Monday, July 26, 2010

Meditation Workshop at Bamboomoves

On Sunday we had a Meditation Workshop at Bamboomoves in the Bronx. This FREE Workshop brought out many people as the sign up list was overflowing. We live in a world where many people experience stress from job, family, loss of loved ones, and various other sources which is why meditation is beneficial. Meditation brings peace of mind, clarity, reprograms the mind, and also invites healing to take place. Typically most people meditate sitting in an upright position, breathing deep, dissolving thoughts, while slowly escaping deeper into their breath. This is not easy for most. Sometimes sitting can cause cramping which leads to distractions that affect our meditation practice. Like with yoga, meditation is a practice and the more you do it, the better you get. Meditation can bring healing physically and psychologically. The whole concept of mind over body.
At the workshop we did an hour of guided meditation. I led the group in various techniques I am familiar with to provide them tools they can take with them. Meditation techniques like Pranayama (breathing) meditation, Sound Vibration meditation, Journey Meditation, Chakra meditation, Metta Meditation, Body Scanning, and finally a White Skeleton Meditation leading into Savasana, dissolving all thoughts and drifting into an ocean of peace. The White Skeleton meditation provided relief to those people who were not comfy sitting upright. People were left with a feeling of total peace. Towards the very end of the workshop our lovely Carissa and Denise provided everyone with a "oneness" blessing. Thank you both for sharing! To conclude the workshop, I asked the participants if they experienced anything that they would like to share. Like with every Chakra Workshop, people become shy and prefer to tell me one on one. Carissa shared with the group that she felt the presence of a white figure hovering over her (thought it was me because I was wearing white) and felt an incredible sense of peace as though she was home in her bed. Others who shared with me privately mentioned visions, warmth, total relaxation, vibration throughout the body, overwhelming happiness, and much more. The workshop was a wonderful experience. Thank you Jody for snapping some pictures during the oneness blessing. Thank you all for allowing me to share meditation with you!

Pictures: 1. Myself having a oneness blessing from Denise 2. Participants sitting in meditative posture awaiting and receiving the oneness blessing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hindu Ashram NYC

While in the Western part of the world, many people have adapted the "asana" (yoga pose) as their key component of their yoga practice. It is imperative to recognize that this ancient practice is made up of many components, also referred to as the eight limbs of yoga. It is also important to recognize and respect the fact that this ancient practice stems from the hindu religion. While it is arguable that the yoga practice itself is not hindu, the practice has been passed down through hindu religious texts and yogis. Many of the poses are named after Hindu deities, and stories about them. The sound and symbol of Om are a key part of Hindu prayers and considered to be the sound of God/sound of the Universe. Maybe for non-religious people, and those who are devout in their particular faith, it makes them feel better to say that yoga is not religious. Maybe some people worry they will offend people. I find it ironic that Hindu people don't find it offensive that we in the west have adapted their ancient practice and turned it into a workout, branding it, creating an alliance that regulates whether you can be an instructor when in Indian it would take years of dedication to ever be considered a "yogi" or Swami. While it is not important that you be a Hindu when you practice yoga, I think it is a good idea to respect that that is where it stems from.
Years ago, I was invited to sing/cantor the chants with the musical leader who plays various Indian instruments (sitar, harmonium etc) at a Hindu Ahsram right here in NYC. He was in search of a singer and found my music online. He was a converted Jewish gentleman who was called into the Hindu faith and never looked back. Listening to him play and sing, I felt like I was listening to Yesudas (a famous Indian classical musician). I was honored to be asked, but it wasn't something I wanted to do at the time. Recently, I bumped into a lovely girl on the subway (Indra Devi) who was wearing a Salvar (typical Indian outfit that looks like a long embroidered top over pants). We talked on the train, and she explained how she lives in this Ashram. I quickly remembered that I had already been there. She is also formerly Jewish and now devoted to her Hindu faith and guru. We talked a lot, and I was enchanted by the visible essence of peace in her eyes that I find in many devout Hindus. She invited me to join them in meditation at the Ashram. I ventured off to visit the Hindu Ashram right here in NYC on Avenue B again. This compound houses many people who live under the guidance of their guru, Swami Ramakrishnananda. They practice Hatha Yoga, have Darshan, Meditation, Kiratan, and much more. They provide yoga classes for the public and various other workshops. Upon arriving, I was greeted by a young gentleman, former Christian, originally named John who has been renamed as a Saniyasan (like a hindu monk) with a name given by his Guru which I can't seem to remember. He shared with me his experience and invited me to take the Hatha yoga classes as he is the teacher. He was a delight to speak with. I am always fascinated by peoples relationship with God and how it translates into their daily lives. In my opinion all the religions before they are corrupted by leaders have the same values of love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves. Ultimately faith echos in our hearts as John Lennon sings "All You Need is Love". Unfortunately, their guru wasn't coming down for meditation, and instead they were having Kirtan which could go on for hours. I decided to go home, with hope to return. It was nice to sit at the foot of Ganesh (the Hindu deity known for inspiring the no fear mentality). Thank you everyone at the Ashram who greeted me with Love. While my personal faith is not Hindu, and is one that I will keep forever, I will maintain my love and respect for the Hindu faith. Growing up as an Indian, with neighbors and friends of various religions, I was taught to respect everyones right to their individual faith. Ultimately our temple, church or mosque is more than just an architectural structure, rather it is the love in our heart. Gandhi had a famous quote "I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew" when he was questioned about his association with Muslims being that he himself was Hindu. If only more people in the world would adopt that loving mentality. If you are interested in the Hatha yoga practice, or even the orthodox Hindu faith, you may want to venture to the Ashram on avenue B.

