Balance Your Yoga, Try a Kickboxing Class in NYC

Balance Your Yoga, Try a Kickboxing Class in NYC

Hey all it’s been a while since I posted, it’s hot here in the Big Apple!  I’ve been focused on creative pursuits including my writing for a bit.  I do have lots of healthy quick juice n’ smoothie recipes to share soon. In the mean time though part of why I didn’t post is that I’ve gotten a bit bored with my yoga practice! Yes this can happen even to teachers, and I wanted to post on ways to keep going when that inevitably happens.  That will be my next post, multiple strategies to not give up on yoga! One thing I wanted to share in that regard is to try something new!  Often when we feel bored with an activity it’s because whatever it is, has become routine and not in a good way.  I was looking for ways to balance out my yoga practice.  I don’t know if any of my NYC readers have tried kickboxing?  I recently heard about this new fitness trend here in NYC called Beat Box Fitness.  It’s really cool- it’s got live music spun by a DJ, so it’s really high energy.  It’s kickboxing movements- all cardio intensive,  jabbing, punching and playful.   So you really work up a good healthy sweat. This is great for my local readers, Beat Box Fitness is in Manhattan on 8th Ave. between 35th & 36th, which is luckily easy to get to.  I don’t know if they are in other cities yet.  Check out their schedule and more info at http://www.beatboxfitness.com. Kickboxing classes are becoming more popular in NYC, I think it fits the personality and...
Yoga Salons (Where Yoga & Culture Collide)

Yoga Salons (Where Yoga & Culture Collide)

Envisioned for the 30+ urban dweller looking for a fun, social yet sophisticated way to meet new people and spend the evening!  INTRO: I got inspired to offer what I’m calling a Yoga Salon: An blend of a social yoga class (for all levels, all bodies) followed by a talk/mixer with an artist, writer or other Creative! WHAT’S A SALON? The way the word “salon” is used here refers to the original historical meaning- “a gathering of artists, writers, intellectuals to discuss ideas…” Think Gertrude Stein having Picasso over for a smoke n’ some gin! Honestly it’s something I’d like so I decided maybe others would too! WHO’S BEHIND THIS IDEA? Hi, my name is Kala, a bit about me will tell you why this brainstorm hit!  I worked at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)  in the Education dept. mostly with kids. Teens where my favorite as they would be quite funny and honest in their comments. Then until a few years ago I was a professor- teaching painting and drawing in upstate New York, the kids were great fun & I’d take them on trips to NYC to see galleries. I’m also a yoga teacher, got certified in 1994!  And even ran a small studio back in the 2000’s. NEXT ONE: When: Saturday MAY 2nd. 5- 7:00 PM.  Timed so you can grab a nice meal afterwards in Chelsea, the Village or Midtown! Where:  A Lovely Studio in Chelsea (West 20’s-NYC) location:  NOT FINALIZED YET But will be in Chelsea. MORE ON WHAT TO EXPECT: You have an interest in art yet may be intimidated by gallery...
A Response to Hilary Clinton Practices Yoga Article, Re: Intolerance

A Response to Hilary Clinton Practices Yoga Article, Re: Intolerance

Response I wrote in comments over at Washington Post, on story that Hilary Clinton “does yoga.”  There were of course the political responses plus one deriding yoga in the West.  My comment below was aimed at the latter.  (I also added the cheeky photo that accompanies this post.) I’d love to be Hilary’s private yoga teacher, I’m in NYC Hil, I”m discreet, experienced and make it fun. Unlike some on this thread- the deeper teachings of yoga are about acceptance, equanimity and love. The practice which has many levels can/is helpful in so many ways from physical, to mental and emotional and ultimately spiritual. It’s not just for any 1 kind of person. There are a lot of silly yoga stereotypes out there. As a black woman from working class bkgrnd, I was initially years ago –often the only person of color, when I took classes. I started with books from library. Yoga is a self-care gift for all and is not a religion, certainly not as practiced in the West. You can be any religion and practice yoga, any elements that 1 feels are too “Hindu,” (as that is the cultural origin) can be removed if they make someone uncomfortable. It’s like eating at a Japanese restaurant doesn’t make you Japanese or whatever. In fact intolerance is the antithesis of Yoga. Namaste all.   I was responding to a comment that yoga should be more exclusive in that  it’s “Hindu” so I’m giving my two cents.  Yoga originated in a primarily Hindu culture, but to accept what commenter says would lead to a world where we are each...
Beautiful Video of Mom Doing Yoga w/Kids Playing

Beautiful Video of Mom Doing Yoga w/Kids Playing

This was so sweet- I first saw it over at the Yogipreneur, Racheal Cooks site, and it moved me so much-even though I’m not a mom.  I’ve taken care of little ones. Then I found this quote on a Yoga Meditations calender: Practicing with total attention within the body is advanced Yoga, no matter how easy the posture;  practicing with your attention scattered is the practice of a beginner, no matter how difficult the posture. ~ H. David Coulter Her attention is in the present moment- most advanced! her children, her surroundings, their need to play and feel loved.  All while she continues her physical practice. And the music is so awesome it’s by: Alexi Murdoch called “Orange Sky.” Namaste,...
What’s the Cost of Private Yoga Sessions?

