Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Thursday, May 28, 2009

opening the gates

a new yoga studio will be opening its doors this coming monday, june 1st: the bhakti yoga shala. located at the corner of arizona and 2nd in santa monica, this studio will be offering daily yoga classes and weekend kirtans -- all on a donation basis.

to celebrate and bless this special space, a non-stop 12-hour kirtan will be held this sunday, may 31st. many of the performers are also on the teaching schedule at bhakti yoga, so come and chant with the yogis you'll be practicing with!

May 31, 2009
11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

...to light the flame and open the gates at the Shala...

We will have many amazing kirtan singers and musicians
Come for a little while and enjoy...
or turn it into a Bhakti Maha sadhana - come all day from beginning to end and sing your heart out!
One thing for sure, the mantras, music, and celebration will continue nonstop for the entire 12 hours. Please come join us for this auspicious new beginning...
Jai Ganesha!!

Kirtan Schedule:
11am - Govindas and Radha
12pm - Kalidas
12:30pm - Angela Meilandt
1pm - Michael Thomas
1:30pm - Ryan Brewer
2pm - Ena Vie and Howard Lipp
2:30pm - Joey Lugassy
3pm -Terra Gold
3:30pm - Daniel Stewart
4pm - Andres Salcedo
4:30pm - Cyrus
5pm - Andrew Behla
5:30pm - Govindas and Radha
6pm - Randall Reel
6:30pm - Kalidas
7pm - Daniel Stewart
7:30pm - Andres Salcedo
8pm - Joey Lugassy
8:30pm - Travis Eliot
9pm - Zat Baraka
9:30pm - Michael Thomas
10pm - Moose Ali Khan
10:30pm - Govindas and Radha

Other musicians include:
* Shiva Baum
* Dahveed Hari Bol Das
* Marla Leigh
* David Watts
* and many more!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a very lucky man

i was busy helping myself to the food and drink samples at the LA marathon race expo last saturday when i felt my backpack vibrate. i reached in to answer my cell phone, but by the time i'd gotten to it, the call had already been routed to voice mail.

i looked at the phone display and it said that i had missed not just one, but TWO calls. both were from my good friend BDB. that's strange, i thought. he only calls me if he needs something. and for him to call twice in the span of fifteen minutes, he must've REALLY needed something.

i listened to the first message he left:

i went to a yoga class and i'm not feeling very well at all. i'm here at the starbucks by the yoga studio. give me a call...

then to the second:

i need your help. please call me as soon as you get this...

the tone of his voice had changed dramatically from the first message to the second. i immediately called him back. he answered his phone, sounding even weaker. i started to worry.

according to him, earlier that morning, he had taken the subway from his home in downtown LA, then biked to yoga class in west hollywood. since he had been busy with work and had missed all his usual yoga classes during the week, he was looking forward to making up for lost time. feeling exhausted after rushing to make the 10:30 power yoga class, he chose to push through with the class anyway.

after coming down from a handstand midway through the class, he started to feel woozy and lightheaded. he sat in child pose, hoping that the dizziness would pass. it didn't. he continued to follow along with the class but realized that he was just making things worse. he rolled up his yoga mat, walked out of the classroom, and sat outside to get some fresh air. that didn't seem to help, either.

eventually, he hopped back on his bike and made his way to the starbucks shop a few blocks down the street, hoping that maybe some food and drink would make him feel better. but when he got there, there was a long wait and he felt he was too weak and uncomfortable to stand in line. that's when he decided to sit down and call me.

since both my friend michele -- who happened to be standing next to me -- and i had taken the bus from santa monica to the convention center, neither of us could drive out to west hollywood to pick him up and take him home. i knew that we had other friends who were roaming around the expo, so i told him i'd check with the others and call him right back.

but the more i thought about how weak and desperate he sounded, the more i realized i didn't have time to find an alternate ride for him. i called him back to tell him to call 911. he assured me that not only had he just done that, but he had also tracked down anita, a mutual friend of ours, who was already on her way to him.

relieved that help was on its way, michele and i finished what we needed to do at the race expo and caught the bus back home.

from the bus, i called BDB one more time. the paramedics had examined him and were about to take him to cedars-sinai medical center, a little more than a mile away. it's probably just an electrolyte imbalance, he said. after all, i did sweat a lot in class and didn't really drink much before nor during class...

yeah, it could be, i assured him, hoping that whatever it was that he was suffering from could easily be treated with some extra fluids fed intravenously through his veins. or at least something as routine as that.

since anita was still on her way to get him, he asked me to call her and tell her that she should just turn around and go back home. by the time i reached her, she was already at the starbucks and was trying to find him.

he just left, i said. the paramedics took him to cedars.

oh my god. he must have been in the ambulance that i had to pull over for on my way here! she proceeded to catch up with him at the hospital.

i got home, and as i started up my car, i called BDB for an update. he said that the ER staff had run some tests and had decided to admit him. it was obviously more serious than either of us had thought it would be. anita was already by his bedside and both of them were waiting for him to be transferred to a room.

i called again when i arrived at the hospital. he was on the fifth floor. the cardiac floor. yikes. this was definitely serious. i gave him a hug when i saw him and asked him for details. all he could say was that he already felt much better.

you may be feeling better, i said, but they obviously think there's something wrong, otherwise they wouldn't keep you overnight...

just then, his cardiologist walked into the room. after getting his patient's ok to have us in the room while they discussed his condition, the doctor said that he was concerned that BDB's heart rate was too slow and that there were three possible reasons why. he either had a heart attack, his thyroid levels were too low, or he needed a pacemaker. he then ordered some lab tests and an echocardiogram. he also described how a pacemaker would be inserted, if one were needed.

whatever the outcome would be, it looked like my dear friend was going to be confined through the memorial day weekend.

he sat there, stunned. he had just celebrated his 53rd birthday two months ago. his father died from a massive heart attack at the ripe young age of 56.

anita and i kept him company while the hospital staff continued to poke and prod him. when we realized that nothing was going to happen any time soon, both anita and i left to retrieve his bike from where he had parked it outside the starbucks store; she then took the bike home with her and i went straight to the kirtan i had planned to attend that evening.

when i got home later that evening, i read the following email message sent from BDB's iphone:

Subject: How I spent my Saturday night


About 9:30 tonight the Cardio MD who saw me in ER early this afternoon came into my room to inform me that a blood enzyme was elevated and my EKGs didn't jive indicating that I did have a small heart attack. Furthermore, same MD just let me know (10:33PM) that I'll be going for angioplasty in about a half hour! The reasoning is that there's no blockage now but they don't want one to develop by morning. They're prepping me now!

It will be alright! Love to all,


by then, it was 1:30 in the morning. i called the hospital to see how he was doing. he was still in the cath lab, according to the nurse. she assured me that a procedure lasting more than two hours was nothing to be worried about. that sounded good enough for me, so i went to sleep.

BDB called me the next morning to fill me in on the excitement that had gone on after we had left. he summarized it best in an email he sent out later that morning to his close friends and family:

... Things didn't really get exciting until after visiting hours ended at 9PM. My cardiologist came running into my room just as I was beginning to tell my brother why I was in the hospital. One look at the cardiologist's face, and I told my brother I'd have to call him back and hung up. Certain blood enzyme tests were elevated and the EKG from the ambulance didn't jive with one taken later in the day: I, in fact, had had a heart attack.

By 10:30PM I had been rolled up to the cardio ICU, and by 11:30PM, after several consults with my cardiologist and my brothers (How did we live before iPhones and Blackberries?), I was prepped for angioplasty. Surgery started at midnight and ended at 3:00AM.

To paraphrase Martin Lawrence, "Me so lucky!" That I would have an attack a few blocks from one of the top hospitals in the world; that my surgeon is world-renowned as a cardio interventionist and had just gotten off a plane at LAX from Barcelona at 5:30PM that day; that my attack occurred in 2009 and not 1976 when my father had his sternum sawed in two for bypass surgery instead of the catheter fished up my left arm vein to my heart; that out of laziness and no one to join me, I didn't go backpacking in the High Sierra six miles from the nearest road; and that in spite of myself, even I knew to call 911 - I am dumbstruck but very appreciative of fate. Surgery revealed that a major artery to my heart muscle was 90% blocked as well as two others in bad shape. So three stents later, I miraculously have no damage to my heart muscle and will probably check out of the hospital in a day or two and be back to work in a week. I imagine I will immediately earn distinction in cardio rehab when I ask how soon it will be before I can do a handstand in yoga class again...

after spending two and a half days in the critical care unit (where he was probably the least bedridden patient on the floor), BDB was discharged early yesterday afternoon. luckily for him (yet again!), i was available to check on his place in his absence, pick him up from the hospital, drive him to the pharmacy to get his prescriptions filled, and make sure he had everything he needed before he turned in for the night.

for the next week or so, i'll be checking on him to make sure he's ok. but since he already has a list of things he wants to get done before he goes back to work, it appears that my job will be to keep a tight rein on him to make sure he follows his doctor's orders to get lots of rest!

to increase your chances of a similar happy ending if you ever find yourself or a loved one in the same situation, here are the warning signs of a heart attack, as found on the american heart association's website:

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

~ Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

~ Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

~ Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

~ Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

giving back once again

last month, i shared with you a post about a group of yogis -- joel bender, kayoko mitsumatsu, and jason kolker -- who have joined together to form yoga gives back, a charity whose mission is to raise funds for microfinance in india. i also posted the details about a few fundraisers that had already been held, including two at liberation yoga in LA and a third at black dog yoga in sherman oaks.

there are many more fundraisers for yoga gives back in the works, including yet another one at liberation this coming weekend; this time, it will be taught by christine burke, co-owner of liberation yoga. it promises to be another great class for the same great cause:

Defining The Art Of Love Through The Art Of Yoga with Christine Burke
Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 31st 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: Suggested Donation $20 - Benefits Yoga Gives Back!

