Archive for the ‘Hot List 4’ Category

Day 7 Seattle-Yoga Arts-Denise Benitez

SeattleYogaArts logoExcited to experience the much anticipated teaching excellence of Denise Benitez, co-chair of the world-wide Anusara certification committee, the YoYos got all dressed & ready in their cool new YoYoYogi T’s and raced across town to arrive 30 minutes early to Seattle Yoga Arts. Running up to the door of this understated studio, we found a sign stating, “Doors open 10 minutes before class”.   Having a tad bit excess energy from just downing a Gingerade Kombucha, we decided to take a lap before returning to what appeared to be a theatre cue of people waiting to enter this extremely popular, Capitol Hill class.

Denise Benitez

Denise Benitez

As the door opened, the energetic, smilin’ yogis entered the spacious one- room studio and quickly rolled out their mats …it appeared they too were excited to experience the next 1 ½ hours.  Mats nearly touching, we quickly got to know our neighboring yogis who seemed unusually full of joy as they gushed over Denise and told us this talented mentor was going to teach us ….A lot!

The class started with 3 strong vibrating OMs, and then began the…“What’s goin’on?” moment, when the entire room joyously gave way to the vibrant “invocation”. Unfamiliar to the YoYos, this beautiful Sanskrit chant immediately overwhelmed us with a smilin’ peace that grew throughout this delicately challenging practice.

SeattleYogaArts

Subtle Adjustments

Denise’s profound knowledge peppered with her giant sense of humor helped students focus as she gently guided them to deeply “feel” the asanas, to work on subtle, modest movements as they explored each pose. She encouraged the yogis to learn to love the way a pose feels … after the delightful first 3 seconds when the asanas become….Fulfilling.  Interestingly, with her experienced guidance, the YoYos actually yearned to hold poses longer making those subtle adjustments to let that fulfillment take hold!  The yogis in this class were right…the YoYo’s had a mind-expandin’ practice.

The close of class was a gift – Denise lead a mediation that felt deep, sacred and the perfect intro into the most beautiful savasana.  What a treat for the yogis on Capitol Hill to have Seattle Yoga Arts lead by such a caring, gifted and jokester Anusara teacher, right in their backyard.

To get the true flavor of this extraordinary studio…check out…

“Many Flowers, One Heart
2009 Real People Yoga Calendar


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Day 23 Portland-CPY SE-Jill Allen

CorePower Yoga SE Portland

CorePower Yoga SE Portland

Havin’ experienced a most outrageous butt-kickin’ at CorePowerYoga NW, the masochistic YoYos decided to travel across P-town to check out the latest, greatest creation of this national powerhouse. Enterin’ CorePowerYoga’s SE location, we found CPY’s  signature urban hip space; filled with friendly yogis chattin’, comfy couches for hangin’, spa-like dressin’ rooms for chillin’ and outrageous yogi wear for stylin’ while takin’ some of the most rockin’ yoga classes on the planet.

Jill Allen

Jill Allen

Findin’ our way inside the sparklin’, sun drenched space; we found our 2×6 next to the dazzlin’ wall of windows and breathed deeply while waitin’ for this innovative studio’s premiere teacher, Jill (ie) Allen, a sweet, killer red-head with a gentle demeanor – at least for the first few minutes. Her filled to capacity class of faithful followin’ “love to power it up” yogis began with a “come onto your mat- and into your body warm-up” that soon lead to a, “you gotta be kiddin’ me- this is kickin’ our butt”, unique flow that made the YoYos wonder how they could be totally wrung out, and beggin’ for more. This girl mixed it up and kept the YoYos on their toes… feet, heads and hands as we envisioned Jill spending days, hours and weeks in creation of those perfectly sequenced asanas. Consistently, she tested the commitment, strength and balance of her super – experienced students, as she guided those “up for a challenge newbie’s” right along with the pros. Her precise adjustments and spine-tingling foot massage in savasana clued the YoYos that Jill was a supreme massage therapist… You can be sure to find the YoYos blissin’ at Jill’s place, Just Breathe Oregon.

Wrung out, calmed down and lovin’ the world as we oozed out the door , we decided to do some YoYo roadtrippin’ research and check out not one, but many of the zillion happy hours that help make this electric city a YoYo fave!