What’s the Cost of Private Yoga Sessions?

There are plenty of reasons you may want to have private yoga lessons, one-on-one yoga at home or perhaps in your office. But since you are here your primary concern is: what are the costs of hiring a private yoga instructor?  As a certified yoga teacher since 1994, my aim is to answer the question but also the questions behind it.  What does pricing reflect, how is it calculated and so on!  I hope this is helpful. Private Yoga Teacher Pricing: I’m based in NYC, and along with cities in California, and perhaps Boston,  the prices here are probably the highest in the country for the reasons you would expect.  One, the cost of living is really high in big cities like Boston, NYC, LA, and cost of trainings in those areas are also higher;  and the incomes of clients are also higher than elsewhere.  So average rates in towns or small cities will be less. So the rates mentioned here hold generally for those areas, I’ll mention exceptions below. Rates private yoga average: $75-150* per lesson Yoga teachers like massage therapists are heart centered they love what they do and have spent thousands of dollars to get trained (certified.)  That said, it is also very difficult to make a living as a yoga teacher. Most are part-time only, as yoga studios in order to break even, often pay rather low wages per class.  So the vast majority of yoga teachers, teach in several locations and may have some private clients just to make it to part-time. Main private yoga page. How are costs for a private yoga lesson...
After Yoga Teacher Training?  Here’s the Best Business Marketing Coaches

After Yoga Teacher Training? Here’s the Best Business Marketing Coaches

Related pages: About marketing for yoga & wellness professionals. I became certified to yoga teacher in 1994 and have seen the huge influx of yoga teachers coming out of YTT’s.  Also having moved back to a major city, I’m aware of how hard it can be to get enough work as a yoga teacher.  A lot of studio’s are branded now- meaning if you aren’t certified in their “style” they won’t hire you;  no matter what a wonderful teacher you are. The stats say the majority of yoga teachers work only part time, and are underpaid- this despite the huge forecast for yoga’s growth. And I feel YTT’s are not spending enough time on the business aspect of yoga to prepare their graduates. With all of these folks, I’ve spent at least 1.5 hours and often more, perusing their content, via website, videos and offerings.  I am not an affiliate of any of them and get no compensation.  Do you own research, but most of them give away lots of free helpful info so you can get a clear sense of their work. So without further adieu: The buzz seems to be- finding one’s niche and targeting the “ideal client.”  I do know that marketing is very necessary and is not an “icky” word or something you can ignore.  I tried to myself- as yogi’s and heart centered professionals we have to do the inner work to believe that our work has to be sustainable.  That it’s ok to earn an comfortable living. So here are some of the best out there offering training to wellness & yoga business...
Yoga Masters Highlight: Sri Dharma Mittra

Yoga Masters Highlight: Sri Dharma Mittra

Share whatever you know to those that are seeking – relieving their pain and suffering. via Dharma’s Twitter feed.  Truly a master teacher, the spiritual buzz from his presence was up there with maybe 4 other spiritual teachers I’ve ever met in life. A nice short video by Rainbow Mars over on YouTube: a interview with Shri Dharma Mittra in NYC. “Sri Dharma Mittra, 75 years wise, honors us with his experience for achieving longevity, flexibility, stamina and peace of mind.” To learn more about Sri Dharma Mittra and the NY Dharma Yoga Center, visit...

Corporate Wellness Programs

Employee burnout costs money, as hiring and training new employees is costly. It’s much better to retain quality employees, to nurture talent and to offer perks that show that your company values them.  Perks can include healthy food choices, snacks, health benefits and more. Corporate wellness programs are springing up as health care costs rise, and companies realize that employee well-being does impact their bottom line.  Also as fewer employees work longer hours- it becomes important to support them in a high quality of life vs. burnout.  See 46 Healthiest Companies to Work For in America.”  The list includes medium and large corporations like Google to Emblem Health & Accenture (headquarters) in NYC.  Some small companies like Noom, Conductor, Inc., Zoc Doc, all NYC based are also included in a separate small business category. “People who have thriving well-being have a 35% lower turnover rate than those who are struggling,” according to Gallup Business Journal. Whether you are a established firm or a new tech start-up it’s worth considering how to include wellness programs in your business culture. See our Corporate Wellness options page for info on: Yoga at work Desk-side Stretch Mindfulness for Stress Reduction Chair Massage Need to convince the committee or decision maker:  see NamasteConcierge.com,  page w/ links to some serious stats & reports on Corporate Wellness programs, best practices, effectiveness;  and articles in popular media such as Forbes. As CEO of Namaste Concierge, I have 20 years of experience in holistic health such a yoga practices, having taught at several colleges, corporate executives and private clients seeking more energy, better health and increased productivity.  Finally...

