Archive | September 2011

Yoga Peach!

New Schedule!!!!  Tuesdays 6:30-7:45pm, Level 2 Vinyasa Yoga.  Sundays 9:30-10:30am Power Vinyasa. Starts now!!!! (September 26th).  The above classes are taught at Equinox, Columbus Circle location.

Starting October 19th!!!  New Class!!!!!  Wednesdays, 7:30-8:30pm, Level 2/3 Vinyasa Yoga.  Equinox Soho location.

Please come to any class that suits your schedule, and if you need to be my guest just let me know, I would be happy to have you!

This blog entry is devoted to Yoga Peach, another yoga blog out there.  Let me tell you my yoga peach story.  At first I was thinking, most likely as you are, “what is a yoga peach?”  Well, to be quite honest, I am not entirely sure.  I came across the phrase yoga peach because someone with that screen name or screen persona left a lovely comment on this very blog, indicating that she would like to feature one of my photos on her website, Yogapeach.com.  So, like any good internet-savvy (kind of) person, I googled it and found that a yoga peach is a way of describing a way of being, an outlook on life that reflects the wonderful qualities of things we love and enjoy, in this case, peaches.  For this particular yoga peach, she feels an affinity towards the wonderful juiciness, sweetness, extraordinary color, taste, texture and nourishment found in nature, and ascribes those qualities towards her view of yoga, yoga practice, and in turn life as a gift from nature.  At least, thats what I got from it:)  Check it out yourself on http://www.yogapeach.com

So many of you know that I am not the most computer/technology/”new thing” savvy person out there, and believe me, I realize that as long as I cling to that part of myself I will never be savvy in this arena.  I am ok with this.  For now, suffice to say that I usually picture the computer and internet specifically as having such extraordinary powers as to be only accessible because there is a small man inside the computer, connecting all the wires, delivering the mail, deciphering the codes, etc. Now just to be 100% clear, I don’t really think this, but it helps me to imagine that there is some sort of human element involved in all this technological exchange, lest I get disheartened by the thought of a machine run existence which I am admittedly a consistent participant in.  So – enter yoga peach…as I read this comment by a stranger, someone showing interest in the content of my blog, I contacted her, we exchanged, and poof!  There was my picture as “featured image of the day” on her blog.  This is the magic of technology!  This is what people talk about when they speak of “so-and-so read my blog and…”  I mean, really?  Does that happen?  Yes!  It does!

As you can see from the beginning of this post, I have been fortunate enough to be teaching two new/old classes starting on October.  I say new/old because neither of them is new for me really…the Sunday 9:30am class is just another incarnation of my previous Sunday morning class, except starting 30 min later and with a bit more kick to it:)  The Wednesday night Soho class is a fortunate, bitter sweet take over for my dear teacher Derek Beres, whose absence will be felt not just by me but by many dedicated yogis all over NYC.  All in all I can say for certainty that number one, if that little man is running around inside the computer, he is working overtime and I thank him from the bottom of my heart.  Number two, the wonders of communication, community and generosity of strangers never ceases to amaze me – does it matter what medium it occupies?

I dont have much to add for this post in terms of yoga asanas, breathe techniques, meditation mantras or anatomical alignment updates.  All I can say is that I am extraordinarily pleased with the wonders of life, and this for me always includes yoga on some level.  I hope it does for you as well.  See you in class!

“It is the truth we ourselves speak rather than the treatment we receive that heals us.”  (O. Hobart Mowrer, 1966)

“Things do not change.  We change.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden


This entry was posted on September 27, 2011. 2 Comments

Kundalini on Kythera :)

Current schedule:  Vinyasa Yoga, Level 2, Equinox Columbus Circle, Tuesdays 6:30pm (ongoing). Subbing:  for Derek, Vinysasa Basics and  Level 2/3, Equinox Soho, Wednesday September 14th, 6:30 and  7:30pm.

