Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dallas does Vegan


Holiday time is a wonderful time for families to get together and enjoy. For some it is tough because family time may feel like obligatory torture, but for me and my family, it is awesome, outstanding fun and joy! This year we spent the Holidays in Dallas, and it was truly magnificent. My family in Dallas loves to laugh, loves to eat, loves to make hilarious jokes, and shares in the genetic love for a healthy sense of humor with a hint of sarcasm, which I thrive on at times. It is good to be able to laugh at yourself once in a while, and when you are surrounded by like minded people, it makes the experience so much funnier!

While I maintained my vegan diet, and stuck to my daily yoga every morning, I used the opportunity to enlighten my omnivore relatives to leave the dark side and come to the healthier, higher energy, youthful glow, energized, global consciousness, animal loving side for good - vegetarian, I did experience backlash. Luckily for me, the Indian diet has many healthy, delicious vegan options, and my family members are amazing chefs. Since I have many family members who do eat meat, I have always been compassionate and understand how habits, marketing and comfort can dictate a persons dietary habits. While you may not want to read every label, it doesn't hurt to be more aware of what we are putting into our bodies. Also, when facts prove that the acidity level, toxicity level, hormone and chemical processing that goes into an omnivore diet can affect your complexion, your ability to withstand sickness, increase your chances of cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and heart disease....well it doesn't hurt to eat some veggies once in awhile. I enjoyed the ribbing from my family, and was happy to highlight the long term benefits from a more alkalized diet, especially since I could use myself as an example. I have to admit I ate more than I usually consume during the Holidays, and loved every vegetarian bite. My amazing cousin Roshni (our designated family chef) was kind enough to bake delicious vegan brownies for me one night which I enjoyed and shared. Thanks Roshni! We had a great organic market called "Sprouts" literally down the block from the house, and my cousin Ambily took me there so I could stock up on my favorite foods: Kale, Spinach, Avacados, nuts, Cucumbers, grapefruit, bananas, berries, and of course Coconut Ice cream from "So Delicious" in Peanut Butter Chocolate swirl!!! Yea, I said Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl folks!!! Even my hard core Omnivore relatives enjoyed that one!! I may have enjoyed it a little too much myself, as I seem to have come back with a 5lbs extra winter coat, but worth every delicious inch.

On my last day in Dallas, my Amazing cousin Ambily, took me to a cute, wonderfully delicious vegan restaurant in Dallas, called Spiral Diner. Thanks Ambily! Although they had amazing food options, we went after lunch, so we ate dessert and had yummy Coconut based Vegan Strawberry ice cream, and took vegan dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and vegan snicker doodles (which I never knew what a snicker doodle was until now), and vegan pumpkin cheese cake, in a take away box. That evening 20 of us ventured to the Cheesecake factory, so while I feasted on my salad & sweet potato fries, I also got to enjoy some Vegan Cheese cake when it came to desert time. Thanks to my family, Y'all made the Holidays such an amazing experience!!! Haven't had a christmas this good in years!!!
Pictured: Ambily and myself at Spiral Diner in Dallas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Partner Yoga in Group Classes














As I have mentioned before, in life, in NYC, we tend to feel like we are all alone. We cling to our yoga mat, and forget that we are sharing in the vibrational energy of others around us. While it is wonderful to dive deep into the spirit on our mat, sometimes sharing the experience with another person can be incredible. When we share, we can go deeper, we can support, we can encourage, we can feel love, we can feel support, and we can have fun! Every once in awhile I like to reconfigure the mats in the middle of a yoga class, and have students work with a partner. This builds community, helps synchronize the pranayama energy, and it's fun! A wonderful tool for instructors to use when designing a yoga class. It's important to remind people that this world is there to support us, but we must be open to that love to and be able to give that love back, in order to receive it.
Photo: Saturday level 1 yoga @ Bamboomoves, BX

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Best New Kids Book Ever!!!


Are you looking for the perfect gift for a child, or a child at heart? Look no further! I have written and illustrated a soon to be NY times Best Seller, "The Yoga Adventures of Priya and Pooch ~ Indian Treasure". It is a story about a little girl and her puppy who go to India in search of treasure, explore yoga, eat healthy snacks, and learn. The book has brightly colored illustrations, pages with interactive yoga poses, and potential for discussion topics. Possible discussion topics or activities include: Special life moments, body movement, adventures, animals, counting, breathing, healthy eating, treasures, geography and much more!!! In the times where we are living, with obesity rates growing rapidly, and physical education cuts being made to the school system, it is important for us all to join together to inspire health to the younger generation. As a former NY State Teacher, with experience in the grade 1 and 4 classroom, once upon a time, I was disappointed with how the Education system has phased out Physical Education classes, Arts classes, and Especially music classes, but rather than complain, I decided to "Be the Change I wish to See in the World" as Gandhi asked us to do. It is my passion to inspire young and old to take the best care of their bodies, minds and spirits. Yoga and Music provide both, and improve our vibrational frequency, which translates into improving our ability to be attuned to the gifts of this Universe! It is a wonderful tool for parents or educators to inspire health and wellness, literacy, and fun in kids, as well as deepen bonds! I have tested the book out with Kids from ages 3 to 10 and the kids at heart from 20 to 70 and the unanimous consensus is, WE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I also have found from my experience teaching kids yoga with children diagnosed with special needs like Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Integration and ADHD that this book helps them to focus their energy, and they LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! This book is the first in my darling series of Yoga Adventure books starring Priya and Pooch, the books will have companion music that promises to be fun and engaging. The original music is part of my roster of music that I use with my kids yoga classes, and even adults start to sing along after one time through. Be part of the movement, and inspire wellness with me. If you would like to order books, they can be purchased online at blurb.com ($15.95) or purchased at Bamboomoves, BX $10, and soon to be in various NYC Yoga Studios. You can also email me at zogayoga@yahoo.com if you would like to order bulk orders for your yoga studio. This book is more than an amazing Holiday Gift, it is a Lifestyle of health, wellness and JOY! Thank you to all who have already purchased the books! ~ Namaste

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Officially a Yellow Belt Black Stripe


Another amazing surprise from the incredible family I have at Harmony By Karate, my yellow belt. This week is promotion week at Harmony by Karate. It is exciting for the Sensei's, Sempais, the kids and the parents, as all their hard work and dedication is recognized with the promotion ceremony. While I was helping with the kids class, teaching them some yoga stretches, Sensei Joseph asked me to confirm the spelling of my last night. He is so sneaky and casual, I just told him no "s" at the end of my last name, and carried on with the jumping jacks that we were going into. When the ceremony time commenced, I stood on the side of Sensei John, passing the new belts to Sensei Joseph, and watched as the kids classes stood awaiting their belts and certificates. Finally, after everyone was awarded, and applauded, Sensei John called my name! Since I was awarded my yellow belt black stripe awhile back, Sensei John made it official with my certificate, and reintroduced me to the parents and caregivers who stood by watching. I have been awarded My Yellow Belt Black Stripe Certificate of promotion in Chowakai Karatedo of Japanese Origin. What an incredible honor! I know that I am blessed to be in the company of Harmony by Karate because of the regular compassion, kindness and genuine dedication I witness every week. As a former NYS teacher, I look for excellence in fellow educators. Regardless of if you teach in a school, yoga studio, martial arts, wherever the venue, it is important that you connect to the spirit of the student. When I look for a teacher, a colleague, or a team I want to be working with, I always search for people who share the same qualities and standards of excellence I strive to adhere to, and people who inspire me to be better. I look for people who inspire, have creativity, have fun, understand students, practice what they teach, create classes with relevance to humanity, have humility, and most importantly have compassion, and these are qualities I see in all the staff at Harmony By Karate. Sensei John himself teaches such relevant philosophies to his students, and has been part of a national Anti-Bullying campaign that has recently been featured on the Oprah Radio Show. Thank you to everyone at Harmony by Karate for being part of my journey, for teaching me so much, and for promoting me to Yellow Belt Black Stripe, it truly is an honor. Once again, I left the dojo full of smiles!
Picture: Sensei John awarding me with my Certificate of Promotion

