Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

meet the love guru!

i just received something from the folks at iced media -- a link to the youtube trailer of mike myers' upcoming movie: the love guru. scheduled for a june 20th release, the movie features myers as his holiness guru pitka, the "second best guru in india":

Guru Pitka (Mike Myers) is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. He moves back to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) and his estranged wife. After the split, Roanoke's wife starts dating LA Kings star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake) out of revenge, sending her husband into a major professional skid -- to the horror of the team's owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and Coach Cherkov (Verne Troyer). Pitka must return the couple to marital nirvana and get Roanoke back on his game so the team can break the 40-year-old "Bullard Curse" and win the Stanley Cup.

leave it to mike myers to mash up a practice that espouses ahimsa, or non-violence, with a sport that gets exciting only when players start throwing punches!

since most of my pocket money goes to paying for yoga classes, i might actually skip a class and use the cash to pay to see the movie when it comes out... after all, listening to this wise guru will expand what i already know about yoga, right? :)

you can find all kinds of fun links to guru pitka, including his mini sutra videos, his words of wisdom, his myspace page, and much more, at the movie's website: thelovegurumovie.com


Thursday, April 24, 2008

yoga with the masters

it's late at night, and i've just returned home from the walt disney concert hall, where i spent two blissful hours with esa-pekka salonen, the LA philharmonic, mozart, and bruckner. classical music has a way of soothing the soul and calming the mind; it's like yoga for the ears...

to make sure i get my classical fix on a regular basis, i have a series subscription to the LA phil. just this past season alone, i've listened to concertos and symphonies by bartok, beethoven, britten, debussy, mozart, rachmaninoff, ravel, schubert, and more. while each experience gives me a chance to clear out my brain and familiarize myself with the music of the masters, it unfortunately takes away the precious time i need for my daily yoga practice.

ahhh... if only there were a way to do both at the same time...

and wouldn't you know it -- there is!

the first time i took brad keimach's symphonic yoga class at sacred movement (aka exhale venice), i found myself practically floating out the door when our class was over. the only word that described what i felt at the time was -- dare i say it? -- orgasmic! it was sensual. it was satisfying. and yes, i definitely wanted more :)

i admit, there's nothing new about doing a strong vinyasa flow class to classical music. most of the time, though, it's classical music woven into other styles of music -- contemporary, world, sacred, and so on. but in brad's case, it was purely classical. and what made it even more unique was that brad personally conducted every piece that was played in class!

you see, brad keimach is a yoga instructor who moonlights as a conductor (or is he a conductor who moonlights as a yoga instructor?). either way, under the baton of juilliard-trained keimach, the music was performed by, as he put it, "a pick-up group of freelancers in NYC, sometime between 1983 and 1996."

in brad's class, we were treated to excerpts from copland (appalachian spring), stravinsky (pulcinella suite), debussy (prelude to the afternoon of a faun), rodrigo (concierto de aranjuez), mascagni (cavalleria rusticana), and tchaikovsky (the nutcracker suite), as well as symphonies by dvorak, mahler, beethoven, brahms, and schubert. while i listened to brad masterfully guide our class from pose to pose, i imagined him doing the same as he guided the orchestra from note to note.

in fact, i was so astounded by the caliber of the performances on his playlist that i was determined to attend one of his live performances. luckily, not only did he have one scheduled soon after that class, but i was able to make it, too. this, of course, meant that i'd have to miss another yoga class... but it was worth it!

this time, he led the glendale youth orchestra, a group of talented middle-school through college kids from the LA area. these young musicians treated us to mozart's symphony no.35 as well as a selection of choruses from handel's messiah, featuring the voices of the southern california mormon choir. not only was i impressed with their interpretation of the music, but i was particularly amused by the fact that, this time, brad was dressed in a tie and tails, a far cry from his usual yoga tank and shorts :)

anyway, brad will be leading another class, symphonic yoga III, this saturday, april 26th, from 1:30 to 3:30pm at exhale venice. pre-registration is highly recommended.

according to his latest email update:

This event has all new music, all different from the music that was used for previous Symphonic Yoga events. The composers who will be heard this time include: Maher, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn. Dvorak, Beethoven, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Puccini, Bruch, Mozart, Bernstein, and Bach.

... and the next installment, symphonic yoga IV, is already scheduled for this coming june...

if i they had subscriptions to brad's series of symphonic yoga classes, just like they do to LA phil performances, i'd sign up just to make sure i can attend all of them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

earth dazed

in honor of earth day, i chose to take a yoga class with rudy mettia at truyoga earlier this evening. given the myriad of yoga options i had at my disposal, it was the most environmentally-friendly one for these reasons:

1. truyoga is located in santa monica, just a few blocks from where i live. which means that once i got to class from the office, i didn't have to use much more gas to get myself home afterwards.

2. truyoga is a "green" yoga studio; that is, its interior was built using recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow plumbing. even the props used in class -- mats, blocks, and straps -- are eco-friendly and non-toxic.

3. truyoga participated in last weekend's earth day at the promenade, an ecofest that featured vendors and environmental awareness groups that spread the gospel about greening our homes, our transportation, and more importantly, our lifestyle.

4. in observance of earth day, truyoga offered a FREE yoga class at noon today for all those who brought in recyclable goods: batteries, printer cartridges, cell phones, and so on. not only that, but there was FREE food after class, too!

5. best of all, while budgets are getting tighter due to increasing fuel and food charges, it's good to know that great yoga classes are still accessible, thanks to classes like rudy's that are donation-based.

and many more thanks to rudy for turning down the power, so to speak, in our class tonight. instead of my having to work at 125% of capacity to keep up with his instructions (he usually teaches a very demanding class), i only had to work at 75%. which really was just about all i could muster, given that i was still a bit jetlagged from my recent trip to DC.

speaking of DC and earth day, i was one of the thousands who showed up at the green apple festival on the mall this past sunday in washington.

the list of performers who were scheduled to appear was quite impressive. it included:
~ the roots & friends (featuring doug e. fresh, ne-yo, talib kweli, will.i.am, chrisette michele, wale and more)
~ gov't mule
~ umphrey's mcgee
~ o.a.r. (special acoustic kickoff set)
~ thievery corporation (dj set)
~ toots & the maytals
~ warren haynes solo acoustic
plus a special national anthem performance by american idol winner jordin sparks

considering that both friday and saturday were comfortably warm and sunny, i had hoped that sunday's forecast for rain and cool temps would somehow never come to pass. sadly, it was not to be.

it was already raining by the time i woke up sunday morning, and save for the few times the sun tried to peek through the clouds during the concert, it never really let up. i tried to weather the storm along with everyone else, but it just kept raining. and raining. and raining.

once the wind, the lightning, and the thunder were unleashed upon the now-dwindling crowd, the organizers realized that the battle had been lost; they canceled the rest of the event and sent us all home.

the next morning, the washington post published a recap of the earth day event. so in the spirit of conservation, instead of my expending more energy to give you the details, i'm going to share with you excerpts from that article (ok, call me lazy, but my body's still running on east coast time and is about to power down):

A Watered-Down Lineup
For Bands, It Paid to Play Early at Rain-Shortened Earth Day Concert on the Mall

By J. Freedom du Lac, Washington Post Staff Writer

They threw an environmental-themed party yesterday on a grassy patch of the Mall, but Mother Earth turned out to be a most disagreeable host. The Green Apple Festival was interrupted by a mid-afternoon electrical storm, which sent thousands of concertgoers scurrying for shelter in the nearby Smithsonian museums. After a 50-minute delay, the concert resumed -- but not for long: Organizers soon canceled the rest of the show because of the weather.

The Green Apple Festival partnered with the Earth Day Network to stage free concerts in eight U.S. cities yesterday, from San Francisco to New York. "And," Shapiro said, "we had great weather -- sun -- in the other seven cities." But the concert on the Mall was to have been the largest of the eight, a 7 1/2 -hour event featuring an eclectic lineup of artists and an equally eclectic group of activist speakers, from actor Edward Norton to NASA climatologist James Hansen.

Shapiro said he'd hoped to draw more than 100,000 people to the Washington concert, but the inclement weather kept attendance down: He estimated the crowd to be about 30,000 people throughout the day.

Still, spirits seemed to be high, as did some festival attendees themselves -- this being a green-leaning concert staged on April 20, which, of course, is shorthanded as 4/20, which, along with 4:20, happens to be counterculture code for smoking marijuana. (T-shirt slogan spotted in the crowd: "It's 4:20 Somewhere.")

