Monthly Archives: December 2015

I Present to You….an Excerpt from KARMA’S A KILLER!

Today is my monthly posting at InkSpot, the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink.  You don’t want to miss this one–it’s a preview of the first chapter of my next book, Karma’s a Killer, which will officially be released on January 8!  Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

PS–Purchase Karma’s a Killer before January 8, 2016 and e-mail me at to receive an autographed bookplate!

Tracy Weber

Purchase my newest mystery, KARMA’S A KILLER, now at Amazon Barnes and Noble or a bookstore near you!

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere

Reconnecting with the InnerWeb

Hi all!  Please welcome Whole Life Yoga 500-hour teacher training graduate Jayde Pryzgoda to the Whole Life blog today. Read on to learn how to build balance and social integration in the midst of our high-tech world….

Lately, I’ve noticed that my body is increasingly in this shape:

YogaBlogGraphic jpg

This “pose” leads to a tight jaw, sore neck, strained vision, and hunched shoulders. Yet I willingly find myself this way many, many times a day.  What’s going on?

No, that’s not a book I’m holding…  About five years ago I bought my first smart phone.  And while I no longer need a smart phone for work, over last 4 years I have slowly come to enjoy being attached to this small, ever-present and convenient source of news, entertainment, and connection to friends and loved ones.  It is my personal portal to the world wide web.

I don’t consider myself very tech-savvy or dependent, but when I honestly assess my daily behavior these are some facts I find:

  1. I always know exactly where my smart phone is. This is more than I can say for my keys, my cat, and my husband!
  2. I check my phone every 2 hours, on average. I check the internet at my computer in between.
  3. I take my phone to the bathroom. Apologies if this is too personal, but it makes a point. I’m attached.

Turns out I’m not alone.  According to a Pew Research Center report from April 2015, 64% of adults own a smart phone and 46% of smart phone owners say they “couldn’t live without” it.

As I learn more about our interactions with internet technology, I recognize that my posture is only one of the things likely to change if I keep up this level of “connectedness.” In her recent book, “Reclaiming Conversation,” MIT sociologist and clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, highlights some social impacts of our device-time:  decreased ability and comfort with face to face connection, difficulty being alone, difficulty knowing ourselves, and a shift towards presenting our idealized selves to the world, thus side-stepping authentic connection.  She proposes that device-time robs us of solitude- our quiet time to simply sit and be with our own thoughts, emotions, and inner experience.  And that decreased solitude ultimately leads to disruption in our deep connection with ourselves and with others.

So how can Yoga help?

The promise of yoga is the integration, or fluid working together of our body, mind, and breath.  We could say yoga helps us create our own inner-web.  The practices of yoga (movement of our bodies and breath, meditation, chant) provide us with many options for getting to know our inner experience, or in other words: opportunities for solitude.

So if you are into yoga, (and you must be to read this far!), you are in luck.  Building a daily practice may hold a key to maintaining the balance of solitude and authentic connection.  But as with all things, this hypothesis is best tested personally. If like me, you find yourself very attached to your internet time, join me in experimenting with some alternatives.

Some things to try:

  • Consciously set aside 5 or 10 minutes daily for a personal practice. For tips on developing your home practice, check out Tracy Weber’s blog entry Nine Tips for a Successful Home Yoga Practice
  • Better yet, before reaching for that phone or internet:
    1.  Take 10 mindful breaths
    2.  Go for a walk or find a quiet space for some gentle movements (think forward bends, warrior I, or just resting your forehead on your forearms.)
  • When you go to yoga class, arrive early, put your phone away at least 5 minutes before instruction starts, lay down and attend to your breathing. At the end of class, see if you can wait until you are out of the building and well on your way before checking your phone.
  • When you finally do find yourself squinting at the smart phone (or table, or computer), take a pause. Check your posture, take a breath, and scan your attention head to toe. How do you feel physically…mentally…emotionally? Listen to your answers and make a conscious choice about your next move.

