Are You Busy? Read This.

I’m so tired of being busy. “Busy” is the trendy answer we give when people ask us how we’re doing. If we’re busy, that means we must be contributing to society in some way, working hard, earning what we get. But the truth is, being busy can keep us from following our true calling. When we’re busy, we don’t take time to stop and listen to what our hearts have to say. Being busy has become an excuse for not properly caring for ourselves, for not living healthier lifestyles, and for not following our dreams.

natarajasana in shenandoah

I don’t want to be busy anymore. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I want to say, “I’m doing great! I’m working on my book, spending time with my horse, going into nature, and practicing and teaching yoga.” Okay, maybe I’d still be busy, but I’d be busy fulfilling what my heart’s calling me to do.

upward dog on horseback hearts

I currently try to combat my busy-ness by making moments of stillness, meditating, practicing yoga and spending time with my horse. We all have to make a living, but doing so shouldn’t prevent us from following our hearts and making time for ourselves, and no one can make that time for yourself but YOU.

So make time for you today—no guilt allowed. Have a leisurely lunch, go for a walk, meditate, do yoga or do whatever makes you happy, even if just for a half hour. Remember, as Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

BTE Snowy 2

Everything Will Be Okay

I’m in the middle of a heartbreak and I don’t have time to stop and process it because I have yoga students to serve, a corporate job to do and a very busy life to live. I have a feeling I won’t really start living again, though, until I make time to process my feelings.

trikonasana in the stable

I tried to meditate this morning and felt the tightness of sadness, loss and anxiety creeping into my throat, so instead of sitting still while my insides were in turmoil, I decided to move and go ahead and try my asana practice. My breath came in gulps instead of smooth, even inhales and exhales like usual, but after a few sun salutations, that tightness in my throat started to loosen up just a bit. I didn’t find any answers at the end of my practice, but I did come to the realization that no matter what happens, I will be okay. Everything will be okay. “Three Little Birds” is my favorite Bob Marley song because it’s gotten me through some tough times. So if you’re going through a tough time, turn it up, do yoga, breathe, and remember that every little thing is gonna be alright.

The Dark Side of Yoga & Horses

There are a lot of opinions in the two main communities I’m involved in—horse and yoga. The horse community has as many opinions as there are blades of grass—to shoe or not to shoe, how much grain to feed, what kind of grain to feed, whether to feed any grain, to use a flash noseband or not, to turn out at night or during the day or all the time, to lead and mount and dismount from the left side or both sides (like there’s a wrong side of the horse, I mean, c’mon), the list goes on.


The yoga community has more opinions than all those “Namastes” will lead you to believe. That Hatha or Kundalini or Bikram or Baptiste or Vinyasa or Yin or Jivamukti or Restorative is the best kind of yoga. That this type of mat is better than another. That your hips should point totally forward in Warrior I or that they should be slightly turned. That Sanskrit should be used. That it shouldn’t be used. That yoga classes with music aren’t real yoga. That real yogis are vegan. That true yogis look a certain way, act a certain way, sound a certain way. That headstand should never be done, or that it should always be practiced. This list goes on, too.


What’s most important in these two communities isn’t anyone’s opinion (unless it’s Shiva Rea’s or George Morris’—kidding, sort of), but respecting each other and extending kindness and acceptance. Becoming a teacher has shown me that while most people are supportive, some in the community are not, whether that lack of support comes from a place of insecurity, misunderstanding, or something else. And that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to like me and what I’m doing. Yoga on horseback is new and different, so of course some people are critical. Some horsepeople have told me it’s cruel to the horse. Those people haven’t taken the time to get to know me and my horse, but if they did, they’d see that Snowy enjoys our yoga sessions just as much the human on his back enjoys them. They’d realize that I’m a knowledgeable horsewoman who has both the yoga and horse skills to make sure we’re not doing any poses that would put Snowy in discomfort or pain. They’d see that his well-being is my priority.

camel on horseback

I encourage all of us in the yoga and horse communities to respect each other and to be open to others’ opinions. Just because you’ve been told that a certain way is the RIGHT way, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way. What’s right for you may not work for someone else. So remain open. Try being curious instead of critical, open-minded instead of judgmental. That’s how we continue to learn. With yoga and horses, there is always more to learn. Thinking you’re right about everything only closes you off to further learning. Starting today, love more. Offer more kindness. Be more accepting of those who are different from you. I guarantee the world will respond with more love in return.


