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, May 31, 2008

yoga on a budget

with the skyrocketing cost of almost everything these days, i've had to take a serious look at my priorities to figure out which of my needs/wants/vices get subsidized by my shrinking paycheck. and currently, yoga, gas, and food are right there at the top of my list of daily requirements.

as you've probably figured out by now, there's the issue of my yoga addiction. while i suppose i know enough to practice on my own at home, i'm not about to give up live classes with live teachers and live classmates. honestly, not only do i stand to learn more in a group setting, but it's infinitely more fun. since single class prices can range anywhere from $11 at bryan kest's power yoga (or less if you've fallen upon really hard times) to $20 at yogaworks (which somehow isn't posted anywhere on their website), i try to buy a series of classes at the studios i visit more frequently. and try to do as much free yoga as i can. regardless, the money adds up and places a definite crimp on the funds i have left for everything else.

there's also my need to fuel up my car so i can get to work -- 20 miles from home -- to earn that precious paycheck. carpooling, taking the bus, and/or riding a bike aren't viable options right now, only because of my before- and after-work activities (no one's schedule is as crazy as mine), the ridiculous non-rapid transit options here in LA (three buses adding up to a 90-120 minute ride vs. a 30 minute drive), and my not having access to a shower if i've biked to work (eek!). i'm hoping that someday that'll all change.

as for food, i've pretty much accepted the reality that dining at "fancy" restaurants is reserved only for special occasions. and while i can really stretch my dollar at fast-food places, i know i shouldn't be splurging on items from the value menus at mcdonald's, taco bell, and KFC. there used to be a time when i prided myself on being able to spend no more than $5 on a satisfying lunch; sadly, my options are getting fewer and farther between. and brown bag lunches are just so... so... unspontaneous.

there are many other items that are in equal contention for my dwindling buck -- travel, concerts, electronic gizmos. sigh. it seems like it was just yesterday when having fun didn't have to break the bank. oh wait, that WAS yesterday...

anyway, last thursday, i found a way to make my hard-earned cash go just a little bit farther than it normally would. my secret? the westwood art forum, the big blue bus, and diddy riese cookies :)

thanks to the events being offered in conjunction with the shinjo ito exhibit at the westwood art forum, a number of FREE yoga classes are available to me until the end of june, including this past thursday's vinyasa flow class with regina peluso. and unlike the usual "dumbed down" complimentary all-levels yoga classes held at various venues around town, regina's class was surprisingly demanding. and thoroughly enjoyable.

and since i don't believe in paying more for parking than the cost of the yoga class i'm trying to get to, i came up with the perfect solution: riding the big blue bus from santa monica to westwood. for a mere 75 cents each way, i sat back and relaxed while the bus driver took care of fighting the rush hour traffic with all the other harried drivers. and better yet, i didn't have to deal with finding and paying for parking in the village.

for a sweet post-practice treat, it was a short walk from the museum to the most popular dessert destination in UCLA-land: diddy riese cookies! three freshly-baked cookies for only a dollar? and a scoop of dreyer's ice cream sandwiched between any two cookies for only a buck fifty? no wonder there's always a line of hungry students outside their door!

i've reserved my spot for this coming wednesday's 7:30pm anusara class with hillary rubin at the museum, so i'll be back on the bus with my mat. if you see me, tap me on the shoulder and say hi!... maybe even join me after class for some soft and chewy cookies. and since i'd have saved enough money on this yoga adventure, whatever you crave -- within reason, of course -- is on me :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

happiness is...

i had a good day today.

it's not that all my other days have been bad; it's just that i had a really good time today doing things that made me happy. and being happy at the start of summer is a good omen... at least i hope so!

it started out with a snag-free drive from santa monica to pasadena (how often can one say that?). the lululemon pasadena store was celebrating its one-year anniversary with a day filled with free classes, free food, free entertainment (music and acroyoga demos), free yoga mats (with a $50 purchase), and of course, free smiles from the always-helpful lulu crew.

(by the way, did anyone notice the beefcake shot on their home page? other lulu stores feature their women; this one features their MEN! woo hoo!)

anyway, my brain must have been just a bit too happy when i exited the pasadena freeway. i somehow got turned around and kept missing the entrance to the parking lot behind the lululemon store (all those one-way streets in old town pasadena didn't help, either). by the time i got to the lulu patio, their weekly "all-levels sunday yoga at 10am" class had already started and the outdoor space was packed. no worries -- while i had missed the chance to practice with john bea, there was another class at 11:30am with scott lewicki from mission street yoga in south pasadena.

i walked around to the front of the store to shop and while away the time, but i found out that the store wasn't scheduled to open until 11am and the crew was still busy setting up for the party. i asked if i could just stand inside and stay out of their way, and luckily, freda -- whom i believe was in command at the time -- let me in. i'm sure my being a familiar face had something to do with it; i had met her at the opening of the lulu glendale store earlier this month.

by the time they cranked up the cash registers, i had already found something i wanted to buy, so i paid for my purchase and received my free "supernatural" yoga mat (a $54 value) plus a gift pack from the origins store around the corner. yay!

i also got to meet onil chibas, the chef/owner of elements kitchen, the pasadena-based restaurant that was catering the affair. i eagerly tasted the food selections as he described them in detail: pita chips with a variety of dips, quinoa with balsamic vinagrette, vietnamese spring rolls, chicken roulades, argentinian beef skewers. yum!

more lulu staff soon appeared bearing drinks and an assortment of fruit. before i knew it, my belly was stuffed with all this natural goodness. i know, it wasn't a good idea, especially right before a yoga class, but it was just too hard to say no...

scott lewicki arrived, and after he had a chance to greet people at the store, he led us to the patio for his class. his anusara yoga class. and if you're familiar with anusara, you know that all the teachers and students are inherently happy. why is that? beats me. but since a quarter of my yoga practice is with those of the anusara persuasion, i end up being just as happy as them by the time class is over :)

after class, i chatted with a student whom i could have sworn i'd seen somewhere before. we never quite found out where that "somewhere" was, but as luck would have it, i did find out that he taught at the yoga co-op, a collection of yogis and yoginis who teach affordable classes in pasadena and monrovia ($10 for a single class in pasadena, $7 for a community class in monrovia). since i've never been there, i'll have to try a $7 with seven (the name of that guy in class). kinda catchy, huh?

before i left -- almost four hours after i got there! -- i spent a short time observing tamara usman teach a group of students some massage techniques. i was tempted to stay a while just so someone could practice getting the kinks out of my back, but i had to leave because i had planned to spend the afternoon with my daughter.

sure enough, she was eagerly awaiting my arrival; i had promised her that once i got home, we'd finally break open the wii fit that was sitting by the tv. she'd been eyeing it since i brought it home wednesday night, and the fact that i wanted to wait until the weekend to try it out was torturing her to no end (so does that make me a bad mother?).

it didn't take long for us to take the balance board and the game out of the box, load the batteries, and skim the instruction booklet. we initialized our mii avatars by entering our age and height, the wii determined our weight while we stood on the balance board, and our BMI results were calculated and stored. we were both within the normal range -- i was at 20 and she was at 18. the kicker was that it also gave us our respective fitness ages. i was 5 years younger than my chronological age and she was 10 years older than hers. she wasn't happy with that at all. but then again, she usually sits around and studies or plays with that wii, while i'm busy doing yoga and running on a regular basis. if that prods her to spend more time getting active, then the wii fit was a great investment!

we then took turns with the balance test and found out that we were both slightly imbalanced. yes, like mother, like daughter. ha!

i moved on to the strength section, and while i thought i was doing a good job of following along with the push-ups and side planks, the wii fit claimed i was only good enough to rate a "couch potato". what?!?

totally disagreeing with that analysis, i moved on to the yoga section. and sure enough, i fared much better, scoring a "yoga trainer" rating in the breathing, side bend, and warrior poses! ah, but that was followed by tree pose... and since the game sensed that my one-footed balance was a bit shaky, it awarded me a mere "yoga novice" rating for that. argh...

at that point, i turned off the game and put it away. why ruin the happy high that i had been floating on all day? after all, i have the rest of the summer to practice and get good at this game called yoga :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

yoga to celebrate the start of summer!

the weather's been really weird lately. just when it seemed like the warm and sunny beach weather was here to stay, the dark clouds rolled in once again to make things damp and dreary :( they say it's going to warm up again by memorial day. i'm keeping my fingers crossed!

anyway, with the memorial day holiday comes the usual class schedule changes, so here are some that i've found, either via email or from their websites. if it isn't listed here, it's probably because i didn't get an email from them and couldn't find the info on their site:

Angel City Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Memorial Day Schedule - Monday, May 26th
Easier Yoga with Shosha Bottoms 8:30-10:00am
Pre-Natal and Special Conditions Rope Wall Class with Shosha Bottoms 10:30-11:45am
Easier Yoga with Io Bottoms 12:00-1:30pm

Awareness Center, Pasadena

Back for Yoga, El Segundo
The studio schedule for Memorial Day Monday May 26, 2008 is as follows:
Yin Yoga with Via at 5:30 pm is scheduled.
Forrest Yoga with Theresa at 7:00 pm is cancelled.

Black Dog Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Memorial Weekend Schedule
We're on our regular schedule through this Sunday the 25th, then:
Abbreviated Schedule on Memorial Day Monday, May 26th
9:00am Hatha Flow 1-2 w/ Peter Barnett
9:30am Deep Stretch, All Levels w/ Heidi Kaufman
10:30am Anusara-inspired 2-3 w/ Jenny Brill
Studio Closes - No PM Classes

BKS Iyengar Institute, Los Angeles
To celebrate Memorial Day, Monday May 26, the Institute will have a special 2 hour class with Chris Stein from 9am - 11am.
All other classes that day are canceled. The normal schedule resumes Tuesday May 27.

City Yoga, West Hollywood
MEMORIAL DAY is Monday, May 26th
We will be having classes from 8:30am-2pm ONLY!

Exhale, Santa Monica
No yoga class on Monday, May 26th

Free Spirit Yoga, Long Beach
All classes cancelled Sunday, May 25th and Monday, 26th EXCEPT:
Sunday -
9:00-10:30am All Levels Dharma Shakti
10:30-12:00pm Level 1 and Meditation Laura Tree
Monday -
9:30-10:45am All Levels Laura Tree

Garden of Yoga, Woodland Hills
Diana will be teaching a special Memorial Day Flow Class at 10 AM. All other classes will be cancelled that day only.

Glendale Yoga, Glendale
There will be one All Levels class with Laura from 10:00-11:30 on Memorial Day.

Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
All classes canceled except for this special Memorial Day class with Tej and Harijiwan:
Akasha Kriya--Developing Self-Concept at the Arc Line
Monday, May 26 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost: $20/adv or $30/day of
Our self concept is the central organizing thought in our personality. It needs to be developed at the arc line so it can hold the strength of the radiant body and connect to the Universal force.
If this thought is not held at the arc line, it enters the brain and is churned around by the play of subconscious memory and the competing pull of the positive and negative minds. This is a source of mental bewilderment, self-doubt, and destructive behaviors.
Join us for a powerful clearing experience as we create a light of dignity that will subdue confusion and misunderstanding and give you a precise experience of your Infinite identity so you can enjoy the full expression of your basic goodness.

Inner Harmony Yoga, San Pedro
No classes Memorial Day Weekend

Inner Power Yoga, Calabasas
Memorial Day, Monday, May 26
9 a.m. All Levels Yoga Class with Jonathan
(all other classes on Monday canceled)

Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Memorial Day Weekend Schedule - Monday May 26th
9:00am-11:00am -- Ashtanga/Mysore - Joel Bender
11:00am-12:30pm -- Level 1 - Jessie Diaz-Perez
12:30pm-2:00pm -- All Levels Vinyasa Flow - Alicia Johnson

Lyfe Yoga Center, Hermosa Beach
Memorial Weekend Schedule -
9:00am - 10:45am Hatha Flow
11:00am - 12:25pm Beginners
8:45am - 10:00am Therapeutics

Mission Street Yoga, South Pasadena
All afternoon classes are cancelled on Memorial Day

Rising Lotus, Sherman Oaks
Memorial Day Schedule:
9:00 - 10:30 AM Mixed Level Flow Claire Hartley
10:35 - 12:05 PM Level 1 Sarah Bergman
All other classes are cancelled

Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Closed Monday May 26 - Memorial Day

Silverlake Yoga, Silver Lake
Memorial Day Schedule:
9:30 - 10:45am Beginners II with Jonathan
11:00am - 12:30pm Flow with Sam
ALL other classes cancelled

Still Yoga, Silver Lake
Open on Memorial Day for 2 classes:
9 am with Maria Cristina and 12:30 with Tony Giuliano

Swerve, West Hollywood
Holiday Schedule - SWERVE closes @ 11 am on Memorial Day
7:30 am "Power Yoga" - Jessica
8:30 am "Streamline Sculpt" - Kim D.
9:30 am "6 - Pack Abs" ($9) - Kim D.
10 am "Yoga Booty Ballet" - Lauren

The Core YPC, Redondo Beach
Please note that The Core will be closed May 24th-26th to honor Memorial Day.

U Studio Yoga, Los Angeles
Memorial Day Weekend Schedule @ U
friday may 23: 5:30 pm -- andrea
saturday may 24: 9am -- lori, 4pm -- ginny
sunday may 25: 10:30am -- ginny
monday may 26: 10:30am -- ginny, 5:30pm -- andrea

Yoga Blend, Burbank
Revised Schedule for Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th
9:30am-11:00am - Level 1 w/ Nicole
11:30am-12:45pm - Gentle w/ Bekah
12:00pm-1:30pm - Level 1-2 w/ Keric
1:00pm-2:00pm - Stretch w/ Bekah
Studio Closes at 2pm

Yoga Circle Downtown, Los Angeles
Memorial Day Schedule: Classes at 12noon and 6:05pm only

Yoga Darsana, Alhambra
Studio closed on Memorial Day

Yoga Groove, North Hollywood
MONDAY MAY 26, 2008 - Memorial Day
10am Class Only – All Levels
Join Karen for a special Memorial Day class full of great vibes for all. This will be the only class offered on the holiday.

Yoga Loft, Manhattan Beach
Memorial Day Schedule: Saturday May 24 and Sunday, May 25: All regular classes will be held
Monday, May 26: 8:40am and 10:15am classes ONLY

Yoga Madre, Arcadia

Yoga West, Los Angeles
Yoga West will have special hours this Monday, Memorial Day: 9:00-11:00 AM and 6:00-8:00 PM. We will offer two classes that day:
Morning class: Kundalini Yoga - A special memory celebration with Adesh Kaur from 9 - 10:30 AM.
All women, men, and children are invited to practice yoga, meditate, and dance with joy to the memories of an event or a special person. Bring your family and friends. We will join together as a yogic community to celebrate new ways of honoring our past. Special treats and Yogi tea will be serve after class.
Evening class: Kundalini Yoga with Gurudhan Singh - Remembering our Heavenly selves from 6:30 - 8 PM
Practice a powerful Kundalini yoga class followed by an extended meditation to remember and deepen our connection with our Divine Nature and our Heavenly selves.

Yoga Works Larchmont, Los Angeles
Many classes cancelled on Memorial Day, including some morning and all afternoon/evening after 2pm; check website for revised schedule

Yoga Works Main Street, Santa Monica
Many classes cancelled on Memorial Day, including some morning and all afternoon/evening after 2pm; check website for revised schedule

Yoga Works Montana, Santa Monica
Many classes cancelled on Memorial Day, including some morning and all afternoon/evening after 2pm; check website for revised schedule

Yoga Works Pacific Palisades
All classes cancelled on Memorial Day

Yoga Works Westwood
Many classes cancelled on Memorial Day, including some morning and all afternoon/evening after 2pm; check website for revised schedule

Yummy Yoga, Los Feliz
We're offering a morning yoga class to kick off your Memorial Day celebrations:
Emilie Chan will teach an All Levels Class (not a Level 1/2) at 9:00 AM on Monday, May 26th.
All afternoon classes will be cancelled.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

the following studios will have their usual class schedules on Memorial Day:
~ Alive and Well, Hermosa Beach
~ Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
~ Maha Yoga, Brentwood
~ Mark Blanchard's Power Yoga, Studio City
~ Revive Yoga, Chatsworth
~ Yoga at the Village, Glendale
~ Yoga House, Pasadena
~ Yoga World Studio, Long Beach
~ Your Neighborhood Studio, Culver City

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

i can't believe i got one!

ever since i first heard about the new nintendo wii fit and its supposed yoga "fitness game" sometime last year, i knew that i had to get my hands on one when it was finally on the market. the pre-launch buzz went something like this:

Get fit with more than 40 activities and exercises, including strength training, aerobics, yoga and balance games. Whether you're doing a yoga pose or snowboarding down a slalom course, there's an activity for everyone.


i mean, how could i consider myself a true yoga addict if i didn't even try to get my hands on what was supposed to be the hottest game of the summer... a game that included, of all things, yoga?

so when word of its imminent release started popping up all over the media, i checked the usual online sources and found out that the product was already backordered. ugh. that meant i had to take my chances at the brick-and-mortars. would there be long lines? or would there even be lines at all? after all, isn't the wii fit something that only old fogeys like me would be interested in buying?

last night, on the eve of the wii fit's US release date, i told my younger daughter about my plans to buy one this morning. she looked up briefly to acknowledge that she heard me, then continued to shoot/capture/save an array of strange-looking creatures on the tv screen. that's nice, mom.

then i realized: if i can't even get her to put down her game controllers while she talks to me, how could i ever expect her to give up her wii console long enough for me to go through an entire yoga session? but first things first; i couldn't worry about being able to use something i didn't have. at least not yet.

long story short, after figuring out who sold them, i ended up stopping by a target on my way to work. before leaving the house, i had decided that i wasn't going to stress over it. if they had one, i'd buy it. if they didn't, oh well.

as luck would have it, i ended up buying the last wii fit they had in the store. 30 units sold in an hour. unbelievable.

so now that i have my new acquisition, i might be able to entice my daughter into trying it out with me. although with her gaming expertise, she may even beat me. at yoga? is that possible???

by the way, a writer from the new york times recruited cyndi lee of om yoga to evaluate this new home-fitness system. here's a snippet from that article:


Wii Fit is not, however, the right choice if you want to impress Cyndi Lee, 54, the founder of Om Yoga in New York.

Before trying the system, she eyed the board and declared, “It’s too small.” Nonetheless, she sailed through a progression of Wii Fit’s yoga poses, including the half-moon, warrior, tree and sun salutation. For each pose, at least one of the user’s feet or hands is usually on the board.
Afterward, her main concern seemed to be that Wii Fit reduces yoga to a collection of physical exercises rather than presenting yoga as a comprehensive approach to physical, mental and emotional wellness.

“This is a little dumbed down and they are teaching more from a fitness or gym perspective,” she said. “They’re saying things like, ‘Tighten your glutes,’ which we would never say in yoga.”
Ms. Lee also spied what she called incorrect elements within some poses. “Like with the warrior pose they show the knee going past the foot, which is a big no-no,” she said.

BOTTOM LINE Wii Fit will not make you a yogi.

well, duh, i knew that :)

i'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

yoga, meditation, and buddhist art

a little over a week ago, i received an email update from brad keimach about a FREE symphonic yoga class he was scheduled to teach on mother's day at the westwood art forum, which is located in the heart of westwood village. sadly, because of my own mother's day plans, i couldn't make it. brad is also scheduled for a return engagement on sunday, june 8th. but once again, i won't be able to make it because i'll be down in san diego for the rock 'n' roll marathon :( oops, wrong weekend! i'll actually be in boston visiting my daughter :)

i just found out that there are many other FREE yoga classes that will be held at the museum through the end of june. and guided meditation classes, too. they're being offered in conjunction with the ongoing vision and art of shinjo ito exhibition.

happily, i can make many of them! and hopefully, so will you...

reservations are required; click here to reserve your spot in class.

Westwood Art Forum
1028 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (just south of Weyburn)

Monday Thru Saturday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 11am- 5pm

Japan's foremost Buddhist Master and Artist of the 20th century

Shinjo Ito (1906-1989), founder of the Shinnyo-en stream of Buddhism, was one of Japan's most versatile Buddhist sculptors and an accomplished artist in fields as diverse as calligraphy and photography. Throughout his life he created countless artworks as a way of giving form to his deeply held faith-in 1957 producing probably his greatest milestone, the Great Parinirvana Image: a 16-foot (480 cm) long statue of Buddha Shakyamuni about to enter nirvana.



Thursday, May 29, 7:30PM - Yoga with Regina Peluso
Regina is a bi-coastal instructor currently teaching for New York Sports Club, Crunch, Clay, Yoga Effects, Yoga and Pilates & Yoga by Jane in Beverly Hills, Liberation Yoga and Crunch in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, June 4, 7:30PM - Celebrating Beauty: Anusara Yoga with Hillary Rubin
Hillary Rubin teaches at City Yoga where her transformative classes weave a life-affirming philosophy that celebrates the individual along with her personal understanding of the body's natural ability to heal.

