I’m A Yogi, Not A Hippie: I Like My V-necks And Tight Jeans

 

A friend mentioned to me recently, “I really dig that you are so into yoga and that you’re not a hippie.”   “Are you kidding? I take baths on the regular, I love shopping at H&M, and I wouldn’t be caught dead at Burning man. I don’t even have an interest in going to Coachella. I love yoga, but it doesn’t mean I love wild eclectic dancing and sweating profusely in the desert.”

I have found that most people associate yogis with hippies. I mean, I thought the same thing until I actually became a part of the “community.” My first teacher in Las Vegas was, by no means, a hippie. She plays nothing but rock music in her classes. Going to festivals like Shaktifest and Wanderlust were not on her agenda. This was my first real experience with yoga; rock music in class, long holds in poses, and a firey teacher that had lots of fun. I didn’t even hear true “yoga music” until I moved to Los Angeles.

California yogis are quite a bit different than what I was used to, and it took me a while to adjust. It seems like every other month, there is some festival going on where yogis from all parts of the country, get together for hours of asana, music and dancing. And, honestly, all of that sounds pretty unappealing. The fact is, is that these kinds of festivals are not me. When I moved back to LA, I noticed that my practice became more than just poses and trying to keep my mind off of my crazy ex boyfriend. Tony Giuliano, my teacher in LA, was the first person who introduced me to “Yoga music.” There are some great Kirtan artists and other types of musicians out there. I started to appreciate this music because some of  it is really beautiful. I began to become interested in the philosophy part of yoga as well. I learned more about all of the Hindu deities, what they represented, and paid closer attention of the ancient stories behind them.

So, my practice, I realized, was more than just the asana. It became a way of life, essentially. My relationships with other people improved, my eating habits changed, my physical body changed as well. Eventually, I realized that my selfish, asshole ways of thinking were slipping away, and it wasn’t just about me anymore. This new way of thinking was reenforced by every class I attended, or with every conversation that I had with my teachers. I try to look for the good in other people first, and I am constantly setting good intentions. It helped me to smile quite a bit more.

Then I thought, “Oh my god, I’m becoming of those yoga people. Today, I’m listening to yoga music and smiling at people for no reason. Does this mean I have to go to the Bhakti/Shaktifests, while dancing wildly to chanting shamans tomorrow? Am I going to have to eventually own a big, flappy shirt, linen pants, and straight man sandals???” Because I’m just not the one to wear something like that.  I honestly think I am somewhere in the middle. I just happen to be a gay guy who loves “yoga music”, such as Shantala (who I’m going to see this Friday), but also likes his espresso, fitted jeans and light blue H&M t-shirts. They bring out my eyes for god sake! So, to me, I have the best of both worlds. I’m not that trendy, but trendy enough to not be a hippie. Does this make sense? :-/

After two years of practicing yoga, I finally got it. No one in the yoga community really cares about what you wear, or how you choose to to live your life. I have great friends who love these yoga festivals and who are self proclaimed hippies. But, again, that is not me. Ultimately, we all just want to travel through life lightly and happily, while setting good intentions for ourselves.

I may do some rockin’ asana while listening to some Kirtan music, but you won’t find me in the desert with no air conditioning. That is NOT the business! And could you imagine me in straight man sandals? The one’s with the velcro? Yah, YOU KNOW what I’m talking about. All stars are more my style.  :-)

 

XOXO.

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My Grandmother Just Passed Away

Louise Wismer, my grandmother, passed away last Thursday (April 5, 2012), at the age of 85. And, to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. When I had first heard about her death, I was sad and angry at the same time. I wanted to rush to my computer and start typing away in the blog to get my thoughts out. Instead, I took a step back, and thought about what I really wanted to say.  Before I get bombarded with condolences, please allow me to explain.

I always believed that my grandmother and I had a very close, loving relationship. I would stay and her and my grandpa’s house almost every summer when I was a kid. They would take me on small trips, my grandpa would teach me how to oil paint on canvas, and I would help her cook dinners. My grandmother was at every orchestra concert that I was in during school (I played the violin), every church event I was a part of, and we celebrated holidays at her house. So, it’s safe to say that she had an active role in my upbringing. She and my grandpa would always tell me how proud I made them, and how much they loved me. I had no reason to question this.

This woman was extremely independent, never complained about any problems she may have had, kept busy and up to date with modern technology (we would chat on AIM for god sake). The woman worked until she was 83! With that being said, I have come to realize something over the years…everything changes. It’s inevitable. In 2007, my paw paw, and her husband of sixty plus years, passed away. That was the first time I had ever seen her cry. I couldn’t image losing someone who was that close to you. And, as to be expected, she changed a bit. Her sadness was evident. My aunts and the rest of the family made sure she was never really alone or ever bored. I would call her several times a week as well to chat with her and keep her up to date on whatever I was doing. Her spirits did lift a bit for a while.

Then BAM! My mom, her daughter, passes away in December of 2010. And from then on, I didn’t know who she was. I’m going to tell you right now, death can bring out the best or worst in people. Unfortunately, I experienced the latter. There was a LOT of drama following my mother’s death, and most of which was my grandmother’s doing. I go in specific detail about those events in THIS blog entry. When my mom died, I was nine months into my yoga practice and was ridding my life of negativity. My aunts and my grandmother were a part of my cleansing, my healing. As much as I loved my family, I refused to be around such hatred; It wasn’t healthy for me. How could one word tear a family apart? But, it did. I haven’t spoken to my aunts for a year and a half now. And, as of a few days ago, I will never be able to speak to my grandmother again. It’s not that I never tried to reconcile, it’s just that she wasn’t interested.

My life has changed so much, for the better, over the past year and a half. I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been and I’m surrounded by people who love me. I couldn’t imagine harboring such anger towards someone, and a family member no less, until my death. I never want to know what that feels like. I have forgiven my aunts long ago for their actions, and I hope they can find happiness in their lives. We would have never known my grandmother died, had my dad not looked in the paper and saw her obituary. No one even called us.

After sharing this news with my yoga teacher, she told me something that I really liked. “I understand your anger, my friend. They aren’t evil. They have hurt you and your family. Think of them as wayward children who are lost and don’t know to find their way. You are on your path of love and forgiveness. Forgive them and send them peace; It’s the best work we can do.” I have forgiven them.

I know my grandmother still loves me and is proud that I’m her grandson. I truly hope that she is finally happy and at peace. I do miss her.

I love you maw maw!

 

“It’s easy to forgive someone who deserves it. However, it’s not as easy to forgive someone who has harmed you in some way. But, we need to try, as they are the ones who need it the most.” ~ JOHN FRIEND

Yoga Snob? Or Have I Just Found My Niche?

“Would you like to come to a Kundalini class with me this afternoon?”, my friend asked. Having been my first Kundalini class a little over a year ago, I quickly replied, “No, I’m good. I’m not really down with that.”  To which he replied, “Wow. I’m surprised how closed you are to it. Interesting. What’s coming up for you? What’s the resistance?” And, I had to think about it for a minute. Am I a Yoga Snob?!?

When I think of a “Yoga Snob,” I think about someone who truly believes that their style of yoga reigns supreme. In their eyes, other types of yoga fail by comparison, and they aren’t afraid to let others know about it.

Like I said earlier, I agreed to take my first Kundalini class with a friend, a little over a year ago. He didn’t want to go alone and I had never tried it, so off we went, mat in hand. The class was held at a woman’s home in Hollywood, sometime in the evening. After walking into the “yoga room,” I quickly realized that I wasn’t in Anusaraland anymore. Dimly lit with candles, I felt like I was on a camping trip in India. The room was draped with tapestries, was full of hindu deities, crystals, and sage, of course. None of the other students were in yoga/workout gear either.  The lady of the house instructed me and the five other students to form a circle and have a seat. Oh, and I was to place my mat off to the side, as I would not be needing it? At that point, I became slightly nervous.

