Sunday, March 28, 2010

Root Chakra Workshop @ Bamboomoves

Every month at Bamboomoves, I have the honor of guiding people towards deeper understanding of the subtle body and the chakra system. Our chakras expand our yoga practice and bring us closer to enlightenment. The other night a wonderful group of gorgeous ladies gathered together and explored the Root Chakra with me at Bamboomoves. The energy of the evening was phenomenal! We were delighted to have the brilliant Tabla playing of Tripp Dudley. The drums is the instrument related to the root chakra, and the rythms that Tripp played echoed vibrations in every person. We did asana (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), dhyana (meditation) and chanting. There was discussion and explanation about the chakra & chakra system. The turn out of people for the workshop was wonderful. Our circular, (chakra like) positioning of our mats keeps getting bigger and bigger, and based on the feedback from the participants our monthly workshops will continue to grow. Every person had a special experience that some of them chose to share such as visions, warmth, liberation, acceptance and more. Many of the ladies felt a collective energy of woman power. The root chakra is related to grounding to the earth, accepting support, finding focus & balance in life, and initiating the awakening serpent of kundalini rising. Special thanks to Carissa for sharing the glorious "oneness blessing" at the end of the workshop! We concluded our workshop and enjoyed delicious VEGAN RED VELVET CAKE (red being the related color to the root chakra), along with yummy vegan coconut ice cream that was brought by Michelle (thank you Michelle). Every person that came to the event contributed to the positive energy that we all left with, and I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the lovely participants! As always, working with you, deepens my practice.

Every month we will continue to explore each chakra, resonating at higher vibrations with live music, asana, meditation, breathing exercises and something yummy! If you are interested in participating call Bamboomoves BX to reserve a spot for you & your friends: 347 281 9700

Early registration is $35, the day of is $45 and if you sign up for the package (series of all the chakra workshops) you get one workshop free!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bamboomoves Yogi of the Month - Milta

The first ever "Yogi of the Month" at Bamboomoves is Milta!!! This lovely young lady has had perfect attendance since the very first class. She is a shining example of enthusiasm, support/kindness to her classmates, and discipline in yoga class. She has done a "one on one" private session, and reminded me how much she loves to do yoga. This amazing young lady is a true star. No matter if we have a class of 4 or a class of 20, Milta is always there to help the other kids and me make class go smooth and peaceful. I am very proud to have Milta as the first "Yogi of the Month" Along with her talents in Yoga, Milta is also a talented student, the recent star of her school play, and an orange belt in Karate. Go Milta!!!!

Chakra Pants - Chakra Workshop

One of my favorite pairs of yoga pants are from "Bali Dog". They are hand painted in Brazil, and people literally stop me everywhere to ask me where I got them. I love them!!! They are cotton and artistic. The pants that I have been sporting lately are the Chakra Pants, that have the chakra symbols hand painted on the sides of each pant leg. Today after a private session in Manhattan, my client snapped a picture for you all to enjoy.

This Saturday March 27 at 6pm, is the Root Chakra workshop. We will explore the Root Chakra, find balance, focus, structure, and experience healing. We will also have the bonus of LIVE MUSIC!!! YEA!!!! A brilliant Tabla player has agreed to come to Bamboomoves and play for our workshop, before a gig that he will have to run to afterwards. Drums are the instrument that relates to the Root Chakra. We will also feast on some Yummy Vegan Red Velvet Cake (red is the color related to the Root Chakra). Come and join us at Bamboomoves, BX, and explore the subtle body which will enhance your yoga practice. ~Peace & Hugs, Ambria

M & A's Movie Night

The kids yoga class at Bamboomoves is growing with budding enthusiastic yogis. As we spend time in class exploring poses, singing songs, playing yoga games, and learning about yoga, we acknowledge the positive contributions of fellow students with "YOGI of the Month". As Milta has had perfect attendance, displayed kindness to her classmates, and enthusiasm towards her yoga practice (she even had a one on one private session), she is The "YOGI of the Month" for April. While every kid that comes to Bamboo is a Yogi of the Month, we specially recognize one student each month, to inspire the group and also appreciate each others good efforts in class. From day one, Milta has been a delight to have in class.

As her reward, Milta had the chance to choose the movie for Kids Movie night. We went to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D. Saturday after a day of Yoga classes, we ate some pizza, and 5 of the kids from Bamboo ventured in the Excel van to watch the film. Since many kids had already seen the movie, we had only 5 join the highly anticipated event for the Kids. Special thanks to Joe for driving the van, and Julissa's Dad Anthony & Milta's Aunt Isabelle for being fabulous chaperone's.

