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

storytelling time

i just received this open casting call from a representative of capessa.com, a new online source for information about relationships, parenting, beauty, work, home, health, and more. if you live in the los angeles area and have that life-changing experience they're looking for, contact them by next friday, august 8th!


We all have a story to tell, and sharing them helps us build community, connect to each other and be inspired.

Capessa.com is producing a four-part web video series featuring real women who are in the midst of one of the following life experiences:

(1) Making your transition into your 30's
(2) Making the transition from school to career
(3) Becoming a new mom
(4) Beginning to date again after divorce

We will be choosing one Los Angeles area woman for each of these categories to interview and feature in our series. Each candidate will receive a luxury spa package as well as a DVD of the production. There will be just one day of shooting to make a 3-5 minute web video.

Our ideal candidate is currently experiencing one of these life-changing events and will have a unique perspective that they would like to share with us.

If you are interested, please send your name, age, location, summary of your story and a photo (not for publication) to storiescasting@gmail.com.

Capessa.com is an on-line gathering place where real women can share their experiences, offer advice, and find inspiration.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

my green guru

it's been almost a month since i made a commitment to driving less and riding more. just like many fellow motorists around the city (as well as around the country, for that matter), i was pushed to do it due to rising gasoline prices, the effects of vehicle emissions on the environment, and the scarcity of affordable parking here on the westside during the summertime (what with everyone headed for the beach to cool off).

i kept my initial goal fairly reasonable: on the weekends, i would either ride a bike or ride the bus to get to where i needed to go. it may not be feasible all of the time, but at least i'd try.

to seal the deal, i plunked down some cash and bought myself a cute lime green 3-speed beach cruiser complete with wicker basket and ding-ding bell. after all, i wasn't planning on tackling single-track mountain trails nor training for a triathlon. i just needed to get from point A to point B. and have fun while i was at it.

surprisingly, after spending close to four weekends riding my bike around town, i've found that my new fun friend has turned into my new wise teacher. through him (it figures i'd give myself a male sidekick), i've learned a lot about myself and my surroundings.

in no particular order, here are ten lessons my green guru has taught me:

1. patience. getting from place to place takes longer, now that i'm riding around at a leisurely pace instead of zooming around at the speed limit (of course i'd never admit to driving faster than that!). so i've had to give myself extra time to get to where i need to go. which can be terribly frustrating, especially if i have a bunch of to-do's on my calendar for the day.

2. discipline. riding a bike is just like driving a car. there are things i make sure i do to keep myself safe. before starting my car, i buckle up my seatbelt; before hopping on my bike, i buckle on my helmet. when i reach an intersection with a red stoplight, i stop. it doesn't matter if i'm in a car or on a bike, i don't want to risk getting hit. and when it gets dark, i turn on my lights -- both my headlight and taillight -- to see and be seen.

3. awareness. call me paranoid, but not only do i have to worry about whether i'm parking my bicycle in a safe place where it's least likely to get jacked, but i also have to make sure that my bike lock is securely wrapped around the bike and the immobile object that i've parked it against. you'd think that my using a four-star rated U-lock/cable lock combo would give me some sense of security, but this is LA, remember.

4. consideration. there's been an ongoing animosity between motorists and cyclists, with each one claiming their right of way. on roads that are already too crowded. in a recent car vs. bicycle incident that happened not far from where i live, a case of road rage ended up putting two cyclists in the hospital. as rodney king said back in the 90's after the riots: can we all get along? i'm trying, believe me.

5. tolerance. of course, there are those drivers who just don't care if there's a bicycle sharing the road with them. so i accept their need for dominance and stay out of their way. even if it means that i have to pull over and wait for them to pass. it's all about peace and love, man.

6. balance. and then there was the time i decided to swing by whole foods on my way from yoga class one sunday morning. not only did i start out with my yoga mat on one shoulder, my four pound U-lock on the other, and a satchel with my towel, wallet, keys, and cellphone in my handlebar basket, but now i had to find a way to add on a shopping bag with cheese, crackers, fruit, pasta salad, brownies, and water -- in other words, my hollywood bowl dinner for that evening -- and ride back via busy wilshire and santa monica boulevards... i'm happy to report that we all made it home in one piece. thank god.

7. thriftiness. did i ever mention how i miss paying close to $5 a gallon for gas and up to $20 to park my car near the beach? if you believe i did, you'll need to admit yourself into a substance-abuse program, stat. after all, a penny saved is a penny earned... which means more pennies for yoga classes for me :)

8. endurance. after a particularly long training run or a lunge-intensive yoga class, the last thing i want to do is pedal a heavy cruiser uphill when my legs are dead. but visions of a relaxing shower and a satisfying meal are usually enough to make me ignore the burn and power my way all the way home. it's funny how i'm willing to go through a lot of pain to achieve pleasure!

9. fitness. i have to say that after spending all that extra time pedaling furiously to get where i need to be when i need to be there (as well as dodging cars and unexpected potholes), my bathroom scale has informed me that i've lost a pound or two along the way. and my favorite pair of jeans has warned me that if keep it up, i'll actually be able to breathe again after a big meal. if i keep this up, i might actually be bikini-ready by the time swimsuit season's over.

10. community. being out on a bike affords me the ability to smile at and maybe even talk with cyclists and pedestrians that i encounter on the road, something i can't readily do while i'm cocooned in my car. there was an early-morning ride when i chatted with a surfer while we were both making our way to venice -- him to the beach and me to yoga class. and a late-night ride when i found myself following a group of boombox-blasting bike cruisers after the glow festival at the pier. there was also the time i was waved down by some friends who were checking out bikes at a local store and i ended up offering to let them try out my bike. and i'll never forget the time i waved past onlookers when i unexpectedly found myself in the midst of the local fourth of july parade, looking perfectly legit with the flags i'd attached to the front of my bike!

isn't it interesting how one can end up wiser merely by living simply?

Monday, July 21, 2008

yogis do it in sanskrit

the day i realized i had become a committed yogi -- or perhaps a yogi who needed to be committed? -- was the day i realized sanskrit no longer sounded like gobbledygook to me.

by then, i had taken enough yoga classes to be able to discern the difference between uttanasana and utkatasana. and to remember that downward-facing dog was adho mukha svanasana, not adho mukha savasana (which probably translates to downward-facing corpse?).

i mean, who would have guessed that i'd end up attending concerts where the headliners sang in sanskrit? and that i'd be having the time of my life singing right along with them?

a note to my family: no, i have not been abducted by aliens. for one thing, they don't speak sanskrit. at least i don't think they do...

anyway, i've recently been spending a lot of time doing the yogi version of karaoke night, otherwise known as kirtan. the singing is done in a call-and-response fashion; the leader, or wallah, chants a sanskrit phrase and the audience chants the same phrase back. om namah shivaya is is chanted out to the crowd; om namah shivaya is chanted back. you learn the lyrics and the melody as you sing along. and if you forget one or the other, you can usually make it up and be just fine. if you can't belt out an american idol-worthy performance, no matter. there is no judgement, only acceptance. so very yogic, isn't it?

the musical accompaniment can range anywhere from a lone harmonium to an entire band consisting of keyboard, string, woodwind, and percussion instruments, including sitars, flutes, and tablas. i've seen performers pulling their stuff out of their cars; i've also spotted buses and vans parked outside venues while roadies are busy hauling equipment inside.

it's usually the wallahs who've achieved rock star status who fall into the latter category. krishna das, jai uttal, snatam kaur -- they all have their entourages when they go on tour. and yes, i've made it a point to be at their kirtans whenever they pass through town.

but the kirtan star i seem to resonate with most is LA-based dave stringer, who's become so popular that he spends most of his time touring not only around the country, but also around the world. maybe it's because of his contagious energy. or his ability to make devotional chanting seem like fun. or maybe it's just because he's an all-around nice guy. whatever it is, the word has gotten out and everyone wants to sing along with dave. including me.

which is why when i found out that dave stringer was scheduled to be in concert at yogaworks larchmont on saturday, july 12th, AND at exhale venice on friday, july 18th, i was torn. which one should i attend?

should i go to the one in larchmont that was billed as "A Kirtan Benefit Concert to Provide a Lifetime Supply of Clean Water to Ganeshpuri Families with Special Guests C.C. White + Sapphron Obois"?

or the one in venice where "Dave and Suzanne Sterling blend their powerful voices together to explore the realms where the spiritual meets the scientific, ancient songs meet joyful contemporary expression, and opposites meet to dance in divine Leela or play"?

i mean, how could i NOT do the fundraiser? on the other hand, how could i skip the event where i was likely to run into many of my kirtan cronies? but then again, did i really have to pick just one? after all, with the lusty c.c. at one and the sultry suzanne at the other, both nights were bound to be different experiences altogether, right?

