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Yoga Straight Talk with Sarahjane Blum

Thursday, August 21, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

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Hi lovely.

Registration just opened for what will be the last round ever of 90 Days of Yoga — and I want the course to go out with a bang. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by hearing directly from some of my inspiring 90 Days of Yoga alumni.

One of the things we’ve always loved about 90 Days of Yoga is the fact that the course gives the space to really sink in to what it means for each of us to sustain our home yoga practice. We sink into how to face down our inner critic, find compassion for ourselves and our body wherever we are, and sustain our home yoga practice no matter what.

Over the next few days we’ll be hearing from a handful of yogis who have done the work of not only cultivating, but also sustaining a home yoga practice. I’m calling this mini-series Yoga Straight Talk. These alumnae have the kind of advice that is tried and true — straight from their hearts and their mats.







Yoga Straight Talk w sarahjane blum

Yoga Straight Talk w/ Sarahjane BlumMeet Sarahjane.

Sarahjane Blum is an author, co-owner of, animal rights activist, and occasional public speaker. She’s spending most of the summer trying to use up the vegetables in her CSA.  Follow her on twitter to hear about all of this, and maybe send her some advice about what to do with the world’s largest head of napa cabbage. Follow her on twitter at @sarahjaneblum.


First off, we’d love to hear your voice. Introduce yourself & share your best advice for the days you don’t feel like getting on the mat.

Finish the phrase ‘my home yoga practice is’.

My home yoga practice is really my on the go yoga practice.  I travel quite a bit (in fact, right after I finish this I’m getting on the road), so being able to stretch and center even in an unfamiliar place, at an unexpected time, is key.  90 Days of Yoga gave me the confidence to roll out my (metaphorical) mat anywhere.  I’ve found myself doing legs up the wall with a hotel comforter beneath me, and have found that nadi shodhana helps my body manage the stress and recycled air of flying.

So, why did you decide to get on the mat in the first place?

If memory serves, my high school offered an elective gym course that was half yoga/half weight training.  It was in a room that was partitioned out of the cafeteria.  If you can do yoga in a high school cafeteria, you can do it anywhere.

Give us a snapshot moment of how your home yoga practice served you well.

In January, my car was rear ended and totaled. There were injuries of course, and pain, but having been a regular yoga (and pilates, credit where credit is due) practitioner, I had the tools to recover much more quickly from them than I might otherwise have. Home yoga was critical then, in the days when I was stressed beyond measure, scared about when I would start feeling like myself again, and desperate to start using my body, but not overworking it. Home yoga is to me both a toolkit for how to access my own body and mind, and a treasure map to them.

What’s something that gets in the way of getting on your mat and how do you move through it?

I can always make an excuse for how the immediate needs of my day override my interest in taking time for myself.  I own a small business and I’m a dreamer and fighter for a better world.  So there’s injustice that needs to be fought, and checklists that need to be ticked off, not to mention family and friends who I want to pay attention to. I’m inclined (for better AND worse I think) to put those at the forefront of my mind, and push yoga to the back.

It’s hard to maintain a consistent home yoga practice that looks like a yoga DVD, but Marianne has taught me that there’s no need to aim for life to look like a movie, and even when my home yoga looks like a few minutes of pranayama, it’s invaluable.

Any words of wisdom for fellow home yogis struggling to sustain their practice?

Stand up, or lay down, and do your favorite pose right this second. Now give yourself a pat on the back!

And now, for the really important details.

A personality that influences you:

I take inspiration from people who stand up against despair, even when the world seems like a sad, scary place that humanity is ripping apart faster than a kid opening the wrapping on a birthday gift. People like Dorothy Day, who said “No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”  For motivation, Will Potter’s Ted talk about the Kafka-esque experiences that turned him into America’s foremost authority on the criminalization of protest in America is a must watch

A book you think everyone should read:

Everyone should read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Not only because the issue of how we treat animals is central to my life, but also because its a beautifully written meditation on how to look at the questions we try to avoid and how let conscience have its day in a society that tries to convince us that conscience is an antiquated inconvenience.

A music that couldn’t miss in the perfect playlist:

Don’t listen to it too often or it might lose its magic, but there is no cure for sadness like Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.”

A guilty pleasure:

I try not to mix guilt and pleasure, but I also usually wait till I have some time to myself before I binge watch the original Beverly Hills 90210.


square_90 days90 Days of Yoga is a follow-on course for people who have already done my 30 Days of Yoga course. It is not an advanced course, instead it’s intended to deepen your yoga practice by exploring more of the philosophy of yoga, and practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation. This course is also an excellent way to sustain and extend the home practice you established during 30 Days of Yoga, by introducing a wider range of practices to choose from.

Want to take 90 Days of Yoga but haven’t done 30 Days of Yoga? If you are familiar with the basics of yoga, and confident with basic online technology (downloading files etc) then I’m happy to make an exception for you, since this is the last time we’ll be offering 90 Days of Yoga. If you want to check that you’ll be comfortable and confident in the course, feel free to email us your questions on

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