Posts Tagged ‘Bhakti’

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 58 SF-Yoga Tree-Rusty Wells

Rusty Wells

Rusty Wells

The YoYo’s can’t remember a time when we spoke of yoga in “The City” when the name Rusty Wells, didn’t dynamically enter the conversation by an adoring yogi who was afraid we were to miss this yogi luminary.

Leavin’ our fleeting seaside haven at the crack o’ dawn, we warily dodged a zillion colorful 2- wheeled crazies racin’ on fog engulfed  Mt. Tam, to ensure the 58th day of our “most excellent” adventure was to find us in the popular Sunday Mornin’, “Church of Rusty”.  Warned repeatedly by yogis near and far that this “not to miss” class would “fill up,” we arrived at Yoga Tree –Castro so early, that the usually feisty streets of this lively neighborhood were still quiet, and the doors of this San Francisco Yoga Mecca, still locked. Cool… the YoYo’s had just enough time to buzz it up with just a tiny cup from Philz… the YoYo’s latest obsession.

The "Church of Rusty" Rocks

The "Church of Rusty" Rocks

Meanderin’ back mere minutes later, we found the illustrious studio had turned into a virtual yogi convention. Yogis…yogis everywhere!  Loudly laugin,’ animatedly chattin’, and excitedly enjoyin’ this time, this space and each other;  the YoYo’s unaccustomed to “pre-funk”  festivity, loved joinin’ in with our 143 high-spirited neighbors.

Genuine Bhakti Flows

Genuine Bhakti Flows

Rusty began as his rich resonating voice accompanied by his percussive tambourine filled the huge space with a heartfelt chant which his bevy of adjusting assistants and every enthusiastic yogi joyously repeated with unbridled enthusiasm.   This feel-good, love fest of music soon gave way to Rusty’s “now we know what they’re talkin’ about”, kick your butt and melt your heart flow. With a rockin’ soundtrack and rousin’ warm-up, the YoYo’s felt their temperature explode and power turn on as Rusty’s seamless sequence and profound life lessons ignited our muscles, expanded our minds and warmed our hearts. Funny, inspiring, and spiritual, this jubilant leader encouraged dedicating our practice to someone “we would give it all for”, as he continued to develop this time into something much richer than perfectly aligned asana.  Ending the same empowering way this mind-blowin’ class began, except a whole hell of a lot wetter, we gratefully joined in the energetic chant with this charismatic leader and the fortunate yogis lucky enough to call him, Teacher.


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Day 92 San Diego-Haute Yoga-Michael Fukumura

Haute Yoga's Sensory Rich Lobby

Haute Yoga

Warmly welcomed into the newly opened, luxuriant walls of Haute Yoga in Solana Beach, the YoYos realized they had just pierced the artistic imagination of its’ world traveled owners. Taken by the opulent colors, lavish bamboo floors, sumptuous loungin’ areas, chic “everything yogi” retail space, rich use of rock, stone and metal in the swanky shower/dressing rooms, and the behind the scenes state of the art “eco-friendly” everything, the impressed YoYos immediately dissolved into the magical sensory experience,  owners Dino Flacco and Olivera Bogdanovich-Flacco have lovingly created for the virtual sea of SoCal yogis who are lucky enough to call this innovative spa-like studio, h”OM”e.

Michael Fukumura

Michael Fukumura

Findin’ a mere 2’x6’ for the Manduka on the mat to mat, cushy floored space of Studio #2, we peacefully awaited “rock-star” Anusara teacher, Michael Fukumura. After 6,000 miles and 107 days, the roadtrippin’ YoYo’s were ecstatic to finally find our way to the knowledge and heart-expandin’ practice this talented guide is known to share.

 

Michael Opened our Hearts and our Minds

Opened Hearted Michael

Startin’ in a ginormous circle of smilin’ happy yogis, Michael, who, after returnin’ from volunteering his vast talents at the 3rd Annual San Diego Karma Yoga event supporting Shakti Rising; opened with a touchin’ story about a young woman who desolately lost her way but gratefully found a guidin’ path back, through the structure of Yoga. Throughout this 90 minute alignment master’s class, Michael encouraged every “sweatin’ buckets” yogi to seek that same structure; while he generously allowed space to form each pose, root into it, set intention and use that directed energy off the mat, out the door and into the cosmic challenges of everyday life.

The amazed YoYos continue to be in awe of the depth of experience and flat out good vibes that radiate from the “off the charts” Anusara teachers we’ve experienced on this epic yogic discovery; Seattle’s Denise Benitez, Portland ‘s Sarahjoy Marsh, San Francisco’s Laura Christensen, Katchie Ananda, and Stacey Rosenberg, L.A’s Tara Judelle , San Diego’s Michael Fukumura, and of course, Anusara Founder John Friend who, the wound-up YoYos caught at Squaw Valley’s Wanderlust Festival; these mind-expandin’, body strengthenin’, peace providin’ teachers have given these grateful YoYos life-changin’ lessons they’ve taken with them to every class and throughout every amazin’ day of this “most excellent” adventure.

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