Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last day of June

It's the end of June and here's to hoping the end of rainy season in Boston, too!  My tune into June mantra turned out to be just that.  The Sass Factor (the new gal band I'm in) made its debut bringing some mystic pop to Harvard Sq.  Oh yeah.  ;)  And I got to see some great live music...Arms & Sleepers, Johann Johannsson, the Seamonsters to name a few.  It was the perfect time with all the rain to try to go inward and take in your own rhythm.  Now looking to July and a new mantra!  Bring on the summer...

My latest playlist for this end of summer sassiness consists of:
Zee Avi -- she's a wonderful Jack Johnson find from Malaysia, and a ukelele inspiration for me.  Check out her album for sure.

Slow Club -- they are a group from the U.K.  You've heard one tune in commercials I'm sure.  Their album "Let's Fall Back in Love" is great.  

Fanfarlo -- another U.K. (Sigur Ros recommended) band.  They are so fun!  You can get their album for just $1 online through the weekend.  Google them.  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Solstice Yoga Workshop

*Come for yoga fun-filled afternoon to usher in the start of summer! 

My 2nd Workshop in a series of 4 at Karma Yoga Studio.  
Where: 1120 Mass Ave.  Cambridge, MA
When: Saturday, June 20th  2:15pm-4:30pm
Cost: $46 or 25% discount if you're a Karma member.  Drop-in, so just come the day of if you're free.  ;)
We'll integrate and warm-up with a fun, music-filled round of sun salutations, then start breaking down the balancing series of a vinyasa practice. Short break for a spot of tea...then re-convene to work on opening up the hamstrings and legs. (forward folds, pigeons, hanumanasana)
Cool-down, meditate, journal if you'd like, and long savasana.  The Moon will be in Gemini, and it will be a perfect time to reflect on the start of a new, exciting season cycle upon us.  You can bring your intentions and dreams to the mat and breathe life into them.  
All Levels are welcome.  Just dress comfy and bring an open heart.  
Hope to see ya there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fun Music for new Yoga passion

This playlist for recent classes is made up mostly of a Sigur Ros recommended band out of the U.K.  Add in some new Tori, and PB&J and you're set for some fun on the mat.  

1. Fanfarlo:  Good Morning Midnight
2. Fanfarlo: Kist of Whistles
3. Fanfarlo:Hands (demo)
4. Fanfarlo: I'm a Pilot
5. Fanfarlo: Ghosts
6. Peter Bjorn and John: It Don't Move Me
7. Fanfarlo: Luna
8.Fanfarlo: Comets
9. Fanfarlo: Fire Escape
10. Fanfarlo: The Walls are Coming Down
11. Tori Amos: Starling
12. Fanfarlo: Drowning Men 
13. Fanfarlo: If it is Growing
14. Fanfarlo: Harold T. Wilkins, Or
15. Tori Amos:  Fire to your Plain
16. Fanfarlo: Finish Line
17. Fanfarlo: Drowning Men (acoustic)
18. Peter Bjorn & John: Stay this Way
19. Tori Amos: Ophelia
20. Peter Bjorn & John: Last Night
21. Fanfarlo: Acoemeti

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To Music and Yoga

The Gemini Full Moon in Sagittarius on Sunday was all about listening to ourselves and our thoughtful desires so that our own wisdom will lead us to the truth.  It was about making time to listen again.  Funny, then, that my June mantra is all about just that...tuning in!  This was complete coincidence.  Cool.  ;)  With that idea of finding your inner rhythm, there's no better way than music of course.  I'm a little bit music obsessed, yes.  And music is a large part of the yoga experience you will get when you come take a class with me (most times).  Why?  There are many reasons.  
My first real creative outlet as a child of 7 or so was taking piano lessons.  In middle school I played percussion (xylophone and timpani were my favorite).  Eventually as a teenager, sports and other pursuits took precedence of my time but my love for all sorts of music continued to grow and inspire me to no end.  (In fact, I am now playing ukelele, some other percussive instruments, and singing in a newly formed group with my 2 close gal friends!)  
When my best friend introduced me to the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros, about 7 years ago something changed.  I had never before heard music with such emotional, spiritual, physical beauty.  And at that time I was very much into my yoga practice.  I was about to start my teacher training and I was figuring out what lots of things in life meant to me.  I started playing Sigur Ros albums during my home practice and felt new sensations occur in all forms.  And, so I knew that when I decided to teach my own classes I would play music and it would be different.  I chose to center my classes not simply around New Age/Yoga tunes all the time.  But around music from all over the world that inspire me and make me feel something.  To me, music allows us to get out of our heads, to feel what we need to at that moment, to "tune in."  And coordinating those vibes with body movement, plus the mental/spiritual movement in yoga can simply be transforming.  From Sigur Ros, I've opened myself to playing all different artists, but they remain a key sound for my classes, and Iceland is one of my largest sources of inspiration.  Which is why I'll be taking a group of yogis there this September on a Yoga retreat to experience it first hand.  I'll have a post with how to sign up to come, but feel free to e-mail me if you have any immediate questions.  :)

In the latest June issue of Yoga Journal magazine, there is an entire article talking of just this.  It's titled "Let the Music Move You."  I enjoyed this article because it allows for both points of view and gives some nice insight about music and yoga.  I've had both sides of the coin brought up to me about music being played in my class.  What it comes down to is the individual choices of each teacher, and I've found my voice and creative expression through music.  Michael Franti of Spearhead says in the YJ article, "Music can enhance your practice or take you away from examining yourself.  Which is why we practice.  Music, at its best, helps us go deeper within ourselves....combining yoga with music can really open the doors to our hearts, which allows us to release more freely."  Love that.  
You may not always connect to the music played in a class.  And my classes usually embrace some strange stuff at times.  ;)  I only hope that the tunes will help you all open yourselves and tune in to your mats in whichever way that may be for you.  
Check out my old and new playlists to practice to at home, or get creative and make ones that speak to you!  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June mantra: Tune in

Can't believe we're already into June!  Spring is coming to an end and official start to summer is upon us.  It marks such a busy time of year, as I was discussing last month...with all the graduation celebrations, birth of babies, weddings, birthdays, father's day, farmer's markets, and planning vacation time.  I like this new idea of setting a mantra each month, especially to go along with your yoga practice.  So this month I've decided to make my mantra simple again:  Tune in.  What does tuning in mean to me?  Oh, so many things.  Mainly it's the idea of listening to yourself.  As I mention in pretty much every class I teach (sorry if you're sick of hearing it, but it's true...), being aware of yourself and mindful of your breath/movements can be one of the most important things to keep you happy and healthy.  Not just noticing how you feel physically, but also where you're at emotionally and mentally.  Body/mind/spirit go hand in hand.  Both on and off the mat.  It's so easy for us to forget when we're going about our days to notice our reactions to people, situations, the food we eat, our thoughts, etc.  We rush, rush around in our busy schedules and often forget to just notice our breath and be aware (Tune in) to what's going on inside us and around us.  I know I'm guilty of it.  There is hope, however!  All we have to do is remember the mantra to tune in this month and maybe we'll start to notice ourselves more.  It can be part of our yoga practice, as usual.  
And the exciting way to start this?  Fresh, organic, local foods!  Yes, this first weekend in June marks the start to our local farmer's markets here in Somerville/Cambridge.  There is no better way to start to tune in than by creating nourishing meals full of local, fresh nutrients that will recharge you and help you find your body rhythm.  
Some friends of mine have started a beautiful CSA farm in Wrentham, MA (near Patriots Stadium on the way to Providence), called White Barn Farm.  They are having their first roadside stand this coming Saturday morning, June 6th.  I was just there a couple weekend's ago (check out the pics) and it inspired me so much to see these beautiful-spirited people putting their hearts into their land and providing other's with love by cultivating fresh/organic crops.  I'm looking into putting together a yoga/farm picnic day trip, so stay tuned!  
Anyway, if you're not coming to class this Saturday morning and find yourself looking for a fun little journey to gather some nice veggies or plants for your garden for the weekend, then head on down.  
To tuning in and harmonizing in June...