Hello!  Happy week after Labor Day weekend to you. I hope you all enjoyed some time off and were able to avoid major damage/destruction during both the earthquake and hurricane that passed through New York City during the last few weeks of August.  I was fortunate enough to have missed the hurricane, as I was very far away, in Athens Greece, awaiting a flight to a small, unspoiled Greek island in the Mediterranean named Kythera.  It is by far one of the most beautiful, serene, peaceful places I have ever been in my life. I was lucky enough to have visited this same island last year for a Kundalini Yoga retreat, led by the folks at Semperviva Yoga, based in Vancouver, BC.  I knew this was a place I wanted to return to again, if only to re-live the beauty and tranquility another time.

This year I returned for an official Kundalini teacher training course, consisting of 35 hours of both hands on class-taking/yoga practice time, exposure to Kundalini philosophy, history and culture, along with chances to teach and reflect deeply on our own personal yoga practice.  The environment was so incredibly suited for self reflection, there was almost no way I could come back from this trip the same person I was when I left. Suffice to say this trip changed me, changed my yoga practice, and opened my world in such a magical and inspiring way I am driven to attempt to explain it.  Words fall short in describing some of the most wonderful experiences in life, when your heart opens and your spirit lifts, yet I insist on sharing my experience with you as best I can.

Some of what I learned was the difference between thinking, doing and feeling. Why are these things different?  Why should we think one thing, feel another thing, and still, do something entirely different?  This is how we have been trained, to mask how we really feel, to cover our true nature in fear, insecurity, perfectionism, judgement, negative emotions or other means by which to separate ourselves from others, and ultimately from ourselves.  When we come to a place where we are honest with ourselves, when we really listen to what is inside, we can integrate and really act how we think and feel.  How liberating!  But wait, how does one get to this place?  I would not claim to know the answer to this, but I think meditation and yoga practice is one way.  When we meditate, we become still and quiet.  In this space, our demons come out, and we are in a position to sit with ourselves and really begin to understand the forces within that keep us from freely expressing who and what we are, which is a vehicle of love, compassion and service. What are these demons?  Judgement?  Fear?  Is it old pain, or new pain, or something of a blurred mix of new/old/not-sure-when pain?  For me it is all of these things.  One main demon of mine is doubt. The voice I hear most loudly when I sit to meditate, and I am new to having a consistent meditation practice (and I am a yoga teacher!), the voice I hear most loudly is doubt, the mirror image of fear.  This is the voice telling me all the things I cannot do, how difficult it will be, why I cannot surmount the difficulty, and why it is better to not even try.

Why change when you can stay the same?  Well, because change allows us to grow and growth brings things into our lives that we need, on a fundamental level.  Growth, ironically, ultimately brings the security we crave.  When we grow and begin to glow with the light of self love, love for others and compassion, we attract the things we want – whether it be a better job, a meaningful relationship, our passion for our family or our ability to give the best of ourselves in whatever we are involved in.

This teacher training was all about growth for me.  I am not a Kundalini Yoga instructor, I am not even a Kundalini Yoga practitioner. For years I have been teaching, practicing and studying Vinyasa yoga, with sprinklings of Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.  In order to fully appreciate another form of yoga, I had to humble myself to learn a new form of teaching, a new language of spiritual development, a new path for my yogic practice.  As with anything that is special to us, a new format or teacher can feel threatening and have the opposite effect, making us cling even harder to what we know. Clinging and defending will have the opposite effect, closing you off to what is possible.  When you make space, things come. When you become empty, you leave room to be full.  I cannot go into the entire methodology of Kundalini Yoga in this post, there is tremendous research out there to demonstrate how it has changed peoples lives and put them on a path to growth and spiritual fulfillment.  I am just happy to have been part of it, if even just for a week.

In order to receive  my certificate from this teacher training, I have to complete 40 days of meditating first thing in the morning, followed by a cold (ish) shower. The meditation should last for at least 11 minutes. I have done it 2 consecutive days so far. I am so proud of myself!  I always wanted a consistent meditation practice, and now I am forging that path. I remind myself of what power there can be in stillness.  I feel myself manifesting the things I want and becoming more and more the person I would like to be.  I am not there yet, but hey, maybe I’ll just have to hop over to Kythera again next year 🙂  There are worse ways to discover what you want in life:)

“It is the truth we ourselves speak rather than the treatment we receive that heals us.”  (O. Hobart Mowrer, 1966)

“Things do not change.  We change.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden