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

Friday, February 26, 2010

don't panic

if you're currently looking at my blog page and are looking at the message:

To make a long story short, Platial is unsustainable and cannot support itself any longer.

just know that it refers to the company that was hosting my yoga studio map, not me.

i've been using platial to keep track of all the yoga studios that i've visited for many years now, and the resulting interactive map is what i've been using as my website header for many, many years now. unfortunately, like many other businesses affected by these hard times, they found it impossible to stay afloat with the limited amount of income they were pulling in. thankfully, they've developed tools i can use to save and export all my map data into another format, so until i figure out what i'd like to do, please bear with the funky warning message until i put something else in its place.

at times, it seemed like both platial and i cross-promoted each other. my platial map would greet all my blog visitors as they visited my site, and platial would use my site as an example of how a blogger could implement a map. here's an excerpt i found in directions magazine, dated november 1, 2006:

PORTLAND, Ore.-Bloggers and Web site owners can start building maps with their community members in seconds by using a new MapKit from Platial.com. Users can sign up at http://www.platial.com/mapkit, cut and paste a snippet of code into the site, and in seconds they’re able to easily create and share places of interest directly with their readers. Because there’s no new programming to learn, the interface is simple, easy-to-use, and can be customized to complement any Web site. This new community-building map tool – once available exclusively at Platial.com – can be used on any Web site and most blogs.

More than 4,000 sites are already publishing Platial user-created maps, building community and generating content. The blogger behind the “The Accidental Yogist” Web site was one of the first Platial users to publish her map. Her community of yoga enthusiasts has created a map of 67 yoga studios in the Los Angeles area, and more are added every week. The map is also available on Platial, so visitors to Platial.com can benefit from this community’s work.

(you can tell how long ago that article was written; the last time i updated my map, i had over a hundred studios on it, with many more that i still had to add on!)

i'd like to thank the wonderful people at platial for going over and beyond in showing me how to get my map up and running, in resolving any issues that were caused by their feature enhancements or my "user error", and now, in helping me transition to another mapping application. it's hard to say goodbye to people who've always been there for me, at all hours of the day and night (or so it seemed)... tracy, jason, and everyone else on the team, i'll miss you all.

postscript -- i tried to update my blog template with a temporary fix, but even the blogger software is having issues today. ugh. must. remember. to. breathe...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

just when you thought you had nothing planned for this weekend...

on monday, i started posted the few events that i'd heard about on the accidental yogist's facebook page. and before i knew it, i was still finding things to post as recently as last night. who knew there was so much to do in LA on what initially seemed to be a slow weekend?

here are the items that merited a post. i'm including my original facebook comment plus the contents of the links that went with them. if you know of anything else, please feel free to share them with me...

FREE yoga with seane corn at Yogaglo in santa monica -- 7 almost-daily classes starting this THURSDAY 2/25.

On the following dates:
25th 6-7pm
26th 4:30-5:30pm
27th 6-7:30pm
28th 9:30-10:30am
1st 11-12
5th 11-12
6th 10-11:30am
In this class, we will explore the multifaceted dynamics of Vinyasa Flow yoga, focusing on both the physical- (body alignment, pranayama, bandhas) and the spiritual – (meditation, reflection, prayer), initiating strength and flexibility in your body/mind. Through the integration of asana, specialized breathing techniques and conscious intention, learn how to experience the creative and powerful practice of Vinyasa Flow as a devotional expression of life -beyond the body. Leave feeling inspired and centered. Experience with Sun Salutes A and B is recommended.

This FRIDAY 2/26 7:30pm - an evening of kirtan with Tony Khalife and special guests: Matthew Hufschmidt, Dan Licht, and Cooper Madison Ladnier at Rose Temple in Venice. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at door http://www.dpacla.com/

Kirtan w/ Tony Khalife & Friends
Date: Friday, February 26, 2010
Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: The The Rose Temple, 305 Rose Ave. Venice, Ca. 310-266-2123
~ An Evening of Kirtan Friday Feb 26 at 7:30-9:30pm
w/ special guests: Matthew Hufschmidt - Percussion, Dan Licht - Harmonium & flutes and Cooper Madison Ladnier - Tabla
~ Kirtan Workshop Saturday Feb 27 9am-1pm
w/ special guests Matthew Hufschmidt - Percussion and Cooper Madison on Tabla
An in depth Kirtan workshop exploring Vedic Mantras, the throat Chakra, the breath, Music, and daily affirmations for achieving kinship with the Divine. Elements of Mantra (origin, seed syllables, meaning, sound, proper pronunciation and form). Kirtan (Chant repetition, Bhakti Bhava and stories of Saints)

just because i've never heard of anything like this (at least in LA), i'm passing this along: Tropical Blend Hawaiian Yoga Party with David Adams & Hilary Kimblin at Yoga Blend this FRIDAY 2/26 8:15-10:15pm. Laughter yoga, Pranayama, Mantras, Chakras, Mudras, Heart, Hip and Pelvic Opening Asanas, Hula Hooping AND an expert instructor to show you how to dance a traditional Hawaiian Hula! Plus tasty samples of tropical delights, selected according to your Ayurvedic dosha. $20 by Feb 24th/$25 after

Hawaiian Yoga Party
Date: Friday, February 26, 2010
Time: 8:15pm - 10:15pm
Location: YogaBlend
Street: 1921 W. Magnolia Blvd.
A sumptuous mix of delights for all your senses!
A mix of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian and Polynesian tunes will greet the lucky group who gathers to drink in Tropical Blend Yoga: Heart, Hip & Pelvic Opening Asanas, Laughter yoga, Pranayama, Mantras, Chakras, Mudras, AND an Expert Instructor to show you how to dance traditional Hawaiian Hula!
Before Western contact and the introduction of a written language, Hawaiian culture was kept alive through dance, mele (song or poetry), and chant. Hula seeks to express everything its dancers hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.
If your mouth isn’t watering yet, it will be for sure as Hilary treats us to tasty samples of tropical delights, selected according to your Ayurvedic dosha. (Not sure what that is? No worries wahinis, she’ll help you figure it out!)
With even more exciting surprises planned for the evening, you’ll be having more fun than you can throw a coconut at!
$25 per guest

this FRIDAY 2/26 8:30pm - kirtan with kalidas at Bhakti Yoga Shala

Kalidas Chants to the Mother
Date: Friday, February 26, 2010
Time: 8:30pm - 10:30pm
Location: Bhakti Yoga Shala
Come chant with Kalidas, Manohar and Greg Klimuck

