Friday, May 28, 2010

Wall Street: Yoga, Wine and Fireworks

My weekly group class on a rooftop terrace of a gorgeous luxury high rise was such a new experience. A small intimate group, with gorgeous sunny weather. Three amazing women April, Michelle, Iysla. Two in the group had been relaxing on the lovely lounge chairs with wine after a long day of working. When they noticed the yoga, the decided to participate. While many yoga instructors would shy away from alcohol in a yoga class, this sunset class is meant to be relaxing. They politely asked if they had to throw it out, and I asked that it just be put aside. We progressed into a joyful yoga class with the amazing view of the water and sunset behind us. These gorgeous ladies had better flexibility than they were aware of. Before and after the session we had had a wonderful conversation, so I was invited to stay a little longer with them on the rooftop. With some yummy food, drinks, and relaxed bodies we concluded our session watching a fantastic display of fireworks across the water. Most likely in preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day celebrations.

On a side note: Red Wine has an antioxidant called Resveratrol which is found in the seeds and skins of grapes. Since wine is fermented grapes, it has a high concentration of resveratrol. This prevents the oxidation process which promotes a healthy heart, can fight off cancer, and prevent heart attacks. In moderation, red wine can be very beneficial to your health. One glass a day for women, and two for men. Cheers to your health!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pilates Evolution Training

This past weekend, I was diving into a fantastic Pilates Workshop at the Physical Mind Institute. Aside from personal mat work with various trainers and videos, my knowledge of Pilates was in my opinion limited, which is why I decided to deepen my understanding with some training. Years ago, I supplemented my yoga practice, and love for fitness with some Pilates Mat work and I experienced why people enjoy this form of exercise. Much like yoga, it is mind centered, involves focus on the breath, and tones the body nicely. It is also great for rehabilitation which is why many athletes, dancers and celebrities are referred by their physiotherapists to begin Pilates work. From my experience with Pilates, I would asses that many of the poses/exercises are yoga inspired. The wonderful aspect of this training was the Tye 4, which is considered to be the evolution in Pilates. While many would debate the need for the Tye 4, I would say that it is a great assist. The Tye 4 was developed by Joan Breibart (a wealth of knowledge in the Pilates world) and it basically is bungee cords that attach to your hands and feet which provide support for those who may need assistance and increased resistance for those people who require a challenge. The reason why I loved this portable apparatus, is that it helped my balance issues. Due to an injury on my foot, balance has been an issue, and the Tye 4 actually helped me to find better balance and most importantly decrease the pain. The reason for this is simple, my injured ankle causes pain when I stand on it, the Tye 4 gives additional support, lifts the arch of my foot, which eases the pressure off the injury! I am excited to try it out with other yoga poses. Using the Tye 4 for a Hatha yoga practice would be ideal, it reminds me of the attachments that one would find in an Iyengar studio (only portable). I think this equipment will be ideal with mine and any Instructors clients who are elderly, need extra resistance, and those recovering from injuries. Everyone at the Physical Mind was a delight to work with. Along with Joan Breibart, we had June who is featured in this month's Pilates Style Magazine highlighting BEAMING, and Lauren Piskin & Ryan the creators of the Physical Mind Studio on the Upper East Side. Thank you to the Instructors and participants for making it a lovely experience! The weekend was a great opportunity to learn and grow. For those of you interested in supplementing your Yoga practice with experts in the Pilates field, head over to the Physical Mind Institute. The instructors have a lovely positive energy and tremendous knowledge of the body.
Pictured: Lauren Birnbaum, Ina Charles, Ambria, Magan Sipe

Monday, May 24, 2010

Movie Night - Shrek

The Bamboomoves Yogi of the Month, Jaleen, aka Ladybug decided that we should go see the film Shrek this month. The movie was 3D fun! We began with Pizza at the studio and headed to the theatre. Last time when we saw Alice In Wonderland the theatre was packed, but luckily this time it was not such a madhouse. Special thanks to the parents who came along to chaperone and enjoy the film (Milta's dad and Jaleen mom and dad, and Julissa's dad for driving) This was a lovely movie, and the kids were wonderful! Each week these kids demonstrate positive progress with their yoga practice, and encourage each other to maintain focus in class. While we do a lot of fun stuff in class, it is great to reward them with Yogi of the Month and a movie treat! Each and every one of the kids is a yoga star! Thanks girls for making movie night so fun!
Picture: Julissa, Imergen, Milta, Jaleen, and Ladybugs little brother.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yogi Yummy Cookies