just when i was on the verge of deciding to attend both concert nights, aaron reed announced that dave was going to make a guest appearance at his scheduled beach yoga class on wednesday, july 16th. so did i want to go to that, too? you bet i did! my mind was set -- i was going to attend all three!

so as planned, i showed up at yogaworks on saturday evening for the first evening of dave's week-long LA run. i had already spent the better part of the day driving around town to satisfy my yoga compulsion (see previous post), so in order to somehow assuage my guilt and offset my carbon footprint for the day, i opted to donate $40 at the door, $30 of which went to the third millennium awakening water purification project. once inside, i headed straight for the large classroom and found a seat right beside greg, a fellow yogi and reader of my blog (hi greg!).

many more continued to arrive after i did; by the time dave and his band showed up -- including c.c. white, sapphron obois, craig kohland, joey lugassy, michael mollura, and a host of others -- the room was full of eager chanters seated shoulder-to-shoulder, knee-to-knee. and as expected, the night was magical. i mean, how could it not be? all the performers were masters of their craft!

i managed to sneak off during one of the breaks to check out the silent auction items in a nearby classroom. and while i didn't find any items that i wanted to bid on, i ended up buying a copy of dave's latest CD, divas and devas, a compilation of duets pairing dave with the best female devotional singers in the business -- donna delory, dasi karnamrita, c.c. white, kim waters, sat-kartar, suzanne sterling, wah!, and joni allen. following along with my tradition of collecting autographed CDs, i approached dave and c.c. after the concert and they happily signed my CD :)

at the end of the night, dave announced a number of upcoming gigs, including joey lugassy in concert at true yoga in westlake village the next evening (which i'd hoped to get to but couldn't -- sorry, joey!), craig kohland and shaman's dream at micheline berry's class at exhale venice the next morning, and -- surprise! -- dave himself at shiva rea's class, also at exhale venice the next morning. since i'd already committed to going to all three of his three LA appearances, i figured i may as well make it four for four...

but wait... shiva rea doesn't teach on sunday mornings.

turns out that shiva was subbing for saul david raye while he was out of town. which explains why the lobby was packed with saul's groupies, shiva's trainees, and dave's fans while micheline and shaman's dream led the zen dancing inside the main classroom that morning. when the classroom doors finally opened, we all made a mad dash to claim the spots that micheline's students had relinquished. while we were busy getting settled down, dave set himself up on the stage at the front of the room. joining him were craig, micheline, and the sweet-voiced joni allen, another diva on his album. dave led a chant both at the start and the end of the class. when he wasn't singing, he gamely joined in the vinyasa flow while shiva played an eclectic assortment of music from her laptop, including a selection from one of his albums. naturally, the class sang along to dave's music, including dave, i'm sure!

and yes, i happened to bring along my copy of the diva CD. and yes, i got joni allen to sign it, too :)

on wednesday, it was beach yoga night with aaron reed and his guest instructors for the evening, denise kaufman and jo tastula. plus special musical guest dave stringer. the crowd assembled on the sand was so large that i couldn't quite tell at the time if dave was moving along with us, but it was clear when class was over who had the group's attention. dave brought along his harmonium, and with denise on guitar and a couple of others (it was hard to tell in the dark) on percussion, our combined voices rang out through the still night air. soon, other beachgoers started making their way towards us to join in the chorus under an almost-full moon...

and then came friday, once again at exhale venice. this time, dave played dueting harmoniums with another of his divas, suzanne sterling. they were accompanied by musicians josh brill, mark gorman, domonic dean breaux, and others (bhajan bliss has a way of obliterating one's memory, it seems). and i have to say that if you've never attended a kirtan before, exhale venice is THE place to get introduced to the practice. at one point, from my seat at the front of the room, i turned around and found almost half the room up on their feet, wildly swaying and gyrating to the music; the chanting and dancing regulars sure know how to turn a kirtan into a night of ecstasy!

and i scored one more diva's signature -- suzanne's -- on my CD. three down, a bunch more to go...

dave stringer is currently touring northern california, but will be back in LA early next month for more appearances: on august 1st at the grand opening of be love yoga, a brand new yoga studio in the loft district of downtown LA, and on august 2nd at black dog yoga in sherman oaks.

so am i planning to make that six for six? you betcha! hmmm... i should learn how to say that in sanskrit, shouldn't i? :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

a committed practice

present this at the front desk for a free week of classes.

for the typical yoga student who cashes in a studio's promo pass, that translates to three, maybe even four, free classes during that 7-day period. the hope, of course, is that he/she will connect with the teachers, the style of yoga, and the variety of class offerings on the studio's schedule, then continue to show up -- on a paid basis -- from then on.

i recently received such a pass for the membership-only yoga works south bay, courtesy of the newly-shuttered yogasofia (i touched on that handover recently in a previous post).

yoga works south bay is located in el segundo, about halfway between my office in torrance and my home in santa monica. on a typical weekday afternoon, i can zoom northbound on the 405 and exit at rosecrans before the traffic starts to bog down just past LAX. from there, it's a quick couple of miles towards the ocean on rosecrans to the commercial complex's parking lot, where i can easily pull into a parking spot right in front of the studio. very convenient. not only that, but by the time class lets out, most commuters have already reached their destinations, which makes driving home a breeze.

so you would think that it would make total sense for me to make it my home base. but can you imagine me making a financial commitment to one yoga studio? who knows; stranger things have happened :)

with my almost-daily yoga practice, i wondered what it would be like to practice solely at YWSB. so i checked my calendar, blocked off seven consecutive days, picked the specific teachers and classes i wanted to take, then presented my pass as instructed to the friendly face at the front desk.

i explained to her that i already had a yoga works account with at least two dozen prepaid classes still on it (i made the large investment right before they raised their class fees at the beginning of the year) and wanted to make sure that any class i took during the week came from the free pass rather than from the prepaid series. not a problem, she assured me, as she offered to give me a tour of the facility. thanks, but that's ok, i said, as i gathered my belongings. i'd taken a couple of classes there before and had already made my acquaintance with their luxe surroundings...

i'm happy to report that after taking advantage of some teacher substitutions, i actually managed to take 7 classes with 7 different teachers that week. some iyengar here, some vinyasa flow there, with beginner-level classes thrown in for fun:

day 1, wednesday - vinyasa flow 2 with marla wedge
day 2, thursday - yogaworks 1/2 with anne van valkenburg
day 3, friday - candlelight flow 2/3 with garth hewitt (subbing for marla wedge)
day 4, saturday - yogaworks 1/2 with zhi myers
day 6, monday - iyengar 1/2 with koren paalman
day 7, tuesday - yogaworks flow 2 with greville henwood (subbing for malachi melville) AND vinyasa flow 2/3 with angela kukhahn

and no, that's no typo. i actually skipped a day.

you see, on day 5, sunday, i took shiva rea's class at exhale venice. i couldn't help it -- dave stringer was performing live during her class and i wasn't about to miss that! besides, the thought of driving all the way out to to the south bay just to prove a point seemed pointless. especially since i had burned a ton of fossil fuel on saturday, first heading east to hollywood to take the crunch antigravity class, then west to redondo beach to get my hair done, up to el segundo to take my second class for the day, back east to larchmont for dave stringer's fundraiser kirtan that evening, and finally back west for home. so to make amends, i stayed local and kept my car garaged all day sunday. al gore would have been proud of me.

as for my taking two classes on day 7, tuesday, i blame no one but myself. and to some degree, greville :)

you see, i was all set to take angela's class that tuesday. i was going to stay late at work, or maybe even get some errands done, before her 7:45pm class. but on monday night, i received a note from greville saying that he was subbing for malachi at 6pm. i couldn't resist; i love greville's quirky sense of humor. so i opted for the back-to-back. besides, my missing sunday would have put me at 6 for 7, and i couldn't admit defeat, could i? yes, i know. i'm sick.

anyway, the long and the short of it is that after my week-long experiment, i've come to the conclusion that i just can't commit to one studio. i'm NOT a creature of habit. i can't see myself driving to the same studio, day after day, taking the same classes with the same teachers. and parking in the same parking lot before class. or picking up dinner at the same place after class. i need to mix things up, i need variety. anusara, power yoga, even kundalini -- i need them all! sadly, though, i can't get them all at just one place. oh well.

so thanks, yoga works south bay (and yogasofia), for the week of free classes! but for now, i'll continue to stop by once every 30 days or so. and maybe even more frequently, if and when you finally relax your restricted drop-in policy :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

trendy celebrity workouts

while getting dressed this morning, i happened to catch a feature on the today show about trendy celebrity workouts, one of which -- of course -- was yoga. talking about the benefits of these workouts and how they can be incorporated into our routine were today host natalie morales, fashion expert jill martin from us weekly, and fitness expert fred devito from exhale spa (which has two branches here in LA: one in venice and another in santa monica).

here's what they said:

From yoga and pilates to boxing and even ballet, celebrities are doing whatever it takes these days to stay in shape. A lot of stars are doing all kinds of different workouts, not just the usual cardio. They're always in the spotlight, constantly being photographed, so of course they want to look fit.

When people think "yoga", they think they're not getting a really great workout. Not only is yoga good for you physically, but also mentally. It really slows you down. Blackberries are not allowed, so for celebrities that's good.

Reese Witherspoon tries to do it every day. Jennifer Aniston, a huge yogi, said her legs got stronger, her arms got leaner. Madonna, does it, too. Their bodies have become more sculpted, more long and lean.

There are great benefits to yoga, not only emotionally, but physically. It's mind, body, and spirit. When you're practicing yoga, it helps you to release stress. You're focused on your breathing, you're flowing through postures, and it's really great for flexibility, which keeps your body youthful. It's a tough workout -- you can burn up to 250 calories an hour!

click here to watch the today show video: Try a trendy workout

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

pass this on to your favorite tween or teen!

this came in from karen jashinsky of O2 MAX fitness. while it doesn't look like there will be any yoga involved in this event, their newly-opened facility in santa monica does offer at least one yoga class a week. so who knows... maybe they'll throw in a couple of sun salutes somewhere along the way :)

breaking news: they've just updated their schedule -- there WILL be some yoga at the end with the lulu crew!

July 20th, 2008 - 10am to 6pm

O2 MAX will be conducting the Tour de Fitness as its innovative guerilla marketing campaign on July 20th, 2008. With an obesity epidemic spreading nationwide, it is imperative that adults, teens, and children learn the importance of fitness, exercise, and nutrition.

This event is going to be “BIGGER than BIG”, gathering an army of O2 MAX teens clad in American Apparel t-shirts that look like a concrete gym floor, orange bandanas and slathered in sun-block. Professionals, tourists, and families will witness a herd of fit, health-conscious young guys and girls on a mission. They will start the day @ The O2 MAX studio and head to the famous Santa Monica Stairs for a workout, trek over to Starbucks for some green-iced tea. They will then walk up Montana Ave., walk down Wilshire Blvd. as they head to Top to Top doing pushups, lunges & running drills along the way such as fartleks & sprints along the way. Then the tour proceeds to Whole Foods to refuel with a Larabar and an electrolyte beverage and to walk the perimeter of the store aisles, highlighting healthy and natural foods. They will resume by heading to the 3rd Street Promenade and Main St. for lunch. They will end on Ocean Ave & Santa Monica for some Yoga stretching sponsored by Lululemon!

Workouts will be led Karen Jashinsky, Shirley Brown AND some of Hollywood’s top trainers and other top fitness instructor such as Ashley Conrad, Michael George and others will be joining us along with Amy Dixon, the group exercise manager from Equinox Fitness.

Participants include college students from Washington University, George Washington, Berkeley & USC. High School students participating are from Santa Monica High School, Venice High, Palisades Charter High School, Hamilton Music Academy, Ocean Charter, Lincoln & Franklin Middle Schools, Harvard Westlake. Notre Dame & several others.

Join us along the way & get some free stuff such as guest passes to Equinox Fitness & O2 MAX, t-shirts, and bring your dogs too-we will have healthy treats for them provided by Dogswell. Check our website for the agenda or call 310 867 1650 to find out where we are. All Parents, friends of O2 MAX & FOKrs (Friends of Karen) are invited. We would love the support to take pictures and keep everyone hydrated.

O2 MAX is a teen fitness ‘HUB’ that includes private trainers, yoga, pilates, dance, group workouts & classes, a lounge, snacks, wireless internet, and tutoring. With its opening just this past March, O2 MAX is new, fresh, young, and on the run!

O2 MAX Fitness
3026 Nebraska Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90404
(310) 867-1650

Sunday, July 13, 2008

cirque du yoga

i finally achieved what i thought would never happen -- i kicked into a handstand, unassisted! not only that, but i was able to hold it for close to a minute before having to come back down (with some semblance of control, i might add)...

ok, i admit that i needed a wall to keep me vertical. nevertheless, it was an amazing feeling, from the moment my legs first felt somewhat weightless, to the time they landed gently on that wall. even i was stunned!

the miracle happened two weeks ago during stella valente's donation-based class at a pilates studio in the mid-wilshire area. it was a class i decided to attend at the last minute after hearing about it through vanda mikoloski, another local yoga instructor who also teaches donation-based classes. i totally credit whatever stella demonstrated to us that day to my attaining lift-off. and while i know that i've heard the whole spiel about how shoulder position is key many times before, it just didn't click until then. i know, call me a slow learner...

i suppose it would have been more rewarding if i had been surrounded by people i knew, people who were well aware of just how long i'd been working at this. alas, i was in a room full of strangers, including stella, whom i'd never met before. and i'm sure they all assumed that i'd been doing it all along. so much for receiving cheers and high-fives for my biggest accomplishment yet :(

anyway, to thank both stella and vanda for my reaching inversion nirvana, here's a plug for their classes:

this is from stella (http://www.stellavalente.com/):

Please come and join this great community of yogis. Come to connect, sweat, to pray, to challenge yourself, heal, and with a little donation--help others!!

EVERY SUNDAY 11AM-12:30p OPEN LEVEL PAY WHAT YOU CAN. (no excuses not to come!) This is a donation based class. Part of the proceeds will go to pay for the space and the other to charity. This is my gift to you and the community. I've always wanted to give every person the opportunity to practice yoga for whatever reason has held you back in the past here is a great opportunity.

I look forward to seeing you there!!!! Feel free to contact me with any questions. PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ANYBODY WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED.

and this is from vanda (http://www.vanda.us/):

Just when you thought you'd heard of every damned yoga-fusion possibility in the world, We bring you, NO! Not Yoga for Racists! NO! Not Evil Dominitrix Yoga! NO! Not Yoga for Practicing Alcoholics who Smoke … Are you ready? You've heard of 'Laughter Yoga' ? ... Now Vanda will actually give you something to laugh about! Get ready for... Stand-Up Comedy Yoga on the Beach with Vanda and Friends!

Touring teacher for the Dixie Chicks, Stand-Up comic since 1982, Certified Yoga Instructor - 12 years experience

When? Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays (Lovely Anna teaches Fridays!) and Saturdays 9-10:15am (ish)
Where? Rose Avenue and the water’s edge. Bring a big bed sheet!
How much? No Fee. Any Love offering ($1-$20) you feel peaceful about is appreciated.

and ever since i'd come to the realization that YES, I CAN DO IT, i've been able to repeat myself over and over again! i succeeded during marla wedge's class at yogaworks south bay, where i was even brave enough to try moving away from the wall and landing in a split handstand (which didn't happen, but the fact that i even attempted it was an accomplishment). ditto at garth hewitt's class, also at YW south bay, where my arms had barely enough oomph to hoist me up after all the arm stuff he had us doing earlier. but i managed to pull off a short-lived handstand, which still counts!

by now, feeling quite self-confident that i was master of my body (as long as we're not talking arm balances), i immediately signed up for this crunch gym class the moment i read about it in a daily candy e-mail update:

Try our high flying AntiGravity Yoga "Wings" class on Saturday, July 12. Learn how to stretch further and hold challenging postures longer using a flowing fabric hammock as your only prop. This workshop is free and open to the public, so bring your friends!

When: Saturday, July 12 - 45-minute sessions as 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00
Where: Crunch - Sunset
8000 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 900046
See the front desk to sign-up.

Crunch has paired up with the aerial performance company, AntiGravity, to create a new workout class called AntiGravityYoga "Wings". The class uses the AntiGravity hammock, a soft fabric that is hung from the ceiling, to perform yoga poses and suspension techniques.

Using the AntiGravity Hammock as a supportive prop, participants practice traditional yoga postures as well as exercises derived from dance, Pilates, and strength conditioning. Participants will also learn inverted poses to relieve compression in the joints, aligning the body from head-to-toe.

Results of this workout include increased flexibility and strength, better alignment and agility and a creative and fun workout!

