Posts Tagged ‘Kirtan’

Day 10 Seattle-8 Limbs Yoga-Anne Phyfe Palmer

AnnePhyfeHeadShot

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Today’s the day the YoYos have been anticipating since they received the most welcome invitation from Anne Phyfe (double first name) Palmer, owner of  8 Limbs Yoga, to take her morning class accompanied by the “So Much Magnificence” music of Steve Gold & Anne-Emilie.  Totally excited, the YoYos were about to experience a Flow 2 class given by one of Seattle’s most celebrated teachers in her positively “not to miss” studio, accompanied by this talented musical team.  This was true YoYo bliss!   

8 Limbs Boutique

8 Limbs Boutique

 The unassuming store front located in Capitol Hill, did not disclose the too-cool studio that waited up the long, brick-lined stairway to the massive 2nd floor.  Once there, the YoYos knew there was no place in all the continents, in all the world that they would rather be.  Smilin’ Sarah welcomed us into the giant greeting space filled with cool yogi gear, comfy couches and possibly the cutest little kids ever. This totally unique studio has so many awesome, hidden areas that creative Anne opened a hip little kid’s space, allowing Moms & Dads a little yogi time to fill ‘er up.  Let’s just say that this one of a kind studio gives Seattleites, or roadtrippin’ yogis, plenty to fill up on.

8 Limbs Suyra Studio

Students in the Surya Studio

Overlooking the city below, the Surya (Sun) Studio is engulfed by beautiful, old-style floor to ceiling windows that allowed a radiant glow to stream into the room, our hearts and minds.  Casually, smilin’ yogis streamed in and scattered their mats as they seemed to inhale their surroundings.  Anne entered; calm, authentic and pure, starting with a deep breathing exercise inspired by Ron Stryker that immediately lightened the YoYos, creating clarity.  From there, Anne’s fluid movements revolved around lifting the heart…making it light.  No stress, no strain, no worries in this calming yet powerful class; just a sense of ease in this peaceful space. Offering a buffet of deepin’ variations to every asana, Anne’s easy style had a calming effect that could be felt in this room of yogis strongly encouraged to feel their individual practice.  

Anne, Anne-Emilie,Steve & The Yo Yos

Anne, Anne-Emilie, Steve & The Yo Yos

As Anne brought the class to near close, a most beautiful sound began filling the room…Steve Gold magnificently strummed his acoustic guitar as his rich resonate voice took over. His beautiful wife, Anne-Emilie created soothing, “soul full” harmonies. After several peace-providin’ melodies, the lyrical music expanded throughout the room as the yogis joined in to create a magical sound. These YoYos were transported!

Talkin’ to this ultra-talented Seattle based team, we were jazzed to find that Steve and Anne-Emilie after just returning from a 6 week tour with Shiva Rhea in Bali, were off to tour the West.  With 89 studios to go…the YoYos chances of havin’ a “take 2” are lookin’ pretty good.

Is the YoYo Seattle time really almost gone??…The YoYos,  kickin’ themselves for not schedulin’ days and days to spend at the other 8 Limbs studios- located in Wedgwood and West Seattle, know when they come back, they’ll be blissin’ at  8 Limbs Yoga!

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Day 17 Portland-Yoga Shala-Tracy Vogel

Researchin’, surfin’ and just plain askin’ our fellow bandana wearin’ brethren to point us in the right direction, always gets us straight to the “not to miss” yoga studios on the west coast.  Today, we were lovin’ the guiding words…”Hey YoYo’s… if you miss Yoga Shala…you’ll miss yoga in Portland.”

North Williams Street

North Williams Street

 

Located in outer Mississippi, or was that outer Alabama, or was that just north of south…seems the folks in this ‘hood have a slight identity crisis on what to call this area… so much so, they are actually holding a clever name contest for the strip of land that claims hip restaurants, coffee houses, small cafes and one-of- a-kind; toy, cooking and design stores.  This surprising block in the NE area looks like an old warehouse with an ancient loading dock turned deck that opens to the sun. In the midst, shining like a beacon, sits Yoga Shala.  

Shiva Studio

Yoga Shala

Antique, turned cutting-edge, glass garage doors open to expose the entire 1st floor of this unique studio where everything yogi awaited. The YoYos were blown away to see stairs leading to a 2nd floor open loft with; not one…not two… but three….killer studios. The “omg” ceiling was super giant rounded wood; the walls…a kaleidoscope of Portland urban and the offerings were off the charts!

World-Class Kirtan

World-Class Kirtan

Pranayama series in one room, a plethora of immersion classes from talented instructors in the other, and Kirtan performances in the mother of all rooms with walls that open to seat 250…yep, 250, are common in this Center for Yoga which regularly hosts coveted performances and workshops from renowned artists and yoga greats.  

