Posts Tagged ‘Bria Tavakoli’


dragonfly briaI hope spring is treating everyone well. I just got back from a 3-day roadtrip to Montreal with some friends. It was fabulous!

Bria-and-yoga-Charlie-side-by-sideI’m headed out again to host my Yoga Getaway in St. Lucia.  Charles Polanco-Ali and I have put together a fabulous Yoga themed vacation on this beautiful Balenbouche-Beach-31Caribbean island, and we’re so excited to share time and Yoga with our participants.

To my wonderful NYC crew, I’ll be resuming my regular teaching schedule on Saturday, May 25.

Stay tuned after I get back, as I have some fresh new Yoga workshop ideas in the hopper, plus Yoga and cooking videos that are being worked on right now, PLUS a recipe or two.

Have a fabulous rest of your weekend everyone!

Shanti, shanti, shanti!



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dragonfly briaHello there, long time, no hang. I’m still around, and busy as always, prepping up for hosting a Yoga retreat St. Lucia, teaching classes, and wrapping up an ayurvedic detox/cleanse.
The cleanse has put me in the rejuvenation state of mind, body, and spirit, and inspired me to offer a very special Yoga workshop with this exact theme. Bonus: my retreat co-leader, Charlie, is co-teaching this weekend’s workshop with me.  If you’re in NYC, you should totally join us!

Join Bria and Charlie for a refreshing session of postures and breathing techniques that will cleanse, rejuvenate, and relax body and mind. Embrace a deeper connection of heart and soul, with aromatherapy delights to intensify your bliss. If you liked our recent Yoga for the Curious event, or weren’t able to make it, now’s your chance. You’ll love our latest Spring-y offering!


Saturday, May 4, 2013
4-6 PM

At Asali Yoga Center in Harlem
Asali is located on 135th St, between 7th and 8th Avenues (closer to 8th)  C train to 135th Street

$18 pre-paid

$20 at the door

Keep pre-payment easy breezy by using this secure link:

Pay here now via PayPal

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend 🙂




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My next retreat IS somewhere beachy. St. Lucia, May 12-19, 2013, to be precise.

My next retreat IS somewhere beachy. St. Lucia, May 12-19, 2013, to be precise.

Wow, it’s really happening! I’m offering a Caribbean Yoga Getaway in St. Lucia with my dear friend and fellow Yoga teacher Charlie Polanco-Ali. For so long, I’ve wanted to host a tropical Yoga vacay AND to team up with Charlie on a Yoga project. Both are happening now. Talk about the power of dreams and manifestation.

I am so very grateful. Especially after some setbacks in the later portion of 2012 that, honestly, were quite draining. After a time of darkness, a progression like this feels that much sweeter.

Lately I’ve been so busy teaching my weekly NYC classes, working on St. Lucia logistics, and being social. There’s been precious little time for recipe development. I miss it!

Ideally, I’ll have some inspiring food for you guys soon. Until then, here’s some info on the St. Lucia Yoga Getaway. Have a great weekend! Dream some tropical dreams!

Mark your calendar for May 12-19, 2013!

Ever dream of an island getaway with perfect balance of fun sun and Yoga? Dream no more! This is the nature lover’s yoga retreat.

Horseback-Riding-St-LuciaCharlie’s last St. Lucia Yoga vacation SOLD OUT! Hop onboard now to secure your spot!

Join Bria Tavakoli & Charles Polanco-Ali for an unforgettable frolic in stunning St. Lucia. We’ll share our creative, intelligent, and healing Vinyasa yoga flow in a relaxing tropical setting.

Get unplugged.  Turn off your alarm clocks and awaken to the sound of song birds.  Turn off your sound machines and TVs and be lullabyed by the sound of ocean waves and the sight of starry nights.  Inhale fresh air, sunshine and renewed energy.  Exhale frustration, aggravation and anxiety.