Yummy Babycakes



Somehow, since I tend to create Yoga Chakra Workshops that involve Vegan Cakes, people have this silly idea that I have a sweet tooth? I guess anything is possible. While I eat more greens regularly, I do enjoy a decadent dessert. Growing up with an Austrian Godmother, who loves dessert and a Mom who made the world's best chocolate cake (literally), I always enjoyed baking myself, and sometimes eating a baked good. I am not a fan of the over sweet icings, the overload of sugars, and since I am an animal lover and practice conciousness towards my planet, I prefer the Vegan Desserts. Vegan Desserts are better for our body, and our world. One of my Yoga students has been buzzing about a Vegan-Gluten Free Bakery on Broome St, Downtown. I checked out the website for "Babycakes", and after my yoga student nearly broke her cheeks with her smiles about the place, I decided to head down to check it out. After teaching Yoga on Wall St, Tuesday night, I took a cab to Babycakes. The trip and purchases were primarily for investigative/research purposes of course. I walk into the place and I am met with a lovely young lady gives me the inside scoop on her personal favorites! We wind up chatting and I find out she is in Anusara Yoga Teacher training, with Vira Yoga, Elena Brower. Small World, this summer I was helping to assist Elena teach the rained out Central Park Yoga, and Elena has a bass player (Garth Stevenson) who went to school with me at Berklee College of Music, and I'm a yoga teacher. I love meeting random yoga enthusiasts in the city, especially in Vegan Eateries. She turned me onto the cupcakes, which I intend to share, a caramel donut (which my yoga student insisted I try), and a complimentary brownie! So far I have eaten a cupcake and a brownie, and I must say that it was super duper yummy!!! The chocolate tasted incredible, and so far the only contender for my moms "world's best chocolate cake"! The Glutten free is garbanzo bean flour, they sweeten with agave, and add a pinch of Babycakes Lovin! If you have not been there yet, you must head down and feast on the deliciousness of conscious decadence! Thank you Babycakes for coming into my life, my heart, and most importantly my tummy!

Ohashiatsu Advanced 2 finals week


Ten days of Ohashiatsu Advanced 2 finals week! We are in a flood of Tsubo points, meridians, sedation and tonification techniques, and much more under the brilliant guidance of Ohashi himself. If you have not familiarized yourself with Ohashiatsu, it is a brilliant body work modality for everyone. This modality was developed by Ohashi to help diagnosis of the body, treatment of the body, and be easy for the practitioner long term. With very little effort of the practitioner, the receiver gets a fantastic treatment. This is Ohashi's last Advanced one class in NYC, as the international school is branching out into new and exciting teaching methods. I am so happy to be part of the experience. We are learning so much information, being tested, practicing, and improving each day. Special thanks to Jaja our wonderful registrar hero who has helped many of us, and also gave me an amazing private session the other day. Special thanks to Maureen, Millie, Jean Pierro, Livia, and Kumiko, our Ohashiatsu instructors for helping Ohashi to create such an amazing experience. Many Many thanks to Ohashi for everything he is sharing. Ohashi is a wealth of knowledge, and watching how he is in constant learning mode, always diagnosing people at random, and practicing his art is true brilliance to behold. It is important to learn from a teacher who practices what they teach, but when you get to learn from the creator themselves, it's even better.

Yoga Class with Brilliant Live Cello Music



Monday night 7:45 at Bamboomoves is normally a wonderful sweaty Level 2 Vinyasa Yoga class. We usually have a fun variety play list of music to carry us through the flow from Eddie Vedder, Madonna, The Grateful Dead, Radiohead, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, my own original music and much more. Last night, we were so blessed to have the brilliant Live Music Talent of Bamboomoves member, Elizabeth Glushko. We set up a space for her in the front corner of the studio, and everyone else was close near the back on their mats. As string instruments relate to the vibrational energy of our second chakra, Swadhisthana, we worked on opening this energy. The energy that heals our reproductive system, reinforces grounding, awakens sensual energy, creates fire in the body, awakens passion and much more! While the flow was not as challenging as usual, it was synchronized harmony, as myself and Elizabeth fed off of each others energy. The live music itself was echoing in our sacral area, and allowing us to open our hips, and deepen our poses. People were sweaty from the heat of this sensual chakra, and experienced the power of vibration. In general, everyone left with a glow, and towards the end of class we worked on some further dextox with a Tsubo point treatment, as it relates to Ohashiatsu. One student, Sara who came in with back pain was very sensitive to the Liver 4 point that also helps with sciatic back pain. She and a few other students also noted how the focus of the class, helped alleviate her back pain. When we practice yoga with the awareness of our subtle body (Chakra system), miraculous things take place, and last night I am happy to say I participated in a miraculous class. Thank you Elizabeth for gracing us with your talents, come back anytime! Thank you students for being present, and enjoying the experience!
Photos taken by Jody Concepcion

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Power of Ideas


While Yoga is an ancient practice that teaches Mind Body Spirit connection, in the Western world, we need to utilize the Power of Ideas to enhance this connection. Whether it is as a student or teacher, approaching the yoga class with a fresh mindset, and free of body hang ups can be a challenge. If you live in NYC, you may be fresh from a crowded sub way, late on rent, dealing with drama at work, or various other colors of NYC living, therefore using the power of ideas is key. Ideas or thoughts inspire life. What you think, you become. If you approach your practice from a perspective of lack you will only gain little growth. If you approach your practice from a perspective of ego, you will never achieve the spiritual bliss that can be gained from a humble practice. These powerful ideas should be parallel in your life, meaning approach life with an abundance and humble mindset. When we are compassionate as teachers, we receive compassion from students, when we are inspiring, we wind up being inspired by our students. When we give from a loving thought process, we spread the vibration of love, and we in a karmic way receive love. The most powerful idea one can have is the idea of LOVE. Even when faced with a bully, or a negative situation, allow yourself to look from a perspective of compassion, gratitude for your own awareness of love, and behold how the energy shifts. When contemplating how to structure a yoga class, a play list, a private session, a workshop, a retreat, teacher training, or even setting a dedication/intention for your own personal practice, have the number one idea be LOVE, and allow the practice to unfold with the Power that it naturally is. Keep spreading the vibration with the awareness of the power of ideas. Whatever idea you have about your life, will translate into vibrational reality. This theory is Yogic, Spiritual (most religions agree), and Scientific. We all are vibration, mirror neurons, so be mindful who you associate with, and what you are focusing your mind on. Next time you are on your yoga mat doing tree pose with your mind on your Holiday Shopping List, you will experience the Power of Ideas. The Power of your ideas creates the melody of your life.
Photo taken by Jody Concepcion