As always at a concert-for-a-cause, art and message mixed and sometimes collided here. O.A.R., for instance, performed a cover of Bob Dylan's enduring protest anthem "The Times They Are a-Changin'," along with five of its own breezy, perfectly pleasant songs, which are a little bit reggae, a little bit lite-rock-and-soul. The group usually performs as a six-piece but pared down to an acoustic trio for the festival.

In the crowd, which seemed to be filled with college-age people, plus or minus a few years, somebody was passing out "Meat Is Murder" fliers, and there was a kid wearing a poncho with Bob Marley's dreadlocked visage on the back. There were guys going shirtless, and girls wore shorts and flip-flops, which kept getting stuck in the soggy grass. Garbage bags became popular rain slickers. A Frisbee was used as a rain hat. When the skies cracked open and drenched the festival-goers, which happened more than once, the festival-goers responded by cheering.

"Maybe they'll look back and call this Woodstock 2008!" said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network, in reference to the rainy 1969 celebration of peace and music. She then gave the fans the number for the U.S. Capitol switchboard and urged them all to call their congressional reps on Tuesday -- the actual Earth Day -- to voice their concern about the environment.

The festival was temporarily suspended just before 2:30 p.m. when the skies parted. "Holy Moses!" actor Chevy Chase marveled as rain began to drench the crowd. Moments later, an official announced that an electrical storm was passing over the Mall and that attendees should head to the nearby museums. A soggy sprint ensued.

The announcement came just after a powerhouse performance by the Indiana band Umphrey's McGee, whose singer, Brendan Bayliss, said: "You're all getting wet for a good cause."

After the delay, Chase returned to the stage. He was incredulous to discover that thousands had reconvened in front of the stage, given that it was still raining heavily.

"There's still some smoking going on, but apparently the wrong thing," he joked.

After a little more speechifying, another guitar wizard, Warren Haynes, performed a solo set in which he alternated between acoustic guitar and his signature Gibson Les Paul. The adopted Allman Brother also toggled between his own catalogue and covers, opening with "Fallen Down" and closing with a warm, soulful cover of "One," the popular U2 anthem about tolerance and unity. His walk-off gesture? A peace sign, natch.

Five minutes later -- just after 4:20, in fact -- the concert was called off, with another thunderstorm approaching the Mall.

Billed but never staged: Haynes's power-blues group, Gov't Mule; Toots and the Maytals; Washington-based electronica duo Thievery Corporation; and the hip-hop band the Roots, with special guests including Doug E. Fresh and Will.I.Am.

"I'm bummed, but one thing that helps is that there are seven other shows that are going great," Shapiro said. Then, he quickly went into promotional mode, promising to return next year for the second Green Apple Festival on the Mall.

"April 19, 2009," he said. And he already has a weather forecast: "I hear it's supposed to be a lot nicer than today."

Friday, April 18, 2008

girl about town

i'm in washington DC for a few days to visit my sister and to check out the local yoga scene -- what a surprise :)

i arrived in town just in time to make it to the last day of DC yoga week, where many of the better-known yoga studios in DC have been offering $5 yoga classes all week long. try to beat that, LA!

i flew in on the red-eye this morning from LAX, and three hours after my plane landed, i was already doing my first down dog of the day. nine hours later, i was rising from my third savasana. yes, my friends, THREE yoga classes in one day... in THREE different yoga studios! all this after a mere two hours of fitful sleep on the plane, thanks to the large man seated beside me who needed more space than his own seat provided :(

needless to say, my mind and body have turned to mush, so i'm headed off to bed.

before i do that, though, i'd like to thank stacie stukin, the resident LA blogger at yogajournal.com's samadhi in the city for including me in her list of notable LA yoga bloggers. here's what she said in her post, Blogging in L.A.:

For the girl about town, yoga socialite POV, visit Joni at Accidental Yogist. She seems to be everywhere at once and is happy to share details about her personal life as well as her yogic discoveries. The blog is also a great resource for calendar listings.

me, a yoga socialite? i suppose that's one way to describe someone who fills her entire social calendar with studio celebrations, kirtans, fundraisers, conferences, and other yoga-related activities... not to mention this latest bout of yoga madness in DC...

i need a life. and definitely some sleep!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

healing vibrations

my week got off to a rocky start when i received this email from my cousin marilou first thing monday morning. you know things aren't good when the subject line of an message contains nothing but the name of someone you know...

Monday, April 7th
Subject: Freddie

Just wanted you guys to know that Freddie got into a motorcycle accident last Saturday, April 5th. I believe he is O.K. for now. He is still in the hospital in Valencia recovering and is under observation. He had a head concussion, lost two teeth, and has bruises all over his body. He was on McBean Parkway when he was thrown off his bike and knocked unconscious. He does not remember the accident, nor who or what hit him. When he woke up, he was already in the hospital. He is always asking about his motorcycle because that was his joy and happiness. He doesn't seem to have any other serious injuries.
Your support and prayers will be appreciated during his recovery.

a follow-up came in soon afterwards from cousin larry and his wife trish; they live close to freddie and were able to visit him soon after the accident:

Monday, April 7th
Subject: RE:Freddie

We visited him yesterday. He is very lucky in that his blood clot in his head did not need surgery and he didn't incur any fractures.. I happened to be there when the neurosurgeon stopped by. Looks like he will need to slow down a bit.. meaning bed rest for a while until his body is fully healed.

the next day, marilou sent an update:

Tuesday, April 8th
Subject: RE:Freddie

Last night when we visited him, the nurse discovered a fracture in his right arm or wrist. He looked much better already, seems like Freddie is a fast healer...

and while the updates on freddie's improving condition continued to go back and forth among the cousins, this message found its way into my emailbox. it was forwarded to me by one of my running friends:

Tuesday, April 8th
Subject: Phyllis Goldstein

This is Phyllis's son Jeffrey replying with some sad news. My mother passed away over the weekend. As many of you probably know, she had recently experienced some health problems, and they seem to have caught up with her. You should know how important those of you who walked and exercised with her were to her. Jogging and walking were the things I believe she took most joy in. I was hoping that if any of you saw my mother on Saturday at the walk, you would kindly reply to this email and report anything you can about her condition or her spirits during the walk. It would be helpful for those of us who were not with her when she died to know something of the last days/hours of her life.

phyllis lived, and probably died, alone at her home in beverly hills. her husband, howard, the man who was the love and light of her life, had preceded her almost a year ago to the day. phyllis had been bravely trying to get along without him, but in her grief, her health had started to suffer. she managed to survive a stroke late last year and she was scheduled for heart surgery sometime after passover... phyllis was 72 when she passed away.

despite her weakened state, all of us who knew her were shocked by the news, especially since she seemed to be doing just fine the last time many of us saw her. while i pictured phyllis and howard finally reunited happily in heaven, i could only imagine the anguish her family was going through.

on thursday, april 10th, her obituary appeared in the los angeles times:

GOLDSTEIN, Phyllis Known to many as "Penny," passed away unexpectedly at her home on Saturday, April 5. She leaves behind her daughter, Jenette (Aaron Noble) and son Jeffrey (Annie Barrows), and her beloved grandchildren Pablo, Danilo, Shifra, Clio and Esme to join her late husband Howard Goldstein. Friends and family are welcome at her memorial service at Hillside Memorial Park on Friday, April 11, at noon.

shortly thereafter, i notified my co-workers that i was planning to take a long lunch break the next day so that i could attend the services at the jewish cemetery located a few miles from the office.

when i arrived at work friday morning, the email message at the top of my inbox was from my manager:

Friday, April 11th
Subject: Brian Donahue

I am very saddened to pass along some news regarding one of our team members. Brian Donahue passed away at his home in Philadelphia this week...

oh my god... first it was jeannie a mere two months ago. now it's phyllis AND brian in the same week! WHY IS EVERYONE DYING?!?!

we knew that brian had recently been battling a liver disease. sometime last year, he picked up either a virus or an infection -- my mind's a bit muddled right now -- and it damaged his liver. not to the point of his needing a transplant, but it was close. he seemed to take it all in stride, continuing to juggle his meds while he flew back and forth between his home in philly and his job here in LA.

on monday, he called to say that he would work remotely from home because he wasn't feeling well. by wednesday, his close friends started to worry; they hadn't heard a peep from him -- nor from anyone else for that matter, because he lived alone. by friday, we received the bad news: it was a heart attack.

updated 4/16: funeral arrangements were finalized once brian's body was flown from philadelphia back to his family in canada. the details were published in the ottawa citizen on wednesday, april 16th:

