about so many free events and learning opportunities through my various tribes (UC Berkeley, Yoga, Camino) and I want others to be able to benefit from them. Bottom line: I love to share a good thing. And because I like to add healthy dose of fun to everyday life, I feature events that might just make you feel like a kid again! I have a personal experience with the people and events highlighted below, so I can wholeheartedly recommend them.

Why Wellness? Ever since I became a Wellness Ambassador at UC Berkeley, I have tried to encourage my family, friends and colleagues to take a more active role in their own wellbeing. I truly believe that wellness is not a learned luxury. It is your birthright, and it’s just up to you to claim it. It’s about the choices you make. There are so many free resources and valuable practices that can support your own wellness journey. I am so grateful for the lessons I learned in recent years by walking the Camino de Santiago, training as a yoga teacher, and discovering my passions. Now, I want to share some of the goodness with you all through this newsletter and my new wellness website.

First name basis. You might have signed up through my Camino blog’s yoga page, or through a list at one of my yoga classes. If your first name isn’t correct in the greeting, no worries! Just update your preferences via the link in the footer, or email me at and I’ll fix it.

Let’s do this!

Continue reading “Yoga & Wellness Tribe Newsletter September 2018”