Thursday, June 28, 2012

July Specials!

Kulae Chameleon

We love hot yoga, but sometimes it can be a pain to lug all of our accessories with us back and forth to class. But no more! We now carry Kulae's amazing Elite Hot Hybrid yoga mat at our hot studio. Available in a variety of colors, the Elite Hot Hybrid is "the best thing since sliced bread. It's the combination of a mat and a towel in one! No more schlepping two!" says New York Yoga's General Manager LeighAnn Montieth. The Kulae mat is made of environmentally friendly ECO PER and Bamboo Microfiber, is free from the six most harmful phthalates, and is machine washable. There's no doubt this mat is the hot yoga mat of the future. Stop by the Hot Studio and pick one up today for just $88!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fear Lies

There are times when we're so scared of moving forward or taking a leap that we just shut down possibilities. We base our judgments on scenarios that aren't real, and end up acting in response to our own lies. Jaimal Yogis has experienced this first hand not just in his yoga practice but in his life. In his piece "Fear Lies! And Other Reasons Not to Listen to Your Inner Fear Factory" on The Huffington Post, Yogis explores the fear phenomena and encourages us to act against it (on occasion). Check it out here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yoga Barbie!

In the grand tradition of Barbie's many past careers--veterinarian, teacher, ballerina--comes the latest: yoga teacher! Available only at Target, Barbie stands in her signature pink box, leg extended in Natarajasana. Barbie comes with a little pink yoga mat and a dog friend in, you guessed it, Downward Dog! Read more in this post on Yoga Journal! Now if only she could do mudras...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teacher of the Month: Cara Anselmo

By Rebecca Merritt

When I asked Cara Anselmo’s student, Susan Fisse, to describe what she liked about Cara’s class she had so many beautiful, spot-on, things to say! In fact, she sums up Cara’s class so perfectly I give you her perfect words…

“As soon as you enter one of Cara's classes each student is greeted by her calm and soothing demeanor. She sets the tone early on for a tranquil class. The class itself moves through the sequencing with Cara's concise explanations of the asanas, eliminating any confusion or lifting your head to figure out if you are positioned properly.

During class, Cara will often share a thoughtful or provoking experience so her students can ponder upon it. She also has her students set an intention and later in class reminds them to carry this intention with them. Cara offers variations of poses so students can explore their own personal edge.

Cara offers a spectacular class including all the elements of yoga. I personally look forward to every class I take with Cara because she always offers up her warmth, exceptional sequencing, which she changes every week, and a calmness that carries with me beyond the studio.”

Visit Cara at the York Studio: on Fridays at 6:30pm, and on Saturdays at 8:20am and 11:35am.

When did you first discover yoga?
I first took a yoga class at a gym when I moved to NYC about 15 years ago. I was unsettled, and it helped me sleep at night.

How long have you been teaching?
5 years

What makes your class unique?
It's not just going through a sequence of poses (as much as I love a good, hard workout). It's making yoga your offering, and a tool to be kind to yourself and others.

What is your favorite pose to teach?
I suppose tadasana. It's the foundation for everything else.

What is you favorite pose to practice?
Hanumanasana. It is the ultimate pose of devotion and heart opening. My hamstrings and hips don't let me come all the way to the ground, which frustrates me, but motivates me to stay with my breath, and reminds me to keep it real!

Best advice for beginners?
There are many, many ways to practice yoga. It’s not just a class you go to. Take what works into your life, and leave what doesn't. If it's not the right time, well, yoga isn't going anywhere. If it is right, savor it.

Best advice for more advanced yogis?
Appreciate and acknowledge your strengths; false humility is no good. But remember you always have more to learn, and that learning can come from the most unexpected of places.

Reader Questions…

Has your Masters in Nutrition influenced your yoga practice or teaching?
I see a lot of nutrition fads come and go, especially in the yoga community. Everyone eats, so everyone thinks they are an expert! Understanding the science is as integral for me as following and promoting a sattvic and compassionate diet.

Passions besides yoga?
I love to run. To me, it's the closest thing I can do as an adult to "going outside to play". And I love to bake. I have a huge sweet tooth.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Pose of the Month: Gomukhasana (Cow Face)

By Rebecca Merritt

Take a time out in Cow Face Pose this June. Gomukhasana is a total body stretch, and thus is great at helping just about all the aches and pains that ail you. So named because the placement of knees and feet in this pose make the shape look like a cow’s face, we at New York Yoga think it makes you look just stunning.


  • stretches the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps, and chest
  • helps in relieving pain in hip and lower extremities
  • helps release stress & tension
  • beneficial in backache, sciatica and rheumatism
How To:
1. Find a comfortable seat and stretch the legs out long in front of you in Dandasana – staff pose. Bend your right knee and cross the right leg over the left. Begin to stack your knees as you bring the right heel beside the left hip.

2. Shift the weight slightly to you left as you bend the left knee and draw the left foot next too the right hip and reestablish an even seat.

3. Knees should be stacked and pointing forward, heels should be just outside the hips. (You can use your hands to draw the ankles back to help get into this shape.) Sit evenly on the sits bones.

1. Stretch the left arm up by the ear, roll the shoulder blade down the back to create space for the neck, bend the elbow and bring the left fingertips between the shoulder blades as if patting yourself on the back. 

2. Lengthen the right arm out to the side, face the palm towards the back of the room – thumb will point towards the floor. Bend the right elbow and reach the right fingertips towards your left – clasping fingers if you can. If the fingertips or palms do not reach, take hold of the back of your shirt, or unwind and reset up using a strap to make up the distance.

3. Draw the elbows in towards the body as you sit up tall. Left elbow will reach towards ceiling as the right reaches for the floor. Continue to ground through both sits bones.

To come out of the pose release the arms and uncross the legs. Repeat on the other side. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Golf and Yoga: An Interview with Sarah Cohn

This article was originally published on Yoga City NYC.

Golf and Yoga: An Interview with Sarah Cohn
By Lisa Dawn Angerame

Author of new book “Practice Yoga While You Play Golf” Sarah Cohn began playing competitive golf at the age of 16 and became the first woman to play on Trinity College's men's golf team.  She discovered yoga during her career as a real estate attorney and the practice helped her find focus and flexibility.  Over time, she found that yoga was becoming invaluable to her golf game.

After retiring at age 50, Sarah decided that she wanted to share her experience of how yoga helped her stay loose and flexible on the course with others.  She spent the last five years studying (including doing her Teacher Training at New York Yoga and teaching at the studio!), practicing, and crafting this manual with totally cute illustrations for all levels of flexibility.  Would you expect anything less from a professional golfer/attorney/yogi?

Lisa Dawn Angerame:  How did this book come about?  

Sarah Cohn: About 10 years ago I began suffering from a lot of injuries related to a life participating in a variety of sports.  I found that the only way I could keep playing golf on a regular basis was to stretch during the round and so I incorporated some yoga poses that made sense in my body.  I also found that no matter how loose I felt on the first tee, by the time I was on the eighth or ninth, I began to tighten up if I wasn’t proactive with my stretching.  I looked around and saw that most golf fitness books dealt with either pre-round or post-round stretching.  I figured if it was helpful for me to do some yoga on the course, writing about it might help others too!

LDA: The title of the book is painfully obvious! 

SC: The original title was going to be Stay Loose, Swing Smoothly, Feel Good.  There was no way to make it flow and still be grammatically correct so I came up with the obvious title.  My editor was lobbying for titles that guaranteed better golf but the lawyer in me didn't want to make any promises that might not be kept.

LDA: Love that.  How does yoga help your golf game?  

SC: Yoga has helped me in numerous ways on the course.  First, it helps on an emotional level.  Just like every day on the yoga mat is different, some easy and flowing and others not so much, I realized that golf is no different. Yoga has taught me to let go of expectations on the course and just enjoy how fortunate I am to be able to play.  This translates to better, more enjoyable golf.  Then, on a physical level, yoga provides strength, balance and flexibility, which are invaluable in golf as in life.

LDA: What is the best way to describe how the two disciplines cross over?

SC: The biggest similarity between the two disciplines is that you are basically trying to improve upon prior performance each time you take to the mat or tee it up.  Improvement doesn't always occur and you can either accept it or make yourself miserable.  Yoga helps manage expectations on the golf course or the mat so that being miserable isn't an option.

LDA: What poses help with the short game?  Long game?  

SC: I don't know that I would differentiate between the short and long game.  The best poses are the ones that address each yogi/golfer’s individual needs.  If you have shoulder issues, you could spend the whole round on shoulder openers in many different poses.  Everything from eagle arms to wide legged straddles clasping the hands behind the back.  For me, hip flexors, hamstrings and low back are an issue so I focus on lots of twisting lunges, parsvotanasana and deep squats.  If you are pain free, you could also work on trikonasana with the arms extended by the ears to engage and strengthen the obliques, which are vital to the golf swing.  Virabhadrasana III is also terrific for working on strength, balance and flexibility. 

LDA: What muscles do you need to be aware of and stretch to help your flexibility for golf?

SC: Yoga helps increase or maintain your flexibility level which then makes it easier to rotate in the golf swing.  It is important to stretch all of the key muscle groups that you would stretch in a yoga class.  The most used muscles in golf begin with the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, obliques and the shoulders.  Without stretching, a golfer's swing will get shorter and have less rotation as he or she ages.  This can translate to shorter shots, which no golfer enjoys.   

LDA: What is the best way to prepare for a golf game with yoga?  

SC: Practice yoga on and off the course.  Scan your body from top to bottom to figure out where you are tight and what area you may need to keep loose during the round.  Start with simple neck rolls, shoulder rolls, forward bends, gentle back bends and side bends.  Move on to gentle twists to get your body warmed up and then move on to gentle lunges and calf stretches.  These can be done at home before you head out or on the practice range if you have time to hit balls before you play. 

LDA: How do you stay focused while playing golf?

SC: This is actually one of the most difficult aspects of golf.  An average round takes about four hours and it is difficult to maintain focus for such a long period.  I try to be sure that when I am ready to hit my shot, there is nothing else except my planned shot running through my mind.  Visualizing the shot also helps a lot, as well as remembering what good shots in similar situations felt like.  If I have trouble focusing, doing breathing exercises between shots, like playing with the length of my inhales or exhales, helps clear my mind so I am ready to focus on my next shot.

LDA: Would you say golf is meditative?  

SC: Golf CAN be meditative when you are completely focused on golf.  It can be a walk in a beautiful environment.  Like yoga, it can be a moving meditation. 

LDA: Where can we buy the book?  

SC: The book is currently available at and at New York Yoga!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Yoga Does Your Body Image Good!

After a lifetime of unhappiness with her body, Melissa Holland made peace with herself through yoga. "Yoga to me is not just another form of exercise," she says. "I feel like it is much more than just being on the mat in a studio. I practice yoga off the mat in my everyday life. Since I started doing yoga, I have began to have so much more respect for my body." Check out here article here.

Holland is not the only one, though. A study conducted at San Jose State University even showed that "female yoga practitioners attribute their positive feelings and sense of well-being to yoga practice and report less self-objectification, greater satisfaction with physical appearance and fewer disordered eating attitudes compared to non-yoga practitioners."

What are some ways you've noticed your own body image changing because of yoga?