This SAT 2/27 9am-1pm -- BWell Fit will hold a FREE day of fitness and nutrition at the Pan Pacific Park in LA. Participants can take part in fitness demonstrations, receive nutrition and fitness advice, and register for BWell’s “Fit to BWell” Weight Loss Challenge Competition. Also FREE yoga with My-rah Penaloza!! Bring a yoga mat, towel, and water/snacks.

Host: Linda Okwor & Toneka Pires
Location: Pan Pacific Park
7600 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036 US
When: Saturday, February 27, 9:00AM to 1:00PM
Phone: (877) 319-1133
Join us for a day of fitness, motivation, nurtition, information and fun! This is our way of showing you love and giving you a real feel of BWell Fit and all we have to offer. Get there early for the boot camp!
Activities include:
* Fitness and Nutrition Consultation with Celebrity Personal Trainers and Champion Fitness Competitors Linda Okwor and Toneka Pires
* Weight Loss Expert Dr. Andrea Pennington will share her 5 tips for weight loss success
* Boot Camp Session with LA's #1 Boot Camp featuring Dulcie Hellings
* Body Assessments
* Pole Dancing Demo by Sharon Polsky
* Yoga with My-rah Penaloza
* Fit to BWell Challenge sign-up; winner gets up to $1000! (12-weeks, only 25 participants taken, $40/person/month)
* Event Cost: Free!
* Please bring water, towel, notepad, snacks, yoga mat and small weights Limited space, please RSVP!
We will be hosting the event rain or shine!
*After the event we will be casting families for a new total wellness show called "Diabetes Proof My Family" from 2pm to 4pm. For more information and general inquiries please contact: info@andreapennington.com

this SATURDAY 2/27 10am - a yoga fundraiser for Canine Cancer Detection Project LA at Yogis Anonymous taught by Annie Carpenter, Ally Hamilton, Brock Cahill, Jerome Mercier, John Sahakian, Jesse Schein and Krista Cahill. $20 suggested donation

"Cancer Dog" Benefit Class: Supporting Early Cancer Detection Research
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: Yogis Anonymous
Join Annie Carpenter, Ally Hamilton, Brock Cahill, Jerome Mercier, John Sahakian, Jesse Schein and Krista Cahill for a morning of awakening and community!
This 2 1/2 hour yoga class will be followed by refreshments and a raffle of local products and services. One ticket per student will be given and additional tickets can be purchased for a $2.00 donation to the cause.
The Canine Cancer Detection Project LA is embarking on a very important project researching the early identification of cancer using canine scent detection. Dina Zaphiris (professional dog trainer and yogi) participated in one of the pilot studies in the field of canine cancer detection. It was in these studies that some interesting findings were made. Studies have suggested that dogs have the ability to detect cancer earlier than other forms of testing such as MRI, CT Scan, Radiology, blood work, etc. We are committed to studying the efficacy of this amazing new discovery. The early detection of cancer is paramount for successful treatment and saving lives. We are trying to do research specifically on early detection to enable early treatment.
A minimum $20.00 suggested cash donation will be used to bring this incredible non-invasive medicine to our future medical practices. To reserve your space for this event, please donate at: http://www.dogsdetectcancer.com
Use the "donate" button to make a secure payment via Paypal, print a copy of your receipt and bring it to class for guaranteed entry.
Yogis Anonymous, Hard Tail, YogiToes, OM Girl, Om My Dog, Rock & Republic, Sujen B. Art & Design Blue-Owl.com, Woof Worx, Robert Green Fitness Training, Geralynn Cada cccouture.com, Ashley Bordon Fitness ashleyborden.com, Olga Tot, Grant Cramer
Melodia Medley melodiadesigns@gmail.com, Marla Johnson marlajohnsonjewelry@mac.com, Gerald Minniti, MD drminniti.com, Gabi Jewelry, evolm.com, Mr. Bilardi Hair, Krista Cahill Yoga, Brock Cahill Yoga, Debbie Kim Acupuncture/Herbalist, Dina Zaphiris Dog Behavior, Dr. Magdy Guirguis, Dr. Tamara Trebilcock, Dr. Michael Campbell, Dr. Katie, Gabriel Moreno Hair

Urban Lily Yoga will be celebrating their grand opening in sherman oaks this SATURDAY 2/27 7pm with a lululemon trunk show and decadent DESSERTS! need i say more? :)

Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Urban Lily Yoga
Street: 14843 Burbank Blvd.
City/Town: Sherman Oaks, CA
Urban Lily Yoga’s GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION… Put your Dress UP clothes on and ROCK the night away with amazing musical guests, sweet treats & plenty of SURPRISES!!!!!!!!!
*We'll feature a LULULEMON Trunk Show
*Surprise Show
*Dreamy & Decadent Desserts

also at Yogis Anonymous this SATURDAY 2/27 7:30pm - Dani Shapiro and Ally Hamilton are going to talk about "Finding Your Teachers", whether they be yoga teachers, meditation teachers, or just people in your life who are able to impart something of value to you at the right moment in time. Dani will read from the book and do a book signing after...