Since many yogis are vegan or vegetarian and observing the principal of Ahimsa (non-harming), it is important to find veggie friendly snacks and eating places. I came across the most delicious cookie ever! It actually tastes too good to be healthy! The Alternative Baking Company Inc. makes absolutely delicious treats. No Dairy, No Eggs, No Trans fats, and agave nectar is the sweetness. While it is good to maintain healthy choices in our diet, we should never deprive ourselves. If you are a chocolate lover and want a cookie, go for the "Double Chocolate Decadence". This cookie is sooooo delicious, I have been using it as a gift for gratitude to the folks I want to show my love to. Nothing says love like a chocolate yummy cookie! As the package states, it is wonderfully addictive. This yummy cookie can be found at most health food stores like Whole Foods, Westerly, and Trader Joes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Law Of Attraction

For sometime now I have been yearning to have a gig, more gigs etc. Many people have invited me to perform at their venues, where I was a regular performer last year. Unfortunately, due to my current yoga schedule, I have been unable to gig as I would like to. I decided to meditate and pray on the desire of having more gig opportunities. I believe our minds and faith have a lot to do with our journey. With firm faith I wrote out my desires in my journal. Very soon, a fellow musician contacted me with, you guessed it...a gig. Not just any gig, a pretty amazing gig! I was invited to play for 3 months (summer vacation) in a 5 star luxury hotel in Asia, getting paid $4000 a month. Six nights a week, 4 sets (which is kind of a lot), full promotion, free room & board as well as transportation costs. The Law of Attraction in the Universe allows us to manifest our hearts desires when we believe. I share this blog, to let all know that our Universe is abundant and generous. Every faith in the world has beloved words that inspire faith. Whether you are a Christian believing "Ask and you Shall Recieve" (Matthew 21:22), or "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24), or a Quantum Physics fan believing in the law of attraction, a Kabbalist believing in "Kavanah" (putting it out there and following with actions), A Hindu believing in Mantra (MAN=mind, TRA=Free, therefore an instrument of thought), A Jewish person, believing in the famous Hebrew saying "Don't tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how great your God is", a Muslim believing in the words of Mohammed "Actions are judged by intentions, so each man will have what he intended". The Law of Attraction is a common aspect of faith in most religions. Be mindful of your thoughts, and put your plans into action because our Universe is abundant. For a whole host of reasons and obligations with Shiatsu classes, Yoga, and my family I decided to stay here in NY and not take the gig. With tremendous gratitude in my heart and excitement to revisit my desires for deeper detail, I hope to share more beautiful instantaneous blessings of our Universe. Have a lovely Day! Peace & hugs, Ambria

Bamboomoves goes Cherry Picking

Every week the Yoga-laties groupies join together to moan, groan, sweat, sweat, and sweat some more with me. This class is a high energy class packed with yoga, pilates, Indian wrestler moves, football core work, JOKES, and much more! While the class is only 1 hour long, within a half an hour people feel like they have been there for at least 2 hours! Despite the fact that some of my regulars could not make it due to "a date", "need to sleep" and "the gorgeous weather", (which are not entirely justifiable excuses as it lacks collective consciousness, but I will let it slide LOL ) the room still had a good amount of folks ready to sweat out the core! This past Saturday we rocked out with Pearl Jam, Nickleback, Madonna, and had three new people in the class. I love new students because they enter with excitement and joy and leave with both, along with sweat! One punctual lovely lady, (who I later found out was the boss of a regular yogi at Bamboo), and two gentlemen (one regular "yoga" student and his buddy) who entered in a little bit late, who I quickly deflected the blame to in advance for the challenging class that we were about to progress into. I like to tease and rib the participants, deflect blame, and make jokes as often as possible in order to distract participants from the grueling workout that they are joyfully participating in. It is no secret that week by week, the class increases the challenges and works the muscles to screaming fatigue. The whole process is bliss and joy. While many participants refer to the class in a loving way, as "torture" and often call out for divine intervention by moaning "Oh My God" they return every week. Some may ask why they return, and the answer is simply, results! Most of the group has admitted to seeing physical changes in their bodies, and new found strength for their regular yoga practice! I admire their dedication, and it inspires me to come up with new fun variations, and new songs for our play list. One of our beloved exercises is "Cherry Pickers" which involves a variation on "Navasana" or boat pose. We imagine we have a gorgeous bushel on our backside, and cherries on our toes, then alternate hand to foot we go picking! This is usually done after doing a lot of other exercises, so the divine intervention "Oh my God" moans are generally echoing around. I love to encourage the faith building! Last Saturday, Our gorgeous April Yogi of the Month (Milta) stepped in just in time to capture the brilliant yogis "smiling" in the middle of "Cherry Picking"! Thank you Milta for getting the group in full smiles, mid pick with glistening sweating bodies! You Rock! I bumped into a few students two days later and the responses/gossip was "I felt it everywhere", "I couldn't walk up the stairs without feeling it in my butt", "You tortured us", "I couldn't take class on Sunday because I was too sore from your class", "the two new guys really felt it", "my boss took your class and said it really kicked her butt"! Your feedback is always appreciated! Thank you Michelle for treating me to the delicious Vegan Carrot Cake after class! You Rock! Two more Wednesdays will be covered by Wendy, and this Saturday will be Mary, as I am completing my Pilates certification. Love you all, See you soon!

