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

Saturday, July 28, 2007

truyoga summer concerts rescheduled

here's a heads-up:

i ran into peter sterios from truyoga at the global mala beach party last saturday. when i mentioned to him that i was available to volunteer at the next concert scheduled for sunday, july 29th, he said that the music for a cause concert schedule had been changed; all the performances have now been merged into one big shindig on sunday, august 26th.

that surprised me, especially since i hadn't heard about the change anywhere, not even via email from truyoga nor lululemon santa monica (a show sponsor).

i checked their websites, and sure enough, not a peep there either. although all mention of any concert past the one last july 1st is now gone. hmmm.

and even more puzzling is that tom freund, the headliner for 7/29, still has the truyoga gig listed on his website. and girish, the headliner for 8/12, can't possibly be in santa monica on 8/26 because he's supposed to be in encinitas, at least according to his myspace page. so what the final schedule ends up looking like, who knows.

looks to me like the best thing is to call truyoga (310-829-2420) or lululemon santa monica (310-319-9900) if you were planning to show up or if you've already bought tickets for any of the remaining performances.

7/29 update -- i found this semi-confirmation on daphne tse's myspace page (she was scheduled to perform with girish on 8/12):

August, 26 2007 at Global Mala Benefit Concert at the Yahoo Center
2425 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90404
Cost: 20

A Benefit Concert for the Global Mala Project: Featuring Dave Stringer, Donna Delory, Wah!, Girish Opening artists: Govindas and Radha, Joey Lugassy, Daphne Tse and Evolve. Come enjoy music for a cause outdoors in the beautiful pavilion of the Yahoo Center/TruYoga in Santa Monica. Come out and support the worldwide event for yoga as peace in action. tickets at www.spiritvoyage.com
or www.truyogala.com

8/1 update -- this came from the latest truyoga email update:

LA-based chant artists are coming together in concert to support the Global Mala Project - Yoga as Peace in Action.

Sunday August 26th - Headliners include, Donna Delory, Girish, Dave Stringer with Miles Shrewsbery, and Wah! Opening acts include Govindas and Radha, Joey Lugassy, Evolve and Daphne Tse.

This event is co-sponsored by TruYoga, Lululemon and Yogi Times. Refreshments provided by RAWvolution and others.

Free outdoor yoga class from 12:30 to 1:30pm taught by Peter Sterios in the Palm Grove at the Yahoo Center.

"Doors" to the concert on the lawn open at 2:00pm music begins at 3:00pm

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Children under 10 are free. All proceeds donated to charity.

Friday, July 27, 2007

what, me relax?

i can't believe i skipped my yoga class last sunday morning just because i thought it would be nice to sit back and relax for a change. the way i looked at it, if i took only one of the two classes i had originally planned to take, i'd survive. besides, i think i'm getting a bit too compulsive about my yoga practice :(

so instead of driving out to west hollywood to do the yogapalooza thing with the crunch crowd, i ended up spending sunday morning pampering myself, all in the name of community service.

how so?

first, i got waxed at a place across from westminster elementary in venice called, appropriately enough, get waxed. elisha reverby, owner and esthetician extraordinaire, recently sent out an email about her latest promotion:

Get Waxed, Plant a Tree!

With every visit to Get Waxed during the month of July, $1 will be donated to American Forests (www.americanforests.org) and one tree will be planted.
So, 50 clients, 50 trees, and so on...

American Forests works to protect, restore, and enhance the natural capital of trees and forests. Healthy forests filter water, remove air pollution, sequester carbon, and provide homes for wildlife. Help plant trees to restore areas damaged by wildfire, where critical wildlife habitat has been lost, and to clean our air and water.

Who says you can't make a difference?

compared to where i used to go, every visit i've made to get waxed has been a happy experience.

i no longer have to drive out to beverly hills and put up with all the stoplights (and rubbernecking tourist drivers) along the way. nor do i have to wait while a harried receptionist answers phone calls, takes payment, and searches for the next client before she can check me in. and best of all, there are no more pretentious wanna-bes who give me "that look" when i show up in old navy shorts and inexpensive flipflops.

these days, things are so much simpler. getting to elisha's place off abbot kinney is a breeze (parking can be tricky; luckily, i know where to look). when i get there, her front door's either open or closed. if it's open, she's ready for me and i walk right in. if it's closed, she's busy with another client; i just sit and wait outside until they're done. and i can show up in yoga wear, beach wear, whatever; it's fine with her. as it should be.

so while elisha was busy working away at the business end of the table, we were having an animated discussion about -- what else -- yoga. like where she should go to take gentle yoga classes to help ease up the tension in her back (which we both agreed was work-related). and how hot both saul and anthony looked in the photo spread in the latest yogitimes magazine (yes, we're well aware of their loving wives and children). and how it seemed interesting that many of her clients are regular yoga students (after all, we have to keep our, ahem, well-chiseled bodies perfectly groomed).

when we were done, elisha reminded me that i had just caused another tree to be planted. yay!

(just to show you how dedicated elisha is to preserving and protecting the environment, she also organizes a venice beach clean-up group on monday and tuesday mornings at 7am. so if you're in the neighborhood and up that early, give her a call so you can get help her pick trash off the beach. or better yet, call her to make an appointment so that you, too, can get waxed. and maybe even add another tree to the forest.)

after that, it was on to main street in santa monica. i was going to get my nails done at the main attraction nail spa; they were having a fundraiser for operation smile, an international organization that performs surgeries on children with facial deformities.

2nd Annual Styles for Smiles

Main Attraction Nail Spa will donate all salon sales to Operation Smile for their 2nd Annual Styles for Smiles weekend

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres courtesy of La Vecchia Cucina, wine, champagne, raffle prizes and more while treating yourself to the best therapy in Santa Monica. Susan Thai, owner of Main Attraction Nail Spa, hosts the benefit weekend, and will donate all salon sales to Operation Smile.

On July 21st and 22nd, every penny you use to pamper yourself will make a child smile. Bring your family and friends, because doing a great thing for kids around the world has never been this easy and felt so good!!

i had never been there before, but when i found out about the event and how much a mani-pedi in a spa chair cost (only $20 -- a deal in this part of town!), i just had to do it. besides, it was almost lunchtime and they had a table full of food catered by the italian restaurant next door. so while i waited for a seat to open up, i feasted on pizza, quiche, and mini-calzones. yum!

the pair of manicurists who worked on me were very efficient; it didn't take them longer than 30 minutes to trim, file, and polish all my fingers and toes. by the time i left the salon, i had a set of freshly manicured nails, i had eaten lunch, and i had helped bring a smile to a child. and all for twenty bucks plus a generous tip. not bad.

pleased that i had done not just one but two good deeds for the day, it was time for my planned afternoon yoga class. i drove back home to change, then walked over to truyoga for kathryn budig's sama yoga class. strangely enough, with the way things turned out that weekend, it would be the third time i'd see her in two days! considering that i had never taken her class in the over two years i'd been going to yogaworks, i found that very amusing.

according to kathryn, the sanskrit word sama means balance. so she had us working on arm balances and inversions, which as you probably know by now, are the weakest part of my practice :(

it's bad enough that i still can't execute bakasana (crow) nor a headstand away from the wall, but to spend the majority of the class working on those plus revolved bakasana, "flying pigeon", forearm stand, and of course, handstand made me just want to stop and cry. or laugh hysterically. but since there were only three of us in the class, with one perfectly able to do most of the difficult poses without assistance, kathryn spent a good amount of time spotting two of us, providing "crash pads" and a lending a helping hand as needed.

i can honestly say that her personalized attention helped me make another baby step forward. and when i finally learn to relax through those balance poses, i know i'll be able to do them!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

the spiritual center of america

back in 1924, self-realization fellowship founder paramahansa yogananda was once asked: "which do you consider the most spiritual place in america?" without hesitation, he replied, "i have always considered los angeles the benares of america."

so if benares is considered one of the holiest cities in india, one can only wonder what he saw in LA at that time for him to make that comparison. or could it be that he was predicting the emergence of los angeles as the most yoga-crazed city in america?

considering all the events that went on this past weekend (not including the hundreds of yoga classes that are already regularly scheduled from sunup to sundown all around town), i'm beginning to believe he could clearly see far out into the future... like to this weekend...

here are some events that i considered attending:

saturday, july 21st:

~ acroyoga with huck at pan pacific park in west hollywood
~ wellness workshop at lululemon santa monica
~ yoga for surfers at quiksilver edition mission in venice
~ lululemon beach yoga in manhattan beach
~ nia summer jam at the core in redondo beach
~ global mala beach party with shiva rea at santa monica beach
~ kirtan with dave stringer, shiva rea, and friends at sacred movement in venice
~ mid-summer night healing festival at yoga west in los angeles
~ swami kriyananda's book launch at the wadsworth theatre in brentwood

sunday, july 22nd:

~ yoga booty ballet's recycling workshop at lululemon beverly hills
~ free yoga class at lululemon pasadena
~ crunch fitness yogapalooza at plummer park in west hollywood
~ live harp restorative class at yoga blend in burbank
~ free movie night at yogasofia in hermosa beach

and of course, i wasn't content with picking just one; i ended up going to THREE of them... and that was just on saturday!

here's how my day went:


i drove down to venice after my morning run to take the yoga for surfers class at the quiksilver edition mission on abbot kinney blvd. expecting parking to be scarce because it was a beautiful beach day, i was thankful i found a parking spot right by the front door. of course it helped that i got there fifteen minutes early :)

this was the first time i'd ever been to the mission, so i spent most of the time checking out the fabulous place. who would have guessed that a nondescript door on busy abbot kinney could lead to a bright and spacious second-floor workspace? as soon as i walked in, i noticed the high ceilings, the dark hardwood floor, and the massive pool table right smack in the middle of the large room.

while waiting for the rest of the class to show up, i spoke with adam, who served as a site manager/coordinator. as he handed me a cold drink from the kitchen, he explained how the office was occupied by mission editorial, a post-production firm, during the week and by quiksilver edition on the weekends. besides the free saturday morning yoga classes taught by yogaworks instructors, the mission hosts speakers, concerts, art exhibits, movies, lunches, and more. and yes, they're all FREE.

eventually, the other students made their way up the stairs and placed their yoga mats on the floor. our teacher for the day turned out to be kathryn budig, a yogaworks teacher with whom i somehow had never taken a class before. strangely enough, i had planned to take her new class at truyoga the next day, so i was surprised to see her there that morning.

