December 2013

The Natural Health Urban Wellness Retreat

Local Events - LA

Whew! We survived the holidays! Now it’s time to relax, unwind and focus on making this year your healthiest and happiest yet. Join us for the Natural Health Urban Wellness Retreat on Saturday, January 11. Beginning at 9am, it’s a day full of seminars, fitness classes and free samples to boost your mind, body and spirit. Come meet alignyo and hit the mat with us, get a mini natural makeover and leave with a great goodie bag. This is how you start a new year.

Ring in the New Year at Jivamukti NYC

Local Events - NYC

The Jivamukti Yoga NYC New Year’s Eve event has become a tradition for some of New York’s most dedicated yogis. It’s not your typical flow, sweat and go NYE workshop. It’s an entire evening full of asana (with Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life), a vegan dinner, kirtan dance party and mauna (silent reflection), and it ends with an inspirational message for 2014 from Sharon and David. Reflect, move, dance and live your yoga. 

Spa at home: Winter Patchouli Bath Soak

General by Charlynn Avery

What’s an easy way to warm up, relax and soothe sore muscles? Try taking a bath. Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery shares tips and a recipe for a winter essential oil patchouli bath soak. Keep reading for how to create an amazing spa at home. 

Baths provide an opportunity to soothe aches and pains, nourish dry skin, and warm up muscles. Depending on what you’d like to get out of your spa at home time, you can choose essential oils to use on their own or in combination with others to deliver a specific benefit.

Happy holidays from alignyo


From all of us here at team alignyo, we wish you a happy holiday season. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2014 full of yoga breakthroughs, deep cleansing breaths and mindfulness, on and off the mat. Namaste.

A Christmas poem for yogis


We just had to share this yoga version of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ from YogaDownload. Happy holidays!

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the home, Not a yogi was stirring, not even an OM.

The yoga mats were rolled by the chimney with care,

In hopes there would be 20 minutes to spare. 

The children were nagging, not going to bed,

What your favorite winter indulgence says about you


Our friends at Blisstree are back with a very scientific (no, it’s not scientific at all) look at what your favorite winter indulgences say about you. Check out what they have to say below. Does this sound like you?

New Year's Eve events at LA yoga studios

Local Events - LA

Wanna do something memorable this New Year’s Eve? On the last day of this month and this year, you can burn off 2013 and kick start your 2014 intentions by stepping on your mat – instead of into a pair of heels. Check out our round up of NYE “parties” – yoga-style.

New Year's Eve events at Los Angeles yoga studios:  

Liberation Yoga’s Annual New Year’s Eve Workshop

Tuesday, December 31st from 9:30pm til midnight

Cost: $50

Liberation Yoga

Vegan and Gluten-Free Walnut Macaroons

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

These vegan and gluten-free Walnut Macaroons from Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul hit the spot when you want something light and sweet. They also make a great last-minute holiday gift. Simply wrap them up in a festive tin and spread the joy.

Jenné says: “When you make these macaroons you're in for a serious treat. Equal parts crispy, crunchy, and chewy, these have got to be some of the most satisfying cookies I've ever made.” 

Natural Curves of the Spine Workshop at YogaWorks Union Square

Local Events - NYC

We know you’ve been busy giving and gifting this season, but you don’t want to miss the Natural Curves of the Spine Workshop at YogaWorks Union Square on Saturday. The workshop is taught by our yoga homegirls, Joyce and Tracey of Breathe Repeat. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of your spine, learn how to protect yourself in extreme poses and how to be mindful of your spine in everyday life.

Essential oils for energy through the holidays

General by Charlynn Avery

Feeling a little sluggish? Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery suggests trying these essential oils for energy and shares a simple recipe for an energizing essential oil holiday blend below. 

Eric Paskel: Gratitude

General by Eric Paskel
As we head into the holiday season and the New Year, it’s 
important to remember all the things you have to be 
grateful for. We wanted to share Yoga Shelter founder 
Eric Paskel’s timely and inspiring words on Gratitude. 
"Gratitude is heaven itself" -- William Blake   
Gratitude can be defined and understood as the only possible<

Chicago's O'Hare Airport gets a yoga room


Good news for holiday travelers making their way to the Midwest. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport now has a yoga room. O’Hare is the fourth airport in the country to offer travelers a place to relax, unwind, stretch and quiet the mind before heading off to their final destination. 

Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes with Superfoods


This is our idea of getting into the spirit of the season. We love this roundup of Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes with Superfoods. Get your chia seeds, quinoa flour and green tea and start baking. 

Superfoods let us pretend whatever we’re eating is ultra healthy. So if we put superfoods into Christmas Cookies, we can pretend they have magical properties and aren’t bad for the body at all. Santa Claus, grown-ups and children alike will flip for healthy superfood cookies.

5 tips for healthy knees

General by Breathe Repeat

Your knees are precious and it’s important to be mindful of your knee alignment in everything from yoga to simply walking down the street. Here, Breathe Repeat shares 5 tips for healthy knees from yoga teacher Carrie Owerko.

When it comes to keeping your knees healthy, let’s first remember that: Yoga is integration.

Vegan Caramelized Onion Cornbread Recipe

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

Here’s a tasty vegan cornbread recipe from chef Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul to serve alongside your favorite cold weather soups and stews. This delicious Caramelized Onion Cornbread would go perfect with a big bowl of hearty black bean chili. Jenné suggests making the caramelized onion ahead of time.

Caramelized Onion Vegan Cornbread

Makes 12 muffins or a standard 9x9 baking pan

Yoga teacher Annie Carpenter is leaving Los Angeles for the Bay Area

Local Events - LA

After imparting her wisdom to countless Los Angeles yoga classes for the past 20 years, beloved teacher’s teacher, Annie Carpenter, is relocating to the Bay Area in the new year. Don’t fret – she'll continue to offer her trademark SmartFLOW teacher trainings at Exhale in Venice, which has been her “home” for the past four years. Want more Annie? Read our Q&A with her.

YogaWorks Soho and Urban Zen Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser

Local Events - NYC

This is a great time of year to give to those in need. Yogaworks Soho and the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program are joining forces to do just that. This weekend, they’ll host two events to raise money for Filipino children with disabilities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The best essential oils for holiday stress

General by Charlynn Avery

The pace of the holiday season tends to be hectic, which can easily cause you to get stressed out. Try slowing down and relieving stress with essential oils. Here, aromatherapist Charlynn Avery shares the best essential oils for holiday stress.

If you want an effective and all natural way to deal with holiday stress, try using essential oils. Several essential oils come to mind when thinking of slowing down a bit this time of year. These oils calm us, help us transition to sleep at the end of a busy day, soothe our spirits, and can bring us peace when we need it most.

5 of the hardest things yoga taught me


Be where you are.

“It’s okay to be where you are,” he said, as we attempted Forearm Stand. I’d been kicking up into Pincha Mayurasana for as long as I could remember, and yet, this night, we were instructed to glide forward and lift up. No kicks, no problem.

One problem: I couldn’t do it.

Be where you are,” he repeated.

Crow Pose: The mythology behind Bakasana


“We often think of Bakasana as Crow Pose, but it more accurately translates to Crane Pose.”

What is Kapalabhati?

Yoga Lifestyle by Breathe Repeat

Have you ever been confused when your yoga teacher suddenly announces that the class will be doing a round of kapalabhati breathing? You’re not alone. Our friends at Breathe Repeat asked yoga teacher Richard Rosen to explain what exactly the kapalabhati breathing and water cleansing techniques are and why they are important.

Fruits & vegetables in season in December


Winter isn’t considered the time of year for an abundance of colorful and flavorful fruits and veggies, but you’d be surprised by what’s in season right now. Check out this list of fruits and vegetables in season in December from Blisstree.




Belgian Endive

Bok Choy


Brussels Sprouts





Celery Root


Collard Greens










alignyo in the NYT, and is Lindsay Lohan meditating?

Hot off the mat

Let’s take a break from the holiday festivities and talk about what’s going on in the yoga world, shall we? First, the New York Times reached out to alignyo founder Liz Eustace for her expert opinion on a hot style of yoga. Oh, and which troubled celeb may be cleaning up her act with a little mat time? Get the scoop below. 

5 stretches for when you've eaten too much


It’s the season of overeating and overdoing it at holiday parties. Next time you go crazy on the holiday cookies, try these five stretches for when you’ve eaten too much from our friends at Blisstree.

After you feast, you may experience a number of feelings: happiness, warmth, gratitude, sleepiness, exceptional discomfort, full…If you ate way too much and you hate the way your body feels, we have a few tips to mollify your pain. Unbuttoning your pants will only do so much.

