Intention: Yoga Is Now.

This week’s intention I am stealing from a favorite teacher (her intentions come straight from the Yoga Sutras): it is “Atha Yoga Nushasanam” – which can be translated as:

  • Yoga is now.
  • Now begins our yoga.
  • All around us, now, is yoga.

It’s a reminder to stay present. You can practice yoga anytime, anywhere. Though it’s easy to go about life mindlessly clinging to old habits, remember to check in and come back to the moment. Not sinking into the past, nor daydreaming of the future – being here and now, and embracing it.

Last week’s intention was to be humble.

What is your intention for the week?

Yoga Flow Playlist #2 – Teacher Resource

My second flow yoga class was today during lunch. I think I may change the time though – it seems like it’s not ideal for many people. It’s currently set for 1:30pm on a Wednesday – I’m thinking after work might be better? What do you guys think? What time would you want to go to yoga if your office offered it?

Flow Yoga Playlist #2

  1. Comptine D’Un Autre Ete – L’Apres Midi – Amelie Soundtrack
  2. The Office – Soundtrack
  3. A Real Hero (feat. Electric Youth) – College
  4. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  5. Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
  6. Half Of My Heart – John Mayer
  7. Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
  8. Grey Street – Dave Matthews Band
  9. Love Save The Empty – Erin McCarley
  10. Quiet Times – Dido
  11. Brass Bed – Josh Gracin
  12. Remember When It Rained – Josh Groban
  13. Finally Moving – Pretty Lights
  14. La Femme D’Argent – Air

Click here for all my yoga playlists. (Note that the last couple songs on this playlist are the same as last time; last time we got started late and didn’t get through all the songs but I didn’t want them to go to waste.)

I’d love to hear any song suggestions you may have. I really think music is key to a yoga class. In fact, I get a little annoyed when I don’t like the music. That’s something I have to work on letting go of.

Veggie Sushi and Resolutions 2012

I wanted to pop in and share part of a delicious lunch I had on Saturday at Whole Foods. My husband is bored of eating at WF; we probably grab dinner there at least twice a week and sometimes visit on the weekends too. But I have yet to tire of their prepared foods bar. I am tired of it being $8.99/pound, but not of the scrumptious salads and innovative hearty dishes. I also discovered recently that they have rice-less sushi, which is what I’m about to show you.

There. That is seaweed swaddling shredded carrot, avocado, soft tofu, cucumber, and roasted red pepper*. Dip it in soy sauce and wasabi. Not enough for a meal on its own, but certainly a healthy and yummy component. The rest of my meal was a seaweed salad and chunky chicken salad (from the prepared foods bar). Filling, and a perfect reward after a Yin Yang yoga class taught by Tanya B herself. Wait, you’re not supposed to reward yourself with food? Oops.

*This sushi reminded me of my “fushi” – nearly raw, riceless sushi.

Some words on new year’s resolutions.

One resolution that I think everyone should have, not just at the start of the year, but always, is to take care of yourself. This could mean going to the dentist even though you really hate it, or giving yourself that 15 minute break in the afternoon even if you’re busy at work.

I’ve been struggling with my resolution to quit diet soda – I did not realize what a hard habit it would be to break. I have been following through on reading more.

A new resolution for the rest of January and beyond – more flossing! (At least once a day.)

I have many questions for you today:

  1. Do you do crosswords?
  2. Do you like to read (and if so what are you reading)?
  3. When was the last time you went to the dentist?
  4. Do you drink diet soda?

Humbled.

When you have been practicing yoga for a while, going to the same studio, flowing through the same sequences, you start to go on autopilot (or at least I do). You know what transition is coming up, what the next pose is, sometimes even the next cue, before the teacher says it. You get used to poses, too. Example: it’s easy to get lazy in parsvottanasana (pyramid) when you’re already tuning out.

And then you take a two hour Pure-ification flow class with Derek Beres and you get knocked off your feet, cut down to size, and completely humbled. In the first 10 minutes. I used to take Derek’s class at Equinox for about a month or so, but when I left Equinox I stopped. I missed his sequencing and when I found out he was going to be at Pure this weekend (he moved to LA and only comes back to NYC for visits) I jumped on it. One of my fellow teacher trainer graduates came along with me, and we were both blown away by his flow today.