DONAHUE, Brian J. Suddenly at his home in Philadelphia, on Thursday, April 10, 2008 at the age of 52. Loving son of Jerry and Claudette Donahue of Nepean. Dear brother of Patrick, Catherine and Margaret. Fondly remembered by many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues. Brian was a graduate of Carleton University in Civil Engineering and most recently was Senior Principal Consultant for Oracle Corporation. Friends are invited to visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry on Friday, April 18th from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, April 19th at 11 a.m. in St. Maurice Roman Catholic Church.

later that day, i found myself mourning the loss of not one, but two friends. while i listened to the beautiful tributes phyllis's family and friends shared with us at her memorial services, i couldn't help but wonder what happened to brian... and the beautiful tributes his family and friends would share with those who would attend his services.

needless to say, by that evening, i was in no mood to take a yoga class. instead, i reached out to a friend who also happens to live alone. i picked up dinner on my way to her place and we ended up spending the next few hours talking about the dead and the living (i know it sounds morbid, but when you experience as many deaths as i did this week, you can't help but dwell on the subject)...

i sought some kind of solace from the madness of it all... and found it earlier this evening at mary donovan's level 1 class at santa monica yoga. mary had invited the singing group of a former student, diane rose, to sing for us during class. according to the flyer,

Join us for a totally new physical and sonic experience. The Namaste Women's Choir will perform live, offering the healing vibrations of a cappella choral music while you practice.

all i really expected to hear was some melodic chanting, probably during savasana. and maybe they would even invite us to sing along at the end of class. you know, the same old, same old.

boy, was i wrong!

not only did they start with some gentle humming while we were seated in meditation at the beginning of the class, but this marvelous group of sixteen women continued to inspire us with an outstanding array of choral selections as we progressed through our asanas. their music was both sacred and secular. christian and jewish. traditional and contemporary. and yes, there was at least one sanskrit chant. by the time we had completed savasana and were seated in final meditation, their alleluias had reached such a crescendo that passersby on the street had actually stopped in front of the studio's doors to find the source of the magnificent chorus.

if this is what the choirs of angels sound like in heaven, phyllis and brian are now there to experience it for themselves...

may they both rest in peace.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

you have the right to remain silent...

there's something definitely screwy when it's perfectly ok to run naked in public, but not to meditate (fully clothed, i should add) in public :(

here's a video of what happened at the public display of meditation led by max simon and his self-centered tribe on hollywood boulevard last month, courtesy of yogamates.com and lime.com: balance

maybe the authorities were threatened by the obvious presence of super heroes such as batman, spiderman, the hulk, zorro, and wait... who's that... jack sparrow?

thanks to kezia for passing along this vidbit!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

the right to run naked

while reading up the latest latimes.com update on today's controversial olympic torch run in san francisco, this entry caught my eye -- naked yoga?

Three men who billed themselves as "naked torch runners" ended up as naked torch walkers, shuffling through a thick crowd along the Embarcadero.

"We want to demonstrate the spirit of the original Olympics, which was a nudist event," said George Davis, a San Francisco writer who said his most recent book is called "Naked Yoga."

Davis, who was stark-naked except for his shoes, carried his cellphone and clothes in a satchel swung over his shoulder.

The naked men carried a 3-foot-tall cardboard torch with the words "Human Rights" written on it.

"We're here to promote human rights for everybody everywhere," Davis said.

i'm not quite sure what running naked has to do with human rights... unless running naked was a human right that the nuns conveniently neglected to teach us in elementary school?

but then again, we're talking san francisco here. this is the same city whose largest footrace, the bay to breakers 12K -- and whose catchphrase is "show me yours!" -- has a large contingent of naked runners every year (and honestly, after running alongside them a number of times, i believe i have the right to be protected from having to look at some of those bodies!)

anyway, i looked into this "naked yoga" guy and found some of his background information:

George Davis is a well known author of the book, Naked Yoga, and nudist activist. In 2007, he decided to run for mayor to serve the City of San Francisco and advance the ideas for a Free Body Culture. The Free Body Culture (FKK-Freikorperkultur) is a century old social/cultural movement advocating nudity in home, leisure, recreation, and sports. His first act as mayor would have been to work to make Golden Gate Park clothing optional like the great urban parks in Europe.

In June 2007, George was arrested and cited for indecent exposure four times with handcuffs, paddy wagon, and holding cells. All of these arrests were immediately discharged by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, because nudity is not a crime in San Francisco or the State of California unless one is lewd or blocking traffic.
(emphasis mine -- i'm filing that under: good to know)

and as for his book, here's what it's supposedly about:

Naked Yoga is a photo-illustrated book with 24 participants of various ages, races, sexes, and body shapes demonstrating yoga naked. There is a whimsical section titled,"What the world would be like if you could do naked yoga in public." The book's definition of yoga are exercises and postures that one can do with limited space and no equipment including clothing. 234 pages.

hmmm... call me a prude, but i don't think i'm ready for naked yoga in public just yet... nor naked running, for that matter...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

a fundraiser for flood victims

no, this isn't about trying to get the people of new orleans back into their pre-katrina homes; brad pitt's busy taking care of that.

this is about trying to keep liberation yoga financially afloat after flood damage from burst water pipes caused the cancellation of almost half of all their classes. that plus the need to repair and/or replace much of their interior space has severely impacted their bottom line.

if you've ever been fortunate enough to walk through the welcoming front door (or even the back door) of this little gem in the mid-wilshire area, you'll know why there's been such an outpouring of love and support from all of their students.

i received this email from glendene yesterday; i'm going to give her the floor so she can tell you all about the upcoming fundraiser herself (and that pun was totally unintentional):

Dear Friends of Liberation Yoga,

I am very excited to announce that we will be holding a special fundraiser for Liberation Yoga. I got the idea from a friend who threw a similar fundraiser for a teacher who underwent open heart surgery in 2007. The community got together and raised over $4000 to help this person who was unable to work during his two-month recuperation period. It was a beautiful gesture of love from the community to make an offering like this to someone who needed a little extra help in a time of need, and it was so easy to do.

Well, Gary and Christine could use our support too. Many of you are aware that in February a pipe burst in the studio, which caused some major structural damage to the indoor studio floor and walls. Because Liberation had to cancel 50% of their classes for 12 days so the floors could dry, they lost a substantial amount of revenue. I would like to help them recoup some of their lost revenue, and I am humbly asking that the Liberation community to help me in this endeavor.

I have rented a space large enough for literally hundreds of people to gather. Steven Espinosa, Ashley Albrand, and Jessie Diaz-Perez have volunteered their time to teach a two-hour yoga class for our great community. All that is requested of you is to make a minimum contribution of $20, which will go directly to Christine and Gary. Even if you cannot make the event please feel free to make a contribution. Those of you who practice yoga at Liberation know that we are not only supporting a business, but we are supporting a sanctuary. To many of us Liberation is a respite from the crazy city of L.A.

I hope to see you all there, and thank you so much in advance for your generous and loving support.

When: Sunday, April 27, 2008 2:30-4:30pm
Where: Women's Club of Hollywood, 1749 N La Brea Ave, Hollywood
Donation: if you are paying by check, please make the check out to either Christine Burke or Gary McCleery

Please RSVP to Glendene at liberation_community@yahoo.com by April 20, 2008.


and while we're on the subject of the flood damage, here's an update from christine. the fact that she can still inject humor into the situation totally amazes me... but then again, she is an amazing person :)


"Holy $#@*! I have never, in all my years, seen a floor do that! That is UNBELIEVABLE!" ~ the floor specialist who is installing the new floor at Liberation

So in addition to being chosen as the "Best Yoga Studio In LA" for two consecutive years it seems we could win the "Best Warped and Damaged Floor" for 2008!!! And most certainly Liberation Yoga students win the most flexible (of mind!!) and limber of body for spending so much time on that crazy floor! Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is finally in motion - Shiva has struck and the sound of saws and drills and bursting floorboards are like music to our ears. You will all be happy to know that there was nothing scary under there - only air! A lot of hot air!

So in our attempts to not disrupt everyone's schedule too much we are going to practice guerilla yoga for the evening classes. What this means is that we will use the room which is mostly concrete and we will lay a carpet over that and some of the wood too. By doing this we only have to cancel a few of the daytime classes but not the evening for only the next 3-4 days.

Below is the schedule which lists the classes that are happening and says in block letters the classes that are not. Please read carefully. Thank you all immensely for your support and perseverance and please come to class because it's always better to have yoga than not to have yoga!!