Life is like a Bowl of Cherries

Twice a week the yogalaties fan pack Bamboomoves to endure my sweaty take on fast paced vinyasa yoga, pilates, and various core exercises. One of the key exercises in this high energy class is "cherry pickers". It is the exercise everyone loves to hate. This past Saturday despite our record high heat in NYC, the Bamboo folks came out to Yoga 2, Tai Chi, Yoga 1, Belly Dance, Kick Box and of course Yogalaties.
In the middle of my break between yoga classes, our new Belly dance instructor decided to pull me into class (out of the lobby) to do a fun, impromptu shimmy with her. The class was clapping, laughing and enjoying watching me shake my booty. Many of the folks at Bamboomoves don't know that I used to belly dance in some venues in the city, and based on my somewhat goofy performance with our amazingly talented new instructor, they probably still don't know. Thank you Joy and Jody for encouraging Kristi to pull me into the class so you could stand by giggling! No really, thanks ladies!
Fast forward to the later part of the day and it's time for Yogalaties. The heat did keep some people away, but most of my dedicated folks came with smiles on their faces. Standing in front of me with something clearly behind their backs, and suspicious grins on their face, two lovely participants (Amber & Michelle) presented me with a delicious bag of cherries!!!! A bag of cherries in honor of "cherry pickers". I burst out into thankful laughter! They were hoping that the gift would inspire a class without "cherry pickers", but instead we did it twice. The funny thing is, I have incorporated another exercise that I call Melon twists (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, whatever melon you like) and the big joke is, who will bring in melons for me next week. After knowing that we did extra cherry pickers, I think it's safe to say I won't be getting any melons.
To keep up with the impromptu energy of Bamboomoves, our gorgeous Kick Box instructor Leon peeked his head into the yogalaties class. He noticed some of his students ditched his class for mine. I invited him in and asked him to teach the class something. I held his hand, led him to the front and I said anything at all. The participants in class were smiling but slightly apprehensive. Leon proceeded to lead them into an exercise I know as "Dive Bombers", usually done in the military. It's similar to a Hindi Push up, only legs are really wide apart, and you dive upper body forward, down and back, ducking your head under an imaginary bar. I was so thrilled because for weeks, the class is doing "hindi pushups" as the "warm up" and it is harder than a dive bomber, so they were ready to do Leon's exercise challenge. All in all Saturdays are great energy at Bamboomoves, and I am especially thankful for the yummy bag of cherries!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Yoga Monday

