Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last day to get awesome special class pricing at the Little Yoga Studio

Maria Camacho's sweet practice spot The Little Yoga Studio at 8th and Beech downtown (corner of Cortez Hill) is updating their class pricing and today is the last day to pick up a package at the "old" rates of $15 for drop-in (and better rates for packages).  The new rates increase drop-ins by a dollar. Check their website for more info.

They also have an auto-pay promo that gives you unlimited yoga for two months at $85/month (AWESOME DEAL) (requires 4 month commitment).

Also, though I am thoroughly committed to the YogaWell.com teacher training program, TLYS does have it's own YTT intenstive. Check their website for info.

50% off mats at YogaAccessories.com

I really like the variety of stuff at this "little" site and they run some great BoGo and % off deals as well. Need a new mat? This is the place to try one!


Free Yoga at the SD Museum of Art


Cultural groove site Flavorpill is hooking up with Naked Juice to present the Art of Yoga at the gorgeous San Diego Museum of Art on Wednesday, August 8th, and they'd love for you to join them.

RSVP for your spot at the event, which features instructor Katie Brauer, a live DJ set by Mental Physix, and free Naked® Pure Coconut Water. The first 100 event entrants score a free yoga mat, but they promise that everyone will leave reinvigorated, replenished, and refreshed. Doors open at 6pm, class starts at 6:30pm.

Page asks for a promo code but I don't know about one - so try to sign up anyway :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What's your favorite yoga class (or, moving slow doesn't come easy so I tried it)

Why? Now, what is your least favorite yoga class? Why?

I have been told and am slowing learning this: that things which you find most difficult or not desirable might be what you should explore! Trying to embrace this lesson, I brought to my yoga class this morning the ideas of moving slowly, cultivating a place of quiet, of silence...a meditative space...and one infused with non-judgement.

I am not a power vinyasa girl, but i do like to move, to challenge myself, and keep my mind busy. So practicing meditation does not come naturally for me...and therefore all the more reason to 'talk myself through it' as part of an experiment in Community Yoga this morning.

We started with a discussion of OM - what it means, what it is...what you can do with it, and what it can do for you. From there we moved to chanting OM - and new yoga people being shy, of course, i was the sole voice resonating the AUM sound - and I was happy to share my sound with the group and help them experience it.

And then, pranayama - practicing extending breath counts, evening the inhale and exhale, slowing them down consciously, and really really really going within. I found myself incredibly wrapped up in the explanation and the experience, taking my breath to a resonant cadence in an effort to embody and exemplify it for the group. And they returned the favor by emanating a wonderful sense of serenity, of being "in the moment," of trusting the experience! It was wonderful.

We started our asana practice with moving the spine in 6 directions, deep and slow, concentrating on the breath, and the range of motion of our bodies - not trying to force into a picture of a pose, but just going with what our bodies and breath were comfortable.

A little more breath work (breath of fire) while doing a low navasana (boat pose) to build some heat, then up slowly for some standing poses. We did some very slow transitions into balance poses...again, savoring the experience of it by letting the breath guide us - paying attention to which parts of our bodies we automatically allowed to become inactive and encouraging them to join the pose.

Deep Yin-style lunges helped open our hips, and then we worked our hamstrings in intense side-stretch (pyramid or parsvottanasana). From there we alternated chair pose to forward folds.

Back at the ground we sunk deeply into a savasana, communing with nature. The challenge was to be able to allow the thoughts to disperse with all the sensory distractions of being outside. We concluded savasana with a quick reading from the chapter on Pure Potentiality from Chopra's "Seven Spiritual Laws" book, and then returned to lengthening our breath counts to awaken us from our rest. 

I always like to invite comments about the experience of the class - to help me hone my teaching skills but also create and atmosphere of openness, of equality, of discourse... hearing that people were enjoying the process of noticing new things in their bodies, and even finding themselves able to really slow down and ENJOY a slow class made me feel...aglow!

So teaching this class was a particular challenge for me, working on suspending unnecessary humor, being very mindful of each soul in attendance, keeping the rhythm steady, but slow, and concentrating on the moment to moment experience rather than worrying and rushing from vinyasa to vinyasa. i found myself loving this experience more than I ever would have expected, and I gratefully thank those that came to share it with me!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Yoga Consumerism - where I tell you about stuff that I like and/or wish I could own

After prowling the Yoga Journal Marketplace many times last weekend I have finally decided to sit down and sent out some positive vibe on products that I either bought or wanted to buy (but didn't have the budget) or just though were really cool and wanted to get the word out.