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Karma Side Kick to my own Mouth


Thursday night is here. Finished my Ohashiatsu Final Exams, taught some yoga, assisted teaching the Kids Karate class, and waiting in my Gi for the adult Karate class to begin. I am chatting with Sensei John at Harmony by Karate, when we realize that it's time for me to be in Karate class. I notice Sensei Oscar is in the Dojo, YEAAAHHH!!! Sensei Oscar gives a fun class, that is moderately challenging and conscious of breath work. I walk towards my friend Sensei Joseph, full of smiles, and notice Sensei Adam is here too??? Sensei Adam gives the "Challenging Class", which is putting it gently. I don't know why, clearly the Bronx is rubbing off on me, because I literally joyfully, blurt out to Sensei Adam "Sensei Oscar is teaching class, HA HA HA", and Sensei Adam kindly responds "Actually Sensei Oscar is here to take class, and I will be teaching class". Everyone laughs at me, I attempt to hide my blushing face in the cupboard as I realize that I "Karate Side Kicked my own foot" in my mouth so hard! So Sensei Adam is all smiles, apparently the reaction of class being hard is a compliment.

The night before I taught the ever famous, and challenging "Yoga-laties" "Zoga-laties" soon to be renamed again, and often referred to as "the Torture Class"at Bamboomoves, so my body was feeling every aspect of tonight's Karate class. The entire experience is Karma at it's finest! Ironically, Sensei Adam does a lot of exercises we do at Bamboomoves during "the Torture class". After we did burpees, push ups, pull ups, mountain climbers, wall squats, and dive bombers, he announced that we will be "Grappling". HUH? Come again, Sensei Adam? Sempai Ferrihah quickly motioned that we will be partners, YEAAA! Without a moments hesitation, Sensei Adam decides he will make the partners. I am put with Sensei Joseph (yeaaaahhhh, my wonderful friend!). Sensei Joseph looks at me with his intensity, and calmly says "I'm gonna take you down to the floor". Pardon me? HUH??? Umm Jo Jo? My nervous giggle begins, and quickly I am brought down to the floor. Sensei Joseph proceeded to "grapple" me through how to get out of the situation. It was amazing! The energy that I am blessed to enjoy at Harmony by Karate is evident in every student, Sempai, and Sensei. While I am the only one with the Yellow Belt in the primarily Black Belt adult class, they all take time and kindness to show me how to improve and better myself in the Karate style they are practicing. Thank you all for making Karate such an amazing experience, and thank you Sensei Adam for another wonderful class.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crown Chakra Workshop Bliss


The last Chakra Workshop of the year happened over the weekend at Bamboomoves. We explored the Crown Chakra. While most workshops have related Yoga poses, chants, live music, and vegan yummies, this workshop was slightly different. We opened the energy in the Root Chakra first, and did a Chakra Voyage, going through each Chakra with light Yoga, and meditation. We allowed ourselves to detach from all the baggage of the past year, which is important for this final chakra. Detachment, forgiveness, and letting go are key to finding spiritual bliss, and liberation. Finally, we explored the Crown Chakra with headstand, mudras, meditation, and trust yogic exercises. Since this chakra does not have a coinciding instrument (aside from the silence after the sound of Om), we let everythig go into blissful silence. With the colors of violet, and the lotus petal opening on top of our heads we enjoyed and dove into bliss. Since the chakra is related to intuition and fasting, those invited picked a yummy vegan treat out of a bag (using their intuition), and took it home, only to enjoy the next day, after a night of fasting. While we missed some folks due to illnesses, and end of the year Holiday parties, Thank you ladies who attended for sharing your amazing energy. As with every chakra workshop, we had a blast, deepened our knowledge of the subtle body, and deepened our yoga practice in a traditional sense.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ohashiatsu Advanced 1 Class


The Ohashiatsu Advanced 1 class completed studies under the guidance of the wonderful, Millie. This is a beautiful modality of body work (Ohashiatsu) that provides the most results to the receiver, with least chance of fatigue to the giver. We learn to diagnosis the body based on Hara, Meridians, and various means of Observation. At present, the class is in an intense 10 day study with Sensei Ohashi himself, studying Advanced 2 classes. Body Work healing is a wonderful tool for Yoga Instructors. Sensei Ohashi has developed a lovely method to treat the body in a way that the giver is receiving too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yoga at the age of 92


Sometimes people say that they are too old to do Yoga, well tell that to Yoga Master, Tao Porchon-Lynch, who is 92 years young. This inspiring yogi studied under B.K.S Iyengar and Indra Devi, walked alongside with Mahatma Gandhi and modeled in Paris. Her quote "In yoga every breath I take puts me on the right path." is a moto that everyone should maintain. Our breath is after all our life force. This amazing lady can be found at the Westchester Institute of Yoga, where she is the director and instructor of over 2o classes. Her zest for life and fearless mentality is incredible. I hope to one day take class with this amazing woman. For more information about her visit the Yahoo Front Page Article that recently highlighted her workshop at Strala Yoga.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bamboomoves Teacher Training Graduation Ceremony



Saturday
we celebrated our Pot Luck Vegan Thanksgiving at Bamboomoves, which was an amazing hit. We also celebrated the Warrior Teacher Training Graduation, that brought together the three Bamboomoves locations. The graduates reuinted, we did our "Shiva Shambo" chant, they received certificates, meditation shawls, incense holders with incense, and had the love of friends, family members and many members of the studios. It truly was an outstanding evening! Andrew even surprised me with a meditation shawl! After the ceremony, one of the students joined me to play Stand By Me, and Amazing by Bruno Mars while many members of the studio joined in the jam. What an amazing night!!!

