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Showing posts from 2010

40 + 90 + 14 = 26

This past weekend and week were both very special for different, yet oddly related reasons.

I had the awesome opportunity to take Prenatal Yoga teacher training this past weekend with Juliana Secches, a physical therapist, yoga teacher, Mom to beautiful little Bruno, and an excellent teacher with a wealth of information about the birth process, pregnancy, and the body and soul of prenatal and post-natal women!  It was so eye-opening in so many ways, and I am so eager to continue delving into the process of empowering moms-to-be through yoga.

And then speaking of birth...

It was my birthday on Monday, and Marc's on Wednesday.  I taught my Community Yoga class at Karma Kids, which is usually full of rambunctious boys.  Only one boy showed up that day, however, and when I asked him to guess how old I was turning, these were his answers:

"40!"

"A little lower."

"90!"

"A little lower..."

"14?"

I can't express how much this deeply ti…

It's a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect

That's something we say to kids at Karma Kids if there's ever anxiety or jealousy about not being able to do a pose as well as they'd like to, or one they "can't" do.  Honestly - I think we adults need to hear that far more often than the kids!

I feel like this is my first week back after The Cold That Would Not End, and I've been feeling some stress and pressure about being back in the game.  Momentum is a powerful thing, and I've been feeling very much like mine went missing at Thanksgiving and is stubbornly keeping itself from being dredged back up.  I've been teaching a lot at the Matrix gym by my apartment, I had a challenging but very fun class at Karma Kids, and I'm setting up as many Thai Yoga Massages as my calendar can handle.  The momentum is coming back, slowly but surely, along with my confidence.

One of my favorite teachers in the world, Joe Somodi, started his class yesterday by talking about this time of year.  The first bitin…

The hard part of "Listen to your body"

If you attend yoga classes, you've no doubt heard the phrase, "Listen to your body" once or twice.  If you attend regularly, you've probably heard it a billion times.

It's the kind of thing that I find I hear so many times, I run the risk of letting it go in one ear and out the other without really hearing it - and more importantly, really listening.

As somewhat of a vinyasa junkie in my yoga practice, I've become accustomed to being highly physically challenged in my yoga classes.  Always working toward the next seemingly impossible pose, always working toward going upside down in new and exciting ways.  There's nothing wrong with that, by any means, but it does get you into the habit of pushing yourself.  That's a habit that's really important to learn how to break at certain times - most importantly, when you're sick.

The day before my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, Marc and I both got head colds at the exact same time.  As I sit here writ…

A quick pre-Thanksgiving note...

I'm not planning to write too much tonight - it's been a wonderful and busy couple of weeks and my body is crying out for REST!

My Thai II Intensive was this past Wednesday-Sunday.  What can I say?  It was magical.  I love Lotus Palm, I love my teacher and her assistants, and all the wonderful souls who came together to learn to spread metta and joy (and stress relief!) to others!

Here are a few pictures of the Intensive...off to Massachusetts tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with Marc's wonderful family.  It should be fun and delicious.  I'm definitely excited about my favorite of all holidays!

Performing Cow Face II on my lovely partner for the final day, Buffie.
Chopping her back...feels so good and it's so fun to do!
Performing the Diva Twist, the most intense of the 3 twists (at least up to this point in my education!)
Vivian, who runs an amazing healthy living center in Harlem, performs Kneeling Side Arc on Marianne, a lovely yogi and Mom (who I pictured in my entr…

Adventures in the Fancy New York Yoga Blogger World!

It's been kind of a weird week.  For the last two weeks I'd gotten into the rhythm of going to Karma Kids almost every day as I was covering for my lovely friend Laura and helping out with other various events.  Now that she's fully back in action, I've had some space in my life this week to bounce back to the grown-up end of the yoga spectrum a bit.

As I mentioned at the end of my last entry, I was quit honored to be invited to an event called Wake Up with ATHLETA.  Bright and early on Tuesday morning, I went to Yoga Sutra studio on 39th (which is a gorgeous space, by the way) and was greeted by several insanely nice and lovely Athleta folk.  The other bloggers and I had our pick of several Athleta clothes to wear for the class, taught by one of their models, the lovely Drisana Carey.

Now I have to admit...I had never worn Athleta clothes before Tuesday.  For all my love of beautiful yoga-wear, the reality is I have been in massive penny pinching mode for awhile and c…

The Yoga Fountain of Youth

This is the most amazing article...if you find you need motivation and inspiration on a Monday morning, look no further:  "The yoga supergran who can still assume the lotus position...at age 83."

