Location: International Sportsmedicine Institute
3283 Motor Avenue
2nd Flr (above Elizabeth Taylor's Aquadic Center)
West Los Angeles, CA 90034
COST: $15/Class (CASH or CHECKS ONLY)
I invite all of you to enjoy your Friday mornings with me at this lovely space. Investing $15 for a one hour and fifteen minute yoga class where you will learn to move with maximum efficiency and minimum risk for injury is a drop in the bucket
Wednesday, 04 April 2012
Why search for inspiration anywhere else other than nature. This is an actual lemon from a tree in my backyard. Only nature could design something as awesome as this!!!! To me it looks like a mother with her child in her lap... or Buddha?
What does it look like to you? Tweet your answers to @SYTYCY or post them to our facebook page for So You Think You Can Yoga?
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Often I find myself on the brink of judgment…judgment of others. Yes, I am aware that this is not exactly a desirable quality for a yoga instructor, but I am human. Keeping your cool in this hot, hot world is a challenge for everyone, but where do you draw the line between judgment and compassion? Let’s say a co-worker who comes across as lazy and professionally inept confides (or complains…depending on how you wish to interpret it) in you about a myriad of personal problems including his financial losses and inability to pay child support to two different ex-wives. Is he reaching out for help by phishing for advice, friendship, or maybe even a compliment? Another co-worker who rendered herself as completely useless and incompetent by asking questions like “will the internet being down affect the fax machine?” irks you to your very core. However, you learn that this poor woman’s son is extremely ill and despite the bleak circumstances of her personal life she shows up to work with a smile on her face every day. Does your perspective change? How can you go from “what an absolute idiot!” to “Oh, that poor woman?”
Wednesday, 04 January 2012
With the New Year almost here, we could all use a little more yoga and little less stress... STARTING JANUARY 6th JOIN ME BRIGHT & EARLY FOR MORNING FLOW YOGA OR IN THE EVENING TO RESTORE AND REJUVENATE YOURSELF. Where: RaKsa (10846 Washington Blvd in Culver City) When: Morning Flow from 7am-8:20am /// Restore, Relax, Rejuvenate from 5pm-6:20pm FIRST CLASS IS FREE!!!!!
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Your cell phone rings yellow. WTF?!?! Imagine sounds stirring up colors in your mind or visual patterns eliciting sounds. This is not that uncommon. Synesthesia is a condition where information gathered via one sensory organ like the eyes is accompanied by a totally different sensory experience. This condition is completely involuntary and affects about 1 out of every 23 people. Since synesthetics enjoy a broader sensory experience many of them can re-ascribe incoming sensory information to other sensory organs. How crazy is this? The confines of daily experience do not apply to synesthetics. For a list of famous people with synesthesia click here.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
It's been a busy fall season with rehearsals for The Nutcracker but I am excited to share with all of you that I added another class to my schedule! Beginning this Sunday November 6th restore your nervous system and prepare for the week ahead with a slow yoga flow, gentle stretching and restorative postures.
A restorative approach to yoga coupled with intentional movement techniques induces relaxation. Relaxing the physical body allows blood vessels to dilate improving circulation, digestion and elimination. Conscious relaxation also allows for mental expansion leaving you open and receptive for the week ahead. We will focus on using yoga props to alleviate sensation from pressure, compression and tension on the physical body to achieve a fully rested state. We will also use pranayama and mediation techniques to dim the infinite fluctuations of our "monkey minds."
WHAT: RESTORATIVE YOGA FLOW CLASS w/Susy Vishmid
WHERE: SHAKTI WELLNESS SANCTUARY 27113 Indian Peak Road Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
WHEN: Every Sunday From 5:00pm-6:15pm
Shakti Wellness Sanctuary is a peaceful and nurturing environment, which is an ideal setting for a restorative yoga practice. A consistent yoga practice in a safe, clean and sacred space with access to yoga props will undoubtedly change your perspective on "gym yoga." When it does, observe the benefits of your practice fully soaking into every cell of your being. Ditch the gym and give yourself the gift of yoga in the proper setting. Namaste
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Many thanks to those of you who attended my workshop yesterday on Getting Grounded at the beautiful Shakti Sanctuary in Palos Verdes. I am so excited to say that I will be teaching there now. The class schedule is to be determined; however, I am officially accepting new clients for privates and semi-privates at this AMAZING space. Please contact me for more information if you are interested in getting your yoga on with me in this stunning setting. I can say with utmost certainty and authenticity that practicing in an environment like Shakti Sanctuary will take your yoga practice to the next level allowing the benefits of your practice to fully soak into every cell of your being.
Check out my bio on the Shakti Sanctuary website.
See you in Down Dog!
