Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dear Blog

I am now merging my blogs! I decided to drop the Yogatude and just move back to my

sorry to send y'all back and forth.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Make your body your temple!

The physicality of Yoga is often related to Asana, or the postures. Many people come to yoga looking for the physical. Its what opens us to the other aspects of Yoga. Whether it be for exercise, weight loss, relieving stress, or meditation...its all physical. This physicality also has a great deal to do with "being present". The cool part about this is that we've accomplished that as long as we've made it to class and made it onto the mat. On some days this part of asana is more challenging then others but that first step is always key.

Let's further look at this idea of "being present". The whole idea can sound kind of ambiguous especially after you've already made it to class and your Yoga teacher keeps using this catch phrase "being present" no? Sometimes its as simple as letting everything else go. Getting comfortable with your mat and letting go of anything and everything that exists outside of it. Just let it be you, your breathe, your mat, your practice. Its important to let go of the citta vritti -mind stuff so your practice is truly yours. This allows your practice to transform from just physical exercise into a moving meditation.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Life is humbling

We make mistakes all the time. Some are small and insignificant...others are big and really hurt people. How do we reconcile these mistakes? How do we make it ok within ourselves to know that we hurt someone? How do we make it ok in ourselves to admit we did something wrong? How do we move forward when the damage is already done?

One of my teachers once said "It's not about the mistakes we make in life, its about what we do to repair them."

The ultimate surrender is to do what we can to make things right in the world...the rest is up to the PTB.

Ways to say sorry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asana is a steady comfortable posture

Says Patanjali. Just remember that the next time you're making the scrunchy face in a difficult pose.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let it Flow!

My theme lately is to reference things about my teachers. I have a teacher who always tells the class to shhhuuush. He is totally not afraid to treat a bunch of adults like kindergarten children and I think its seriously so awesome! He is also absolutely not afraid to lecture a person for showing up to class late. That is one of my most favorite thing to see him do. I just find it so great that he has no problem with doing this while other people are so afraid of offending people that they forget that people need to learn boundaries and respect. Either way...this is and old Shhhh sign I made when I used to teach Yoga behind a curtain while people were bouncing basketballs, playing loud video games, having loud conversations or just walking loudly through the space...reminded me of how he shussshes us. Shusshing is awesome, do it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

More on Niyamas

Its been suggest by 2 of my teachers to keep a journal...this blog is the best I can do so far! I've been making a more conscious attempt to study the Sutras since I currently have really good teachers in my life. Something to be grateful -continuing with being thankful after Thanksgiving :)

Yoga is many things...its asana, its breathe work, its devotion, practice, surrender, being mindful. My favorite definition for Yoga is union. Its a union of all these things. Its a coming together, such as coming together in a class practicing as a whole. Its wholeness and its community.

Ishvara Pranidada, the last of the Niyamas is about surrendering to something bigger than yourself. I previously had a hard time digesting something that is written in such a religious matter...but I like these kinds of things because when you examine them, they can really be applied to everyday life. Surrendering even for a moment, your ego. Just letting it go in order to participate in something bigger.

Its the idea that we are all here as part of a it your neighborhood, your gym or your yoga studio that you practice at. The union is doing your Ujjai breathing together...beginning and ending class with OMing together and finding the same sounds and vibration, each persons breathe or OM carries you until you here one sound in unison. If its only for the hour or hour and half of your Yoga class, just close your eyes and breathe, listen and breathe...everyone breathing in the same air.

A lot of times we talk about Yoga as a personal thing...we say things like "this is your practice", "focus on your alignment" and we should not be comparing ourselves to our neighbor wondering if her trikonasana is better than mine. Well, it is personal, however talking about practicing Yoga throughout life, not just in class, its about how you fit into the world around you. We are all unique individuals, but we're part of something bigger than that. Creating something that is treaded together and interconnected. Creating union and surrendering to the PTB, or whatever it is that brings you together to class. This type of surrender gives us lightness. Physically it can lift the burdens that we carry from trivial worries of our day to day.

Ultimately whether or not my phone bill was paid on time or I missed the buys on any given day, it is what it is. There is a bigger picture that we're a part of. Just like when you're exhausted in a Yoga posture and the ujjai breathe and energy of the room keeps you going. We all flow in class together!

As we flow through the poses we are also embarking on and experiencing a journey as a whole, despite our personal journeys.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be a Merman!