Our entire lives are affected and driven by our ability to give and receive love. Our relationship to love and how we define it for ourselves colors, informs and often decides our relationship with ourselves, others and the planet on which we live. When we feel out of balance, stuck or disconnected it is often due to a lack of clarity about what love means to us. This may lead to feeling that we don't know how to "get it" ot "keep it" or "experience it". Yoga can give us the space and context in which to explore this powerful feeling, which is actually a state of being and which is actually what we are - LOVE!

Come spend a liberating afternoon with Christine and begin to unlock the doors of your heart through an all levels vinyasa class that will include mudra, mantra, chanting and meditation. There will also be a raffle and vegan and veggie pizza!

Yoga Gives Back is an incredible organization founded by our very own Joel Bender, Kayoko Mitsumatsu and orgaized and produced by other dedicated yogis including other Liberation students such as Jason Oslo Kolker. Visit www.yogagivesback.org to learn more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

september is national yoga month!

i know that september's still a long way off, but we need to start discussing national yoga month NOW if we want it to be a success here in LA!

here's the event flyer i received the other day:

Calling All Yoga Studios, Teachers and Students: Participate in National Yoga Month 09.2009

September marks a significant milestone in the “yoga for health” movement. It is the first official National Yoga Month (designated by the Department of Health & Human Services) designed to build awareness of yoga’s proven health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to better their own well-being.

How to Participate in National Yoga Month:

Host an event: Create a Yoga Month event such as a yoga class, workshop, peace party or community class during the month of September and register it at yogamonth.org.

Donate a Yoga Class: Contribute the proceeds from one or more classes taught in September to the National Awareness Campaign and Yoga Health Foundation.

Join the Yoga Month Card New Student Program: Yoga studios and teachers can participate by offering one week of free yoga to new students.

Volunteer: Become a Yoga Month Ambassador in your city, helping to spread the word and inspiring your community.

Join our Email List: Become a part of the Yoga Month community.

Events are planned across the country, including:

One week of free yoga - By going to www.yogamonth.org/yogamonthcard, people can find participating studios and teachers, print out the Yoga Month Card and redeem it for One Week of Free Yoga at locations in nearly every city across the country.

Local Yoga Month events - Hundreds of yoga studios, teachers, individuals and event organizers will create free or donation-based National Yoga Month events in their city for everyone from those trying yoga for the first time to experienced yogis.

The National Institutes of Health Mind-Body Week - To address the pervasive challenge of stress – and its adverse affects on health - this weeklong series of events, held in the nation’s capital, will provide resources to achieve personal wellness goals.

Global Mala Yoga for Peace Celebration - On September 20, beginners and advanced yogis alike will gather in Los Angeles for four hours of yoga, raising both funds and consciousness for today’s most pressing issues.

High level support - People and organizations from the likes of NIH to Mariel Hemingway are lending their support to National Yoga Month.

Yoga Month 2009 is all about local involvement to generate a truly influential National Awareness Campaign.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

a heads-up for this coming monday

the memorial day weekend is upon us. and not only will the class schedule at your usual yoga studio be affected this coming monday because of the holiday, but your ability to get there or any other place in town may be affected by the street closures for the LA marathon which will be held on that day (note: you're not imagining things -- it's always been held in march, but it was changed this year. just know that it's being moved back to march next year...)

to help you plan your transportation on monday, here are some helpful links:

LA marathon course map
LADOT road closures
MTA schedule changes

so here are the memorial day weekend schedule changes that i've received so far:

the awareness center, pasadena

Mon. May 25th Memorial Day - CLOSED
All weekend, regular class schedule.

back for yoga, el segundo

We will be open on Friday, May 22nd and Saturday, May 23rd with our regular scheduled classes.
On Sunday, May 24th, only the morning classes (8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.) will be taught. There will not be a class on Sunday Evening at 5:30 p.m.
We will be closed on Memorial Day.

black dog yoga, sherman oaks

We will hold classes up until noon on Monday. The studio will close at 1:30p.

city yoga, west hollywood

Modified Schedule
First class from 8:30-10am basics with Anthony Benenati
and our last class will be from 12:30-2pm basics with Linda Berton

exhale center for sacred movement, venice

9:00am Matthew Cohen Level 2/3
9:15am Kerianne Telford Level 1
10:30am Saul David Raye Level 2/3
10:45am Sherry Brourman Level 1/2
12:30pm Ashley Turner Level 1/2
12:45pm Brad Keimach Level 2 community

free spirit yoga, long beach

Saturday: 8:30AM, 10:00AM, and 11:30AM 1pm & 4:30 Canceled
Sunday: 9:00AM and 10:30AM 5pm canceled
Monday: only 9AM chant and 9:30AM Level 1 & Meditation afternoon classes are canceled.

garden of yoga, woodland hills

We will be closed on Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day.

golden bridge yoga, hollywood

Special Memorial Day Class!!!
Monday, May 25th 10:00am - 12:00pm
Beyond duality: Living Through the Heart with Gurushabd Singh
Cost: $20/adv or $25/day of

Today we live in a world where the greatest precept has become the science and logic of the mind.
When we project and create solely from the mind, our intention might be good but because of the mind’s dualistic nature it will always create both good and bad. Within the heart is a scared place where you and the world can be remade and there is only purity.
On Memorial Day we will celebrate by coming together and practicing an ancient yogic technology to bring about a shift in you, transforming duality into unity.
We will enter the sacred space of the heart to transcend the challenges of the times and discover a new realm of possibilities, creativity & healing.
These most sacred teachings were brought by the yogis to earth to bring peace for the next 5000 years. Come be a part of it!
Open your heart. Free your mind. Elevate your consciousness.
Enjoy delicious watermelon after class!

This will be the only class offered on Memorial Day. All other classes cancelled.

the hub, west los angeles

Canceled classes:
7:00am Mixed Level Flow
6:15pm Vinyasa Yoga
All other classes as usual, including 8:00pm power yoga with Jay Co

karen shuman's beyond yoga, sherman oaks

Monday June 1st, 2009
10:00-11:30am Hatha Flow Dario
12:00-1:30pm Gentle Hatha Vida
Closed for the rest of the day.
We are back to a normal schedule on Tuesday!!

liberation yoga, los angeles

10:00AM-12:00PM Vinyasa Flow Ashley Albrand
12:00PM-1:30PM Level 1 Jeanne Korn

rising lotus yoga, sherman oaks

Monday, May 25th
9:00 - Level I with Sarah Bergman
10:35 - Mixed Level Flow with Daniel Stewart
12:15 - Lunch Flow with Michelle Goldstein

santa monica yoga, santa monica

Please note that we are CLOSED next Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day. The schedule for the weekend is the same as usual, and the regular schedule resumes on Tuesday.

swerve, los angeles

8:30 am Pilates Plus with Kim Director
9:30 am 6 - Pack Abs with Kim Director
10:00 am Yoga Booty Ballet with Lauren Haze
11:15 am Goddess with Tracie Hendricks
12:30 Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Courtney Munch

truyoga, santa monica

Join us on Memorial Day, Monday May 25th for a special all levels class at 10 a.m. taught by Yoga Groove founder Karen Russell. This will be the only class given for the day, regular class schedule during the weekend.

u studio yoga, los angeles

Monday, May 25th - 9:00am with Andrea (only 1 class this holiday Monday)

the rest of the weekend is our Usual schedule
Fri 5:30 --Andrea
Sat 9am and 10:30am --Andrea
Sun 10:30am and 4pm --Andrea

YAS, venice

Hi everyone. We wanted to let you know that YAS Venice will be open with our regular schedule on Memorial Day (Monday).
Come spin and do yoga with us either before or after your barbecue and have a guilt free holiday!!

yoga blend, burbank

Monday, May 25th
9:30am-11:00am-Level 1 with Nicole
11:30am-12:45pm-Gentle with Bekah
12:00pm-1:30pm-Level 1-2 with Keric
1:00pm-2:00pm-Stretch with Bekah
The studio will close at 2:00pm

yoga groove, north hollywood

Join us on Memorial Day, Monday May 25th for a special all levels class at 10 a.m. taught by Yoga Groove founder Karen Russell. This will be the only class given for the day, regular class schedule during the weekend.