Monday, 03 October 2011
As the month of September comes to a close, I want to remind all my loyal readers that September is National Yoga Month. Yup, yoga is so popular these days it gets its own month! Why is it so popular? Why are you reading this post? What connection do you have to yoga? Why do you step onto your mat to practice the same set of poses over and over again?
Let’s face it, as humans we are guilty of being creators of habit. We like routine because it feels safe. We seek out routine because it brings a sense of comfort. Consistency and the certainty of knowing what happens next keeps us grounded. Taken to the extreme these habitual tendencies can be detrimental to our optimal existence but a dose of habit in moderation is a good thing. Each time I step onto my mat to practice I am fully aware that I am about to execute the same poses over and over again; however, each time I step onto my mat I am just as aware that it is a different day with a different set of circumstances. Each day my body is a new and different body than the day before. Although I probably practiced Bakasana hundreds of times in my life by now I know that on this particular day something about the pose will feel different than the last time I practiced it. For example, if I feel more connected to my core on a given day I will feel lighter within the pose. On the other hand, if I feel mentally frazzled and disconnected to my core on a given day it makes it more difficult to find my balance and to hold the pose for as long as I desire. Circumstances. All of life is circumstantial. Being able to navigate through the various layers and sensations on this day during a yoga practice is a metaphor for maneuvering through a thing called life. Celebrate by stepping onto your mat...even if that is all you do.
Monday, 26 September 2011
What is this crazy idea of “oneness” that lies at the heart of each yoga class and is prescribed by every piece of yoga literature out there? How the heck are you supposed to experience wholeness, balance, “oneness” (insert your own adjective here) if some aspect of your life is always out of whack? All right, so maybe you’ve nurtured your personal relationships with utmost diligence and finally your personal and social life is falling into place. Nonetheless, and similar to a game of Jenga, the moment a single puzzle piece actually fits nicely into the manifold of bullshit we call life another piece slips out propelling us into yet another hot mess. Whether you are dealing with professional purgatory in our weak-sauce economy or social isolation because your last beau was a badass, and not the sexy kind. When one door slams in your face another one will open. I hope. It is impossible to control or to foresee the little games life plays with us, or shall I say on us.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
I recently watched Did God Create the Universe? the latest episode on the Discovery Channel series Curiosity. The topic was fascinating and prompted the rusty wheels in my brain to start turning. Being the philosophy junkie that I am I researched this esoteric topic further. The discussion of black holes is what really did it for me. Theoretically, black holes are regions in space where the gravitational pull is so extreme that all the particles within it are crushed together so that nothing, not even light can escape. Air, the essential element sustaining all living and breathing creatures on our unique planet cannot exist without space. Space does not exist inside a black hole; therefore neither does movement. The need for perpetual motion is shared by many professional athletes, dancers and yogis alike because movement makes us feel alive. If Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant scientific minds of our century is correct and we are in fact mere collections of fundamental particles of nature, the same particles that comprise all matter, what makes us so remarkable? The fact that we have come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is incredible! If such impressive strides in the unveiling of the great mysteries of our universe have already been made, can science ultimately piecemeal a theory for Creation or a Divine Creator? If scientific reasoning leads to the discovery of our own creation is it safe to say we are responsible for our own destiny?
Monday, 15 August 2011
Lately I've been on a CorePower Yoga® binge. The initial reason I visited the studio was to inquire about teaching positions; however, I enjoyed the class and ambiance enough to accept the studio’s offer for new students for one week of free yoga. After one week, I signed up for a one month unlimited yoga membership for $99.00. If you are a yoga junkie like me, the monthly membership makes great economic sense, especially when you compare this offer with competing studios that charge twice as much for a monthly membership.The calm allure and immaculate conditions of the CorePower Yoga® facilities are irresistible to the contemporary urban yogi or yogini. CorePower Yoga® class style combines the Ashtanga and Vinyasa methods. Classes range from 60 to 95 minutes conducted in a heated studio with humidity. The more advanced classes are a little hotter, but have no fear because it feels incredible when they turn up the heat! This approach is entirely different than Bikram in that the heat never exceeds 100 degrees, humidifiers are also used in the yoga studios and the instructors incorporate philosophical and meditative elements into the class curriculum.
Friday, 12 August 2011
LET THE VIDEO SPEAK FOR ITSELF...
Thursday, 04 August 2011
Wednesday, 03 August 2011
When I was in college I was your typical Type-A sorority girl who attended all her classes, studied really hard and actually wanted to understand what I was learning rather than just memorizing and regurgitating it like money. Like a dry sponge, I thirsted for all the information thrown at me to soak into my brain. A never-ending need to ask the question "why" resulted in many circular conversations over dozens of cigarettes with fellow philosophy scholars.
The perpetual quest for understanding why things are the way they are stalked me into my adult life. After studying and teaching yoga for several years I began noticing I actually do understand much more than I credit myself for. Is this self-realization? If it is, do we stop the quest once we feel content? Perhaps this newfound wisdom is a result of aggregated experiences and the mere fact of growing more refined (not older).
Friday, 29 July 2011
I was passively watching TV the other night with my dad and when a story on Real Sports with Bryant Gumble came on that absolutely captivated me. Ashrita Furman, a.k.a. Mr. Versatility is a 56-year-old health foods store manager from NYC. Ok, that seems pretty normal; however, this 56-year-old stud also holds the record for breaking the most Guinness records! This self-proclaimed "non-athlete" performs the most outrageous feats in the most exotic of locales. A few examples of Furman's record breaking stunts include running five miles on stilts in the fastest time, a record that had stood since 1892; walking 80 miles with a milk bottle balanced on his head; performing 9,628 sit-ups in an hour; and Furman's greatest challenge was performing forward rolls for the entire 12-mile length of Paul Revere's ride in Massachusetts. Pretty ridiculous eh??
What captivated my attention about Furman's story wasn't the fancy record breaking stunts he performs, rather it was his sincerity and honesty about why he does what he does. Firstly, Furman doesn't do it for the money. He receives no monetary compensation for performing these outrageous feats, nor does he want to. About 30 years ago Furman was introduced to Transcendental Meditation (see my post on TM) by an Indian guru named Sri Chinmoy. The name Ashrita was given to Furman by his guru, which translates to "protected by God" in Sanskrit. Furman truly believes he is protected by a Divine Spirit that sees him through his superhuman stunts. Part of the philosophy behind transcendental meditation is "enlightenment through extreme physical activity." Furman's first test as a disciple was a 24-hour bike race when he was a young man, which sounds utterly daunting and impossible! However, Furman tells us in his interview with Bryant Gumble that he employed his new-found meditation techniques like chanting and visualizations and before he knew it the race was over and he completed 405 miles and tied for 3rd Place! As an awkward high school student, Furman was bullied regularly, but as soon as he discovered the gem of TM, his life changed dramatically. Furman dropped out of Columbia University to pursue a new life under the new name bestowed upon him: Ashrita. Ashrita credits his guru for his phenomenal endurance and agility to this day and asserts, "if one can be in touch with one's inner spirit, anything is possible." If this isn’t yoga, then I don’t know what is.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
To meditate is to focus your attention on one thing. Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t some cryptic and esoteric task-taking place under a Bodhi Tree out in the wilderness. Meditation can happen anywhere at any time. A meditation practice strengthens our capacity for focused attention. Meditation is a tool to achieve clarity of thought and relief from life’s frustrations and stresses. To experience the benefits of mantra meditation it’s important to practice patience and non-judgment during each meditation session because the human mind, referred to as the monkey mind will undoubtedly wander aimlessly through its vast forests of thoughts and emotional responses. How many times throughout your day do you become sidetracked or distracted from your original intentions? The ability to place and maintain your attention where you choose to is both empowering and liberating.
Mantra meditations are words or phrases that are chanted verbally or mentally. Usually a mantra is prescribed to a student by a guru or teacher. Mantra can also be self-prescribed. For example, by choosing to mediate on the word "love" or "compassion" the mediator invites more love or compassion into their field of awareness and therefore into their life. The word or phrase is the object of meditation giving the mind something to focus on. You will notice your mind pulling your attention outwards, away from the mantra. Sounds in the immediate environment, sensations in your body and of course thoughts will enter and occupy the mind; yet instead of entertaining these distractions, allow them to enter your stream of consciousness and then choose to recommit to the mantra. You will notice these distractions will exit your stream of consciousness as quickly as they entered. With a consistent meditation mantra practice the physical world of distraction begins to gradually fade away and the only thing the meditator construes as reality is the spoken or mental mantra. Ultimately, after a long mantra meditation the mantra itself begins to dissolve until there is nothing but serene and expansive consciousness. No thoughts, no words, no judgment, just space.
YOGI TIDBIT TO TRY:
This mantra was given to me by Julian Walker, a true guru.
Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. Close your eyes. Watch the quality of your breathing for a few cycles of breath. Remember that the breath is four-part with the inhalation, the pause after the inhalation, the exhalation and the pause after the exhalation. Begin verbally or mentally reciting the following mantra:
MAY I BE WELL. MAY I BE HAPPY AND SAFE. MAY I BE HEALTHY AND STRONG. MAY I BE FREE FROM SUFFERING AND THAT WHICH CAUSES ME TO SUFFER. MAY I BE WELL.
Begin by reciting this mantra five times. Then build up gradually. Practice this mantra anytime, especially in times when you feel self-doubt and self-conscious.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Yesterday in Kia Miller's class I had what I can only describe as a beautiful experience. Live musicians accompanied the practice and then lead an 11-minute chant following the physical practice. I am no stranger to mysterious waves of emotion coming over me during yoga class, but yesterday was particularly intense. I felt myself welling up as I made my way into savasana. My choppy inhales signaled a wave of emotion that I was unprepared for. The physical practice was slow, luxurious and therefore quite deep. I had time to explore each part of each asana and each part of my body as I glided through the asanas. No hurry, nowhere to go, nowhere to be but with myself. That is scary. I nearly welled up with emotion right now just typing that sentence. Savasna appears as an easy pose, but most yogis agree that it is actually the most difficult. Savasana, also known as corpse pose, forces one to surrender the physical body with total honesty to gravity like it never belong to you in the first place. The idea is, once the body is at ease, the mind enters into a state conscious relaxation. This is much more difficult than it sounds because minds, as we all know, need something to hold on to. Fear of the unknown makes us anxious and unwilling to let go of conscious thoughts. Many times, unresolved issues or feelings held by our subconscious will rise to the surface during savasana. This is a good thing; consider it like free therapy! It's frightening to be confronted with yourself. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to run or hide. All you can do is allow whatever sensations, experiences and emotions come up to rise to the surface so they can exit the vessel that houses them.
Monday, 11 July 2011
What happens when a child falls in love with a shiny new toy at the toy store and begs mom or dad to buy it but mom or dad refuses? A temper-tantrum. What happens when an adult applies for his or her dream job and doesn’t get it? A temper-tantrum? It’s quite possible. You can take the human out of the playpen (hopefully) but you can’t take the humanity out of the human.
When things don’t go our way we get upset, frustrated, mad and stressed causing our mindset to crossover into dangerous terrain. Thoughts are the basis for emotions. Emotions are nothing more than the colors, which paint the landscape of life. I was at an audition the other day; I got a call back (that’s half the battle right there) and my performance at the call back was nothing short of “fierce” (inserting some shameless self promotion here). Indeed, I was crushed when I did not get this job. As a dancer, it’s best to avoid setting up any sort of expectations despite how awesome your performance was (yea…good luck with that); but let’s be honest, if I didn’t think I had a chance why would I throw myself into the grind yet again and even bother to show up at the audition? As I reflect on the outcome of this particular experience, I am forced to ask myself “Why am I so attached to the outcome?” The results of this audition didn’t change my life in the grand scheme of things so why the hell am I still dwelling on it?
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
A simple breakdown of the kleshas for your enjoyment:
Klesha is a Sandskrit word. A kleshas cause is suffering according to Yogic Philosophy. Kleshas are the constructs for the way we think. Some refer to kleshas as afflictions of the mind. As you read the list of the five kleshas, reflect on your own percieved suffering. Do you find yourself suffering from any just one klesha at the present moment? Maybe it's all five. My suggestion to you if you suffer from all five is DO SOME YOGA!Avidya- ignorance. This is considered the root for all human suffering. Asmita- The Ego. “I this…” “I that…” “Why me…” Raga- Attachment. It can be attachment to tangible as well as ideas or the intangible. Dvesa- Aversion. Maybe think about why you avoid yoga? Abhinivesa- Clinging to bodily life.
Notice that Raga and Dvesa are opposites. How do you behave towards that which you like versus how you behave towards that which you fear or dislike?
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Many of you seem to be really intrigued by the topic of my last post Meditate on Mulholland...as was I.
Transcendental meditation or TM evokes a mysterious and esoteric reaction from many people. I've found that the idea of meditating is bothersome to many of my students and some of my friends. Just uttering the word "meditation" causes most non-yogis to feel quite uncomfortable because it involves sitting quietly with one's self. S-C-A-R-Y! Being confronted by the cacophony of your own chitta (a.k.a. stuff in your mind) can certainly freak people out and cause them to avoid any type of meditation altogether. However, think about it this way: meditation is like surfing. It's every young surfer's dream to catch that perfect wave, the one that encapsulates you like a tube or barrel and then to ride that perfect wave all the way in to shore. Once you catch the "meditation wave," you become aware of the fact that you are observing yourself in your rawest and most pure form. This experience is often described as your individual consciousness merging with the Collective or Cosmic consciousness. The longer you ride the wave, the longer one’s connection to True Self lasts.
The late Maharishi Mahesh, the founder of TM explains the simplicity behind it. Anyone can do it at any time anywhere. Watch this video and your qualms and misperceptions about TM will dissolve almost immediately and you will see that if anything, TM is more logical than mystical
Thursday, 09 June 2011