Greetings Yogis! It has been a while but I am back in Los Angeles teaching yoga!!!! I am teaching a Summer Solstice Workshop on JUNE 22nd from 1-3pm at Yoga Daya in Culver City. Early Bird rate (before June 8th) is $35, and $45 after June 8th. Space is limited so secure your spot by calling Yoga Daya at (310)-558-YOGA or sign-up online and click the "Workshops" tab at the top of the page.
Friday, 03 May 2013
Don't think for a second that yoga instructors are some ethereal form of human. We are just regular people engaging in regular people behavior. The yoga industry is booming here in the Yoga Mecca we know and love as Los Angeles. Warning: Yoga instructor (Me) is about to get judgemental, but only for a few paragraphs.
A surplus of yoga instructors pervades our tinsel-town, many of which have no business teaching and molding bodies in the first place. If you add up all these variable you get something very "unyogic" : COMPETITION. Competition is good just like Darwin said because it eliminates the weak and the talentless from the strong and talented. We are not all created equal in all respects. Some people are better than others at certain things. A yoga instructor who relies only their yoga teacher-training education program and their passion for could be a good instructor. However, when a lifetime dedicated to training for a career in professional dance, athletics, sportsmedicine, etc... is coupled with a yoga teacher-training education program the end result is a first-class instructor! Any regular Joe can sign up for yoga teacher-training courses, pay the money, and take the classes. It's not rocket science. What is a science is having a solid understanding of how to apply movement principles into action, and who better to teach these principles than people who move FOR A LIVING! I call these people, myself included, Movement Specialists.
Friday, 30 March 2012
Dear Yogis, Dancers, and Lovers of the Movement Arts,
It is my pleasure to personally extend this invitation to all of you. I have been involved with the City of Angels Ballet for almost two years and what a truly remarkable experience it has been. Since the inception of City of Angels Ballet nearly 20 years ago, Artistic Director Mario Nugara has been providing selected youth from underprivileged communities in Los Angeles with professional level ballet training, shoes, leotards, and tights at no cost to the children's families. I am on the faculty at CAB in addition to being a dancer with the company. After two successful Nutcracker seasons under Mr. Nugara's artistic direction (and under the name California Riverside Ballet) we are hopeful of adding a Spring repertoire. This would provide professionals like myself with a quality repertoire in Los Angeles and allow the children from our school more opportunities to perform.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Friday, 13 January 2012
REMEMBER TO JOIN ME TOMORROW AND EVERY FRIDAY FOR:
MORNING FLOW @7AM & RELAX, RESTORE, REJUVENEATE AT 5PM
Where: RaKsa in Culver City
Cost: 1st Class is FREE!!!!
Check out my bio on the RaKsa Wesbsite
See you in Down Dog!
Thursday, 05 January 2012
With the New Year almost here, we could all use a little more yoga and little less stress... STARTING JANUARY 6th JOIN ME BRIGHT & EARLY FOR MORNING FLOW YOGA OR IN THE EVENING TO RESTORE AND REJUVENATE YOURSELF. Where: RaKsa (10846 Washington Blvd in Culver City) When: Morning Flow from 7am-8:20am /// Restore, Relax, Rejuvenate from 5pm-6:20pm FIRST CLASS IS FREE!!!!!
Thursday, 29 December 2011
'Tis the season... Experience a holiday classic and see what real ballet looks like! Watch the amazing artists (ehhm ehhhm...) of the California Riverside Ballet dance to the divine sounds of Tchaikovsky's score performed by a live orchestra.
All my regularly scheduled classes will be subbed next week. You will find me on the stage performing in the Nutcracker December 9th through December 12th. Get your tickets ASAP as the show will sell out! Click here for tickets and event info! Hope to see you there!
