Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Only 5 Spots Left in Spring Teacher Training!

Meg Carlough is so excited to be directing New York Yoga's Spring Teacher Training Program!

Whether you are looking to teach or to deepen your practice, this program has something for everyone. She will dive deeply into the alignment and assisting of asana (postures), explore philosophy, meditation, mantra, pranayama as well as the rich stories that inspire this practice.

A faculty of intelligent and approachable teachers have been oraganized to offer you their specialized insight.

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fantastic experience.

For more information, check out or call 212-717-9642.
Or Join us for a Teacher Training Open House on January 10th or January 24th from 5pm - 6pm.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Citrusy Saga and Recipe

- Juliana Mitchell

I’m Juliana, a Yoga teacher and self described “Wellness Bhaj”. That’s a phrase I made up. Bhaj is a Sanskrit word meaning “to pursue, practice, cultivate or seek”. Having earlier in life been afflicted with sundry imbalances of mind & body, I commenced with an investigation into healing foods & practices. The result: today I’m in a state of radiant health and love-filled, vibrant balance. And that brings us up to date.

I made an orange cake for Thanksgiving, so I had a leftover whole, poached orange sitting on my counter. Here “poached” is fancy talk for “boiled ‘til soft” and “whole” means “skin ‘n’ all”. I didn’t want the fruit to go to waste but had no idea what to do with it, which led to a risky attempt at a smoothie-concoction. Pouring the frothy result into a glass and tasting the fruits of my labor - oh yum! - I vaguely recollected hearing that orange peel possesses healing properties. With a glass of Poached Whole Orange & Raw, Chocolate Smoothie in one hand and my laptop keypad beneath the other, I began an internet investigation.

What are the wellness benefits of consuming orange peel?

It seems orange peel (citrus aurantium) offers quite an array of healing support. Multiple sources reference it as being anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-acne. One herbal company ( explains that orange peel has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since at least the second century, to "reduce accumulation". That’s to say, to get rid of gas, undigested matter and phlegm. But wait, there’s more. I ran onto an article from 2004 by a (get this) ‘carbohydrate scientist’ named Arland who works for a certain USDA Research Unit, in which he discusses ground breaking studies proving there's an ingredient in the peel that curbs food born pathogens while promoting healthful probiotic growth. Also, according to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, certain compounds in the peel (polymethoxylated flavones or PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more than some commercial drugs. And finally, I read that research is underway to validate the anti-carcinogenic effects of ingesting the stuff. Wowza!

This information increases my zest for the scrumptious beverage. But I do wonder, as I eagerly refill my glass, might the beneficial components within the orange skin be annihilated in the boiling process?

I draft an e-mail for a friend and nutritional expert who has a Masters in Nutrition from Columbia. Then noting an e-mail address on the article from the USDA carbo scientist named Arland, I decide to be cheeky and write to him too. It’s a shot in the dark, I know. I presume he’s not even at that address any longer, it’s been five years. And if he is, he may not wish for a pen pal. But we move in the direction of our heart’s intentions.

I hit Send just as my husband, my best taste tester, arrives home. “Honey, there’s chocolate smoothie in the blender.” I neglect to mention the peel deal; he’s not so interested in health food as I am. From my kitchen I hear a resounding “Oh yumlicious!”

That my husband really liked it is my second favorite thing about this citrusy saga. My most favorite thing is the reply I got from Arland! It reads:

Hi Juliana,

For the oligosaccharides that I work with, it won't make any difference if they are cooked vs raw. They are pretty heat stable. Therefore, I expect your smoothie would have the prebiotic (stimulates the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, those found in yogurt) benefits. Good luck with your product.

I must stress that this doesn't constitute endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture.


My nutritionist friend replies too, warning that orange peel isn’t safe when eaten by children in large quantities. She added that the vitamin C in the orange would probably not survive cooking. Her general conclusion however is that as “it can boost flavor instead of added sugar, salt, or saturated fat, all the better!” – Maggie Moon, MS, RD

One bit of information I ran onto that I want to highlight strongly, it seems orange peel should not be consumed by pregnant women. And, overall, orange peel should not be chowed-down in excessive quantity by anyone.