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Day 50 SF-Piedmont Yoga-Ann Dyer

Yo!…Day 50…  Already half way through this most excellent adventure… and the “spinnin’ on a dime”, YoYo’s celebrated by throwin’ their “best laid plans” out the proverbial window.  Seems the “in the know” Bay Area yogis are a little more than adamant about addin’ more epic of the epic teachers to the YoYo’s vast itinerary.  So “away we go” on this divine day, as we head waaaaay across the Bay to the space where luminary owners Rodney Yee and Richard Rosen, bring yoga leaders of legendary scope together at the Piedmont Yoga Studio.  This stellar studio voted “Best Yoga Studio 2009″ by the readers of East Bay Express offers yoga classes for everybody;  seniors, disabled persons, people suffering from illnesses, mom’s to be and well, …just everybody!

Ann Dyer

Ann Dyer

Today, we had the profound pleasure of takin’ a Hatha 2-4 class at this celebrated studio from Ann Dyer, ex-dancer, former jazz singer and now, on now her 3rd blissful life, as a “most excellent” Hatha and Nada yoga instructor.  Using her spiritually rich gift of voice, Anne joyfully began by filling the room with a most beautiful, soothing chant that relaxed the YoYo’s into Ann’s theme of the day….Shoulders!

Yogini and Singer

Yogini of Sound

Shoulders openin’, shoulders rotatin’, and shoulders at times, feelin’ like they were gonna fall off;  we learned how to use the tops, sides and blades of those “holdin’ the weight of the world” ledges to allow our chest, back and even our kidneys to open- or in Ann speak, “fluff”!  Rehearsing Ann’s scientific lesson through familiar postures during this subtle, yet advanced practice we learned to make our “tired” Down Dog’s and Warrior One’s, feel bright, shiny and new!

The YoYo’s loved practicin’ what we were learnin’ under Ann’s super-experienced microscopic eye, knowing these priceless lessons were a gift to take with us on the next 50 days…and the rest of our yogi lives!

Muir Beach

Muir Beach

Feelin’ strappin’ and strong after our most remarkable time with brilliant Ann, the YoYo’s took a long drive to the Pacific Ocean. Wearin’ sweats and sweaters, hats and gloves….we heard every beautiful language on the planet earth being spoken at Muir Beach, “The United Nations of Marin County”. Whippin’ wind didn’t faze the always curious YoYo’s who decided to climb above the opaque fog to get the “full monty” of this jaw-droppin’ place that people come from all over the world to see.

Lucky YoYo’s are we!  Fifty down and 50 most excellent days to go!


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Day 68 LA-Exhale-Saul David Raye

Saul David Reye

Saul David Raye

After experiencin’ our spirited, “Welcome to L.A”, yoga over the past few days, the achin’ YoYos were euphorically visualizin’ the magical healin’ energy of tonight’s class with, Saul David Raye, one of the Western hemisphere’s leading forces in yoga instruction and Thai massage.  Meeting this captivating yogi at the high-flyin’ EXHALE studio in Santa Monica before class, the YoYo’s felt a genuine peaceful vibe just radiatin’ off this spiritual teacher who began meditating as a teen, spent a year in a Buddhist Monastery and years training in both Asia and India.

Our grateful YoYo bodies couldn’t believe our God given destiny as this intuitive teacher had us begin this insightful class by lying on our back, reconnecting to the earth… the source.   In all the world, there was no place the YoYos would rather have been than stretched out on that comfy bolster listenin’ to Saul’s soothing voice guide us into bliss…  lettin’ our “super-fried” muscles take a much needed rest.

Reconnecting to the Source

Reconnecting to the Source

Set to the inspiring’ “So much Magnificence” soundtrack of Steve Gold, Saul began just lettin’ us go, lettin’ us melt, and flow and feel and live every free movement that he loosely led allowin’ us liberated yogis to go with what the body needed, creatin’ the energy we wanted, and find the relaxation we were cravin’.  Freedom to feel the movement, without stress or strain, Saul encouraged us to back away from that critical point of forcin’; but rather allow ourselves to just melt into our bones, lettin’ the poses find their unique fit in our body. Feelin’ boundless and released from this uninhibited practice, Saul introduced the power of joy through, “a YoYo first,” yogi laughter meditation, followed by the sweetest savasana on planet earth.

Soaring after this spiritual, reflective, joyous, centered, connected class, the YoYos floated back to the sailboat where they were spendin’ most every minute when not in our “most excellent” L.A. yoga classes; watched the full moon, drank the fruit of the vine, felt the breeze and once again… connected with Mother Earth.