yoga kingdom, pasadena

ONE Class May 25thMemorial Day
9:30 to 11:00 AM Classical Hatha All Level with Maya
Normal schedule resumes Tuesday

yoga loft, manhattan beach


yoga works center for yoga, larchmont

8:00-9:25 Yoga Blend 1 Hazel Patterson
8:30-9:55 Yoga Blend 2 Steven Freedman
9:30-10:55 YogaWorks 1/2 Amy Lafond
10:00-11:30 Yoga Blend 2/3 James Morrison
11:00-12:30 Yoga Blend 2 Clay Kyle
11:45-1:15 Yoga Blend 1/2 Jeanne Heileman
12:00-1:30 Pre & Postnatal Patti Lewis
1:30-3:00 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Joan Hyman

yoga works main street, santa monica

9:00-10:40 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 + Kundalini Pranayama Kia Miller
10:45-12:15 YogaWorks 1/2 Billy Asad

yoga works montana, santa monica

8:00-9:55 Ashtanga Sonya Cottle
8:00-9:25 YogaWorks 1 Al Tavera
9:30-10:55 Iyengar 2/3 Lisa Walford
10:00-11:25 YogaWorks 1/2 Birgitte Kristen
11:00-12:30 YW Flow 2 Heather Seiniger
11:30-1:00 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Jesse Schein
12:45-2:15 Iyengar 1/2 Chris Stein

yoga works pacific palisades

8:30-10:00 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Patti Asad
10:15-11:45 Yoga Blend 1/2 Nichola Dunne
12:00-1:30 Iyengar Yoga Larry Heliker

yoga works south bay, el segundo

8:00-9:25 Iyengar 1/2 Jennifer Edwards
8:15-9:45 YW Flow 2 Casey Coda
9:30-10:55 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Julie Rader
10:00-11:25 Yoga Blend 1/2 Leeann Carey
11:00-12:30 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Marla Wedge
11:30-12:55 Kundalini Aimée Donahue
12:40-2:40 Ashtanga Natale Ferreira
1:00-2:25 Yoga Blend 1/2 Zhi Myers
2:30-3:45 Gentle Yoga Amy Drucker
2:45-3:45 Mat Pilates Alisa Wyatt

yoga works westwood

9:00-10:30 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 David Lynch
9:00-10:25 YogaWorks 1/2 Thomas Taubman
10:30-12:00 Vinyasa Flow 2/3 Caleb Asch
10:45-12:15 Power Yoga 2 Kara Price
12:15-1:45 YogaWorks 1 Romy Phillips
12:30-2:00 Pre & Postnatal Anita Manglani

yogi tree, toluca lake

9:00-10:30 am Hatha Yoga Mixed Level - Keirin Brown
10:30-11:30 am Kundalini Express Yoga - Crystal D'Angora
11:30-12:30 pm Mat Pilates - Crystal D'Angora

9:00-10:00 am Kundalini Express - Jennifer Kelly
10:00-11:30 am Hatha Blend Yoga Level 1 - Keyah Merah
11:30-1:00 pm Prenatal Yoga - Keya Merah

Monday - CLOSED

your neighborhood studio, culver city

Memorial Day is this Monday, May 25th and we are OPEN with a REGULAR SCHEDULE!!!

yummy yoga, los feliz

Monday, May 25 - Yummy is offering two classes on Memorial Day!
9:00 AM ~ All Levels with Rabia
6:00 PM ~ Core Class with Caroline
All other classes cancelled.

Friday, May 22, 2009

dare to go bare?

lululemon has recently been promoting their online shopping site with the catchphrase: shop nude! the idea being that when you're shopping from the comfort of your home, it doesn't matter what you're wearing; in fact, you don't have to be wearing anything at all (just make sure you have the shades pulled down when you do!)

it seems like someone else wants to similarly promote their yoga studio by inviting all students to come practice nude. but there's a catch: you have to be male. and gay (although i didn't hear anything about straight men not being allowed to attend).

so while i'm posting this promo that was recently sent to me, i'll never get a chance to check the place out for myself and see what it's like. but since it IS about a yoga studio in LA, i probably should pass the information along. especially since it involves mingling with other like-minded yogis at a grand opening party on the 31st of this month. hmmm... maybe someone can write back and tell me how it went?

anyway, here's the invite. by the way, i'm sure the place is legit because i know one of their teachers and have taken many classes with him... at your usual male/female fully-clothed yoga studios, that is :)

Aaron Star's Hot Nude Yoga
Los Angeles Opening Class and Party
May 31 @ 4:30 PM
Opening Class @ 7:00 PM

I am excited and thrilled beyond measure to tell you that we have a new home, and it is our real home now. It is a large house located at 1400 N Fuller Ave (between Sunset and Fountain) with a beautiful large space for our practice.

Please join us for our Opening Celebration and Party on Sunday, May 31 at 4:30 PM.
We will be offering a class at 7:00 PM. (The door will close at 6:50 for this class.)
(No RSVP required!) Please bring some refreshments!
Please remember that we close the doors on time. If you are late, you will not be let in.
Please park on the street as there is plenty of free parking.
Cost: $20

If you wish to participate in this special opening class, please bring the following to class as they are NOT provided:
Yoga Mat We rent mats at the studio for $5

and here's a little bit more about the studio itself:

NYC Hot Nude Yoga Founder Reaches Out to LA and Opens HNY LA’s First Studio Home
* Aaron Star of the ‘Hot Nude Yoga Series,’ Featured in Out Magazine and On Here TV, becomes ‘bicoastal’ and opens new Hollywood yoga studio.

Los Angeles - May 14, 2009 - Hot Nude Yoga, the first Gay Owned and Gay Run yoga studio exclusively for men looking for a greater sense of freedom and connection with each other, is opening a studio in LA.

For the past eight years, Aaron Star has been teaching Hot Nude Yoga at his New York City studio and leading workshops and retreats from India to Columbus, Ohio, and France to Costa Rica. Gay.com recently wrote, “Many people credit Aaron Star of New York's Hot Nude Yoga with starting the gay naked yoga revolution.” Recognized world-wide as groundbreaking for Gay Men and for the Yoga World, Star’s videos are available on Here TV.

Information and downloadable videos available at: HotNudeYoga.com

What makes Hot Nude Yoga Hot?
Many gay men have no option but to practice yoga in classes with straight women in the majority. Hot Nude Yoga offers a haven for Gay men to feel at home, while being taught by certified teachers of popular yoga styles such as Jivamukti , Anusara and Vinyasa flow classes.

Aaron Star also offers his signature Tantra Yoga classes, embodying the ideals and motto of Hot Nude Yoga.

Hot Nude Yoga hopes to attract new students with ads using the tag line: “Take Your Consciousness To A New Realm.” Star explains: “Coming to yoga is not about having a tight ass that looks and feels great naked -- it’s more. It’s about learning to feel at one with your self as a man in today’s society, being confident and clairvoyant with one’s self. Our motto is -- "Live Fearlessly and Become Limitless.”

Hot Nude Yoga offers up to 10 classes a week plus special workshops. Drop-ins for regular classes are $20. For class times and location information log on to: www.hotnudeyoga.com

Thursday, May 21, 2009

who needs bikram when we have vinnie?

yes, i live in LA. and yes, this is the town where being a celeb -- or knowing even just a few select ones -- can't hurt.

we have our share of yoga rock stars whose names are familiar to the yoga community around the world. shiva rea. bryan kest. erich schiffman. gurmukh. steve ross.

but unless you're a die-hard yogi here in LA, you probably haven't heard about the yoga teacher who packs in each and every of his classes with students who are there to prove to themselves -- as well as to everyone they know -- that they have what it takes to survive his class.

his name? vinnie marino.

and yes, i'm just as guilty as the rest of them.

just the other day, after feeling like i had been slacking off in the intensity of my yoga practice, i biked over to the yogaworks studio on main street. since i had arrived late (that is, less than ten minutes before the start of class), i was worried that the class would already be full and i'd be turned away. but they let me in the room. lucky me.

the yoga mats of the 70 students in the classroom were so closely laid out on the floor that there were only about three inches of bare floor separating us from our neighbors. but as far as vinnie's classes go, that wasn't even considered that crowded at all; usually, he can jam in as many as 85 students into the same room, with only about an inch between mats.

with a room that packed, it can get really cramped. and hot. and intimidating. and in my case, scary, only because there was a pregnant woman who was three weeks from her due date beside me. and she was right there, doing balance poses with the rest of us. god forbid i lost my balance and fell on her! but i didn't. whew!

anyway, the new york times decided to publish an article about him in yesterday's paper. here are some excerpts from that article. click on the title to read the entire article...

He Rocks, They Flock: The Yoga King
Published: May 20, 2009

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The yogis arrived toting their mats and towels and SIGG water bottles. Some had waited a half hour before being allowed to claim tiny plots of floor just inches from one another. They jostled and chatted while setting up their spaces, some kicking up into handstands to loosen up.

It was 9 a.m. on a recent Saturday. The decibel level rose to that of a rowdy cocktail party. The crowd was a mix of Type-A careerists and tattooed freelancers who mold their work schedules around their yoga practice — or professionally accessorize their Lululemon outfits with heavy engagement rings. Today everyone seemed relatively calm; in the past, eruptions of mat rage have led to tears.

And then the teacher walked in. He had a gray crew cut, a message-free tank top and shorts, without a Buddhist bead or Sanskrit phrase visible anywhere.

“Come on people, let’s get started,” he said in a New York accent, as if leading a conference call.

Then he cranked up “Misty Mountain Hop” by Led Zeppelin and led the students through a warm-up of sun salutations. Soon he had them stretching into a difficult split pose.

“Didn’t you see the torture memos this week?” called out Jane Harman, a 63-year-old devoted student in the front row, who also happens to be the United States Representative for the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.