Or a Mermaid :)

On of my favorite seated poses to begin or end with. Stretches out the side body and psoas.
Sit over onto your right side, with your feet to the left of you
Put your bottom/right toes, on top of your left foot/heel.
Left hand comes to the floor by your feet
Reach your right arm, up and over. Palm faces down, bicep by your ear.
Look up at your hand, or your feet-pick one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Boys doing Yoga

Dear Boys,
It's officially ok for you to do Yoga now. So get your butt to class because downward dog is good for you! Just because you can't touch your feet doesn't mean you can't do yoga. Get over yourself and grab a strap. Have fun, don't clench your teeth. You will be in headstand in no time! Touching your toes? That will take practice -often, consistently, for a long time and with earnestness.

Namaste to all the boys and men I teach!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How do you find your center?

In studying the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga I find great importance to the idea of Ethics. Yamas and Niyamas are all about how you treat the world around and you and how you treat yourself.

"Ethics is the glue that binds earth to Heaven. One cannot serve two masters. The only way a human being can reconcile the paradox of the demands of earth and soul is through the observation of ethical principles." From Iyengar's Light on Life

I am a person who relies on ethics in life. I find it important establishing what my limits are and how I treat the world around me. I am constantly checking and re-checking myself. Where is the boundary of right and wrong and how close do I allow myself to be to it? Does this boundary still work for me? Do I need to change my limits?

I also find that being so ethical ties me very closely to the earth. This can sometimes be a heavy and burdensome. I'm by nature and over-thinker. So, I have this breathing exercise for meditation in which I imagine I am inhaling in heaven -not religious heaven but more like the universe, the air and sky that is infinite. And on the exhale I imagine rooting in to the earth.

And with this exercise I think about this Heaven and Earth thing and what lies, people. Some of use are more Heaven oriented -have you ever met someone who is so up in the clouds? Flighty? Free spirited? And then there are Earthy types...myself -very grounded and realistic, easily brought down. There is this great middle path that has a little of both of these concepts. I like this breathing exercise because I'm overly grounded it helps me to breath in the heavens and take something in that is lighter. I feel lifted and freer. For my flighty heaven people, the rooting and grounding helps balance them out as well.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pain in the neck

Everyone around me is coughing and sneezing and I am just getting by here. So I am taking my zinc with meals and doing my sesame seed oil ritual to keep things in check. Nonetheless the cold always gets into my muscles and here I am with back and neck pain. OK, to be fair, it also could be from sparring with some of the fighters the other day, but the point is my neck and upper back is all kinds of tight and painful. Red Flower Oil to the rescue! This is great for sore and tight muscles. Please don't cover your whole body in it though...that is actually really bad for you! A lil Red Flower goes a long way! So next time some one punches you in the face and it snaps your neck back, drags you by the neck or maybe you just slept all funny...try rubbing some Red Flower into your aches and pains.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I am not venturing outside today in honor of the frozen eggs that they used to throw on Halloween in my old neighborhood. Granted that I do not live there anymore and I have no idea of kids still do such childish things...I live too close to the parade to want to deal with the hordes of people outside! Though I do love Halloween and seeing all the costumes...I will save that for when I run out to get dinner later :)

I'm sure there will be many awesome Halloween themed Yoga classes like at Jai Yoga Arts and Iwona Yoga...and even more amazing Halloween Rodas for Capoeiristas. But This year I will pass...In other news, I will be staying in to hand out candy to the kids in my building. Boooo!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yoga in Bushwick

Jai Yoga Arts is one of my new favorite Yoga studios. Living in Manhattan amongst many many yoga studios, though its amazing,it makes me appreciate the community feel you get from a Yoga studio in Bushwick or Ridgewood, where having a Yoga studio feels extra special. Vinyasa in Bushwick!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rush hour takes years off your life!

Ever since I stopped living a 9-5 life, though I am much poorer, I am much more mentally sane. Have you ever come in contact with that person who shoves you out of the way to get up or down subway stairs, or a crowded sidewalk only to find they are walking at the same speed as you. Or the person who plows into the subway before you've even had the chance to step off? Wait, have YOU ever been that person? Admit it! Cause that used to be me. I always thought I was going to be late and...I never was late. However, had I been late a minute or two...five minutes...I mean what was so important that I need to shove people aside for? When I stopped commuting during peak hours I realized how I had just given myself 10 more years of life!

Seriously, its amazing. I traveled on the subway today during rush hour, and watched as all these people piled into an already crowded train. Some people ran down the steps just catching the door to hold it open and squeeze in, then another 3 people did the same, and then another person. They were relieved to get on while 4 people on the train shook their heads and one person actually said "OH COME ON!" while the last person held the door. Watching this from the sidelines made me, its not that big of a deal to get on the one comes in 5 minutes, remember its rush hour? And if people want to hold the doors open to get on a train what's another 30 seconds of your life? Will it really kill you? I promise you it won't.