Happy Thanksgiving with the Missionaries of Charity


Once again, thanksgiving is celebrated with my favorite nuns of the Missionaries of Charity. This is a group of amazing nuns whose order was started by Mother Teresa. This was Mother Teresa's 100th anniversary. Every year, the nuns provide a venue for a wonderful meal, a great show by some talented dancers and singers, and the homeless people who come to the shelter usually put on a Thanksgiving play too. It really is something beautiful to behold. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get involved in giving back to the community and helping people who are less fortunate than us. Thanksgiving is also a busy time of year, and sometimes understandably hard to get away from other obligations. Last year, I announced it at Bamboomoves and Hank joined me. This year Hank was back again with wife Maria, and 8 other Bamboomoves members came along too! WOW! So thankful to be part of this amazing family/yoga studio at Bamboomoves in the Bronx. Thank you to Armando & Denise, Jody, Michelle, Hank & Maria, Stefanie & Matt, Mary and BF, YOU ALL ROCK! We arrived there at 8:30 and did the jobs that the sisters assigned either preparing the meals, carrying the meals to the hall, peeling potatoes, preparing cutlery, setting the tables, sweeping, and most of us were in the massive traditional chain of people that puts the food on the table. It is a lot of fun every year! Upon leaving a small group of us ran into a familiar Sister I knew from the Mission, and she was so happy to see the group of new faces I recruited. We stood for a quick picture. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity, they also have daily meals every day, except for Fridays in their Bronx location. Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! Thank you to all who participated, and thank you to the Sisters who dedicate their lives tirelessly to help the poor.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healthy Treats- HOT VEGAN/JUICE Spots NYC


With the Holiday Season approaching food is on many peoples minds. While I think Thanksgiving is a great time to give thanks, and also give back, in Western culture we celebrate food. Food is a wonderful part of our lives. It brings nourishment, health, vibrance, and brings a sense of family/community! Sometimes when people are on the go, it may be hard to maintain the healthy food habits unless they know of some great FOOD HOT SPOTS. One of my favorite things is fresh vegetable or fruit juice. There are a number of places throughout the city that sell fresh juice which give more vitamins, minerals, vibrance, and overall health benefits than stopping in the highly acidic/sugar filled coffee shops. Recently, I was taken to the East Village to explore a wonderful place called "Liquiteria". It is an amazing place that sells Delicious Vegan snacks, meals and FRESH JUICES!!! Some other places I love to stop at, where you may want to get some fresh juice/smoothies/health foods in the city include:
  • Juice Generation
  • Bonobos
  • Terri
  • Holy Nuts (UWS)
  • Jamba Juice
  • The V Spot (BK)
  • Zen Vegetarin House (BK)
  • Blossom
  • Liquiteria

Monday, November 15, 2010

Harmony By Karate- How Karate Saved my Life


Years ago, when I taught the PreK class in the Reebok Sports Club, one of my friends/co-workers (Sensei Joseph) introduced me to Sensei John. Sensei John and the team of Black Belt Instructors at the Karate school always displayed a genuine kindness that always stood out to me. Fast forward to 2010, I was invited to participate in a lovely meditation at the dojo led by my friend Sensei Joseph. The meditation was in honor of the 9/11 tragedy, and was meant to bring unity within diversity, and celebrate humanity despite tragedy. The meditation was beautiful. It was there that Sensei John asked me if I knew anyone who could help the kids classes, in exchange learn Karate. Though my schedule has been pretty busy, I volunteered myself because I was reminded of the outstanding energy I always experienced with the family of workers at Harmony by Karate.

Twice a week I have the great privilege to join the brilliant team of Sensei's at Harmony By Karate, located in the Reebok Sports Club, to teach the Kids Karate Class. I bring the Yoga stretching to the kids and witness a beautiful way to teach kids discipline through Karate. These kids learn traditional forms, drills, and exercises while the Sensei always ties in inspiring words and things to think about.

Initially, I was reluctant to do the Karate for myself. The work outs are no joke, and force me to use my muscles in different ways than I do in yoga. While I know that martial arts was inspired by yoga, by nature, I am not aggressive, confrontational, or anything like that, so I was intimidated to be in this black belt Karate class. Unlike in yoga, there is no "childs pose" in Karate. In the class I have been doing katas, kicks, punches, chops, rolls, drops, kart wheels, hand stands, push ups, one arm push ups, and much more!!! One night we worked on yelling "STOP!!" to our partner and pushing them. This was hard for me, as my partner was my friend, Sensei Joseph. Each time I looked at his face I found myself smiling and giggling. He forced me to dig deep, and I did it.

This simple exercise nearly saved my life the following weekend. When I was on the subway, traveling early to Manhattan to teach Yoga, a man sat next to me, placed his arm around my shoulder and kissed my cheek within one second (literally when I blinked). I was so startled, I yelled "Ewww Gross, Please get away from me!" and pushed myself free. The man was startled and moved, I walked to another train car. While it may seem funny that I used the word "please" when I yelled, a year ago, when I was faced with a similar scary incident on the subway, I just froze in fear. This time, thanks to my experience at Karate, I diverted a potentially life threatening situation! Thank you to Sensei John, Sensei Joseph, Sensei Adam, Sempai Ferriha, Sempai David, and Sempai Leonard for welcoming me to your team and providing me with tools that I will cherish forever.

Many women have the limiting belief that it is not in their nature to be aggressive. The necessary confidence and skills can be taught with a wonderful self defense class or Martial Arts.
Pictured: Sensei Adam, Ambria, Sensei Joseph, Sempai David

Kids Yoga fun at Bamboomoves



The Kids yoga class at Bamboomoves has had tons of fun this year. With learning new poses, yoga games, Halloween yoga, and even a special veggie tasting day, these kids have come a long way. One of our favorite games is the butterfly game, where kids flap their wings and use their memories to recite names, names of healthy foods or colors without repeating one that was said before. It's a great game to help improve their memories, and also stretch out tight muscles in the thighs/groin. For Halloween some kids came to class in their costumes, and we did Halloween inspired games and poses (Downward Wolf, Spooky Tree and much more). Yoga is an amazing way to teach kids about the Mind, Body, Spirit connection. With Childhood obesity rates growing, childhood diabetes and various other sicknesses related to lack of good nutrition and fitness, yoga is a great way to introduce children to a healthy lifestyle.

Halloween pic: (Tragedy Anne, Major Flirt, Black Cat. Lady Bug, and Elmo!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yoga For Dudes is Back


Once again we (Bamboomoves) will be having the amazing "Yoga For Dudes Workshop"! Sunday November 21st at 4pm, after the FREE Meditation Workshop which will be at 2pm. The first workshop for men only was a wonderful experience. This exclusive workshop allows men to embrace the practice fully. The workshop itself was built around the theme of balance. The questions raised and discovered in the last workshop were:
  • Imagine your life if you had everything you needed
  • What if you had everything you needed but didn't realize it?
  • How do you find balance between wants and needs?
  • How do you find balance with who you are?
Yoga answers these questions and many more. While some may focus on the physical benefits of strength, flexibility, rehabilitation from injury, it is also the most amazing way to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit.

In many ways men have fallen victim to the limiting beliefs placed on society through various forms of media, creating a role and identity of a man should be. Men should ask themselves, what role do you want to play? Do you want to be in control of your senses? Do you want to be in touch with the core essence of who you are? Do you want a life that is limitless? If so, yoga is for you!

Although many don't realize that Yoga was originally intended for the Elite Warriors of India because somehow in the Western World it is being embraced by Women, the practice itself is very much like special ops, designing a mans mind, body and spirit to overcome obstacles and conquer everything with a calm mind first. It is time for men to reclaim their heritage and take back the yoga practice! No more letting limiting beliefs run your life guys, join us at Bamboomoves for an amazing experience!

Some people who have embraced the yoga practice and are a shinning example of the Mind, Body, Spirit connection include: The entire LAKERS TEAM, Sting, Evander Holyfield, Russell Simmons, Madonna, and NOW YOU!!!!

If you know a guy, are dating a guy, are married to a guy, related to a guy, and most importantly if you are a guy, Come join us at Bamboomoves BX, Sunday November 21st at 4pm for our Yoga for Dudes workshop. Check the Bamboomoves Website for more details.