Movie night was a success! On the way to the studio, we played "Yogi spies with my third eye". The kids were exceptionally well behaved. Congratulations to Milta for earning her orange belt early that day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yogini Kitchen - Yummy Kale

Eat Your Greens Workshop is coming up, Saturday April 1oth, 6pm at Bamboomoves. The workshop promises to provide insight on the foods that we eat, Ayurveda (the yogic science of life) approaches to nutrition and wellness, and helpful insights to avoid some nasty growing health concerns (like cancer, diabetes, etc) with diet. Cooking and discovering new things to create with food is a favorite thing for me to do, probably because I love to eat. While I am vegetarian, it is important that I get the best source of nutrients to replenish my body after hours of yoga. One of my favorite veggies is Kale. Kale is high in Vitamin K, beta carotene, vitamin A & D, lutein, and rich in calcium. While I usually do a light steaming of my Kale, with a sprinkle of Bragg's Amino Acids (Vegan Soy Sauce), Nutritional Yeast, and Hemp Seeds....recently I came across a Kale/Banana Burrito. Just take a leaf of Dino Kale and wrap it around a Banana! The taste contrast is AMAZING!!! It is a easy to make, great, silly, healthy snack for people who want to get their best of Greens, and some sweet potassium from Bananas. Eat Your Greens!

Rockstar Yogini - Carissa

A while back, I had posted a Rock Star Yogini post highlighting the efforts of a lovely Yogini who subbed my PreNatal class, Jessie. This post is to honor and recognize another Rock Star Yogini, Carissa. As a Yoga Instructor, I understand how we give our Mind, Body & Spirit to every breath of our classes in order to have our students feel the utmost benefits of the practice. It is so important when we uplift, appreciate, and shine light on the generous contributions to the yoga community by our instructors. Bamboomoves in Pelham Bay, BX is a fantastic growing Yoga community and I am thrilled to be part of it. Miss Carissa is not only a manager at the studio, she teaches both Yoga and Zumba. Her bright smile and kind heart are a joy to everyone. I want to recognize her especially, because, for a short time, she has been taking my Level 1 class, inspiring all the other students with her fluid practice, and towards the end of class she shares a "Oneness Blessing" As Carissa's schedule is very busy at the studio, the students in this class have been very spoiled with this amazing pre Savasana treat. Carissa has done the "Oneness" training along with Michael Baez (Owner of Bamboo), and she has so graciously shared this lovely gift with the students at the end of my classes. Along with Carissa's shinning contributions to the Yoga community, she is also a gifted Actress. Thank you Carissa for sharing your heart and your gifts. We love you! ~ Peace & hugs, Ambria

Yogi Friendly Mani Pedi

While on my 30 day fast, I was to avoid using most beauty products as the chemicals absorbed into the skin. For some time I have been aware of the parabens and other dangerous chemicals in shampoos etc, but did not realize that nail polish was the same. With the summer months are approaching, so comes flip flop season, aka, mani pedi time ladies. It is safe to say, a good majority of people who practice yoga embrace a healthy lifestyle, with a regular yoga practice, healthy eating habits, and even avoidance of harsh chemicals in household and beauty products. As I spend much of my time, reading recipe books and health books related to Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw and other diets in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle for both myself and students, I came across some information regarding the much beloved Mani Pedi. Research has shown that most of the toxic chemicals found in popular nail polishes in North America, are in fact banned in Europe and other parts of the world. These toxic chemicals are said to be cancer causing. Just by entering a nail salon, it is easy to smell the toxic chemicals in the air, but are we aware that these chemicals found in many beauty products are getting absorbed into not only our lungs, but our skin. Some yogis avoid nail polish because they say it blocks our energy. While that may be true, for some of us, we enjoy a little polish on our toes. This Saturday I happily modeled my non toxic mani pedi to the class. With most major salon brands like Essie & OPI charging close to $7 a bottle, I came across this great Brand called NoMiss for $7.49 at Whole Foods. The actual polish itself comes in an array of gorgeous colors, doesn't chip fast, has good shine, no smell, and most importantly no toxic chemicals!!! Hooray for the Yogi friendly mani pedi!!!

