February 2013

Quickie documentary about one of our favorite Los Angeles yoga studios

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Check out this quickie – literally like two minutes long – documentary, featuring Christine Burke, co-owner of Liberation Yoga (voted one of the top 10 yoga studios in Los Angeles, BTW), to get a glimpse into what this gem-of-a studio is all about.

Yoga teachers dish on their pet peeves

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Ever wondered what's behind your yoga teacher's enigmatic smile? We came across this HuffPost article called Yoga-Teacher Secrets: What They Wish They Could Tell You and just had to share it with you.

Guide on living mindfully from Colleen Saidman Yee

General by Colleen Saidman Yee

World-renowned yoga teacher, Colleen Saidman-Yee shares her thoughts and lessons on learning to be present during maha transitions, the time in between of life-changing moments.

Students defend Hilaria Thomas Baldwin in lawsuit

What’s Hot

When news of a student suing yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas Baldwin rocked the yoga world, we thought the student, Spencer Wolff, might be trying to take advantage of Hilaria’s new found celebrity as the wife of Alec Baldwin and that there might be more to the story than originally reported. 

Turns out we were right. Other students in the January 15, 2013 class at Yoga Vida are coming to Hilaria’s aid, claiming Wolff’s accusations are false.

5 tips to make post-baby exercise a success from Kristin McGee


alignyo yoga advisor and yoga teacher to the stars Kristin McGee recently shared 5 tips on how to make post-baby exercise a success for new moms with People magazine.

How to keep toxins out of your home

General by Beliefnet

Make your home as green and clean as possible. Avoid theses toxins to protect you and your family from a toxic takeover.

Plastics: Avoid them!

Whether it is plastic water bottles, wraps or food containers. Use a water filtration system, it avoids the use of plastic water bottles and saves a bunch of money. Use glass food containers to store those leftovers.

Win tickets to the 2013 USA Yoga Asana Championships

What’s Hot

Now, that’s a backbend. Love looking at photos of passionate yogis twist, stretch and bend into yoga poses? Then enter now for a chance to win two tickets to the National Yoga Asana Championships March 1-3 in NYC. All you need to do is send us an email here.

Help support Los Angeles yoga teacher's dream

General by Molly Nourmand

Even superheroes need superheroes sometimes, no? Lady Yoga, Superhero is a comic strip that has been rocking the pages of LA Yoga Magazine since 2010. Los Angeles yoga teacher, Laurie Searle (a.k.a. Lady Yoga), is the creator of this monthly series. Lady's mission is to "bring yoga and fitness to all people regardless of physical or schedule limitations so we can all live our best lives."

Yoga for sexual health: breath of fire


You’ve probably done breath of fire (kapalabhati breathing) in a yoga class before, but did you know this breathing technique can also improve your sex life?

In part two of their Yoga for Sexual Health video series, loveologist Wendy Strgar and yoga teacher Caitlin Young show you how and why to do the breath of fire.

Free class at Sacred Sounds Yoga for alignyo readers


Sacred Sounds Yoga is offering alignyo NYC readers a free class (new students only). Sacred Sounds is one of the few yoga studios in the West Village, but thankfully, it's the perfect neighborhood studio. They offer classes for everyone--there's kids yoga, lunchtime express, tai chi, aerial and ashtanga begins on March 11. To redeem your free class, email the studio here and be sure to mention alignyo. 

Rising Lotus Yoga deal for alignyo LA readers

General by Molly Nourmand

Rising Lotus Yoga is offering one month of unlimited yoga for new students for $30. This is an excellent way to get a taste of this studio and try out as many teachers as possible. Mention "alignyo" to redeem the deal. The offer expires on 3/31/13, so be sure to take advantage of it soon.

Is Budokon coming to your yoga studio?

General by Maya Henderson

If you practice yoga at a studio that doesn’t shy away from fusion styles, you might see Budokon classes pop up on the schedule (if they haven’t already). Budokon is a mind-body exercise that blends yoga, martial arts and circular movement training for one serious workout. In this video for NowThisNews, sensei Derek, a Budokon teacher, says “It’s not yoga. It’s not mixed martial arts. It’s the integration of the two.