Next time you find yourself being the person who is shoving people aside OR the person who is pissed off that someone held a subway door to delay your life for 30 seconds...breathe. Because..its not that big of a deal!

If only we could get some MTA workers to do this in the mornings...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I have been so reflective lately its odd...because I miss my unreflective watching Jersey Shore! Anyways, I have been running over all these themes that I am proactive about in my life. Another one I have been thinking about lately is consistency. I like having consistency in my life because it gives me a basis and a structure in my everyday. I also like for my relationships to be reliable and consistent. There is so much comfort in this!

The thing I love most about my regular yoga practice is that it always happens on Monday and Wednesday mornings and there are only about 3-4 variations in the sequence that my teacher goes through. He will run through one sequence for about 3 months before he decides to only switch one small section for another 3 months or so again. This might sound boring but I think its amazing because I can really see how I improve. This is why I always make a point to show up to my Monday and Wednesday morning classes even if they are at 7am! Sometimes I am really lost without my Yoga practice. If I practice it outside studios its always fine but I lose my regular routine and I also lose track of my goals. This is why Yoga is a PRACTICE!

Friday, October 21, 2011


There is an awesome thing about living in New York City that I've highlighted in my life. Connections. You will always see connections between people. I joke that there are only really 3, sometimes 2 degrees of separation between the 9 million of us here. Despite that there are so many of us, we're always on top of each other. We all...kind of know each other. Being a New Yorker, I've made connections a sort of theme in my life in general. I love bringing people together and having connections that make sense be made.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pigeon Variations Part 3. Do the twist.

Relaxing in your pigeon pose? Now, wanna make it harder? If you have flexible, open hips and want to go further, this is for you. If you LOVE twisting, this is for you. If you don't have flexible hips and just started doing yoga...maybe hold off on this -don't worry, you will get there in time.

First follow the last post on pigeon to get to your nice relaxing place. Right foot/leg is forward, left leg is elongated behind you, pushing the top of the left foot into the mat, and folded forward over and past your right leg, forehead resting on the floor or on a block or stacked fists. Breathe it out.

1. Come up to your forearms, press palms and forearms down as you pull your shoulders back and down. Chest forward. Think sphinx or baby cobra upper back.
2. Take your left arm and thread it under your right arm. Bring your left shoulder all the way to the floor. Side of your face and head should be resting on the floor. You can prop a blanket under the side of your head if needed, especially if its your first time twisting.
3. Take your right arm, and reach it behind and around you and either find your left hip or hold onto your right foot. Inhale deep into the back and around the kidneys, exhale let it all go.

Want to go further?
4. Bend your left knee towards your butt.
5. Left shoulder still on the floor, now left hand reaches for the left foot. Yeah, you're gonna feel that. Breathe with a slow exhale.
6. Take the tip of your tongue against the roof of the mouth behind your 2 front teeth, relax your jaw.

Next post; half pigeon bind, full pigeon bind and the choke hold.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yoga Scams

Dear Yoga teachers,
There have been a bunch of Yoga scams going on lately. Funny because the first one I actually thought was someone I knew who is just crazy and kind of a jerk pulling some sort of manipulative game on me. So, I actually wrote back waiting to see what he would do...then went on Yoga Alliance and found out he was an actual Yoga scammer! Just got another one today. on the look out for:

Or anyone else asking for privates and wanting to send you fake money orders.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pigeon Variations Part 2.

I used to hate pigeon pose because my leg would go numb. I remember my teacher saying "Hold for 8 breaths". That 8 breaths would feel like ETERNITY. I always felt so antsy and I couldn't relax in the pose. After having a consistent practice for a long time, pigeon became my FAVORITE pose. Weird how things turn out that way, yeah? Because I love it so much here are all the variations of it that I like doing:

