Down to Earth Market & Makara Studio have a great joint effort to bring wellness to Cooper Park in Brooklyn. The market, which features seasonal fruits and vegetables, pantry staples, plants and other great items, will be open from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. Here's a Google Maps LINK for directions.
I'll be leading the vinyasa style yoga classes from NOON to 1:00PM. Bring your own mats, towels, water bottles and make sure to wear comfortable clothing. Try to get there 10-15-minutes prior ...we'll begin promptly at 12:00PM. Look for the group of yogis with mats in hand in-front of the farmers' market stand.
Remember, these classes are donation based, and will be weekly on Sundays (weather permitting) through September 28.
See you there,
On Tuesday night, the vibe and energy at Earth Yoga was just REAL!
I had the pleasure of leading a power hot vinyasa class that just kept me buzzing days later. There is nothing like seeing a community of asana practitioners cultivating high levels of awareness, smiling and taking themselves to their limits with great recognition and profound focus.
Was it hot? Yup. Was it sweaty? Absolutely. Did any of that take these yogis away from their "atha," their NOW? Nope. With every inhale and ensuing exhale, I felt the power of breathing and absorbed their intensity.
Earth yogis… as I told you after class, there's no other place I would rather have been than there with you. Thank you.
What's up everyone? We made it through the tough Winter, unpredictable Spring, and are now settling into more pleasant weather as the Summer approaches.
With that comes an opportunity to get your asana practice on … OUTDOORS! Yes -- Yoga in the park season is in full-swing!
Brought to you by Makara Studio, starting June 1st, I'll have the pleasure and honor of leading Yoga classes at Cooper Park in Brooklyn, every Sunday (weather permitting) through September. This will be a 75-minute DONATION based class. Bring your own mats, towels, water bottles and make sure to wear comfortable clothing for this vinyasa style class. Try to get there 10-15-minutes prior ... I'll begin promptly at 12:00PM.
Where is Cooper Park? Click on this LINK for a look at its location on Google maps.
The Down to Earth Cooper's Park farmers market is along the sidewalk of Maspeth avenue, and will be open from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. We'll meet in-front of the farmers' market stand before the start of class. So just look for the group of yogis with mats.
Visit my blog to stay updated with scheduling and if they are any cancellations based on weather. But, lets just say this; if its not raining, we'll be there.
See you in Brooklyn!
Cooper Park's Down to Earth Farmers Market
Happy holiday weekend!
Special thanks to everyone who practiced with me yesterday at The Yoga Room in Astoria. It was great seeing many familiar faces and some new friends. Breathing, moving, sweating and smiling… it was a great Saturday.
On Tuesday, May 27th, I'll be at Earth Yoga, leading a Hot Power Vinyasa class from 8-9 pm. Ohh... they have this:
Not bad, huh? Seven days... $39 for unlimited classes, which includes free mat/towel rental during that week.
If you missed me this Saturday at The Yoga Room, I'll be there next weekend, May 31st, at 3:30 PM, leading their 75-minute Community Class. Yup... only $10.
It's sunny out... enjoy the weather and the rest of your Holiday weekend.
It was an honor and loads of fun to teach students in the City Year program at I.S. 204 (Long Island City, NY) about yoga and meditation.
I've always had a passion for teaching our youth and anyway I can help to facilitate their learning process and enhance their development… I'm all for it.
Yesterday, I received the coolest card with messages from the stellar students and the outstanding staff that work there. It really made my day. To everyone who participated… thank you!
It is while practicing yoga asanas that you learn the art of adjustment.
When do I use a Yoga block?
First of all… I pick-up a block or two before the start of every class and sit them next to my mat. That's just protocol with me. I've always felt that the use of a block or any other prop only enhances your asana practice. The use of props have nothing to do with how much experience you have, nor does it minimize your asana practice. On the contrary, it shows mindfulness and a willingness to cultivate awareness.
For newer students, a block or two can make what appears a daunting pose an accessible one. It provides comfort, enhances alignment and support, while giving you a sense of adaptability in your own life.
Some poses I love using blocks in:
What are some other ways you use a yoga block?
I'll post more ways to use props during your asana practice in upcoming posts.
Until then, see you on the mat.
Hope is not a prediction of the future, it's a declaration of what is possible.
Arm balancing… YIKES. The dreaded point in the class where many of us just sit around and watch and get down on ourselves, or don't stay within our own practice for whatever the reason.
