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

Monday, May 28, 2007

when in san pedro...

Yoga Bindu
718 South Weymouth Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90732
(310) 521-9555
website: www.yoga-bindu.com

My wish for Yoga Bindu is for you to discover through practice the path to nourishment, strength, happiness, prosperity, and healing: healing of diseases and dis-eases, physically and emotionally, healing from loneliness, labels, and fear. I want Yoga Bindu to be seen as a gathering place where we are all welcome and 'everybody knows your name.'

I honor that place in you where God resides; and when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us. Namaste and Sat Nam!

once again, in my quest for more yoga studios to conquer, i happened upon yoga bindu in san pedro, a community located in the southern section of LA county. according to the class listing posted on their website, most of their classes are of the hatha/flow style, with a few kundalini sessions thrown into the mix. rosie good umano is the owner and director of yoga bindu, and since no other teacher is listed anywhere on the schedule, it looks like she teaches all the classes. if so, that's dedication!

perhaps unconsciously, in reaction to the rigid structure of the last bikram class i took, i found myself being drawn to a kundalini class -- a form of yoga composed of exercise sets so random that every class ends up being a total surprise... at least to me. and though it's totally possible to work up a sweat with the vigorous movement that the kriyas require, the room is usually kept at a comfortable temperature. in fact, i've noticed that many students are more modestly dressed during their practice (in stark contrast to the half-naked bikram crowd).

since it was a relatively short distance from my office, i chose to drop by one evening after work. planning to make the 7:45pm class, i left my desk shortly before 7pm to accommodate the usual rush hour mess on the 405 and 110 freeways. it turns out that i gave myself more than enough time to get there; i ended up sitting in my car for half an hour because there was no separate place to wait while the previous class was in session.

eventually, as the prior students made their way out the door, i made my way in. the studio itself is a one-room affair (two if you count the tiny bathroom at the back). the reception area is by the entrance and is separated from the asana area by the cubbies where the yoga props and students' belongings are stored. the only natural light comes in through the front window and is filtered by the window shade that offers the students some privacy from the sidewalk outside.

i placed my mat on the carpeted floor closest to the window to take advantage of what little sunshine there was left streaming into the room. over at the other end of the room where rosie was seated, there was an altar with an assortment of hindu deities as well as a virgin mary. an odd combination, i thought, but if it works, why not?

once we got settled, we started by chanting ong namo guru dev namo, then moving through some warm-up exercises. rosie then flipped through her collection of CD's, queued one up on the stereo system, and we started on our yoga set adventure.

after numerous iterations of waving our arms forward and back, up and down, and all around, then sitting down and standing right back up over and over again, plus a variety of other moves -- all the time quietly chanting wahe guru or sat nam or doing breath of fire breathing -- we finally settled back down into a brief meditation before flipping onto our backs for savasana. by then, the room was pitch dark; i could barely make out where all my belongings were as i gathered them up before leaving.

as i left, i thanked rosie and promised her that i'd drop by again if i were ever in the area. and now that i've just found out that gary smith, a local running coach, teaches a power yoga class there on tuesday evenings, i have that perfect reason to return!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

memorial day schedule changes

i've been randomly checking yoga studio websites to check for holiday schedule changes. and from what i've seen so far, many seem to be sticking to their usual schedule all weekend.

here are some, though, who'll be taking some time off to celebrate memorial day:

the absolute yoga and pilates, woodland hills

Memorial Weekend - May 27-28, 2007 (Sunday and Monday) CLOSED
We will be open on Saturday May 26, 2007 with our regular schedule for both Yoga and Pilates.
We will re-open Tuesday May 29th, 2007.

From all of us at The Absolute Yoga and Pilates Studio,
Have a safe and wonderful long weekend!!!

black dog yoga, sherman oaks

Memorial Weekend Schedule
We're on our current schedule through this Saturday the 26th, then:

Sunday, May 27th
9:00am Kundalini Yoga w/ Karta Purkh
9:30am Hatha Flow 2 w/ Steve O'Connor
10:30am Anusara-inspired 2-3 w/ Jenny Brill
3:30pm Hatha Flow 1 w/ Hanna Gilan
4:00pm Hatha 2 w/ JoAnna Ross
5:00pm Restorative Yoga w/ Melissa Morgan

Memorial Day Monday, May 28th
9:00am Hatha 1-2 w/ Tracy Haywood
9:30am Deep Stretch, All Levels w/ Heidi Kaufman
10:30am Anusara-inspired 2-3 w/ Jenny Brill
Studio Closes - No PM Classes

garden of yoga, woodland hills

Memorial Day Mindful Flow Class with Diana
Monday, May 28th 10am - 11:30am
*all other classes will be canceled for that day only.

Come join Diana for a Memorial Day Mindful Flow Class which will get
you ready for your day of fun, BBQ's and adventure. We hope to see you there.

goda yoga, culver city

MEMORIAL DAY SCHEDULE....10:30-12:00...Cheryl...all levels welcome

liberation yoga, los angeles

10:00am ALL LEVELS FLOW: Ashley Albrand
11:30am LEVEL 1 Susan Kaye

Love and Peace and Freedom and JOY!
Christine & Gary

santa monica yoga, santa monica

Closed Monday May 28 - Memorial Day

swerve studio, west hollywood

This Weekend's Memorial Schedule:

8:30am ~ World Beat Tone and Stretch w/ Kim (1hr)
10:00am ~ Yoga Booty Ballet w/ Gillian & Teigh. Please make a reservation for this class early as space is limited. (1.5hrs)
12:30pm ~ Bollywood Bhangra Beats w/ Achinta (1hr)

8:45am ~ Ballet Body w/ Amelia (1hr)
10am ~ Yoga Booty Ballet w/ Lauren H. (1hr 15min)
11:30am ~ Bollywood Bhangra Beats w/ Achinta (1hr)

9:00am ~ Soul Dance & Sculpt w/ Lauren (1hr)
10:15am ~ Yoga Booty Ballet w/ Kim B. (1.5hrs)
12:30pm ~ Anusara Yoga: Community Class $9 w/ Elsie (1hr 15mins)

truyoga, santa monica

We are rapidly approaching our Memorial Day Weekend Program, Saturday May 25 through Monday May 28, with world-renowned yoga teachers Shiva Rea and Shankradev Saraswati. Shiva will be teaching a Vinyasa Flow class on Saturday, followed by a full weekend program with Shankradev. This is an opportunity to study with two of the most experienced yoga teachers in the western world in the beautiful, eco-friendly yoga studio at TruYoga. There is still space left and we have extended the early-bird special until Monday, May 21st. To register, please call us at 310.829.2420 or visit www.truyogaLA.com for more info.
We are excited about this special weekend with these special teachers at TruYoga and hope to see you there.

Peter Sterios

u studio yoga, los angeles

memory serves at U Studio this Memorial Day Weekend--classes will remain as you remember them to be--served up fresh off the grill all holiday weekend...
this IS the official beginning of bathing suit season...if calming your mind isn't enough to get you up to the 5th floor, vanity just might...

urth yoga, silverlake

schedule changes for monday, may 28th:
8:30-10:00am - all levels - jeff starin
10:30-12:00pm - all levels - jeff starin
5:00-6:30pm - all levels - gabe hendrie

yoga blend, burbank

In observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th, Yoga Blend will close at 2pm following the 1pm Yoga Stretch class.
All morning classes will remain the same plus there will be an additional Level 2 class from 11:00A-12:30P with Christy Marsden.
There will be no changes in the schedule for Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th.
We will be back to our regular class schedule Tuesday morning, May 29th at 6:45A.

Thank you so much for being you! Have a wonderful holiday.

With infinite love and gratitude,
Yoga Blend Staff

yoga circle downtown, los angeles

Memorial Day Schedule:
We will be open with ONE CLASS ONLY at 12 noon on Monday May 28, Memorial day.
Our regular schedule will be in effect on Sat and Sun May 26 and 27.
Please enjoy and have a safe and happy holiday.

Knekoh Fruge

yoga loft, manhattan beach

We will be open for all regular classes on Saturday, 5/26 and Sunday 5/27.
On Monday, May 28, we will hold only the 7am Level 2/3 and the 12 noon Level 1/2 classes.

Have a safe, happy Memorial Day weekend!

your neighborhood studio, culver city

Enjoy a full schedule of classes this Saturday and Sunday!!!
Including Hip Hop at 2pm on Saturday with Jesse MacPherson!!!

Monday, Memorial Day the schedule is:
Yoga Flow - 9am - Denise
Yoga Flow - 7:30pm - Sara

Have a great holiday weekend!

plus some free lulu yoga classes:

lululemon, beverly hills
May 27, 2007
lululemon Ambassador Elsie Escobar will lead us in an Anusara class based on opening the heart and alignment. A perfect treat for the body before Sunday brunch! All levels are welcome. Class begins at 9:30 am. Please bring a yoga mat and water.

lululemon, calabasas
May 27, 2007
So by popular demand we bring you Deborah Stern and her yoga teachings. Our lovely talented educator will be leading her second Sunday yoga class. So sign up and join in. Usual time: 9:30-10:30am

lululemon, pasadena
May 26, 2007
Come celebrate our grand opening!!!!
Yoga 11AM, 1PM, 3PM.
First 50 rsvp's get a goody bag of health and yoga.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

would you like some whine with that?

Bikram Yoga Manhattan Beach
3618 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 802-0225
website: www.mbeachyoga.com

Bikram Yoga is an amazing 90 minute class specifically designed to work every muscle, bone, joint, ligament, tendon, gland and organ in the body. While improving strength, balance and flexibility, you will reshape and heal your body, and relieve stress and tension. Additional benefits are the prevention of illness, injury and the limiting effects of aging. Students of all levels and ages benefit from this total body workout.

i just don't get this bikram thing. i mean, does anyone really enjoy working out in a hot steamy room that smells like a gym locker? and putting their personal yoga mat on a damp carpet that hundreds of people have dripped their sweat on? (which is why i purposely left mine in my car and rented one from them instead) and feeling totally inept while trying (and failing) to touch forehead to knee while a yoga nazi continues to command them to? and hoping that their backs aren't wrenched while doing quick transitions from backbends to forward bends?

honestly, it's hard for me to write an unbiased review about any bikram studio because the practice annoys me to no end.

why do i have to constantly stare at my image in the mirror? so that i can be totally disgusted with what i see? so i find myself swearing to starve myself for the next week so i can lose all the fat deposits i just realized i had?

why do i have to push, pull, kick, or bend to the point of pain and discomfort? i already have a full set of aches and pains; why would i want more?

why does it have to be so hot in the room that i get lightheaded every time i raise my head after bending over?

and what's with the idea of doing a pose, then turning around and lying down, then jackknifing back up to sitting, then turning back around to do the pose again? is all that repositioning supposed to help us burn even more calories?

yeah, yeah, i know. i whine too much.

the only reason why i showed up at the bikram yoga outpost in manhattan beach is so that i could check another yoga studio off my list. on a positive note, i have to say that of the handful of bikram teachers whose classes i've ever taken, carla, who taught today's class, was probably the sweetest bikram instructor i've ever had. it actually sounded like she was trying to encourage us rather than command us to do each pose.

despite that, it's safe to say that i'll probably never go back there again. unless, of course, i run into someone who wants to try it out. then maybe i'll do it once more just to see his/her reaction. who knows? maybe he/she will turn into a bikram devotee... and i still won't understand why.

bikram MB is conveniently located at the intersection of highland and rosecrans; the entrance is on the highland side. it's across the street from harmony yoga where non-bikram, i.e., vinyasa flow, classes are taught (so if you have a last-minute change of mind, either way, you can attempt a switch). parking in the area is metered, so bring enough coins to get you to the two-hour limit (the meter in the parking structure seemed to give me five minutes for every nickel i fed it).

and when you're done with class, there are many nearby places to hang out afterwards while you cool down. my favorite is OB's, which serves massive fish tacos for only $1.75 on taco tuesdays :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

the collective keeps on groovin'

some people collect the usual stuff -- coins, stamps, trading cards. others collect items that can be considered quite unusual -- bunnies, toasters, even airsickness bags (!?!). and then there's me; i collect things that clearly classify me as compulsive -- a marathon in every state, a class at every yoga studio in los angeles, attendance at every yoga groove collective event. hmmm...

in the past year or so, there have been six YGC evenings. of the six, i've shown up at five of them; the only one i missed was the one that was held in orange county. and it's only because i had a good reason for not making it there (although i can't seem to remember what that good reason was).

for those of you who are unfamiliar with the yoga groove collective, it's composed of four local yoga teachers (seane corn, hala khouri, ashley turner, and julian walker) and a musician (suzanne sterling). they continue to produce donation-only yoga/movement/music events at various yoga studios, with 100% of the proceeds going to a different charity each time.

here's a brief recap of the five YGC events that i managed to get to:

april 2006, sacred movement - introduced suzanne sterling to the community and supported the release of her new CD

may 2006, yogaworks montana - raised funds for seane corn's "off the mat, into the world" campaign benefitting youthAIDS

december 2006, yogaworks main street - with guest teacher ted mcdonald, whose favorite charity, the casa de milagros orphanage in peru, was the event's beneficiary

march 2007, yogaworks montana - with guest teacher david romanelli, with the proceeds going to heal the bay

and the latest addition to my collection:

may 2007, exhale santa monica - funded yoga ed.'s training programs for teaching yoga to at-risk youth

at that last event, before we started flowing with the yoga and the music, there was a spoken word performance by a product of the juvenile hall system, a 21-year-old who somehow turned his life around and now serves as an inspiration and role model to other inner city youth like himself.

there's nothing that encourages people to donate more than showing them a concrete example of their money being put to good use :)

after the class, there was a small reception in the patio with bottled water provided by liquid om and veggie wraps by leaf cuisine.

besides accepting donations from all the participants for the class itself, the YGC sold raffle tickets for prizes that were donated by local businesses: an exhale spa basket, a yogitoes tote bag filled with yoga accessories, a $100 gift certificate from natural high, a silver om bracelet from sasa jewelry, and a couple of organic food baskets from essential living foods. and i guess you could say that i got lucky that night; i ended up winning the silver bracelet plus a slew of items to satisfy my mid-day munchie attacks (dried fruits and berries, nuts, cacao nibs, agave syrup, maca powder, and a yummy olive tapenade)!

how do you top a wonderful evening of juicy yoga, stimulating music, yummy food, and fantastic prizes? by attending another one, perhaps?

i'll be watching my mail for future "collectible" collectives!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

yoga for your stage in life

The Yoga Center
1848 South Elena Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 375-6722
website: www.theyogacenter.com

Viniyoga is not so much a name of a yoga but rather a methodology for developing personal practice using asana, pranayama, meditation, and other tools. Viniyoga respects the fact that as we grow, the methods we use in yoga must be modified and the very purpose of our practice changes.

The Viniyoga tradition transmits the teachings of the late Sri T. Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar, the current lineage holder. The tradition teaches to respect totally each individual’s physical, emotional, and mental conditions working from where we are. The word viniyoga suggests the ability to recognize these conditions and to adapt the proper methods to each individual.

at long last, after a couple of failed attempts, i finally made it to a class at the yoga center in redondo beach. and there i found diane gilbert, owner of the yoga center, behind the front desk.

she greeted me warmly when i walked into the door and asked me to be very quiet because the class in session was in savasana. i motioned that i needed to use the bathroom so i could change, and as she pointed out where i should go, she took my yoga mat from me and put it in the classroom as i walked away. such a thoughtful gesture, i noted.

when i returned, the previous class was making its way out of the room. and after observing the interactions of the people now standing in the reception area, i realized that diane was the teacher of that class that just let out. maybe she had to leave her class to attend to something urgent? odd, i thought.

our small group of five filed into the classroom for the next class. it appeared that they were all regulars (by now, i've gotten used to being the "new student" wherever i go). diane greeted everyone by name, and when she got to me, she asked me if i had any issues she should know about. i decided to keep my mouth shut about how this was now my third time there and how i would have totally written off her studio if the online schedule was wrong one more time...

i smiled. i told diane about my lower back issue. about how i had visited an osteopath that morning. and how he had shot my back numerous times with lidocaine in an attempt to diagnose the source of my pain. unfortunately, not only wasn't the pain completely eradicated, but the needle puncture sites were sore. i told her that i had enough experience to know when to back off when things started to hurt.

after a brief period of meditation, diane ran us through a series of modified sun salutations. then told us to do four more on our own. after i had gone through my four (or what i thought was four), i noticed that everyone else was still going. wondering if maybe i left something out, i looked around to ask diane for help. and noticed that she was nowhere to be found. hmmm...

and sometime later, while we were holding a pose for an extended period of time, she seemed to disappear once again. honestly, i have no idea what it was that she did whenever she left. did she tidy up the retail area outside? did she return phone calls? did she attend to paperwork? did she have to go visit the bathroom? i've never had that happen in any other class before. nor at any other studio, including those where the teacher teaching the class had to also attend to administrative matters.

however, whenever she was in the classroom, she watched my every move. bend your knees, she kept insisting. so i had to bend my knees whenever i did a forward bend, whether i was standing or sitting. i kept trying to tell her that keeping my legs straight while folding forward didn't bother my back, but she wouldn't back off. so i complied and ending up feeling like a limp ragdoll. maybe that was the idea. i really don't know.

during savasana, she asked me how my back was feeling. and the only thing that really hurt was the pressure on the injection site on my lower back. she offered me some pillows to cushion my back and even brought a small stool to prop my knees up. later, after class, she suggested that anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger and rosemary and turmeric might help my symptoms. so how can one find fault with someone who's that helpful and caring?

i have to say that the yoga center isn't your typical studio. the style of yoga taught seems to be geared primarily towards beginners as well as those with injuries and limitations (the more warrior-like students might find the classes a bit tame). not only is the yoga different, but the items for sale aren't the usual name-brand yoga apparel and props that you find everywhere else. the eclectic selection appears to be comprised of various items that she may have picked up during her travels. besides an assortment of yoga-related clothing, there were pashminas. and bronze statuettes of ganesha and other hindu gods and goddesses. and unique jewelry. and if i had spent more time looking around, i probably would have discovered even more. as it was, i had to leave because it was getting late and i still had a long drive home.

... and in my rush, i promptly forgot that i could have taken advantage of my KCRW fringe benefits discount when i paid for my class. oh well.

diane wrote an article about viniyoga that was published in the march 2006 issue of yogitimes magazine.

according to that article:

Yoga is for everyone, at every stage of life. The student's present state of mind, body and spirit are respected above all else, including the attachments of the teacher.

The general rule is to follow vrddhi (youth), sthiti (midlife), and laya (old age) kramas (methods)... The main requirement in midlife is to ward off disease and maintain optimum mental and physical health. As one grows old the body begins to decay. The yoga practice will then be directed to maintaining mobility through asana and pranayama practice.

The viniyoga approach places a tremendous amount of responsibility on the teacher to possess the knowledge and wisdom necessary to provide proper guidance to students. Thus a teacher knows what to offer a nineteen-year-old professional surfer or a fifty-year-old menopausal woman with sciatica...

she makes it sound like a fifty-year-old woman doesn't have the strength nor the stamina of a nineteen-year-old athlete. i guess she hasn't come across gung-ho women like me! :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

help us build a home

i received an email today from city yoga about community service opportunities. it said:

The word in Sanskrit is "seva". It means service. The service you do for your yoga community or the community in which you live. The reason is simple...I just want to help.

and one of the opportunities mentioned was:

Yogathon in full gear!

Ok, we have over 30 people signed up and we need you! Be a part of history. This is our major fundraiser of the year and our goal is $100,000. You can help. If you cannot participate in the 24 hours on June 30th, then donate! Every dollar counts and is tax deductible.
Please come by the front desk and pick up your donation packet or write a check! Help build a home for a local family in need.

since i'm one of those 30 (so far) who'll be participating in the yogathon, if you're thinking of showing your support for habitat for humanity, why don't you sponsor me when you make that donation? that way, i can meet my sponsorship minimum (sadly, i'm not there yet), you can get your tax deduction, and some lucky family can get themselves a new home.

if you'd like, you can mail (or drop off) your check directly to city yoga. just put my name on the memo line and email me to let me know what you've donated so that i can update my sponsor sheet and get proper credit (very important!).

we're all in this together -- but while it'll take me 24 hours to get through the yogathon, it shouldn't take you more than 24 seconds to write out a check :)

thanks in advance for your support... and to those who've already pledged generously, thanks so much for being there for me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

beach blanket body

someone at iyogalife must've read my mind. living here in southern california, there's sure to be at least one occasion -- if not more -- where i'll have to don a swimsuit in public (and worse yet, with people i know). and heaven forbid that i'll have to keep my sarong wrapped around me so i don't scare people away!

thank goodness we're still going through a phase of "may gray" (and maybe even "june gloom"?); it gives me some time to work on getting myself beach-ready before the warm sunny days are finally here...

so here's what they said in the email i received from them today:

Anyone who wants to shed a few before summer (35 days to go) should look to this sequence from Baron Baptiste, the king of power vinyasa yoga. For the next seven weeks these five poses done at least five days a week will have you drop at least one sundress size.

and here is that magical sequence baptiste suggests we do:

Hold each pose below for five to 10 breaths. The poses can be done as a sequence or in any combination.

Revolving Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
With right foot forward and left leg stretched behind you, go to the ball of left foot, squeezing left leg straight. Right knee is stacked over right ankle. With hands pressing together at the center of body, straighten arms, bringing left hand to the floor on the outside of front foot. Right hand reaches up. Pull shoulder blades toward the spine. Open chest wide and breathe deeply. Place hands on floor, step feet back, and switch sides to repeat. The twisting action tones and whittles your waist.

Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)
From standing, bring left arm up and roll right hand open so palm faces forward. Bend right knee and bring right foot up from behind. Reach right hand back and grab inside of right foot with thumb pointing like a hitchhiker. Bring knees together. Set gaze forward and lift chest high as you stretch forward, bringing leg up. Keeping chest a bit higher than hips, hold, then repeat to other side. This pose will make your shoulders, spine, and legs strong and elongated, so you look slimmer.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
From a wide-leg standing position open arms so they are parallel with the floor. Turn right foot to face forward and turn back foot to a 45 degree angle. Reach down and grab right shin, bringing left arm up. Arms should stack in one vertical line. Resist the temptation to let body weight drop into the lower shoulder; engage the shoulder and surrounding muscle by extending from fingertip to fingertip. Engage upper thighs and stack entire body on one plane (as if between two panes of glass.) Breathe slowly before coming up to standing. Step left foot forward, then repeat on other side.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lying on belly, bend knees, bringing them hip-width apart. Reach back and grab tops of feet or ankles. On inhale, press back through legs as you lift thighs and chest off floor. Press feet back into hands, drop chin to chest, and breathe deeply. Release and repeat. Bow pose contracts and tones ab muscles—the first step to a washboard.

Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Lying on back, squeeze knees to chest. Contract core and on the exhale, bring legs and hips up, rolling onto the back of shoulders. Bring hands to lower back and walk elbows and shoulder blades toward each other. Press up through the soles of feet, using hands to lift and support hips. To come down, draw knees into chest and gently roll onto back. Rest before coming to sit up.

Monday, May 14, 2007

back for more

i knew i'd eventually find a good reason to return to freespirit yoga in long beach. as it turned out, not only did i return less than a week after my first visit, but i had TWO good reasons to do so. one was to take advantage of the $20 new student 2-week intro pass i had purchased last week (which meant that one class would cost me $20, two @ $10, three @ $6.66, and so on). the other reason was to attend the kirtan event that was held there last friday. the group: larisa stow and the shakti tribe.

Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe create a dynamic blend of East meets West music that mixes kirtan (devotional call-and-response), mantra and uplifting songs. Their inspiring music fuses the spiritual and sacred with a pop rock groove and sensuality like no other…the result is a magic carpet ride your soul needs to experience. Committed to expressing the joy in the Oneness that we all share, Shakti Tribe celebrates unity, culture and diversity through their music’s messages of peace, hope and love.

i had first heard about larisa and her group when i posted the info about the awareness center's grand opening celebration last month. always game for a new chant experience, i had tried to get to pasadena that evening, but things just didn't work out. there's always the next time, i told myself.

well, last friday evening turned out to be that next time.

trying to get the most bang for my gas mileage buck, it made sense for me to try to do as many things as i could while i was there. hence, the 5:45pm all-levels class with dharma shakti, followed by the kirtan at 8pm.

if i were to categorize dharma's class style, i would say that it was a highly meditative class. and i don't mean that we spent most of the time seated cross-legged on the floor, focusing on our breathing (although we did spend some time getting centered before we started moving). we spent most of the time moving through the poses slowly and mindfully. but it wasn't a beginner class composed of simple poses. neither was it a power yoga class that resulted in massive sweat loss. we didn't pause for student demonstrations and partner work like in anusara classes. nor did we spend the entire time trying to get our alignment right like in iyengar classes. whatever it was, it was the perfect class for the last day of the workweek -- a little bit of stress relief, a little bit of stretching and unwinding, and a little bit of muscle toning and strengthening to prepare our bodies for beach weather :)

as for the main event of the evening, the kirtan with larisa stow, it more than met any expectations i had. the chants, many of which were her own compositions, spotlighted her beautiful voice. while i can't say that she brought the participants to a level of ecstatic chanting to rival the kirtans of steve ross nor dave stringer, she nevertheless got the audience involved enough to get up and dance along to the music. many of the performed pieces are from her latest CD, reaching in, which i did end up buying after the chanting was over. and getting larisa to autograph the liner notes made it a special addition to my music collection at home.

all in all, having the opportunity to listen to a talented singer like larisa and take a class with a mindful teacher like dharma made me glad i decided to drop by freespirit that one more time...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

my trip to long beach, day two

after my yoga class friday evening, i spent the rest of the night visiting with an old friend of mine near long beach. early the next morning, after a quick merci and adieu, i was off to yet another yoga studio.

day #2, studio #2 -- a saturday morning class at free spirit yoga

FreeSpirit Yoga
3910 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 989-9959
website: www.freespirityoga.com

We are a local community Yoga Studio that welcomes everyone from any other community. We are seeking to incorporate the benefits from the many facets of Yoga and Meditation. Our Philosophy is to incorporate movement with breath to make the body and mind healthy, and to take silent time to get centered before and after class. Practicing this inside the classroom helps you to take it into your life, relationships, work and play. Being centered and grounded in all that you do and in all that you are. And having FUN in life, being in the FLOW of life.

i have to admit that the main reason why i chose to visit freespirit yoga that morning was because it was the closest studio to the 405 freeway, and i knew that there was a good chance that i would be running late for an 8:30am class.

and sure enough, i ended up walking into the classroom after the class had started. but it wasn't because i hadn't given myself enough time to get there; i was absent-minded and exited the freeway three off-ramps too early. rather than retrace my steps back to the freeway when i realized my error, i decided instead to continue on surface roads. and then found out that i had taken the long way there. oh well.

once i finally found the address, i pulled into the perfect parking spot right outside the front door... until i discovered that the actual entrance was around the building on the back side. with the minutes continuing to tick away, i was lucky enough to find an empty spot in the small parking lot in the rear. and even luckier to find out that i could still join the class, which was already in progress. but to get to the last free spot way in the back of the small room, i had to walk past the instructor and the roomful of students. so much for trying to sneak in unnoticed :(

(in my rush, i never found out the name of our teacher that morning; all i know is that she was subbing for the regular teacher.)

since it was an all-levels class, it seemed to cater to the less-experienced students in the group. there were a lot of slow stretches, a lot of basic moves. the overly-bendy woman in front of me seemed almost freakish as she moved double-jointedly through the poses; in stark contrast, the elderly gentleman beside me could barely touch his toes while executing a forward bend. while there were times when i'd hoped that our teacher would pick up the pace, in a way i was glad that i was forced to slow down and take it easy. it gave me a chance to rest and recharge and prepare for the long day i had ahead of me. as well as for my long drive back home.

freespirit yoga is located in a small storefront on a busy thoroughfare near the long beach airport. unlike yoga world, which draws its students from the affluent southern section of long beach, freespirit attracts those who live in or near bixby knolls, an upscale neighborhood in the northern part of the city.

the instructors at freespirit come from a varied selection of backgrounds -- from the sivananda ashram in northern california to the yogaworks studios in southern california -- and have trained in styles ranging from traditional iyengar to the hybrid yogafit method and everything in between.

while their classes regularly cost $15, they also offer discount packages, including a 2-week new student rate of $20. since it wasn't going to cost me much more, i went ahead and paid the extra $5 for the intro special, hoping that i might find the time to take another class at freespirit within the next 14 days. and if i do, at least i know i won't be spending as much time driving around trying to find the entrance to their studio :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

taking the long drive south

after almost a year and a half of driving all over LA, trying to visit every studio in town, it looks like i'm finally getting close. and it's not because i've been taking my sweet time; before this weekend, i'd already hit 82 studios -- that's an average of one a week -- and that's not even counting the ones that i'd been to outside of LA (including those outside of california and the US itself)!

one reason why i still have a number of studios left on my list is because they're all "way out there", so to speak. they're out on the far reaches of LA county: out east at the san bernardino county line, north at the kern county border, and south just before reaching "the OC". thankfully, trying to cover the western edge of the county has been relatively easy for me, but only because it's close to where i live.

feeling adventurous this past weekend, i finally decided it was time to reach out and touch some distant studios. so after getting a friend to agree to let me spend the night, i checked out class schedules and came up with two studios down south in long beach.

day #1, studio #1 -- a friday evening class at yoga world:

Yoga World Studio
6511 East Pacific Coast Highway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 804-5525
website: www.yogaworldstudio.com

All of our classes aim to restore peace and calm and clarity. Some of our classes are more physically vigorous than others but they all cleanse the body, calm the mind and soothe the nerves.

Each of our teachers have various degrees of influence from the Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, and Anusara traditions. Additional influences include Ana Forrest, Erich Schiffmann, and Saul David Raye. There are strands of similarity between all the classes, yet each teacher shares their own authentic expression of yoga.

All classes are considered hatha yoga which has as its basic aim to unite the body (soma) and the mind (psyche) and the seer and the seen.

long beach is right on the southern edge of LA county; in fact, yoga world is located just a few blocks north of the orange county line. its friday evening class schedule offered me some flexibility: if i got stuck in traffic and was late for the 5:30pm intermediate class, i could always find something to do in the surrounding area (where there's a wild oats, a barnes and noble, a starbucks, plus more) then return later for the 7:00pm "open" (i.e., all levels) class.

perhaps being overly cautious, i had given myself an hour to drive the 12 miles from torrance after work. the traffic on the southbound 405 must not have been as terrible as i'd thought it would be; i got to yoga world with 15 minutes to spare, with ample time before the 5:30pm class to sign in and change.

yoga world is located in the nicely-landscaped long beach marketplace at the corner of PCH and 2nd street. it's close to the expensive neighborhoods of belmont shore and naples. and a stone's throw from the long beach marina. so theoretically, you could sail in, pick up a guest mooring, walk the few blocks to yoga world, then take a yoga class to stretch out your sea legs. aaahhh... that's living!

parking is free and plentiful, a definite plus in my book. the easiest way to find the studio is to look for the claim jumper restaurant; yoga world is right behind it. once you walk in, you'll find a small retail area with clothing, CDs, books, and yoga props (and yes, there's a sale basket, too!). the reception desk is farther in, right by the classroom door. after filling out the usual registration paperwork and signing in for class, i made my way into the room and found a spot in the back of the room by the windows.

the classroom is large and bright with high ceilings. with around a dozen of us in our class that afternoon, there was plenty of room for us to spread out. the series of poses dawn macdonald had us do were appropriately challenging for our intermediate class (including another chance for me to work on my handstand... yay!).

after scanning the bios of the instructors at yoga world, it's clear that they've been trained by the best from yogaworks, sacred movement, forrest yoga, and the iyengar institute. and with classes scheduled throughout the day, there's bound to be at least one class for your kind of yoga at your time of day.

as for me, i know i found a great class to take the next time i'm in the area... whenever i find myself 30 miles south of home, that is.

my long beach weekend continues...

Monday, May 07, 2007

restricted access

my dear friend BDBAIA, whose ongoing shoulder pain has him temporarily sidelined from yoga, forwarded this article to me earlier this evening. it's from the op-ed page of today's new york times.

while i can't talk to the issue about restricting the manufacture of drugs, i heartily agree with the author that the practice of restricting access to yoga purely to make a buck is just plain wrong.

all i can say is that i respect those yoga instructors who share their knowledge of yoga by offering classes for free or on a donation-basis (aka pay what you can afford). or podcast their yoga classes and allow students to download them at no charge. or donate the proceeds of their classes to worthy charities. they are the true spiritual teachers; they are the real gurus.

here are excerpts from that article:

By Suketu Mehta
Published: May 7, 2007

I grew up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There's big money in those pretzel twists and contortions — $3 billion a year in America alone.

It's a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages. Should an Indian, in retaliation, patent the Heimlich maneuver, so that he can collect every time a waiter saves a customer from choking on a fishbone?

The Indian government is not laughing. It has set up a task force that is cataloging traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted by foreign hucksters. The data will be translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, stored digitally and available in five international languages, so that patent offices in other countries can see that yoga didn't originate in a San Francisco commune.

It is worth noting that the people in the forefront of the patenting of traditional Indian wisdom are Indians, mostly overseas. The two scientists in Mississippi who patented the medicinal use of turmeric, a traditional Indian spice, are Indians. So is the strapping Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, who has copyrighted his method of teaching yoga — a sequence of 26 poses in an overheated room — and whose lawyers sent out threatening notices to small yoga studios that he claimed violated his copyright.

But as an Indian, he ought to know that the very idea of patenting knowledge is a gross violation of the tradition of yoga. In Sanskrit, "yoga" means "union." Indians believe in a universal mind — brahman — of which we are all a part, and which ponders eternally. Everyone has access to this knowledge. There is a line in the Hindu scriptures: "Let good knowledge come to us from all sides." There is no follow-up that adds, "And let us pay royalties for it."

Knowledge in ancient India was protected by caste lines, not legal or economic ones. You did not pay your guru in coin; you herded his cows and married his daughter, and passed on the knowledge to others when you were sufficiently steeped in it. This tradition continues today, most notably in Indian classical music, none of whose melodies have been copyrighted.

Perhaps it is for this reason that Indians do not feel obligated to pay for knowledge. Pirated copies of my book are openly sold on the Bombay streets, for a fourth of its official price. Many of the plots and the music in Bollywood movies are lifted wholesale from Hollywood. I have sat in on Bollywood script meetings where we viewed American films and decided that replication was the sincerest form of flattery.

Still, Indians get upset every time they hear reports — often overblown — of Westerners' stealing their age-old wisdom, through the mechanism of copyright law. They were outraged by a story last year of some Americans trying to copyright the sacred Hindu syllable "om" — which would be like trade-marking "amen."

The fears may be exaggerated, but they are widespread and reflect India's mixed experience with globalization. Western pharmaceutical companies make billions on drugs that are often first discovered in developing countries — but herbal remedies like bitter gourd or turmeric, which are known to be effective against everything from diabetes to piles, earn nothing for the country whose sages first isolated their virtues. The Indian government estimates that worldwide, 2000 patents are issued a year based on traditional Indian medicines.

Drugs and hatha yoga have the same aim: to help us lead healthier lives. India has given the world yoga for free. No wonder so many in the country feel that the world should return the favor by making lifesaving drugs available at reduced prices, or at least letting Indian companies make cheap generics. If padmasana — aka the lotus position — belongs to all mankind, so should the formula for Gleevec, the leukemia drug over whose patent a Swiss pharmaceuticals company is suing the Indian government.

If the copying of Western drugs is illegal, so should be the patenting of yoga. It is also intellectual piracy, stood on its head.

(Suketu Mehta is the author of "Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.")

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the merry month of may

here are some yoga studio events scheduled for this month. if you're looking for music, dance, and/or a chance to help the community, you're bound to find it here...

ongoing kirtan evenings:

Community Chanting with Rick and Suwon
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Every Friday at 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

Kirtan in the Canyon with Andrew and Michele and Friends
Yoga Desa, Topanga
Saturday, May 5th (First Saturday of each month) 7:30pm

Call and response chanting with live devotional music. A truly wonderful experience.

Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Saturday, May 5th 8:00pm (once a month)
Cost: By Donation (for our musicians)

Fill your heart with divine bliss as Steve leads us through beautiful chants. Guaranteed to have you floating out of the studio. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a cushion to sit on and enjoy.

Kirtan Chanting with Govindas and Radha
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 5th (First Saturday of every month) 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: By Donation

Govindas & Radha will hold a candlelit evening of Kirtan Chanting, as always on donation basis.
Come sing from the deepest corner of your heart!
Bring meditation cushions or blanket (no yoga mats). Wear comfy clothes.

Kirtan with Daniel Stewart
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, May 11th (Second Friday of every month) 8:15pm
Cost: By Donation

Come join us for an evening of ecstatic chanting. No singing experience needed, only a willingness to open your heart (and your mouth) to the blissflul flow. Kirtan (from the sanskrit word for singing) is easily learned and instantly memorable. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies. The crowd responds. Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, is also the mother tongue of many modern languages. But the true meaning of its sounds are in the effect they create. As everyone's breathing becomes synchronous, a feeling of unity and timelessness arises. When we sing without restraint our heartfelt expression brings peace and joy and meditation follow effortlessly.

Kirtan (call and response chanting) with Travis Eliot
Santa Monica Yoga
Saturday, May 12th (Second Saturday of every month) 8:00-9:30pm
Cost: By Donation

special events:

FIGHT GLOBAL POVERTY - Yoga For Your Mind, Body and Planet
Various YogaWorks locations
All proceeds of upcoming events benefit WHOLE PLANET FOUNDATION
Cost: Suggested Donation $25

1. open your heart to the whole planet with Brock Cahill and Krista Foster
level 2/3 flow
friday, may 4th 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
yogaworks main street, santa monica
*Special Musical Guest: Suzanne Sterling

2. planet yoga: celebrating our global community with Colleen Garrity and Peter Barnett
all levels
friday, may 11th 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
yogaworks center for yoga / larchmont, los angeles
*Special Musical Guest: Suzanne Sterling

3. partner yoga with William and Patti Asad
all levels / beginner friendly
friday, may 18th 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
yogaworks pacific palisades
*Special Musical Guest: Marcos Saiz

Yoga Trance Dance with Shiva Rea
exhale center for sacred movement, Venice
Friday, May 11th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15, $20 at the door

Yoga Trance Dance is an exploration of the eternal flow of natural movement through yoga. Beginning with sahaja prana yoga or the experience of prana initiating yogasanas, Yoga Trance Dance flows into an exploration of free-form, breath-driven movement to liberate one’s creative life-force and cultivate embodied freedom. Experience the latest spin of meditative and high-energy world music.

An Evening of Ecstatic Chanting with Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe
FreeSpirit Yoga, Long Beach
Friday, May 11th 8:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe create a dynamic blend of East meets West music that mixes kirtan (devotional call-and-response), mantra and uplifting songs. Their inspiring music fuses the spiritual and sacred with a pop rock groove and sensuality like no other…the result is a magic carpet ride your soul needs to experience. Committed to expressing the joy in the Oneness that we all share, Shakti Tribe celebrates unity, culture and diversity through their music’s messages of peace, hope and love.
To learn more about the band and their music, please visit www.myspace.com/larisastow.

ExhaleSoul Presents: Yoga Groove Collective ~ Helping to Bring Yoga to Inner City Youth
with Hala Khouri, Seane Corn, Ashley Turner, Suzanne Sterling

exhale santa monica
Saturday, May 12th 6:00-8:00pm
Cost: $20 suggested donation

A journey through yoga, dance, kirtan, expression and embodied celebration!
The Yoga Groove Collective is a collective of yoga teachers committed to collaboration, community building, activism and fundraising. We are not studio specific, but rather aim to serve our community globally!
100% of your donations go towards sponsoring a training for yoga teachers on working with at-risk youth so that they can go out into the community and serve more effectively.

Family Yoga and Groove Night
Your Neighborhood Studio, Culver City
Saturday, May 12th 7:00-9:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Join us again for an evening of Yoga, Dance, Meditation, play and just simply feeling good.
Easy to follow Yoga and Dance everyone can do!
7-8pm - Yoga with Denise (all levels)
8-9:30pm - Dance,Groove and Boogie with Misty (all levels and ages)
9:30pm - Relax and easy guided meditation to complete the night
All ages all levels welcome. If you want to bring your kids under 10, it might be best to bring them after the yoga.

Zen Dancing Ritual World Concerts with Micheline Berry, Craig Kohland & Shaman's Dream
exhale center for sacred movement, Venice
Saturday, May 12th 8:30-10:00pm
Cost: $15, $20 at the door

Where ecstatic dance and live world music meet, Zen Dancing® induces peak states of ecstatic embodiment and deep union with the pranic "flow" between dancer and drum, breath and beat. The language of dance is universal and since 1996 Micheline Berry, Craig Kohland and their world ensemble Shaman's Dream have been resurrecting and defining the ritual world dance in Los Angeles, CA. Their live concerts are akin to a world ethnotronica odyssey that will sweep you up in a wave of trance dance marked by the evocative indigenous sounds and deep visionary grooves that have become the signature of their music.
No experience necessary...simply come prepared to move and let the music take you where it will.

Drum Circle
Yoga Blend, Burbank
Friday, May 18th 8:30pm-10:30pm
Cost: By donation only!

Come join us for this incredible tribal celebration!
If you have a drum, bring it...if not, plenty will be on hand.
Come to listen, play, dance or do yoga…
A wonderful release for the mind, body and spirit!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Sunday, May 20th 6:30pm
Cost: $15 Suggested Donation

Enjoy classical Hindustani music played by an accomplished sitarist with tabla.
Hasu Patel, a disciple of Sitar Legend late Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib, is one of the few world-class female classical musicians performing on Sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. As a performer, composer and a gifted teacher, she has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating the traditional music of ancient India in its pristine purity. She holds music degrees with honors and awards. Her playing on Sitar replicates fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice.
She weaves an elaborate web of sound that captivates audiences from start to finish. She mesmerized and held her audiences spell-bound in concerts such as Woodstock, Chicago Jazz Festival and Rhineberger Chamber Hall of Cleveland Orchestra. She often collaborates with Western Classical and Jazz musicians.
To listen to her CD ‘Gayaki Sitar’ is transcendental experience.
Website: www.hasupatel.com

Soul Flow: Creative Dance
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Saturday, May 26th 7:30-9:30pm.
Cost: $15...or 2 for $25

Join Haridass Kaur/Basia for a wholesome and soulful evening! This eclectic event includes creative dancing with a healing journey through the chakras, flowing music, group interaction and playfulness, and a meditative closing circle.

exhale center for sacred movement, Venice
Saturday, May 26th 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: FREE!

Come let your hair down and join us for an evening of art, live music, dancing and an awesome yoga community!
This special event will celebrate and include:
- Artist reception and exhibit with Robert Sturman + friends
- Pre-screening of Micheline Berry's LiquidASANA DVD series and liquid art montages
- Yoga blessing with Shiva Rea + SWAMI SHANKARDEV SARASWATI
- Live music performaces with Anita Coats and Daphne Tse
- Shake your Buddhi to bumpin' world beats with DJ Buddha Chick
- Live and DJ'd music for your listening and dancing delight
- Delicious appetizers and refreshments
- Yoga chill room

Live Harp Restorative with Christy Marsden and Regan Remy
Yoga Blend, Burbank
Sunday, May 27th 5:00-6:30pm
Cost: Regular class fee

Join us for a spiritual journey as Christy Marsden leads you through restorative poses while Regan Remy plays the Harp. For anyone wanting to de-stress and renew their entire being, this soothing class is a great choice. Yoga props are used to allow for the deepest relaxation. A truly magical experience!

Special screening of Yoga of the Heart: "A Tantric Festival"
Truyoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, May 27th 6:15-7:30pm
Cost: By donation

A magical event where tantric ritual meets social service.
Created by Jayne Stevenson in collaboration with Swami Shankardev Saraswati

Havan Ceremony
Truyoga, Santa Monica
Monday, May 28th 10:00am-12:00pm
Cost: By donation

The havan will use mantras to invoke Ganesha (inner intelligence and our ability to remove obstacles) and Shakti (our innate creative power). Full explanation of rituals will be given at this time.

keep checking back; i'll be adding more events as i find them. i've now added a link under "yoga events" on your right to bookmark this page...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

celebrating mom

have you thought about how you're going to be celebrating this coming mother's day?

here are some yoga-related events you can treat your mom to for mother's day... or if you're a mom yourself, you might want to check if you can take your kids along with you:

Garden of Yoga, Woodland Hills
Sacred Mothers' Journey: A Workshop Celebrating The Path Of Motherhood With Diana Storace And Stephanie Valdez-Watts
Saturday, May 5th 10am - 1pm
Cost: $30

A mother's influence lasts forever - Japanese proverb
Taking care of family is the most important job we will have.
With all the other demands in our lives such as careers, friends, obligations, there is little time for us. Join Diana and Stephanie for this special workshop celebrating the path and take an afternoon to tend to yourself.
In this journey we will cover the history and rites of passage into motherhood, share our own unique experiences, and listen to the wisdom of our sisters. We will then move into a rejuvinating yoga practice designed for every body, one that prepares us to move into a guided meditation to connect with our creative side, and the mother's intuition that resides in us all. Once we have made that connection we will use creative expression to acknowledge our true spirit.
We will also have time for tea breaks in the garden and bonding with each other under the trees, with the scent of the fragrent jasmine that surrounds the studio.
Whether you are a new mother, grandmother, godmother, mother of three, pregnant for the first time, or are thinking about the path of motherhood, join us in this sacred journey. It will be an experience of yoga, meditation, relaxation, inner exploration, community, laughter and love.
For all levels from beginner to advanced. Bring a snack to enjoy during the breaks.
*You must RSVP for this workshop.

exhale santa monica
Mommy and Me Spa Day with Darlene D'Arezzo
Sunday, May 6th 1:30-3:30pm
Cost: $30

An afternoon with your daughter, enjoying the transformation of the exhale experience, both inner and outer. Your special day begins with a “Mom & Me” Yoga class – we’ll practice partner poses and cooperative group games. Then, sample face creams, masks, and scrubs. It will not only be a great bonding experience for the both of you, but it will also foster positive habits for your daughter.

Liberation Yoga, West Hollywood
Mother's Day Specials! Introductory Course and Gift Certificates~
Three Sundays, May 6th, 13th and 20th 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $40 for all three sessions, includes one week of free classes

Yoga is the perfect gift for mom. It will keep her young and vibrant, healthy and strong. Not to mention keeping her calm and it's always good to have a calm mom! We have two suggestions when considering a yoga gift for mom.
The first suggestion if mom is brand new is sign her up for the Introductory Course and you can attend with her for free! In a nurturing and comfortable environment she will learn the basics of yoga, breath and meditation. For all three sessions the cost is $40 and includes one week of FREE classes for her. YOU can come to all three classes for FREE!
We are happy to help in any way to either get her started or help her continue on the path of wellness, inner peace and longevity!

Yoga at the Village, Glendale
Sunday, May 13th

(you don’t have to bring your kids as proof...we believe you!)

Mission Street Yoga, South Pasadena
Mother's Day of Peace Treat
Sunday, May 13th

If you're a mother, the word "peaceful" might not be a quality you necessarily attribute to your life, but you can experience a little bit of that if you visit MSY this Sunday and take a class for FREE. And when you're at peace, your family's at peace, and if you're family's at peace...it just expands on and on. How will we know you're a mama? We can spot the shakti!

The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Mother’s Day Yoga With Wahe Guru Kaur
Sunday, May 13th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: $15 (or punch card); MOTHERS FREE!

If you are a mom, have your partner watch the kids and treat yourself to a relaxing experience. Or bring your mom to this special yoga class with Wahe Guru Kaur. Honoring the Divine Feminine, the Mother Earth and the blessing of mothers everywhere.

exhale center for sacred movement, Venice
Power and Grace: Expressing the Divine Feminine with Hala Khouri and Suzanne Sterling
Sunday, May 13th 2:00-3:45pm
Cost: $25 early reg/ $30 at the door

Let us come together as women in all stages of life to explore and share our expression of every aspect of the Divine Feminine. Femininity is power and grace simultaneously; it is strong and firm while soft and yielding. Reconnecting to our feminine nature is vital if we are to be empowered women of Spirit.
In today’s hurried, technological, patriarchal society, the presence of the Feminine is what can help bring the world back into balance and harmony. We all embody the Great Mother which is the natural world and its rhythms. As we are able to cultivate and nurture the feminine aspects of ourselves, finding and expressing our authentic and uniquely feminine voice, we facilitate the healing of the entire planet.
In this workshop/ forum we will share our own experiences of being women, explore the ways in which we distort , deny or fail to honor our femininity, and create ways to celebrate, nurture and express the Goddess in all of us. Through dialogue, pranayama, visualization, music, archetype and creative asana we will embody the Divine Feminine in all her aspects- gentle, sweet, and maternal as well as firey, sensual, and unapologetically strong.
At least six months of yoga experience is best.

Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 13th, 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $15 suggested donation

This event offers a rich atmosphere that fosters an individual's spontaneous surrender into the non-dual silence of the Self.
Stimulate and open the chakras. Expand and relax the Self and dissolve into the One Supreme Reality.
David Spero is an Awakened Spiritual Master, a published poet, and author of "Beyond the Place of Laughter and Tears in the Land of Devotion", a book of spiritual writings.
Please feel free to bring your favorite portable chair, cushion, or aid for meditation.
Call Jim Stewart with any questions and for more information at 213-820-4345.

Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 13th, 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE

Thom will discuss the Vedic Meditation technique he teaches and answer any questions you have about this form of meditation.
For more information about Thom Knoles, please visit www.introtomeditation.com.

Santa Monica Yoga
Mother's Day Workshop with Hilary White
Sunday, May 20th 1:00-3:00 pm
Cost: $40 for two, $15 for each additional person

"God could not be everywhere; therefore he created mothers."
Enjoy a special mother and daughter yoga workshop. The mother/daughter relationship in its many forms, grandmother/granddaughter, aunt/niece, godmother/goddaughter, is a gift. By practicing together we will honor the ancient bonds that connect us to the very essence of our life cycle; birth, renewal and regeneration. In this workshop we will promote physical health and spiritual growth for ourselves and for each other. We'll celebrate motherhood with all of its inherent joys and challenges; and we'll connect to our feminine roots as we move with ease, do partner work, and relax into stillness. We'll join together to find our inner rhythms, cultivate receptivity and strength, and open our hearts and minds.
Open to all levels, ages twelve and up.