Friday, June 6, 7:00PM - Yoga with Nina Mikkleson
Nina teaches Hatha yoga classes at Karuna Yoga.

Sunday, June 8, 6:00PM - Symphonic Yoga with Brad Keimach
Symphonic Yoga with Brad Keimach With a background as a symphony and opera conductor, Brad Keimach hosts a special Symphonic Yoga workshop. Imagine your yoga practice set to the classical music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. Brad teaches weekly at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement.

Tuesday, June 17, 7:30PM - Yoga with Vytas Baskauskas
Vytas teaches at Power Yoga in Santa Monica where he encourages his students to learn through yoga the lost art of balance, compassion, moderation, and stillness. Vytas' classes are a conscientious refuge from the insanity of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, June 24, 7:30PM - Yoga with Jamie Elmer
A special Mind and Balance workshop to link the mindful and grounded qualities of meditation with our asana practice. This workshop we will awaken the body with a gentle asana practice and combine the stillness of meditation with balance postures to create focus while staying relaxed. Jamie Elmer teaches weekly at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement.


Wednesday, May 21, 7:30PM - Guided Meditation with Holly Star
The second in a series of four meditations guided by internationally renowned healer, Holly Star. Holly's meditations use the exhibit's actual sculptures as meditative tools. This was Shinjo Ito's intention as an artist. This week focuses on Tathagata Amitabha. Tathagata Amitabha translates to 'infinite light.' In this meditation, we will draw upon our own Inner Light, and we will gather the power of this piece to hold space for a 'filling up' of Infinite Light. Each event in this series is a separate sign-up.

Thursday, May 22, 7:00PM - Guided Meditation with Dr. Michael Shiffman
Co-founder of the Insight Center in West Los Angeles, Dr. Shiffman teaches, counsels, and provides organizational consulting and has an extensive background in trauma and healing, substance abuse and recovery, and body-oriented therapeutic practices.

Sunday, May 25, 6:00PM - Guided Meditation with Amy Perry
Amy Perry is a spiritual counselor and licensed graduate of Agape International Spiritual Center where she continues to work as a facilitator within the Practitioner Studies program. Her weekly meditation and peace circle in Angelino Heights brings together people from all over the city for the purpose of personal and global liberation.

Tuesday, May 27, 7:30PM - Guided Meditation with Michael Taft
Michael Taft is a meditation teacher and spiritual counselor. From Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, he has been meditating for over twenty-five years and regularly hosts workshops as well as weekly classes in Los Angeles.

Friday, May 30, 7:30PM - Shinnyo Meditation
In Shinnyo Meditation we are assisted by a specially trained Meditation Guide who helps us find and cultivate the seed of enlightenment that exists within us. We hope you enjoy the experience of Shinnyo Meditation.

Tuesday, June 3, 7:30PM - Guided Meditation with Holly Star
The third in a series of four meditations guided by internationally renowned healer, Holly Star. Holly's meditations use the exhibit's actual sculptures as meditative tools. This was Shinjo Ito's intention as an artist. This week focuses on Tathagata Mahavairochana (Womb World Realm). This Tathagata Mahavairochana represents the nurturing realm. This meditation will focus on the principle of 'unifying' as a coming 'home' and as a listening to what it means to 'unify.' More time for silence and contemplation on the unification process. Each event in this series is a separate sign-up

Wednesday, June 11, 7:30PM - Guided Meditation with Holly Star
The fourth in a series of four meditations guided by internationally renowned healer, Holly Star. Holly's meditations use the exhibit's actual sculptures as meditative tools. This was Shinjo Ito's intention as an artist. This week focuses on the Great Parinirvana Image. The Great Parinirvana Image is for us to go beyond that which is known and to transcend. This piece will help focus us to the idea that nirvana is not a final state, but an ever-awakening state of being each and every day of our lives. Each event in this series is a separate sign-up.

Friday, June 13, 7:30PM - Shinnyo Meditation
In Shinnyo Meditation we are assisted by a specially trained Meditation Guide who helps us find and cultivate the seed of enlightenment that exists within us. We hope you enjoy the experience of Shinnyo Meditation.

Sunday, June 15, 7:00PM - Guided Meditation with Noah Levine
Noah Levine is the author of "Dharma Punx" and "Against the Stream." He teaches meditation classes, workshops and retreats nationally as well as leading groups in juvenile halls and prisons. He is the founder of "The Mind Body Awareness Project" which brings spirituality to prison inmates and incarcerated youth. Additionally, Noah runs "Against the Stream" Buddhist Meditation Society in Los Angeles.

Saturday, June 28, 7:30PM - Shinnyo Meditation
In Shinnyo Meditation we are assisted by a specially trained Meditation Guide who helps us find and cultivate the seed of enlightenment that exists within us. We hope you enjoy the experience of Shinnyo Meditation.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

a capital time, part two

when we last left off, i had just finished day one of my grand yoga tour of DC. so here we are, one day down, three to go...

day two - saturday

after the insanity of the previous day -- barely sleeping, barely eating, and barely staying put -- i thought it best to ditch my alarm clock when i went to bed and just let my body wake up on its own when it was good and ready. looking back, i realize that it was a pretty risky idea; i had to be back on the road at noon for a vinyasa flow + live music class. talk about living life on the edge.

thankfully, i was roused when my sister started moving about (true sister-bonding can only happen when you actually see each other, so given my hectic schedule, we shared my hotel room so that we could take advantage of what little free time i had).

since she had no interest in taking a yoga class with me -- and i have no idea why -- she left to take care of her errands while i hopped on the metro once again, this time bound for the mcpherson square station. it was a beautiful spring day, so i didn't mind having to walk the half mile from the station to my next class.

Flow Yoga Center
1450 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 462-FLOW (3569)
website: www.flowyogacenter.com

Our philosophy is simple—we embrace the 5000+ year old idea that a conscious yoga practice can transform individuals both spiritually and physically. Yoga helps us reveal the inner wisdom that is alive, uniquely, in each of us, and helps to remove obstacles to encourage that river of wisdom to freely flow. Yoga can help make the choices that are the best for ourselves and the community around us. This, we believe, is the essential foundation for a life of fulfillment, peace and ultimately freedom. On the lighter side, yoga is fun and practicing feels wonderful and who can't use more of that!

i had heard about flow yoga's so-called "yoga love fest" while researching their DC yoga week offerings. unfortunately, it wasn't included in their list of $5 classes; but it was just too tempting to let pass, even if it did cost me a whopping $40 for a just-under-two-hours class:

Join musician and Kirtan Master David Newman "Durga Das" as he accompanies Jill Abelson in a special yoga class infusing the power of dynamic vinyasa sequencing, live music and Kirtan chanting - and penetrate deep into opening the heart chakra and your own boundless creative potential. This class will empower you to let go of pain and resentment, allowing the experience of bhakti (love and compassion) to arise.
Appropriate for those with comfort in Flow's "Open Flow" class levels.

when i saw yogadawg the day before and told him about the class, his ears perked up -- he'd been wanting to meet david newman ever since david posted a thumbs-up about the dawg's blog site.

agreeing to meet the dawg at flow saturday morning, i got there before he did, giving me just enough time to browse through the clothing rack and pick out another logo cami to add to my collection. who me, a compulsive souvenir shopper? what ever made you think that? :)

by the time yogadawg showed up, i had already reeled david newman into a conversation. i introduced the two, and they took it from there.

sometime during the course of our chat, the three of us had somehow agreed to meet again in philadelphia -- david was based there and would have to go home sooner or later, i wanted to visit my daughter in college, and it was close enough to yogadawg to be a quick train ride. funny how instead of planning my travel around marathons, i'm now filling my calendar with out-of-town yoga adventures. if you had told me three years ago that i'd be doing this, i would have told you that you probably had me mistaken for someone else!

as for the "love fest" itself, we were definitely feeling the love. while david newman and mira led the class in a short kirtan session at the start of class, jill abelson, our instructor, gave loving back and shoulder rubs to each student. then with the live music continuing to soothe and open our hearts and souls, jill led us through a delicious vinyasa flow to help soothe and open up our shoulders, hips, and backs. by the time our class ended, i was so blissed out that i was glad i didn't have to rush out to be anywhere anytime soon. i had the rest of the day at my leisure... what luxury!

day three - sunday

sunday was the day of the big earth day event and concert on the mall, which unfortunately got cut short when an even bigger storm blew in and soaked everyone and everything. by the time we reached my sister's place, peeled off our soggy jeans, and changed into dry clothing, i was in no mood to head back out for the yoga class i had planned to take later that evening. too bad, though, because the class was to be my last for this trip. but then again, could you blame me for just wanting to stay dry and stuff my belly with hot food? i didn't think so.

day four - monday

with no yoga on my agenda (only because i couldn't find a morning class that would get me back to the hotel and showered before check-out time), my sister decided to take the day off work and play DC tourist with me. after choosing to sleep in once again, we began our day with some yummy crabcake sandwiches for lunch at c f folks near dupont circle, then visited the newly-opened newseum museum on 16th street between the white house and the capitol. the day was just too short to do everything i'd hoped to do; before i knew it, i was saying goodbye to my sister -- and to washington DC -- as i made my way to the plane that would fly me back home.


david newman returned to LA this past weekend for another kirtan at sacred movement. i walked up to him to say hello, and without much prompting, he remembered not only where we had last met, but also that we had planned to reconvene later this year in philly. so yogadawg, if you're reading this, mark your calendar; it looks like we're headed for the city of brotherly love in november! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

a capital time!

it was bike to work day today in LA county. not only did they have free refreshments and giveaways this morning at designated pit stops all over town, but they also offered free rides all day on buses and subway trains to those who boarded with their bikes and helmets.

participating in the event sounded like lots of fun (especially since there was free food involved!), but the logistics just wouldn't have worked for me.

why not? i hate to say this, but the rapid transit system in my neck of the woods sucks.

even if my home and office are both short bike rides to the nearest bus stops, the bus ride itself from santa monica to torrance would've taken an hour and a half... for a commute that normally takes no more than 30 minutes from door to door! it would have been nice if any of the subway lines came anywhere close to where i live (or even work), but no, local politics had made sure many years ago that the so-called "bad elements" wouldn't get anywhere close to the beach communities. bad decision.

