Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

Day 45 SF-Yoga Kula-Katchie Ananda

Yo Yo Yogiman at Yoga Kula

Yogiman enters Yoga Kula

A simple banner reading “Yoga Kula” hangs over an iron gate on the jam packed streets vibrating with its diverse community in the colorful neighborhood known in San Francisco as “The Mission”.  Climbing steep stairs, we were elevated to the stunning studio that overlooked the non-stop energy of the city streets below.

Katchie Ananda

Katchie Ananda

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll was the opening theme of today’s Anusara, all levels class.  The confused YoYo’s thought we were here to do a little stretchin’ & flowin’ with Katchie Ananda, the Anusara teacher that was named one of the Five Top Yoga Teachers Making Change in the World by Yoga Journal Magazine and the East Bay Express pick as Best Yoga Teacher in ’08, but, it appeared this spirited leader prefers to take willing yogis on a mind expandin’ ride.  Katchie seemed convinced that most of us had likely worked our way through all the usual hedonistic pursuits, and  through it all, found ourselves here, in this dazzlin’ space, all geared up and ready for a “most excellent” yogi adventure.

Yoga Kula

Yoga Kula

Takin’ out all judgment, comical Katchie laid out an invitation to mentally “come clean” about why we came to our mat as she explained that a yogi’s intent is either driven from their “Little Sva” (small self, ego-teensy things that run us ragged- like a slightly saggin’ tush) or “Big Sva” (big self, somewhat larger in nature- like changin’ the world) . Tonight, the YoYos felt themselves hoverin’ at about a medium size Sva, as the thought of lettin’ unknowing yogis know about this remarkable,  spiritual  teacher that could possibly change their life was kinda, Big Sva-ish…but, the thought of lookin’ cool in our yoga pants knocked us down a notch….or two.

Openin' the little Sva

Openin' the Heart

Katchie’s  continual reminder to tune into what Sva  was runnin’ our yogi show,  was at the forefront of every  beautifully sequenced asana as she gently reminded these yogis to quiet the mind and listen intently to the Big Sva, because… that Little Sva was standin’ by, ready to keep on doin’ the same ol’ same ol’.

Tonight and every night from this day forward, familiar postures take on a whole new meaning.   Bringing Big Sva into our practice – brings endless possibilities to the world and to this wonderful gift we call- yoga!


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Day 47 SF-Yoga Sausalito-Laura Christensen

Yoga of Sausalito

Yoga of Sausalito

The YoYos felt some embracin’ vibes radiating from the Bay side haven of Yoga of Sausalito– sweetly livin’ on a charming street filled with shiny happy locals lookin’ like they were gettin’ ready to set sail.  With open arms and open heart, this “off the charts”  love-fest  of a yogi community led by owner Stephan Buehl and studio angel Alisa  greeted the “YoYo’s” , foreshadowing the jubilant practice they were about to share with the swarming room of yogis who are lucky enough to call this dynamic neighborhood and stunning studio, home.

Laura Christensen

Laura Christensen

Laura Christensen, the celebrated Anusara teacher, devoted student of John Friend and member of the Anusara Certification Committee, opened her “group hug” of a class on this beautiful morning, by askin’ this regular crowd what song their heart would sing… if it had a song. The YoYo’s, lucky enough to own the “record”, immediately identified… The Beatles classic, “All you need is Love”. These spiritual words, say it simply…and so did this deeply caring teacher as she unfolded a class that brought passion to every breath and every asana.

Heart Openin' Dance

Heart Openin' Dance

Laura, continually reminding this happy bunch to look for “enthusiasm” in their practice,  steadily lead with a beautiful smile and unwavering encouragement proving that patience, love and flawless instruction can do wonders, as every “givin’ it their all” yogi,  found themselves willingly tested in demanding asanas.   Brilliantly, this gifted guide initiated poses in their simplest form and persistently added baby steps that brought mental and physical breakthroughs to students who mistakenly thought, “I can’t do that”.  But when, as a team, they “pushed the preverbal envelope” and went a little deeper  than ever before, this supportive teacher and room full of spirited yogis, celebrated… on and off the mat.