Also feel free to check out our amazing & hilarious Commercial for Yoga for Dudes, starring some of our outstanding yoga students/participants, yoga instructors and shot by our Rockin' Studio Owner, Michael Baez.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meet Our Outstanding Kickbox teacher Leon


A year ago when I taught the 6:30 am yoga classes at Bamboomoves, one of my students came in looking sore and stiff. When I asked what happened, he said "Leon's Kickboxing class". Then and there, I made the mental note to avoid that class. Fresh off of the Tony Robbins UPW event, I have been doing extra greens than I usually do, have outstanding energy, so after I taught 4 classes (including a high intensity Zogalaties class), I took Leon's class. For people who don't know, Leon has a cult following, the people who do kickbox at Bamboomoves are hooked to this mans class. The fact that he is a sexy dude with a charming personality works to his advantage, but he also gives an outstanding class!!! Despite the fact that I have heart palpitations from an irregular heart beat, and knew that I had to wake up to teach a full day the next day, plus Karate class the next evening, I did have a blast in the kickbox class!!! Some of the students who take the Zogalaties class had joined me in Leon's kickboxing class. All in all, cardio is a great way to get the heart rate up, release endorphines, and HAVE FUN!!! Leon is an amazing instructor and I would recommend the class to anyone who wants to lose weight, strengthen their heart, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!! He also is a brilliant actor, and personal trainer. Thanks Leon for an outstanding class! Just another note, people wonder how I have the energy to teach 25 classes a week, and even take classes on top of that, well it's from a highly alkalized diet, lots of greens folks! ~ Namaste
Pictured: Leon & Ambria

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stop Bullying - Ahimsa

Ask yourself, have you every been the victim of bullying? Have you ever been a bully? Sadly, many people would say yes to one or both, and if you didn't, you lie about other things too! Bully's are people who do repeated acts over time in order to enforce power on the other person. Is this power or cowardly? Bullying consists of three basic forms: emotional, verbal, and physical done to create coercion or manipulation. Sadly, it is found in families, schools, workplaces, churches, neighborhoods, cyber bullying, military, college hazing, social groups and social classes. From a historical perspective, nations have bullied other nations for power. Most bullies are aggressive, narcissistic, and driven by envy, resentment, insecurity, and a serious inferiority complex. Bullies satisfy their need for significance at the expense of the feelings and lives of others, and this has to STOP!

The recent trend of teen suicide in the gay community is so sad. Is this the world we live in? Can we learn from history? The amount of Russians, Jews, and various other Europeans that were murdered due to bullying in the Holocaust! The amount of Indians that were murdered when the British invaded India. The amount of African Americans that were bullied during the slave trade. The amount of women that were bullied during the women's liberation movement. When does it end people? The sad part is, bullies come in on their target, and instill limiting beliefs in that person or group, all for power. We win when we stop believing in these limiting beliefs that other bullies attempt to impose, but it is not always easy. The Yogic principal of Ahimsa is Non Harming to all living things, to do no harm in actions, words, deeds and thoughts. If only we could all live by this standard. Many celebrities have come forward to support the stop bullying campaign.

Diwali - The festival of Lights


Just wanted to wish a Happy Diwali to all the people worldwide who celebrate the awesome, five day, festival of lights. The small clay lamps (Diyas) are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. This is a celebration primarily for Hindus, Sikhs, people who practice Jains. Family's get together, people light lamps and lanters, they eat sweets, and even light fireworks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Weekend


I had an outstanding weekend at the UPW event in New Jersey with Tony Robbins. Myself and my yoga students/friends attending this high energy event, jumped and danced out butts off, and made the commitment for massive change in our lives. I have studied Tony's methods for years, and even studied the people he studied. I tend to use his techniques with other people, in my yoga sessions, and I know that it works. However, I never used it on myself, because I had a limiting belief that I was not worth it. This weekend, I was not afraid of the fire walk, physical challenges excite me, and I know that my mind is the one that conquers them. For me, the breakthrough came at a personal level, which I know many people share. We can live our lives with the certainty of our job, of our finanaces, of our significance to our family or workplace, but if we have limiting beliefs on them it can impact our love. At the root of everything, we are all LOVE. While I have lived life with an abundance of love for everyone, I never realized how my love for myself was in need of improvement. I held on to negative circumstances, and negative words from people in my life, and allowed that to control my perception of my self worth. Which inevitably carried itself over in other areas of my life. I won't get into details, but let me just say, it was a true breakthrough. Now, while I have made changes, the world (negative people) will most likely tempt me to go back to the old me, but I torched that Sh*t this weekend, and feel brand new, I feel OUTSTANDING. If you know that you have been through a negative situation: Abusive relationship, rape, alcohol/drug addiction, food addiction, family members who verbally abuse you, job loss, business collapse, people who tell you that you can never achieve your dreams, know that these are roots that have affected many areas of your life...they are BS (a negative belief system).....and they can change in an instant. We cannot change the negative people, their comments etc, but we can change our reactions to them, which is power. Sadly, many times these negative people are our own family members. If you are in need of change, if you desire happiness, if you want to have the life of your dreams, then buy Tonys book, buy his CD Sets, or even better get to an event! And the people who say not to, well, misery loves company.

From a Yoga perspective: The principal Ahimsa: of non harming to all living beings- well it begins with YOU!, and Tony will get you there. The Principal of Santosha: Contenment/Joy - The weekend is like an amazing ROCK Concert, you will ooze santosha from every cell, and Tony even touches upon Diet and the need for an alkalized diet. This is information we all need, as healthy as my diet is, even I learned.

We live in a world, where many of us have family members who have had cancer, friends, and if not, you know someone who has had cancer. We know people with diabetes. This is toxicity. This is a situation that is an industry, created so pharmaceutical companys and the medical industry and government make BILLIONS, at our and our loved ones expense.

Do you want to live a life free of disease, body pain, headaches etc? You will learn how disease is the body's way of telling you that you are toxic, and need a cleanse. For me, I have loved an alkalized diet for a long time, never get sick, and healed myself of a major neck/back injury just weeks ago.....because I eat the right foods, do deep breathing (Pranayama), and yoga. What I never understood was peoples complaint, that "I don't like the way it tastes", when I would ask them to eat the greens. WELL THAT IS BECAUSE their body is so acidic it is craving more acid. Parents, when you use the excuse that your kids don't like the taste, you are responsible for that child, you are helping make them acidic which can lead to diabetes, cancer, and so many health problems. If this is something you can avoid, wouldn't you like to? Do the test for yourself, maybe test your Blood Ph, or eat a dark green salad....if you don't like the taste, you my friend are ACIDIC. Acidity brings on disease folks. If you don't like veggies, green foods, or drinking water, and you primarily eat white breads, sugars, sodas, meats, milk, junk foods that are marketed to you and your family's, you are actively choosing a slow suicide. One thing I hate, is the greed of our governments, pharmacy and medical industry that would rather feed people more drugs that create further acidity, contaminate and promote acidic foods, rather than inspire health and wellness. Even perscription drugs have commercials? Come on people? Lets wake up. The science behind yoga, the principal of Ahimsa non harming goes far beyond what we could dream. They did practice that diet to remain healthy and disease free.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ohashiatsu Advanced DVD


