All Posts from March, 2011

Why we Aum (or Om)…

March 21st, 2011 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I have been reading about the meaning of Aum, the sound that we make, the song that we sing, at the beginning and end of each yoga class. There seem to be several different meanings out there. One that I like very much is that Aum means “it is”. One reason why I like that is because it’s really important to look at things as they really are, our bodies, our minds, our selves, those around us. And since yoga, in effect, allows us to get down to essentials, Aum is a reminder of that by singing, “it is”. This is how my downward facing dog is today, this is how my mind is today, this is how my teacher is today. This is.

But Aum also refers to the universal sound, the sound that encompasses and reflects everything. And that is an amazing thing because by encompassing everything, it unifies everything, it allows everything to connect, if even for just a breath. And with all these extraordinary things happening in the world these days, and the ripple effect they have, the more and more we begin realize how connected we truly are.

I love it when in class we do a bunch of asanas that seem independent of each other but in reality they are all connected. Aum is kind of like that. It brings us all together and all that is around us together. And it is a reminder that we are about to do something, engage in a practice that isn’t independent but is part of a greater whole. We practice yoga to feel good but we also practice so we can be better humans in the world.


March 19th, 2011 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

While it may be very rainy and wet these days here in San Francisco, we have entered Spring, or we’re about to. We have definitely sprung forward and it’s a new season, a time where we come out of the cave of darkness of the winter and enter into the brightness of Spring. And while this happens externally, it also can happen on the inside. The changing of the seasons offers us a chance to make a seasonal change within and shine some light on those dark eyes, shed that which isn’t working so well and spring into that which is.

I love new beginnings, and I remind myself that every sun salutation, every downward facing dog, every tree pose is a new beginning, a new opportunity.

Sometimes it doesn’t always feel that way, and we forget to check in with ourselves and look at our habits. But it’s an important thing to do and landmarks, like birthdays and new years and the seasons can be a reminder to do so.

The other day in class, I was instructed to spread my legs wider. I later asked the teacher why do I not do that naturally and she said, habit. A lot of what we do is just the nature of habit and luckily habit is something that can change, with awareness. In the winter time we take on certain habits and now is the time to question those and see what habits we are keen to incorporate into Spring.

Books at Bernal

March 1st, 2011 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

This weekend, as part of the wonderful literary series at Bernal Yoga, Neal Pollack, writer, yoga practitioner and self titled “hot Jew of the yoga generations” will be sharing his latest creation at Bernal called Stretch, The Unlikely Making Of A Yoga Dude. In this funny, honest and enlightening book, Pollack shares his journey from an unhealthy, highly unlikely yoga candidate to a yogi extraordinaire. In a language that is humorous, self deprecating and deeply touching, Pollack speaks about the trials and inevitable tribulations we come into contact when we’re trying to go into a forward fold as we hear our legs crackle and our back ache. But Pollack makes it, and with great stride, as he falls into while remaining keenly aware of this wild culture of yoga. As John Hodgman points out in a  review of the book,  “Neal Pollack has a well documented history of putting himself into ridiculous positions, but never so literally… If Eat, Pray, Love had been written by a sweaty, aging, male smartass, then that book might be called Stretch, and Elizabeth Gilbert would be named Neal Pollack.”

Come to the reading at Bernal on the evening of the 5th and you may find yourself gleefully going into headstand as you trace the movements of Pollack and his relationship to this practice. It should be lots and lots of fun, especially for those yogi skeptics out there and those new to yoga…

It’s as if Bernal Yoga knows exactly what I need

March 1st, 2011 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It had been a week since I had been to yoga class and I went yesterday and felt completely transformed. One of the reasons was because I held certain asanas for a bit of time and was given the chance to actually feel the tissues in my body stretch and spread, releasing all the tension I had held in during these work days and colder evenings. In just a few minutes, a new class will be starting at Bernal that speaks directly to this need: Candlelight Yin with Caroline Kelley.

Firstly, it’s in candlelight. How can that not be a wonderful way to end your day and really rest into your body? Secondly, it does what I responded so well to yesterday, allows for some deep relaxation and offers an awareness of our inner workings, both physical and mental, as we really rest into a pose and hold it for a while, noticing our breath, the changes in our body, the feeling of stretching and opening and releasing. Like me, I am sure many of us work at our desks all day holding it in and by the sounds of it, this class allows us to just let go and extend ourselves and our bodies in the warmth of candlelight and with the guidance of a seasoned teacher, Caroline Kelley, who has learned and practiced yoga all over the world. Like the title of this post suggests, it’s as if Bernal knew exactly what I and so many of us need.

Bernal continues to offer new things all the time including Grey Wedeking’s Yoga Lab: Yoga for Athletes. That’s coming up the 12th and looks like an amazing workshop for athletes, of which there are so many in the Bay Area. Grey will guide practitioners on how to gain awareness on flexibility, balance and awareness while strengthening our alertness, particularly for athletes looking to strengthen certain muscles and bring stability to joints, things key to a strong and developing athletes. Sounds like a great class for everybody! Especially athletes.

Bernal Yoga! Always offering something new to present us with e chance to develop and grow.