Buddha in the Yoga of Sausalito Garden

Yoga of Sausalito's Buddha


The love fest in this community doesn’t end when class is over.  The owner, teachers and students that make up this tight knit bunch like to take the “feel good” out the door and down the street  to the local Indian café they commonly frequent…while they chat, laugh and build on the “feel it in your bones” joy, that binds them together.


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Day 48 SF-Global Yoga-Mary Jarvis

There’s JUST something about MARY….

Gotta Love Mary

Mary Jarvis

When the YoYo’s were led to Mary Jarvis by seemingly everyone in the country, we were curious to uncover what is was about this “living legend” of Bikram Yoga that triggered so much conversation, and caused Yoga Journal to feature an article disclosing her fascinating life.

After doin’ our research we discovered this icon had been trained by Bikram before he was Bikram, and had an “off the charts” 26 pose practice before yoga had mats.  When we also found that drinkin’ water and wipin’ sweat during Mary’s class, wasn’t exactly welcome; we had nightmares of drowin’ in our own sweat and havin’ parched throats dryer than the Sahara.  But tonight, we were goin’ to “take one for the team” and go sans water bottle and towel… good thing there was no mention of goin’ without our “go everywhere”  Yogitoes…the only thing that prevents the sweatin’ YoYo’s from slip slidin’ to San Diego.

Global Yoga Studio

Global Yoga Studio

Walkin’ into Global Yoga, Mary’s legendary San Francisco studio, we were greeted by Huub, one of the countless international Bikram yogis that flock here to work with the Master.   And then we met Mary.  The happy, joyous, smilin’, super-approachable, super-interestin’, funnier than hell…. Mary.

A Few of Mary's Faithful

A Few of Mary's Faithful

During the next 90 minutes of this world famous sequence, we worked really hard. We sweated, laughed and learned the humungous internal benefits received from each posture.  We learned that drinkin’ water after backbendin’ in heat will make you dizzy and barf.  We learned perfect alignment, taught not to stress about it and then we laughed some more.  We learned it’s not about protein-it’s about prana, that wipin’ your sweat breaks the mood and that 4-5 days per week of committed practice could shrink our saggin’ butts. Then we deeply inhaled some mind expandin’ perspectives from this celebrated teacher who has had 75 of her students open Bikram studios worldwide due the rich inspiration they have received from… Mary.

Funny, but not once during that 1 ½ hours did the YoYo’s think about takin’ a sip, a wipe or anything else,  as this powerful teacher kept our YoYo heads right into every thyroid stimulatin’, fat reducin’,  tension releasin’ moment.  It didn’t take the YoYo’s long to figure it out….

It’s not just SOMETHING about Mary…  It’s EVERYTHING about Mary!

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Day 54 SF-Bend Yoga-Sarah Barnard

The diversity cravin’ YoYo’s love the wide-rangin’ Yoga found in this City by the Bay.  We’ve been drawn to the humongous power studios that attract classes of ginormous size, and have been eager to visit the intimate neighborhood spaces that invite their yogi neighbors into their open-armed communities. Tonight…the cliché provin’ YoYo’s are on quest to see if “size really does matter” as they enter a hidden door under the letters B E N D Y O G A written across eight tiny windows. Inside, was a space so small that it allowed only enough room for this tight knit group to line their mats single file.

Did you say, "Yoga for Trees?"

Did you say, "Yoga for Trees?"

The confused YoYo’s were puzzled thinkin’ about tonight’s class, “Yoga for Trees”- we’re the YoYo’s to do yoga with trees in this cozy space, or become a virtual tree??  With anticipation, we met owner and creator of this perplexing program, Heather Hana, to find that proceeds from the many “Yoga for Trees” classes offered at Bend Yoga Studio, are donated directly to The Arbor Day Foundation.  With the goal of planting 10,000 trees, the YoYo’s are pretty sure that Heather and team of gifted teachers who have already donated 340 trees in just 10 weeks, are well on their generous way to supplying a whole lotta trees to the world and a whole lotta “off the charts” yoga to this lucky community.

