Monday, November 22, 2010

You know you're busy when...

You know you're busy when you don't even post on your own blog about your new yoga studio opening!

The last month and more has been a whirlwind for me as I created my new yoga studio with partner Heather Earl.  We had our grand opening on November 13th, and our first week of classes were truly incredible.  I feel so blessed and supported by Boise' deeply conscious community.  Thank you all for your encouragement, love and class attendance!

Sage Yoga & Wellness is located right in the heart of downtown Boise!  With over 25 classes per week, wellness services, a boutique, lounge - and showers! - we are a fully loaded yoga studio.  Just what Boise has been waiting for :)

Check out our website for more details:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Deep Dance Experience

Ok, so I know I'm just a yoga teacher...but I love to dance too! Teaching yoga at MUUV has introduced me to the glorious world of the Deep Dance Experience, and I am sooo grateful!  Last week Kris, Mikayla, and Lululemon hosted a DDX in Capital Park - what a total blast!  There's nothing like groovin in on the lawn of the state capital building with a bunch of other free spirited beauties to make you feel completely joyful!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My New Yoga Studio in Boise!

Never before has my life been filled with more union, more yoga, than now!

Just a few weeks ago I was wed to the love of my life, then soon after returning to Boise from our sweet honeymoon, I began teaching at MUUV.  Joining the MUUV Team has been a super exciting and rewarding process for me, and I greatly look forward to the fruits of our union. 

But something even more exciting (a little less exciting than marriage...though a marriage of its own sort) is the new yoga studio I will soon be opening in downtown Boise with my partner and friend Heather Earl, who is also a Nosara grad.  I've been a bit quiet about it through our planning process just in case something fell apart (didn't want to jinx it), and perhaps because I was so preoccupied with things like, say, planning a huge four day wedding weekender, that I was a little overwhelmed at times (to put it lightly).  Now that the wedding was a success & MUUV has been a beautiful transition, Sage Yoga & Wellness's due date is upon us. 

We are so thrilled to have found the most amazing space for our yoga studio right in the heart of downtown Boise!

I'll be posting our complete schedule, Grand Opening date, and other details as they fully unfold.  For now, check us out on Facebook and Blogspot


Monday, October 4, 2010

My Yoga Class Has MUUVed!

 ~~I'm Moving to MUUV~~

Starting this week I will no longer be teaching at Muse Studios.  Muse has been wonderful to me this past year, and I feel grateful for all of my students and the new friends I've made while teaching there.

You can find me teaching at MUUV
a boutique center for movement.
My Dynamic Yoga Class at MUUV will be
Thursdays from 6:00 - 7:00 pm.

Our first class will be this Thursday, October 7th, and is FREE!

The following week, October 14th, class will be canceled, as all of the MUUV Team will be co-hosting a Deep Dance Experience with Lululemon in  
Capital Park from 6:00 - 7:00 pm.
This event is also free and open to the general public.
We hope to see you there!

Dynamic Yoga at MUUV will resume 
on October 21st.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Light & Shadow: Exploring Personal & Cultural Transformation: On the road with Charles Shaw & Michael Garfield

A special night of engaging presentations & live music

Charles Shaw: "Charting the Spiritual and Political Awakening of the Evolutionary Subculture, and Giving Voice to the Lives of the Disenfranchised."

Charles Shaw will be discussing his book Exile Nation and related topics like the drug war, the prison system, and shamanic medicines, with a particular focus on the role of the Shadow in our own awakenings and healings, and its role in this Evolutionary Subculture as a whole.

In addition, Charles will also be taping interviews for the Unheard Voices Documentary Project, a video archive of interviews with prisoners, ex-offenders, family members, and relevant experts on the human consequences of our drug and criminal justice policies. Through stories of perseverance, hope and healing, Unheard Voices will showcases the cultural holocaust known as the War on Drugs.

