Category Archives: Yoga

Long Requested Playlists

After many years of putting together playlists for yoga classes and having numerous requests for the list of songs/tracks, I will now begin posting the special playlists on this blog. Most of the songs are readily available for purchase at your neighborhood disc shop, or of course online.

As I said tonight in the intermediate class, single days are not nearly enough to celebrate a birthday. Seems like at least a full week is required to do anyone’s celebration of life justice. This is particularly true as we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week. His birthday is Friday, January 15th and the national holiday to honor him is Monday, January 18th, but I’ve started celebrating today.

As promised here are the tracks from today’s classes. More tomorrow. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 1/12/09
12:30-1:15 p.m. All Levels
Shed A Little Light, James Taylor, New Moon Shine
Beginning of a Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Freedom, Richie Havens, Resume: The Best of Richie Havens
Victory For Justice and Goodwill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace Anyway, The Black Crowes, Band [unreleased LP]
Commitment To Non-Violence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., In Search Of Freedom
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free, Nina Simone, Anthology
The Weapon of Love, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love That Will Never Grow Old, Unknown
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964
He Who is Greatest Shall Be Your Servant, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love’ll Set Me Free, Michael Franti, Songs From The Front Porch
A Preacher Leading His Flock, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., In Search Of Freedom
Peace, Michael McDonald, This Christmas
Mountain Top, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

5:30-7:15 p.m. Intermediate
Shed A Little Light, James Taylor, New Moon Shine
Beginning of a Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
Peace Anyway, The Black Crowes, Band [unreleased LP]
Victory For Justice and Goodwill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Freedom Richie Havens, Resume: The Best of Richie Havens,
The Weapon of Love, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love’s In Need Of Love Today, Stevie Wonder, Songs In The Key Of Life
Commitment To Non-Violence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., In Search Of Freedom
Let Us Love, Bill Withers, Live At Carnegie Hall
Police Brutality Will Backfire, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., In Search Of Freedom
Bomb The World, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Everyone Deserves Music
Now Is the Time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Forgive Them Father, Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Unearned Suffering, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free, Nina Simone, Anthology
On the Move, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964
How Long Not Long, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Someday We’ll All Be Free, Donny Hathaway, A Donny Hathaway Collection
March Ahead, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love That Will Never Grow Old, Unknown
I have a dream 1, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Star Spangled Banner (Live) – Marvin Gaye
He Who is Greatest Shall Be Your Servant, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Freedom For My People, U2, Rattle And Hum
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
All That You Have Is Your Soul, Tracy Chapman, Crossroads
Peace On Earth, U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
A Preacher Leading His Flock, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., In Search Of Freedom
Love’ll Set Me Free, Michael Franti, Songs From The Front Porch
Peace, Michael McDonald, This Christmas
Mountain Top, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(Sources of King Speeches: In Search of Freedom; The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.; A Knock At Midnight)

Time Magazine’s Year in Health: Yoga

Thank you to one of our clients for bringing an interesting article in today about yoga and eating disorders. This excerpt comes from Time’s annual The Year in Health article, which focuses on important medical topics and developments from 2009.

“A session of yoga for teens with anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders may provide more than a spiritual and physical boost; it could also help them get over their illness, according to a new study of 50 adolescents, mostly girls. The girls were seriously ill — nearly half had been hospitalized because of their eating disorder — and were being treated at an outpatient clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The teens were randomized to receive either their usual treatment at the clinic or that treatment plus two hours a week of yoga classes.