Sarah Barnard

Sarah Barnard

Our class tonight with instructor Sarah Barnard , who contributes part of her pay to “Yoga for Trees”, didn’t have a complicated description or specific lineage, nor do any of the classes,  at this straightforward, studio…it’s just called… Yoga!   Deep breathin’, sun salutations, twists, lunges, backbends, balance, forward bends, hip openers, just Yoga! But, when “just yoga” is practiced in a super-welcoming community; lead by a super-caring teacher, with super-yogis that pull together for the common goal of more oxygen for the planet, it becomes “not to miss” yoga!

Yoga for Trees help plant Plumas Forest

Yoga for Trees helps plant Plumas National Forest

From our head to our yogi toes, the YoYo’s were feelin’ the love radiatin’ from this petite space-provin’ size really does matter – as this BIG hearted community has truly taken their unique program and brand of straightforward yoga off the mat and into the world.


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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 67 LA-Exhale-Seane Corn

Seane Corn

Seane Corn

All amped up with anticipation, we entered the illustrious Santa Monica studio, EXHALE, where dramatic artwork of the “Superstars of Yoga” that teach in this celebrated space, are lined along its famous walls. Immediately, we recognized the stunning, poster sized photo of Seane Corn, who inspired the YoYos in our “worn out and replaced 3 times” beloved collection of Bryan Kest Power Yoga Series as the super-strong, “white leotard-ed”, beautiful bendy student.  Excited were we, that tonight, live and in person, we were to take class from that “front and center” yogini, turned world renowned instructor/activist, in this vibrant L.A. studio.

Seane serves up individual attention

Seane serves up individual attention

Tryin’ to be chill when Seane entered, lookin’ absolutely identical to the way she did in those mid 90’s tapes (sans the white leotard); the YoYo’s somehow easily relaxed during the commencing total body integration.  We couldn’t help but once again be inspired by this skilled, eagle-eyed teacher who immediately scoped out the packed class and built our amazing practice based on the needs of this individual clan.  Seems tonight’s band of yogis started with tight little “hammies” that Seane wasn’t goin’ to let us leave with. As she worked us through every spiral imaginable in those stretched to capacity legs, the YoYo’s were pretty sure; we might walk out of this class, 2” taller with hanumanasana (crotch on floor splits) as part of our daily practice.  Seane beautifully built this sequence, step by step, preppin’ each muscle for the next more advanced move, making the surprising abilities of our own YoYo legs, unrecognizable.   The YoYo’s loved the way this giving teacher freely offered her endless experienced mental and physical adjustments to every well cared for yogi in this supported space.

Off The Mat Into The World

Off The Mat Into The World

Seems the studio is only the beginning to Seane’s generosity as she has taken her yoga “off the mat” to work with Annie Lennox’s SING Project to bring awareness to AIDS in Africa, Ashley Judd to fight YouthAIDS in India and most recently, teemed with Hala Khouri and Suzanne Sterling to start a remarkable organization.  Recently launched, “Off the Mat Into the World” offers in-depth workshops for searchin’ yogis to help them discover their unique purpose and inspire them to use their special gifts to give back to their local or global communities.  What a stellar concept from this… most inspirin’ teacher!

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Day 68 LA-Exhale-Saul David Raye

Saul David Reye

Saul David Raye

After experiencin’ our spirited, “Welcome to L.A”, yoga over the past few days, the achin’ YoYos were euphorically visualizin’ the magical healin’ energy of tonight’s class with, Saul David Raye, one of the Western hemisphere’s leading forces in yoga instruction and Thai massage.  Meeting this captivating yogi at the high-flyin’ EXHALE studio in Santa Monica before class, the YoYo’s felt a genuine peaceful vibe just radiatin’ off this spiritual teacher who began meditating as a teen, spent a year in a Buddhist Monastery and years training in both Asia and India.

