Fill my heart with song, and let me sing forevermore….
I haven’t forgotten the powerful connection of song. In my back-and-forth between New York and Portugal, sometimes it seems there isn’t enough time for making music. In Portugal, I am lulled by the relaxed pace – I make friends easily, I am buoyed by community. In New York, sometimes it’s harder to make those connections. People are busy, rushing around from place to place and not looking each other in the eye. But NYC also has a strong community. It just moves to a different beat.
I am a lover of history. I go to the freshly renovated Tiffany & Co. flagship store and see the Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I see the elegant designs of Elsa Peretti.
This is a city of wealth for sure, but it also embodies the can-do American spirit and coalescence of cultures worldwide. Both tourists and residents find moments of respite and serenity here too.
My friend Joe and I busked in Central Park the other day. A Japanese man took interest in Joe’s foldable keyboard, and then he offered to take a video of us. An older Russian woman (who now lives here) stopped for several songs, and we became friends on Instagram. A three-year-old boy danced and clapped in front of us for a while. Many people hung out on the benches nearby.
Music is a universal language. I remember when I sang at the Cairo Jazz Club years ago, the young Egyptian guitarist said, “Everybody knows ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and Frank Sinatra.” ❤️
But it’s not just the familiar tunes that draw people in. On our day in the park, Joe and I performed many originals. Here’s an excerpt of “Do You Remember,” a nostalgic piece I wrote for my oldest friend Alix, whom I’ve known since age 9.
Joe is also an old friend – we met at Berklee College of Music twenty years ago and I asked him to play on my first album. We recorded “Do You Remember” on a beautiful fall day in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008. As I listened to Joe put down the piano track, I watched the lovely golden and rust leaves falling from trees outside the window. 🍁 So many layers of memories!
I was born in North Carolina, raised in Florida, and have lived all over the US since marrying my college sweetheart, Mark Fleishman. We both had wanderlust from the get-go.
Diva shot at Fat Angel, where it all began
Back in 2018 we were hanging out at Fat Angel, our favorite neighborhood haunt in San Francisco. Dismayed by the high housing costs in SF, Mark said, “We should buy a place overseas.” I whipped out my phone and Googled best places to buy and this is what came up:
Sold! 🤩 I booked a last-minute solo scouting trip and headed to Portugal for the very first time. Spent a few days looking in Lisbon, then rented a car and drove south. On my last night, I landed in a small town called Tavira and I just knew this was the place.
The octopus and the moment I knew
Later I returned with Mark, and by lucky stars we were on the show House Hunters International. Here we are back at the same restaurant during the film shoot – our neighborhood favorite, Nó de Gosto.
All this time, I was performing shows and teaching classes back in SF, sharing about my PT adventures. People kept asking, “When are you taking us to Portugal?”
And that, my friends, is how the seed was planted for a retreat in the Algarve.
I truly love sharing this place and its magical vibes. I want YOU to experience it too – wanderlust is contagious!
This is a RENEW-your-senses retreat, a RELAX-your-body retreat, a RETREAT-from-busyness retreat.
Yes, there will yoga offered by yours truly on most mornings – in a gorgeous 16th-century chapel, no less. I invite you to come, even just to rest on a mat or a chair. But if you skip and sleep in, that’s ok too! My goal is simply to have you feeling better by the end of the week. 🥰
So set aside your worries. This retreat is for YOU!
I was invited to sing in two services in my hometown of Gainesville, Florida. I have such gratitude for the excellent musicians that I met and performed with – we had little time to prepare and I put my trust in them as they did in me.
A precious reminder that I am here to serve.
I made a couple of live recording videos to share with you.
All systems go for May!
In less than 3 months, we’ll have our next Renew, Relax, Retreat in southern Portugal. Now is the time to take the plunge and join us! We kick off Memorial Day weekend and end up in the beginning of June. This is an ideal time of year to visit the southern coast, known as the Algarve.
Portugal retreat 2023: May 27 – June 3 🏖️🏖️🏖️
Invite a friend and double the fun (and save by sharing a room).
I’m back in the land of salt. Our apartment in Portugal stares out at the ocean as well as the salt pans. Portuguese flor de sal (fleur de sel in French) means “flower of salt,” which rises to the pan’s surface forming a crust.
Salt cultivation in the Algarve has existed since ancient times
Of course, even without the crust, the salt is divine! Just ask our retreat participants, who experienced the salt soak (and mud) of Salino, an outdoor spa near the border of Spain. Deets for the upcoming 2023 retreat below.
Portugal retreat 2023:
May 27 – June 3
More salt history in our Seasons and Chakras yoga meditation this Friday. We are now in the season of the first chakra = FOUNDATION – RED – EARTH.
Teaching from Portugal on Zoom. Click here for full schedule.
Here are your February incentives:
Portugal retreat May/June – Sign up by Valentine’s Day and get $200 off.❤️ Invite a friend and double the fun (and save by sharing a room).
Open house this Friday – Come to class FREE (first time participants) or regulars bring a friend and you both come FREE!
Did you know Portugal ranks #4 on the Global Peace Index? 🌍 Not a surprise for me – I feel a genuine sense of peace every time I visit.
I am pleased to announce we have booked Pousada Convento Tavira for our Renew, Relax, Retreat. This 4-star hotel is in a restored 16th-century monastery. The courtyard is so peaceful and beautiful, as are the grounds overlooking the castle and city.
Pousada Convento Tavira: We will do yoga here
It’s so easy to do a walking meditation in this town. Bright sun, brightly-painted ancient buildings. Many historic structures are now museums. I love wandering in and often have the place to myself.
I walked in to find someone playing beautiful music on a grand piano
Hidden treasures abound in the Algarve. I have posted a series of short videos – click button below to be transported to peaceful Portugal. 🙏
The video is now live! How exciting to be a part of this project. I was invited to help create a yoga meditation video with the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Thomas Moran’s iconic 1872 painting, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
I traveled to DC to record the meditation in front of the painting. The video is now available for all to see for FREE. Take a 22-minute journey with the sights of Yellowstone, both in the painting and present-day footage. This gorgeous terrain will inspire you.
We flow like the river snaking through the canyon. We connect to energy and the elements – using movement, sound, and visualization with the breath.