choreo-yoga

Choreo-Yoga!

Do you love to move? Laugh? Stretch and strengthen your body and your mind? Then these are the classes/workshops for you!

 

What is Choreo-Yoga?

Choreo-Yoga is a fusion of dance and yoga. Essentially it is a routine using both yoga and dance moves that is choreographed by me to a specific piece of music. I use the music as my inspiration for the movements that I will teach in the class.

The class begins with a yoga warm-up (sun salutations, etc.) to get the body moving. Poses that will be incorporated into the later choreography will be introduced at this time so that students can focus on proper shape, safety, and refinement.

Following the warm-up we will learn the sequence of moves that function as the choreography for the remainder of the class. We will add on bit by bit until we have the whole routine in hand, pausing to do various pieces to the music along the way.

Once the whole sequence has been learned, students will have the opportunity to repeat the choreography again and again until it become more natural in the body. Think less, move more!

And, as with any yoga class, we will end with a sweet savasana so that you can enjoy the peace and calm that all your efforts provide.

It is going to be a blast! I can’t wait. Hope to see you there!

When & Where?

Saturday, April 26th, 1:15-2:45pm at Maha Yoga 

 

Maha Yoga

1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19103

 

How Much?

Cost: $15

 

Yogi Picnic – Philly Food History

Sunday, May 18th, 4-6pm

at Naval Square (just south of the South St bridge)

pepperpot Krimmel

(Here are some people eating pepperpot soup in a market in Philadelphia in the early 19th century.)

Ever wanted to know more about Philly food history?

Did you know I have a Ph.D. in Food Anthropology with a focus on Philadelphia and that I attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris (where I finished first in my class)? I want to share some of my accumulated knowledge with you in the form of a fun casual picnic at my home in Naval Square.

You’ll be able to sample and learn more about historic Philadelphia foods such as… (all of the food will be vegetarian)

– Carrot Pudding
– Pepper Hash
– Vermicelli & Cheese (an early form of Mac & Cheese)
– Quarterly Meeting Pie
– Cheesecake
– Whipped Syllabub

I’ve also got great stories about turtle soup, sturgeon, “catfish, waffles and coffee,” and much much more!

Sign up will be available through May 16th.

Since we will be picnicing, please plan to bring either a blanket or lawn chair to suit your seating preferences.

Cost $15


credit-cards

oatmeal

Teagan’s Fantabulous Oatmeal

My word of the day today in YogaHour was “oatmeal.” Why? Because the oatmeal that I have for breakfast every morning is one of the things, if not THE thing, that gets me out of bed in the morning. When I wake up I think, “oh yea, I get to have my oatmeal again.” We all need these sorts of things in our lives, the things that we look forward to, even on a daily basis because they make us appreciate life all that much more. Since it brings me so much joy, I thought I’d share it with you in case it appeals to you too. I’ve found these ratio of ingredients to be perfect for me, but feel free to adopt and adjust to suit your tastes.

 

Teagan’s Fabtabulous Oatmeal Recipe

Dry Mix

1.5 lbs (24 oz) quick cook oats (you can use old-fashioned or steel-cut too, it will just increase the cooking time)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds

1 1/2 cup dried fruit (I usually use a combination of fruits including raisins, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, strawberries, dates, figs, etc.)

Individual Serving

3/4 cup of dried mix (above) (this is a large serving, so you may want to cut it down to 1/2 cup depending on how much you like to eat for breakfast)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated ginger (I buy the big jar of ginger from an Indian grocery store so I don’t have to grate it every morning)

1 eye dropper of stevia (adjust as necessary for how sweet you like your oatmeal)

1/2 banana, sliced thin

1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen fruit (I like to buy the mixed berry packs or just the raspberries or strawberries)

optional toppings: 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt (any flavor) or 1 teaspoon ghee (this makes it taste like shortbread to me, yum!)

Preparation

1) Start by preparing the “dry mix” of ingredients. Mix everything on the list together and put in a storage container so you have it ready to go in the mornings.