The entire class was breathing, chanting, singing, followed by a lot more breathing. I felt a little uncomfortable when the teacher talked about our anal locks (Mula Bandha) while we were performing the “Breath of Fire,” arms raised. I know many people who love Kundalini, but I clearly wasn’t getting it. I felt out of place. I thought to  myself, “Who am I? Why am I here?” At that point, I think I would have been more comfortable sitting through Catholic mass. And, for a gay agnostic, that was saying a lot. When class ended, I scooped up my unused mat, dropped a few bucks in the dontation bowl, and headed to the car rather quickly. My friend and I parted ways at the end of the night with hugs. And, with me telling him, “Don’t ever call me again.”

I do believe I’m open to different styles of yoga, as I’ve been in many different kinds of classes. Anusara just resonates with me.

I have taken another Kundalini class since, and it wasn’t that bad. I did some research on it beforehand, and had a better understanding of the concept. But, I don’t believe it’s for me as of yet. And, who knows, it may never be.  I’ve even been spotted in a Bikram class before, only to realize that the combination of carpeted floors and intense sweating, is not something I can tolerate. On the other hand, some Anusara terms such as “Inner body bright,” and “Melt your heart,” makes some people want to vomit. I totally get it. But, the cool thing is…there are my styles of yoga from which to choose, so we can find our place, our niche.

So, are we all just Yoga Snobs? Or have we just found our niches?

I Have Family Everywhere I go!

I recently returned from a short trip to San Francisco. The original intent of my visit was to participate in a 3hr yoga workshop, with the main focus being arm balances and hip openers. I also planned on reconnecting with a few friends that I had not seen in a good while. Leaving the city, I left with more than just sore muscles. I had acquired new friends, family.

A few months ago, I had made 2 new facebook/yogi connections, Scott and Jeannie. I met these guys through my friend Sean, and his partner, Jeremiah. I had never met these two in person, just online. And, since we had mutual friends, I already knew they were good people. Sean was teaching the workshop I planned on attending at Yoga Tree SF. Sean and I planned a get together at his place after the workshop was over, so that I could meet my new facebook yogis in person.

I had just booked the hotel about a week prior to my visit when Scott contacted me. “That’s silly for you to spend money on a hotel. Why don’t you just stay at my boyfriend’s place for the weekend? He’ll be out of town, and I’ll be at an immersion Saturday and Sunday. That way, you’ll have the place to yourself?” I was truly stunned. I’ve never physically met this person, yet he opened up his home to me. I mean, who does that??

Yogis.

The workshop on that Saturday was intense. I had not sweat that much in a long time. And, I’m not talking a “I just worked up a little somethin.” No, it was a “get away from me, you look and smell like a wet dog” type of sweat. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Three hours full of arm balances and hip openers are things that I have no problems with doing on my Saturday. And the fact that the workshop was taught by a lovely friend of mine was an added bonus. After heading back to the house for a much needed shower, I met up with Sean and Jeremiah at their place. When Scott and Jeannie walked in, I felt like I had known them for years.  Like I was reuniting with old friends. That evening was full of laughter, great conversation, food, wine, and positive energy. There was also handstands and other crazy poses thrown in as well. But,  that’s to be expected when you get five yogis together over wine.

At one point of the evening, I took a step back, and just watched everyone for a moment. I thought to myself, “These guys are my family. I’m home.”  Yoga has brought me together with these wonderful people, who truly care about me.”  And, I usually feel this way towards other yogis that I meet around the country. I have family everywhere I go because of my connection with yoga. It has brought nothing but good things to me. Sean, Jeremiah, Scott and Jeannie are no exceptions. I don’t go to class three of four times a week just for the asanas. It’s mainly because of the connections that I have made with other like minded people.

