Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Thursday, November 30, 2006

the gift of yoga

for my big birthday celebration, besides spending time with friends and family, i thought i would gift myself with yoga classes with teachers who actually knew me well. or at least well enough to greet me by name when they spotted me in their classes. because in a way, that makes them my friends, too :)

so whom did i end up inviting to my "party"? here's how the first half of the celebration went:

day 2: suzanne strachan
suzanne and i had never met before i took her class at the in the mudra yoga studio in canoga park. i was there because it was their grand opening celebration (making it the 69th studio i'd visited), and not only was the class i took with her free, but i also happened to win a 5-class pass in the post-class raffle. needless to say, when all the holiday hubbub dies down, i'll pay another visit to her and her studio. after all, i have all those free classes at my disposal.

day 3: light
light is such a cool guy with a cool playlist! the class i took with him was another of his monthly hot sunday fundraisers at maha yoga in brentwood, with that evening's beneficiary being the children's health environmental coalition. his classes are pretty demanding, and i amazed even myself when i was able to hang in with the group, despite the fact that i had run a half marathon earlier that morning. am i a stud-ette or what? :)

day 4: matthew reyes
the first class i took with matt over a year ago at maha yoga was my first foray into the world of hip-hop yoga. i'd known him since we were both in the same running group many years ago, so when i found out about his SRO classes, i had to go find out why he was such a hit... and i've become addicted to his classes ever since. i followed him out to yogamatt in los feliz when he left maha, then to yogahop in santa monica when yogamatt closed. i guess you could say i'd follow him anywhere. he's a genuine person who's good to his students because he honestly cares about them. and they care about him, too.

days 9 thru 11: then there were the three yoga instructors in philadelphia...

day 13: lisa walford
as far as i'm concerned, lisa's one of the masters of iyengar yoga in los angeles. what i've learned in her classes, i've been able to use in all the others, because as we all know, having proper alignment is key. and she definitely makes sure we are properly aligned at all times. since she only teaches at yoga works montana on mondays and wednesdays at 9am, i knew that once i started working a 9-5 job, i'd never be able to take another of her classes. luckily, i found a reason to take a wednesday morning off, so i was able to get my walford fix.

day 15: william asad
the first time i had visited jiva yoga in the palisades, i had specifically taken billy's class because it was, after all, his studio. i liked the way the class flowed; it wasn't too hard, it wasn't too basic. his music wasn't too loud, neither was it too slow. everything about the class was just right. so when he started teaching at yoga works main street, not only were his classes now more convenient, but they were also more affordable for me (read: free) because i could use my work exchange credits. this latest class i took with him was a "yoga to lift your spirits" session; we were treated to the live sounds of tibetan bowls (courtesy of michael perricone) while we lay in savasana. the vibrations were so soothing that i actually fell asleep during the performance!

day 16: greville henwood
i first ran into greville at maha yoga; i had dropped by to pick up a class schedule and he was standing by the front counter, waiting for students to show up for his afternoon kids' yoga class. he was a very friendly and engaging guy, and i thought it might be interesting to try out a non-kids' class with him. however, it wasn't until he subbed at yoga works montana sometime later that i finally was able to enjoy his creative teaching style. it's no wonder that he's good with kids! anyway, greville has been teaching his newly-acquired version of hip-hop yoga at yogahop for the past few months, so when i found out that he was subbing again at yoga works main street, i made it a point to experience the "old school" greville. and as before, he didn't disappoint.

day 17: amy friedman
i had never taken amy's class before; i wanted to visit yoga madre in arcadia (to add #70 to my list), and her restorative class happened to fit right into my schedule. since the studio's so far away from my home, it may be some time before i take another of her classes, which is too bad because she supposedly has a background in yoga therapy. maybe she could have helped me with my back. oh well.

day 21: saul david raye
you can tell a teacher has an avid following when his classes are consistently packed. when i took his class thanksgiving morning at exhale venice (aka sacred movement), there were almost a hundred (!) students in the room. it turns out that his regular sunday morning classes are just as well attended. and why? because his classes have the perfect proportion of chanting to meditation to physical asanas. the poses can be as challenging as you want them to be; likewise, they can be as calming as you need them to be. sadly, saul no longer teaches his donation-basis classes at shakti's elements, so the only place you can catch him while he's in town is at sacred movement.

day 22: anne van valkenburg
you could say i ended up taking her class as a last resort. due to weather delays, i had spent the morning after thanksgiving playing "now it's arriving, now it's not" with the united airlines flight my friend BDB was on; i was supposed to pick him up from LAX, then we were going to take a yoga class together. by the time his flight was finally airborne (which meant they finally had a definite ETA), i had missed all the morning classes (including seane corn's yoga detox class at sacred movement!) and had no way of being able to make any of the early afternoon ones if i still had to pick him up. thank goodness i had yoga works main street on speed dial on my cellphone; i found out that they had an hour-long lunch flow class with anne. i had just enough time to take her class, rush out to LAX, and pull up to the arrival area before BDB wondered if i had totally given up on him. anyway, given my state of mind, i can't really say i remember much about how anne's class went, which is too bad, because the person at the yoga works front desk had really raved about her teaching style.

day 23: vytas baskauskas
most yoga instructors were either athletes, dancers, gymnasts, or martial arts enthusiasts in their previous lives. not vytas. for some reason, this math whiz got so hooked on yoga classes with bryan kest that not only does he now teach yoga at santa monica power yoga (and maha yoga, where i ended up taking his class), but he also teaches math at santa monica college. his claim to fame, besides being a popular teacher at SMPY as well as at SMC (with a "hotness total" of 9, according to ratemyprofessors.com), is that he's the older brother of survivor:panama winner aras. there's no slacking off in vytas's yoga classes; he pushes his students to their limits. makes me wonder if his math students sweat as much as we do.

day 24: daniel stewart
daniel comes across as a caring and nurturing teacher. maybe it has something to do with his background in psychology. whatever it is, i really enjoy being in his classes. especially since they're always vigorous, yet playful. he teaches both at santa monica yoga and at his new studio, rising lotus in sherman oaks. and even if i can take his classes for free at SMY (due to my work-trade credits), i've actually bought a series of classes at rising lotus just because i want to make sure he succeeds in his new endeavor. and there must be others who feel the same way; his sunday morning class last thanksgiving weekend at rising lotus was packed with other daniel enthusiasts.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

more thanks

i've been noticing a recent surge in hits to my blogsite, thanks to more websites who've found my site worthy of a mention:

to di-ann eisnor at platial.com, who announced their new mapkit tool and was nice enough to use the los angeles yoga studio map on my site as an example. here are some excerpts from that press release, dated october 31st:

PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bloggers and Web site owners can start building maps with their community members in seconds by using a new MapKit from Platial.com. Users can sign up at http://www.platial.com/mapkit, cut and paste a snippet of code into the site, and in seconds they're able to easily create and share places of interest directly with their readers. Because there's no new programming to learn, the interface is simple, easy-to-use, and can be customized to complement any Web site. This new community-building map tool - once available exclusively at Platial.com - can be used on any Web site and most blogs...
More than 4,000 sites are already publishing Platial user-created maps, building community and generating content. The blogger behind the "The Accidental Yogist" Web site was one of the first Platial users to publish her map. Her community of yoga enthusiasts has created a map of 67 yoga studios in the Los Angeles area, and more are added every week. The map is also available on Platial, so visitors to Platial.com can benefit from this community's work...

to danura at danurasana.blogspot.com in brunei (!), who included my site on her list of "fav yoga links" and had this to say in her november 15th post:

...There are other good sites, outside of Asia, like the accidental yogist also from Santa Monica who..
"writes about all the facets of yoga life in los angeles: the studios, the teachers, the events, and everything else that continues to make LA the yoga capital that it is."

to gigi at grandcrossing.blogspot.com in los angeles, who's included my site on her collection of "awesome" links. nice! (** and my deepest apologies for having left this off my original post).

to sarah matalam, aka rashidsmom, at nanaynirashid.blogspot.com in manila, who has my site tagged as "LA yoga studios" on her list of yoga sites. come to think of it, it does describe what my blog's all about...

to nikki meyers in indianapolis and the editors at payscale.com, who somehow associated my recent philadelphia yoga experience with teacher certification (huh?) in their article on a yoga teacher's salary:

What is your yoga teacher salary or pay rate?
My pay rate per walk-in student is $15 dollars. For a private class, my fee is between $45 and $60 dollars. If a special therapeutic style is involved, then my pay rate tends to go more towards the $60 dollar range. A Yoga
teacher salary can vary depending whether or not you have a yoga instructors course certification, you know, a certification teaching yoga.

to elsie escobar at elsiesyogakula.com in los angeles, who referred her readers to my thanksgiving class compilation in her thanksgiving schedule post on november 17th:

Now if any of you are just dying to take a class during this holiday weekend and you cannot make any of my classes check out this post! the accidental yogist has done a fantastic job at getting all the schedules together for all of us Los Angeles yogis, take a class, just for plain ‘ol thankfulness!

to revive studios in chatsworth, who recently included a link to my write-up about my visit to their studio on their home page.

and lastly, to whomever it was who added my site to the blog roll on the new outside.in/santa_monica website. it's nice to know that someone believes i have something relevant to say about the santa monica scene :) i wonder if i should tell them that i also write about other neighborhoods, such as los angeles and the valley...

thanks to all of these bloggers, more readers are visiting my site. i just hope they're finding what they're looking for!

Monday, November 27, 2006

giving thanks

thanksgiving day heralds the start of the holiday season, a time of merriment and mirth. it also happens to be the time when everyone starts to feel the stress of being pulled in all directions, with work (year end deadlines!), relatives (get-togethers and the ensuing drama!), and personal to-do's (holiday photos and gift shopping!) all vying for attention.

and if there's anyone right now who's finding that there aren't enough hours in the day to get things done, that would be me.

it's bad enough that i'm trying to balance a full-time job with a somewhat regular yoga practice. and weekly visits to the chiropractor. and training runs for all my planned spring marathons. and christmas shopping errands. and the usual array of family commitments.

for example, just in the past four days, i've been to three parties -- a thanksgiving feast, a niece's birthday party, and another niece's debut (my first invite ever to this filipino tradition, which is very surprising, considering that i lived in the philippines during my teen years; for some reason, neither i nor anyone i knew chose to go the ballgown and waltz route when we came of age). and even if all of those parties were practically day-long events, i still managed to squeeze in a 90 minute yoga class on each of those days. hey, i do have my priorities :)

it's nuts, but i have no one to blame but myself for this scheduling nightmare.

you see, december 22nd is my birthday. and this year, it's a BIG one. milestone birthdays as big as this one deserve unforgettable celebrations. the problem is, with the holidays quickly approaching, i couldn't see myself finding the time to plan a big event. not only that, but given the craziness of the season, i knew that i would never be able to nail down a date that all my potential invitees would be able to make. honestly, how can i ever hope to compete with all their holiday party and christmas shopping commitments?

so after some careful thought, i came up with a list of close family and friends, gathered their email addresses, and sent out the following invite. i then sat back and waited to see what the feedback would be:

it's hard to believe, but on friday, december 22nd, 2006, i'll be marking a significant milestone -- i'll finally be eligible for AARP membership! yes, it's been 50 crazy years since i first made my appearance on this earth, and despite earthquakes, floods, drought, disease, and the occasional pest, i'm still alive and kicking.

so in order to celebrate this momentous occasion, i've decided that a run-of-the-mill party just won't do. heck, anyone can get a group of people to congregate in one place at the same time; just say "food" and they'll come running.

so here's the plan:

i'd like to celebrate the 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday with 50 people who've played a significant role in my life -- friends i've worked with, played with, laughed with, cried with, as well as relatives i'm not ashamed to admit i share a common gene or two with. in other words, you.

and you get to pick the date, the time, and the activity. you can be as creative as you want.

it can be something culinary - anything from a cup of coffee (that'll be iced tea for me, please) at starbucks, to a lunch at an ethnic hole-in-the-wall, to a gourmet dinner at a five-star restaurant.

it can be something cultural - a museum, a movie, a play, a concert, a dance performance, or maybe even a visit to some place i've never been (the getty villa? the newly-renovated griffith observatory?)

it can be something athletic - we can walk, run, hike, bike; as long as it isn't death-defying, i'm game. and you get bonus points if you agree to join me at a yoga class, because after all, i have to keep finding something to blog about at www.accidentalyogist.blogspot.com.

you can also bring along as many people as you want. the more, the merrier.

