All Posts from February, 2010

It felt like a private lesson!

February 18th, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It’s true, there were moments in Elizabeth Herrick’s class where each student felt like they were in a private lesson because she seemed to really be paying attention to the way our bodies moved (and she helped me with one of my biggest challenges, the transition from chatarunga to upward facing dog). There must have been about 15 people in class and Elizabeth mentioned that it seemed like a light class. So be prepared to come to a fuller class on Saturday mornings. And that’s not surprising, she is filling in a slot that was long held by Bernal legend, Bill Wyland. Not an easy pair of feet to fill. But Elizabeth does it in a graceful, strong, fun and aware manner that makes the time flow by.

And the class is certainly a flow class meaning each posture is transitioned into with a vinyasa. If you’re not too into vinyasas, as Elizabeth pointed out, then flow may not be the thing for you. However, there certainly is wiggle room in her class to be doing just what you are comfortable with.

And Elizabeth, like KT, has a deep knowledge of the body and how yoga helps our organs. Who knew head stand allows for the brain to have better functioning because of the increased blood flow. And I think triangle may be good for our kidneys. Please don’t quote me on that, it may just be faulty memory, but I think we forget sometimes that yoga isn’t just good for the mind and the muscles, but for the organs as well.

I would definitely recommend Elizabeth’s class as a way to kick off the weekend. She has a way of making everything seem just right.

Slow and sweet: Megan Windeler

February 12th, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

As the blogger for Bernal Yoga, I have the unique opportunity to visit almost every class and workshop at the studio. And I discover that every teacher, every class, offers something unique and special.

I had seen Megan Windeler at the studio many times. She is hard to miss. She has a very bright spirit, like a fluttering tinkerbell, and she brings that to her classes. Often, when watching her set up for an incoming group of practitioners, I would hear her playing music and dancing around the studio, welcoming people in. In this class, on Wednesday evening, Megan asked all the students to introduce themselves, offering a sense of community and togetherness. And again, that is a core part of what yoga is about. The asanas are just part of the practice. Yoga is really about the breath and the way in which we are with ourselves and each other. Since the word means union, it would make sense for people to be introduced, and to find, well, union together.

Megan’s class is not fast paced and action packed and yet, when it was over, I was shocked. She gently and calmly lead us through asanas, ones we are familiar with, sometimes asking us to hold them for some time. There is a misconception, I believe, that to have a workout, you have to have a sweat. And that is one kind of workout for sure. But placing your body into a position that stretches it in a way you hadn’t before certainly works out muscles that have not been worked out before. In  his class, Pradeep recommends to explore the position, change it in a way you might not have before. In Megan’s class, she offers a chance to do just that. Yoga is an invitation to go as deep as you want to, and deep doesn’t mean a bind or going into a complicated pose. You can be deep in the simplest of poses like downward facing dog, or warrior one, or even shivasana. It’s about the way you hold it, and carry it that counts.

And, of course, the breath.

Megan is a Mom and she loves yoga. Come to her class and you can sense both those things, and be prepared to be surprised by how the time passes.

Just where you are

February 6th, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

There are many wonderful and diverse classes at Bernal Yoga. Every teacher has something unique and special to offer and you quickly get the sense that the teachers at Bernal have been very consciously chosen. One consistent theme throughout all the classes, regardless of teacher or level, is the invitation to practice just where we are. Yoga is not a competitive sport, we are not necessarily striving for perfection. Yoga is like a mirror and it allows us to closely look at where we are physically and mentally. That changes day by day. Sometimes we may walk into a class and be at a level we have never been before, other times we may feel like a beginner. But the important thing is to know that regardless, we can be perfectly ok with where we are that day. So if you find one day that your transition from plank to chatarunga to upward facing dog is as sinuous as a bird in flight, wonderful! But remember that it is completely ok if another day you find you can’t hold a push up position if your life depended on it! Just observe and work with what your body is telling you. Time and time again this is what teachers tell us at Bernal. And it allows for a very accepting atmosphere and, many say, it is in acceptance that real growth can happen. Yoga doesn’t solely happen on the mat but everywhere: in the way we are with others, the way we breathe and the way we look at ourselves. Bernal is a safe place to really explore what yoga is and to incorporate it beyond the walls of the studio.