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Day 80 LA-Maha Yoga-Steve Ross

YoYos just want to have fu-un; we just want to have to fun!

Steve Ross

Steve Ross

Last week, while hangin’ endlessly with one burnin’ leg in the air, the other flamer shakin’ on the ground while stingin’ sweat blinded our upside down eyes… the calm voice of Bryan Kest gently drifted through our ears statin,’ “Ya, know, I’ve never been to a Yoga class that was fun… except of course, for those with Steve Ross”. The “workin’ it to the edge and back” YoYos, winked at each other through our waterfall pourin’ pits and made a silent pact that Steve, was gonna be a “not to miss” stop.

Tonight, we find ourselves in Brentwood, CA; in all its glory with eye-poppin’ “Disneyland” mansions, “not for yogis on a budget” boutiques, the beautiful people of So Cal, and the dazzlin’ upstairs yoga studio, Maha Yoga, located… in the heart of it all.

Steve works the room

Steve Spreadin' the Joy

Purposely, we chose the so-called “less attended” proprietor’s mid- week Music Flow class to avoid the mat-on-mat, out on the gorgeous deck, up on the stage and down the hall, Saturday Class with Steve Ross; Host of Oxygen TV’s, “Inhale”, author of “Happy Yoga – 7 reasons why there’s nothing to worry about”, composer of the “Grace” and “Give Love a Chants” CD’s, and owner of this spirited, twelve jubilant years in the neighborhood, studio.

Steve the musician

Steve the musician

Openin’ with blarin’ R&B, this accomplished musician, who was once guitarist for the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Beach Boys, seemed to dig music as this 90 minute class was an unending concert of eclectic dance party tunes. Startin’ with his signature “no worries” style and HUGE smile, Steve brought exuberant joy and a whole lotta love this packed class of hipster yogis. Sweatin,’ swayin,’ stretchin’ and workin’ this class through a demandin’ series of non-stop action poses, Steve’s brilliant beam and friendly conversation worked its way continually through the room as the YoYos found themselves smilin’ and laughin’ through their bucketing sweat.

On the way out, tellin’ Steve that we were thinkin’ about headin’ to the Big Apple to check out “other coast” Yoga, he simply stated….Cool, that’s some serious Yoga! All we know is tonight; we had a seriously good time.


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Day 94 SD-CPY-Amber Dawn Clark

Pacific Beach Boardwalk

Pacific Beach Boardwalk

The Pacific Beach boardwalk is jam-packed with young and old; bikin’ skatin’, walkin’ and joggin’ their way down the infinite path that seemingly stretches to Mexico. It is here, on this Zen road filled with beer stands, party houses and fake surf wave pools that The Ru; wise, old, kind, “rock star” cocker spaniel was recognized by hoards of peeps of the tiny variety. Compelled to look deep into his intelligent eyes, pat his turnin’ white head, attempt to sit on his comfy back and kiss his “hard to miss” nose, the leash holdin’ YoYos simply stood back and witnessed this uncomplicated, gentle soul, child magnet and wondered if all the elusive secrets of life were hidden inside his 3” head. After all; this gentle, caring, furry character lives life in the moment and spreads nothin’ but peace, love and happiness throughout the world.

Amber Dawn Clark

Amber Dawn Clark

Takin’ our “no worries” cue from the wooly one, we calmly ventured just down the road to CorePower Yoga – Pacific Beach (PB), where tonight, we carry boardwalk bliss into the peaceful, candle lit space where Amber Dawn Clark teaches the Hot Power Fusion class that this illustrious studio has made so popular, it has sparked others to emulate this innovative style, nationwide.

The end ‘o the week, Sunday Night YoYos loved the serene ambience created in the silent, packed room of regulars, restin’ with eyes closed, forgettin’ their worries, breathin’ deeply and calmin’ themselves for the testing hour of power they knew was to come from their inspired instructor .

Ground Down to Fly

Fly Amber Dawn - FLY!

Beginnin’ by groundin’ into Mother Earth and warmin’ the body with creative sun salutations, this luminous leader encouraged us to connect to the breath that would carry us throughout this perfect blend of balance, strength, alignment and stretch. Incorporating the challenge of Bikram, Vinyasa and Power accompanied by stellar sounds, this testing sequence set in the aura of steamy bliss; liberated the week behind while joyfully welcoming the one beyond.

How super-cool to have CorePower Yoga’s “hot” classes a “most excellent” part of this epic adventure!


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