kathryn led us through an hour-long class from her perch atop the pool table (according to adam, julie kleinman did the exact same thing when she taught the class the week before). besides the usual sun salutations, we went over some arm balances and inversions. i wish i could say that after all my attempts at bakasana and sirsasana i'm able to execute them effortlessly, but i'd be lying. i know, i know... practice makes perfect. so i have to keep practicing :(

i chatted with kathryn briefly both before and after class (she'd found my blogsite about a month ago and had invited me to take one of her classes, hence my plan to visit her at truyoga), and it turns out that we were both headed to the same place that afternoon...


after a quick shower, some shopping, and a muscle-relaxing deep tissue massage (!), i made my way to the end of ocean park blvd in santa monica to get to shiva rea's global mala beach party, where students and teachers were meeting to discuss the upcoming global mala event on sept 21st and 22nd, 2007. i had no problem finding the party, thanks to the brightly-colored umbrellas that were scattered around the group gathered on the sand.

i moved closer and started looking for familiar faces (honestly, with all the classes i've taken in LA, the chances were good that i'd recognize a number of people, whether they be students or teachers). so i was amazed that the only faces that looked familiar at first were those of dhyana and daphne tse, the party organizers, whom i had met at various truyoga classes and events.

eventually, as i made my way around the crowd, i spotted others whom i knew -- liz hage, kathryn budig, and peter sterios from truyoga, rudy mettia and vytas baskauskas from santa monica power yoga, larry payne from samata yoga, guru yogi ramesh of laughter yoga, and julie carmen, hala khouri, and of course, shiva rea from sacred movement. also in attendance were musicians joey lugassy, suzanne sterling, and wah! as for the unfamiliar faces, it turns out that they were mostly out-of-state visitors who were attending shiva's teacher training workshop at sacred movement. i found myself chatting with yogis from all over the country as we formed a mandala -- in this case a giant circle with all of us facing the center while we stood in warrior 1 -- while a photographer stood on a tall ladder and kept shooting away, trying to get the perfect publicity shot (of course, i'll probably be the one only who can figure out which of the many dark-haired yoginis is me in the group photo!)

after the party, while most walked back to sacred movement for the kirtan with dave stringer later that evening, i made my way back to my car so i could head home and change before moving on to my last stop of the day.


by now, i was exhausted from my busy day which had started with a 7-mile run at 7:45am. but since i had received complimentary tickets to the book launch of swami kriyananda's new book, revelations of christ, from kristy at crystal clarity publishers, i felt i really had to go, especially since the tickets were accompanied by a note that said: "... we offer them to you free as a token of appreciation for your service to the yoga community in Los Angeles..."

by the time i reached the wadsworth theatre in brentwood, the program had already started and the choir was on stage. i was directed to sit up in the balcony, where the temps were approaching meat-locker lows (blame it on the design of the old air conditioning system, i was told). i struggled to stay awake, but failed miserably. i woke up just in time to hear swami kriyananda finish his talk, perform the last musical number of the evening with the choir, then be presented with two awards -- the "2007 pioneer in yoga" award from the LA yoga fellowship and the "lifetime achievement / beacon of light" award from the national interfaith council.

thankfully, swami kriyananda's entire speech was recorded; photos and videos taken at the book launch have been posted on the ananda LA website. now i just have to find the time to view the video in its entirety so i can find out what i missed hearing him say...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

now it's your turn to write!

i'm trying to get past a bad case of writer's block -- call it too much activity, too much to write about, not knowing where to start :(

so how about i switch places with you for now and read what YOU have to say?

here's the deal. i've been asked by the people at platial if i've ever gotten any feedback on how useful my map is. and honestly, i don't think i ever have. of course, i know how useful it is to me, but i really don't know how useful it is to any of you.

yes, i know it can take forever to load, but when it finally appears, have you ever tried accessing any of the detail in it -- either by clicking on the link on the map itself where it says "click here for entire listing" or below the map where it says "click here to get full access"?

and then when you did (or if you're just doing it now for the first time),

did you find a yoga studio you were looking for?
or one that you didn't realize was near you?
did you click on a random studio and, on a whim, decide to take a class there?
or were you just amazed at how many yoga studios there are in LA?

i would love to hear anything you have to say -- questions, comments, corrections, whatever. you can either post a comment here or email me directly at joni {at} accidentalyogist {dot} com.

in the meantime, i'll keep plugging away at my yet-to-be-written post...

Friday, July 20, 2007


Kamala Love Yoga
2533 Federal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 403-8567
website: http://www.kamalalove.com/

The name Kamala means "she of the lotus" and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is linked with three important and interrelated themes: prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck during the coming year. -- from "Kamalatmika" on Wikipedia

with all the yoga DVDs, podcasts, and TV shows available today, it's easy for yoga students to take a yoga class from a qualified teacher in the privacy of their own homes.

there are many advantages to homeschooling. for example, there's no need to get dressed before heading to class; you can practice in your pajamas or in the all-together (just make sure you keep your blinds down if you're doing the latter).

also, if you yoga at home, you won't feel like you have to compete with all the young, good-looking yogis at the local studio who move effortlessly through advanced poses. not that you should be competing with them in the first place, but it's hard not to feel intimidated, if you know what i mean.

then there's also the plus of being able to practice whenever you have the time. you don't have to get up earlier than you'd like just to catch an early morning class; neither do you have to drop what you're doing at work just so you can make the last yoga class of the day at your nearby yoga studio.

and then there are some who have no choice but to homeschool; according to my unscientific survey via yogafinder, those who live in north dakota, south dakota, and wyoming should consider themselves fortunate if they live close to any of the only ten or so yoga studios listed for their entire state!

of course, there's always the financial advantage. with the cost of yoga classes averaging around $16 per group session here in LA, you can easily buy yourself a yoga DVD for the same amount of money... and maybe even have some money left over.

i understand all the reasons why people choose to practice on their own, but i still believe that there's no substitute for practicing under the watchful eye of a trained instructor. at least until you get the basics down. you're less likely to get injured, and you might actually learn some helpful tips to make it easier for you to get into the poses.

for those who just aren't into the large yoga studio scene, there's a way to take instructor-led yoga classes in the privacy of a home. but not your home, the teacher's home. not only is it more convenient for the teacher since he/she doesn't have to travel far to teach a class, but often the classes are smaller, so you get more personalized attention. the downside, though, is that the class offerings are usually pretty limited, so unless the choices jibe with your schedule, you're out of luck.

my latest discovery is the studio located in the backyard of pj haring's home in west los angeles. called kamala love yoga (and i still have to find out the "why" behind the name), it offers a variety of yoga classes, including anusara.

besides wanting to visit kamala love so i could add another studio to my list, i chose to take lauri ashworth's class because i wanted to find a source for anusara yoga here on the westside (if you're an anusara junkie, you know that it just doesn't exist west of west hollywood). i suppose you could say i was pretty eager to check out my new find -- i showed up for lauri's class at kamala love just two days after meeting her at huck hirsch's acroyoga class.

kamala love is located in a quiet residential street near the intersection of gateway and barrington. i was glad i brought a copy of the street address and driving directions with me; because there's only a small sign by the side gate, there's no way i could have found it otherwise.

except for me, everyone else in lauri's class seemed to be regulars. she knew their names, she knew their strengths and their weaknesses, she even knew what was going on in their lives. the fact that they kept coming back was a good sign; either they liked the intimate setting or lauri's friendly teaching style or both. while i may never end up showing up as consistently as they do, at least i now know that i don't have to drive east of the 405 to satisfy a craving for anusara yoga during the week (i should add that steven espinosa teaches an anusara-inspired level 1 class on saturday mornings at sacred movement in venice).

of course, since kamala love is located at pj haring's home, pj teaches there as well. in fact, he teaches donation-based classes on tuesday and thursday evenings (in addition to his other classes at both kamala love and sacred movement). since the only other donation-based classes on the westside are taught at bryan kest's power yoga studio in santa monica, pj's level 1 "community" class is probably the more gentle and affordable option for beginners who aren't quite ready for the more demanding power classes.

by the way, there are other excellent teachers in LA who offer regularly-scheduled drop-in classes at their home-based studios:
~ gurutej in the miracle mile (blessings center)
~ larry payne in marina del rey (samata yoga center)
~ stefan and diana storace in woodland hills (garden of yoga)

i'm sure there are others that i have yet to hear about, so if you know of any, i'd appreciate hearing from you!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

get down and give us 108!

i found out about this upcoming event through an email update from yogamates.com; i immediately dropped what i was doing and emailed back my RSVP! i mean, how can i not look forward to playing on the beach with yogis and yoginis from the different studios around LA??

Calling all LA Yoga Studios...we need 108!

This Saturday July 21st, Shiva Rea and the Global Mala LA Council will activate the LA yoga community to RISE! and be a part of the ritual conscious and fund-raising event that will take place September 22nd in the solar powered LA Convention Center.

The Global Mala Project purpose, founded by Shiva Rea and supported by global visionaries and yoga teachers (including Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Seane Corn, Julia Butterfly Hill, Michael Franti, Ram Dass, Sting, Ziggy Marley), is to unite the global yoga community from every continent in the world, forming a "mala around the earth" through collective practices based upon the sacred cycle of 108.

Find out more information about how your studio can participate, get materials, and be in the group photo as a part of this unique gathering and help create a vibration of peace. Be there to represent your studio!

Saturday July 21st
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Santa Monica Beach (@ Ocean Park Lifeguard Station #25/26)

For more info please visit: http://www.globalmala.org

Email us at teachers@globalmala.org and say YES! I will be there.