The complete list of vendors is here: http://www.yjevents.com/sd/marketplace.php

Companies I would be remiss to not mention first and foremost:
Things I purchased and want to proudly tout:
  • BackJoy - ergonomic seats to help restore your lumbar curve, take pressure off your spine and assist healthy posture. I bought TWO - one for me and one for my dad! 
  • Aura Cacia - I bought a bevvy of essential oil blends AND some pure cocoa butter (amazing - amazing - amazing) from this group and have been using them daily on myself and Eli ! Will be using grapefruit oil in my kids spritzer bottle next week in class - they should LOVE it! Oh, they did give me a mat spray and a box of aromatherapy recipe cards...so generous! 
  • Sustain Community Acupuncture
  • Got my first formal ayurvedic analysis and am going back for the full monty (so to speak) next week. Am so curious about which dosha is dominant (can you say Vata Pitta) and which ones are out of whack (can you say Vatta Pitta). 
  • BAL YOGA FOR KIDS - their DVD with sing-along CD and book is a wonderful addition to my personal and professional library! Going to break it out for Eli this weekend when I need to clean the house. It can also serve as a great last minute yoga class when the teacher is out, or before rest time at preschool. Features REAL KIDS. Sylvia and Glenda are women with extensive teaching experience and truly believe, as I do, in the power of yoga for children. 
Samples I received, LOVED and wanted to pimp:
  • YogaPaws LLC - I received a sample set of the hand and foot 'paws' about 2 years ago at an NGY/Chopra Center family class. They are a terrific replacement for a travel mat. And now they are IMPROVED so that they fit better, the sticky material on the palms and feet allows better traction and the finger and toe dividers are more comfy. Check them out! 
  • Organic Valley - who now has 100% grass fed milk. I am usually quite lactose intolerant (that darn lactose!) but a few samples of this delicious, creamy, sweet, delicious (yes, used that adjective twice!) elixir had my taste buds singing and NO ill effects on my belly! The 2% even had little bits of cream still in it - HEAVEN! 
  • NRGmatrix - a great nutritive drink mix that I would love to use daily - had a vanilla/orange flavor, sweetened with stevia (yay) and vitamin rich! Will be bringing this to the attention of the MS society to see if we can get a sponsorhip or gift-in-kind arrangement! 
  • Pure Inventions - This was pure tea heaven for my mouth - and their product poster were gorgeous! I almost spent the farm on these little bottles of delish elixir but held back - I have to use all the potions I already have before i indulge in new ones! Concentrates with antioxidants, no caffeine, pure fruit flavors and all the good stuff you want in a water additive without the sugar, cloying flavors or artificial chemicals. 
  • Manduka - awesome mats (though pricey)...received a free sample of mat spray and it's so yummy - just about finished off the bottle from last year!  I also somehow landed a Manduka/Lululemon PRO mat last year at the Midwest Conference and it is a coveted and prized practice possession. I was suppose to go online and give my feedback but I wasn't able to find the right link then -so I'll tell you here: two sided mat, one slippery-er but absorbent and the other quite sticky...very heavy (like 7 lbs) but super well padded and a great feel on your hands and feet...makes you feel like a yoga PRO! Funky smell when first unpacking that dissipated within weeks. Not sure I'd pay the 60-80 bucks retail for it but it was a really really really really nice gift (and appreciated because i only had one of those cheap flimsy easily torn foam ones with me at the time).
    • UPDATE 9/7/19: I've had that mat 7 years now, and it frankly, hasn't stood the test of time. Though admittedly I haven't treated it like the princess it probably needs to be. I have stored it in my car (which gets hot in San Diego) and the sticky/rubber side has lost it's stick. It slides around on floors and tile surfaces especially when doing any "jump" maneuvers like down-dog to forward fold or forward fold to chaturanga dandasana. This mat is intended for hot yoga use - San Diego's dry climate does it no service and if you don't dampen it prior to use in an active class you will find yourself sliding a bit unless you have the strongest pada-bandha (foot lock) known in the realm. It still LOOKS like new, but still heavy as heck. It's also NOT great for outdoor classes as the black surface heats up in the sun. 
And now, things I thought were totally cool, but didn't (couldn't afford to) buy, but promised vendors I'd promote:
  • Infinity Strap - unique strap design to eliminate fumbling with clasps, D-rings or the dreaded - too long/too short syndrome. Figure 8 design comes in a couple of different materials and size to assist in strengthening and aligning your poses. Great idea, IMHO. 
  • Kosha - totally cool mat covers that are like little sleeping bags with detachable carrying bags. Keeps your mat clean (you wash the COVER not the mat). Lovely woman named Ashley was charming and upbeat and talked about how she and her twin sister Alysha put their heart and soul into creating this cool yoga 'gadget.' And the graphic design work is adorable (she did give me a spiffy carry bag made from leftover cover materials that is my new favorite for farmer's markets...so in all truth it's not a TOTALLY unpaid product endorsement) 
  • High Chi - Energy infused jewelry - okay I was skeptical but i did try their electromagnetic energized plate gadget and it totally made my badly sprained toe feel a HEAP better. And their stuff is GORGEOUS. And I really did feel a weird radiant warmth emanating from the stones - I kid you not. A bit pricey for my wallet but I coveted with my eyes! 
  • sukhasana - the coolest looking chair for your 'office' ever - one day...one day... 
  • KiraGrace - yoga clothes that were truly stylish and different, without being overboard frilly, skimpy, homogeneous or "there is no way i can do a handstand in that sensationalized training bra." The fabrics were substantial, and styles were well crafted. The selection showed a variety of fits that would work for the well endowed (yay) as well as the leaner of frame. I've run into issues trying to find yoga clothes that fit, support, move, breath, wash well, and last... Everyone has their own favorite brands but I find some companies WAY to expensive, or  other products too cheaply  made. Or if I love a particular style of top or bottom, the next season it's GONE. The conference was lululemon infused (don't get me wrong, their stuff is nice and the company is community supportive), but it was nice to see a smaller company coming out of the gate - I hope they do well. 
In other local news:
From YogaKids, who was (were?) not at the conference but from whom I receive emails regularly AND have from whom I have taken a number of workshops: Ms. Carolyn Clarke has just published her first kid's relaxation book. Carolyn has a sweet style that translates to her book - check it out: http://www.imaginationsforkids.com/book/

