Archive for the ‘Hot List 8’ Category

Day 12 Seattle-Maya Yoga-Brent Morton

Yoga for Equality

Flow with Yoga for Equality

Sometimes it’s all about Yoga, on and off the mat… this most-amazing day in Seattle, was just one of those times…This once in a lifetime Seattle Saturday morning, welcomed the YoYos as they  jetted off to “Yogi it Up” and attend the well publicized,  “Flow with Equality Yoga” event..  Hundreds of yogis threw down their mats in honor of this virtual love fest for unity supporting LGBT. Popular Seattle yoga teacher, Troy Lucero began with an “Ocean of OMs”, followed by Maygen McGrew, representing sponsor studio 8 Limbs Yoga, leading a spiritual flow.  Matt Meko brought the sequence to a beautiful close with heart opening backbends that lead the enormous group on the sun drenched grass field into savasana.  Blissin’ in a big way, we just let it flow as we inhaled the spiritual sounds of Steve & Anne-Emilie’ Gold, along with international vocal artist Gina Sala’.  What a way to start the day!

Maya Whole Health Studio

Maya Whole Health Studio

Walkin’ on sunshine, The YoYos tried to leave, but it appeared all roads were closed and traffic was backed up to Canada due to those crazy, endorphin junkies; runnin’ the Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon.  No worries! “The gettin’ a little stronger every day”, YoYo’s, hoofed it to Fremont to the “even more spectacular that it looks in the photos” Maya Whole Health Studio, known for programs that continually give back to the community. An unexpected gasp came from the YoYo’s as they entered the drop-dead beauty of this 3rd floor, light-filled, massive beamed studio that was engulfed by giant swaying trees.

Brent Morton

Brent Morton

Today, we were to experience what was to be one of those… “Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about”, classes, from Brent Morton whose most recent quest for answers to the big burnin’ questions found him in a 3 month silent meditation retreat. The YoYos, finding it difficult to be silent for 5 minutes, were at the same time curious and excited to take class from this super-reflective yogi.

Brent, waiting for students to arrive, sat in lotus, deep in silent meditation, then, this wise beyond his years, super-accomplished yogi, led a flow that was as challenging as it was spiritually rich.  Offering sage wisdom from Einstein, Buddha, Mark Twain and phrases from “A Path with Heart” by Jack Kornfield, Brent interwove his difficult, intricate and somewhat unusual asanas with reflective words giving the yogis in his class introspective strength and guiding encouragement.  The YoYos, lovin’ a challenge to their body, mind and spirit… were given an incredible opportunity to participate in an extraordinary, kick-ass…truly peace providin’ practice.  


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Day 30 Portland-CPY NW-Sarah Kurtz

Packed Class at CorePower Yoga

Packed Class at CorePower Yoga

Back to the YoYo’s “Om,” CorePower Yoga  NW, for just one more, last time, “gotta have it”  fix for that “nowhere else on the planet” boost of yogi energy to take with us as we make our way out of this tattoo-sportin’, bike ridin’, vegan-eatin’, free-concert-goin’, happy hour hammerin’, pot-smokin’, mat-carryin’, bottle recyclin’, kamboza guzzlin’, microbrew makin’, Obama supportin’, power-omin’, blog-readin’, “we’re sure gonna miss it here”, city of Portland!

YoYo eyes poppin’ as we walked thru the doors of this power house of yogidom, instantly spotted the “never seen ‘em anywhere- gotta have em’ now”, hippest yoga wear on the planet.   The YoYo’s, who were to remain as walking billboards and wear only YoYoYogi T’s for a full 100 days were crestfallen, knowin’ we still have 65 days to go before sportin’ those “party waitin’ to happen” threads. Saddened, this moment of “retail deprivation” soon faded as a distant memory the second we entered our much anticipated “mat touching” yogi sauna to the killer class we had patiently been waiting for.

Yoga Sculpt

Yoga Sculpt

The YoYos were back to where our “most excellent” YoYo yoga journey began…under the shinin’ eyes of  Sarah Kurtz, our mentor and teacher.  Creator of this powerful yogi community, she has established this addicting environment by attracting and guiding the most excellent teachers while continually leading life changing trainings. Today, she opened her one-of-a-kind, Yoga Sculpt class, by turnin’ OFF the heat …and turnin’ up the tunes. Starting with her signature smile and super creative flow, she then busted it out into all out power as she led us through the   muscle chiselin’ Michelangelo routine, sculptin’ our bodies into masterpieces – or somethin’ like that. We never had so much fun getting’ our YoYo butts… lifted!  We’re sure going to miss this place and wish we could take our Sarah, guidin’ beacon of yogi light, with us on the rest of our journey to grow our muscles and our mind, and get our YoYo bod’s Yoga Journal cover ready.

