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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review for Memorial Day Weekend

The long weekend is almost here.  Now it's a good time to pick up that book you've been meaning to read and sit for long lingering hours in a shaded park bench or belly down on the grass and just - (insert breath here) - relax. As for me, I am trying something new: Poetry.  I don't normally read poetry (well, actually, I never read poetry - closest thing to poetry I read is Japanese Manga), but I just recently discovered (thanks to Yoga Journal) a cute little book called Malas of the Heart.  This small hard cover is a collection of 108 "sacred poems" from around the world, its subjects are universal: God, Nature, and Love.  What I most enjoy about the book is that the poems are simple and actually easy to remember so I've been using some of the poems as mantras throughout the day to liven it up a bitHere is one of my current favorites:

If you circumambulate every holy shrine in the world
ten times,
it would not get you to heaven
as quick
as controlling your

- Kabir (India)

Note: Mantras are instruments of thought in the form of a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation" in the self.  Similar to the application of positive thinking in Cognitive-Behavioral psychology, where you are prescribed to repeat to yourself a catch-phrase througout the day such as "I am a good person" whenever you find yourself falling into thought cycles focusing on self-criticism in order to break the cycle.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yoga Blogging

Personally, am not very good at the whole blogging thing (though I am getting the hang of it with YIP), but there are some talented bloggers that manage to create something that is both interesting and educating. I visited the blog of Joe Somodi (, a Yoga Instructor at Sonic Yoga on 50th Street and 9th Avenue and found a colorful, refreshing and personal account of how to apply Yoga to daily life.  Commiting to live your life by a certain code of conduct and moral requires both stubborness and flexibility, the first to push you forward and the second to forgive yourself when you fall back. The generous act of sharing experiences with others, as in blogging, can help those wishing to commit to something important in their life to recognize these qualities (stubborness and flexibility) in themselves by taking advantage of the natural human condition of "seeing yourself through another."

On another and more random note, but still related to generosity, I would like to extend a really BIG thank you to Sonic Yoga, its my alma mater yoga school.  You know those extra mats I wheel around so that you can borrow at YIP events? They were donated by Sonic. The entire school is made up of the most generous and supportive Yogis and Yoginis always willing to help and educate. T H A N K  Y O U ! ! !

Be generous to others, be generous to yourself. Share the experience here, on the YIP blog!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Yogi of the Week

Laura Martinez is an awesome awesome yogini. She has been supporting YIP from the very beginning both as student and Yoga teacher.  As an uptown girl (but a Texan at heart), Laura cares greatly for our community and her efforts to create a positive impact extend beyond the Manhattan borders and unto the Bronx where she volunteers as a Yoga Teacher for Mothers on the Move, a program that provides health and nutrition education to low-income mothers.  I didn't get a chance to ask Laura all of the usual Yogi of the Week questions, but I can tell you this much (and I think she would agree), that at the moment she likes all poses that feel good after a long run because Laura is training to run the New York City Marathon this year!!
So if you see Laura biking, running, or doing Yoga next to you at the next YIP day, give her a wave, a thumbs up, and (if its well intentioned) a shoulder massage :-)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Perfect Day for Yoga

Walking  to the YIP meetup spot at the Cloister Lawn in Fort Tryon Park I met a very young yogini headed to our class.   It was about 75 degrees, clear blue skies, and sunny. The young sage (who must have been about 5 yrs old) said that it was a perfect day for Yoga. Well, so it was perfect until about 11:30AM at which point I wanted to start teaching Reverse Sun Salutations to maybe invite some clouds into our picture perfect Yoga day.  Saturday Yogis, I hope you are enjoying your new tan!

Seriously though, thank you so much to Saturday's Yogis for sharing your amazing spirits in what I would consider a very challenging class (it was created to be thus, but the Sun and heat I think took it up a notch).  Never the less, you all made it through and I hope that you learned something new about yourselves in the process. And thank you for bearing with me and my headache (what is it with YIP teachers and headaches lately?! - hmm will have to look into that).

As for YIP, next time we are scouting out the SHADE at Cloister Lawn; if you insist on placing your mat in the Sun, please wear sunblock. Also, as warmer weather kicks in, so will your sweat, so Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!!!

Finally, the next Yogi of the Week will be coming soon.  Who will it be?  (Actually, since there was non posted for this week, there might be 2 surprises next week!)