Located in outer –wherever, Yoga Shala NE is the expanded creation of owner Jodi Kurilla with the ever-popular original Yoga Shala remaining in the SE.   Tonight, slowin’ things way down, the YoYos basked in an easy to follow,  beginning class from Tracy Vogel, manager of this yoga nucleus to see just how this super successful studio kick-starts its community of loyal yogis.

First Thursday in the Pearl

First Thursday in the Pearl

Feeling a “bolt from the blue” after our astounding yogic discovery, the YoYos headed over to  First Thursday, held on …you guessed it…. the first Thursday of every month in the Pearl District throughout the summer, to witness first hand how yogis on a budget do P-Town right.  Free people-watchin’, free “up-scale” art studios openin’, free food eatin’ and free wine drinkin’.  Booths from Portland’s talented, creative artists and music on the streets from next weeks superstars while zillions of people come to have “hot” fun in the summertime….  Portland…you got it goin’ on!

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Day 33 Lake Tahoe-Wanderlust-Jai Uttal & Shiva Rea

It was seemingly light years away when we first heard the “far-fetched” idea for a  rockin’ yoga and indie music happenin’ that was to be in the famous Olympic Village at Squaw Valley; a high rise, high price,  Mecca for dynamic escapees,  but now… Wanderlust was finally here, and the YoYo’s were fired-up!

Jai Uttal

Jai Uttal

Hearing the pulsing sound of world music upon entering this renowned village just before sunset on openin’ night, we went in search of the celebrated kirtan artist, Jai Uttal and his band of outrageous rhythm makers. Set in an open air tent the size of Canada, we left our flip flops in the mound of thousands and peeked in to find Woodstock revisited. Yogis’ singin’….yogis dancin’… it was the, “Summer of Love”, turned yogi partyin’, as soon as Shinnin’ Shiva appeared on stage and led this keyed-up crowd into ½ hour of her signature “churn”.  Too cool, MC Yogi seemingly appeared out of nowhere and busted it out into a full-on, full-out yogi disco rave.  Shiva still in the house, took to ecstatically dancin’ with Jai Uttal’s world musicians and zillions of trance dancin’ yogis… Yo! What a night.

Ecstatic Dancin' Yogis

Ecstatic Dancin' Yogis

The recovering YoYo’s arrived at the butt crack of dawn to set up the “mind-bogglin’” YoYo Yogi  banners ; displaying’ the hottest studios and teachers in the Pacific Northwest and to get a triple iced Americano to start off this super hot Northern California weekend.  After all, today we had the real deal 1 ½ hour, under the sun class with the queen of last night’s yogi dance, Shiva Rea.

Shiva Rea

Shiva Rea

The always arrivin’ early YoYo’s, found a perfect spot in front of the huge stage as the next 800 yogis found spaces intimately close on the right, left, front and back of the, “we are so ready for this” YoYo’s.  Shiva, backed by a full rock band, opened by loosening up everyone by just feelin’ the music and then began the most body-loosenin,’ mind-openin,’ “meet your neighbor” flow  that encompassed a complete 180 degree view of the surrounding  jaw-droppin’, alpine  beauty.  When Jai Uttal joined Shiva on stage and sang his gentle music during savasana…the YoYo’s closed their eyes and just thanked God for “far-fetched” ideas.


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Day 81 LA-Bhakti Yoga Shala-Govindas & Radha

Located just 2 blocks from the shimmerin’ Pacific, we enter the serene space of Bhakti Yoga Shala, juxtaposed against the jam-packed, vivacious, high action energy of the Santa Monica Promenade. It was here we were to discover how this new, donation-based, eco-conscious studio manages to “shine like a beacon” through the endless buffet of tantalizn’ L.A. yoga.

Govindas and Radha

Govindas and Radha

Engulfed by dark crimson walls, soothing lighting, rich wood floors, and the peaceful quality of owners Govindas and Radha; the comforting ambiance encouraged these “wound-up from street action”, YoYos, immediate and most welcome, restorative dissolve into a unique 1 ½ hour Bhakti Yoga Love Fest.

Pure, sweet energy, poured from Govindas as he opened this “Flow into the Weekend,” class with “othankgodasana,” groundin’ postures of appreciation that took on an almost euphoric quality when accompanied by the transporting voice and gentle guitar of exquisite wife, Radha. Together, this uber-talented team led this intimate class through a glorious chant that began soft and grew into a dynamic, spirited offering.

Heartfelt music for the soul abounded as artistic Govindas took to the Harmonium and voiced peace, love and happiness while Radha lead this devoted group through wondrous, free flowin’, sun celebratin’ salutations. As so it was, back and forth, throughout this body and heart, magical, musical celebration of devotion, and truth… this dynamic duo each bringin’ their unique sound, life and humor to this relaxing sequence of “liquid” asana. Encouragin’ freedom of movement, this graceful practice ended as it began, with postures of gratitude and joyous resonance.

