108 Sun Salutations +"Spiritual Coachella"​= Success

articles by ilyse May 21, 2019

Mother’s Day 2019 was filled with life lessons. My daughter, Jess and I went to what I’ve dubbed a “Spiritual Coachella”, better known as Shakti Fest, a yoga and meditation festival in Joshua Tree, California. This bi annual event in the healing desert lasts 5 days, and felt like we were dropped into another place and time, where people are smiling, friendly and kind, and it’s not because of drugs (mostly). Wafting in the air was a sense of wanting to belong to something greater, to experience community kindness, and to be able to contribute to others. Often this was done in the most simple of ways. Smiling and introducing yourself to pretty much everyone.

Mother's Day 2019 with Jessica, 26, after completeing 108 Sun Salutations.Her head is clearly holding me up! Blessings on Blessings!

Taking the time to talk, make eye contact, and connect. No one was in a hurry really. Nothing starts "on time". From the participants, to the instructors, musician’s and vendors selling all sorts of mainstream and far out merchandise, we weren't "in Kansas" anymore.

Weird? By some standards. Even mine, if you turn back the calendar about 5 years. I would have said, “It’s just not my thing”. Lucky for me minds change, and mine is one of them. I became more open to exploring my own spirituality instead of seeing that inquiry as “cheating” on my religion. At Shakti Fest there is no discrimination. All are welcome. Love is love. And there is plenty to go around.

Blessed am I that my daughter chooses to spend so much of her free time with me. On Mother’s Day morning, she directed me to "Yoga Hall 1" to take the class I had been looking forward to. She misread the schedule and into a different class I walked. The “accidental class”.

No accident at all.

108 Sun salutations.

Image by Melina Kiefer, Unsplash


I would have never believed I could complete 108 sun salutations. If I would have read a description of the class and saw that, I would immediately think that would be too advanced for me.

A belief that would have limited my ability to show up fully.

I did them all.


Because I could.

Suffice it to say, this image is NOT of me, but shows part of the "practice".  (image unsplash)

Here’s how it went.

Each set was done in dedication.

For someone who was in need. I’ve got several girl friends who are very ill. For them .........

I am strong.

For someone in my family who needs healing, I cycled through so many family members faces........

I am loyal.

For someone in the community that is hurting, I thought of the on line community I've created on Facebook for Women. It was a vision that grew into many inspired action, since late last year and has now grown to over 10 countries,"The Love Well Collective"........

I am committed.

For the world around us, what would I want to send out from my heart........

I am love.

For nature, Mother Earth, all the land and animals and all that sustains us........

I am grateful.

This continued until we ended with a round for ourselves.

I ended with fierce power. My yoga practice at home has a mantra that reminds me, “I’ve Got You”. I heard that over and over again, because I truly needed the belief that I could do what I was doing. Doubts crept in, multiple times. This was no joke.

After I "came to", I realized that what happened during that class was the same process that happens in daily life. It's the inquiry, "Who am I being?" and "Who would I need to become?" accomplish whatever is at hand. Then I ask, what support is required, what will be necessary to hold myself accountable ,when I am unable to do it myself, to take consistent, inspired action, to become that person.

This mindset is how I Coach and Mentor in Corporate America and privately. How you do one thing is how you do everything. It is too tempting to get hung up on the details on any given situation. By pulling back and seeing the opportunity to expand into something much greater as, "Who am I being?", leads to much bigger growth and up-leveling.

Life is just like yoga; it's a practice, and if you're anything like me, sometimes it can look really messy. Usually right before something magnificent is about to happen.

On this day, it showed up as 108 Sun Salutations. As a Wellness & Business Strategist, I often speak about the power of what comes after the words “I AM”. I was so present to those two words on Mother’s Day.






When one can, it’s proof that another can.

I was overjoyed that I was able to do those 108 Sun Salutations. I’m not gonna lie. I even love saying it. The picture below is me, just after the class. At 56, I feel and look better than I have, possibly my whole life. Some of that comes from mindset and loving the age I am, fully. Some comes from being happy and cultivating gratitude...looking for it, seeking it, watching for it, even in unexpected places.

And some of it comes from what getting on "the mat" has taught me. Go inward, breathe, connect and to keep practicing. Always and forever practice. Just the word alone allows room for imperfection and growth. I'm going to keep practicing. I seem to be getting better at this "life" thing. Age? Wisdom? Healing? Whatever!

I've printed 2 pictures from my camera roll and those were my dogs, this will be the 3rd. Some things need to be remembered.

When you read this, does it make you think about what limits you might be putting on yourself? I’d love to hear what pops into your mind, and whether you have had an experience where you surprised yourself with exceeding your own capabilities, when you thought for sure you couldn’t do something.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, metus at rhoncus dapibus, habitasse vitae cubilia odio sed.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.