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Archive for September, 2008

Just found this!

Vanity Fair spread on some inside and out beautiful yogis!!!  Take a look!

Vanity Fair Yogi Spread

XOXO

(btw, obsessed with Gossip Girl, so will now be signing all of my posts as such)

Britt

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Yoga at Temple?  Who knew!? I wonder if they “Om”…

Take a read of Temple Makes a Leap of Faith, in yesterday’s Boston Globe, by staff writer Steven Rosenberg–a few excerpts follow.

Baruch HaLevi the rabbi at the Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, MA has implemented nontraditional programs into the Saturday morning curriculum – such as meditation, Hebrew prayer chanting, and yoga – while traditional services take place in the synagogue’s main sanctuary…

Congregants say the programs have stimulated their interest in Judaism, and have helped boost membership 20 percent since HaLevi arrived, a significant jump for a synagogue affiliated with the Conservative movement.

But by using unorthodox methods, HaLevi has avoided the trend that has left many Conservative temples struggling for members.

HaLevi’s goal is “to get people to connect with God,” and, on Shabbat, he presents a contemporary potpourri of spirituality that he says people want. It includes a group chant of Hebrew words in his meditation-style “renewal” service, where HaLevi sometimes offers up a dose of Buddhism, words of wisdom from Hasidic luminaries, and poetry from the likes of Emily Dickinson. At the Saturday morning “Torah yoga,” where people stretch and traditional Hebrew prayers play on an iPod, participants merge Sanskrit with Hebrew, reciting together, “Namasté, Shabbat Shalom,”a mix of Sanskrit and Hebrew that wishes for a peaceful Sabbath.

While a few congregants didn’t feel comfortable with the alternative programs and eventually left the congregation, HaLevi insists the changes were necessary to provide an entry point to Jewish prayer.

A few months ago, Larry Groipen, 51, of Swampscott, said he was looking for deeper meaning in life when he walked into the synagogue. Groipen, who now attends the renewal service and Torah yoga, said the Shabbat experience brings a sense of relaxation that he can’t feel during the week.

“I think Judaism is authentic, but the way we’ve portrayed it is flat, thin, and inauthentic. And so we’re offering what I believe is authentic Judaism. It has multiple pathways to experience God in our lives.”-HaLevi

Amen!

-Eliza

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Congratulations to us! In celebration of our 100th posting, lets get down and do some yoga. Here’s a very simple sequence that you can add to, subtract from or play around with. Don’t forget the importance of your transitions and make sure to do each pose on each side. Enjoy!

Crank some tunes and get ready to flow–

Balasana– Focus your attention inwardly and on your mat

Adho Mukha Svanasana– Stretch and lengthen

Chaturanga

Urdvah Mukha Svanasana- Open across the collar bone, relax the shoulders, open up the thoracic spine

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Tadasana– Find your foundation

Suraya Namaskara A– Link breath to movement, warm up

Vira II– Ease into the sequence beginning with an externally rotated standing posture

Utthita Trikonasana– Continue with externally rotated standing postures, use as a resting pose

Ardha Chandrasana– Continue with externally rotated building up the challenge to a balancing pose

Utthita Trikonasana– Exit Ardha the same way you came in, paying careful attention to transitions

Surya Namaskara B– Link breath to movement, warm up

Vira I– Neutral standing pose

Parsvottanasana- Intense hamstring stretch

Uttanasana– Resting pose, stretch warmed up hamstrings

Prasarita Padottanasana A– take headstand

Dandasana– Begin seated postures in “tadasana equivalent”

Janu Sirsasana– Stretch each leg and side body

Baddha Konasana- Stretch through inner thighs and groin

Marichyasana C– Neutralizing pose

Paschimottanasana– stretch out those hamstrings

Salamba Sarvangasana– Cool down

Halasana– Counter pose

Supine Twist- Neutralizing pose

Savasana– Final relaxation

-Eliza

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What’s the deal with Karma?  A reader just sent me a quote with that was once shared in my teacher training that I thought expressed Karma quite nicely,

Watch your thoughts, they become your words;

Watch your words, they become your actions;

Watch you actions, they become you habits;

Watch your habits, they become your character;

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny

-Eliza

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MC Yogi

I’m a bit bored of my current music selection, so I was just browsing around iTunes, specifically in the world music section as I tend to like a lot of this stuff and just happened upon this album by a guy called MC Yogi.  Now, I don’t want to endorse anyone or anything, and to be honest, I don’t love any all of the tracks on here, but its an all in all pretty good “yoga” CD.  It mixes classic chants with hip hop, Krishna Das is on it, and c’mon…who could resist tracks called, “Ganesh is Fresh” and “Rock on Hanuman”.  MC Yogi does what we do here at Om La La…we want to mix modern life with yoga.  So, check him out, the music could definitely spruce up your practice!

In other news…I went to a yoga class today, expecting one teacher and got Yola.  The class sucked.  But she was nicer.  Baby steps.

Namaste Mo’ Fo’s

-Britt

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I’ve been thinking (like everyone else) quite a bit about the state of the economy with everything that’s happening on Wall Street and prices of everyday commodities – from gas to bread – rising more and more. What I’ve been thinking is that while some items are luxuries (make life nice) and other necessities (make life possible) where should you draw the line to cut back? From experience I know that my gym membership at Equinox was not worth $150.00 out of my pocket – I’d personally rather put that money towards yoga. Others I’ve heard say they’ve cut back on both to find cheaper alternatives like the gym at their local Y or donation based yoga like Yoga for the People. Another yoga blog, Om Shanti, had a post Why is Yoga so Expensive back in February, “[Yoga is] about a lifestyle–a lifestyle of good health and wealth–that requires a person to have a considerable amount of money if he/she wants a taste of it.” The great thing about the post is that it generated a lot of comments from both sides of the coin.

In light of all of this talk about money and the cost of yoga I’ve decided to lower the cost of the Om La La Vinyasa Weekend Retreat we’re holding in November as the response I’m getting isn’t that people aren’t interested but rather that it’s too costly. I hear ya! So I’ve done what I can to cut back on costs without sacrificing anything major and passes the savings straight on to you. And not to worry, it still includes accommodation for 2 nights, 5 meals and 4 yoga classes. Hopefully now we’ll get some takers!!

Namaste!

-Eliza

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Really worth a listen! A controversial conversation between some really great minds. Topics range from intellectual property to competitive yoga to gentrification and celebrity yogis…

Talk of the Nation, December 26, 2006 · Guests explore yoga’s path from the margins to the mainstream, and its transformation along the way from spiritual meditation to a mass-marketed workout.

Guests:

Hanna Rosin, staff writer for The Washington Post and author of “Striking a Pose,” an article in Harper’s magazine that examines yoga’s potency as both exercise and market force.

Robert Love, contributing editor at the Columbia Journalism Review. Love’s recent article “Fear of Yoga” traces yoga’s origins in the United States and its rocky rise to popularity.

Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University

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