Yogi Beans in the Yoga Garden

Every Sunday is a Yogi Beans Sunday for me, and after a lovely Mommy & Me group of 16, I have the honor of teaching a group of three adorable kids. The class is comprised of two brothers and a little girl. Each week we pack our class with high energy sun salutations, balance postures, warrior poses, and focus games. Today, the lovely little girl, Helen brought in her favorite yoga game called "Yoga Garden". After doing some Yoga stretches and breathing exercises, along with a great new Yogi Bean teacher-trainee Hailey, the five of us played a wonderful non competitive yoga inspired game called "Yoga Garden". We did poses, laughed, and took turns. It was a great Sunday in the Yogi Beans Yoga Garden. The kids reacted to this game with enthusiasm and peace. I think this is a great game for everyone, looking to get one myself.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yoga-laties @ Bamboomoves

This Wednesday night Yoga-laties was flooding with mats, as the folks piled in to the studio, again we had nearly 20 participants. We did our half an hour of intense Yoga Flow, and went into some core related exercises. People became drenched with sweat, very vocal with moans and groans, rolled their eyes when I reminded them that we are not done, and laughed as I invited them to smile during the repeated abdominal exercises. These gorgeous people keep coming back for more, and I predict that we will have to have more than one regular class a week! We had a new music play list that was both inspirational and fun. It is so great that the people of Bamboomoves, Pellham Bay are eager to be healthy and fit. Despite the intensity of the workout, every participant is encouraged to go to their bodies limit and enjoy the process. Thank you Bamboo for reminding me why I love you guys!

Yogi Beans on Pix 11

Today the lovely Lauren Rosenfield led the cutest little yogi beans in some Kids Yoga stretches on Channel 11. The morning local news Pix 11 had a studio filled with the yogi bean kids and enjoyed the lions breath, Downward Dog, Tree Pose, Donkey Pose, and other fun poses that the kids enjoy regularly. I was particularly excited to see Meghana, a little girl who takes classes with me every Wednesday smile into the camera as she did her poses. Go Girl! Go Yogi Beans!

Ohashiatsu Intermediate 2

Ohashiastu Intermediate 2 class is slowly ending. The lovely people in my class and myself were instructed by Sam Berlind. Sam was also my Beginning one teacher, and has a very wonderful way of bringing occasional humour into practical Ohashiatsu training. We explored the secondary Masunaga meridian lines, crawled on each other, floated in deep relaxation, and enjoyed as we understood the elements in a deeper way. I was thrilled to know that my previous teacher Millie also joined our group. Every Tuesday, has been a relaxing treat with this amazing group of people.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yogalaties Every Wednesday Night!

So after a lovely petition was put together by the members of Bamboomoves, the Yogalaties class now has a weekly time slot (Wednesday nights, 6:45pm), along with our every other Saturday class at 4pm. Our first Wednesday night, we had nearly 20 people!!! Every Wednesday night, we will begin with a half hour of yoga, followed by pilates inspired core related exercises.. I like to add in some additional abdominal exercises to really get the harmonizing moans and groans out, in order to guarantee that every participant leaves class feeling like they really worked their core, and of course, remembering all the hard work the next day. The class is tons of fun, and a great way to get "beach body" ready for summer! Come and join every Wednesday night @ 6:45pm.

Bamboomoves Tree Pose

With regard to the aspect of grounding and focus, the kids Yoga class generally love to explore tree pose. Tree pose, allows them to ground their feet into the earth, discover balance, and focus their attention. Along with the many benefits of tree pose, we generally do it with a song that I composed, and the students pick the tree that they want to be. While they stand in tree pose, they adjust their arms to be a coconut tree, bamboo tree, linden tree, orange, apple etc. Picking the tree is sometimes the most fun!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Coconut Water- Health and Beauty Benefits

Many Yogis, Vegans and vegetarians enjoy the health benefits of coconuts. We are nuts for coconuts. To list a few benefits (low carb, low sugar, 99% fat free). Along with that, coconut water contains organic compounds that help to keep the body cool, raise metabolism, promote weight loss, detoxify & fight viruses, improve immune system, cleanse digestive tract, control diabetes, and it is high in potassium. For me personally, on many trips to India, I have bathed by taste buds in the heavenly juice straight from a freshly picked coconut, and there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day! In India, they chop the top, pop a straw in, and you sip the most cool, sweet, refreshing water ever! And no preservatives or added sugar, corn syrup and all the other nastiness that most beverages have! While you may not be in a tropical country that allows fresh coconut water, there are some companies that are working to making it into a commercial beverage. It is also wonderful for those of you (like myself) with Pitta in your Ayurveda constitution.

Beyond the coconut water, organic coconut oil is the traditional hair/scalp oil treatment of most Indian Girls (the reason for the thick lustrous black locks), it is a fantastic facial/body moisturizer, and does wonders for baking and light sauteing of foods. Most moisturizers today promise anti aging, and moisture, while alcohol which is known for drying tendencies is a primary ingredient. Stop being a slave to celebrity endorsed marketing campaigns, save yourself tons on these tiny tubes/tubs of empty promises, that wind up costing more because of packaging, and head to the grocery store to pick up some organic coconut oil. Soon you too will be coco for coconuts! It is loaded with nutrients, omegas, and moisture to keep your skin smooth and youthful. But make sure to get the Organic one, so it doesn't smell too strong.