Good morning Monday. Off I go for the early 7am yoga with Isaac at Sankalpah. My body was a little tired due to a weekend of 4 yoga sessions I teach on saturday (one of which is referred to as "torture") and 3 on Sunday. Nonetheless, I was grateful to be there. Drenched in bliss yet again. Stripped of my ego, as my legs and arms were shaking throughout the class. Then off to Shiatsu practice class, and then teach a few yoga sessions. Fast forward to the later part of the gloriously hot summer day and I am at Bamboomoves. Finish teaching the kids yoga class, and watch Milta (the first yogi of the month) in her sparring class upstairs at the Karate school. When bzzzzzz (the vibration of my cell phone) Andrew is stuck on the train at Park Slope and would like me to lead the start of the 7:45pm yoga class. Sure I said. I head downstairs, lay out my mat, jokingly introduce myself as Andrew Tanner to a class of all familiar faces who laugh at every one of my silly jokes (thanks guys for being a captive audience to my budding comedic talents) and let them know he is on his way. Some of the students thought I was teaching, as I have subbed a lot for Andrew in the past. As I was starting the meditation, in walks Andrew (my yoga brother from another mother) and I casually move to lay my yoga mat on the side between Jody and Denise. Early on when I met Andrew, he told me my only flaw as a yoga instructor is my Headstand practice lacks strength. I LOVE IT, because I agreed and I am working on it. Andrew is a brilliant yoga instructor. He is a Dharma Mittra disciple, and gives a wonderful yoga class. He led us through a terrific yoga class while my gentle cloud music on my iPod played in the background. My arms were kinda sore but he had me up in forearm stand up the wall and various other poses. Did I mentioned that I was sitting next to Jody? Well Jody makes me laugh, a lot! I love to laugh, so choosing to lay my mat next to Jody, who already makes me laugh, and I am already pretty giggly, well, let's just say it was a giggly class. Before Andrew requested us to get into plow pose, we were both giggling because we had gurgling tummies. Luckily, Andrew gave a variation. I am a big fan of Andrew Tanner, he gives a complete classic yoga class (asana, meditation, pranayama and more). It echos of Dharma style with Andrew's own genuine witty one liners. The best is how he leads the class through a good sweat, and proceeds to say "now that we are through with the warm up" which is always well received by sweaty confused lifted eyebrows. He introduced us to "bouncey ball asana" his own creation to open the sacral area, it was pretty fun! Andrew was the original founder of the quickly growing Bamboomoves chain, and teaches at various Bamboomoves locations, as well as Dharma Mittra studio on occasion. Andrew is another NYC yoga teacher that I respect and revisit. He gives wonderful cues, helpful assists, demonstrates awe inspiring variations, usually ends class with pranayama work, and cracks the occasional funny joke. You leave Andrew's class knowing that you did your mind & body good. Since I have been part of the Bamboomoves family, Andrew has been very encouraging, and helpful on my yoga journey. He knew I was reluctant to take the Dharma master class, and he invited me. Taking the Dharma Master class beside him was great, because I probably would have found an excuse to avoid it without the comfort of knowing a familiar face was beside me. Andrew has given me the chance to do a lovely Yoga photo shoot with his talented photographer buddy, getting me to volunteer at the Yoga in Central Park to adjust participants and much more. The giving nature that Andrew brings to fellow yoga instructors and students makes him a phenomenal yoga instructor. Thanks again Andrew for yet another lovely class.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Glow in the Dark Mini Golf Kids Yoga Trip

Every month at Bamboomoves, the Yogi of the month chooses a trip for us to go on. Usually it is a movie, but this month it was Glow in the Dark Mini Golf! This was Veronica's choice. While these kids enjoy their yoga practice three times a week, and get excited about the trips, not every kid is always available on the specific event nights. Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun putting around the 18 hole course. Special Thanks to Anthony and Doris for chaperoning and driving us to New Roc. The kids were really good at mini golf, and had tons of fun! It was great how our clothes would glow in the dark under the black lights.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Love and Gratitude