Charles Shaw is the author of the critically-acclaimed, Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality and Director of the Unheard Voices documentary project. His work has appeared in Alternet, Alternative Press Review, Conscious Choice, Common Ground, Grist, Guerrilla News Network, Huffington Post, In These Times, Newtopia, The New York Times, openDemocracy, Planetizen, Punk Planet, Reality Sandwich, San Diego Uptown News, Scoop, Shift, Truthout, The Witness, YES!, and Znet. In 2009 he was recognized by the San Diego Press Club for excellence in journalism.

Unheard Voices

Exile Nation

Michael Garfield: "Sketches of an Emerging Human Mythos: Evolution, Alchemy, Art, & Activism in an Age of Transition"

Drawing on sources from evolutionary theory to sacred geometry, from cosmology to jazz, Michael playfully deconstructs the boundaries between self and other, the one and the many to offer a rare perspective on the crisis and opportunity of our age – an emerging worldview aware of the vast patterns in which humanity is embedded, and how each of us is a crucial participant. 

Additionally, Michael will play his acoustic-electronic music as a performance of this emergent integrated paradigm – a dynamic concert in which science and art, left and right hemispheres, head and heart unite.

Trained in evolutionary ecology only to become a performance painter, essayist, and cyber-troubadour, integralist Michael Garfield is intent on demonstrating how everything is equally art, science, and spiritual practice. Writing extensively and expansively on the creative intersections of human inquiry and creativity, his combination of independent research and cohesive multimedia expression point the way toward an integrated exploration of time, life, and mind: his work straddles communities, ignoring battle lines drawn between transhumanism (H+ Magazine), integral philosophy (Integral Institute), technoshamanism (Reality Sandwich), popular culture (D/Visible Magazine, Colorado Music Board), and academia (University of Kansas, John F. Kennedy University).

Media & Press:
News & Networks:

Join us next Sunday, October 3rd 
for this incredible night of inspiration and spirit in action!

Location Change:
Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship
1520 N. 12th Street 

$5 donation

See you there!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chimbre Video


An amazing Macbook piece done by Jennings Orcutt Tetrahedron the 64th. Shot at the Grand Opening of the Chimbre Shamanic Retreat, April 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yoga In Boise

I have been working with a friend and fellow Nosara Yoga Institute graduate, Heather Earl, on creating a new yoga studio in Boise...

Please take a moment to complete this survey to let us know what is important to you for your yoga practice: 

Your input is greatly appreciated!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Chimbre Rainbow Portal

This is the article I wrote on my Chimbre ayahuasca experience for Reality Sandwich, which they then decide not to publish because it felt like too much of an old wound. But! Here it is for you!

As you'll see, this account is merely a sampling of all that occurred over two very intense weeks at the Chimbre Shamanic Retreat’s Grand Opening in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. A whole book would do justice to this incredible adventure, but for now, please enjoy this glimpse into a Chimbre’s complex world...

“So you’re gonna drink tonight, right? If you want to drink it has to be tonight. You’re drinking tonight,” Rob says without a pause, with wide, child-like eyes and a beaming grin.

This is what greets me instead of a hello, nice to meet-cha, as soon as I step out of the mini-bus and into, literally, Chimbre’s red, muddy soil. I will soon learn that this is classic Rob-style: cut to the chase, no frills, here’s the agenda and now lets get on with it shall we, I’ve got no time for questions.

“Uh, OK, let me think about it, I mean I would like to, but, uh, I guess I hadn’t quite considered it just yet.”

“Oh no, you have to drink tonight tonight. Don’t worry about teaching yoga tomorrow, we’ll figure all that out later,” Rob replies from a half turn as he heads away. Despite Rob’s near constant enthusiasm, I can already sense some tension. And no doubt, there’s reason for tension. He’s juggling A LOT – hosting a group of international travelers who constantly flux from 30 to 60 guests at a time, plus a Hollywood film crew, the rule of the shaman, guest speakers such as metaphysical and enthnobotanical pioneer Dennis McKenna and author Rak Razam, and the care of a wife and young son, all in a space that is still physically under construction and in a remote Amazon location. Rob’s noble intent is to facilitate a transformative experience for all, and he seems to have chosen the hard way. The man has a full plate, to say the least.

