Saturday, April 20, 2013

Poses - It's the IDEA, not the IDEAL

Photographs courtesy of Kyle Murphy

In August of 2012 I decided to take a leap and get professional yoga photographs taken...meaning the person behind the camera was a pro, and I'd do poses, but the outcome was left to chance. I make no claim that my alignment is perfect, but I do know that I was trying my best to follow my own knowledge, plus the cues of the patient instructor/coach there. Your poses may (will) look different, but out of sheer humility (to prove that it's the IDEA of the pose, not the IDEAL) I thought I'd unveil these, with the pose names in English and Sanskrit. Eventually I will add my own pose notes like how to get into them, how to make your own adjustments, and how to move out of them. Enjoy, offer me feedback, Pin, or whatever you please.

Parivrtta Anjanyasana - Revolved Lunge Pose with palms together at the heart in Namaste Mudra (also can be considered a modification of Pavritta Parsvakonsana - Revolved Side Angle)

(Eka Pada) Setu Banda Sarvangasana - Bridge Pose with One Extended Leg

Urdvha Danurasana - Upward Facing Bow

Uttanasana - Forward Fold, or literally, Intense Stretch Pose (ahhhhh)

Salamba Sirsasana - Supported (by my arms) Headstand

Salamba Sirsasana with Padmasana Legs (Lotus Position legs)

Prasarita Parsvottanasana D variation- Wide Angle Standing Forward Bend (or literally, outstretched feet intense stretch), reaching for the outer edges of the feet (or big toes in the traditional Ashtanga version)

Bakasana - Crow/Crane Pose (baka actually means crane)

Parivrtta Bakasana - Twisting (rotating) Crow Pose

Utthitha Trikonasana - Extended Triangle Pose

15 Manifestos for a Quick burst of Inspiration (from

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hot Hot Hot

I wanted to share a really great yoga experience I had yesterday when I did two essential things: 1) ventured out of my comfort zone; and 2) abandoned my ego.

I went to one of my favorite local studios (#HapaYoga) to pick up a TRX class. If you haven't ventured into a gym lately TRX is a type of equipment that consists of a long strap anchored high to a wall, with two stirrups at the ends. The strap lengths are adjustable and the stirrups have handles for gripping with your hands or securing your feet. You use your body weight and incline positions to vary the effort you need to stabilize yourself for certain exercises, lift yourself up or let yourself down; this mirrors some traditional "machine," free weight or even floor work exercises with the benefit of you controlling the weight and being supported by straps. I have received the most intense (and still enjoyable) core workouts using this system and am actually getting trained in June so that I can help teach some classes.

But that isn't what I'm writing about today. As I said, I went to the studio to try to take the TRX class. I arrived a few moments before noon thinking that was the class time, but found out it wasn't until 12:30. The instructor for the actual noon class caught my eye and said "Hey please join me in the class starting now." My friend at the desk chimed in with "Yes, try it! you can always do child's pose." I asked with a funny look on my face "well what's the class?" The both said (wait for it...) HOT AS A MUTHA. Exclamation point. The general description? 101 degree Hatha Yoga. Gasp.

I just started dabbling in this format and enjoy the the 80 and 90 degree classes; they are just like summers in San Diego and my hometown Chicago. However, once you get past 95, I start to wilt and my Pitta goes berserk. And as a midwest girl, I fear NOT the humidity (heck it even makes me look like I have curlier, fully hair.) But 101 degrees? I was skeptical and was pretty I'd spend the entire class gasping for breath. However, I looked at his as an opportunity to change up my practice, try something new from a really great teacher, and figured the worst thing that could happen is I get a nice sauna experience!

Water bottle and yogi towel in hand, I stepped into the room and found it not unpleasant, especially on a cold rainy blustery day. Short story long....the class was NOT a high-power super-flow, out-of-breath rush-between-the-postures, marathon of yoga. It was slow, deliberate, intense and deeply opening but strangely enjoyable. Hot, sure, but invigorating. Yeah, I took a few long down dogs and child's poses when my breath became ragged, but so what? I smiled as the instructor talked about just being in the moment, relishing the opportunity to be in class, and generating self love. YES, I thought, THIS is where I experience my yogic moments.