How to get into pigeon pose.
1. From downward facing dog, lift your right leg up into the air in a 3 legged dog. As you exhale bring your right knee forward towards your nose as you come forward into a plank.
2. Place your right knee behind your right wrist. Flex your right foot a lot. Try to get your right ankle behind your left wrist so that your right shin is parallel to the front of your mat -p.s. its not likely it will actually be that parallel but you get it.
3. Now, look back at your left leg, it should be coming straight out of your left hip behind you. You don't want it to be crooked. Also, check to make sure your left foot is straight, top of the left foot should be pressing into the mat, with pressure on your big toe and second toe, you will feel a stretch in your left hip here.
4. Walk your hands by your hips and stack shoulders above hips. Square your hips a lot, and flex your right foot a lot. You can place a blanket or block under your right hip if you feel you need some extra support. Option: interlace your hands behind your back and press your palms together to open up your chest.
5. Walk the hands forward in front of you. Option: take a pause when you're on your forearms. Take them into a sphinx position and pull your chest slightly forward, as your chest pulls back, shoulder blades stay on the back. Flex the right foot more. Now walk the hands more forward as far as you can comfortably go. Options: rest your forehead on the floor if it feels good to go down that far and reach your arms forward. OR rest your forehead on a block or stack fists and rest your forehead there.
6. Stay here for 8 breathes. Keep flexing your right foot but relax everything else. Think savasana. All your muscles are melting into the floor except your right foot is flexing and your right shin is pushing into the mat. Breathe and repeat on the other side.

Next post will cover half pigeon and full pigeon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You can always go deeper

What I've learned from my Yoga teacher is, no matter how long you've been practicing, or how far you think you've can always go deeper.

I worked for about a year to get my first pigeon half bind and then another year to get full pigeon. I didn't think there was anything after that and have been comfortably struggling to get my full pigeon better. Last week upon my return from vacation I was surprised when my teacher told me to go deeper. I am sitting there already shaking from being out of practice for 2 weeks and just barely holding a full pigeon. I didn't even know what deeper meant.

Behold, the pigeon choke hold. What is it called in sanskrit? I have no this a real pose or did my teacher come up with this to torture us? This could be the case...Today in class in this particular pose I actually brought my elbow all the way down to my chest. It feels pretty insane. Break down of getting into pigeon, full pigeon and choke hold pigeon will be coming soon! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Germany for 2 weeks was a good long break for me. As a New Yorker, any vacation over 5 days is pretty long. Although I packed my jump rope and vowed to practice Yoga every day..that really only lasted the first 4 days. However, the rest of the time was a much needed break from over-training. This post is dedicated to over-training because I am constantly around people who are always over-training, including myself. When I teach Yoga I am constantly reminding Yogi's in class to check in with their bodies. Don't go into a full back bend if your body doesn't want to do it. There is no reason to push yourself into an injury. And some of're addicted to over-training so...please, REST!

You know you're over-training when:
1. You have a nagging injury that is just not going away...because you can't stop training. Stop now before it becomes something serious!

2. You're actually getting weaker and your definition is losing its form. You can't complete workouts in which you normally could and you're suddenly not just plateauing but now you're starting to lose muscle mass.

3. You're tired and fatigued no matter how much sleep you're getting

4. You forget what its like to not feel sore.

5. You're joints and bones are starting to feel sore

6. You're nagging injury is actually starting to make you feel depressed.

In conclusion, don't let this be you. Take a day off! Just one won't kill you. :) You're body will thank you for it. Because if you don't take care of your body you will lose the ability to do all the crazy rigorous physical activity you're obsessed doing, right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dragon eyes: Longan

One of my favorite fruits in the summer time is Longan -dragon eye. Though I've been eating it since I was a kid I only recently learned the medicinal properties of it. It is considered to be a sweet, astringent and warm. When dried its used to sooth anxiety. The fruit raw, can be good for heart palpitations and for weakness during pregnancy. The leaves can cool the system and the flowers and seeds aid the kidneys.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Yo Yoga on 59th Street is pretty awesome. I just finished trying it out for a month. I like that they offer 2 7am classes during the week. I would probably go to this studio more if it was in a more convenient location in relation to where I live. However, the studio itself is beautiful, especially when they hold outdoor classes on the roof deck. I highly recommend the 8am classes on Mondays and Fridays. Its difficult to find morning classes that are fun and challenging..I find that many early morning classes tend to be easier paced and not as hard. I went to the class this morning thinking that and thinking to myself...I really wish more open leveled classes would still include harder poses, especially headstand..and we did headstand! I love when that happensS! Thanks for the headstands this morning Yo Yoga!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teaching in Ridgewood, Queens!

Super last minute subbing...Friday Aug 5th 10am at IWONA YOGA. My dear dear friend's beautiful yoga studio.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Down dog on Astro turf!

Rooftop Yoga has to be one of the best ideas...of course only when weather permits. I took my first rooftop class at YoYoga today. Which is not in a very convenient location (near 59th St bridge) but its worth the trek for a outdoor class on astro turf. It really challenges your sense of balance and its only $12 a class.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I just got caught by my regular Yoga instructor, skipping his class and coming from another class. The worst part about it is, the class I went to wasn't really for me. ::Le Sigh::

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My first acupuncture needle

I needled my classmate today and she needled me. I am pretty sure we both missed the actual acupoint but it was pretty fun! I want to do it again!!!!!! Super addicted.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Leave-It-At-Home Practice.

