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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

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rodneyee

Just heard about this teacher training program through Urban Zen feaeturing Rodney Yee.

The Urban Zen Yoga Teacher Training Program is an in-depth 200-hour yoga teacher training program that can be completed on its own or taken as a suggested pre-requisite for the Urban Zen Integrative Therapist program. This program begins March 13, 2009, in New York City, and will run through September 2009, one weekend a month, with a break in July.

News to me, the Urban Zen was founded by Donna Karan to create awareness in areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children.  Check it out at www.urbanzen.org.

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Bad economy, buff body?
Article in yesterday’s Times By MANDY KATZ:

On Wall Street, when the going gets tough, will the tough get yoga mats?

Adding classes in yoga, meditation and other so-called mind-body regimens is just one way fitness professionals in the financial district are responding to recent economic uncertainties roiling their corporate clientele. Some are also offering shorter, cheaper personal training sessions and, in at least one health club, quiet discounts for members who lose their jobs.

Amid layoffs, concerns about staying buff could seem trivial. (Imagine the headline “World Markets Near Collapse: Muscle Tone Under Threat.”) Yet, businesspeople themselves wonder how a perilous financial climate will affect their physical fitness — and if exercise could help them weather hard times.

Staying Healthy in a Sick Economy

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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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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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…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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