Monday, July 16, 2007

why yoga?

being "in rehab" appears to be the current pastime of choice for many celebs -- lindsay, nicole, britney, to name a few. and even i, a celebrity in my own mind, can claim to have spent some time of my own in rehab (for my knee and not for substance abuse). imagine that; me, a trendsetter! :)

and while there are doubts whether their rehab has done (or will do) anything to stop them from self-destructing, i know that my stint in rehab -- that is, through physical therapy and yoga -- has definitely healed my disability.

i started physical therapy almost immediately after my accident to help strengthen the muscles surrounding my severely weakened knee joint. and i continued it for months after surgery. once my orthopedic surgeon, my physical therapist, and i were convinced that i was fully functional again, i stopped going to PT. case closed. patient discharged.

i started yoga a few months after surgery and, in conjunction with the PT, it offered me more flexibility and muscle tone. and as time went on, i also found that i had gotten stronger. even my posture had improved. but unlike PT, i couldn't stop once i was given the go-ahead to return to my usual activity. i had gotten hooked.

and i keep wondering: why? why do i keep finding myself back at yoga class, over and over again, when i could easily be spending my time doing other things -- like running, for example?

is it the rush that i feel after getting through a particularly demanding class? but i can easily get that same endorphin high by running a 10K.

is it the fitness level i've achieved from all that bending, squatting, and balancing? if i spend just as much time working out at the gym, i can be just as fit.

could it be the resulting serenity, the calmness, the ability to cope more easily with stress, that has made yoga a part of my life?

or is it because i know that there's so much more about yoga that i've yet to discover, to gain from, to learn?

so what is it? why yoga?

and that's the question arthur klein has posed in his upcoming documentary, y yoga. thanks to sara and marcus levere of yogichocolate.com and dan pohnke of 4dalove.org, i attended a recent screening of this fascinating film at santa monica power yoga last saturday.

here's how klein describes y yoga in the movie's website, www.yyogamovie.com:

For 6 years it has been the film maker's journey to explore this new Western voice in Yoga through a compelling collection of different American yogic stories.

The day after 911 the filmmaker left work in the middle of the day and wandered into an afternoon yoga class. This was the begining of a journey to regain peace and well being through yoga...

"Y" captures yoga everywhere from charter schools in South Central Los Angeles (the location of the LA riots) to our soldiers in Iraq being taught Yoga For Regular Guys with world famous wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP).

"Y" documents how this ancient technology is alive and well today in the United States, spreading love and light resulting in peace and happiness for many.

the movie features interviews with many of the influential people in the local yoga scene as well as with other instructors from around the globe. if you're a westside yoga devotee like i am, you'll recognize many of the teachers, like bryan kest, ashley turner, and ally hamilton of santa monica power yoga, shiva rea, saul david raye, seane corn, hala khouri, micheline berry, and meaghan townsend of sacred movement/exhale, kathryn budig and vinnie marino of yogaworks, and gurmukh kaur khalsa of golden bridge. even dave stringer, who has his roots in the local kirtan scene, talks about how he got into yoga and why it continues to be a big part of his life.

for the entire 80+ minutes, i found myself nodding in agreement with them, happy to know that that there were many others like me who've found yoga to be an essential part of their lives.

arthur klein will be conducting pre-release screenings and q&a sessions around the country. for more information and to find out where it'll be showing next, email arthur at arthur@yyogamovie.com. and tell him that the accidental yogist sent you :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

identity crisis

three years ago, if you were to ask me to describe myself in one word, without hesitation, i would say i was a runner. after all, when i wasn't attending to my work and mothering responsibilities, i was either training for a marathon or running in one. or doing volunteer work for my running group, the la leggers -- writing the weekly email update, putting together teams for races, or organizing ski trips to mammoth and run trips to san francisco for the bay to breakers. i could rattle off the dates of upcoming local races and most major marathons. at that time, i had already spent a good dozen years or so roaming the country, checking off state after state to complete my collection of marathons. it was clear that my life revolved around running and anything related to it.

every time i was sidelined, whether it was due to the occasional muscle pull or something more serious like a bunionectomy or a temporary course of blood thinners because of a blood clot, i would lay low until i got the doctor's go-ahead, then jump right back into running.

that was until i had that fateful ski accident in yosemite. i can't even say it was a spectacular fall; my ski caught on my friend's as we were getting off a chairlift, my knee slowly twisted past where it should have been, and pop went my ACL. i fell down, and my first thought was that i would have to be benched from running once again. what a pain. literally.

the next few months went something like this: surgery, crutches, physical therapy, knee brace, more physical therapy. walking, swimming, and cycling were encouraged. running, on the other hand, was a no-no. in fact, i was told that i should take the word "marathon" out of my vocabulary; 5Ks would have to be my new event of choice. and i could do that only when he gave me the OK to start running again. bah. no runner wants to hear that.

i was depressed. not only could i not run, but the muscles around my knee were so tight that i couldn't even touch my heel to my butt. not wanting to be "defective" for the rest of my life, i looked for a solution. i found yoga. and the rest, as they say, is history.

and now that i've replaced one addiction for another, the runner in me still fights to reclaim its dominance. and for the most part, i've tried to humor her. first by walking, then running, i've built up slowly from 5Ks, to half marathons, and finally back to the full 26.2 milers. unfortunately, i'm running much slower than i used to, and it's all because i'm spending more time doing yoga than putting in the miles on the road. it's gotten to the point where i'm beginning to wonder if i should ease up on the yoga and pay more attention to my running...

so it excited me to no end when i heard about lululemon pasadena's yoga for runners event, which was held this morning on the lawn outside the rose bowl:

Luna Tour 2007 - Join us for a Run and some Yoga!

Join us for our first Luna Tour. We're going to have a Yoga for Runners with two of our great ambassadors: Jim Liston and Scott Lewicki.

Cardio/Run at 9am
Yoga at 10:15am

it was a small enthusiastic group that showed up, with half of the participants coming from the lulu/luna crew that had organized the event. no one felt the need to compete with anyone else; we were all there just to have fun.

we started out with a strength and conditioning session led by jim liston, athletic coach and founder of CATZ - competitive athletic training zone located in pasadena. jim had us running forward, backwards, and sideways. and hopping, skipping, and jumping. then lunging and twisting. and those were just our warmup drills! he then divided us into groups, with each group rotating through various exercise stations that involved sprints, repetitive lunges and squats, and plank holds with alternate arm and leg raises. so while we didn't exactly end up running laps around the rose bowl as i thought we would, we did put our arms, legs, and core through a rigorous workout.

after a rest break where we munched on luna bars and quenched our thirst with luna elixir, we were ready for the yoga portion of the event.

scott lewicki, an anusara instructor who teaches at mission street yoga in south pasadena, helped us lay out the lululemon yoga mats on the grass under the large shade trees. we started with some gentle stretches then transitioned to some sun salutations. after we had sufficiently limbered up, we started the fun part of the class -- working with partners. we helped each other do handstands (adho mukha vrksasana), upward bows (urdhva dhanurasana), dolphins (ardha pincha mayurasana), and even some 2-person poses, thankful that the grass underfoot was a very forgiving surface.

it was a great way to spend a sunday morning with new friends whom i hope to bump into again somewhere around town -- either while running at a race, practicing at a yoga studio, or even shopping at a lululemon store.

so while i still haven't figured out how to balance both the running and the yoga, i've gotten to the point where i now consider myself a running yogini :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

fear of flying

i keep telling my eco-adventurous friends that, unlike them, even if i could find the time to train and build up the strength and endurance needed to climb to the top of mount whitney, at 14,494 feet the the tallest peak in california (and the lower 48 states), i probably would never attempt the hike.

why? because i have a terrible fear of heights. and at some point in the ascent and/or descent, i know i'll have to look down. and realize how far up i am. and how far down the bottom is. and my knees will turn to jelly and i'll panic. at that point, the only way i'll move from my frozen state is if someone comes to my rescue by holding my hand and guiding me down (or up) to a point where i feel safe again. just thinking about it is making me break into a cold sweat...

on the other hand, i have no problems looking out the window while i'm airborne 35,000 feet in the sky in an airplane. in fact, i love looking down, trying to figure out the geographical formations. am i in arizona over the grand canyon? or in colorado over the rockies? every time i board a plane, i look forward to flying high and enjoying the view.

i know what you're thinking; it makes no sense. but it really does, at least to me. you see, the difference is that while i'm hiking up mountains, i have no safety net. i can slip, trip, or lose my balance at any time, and nothing would stop me from falling. on the other hand, if i'm sitting in an airplane seat behind a sealed window in an aircraft being flown by an experienced pilot, i know that no matter what i do, i'll still be in that seat. behind the window. in that aircraft.

it all boils down to trust. while i trust the mechanics of the plane, the ability of the pilot, and the guidance of the control tower, i somehow don't trust myself to be able to control my own body. i honestly believe that if i think i might fall, i will. i suppose i could do something about that fear -- hypnosis, therapy, whatever -- but then again, i've gotten this far in my life and i don't think i've missed out on too many things because of it.

you're probably wondering what any of this has to do with yoga.

it's simple. i went flying this morning. and it wasn't in a plane. i had to rely on my own ability to balance and my partner's ability to support me. and not only did i not fall, but i had a blast!

i know; i need to back up...

in marc holzman's latest guerilla yoga** update, he posted something about acroyoga with huck hirsch:

(** guerilla yoga: donation-only classes taught by marc holzman, ross rayburn, and now tiffany fraser at two locations in the hollywood area. check the website for more details.)

AcroYoga in the Park(s) with Huck !

For all the AcroYoga junkies who have been missing their fix ... or for anyone new who wants to learn to fly, our certified Acro teacher Huck will be holding four AcroYoga classes in the park for the month of July:

"FLY in JULY!" outdoor AcroYoga classes with Huck on 4 SATURDAYS:
july 7th @ pan pacific park
july 14th @ hollister and 4th (santa monica)
july 21st @ pan pacific park
july 28th @ hollister and 4th (santa monica)

ALL classes are 2 hours: 10:30am to 12:30pm
for more info or if you have questions, please email huck@acroyoga.org.

and i figured, what's the worst that could happen? i fall a few feet to the grass below? it definitely wouldn't be as deadly as falling from the top of the sierras, right?

so after a short run with my running buddies this morning, i headed out to hotchkiss park in santa monica (bordered by 4th, strand, and 3rd streets) to take my first acroyoga class. including huck, there were 10 of us who showed up to practice a blend of acrobatics and yoga.

unlike last weekend, where the group worked on forward flying (and i unfortunately couldn't make it because i was out of town), this week we worked on backward flying. the difference is that while the partners are facing each other and can easily communicate as the "forward flyer" is being lifted, the partners are facing away from each other and have to go purely by feel as the "backward flyer" is sent airborne.

and there's where trust comes into play.

since i was the novice in the group and am relatively small, i jumped at every chance to "fly" every time huck demonstrated a new pose. and it was a total surprise to me how i could rely on my sense of balance to keep myself perched and relaxed on my partner's raised legs. and because i trusted that i would never be dropped, i never thought i could fall. and because of that, i never did.

we all took turns supporting and flying. and as our group formations started getting more elaborate and somewhat artistic, it became more and more exhilarating! and i kept mentally thanking all my yoga teachers for teaching me how to do all those backbends, forward bends, arm raises, and leg lifts because without that flexibility, it would have been difficult for me to get into some of the poses. and what fun would that be?

so now that i know that i can fly a few feet off the ground and be perfectly fine, i only have to work on getting over the fear of 14,491 more... whitney, here i come!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

a gentle learning experience

Inner Harmony Yoga
579 West 9th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 521-8804
website: www.inner-harmony-yoga.com

Comfort is the highest priority at Inner Harmony. The studio is peaceful, classes are small and everything is provided for your convenience. Blending the gentle Ananda style with the techniques of Yoga of the Heart (Cardiac Yoga) makes each class a healing experience.

