Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mandalas with Jean Ryan in Ireland

So while the trainees are starting to show signs of excitement and exhaustion as we are in the last leg of 200Hr Riya Yoga Teacher Training, as a special treat I invited a local artists Jean Ryan to come and share his love for painting and art with these amazing ladies.  I met Jean with Mia at a local networking event for local artists, and venues in Limerick.  Jean Ryan is a highly respected artist and art teacher, who had a gallery very close to Sun and Moon Yoga & Healing Center.  I had the idea to invite him to share the concept of creating Mandalas with the Trainees.  I have used Mandalas with kids Yoga, and find it to be an incredible meditation tool.  Before I had a chance to ask Jean, he was gone.  However, since this universe is so incredible and we manifest what we put our mind on, Jean had come back to the studio to see Mia.  She knew that I had wanted to ask him. 
My was relaxing to create.

Table of Mandalas

Donna enjoying the relaxation with her beautiful mandala.

Mia creating a breathtaking Mandala

Mielle enjoying her lovely Mandala.

Exploring Mandalas with Jean Ryan
As Jean Ryan was admiring the Yoga Studio for the first time, he casually mentioned to Mia that she should have some Mandalas painted on the walls, and Mia immediately looked at me and smiled.  I stepped up and asked Jean, and like a true artist he was happy to return to share some Mandala painting with the ladies.  We spent the later end of the afternoon with meditation music on, exploring the power of shapes, chakra colors, and concentration while creating our mandalas.  All of us found it to be a relaxing afternoon, and perfect way to spend the later part of our Teacher Training!  Thank you Jean Ryan for your time and talent, we are so grateful for your contribution to our Training experience.  Jean Ryan may return to Sun and Moon Yoga Centre for art workshops and mandala painting, so for those in Limerick please keep your eyes and ears open for this relaxing and creative way to meditate.

Mia and Jean Ryan

Anatomy with Sara in Ireland.

While I love teaching, I am a student to the practice of yoga and love to take classes with other teachers.  I had the special honor to take class with a beautiful young lady named Sara Cory.  Sara teaches Vinyasa style yoga, and learned with a wonderful teacher from Cork Ireland, who I forgot the name, and Sadie Nardini, and Cameron (founder of Budokon).  I always encourage Teacher Trainees and my own students to try different teachers, it allows us to remain humble and receptive to the power of Yoga, without attachment to teacher.  Sara agreed to share her passion for anatomy, and we had a brilliant afternoon.  We were happy to pose with pictures of the periformis and facia after learning so much.  Thank you Sara, so happy and grateful to have connected with you.
Sara and Myself holding a photo of facia.
My first class with Sara was in this beautiful place in Killaloe overlooking the water, the place was normally used for weddings and banquets.  The class was workshop style, alignment based with emphasis on safety of the spine.  I loved every second, and I knew it would be a valuable treat to have Sara share her love for anatomy with the teacher trainees. 
Sara and the lovely trainees so excited about anatomy!

Exploring Rotation.
While I have taught anatomy, and the section is clear in the Manual, Sara is a self proclaimed anatomy geek, with a passion for the periformis that I don't share, so I was so grateful to have her share her wisdom and knowledge with the group.  Thank you Sara for coming to Sun and Moon Yoga Center and sharing your time and incredible awareness of the spine, periformis, psoas, and all other brilliant things related to anatomy and Yoga.

Amazing Angel Workshop with Mary

One of the highlights for me being in Ireland was reuniting with my AMAZING Reiki Teacher, and Crystal healing Teacher, Mary Henry.  Mary was my yoga student in NYC, and one day in class when she spoke about her training in Reiki, I mentioned to her that one day she might be my Reiki Master teacher, and exactly that came true.  I am forever grateful to that life changing experience, and recommend Mary to everyone.  She is a gifted healer, intuitive teacher, and empath.  She has a divine gift to teach and share Reiki, Crystals, and Angel Healing. 
Angel Healing Savasana

We all explored Angel Healing, experienced divine guidance, and raised our vibration with the help of Mary's brilliant Singing Bowls, which she placed all around us, on our navel and played so beautifully.

