Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

Day 20 Portland-OmBase-Todd Williamson

OmBase Studio

OmBase Studio

As we stepped our yogi toes inside the walls of Hillsdale’s sensory yoga experience, OmBase, we knew our two hour, donation based BLIS class had already begun.  Welcomed into the newly opened visceral space that seem to breathe from the energy that created it, we melted into the imagination of owners Todd Williamson and Vittoria Palazzi. Warm hickory floors, reclaimed timber from old-growth forest, massive beamed ceilings and a rainbow of color, grounded our yogi souls and made an inspiring visual backdrop for the imaginative artwork, light fixtures and stained glass created by the ultra-talented community of yogis lucky enough to call this soul enrichin’ studio…”OM”.

Todd & Vittoria

Todd & Vittoria

Feelin’ one of those peace-providin’ practices comin’ on… The YoYos just “let go” as Todd, our experienced guide began his, “pretty sure this is about as blissed out as we’ve ever been” mediation with soothing words and soft rhythm that made thirty minutes fly by in a flash. He then slowly warmed up the body and mind for original, artistically inspired poses done with a strap laced through a secured recessed bar that opened our shoulders, hips and hearts, challenging the YoYos to trust their intuitive leader, and themselves. This day…the YoYos were feelin’ the BLIS!

Cannon Beach on a Sunny Day

Sun-Shinnin' - Day Cannon Beach

Floatin’ out of the studio…we heard the ocean callin’ as we set off on a most excellent adventure at the jaw-droppin’, Canon Beach; land of endless stretches of white sand, Gi-normous rocks jutting out of the everlastingly sea, historic beach cottages, runners, walkers, bikers, and shiny happy people holdin’ hands.

Hurricane wind blowin,’ Ru’s furry feet flyin’, the freezin’ tank top wearin’ YoYo’s were goin’ to have a gritty good time on the beach today!  Wrapped in a wet blanket with the full grown YoYo child and the Ru (the wise, kind old grandfather- even he’s freezing with fur) cocker spaniel; here we all were, havin’ a super-fun picnic at the shore.  Munchin’ on our most disgustin’ sand laden lunch proudly packed by the “not too good in the kitchen” YoYoMan, we counted our blessings as the blowing sand pitted our smilin’ faces letting us know we were alive…and it was good!

 


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Day 43 SF-Yoga Toes-Amanda Giacomini

Toby's Barn

Toby's Barn

Once upon a time….there were two roadtrippin’ YoYo’s on a “most excellent” adventure in the City of Seattle.  Approached by beautiful bohemians who spoke in hush-hush tones, they were told about a magical … barn, in Northern California, Toby’s Barn.  The confused YoYos thought these colorful hippies must have mistakenly taken them for farmers… so; the YoYo’s simply put that secret barn story deep in their memory bank and traveled to their next “not to miss” studio.

Toby's Feed Barn / Yoga Studio

Toby's Feed Barn / Yoga Studio

43 days later in Marin County, the YoYo’s head toward the Pacific to take class in Point Reyes Station- a tiny community with a reputation for some surprisingly peace-producin’ yoga.  Through field and farm, eventually we arrived at the super-cool, organic western town as we searched the only main street for the celebrated yoga studio, Yoga Toes.  Stunned were we, when we realized the unique logo was attached to a ginormous… barn…Toby’s Barn!  Inside was a real workin’ feed barn… filled with lotsa hay, flowers, and mulch; a hip store with all things feed barn-ish, a “most excellent” espresso shop , a zillion foot wooden roof equipped with theatre lighting for the killer shows and cerebral speakers this unique venue attracts, and the illustrious, Yoga Toes.

Amanda Giacomini

Amanda Giacomini

Entering this matchless space, the inquisitive YoYo’s couldn’t wait to take class in this unique setting that vibrated with the eclectic energy of owners Nicholas Giacomini aka MC Yogi: rapper, singer, yoga party waitin’ to happen, and beautiful yogini wife, Amanda.  And so it was as the flood gate opened with Amanda warmly welcoming this yoga addicted community inside the sanctuary to get their daily dose of her super-popular morning class in this “too cool” studio.

Nick, aka MC Yogi

Nicholas Giacomini - MC Yogi

Energized after Amanda’s gently challenging, “from the heart” class, the faithful followers at Yoga Toes, couldn’t wait to tell the YoYo’s the fascinating “behind the barn” story.  Seems Toby’s Feed Barn, has been in the family for generations…every generation adding a beautiful legacy. MC Yogi (Nicholas) and Amanda have taken “barn raisin” to even higher heights adding lights, action and a whole lotta yoga to this hidden paradise which is the treasure of this community.

The YoYo’s absolutely love this place…love sweet Amanda and her amazing gift of yoga… and love, love, love all the colorful happenins at Toby’s Feed Barn!

 


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Day 84 LA-Exhale-Erich Schiffmann

1. Today, I will make no decisions on my own…

2. I will make no decisions on my own because it is not intelligent to do so…

3. Instead, I will make all decisions in silent council with the infinite… or, whatever the heck you want to call it, that encompasses that which we are all connected to.

http://www.movingintostillness.com/erich.html

Erich Schiffmann

Today, these 3 sentences (loosely translated) opened Erich Shiffmann’s most extraordinary class at Exhale, Venice’s renowned Center for Sacred Movement. Relieved from havin’ to make the “Day 101” decision on their own, YoYos sat silently, while Erich, the relaxed author of “Moving into Stillness”, began his unique simple seated stretches that opened our hips and head while he masterfully counseled this wide eyed, open eared group to align the mind and go “on line”… tappin’ into the world wide web of the universe.