Just a note to express my love and gratitude to the students at Bamboomoves, my private session regulars, and the Yogi Bean kids who have maintained a joyful yoga practice for many months. You all bring so much joy to my life. The folks at Bamboomoves, YEAAAHHH we made a one year anniversary. It has been such a gift to be part of your yoga journey. With the 6:30 am yoga crew that were so dedicated to their morning practice, love you guys. That was such a beautiful way to begin our day. The kids who do sun salutes, warriors and yoga games with love and kindness, love you kids. The yoga-laties fans who petitioned to have the grueling, sweaty "torture" (as they call it) class twice a week, as opposed to twice a month, I love you all. Everyone who takes my level 2, level 1, Kids, and Yoga-laties class every Saturday, during this incredibly sunny-beach-friendly summer, I love you for your dedication to the practice. All of you who share your energy for our Chakra Workshops including the musicians, love you all. The vibe at Bamboomoves is more of a family atmosphere, and it is unlike any other yoga studio, I am thankful to be part of it. Thank you to the other teachers at Bamboomoves, Andrew, Carissa, Yoshio, Yael, Sherry, Monica, Michael, I love being able to take your classes. Andrew & Yoshio, it is easy to figure out that you are both Dharma Yoga disciples, as you both provide such a deep experience for every student and never fail to encourage me with deeper adjustments to the delight of all the other students in class, thank you and I love you both. Carissa, you are my "fairy" yoga teacher, I love your "flash dance" pose, I miss when you took my Saturday classes, and love you dearly. Yael, your belly dance class is super fun, and I was so thrilled to be part of it, love you Shimmy queen. Leon, hopefully one day, I will gather the courage to take kickboxing with you, I love you and appreciate your rides home every so often. Monica and Michael, when my schedule permits, I want to take your yoga classes too, I hear wonderful things, and I love you both dearly. Sherry, unfortunately we teach at the same time, otherwise I would have loved to take Tai Chi with you, it was fun to have yoga 2 and tai chi side by side once when we had the construction going on. Carolann, Joy & Jody you are the best front desk girls of any yoga studio, thank you guys for being so helpful, and for laughing and chatting with me during breaks (while they are working hard at the same time of course Michael), you girls rock, and I love you too! I am so grateful to work with all of you. Thank you all for making my yoga journey so wonderful!

Sankalpah Staycation

Amidst a challenging week, with teaching many yoga sessions, extreme heat/humidity, a dear friend grieving the loss of her fiance, another dear friend being M.I.A for over a week, and various other realities of life that make it challenging to smile, I decided get back to the yoga mat. Every so often, I choose to take class and immerse myself as a student fully, but only once in a while does a teacher provide me with a yoga experience that I want to revisit. As I had posted before, I ventured to Sankalpah and had class with the wonderful, Isaac Pena. Rather than a vacation, I had a "staycation", and took yoga with Isaac almost every morning at 7 am for one week (I had got the one week pass). I must say, it has been a highlight to my summer. Isaac gives a brilliant creative yoga class that introduces challenging asanas in a stealth manner. I loved every minute of each class. One day, I took class twice. If my schedule had allowed, I most likely would have taken classes twice each day. One thing that I loved, was that my breath was flowing exactly with the timing of the Vinyasa pace. Isaac provides the most nurturing adjustments/assists of any yoga instructor I have taken with, he guides you through a progressive sequence that leaves you literally drenched in bliss. The energy in the room is fantastic, and the music play list is great too! While my inversion practice is not the strongest due to various injuries that have left a crutch in my mind, Isaac helped me to get upside down and on my hands, but most importantly, I was not afraid in the process. Thursday was the last day of my week pass, and I was a bit tired from the previous nights yoga-laties class that I taught at Bamboomoves, but was so thankful to be in class at Sankalpah nonetheless. Just like every other day, Isaac gave the most nurturing assists. I knew from the first day, I had found an excellent teacher to practice with because I had my eyes closed for most of class. If you are a yoga instructor, you should take a class at Sankalpah with Isaac. In the past, I have mentioned that Dharma Mittra as the one Yoga Instructor to take class with, and I still maintain the same. Dharma provides a yoga experience that is almost out of body. Isaac provides a yoga experience that leaves you wanting more. While I know that the yoga experience is not about the teacher, and more about you becoming one with your breath, from my experience Isaac is a brilliant teacher who facilitates that experience. Both Dharma Mittra and Isaac Penna are instructors that I have visited repeatedly, and that says a lot, because I know I am safe in their class. Even with my own personal practice, I understand the need to be a student so that we challenge our mind and body fully. The vibration at Sankalpah is lovely. Thank you again Isaac for making such a joyful week! Hope to practice at Sankalpah again!
Pictured: Myself & Isaac Penna in front of the Sutra Wall at Sankalpah (I'm drenched!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Belly dance workshop at Bamboomoves with Yael

All of you who like to get your shimmy on, be sure to come to Bamboomoves, BX to participate in the ever popular Belly dance workshop by our lovely visiting Instructor Yael. Belly dance is a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise, it works your abdominal section, it embraces the sensuality, it brings out our femininity, it is fun, and Yael is AWESOME! If you haven't signed up already, sign up and show up Sunday with your hips ready to go!

