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Friday, July 31, 2009

a day in the life of a social yogini

well, actually something like TWO days in the life...

i hate to admit it, but it seems like all i do these days is spend the bulk of my time following everyone and everything on facebook and twitter. so much so that i barely have time to do anything else. like write.

so to kill two birds with one stone -- in other words, come up with a blog post without actually having to write anything -- i thought it might interest you to know what exactly it is that i've been putting out there in cyberspace. and if you find any of it useful, maybe you can become a fan of my blogpage on facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/the-accidental-yogist/45445550576
or follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/ayogist

and that way you won't have to keep wondering what's happening to me between blog posts :)

ok, so what does someone who's obsessed with yoga, kirtan, riding her bicycle, and now chasing food trucks do all day? here's what the past 48 hours of social networking generated...

it all started late wednesday afternoon, after i had insanely helped myself to dessert at two different food trucks which were parked a few blocks from each other:

i couldn't help myself -- stopped at TWO dessert trucks today: @coolhaus and @getshaved! now must hide my stash of chocolate...

soon after, i received a phone call from BDB:

my "heart attack" friend is back in the ER with an irregular heartbeat. on my way to check on him...

once back home from the hospital, i logged on to see what had transpired during my absence. i decided to pass along an event i had received before calling it a night:

as always, i'm passing along the fundraisers :)
Donation Yoga Benefit for the Kids in Nicaragua
2 class options for you to help the kids in Nica
Location: Bay Street and the beach on the grassy area( Sunday) & Yoga Co Studio (Monday)
Time: 6:30PM Sunday, August 2nd

i also posted a photo of my green bike parked by yet another food truck, in this case, the chef on wheels BBQ truck (my photo album shows that my bike's been to eleven trucks so far!):

random bike sightings
there's soy sauce shrimp, ketchup shrimp, hot and spicy shrimp, shrimp scampi...

early thursday morning, i was back online, checking people's tweets:

RT @LAWeeklyFood: It is Nat'l Cheesecake Day. 1/2 off slices at Cheesecake Factory. Whoo-hoo. What's tomorrow? Nat'l Mudpie Day?

i then sorted through my list of event invites to figure out what ones i would go to... and shared the ones i thought were of interest to all my friends:

today's agenda: need to do chores for heart attack friend, who's still in hospital. but will be at yogaco party tonite, as planned!

the fact that this has only ONE confirmed guest makes me think they forgot to send this out... add it to your calendar NOW, because it's for THIS WEEKEND!
Summer of Bhakti
get pranafied!
Location: Exhale Center for Sacred Movement
Time: 6:00PM Friday, July 31st

fundraiser yoga classes @ new yogaco, 1408 3rd st promenade SM: SAT 8/1 8am eden goldman, SUN 8/2 7pm terra gold, MON 8/3 10:15am jay co

i'll be there!
Jai Uttal at Bhakti Yoga Shala
Bhakti Yoga Master Jai Uttal
Location: Bhakti Yoga Shala
Time: 8:00PM Saturday, August 1st

sounds like a great back-to-back event... yoga+music flow w/ toni and michael, followed by kirtan w/ jai!
Bhakti Yoga Flow
Pre Jai Uttal- Yoga Flow with Michael Thomas & Toni Divincenzo
Location: Bhakti Yoga Shala
Time: 6:00PM Saturday, August 1st

joni is attending 2009 LACBC Clothing Now Available!.

one more fundraiser i forgot to post...
Mark Whitwell fundraiser for teaching Yoga in the Middle East at Yogaglo
Advanced Yoga for everyOne with live Sacred Music by Josh Brill
Location: Yogaglo
Time: 7:30PM Sunday, August 2nd

tonight... and saturday/sunday, too!
Yoga Co. Grand Opening Party
Plus Two Charity-Inspired Classes on the Opening Weekend!
Location: 1408 3rd Street on the Promenade
Time: 6:00PM Thursday, July 30th

also tonight! i think i'll be all over the place again... as usual :)
Poses for Paws
Saving Animals One Downdog at a Time!
Location: Lululemon Santa Monica
Time: 7:30PM Thursday, July 30th

then i checked the RSVPs for the yogamonth meeting at yogaglo that i posted the day before. at least i got some takers:

Los Angeles Yoga Month Global Mala Ambassador Meeting
Play a major role in bringing the SoCal yoga community together!
Host: Johannes Fisslinger
Type: Meetings - Club/Group Meeting
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2009
Time: 3:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Yogaglo
Street: 1800 Berkeley St.
City/Town: Santa Monica, CA
Phone: 3106996051
Email: join@yogamonth.org

Please join us next Saturday Aug. 1 @ 3pm at the Yogaglo Studio in Santa Monica for our Yoga Month and Global Mala Ambassador Meeting.
Support the Sept. 20th Yoga Month and Global Mala Celebration in Los Angeles (near LAX airport) and play a major role in bringing the SoCal yoga community together.
The is once-a-year FREE EVENT will benefit Yoga Health Foundation and Autism Speaks.
We need your help spreading the word and distributing posters and flyers. Please join us next Saturday and help us create a fun, empowering and healing event. We can not do this without you.
~ Introducing the vision of National Yoga Month and Global Mala by Johannes R. Fisslinger
~ Pick up event postcards and posters and distribute them in your community/yoga studio