Last week was a great yoga-week.  I subbed my first class at the Matrix, my neighborhood gym, and it went really well.  I was at Karma Kids a lot, still covering for my beautiful friend and fellow KKY teacher Laura who got married on October 30th.  I taught my first Storytime Yoga, which is crazy and fun.

I also, on the subject of yoga keeping you young, was insanely blessed to finally have my one-on-one session with my beloved Thai Yoga Massage teacher, Jyothi.  I don't know exactly how young she is, and I'm sure she looks younger than her age, but let me tell you, that woman is FLEXIBLE!  She puts her age group to shame, I'm sure.  I gave her a 90-minute massage and she critiqued me along the way, and I'm very happy and humble to say that I passed my evaluation wit…

Cleanse Mania

I received one of my guilty pleasures in life in the mail earlier this week - Self Magazine.  I always enjoy dramatizing the big cover story promises with Marc - "'Beauty tricks for busy chicks'??  Why, I'M a busy chick!" - and analyzing just how much airbrushing has gone into the cover model.  But I find once I open the page, Self often has interesting and empowering articles among the standard "Lose 8 pounds in one week!"-esque empty promises.

So I was intrigued, as a yogi, as someone who loves food more than words can possibly describe, and as a lover of alliteration when I came upon this article:  Detox Diets Debunked.  (At the bottom, be sure to continue to click on "Beat Bloat," etc. to read further - it's less general information and more "eat this instead of detoxing with that" but it's still interesting)

Given our body obsessed culture in our modern world (even in the magazine that publishes this very article), plus …

Rub your hands...Sit up tall...Take a deep breath...

Om...

The Karma Kids "Om Song" seemed an appropriate way to begin another "long lost blog" entry ;)

So even though it's been over a month since I quit my old job - it still seems like just yesterday - the big news is still my transition out of "day job" security and into the joy and occasional terror of being semi freelance.

The "semi" part of that is due to my new position as a teacher / part time desk person at Karma Kids Yoga!  It's a wonderful kids yoga studio that also provides classes to tons of New York schools, community centers, and even private family yoga in the home.  I started my teacher training very shortly after my last blog entry, and it was amazing. Working with kids is a completely new venture for me and it's been really fun and challenging so far.  I'm excited for everything it holds for me.

So now I have a whole almost-month until my next training - in November, the week before Thanksgiving, I take Lotus Palm…

One intensive down, one to go

Hello, semi long lost blog!  It's been an absolute insane couple of weeks, with another crazy one to start on Thursday.
The day after I wrote my last entry announcing my departure from "survival job" land and into full time yoga-dom, I hopped a plane to Massachusetts for the next 5 days to attend the beautiful, beautiful wedding of my boyfriend's older brother to his long time love.


The happy couple!

After that, I took a couple of days to nurse my out of control allergies (going back and forth from the trees of New England to the mold of New York was intense!) and then jumped headfirst into Thai Yoga Massage Intensive, Level I.  This was the same course I took back in May, only this time I was attending as my teacher's assistant.  Jyothi, my teacher, is an absolute delight of a person and a phenomenal teacher.  The class was full of really special people and I just can't say enough good things about those five days.  I'm so blessed to have had the opportunit…

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life...

...you know how the rest of the song goes.

Happy September!  I can't believe I haven't posted yet this month.  Time has been flying, full of wonderful family events and get-togethers (with a great one still ahead - the happy nuptials of my boyfriend's brother on Friday!).

I've also been busy crafting and shifting into a new chapter of my life.  Last week I left my office job that I've held since the day after I first moved to the city - I left it exactly one year ago to the day after I started!  It's quite nerdy how much that symmetry pleases me.  It was a wonderful company and I plan to stay in touch with the folks via the wonderful world of Thai Yoga Massage.

It wasn't my passion, however, so I'm really thrilled to be starting anew.  In two weeks, I'm going to start teacher training with Karma Kids Yoga to learn how to teach yoga ranging from Mom & Baby, toddlers, all the way up to teens.  I have two lovely friends who work and teach there alr…

Take it Easy

Today, on this beautiful lazy Sunday (a phrase I can never, ever say again without calling to mind that dang SNL sketch), I'd like to write an entry in praise of rest, relaxation, and one of my favorite ways in which to experience those things - Restorative Yoga!

I've loved restorative yoga since the first time I tried it a few years ago, but I never practiced it or went to restorative classes regularly.  I shared the mentality of most of us in the US, namely:  if I'm going to take the time to go to a yoga class, I'd like it to make me sweat.  We're so pressed for time that often workout time becomes very precious and very tight, and the idea of taking a class just to relax can seem to some people like a bit of a waste of both time and money.