I’ve come to the grand opening of Chimbre, a sprawling retreat located outside of the small jungle-town of Puerto Maldonado, Peru to teach yoga for this eclectic group of seekers, many from the Burner/Festival scene around the world, but also middle-class North Americans that you would more easily peg for singing in a church choir before you’d even think to imagine them willfully ingesting, then purging, a hallucinogen in the depths of the Amazon. We are artists, scientists, writers, computer technicians & designers, government employees, wanderers, wall street brokers, marketing specialists, engineers, counselors, entrepreneurs and community organizers, both young and old, and from across the globe. Tattooed, dreaded and pierced to clean-shaven and freshly showered, tie-dyed to tucked-in, we reflected the rainbow spectrum of personalities, and our outer contrasts and match-ups as just as intense as our internal resonances...
You can read the rest of this article on my facebook note:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Yoga Class

Join me on Thursday evening from 6 - 7pm
at the Pilates Studio at Muse
for a dynamic vinyasa flow.

What a perfect way to destress from your busy day!

Beginning July 1st.

1317 W. Jefferson
Downtown Boise
Across from Les Schwab Tires

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yoga & Pilates at the Boise Rec Fest!!

Join Marisa Smith(me!) and Audrey Millstein at the Boise Rec Fest!

Pilates w/Audrey
Saturday, June 26th @ 10 am
Live Music by James Orr

Yoga w/Marisa
Sunday, June 27th @ 10am
Live Music by Failla Drums

Bring a mat, a friend and get ready to get your stretch on!


Sponsored by Lululemon Athletica!

We'll see you under the REI tent!
Exhibits * Workshops * Activities * Live Music * Food * Beer * Wine

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Being Green

The idea of “being green” isn’t just a new slogan for our modern era of environmental caretaking. Rather the color green has been associated for thousands of years in the systems of Yoga, and the traditions of Native America, the East and West with healing and the heart.

Being the pervasive color of the natural world, which reappears every spring, green is the symbol of abundance and eternal life. In the East, green is associated with family, prosperity, harmony, health and peace. In some medicine wheels green is the color of the south and is associated with passion, heart, warmth and the emotions.

In the rainbow spectrum of red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo & violet, green is the central color. In yogic philosophy, green represents the heart, which is also located in the center of the human body, and is the giver of life. Being in the center, green is also about equilibrium, or the balance of the inner and the outer.

Just as important as caring for the planet is self-care.

How can you begin to be green with yourself, and your family and neighbors, in addition to your care for the Earth?
• Take time to reconnect with your self – walk in nature, relax under a favorite tree, or take a bike ride (which can also double as saving emissions).

• Do things with others – help plant a community garden, or simply take a stroll through the farmer’s market and support those who are already aligning themselves with “green” living, as well as load up on organic fruits and vegetables for a healthy body and clear mind!

• Treat yourself – yes you can take time for yourself to go to a yoga class, meditate, or any other favorite form of self-care! The better you feel, the better life feels, and the more energy you have to be present for caring for the world. Even 20 minutes a day with give you an exponential reward. Plus, you deserve it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Toltec & Yoga Retreat in Teotihuacan

JUNE 10-15, 2010 with Lee McCormick, Emily Grieves & Marisa Smith, MA
Teotihuacan, Mexico - The Dreaming House  $995

 Every Experience in Teo is a New Experience!

Spirit Recovery has created an amazing opportunity for those who have never been to Teotihuacan before and for those of you who have. If you have been to Teo before you will have the opportunity to take this experience to the next level.

This June we will explore ancient ceremonial caves in the hills high above Teo. Also, we will venture to Tlaminca, the sacred mountain and inspirational home of legendary poet king Nezahualcoyotl.

Join Lee and Emily to visit these extraordinary places and to travel through the ancient and powerful city of Teotihuacan where for 2,000 years humans have gathered for healing practices and sacred ceremony. This journey will free your mind, body and spirit to clear, connect, and commune in ways you have not yet been capable of! Your journey will be the greatest of gifts to yourself and to all those you love.