The teacher responded, “That’s why I’m doing this.”

His name is Vinnie Marino and he is the unlikely Yoga King of Los Angeles. A few other yoga teachers pack their classes, but Mr. Marino elicits a special kind of loyalty from his students and rewards them with some very tough love. The 50-year-old recovering drug addict says being from the other side of the country is one of his strengths.

“Coming from New York City, I have really good boundaries,” Mr. Marino said. “I know when to let people in and I know when to back off.”

Mr. Marino leads challenging classes of nearly 90 people, six days a week, twice a day, at the Yoga Works studios. His class fuses different types of yoga that incorporate flowing from one pose to another (vinyasa and Ashtanga) and holding certain poses for a long time while focusing on alignment (Iyengar). The sweat alone makes it seem closer to a high-impact aerobics class than a discipline with a meditational aspect.

More than a grueling workout, Mr. Marino’s class is a community, maybe even a benign cult. Students go almost daily to keep fit, as well as for the social life. They bond at his retreats. Some have gotten married.

STAR sightings rival those at Chateau Marmont: students include Heather Graham, Kate Hudson, David Duchovny, Jeremy Piven and Adrien Brody. (Mr. Marino teaches Robert Downey Jr. in the privacy of his home.)

“It hurts so good and I feel euphoric after,” said Ms. Graham, who drives an hour to take Mr. Marino’s class. She finds it a safe space for celebrities. “Yoga people on a whole are super cool and everyone is there to work on their own thing,” she said. “I don’t find any creepy people in his class.”

It would be hard for a gawker to fit in. “That class is torture if you’re not really good at yoga,” said Ms. Graham, who dragged her boyfriend, the filmmaker Yaniv Raz, to class on her birthday last year.

“It nearly destroyed me,” Mr. Raz said.

Mr. Marino, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He took yoga in gym class in high school and studied Transcendental Meditation on his own time. But that wasn’t all he did. By 13, he was drinking and smoking pot, he said, and he soon moved on to psychedelics and pills. He shot up cocaine and heroin until age 26, when he went to rehab. (He has been sober for more than two decades.)

After moving to Los Angeles in the early ’90s, Mr. Marino discovered vinyasa yoga. At the time, he was waiting tables and working as a massage therapist and as an assistant to Grace Slick, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane. She convinced him to become a yoga teacher, even paying for his first teacher training program.

“I felt very lost in my life,” Mr. Marino recalled. “Grace told me to do what I love and the money will come, but she’s not New Agey. She’s a hard-core rock ’n’ roller. I believed her because she was so successful. Also, she said something like, ‘I’d rather take yoga from you than some weird dude in a robe.’ ”

Mr. Marino talks about his past while he teaches, making jokes about how it’s miraculous that he is alive. He says he thinks his life experiences make him a better teacher. There are parallels between an addict, or an extreme seeker, he says, and a passionate yoga student.

“The intensity of a drug addict to find peace is a similar thing to someone getting involved with a spiritual practice,” he said. “I think my drug history lets people know that we’ve all been through some heavy stuff and change is possible.”

Popular as he is, Mr. Marino’s teaching style is not for everyone. A 33-year-old producer who had practiced yoga for a decade tried Mr. Marino’s class after hearing friends boast about it. She said she will not go back.

“I’m not sure if it was the insane heat of the room or because there were too many people for Vinnie to make adjustments or if it was an off day for my body, but I did something to my lower back that I’ve never done before,” said the producer, who asked not to be named. (It’s not good karma to criticize yogis.) “It was pinched and cramped and was blindingly painful. The pain persisted for the next few days.”

Mr. Marino does offer easier variations of advanced poses and looks out for beginners. “I’m an alignment freak and I make sure, even in crowded room, that I’m always helping people keep their bodies safe in the poses,” he said.

For (another of Vinnie's students), just dealing with the stress of taking Mr. Marino’s class — errant flop sweat, securing a spot amid the stampede, the occasional outburst of mat rage — helps her take life in stride. “I will be on the crowded subway in New York, freaking out,” she said. “All of the sudden, I’ll find my breath. It will make me happy. That balance is a direct benefit from Vinnie’s class.”

Other instructors in Los Angeles teach advanced yoga classes to crowds of devoted followers, including Steve Ross of Maha Yoga in Brentwood, and Steven Earth Metz of Earth’s Power Yoga in West Hollywood. But Mr. Marino teaches about twice as many classes as those competitors.

Bryan Kest of Santa Monica Power Yoga, another star teacher, is often on tour; he will be traveling most of the summer. At Yoga Works, Sara Ivanhoe is another popular teacher, but her class is more spiritual, with traditional Indian chanting and music.

After the Saturday morning class, sweaty students streamed out of the studio, an intimidating sight for the next class waiting for the room to be mopped dry. Ms. Harman, the congresswoman, paused on a bench to catch her breath before heading back into the sunny day.

“I’m feeling very thin,” she said, grinning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

shri k pattabhi jois, 1915-2009

i woke up this morning and found a long list of tweets from my yoga cohorts, all pretty much saying the same thing:

shri k pattabhi jois, father of ashtanga yoga, passed away today in india at the age of 93

the official announcement appeared on the home page of the k pattabhi jois ashtanga yoga institute website:

May 18, 2009

Guruji passed away today at 2:30pm (Indian Standard Time). Thank you for all your condolences and prayers. Please kindly refrain from contacting the family directly at this time.

even though pattabhi jois had been ailing for some time now, his death came as a shock to the entire yoga community.

guruji was just two months shy of his 94th birthday. for him to have lived for that long can probably be attributed to his genes, his lifestyle, his regular yoga practice. or all of the above.

many yoga instructors paid tribute today to this wise teacher at the start of their classes, with some even leading their students through modified ashtanga poses instead of their usual vinyasa flow sequences.

while i could post excerpts of pattabhi jois's life and teachings from various sources, i'd like to refer you instead to the collection of videos and posts about the founder of ashtanga yoga on the elephant journal website.

Swashti Praja Bhyah Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahi Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha
Shubhamastu Nityam
Lokaa Samastha Sukhino Bhavanhtu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

May prosperity be glorified
May administrators rule the world with law and justice
May divinity and erudition be protected
And may people of the world be happy and prosperous
Om peace peace peace

-- ashtanga closing prayer, as chanted by pattabhi jois

shri k pattabhi jois -- his guiding light will continue to shine brightly long after his passing...


jodi blumstein, owner of shanti shala, a home-based yoga studio near downtown LA, will be hosting a memorial day potluck. here's her invite; jodi will give you directions to the shala after you've sent in your RSVP:

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing this morning of Sri K Pattabhi Jois. He died surrounded by his family and he leaves behind an enormous international community of students and friends who have been profoundly affected by his work. We have been so blessed to have such a loving and generous teacher, a radiant being of light and the most gifted master of yoga.

On Memorial Day, we invite you to celebrate his life with us and to enjoy the rich community that we all share because of his efforts.

Please join us at Shanti Shala on Monday May 25th.

9 - 10:45AM Intro to 2nd Series
This will be a fun and lighthearted exploration of the first half of the second series. Open to anyone who is currently practicing the full primary series. $15
RSVP at Shantishala@gmail.com

11 - 1PM Mysore Class
All Levels, beginners welcome. $15
RSVP at Shantishala@gmail.com

11AM - 4PM Raw Food Potluck in memory of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Bring a dish, or chat with Jodi about bringing ingredients and making your dish here. Play in the Shanti Kitchen, mingle with your community and nourish your body with delicious nutritious and energizing food.
RSVP at Shantishala@gmail.com

Class sizes are limited. You must email me to hold your space in one of the classes. The potluck is open to EVERYONE, so bring someone you love and share this special day with them!

Friday, May 15, 2009

before i dash out the door...

i can't seem to figure out where the week went. it seems like just yesterday when i was running from kirtan to kirtan... and that was last saturday!

anyway, speaking of running around, it looks like i'll have to do that again this weekend because there are so many good events to go to! maybe i'll see you at one of them?

Inner Light Shine with Stephanie Phelan
Maha Yoga, Los Angeles
Friday, May 15th 7:30-9:00pm
Cost: Regular single class price of $18 or use your Maha Yoga class series

Treat yourself to a truly heart opening evening as Stephanie Phelan teaches a mindful yoga class. As a special treat, Govindas and Radha will be playing music and chanting during the entire class.

Robert Sturman Art Show
lululemon Beverly Hills, 334 N Beverly Drive
Friday, May 15th 7:30-10:30pm
Cost: FREE

The official visual artist of 2005's 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards, Robert Sturman has developed and refined an improvisational, labor-intensive process that synthesizes both his photographic and painterly expertise. His "other worldly" images start as an instant Polaroid photograph that Sturman immediately carves with a variety of handmade tools while the surface of the photo is still wet and supple. Robert touched the yoga community with his technique and talent last year, taking portraits of yogis in and around the Los Angeles Community in a series now titled "Poetry of the Gods." In celebration of his work and as a thank you from the yoga community, lululemon athletica of Beverly Hills cordially invites you to an art show featuring Robert Sturman and his yogis. Come join us for a night of cocktails, live yoga performance art, and a meet and greet with the artist. Festivities begin at 7:30pm.

Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda, Los Angeles
Friday, May 15th 8:00pm
Cost: $10

It's back! Kick back and relax and join Mas and our spiritual community to watch a movie that educates, inspires and awakens us to our highest purpose. Were showing a special documentary about India, the people, culture and the great spiritual tradition. Bring your friends, a pillow and an open heart. The evening begins with some chanting and meditation.

Kirtan with Daniel Stewart and Friends
Yogaworks Main Street, Santa Monica
Friday, May 15th 8:15-10:15pm
Cost: $20 prepaid, $25 at door
Click here for $5 OFF coupon!

Join us for this special gathering with Daniel Stewart and friends. No experience is necessary. This evening of music mixed with call and response chanting, is perfect for those old and new to Kirtan. Daniel creates a safe, vibrant space for exploration, fun, and inspiration that you won't want to miss.
Suggested to bring a pillow or blanket to sit on.
Tribes musicians for the night:
Daniel Stewart: Vocals, Harmonium
Birdie Bergman: Vocals
Sylvie Scoville: Vocals
Emily Kerns: Vocals
Jeff Harris: Guitar
Angela DeVita: Flute
Abby Scoville: Cello
David Watts; Bass Guitar
Matthew Hufschmidt: Vocals, Percussion
and other surprise musical guests.

LA ART presents "Ego Armageddon"
Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood
Saturday, May 16th 7:00-12:00am
Cost: $10 Suggested Donation

“Ego Armageddon” is an “OPEN” Gathering @ Golden Bridge. There will be 100 local artists showcasing original work in the “Ego Armageddon” Showcase
LA ART will be providing the recovery community with an inspired night of creative expression. We will have two stages of live music, DJ’s, dance performances, art showings, silk screening, interactive art, guided meditations and yoga classes, designers, healers, psychics and more.
This is a total creative collective whose goal is to bring artists together and help people in and out of recovery begin to engage their own creative inspiration.
Our philosophy is that when someone takes creative action they are not reacting to their self defeating beliefs which lead to isolation and drug and alcohol abuse.
Live Performers will include: The Lucent Dossier Experience, Vaud and the Villains, Sounds of Asteroth, The Sunshine Apocalypse Band, Brent Fellows, Hysterica Dance Troupe, Ahimsa Clown troupe, Unbound Dance Troupe.
There will also be an Interactive art experience provided by Art Rebel Studios, a Short film festival and a Yoga/meditation experience from 7:30pm - 8:15pm taught by Sat

New World Fair
Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E Green St, Pasadena
Saturday May 16th 10 AM-8 PM
Sunday May 17th 10 AM-6 PM
Cost: Tickets sold at the door: $10 Admission for the Entire Weekend! Children Under 12 Free

The Third Annual New World Fair is a one-of-a-kind expo featuring amazing exhibits, speakers, and workshops, along with fun, interactive activities and marvelous stage entertainment. More than 10,000 guests are expected to connect and unite this weekend at Pasadena Convention Center.
Visitors are invited to play in a 100-piece drum circle, experience the inspirational power of walking a labyrinth, try stone balancing or create patterns in a Zen sand tray. Continuous live entertainment on the Plaza Stage includes belly dancers, and jazz and world musicians. Actor Ed Begley Jr. will provide the event's keynote address.
Strolling through the fair, visitors can sample organic foods and beverages, learn about the latest in natural health care, shop for jewelry, clothing and green-living and fair trade products, get a massage, or have their palm read. Plus the fair features more than 70 lectures and workshops presented continually in five rooms. Visitors can also feast on delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian specialties.
Go to www.newworldfair.org to join their e-mail list and they'll send you a coupon for $2 off the admission price.
Also, be one of the first 500 fair visitors Saturday or Sunday and you'll receive a reusable fabric shopping bag donated by Gelson's Market with goodies inside.
There is plenty of nearby parking. Most local parking garages charge $7 on weekends.

Woodley Park, Encino
Saturday, May 16th 10:30am-7:00pm
Cost: Adults $7, Seniors $5, Kids 12 and Under FREE

WorldFest is a solar-powered celebration of music, the environment, animals and humanity. We’re helping people learn what they can do for the Earth and its inhabitants.
The WorldFest 2009 Earth Day Festival will be held at the beautiful outdoor setting of Woodley Park in Encino, CA. We welcome our attendees to a magnificent day filled with entertainment, education and enlightenment. The combination of great music, empowering speakers, environmental, humanitarian and animal welfare non-profits, kid's activities and a delicious food court make for an earth-friendly experience that is sure to be inspiring and enjoyable for all.

AcroYoga Series-Flying with Lara Catone
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Saturday, May 16th 1:30-3:30pm (last class of series)
Cost: $18 drop-in

The AcroYoga Series is one of the deepest ways of experiencing this heart opening, playful practice. We start with foundations and build new skills each week as we grow together in an intentional community. Committing to a series will allow you to soar in body, mind and spirit!
In the Flying Series we will introduce all families of therapeutic flying (forward flying, back flying and high flying whale). We will begin to link postures in a flying flow and learn basic transitional moves. Previous yoga experience required, AcroYoga beginners welcome. No partner necessary.

Fundraiser Class with Sachie Alessio
Urth Yoga, Silverlake
Saturday, May 16th 2:00-3:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Please join Sachie on Saturday, May 16th at 2pm for a fundraising class! This class is donation only, with all the proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity.
Take a great class knowing your contribution is directly benefiting your community! 100% of the funds raised will go to Habitat for Humanity. Last year a group of yogis raised over $56,000, help us reach this year’s goal of $100,000.

Sarasvati with Hagar Harpak
Black Dog Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Saturday, May 16th 5:30-8:00pm
Cost: $30 in advance $35 on the day

Sarasvati is the goddess of knowledge, speech, art and poetry. She invites you to give things your own unique flavor. Find your own voice, your own articulated expression. She shows us that living life is an art form, and reminds us that we are the artist.
Sarasvati is the river of the light of existence. The current of artistic, creative expression.
In this workshop we will flow inwardly to soak in our creative juices, to root into the ground of our own being, from which the lotus of life, with its many different petals emerge.
Learn about Sarasvati through storytelling. Discover her important symbols and their meanings. Learn a mantra to invoke Sarasvati’s energy. We will focus on hip openers, as a way to become grounded in the movement of life.
Sarah Bergman will be singing and leading some chants during the workshop.

Yoga Trance Dance with Lara Catone
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Saturday, May 16th 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: $15 suggested donation

Yoga Trance Dance blends breath-initiated yoga into a flow of free-form movement for an ecstatic connection to our creative energy, or shakti. This guided experience leads us into embodied freedom and the ultimate intuitive flow. Yoga Trance Dance is both energizing & deeply therapeutic. Lara Catone danced into the world at birth and hasn't stopped since. She has studied yoga and meditation since 2001 and teaches vinyasa yoga, yoga for women and AcroYoga. Lara is certified in Yoga Trance Dance by her teacher, Shiva Rea.

Movie Night at the Yogi Tree: The Shift by Dr. Wayne Dyer
The Yogi Tree, Toluca Lake
Saturday, May 16th 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: Tickets are $10, light refreshments served

Best-Selling Author and Renowned Spiritual Teacher, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Presents His First Feature Film-The Shift (formerly titled Ambition to Meaning).
What is The Shift? It's the story of the most important moment of your life-when you stop striving and start arriving! It's the choice you make to move toward a life that gathers up the pieces of your best, most fulfilled, most loving self. It's the moment when you start living a life rich with meaning and begin playing the music you came here to play!
Are you ready to make the shift that changes everything? When will you find the joy, the peace, and the love that you came here to give and to receive?
In this inspiring new movie, you'll enjoy an engaging, heartwarming and humorous tale of transformation on vacation. You'll marvel at the beauty of the windswept ocean scenery. Share the characters' delight as they receive the most precious gift-permission to follow their hearts. Hear Wayne say, "Don't die with your music still in you" and see everyone set free to join the orchestra!

Kirtan at SMPY West with Andres Salcedo
Santa Monica Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 16th 8:00pm
Cost: By Donation

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

Fundamentals of AcroYoga With Sarah Vosen
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, May 17th 10:00am-noon (1st of 4 in workshop series: May 17, 31, June 7, 14)
Cost: $100 if pre-registered by May 11; $120 after

AcroYoga blends the spiritual wisdom of yoga, the loving kindness of Thai massage, and the dynamic power of Acrobatics. These three ancient lineages form the foundation of a unique new practice that cultivates trust, connection and playfulness. Our highest aim is to bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, with each other, and with the divine. From this place of mutual support the true self can be realized, honored and shared for the benefit of all. Each class may contain some or all of the following elements; circle ceremony, asana warm-up, partner flow, partner acrobatics, inversions, flying, and Thai massage. The first class will cover the basic elements of AcroYoga and will be tailored to suit the group. Each of the next 3 classes will build upon the solid foundation created from the previous classes. Please come with an open heart and mind, along with a willingness to connect and play with the group. Please bring a yoga mat, water and comfortable clothing that you can go upside down while wearing.
Open to the community, all levels welcome. No partner necessary.

