Mindfulness Interviews Archives - Yogashero
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How to Begin to Glow From The Inside Out

Are you currently glowing like you were in your 20s or when you were pregnant? Well, you can get that healthy glow again and again. Glowing skin starts from the inside out. I’m almost 50 years old. I’ve tested a lot food and beauty products over the years. I’m here to share my own wisdom and observations. To support radiant skin, I drink lots of water and eat majority of my meals from whole foods. I’m not perfect because I do buy salads or chicken sandwich when I am out with the kids running errands. But, I also incorporate a source of Omega-3 in my meals with almonds, cod liver oil, chia seeds and occasionally Orenda nutritional shakes. I notice that I have more of a glow when I do these things. Smoothies are also an easy, simple way to pack in fruits and veggies and get lots of fiber to keep you feeling full. Try the pre-frozen organic varieties from Costco, Target, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Then, add a non-dairy base like coconut milk, almond milk or filtered water and then ice. Add ginger, tumeric, nut butter, avocado depending on your sassy vs. saucy mood. Go for it and get your drink on! BTW, you can order the Orenda nutritional shakes by calling 1-866-673-1333 Health Coach ID 93887. Change in this case begin with you. Just message me if you have more questions at dena@yogashero.com Happy to help!

How to Begin to Glow From The Outside In

We know that our skin is our largest organ. Especially during the fall and winter months, we want to exfoliate and also moisturize in healthy, safer ways. We know the beauty regulatory laws have not been changed since 1938. Beautycounter is the only beauty company that I am aware of that conducts its own recalls and tests of product toxins and/or contamination post-packaging. Many people do not know that companies are not required to disclose if sub-suppliers are shipping supply ingredients with pre-existing preservatives. Another point worth noting is that the word ‘fragrance’ in the beauty industry is a nebulous word that means anything can be in that synthetic bottle. So, here are my five favorite items from Beautycounter that safely cleans and detoxifies from the outside in.

  1. Let’s start by cleaning the skin. For a good organic body scrub, use the detoxifying sweet lemony Sugar Body Scrub. Click Here.
  2. For a body wash that packs a punch, use this coconut oil-based Body Wash that has a hint of citrus aroma. Click Here.
  3. Let’s keep our glowing skin all day long. For heightened body moisture, use the creamy, luxe supple texture of the Body Butter. Click Here.
  4. For an extra moisture defense against dry, ashy skin, try mixing the body butter with the Lustro Body Oil for cold, blistering winter months in the windy city of Chicago. To shop for the Lustro Body Oil, Click Here.
  5. To even out imperfections, match your skin’s color from the award-winning Tint Skin foundation collection, from fair to mocha tint shades. We’ve got you covered detoxeliciously. Click Here.

Why Do I March As A Doctor?


This past Saturday was the heralding of a revolution. Seems like a strong term however the impact it had on me as a woman, mother, daughter and physician felt just that strong. This past year has been an interesting one to say the least however my work as an obstetrician gynecologist still drives my passion. As a women’s health provider, I have learned that women’s health issues are many times passed to the back of the line when it comes to research, technology and funding. Hard pill to swallow but has not deterred my desire to educate, empower and enhance the lives of my patients.

Saturday, January 21st was historical for many reasons, not for the causes that we all marched for, unfortunately these have been there for many years. Our marching became a global event as the rest of the world joined in. I have never been more energized by those that surrounded me as we stood in solidarity for what we believe in. Violence or contention was not in the vocabulary, just our voices calling for equality as well as equity. Equity in our health, careers and also not to be victimized for our race, religion, sexual preference or genitalia!

When I have witnessed women denied for surgery, contraception or even a well woman exam because they were not covered by insurance, these are the moments that come to mind as I placed one foot after the other on the Mall last weekend.

To deny women the ability to come make sound decisions when it comes to their bodies, this is why I raise my fists in the air to show my disdain.

I had the pleasure to march with my residents who spend hours upon hours in the hospital for their training in order to provide women with exceptional care. To think they may have to fight policies and politicians in order to perform abortions or insert IUDs is appalling to me and sad that I cannot present to them a glimmer of hope in the fight for women’s rights.