Listen, sometimes… bakasana (crow pose) just isn't for me. And that's part of our daily practice. So you know what? Just stay in malasana and enjoy the benefits of that asana. We are not in class to show-off, nor to get down on ourselves for not being able to do whatever our neighbor is doing.
I truly feel that the fear of getting into an arm-balance or the perception that you "can't do it" is the biggest hindrance to someone actually working their way to a particular pose.
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you in your journey:
I invite you to post any prior experiences and approaches in hopes of empowering others. We are all students and one way we attain knowledge is via other people's journeys.
See you soon…
We're talking hands today and the importance of our palm, fingers and wrist in many asanas (postures).
Very similar to our feet, both of our hands provide the stability needed for many of our poses. But unlike our feet, the muscles and bones that comprise both of our hands are not necessarily built for the same rigors of weight bearing, as we do on our footsies.
Without getting too technical; the bones that exist in our feet are thicker, stronger and don't have the similar dynamic range of movements as those in our hands. They can withstand impact a lot more and sustain our body for most of the day during ambulation.
We are used to writing, typing and being crafty with our hands, actions that do need a specific skill-set and different levels of dexterity, but how often are we really balancing on our hands and trying to weight bear, unless we're in a yoga class practicing arm-balances?
Which is important to recognize how we can use our hands during these poses and come into an understanding of how to practice safely and confidently without worries of injuring our phalanges and wrist.
Awareness about hand-placement on our mats should begin in downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana). Are we bearing too much at the heel section of our hands? Maybe use a wedge or place a towel at the heel to help increase the range and lessen the severity of the angle.
Are we leaning towards the thumb or pinky side more? Spreading your fingers apart, palms flat onto the mat and pressing evenly from the thumb all the way across the pinky side of your hand will take the weight off your wrist and transfer it up your arms and into your upper back where you have muscles better equipped to handle the load. Not having a steady flat surface with your upper extremities in down-dog could lead to tightness in the neck-area, a site of tension for many of us.
Placing your hands wider than shoulder width distance apart, closer to the edge of your mat, could also alleviate the uneven-bearing on your hands while providing more area up the arm and into the shoulder for lessened tightness and more space to find stability into your hands.
Beginning in table-top, shoulders above the wrist and hips over knees is a good initial position to find all your starting points mentioned above before tucking your toes under and lifting your hips into down-dog.
In other poses, such hand-stand, how we use our hands, fingers and their engagement are imperative in building a steady foundation.
You want the top part of your palms and your first set of knuckles to engage, which will help you activate the muscles of your forearm and upper arm. Your finger pads planted onto the mat will illicit a "tenting" action on the middle joints of your fingers. Good… because that will mean that your hands will work, instead of just collapsing onto your wrist when you go upside-down onto your handstand. Those finger-pads pressing down into the mat will help get those muscles in your hands that are used to mobility, get stronger for stability.
This is a good starting for alleviating pressure from the wrist and finding awareness in our fingers during arm balances. Maybe try some of the tips mentioned and we'll continue to explore arm balances such as crow (bakasana), and maybe figure out together what things have served your body, or haven't.
Any questions, comments, suggestions, complaints or observations are welcomed. I'll continue with a series of posts to follow-up and to expand on some of the things I've mentioned today based on your feedback and my own exploration.
No one is wise by birth, for wisdom results from one own’s efforts.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Two things I love in life… yoga and art.
The above quote by Thomas Merton rings very true to me. When I'm completely immersed in a sequence, a flow, a progression of poses and just feeling the rhythm of my own breath… I always likened it to losing myself in a beautiful painting or just being alive and gazing mesmerized at a mural.
At the same time, my asana practice just brings me back to who I am. Clarity… being in a lucid state of profound consciousness. Art in that same way is an ultimate form of expression and applying who you are in a creative way to facilitate emotional power.
When you're in an asana and breathing… you become art. When you see your body and the life you live as a conscious way of bringing forth beauty into your life and those of others… you are yoga.
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
We've been there before… we are engaged in a pose with great intensity, maybe shrugging our shoulders, tight at the hips, but mainly, scrunched up in the face. I've heard teachers many times say that the most advanced variation of any pose is just being in it, finding stillness and accentuating it with a smile. This is very true.
If I'm doing it, I'll be talking about it. Yoga chatter & more.