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Fall Yoga Flyer

After much digesting of input from those who responded to my request for information about preferences for classes this next quarter, I have settled on both classes being offered via Zoom in their usual scheduled times. I will be proposing some times for those who wish to gather in small outdoor circles for community connection and reflection a bit later in the quarter: as the flyer here says, stay tuned for details! Thanks for your input, and I look forward to gatherings with some of you virtually, and in person this fall. Community connection is essential, in these times when it’s harder to experience; I am grateful for your flexibility. And of course I am sad that Zoom is not possible or desirable for all. I continue to look forward to more in person safe and comfortable gatherings in future days, ever savoring the many times community gathered for learning and connection in the Turtle Haven studio. If you know others who might be interested in participating in the fall classes, of course please share the flyer information. Zoom does ease the barrier of geographical distance! Please register for classes as per the directions and date on the flyer. In the meanwhile, may the rains nourish this beautiful place we call home here in Northwest Washington, as it nourishes our spirits.

Classes for Fall: Welcoming Input

Fall colors mingling with wild harvest mark this season of late summer turning towards fall, and I am noticing the seeds forming and dropping to the ground as I contemplate the planting of seeds for fall yoga classes! Don’t worry, I’m not considering this beautiful orange chalice as part of my fall harvest– except as feast for the senses. Anyone know its name? I saw it up in the mountains last week!

Would you be willing to help me determine the direction to take for fall yoga? I would greatly appreciate your input! Classes will begin in October this Fall! PLEASE ANSWER VIA MY EMAIL ADDRESS, AND NOT AS A RESPONSE TO THIS BLOG!

PLEASE ANSWER VIA EMAIL: elizabethkerwinyoga@gmail.com Thanks for taking the time to help me with my discernment process about the best approach for practicing safely together this next round of classes!

1. Do you plan to enroll in a class I will teach this Fall? My plan is to teach, in whichever form starting in October.

2. Would you imagine coming in person, or via Zoom?

3. If Zoom only classes were offered, would you enroll?

4. Is it important to you to be on Zoom as the class is happening, or is a recorded class equally or even more desireable?

5. If some outdoor yoga philosophy circles in our covered area at Turtle Haven were occasionally available, would you likely attend?

6. What other input do you have regarding Fall classes?

Tuesday Yoga

As per the statewide indoor public space mask mandate, please don your mask for Restoratives tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you, unless I hear otherwise! I will certainly send out Wednesday’s recorded session to everyone enrolled for summer, if that has just emerged as your preference!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ravi Offering

Ravi Ravindra, friend and teacher, has offered numerous retreats at Turtle Haven, as well as talks with meditations in Belllingham over the Years of Freedom, when we could easily congregate in community to drink in, and share together wisdom teachings in person. May those days return, but with more awareness of the energy consumption it has taken to live in the ways we did, and hopefully with new options less taxing for our beautiful Mother Earth. In the meanwhile, technology stands in so we may still take in teachings, gathered together in an alternative way. Of course technology is also very energy consumptive; but I was not really planning on offering a treatise of my own here, about a subject about which I am not well enough informed to blather on about anyway! This blog post is to let you know of a forthcoming offering of Ravi! Here is the link:

https://www.theosophical.org/program/webinars/5044-understanding-death-and-what-comes-after

Poem from 7/13 Class

Today, after months of Zoom yoga, a return to the Turtle Haven Studio, for the Tuesday students; and a poem shared for this poignant event.Tomorrow evening, the Wednesday class will be offered on Zoom! This short summer series will be Tuesdays in person, and Wednesdays via Zoom.

Elizabeth Kerwin <elizabethkerwinyoga@gmail.com>Mon, Jul 12, 10:03 AM (1 day ago)
to me

The Return

Frances Richey

What do you say when you’ve forgotten

how the grass smells,

married to the dark

soil crumbling in your hands?

When the sun makes a bed for you to lie in?

When a voice you’ve never heard

has missed you,

singing down your bones–

it’s taken so long to get here.

Now I’m breathing in the mountains

as if I’d never left.

And when I go inside

I’m surprised to see a lime green worm

has landed on my shorts,

inching his way across a strange white country.

He stops and rises,

leaning out of himself–

a tiny periscope

peering from the glow of the underdream

where there are no symbols for death.

He looks around.

I place my index finger

at the tip of what I guess to be his head,

though I don’t see an eye or an ear,

or the infinitesimal feet

as he crawls across my palm–

a warmer planet.

Lately I’ve wondered

what hand guides my way when I am lost.

I can’t feel him

though I see him rise again,

survey the future, flat

and broken into five dead ends.

I curl my fingers to make a cup

and carry him like a blessing to the garden–

What will happen next is a mystery–

to be so light in the world, to leave no tracks.

Summer Yoga


I have determined that Summer Yoga will include Tuesday morning in person classes, with a spacious studio with much air circulation, and students bringing their own mats at a minimum; and other props as they prefer! Please sign up for in person yoga only if you are vaccinated. 

Wednesdays I will offer a Zoom class, and of course anyone may sign up for that class, and simply receive the recording later, if unable to attend in the Wednesday  scheduled time. There is so much change in the atmosphere, and on so many fronts. Flexibility is most certainly the order of the times! However, I do want clear commitment, if the summer classes are to go forward. 


In the past, I have been quite relaxed about sign ups, and this will not be the case for Summer Yoga! I will determine which classes are happening, based on receiving a tuition check and clear statement of preferred class sign up! Tuesday students will be welcome to have the links for the Wednesday class as a make up, presuming both classes run, based on adequate sign ups.  I plan to send the link to all summer participants, and to teach on the following dates. PLEASE CHECK TO SEE IF THERE IS STILL ROOM IN THE TUESDAY CLASS, AS THERE WILL BE LESS ROOM IN THE STUDIO DUE TO SPACING FOR COMFORT IN THE LINGERING TIMES OF COVID.


Tuesdays:  July 13, 20, 27;  August 3, 17, 24 Wednesdays: July 14, 21, 28;  August 4, 18, 25
Tuition is $85 to $120 sliding feeIF ANYONE IS UNABLE TO PAY WITHIN THIS SCALE, PLEASE CONTACT ME AND WE WILL ADJUST THE FEE


PLEASE MAIL A CHECK, OR PAY ON VENMO, OR DO A BANK TRANSFER BY JULY 7th. IF THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH REGISTRATIONS, I WILL NOT HOLD THE CLASS FOR WHICH THIS IS TRUE. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT MY NEED TO BE MORE  EXACTING AND CLEAR ABOUT CLASS REGISTRATION. 


My address: 6551 Rutsatz Road Deming WA 98244Venmo: @Elizabeth-Kerwin-3


Also, please feel free to pass along this information to others who may be interested.


Lastly, deep thanks for your ongoing support for my teaching. I am utterly grateful for the opportunities I have had over many years to offer the teachings of yoga in my community. Happy Summer Solstice.
Please email with any questions!
With love and gratitude, Elizabeth

We miss hosting Sister Lucy, and dear Maher friends like Gaus and Mangesh who have been such an inspiring presence in our community. During these dire COVID days around the world, and especially in India, I have been deeply moved to see that not only has Maher made it this far with extremely few cases, but HAS REMARKABLY BEEN HELPING OTHERS AROUND THEM IN NEED! To think of a community which was created to provide healing, homes, spiritual nourishment, purpose, education and love for those in need now ministering to those displaced or without food due to COVID displays the highest order of love and service. I am reminded of why Maher has become such an important presence in my life. Please consider participating in this online auction to support Maher’s ever widening circles of support, and to sustain it as a stellar example of deeply compassionate, ecologically based living on this planet! Here is a link to the Facebook page where you can sign on to the auction.

https://www.facebook.com/usmaherfriends/https://www.facebook.com/usmaherfriends/

Sister Lucy Zoom Invitation

Many of you have encountered Sister Lucy Kurien during one of her visits to Whatcom County. Sr. Lucy’s gifts to the world are so many, and the current COVID crisis in India brings deep challenge to her work, as it does to the entire nation. One of the strategies for continuing contact with Sister Lucy and the Maher community has been larger invitational Zoom calls. The next call will be at 8:30 am on May 10th. Maher means “Mother’s Home,” in the local language of Marathi. Perhaps some of you might feel moved to honor mothers in the Mother’s Day season with a donation! The goal with the Zoom calls is to continue Maher’s contact with the larger world, and of course to raise funds for Maher in its visionary and unusually broad and far reaching approach to bringing sustenance on ALL LEVELS to the marginalized members of society, and ultimately to empower them to lead independent, self sustaining lives. Please consider partaking in the call, and/or making a donation to Maher. The needs are especially urgent at present, for us to help Maher carry out its work, and see its large community through dire times.

