Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We can all afford to move over just 1 inch in life, no?

I love the studio I teach at. It's very community based and people act like it. We all clean up after ourselves, wipe down rental mats after using them, wash the cups that we use, answer the door buzzer when the desk person is busy, take our shoes off before entering. People at the studio are friendly towards each other and we all take class and breath together. We create this awesome union which is exactly what Yoga is.

I love all of these concepts but they are often lost because Yoga is so Westernized or New Yorkified. I've been to other places where classes are so crowded and people are not willing to move their mats over to fit another student in. Or worse, "yogi's" will fight over what they claim is "their mat space"! Who does that?! My class that I have been taking for years is generally full of pretty nice and giving people but this past week the class was so crowded we were mat to mat. 4 people came just as the class was beginning and my teacher really had to move people around to try to fit them in...2 of them couldn't take class. Sucks! But it was an interesting dynamic because a few people acted like they couldn't move their mat over an inch or two. One person even commented on how they wouldn't people to open their arms out if they were too close. And another person refused to move their towel out of the way to give better spacing to the person next to them. Look I get it, its your morning practice...but its not just YOUR morning practice...its all of ours. How do we continue to enforce this sense of community and union in class? Are we here for only exercise? Or are we here for Yoga?

Monday, February 27, 2012

East River at 6:25 am

That's some good stuff to wake up to.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The gifts of teaching

There are so many cool things about teaching Yoga. One of which is when your students teach you. I, for one, don't think of myself as a "teacher" but as more of a guide. I unfortunately wasn't born into being a mind reader even though I try as hard as I can to read people's energy while teaching class. I want to know that everyone is having a good time and feeling generally pleasant or at least neutral. That everyone is getting what they want out of the class. I don't want to distract people from their meditative state. By trying to read people's energy I always get a better idea of how the class can flow. Like when people are sweating hard and looking like they might be struggling I will say "skip the vinyasa if you like this round" or "if you want to skip a chattarunga do knees, chest, chin", but then the whole room is still doing chattarunga and powering through it...then I'll wait a couple of poses before child's pose.

My favorite type of students are those who have been practicing for a long time but show up to class and often do their own thing. They don't do all the poses I call out, and have their own variations. I appreciate this. And if I've never taught them before I sometimes wonder, "do they hate this class? is it too slow for them?"...when they come back I realize they're just in their own practice. Often they're my guide to teaching. They set the pace and the breath even if they're doing something different or more advanced. Its great to have this kind of Yogi in class because it sets a rhythm for the beginners.

Beginners teach me to use clearer language. If they're not doing what I said or something different its probably because I said it in a way they don't understand. This helps me to find the right language and better guide them through finding their body awareness.

Thank you to all my Yoga students for keeping me going and teaching me something too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I love Microcosm/Macrocosm.

Studying Chinese medicine...everything boils down to this idea that your body is a microcosm of the universe. It really is a whole 'nother universe there inside of you. Pratyahara is like this. A very deep, deep self study.

Meditation is difficult. I sometimes sit there and can't stop running through my to-do list. OR I simply cannot ignore the weird little itches my body suddenly feels. BUT the days I can meditate...I can sit quietly with myself and just let my brain really get a break. A mental break is so important in our lives. Its how we learn how to take care of ourselves. Coming into a meditation is really tapping into this internal universe that exists within us. Sensations, emotions, thoughts can emerge. We should not engage with them but notice them. The difference here is if we engage we enter back into the universe outside of us. If we simply notice without engaging we can tap even deeper into our internal world and even learn something about ourselves. We are also at the same time training ourselves and survival mechanism. We are teaching ourselves how to take care of ourselves, to be extremely sensitive to the needs of our own body. We're honing our intuition, subconsciousness and consciousness. We also learn to cope with stimuli in the universe outside of our body. We learn to step back and notice things instead of constantly engaging.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


FYI I am teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga today at 4:30pm. Jai Yoga Arts.
There are still some heart-shaped cookies involved. :)

Flatiron/Union Sq

Thursday, February 16, 2012

True story

1. Tall Yoga boys like heart-shaped cookies.
2. I bribe Yogi's with heart-shaped cookies and yummy tea to take my class.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bodies Exhibit @ South Street Seaport

From the Bodies Exhbit
1. Fetus/Femur+Patella+Tibia/Heart+Lungs
2. Kidney + Heart interact.
3. Stomach/Hip/Fetal Skull

I tried to put love in everyone's bellies.