Yoga to Help You Boost Your Self Esteem

General by Jessica Bellofatto

I taught a retreat in Tulum, Mexico recently and I had decided the theme would be the chakras. The word chakra means a wheel or a disc, and the seven major chakras are said to be located along the central energy channel in the body, the sushumna nadi. The chakra system is a seven-leveled philosophical model of the universe. The chakras have come to the west through Yoga, which as you yogis know, the word Yoga means to yoke, to unite. Unite what? The individual with the divine, by a process of passing through ever expanding states of consciousness. 

Roundup of outdoor yoga classes in Los Angeles

General by Molly Nourmand

Don't hate us East Coasters, but Punxsutawney Phil's predictions for an early spring are true for us Angelenos. This past week, the temperatures were in the 80s and we noticed pops of color in the form of flowers throughout the city. What does that mean for us? Outdoor yoga is on!

How to Make Vegan Sweet Potato Falafel

General by Ecorazzi

If you take a well-known experience, like the one that is falafel, and make it healthier, more fun, and decidedly unique without losing deliciousness points, why not do it? This recipe is one of those experiences – it’s falafel with sweet potato that is baked and served with a drizzle of tahini.

Chickpea flour is ground up chickpeas. Why do chickpeas glow, you ask?

YogaJack yoga gear for men

What’s Hot

The first men’s yoga gear company, YogaJack, is here. While yoga mats and products for men aren’t new, the folks behind YogaJack think yoga products for men products have been mis-marketed and overpriced. “We want to give guys confidence in the studio by providing them with yoga gear and products that are designed just for them,” says YogaJack marketing officer Mike Foster.

The Vampire Diaries actress does yoga in Los Angeles

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

The Vampire Diaries actress, Grace Phipps, was spotted in the light of day leaving a yoga class in West Hollywood last week. As you can see, the 20-year-old starlet was sucking on a green smoothing. We wonder where she was taking class – City Yoga maybe?

3 ways yoga helps mental disorders


According to an article recently featured in Time magazine called "Yoga and the Mind: Can Yoga Reduce Symptoms of Major Psychiatric Disorders?", yoga can help depression, sleep disorders and ADHD.

Win a healthy getaway to the Oaks at Ojai


Always wanted to go on an all-inclusive healthy getaway with your yoga buddy? alignyo has teamed up with FitFrosting, Peaceful Daily and Healing Lifestyles & Spas to send one lucky reader (and a very lucky friend) on a four-day, three-night stay to The Oaks at Ojai, valued at over $2000.

Can yoga keep kids out of prison?


GOOD has a great feature on the Lineage Project, a New York-based mindfulness practices program that aims to keep kids ages 11-24 out of the criminal court system through Awareness-Based Practices (ABP) like yoga, meditation and life skills. 

Top 3 Life-Wasting Behaviors

General by Beliefnet

If you tend to put things off until the last minute, you might be falling victim to one of these seemingly not so bad habits. Read on for the top 3 life-wasting behaviors and easy ways to become more productive in life.

Astrology meets the Academy Awards: A Los Angeles yoga teacher's Oscar predictions

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

If you're anything like us, all the yoga goes out the window when it comes to Oscar pools. We take our Academy Awards very seriously here in Los Angeles by filling out Oscar ballots before watching the show with friends and putting money in a kitty. We like winning and get very competitive, so we're planning on getting a leg up on this year's pool by going to the Astro Oscars. What's that, you ask?

Hilaria Thomas is being sued

Hot off the mat

Oh. No. Beloved yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas is being sued. We’re shocked—we love Hilaria—and hope this student isn't trying to take advantage of the fact that she’s Mrs. Alec Baldwin. But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend your day off (happy Presidents' Day!) studying yoga law. We’ve got all the details for you and much more. It’s time for Hot off the mat: Legal edition.