you see, i've found that many of the major metropolitan areas i've visited have efficient and affordable subway systems that make getting around without a car a breeze. new york, boston, san francisco, even paris during a transit strike -- as long as i had my metro map and pass in hand, i could find my way almost anywhere, including the more popular yoga studios. but here in LA, no such luck. sigh.

which brings me to my long overdue account of my recent trip to washington DC, where i spent four days visiting my sister, a bunch of yoga studios, the earth day celebration on the mall, and last but not least, my guru, yogadawg!

the entire trip was a whirlwind of activity, starting with my plan to celebrate DC yoga week by cramming close to a week's worth of yoga classes into one day. i mean, with each eligible class costing only $5, i could get three classes for the price of 1! who in their right mind would turn that down? (although more realistically, who in their right mind would even considering doing that at all?). and thanks to the DC metro system, i was able to get to all my destinations without having to deal with all the headaches that accompany the whole driving experience -- car rental, parking, gas, getting lost...

so here, in a nutshell, is how that whole trip went down:

day 1 - friday

after touching down at DCA at 9am on the red-eye from LAX, i bought an all-day metro pass at the the airport, then hopped on the blue line for the farragut west station. my destination: my sister's office on embassy row (i suppose you could say i know people in high places!) to drop off my luggage. me in my yoga pants looked quite out of place compared to all the diplomats in dark suits, but when they heard i was in DC to do gobs of yoga, they all wrote me off as "the crazy sister" and continued about their business.

from there, it was a short walk to the farragut north station, where i caught the red line then transferred to the yellow line. fifteen minutes later, i was at the U street station, practically across the street from my first yoga studio of the day.

Inspired Yoga
1115 U Street NW, Suite 202
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-1800
website: http://www.inspiredyoga.com/

This is your community -- a place where your spirit and individuality are honored and celebrated. Here you are encouraged and challenged to go beyond your perceived limitations and discover your true potential.

We offer a full range of Vinyasa flow classes for all levels, as well as workshops, retreats and nutritional consultations. Our studio is spacious, warm and inviting. Our teachers are superb. Come visit and see for yourself.

Breathe. Move your body. Feel better than you ever have. Join Us. Be Inspired.

inspired is a bright and modern studio on the second floor of what appears to be either a new building or a newly-remodeled one. i filled out the registration form and handed my $5 to the assistant seated behind the reception desk. i briefly looked around the retail area to see what was for sale, then walked into the classroom, where i found kyra sudofsky, inspired's director, who was scheduled to teach the noontime all-level inspired flow class.

she looked at me and immediately asked, "are you joni?" when i responded in the affirmative, she asked me if i had paid for the class. affirmative again. at that point, she said that my class fee had already been taken care of -- yogadawg had called her and asked her to put my class on his tab. NICE! see what happens when your guru is a celeb? :)

i pocketed the $5 that she gave back to me (and promptly handed it back with more bills after class when i found a cute studio-logo cami to buy).

anyway, after exchanging brief how-are-you's, we found out that we were both recovering from long-distance flights -- me that morning from the west coast and she the night before from some exotic tropical isle (of course, i was so brain-dead that i quickly forgot where she came from). thank goodness for that, because she ended up taking things nice and easy during our hour-long class. the class was surprisingly full for a friday; could it be that everyone just had extremely generous lunch breaks?

because it was an all-levels class, students were given the option to ramp up the difficulty. i chose to stay on the mellower side of things, using the hour-long class primarily to get the economy-seat kinks out of my back and joints. ahhhh....

as we said our namastes after class, i found out that she was leaving that afternoon to lead a weekend retreat in the shenandoah valley in west virginia. and i thought i was crazy busy!

after checking kyra's bio, i found out that while she was trained at the kripalu center in massachusetts, she "has studied with Rodney Yee, David Swenson, Shiva Rea and her personal favorite, Saul David Raye..." i can't seem to leave the LA yoga scene behind, can i?

from there, i retraced my steps to my sister's office. i retrieved my bags and headed for my hotel. once there, i checked in, changed clothes, momentarily fought the temptation to snuggle into the oh-so inviting bed, then grabbed my yoga gear and headed back to the metro station located right outside the hotel entrance.

this time, a ride on the orange line to the yellow line to the columbia heights station dropped me off a few blocks from...

Quiet Mind Yoga
3423 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 299-0111
website: http://www.quietminddc.com/

quiet mind yoga is dedicated to offering a thoughtful reprieve from one's daily routine by providing mindful yoga instruction in an inviting and serene environment.

classes offer detailed instruction that focus on the proper posture alignment, strengthening and fluid movement found in iyengar, ashtanga, anusara and vinyasa.

instructors place great emphasis on the need to relax and restore one’s mind and body, leaving quiet mind students invigorated and radiating peace.

i must've spent too much time at the hotel debating the merits of yoga vs. sleep because by the time i arrived at the quiet mind, nicole foley's level 1/2 iyengar/ashtanga fusion class had already started. i quietly let myself into the classroom, stashed my belongings in one of the cubbies, and set up my yoga mat at the back of the room.

nicole's class seemed to be geared towards the beginner student, which probably wouldn't have been challenging enough for me, but because i was both sleep- and food-deprived at the time (my last "meal" was the bagel i picked up somewhere along the way), i thanked the yoga gods for allowing me to hold on to the little energy i had left.

i had a chance to chat briefly with nicole after class, and when i told her i was from los angeles, her eyes lit up; she had received her teacher training at yoga works and she knew that i had easy access to classes with the best instructors around.

i had to dash out to my next class, so i we exchanged email addresses to keep in touch.

(soon after, i received this sweet note from her:

Can you pack me in your bag on the way home? ;) Thank you so much for coming out yesterday. It was great to meet you!
I hope your trip to DC has been a good one. I'm so glad you made quiet mind one of your stops along the way. We'll be open a whopping 3 weeks tomorrow, and so far...so good. It seems Columbia Heights was really ready for a studio, and that's very exciting.
Columbia Heights used to be a "less appealing" destination in DC, as in a ton of crime, drug dealing, etc. And while those things still exist, overall, the neighborhood has changed quite a bit in the last few years.
Amidst all the corporate giants that have moved in in the last year, it's exciting to be an indie business owner. I have a bulletin board dedicated to promoting local businesses. I've also offered local businesses a 10% discount to really develop a community feel of the studio.

leave it to the little guys to be there for each other!)

i closed the gate of the quaint rowhouse behind me as i walked back to the metro station. back on the yellow to the red, this time exiting at trendy dupont circle.

Tranquil Space Yoga
2024 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 223-yoga (9642)
website: http://www.tranquilspace.com/

(note: effective may 2nd, tranquil space relocated half a mile away to 1632 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009)

tranquil space is a vinyasa yoga playground located in dupont circle with a sister studio in bethesda, maryland and arlington, virginia. our emphasis is on encouraging the growth of one's potential, enjoying the sacred in every day, and living our five studio values: initiative, passion, community, creativity, and compassion.

tranquil space is also the home of kimberly wilson, aka the hip tranquil chick, whose pink-and-leopard themed blog features podcasts and stories about her life, her studio, and yoga in general. while i was bummed that i couldn't take a class with kimberly herself (she only teaches on tuesday evenings and i was leaving on monday), i had something else to look forward to: finally being able to practice with yogadawg himself!

the dawg and i had planned to meet at the dupont circle station, and of course, we waited for each other at different exits! after a few phone calls, we eventually found each other and walked over to the multi-level pink palace, where he not only gifted me with yet another class but also with a fairly hefty yogadawg figurine (see image at the intro of this yogadawg video).

with all the fun stuff lining the studio's boutique shelves, i was looking forward to finding something cute to buy. alas, nothing i wanted was left in my size, probably because it made no sense for them to stock up on items that would have to be boxed up for their impending move. oh well, one less thing to carry home...

yogadawg was fighting a nasty cold that day, but i convinced him that he was well enough to take dibora amanuel's yoga 1 class. just to play it safe, we both set ourselves up at the back of the packed class just in case he had to bail. and even if her level 1 class ended up being significantly more difficult and way more sweaty than the classes i had taken earlier in the day (probably even equivalent to a few level 2/3 classes i've taken), we both managed to get through it without incident -- him without a major coughing fit and me without passing out from exhaustion. in fact, he did so well that he decided to join me the next day as i continued on my yoga tour of DC.

to be continued...

Monday, May 12, 2008

gratuitous yoga

just as gratuitous sex scenes usually add nothing to a movie's story line and are mere attempts to draw audiences to movie theaters, these yoga videos can't really be considered educational, but if they get more men to do yoga, they've done their job. besides, we could always use more gender balance in class :)

here's a selection from a youtube series called yoga 4 dudes. let's watch as holly, noemi, tara, and andrew demonstrate some of the more common yoga positions:

episode 1 - yoga 4 dudes 4 ever
~ kinky arm stretches
~ cat cow
~ upward boodhi
~ sun salutations

episode 2 - yoga 4 dudes 2
~ naughty shodhana
~ chair pose
~ forward blooming lotus

episode 3 -yoga 4 dudes 3
~ floating tantric superman
~ bow pose
~ child pose

episode 4 - yoga 4 dudes 4 (and thanks to andrew's reaction to one of the poses, this one's been labeled as inappropriate for some audiences)
~ really nice puji
~ bridge pose
~ upward bow
~ full blooming lotus

episode 5 - yoga 4 dudes 5
behind the scenes!

don't even ask me how i found these...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

affordable gifts for mom

in my last post, i talked about how i was able to take a drop-in class at yogaworks south bay, the newest yogaworks location, despite its membership-only restriction.

so how did i finagle that? easy.

buried in the fine print of the latest yogaworks email update was this offer:

Invite a mom to a free class from May 5th – May 11th.

and on their website is that "gift" enclosed in a printable mother's day card.

if you look closely at the card, it says:

happy mother's day
Celebrate yourself for Mother's Day
Enjoy a free class at yogaworks
anytime from May 5 - May 11 08

notice how it doesn't exclude any of their locations? i'm sure you can figure out the rest of the story...

thanks to christine and karen for "gifting" me with marla wedge's friday night candlelight flow class and allowing me to check out the luxurious inner sanctum -- tea bar, locker room and all! and many more thanks to my daughters, christina and amanda, for bestowing upon me the title that allowed me to take advantage of the offer in the first place :)

by the way, until YWSB changes their NO drop-ins policy, i'll have to give my business to harmony yoga in redondo beach if i want to take any more of marla's great flow classes...

besides the FREE yogaworks class you can give your mother for mother's day (note that it's good at all their studios in los angeles, orange county, and new york; the offer expires on mother's day), there are other FREE classes you can treat your mother to on her special day... in addition to all the other thoughtful gifts you were already going to give her, right?

