Posts Tagged ‘Pranayama’

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 53 SF-Yoga Loft-Jason Crandell

Kayak Time Lake Tahoe

Kayak Time Lake Tahoe

While on our speedy “pick up The Ru” Tahoe trip we, not surprisingly, decided to sneak in just one most excellent kayak before catchin’ our later that night class with popular teacher, Jason Crandell back in San Francisco.   Leavin’ late on this still Sierra morn, we put our perfect “avoid traffic” plan in place and began our scoot back to the Bay.   After just minutes of blissfully sayin’ bye to the pine air, we found ourselves crammed into one long, forever California lane, and we knew…our scootin’ days were pretty much over …

Just Breath….

Above the businesses on Divisadero off Haight, the Yoga Loft looks down at the city through its patchwork of serene 2nd floor spaces that are both very old and very cool.  Two busy yoga studios intermix with a nostalgic foyer-parlor turned hang-out space, vintage hotel inspired check -in spot, an antique room for dressin’ and ginormous hallways, packed with “waitin’ for class to begin”, yogis.

Focused on the Breath at Yoga Loft

Focused on the Breath at Yoga Loft

Faithful Jason-ites snatched a spot when the prior class crammed out of the airy, historic space makin’ room for the loyalist of Jason’s easy style, even tempo and continual attention to the breath in his, No Hurries… No Worries… No Performin’, class.  Expectations set by this mellow teacher to melt as though you were to hang out awhile in each asana, helped the YoYos find our skeleton and some welcome focus on that-exhale.  Inversions unfolded with no pressure, advanced postures introduced with no demands, modifications done with thorough instruction were accomplished as  a compliment to the teacher who continually encouraged each yogi to experience, not muscle each shape.

With the YoYo’s Yogi’s tool chest of yoga gems overflowin’, we gratefully add Jason’s “spot-on” insight to use the asana to create awareness in the body, instead of usin’ the body to simply build a pose.


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Day 79 LA-Santa Monica Yoga-Julian Walker

And the Truth shall set you Free…

Julian Walker

Julian Walker

The inquisitive YoYos entered the jam-packed unembellished studio of Santa Monica Yoga which breathed with tranquility as devoted yogis settled quietly into their vast familiar space, anticipating the spiritual mind/body practice of this week’s “Mid-Week Oasis” with Julian Walker, recipient of the, “Best Compassionate Yogi” award by L.A. Weekly.

With a backdrop of the soft sounds of nature; brilliantly intermixed with the hypnotic resonance of tribal percussion and soulful melodies, Julian began this passionate 90 minute yoga journey, with a relaxing “on the floor” sequence that loosened our backs, opened our minds and expanded our hearts. Turnin’ up the fervor, he invited this eager group to verbally express their internal feelings through vibrant, enthusiastic sound; which manifested in thunderous “OM’s and emerged continually throughout this uninhibited practice in the form of mellow moans and soothing sighs.

Yogi - DJ - Shaman - Bodyworker

Yogi - DJ - Shaman - Bodyworker

Continuing the powerful, full body, challenging sequence, this recognized, “master of body work”, led every yogi in this inspired space to tap into a deep personal practice; encouragin’ each to shed unnecessary burdens and replace with life questions and individual intentions; allowing the possibility of findin’ honest answers. The mesmerized YoYo’s inhaled the magical voice of this revered leader as he recited the poetry of Walt Whitman, Rumi and Hafiz throughout this stimulating, “eyes closed” practice that focused on the exploration of connection, self honesty and love. Masterfully, this teacher gave every yogi the space to find their own way, their own posture, and their authentic self; assisting each to open to their unique promise through the discovery of their personal truth.

OM Shanti Shanti

OM Shanti Shanti

Like a gift from God, after 79 yoga rich days… the “open to possibilities” YoYos couldn’t imagine a place in all the world they would rather be than to share this practice, on this day, with the lucky Yogis who frequent the class of this “most excellent” guide.

Peace! Global Mala is Sunday! Events throughout the world are scheduled for this weekend-Check out the happenin’s throughout your neighborhood … o yeah, and receive a week of free yoga in the process….!

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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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