Soon to come on DVD will be the Ohashiatsu Advanced Technique DVD, starring ME!!!! The reason I love the Ohashiatsu technique so much, is because this gentle touch on the meridians is so similar to yoga, and nadi lines/marma point theraphy. I am so grateful to have been asked to participate in the making of this latest DVD project with Ohashi himself. We spent one remarkable day together filming. He had asked me to bring all solid color yoga clothes, and when I arrived, he decided to put me in a snug, black, spandex-full body cat suit (something I never imagined to wear in my life). The energy of the filming process was amazing. I would get into various advanced/intermediate yoga poses (wheel, tortoise, bridge, downward dog, etc) and he would do Shiatsu treatments on me. The director was amazed at how myself and Ohashi just flowed from one treatment to another, without any prior planning or scripting involved. Our energy was so amazing. Ironically, my neck and back were sore due to a recent injury, the body suit I wore had attached feet and hands which made for no traction on the slippery carpet, and as you can see from the pictures our sizes are very different, and yet the filming was seamless! Thank you Ohashi for inviting me to be part of this amazing experience.

Ohashiatsu Advanced 1 class















Last friday my Ohashiatsu class invited 4 special guests to come and enjoy an Ohashiatsu treatment. The four guests enjoyed a 50 minute treatment, and after the session provided feedback to the class. Everyone seemed to enjoy, and the students who observed learned a lot too. Afterwards as part of a special bonus, EVERY student worked on the four guests! That means multiple hands were crawling on the meridian lines, and Tsubo points of the guests, to bring relief to the body and awaken the energy. Special thanks to all the guests, my classmates, and teacher Millie for creating such a beautiful experience!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tony Robbins Meets Bamboomoves


The worlds most famous life coach, Tony Robbins is coming to Seacacus New Jersey this November! Since the owner of Bamboomoves, Michael Baez is a big follower of Tony, we had the lovely privilege to have a guest speaker visit our studio for free. The amazing Joshua Wenner came to Bamboomoves last Saturday to introduce some folks to the Power of changing habits, setting goals and unleashing the power within. I myself have been a fan of Tony Robbins for years, and believe in his approach to helping people overcome negative habits and create positive change. Our minds, our thoughts both work to create our body and create our lives. If our mindset is one of scarcity, and negativity, that will be our surrounding situation, however, if our mindset is one of abundance, and positivity, the sky is the limit. Many people think that it is mumbo jumbo. Try for yourself, think of a time when you felt sad, depressed, overwhelmed with grief, and check how your body posture is, now switch it, think of a time when you felt on top of the world, lucky, loved, creative, prosperous, notice how your whole body is smiling. When our body smiles, our life does too! If that didn't work, sit quiet, and imagine yourself cutting into a lemon, is your mouth starting to water? Habitually we associate lemons with sour, with taste, similarly, we make associations with situations/people/jobs and our lives. Wouldn't it be great if we could change all the negative associations we have made and succeed? This is similar to the Yoga practice in the sense of uniting Mind, Body and Spirit. For those of you interested in attending the Tony Robbins Unleash the Power within, visit his website for more information.
Thank you Joshua for taking the time to share such a wonderful workshop with us. Thank you Denise for sharing the lovely picture!

21 Day to Wellness Graduation










The Bamboomoves 21 day to Wellness Challenge had its graduation! The challenge encompasses weekly meetings/workshops, trips, books, guest speakers, tons of guidance and information, and most importantly a commitment on their part. The group committed to taking out processed/packaged foods, reducing/removing sugar, reducing/removing caffine, regular exercise, daily food journals, and most of the group took out meat and dairy. What they learned was to embrace the benefits of a healthy diet, to experience increased energy, and a wonderful way to lose inches and pounds. The act of journalling our food intake is a great way to see if we are eating enough of the "right foods", and also to note what makes us eat certain things. Sometimes it takes a challenge like this to realize how much our relationship with food is habits, and emotions, rather than for optimal health. All the ladies admitted to feeling better, having more energy, and losing inches. To celebrate the 21st graduation day, the group received certificates, roses, books, bracelets, and we enjoyed some yummy Vegan Chocolate Cake. It was so wonderful to be part of this challenge. These ladies are remarkable, inspiring and supportive. The funny thing is, when the weather changes it affects peoples energy, and changing diet can be challenging, but we did it!!! Congratulations ladies, keep up the good work.
Pictured: Martha, Denise, Ambria, Doris, Margie, Jody (missing was Michelle)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Not Breast Cancer Prevention Month?


With people wearing pink, walking in pink, and purchasing products with pink, should we have what's called Breast Cancer Awareness month? Or should it be breast cancer prevention month? My passion for understanding and preventing cancer is also because I have lost some dear loved ones to the disease. I have also unfortunately came across some incredibly wealthy individuals, who shall remain nameless, who enjoy the tax benefits of creating a Non-For Profit company in the name of Cancer research. It is no secret that cancer is an industry now. Factory farms, pharmacy, Various Cancer Research Charities and facilities, and products that charge more for pink products all gain monetary avalanches of income because of this awful disease. And yet, cancer rates are still growing rapidly, no longer hereditary but affecting people of all ages. So should we look for prevention opportunities? YES!!!!

Now, onto prevention. We need to understand the causes which are deficiency and toxicity. So if you haven't watched the film documentaries Food Inc., The Beautiful Truth, or Tapped already, maybe you should. Sometimes documentary films are a quick and easy way of getting informed. Changing the foods that we eat is the first step in cancer prevention. We have gotten accustomed to eating unecessarily hight amounts of white flour based foods, white sugar, table salt and various chemically laced packaged foods that all have no nutritional value for our body. We also eat meat products and dairy products that are filled with hormones and toxic preservatives during the factory farming process, that inevitably affect our health. So lets talk changes:

  • Throw out the foods that have toxic chemicals inside. Read the labels, investigate the ingredients.
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamin C (Kiwis, Oranges, berries, tomatoes which also have lycopene)
  • Eat an antioxidant rich diet (vitamin C, Vitamin E, Glutathione, CoQ10)
  • Eat Diet rich in phyto nutrients (Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Spirullina)
  • Eat Watercress (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) is a chemical compound in Watercress said to prevent the HIF (Hypoxia Inducible Factor) which is a protein that is released sending a signal to normal tissues to grow blood vessels into a turmour. Therefore, the phyto nutrient in Watercress specifically can impede the growth and oxidation of new cancer cells.
  • Eat foods hight in flavenoids (Red Beets, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Bok Choi, Blueberries)
  • Eat Asparagus (the highest source of Folic Acid and Glutathione)
  • Have a good amount of Omega 3 (Flax Seed, Chia Seeds)
  • Eat Fennel (Fennel bulbs, fennel seeds and fenugreek have compounds that create healthy breast tissue, and are often used for women who have issues producing milk for breast feeding)
  • Eat Mushrooms (Shitake, Argaricus Blazei Murrill, Maitake, Turkey Tail just to name a few) these mushrooms are medicinal and can help in cancer prevention.
  • Take a Daily Vitamin D3 (we in the west are Vitamin D deficient, this is an excellent way to improve our health and wellness)
  • Get a juicer - We can juice our veggies and the nutrients will go into our blood stream quicker than anything, this is part of the famous Gerson Treatment that has helped many people cure the cancerous tumours in their body.
  • Ditch the regular table salt for iodized Sea Salt
  • Avoid GMO foods, especially GMO Soy (unfortunately most Soy is GMO in North America, and it has been linked to Female related cancers) GMO=genetically modified
  • Read the label of your beauty products and avoid parabens, sulfates, and toxic chemicals that actually cause cancer. Many top beauty products have sprays, lotions, soaps that have these toxic parabens, polysorbates etc that absorb rapidly in our skin and alter our body cells.