Angel Healing Exploration

Crystals and Some Angel Healing

Yoga Teacher Training... Jumping to Face Fears

So most times when I teach, I like to offer a special challenge.  This time in Ireland the gals were invited to jump off the local Bridge in Killaloe, Ireland into the Shannon River.  It was not very high, and luckily the river was very deep, but still the fear of the jump was a factor.  The very same day at lunch, a lady decided to warn us about how dangerous it is, and that people split their faces open and not to jump.  Somehow, I thought it was a bit extreme fear based advice, especially since every day the local boys and girls were jumping so happily, repeatedly.  While I was still looking forward to us following through with the goal, the lady certainly planted a mini seed of doubt. The beauty of seeds is that according to the Bible, all you need is faith the size of the mustard seed, therefore the seed of doubt lost to my seed of faith, and childish excitement!

After the first jump (Mielle, Mia, Ambria, and Liam).

Donna was unable to join us, so the incredible Liam stepped in and jumped with us.  It was a fun afternoon, and the first jump inspired us to jump a second time.  Unfortunately, Mia's buttocks did a butt slap on the second jump, but as we all know learn through Yoga our injuries are a reflection of something deeper, and our bodies way to help us grow on the path to enlightenment.  Congratulations to the ladies for facing their fears, Donna you were there is spirit, and Mielle, had it not been for you jumping so easily the first time, I may have stayed on the bridge a little longer.  For those who want to view the excitement of the journey, and the jump off the bridge, please visit my youtube channel ambriali or click the link below:

The Beautiful Bridge where we jumped to liberation from fear.

Ayurveda Workshop in Limerick

During this amazing Yoga Teacher Training in Ireland, we held a beautiful Ayurveda Workshop at the hosting Yoga Studio, Sun and Moon Yoga Centre.  Teacher trainees were joined by yogis in the local community to explore the concepts of Ayurveda & Yoga.  Very similar to the workshop I taught in Dublin, we learned some Dosha Analysis, Diet, Meditation, Yoga, Cleansing and really explored how to make Ayurveda applicable in day to day life.  It was a beautiful afternoon, and we ended with some lovely chanting.  Thanks to all who shared in the radiant energy.

Reducing Kapha with some detoxifying twists.

Happy Yogis

Happy Yogis Part 2

Getting warm in Asana with some Downward Facing Dog
Reading through Manuals and Exploring Ayurveda

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Naked Truth of Yoga Teacher Training in Ireland and Crystals

The most beautiful aspect of doing a small group Yoga Teacher Training is to cater to the individual.  I am profoundly grateful that these incredible Goddesses are receptive to the practice of yoga and all that I teach them.  They are embracing the tears, the sore muscles, the self-development with grace and strength.  

I shared with the ladies my experience with Naked Yoga, and recommended that they all experience it. 
I suggested on their own in the morning while doing Sun Salutations they should release inhibitions and practice or meditate au naturel.   While they all thought it was a little shocking, I was so happy to find out they did it the very next day.  They all came away with a beautiful new love for their body.  Women need to celebrate their body, and since these ladies had explored Chakras they had a deeper understanding of why energy may remain in certain areas of the body.  When we celebrate our own unique body, we become one with our feminine energy and sexuality which should be embraced rather than repressed.  

at 2 Mile Gate with the Swans Blessings

While we spent most mornings doing our asana at 2 Mile Gate in County Clare in front of the water, having a family of swans come and bless us each day, we also had the chance to take a trip to the local “milk market” in Limerick.  At the Milk Market we met the amazing Mary Henry who has a Crystal Stand with her wonderful husband Aaron.  Mary happens to be my Reiki master teacher and Crystal Healing Teacher.  It was so great to see her and of course it was amazing to see her crystal stand.

The students were invited to pick a crystal or a few, and like always, the crystals actually picked them.  The metaphysical properties of the crystals they chose had a magical way of finding their way into their hearts.
At Mary's Crystal Stand at the Milk Market in Limerick, Ireland

With Mary & her hubby Aaron at their Crystal Stand in the Milk Market

Later that afternoon we did crystal meditation as we explored Yoga Sutra 1:39 YATHABHIMATA DYHANAD VA (Or by meditating on anything one chooses that is evalevating). 

यथाभिमतध्यानाद्वा ॥३९॥
yathā-abhimata-dhyānād-vā ||39||
- Or through contemplation (dhyana) of love. ||39||  

The meditation was very powerful, revealing and healing.  Tears were shed, awareness was found, healing happened, and transformation.  One student the owner of the beautiful Sun and Moon Yoga and Healing Centre, Mia shared with the group how her experience with the personal meditation of naked yoga and how during the crystal meditation she realized she would like to teach Naked Yoga at the studio.  WOW!  This is the second time after I suggested naked yoga to a teacher trainee, they have gone on to be inspired to share with others.  The first was Joseph, and now Mia!  Mia realized how she had quite a journey with her body, and coming to appreciate her body after many years of not doing that is a full circle healing for her, and she is excited to share.