You have the right to remain silent while reading this hot yoga news: 

Yoga Shelter Life/Teacher Training discount for alignyo readers

Teacher Training by Molly Nourmand

Yoga Shelter is offering mindfulyogahealth.com subscribers $1,000 off their upcoming Life/Teacher Training (April 27 – May 5) and/or Retreat (May 6 – 12) at the Mar de Jade resort on Chacala Beach in Nayarit, Mexico. Contact Elise to get more details and to signup. Be sure to mention “alignyo” when redeeming the deal, and act fast because the offer expires on 3/15/13. 

GaiamTV's free healthy happy hour event

Local Events - NYC

What’s better than a fun party? A free yoga party, so gather up your asana-loving friends and get ready for GaiamTV’s Healthy Happy Hour on Thursday, February 21 at 6:30PM. The event, held at the cool OM Factory Flight School, features a class led by Chrissy Carter, an AcroYoga demo and eats provided by healthy local restaurants.

Betsey Johnson brings yoga to New York Fashion Week

What’s Hot by Maya Henderson

It’s true, you don’t need designer anything to do yoga. Heck, sometimes you don’t even need a mat, but we just loved these pics from designer Betsey Johnson’s New York Fashion Week show. Betsey brought yoga to the runway to debut her new activewear collection, BJ Kicks A. Models strutted their stuff on hot pink yoga mats while donning Technicolor leggings and accessories that capture Betsey Johnson’s signature bold, playful look.

The Smithsonian's Yoga Exhibit

What’s Hot

Mark your calendars. The Smithsonian museum will unveil the first visual history of yoga exhibit on October 19, 2013. The exhibit, titled Yoga: The Art of Transformation is an in-depth visual look at how yoga has changed over time as its become a global phenomenon.

70-year-old man breaks underwater yoga record


Newsflash: Underwater yoga is a thing and a 70-year-old man just broke the world record for poses performed in 30 minutes. Y. Narasimha Murthy performed 38 Jala Yoga (that’s underwater yoga) postures in 30 minutes at the Saroornagar Stadium, putting him in the World Telugu Book of Records. Murthy was supposed to only do 30 postures in 30 minutes, but you know how it is, when you’re in the moment, you just gotta go with what feels right.

Cultivate Balance: Resources for Encouraging Self Care

General by Spirituality & Health

Take the time to create balance in your life.

Wanderlust announces 2013 summer festival lineup


Start saving those pennies, yogis! Wanderlust Festival recently unveiled its 2013 teaching and music lineups for its summer festival series. Wanderlust returns to Lake Tahoe, Vermont and Colorado and just before summer is over, will be heading to Whistler, BC.

Yoga benefits people with heart problems


There’s nothing like scientific proof touting the benefits of yoga to make our day. A recent study done at the University of Kansas Hospital on the effects of yoga for patients with atrial fibrillation found that yoga helps reduce episodes of irregular heartbeat and improve the symptoms of anxiety often associated with the disease.

Elena Brower on keeping your New Year's Resolutions


How are your New Year’s resolutions coming? If you've strayed a bit from your intentions for 2013, we feel you, which is why we were thrilled to see Elena Brower on Daily Cup of Yoga share her tips and strategies for following through with big-time dreams. Check it out and recommit to make 2013 your best year yet.

Ohio Congressman wants America to meditate


CBS News interviewed Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan about his daily meditation practice and a program he hopes to see implemented in school’s across the country, S.E.L. (social emotional learning).

Los Angeles yoga teacher and the Dalai Lama salute the sun

General by Molly Nourmand

Check out our new favorite yoga video that was recently posted on YouTube. It's of Earth's Power Yoga teacher, Mark Giubarelli, doing sun salutations beside a piece of street art of the Dalai Lama in Hollywood. This makes us want to get up before sunrise and salute the sun.

Cozy Orange eco-conscious yoga apparel


Looking for flattering, comfortable and eco-conscious yoga clothing that will take you from studio to street? Meet Cozy Orange. Designed by yoginis, every piece in the Cozy Orange collection is created to perform in all your yoga and fitness endeavors while also flattering your figure.