The 8 week Class series format offers the opportunity for a deeper experience. Each group advances at a comfortable pace. The temptation to over challenge or the possibility of becoming bored is eliminated because there are no drop-in students skewing the class level.

in my search for more yoga studios to visit once i got back home, i came across the internet site of inner harmony yoga in san pedro. looking at the schedule, i noted that the classes were taught in the ananda style by kari burgos, an ananda-certified instructor. most of the classes were either beginner, gentle, or level 1; only one was a level 2.

not knowing much about ananda yoga, i thought back to my experience at kaliji's triyoga ashram in malibu, where it turned out that i had ambitiously chosen to take the level 2 class without ever having taken a triyoga class before. i soon realized that there were many basic moves specific to triyoga that one is supposed to learn (maybe even master) in the level 1 class, so i spent the rest of that level 2 class struggling to figure out what i was supposed to do. note to self -- when starting a new style of yoga, it's best to begin with the basics...

so given the choice between the beginner and the level 1 classes, i went for the level 1, hoping that i had enough in my yoga repertoire to get me through the class without getting lost.

rushing to make the evening class after being delayed by a project deadline at the office, i was glad that inner harmony was easy to find; it's located right off gaffey, just a short distance from the end of the harbor freeway. while i had wanted to get there early enough to fill out the usual new student paperwork, i ended up getting there just as class was about to start. at least i wasn't late.

when i walked into the studio, the entire class was already seated on their mats and ready to roll. problem was, i still had to change my clothes. and the bathroom was clear across the room. ugh. so much for trying to avoid a grand entrance. in the meantime, kari, who was already seated at the front of the room, got up and walked over to where i was standing. she looked at me with a puzzled look and asked me if i had been there before. no, i said; it was my first time. and as she pointed to the bottom of the class schedule, she read: All classes are pre-registered, no drop-ins. (oops... how could i have missed that? maybe i was still jetlagged? maybe my brain was still on vacation?) oh. i started thinking about alternate yoga studios that were open late and had classes i might be able to catch...

she then asked me if i had taken any yoga classes before. yes, i'd been practicing daily for over two years now. where do you practice? pretty much all over town. what styles of yoga do you practice? hatha, iyengar, kundalini, you name it. even SRF, i said (knowing that both ananda and and the self-realization fellowship trace their roots to paramhansa yogananda). convinced that i wasn't an absolute beginner, she made an exception and allowed me to join the group. i didn't have to commit to a series; i could pay for that one drop-in class. i thanked her profusely as i made my way to the restroom to change my clothes.

a few more students had joined the class by the time i found a spot at the back of the room. i wanted to stay incognito as much as possible, especially since i wasn't really supposed to be there.

kari teaches with a very gentle and caring style. and the students in the class seemed to care for each other, too. i could tell that they had already bonded; they would tease each other about their little idiosyncracies (like the guy who always falls asleep during savasana). it was clearly a level 1 class, with each pose logically leading to the next. we spent a good amount of time warming up our hips before we attempted triangle pose (with a block to help us get our hands to the floor) then half moon (again, with blocks). after that, we transitioned from warrior 1 to crescent to warrior 3. no stress, no strain, yet it was appropriately challenging.

after the standing poses came some seated poses, followed by reclining twists, and ending in savasana. after we all chanted our oms at the end of class, everyone congratulated mr. sleepyhead (i can't remember his name) for staying awake during savasana. they were such a friendly group to be with!

i later chatted with kari after class and found out the level 2 class covered sun salutations and the more difficult poses. and the only reason why she has only one level 2 class on the schedule is because she finds that most of the students who come to her studio aren't advanced enough to keep up with the strong flow of the class. of course, that now makes me want to try it out and see how difficult it is, but i still have to contend with her "no drop-ins" policy. i wonder if she'll make an exception for me once again? :)

inner harmony is definitely the studio for anyone who's trying to get into yoga for the first time or who wants to learn in a non-competitive atmosphere. and while it's true that you have to commit to a 10-week series of classes (7 for the beginner level), you know that you're starting from the beginning and only transitioning to the more difficult poses when you're ready for them. if you're new to yoga and live in or near san pedro, this is the place for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

the boston T party

i love boston.

correct that -- i love visiting boston. while there's no way i'd move away from the weather and the beaches of southern california, traveling to boston is a chance for me to get away and experience all the things that LA is sorely lacking. it's a city teeming with history! with culture! with seafood! and most notably, with a very efficient public transportation system!

last week, right after my younger daughter and i retrieved our bags from the baggage claim at logan, we headed outside to catch the silver line into the city. we each fed $15 into the ticket machine to buy a charlie ticket T-pass, which turned out to be the best purchase we made our entire trip. with it, we had unlimited 7-day access to the entire MBTA system, our magic carpet ride for the next six days.

within minutes of locating the airport terminal shuttle stop, we boarded the bus, and a little over half an hour later, including one quick transfer to the red line, we arrived at the subway (aka the T) station across the street from our hotel. no car rental lines, no traffic headaches, no exorbitant parking fees. and it was very eco-responsible.

i love it.

after checking into our room and freshening up, we hopped on the T once again, this time headed for my older daughter's apartment in cambridge one stop away. it was painless -- a five minute ride plus a ten minute walk.

if getting around LA could only be that easy!

unlike my previous trips to other cities like providence, philadelphia, and eugene where i was armed with printouts of studio maps and schedules, i arrived in boston with no specific yoga plans. all i knew is that for the six days i was going to be there, i was going to do some yoga (and i had optimistically packed enough gear for three classes). but exactly where and when, i didn't know.

so while my daughters were busy bonding with mario on a nintendo wii, i googled "cambridge yoga" and "boston yoga" to see what was out there. i eventually compiled a short list of options, keeping in mind that my top priority was to spend quality time with my daughters; i was going to work in the yoga only when there was a lull in our schedule.

in those six days, we spent time viewing the 4th of july fireworks on the charles river, shopping in harvard square and newbury street (no sales tax on clothing!), taking the ferry to and from salem, watching ocean's 13 at the multiplex, and making a much-needed trek to costco and ikea half an hour away (which required me to rent a car with lots of trunk space to carry all my daughter's purchases back to her place). despite that whirlwind of activity, i still managed to fit in my planned three classes! it's amazing how things just happened to work out.

all the yoga studios i ended up visiting were located within a few blocks of T stations in the cambridge area. which meant that it didn't take me more than fifteen minutes to get from my hotel room to the classroom. how convenient.

my first class - thursday, 9:30am.

baptiste power vinyasa yoga
2000 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 661-YOGA

website: www.baronbaptiste.com
T stop: red line - porter square

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga offers a different kind of yoga practice. It's based on intuition rather than tradition. If you think you need to go to a health club to be fit and beautiful, think again. If you think that you need to escape to a cave in the Himalayas to find the enlightenment that yoga promises, think again. Baptiste Vinyasa Yoga offers more than the familiar poses and breathing techniques; it offers a way to face life with a renewed personal strength.

i had specifically chosen to take this class because it was taught by coeli marsh, a lululemon boston ambassador with an impressive bio:

Coeli is a certified Master Baptiste yoga teacher. She has been teaching at the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute for the past five years, and she continues an on-going apprenticeship with Baron Baptiste. With this foundation of experience she in turn conducts trainings for other teachers and classroom assistants.
She has co-taught with Baron and regularly holds in-depth workshops for beginners on the Master Principles of Alignment, as well as the power of beginning a regular yoga practice. Coeli teaches with clarity, compassion and strength. Her classes help to unfold a powerful personal practice in others, as well as to awaken new perceptions.

while filling out the registration form, i found out that all new students receive a free class along with free mat and towel rental. since it wasn't mentioned anywhere on the website, it was a pleasant surprise. the money i saved pretty much covered the cost of my T-pass :)

i walked into the classroom, and the first thing i noticed were the large heaters.

i had forgotten that, unlike the power yoga here in LA (notably bryan kest's and mark blanchard's) where you internally generate your own heat, baptiste power yoga is taught in heated rooms. argh.

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga is a challenging and flowing form of yoga that heals, strengthens, and detoxifies the body and mind. This practice, created by Baron Baptiste, consists of 53 set poses (asanas) that are linked together by connective momentum. This style of yoga is typically practiced in a heated room...

after taking a baptiste class in philly last year, you'd think i'd remember that the room temps would be almost bikram-like. at least i had the foresight to pick the spot right by the back door, which was opened on regular intervals to let in the outside air to cool down the room whenever it got too hot.

considering that it was a class taught in the middle of a weekday morning, the packed classroom proved how popular coeli's classes are. during the 90-minute class, she and her assistant roamed the room, adjusting students as necessary. the class turned out to be a challenging one for me, but only because i had a hard time dealing with the heat. by the time the class was over, i was drenched in sweat. unfortunately, since i didn't bring a change of clothing with me, i had to get back on the T, damp clothing and all. there were a few quizzical stares in my direction, but thankfully, my embarrassment only lasted for the three stops it took me to get back to the hotel.

my second class - thursday, 6:00pm.

Wellspace Yoga
585 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th floor, Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 547-0355
website: www.wellspace.com
T stop: red line - central square

At WELLSPACE Yoga we offer yoga classes that blend slow flowing sequences of poses with conscious breath and mindfulness. Led by Barbara Benagh, our teachers are among the most experienced in the Boston area. Classes are offered for beginner to advanced level and are led with hands on attention to both external and internal technique.

yes, it was my second class of the day. and like the class at baptiste yoga earlier that morning, i had selected the class solely on the teacher's reputation.

