Most Recent Articles:

Goodbye, Inner Critic–Hello, Inner Coach

I was living in Los Angeles the summer of 2013 when I received some unexpected news—the lovely condo I was renting was being put up for sale. The fact that I had to move forced me to ask myself whether I wanted to pack up my life on the West Coast and head back East....

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The Way of Grace

The nights. I didn’t realize how difficult they were until my ex-husband and I parted and I found myself living alone—no one to come home to, no one to have dinner with, no one to crawl into bed beside at day’s end. I felt adrift, unsupported, disconnected, lost....

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The Body: A Doorway to the Present Moment

It was 6:30 in the morning. I was in the Shadowbrook Room at Kripalu, taking an intermediate yoga class with Kripalu Yoga teacher and faculty member Jurian Hughes. I’d come to get away for a few days, to take a break from the merry-go-round of daily life. I’d been...

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Writing

Clear, concise, thorough, accurate, honest, and human – Portland’s writing reflects her personal style. “Good writing is the product of good thinking,” a teacher said to her once – words she endeavors to live by whether writing for print, television, film, podcasts, or blogs.

Portland has written for programs on Animal Planet, Lifetime Real Women, Veria Living TV, Vermont Public Television, Destination America, Wisdom Television, Oxygen, WCVB-TV in Boston, and more.

The Newburgh Conspiracy, a film she wrote about George Washington and a little known period in American history, plays at the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She was also one of the co-writers of Stranglers, the acclaimed podcast about the Boston Strangler murders, and she’s edited and read the local news for WGBH Radio, 89.7, in Boston.

Her human interest stories can be read in publications like Vermont Life and Vermont’s Business People, and she’s written information-driven pieces for the Boston Business Journal as well as the Champlain Business Journal.

Fascination with lesser-known healing practices, general health and wellness, and the transcendent power of the human spirit has led her to write for publications like the former Body & Soul and Alternative Medicine magazines. Currently, she’s a regular online contributor to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she writes about natural health, the healing arts, and spirituality.

Portland brings to each story a genuine curiosity, an open mind, and a sharp investigative instinct. But what takes her coverage of wellness and mind-body healing to the next level is her willingness to be vulnerable, to immerse and expose herself in pursuit of the essence of a story. Whether she’s profiling a renowned spiritual teacher or practitioner, unpacking the complexities of an alternative health approach, or sharing her own experiences—or, frequently, all three at once—Portland has the rare ability to translate nuanced and intangible concepts in thoughtful, down-to-earth ways that intrigue skeptics, newbies, and insiders alike.

Tresca Weinstein

Features Editor, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Magazine Writing Samples:

Portland’s Articles:

Hardwiring Happiness

If asked to describe some of my better qualities, I'd say I'm thoughtful, honest, loyal, hard-working, level-headed, intelligent, articulate, and discerning. But happy? I don’t like to admit this, but I wouldn't describe my natural state as "happy." Perhaps because of...

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She Recovers

No matter how blessed our lives may be, none of us gets through life on this earth without coming up against struggle or loss in some form. “We’re all recovering from something,” says Dawn Nickel, PhD, founder of She Recovers, an international movement of women in or...

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Living Your Heart’s Purpose

In my mid 20s, I left Manhattan and moved to Vermont. I was trying to decide what I was going to do with myself if I wasn’t going to be an actor—the only profession I'd ever considered. I went to see a career coach. I answered a series of questionnaires, filled out...

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Five Easy Tips for Home-Cooking

Is there anything more satisfying than sitting down to a yummy, home-cooked meal prepared with fresh ingredients and with love? I’m embarrassed to admit that there are weeks when I don’t get that satisfaction for several days in a row, and I know I’m not alone. “Many...

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The High Art of Intimacy

I’ll be honest here, maybe a bit sappy even. Want to know what my favorite song is? It’s “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" as sung by James Ingram and Patti Austin. Accompanied by some heartfelt harmonies, the lyrics ask the poignant question: How do you keep...

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Cultivating Mindful Relationships at Work

I worked as a freelancer for 20 years. I liked my freedom, and preferred not to be tied down to one workplace. Looking a bit deeper, though, I realize that another underlying reason was my wariness about the interpersonal dynamics that inevitably arise in workplaces....

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Self-Reinvention, One Step at a Time

On the one hand, I have my act together. I work full-time as a producer and writer at a documentary film company, creating films for broadcast and for museums. I also do acting, TV hosting, and voice-over gigs when they arise. I own a sweet condo in a beautiful town...

