Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My First Time

The yoga world is chock full of yoga superstars, but how did they get started? In this fun article from Mind Body Online, some of yoga's hottest teachers share their experiences from the very first yoga class they ever took. Many were brought by friends or were just intrigued by the prospect of doing something new. What brought you to your first yoga class? What was it like?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

September Happenings at New York Yoga!

Hi New York Yogis,

Take a look at some of our fantastic events coming in September and mark your calendars now! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact us at or 212.717.9642.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Teacher of the Month: Martha Evenson

By: Rebecca Merritt

Martha is an 800 hour Jivamukti certified yoga teacher, classically trained in ballet, and has probably taught any fitness class you could name. This is enough to show she is experienced in her field. But there is so much more to Martha than that because she is a yogi who has devoted her life to the practice. This devotion comes through in the way she teaches her classes and talks about yoga.

Whether you are new to the practice or a long time practitioner Martha’s classes will help you grow and experience your practice in a purposeful way. Her alignment based vinyasa flow classes and her incredible adjustments will help you fully embody the asana. She will challenge, move and maybe even heal you.

Check out Martha’s 90min Hot Vinyasa class at New York Yoga Hot, Wednesdays at 6:30pm.

When did you first discover yoga?
It’s been a long time; I don’t really remember. I did Pilates before yoga, when I first came to New York for ballet. At the time there were only three Pilates teachers in NY who had trained directly w/ Pilates himself. I have been in the fitness industry my whole life. I ran a fitness program for two gyms and taught every sort of exercise class you could name – whatever trend was popular. I was exposed to yoga early, probably through dance. But I first got really interested in it when I started to take Ashtanga with Beryl Bender; I took her class, got hooked, and started practicing on my own.

How long have you been teaching?
I taught yoga at the gym before I did my certification – so since 1998 or 1999. I got my certification from Jivamukti in 2007.

What makes your class unique?
It is hard to think of yoga as unique, I’ve taken a lot of different styles of yoga and the basis is all the same. What I like to do in my class is use music and have people move and feel their bodies. I like to help students experience some opening in their bodies and experience their body in a new way.

I like to give hands on adjustments because you can put someone in a pose they would not be able to do on their own. Then they can feel what its like to really be in it. And when someone puts their hands on another person in a healing, caring way it’s very valuable. So music, adjustments, and I focus a lot on alignment – which goes back to my ballet dancing days.

What is your favorite pose to teach?
That changes from time to time – usually something that I haven’t taught before. I find it very interesting to figure out how to teach a new pose and stretch myself a little bit.

What is you favorite pose to practice?
Same thing – I like to try new things or something I haven’t done. It’s amazing to me that there are so many poses that I can still find ones that I haven’t done before.

Best advice for beginners?
Be sure not to view yoga as just another exercise. It’s so much more and you’ll miss out if you don’t see that.

Best advice for more advanced yogis?
Same advice. There’s more too it. Yoga is about something other than the exercise.

What is your biggest yoga pet peeve?
Being a yogi I try not to have a pet peeve. I try to see everything as equal. I guess my pet peeve would be when I myself don’t see everything as equal, when I start to be judgmental.

Reader questions…

How do you incorporate yoga into your daily life?
I would say for me, its influences everything in my life. I’m a vegan. My husband is also a yogi and we spend a lot of time practicing yoga, meditating, chanting, and studying scripture. I try to all day devote myself to following the teachings of yoga in every interaction I have. Whether it’s on the bus and someone needs a seat or helping people. Not judging people and seeing something as good or bad, but seeing all things as equal. Staying level.

Has being a classically trained ballerina influenced your yoga practice?
It’s a huge influence. I had amazing teachers. I was really fortunate to go to a high school for the arts and study with amazing teachers. I pull from what I learned from them all the time when I teach class. The discipline of teaching and practicing ballet is very similar to yoga – focus.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sounds Like Yoga, Volume 8

This week we've got  a playlist from New York Yoga instructor Donnalynn Civello. Catch Donnalynn's classes on Mondays from 6:20am to 7:20am (Vinyasa All), Wednesdays from 7:35pm-8:50pm (Vinyasa All) and 9:05-10:20 (Candlelight), and Sundays from 8:20am-9:35am (Vinyasa All), all at the York Studio.

Have a Little Faith
Michael Franti & Spearhead

Save Me, San Francisco

Killing Me Softly With His Song
The Fugees

Juanjo Dominguez


Love's Ash Dissolves

Mark Isham

Kali Durga
Mercedes Bahleda

Chariots for Anthony
Jeff Johnson Trio

Larghetto from Serenade for Strings in E. Major, Op. 22
Alexander Titov New Classical Orchestra

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Run, Yoga, Run!

Though she wasn't a yoga fan at first, NBC New York's Melissa Davison noticed that her running got easier as she began taking yoga more often. Why? Balance, Core Strength, and Flexibility. Eventually, yoga not only made running easier for her, but improved her running skills. Check out the article here to see how it works!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Art of Letting Go

So much of yoga is the release of the outside world, calming the mind as well as the body. One of the ways we do this is by letting go and learning to accept life for the beautiful mess of chaos that it is. In his Elephant Journal article "Letting Go: What it means. How to do it." Seth Segall discusses the importance of learning to grow and change with your life's paths. For inspiration and tips on learning how to let go, check out the article here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New York Yoga August Specials!

Yoga > Fibromyalgia

Yet another really fantastic health benefit of yoga is its ability to raise levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. This is the kind of stress hormone that's good to have a lot of, however. Higher levels of cortisol means a decreased level of pain, higher energy, and lower sensitivity to stress. In a recent study at York University, results showed that yoga's increase in cortisol has helped relieve not only pain in female fibromyalgia patients, but their stress levels about their illness. It doesn't only work for fibromyalgia patients, though, so if you're feeling stressed or achy, hit the mat for some much needed and beneficial R&R. Check out the article here for more.