Archive for the ‘Hot List 3’ Category

Day 6 Seattle-Yoga Studio Magnolia-Brooke & Lee

Lee Atwell & Brooke Zwerner

Lee Atwell & Brooke Zwerner

The daylight hours in Seattle this time of year are seemingly 20 hours long, but today is Summer Solstice – so we can bump that up a notch!  Celebratin’ the Sun, we are up at an even earlier crack to take “back to back” classes with Lee Atwell (yogini) and Brooke Zwerner (yogi), owners of The Yoga Studio in Magnolia. Hidden in a quaint village filled with happy people and even happier dogs, The Yoga Studio in Magnolia is in perfect harmony with the mellow feel of this drop-dead gorgeous neighborhood. Enter this serene space and any stress you thought you may have once had…is long-gone.

Lee-&-Brooke

Lee & Brooke

“Feelin’ the Love”, on this extraordinary Sunday morning, Brooke, a 30 year student of Baba Hari Dass, began his deeply-grounding Vinyasa 1-2 class with pranayama, mantras and bhandas that centered each yogi, guiding them to feel fully present prior to beginning a meditation in motion. Brooke’s attentive and experienced adjustments allowed the YoYos to feel familiar poses at a much deeper level.  This interesting Yogi also works individually with students giving personalized yoga consultations based on Jyotish readings.

Feeling one with the earth after Brooke’s focused class, Lee entered the room with energy so serene, so calming – The YoYos felt their hearts smile- a feeling they never want to loose. This joyful class began with grounding pranayama and guided visualizations that continued to expand throughout every deepening asana. Lee’s continual encouragement to freely open the heart to the sun gave new voice to familiar poses. This gifted teacher’s authentic presence was generously shared to the fortunate yogis in her class through the special gift of her angel- like voice, which resonated like a beautiful melody with spoken words.

Discovery-Park-Light-House

Discovery Park Light House

What’s a YoYo to do after classes like that???? OM’n in nature comes to mind.  How fortunate to have Discovery Park, an emerald forest with zillions of miles of trails, located on the Sound …only minutes away! It’s all coming together now…the mellow people, the happy dogs, the enlightin’ yoga studio, the rainbow-colored flora growing in prehistoric proportions…Magnolia is a “not to miss” place when in Seattle!

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Day 22 Portland-Amrita-Sarajoy Marsh

Sarahjoy Marsh

Sarahjoy Marsh

So why does every bloggin’, face-bookin,’ tweetin’ yogi in existence keep tellin’ the YoYo’s  to just throw down that manduka with Sarahjoy Marsh at amrita: a sanctuary for yoga ; while in the land of bridges, beer, bicycles, tattoos and feelin’ good city-wide group hugs, Portland.  Floatin’ into this yogi haven in the early morn, we were about to solve this mysterious puzzle…

Smooth and easy, Sarahjoy slowly began her Anusara 3 class, sharin’ her mat with her  “cute as a button, monkey toy chewin’” pup, who was bent on skippin’ this stimulating, spiritual, philosophical, deeply felt inverted practice and get right to savasana.  Seems Paquito was accustom to feelin’ the mellow vibes of his trusted companion, the soothing energy from this welcoming clan of yogis and the calming effect created by this mind-expandin’, hand standin’ heart-openin’ joyful practice.  The YoYos growin’, learnin’ and enjoyin’ every minute spent with this “wealth of knowledge” teacher, were about to find out…this was only the beginning…

Living Yoga

Living Yoga

Living her yoga, on and off the mat; this accomplished yogi, spiritual teacher and sought-after trainer founded, “Living Yoga,” a P-Town based program bringin’ yoga to people who would otherwise never know its peace-producin’ benefits. Just 10 years ago, Sarahjoy began livin’ her karma yoga by teachin’ two classes per week at a minimal detention center.  She was inspired…and inspiring, as more teachers joined her quest to expand yoga to those living in personal prisons or behind prison walls.  Steady and strong, this amazing vision grew, received its non profit 501(C) (3) status and now serves 10,000 hours of yoga each year to people in real need!  The “soul full” eyes of Jim, a volunteer yoga teacher at a maximum security prison, tells the story of this caring man who understands with his heart, that it is possible that anyone with one bad decision made, could end up in the same position as the people he dedicates his time to.  Shyly, he admits this program feeds his soul. A committed community willing to “Invest in the Human Spirit” forges this amazing program forward.  Living Yoga is alive in this beautiful sanctuary!

YO!!!  The YoYos now get to join the party with the, bloggin,’ facebookin,’ tweetin’ yogi geeks of the world…PUZZLE SOLVED!…amrita: a sanctuary for yoga is extraordinary!

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Day 48 SF-Global Yoga-Mary Jarvis

There’s JUST something about MARY….

Gotta Love Mary

Mary Jarvis

When the YoYo’s were led to Mary Jarvis by seemingly everyone in the country, we were curious to uncover what is was about this “living legend” of Bikram Yoga that triggered so much conversation, and caused Yoga Journal to feature an article disclosing her fascinating life.

After doin’ our research we discovered this icon had been trained by Bikram before he was Bikram, and had an “off the charts” 26 pose practice before yoga had mats.  When we also found that drinkin’ water and wipin’ sweat during Mary’s class, wasn’t exactly welcome; we had nightmares of drowin’ in our own sweat and havin’ parched throats dryer than the Sahara.  But tonight, we were goin’ to “take one for the team” and go sans water bottle and towel… good thing there was no mention of goin’ without our “go everywhere”  Yogitoes…the only thing that prevents the sweatin’ YoYo’s from slip slidin’ to San Diego.

Global Yoga Studio

Global Yoga Studio

Walkin’ into Global Yoga, Mary’s legendary San Francisco studio, we were greeted by Huub, one of the countless international Bikram yogis that flock here to work with the Master.   And then we met Mary.  The happy, joyous, smilin’, super-approachable, super-interestin’, funnier than hell…. Mary.

A Few of Mary's Faithful

A Few of Mary's Faithful

During the next 90 minutes of this world famous sequence, we worked really hard. We sweated, laughed and learned the humungous internal benefits received from each posture.  We learned that drinkin’ water after backbendin’ in heat will make you dizzy and barf.  We learned perfect alignment, taught not to stress about it and then we laughed some more.  We learned it’s not about protein-it’s about prana, that wipin’ your sweat breaks the mood and that 4-5 days per week of committed practice could shrink our saggin’ butts. Then we deeply inhaled some mind expandin’ perspectives from this celebrated teacher who has had 75 of her students open Bikram studios worldwide due the rich inspiration they have received from… Mary.

Funny, but not once during that 1 ½ hours did the YoYo’s think about takin’ a sip, a wipe or anything else,  as this powerful teacher kept our YoYo heads right into every thyroid stimulatin’, fat reducin’,  tension releasin’ moment.  It didn’t take the YoYo’s long to figure it out….

It’s not just SOMETHING about Mary…  It’s EVERYTHING about Mary!

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Day 67 LA-Exhale-Seane Corn

Seane Corn

Seane Corn

All amped up with anticipation, we entered the illustrious Santa Monica studio, EXHALE, where dramatic artwork of the “Superstars of Yoga” that teach in this celebrated space, are lined along its famous walls. Immediately, we recognized the stunning, poster sized photo of Seane Corn, who inspired the YoYos in our “worn out and replaced 3 times” beloved collection of Bryan Kest Power Yoga Series as the super-strong, “white leotard-ed”, beautiful bendy student.  Excited were we, that tonight, live and in person, we were to take class from that “front and center” yogini, turned world renowned instructor/activist, in this vibrant L.A. studio.

Seane serves up individual attention

Seane serves up individual attention

Tryin’ to be chill when Seane entered, lookin’ absolutely identical to the way she did in those mid 90’s tapes (sans the white leotard); the YoYo’s somehow easily relaxed during the commencing total body integration.  We couldn’t help but once again be inspired by this skilled, eagle-eyed teacher who immediately scoped out the packed class and built our amazing practice based on the needs of this individual clan.  Seems tonight’s band of yogis started with tight little “hammies” that Seane wasn’t goin’ to let us leave with. As she worked us through every spiral imaginable in those stretched to capacity legs, the YoYo’s were pretty sure; we might walk out of this class, 2” taller with hanumanasana (crotch on floor splits) as part of our daily practice.  Seane beautifully built this sequence, step by step, preppin’ each muscle for the next more advanced move, making the surprising abilities of our own YoYo legs, unrecognizable.   The YoYo’s loved the way this giving teacher freely offered her endless experienced mental and physical adjustments to every well cared for yogi in this supported space.

Off The Mat Into The World

Off The Mat Into The World

Seems the studio is only the beginning to Seane’s generosity as she has taken her yoga “off the mat” to work with Annie Lennox’s SING Project to bring awareness to AIDS in Africa, Ashley Judd to fight YouthAIDS in India and most recently, teemed with Hala Khouri and Suzanne Sterling to start a remarkable organization.  Recently launched, “Off the Mat Into the World” offers in-depth workshops for searchin’ yogis to help them discover their unique purpose and inspire them to use their special gifts to give back to their local or global communities.  What a stellar concept from this… most inspirin’ teacher!

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Day 78 LA-LYFE Yoga-Valinda Cochella

Yoga, in all its bazillion interpretations, has not escaped these inquisitive YoYos, with the exception of that once privileged form, Kundalini. Not available to us westerners until ’69; Yogi Bhajan feelin’ everyone, even roadtrippin’ YoYos, should enjoy its benefits, boldly broke tradition and brought this ancient practice to the U.S. On this super-sunny So Cal day, we zipped down the famed Pacific Coast Highway to LYFE Yoga Center in Hermosa Beach to experience the mystery of Kundalini yoga.

Valinda Cochella

Valinda Cochella

Walkin’ into witness the jaw-droppin’ view of this seaside studio, The YoYos were immediately taken by the “arms wide open” warmth of our super-friendly teacher, Valinda Cochella, founder of “South Bay Yoginis”, a network of highly trained instructors. As happy, shinin’ yogis were busy arrangin’ their blankets and mats into their familiar friendly circle, the room started buzzin’ with praises for today’s kindhearted teacher and her unique gift of leadin’ this unusual practice.

Over the next 90 minutes, the curious YoYos learned that Kudalini yoga links repetitive, dynamic asana with breath, for the specific purpose of tappin’ into the resident energy livin’ at the Muladhara root chakra (base ‘o spine) and allowin’ it to awaken the body as it moves up through all seven chakras.

Mystic Messengers

Mystic Messengers

Our connected, generous guide lead us through the 23, eyes closed; set poses which were taken straight out of “the book”, keepin’ it pure, the way it was practiced by the masters, eons ago. Each fast paced, repetitive, 2-3 minute movement was accompanied by Valinda’s continual reminder to breathe deeply and internally repeat the mantra “sat nam” (truthful self). Sweatin’ buckets and feelin’ like floatin’, the lucid YoYos couldn’t explain the crystal clarity they were feelin’ from these seemingly simple, short lived asanas. Kinda makes ya go… Hmmmm…

After class the YoYos headed back to their soon fleeting sailboat digs when, like a miracle, Flipper and life-long mate spurted by to say “om shanti”. The Kundalini state of mind YoYos couldn’t help but wonder if these “good omen” mammals were joyfully communicatin’ dolphin wisdom; always jump and play, smile Big with teeth showin’, and just keep on flowin’ through the uncharted, eye-openin’, energy tappin’ waters of this “most excellent” adventure.


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Day 93 San Diego-Yoga Tropics-Margaret Stockalper

The Cliffs of Encinitas

The Cliffs of Encinitas

Is it the rumored vortex hangin’ off the sparklin’ shore , the spiritual energy of SRF that lives atop the vertical cliffs or is it simply a fluke that has the town of Encinitas packed with so many yoga studios, that even legendary klutz, YoYoYogini, could pitch a ball with eyes closed and hit a studio or two? Seemingly 24/7 this quintessential SoCal beach community, offers continual classes swarmin’ with surfers, runners, bikers, paddle boarders and ½ naked people who turn to Yoga as a way to keep them bendy, stretchy, strong and lookin’ hot.

Carla, Margaret, & Tracey

Carla, Margaret, & Tracey

Openin’ this “most excellent” yoga significant, 94th day, with the miracle of a hummin’ bird literally kissin’ The Ru; the wise, kind, ‘ol, grandfather cocker spaniel on his “ginormous” nose, the YoYos hightailed it to Yoga Tropics in Encinitas. Here ,we were to see how the Stockalper’s, a super-cool family of previously beaten-up athletes have shared their savin’ grace of yoga, and built one helluva tight-knit yoga community. Drawin’ top-notch surfers, professional athletes, gurus, beginners, kids and “silver foxes”, everyone is seemingly attracted to this charismatic Mom, Dad, and two stunnin’ daughters that simply love yoga and their beach paradise in which it thrives.

Warmly, or “hotly” welcomed into the packed 105 degree studio, the YoYos were excited to experience the signature “Basic Tropics Flow” from Mom, Margaret. Accalmatin’ to the heat, the toxin’ releasin’ YoYo’s loved the friendly feel, fillin’ this inferno. Mixin’ it up and creating a unique yoga style influenced by Bikram, Vinyasa and Ashtanga; Margaret led this fiery power hour while daughters Carla and Tracey expertly adjusted every sizzlin’ yogi in this steamy space. Attention abounded as this carin’ trio made sure every yogi, athlete or klutz, worked their personal edge and felt the love.

Walkin’ into the “hangin’ out” lobby after class for a most coolin’ coconut milk, the whole family excitedly shared their buffet of yoga offerings which included an eclectic mix of the unheated variety and the upcomin’ surf/yoga event in Costa Rica with “yogi/surfer in the gnar”, Critter Baugh.

The YoYos love these guys, their epic community and… their “most excellent” family business!


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