Barbara Benagh, a fixture on the Boston yoga scene since 1980, has practiced and taught yoga for nearly 35 years. She discovered yoga while living in England and began teaching there. She moved to Boston and opened The Yoga Studio on Beacon Hill in 1980. In 2005 Barbara moved The Yoga Studio to the Charles River Institute in Central Sq., Cambridge.
In addition to her local classes Barbara teaches yoga seminars throughout the US and internationally. She is a regular contributor of articles to Yoga Journal magazine. She has several audio CDs of live classes available as well as DVDs, the latest being Yoga for Beginners released by Body + Soul magazine and Yoga for Stress Relief that includes a discussion on meditation from the Dalai Lama.

from the moment barbara guided us through our first asana, i knew i was in the presence of a seasoned yoga instructor. unlike some other teachers who ramble on and on and essentially say nothing, she kept talking, yet everything she said made sense. she emphasized the importance of proper alignment. she shared tips on the best way to get into a pose. and she made sure we had ample time to absorb what she was teaching. it's only after i picked up a class schedule on my way out that i realized that i had just taken a level 3 class. that probably explains why many of the students in the class appeared to be advanced practitioners.

i was glad that it didn't turn out to be a strenuous class; my deciding to squeeze two classes into the same day was pushing it a bit, especially since i was supposed to be on vacation...

my third class - saturday, 10:30am.

Karma Yoga Studio
1120 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-9642
website: www.karmayogastudio.com
T stop: red line - harvard square

We deeply believe in giving individual attention to each practitioner. We love to answer all your questions, hear your ideas and concerns, and give consultations on your practice. We don't teach assembly-line McYoga here! We believe in the power of personal transformation and our teachers will help you achieve it.
We donate 2% of profits to environmental protection organizations.

my boston-based daughter had once mentioned that she had considered taking yoga classes at karma yoga because it offered many gentle classes and it was close to her apartment. that seemed like a good enough reason for me to visit the studio, if only to check if the classes were appropriate for a beginner like her. after scanning the schedule and discovering that the only class that i could fit in was the restorative physioyoga class on saturday morning, i came up with a great idea: i was going to get my kids to take the class with me! while daughter #1 was open to the idea (after all, it was her who mentioned the studio to me in the first place), daughter #2 was leery, but only because she had never taken a yoga class before. i managed to convince both of them that the class was nothing more than a gentle stretch class, so the three of us signed in for kim amlong's class that morning.

Kim Amlong has a Masters of Physical Therapy degree and practiced physical therapy for five years. She has been a devoted practitioner of yoga since 1997 and completed the Iyengar yoga teacher-training program with Patricia Walden. She assisted Patricia Walden in her classes for 2 and a half years and continues to study with her and Jesse Winder. Her teaching is an eclectic style that is rooted in proper body mechanics and anatomical alignment and draws an emphasis on safety and injury prevention.

i knew what a restorative class was, but physioyoga? turns out that the style was developed by karma yoga:

PhysioYoga is a yoga style founded on the commitment to the preservation of traditional Hatha Yoga and to the principle of ahimsa (non-harming). Additionally, drawing inspiration from the Dali Lama's work with the academic and research community, PhysioYoga believes that applying science to the practice of yoga is inspirational and enlightening. The tenets of PhysioYoga are student education, empowerment, and prevention of injury.

after reading that, it still wasn't clear to me what made physioyoga any different from any other style of hatha yoga. maybe by the end of class, i'd find out.

and i can't say that i did, because the poses were typical of the other restorative classes i'd taken elsewhere. unlike those other classes, though, there were no soothing head or foot massages nor aromatic oils. in fact, i was a bit annoyed that our teacher kept babbling away while we were supposed to be resting in savasana. since my daughters felt that all they did was rest, neither of my daughters was particularly enthused about the class, which was too bad. maybe the gentle class would have been a better option; at least they may have felt like they were getting some kind of exercise. ah, youth.

there was one class that i regretted not being able to take while i was in boston: david magone's class at exhale boston. not only was he another lulu ambassador, but his class was listed as one of the top 25 in the world by travel and leisure magazine:

Named Boston magazine’s best yoga teacher of 2006, David Magone (www.insideyoga.com) practices a style of his own invention: PranaVayu. An integration of Power yoga and Vinyasa flow, it breaks sequences down into accessible pieces. Magone, who currently teaches at Boston’s Sports Club L.A. and Exhale Spa, keeps the mood light and playful right up until the 15-minute meditation at the end of class.

but no matter how hard i tried, there was no way i could fit his sunday and monday classes into my schedule. hopefully, he'll still be around the next time i visit boston. and when that happens, i'll make sure i have my T-pass ready because, just like the other yoga studios i visited this trip, i can easily get to exhale, which is conveniently located by a T stop :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

singing, swaying, and seva in july

i'm still on the road with limited internet access, so please bear with me as i try to compile this month’s list as quickly as i can. for starters, i've listed the events that i've received via email.

7/10 update -- i've added many more events since the original post, so you might want to scan this list one more time...

ongoing kirtan evenings:

Community Chanting with Rick, Sylvie, 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, July 7th (First Saturday of each month) 7:00pm

Call and response chanting with live devotional music. A truly wonderful experience. Call (818) 340-6088 for information

Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Saturday, July 14th 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, July 7th (First Saturday of every month) 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: By Donation

Join kirtan singers Govindas and Radha, Arjun, Chris Morro, Joey Lugassy, Travis Eliot, Terra Green Gold, and more for a nite of service and celebration!
All donations will benefit the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, New Mexico.
Vegetarian Potluck: Bring your favorite vegetarian dish or non-alcoholic drink.

Kirtan with Daniel Stewart
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, July 13th (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, July 14th (Second Saturday of every month) 8:00-9:30pm
Cost: By Donation

special events:

... don't miss the beach yoga classes along the shore between santa monica and redondo beach...

Community Yoga Class with Elinore Cohen
lululemon Calabasas
Saturday, July 1st 9:30-10:30 am
Cost: FREE

"The choices we make shape the lives we create. Be the catalyst for change in the world, LIVE WITH INTENTION...Inspire the practice of yoga on & off the mat...Share your light & conscious unity with all. Ultimately seeing & knowing yourself as you really are. Beacuse when we gain freedom in the body we are that much closer to freedom in the mind! Namaste' --Elinore"

Truyoga Summer Concert Series with Tina Malia, Lakshmi Devi, Joey Lugassy, Evolve, Masood Ali Khan
Truyoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, July 1st 4:00pm
Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door

Afternoon on the Lawn - Music for a Cause
Free yoga class before the concert with advanced ticket purchase!
Bring friends and family and picnic in the beautiful gardens of the Yahoo Center enjoying live music on the lawn.

Live Earth Party with Chris Chavez
lululemon Beverly Hills
Saturday, July 7th 9:00-10:30pm
Cost: FREE

Chris Chavez will host a Live Earth Party at our Beverly Hill's location.
Come for music and consciouness from 9-10:30 pm!
Live Earth will use the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis.
Check out www.liveearth.org for more details!

Yoga For Surfers
Quicksilver Edition Mission - 1621 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Saturday, July 7th 10:00-11:00am
Cost: FREE

This summer YogaWorks is proud to team up with QuikSilverEdition to provide weekly yoga classes for surfers and aspiring boardriders. Be sure to join us for special in-class appearances by legendary Quiksilver athletes such as Reese Forbes, Dave Kalama and Shayne McIntyre who will join YogaWorks instructors to help improve your board performance through yoga, for your extreme (or not so extreme) sports.
Please RSVP to request a spot as space is limited.

Balancing Within with Rebecca Benenati
lululemon Beverly Hills
Sunday, July 8th 9:30-11:00am
Cost: FREE

Pregnancy bliss is over, your bundle of joy is here, you're adjusting to all the changes in your home and relationship, but WAIT, Where did YOU go?
Come to Lululemon on Sunday morning for a yoga practice geared towards new families amidst all the transitions that come with having a baby.
Mother of two, and co-owner of City Yoga, Rebecca Benenati will lead you through a series of poses that will be fun, heart-opening and will be suitable to all levels of practice. Most inspiring will be the insight she offers as a Mother juggling the demands of growing children, keeping a career, being a present Wife and still maintaining a connection to self.
This workshop is for both parents. Consider this a date morning and switch your babysitter from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

Sunday Yoga
lululemon Pasadena
Sunday, July 8th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

July 8 with Mark Frankel! He teaches Anusara Yoga -- a great way to focus on your own energy and light while also strengthening your body. We start at 10am!!

Free Movie Series - "The Secret"
YogaSofia, Hermosa Beach
Sunday, July 8th 6:30pm
Cost: FREE

Pre-Show Mini-Lecture on "The Secret to a Great Relationship" by Deva Charu of Embody Tantra begins at 6pm.
Bring comfy pillows, snacks, people you like (We have chairs, if you prefer.)
Whole Foods RB co-sponsors this event, and brings yummy deli dishes for us!

YIN YOGA with Live Acoustic Music with Genevieve Fischer
Yoga Loft Manhattan Beach
Wednesday, July 11th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: $25 each/ or $45 for two workshops*

*other upcoming workshops in series:
~ Wed., August 8th FLOW CLASS with THAI YOGA MASSAGE with instructor/licensed TYM Therapist Dion Lyman
~ Wed., August 22nd LEVEL 2 FLOW with YOGA STORYTELLING with special guest teacher Linsly Donnelly

Ecstatic Chanting with Steve Ross
Yogaworks Larchmont Center for Yoga, Los Angeles
Friday, July 13th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $20 by 7/12; $25 at the door

Chanting stills the mind and opens the heart. A beautiful practise leading to effortless meditation. Join us for this celebratory event.

Luna Tour
lululemon Calabasas
Saturday, July 14th 9:30am-3:30pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for a morning of life coaching wellness workshops!
~ 9:30-10:30am Mindful Yoga Flow with Diana & Stefan from Garden of Yoga
~ 10:30-11:00am light organic breakfast – yogurt, fruit & granola
~ 11:30- 12:30pm Hip Hop Dance & Yoga Stretch Workshop at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market
~ 1-2pm Circuit Training Workout at Gelson’s Village
~ 2:30-3:30pm Zentastic Wrap up with refreshments!!
RSVP: Email: calabasas-community@lululemon.com
**Complimentary headbands for the first 30 guests that RSVP!