Here is a link for making a donation: https://maherashram.org/donate/

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Our next Zoom call with Sr. Lucy and Maher will be on Monday, May 10, 2021, at 11:30 am Est  8:30 am Pst, 9:30 am Mtn and 10:30 am Ctn  
I invite you to spread the word and invite your friends to this call to learn what Maher is doing to stay safe while supporting others during this very challenging time in India.  What a beautiful way to share Mother’s Day than to honor Sr. Lucy. 
Even in the present climate, Maher is changing lives every day.  I implore you to share the beautiful works of Maher each and every day.  Please invite others to join us on May 10th. 
Brenda Howley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Zoom Meeting with Maher & Sr. Lucy
Time: May 10, 2021, 11:30 AM Eastern Time (the US and Canada)8:30 am Pst, 9:30 am Mtn and 10:30 Ctn

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/5367250017

Meeting ID: 536 725 0017
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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abeQPaNmJnMaher, Vadhu Bk, Koregaon Bhima, Tal. Shirur, Pune – 412 216 IndiaTele: +91-020-27033421/+91 9011086134| Email: maher@maherashram.org/maherpune@gmail.comWebsite: www.maherashram.org |FB Page: www.facebook.com/maher.ashram.indiaVisit Maher! Share your time and talents! Sponsor a meal! Choose how you want to give and experience the joy of sharing!!Announcement: We are pleased to inform you that Maher has been granted special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC) in May 2017. This is a special note of recognition that Maher appreciates deeply. 

Tribute to Felicity Green

A significant yoga mentor to the Iyengar yoga community passed away on April 22nd, and I experience this loss personally, as Felicity guided me and many of my students directly, and ALL indirectly, through her teachings. In the earlier days of Iyengar yoga in the United States, in general, scant attention was paid to the deep roots of yoga as a profound spiritual practice. This was in part to make yoga more accessible to Americans, but it resulted in truncated teachings. Felicity insisted that we respectfully learn the Sanskrit names of asanas, while deeply encouraging us to learn the Invocation to Patanjali, and to dedicate study time to learning the Yoga Sutras. Felicity approached the Sutras as guidance for introspection and personal transformation. Yoga Northwest, founded and directed by Ingela Abbott in Bellingham, and still currently a leading Iyengar center, offered a workshop taught by Felicity Green in 1991 or so. I learned there, that Felicity would be offering a teacher training before long! I decided to take this teacher training ONLY TO DEEPEN MY STUDIES; it would never have occurred to me to TEACH yoga. But I was the perfect model for the aspiring teachers to learn from, with my then stiff body, mild case of scoliosis, and plenty of possibility for teachers in training to practice hands on adjusting of students! Shortly after completing this cycle of teacher training, while studying with Ingela in her more therapeutically oriented classes, she asked me if I might actually want to apprentice to teach. I was completely taken aback– never had I considered teaching! My teacher training had been a strategy for deepening my own learning. But the notion that I could teach a subject I loved, from the vantage point and experience of someone for whom the asanas were a struggle, took hold and a seed planted by Ingela grew into a flourishing devotion. I apprenticed with Ingela for over two years, and eventually Ingela and Felicity were my mentoring teachers for Iyengar certification.

I have studied with many teachers over the decades, but my foundation was established through Ingela and Felicity. Felicity offered annual teacher trainings at YNW, and I always partook. Additionally, I invited Felicity to come to my home and work with students individually, as she had both training and a gift in the arena of therapeutics. I invited my students with more challenging physical difficulties to receive 1:1 sessions I would witness, scribe for, and thus learn from, and to which a student would devote practice time with a prescribed regimen. I also spent many a weekend on Lopez Island where Felicity resided for years, assisting her in classes in order to continue learning from her. I travelled with Felicity to New Zealand, and acted as apprentice and demonstrator for a three week teaching engagement she had with her ongoing students there. Felicity had a keen mind and eye, was a strong practitioner, and a demanding teacher, and as straightforward a human as I have encountered. She was deeply committed to speaking the truth of the moment. I remember her telling the story of her time living at Yasodhara Ashram, and her teacher there helping her to deal with her own emotional sensitivities. The prescription? Wearing an outwardly unnecessary bandage to remind her symbolically that much of her pain came from ego injury! True for probably most of us, and certainly a subject for another time. But Felicity, while sensitive herself and having a tender heart underneath it all, opted to teach with a direct unabashed style. I learned a great deal. I think she wanted all of us to learn from directness, not letting our hurt feelings impede our progress forward and inward!

