Tropical Yoga Retreat

Good Morning Yogis,

Just Announcements today



playa yogaIts a go!  Inga and I have found the perfect location for our Tropical Yoga Retreat, and we are so excited.  Mark your calendars for April 8-15, 2017 and be prepared for a week of deep relaxation, play and nourishment at the Playa Bay Resort in Roatan, Honduras.  I bet you didn’t know that this magical island 40 miles off the coast of Honduras was even on your visit list.  Well it is now.  Imagine:


  • Yoga – twice a day, blend of yin and yang practices in the most beautiful yoga studio ever.
  • Meditation – why not sit quietly and let your mind settle to the sounds of birds and surf
  • Secluded white sand beaches
  • Snorkeling on the second largest reef system in the world
  • Kite Boarding for the beginner and the expert
  • Fishing – its a big deal there
  • Meals featuring the freshest fruits, vegetables and local seafood
  • Beach parties
  • Deluxe accommodations
  • Warm weather and water

You get the idea.  We’ve book the entire resort, which being respectful to the ecosystem only sleeps roughly 20, so you will have to sign up early to reserve your spot.  Click here for the full brochure.

DW-SingingBowlsThe other big announcement is that our Soundbaths with Daniella White at  River Tree Yoga continue to be a sold-out success.  Must be something about settling in for a deep svasana in the Pond Room while Daniella refreshes your brainwaves with the resonance of her crystal bowls, incredible voice and powerful gong.  I know that sounds super woo-woo, but seriously it is an inspiring and healing experience. Last night was the last one for the summer, but our next Soundbath is scheduled for September 21 – the Fall Equinox, so note that on your calendar as well.

Have a great weekend,


Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi


Attachment and Letting Go

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I’m sad to announce, that this is my last week teaching at Village Green Yoga and River Tree Yoga until June. Truly, I will miss teaching and my community. You guys bring such light to my life through your dedication, compassion and humor. But it is only a month and I will be back to my regular schedule very soon. In the interim, I have arranged for some excellent subs. So keep doing your yoga and your practice will grow from the wisdom of others.

As I prepare to spend the next month in Berkeley helping my father downsize to a small apartment in a continuing care community, I reflect on what this might mean for him, as well as for myself.

Moving is difficult for everyone. I have read that it is one of the top five stressors in life. I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like for my father who is 95 and has lived in his current home for the majority of his adult life. He has not only lived in this house for over 50 years, he also designed it himself. It is perhaps his finest work as an architect and is truly a masterpiece of contemporary architecture. It sits on a wooded lot in the Berkeley hills with sweeping views across the San Francisco Bay. Floor to ceiling windows and doors on all sides, beautifully decorated with antiques from Europe and Asia; it is simultaneously inspiring and comforting. He is deeply attached to his home and the separation will be difficult for him. I think perhaps it is part of his identity, and so the stress of moving will be compounded by the separation from a part of his self.

I must also recognize that this is the home in which I grew up, so I am not only dealing with his loss, but I am also dealing with my own. Once he is moved, I will need to sell most of his/our belongings and let go of the security of having a place to land in the Bay Area; a place to share with family and friends, a place which I have always referred to as home. It is a home that is much loved and will be deeply missed.

And yet I am reminded of the yoga teachings concerning attachment. Our attachment to the past, to things being as they were; our attachment to the desire for things to be different from how they are now; and our attachment to material things in general can all lead to pain and suffering as well as distracting us from our ability to reside in the direct experience of the present moment. At this point I will spare you a full dissertation on all of Patanjali’s Sutras which discuss non-attachment, and only lead you in their direction.

  • Sutras I.12,I.15, I.16 – explains that through non-attachment we consciously realize that attachment can create short and long term negative effects.
  • Sutra II.3 – notes that the causes of suffering include ignorance, egoism, attachment, repulsion and  fear.
  • Sutra II.7, II.8 – suggests that attachment is the consequence of pleasure as aversion is the consequence of pain.
  • Sutra II.39 – reminds us that persevering on the path non-covetousness leads to a deeper understanding of the meaning of life.