Thoughtful video about the benefits of yoga


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 5 Benefits of Yoga

The 5 Benefits of Yoga (full credit to the Hippie Yogini at YogaAccessories.com)


Yoga has been around for centuries and not until recently has yoga become wildly popular and one would even say trendy. People who practice yoga regularly are often in fabulous shape which seems to be what has caused the trend. Yoga is so much more than that! Yoga is an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through breath, meditation, and body poses. There are so many health benefits connected to practicing yoga and here are our top five.
  • Body Awareness Practicing yoga will help you gain an increased awareness of your own temple which is your body. You will become aware of how strong you are! This will increase how comfortable you are in your own skin leading to more self-confidence.
  • Stress Reduction Yoga emphasizes living in the present taking focus away from the stresses in your life. The meditation aspect of yoga helps to reduce stress.
  • Increased Energy When you start to get into better shape from doing yoga, you will notice that you have a lot more energy in and out of class.
  • Memory When you improve the blood circulation to the brain and improve your focus the direct result is a better memory.
  • Body Strength With yoga you will learn how to develop a strong inner core which will result in better posture and overall body strength. A strong core is very important to prevent injuries.
There are so many amazing yoga classes, props and accessories available today making yoga much more accessible to everyone. Now let's get practicing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Community Yoga at TLYS 7/11 through 9/19

From The Little Yoga Studio, downtown at Ash and 8th:

"We welcome our Spring Teacher Training Graduates Lisa Allen, Sarah Grote, Dorothy Guthrie, Yee Ree Kim, Kara Thayer and Ana Velez! Starting this Wednesday July 11, these inspiring new teachers will join our Fall Graduates teaching the $5 community classes offered also on Fridays at 9:30 am and 6:45 pm. This Wednesday class will be on the schedule from July 11 through September 19. We will suspend this class during our Fall 200-hr Teacher Training program."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More Free Classes - Lululemon downtown, Bliss Yogi and more

Lululemon features The Little Yoga Studio
Every Saturday in July, a teacher/student from The Little Yoga Studio will lead a free class at the Lululemon at 675 G Street at 9:30 AM. I have personnally have practiced at TLYS and adore their owner Maria C. who couldn't be nicer. Her business has really taken off and it's great the Lululemon is giving them a chance to shine!

July 7 - Shauna MacKay* ( $10 donation for City of Hope)
July 14 - Sarah Lieber
July 21 - Melissa Bagnell
July 28 - Sarah Layne

Satsang: Yamas and Niyamas at Bliss Yogi
Monday July 30, 7:15pm-8:45pm
Golden Hill Recreation Center Community Center Clubhouse

Thousands of years old, the Yamas and Niyamas are two basic principles of yoga. Together they offer a code of how to live. We'll be reading an article on the Yamas and Niyamas and discuss the practicality of implementation and practice of them in our daily lives. Open to everyOne. Donations greatly appreciated.