Thanks for visiting Real Life Bliss. I’m Lee Manale, a part-time yoga teacher with a stressful day job, a guitar-playing husband, a couple of pretty incredible grown sons and a house full of pets.

I fell in love with yoga years and years ago when I discovered the mystical, magical way it soothed that frazzled space between my ears, which led me to become a certified instructor so I could learn more about yoga and share it with other stressed-out souls.

Besides yoga, some of my very favorite things include any and all dogs, the smell of lavender, cozy bookstores, football, spicy chai and dark chocolate.

But one of my very first loves, besides my dad, is writing. I actually make my living developing employee benefits and wellness communications in the above-mentioned day job. Writing outside my cubicle is admittedly more fun.

It was during my training at the Satchidananda Ashram in 2015 that the seeds for Real Life Bliss were planted when my meditation teacher suggested I write about yoga and see what happens. This is the result.

Why Real Life Bliss?

If you’ve ever practiced yoga (or if you spend much time around people who do), maybe you’ve heard the term “blissed out.” It describes a profoundly peaceful energy that arises when the body and mind release their burdens and for a sweet moment, all the rest falls away – the job, the bills, the frantic scrambling. Yoga teaches that this bliss is your true nature. It’s always there, waiting for you to get quiet enough to experience it.

Getting quiet can be the tricky part. Most of us have a hard time relaxing or even sitting still. I’m one of those people, a high-strung worrywart who should probably switch to decaf. I’d love to tell you that I’m the picture of bliss all the time, but that wouldn’t be true.

My personal yoga practice is joyful, challenging, deeply nourishing, and just that: a practice. I tend to be undisciplined, but the study of yoga is teaching me, slowly, to apply its principles to every area of my life, changing the way I view myself and how I perceive the world. Yoga is so much more than the physical postures. It’s also deep relaxation, meditation, breath control, self-reflection, devotion to God and service to others. In the stories told here, I’d like to share my experiences on the path with you.

If anything resonates with you, I’d love to hear about it. And I hope to inspire you to discover it for yourself. Yoga can open your eyes to what really matters and give you greater capacity to experience bliss in real life. With or without chocolate.

Om Shanthi.