MOTHER’S DAY – Free Class for Mom
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Sunday, May 11th
9:30am, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm

Kids of all ages, come to class and bring your mom for FREE

Power Vinyasa with Regina Peluso
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, May 11th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: FREE

Certified and Insured Regina has been teaching students in New York and Los Angeles for numerous years. She has studied with Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, Pattabi Jois, Lauren Hanna, Max Strom, Ana Forrest, among others. She specializes in strong Vinyasa Flow, but has experience teaching Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Restorative practice as well. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in Dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music, providing a strong background in anatomy and injury prevention.

Mommy and Me mat pilates class with Courtney Ca
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, May 11th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Happy Mother's Day! Start off your Mother's Day with pilates for you and your little loved ones!!! All adults are welcome and all kids over the age of 6. Courtney Ca from Better Body Pilates will be instructing the class.

Yoga on the Green with Rich Tola
lululemon Glendale, 233 S Brand Ave
Sunday, May 11th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Please join us for class followed by refreshments.
Rich teaches a challenging vinyasa class emphasizing core strengthening and balance that firms, conditions and detoxifies the body. His passionate and tutorial teaching style inspires students at all levels of practice.

Sunday Yoga: For Cyclists
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, May 11th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Please join us for Sunday Yoga for Cyclists taught by Ambassador Scott Lewicki. The month of May is Bike-to-Work month and it's a great time to remind ourselves that yoga is a good complement to cycling.
Limited "community" mats are available. Bringing your own mat is encouraged. As classes 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 sundeck (accessible through Fraser alley on Delacey).

Weekly Complimentary Classes!
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Sunday May 11th 9:30am-10:30am
Cost: FREE

NIA (i wish there was more i could tell you, but that's all that was posted on their website!)

Restorative Yoga Class for all those Mothers that need a break!
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, May 11th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join Catherine Luna of Harmony Yoga in Redondo Beach/Yoga Works for a yin/restorative yoga class. Bring your mothers too!

Symphonic Yoga at the Museum with Brad Keimach
Westwood Art Forum, 1028 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 11th 7:00pm
Cost: FREE

I have just returned from seeing an exhibit of the work of Shinjo Ito, a Buddhist artist, at the Westwood Art Forum. His work is in statuary, busts, reliefs, calligraphy, and even photography! I must say, after looking into the eyes of all his subjects, I felt a deep sense of peace.
This Sunday, I will be leading a 90-minute Symphonic Yoga (all levels) class at the museum! By that time, the museum will be closed except to those of us practicing yoga. You may come early to view the exhibit, or stay a short while after. It will surely enhance your experience.
Both the exhibit and the Symphonic Yoga class are free!
Come and combine experiences: art, music, yoga, east, west; all in the spirit of yoga: union.
Bring your mats, towels, water, and blocks or straps if you need/want them: there are no props at the museum.
I invite you to add to your life experience with this combination of art, energy, music, and yoga.

Friday, May 09, 2008

news from the south bay

i was at the just-opened yogaworks south bay location earlier this evening, and while i was waiting in the lobby for my class to start -- i know, you're wondering how i managed to score a class WITHOUT signing up for a membership... i'll fill you in on that later -- anyway, there i was, quietly minding my own business when i happened to hear "yogasofia" mentioned over and over again...

it was only after class that my curiosity finally got the best of me; i just had to ask. and it turned out that the front desk staff had the answer. or at least enough information to answer my question.

from what i was told, students at yogasofia were being met with a sign posted on the studio's front door when they showed up for class. it basically told them that their YS series and packages would now be honored at the YW south bay location.

wait a minute... does this mean that yogasofia closed down? is that why i haven't been getting any email updates from them recently?

as soon as i got home, i checked the yogasofia website and found this update:


Studio Closing and joining YogaWorks!

We have discovered another beer leak (BEER LEAK??) in our studio. :( We've now been told the plumbing is old, and we have no assurance that this will be permanently resolved, though the owner made a valiant effort 8 months ago.

We have found a NEW HOME for our yogis!! We reached out to the yoga community and were given a red carpet roll-out by none other than the beautiful YOGAWORKS at PCH and Rosecrans! All your YS packages are good there, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CALL BEFORE ATTENDING A CLASS: (310) 322-6500 and PLEASE ASK FOR A "YOGA ADVISOR."

YW South Bay has a beautiful, sustainable/eco-friendly yoga center with showers, a rope wall, free parking, and an amazing schedule of classes. Nearby is the all-new, giant Whole Foods and Veggie Grill.

VIPs will be contacted this week so they can receive ALL their remaining massages and benefits together.

SUNDAY FREE BEACH FITNESS WALKS continue so you can share any thoughts you might have -- or just have a great Walk in the beautiful ocean air! Meet at 9am this Sunday (May 4) and for many Sundays thereafter! Meet under the blue YS Awning out front, wearing walking shoes. Our pace is brisk! Ends at 9:30. Parking is free till 10am.

To view the YW Schedule, go to www.yogaworks.com. Click on LOS ANGELES (Top Right), then SCHEDULE, then SOUTH BAY.

Please join me in Embracing Change as only yogis can! I hope we can all conceive that this transition might be a powerfully GOOD thing for each of us, if we give it a chance to show us how.

Email me at: yoga@yogasofia.com

My Love and Heartfelt Thanks to Each of You -- Members and Staff Alike!!

Namaste! Sofia

i don't know about you, but it sounds like yogasofia's studio closure isn't a temporary thing. and with all things considered, other than the fact that YS students who live/work in hermosa beach (where YS is located) now have to travel a few miles away to el segundo (where YW south bay is located), this transition DOES sound like a good thing.

point 1: the class schedule
yogasofia had one classroom. yogaworks has two. you do the math. add to that the fact that yogaworks recruits many of the best teachers in or near the south bay (having all that cash to wave around helps, i'm sure). so far, so good.

point 2: the facilities
there's no way you can even try to compare yogasofia's intimate home with yogaworks' palatial digs. it's like trying to compare a best western with a ritz-carlton. not that i have anything against best westerns...

point 3: the parking
one definitely needed cash and/or parking karma to find a parking spot in hermosa beach near the pier, especially during the summer. not so at plaza el segundo, where parking is plentiful and FREE. you might have to walk a bit if you get there during the busy part of the day, but remember: it's FREE!

point 4: the cost
if you currently hold a yogasofia package, that is, a monthly or annual plan, renewing it shouldn't be a problem; the yogasofia and yogaworks rates are pretty much the same. and if you bought a 5-, 10-, or 20-class YS series, yogaworks will honor the remaining classes on your series...

BUT -- and this is where it gets interesting -- will they continue to let you buy series passes? or even more importantly, at least to me, is this: if you were a yogasofia drop-in, will you be allowed to drop-in at yoga works south bay and skirt past the MEMBERSHIP ONLY restriction? leave it to me to try to find a loophole... you know i'm going to to ask :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

another casualty of the slowing economy...

this update came in earlier today from mark at mark blanchard's power yoga regarding his studio in brentwood. it's sad to see this place close down, especially since mark put so much time and effort into making the westside branch a beautiful space (including doing all he could to protect the students in the classroom from the noise and odors from the restaurant next door!). at least the valley location will still be there for all his power yoga junkies...

To our Brentwood Yoga Family:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the closing of our Brentwood studio on Thursday, May 15th. The last day of classes will be May 14th.

We have struggled to keep up with the exorbitant rent increases and a slowing economy. Our efforts to have the rent reduced did not produce any results. This is in addition to the inability of the landlord to maintain the facility at the high standards and conditions that we need to furnish a healthy and clean environment for all of you. So, it’s just not feasible for this location to remain open.

The Studio City location is going strong (as it has been for 12+ years) and will be there to welcome all of your warm faces. As always, your series and classes can be used there. In fact, as a way of thanking you for your loyalty, for those who are not students at our Studio City location, we will double your remaining classes from Brentwood. For example, if you have 2 weeks remaining on your Month series, you will then have 4 weeks.

To all students who have remaining classes and cannot ever make it to Studio City, we will do our best to give you a refund for your remaining classes in a timely manner. Or, if you wish, you can have a store credit for the remaining value of your series. An even better option would be to give your classes to a friend or family member - remember the remaining classes will be doubled.

I plan to be teaching again on the Westside in June. I currently have three locations in mind to teach at in Beverly Hills. I will hopefully be bringing some of our instructors with me. In the meantime, we will let you know where they will be teaching on the Westside. So, please be sure we have your updated contact information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at mark@markblanchardsyoga.com. We will keep you posted. Thank you so much for support and patience as we journey into our next chapter.

Monday, May 05, 2008

sharing our strength

once again, i've just received an email message with a friend's name on the subject line.

and once again, the news wasn't good.

it's from anthony and rebecca benenati of city yoga, and this time, i'm sharing it with all of you because there's a chance you may also know the wonderful person they're talking about...

date: May 5th, 2008
subject: Our Beloved Camilla

To the City Yoga community;

We regret to inform you all that our dear friend and colleague Camilla Bergstrom was in an accident yesterday at the Sunset Horse Stables in Hollywood.

Camilla was in the process of buying a horse and was spending some time with it on Sunday when tragedy struck. The horse spooked and her hand got caught in the rope. She has lost parts of 3 fingers of her left hand. The nature of the accident was so severe it does not allow the reattachment of those fingers. Sadly, they are gone.

She is "ok", which is to say stable. She is in the hospital and will probably be home tomorrow. Thankfully, there were no other injuries, though she will be very sore from the trauma. She went into surgery late last night and is recovering today.

Rebecca is with her now and she has some of her Swedish friends corresponding with her family in Sweden. Unfortunately, her family is not able to come over to be with her.

Some of us have known Camilla for a long time and others have just come to know her but we all have come to love her tough Swedish shell which encases one of the most compassionate, beautiful souls. In talking with her in her moments of clarity she has spoken of gratitude. Gratitude for the smallest things. Camilla has gone through a lot and she is the first to say that she is grateful for every challenge because it has taught her about herself and made her stronger.

She will need all of our strength and support in the coming weeks and months and I know we will all be grateful to give all we can. At the moment, please just hold her in your hearts and send her love. We will be sending out more information. It will include more specific things we can do to help.