Have you ever left your cell phone at home by accident? The panic hits when you realize it and you feel that drop in your chest. Sometimes I get pissed and most of the time I just live with it...because its actually no big. You continue to go about your day and there is something refreshing about not having to check your phone for texts, emails or even the time. I go about my day with no agenda but what's in front of me. Being so honestly, present.

On a normal day to day this is what I carry around in my purse with me.
(2 sets of flash cards, a book, a wallet, change purse, keys, flash drive, ipod, bottle of alleve, combination lock and lip balm.)

It is absolutely ridiculous, no? Add in sunglasses and a sigg bottle and that's not including my enormous cellphone which I used to take this photo. So I have this practice in which I try to not walk around without ALL my stuff. I am a New Yorker, so don't get me wrong -this is difficult...but when I am going to Yoga class early in the morning I leave my cellphone behind. Sometimes a random lunchtime stroll without the cellphone feels totally amazing. I go for runs with nothing but my door key and ipod. Its complete and utter "me" time. Whatever it is that is happening on the cellphone and email can wait! How else did we used to go about our lives in the 90's right? We still made it...and we can do it now. Or at least practice it even for just an hour. So practice leaving "it" whatever that may be...your purse, man purse, ipad, crackberry, iphone or cellphone. You can survive without it, trust me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Revisiting the Yoga Sammich

Normally, I do a Yoga Sammich once in a blue moon. Lately, I have been doing them a couple of times a week. Last week I practiced as many as 4 Yoga sammiches!

Practicing them more often, I notice how not only do they make my practices feel deeper, they make whatever I do in between feel more significant. Things that happen in between may only been having tea and reading a book or dropping packages off at the post office but they feel lighter and brighter. My actions come with more ease and I also feel less of an inclination towards being an angry New Yorker. There is a major calming effect that is more intense than just taking a single Yoga class. Try a Yoga Sammich and see how it makes your "in between" feel!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Is it my practice or your practice?

Yogatude is so ugly. People like this idea of being open but sometimes they really want validation. Which is totally cool except when it becomes something that is imposing onto other people. I find in Yoga studios and communities often, instructors who are imposing. This is one of the ugly things about Yoga. Although it is not really "Yoga" but something that people wrongfully manifest as Yoga. I find instructors who really just want people to listen to them. They want to be able to command people and have people follow what they say. What part of instructing does it become the teacher's practice more than the students? I think it can be a fine line and different for everyone.

I find this is what makes me not the greatest Yoga teacher. I truly do not want to make my classes be about me and how I am feeling and what I want to teach people but I try to mold the classes to the wants and needs of the class, which is difficult as its different everytime. Don't get me wrong I sometimes spend too much of a class in my head wondering if people like it, and maybe not enough of my energy towards the people themselves. Too much me and not enough them. Ultimately I want people to have an awesome hour to themselves and feel good afterwards. But if they can't parallel their feet in wheel pose perfectly after I mention it, am I going to keep pushing it? No. If someone can't square their hips off in Warrior I should I force their hips that way? No. Everyone's downward dog looks different and I don't believe I should make theirs look the way I want it to look or the way I want it to be. Where is the line of instructors taking the practice away from their students? On the flip side of this, like I mentioned before maybe this is what makes me OK at teaching Yoga and not great at it. I don't like to think of myself as a leader but as someone that can guide people. The importance in teaching Yoga for me is to guide people to the place where they can heal themselves.

Monday, June 27, 2011


A YOGA SAMMICH is when you sammich activities or things throughout the day in between 2 yoga practices. Today I sammiched my morning errands between two awesome and pretty challenging Yoga classes. You can sammich the whole day (I did that on Friday) OR you can sammich just a couple of hours.

You can also do a DOUBLE yoga. Which is doing 2 classes back to back.

Both often leads to extremely open hips and sore chattarunga arms. Lots of childs poses are a good thing!

After my Yoga Sammich I treated myself to POP burger sliders. And on that note...orchids in Flatiron District...

Let's try this again...July 1, Friday

COME ON! Everyone wants to practice outside.... SEE.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I'm a New Yorker so I always like my Yoga a little faster paced but more importantly sweaty and challenging. For this reason I've always shied away from Restorative Yoga classes. They are usually just too easy and not sweaty enough, however I took a really amazing Restore and Flow class this weekend. The beginning of class was difficult and rigorous, so that when I got into restorative pigeon, it felt super yummy. Restorative bhadda konasana was like Snooze town and then savasana -I coulda stayed there FOREVER.I am now IN LOVE with the idea of restorative however I do feel I need to be challenged for at least the first 30 min in order to appreciate the restorative-ness. ISHTA Yoga is pretty friggin awesome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still feeling HIGH!