I think it’s difficult for people, who aren’t yogis, to understand why I would take plane trip for a three hour workshop. Or, why I am able to stay at someone’s place whom I’ve never met.

But, hopefully, with posts such as this one, they will have a better insight on my yoga journey.

 

Sean Haleen is a Hatha teacher at Yoga Tree Sf, Hayes location.

Jeremiah Wallace is a yoga teacher and dedicated student.

Jeannie Page is a dedicated yoga student, author of the blog, “TheAwakenedLife“, and a regular contributor to ElephantJournal.com.

Scott is a dedicated yoga student, and loving every minute of it.

 

I love you all!

 

 

The Anusara Drama: A Student’s Point of View

 

 

 

I’m not going to sit here and defend John Friend. Nor, am I going to cheer on the certified teachers who are leaving. I am well aware that there is hypocrisy in all parts of the world, and the Anusara community is no exception. I also realize that people thrive and live vicariously through other people’s misery. Neither one of these are good for anyone, and they are just wrong. And both, are very “Un-yogalike.” The recent events have stirred up tons of emotions for the teachers, questioning John Friend and their own paths with Anusara. I have seen the resignation letters, countless public blog and Facebook posts regarding this controversy. The one thing I haven’t seen are the teachers publicly asking the students, “How are you handling all of this?” Because, it is us, the students, who ARE Anusara. Not the teachers. Without the students, there would be no yoga.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard Darren Rhodes, Elena Brower and Amy Ippoliti had resigned, I thought nothing of it. Because, I didn’t know them personally and their resignations had not affected me directly. This morning, my feelings changed when I found out that Noah Maze’ had just left. I had taken workshops from Noah and have interacted with him on several occasions. He screams “amazing” through his personality and his practice. I have mad respect for him and always looked up to him as a stabilizing force in the community. But, when I read his resignation letter, I became deeply saddened. Feelings of confusion and abandonment instantly rushed over me. As I student, I asked myself, “Now what?”

I could always count on the Anusara community for support, but now it feels like it’s being divided rather than coming together.

I started my practice two years ago when I desperately needed it the most. Just like everyone else, I had my own personal issues at that time, such as:

  1. The end of an abusive relationship
  2. The death of my mother
  3. Being laid off from my job
  4. Having to move out of state and short sale my first home

Through each one of these experiences, my Anusara kula was always there for me with love and support, each and every time. This is all I have known and have seen from Anusara. That is, until recent events regarding John Friend and the slew of certified teachers who have resigned. It’s become a battle between parts of the community and John Friend. This teacher said this, this student did that, etc…it has become a mess and is hurting more people than not.

Yes, I do believe that consequences are due if rules were broken or codes of ethics were compromised. That goes for everyone in everyday life, no one is exempt. With that being said, it is also very disheartening to hear “yogis” lashing out at each other. This controversy is a perfect example of when the community should be coming together, supporting their peers and students, not tearing each other apart.

I have the utmost respect for every teacher who has resigned over the last few months and wish them well. They are moving forward in their lives, as should the Anusara Kula. Given the series of recent events, changes are inevitable. I will welcome them with an open heart and mind, remembering where I was two years ago, and how this practice got me where I am today.

It may be difficult for the teachers at the moment, which I completely understand. However, any student that has Facebook or is keeping up on current events with Anusara, knows about this controversy. And, we are feeling just as lost, if not more so. At this time, we need our teacher’s guidance and support during all of these transitions, more than ever.

Anusara yoga has become much more than just John Friend. To me, it is full of smiles, happiness, love and support.

Let us remember why we fell in love with this style of yoga to begin with, and move forward, together, with an open heart.

 

Love and Light!

 

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Yogis Aren’t Always About Sunshine and Rainbows – We Get Pissed Too!