One of the first things she will need is money. Fortunately, she has insurance but as is the case with most Americans, it is only disaster insurance. That means high deductibles and items not covered, not to mention her inability to work for a while. We are planning a fundraiser for her with in the coming days but you may start by sending money instead of flowers to:

Camilla Bergstrom
c/o City Yoga
7904 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 214
West Hollywood, CA 90046

ANY amount you can give will be extraordinary if we act as a community.
Please DO NOT call her cell phone. She will need time to get settled and in touch with her family since the time difference is so great and I'm sure she will be exhausted.

Thank you all in advance for your love and support of our dear friend.

In her service,
Rebecca and Anthony

update --

the first responses from the anusara community are already pouring in...

this is from marc holzman of guerilla yoga:

This Sunday, May 11 the proceeds for the Guerilla class will go to Camilla to assist her during this traumatic time. Camilla has been teaching at City Yoga for years, and I know that many of us have passed through her classes at one point or another. So whether you know Camilla or not, come on out this Sunday so that her heart will heal with our support.

Sunday, May 11th 9:15am
Hollywood Dance Center, 817 N Highland Ave, Hollywood
All classes by donation

another update --

city yoga just posted the details of their fundraiser:

We are holding a special evening of yoga and chanting to benefit our beloved teacher, friend and fellow yogi, Camilla Bergstrom. As with individuals, the true nature of communities are tested when tragedy strikes and this community has shown its strength and beauty by rallying behind our friend. It is an honor to witness and be a part of it.

Sunday, May 18th 7:00pm
City Yoga, Los Angeles
$25 donation and City Yoga will match all monies raised on this night

Come practice with Anthony Benenati and chant with Dave Stringer to raise money to help support Camilla with all her expenses. At a time like this the last thing anyone should worry about is how they are going to pay their rent or the medical bills that are starting to roll in.

There will be light food and drink compliments of Jonathan Darr and Love Catering.
There will be gift auctions too! Great stuff like massages, treatments, swag from Lululemon and more. If you are unable to attend but still want to donate you may do so directly.

There is only room for 60 so please sign up soon by calling 323.654.2125

Thank you in advance. ANY amount you can give will be extraordinary if we act as a community. Your donation will make a huge difference in Camilla's life.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

saved by the drum

while checking email earlier today, this teaser on the aol website caught my eye:

Hare Krishna 12 Steps for Nolte

What's the best way to kick addiction? According to Celebitchy, Nick Nolte has turned to chanting and drum circles with Hare Krishnas to help him quit drinking -- and it's worked!

naturally, i checked the celebitchy post for the details. here are some excerpts:

Nick Nolte beats alcoholism with the help of Hare Krishna cult

Nick Nolte’s girlfriend introduced him to a strange way to stop drinking. She invited her Hare Krishna friends over to their house and they started having drum circles and chanting.

Nolte, 67, has had a lifelong battle with alcoholism. The Hare Krishna’s have come to his rescue though, and he’s found that their chanting relaxes him and helps him stay away from booze.

The Hare Krishnas, or International Society for Krishna Consciousness, are one of the most controversial cults in the world. They were exposed in huge scandals in the 1980s when it came out that children were being sexually and physically abused in their boarding schools. They’ve been accused of brainwashing young converts and turning them against their families and loved ones, forcing them to live in abject poverty as slaves to the movement.

Good for Nolte for being able to quit drinking. You wonder how much it’s going to cost Nolte in the long run if he gets involved with a cult...

the hare krishnas -- a cult?

hmmm... i spent the better part of the day with hundreds of hare krishnas last summer at the festival of the chariots on venice beach. and not one of them tried to lure me into their so-called cult. while i have to admit that chanting "hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare..." for hours on end does have a way of wiping out all stray thoughts from your brain, by no means would i consider that brainwashing.

besides, according to the iskcon website:

Devotees may accept formal initiation into the chanting of the Holy Name vowing to abstain from intoxication, gambling, illicit sexual connections and the eating of meat, fish or eggs. ISKCON members believe indulgence in the aforementioned activities disrupts physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and increases anxiety and conflict in society. At the time of initiation devotees also agree to chant a prescribed number of mantras each day.

ok, so maybe i don't really drink nor gamble, but to totally give up meat, fish, and eggs? or worse yet, not to be able to have any illicit sexual connections? what fun is that?!?

anyway, now that i've just failed the krishnas' initiation requirements, i guess i won't be drafted for drum-banging duty at LAX any time soon... thank goodness, because saffron isn't really my color... :)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

may days (and nights!)

how about this for a miracle: i've actually managed to post the events for the month of may on the first day of the month! as usual, though, not everyone's published their complete schedules yet, so i'll have to keep updating this listing whenever i hear about more fun stuff...

ongoing events:

Yoga for Progressive Athletes
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (hosted by lululemon Pasadena)
Every Tuesday 6:00-7:00pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for Yoga for Progressive Athletes.
Welcome to Summer. Breakout the running shoes, buy the new swimsuits, and get ready for months of outside activity. Fun lately has become serious business. We want to shave minutes off of our 5k, increase our vertical leap for the outside jumper, some of us just want to get more tone places to tan.
Yoga for the progressive athlete is a program designed to help those ready to define their relationship and understanding of how the body moves and functions. It will be an active econstruction of gross fascia binding, novel synthesis of kinetic and isometric movement to promote muscular growth and break muscular habits, as well as integrating of breathwork for a calm meditative mind. The goals of this class are to help the participant move more efficiently and completely, increase their strength and balance, and also to look 'tight' in their trunks or bikini.
Limited "community" mats are available. Bringing your own mat is encouraged. Please dress in layers so that you may remove articles as you warm-up during the class.

BodyFreedom - Experience Profound Healing Through Dance with Tarnie Fulloon
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Every Thursday 9:00–10:30am
Cost: $97 Series of 6, $67 Series of 4, $20 Single Class

Join Tarnie Fulloon, creator of BodyFreedom, and experience her unique method of healing movement blending physical therapy, spiritual psychology and dance as a modality for self-expression and deep healing. No experience necessary!

Yoga for Runners with Steve Mackel
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Every Thursday 6:30-7:30pm
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.
*WEATHER PERMITTING. Please check the events section for further information if it is a rain day.

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.

All-levels Fitness Class
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Every Sunday 9:30-10:45am
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 yoga 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 yoga class schedule)

Yoga on the Green
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Every Sunday 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Rise and shine for Sunday Yoga on The Green with lululemon athletica! Classes are led by local certified instructors, all levels welcome. Healthy snacks and beverages to follow.

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)

Sunset Beach Yoga!
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Every Sunday 6:45pm
Cost: FREE

Beach Yoga is back!
Kick off for the Sunday Sunset Beach Yoga is on May 18th! Then keep the summer stretching going every Sunday through August 31st!
Where to meet? At the store at 6:45pm, we'll walk together!
What? All levels of Vinyasa flow!
Who? You and the Lu staff and guest teachers!
Why? Why not do some complimentary yoga overlooking the ocean while the sun sets???
May 18th: Ted McDonald
May 25th: Eden Goldman

Friday Night Groove Night
Yoga Groove, North Hollywood
Friday, May 2nd (1st Friday of every month) 8:00-9:15pm
Cost: Regular class

Join Karen every first Friday of the month for a Yoga Groove class. May include live music.
This month: Live music from our special guest THE BHAJAN BAND
Please check www.yogagroovestudio.com for details.

Chanting Workshop
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Saturday, May 3rd (Every month) 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, May 3rd (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.

Kirtan at SMPY West
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturdays, May 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th 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!

Kirtan with Daniel, Larry, Sarah and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, May 9th (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.

Family Yoga with Ally Hamilton
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Saturday, May 10th 11:00am
Cost: FREE

Join us for a celebration of Family with yoga, food and fun!
Ally Hamilton of Santa Monica Power Yoga wil be leading a deep, sweaty 60-minute flow class for mamas (and daddies, too!) Lots of heart and hip opening guaranteed to set you up for a beautiful weekend.
Meet us at lululemon Santa Monica and we'll walk together to the bluffs at the end of Santa Monica Blvd. We'll lay down out mats, sweat, and enjoy treats afterwards.
Don't worry about the little ones; we'll watch them.

Karma Yoga Party
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Saturday, May 10th (Every month) 2:00pm
Cost: FREE

Karma Yoga is also important for balanced sadhana, so we are offering a separate opportunity for that. Once a month, usually the second Saturday in the month, we will be having a Karma Yoga Party - so that everyone can come and work together in the karma yoga spirit to support the center and strengthen the developing spirit of community. Projects will include cleaning, painting, computer work, filing and office work, sewing and a whole lot of other things that need doing to keep the energy of the center sattvic. For this to work properly, we need enthusiastic coordinators. We hope you will be able join us in this capacity.
2:00-6:00pm: Karma Yoga at the Center
6:00pm: We will share pizza and refreshments together
7:00pm: Saturday night at 'Om' (movie night)

FREE Community Night with Tom Jermain
City Yoga, West Hollywood
Tuesday, May 13th (2nd Tuesday of every month) 7:45pm
Cost: FREE

Practicing the "Power of Now"
Tom Jermain is presenting helpful ways and means to help you access the moment...and experience and enjoy the "Power of Now."
His community night will incorporate the teachings of Eckart Tolle's best selling book, "The Power of Now" and other writings and teachings from the Sutra's to the New Testament (with a little 'Oprah' thrown in for good and hip measure!)
The night will include:
~ guided meditation
~ guided 'clearings' (to release old resentments, anger, etc.)
~ fun and easy exercises to help you feel as good off the mat as you do on
Please R.S.V.P. by calling 323-654-2125

Kirtan (call and response chanting) with Travis Eliot, Daniel Stewart, and Friends
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 24th (Every month) 8:00-9:30 PM
Cost: By Donation

Join the evoLUtion with Global Green!
lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd
Thursday, May 29th (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!
This event begins at 7:30 and lasts approximately 2 hours.

Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Brentwood
Every month, TBA 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.

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

Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Every month, TBA
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:

Opening Week's events
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Friday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 4th
Cost: FREE

lululemon athetica is celebrating our arrival in Glendale with a week of complimentary classes and events!
Join us for:
~ yoga with ambasssador Karen Russell Saturday May 3rd 8:30 to 9:30am
~ yoga with ambassador Tony Giuliano Sunday May 4th from 9:30 to 10:30am
Make sure to stop in Friday, Saturday and Sunday for live demos, snacks and more!

