Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do You Think He Likes Me? And a CONTEST!

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Hey all!  Today I’m (or rather Tiffany is) blogging at Killer Hobbies.  She’s talking about the cute hot yoga instructor she’s hoping to date and an adventure she’s about to go on with Kate.

There’s also a contest!

il_570xN.118357980[1][1]Check out the article, get to know Tiffany a little better, and enter to win these dog and crossbones notecards, which are created by a Seattle artist!

 

http://www.killercharacters.com/2017/04/do-you-think-he-likes-me.html

Good luck and I’ll see you back here next week!

Tracy Weber

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All four books in the Downward Dog Mystery Series are available at booksellers everywhere!

Everyone’s the Hero of Their Own Story

For the past four years, my husband and I have lived in my office. It started out by necessity.  Our German shepherd, Tasha was unable to walk up and down stairs for the last three years of her life. When we got a puppy, moving two flights of stairs from her potty yard seemed, well, unwise.

Now that Ana’s almost eight months old, we’re making the move, so to speak, of living in our entire house. A house that has been a 2400-square-foot storage space for the past four years. Needless to say, I’m sorting through and discarding lots of stuff.

In the process, I came across a handwritten page. I wrote it while I was flying to be by my mother’s side during the last days of her life. It’s over a year old, and I don’t know how much wisdom it offers, but perhaps it will have meaning to some of you.

Heart of beautiful pink dried roses on old wooden background

Crime writers have a saying: “Everyone’s the hero in their own story.” By this they mean that every character we write—even the most heinous villain—believes that they had valid reasons for their actions. From their point of view (albeit sometimes a skewed one) the murderer “had” to kill. The sleuth “had” to solve the crime. It’s all in perspective.

As it is in families.

My mother and I had a fractured relationship for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if it was because we were so completely different from each other or because we were so blindingly the same. If you heard our story from her perspective, I’m sure it sounded much different than my version. In fact, I know it did. In the end, the only way we could coexist was to not tell it, at least not to each other. It worked, for the most part.

I’ve spent most of my adult life finding my own way. Healing, if you will, from the past traumas between us.

And now it is time to say goodbye.

The next few weeks will undoubtedly be hard. Well-meaning friends offer advice. Most people tell me to make sure I take care of myself. Others assert that this is a time for my mother and me to finally heal; for us to reconcile the hurts of the past. I’m not sure either is possible.

You see, the cancer she’s fought for the past year has spread to her brain. The soul inside her body is still my mother, but she’s not able to communicate. I’m not sure she fully understands, either. I have no idea what, if anything, she’ll be able to tell me. The only thing I know for sure is this:

Forgiveness has no meaning; anger no place. Hurt remains, though transformed. All I can do is be present, and I will do that with one-hundred-percent of my being.

I hope there’s an afterlife. I hope the conditions for entry are different than I was taught in childhood Sunday school classes, because my mother didn’t share my father’s and my faith. The Yoga Sutras are echoingly silent on the subject, asking instead for us to each find our own way. To be completely honest, I find this both warmly comforting, and chillingly terrifying.

So for now, the best I can say is this: May my mother’s end be graceful, her journey peaceful, her destination filled with love. That is my hope for all of us.

Namaste

Tracy

The Psychology of Murder

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Hey all!  This week I’m blogging at Inkspot (the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink)  about the psychology of murder, or more specifically, how I integrate the psychology of crime into my mystery series.  Check it out!

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-psychology-of-murder.html

See you there!

Tracy Weber

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

We’re still here, but some of our neighbors aren’t.

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Hi all.  This blog post will be short and sweet. As many of you know, there was an explosion this morning that destroyed several Greenwood businesses.  Whole Life Yoga was undamaged and will re-open at 6 PM tonight.  Several of our fellow businesses weren’t so lucky.

We want to help.

Please join us on Sunday, March 20, from 12:30 – 4:30 PM for a special yoga fundraiser to benefit the thirty-six businesses that were damaged this morning.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Greenwood Relief Fund established today by the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

All classes are “by donation” and appropriate for all levels–including beginners! Please give generously, spread the word, and bring your friends!

Sunday, March 20

  • 12:30 – 1:30 with Julie

  • 2:00 – 3:00 with Suzette

  • 3:30 – 4:30 with Kim

Classes will be held at Whole Life Yoga, 8551 Greenwood Ave N, #2, Seattle, WA 98103.