AntiGravity Yoga is currently offered at in NYC, Los Angeles and Miami. It will soon be expanding to more locations nationwide.

i read the words "hammock" and "supported" and imagined a gentle class where we hung upside down while gravity did all the work. by the time i arrived at the classroom, it felt like i had walked onto a cirque du soleil stage. while some students had already settled themselves into the sheer parachute-y slings hanging from the ceiling, others were being adjusted by the class instructors. i stood at the back of the classroom and waited my turn. one of the teachers walked up to me; we recognized each other from a previous crunch event. aren't you the accidental yogist?, she asked. hi saharah, i replied. we smiled at each other as she moved on to the next student (and i owe you the name of the other teacher).

surprisingly enough, the workout kicked my butt -- or rather, my arms and my abs! most of the time, we were either using our arms and the hammock to lift ourselves off the ground. and hold. or our legs and the hammock to balance in warrior 3. and hold (you try balancing on one leg while the other one's swaying from side to side). slow, deliberate moves have a way of reminding you about the muscles you haven't used in a while :(

as promised, there were the inversions, which would be familiar to anyone who's used a rope wall in an iyengar class. the only difference was that instead of being able to hold steady against a wall, it's like floating in water, with every twitch causing the hammock to slowly sway forward, backward, left, right.

we were then instructed to place our palms on the floor, wrap our legs around the fabric, then straighten them up towards the ceiling. i followed along and the next thing i knew, i was doing a handstand in the middle of the room! this was way too cool!

for savasana, we hopped back into our hammocks and stretched out, completely cocooning our bodies in the billowy yards of fabric. after all the effort we had expended in balancing and hanging upside down, it was nice to be able to surrender to the gentle sway of our hammocks. aaaaaahhhh...

click here to check out the antigravity website and to view a slideshow of all the cool poses we did -- and could have done, if we had more time.

funny how learning to do a handstand led me to imagining, if only for a moment, that i had run off and joined the cirque... me, delusional? mais oui!

Friday, July 11, 2008

summer yoga etiquette

i received this friendly reminder from the nice folks at liberation yoga. since i found its tone quite refreshing, as well as appropriate for this time of year, i'd like to share it with all of you.

stay cool!

Ahhh, the warm days of summer are upon us and while that means fun in the sun, sweet summer nights, refreshing beverages and vacations it can also mean things less pleasant when it comes to sweaty yoga bodies! In an effort to maintain an environment that we can all enjoy, that is sanitary and just good clean fun - we have a few requests and suggestions to take us through this season - and beyond!

We encourage sweat and the detoxification process that is an integral part of some styles of yoga that we practice at Liberation. There is nothing more liberating than working up a good sweat and feeling the lightness and clarity that arises from that sort of practice! However, since we don't practice in a vacuum and one person's sweet nectar is another person's nightmare we suggest you do your best to come to class as fresh as possible and with clean yoga clothes! It's often the damp clothes in the back of the car worn for the second time that cause the trouble and not the natural body. We don't want you to miss class because a hard day's work has left you a little wilted - so just be sure to have clean clothes with you and maybe consider carrying some simple natural products with you for a quick spruce up!

Also if you have left a little puddle in the room near your mat as a result of your supreme yogic efforts, please wipe that up before leaving too.

Thank you so much for your understanding and attentiveness to this - we want everyone to feel comfortable, free, respected, and welcome. It's going to be a sweet summer!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

nurses know what's good for you

many thanks to fiona and kelly from nursingdegree.net, Your Guide to Nursing and Healthcare Degrees Online and On-Campus, who've steered me towards recently-published articles on their site that deal specifically with yoga.

the first one, 77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga, focuses on all the reasons how and why a regular yoga practice can help keep your mind and body healthy.

here are some highlights from that piece; click here to access the full article.

77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga
July 8th, 2008
By Alisa Miller

Over the past several years, yoga has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the western world. While many associate yoga with new age mysticism or the latest fad at the gym, yoga is actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation.

Health Benefits Within - From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body:
~ Blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body. These two exercises can help lower blood pressure.
~ Immunity. Yoga practice has frequently been correlated with a stronger immune system. Read this article for more on the immune system and yoga, including some poses that specifically work on areas of immunity.
~ Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga.
~ Metabolism. Having a balanced metabolism results in maintaining a healthy weight and controlling hunger. Consistent yoga practice helps find the balance and creates a more efficient metabolism.

Health Benefits Without - Just as many health benefits occur within the body, there are many benefits that can actually be experienced from without the body. From better sleep to more energy and strength, this list provides several benefits found on the outside of the body:
~ Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
~ Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better.
~ Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
~ Sexuality. Yoga can improve your sexuality through better control, more relaxation, and more self-confidence.

Emotional Health Benefits - Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice. Find out how yoga can help improve emotional health with this list:
~ Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.
~ Depression. Some believe the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
~ Concentration. Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
~ Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.

Body Chemistry - Several aspects of body chemistry such as glucose levels and red blood cells are affected by yoga.
~ Cholesterol. Yoga practice lowers cholesterol through increased blood circulation and burning fat. Yoga practice is a great tool to fight against harmful cholesterol levels.
~ Glucose. There is evidence to suggest that yoga may lower blood glucose levels.
~ Sodium. As does any good exercise program, yoga reduces the sodium levels in your body. In today’s world of processed and fast foods that are full of sodium, lessening these levels is a great idea.
~ Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.

Exercise Health Benefits - As a form of exercise, yoga offers benefits that are sometimes not easily found among other exercise regimens. All of the following gains are benefits to practicing yoga.
~ Muscle tone. Consistently practicing yoga leads to better muscle tone.
~ Breathing. With yoga, breathing is more natural and controlled during exercise. This type of breathing provides more oxygen-rich air for your body and also provides more energy with less fatigue.
~ Balanced workout of opposing muscle groups. As with all of yoga, balance is key. If a muscle group is worked in one direction, it will also be worked in the opposite direction to maintain balance. This balance results in a better overall workout for the body.
~ Endurance. Working the entire body, yoga improves endurance and is frequently used by endurance athletes as a supplement to their sport-specific training.

Disease Prevention - Studies indicate that following a consistent yoga practice can help prevent the following diseases.
~ Heart disease. Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease.
~ Osteoporosis. It is well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, yoga’s ability to lower levels of cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
~ Alzheimer’s. A new study indicates that yoga can help elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Meditation like that practiced in yoga has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
~ Type II diabetes. In addition to the glucose reducing capabilities of yoga, it is also an excellent source of physical exercise and stress reduction that, along with the potential for yoga to encourage insulin production in the pancreas, can serve as an excellent preventative for type II diabetes.

Symptom Reduction or Alleviation - While this list is not comprehensive, the following diseases or disorders can all be helped by maintaining a yoga practice.
~ Arthritis. The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints provides an excellent exercise to relieve arthritis symptoms. Also, the stress relief associated with yoga loosens muscles that tighten joints.
~ Migraines. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce the number of migraines in chronic migraine sufferers.
~ Constipation. Due to the practice of yoga and overall better posture, the digestive and elimination systems work more efficiently. If the practitioner also has a healthy diet, any constipation will be eliminated through yoga.
~ Back pain. Yoga reduces spinal compression and helps overall body alignment to reduce back pain.

the second article, The Ultimate Guide to Yoga: 100 Blogs, Tutorials, and Resources, is a listing of various websites that cover everything yoga, including webzines, articles, blogs, podcasts, teachers, studios, and much more.

Click here to see all the sites they found worth checking out -- including the blogsite of yours truly, such an honor! :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

it sure seems slow around here...

we're already about a week into july, but not much has happened in the local yoga world because of the 4th of july holiday weekend. and since many yogis will be out of town vacationing and/or retreating (lucky them!), not much will be happening during the rest of the month, either. at least by LA standards.

but if you're one of those who'll be staying put -- like me, at least for now -- there's still a good selection of local events to keep you busy.

and remember, if the thought of practicing in a hot and stuffy room makes you cringe, there's always beach yoga!

keep checking back for updates...

ongoing events:

BodyFreedom - Experience Profound Healing Through Dance with Tarnie Fulloon
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Mondays, July 7th – Aug. 11th 7:30-9:00pm "Accessing Your Abundance"
Thursdays, July 10th – Aug. 14th 9:00-10:30am "Accessing Your Feminine Power"
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 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.

Practice in the Park
Central Park, Pasadena (hosted by lululemon Pasadena)
Every Wednesday, 6:00pm until sunset
Cost: FREE

Namaskara y'all,
The weather is looking good for Wednesday!
So it is time for another free yoga "Practice in the Park" at Central Park next to Old Town Pasadena (north of Del Mar Ave. between Fair Oaks and Raymond) at 6PM until around sunset. (Park on adjacent side streets. Bring change for parking meters.)
We will find a flat, grassy, sunny spot to practice. We take advantage of practice on a forgiving surface to go after fun yoga arm balance variations and crazy acro stuff. (If you have any requests for particular poses, just let me know.)
Join lululemon athletica ambassador, Scott Lewicki, and other local yogis and yoginis for a fun, impromptu practice.
Please bring your own mat and dress in layers so that you may remove articles as you warm-up during the class. Check this page before coming for updates on rain days.