So, as I get myself ready for this seemingly Herculean task, I will hold fast to my yoga, the practice and the principles. I will remind myself that this too shall all pass. And that this is simply another step in the trajectory of my life. I am grateful to have lived in such a lovely home, grateful that my father has lived such a long and healthy life, and grateful that I have the flexibility to be able to help him in this difficult time.

I thank you in advance for your support and understanding. I look forward to seeing many of you this week, and send you wishes for a happy May.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Karma Bella

Happy Friday Yogis

I write this while sitting in the sun on a remarkably warm Spring day in April.  I can’t remember it ever being this warm here this time of year, but I’m definitely not complaining.

Todays topic is Kharma Bella Yoga  – The Yoga of Beautiful Authentic Energy.

I named Kharma Bella Yoga after my dog, Kharma Bella.  And  we named her for her beautiful energy and spirit.

Well, Kharma Bella passed away last night.  She has been a such a bright light in our family for 15 years, and her passing has left me deeply saddened. She has always been the inspiration for my yoga practice, and so I thought I would share  with you my thoughts on  the ways in which our doggie friends remind us how to live our yoga beyond the mat.

Dogs – the living manifestation of yoga.

  • They are both inscrutable and forthright.  Inscrutable because we never quite know what they are thinking. Are they meditating? Are they relaxing into the moment?  I kinda think so.
  • Forthright because they always share their unbridled passion for living with us.  Forthright because they always show exactly what they are feeling; fear, anger, sadness, but mostly joy, a deep and unbounded joy in being alive and in relationship with us.
  • Honesty, we always know when they are hungry – they eat and drink with such gusto.
  • We know when they are tired; they find the right spot circle around a few times to make it theirs and then they lie down and sleep deeply.  When the time is right they wake up and stretch – up dog, down dog and a great big shake.
  • They take care of their space and their bodies, bringing what they need to their favorite spot and settling in for a good bath.
  • They really know the definition of friendship.  They greet us with love – always. They listen to us as we ramble on, and we have no idea if they understand a thing we say, but still they listen. They rest their heads in our laps when we are sad, and they happily go for long walks with us, following our lead with complete trust.
  • They will also stand their ground when necessary.  They can be stubborn, fierce, and sometimes even downright obnoxious in their desire to pursue their own ends. But they know what they want and are honest about it.
  • They can be playful and mischievous, making us laugh at their antics and shake our heads in bewilderment as we find them in some ridiculous  position.

My list goes on and on.  But the main thing that stands out for me now and always, is that if we allow ourselves to truly abide in the present as much as our dear sweet doggies do, we will find that we naturally are living our yoga.  We will listen to the needs of our bodies, and eat, bath, sleep and exercise when we need to.  We will spend time every day meditating and communing with nature.We will take care of our homes and our communities.  We will allow ourselves to be so open to our feelings and those of others that we become the best of friends – to the people that matter most in our lives and to ourselves.

So in memory of our beautiful Kharma Bella, I encourage you to step more fully into your authentic self.  Eat, play and love with the fullness of your being and you will Live Your Yoga Beyond The Mat.


Shalom & Namaste,
Diana Bonyhadi


Thoughts on Yoga, Meditation & Blogging


Dear Yogis and Friends,

I’ve spent the past few months immersed in the exploration of communication.  Or you might say non-communication.  I haven’t posted to Facebook, I haven’t made many phone calls, or written letters  and I certainly haven’t written any new entries in my blog. But you probably noticed that.  The important question is why.

Well, the truth is, I’ve been digging into my interior landscape.  Questioning what is indeed important to say and what is merely filler.  The reality is that I’ve become stuck in this space, looking for the authenticity and necessity of articulation.  Simply put, I’ve been trying to decide what is worth sharing and why.

When one sits down to meditate, the real work is not to shut down the thoughts but rather to become of aware of the thoughts and to notice them, as well as the  moments of stillness between thoughts.  The same is true for emotions.  We don’t try to shut down the emotions, but rather to honor them and to see them for what they are.  We also do this with sensations e.g. my knee itches – does it really itch?  Do I need to scratch it?  Is this simply my mind search for stimulation? Wait, what’s that feeling in my back? my neck?, etc. And so we sit and breathe and observe.

