Sunday, June 18, 2017

Festival of Yoga 2017 - International Day of Yoga

Saturday June 18, 2017 was a celebration in San Diego for the International Day of Yoga. Sponsored/organized by local studio Pilgrimage of the Heart in conjunction with a number of other yoga studios and local/regional sponsors, 500 practitioners of yoga of the body/mind/spirit gathered to celebrate peace, unity, breath, sunshine, life and love!

Accessible Yoga Ambassador/RYT/Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner Jo-San Arnold and I partnered together for the second year to teach Adaptive Yoga for special needs, and this year we added Chair Yoga for Every Body. The festival asked us to offer four half-hour breakout sessions to coincide with their other workshops and we were happy to oblige.

Jo-San had friends from Great Paces come down to enjoy the morning sessions. We emphasize that our style of yoga is NOT just for those with the special needs but also for the caregivers as well, giving everyone and opportunity to stretch and strengthen, to take a break, to reconnect with their bodies, and to just BE.

I was tickled that some of my Silver Sneakers mates came out to celebrate the afternoon sessions and we also had a few other people stop by - "regular" yoga practitioners, a yoga therapist and a woman that specializes in yoga for recovery. What an honor to be able to share with them the joy and the authenticity of yoga "even" in chairs. We received compliments about how much more attention they were able to pay to individual subtle movements of the body!

What I found to be one of the most wonderful aspect of teaching at this event was that we were actually able to get our feet in the grass, to hear the sounds of environment both urban AND natural; rush of the wind in the trees, the birds in the sky, the ambient noise of traffic on the street beyond the park, and even the airplanes cruising overhead (yes, we were directly in the airport landing flight path). The contrast of the warm sun, the shade and scent of eucalyptus trees and the feel of the damp cool grass and earth were wonderful grounding sensations. In fact, when I went on later that afternoon to the group class practice, I found that my balance was actually better outside, on the uneven ground, with no mirror and no flat walls or floor, then it ever is in a studio.

Below are some pictures of Jo-San and me teaching the Adaptive Yoga and the Chair Yoga classes. We even received some coverage in the Union Tribune (thank you Karen Pearlman):

Adaptive Yoga

Representing :)
First, Breathing with the Hoberman Sphere
Gentle Twists in Our Chairs
Arms Overhead
Side Stretch
Me, Randy from Great Paces and the amazing Jo-San Arnold
The Great Paces/Great Expectations Group

Chair Yoga

Lunge Pose in a Chair
Navasana (Boat) Pose Prep
Navasana (Boat) with a Block for Pelvic Activation
Low Boat with a Block
Twisting (Pavritta) Lunge on the Chair
Warrior 2 Stance Using Chair Support
Side Angle with Chair Support - W2 Stance
Easeful Pyramid Pose with Chair as a Guide
Child's Pose to Close Class

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Be Proud of Yourself

Graphic gleaned from Happy Pride San Diego! Equality!

Saturday, May 27, 2017


I tend to play a weird (wide) variety of music in my classes and get queries all the time about the artists. So, here are some of the ones that have inspired the most questions.

Song Title Artist Album
"1234" Feist
Animal Party Karen K And The Jitterbugs Big Ol' Truck
Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz) The Laurie Berkner Band Buzz Buzz
Catch The Moon Elizabeth Mitchell and Lisa Loeb For The Kids Too
Celebrate Love in Your Family Beebo Bunch of Songs
Doodlebugs The Laurie Berkner Band Whaddaya Think of That?
Fast and Slow (The Rabbit and the Turtle) The Laurie Berkner Band Rocketship Run
Fly Me to the Moon The Laurie Berkner Band Rocketship Run
Here Comes the Sun The Beatles
Joy to the World (Edit) Three Dog Night The Best of Three Dog Night
Jump and Fly The Laurie Berkner Band Rocketship Run
My Family The Laurie Berkner Band My Family - Single
Peace Like A River Elizabeth Mitchell You Are My Little Bird
Put Your Pj's On Neshama Carlebach Every Little Soul Must Shine
Say Hey (I Love You) [feat. Cherine Anderson] Michael Franti and Spearhead All Rebel Rockers
The Goldfish The Laurie Berkner Band Victor Vito
The Rainbow Connection Jason Mraz For The Kids Too
The Sun Shines On Everyone Snatam Kaur Feeling Good Today!
Victor Vito The Laurie Berkner Band Victor Vito
We Are the Dinosaurs The Laurie Berkner Band Whaddaya Think of That?
Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) The Laurie Berkner Band Whaddaya Think of That?
Yoga Makes Me Happy Karma Kids Yoga Come Play Yoga!
The Rainbow Connection Sarah McLachlan Gather Round:Songs For Kids And Other Folks
With a Little Help from My Friend Sgt. Pepper's Little Kids Club Band Kids Sing the Beatles
The Sun Shines On Everyone Snatam Kaur Feeling Good Today!
Big Ol' Truck Karen K And The Jitterbugs Big Ol' Truck
(I Woke Up in A) Fire Truck Karen K And The Jitterbugs Big Ol' Truck
Bigger Than the World Karen K And The Jitterbugs Big Ol' Truck
Joy to the World (Edit) Three Dog Night The Best of Three Dog Night

