Archive for the ‘Hot List 1’ Category

Day 2 Seattle-Shakti Vinyasa East-Lisa Black

Shakti Vinyasa Yoga / Bellevue – Lisa Black

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Pike Place Market

A Mecca for fruit, veggies, flowers, damn good street musicians, tourist, and the YoYo’s, Pike Place Market is a microcosm of the Emerald City. Old, young, every color and country on earth is represented in the outrageous gift of this square mile. Fun & Funky, the sights and sounds of this farmer’s bounty enlivens every YoYo cell and encourages us to just breathe and be as we prepare for a return trip to the teachin’ excellence of Lisa Black.  Tonight we head across town to Shakti Vinyasa Yoga EAST to her newest studio in Bellevue, Washington.

LisaBlack_PeterAvolio

Peter Avolio and Lisa Black

Lisa Black’s Shakti 3 is her powerful & challenging Signature Class. Based on her creative genius from the previous night, we are excited to take it on.  We find the Bellevue studio on a quaint street of boutique businesses and enter the jaw-droppin’ beauty of this innovative studio.  Photos on the wall of Lisa and husband, Peter Avolio, remind the YoYo’s that the owners/directors of Shakti Vinyasa Yoga are renown throughout the yogi community. The gorgeous palettes of colors throughout the studio are so delicious it made us want to eat the walls. Gi-normous windows flooded the room with light….but the killer interior was just the openin’ act… Lisa’s Shakti 3 class was the headliner!

LisaBlack_Assist

Lisa Black Assisted Backbend

The encouraging, evenly-paced voice of this talented teacher effortlessly moved the class through ultra-creative, fluid movements. An hour of the sweetest flow seemed like mere minutes as the YoYo’s totally peaced-out. Lisa guided the class through practice expandin’ arm balances, backbends and inversions while she gave her heart n’ soul to everyone who wanted to ‘give it a go”.

Perfectly placed, her rockin’ tunes and good humor gave Lisa’s signature Shakti 3 class, life, FUN and energy.

Shakti 3=SO SUH-WEET!!!


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Day 16 Portland-One Song Yoga-Denise Payne

The children woke up and they couldn’t find them.
They left before the sun came up that day…..
(C’mon….everybody sing now …..)
…..where were they going without ever knowing the way?

 

Leavin' Seattle

Yo Portland!

 
Alligator tears waterfallin’ down the face of our younger daughter every time this classic ‘98 exit song played, fearin’ that her “never leave the kid out of their sight for a minute” parents, would pack it up, and disappear in the middle of the night.  But, that was then…

and this is NOW!…the YoYos actually did leave in the middle in the night to beat the Seattle sunrise- and “Away We Go”, as we continue our epic journey hittin’ 100 studios in 100 days and headed south to the Yoga Holy Land- Portland, Oregon, a virtual magnet for yogis near and far.

 

Denise Payne

Denise Payne

All wound up after our most excellent Kombucha filled road trip, we headed over to One Song Yoga, a killer expansion of Yoga Bhoga to kick off our Portland Yoga Studio Tour! Circling a few dozen times, we finally found this hidden ultra cool studio located in a converted warehouse turned “you got to be kidding me” hip urban yoga loft in a “up and comin’” SE area next to the Willamette River, railroad tracks (yoyoyogi man loves the sound of those trains), a packed to capacity trendy restaurant and artsy businesses.  We walked up the steel stairway to the 2nd floor, elated to find exposed brick walls, deep rich colors, magnificent beamed ceilings and the super-cool, super-fun, super-“God, I’m glad we came here”- owner, Denise Payne. 

Flyin' Denise

Flyin' Denise

We found our space on the expansive floor as friendly yogis just chatted away, makin’ us feel like one of the gang. We knew from the first “OM” that this spirited group was at the same time super accomplished and super accepting.  Denise asked the YoYos at the get-go, if we were comfortable with inversions- we are actually, perfectly comfortable, it’s just doing them that seems to get in the way, but the YoYos love a challenge and we loved even more the way Denise masterfully led her Classic Hatha Class with an amazing variety of diverse and unusual asanas that challenged our mind, strength and balance.   Joyfully, she encouraged all levels to accept what worked for them while expanding deeper and deeper, at times ending with anti gravity asanas for the yogis in this class that were- well, we know this isn’t very yogi-like, but … super impressive!  This class was fun/tough, fun/tough, fun- so fun in fact that after class, the yogis didn’t want to leave, so they just sat on the steps, hung out and …chatted away!

