Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Marcus Samuelsson, Eating, and Yoga

Today on his blog, world-famous chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose restaurants include New York's acclaimed Aquavit in Midtown and Red Rooster in Harlem, offers up some eating advice for yoga classes. Yoga is best on an empty stomach, he says, but you should remember to stay hydrated and snack on proteins like nuts and grains like granola after your class. He also recommends Ayurvedic eating, and staying mindful of your diet for the best possible yoga practice. Check out the rest of the article here!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Competitive Yoga?

Hey New York Yogis,

Check out this article by Cynthia Vukets from about competitive yoga events in Toronto. Don't worry--the article addresses whether or not the competition concept goes against the ideals of yoga. From the article:

“It’s most certainly an oxymoron: competition and yoga,” laughs lithe Teshia Maher, 26, a Bikram yoga instructor and one of the organizers of the recent Eastern Canada regional yoga asana championship.

She says there are no tense rivalries among Toronto’s many yoga studios.
“It’s not really like that,” she says. “The energy is not that way.”

Maher, quoted above, from

What do you think?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yoga for Veterans

War can leave a variety of scars, and the Warrior Transit Unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky has taken note of this. The army base has begun offering yoga classes for wounded soldiers as part of an enhanced physical training. It is being offered as a replacement for hardcore physical training as the soldiers transition from war to civilian life, along with nature walks, bowling and archery. This way, soldiers get both fitness and stress-relief. It gives new meaning to 'warrior pose'. For more, check out the original article on NPR and the blog post on YogaDork.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yoga With a Sense of Humor

It's true, sometimes we get lost in our quest for that ultimate moment of yoga and we need to be dragged out to have a good laugh. Here are a couple of ways to use your breath in a different way:

Someecards is a brand of e-cards known for their snarky sense of humor you can't help but love. They have cards for everything from Weddings to Bar Mitzvahs to Election Day and so much more. This, of course, includes some sassy cards about yoga that tickle us into laughing at ourselves.

Next up is the website Recovering Yogi, which vows not to take itself or yoga too seriously. As the site's mission statement says, "Far from the land of meaningless manifestation, vacuous positivity, and noxious yoga speak lives Recovering Yogi." The site is chock full of hilarious plays on yoga stereotypes, and here are a few snippets of sharp Recovering Yogi wit.

From "Not To Sound Like a Bitch, But Your Class Was Totally Lame," by Shawn Radcliffe:

My name’s Stasia. I was in your class tonight. I love yoga. I’ve been doing it since I was eighteen. I used to ride horses, but that got lame real fast. Horses sweat and smell funny. Kind of like that guy in the corner in class? You should do something about him. Make him go to a beginner class. Or a midday class, because I don’t usually go to those, so it’s fine if he does.
I haven’t seen you at the studio before, so you must be a new teacher. Even though you’re kind of old. This is the first time I’ve taken your class, but I know enough about yoga to give you feedback. You don’t mind, do you? Of course you don’t. I mean, look at me; I’m hot and super-bendy. You’re lucky to just have me in your class.

From "Sri Darth Vader, Angry Yoga Teacher," by Matthew Teague Miller, Joslyn Hamilton, and Robert Fortune

And yet I was still mesmerized by Sri Vader and his forceful personality. I called upon the hologram image of Sri Yoda Yogi to ask his timeless advice. After many silent, knowing pauses, he whispered: “It is too late for me, son. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the yoga. He is your guru now.”

He turned to Sri Vader and conceded: “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the yoga.”

And Vader replied, “The yoga is strong with this one,” pointing to me as I lay in savasana. His ujjayi breathing suddenly turned ragged and hoarse. Vader spoke: “You do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training, starting this Saturday, 9AM. The cost for the training is just $900! That’s a steal. Search your feelings; you know it to be true! We would be honored if you would join us.

When you have a chance to laugh between deep yoga breaths, be sure to check these sites out!

Monday, April 18, 2011


The entire practice of yoga is dedicated to the pursuit of complete clarity, freedom from any other thoughts in your practice. But then there are the moments that happen like little bursts of fresh air, the times when a pose or when your entire yoga practice feels just perfect. MindBodyGreen writer Haleigh Forbes calles this the "yogasm." As she writes in the MindBodyGreen blog:

"A yogasm will come in different ways for everyone. Perhaps you just kicked up into handstand for your first time, or you successfully took your first ujjayi breathe. The best part? You are not born with a predetermined amount of yogasms -- you can have any many as your beautiful self creates. But take note, they should be cherished and remembered, so that when you are lacking passion and motivation you can turn to them for inspiration."

When was your last yogasm, and what brought it on?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

5 Questions For Yoga Practice

In the Yoga Journal blog Nectar, blogger and yogi Erica Rodefer of SpoiledYogi poses (no pun intended) five questions we should ask ourselves about our yoga practice. She reminds us to take a look at our yoga practice as a whole and question whether or not we are helping ourselves evolve as yogis. Here are the five questions she recommends asking: 

1. What is the real intention behind my yoga practice?

2. Am I getting the results I'm seeking from this style/school/teacher/class? Should I even worry about results?

3. Do I really feel better after I practice than before? Am I more energized or less? Is my mind calmer and less stressed? Is rushing to get to the studio more trouble than it's worth?

4. Am I too comfortable with my current sequence/teacher/studio? Is it time for a change? Should I force change or let it evolve naturally?

5. Should I devote more time to my yoga practice or explore new ways to de-stress?

 What questions do you ask yourself to make sure you are growing through your yoga practice?

Monday, April 11, 2011

New York Yoga in The New York Times!

Julie Boulianne, a member of the Metropolitan Opera's repertory company, loves New York Yoga's hot vinyasa! As listed in The New York Times, Boulianne is a mezzo-soprano, playing Stephano in the Met's production of Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette," and Diana in Gluck's "Iphigenie en Tauride," who comes to New York Yoga three times a week when she's in the city. Thanks to New York Yoga, she's never sore or tired after her performances.

What can New York Yoga do for you?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


"Yoga helps us to cut through our drama."

Yoga was originally an all-male practice, but today in the West it's practically dominated by women, helping us achieve clarity and peace of mind. In Yogawoman, directors Kate Clere and Saraswati Clere examine this phenomenon. Take a look at the trailer below and prepare to be inspired. For more information, visit the Yogawoman website!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Learn to Soar with Garudasana

April Pose of the Month- Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

By Rebecca Merritt

Melt into spring with Garudasana. Eagle pose is a great one for helping relieve stress in the body while getting a bit of a work out at the same time. Spring weather is finally coming and we are all rushing around preparing for it. You may not feel like you have time to surrender in a total restorative pose, so check out Garudasana. Eagle is great because it opens the shoulders and stretches the neck – giving you a bit of relief while you work your core and legs. It is also a pose that requires you to really focus on balancing your body. As the change of season revs up our schedules, return to Eagle time and again to help you focus and balance it all.


• Improves focus & balance

• Improves digestion

• Relieves low back pain & sciatica

• Good for asthma

• Opens shoulders and upper back

• Opens hips

• Stretches thighs and IT band

• Increases circulation to joints

How to:

1. Stand in Tadasana. Draw the left foot upward bending the knee and wrap the left foot around your right leg. Point your left toes toward the floor and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf, balancing on the right foot.

2. Stretch your arms out to the side. Cross your arms in front of you at the elbows, left under your right. Bend your elbows and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of the hands should be facing each other – hold here or cross wrists bringing the palms to touch.

3. Lift your elbows up and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling as you sit low.

4. Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, unwind the legs and arms, and stand in Tadasana. Repeat on the other side with the arms and legs reversed.

Your Heart + Yoga = Love

According to a study presented on April 3 at the American College of Cardiology's 60th Annual Scientific Session, intense yoga practice can decrease irregular heartbeat episodes and "improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression often associated with atrial fibrillation", as written in the Huffington Post. Atrial fibrillation happens when the heart's smaller chambers, the atria, quiver instead of beating as they should.

Cardiologists knew yoga was good for the heart, but this particular study was the first to show specifically that patients with atrial fibrillation can benefit from the practice as well. Further proof that a happy yoga body is a healthy yoga body!

Check out the full article from The Huffington Post here.