Operation Shanti Yoga Fundraiser Shout Out!

Teachers at The Operation Shanti FundraiserThis post is really looooooong overdue and I apologize!

I wanted to post to acknowledge the amazing-ness that transpired in March for the Operation Shanti Yoga Fundraiser! (To view a photo album of the event click HERE or click on Garth’s name to view another album on his facebook page)

My good friend and yoga teacher Garth Hewitt has taken it up the commendable task of holding yoga fundraisers to build an orphanage for underprivileged children in Mysore, India!

I feel really honored that I was one of the teachers that he chose to be a part of this event. The other incredible teachers were  Suzy Nece , Jo TastulaJulie Rader ,Genevieve Fischer , Marla Wedge , Greville Henwood
and himself Garth Hewitt.


There were also a lot of others who put in a lot of time, energy and love into the fundraiser they include  Greta Recinto-Casino (organizer) Michael Jammerz Callon (DJAlex Yogitoes (Yogitoes, and organizer) Karen Komenkul (organizer) Hale Davis (photographer) Susan Singer (Yoga Earth), Nu (organizer, … think I spelled her name wrong) and the Manduka team (donated yoga mats and goodies) and many more that I don’t know their names.

The event was amazing! We had around 85 students that came (or that is what I counted anyways) and managed to raise over $8,000.00 to go towards building a new orphanage for these adorable children!

Afterwards there was a healthy shot of vitamins from Yoga Earth (beats jagermeister any day) and then a raffle and a live auction. I want  to give a shout out to some of my wonderful and incredibly generous friends who came through with donations!

Operation Shanti Yoga Fundraiser. Photo of students taking Yoga Earth shot

Thanks to all of my talented friends…

Josh Gil who auctioned off a dinner for 7 where he takes you to the farmers market helps you choose ingredients and then cooks for you and 7 of your lucky friends. He also gave away two tickets to Supper Liberation Front which is a Los Angeles based collective of professional chefs who offer one four-course menu for $35 at an unknown location in LA. The menu changes weekly.

Leelu Morris who contributed an all day photo shoot session. I just did my second shoot with her and she is so fantastic to shoot with!

Raffle items at the Operation Shanti Yoga Fundraiser Event

Jennifer Paquette with EV Vintage clothing, she donated several super soft yummy pieces of her clothing line. (and even gave me a piece for myself!)

Seda Aksut who gave a Reiki healing session. I am looking forward to doing a session as well one of these days!

Frank Gjata with Conscious, Ink a temporary way to wear your personal positive intentions! Here is an earlier post about Frank and what he does Get a Tattoo and Change Your Point of View

Students getting ready for some yoga at the Operation Shanti Yoga FundraiserJasper Johal contributed a beautiful piece of art, that was a popular auction item.

Robert Sturman blessed us with some of his amazing art, I gotta admit I was a little jealous of the person who went home with the praying monks!

In closing, I know some of you weren’t able to attend, but not to worry, Garth is having two more fundraiser before the close of the year! Below I have included Garth’s contact info and link to his website if you are interested in attending, participating in and way or have an item or service you would like to contribute to the auction or raffle!

Garth Hewitt at the Operation Shanti Yoga Fundraising Event
To get involved or stay up to date on the next fundraiser contact Garth Hewitt
By e-mail: mail@garthhewittyoga.com
Phone: 310-800-8614
Sign up for Garth’s newsletter HERE

“Happy Hanuman!” New Full Length Online Yoga Class on Yogis Anonymous Website

Angela Kukhahn in Fallen Angel yoga arm balance. Photo by Jim Knowles
Hi Yogis,
As most of you already know I am now streaming LIVE every Sunday from the Yogis Anonymous website from 8-9:30am (Pacific Time).
Here is a LINK to the newest full length online Yoga Class via the Yogis Anonymous website!
This class is all about hamstrings, sweat and flow! You will start out in a forward fold, progress through some creative, hip opening B Sun Salutes and finish the flow with a supported Hanumanasana (splits). We then top it all off with inversion playtime, backbend variations and sweet savasana!
I used my new vinyasa yoga Playlist No. 9 for this class. (Click ing the link will take you to my previous post with the names of the songs)  Or click on this link to go directly to my  PING playlist on itunes!
Photo by Jim Knowles

Yoga Music: Vinyasa Yoga Playlist No. 9 “Happy Hanuman”(with Link to itunes PING Playlist)

yoga hand mudra
Here is a new vinyasa yoga music playlist! It’s a dreamy mix of alternative, electronic, and world beats! Get entire playlist by clicking on this link to itunes PING playlist.
1. Narayana/For Your Love   Krishna Das
2. Beauty In the World   Macy Gray
3. Freedom   Akon
4. Sun  Caribou 
5. Express Yourself (Mocean Worker Remix)  Charles Wright & The Watts

6. 15 Step   Radiohead
7. Ghosts (Single Edit)   Ladytron
8. Skin On the Drum   Michael Franti & Spearhead
9. Natural Blues (Lulu Rouge Vs. Stella Polaris Remix)   Moby
10. There, There    Radiohead
11. Blank Slate     The National
12. Conversation 16   The National
13. Charity Case   Gnarls Barkley
14. Dream About Me (iTunes Originals Version)   Moby
15. Surround Me With Your Love (Mental Overdrive Remix)   3-11 Porter
16. Radiohead – Lotus Flower (The King of Limbs)   At the Piano 
17. ILU (Phantogram Remix)    School of Seven Bells
18. Waters of Life / Sacral    Jonathan Goldman

The Gunas, Yoga Philosphy and Your Yoga Practice

What Do The Gunas Have To Do With Your Yoga Practice? 

Yoga philosphy says that all of creation is made up of three energies or the three Gunas. We can see these energies at work in the ways in which we approach our practice and life.

The three energies are Tamas (heavy energy), Rajas (fiery energy) and Sattvas (balanced energy).

The yogi should avoid the fearful attitude of the Tamasic nature, and demanding attitude of the Rajasic nature. The third Guna however is the serene Sattvic nature in which  you are showing up in your yoga practice and in your life doing your best, and then letting go of the results.

Is it with fear? Doubt? Complacency?

The attitudes with which we approach our yoga practice are the same attitudes that show up in our life.

What can you learn from your yoga practice about the ways in which you are moving through your life?

Do you notice a pattern of liking only the things that you feel you are good at, or do you gravitate to things that are really hard all the time?

Are you the type that as my friend Marysia says “When the going gets tough, you take child’s pose“, or are you on the opposite side of the equation and you like to push, punish and muscle your way through every yoga practice trying to grasp the next pose?

Somewhere in the middle there is a balance between the two.

All of creation is made up of three energies or the three Gunas.

The three energies are Tamas, Rajas and Sattvas.

The yogi should avoid the fearful attitude of the Tamasic nature, and demanding attitude of the Rajasic nature. The third Guna however is the serene Sattvic nature in which  you are showing up in your yoga practice and in your life doing your best, and then letting go of the results.

What do you most look forward to in your yoga practice?

What do you find yourself dreading?

Do you love the heart-quickening Sun Salutes, yet loathe letting go in Savasana?

These realizations can offer deep insight into what is happening beyond just the yoga poses.

I like inversions the best, because they require a level of faith that is exhilarating and helps me believe in the limitless potential inside of me.

It wasn’t always that way however. I was absolutely terrified of going upside down. I told myself that I didn’t want to. In truth, didn’t believe I was capable.

I approached my practice with fear, shame, and a feeling that I wasn’t worthy.

Inversions were for people stronger than me.

Does any of this sound familiar?

As in,”since I think I will suck at this and completely embarrass myself, I will decide to not even try?” I think we all have done that once or twice.

It’s sad. It crams us into a tiny box of limited potential.

We clip our own wings so nobody else has to.

It took me four years and a good kick in the sitting bones from the people at the Yogaworks TT to get me upside down the first time.

It was scary. I wanted to cry. Too late.Two other girls beat me to the waterworks. Since crying seemed played out at that point I sucked it up and kicked up into my first handstand.

I did it!

I felt limitless!

A strength began to grow inside me.

If I had the courage to do handstand,  who knew what else I was capable of?!

Probably just about anything I figured as I dangled upside down, seeing things literally and figuratively from a whole new perspective.

So here is a little push from me to take the leap out of your comfort zone and see what happens.

Approach your yoga practice with curiosity, and then watch what happens in your life.

Yoga Inspiration: Advanced Yoga Demo with Heather Seiniger

Hey yogis! If you are like me  you believe that anything is possible with a little faith, courage and hard work (tapas/practice) First of all though you need to start with some inspiration!

Luckily for me living in Santa Monica I am surrounded by a ton of inspiring yogis, yoginis, teachers and downright gurus!

Here is some yoga inspiration for today! Watch as local Yogaworks teacher trainer Heather Seiniger demonstrates the advanced yoga transition Crow Pose (Bakasana) to Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) back to Crow Pose (Bakasana) to  low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana) and through the vinyasa.

If you would like to master these transitions here is the most logical way to go about it:

1. Learn Crow Pose

2. Learn to jump back from Crow to low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)

3. Corework, Corework, Do a boatload of boat pose (Navasana), and half boat Ardha Navasana…everyday!

4. Learn Handstand (Watch my tutorials on handstand to get a good start and start practicing the actions of handstand in every pose!

5. Practice lowering to crow from handstand (use a yoga strap on your upper arms just above the elbows so your arms don’t splay out!) Just mastered this thanks to my teacher Krista Cahill  and I am so stoked!

6. Practice scooping your hips under, squeezing the knees to the midline and pressing into your hands to life back up to handstand. (You will prob need someone to help you with this by spotting you. Use your yoga strap! I am currently working on this myself, so far just a lift off, but not all the way up on my own.

7. Believe in yourself and of course practice, practice, practice! Good Luck!

Yoga Quiz: What Do You Like To Listen To During Yoga?

“Heavenly Hips and Core” Full Length Online Yoga Class Via Yogis Anonymous Website

Yogis Anonymous online videos get mention in magazine
Here is a link to my online yoga class Class is ALL LEVELS Vinyasa Flow emphasis on plenty of core, hip-opening and sprinkled with some tasty inversions! Enjoy!
Check out SHAPE magazine, they ran an article about great online yoga sources and Yogis Anonymous was right at the top!