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Day 60 SF-Laughing Lotus-Jasmine Tarkeshi

Laughing Lotus

Laughing Lotus

Meanderin’ down the grey concrete streets in the Mission District, the surprised YoYo’s gasped at the unexpected splash of brilliant color, storybook architecture and jubilant patterns on the vibrant walls of Laughing Lotus Yoga Center; the vivacious yoga studio with the seemingly perfect name.  Entering this “feel-good” space; the vivid pigment and dramatic design continued throughout the dynamic lobby, vibrant changing rooms and most definitely, the joyous playroom.

Jasmine Tarkeshi

Jasmine Tarkeshi

The ‘cut out and save,” 2 page spread of today’s teacher, Jasmine Tarkeshi,  inside the latest edition of Yoga Journal featured on these multihued walls, reminded us that our enchanting leader was a regular super-star throughout the yogi community.   Along with esteemed partner, Dana Flynn, Jasmine opened this San Francisco studio 2 years ago while this dynamic duo continues to run their super-successful, 10 year strong, New York City studio with the same name.

Jasmine Turned our World Upside Down

Jasmine Turned our World Upside Down

Jasmine opened her heart and her Lotus Flow 2 class with the message of gratitude.  Sharing stories from one of the many retreats she lead to India, she spoke of whole families startin’ before dawn to offer words and gestures of appreciation for all blessings; sun, water, family and whatever processions they may have.  This enlightened teacher kept this central theme of thankfulness throughout her thunderous chants, enthusiast Om’s, and dynamic full body flow. Every asana fully alive, every move free-spirited and every word from this dynamic  teacher deeply appreciated  by these grateful YoYo’s who found this magical studio and lively practice an amazing gift on our last day in this yoga-rich city.

Central Coast Vineyards

Central Coast Vineyards

Makin’ our way out of San Francisco, we head down to the tranquil Central Coast.  Who knew we’d be passin’ gargantuan outlet malls, a bounty of farms, minuscule towns, enough garlic to make smilin’ YoYoYogini happy into eternity and 225 jaw-droppin’ wineries?  The “when in Rome” YoYo’s, had to stop and taste the nectar of the fruit, revel in those purple mountain majesty above the fruited plains and take every word Jasmine said to heart…Thank you Jasmine, for a “most excellent” practice and San Francisco for our most mind-expandin’ 3 weeks!

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Day 74 LA-Yogaworks-Kathryn Budig

On Day 25 when salutin’ the sun in Portland, we had the most embarrassing pleasure of attemptin’ a class given by yogi inverter extraordinaire, Tiffany Cruikshank.  Jam-packed with arm balances and culminating with the “omygodasana”, Tick-Tock, we gained eye-openin’ insight into the world of “super-teachers” who cleverly break down seemingly impossible poses into everyday, YoYo speak.   Learnin’ that our “most excellent” adventure was headin’ south, Tiffany made us pinky swear that we’d experience the “off the charts” upside-down asana educator, Kathryn Budig, at Yoga Works Main while in Santa Monica.

Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig

Now, considerin’ the source of Kathryn’s glowin’ referral, and hearin’ nothin’ but super-shinin’ reviews about this “arm stand queen” from Yoga Works Marketing Guru, Terri Seiden, we knew this Flow 2-3 class was going to challenge us eager yet angst-ridden YoYos, to find a  spankin’ new, “edge”.

Igniting the room with her drop-dead gorgeous smile and playful vibes, we knew from previous encounters of the most scary kind, that while in the hands of this December ’08, cover model for Yoga Journal magazine, we would live to blog, if only we intently listened to our nationally celebrated teacher, gave our YoYo best effort and …remembered to breathe .

Kathryn in Sayansana

Kathryn chillin' in Sayansana

Startin’ “simple” by teachin’ us to catch air while jumpin’ into uttasana, we were soon addin’ crow to our Sun Salutations, or at least the yogi next to us was.  Kathryn proceeded through no shortage of   killer core, shoulder, arm, strength poses that clued us to the muscles that would be firin’ during the “feet over head” asanas to come.  Patiently, with total lack of demands, this gifted guide generously shared the “secrets” of taxin’ poses and gave us ample space to find our way through every “anti-gravity” asana.   Unknown years and 74 days of practice combined with 90 minutes with this master teacher, proved powerful as the YoYos actually held the “at the wall” hand, arm , head and whatever stand,  if only for  an “omg” second.  Playful and fun with total encouragement, this stellar teacher brought nothing’ but joy to her “Honey, we’re movin’ to Santa Monica” class.

HMMMM…. seems the only pressure these Roadtrippin’ YoYos ever feel while in the hands of these “super-teachers” is from inside…and that… we’re learnin’ to just breathe away.