 

Take last night for example…My neighbor, once again, was playing his television loud enough to where I can make out the words on the show he was watching. And, he’s got this laugh that seems to echo throughout the complex. For all intent and purposes, I’ll call him Doug. Doug is a middle aged gay man, that has been living in same studio apartment for the last 12yrs. He is still a “student” at some university that no one has heard of, goes to the gym way too much and is constantly “seeing” men half his age. Not a horrible description yet, I know.

But, my severe disliking of Doug is nothing new. I met  him when I first moved into my apartment years ago. He seemed very nice and polite at the time. But, then the flirting started and I got really uncomfortable. Normally if you tell someone you aren’t interested, they’ll usually back off. Not Doug. Persistence was his forte, but I wasn’t having any of it. He even peeped into my bedroom window several years ago just say, “Hi”. I currently never open my blinds to my bedroom. When I see him I think “Chester the Molester” and “I need to bathe.”  I think I began to emotionally fear Doug. To know him is to loathe him.

When I come to my apartment, my home, I would like it to be my sanctuary. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

From the outside looking in, my apartment complex is very charming. A older building, built in the late 1930’s, shaped like a horseshoe surrounding a pool. Bette Davis even did a scene from the movie, “The Star” by the pool. Nestled on the border of West Hollywood, with each of the 25 units having an underground parking spot, the complex is very appealing. Living here is a different story. There has been a lot of crazy shit that has gone down here. Late night skinny dips from people who should NOT be skinny dipping. Numerous calls to the cops, fights, thefts, lawsuits, restraining orders, neighbors sleeping with each other. As a joke some of my friends have nicknamed this complex, “Melrose Place”. Rightfully so.

I have made three really good friends that are living in the complex with me.  Other than those friends, I want nothing to do with anyone else. They’re all lunatics. I just want to come home from work, have some tea, get into bed and fall to sleep. Having to put ear plugs in every night is not something that I look forward to. But, that’s life. Life, unfortunately, is not perfect. It downright sucks sometimes. But, what can we do?

Since I started my practice, people can actually see a shift in my personality. It’s changed the way I look at things and how I react to them. Before yoga, I would react quickly and get really mad over things that I couldn’t control. Now, I take a step back, a few breaths, and try to to reevaluate the situation. Life has many obstacles. Instead of trying to control them, I try going over or around. It’s much easier and ultimately makes more sense.

So yes, yogis aren’t always about peace, love, sunshine and rainbows – We get pissed too!

I actually have to thank my neighbor (only in my head, of course) for inspiring me to write this blog post.  If his t.v. is the worst thing I have to deal with these days, I’m okay with that. But, he’s still a Douche…with a capital “Doug!”

 

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Yoga saves me $100 an hour

Who needs to pay a therapist  $100/hr when you have your yoga mat, your bare feet, and good friends?

Okay, so I know it always isn’t as simple as this. However, I do believe my yoga practice saved me many trips to the therapist.

Yes, there is a bottle of Xanax in my medicine cabinet, but only for emergencies. Looking back at it now, I remember having really bad anxiety as a teenager and having no outlet for it. My face used to get flushed, i would tense up and my heart would race over some of the littlest things. As a kid I just thought to myself, “This is just who I am. What’s there to be done about it?”  I guess I could have gone for a jog, hike or some other form of physical activity. But, who does that in southeast Texas??  Drinking beer, eating fried everything and watching television is more our forte. For the most part, I had a good childhood, but exercise wasn’t part of it.

