How to: Find Serenity
September 3, 2010 |  by Catherine Pierre

The only place to find serenity is in the moment, says Sara Dasso, Engr ’00, owner of the Two Rivers Yoga studio in New Braunfels, Texas. “You can’t find it in the past, and you can’t wait around for it to happen in the future. Now is the only time there is.” Dasso studied materials science and engineering and played for the women’s lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins, then spent four years in the Army. She is now the mother of two little girls and a teenage stepson, and an expert in Ashtanga yoga, a vigorous style that focuses not just on poses but on meditation, concentration, breathing, and being a good person.

Simplify. We make to-do lists all day long, but we never make lists of things not to do—the time sappers, the emotion sappers, the things that take away your time and energy. What if you made a list of all you wanted to cut from your life? Get into the present. Don’t worry about the past, don’t worry about the future. Be in the present at each moment of every day. If you’re at your kid’s soccer game, be at the game, not on your BlackBerry.
You know that little voice in your head that’s constantly telling you negative things about yourself? Tell it to shut up. Give yourself 10 minutes every morning and 10 minutes every night to let your mind be quiet. Get to a yoga class. Move. Stretch. Strengthen. Move the toxins out of your body. Unlike other exercises, yoga nurtures, Dasso says. Plus, you have to be in the present to stand on your head.

Illustration: Wesley Bedrosian