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Day 86 OC-Yogaworks-Geo Moskios

Peace at Sunrise

Peace at Sunrise

Not a soul on the glassy water, not a sound on the endless sea, the water-lovin’ YoYos sadly realize that our soon fleetin’ days on our funky “om away from home”, sailboat is comin’ to a close.

How proud we’ve been watchin’ The Ru; the wise, kind, old, “impressive controller of 7” long sea legs”, grandfather cocker spaniel, peacefully sleep through massive Pelican attacks.  This intimate space has brought us closer, literally… and through it all, the master “work around” YoYos have learned that the important things in life have nothin’ to do with stoves that yield heat, refrigerators that produce cold or toilets that flush with a simple flip of a handle. Nope, for these floatin’ YoYos, life’s significance is uncoverin’ the “most excellent” yoga, in hopes you’ll find bliss throwin’ down your well-worn mat in many super- inspired spaces.

Geo Moskios

Geo Moskios

Enterin’ the bright, smilin’, happy space that brands Yogaworks; we were greeted by the shinin’ eyes and open heart of today’s veteran teacher Geo Moskios, the first ever yogi to be invited to chat on Oprah’s famous couch.

Drawn to yoga as a way to unite the physical, intellectual and wondrous after a testing time in Vietnam, world-explorer Geo, trained extensively worldwide with several masters including Indra Devi, the first lady of yoga. Internalizing the wisdom of his gurus and drawin’ from wide-ranging travels,  intuitive Geo combined his discoveries to conceive a challengin’, distinctive, breath to movement, Power Class that was about to kick these YoYo butts all over beautiful Newport Beach.

Ru Gently Sleeps

Ru Gently Sleeps

Opening this fluid practice with a free-flowin’ integration series, Geo rapidly evolved into a seamlessly choreographed progression of strength and stretch sequences, ensuring every muscle was ignited throughout  this innovative leg-liftin’, butt-burnin’, body twistin’,  chataranga “galore” series.   Worked out and worked over, these sweatin’ YoYos were taken by this seriously joyful teacher whose rich life experiences were more than inspirin’ to a couple of road-trippin’, ocean-floatin’ YoYos.

But for now, its’ back to the boat to overlook the vast promise of the sea, and treasure one more pelican attack… while The Ru gently sleeps.


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Homeward Bound Santa Barbara-YMCA-Felicia Tomasko

The RU get's ready to head h"OM"e

The RU readies for the trip h"OM"e

Endless dark nor chill o’ night could keep the YoYos from gettin’ their crazy asses up at 3am and cramin’ into the artistically packed YoYoYogimobile, turned travelin’ luxury resort, for The Ru; the wise, kind, ol’, “lookin’ fine  from his “U Wash Doggie” encounter, grandfather cocker spaniel . Yep, the Ru requested comfort as he readied himself for the unhurried drive to the mountains where he’d take carroty-colored autumn hikes, reflect on his YoYo-a-Go Go adventure, and tap into www. Universe for answers on how to open out his explodin’ column.

Felicia Tomasko

Felicia Tomasko

The “eyes barely open” YoYos knew that a most excellent way to evolve into Chapter 2 of their continuin’ adventure was in the early mornin’ flow class of new pal, Felicia Tomasko.  Happily zippin’ up the coast, the just skatin’ YoYos were warmly welcomed into the happenin’, 7am yogi community of the Montecito YMCA.  Here, lucky residents of this coastal jewel eagerly awaited their dynamic teacher whose vast credentials include Editor in Chief of LA Yoga Magazine, practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine and RN.  Seems this energetic yogi splits her capable time by teachin’ in this eye-poppin’ beach village and coverin’ the happenings of the dynamic L.A. yoga scene.

Greeted by welcomin’ smiles into this tight knit clan, the YoYos joined this lucky beach bunch as Felicia slowly opened and released every tight from sittin’ muscle.  Intermixin’ friendly conversation, this happy group embraced their carin’ teacher who knew their names, their stories, and their bodies as she worked through the familiar room, giving each dedicated yogi individual attention and adjustments. The YoYos loved the easy feel and immense knowledge of this east meets west medical whiz who shared the physical benefits of each posture while stetchin’ and strengthin’ the dedicated in this all levels class.

Headin' back to Lake Tahoe

Headin' back to Lake Tahoe

Takin’ off to finish the  9 ½ hours up this beautiful coast;  through valleys, hills and farms… the roatrippin’ YoYos had time to think about their yogic adventures practiced at luxury spas, community centers and garages;  their solo practices on sandy shores and in jam packed spaces; with unknown “not to miss” teachers and the superstars of yoga… What an exciting’ openin’ chapter the grateful YoYos have had on this “most excellent” adventure!


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