 

 

 


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Day 40 SF-Power of Yoga-Sherri Baptiste

Walt & Magana Baptiste

Walt & Magana Baptiste

When the YoYos got the invite from Sherri Baptiste to visit her class in the Bay Area, we were ecstatic at the improbable thought of being up close and personal with Sherri, daughter of the late Walt and still teaching, Magana, the legendary pioneers of Yoga in America. The YoYo’s can only imagine the changes that have taken place since this ground breakin’ couple opened their first yoga studio in San Francisco in the 1950’s.  We wonder what it must be like for the next generation of these trailblazers who masterfully carry on the family legacy, as they see a ba-zillion yogis walkin’ down city streets with mat on back; knowin’ it was their family who was momentous to the explosion of yoga in the U.S.!

Sherri Baptiste

Sherri Baptiste

We entered the state-of-the art, Jewish Community Center in San Rafael, one of the many Bay Area spaces where Sherri teaches over 300 students each week when not leading her international retreats.   Welcomed by “full of life”, “ball of energy” Sherri, the YoYo’s were immediately made to feel as if we were a vital part of this committed group of yogis who meet regularly to inhale the distinctive Baptiste style.

The YoYo’s valued today’s precise lesson in pranayama as Sherri continually used counted breath as a way to bring awareness to focused breathing, the fundamental premise of this energizing, one hour vinyasa flow. Persisting, we observed deep rhythmic, flowing oxygen as we practiced effortless transitions; learning that smoothly shifting from one pose to the next was vital to this signature practice.   And, there was more… as this “wealth of information” teacher guided this class through postures using blocks in unfamiliar ways, creating subtle shifts of alignment generating strong energy paths that opened the body while her graceful use of impactful words brought clarity to the heart.

Three Year-old Sherri

Three Year-old Sherri

Sayulito Retreat

Sayulito Retreat

There was so much to learn from Sherri who was introduced to yoga in the womb.  Don’t be surprised if you happen to see a YoYo or two hangin’ at some of her international retreats – after… this most excellent adventure!


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Day 44 SF-Yogaworks-James Higgins

The YoYo’s are pretty sure that the people who say “Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth”, haven’t spent a single minute at the Yoga Works in Mill Valley, the super-popular Marin County studio that lives as a testament to the joy of yoga.

The exuberance and charm of manager, Cia Bernardi; comical front desk engineer, Charlene, who was sure the clairvoyant YoYo’s must have gotten her name off the bathroom wall, and the beautiful sculptured creatures of Marin County cheerfully greeted the YoYo’s into their world of electric energy.

James Higgins

James Higgins

Finding our corner in this mat touchin,’ unpretentious, vitality -filled space “rock star” yoga instructor, James Higgins, began his Vinyasa 2-3 class with a powerful pranayama series that opened us from front to back, side to side, upwards and downwards and everywhere in between to ensure that this willing class was ready to give a, “hear it on the Golden Gate” OM.

One Amazing Yogi

One Amazing Yogi

From there, this master teacher lead the yogis into a cookin’ from the inside out, “microwave” of a flow and continued a unique series of body-heatin’, sinew expandin’, peace providin’ postures throughout the unique 1 ½ hours of intense challenge interspersed with complete relaxation.  The YoYo’s loved the way this gifted guide, a student of Vipassana meditation, masterfully wove teachings of yoga as a catalyst of compassion for others and yourself into this spiritually rich, physically powerful practice.

Sailboats on SF Bay

Sailboats on SF Bay

Leavin’ this “family feelin’” studio with the strength of a lion and the warm fuzzies, we decided to stop at a quintessential Marin, “take out 2nd mortgage on the house”, organic food store to buy a picnic and scoot over to the quaint tourist town of Sausalito to watch the zillion sailboats puff up as they floated on the blissful bay.  Here, on a grassy stretch, we threw around our cool new Yoga Works Frisbees,  took cover from the cracker stealin’, stars of the Hitchcock film, “The Birds”, listened to the languages of the world, and counted our blessings to meet yogis like those who call, Yoga Works- Mill Valley… h “OM”e.

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Day 65 LA-Yogaglo-Tara Judelle

Tara Judelle

Tara Judelle

First stop in L.A… Yogaglo, where the skeptical YoYos spotted a sign that read…”Monthly Yoga-$18”.  Really?  The YoYos knew that’d be the price of admission to take just one “e-ticket” ride with our “Seattle to San Francisco” recommended Anusara teacher, Tara Judelle, or any of the other “super star” instructors at this pioneering studio.  So what’s the catch??? Would unsuspecting yogis have to wash mirrors and clean toilets for all eternity?