but there's a catch. it has to be one invitee a day, each day. no doubling up. for example, it's perfectly fine if three people on my invitee list take me out on the same day, but it only counts as a day spent with one of the three. the other two still have their own "celebrations" to plan. sorry, them's the rules.

but wait; it gets trickier. since there are only seven weekends in the 50-day period, you may end up with no other choice but to schedule our little get-together on a weekday. if it helps any, i work in the valley and live on the westside, so i can meet you on either side of the hill. don't worry; i'll work with you.

the countdown starts on friday, november 3rd.

so please RSVP as soon as possible so i can start planning out the 50 dates on my birthday celebration calendar.

i can't wait... getting old has never been this much fun!


within minutes, the first RSVP came in. and the next. and by the end of the next day, almost a third of the people on my list had gotten back to me, all saying that they were more than happy to celebrate with me! next thing i knew, i found myself juggling birthday get-togethers with all the other things i already had on my calendar.

and so far, it's been a blast. besides an assortment of lunch and dinner dates, i've had friends and family join me as we ran a half marathon, hiked up a mountain, watched "borat", attended the theatre, listened to the la phil, visited a museum, consulted with a psychic, and of course, took a few yoga classes.

i can't say that it's been easy trying to make sure that i spend each day with someone different. there was actually a time when i found myself having to call people during my lunch break just to find out who could meet up with me that evening. but all in all, things have managed to work out so far.

thanks to the platial mapmaking site, i've been able to log the where, the who, and the what of each day in a map called a series of fortunate events. it should make for some interesting reading when the birthday countdown is over. i'm only halfway through my celebration, and already i've been to places all over town. and even on the east coast.

so in the spirit of thanksgiving, i'd like to take this time to thank everyone who's played a part in my birthday celebration so far. thanks for taking the time out of your own busy schedules to find the time to humor and entertain me. thanks for your gifts of friendship and love. and thanks for all the wonderful meals that i know i'll have to start working off after the holidays are over :)

this is turning out to be my best birthday ever, thanks to all of you!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

madre knows best

Yoga Madre
300 East Foothill Boulevard, Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 303-1004
website: www.yogamadre.com

Our goal is to provide the San Gabriel community a warm, safe place to learn and experience the wonderful self-discipline of yoga, where all our students and clients will always feel welcome. In addition to over 45 Yoga classes of various levels per week, Yoga Madre also offers Pilates classes, Massage and Skin Care services.

We specialize in Yoga Therapy and private Yoga classes in order to meet the needs of all our clients, regardless of age, injury or illness.

Yoga Madre is committed to practicing and teaching the ideals of the basic Yoga philosophy: showing compassion, acting with kindness, practicing tolerance and sending love to all. We strongly believe that with Yoga, your life can be transformed for the better.

my kids are lucky that i mothered them better than i mother myself.

when it comes to receiving an award for mother of the year, i know i'm not up there on the list of contenders. i didn't spend my weekends shuttling my kids from soccer field to ballet classes to piano lessons. nor did i spend my evenings slaving away in the kitchen while preparing nutritious home-cooked meals from scratch. or my days combing craft store shelves for materials to construct unique halloween costumes, creative party favors, or personalized christmas gifts.

ok, so i'm guilty of taking shortcuts. it wasn't unusual to find me and my kids stopping at the nearest fast food drive-thru for a happy meal on the way home from school. or madly dashing with them through party store aisles to find something to wear to the halloween party the next day. so while i may not have been the model of perfection, i believe that as a mother, i really didn't do too badly; my two daughters have turned out to be quite healthy and happy. they've brought home excellent grades, they've never run afoul of the law, and they don't cringe when they find me chatting with their friends. i must have done something right.

as for my being able to nurture my own self, i can probably do much better.

last saturday, i ran 16 miles, the longest distance i've run since i completed my last marathon in october 2005. and while i really can't consider that physically abusive in itself, the fact that i consumed no more than 16 ounces of water and one pack of energy gel during that run is. so is it no wonder that my legs and feet started to cramp when i was 12 miles into the run? i was so tired afterwards that by the time i got home, i had just enough energy left to plop myself on the couch and fall asleep.

a few hours later, feeling somewhat mobile again, i hopped in the shower, got dressed, and headed out the door once more, this time to greville henwood's level 2/3 class at yogaworks main street. he was subbing that afternoon, and since greville's classes are always a hoot (his forte is teaching kids' yoga classes, so things can get creative), i chose to ignore my aching muscles just to see how much "fun" i could have if i pushed myself even more. and as i had expected, i could barely keep up; i found myself in child pose a number of times, wishing that i was back on my couch, catching more zzz's.

on sunday morning, a mere fifteen hours after i rolled up my yoga mat, my endurance was going to be put to the test once again. my good friend CKD and i were about to embark on a 11 mile hike along the mount lowe railway trail that would eventually find us gazing out at the city landscape from a 4500-foot vantage point high up in the san gabriel mountains on what turned out to be an unusually warm and sunny day.

six hours later, by the time i pulled off my trail shoes to check out a fresh blister, the mothering instinct in me finally kicked in. it was time for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

since i knew i was going to be in the san gabriel valley, i had done some research earlier in the week and found a restorative yoga class in the area. it was at yoga madre in arcadia, just east of the trailhead in altadena. even if i had forgotten to print out mapquest directions to the studio, i figured that i'd be able to find it somehow. after all, it was on a major east-west street. what i didn't count on was it being much farther east than i thought it would be.

by the time i pulled into the parking lot next door, it was already 5pm, and the door to the studio was locked. i could clearly see all the items they had for sale in the lobby, but could not find any sign of life. i walked around the building and found the window to the asana room; through a crack in the blinds, i spotted the teacher and waved frantically at her. thankfully, she saw me and walked around to the front to let me in.

the class was already in meditation, and while i desperately needed to sit and just be, i also knew that i needed to change out of my grungy hiking shorts. so while they did their mental cleansing, i did some physical cleansing of my own in the restroom. once i considered myself aesthetically acceptable, i joined the class as they lay on the floor.

a good restorative yoga class can be considered chicken soup for the body. and that's exactly what amy friedman, a trained yoga therapist, treated us to that evening. through the use of blankets and bolsters, we moved slowly into various supported poses, opening our arms, legs, backs, hips, and shoulders into blissful submission. and even more delightful was that we weren't subjected to the usual compilation of yoga muzak. amy's choice of music was quite eclectic; i remember hearing songs sung in spanish, japanese, and english, as well as the soothing sounds of african drums and maybe even a chinese lute. and of course, there was the requisite sanskrit chant or two.

i wish i could say that i was miraculously energized and revitalized after amy's restorative class, but that would be expecting too much. after all, there's no way an hour and a half of relaxation could cure a day and a half of physical abuse. but it definitely helped. and that's all i was looking for.

yoga madre has a new student deal: pay $15 for your first class and your second class is free. so now i have to find another excuse to head back to the san gabriel valley to cash in on that freebie. maybe another hike up the san gabriel mountains? or maybe i should think about that once i've given myself a chance to recover from this weekend's madness...