Every day that I go to work, I speak to so many women that balance being a mother, wife, having a career also with various life hardships. I march so that whatever I can do to ensure their reproductive health is complete and exceptional. The journey of my quest to embolden my community has just begun and I hope to inspire more women along the way.

By Jessica Shepherd, MD, Gynecologist Expert

How to prepare for yoga class…


3 Ways to Stay Prepared With Your Yogashero Bag

There once was a yoga teacher who loved the look of distinctive designer bags. This same yoga teacher also didn’t enjoy the feeling of having her water bottle just out there waiting to tip over, or double checking for her keys and wallet, or looking too slouchy and having to switch bags before meetings. She had a spark of an idea and thought, “Maybe I could do this designer yogashero bag that is highly functional and fashionable.” Shocked that there were no upscale long lasting yoga organizer bags, Dena designed her own sleek yogashero bag line. She followed that passion and worked tirelessly with a select CAD designer, made edits to the design and endured late nights. The patented Yogashero was born!

Dena developed a NEW vegan, stylish, patented yogashero organizer bag that holds your 1) mat, 2) water bottle to keep you hydrated, 3) wallet, 4) phone and built-in clip and your 5) keys with extra top pockets for clothes, papers, etc. We like to call them… THE BIG 5 ESSENTIALS. The easy access 2-way single zipper opens to the shape of a heart. The yoga organizer is 32” long and big enough to hold the Manduka Mat. You can’t find it anywhere except here online.

With more than 20 million practitioners and 90% of those practitioners carrying more than two or more items to class, many yoga students including the inventor would benefit from this new lifestyle yogashero organizer.


As soon as you get this blog, get a Yogashero organizer like ours which I highly recommend in cold climates like the Northern, and Midwestern states and all rainy states. You really do not want to have a soggy mat going to yoga or pilates class. It’s just no fun trying to clean it before class or trying to practice on a damp mat. Protect your yoga mat with a yogashero bag that fully covers all of your belongings plus the mat itself. Everything is protected. 

There are many benefits to having this kind of yoga bag. Once you get your new yogashero bag, make way for just the essential yoga items. Go to your personal everyday handbag and grab any belongings that you really need. Get your keys, wallet and phone from the handbag and gently place them into your yoga bag. Add your mat and water bottle to your yoga bag. Acknowledge all the other items in your purse and let it go. Pack everything you need and travel to your yoga fitness class. Now, you are ready for yoga and maybe back to work meetings if you need to do so. It gives you more versatility. 


Figure out what matters most to you. If it is peace, then let go of whatever you don’t need before your fitness routine. Get your water bottle to stay hydrated, your keys for the car, your wallet for incidentals, your mat and phone. Set your intention on being more mindful before class by arriving early, giving a smile to the receptionist or teacher, closing your eyes and stating your intention. Then, load your belongings into the cubby or locker. Bring your mat and water bottle with you to your class. Rest into child’s pose and patiently wait to begin class. Exhale!


Once you go through this exercise, you’ll feel so much more at peace throughout your day, knowing where your things are. So, I encourage you to remove clutter on a weekly basis, centrally consolidate your items in your yogashero bag and take just 5 to 7 items with you to class. Wash your yoga towel daily or weekly. Get rid of old, grumpled paper receipts. Clean the face of your phone and your mat with vinegar and water or hand sanitizer. Just get cleaned up and organized for every aspect of life including your yoga practice. Always aim at organizing your day and everything will be well.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then, take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a whole new lifestyle.” – Marie Kondo

By: Dena Dodd, Founder of Yogashero.myshopify.com 

How to do dreams relate to my yoga practice?


How do we define our dreams in yoga?

“Dreams exist not just to convey one meaning, it can be meant for more than one. This has something to do with the collection of unconscious and conscious thoughts of the dreamer. Dreams inform the dreamer of the condition. One common condition is the healing process. Thus, it sets balance to the dreamer’s life. So when we understand the emotion that is driving the dream, the charge that it has over us is neutralized, and we are naturally healed, which is the intent and purpose of our souls journey through this life.”