Banyan-VerandaThe Balenbouche Estate offers an opportunity to step back in time and experience a more natural, simple and traditional St. Lucian way of life, which is authentic and environmentally and socially sustainable.  This secluded 200-acre paradise with its diverse and colorful variety of plants, animals, trails, valleys, views, beaches and waterways, offers an opportunity to get back in touch with our natural environment and ourselves.  We have booked the entire Balenbouche Estate property exclusively for you our guests! A Caribbean cocktail to wind your day down? Cool! It’s your getaway, so make it as chill or as active as you wish. Don’t wait…. Rejuvenate!

Banyan-Cottage-Living-RoomYour Caribbean holiday includes:

  • 7 days, 6 nights accommodation at the Balenbouche Estate
  • Beautiful charming, vintage Cabana accommodations (two couples’/friends’ villas are available on a first come, first serve basis)
  • Daily Yoga practices, either on the beach, the lawn, or in the estate’s indoor Yoga barn
  • 3 Organic Meals Daily (with exception of arrival & departure days)
  • Meditation daily
  • Fun local island activities
  • Beachy time on a lush 200-acre private estate
  • Time to relax, chill, frolic, and dream
  • We have some fabulous group outings planned. Please note that guest cover their own: Airfare
    Optional Excursions (see this page for ideas)
    Spa Treatments
    Individual Car Rentals

???????????????????????????????No need to be a crazy Yoga pretzel type to rock this retreat. Child’s pose more your style? No problem. Never done Yoga? No biggie! Yoga stars, don’t worry…we have plenty of tricks and challenges up our Lulus for you to enjoy, too.

Prefer a Caribbean cocktail to wind your day down? Cool, enjoy it! It’s your getaway, so make it as chill or active as you wish.

Why Wait? Rejuvenate!

May is the PERFECT time to visit St. Lucia. It is far from both the rainy season and hurricane season. The average May temperature is a balmy 83 degrees F.

See tons of pics here.

Rates start at $1250 per person for double occupancy. Single occupancy is $1450 per person.

The last retreat Charlie ran in St. Lucia SOLD OUT. My retreats SELL OUT regularly. Sign up today to secure your spot. Don’t wait…Create…an amazing getaway for yourself and maybe someone close to you.

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Maybe I'll catch up on my reading...Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng.


It took a hurricane to get me to finally update this blog. Ha!

As you may have heard, we on the East Coast are fixin’ to get walloped by Hurricane Irene.

For some people I know, myself included, it takes a major storm and a shut down public transit system to get us grounded and to spend time in relative stillness.

As much as I love lounging, I typically work a lot on the weekends and am often social as well. But not this weekend. All of my classes are canceled, and New York City transit isn’t running.

Let me say this now: I’m safe, prepped, and have coordinated with my neighbors and friends so that we can help one another out should the need arise. So please, no one worry! And no, I’m not in an evacuation zone. Thankfully!

I was slated to teach one class this morning, near an evacuation zone, no less, but once I got there (miraculously on time!), it quickly became apparent than no one was showing up to take the class. So I worked out instead.

I'm getting this top soon. Can't wait to work out in it. Red, cheetah print, black, and with a criss-cross/lattice back? Yes, PLEASE! To see the back view, click here: tinyurl.com/3u8x95c

Why not work out, I figured. I was already in a gym setting, and it was quiet. Love that. Here’s what I did :

Bria’s Hurricane Workout

  • 30 minutes on the elliptical, hill intervals
  • 10 minutes of Yoga, with a simple flow: Down Dog to Down Dog Split to Warrior One,Warrior 2, Reverse, Triangle, Revolved Triangle, Warrior 3, Warrior One, Vinyasa. Repeat on the second side.
  • I practiced a bit of headstand and handstand as well.
  • Then 20 pushups (10 regular, 10 narrow hand position)
  • Hyperextension: 20 reps
  • One set of Pilates hundreds, some oblique crunches (16 per side)
  • A few cool-down stretches. Done!

This all took about 45-50 minutes

And now I’m blogging.