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.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
Thursday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm (see dates below)
Cost: $75 for the series of 5 lectures, $65 for members

The yoga scriptures teach us that we and nature are one. Yoga is a nature-based Sadhana. The current eco-crisis is the result of actions that deny this and is evidence that we behave as if we are separate from and able to control nature. The solutions are spiritual and this makes it the business of every yogi.
This course will enable us to explore yoga and our relationship with nature more deeply and will present practical, do-able solutions. A good opportunity to get a lot of information in one place!
Presented by Joanne Poyourow, cofounder of the Environmental Change-Makers, a community group focused on "What We Can Do" about environmental issues. www.envirochangemakers.org
3 July - "Greener Gourmet" - We'll talk about local vs organic food, GMOs, the environmental impact of excessive meat consumption, and where to get good food in Los Angeles--all of which can add to gourmet taste!
10 July - "Power Possibilities" - We'll discuss what you can do to eliminate energy waste and improve efficiency, what "power down" means, and what it will look like as we venture into the second half of our planet's oil supply (Peak Oil).
17 July - "Transportation Solutions" - We'll cover getting better mpg from your existing vehicle, how to select a greener new vehicle, transitioning to car-free transportation, and relocalization.

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.

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

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

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 scheduled yoga classes)

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

Complimentray Community Fitness classes on Sunday's at 9:30 am - 10:30 am. See store events for more information on the upcoming Sunday class.
(see "other events" section below for scheduled yoga classes)

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

Come participate and help us achieve our goal of seeing 100 happy faces on the green!
Light refreshments to follow, limited mats available for class use.
*Keep in mind class is outside, and may be in partial sun. Dress appropriately or wear sunblock, and bring water!*
(see "other events" section below for scheduled yoga classes)

In-store Fitness Classes
lululemon South Bay, 2008A East Park Place
Every Sunday 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

(see "other events" section below for scheduled yoga classes)

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

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 patio (accessible through the alley on Delacey).
Check this page before coming for updates on rain days.
(see "other events" section below for scheduled yoga classes)

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???
July 6th with Kathryn Budig!
July 13th TBA
July 20th TBA
July 28th TBA

Yoga Groove, North Hollywood
TBA (1st Friday of every month) 8:00-9:15pm
Cost: $10 donation or class pass will be honored

Join Karen every first Friday of the month for a Yoga Groove class. May include live music.

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

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

FREE Community Night: Women's Night with Rebecca Benenati
City Yoga, West Hollywood
Tuesday, July 8th (2nd Tuesday of every month) 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

Every second Tuesday of each month, City Yoga will hold an informal gathering featuring different teachers and topics.
Join Rebecca Benenati for an evening of Practice, Chat (maybe some Chant too) and Contemplation.
For Women Only!! (sorry guys...this has been requested for far too long)
Practice~ As always, a deep, butt-kicking practice to help open your heart for some discussion and contemplation.
Chat~ In pure female style, we'll chat about the beauty of being the modern day Goddesses that we are.
Contemplation~ We'll finish with what we do best, turn inward and contemplate our heart's desires.
Please bring a journal and your favorite picture of yourself!!!
Please R.S.V.P. by calling 323-654-2125

Kirtan with BhaktiMa
Harmony Yoga, Redondo Beach
Saturday, July 19th 8:00pm
Cost: $10 Suggested donation

BhaktiMa formed almost spontaneously and has stayed connected through Kirtan, an Indian form of devotional music. Sheri Mattson returned from India with a harmonium that Amma, an Indian Saint, blessed by playing it. Her husband Brian experimented with it and began playing for Sheri's yoga students in an effort to add Bhakti (devotional) yoga to their existing Hatha yoga practice. As the music evolved, the group expanded to fill out the sound. Members include: Kamala Kirksey, Timilie Losq, Kalidas (Marc) and Ramanand (Ed Gordon). Together they offer this sadhana (practice) with gratitude and pranams to Amma - a constant source of inspiration. Our goal is create a journey of sound, where the line between performer and audience melts into a single current.

Kirtan with Daniel, Larry, Sarah and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, July 25th (Once a month) 8:15pm
Suggested donation $15

Come join me 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 joy.
I'm excited to say that in addition to Larry on percussion and lovely Sarah singing with me, we'll have Abby on Cello, Jeff on guitar and Slyvie on vocals too. Last month they joined us and the music lifted the roof off the building. Let's do it again!
Join me for a yoga class @ 6:30 or just come @ 8:15 to open your heart and sing.
Singing Kirtan has been a such a pleasure and we are building a powerful community with these regular events. Please forward this to anyone who might be interested.
Hope you can join us...

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

Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Brentwood
TBA (Every month) 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
Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
TBA (Every month)
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.

Karma Yoga Party
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Marina del Rey
** CANCELLED this month due to Summer Celebration! ** (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) - the movie will be "Little Buddha"

other special events:

Celebrate the 4th of July weekend with Friends
Yoga Works, all locations
July 4th through 6th
Cost: FREE

Bring a friend to class for Free July 4th -6th!!

Kids Yoga and Chair Massage
lululemon South Bay, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, July 6th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Come and play with us - and pass on the experience of yoga to the youngsters. Any age is welcome! Adults are encouraged to participate, or enjoy a chair massage while they wait.

Vinyasa Flow with Dice!
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, July 6th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: FREE

Dice is back!!!
That's right. We watched our very own Dice teach his first class and now he's back for more!
Come flow with us in Dice's rigorous style Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class. Open for all levels.

Pleasure Loves Company with Max Simon
Self-Centered tour with Max Simon
Lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Wednesday, July 9th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

Meditate to participate with Max Simon!
Max Simon continues his journey to give us the gift of meditation in a fun and relaxed environment. Join Max + fellow awareness architects + friends + and lulus alike in a night of meditation, friendship, and fun.

Anusara-Inspired yoga with ambassador Georgina Purple
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Wednesday, July 9th 8:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for an evening of anusara-inspired yoga with lululemon ambassador Georgina Purple!

The Yoga Of Recovery with Vinnie Marino
Yoga Works Main Street, Santa Monica
Friday, July 11th 7:45 - 10:00pm

12-Step Spirituality bringing yoga and recovery communities together
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali speaks of "samskaras" - habit patterns. Some are more obvious than others, like drugs, alcohol, food, sex, people, or just plain old habit patterns that don't enrich our lives. Instead, they shut us down and numb us out. Recovery and yoga are about reclaiming ourselves and bringing more awareness to everything we do.
Join us for this special evening of asana practice and group sharing. All levels are welcome.

AntiGravity Yoga "Wings" Workshop
Crunch - Sunset, 8000 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Saturday, July 12th - 45-minute sessions at 1:00, 2:00 & 3:00
Cost: FREE (See the front desk to sign-up)

This workshop is free and open to the public, so bring your friends!
Crunch has paired up with the aerial performance company, AntiGravity, to create a new workout class called AntiGravityYoga "Wings". The class uses the AntiGravity hammock, a soft fabric that is hung from the ceiling, to perform yoga poses and suspension techniques.
Using the AntiGravity Hammock as a supportive prop, participants practice traditional yoga postures as well as exercises derived from dance, Pilates, and strength conditioning.
Participants will also learn inverted poses to relieve compression in the joints, aligning the body from head-to-toe.
Results of this workout include increased flexibility and strength, better alignment and agility and a creative and fun workout!

Charity Concert: WATER with Dave Stringer
Yoga Works Center for Yoga, Los Angeles
Saturday, July 12th 8:00-11:00pm
Cost: $25 Concert Admission / $40 Admission + Provide Lifetime Supply Of Clean Water For A Family Of 10! (Cash and check only, please. Make checks payable to TMA)

A Kirtan Benefit Concert to Benefit Ganeshpuri Families with Dave Stringer and Special Guests C.C. White + Sapphron Obois
The bio-sand filter costs only $25 (US) to manufacture and install providing 12 gallons a day of clean water for a family of 10. The filter costs nothing to operate and maintain, runs without electricity and is 99% effective at eliminating disease-causing water impurities.
“Every 15 seconds a child dies from lack of access to clean water” -Indian Times

Zen Dancing Ritual World Concert with Micheline Berry
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, July 12th 8:30-10:00 PM
Cost: $15; $20 the day of

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

Vinyasa Flow with Krista Cahill
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, July 13th 9:30-10:45am
Cost: FREE

Ambassador Krista Cahill, back for an encore! Come twist, bend and handstand with us in this sweaty Vinyasa Flow style class.

Yoga on the Green
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Sunday, July 13th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Join lululemon athletica and Jeff Bass for Yoga on the Green.