According to Sigmund Freud when he studied dreams, he named an area of our brains called the subconscious where the mind stores all of our memories and desires. He believes that dreams are the visuals of the subconscious. According to Freud, every symbol in dreams originated from a thought or desire that buried in the subconscious mind. For more on Freud, go to here.

When we meditate and breathe in yoga, we become more and more aware. What I do know is that the more we are aware of our memories and desires, the more we can connect with the universal consciousness or God and have more appreciation for karma. I do believe karma is the cycle of memories and images popping in our heads that influence our emotions whether its happiness or sadness. The more we become aware, the more we become one with our own mental space and the power of dream is lessened or neutralized. From my visit to the Chopra Center, dreaming is one of seven states of consciousness. It is subject to the object of experience and it’s fuzzy with no real logic. You know how you have dream about your “teeth falling out”…you awake thinking “what does this mean?”  It typically is releasing karma from the past and signaling a form of anxiety of some kind. In summary, our dreams are vague experiences as a state of consciousness. So, dream on and realize our dreams are abundant and everyone deserves to have a dream that is not to be judged but just to be observed. There is enough air in the world for all our dreams. 😉

By Dena Dodd Perry

Yoga Teacher 500 CYT/MBA

Here Are My Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga?




Why do yoga?

1. Yoga restores balance in mind, body and spirit. Balance is the key in everything in life — what we do, think, say, eat and feel. Our organ, respiratory, lymphatic and skin are all major organ systems that require balance (the inhalation with exhalation, yin with yang…rain with sun…etc.) They all require awareness.  And, through awareness and breath, we can let go of those things that no longer serves us.

2. It can reduce stress. It’s the dope stress reliever. You no longer need medicine if you practice in every way.

3. Yoga encourages you to learn the truth about yourself at any given moment. Being present, non-judgmental and patient with yourself are key yogic principles.

4. It’s a good workout and great way to get strength training and flexibility. With gentle stretches, you can use yoga as a form of injury prevention.

5. Yoga can ease the pain from injury through breathing technigues.

6. It helps you to sleep better.

7. Yoga can reduce the pain from headaches am lower blood pressure.

8. Improves your posture. It’ll get you in touch with your body senses, emotions, images, feelings.

9. Yoga can take you on a spiritual journey with kindness while getting a good workout.

10. Give you a more peacefule state of mind. Meditation is about paying attention to present moment with intention without judgment.

For an overview of the 8-limbs of yoga, go here.

TO SEE FULL INTERVIEW VIDEO on Star Planet TV, click here. Go to post for February 8, 2017. Thank you for tuning into our Chicago vibing conversation.

Peace and Love,


Founder of Yogashero

Yoga Checklist Revisited: Wanna get reconnected to the truth about Yoga?

8-Limbs of Yoga Sketch

8-Limbs of Yoga Sketch

Yoga Basics101: What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

We think we all know what yoga is about or at least have an opinion about the percieved trendy fitness practice!! But, the poses are just one limb of the 8-limbs of yoga. Yoga involves many areas of focus and has ill-contrived notions about its roots. Is yoga a religious Buddhist ritual? What is the difference between concentration and meditation? Continue to read on..

Here’s a short Cliff’s notes designed to give you a renewed overview of the basis of yoga. About 300-500 B.C. Pantanjali, an Indian sage wanted to overhaul the yoga of the yester years and make it sustainable and process-oriented. So, he created the 8 limbs of yoga. The eight paths called ASHTANGA which literally means “eight limbs.” These 8-steps act as a guide on how to live a more meaningful and purposeful life rooted in the truth. It is a journey for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline. It directs you on a journey to focus more attention to one’s health and help to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature. Yoga has been scientifically proven to improve the health of patients worldwide according to Harvard studies. We will review the 8-limbs of yoga to better understand what awareness means in a non-monolithic way which leads us to happier and healthier lives.

Why did Pantanjali create the 8 Limbs of yoga?