Yogi Beans makes Yummy Mandalas

One of my favorite yogi bean groups to work with is on Friday, with Zane and Laura. These two kids have amazing energy, tremendous love for both yoga and all participants in the class, and they are both a joy to work with. While my every yogi bean class is special, this one is really really special. These two brilliant kids have special needs (down syndrome) and prove how beautiful yoga is to every child. I have watched as Zane has learned new words, and reacted to the music doing all the physical poses to the best of his ability. I have enjoyed watching Laura recount poses that she had done weeks prior. These two enjoy Toga so much! Laura will demonstrate how she can pick up more than three pom poms in her toes and Zane is grabbing the tiny ones every chance he gets. The lovely Laura is a teacher in training. This past week, she led us in a brilliant Sun Salutation and Zane decided we would create a mandala with food. His food of choice was "apple". While Zane is generally quiet, except to giggle at the songs he loves, and say a few choice words related to some of my yoga songs, it was so thrilling to hear him share "apple" for our mandala. So healthy and Yummy. This class is truly joyful! One the best things is to witness how involved the parents and baby sitters are with regard to encouraging the progress and even participating in the yoga! What a wonderful class to share in!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrity Yoga

Madonna, Russell Simmons, Gwenyeth Paltrow, Christy Turlington, and Sting DO IT! What is it? YOGA! The ancient Indian practice which is considered to be a component of the fountain of youth in the East, is sweeping the West with a major Celebrity stamp of approval. Whether is it to shake the pregnancy weight, maintain a slender shape, or for finding inner peace, many celebrities are totting around town with Yoga Mats. With beach season approaching us, many people are eager to get into shape. In the world of celebrity, it is partially their job to stay in shape. Having a trim body and a healthy spirit is what yoga brings to everyone, famous or not. Health and Wellness is something we all aspire to, and it is wonderful to share our fitness routine with the celebrities we love.

From Musicians, Models, Actors, CEO's and more, there are many celebrities who share your love for the mind, body, spirit connection. To name a few: Madonna, Gwenyeth Paltrow, Russell Simmons, Allesandra Ambrosio, Jessica Biel, Shilpa Shetty, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Reece Witherspoon, Sting & wife Trudie Styler, Charlie Sheen, Christy Turlington, Jenny McCarthy, Tina Turner, Jerry Sienfield, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Bon Jovi, Danny Glover, Uma Thurman, Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan, Candice Bergen, Barbara Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Camille Belle, Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah, Trish Stratus, Melissa Joan Heart, Angelina Jolie, Ricky Martin, Meg Ryan, Nicole Sherzinger and many more.

So every time you take out your yoga and spend time doing your asana (yoga pose) practice with hopes to improve your mind and body, know that you are in good company! Many of the most awe inspiring celebrities are sharing your love for Yoga! Om Shanti~

Pictures: Christy Turlington, Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Ansiton, Trish Stratus, Sting & Trudie Styler, Russell Simmons, Nicole Sherzinger, and Madonna

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


While many of my yoga clients enjoy a Pilate's style of core exercises, and Bamboomoves has been introduced to my "yogalaties" class, my knowledge of true pilates is limited to my personal exposure to this approach to fitness. While the ever popular Yogalaties class, which I would prefer to call ZOGALATIES because it is my original fusion of Fast Paced Power Vinyasa Flow, Pilate's style Core, Cross Training Elements, and Indian Wrestler style Circuit Training, works the core.....I'm happy to announce that I am soon to become Pilates certified. This form of body work differs from yoga because of the breathing and the pace. It has elements of ballet, yoga and works the core! Very excited to have a deeper knowledge of this wonderful approach to health and wellness.