Donation Yoga Class with Ed Rumann
Maha Yoga, Brentwood
Sunday, May 17th 7:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Maha Yoga and Ed Rumann will give their time for you to enjoy an ideal way to wrap up your weekend. Ed Rumann will teach a fun, flow DONATION yoga class with the latest contemporary music . 100% of proceeds collected during the evening will be given directly to the Sojourn House in Santa Monica. Sojourn House is a safe haven for domestic violence victims and their children. Please open your hearts and bring a cash or check donation in ANY denomination for the Sojourn House. And treat yourself to a signature Maha Yoga class.
For more information on the Sojourn House, please visit opcc.net/tabid/281/Default.aspx


and don't forget: BEACH YOGA!!!

from brad keimach:
WHAT: Beach Yoga
WHEN: Every Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-12
WHERE: Santa Monica. Walk up Marine Street, which becomes Barnard Way. Keep walking all the way to the water's edge, and I'll be there to welcome you!
COST: Donation

Thank you for your generosity and support for these classes!
BRING: Mat, or very large towel. Sunscreen! A sense of adventure and beauty! I'll bring the dolphins...
QUESTIONS: Feel free to call or email me with any questions (310-826-6958)

from howard davis:
Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades
SUN 5/17 @ 8 AM
COST $20

If you've never experienced the exhilarating joy of yoga outdoors, please join us this Sunday . Don't eat breakfast, bring a towel and layers of clothing, and park on Temescal Canyon.

from claudia:
Yoga on the Beach with the dolphins
Ave I/Esplanade, Redondo Beach (left side of Lifeguard Tower Ave H close to water)
Sunday, May 17th 9:00-10:15am ~ be on time
Cost: $10

Yoga in nature is very powerful since we are connecting with the 5 Elements of the universe.
Sometimes we see the dolpins. Let's greet them with the dolphin pose (asana).
Beginners are welcome! Teach a lot of variations, so everybody can benefit from it.
Bring large beach towel or blanket, sunscreen, water and hat.
More info at www.feelthebliss.wordpress.com


and here are the lululemon FREE community yoga offerings for this weekend:

lululemon athletica Brentwood

Need a pre-Farmer's Market workout? Come play with Ryan Brewer as he leads a fun and free vinyasa flow class. Be prepared to sweat! The class will be from 9am-10am. Bring your own mat or we can provide you with one. Class is for all levels.

lululemon athletica Calabasas
Join us for a relaxing Ashtanga Yoga class with Bobbi from Yoga Loft. All Levels

lululemon athletica Glendale
Bootcamp: 8:30-9:20am. Yoga: 9:30-10:30am

This Sunday join us at 8:30am for Bootcamp with All About You! And stay for 9:30am Yoga with Bekah Finch of Yoga Blend! Get your sweat on and your OM fix all in one shot!

lululemon athletica South Bay

Don't forget as always Sunday Yoga from 9:30-10:30am this week featuring the much anticipated Marla Wedge.

lululemon Santa Monica
Saturday, May 16th 9:00-10:00am
Desi Bartlett introduces her new signature workout for new moms, the MILF workout. Mothers into Living Fit incorporates strength training, cardiovascular training, dance and Yoga. The best part about the workout is that it is all done with your baby. No need for a babysitter, personal trainer or expensive equipment. The workout is a 45 minute dynamic, fun, effective way to get back in shape after childbirth. Special emphasis is placed on core training and functional training for lifting our little ones. Best of all the babies have a great time moving and dancing with mommy! BellyBar will be providing snacks for the workout! Philosophy will be gracing us with their presence to pamper Y-O-U, mom! See you and your beautiful chidren.
Sunday, May 17th 8:00am
STOMP OUT Breast Cancer! You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? lululemon Santa Monica has a team for the Second Annual Love Walk in the Pacific Palisades. Join us as we walk the walk, raise awareness and STOMP OUT Breast Cancer.
NOTE: No In-Store class, as we will all be walking!
May is an amazing month at lululemon, we are offering COMPLIMENTARY Pink Ribbon embroidery on any purchase for the entire month! Come support!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

need a hug?

with the way things have been going these days, my guess is that everyone could use one. especially one from amma, otherwise known as the hugging saint.

for those unfamiliar with amma, here's a brief introduction:

‘Amma’ as she is known all over the world today, has inspired and started innumerable humanitarian services. She has earned international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the world community. She is recognized as an extraordinary spiritual leader by the United Nations and by the people all over the world.

For the past 35 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 25 million people throughout the world.

i was fortunate enough to meet this amazing woman two years ago, the last time she was here in LA. click here to read my blog post about that first time i listened to her speak, chanted with her, and received my own personal hug.

luckily for us here in southern california, amma will be returning to los angeles on june 15th, with programs open to the general public on june 15th and 16th, a retreat (pre-registration required) on june 17th thru 19th, and the big event, the devi bhava, on the evening of june 19th.

all events will be held at the radisson hotel at LAX.

here are the details:

Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles Airport
6225 West Century Blvd
Los Angeles, CA - 90045

Public Program
Date: June 15- June 16
Time: 10 am and 7:30 pm

Southern CA Retreat (pre-registration & fee required)
Date: June 17 - June 19
Please visit the Retreats page to learn more about Retreats (Pre-registration & fee required)

Devi Bhava - Public Program
Date: June 19
Time: 7:00 pm

On most public program days, there are two programs each day, i.e. during the day (at 10:00 am) and the evening (at 7:30 pm). During these programs all are welcome to come and meet Amma and receive her darshan. Darshan means receiving a blessing in the form of a compassionate hug from Amma. Devi Bhava programs (ceremony in celebration of the Divine Mother) occur on the last day of the program during the evening (at 7:00 pm).

Numbered tokens for entering the darshan line to meet Amma are distributed one hour before each program, with priority given to those meeting Amma for the first time.

Please Note: Due to time constraints token availability may be limited.

Morning Programs:
Darshan: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Evening Programs:
Spiritual programs: 7:30 pm - end
Dinner: 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm

Devi Bhava Programs:
Atma Puja: 7:00 pm
Darshan: 8:00 pm - end
Dinner: 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

more information about amma, her works, and her north american tour can be found on her website: www.amma.org

and while it took almost seven hours from the time i arrived to pick up my darshan token to the time i actually received my hug the last time i saw her, i'm definitely going to make it a point to see her again this year. you never know; maybe getting a blessing from her might be the one thing that'll give me that stroke of luck that i've been waiting for!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

let's all bike to work this week!

and to the store, to the beach, and if you're like me, to almost anywhere within biking distance of home, including, of course, every yoga studio in town :)

may is national bike month, and here in LA (as well as in many other cities), this week has been designated bike to work week.

here's a brief description of the week's events, courtesy of the LA county bicycle coalition (LACBC):

The week of May 11-16 is Bike to Work Week! Join thousands of bicyclists in celebrating Bike to Work Week in Los Angeles and across the country. Riding a bicycle to work is a great alternative to driving a car that can save you money, keep you healthy and decrease pollution levels in LA.

Come out and show LA that cyclists are a growing community that need more facilities, funding, and ongoing support in Los Angeles.

Monday May 11th - Bike to Work Week's Kick-off Event at Olvera Street at 8:30am

Come out and meet some representatives from city departments, regional transportation agencies, LACBC's very own Jen Klausner and other speakers. This is a great opportunity to let them know that we need more bike facilities!

Tuesday May 12th - Blessing of the Bikes at Good Samaritan Hospital at 8:00 am

For more information, visit www.goodsam.org/news/blessing_bicycles.php

Wednesday May 13th - Downtown LA Bike Ride, Civic Center Metro Red Line Station to City Hall at 8:00am

A huge ride will be starting in Downtown LA at the Civic Center Metro Red Line Station and will ride through Downtown LA to end at City Hall. Press will be there following the ride. This is a great opportunity to show other Angelenos who do not ride yet, how sexy riding to work can be!
Let's show our Mayor and other elected officials that LA is not just for cars!

Thursday May 14th - Bike to Work Day

Commit to riding to work and join thousands of other bicyclists celebrating Bike to Work Day in Los Angeles and across the country.
Check the Bike to Work Day website at
www.metro.net/biketowork to learn more about the events planned for the day, including pit stop locations and free rides for cyclists on the Metro and other LA County transit operators!