Under the gentle guidance of Marisa's yoga and meditation teachings, you will learn to truly honor your body as the temple of your spirit and adjust to your newfound energy.

Join us for only $995!

Accommodations provided by the beautiful Dreaming House. Delicious meals and transportation to and from airport and to ancient sites included. Price is based on double occupancy, single accommodations available. Does not include airfare to Mexico City.

Please contact Gretchen for more information and registration at 615-557-5245

Thursday, April 8, 2010


This month's C4 (Capital City Creative Collaboration) words were Coiled and Extended. I took pen to paper as I explored these pregnant words. I've never considered myself a poet, or even tried my hand at poetry, but here is the result...


Reaching and recoiling, I move through life
Always in a state of change, I sometimes flow, sometimes bounce, sometimes scream across this time/space
Never to remain satisfied, but for the slightest pause at the top of the breath
I labor onward, inward, outward
Tailing the song of a shapeshifting siren
Refractions of my Self peer, jeer, at my comically hopeless venture
In the depths it is know that this is all a facade
I feel its whispered remembrance, like the ghostly shell of a long abandoned and forgotten temple - we will never really know what this is all for

I curl my knees to my chest and assume the fetal position
Out of fear, out of habit, out of self-preservation
I don't want to me

A flicker of curiosity

Blooming, I grow into being
Joining hands, we dance along this spinning dream
Open to you, I know I am through your eyes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Join Me in Peru!

For Chimbre’s grand opening, we invite you to join us for an illuminating 10-day journey into the heart of our world.  In honor of Earth Day, we will break ground on what we see as a multi-generational endeavor to reconnect humankind with the spirit of the planet.  We are inviting our friends from around the world – visionaries in science and medicine, art and literature – to join us as we embark on a shamanic initiation with Master Mancoluto, a first level master shaman trained in the tradition of the ancient Peruvian civilization known as Chavin.  
Mancoluto works closely with two indigenous plant medicines: ayahuasca, a tea-like brew of Amazonian plants used by South American shamans for thousands of years; and the San Pedro cactus, a revered shamanic medicine native to the Peruvian Andes region.

Mancoluto’s expertise with these sacred plant teachers will set the stage for a profound journey of collective healing, learning, and transformation. 
In conjunction with these ceremonies, the retreat will include revelatory talks from globally celebrated ethnopharmacologist Dennis J. McKenna, PhD; Wasiwaska founder and ayahuasca researcher, Luis Eduardo Luna, PhD; author of the acclaimed book Aya, Rak Razam; and many more.  Retreat participants may also enjoy a variety of activities led by our team, including invigorating yoga classes and group meditations by Marisa Smith, MA, restorative massage and bodywork, and excursions into the infinitely beautiful Chimbre terrain.

To learn more about reservations, please visit:

Photo "The Ceremony Center" courtesy of Chimbre.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Volunteers Needed!

Help promote a sustainable future for Idaho!

Volunteer at the Idaho Green Expo May 8th & 9th at the Boise Center on the Grove!

Please visit to view a complete list of the volunteer opportunities and to register online.  

Volunteering at the Idaho Green Expo will be a lot of fun, and you’ll get a free t-shirt too. We could not put on such a fantastic show without the wonderful help our volunteers provide. I look forward to working with you at the Idaho Green Expo in May!

Friday, February 19, 2010

2012 & The Tipping Point: And the Answer is…

 Daniel Pinchbeck and Jose Arguelles

The 2012 Tipping Point: Prophets Conference sought “to explore a radically different, more optimistic interpretation of the Mayan prophecy – as referring to the end of the world as we have known it. Instead of predicting a physical destruction of the material world, the Mayan prophecy might refer to death and rebirth and a mass inner transformation of humanity.”  To deliver this message, Jose Arguelles, Daniel Pinchbeck, John Major Jenkins, Graham Hancock, John Kimmey, Russell Targ, Christine Page, Jaque Fresco, Roxanne Meadows, Mario Gomez Mayorga, Rocio Lopez Ruiz and Miguel Angel Vergara were brought together, along with participants from all over the world, to share in discussions.

