Monday, March 28, 2011

Raw, noun: 13. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.

My friends Karen and Amy over at The Kitchen Yogi Cookie Cutter Collection have just rolled out three clever new asana designs for baking. Now you can shape your yogi sugar cookies into Bakasana (Crow), Virabhadrasana A (Warrior 1), or -- best of all -- a pregnant yogi mama seated in Dandasana, her long locks blowing in the wind.

So creative, right? I can't help but smile.

Please head on over to their site and order yours for all the children and bakers and yogis in your life. What a great way to meld art, baking and creativity. I'm so impressed with these newest designs. Get your bake on already.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Always we hope someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all turn out
This is it
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.

~ Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Rainy afternoon writing gives reason to revisit Thomas Moore's movingly ecumenical words on bodies, wounds, and the poetics of illness:
Illness is to a large extent rooted in eternal causes. The Christian doctrine of original sin and the Buddhist Four Noble Truths teach that human life is wounded in its essence, and suffering is in the nature of things. We are wounded simply by participating in human life...[and] to think that the proper or natural state is to be without wounds is an illusion.

....Our wounds remind us of the gods. If we allow sickness to lead us into wonder about the very base of experience, then our spirituality is strengthened. ....We can only approach the gods through poetry, and if disease is the disguise of the gods, then our medicine will have to be full of art and image.

....When we relate to our bodies as having soul, we attend to their beauty, their poetry and their expressiveness. Our very habit of treating the body as a machine, whose muscles are like pulleys and its organs engines, forces its poetry underground, so that we experience the body as an instrument and see its poetics only in illness.
Highlights taken from Moore's much-scribbled-in chapter, "The Body's Poetics of Illness," in his 1992 Care of the Soul

Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

My musical theater boyfriend Hugh Jackman's coming to town. A most excellent decision, I must say.

Mark your calendars for a May 3-15 run at the Curran. We've got a quick window of two weeks to catch what will surely be a stellar one-man show. My boy Hugh will be backed by a 17-piece orchestra. What more could you want? Details here at SHNSF. Tix go on sale next Friday the 1st. Be there, baby. You know I will.

Hugh Jackman exclusive at Curran Theatre in May (SFGate)
Hugh Jackman in Performance ~ Official Site (SHN)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Raw, adjective: 9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.

Find grace with me.

Wednesday mornings at Glow:
9am Gentle Flow, 12pm Power Hour

Repose. Sanctuary. Refuge. Peace. Yes, you can find that in your body. Yes, you can find that in your mind. It's already there. It's just a matter of letting go of what you don't need, getting rid of what's in the way, all that mental chatter, all that unnecessary holding-on. Undoing. Being undone.

So crawl out of your rainy day cocoon and meet me on the mat. There's so much ease waiting for you there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

One of my pet peeves -- actually, more than that, something that really makes my blood boil, and hurts my heart, and weighs heavily on my mind -- is the increasing commodification of the yoga industry. It's so much about what you look like. It's so much about what you wear, which festivals you've headlined, which teachers you can claim, which DVDs you've produced, how many minions you've got following you around. (Thanks, social media.) Really gets my goat.

You a wee bit peeved by this, too? Well, then, first things first: revisit this sharp piece from the Atlantic a few years back. Absolutely ahead of its time in an analysis of an industry trend that's careening off course more quickly with every day. (Even the fact that I can talk about something in yoga as an "industry trend" gives me the shivers. Erghh. Capitalism.)

After you've done that, head on over to this recent article from The Interdependence Project. Love the IDP's voice, its sensibility, its reasonable approach to so many aspects of secular mindfulness practice. Dig into Dr. Miles Neale's follow-up to his interview with Newsweek on narcissism and yoga teachers. Neale asks the tough questions; he says what so many people fail to say: that ego is a helluva big part of this whole marketing-branding-industry thing, that so much of the photo shoot/DVD/festival ticket sales emphasis can quickly detract from the real teachings of this practice. He asks:

So what are the qualities of a true yoga teacher? What makes someone great in the yoga world, worthy of our admiration and devotion? If we cut through the appearances of the bright lights, glitz and glam, perfectly shaped bodies, well-marketed products, and the majesty of arm-balance and handstands that characterize yoga super stardom, what should we be looking for in our gurus?

Coming off a fantastic weekend in Vegas, I returned yesterday to my beloved SF with a renewed appreciation for the simple, the quiet, the unassuming, the low-key, the low-maintenance, the unaffected, the authentic, the real. In spite of the fun of the glitz and the splash and the hedonism and the unchecked joy (yes, joy) that can be so very present in that setting, I found myself hungry for a balancing dose of silence and simplicity and stillness and an utter lack of attention to things like sparkle or presentation. And that coincided nicely with this reminder that yoga -- and teaching yoga -- is at base all about the practice, the theory, the philosophy. Maybe it's because I came to yoga first, really, as a refugee from the theater world, which in spite of my unabashed adoration for it is highly self-presentation-oriented, or maybe it's because my passion for the philosophy outweighs my interest in the expensive stretchy pants that make your ass look extra hot, but I find, again and again, the most moving, most meaningful, most precious, most transformational, most comforting, most challenging aspects of this practice lie in the teachings to empty, slow, release, let go, to touch the void, the sorrow, the suffering that is the ground of all being, once all efforts at glitz and glare are gently set aside.

You don't need fancy spandex or a bright-shiny DVD or a magazine photo shoot to access any of those teachings. The humblest guru, the old bald hairy overweight one who certainly would never get a gig as a Yoga Journal model, well, he might just be your greatest source of wisdom. He might be equally full of hooey, this is true. But if there was ever a reminder to look past appearances, this is it. Your flexible hamstrings or your ripped upper body don't necessarily qualify you to teach what we laughingly call "master classes." Yogic theory reminds us that we are all always beginners, and that all things are teachers; all life is a teacher, if we let it be. Vegas is a teacher; loss is a teacher; love is a teacher; cookie dough ice cream can be a teacher, if we approach it mindfully and seek from it that which might allow us to live more truly, more fully, more authentically, with greater ease.
Ultimately a true yoga teacher is the door to liberation. It's not their perfect poses or well-packaged products, but the degree of their transformation, that helps us access our own potential for awakening. The hallmark of true yoga teacher is that they want absolutely nothing from their students, not pleasure, not fame, not fortune, not power. Since they have already found real contentment within themselves, what more could they possibly need?
What are your "doors to liberation?" If a guru is, really, that which brings one from dark to light, what are you finding these days as a source of light in the darkness, a source of revelation in the midst of the day-to-day grind? And where can you look to find more unmarketed, un-spandexed, un-Botoxed teachers in your own life? They're already there; I can guarantee you that. You just have to learn to see them.

Celebrity Yoga Teachers: Cutting Through Appearances and Discerning the Real (IDP)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.

Props to the universe for securing the inadvertent coincidence of one LA dude and one NY dude and one SF chick all happening to land in Nevada at the same time. Thanks, Vegas. In spite of my mixed feelings about your excess and consumerism and plasticity and artificiality and Middle American blah blah blah, and the way you make me realize how very inherently yogic and ascetic and monastic I am in nature (despite all vodka-soaked and tequila-laced attempts to the contrary), you kind of did us a favor. A lovely little, serendipitous, unexpected favor. One among many.

So I'll forgive you for stealing Shaun & my gambling winnings. Let's just call it even, eh?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

She thought of how much people changed you. It was the opposite of what you always heard, that no one could change a person. It wasn't true. It was only through other people that one ever did change.

~ Susan Minot, Evening

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.

Hi, hello, how are you, stranger?

Wild and woolly week here, nonstop teaching; won't slow down until I hop a plane for a quick two days this weekend. Hence, zero blogging. Lo siento. But in this moment's flash, lemme throw up a standing invitation to Glow's grand opening party this weekend.

I'll sadly not be in town, but if you're around and feeling up to braving North Beach on a Saturday night, please head over and say hello. There'll be wine, cheese, and excellent company. Help us lift a glass to this blooming new baby of ours. And scope out the studio at the same time.

Glow Yoga & Wellness
1548 Stockton (at Union)
6-10pm, Sat. March 19th.

Be there, dahhhhlings.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Raw, idiom, 14a: in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.

You know you've found the right space when, time after time, folks walk into the studio and say, radiantly, gushingly: "Ohmygosh, we're sooooooo excited you're here!!!!"

It's been a total pleasure thus far, barely two weeks into Glow's first month, to hear this sentiment spoken, over and over, out of the mouths of fired-up yogis. North Beach must've been really hungry for a yoga studio to fill this need. No matter how tired I am or how long the day stretches ahead, I always, always lose sight of everything but this sense of sheer joy, excitement, walking down those stairs to the street lighter, smiling, energized, hopeful, content.

Please join us at the new studio if you haven't yet had the chance. The space really just glows. Tonight, I'll be leading a Level 1 practice at 6, followed by an All Levels vinyasa at 7:30. You should see how night falls there. The funky chandeliers swing low beams throughout the room. There's certainly something to be said for a prana-filled studio...and the prana-filled bodies, and minds, and lives, that result.

See you on the mat, doves.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.

Tomorrow marks six -- count 'em, six -- years spent shaking martinis behind that bar. Unbelievable, if you ask me. And yet, at the same time, perfectly perfect. A lot of water's gone under the bridge in those six years, a lot of cocktails shaken and strained, a lot of barstools filled with a constantly-rotating mosaic of faces, a lot of wine spilled, a lot of dirty jokes cracked.

In light of this wee anniversary, I sat down with last year's blog on the Yoga of Bartending -- Bartendasana, if you will -- also known as "How to be a Bhakti Ninja." It's one of my favorite pieces of writing ever, I think -- that beloved melding of theory and real-life, philosophy and practice, theology and grit, ideas and bodies. And it makes me laugh, and cringe, and smile, and cry, maybe even just a little, and look oh-so-fondly upon those six years of one of the most unintended, unexpected blessings (and teachers) of my life. I give thanks for this guru -- for the broken glasses and the cracked hands and the tired feet and the weary chatter. Such great thanks. For she has taught me so much...

Bartendasana: the huffing-puffing, bending-twisting, sweating-flirting,
laughing-cursing embodied moving meditation that is shaking
cocktails in a dimly-lit, jazz-infused, oak-scented bar.
See also: bhakti ninja.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Raw, adjective: 8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal; receiving raw treatment from his friends.

I was up early this morning, planning to get some work done before heading out for the usual Friday morning assist/teach routine. The first suggestion that something might be unusual about this day was an old friend's admonition to "Get out of low-lying areas and head for high land!"

I thought: what the f@$k?

The Chron quickly filled me in on the latest. Holy Japanese earthquake. 8.9. Incomprehensible, even to those of us in regions accustomed to talking seismology. The photos and video, even moreso.

It was a strange juxtaposition, this melding of disaster and early morning, because the day here in SF broke clear and bright, fresh, new, March in all her blooming glory. I sat at my desk and looked out into the garden and everything was yet pristine, silent, untouched. Knowing we were due to see tsunami waves in about an hour (landfall was estimated at 8am our time, this being 7 or so), I watched with curiosity, weirdly detached, making my coffee, reading my email, knowing this huge wave was barreling toward us across the Pacific, and knowing at the same time that there was nothing at all we could do about it.

I followed with interest the sporadic updates from an old high school classmate now living in Japan, who'd walked the many miles home after the trains stopped running, scavenged for some water and soy milk, and slept restlessly in the wake of aftershocks. This veritable stranger, he who I have not seen since we were, oh, 17 (thank you, strange and ambiguous Facebook), was an eye unto the world the rest of us were only reading about in dauntingly tragic news stories. His hastily tapped-out reports lent everything a much more intimate feel, from his wishing he'd worn better sneakers to endure the 20km walk, to his gratitude for wearing a few layers and having remembered to stock up on water at the convenience store before the shelves were emptied by scavenging locals.

Survival's a funny thing. How small and vulnerable, impermanent and transient, disasters like this make us feel - and yet, at the same time, completely, falsely impervious.

I dried my hair and threw some apples in my bag and tied on my sweater and rolled out the door per usual, like any other Friday morning, heading down Polk St. for my weekly morning amble through the awakening Tenderloin, and the awnings were wet with water from the street cleaners, and the homeless guys were curled up on the sidewalk yet asleep, and City Hall was shining as its sunlit gilt facade welcomed power-suit-clad dudes rolling in for the workday.

And it was all very much blasé, and all completely different, at once.

Walking south, I was reminded of the clear blue sky that Tuesday morning in September 2001 when I stepped out of the University of Delaware library onto the sunny, magnolia-lined Mall, having spent the morning with my nose deep in The Sexual Politics of Meat, unaware that anything out of the ordinary had occurred; the day was so purely, eerily peaceful and perfect and bright and hopeful and cerulean blue that it hardly seemed possible that just a few hours north, disaster had struck, the twin towers were falling, and mass casualties were littering the streets of Manhattan.

There's a weird guilt that comes of feeling quite safe and peaceful and "normal" and at ease when one knows of the great tragedy, pain, dis-ease being felt across an ocean. We saw echoes of that tumult in the tiny tsunami waves that touched our Pacific coastline, in the undulating rhythms that wrought unusual crests to this morning's low tide, but they were only hints, watered-down memories, remnants, souvenirs of the real action.

It was a sobering reminder, this, that it could just as easily have been us, and likely will be, one of these days. And I'll admittedly not be ready, in the expected ways; I don't have an earthquake kit in the cabinet, in spite of all good advice; I sleep well, without fear of the earth shaking; most of us locals take pleasure in the roiling and rolling earth, sharing wide-eyed stories of where we were when the last one hit, disappointment at not feeling the latest, gruesome thrills in the unsteady reminders of our own mortality that come at the most unexpected of times.

Kind and warm and wonderful, yes, to have caring thoughts sent westward from those in the rest of the country, and yet this Friday feels very much like any other, here; we buy Claritin and go to the bank and teach a few sun salutations and come home to our routines, and yet in the midst of all these, we feel how deeply our brothers and sisters elsewhere wretch and twist and weep in the midst of great sorrow and destruction.

This is where the Buddhist - Tantric - Christian (yes, even Christian, if we talk Process and Ecofeminist theologies) teachings of interrelatedness really hit home for me. How easy it is to go on with our perceived normalcy, saying, "Oh, whatevs, the sky's blue and taxes are due and oh shit, there's that article deadline, too," and on and on, ad infinitum, getting lost in our own own little daily to-dos, and yet then, there, you have moments like this, when the fact that your suffering is mine becomes so very very clear, transcendent, really, and so you sit at your desk and you walk through the Tenderloin and you go to the studio and you soften a few shoulders and sing a few words in Sanskrit and yet all of those mundane activities are charged with the awareness that a) they are fleeting, and b) they are extraordinary in their very mundanity, and c) they are not to be taken for granted, because d) you do not have to be here, the universe does not owe you anything, it has not promised you one extra breath and will never promise you more, so e) you'd sure as hell better be right here, right now, and breathe it in and feel it and see it and give a soft bow of the head to this body, this moment, this breath, this life. Because it does not have to be.

The studio today, heaving with over a hundred sweating stretching beautiful yogis breathing in and out to the rhythm of a heartbeat, swelled the song of 3 shared Oms offered with the intent that all might be free from suffering, that all might find peace. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. It was a rare and precious privilege to be in that space at the moment, eyes open, wandering from person to person as the waft of a simple stick of incense filled the air. The beauty, the intention, the furrowed brows, the sorrow felt so empathetically; all of it was clear, embodied, real, true, felt, sung, breathed, and my heart swelled and broke a bit in joy and great aching in seeing this small effort, this really just attempting to be present and awake and aware, and to do what we can with what little we have, here, from thousands of miles away, in a sunlit room at 10 in the morning wearing stretchy pants on fraying mats with sore muscles and sweat dripping down our brows and a bright-eyed toddler giggling to himself along the far wall.

It made me feel human, and connected, and small, and vast, at once. Those voices. That chanting. We do what we can. Even if it is ostensibly small. Because it ripples out. As the earth ripples. As the sea ripples. As our metta meditation ripples.

If there was ever a time to practice metta meditation - that offering of hope for peace and non-suffering for all, be they strangers, beloveds, or those for whom we feel little at all but dispassion - this is it. Come into the metta. Let it drive you. Let it release you from your own small dramas and remind you that the heart of this practice - any spiritual practice - lies in our efforts at compassion, lovingkindness, peace, at that getting outside of ourselves and into the shared suffering that is the only true constant of being alive.

People of Japan, and those who love you, and those who are near, and those who are far, and those who are touched by this disaster, and even (especially) those who think they are untouched, untouchable, immortal, superhuman:

May you be free from suffering. May you find peace.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raw, noun: 13. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.

Elbow-deep in plans for teaching some exciting spring workshops with my dear colleagues over at The Kitchen Yogi Cookie Cutter Collection. We'll have a merry medley of art, asana, creativity, baking and yoga philosophy. Stay tuned for more details to come. And in the meantime, mark your calendars for the weekend of May 20-22nd. You won't wanna miss this action.

Raw, adjective: 8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal; receiving raw treatment from his friends.

Disappointment in Wisconsin (and the rest of the country) as we wake to news of civil rights lost. It's the kind of story that merits great attention, and the recent days here, packed with back-to-back classes and interviews and Bali prep and deadlines and whew, trying to find a breath somewhere in there, have not allowed adequate time for that. So on my way out the door here in the early morning dark, I offer you two reads:

1) a quick report from Madison courtesy of the Interdependence Project, which asks questions of samsara and selfhood, populism and compassion, unions and interconnection, and that ultimate one: what would Jesus/Buddha do?

2) a graceful profile from The Magazine of Yoga marrying the dual practices of writing and yoga. This is dear to my heart for obvious reasons. Skim it, find in it yet another affirmation of the ways in which our various practices transcend the mat, and then get at it - whatever your chosen practice might be. Here's a blurb:
Both yoga and writing are, of course, practices: Activities in which one needs to engage with less focus on accomplishment and end product and more on the actual moment. A favorite yoga teacher of mine used to say, throughout class—but especially during very uncomfortable poses—“be here now.”

Writing is often like being in an uncomfortable pose for a long, long time and I sometimes have to tell myself to just be here now.
Happy Thursday morning.

Samsara and Selfhood: Where the Practice Meets the Pavement (IDP)
Practices: Joanna Smith Rakoff (The Mag of Yoga)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

The breath has a rhythm, a heartbeat, like a metronome. In through the nose, out through the nose, always steady, rhythmic, beating, undulating. Rising and falling like an ocean wave, audibly, consistently, perpetually, whether we deign to acknowledge that fact or not.

Really quite remarkable, this: the unending constancy of the breath, from that first inhale, to the final exhalation that signifies the close of this moment, in this body, in this life.

Yoga means paying attention. Paying attention to those things we most often take for granted: the heartbeat, the breath, the pinky toe, the elbow that bends, the ear that tilts. Come into the breath. Notice it. Don't take it for granted. It will not always be so.

Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Ever notice how warm and radiant this space feels? The Sanskrit name for the 2nd chakra - the orange one - is Svadhisthana. This sacral belly chakra represents creativity, sexuality, joy, vitality and wellness. Get your orange on with some vigorous vinyasa tonight at 6.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

Seriously cannot get enough of Sharon Salzberg these days.

I watched an interview with her a few weeks ago - a somewhat cringe-inducing mainstream piece that prefaced Salzberg's appearance with the image of hippie meditators chillin' in a room that "smells like feet" - and was struck by her lightness, her realism, and her down-to-earth persona. In the time since, her name keeps popping up here and there, and as I've been digging more deeply into her work, I am continually struck by the revelations therein.

This piece is no exception. Read it for a grounded understanding of what it's like to practice in a body, whether that's a seated meditation practice, a yoga practice, or even an artistic practice akin to music or dance. Here's an excerpt:
The process is one of continually trying to greet our experience, whatever it is, with mindfulness, lovingkindness, and compassion; it helps us to realize that everything changes constantly and to be okay with that. The effort we make in meditation is a willingness to be open, to come close to what we have avoided, to be patient with ourselves and others, and to let go of our preconceptions, our projections, and our tendency not to live fully. ...

My view of the matter was enlarged and my understanding transformed when I realized that mindfulness wasn’t inaccessible or remote; it was always right there with me. The moment I remembered it—the moment I noticed that I was forgetting to practice it—there it was! My mindfulness didn’t need to get better, or be as good as somebody else’s. It was already perfect. So is yours. But that truth is easily forgotten in the midst of our busy lives and complicated relationships. One reason we practice is to recall that truth, so that we can remember to be mindful more and more often throughout the day, and remember more naturally. Regular practice makes mindfulness a part of us.
I especially love her blurb on using ordinary moments of our lives as meditations. I find myself doing the same thing - finding glimpses of a meditation practice on the bus, at the grocery store, walking to work - and believe that many of us can find flashes of stillness and compassion throughout the course of the day, even if that doesn't look like half-lotus-style seated meditation in the midst of lives busy with child-raising and job-working and house-cleaning and the like:
You can access the forces of mindfulness and lovingkindness at any moment, without anyone knowing you’re doing it. You don’t have to walk excruciatingly slowly down the streets of a major metropolis, alarming everyone around you (in fact, please don’t); you can be aware in less obvious ways.

Rest your attention on your breath, or feel your feet against the ground—in a meeting, during a telephone conversation, walking the dog; doing so will help you be more aware of and sensitive to all that is happening around you. Throughout the day, take a moment to stop your headlong rush and torrent of doing to simply be—mindfully eating a meal, feeding a baby, or listening to the flow of sounds around you. Even in difficult situations, this pause can bring a sense of connection or of relief from obsessing about what you don’t have now or about what event or person might make you happy someday in the future.

Once when I was teaching a retreat, I had to go up and down a flight of stairs many times a day. I decided to make walking on that staircase part of my practice. Every time I went up or down, I paused first to remind myself to pay attention. It was useful, and it was fun. I’ve also resolved to do lovingkindness practice whenever I find myself waiting. Waiting on line in the grocery store. Sitting and waiting in a doctor’s office. Waiting for my turn to speak at a conference. And I count all forms of transportation as waiting (as in waiting to get to the next place or event), so on airplanes, subways, buses, in cars, and when walking down the street, I begin: May I be peaceful; may I be safe; may I be happy. Why not, in those “in-between” times, generate the force of lovingkindness? You’re likely to find that this weaving of meditation into everyday experience is a good way of bringing your meditation practice to life.
So good. Get in there.

Sticking With It (Tricycle)

Raw, adjective: 9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.

Yoga 101 with Rachel Meyer Yoga starts today at 1pm. Break out your ratty sweatpants, chug some coffee, and roll on in. You don't even need a mat.

We'll chat a bit about what yoga is (a moving meditation connecting the breath) and what yoga is not (rich skinny white ladies in expensive pants). Then we'll get on with it: a little pranayama here, a little asana there, maybe a few Vira A and Bs, a little Ustrasana, you know.

So don't be a weenie. Come on in. I'll be gentle, I swear.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

Listen -- are you breathing just a
little, and calling it a life?

~ poet Mary Oliver

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Natasha runs the show during our first morning of classes at Glow Yoga & Wellness. The space is warm and light, resonant and bright, and just thrumming with prana. (Can't you feel it?) And - man, oh man - do those high ceilings make for magic when you sing. Check it out.

All in all, a great first day.

Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.


Music and dance-infused Vinyasa, Flying Yoga Shala:
4308 Telegraph Ave, Temescal, Oakland
Tues 745-915p All-levels heated vinyasa
Sat 430-6p Level 1/2 heated vinyasa

Music and dance-infused Vinyasa, Glow Yoga & Wellness:
1548 Stockton St. (at Union), SF
Mon 6-7:15p All-levels vinyasa
Mon 7:30-8:45p All-levels vinyasa
Weds 9-10:15a Mellow Flow vinyasa (Slower, long holds. Ideal for the older practitioner, or the very new.)
Weds 12-1p Lunchtime vinyasa (Quickie 60-minute class)
Sun 1-2:15p Yoga 101 (Perfect for the ultimate beginner. I'll be gentle, I promise.)

Private Corporate Classes:
Tues 12-1p Intermediate
Tues 1:30-2:30p All-levels
Thurs 7-8a All-levels
Fri 11:30-12:30p All-levels

Non-Profit Classes at the Women's Building:
Alternate Thursdays, 2:30-3:30p, 3543 18th St. (at Valencia)
March 3, March 17, April 21st
(Free! For chicks.)

Assisting Rusty Wells at Urban Flow:
Friday mornings, 9am, All-levels
(Bangin' drums, great athletic sweat, fantastic sequencing.)

Assisting MC Yogi at Urban Flow:
Thursday evenings, 6:15pm, Level 2/3
(Candlelight, good music, rad vibes, creative asana.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

Still searching for that comfy neighborhood studio where you can roll outta bed, brush your teeth, chug a cup of coffee, stumble down the block, and unroll the mat? Search no more.

My beautiful colleague Natasha has crafted a radiant new yoga and wellness center, right in the heart of old North Beach, and I am so pleased to be joining her as a teacher several days a week. Please join us to get your sweat and your soul on at GLOW Yoga & Wellness, 1548 Stockton (at Union).

The studio officially opens today, March 1st, and for the month of March, all classes run just $10. (10 bucks! Come on.) I'll be there Wednesday mornings at 9 for a slower-paced mellow flow, and at noon for a quick 60-minute lunchtime vinyasa. Join me Sunday afternoons at 1pm for Yoga 101 (eager beginners and clueless wannabe-yogis oh-so-welcome), and Monday evenings at 6 and 7:30 for two back-to-back flow classes.

Spring's in the air. Let that freshness infuse your practice. Now's the time. I'll see you in North Beach, loves.