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Strength

7.29.18
This 15 minute practice is focused on engaging different muscle groups in the legs.  This week’s class strengthens several muscles in the legs and glutes while simultaneously being therapeutic for the low back.
5.26.19
This 15 minute practice is focused on engaging the core. This work should feel familiar to those of you who have been practicing with me for a while.  It includes the movements I currently do in my own practice to strengthen my abdominal wall and my back....
7.15.18
This 17 minute practice is focused on strengthening the arms.   Our arms are one of the ways we connect and communicate with others.   So, in strengthening this part of our body we are strengthening our ability to communicate and connect with the people we...
7.28.19
In this week’s practice, we focus on two hand balancing postures: bakasana and parvritta bakasana.
7.14.19
In this practice, each pose is held for 30 seconds.  This sequence cultivates focus, stability and strength.  The bonus is that this particular sequence has been proven to increase bone density in the majority of participants in a study conducted by Columbia University.
1.28.18
The physical purpose of this practice is to open the muscles of the shoulders/chest.  The underlying spiritual purpose is practicing the ability stay open in the face of our most intense life challenges.  These lines of Rumi’s poem The Guest House perfectly embody the...
1.14.18
In this week’s practice we explore the idea that balance is more than just holding your body in equilibrium.   It is also a subtle energetic experience of finding the midpoint between effort and surrender.    We will work contracting the muscles while we...
5.12.18
Clear alignment  in the body leads to clarity in the mind and in the heart.  This week’s practice uses the same theme from last week but we apply it to the lower body.   Our focus is on an alignment principle called inner spiral.   This principle alleviates low back pain, opens the hips...
6.17.18
If you are going to show up on your mat, give it everything you have.  Even if what you have today feels less than what you had to give yesterday.  Show up. We have to train ourselves to do this.  With our lovely hand held devices, we are in a bad habit of only ever being partially engaged in any one thing.  So, I’m challenging you, if its possible to turn off your phone.  Do not just silence it.  Turn it off for the next 30 minutes and commit to the sole focus of being on your mat.  See what happens.
5.5.19
This week we focus on two elements of shoulder loop: external rotation in the arms bones (humerus) and connection the arm bones into the shoulder sockets.  Doesn't that sound so exciting?   Well, possibly not, and this is always our challenge: to make the simple act of moving your body symbolize something more.  Creating clarity in the shoulders, to me, is like cleaning out your house.  The tension in our shoulders is like a full sink after you throw a huge party.  You know the sink is there but you just can't see it.  You have to wash the dishes.   It can take a while to clear out the sink just like it can take a while to clear out the tension in your shoulders but it feels so good and clear when you do.
7.7.19
This class is 15 minutes of core work.  You can pair this class with any  other class in the library or practice it as a stand alone class.
7.1.18
In my "book", a core focused yoga practice always has to be about something more than getting 6-pack abs.   Whenever we practice the core together, my goal is to strengthen the connection to our truest self.   In our uber connected/instagram world, we can easily be disconnected from our birthright to a deep connection to Self.   But when we create physical strength  in the abdominal wall, it translates to confidence in our overall being.  That confidence serves as the best bullshit filter.  A filter which allows in the ideas, people and experiences that enhance us and one which can also remove those aspects of our lives that diminish our radiance.   I am very specific about cueing in the beginning of this practice.  My hope is that we start to learn to engage the belly without shortening the waist.  It is a part of the alignment principle that I call kidney loop. There is an intro to Uddiyana Bandha as well as a fun handstand challenge. This practice is meant to be repeated several times.  
4.15.18
Tapping into the fire in your belly is what this practice is all about.   Iccha is a Sanskrit word that means will or desire.  In yoga, your desire is a force to be respected because its the power behind your actions.   Have fun connecting with your own power in this practice.  
12.22.18
Dharma means duty or purpose.  Pondering dharma is  a universal struggle that we can all understand.  Ya' know "What's my life's purpose? What am I doing with my life?"  We unpack these ideas in the first few minutes of this practice.  Strengthening the core through the alignment principle called Kidney Loop is the physical focus of the practice.