We gathered in Cancun, arriving from an expanse of countries and continents, some as film crews and journalists, some as leaders of local 2012 movements, and many as individuals with a burning desire to learn how to help, in whatever even small way, in moving humanity forward.  We heard the call and we arrived.  A palpable sense of anticipation infused the heavy, humid air.

Within the first few hours of talks the common theme was clear:  No one know for sure what will happen, if anything on December 21, 2012 (though Russell Targ lead the group through an eerie and strangely synchronized Remote Viewing to that exact date…). The only clear path that lies ahead is one of Self-awakening.

As we near the end of the Maya’s infamous Long Count calendar, we are asked to honor Mother Earth, all of humanity and beings of the planet, and most importantly ourselves. As the Maya greeting “In La Kesh” alludes to I am another you.  Thus what we do for ourselves, we do for the entire world.  Heal yourself, heal the planet.  What has been the root message of all spiritual traditions across the last cycle of time, that we are unable to fully love others if we do not first love our selves, is needed to be embodied to activate our evolution. 

Don’t be confused: this isn’t a call for more of the same selfishness.  To love yourself is to step into direct knowing of your true Divine nature.   But how?

A remark that resonated with me during John Kimmey’s sharing of the Hopi Prophesy was when he related that Grandfather David, who passed the Hopi lineage onto him, once asked John what is was that we could give God, who already has everything.  The answer, Grandfather David said, is our intentional effort.  This is the only thing we can give the Divine that it doesn’t already have.  The sweat of our brow, our focus and concentration, or tapas as it is known in Sanskrit, is our gift of gratitude for the dance of life.  John Kimmey also emphasized that, now, at the closing of the 4th World Cycle, is the time to take to heart the teachings we have received from the various mystical and wisdom traditions.  We need to practice the techniques we have been give and take responsibility for our way of life, beginning with the personal, and surrendering our efforts to a higher source and the greater good.

It is not a coincidence that this Tipping Point is paralleled by an explosion in our Western culture of disciplines, techniques, teachers, and entheogens which all lead one to contact with their Higher Self.  Everything we need is at hand to fuel our inner transformation and outer evolution.  All we really need to do is let go of the external distractions and get busy on the road to remembrance.

If you’ve neglected the inward passage up to this point, don’t fret.  Yes, the countdown is on, but time is on our side, at least, the rate of it is.  Just as we are witnessing rapid progress and turnover in technological advances, the same is true of our personal advancement.  No longer is the prescription for Self-awakening years of flat-backed Freudian analysis or lifetimes of stiff Zazen. What is required of us now is dedication to a path and continual effort, in whatever form best suits us as individuals.

Shaman and healer Mario Gomez Mayorga encouraged us to ‘awaken to not thinking about everything,’ and instead focus on behaving as energy does in nature, by helping one another and giving with the knowledge that we always have enough.  Daniel Pinchbeck, who expressed a profound uncertainty about 2012 and a path of effective action, could take these words to heart.  Pinchbeck believes us to be on the cusp of transformation as a species and asks ‘What is the solution?’  To this he admits he does not know.  Having plunged headlong down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, Pinchbeck seems to be searching for the answer to how do we advance by attempting to assemble Indra’s web out of Pick-Up Sticks.  Yes, it is useful to be aware of all the forces at play, but to be caught in a net of inaction while focusing on the how and why instead of doing is one of the oldest ego-traps.  The last thing the mind wants to do is be trained.  There will always be another piece of juicy bait promising to hold The Answer to lure you away from simply sitting in silence, opening to the mystery, and just being what, and who, you already are.   This is not to say that Pinchbeck is without action – Reality Sandwich and are growing hubs of transformation and conscious evolution, but a shaman may only lead so far as they have voyaged, and the currents are inviting us inward.

