Saturday, October 31, 2009

When the student is ready...

I've been spending a considerable amount of time alone this week. After a wonderful opening at the Ojai Yoga Crib last weekend, I felt an intense desire to process, sit, go to bed early, hold deep hip openers/reclined twists, listen to Nina Simone, and eat large amounts of candy corn. Not always in that order..

I strongly believe in the truth behind the yogic expression, "when the student is ready the teacher will come." Two years ago, after months of researching teacher trainings in Costa Rica, San Francisco, Massachusetts, and beyond, I encountered my teacher Saul David Raye for the first time at the 2007 Ojai Yoga Crib. The click was instant, like a plug entering a socket. This is my teacher, this is who I'll train with, no need to think about anything else. I devoured everything Saul offered me that year. It was my yogic prescription; my livelihood.

After a year of teaching yoga and pursuing the path I love in the deepest way I've learned to love, I returned to Ojai for the Crib. Not searching this time. Just arriving in a bright, colorful bouquet of my closest friends and teachers. My schedule was thoughtfully weaved with an assortment of sweet, nurturing, contemplative classes. I was guided into a familiar state of bliss and love on Friday and Saturday with my beloved cast of "regulars": Kira Ryder, Sean Johnson, Saul David Raye, and Erich Schiffmann. I attended every class without hesitation, because it was all known, proven, Debbie tested, recommended, and loved!

Sunday morning was slightly more challenging. Even though I had selected Patricia Sullivan in my top five teacher choices, I was irrationally fearful when it was time to take her class. It was new, therefore unknown and scary. It also wasn't Saul's class in LA with Steve and Anne-Emilie Gold playing live, hence my mind convinced me I was missing out. I deliberately managed to shut down my spinning thoughts and explain to myself that this is what I do, this is my samskara (pattern or imprint). Example: I almost didn't make it to teacher training because I was worried we wouldn't practice enough yoga during the week. When I finally decided to attend the training, I drove in circles around Exhale Venice as I was terrified of going in and actually beginning. When Bill Wyland offered me my first class at Bernal Yoga, I panicked and went to Harmony Festival instead. Sometimes, I run and hide from the situations that often serve me in the deepest and most fulfilling ways.

Patricia's yoga class ended up being a delightful, heart held miracle. I say heart held because I've been holding it deep in my heart for days. I was instantly inspired by Patricia's gentle attention to detail, her supportive touch, and her encouraging energy. But, most of all it was her love. Her passionate, tender, expressive love for the practice, the teachings, the students, her job, her life. Her love was infectious and sincere. I couldn't help but relate.

On Thursday night, I braved the BART train in the midst of the Bay Bridge shut down to take Patricia's class in Berkeley. The room had an October chill in the air different from the sunshine and butterflies in Ojai, but the practice and the energy remained the same. Love, stillness, nourishment, depth. As we sat together in our final meditation, everything was quiet. My mind, the room, and Patricia's voice had all faded away.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

my website is up!!!

thanks to the fabulous jane lee for her design skills and patience with my desire for hot pink!

in great joy and peace,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Upcoming Teaching and Events!


My website will be launched soon :)  In the meantime, keep checking here for updated workshop/event/teaching info.  

Throw Down Your Heart: An Evening of Devotional Chanting and Holistic Yoga
w/ Daniel Tucker on Harmonium and Joss Jaffe on Tabla
Bernal Yoga SF
Saturday May 16th

Afro Flow Yoga Workshop @ the Green Yoga Conference
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
May 30th-31st

Afro Flow Yoga/Ecstatic West African Dance Weekend!
Wild Lotus Yoga Center
New Orleans, LA
August 1st-2nd

Ongoing classes @ Bernal Yoga, Satori Yoga, and International Orange SF.  Check websites for weekly class schedules:

debbie dancer

Monday, February 9, 2009

Upcoming teaching, events, and workshops!! :)

As Kate Hudson's character in Almost Famous proclaims, "It's ALL happening!"  That's EXACTLY how I've been feeling these last few months.  After months of praying, meditating, chanting, and longing for change, I've arrived on a path that feels like all my dreams :)  In the midst of our countries collective surge of HOPE and passionate desire for a new way of living, I move forward into my true "svadharma" or purpose to spread JOY, peace, and love to all beings.  I'm endlessly grateful for my teachers who have helped me pave my yellow (and pink) brick road.  

In the next few months I will have my own website up, in the meantime please check here for upcoming classes, workshops, events, and performances.  I will also try to post my yoga class sequences as often as possible :)  I hope to move, breath, sing, and dance with you soon!  IN-JOY!


Fridays 7-8:15am, Flow 1-3 class
Bernal Yoga SF

Fridays in February 12-1:30pm, Flow with Core Awareness
covering for Tania
Bernal Yoga SF


an exploration of SELF through traditional West African Dance and Ha-Tha Yoga
with LIVE West African Music from Rhythm Village



Benefit for Abdoulaye Diakite with Antioquia, Leon Mobley and Da Lion, DRUMMM, and LIVE West African Drum and Dance
Friday February 20th

An evening of West African Music and Dance with RHYTHM VILLAGE 
Friday March 27th
Throckmorton Theatre Mill Valley, CA

The de Young museum goes BRIGHT green with COMMON GROUND MAGAZINE
Earth Day celebration with DRUMMM and RHYTHM VILLAGE
Friday night April 10th

Upcoming African Dance/Yoga workshops in New Orleans this spring :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

all the fabulous people in my life!

in case you were wondering where i've been all summer (or winter as it was in the bay area), i've been entertaining and being entertained by all the fabulous people in my life. dance festivals (boston), camps (fareta), outdoor concerts, yoga classes, pizza parties, picnics, pillow fights, rollar coasters, day trips (santa cruz), family visits (mom), stay-cations, the olympics (gymnastics!!!), ecstatic kirtans (keith! dave stringer!), spontaneous stand up comedy routines (mama SIA AMMA), performances, and the beat goes on.

i'm fascinated, blown away, challenged, and star struck by the people in my vastly intimate group of friends. as the 25th year of my life comes to an end and we move into indian summer, babies are being born, friends are getting married, businesses are launching, dance/yoga festivals are being organized, degree programs are kicking off, plays are being performed, lotus's are blossoming out of the mud, concerts are selling out, and roommates are backpacking through asia. my community of friends and loved ones are the world changers, the dreamers of the dreams, the risk takers, the thrill seekers, the ones making it all happen...and it's all happening NOW.

for my network, 2008 is about going balls out! buying the convertible you always wanted, traveling around the world to dance, quitting your job and starting your own vegan cupcake business, voting for political and personal transformation, not holding anything back, living LARGE in the moment. i can't help but wonder (note the carrie bradshaw reference) where i fit into this pool of innovation and enthusiasm. but, i guarantee my days as a spectator are fading with the seasons.


Sia Amma presents the SF Cultural Dance and Drum Festival AND the SF African Dance and Drum Festival-

Kira Ryder's collage of yoga wonderfulness-

Delina Brooks' play, "Beauty, the Beast" at Dance Mission THIS WEEKEND-

Joti Singh artist in residence dance performance at Counter Pulse Sept 11-14th-

Laughing Lotus 1st B-day Party-

Andrea's NEW vegan cupcake biz-

Antioquia at the Elbo Room-

Friday, July 4, 2008

summer is the season of indepen-DANCE

i'll be teaching yoga! bring your mat!