9.8.19
Dharma means duty or purpose.  Pondering dharma is  a universal struggle that we can all understand.  Ya' know "What's my life's purpose? What am I doing with my life?"  We unpack these ideas in the first few minutes of this practice. Strengthening the core through the alignment principle called Kidney Loop is the physical focus of the practice.
1.21.18
Dharma, a sanskrit word that means duty or purpose, is our theme for this week’s practice.  What is your highest calling?   This is your dharma.  For example, I have many dharmas but being a mother and teacher are two of them.   I know...
5.20.18
Leading with the physical heart center is required for any stable arm balance.  You literally need to take your shoulder blades back and open your heart in order to lift off the ground.   This practice focuses on what to do once you have that base.   We align the legs through clear inner spiral work to help aid the incredibly difficult action of lifting the back leg up in the arm balance Eka Pada Koudinyasana II.  The class is titled as such because the sage Koudinya is a symbol of following your intuition.
4.1.18
We will work strengthening the foundation of every pose eventually building to handstand.  Your foundation is the basis upon which you stand or are supported.  The smaller the foundation the harder it is to balance.  We will challenge ourselves by progressively working toward smaller...
8.19.18
We will work strengthening the foundation of every pose eventually building to handstand.  Your foundation is the basis upon which you stand or are supported.  The smaller the foundation the harder it is to balance.  We will challenge ourselves by progressively working toward smaller...
8.25.19
This technique has changed the way I move.  My yoga practice has become so much stronger. And I’m pain free 99% of the time.  Foundation Training isn't just for those with back pain.  Many elite athletes practice the biomechanics of Foundation Training to prevent injury and promote strength.  But, you don't need to be an athlete to understand the technique.  Anyone can do it!  In this week's practice, I’ll teach you several exercises including decompression breathing and  the other core principles of Foundation Training.  questions. 
8.26.18
The Gunas help to describe the qualities of all material things and actions. Everything in this physical world is a compilation of the gunas. There are three gunas: Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.  I discuss them at length in this practice.  We spend the first 5 minutes of this class unpacking the meaning of the gunas.  We spend most of the practice working toward "balanced action" in every pose with our peak pose being Pincha Mayurasana, forearm balance.  By sensing which gunas are dominating, we will try to reconcile the opposite energies bringing them into a divine complimentary marriage. 
9.2.18
This class is perfect for those of you who want to work on handstand aka adho mukha vrksasana.  In this practice, we dissect Handstand into 5 actions.   We repeat these actions in every posture of the practice.   The repetition enables you to integrate all the handstand actions into your body.   Repetition also has a calming effect.   Handstand isn't a calming pose.  But through the repetition, my hope is that by the time we arrive at Handstand the repeated actions calm you while you attempt a tremendously challenging pose. 
10.28.18
This class is perfect for those of you who want to work on handstand aka adho mukha vrksasana.  In this practice, we dissect Handstand into 5 actions.   We repeat these actions in every posture of the practice.   The repetition enables you to integrate all the handstand actions into your body.   Repetition also has a calming effect.   Handstand isn't a calming pose.  But through the repetition, my hope is that by the time we arrive at Handstand the repeated actions help you to feel grounded you while you attempt a tremendously challenging pose.
1.6.19
This time of year we make wonderful resolutions that have us reflecting on our past and looking ahead to the future.     Its a perfect recipe for bringing us into the present moment.  We define actions we can take right now to shift...
3.31.19
My god...It is so hard to be vulnerable. This practice asks you to do just that;  to open your heart methodically and strategically so that you can embrace the full spectrum of what your life has to offer.  Our spiritual heart center is called the Hridaya.   It is a powerful gateway into deeper connection with the spirit.   What's interesting is that its in a cage....the ribcage; protected like a medieval castle.  But vulnerability is essential to thriving in this life.  So, we must create opening in this part of the body in order to connect to and  awaken to  the power of the heart.   Expect lots of slow methodical movement and so great tricks for opening the shoulders and the mid back.  
3.4.18
This practice focuses on the relationship of two alignment principles called kidney loop and shoulder loop. The essence of this relationship is that we need to have a strong core to support healthy shoulder alignment and posture.   We will explore this relationship through...