From the outdoor practice yesterday in Times Square. So since the Thai Spirit is closed the next 2 Fridays...I decided to hold my class outdoors!

6/24/11 4:19PM: The ground is wet and there is still chance of rain. We will try for next week! Sorry no class today. xoxo, namaste

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yoga in Times Sq

Summer Solstice is AWESOME if you can practice Yoga in the middle of Times Square. It was surprisingly serene, quiet and easy to tune out the traffic sounds. I hate balancing postures because I can't do them and surprisingly didn't have as much trouble with Warrior 3 today. Thanks for all the good energy, Yogi's in Times Sq. You all ROCK!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Supported Savasanas

I am such a prop-less Yogi. I just don't like using them and partially this is because my hips are pretty open and flexible that I don't tend to need blocks in side angle. Props I DO really like to have are blankets and bolsters because they make for an amazing savasana experience. So I am going to share with you my favorite supported savasanas:

1- Rolling a blanket or using a bolster under the knees.
2- Rolled blanket or bolster along the thoracic and lumbar spine, opening up the chest and shoulders. This is also great with the legs in a baddakonasana position
3- do both!
4- Rolled blanket or bolster horizontally across the shoulders, just above the lower back. This is also nice with legs up the wall.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Scorpions again

I have been revisiting my Scorpion pose. I may have held it once or twice for more than a second but since I can't just go into it, I don't really consider it a pose I have under my belt. Its such a work in progress!

Last week I took a challenging and amazing class at Thai Spirit. First we worked on doing handstand scorpion against the wall. I went into a handstand against the wall and then started to arch my back while I walked my feet down the wall. It felt pretty cool since it was my first time doing it but no way could I do something like that without a wall! THEN onto forearm scorpion. Here is my thing...I still don't really practice regular forearm stand! Previously, in my scorpion break down post I was attempting to get into scorpion from headstand. Its kind of a jolting way to get into it since you go into a headstand and then start arching the back, THEN plant the hands flat on the ground, which is where most people will lose their balance and which is why I only hold it for a split second. SO nowadays I started just trying to hop into it already on my forearms. This sort of works sometimes except most times I just flip over into a back bend.

So last week in class, I got this really helpful tip. I set my forearms up like I was going into headstand.
1- Sit on the heels, knees together.
2- place forearms on the mat by lining elbows up with knees BUT I bring my hands in towards each other. So elbows wider than hands and I even crossed my index fingers and thumbs, creating this sort of diamond shape with my hands.
3- Extend legs to a dolphin pose
4- apply mulabanhda and look forward
5- kick up with control, don't be afraid to flip over.

At first I really thought the whole overlapping of fingers would make the base so unstable. BUT that trick changed the pose so much for me. Don't get me wrong, I am still flipping over, but I am holding for a couple more seconds longer now! Kind of loving the scorpion now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I really hate when I am in a Yoga class and I am set up for closing/winding down for savasana and on my back. Moving from a shoulder stand or a back bend and then all of a sudden they have me sit back up again to do forward folds! HOLY DIZZINESS. It always makes me leave the class with a fuzzy headache-y feeling. I enjoy closing with shoulder stands, back bends and matsyasana -fish pose.

How to get into fish pose:
1-Lay flat on your back and then inhale to puff your chest up, pulling the head back and slowly reaching the crown of the head to the ground.
2-Bend the elbows as your chest puffs up and let the weight fall into your arms
3-Point the toes
4-Feel good here? Let's go deeper! Use the strength of your belly or abs and life the legs of the ground while still pointing the feet.
5-Lift the arms and press the palms together for flying fish!

This is a great pose to do after shoulder stand and plow.

Benefits: back pain, respiratory issues, digestion, fatigue, anxiety and PMS.
Stretches the front of the neck and uses the strength of the belly. Stimulates the organs of the throat, thyroid and belly. Strengthens the upper back.
DON'T do this if: you have back pain or neck/shoulder pain.
Stop doing this pose if your neck starts to hurt!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A couple that breathes together, stays together.