Bhakti Yogis and Kirtan Artists

The floatin’ YoYos were “over the top” excited to learn that these gifted two had just released a CD, with the simple title of their not so simple names, and can be seen again by these blissed out YoYos on Sunday, as they lead the world of L.A. yogis through sun salutations at Global Mala.

Peace!


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Day 95 San Diego-Willows Yoga-Myriam Machado-Baker

San Diego Coast

San Diego Coast

Zippin’ up breathtakin’ Hwy 1 on this dazzlin’ morn’, the always early YoYos thought they’d screwed up big time, and were about to miss the openin’ moments of their “Awaken” class at the illustrious So Cal studio, The Willows Yoga. Dashin’ through the charming, brick -sided “Lumberyard”, a shoppin’ area that marks “downtown” Encinitas, the just skatin’ YoYos tracked the sounds of sweet laughter… after all, this was San Diego’s Anusara Center and our Brazilian Teacher, “sweet wild thang”, Myriam Machado-Baker, was known for bringin’ joy and happiness to every one of the 3,500 classes that she had under her tiny belt.

Warmly invited into the spacious, one room studio where shiny, happy neighbors gather monthly for Kirtan chanting, we were greeted by a pure fireball of Latin energy. Cool… we made it! We were just in time to find a comfy seat and join this jubilant band for Anusara’s signature BIG “Om’s” and Myriam’s harmonium accompanied melodic invocation.

Myriam Machado-Baker

Myriam Machado-Baker

Rearranin’ ourselves to face each other, our energetic guide explained that today’s class was to be focused on the neck… the conduit that lies between the mind; whose job it is to think, reason and sometimes worry… and the heart, which if used exclusively could get us into trouble. Yep, today, we were to open that throat and introduce heart to mind… and vice -versa.

Startin’ in Tadasana (mountain pose) with feet, backs and head against the wall, Myriam encouraged us to feel the pose while we opened our throats, stretched our pallets, lengthened our bodies and allowed communication between head and heart to get into some serious conversation. Workin’ methodically through the slow, thoughtful series of perfectly sequenced asana, which included partnerin’ up for a most interesting handstand usin’ the magnificent props of wall and chosen yogi’s feet on back, we continually smiled and understood how the intensity of each posture changed dramatically when we focused on those teensy-weenie adjustments that Myriam so expertly taught.

Stunned by this amazin’ lesson and flat out “good vibes” of this “off the charts” studio and seriously awesome teacher, the YoYos were eternally grateful they didn’t miss one single, “most excellent” moment.


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Day 97 San Diego-Ginseng-Bhava Ram

Bhava Ram

Bhava Ram

When blog readers, yoga teachers and seemingly everyone that roams these sandy streets points us to their “favorite” San Diego yoga tradition; the receptive YoYos, listen to the locals and make our way to the historic, hilly, character rich ‘hood of South Park, to excitedly experience the memorable class of Bhava Ram at celebrated, Ginseng Yoga.

Bhava and Sundari - Founders Deep Yoga

Bhava and Sundari Ram Founders of Deep Yoga

After all, when the amazed YoYos discovered the miraculous story of this former broadcast journalist and world traveled, foreign correspondent who completely restored his body through the intense study and daily practice of yoga after a devastating accident, failed surgeries and subsequent “terminal” cancer nearly took his life; we understood that the “Deep Yoga” class with this soulful teacher, was an absolute “not to miss” experience in this epic journey.

Ginseng Yoga's Yellow Room

Ginseng Yoga's Yellow Room

Enterin’ the colorful, “good vibe” space of this popular studio, the YoYos felt this distinctive community just oozin’ with love and light. Joyfully greeted by smilin’, charismatic owner Brad, this vast clan moved through the stunnin’, multihued, “everything yogi” lobby, and found their familiar, comfortable space in the soothin’ “Yellow Room” on the jam-packed 100- year- old, gleamin’ fir floors.

Beautiful Voice and Soul

Beautiful Voice and Soul

The uncharacteristically tongue tied YoYos think mere words could do a disservice as we only attempt to explain the pure love that flowed from the heart and soul of our authentic teacher, Bhava Ram. Leadin’ this group of joyous chanters with his beautiful guitar and amazin’ voice accompanied by dynamic percussion, spirited clapping and ecstatic voices, the captivated YoYos were pretty sure that the vibrant energy of this happy clan was shakin’ its way into the vast universe. And so it was, as our therapeutic healer lead an emotionally releasing sequence of deeply flowin’ asana, intermixed with soft chants and BIG “OM’s” that completely filled our hearts, our body and our soul.

At Day 97 and countin’, the mistaken YoYos, who thought we had experienced most, were completely taken by the gift of these heartfelt yogis, the blissful space found in this tight-knit community, and most of all; the songs, chants, mantras and depth of teaching we experienced tonight, from this spiritual teacher, author and musician – Bhava Ram.

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