Friday, November 17, 2006

thanksgiving holiday schedules

while trying to come up with my yoga class list for the upcoming thanksgiving weekend, i came across a number of schedule changes at the yoga studios around town. here's what i've compiled so far from the email updates they've sent me and from their own websites:

angel city yoga
November 23rd, 2006 - Happy Thanksgiving Schedule:
All Levels Yoga
Instructor: Amber Williams
Time: 8:30 am
Instructor: Val Schaffer
Time: 10:30
Easier Level Yoga
Instructor: Kevin O'Kane
Time: 12 Noon

annie's yoga
Thursday November 23:
One class only - Flow Mixed Level with Dario 11:00-12:00pm
Friday November 24:
Flow Mixed Level with Dario 9:00-10:00am
Gentle Yoga with Staff 11:00-12:30pm

back for yoga
We will be closed Thursday, November 23rd, and Friday, November 24th, for Thanksgiving.

bala yoga
Wed. 11/22:
9:00 am Level 2 Anna
12:00 pm All Levels Elsie
Thur. 11/23:
10:30 am All Levels Elsie
Fri. 11/24:
12:00 pm All Levels Elsie
Sat. 11/25:
9:00 am Level 2 Jodi
10:30 am All Levels Will
Sun. 11/26:
10:30 am All Levels Anna
12:00 pm All Levels Scott

bikram yoga downtown la
Thursday 11/23-Sunday 11/26
we will be holding only 1 class each day @ 10:30 AM

bks iyengar institute
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 23rd
We will have one class: 10am - 12pm, All Levels with Garth McLean.
All other classes are canceled.

black dog yoga
Wednesday, November 22nd:
Regular schedule up to and including 6:30p Level I
No 7:30p class
Thursday, November 23rd:
9:00a Level I with JoAnna
9:30a Level II with Peter
Studio Closes
Friday, November 24th:
No 7:30a Hour of Power with Margaret
Regular schedule resumes with 9:00a Level I-II

blessings center
Thanksgiving Class with Gurutej Wed. November 22nd 9:30am
Gratitude Class with Fruit/Tea/Muffin Breakfast following
Come bring little gifts to give each other in gratitude. Something from the heart.

city yoga
Wednesday, November 22nd - 6:00 & 7:00 pm classes canceled
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day:
8:00 am Mixed w/ Steven
9:00 am Mixed w/ Tara
10:30 am Mixed w/ Camilla
Come early, classes will fill up!
Friday, November 24th - 6:30 am & 6:00 pm classes canceled
Saturday, November 25th - 11:00 am & 5:30 pm classes canceled
Our regular schedule will resume on Sunday

exhale santa monica
wednesday, november 22:
9:35-11:00am music yoga flow david romanelli
5:05-6:20pm music yoga flow meaghan townsend
thursday, november 23:
10:15-11:30am music yoga flow meaghan townsend
friday, november 24:
9:35-11:00am music yoga flow meaghan townsend
3:30-4:25pm kids yoga for 4-10 year olds darlene d'arrezo
5:05-6:20pm music yoga flow meaghan townsend

exhale venice - sacred movement
wednesday, november 22:
7:00-8:30am level 2 kyra haglund
9:00-10:25am level 2/3 micheline berry
9:15-10:40am level 1 richard wegman
10:30-12:00pm level 2/3 saul david raye
10:45-12:15pm level 1/2 brad keimach
12:15-1:45pm level 2/3 seane corn
thursday, november 23:
8:30-10:00am level 2/3 saul david raye
9:15-10:40am level 1/2 sherry brourman
10:30-12:00pm level 2/3 erich schiffmann
10:45-12:15pm level 1/2 david romanelli
friday, november 24:
9:00-10:25am level 2/3 micheline berry
9:15-10:40am level 1 richard wegman
10:30-12:30pm thanksgiving detox seane corn
10:45-12:15pm level 2 shannon von burns
12:45-2:15pm community 2/3 brad keimach
4:15-5:50pm music yoga flow david romanelli

forrest yoga
2 Hour Thanksgiving Class
Featuring: Boston Forrest Yogini Chanel Luck
On this day of giving thanks, use yoga to nurture that sense of compassion and thankfulness for your spirit. Sweat, laugh, and feel amazing in your body!
Time: 9-11am ~ Cost: $15

garden of yoga
Thursday, November 23rd - CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING
Friday, November 24th10am - Flow Class Only with Diana
Sunday, November 26th10am - Flow Class Only with Stefan

goda yoga
Closed Thanksgiving Day
FRIDAY 24th...10:30 am-12pm (one class)

golden bridge
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Golden Bridge Thanksgiving Celebration
8:30 - 9:30 AM - Tibetan Yoga with Vanessa
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM - Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh
Cost: $15/one keytag pass for one class or $20/two keytag passes for both
Start your Thanksgiving Day with Gurmukh and Vanessa as they align forces to teach classes designed to open your heart, raise your Kundalini, and get you ready for the big day of service.
The adventure of thanksgiving will begin with a playful, prayerful and powerful Tibetan Yoga class, followed by a heart-centered Kundalini class with double gong meditation and a bit of Thanksgiving dance! Feast on our famous sourdough waffle breakfast and all the trimmings along with delicious yogi tea! Give thanks and blessings for the gift of yoga in your life.
Unveil the joy of gratitude in your heart!

harmony yoga
Join Chappell for an invigorating yoga class before the Thanksgiving day feast.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Suggested Donation: $10
All other classes are cancelled for the day.

home simply yoga
All classes on Thursday, November 23rd are canceled.

inner power yoga
There will be one class, at 10 a.m., on Thanksgiving Day taught by Ellen.