As I said before, I’ve definitely put this space on Summer Hours for the past few weeks. It’s just been busy in my life, plus I’m cooking up some ideas on how to make this blog better. Perhaps much better.

Yoga has definitely helped keep me calm during a crazy week.

What a week!

Wanna hear my earthquake story?

Tuesday, I was teaching Yoga, in the MetLife building no less, during the earthquake tremor/aftershock. Really!

The room shook, and I saw and felt it move, but thought “Maybe there are window washers outside, and they’re working too vigorously. And also, those goons in the weight room really shouldn’t throw around their weights so much that it causes the entire floor to shake.”

I'll be watching lots of this. But where are my Law and Order marathons on a stormy weekend like this? Picture courtesy of Stock.xchng.

A few minutes later, a voice came on over the loudspeaker when my students were in Warrior 2, saying “We’ve had reports of the building shaking, and are investigating.”

A few minutes after that, we were evacuated. I ended up walking home, because no WAY did I want to be underground on the subway if another aftershock came through.

Fast forward a few days, and I’ve noticed that some of my friends don’t know what to do with themselves with all of this downtime as we wait to feel the full effects of the hurricane.

I say, get grounded. Have some fun. Maybe even be productive, but in a low-key, meditative kind of way, not a frantic, deadline-meeting, stressing ourselves out kind of way. Know what I mean?

Steak! I cooked one of these for dinner tonight. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng.

Squeeze in a mini workout. Cook. Can food (like make quick pickles or preserves). Clean  house. Watch movies. Cuddle. Breathe and actually tune into that breath!

I typically have no problem keeping myself entertained. I love downtime, alone time, and quiet.

My plan is to do some or all of the following. This isn’t so much a to-do list as a list of options:

  • Meditate
  • Organize a bookshelf I recently got
  • Put up some laundry (never-ending chore!)
  • Attend to some other assorted light household tasks
  • Lots of lounging and napping
  • Plan upcoming trips (Montreal, Toronto, and I’m jonesing for a Winter island trip)
  • Drink tea. And hot chocolate. And my homemade kombucha! (posting my recipe for kombucha soon)
  • Catch up on reading; I just re-read “On the Road,” and think I have a crush on Jack Kerouac
  • Yoga and maybe some Pilates, too
  • Watch TV (but where are my Law and Order marathons when we NEED one? Wall to wall news coverage gets old when nothing NEW is being said.)
  • Watch movies. My friend Athena Lee has assigned me to re-watch Wedding Crashers. Gladly!
  • Pray the electricity holds. (Power outages and blackouts aren’t fun. Yes, I lived through the New York City blackout of 2003).
  • Cook. Not bake. Ha, too dangerous to have bunches of fragrant, gooey goodies lying around  😉

Anyways, forgive the light tone of this post. Yes, the storm is serious. I get that. I just really hope that everyone stays safe and makes the best of the present moments, even if they’re not what we expected for our usual weekend dabblings. Breaking the routine can be a good thing.

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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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At the Masker Orchards in Warwick, New York.

Hello again! I’ve been busy lately with work, specifically with my Yoga retreat that I hosted in Upstate New York this past weekend.  It was fabulous. I couldn’t have ask for a more fun, caring, and open-minded group of people. From the moment everyone walked in, we all just clicked. It was synergy at its finest!

Like one of the participants, Maria, said, it’s so fascinating to meet new people and see how they’ve chosen to write the books of their lives. Here’s a look at some of our weekend:

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The retreat was better than I could’ve ever dreamed. But none of this would’ve been possible if my Yoga mentor and founder of Yoga4Soul,  Jojo Tyler, hadn’t shown me the ropes on running retreats a few months back. He also clued me into this spot we used as our retreat house, the Grail. Big thanks to you, Jojo. We miss you! Om shanti, shanti, shanti.

Back soon with some recipes.  In the meantime, the stew recipe pictured above can be found here.

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