Dripping with sweat not as much from exertion but from the humidity, I took my water breaks, even stepped out of class for a minute. I took pleasure in (literally) marinating in the poses for long cycles of breath. My personal teaching and practicing style has more deep holds and breathwork inside of poses than a fast-paced vinyasa class, so this held great appeal for me. With the slowew pace you can have more accurate (and safe) alignment to maximize the benefits in a pose. Heat not-withstanding, this was real Hatha Yoga.

A nice series on the floor (where it was cooler) for back strengthening (and resting) was much appreciated as my low back rebels due to age, injury and overexertion. Moving within MY boundaries, I honed in on the muscular cues and celebrated just being able to stay in the class, keeping my heart and mind open to the experience.

My final overarching lesson (slash piece of advice) is a "don't just a class by its title" as the instructor and styles might be very different upon experiencing them. If you want to give this class a try, I highly recommend it (invest in a microfiber towel and LARGE water bottle too!). Check out the Hapa Yoga schedule, or just drop me a message - maybe I'll see you there!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two Yoga Events and MORE this Spring/Summer

Just trying to gather up some good info to pass on about Yoga and Health and Family related events this Spring. Thank you and San Diego Coast Life being such AMAZING resources!

April 13 at the Del mar Fairgrounds is the Hullaballoo Family Music Festival!

April 13 is the El Cajon Library Multicultural Family Fiesta that celebrates the cultural diversity of its community and customers. The event will feature a wide variety of entertainment, international refreshments donated by more than 30 restaurants and markets, and an information fair.

April 13 and 14 Healthy Living Festival at the Del Mar Fair - Free Admission

April 20 is Suzie's (organic) Farm Strawberry Jam: a fun, family-oriented farm experience focused on everyone’s favorite summer fruit. Strawberry Jam kicks off Suzie’s Farm “Event Season,” which will be hosted at their new property Suzie’s at Sunset, on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

April 21 at Legoland and April 28 at NTC Liberty Station: SDCCU Walk MS - a wonderful set of events for a wonderful (and close to my heart cause). Walk, or just wander around the event to see what happens when people come together! You may even be inspired to sign up for the 50 mile MS Challenge Walk coming end of September!

April 27/28 is San Diego Kids Expo and HAPA yoga will be there, with yours truly and the lovely Jules Kirkiby to demo kids yoga at 11AM and 3PM. Hapa has tickets for $5 for adults (kids are free).

May 5 KIDSFEST San Diego Liberty Station, NTC Promenade, San Diego, CA
KidsFest will transform the NTC Promenade in Point Loma into a 100,000-square-foot wonderland of pure, uncomplicated play for the entire family, with activities designed to stimulate and celebrate the imagination.

May 18 Yoga for Hope San Diego - Do yoga, raise money for City of Hope - join local and national renown teachers like Bonnie Jones and Seane Corn to OM and support Cit of Hope!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Neck and Shoulder Pain Clinic (and more) @BlissYogi

FREE Neck & Shoulder Pain Clinic

13 Apr 2013 from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (PDT)

Community Clubhouse at Golden Hill Park & Rec

26th & Russ Blvd (Parking on Russ Blvd.)

San Diego 92102


Are you (or someone you love) TIRED of Suffering from Neck & Shoulder pain? If you said yes then come to this free clinic and experience natural, drug-free relief. Wear loose comfortable clothes. Family and friends welcome. RSVP to

Setting Right Your Most Important Relationships

20 Apr 2013 from 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM (PDT)

Community Clubhouse at Golden Hill Park and Rec

Special Event With Awakening Being Gail Wingfield

Do you want to improve your sense of connectedness and harmony in all your relationships? If you answered YES, then please join us for a rare opportunity to learn how to set right your most important relationships. Then observe the effect that has on all your other relationships.

Bring water, a notebook and pen as Gail leads you through teachings and processes from Oneness University. She will also answer questions and give Oneness Blessings. Dancing & Deeksha afterwards

For more information contact:

Deepaa Maria Mazzi, E-RYT 500
Release your core tensions and find your bliss within...


Cost: YES Member $0.00 Non Member $25.00

see the YES website page for more activities in the San Diego area!