Friday May 15th - Bike to School Day

For more information contact bike_at_school@la-bike.org. Also visit Safe Bicycle Routes for LA Schools at sr2s-la.blogspot.com

since i've recently been spending most of my time riding around town on my lime green electra townie, i decided to attend the blessing of the bikes ceremony at the good samaritan hospital near downtown LA. not only would it be nice to get it blessed to ward away evil spirits and bad karma, but it might even protect me and my bike from careless and inconsiderate motorists. or at least that was my hope.

so that's exactly what i did this morning. and what an adventure that was!

needless to say, i wasn't about to ride my bike the 14 miles from santa monica to downtown AND expect to get there by 8am. so i did the next best thing; i took my bike with me on a bus bound for downtown. in theory, it sounded simple enough: the bus would arrive at the bus stop, i'd put my bike on the rack at the front of the bus, i'd secure the bike with the support arm, i'd hop on the bus, and the bus driver would take both of us to our destination.

long story short, i left home at 6:30 this morning to ride my bike to the first stop on the bus line, i barely was able to lift my 30-pound cruiser onto the bike rack at the front of the bus (these things weren't made for short people!), and we arrived at good sam just as the 8am event was about to get started. happily, we both made it in one piece, despite my hour-long panic attack while i watched my bike bounce up and down at the front of the bus every time we hit a pothole!

the turnout was amazingly large, given the day, the time, and the location. most of the people in attendance were employees of the hospital, LAPD bike patrol officers, LACBC members, and other cycling commuters much like myself. we all stood by our bikes as the ceremony got underway.

after good samaritan CEO andy leeka welcomed the crowd of cyclists gathered in the hospital driveway, he presented the golden spoke award to councilman tom labonge (see labonge's coverage of the event, including a photo which shows me standing nearby, beside my green bike). after that, a former morbidly-obese cyclist told us about how riding a bike has helped him lose 180 pounds and has literally saved his life, and school children read essays they had written about the importance of cycling. finally, after the names of cyclists who were killed in roadside accidents were read, and prayers were said by an episcopalian minister and a jewish rabbi (somehow, the catholic nun and the buddhist monk scheduled to appear never got there), we rode past the minister as he sprinkled us and our cycles with holy water. we did a quick ride around the block, then regrouped back at the start for breakfast and some goodies from bike week sponsors.

here's a video of the local fox news coverage of the event: www.topix.com/business/healthcare/2009/05/blessing-of-the-bicycles-observed

i spent the rest of the morning at the LACBC office, helping the staff with various office tasks and talking about the upcoming LA river ride to be held on june 7th. since i had no other plans for the afternoon, i considered riding my bike all the way back home when i was done. but when i realized how long that would take (most likely over an hour), i decided to take the easy way out -- i put my bike on the speedy freeway flyer (yay big blue #10!) and got home in time to bike to and take vinnie marino's class at yogaworks on main street. what a perfect way to end a busy day!

by the way, if you haven't checked out my facebook page, i've posted some photos of my bike in action. click here to check out the photo album on the accidental yogist page (and don't forget to become a fan... i'd love to find out who all my loyal readers are!)

Friday, May 08, 2009

(full) moon, mom, and music!

the moon is at its fullest on friday, mom's day is on sunday, and music will be playing all over town... celebrate this busy weekend at a yoga studio near you!

Full Moon Kundalini Yoga for Healing
Golden Bridge Yoga
6322 De Longpre Avenue, Los Angeles
Friday May 8th 9:00 am with Tej or 4:00 pm with Harijiwan
Cost: $16/keytags

Join us for these special classes that call upon the powerful energy of the moon. Enhance the rhythmic Dance of Life and balance your mind, calm your spirit, and energize your soul with full moon magic, when your mind is most open and you can manifest your prayers!
We will do a healing meditation dedicated to all who are going through diseases on any level.

Mellow Flow with Live Music with Ashley Turner + Chris Murphy
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement
245 South Main Street, Venice
Friday, May 8th 6:00-7:30pm
Cost: Regular Class Price

Deepen your yoga with the power of Nada Yoga - the art and science of transformation through sound and tone! Join us every Friday night and melt into the weekend with a mellow flow accompanied by acclaimed guest musicians. Take your practice to another dimension.

Full Moon Yoga Hike with Hilary Kimblin
Michael Lane and Trailer Canyon Fire Road
Pacific Palisades
Friday, May 8th 7:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 day of

Please RSVP hilary@yogaunderthetrees.com or call 323.841.3606

We will be on the trail by 7pm and out by 10pm. Please bring a yoga mat or towel, warm layers, water, decent walking shoes/boots, a snack to share and a sense of adventure!
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.

Full Moon Hip Openers with Julie Rader
Yoga Loft
1112 Ocean Avenue Suite 103, Manhattan Beach
Friday, May 8th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: $20

The full moon in May is considered the most auspicious full moon of the year as it is believed that Buddha reached enlightenment on this day. Class will include a hip-opening flow, yin stretches, and a yoga nidra meditation.

The Business of Being Born
A Documentary Film from Executive Producer Riki Lake and Director Abby Epstein as Seen on NBC's Today's Show May 6, 2009
Lyfe Yoga Center
1310 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach
Friday, May 8th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: Donation Suggested

You are invited to watch the history of how women's health needs were met in this country by looking at what happens to women during birth. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to participate in a Q & A with moms, yoga teachers, midwives, doctors and friends.

Full Moon Kirtan with Daniel Stewart and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga
13557 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
Friday, May 8th 8:15-10:15pm
Cost: By Donation

Come join Daniel and many talented musical friends Friday, April 10th @ 8:15 for a joyful evening of musical meditation and chanting. Daniel will be singing with Larry and Keelan on drums, Sarah, Sylvie and Emily on vocals, Jeff on Guitar and Angela on flute.
The full moon is a perfect time to sing to Sita and Ram, Krishna and Radha, and all beloved unions inside and out.
No singing experience needed, only a willingness to open your heart to the joy.

Celebrating Our Strength as Women
Lyfe Yoga Center
1310 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach
Saturday, May 9th 2:00-4:30pm
Cost: $35

Join Valinda for this workshop specifically designed for women. You will learn Kundalini Yoga and Meditation techniques especially for women. Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969 often boasted how "Male lives for the creativity of a Female's vibration."
We will celebrate the vibration together "May you create peace within your being, understand your strength, create a relationship with your own soul and find the personal, impersonal and universal truth in your actions. May this day bring you the light of life and may you understand you are here to be here with joy, happiness and prayer. May you all be blessed. Sat Nam" Yogi Bhajan.

ASHANA LIVE! Crystal Singing Bowl Concert
Heart to Heart Tour
The Awareness Center
2801 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena
Saturday, May 9th, 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: $20 pre-registered by Fri 5/8, $25 at the door

Joyful, uplifting, breathtakingly beautiful music featuring the soaring angelic vocals of Ashana and the luminous sounds of crystal singing bowls. Join Ashana for an evening of celestial sound featuring sacred song, chant and mantra – music that will open your heart, lift your spirit, and carry you on waves of love into the arms of the Divine.

Mirabai Ceiba Live in Concert
Golden Bridge Yoga
6322 De Longpre Avenue, Los Angeles
Saturday, May 9th 7:30-9:30pm
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of

Golden Bridge is honored to host Mirabai Ceiba for a night of blissful chanting and uplifting music.
Mirabai Ceiba is a musical project created by Angelika Baumbach from Mexico (vocal and harp) and Markus Sieber from Germany (vocal and guitar). They perform a compilation of original songs in Spanish and English as well as chants from different traditions of the world and Gurmukhi Mantras. Their albums include “Flores,” “Mountain Sadhana,” and “Ocean”.
The name Mirabai Ceiba expresses the influences of both India and Native Latin America. The Ceiba is the sacred tree of Latin America, where these trees are never cut but are allowed to grow very tall. “We wish our music could be like that kind of tree, with roots deep in the Mother Earth and branches extending wide into Father Sky. Mirabai is for us the wandering, the devotion, the inspiration in all the different aspects of divinity.”

~OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON~ with Andres Salcedo
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement
245 South Main Street, Venice
Saturday, May 9th 7:45-9:45pm
Cost: $20 or class series/membership

On this night of the Full Moon Andres is excited to bring his very successful event Yoga Side of The Moon to Exhale. Creating dynamic flows based on simple asanas you will embark into yogic exploration through the sonic sound of Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon surrounded by atmospheric soundscapes and carefully placed sound effects, that will help you achieve a natural psychodelic emotional state. When the moon is on the other side of the Earth from the sun, the sun is shining directly on the moon, and the moon looks full and when the moon is between the sun and the Earth, the moon looks dark since the sun is behind the moon. However on this night you will enjoy both at the same time a Full Moon and the Dark Side of the Moon.
Come prepare to sweat,flow and Fly high.

Narayan Mandir
1668 Rising Glen Rd, Los Angeles
Saturday, May 9th 8:00-11:00pm
Cost: Donation $10

PASS THE WORD - Arjun is back!
If you have never experienced Kirtan with Arjun at Narayan Mandir, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE!
This will be an evening of PEAK kirtan and community with one of the finest practitioners of the form.
Come join us for an extraordinary Kirtan in the beautiful West Hollywood Hills on SATURDAY NIGHT,
(No Children or Infants please)
Bhajan Anandi Kirtan - myspace.com/arjunkirtan
Arjun & Guardians Collective:www.arjunandguardians.com

Weekly Kirtan/Chanting at SMPY West
Santa Monica Power Yoga West
1410 2nd St, Santa Monica
Saturday, May 9th (2nd Saturday of every month) 8pm: Travis Eliot
Cost: By Donation

Our instructors hold a candlelit evening of Kirtan/Chanting every Saturday of the month. There are different instructors each week, and it's always on donation basis.

COMEDY EXTRAVAGANZA: Beth Lapides in 100% Happy 88% of the Time
The Yogi Tree
4475 Vineland Ave, Toluca Lake
Saturday, May 9th 8:15pm
Cost: Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Pre-sale is available at: http://www.uncabaret.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=76

Ready to laugh so hard you fall off of your yoga mat? Join The Yogi Tree and Beth Lapides, comedian, author, and LA YOGA columnist, for an evening of live, brilliant, hilarious, yoga-inspired lunacy. In this ONE NIGHT ONLY special live performance of 100% HAPPY, Beth blends the story of her life with seriously helpful advice about how to be happy in the turbulent sea change we're all living through right now. The visual presentation combines her original art and graphics with eye-opening visuals from the world of edge science. Watch Beth connect the dots between DNA, the galactic center and a happy relationship in this hilarious evening of evolutionary entertainment.