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The Power of Simply Listening

I have a pet peeve. For me, it’s like the sound of nails scraping a chalkboard: people who talk and talk about themselves and don’t inquire about others. Drives me batty. My mother trained me early not to go on and on about myself, but to take an interest in others....

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The Yoga of Money Management

More than 35 million Americans practice yoga. Many turn to it to improve strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as to reduce stress. Some also turn to it as a spiritual practice, a way to quiet the mind and develop deeper awareness of themselves and all that is....

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The Dance of Energy: Qigong and Tai Chi

Energy. We use that word often. When we meet someone we really like, we might exclaim, “She has great energy.” When someone is on the mend after being ill, we often announce, “His energy is better.” Or we might turn down an invitation by saying, “I don’t have the...

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Practicing Progress, Not Perfection

As an early adolescent, I spent a lot of time looking at Vogue magazine. I was especially taken by Brooke Shields and her high-fashion spreads. She and I were the same age, yet she had pencil-thin legs and a mostly flat chest. By age 13, my body was already quite...

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Living a Creative Life

When I was growing up, my mother encouraged me to watch old black-and-white movies with her. None of my peers was familiar with Rebecca, Mildred Pierce, or All About Eve, but I was. Mom would also play Broadway show tunes in the house, from musicals like Mame and...

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The Harmonic Experience of Sound Meditation

Whenever I attempt to commit to a regular meditation practice, I come up against the same wall: It’s really hard for me to sit motionless for stretches of time and observe my breath in silence. Eventually, the nothingness is more than I can bear. When I engage in...

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Eight Strategies for Boosting Your Immunity

Never do I appreciate my good health more than when I’ve come down with one bug or another and find it difficult to get out of bed. Aches, pains, chills, fatigue—they all remind me that, most of the time, my body functions pretty well. A large part of what I take for...

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Three Practices for Living Fearlessly

When I awake in the morning before the busyness of the day begins, I think about my life. I ask myself whether I’m living on purpose. The truth is, if my life ended today and I was asked if I had any regrets, I’d say yes. I know that I’ve been living with a fear...

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Overcoming Trauma

It was a Friday in December around 7:30 in the evening. I was a sophomore in college at NYU. That night, I was meeting a friend, so I was getting cash out of an ATM in Greenwich Village. I came out of the bank holding onto the strap of my red leather bag. I hadn’t...

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With Yoga, Less is Actually More

More is better—at least that’s what most Americans are brought up to believe. If we try harder, work faster, and expend more energy, we’ll achieve better results, more success, and greater satisfaction. I’ve bought into this notion just as much as anyone else. If I’m...

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Recovering from Divorce

After 18 years together, my ex-husband and I separated in 2008. We divorced in 2010. It was the most painful experience of my life, bar none. Relinquishing the safe and peaceful home I’d shared with the man who’d loved me into the marrow of his bones for almost two...

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Developing the Talent for Living Well

Talent. It’s a word we use most frequently to describe artists and athletes—individuals who demonstrate great potential and, ultimately, great performance, throwing that winning pass or painting that memorable image. We might also say that someone is a talented...

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Nutritional Cleansing Basics

At least once a year, before winter arrives, I take my car in for a tune-up. My mechanic adds fluids, cleans the filters, and returns it to me like it’s brand new. I wouldn’t think of not giving my car this annual cleanup, but offering my body an internal cleanse is...

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Ecotherapy

I called New York City home for almost eight years. I went there to attend college and stayed. As a young person, I loved the vibrancy of the city, the choices it offered, and the creative, intelligent people it seemed to attract. After about six years in Manhattan,...

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Imagining Change: The Power of Visualization

Change is a fact of life. Even if we take no steps to improve our lives, we’ll still grow older. Time will march forward. The question is whether we’ll move in a direction that leads somewhere we want to go or somewhere we don’t. So often, we think that if we want to...

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Nutritional Health: What to Eat and How

Every year, I go for an annual physical. Having lived in a number of cities and states over the course of my adult life, I’ve had a number of primary care physicians. Only one has ever asked me about my diet. In all my years of filling out medical history forms at...

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Past Life Regression: Healing the Present

No matter how successful we may be, how many friends we may have, or how much work we’ve done on ourselves, most of us experience the same old issues cropping up again and again. We’ve all noticed certain themes and challenges running through our lives. We know what...

