Saturday, March 31, 2012


I'm coming to an end of my meat-free week. Things I've learned being meat-free and post-dairy free.

1. I need to learn how to eat healthy without meat.
2. I eat meat far too often!
3. Meat is important but not necessary as much as I eat it
4. I eat shrimp far too often!
5. When I eat cheese I eat unhealthy carbs -white bread, bread in general
6. I need to adopt a fish 2x a week, other seafood once in a while, meat 1x a week and red meat 1x a month routine. That might be too weird of a routine to keep to!
7. I need to do a juice cleanse
8. I really need to eat more straight up vegetables
9. I also really need to cook my own food. :)
10. Duck is something you eat only on special occasions.

In conclusion...going meat free sucks but I seriously need to cut down on all these unnecessary calories!

Friday, March 30, 2012

20 Things You Should Not Tolerate -repost

I just liked this...from mindbodygreen...thought I'd share it. 20 Things You Shouldn't Tolerate
By Jason Wachob

Have you ever felt that you've been settling for less -- that you deserve better? You'll want to check out this list of 20 things you shouldn't tolerate from Marc and Angel Hack Life:

1. People who bring you down.

2. A work environment or career field you hate.

3. Your own negativity

4. Unnecessary miscommunication.

5. A disorganized living and working space.

6. Your own tardiness.

7. Pressure to fit in with the crowd.

8. An unhealthy body.

9. Fear of change.

10. All work and no play.

11. People or beauty ads that make you feel inadequate.

12. Not getting enough sleep.

13. Doing the same exact thing over and over again.

14. Personal greed.

15. A mounting pile of debt.

16. Dishonesty.

17. Infidelity.

18. An unsafe home.

19. Being unprepared.

20. Inaction.

What do you think?

image via

Published March 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I teach really awesome people

I went to teach my corporate Yogi's today and to my surprise they all showed up to class wearing team Yoga shirts! Their boss had company Yoga shirts ordered for their weekly Yoga class taught by yours truly. I was totally floored. The best part? In a couple of weeks I get my own team Yoga shirt! I mean the people I teach Yoga to are seriously AWESOME. They work so hard at their down dogs. YAY!

In conclusion...Why corporate Yoga?
! This is why. You need it. Its awesome. Call me... I'll do it with you. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tax on Yoga sucks.

Been loosely following the happenings on this. I noticed 3 of the studios I take classes at added "tax" to their classes starting in January. EW! I don't blame them...the tax man is after everyone. They are basically out to get the bigger studios and it seems any time someone files for unemployment after working at a Yoga studio, that studio will be a target for finding violations in their facility or simply the IRS. Its a damn shame...Yoga has enough problems on their own. I hope the community can mobilize and join together enough to do something positive.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 1 of being meatless

Today starts the first day of going meatless on our community wide cleanse at Jai Yoga Arts. I am not giving up eggs but I will give up seafood! But again...having cheese again. Still trying not to have so much cheese since now that I started eating it again I am tempted to want it in every meal. So byebye suckling pig. Its only a week. I shall see you again soon! :)

In other news, I got my level 1 Reiki Certification yesterday. We will be running another one soon at Jai. Check the website for updates!

I know this is not very Yoga-like of me but hey...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Cleansing! Part 2 update

OK so I was supposed to blog all about it right? We ended up giving up dairy for 2 weeks! I started eating cheese again last night. I gave up eggs for only 3 days...couldn't keep that going since its almost 1/3 of my diet! Yes I eat a lot of hard boiled eggs...they're so convenient and portable!

Anyways...I read labels and for the most part stayed dairy free unless the label said "may contain traces". Pretty good, yeah? I even drank black iced coffee cause one of the places I use as a study spot doesn't have soy milk. I don't necessarily feel that different. Forgoing chocolate was probably the hardest part mentally. What I did notice was how much cheese I eat normally! Because I had to rethink each meal making sure there was no dairy involved...I noticed how much I would have normally had cheese -every day at lunch! What?! I also did notice when I had cheese again last night...not just how AMAZING it is but how salty it is. Cutting cheese out really cut down my salt intake too...which was the added bonus part. Starting Sunday I'm going to be giving up Meat -I will not include eggs but I will include seafood. That should go fine as long as I don't encounter Luke's Lobster truck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good habits for waking up early

