Sunday, February 8, 2015

Journals From My Heart
Dena Glazer, Feb 2, 2015
Approaching my 81st birthday , Feb 7.

I have had a phenomenal 81st year!  Inspired by Yoga.

Just recently, Rosa, one of my teachers, paid me the ultimate compliment. She overlooked me in class while mentioning the other teachers as helpers in the class. In the past, my monkey mind would have had resentful thoughts. But I just let it pass and continued to do my yoga. That was really big for me. Later on in the class, she saw me helping another student and quickly said, Oh! You were so quiet, I forgot you were here. She loudly acknowledged me as able to help, too. After class, I thanked her, and she said, ‘You have mastered the art of being invisible.’ You come to class and work deeply with your own understanding of what you can and cannot do.  I had never thought  that sometimes one can fade into the crowd and become invisible. I realized then that I had touched on “being” my yoga in that moment.

I have more dedication to become stronger in my practice. The older I get, the harder I have to work to maintain what I have and adjust to what I do not have, health-wise.

I have found a community of local teachers who have respect for what I know that they have never heard, or looked at in the way I do. We need to listen to our teachers. Hear what they are saying. I am blessed to work with them. They have much to teach me, and I, them.

I am grateful to Rosa, owner of  Yogarosa, Pom & Enrique, owners of  Miami Beach Iyengar Yoga Center, and to Edwin, owner of Yoga That. And to their students and teachers who have supported and respected me by encouraging me to teach and share my knowledge with them. This is why I am proud to be an Iyengar teacher. We are actually helping so many others to help themselves through the integrity we have had instilled in us through our own studies and practice. I have learned from every class and every teacher as well.

Feb 8, 2015

I also want to thank all the many people who sent me good wishes yesterday. I heard from over 45 people. This includes many of my fellow learners from Temple Israel in Miami where I studied Kaballah for 13 years with rabbi  Mitchell Chefitz.  Yoga and Judiaism (liberal) have almost parallel beliefs and 'do's and don't's'. I enjoyed combining the two. Both emphasize good health and constant practice. And also my long term friends from far and near. I love you all.


  1. A whole year has passed since I wrote on this blog. It is March 2, 2016.
    I'm posting this on Facebook directing all to check my website out at least once a week. I am starting a 'Tip of the Day' (Week-?) The blog is "Journals From My Heart". Type in, Dena Glazer Yoga
    This week's Tip is: It's all in the attitude.


    If I get sick and feel lousy, I can choose to bewail the fact and moan and groan a lot, or I can look at this as an opportunity to rest, sleep, and treat myself well. Eat and drink nourishing things, medicate myself and be lazy. Number 2 way always works well.

    Traffic can be a challenge. I seem to live on I-95. I usually have a cd to listen to or tune into NPR. I always have water and seaweed to nosh on. If I am stressed out, it's futile to get upset. That only stresses me more. So, once again, I settle in for the interlude.

  3. Always start from the base. If you are standing, bring your attention to the feet. Balance them, notice which foot is pressing into the floor more than the other. Draw the outer ankle toward the inner ankle and the inner ankle toward the outer ankle. Condense. Go upward. Continue balancing the torso. Lift the chest. Release the shoulders down away from the ears and broaden the collar bones. Reach the crown of the head toward the ceiling. Keep focusing on becoming light by lining up your bones. What else needs adjusting??? Make micro movements to find that lightness. ------

    Iyengar Yoga is all about, ultimately, the breath. In order to breathe into the entire lung area, one has to empty the old air out of the cells before filling them with new air. When doing asana, if you are not lined up properly, there is tension in one or more area and your breath is an indicator of this, becoming shallow or labored. If this happens, come partially out of the pose, creating space in which to adjust your alignment until you feel the pose is effortless. Instead of trying to execute a pose that looks like 'her' pose, execute your pose to 'feel' effortless. Then---look to go that minute bit more--or not.

    Sedaka is a Jewish word for doing a good deed without any expectation of return.
    I have just returned from a weekend of helping my cousin begin to make order out of chaos in her house. Her husband of 48 years, a wonderful son, father, and husband, contracted alsheimer's about 10 years ago and it has not been pretty or easy for the family. Her 97 year old Mother, my Aunt, lives with her. Her son came 4 years ago to help her cope with everything. We made a small dent in a large project. She was very grateful for my help and I left knowing that this was the best thing I have done all week. I was. blessed

    One of the many facets of Iyengar Yoga is angles. We are always opening or closing angles. Forward bends decrease the angle between the hip bones and the thighs. Upavista konasana opens the angle of the legs, and in its variations, closes the angles as in the forward bend. Just 2 examples. Today, the teacher asked me to teach Parvrita Trikonasana. I introduced the idea of the angle and was rewarded with the "light bulb" going off from one of the seasoned students who had never thought about that before. It is those moments that encourage me to continue sharing my knowledge. YOGA is full of geometry. See how many angles you can find in each pose. Yoga is never dull. Just when you think you know all there is, you discover new ways of thinking about something. That's a bonus!

