My name is Val Boyko and I live outside of Philadelphia, USA. I’m originally from Scotland and hold dual citizenship.

You can take the girl out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland out of the girl!

As a registered yoga teacher with over 10 years of experience,  I guide my students to become centered and accepting of themselves on their own yoga journey. I was also a professional coach for 15 years, and am grateful for helping clients navigate their careers and life transitions.

I take a coach approach to my yoga teaching, wanting to bring out the best of each individual in a safe and caring environment – helping them be present, be compassionate towards themselves and connect to their inner wisdom.

One morning  I woke up with these words in my mind:  “Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. And find contentment in your Middle Ground.”

Find Your Middle Ground blog is where I get to explore, reflect, share and have fun with very cool peeps like yourself.
Thank you for checking in and being an inspiration on my own journey.



Middle Ground Theory

Finding Your Middle Ground is about finding balance in life, and coming home to our selves.  When we take time to pause and be mindful of the present moment, we open a door to our natural state of being  – accepting, loving, peaceful, kind and happy. It is there for every one of us.

When we begin to live from our Middle Ground – this centered way of being – we are able to let go of judgments and how things should be. We allow ourselves to open up to what is happening in the moment. We connect to our authentic being and life energy. We find contentment no matter what occurs in the highs and lows of life.

As far as I know there isn’t a Middle Ground Theory …. but I have a couple of ways of looking at it 🙂

The first is your Pendulum of Life:
IMG_0680The pendulum of life often swings from extreme highs to lows. Your middle ground is when it is closest to the ground, instead of being up in the air and out of touch. When you slow down and find your feet, you become centered and grounded. You find your middle ground. In the pendulum of life there is always movement.

Take a moment and notice where you might be on life’s pendulum right now.

The second approach I call the Waves of Life:


Sound waves and ocean waves naturally crest and and fall. In the flow of the movement they pass through an undisturbed position. Waves can’t rest here, but you can. You have a choice. You can slow down and not let your emotions and thinking take you on a crazy roller coaster ride.

Most people think they must keep riding the crest of the waves in order to be happy. They cling to the highs in order to avoid the lows. Their middle ground gets overlooked, but its the place when there is no disturbance.

Take a moment and consider your own attitude towards these highs and lows, and the part your middle ground plays in your life.

In our Middle Ground we are able to let go of judgments and how things should be. We allow ourselves to open up to what is in this moment. We connect with our authentic being and life energy. We find contentment no matter what occurs in the highs and lows of life.

Bringing Peace to the World

I  believe that we can all contribute to world peace. It starts with being kind to ourselves and finding peace within ourselves. Helping others is a good place to start, but the real work is ours to do for ourselves. We must find our Middle Ground

This poem by Chade-Meng Tan (Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and author of Search Inside Yourself) is my inspiration:

With deep inner peace

And great compassion, self compassion and fun

Aspire daily to save the world.

But do not strive to achieve it.

Just do whatever comes naturally.

Because when aspiration is strong

And compassion blossoms,

Whatever comes naturally,

Is also the right thing to do.

Thus you,

The wise compassionate being,

Save the world while having fun.

139 thoughts on “About

  1. I enjoy your blog, Val! Appreciate the theme of centeredness, balance, and harmony. Mooing my best to accept my highs and lows – key word bring “accept.”
    See you in class!!



  2. Thank you so much for following my blog, and for your wonderful interactions so far. I am so grateful to have found you–I love your blog and perspective and energy. All of it really resonates with me. And I lived in Philly for a couple of years in graduate school too! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!!


  3. I am so happy to hear you found me through Nancy’s blog Val, she writes some great stuff! Thanks for following my blog and I must say, I’m looking forward to following you too..


  4. I came to investigate where your Scottish self lives these days ~ we lived in Cherry Hill NJ for 8 years, just over the river from Philly.

    We had a fun time visiting Philadelphia ~ Dickens’ Pub, Liberty Bell, Reading Market, Rittenhouse Square, Philly Zoo, Elfreth’s Alley, etc.


    • We may have been almost neighbors Nancy! I live 20 miles from center Philly in the western suburbs. It feels like country, but is close enough to town if needs be! The geographic middle ground I guess… haha! Thank you for stopping by my Welcome page 🙂


  5. Thank you Polina for being such a supporter and nominating me for this award. I really am honored!
    One of my philosophies at this stage in my life is to not acquire things and to practice letting go. I hope you can understand if I gracefully decline the award but give you a thank you hug instead.
    Val xo


  6. thanks for your visit to my blog c.of.l. – and your comment. I never expected to have to write such a post. It came about due to constant speedy likes, whereby the post was published, then within a second, or so, i’d have 3-4 likes… I then understood the post had not been read. I hope the post will be of help to many new to blogging.. About you, looks like you have a very informative blog here. No time now to read, but will do so during the new few days.. thanks you eve.


