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My new favorite class in Boston is actually at the Prana Power Yoga studio in Cambridge (Central Square). It’s convenient (right in front of the Central Square T-stop) and it’s a Sunday afternoon class.  What better way to wind down your weekend.  It’s the 4:30-6P class taught by Gretchen. Her class had great rythm and flow and was just hard enough to make you sweat but leave you energized.  The class fills up early so I suggest grabbing your spot well before the 4:30 start time.  The nice part is that it’s held in the larger of their two rooms – the other is quite small and clostrophobic. Check her out!

The other reco I have for Sunday’s is Glen’s 2-hr Sadhana class at the Sadhana studio in the South End. Not as warm and not as hard. Generally the same class weekly.  Glen has quite the following so the same goes for this class- get there early.  Class runs 4-6P.  The 2 hours goes by quickly but know that the last 15-20 min is a savasana/seated-meditation.  I’m not a fan of meditating after savasana. I generally find myself wanting to lay right back down and take a nap.  Still a great class I highly recommend.

-Eliza

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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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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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…are left to sign up for Om La La’s Vinyasa Yoga Retreat in the Berkshires.  Enrollment is open only until October 7th, so reserve your spot now!

Visit us at www.omlalayoga.com to learn more about the details of the weekend or visit the Porches Inn website direct www.porches.com.

Only $500 $400 (NEW REDUCED PRICE) per person- includes, 2 nights accommodation, 5 meals and 4 yoga classes!

ITINERARY

Friday Evening:
5:00-8:00 pm: Arrive at The Porches Inn
7:00-8:00 pm: Candlelight Flow
8:30-10:00pm Light Dinner Around the Fireplace

Saturday:
7:00-8:30 am Light and Healthy Continental Breakfast
10:00-11:30 am Yoga Flow
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch of Healthy Salads and Sandwiches
1:30-6:00 pm Free Time: Town Visits, Mass MoCA, Hot Tub, Swim, Sauna
6:30-7:45 Yoga Jam
8:30 pm- Dinner in Town

Sunday:
7:00-8:30 am Light and Healthy Continental Breakfast
10:00-11:30 am Yoga Flow
11:30-12:30 pm Pack up
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch of Healthy Salads and Sandwiches
2:00 pm Check Out

Porches is located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, in the city of North Adams just off the Mohawk Trail. The renowned Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (known as MASS MoCA) is only a few steps away. Along with everything you’ve come to expect at an Inn from bathrobes to high spped connection, Porches also has a year round lap pool with heated deck and a hot tub. Building 7 – the space Om La La will use for yoga instruction also houses changing rooms, showers and a sauna.  If that isn’t enough to interest you there are a lot of nearby walks and hikes as well as great restaurants in town.

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“Enlighten Up!”

A Skeptics Journey into the World of Yoga

Directed by Kate Churchill

The film follows Nick Rosen, through mainland United States, Hawaii and India as filmmaker and yoga enthusiast Kate Churchill documents his increasing immersion in the world of yoga. Her goal is to prove that yoga can transform anyone, even Nick. Before he can say “om”, Nick finds himself twisted like a pretzel surrounded by celebrity yogis, true believers, kooks, entrepreneurs and some dedicated teachers. The more Nick investigates yoga, the more contradictions he discovers. Tensions run high as Nick’s transformational progress lags and Kate’s plan crumbles. What unfolds and what they discover is not what they expected.

The film features well-known yoga teachers from India and the U.S. including B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga, Pattabhi Jois of Ashtanga Yoga, Norman Allen, Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukti Yoga, Rodney Yee star yogi in Living Arts videos, Cyndi Lee of OM Yoga, Beryl Bender Birch of Hard and Soft Yoga, Natasha Rizopoulos of Yogaworks and Boston’s Baron Baptiste of Baptiste Power Yoga.

To Premier at The MFA, Boston

The MFA Film Program is presenting a 5-show engagement of Enlighten Up!, September 12-14, Boston-based filmmaker Kate Churchill’s irreverent look at the world of yoga through the eyes of novice practitioner and skeptic, New York City journalist Nick Rosen. Director Kate Churchill will be present at all five screenings and star Nick Rosen will be present on Sept 12, Sept. 13, and at Sun. 14 morning screening. A reception follows the opening night show on Sept 12.

Also showing September 19 – 25 at the Kendall Square Cinema

Date: September 19, 2008
Time: 1:45, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15 Free Yoga Classes with Aaron Cantor: 3:30, 6:30 weather permitting, these classes will be done outside the theater, please bring a mat

Visit the official website http://enlightenupthefilm.com/
-Eliza

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If you’re down with doing 108 Sun Salutes, this might be an for you.  In 2007, Shiva Rea helped start this worldwide yoga event to help raise consciousness for peace and the key environmental issue of global warming.

On Sunday, September 21st on the Boston Common and at the Cyclorama, the Boston area yoga community will gather for a day of yoga practices to bring awareness and raise consciousness for PEACE and MOTHER EARTH.

The date of September 21st is also significant because it is the UN International Peace Day. Last year, there were over 400 Global Mala events in 35 countries.

There are many ways to be involved. By participating in the Yoga Mala in the morning or afternoon, you can dedicate your practice of 108 Sun Salutations for peace and any other important intention. In the evening, you can listen and be inspired by Lama Surya Das and then chant in a kirtan led by David Newman, an amazing kirtan wallah from Philadelphia.

MORNING
A silent, meditative yoga mala at the Boston Common led by:

  • Daniel Orlansky
  • Glen Cunningham (Sadhana Studios)
  • Amy Leydon (Sportsclub-LA/Boston)
  • Kim Valeri (Yoga Spirit Studios)

Kirtan with Prajna

AFTERNOON
Yoga Mala with music and chanting in many yoga traditions (teaching order to be determined)

  • Lynne Begier (Forrest Yoga, Back Bay Yoga)
  • Jarvis Chen (Iyengar)
  • Richard Lanza (Power Yoga, Open Doors)
  • Chanel Luck and Roberto Lim (Prana Flow)
  • Deb Neubauer (Anusara, Anahata Yoga Center)
  • Kate O’Donnell (Ashtanga, Back Bay Yoga)
  • David Vendetti (Vinyasa, South Boston Yoga)
  • Taylor Wells (Power Yoga, Prana Power Yoga)

Meditation (1/4 cycle of 27 minutes) Led by Ek Ong Kar Singh

SAVE 9% OFF YOUR TICKET PURCHASE IF YOU USE PROMO CODE: PEACE

Visit Global Boston Mala to learn more!

-Eliza

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Yes friends we get a whole month-

No really, what the heck is Yoga Month you might ask?

Yoga Month is a grassroots, community-based national campaign to educate people about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga Month is a year-round campaign and will peak Sept. 2008 with the 10 City Yoga Health Festival Tour and with millions of health & social conscious individuals practicing yoga at thousands of yoga studios and homes around the world.

The Yoga Health Festival is covering Denver, Miami, Boston, New York, Chicago, Austin, LA, San Diego, San Fran and Vancouver.

Boston on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at the Cambridge Masonic Hall

New York blow out on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th and 6th.

In New York, $88 gets you a VIP pass to all workshops, events and David Newman’s benefit concert in the evening. You can also pay a la cart and just go to the events that interest you most. Featured instructors include Beryl Bender Birch, Elena Bower and Timothy McCall among many others. Workshops range from The Beginners Mind to Hip Hop Asana to Kundalini & Meditation. If that wasn’t enough to interest you, there will be yoga, health and green related exhibitors- uh, who doesn’t love free samples, common people! And for my penny pinchers out there, FYI many of the events are free, including all day activities for kids.

Proceeds benefit the National Yoga Alliance.

-Eliza

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