Central Park Yoga

Central Park provides an amazing backdrop scene for a yoga practice. The lush trees, the gorgeous landscape, the chirping birds, and peace amidst the bustling city of NYC. However, Rain Day today for yoga steps from Central Park. While my morning Yogi lives just steps from the famed entrance of Strawberry Fields in Central Park, due to rain we did our early morning yoga inside. Hopefully, with the warm weather approaching we will make our way out into the glorious NYC park. While practicing outside is an amazing experience, especially with lovely weather. Having the sound of rain beat on a sun roof, while doing morning yoga is pretty wonderful too! Have a lovely rainy day yogis!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Wishing all the mothers everywhere a Happy Mothers Day. Today at Bamboomoves, after every yoga class we offered our OMMM for our loving mothers, and mothers everywhere. The precious gift that a mother is should be celebrated every moment! It has been seven years since my mother passed away, and while I miss her hugs, kisses, her yummy food, and of course everything else that made her the worlds greatest mom & my best friend.....I know her love is all around me and lives inside me. Initially it was difficult for me to accept that she was gone, and thanks to prayer, music, and my yoga practice, I dug myself out of grief and reminded myself, that while our precious time here in this journey is so short, it is full of memories that we can cherish forever. LOVE lives forever in our hearts. Happy Mothers Day Mommy!

Sunset Yoga on Wall Street Rooftop

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Wall Street area is a slice of heavenly peace. High on the rooftop is where you find it. This week I had the pleasure of teaching a group yoga class, on the rooftop Terrace of a Luxury Condo on Wall Street. The view was breathtaking. The Sunset was glorious. The Yoga was bliss. To be able to practice outdoors is so wonderful, but when you have such a glorious view, with a setting sun, and gentle breeze to set the scene....WOW is the word. Thank you for inviting me to share your Yoga practice. ~Peace & hugs

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taking Class at Nalini

Once upon a time while browsing in LuLuLemon, I saw a huge picture of a lovely Indian girl who from a far looked like my cousin. Of course I was so thrilled and confused, and then I read the small print name to discover it was not my cousin, but Rupa Metha. Rupa is the founder of the Nalini Method. I looked her up online and made a mental note that when I have a chance, I would like to take a class with her.

So this week, as luck would have it I had a break in my early schedule and decided to take a class. I ventured to the Upper West Side, where I had a yoga client soon after. I buzzed the buzzer and went up. It seemed like an odd location, and that is what I kept feeling. The door opens and I am face to face with a tiny, sleepy, pyjama clad Rupa. This explains the feeling I was having about the oddness of the location. We were both embarrassed, because I foolishly buzzed her apt instead of the studio next door. Did I mention it was embarrassing? What a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the instructor for the first time! She redirects me to the studio and the lovely receptionists sets me up.

A cushy mat, two sets of weights, two blocks and ankle weights. In walks Rupa, we both laugh about what had happened and she begins to instruct us to work our arms. My arms were burning! We progressed into thighs, buttock, core, and did seemingly a gazillion repetitions. Just when you think it is done, she calls out for 20 more. I felt like this was my Karma (pay back) for how I instruct the Yoga-laties class. I was amazed when we went to the ballet bar to do squats on our tip toes with a ball or a block between the thighs, because I looked down to see my thighs shaking as though they were in a blender. While this was a little out of my element to do work with weights it was an enjoyable experience. Rupa has a wonderful spirit and encourages every student individually to maintain momentum. The class combines Yoga, Ballet, Pilates, and weights. As Rupa trained with Lotte Berk, some people may recognize that influence in her class style. The Nalini Method is a great challenge for the mind and body because being present while your muscles are screaming is a profound experience. Thank you Rupa for making my experience at Nalini so enjoyable! ~Peace & hugs, Ambria

Flying Warriors at Bamboomoves

The ever popular Kids Yoga class at Bamboomoves is always a joy to instruct. While we do Sun Salutations, Warriors, and Yoga related games, the kids yoga practice has improved by leaps and bounds. While many of the kids are progressing into Sirsasana (Headstand) and various other challenging poses, the bottom line is always FUN! Throughout the practice we laugh, and enjoy! Kids have a brilliant way to maintain that joyful spirit. The kids have quickly learned my Warrior Song, which is how we do the sequence. Here we are doing our Flying Warrior or as they call it Vira 3.