insight yoga
Wednesday, November 22:
9am Dottie
11am Kate
2pm Bindu- FREE!!!
4:30pm Rick
6pm Theresia
Thursday, November 23rd:
STUDIO CLOSED - Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 24th:
11am Kate
4:30pm Rick
Saturday, November 25th:
9am Dottie
10:30am Kate

karuna yoga
FREE YOGA CLASS on Thanksgiving, 9 - 10:30am.
Regular class schedule resumes Friday (11/24) at 6:30am.

liberation yoga
The Schedule For Thanksgiving is~
8:00am-9:30am Vinyasa Krama (All Levels) - Arun Deva
9:30am-11:00am Iyengar (All Levels) - Marla Apt
11:00am-12:30pm Eclecto Mix Flow and Restore (All Levels) - Christine Burke

mission street yoga
***Our schedule is the same except for the following changes***
Wednesday, 11/22 -- All kids classes are cancelled
Thursday, 11/23 -- We are OPEN for one class only...a 9:30am Mixed Level class with Stuart Hanna, as a donation only class (suggested $10)
In honor of turkeys, all proceeds will go to The Wildlife Conservation Society. Make a charitable contribution by visiting your mat this holiday!
Friday through Sunday -- All classes run as usual

mukti yoga
closed for thanksgiving

progressive power yoga
Thursday, Nov 23rd - All classes cancelled except 10:00am with Mark
Friday, Nov 24th - Only 6:00pm class cancelled
Studio City:
Regular class schedule Thursday and Friday

revive studios
Wednesday evening classes canceled
Thursday all classes canceled
will resume normal schedule on friday

rising lotus
Thursday, November 23
10:30am Mixed Level with Daniel (By donation, proceeds go to the West Valley Food Bank)

santa monica yoga
Thursday November 23 - classes by donation to Westside Food Bank:
9:00 am with Mary Donovan - Level 1 plus Kirtan with Travis Eliot
11:00 am with Kyra Haglund - Mixed Level
Friday November 24:
Studio Closed

silverlake yoga
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: At 10 am Jonathan will teach a challenging Beginners 2 Class. Expect to work hard before stuffing yourself silly.
All other classes canceled.
Wednesday, Nov. 22:
4:00 pm Kids Yoga
4:00 pm Pilates
6:30 pm Prenatal
Friday, Nov. 24:
7:00 am Mixed Levels

sivananda yoga vedanta center
Thursday November 23 & Friday November 24
Open class at 10:30am Only. The center will be closed the rest of the day.

Thursday The 23rd (Thanksgiving Day)...
9am: Booty Kickin Sculpt with Gillian (1hr)
10:15am: Yoga Booty Ballet with Rachel (1hr)
Friday The 24th...
9am: Pilates Mat with Kim D (1hr)
10:15am:Yoga Booty Ballet with Lauren (1hr)
Saturday The 25th...
8:30am: Sculpt & Tone with Lauren (1hr)
10am: Yoga Booty Ballet with Gillian (1.5 hrs)-- Reservations Required
Sunday The 26th...
10am: Yoga Booty Ballet with Rachel (1.25 hr)

the absolute yoga and pilates
We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day
There will be no Yoga or Pilates Thursday, November 23rd, 2006
As well as Friday, November 24th, 2006
Yoga and Pilates classes will resume Saturday and
Sunday as per our regular schedule.

u studio
For subs and schedule changes during Holiday Season please call 323-960-1011.

yoga at the village
Thursday, Nov 23rd - 9:00am class is FREE; all other classes are cancelled

yoga blend
We will be CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov 23rd but OPEN with regularly scheduled classes throughout the rest of the Holiday weekend with the exception of the Friday, Nov 24th class at 6:45am, which will be cancelled!

yoga desa
Unless otherwise posted, Yoga Desa will be CLOSED on: New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006
6:15AM-7:15AM All Levels Matthew Reyes
9:15AM-10:45AM Summit 2/3 Matthew Reyes
Friday, November 24, 2006
9:15AM-10:45AM Level 2/3 Missy Costello
1:00PM-2:00PM Kids 3-6 Karen Moore
1:00PM-2:00PM All Levels Missy Costello

yoga inside out
Thursday, November 23:
All classes cancelled
Friday, November 24:
12:30-1:30pm Mixed Level Hagar Harpak
4:00-5:30pm Mixed Level Tiffany Fraser
Saturday, November 25:
4:30-6:00pm Fundamentals Lynn Taylor

yoga loft manhattan beach
Thurs, 11/23 9:00am Level 2 with Genevieve ($10 suggested donation benefiting Westside Food Bank)
Fri, 11/24 9:00am Level 2 with Genevieve
Sat/Sun 11/25-26 All regularly scheduled classes will be held

yoga loft woodland hills

yoga madre
We will be offering ONE CLASS ONLY on Thanksgiving Day at 9:00 am and ONE CLASS on Friday at 10:30 am. Both classes will be for all levels. Schedule resumes as usual on Saturday.

yoga west
Yoga West will also be CLOSED for classes Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, but we will be serving a Thanksgiving Day Pot Luck Dinner from 2-5pm, for all!

yoga works los angeles
Thanksgiving Day, November 23:
Main Street
7:30-9:00 Yoga Works(2) Bahni Turpin
9:15-10:45 Vinyasa Flow(2&3) Jesse Schein
11:00-12:25 Yoga Works(1) Rachael Simmons
(and due to studio renovation, all main street classes on nov 20-22 are cancelled)
Montana Avenue
6:30-8:55 Ashtanga/Mysore Lee D'Angelo
7:30-9:00 Yoga Works(1&2) Roberta Lombardi
9:00-10:25 Yoga Works(2) Malachi Melville
9:15-10:40 Iyengar(2) Chris Stein
10:30-12:00 Vinyasa Flow(2&3) Sara Ivanhoe
10:45-12:15 Yoga Works(1&2) Roberta Lombardi
12:15-1:45 Yoga Works(1) Al Tavera
12:30-2:00 Iyengar(2&3) Paul Cabanis
7:30-9:00 Yoga Works(1&2) Amy Lafond
9:00-10:30 Yoga Works(2) Thomas Taubman
9:15-10:45 Iyengar(1&2) Paul Cabanis
10:45-12:15 Yoga Works(1&2) Amy Lafond
11:00-12:30 Vinyasa Flow(2&3) David Lynch
Center for Yoga
8:00-9:30 Yoga Works(2&3) Natasha Rizopoulos
8:15-9:40 Iyengar(1&2) Knansie Sandercock
9:00-10:30 Hatha Blend(1&2) Diana Beardsley
9:45-11:15 Hatha Blend(1) Susan Swan
10:00-11:30 Hatha Blend(2) Clay Kyle
11:30-1:30 Ashtanga/Mysore Joel Bender
12:00-1:30 Vinyasa Flow(2&3) Joan Hyman