Sunday Yoga with Shantel
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, July 13th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Please join us for this weekly Sunday morning yoga practice lead by Shantel. She teaches private and corporate Vinyasa Flow Yoga to improve cardivascular strength, breath awareness and agility.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji & Pujya Swami Ramdeviji
Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
Sunday, July 13th 4:30-7:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Learn Pranayam and other yogic techniques from India's most eminent Yoga Guru.
Hear inpsiring, uplifting and transforming discourses from two of India' most revered Saints and have the opportunity to get answers to your questions!
Please arrive no later than 4:00 to ensure that you will be seated prior to the event.
The Pranayam class with Pujya Swami Ramdevji will begin at exactly 5:00 pm and WE WILL NOT SEAT STUDENTS after his class begins.
This will be a powerful event and we expect we will have to turn people away.
If you want to be assured that you will have a seat for this experience, we highly encourage you to come to Gurmukh's class at 2:30 pm.

BENEFIT CONCERT: ANAHATA - The Awareness Center Kirtan Band
Wahe Guru Kaur, Guruprasad Singh, and Baba Singh
The Awareness Center, Pasadena
Sunday, July 13th 7:00pm
Cost: Love Donation Accepted

Wahe Guru Kaur, Guruprasad Singh and Baba Singh are three merry minstrels who were brought together to spread truth, light and love through sacred music. Our mission is to be of service, have fun and spread the joy of mantras and chanting with the world.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the family of Merlin Soph V. of Ambattur, India. Merlin is a third grade student at the Sneha Development Center. It is her 8th birthday on July 13th. We will be sending a love donation to help the family with daily living expenses.
ANAHATA…sharing heart centered awareness through devotional music

Kirtan with Joey Lugassy
True Yoga, 3625 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite 322, Westlake Village
Sunday, July 13th 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: By Donation

Join us for a very special donation-only kirtan event featuring the amazingly talented artist Joey Lugassy, Matthew Hufschmidt and friends! Donations are welcome to defray the cost of the concert.
Everyone is welcome--tell your friends and bring them along. This will be an event to remember!

Kids Only Yoga!
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Wednesday, July 16th 11:00-11:45am
Cost: FREE

Join lululemon athletica and Abbie Pechacek for our first ever in-store kids yoga class.
Are you a mom or dad looking for just a few minutes to browse our store without your stroller? You'll get the chance while our certified yoga instructor and educator, Abbie, leads your little ones through a 30 minute yoga class followed by arts and crafts.
Appropriate for children 3-6

Meditation with Jeff Gero
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Wednesday, July 16th 8:30-9:30pm
Cost: FREE

Come relax and meditate with LULULEMON ambassador Jeff Gero!

Exhale Soul presents World Book Aid in association with Project Chile - Yoga Bash 4 with David Romanelli
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Santa Monica
Thursday, July 17th 6:00-9:00 PM
Cost: Donation of $40 pre-registration for yoga class and $45 at the door + any used books greatly appreciated.

6pm: guest-gathering / silent auction begins
6:30pm to 7:30pm: yoga class
8:30pm: winners announced
Come join yoga teacher David Romanelli, Yahoo's Mind Body Expert and co-founder of At One Yoga, and musicians Dean De Benedictis and Vic Hennegan for an evening to benefit World Book Aid. The evening will include a yoga class, great music, food, wine and a silent auction with wonderful items up for auction...all to benefit World Book Aid - a charity which provides books, computers, and reading glasses to underprivileged areas around the world. This event is a focused drive to help a school in Chile.

Full Moon Yoga Hike with Hilary Kimblin
Michael Lane and Trailer Canyon Fire Road, Pacific Palisades
Friday, July 18th 7:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 day of

Yoga Under the Trees – literally!
Hike, breathe, stretch, and relax into nature’s bounty! Enjoy the peace of practicing yoga as it has been practiced in India for thousands of years – outdoors. Let Hilary take you off the beaten path and trek toward a better understanding of yourself.
Yoga Under The Trees is a great way to introduce a friend or partner to yoga and also a wonderful way to meet new people. Beginners and the “completely rigid and inflexible” welcome. Join a hike today and Find Peace in the Wild.
We will be on the trail by 7pm and back by 10pm. Please bring a yoga mat or towel, warm layers, water, a flashlight, decent walking shoes/boots, a snack to share, and a sense of adventure!
Please RSVP hilary@yogaunderthetrees.com or call 323.841.3606

Yoga to Lift Your Spirit
Yoga Works Center for Yoga, Los Angeles
Friday, July 18th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: Regular class rate

Join Joan Hyman and Matt Robinson for a special night of vinyasa flow mixed with global rhythms for the soul. This two hour class is designed to make you feel good with all the mood enhancer poses such as sun salutations, backbends, inversions, and twists followed by soothing forward bends. Feeding the soulful touch, DjMattnifique’s eclectic mixes will enhance your practice from within, never bombarding you from the outside. Just relax and let it flow!
Come join us and allow your spirit to soar!

Kirtan with Dave Stringer & Suzanne Sterling
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Friday, July 18th 8:00-10:00 PM
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 the day of

Join Dave and Suzanne as they blend their powerful voices together to explore the realms where the spiritual meets the scientific, ancient songs meet joyful contemporary expression, and opposites meet to dance in divine Leela or play. Flow with the rhythm of creation and dance with the pulse of life as you sing the names of the Divine on this mid-summer evening!
Both Dave and Suzanne are long time kirtan wallahs who bring a modern, improvisational and deeply spiritual interpretation to this ancient art form.

Yoga on the Green
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Sunday, July 20th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

join lululemon athletica and Lorin from Bikram Yoga Silverlake as he leads us through the Bikram series of 26 postures (asanas). Be ready to sweat!
For info about Bikram and the postures, go to www.bikramyogasilverlake.com

Sunday Yoga with Alicia Pal
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, July 20th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Today's practice will be an Anusara-style yoga class by a dedicated yogi and a very special member of our local community, Alicia Pal.

Spirit Songs with Amy Sunshine Therrien
Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
Sunday, July 20th 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $25/adv or $35/day of

Creating Peace on Earth Begins Within Find your Voice! Experience Your Divine Self!
The Voice is one of our most powerful tools for Healing and Divine Connection. SpiritSongs is a workshop to inspire You to explore and embrace your own unique voice. You will be guided through a Sound Meditation, Toning on the Chakras, Vocalizing with a Crystal Bowl, Singing, and Chanting!

The Singing Body - The Way of the Goddess with Daniela Ardalla
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Friday, July 25th 6:00-8:00 pm
Cost: $30 per workshop if registered by the preceding Monday; $35 at the door

Singing, playing, and listening to devotional Indian music connects us with our spiritual bodies, uplifts our emotions and creates balance. In this introductory workshop, we’ll take a journey through vocal exercises in the Bilawal scale, toning, vibration and rhythms, concluding with beautiful traditional songs accompanied with the tamboura and other guest instruments.

Yoga Side of the Moon with Andres Salcedo
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturday, July 26th 8:00pm
Cost: $11 Suggested Donation

A yogic journey through the Pink Floyd Album Dark Side of the Moon

Off the Mat Donation Based Yoga Class
lululemon South Bay, 334 North Beverly Drive
Sunday, July 27th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: $20 Suggested donation

Off the Mat organization is raising money to benefit the Cambodian Children's Fund. Julie Rader will lead the yoga practice with live music from Wah!

Yoga on the Green w/ Heartbeat House
lululemon Glendale, 233 South Brand Avenue
Sunday, July 27th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

join lululemon athletica and July studio of the Month, Heartbeat House, for Yoga on the Green. Lauren Maher will be leading this class that blends Kundalini and Hatha Yoga.

Anusara-Inspired yoga with ambassador Georgina Purple
lululemon Calabasas, 4719 Commons Way
Sunday, July 27th 9:30-10:30am
Cost: FREE

Join us for an evening of anusara-inspired yoga with lululemon ambassador Georgina Purple!

Sunday Yoga with Steve Hsu
lululemon Pasadena, 110 W Colorado Blvd
Sunday, July 27th 10:00am
Cost: FREE

Please join us for an all levels yoga class taught by Steve Hsu.