After the ambassador meeting, stay and explore an Integrative Practice with Felicia Tomasko at 4pm:
Join Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher and LA Yoga Magazine Editor, Felicia Tomasko, for an eclectic practice combining the principles of Ayurveda, philosophy, alignment and anatomy with vigorous and balancing asana sequences and a healthy dose of fun in a class to celebrate summer, stimulate the immune system and leave you energized for your Saturday night.
Suggested donation, $20 to support the following non-profits:
National Yoga Month 2009
Green Yoga Association
Karma Rescue
Shakti Tribe Foundation
Please park in free Yogaglo marked spots on Berkeley St. or metered parking on Nebraska St. Email Johannes Fisslinger to RSVP: join@yogamonth.org

to keep my followers up to date, i posted mirror updates on my blog fan page:

the accidental yogist events you might want to consider going to this weekend: yogaco open house TH 7/30 6pm, poses for paws fundraiser @ lulu SM TH 7/30 7:30pm, tantric reading w/ lorin roche+dave stringer+shiva rea @ exhale F 7/31 6pm, jai uttal kirtan @ bhakti shala SAT 8/1 8pm (if you take bhakti flow class @ 6pm, you're guaranteed a spot in kirtan!), kirtan and movement w/ donna delory+shiva rea @ exhale SAT 8/1 8pm...

the accidental yogist benefit classes at the new yogaco on the promenade: SAT 8/1 8am w/ eden goldman+masood ali khan for happy hearts fund, SUN 8/2 7pm w/ terra gold+marla leigh for rhythms in peace, MON 8/3 10:15am w/ jay co for kids in nicaragua -- and one more at lulu brentwood SUN 8/2 9:30am w/ rennie yabiku for kids in uganda!

the accidental yogist and yet another fundraiser this weekend: SUN 8/2 7:30pm mark whitwell+josh brill for heart of yoga (to teach yoga in middle east) at yogaglo

and when that was all done:

i just spent the past two hours trying to figure out my schedule for the weekend... omg

later in the day, i did a quick facebook check before biking over to the open house party at yogaco:

this is going to be amazing! hope you're planning on being there... and help spread the word :)
Bhakti Fest 2009
Be in the Bhav
Location: Joshua Tree , California
Time: 11:00AM Friday, September 11th

the accidental yogist just got this update from the bhaktifest organizers:
** Advanced Ticket Sales are Extended through August 15th - Only $150
on August 16th Tix go up to $200 **
so buy your ticket now at www.bhaktifest.com!
Source: www.bhaktifest.com
Come to the Bhav, Immerse yourself into the Devotion, leave everything behind and merge into a place of En-Chanting Kirtan and Yoga. This is the time, this is the place, this is the moment for you next evolvement

when i got back home later that night, i posted one last status update before hitting the hay... and got a few shoutouts from my night owl friends:

seems like all the westside yogis were at the grand opening of yogaco at the 3rd st promenade tonight. say "yeah!" if you were there :)

bright and early this morning (friday), i resumed facebook/twitter activity:

Afro Funke' Thursdays @ Zanzibar
1301 5th Street @ Arizona, Santa Monica
310.451.2221 / 21+ (EVERYONE must have ID)
9pm - 2am / $7 before 11pm - $10 after
featuring DJ DREZ, MC YOGI & special guests
Zanzibar - Santa Monica - California
Source: www.zanzibarlive.com

joni became a fan of Lulu Bandha's.

joni is attending Ojai Yoga Crib 2009.

i'm going this year! so excited!
Ojai Yoga Crib 2009
Take Flight
Location: Lulu Bandha's
Time: 8:00AM Friday, October 23rd

joni is attending Jai Uttal @ Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica CA.

hope i make it in the room because i can't get there too early...
Jai Uttal @ Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica CA
Location: Bhakti Yoga Shala
Time: 8:00PM Saturday, August 1st

Opening Friday at The Landmark is the real-life thriller THE COVE, in which activist Richard O'Barry works to end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan with the help of an Ocean's Eleven-style team of experts. A provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope. SPECIAL APPEARANCE: Captain Paul Watson from TV’s “Whale Wars” in person on Friday, 7/31
Films Now Playing & Coming Soon
Source: www.landmarktheatres.com

found in today's yoga loft MB email update: So, the Annual Manhattan Beach 6-Man Volleyball Tourney is this weekend, bringing, as always, joyful chaos to our downtown neighborhood... As the Chinese Proverb goes, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Or, as we say in downtown Manhattan Beach, "It is better to ride a bike than to curse the street closures." :-) yay gen! bikers rule!!!