Finding Your Teachers
A Reading, Q&A, and Book Signing with "Devotion" Author Dani Shapiro
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Yogis Anonymous
Street: 1221 2nd Street
City/Town: Santa Monica, CA
I'd like to invite you to come and meet a very good friend of mine, Dani Shapiro. Dani is a well-known author whose newest work is a memoir called "Devotion". Receiving high praise from People Magazine, The Today Show, Publishers Weekly, and many other reputable reviewers, it is a deeply personal, moving, and relevant account of her search for peace. I could say so many beautiful things about this book...it genuinely gripped me and moved me to tears, and I feel so grateful that she was able to chronicle her experience this way.
Dani and I are going to talk about "Finding Your Teachers", whether they be yoga teachers, meditation teachers, or just people in your life who are able to impart something of value to you at the right moment in time. Dani will read from the book and do a book signing after. I already feel so much emotion about this night and I hope you'll join us.
- Ally

at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in venice this SATURDAY 2/27 7:30-10:00pm - temple of rasa full moon celebration with shiva rea and donna de lory

Temple of Rasa: A Full Moon Celebration for Bhakti Rasika Love Rebels with Shiva Rea, Donna DeLory and special guests
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Location: Exhale, Venice, CA
To Benefit the PULSE Project! Rhythm Activism and Save the Tiger Fund
7:30PM - Opening Aarti and Invocation
7:30PM - Kirtan with Donna De Lory and Band
9:00 - 10:00PM Yoga Trance Dance with DJ Sahaja, DJ Nagaraja and Live Drumming

live in concert at Golden Bridge Yoga in hollywood this SATURDAY 2/27 8pm: simrit kaur, $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Simrit Kaur Kirtan at Golden Bridge With Musical Virtuosos Todd Boston and Kristopher Rein
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Golden Bridge Yoga Hollywood
Street: 6322 De Longpre Ave
“For Simrit Kaur, singing is not a performance, it is a sacred worship of the Divine. Her voice, her music, and her teaching, reflect this devotion which seems to come from her so effortlessly. This devotion is a gift, a talent beyond any, that will lead thousands into the lightness of being and awareness that is so vital to humanity in this day and age.” -Snatam Kaur
$25 Advance $30 Door
Tickets at www.goldenbridgeyoga.com

this SATURDAY 2/27 8:00pm - kirtan with cooper madison at Aanand Saagar in venice

Kirtan with Cooper Madison and Friends
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Time: 8:00pm - 9:50pm
Location: Aanand Saagar - Venice
Street: 606 Venice Blvd. #H
City/Town: Venice, CA
Please join me for an evening of Kirtan and Chanting as we celebrate the divinity within each of us through music. We'll sing some authentic Indian bhajans as well as some western devotional songs.
Joining me will be the wonderful singer Grace Shanti, Ben Marciano on Flute/Guitar, Christo Pellani on Drums and others to be announced.

FREE yoga classes at lululemon stores this SUNDAY 2/28 9:30am: lululemon athletica Beverly Hills - heather foster (city yoga), lululemon athletica Brentwood - sarah ezrin (the hub and kest's power yoga), lululemon athletica Santa Monica - lauri ashworth (the hub)

at Yoga West Los Angeles this SUNDAY 2/28 10:00-11:30am - Relief for Haiti: Join Gurudhan for a Kundalini workout. All funds raised will go to Doctors Without Borders

Yoga West
1535 S. Robertson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
website: http://www.yogawestla.com/

you've probably heard about this on elephantjournal.com, so if you're here in LA, come join us at YOGAco this SUNDAY 2/28 12:45pm to wish jen and robert a happy future together... and raise money for haiti earthquake relief!

My Wedding Celebration
All donations going to RED CROSS for Haiti relief
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time: 12:45pm - 3:00pm
Location: Yogaco
Street: 1408 3rd st Promenade
City/Town: Santa Monica, CA
Hey all,
If you are coming to my wedding celebration on Sun Feb 28 @ Yogaco, there has been a change of plans. It was going to be a gentle yoga class but there is not enough time or room (too many people). Please feel free to bring something to drink (wine or champagne or something you like, or a snack) and also if you are so inclined... Bring a blessing, a poem, a song etc to share. Erica Rhodes will play cello and Samadhi is singing but we have a stage and I think it will make a lovely ceremony. So, only if you would like to bring something to share....
I am so honored that you all are coming. Please get there by 1245 pm so we can start on time. I cannot wait to make a toast to all of you.
Remember, I am also taking donations that day in the box and giving them to the Red Cross (for Haiti).
I look forward to hugging all of you. Yoga is at 1408 3rd st Promenade (next to Anthropologie)

this sounds like an amazing afternoon of world music - PremaSoul and Classical Arabic Takht at the Pasadena Central Library auditorium this SUNDAY 2/28 2-5pm

PCM presents: TJ Troy Solo Tabla, PremaSoul, and Classical Arabic Takht
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Donald R. Wright Auditorium Pasadena Central Library
Street: 285 E. Walnut St.
Pasadena Creative Music presents an afternoon of diverse world music and fusion. www.pasadenacreativemusic.com
PremaSoul fuses ancient Indian melody with the soul of American music, transcending musical & cultural boundaries with an intoxicating mix of pop harmonies, world rhythms, & original and traditional songs in many languages. (www.premasoul.com)
T.J. Troy presents solo repertoire of the North IndianTabla, in the style of the Lucknowgharana. This performance will feature traditional compositions, created distinctly for tabla solo, including peshkar, palta theka, kaida, kaida-rela, rela, gat, tukra, and chakradhar.
Classical Arabic Takht: Fahd Shaabad, T.J. Troy, Yvette Holzwarth, and Chris Votek have formed an exciting new oud, riqq, violin, and cello quartet especially to play this concert. The repertoire is classical Arabic music, and includes sama'i, longa, taqasim, and many instrumental songs.
After the concert abundant food and drink will be served at Chris's house on 246 N. El Molino Ave. As February 28th is the the date of Chris's birth it will be a combined concert reception/birthday party!