I used to have a hard time waking up early. I thought waking up early was for old Chinese Grandmothers -mine used to wake up at 4:30-5am. But then I started going to the gym and I found that the morning was a great time do work out. It started out as 8 or 9am on a weekend here and there. Once in a blue moon I'd get up at 7am to work out as well -I actually felt like I had more energy throughout the day. Then I began making a point to wake up 3 times a week to work out...and then it became every day. Eventually it became a habit to wake up early. And as years past waking up early has become earlier and earlier now. 3x a week I wake up at 5-5:30am. Sleeping in late is now til 9am..and that's really sleeping in for really super tired or possibly-sick-sleeping-in. So people always ask do you wake up so early? Here is my list:

1- Choose your goal wake up time. Set your alarm clock. Make a personal promise to do it everyday for 21 days. It takes about 3 weeks for really allow your body to form a habit. Now there will be days that you fail...that's OK! Don't feel like you have to start over because you can't wake up one day. Also, don't force yourself to sleep earlier yet if you can't. You end up creating insomnia for yourself. Just naturally fall asleep whenever your regular bed time is...and naturally as you for the habit of waking up earlier, you will form the habit of going to bed a bit earlier as well.

2- Never hit snooze. Not even once. Get up as soon as the alarm clock goes off. Put the alarm clock on the other side of your room so you have to physically get up to turn it off.

3- Wake up to something pleasant. NOT that annoying car alarm sound on your iphone, or the ringing of an old school alarm clock. Choose something that will ease your brain awake...I prefer Sade or some kind of Jazz/R&B/Slow jam.

4- Once you have gotten up to turn the alarm clock off, DO NOT GO BACK TO BED. Walk around the apartment/room instead. Allow your body to wake up. If you're a Yogi, do 5 sun salutations.

5- Make your morning routine quick. Brush your teeth grab your pre-packed gym bag that you set up the night before. Yes, set it up the night before, don't set your self up to fail at this! Be out the door ASAP.

6- Feel amazing all day. Reset and Repeat for tomorrow!

Waking up early is a great way to live life in this city of 8 million. Nothing has begun yet. The city isn't buzzing or stirring. Today I left my place for the gym at 6:45 am instead of 6:15. Huge difference! At 6:15 there is no one out...maybe some street vendors and a couple of easy going early commuters. At 6:45 the streets are filled with rushing people, news trucks and vans, police, honking cars, etc. The meditative state of 6am is so ideal for me.

East River at 6:15am

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meditate with me

Been playing with Trataka in my Yoga classes lately, trying to hone our concentration in meditation and in our Asana practice. The easiest thing to use is a candle. Just light a candle and stare at it. Study it. Allow the emotions and thoughts to arise and then let them go. Study the quality of the flame, how it looks, how it makes you feel...let all of those things go til there is nothing but the image of the flame burning into your eyes. Stop blinking. Things get fuzzy, the flame distorts. Keep studying it as it changes but keep staring. Resist wanting to blink, your vision will go back to normal when you stop. If your eyes are tearing very badly, allow the image of the flame to burn into you, close your eyes and still see it. Focus on the inner image that you have of it.

For me when I stop blinking everything gets dry and blurry. My vision becomes tunnel like...everything starts going out of focus except the flame until it becomes a weird Photoshop filtered image. See my candle below! Sometimes I start tearing up really bad. I had a Tai Chi teacher who said this is the real way to practice Tai Chi! Not blinking. On that note, Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is Yoga your religion?

I think religion is so weird in this country. We try to act like its something we can separate. But people who are truly religious know that its a part of their culture. We say things like "I'm spiritual, not religious" because sometimes being religious is viewed as a person with unbending, conservative views who goes to church or mosque on a consistent basis. I find that people who are not American tend to view their religion as part of their culture, ethnicity or race. For example I have a Jewish friend who doesn't believe in changing his religion. He believes its not even something he has the ability to change -he is always Jewish by race/ethnicity, how can you really just "convert" or change that?

But not everyone views their religion in this way. In the US we can choose our religion. There are plenty of us who want to choose what we believe in, not follow what we were born into. We can decide to convert or just not practice what our family is practicing. And sometimes we turn something from a subculture into our religion. The Yoga we practice, the music we follow, the life style we try to live, the Martial Arts we train in. The list can go on. This can be great, we are practicing what we believe in as if its our culture, as if its something we are truly connected to. The not so great part of this is when people become evangelical about it. When people start preaching about how their Yoga is better than everyone elses. When people start putting down others for following not following a Vegan diet or training in a different kind of Martial Arts then they are. Ultimately we come to the same place...which is, to realize that we're all different, from different cultures with different stories and different body constitutions. If we were all doing the same thing, following the same religion wouldn't that make the world kind of boring?

