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

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!