2) On the mornings when you’re feeling excited about oatmeal (for me that’s every morning!), combine the “individual serving” ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove with some water (depends on how thick or runny you like your oatmeal). Cook on high heat stirring continually until frozen fruit is warm, approximately 5 minutes.

3) Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and top with a few tablespoons of your favorite greek yogurt. I like having some diary in my yogurt, so if I don’t have any yogurt on hand I will put a teaspoon of ghee in with the oatmeal on the stove.

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! Please share your comments below. xo

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Yoga for Runners Workshop

There are many benefits to running, including building muscle strength, burning fat, keeping your heart and lungs strong, your blood pressure in check, and reducing the risk of heart attack. However, running can also result in injuries such as pulled muscles or joint pain due to imbalances in the body that become exaggerated over time.

This is why, if you are a runner, having a yoga practice to build flexibility and bring balance to your body is essential.

In this workshop we will focus on the hamstrings, hips, and core strengthening. We will work with a sequence specifically designed to help bring balance and flexibility to your body where you need it most so that you can run at your best.

The timing of this workshop is perfect for those planning to run in the Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 4th.

If you run, this is the workshop for you!

When?

Sunday, April 13th, 1:30-4pm

Where?

Maha Yoga and Healing Arts

1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Cost:

$25 early bird by 4/6 or $35 after

butterfly

Yoga & Butterflies

I have never been one of those butterflies and rainbows kind of girls.

But, I recently heard a podcast about butterflies that has had me thinking about it ever since. It was an episode of Radiolab called Black Box wherein they explore three different black boxes – “those peculiar spaces where it’s clear what’s going in, we know what’s coming out, but what happens in-between is a mystery.” One of these black boxes was what happens during metamorphosis, from when the caterpillar becomes a pupa, a.k.a. a chrysalis, until it emerges as a butterfly.

In the Radiolab podcast we learn that the caterpillar, after only one day in the chrysalis, turns into a pale white/yellow goo. The caterpillar liquifies, organs dissolve, muscles melt, some cells rupture. It becomes a soup of cells. And this soup is what is “magically” transformed into a butterfly.

Starting in the 1600s and continuing for a long time thereafter, it was believed that the caterpillar entered the chrysalis, died, and then out of the dead caterpillar, a butterfly was born. It was a story of death and resurrection.

Now we know differently.

It has been proved that memories of the caterpillars carry through to the butterfly stage. For example, one scientist put caterpillars in a box and gassed them with a nasty smell. Once they could smell it, they were zapped repeatedly for 10 seconds at a time. Consequently, the caterpillars hated that particular smell. The moths that emerged from the chrysali of these caterpillars also hated the smell. Somehow a spec of brain made it through the goo stage and within that spec of brain was nestled this one memory about the nasty smell.

Another scientist sliced a caterpillar lengthwise and showed that some of the structures of the butterfly were already formed inside, including the wings, antennae, and legs. The caterpillar starts to grow little adult parts that are tiny and transparent. It then keeps them tightly rolled up and hidden up against the edges of the chrysalis. They don’t go thru the goo or become the goo.

What can we learn from this? That the process of metamorphosis is not about death, it is about transformation!

And what, you may well ask, does this have to do with yoga?

Well, yoga is a transformative practice. When you practice yoga consistently, dilligently, your life will be transformed. The transformation is not the same for everyone, but to transform is part of the practice.

When I first started practicing yoga, I thought that there were parts of it that were a bit hokey. There was “weird” chanting and “funky” breathing and even having to lay still for any period of time was challenging. My sister worried that I was getting involved in some sort of yoga cult. I was afraid that devoting myself to a practice that felt so good and one that I could see and feel the positive changes from, was going to lead me to becoming a person I didn’t know and one that I wasn’t sure I would like because of the parts of the practice that I didn’t understand or connect with at that time.

Hearing this story about metamorphosis and transformation reminded me of my yogic journey and how much my life has changed because of this amazing practice. But, more importantly, it reminded me that throughout the transformation I have been and always will be me. What this story about butterflies highlights is that no matter what kinds of transformations we go through in our lives, we will always, at our core be the same great people. Our morals and core beliefs don’t have to shift, unless greater education leads you to realize that they need to. The process of transformation is a dialogue, not a monologue. You can take what you need from it and leave the rest. Be yourself. Love yourself. And be open to transformation, knowing that even as you shift and change, you will remain true to those parts of you that are the most essential and true. The wings that you need to fly are already inside of you.