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

in the city of brotherly (and sisterly) yoga

i'm back from my three-day trip to philadelphia to visit my daughters, and besides being able to celebrate my younger one's birthday and my own upcoming birthday, catch "borat" at a movie theatre in university city, visit the darwin exhibit at the franklin institute, and eat the typical touristy goodies like cheesesteaks at geno's and italian cookies at the reading terminal market, i actually found the time to take a yoga class every day that i was in town. talk about great time management skills!

day one found me landing at PHL at 7:15am, shuttling out to the car rental counter, and driving off towards university city by 8am. since it was a saturday morning, there was no traffic to speak of; i ended up having to wait in the car until the first employee arrived to unlock the door for the 9am class.

Power Yoga Works
3527 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-YOGA
website: www.poweryogaworks.com

Power Yoga Works Ltd is the Only Certified Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Institute Affiliate Studios & Registered Yoga Alliance Power Vinyasa Yoga Teaching Schools in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware Tri-State Area

there's nothing like a power yoga class to get the kinks out of your body after a 5 hour cross-continent flight!

this is a new location for their philadelphia-based studio (they have another studio in malvern, about 20 miles away). the last time i was in philly, they were located just down the street from my daughter's dorm at upenn; now they're about a mile away. luckily, parking wasn't a problem and i was able to find an empty spot on the street, right under their studio window.

our teacher that morning was nicole hopman, a new teacher on staff, so new that her bio still hasn't been posted on the website. all i could find on her was that she was a sponsored athlete at veganbodybuilding.org and that she penned a brief article on the benefits of yoga.

the class was a blend of power yoga and hot yoga; while we flowed along with the poses nicole called out, large heater fans mounted on the four corners of the room blasted away. and considering that i had just spent a good half hour in my car, waiting in the early morning chill, the heat was truly welcome. it was a mixed level class, and true enough, the students in the class were of all abilities. the petite asian lady in front of me performed every move effortlessly, while the young college student beside me struggled with the more difficult poses. i suppose you could say it was your typical power yoga class; there wasn't anything unusual that nicole did or did not do or say that registered in my memory after the class ended. but then again, i had only about 4 hours of fitful sleep in a cramped airline seat the night before...

for day two, i had to wait until my younger daughter took off for her study session and my older daughter rushed out to catch her flight back to boston. i had two options to choose from -- a restorative class with live music at one studio and a sringara rasa flow class (sringara balances the masculine with the feminine, effort with surrender in a harmonizing class) at another. the latter choice piqued my curiosity enough to make me point my car in that direction. besides, it was dark, the rain was starting to come down in sheets and i didn't want to venture far from my fairmount-based hotel.

Wake Up Yoga
2329 Parrish Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 235-1228
website: www.wakeupyoga.com

At Wake Up Yoga, mindfulness and precision unite with movement and breath to create a juicy practice that is grounded, uplifting, informative and joyous. Discover the simple perfection of breath as you surrender your struggles and embrace the fun of physical challenge with no fear of failure. Get lost in the moment and find your inner perfection. These classes are founded on Mindfulness, inspired by Heartfulness.

trying to find a parking spot in this residential neighborhood was a bit tougher, but thanks to my compact rental car, i eventually fit into a tight space four short blocks away. it was a good thing that i had opted to borrow yoga mats during this trip (covering each loaner with my yogitoes towel, of course, to protect me from any cooties left on the mat from the previous user); due to the downpour, my mat would have been soaked by the time i got to the studio's front door.

again, i arrived early for the 5:30pm class. i needed some extra time to swap my jeans for a pair of yoga pants. fortunately, the instructor, tina dichiara, was already at the studio, getting the room ready.

here's tina's bio:
With a father who is a doctor of Ayurvedic medicine, and parents who are both siddhas of Transcendental Meditation, Tina DiChiara grew up knowing that she is a "citizen of the age of enlightenment." Tina learned the Transcendental Meditation technique at the age of five and learned the pranayama and yoga asana that compliments TM by the age of ten. She fondly remembers showing off her padmasana (lotus pose) to her father, as pose he couldn't approach, while he practiced mayurasana (peacock pose), a pose she still trying to breathe into! At 17, a high school friend introduced Tina to Reiki, a form of Japanese energy healing that she has used to heal herself and others ever since. Tina achieved her Master Level Reiki Attunement in 2003, and completed her yoga teacher training at Wake Up Yoga, Philadelphia, PA in 2004. Since then, Tina has been teaching yoga full and part-time in Boston, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, and has so much fun that she feels teaching yoga is almost better than doing it!

while i was changing in the dressing room, the rest of the students starting getting settled down in the split-level room. i couldn't figure out why anyone would design a studio where some of the class would be at entrance-level while the other others were a step or two up from them, but it seemed to work anyway (come to think of it, the yoga loft in woodland hills has the same set up, so i guess it really isn't that unique at all).

tina had us moving from pose to pose in what i assumed should have been a fluid motion. but since my back was rather stiff and creaky at the time from all the running around i had done with my kids, i found it a bit tedious to get from a downward dog with the right leg raised, to a lunge with the right leg forward, back to right leg up, back to the lunge, over and over again. and then again with the left. i was beginning to wonder if i should have opted for the restorative class instead. at least i wouldn't have had to work as hard. plus i would have had live music. and then i could have shown up the next morning to take tina's yin yoga class -- for only $5! maybe next time...

i chatted with tina briefly before heading out the door. she pointed at the off the mat into the world tank i was wearing and asked if i was from california. apparently, people in the philly area don't really do yoga, tribe and culture nor other "hip yoga apparel" trends. tina commented that there were definitely more students attired in a similar fashion when she took classes in los angeles at sacred movement with shiva rea, erich schiffmann, seane corn, and saul david raye. it's bad enough that my accent clearly identifies me as a californian; now i find out that my yoga duds give me away, too.

wake up yoga just opened a second studio in west philadelphia, at 4916 baltimore avenue, just two miles east of upenn. it appears to have a similar mix of classes, so i've added it to my list of must-visits the next time i'm in town.

day three, monday. one last chance to squeeze in a yoga class before my noon hotel checkout deadline. it was still raining, but since the sun was out, i felt confident that i would be able to find the studio a few miles away in the northern liberties neighborhood without getting horribly lost in the city's maze of one-way streets. this third place was the same studio that had the restorative yoga class the night before. when i got to the front door, i found out that not only had i missed the live music, but i had missed their fall potluck party as well. darn.

