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So I’ve recently decided to actually apply for the RYT (registered mark) — so that I’m super official. I did some research and found that Yoga Alliance seems to be the only nationally recognized registrar for instructors and schools.

And yet, (understanding they’re non-profit), the organization has proved to be unhelpful and unprofessional. I’ve tried to follow up on my application — by calling (no one answers), by e-mailing (no one responds), and even asking others (no one I’ve found has had a good experience).

So what’s the deal? Not only have I failed to get a human being on the phone for the past 2 weeks, but even when I try and leave a voicemail the mailbox is “full.” To top it off – I had to fax in my application – they should have integrated paypal into their site ages ago!

Their board of directors literally says “we’re here to serve you” — so, hello, is anyone out there?

My new favorite class has to be Friday Night Flow at Sadhana with instructor Ame. The class is 7:30-9PM every Friday night.  I’ve only been a few times now but the class is always full. What’s great is there’s definitely a crowd that you can tell is there each week but there’s always new faces mixed in too.

Ame starts each class by saying “I’m not here to teach you what you’re doing right or wrong — I’m here to make sure you have fun.” — or something more or less to the extent. She follows this by saying “The music is meant to be loud – if you can’t hear me, it doesn’t matter.”  I have to say, she sets the right tone to end the week and sweat out all the bad stuff.

So the music is loud  (she takes requests), the studio stays relatively dim and Ame pretty much lets you do your thing. Every class has a free-style 10 minutes where you can do whatever moves you — even if that means breaking into dance. In fact, sometimes class turn into a full fledged dance party – that is if everyone agrees not to look around the studio too much (you know so no one’s embarrassed). And even better, the last 30-40 min of class are super mellow so you leave fully relaxed and ready for the weekend.

All in all I say very much worth a try — if you like to shake your butt in Utkatasana, check it out.

Prana Cafe, Watertown, MA

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I was able to stop in to the newly opened Prana Cafe next to the Prana Power Yoga Studio in Watertown, MA today.  I went directly after the hour power class from 11-12P and the cafe was pretty full.  The cafe itself is quite large and airy with big windows letting in a lot of natural light. There are plenty of tables as well as armchairs and a kids corner. The decor on the other hand is questionable – pink and purple with a lot of flowers and butterflies on the walls – (Taylor & Phillipe must have left the decor to their daughters).

The food itself looked great. The selection is probably 90% raw ranging from salads to smoothies, crackers and entrees like “burgers” and “pizza” — also kids stuff like almond butter and agave nectar on sprouted bagels.  I got the Go-Go Berry Smoothie (strawberries, banana and coconut milk).  Overall, delicious but costly. A small smoothie (around 8 oz.) was $7. A side of crackers alone was $5. Despite this, the place had plenty of customers with others coming in for take out. Driving past it again around 3P it still looked busy with people sitting in the window.

The girls behind the counter were nice and said they’ve had great business since its grand opening (Prana also recently opened a second non-heated studio in Watertown as well). With limited parking in the area I would assume most of its patrons will come straight from the studio – but I bet that alone will be enough to keep them going.

I’d go back….

-Eliza

seattle-skyline-image

I was visiting friends in Seattle, WA over Labor Day weekend and knew I had to check out a yoga class. I was disappointed that I missed classes at Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Ballard (afternoon classes were canceled due to the holiday) — but instead was pleasantly surprised by Haute Yoga in Queen Anne. I took the 4:30-6P Power Yoga class with Scott. Though a bit on the pricey side for a new student drop in ($17 + $3 for mat & towel) — the class was great.  The studio wasn’t very hot itself but it warmed up as the class did.  The studio was also quite small but there weren’t too many people (all women) in the class so I wasn’t bothered by it. There are mirrors lining one full side of the studio but we faced the back wall which had bay windows facing a backyard garden. Overall, the vinyasa flow was great and I liked Scott’s style. He was pretty laid back but stepped up and made a lot of hands on adjustments.  The only downside I see to the studio is that there is only one (shower-free) bathroom and no real area for changing.  All in all  — worth checking out. I’d certainly go back if I’m in town again.

-Eliza

Is it me, or are dog owners a little nuts when it comes to their pooch? The New York times ran an article on the new half-baked trend of “Doga” – literally, yoga with your dog. Apparently there are classes popping up all over the country, from Seattle to Chicago and Manhattan.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

One women is quoted, “Doga runs the risk of trivializing yoga by turning a 2,500-year-old practice into a fad,” said Julie Lawrence, 60, a yoga instructor and studio owner in Portland, Ore”

“Paula Apro, 40, of Eastford, Conn., owner of an online yoga retail store, tried a class near her home last summer…Owners struggled to get their very real dogs to replicate the stuffed-animal poses, she said, and bags of treats were used to get the dogs to change positions. “It was lunacy,” Ms. Apro recalled. “Peanuts, my retired racer greyhound, didn’t participate at all. Instead, I did downward-facing dog while he ate the most treats he’s ever had in a 60-minute period.”

My comments:

There’s no question that dog owners are themselves a “special breed.” Many it seems hate to be separated from their dogs  – for some, separating themselves for long enough to take a yoga class isn’t even an option! While I can think of better things to do with $15 – (and I imagine there are several free activities out there you can do with your dog), if it makes you happy, who am I to say it’s crazy?

Another quote from the article:

“Ms. Yang, 39, a financial analyst in Manhattan, has gone to doga classes for more than a year. Though she says that her 10-pound Shih Tzu, Sophie, has helped deepen her stretches by providing extra weight, the main reason she goes is to bond with her dog. “I always leave with a smile,” she said.”

For the full article by Bethany Lyttle, click here:

Bonding with their Downward-Facing Humans

Amma Photo Project

Hi all Om La La readers,

I just received this note and thought it was an interesting concept.  Apparently there is a website where people write in describing their dream assignment (photography related).  Then, people get to vote on what sounds like the best idea and the winner gets $50,000 to make it happen. It’s a promotional/marketing contest put on by Microsoft/Lenovo which apparently is some laptop that’s good for photographers (the winner gets one of those too plus a camera) — pretty cool for Microsoft I guess.

Anyways — I had someone write in asking for help from the public to vote for her dream job and anted to pass on the info in case you were interested in voting for her.  Honestly, it sounds pretty cool!

Erica McDonald wrote in and asked,   “All AMMA friends..I need your help now (till April 3) get votes for my proposed photo project Amma The Hugging Saint: Her Service to the World: Humanitarian Activities that Bring Hope & Peace.

With funding, I will create a photo-narrative about individuals in India and around the world who benefit from Amma’s humanitarian activities, bringing more awareness to the possibility of a selfless life. The 20 projects with the most votes are reviewed, and one will win $50,000 to carry out their dream photo project.

To read more and VOTE: (click here)

If you don’t vote for Erica, there are tons of other very cool proposals up and I’m sure every one of them would appreciate a vote. Who knows, maybe you’ll post an idea of your own.

-Eliza

Yogoco

yoga_bag_olive_1

Eco-friendly yoga bag made from pre-consumer T-shirts scraps right here in the USA.

Fits yoga mat, yoga towel, bottle of water, a purse, a phone and keys…! $89.00 – it’s not cheap being green!about_img

Visit:

Yogoco

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