I really lucked out, however, when I started as a Karma Yogi for The Giving Tree - working two shifts at the desk a week in exchange for unlimited free yoga.  My assigned shifts were Friday and Saturday evening, and one of the …

Settling in and pondering aparigraha

Last week I promised a more unpacked, settled, and firmly planted me, and I am overjoyed to say that me is indeed here.  I'm sitting at our desk in the nook (as we call it - our 2nd bedroom we're using as a practice room/office - it is teeeeeny tiny) and reveling in this moment of being home.

This current phase in homemaking that we're in - where the boxes are all unpacked and the bare bones are set up, but there's still a list of Things We Need to Buy and Organize and Wouldn't a Wall Clock be Nice to Have? - is really fun and exciting, amidst the occasional chaos and the fact that it costs money.

It's been a particularly interesting time for me, because I've spent the last few years of my life learning to live with as little as possible.  I've gone from tiny theatre-provided apartment to tiny theatre-provided apartment - not to mention first tiny New York apartment - and then being an unofficial 4th roommate at Marc's...

Well.  You get the idea.  M…

The Vacation, Move-in, 22 Hour Day and Need for Metta

The day I published my last blog, Marc and I left the big city for beautiful Virginia to visit my family.  It was a wonderful visit, relaxing as well as fun and filled with the southern culture that I love so much and is so much a part of my being.

So I was going to write a blog about that.

The day we came back from that vacation - Tuesday the 3rd - was our first night in the new apartment.  We got home from the airport around 5:30 and immediately began the still-ongoing task of taking all of our belongings out of the "nook" (small second bedroom/practice room) and unpacking.

So then I was going to write a blog about that.

In the middle of last week, though, Marc got upsetting news from home.  A close friend's younger brother, who Marc also knew, had died suddenly.  He was only 22 years old.  We decided to attend the memorial service to be held on Sunday in Boston.

It was a day filled with every kind of emotion in the book.  We got up at 5am to catch a 7am train to the c…

Running to get back on the horse

Last week was entrenched in a process that almost everyone has to go through at some point - Moving.  While the result is (usually) a blessing, the process usually feels like a curse.

For some reason, however, this time coincided with a burning desire between my boyfriend and I to finally really start getting up earlier to work out and be productive.  We've been talking about it forever and for the longest time it's just existed in the land of things that you want to do "someday," when things are calm and settled and you have the time and energy.  We really took the cake in proving that you can turn your motivation into action no matter what's going on with your life.  And you will mostly make it out not only alive but changed for the better.

I touched on this very issue in my last entry when I talked about really wanting to rekindle my relationship with writing and how I've had a hard time figuring out how to sync my motivation with the required time.

Oh,…

One month later...

...another entry!

I think I've figured out why, although this blog is important to me and I want to write consistently and well, I tend to go so long between entries.

I have a bit of a perfectionist side to me.  Not in a debilitating or obnoxious way (most of the time), but enough so that it sometimes hinders me.

My inspiration to start this blog was, as I'm sure I've mentioned, the blogs of several friends and strangers that I found myself reading and following.  I was often bowled over by the cleverness, thoroughness, and just plain interesting-ness of these entries that these bright, funny fitness/yoga aficionados were posting.

And, as so often happens to me, my ambition got too big for its britches and I decided I was just going to start any old yoga blog, but I was going to start a GREAT one filled with knowledge and the de-bunking of myths and the de-mystifying of concepts and one that would serve myself just as much, if not more, as those who read it as it would be …

Work Hard, Play Hard - Inspiration from The Giving Tree

No, not the book The Giving Tree.  Although I suppose it kind of is, in a way...

Let me explain.

So before I start thinking and sharing deep yogi thoughts, let me first announce that starting next month, I will be teaching the Community Classes (meaning donation-based - pay what you can!) at a yoga studio I absolutely love - who did receive its name from the book - The Giving Tree.  It's located off of the Ditmars stop on the N/W (soon to be only the N, lord help us...) and, along with fantastic yoga classes, also offers pilates, personal training, massage, reiki, and new in June - waxing! 

There are also community events every Sunday evening, and at least once a month on Saturday nights they do "Artists of Astoria," giving local artists a platform to perform.  I went to the one year anniversary party of this gorgeous studio last Sunday and still truly can't believe they've only been around a year.  The mark they've made on the community is huge so far and c…

Book Report: My Stroke of Insight

Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time and energy degrading, insulting, and criticizing ourselves (and others) for having made a "wrong" or "bad" decision.  When you berate yourself, have you ever questioned:  Who inside of you is doing the yelling, and at whom are you yelling?
One of the things I'd love to utilize my lovely little blog for - book reports!

