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Nov 272016
 

2016_givingtuesday_ste-1To the man who overheard the conversation I was having with my children at a café this morning about the plight of elephants, who rolled his eyes and got up and moved, I wish to say, “sorry, not sorry.” If I rained on your breakfast parade by educating my children about the fact that one elephant is illegally killed every 15 minutes, “sorry, not sorry.” If it burdened you to hear that between 2010-2012 alone over 100,000 elephants where murdered, “Sorry, but I AM NOT sorry.” And just so you know, this conversation was started by my children after watching an amazing documentary called, “The Secret Life Of Elephants” broadcast on NatGeo Wild. Do you not want me to answer their questions about why people are killing elephants?

One of the reasons such atrocities even exist in this world is because so many of us choose to roll our eyes, close our ears, and turn our backs to the mention of the news because it is so depressing, and instead shield ourselves in our perfect little neighborhood bubble where everything seems to be OK. But it is not OK. Because we are all connected, and at the hands of a very small number of illegal poachers, in my and your children’s lifetime there very well could be no more elephants living in the wild. I was very fortunate to see herds of elephants roaming the wild on a trip to Tanzania just 20 years ago, a gift my children may not be able to receive. Poachers are killing these 5-ton magnificent giants for their tusks for an illegal ivory trade in Asia. That’s like someone killing you or me for one tooth! It’s ludicrous and unimaginable, and I am not OK with it.

What if instead every single one of us chose to PAY ATTENTION and picked just one—JUST ONE—cause to support, whatever it is… feed a child, save an elephant, plant a tree, install solar panels, reduce the amount of plastic we consume that ends up in the ocean, and all chose to educate our children on the needs of the world. Of course, if we wait for our children to fix the problems, many of them will go away, because it will be too late, and there will be new, bigger problems. Just choose something about which you care! If we all acted up on our caring, imagine what kind of world we’d be creating then. Surely, we aren’t the generation of complacency and comfort as many suggest, and surely we all still care.

You know what, Sir, I am sorry. I’m sorry for you that the elephants are disappearing, because it is affecting your family too. And I’m sorry for my family that you’re one of the ones who doesn’t care. 😢

So I just made a donation to savetheelephants.org on both of our behalves. And I’ll be donating again this Tuesday, November 29th for #GivingTuesday when an anonymous donor has pledged to match every donation made up to $100,000. Thank you to that donor for caring, and being willing to donate your hard-earned money to such an important cause.

Nov 022016
 
Teaching Touch Ups! Last 3 Tuesdays in November (15th, 22nd, & 29th)
From 12pm-2pm. $40 each or sign up for all 3 and save $20.  *CEUs available for Yoga Alliance teachers.
At Pure Yoga and Fitness in Clearwater.

Been teaching yoga for a while and want some feedback on your cues and adjustments? Need to brush up on certain skills and make sure what you’re doing is safe and correct? These sessions are for you. Bring your questions regarding working with certain injuries, safe alignment in postures, or other teaching challenges and we’ll address them.

  • Nov. 15th – canceled.
  • Nov. 22nd – Verbal Cues and Mindful Adjustments. Refine your voice and refresh your vocabulary. Practice your adjustments and get valuable feedback!
  • Nov. 29th – Sequencing. Is what you’re teaching safe and balanced? Bring your key sequences for peer practice and review.

Sign up now. $40 each


Teaching Touch Ups



Nov 022016
 

200-HOUR VINYASA YOGA TRAINING  With Gabby Falkenbah and Tatiana Fedorch
At Pure Yoga and Fitness, Clearwater http://www.pureyogaandfitness.com/

Do you love yoga and want to deepen your practice? You may be an aspiring instructor who is interested in learning the art of teaching and becoming a certified yoga teacher, or  you may simply want to deepen your personal practice and knowledge of yoga without becoming a teacher. If you fall into either of these categories, we invite you to participate in our 2017, 200-Hour Vinyasa Yoga Training as a CERTIFICATION student or a NON-CERTIFICATION student.

The CERTIFICATION option includes a teaching component that enables you to graduate from the program as a certified Yoga Teacher, eligible to register with Yoga Alliance (www.YogaAlliance.org) as a certified, 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200).

The NON-CERTIFICATION option is for committed students of all levels who desire to grow their practice without becoming a teacher. This option includes study of the many facets of yoga practice and theory just as the teaching option does, however, it does not require participation in the teaching and practicum aspects of the program. Should you participate in this option and decide down the road you would like to become a certified teacher, you can participate in the teaching component at a later time.

Our program will expose you to many facets of yoga practice and theory, including:

History and Sources of Yoga
Intensive Asana Study
Functional Anatomy and Physiology of Asana (Postures)
Principles of Pranayama
Meditation
Teaching Methodology
Sanskrit and Chanting
Basic Adjustments
Subtle Body and Chakras

This program is one of the most respected Yoga Training programs in the nation, and has been in existence since 2004. It is a vinyasa-based program, which supports your journey to a safe, committed and lifelong practice. You’ll practice many styles of asana, including Pure Hot Vinyasa, gentle vinyasa flow, and understand how all styles of vinyasa yoga were born from traditional Ashtanga Yoga. If you are an existing or aspiring yoga teacher, you will learn critical skills for teaching confidently, safely and effectively. Our graduates are teaching in locations around the world.

Next Course offered in Clearwater, FL, begins January 6th, 2017.  Apply today.