Happy Mother's Day!
The Awareness Center
2801 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena
Sunday, May 10th - 9:30am, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm Classes


Mother's Day Special
Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles
1835 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 10th 10:30am

To celebrate Mother’s Day, treat your mother or grandmother to a free Level 1 class at 10:30 AM on Mother’s Day. This free class is available to new students only.
Regular students, who are mothers or grandmothers, will receive 10% off any retail purchase on Sunday May 10th (individual and class packages not included).

Celebrate Mother's Day! ~ Yoga Nidra Workshop with Elizabeth St. Clair
Santa Monica Yoga
1640 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica
Sunday May 10, 3:00-4:30 pm
Cost: $20 per person - Space is limited, please pre-register

Invite your mother or a friend to join you for 90 minutes of deep relaxation. Simply lie on the floor covered by a blanket and embark on an effortless guided journey into the realm of deep meditative peace. Enjoy soft music and the subtle scent of organic essential oils. Come back to earth with the gentle sound of Tibetan bowls.
The ancient practice, of Yoga Nidra (sleep of the yogi), is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation while remaining aware and alert. We access our innate inner wisdom which reconnects us to intuitive intelligence.

Mother's Day Yoga & Dinner with Jennifer Kelly
The Yogi Tree
4475 Vineland Ave, Toluca Lake
Sunday, May 10th, 5-7 pm
Cost: $20 per person, Kids are free

Give your mom the gift of peace. A very special class designed to honor all of the mothers and moms-to-be in our community, and for the Yogi Tree community to shower these powerful women with love, light, and gratitude. We will do a balancing, uplifting Kundalini Yoga Set with a Yogi Dinner to follow. The whole family is welcome.

Chakra Restorative Yoga with Constance Hart - Heart Chakra Healing
Liberation Yoga
124 S LaBrea Ave, Los Angeles
Sunday, May 10th 6:00-8:15pm
Cost: $35 in advance, $40 at door. Bring Mom for just $20! (with pre-register & pay)

This Month's Focus: Anahata Chakra, your Heart Center & the Green Ray
Come enjoy this deep healing to open your heart center calling in love, healthy relationships, and a balance between giving and receiving. If you are an “over-giver” or feel like you “never have enough time” this is the chakra balancing for you!
This metaphysical healing includes pranayama, mantras, mudras, color therapy, aromatherapy, sound healing and gentle restorative yoga to help you meditate & visualize into your Heart Chakra.
Come dressed in green to deepen into color consciousness!


the weather's been nice and warm, so how about some beach yoga this weekend?:

from brad keimach:
WHAT: Beach Yoga
WHEN: Every Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-12
WHERE: Santa Monica. Walk up Marine Street, which becomes Barnard Way. Keep walking all the way to the water's edge, and I'll be there to welcome you!
COST: Donation

Thank you for your generosity and support for these classes!
BRING: Mat, or very large towel. Sunscreen! A sense of adventure and beauty! I'll bring the dolphins...
QUESTIONS: Feel free to call or email me with any questions (310-826-6958)

from howard davis:
Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades
SUN 5/10 @ 8 AM
COST $20
If you've never experienced the exhilarating joy of yoga outdoors, please join us this Sunday . Don't eat breakfast, bring a towel and layers of clothing, and park on Temescal Canyon.

from claudia at south bay yoga meetup:
Yoga Stretch & Labyrinth Meditation Walk on the beach - Mother's Day Mini Retreat
Location: Trump National Golf Course on the beach in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Date: Sunday, 10 May 2009 from 9.00 - 11.30 am (ish) be on time
Cost: $20 (per family)

Reservation request (call a day before to confirm 310-698-9658). Class will be canceled when it's raining.
Connect with your kids & husband & friends on that special day. (age 10 plus and up)
We meet at the parking lot right in the beginning of the golf course. We walk 1/2 on a trail down to the beach. The labyrinth was build with rocks in form of a heart. Annemarie rawlinson, well-known labyrinth builder, created the rock labyryinth and she is an artist. We do a 1/2 yoga stretch in standing and sitting, a 1/2 hour labyrinth meditation walk and then back.
Bring comfortable walking shoes, water and snack and a piece of paper & pen.
We leave the parking lot on time (please confirm per phone on saturday if your are coming),
otherwise we don't want that you drive there and we are already on our walk to the beach.

from sierra at long beach outdoor yoga meetup:
Beginning Yoga Workout
Location: Bluff Park, 36th Place and Ocean, Long Beach

Date: Sunday, May 10 9:30 AM
Cost: $5.00 per person

Join us for Vinyasa style yoga at Bluff Park.
Bring your yoga mat and wear layered clothing that you can move in, it may be cool when we start but as you heat up you may want to shed some layers! This yoga class is a workout!
Classes are provided on a donation basis. $5 is the suggested donation, and is greatly appreciated, but certainly not required to participate, all are welcome!


and don't forget the FREE lululemon community yoga classes on sunday morning!:

lululemon athletica Brentwood

Jump start your Mother's Day with a power vinyasa flow class taught by the incredible Emily Morwen! Class will last one hour and is for all levels. Bring your own mat or we can provide you with one!

lululemon athletica Glendale
Bootcamp: 8:30-9:20am. Yoga: 9:30-10:30am

May Workout Madness continues on Sunday with Back to Back Bootcamp and Yoga Classes! Bootcamp is led by All About You Wellness Bootcamp! Yoga is taught by one of Yoga Blend's excellent teachers!

lululemon athletica South Bay

Claire Brown from Ofie's Elite Physiques will lead us through an Inspiration of Anusara yoga class! Anusara Yoga is an all-inclusive yoga in which each student's various unique abilities and limitations are deeply honored. Anusara Yoga will empower and build each student's self-esteem, while inspiring light-heartedness, play and joyful creativity within the yoga practice. For more information -Ofie's Elite Physiques.com

lululemon athletica Santa Monica

Come join Yo Mama!'s April Ritchey, your lulu friends and the community this Sunday for a Mother's Day Yoga Flow. All levels, all ages, start your week off on on the right foot and celebrate the mothers of Santa Monica. See you then!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

while my back was turned...

the yoga scene here in LA continues to evolve at a rapid pace... so much so that even i can't keep track of all the comings-and-goings. after all, there are over a hundred yoga studios in town. and only one of me.

so while i'm pretty much privvy to the news coming from the larger, more popular yoga studios as well as from those who have been kind enough to add me to their email update lists, i've recently found out a number of things about some smaller studios make me feel like i've fallen asleep at the wheel. and i really haven't. i just haven't been looking :(

here's one example: while running an errand for a friend last week, i was sitting in traffic on laurel canyon, waiting to make a left turn onto ventura. i glanced at the building on my left and noticed that there was a yoga studio in that building. and it was called... lotus kitty yoga. but wait; the last time i was at lotus kitty, the studio was still located in vanessa (aka kitty) giorgio's home! thinking it was a recent development, i emailed kitty for details. she wrote back and said that she had moved the studio in may of last year! how did that get past me??

so here's the new contact information (it's a little more a mile south of the old location in valley village; note that the phone number has changed, too):

Lotus Kitty Yoga & Spin
12080 Ventura Place, Suite 3, Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 980-8455

then while browsing the internet for yoga events earlier this evening, i came across this listing from back in february:

Eco-Yoga Event
Sunday, February 8th in Encino, CA

Live in harmony with the environment, starting with yourself! This event is centered around the wisdom that the true essences of yoga and environmentalism are in fact one and the same. The price includes all-day yoga classes, lectures, workshops, and more. Classes will be held outside around the zen-like pool area. Classes will be offered by Lotus Kitty Spin and Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Crystal Yoga and Pilates, Karen Schuman's Beyond Yoga...

i knew about lotus kitty and the bikram studio, but who were all the others?

it turns out that crystal yoga and pilates was a yoga/pilates studio owned by crystal d'angora (hence the name) in toluca lake; at that location, she used to teach kundalini yoga, kids yoga, and mat pilates classes. there's a new yoga studio now in that location -- the yogi tree (which, by the way, i had a chance to visit two weeks ago but still am in the process of finishing up my blog post about that visit) -- with crystal still teaching her classes there. so essentially, the place changed owners, changed names, and greatly expanded its list of class offerings. which is good news for the citizens of toluca lake!

so keep this on your radar, especially if you live in that neck of the woods:

The Yogi Tree
4475 Vineland Avenue, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(818) 760-0012

as for karen shuman's beyond yoga, i found out that it's the new name of a yoga studio that's been in sherman oaks for years: annie's yoga studio. at first glance, it looks like it's merely an ownership change, but watch this space for more details once i do more research (i just realized that i know one of the teachers on the instructor list, so i should have that info fairly soon).

here's the new name and the new website:

Karen Shuman's Beyond Yoga
4521-A Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 788-5960

and lastly, this one i spotted the other day while i was biking home from real food daily in santa monica:

shakti's elements has changed its name! -- it's now:

In Focus Wellness Institute
717 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 576-2062

except for the name change, everything else has stayed pretty much the same. even the website still reflects the old name. since it's been a while since i've been to this studio in my own neighborhood, i'll have to pop by soon to see if anything else has changed.

as i always say, the accidental yogist's work is never done!