i'm sure you've heard about the blue avatars in that animated flick, but there's also a GOLDEN avatar: sri chaitanya mahaprabhu, "the divine manifestation of the Supreme Goddess, Radha and the Supreme God, Krishna." it was he who popularized the call-and-response form of chanting known as kirtan. this SUNDAY 2/28 4-8pm... at Rose Temple in venice, there will be a kirtan led by the kirtaniyas in his honor

The Day of The Golden Avatar
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: The Rose Temple
Street: 305 rose avenue
City/Town: Venice, CA
At The Rose Temple this Sunday there will be a celebration for the Golden Avatar: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Kirtaniyas, BV Bhagavat Swami and other guests...
"Sri Chaitanya is the divine manifestation of the Supreme Goddess, Radha and the Supreme God, Krishna.
Krishna being the reservoir of pleasure once desired to understand the love that his greatest lover (Radha) had for him. He wanted to have first hand experience of this love. So they (Radha and Krishna) combined in one form and came to play in this material world as The Golden Avatar.
While experiencing the depths of Sri Radha's love for him in this combined form Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributed this love to ONE and ALL through the process of KIRTAN.
KIRTAN is a gathering of hearts expressing feelings of love. LOVE being GOD and GOD being love this expression is called BHAKTI... the gift of Sri Chaitanya."

This SUNDAY 2/28, come for KIRTAN with PREM JYOTI of Encinitas and celebrate the Book Release of "WHERE SOULS DREAM GOD" written by Sundaram La Pierre at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica

Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time: 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Location: Bhakti Yoga Shala
Street: 207 ARIZONA AVE
Come for KIRTAN with PREM JYOTI of Encinitas
and celebrate the Book Release of
"WHERE SOULS DREAM GOD" written by Sundaram La Pierre.
The book is a unique glimpse into the ancient culture of India as seen by Westerners who have adopted that culture as their own. Anyone who is fascinated by the magic and the mystery of that holy land will find this book intoxicating. If you have ever thought about going there, after reading "WHERE SOULS DREAM GOD", you may just have to put your life on hold and leave tomorrow!
The book includes the full-length CD, recorded exclusively for the book: I Love You, India, by Swami Nirvanananda, the “Singing Monk.
Sundaram and Hilary are the owners and hosts of Jyoti Mandir. JYOTI MANDIR is a temple at a private home in Encinitas. We host many Kirtan events both here & at other venues in Encinitas. We believe that the true purpose of music is to uplift the consciousness, leading to actual communion with God. Visit their website www.jyotimandir.com and their facebook page Jyoti Mandir to learn more.

if you're in the OC, this is for you: the new YogaShala in Costa Mesa will be holding their first Introduction to AyurYoga class this SUNDAY 2/28 2-4pm. They offer customized yoga classes based on individual body constitutions according to the ancient science of Ayurveda.The classes provide a holistic healing experience for the physical and spiritual self through not only specific yoga postures but guided meditation and live music.

The Healing Gardens of Ayurveda, LLC
234 E. 17th Street, Suite No. 102
Costa Mesa CA, 92627
website: www.thehealingardens.com/yoga_meditation.htm

Friday, February 19, 2010

venturing off the boulevard

Urban Lily Yoga
14843 Burbank Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
(818) 782-6144
website: www.urbanlilyyoga.com

Urban Lily Yoga "Blossom where you’re grounded", the yoga wellness center of the valley, is open to the public offering its powerful blend of traditional and progressive yogic practices, with a philosophy that is both contemporary and timeless. Our center offers yoga as it is meant to be, a practice that uncovers your true nature.

Yoga is the possibility of growth. A practice, a seed if you will, which contains within it a miraculous blueprint of an astonishing life that can emerge and come into being through the everyday mindfulness of yoga leading to an intuitive illumination of consciousness which blossoms forth in the form of health, vitality and happiness.

if you live or work in the valley, you know that most everything you need is located on ventura boulevard -- the hip boutiques, the trendy cafes, the major chain stores. even the yoga studios are in the midst of all that activity, right where you can easily find them.

but a new yoga studio has sprouted in a strip mall off the beaten path, about a mile and a half north of the boulevard. hmmm... why out there?

but then again, why not? i mean, if you're going to bring yoga to the people, you might as well bring it closer to them, right?

and i must say that as far as this westsider was concerned, it definitely was closer. or at least much easier to get to.

all i had to do was drive north up the 405, exit at burbank blvd, and after crossing a few traffic lights, there i was, at urban lily yoga. it was so unlike my typical commute to most places in the valley, where i usually find myself crawling along the 101 and the surrounding surface streets, past the soccer moms driving carpool in their SUVs, the writer/producer/actor types chatting on their cell phones, and the senior citizens driving way too slowly under the speed limit.

urban lily yoga was like a little burst of sunshine in their quiet neighborhood. there were no hip and trendy people in this neck of the woods, just moms attending to their washloads at the laundromat and people picking up groceries at the corner market. a banner above the front door marked their spot among the small businesses in the building.

once inside, you could feel the sweet energy of the place, from the retail items stored in wicker baskets in the armoire to the photographs of the teaching staff on the bulletin board. all of it was clearly a work of love by elinore cohen, owner of urban lily. you could definitely feel the female touch in the decor, although that obviously didn't deter the man who walked in off the street to check out the class schedule.

i was there to take elinore's class; while we waited for the earlier class to let out, we chatted as i filled out the requisite paperwork. and since my first class was free, i didn't have to pull out my wallet. nice!

the classroom was small and welcoming. all the props were arranged neatly towards the back of the room. even the blankets were folded so perfectly that any iyengar student would feel right at home here :)

elinore led our little class of three through a mellow, yet challenging, flow class. i especially enjoyed it because after we went through the customary sun salute sequences, we moved on to prep work for harder arm balances and inversion poses. we didn't do anything crazy nor overly backbendy, so my lower back emerged unscathed and happy.

most of the classes at urban lily are vinyasa flow and hatha blend, with some gentle therapeutic classes and restorative classes for those who just want to de-stress. there are also prenatal yoga classes for the neighborhood moms so they can come meet and bond with their future PTA pals.

urban lily will be holding their grand opening celebration next week, on saturday, february 27th at 7pm. everyone's invited to come by to share in the music and the treats; i've heard about all the little details that elinore's been working on to make sure her guests have a great time, so you know i'm not missing this party!

parking: free parking available behind the building
bike racks: none
closest intersection: burbank blvd and kester ave

Monday, February 15, 2010

heal me

Heal and Soul
16545 Ventura Boulvard
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 501-8228
website: www.healandsoul.com

Heal and Soul was born out of a vision to create a community center where people can explore and practice alternative approaches to healing and wellness. Sharing this ideal, Dr. Joseph Kim and Donna Stillo have designed a distinctive institute of harmonious balance. Their goal is to inspire, empower and enlighten with their wide range of healing modalities. Combining ancient mind-body techniques such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong with Eastern healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, Heal and Soul aims to help people achieve their highest level of well-being.

i have issues. lots of them.

my left sacroiliac joint is hypermobile while the matching right side is hypomobile. the L4 and L5 segments in my spine are stuck. my coccyx is out of alignment. and all the muscles surrounding all those bony structures are busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. needless to say, they're not happy; every twinge of lower back pain i experience is their way of screaming their displeasure at me.

there's also this funky shoulder pain i've been feeling for the past 6 months or so. is it caused by tension or overuse? from yoga or from lifting my bike? all i know is that certain arm movements and/or shoulder stretches can get somewhat uncomfortable. ouch.

and i'm not even going to go into the left hamstring i tore from careless yoga and the right ACL i tore from careless skiing. thankfully, both of those have healed.

isn't it ironic how trying to live a healthy life can be the cause of so much pain? :(

so it was during one of my spasmatic back episodes that i decided to check out the new heal and soul studio in encino. their yoga classes sounded nice and gentle -- therapeutic yoga, beginning yoga, iyengar yoga, among others -- so i found myself at their doorstep one lunchtime for marie besso's hatha yoga for everybody class. by the time i'd finished filling out the standard waiver form at the receptionist's desk and walked over to the classroom next door, marie was already helping set up the handful of students who were lying quietly on their mats.

we progressed through a series of slow, deliberate poses and it always seemed like marie was right there with a helpful block or blanket. by the time class ended, i felt like i had pushed myself sufficiently without causing a revolt in my lower back. and that made for a very good class, at least in my book :)

i walked up to marie after class ended to thank her. she commented that i looked familiar; i smiled and told her that it was only during the course of the class that i'd realized i'd taken her class years ago at the recently-closed angel city yoga in studio city (you'd think i'd remember things like that BEFORE going to class... could this mean that in addition to my aches and pains, i'm losing my memory, too?? argh).

after class, i returned to the reception area and chatted with co-owner donna stillo as she showed me the second classroom and the gift items in the retail area. she later introduced me to her partner, dr. joseph kim, the resident acupuncturist and practitioner of oriental medicine. we talked briefly about my back pain. while i was very tempted to see if he could help me, i realized my problem was chronic and would require a number of visits... with a 25-mile roundtrip commute each time. i decided to pass.

that doesn't mean, of course, that i won't return to check out the other classes and other teachers, because i know i will.

unlike most of the other valley-based yoga studios that are located east of the 405 in sherman oaks and studio city, heal and soul is located west of the 405, in encino. it's in the shopping plaza near the NW corner of ventura and hayvenhurst; most runners like myself have probably already been there to shop at the phidippides running shoe store also located in the complex.

note: from now on, every time i post a visit to a studio, i'll be including handy information for getting there by car, bike, and/or bus. like this:

parking: free parking in lot
bike racks: none
closest intersection: ventura blvd and hayvenhurst ave

Thursday, February 11, 2010

public displays of affection

as you're probably well aware by now, this sunday, february 14th, is valentine's day.

while many will be giving their loved ones FTD flowers, godiva chocolates, hallmark cards and possibly even making dinner reservations at fancy-schmancy restaurants to show how much they care, i and two of my unattached girlfriends will be heading to thai town on V-day to treat ourselves to relaxing thai massages and delicious thai food... all because we care enough to enjoy the very best!

valentine's day is also the time when there'll a lot of public displays of affection going on -- people holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and in some cases, climbing on top of each other in the presence of people they may or may not know... otherwise known as partner yoga :)

so if that sounds like an adventurous and novel way for you to spend quality time with your significant other, even if that other is a family member or friend, here's a list of partner yoga workshops going on this weekend:

Start your love affair with yoga - Partner up and practice!
TruYoga, Santa Monica
Saturday, Feb 13th 11:00am - 2:00pm
Cost: $40

Alyson Khan will guide you through this special lighthearted and relaxing practice of partner yoga, combining the fundamental elements of ancient yoga philosophy and posture to experience a joyful and safe practice for a healthy living.
Yoga with a partner allows you to provide compassionate physical and mental support. Utilizing therapeutic postures, along with slow gentle stretching, you aid each other to feel connected, safe and relaxed.
A perfect way to understand your partners needs in a loving or plain friendly feel good way. All are welcome from beginners to advance yogis. No previous yoga experience necessary.
Mats are are available, Free Parking!

Partner Yoga with Matthew Cohen
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, Feb 13th 2:00-4:00pm (also Feb 14th)
Cost: $50 for both days; $30 per session

In this 2 day workshop we will extend our solo experience and share it with another. Consciously working with another person translates into useful life skills. Partner Yoga deepens our sensitivity, awareness and compassion. The mutual support and connection to others strengthens the sense of community. We will focus on breath, postural alignment and placement. Ultimately, working with partners allows us to learn more about ourselves. This is a potent, enlightening and joyful workshop. Partner Yoga is a creative way to revisit your practice using touch as communication while enjoying the benefits of moving deeper into one's practice with a little help from a friend! Class will include backbends, forward bends, balance, twists and more...Bring a partner or one will be provided for you!
Matthew incorporates practices from dance, yoga, chi kung (qi gong) and martial arts.
All levels are welcome.

Partner Yoga SATURDAY with Larry and Amy
Yummy Yoga, Los Feliz
Saturday, Feb 13th 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Call or email Yummy to register! Payment due upon registration

Join Larry and Amy this weekend for this Valentine's Day-inspired Partner Yoga Workshop.
Shine a new light on your practice and learn to share poses with the support and encouragement of a yogi partner! Come with OR without a friend and enjoy this fun, playful, partner yoga workshop, taking your yogic experience to a new level!

Partner Yoga Workshop with Melannie
Free Spirit Yoga, Long Beach
Saturday, Feb 13th 3:00-5:00pm
Cost: $40 per couple, limited to 10 couples

When you practice with a partner you share an intimacy, support and energy that does not exist in your normal practice. This workshop will include partner postures, Thai Yoga massage and restorative postures all meant to build a shared loving energy between you and your partner. Bring a friend or loved one to this unique yoga experience.

AcroYoga: Sublime Connection - A Valentine's Yoga Workshop for Couples with Sarah Vosen and Laura Catone
The Hub, West Los Angeles
Saturday, Feb 13th 5:00-7:30pm
Cost: $55 per couple

Tantra Tantric philosophy invites us to embrace all of our senses and experiences to connect deeply to our inner truth in a blissful reality. In this workshop our sensual indulgences will include partner yoga, Thai massage, chocolate, music, candlelight and the spaciousness of our own breath. Explore a deeper connection and intimacy with your partner while learning tools to relax and let go. All levels welcome, come with the one you love.
To learn more about AcroYoga, Sarah or Laura, please visit www.acroyoga.org.

Partner Yoga Workshop with Scott Lewicki and Andrea Call
Urth Yoga, Silverlake
Saturday, Feb 13th 6:30-8:30pm
Cost: $40 per couple in advance. $50 per couple the day of the event

In this workshop we will move through playful sequences of partner-assisted poses where one helps the other, and double yoga poses where each reflects the other in dynamic and balanced symmetries. This workshop is for all levels. You can come with a friend, sibling, romantic partner, etc. The only prerequisite is the ability to giggle and have fun.
In the texts of yoga philosophy there is a concept called Vimarsha which translates as Divine Reflection. Sometimes to see our full potential more clearly, it helps to have it reflected through the eyes of another. This can be profoundly true in yoga where working with a partner can afford us the opportunity to deepen our practice in new ways.

Studio Surya Yoga, Venice
Sunday, Feb 14th 12:30-2:30pm
Cost: Suggested $20 donation

Whaka and Sara have generously offered this exciting and fun workshop on Valentine’s Day. Flying yoga is the blend of yoga, with the added benefit of a partner, who might be a friend, life-mate, or a new person you meet in class. It combines massage techniques for a therapeutic experience and can be combined with a dynamic interactive balancing or acrobatic experience. These aspects of flying allow the spine of the flyer to open and stretch while the base (the person holding the flyer) receives a strengthening exercise. It is a practice in trust, in your partner but more importantly within yourself. This practice allows you to grow and expand and open up to new opportunities, and creates possibilities that you could not achieve on your own.Wear comfortable yoga clothes. Come with a mat and a friend, a partner or just on your own. You will definitely meet a great bunch of people.
For more information go to www.kohayoga.org and email Sara or Whaka.

Valentine's Day Partner Yoga Workshop with Lara Catone and Sarah Vosen
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Sunday, Feb 14th 1:00-3:00pm
Cost: $40 for you and your partner

Partner yoga invites us to be receptive, playful and sensitive. As we cultivate trust and surrender with the support of another you will melt into deep, relaxing stretches and discover meaningful connection to both the inner and outer world. Come with a partner!
No prior yoga experience needed.

Valentine's Day Partner Yoga Flow
Dharma Mittra Yoga, Los Angeles
Sunday, Feb 14th 1:00-2:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Partner Yoga is based on performing classic yoga asanas (poses) with another person, using one another’s body weight to amplify the stretch. Come to this class alone, with a partner or with the whole family! Great for practitioners at any level and a lot of fun.

Valentines Day Bhakti Workshop with Govindas and Radha
Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica
Sunday February 14th, 1:45-3:45pm
Cost: By Donation

Come join Govindas and Radha on February 14th to celebrate this "Day of Love," Valentines Day 2010. In this joyful workshop we will sing kirtan, practice partner yoga and tantric meditation, dance, stretch, pray and play together all in the spirit of LOVE... Come by yourself or bring a partner.
We look forward to sharing this magical day together!

Partner Yoga with Matthew Cohen
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, Feb 13th 2:00-4:00pm (also Feb 13th)
Cost: $50 for both days; $30 per session

In this 2 day workshop we will extend our solo experience and share it with another. Consciously working with another person translates into useful life skills. Partner Yoga deepens our sensitivity, awareness and compassion. The mutual support and connection to others strengthens the sense of community. We will focus on breath, postural alignment and placement. Ultimately, working with partners allows us to learn more about ourselves. This is a potent, enlightening and joyful workshop. Partner Yoga is a creative way to revisit your practice using touch as communication while enjoying the benefits of moving deeper into one's practice with a little help from a friend! Class will include backbends, forward bends, balance, twists and more...Bring a partner or one will be provided for you!
Matthew incorporates practices from dance, yoga, chi kung (qi gong) and martial arts.
All levels are welcome.