Class with Tara at Yogaglo

Class with Tara at Yogaglo

Closely examining this chic, pure white, vast studio soundstage, we discovered hidden cameras and small tape marks on the floor where yogis in this innovative space were to lay their mats. Welcome to L.A!  The “not dressed for success” YoYos quickly found a front and center space to throw down the Mandukas to shy from the cameras that were filming from the back.  Bummer, if YoYoYogini would have known her backside would be smilin’ to the camera, she would have been sportin’ her new butt liftin’, thigh squeezin’, leg- lengthenin’ Hatha Power Pant from Lucy.

Derik Mills

Derik Mills

Seems recently opened Yogaglo(bal) is the brainchild of Derik Mills, a regular genius of a yogi who has pioneered a way to bring “off the charts” yoga into living rooms across the globe, by streamin’ diverse HD classes onto computers or flat screens takin’ away the age old snag of time and money.  But, here’s where this ground breakin’ idea explodes…yogi members on a budget, the international set and road trippers alike are invited to attend the plethora of  classes offered at this stylin’ space at no additional charge.  Cool!

Tara loves those Hip Openers

Tara loves those Hip Openers

Tara, our tale tellin’ teacher, entertained our class as she opened with a story about her “glo”in’ sister who had endured four days of natural child birthin’ labor while goin’ through intense contraction and powerful expansion with bouts of joy and saltiness.  HMMMM…sounded like the YoYo’s in Tara’s class.   This skilled instructor continually returned to this seemingly humorous recount of her sisters “breathin’ through it” exercise, while joyfully introducing challenging and unfamiliar asana, a killer balancin’ sequence, and “birthin’ babies” hip and thigh openers as she comically kicked our ass.

The YoYo’s love the “off the charts” quality of this teacher and  groundbreakin’ studio who’s truly bringing yoga to everyone…even the roadtrippin’ YoYo’s, who can now just fire up the MAC and Yogaglo anywhere… on this most excellent adventure!

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Day 75 LA-Power Yoga- Bryan Kest

Now, some may think this “most excellent” adventure began 75 days ago when the “road-trippin’” YoYos packed The Ru; the wise, kind, old, “been everywhere man”, cocker spaniel, into the Suby disguised as a YoYo billboard and started hittin’ killler yoga studios on the west coast… but it ain’t true. This wild ride began eons ago when the then, hyper YoYo Yogini, was handed a video tape by a chum; hopin’ she might learn to “chill”a bit.

Power Yoga 1-2-3

Power Yoga 1-2-3

Watchin’ that unbeknownst to us at the time, life changin’ cartridge, the curious YoYo’s became captivated by a jean-sportin’, body challengin’, philosophy drippin’ dude who kept tellin’ us to… breathe.  Now, the mistaken YoYos thought we were breathin,’ but persistently we forged ahead, usin’ our best gym-rat skills and spent the next hour gruntin’ our way through the classic, Bryan Kest Power Yoga, Vol 3 Sweat.

For three full years, before ever settin’ foot into a “live” class, the now nose breathin’, stronger and chiller YoYo’s found a day was not complete without releasin’ a few toxins and an all night dialogue comparin’ various body parts. It was a happy YoYo day when we finally acquired “ 3’s” companions, Power Yoga, Vol  1 and 2 to round out our “extensive” yoga library.

Bryan Kest

Bryan Kest

Fast forward – one decade later…

Lookin’ for a “nowhere to be seen” sign on the busy  street, the baffled YoYos spotted a “traveled from Germany ” yogini, who assured us a hidden, unmarked doorway would lead us to the gigantic, unpretentious space of the famed, Bryan Kest Santa Monica Power Yoga studio.

Upstairs on Santa Monica Blvd

Upstairs on Santa Monica Blvd

Full circle, we were transported as 3-D Bryan began… “Alright everybody, let’s start in child’s pose”.  The upgraded YoYos, now the proud owners of every video, DVD , and  MP3 ever made by our virtual teacher,  were pretty sure that over the next 90+ minutes we were gonna get our minds stretched and asses kicked by Bryan’s signature, sensual practice.

We just love this guy

Namaste

The cool style of this master teacher proceeded to more than accomplish our belief, while workin’ every body part to hell and back, creating openings we never knew we had and “flirt” with muscles we had only heard about. With his inexhaustible emphasis on the breath, and sound advice to “back-off” before ya loose it, our grounded, colorful-speakin’, no-nonsense YoYo guru gave us exactly what we came here for… that amazin’ body-stretchin’, mind-expandin’ peace-providin’ practice… Bryan Style…  and the mind-blowin’ opportunity to meet our life-changin’ hero.

The YoYo’s loved this class and this man, who was the catalyst for our “most excellent” adventure!