7:00-8:30am Level 1-2 - Lynn Taylor (Garden)
9:00am ASHTANGA CANCELLED // 9:00-10:30am Iyengar - Pagan (Garden)
11:00am-12:30pm - Level 1 - Susan Kaye (Garden)
5:00-6:30pm All Levels - Sarah Isenberg (Garden)
6:30-8:00pm Level 1 - Cathie Baker (Inside) // 6:30-8:00pm Flow - Ashley Albrand 2-3 (Garden)
8:00-9:30pm All Levels Flow - Alicia Johnson

9:00-11:00am Ashtanga - Joel Bender (Garden) // 9:30am FLOW CANCELLED
11:00am-12:30pm Level 1 - Jessie Diaz-Perez (Garden)
4:30pm All Levels - Jennifer Long (Garden)
6:30-8:00pm Level 1 - Kathleen Ross-Allee (Inside) // 6:30-8:00pm Flow 2-3 - Christine Burke (Garden)
8:00-9:30pm Level 2 - Erica Kyriakatos (Inside) // 8:30-9:30pm Meditation - Deborah Tull (Garden)

7:00-8:30am Level 1 - Lynn Taylor (Garden)
9:00-11:00am Ashtanga - Joel Bender (Garden) // 9:30am IYENGAR CANCELLED
11:00am-12:30pm Level 1 - Sarah Hemphill
4:30-6:00pm All Levels - Laurie Searle (Garden)
6:30-8:00pm Gentle Restorative - Jeanne Korn (Inside) // 6:30-8:00pm Flow 2-3 - Ashley Albrand (Garden)
8:00-9:30pm Level 1 - Christine Burke (Garden) // 8:00-9:30pm All Levels Flow - Alicia Johnson (Inside)

We hope to be back to normal on Thursday; if not, we will send out an email on Wednesday to update everyone!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

chanting the blues

it was a sea of blue at the NCAA final four basketball matchups in san antonio this afternoon. for the earlier game, it was the blue and gold of the #1 UCLA bruins against the blue and gray of the #1 memphis tigers. and for the later game, it was the blue and white of the #1 north carolina tarheels versus the crimson and blue of the #1 kansas jayhawks. and as always happens at any kind of athletic competition, even if the teams are top-seeded, someone has to win. and sadly, someone has to lose.

my friend tom and i met to watch the UCLA-memphis game at the local beer and pizza joint near his home earlier this afternoon. we were both UCLA alums; strangely enough, we both graduated the same year but never knew each other way back then. he was an econ major who spent his days studying supply and demand up in the north campus while i was a computer science major who spent my nights writing program code down in the south campus. ahhh... those were the days...

my allegiance was fairly obvious. i showed up clad in the colors of our alma mater -- a bright blue sweatshirt with a fairly large (and loud) UCLA embroidered in gold on the front -- while he, for some reason, was more lowkey; he chose to wear a rather neutral gray sweater. memphis gray? how could he? and i thought he was a bigger bruin fan than i was. oh well.

things started out nicely enough. UCLA drew first blood and scored the first points of the game. in short time, memphis not only caught up but managed to stay ahead... all the way to the final buzzer. argh!

not only did my team lose, but since i had put my money on the bruins to win the whole shebang in my basketball bracket in the office pool, i pretty much had to kiss my investment goodbye. i suppose i could learn to love leftovers...

too stunned to think of anything interesting to do that evening, i headed back to the westside, out to steve ross's monthly kirtan at maha yoga in brentwood. and yes, i was still wearing my blue and gold sweatshirt. i mean, why change? i was clearly there to vent and chant out my depression. i was there to chant the blues away.

led by steve ross on guitar, mark gorman on bass, and girish on percussion, it felt good to just let it out. especially when we got to what steve fondly referred to as the airport mantra:

hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare
hare krishna kare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

i could've gone on all night, but unfortunately, no amount of chanting would have been able to change the outcome of the game. maybe the mighty bruins will do better next year?

hmmm... maybe i should keep on chanting until then, just in case...

Friday, April 04, 2008

a month of earthly delights

in addition to all these events that are coming your way in april, don't forget to check out the earth day celebrations that'll be held around town this month...

ongoing events:

Tuesday Night Yoga
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Every Tuesday 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE

This month's classes are all led by incredible Forrest Yoga teachers that are local to our area!
April Fool's Class - Ben Fritz
April 8th - Brian Campbell
April 15th - Samara Glassman
April 22nd - Angela
April 29th - SPECIAL TWO HOUR workshop with Forrest Yogis Ben Fritz and Brian Campbell. Don't miss this class!
(see "other events" section below for teacher bios)

Yoga for Runners with Steve Mackel
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Every Thursday 6:30pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for Runners Yoga with acclaimed ChiRunning coach Steve Mackel.
Yoga for Runners – Coach Steve Mackel works on creating overall balance, taking runners through a series of yoga poses and explains the correlations between the pose and the biomechanics of running. He also moves students through vinaysa flow series while he focuses on creating strength first and flexibility second. (60 minutes)
*WEATHER PERMITTING. Please check the events section for further information if it is a rain day.

All-levels Fitness Class
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Every Sunday 9:30-10:45 am
Cost: FREE

Various styles of yoga, pilates, personal training, all levels - perfect for beginner, intermediate or advanced practitioners. Great for adults and teens. Check our community events listing, we do family classes too!
Weekly classes are followed by healthy snacks to refuel!
Sample some of the Los Angeles area's best instructors in a non-intimidating environment, deepen your practice with personal attention in an intimate space and practice with us!
We have community mats for our guests.
(see "other events" section below for weekly class schedule)

Community Fitness Classes
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Every Sunday 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Complimentary Community Fitness classes on Sundays at 9:30 am - 10:30 am.
(see "other events" below for weekly class schedule)

All-levels Yoga
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Every Sunday 10:00am
Cost: FREE

These classes are outside, in back of our store. We suggest you dress in layers, appropriate for the current temperature. Bring your own mat or we can provide you an awesome Lululemon mat. Just show up. No RSVP needed.
*WEATHER PERMITTING. Please check the events section for further information if it is a rain day.
(see "other events" section below for weekly class schedule)

Friday Night Groove Night
Yoga Groove, North Hollywood
Friday, April 4th (1st Friday of every month) 7:45-9:15pm
Cost: Regular class

Uniquely themed classes created by the Yoga Groove staff. May include candlelight, live music, dance, meditation, singing, and chocolate.
Please check www.yogagroovestudio.com for details of each week.

Devotional Chanting
Ananda Los Angeles, Santa Monica
Every Saturday 7:30-9:00pm

If you like music, either singing yourself, or sitting quietly while others make music around you, come take part in Ananda's chanting sessions (kirtan in the Sanskrit language).
The sacred sounds of chants penetrate deeply into the consciousness. They have the power to transform and uplift the soul, and to open the heart. Chanting is an excellent, easy way to lift your spirits, and revitalize yourself after a long week of work.
Yogananda and Kriyananda have written many beautiful chants in English. We also sing some traditional chants of India in Sanskrit. Melodies are simple, and usually repetitious so you can easily join in. The chants are usually accompanied by harmonium, guitar, drums and cymbals.
Some Kirtans will be dedicated to Babaji and Lord Krishna with chants, stories of these great saints, an arati, and periods of meditation.
We pull out all the stops and let the devotion flow with chanting on harmonium, guitar, drums and cymbals.
Come ready to clap, sing and let your heart open wide to God's blessings.

Chanting Workshop
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Saturday, April 5th 4:00-6:00pm
Cost: FREE

If you love to chant or want to learn, this is your chance! Come for a relaxed afternoon of Kirtan (mantra chanting) and good company. Practice the traditional call-and-response Sivananda daily chants, experiment with rhythm, become confident to lead chants, learn new ones. It's easy, and uplifting.
Mantra chanting is the most joyful when done in a group. The awakening energy develops devotion and selfless love. These are wonderful complements to your hatha yoga practice.

Kirtan in the Canyon with Andrew and Michele and Friends
Yoga Desa, Topanga
Saturday, April 5th (1st Saturday of every month) 7:00pm

Singing these special songs with full enthusiasm is a meditation in itself and can leave you quite happy and high. See for yourself.
Call (818) 340-6088 for information.

Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Brentwood
Saturday, April 5th 8:00pm
Cost: A Donation for our musicians

We invite you to join us for a blissful evening of chanting.
The evening will open your heart, still your mind and lead you to a state of profound euphoria.
Wear comfortable clothing, bring a cushion to sit on and enjoy.