Partner Yoga with Wine and Chocolate
Yoga Loft, Manhattan Beach
Sunday, Feb 14th 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: $35 each or $50 per couple

Join Leeann Carey for a Valentine's Day Partner Yoga Class designed to deepen your relationship to self, while you give and receive support in yoga postures. Experiencing the poses with another creates a unique process of discovery in giving and receiving, and letting in and letting go on and off the mat. Bring your own partner or come alone. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce yoga to a friend. You don't have to be good! And it's a really fun and light-hearted workshop.

Partner Yoga Workshop with Dana Marcoux and Shannon Baker
Santa Monica Yoga, Santa Monica
Sunday, Feb 14th 2:30-5:00pm
Cost: $25 per person by Feb 8, $30 per person day-of

All levels are welcome to join and participate in this playful partner yoga workshop. We will practice the art of yoga together, deepening the practice through partner assisted adjustments, poses, and basic feel-good bodywork techniques.

Valentine Partner Workshop With Christine and Gary!
Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Sunday, Feb 14th 2:30-4:30pm
Cost: $45 per duo

Awaken your senses through this heart expanding practice devoted to letting the love flow! Spend quality time with someone you care about and nurture yourself at the same time. This all levels class will focus on deepening your connection to yourself and any significant other, a partner, a spouse, a friend, a parent or child! We will explore all levels of partner poses as well as breath and meditation that stimulate our ability to communicate through the body and mind and help one another access our greatest potential for flexibility, strength, peace and joy. It's about celebrating the love!
This is a Liberation yoga tradition that is filled with laughter and love and space is limited. AS A MATTER FACT WE HAVE ONLY 5 SPOTS LEFT!! THAT'S 5 DUOS!

Asana for Couples and the Yoga of Intimacy with Geoffrey Earendil and Jaqueline Marie
Aanand Saagar, Santa Monica
Sunday, Feb 14th 3:00-5:00pm
Cost: By Donation, $25 per couple suggested. RSVP by Friday February 12th; call (760) 220-4877 or (805) 453-5878

This Heart Centered workshop is appropriate for ALL levels. You and your partner will be guided through a sequence of sweet stretches and strengthening poses with gentle touch and mutual encouragement. Incorporating guided imagery, simple meditations and focused intention we will introduce you to practical techniques to improve communication, build trust, deepen sensitivity and strengthen your heart connection to begin sharing the journey of Spiritual Self-Discovery.
No prior yoga experience is necessary. Dress comfortably. Please refrain from wearing jewelery and perfume. As with all physical activity, we encourage you to not eat an hour before participation.

Partner Yoga: A Valentines Celebration with Anthony and Rebecca Benenati
City Yoga, West Hollywood
Sunday, Feb 14th 4:00-6:00pm
Cost: $50 per couple, or $45 if you register before February 7th

Yogi Bhajan once said, "relationships are the highest form of yoga".
Love and relationships come in many forms- romance, family and friendships. This Valentine's do something different! Come do yoga with your partner and really connect. Celebrate your relationship by bending, balancing and breathing with them. Isn't that what we do anyway? Rebecca and Anthony will lead this very fun, loving, and playful practice that includes asana, restorative poses, massage techniques, meditation and Valentine's treats to eat!
All levels are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

triyoga center in malibu to move

this just came in from kali ray, founder of the triyoga center in malibu (please note that this is NOT the similarly-named truyoga in santa monica). since the change in the center's situation sounds a bit sudden, i thought it best to post it as soon as i could:

Dear TriYoga Friends,

After nearly twelve years in Malibu, TriYoga Center is moving from this beautiful ashrama overlooking the sea. The landlord decided to move back into his home.

In preparation for moving, daily classes came to an end after the 30th anniversary program at the end of January. A TriYogathon is tentatively planned for February 12 - 14 in celebration of Shivaratri. If you are interested in attending, please register and confirm in advance.

You are an integral part of the local TriYoga community and your presence is greatly appreciated. We will inform you soon of future programs in the Malibu area.

~ in the Flow ~

Friday, February 05, 2010

spending the night with shiva

the evening of friday, february 12th is the start of shivaratri, or "the night of shiva"

here's some information i picked up from a fairly informative website:

Maha Shivratri falls every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha or Phalguna in the Hindu Calendar and falls on the night before the day of the new moon. Most of the ceremonies take place during the night.

On this day, fasting and night vigil (jaagaran) are observed. Some Hindus observe a strict fast on the day by even avoiding water (nirjala vrat). The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night. Mantras and Hymns to please Lord Shiva are chanted, including the shiva panchakshari mantra "Om Namah Shivaya".

It is believed that who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri with utmost devotion is freed from all sins and liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. The Symbol of Lord Shiva, is the Shiva Lingam, is a form to represent the formless and it is worshiped with great splendour during Maha Shivaratri. On this day three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva representing the three eyes of shiva symbolizing spiritual knowledge, purity and penance. This day is also considered an auspicious day for wearing Rudraksha Beads, Lord Shiva's holy bead and gift to the mankind.

There is a legend associated with the Maha Shivarathri. Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma once argued over who was the strongest and supreme of all. Lord Shiva challenged both of them and appeared as a flaming Linga and challenged them to measure the gigantic Linga. Neither Lord Vishnu nor Brahma could measure the Shivalinga. Then Lord Shiva came out of the Linga and declared himself the most powerful.

It is also believed that it is on the day of Maha Shivrathri that the Shiva-Parvati marriage took place and when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav', the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

i don't know if you're thinking what i'm thinking, but it sure sounds like the man with the biggest lingam got the goddess. here's proof that size matters! :)

anyway, shivaratri is an auspicious event in the hindu religion, and since many yoga devotees are also devotees of shiva, there will be many shivaratri celebrations going on around town. here are some of the ones i've found so far:

SHIVA RATRI FESTIVAL with Puja and Shivalingam Abhishek (Bathing Ceremony)
Rose Temple, Venice
Friday, Feb 12th 5:30-9:00pm

For thousands of years, yogis, bhaktas, and spiritual aspirants have observed this universal festival of joy and wisdom. Join us for an unforgettable evening of kirtan, dance, meditation, puja, sacred narrative and congregational abhishek (bathing ceremony) in honor of Mahadeva Shiva followed by delicious karma-free snacks.
Bring your Shivalingams and take part in the congregational puja!
With Sacred Narrative by: Prem Prayojan
Kirtan with: The Kirtaniyas, Alita Rose, Momo Loudiyi and Kalidas.
Siva Stuti (prayers to Lord Shiva) with Kalias.