The study lasted eight weeks. While the non-yoga teens showed improvement during treatment, they relapsed a month afterward. In the yoga group, improvement started slowly, but a month later, the teens were showing steady gains. The exertion required by some yoga poses had no negative effect on weight, which was reassuring — the last thing dangerously underweight subjects needed to do was shed more pounds. The researchers suspect that yoga may help by reducing the obsessive concern about weight associated with eating disorders. In their study, they wrote, “Food preoccupation may be reduced by focusing attention on yoga poses.” Some subjects even expressed this idea directly to the researchers. Said one: “This is the only hour in my week when I don’t think about my weight.” A larger study is planned to confirm the findings”

Kate P

My Top 4 Yoga Tips

I have only been practicing yoga regularly since I started working at NOURISH. Before that it was just MTV yoga dvd’s in the living room and an occasional free class if I could get a hold of a coupon. Since starting to do yoga more intensively at NOURISH, I have realized it is imperative to continue your practice on a regular basis. I feel more flexible, energized, relaxed and overall in better health if I do yoga at least once a week. In addition, keeping up with yoga helps me remember all the tips and adjustments I am supposed to be implementing!

Here are some things that I have learned at NOURISH which I like to keep in the front of my mind while I do yoga:

1. Keep your hands and feet active: Sometimes its easy to forget these extremities when you are concentrating on your back posture and the larger muscle groups involved in a pose. I felt and saw such and improvement in my practice after Victor gave me this little tip. Simply spreading your fingers or flexing your foot can activate more muscles and work them harder than letting your paws slack while you are in the pose. Flexing your foot makes the biggest difference for me in seated poses, where my legs can get lazy. It really helps stretch out my hamstrings and even gets into my back! As for your hands, Kate showed me that when you are in poses like  spreading your fingers wide without raising your wrist too much can help make your arms more active and involved.

2. Make it challenging, not painful: On Sunday, Kate said something very important for yogis of all levels: The difference between sharp pain and a slight challenge for your body. We are constantly trying to push ourselves further in yoga, both physically and spiritually. These changes should be incremental and positive in order to be most effective. If you feel a sharp pain in any pose, you went too far! Try to slowly fall deeper into the pose with each breath or ask for an adjustment from the instructor if you are just plain uncomfortable in a pose. Challenge is imperative for improvement in yoga, but the changes you make must be controlled and smooth in order to be beneficial.

3. Smile with your buttocks: Try it! Literally try to make your booty smile. I like this tip not only because of the physical effects, but also because it never fails to put a grin across my face! It’s hard to explain in a blog, but just try to uplift your butt with your back and core. Kate taught me this one as well, and it really helps to make poses engaging and comfortable. I think this technique is implemented mostly in standing poses, but I just try to do it in class whenever Kate mentions it. Mention it next time you are in class and I am sure she will be stoked to teach how and when it should be done.

4. Enjoy! Victor sometimes says this after students enter a pose and will be there for a while. I think this is one of the most important tips I have learned at NOURISH. If you are not having fun and feeling great, something needs to change! Yoga should be a positive experience that de-stresses you and brightens your day. Sometimes in the grind of things, people forget that they are at yoga and are supposed to be letting go. Don’t think about what you did that day or what you will do tomorrow, think about how you feel in the pose and just relax! Leave your stress at the door and enjoy some physical and spiritual release, that is what NOURISH is all about!

Keep in mind that I am not a yoga instructor, so these tips should be used with caution! These are just some things I like to remember when I do yoga that have helped me over the course of my practice. So….as Victor says: Enjoy!

Poppy Waiting for a Harvest Surprise

First of all, thank you so much for such a warm welcome. I feel blessed to be a part of the Nourish community and connected to all you wonderful people through this gem of a wellness center. Santa Cruz is living up to my every hope, and then some.

Teaching here for the first few weeks has been a sweet journey towards reconnecting to the part of me that exists out in the world, rather than home with the girls. Needless to say, I had been feeling a little restless. It’s nice to be reminded that the solitary nature of the practice is overshadowed by the opportunity so many of us are taking these days to be in dialogue with others about our process. To be out in the world, practicing together, sharing breath and space in the yoga room has been so much a part of the practice for me over the years. Coming to Nourish, I am reminded I am here, with others, seeking answers. And that though we are turning to look in, we are still connected, looking in together. I have missed this in the year I took off to birth my second baby.