RT @elephantjournal: Have u seen the plastic "island" the size of Texas in the middle of Pacific? Vice Magazine has. http://bit.ly/5CN1O

with the morning now gone, i decided it was time to get on with my day:

will be at cedars to visit friend who's still being evaluated... checking for food trucks in the miracle mile area...

and posted some of my favorite tweeters for twitter #FOLLOWFRIDAY:

#FF foodtruck friday! @boolbbq @calbibbq @chefonwheelsbbq @coolhaus @fishlips_sushi @getshaved @green_truck @kingkonela @marked5 + @kogibbq

#FF LA yoga studios: @bhaktiyogashala @blackdogyoga @exhalevenice @goldenbridgeLA @karunayoga @risinglotusyoga @santamonicayoga @stillyoga

#FF more LA studios: @thehubwestLA @Ustudioyoga @YASfitness @yogaglo

i'd been slacking off my running because i didn't have a marathon planned any time soon. but once i read this article, i knew that i just had to run the latest incarnation of the LA marathon scheduled for march 2010:

you know this means i'll have to start training again... soon...
Cities approve 'Stadium to the Sea' route for L.A. Marathon - Los Angeles Times
Source: www.latimes.com
Santa Monica joins L.A., Beverly Hills and West Hollywood in signing off on the new route, which will begin at Dodger Stadium and end at the ocean.

i then retweeted a few things that interested me before heading out:

i've heard the eateries are starting to complain :( - RT @kogibbq: ... where to park it... Must be 200 ft away from a restaurant...

uh-oh! RT @kogibbq: sorry, not aLLowed to park in Burbank, Pasadena, Century City, w/in 500 ft of a schooL, MaLibu, Santa Monica near beach

RT @NutoneMusic: Don't miss Jai Uttal tomorrow night in LA! http://www.bhaktiyogashala.com/

finally, after spending the day retrieving BDB from the hospital and getting him home, this pretty much summarized how my day went:

friend out of hospital. now on his way to LAX to catch plane to norway. yeah, you read that right. anyway, i'll be housesitting. party!!! :)

there's never a dull moment for me, is there?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

use the code and save!

sometime last may, there was an article published in time magazine that looked into the rising sales of expensive yoga mats.

here's an excerpt from that article, "No Stress: Pricey Yoga Mats Sell Briskly in Recession":

... At a time when consumers are in a serious saving mode, why are sales of $100 yoga mats soaring?

That's right — $100 for a stinkin' mat. A company called Manduka, which makes these luxury yoga props, has seen its sales rise 55% in the first four months of 2009. Sales at Amazon.com during this period are up a stunning 87%, and the company just signed a deal with Dick's Sporting Goods, a major retailer with 389 stores across the country. Manduka offers the Black Mat PRO, a thick, cushiony black mat, for between $74 and $130, depending on its length, and the biodegradable eKO for between $42 and $70. "Manduka is the Porsche, the Ferrari of yoga mats," says Phil Swain, CEO of YogaWorks...

i've had a number of conversations with my yogi friends, and the consensus seems to be: once you've practiced on a black mat, nothing else compares. besides, it's very eco-friendly -- it'll never end up in a landfill. no matter what you do to the black mat, you just can't kill it. it keeps going, and going, and going...

however, since i now commute to most of my yoga classes on bicycle, i can't use my black mat as often as i'd like. weighing a full 7 pounds (excluding the weight of the bag i carry it in), it is extremely HEAVY; sadly, i've now relegated it for sole use at classes i get to by car. for all other classes, i've reverted to my older purple mat (which is now called the PROlite and comes in other colors) which is almost as thick and as dense as my black one, but much lighter...

anyway, if you want to jump on the manduka bandwagon and get yourself a pro quality mat (even if your budget is telling you otherwise), this offer from manduka might help:

Summer is halfway over and it’s hard to tell which is more exhausting – the long days of summer you’ve spent entertaining, playing, and bbq-ing, or the thought of the upcoming months of longer work hours, back-to-school, and gloomy weather. During these next few weeks of in-between mentality, Manduka has the perfect proposal for your tired body and anxious mind.

From now until August 1st, Manduka – purveyor of the finest yoga gear on the market – is eager to offer you 20% off of ANY ITEM in their online store. Simply go to www.manduka.com, pick out the item of your choice and enter the code HEALTH20.

by the way, they sell many other items at their online store, including mat bags, props, towels, books, and DVDs. and they're all eligible for the discount :)

happy shopping!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

yoga, animal-style

while most of the yoga fundraisers i've attended usually raise money to improve the life of humans, both here in the US and abroad, there are two upcoming fundraisers that hope to help those of the animal persuasion.

the first event is sponsored by off the mat, into the world, a program whose mission is to inspire yogis to get involved in conscious activism and service to the community, and participant media, a group that designs customized social action campaigns to give a voice to issues that resonate in selected films. this particular fundraiser is a tie-in with the upcoming release of "the cove," an award-winning documentary about the dolphin industry in japan that has played to standing ovations at sundance as well as other film festivals.

the second event is brought to you by yogaworks yoginis kathryn budig and jesse schein. this is a follow-up fundraiser to an earlier well-attended event that raised much needed funds for a local animal shelter.

so get ready to share the love with flipper and your furry friends as you practice your dolphin poses and downward-facing dogs on your yoga mat!

