Category Archives: Yoga

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

Laughing Yoga

I’ve been curious about Laughing Yoga since our Sing Along Yoga Workshop here at NOURISH. It was briefly mentioned before the workshop started and since then I’ve been thinking about what it might be like to participate in a Laughing Yoga class.

After some reading online, it seems that laughing yoga can be very similar to our Sing Along yoga class. Everyone being a little apprehensive at first, not knowing what it’s going to be like, how much they will actually sing aloud, etc. As it turns out, everyone sang their hearts out to every word that they knew and it seems the same is experienced in Laughing Yoga. The participants usually begin tentatively until you just can’t stop yourself from laughing even if you tried. By the end of the class everyone is feeling refreshed, more clear headed and feeling like they just had a really unique yoga experience.

The class begins with grounding and centering, then the laughing is introduced as an exercise. For example, try to give the deepest belly laugh you can, or add in a body movement that is in sync with your laughs. Soon enough you’ll be watching as those around you can’t help but join in the laughter. Can you imagine the potential health benefits from all the laugther? This can be a really fun yoga class to try out! (lol)

The Downward Facing Dog

I heard someone in class ask the other day, “Why’s the downward facing dog so special?”

I completely got where they were coming from. Even before I really knew anything about yoga, I had heard the name. It seems like it is one of those yoga words everyone knows. But why?

Victor explained to the curious student that it is a pose that is used regularly and is often one of the very first stretches beginners learn. It’s a transitional pose that is fairly comprehensive in its benefits to the body; having a positive effect on the shoulders, legs, spine, arms and feet. Furthermore, it’s thought to improve digestion, increase the blood flow to the sinuses, build strength throughout the body and even help your immune system.

However, Victor was also quick to point out that despite its fame, it is not considered a superior stretch. There is no technical reason why downward facing dog has become entrenched within the mass public’s notion of what yoga is all about (alongside Sting and herbal teas).

So there must be some other reason. I would be so presumptuous as to suggest it’s good branding. It has dog in the title.

You may laugh, but a large portion of the population love dogs. Sure there are other “cooler sounding” poses (Warrior pose, Cobra pose etc.) but at the end of the day we are all suckers for a cheeky-looking cocker spaniel.

Perhaps on some level we also like the idea of copying the movements of a dog. I know at various points of my life I have watched a lovable mutt go about his day and thought to myself, “a dog’s life… they’ve got it pretty sweet!”

And there’s even a case to suggest it brings us closer to lost friends. I read about one lady who enjoyed the pose because it brought back fond memories of her very first puppy and made her feel closer to him in some way.

Whether any of this hits a chord, or you think I’m barking up the wrong tree, I think it’s fair to say… for a number of reasons… the downward dog is a special pose.

Anthony

Sing Along Yoga


I had the pleasure of listening to the sing along yoga class tonight while working at the Nourish reception desk, and I have to say that it was the MOST FUN class that Nourish has ever offered. I got to sing while I was working! I can’t even imagine how awesome it was for everyone who attended to sing while doing yoga. So for all those who missed the class, but still want the fun of yoga with a karaoke twist, or for all those who attended and can’t wait to do it again, here is the playlist from tonight:

Love’s In Need of Love Today by: Stevie Wonder
This Little Light by: The Montgomery Improvement Association
The Circle Game by: Joni Mitchell
Every Breath You Take by: The Police
Hey Jude by: The Beatles
Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley and the Wailers
Wonderful World by: Sam Cooke
Joy to The World by: Three Dog Night
Into the Mystic by: Van Morrison
Your Song by: Elton John
59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by: Simon and Garfunkel
Lean On Me by: Bill Withers
You’ve Got a Friend (featuring special guest star James Taylor) by: Carole King
Bridge Over Troubled Water by: Simon and Garfunkel
Sunshine On My Shoulders by: John Denver
Imagine by: John Lennon

Dana

A Yogi’s Dilema

So Jocelyn and I are at the downtown farmer’s market on Wednesday (which is our regular Wednesday date now for more than 12 years!) a little later than usual because Jocelyn’s 4:00 p.m. client had called to say she couldn’t make it. No sooner had we approached our first stand when Dana calls and tells Jocelyn that her 4:00 p.m. client is there and ready for her appointment!

So, we finished up at Route One (thanks Ora) with carrots for juicing and green plums for devouring and headed back to NOURISH. Jocelyn goes in with her client and I am left to fly solo at the market.

Particularly in the summer having two of us is great. Not just because Jocelyn looks awesome in her summer attire, but also because there is such a bounty to gather and return with. So I gather the bounty myself: two bags full of onions, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and 1 full flat of Frog Hollow peaches, nectarines (white and yellow) and apricots.

I’ve got the smaller of the 2 bags on top of the 10 lb+ flat of fruit, which I am carrying in both arms like an offering, and the larger of the two bags over my left shoulder. Sure the bags and box are heavy, but that is not my dilemma.

My dilemma is that I am a yogi. So after years of practice my shoulders have a natural inclination to NOT hunch, which means one of the straps of the large bag is falling off my left shoulder and I’ve got all this ridiculously beautiful if not fragile fruit in my arms. Luckily, I’ve seen hunched shoulders, so had some idea how to do it and safely transported all the produce back to NOURISH.

Luckily for me, Jocelyn was the one who had to bring all that stuff home.

Victor

Yoga and Broccoli

When the idea of yoga, nutrition and wellness was first put forward to me by my beautiful wife, I approached it much like a toddler approaches broccoli… with fear and trepidation. After eventually succumbing to her pleas to take me to a yoga class, I was pleasantly surprised… and embarrassed; most of the class breezed through the poses while I ached from muscles I never knew I had. Still, it gave me a new found respect for everything I had previously dismissed as “for hippies” and sparked my interest.

Arriving at Nourish a year later, I promised myself I would embrace everything with an open mind and try to make some healthy changes. I’ve been here just over a month now and although I’m still a while away away from doing head stands and turning my back on pepperoni pizza, I can honestly say… I feel better. Just spending time in an environment that puts an emphasis on health and wellness has made me make better choices inside and outside of the Nourish studio. They are not big changes, but everyone has to start somewhere. So now, I try to take a yoga class every week, and I stretch every night and a few days ago, when offered the chance of a fried pork sandwich or vegetable pasta, I went for the pasta. Why? Because there was broccoli in it. And these days, I really love broccoli.

Anthony

New Yoga Props and Cuisine

Come check out our new yoga props in the boutique, as well as, our new cuisine in the Nourishment fridge! We now have assortments of 6 different colors of yoga blocks, new yoga wedges (shown above) , yoga balls, yoga bolsters, and yoga straps. We are also now carrying Samabazon Acai drinks and an assortment of wraps (including vegan options) from fundamental foods.

Dana

The Lending Library at NOURISH

Good afternoon!

I am so excited that the lending library at NOURISH is finally up and running! Victor and Jocelyn have generously supplied NOURISH with tons of yoga and wellness related materials for clients to enjoy.

Clients can check out up to 3 books or magazines for a period of 2 weeks at no cost. How cool is that?! In addition, many of the books are available for purchase at the reception desk (along with copies of Victor’s Yoga and Travel Yoga videos).

We have books about yoga theory, poses, buddhism, achieving inner peace, general wellness, cookbooks and much more!

Some of the authors in our collection include: Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, B.K.S Iyengar, Leo Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King Jr. We also have various magazines and compilations published by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.

There is something for everyone to enjoy, so come check it out!

Kate P