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Day 87 OC-CPY-Heather Peterson

The WTH moment hit the YoYos right upside their confused heads as we suddenly realized we were supposed to be headin’ toward San Diego; our super-cool stay at the L. A. canyon house was over and we missed our crack o’ dawn class. Seems the schedulin’ genius of YoYoYogiman fell apart as we near the fabled “100 days” YoYos, seem to lose track of ….pretty much everything. With the speed of sound, we packed our travelin’ road show into its usual explodin’ brim of YoYoYogimobile and hightailed it out of L.A., just in the nick of time to hit an endless sea of red lights and middle fingers on the 405. What a “most excellent” opportunity to practice calmness in a difficult situation and change clothes while drivin’, surfer style, into as little as legal as we readied ourselves for our most anticipated mid-day, Core 3 class at the famed CorePower Yoga, with Regional Director, Heather Peterson in Huntington Beach.

CorePower Yoga Huntington Beach

CorePower Yoga Huntington Beach

In a most stunnin’ contrast to our freeway adventure, we entered to find shiny, happy yogis joyfully hangin’ in the ginormous eye-poppin’ space of this Power Yoga giant. Loungin’ on the huge corner couches, sashyin’ through the super-hip “everything yogi” area and laughin’ loudly while checkin’ in with the talented teachers; these cheery yogis seemingly have made this studio… home. Enterin’ Studio #1; the largest of the 3 immaculate, bright, music pumpin’ spaces , the YoYos brightly smiled thinkin’ back to when they were put through their YoYo paces at the most gratifyin’, life changin’, Teacher Training at CorePower Yoga in Portland, Oregon.

Heather Peterson

Heather Peterson

Exceptional Heather began with the beautiful theme of compassion… compassion for your body, those you love and even those who are difficult to love. Throughout this 90 minute full body inferno, this master teacher’s flawless full body flow, set at an ideal pace, was everything these power junkies have come to love about CorePower Yoga. Heather challenged our alignment, our strength, and our endurance as she lead this eager class into a respectful practice of openin’ our hearts and fillin’ it with love, consideration and care; givin’ this super-strong class a most welcome dimension and makin’ it so much more… than just the best workout in the universe.

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Day 88 San Diego-Soul of Yoga-Tom Kelly

Findin’ our mysterious way to the beautifully transformed Encinitas office space of “Soul of Yoga” seemed to the lucky YoYo’s, a little more than a fluky twist ‘o fate.

Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly

With flyin’ fingers misspellin’ a closely related San Diego yoga studio into our trusty “info central” MAC, the words “Yoga Church” seemingly appeared magically on the screen. Diggin’ deeper, the inquirin’ YoYos discovered the unexpected bio of Reverend Tom Kelly, popular Raja Yoga teacher, who, while not associated with any particular organized religion, spent 25 years in the monastic order of SRF and leads inspirational workshops and retreats worldwide. Surely, this ordained minister would have much to say during this most unusual 90 minute Sunday mornin’ asana practice.

Warmly welcomed into the big group hug of a Yoga community, the YoYos might have thought themselves in the tender arms of their childhood church if not for the endless sea of touchin’ yoga mats and the obvious dress code of beachy yogi wear. As vivacious Tom opened this spirited “class” with lively, harmonium and yogi accompanied song, he joyously expressed… “Let there be Light”. Then takin’ an interestin’ twist on what happened next, he finished the thought with “Let there also be love, happiness, joy, and the all important… forgiveness”… explainin’ that from the get-go, we’d be needin’ that forgiveness on a pretty consistent basis as we continually mess up while we try to get it right, here on earth. Hmmmmm…..

SRF Gardens

SRF Gardens

Swami's Surf Break Encinitas

Swami's Surf Break Encinitas

Startin’ with and revisitin’ “breath of fire” as a way to cleanse the mind, create energy and bring us into the all important moment as we connected to Mother Earth; this energetic drink from a firehouse of yogi philosophy gave these open-eared YoYos a spiritual buffet that accompanied every deep breath and tender asana throughout this engagin’ practice. And… that was just the first 90 minutes. Seems this committed group just can’t get enough of this uplifitin’, lovin’, generous leader who “raps” up with a 60 minute, sittin’ in a circle, dharma talk.

The filled to the brim, mind-expanded YoYos made our way to the foliage filled Encinitas SRF Gardens to reflect on this thought provokin’ “class” and inhale the spectacular beauty of this eye-poppin’ sanctuary while peering over the vertical cliffs to the surfer’s paradise below.

Whew!… what a “most excellent” welcome to San Diego!


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