Indeed, during a one-on-one interview, author Jose Arg├╝elles response to Pinchbeck’s ‘What do we do now?’ was plainly, ‘Meditate.  Do a 10-day Vipassana Retreat and you’ll figure it out.’  This message, which echoes Kimmey’s, is for us all.  In the words of alternative-archeologist Graham Hancock, we are a species with amnesia.  To wake up we must refocus the light of our awareness from the outer to the inner.   The art of listening to our personal truth will lead us through the dank hallways of illusion and temptation and onward through the gates of our own, self-induced, salvation.  I know that when I do my personal work, the filter through which I see the world is clearer and more joyful, and this is what is.

As the Hopi’s say, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”  The end of the 4th World Cycle is not a closing of the book, but the turning of the page to a new chapter.  The 5th World Cycle has been cited as one of Unity Consciousness, marked by a marriage of science and spirituality, of the masculine and feminine.  Yet, such integration is only possible if we arise to the challenge of personal transformation. The choice is ours to tip the scale in our favor, one body at a time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Concentration. Huh? What was that?

Dharana, or concentration, is the sixth limb of Ashtanga, or Eight Limbs, of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.  For me, dharana is one of the most vital steps along the path of Raja Yoga, or the Royal Road.  (From here on out, I will just refer to Raja Yoga as yoga.)  Looking around at the mainstream American society in which I am immersed I see a love of yoga, but mostly one which ends at merely the third rung of the ladder of Ashtanga, with the postures, or asanas.  There is so much more to the art and science of yoga than the physical postures!  (yes, that was a slightly exacerbated rant.  sorry. i'll be more patient now.)

For the ancient yogis, the postures were designed and practiced as a way to enable one to sit comfortably in a meditative posture for a long period of time. Yes, there are manymanymany auxiliary physical and mental benefits of the asanas, but they were never meant to be an end in the road.  I realize too, from my own experience and those of others I have talked with, that the physical postures are an excellent, gentle gateway to layers of Self, and of shedding layers of self, that we did not realize or want to shed otherwise.  And I love the practice of asanas. Sometimes, perhaps, I love them too much, so more than anything, this post is directed at myself.

Skipping the fourth and fifth limbs of pranayama (breath control) and pratyahara (sense withdrawal), and acknowledging that both have vital roles in the cleansing of the complete body system and subsequent raising of consciousness, I want to highlight the importance of dharana.  As one-pointed concentration, dharana is perhaps the most crucial step in achieving samadhi, the final limb and state of superconscious oneness known as enlightenment.  Without the ability to focus for an extended period of time, little is able to be accomplished.  This can be seen in the outer world as well as the inner.  There has never been anyone of any notable talent, skill, or gift that did not have required of them the need to focus solely on the refinement of their trade, be it an athlete, actor, mother, guru, you name it.  I could be mistaken, but I can think of no greatest that is a jack-of-all-trades.  Concentration, a narrowness of focus and energy, is what creates mastery.

Minutes ago I was sitting in Vedic meditation (similar to TM with it's use of mantras), and noticing how difficult it was for my mind to focus on the mantra for more than a few seconds before my mind drifted to oh-so-much-more-important things, like the writing of this blog, or answering that facebook post, or sending that email, or getting that resume out.  We think "I can't sit and focus for 20 minutes, there is so much in the world I will miss, that I need to do!"  Yet, in reality, those 20 minutes provide more for your day than everything else we bounce around doing.  And bounce is the key word here.  In our modern society we are given so many choices, so much flexibility, and so much praise to the manic god of multitasking that the discipline of concentrating, of simplicity, is, dare I say, more challenging than running a home, working fulltime, making gazillions of plans, and getting swept away with all there is to do, say, be, become, desire, fix, defend, create, and on and on and on.

How many things in your life have been left incomplete because you've been swept up in the tide and they've been swept under the rug?

Dharana, concentration.  Just breath.  Feel. Control. Sustain. And return again and again to the point of focus.  Give yourself to it.  Let go.  Trust.  Just be.  You are all ready worthy.  There is nothing more to do.  As is, you are perfect.

Thanks for letting me talk to myself.  Now, back to my practice.  Gotta sharpen that blade to slice through the illusions.    !Hi-yah!