My class this week was going to be about being in the moment, but I will put that on hold. The intention of the week* will be:

Be humble.

Being humble means having and showing a modest estimate of one’s importance. It is about recognizing and being thankful for what we have without letting the ego get cocky. It is about inner strength, and bowing down, but remaining a strong warrior. Practice humble warrior to go deeper with this intention.

Source.

*By the way, this past week, in my life and in the class I taught, the intention was to embrace change. Because it’s the new year, people have made resolutions – to lose weight, to do more yoga, to read more, to be happier, and on and on – that is great. But what is greater is to be okay with it when we fail, and to keep on trying.

***

I mentioned this already, but if you are in NYC, come out for free yoga on Friday at my studio. I’ll be helping with adjustments. And I just happened to find myself in the ad for the class (the guy on the left is my friend that came with me to yoga today):

Yoga Vida Teacher Training Fall 2011

Weekend Link Love – 1.7.2012

It’s been over 3 months since I last did a Weekend Link Love. Yipes! Yoga teacher training really did consume about 99.9999% of my free time this past fall.

A Few Yoga Links of Interest…

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body

First let me say, no, I do not agree with this sorry excuse for journalism. This is a poorly designed attack on yoga that is based on the behaviors of a few incompetent yoga practitioners. William Broad, the journalist, selects a few examples of obviously careless and/or fanatical yogis to reject nearly the entire challenging physical practice of yoga. An example: if you sit in hero’s pose (knees together, set back your heels, but option to go further and place feet next to hips so your butt is on the floor) for hours a day, yes, you will have issues. You will also have issues if you sit for hours a day, period. If you are not listening to your body, you are not practicing yoga. You are practicing some sort of ego-boosting physical exercise that will not get you any further towards enlightenment. To be honest, I’m surprised the Times ran this piece.

NY Times Unfairly Trashes Yoga

A rebuttal to the article above. Eloquent and based in fact, this quick counter to Broad’s exaggerated warnings is an informative, direct read.

Beautiful inversion practice by Briohny Smyth,

an Equinox LA yoga instructor (semi-NSFW). This is what I would love my practice to look like in… 2 years. (Also note that gorgeous apartment.)

Free Yoga

Come to Yoga Vida’s 2-year anniversary class next Friday, the 13th, for a juicy flow and after party. P.S. I will be assisting with adjustments.

And some Food and Blog Links…

I recently bought this Lamb Jerky and Lamb Bacon at the Union Square farmers’ market. Delicious! It’s from the Catskill Merino Sheep Farm.

I used to read Roni’s Weigh ages ago when I first started blogging – back before there were thousands upon thousands of healthy living blogs. I came across it again recently and I’m enjoying it. She has lost and regained and lost and regained weight (not a lot, just the annoying difficult-to-be-rid-of last few pounds) and is currently trying to lose. She’s encouraging and funny and I just like to read her notes.

New Year’s Resolution Update (or should I say January Resolution Update) – I have not had any artificial sweeteners all week. A few times I almost reached for a diet soda and then remembered my intention. I feel like a lot of “bad habits” that we do are really done completely unconsciously. Mindless snacking? So easy to “wake up” and realize you’re just eaten an entire chocolate bar without even realizing you started it. Going to bed late? You suddenly look at the clock and it’s 1:30am – where did the time go? We don’t set out to do these things that bother us; they’re part of our routines. So it’s important to find a way to remind yourself to check in and see if you’re really aware and in the moment. (For January resolution #2 – I have also been doing my daily reading.)

I feel like there were more things I read this week, but nothing is coming to mind. There have been far too many “10 superfoods you should be eating”-type articles because it’s the new year, but I don’t find them particularly interesting or useful. I know I should be eating broccoli, etc…, but 10 superfoods are not going to change my life. Health is so much more than focusing on 10 foods.

What are your finds of the week?

P.S. I redid my design! Click through and tell me if you like it 🙂