Yoga Party To Benefit Haiti on Shivaratri
Still Yoga, Silverlake
Friday, Feb 12th 8:00pm until 6:00am the next day
Cost: $30 Suggested Donation

Join Hagar Harpak, Tony Giuliano, Gina Zimmerman, and other yogi friends at Still Yoga on Maha Shivaratri – the great night of the auspicious - for a celebration of love and devotion to life! We will practice yoga, meditate, chant, breathe, and invoke the sacred and the love in our lives! There will be live music, tea and coffee (to help us stay up), snacks (even though originally this is a fasting holiday), and great company to spend this powerful, auspicious night with! There will be time to socialize too! Come early, come late, and/or stay up all night and bring up the sun with us!
In the Hindu tradition Shivaratri is a very important holiday that celebrates the ecstatic, blissful dance of the divine. The myth tells that the same sacred night on which Shiva danced his famous dance, is also the night he married his beloved Parvati. How auspicious it is that this year it falls on Valentines Day Weekend!
Traditionally, devotees stay up all night, make fruit and flower offerings to Shiva, observe fast and chant Om Namah Shivaya around the fire! We will play with some of the traditional aspects, and use it as a time to reflect upon the sacred, make offerings to this universal consciousness of which we are all a part, set intentions, and stoke the fire of our hearts with the spark of inspiration, celebration, revelation, salutation, and meditation!
We wish to reach out to the people in Haiti, and donate all the profit to Partners In Health (www.pih.org), a non-profit organization that has been working in Haiti for over 20 years.
We suggest a $30 donation or whatever you can give, for your participation in this event! If inspired, you can tell your friends and ask if they would like to donate some money even if they can’t actually make it to the party!

Shivaratri Celebration featuring Tony Khalife
Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda, Los Angeles
Friday, Feb 12th 8:00pm

We will celebrate Shivaratri (Night of Shiva), Mas's birthday (he's going to be 80 - see, do your practice, and you'll look & feel as young as him!) and Valentines day!!!
There'll be a Puja and Kirtan led by Tony Khalife, plus Dance and Food. Yay!
Please bring offerings for the Puja in the form of; flowers, sweets (fruit, desserts, bilva leaves...etc), your intentions for destroying any bad habits you want to get rid of (Shiva can help you with this.)
We look forward to celebrating this evening with you. Bring your friends and family to join us also.

Shivaratri Kirtan Celebration with Daniel and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, Feb 12th 8:20-10:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Come join Daniel Stewart and his many musical friends at Rising Lotus Yoga for a joyful, rocking Kirtan on Friday, February 12 to celebrate the month of lovers and Shivaratri, the festival of Shiva.
Cooper Madison will be returning on Tabla, Arielle Silver and Emily Kern on vocal, Darby Orr on Bass, Jeff Harris on guitar and Greg Klimuck on Cajon. This is a soulful group indeed.

Shivaratri Celebration
Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica
Friday, Feb 12th 9:00pm until late into the night
Cost: Suggested Donation $15

Join JOEY LUGASSY, DAVE STRINGER, SHIVA REA, DAPHNE TSE for a night of chanting, praying and dancing as we celebrate Shiva's favorite night of the year
Om Namah Shivaya! When we say or sing these words we recognize and pay homage to the grand play or dance between Cause and effect, Consciousness and its phenomena. We also identify with our True Nature as the Stillness from which all movement and image come from and give love and worship to the great One that has Triumphed!
Let's welcome Daphne back from Bali for an all too short visit!
** Opening chant led by GOVINDAS & RADHA
** Closing prayer led by ZAT BARAKA
** Closing music and meditation by MYSTIC PETE (cello/vocal) and ALMA CIELO (violin)
We are so graced to have some of the finest sacred music musicians in Los Angeles -
DEEPAK RAMAPRIYAN (The Other Deepak) - Violin, Vocals
EDDIE YOUNG - Cello, Bass
VIJAY KRSNA - Mridangam
C.C. WHITE - Vocals
AMBIKA LEIGH - Vocals, Kartals
Bring a pillow!

Mahasivaratri Festival
Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Center, Marina del Rey
Friday, Feb 12th 9:00pm
Cost: FREE

All are invited to celebrate Sivaratri, the Night of Siva, one of the most auspicious events of the year in the Hindu calendar.
It is said that Lord Siva protects the world throughout the year but this is his one night to rest. It is our duty to watch over the world for him. This all night vigil with continuous chanting of the names of Siva, Lord of Yogis, will tune your mind to the highest spiritual vibrations.
Festivities and Chanting starts at 9:00pm. Stay for the first puja (devotional worship), which begins at 10:00pm, or all through the night.
Offerings of fruits, sweets and flowers are welcome. The festival of Sivaratri will end with a feast at dawn.
Sivaratri is a free event and all are welcome.

Kirtan with Sheela Bringi - Celebrating Shivaratri
Aanand Saagar, Venice
Saturday, Feb 13th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Shiva/shakti KIRTAN in Venice: meditative, groovy, soulful Sanskirt chants for Shivarathri.
Sheela Bringi - voice + harp + harmonium + bansuri
Clinton Patterson - trumpet + rhodes
Jon Armstrong - bass
and special guests:
Masood Ali Khan - hang
Pranidhi Varshney, Ullas Matthew Fowler - voice
Cody Remaklus - world percussion