Good luck – I’ll be out there practicing with you. Let me know how it goes!

PhotoNov2015 (2)

Jayde Pryzgoda is a WLY graduate, yoga teacher, and practicing clinical psychologist in the Seattle area.  She is interested in the intersections of yoga, mental health and physical well being and she starting a new blog to explore these topics and more.







Please welcome Sharon Gillette to the Whole Life Blog today.  I’m honored to have Sharon as part of my yoga community!

The communities that we live in, work in, and join because of athletic, musical, or other skill, all help to form, grow, and sometimes support us.  What is our responsibility to our communities?

When we become aware of the power behind a community simply thinking/writing/voicing good thoughts about somebody, how can we fail to take the opportunity to lift someone up who has lost a job, a parent, or hope?  Even day-to-day questions and cares, answered thoughtfully by community members, can make a difference in the sense of well-being of another.  What an honor for that person to know that someone noticed their challenge, gave it thought, and took even a brief moment to recognize it in some way.

The yoga community of teachers is strong, especially among those who trained together.  Learning from and supporting each other makes them more able to serve students.  Members of group yoga classes that meet regularly, often look forward to connections made there.  Specific-themed classes for prenatal, MS, cancer, or other health-related needs, sometimes see very beneficial bonds form among practitioners.  Be open to exploring these personal connections.  Care, and be cared for.

Having the opportunity to take the gift of community and add it to the content-rich forum of the internet, is a perk of modern life that should not be taken for granted.  Spend time reading the blog or the Facebook page of your favorite yoga teachers, and offer your thoughts.  Nourish, and be nourished.

However you find your yoga community, move forward by asking yourself what you can do to help that community.  Could you deliver a flower from your garden to the friend on the mat next to yours?  Might you give of your knowledge or from your heart, to comment in an online group?

Share of yourself in community.  Lift others, and be lifted.

SharonandPiperArboretum2015Sharon Gillette is a graduate of Whole Life Yoga’s 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings.  Connect with her at



The Purpose of Corpse Pose

A Whole Life Yoga student asks: what’s the point of Corpse Pose? I have a hard time relaxing when my mind is supposed to be completely blank.

This is a great question, and I’m not surprised you feel confused. In truth, no one can make their mind completely blank, at least no one I’ve met. Corpse Pose is, in many ways, a meditation practice. While it’s true that there can be moments of mental quiet during meditation, those moments are the gifts of meditation, not the practice. And they are fleeting gifts at that.

But let’s set the mind to the side for a moment. Corpse pose is at least partially for your body. A good yoga practice mobilizes healing energy called prana, which is very similar to chi in Chinese medicine. Corpse pose gives your system a chance to integrate that energy and send it wherever it is needed the most. Prana flows with the breath, but it is directed by the mind. Feel achy in your lower back after practice? Imagine warmth coating the area like a soft blanket. Feel tension? Imagine your muscles melting into the mat. The sensation you feel is the movement of prana.

Prana is a powerful source of healing, not to be wasted. Corpse Pose allows you to harness that energy without the distractions of movement.

Now, back to the mind.

The mind is designed to be active. Some say the mind is like a monkey, swinging from thought to thought like a monkey swings from branch to branch. Rather than asking the mind to do something impossible, give it a new job. Ask it to focus on something: the coolness of the breath in your nostrils; the delicious post-yoga sensations in your muscles; even the rhythmic snoring of the person next to you.

Whenever your mind wanders (and it will!) invite it back. You may find moments of quiet nothingness. Then again, you may not. In the end, it doesn’t matter. As soon as you notice them, they’re gone anyway.

Your body, energy system, and mind will benefit regardless.

I hope that helps.


Tracy Weber

Karmas a Killer (4)And if you want to show me some love, you can preorder my newest mystery, KARMA’S A KILLER, now at Amazon Barnes and Noble.

Yee haw, yippee, and yahooey!

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere