Monday, August 31, 2009
The possibilities in each new day are endless. The power to make a difference and create value is our own, in each moment. Love is ours to give. Joy is ours to share. It begins in our thoughts. Thoughts that create positive intentions stimulate the fruition of our visions and fulfillment of our desires. When we begin to love ourselves and uplift our fellow man by seeking goodness in all things, we will inevitably experience goodness in all things. Be open to love, joy and peace. With patience, kindness, forgiveness, a calm heart, and generous soul so many things in this world can change. Be that change. Be the love, joy and peace you want for the world, and you will receive it from the world. Be Love.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
After a day of Yoga and Reiki Sessions, I decided to treat myself to a wonderful lunch at the Ayurveda Cafe, on 94th & Amsterdam in Manhattan. Like on many sunny days, I tend to wear a big sun hat, and loose cottony yoga clothes, resembling a tourist. Well, my tourist appearance caught the eye of another patron, Stefanie, who I introduced myself to and invited to join me.
While feasting on an amazing array of Vegetarian items that were true to Ayurveda being Sattvic (pure) and incorporating the six tastes: sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent, I also had the pleasure of wonderful conversation with Stefanie.
Turns out Stefanie is an aspiring Yogini, and soon will complete her Yoga training. We talked about many topics like Yoga in NYC, the commercial side of Yoga, her Yoga school, the importance of having a personal Yoga practice, Ayurveda, favorite Yoga teachers and much more. Like many Yoga teachers in NYC, Stefanie has a background in dance. I always enjoy hearing the experience of other Yoga teachers and their personal mission with their practice, because what we do on our Yoga Mat is a reflection of what we do beyond it. Thank you Stefanie for your lovely company and I wish you well on your journey! Peace & hugs, Ambria
My amazing friend Shinji did my re-attuning for Reiki the other day. He himself felt a tremendous energy exchange during the Reiki 2 attuning, as did I. While Reiki is a form of energetic healing, it is important to go to someone who has that special energy, and heat in their hands. I wanted to share this post to thank Shinji for his amazing friendship, and talent that he has shared with me. Shinji is a Reiki Master, Karuna Reiki Master and an incredible artist. If anyone is interested in getting attuned with Reiki, I highly recommend my friend Shinji. It is a wonderful experience to share in this transfer of positive energy and awareness. For more information about Reiki and Shinji please visit: http://www.truepath33.com/
Soon after my re-attuning, I gave a couple sessions, and wow, what a difference!!! Totally amazed! I guess like with everything in life it is important to continue training, practice, and get regular tune ups!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
8-26-09, Live @ The Peoples Lounge, Ambria (myself) & Alicia (my beautiful friend) did a few bellydance routines for the wonderful, Shelita Vaughns and her amazing band. As usual a fantastic crowd was buzzing at this monthly Bourbon Street event on the Lower East Side. We were the special guest treat for the night! We danced to Shelita's songs "Seduction" and "Coffee". Since space was limited, just a half an hour before the gig, I revamped the entire choreography for "Coffee", and as expected my talented friend Alicia picked it up like the pro that she is, and we entertained the crowd with the sensual art of Bellydance. As with any live performance, the song "Seduction" was slightly different than the recording me and Alicia rehearsed to, but we improvised a bit and pulled it off. I must admit, all those years of Indian dance had a purpose.
The show was tons of fun, and the crowd loved us!!! While I am used to singing at the piano @ the Peoples Lounge, this was also a treat for me. It is always fun to express the softer, sensual feminine sides of who we are in dance, especially Bellydance. If you have never done Bellydance before, find a class in your area. Bellydance is a wonderful workout and lots of fun! Thanks Shelita for inviting me back! You & your band sounded great as usual! Thanks Alicia for joining me, it was lots of fun to dance with you. For more pics or future show dates visit: www.ambriaonline or www.myspace.com/ambriaonline
~Peace & hugs, Ambria
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This past Tuesday evening, I was invited to conduct a seminar on Ayurveda/Dosha's. After the success of Loren Slocum's seminar last week @ Bamboomoves, many people signed up for Michael Baez's 21 days to health & fitness challenge. The challenge itself is amazing, it offers participants 21 days of various seminars, classes, colon hydrotherapy, and so much more, at a fraction of the cost!!! Such a wonderful way to introduce healthy living to people in NYC.
I introduced a small group of new Yoga devotees to their Dosha. It was an intimate group and each participant took a small Ayurveda/Dosha quiz to discover which Dosha is specific to each individual. Your dosha helps to uncover your Mind, Body Type, and it is helpful to know this when embarking on Yoga. In India their would be extensive questions and tests to uncover the exact details of your individual physiology, which will result in diet alterations, herbal treatments and amazing oil massage. Here in NYC, I offered the ladies diet tips to balance out their Dosha, signs to see when our Dosha is in balance or out of balance, good & bad foods, good & bad tastes, and specific Ayurveda tips for common troubles and ailments in the body like: cellulite, Menopause, Kidney Stones, Hair Loss, Cold and Flu and much more.
We ate healthy snacks, learned new places and foods to shop for, and had a wonderful fun night. Thanks to Bamboomoves for hosting a lovely event. It was my pleasure to help these beautiful ladies on their journey to better health and wellness. If you or someone you love wants to discover this 5,ooo year old Ayurveda: Science of Life, please visit my website www.zogayoga.com, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 619 6891, and we can set up a one on one session. Their are also great books available and Ayurveda Doctors/practitioners that can further help you on your personal journey to better health. Your Body Deserves More! ~Peace & Hugs, Ambria
Last week, I attended an amazing event hosted by Bamboomoves. A Health & Wellness Seminar led by Loren Slocum. Loren is one of the speakers for Tony Robbins. Loren introduced the tremendous turn out of people to wonderful health concerns. She touched upon eating/chewing slow to ensure proper digestion, eating real foods as opposed to processed as often as possible, staying hydrated, and so much more. She touched upon the rise in Type 2 Diabetes in North America, primarily with kids. We need to cut out the sugar, white flours and other nastiness so our kids learn better eating habits. She spoke about grazing, 4 small meals, rather than wait till your starving to eat which may spike your insulin. Loren was truly a breath of fresh air and a wealth of knowledge. It was such a privilege to attend her seminar. Some other tips: Juice your veggies and fruits, try "Juice Plus" gummies for kids (low sugar, high in goodness gummies), Stay hydrated with a good amount of water, and monitor your poop (we need regular bowel movements to keep the colon clean). For more information about Loren visit: www.lorenslocum.com. You can also find Loren in Fiji conducting the famous, Anthony Robbins workshops. The seminar was wonderful, and the tremendous turn out was as well. It is so great to see people be pro active about their health.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ahimsa (अहिंसा) Which is considered to be one the main Yogic Yamas and translates as Nonviolence. This Yama includes refraining from inflicting/causing injury, harm, or pain to any living creature in thought, word, or action at any time. This is such a beautiful principal to approach life and all living creatures with. This Yogic Path/Yama is also an inspiration for many who choose the vegetarian lifestyle. It is also related to many Yogis love and affinity to animals. I know I love animals too much and abstain from eating meat due to that love.
Today, while taking a walk I was approached by some young gentlemen carrying a litter of six adorable, blue eyed, 6 week old, pit bull puppies for sale. These puppies were too cute. I personally never really wanted a pit bull for a pet, but wow these little munchkins looked so huggable! While Pit bulls are usually associated with viciousness, I asked the guys if it is true. They said that it depends on how you raise them. Much like the famous Martin Luther King Jr quote "Violence begets violence", I was reminded of the Yogic Path/Principal of Ahimsa, as I stood there petting the little munchkins while going goo goo gaa gaa over there adorableness. If every person made an effort to adapt this principal of Ahimsa, what a wonderful, peaceful world this would be.
Reiki is a holistic energy healing modality that began in Japan. It shares and transfers the Universal Life Force Energy. From a Religious standpoint it is similar to laying of hands, and from a Scientific standpoint, we are all energy made up of active cells that can be charged and depleted with energetic experiences. This powerful, laying of hands technique restores balance and harmony to the mind/body/spirit. While it is growing in popularity due to its amazing healing results and relation to the energetic chakras, I personally love to share this gentle touch with people.
In the tranquil, candle lit, private room at Bamboomoves, I had a wonderful session. Since I usually can feel a persons energy my hands gravitated to the areas that the person required extra attention. The chakras that were slightly off balance were the 3rd (Solar Plexus/Manipura), 5th (Throat/Vishudda) & 6th (Third Eye/Anja). After the session, the client was asked what she experienced. While the common intense, relaxing heat was felt all over her body, she also saw the coinciding colors of the Chakras that I was working on. It was an amazing session and I am thankful to have been a help to her. For more information about experiencing this relaxing restoration for the mind, body and spirit contact me at www.zogayoga.com or
contact bamboomoves at http://www.bamboomovesnyc.com/index.php/bbx
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This past Saturday August 15th, marked India's independence day. The day when India was independent from British rule and tyranny. I had my own belated celebration at my favorite Indian Restaurant in Tuckahoe, NYC "Spice Village". The food at this restaurant is similar to eating at your favorite Indian Aunty's house in India!!! For those of you who may not have a favorite Indian Auntie in India....the food is just plain YUMMMMMY!!! Incredible Vegetarian items, delicious desserts and buffet lunches! I was excited to see that they will be having special Onam Sadya for a few days towards the end of August and leading into September. For those of you who don't know...Onam is a South Indian Festival, specifically from the state of Kerala. Onam Sadya is the huge feast of vegetarian items that are specially prepared to celebrate this festival. If you are not on vacation in South India for Onam, where you will feast on amazing food, watch Boat Races, witness beautiful art displays made with fresh flowers and more.....All vegetarians should check out the Onam Sadya at Spice Village. It is the thing closest to Authentic Indian Cuisine in NYC! I can't wait!!! For more info about my favorite Indian Restaurant in NYC visit: http://www.spicevillage.net/
Congratulations to my lovely client, Joan. Watching people progress to achieve desired goals is always a highlight of being a teacher. When you are a Yoga Instructor, you have the chance to see a total Mind, Body and Spirit transformation. Not only has Joan shed 4 lbs since doing only 4 yoga sessions with me. She has a radiant glow that only Yoga brings. Her arms are stronger, her tummy is tighter, and she walks with confidence and joy. The best is to witness the improvement in flexibility. When Joan and I began working together, she had noticed the challenge of a foreword fold/bend (Utanasana), but now she is touching her toes. YEAAAAH!!!! Congratulations Joan! You look amazing in your new Yoga clothes and you are making amazing strides in your Yoga Journey. I am so proud to work with you and participate in the deepening of your Yoga Practice! ~Peace & hugs, Ambria
Posted by Ambria of riya yoga at 12:13 PM
So many children throughout the World are considered "Special Needs". I have had the privilege both as a Teacher and Yoga instructor to work with kids with Autism, CP, ADHD, and Down Syndrome. It is amazing to see the positive reaction of all kids to both Yoga and Music. For some time, I have been working on music for Kids Yoga as a solo project. My inspiration for this project grows every day with the consistent positive feedback from parents and kids to the power of music. Children with Down Syndrome in particular enjoy the rhythms, melodies, and patterns that music provides. The best part about the power of Music/Yoga combination is that Children who may normally keep emotions inside, or display higher levels of frustration immediately feel calm and happy. Many researchers have found that music does have the power to heal and is used as a recognized form of medical therapy. Soon to come will be my own Solo Kids Yoga Music along with original music that I am writing for Yogi Beans. The rhymes and rhythms of music have helped us all learn our ABC's and made the learning process fun. We should never forget this wonderful gift that music has.
Last week, my passion for this project was further solidified when I had a Kids Yoga Session with Zane. I watched in amazement as this four year old, little boy with Down Syndrome sat and listened intently to the music I was singing and playing. He also clapped his hands to the beat with his proud mom helping him along. Music has a power greater than we ever admit. It makes us feel emotions, captures moments, helps us grow, and connects us all, much like love. For anyone who is interested in teaching Yoga to Kids with Special needs, I highly recommend the book: Yoga for the Special Child, By, Sonia Sumar.
Posted by Ambria of riya yoga at 11:42 AM
Often times the amazing gifts of Yoga Instructors get overlooked. I just wanted to write a post to highlight the tremendous generosity of heart of my fellow Yogini and friend Jessie Conrad. Jessie and I did our Pre Natal Yoga Training together. She was kind enough to take over my Pre Natal Classes at Namaste, BK when I had scheduling conflicts. This amazing Pre Natal Yoga Instructor is also an experienced Doula. Most recently, when my time with music projects occupied many of my hours, Jessie was kind enough to Sub my Noon Time Group Classes. Which was wonderful since she lives in BK and is much closer to the location. Unfortunately, one day, Jessie forgot her key to the Yoga Studio, and no one was inside the studio to let her in. While many would consider this a dilemma..... this amazing Rock Star Yogini enthusiastically led the group of yoga enthusiasts to the local park to lead them in an outdoor yoga class. WOW!!! That is an amazing generous heart. Words cannot describe my appreciation for such an amazing friend and fellow Yoga Instructor. Thank you Jessie and I wish you the best on your journey. ~Peace & Hugs, Ambria
Posted by Ambria of riya yoga at 11:34 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Bamboo Moves invited me to teach an evening Yoga class last night (Monday August 10th). While the day for me was an emotional one, I was excited to teach at a new studio. I ventured to the studio and participated in the 6:30 Belly dance class, which was too much fun. 7:30 rolls around and an ocean of yogis pour into the studio, vertically lining up their mats and eager for a yoga session. I was amazed at the crowd. The room was full (over 25 people). Some people were squeezing their mats horizontally and positioning themselves in the wee corners of the room. The day was a hot 90 degree summer day and the evening maintained that heat. We progressed into an energetic yoga class that left the entire group in a drenched sweat, an emotional high, and an overall sense of harmony.
I was impressed with the dedication every student maintained in the class. Since it was an open level class, many beginners found themselves more limber at the end of class. As with my every class, I invite students to create a dedication/intention, and use their breath to bring more positive energy towards that dedication/intention. The unity and beauty of our synchronized breathing through the fluid asana work, and the brilliant resonance of a loud Ommmm at the end of class left me in awe. I am so happy and thankful to have taught such a large group of people, shared in such an amazing flow of positive energy, and to have shared my yoga practice in a gorgeous studio like Bamboo Moves. ~ Namaste
Friday, August 7, 2009
The other day during a Private Yoga class my student had her first try at Camel Pose or Ustrasana. While this is a challenging pose for beginner students, I was impressed with her enthusiasm. The experience reminded me of my last trip to India with my Daddy. We explored many corners of India and went to Rajasthan. In the gorgeous region of Rajasthan I had the wonderful opportunity to ride on a Camel near one of the lovely palaces. It was so fun!
I am really excited about my newest project that I have been given. I am doing the film score for a brilliant independent film "Karma Road". Most recently the director called me and asked if I could act in a scene for the film with a small part. I happily jumped on board. The scene was overlooking the gorgeous shore of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I had a huge headache most of the day. However, after shooting a series of takes, I was given an amazing neck massage by the lead actress "Manani". It is amazing the energy that is shared with a group of artists in a short time frame. I was happy to return the favor to her towards the end of the day. The cast, crew and everyone involved with this film are all amazing. I am thankful to have worked with such talented young people. Here in the picture (L-R) Manani, Ambria, Alisha, Seema.
Monday, August 3, 2009
A bridge is a gorgeous structure that provides a passage way over an obstacle, it clears a path, and assists on our journey. In life we come across many physical and metaphorical bridges. Some bridges we cross, pass under, gaze upon, and sometimes even burn. Every bridge has a purpose, memory and place in our journey. In yoga we perform our bridge pose (setu bandha saravangasana) which is a back bend pose that opens the chest/heart chakra, strengthens the spine, improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the tushy and thighs region. (Yes, I said "tushy"). Just like in life, a Yoga Bridge is beautiful, strong, and has a special purpose for our heart.
- Begin lying on your back.
- Keeping the soles of your feet on the mat, bend your knees with heels close to tush.
- Inhale and lift your pelvis up to the sky
- Gently roll your shoulders under, interlace fingers, pressing them into the floor while raising hips higher.
- Keep your feet parallel and draw your chest toward your chin, continue to breathe.
- Exhale and release your hands to the sides, and lower upper, middle and lower back down to the mat.
- Allow your knees to fall in and rest.
Variations include holding ankles, lifting one leg (intermediate) and coming into the pose from shoulder stand (advanced). Whatever bridge you come across in life or in yoga, enjoy, learn and breathe! Namaste ~ www.zogayoga.com