Happy Valentines day! Yeah it was yesterday...but your belly ache is today. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Speaking of Love...

I LOVE my skull head Herman. He is rad

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Groggy, gray, sleepy and hitting snooze?

It's hard waking up when its all gray and cold outside. You want to hit feel like you just fell asleep. And there is the alarm going off. The best way to wake up?

Step 1...instead of hitting snooze a second...third....fourth time. GET UP!
Sept 2. Do five sun salutations. me!

The early morning hours are the best time to practice Yoga! The world is still, your mind and body are still. The energy is less tainted and it allows for focus and concentration.

Come and practice with me in Bushwick! Thursday mornings 6:45-7:45 am. I will start on time and end on time...and you can get to work...on time!

Love and Balance

Divine Love Through Kundalini

Channeling your greatest power out of the clutches of jealousy, anger and loss, and into trust, freedom, and deep residing love. In this workshop we will use Kundalini Yoga Wisdom to go into our own experience and find our true spirit. Emerging with a release of old wounds and an openness to new beginnings. Whether you are in a relationship with another, or with just yourself, you will LOVE this workshop!

Thursday February 16th
$15 Advance
$20 Door


Inversions! Gaining new Perspective w/Ella Luckett

In this workshop we will explore everything there is to know about the inverted Yoga postures. From the benefits, to techniques and safe ways of getting into various poses, you will gain new insight about why and how the ancient guru's told us to turn our world upside down! So come gain new perspective in this fun and enlightening workshop!

Thursday March 1, 8:30-10pm

Great workshops...all at Jai Yoga Arts

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Please leave your stuff at the door

Your shoes and your energies. Start new for every Yoga class. Reset and make space for your practice. Then you can come in, sit down, have some tea and practice some Yoga. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pratyahara and finding your center in meditation.

Meditation is difficult. Whether you're just learning how to do it, or if you've been doing it for a while. You will always find that day where you simply cannot turn off your mind chatter. Everything twitches and itches and you can't stop running over your to-do list. This is why we practice Pratyahara. In the classes I teach I will always try to include a seated meditation. It maybe just for the first 3 minutes with deep breathing or at the end after savasana to maintain a quiet but not sleepy mind after the entire practice.

Pratyahara is about not engaging. Literally -drawing towards the opposite. I believe in attachments in life. Its why I live my life. I don't believe I lose myself in the world or because of my attachments. I am pretty confident about being myself in whatever extent that means to myself. And it maybe be based on these attachments but I am not moving to a cave and giving up my belongings. That is not realistic. I love living in NYC. BUT being able to detach to outside stimuli is an important practice overall, especially if I want to live a healthy life in NYC. To sit quietly and let the mind rest, turn my focus inward toward my center. The city is constantly buzzing with stimulus. There are constant advertisements, sirens, parades, people. Lots of energy. Its easy to be constantly engaged and constantly effected by all of this.

When I meditate I focus on my center. The center can mean anything to any given person. For me its somewhere in the heart area. Chinese people make a connection between mind and heart. Your heart is your mind. For other people its the third eye or the center of the brain. Maybe the solar plexus. It doesn't matter, just focus on it. Don't like your thoughts run around, leave your head or your body. Keep it on your center and be comfortable there. Its important to find comfort in yourself and with yourself. Settle into that center and bring all your other energy behind you. Just hold the buzzing back for a moment. And do nothing else.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Channel Palpation

Another book added onto my Amazon wishlist...hint...hint... :)

I just attended a seminar on Channel Palpation. Its all about palpating the acupuncture channels as part of diagnosis. Pretty amazing stuff you can find in there!

more info here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

More cupping

I would like for someone to do this for me today!