Our grateful YoYo bodies couldn’t believe our God given destiny as this intuitive teacher had us begin this insightful class by lying on our back, reconnecting to the earth… the source.   In all the world, there was no place the YoYos would rather have been than stretched out on that comfy bolster listenin’ to Saul’s soothing voice guide us into bliss…  lettin’ our “super-fried” muscles take a much needed rest.

Reconnecting to the Source

Reconnecting to the Source

Set to the inspiring’ “So much Magnificence” soundtrack of Steve Gold, Saul began just lettin’ us go, lettin’ us melt, and flow and feel and live every free movement that he loosely led allowin’ us liberated yogis to go with what the body needed, creatin’ the energy we wanted, and find the relaxation we were cravin’.  Freedom to feel the movement, without stress or strain, Saul encouraged us to back away from that critical point of forcin’; but rather allow ourselves to just melt into our bones, lettin’ the poses find their unique fit in our body. Feelin’ boundless and released from this uninhibited practice, Saul introduced the power of joy through, “a YoYo first,” yogi laughter meditation, followed by the sweetest savasana on planet earth.

Soaring after this spiritual, reflective, joyous, centered, connected class, the YoYos floated back to the sailboat where they were spendin’ most every minute when not in our “most excellent” L.A. yoga classes; watched the full moon, drank the fruit of the vine, felt the breeze and once again… connected with Mother Earth.

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Day 69 LA-Yogaworks-Annie Carpenter

Annie Carpenter

Annie Carpenter

In yoga studios from Settle to Santa Monica, some of our most excellent teachers have raved “big time” about international trainer, Annie Carpenter.  Seems yoga instructors near and far just can’t get enough of this “teacher to the teacher”, that amps up their juice.  After takin’ class from some of these talented yogis, we weren’t sure what they’d do with more “juice”, but we were excited to take class with this highly respected leader.

Amazing Yogini and Teacher

Amazing Yogini and Teacher

Our third trip to Santa Monica Yoga Works-Main; the comfortable surroundings, cool yogi stuff, big casual hang out space, tall wood ceilings, yogis everywhere; all felt  familiar and relaxed as we waited for the doors to open to the unpretentious studio.  Mat to mat with our friendly neighbors in this mid-mornin’ class; smilin’ Annie entered and illuminated this space with her easy glow and welcoming way.  Continuing with her comical and “oh so thorough” asana explanations, Annie helped these challenged YoYos, and  Annie’s class of loyal students through some seemingly forever “leg-shakin’” moments in this “class” of a class.

Annie opened a whole new view of familiar poses;  reachin’ and rotatin’ things here, there and everywhere; makin’ unfamiliar spaces come to life.… all the while… holdin’ that illustrious edge.  Grateful YoYo’s were we to experience that “juice” that lucky teachers/ yogis at this studio and at

Annie’s world-wide workshops get from this “Professor of Yoga”.

Catalyst

Headin' back to dock

Late afternoon, the wind came up and YoYoYogiman turned into “bad mood” man, because he loves sailboats as much as he loves yoga and we’ve not been able to take our swapped “home away  from home” out to sea.  Today is the day we take our temporary floating space out on the ocean for the first time ever. Out to sea we go… and the waves were ginormous… so, we just breathed deep and rode the big waves.  And the big huge waves that at one time looked scary- didn’t look so big…

Lots of lessons for one little day.

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Day 72 LA-Exhale-Dave Romanelli

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Southern California….Ever since we arrived to be greeted by the persistent 72 and breezy, the YoYo’s have just been goin’ with the “Flow.”  We’ve been flowin’ deep, flowin’ slow and most definitely with power through some steamier flows of the most challengin’ variety.  Here, in Santa Monica, seemingly the hub of yoga in the western world, the “household names” of yoga superstars convene to bring their special style and dynamic methods to this trendsetting, eternally hip, quintessential beach community. Today we return to EXHALE, where the YoYos are excitedly scheduled to return, time and time again, to take coveted classes from this select group.