CONCERT with Donna Delory, Shiva Rea, + friends!
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, May 3rd 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door

Donna's music is a seamless blend of east and west, a beautiful hybrid of English lyrics and devotional Sanskrit mantras set to modern melodies. Donna's voice reaches for the divine and allows her to touch the hearts of music lovers around the globe.
She will be accompanied by her hypnotic band: Cameron Stone on cello, Mark Gorman on bass, and Dave Allen on drums and percussion, and DJ Mac Quayle on keyboards.

Snatam Kaur in concert!
Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
Saturday, May 3rd 8:00 pm
Cost: $25/adv; $35/day of

Join us for a wonderful evening of mantra and kirtan with Snatam, Guru Ganesha and special guests Mirabai Ceiba!

Vinyasa flow yoga with Dice
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, May 4th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: FREE

Dice will lead us through a Vinyasa Flow Class. Come support this new, awesome teacher and one of our own fellow lulu's! Yeah!

Anusara-inspired yoga with Georgina Purple
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, May 4th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

lululemon athletica invites you to be a part of our complimentary Sunday yoga class with ambassador Georgina Purple. Looking forward to seeing you there!

World Laughter Day Celebration at the Beach
Ocean Park Beach, 2600 Barnard Way, Santa Monica
Sunday, May 4th 11:00am-2:00pm
Cost: FREE

World Laughter Day will be celebrated all over the world and we are very excited to offer this FREE event to the community.
There is all day parking in Lot 5 South for $6 per car, or you can take the Blue Blus or the Tide Shuttle (they both stop there)
We will have a laughter session for everyone, open laughter competitions for all ages, Elmo for the children with activities, and lots of fun for all. If you have never been to World Laughter Day, you are in for a treat. Bring your friends and family to enjoy this great event!
Please bring a picnic lunch, water, hats and suncreen. Look for the balloons to find us.
Don't miss this fun and laughter-filled event!

Spring Soiree
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Thursday, May 8th 7:00-11:00pm
Cost: FREE

Swing into Spring with lululemon athletica!
lululemon athletica is blooming in Glendale.
Join us for our grand opening celebration.
Enjoy live entertainment, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails!
RSVP to glendale-community@lululemon.com
All ages welcome.

Keshvacharya Das Kirtan/Chant Concert
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Friday, May 9th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 paid by 5/8, $20 at the door

Keshavacharya Das’ musical and spiritual journey has led him from the pristine mountains of Switzerland, to the ancient temples and simple monasteries of India, and now to the yoga studios and ashrams tucked within America's bustling cities. Through it all, he remains a simple monk and lover of devotional chanting. He sees kirtan as a way to connect the performer and the listeners on a spiritual and artistic level, and an opportunity to create sacred space and invite others to enter into that space through the medium of sound.

Global Sound Conference 2008
Marina del Rey Marriott, Marina del Rey
Friday, May 9th thru Monday, 12th
Cost: $20 Single Workshop, $125 Day Pass, $495 Conference Pass
Time is running out and prices will increase at the door: www.globalsoundconference.com

The Global Sound Conference is a unique event that will bring together key individuals from the Music, Film and Television industries with Pioneers in the areas of Wellness, Sound Healing, and Integrative Medicine to explore the many ways that sound affects our lives.
Contributing to the event is an amazing lineup of Doctors, Scientists, Musicians, and Media Visionaries who will address the various components of Sound including Health, Science, Entertainment, and Technology.
Presenters: Sheila Chandra, Stanley Jordan, Rickie Byars Beckwith & Agape International Choir, Yungchen Lhamo & Greg Ellis, Shiva Rea, Steven Halpern, Jonathan Goldman, Fabien Maman, Dr. Patrick Flanagan.
~ FREE Exhibits!
~ FREE Music!
~ FREE Kids 12 & Under
~ FREE Wellness Center & Bookstore

WorldFest 2008
Woodley Park, Encino
Saturday, May 10th 10:00am-6:30pm
Cost: $7, Kids under 12 FREE!

The WorldFest 2008 Earth Day Festival will be held on Saturday, May 10th, 2008, from 10 am to 6:30 pm, at the beautiful outdoor setting of Woodley Park in Encino, CA.
We will welcome our attendees to a magnificent day filled with entertainment, education and enlightenment. The combination of great music, empowering speakers, environmental, humanitarian and animal welfare non-profits, kid's activities and an delicious food court make for an earth-friendly experience that is sure to be inspiring and enjoyable for all.
Here's What's Happening at WorldFest this Year:
Main Stage - bigger-name bands and celebrity speakers.
Earth Lounge - singer/songwriters, jazz, rock, funk, and world music groups and poets.
EcoTent - speakers, discussions, and displays about sustainable living and current environmental issues
Healthy Hut - speakers, discussions, and displays about health including yoga, meditation, and cooking demos.
Exhibitors - over 100 companies showcasing their products and organizations.
Kids' World - storytelling, face painting, and children's entertainers and other activities!
Oasis Beer and Wine Garden - Refresh yourself in the Oasis located near the Main Stage!
Animal Adoptions - dogs, cats, rabbits and lots of animals looking for good homes!

Howard Wills with special guest, Steve Ross
Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
Saturday, May 10th 7:00-9:30 pm
Cost: $30/adv or $40/day of

Come to a beautiful gathering of Love, Kirtan, Healing and expansion of Consciousness – An evening to raise the bar on the happiness & joy factor in our lives! This rare event is expressly for all of you who wish to join us. Come experience inspirational healing, the art of effective prayer, supreme bliss & love for all life!!!
For 34 years, Howard Wills has been sharing spiritual insights and knowledge on healing, consciousness and love. Howard works with people from all over the world and has witnessed marvelous and miraculous transformations – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Steve Ross has practiced various styles of yoga for his entire adult life and has been an instructor and Kirtan leader for over twenty years. He has explored the physical aspects of yoga as well as the spiritual and philosophical roots of yoga. He spent four years as a monk in the Vedic tradition, and since that time, he has ceaselessly sought out and reveled in the presence of some of the most notable masters of our time. Steve’s events are ecstatic.

MOTHER’S DAY – Free Class for Mom
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Sunday, May 11th 9:30am, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm classes
Cost: FREE

Kids of all ages, come to class and bring your mom for FREE!

Restorative Yoga Class for all those Mothers that need a break!
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, May 11th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join Catherine Luna of Harmony Yoga in Redondo Beach/Yoga Works for a yin/restorative yoga class. Bring your mothers too!

Power Vinyasa with Regina Peluso
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, May 11th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: FREE

Certified and Insured Regina has been teaching students in New York and Los Angeles for numerous years. She has studied with Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, Pattabi Jois, Lauren Hanna, Max Strom, Ana Forrest, among others. She specializes in strong Vinyasa Flow, but has experience teaching Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Restorative practice as well. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in Dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music, providing a strong background in anatomy and injury prevention.

Special Mother's Day Class: Partner Yoga and Thai/Shiatsu Massage with Alicia Johnson
Yoga Loft, Manhattan Beach
Sunday, May 11th 10:15am-12:00pm
Cost: $49 per pair (includes post-class mimosas on the balcony!)

Join our very-missed former Loft instructor Alicia Johnson for this soothing, playful Mother's Day treat! Bring your mother, daughter, son, significant other, best friend--anyone is welcome--for a morning of partner stretches, trust-building partner postures, and relaxing hands-on massage techniques and adjustments.

Restorative yoga with Stefan Storace
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Wednesday, May 14th 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: FREE

lululemon athletica invites you to be a part of our complimentary Wednesday night yoga class with our NEW ambassador Stefan Storace. Relax, unwind and rejuvenate with a special Wednesday night Restorative class with Stefan.
Restorative Yoga is a series of poses, which are supported through the use of bolsters, blankets, and pillows. The body can he held in each pose without having to exert any effort, creating a deeply healing and meditative experience. This class opens the body's energy channels to stimulate, soothe and relive the effects of chronic stress. Therapeutic and relaxing experiences that will leave you in complete bliss.

Mothercraft life coaching seminar and yoga class
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Friday, May 16th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for a special evening just for MOM! We'll kick off the evening with life coaching and finish up with a refreshing yoga session! The evening will be facilitated by Carley Knobloch, a certified life coach and founder of Mothercraft. Mothercraft is a life coaching company just for moms, dedicated to helping them effectively govern their families and create truly amazing lives!

Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe Performing Live with Shantala Kirtan/Chant Concert
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Friday, May 16th, 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 paid by 5/15, $20 at the door

Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe: With nominations for album of the year and best vocal album for 2007, by the New Age reporter charts, Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe are ushering in a new era in music, sure to ignite your soul fire with their East meets West mix of chant, mantra and uplifting songs focused on themes of peace, hope and love.
Shantala: Benjy and Heather Wertheimer lead Kirtan worldwide, bringing sacred lyrics, soul stirring vocals and exotic instrumentation. The weaving of Benjy’s Indian classical singing and Heather’s soaring vocals is fresh, original and profoundly moving.

Detox Yoga: Spring Cleaning with Sara Ivanhoe!
Yoga Works Montana, Santa Monica
Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th 1:30-4:30pm
Cost: Full Weekend $100, Saturday $60, Sunday $60

Spring cleaning for your mind, body and soul!
Join Sara for this special weekend event to drop what you don’t need. Reaffirm your commitment to your Self with a physical, emotional and spiritual detoxification.
Through a series of specially designed vinyasa flow and restorative sequences, breathing techniques and mudras, you will improve your circulation, stimulate your digestion, soothe your nervous system, and emerge from the weekend feeling serene and refreshed.

Harmonium and Kirtan Workship with the Temple Bhajan Band
Free Spirit Yoga, Long Beach
Saturday, May 17th 6:30pm
Cost: $30 donation, vegetarian dinner included

We will learn to play the harmonium. Some of us have always wanted to try playing one of these. This night we will get the chance and also learn to sing with it. We guarantee you will learn to play 5 songs. This is going to be a very fun evening.

Yoga Trance Dance
Your Neighborhood Studio, Culver City
Saturday, May 17th 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: By Donation

YNS will be hosting a donation-based Yoga Trance Dance event.
Yoga Trance Dance is a fun, liberating, spiritual dance bringing the best of Yoga and Dance together. Warm up with fluid yoga movements that evolve into a wild, free-form ecstatic dance, followed by meditation and savasana. The evening will be led by Stephanie Brail who has trained with the world-famous creator of Yoga Trance Dance, Shiva Rea.

