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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy Day Yoga

Today when my alarm clock went off, I had a pounding headache and it was raining. It was to be my first day teaching with YIP, and I really wanted to create a great class for everyone. Not so good, I thought. I called Grisel in a little bit of a conundrum: I was SO looking forward YIP, but I felt hesitant to go with only %50 of my brain functioning. Could maybe she cover for me today?

With her usual groundedness and patience, which I have witnessed in action through months of teacher training, Grisel gave me the nudge I needed to hit the ground running. "It would be really great if you could make it anyway," she said, "But the important thing is that you feel well." So I took some tylenol and hopped on the train.

Feeling well. Words of wisdom indeed! Let me tell you guys, nothing could have made me feel better today than joining in with your wonderful community of yogis. The rainy day didn't interrupt our chance to practice yoga in the backdrop of nature: rather, I felt that it supported and nurtured our slow-burning, restorative practice together. Breathing deeply in the simple, challenging poses helped clear away all my conundrums and revealed to me in a new way that stillness and rain don't have to be so hard to deal with. It's okay to be still. It's okay to move slowly, and maybe sometimes it's even okay to function at %50. It was such a cozy, safe haven and I left feeling aglow.

Thank you all so much for your open hearts and welcoming smiles! I can't wait to join you again whether I am practicing on the mat to your left or leading another therapeutic class, growing and rooting and thriving. I'm very grateful to have had such a nourishing rainy day with you.
Namaste! And cheers!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yogi of the Week - Masumi Kishikawa

Recently we caught up with Masumi Kishikawa, a veteran of YIP, last Sunday.  Aside from being a dedicated yogini, Masumi has been an invaluable contributor to the YIP initiative, including designing the ubber cool and cute logo and flyer for YIP displayed here on the blog. She is a graphic desginer with great sensitivity and YIP is very grateful for her lending us her talents. So Masumi, what is your favorite yoga pose?  Wheel, because I feel very stretched and open after I do it.  What is your least favorite yoga pose? Parsvottanasana, because those muscles for me are very tight and I get shaky when I do it.
Why do you like to do yoga outdoors?  I really respect the idea of free yoga class.  It's good for people who never had any yoga experience; it is a great opportunity for the community and I wish to be a part of it.  I also feel so free taking a yoga class on the grass with the smell of flowers! 

Its no surprise that Masumi loves wheel, she has a big open heart!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

So why do we like to do yoga in the park?

Here are some reasons why:
1) Sharing time with friends before and after class, and
2) Witnessing the blossoming nature around you and (inside of you).

Why do you like to do Yoga in the park or outdoors? Share your experience with us.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yogi of the Week

Alright! I am kicking off the Yogi of the Week section of the YIP blog. Yippy!

I am Grisel Olivo, many of you may already know me as Gri or Gris. I love Yoga, the outdoors, Japanase manga and animation, and travel to remote places. When I am not doing neither of the afore mentioned activities then am at work writing grants and aiding the development of new programs for New York City's elderly population (or am chilling with my homies).

Currently, I am also founder and volunteer teacher of YIP and loving it! Volunteering in this initiative has transformed my Sundays into a meaningful vortex of Ohh soo many good feelings! don't even know where to start. Let's just say, I really like teaching this community class (and taking this class when someone else is teaching), laying in the green grass, listening to the birds chirping, and feeling connected to so many wonderful and amazing people.

What is your favorite yoga pose? At the moment, it is forearm stand. I am at that stage where the pose is unfolding within me. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't, but I am witnessing a forward moving procession that fascinates me. I think this is why I love Yoga so much, being both the witness and the doer.

What is your least favorite pose? Locust (variation with chin on floor and legs overhead). I find that this post is next kin to torture for me, my chin always gets bruised after practicing it, but I am confident that there is still within that pose some peace (that I am yet to find).