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Ayurvedic Hair Care

“You’re so lucky,” my mother reminds me whenever I visit. “You have such beautiful, thick hair, and mine’s like cotton candy!” With her thin, straw-like strands, my mother has always felt lacking in the hair department, as her “crowning glory” hardly resembles a...

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Long-Distance Reiki: Healing Across Time and Space

When I was in my early 20s, I was visiting a friend out of town one weekend. In her large fireplace, we found a small bird that had somehow gotten into her chimney. It was barely clinging to life. She took it outside to let it die and went indoors. I stayed outside...

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Awakening the Sacred Feminine

I once saw a therapist who worked with crystals to help clients gain insight into the qualities they’re looking to augment in themselves. Apparently, when asked to select a crystal that calls to us, we choose the one whose core qualities we need the most. I chose a...

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Putting a New Spin on Your Story

When my ex-husband and I were first splitting up, I was overcome by a powerful need to share the story of our breakup with my dearest friends. Over and over, I detailed the subtle series of events that led up to our eventual decision to part ways. In telling the story...

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Family Constellations: Resolving the Past

When we look at family photographs, it’s easy to see where our physical characteristics come from. We may have our fathers’ smiles, our mothers’ eyes. Our grandfather may have had long, skinny legs and so do we, or our curly red hair might be the spitting image of our...

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Simple Strategies to Struggle Less and Savor More

I’ve been on the earth long enough at this point to have accumulated a stockpile of experiences. I’ve lived in different parts of the country, gotten a graduate degree, been married and divorced, traveled internationally, created a national television show, and met...

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Getting Out of Our Own Way

When I lived in Los Angeles, I worked for a handful of months with a savvy life coach. You know, those people who force you to get clear on your values, identify your goals, and then hold you accountable to doing what you need to do to achieve them. While talking to...

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Volunteering for a Longer Life

When I think about improving my overall health and increasing my longevity, I suspect I’m not that different from most. I imagine making physical adjustments: practicing yoga or another form of fitness more regularly, eating more vegetables and less sugar, drinking...

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Mindful Eating

I spent a week in Paris to celebrate my 40th birthday. It was one of the happiest times of my life. As I strolled the streets of that breathtakingly beautiful city, it wasn’t just the stunning architecture, the carefully manicured gardens, or the twinkling lights of...

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Building Better Boundaries

Many of us—and an especially high percentage of those of us who identify as female—suffer from the “disease to please.” We’re more apt to say “yes” than “no.” We’re more apt to self-sacrifice, putting others’ needs above our own. We’re more apt keep our mouths shut...

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Radical Listening: Why We Need It Now More Than Ever

Read or listen to the news and it’s clear that we are a country divided. There are red states and blue. Americans are at opposite ends of the spectrum on issues like gun control, abortion, climate change, gay marriage, taxation, and more. Put people with opposing...

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The Science of Human Flourishing

One of the things I appreciate most the wellness topics I cover is that they often lend themselves to self-evaluation and self-improvement, if not transformation. When I write about nutrition, yoga, meditation, and spirituality, I not only have the opportunity to turn...

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Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

The last decade of my life hasn't been easy. Since my ex-husband and I separated in 2008, I’ve been trying to build a new life. But I’ve had a hard time believing that good things are on the horizon for me since I lost the foundation that my marriage provided. I...

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Getting Your Groove Back

Many years ago, when I was living in Vermont, I taught English as a Second Language. I created my own little business tutoring the many engineers and scientists who came to Burlington to work at places like IBM and UVM and needed to improve their communication skills....

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Chakra Balancing: The Divine Connection

I’m a very grounded person. People use that word to describe me all the time. I’m down-to-earth, practical, not easily swayed by trends. I have a strong sense of self. While I appreciate my inner sturdiness, I know that my spiritual muscles, so to speak, are weaker. I...

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How to Build Emotional Courage

I think of myself as a fairly gutsy person. Though I grew up in a Midwestern suburb with a stay-at-home mother and a business executive father, I chose to go to acting school in New York City, where I had no ties and knew no one. I’ve moved from one state to another...

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Baby Steps to Self-Renewal

Some years ago, I had my dream job. I was the host and executive producer of a national television talk show about natural health, wellness, and alternative ways to heal the body and mind. But I was a total hypocrite: Here I was interviewing well-regarded experts from...

