Where to Follow Growing Up On OM

I am not the greatest at promoting this blog and I’m writing this post as both a first step and as a way to ask you, dear readers, for some help. I love writing Growing Up on OM. It gives me such joy to put my passions into words and share them with the world. It is where I let my yoga nerd self run wild and it is my outlet for the yoga teacher aspect of my career and where I work out how that aspect fits into the larger picture of my life. I also love social media in a variety of forms, and the ways in which each medium has a unique offering. When it comes to the content of this blog, it does not only appear on WordPress. And, if you’re one of the busy 20-somethings that this blog is geared towards, you likely forget to check it often. Social media serves as both a reminder and bonus content for what this blog offers. Read on to see where to follow Growing Up on OM, and what you’ll get out of each site / app.



Growing Up on OM has a fan page on Facebook. LIKE it! Invite friends to like it! On this page, you’ll find:

  • links to interesting articles from other blogs, as well as links to videos from other teachers (both yoga and in life)
  • notifications for when there’s a new blog post on Growing Up on OM
  • my yoga teaching schedule



love the Growing Up on OM Instagram. I love photography. I am looking forward to building the Instagram so that it can become a standalone medium. On it, you’ll find:

  • yoga how-to’s
  • travel photos
  • my NYC yoga schedule
  • photographs of yoga studios
  • documentation of my blogging process
  • notifications of new blog posts and the photos in them



FOLLOW it. Twitter is fairly self-explanatory, but on @growinguponom you’ll find:

  • quotes from yoga classes I either teach or take
  • links to articles, videos, memes, etc.
  • retweets of my favorite poets and teachers
  • links to blog posts and tags of the people / brands / places I feature in them



On Pinterest, I basically pin whatever inspires me. I pin:

  • photographs that represent the different blog posts I write
  • blog posts from the Growing Up on OM archive
  • tips on blogging
  • tips on yoga

Please pin to your Pinterest if they inspire you.



Tumblr is my OG blogging experience. I still use it for

  • posting versions / previews of my Growing Up on OM blog posts,
  • reblogging other awesome posts & videos
  • making Growing Up on OM (the WordPress version) more visual

I hope to see you all over these lovely interwebs!

<3, Shira


April Link Love: Teachers, Thrive-ing + The Times Talks Yoga

Introduction to the monthly Link Love column: One of my favorite blogs (and a total blogger role model of mine) is Gala Darling. Every month, Gala Darling publishes a link roundup in a narrative form of what she’s been reading. Lounging in bed on lazy Friday mornings (when I was in college) or Sunday mornings (now that I’m a working lady), I open up the links Gala posts like presents on Chanukah evenings. I want to create a similar experience for my readers…with the added bonus of documenting these reading gems so I no longer have 17 tabs open on Google Chrome. So, without further adieu, thank you Gala for the inspiration. Here is a delightful (Central Park) link carousel of my own.

I met Nicole during Bhakti training as part of my 300-hour with Laughing Lotus. I love her teaching website because it gets to the essence of what she’s about and wants to provide for others.

Speaking of the fabulous Lotus, I got lots of inspiration through Ali Cramer’s Lululemon Ambassador video, where she takes you on a tour of NYC’s Chinatown and her favorite place to buy herbs (for an Ayurveda expert, that’s a big deal!). And speaking of Ali-ma, here’s a one-on-one interview with her and the Adhara online mag.

Via Harper’s Bazaar (an expert on such things), an art director on why she wears the exact same thing to work every day.

For the Yogathon, Living Yoga shares fundraising strategies and special classes in April!

Greatist shares the only 7 things you can control in life.

I love it when the New York Times talks yoga! Especially when it was so relevant to all the travel I was doing – I did every single pose this article recommended…on my cross-continental flight!

A Yoga International article on the mission behind the make-yoga-accessible movement. And speaking of, they’re having their first conference in September!

I can’t sing the praises of this interview and how it brings two aspects of my life together more, but here it is, folks, Melanie Klein, founder of the Yoga + Body Image Coalition, interviewed on Feministing on the power of the intersection of yoga + feminism. #mylyfe

Speaking of, here is a truly earth-shatteringly fabulous interview with curvy yoga Instagram star @mynameisjessamyn.

BUST Magazine reviews the IUD…it’s like a movie review, but more useful.

Here are some Maya Angelou quotes to make your day.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

This girl I went to school with is the new face of herpes (happy STD Awareness Month, BTW!). She’s interviewing her exes on her blog and me and my friends are loving keeping up with her press tour, both internal and external.

Last chance to donate to the Living Yoga Yogathon (sorry not sorry, I had to).

Via HuffPo, Lena Dunham tackles the stigma of mental health with a workout selfie. Bottom line, again and again, it’s about feeling good and Lena Dunham is just quite simply amazing.

BUST lists 7 female musician memoirs you should read. (I want to read Joni’s!)

Via Yoga International, inspire your teaching with the language of the yamas and the niyamas.

Elena Brower, the yoga business machine, did it again with this gorgeous and innovative new website for yoga teachers.

Meg Cabot writes more about the new PD books and I. Am. Getting. So. Impatient.

This SEED program is sparking my educational interest because it is an academic approach to incorporating diversity into both public and private school settings.

The website THE MUSE is absolutely fantastic and coming into my life at just the right time (i.e. as I try to figure out WTF I’m going to do come September).

BUST shares 10 mason jar meals to take to work…time to get domestic!

Via Gala Darling‘s own “carousel,” here are questions to ask before giving up.

Here are 20 career tips from entrepreneurs in a lovely narrative form.

To all the single ladies going through breakups out there, a. I get it right now and b. here are some reasons why jerks show up in our lives, via Danielle LaPorte (also via Gala’s Carousel).

Thrive Forward is a program on Low Glycemic Index clean eating (a process I am beginning on). What a great resource!

Via NYMag, here’s what happens “when rich people marry poor people.” A very interesting topic, especially after meeting a couples finance blogger last weekend at the blogger meetup.

I got quite Glamour.com happy this month. Here are 8 ways to know “he” (I always find the impersonality of their pronouns to be quite amusing!) is in love with you. Now, I read this one for the fashion: profiles of the best plus-size models out there! What TV couples teach us about relationships (because those are, of course, just so realistic!).

Aron Chilewich, fellow Wes grad ’14, wrote this very, very interesting piece on when Burning Man meets Passover (A likely combo? I think not…but he makes it work).

This infographic on where and why people practice yoga…and for how long, is fascinating!


Happy May, folks!


Instagram Yoga

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

To Instagram or not to Instagram?

For yoga teachers, that is the question.

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I have been practicing yoga for seven years and teaching for four. Aside from the occasional Acro Yoga photo shoot that one crazy semester and a nude yoga teacher photo shoot I took part in that my ex was way too excited about for comfort, I was never one for the Instagram selfie. My reasons behind this are complex and varied. For a while, I worked for one of my teachers and shared closely in her views that as yoga teachers, we’re too busy doing our practice to take photographs of it.

There was also that reaction that I got when I saw photos of me doing yoga taken by other people. It was a high that, as someone who has struggled with body image and eating disorders in adolescence, terrified me. Shut it down, was what my internal protective mechanisms told me when it came to letting my body be photographed. I seemed to rely on external validation – what others thought of my body – which did not feel like the beautiful, self-sufficient and self-sustaining non-aspirational practice I knew yoga to be.

But then I remembered an important lesson: when you combine anything with Service, the intention overrides the fear. 

So this month, I decided to raise over $400 for Living Yoga, the beautiful nonprofit that brings yoga to sites that deal with people who’ve been and are traumatized. You can read about what I chose as my goal here. To document this process, I had my roommates, students and fellow teachers take photos of me that I then posted on Instagram doing different asanas – poses – that were emblematic of the class I took/taught that day.


On the first day of the Yogathon, I taught a staff yoga class for teachers at the elementary school I serve at. I asked a coworker to take the above photograph of me in a warrior dog. She, also being a yoga practitioner, proceeded to tell me about where she finds inspiration for the practice as someone who also has a big butt. For years, she thought her a$$ got in the way of her ability to do arm balances…until she saw @mynameisjessamyn do all variations of crow pose and inversions in her underwear, largeness and all.

Recovering from an injury, my ability to do certain yoga poses is stunted by the slow regrowth of my bones. Documenting this process of doing a yogathon while still in physical therapy allows me to celebrate how far I’ve come and to acknowledge and sprinkle gentleness upon how far I still have to go. It also allows me to be like, here I am, scars and all, thighs that rub together and knees with dimples, and oh, here’s that tree pose in the middle of a market on a beautiful day in this new city and see how happy I am?

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 9.44.06 AM

“Show up imperfectly” is a phrase I’ve taken to heart in my spiritual process. Yet what I realized this month is that my imperfections are my perfections. My scars are, in the words of a dear friend who stayed with me in the hospital, “the gorgeous tattoos that insurance pays for.” My body is simply an example of a shape that can morph into other shapes – poses – that allow us to expand, to take up space, to be more of us; when society tells us to be less, yoga tells us to be more.