Kirtan at SMPY West
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturdays, April 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: By Donation

Our instructors will hold a candlelit evening of Kirtan/Chanting every Saturday of the month. Different instructors lead each week and always on donation basis.
1st Saturday of every month, Govindas and Radha (kirtanwithgovindas.com)
2nd Saturday of every month, Travis (traviseliot.com)
3rd Saturday of every month, Andres
4th Saturday of every month, Terra and Friends (terrawellness.com)
Bring meditation cushions or blanket (no yoga mat). Wear comfy clothes.
Come sing from the deepest corner of your heart!

FREE Community Night: The Basics of a Meditation Practice
City Yoga, West Hollywood
Tuesday, April 8th (2nd Tuesday of every month) 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

Everything you truly seek, you already contain.
Join Senior certified Anusara Yoga instructor Noah Mazé for a practical and experiential evening to empower you to start, or refine, a meditation practice.
Attendees are welcome to bring questions.

Kirtan with Daniel, Larry, Sarah and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, April 11th (2nd Friday of every month) 8:15pm
Cost: $15 Suggested donation

Come join Daniel and many talented musical guests for a joyful evening of music, meditation, and chanting. No singing experience needed, only a willingness to open your heart to the blissful flow.
Welcome the spring and the lengthening days with a flow class at 6:30 and a rocking Kirtan at 8:15.
Attend one or both. Regular class fee for class, Kirtan by donation.
Singing Kirtan has been a such a pleasure and we are building a powerful community with these regular events.

Zen Dancing Ritual Concert with Micheline Berry, Craig Kohland + Shaman's Dream
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, April 12th (Second Saturday of each month) 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

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

Join the evoLUtion with Global Green!
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Every month 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

Join the evoLUtion is a monthly event in which an inspiring guest speaker addresses current social/spiritual/environmental issues followed by a radiant, heart-opening yoga class. This is a unique opportunity to gather with your local community and learn ways to make a difference in our world through embodied spirituality and compassionate action. Participants will explore these ideas through, asana, music, and meditation.
Kia Miller will be leading us through asana and meditation during this soulful, uplifting event. Come and enjoy!
April's guest speaker is Richard Wegman of Global Green, an organization that orchestrates environmental community based projects around the world.
For more information on them visit www.globalgreen.org
This event begins at 7:30 and lasts approximately 2 hours.

Ananda Ritam - A Benefit for Shanti House with Saul David Raye + Special Guests
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Friday, April 25th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance; $20 at the door

Dancing and singing have long been sacred healing practices to awaken the life force, connect us to spirit and embody an ecstatic connection to the Divine force that sustains all life. Join us for this transformational evening of breathwork, chanting, live music and sacred dance to celebrate life, support Shanti House and open to the very rhythm, energy and bliss of existence.
Shanti House is a non-profit seva organization whose goal is to empower and involve the local healing community to provide food, healing services, wellness education and yoga to the homeless, at-risk youth and those in need in our community. Shanti House will aid and support other local non-profits already in the community.

Kirtan (call and response chanting) with Travis Eliot, Daniel Stewart, and Friends
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Saturday, April 26th 8:00-9:30 PM
Cost: By Donation

Yoga For A Cause Donation Class With Laurie Searle & Molly Roemer

Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Cost: By Donation

Yoga For A Cause is an all levels donation based class that happens the last Sunday of each month. This program is designed and orchestrated by Laurie Searle (Founder of ewishingwell.org), Christine Burke and Ashley Albrand and will include other teachers at Liberation Yoga. Every penny donated will go to the cause of the month. These causes will range from animal rights to kids rights and everything and anything where there is the need for our support. We hope to bring some awareness and financial aid to those who need it most while offering up our spirit and energy towards the highest good - all this and a fun and healthy yoga class too! Please come join us and no donation is too small. For more information on some of the organizations that will be sponsored and for information on ewishingwell - visit www.ewishingwell.org.
THE COALITION FOR CLEAN AIR is the only statewide organization advocating exclusively for healthy air for all Californians. Since 1971, CCA has worked to restore clean air in California through advocacy, outreach and education. www.coalitionforcleanair.org

other special events:

Free Class with Desiree Bartlett
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Tuesday, April 1st 2:30pm
Cost: FREE

Please join Desiree Bartlett for a special COMPLIMENTARY class sponsored by lululemon! All levels welcome.

Tuesday Night Yoga with Ben Fritz
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Tuesday, April 1st 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE

"When I first came to yoga I was a 235 pound injured college linebacker who couldn't touch my toes. Patience and persistence were things I learned to embrace.
Slowly, with consistent practice my breath began to open up my body, and then I began to experience my spirit. I began to explore all the many modalities in the healing arts; yoga, Qi Gong, massage, nutrition, meditation, and more."
for more information on Ben visit www.deserthealer.net

SUZANNE TENG and MYSTIC JOURNEY: a World Music Dance Concert
BONSORTE STUDIO, 2401 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
Saturday, April 5th 8:00pm
Cost: $20

Join us for a mystical musical journey with contemporary world music ensemble featuring:
Suzanne Teng, world flutes
Gilbert Levy, world percussion
Dann Torres, oud, guitar, electric sitar
Alex Spurkel, world percussion
Jon Ossman, bass
Andrew Werderitsch, didgeridoo
Celebrate spring with friends, great world music and dancing in this beautiful space!

Yoga Booty Ballet with Swerve founder & lululemon ambassador Gillian Clark!
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, April 6th 9:30-10:45 am
Cost: FREE

Join lululemon Ambassador Gillian for a signature Swerve class, Yoga Booty Ballet.
An empowering hybrid of MEDITATION, exhilarating cardio DANCE, the grace, poise and strength of BALLET and the POWER and flexibility of Hatha YOGA. Signature moves combine with ancient techniques designed to shake, lift and enhance your fine muscular ass and divine essence.
We'll be heading to the park to have class in the grass! We'll leave from the store promptly at 9:30 AM.
Park is located at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and Beverly Drive.

Sunday Yoga Class with Carolyn Sachs
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, April 6th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Lululemon ambassador, Carolyn Sachs, leads this special Sunday morning practice.
If you were to ask me, "What kind of yoga do you teach?" then my reply would have to be, "I share what I know and what I am...and do really cool asanas that make you feel great!"
Limited "community" mats are available. Bringing your own mat is encouraged. As class fill up quickly and space is limited, please come early.
Please dress in layers so that you may remove articles as you warm-up during the class. Our space is outdoors behind the store on the patio (accessible through the alley on Delacey).

Partner yoga with Matthew Cohen
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Sunday, April 6th 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $30

In this workshop we will extend our solo experience and share it with another. Consciously working with another person translates into useful life skills. Partner Yoga deepens our sensitivity, awareness and compassion. The mutual support and connection to others strengthens the sense of community. We will focus on breath, postural alignment & placement. Ultimately, working with partners allows us to learn more about ourselves. This is a potent, enlightening and joyful workshop. Partner Yoga is a creative way to revisit your practice using touch as communication while enjoying the benefits of moving deeper into one's practice with a little help from a friend! Class will include backbends, forward bends, balance, twists and more...Bring a partner or one will be provided for you! Matthew incorporates practices from dance, yoga, chi kung (qi gong) and martial arts.
All levels are welcome.

Kirtan with Girish
Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice
Sunday, April 6th 6:30-9:00pm
Cost: $15 (members), $20 (non-members). Cash only at door

It's kirtan time again! Please join us for another wonderful evening of singing and chanting with Girish! To know more about Girish, go to www.girishmusic.com
Register on www.yogimilan.com to become a member. Buy tickets for this event on www.yogimilan.com in the 'events' section or Click here to buy tickets now!
Feel free to bring blankets and pillows to get comfy in the kirtan hall.
There is parking for 40 cars at the venue. Rest will have to park on the streets.

Tuesday Night Yoga with Brian Campbell
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Tuesday, April 8th 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE

Brian Campbell is a senior mentor teacher in the Forrest Yoga system. He taught at the Forrest Yoga Institute in Santa Monica for 4 years, where he completed Forrest Yoga's foundational Teacher Training, and twice completed the Advanced Teacher Training. Brian currently teaches at Exhale's Center for Sacred Movement in Venice and Shakti's Elements in Santa Monica. Brian is also a skilled bodyworker specializing in opening blockages and healing pain.
for more information on Brian visit www.bodyworkyoga.com

Anusara-inspired yoga with Georgina Purple
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Wednesday, April 9th 7:00-8:00pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for an evening of restorative yoga with lululemon ambassador Georgina Purple.