Kirtan with AMBE
Shakti's Elements, 717 Broadway, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 17th 7:30pm
Cost: $15 (YogiMilan members), $20 (non-members)


Please join us for another wonderful evening of singing and chanting with AMBE!
Ambe is a kirtan band from Los Angeles, consisting of Kamini Natarajan, Andrew Behla, Dean Childers, Dahveed Estrada, and Harrison Ellison. By using traditional instruments - dhotar, tanpura, and harmonium along with percussion - Ambe weaves an organic sound that allows the call and response chanting to be fully supported. New compositions as well as traditional chants give a variety to the experience of diving back into the silence of the Self.
Founding member Andrew Behla explains, "Chanting in Sanskrit has an incredible effect on the consciousness when done with 100% enthusiasm. It's like charging your batteries while having fun at the same time! Also, the chants are constantly evolving and anyone can join in. All you need is a YES mind and the heart will follow!"

Marla Leigh's Rhythms in Peace Fundraising Concert
BONSORTE STUDIO, 2401 Lincoln Blvd, Venice
Saturday, May 17th 8:00pm
Cost: $20 presale, $25 door

Support Sacred World Music, Dance, Celebrate Life in Rhythm
With Marla's eclectic world music ensemble, Rhythmjuju
Special guests: Saul David Raye (meditation), Suzanne Sterling and Suzanne Teng (music guests)
Plus: Silent auction, conscious treats, slide show/video of sacred music of Morocco and much more.
Rhythms in Peace is a landmark, global sound healing CD and DVD project that brings together Grammy-winning artists and other world class musicians with tribal music groups from across the globe. Some proceeds from this project will go to aid women's sacred music groups in developing countries (Morocco and Egypt). We are currently fundraising for the first phase of the project where we will to go to Morocco in September 2008, to record with the Houyarites, a trance healing women's drumming/vocal group, as well as with Gnawa and Berber musicians.

Kirtan with Daniel Stewart at Just Breathe Yoga
Just Breathe Yoga, 25044 Peachland Avenue #106, Newhall
Saturday, May 17th 8:00pm
Cost: $15 Suggested Donation

Join us for a special evening of soulful, rocking, call and response chanting at our honorary "sister studio" in Santa Clarita. My dear friend Dani Ibarra owns Just Breathe Yoga and I'm looking forward to bringing the bhakti to her space.
The band on Saturday with be Damon Grossman and Eliot Ferrer on drums, Sylvie Scoville singing back-up vocals, Jeff Harris on guitair and Abby Scoville with her cello!
No experience necessary. Just a willingness to open your heart to the Joyful flow.

Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 17th 8:30pm-12:30am
Cost: $11


A sound healing meditation with color therapy, and splashes of yoga and qi gong, followed by a conscious dance experience... On the "A" Vibe
The Love is Truth Experience
Ancient esoteric widsom and cutting edge technology come alive with the use of specific sounds, colors, and light. Awaken as we blend yoga, sound, meditation, color, Qi Gong, Kirtan, and dance to live groove music and celebrate our sacred lives.
8:30 to 10:00 Fusion of meditation, color therapy, qi gong, yoga and sound healing
10:00 to 11:00 Live sounds of the funk, sensual, drumming, and electronica as space for free form dance, movement, and stretching or chilling
11:00 to 12:30 A short Kirtan followed by raw food and more DJ/live music and dance

All levels Flow Yoga with Ambassador Bonnie Johanson!
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Sunday, May 18th 9:30am
Cost: FREE

Join ambassador Bonnie Johanson for a light-hearted view on the basics of yoga (intention, breath & movement, base postures) in an all levels flow class.

Kids' Yoga class with Tracy Dardick
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, May 18th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

All kids over the age of 6 welcome to join for our yoga class designed especially for you! Don't miss this special event!

Fields of Green
13th Street and Metlox Center, Manhattan Beach
Sunday, May 18th 2:00-5:00pm
Cost: FREE

Join us this Sunday, May 18th, 2-5pm for the second Fields of Green event in the Metlox Center. This is a free community event, brought to us by GrowingGreat, the City of Manhattan Beach and Whole Foods. There will be entertainment, musical groups, activities, exhibitors, food samplings, educational speakers & demonstrations, all designed to inspire healthy living and eating.
Funds raised will help support GrowingGreat's current nutrition and garden programs in Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne and Culver City, and to support their expansion into 10 Los Angeles elementary schools in the fall.
Come and visit us in the Space Studio, YogaBuddies and lululemon booth. We’ll have lululemon wear, marked down for this event (FYI – lululemon merchandise doesn’t go on sale very often!) and a raffle for 2 Spin or Yoga classes, a Space Studio towel, socks and a lululemon athletic bag!
Bring your kids and check out our Yoga for Kids demo at 2:10pm on the main stage. Danay DiVirgilio, founder of YogaBuddies, along with instructors Jessie and Lore will be leading the kids through a mini yoga session. If you’ve heard about our popular Yoga for Kids classes but haven’t seen one in action, here’s your chance! Each child who participates will be entered into a raffle. The winner will receive 2 Yoga for Kids classes and a very special YogaBuddies CD. All ages welcome!

Kirtan with David Newman!
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Sunday, May 18th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance; $20 day of

Join us for an inspired evening of call and response chanting and devotional music with Kirtan Chant artist David Newman also known as Durga Das! David’s distinctive approach to Kirtan embodies a heartfelt devotional mysticism with an adventurous musicality and poetic intimacy. His Kirtans are a joyous and spiritually uplifting journey into bliss! David will be joined by vocalist and percussionist Mira.

Yoga Booty Ballet with Gillian Clark
Presented by 944 and lululemon Beverly Hills, 8560 W. Sunset Drive #100
Tuesday, May 20th 6:00pm
Cost: FREE

Come get down with this alternative yoga class as we sweat out the toxins, dance away stress, and get our mind and bodies ready for summer.
Please arrive by 5:30pm to sign in. Class begins promptly at 6:00pm.
Cocktails, Appetizers and Trunk Show begin at 7:00pm

Vinyasa Flow + Inversions and Backbends Workshop with Krista Cahill
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, May 25th 9:00-11:00am
Cost: FREE

Come deepen your practice with a morning inversion and backbend immersion led by new ambassador Krista Cahill. A slow flow Vinyasa yoga class will be followed by a close look at the inversions and backbends that have captivated yogis for ages. The physical and mental benefits to these asanas are immeasurable in value, and a heck of a lot of FUN!
Class begins promptly at 9:00am. This will be a 2 hour class for all levels.

Beach Boot Camp!
On the Beach at Rosecrans, Manhattan Beach (hosted by lululemon South Bay)
Sunday, May 25th 9:00am
Cost: FREE

Join us for a Beach Fitness Boot Camp 'Powered by superSTAR FITNESS' on the beach at Rosecrans in MB.
Designed for ALL fitness levels - Lose fat, tone & sculpt, reduce stress, connect to others, live healthy and have FUN getting in the best shape of your life! Total Body Fitness to include: core/functional training, cardio conditioning, flexibility enhancement, body sculpting, toning and muscular strength and endurance.

Yoga with Chandra Gero
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, May 25th 9:30-10:30pm
Cost: FREE

Complimentary in-store yoga with lululemon ambassador Chandra Gero.

Yoga on the Green
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Sunday, May 25th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Come join us for Sunday morning yoga with Elyse Briggs, owner of Yoga at the Village. All levels welcome, please bring your own yoga mat. Limited mats available.
Light refreshments to follow.

It's Our Birthday Party!
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, May 25th 10:00am-6:00pm
Cost: FREE

We are turning One!
Come celebrate this occasion and share in food, drinks, and music.
There will be Prizes given and Amazing demos all day long!
Our complimentary class schedule:
10:00-11:00 John Bea
11:30-1:00 Scott Lewicki
1:30-2:45 Tamar Usman
3:30-4:30 Ann O'Brien
5:00-6:00 Paul Katami
Receive a yoga mat with every purchase of $50 or more (limit one per guest)

Living Yoga Documentary
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly
Sunday, May 25th 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

Part 1 in our NEW movie series! Come enjoy a complementary movie and get together on the Lulu's at North Beverly!
Living Yoga The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda
Swami Satchidananda was an integral player in bringing yoga to the Western World. Due, in part, to his cooperation with researchers and other health care practitioners, yoga has become a well respected form of strengthening, relaxing, and conditioning the mind, body and spirit. Deepen your understanding of the birth and journey of Modern Yoga with this new documentary from Shiva Kumar and Joshua M. Greene.
Show starts at 7:30pm.

Anusara-inspired yoga with Georgina Purple
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Wednesday, May 28th 7:00-8:00pm
Location: lululemon Calabasas
Cost: FREE

lululemon will be hosting a Wednesday evening Anusara-inspired yoga class with Georgina Purple. We invite you to join us for an evening of therapeutic yoga.

Yoga with Regina Peluso
Thursday, May 29th 7:30pm
Westwood Art Forum, 1028 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles
Cost: FREE

Regina is a bi-coastal instructor currently teaching for New York Sports Club, Crunch, Clay, Yoga Effects, Yoga and Pilates & Yoga by Jane in Beverly Hills, Liberation Yoga and Crunch in Los Angeles.

Yoga to Lift Your Spirit with David Lynch
Yoga Works Westwood, Los Angeles
Friday, May 30th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: $25

Come and spend an evening of uplifting Yoga asana meant to free the body, heart and mind. Immerse yourself in the joys of two hours of Yoga that will transport you to the heights of spiritual ecstasy. Share a night of Yoga and music illuminated with the glowing embers of candlelight followed by delectable sweets and spirits (baked with love by Mr. Lynch). Mingle with Yogis who share your passion for Sun Salutations, twists, backbends, heart openers and the need to banish the blues with the power of vinyasa flow. As one of David's students so beautifully put it; "If only there was a single word to describe how inspirational his teaching can be I would shout it to the world!"

breathe your way to beauty with Natalie Lawrence
Yoga Works South Bay, El Segundo
Saturday, May 31st 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $35 per person by 5/20, $45 after

Join Origins and YogaWorks for a special two-hour workshop dedicated to getting your body (and mind) ready for summer. Learn Ayurvedic yoga poses from certified instructors to help cleanse, detox and cool your body during the sunny season. Origins Guides will share with you healthy tips and techniques for smooth, sexy summer skin, as well as the many benefits of using organics.
Plus you’ll also receive FREE full-size Origins Organics products, a two-week membership to Yogaworks and other surprises!

Classical Indian Music with Dabasish Chaudhuri (tablas) and friends
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Saturday, May 31st 4:30pm
Cost: $25 for workshop (includes dinner), $15 for performance

4:30pm - Tablas and Instrumental workshop
6:00pm - Dinner
7:00pm - Classical North Indian music performance