Be Yourself, Your Bad Self

“Nature Trail,” the sign read. I turned my car around to go find this nature trail. I was on my way home from running errands and time in nature sounded like just what I needed. I found myself at the Bull Run Mountains Conservancy, which has miles of hiking trails. I was not wearing hiking clothes, as this was an impromptu trip into nature, but I had on a comfortable dress and decent boots, so I decided to go ahead and explore a bit. I drove to the end of the road and found a beautiful old mill, the stones supported by steel beams to keep the whole thing from falling down.

Bull Run Mill

I explored the mill, listening to the sounds of birds and the nearby stream, taking in the scents all around me and, of course, taking yoga photos.

dancer in the mill

After spending uncounted peaceful minutes in the mill, I followed the sound of the creek and found a little path leading down towards it. The path ended at a wall of rock that was the only thing between me and the creek. A little voice in my head said, “Don’t do it, Angie. You’re alone, you’re not wearing climbing shoes. What if you fall?” Sometimes that little voice is right, but most of the time, it’s only holding you back from your full potential. I always enjoy a good bouldering challenge, so I scrambled my way up the rock and over the other side, finding my own private swimming hole calling my name.

Bull Run creek

The little voice piped up again, “You don’t have a towel, what if there are snakes in the water, what if it’s slippery or too deep? You’re all alone.” I grew up in the country, in the mountains, right next to a creek, so I know how to be smart and safe in this environment and I knew that little voice wasn’t coming from a logical place. So I waded into the water, relishing my solitude and the gentle, refreshing current of the creek.

And everything was okay. I was okay. I didn’t slip. I didn’t drown. I didn’t fall off the rocks. I had a magical time by myself, reconnecting with nature and my goddess within. That little voice inside me didn’t want that to happen. That’s the voice that pushes us to always choose the “safe” option, to follow not our hearts, but what others and society expect of us. That voice tells us to be “good.” Especially as women, we’re taught from a young age to be cautious, polite and cooperative. That’s what good girls do. I’m here to tell you that choosing the “safe” option strangles your soul. Letting yourself, your “bad” self come out to play is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit. Maybe you’re not ready to quit your job, pack up and move to a tropical island. That’s okay. But everyday, try doing something that scares you, that makes that little voice pipe up, but instead of listening to that anxious voice, take a deep breath and listen to your heart. Go on a hike somewhere new. Take that turn down a back road you’ve never explored. I promise you’ll be rewarded with a happy heart and a satisfied soul.

rock stack

Curiosity Killed the Close-Mindedness

Home is behind

Curiosity drives us, as babies, to crawl and then walk. Curiosity drives us, as adults, to take road trips, buy plane tickets and hike mountains. Curiosity drove all the great inventors of history and drives all of today’s innovators.

In my yoga practice, curiosity drives me to find my edge in each pose. Do I ever fall? Of course—that’s part of the practice! We all fell when we were learning to walk, too, but it didn’t stop us from trying again and again until we mastered our own two feet.

pincha on the road

In my travels, curiosity leads me to places off the beaten tourist path, to strangers who become friends, to foods I love and to adventures I never could’ve planned.

race tail road

In my horsemanship, curiosity opens my heart to what my horse is saying. Curiosity enables me to deepen my connection with Snowy and maintain a relationship built on trust, respect and love.

Kissable Snowy

When’s the last time you let curiosity lead you? When’s the last time you let curiosity beat fear? If you’re curious, you’ll learn. If you’re fearful, you’ll hate anything you don’t understand. If you’re curious, you will come to know and understand many things. If you’re ignorant, your world will only become smaller with each passing day. If you’re curious, you’ll find that answers usually only lead to more questions, but instead of feeling disappointed, you’ll relish the opportunity to continue seeking knowledge. Curiosity enables you to change and grow.

Let curiosity lead you today and let me know what you find.

SRS path