Amma was in town

Writing that title sounds funny for me, because "Amma" is actually the South Indian name for mom/mother, commonly used by people better known as Malayalees or Maloos from Kerala. While I grew up calling my mom, mom or ma, on occasion when I wanted to be whinny/babyish, I would use the Indian term of endearment "Amma" which was always well received. However, for the sake of this post I am referring to the wildly popular Amma, also known as the Hugging Saint. Amma is known to have started and inspired many humanitarian efforts worldwide. The Hip Hop Nation and UN hosted an event for Amma to give her loving hugs, and spread her message of peace and meditation to the yoga community of NYC. Russell Simmons and Doug E. Fresh were there in attendance along with many others. Unfortunately, my schedule didn't allow me to go and meet this fellow South Indian lady. Lines were long, energy was peaceful, and I heard all about it from clients, and Michael (owner of Bamboomoves) who enjoyed the experience. Apparently, Doug E. Fresh busted out in an amazing freestyle for the people who were waiting for their hug. If you missed Amma, she is touring for a while, Boston, DC and possibly other places so check out her site for more information and go get your Hugs.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Compassion - Daya

The Vedic Yama Daya means compassion. For two weeks now I have had the privilage to work with a lovely group of kids teaching them yoga. Two kids who have high energy (one is a lovely girl who I have worked with for over a year & a new boy). Both the parents of the high energy kids say that they would benefit from more focus based activities. The third child in the yoga class is a wonderul girl who has autism. Her parents wanted her to be in a class that was not primarily for autistic children. Immediately, the experience reminded me of when I taught first grade, and had one child with autism in a class of 23 kids. I knew it could work, and would be a wonderful learning experience for all! The high energy kids have A LOT of energy and are extremely chatty, while the little girl who is autistic is mostly non verbal. Last week, I had no idea what to expect and was amazed when I saw an incredible display of compassion. The girl who is usually eager to display her high energy/hyper take on yoga was extremely compassionate to this other young girl. She was encouraging, complimenting, understanding, and nurturing to her quiet classmate. This week, the little boy was the same. To top it all off, the little girl who was described to me as non verbal autistic, was speaking, laughing, and making animal sounds when cued!!! She was also very responsive to the music. It was so lovely to witness compassion in this unique yoga class. Often times, in adult yoga classes we talk about the ego with regard to the importance of being present without the obsession to get in the asana (pose), refraining from judgement. This was such a wonderful display of compassion and ego-less yoga. These are the highlights of teaching yoga.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bliss at Sankalpah with Isaac

With some recent energy in my life challenging my joy, I knew it was time for me to take the role of student in a yoga class. Years ago, a bellydance instructor of mine (Kelly) told me about a studio named Sankalpah and an instructor named Isaac (who she would only practice yoga with). She raved about the studio. I had it in the back of my mind to go to class. Over time, many people made the same suggestions to me. Finally, I ventured to Sankalpah to practice yoga with Isaac. I was tired going into class. I arrived early and met Isaac's mom who showed me around and made me feel right at home. Venture off to the park to meet a friend and return for class. I walk in to see a familiar friendly trainer I knew from working at Reebok Sports Club, and Isaac's friendly face. Isaac was randomly doing some one arm handstands in the foyer. I changed out of my dress, and lay my mat in the back of the class. Isaac asks the early bird students including myself what we would like to work on, and I respond "anything easy", the girl beside me said "savasana" and Isaac smiled and promised to go "easy on us". Despite the fact that I was there to take class on an unexpected emotionally taxing day, I centered myself with my breath and flowed with Isaac. Isaac guided us through possibly one of the most brilliant yoga classes I have ever participated in. I was drenched! I was in a complete state of bliss! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sports bra and the neck of my soaked t-shirt was starting to get bigger and bigger, but even that didn't matter. Towards the end of class, Isaac gave us the option of inversions. He asked me if I do Handstand, and because of my wrist, I told him it is a pose I avoid. While I have done it with one toe on the wall, and The Lord's Prayer echoing in my heart, today I did it with Isaac's help. Isaac held my hands, helped me up, looked me in the eyes, and said "anyone who is a new student in my class, gets to do handstand....Oh Joy. I stood up, listened to his cues, placed my hands on the floor, and floated up, while he kindly held my legs. While upside down, I felt no tension in my wrist, and Isaac told the girl beside me to get into handstand, because only then, can I come out of it. This made me giggle and then pause because while I was still on my hands, she didn't seem to be budging. She was off the hook, and so was I as Isaac asked me to float down. Isaac led us through a marvelous creative class, with nurturing assists and challenging yet purposeful progression. I am looking forward to more classes at Sankalpah. Thank you Isaac for a marvelous healing experience. While I have a lovely picture of Isaac and myself (freshly sweaty) standing in the yoga studio, with the Sutra painted wall behind us, once my card reader works, I will upload it. My new favorite place to take class is with Isaac Penna of Sankalpah. Thank you again Isaac for such a wonderful experience! See you again soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Deplete