2017 DATES:

  • January 6-8
  • January 20-22
  • February 3-5
  • February 17-19
  • March 3-5
  • March 17-19
  • March 31-April 2
  • April 21-23 Completion

TIMES:

  • Fri 6:00-9pm
  • Sat 9:30-5:30pm
  • Sun 9:30-5:30pm

TUITION:

  • CERTIFICATION OPTION: $2950; includes $500 non-refundable deposit. Deposit secures your spot.
  • NON-CERTIFICATION OPTION: $2550; includes $500 non-refundable deposit. Deposit secures your spot.

SPACE IS LIMITEDApply today.

 

 

 

 

Sep 212016
 

Date: October 22 & 23
Time: 10:00am-12:30pm
Both days Cost: $30 by October 15 | $35 after

Oct. 22 – Rocket 1-2 (all levels welcome); Oct. 23 – Rocket 2 (intermediate to advanced)

For years, Ally practiced and studied “Rocket Yoga” with her teacher, Rocket founder, Larry Schultz in San Francisco, California. Ally has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga and Rocket Yoga since 2001, and in the Tampa Bay Area since 2004. The Rocket series is a powerful vinyasa-flow sequence inspired by Ashtanga Yoga of Pattabhi Jois, with whom Larry studied. When Larry became private yoga teacher for The Grateful Dead, the disciplined Ashtanga Series got somewhat more playful, and it was during this time he used the foundational postures of Ashtanga’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd series to create the Rocket Sequence. Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead said, “Let’s call it Rocket because it gets you there faster.” In Rocket Yoga we’ll go from from basic asanas to more advanced, to playful transitions at a flowing, steady pace. Infused with Larry’s personality, the class is fun while still remaining a moving, breathing meditation. Come take off with us… to the Moon and back! Rocket One open to all levels. Rocket Two, minimum one year of regular yoga practice experience required.

Visit Bella Prana to register!

Sep 212016
 

Mindfulness, mindfulness everywhere!  This month it made the cover of a special edition of Time Magazine for a second time—a repeat of the January 2012 cover—and has gained much attention around the world, particularly in the last 10 years. But, mindfulness is nothing new… in fact, it has existed for millennia, and throughout history practitioners have been documenting the benefits from their direct experience. Both the persuasion of some of its most learned practitioners like Mattiue Ricard, Jon Kabbat Zin, and Ellen Langer, and the rapid growth in popularity have spurred much scientific research that shows profound benefits of the practice. The golden standard of most of these studies is 20 minutes per day over 8 weeks. While this doesn’t seem a very quick-fix, studies show that the outcome is well worth it. So what is mindfulness, why should you care, and what are the benefits?

Mindfulness is essentially a state of mind which can be fostered or enhanced over time with practice. When you become more mindful, your mind is less full of racing thoughts, you’re able to hold your awareness more steadily in the present moment on the current activity at hand, without judgment, and therefore with less adverse reactivity. For example, ever read the entire page of a book only to get to the end and have no idea what you read? Or, have you found yourself feeling incredibly frustrated that the kids won’t brush their teeth or finish breakfast in time to get to school and suddenly your heart rate is high or you’re yelling?

In a nutshell, mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening outside of you and staying aware of how you’re reacting to it on the inside, mentally, and thus emotionally, and physically. Because, as yoga and other Eastern philosophies have been teaching  for thousands of years, your state of mind ultimately has a huge impact on how you behave and on the level of happiness you experience in life, and, as it turns out, on your physical health as well, proving that there truly is a mind-body connection.

Scientific research is showing benefits of mindfulness that are undeniably amazing. Benefits like (click link for study):

  1. Slowing the aging process
  2. Boosting immune system
  3. Reducing stress, related disease and re-engineering the brain
  4. Improving focus and memory
  5. Enhancing happiness

This is just a partial list of benefits the practice provides. So how do you do it? There are a myriad of ways to practice mindfulness, the crown jewel being meditation. You can also pause for several slow deep breaths, go for a relaxing walk (without your cell phone), take mindful movement like yoga, or enjoy mindful eating (without your cell phone or computer). The point is that you should take a practice in which you can fully direct the focus of your mind into the activity and avoid multi-tasking. The Buddhists say, “If you eat, just eat. If you walk, just walk.” When you focus your mind on one thing, it becomes very clear when other thoughts or emotions come up, which you observe without defining as good or bad, thereby disengaging from or practicing non-attachment to them. Over time you learn to hold your awareness in the chosen direction for longer periods of time, as well as break the habitual pattern of latching on to passing thoughts or distractions, or fueling the fire of emotions, eventually able to remain more stable or equanimous in all situations.

The promise is big. But again, it takes PRACTICE! Below, you’ll find links to several mindfulness practices which can help you along your journey. Begin as soon as you can, practice consistently or as often as you can, and please be patient with yourself. One of the biggest habits we’ll probably have to break is how reactive or judgmental we can be to ourselves. Shanti and peace.

Try this 10-Minute Mindfulness Meditation:

 

Slow Deep Breathing for Stress Relief 3:06

Gentle Seated Yoga (at home or work) 9:15

Gentle Sun Salutations (for better circulation or back pain) 11:31

 

Some of my favorite presentations:
1. Mattiue Ricard on The Habits Of Happiness
2. Ellen Langer on Mindfulness Over Matter
3. Jon Kabat-Zinn on Meditation