Presented by Off The Mat, Into the World and Participant Media
Saturday, July 25th 7:00-10:00pm
Yogaglo, 1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica
Cost: Suggested donation $35

A community evening of yoga, chanting, and ecstatic dance with renowned Los Angeles teachers Kia Miller, Julian Walker, Kaia Van Zandt, and special guest speaker on dolphin consciousness LMU professor Thomas White Ph.D.
Live medicine music by Aykanna
All donations from this event go to Save Japan's Dolphins
Refreshments and snacks provided
Please bring your yoga mat and cushions
Contact Kaia for more details: kaiahvz@yahoo.com

The Cove is a chilling and emotional story that is likely to leave audiences wondering what they can do to help protect the dolphins of Japan, stop the sale of toxic seafood and preserve the environmental health of our spectacular oceans, which sustain the lives of not just dolphins, but also humans. It opens in Los Angeles and New York on July 31st.

Poses for Paws II with Kathryn Budig and Jesse Schein
Thursday, July 30th 7:30-9:00pm
Lululemon Santa Monica, 331 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica
Cost: By Donation

Come flow with your furry friends, Kathryn Budig and Jesse Schein, Three Dog Bakery and all your lu's! We will be raising awareness for a local animal shleter and spreading the 4-legged love with a dog friendly vinyasa flow class. All levels for man and his best friend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

living within my means, part 1

it was sometime in june that i came to the unsettling realization that i had been unemployed for just over six months, with no job prospects in sight. while things had started out quite promisingly back in november -- a slew of interviews, continual dialogue with various headhunters -- the well slowly started to dry up. and despite my best efforts to scan job postings and check in with employment agencies, there really hasn't been anything that has even looked remotely like a possible fit. but i continue to stay positive... after all, you never know...

in the meantime, i decided that i needed to cut back on expenses even more. including all the money i've been spending on yoga classes.

yes, you read that right.

but cutting back on yoga expenses doesn't necessarily mean cutting back on my daily yoga practice. it just means spending smartly. or at least trying to.

so for the month of july, my plan was to take yoga classes at studios where i still had unused series passes and/or work-study class credits. and obviously, at any place that offered FREE classes. the only exceptions would be fundraiser events. and, along the same line, any classes that were taught by teachers who donated to my own fundraising efforts for the city yoga / habitat for humanity yogathon last month. and of course i gave myself full permission to take classes at new studios and/or any places i'd never been to. after all, that's what i do :)

so here's how the first half of my month went:

wednesday, july 1st: it was a doubleheader day of sorts for me. i started with an afternoon class on tantric meditation taught by sally kempton at yogaglo. ok, so it cost me $20 (i broke the rules right from the get-go!), but i'd heard so much about the teacher and the topic that i just had to attend. and it was during sally's guided meditation sessions that i realized that no matter how hard i try, i can't seem to stay awake once i clear my mind of all the chatter :(
that evening, i took a class with athena engleman at truyoga (cost: $0, since i'd won a series of classes at a truyoga event a few months earlier). athena was subbing for someone that day and i was the only one brave enough to take her class -- or so it seemed. but that proved to be a bonus for me -- i ended up getting a delicious private lesson with her! and it was just what i needed; since my lower back had been bothering me, all we did were poses that kept it relatively happy...

thursday, july 2nd: with my back still acting up, i opted for a deep tissue massage instead. i justified the expense as being a necessary medical procedure. it sounded good at the time.

friday, july 3rd: i don't have anything written on my calendar. i think i resorted to doing savasana. in bed. damned back.

saturday, july 4th: i started the independence day festivities on my bike in the santa monica 4th of july parade. i and a few other cyclists rode down main street with the greenpeace group -- including a waving polar bear! -- with the point being that stopping global warming (and riding a bike instead of driving) is patriotic. all i know is that it was fun... and a good way to get me to the doorstep of exhale venice for steven espinosa's level 1 class. i chose the studio not only because of its proximity to the parade route, but also because i thought i still had some unused classes on my series pass. apparently, i thought wrong; right before i walked into class i was told that i had already used up my last class. not wanting to find another place to go, i bit the bullet and bought a 5-pack of classes. argh. but i did use my KCRW fringe benefits card to save myself $17 on the purchase of that series. yay!

sunday, july 5th: i took kyra haglund's flow class at santa monica yoga. and this is where i get to pat myself on the back -- not only did i get through kyra's nicely-challenging class, but i also used up one of my work-study class credits! net cost: zero!

monday, july 6th: chris chavez was scheduled to teach his first level 2/3 anusara class at the hub that evening, so i cashed in a work-study credit and joined the giggling group of lululemon yoginis and die-hard anusara addicts as we pushed ourselves through 90 minutes of strength poses and inversions. the result: lots of sweat, zero expense!

tuesday, july 7th: KTLA dropped by yogaglo to tape a segment for kurt the cyberguy. so our small group of yogis (who managed to take the weekday afternoon off) were led through a quick vinyasa class taught by jo tastula and isabelle du soleil. the segment has yet to air, so as i write this, i'm still wondering if i ended up on screen or on the cutting room floor. hmmm...
as the sun began its descent over the pacific ocean, i headed out for one of aaron reed's summer beach yoga classes on the sand, which ended under the glow of a beautiful full moon. yum...
by the way, both classes were FREE!