Moving into Stillness

Moving into Stillness

The YoYo’s, after 84 days and countin’, have come to realize that it’s no accident we found ourselves in this intuitive class of understandin’ the magnitude of a spiritual connection; explained by this insightful, reflective teacher who, recognizes the weightiness of daily decisions. Givin’ this liberated group, time and space to listen to their inner teacher, body and rhythm through free-flowin’ movement, Erich guided these transformed YoYos into one hellava long, deep savasana.

After this most mind-expandin’ class, Divine intervention reared its beautiful head as we traveled across town to meet the ingenious creator of our “never leave home without them” Yogitoes… that continue to save our YoYo asses from skiddin’ to Mexico. Walkin’ into Susan Nichols, super- cool, home-like office we couldn’t have been happier that her cohorts Alex Ward, insider and guide of the YoYos incredible Santa Monica itinerary, and Zan Roberts were “in the house”. How serendipitous to hear Susan’s remarkable story of how she tapped into “www.universe” to discover the amazin’ path to takin’ this expandin’ world of yogis into so many “skidless” possibilities.

The dense YoYos will not have to be hit over the head 3 times to understand the super-clear message that we received today…We will not make any decisions on our own, because… it is simply not intelligent to do so.


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Day 96 San Diego-Spa Spirit-Michele Hébert

It was on Day 40, in our fortuitous Marin County class with Sherri Baptiste where we first learned about the celebrated Michele Hébert; a life-long student of Walt Baptiste, former manager of the acclaimed Baptiste Retreat in El Salvador and renowned leader in mind/body/spirit integration. Seems that when this global pioneer in the health and fitness industry is not leading the Power of Yoga for Women events with Sherri, or world-wide retreats with husband, Mehrad Nazari, Ph.D., this visionary Raja yoga instructor brings committed yogis into her one hundred year old La Jolla sea cottage turned dream studio for extraordinary yoga and meditation. What grateful YoYos are we, that today we shared that beautiful space with these fortunate ocean yogis.

Michele Hébert

Michele Hébert

Headin’ west in the mid 70’s, leavin’ hometown Cleveland in the rearview mirror, young Michele thought that by enduring a yoga class with Walt at the revolutionary Walt Baptiste Yoga and Health Center in San Francisco, she’d have a shot at gaining employment at the well-known Baptiste natural food restaurant. Seems that more than coveted employment was waiting, as Walt soon became the guru that would open her life through connecting the mind, body and spirit… as she would for others… forever.

Finding our way onto the antique floors, we gazed out to the ocean beyond, as our respected leader opened this time honored practice with a guided meditation that taught us to not only feel, but envision our breath. Working through gentle asana, Michele slowly led a series of beautifully sequenced back bends and intense hip openers that allowed even these YoYos to find that illusive lotus. Allowing space and time, Michele’s melodic voice encouraged us to discover a specific breath for each posture… one that would allow us to stay in a pose…seemingly forever. Concluding with deep meditation, Michele’s imaginative language created visualizations that encouraged us to melt into our center, deeply relax and powerfully connect with the energy of our chakras.

Inner-Practice-The ecstatic YoYos were thrilled to take, “The Inner Practices of Yoga” with us out the blissful door and into the YoYoYogimobile, as we knew we’d have a piece of these “mind expandin’ teachers with us, as we continue on our “most excellent” adventure.


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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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Cole Family Rock

Trail to Cole Family Rock

Trail to Cole Family Rock

With BIG rain in the forecast accompanied by signature Sierra “hang on” sideways wind, the mountain livin’ YoYos knew that today, was possibly the last day to experience the fall colors before they ended up in a ginormous heap, on the soon to be snow covered mountains.  So, out the nature racin’ YoYos travel; straight up right angles in search of that quintessential autumn beauty and the illusive oxygen that used to fill our lungs prior to our 116 days at sea level.

Ah The Sierras in Autumn

Pausin' at Ottoman Rock

It is here, we will take our practice off the mat and onto, “Cole Family Rock”, the massive boulder with a killer view.  It was good to see the ‘ol gang along the way, Ottoman Rock and Flat Top Rock… and good to know they hadn’t changed at bit.  The awed `YoYos  stood in familiar reverence of fall in the Sierras, when seemingly no peeps or animals appear.

Silent Meditation on Cole Family Rock

Silent Meditation on Cole Family Rock

Nope, it was just the YoYos and the Ru, the wise ‘ol kind, most excellent roadtrippin’ companion, grandfather cocker spaniel; hangin’ at our favorite waterfalls while takin’ time to enjoy the rapidly changin’ scenery. It was here we would do our yoga… our yoga that had maybe changed a tad since leavin’ nearly 4 months ago.  This new stuff; the mental, thankful, quiet yoga that we’d be doin’ today out here in this forested sanctuary, was kinda new to the YoYo a Go Gos.

So we practiced, as we sat, just the three of us… yogin’ it up, on our ginormous bolder… in silence.


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