Open House with Swami Kriyananda
Ananda LA, Santa Monica
Sunday, July 27th 11:00am-1:00pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for a rare weekend with one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, Swami Kriyananda for his only program this year in Los Angeles.
Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, will lead a Dedication and Open House with refreshments and entertainment. Browse Ananda Lifestyles Boutique and learn about what Ananda LA offers to you. Everyone welcome.

i realize that this is the JULY list, but these fun events in early AUGUST are not to be missed (besides, i haven't compiled my august list yet):

Charity Class: Poses for Paws
Yoga Works Main Street, Santa Monica
Friday, August 1st 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Join Kathryn Budig, Jesse Schein and Sara Ivanhoe for an evening of live music and celebration for the animals in our lives.
Enjoy a full flow class broken up between the teachers focusing on the unconditional love and joy that animals create in our lives and how to channel and give back. There will be a raffle full of yoga goodies after the class as well as raw organic chocolate for sale and the chance to purchase a portrait of your animal by the incredibly talented Robert Sturman. All of your donations will benefit The Lange Foundation (www.langefoundation.com).
Poses for Paws was created by Kathryn Budig and Jesse Schein as a way to repay the love that animals bring into our lives. Our mission is to raise money through yoga to donate to local animal shelters and organizations who thrive to provide a loving life to those less fortunate. 100% of your donations will go to The Lange Foundation. 100% of your love is needed and appreciated. www.posesforpaws.com

Vinyasa Flow + Kirtan for Charity!
Lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 North Beverly Drive
Friday, August 1st 7:30pm
Cost: $30 Suggested Donation

Ambassador Krista Cahill has been a passionate advocate for Operation Shanti, a charity helping homeless orphans in Mysore, India (the birth place of Ashtanga Yoga), and now she's giving us the opportunity to help her!
We will be holding an awesome Vinyasa Flow class taught by 3 ambassadors at once: Krista Cahill, Brock Cahill, and Chris Chavez. Each will be teaching a small sample of the class giving you a chance to meet and experience all three of their styles in one wonderful evening. To follow will be a Kirtan led by the talented Daniel Stewart of Rising Lotus Yoga! Munchies and drinks will be provided as well.
Suggested donation will be $30 to be given to Operation Shanti. For more information on Operation Shanti please visit www.operation-shanti.org.
Class will begin at 7:30pm.
See you all there for a night of fun and the joy of giving!

Kirtan with Dave Stringer
Black Dog Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Saturday, August 2nd 8:00-11:00pm
Cost: $20 in advance / $25 at the door

Black Dog is honored to host this amazing musician and would be thrilled to have you, as part of our treasured community, come down and rock your Shakti! Dave's fun and hip style makes for an unforgettable and moving Kirtan experience!

Monday, July 07, 2008

a month (and more!) of yoga

mea culpa.

mea culpa.

mea maxima culpa.

yes, some time ago, i made a pledge to help spread the word about yogamonth 2008. and i did post something about it some time later. but since then, i really haven't made a concerted effort to keep the buzz going, only because around here in los angeles, otherwise known as yoga central, every month IS yoga month.

in fact, i'm almost willing to say that EVERYDAY is yoga day in LA. there's always some local yoga studio that's celebrating something, be it a grand opening, an anniversary, a visit from a yoga master/guru/celeb, a new teacher, a new class, a new baby, a new book, a new movie screenplay -- hey, this is LA, after all!

so to make amends, i'm passing along some recent news. and i'll keep posting updates as they continue to come in. with the big event scheduled to start a little over a month from now, things are going to get fast and furious, so hang on to your yoga mat and enjoy the ride!

the biggest news comes from johannes fisslinger, president of the yoga health foundation:

I can not tell you how excited and inspired I am by the latest news: September is National Yoga Month!
As of 2008, September is National Yoga Month and is one of the select National Health Observances (NHO) listed by Healthfinder.gov, a guide to health information that is sponsored by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

during the month of september, many organizations will also be promoting awareness of other health concerns such as ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, infant mortality, and reye's syndrome. add to that cholesterol education, alcohol and drug addiction recovery, sports and home eye safety, healthy aging, as well as pediculosis/head lice prevention, and you can see that we're amongst good company :)

here's the latest on the yoga month celebrations that will be held around the country; click on the city name for more details:


All proceeds from Yoga Month and Yoga Health Festivals will benefit Youth Health Alliance and health education for underserved children.


Sunday/Monday August 24-25, 2008 at the Minsuk Pavilion in the City Park of Denver

OmPass and the Yoga Health Foundation have teamed up to present the first-ever Yoga Health Festival during a political convention to be held Aug. 24-25 in the City Park of Denver under the futuristic Pavilion for Public Discourse, a levitating, pneumatic structure creating a sculptural canopy.

Make a statement to the Nation at our National Yoga Month 09.2008 kickoff event during the Democratic National Convention. A bi-partisan festival to celebrate yoga, heatlhy and green living. Be inspired and motivated, learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with Seane Corn, Hemalayaa, Hala Khouri, Simon Park + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 65 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Evening benefit concert with VH1's Artist on the Rise Justin Nozuka + surprise speaker
• Dance party with World DJ

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 179)


Sunday August 31, 2008 at the War Memorial Auditorium Fort Lauderdale

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Hala Khouri, Hemalayaa, Sierra Bender + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 60 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Sunday evening benefit concert

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 179).


Wednesday September 3, 2008 at the Cambridge Masonic Hall

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts at this workshop-only event. The evening benefit concert will feature Donna de Lory and her band.

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 125)


Sunday September 7, 2008 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 18th/6th Ave.

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Elena Bower, Timothy McCall MD + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 50 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Sunday evening benefit concert featuring Donna de Lory
$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 135).


Wednesday September 10, 2008 at a Navy Pier Downtown Chicago

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Margo Kellison, Hemalayaa, Sadie Nardini + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Evening benefit concert

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 125)


Wednesday September 17at The Crossings Hotel & Wellness Spa in Austin

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Hemalayaa, Sadie Nardini, Luke Ketterhagen + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops and events (reg. $ 125)


September 20-21, 2008 at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) West Los Angeles

Join thousands of health conscious people from all walks of life. Celebrate with us a healthy lifestyle. Children, families, seniors, celebrities, movie stars, yoga teachers and students - everyone will want to be there. Book your special events and workshop tickets early, they will sell out quickly.

Global Mala Sacred Movement and Music - Sunday 1-7pm
• Opening with Shiva Rea and Global Mala Team
• Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
• 108 Sun Salutations hosted by Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Hala Khouri & SoCal Yoga Teachers from 108 studios-centers.
• Sacred Music with Donna De Lory, Govindas and Radha, Joey Lugassy, Saul David Raye, Suzanne Sterling, Wah!, Wade Imre Morrissette + others.
• Yoga Trance Dance ignited by Shiva Rea with DJ Dragonfly.
• Closing with 108 OM Chant with Global Mala Project Kirtan Members.

3,500 yogis and yoginis gathered and celebrated last year. Join us September 21 for an event you will never forget. See also www.globalmala.org.

Yogi Times Party and Concert - Saturday 6-10pm
• Do not miss the Party of the Year. Network, meet friends and have fun.
• Feel the vibe and enjoy organic food and drink samples.
• Featuring Lili Haydn the "Jimi Hendrix of the violin”, equal parts Kate Bush and Pink Floyd, with lyrics in search of peace and passion.
• And other music artists and surprise guests (TBD).

$ 108 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access at all events, workshops, yoga wear super sale, Global Mala Yoga for Peace Ritual and Saturday evening Yogi Times Charity Party and Concert (reg. $ 279).


Wednesday September 24, 2008 at Marina Village Conference Center Mission Bay San Diego

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Seane Corn, Hemalayaa + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 35 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences - fun for children and adults
• Evening benefit concert featuring Donna de Lory

SPECIAL OFFER: $108 VIP-PASS for unlimited access to Yoga Health Festival 9/24 and Global Mala 9/20 (reg. $ 175).


Saturday September 27, 2008 at Fort Mason Herbst International Hall Presidio Park

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Hala Khouri, Hemalayaa, Timothy McCall MD + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 50 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Saturday evening benefit concert featuring Donna de Lory and Wade Imre Morissette

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all workshops, events and concert (reg. $ 125).


Saturday October 4, 2008at Vancouver Public Library Downtown (plus Bonus workshops Oct. 5)

Learn from some of the best yoga teachers and health experts and enjoy festival activities:
• Workshops with top national teachers like Sara Ivanhoe, Hemalayaa, Kim Eng + others
• Free lectures and demonstrations
• Over 50 yoga, health and green exhibitors
• Yoga for kids area and experiences
• Benefit concert featuring Wade Imre Morissette + dance party
• Sunday 10/5 Bonus 2-hour workshops with Sara Ivanhoe, Kim Eng, Hemalayaa,
Sadie Nardini and Sierra Bender at YYOGA’s Northshore Elements Studio

$88 VIP-PASS includes preferred seating and unlimited access to all Saturday and Sunday events (reg. $225).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

a new addition to my list of studios

there's a new addition to my list of yoga studios: yoga works - south bay

mind you, the studio's been open since the end of april, but since it was only accessible to yogaworks members -- that is, those who join on a monthly or annual basis, rather than those who buy a series pass or pay the single class rate -- i couldn't just drop in and take a class. and unless i actually take a class at a studio, it doesn't make it to my list :(

in fact, i was so upset by its restricted access policy that i posted something about it last march after i spoke with representatives at their pre-opening sales office.

in may, i finally was able to take a class there, not because i pulled strings to get in, but because they had a mother's day promotion. yet because i got in via a special promotion, rather than because i merely dropped in, i continued to hold off adding their name to the list. call me stubborn.