Friday, 02 December 2011
This post goes out to all my yoga junkies who love to shop for anything yoga! I came across Yoga Rat as I was driving down Pico Blvd in West Los Angeles and made a mental note to check it out. I finally went in today and discovered that Yoga Rat isn't just the next "trendy" active-lifestyle brand; it's also the first yoga product outlet store I've ever seen. What does this mean??? Affordable yoga clothing and accessories made from non-toxic materials! Isn't it every yogi's fantasy to put his or her best "toe" forward while staying on budget and without squandering on the environment? Ahhhh, solace in shopping, Yes please! As the holiday season quickly approaches forget about purchasing yoga gear as gifts at an overpriced yoga studio where a single block can cost up to $20! Compare this with a yoga block from Yoga Rat at $11.99.
Yoga Rat is especially kind to certified yoga instructors! Whether you own a studio and/or teach, whether you practice yoga at a studio or in the privacy of your home take advantage of the 10% discount for ALL first time customers. Prepare for a friendly greeting from Wendell or Dave as you enter the space and don't forget to mention that you are a yoga professional (if you really are one...ASTEYA) and the friendly duo will throw in some free goodies.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Yoga, pranayama, asana, dharana....these words generally do not elicit anxious and hormone ridden middle school or high school students. Why not? Yoga isn't an 18+ modality. On the contrary, yoga is beautifully available to anyone and everyone at any time and now Y.O.G.A. for Youth is making this possibility a reality!
Between now and November 15, 2011 Y.O.G.A. for Youth is giving away a FREE quarter (10 weeks) of yoga classes to ONE lucky Los Angeles County School on Sunday, December 4th, 2011.
Tuesday, 08 November 2011
Sorry guys, but not all yoga instructors are created equal. I have taken my share of yoga classes with inept instructors where the sequencing of postures was nonsensical and the instructor's lack of articulation cut my ears like nails on a chalkboard. Like a good yogi, I resist the urge to judge and do what I know is right for my body. A beginner might not have the good judgment to back off or do what is best for their body for fear of not being able "hang" with the rest of the crowd. Having a ballet background makes it easy for me to decipher whether or not an instructor actually understands movement or if the instructor approaches teaching yoga in a Simon says manner. Yoga is a powerful tool and without a skilled instructor the potential for serious injury is much greater. Nowadays everywhere I go someone tells me about beginning a teacher-training course with the intent of going out into the world to teach yoga. Don't get me wrong, more power to you friend; however, not everyone has it in them to be a good yoga instructor. Exposing this darker side of the yoga world--call it yoga politics-- seems like the karmic kiss of death but it is necessary. Who you practice with is the most important aspect of your yoga practice, especially if you are a beginner. Yoga instructors have more power than you might think since he or she can make or break a beginner's yogic experience for life.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
This past weekend I went to the IDEA Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a couple girlfriends and we had a blast! So many awesome products (and so many bizzare ones also). If you are a fitness professional or even a fitness enthusiast, (and especially if you are single) I highly recommend visiting the next Fitness Expo!
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Lately I've been on a CorePower Yoga® binge. The initial reason I visited the studio was to inquire about teaching positions; however, I enjoyed the class and ambiance enough to accept the studio’s offer for new students for one week of free yoga. After one week, I signed up for a one month unlimited yoga membership for $99.00. If you are a yoga junkie like me, the monthly membership makes great economic sense, especially when you compare this offer with competing studios that charge twice as much for a monthly membership.The calm allure and immaculate conditions of the CorePower Yoga® facilities are irresistible to the contemporary urban yogi or yogini. CorePower Yoga® class style combines the Ashtanga and Vinyasa methods. Classes range from 60 to 95 minutes conducted in a heated studio with humidity. The more advanced classes are a little hotter, but have no fear because it feels incredible when they turn up the heat! This approach is entirely different than Bikram in that the heat never exceeds 100 degrees, humidifiers are also used in the yoga studios and the instructors incorporate philosophical and meditative elements into the class curriculum.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Being a professional ballet dancer means taking class every day to stay in shape. If you are not under contract with a company or if you are in between seasons, it can be very difficult to find an adequate professional level ballet class to take. Living in Los Angeles makes it more difficult since the LA dance scene is more commercially oriented than the classical and theatrical dance scene found in New York City or even San Francisco. Fortunately, there are a few options for the professional/advanced ballet dancer when it comes to taking class in the City of Angels and one of them is Reid Olson's class. Reid Olson, former principal dancer with Los Angeles Ballet and soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, teaches an amazing advanced level ballet class at Dance Arts Academy in West Los Angeles. Expect to brush elbows with some top-notch professional dancers, but don't be intimidated because many non-professionals also enjoy taking class regularly with Reid. Reid is also a registered yoga instructor and teaches a yoga class on Thursday mornings at 9:30-11:00am before his 11:30am ballet class. Reid often teaches class at City Yoga in Los Angeles. Contact Reid for more information on his yoga schedule.
