Four years ago, stay-at-home mom, Giselle Shardlow turned her preschooler’s naptime in to a budding self publishing business. The well-traveled schoolteacher-turned-yogipreneur pens yoga stories for kids, which she sells online.
With thousands already sold, her home-based operation is doubling in sales annually. Now at work on two titles for fall, the 40-something-year-old balances her mothering and business ownership duties by maintaining a weekly yoga practice and by meditating daily. We caught up with Shardlow to get the backstory behind her success.
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison is a Zen teacher and Co-Founder, with his partner Robert Chodo Campbell, of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care —the leading organization engaging and integrating contemplative training with caregiving through study, care and meditation. He serves on the faculty of two medical schools, their curriculum is now implemented in thirty-five medical residency programs, and they have trained over 1100 physicians from across the world in contemplative approaches to care of the dying. We sat down with him to talk about his book, Awake at the Bedside.
All the talk lately about mindfulness got me thinking: do I really know what this is and how to practice it? If I wondered about how to be mindful, I imagine others did, too. So, I took my questions to an expert, Cara Bradley, author, yoga and meditation teacher, and founder of Verge Yoga in Philadelphia, PA.
Jill Miller met fellow yogi Elena Brower this past October when they both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, and the two immediately struck up a friendship. When Jill found out Elena was about to publish a yoga workbook called Art of Attention (co-authored by Erica Jago), she knew she wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is Part Two of her interview. To read Part One, click here.
I first met Elena Brower this October when we both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, although we’d been acquainted through email for about a year prior. Elena walked into the faculty dinner and seemed to carry a piece of the sun in her essence.
Now I know that might sound a bit “woo-woo,” and if you’ve been reading my blog for the past five years, you know that I am a straight shooter and tend to refrain from sharing heavy doses of mystical or esoteric phenomenon with my readers. But I tell you, I can also recognize a galvanizer when I see one, and I was immediately drawn to Elena’s intense stare, clarity of tone and poetic spirit. She’s awesome! And I am happy to now call her my friend.
So when I found out she was about to publish her very first book Art of Attention, a yoga workbook designed to inspire your yoga practice, contemplation and creativity, which she wrote with co-author Erica Jago, I wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is the result of that conversation:
I’ve been a big fan of angel oracle cards for many years, and my collection includes quite a few Doreen Virtue decks. I just love their artwork and their messages, and I’ve found them to be amazingly accurate. I have clients who choose a card at the end of our sessions together, and the card usually either beautifully summarizes our session or offers guidance in moving forward. When my friends and their children come to my home, they always ask to choose a card or two.
These days, oracle cards are often available as an app for smart devices; the convenience is wonderful, but I must say, I believe the physical cards hold a special value and power.
What happens during the transitions between yoga poses — and the transitions in life? Whether you’re moving from one pose to the next or from one life event to the next (a relationship, a job, a city), yoga instructor Bo Forbes says that it is during these transitions that we often feel discomfort or a sense of uncertainty. However, transitions are also pregnant with potential for transformation and change, so we should strive to embrace them — or at least listen to what they are trying to tell us.
So the next time you unroll your yoga mat, try to slow down your practice and lengthen the time between your poses. Really listen to your body and mind during these shifts, because that’s often the space where you can begin to grow.