And I guess in a sense this is what I have been doing with my blog; observing the thoughts I could put down in print and deciding which if any of them would be worth sharing.  Throughout my days, I frequently find myself mentally drafting entries to this blog.  Instead of quickly typing up those thoughts and hitting the send button, I pause and observe the possibilities.  Here is a sample of some of those entries:

  • Don’t forget to mention the upcoming Soundbaths at River Tree Yoga (March 16 and April 18th) – the power of sound vibrations to bring about healing.  Everything is energy and energy moves in waves and sound waves moves through our bodies and energy is released.  Super cool if you ask me.
  • Yoga is like parenting – No matter how many books you read or classes you take, it still comes back to being present in the moment, and dang that is hard.  In fact it is so hard, you frequently find yourself on the one hand tired, angry, sad and frustrated, only to find that in the next moment you are inspired, elated and filled with joy.  How is it that one can run the gamut of these emotions in such a short period of time?
  • Yoga Behind Bars – I have begun teaching yoga to inmates in a local prison. This has been one of the most inspiring teaching experiences of my life.  Why?  Because it reaffirms my belief in the nourishing and healing power of yoga to create peace within, as well as providing me the opportunity to yet again recognize the  seed of goodness in every person.
  • Facebook – I like catching glimpses of my distant friends and family.  So many folks are doing so many wonderful projects and traveling to such interesting places.  Thanks for inspiring me. But I also wonder how people can spend so much time posting and reposting their every thought and action.
  • Yoga – Why are people in such a hurry to do so many poses in their practice?  Why has yoga become obsessed with speed and power?  Is music a distraction to our practice?
  • Yoga – Has yoga become an escape for the privileged white woman? What’s wrong with that?  How can we make yoga more accessible?  To more people? Across a broader spectrum of society?
  • Yoga – How do I best describe what I teach?  How can I reach out to more people?  How can I continue to deepen my own studies.  Am I pushing my students too hard?  Or too little? How do I share the wisdom I have gleaned through reading ancient texts and modern writers without sounding pedantic or perhaps worse, distracting my students from their own experiences of themselves in the moment?
  • The Divine – What is my relationship to the cosmic and beautiful ordering of the universe? Do other people spend as much time exploring their relationship to the eternal?  How is the eternal manifest in my life? In yours?  Am I following my dharma?
  • Breath – I breath in and I breathe out.  Sometimes I’m aware of it, most of the time I’m not.  But when I do settle down and watch, I notice that I can direct my breath anywhere in my body.  I can focus my breath along one side of the body and then the other.  I can wash my body with breath, I can heal my body with breath.  Expansion, contraction, extension, attention. Om
  • Blogging – Does anybody even read my blog?  How can my blog actually be of service.  How are my thoughts and observations relevant to the lives of others?  How can I use my blog to connect more fully with my students and to my friends?

Okay, so there you have it.  A limited window into the wanderings of my mind. Any one of these and many other thoughts could be more fully expanded. And they have, but not on paper.    But I am now open to dialogue.   If any of you out there reading this, and are interested in further explorations of these and other topics, let me know.  Let’s go down that road of infinite inquiry together.  Let’s deepen the dialogue of what it means to be awake and alive in this moment, on this planet, with this breath.

Thank you for your continued support,

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

P.S:  The Soundbath on March 16th is already full, if you want to sign up for the April 18th Soundbath, click here.

Gratitude in Motion & Strong Stable Shoulder Workshop

Hello Yogis and Friends,

Here we are half way through November with Thanksgiving just around the corner.  Have I mentioned that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday?  It is the one time of year when we all come together with friends and family simply to honor and celebrate the many blessings in our lives.  Oh yeah, and there is also all that good food. But seriously, this holiday is not tied to any religion, nor are there any gifts involved.  It is fundamentally a holiday about gratitude, and given the most recent world events, it is important to remember that Thanksgiving has its roots in the acceptance and support of emigres/refugees.  I know I don’t usually go to places political in this newsletter, but…

Speaking of Gratitude, I will be teaching a Gratitude in Motion class at River Tree Yoga this weekend (Saturday @ 9:00am) to support Yoga Behind Bars (YBB).  WBB is an amazing program that brings yoga to incarcerated persons throughout the state.  The power of yoga and meditation to bring healing to our bodies and spirit has been proven time and again.  It is my firm belief that yoga should be available to all persons regardless of their life circumstances, or maybe especially in regard to their life circumstances.  To this end, I have made a commitment to not only offer this Gratitude in Motion class but also to serve as a volunteer teacher for Yoga Behind Bars.  Inga and I thank you in advance for your support.  Suggested donation of $20.00.

