Oak Communications
February 2013
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We stood at the side of our partner. Baxter instructed us to put one hand on the partner's forehead and the other at the base of her head. With an index finger and thumb we lifted her head up with slight pressure in the upper neck grooves and watched as her spine lengthened. This simple partner exercise demonstrated what inner lift feels like.


Then I got to practice my own inner lift as I climbed up and down the 100 or so steep footsteps to the Sky Temple twice each day for our yoga classes. By focusing my attention on the lift, it seemed to help ease the stress on my knees and the ache in my thighs. Living in the flat lands now, I am not used to climbing hills and stairs.


When I signed up for this yoga retreat in Yelapa, Mexico led by Baxter Bell, I never imagined it would be so much fun. I haven't laughed and danced this much with 30 new and old friends in a very long time.  


Our group came from across the United States and included beginning yoga students as well as yoga teachers. I got to enjoy the retreat along with my college friend Linda and her yoga buddy Sandy. And the icing on my birthday cake was that my roommate for the week was Lily, my friend since we were 10 years old.


The incessant pounding of the ocean waves kept us awake at night along with the bug bites. In the morning we compared notes on how much sleep we had gotten that night. And yet we never missed a yoga class.  


Each morning we climbed the steep and narrow steps from our spacious open air apartment to the dirt and stone village path. We passed uniformed school children, men on horseback and villagers carrying their loads as there are no cars at Yelapa, only some ATV four-wheelers.


We arrived at Yelapa via boat from Puerto Vallarta. We left the hustle and bustle of that tourist city for the caws of the chakalaka, the thrill of crossing the swiftly moving river, and the brilliant green and blue views from the treetop yoga studio.  


At each meal at Casa de los Suenos, we sat at different tables so we could get to know our fellow travelers. 


Judith Roth created and built the stunning Sky Temple yoga studio  with the help of friends and villagers. She also shared with us her inspiring life story and insights into the culture and village life of Yelapa.  


One night Judith took us to a local family's home where they prepared for us a delicious fish and rice dinner in their courtyard. Along the way we stopped at a small "shop" where we handed to a grateful Mexican woman the shoes and clothes that we had brought from home (on Judith's recommendation). The items were then sold for reasonable prices to the villagers. In some small ways we contributed to the community while they refreshed our lives.


Not only did I leave Mexico with an "inner yoga lift," I also carried with me an "inner spirit lift" from being with friends, experiencing new sights and sounds, moving and stretching my body, and delighting in the beauty of the jungle and sea. 


Where have you traveled recently? What contributes to your inner lift? 


Be well, 


Sue Schleifer


Please share your reflections with me personally or on the Oak Communications Coaching and Consulting  

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Sky Temple Yelapa

View From Sky Temple


Yelapa Hibiscus   View of Yelapa

To view more photos of Yelapa, please see the Oak Communications Blog 


I am pleased to share that I am working as an Executive Coach for the LSU Executive Education Program .

I am also working as a Consultant, Trainer and Coach with Community Development Works' Cenla Execbuilders and Nonprofit Works programs.



Coaching Services  

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Photo by Robin May



Have you been thinking about working with a life/career coach? Want to connect? 


Give me a call to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.   


Check out what a few of my clients have said about the coaching experience. 


"Sue truly cares about her clients' goals and brings that passion to her work as a life coach. With her fresh perspective and eye for possibility, she helps me find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Plenty of professional and creative people would benefit from working with Sue, and I particularly recommend her to anyone who needs to get 'unstuck'."
Medical Editor and Fabric Artist


"A year ago I met Sue for our first session. Through her probing and listening we pinpointed areas that, with specific attention to my thinking and choices, help me:  

  • be personally more effective
  • move towards a more balanced life

My spouse and employees have noticed a positive change, as have I."

Sales Manager-Fortune 500 Company


"Since I first hired a coach I have been a happier person and a more successful businessman. My company has become much more successful, our employees have had the opportunity to grow to the fullest of their capabilities and everyone seems to enjoy each day of life much more than in the past."


"Doesn't everyone need a coach? From working with Sue, I'm convinced of it. I am spending more time on the activities that are most important to me and have set aside some old patterns (like worrying too much!) that got in my way. Sue is helping me achieve my interpersonal as well as career goals."
President, High Tech Management Consulting Firm

I would love to be a resource to you too! Let's talk.


Sue Schleifer, M.A.


510.316.3319 - cell
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

510.316.3319 - cell

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