Greetings Yogis! It has been a while but I am back in Los Angeles teaching yoga!!!! I am teaching a Summer Solstice Workshop on JUNE 22nd from 1-3pm at Yoga Daya in Culver City. Early Bird rate (before June 8th) is $35, and $45 after June 8th. Space is limited so secure your spot by calling Yoga Daya at (310)-558-YOGA or sign-up online and click the "Workshops" tab at the top of the page.
Friday, 03 May 2013
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
REMEMBER TO JOIN ME TOMORROW AND EVERY FRIDAY FOR:
MORNING FLOW @7AM & RELAX, RESTORE, REJUVENEATE AT 5PM
Where: RaKsa in Culver City
Cost: 1st Class is FREE!!!!
Check out my bio on the RaKsa Wesbsite
See you in Down Dog!
Thursday, 05 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
Yoga, pranayama, asana, dharana....these words generally do not elicit anxious and hormone ridden middle school or high school students. Why not? Yoga isn't an 18+ modality. On the contrary, yoga is beautifully available to anyone and everyone at any time and now Y.O.G.A. for Youth is making this possibility a reality!
Between now and November 15, 2011 Y.O.G.A. for Youth is giving away a FREE quarter (10 weeks) of yoga classes to ONE lucky Los Angeles County School on Sunday, December 4th, 2011.
Tuesday, 08 November 2011
I am thrilled to announce that I am now accepting new clients at Shakti Wellness Sanctuary in Palos Verdes, CA. Clients will enjoy natural lighting and unique East Asian decor while gazing out into the Sanctuary's lush gardens. When practiced in a proper setting, yoga is a deeply intimate practice, which allows one to reconnect with their true creative spirit. Unlike a haphazard and noisy gym atmosphere, Shakti Sanctuary is an inviting and nurturing space where clients will grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga props including blankets, straps and blocks are provided at Shakti Wellness Sanctuary. Using props enhances your yoga practice by modifying postures and making them accessible for all yoga practitioners. Unfortunately most gyms do not provide yoga props. Enjoy a cup of tea and some healthy snacks provided for clients after completing your yoga practice at the Sanctuary.
So ditch the gym for a sanctuary!
Friday, 21 October 2011
It's really unfortunate that many gyms that offer yoga classes don't offer yoga props! Props like blocks and straps help make poses more accessible. Props can transform active poses into restorative poses. For example, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana without a block is more active which means you actively use your muscles to hold yourself up in the pose. However, placing a block underneath your sacrum in Setu Bandha feels wonderful. The block transforms this backbend into a milder one and it is quite delish. When coupled with pranayama, the benefits of practicing a restorative bridge pose span from physical rejuvenation to mental revitalization.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Do you relish the hours, minutes and seconds leading up to yoga class or do you approach your yoga practice as another task to check off the "To-Do" list? So many of us, myself included, correlate our self-worth with how much we can get accomplished. The more tasks we check off our "To-Do" lists the more productive we feel as members of society and the more valuable we feel as individuals. The connection between what we accomplish and our perceived self-worth is totally arbitrary and artificially constructed by Western culture.
Tuesday, 11 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
I knew I wanted to discuss success today, but was unsure where to start so I turned to my trusty dictionary for help and here is what it told me:
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose : the president had some success in restoring confidence.
• the attainment of popularity or profit : the success of his play.
• a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity : I must make a success of my business.
• archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims : the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.
All four definitions involve attachment or expectation of a specific result. I suppose the question then becomes how do you define your goals? I am not interested in this, at least not today. I want to know how do you define success and why? Maybe you drive a really nice car, does that make you successful? Do you dine at McDonalds or at McCormick & Schmick's? Which one do you associate with success? Duh!!! When I teach yoga I always offer students options with the hope that they will pick an appropriate one for their level. About 90% of the time the less advanced students push themselves to the maximum. Not only do I see how their physical bodies suffer, but I also see it in the way their faces wince from physical discomfort. Ironically, the more advanced students pause more often during their practice and take time to honor their body and rest during their practice. Does success in yoga mean contorting your body against its will into a given position just to please your ego? Attaining the final version a yoga pose might arouse a brief sense of accomplishment; however, this will fade all too quickly for if the process of positioning the body into these postures is miserable one will not look forward to the next yoga practice. So this is when I pause and ask the question: why do you do what you do? Are you on auto-pilot? Do you do what you do out of physical, financial or social necessity? Do you do what you do because you actually love it? I insist that success in yoga is not executing all the poses perfectly, but only those who want to listen actually do.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Every yogi needs a mat to practice on, so why not get a cool one like this one? The Trainer Mat by Trainer Brands is the first yoga mat of its kind with 28 illustrated instructional drawings of yoga poses printed directly on the surface. This is great for a beginner and for those trying to establish a regular home practice.
Other Trainer Brands products include stretch/yoga mats with printed instructional drawings for stretches and excercises for golf, maternity, aquatic sports, stretching, pilates, weight loss, etc... printed right on the mat. Trainer Brands also makes gym balls and foam rollers with printed instructional drawings on how to use these gym toys. Best Idea EVER!!!!