Mark your calendars

Safety & Stability in the Shoulder Joint

Sunday, December 6th, 2:00 – 5:00pm

River Tree Yoga @ Tree House Point

The shoulder joint is one of the most dynamic joints in the human body.  It is also one of the joints most prone to injury.  Learning to set the shoulders properly for stationary and moving asanas will make the difference between damage or health in your yoga practice.

Join us for a workshop dedicated to helping you find strength and support in your shoulders in a wide variety of yoga poses, including: plank, chaturanga, downward facing dog, shoulder stands, and backbends.  We will conclude with a long nourishing restorative practice.

Workshop is appropriate for all levels and bodies, even those already suffering from shoulder or neck pain.

$40.00 early bird discount, $45.00 after December 1st.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Hug your Friends & Family.


Gratitude In Motion

This month yoga studios throughout the Puget Sound Area are hosting benefit class for Yoga Behind Bars.  Yoga Behind Bars is a remarkable program that brings yoga to men, women and youth living in detention centers in the state of Washington.  We all know how powerful yoga is, how much peace and wellness it brings to all of us.  Certainly, this population should have access to yoga as well.  And they do, thanks to the amazing volunteer teachers at YBB.

Inga and I will both be offering benefit classes this week at River Tree Yoga. Please join us for either or both of these classes.  Sugested donation of $20.00 for each class. You can use your class pass and/or write a check.

Wednesday, 6:30pm

Saturdy, 9:00am

Thank you for your support.


Shalom & Namaste,


Diana Bonyhadi


Tips for Healthy LIving in Times of Change

Full Moon, Red Moon, Super Close Moon
End of the Summer
Beginning of School
Season of Change
Returning to You

Dear Yogis,

If you haven’t felt it yet, be prepared.  This is a time of big transitions.  A time in which you may find yourself feeling restless, untethered, slightly at odds.  You may have just experienced some major changes in your life (I sure did) or be about to step into a whole new era of your life.  Truly this can be unsettling. But the good news is that you are not alone, and you are most likely  moving into such wonderful goodness it will make the all the flux worth it. And there is much you can do to weather these transitions more smoothly.

Here are some suggestions to help you sail the seas of transitions with greater equanimity.  These come from the scientific/medical limb of yoga known as Ayurveda.  You can choose to adopt some or all of these practices. You can even consult with an ayurvedic doctor near you to help you design a program specifically for your doscha.  The most important thing to remember is to take care of and nourish your self, and to honor your body’s need to cleanse, and your spirit/mind’s need to reflect.

Recipe for self-care in times of transition:

Get more sleep – go to bed earlier, but don’t sleep in too late.

Take naps – yes a 20 minute nap can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Take warm baths – they warm you up and give you time for reflection.
Walk at least 20 minutes 3-4 times a week (daily is best) – its good for your heart.
Practice yoga – hold poses longer and add restorative poses to your practice.
Meditate – even just 10 minutes a day will make a huge difference.
Drink less caffeine – when you feel tired, try that 5-10 minute meditation.
Reduce or eliminate alcohol.
Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy.
Drink more warm fluids or soup.
Add Ghee (clarified butter) to your diet – it lubricates the digestive system and helps to rid the body of toxins.
Avoid spicy foods.
Eat your big meal at mid-day.
Get a massage or two.
Give yourself a massage – rubbing your hands, feet arms and legs with massage oil.

I hope you find this helpful.  For more information, refer to Guru-Google and search ayurveda, doscha, fall equinox, etc.

Speaking of changes, by now many of you know I have moved to West Seattle.  Its a big change and I am incredibly happy. Don’t worry, I will  continue to teach all my classes this Fall at Village Green Yoga and at River Tree Yoga. Unfortunately, I no longer have my home studio, but will be happy to offer private sessions to all of my clients in their homes or at a local studio on the east side.  And if you want to practice with a view of the water, I welcome you here in my home.

Warm Wishes for a healthy Autumn.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi