Arm Balance & Inversion Lab




Inversion & Arm Balance Lab

The 1st Friday of every month from 7:30-9:30pm

@ One Down Dog
Join me in exploring an array of arm balances and inversions in a “lab” style format. Two hours of instruction, laughter, experimentation and fun! Learn about anatomy, the energetic qualities of the body and explore your edge. Each lab will illuminate different themes and poses. 

Living a Conscious Life

We all come to yoga for different reasons, whether it’s to help calm you, to get the bikini body you’ve been dreaming about or because your friend dragged you. It doesn’t really matter actually, you got there so that’s where your path really begins.
The practice of yoga is ultimately a practice of expanding your consciousness, the state of being awake and aware. You’ll begin to notice this in your body like how after yoga, you feel a bit taller, you suddenly have the ability to spread your toes and you know where your sit bones are. You will no longer experience energy lulls or the pervasive achy back. Soon you’ll begin experience it in decisions you make, you may find yourself craving (or at least being curious about) kale salads, juice cleanses, and how to eat better. This awareness will keep rippling outward in your life.
The practice of yoga and a conscious life allows you to distinguish between reaction and response. This wisdom came through from a teacher of mine Elena Brower recently. When an event occurs that triggers anger, pain, etc you have a surge of reaction based on what our experience has been in the past, it’s something you don’t even think about it just comes out, it just happens, you are re-acting. In this moment you are to remain conscious and to respond in a way that inspires a finer way of being, where instead of an instinctual reaction a conscious response is developed. In yogic philosophy this is part of identifying samskaras (negative habit patterns) by reacting consciously we are breaking the cycle which will lead you to the path of liberation. More and more scientists are beginning to take interest and study the effects of yoga on the brain and they have found that yoga allows us to continue to develop the frontal lobe that is the part of the brain which contains the “higher functions of the brain” such as distinguishing between good and bad actions, allows us to plan and see the future implications of our thoughts and decisions. 
Being conscious of our efforts in every moment include clear, open and loving communication, without making assumption or asserting judgment. This conscious responding takes effort and practice, when you slip and react in a way that is not supporting your higher consciousness the remedy is to apologize.  Forgiving ourselves and others also requires and promotes the conscious way of being.
I encourage you to mediate on the idea of conscious response vs. instinctual reaction and leave your comments below…


The deep breath experiment

Have you ever experienced a moment of stress, where the world feels like it’s caving in, where you can feel the weight of the world crushing your chest? You know, where the world spins and you’re completely overwhelmed and swept under? I have. And although I practice (and preach) this regularly, sometimes I forget… take a deep breath.
Here’s the thing about your breath, body and energy field- it affects you (deeply and profoundly!) but it also affects everyone around you. Have you ever been around someone anxious and negative and you started feeling the same way? You began to diminish your own light and shrink to the other energy level. Well, this energy works both ways.  Try this experiment, next time you’re in close proximity to someone tightly wound take a nice loud ujjayi breath in and out- I bet you they’ll follow suit and do the same. You are such a super powerful, divine being- allow your light to shine. 
I love this poem by Marianne Williamson, I know it nearly by heart and recite it to myself regularly….

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Ahimsa means Compassion

Ahimsa- literally translated as the avoidance of harming. To me Ahimsa is much more then the avoidance of harming and that really I apply it to all actions. A good mantra and thought for this is the Loka chant:  
May all beings everywhere, be happy peaceful and free. And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all. 
Another really important way to think about ahimsa is directing it to yourself. Do not harm yourself. Do you have a critical and self deprecating thought pattern? Practice ahimsa by radically changing your inner dialogue through self affirmation and reminding yourself to keep coming back to the present moment, don’t get lost in the mind chatter . Do you take your yoga practice too far? Listen to your body, when it hurts back off. The real yoga practice happens when you learn to listen to your inner guidance and chill out when you need to- child’s pose is your friend. 
Have you had an experience where you have practiced this in your own life? I would love to hear about it- leave it in the comment section below!
Here is a sneak peak of themes in the weeks to come: 
Yamas: ethics and morality
1. Ahimsa- non-violence and compassion
2. Satya- truth
3. Asteya- non-stealing
4. Brahmacharya- sense control 
5. Aparigraga- neutralizing the desire for hoarding and greed
Niamas: observances
1. Saucha- cleanliness
2. Santosha- contentment
3. Tapas- disciplined use of energy and heat
4. Svadhyaya- self-study
5. Ishvarapranidhana- surrender to the divine

Why Private Yoga?

private session 2I practiced yoga for years before ever having a private class. I remember the first time I had a private session with my mentor in teacher training she asked what I wanted to work on, I said “core, I don’t know if I’m using my core correctly”- and guess what I wasn’t. In fact I wasn’t using it at all! We went through several yoga poses, in each pose I was using every muscle in my body EXCEPT my core! Strong back, strong legs, strong arms, whatever it took so that I could avoid using my center. Well she changed all that, I was sore for a week but had a complete core awakening. It brought my attention to a place in my practice where there had been a blind spot. This same teacher worked with me on a restorative practice that, to this day, I almost fully practice for eliminating my anxiety (it was pretty high at that time) and increasing my flexibility (I haven’t always been able to touch my toes!). Do you have a blind spot in your practice?
Why private sessions might be right for you:
-You don’t feel flexible and are intimidated by group classes
-You feel confused about alignment and proper form- we can break down the basics!
-You feel out of shape and want to get back into your body
-You have a challenging injury (injuries) and would do anything to get back to normal
-You can never get enough of those delicious adjustments in class!
-You prefer yoga in your own home
-You want help developing a home practice routine
This is truly my passion in yoga, connecting with people and resolving problems and questions. If any of the above questions resonated with you let’s talk about doing a private summer session.
private session pic 1

Lululemon Ambassador Summit

5 things I learned at the Lululemon Ambassador Summit
1. Trust yourself and stay in there. When I am acting fully from trust I am amazing and powerful, you are too. 
2. Be vulnerable, be open. Share yourself with others, they’ll share themselves with you too- none of us are alone, ever. 
3. Keep it above the line. (find me and ask me about this one). Surround yourself with people who are positive and share in wonderment with you. 
4. Be clear, be specific, be proud. Without regard for judgment or fear, be who you are, demand what it is you want- then make it/let it happen. 
5. Be unreasonable, be bold. Going from mediocre to great requires that you be bold and unreasonable, here’s a hint- start by saying yes to yourself!


New Moon

Time to break new ground in your life!

UnknownThe new moon is a powerful time to set intentions, resolutions, and make changes to your health and lifestyle. It represents the beginning of the cycle, the full moon represents the culmination of the effort. If you are a gardener this is a great time to plant seedlings, and if you are a yogi you’ll plant the seeds (bija) in the mind). Choose an intention today that you can look back in two weeks (during the full moon) and see a change or difference. It doesn’t have to be a big thing (although it can be!) often I choose a quality that I’m trying to cultivate in myself. Last year I attended a sacred new moon ceremony in Topanga Canyon and set the intention of getting really clear with my voice, confident, and strong. As a chronically shy child growing up, my default is to withdraw and be quiet. In the ceremony we were asked to choose something you would be able to notice a change at the next full moon, I thought no way would a change come that fast. But it did, for 2 weeks I noticed tension releasing from my jaw, my ability to speak truth becoming more and more clear. I’d like to offer up this same opportunity to you- what are you willing to ask of yourself and the universe?

From YogAstrology:

The time to break new ground in your life has arrived.
(On April 10), this undiluted life force energy returns even 
more powerfully, with an Aries New Moon—just one degree away from the Mars-Venus conjunction. 
Five planets will be in Aries, adding massive energetic support to your new beginning. 
How to Make the Most of the Aries New Moon
Use the time between now and then to get clear about what’s blocking your path. Clear the dead weight from your mind, your heart, and your life! 
Even if you don’t know how, let the Universe know you’re willing.” Star Sister

Top 3 Favorite Yoga Mats


Top 3 Favorite Yoga Mats + a few helpful tips

Your yoga mat is one of the only equipment purchases you’ll need to make when entering your practice. And compared to other sports and activities, it’s a pretty minimal one! I am asked a lot what my opinion is on mats and which is the best, well here it is- my top 3 favorites:

Jade Yoga
Great for: Taking your down dog deeper
Not so great for: Too squishy for tender/injured wrists
Price: $54-$84 at
I started practicing on a mat that I’d bought at TJ Max for $5 and there’s nothing wrong with that! I had a wellness dividend from the corporate job I was working and had to spend another $70 in order to reach my reimbursement amount so I bought a Jade mat and was shocked at what a difference it made! Jade is made from pure and natural rubber go it’s really grippy and squishier then your regular mat. This allows you to really press in with your hands and create more traction and leverage. It’s also a bit softer on the knees. Beware that you will need to follow very specific mat cleaning instructions, very light cleaning is recommended and never leave it in the sun.
Great for: If you want your mat to last forever
Not so great for: sweaty practices, too slippery
Price: $48-100 at
I am using a Manduka mat for the very first time and I have to admit, I get what all the hype is about. They make high quality mat that lasts forever. Included in your purchase is one free “mat cleaning” and a lifetime warrantee on their pro series. They are firm, durable, and come in great colors as well as different lengths. Last year I was healing from a wrist injury I learned that having an extra firm mat like this was essential for the healing process. If you practice a form of yoga that makes your sweat, I recommend a towel from to go on top.
Great for: Sweaty practices
Not so great: larger and heavier then your regular mat
Price: $48-$68 at
I love my “the mat” by lululemon and use it for my home practice. It’s about 2 inches wider than any other mat so I feel like I have a bit more space. One one side there is a rubbery, grippy texture (great for slow hatha) and on the other side is a more refined surface that is equally smooth and sticky enough that you won’t slip, it also mysteriously absorbs sweat and moisture (perfect for hot yoga). I practice on both sides depending on what I’m doing. They make a variety of different kinds of mats but “the mat” is my favorite, it’s heavy which makes it great for home practice or to a studio with a short walk and a good mat strap. I remember the first time I got out of my car to practice with this mat, I knocked the outside of my rear view mirror off. It’s a serious mat!
My Yoga Mat Tips-
+ Is your new mat slippery? Providing your mat is not porous rubber (like jade) use a solution with water and a bit of vinegar and wipe of the sticky film that is on almost every new yoga mat.
+ Are you extra tall? Almost every mat company makes a version in extra long.
+If you’re using a mat from a yoga studio or gym, please consider getting your own. Although they clean those mats, it’s just better to sweat on your own stuff.
+Curious what to do with your old mat? Repurpose it!
20 Ways to repurpose your old yoga mat



Say what’s in your heart

Hi Yogis,

I recently worked with Deep Step Studios to put together this short preview. It was really fun! I was asked to put together  a 30 second introduction about myself and yoga. Easy, right? I spent a long time trying to sum up yoga and what I teach, turns out that it’s not that one dimensional and not that easy. And it certainly doesn’t fit into 30 seconds! Ultimately it turned out that I get incredibly nervous trying to follow a script, we scrapped the whole thing and I just said what was in my heart. And isn’t that the truth, that we often stifle our own creativity and retrain our innate authenticity from truly shining through. It’s a common theme in my life and my teaching, this Martha Graham quote sums it up well:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.




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