The only drawback I see to the Trainer Mats is its lack of grip. If you practice vinyasa or hot yoga where you sweat profusely, you need to put a towel down or a Yogitoes Skidless Mat Towel down. Trainer Brands might consider tapping into this market and use their creative and informative approach for a Trainer Skidless mat with instructional diagrams drawn on the skidless mat.
Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Yoga instructors, listen up! Do you ever find yourself recycling the same words to convey important instructions to your students? It can get pretty annoying hearing “just let go,” or “try to relax,” or “pull your belly in.” Expanding your yogic vocab is essential to the flow of a good yoga class. Using verbs instead of adjectives is more beneficial for students so consider this when scrolling through your mental Rolodex of yoga instructions. Students come to yoga class for instruction on what to do and how to do it, not for a description of postures or moving body parts. For example, “Draw the tailbone towards your heels” concisely communicates an action to the student versus “The tailbone is drawing to the heels.” Ability to communicate the same idea using different language is what distinguishes a good instructor from a great one.
Friday, 26 August 2011
Sorry guys, but not all yoga instructors are created equal. I have taken my share of yoga classes with inept instructors where the sequencing of postures was nonsensical and the instructor's lack of articulation cut my ears like nails on a chalkboard. Like a good yogi, I resist the urge to judge and do what I know is right for my body. A beginner might not have the good judgment to back off or do what is best for their body for fear of not being able "hang" with the rest of the crowd. Having a ballet background makes it easy for me to decipher whether or not an instructor actually understands movement or if the instructor approaches teaching yoga in a Simon says manner. Yoga is a powerful tool and without a skilled instructor the potential for serious injury is much greater. Nowadays everywhere I go someone tells me about beginning a teacher-training course with the intent of going out into the world to teach yoga. Don't get me wrong, more power to you friend; however, not everyone has it in them to be a good yoga instructor. Exposing this darker side of the yoga world--call it yoga politics-- seems like the karmic kiss of death but it is necessary. Who you practice with is the most important aspect of your yoga practice, especially if you are a beginner. Yoga instructors have more power than you might think since he or she can make or break a beginner's yogic experience for life.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
This past weekend I went to the IDEA Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a couple girlfriends and we had a blast! So many awesome products (and so many bizzare ones also). If you are a fitness professional or even a fitness enthusiast, (and especially if you are single) I highly recommend visiting the next Fitness Expo!
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
ENTRY FOR THIS TUESDAY'S TIDBIT GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED WITHIN THE NEXT 24-72 HOURS
Wednesday, 03 August 2011
Wednesday, 03 August 2011
The main goal of So You Think You Can Yoga?® is to demystify some of the common misperceptions people have about yoga. One of them is the notion that unless you are naturally flexible yoga is uncomfortable and impossible. Yes, the asanas do require flexibility but they also require strength. With a consistent practice, flexibility and strength develop together; like a married couple. They are two sides of the same coin. People who tend to be on the stiff side usually fare better with poses that require more strength. People who are more on the flexible side tend to do better with poses that facilitate elongation of the muscles and ligaments. Neither one is more advanced than the other per se. The degree of difficulty really depends on which side of the coin you identify with the most. Yoga is about balance. The goal is to reach equilibrium between the two sides of this coin.
Astavakrasana is an “advanced” asana because there are several elements to it. Astavakrasana illustrates the duality of yoga specific to a yoga practice because it requires core strength and flexibility. Below is a sequence of asanas designed to help prepare your body for astavakrasana. It helps to think about this pose in terms of component parts, which include the core and hip flexibility. The sequence below strengthens the core muscles while simultaneously targeting external rotation of the hip joints.
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
I recently saw a commercial on television in which a yoga instructor endorses Advil. I thought to myself, "wow, this is irony at its best!" Isn't yoga the "natural" painkiller? By participating in the commercial, yoga instructor Lacey Calvert deflates the value and the physical benefits of yoga. Many people turn to yoga precisely because they experience pain and because they believe yoga can help extinguish their physical discomfort. This commercial is just another cunning attempt by Big Pharma to shove another pill down our throats in an attempt to solve our problems. Instead of unnecessarily creating another bad habit and popping a pain pill, think about what caused your physical pain. Did you exhaust all possible options to alleviate the pain or are you simply choosing the easiest and most available option? Click here to view the ad.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Too many people think they can't do yoga...and the reason they think this lies in their hips. Most people are quite tight in the hips because of our sedentary culture. We sit in traffic, we sit in front of our computers at work and then we come home and sit in front of our computers again as we "socialize" with our virtual friends. Excessive sitting, especially with poor posture, leads to constant flexion of the hip joint causing tightness and stiffness.
True, your hips might be tight with respect to one range of motion, but they might be very loose in another. In other words, your hip flexors could be very tight, yet you might naturally possess more external rotation in your hips than the person next to you making certain poses like pigeon pose more accessible and poses like crescent pose less accessible. This is where the beauty of personal exploration chimes in. If you are honest about your physical limitations and practice consistently and without judgement, you'll notice a refined sense of awareness when it comes to your body. You will begin understanding which poses work for your joints, which ones don’t and most importantly why.
Check out this video. I provide three hip openers for you to try. Each one stretches the hip joint differently. So try all of them on and see which one fits your body best.
Saturday, 09 July 2011