No preregistration accepted, so please arrive early, chat with Tracy and the Whole Life Yoga crew, and help yourself to some tasty treats!

Can’t attend but still want to help?  Please donate online at this link.

If you have questions, e-mail me at Tracy@WholeLifeYoga.com.

Namaste and stay safe, everyone.

Tracy Weber

Sunsets, Suffering, and Finding Peace

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Why is it that every time I write about life’s suffering, I’m thinking about my dog? I adopted Tasha-dog eleven years ago this week. I was missing something in my life, though I wasn’t sure what, exactly.  I had a lovely husband, a fulfilling career, four (yes four!) cats, and lots of friends.

But I was still lonely. I had been pining for a German shepherd for approximately thirty years, since my family rehomed the German shepherd of my childhood. My visions of Tasha were laughable, in hindsight.  Perfectly behaved, she’s not. Healthy, she’s not. Cat loving…well, let’s not even go there. She was everything I thought I didn’t want, but ended up being exactly what I needed, and more.

She is the biggest source of joy in my life.

And the source of my most debilitating anxiety.

The other night, I was thinking about how many times Marc and I have almost lost her, due to the many diseases she’s had to live with or overcome.  Her imminent death has been predicted countless times, by vets I usually ended up firing.

But now that she’s eleven years old in a breed whose average lifespan is ten to twelve, even I have to admit, she’s approaching the sunset time of her life.  In the past three weeks, she’s been plagued by a neurological issue of unknown origin.  It may resolve; it may not. It may stay the same as it is now, or it may decline until we have no choice but to end her suffering.  We continue to do tests, but as of this writing, all is one big unknown.

Oddly enough, the most challenging part of this for me is that her neurological status cycles, and my mental health seems to cycle with it.  One day she seems better, the next worse. One day I’m optimistic and happy, the next, devastated.

The Yoga Sutras clearly predict my suffering. You see, I’m attached to this girl. I hesitate to say she’s like my child, because that’s not how I think of her.  But she is as important to me as any living being has ever been.  And I will inevitably have to say goodbye. I knew that the day I adopted her.  As crazy as it seems, I signed up for this.

My work now, as Tasha and I walk down this sunset path together, is to not be attached to the good days, because the good days won’t last forever.  If I can somehow learn to be present without gripping the good, perhaps I’ll have more peace during the inevitable challenges.

Then again, maybe I won’t.

Maybe grief is simply part of life’s process. Another obstacle to overcome that helps us appreciate the blessings of life while we have them.

Regardless, the Sutras say that meditation helps overcome suffering, so it’s time for me to reignite my practice.  If you care to join me, this is one of my favorites.

If you’re willing, please send Tasha happiness, her doctors wisdom, and me peace.

Namaste

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

Heart Felt Thanks

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In just over a month, my second yoga and dog-related mystery, A Killer Retreat, will finally be released and out in the world.

Until I became a writer, I ignored the acknowledgements and dedications decorating the first pages of my favorite reads. Now, I know that they represent the many, many connections that make a book possible. Please take a moment and help me acknowledge the people who helped me birth my second written child.

To anyone I may have neglected to mention: my oversight does not make your contribution less important. You have my sincerest appreciation.

Dedication:

To my husband Marc. Without your support, my writing wouldn’t be possible.

Acknowledgements:

I always assumed writing would be a lonely endeavor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Thank you to the readers who have contacted me to tell me that they’ve enjoyed my work and to the writers who’ve encouraged me to keep persevering. Your support means the world to me.

For A Killer Retreat, I have so many people to thank that I don’t even know where to begin.

My mom Marcia’s enthusiastic support of the series has touched me, and I’m pretty sure she has single-handedly kept the Billings Barnes and Noble in business since my first book was released. My yoga students have attended events, read my work, and given me encouragement even when I’ve struggled. My wonderful agent, Margaret Bail, editors Terri Bischoff and Connie Hill at Midnight Ink, and freelance editor Marta Tanrikulu have all given me invaluable help and feedback.

Special thanks to D.P. Lyle MD, who helped me work out the technical details of the crimes in this book. He is kind, generous with his time, and an invaluable resource to all of us in the crime writing community. Of course if there are any errors in this work, they are completely mine.

My husband, Marc, supports me in all of my crazy endeavors but chooses to work in the background, designing and maintaining my website, creating marketing materials, helping me brainstorm plot points, and putting up with the angst, heartache, joy, frustration, and excitement that are all part of being a writer. Thank you, honey.