Yoga For Surfers
Quicksilver Edition Mission - 1621 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Saturday, July 14th 10:00-11:00am
Cost: FREE

This summer YogaWorks is proud to team up with QuikSilverEdition to provide weekly yoga classes for surfers and aspiring boardriders. Be sure to join us for special in-class appearances by legendary Quiksilver athletes such as Reese Forbes, Dave Kalama and Shayne McIntyre who will join YogaWorks instructors to help improve your board performance through yoga, for your extreme (or not so extreme) sports.
Please RSVP to request a spot as space is limited.

Yogapalooza: Outdoor Tour
Crunch Fitness, West Hollywood (meets at Plummer Park)
Saturday, July 14th 11:00am
Cost: FREE

Feel the concert vibe in this traveling yoga show featuring local musicians. Held outside in the park, this class energizes your practice with live tunes. Lighters not included. Get the chance to win free cool stuff from Smart Water, Hugger Mugger, Sprig.com and Kneipp.

Awakening the Chakras with Yoga and Sound with Kia Miller and Suzanne Sterling
Yogaworks Montana, Santa Monica
Saturday, July 14th 1:00-4:00pm
Cost: $35 by 6/30; $45 after 6/30

Chakras are vortices of energy in the body that affect our perceptions, feelings and choices. They affect the flow and types of thoughts we have. In studying them, we come to understand how energy is processed in our bodies, gain insights into where we are blocked and learn to transform that energy to release our full inner potential.
In this workshop we will utilize the potent mix of asana, sound, pranayama, mudra, mantra and meditation to bring our spirits, bodies and minds into beautiful harmony.
Chakra Themes:
Root – foundation; grounding in one’s life
Second - creation and desire
Solar Plexus – aligning personal will with Divine Will
Heart - expanding our capacity for compassion and love
Throat – speaking truth and accessing creative expression
Third Eye - deepening intuitive awareness
Crown - connecting with Divine Source
This workshop is open to all levels of yoga practitioners with or without previous experience of the charkas. Bring a journal and meditation cushion if you have one. Come prepared to breathe, sing and sweat your prayers!

Peacewalk in Long Beach
Unitarian Universalist Church, Long Beach
Saturday, July 14th 2:00pm
Cost: FREE

Demonstrate Peace
Gather at 2 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
5450 E. Atherton Street, Long Beach, CA 90815
Peace Is Every Step-Los Angeles invites you to Practice Peace with us again in Long Beach. We are very pleased to be sharing this walk with our good friends of the Buddhist Studies Group of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach and the Ocean Wave Sangha of Long Beach.
For more info about this walk please visit: peaceiseverystepla.org/peaceiseverystep/longbeach.html

Movie Screening Party - Y Yoga
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturday, July 14th 9:30pm
Cost: $10 suggested donation

4dalove.org is hosting a screening party of Y Yoga @ Santa Monica Power Yoga West. It’s the not-yet-released movie that everyone’s been talking about. Filmed by Arthur Klein, this movie is 88 minutes of laughter and inspiration exploring the explosion of yoga in Western culture. See special interviews and insider’s scenes. Open-wide Sessions will get the party started at 9:30pm featuring local musicians, writers, dancers, and artists.

Little Buddhas
lululemon Beverly Hills
Sunday, July 15th (contact store for time)
Cost: FREE

Little Buddhas is a special event for children and families. This session, co-hosted by momready.com, is recommended for ages 3-9. Come for a mini yoga session, book readings, crafts and a healthy snack!
Bring a yoga mat and fresh water.
Kindly RSVP info@momready.com or northbeverly-community@lululemon.com

lululemon Pasadena Luna Tour 2007
Meet at the Rose Bowl between lots L and K
Sunday, July 15th 9:00am
Cost: FREE

Join us for our first Luna Tour. We're going to have a Yoga for Runners with two of our great ambassadors. Jim Liston and Scott Lewicki.
RSVP to reserve your space .. email pasadena-community@lululemon.com

IYILA Bake Sale
B.K.S. Iyengar Institute, Los Angeles
Sunday, July 15th 2:00pm
Cost: By Donation

Help kick-off the 2007 Capital Campaign!
Don't forget, we’re going to “kick off” our fundraising efforts on Sunday, July 15, at 2pm at IYILA, after Manouso’s workshop weekend, with an “old-fashioned” Bake Sale!
For those of you who would like to bake something for this, whether it is cakes or cookies or pies, please contact either Randee Devlin or Adriana DeFranco.
We will be happy to accept your donations. And on that date the rest of us can purchase the fine offerings, enjoy a bit of something sweet, and support IYILA at the same time.

Karuna Yoga Fundraiser and Silent Auction
Karuna Yoga, Los Feliz
Friday, July 20th 6:00-10:00pm
Cost: Suggested Donation $25, Larger Donations graciously accepted

Join us at Karuna Yoga for wine, cheese, dessert, dance, art & music.
Let’s join together and celebrate!
Spread the word and invite friends and family to this event. If you are unable to attend this event, we hope you find it in your heart to give. Your consistent patronage keeps us alive. Thank you for your presence, your heart and your support.
If you have services, artwork, photography or goods to donate to the silent auction, please contact us immediately.

Yoga to Lift Your Spirit with Elsie Escobar
Yogaworks Larchmont Center for Yoga, Los Angeles
Friday, July 20th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: $20

Why do we call it a spiritual practice?
One reason is because yoga asana helps to free our natual vitality so it flows unimpeded through our entire being, allowing us to blossom into the fullest expression of who we are. When our energy is flowing freely we tend to feel better and our mood is lifted.
This evening is all about feeling good - about letting your body's energy express itself.
Mood enhancing prana-induced free form yoga postures including sun salutes, inversions, back bends, gentle forward bends and hip openers, as well as a long, delicious savasana will be the central focus of an experience enhanced with music from poetry, candles and flowers.
Come indulge!

Yoga Trance Dance with Christy Marsden
Yoga Blend, Burbank
Friday, July 20th 8:30-10:30pm
Cost: $20

Yoga Trance Dance (as developed by Shiva Rea) 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.
Space is limited, so register early!

Wellness Workshop Event
lululemon Santa Monica
Saturday, July 21st 9:30-11:00am
Cost: FREE

Join us for a morning of life coaching wellness workshops!
~Light organic breakfast - ‘Energy’ blended smoothies
~Pilates Warm-up with Christine Kwok
~Healthy Home Workshop with Organic Authority
~Strengthen While You Work Workshop with Balanced Strength
~Circuit Training on the beach with Christine Kwok
RSVP: Email: santamonica-community@lululemon.com
**Gift Bags for the first 30 guests!

Yoga For Surfers
Quicksilver Edition Mission - 1621 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Saturday, July 21st 10:00-11:00am
Cost: FREE

This summer YogaWorks is proud to team up with QuikSilverEdition to provide weekly yoga classes for surfers and aspiring boardriders. Be sure to join us for special in-class appearances by legendary Quiksilver athletes such as Reese Forbes, Dave Kalama and Shayne McIntyre who will join YogaWorks instructors to help improve your board performance through yoga, for your extreme (or not so extreme) sports.
Please RSVP to request a spot as space is limited.

Nia Summer Jam
The Core, Your Perfect Center, Redondo Beach
Saturday, July 21st 1:00-3:00pm
Cost: FREE

Celebrate life and enjoy the joy of movement!
Nia is the ultimate cardiovascular Fusion-Fitness program that allows you to tone your body, mind, and spirit. Nia draws from the power and discipline of Martial Arts (Tae Kwan Do, Aikido), the spontaneity and grace of dance (Jazz, Modern), and the mindfulness of Yoga and Tai Chi. It's like one-stop shopping ~ 3 classes in 1!
Potluck to follow - bring your favorite dish!
Bring the entire family! Beginners welcome!

Mid-Summer Night Healing Festival
Yoga West, Los Angeles
Sunday, July 21st 7:00pm-1:00am
Cost: $25

Yoga West and Spirit Voyage Records present an Evening of Healing, Live Music, Great Food and Midnight Gong
Everything inside is included with price.
Dozens of healers for your comfort and enjoyment! - Massage Therapists, Shiatsu, Cranial Sacral, Energy Balancing, Reiki, Sat Nam Rasayan, Chiropractors, Astrology Readings, Numerology, and much more!
Live Music by Amrit Kirtan and The New Earth Collective
Midnight Gong Immersion with Harijiwan Singh
Food Catered from India's Sweet House

An Evening with Swami Kriyananda
Wadsworth Theatre, Brentwood
Saturday, July 21st 8:00pm
Cost: $25 General Admission, $40 VIP

Rare U.S. public talk and book launch
Swami Kriyananda, founder of Ananda Sangha and one of the last living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, is an engaging and inspiring speaker who makes deep spiritual truths accessible to everyone. He will make a one-night appearance in Los Angeles for the national launch of his new book Revelations of Christ.
"The Kingdom of God is within you"
Drawing from the original commentaries by Yogananda, Kriyananda will offer a fresh perspective on Christ's teachings and the divine truth that each of us is a child of God.
Don't miss one of America's foremost spiritual teachers
Kriyanda has dedicated more than 60 years to sharing universal spiritual teachings through thousands of lectures, more than 85 books, and a daily television program which teaches millions worldwide. Get your tickets early for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.
For tickets, directions, and lodging, visit www.revelationsofchrist.com/launch.html

Kirtan with Dave Stringer, Shiva Rea, and Friends
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, July 21st 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $20; $25 day of event

The call and response form of mantra chanting known as Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming practice, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing as the rhythms of tablas, finger cymbals, harmonium, tamboura, electric bass, guitar and trumpet build and accelerate. The mantras are projected overhead, making them simple to follow.
Yoga doesn’t ask us to believe, it asks us to practice, examining our experience until we can witness the truth in the book of our own heart. The mantras are primarily recitations of names given to the divine. But perhaps the true understanding of the mantras can be found in the sense of unity, well-being and timelessness that they elicit. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.

Yoga Booty Ballet's Healthy Body, Mind and Planet Party
lululemon Beverly Hills
Sunday, July 22nd 9:00am
Cost: FREE

Join lululemon Ambassadors Gillian and Teigh for a rockin' recycling workshop and demo, culminating in a dynamic dance and meditation to set the intention for sustainability.
Arrive at 9 am sharp!
RSVP to reserve your space: northbeverly-community@lululemon.com

Sunday Yoga
lululemon Pasadena
Sunday, July 22nd 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Sunday July 22 join us for our 10am yoga. This week we have Alicia Pal -- one of our lovely Anusara Yoga teachers!