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Cooking as Self-Care (with Trapanese Sauce)

When I was a girl, my mother would ask my younger brother and me if we wanted to go grocery shopping with her or if we’d rather stay home. My brother would invariably jump at the chance to scan the supermarket aisles with Mom. He thought perusing all the gastronomic...

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Seven Steps to Design a Life That Matters

Whenever I travel for work or pleasure, I’m always struck by the infinite number of ways there are to live this thing called life. In a developed nation like the United States, the choices are especially vast. We might live in bustling cities, small towns, or the...

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Anti-Aging for the Brain

We’re a nation fixated on youth—perhaps because our country isn’t even a quarter of a century old yet. Our anti-aging obsession has morphed into a multibillion dollar industry replete with cosmetics, creams, pills, work-out regimens, injections, and surgical...

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Yoga and the Self-Compassion Muscle

In Chinese astrology, I’m a Snake. We Snakes apparently prefer mental activity to physical activity. We’re the kind of people who don’t mind being curled up all day with a good book. I don’t know that I possess every characteristic that the ancient Chinese deemed...

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Improve Your Vision Naturally

Over the last couple of months, I’ve received a few text messages from my eye doctor’s office alerting me that it’s time to schedule my next check-up. I haven’t followed through, and I know why. If I show up for an appointment, my eye doctor will likely increase my...

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Three Powerful Tools for Navigating Transitions

“The only thing that is constant is change.” It’s a quote attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, but the sentiment is as pertinent in the 21st century as it was thousands of years ago. Life doesn’t stand still. Change is inevitable. Whether you’re a...

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The Power of Good Gut Health

If asked to name the factors that have the greatest effect on overall health and well-being, we might list good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Good gut health, however, probably wouldn’t come to mind. Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, founder of the Terrain...

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Gabrielle Bernstein & The Importance of Judgment Detox

My ex-husband and I were together for 18 years. He’d always said he wanted to have one child someday; I’d always said I didn’t. Though most couples wouldn’t marry with such an uncompromisable issue between them, we forged ahead. I think we both thought the other would...

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A Meditation Practice I Might Actually Enjoy

After my freshman year of college, I went on a 10-day meditation retreat with my boyfriend at the time. A budding meditator himself, he hoped the experience would offer me the inner tranquility it was beginning to offer him. It didn’t. During those 10 days, I squirmed...

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Yoga and Shamanism for Healing and Empowerment

In 2002, Ray Crist, my Kripalu Perspectives guest, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. “I was given quite a grim image of what awaited me,” he said, “namely several surgeries and perhaps not a positive outcome.” At that moment, Ray suddenly remembered a line from the...

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Do You Adore Your Body? Maybe It’s About Time You Started

When I was 12 years old, I would pour through the high-fashion pages of Vogue magazine. I honestly wish I hadn’t been allowed to. I’d developed early. By 12 years old, I could already fit into women’s clothing. With just a bit of makeup, I could easily pass for a...

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Healing Into Wholeness

Healing. I personally like the sound of the word, but what does it really mean? Many believe healing is synonymous with curing and it certainly can be, but it’s possible to be cured and not to have healed. Returning to wholeness is one definition of healing, and I...

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Geographical Healing

I moved myself across the country a few years ago – left everything familiar to begin life anew. After 18 years together, my ex-husband and I divorced. It sounds so cliché, but we seemed to be growing in different directions. Even though we were two peas in a pod for...

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The Ears Have It

If you have any interest in natural medicine, you’re certainly familiar with acupuncture and have maybe even tried it. In fact, even if your medicine cabinet is chock full of prescription drugs, you’ve at least heard of acupuncture.  It’s become that mainstream. But...

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Healing in a Bowl

I’m not much of a shopper. I bore quickly browsing through stores. But there was a store I loved when I lived in New York City many years ago: Steuben. Their impressive collection of crystal captivated me. There was something magical about the delicate objects shining...

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The Healing Rhythms of Craniosacral Therapy

I’ve worked in television, film, and video production for two decades now. While it can be fun and creative, it can also be grueling, full of 60- and 70- and 80-hour weeks at the height of production. And for someone like me who has a tendency to burn the candle at...

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Tuned Up & Calmed Down with Acutonics

When it comes to natural ways to relieve stress and reduce anxiety, I’m always up for something new. While visiting Canyon Ranch (www.canyonranch.com) in Lenox, Massachusetts, I got the chance to try out a healing system that needle phobics can embrace. It’s called...

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Kripalu Perspectives Podcast

Portland is the host and producer of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health podcast, Kripalu Perspectives.