There is something to be said about the differentiation of the world. The uniqueness of the individual. At the same time, I also believe in being able to connect to the rest of the world and relating to it -finding sameness among us. Its important to not lose sight of the world we live in. We need to find that balance in order to live peacefully in this world together.

*Disclaimer -I'm not saying being religious is negative, nor is following a certain kind of Yoga is bad. I'm also not saying all Jewish people think or should think the way my friend does. Just putting the thoughts out there for people to contemplate on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Level 1 Reiki Cert at Jai

Learn Reiki Healing!
Level 1 Certification At Jai

In this 2 part workshop you will become a level one certified Reiki practitioner. Taught by Master Reiki instructor Darcy Skye. Reiki is a hands on healing modality great for calming anxiety, relaxing the body, and relieving pain and stress. Through your touch, unconditional love will flow. Learning Reiki is an empowerment process that awakens your ability to heal on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. You will connect more deeply to your sense of purpose and replenish your well of creativity and passion for life.

March 18th and 25th
$69 includes both classes
Save $10 with Advance Registration before March 17th

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tight shoulders make for a difficult downward facing dog

I find tight shoulders on guys who do heavy lifting and people who have just started exercising. It makes for a very difficult downward facing dog. If you have tight shoulders you would find yourself not able to extend into a full down dog but instead fall somewhere in between a down dog and a plank. Your weight ends up more in your wrists and arms and it can get uncomfortable.

For many people simple alignment can remedy this.
Make sure you come into a perfect -shoulders above the wrists plank pose first. Your butt should be in line with your entire body. This is your hand and foot position for face down dog -so keep hands and feet where they are. Now lift the hips for your down dog. Press the hands into the mat full, wide fingers -middle finger facing straight ahead. Reach the chest towards your thighs and keep hips high. You should be able to straighten out your arms and feel your upper arms externally rotate outward. Eyes of the elblows move forward, unless you tend towards hyper extending elbows like mine. (If you tend to hyper extend give yourself a micro bend in the arm, it shouldn't look noticeably bend.) Heels will reach downward but don't compromise having high hips in order to pull your heels downward. Also don't compromise having your hips high in order to straighten your legs. Hips high is more important. You can bend your knees a bit til you become more flexible. So one key point here when I spend bend your elbows and/or knees a bit if this applies to you....really its only just a bit! Micro bends!

Sometimes a simple physical adjustment can help. Come slightly forward on your down externally rotate your upper arms, then push back to downward facing dog. Here is where as a teacher I would simple press on the small of the back. Just on the sacrum area. Press slightly forward and then encourage the rest of the spine to shoot straight downwards toward the shoulders and arms. Sometimes physically helping the person to open up in the shoulder blades and relax the shoulders and upper back could help as well.

Now for those who are really really too tight. Let's take your down dog to the wall. Stand in front of the wall arms extended forward. Place your hands shoulder height, press palms into the wall as if was the floor. Take 1 or 2 steps backward, pull your hips back, press into your hands, drop the head and neck down. Really release your shoulder muscles here. This is great for beginners because maybe your shoulders are too tight and holding downward dog might be too much on your arm muscles and wrists. This is difficult because down dog should feel somewhat comfortable. I think of it as home base in my Vinyasa practice. Practicing this against the wall takes the pressure off your arms and allows your shoulders to still benefit from the pose! As you try to go deeper you can walk your hands slightly lower on the wall and feet a step or two further back.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Cleansing!

We are conducting a community cleanse at Jai Yoga Arts. Each week for 6 weeks we will give something up in our diet collectively. This is obviously optional! But the purpose is to gain awareness of ourselves. How we related to these foods, how our body reacts without them or with them. Its a great way to discover a healthy way of eating without having to fast or really deprive ourselves in an unhealthy way.

So starting next Monday 1 week of no dairy! Want to take the challenge with us?! I will be blogging about my progress for the 6 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks you can come up with your own healthy cleanse or just fixing your diet according to what you've learned. At Jai those who want to, will work with our Ayurvedic counselor to begin a cleanse or find healthier eating habits.