Felicity taught with zeal– embracing her yoga family and friends with great enthusiasm. Felicity seemed to love to weave her students into community, and this brought her joy that was quite apparent. While I had originally felt intimidated by Felicity’s strength and imposing presence, I came to know her as a person, as a seeker, as deeply authentic, and as someone who loved the simple pleasures in life of cooking and eating, planting flowers, and appreciating art.

I sit now with deep gratitude and remembrance, in hopes that Felicity is finding the profound happiness her name carries, as she transitions into what is next. The etymology of Felicity includes connotations of good fortune, fruitfulness and fertility. I honor Felicity for having sown so many beneficent seeds of yoga practice in me, in our own region, and around the world.

Ingela Abbot wrote a most beautiful tribute, which I decided to include here. Please read this to get a better sense of Felicity’s path, and the relationship between Ingela and Felicity! And if you like, find pictures of me– a rare inclusion in my blog. These pictures brought back precious memories of my early studies. I am grateful to Ingela for having crafted this piece.

Remembering Felicity Green
Felicity Green left us on Friday night April 22nd, embraced by her family’s love and presence. She would have celebrated her 88th birthday later in May.
Felicity was one of the first Advanced Iyengar Yoga Instructors in our country and she played a big role in establishing and spreading the teachings of Iyengar yoga from coast to coast back in the 80’s and 90’s. She has also been a huge influence in the quality and depth of teachings at our Yoga Northwest studio during the last 40 years and has coached many of us towards each new level of the Iyengar Yoga certifications.
I first met Felicity back in the early 80’s in a yoga workshop in Vancouver B.C. I was very impressed with her super clear, and down-to-earth way of teaching Iyengar Yoga. And even more impressed with her sharp eye catching every body’s imbalances, and then with precision adjusting us with her finetuned hands and therapeutic touch.
Teacher Training 1995
During the workshop I also had the opportunity to have lunch and dinner with Felicity, and got to experience yet another side of her that was very warm, caring and motherly. Since that dinner I have had the honor to receive her amazing wisdom, guidance, support and friendship on my yogic journey as a teacher, mother and life traveler.
Felicity grew up in South Africa, but left the Apartheid country in 1963 to find a new life in California with her husband and 4 sons. She got introduced to Iyengar Yoga in the early seventies and did her first trip to Pune, India to study personally with Mr. Iyengar in 1976. After that initial visit she was totally impressed with his sharp and powerful way of teaching and returned yearly for the following 20 years.
In the 80’s and 90’s she began sharing Mr. Iyengar’s teachings globally, by traveling around the world giving workshop in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada and South Africa. She also guided Yoga -Trekking trips to Nepal, and Yoga -Kayak trips to Hawaii and the Queen Charlotte. I had the great opportunity to join her on one Kayak-Yoga trip to the Big Island, where we did lots of yoga daily, kayaked with dolphins and swam with turtles. Wonderful memories!
During that same period we also had the amazing opportunity to host Felicity at Yoga Northwest for yearly, week-long Teacher Trainings during the summer. Students of yoga joined both locally and from all around the country to be inspired by her expertise. The Teacher Trainings with Felicity had a huge influence on the depth and quality of teachings that we are now offering to our community at Yoga Northwest. One of the main gifts she gave to us was her rich and in-depth understanding of the yoga philosophy that we continue to share with our students with insightful reflections, clarity and daily guidance towards a more mindful living.
One thing that made Felicity’s teachings unique was her way of blending the “East with the West”. She grew up in a Medical Family. Her dad was a family doctor and she herself became an Occupational Therapist. She was married to a Rolfer for many years, who studied personally with Ida Rolf. This scientific background gave her a deep insight into the structural and physiological way of using the body in the various yoga postures in a more safe, effective and balanced way.
After divorcing her husband in the early 80’s, she went to live at the Yasodhara Ashram in the Canadian Mountains for three years studying intensely under the guidance of Swami Radha, who inspired her to dig even deeper into the depth of the yoga philosophy, with daily reading, writing and reflections. This mix of eastern religion together with her scientific background is what made Felicity a very unique and inspiring teacher of yoga.
On the Banks of Ganges River
In 1995, Felicity encouraged me to join her for Mr. Iyengar’s Pranayama Intensive. I am forever grateful that she did as it ended up being the absolute most magical trip I have ever done in my life. The first part of the Intensive started in Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas and the birthplace of yoga. For a week, we did yoga with Mr. Iyengar in a big circus tent on the banks of the Ganges River. Each evening we participated in cultural events with stunning traditional dances and songs. One evening we took part in a ‘Haridwar Ganga Aarti’ ceremony during sunset with a full moon rising over the Ganges River. Thousands of Pilgrims joined us to send off little flower boats with a candle, rose petals and marigolds, making wishes for the future. It was so magical to see these lights flowing down the river, with prayers, incense torches and chants filling the air. I wished to be a mother one day.
Another day, 10 of us, including Felicity, also jumped into the Ganges River at Devprayag, where 2 rivers meet to create the official ‘Ganga’. It was a fast-flowing glacial river. We dipped 3 times holding on to a rope to cleanse all past sins. Mr. Iyengar was jumping in enthusiastically like a child with a big smile. It was a magical moment I will never forget.
One thing I especially enjoyed about Felicity was her passion for colors, beauty and art. She dressed with flair and wore matching jewelry both on and off the mat. She loved flowers, grew amazing gardens around her house and always had fresh flowers in a vase inside. She also surrounded her living spaces with statues of Tara, the female Buddhist Goddess. Tara was her guiding spirit that she prayed to daily. Felicity was a strong supporter to all of us women to embrace and celebrate our female powers.
Celebrating her birthday with her sister.
I always loved visiting her on Lopes Island, midst all the sheep and rolling hills. She would offer me tea in classic English teacups, and we would discuss everything from yoga to social justice, racial justice and environmental justice. She was very well read and informed on current events and always had new articles she wanted me to read. I could also share with her any challenges I was having in life and she would give me wise support and guidance like an older auntie. I am really going to miss her!!
One regret I have is that I didn’t visit her more often. I am really tired of being busy, busy, busy…..and neglecting important people in my life…taking them for granted and expecting them to always be present…until one day they are not.
Thank you Felicity for all your Wisdom, Guidance and Support. May you rest in Peace and hope we will meet again!