I love to wear pink, I love to walk, so if you want to combine the two, wonderful! Daily exercise like yoga and meditation is also a plus. If you want to prevent cancer, be more aware of what you put in your body. Overall, if you were to eat a daily diet which included the foods I listed above, you would also look and feel younger.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yoga For Dudes


Last Sunday at Bamboomoves we had our first Yoga For Dudes (Gentlemen, Guys, Bros etc). An all mens yoga experience, aimed at introducing the practice to new guys, and deepening the yoga practice for existing members. The reason why I wanted to have a yoga workshop for men, was to dispell the myth that yoga is for chicks, and to create a comfortable environment for men to grunt, groan and Om in peace. People forget that yoga was originally intended for men only, it was for the elite men in the upper class of India. The practice trains men to have Warrior Strength and flexibility of mind, body and spirit. Originally, I wanted a man to co-teach the experience, just to create a balance in energy in the room, but all my man yogi friends were obligated to other classes or on the West Coast. So with the encouragement of the guys who take my classes regularly, I taught on my own. We had a wonderful turn out. The vibration of the Om alone was magnificent. I had the men sweating, chutturungaing, and various other poses to improve balance and arm strength. The amazing thing was, every challenging aspect of class was recieved with an "I can do that" testosterone filled reaction, while when I teach ladies, it is very common for ladies to say, "Well I just don't do that pose". As an instructor, this experience taught me compassion, because I noticed how delicate the male ego can be even in an all male yoga class, I cannot imagine the mental challenge for men when they take a co-ed yoga class, especially for men who have never done yoga before. It was so awesome to be part of this workshop.

Thank you to all the brave guys who participated, and the brilliant guys who participated in the Yoga for Dudes Commercial, shot by Owner/fellow Yogi Michael Baez. We hope to make this workshop an ongoing class. While yoga benefits all people, of all ages, men espeically gain strength, peace of mind, balance, flexibility, restoration from injuries, and much more! Many famous men have adopted the yoga practice into their regular routine including LeBron James, Evander Holyfield, Russell Simmons, The entire Lakers Team, Sting, and many more! Please encourage the men in your life to be more concious of their health and wellness. If you haven't seen the hillarious Yoga for Dudes commercial, please check it out!
We took a great group video after class, but no still snap....so pictured is Michael Baez, with new Yogi behind during the Bamboomoves Teacher Training.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Water


"There is enough water for human need, but not enough for human greed" ~ Gandhi

Water is essential to human existence. Our bodies are primarily made up of water, close to 70-75%. The need to replenish the body with this vital fluid is an obvious requirement. It helps to maintain body temperature, metabolize fats, lubricate and cushion joints and organs, flush out toxins and transfer nutrients. Some experts recommend drinking up to 64 oz of water a day, and if you exercise or are overweight even more. Water makes up 90% of our blood, so we need to replenish. It also is key for the function of our liver and kidneys, so when we are dehydrated, we are actually overworking our liver and kidneys, and impeding the toxin flush process. So when water is important to our body, does that mean we should drink bottled water?

Our world has a surface area of bout 75% water, but only 1% is drinkable. I recently watched a brilliant film "Tapped" which exposes the giant bottle water industry. The monopolization of our bottle water industry by Nestle. Basically, the regulation for the water bottle industry has no requirements, and the FDA is ok with this. Poland Springs will drill water in local areas, and bottle it. This water has no required standard, and worst of all it is kept in bottles that leach BPA (a cancer causing toxic chemical). BPA alters our hormones, increasing estrogen, and thereby contributing to the mutation of cells. The amount of toxic chemicals found in the water itself was beyond belief. Have we ever asked if there are any benefits to drinking bottled water? Now, we even have celebrities endorsing bottled water. Beyond the damage the unregulated bottled water, and the BPA bottles do to our bodies, the industry does not put in recycling agendas. Many states do not enforce recycling of water bottles, so these bottles wind up polluting our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Tiny particles of plastic can be found in beaches where we once had sand, and sadly the particles are being injested by the marine life, and they are reeping the rewards of our greed. When the bottled water industry was under investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the leading brands had over 38 hazardous chemicals in them, that affect our liver, kidneys, nervous system, and increase the risk of cancer. Are we really spending money on bottled water that is basically the same as the water from our taps?

So what are some other alternatives? Some people carry the stainless steel water bottles. I know my dad likes to boil the water. Some people purchase home filters or purifiers. And Some may say tap water, but then there is the question of flouride in the water. Flouride is a real issue in our tap water. So maybe investing in a good water filter? Berkey is a water filtration company that I have come across and even used. It makes filters in stainless steel containers (therefore no BPA), and it gets out many toxins. This company makes filters for the shower head as well. There may be other water filters that work wonders as well, so if you know of any, please feel free to comment and share the knowledge. Whatever you decide, get informed, and make the best decision for your body. Sometimes we blindly follow what is popular, convienient, heavily marketed and celebrity endorsed. We need to think, what is the benefit for my body, my finances (long and short term) and my global environment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shoulder Stand


Shoulder stand also called Saravangasana is known as the "queen" of the yoga poses. This pose requires you squeeze the shoulder blades together, invert the legs up the the sky, gaze to the toes, and balance on the shoulders while protecting the cervical spine. This is a lovely inversion pose to do with benefits that include healing the thyroid, letting blood flow to the brain, relieving constipation, and strengthening the muscles in the neck and shoulders. It is said to have anti-aging benefits. For instructors, a wonderful way to adjust someone deeper into the pose, includes squeezing their elbows closer with your own feet, and a gentle lift of the legs to get the yoga student higher in the pose.