Monday, 01 August 2011
It's Friday and you've got major plans for a night out on the town with your friends. Your cell phone blows up with texts and Facebook notifications from friends trying to coordinate logistics. You indulge your ego a bit and think, "Yea, I'm pretty cool." How can you not meet Mr. or Mrs. Right looking this smooth? With the logistics taken care of and that scandalously short dress clinging onto your slim physique for its dear life, your single self is ready to mingle.
Sound familiar? It should if you are one of the many twenty-somethings and even thirty-somethings in this day and age of extended adolescence and delayed marriage. Most people don't realize the irony of "city life." More often than not, the landscape of bustling metropolises like Los Angeles or New York can make one feel irrelevant and disposable. Expectations are to blame. We are taught to aim high. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Subconsciously these clichés do more harm than good. Expectations dictate our careers, our relationships and our self-image. Indeed, expectations shape our perception of reality. It's incredibly difficult to loosen the grip on how attached we become to our expectations.
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Uncertain socioeconomic times leave many struggling to stay afloat. No jobs, no discretionary income and no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. What do you do? Where do you turn? Yoga? Dance? Being outdoors? Yes, yes, and yes. It’s remarkable to see how during such a rigorous economic downturn there are still people out and about everywhere I turn. Cafes bustle with hungry crowds of casually dressed people. I see people walking at a leisurely pace shopping and lunching. Afternoon yoga classes are more crowded and even Runyon Canyon is more packed than usual. Normally I wouldn’t think twice; however this type of suspicious activity caught my attention because it occurs during prime afternoon work hours on a Monday or a Tuesday or a Wednesday or a Thursday! What the heck is going on here?
I stopped to think about this one. Luckily, thinking comes easily to me. Either people aren’t working at all or they are working less and at a much slower pace. How European. If less people are working full time, that means they have more time to do other things. This is precisely what is happening. Summer time in LA is always busy, but I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen it this busy during the workweek. Did I not get the memo or something, because apparently the overworked, overstressed, underpaid and now the underemployed decided to just say “Oh screw it!” The majority opinion changed drastically from “work hard, save your earnings” to “enjoy what you have today, ‘cuz that might be all you get.” I look at this situation as a resting period; it’s hibernation of America’s workforce. People need rest. They need entertainment. They need something positive in their lives amidst all this chaos. Now that there is more time during their day, people are more willing to dip into their savings to enjoy their hobbies. The overworked are stocking up on their well deserved rest. So when we do experience the big economic boom we’ve all been waiting for, we are refreshed and ready. There is something to this philosophy. America is a country where you work hard for what you earn, but these days it doesn’t matter so much how hard you work or how hard you try because ultimately keeping your head above water is for all intents and purposes impossible.