9.16.18
This class is all about the shoulders.   This practice is inspired by an interview I heard on NPR.    A link to it is here: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/29/633544308/peanuts-character-franklin-turns-50.   I explain the inspiration behind the practice throughout the class.  So, I won't dive deep here but the basic idea is that you leave an energetic wake in your path.  It is hard to  know how far your wake will extend.  Practices like yoga enables us ot be aware and conscious of that fact so we can be discerning about the impression we leave in our wake.
4.29.18
A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the Jasper Johns show, Something Resembling Truth,  currently at The Broad Museum.   The way in which this show was curated highlighted his use of repetitive themes.  His 0 Through 9 series and all its iterations inspire this week's practice.   I walked away remembering the Tantrik idea that nothing is ever the same, each moment is a unique experience.  Even if something seems repetitive like a bunch of paintings of flags or the mundanity of our daily lives, we need to examine further and understand that there is something new to be discovered in every moment.   This week we explore essentially 9 poses over and over again discovering something new every time (or at least that is what I hope!).
4.14.19
The 45 minute class peaks with the arm balance Eka Pada Galavasana.  Kula is a sanskrit word that means community but with a particular focus on the individual.  Your body is a Kula made up of individual parts that play a crucial role to the functioning of the whole.  Sometimes we decide to neglect certain parts of who we are phsycially and spiritually.   The concept of Kula encourages us to ignite all the aspects of ourselves and bring our full selves to everything we do.  This practice focuses on the pelvis a part of the body that is essential for your Kula  to function optimally.
1.20.19
The 45 minute class peaks with the arm balance Eka Pada Galavasana.  Kula is a sanskrit word that means community but with a particular focus on the individual.  Your body is a Kula made up of individual parts that play a crucial role to the functioning of the whole.  Sometimes we decide to neglect certain parts of who we are phsycially and spiritually.   The concept of Kula encourages us to ignite all the aspects of ourselves and bring our full selves to everything we do.  This practice focuses on the pelvis a part of the body that is essential for your Kula  to function optimally.   
4.7.19
A core focused yoga practice always has to be about something more than getting 6-pack abs.   Whenever we practice the core together, my goal is to strengthen the connection to our truest self.   In our uber connected/instagram world, we can easily be disconnected from our birthright to a deep connection to Self.   But when we create physical strength  in the abdominal wall, it translates to confidence in our overall being.  There is an intro to Uddiyana Bandha as well as a fun handstand challenge. This practice is meant to be repeated several times.  
2.3.19
This practice focuses on organic energy which is the lengthening out from the core to the periphery. In Light on Yoga, Iyengar talks about the concept of mudita which is “a feeling of delight at the good work done by another, even though he may be a rival.  The yogi saves himself from much heartache by not showing anger, jealousy or hatred for another who has reached the desired goal which he himself has failed to achieve.”  Fans embody this wholeheartedly; cheering the accomplishments of players to whom  they have no personal connection, sharing in the delight of their successes.  How often do you selflessly delight or feel joy for someone else’s achievements?    And since this concept isn’t always present in our society, I like to find it wherever I can.  Let's turn the mania of the Super Bowl  into a yogic moment.
2.17.19
Muscular Energy is the second of the 5 universal principles of alignment from which I often teach.  This week’s practice focuses on the 3 main ways  we engage our muscles.   From the spiritual perspective, our practice this week is about connecting to our...
9.21.19
Muscular Energy is the second of the 5 universal principles of alignment from which I often teach.  This week’s practice focuses on the 3 main ways  we engage our muscles.   From the spiritual perspective, our practice this week is about connecting to our...
2.10.19
Open To Grace is the first of 5 alignment principles from which I often teach.   This principle teaches us the importance of intention (mind, heart) and foundation (body).  Both of which are fundamental for any practice.  So, yes, this is a more beginner...