Pictured: L-R: Kamilla, Jaleen, Milta, Veronica, Ambria, Emma, Olivia, Karla, Imergen

Monday Morning Office Yoga

For a few months now I have been teaching a lovely Monday morning group at 8 am at Wall Street. This class is usually taught by my friend and fellow yogini, Katie, who is currently assisting Swami Shivam in India with Teacher Training. I had the pleasure to work with these lovely folks before, and they maintain that it is a wonderful way to begin the work week. These office yogis look forward to their Monday morning yoga and demonstrate discipline and enthusiasm towards their yoga practice. We meet in a gray Board Room, and progress into a lovely Hatha Yoga practice. As it is Monday morning it is not extremely challenging, but as with most of my classes, participants leave slightly damp. With light music playing we deepen our practice, and settle our minds to face the work week with a brilliant sense of inner peace. While the size of the group fluctuates from week to week, we spent weeks working on Balance (Tree Pose) and Tripod Headstand. Both poses, I am thrilled to say were done with ease and collective consciousness towards this last week. As Katie is making her way back to the US, I will miss this lovely group! Thank you guys for making Monday morning so much fun! Your dedication displayed by coming to work early on a Monday morning (of all days) to practice yoga, is admirable. You all did so wonderful! Hope to share a yoga practice with you guys again some day. ~Peace & hugs, Ambria

Sunday, May 2, 2010


While the question of Guru can come into play for many people who practice yoga. In Sanskrit Gu translates into darkness, and Ru translates into light therefore a guru is someone who takes you out of darkness and brings you to light or enlightenment. These people often times have profound knowledge and wisdom and can often times be considered saintly. My first guru is my mom. With Mothers Day approaching, I have to admit that I miss the presence of my dear mom. She was my best friend, and her love lives in me every day. She inspired my faith, and my love for music. Telling me to always be true to myself, and keep God first in my heart. Teaching me to treat the world around me with love and have gratitude in my heart. While I have been blessed with many amazing teachers, music teachers, and students who have enlightened me in many ways, my mom and my dad did such an amazing job of leading me to light, I never really regarded many other people as a Guru.

Now in the yoga world, someone who I would be happy to call Guru is Swami Shivam. Swami Shivam is the Yogi at the Siddhartha Yoga Center in India. Not so long ago, I wanted to meet this gentle Yogi when he was coming to NYC. I had wanted to do a meditation workshop with him. While It was a time in my life when I was unsure if I could afford the sessions, and they seemed to be full, just how the universe always works, his dear friend (who ironically worked in a lovely Indian restaurant that I had frequented) arranged for me to meet him. If it is meant to happen, it will. I was so thrilled to experience his meditation workshop and did my best to arrange for him to conduct workshops at various yoga studios in the NY. Those that participated experienced the authentic loving heart this yogi brings to the practice of yoga. At the time I was a new "Full Time Yogi" who was experiencing obstacles in the yoga community. He said many profound things to me, and one was when he explained to me something so simple, I had already known, but obviously forgot.

"The universe is abundant, never say you want only 10 clients, because you may not even get 10, rather say you want 10,000 and witness what an amazing Universe we belong to. We get what we focus on." My current date book is testament to this truth. This philosophy goes with many areas of our lives. Thus, the importance of practicing healthy habits, surrounding ourselves with positive energy, and maintaining a zest for life. Thank you Swami Shivam for shinning light into my heart. Swami Shivam is currently conducting teacher training at his center in the lovely northern region of India. I hope you return to NYC to share your light with more people.

Picture: Swami Shivam & Ambria

Yogi of the Month - Lady Bug

Bamboomoves has a new Yogi of the Month. She is bright young yogi. Her name is Jaylene, also known as LadyBug. This lovely young girl is on her way to a Black Belt, brings fierce competition during "Yogi Says", she is enthusiastic about her Yoga practice, and has decided that for Movie Night we will be seeing the new Shrek Movie!!! Go LadyBug!


In the heart of Pellham Bay is the lovely Bamboomoves. This location has authentic Bronx energy (friendly & feisty all in one). Saturday was a record high day of heat in NYC, a sizzling 90 degrees. After teaching level 2, Kids, Level 1 yoga, I decided that I will not necessarily demonstrate everything in the Yoga-laties class. Because I had a meeting at 6:30 in the city, I was avoiding getting sweaty. While yoga-laties is the fun, sweaty class that promises to having you laughing, sweating, sighing, praying to God, and maybe even cursing me out under your breath all at the same time, it is usually always a packed house. The playlist I create, promises to be a collection of upbeat and high energy hits meant to drive us through these core inspired exercises. I do my best to tease and encourage participants to keep momentum. But this Saturday, I decided to just call out the exercises, again to avoid getting too sweaty. Well that lasted all of two lines in the fabulous Madonna song "Holiday".....special thanks to Dorris for calling me out, reminding me to get back into it, by jokingly asking "What about you?"! I LOVED IT!!!! It was clear everyone shared in the laugh. So much for me avoid the sweat. It was a highlight of the day for me....and has inspired an extra special yoga-laties class for Wednesday. See you all then! Special thanks to Carissa for giving me the packet of wet nap things, that I could cleanse myself off with. What a life saver!