I really like this idea of couples that help each other live awesome, healthy, active and happy lifestyles. Today I had a boyfriend and a girlfriend come and take my class together. Even though yoga is supposed to be your own moving meditation every once in a while in a difficult pose they would glance at each other and crack a smile like they were sharing an inside joke. I am not strict enough of a Yogi to think this is inappropriate. Instead I think its pretty friggin awesome. I like that despite the difficulties of what they were doing they helped each other keep it from being frustrating and instead fun -which is what I think Yoga is supposed be.

So, grab your significant other and take a class at Thai Spirit together! If you come together the class is only $10 each! Regular price is $15.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inspiration part 2

Why teaching others is so amazing...
In some ways I don't think being a Yoga teacher is "my thing". I don't like pushing my "stuff" on other people and acting like its what they should be doing. I am a very "do what you feel" kinda Yoga instructor. I keep things light and easy peasy...which I think makes me an OK yoga teacher and not a GREAT Yoga teacher. But it is what it is. However, teaching is super cool because I like making people feel good. I like knowing that if someone had a stressful day I gave them an hour of relief and maybe they can even take that relief with them. Even better...I like when I can help someone accomplish something they didn't think they could -like Side crow. This is one of my favorite arm balances because its a lot easier than it looks. Recently I taught 2 people how to do it. I simply showed the exact alignment for getting into it and hallelooo! Bam! Side Crow! I love that idea of people having the potential to accomplish certain things and its all about guiding them to the right tools to do so.

If you're interested in learning my alignment and break down for the pose...check out this old post.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Since the weather has been amazing I have been jogging laps around one of the parks in my neighborhood. I much prefer jogging laps around a park then doing the Westside Highway or Central Park runs since I can always cop out and come back home easily and also so I don't have to lay on sunblock. The sunblock thing is another reason why I run before 8am. Sundays at 6am btw, are the best mornings to run because the city is still quiet and there aren't as many runners out. Once you hit 7am everything becomes distracting and there are a lot of other runners out.

Lately I see a group of 3 older Asian ladies that walk laps around the park and another older Asian woman who power walks laps around the park. As I run my laps I count how many times I pass them. They are always there before me and still going after me. Today they inspired me to run 2 more laps than I planned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hot Yoga Vs. Bikram

So I just finished 2 weeks of practicing only Hot Vinyasa. It wasn't so bad. I still find any type of hot practice as something I will want to do once in a blue moon and never as a regular practice. I'm really curious about people who do this as a regular practice and whether or not they also have a regular not hot Yoga practice?

Why I prefer Hot Vinyasa over Bikram
• The room is not as boiling hot, so I don't feel like I'm suffocating or being cooked for dinner.
• The instructors don't bark pose commands at me but are much more gentle.
• The challenge isn't stay in a super hot crowded room with lots of sweaty people for 90 minutes..the challenge is to keep breathing.
• In Bikram you will get the same series over and over again in every class, Hot Yoga is more free flowing and each class will be different.
• Carpeted floors in Bikram, regular wood flooring in Hot Vinayasa (doesn't feel as gross but does call for more slippage)
• I feel the instructors can make an impact on their class more or less since they can change up the sequencing intuitively. Instructors can make an impact in class in Bikram as well but being the same series I feel its not as apparent.

Notes on any type of hot practice:
• Be EXTRA in tune with what your body wants and doesn't want.
• Skip poses when needed
• Drink water before class...even better -coconut water
• Drink water when you need to during class but don't O.D. bc it will affect some asanas like twists, binds and backbends.
• Breathe
• Use towels and be careful of slip and falls on the mat!
• Be careful of sweaty floors when you are walking out of class too!
• Not the type of practice you should push yourself too hard.
• Not recommended in the winter -the hot sauna like temperature will open up your pores and then when you got outside into the cold your body is open to sickness, wind and cold!

In conclusion, I enjoy the hot practice but not as a regular practice. Prana Power is a good studio if you want to try a hot class!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Return of the tight quads in Navasana

Another pose in which my quads sabotage me!

There's a lot going on in Navasana. To hold the v-sit you have hold the weight of your torso and legs. The hip flexors connected to the low back and thighs are all working together here to hold you up and balance. So the abs and back muscles are working together here in sort of an opposition in order to keep a super straight spine. For me this is not happening and I have to bend my knees and kept them parallel to the floor instead of having legs extended. With tight hamstrings such as mine, there will be no straightening of the knees!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hold back!