Finally, I have to acknowledge my own personal Bella, German shepherd Tasha. You’re getting older, sweetie, so we don’t have as many adventures as we used to, but rest assured that you are woven into the fabric of my stories and branded on my heart. I hope we have many more years together. You will always be my inspiration and the greatest joy of my life.

Tracy weber

          A Killer Retreat

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 is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and book sellers everywhere! 

Five Questions to Ask Yourself when Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Program

Who says yoga teacher training can’t be fun?

Seattle is  blessed with a wide variety of yoga teacher training programs.  Although I’m partial to the one offered at Whole Life Yoga, to be completely honest, many of the programs offered by other studios are also quite good.  So how do you choose?  Reflecting on the five questions below may help.

  1. What style of yoga are you drawn to? This question actually has two parts. Consider the style of yoga you personally like to practice, as well as the style that would best suit the audience you want to teach. Some yoga teacher training programs (including my own) adhere rigorously to a given lineage; others teach a blended approach.  Either way, make sure that you understand and can support whatever you’ll learn. Never embark on a teacher training program if you don’t appreciate the style you will be learning. Doing so will lead to frustration and disappointment.
  2. Does the structure of the program meet your learning style? Some students learn best when fully immersed in the teachings, as is the case with residential trainings. Others do better with what I call a trickle approach, in which bite-size pieces of information are provided consistently over a longer period of time. Are you more likely to learn when you remove yourself from the rigors of your daily life or when you integrate your yoga practice into it?
  3. Do the program’s requirements realistically fit your schedule? Find out the full program costs, time, and other commitments of the training.  Cost calculations should include any extra classes you’ll be required to attend, mentoring costs, materials, registration fees, and lodging. When you’re budgeting time, include the time you will actually spend in yoga teacher training classes, personal practice time, teaching time, and written homework. Are there make-up options if you miss class? Be honest with yourself. Choose a program that has the flexibility you need while still offering a rigorous learning experience.
  4. Are you drawn to the primary teacher(s) of the program? Some teacher training programs are taught almost exclusively by a single teacher; others use a panel of different instructors for different topics. If you’ll be studying with multiple teachers, who will be responsible for mentoring you and helping assure your success? If there is a primary teacher, get to know them. Do you respect them? Do you trust them? At a minimum, you’ll spend 200 to 500 hours of your life with this person. Hopefully your connection will last significantly longer. Make sure the student/teacher fit is a good one.
  5. Do you want/need a certification that is nationally recognized? Love them or hate them, Yoga Alliance is the only nationally-recognized regulatory body in the yoga community. If your program is registered with Yoga Alliance, you may have teaching opportunities that others do not. Not every person who attends a yoga teacher training intends to teach, however.  Is a nationally recognized certification important to you?

As with most questions in life, there are no right answers, only answers that are right for you. If you’re interested in learning more about Whole Life Yoga’s program, I’d be happy to meet and discuss our program in detail.

Best of luck to you in your yoga journey, whatever particular path you decide.

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, learn about our Yoga Alliance Registered yoga teacher training program, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. 

Want to Strengthen Your Core? Start with the Breath

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Most people think of crunches or even Navasana (Boat Pose) as the holy grail of yoga core strengtheners.  But what if you could strengthen your abdominal muscles simply by breathing?

You can!

This simple exercise strengthens the girdling muscles that stabilize the lower back and pelvis. You can do the motion with every breath in your yoga practice, but I like to teach it lying on the floor, where you can more easily feel the motion of the spine and you aren’t distracted by other movements.  Give it a try for 5 minutes each day.  You’ll notice the difference. Your abs may even talk to you the next day!

  1. Lie on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Notice how this position flattens your lower back curve.
  2. Place your palms on your belly.
  3. As you inhale, allow your belly to soften.
  4. As you exhale, imagine that you are closing the zipper on a too-tight pair of jeans. Pull in your belly starting at the bottom (the pubic bone) and contract upward toward the bottom of your ribs. You might feel your belly hollow out and your lower back press toward the floor.
  5. On the following inhale, imagine that you are breathing in from your collar bones down. Keep your belly pulled in strongly for the first half of the inhale, and then slowly allow it to relax in the second half.
  6. With each following exhale, close the zipper again.