Pictured: Myself and my daddy enjoying refreshing coconut water in Perumthuru, Kerala, India

Dharma Yoga

So, as I had mentioned in an earlier post, I worked up the courage to go to the Dharma Yoga Centre here in NYC, only to be delightfully enlightened. While, I have enjoyed classes with Amitai and Marvin because it worked with my schedule, I decided I wanted to take class with Sri Dharma Mittra. The wonderful people of Bamboomoves were kind enough to allow me to have a sub teach the evening class, while I took class with Sri Dharma Mittra himself. Ironically, while I took class at Dharma Mittra, there was a Dharma trained Yoga Instructor covering my class at Bamboomoves. The same day, my old wrist injury pain started to creep up in the worst way, I wrapped it up, and I told myself that it could be psychosomatic.

So it's Wednesday night, after teaching two Yogi Bean classes, I took a cab to the Dharma Yoga Centre. Luckily, as per Adams advice, I had registered the night before, and made it just in time. I quickly changed and noticed the sea of eager (obviously regular yogis) had filled up the carpeted area of the studio, facing the entrance way. This meant that with my sore, wrapped wrist, I would have to lay my mat in the direction facing them, and surrender to my breath. There were maybe four other people in the section I was in.

Class begins, with incredible Sun Salutations, and after what seemed to be 10 sweaty sun salutes, Sri Dharma Says "Let's Race and see who finishes first". Most everyone was damp and feeling it. As I was in plank pose, I peeked up, only to see that this nearly 80 year old Yogi, Sri Dharma, was pretty much done, and he did the salute with full extension of each pose. WOW!

We proceed, into twists, and he adjusts me into a pigeon variation that I haven't done in a year only to realize that sometimes when I teach a lot of beginners, I avoid allowing my body to go to full extension. From then on, I closed my eyes, concentrated on God's love and abundance in my life, surrendered my injured wrist, and my every breath as an offering to deepen my practice and grow closer in faith. IT WAS DEEP! I went into poses that I haven't done in a long time, and maintained closed eyes throughout class. The biggest challenge was the Side Plank on the side where my wrist was injured, but I did my best. Towards the end of class, I placed my legs over my head with ease, peeked my eyes open, and met eyes with Sri Dharma. He nodded his head, which gave me great comfort, and I closed my eyes and focused on my breath again. It was so profound to be a student in this class. Twice he adjusted me deeper into poses. Thankfully, we did not do headstand (which is a pose I need to work on), however, being in Shoulder Stand for as long as we were, FELT GREAT!

I had the best Savasana experience I have had in years. I saw Chakra related lights, felt tremendous love, and my wrist no longer hurt as it did all day, so I experienced a healing. I left class feeling light and free, knowing that any areas of my life that I needed to find forgiveness were made pure. I knew that this was the Spiritual experience I was yearning for. I decided to stay for the Psychic Development Course after the Yoga class, which was so wonderful!

While many yoga centers in NYC offer a great workout, with asana focused practice, and former dancers/performers as teachers (myself included), my spiritual upbringing longed for this experience. With every possible excuse not to go (the fact that I had to teach a yoga class, my sore wrist, my need to improve my headstand, and the fact that I had my mat facing the entire class), I am so thrilled I left my ego at the door and experienced a deepening of my yoga practice. I recommend everyone take a class at the center with Sri Dharma Mittra. The experience was truly life changing, so much so that I actually submitted my application for 500Hr teacher training with Sri Dharma Mittra the next day. Regardless, if I get accepted into the teacher training or not, this Yogi Guru has inspired my yoga practice tremendously, and words cannot express my gratitude for being able to take part in yoga class led by Sri Dharma Mittra. ~ Peace & hugs, Ambria

Kids Yoga Dog Tunnel @ Bamboomoves

Kids gain so much from a Yoga practice. They improve focus, flexibility, and HAVE FUN!!!! At Bamboomoves, Kids explore the Sun Salutation, Warrior Poses, Pranayama (breathing exercises), Meditation, Sing Yoga related songs, and play various yoga games. One of the favorites is the "Dog Tunnel" where we line up our mats, get into downward dog pose, and one by one crawl through, to the lovely sounds of our own dog barking. They especially love when I crawl though. On Halloween, we made our Down Dogs into Down Wolves, and howled.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yogini Joke of the Day! - Meditation

The meditation Student asked the Guru:
If I am open minded, won't my brains fall out?
The Guru responds:
No, just be sure to keep your mouth shut at the same time.