3.25.18
There are many reasons why one practices yoga but the long and short of it is remembering one's essence (who you are at your core) and expressing that essence.   But how do you do it?   In Outliers, Malcom Gladwell studies people who our society  deems  to be extraordinary.  The popular story is that they are geniuses untethered by the usual hard work the rest of us must endure.  People like Steve Jobbs and the Bill Gates were  just lucky and smart.   Actually no, they were not only lucky and smart but also had opportunity to practice their skills.  Its the opportunity and practice that are the keys  to succeeding in the ways that outliers do. That's what we do in this practice.  We will take one action, engaging the hamstrings with a bent knee (aka kicking your heel to your butt) to refine our expression of a deep backbend called Natarajasana (Dancer pose).    Yoga isn't an overnight success story.  We must create the opportunity for transformation and then practice a lot. And if all that didn't convince you that this week's practice is worth hitting the mat a few times, then know that this work will lift your butt!
2.11.18
This week’s practice focuses on the strength building aspects of heart opening poses. We focus on an alignment principle that I call “shoulder loop”.  In Sanskrit, there are many words for love. Prema means divine self love.  It occurs when we understand ourselves completely....
6.16.19
June is PRIDE month.  Here in LA, West Hollywood hosts its annual epic Pride Parade this weekend.  The word pride has several meanings.   Two of the meanings are a group with a common purpose and a reasonable and justified sense of self-respect. I love that the meaning of the  word pride refers to both a group and to the individual.  According to tantric yoga philosophy, EVERYONE (not some of us, not only cis gender folks...EVERYONE exclusive of sexual orientation) at their essence is divine.  So, if divine consciousness resides in everyone, well, then pride is a great way to describe how we should all feel about being embodied. The message of the yoga practice is that you have a responsibility to celebrate your own unique manifestation of consciousness and then in turn, by celebrating who you are, you encourage the people around you to do the same. May the spirit of the LBGTQ community inspire all of us to feel pride in all the parts of us that make us unique (even the shadowy parts that we might not like so much). Through the practice of shoulder loop, this sequence guides us into the deepest places of our heart.   Our peak pose is  a "flipped" version of Vasistasana aka Wild Thing,  Have fun!
2.18.18
This time on your mat is an opportunity to remember that your body is a gift.  Living your life just as it is today is a privilege.   The cells of your body, the flesh, the skin and the bones will never come together...
5.6.18
This week’s practice is inspired by Katonah Yoga.  I have several friends who teach this style and there are many aspects of it that are incredibly therapeutic.  One of which is the focus on finding sacred geometry in the body.  By using the strength...
12.16.18
Shri has many meanings a couple of which are boundless beauty and life affirming goodness.  It is the radiant energy in all things manifest. By its nature it is boundless.  For example, it describes the  power that enables grass to break through concrete sidewalks.  It will stop at nothing to be expressed.  The good news is that it is in us and all around us.   If we create openings in our body, mind, and heart then Shri can fully express itself as you embodying your true self.   So, what does that mean for this week's practice?  Lots of shoulder loop and heart opening.   The shoulders carry a lot of tension for most of us and its a great place for us to work this theme. 
11.11.18
I was blown away by a Yayoi Kusama exhibit I saw a couple of weeks ago at the Marciano Arts Foundation called With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, 2011(photo below).  It was a brilliant reminder that sometimes the simplest idea or action can be the most profound. Her work is the inspiration for our practice this week.  Staying aware of the breath, finding the basic form of the pose, and infusing the movement with the intention of "keeping it simple"  are the three pillars of this practice.   Nothing fancy.  Just the basics.  I hope you find this practice as satisfying as I did.  This is my new go-to everyday practice. 
12.2.18
Can balance be sexy?   Let's just decide it is,k.  We find the extremes so intriguing but maybe this practice can show you the balance is cool too.  I think exploring our relationship to balance off the mat as well as on the mat is important during the holidays.   The holidays are an intense time.  Whether this time of year is intensely fun or intensely challenging, there is an intensity that we all feel.  I have been feeling particularly exhausted by the list of holiday things I have to do.  In addition to that, I had a lot of sleepless nights this week because my daughter was sick.  By the end of the week, I was exhausted; mentally and physically destroyed.  I desperately needed to drag myself to my mat and recalibrate.  I managed to do it last night.  It was remarkable how the balance of this practice shifted me.   This week, tree pose is the prism though which we explore balance. Inner and outer spiral in the legs are the main principles.   I keep coming back to this class and I find something new every time.