Could these distressful economic times teach us a valuable lesson, a lesson that Europe already learned long ago? When the future is uncertain, what are you left with but the present moment? Yesterday is history. The moment has passed. Tomorrow is a mystery and isn’t promised. The only option available is to make the most of the present situation and that isn’t necessarily such a bad thing after all.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
Yesterday I decided to mix things up a bit. I took a hip-hop class. Don’t laugh! You heard me correctly! Ballerinas can groove too. Instead of trekking all the way across the city, dealing with the pre-carmageddon frenzy on the roads only to cram myself into a room with other sweaty pretentious dancers at a well-established Hollywood dance studio, which shall remain nameless, I decided to check out a new local studio. Moore Dancing Cardio Dance Studio in West Los Angeles offers a variety of classes throughout the day. Classes are basic enough for novices yet have just the right amount of groove and funk to challenge more seasoned dancers. Classes offered include hip-hop, funk, cardio dance, and more. Moore Dancing welcomes all levels of dance and all ages. Located on the second floor the studio gets a ton of natural light overlooking trendy San Vicente Blvd in west Los Angeles. The feng shui is perfect. Classes offered have uniquely funky names describing their individual sass. So if you live on the Westside of Los Angeles, be sure to grab your neon tights, sweatbands and legwarmers for Back to The Future with Matthew where dancers jam out to the funky beats of the 1980's!
Thursday, 14 July 2011
You may feel like you are independent and thus responsible for yourself and only yourself; however, something greater binds all of us together into one collective planet...respiration. On a molecular level, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs every single moment and ultimately ties us all together, whether we like it or not.
Check out this article and then tell me you aren't in some indirect way connected to the very person you are flicking off on your way to work right now! So take a moment, breathe deeply, create happy molecules within you so that the next unassuming individual who's fortunate enough to inherit your molecules resists the urge to yell or torment all the bad drivers he or she comes into contact with when the imminent Carmageddon strikes Los Angeles’s 405 Freeway during the July 15th and 16th weekend.
Thursday, 07 July 2011
Life’s ironies happen at places like sample sales. Last Saturday I was at a sample sale for ALO, a trendy yoga apparel/active wear line. As I concluded my two and a half hour frenzied shopping stint I walked toward the check-out table and paused as I took a moment to look around the warehouse. Anxiety-ridden shoppers diligently directing their attention to picking out the best articles of yoga gear they could get their hands on. Picked over and thrashed merchandise, a common symptom of sample sales, didn’t deter these fashion frugal yogis one bit. I chucked (on the inside of course) at the absurdity of what I was witnessing. All these people, who supposedly practice yoga, were behaving as if this sale was the Last Supper of high-end yoga apparel. Okay, okay, I hear you! 70% below retail price is a total steal when you are talking about ALO gear; yet it’s hilarious to see shoppers, including myself, become so intent on finding the best deal possible on a sports bra! I’m fairly certain that the concept of Survival of the Fittest (at a sample sale) isn’t a credo taught at your local yoga studio. I wonder… were any other ALO shoppers aware of yoga’s core principals in the first place, and if so were they as amused as I was at the paradox happening around them?
Yamas, the first limb of Patanjali’s Eight-Limbed Yogic Path helped slightly to reconcile what I saw on Saturday at this sale. Yamas dictate how we interact with the physical world. More specifically, yamas pertain to attitudes and behaviors to abstain from becuase of an inherent understanding that these attitudes and behaviors do not serve us nor do they serve those around us. If you feel confident about how you look in your new booty hugger pants during yoga class, then there’s a good chance you will enjoy your yoga practice more and practice with greater consistency. However, it’s also possible to exercise aparigraha (non-greed) and take only what’s necessary amidst a manifold of disheveled piles of clothing (even if it’s ridiculously discounted). After all, what kind of yogi wants to admit to being a hoarder of brightly colored stretchy leggings?
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
I was half asleep in my cozy bed last night when a story about transcendental meditation a.k.a. TM came on the NBC 4 eleven o'clock news. My ears perked up... I was intrigued.
HERE IS A FUN YOGI FACT: David Lynch, the idiosyncratic Hollywood director known for such films as Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet is himself a devout meditator. "My first meditation blew me away. It curled my hair," says Lynch. Lynch and his wife Emily established the David Lynch Foundation in 2005 with the goal of implementing scientifically verifiable stress-reducing modalities like TM for at-risk populations. With the help of the David Lynch Foundation techniques alleviating stress become accessible and instrumental to changing many at-risk lives through rehabilitation programs like Children of the Night, a shelter for abused and traumatized children and teens.
Wednesday, 08 June 2011