in june, i paid them another visit, this time for a 108 sun salutation workshop to celebrate the summer solstice. and because the class was designated as a workshop, everyone -- both members and non-members alike -- were able to take it because everyone had to pay the separate workshop fee. so once again, i was able to get in without possessing a YW membership. and as far as i was concerned, that still didn't make them list-worthy.

earlier this week, i received a letter from the studio manager which started out something like this:

Dear Yogi,

As you may have heard, YogaSofia recently closed its doors. To insure that her clients are able to continue, or re-start, their yoga practices Sofia has arranged for a complimentary week at Yoga Works new studio in the South Bay...

and since i used to take classes every now and then at yogasofia in hermosa beach, the offer was being extended to me :)

when i first found out about yogasofia's closing, it seemed that the arrangement with yoga works only applied to those holding yogasofia's monthly and annual passes. but now they've rolled out the welcome mat to yogasofia drop-ins as well. so for a week, i'll be able to drop in whenever i please. all i'll have to do is flash my pass and sign up for a class. any class. on any day, at any time of the day. you'd better believe i'm going to be there as often as i can during that seven-day period! thanks, sofia!

so is that why i've finally decided to add yoga works - south bay to my yoga studio list as well as to my platial map? well, no. actually, the reason is because i recently found out that yogaworks south bay finally accepts drop-ins. well, sort of. they now allow one drop-in per month, although i'm not sure if they're referring to one per calendar month, or once every 30 days. regardless, it looks like it's finally a step towards an open door policy, and that's what i was hoping to hear :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

your pre-BBQ yoga options :)

here's the scoop on the july 4th holiday schedules, at least from those who've been nice enough to send me email updates (i'll be adding in the rest as i check out websites and/or hear from the late-updaters). for studio weblinks, check the studio list found on the right-hand side of my blog page...

happy 4th to you all!

the awareness center, pasadena

Independence Day – 4th of July

back for yoga, el segundo

The studio will be closed on Friday, the 4th of July, but will have regular scheduled classes on Saturday and Sunday.
Have a Happy Holiday!

black dog yoga, sherman oaks

July 4th Weekend:
On our regular schedule all weekend, except for a modified schedule on July 4:
9:00am Hatha Flow I-II w/Clay Kyle
9:30am Hatha Flow I w/Margaret Buckley
10:30am Anusara-inspired II-III w/Jenny Brill
Studio Closes - No P.M. Classes

city yoga, west hollywood

Modified Schedule
All classes will remain as usual with the last class beginning at 2pm with Steven Espinosa. The building will close at 3:30pm.
Have a safe and happy 4th!

the core, your perfect center, redondo beach

The Core will be CLOSED July 4th - 6th

exhale, santa monica

Fourth of July Weekend
We will be open on July 4th from 8:00am to 6:45pm.
We will have CF Open at 9:45, CF Open at 12:15 and CF Basic at 1:30 (note that there are no yoga classes regularly scheduled on these days, anyway, so no change there)
We will be closing due to the closing of the streets in this area for the Santa Monica fireworks display.

exhale center for sacred movement, venice

Special July 4th Schedule
Come celebrate the holiday with us!
9:00am Shiva Rea Level 2/3
9:15am Jason Frahm Level 1/2
10:30am LIVE MUSIC CELEBRATION: Micheline Berry accompanied by Shaman’s Dream
10:45am Jaime Elmer Level 1/2
12:45pm Brad Keimach Level 2 community class

free spirit yoga, long beach

July 4th Weekend Classes
July 4th Day: 9:30am with Sally and 12:00 noon with Chelsea ONLY
July 5th Regular schedule, except Core yoga 4:30pm is canceled.
July 6th Regular Schedule

guerilla yoga, hollywood

There is no class this Thursday, July 3 in honor of Independence Day.
There IS class this upcoming Sunday, July 6. Get your Independence on!

garden of yoga, woodland hills

4th of July Flow with Diana
We will have a special 4th of July Flow class with Diana starting at 10 AM - 11:30 AM. We hope you have a safe and sane 4th of July Holiday. We will resume our regular
Sunday schedule on July 6th.

goda yoga, culver city

Closed Friday, July 4th.
Regular schedule the rest of the weekend.

golden bridge yoga, hollywood

Friday, July 4 9:30 - 11:30 am*
Breaking the Piscean HypnoticTrance with Tej & Harijiwan
Cost: $20/adv or $30/day of
Join Tej & Harijiwan for a powerfully liberating class on the 4th of July!
*This is the only class on this day!

liberation yoga, los angeles

The 4th of July schedule is as follows:
9:00am-11:00am - Ashtanga/Mysore with Joel Bender
11:00am-12:30pm Level 1 with Lynn Taylor
11:00am- 12:30pm - Vinyasa Flow/Mixed Levels with Ashley Albrand in the garden
The rest of the weekend will be as usual!
Have a wonderful holiday week! Vive l'independence!

rising lotus yoga, sherman oaks

Please note our 4th of July schedule:
9:00am Level 1 with Elinore Cohen
10:30am Mixed Level Flow with Daniel Stewart
**all other classes canceled***
Hope you can make it!

santa monica yoga, santa monica

Closed Friday, July 4

silver lake yoga, silverlake

Friday July 4th
10:00 AM - Mixed Levels w/ Dana - Studio 1
10:45 AM - Pilates w/ Sarah - Studio 2
All other classes cancelled
Sunday July 6th
10:00 AM Parent and Me class cancelled

still yoga, silverlake

9:00-10:30AM ~ all levels anusara ~ Tara Judelle
12:30-2:00PM ~ all levels anusara ~ Lucy Bivins
All other classes cancelled

swerve studio, los angeles

(btw, i've only listed the yoga classes):
friday, july 4th
7:30 power yoga with jessica (1 hr)
12:30 vinyasa flow yoga (cc) with courtney (1 hr 15 min)
saturday, july 5th
10:00 YBB with gillian (1.5 hr)
11:45 FREE guided meditation with gillian (30 min)
sunday, july 6th
10:00 YBB with lauren (1 hr 15 min)
6:00 meditation circle with victoria (1 hr)

tenth gate yoga, los angeles

Since the Y has canceled their weekend yoga classes, there will be a SAT 10 AM class and two sessions of YOGA ON THE SAND - FRI 7/4 & SUN 7/6 @ 8 AM
SAT: 10 AM - (all levels welcome)

truyoga, santa monica

Holiday hours: TruYoga will be closed July 4, 5, & 6th to observe the holiday.

u studio, los angeles

July 4th
9:00 am Andrea
10:30am Ginny

urth yoga, silver lake

Friday July 4, 2008
9:00-10:30AM ~ Basics - Anusara Inspired ~ Keric Morinaga
10:45-12:30PM ~ Mixed Levels - Anusara Inspired ~ Jeff Starin
All other classes cancelled

yoga blend, burbank

Friday, July 4th Schedule:
9:30am-11:00am - Level 1-2 w/ Vicki
11:30am-12:45pm - Level 1 w/ Nicole
1:00pm-2:00pm - Stretch w/ Nicole
All remaining classes will be cancelled
Regular schedule resumes, Saturday, July 5th
Have a wonderful holiday!

yoga circle downtown, los angeles

We will be closed on Friday July 4th.
On Saturday, we will have our 10:30am class and our 12noon class but will be closed at the 4:30pm time slot.
And on Sunday July 6th, we'll return to our regular schedule
Have a safe and Happy 4th.

yoga groove, north hollywood

We will have one special 10am class only on Friday the 4th of July. Come join Karen for an Independence Day celebration class. All levels welcome.
Regular class schedule for the rest of the weekend. See you at Yoga Groove!

yoga loft, manhattan beach

4th of July Weekend Schedule
Thursday, July 3: ALL Regular Classes
Friday, July 4:
7:30am Level 1/2 with Genevieve
9:00am Level 2/3 with Kyra
Sat. & Sun., July 5 & 6: Regular MORNING CLASSES ONLY!

yoga west, los angeles

Guru Singh will be holding a special July 4th class: Mastery and Liberty, July 4 at 10am. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing in the great summer vibrations!
Price: $16 or Keytag
Please note that all other classes will be cancelled.

yoga works, all locations

Celebrate the 4th of July weekend with Friends.
Bring a friend to class for Free July 4th-6th!

yummy yoga, los feliz

Teacher Substitutions for July 2 - 5
Wednesday, July 2
9:00 AM ~ All Levels, Caroline Cardino subbing for Emilie Chan
Thursday, July 3
6:00 PM ~ Level 2/3, Sherida Mulrowe subbing for Ducky Punch
Friday, July 4th
ALL CLASSES CANCELLED ~ Go celebrate your Independence!!!
Saturday, July 5
8:45 AM ~ Level 2/3, Ali Laventhol subbing for Ducky Punch
Have a safe and fun Independence Day!