Studio B
209 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 733-9053
website: www.studiobwell.com

Studio B wellness center, a fun and eclectic space to enjoy and just B. Voted best Philadelphia yoga studio, Philadelphia Magazine.

the teacher for the 9am all-level vinyasa class was renata gregori, the same teacher who had taught the restorative class the night before. here's her bio taken from the wake up yoga website, since she also teaches there:

Renata Gregori has been practicing Yoga for over ten years. She received her Teacher Certification from Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville in Virginia, under the guidance of one of the most revered Yoga Masters of our time, Sri Swami Satchidananda. She returned to the Ashram later as a teacher and staff member and also received her certification in Prenatal Yoga. She was on staff for the Ashram's Teacher Training program in Mexico and also at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York City. Renata has studied extensively in New York, including with notable Yogi Swami Ramananda and at the Sivananda Yoga Center. She continues to study and practice in Philadelphia, where she teaches at various Yoga Studios and Fitness Centers.

there was no slacking allowed in renata's class. she kept an eye on our every move. she tweaked my down dogs. she corrected my warrior 1's and 2's. she helped me get a better backbend in my wheels. she put a blanket under my hip when i couldn't quite get into pigeon on my cranky side. and she grabbed my ankles and lifted me up while i was in shoulderstand. (i know, doing wheel, upright pigeon, and shoulderstand are still against doctor's orders, but i wanted to see what kind of adjustment she would make when i got into those poses. maybe i would finally find out how i was jamming my back?)

i'll definitely look renata up again the next time in town. it shouldn't really be that difficult since she teaches at a number of places. and if i time things right, maybe i'll be able to enjoy the music and the party that i missed this go-around.

so there you have it. three days, three classes, three teachers, three studios. had i been able to extend my stay a few days longer, there were many other studios i could have tried out, like the iyengar institute beside my hotel, david newman's place all the way out in trendy manayunk, the ashtanga shala near rittenhouse square, or even the bikram studio, hot yoga and all.

there's always next time :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

yoga withdrawal

i've been following yoga chickie's blog, and i can totally commiserate with her feelings of boredom and frustration while her post-surgical condition keeps her from mastering her elusive supta K.

as for me, my yoga practice has gotten so spotty recently that i can't even remember the last time i updated my yoga log! i'd say that in the past three weeks, i've probably taken only about a dozen classes, where a mere two were strenuous enough to make me break out in a sweat. that's pretty pathetic, considering that i usually average around 6-7 fairly vigorous classes a week.

the cause? i could say that i blame it on my chiropractor, who's instructed me to take it easy so that my back has a chance to respond to her treatment. we negotiated a compromise; since she doesn't want me running off to yoga class immediately after my evening adjustments with her, i don't do yoga on those days. which means that if i see her three days a week, that's three days out of seven that i have to abstain from my practice (and as for trying to do some yoga on my own at home, that's a lost cause; i always find something else that needs to be done). and if i have another commitment that takes up a weekday evening, like tickets at the music center, there goes another yoga-free day. sigh.

to make things worse, i've just embarked on a new mission. for now, i'm referring to it as a series of fortunate events (with a nod to lemony snicket): for the 50 days leading up to my BIG birthday in december, i've made plans to spend each day with a different person who's played some role in my life, whether it be a friend, a lover, a co-worker, or a close relative (and the details of that adventure will definitely be the subject of a future post). yes, that's 50 different people, with 50 different mini birthday celebrations. like i've been telling everyone, it's my way of making up for all the birthday parties i got gypped out of because my birthday happens to fall three days before christmas :(

unfortunately for me, not only are most of the people i know yoga non-practitioners, but many don't even understand why i feel the need to turn into a human pretzel as often as i do. because of that, so far, i've been unsuccessful in convincing anyone to take a yoga class with me. instead, almost every night this week, i've been finding myself eating, drinking, conversing, and laughing during the times when i should be bending, chanting, breathing, and sweating up a storm. and now that i've put it that way, i kinda see their point...

so i'm going to make up for my temporary yoga shortfall by treating myself to a weekend of yoga madness. i'll be hopping on a plane bound for philadelphia tonight to meet up with my east coast-based daughters to celebrate a couple of birthdays and an early thanksgiving. if all goes to plan, i'll be taking a class every day that i'm there. it's going to be a hectic schedule, with one class right after i land at PHL early saturday morning, another one on sunday night after my older daughter returns to boston, and a third one on monday morning, with just enough time left over (i hope) to take a quick shower before the hotel housekeeping crew comes to clean out my room. can it be done? i'll let you know when i get back.

see you in a few...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

another grand opening

In The Mudra Yoga and Dance Studio
21835 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 340-YOGA
website: www.inthemudra.com

Whether you're looking for yoga, weight loss, exercise, fitness, meditation or belly dance, this is the place.
The owner Suzanne Strachan has created a yoga and dance class experience unlike any other. Suzanne has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and she has become well known for personalized attention, custom yoga programs and RESULTS. Students flock to Suzanne to learn how to lose weight with yoga, turn back the clock and stay young.
Yoga has become the fasting growing mind-body exercise sensation America has ever seen. Yoga is an ideal choice for anyone looking for relaxation, mental focus, fitness, stamina, weight loss and overall strength and tone. As a fitness activity and exercise, yoga is unparalleled. Yoga is an excellent way to develop core strength, flexibility and help prevent injury during workouts. Back problems are often alleviated under the guidance of an experienced Yoga Teacher. This ancient discipline helps you to have a joyful outlook on life and relieves stress and promotes inner peace. The breathing exercises, meditation and yoga asana postures help focus the mind and body as one.

i was thumbing through the latest issue of LA Yoga magazine the other day when i spotted a new listing on the yoga studio page: in the mudra yoga and dance. since i had never heard of it before, i checked out the studio website to find out more. their class schedule featured a wide variety of yoga classes -- gentle, mixed level, mommy and me, kids, teen, and even kundalini -- as well as a "cabaret-fusion" belly dancing class. i knew i would definitely want to stop by for the yoga classes; but as for the belly dancing... hmmm. but then again, i suppose i'm more likely to give that a shot than a pole dancing class :)

anyway, it turns out that not only are they located just up the street from where i work, but the studio owner, suzanne strachan, supposedly specializes in sports injuries. according to her bio:

"... As an extreme yoga athlete herself, Suzanne is a highly skilled sports injury therapist. Suzanne has experience working with clients with a wide range of conditions, including but not limited to thoracic outlet syndrome, kyphotic upper thoracic curvature, carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis in the elderly, work related injury and rotator cuff injuries. Suzanne uses yogic breathing techniques to help those with respiratory conditions such as emphysema and asthma..."

it definitely sounded like a place i wanted to try out. and once i read that there was going to be a grand opening celebration the next day (yes, talk about perfect timing!) with free classes, free demonstrations, a free concert, and free food, i quickly rearranged my schedule just so i could attend the festivities.

that next morning, i got stuck in traffic en route to the studio (on a saturday morning?!?) and arrived just as the free yoga class was scheduled to start. to my relief, not only wasn't i late, but i was the only student there! half hoping now that i would be lucky enough to end up in a private class, i put my belongings in one of the cubbies at the back of the room and proceeded to lay down my yoga mat. soon, other students started streaming in, many of them holding flyers that suzanne's son was handing out on the sidewalk outside. so much for my hoped-for one-on-one.

it was an eclectic mix that eventually packed the room; a few were garden-variety yoga students, but the majority looked like they'd never set foot in a yoga studio before. a clear sign was the fact that once they entered the premises, they walked across the asana floor, street shoes and all, then stood in the middle of the room, wondering what to do next.

suzanne eventually got the situation under control. while she attended to those still checking in at the front desk, she also managed to hand out yoga mats to the newbies and instruct them to take off their shoes. in the meantime, i sat on my mat, observing the crowd, knowing that there was a good chance this class wasn't going to be the mixed-level class that i was hoping it would be... argh.

and sure enough, i found myself in an intro to yoga class. once everyone was comfortably seated on their mats, suzanne assured the group that they had nothing to worry about. she pointed out that the basic yoga poses are actually familiar moves that we've all done at one time or another, like getting on one's hands and knees (cat pose) and laying on one's back (savasana), to name a few. she then started the class moving into very simple poses. i found myself following along like everyone else, even if i knew that i could easily bump up the difficulty a few notches. after all, i didn't want to be responsible for confusing the person beside me who had a hard enough time just trying to figure out what to do.

when class ended, we were treated to a vegan meal, courtesy of follow your heart and el taco loco, followed by a bellydancing performance by carolina ocando, another instructor at in the mudra. there was also a raffle for class passes and restaurant gift certificates. and as if to give me another reason to return, i won a 5-class pass! looks like i may be giving that belly dancing class a try after all...

in the mudra is located just two doors west of follow your heart, a well-known vegetarian market and cafe on sherman way in canoga park. between the wide selection of items for sale on the store shelves and the long list of mouthwatering offerings on the restaurant menu, you know i'll be dropping by once i start cashing in my free classes!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

yoga therapy

for the two weeks that i've been on the injured reserve list and relegated to less strenuous yoga classes, i've been making a concerted effort to study with master teachers and/or teachers whose backgrounds are in injury rehabilitation or physical therapy. i figured that if they truly knew their stuff, not only would they tell me what i should and shouldn't be doing, but they would also correct me if they spotted me doing something that would reinjure my back all over again. at the same time, i've been very conscious of the way i move in and out of poses, focusing on the difference between "good" pain and "bad" pain; that is, the discomfort i feel while i'm trying to get deeper into a pose vs. the discomfort i feel when i'm doing something incorrectly.

with my heightened awareness and slow, deliberate movements, i've finally come to the conclusion that the reason why i injured my back in the first place was because i was doing things the wrong way (duh!). instead of making space between the disks in my back by lengthening my spine before doing backbends, forward bends, and twists, i was keeping my spine compressed, and in so doing, i was jamming my disks into each other, causing spasms and pain.

yes, i know that teachers have been telling me what to do since day one, but obviously i haven't been listening.

... that is, until now, when i find myself the poster child for what bad yoga habits can do to you.

fortunately for me, right after that proverbial light bulb went on over my head, i was able to take classes with three excellent teachers who were very hands-on: amy lafond at yoga works montana, annie carpenter at yoga works main street, and ben fritz at forrest yoga. they watched my every move and offered much-needed (and much-appreciated) guidance. and even if i thought i was doing a good job of lifting my ribs away from my pelvis, they showed me that i could still lengthen my spine even more. they also pointed out other things -- like the time amy adjusted my wide-legged standing forward bend because my right hip was higher than my left. or when annie pointed out that i tilted my pelvis forward too much when i was standing. or when ben kept reminding me to relax my neck and shoulders because all that tension was eventually going to find its way to my lower back.

and thankfully, through proper chiropractic care and a more conscious yoga practice, my back is feeling much better. i won't go as far as to say that i've been healed (praise the lord, alleluia!), but it's definitely on the mend.

speaking of seeking therapy from qualified professionals, i just received confirmation that i'll be volunteering at the 1st symposium on yoga therapy and research (SYTAR) which will be held in los angeles on january 18-21, 2007. this conference, sponsored by the international association of yoga therapists (IAYT), will feature a speaker program which includes many luminaries in the yoga and medical fields. it also will include many LA-based yoga instructors such as marla apt, sherry brourman, rajashree choudhury, larry payne, eric small, max strom (a former LA resident), and lisa walford. i'm looking forward to attending workshops, taking classes, and checking out the exhibitor booths. oh yes, and doing the usual administrative tasks that volunteers are expected to do :)

anyway, this recent injury has made me even more convinced that every yoga student must spend some hands-on time with a knowledgeable and caring yoga instructor. after all, it's one thing to be able to do the poses well enough to follow along in a class, but it's another thing to be able to do the poses well enough to prevent yourself from getting injured.

maybe i'll finally learn to listen to my own advice...