  • Add breath to the body
  • Add structure to yoga
  • Make the practice non-religious

Yama – 1st Limb acknowledges one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves. It connects us to the universal principle that “we should do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  • Nonviolence translates to being kind.
  • Truthfulness translates to being honest.
  • Non-stealing translates to being happy with what you have.
  • Non-covetousness translates to absence of idolatry, eg. non-attachment to people or possessions.

Niyama – 2nd Limb conveys our self-discipline and spiritual observances. It leads us to a life journey that takes us to temple or church service, saying grace before meals developing your won meditation practice and making a habit of taking reflective walks to think more clearly.

  • Cleanliness
  • Contentment
  • Heat/Spiritual Austerities
  • Study of sacred scriptures and of one’s self
  • Surrender to God

Asana – 3rd Limb are the posture practices you might see all over Instagram but the poses are practices in yoga that are designed to promote spiritual growth. The body is the temple of the spirit. So, you practice yoga to take care of the spirit with discipline to improve your ability to concentrate.

Pranayama – 4th Limb is the breath control. Each breathing techniques is designed to give mastery over the respiratory system while recognizing the connection between breath, the mind and emotions. The Pranayama translation is “life force extension.” Yogis believe that the breath rejuvenates the body by actually extending life itself. Some yoga teachers even believe the yoga is the breath throughout the 8-limbs process. If you genuinely connect to the breath first, you can get through anything.

Pratyahara – 5th Limb means withdrawal of senses or transcendence. It is during this limb that we draw our awareness away from the outside world and alternatively, focus inwardly towards our inner most self. Detach from our senses and direct our attention internally. Objectively, observe our cravings. In this withdrawal, we become self-observant.

Dharana – 6th Limb is the uninterrupted flow of concentration. This allows us to slow down the thought process by concentrating on a single mental object: a specific energy center of the body, image of your universe or divine God, silent repetition of a sound or wick of a candle. Although you gain the power of concentration in the previous 3 stages of namely, the posture, breath control and withdrawal of the senses, our attention may travel from one thought to another. Our focus constantly changes as we adjust our poses and breathing. Here, we focus our attention exclusively on one point of focus.

Dhyana – 7th Limb is meditation. Even though concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) appear to be the same, the distinction between the two limbs is that concentration is one-pointed attention and meditation is state of being keenly aware without focus. For example, primordial sound meditation training at the Chopra Center may take word themes based on Sutra principles and assigned those words to energy centers. As the meditator, you can focus on the Sutra words in sequential order as a means of focused concentration with your meditation practice. The heart energy center (chakra) may have sutra principles words like peace, harmony, laughter and love as words on which to meditate.

The goal is to quiet the mind without judgement and reach this state of stillness. Don’t give up. While the yoga appears difficult, remember yoga is a journey or process, not a destination. Even every picture pose is intrinsically imperfect because it’s the attainment of the practice, not perfection, that is most important.

Samadhi – 8th Limb is a state of ecstasy. The person who is mediating integrates with his or her point of focus and transcends the Self altogether. The meditator comes to realize a profound connection to the Divine, an interconnectedness with all living things. Another reflective thought on this stage also called enlightenment is that the connection to the Divine cannot be bought, possessed but only experienced through the Self, by the Self and for your Self.

Click here to see article in first post on who first introduced yoga to Americas.

Author: Dena Dodd Perry, 500 CYT with emphasis on meditation, gentle flow and detox yoga.

Mindfulness: What the 8 Reasons To Get Rid of Toxic People?

Loving Yourself!Have you ever had a hard time breaking up with someone? Or, do you have a difficult friend that brings a different not so good energy to the room? Here are eight reasons to get rid of toxic people. Ain’t nobody got time for toxicity.

8 Reasons To Get Rid of Toxic People!
#RealTalk #OntheBlog
As promised from last week, I am sharing some good tips on relationship #mindfulness! Ain’t nobody got time for toxicity. 😖 Click here for more conversation on the topic. 


“People inspire you or they drain you, pick them wisely” 

– Hans F. Hansen

1️⃣ Those who are manipulative. 😡

2️⃣ Those who are passive aggressive.🙂🙃

3️⃣ Those who play victim all the time.😔

4️⃣ Those who complain about everything.😖

5️⃣ Those who cancel on you all the time.🙄

6️⃣ Those who are drama queens.👑

7️⃣ Those who criticize you far too often.😡

8️⃣ And those who aren’t there when you need the most.😿

If you agree, like this and repost this.