I’d say my anxiety was at its highest during my last relationship (I’m sure my friends aren’t shocked in the slightest). A meth addict had a better chance of getting a good night’s rest. Between the relationship and working six days a week, I was wound up pretty tight. I know people say that when you work out, your body releases endorphines, and you actually feel good afterwards. Well, since I despised the gym, I couldn’t relate. I’d rather get run over by a train than spend 30 minutes on a treadmill. It just not for me. :-)

It wasn’t until I started my yoga practice that I actually started starting good in my body and my mind.  Oddly enough, I credit all of these new feelings to my ex boyfriend. I mean, without our breakup, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. When I started my practice, I really dove into it. I think I was practicing about 6-8 hours a week, which is fucking ridiculous now that I think about it. But, it was what I needed at the time. Everytime I would leave a class or a private with my teacher, my mind and body felt amazing.  I felt truly happy.  I was able to get more rest and wasn’t so concerned with all the chaos that was happening around me. Not only had the practice itself changed me, the people I met during the process were also a major contributors. I would go to my teacher’s house after class to chat over wine and cheese. I’ve cried many a times in her company and on my mat in class. These were huge stress relievers for me, and I am so grateful they were there.

It was my therapy.

If I’ve had a crappy or stressful day, I’ll usually be in class that evening. No need to run to the medicine cabinet anymore. It’s to the point now that if I call my friends in a panic about something, they’ll usually say, “Just got to yoga already!” I realized that by surrounding yourself with good people and doing some form of physical activity, you can calm your mind. And once I got that, I was all over it. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Everyone has to find their niche in order to be happy. Whether it be yoga, the gym, hiking, walking or biking – find it!  You might be surprised how it can change you.

And, even save you some dough in therapy. :-)

 

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Some Yoga Music Can Be Pure “GOLD”.


Let me start out by saying that I was not a fan of “Yoga music” in the early stages of my practice. You know what I’m talking about – Endless chanting from elderly men and women accompanied by instruments that no one has ever heard of. Well, that used to be my interpretation of it before I actually listened to it. I had heard it before, but not listened. And what is yoga music anyway? It can be anything.

When I first started my practice in Las Vegas, I did countless downward dogs to Hot Chip, Led Zepplin, Styx, The Killers, and Prince. But, that was because my teacher, Karen, loved rock music. When I moved to Los Angeles and started taking classes from Tony Giuliano, I found out very quickly that the music selections were very different than what I was used to. He liked the yoga tunes. I’ve been exposed to this new style of music for about a year now and I’ve discovered something…it’s just as amazing as any other style of music. But, you have to be open to it, and listen.

Last Saturday, I attended a special class at The Raven, that hosted an amazing singer, Steve Gold. I had heard his music pretty frequently during Tony’s classes because he would weave them in an out of his playlists. Steve’s music always resonated well with me. It has very melodic/folk/rhythmic feel to it. Umm…think Jack Johnson meets Shiva. :-) Listening to him on your ipod is great, but listening to him live is a whole other experience. His voice is amazing and almost travels through you, if you know what I mean. With his wife singing the harmonies on a few tracks in addition to the band, the musical experience was pretty surreal. He played new and older tracks for the entire 2hrs of class, which was pretty amazing. It almost felt like the music was carrying us to and from each pose. There was THAT much energy filling the studio! It was truly a blessing to have him come and perform for us. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

If you’ve never heard of Steve Gold…you’re welcome. Check him out on itunes right now!

Go on, I can wait… And let me know your thoughts!

Here is what I have on my “Yoga Mix” playlist that you might want to check out:

  1. Shantala-Hanuman Chalisa
  2. Wah!-Heart Sutra
  3. Shantala-Amba Parameshwari
  4. Mauro Sereno, Antonella Mutti-Om Chant
  5. Steve Gold-Om Namah Shivaya (Bigger Mix)
  6. Wah!-Radhe Savasana
  7. Krishna Das-By your grace/Jai Gurudev
  8. Girish-Kali Durge
  9. Krishna Das-Baba Hanuman
  10. Steve Gold-Let Your Heart Be Known (Electric)
  11. Sada Sat Kaur-Gobinday Mukunday

So you may have heard yoga music before, but have you listened to it?

 

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Bali or Thailand?

 

 

I’m starting the initial planning on another trip out of the country. A couple of destinations are standing out to me; Bali and Thailand.