Livin' in the Moment

Livin' in the Moment

As we pull ourselves off Main Street where the distracted YoYo’s got caught up in miles of enticin’  global boutiques, organic/raw/vegan groceries, jam-packed outdoor cafes and enough coffee houses to keep us flowin’ till doomsday,  we finally enter the vast, inviting EXHALE lobby.  Checkin’ out the super-hot yogi-gear, CD’s, and “must have”  books from many of Exhale’s yogi-star teachers,  the YoYo’s curiosity was piqued by the stand-out purple and yellow cover of, “Living the Moment”, a comical book on inspiration, faith and love written by our teacher for today, Dave Romanelli, aka “Yeah Dave”. Seems Dave’s slightly irreverent book takes a look at the light side in an attempt to bring the “chill out” factor to life through wine, chocolate and music.  Hmmmm… think the YoYo’s are gonna like this guy!

Dave Romanelli

Dave Romanelli

Storyteller Dave, opened his Music Flow class with an inspirin’ tale that he masterfully wove throughout the next 1 ½ hours of this easy to follow, cool sound tracked, full-body flow. Dave’s rousin’ legend chronicled the life and times of a Mexican Tribe who used their superhuman running abilities as their metaphor for life.  Seems this real-life tribe ecstatically ran for the unbridled joy that it gave their bodies and mind; not as an internal competition or “out of reach” goal.  Do you suppose this cool-book authorin’, awesome yoga class givin’, attention-grabbin’ tale tellin,’ trickster of a teacher was tryin’ to relate a vital element to our practice in this deliberate challenge of a flow?

“Yeah Dave”! The YoYo’s love the practice, the message… and of course … wine… chocolate … and music!

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Day 89 San Diego-Yoga One-Amy Caldwell

 

RU Catches a Wave in Del Mar

Hangin' 10 at the Dog Beach

Today as the wise, kind, ol’, crestfallen, Grandfather cocker spaniel, The Ru, was kicked off the bazillion mile stretch of glorious Pacific Beach, asked to leave the sandy patio of a sidewalk dive, and dejectedly read the “No Dogs Allowed” signs at the celebrated San Diego Zoo and killer museums; the adaptable one just wagged, knowin’ that life’s great disappointments are often disguised gifts that offer grand fodder for his well-read insights, “Down Dogisms”; and, the accomodatin’ YoYos would spend the best part of their lives lookin’ for a haven that would welcome this illustrious, 5th dimension channeler with open arms.

Findin’ that sanctuary 20 miles north in the drop- dead gorgeous beach town of upscale Del Mar, The Ru yowled as we approached the teeny-weeny stretch of sand where seemingly every canine in California comes to surf, belly board and practice their “down dogs” on 72 an’ breezy afternoons… Finally, the shade wearin’ Ru found inclusive peace in this sometimes exclusive world.

Yoga Journal 30th Anniversary Issue

Yoga Journal 30th Anniversary Issue

After a full Dog Day of Summer, the anxious YoYos were excited for tonight’s Flow set amongst the high rises of Downtown San Diego at the illustrious Yoga One; winner of seemingly every award given to this county’s Yoga Studios for several years running. Followin’ the framed City Beat “BEST OF” magazines and stunning Yoga Journal covers featuring tonight’s teacher and owner Amy Caldwell up the steep stairs, the YoYos were pretty sure, this famed instructor’s class would be one to remember.

Strong and Calm Fits Amy to a T

Strong and Calm - That's Amy

Enterin’ the expansive, antique space, the YoYos joyously discovered historic wooden floors to hang out on with fellow SD yogis who make this popular tip-to-toe full body flow their addictive yoga of choice. Connectin’ to breath in a seated exercise, Amy began by beautifully integrating our “89 day” bodies into this 75 minute challenge of fluidity intermixed with creative arm balances, and innovative use of blocks that increased the unique dynamic leg stretches in this all levels class. Seems these lucky yogis not only use this beautiful yoga home for killer asana, but occasionally come back on weekends for acoustic concerts where they relax with a soft seat and bottle of wine…this weekend, Sean Hayes….See ya there!


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