Pictured: Shoulder stand pose & Instructor adjustment (photo taken by Jody Concepcion)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Asparagus cure for Cancer

So as my girls and I at Bamboomoves embark on the 21 days to wellness, my brother recently sends me an email about how Asparagus is a cure for cancer. My brother is in no way a vegetarian, but since we lost our mother to Cancer we are both interested in the natural cures out there, so I was really happy when he shared this with me. I LOVE ASPARAGUS! It is loaded with vitamins and minerals including Folic Acid, B Vitamins, and Glutathione (which is an antioxidant and anticarcinogenic phytochemical). Glutathione helps in detoxification by binding fat soluble toxins (metals, solvents, pesticides) and converts them into a water-soluble form that can be excreted in Urine. Asparagus has a good supply of a protein called "histones", which are believed to be an active part in controlling cell growth. The Glutathione content in Asparagus is good for anti-aging as well. Our natural foods are so full of nutrients, so before you reach for the package of food with an Ingredient list full of chemicals you don't recognize, eat some asparagus, eat an apple, eat some green beans, eat some melons, eat some spinach, kale, collard greens, avocados, walnuts...the healthy choices out there are endless. While many believe that it is expensive to eat healthy, find a bodega, or by your fruits and veggies at a local farmers market, because the cost of your health is and should always be greater. Think long term. I was telling my lovely yoga students, they spend millions of dollars marketing "Coke", "McDonalds" "Milk" and various other foods loaded with sugar, sodium, hormones, various cancer causing chemicals and most importantly...no nutrients, but you rarely see a commercial for Kale. All these companies have serious stock in Pharmaceuticals, so lets claim our wealth back, by taking over our health. EAT HEALTHY FOLKS!

This is just one case from the article my brother sent me:
Case No. 3, a man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is back at his regular business routine.



Saturday, October 2, 2010

21 Days to Health & Wellness Challenge


21 Days to Health and Wellness Challenge starts today at Bamboomoves, BX. Participants are guided on healthier eating options, cleansing options, guest lectures, field trips to healthy markets and restaurants, FREE Vegan friendly literature and books, and MUCH MORE! People who have done this program in the past have lost from 17 to 70 pounds either during the 21 days or after keeping the commitments from what they learned. People feel healthier, learn better options, lower cholestorol & BP, and LOOK GREAT!!! While this is with the guidance of the Yoga Principal of Ahimsa, it is not mandatory to be Vegan, but it is encouraged. While I have been one of the guest lecturers in the past, introducing people to the world of Ayurveda and Dosha types, this time around, I will be leading the journey! So very excited! As being a Vegan is pretty much the norm for me, I am considering a fast. This is an amazing chance for people to learn, grow, detoxify and get healthy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yoga With Elmo!


Years back when I worked at Def Jam, I used to have to walk somewhere through Times Square area. It is actually beautiful to witness the lavishly lit buildings, the billboards, and the energy of Times Square. While it was once part of my daily commute, I am happy to say I have enjoyed the detoxification from the experience. Since I prefer walking through streets without dodging other pedestrians, I tend to avoid that area of Manhattan. Until recently. In efforts to maintain my status of Worlds Coolest Aunty, I decided to meet Elmo and maybe do some Yoga. While on my commute from one Yoga Session to the next, I ventured through Times Square, and there he was, ELMO. He gave me a Big Hug, so big that I was almost lost in a sea of red fur, which is when I decided maybe now we should do some Yoga! I attempted to teach him Tree Pose, but he decided to just have his hands in Anjali Mudra (saying Namaste)....and wouldn't you know, there was Cookie Monster, peaking behind us, putting his hands in Namaste too! Like for most folks, yoga is something everyone loves! Even Elmo and Cookie Monster!! Namaste Sesame Street!

Third Eye Chakra Workshop




Saturday we had our monthly chakra workshop at Bamboomoves in Pellham Bay. BX. Shakti was in full effect! We explored the Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) at Bamboomoves. While this chakra is meant to enlighten, deepen meditation, increase intuition, increase psychic abilities, we spent most of the workshop exploring various meditation techniques. Since I recently injured my right Achilles tendon, I was happy to conduct a primarily meditative workshop. With the brilliant Sitar playing of Giann, we sat in our circle and began to do a journey through all the chakras. Students eventually focused on the third eye. We progressed into tratak (also known as candle gazing), and a beautiful candle lit savasana. Like with every workshop, it was very powerful. Many students shared their experiences. Some felt warmth on the third eye, vibration on the forehead, saw vibration in their candles that corresponded with the Live Sitar music (love it!), felt vibration in the body, saw visions, saw various chakra colors which related to personal situations, felt the presence of love, and much more!!! One student even began to feel the kundalini rising. I had experienced that after doing the 1000 bows with the Yoga Teacher Trainees and it was amazing, so I thought it was so profound, that one participant experienced that in this 90min workshop!!! WOW!!! Once you are open to your third eye, it is important to be wise with our use of this gift. We all have this ability, this connection, but only some can tap into it. Another thing to be mindful of, people who do not have a yoga/meditation practice, and very minimal intuition can try to create doubt in your experience, just ignore, and detach from the negativity by wishing them well in your heart, and continuing your own meditation practice. We meditate to become one with God, and when we are, there is no need for the ego to get in the way, meaning, there is no need to feel compelled to defend our experience, we must just be our experience. Thank you all for participating and making this event so amazing! Like with every workshop, we concluded with delicious Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake! Special Thanks to Giann for wonderful Sitar playing (His CD is available at Bamboomoves for purchase!) and special thanks to our very own, Jody Concepcion for taking such amazing photographs! See you all at the next workshop!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quote of the Day - Yoga Sutras


By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness - Yoga Sutras 1:33




Picture: Ambria in Tree Pose on to of Mt Cardigan with Michael and Denise standing by

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yoga-Laties at The Bamboomoves Retreat


The Bamboomoves Labour Day Retreat had made adjustments to the schedule to put my ever popular Yoga-laties class on the schedule. This class is my personal creation. It is an hour of fast paced Yoga, with some pilates, Indian Wrestler exercises, and various other yummy routines designed to strengthen the whole body with emphasis on core and glutes. This class is unlike any other yoga-laties class, and the suggestions of the students have enlightened me to change the name to "Zoga-laties" TM, since no sub teacher has instructed the class the same (Thanks guys). It really is an amazing experience. Thank you to all the brave folks who pack the Bamboomoves studio each Wednesday 6:45pm and Saturday 4pm, only to have me conduct the "torture" class as they call it, which they keep coming back for. More than anything, you all make that class the amazing experience that it is! When we were at the retreat, EVERY Bronx member took the class, and special thanks to the people from the other studios who could have went on the nature walk, or attending the Chi Gong, and instead opted for the "torture" class!!! So glad you all had fun! See you tonight! Wednesday at 6:45 for Yoga-laties at the Bamboomoves BX location. Also, Denise is giving a lovely Gentle Yoga class @ 5:30 if you want to stretch out a bit before class!
Picture: The Yoga-laties class at the Bamboomoves retreat taken by the amazing Jody Concepcion (Jody with a y)

More Awesomeness from Bamboomoves Teacher Training












The Bamboomoves Warrior Teacher Training experience is weeks past, but the energy remains. The new teachers are busy adjusting in classes, teaching new level 1 and gentle yoga classes at Bamboomoves and elsewhere. Just wanted to share some more pictures from our experience. Thanks Erika for emailing me these great pics! Pictures include:
  • Andrew & myself: yoga teachers being goofy flexing and stretching on top of Mt Cardigan.
  • New Yogi Sarah assisting me as I drop back into wheel pose on top of Mt Cardigan.
  • Amazing Group Shot on top of Mt Cardigan.
  • New Yogi Ricky and myself Jamming while on a break on the porch of the gorgeous Lake House at Lake Sunipee