Yogapalooza: Outdoor Tour
Crunch Fitness, West Hollywood (meets at Plummer Park)
Sunday, July 22nd 12:00pm
Cost: FREE

Feel the concert vibe in this traveling yoga show featuring local musicians. Held outside in the park, this class energizes your practice with live tunes. Lighters not included. Get the chance to win free cool stuff from Smart Water, Hugger Mugger, Sprig.com and Kneipp.

The Benefits of Strength Training with Cody McCown
Meet at lululemon Beverly Hills
Sunday, July 22nd 1:45pm
Cost: FREE

Join lululemon Ambassador Cody McCown for a workshop designed to build intelligent strength, demonstrate proper techniques and introduce kettlebells.
RSVP to northbeverly-community@lululemon.com.
Meet at lululemon at 1:45pm. We will walk to the park and train from 2-3:30 pm.

Live Harp Restorative with Bekah Finch and Regan Remy
Yoga Blend, Burbank
Sunday, July 22nd 5:00-6:30pm
Cost: Regular class price

Join us for a spiritual journey as Bekah Finch 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!

Free Movie Series - "The Corporation"
YogaSofia, Hermosa Beach
Sunday, July 22nd 6:30pm
Cost: FREE

Pre-Show Mini-Lecture at 6pm to be announced.
Bring comfy pillows, snacks, people you like (We have chairs, if you prefer.)
Whole Foods RB co-sponsors this event, and brings yummy deli dishes for us!

Evening Yoga with Erika Bryant
lululemon Calabasas
Wednesday, July 25th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

A Day of Yoga
The Core, Your Perfect Center, Redondo Beach
Saturday, July 28th 10:00am-1:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Come share your great energy with us!
All levels welcome!
~ 108 Sun Salutations with modifications for all levels
~ Meditation
~ Poses for Beginners
~ Refreshments
Stretch and strengthen over 300 different muscles and learn how yoga can heal your everyday ailments!
Space is limited! Reserve your spot today!

Yoga For Surfers
Quicksilver Edition Mission - 1621 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Saturday, July 28th 10:00-11:00am
Cost: FREE

This summer YogaWorks is proud to team up with QuikSilverEdition to provide weekly yoga classes for surfers and aspiring boardriders. Be sure to join us for special in-class appearances by legendary Quiksilver athletes such as Reese Forbes, Dave Kalama and Shayne McIntyre who will join YogaWorks instructors to help improve your board performance through yoga, for your extreme (or not so extreme) sports.
Please RSVP to request a spot as space is limited.

ExhaleSoul Benefit: Integration of the Ancients with Jason Frahm
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, July 28th 4:00-5:45pm
Cost: Minimum donation of $20

The focus of this workshop is to integrate the ancient practices of hatha yoga with the wisdom of white tantra, medical chi kung, shamanism, and the Mayan teachings. We will circle to set our intentions, create our sacred space and then move into tslagi, the meditative movement and offering of the Apache's. As our practice progresses, we will infuse the kriya movements connected to the Mayan glyphs and a healing and opening series of medical chi kung. The later part of our practice delves into a visionary journey deeper into the layers of our unconscious using meditative techniques to unravel unnecessary patterns and attachments that no longer serve our growth.

Lakshmi Puja and Chanting at Maha Yoga
Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Saturday, July 28th 8:00pm
Cost: $25

Don't forget to join us at Maha Yoga Saturday, July 28 for an incredible evening. Our friend and pujari Shiva Kumar will perform a Lakshmi puja. During the puja, Steve Ross will fill the studio with blissful chanting. This special puja will honor Lakshmi, the Goddess representing wealth and prosperity both material and spiritual.
Come join us and invite abundance into your life. The evening will open your heart, still your mind and lead you to a state of profound euphoria.
Please bring flowers with large petals to offer during the puja. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a cushion to sit on and enjoy.
If you would like to help us set up for the puja, please come to Maha Yoga at 6pm. We would love your service.

Awareness Lounge: Downtempo Music Event With Jiwan Shakti, Wahe Guru Kaur and Friends
Awareness Center, Pasadena
Saturday, July 28th 8:00–Midnight
Cost: $30 before 10pm (includes yoga set); $20 after 10pm (show and Ecstatic Dance)

Chill out and groove with your friends in this new “natural club” atmosphere. Live music with premier downtempo artists from LA and San Francisco.
-Live downtempo music with Welder, Laura Escude, and JShakti
-Kundalini yoga set and meditation with Jiwan Shakti
-Ecstatic Dance with Wahe Guru Kaur

Restorative Yoga with Susan Taylor
lululemon Calabasas
Saturday, July 29th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Sunday Yoga
lululemon Pasadena
Sunday, July 29th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

This Sunday July 29, we have Val Schaffer back to teach us in his lovely Iyengar Yoga practice. Join us at 10am!

Truyoga Summer Concert Series with Tom Freund, David Ralicke, Anita Coats
Truyoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, July 29th 4:00pm
Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door

Afternoon on the Lawn - Music for a Cause
Free yoga class before the concert with advanced ticket purchase!
Bring friends and family and picnic in the beautiful gardens of the Yahoo Center enjoying live music on the lawn.

Ecstatic Dance with Wahe Guru Kaur
Awareness Center, Pasadena
Saturday, June 30th 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: $15 or 2 for $25

-Guided and Free-form Dance
-Release years of tension, stress and anxiety
-Breathe, sweat and lose weight
-Creatively express your authentic self
-No experience necessary! All ages and abilities.
Let go of your old beliefs that you had to be a good dancer to dance. All that is required is that you move your body and breathe. Your dance is unique, like no other. We hold memories within our cells of everything we have ever experienced. Free movement helps you to unwind and gives an incredibly deep sense of relaxation and renewal.

Friday, July 06, 2007

distant memories

it's been almost a week since the start of the city yoga yogathon last june 30th, and already, the memories are getting fuzzy. i suppose the jet lag involved with my traveling clear across the continent has something to do with it, but then again, i was so sleepy by the end of the 24-hour event that i was lucky to even remember where i had parked my car when it was all over!

i knew that there was no way i could remember everything that would go on over the weekend (after all, i can barely remember what a teacher said or did after a class is over), so i brought along a journal so i could take notes. and for a while there, i was doing a good job of jotting everything down. that is, until dinner was served. and slowly, i found myself trying harder and harder to stay awake...

so instead of going into a blow-by-blow account of what we did during the 86,400 seconds we were camped out in the kula in west hollywood, i'll share with you the few snippets that i do remember (and i may continue to add on more as i get over my jet lag):

~ the eager anticipation of things to come as we picked up our name tags and goodie bags, dropped off our pledges, and listened to rebecca benenati as she welcomed us to the yogathon

~ doing the "sun salutation hokey pokey" with linda eifer
you reach your hands up high
you reach your hands down low
you look up to the sky
step back and lower down slow
you come up to a cobra
and back to downward dog
jump up and start again

~ arm balances with james macdonald, hip openers with camilla bergstrom

~ pranayama with kate frankel, backbends with hillary rubin

~ handstands and headstands with tony giuliano

~ restoring our bodies (and our sanity) with sharon skok and karen byers

~ playing "yoga twister" with anthony benenati

~ a delicious foot rub from my thai yoga massage partner, natalie, as she followed michaela bohem - de wet's lead

~ a quick chair massage after lunch from chris arcucci

~ musically meditating with govindas and radha in the early afternoon

~ rocking with wah! just before midnight

~ observing the doublejoint twins, tara judelle and kris nelson, as they demonstrated advanced asanas

~ watching in amazement as philip completed the last of his 108 dropbacks

~ laughing along with carrie snow as she shared her hilarious yoga experiences

~ flowing through sun salutations while the sun was rising in the east... and the full moon was setting in the west

~ unwinding in final savasana while listening to ezekiel green playing the harp

~ finding out during random prize giveaways that i wasn't the shortest in class. nor the oldest (hard to believe, but true!)

~ winning five private classes with camilla bergstrom in the raffle (priceless!)

~ being thanked by margo thomas from habitat from humanity for our dedication and the preliminary yogathon donation of $46,106.87 (which will keep growing as donations continue to be turned in)

~ listening to lulu, an H4H beneficiary, as she emotionally told the group about how her family's life was radically changed for the better and the joy she feels every time she walks into their new home -- and knowing that our contribution will make the same dream come true for another family!

needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience!

and more importantly, i'd like to thank all those who've generously donated to habitat for humanity on my behalf:
my blog readers elise navin, pete grandstaff, and yogadawg
my friends anita, brian, barbara, and julie
my sisters suzy, gigi, and tina
my daughters christina and amanda
and special thanks to hillary rubin, who not only donated her time and energy to the yogathon, but also reached into her wallet to personally sponsor me :)

while i may not have raised the thousands that some others had accumulated in various creative ways, i know that my share will go a long way towards giving a deserving family a much-needed roof over their heads. and this is only the start; i plan on working on-site this coming september as we actually build a house and raise that roof!

postscript: another yogathoner, jill valle, spent a good amount of time capturing images of the yogathon with her camera. she's posted a few of them on her website; view them, as well as more of her fantastic photographic work, here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

fireworks and firefox

i'm on the road again!

this time, i'm in boston, and because of all the things that my daughters and i have planned for the handful of days that we're together, i have to temporarily put my blogging on hold.

i mean, would i rather sit in a hotel room and catch up on the growing backlog of posts i have to compose, or:

- stand on the banks of the charles river on the 4th of july and listen to the boston pops playing the 1812 overture while a massive fireworks display explodes overhead?

- savor a creamy bowl of boston clam chowder?

- visit the north end and gorge on pasta and cannoli?

- take yoga classes with teachers who have been listed as the best in boston?

i could go on, but my daughter's reminding me that i promised to stay online just long enough to check my email... and that she needs to get back to the work that's waiting for her on her laptop...

speaking of her laptop, i checked my website via firefox, her internet browser of choice, and i discovered that my sidebar had formatting problems that i hadn't seen before... and it's only because i use IE on my computer at home. i've gone ahead and fixed those problems; all those funky font issues you firefox users had been seeing should now be corrected.

it looks like i have to sign off NOW before she permanently bans me from using her laptop... more later...

