Archive for the ‘New York City Yoga’ Category

Hiiiii! It’s been ages since I’ve posted here. More and more, I’ve been feeling moved to express myself through writing and also through cooking the foods I love. Today’s post might feel relevant to you no matter your political beliefs, because, let’s face it, we all experience times in life where things do not go as we’d wished.


Do we see these times as obstacles to overcome? Or as opportunities for growth? These are things I ponder a lot as a woman who teaches yoga. And as an American citizen in 2016.

And now…

“This is the yoga,” one of my teacher friends, Kiley, said in class on Wednesday…that gray post-election morning.  

For real, sister.

This IS the yoga.

When things don’t go our way? How we show up and how we choose to perceive things is SO the yoga. Acknowledging the truth of how we feel. Yoga. Owning the ickiness and the feeling of being in the muck. How we choose to move forward. That’s the yoga.

Do we choose to turn bitter? Or better?

Do we get mired down in the swamp? Or, like the lotus flower, do we use the swampy muck as fuel to help us grow and blossom and liberate into our potential?

In other words, when life hands us shit, do we complain and give up? Or maybe we do complain, but eventually we use that shit to feed and grow a beautiful garden?

Will we harden and turn cold and bitter inside? Or will we let our pain and heartbreak warm us, soften us, and strengthen us simultaneously? Will we let our hurt break us open, or shut us down?

Are we choosing to see ourselves as victims? Or for who we really are…powerful creators?

This is what I call the Yoga of Real Life, ya’ll.

It’s a choice. It really is.

I’m not saying I always choose perfectly, guys. Far from it. Yet together, we can support one another in making better choices.

We must feel in order to heal, my loves.

Let’s choose love over fear. Conscious, aware, loving activism.

Going forward, our yoga practices will help us re-center, cleanse, and clarify.

For me, the yoga has also involved doing a few extra random acts of kindness as I make my way around NYC this week. I invite you all to do the same. It feels good. No matter where we stand on the political spectrum, we all could use a little extra dose of kindness. Write to me, if you wish, and let me know how it goes for you.  

Sending massive love and light to all.




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What's your idea of heaven on earth?

Hey Guys!

I’m busy planning my next Yoga getaway.  

Yes, I’m thrilled to be hosting another retreat.

Just this week, I met with Chef Maria, also a student of mine, to sketch out the menus. Maria has helped me in the past with the catering aspect of the Yoga retreats, and now she’s doing so in a more official capacity. I’m super psyched to have her onboard! This way I know the food prep is in excellent hands, and I can focus even more energy on teaching my awesome students.

Trust me, the menus we are planning are our very best yet. We have our basic outline, and of course will allow for what is freshest/in season/looks good in our final shopping trip before the getaway.

So where are we going? To Upstate New York. In early summer.  To spend some precious, rejuvenating time here:

Partial view of our retreat house in Upstate NY. I say "our" like we own the place. Ha! For the weekend, we rent it. One of my dreams is to someday own a retreat center of my own, perhaps some place out West.

One of the students who came to the Fall Harvest retreat I did back in early November of 2010, said that she now thinks of this spot Upstate as a “happy place,” that she returns to from time to time in her mind’s eye when day-to-day life gets to be a bit much. What’s you’re happy place?

I definitely think beautiful mountains and woods, lots of nature, flowers, and green, is happy for me. Plus beautiful rocks and clean, pure, moving water. I love beaches, too.  So Colorado but with a temperate beach in my backyard. Ha! Obviously I don’t think of such environs as my day-to-day environment. For me, they’re getaways. (For now; let’s never say never; spending more time in the mountains and on the beach is very possible).

So when I ran across this passage in a book just today, it struck me that this sounded like my Day to Day Heaven on Earth. Check it out:

Situated on the unpaved banks of the Seine in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly, La Roseraie, home to les Madrus, was names for its lush, rose-filled gardens. The property also contained a handsome grape arbor where lunch was served on sunny days. A henhouse was headquarters for two roosters named Ali and Baba, a harem’s worth of chickens,  few golden pheasants, and a score of huge Toulouse geese. In addition to this menagerie were a tame gazelle, a goat, a few angora rabbits, and an alley cat that wandered in one day and became part of the family. The villa’s interior contained thousands of books, handsome Arabian carpets, and practical American style furniture.

—From Wild At Heart, Natalie Clifford Barney’s Journey From Victorian America to the Literary Salons of Paris, by Suzanne Rodriguez. p. 147

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Well, maybe the birds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it sounds like fun. Especially the tame gazelle. How cute! I want one! The rose gardens and orchards sound beautiful, especially if someone else is tending them. Ha!

For me, a happy place has plenty of comfy nooks where I can sit and read a book, nap, or lounge and gaze out to a pretty, green, quiet space. This nook at the retreat house fits the bill perfectly. .

So tell me, what’s your happy place?  It doesn’t even have to be real.

Feel free to get creative. I think visualization and letting our imaginations run free is an important part of life. It opens us up to creativity and new possibilities, so that we don’t get too closed into the “same old same old.” AKA a RUT! Hey, I’m all about routine to large degree, but shaking things up can be good, too!

A quick food note before I roll: I’ll be posting a really juicy, delicious Persian chicken kebab recipe soon (as soon as I photograph it). My dining table is always a happy place when that kebab recipe is on the menu. Talk to you all soon.

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Self portrait of me in between takes of a Yoga photo shoot last fall. Note the peaceful look. I credit the Yoga 😉

Hey Gang!

If you need some Yoga to help sweat out those Valentine’s Day sweets, and you live in the New York City area, today might just be your lucky day, a true Wellness Wednesday:

A month of UNlimited Yoga at ISHTA Yoga in Manhattan is on offer via Groupon. For $30. Yeah, you read right: 30 bucks!

I’ve yet to try out ISHTA, but it’s been on my list of “must-try” studios for awhile. Now I’m IN to check it out.

I dug around on their website and elsewhere online, and I like the following:

  • They have lots of class options throughout every day. Even random times, like mid-afternoons.
  • The Union Square location is convenient.
  • The reviews I’ve read are quite good.
  • Several teachers I’ve been meaning to try out teach there.
  • One class at a typical Yoga studio can cost $15 to $20. Dunno about you, but this can put a serious dent in my budget. The opportunity to take unlimited classes for the cost of two classes is awesome. And to do this for a MONTH? Wow!
  • Not ready to do this? It’s okay, you have until July 17, 2011, to activate the coupon.

This is about as much vetting as I can do short of checking the place out myself. Sooo. . . .

Click this link if you’re interested:

ISHTA Yoga Deal

Another food post soon, my dears. Have a lovely Wednesday. Be well!

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