Spring has Sprung, part 2 with Lululemon ambassador Steve Mackel
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Thursday, April 10th 6:30pm
Cost: FREE

Spring has Sprung - That's right, the Spring Equinox was March 20 which opens the door to a yogic spring ritual of 108 Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar).
I have probably done this ritual 4 times over the last 8 years and I usually have better years when I sweat out the 108 compared to when I don't. From what I understand, and for me, it is spring cleaning for the body, mind and spirit.
We will be doing 54 Sun Salutations (A series) in sets of 7 each Thursday. Each set we will dedicate and meditate on different intentions. This practice will take about 1.5 hours each Thursday (the first session was held March 26th).
I can't say enough about this practice and how it can help your focus, strength and your ability to deal with challenges. This is why it is perfect for runners or anyone.

Calling The Spirits: An evening of Mysical Mantra Music with Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band
Yoga Works Main Street, Santa Monica
Friday, April 11th 8:15-10:15pm
Cost: $15 early, $20 at the door

Savor the spicy grooves and dreamy melodies of this beloved New Orleans band who put a funky, mystic twist on kirtan.
This evening’s candlelight concert will consist of call-and-response chanting and mantra-based songs that soothe your soul in one moment and drive you into wild celebration in the next. Sean will also share inspiring stories and insights about the healing power of mantra and music. Traditionally at the end of the concert the band invites everyone to lay down as they offer a calming lullaby to send participants home into dreamy relaxation. Sean says, “Like gospel music and other forms of musical devotion on the planet, kirtan music is an incredible way to lift your spirit and celebrate life. We create a comfortable atmosphere where people feel really free and open to explore this transformative music in their own way -- whether that’s singing along, dancing, or resting into the grooves.”

5th Annual NBC4 and Telemundo 52 Health & Fitness Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A, 1201 South Figueroa St, Los Angeles
Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April 13th 10:00am-5:00pm
Cost: FREE

NBC4 and Telemundo 52's two-day Health and Fitness Expo brings together fun activities, cooking demonstrations, health and lifestyle professionals, nonprofit organizations and vital medical screenings at no charge to the public.
Adults and children alike will enjoy the other entertaining activities offered at the Expo. A full schedule of activities, including seminars, dance, fitness and healthy cooking demonstrations, will take place on three different stages, including:
10:00am and 4:00pm - Laughter Yoga with Kim Selbert and Angela Rodriguez (Saturday, April 12th, at the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Dance Place)

YOGA4Drummers with Stefan Storace
REMO Recreational Music Center, 7308 Coldwater Canyon Ave, North Hollywood
Saturday, April 12th 2:00-3:30pm
Cost: $15, Cash only please

Yoga helps to align the body to have movement, breath, and blood flow in rhythmic harmony. Drumming helps to build the body's immune system. Yoga and Drumming is a perfect match.
Learn to relax before and after playing your drum. Learn how to warm up, relax, and open your body for optimal performance.
In this very special and unique Yoga4drummers workshop, a drum circle will kick the event off to get the juices flowing. We will then move into a series of very simple stretches, joint openings and movements that you can take home or on the road. Simple breathing exercises will be taught to relax, invigorate and release stress throughout the body. Lululemon Athletica will provide yoga mats if you don't have one. Please bring a towel and water.
(818) 982-0461 ~ contact Mike or Jerry

Yoga Flow with Diane Hudock
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, April 13th 9:30-10:45 am
Cost: FREE

Sunday yoga with Sri Moss
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, April 13th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Complimentary in-store yoga with Sri Moss from Yoga Works!

Iyengar Yoga with Michael Ruccolo
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, April 13th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join Michael Ruccolo of Lyfe Yoga Center in Hermosa Beach for an Iyengar Yoga class.
Iyengar Yoga is an inspired and innovative approach to the classical Eastern discipline. Iyengar yoga has been developed over a period of seventy years by B.K.S. Iyengar that encourages weak parts to strengthen and stiff areas to stretch, thus awakening and realigning the whole body. As the body moves into better alignment, less muscular work is required, and relaxation occurs naturally.

Namaste Women's Choir with Mary Donovan
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, April 13th 5:30pm
Cost: Regular class

The Namaste Women's Choir will be performing live during a level one yoga class with the amazing Mary Donovan. To attend, you just need to go to the class (of course, donations for the choir will be greatly appreciated).
The choir is a group of women dedicated to learning and performing choral music in a supportive and enjoyable atmosphere, focusing on inspirational choral music from all traditions and religions. This secular ensemble uses music to elevate their audiences and to introduce them to the vast beauty of choral music for women, while bringing peace and understanding to the community.

Off the Mat, Into the World Benefit Flow Class with Special Guests SEANE CORN and SUZANNE STERLING
Yoga Loft Manhattan Beach
Friday, April 18th 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: $35 suggested donation

A Benefit Flow Class with kirtan and thoughts on Global Awareness.

Kirtan with Michael Dunn
Yoga Works Pacific Palisades
Friday, April 18th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 early, $20 at the door

Join Michael Dunn for peace producing Kirtan with an appealing Western flavor.

A Night of Acoustic Yoga with Jo Tastula
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, April 19th 8:15-10:00pm
Cost: $25

Join acclaimed singer/songwriter Tom Freund and creative dharma yoga flow teacher Jo Tastula for an evening of acoustic yoga. Come commune with community, move and groove to soulful original organic vibes, and celebrate Gaia on one of her many Earth Day festivities. Jo will lead a mixed level flow class which will touch and movie everything to the inspirational musings of one of today’s most talented artists.

Sunday in-store yoga with Diana Storace
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, April 20th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Join us for our complimentary in-store yoga class, instructed by Diana of Garden of Yoga.

Level 1/2 Flow Yoga with Amber Gross
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, April 20th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join Amber Gross of Movement Studios in Westchester for a 1/2 Flow Yoga class.

Sunday Yoga with John Bea!
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, April 20th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

John Bea leads our all levels yoga class today! John is definitely a favorite teacher as his classes are for those who like to get that yoga flow going.

Yantra (Sacred Geometry) Painting Workshop
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Sunday, April 20th 1:00-5:00pm
Cost: $30 members, $40 non-members (includes materials)

Yantra painting is a sacred art, based on the Vedas, the ancient Indian scriptures of knowledge and wisdom.
This workshop will be led by Vidya and Rajeshwari, who have both learnt Yantra painting from Dutch master artist, Pieter Weltevrede. They invite you to discover the delights of constructing and painting your own Yantra and the good news is that you don’t need to be an artist! We will provide paper and some tools, but please bring a sharp lead pencil, an eraser, ruler and compass if you have one.
The act of drawing and painting Yantras is a deeply meditative experience and it teaches the mind how to concentrate, how to be one-pointed. This practice is fascinating and absorbing and creating a Yantra can yield valuable lessons. Yantra drawing requires accuracy, exactness, discipline, concentration, neatness and patience. The geometrical forms of the Yantra activate the right hemisphere of the brain, which is visual and nonverbal.
Especially for Westerners, who are more left hemisphere dominated and are deficient in right hemisphere education which causes some loss of imagination and of faith in higher values. Right hemisphere education through art, dance and music is needed to restore the balance. By coloring and drawing the geometrical Yantra diagrams, based on the mathematical perfection of sages of the East, Westerners can make both their hemispheres work simultaneously and calmly, achieve faith and live in constant awareness.

Sat Kartar Kaur: “Listen” Kirtan/Chant Meditation Concert
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Friday, April 25th 7:30pm
Cost: $20 if paid by 4/24, $25 at the door

Sat Kartar Kaur's offerings of music synthesize Eastern and Western influences, but are centered in her life study and practice of Sikh Kirtan and Kundalini and Naad Yoga. Her unique vocal style ranges from the ethereal mystic space created in her Indian classical raga recordings, to groove-driven, gutsy interpretations of chants, hymns, songs, and stories.
Sat Kartar has performed, taught, and facilitated sacred music experiences in India, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Australia, and the U.S. for over over 30 years in a wide variety of venues, including clubs, art openings, yoga center.

Symphonic Yoga III with Brad Keimach ~ Mozart, Beethoven, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and friends, and you
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, April 26th 1:30-3:30pm
Cost: $25

This is a Level 2/3 Vinyasa Flow class, set to classical music. The composers whose music will accompany this special class include Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Verdi, Puccini, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Strauss, and Mendelssohn, among others. All of the performances were conducted by Brad from his professional conducting days in New York. come and see how your practice feels, and how your breath moves when accompanied by some of the towering geniuses of classical music! A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Temple Bhajan Band Workshop and Kirtan
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Saturday, April 26th 4:00-8:30pm
Cost: $45 for the whole program!