wednesday, july 8th: it was the first day santa monica yoga would be offering yoga classes at the newly-opened annenberg community beach house. $10 didn't sound like a whole lot of money in exchange for an ocean-view class in a historic venue. as it turned out, our yoga teacher that day, natalie canessa, is a great-grandaughter of marion davies, the original occupant of the property. and while natalie taught our vinyasa flow class, she kept having flashbacks of her summers spent in the same pool we could see from our classroom. how cool was that?

thursday, july 9th: i spent the morning listening to joshua bell and the LA philharmonic as they rehearsed for their performance later that evening at the hollywood bowl (here's a freebie alert -- it costs nothing to sit in on the rehearsals at the bowl. even the parking is free!). then spent the evening schmoozing at the LA bike coalition table at the joan baez concert at the santa monica pier. while on an all-day music high, i somehow neglected to take a yoga class...

friday, july 10th: it was fitness friday at the lucy store in santa monica! a recent graduate from the yogaworks teacher training program, suzi vishmid taught our hour-long flow class. while the class itself was FREE to all, i walked out of the store $30 poorer, only because i ended up buying an adorable wrap that was on sale. but isn't that considered saving money? :)
later that evening, there was a pre-bhaktifest kirtan and party at lululemon brentwood. it was by donation, with the proceeds going to the bhaktifest charity. and it was well worth the money i dropped in the donation box, with performances by bhaktifest musicians donna delory, govindas and radha, chris morro, and larisa stow. plus i won a piece of ganesha artwork, courtesy of yogini rukmini at yogini designs. score!

saturday, july 11th: naime jezzeny, one of the first anusara-certified instructors to teach in LA and who now calls philadelphia home, was in town for a workshop. to celebrate his homecoming of sorts, he taught a FREE class at yogaglo that morning. and if that weren't enough to get me on a yoga high, i spent the evening chanting with krishna das at the wilshire ebell theatre. ok, so it cost me $30 for the ticket. but we're talking KD here, if you know what i mean...

sunday, july 12th: i'm still wondering if i can say i "did yoga" if i took no classes that day, but instead spent the evening at the hollywood bowl in the company of the editor of LA YOGA magazine and three other yoga instructors... at least i can say i didn't spend a dime that day on yoga classes!

monday, july 13th: tara judelle was back in town from an extended vacation/meditation workshop, so it seemed a good idea to check out her evening anusara class at yogaglo. and because i have an annual pass, i didn't have to pull out my wallet to pay for the class. yay!

tuesday, july 14th: i'm ashamed to admit that i spent the bulk of bastille day chasing down lunch trucks -- and eating their wares. for those of you hip to the LA social scene, the big thing around town these days are the twitter-able food trucks, the best known of which is the @kogibbq truck. but since it wasn't in my neck of the woods that day, i ended up at the @marked5 truck (purveyor of japanese-inspired "burgers"), the @green_truck (known for its gourmet organic food), the @chefonwheelsbbq truck (a new kid on the road which specializes in -- well, duh -- barbecue), and the @coolhaus truck (with its architecturally-inspired ice cream sandwiches, such as the frank behry, the richard meyer lemon ginger, and many more). between that and biking around town posting flyers for the upcoming wanderlust, yogamonth, and yoga gives back events, let's just say i put down "karma yoga" on my calendar and left it at that.

wednesday, july 15th: i originally planned to take julian walker's class at exhale that morning (he was subbing for saul david raye, who was out of town), but as luck would have it, i discovered right before i left home that the back wheel of my bike had gone flat. instead of driving to class, i chose to walk my bike to the nearby helen's cycles to get the flat fixed (i know, i should've done it myself to save money, but i'm not yet that skilled in bike maintenance). with the morning gone, i opted to take ryan brewer's vinyasa flow class at the hub that evening (using up another work-study class credit!). after i had run into him at THREE separate events over the weekend (the party at lululemon, the KD kirtan, and the world music night at the bowl), it seemed appropriate to continue the streak and run into him one more time. after his class ended, i was tempted to do a doubleheader and stay for chris chavez's class (and use up yet another credit), but with my back feeling considerably better, i decided not to push my luck. another pat on the back for me :)

thursday, july 16th: the only thing i had written down on my calendar was "10:15am yoga with valinda cochella and girish at lyfe." i had earned a 5-class pass to lyfe yoga, courtesy of the lululemon south bay challenge i did earlier this year, and it was high time i cashed it in. however, expecting a vinyasa flow class, i was surprised to find out that the class was a kundalini class. not that anything was wrong with that, but i probably should've checked before i showed up for class! oops. since i've done enough yoga to confidently handle any class that's thrown my way, i smiled as i found myself going through rounds of breath of fire instead of sun salutes. besides, how can one complain when one has to chant "ek ong kar sat nam siri wahe guru..." for 11 minutes straight while girish skillfully thumps on the tabla? gotta love it!

so there you have it -- the first half of my cost-cutting month. i'll keep you posted on the second half once the end of the july rolls around...