Awareness in All Realms

Yoga asks us to be attentive; this includes being attentive to the world around us, and to an ongoing awakening not just in ourselves as individuals, but for the world that continues on in patterns of violence, oppression and suffering that can, and certainly should be interrupted; observing culture and society through the essential yogic lens of Ahimsa, nonviolence, it’s clear that systems which are inherently unjust should be be dismantled. This undertaking is of course enormously complex, and yet it seems clear that it is already in process, here is the USA, and in many places around the world. Such significant and complex subject matter is not really mine to take up here in a blog post, nor do I have the authority, or education to be a wise teacher in these arenas. And yet, I want to pay attention, and consider my own participation in systems which oppress. Recently I have taken notice of the many conversations springing up about yoga teaching and practice, as potential “cultural appropriation,” depending on who is involved, and the approach taken. I am beginning this Spring Quarter in discernment around this subject, and find that I am aware of the ways in which this appropriation may be reflected in many iterations of how yoga is seen and taught in the USA. I have long held yoga as a rich tradition, with important and substantial roots which I attempt to understand and reflect back to students in my classes. I hold the opinion that the great spiritual and religious traditions, if received with humility and understanding, and with deep respect, offer gifts to the world, and these gifts transcend borders. The teachings in their pure forms, might even help us in the quest for justice. Yes, I DO know that some religious institutions have been powerfully aligned, complicit and instrumental in the very oppression and injustice of which I speak here. And yet, I acknowledge this subject holds great complexity, that some religious and spiritual work has been done in service of justice, and that there is much need for discernment when we speak in sweeping terms about any religion or institution. BKS Iyengar, the teacher of my tradition of yoga suffered himself from racism as a brown skinned Indian man, and there is no doubt that the oppression of black and brown, as well as Asian and indigenous people the world over is of unspeakable magnitude. In the tradition of Iyengar yoga, there is an attempt on the part of many to create a more diverse population of teachers and students, with respect for yoga’s origins. How can we respectfully and with humility partake of the marvelous teachings of yoga, as white people in particular? It is essential that we consider this question in all its implications. I bring this conversation to you who read this entry, with humility and respect, hoping that we may join together in discovering the most honorable and just way to partake of the gifts of our shared practice.

The link offered below offers rich reflection on this subject. Please consider taking time to read it. You may find this provocative, but that is part of our work, to be provoked and to consider deeply our own relationship with what is unjust and in deep need of “course correction!”

Yoga invites us to consider deeply our conditioning, and to shed what is not aligned with deeper truth, and with practices of nonviolence. In a sense this defines the practice of yoga!