Hints:

  • On a scale of 1 – 10, make the abdominal contraction on exhale about a 6.  Strong enough to feel the muscles, not so strong that you feel breathless or tired.
  • Relax the rest of your body.  In particular, notice any tension that builds in your neck, shoulders, jaw, and arms, and consciously release it.
  • Once doing the exercise becomes habitual when lying on your back, try it seated crossed-legged on the floor or in a chair.
  • Once doing the exercise becomes habitual without movement,  integrate it into every breath of your asana practice.

Enjoy, and happy practicing!

Tracy Weber

A Killer RetreatCome 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 is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and book sellers everywhere! 

Time off, Blog Tours, and the Uniqueness of Viniyoga

As many of you know, I’m on a five-week-long sabbatical from teaching yoga.  This isn’t a vacation—it’s a chance to devote myself to my writing. You see, writing a book (or books!) is only the first step.  Right now I’m in different parts of the publishing process for three. I’m deeply immersed in a one–month blog tour for my first book, Murder Strikes a Pose, working with my publicists to plan for the launch of my second, A Killer Retreat, and finishing up the second draft of my third book, tentatively titled Karma can be Killer.  Whew!

Part of the fun of this sometimes-overwhelming flurry of activity is getting the chance to share the principles of yoga with people who might otherwise never even consider it.  I have fans (those three words alone give me a thrill!) who have taken their first yoga class after reading my first book.  Others have recommitted to a yoga practice they dropped years ago.  Still others are asking me for coaching and yoga advice.

I’m having a great time.

This week’s blog article invites you to share in the fun.  Check out the article I wrote for The Top Shelf about Viniyoga in “Kate Davidson’s Guide to Yoga (with a little Murder on the Side).”  As an added bonus, you can enter to win a free Kindle!  Here’s a quote from the article to whet your appetite….

“The beauty of Viniyoga lies in its accessibility, which is part of what makes it so perfect for a mystery series. You don’t have to be ultra flexible or super fit to partake, just willing to be more mindful in everyday life. For those of you curious, the following four characteristics differentiate Viniyoga from other yoga styles….”

You’ll have to click on the link to the article to read the rest.  😉

Thanks all!  I’ll see you in September.

Namaste

Tracy Weber

          A Killer Retreat

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 is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and book sellers everywhere! 

Using Yoga and Ergonomic Principles at Work

This week’s blog entry is written by Frankie Marrazzi, a graduate of Whole Life Yoga’s 200 hour yoga teacher training program.  Frankie can be contacted at mama.razzi@comcast.net.  She wrote on this topic in response to a student request for information on yoga and ergonomics in the work place.  If you have a question or topic request, please e-mail Tracy@WholeLifeYoga.com.

Take your practice to work!

Each yoga session begins with a few minutes of centering yourself, getting in touch with your breath and leaving the rest of your world behind.   Refreshed and renewed you are ready to resume your day-to-day life but this time you do not want to leave anything behind!  Take your practice with you – to the park with the kids, to the kitchen as you cook and to the desk job at work.  Everywhere you go, your practice can come along.

If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, there are ergonomic basics you can apply but you have to make the effort.  There is no magic accessory that makes it easier for you to sit for hours at a time.  And that is where your yoga practice can help.  Use your awareness of your body and breath during your work day to guide you.  If you find yourself wiggling a lot that usually means you need to take a break.  Stand up, do a few simple asanas (standing forward bend for example) .   If your shoulders and neck are feeling tight – same thing, do a few deep breaths and some shoulder circles, shake out your arms.

Listen to your body and also apply these basic ergonomic principles:

  • Chair:  invest in a good chair (yes you can find them at office supply stores for reasonable cost).  Do not purchase sight unseen unless you have tested the chair before and know that it will support you.  Look for these five minimum features:  5-legs with castors, adjustable arms (up/down and in/out if possible), adjustable seat pan (what you sit on),  adjustable height (if you are taller than average you may need a longer piston which can be special ordered for you in most cases), and lumbar support.
  • Feet:  flat on the floor or a foot rest with 90-135 degree angle.
  • Shoulders:  Relaxed not hunched.
  • Wrists:  Neutral not flexed.
  • Chin:  level so neck is not bent up or down.
  • If you are at a computer, stop typing every 20-30 minutes for 20 seconds just a quick rest pause.
  • Drink water!  Stay hydrated, this helps with every activity work or play.

For more details and ideas of how to further adjust your workspace the OSHA web site is a great resource, including a self-evaluation checklist:

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/index.html

Use your yoga practice and ergonomic principles together to be comfortable all day – even with a desk job!

Namaste,

Frankie

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!