The purpose of this trip is to have an adventure AND do yoga in a studio surrounded by nature. I’m not one to sit on a beach and sip cocktails out of coconut shells all day. I’d rather explore, go on hikes, be in contact with wildlife, and experience the culture. I’ve spoken to several yoga teachers who have been to Bali and they all highly recommended it. Or, they would say, “Thailand is great. But if you go to Thailand, you should hop on down to Bali before the end of your trip.”  I also had a co-worker who was just in Thailand and said I would really enjoy there too. So, I clearly have to do more research, but luckily I plan on going around next year. Which, gives me oodles of time to prepare.

A few questions that should be answered first:

  • How long should I stay?
  • What’s the best time of year to go?
  • Is this a solo trip or should I have someone come along with me?
  • Is there a huge difference in cost between the two?
  • Are both going to be able to provide what I’m looking for?
  • Which has the cutest monkeys?

I want to step out of this crazy city and connect with myself and other people in a sweet way. It’s a little more difficult to do that here in the states. Either destination would be amazing, I’m sure. But, I’ve had more people tell me stories of Bali rather than Thailand. So, we’ll see. I’ve started a vacation fund that already has $800. Not too bad so far!

If any of you have any feedback on these places, please share them with me!

Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions.

I want to know where to find the most amazing:

  • Studios
  • Ancient Ruins
  • Food
  • Villages
  • Monkeys
  • Men (Kidding..KIDDING!)
And everything else in between! I need your help to make this upcoming trip the best ever!
Love and Light!
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Setting good intentions: 2012 is off to a great start!

 

How did you spend the first day of the new year?

I spent mine on my mat (of course). Well, 2hrs of the day anyway. My teacher, Tony Giuliano is a certified Anusara teacher. He is also co-owner of Yoga at The Raven, in Silverlake, California. I found Tony at an Anusara studio in Glendale when I moved back to Los Angeles in December of 2010. He took co-ownership of The Raven in the summer of 2011. And, like a dedicated  yogi, I followed him. I’m at The Raven a LOT. It has a very “earthy” and “warm” feeling to it. It’s VERY Tony, very sweet.

To celebrate the New Year, Tony gave us all a piece of paper in a envelope, and a pen. He asked us to write down three things: What we’re grateful for, the greatest challenges of 2011, and what we want to bring into our lives this year. My answers are as follows:

  1. I’m grateful for the people who love me
  2. My greatest challenge was moving forward after the death of my mom and all the extra drama that goes along with it
  3. I’d like to bring in love and more positive people. Because people with crappy attitudes don’t work for me.

Tony also brought in a live musician by the name of Yehoshua Brill. No, it’s not some indian chanting at us. He’s this hippy white dude with long, wavy hair, who lives in Venice, CA. It was just him and his guitar. He played for the full 2hrs of class. He was Uh-mazing! Click here to check out his FB page and links to his music. I guess you can call it “Yoga music”. It was slower guitar with notes that just tend to resonate well with your entire body (if you know what I’m saying).  The sound waves of the music hit your body and you could feel it. Does this make sense to anyone? I’ve been told that people who smoke pot and listen to music can have this feeling…so I’m told. :-)

There were over 20+ students in the studio that day, mat to mat. The energy in the room from all of the people, in addition to the music, was out of control! At the end of class, we all went into Savasana and Tony laid a single white rose by each of our feet. Yehoshua was still playing and I swear to god, I was levitating at one point. I have to say, it was a PERFECT way to start the first day of 2012. I left class(rose in hand) feeling refreshed and so happy. I thought to myself, ‘2011 was about transitions, 2012 is going to be about moving forward and new beginnings.’ Those are my intentions for this year. What’s yours?

 

BTW, as lovely as all of that sounds, I felt it the next day. My legs felt like two Golden Retrievers…they were BARKIN’!

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

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