Come join with us for an afternoon and evening of celebration, chanting, and incredible bhajans played by LA's very own Temple Bhajan Band.
4:00-6:00pm: Harmonium & Kirtan Workshop
6:00-7:00pm: Feast!
7:00-8:30pm: Kirtan performance
The Temple Bhajan Band is a group of devotional chanters that tours Southern California's Yoga Studios, Yoga Retreats, and various social events. They have been together for 5 years. The heart of the band is Sura whose voice is legendary among practitioners of Yoga and Interfaith followers. While Sura sings to the accompaniment of the harmonium he leads the rest of the members on instruments such as the esaraja, tamboura, kartals, flute, violin, and mrdunga drum in a dynamic symphony that is timeless. The Temple Bhajan Band plays ancient Vedic bhajans, which include mantras and chants from spiritual India. Many of the chants are done in a responsive fashion where the audience can participate and experience the purifying pleasure of the chanting.

Recover from Taxes: A Restorative Workshop to Relax and Restore the body and mind with Leslie Porter
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Saturday, April 26th 5:00-7:00pm
Cost: $35 pre-registered by April 21, $40 registered after April 21

In this class, we’ll practice gentle asanas (yoga postures) with the support of blankets, bolsters, and other props and pranayama (breathing techniques) to relax and restore from tax season and the stress of our daily lives. Potential benefits include deep rest, a feeling of well being, improved sleeping rhythms, increased feeling of openness in the body, and finding stillness within. “The power of restorative yoga lies in its ability to nurture ones own internal healing processes” (Iyengar Institute SF).
What to bring: Something warm to wear if it is a chilly night and an eye pillow or something to cover your eyes.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Gen Fischer
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, April 27th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join Gen Fischer of The Yoga Loft in Manhattan Beach for a Vinyasa Flow Yoga class!

Sunday Yoga with Janine Conte!!
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, April 27th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Janine Conte teaches us today in an Anusara-style yoga class. Janine is a dedicated yogi and a very special member of our local community.
Limited "community" mats are available. Bringing your own mat is encouraged. As class fill up quickly, and space is limited, please come early.
Please dress in layers so that you may remove articles as you warm-up during the class. Our space is outdoors behind the store on the patio (accessible through the alley on Delacey).

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

honoring the earth

earth day is a worldwide event that is observed every year on april 22nd. organized in 1970 by senator gaylord nelson and denis hayes, it's a time to gather together to celebrate the earth and to renew our commitment to work towards building a safer, healthier, and cleaner world.

some yoga studios around LA will be hosting earth day celebrations of their own:

truyoga in santa monica --

TRUYOGA will be participating in Santa Monica's Celebration, which will be held on Saturday the 12th of April on 3rd Street Promenade. TRUYOGA is pleased to be involved in this event, as our studio is one of the first all green studios in the Los Angeles area. Come by and say hello!
(note: see below for details about the third street promenade event)

yoga loft in manhattan beach and the pilates room and yoga lounge in hermosa beach --

EARTH DAY CHARITY YOGA-THON AND PILATES MAT CLASS (Co-Hosted by The Pilates Room and Yoga Lounge)
Saturday, April 19, 8:00am-12:30pm
On the beach, at 11th Street, Manhattan Beach
Benefiting your choice of 4 designated charities:
*Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation
*The Surfrider Foundation
*Room to Read
*Off The Mat, Into The World
Earth Day Yogathon and Pilates Class Event Schedule:
8:00-9:00am Pilates Mat Class with Page Sieffert and Ava Nahas
9:00-9:15 Guided Meditation
9:30-11:30 Yoga Mala (108 Sun Salutations) with Yoga Loft instructors and Shelley Williams
11:30-11:45 Guided Mediation
11:45-12:15pm Live West African Drumming with members of the Baker Tarpaga Dance Project Participants can sign up to participate in any or all of the above events! Please bring a beach towel or sheet to practice on the sand.
Registration fee: $25
Click here for registration form. You MUST pre-register.

updated 4/18: Due to various reasons, Page and I, along with Genevieve at Yoga Loft, have decided to postpone the fundraiser we scheduled for Earth Day on Saturday. We know that many of you expressed interest in supporting this event, yet many also mentioned having other obligations this weekend that prevented you from being able to attend. There are also several other community Earth Day celebrations scheduled for Saturday.
Our goal in hosting this event is not only to benefit the four designated charities, but to create an impact and raise the local consciousness regarding activism and environmentalism through yoga. In order to do that, we want as many yogis as possible to be in attendance.
We feel that the charities and the community would be better served with a
re-structured, environment-based fundraiser in late summer or early fall. We will most definitely keep you posted on the details and date of the new event.
In the meantime, have a beautiful weekend, a happy Passover, and a wonderful Earth Day.
Much love,
Shelley & Page

earth's power yoga in los angeles --

On Earth Day April 22nd we are raising funds for Heal the Bay.org
Please join us to celebrate Earth Day. Ride your bike to our studio for a free class on Earth Day.

there will also be a number of events held around LA on the days leading up to, and including, earth day itself. scan the list below and pledge to attend at least one of them:

Monday, April 6th - Celebration In Honor Of Earth Day
Chatsworth Nature Preserve, Plummer Street Gate, Chatsworth
10am - 4pm

Learn about the Mule Deer, Coyotes, Bobcats, Mountain Lion and 200+ species of birds residing in the Preserve. Wildflowers are out and peacefulness abounds.
Please wear sturdy shoes for walking/hiking. Bring a blanket, Sunhats, water and a picnic if you like. There is no smoking, pets, bikes, cars or radios. Please pack out what is brought in.
The Chatsworth Nature Preserve is only open to the public a few days each year. Earth Day is one of those days. Now you can finally see the Chatsworth Nature Preserve for yourself !
For more information, phone 818-769-1521.

Saturday, April 12th - Earth Day 2008
Sanitation Districts Joint Administration Office Parking Lot, 1955 Workman Mill Road, Whittier
10am - 3pm
click here for event flyer

Earth Day 2008 is a free community-wide event that seeks to promote environmental awareness and education for the whole family. The event features educational booths, interactive workshops, activities for children, arts and crafts, and entertainment such as music, an environmental magician, and more. Learn what you can do to conserve and protect the environment!

Saturday, April 12th - Earth Day on the Promenade
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
10am - 7pm

"Earth Day on the Promenade" will bring Earth Day to a Southern California premier shopping and entertainment destination. A free event for the whole family. Many exhibits for kids and adults will provide practical information about products and lifestyles that conserve energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thus reducing our “carbon footprint.” Live music, live animals, lots of fun!

All week, April 13th through 19th - Eco-Week at kidspace
kidspace Children's Museum, 480 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena

Visit Kidspace for earth-friendly activities including making butterfly garden seed balls, creating nature journals from recycled bags, mixing natural pesticides, reading nature stories in the garden and more.

Saturday, April 19th - 12th Annual Butterfly Release
kidspace Children's Museum, 480 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena

Join Kidspace for a full day of butterfly-related activities: make your own butterfly wings, learn how to eat like a caterpillar, enjoy the music of the Hollow Trees, do the pupa freeze dance and more. Don't forget to bring your recently emerged butterfly for the Release Ceremony!
The Busy Bee Learning Store will have caterpillars for sale through April 19. Kits are $5 and museum admission is not required for purchase.

Saturday, April 19th - Celebrate Earthday with Councilman Greig Smith
Chatsworth Park North, 22300 Chatsworth St, Chatsworth

9am - noon
click here for event flyer

Free trees to take home!
Free re-usable canvas bags!
Help paint over graffiti and clean up the playground!
Free breakfast and water from REI!
Free lunch from Chatsworth Neighborhood Council!

Saturday, April 19th - “Nothin' But Sand” Beach Cleanup
Ainsworth Lifeguard Tower, Redondo Beach
10am - noon

Volunteers can park using the metered lot at the end of Pearl Street and Esplanade (bring quarters!) or in the Redondo Beach Pier parking structure at 100 W. Torrance Blvd., where Torrance Blvd. meets the sea ($5 all day parking). Meet at the cleanup site which will be on the sand just south of the pier near the Ainsworth lifeguard tower. See "Cleanup Information" for waiver forms and information about safety, what to wear, and how to clean a beach.