24 things your yoga teacher is dying to tell you

General by Breathe Repeat

We just had to share this blog, "Your Yoga Teacher’s Inner Monologue", from our pals at Breathe Repeat. It’s insightful and pretty funny!

Ever wonder what’s going on In your yoga teacher’s mind? Here are 24 things your yoga teacher is DYING to tell you.  (But probably won’t.)

Fitness quotes that are actually motivating


We recently featured Fitspo, inspirational fitness quotes, that send a dangerous message, but now our friends at Blisstree have found fitness quotes that are actually motivating. Check out two of our favorites below.

We managed to find 10 actually motivating fitspiration quotes on Pinterest. Sure, it took longer than finding the eye-roll inducing stuff, but we figured it out.

Make water kefir for healthy digestion

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

If you overdid it over the holidays or struggle with digestion, check out these tips from vegan chef Jenné Claiborne on how to get healthy digestion. Plus she shares a recipe for vegan water kefir. 

Cancer patients get a Yoga Prescription

Local Events - LA

While mainstream yoga classes cater to the flexible and fit, Alison Crowley and Kathleen Ross-Allee co-created The Yoga Prescription to safely provide yoga to those with cancer. They demonstrate that a yoga practice is possible while going through chemo and radiation. Through Alison and Kathleen’s studies at LMU's Yoga Therapy Rx Certification Program, YCat (Yoga for Cancer and Chronic Illness), and over a decade of teaching gentle yoga, they have found their niche.

Explore paradise with the Yoga Exploration Project

Local Events - NYC

We love to see local yoga teachers expand their reach, taking their message and insights into the practice to the next level. That’s exactly what Cat Acquaviva and Danielle Horowitz have done with the Yoga Exploration Project. YEP is an experiential yoga retreat company focused on creating group adventures for wellness enthusiasts to explore and find inspiration through yoga and the world's beautiful landscapes. Interested? Find out more about YEP’s upcoming trip to Brazil below.

H&M to offer more yoga apparel in 2014

Yoga News

Guess who’s getting into the yoga pants game? H&M. The international retailer announced that it’s expanding its activewear collections for men and women and introducing new styles to the U.S. market on January 2.

Homemade air fresheners that elevate your mood

General by Charlynn Avery

Make sure your holiday party is a blast this year. Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery explains how to make all-natural homemade air fresheners using essential oils to elevate the mood of your guests below.

The holiday season is the time of year to socialize and connect with family and friends. There are many ways to make spirits a little brighter, and one of those ways is through the subtle influence of essential oils.  

Watch this hilarious yoga video

What’s Hot

Unfortunately, we can’t say we’ve never been in a situation like this. SRSLY captures the essence of what it can feel like when you’re in a studio full of inconsiderate yogis. Take a few minutes to watch this funny yoga video.

YOGA from SRSLY. on Vimeo.

Say aloha to Nsquared


You may not be able to go to Hawaii this winter, but you can embrace the aloha lifestyle with the Nsquared Collection. Created by luxury jewelry brand Nalukai, Nsquared fuses the beauty of the Hawaiian language with mantras to redefine everyday statement fashion. Which word inspires you?

Gisele Bundchen does yoga with baby girl Vivian

What’s Hot

How stinkin’ cute is this picture of supermodel Gisele Bundchen doing yoga with her baby girl Vivian? We love that Gisele seems to constantly make time for yoga, over summer, she posted this pic of her mat time with Vivian. What a great way to multitask and instill healthy habits at an early age.

Get 30% off the HotDog Yoga Rollpack


Yoga’s a journey — pack well.

You've never seen a yoga anatomy lesson like this

What’s Hot

What do you get when a yogini puts on these Black Milk Muscle Leggings and does yoga? One of the coolest yoga anatomy lessons we’ve ever seen. Watch the video of Bethania Bacigalupe below and you’ll have a new appreciation of how your muscles work while you practice.

4 things we learned at the Smithsonian yoga exhibit

General by Ally Garner

The Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibit at the Smithsonian Arthur M. Sackler gallery showcases the history of yoga tradition through various artifacts, art forms and media. The information is widespread and surveys topics such as philosophy, religion, health and fitness, entertainment, and cultural relations.  Not only is Yoga: The Art of Transformation a visually beautiful installation, it also educates patrons about yoga as a practice. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, here are the top four things we learned on our visit.