Friday, July 10, 2009

kirtan in the city!

i just got back home from the bhakti fest preview party held at the lululemon store in brentwood earlier this evening. it was an amazing night of music and love shared among the bhakti community in los angeles!

performing for the friday night kirtan crowd were some of the top-billed artists on the bhaktifest line-up: donna de lory, govindas and radha (who were later joined by chris morro), and larisa stow and the shakti tribe. there were many raffle prizes donated by manduka, yogitoes, new chapter, yogini designs, divine blessings, and other sponsors. refreshments were provided by coconut bliss ice cream, luna bar, transition nutrition, and aquamantra spring water.

this event was the first of many pre-bhaktifest teasers scheduled for the days leading up to the actual bhakti fest weekend in joshua tree this coming september 11-13. other pre-fest gatherings are listed on their website at http://www.westcoastkirtanyogafestival.com/.

in the meantime, while all the love was flowing through the racks of yoga-inspired clothing, there were other kirtans going on around the city:

joey lugassy was holding down the fort at the friday night kirtan at bhakti yoga shala in santa monica with c.c. white on vocals, eddie young on cello and bass, and patrick richey on tabla.

and over on the other side of the sepulveda pass, daniel stewart was keeping the bhakti fire roaring at his monthly kirtan at rising lotus yoga in sherman oaks with sarah bergman, sylvie scoville, and emily kerns on vocals, abby scoville on cello, angela devita on flute, jeff harris on guitar, and matthew hufschmidt on percussion.

if there ever was a night to be able to teleport effortlessly from kirtan to kirtan, tonight was definitely it!

tomorrow, saturday the 11th, is going to be an even bigger day for kirtan in LA, with the headline event being the live kirtan with krishna das at the wilshire ebell theatre in hancock park. if you're a big KD fan, you're in luck; tickets are still available for the large 1270-seat venue!

if you can't make that, there are still many other chances for you to share in the experience known as bhakti yoga; here's a brief recap of this weekend's events:

Yoga + Kirtan with Mas Vidal and Tony Khalife
Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda, Los Angeles
Saturday, July 11th 10:30am-noon
Cost: Regular class price

This Saturday July 11th the mesmerizng Tony Khalife joins Mas for the 10:30am class. Experience this dynamic class with live music that will take your practice to new levels. Ragas, tablas, soulful singing and the energy at Dancing Shiva will leave you blissful. Please arrive on time as this class usually gets very full. Special donation is suggested for Tony.

Krishna Das Live in Concert hosted by Yogaworks Larchmont
Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 w 8th Street, Los Angeles (at the corner of Wilshire and Lucerne in Hancock Park)
Saturday, July 11th 8:00-11:00pm
Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door

Join us for an evening of chant with Krishna Das!
A special night at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater. This is Krishna Das' first show in LA since 2007~sure to be a night to remember...
Yogaworks Center for Yoga in Larchmont will have paper tickets for purchase at the studio; All tickets sold over the phone or at any other Yogaworks studio besides CFY will be Will Call tickets.
Visit www.yogaworks.com or www.krishnadas.com for more info

Saturday Night Kirtan
Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica
Every Saturday at 8:00pm
Cost: $10-$15 Suggested Donation

July 11th - Kirtan with Michael Thomas

Transcendental Gong Concert with Andrea Centazzo
Yogi Tree, Toluca Lake
Saturday, July 11th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 show only, $20 includes a copy of Andrea's limited-edition CD

Join us at The Yogi Tree for an unforgettable evening of live performance with the one-of-a-kind Andrea Centazzo.
In this very special, intimate live performance, world-renowned composer, conductor, and gong master Andrea Centazzo offers his singular percussion style, playing on a set of over 200 instruments, complete with electronics, computer sequencing, and digital sampling, bringing to his audience the emotion of a new sonic adventure in jazz, world, and contemporary avant-garde music.
Expand your consciousness. Lift your soul. Open your mind. Move your body. This is one evening of music you have to feel to believe!
Tickets available in advance at theyogitree.com

Kirtan Workshop with Krishna Das
Yogaworks Center for Yoga, Larchmont
Sunday, July 12th 3:00-6:00pm
Cost: $45 by 6/28; $55 after

Krishna Das’s workshops are like mini-retreats of about 3 hours. Along with chanting, Krishna Das shares stories about his experiences on the Path. Workshops with Krishna Das usually include: Chanting (call and response) with musical accompaniment, stories about his Guru, readings from spiritual traditions, teachings, and discussions about life and the spiritual Path. This forum provides the opportunity for Q&A in an intimate setting. Krishna Das has been recording albums of traditional Indian chants and song since 1996 but has been on a spiritual journey his entire life.
**bring a blanket or something soft to sit on during the workshop

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

go fourth and yogify!