I commented in Savasana one day something to the effect of our practice being an opportunity to let go of our expectations, because all we really have is what is happening right now and that ultimately we don’t know what will happen in the next moment. As yogis we sacrifice our musings about the future and the past for what is here before us, seeking truth in the present. A student came up after class to ask about the possibility of choosing our reality by working with our energies, and our beliefs as a way of manifesting what we believe possible and want to bring into our lives. If we visualize ourselves in abundance, wealth, or love (indeed whatever we are seeking) then we will have it.

Certainly we have to have an idea first, believe it can exist, and then bring it forward into reality. That’s how we say…get dinner on the table. And I do believe we must see more esoteric things into the realm of possibility too. Like love or abundance, or the fulfillment of a dream. But I was wondering if Maya, the illusion, is nothing less than the world of our wildest dreaming, our greatest wishes manifesting all over the place, and every other possibility too. And if that’s true, then it’s not the energy around us that we have to influence, but how we receive. Because we may or may not have control of the energies rushing us in the coming moments, but we do get to decide whether we perceive them as obstacles or opportunities. And what an opportunity it is to get to practice with you all. Finding my way into your beautiful space did not happen for me without effort, fear, or uncertainty. Yet here I am, grateful and full of delight.

Thanks for reading!

Valerie

New Year’s, Early

I love yoga. I really do! But sometimes I can’t muster up the strength to get by booty to class. After work and school, you would think I’d be chomping at the bit to put myself in a relaxing environment. But I just get so tired and lazy, its truly frustrating! Even though I know it will feel so good to get a little work out and center myself, it can be all too much for me at times.

I admire all the students at NOURISH who come to class on a weekly basis. Heck, some even come daily! You all are truly inspiring to me and I love coming to class when you are there. I love practicing yoga with the people I am working for and with. It gives us a bond that is more than just a hello! in passing by the front desk or a reminder call for their next appointment. What we all have going on at NOURISH is truly unique and I am proud and lucky to be a part of it!

Think of this as my New Year’s Resolution: From here on out I want to make a commitment to myself and do the things that make me happy on a weekly basis! This means going to Tuesday night yoga with Victor, hanging out with Emily, Brittni & Kate more often, doing nice things for my boy friend and pursuing a new hobby. I also think it would be nice to do my homework and reading on time….

Thanks for the inspiration and NOURISHment : )

Kate P

yoga anytime


Wish you had more time for yoga? Do a pose right now, right where you are! Doing just one pose can change the way you breathe and feel…for the better! So stand up…yes out of your computer chair….. reach your arms up overhead (Urdhva Hastasana) and strrrretch up towards the sky. If you like fold from your hips and move into forward bend (Uttanasana). Ahhhh…feel better?

You can also improvise and make up a pose like my daughter Lily. Here she is doing a cross between down dog and forward bend. Good job Lil! And smiling while doing yoga is even better, great for you mood!

Roxanne

Yoga Battle

For better or worse we live in a competitive society, and it is understandable that it may be difficult to completely shed ones competitive machinations when practicing yoga. I remember when I first learned how to hold a hand stand, I looked forward to showing off my new move in the next yoga class. I think this is fine and dandy but I have found that I derive more benefit when I come to yoga with a more holistic approach: concentrating on mind, body, spirit with maybe a dash of ego. As we evolve as yogis and people we can allow space for that part of us that is proud and has a desire to show others our ability to go deeper into an asanas, especially those asanas that have been eluding us for some time. What I believe is more detrimental is prescribing any kind of right/wrong judgment on any practice, since we all have our own paths, and we are all reflection of the infinite. But as this short film comically demonstrates it might not be wrong but possibly detrimental to completely let competitiveness consume our practice.

Kevin

Back To School

Minus one decade, each year of my life has revved up in September and slowed down markedly by the end of June. Yes, I have been either a student or a teacher for the majority of my life. Packing 12 months of energy into 10 months each year ended for me when I finished grad school and became a dietitian. But now that I’ve finally settled into a 12 month rhythm, I’m starting school all over again. No, I’m not getting another master’s or pursuing a Ph.D. Dalia just started kindergarten. Every time I see her proudly carrying her brand new Hello Kitty lunchbox, put on her new shoes, and run to the playground to go across the monkey bars, it takes me back to when I was a student. It was always so exciting to delve into the newness of it all each September. Now I’m getting ready for the first show and tell, reliving the first field trip, and meeting the first class pet all over again. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I’m almost as excited as Dalia to be back in school. I’m just counting myself lucky that my P.E. is yoga now instead of dodge ball.