Adult Classes

The "Yoga Church" instrumental music with the ocean sounds between songs are all from the recording group  "Dollar Tree - Body & Soul II" and the albums are "Inner Peace" and "Spiritual Relaxation."

The nature sounds with piano music (has those wolves and crickets every mentions) is New Age music from Tony Braasch, the album is "Moonlit Night."

The instrumental Broadway music is from The O'Neill Brothers Group, album "Instrumental Songs from Wicked, Les Miserables & Other Broadway Hits."

Another instrumental favorite is the artist Vargo, album "Beauty."

I'm also big on DJ Drez, Donna Delory, Wah!, Snatum Kaur and Jai Uttal.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Yoga Mat Reviews by

Received a nice communique via the interwebs the other day asking if I'd be so kind as to link to their comprehensive (well, 50-odd mat sampling) review of yoga mats. How could I not oblige? So please, click through and check out the top 10 of the 50 most popular mats, that include links for purchase (how convenient).

You can buy cheap yoga mats at just about any place these days, even your local pharmacy or Target, but if you want lasting quality, minimal VOC (off-gassing), good grip, durability, and if weight (or color or texture or material) is a concern, it helps to have a really good guide. Especially when prices go from the sublime ($12) to the ridiculous ($150 for custom paint jobs).

From their email, based on my comments about the Manduka yoga mat I reviewed back in 2015 Enjoy.

"I work for a small research team (, and we recently conducted an unbiased review of yoga mats, and Manduka came out as one of our top picks too! Anyways, I figured because you mentioned that specific yoga mat, you might be interested in seeing our full guide. We put in over 50 hours of research, surveyed over 100 yoga professionals, and consulted with "Boston's 2014 Best Yoga Instructor" to bring you the best!"

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tennis Balls for Tight Muscles - self massage techniques from Yoga International

(copied from THIS link )

Imagine you have a friend small enough to fit in your purse or briefcase who will give you nightly massages, easing stress, fatigue, and muscle tension all for a onetime cost of about $3. Think yellow. Think tennis balls.

The procedure is simple: place a tennis ball on a part of the body that is sore or tight and rest your weight on it. The pressure softens tight muscles and increases circulation. Dancers have long used tennis ball self-massage to work out their kinked-up muscles, and body workers frequently prescribe the practice for clients healing from chronic injuries. Asana practitioners searching for ways to increase flexibility and comfort in their bodies are beginning to get on the ball, too.

Self-massage with tennis balls is greatly enhanced by stretching, which further increases circulation and reeducates the muscles to rest at a longer length. Combining asana with self-massage is particularly useful for those of us who have muscles that for various reasons—injury, overuse, or years of inactivity—resist stretching. Here are some tips for using tennis ball therapy to unlock the gluteals, lengthen the hamstrings and adductors, and restore balance to the muscles along the spine.

We’ll start with a simple technique so you can get a feel for how this works before going on to more complex applications. Lie in savasana and place the tennis ball in the center of the fleshiest part of the left buttock. The pressure may be painful, but if it feels like good pain and you can relax in it, stay there for a few breaths. (If you find you are contracting muscles in defense against the pain, move the tennis ball around to find a spot that is less painful, or practice on a padded surface, which will reduce the pressure.) Relax and breathe. Imagine the breath circulating around the pressure and visualize the muscle softening over the ball. After a minute or so, remove the ball. Before repeating the process on the right side, notice how the left buttock feels flatter than the right and softens more easily into the floor.

(click HERE to read the rest of the article!)