With the newest heat wave here in NY, it is important to make sure not to become electrolyte-deficient. The combination of heat and humidity throughout the day, and our regular yoga, pilates, spin, or fitness routines that bring on the sweat can lead to depletion. While it is important to stay hydrated with water, be mindful of the electrolyte deficient symptoms. If you are experiencing cramping, spasms, fatigue, nausea, confusion, or muscle fatigue, you may be in need of electrolyte replacement. Beneficial electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are the ones we want to look out for. If you are not keeping foods rich in electrolytes in your regular diet, sometimes you can get packs/powders that you can add to your water bottles, or drink coconut water. Be good to you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yoga Farts

Today, there was a discussion about Yoga farts. While taking about farting may be offensive to some, flatulence, is a natural reality of our existence. On the other hand, the mention of the word can make some bust out into laughing. Unfortunately, some folks avoid going to yoga class for fear of farting. When we do some detoxifying poses, it is true that it can stir up our guts and help release the gas but in reality if you have those toxins in your guts, your body will release it at some point. Sometimes it brings a chuckle to participants and leaves the person who farts embarrassed. Let's relax, It is natural, on average our body produces about a half a litre of this type of gas daily. It is actually your body releasing the toxic chemicals that are lingering in your intestines. The thing you may want to avoid before yoga class is foods rich in sulfur (eggs, cauliflower, and meats) these things are known to produce that stink, the "silent violent ones".

Yoga-laties @ Bamboomoves

While the morning Saturday Bamboomoves Level 2 yoga class was a nice challenge, as as the Level 1, it was a treat to see the owner of the studio, Michael, participate in the highly talked about Yoga-laties. In typical fashion we did our Hindi Push ups, we did our plank poses, power yoga flow, and core yoga. The playlist was another nice up beat fusion of great music. We usually have Shakira on our play list, and the song was "La Tortura", which ironically means torture. One of the participants quickly pointed this out and said that she thinks of me, every times she hears this song. What a delight! When we got to our round of leg lifts, I could see an expression on Michael's face like "more????" and I think many of the female participants got a kick out of seeing him moan throughout the class. While in the middle of our never ending leg lifts, I took the opportunity to announce that after this class Michael will be giving me a raise, which made everyone bust out in laughter. While the timing of this statement was funny, you never know, anything is possible. All in all, every participant gave their one hundred percent which is the most important thing, being mindful to nurture themselves and take breaks when needed. We all were sweating, some were dripping!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Laughing Lotus Joy

Last Friday I ventured out to be a student at Laughing Lotus. I have heard a lot about Laughing Lotus, and recently because I came into contact with the lovely Alison Cramer, I decided to take a class. On the second floor of a downtown building, I enter into the studio to be greeted by the charming front desk staff. The lobby has yoga clothes, books, and various other items for sale. There are two gorgeous rooms, in vibrant colors and I laid out my mat in the Light Room to do some meditation before class. Students started to pile in, making 5 rows for this pre Fourth of July weekend class. Alison led us through a vinyasa yoga class beginning with beautiful chanting, a reading from a inspirational book, series of Warriors, a lot of Chutturunga's, and much more. The energy of the class was high. It was great to see a sea of Warriors flowing down to Side Plank and meeting in Down Dog. After class, I had the chance to speak with Alison about a job that I had been offered recently to teach Yoga abroad. We talked about taking class together when our schedules allow. Alison gives a wonderful class, and I would love to come back to Laughing Lotus for class. After class, one of the participants found me down the street, we introduced ourselves, talked about Yoga, and he mentioned how he loves the "laid back vibe" of Laughing Lotus. I am guessing the downtown location makes it great for a lot of people who work downtown Manhattan to take a Yoga class as a break from there day. Thank you Laughing Lotus & Alison for a wonderful yoga class.