 

If you’re interested to hear the story that inspired this blog post:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/black-box/

The butterfly portion begins at 50:00.

Dante Bucci

YogaHour with Live Music by Dante Bucci!

Thursday, February 6th, 5:30-6:30pm at Maha Yoga and Healing Arts, only $7!

Back by popular demand! Dante Bucci is joining us for yet another magical class experience the first Thursday in February. His music has been described as other worldly, soothing, inspiring, and melodic. Suffice it to say, it is an experience you don’t want to miss!

Dante Bucci is one of the most-recognized Handpan players in the world. If you have never heard him play, you can check out his youtube channel to hear some of his music. I use his songs on my playlists all the time when I teach. To have him play live is a wonderful treat. And, maybe the best part, there is no extra charge for the class. It is still only $7 for a live concert and a great yoga class. What more could you ask for to start of your Thursday night?

No need to sign up in advance. Just show up!

Maha Yoga

1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

choreo-yoga

Choreo-Yoga Class January 18th at Maha Yoga!

Saturday, January 18th, 1:15-2:45pm at Maha Yoga

What to expect:

Choreo-Yoga is a fusion of dance and yoga. Essentially it is a routine using both yoga and dance moves that is choreographed by me to a specific piece of music. I use the music as my inspiration for the movements that I will teach in the class.

The class begins with a yoga warm-up (sun salutations, etc.) to get the body moving. Poses that will be incorporated into the later choreography will be introduced at this time so that students can focus on proper shape, safety, and refinement.

Following the warm-up we will learn the sequence of moves that function as the choreography for the remainder of the class. We will add on bit by bit until we have the whole routine in hand, pausing to do various pieces to the music along the way.

Once the whole sequence has been learned, students will have the opportunity to repeat the choreography again and again until it become more natural in the body. Think less, move more!

And, as with any yoga class, we will end with a sweet savasana so that you can enjoy the peace and calm that all your efforts provide.

It is going to be a blast! I can’t wait. Hope to see you there! 

Held at Maha Yoga

1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Cost: $15

grasshopper

5 Fundamentals of Arm Balancing

As a class of poses, arm balances ask a lot of us. They require a good deal of strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness. However, when we step up to the challenges that these poses offer, the rewards are worth the effort.

Here are 5 tips to help you approach your arm balances with a solid foundation so that you’re setting yourself up for greater success.

 

1. All 4 corners of your palms must be rooted to the ground.

People often complain that arm balancing is hard on their wrists. The poses themselves innately put a lot of weight into the hands and arms, but they should not cause additional wrist pain.

The number one thing I see in the hands in arm balances is the lifting up of the base of the index finger (where the finger meets the palm). When this happens all of the weight dumps into the base of the outer wrist and can cause wrist pain.

The solution is to keep all 4 corners of the palm on the ground the whole time. And the 4 corners should be placed on the ground in a specific order, namely (1) base of the index finger, (2) base of the thumb, (3) base of the pinky finger, and (4) base of the outer wrist. When placed on the ground in this order, maintaining the connection of the corners that you’ve already placed, the weight in the hands and wrists will be more balanced. More balanced = less painful. It will feel as if the weight is more towards the inner hand and more towards the fingers than is the general tendency.

Anusara hand placement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Your fingertips are your brakes.

When arm balancing, one of the big fears that comes up is face planting. It is a natural and well-founded fear because it does sometimes happen.

One important thing to keep in mind is that your fingertips are the brakes on the forward motion of your face towards the floor. When you claw your fingertips into the ground, you can slow down and eventually stop that forward momentum (up to a point). A lot of arm balances require that your face gets very close to the floor and the further you tip your weight forward in the hands, the more difficult it is to keep your face from becoming one with the floor, but use your claws and you will be able to gain more control.

Another good tip here is to put a pillow or a blanket in between your face and the floor when you’re working on an arm balance. The cushion will allow you to practice the pose with more confidence and less fear.

 

3. Place your hands outer shoulder distance apart.

For the two-hands-on-the-ground arm balances, one of the biggest tendencies I observe is placing the hands too close together underneath you.

The problem with hands too close together is that it doesn’t provide you with a broad enough foundation to support the pose. Placing your hands outer shoulder distance apart is a great way to set yourself up for arm balancing success since a wider base equals a stronger and more stable foundation.

Play around with a little wider and a little narrower width of the hands in each pose to find what works optimally for you.

 

4. Work on other similarly shaped poses.

When you have a particular arm balance in your crosshairs, aside from attempting the arm balance itself over and over again, the best way to approach it is to do other similarly shaped poses so that your body can acclimate to the general form.

You can, for example, do any arm balance shape while laying on your back. Repetitions of this will help you build the core strength you will use in doing the pose balanced on your hands. Handstand to bakasana reps is a great way to build up to bakasana.

Or practice poses that have a similar shape to the arm balance you’re working towards, for example, for eka pada koundinyasana I, poses like Brigit’s cross, revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana), and revolved standing sage (parivrtta utthita hasta padangusthasana) are all good preparatory poses.

Approach the arm balance not only head on, but also from the side. Sneak up on it!

 

5. Maintain a deep rhymic breath throughout.

It has to be said that keeping your breath smooth and steady throughout an arm balance is essential. Because arm balances can be edgy or scary, our natural reaction is for the breath to become shorter and more constricted.

By focusing on maintaining long rhymic breaths, the body will feel more at ease. You are cultivating a greater sense of calm, even in the face of fear. This will allow you more clarity as you practice the pose.

And this practice is great to have in life anytime you notice your breath becoming fast and choppy. Take a moment to slow down and smooth out your breath, you’ll find your calm again before you know it.

 

I hope you found these tips helpful. I’d love to hear your feedback!

If you are looking to dig in even deeper into arm balancing, join me for a great workshop THIS Sunday.

Arm Balancing Workshop

THIS Sunday, January 5th

1-3:30pm at Maha Yoga (1700 Sansom St, 6th flr)

Arm Balancing Workshop

eka pada K II

Sunday, January 5th, 1-3:30pm

In this workshop we will work to establish and refine the fundamental principals of arm balances so that your poses are both safe and strong. Expect a sequence that is demanding and fun, one that will bring you to your edge and offer you the opportunity to grow both mentally and physically. As a class of poses, arm balances ask a lot of us, but in return, when we step up to the challenge, the rewards are worth the effort. All levels welcome!

Cost: $30 by Jan 1st, $40 after

 

Held at Maha Yoga 

1700 Sansom Street, 6th flr

Philadelphia, PA 19103

choreo-yoga

NEW Choreo-Yoga Class!

Saturday, December 7th, 1:15-2:45pm at Maha Yoga

What to expect:

Choreo-Yoga is a fusion of dance and yoga. Essentially it is a routine using both yoga and dance moves that is choreographed by me to a specific piece of music. I use the music as my inspiration for the movements that I will teach in the class.

The class begins with a yoga warm-up (sun salutations, etc.) to get the body moving. Poses that will be incorporated into the later choreography will be introduced at this time so that students can focus on proper shape, safety, and refinement.

Following the warm-up we will learn the sequence of moves that function as the choreography for the remainder of the class. We will add on bit by bit until we have the whole routine in hand, pausing to do various pieces to the music along the way.

Once the whole sequence has been learned, students will have the opportunity to repeat the choreography again and again until it become more natural in the body. Think less, move more!

And, as with any yoga class, we will end with a sweet savasana so that you can enjoy the peace and calm that all your efforts provide.

The piece of music that I will be using in this class has some Asian influences, so we will be playing around with some Asian-inspired movements.

It is going to be a blast! I can’t wait. Hope to see you there!

Cost: $10 (please bring cash with you)

 

Held at Maha Yoga

1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Watch the Choreo-Yoga Sneak Peak!

 

 

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