  7. Great blog and I will be following.

    As a retiree, I have let go of my past and develop a new chapter of my life which I have done and I have discovered happiness, contentment, and I re-centered myself by simply accepting my new chapter in life..

    Again, great posting.


  8. hi val, thanks for reading and following my words. i like the look of your site, you seems to have such a wonderful approach to life. i look forward to reading more – best, beth (ps, i’m 1/4 scottish )


  9. Hello Val…

    I just wanted to catch up and say “thank you. I appreciate your ‘follow’, knowing how many interesting and entertaining blogs out there.

    Blogging since June 2013, my aim is to deliver an eclectic offering of posts, from my ‘point n shoot’ attempts at basic photography, to the sharing of my travel adventures over the decades, as well as day to day happenings here on our fruit farm in southern Turkey. I also add my observations on life and lighter-hearted stuff thrown in for good measure.

    The blog has grown to some 1150 posts now; so if you are at a loose end one day, you’d be most welcomed to stay a while and have a trawl through. There are plenty of drop-down categories within the menu to help in said digging process. Saying that, if you have any comments, suggestions or concerns, feel free to let me know.

    Thanks again and hope you have a great day…



  10. Val, what a wonderful connection. All a result of your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. Thank you. Jean and I are a couple of ex-Londoners who met in Mexico and ended up living in Oregon – with our 9 dogs, 4 cats and 4 horses! Would love to have a guest post from you from time to time, bonny lass!


      • After I hit the ‘publish’ key, I realised that it should have been spelt, “Bonnie”! But there’s a Southerner for you! 😉

        Yes, feel free to repost anything you come across over on Learning from Dogs. Re the ‘zoo’, when I met Jean in December, 2007 she had been living down in San Carlos, Mx. for many years with her late husband, Ben, rescuing and re-homing Mexican street dogs, of which there were many! There were 14 dogs in her home then!

        I had been invited to spend Christmas in San Carlos with Suzann, the sister of a long-term Californian friend of mine. Suzann and Don, her husband, had a second home there and Su and Jean were friends and bot actively involved in finding new homes for ex-feral dogs.

        Jean and I just had, and still have, a magical relationship from the start. We were born 23 miles apart in London!

        Of our animals here, only 3 dogs and 2 horses are not ex-rescue animals. (Drop in here to read about our rescue horses: http://learningfromdogs.com/2014/06/02/celebrating-ben-and-ranger/

        Whoops! Went on a tad!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You went and done it. You went and followed Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. You are now one of Uncle Bardie’s Band of Merry Followers. Just so you know, Uncle Bardie’s a hoot, and he’s got quite a few whoppers in his bag of stories. Some funny, some not so funny. But all told for your entertainment. Thank you for following his blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for following my blog Val. And for the likes. I am excited about following yours as well! I love what I have read so far. And beautiful images as well. I think we are kindred souls. Thank you for connecting with me through cyberspace. Isn’t modern technology amazing!?!
    With love,

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello Val! I am so thrilled to have stumbled across your blog. I definitely believe that finding middle ground is an imperative part of becoming a truly whole and happy person. I look forward to following you and learning all that I can.
    Please stop by my place and give it a browse.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Val, I stopped by today after reading many of your excellent posts on Ann Koplow’s blog. I’m a therapist and Buddhist meditator, as you are a yoga instructor and life coach. I bring meditation and Buddhism to my work, and I find that psychology informs my understanding of Buddhism. Nice to make your acquaintance!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your content insightful, refreshing, and apt!


  16. Val, thank you for liking my post! And what a beautiful blog you have. I love your tagline “Life is a series of highs and lows . . . ” Very wise words to live by!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi, Val. I discovered your beautiful blog from a comment you left on another poetry blog. I view it as serendipity since it brought me to a blog that has a lot of appeal. I look forward to exploring more of your work. ~ Best wishes, Mary


  18. Hi Val – thank you so much for visiting and following Beauty Along the Road. Reading your About statement, I realize we have a lot in common. I am originally from Germany and have lived in the US for decades – but I am still German, just like you are still Scottish 🙂 Even though, they call me “the American” when I visit my folks in Germany. I love yoga and have been doing it for over 20 yrs. I also re-tooled as a life coach (after a career as a psychologist). I was in Scotland about 3 yrs ago and fell in love with it. It gets under your skin and seeps into your bones….

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Hi.. Your writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader . The on-looker who passes by has the feeling of your writing being rained upon . Not the feeling that it is raining :)! But definitely it pours on more.. I am looking forward to read more from you.
    Ishu 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I found your blog as I’m new to yoga and I recently started doing yoga every day. ‘Middle ground’ resonated with me. In therapy I have been doing, it is expected that you find the middle ground in life, between the extremes of emotion and rationality. It’s a very helpful philosophy.
    I look very much forward to reading more of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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