(my apologies for the title of this post; due to the late hour, i think i started to get a bit loopy... )

earlier this week, i received the following invite from the santa monica chapter of the LA bike coalition:

What: 3rd Annual Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade
When: Saturday, July 4th, 2009, 9:00 AM Check-in; Parade starts at 9:30 AM
Where: Meet up at Santa Monica Civic Center
Why: Greenpeace LA invites the cycling community to join them as they march under the theme of "Saving the Climate is Patriotic!"
What to bring: Water, sunscreen, your bike and yourself decorated as a patriotic symbol of sustainable transportation.
NOTE: Each rider will need to bring a signed waiver at the parade check-in, under 18 require a parents signature. No waiver, no participation.

my first response was to reply immediately with a YES! after all, why wouldn't i want to participate in a 4th of july parade on my bicycle?

but then i realized that with the shortened holiday schedules at many of the yoga studios, it might mean my missing out on a chance to take a yoga class that day... hmmm...

luckily, after checking the holiday schedules, it looks like i have a few 12:30ish class options located right by the parade route. so not only will i be able to be patriotic on my bike, but i'll also be able to celebrate the day on my yoga mat, too!

so here are the holiday schedules i've found so far. if your favorite yoga studio is missing from this list, please feel free to send their information to me so i can add it in... thanks!

the absolute yoga and pilates studio, woodland hills
We will be closed on Saturday July4th and Sunday July 5th, 2009

alive & well, hermosa beach
Closed for Independence Day

angel city yoga, studio city
Saturday, July 4th Schedule:
All Levels Vinyasa Yoga 8:30-9:55am with Stephanie Hechtman
Easier Yoga 10:00-11:15am with Shosha Bottoms
All Levels Iyengar Yoga 11:30-1:00pm with Marta Jasberg
All Levels Yoga Iyengar Style 1:00-2:30pm with Kelli Fish

awareness center, pasadena

beach yoga with brad keimach, santa monica
We will be there as always, so mark your calendar!
Every Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-12 - Walk up Marine Street, which becomes Barnard Way. Keep walking all the way to the water's edge, by lifeguard station #29. By donation.

black dog yoga, sherman oaks
We will be open on Saturday July 4th, but will be having an abbreviated holiday schedule:
8:30a - 9:25a Core Yoga Flow Tracy Haywood
9:00a - 10:25a Gentle Yoga Georgina O'Farrill
9:30a - 11:00a Hatha Flow II * Peter Barnett
10:30a - 12:00p Complete Breath Yoga Flow John Sahakian
11:15a - 12:45p Hatha Flow I Hanna Gilan

city yoga, west hollywood
Saturday, July 4th:
7:00 am 11th Step w/Abbie B.
8:30 am Basics w/ Anthony Benenati
9:00 am Advanced w/ Rebecca Benenati
10:30am Mixed w/ Camilla Bergstrom *last class of the day

earth's power yoga, los angeles
Open on 4th of July one 10:30 am class. Friday 7:30 pm cancelled.

exhale center for sacred movement, venice
Join us for the following class line up on July 4th:
9am Micheline Berry Level 2/3
9:15am Kerianne Telford Level 1/2
10:30am Jason Frahm Level 2/3
11am Steven Espinosa Level 1
12:30pm Ashley Turner Level 1/2
12:45pm Brad Keimach Level 2/3

free spirit yoga, long beach

glendale yoga, glendale
Saturday July 4th - There will be one all levels class, 10:00 - 11:30 am, taught by Laura

golden bridge yoga, hollywood
Saturday, July 4th 9:30am - Serpent Energy of Light with Gurmukh, Tej & Gurushabd
This will be the only class offered on this day - all other Saturday classes are cancelled

guerilla yoga, hollywood
Just an important reminder that the *Practice* will be canceled this upcoming Friday July 3 for the holiday.

the hub, west los angeles
Regularly scheduled classes will still be held over the weekend

inner power yoga, calabasas
Saturday July 4th - Only two morning classes scheduled:
9:00-10:30 am with Michael & 10:00-11:30 am with Jonathan

iyengar yoga institute, los angeles
Holiday Schedule: July 4th
All levels from 9:30-11am with Marla Apt.
All other classes are canceled that day, the normal schedule resumes Sunday, July 5.

karen shuman's beyond yoga, sherman oaks
Saturday July 4th - The only class for the day will be:
Dario 11-12:30pm Hatha Flow
**Also, the Sunday Pre-Natal class has been canceled for July 5th. It will resume the following Sunday. All other classes will be open on the 5th!!!

karuna yoga, los feliz
July 4th Classes - Morning classes are scheduled:
8:00am Hatha Flow - Kelly
9:30am Hatha - Patty
11:00am Hatha/Kundalini - Robyn

liberation yoga, los angeles
10am-12pm - Flow 2-3 with Claudia Fucigna // 12pm-1:30pm - Level 1 with Lynn Taylor // That's it - then it's time for veggie dogs!