Monday, July 02, 2007

celebrate your independence!

the 4th of july holiday is almost here! so far, these are the studios who've sent me emails regarding their holiday schedules and/or have their schedule changes posted online:

absolute yoga and pilates, woodland hills

We will be closed for July 4th only. There will be no Yoga and Pilates on this day only.
We will be re-opening on Thursday, July 5th, 2007 with our regular schedule.
From all of us at The Absolute have a wonderful and safe July 4th holiday!!

awareness center, pasadena

Happy Fourth of July!
We will be CLOSED for all classes. Regular class schedule as of July 5th.

BKS iyengar institute, west hollywood

Wednesday, July 4. Holiday Class with Aida Amirkhanian, 10am - 12pm, All Levels
Start your Independence Day off with a Yoga class to celebrate America's Birthday!! We will have one class only.
All regular classes that day are cancelled, the normal schedule resumes July 5.

black dog yoga, sherman oaks

4th of July Week Schedule
Schedule remains the same, except for an abbreviated schedule on Wednesday, July 4th:
9:00a Hatha I-II Matt Schwartz
9:30a Hatha I Lauri Janover
10:30a Anusara-inspired Level II-III Jenny Brill
Studio Closes - No P.M. Classes

city yoga, west hollywood

july 4th class schedule:
6:30am mixed - rebecca benenati
8:30am basics - anthony benenati
9:00am mixed - rebecca benenati
10:30am mixed - tara judelle
12:30pm basics community - patricia hernandez
2:00pm mixed community - linda eifer
all other classes are cancelled

dancing shiva, los angeles

New summer schedule starts July 1st. *Special note... 6:00 & 7:30 classes are cancelled for July 3rd & the studio will be closed on July 4th.

exhale center for sacred movement, venice

July 4th Holiday Schedule
Come celebrate Independence Day with us!
9:00a Saul David Raye Level 2/3
9:15a Jaime Elmer Level 1/2
10:45a Micheline Berry + Shaman’s Dream LIVE MUSIC!
10:45a Matthew Cohen Level 1/2
12:30p David Romanelli Music Yoga Flow
12:45p Brad Keimach Level 2 Community Class

exhale santa monica, santa monica

no yoga classes on july 4th

free spirit yoga, long beach

one class - 9:30am all levels andrea testa
all other classes are cancelled

garden of yoga, woodland hills

We will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th.
All classes will resume on Thursday, July 5th.
Stay safe and have fun. Have a great holiday.

glendale yoga, glendale


golden bridge yoga, hollywood

***JOIN US FOR SADHANA ON JULY 4TH! 4:00 - 6:00 am***

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Breaking the Piscean Hypnotic Trance - Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh
Cost: $16/keytags
Join Gurmukh for a powerfully liberating class on the 4th of July!
As we grow, we are taught to live within our emotional realms. First we create a nuisance in our lives, then to make sense we cover our nuisance, then we create more nuisance, and cover that — and the layers build within. From all this, we live in a state of hypnosis. We never have a relationship between me and ME.
The Piscean Age taught us, “Learn, I want to Learn.” As we break the mask, we move into, “Be, I want to Be.” To Learn, only takes you deeper into the layers of your pre-set hypnosis. This class will free us To Be, to Feel, To Experience, thus breaking the layers adopted by the brain, from the past. Once you break free, you realize you are GOD.
Watermelon to cool you down will be served at the end of the class!
All other classes are cancelled.

home simply yoga, santa monica

july 4th - closed

karuna yoga, los feliz

**Holiday Note - We will hold our 3 morning classes on July 4th.
Come in and practice before your picnic and fireworks.

liberation yoga, los angeles

The only changes to the schedule will be for Wednesday July 4th. There will be the following classes:
10am 11:30am - Level 1 - Christine Burke (In the NEW and IMPROVED beautiful garden!)
11:30am-1:00pm - All levels Flow - Alicia Johnson
11:30am - 1:00pm - Qi Gong - Leas Maria

progressive power yoga, brentwood and studio city

MARK'S YOGA CHALLENGE... Are you up for it? Whoever does the most classes between July 4th and Labor Day will receive the fall free (3 months/$390 Value). Both studios are participating so get to class!!

july 4th schedule:

brentwood ~
regular class schedule

studio city ~
6:45am power yoga - john mackow
9:30am power yoga - elizabeth folk-blanchard
12:00pm community - megan hyndman
all other classes are cancelled

revive studios, chatsworth


rising lotus, sherman oaks

Freedom is a blessing that we often take for granted. Our practice frees us again and again from inner restriction and limitations. Come celebrate freedom of thought, heart and spirit this Wednesday at Rising Lotus.
Celebrate your independence -- inner and outer -- and share the joy.
4th of July Holiday Schedule
9:00 Level 1-2 with Jonathan Simns
10:30 Mixed Level Flow with Daniel Stewart
All other classes are canceled for the day. Have a safe and sane independence day!

santa monica yoga, santa monica

Studio closed Wednesday July 4

silverlake yoga, silverlake

Wednesday, July 4th:
Studio ONE: Classes will shift to studio two as follows:
9:15am Beginners 2 taught by Jonathan
11:00am Mixed Levels class with Dana
All other classes cancelled
Studio TWO: All classes cancelled

still yoga, silverlake

regular class schedule

swerve studio, los angeles

July 4th Special Schedule
Swerve will be holding 3 morning classes only!
9:00am: Streamline Sculpt with Kim Director (1hr)
10:15am: Yoga Booty Ballet with Gillian (1hr 15min)
11:30am: Anusara Yoga with Elsie (1.5hr) Community Class $9

truyoga, santa monica

There will be a special 2 hour morning yoga class on the Independence Day, from 9:00 -11:00am with Peter Sterios & Ben Fritz. Join Peter and Ben for a fun and energizing way to start your holiday and connect with your community. Class Series Cards can be used or pay a $16 drop in price. All other regular classes will be cancelled on the 4th.

u studio, los angeles

in the spirit of independence day there will be one independent class at 10:30 am wednesday july 4th
i know the posted signs say the building is closed wednesday, but we are REVOLUTIONARY like that and will have our morning fireworks regardless...
the holiday week schedule looks like this
wednesday july 4th -- 10:30 am
thursday july 5th -- 10:15 am and 5:30 pm (no 7:15 pm)
from friday on, the schedule is the same as always--just check the website
wishing you all a fantastic holiday!!!

urth yoga, silverlake

only one class on july 4th: 10am all-levels with gabe hendrie
all other classes are cancelled

yoga bindu, san pedro

The studio will be closed on Wednesday, July 4.

yoga blend, burbank

In observance of 4th of July the studio will be closing at 2pm following Yoga Stretch. The schedule will be modified as followed:
9:30am-11:00am - Level 1-2 with Keric
11:30am-12:45pm - Gentle with Bekah
12:00pm-1:30pm - Level 1-2 with Keric
1:00pm-2:00pm - Yoga Stretch with Nicole
The 6:45am-8:00am and all classes after 2pm will be cancelled. The regular class schedule will resume Thursday morning at 6:45am.
Have a wonderful holiday.

yoga circle downtown

We will be closed on Wednesday July 4 all day.
We will be open, business as usual, throughout the rest of the week.
Have a safe and happy 4th.

yogahop, santa monica

july 4th - closed

yogahouse, pasadena and toluca lake

Wednesday July 4 Independence Day:
Yoga House Pasadena will be open with the following schedule:
7:00 am Level 1 Carolyn Sachs
9:00 am Level 1 Farzaneh Noori
10:00 am Level 2-3 Nancy Kyes
Yoga House Toluca Lake will be closed.

yoga loft, manhattan beach

Mon 7/2 and Thurs 7/5: All regular classes held
Tue 7/3: 7:30pm Level 1 will NOT be held
Wed 7/4: STUDIO CLOSED, Happy 4th!

yoga madre, arcadia

*** We are closed this Wednesday, July 4th, 2007***

yogasofia, hermosa beach

Our July 4th (Wed) HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:
One All-Levels Combo Class takes place from 9-10:30am. JERI & TIM team-teach a Special Holiday Class!
A second Holiday Class was recently added: Beth Shaw comes out to teach a 4th of July Yogafit Core/Glut/Power class from 10:30 to noon. Proceeds will help animals in need via Karma International.
So come get your workout in with like-minded beautiful people before starting up your 4th of July gatherings!

yoga at the village, glendale

Wednesday, July 4th Schedule:
Open for 9am, 10:30am and 12 Noon classes only.
Enjoy a safe and fun holiday evening!

yoga west, los angeles

July 4th- Happy July 4th!
Guru Singh Teaches our ONLY CLASS of the day. 10am

yogaworks, all locations

Bring a friend to YogaWorks with you July 1-8, 07 and their class is FREE. That could make you very popular.
Offer good for new students only and expires 7/9/07.

july 4th schedule (all other classes are cancelled):

center for yoga, larchmont ~
7:30am vinyasa flow (2&3) - colleen garrity
8:30am hatha blend (2) - steven freedman
9:30am anusara (1) - elsie escobar
10:00am yogaworks (1&2) - carmen fitzgibbon
11:00am ashtanga (instructor-led) - joel bender
11:15am iyengar (2) - lani daniels
11:30am hatha blend (2&3) - james morrison

main street ~
7:15am vinyasa flow (2&3) - brock cahill
9:00am vinyasa flow (2&3) - vinnie marino
10:45am vinyasa flow (2) - annie carpenter
12:30pm vinyasa flow (2&3) - mia togo

montana ~
6:30am ashtanga/mysore - gary damsky
7:15am vinyasa flow (2&3) - kathryn budig
9:00am iyengar (2&3) - lisa walford
9:15am level 1&2 - kia miller
10:30am level 2&3 - sara ivanhoe
11:45am level 1 - al tavera

pacific palisades ~
7:30am level 1 - al tavera
9:00am level 2 & 3 - jeff wells
10:30am level 2 - john gaydos
12:00pm iyengar (2) - larry heliker

westwood ~
8:30am yoga works (2) - thomas taubman
9:00am iyengar (1&2) - herb sandoval
10:00am vinyasa flow (2&3) - joan hyman
11:30am vinyasa flow (2&3) - kia miller
12:00pm pilates mat work - eva wilder

yoga world studio, long beach

Yoga World Studio will be open on the 4th of July for the 10.30am class only, this will be an Open level class for the holiday.
We will be closed the rest of the holiday. Thank you for your support and happy holiday!

your neighborhood studio, culver city

9am Yoga Flow with Monique!
Then the Studio will be closed the rest of the day! Have a GREAT 4th of July!