Jocelyn

What do you value?

Last week one of our dedicated yoga students sent and email regarding the NOURISH Core Values that are listed on our website. Here is the text of that email:

“Dear Nourish Staff,

Thank you for the confirmation for my appointment with Jocelyn. Today I had the pleasure of having time to read all of Nourish’s information. It is great.

I would like to add a Core Value that I believe is missing, having been devoted to the Om/Nourish family now for years. That is the value of LISTENING. I would like to see the core value “WE LISTEN to and embrace suggestions, questions, concerns and joys of our clients, members, students, and customers.” As I read the list, I missed that important element [of the Dubin family(well, Dalia is still in training)(smile)].

Though I have not had many classes with Kate and Roxanne, I have found them, as well, always willing to listen to any question, or happy to share some tidbit of life experience I or anyone after class had to share with them. They listen. I also find both of those ladies so open and willing to share their lives with us, supporting and giving a foundation for a family of professionals who truly care about nourishing the health of anyone who is willing to give even the smallest amount of their time toward bettering their lives and walking through the doors of NOURISH. Thus, both Kate and Roxanne seem to me to be in concert with Victor and Jocelyn in the Core Value of Listening.

In our cultural climate, in our political atmosphere, in a world where the importance of individualism sometimes erodes, or shades the importance of social values, compassion and the development of camaraderie, listening is a skill often missed, yet yearned for. Victor and Jocelyn Dubin have always listened well to me, my friends and family. I have over the years, observed them continually take an interest in participants’ needs through active listening, a quality that is essential to NOURISH anyone’s mind, body and spirit.

Thank you, Namaste, and Aloha,

Kulani Kamaha’o

Devoted to Nourish”

Thanks Kulani. We are listening and you can expect the addition to our core values page soon.

Victor

The King of Yoga

I read a theory once that suggested the main reason for watching sport, be it soccer, the Olympics or surfing on Steamers Lane, was the desire to see humans go beyond what we think is physically possible. The writer argued that the best moments in sport were the days when you saw an athlete go beyond good and move into greatness.

Well, I know that yoga is not a sport and that the majority of us practice the activity for helping and healing oneself… but I read a story the other day about an Indian man who certainly seems to have made the move from good to greatness.

On June 14th 2009, Mr C Poovendran set the world record for longest yoga marathon when he performed yoga for an incredible 28 hours!

While attempting the world record, Mr Poovendran performed 1019 asanas and also sought to entertain the spectators by drinking water and taking off his t-shirt… while performing a headstand… with his eyes closed!

Now admittedly on first read this story seems a little shallow. The breaking of world records is something that tends to take up the last five minutes of local news broadcasts and this seemed no different. However, when I learned a little more about his life, I began to think about it a lot more.

Mr C Poovendran is currently a yoga teacher who works in Hong Kong. He started his yoga training with his father at just five years old. By the time he was 14 he gained his first yoga award – the yogaraj… or King of Yoga. He has also gained the Best Demonstrator Award at the 5th International Yoga festival, the Yoga Rathna award (jewel of yoga) from the Divine Life society of Chennai, India, and the Creative/Innovation Award in 2006 from Pure Yoga International.

So clearly, Mr Poovendran is not someone looking to have his five minutes of fame by breaking a world record. This is his passion. To take something you love and push it to the very limit must have been very hard. I would imagine that practicing yoga for 28 consecutive hours has a fairly negative affect on your physical and emotional state (so don’t worry, we won’t be extending our class times here at NOURISH). I think I would be afraid that the effort alone would scare me off from every wanting to do a tree pose again. But for Mr Poovendran yoga is clearly more than an activity – it is his life’s work and his commitment to it is something I cannot help but be inspired by.

Anthony