This leads to a final and key point, for me. Simply an encompassing perspective: All things in moderation. Except love.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Flip Your Lid

-Gina Menza

It is said, 'tis the season to be jolly'. So why not flip your lid? Give yourself a gift with this restorative yoga pose, Viparita Karani aka Legs up the Wall Pose.
Nuzzle up next to a favorite draft-free spot near a wall in your home. Sit sideways, lay your torso, away from the wall, down on the floor over a soft blanket, and slide your legs right up the wall. This may be just what the holidays ordered. The energy you spend walking across town, or pushing through (I mean patiently waiting in) the lines at Bloomingdale’s trying to get your holiday gifts will be instantly reimbursed. Your toes will tingle, your legs will thank you and gratefully you will be revved up enough to face whatever the holidays throw your way this season with a smile.

Feeling especially fatigued? Give your hips a little boost by sliding a block, or a phone book under your sacrum (just above the buttocks, just below the lumbar spine). Stay for at least 3-5 minutes. If the back of your legs are singing a bit too loudly, try it on the floor with the shins over an ottoman, or on the sofa, your blood pressure will drop, your digestion will thank you, and your heart will sing with ease.

Especially great after plane rides.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Slow Down The Season

- Rebecca Merritt

Goodbye, November 30th - hello, December 1st! Another month comes to a close as I sit here printing New York Yoga schedules full of exciting classes and workshops for December. I am not sure how November flew by so quickly, but it does make me wonder how to make sure December does not do the same.

The Holidays can make us feel like we are ever in a hurry. This year, I am going to try to make time for rest during all my rushing around. I should note that by rest I do not mean getting to bed early. To rest or to relax is to give up all effort, silence the mind, and allow the body time to recuperate from our hectic daily lives.

If you have never taken Restorative Yoga this is the perfect time to add a class to your practice. Even if your practice is fast-paced, you are already familiar with a few restorative asanas – legs up the wall, child’s pose and savasana all fall into the restorative category. How often do we rejoice at the opportunity to be in these poses? Make some time for rest this season by giving yourself the gift of Restorative Yoga. Come check out a class full of gentle twists, breath and props to support you when you need it most this holiday season. I will see you there.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Yogi Thanksgiving

- Rebecca Merritt

Every Thanksgiving I find I have more to be thankful for than the year before. There are the basics of course – family, a good home, the food on my table – but I am getting better at being grateful for the little things. I notice that I am thankful for the autumn air or the perfect cup of tea. I am thankful for my mother’s laughter or the opportunity to go barefoot at work. Some might say that I am growing wiser or more sentimental with age, but I like to think that practice makes perfect in such matters. I practice being thankful by doing yoga.

Yoga, in and of itself, is full of thanks giving. In her book, Yoga from the Inside, Christina Sell says: “Prasad, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘grace,’ is literally the food that has been offered to a deity, which is then shared among devotees as God’s gift and blessing.” Every time you dedicate your practice you are giving thanks for these blessings by opening your heart and putting your gratefulness out into the world. We repeat this throughout our Vinyasa with heart-opening asanas – poses that allow us to give a little more of ourselves every time we lift our hearts. Shavasana, final resting pose, allows us time not only to reflect on our practice but also on what we are thankful for. Class draws to a close with an exchange of gratitude between teacher and student. Juliana Mitchell, a New York Yoga teacher, closes her class by asking you to “take a moment to thank yourself for doing yoga.”

This Thanksgiving, if you are looking for an opportunity to give thanks, come stop by New York Yoga – dedicate your practice, open your heart, and thank yourself for doing yoga.

Can’t make it to class? Open your heart at home with Peaceful Warrior.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


for NEW YORK YOGA's Annual Holiday Party!

We can't wait to celebrate on December 4th, 7pm-10pm at our studio.

Come Join Us!