There are always dozens of books that I want to read on any given day, and ever since I moved to the city and started pursuing yoga as a career, about a million more books have been added to that reading list.

Whenever I read fiction, I can easily speed read and plow through fairly quickly.  Nonfiction or "educational" books, however - especially those that delve into the insanely deep territory yoga can cover - take me a lot longer to absorb.  I often feel the need to spend a month on one whole book just so I feel like I absorbed part of it, and even then it feels like it's…

Thai Yoga Massage Level I

Hello, my long lost blog!

First things first - another class announcement regarding Creative Vibrations.  I may be teaching twice on Mondays!  I'm in talks with the owner regarding scheduling, but I think it's going to work out so that I teach an Open Level Yoga class at 5pm and a Yoga Basics (more specifically geared for beginners) at 6:15.  So come on to Ditmars at the end of the N/W line and bring friends!


When I started this dandy little thing last month, my intention was to create an outlet for myself (and hopefully others) to sift through and make sense of all of this newly acquired yogic knowledge I've been swimming in since moving to New York and training to be both a teacher and a more dedicated student of yoga.

And then I began another teacher training program and promptly fell off the face of the earth!  I can't believe how the time has flown since I completed the intensive.  When I emerged from the all consuming world I had a sudden feeling of panic.  I …

Class Time Change!

Although the update won't be reflected on my website for a few days, my class time at Creative Vibrations has changed!  You'll find me there and ready to teach at 6:15 on Mondays from now on (as opposed to 5, which was the original time)

Located at the last stop on the N/W, Creative Vibrations is a warm, lovely studio that also offers massage and bellydancing classes.  Hope to see you there!



P.S...

Thai Yoga Massage was AMAZING.  Can't wait to write more about it.

Miscellaneous Update Time!

With very little time to write an actual blog entry tonight, I still wanted to share a few fun things...

First thing's first - my website, Yogini Annie, is officially launched out into the universe of Everyone I've Ever Met today!  Designed by Billy Griffin and featuring photographs by Paul LeVasseur, Gloria Rabinowitz, and Klee Walsh, I'm very proud to share this site.

Yoga in the Park
I had the wonderful opportunity this past Sunday to teach a free yoga class with an awesome initiative, Yoga in the Park.  YIP was developed by Grisel Olivo, a fantastic yogini and all around beautiful person.  We completed Sonic's 200-hour teacher training together and I'm so happy to continue practicing with her.

The day was probably the warmest of the year so far, but we found a shady spot and had ourselves a great practice!  I'll be teaching there again next Sunday, May 16, and I can't wait to venture out of Astoria to meet new "uptown" yogis and yoginis..

Lotus…

Best laid plans...

Last Thursday started out as a stunningly beautiful spring day here in New York. I had planned to take advantage of the sunshine by running straight from work to Central Park to do some yoga and meditation – a little sliver of peace and solitude in an otherwise typically hectic weekday.  About an hour before I was to leave work, however, the skies suddenly turned black and opened up into a drenching downpour. 

I was absolutely crushed.  My entire day had been moving toward this one fabulous treat, and my energy was completely inspired by my anticipation of some much needed communion with our little Manhattan patch of nature. Instead I wound up running around like a chicken with my head cut off, half-changing plans as the weather would seem to clear and having a massive communication failure with my boyfriend over where we should meet now that I was suddenly free.  I fought in vain to keep tears that I thought were completely ridiculous, but that stubbornly kept showing up, from falli…

First Steps (aka the obligatory About Me introduction)

Greetings, Blogverse!  I am officially joining the ranks of the millions, billions, and/or zillions of self published and self proclaimed gurus of the Internets.  Who am I to do this, you ask?
Well, I'm Annie Foster, first of all.  Most of you reading this probably know me but if not - hello! I'm starting this little ol' yoga blog for various reasons.  I'm a southern girl who moved up to the Big City from beautiful Virginia this past September.  I had no idea how dramatically and positively it would change my life.
I've practiced yoga for about 7 years total.  It started as an off-and-on thing for when I had access to a gym or did a yoga tape (remember tapes?).  I started practicing more consistently during my senior year at beautiful Christopher Newport University, and after graduating in 2007 my practice really began to deepen.  I thought about becoming a teacher, but lack of confidence, scheduling challenges, or lack of money always made it seem impossible. …