Juicing 101: The best and fastest way to infuse nutrition into your body and life

General by Natural Solutions Magazine

There’s a good reason why juicing’s popularity continues to grow among people who have dedicated themselves to a healthy lifestyle—simply put, juicing is the best way to collect massive amounts of nutrients into a cup.

Valentine's Day-related yoga workshops in LA

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

Last week, we brought you a special love-filled newsletter, featuring an evening of Thai massage at Black Dog Yoga that happens this Thursday, and a heart opening yoga workshop at Swerve Studio coming up this Saturday. Here are a few more Valentine's Day-related yoga things to do this week.

6 ways to deal with criticism

General by Beliefnet

Do you feel you are often criticized at work, home, school or even in the yoga studio? Try these tips on how to deal with criticism from Beliefnet.

Yoga for better sex

What’s Hot

Yoga can make everything better—including your sex life. My Yoga Online launched a special Yoga for Better Sex program this month, the video series takes the techniques of yoga (pranayama, asana, bandhas and more) and applies them to enhance the sensual aspects of your physical and metaphysical self. You’ll learn about Tantra, Kundalini and the second chakra while also enhancing intimacy, creativity and your health.

How to Make Your Own Yogurt

General by Greatist.com

How to make your own yogurt at home. 

Yoga helps amputee war vets


After leaving a yoga class disgruntled over not being able to get into the full expression of a certain pose, we were absolutely humbled and put into our place by this article about amputee war vets healing with the help of yoga (via YogaDork). The article discusses the Adaptive Yoga classes at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Krishna Das nominated for a Grammy

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Award season is upon us. Part of living in Los Angeles is that our city gets to host big awards shows – it just comes with the territory – and many stars use yoga to tone up. Last night, the most celebrated musicians got together for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. We were surprised to see that kirtan was welcomed into this mainstream music arena.

Tara Stiles makes fun of yoga stereotypes in her new video

What’s Hot

We couldn’t stop laughing at Tara Stiles poking fun at yoga in her new video for Livestrong Women, Totally Enlightened. Tara, along with Heidi Kristoffer, takes on yoga industry stereotypes and proves she is one yogini who isn’t afraid to laugh at herself. In Tara’s words:

8 yoga moves for the office from Mandy Ingber


Celebrity fitness expert Mandy Ingber, often in the spotlight for being Jennifer Aniston’s yoga teacher (although, she’ll forever have a place in our hearts for her rapping role in Teen Witch), shares 8 Easy Yoga Moves You Can Do at Work with E! Online. If you tend to sit for long periods of a time, definitely try these yoga for the office stretches from Mandy.

Partner yoga inspiration from LA's sexy couple

General by Molly Nourmand

A couple that practices yoga together stays together, right? Well, it seems to be working for LA yoga teachers Dice Iida-Klein and Briohny Smyth who wowed us with their elegant, Acroyoga pas de deux last year. You probably won't see more steamy videos or partner yoga photos of Bri and Dice anytime soon since they're expecting a baby boy this year.

Woman suing Pure Yoga over masturbating employee

What’s Hot

There are very few things that can kill our yoga high, but we definitely think this could. A woman is suing Pure Yoga because she claims an employee entered the yoga studio while she was in savasana and began to masturbate.

New yoga studio opens up in Silverlake

General by Molly Nourmand

We just got wind of a new yoga studio that opened on the Eastside called One Down Dog. We haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but it looks like a really fresh place. Founders Jessica Rosen and Chelsea Vespa (both Michigan natives, BTW) are delighted that their dream of opening a yoga studio/wellness center has come into fruition.

How good is quinoa?

General by Ethical Ocean

Quinoa is a great option for those on a plant-based diet, but does our love of the complex protein have unintended consequences?

From time to time I catch myself sounding incredibly smug about my diet. My choice to ditch dairy and meat was motivated entirely by a desire to improve my overall health. It was a 100% selfish decision. Yet the side effects of doing all kinds of good for the environment and animals are brag-worthy, right?

The Nike Studio Wrap

Style by Maya Henderson

At the beginning of 2013, we told you that Nike was unveiling a shoe that might just revolutionize the way people practice yoga: the Nike Studio Wrap.

Win a $750 Healthy Food Prize


We know how important a healthy diet is to stay energized and at your best on and off the mat, so alignyo is hooking one reader up with the ultimate healthy prize package: $500 worth of Vega products and a $250 Vegan Cuts shopping spree. Ready for a delicious and easy way to eat a healthy, plant-based diet? Get the details below.  

Demi Moore frequents Russell Brand's LA yoga center

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Never a dull moment in the LA yoga scene when it comes to actor Russell Brand: According to the latest interview with him in The Sun newspaper, his $1.5 million LA home has been converted into a yoga center. He reported: ''The yoga center I had been going to sacked our instructor (we think he’s referring to Tej), so I have moved everyone into my house.” Recently divorced actress Demi Moore is one of Russell's regular guests in his home.

Recipe: Vegan Carrot and Avocado Soup with Fruit Relish

General by Mareya Ibrahim

A vegan soup from Eat Cleaner that's full of color. 

I’m a big believer you eat with your eyes first, then your nose, then your mouth – and this soup hits all the marks!  It’s a real crowd pleaser because it’s something that everyone can enjoy - vegan, gluten-free and full of antioxidants. 

3 airports with yoga rooms


Flying the friendly skies soon? Don't forget your yoga travel mat and make sure you schedule in enough time to hit a yoga class at the airport. Three airports now have yoga rooms to help travelers decompress, stretch and calm down before or after a flight.

What are the environmental costs of health food?

General by Greatist.com

What are the environmental and ethical implications of eating health food?

LA yoga practitioner's new TV show premieres tonight

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

We’re not the only yogi who frequents Jenny Brill’s class at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks – so does Sarayu Rao. Who’s that, you ask? She plays Dr. Sydney Napur in the new TV show called Monday Mornings, which premieres on TNT tonight. Not only can this multitalented woman act, but she also has a super strong anusara practice (we’ve seen her rock a mean one-handed handstand thankyouverymuch).

Yoga and the Super Bowl

Hot off the mat

Viewers got a natural breather during Super Bowl XLVII when the lights in the New Orleans Superdome went out. A little break to bring us back to earth after Beyonce's performance? Did she blow a fuse - literally? Who knows, but it does turn out that many of those who were on the field use yoga as a way to prepare, strengthen and get focused for the big game. 

The New Orleans Superdome meets super yoga:

The 2013 Bent on Learning Gala

Local Events - NYC by Liz Eustace

We had the amazing priviledge to be at the Bent on Learning Gala held at the gorgeous Christie's auction house on January 29, 2013 and it was truly a transformative evening.

GODA Yoga exclusive discount for alignyo LA readers

General by Molly Nourmand

The ad for GODA Yoga's upcoming teacher training caught our eye when Claudia Fucigna first posted it on Facebook last month. Who knew going back to yoga school could be that appealing? She and Kate Duyn-Cariati
bring a wealth of experience to the table, perhaps enticing you yogis out there who are contemplating teaching yoga.

Free class at ISHTA Yoga for alignyo NYC readers


After reading our interview with ISHTA Yoga founder Alan Finger and our review of Sarah Platt-Finger’s Basic Vinyasa class, are you ready to roll out your mat at the studio's Upper East Side or Downtown location? Good, because all alignyo New York readers get a free class at ISHTA.

Urban Asanas opens in Crown Heights


Great news for all you Brooklyn yogis! Urban Asanas is your new yoga hookup. Located in Crown Heights, Founder Jyll Hubbard-Salk’s new studio is all about bringing yoga to the city in a real, diverse, and applicable way. “Breath + Beats” is the motto of this studio, so you can expect a killer playlist in all your vinyasa, Kundalini and Restorative classes. Be sure to follow the Urban Asanas facebook page for updates on their evolving schedule.