It can be difficult when it comes to family. It is a question of looking after yourself and surrounding yourself with positive people and being happy within yourself. 🙂

Peace✌🏾️& Love❤️, 

Dena & DocShane 

#LawofAttraction @yogashero on Instagram 

Yogashero Access: How did Bill Kurtis start his career in journalism?

bill-kurtisBill Kurtis was born on September 21, 1940 in Pensacola, Florida to Wilma Mary Horton and William Kuretich, a US Marine Corps brigadier general and decorated veteran of World War II. His birth name is William Horton Kuretich.

At the age of 16, Kurtis began working in radio at his local high school, Independence High School. Later, he graduated from high school and attended University of Kansas with a B.S. In journalism in 1962 and earned his law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1966. While in law school, he worked part time as WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas. He decided not to pursue a career in law.

On June 8, 1966, Bill Kurtis was studying for the bar and decided to leave early to help a friend as anchor at WIBW-TV for the 6 o’clock news. Man, that was a big life-changing moment. Severe weather was approaching Topeka, so Kurtis stayed to update some weather reports. At 7:00pm, while on the air, a tornado was sighted by WIBW cameraman Ed Rutherfod. Within a minute another sighting was reported, Kurtis warned the apartment complex is wiped out. Kurtis’ abruptly reported, “ For God’s sake, take cover!” From that moment on, the broadcast team stayed on TV for 24 solid hours. His TV station became a communications hub for emergency operations. The experience forever changed Kurtis’ career path from law to broadcast news. Within a fast 3-months, after seeing his work covering the tornado, WBBM-TV in Chicago hired Kurtis which started his 30-year career with CBS.

Kurtis covered many historical, tumultuous years of the late 1960s including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, 1968 violent Democratic National Convention, Charles Manson, Angela Davis trails and so much more.

Today, Kurtis covers documentary style shows such as American Justice, Cold Case Files, NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. All of this, after his long run as a revered anchor for CBS Morning News. In summary, just helping out a friend one night changed the trajectory of Bill Kurtis’ life from law to broadcast journalism. Who knew what a difference a day makes? 24 little hours…like the song!.

Be mindful of your experiences!

Dena Dodd Perry, Yogashero.com


Where Was Yoga First Introduced to America?





















Where Was Yoga Introduced to America? California…nah…Think again! Read below for what city?

Where was yoga introduced to the United States of America? To understand yoga is to look back to its origin. Spawned in India some 5,000 years ago, yoga is a practice of the mind, body and spirit intertwined with Hindu culture and religion. The yoga that is recognized today is Hatha or Vinyasa traditional yoga. By 300-500 BC, Patanjali, an Indian sage introduced three components to yoga, 1) create structure by adding the 8-Limbs of yoga, 2) link body postures or asanas to breath and 3) promote the practice of yoga as non-religious.
The physical aspect of yoga are included the 3rd asana and 4th limbs breathing pranayama of an 8-Limb system of ashtanga yoga as described by Patanjali. These two steps are but a small aspect of the whole practice but make up for a beautifully designed system that aims to keep the physical body in shape, with the breath becoming the bridge between the minds the body. Stretches of the poses offer more balance and strength while the breathing offers more oxygen to the blood channels. Yoga addresses balance, posture, alignment, breath control and motor control at a specific local level while integrating it elegantly at the systemic level, resulting in optimal functioning of the neuromuscular and musculoskeltal systems.

After a period of time, Swami Vivekandanda, a yoga pioneer, was born into an aristocratic family the Calcutta, India. Swami was a Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna. Under Ramakrishna, he studied both Eastern and Western religion and philosophy. His followers to represent India and Hinduism at the Columbian Exposition funded him. He spoke on September 11, 1893 in CHICAGO, Illinois. His speech was short, no more than a few minutes, but his universal message that truth is one; and all religions are a valid means of realizing the truth. This message rippled through the exposition. Chicago and the United States needed to hear this message. This period was after the Civil War when so many American citizens were lost and divided. His message was that he belongs to a nation of tolerance and universal acceptance while denouncing fanatism. His speeches centered on Raja yoga of the mind. As described by Patanjali in Yoga Sutras, Yoga citta vrtti nirodhah, or yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. The eight limbs include the yama (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), pratyahra (withdrawal of the senses), pranayama (breathing techniques), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration, dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption, unification with the whole). He focused on last three limbs and talked more about the need to do works of charity and service (Karma), saying that meditation meant little with them. In summary, Swami spent his time sharing the last 3 limbs which involved sharing withdrawal from the senses, meditation and enlightenment. His focus was certainly not on poses as we see so prevalent across social media channels today. So, continue to feel welcome to practice yoga as the practice is centered on TRUTH IS ONE as stated from this yoga pioneer.

My personal take away from this fact on the history of yoga in America. I find comfort and support in knowing the truth about yoga and how the practice fits in my spiritual life. I am Christian and I practice yoga. The yoga is like the means to the end of finding your truth. It’s more about exploring your own spiritual journey or process, not the end in and of itself. Each day, your yoga can offer you an universal awareness of your thoughts, feelings, images and ultimately enlightenment or truth. When you become more aware of your thoughts, you can become more ever present in your thoughts without judgement thereby having more power of your own perception of your personal life force or energy. It creates a non-attachment to the physical state and more connection to your spiritual state. For example, you may recognize how you drool over that chocolate cake in the bakery or salivate over that glass of wine at the Saturday night party with your friends. You begin to become more aware of your thoughts in general and as a result, you can better manage those thoughts. In summary, if you have not found your truth, find your truth through the yoga journey.

Don’t Leave Home Without This!

Your SMILE can be a SMART choice!
Most of us have a basic awareness that our thoughts have an impact on our behavior and that our behavior will dictate the type of life that we will live. But did you know that certain basic behaviors can make the difference between having a good day or a miserable one? On a more foundational level, when we hit rock bottom (which we all have, or will), it our choices that will get us by moment to moment. Commit yourself to making smart choices. The choice can be something as simple as smiling. Smiling can have a beneficial effect on general health and well-being. Why not choose to smile? We spend a great deal of time in thought choosing which outfit to wear for the day; should you wear the jeans or the suit, the red bottoms or the sneakers? Whatever you
choose, don’t forget the final accessory to your outfit… YOUR SMILE. Otherwise your ensemble is incomplete; it’s like leaving home naked.
There are many health benefits of smiling:
Smiling generates endorphins: Endorphins are the brain’s ‘happy’ hormones, or natural stress busters. The more endorphins we have, the happier we feel. The brain reads muscle movement of your face and causes the release of these brain chemicals. Whether your smile gleeful or forced… it doesn’t matter. The good news is that the brain doesn’t distinguish if the smile is fake or genuine. So go on…flash your pearly whites!
Smiling decreases release of cortisol, the body’s natural stress hormone. Cortisol comes from the adrenal glands, which are two small organs located at the top of your kidneys. Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or flight response by increasing blood sugar levels and inhibiting release of insulin. Without getting too complicated, just know that high a cortisol level is not good unless you are in the woods confronted by a grizzly!
Smiles are a part of our universal language; seen all over the globe, from the remote areas of a rainforest to city dwellers in London. It is a universally accepted form of body language. Smiling will likely draw others to you and contribute to positive interactions. Smiles are also contagious and will help to bring a sense of well being to your life. So hit the streets with your personal, “I am Woman,” (or I am Man!) theme song playing in your head… people will notice.

So it seems that you’ve got nothing to lose by smiling. Make a decision to smile each day. It may not be obvious, but find something to smile about. Spend time with people who smile and laugh. Find a comedy or funny show to watch or listen to. The choice is yours… Just don’t leave home naked. Nobody wants to see all that! What???… I said it with a SMILE.

Dr. Shane Dodd
Forensics Psychiatrist

Model Shown: IG: @dena.dodd, my baby sister!