A Clear Explanation of the Subtle Body In the Yoga Tradition

More information at http://yogainternational.com, the video features Rolf Kovik who is “President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute and a clinical psychologist in private practice, Rolf Sovik has studied yoga in the United States, India, and Nepal. He holds degrees in philosophy, music, Eastern studies, and clinical psychology. ” It’s very clear and helpful for yoga students to understand this information it add depth to our...
Private Yoga Lessons on Upper East Side w/Kala

Private Yoga Lessons on Upper East Side w/Kala

I absolutely love the upper east side of Manhattan- the Met is my favorite museum and one of the top museums in the world.  My love of the Met began when I studied art at the High School of Music & Art.  Central Park is also a gem- I really believe that without Central Park, NYC would be a much less inhabitable place. Get private yoga lessons in the comfort of your upper east side home.  You need a clear space, a mat and and hour! Private yoga is a luxury-yet it’s the way yoga was taught in India- one teacher & one student.  That student would be given a individualized practice that was adjusted and developed over time. Working with a yoga teacher one on one is great for so many reasons: Time is set for you needs- morning person or prefer late afternoon. Recovering from illness- then class is gentle and nurturing Or are you detoxing and wanting a yoga practice to help you accomplish that goal of cleansing? There’s no competition no comparing oneself to others Want to stay fit and flexible-we create a practice just for your body (see yoga for runners) My experience not just in yoga but studying massage therapy and workshops over the 19+ years I’ve been teaching, gives me a unique ability to adapt yoga to the person.  Yoga is not rigid, there is not one right way- though some might try to tell you that.  Each body is different- and changes, even by season and over the years.  My studies in shiastu massage emphasize how the organs and energy shift...
Yoga for 50 plus & Older- Benefits & Caveats

Yoga for 50 plus & Older- Benefits & Caveats

Yoga I believe is helpful for all at any age-BUT- the type of yoga, particular postures and how it’s presented varies tremendously and needs to be adapted and modified. There is a yoga for everyone! I’ll present some other resources for you below, videos, articles and books.  As a private yoga teacher in NYC, I’ve been doing yoga for 24 years.  So my advice is based on my over 19 years of yoga teaching, (mixed with some other career bits!) I’ve been an art professor, and studied massage therapy too. This post is based on my personal experience and research, I am not a doctor, and I recommend checking with your health professional before beginning any exercise program.  Also always listen to your body- start slowly in a new yoga practice, or after injury or after a hiatus.  Also a sharp pain (rare) is always an indicator to stop immediately. 1.  Yoga Benefits for over 50 folks: increase and maintain flexibility: As we get older flexibility tends to diminish unless you make a concerted effort to keep it.  Specific postures help to maintain flexibility of hamstrings, quads and especially the spine.  In fact the spine and back are key areas that many yoga asanas target.  An increase in kyphosis (rounding of upper back) is common with aging.  Though I”ve seen many younger folks who work long hours at a computer, start to develop this. Recommended postures (for overall flexibility): Seated forward bend Single leg forward bend Downward facing dog Upward facing dog Various shoulder and upper back openers increase and maintain balance: Balance is crucial as we age- to...

Pt. 1: The Best Yoga for Beginners? What’s Best for You?

Whats The Best Yoga for Beginners: That is a big question, that I’ll aim to answer honestly and from a variety of perspectives.  Actually I”m going to make this a mult-post answer, so here is part 1.  As what’s the best yoga for beginners-depends on various factors individual to you.  Factors such as: your age current level of fitness health conditions, including injuries your personality your goals- which can include- improved flexibility greater calm increased sense of balance weight loss spiritual growth So lets examine each important factor in turn Age & Yoga: 1. General thoughts on age & yoga for beginners. Anyone can do yoga- if ones means the postures or bodily positions- there are thousands and they are customizable to fit your body.   Generally and this has to be broad generalizations, a healthy teen or younger adult may want a more physically challenging type of yoga.  And as one gets older meaning into the 50-60’s one may choose to modify the practice depending again on ones’ overall health issues and concerns.  Both of these two comments could lead to in- depth blog posts with pro’s & con’s. 2.  Why factors of age and yoga practice are hard to codify into a rule? There are many advanced yogi’s who are elderly and yet-usually because of a lifetime of practice, are able and wanting to do very difficult and advanced postures.  Some that come to mind whom you can look up are Vanda Scavarelli, and the venerable BKS Iyengar and many others. But assuming you are an newbie and wondering where to start and you are older or out...