I am so grateful to be part of all the magnificent transformation happening with these incredible Goddesses.  These ladies are growing to be incredible Yogis with every breath.

Ayurveda Relief from Satmya in Ireland

While I am here in Ireland leading the 200Hr Yoga Teacher Training, and guiding these beautiful goddesses in their own transformation I was faced with a new found allergy.  Since Ireland is having this glorious record breaking weather of incredible sunshine they are also having a high pollen count.  It is also possible I am having allergies to the beautiful cats that live at Mia’s home (Lakshmi and Kevin). 
Lakshmi the cat (she is pregnant)
I did not bring my neti pot with me, and while I knew I could do some steam (Nasya) but I chose to visit this beautiful local Ayurveda shop in Killaloe.  The shop is called Satmya and a brilliant couple, Doug Hyde (Ayurveda) and Yvette Sheridan (Holistic Medicine) provide amazing service to the community in Limerick with natural remedies.  While Doug had suggested Nasya which is an Ayurveda treatment involving gentle facial massage, steam, and then use of medicated powder/oil in the nasal passage, somehow I did not feel like doing that.  My dad and my grandmother would always do steam and pepper in the nose to clear congestion, and I was never a fan.  Instead I chose the homeopathic remedy, and it provided some relief.

With Doug and Yvette

The shop is very beautiful and they offer a host of body treatments, teas, herbs, creams, oils, books, and of course insight/advice.  While I was there, I also picked up some chawanprash (the Indian Multi Vitamin), Triphala (for cleansing), and a beautiful hair oil that is great for head massage and improving hair and scalp health.  I did not pack my usual hair oil, so this was a nice treat.  The teacher trainees also picked up some Ayurveda remedies of their own.

Satmya Street View

Thank you so much to the lovely couple and Satmya.  If you are local to Ireland and want to have some natural remedy for your health, I highly recommend taking the trip to Killaloe, County Clare and visiting Satmya.  You can also visit their website for more information:
Some purchases: Ayurveda Hair Oil, Chawanprash, Triphala, and Natropathic Allergy Relief

Monday, July 8, 2013

Yoga Teacher Training in Limerick Ireland - Transformation Begins

Monday July 8th, marked the first day of the 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training in Ireland.  It was also the auspicious New Moon in Cancer which was all about releasing emotions and change, as well Monday is the day for Lord Shiva, the beloved deity of change and transformation.  This lovely group of goddesses enjoyed a introductory day to their transformational journey. 
Hosted at the new Sun and Moon Yoga & Healing Centre which is a gorgeous space and massive.  The space has two floors, with a cafe lounge area in the first floor, and the studio on the second.  The energy is very special, and upon entering I knew that this would be a beautiful experience.  We began with a lovely puja ceremony, invocation, tilak (similar to a bindi, which I adorned them each with), and some chanting.  We explored the 8 Limbs of Yoga, with emphasis on the the Yamas & Niyamas, light yoga asana, the gunas, and Surya Namaskar. 

समाधि सिद्धिःीश्वरप्रणिधानात् ॥४५॥
samādhi siddhiḥ-īśvarapraṇidhānāt ||45||

By accepting your fate (ishvarapranidhana), you achieve self knowledge (samadhi) and supernatural power (siddhi). ||45|| 

We also had the honor to take Mia's Kundalini Yoga Class, and participate in a lovely Satsang in the evening for the famous Hugging Saint, Amma from Southern India (Kerla where my family is from).  It truly was a magical day. 
Since the weather is so glorious and apparently uncommon to Ireland, we will be having many outdoor classes in the beautiful landscape of Ireland.  Looking forward to a month of purification, transformation, and Love with these brave Goddesses that signed up for this experience.  So much gratitude to share the journey.  Later this month we will be having another Ayurveda Wellness Workshop, and Kids Yoga Teacher Training for anyone interested please visit the website for details.

Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness in Ireland

This month has brought me on a beautiful adventure to the magical country of Ireland.  I was invited here to conduct 200Hr Yoga Teacher Training, Kids Yoga Teacher Training, and Workshops.  Special thanks to Mary Henry and Mia of Sun and Moon Yoga Studio for inviting me and organizing so much for the local people in Limerick.  Beginning my journey in Limerick where I got to look at Mia's beautiful yoga studio, then visiting the captivating coast of Galway, and up to Dublin where I gave a Yoga & Ayurveda Wellness Workshop for a brilliant group of Yogis at Yoga Dublin.  First, I must say that Ireland is a beautiful country with the most cheerful, and loving people I have come across.  Apparently I have brought the sunshine, because every day has been gorgeous which is not the norm.
First aerial view of Ireland

In Galway I got to see such incredible beach side views, the lush green landscapes, Salt Hill, Islands, live Irish music, Magpie birds, and I had the honor to stay in a beautiful 5 bedroom thatch house that was all arranged by my beautiful student/friend Beverly.  Bev does incredible Tarot Card Readings for anyone who is interested, you can find her on my facebook.  My host was the incredibly charming Martin (Bev's dear friend), who paraded me around all the local sites of Galway, and entertained me till I had to request returning to his beautiful home that he built himself, for some much needed sleep.
Looking out to the coast in Galway

The next day it was off to Dublin, Ireland.  The city is full of charm and incredible architecture.  I am ever grateful to have shared a beautiful 4 hour workshop for Ayurveda & Yoga to the Yogis there.  It was a lovely group of 19 Yogis who were not practitioners of Yoga Dublin (the lovely Venue), but practitioners of the practice.

Beautiful houses in Galway
is amazing how Yoga just spreads this vibration of love.  We explored so much about Yoga, Ayurveda Constitution, Self Healing, Rejuvenation, and much more.  It was great fun and the students were very receptive.  It was great to see a familiar face (Elaine Gemmel) a wonderful yoga teacher, and student from a Teacher Training I was a guest teacher on in Kerala, India.  I also had the chance to meet Kim's beautiful mom, Kim was also a student from Kerala.  After the workshop we enjoyed some delicious food at a local Vegetarian Restaurant, and I did some exploring of Temple Bar area.
Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Workshop @ Yoga Dublin
With Elaine & Sarah Jane @ Cornucopia

With Bev outside Temple Bar
Thank you to Bev for coming all the way from Wales and being so generous to me with hospitality.  It was wonderful to see familiar faces and new ones in this amazing city.  I hope to be back again perhaps in the fall or next year for some more workshops in Dublin. 

Looking forward to more adventures in Ireland.  The next morning before my return to Limerick I had the chance to venture out and explore Dublin, seeing the famous Book of Kells, St. Patricks Cathedral, and Christ Church. 

Yoga Nidra Studio Grand Opening Recap

Stephanie and I (we did not plan to dress the same)
Yoga Nidra Studio Grand Opening happened on June 1st weekend in Brooklyn.  After our meditation challenge I did not really get a chance to update the blog.  Just wanted to wish my lovely student/friend Stephanie all the very best on continued success to share this magical space she has opened and provide brilliant yoga classes for people in New York.  The studio is located in Dyker Heights Brooklyn, New York.  The studio itself has beautiful energy as soon as you walk in with Stephanie always sharing her charm and beautiful smile.  The practice space has an energy that welcomes the practitioner, almost surrounding with a hug of love and peace.  The extra beautiful highlight is the backyard garden/porch where Stephanie brings out door classes when the weather allows.  It is a blessing to be able to practice with the beautiful sky above.

We had the beautiful experience of Live Music from a very talented guitar player for the grand opening, as Stephanie led us through a beautiful sweaty vinyasa class.  She made sure to call me out in the class to other former students of mine, as she quoted me, and in my view celebrated in the opportunity to make me sweat.  It was the weekend of the heat wave in New York, so we were all feeling the purification of the yoga practice on a different level.  Stephanie led us through a beautiful class that left us feeling wonderful.

After class we were informed of the local politician who came to do a formal ribbon cutting, that her Mom, Dad and Boyfriend Mike participated in, and we all feasted on some delicious vegetarian food while chatting with gratitude for another amazing space to have yoga.  It was so nice to see some familiar faces.  After Joseph & I decided to go back into the studio and lay down for a while, give ourselves our own Yoga Nidra class as our bodies were ready for rest.

The next day I came back for some more Yoga Nidra, and took a class that had more emphasis on yogic sleep.  So grateful to have been part of this incredible ladies journey, and looking forward to the upcoming 200Hr Riya Yoga Teacher Training & Kids Yoga Teacher Training that will be hosted at Yoga Nidra Studio in August. 

Dates on

If you live in Brooklyn or even in New York, take the time to get to a class with Stephanie at Yoga Nidra Studio, you and your body will be grateful for the experience.