lyfe yoga center, hermosa beach
July 4th Schedule:
8:00am Power Hour 1/2
9:10am Yoga For Beginners
10:35am Iyengar - All Levels

rising lotus yoga, sherman oaks
Holiday Schedule:
7:30 am - Mixed Level Flow w/ Elinore
9:00 am - 1/2 w/ Claire
9:30am - Easy Does It w/ Karen
10:30am - Mixed Level Flow w/ Claire

santa monica yoga, santa monica
We will be closed Saturday July 4

silver lake yoga, silverlake
9:30 am Mixed levels II class taught by Caroline Cardino in studio 1
10 a.m. Prenatal class in studio 2 taught by Danielle
11:30 a.m. Beginners class taught by Jonathan studio 1
All other classes will be canceled.

studio surya yoga, venice
We will be closed on July 4th in observance of the holiday.

swerve, los angeles (only yoga classes listed; other classes available)
Friday July 3rd:
7:30am Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Kate Duyn
12:30 pm Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Kate Duyn
Saturday, July 4th:
10:00 am Yoga Booty Ballet *Team Taught by Teigh & Gillian*

u studio yoga, los angeles
5:30pm Friday, July 3rd --Andrea's back!!!!!!!
10:30am Saturday July 4th -- Andrea
10:30am Sunday July 5th -- Andrea

urth yoga, silverlake
SATURDAY JULY 4th - We will have our regular class schedule:
8:30am Gabe 10:30am Rachel 12:30pm Billy 4:30pm Scott

YAS, venice
7:00am-All Levels-Myrna
8:30am-Level 1-2-Denis
10:00am-All Levels-Kimberly Fowler

YRG with diamond dallas page, playa vista
This Saturday, July 4th, is going to be beautiful so come on down for some YRG at the Sports Park! FREE!
10-am at Playa Vista Sports Park, 13212 Bluff Creek Drive

yoga blend, burbank
Saturday, July 4th Schedule
8:15am-9:30am Level 1 with Heather
9:45am-11:00am Yoga Stretch with Susan Q
10:00am-11:30am Level 1-2 with Keric
11:45am-1:00pm Level 1-2 with David
All other classes are CANCELLED!
Studio Closes at 1pm following Level 1-2 class.
Our regular schedule resumes Sunday, July 5th.

yoga circle downtown, los angeles
Fourth of July Weekend:
Closed Saturday July 4
Sunday July 5, 10:30am only

yoga darsana, alhambra
Studio closed on Independence Day

yoga groove, north hollywood
There will be only one class on July 4th!! Come join us for an all levels 10:00 am class to celebrate Independence day!

yogahop, santa monica
Friday, July 03
9:15AM - 10:45AM Level 2/3+ - Jennifer Moore
1:00PM - 2:00PM Cancelled - Cancelled
6:00PM - 7:30PM Cancelled - Cancelled
Saturday, July 04
6:55AM - 7:55AM Level 2/3 - Jennifer Moore
8:15AM - 9:45AM Summit 2/3+ - Matthew Reyes
10:00AM - 11:30AM Summit 2/3 - Matthew Reyes
4:00PM - 5:30PM Cancelled - Cancelled
5:40PM - 7:10PM Cancelled - Cancelled
Sunday, July 05
8:15AM - 9:15AM Summit 2/3+ - Matthew Reyes
9:30AM - 10:30AM Summit 2/3+ - Marko King
4:00PM - 5:30PM Summit 2/3 - Kourtney Kaas
5:40PM - 6:40PM Cancelled - Cancelled

yoga kingdom sanctuary, pasadena
Remember this Saturday July 4th we will have only 2 classes in the morning 8:00 am taught by Naader and 8:45 am taught by Maria, that would be it for this 4th of july.

yoga loft, manhattan beach
Friday, July 3: All Regular Classes will be held
Saturday, July 4:
9:00-10:00am Level 2/3 with Genevieve Fischer
10:15am-11:15am Level 1/2 with Amy Beausang
Sunday, July 5: All Regular Classes will be held

yoga loft, woodland hills
PRACTICE YOGA JULY 4TH @ 8:30 & 10:30 am

yogi tree, toluca lake

yoga at the village, glendale
We are open as usual during the 4th of July weekend.

yoga west, los angeles
July 4th class with Gurudhan Singh!
Come for Yoga & Meditation with your Yoga West family in the only class of the day: 8:30 - 10 am
All other classes are cancelled
Regular schedule resumes on July 5th

yoga works, los angeles locations
JULY 4TH HOLIDAY SCHEDULE - Click on the location for class schedule:
Center for Yoga
Main Street
Montana Ave
Pacific Palisades
South Bay
Westlake Village

yoga world, long beach (downtown and los altos locations)
Both Studios will be closed for the 4th of July Holiday, but we will reopen on July 5 with our full schedule of classes

yummy yoga, los feliz
Wednesday, July 1:
7:45 PM ~ All Levels Ali Laventhol subbing for Ducky Punch
Thursday, July 2:
7:30 AM ~ Power Hour Caroline Cardino subbing for Ducky Punch
4:30 PM ~ Level 1/2 TBD subbing for Ducky Punch
6:00 PM ~ Level 2/3 Ali Laventhol subbing for Ducky Punch
Saturday, July 4:
10:30 AM ~ All Levels with Ali, only! All other classes cancelled
Sunday, July 5:
5:30 PM ~ Level 2/3 Ali Laventhol subbing for Jeff Bass