Saturday, April 19th - South LA Earthfest
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Los Angeles
10am - 6pm

The reason why we recognize Earth Day is to promote environmental awareness and to focus on ways our community can live more ecologically friendly. Traditionally, SouthLA Earth Day Festival features music, art, educational displays, kid’s activities, and community forums. We want to emphasize here in South LA, that we share this planet with all humanity, and that we must learn to work together for the greater good of our community and the global village. The Earth is our only living space. We must be determined to share, protect and preserve our natural resources for future generations to come. Furthermore, we must continue to learn how to use these resources in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Saturday, April 19th - Vroman's Earth Day Celebration
Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena
11am - 4pm

Calling all tree-huggers, environmentalists, flower children, preservationists, and anyone who just plain cares about our world and likes to have fun! Celebrate our beautiful planet in an entertaining and unique way by enjoying the festivities at Vroman’s EARTH DAY CELEBRATION in our beautiful outdoor Paseo area (the Vroman’s courtyard)!
You’ll have the chance to make new friends and rally together with peers and fellow compatriots in an effort to raise awareness on the state of Mother Earth, all while experiencing and doing the things you love most: shopping, listening to inspiring speakers, and eating (delicious organic foods, no less!). This is also the perfect day to treat yourself or friends to something from our new LIVING GREEN section (soon to be expanded!), which features an array of environmentally-friendly gifts & office supplies, journals and books, all with a truly green theme.

Saturday, April 19th - Splash! A Celebration of Mermaids and the Sea
Fowler Museum, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles
11:30am - 3:30pm

Calling all mermaids, fish, and other sea creatures! Join Heal the Bay and the Fowler Museum at the Splash! Festival celebrating the opening of the museum's new exhibit called Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas (Mami Wata is Pidgen-English for “Mother Water”).
The festival will have dance troupes, arts and crafts, and plenty of other family activities. Don’t miss the live performances by Viver Brasil Dance Company and Congo-inspired group Balobi Bandeko (see schedule below the flyer). There will even be a costume contest and procession -- come dressed as your favorite mermaid!

1200 South Hope St, Los Angeles (Downtown near the Staples Center)
$10 suggested donation to charity
click here for event announcement

Celebrate Earth Day and party with other earth conscious beings in the beautiful downtown loft-space of yogamates.com
Be prepared to become more educated on green topics, have a drink on the roof and rock out with other earthlings!
Party starts at 7
Special guest speakers from GREEN L.A. at 8
RSVP to LAGreenDrinks@gmail.com

Saturday and Sunday, April 19th and 20th - Earth Day Expo 2008
Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Celebrate Earth Day at the Los Angeles Zoo with 2 days of music, entertainment, and education in an interactive earth friendly environment.
- Don't forget to pick up your free activity booklet!
- Enjoy face painting and tie-dying t-shirts (shirts brought from home).
- Meet Rascal, the City’s recycling Raccoon!
- Stop by special stations at our featured California animals.
There will be booths highlighting California wildlife, including harbor seals, California condors (not on exhibit), California brown pelicans, California desert tortoise, Channel Island foxes, and desert bighorn sheep.

Saturday and Sunday, April 19th and 20th - Topanga Earth Day
Topanga Community House Fairgrounds, 1440 N Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga
10am to Sunset
$10 Suggested Donation

The Topanga Earth Day Festival is an all-weekend celebration, exemplifying a waste-free unity of music, art, not for profit organizations, “living by example” workshops, organic food and beverages, sustainable living solutions, lectures, green technology, healing arts, environmental architects/organizations, perma-culture, 21st Century agriculture, holistic living, clean energy, and eco-sound vending booths. The festival hosts an alliance of combined action, a spectrum of sustainable living solutions and global respect. In addition, it offers "The City of Dreams" for two beautiful days in Topanga Canyon, in hopes that it can continue to make a difference in the world and community.

Saturday, April 20th - Green Apple Earth Day Festival
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
noon - 6pm

Heal the Bay is partnering with the Green Apple Earth Day Festival on the Santa Monica Pier! Join us from noon to 6pm for a day of education, music and fun. Currently, Ben Harper, Taj Mahal and Ziggy Marley are on the schedule. Bring the whole family.

Tuesday, April 22nd - Wilshire Center Earth Day / Car Free Day
Wilshire Blvd, between Western and Harvard
10am - 5pm

The event will highlight a great street eco-festival with the unprecedented closing of Wilshire Boulevard between Western and Harvard.
It includes 70 eco-exhibitors, 20 environmental speakers, music, magic and play for kids of all ages, and a wonderful FREE concert in the park near Wilshire and Western, featuring Michael Franti, Seane Corn, Chris Pierce, Cava, Naked Rhythm, Luminaries, and more!
Everyone is encouraged to take mass transit - Bus, Rail, Bike, Walk!

Saturday, April 26th - The Universal Studios Hollywood “Eco-Fair”
Universal Studios, Universal City

Earth Day will be celebrated with more than 30 engaging and educational displays, celebrity appearances, an offer of free parking for hybrid vehicles, and a hazardous waste disposal drive sponsored by the City and County of Los Angeles. The free Eco-Fair will also include interactive exhibits by Bell’s Bugs, La Knitterie Parisienne and the Hollywood Beautification Team.

Saturday, April 26th - Pasadena Tree Ride
Levitt Pavilion inside Memorial Park, 150 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena
1:30pm - the ride departs at 2:00pm Sharp!


This Earth Day-inspired bicycle tour of Pasadena's favorite trees is part of C.I.C.L.E.’s monthly Urban Expeditions program and Pasadena’s Greening the Earth Festival. Pasadena City Arborist and C.I.C.L.E.’s certified cycling instructors will lead this relaxed bicycle ride geared towards cyclists of all ability and all ages through the city’s most fantastic canopies to the tunes of C.I.C.L.E.’s on-bike sound system. In addition to learning the history of Southern California’s famous trees and streetscapes, participants will have the opportunity to learn from a city expert about tree maintenance and protection that is useful for home and garden.
The ride will begin at Levitt Pavilion at Memorial Park and wind through the streets of Pasadena, stopping at various at institutions for short talks about the trees. The pace of the ride is relaxed and easy, and beginning bicyclists should feel free to join the ride. The ride is lead by experienced cyclists, and includes a sweep rider to ensure the group stays together. The ride will end back at Memorial Park at the Greening the Earth Festival.
What to Bring: A bicycle in good running order (please have your bike inspected and tuned at least once a year at your local bike shop), lights for night riding, a bike lock. All participants under 18 must wear a helmet. Children under age 9 should be on a tag-a-long, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device. Supervised parking is available, however each rider is asked to bring his or her own bicycle lock.

Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th - Earth Day at the Aquarium
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Santa Monica
11am - 6pm

Come to the Aquarium and celebrate Earth Day and planet water! Visitors can participate in special Earth Day activities that will keep everyone of all ages entertained and educated about the marine life in the bay and our human connection to the fragile ocean ecosystem.
There is no extra charge for participating in the Aquarium's Earth Day activities! Admission for adults is $2.00, with a suggested donation of $5.00. Children age 12 and under are FREE with a paying adult! BUT...if you participate in the beach cleanup (between 11:00am and 4:00pm) you'll earn FREE ADMISSION into the Aquarium! Stop by the beach cleanup table outside the Aquarium to pick up beach cleaning supplies. Once you're done cleaning the beach, return to the Aquarium to gain free admittance!

Sunday, April 27th - Children's Earth Day
STAR ECO Station, 10101 W Jefferson Blvd, Culver City
10am - 4pm

Children’s Earth Day 2008 features games, crafts, activities, healthy cuisine and live entertainment designed to inspire children to help protect the planet. Bringing together various green organizations, government agencies, museums, schools and individuals, this tropical outdoor extravaganza is designed to show the families of Southern California that they are a vital part of a larger, worldwide environmental effort. Attendance at Los Angeles Children’s Earth Day is expected to number well into the thousands.

for more information on other earth day festivals around the country, visit these websites:
earthday network - earthday.net
envirolink - earthday.envirolink.org

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

april fooling!

the inappropriate yoga guy's at it again!

in his latest episode, ogden stops by a health food store to stock up on his favorite goji berries. and as usual, he manages to annoy everyone he comes into contact with...

here's part two of the hilarious misadventures of the inappropriate yoga guy: yoga, bitch!

... and thanks to iyogalife for sending a link to the video in their latest email update :)

(if you missed the first installment, click here to view it)