Today I sat through a 1 hour talk about Clinical Energetics. I don't know what I was expecting but a friend recommended it to me. It was taught by Gary Strauss and though it was pretty brief it gave me perspective in my Yoga practice as an instructor.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what it is to be an instructor or a teacher. Sometimes I think...that's not me. I don't like being the person to tell people what they should be doing because I naturally do not like being told what to do. If its cold out and my mother says bring a warmer jacket or sweater I will automatically NOT listen to her. Its just a plain old bad habit. Mostly this idea of teaching or instructing brings me to a place where I think...I know my body and myself best, because I am me, and its my body. Just like you know yourself and your body best because its yours, you deal with it everyday since the day you were born. Which is why sometimes I feel like its not my place to tell people what to be doing -what do I really know? What do I know more about my yoga students than they do? Though when I think of teaching yoga as a guidance it feels more...ME -I feel more comfortable putting it out there.

So there is this idea that whatever energy you walk into a room with you taint it with. And there is this idea of holding all the energy back in order to allow people who are going through something to have space. This idea of "Holding Space". I loved how this applied so much to my Yoga practice and also what I do wrong as a Yoga teacher. Sometimes I am so worried if the students are enjoying class that the worry is taking up too much of the physical space and that energy is effecting them. There is something to be said about holding all of that back as much as possible while teaching because people's bodies have an innate sense of healing themselves. Its all about giving them the space to do so and giving guidance. Instead of thinking about whether or not the class is going well, or rather thinking about myself, I should be holding it back and thinking that these students know what to do for themselves to make the experience enjoyable. They have their own intuition about how their body is doing at any given moment or in any pose.

Practice yoga outdoors and see how different the energy around you feels when you're not contained and you have infinite space. In the class today Gary Strauss had everyone in the room who complained of back or shoulder pain sit in the front of the room while everyone else in the room made a conscious effort to bring their energy behind them. The others were only told to think "all beings have the capacity to take care of themselves" and "all living things are intelligent" I was sitting in the front of the room with lower back and shoulder pain and after just sitting there I felt the sensations of: lightness and coolness. It was like a weight was lifted. My pain definitely eased but, thought it didn't go away completely or stay away, but there was something there.

So stay positive and don't taint the space with self important junk!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Birds of Paradise.

I took a great yoga class the other day and its been a while since I practiced in a crowded room. We did Bird of Paradise pose in class and what irritates me about it is...well 1. its a balancing pose. Anytime I have to balance on one foot its a problem! Especially my left foot. 2. My quads and my hamstrings prevent me for extending my legs because they are just too tight. In this pose, getting the bind is the easiest part. Balancing on one foot, ugh..ok I can get there sometimes on a good days..then extending that leg out? its not happening! Either way...its such a lovely pose once you can do it in its full expression. 

Here are 2 different ways I like getting into Bird of Paradise.
1. Come into side angle pose with the right hand planted on the inside of the right foot. Open the shoulders a lot and then bind.
2. Walk the left foot in towards the front of the mat about 1 foot, then turn the right foot in to make it parallel to the left. 
3. Now walk the right foot closer to the left so they are about hip's width. 
4. Shift weight to the left leg and slowly lift the right leg
5. If you don't have tight hamstrings and quads...extend the right leg. 

1. Come to a forward fold with feet hip distance apart.
2. Take the right arm under the right leg, left arm behind the back and bind
3. Shift your weight to the left leg and slowly lift the right.
4. Extend the right leg straight/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring, change and tulips

Because it is Spring (finally in NYC), the theme of change comes up for me. It's come up in several different ways in the last few weeks. One big change for me is that I will be going back to school! HOOOOEMMMMGEEE. That's weird for me because it's been a long time. I'm already feeling anxiety about how I'll be juggling things in my schedule! But also the good anxiety in which I'm excited and anticipating.

Another change theme that seems to keep coming up is the idea of changing yourself for someone. I always hear people say "don't change for someone" which I think depends on the situation. I think its all good to change or compromise if you find it better for all parties to co-exist better, but to straight up change without checking in with yourself is a whole 'nother story. Then there is the idea that when someone becomes imposing and you have to work around them. I hate those situations because it is usually a situation in which there isn't much that you can do to change the environment and so you have to put up with a certain amount of catering to said imposing person in which ultimately, you change in order to make them feel better about their insecurities. And then there is the situation where someone is so rude that you want to be rude or nasty right back to them..but then you stop and realize...that's not me, I can't let this rude nasty person change the way I would normally act.

Next time you are stuck in one of these situations in which you don't want to change for someone else...after thoughtful meditation and consideration if you still feel stuck or trapped, image you're in Triangle Pose and you're trying to stack your hips and shoulders. You know when the instructor tells you to imagine you're trying to fit between two narrow walls or panes of glass? Be a nice Triangular place. It is what it is and you find away to make it work some how.

Stop NYC, and take in those tulips! University Pl.