  7. Spent 15 hours studying with Kevin Gardiner this past weekend. One of the things he taught was about gravity. Remember when you were very young and you and your friends spent time trying to lift you up and you became heavy and stuck to the ground? I do. And now I understand that it was gravity pulling me down and me making myself stick to the ground. Then, my friend could not lift me up.
    That is what we need to do in Downward Dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana with our hands, moving from the little finger toward the thumb and index fingers. Try it next time you practice.
    He also sid to not only listen To the body, but to listen Thru the body.

    Namaste', Dena

  8. This was written by me around 1998. I have chosen this because, as of June, 2017, I have become excited about helping all who are ready to enjoy their lives by following their own bliss. Perhaps you are or know of someone who might benefit from something I have touched on in the following article. All I have said then applies to now.

    by Dena Glazer

    When I was a young mother, I and my family moved to Miami. I was a full time Mom with 3 small children, a dog, a husband and a house to run. My aunt and uncle lived in a beach-front high rise condo as did many of their friends, mostly widows. It was then that I began to think of my own later years, about living alone. What I observed was that living alone in a generic high rise was NOT where I wanted to be when I was older. And I was scared to live alone. It was totally foreign to me. Not something to think about then.

    I remember, once, when my Mother was in her 80's, asking her why she would not go out with me more. She took a moment, and then said that she really enjoyed staying home. She was content to stay put. That was where she wanted to be. She had her routines, many friends and was loved by all.

    Now, in my jubilee year, I can appreciate that feeling of being content to stay at home and not HAVE to rush from place to place, or thing to thing.

    Since the middle 1970's, I have lived alone, had roommates, rented rooms in other people’s houses, owned my own houses, and even house-sat. For the most part, I have enjoyed the journey. That is not to say that there is no strife, stress, or sadness along the road. Life happens!

    Being a very visual person, I have always needed to make my living space reflect a feeling of beauty and peace. When I was in massage school in the 80's, we had to write a description of where we would like to live. I wrote about having a house with high ceilings, a fireplace, dark wood floors, lots of light, a front porch with a porch swing, and everywhere you looked, you would see beauty. In the early 90's, I moved into an old Victorian house with those exact characteristics. I had totally forgotten about writing this until one day, cleaning my files, I found the notebook with that passage in it. (You CAN manifest what you want, or don’t want, when you are very clear in your heart and stop obsessing about it.) It comes in its own time. Have patience.

    These are a few of the things have worked for me and a few suggestions for things that may work for you.


  10. 1. The first thing I do when living alone is to literally put around me only the things that have meaning for me and that make me feel good. I create a space where I can be to feel comforted.

    2. I treat myself as company. I love to cook, so I make enough for 2 or more meals and invite a friend over to share. Or, if no one is around, I freeze it for another day or, perhaps, change it for a slightly different taste tomorrow. If you happen not to cook, take-out works well for company and pot lucks are popular and you can invite people of your choice.

    3. I always prepare a place to eat. I sit down, appreciate the look and aroma of the food before I taste it; savor it. I put candles or ambient lighting on, maybe soft music. After all, aren’t I the most important person here? I like to look out at the nature I can see from my dining table while I eat. Sometimes, I read a book. It is my quiet time.

    4. When I find myself lazing around at (3) in the afternoon, maybe a little depressed, I get dressed and take a walk. I have found that exercise makes me feel better, and doing something, even going grocery shopping, brings opportunities to expand my horizon and always raises my spirits.

    5. Becoming active in my synagogue has evolved into a social meeting place for me as well as providing intellectual stimulation and spiritual comfort.

    6. If a friend is not available and there is an event or a movie I want to go to, I go alone. I have met some of the most interesting people that way. I am not distracted by the person I am with and therefore have more energy to look outward. Remember that the word, alone, when broken apart is all one.

    7. If you are fortunate enough to not have to work, find a hobby or an organization to enjoy and become active in it. I work and volunteer. Both are rewarding.

    8. I do not have pets, but if you want, get a pet. They are very comforting. One of my friends just got herself a dog she is training to be a therapy dog. It also makes her walk a lot and her arthritic hips are feeling better as a result.

    9. I have young friends. (as well as friends of all ages) There is much to learn from them, too. They challenge my mind, and, surprisingly, genuinely listen and revere me as well.

    10. You might volunteer some time helping others. If you are stuck at home, use your phone or computer. There is always a need for your particular expertise and wisdom.

    11. If you don’t like your life, change it. Only you can make that decision. There is someone out there waiting to either help you or waiting for your help. It is up to you to scope it out. Remember, the result is not as important as the journey.

    12. Lastly, I try and laugh a lot. Remember to smile. (frowning uses more muscles than smiling.)

    I was in a class last week and after class, this young (in his 50's) man made it a point to approach me. He had been sitting across from me. He said that he was so taken with my smile, it made his day. Well, it certainly made my day, and all I did was be me.

    Have a happy life, every moment of it you can.

    Dena Glazer is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, a motivational speaker, and a role model for those younger than she. She is still active in teaching yoga and hopes to continue for 20 or more years. Visit her at her website,