The create Issue RUSSELL SIMMONS ROBERT STURMAN KRISHNA DAS KIRAN GANDHI SHARON SALZBERG CARRIE OWERKO
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NY YOGA + Life™ Magazine is part of the YOGA + Life™ brand of magazines
EDITOR IN CHIEF & OWNER Iana Velez MARKETING DIRECTOR Veronica Beltran ART DIRECTOR Sami Lea Lipman COMMUNITY RELATIONS Renee Choi FEATURES EDITOR Ko Im MUSIC EDITOR Tawny Lara ADVERTISING & SALES Ethel Kambourian Veronica Beltran ADVERTISING INQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS Visit us at www.nyyogalifemag.com FEATURES Want to feature your business, event, or contributing content, contact: email@example.com FOLLOW US ONLINE @nyyogalifemag www.nyyogalifemag.com NATIONAL SALES Juli Rathke NATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Contact national office for affililate YOGA + Life™ National Brand firstname.lastname@example.org 815.414.YOGA (9642) 2017 Yoga + Life Magazines, NY YOGA + LIFE. All rights reserved. No portion may be duplicated, in whole or in part, without the written consent of publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. The publishers assume no responsibility for accuracy of information or omissions from the material provided. Company cannot be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services rendered by the advertisers published in this magazine. The exercise instructions and advice presented in this magazine are designed for people who are in good health and are not intended to substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants, and distributors of NY YOGA + LIFE MAGAZINE disclaim any liability for loss or injury in connection with the exercises shown or the instruction and advice expressed herein.
YOGA & MINDFULNESS FOR CHILDREN TEACHER TRAINING
PROFILES TEAM // CITIES // LOCALS
Our editor, team, and contributors
12. PARTNER DIRECTORY
Where to pick up your copy of NY YOGA + LIFE
16. CREATORS LIST
Inspirational creatives in New York
26. MONTAUK Team favorites in Montauk
PROFILES // PLAYLISTS
28. RUSSELL SIMMONS
Music, mantra and mogul
32. KRISHNA DAS Kirtan, joy and saving your own ass...
36. DJ TAZ Igniting the creative spark
38 YOGA + MUSIC
Teacher playlists we love
42. KIRAN GANDHI
Feminist, musician, our spirit animal
ASANA // ANATOMY // PHILOSOPHY // PROFILES
46. ASK A GURU
Carrie Owerko answers your questions
48. STUFF WE LOVE
Our favorite yoga products
50. YOGA NIDRA Tips from Masumi Goldman
52. GOING PRIMITIVE
Avoiding wrist pain in yoga
53. HAPPY KNEE TIPS
Yoga poses to strengthen and protect knees
56. A DAY IN THE LIFE
Raghunath Cappo and family life
58. CROSSFIT CREATIVE Kenny Santucci interviewed by Lauren Cap
60. BIKRAM 101
Your first Bikram class
65. YOGA WITH YOUR CHILD Playful practice tips
66. SPANISH YOGA Latin yoga revolution with Kripalu and Rina Jakubowicz
70. MANTRA MEDITATION
Opening your heart and mind
FOOD // ART // FESTIVAL‹
72. VEGAN LOVE
Vegan recipies from Diana
76. ART + YOGA
Susanna Harwood Rubin’s creative journey
78. CREATIVITY OFF THE MAT
Yogi creatives turned entrepreneurs
80. SHARON SALZBERG’S INSPIRATIONS Who, what and where inspiration is found...
85. A NEW KIND OF YOGA FESTIVAL
SoulFest NYC is coming this May!
86. TEAM FUN
Behind the scenes fun with the NYYLM team
profiles / Team
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
IANA VELEZ AND RUSSELL SIMMONS PHOTO: VISIONARY ORGANICS
NOT FOR THE MONEY. NOT FOR THE FAME. NOT FOR THE RECOGNITION. BUT FOR THE PURE JOY OF CREATING SOMETHING AND SHARING IT. ― ERNEST BARBARIC
What does it mean to create? A “creator” to me is a person who is motivated by intuition and love to make something that is a direct expression of their soul. The process of creating is a conversation from and with the self, to the universe. Money, reason, and vulnerability have no place in a creator’s world. It is not that they are not blind or immune to these things, but they are not seen as obstacles–they are merely steps in the process. This doesn’t mean it is always an easy path for creators, but it is a path nonetheless that they cannot stop themselves from following.
Sometimes these people are called artists, but for me that is too small a word. Creators create everything, communities, life styles, philosophies, even magazines. The theme of this issue is appropriately CREATE, it is the product of INSPIRATION ( the theme of our first issue) and DESIRE (the theme of our second issue). It is the peak in the trifecta of life. I believe we are all creators...what are creating with your very precious life?
Iana Velez Editor in Chief & Owner NY YOGA + LIFE Magazine
ABOUT THE COVER PHOTO: ROBERT STURMAN
PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT STURMAN: A dedicated yoga practitioner and photographer, Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansive beaches and canyons of Malibu, the timeless elegance of Walden’s New England, or the bleakness of Marin County’s San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. In Sturman’s own words, “I often think of Rumi’s words ‘I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.’ That feels right to me.” Sturman’s honors include Official Artist of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, 2010 FIFA World Cup Artist Representing America, and Official Artist 2007 United States Olympics. In 2012 and 2013, Sturman was the subject of two separate New York Times articles celebrating his photographs of yoga from around the world. www.robertsturmanstudio.com
MODEL RUSSELL SIMMONS: A yogi, entrepreneur, producer and author. The Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, he cofounded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture. His yoga studio Tantris is now open in L.A. www.russellsimmons.com
profiles / Team
NY YOGA + LIFE MUSIC EDITOR @tawnymlara
NY YOGA + LIFE FEATURES EDITOR @konakafe
NY YOGA + LIFE COMMUNITY DIRECTOR @sfreneenyc
NY YOGA + LIFE TEAM SUPERSTAR @maggiefinnryan
CREATIVITY MEANS: intuition•self-awareness•risk
CREATIVITY MEANS: spark•expression•passion
CREATIVITY MEANS: flight•light•delight
SPIRIT ANIMAL: butterfly
SPIRIT ANIMAL: unicorn
SPIRIT ANIMAL: mythical catcow
CREATIVITY MEANS: bravery•imperfection• pulchritude
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: triangle
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: half-moon
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: side stretch with blocks
HOME TOWN: Waco, TX
HOME TOWN: Guam
HOME TOWN: San Francisco, CA
NY YOGA + LIFE TEAM LEADER @corpyogi
NY YOGA + LIFE TWITTER GODDESS @laurenalannac
NY YOGA + LIFE MARKETING GURU @verobel12
NY YOGA + LIFE TEAM @thegoodvibenyc
CREATIVITY MEANS: integrity•passion•discipline
CREATIVITY MEANS: happiness•love•authenticity
CREATIVITY MEANS: infinite•magical•faith
CREATIVITY MEANS: passion•love•creation
SPIRIT ANIMAL: owl
SPIRIT ANIMAL: white tiger
SPIRIT ANIMAL: mermaid
SPIRIT ANIMAL: unicorn
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: reclined goddess with bolsters
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: triangle
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: handstand
FAVORITE YOGA POSE: half moon
HOME TOWN: Branchburg, NJ
HOME TOWN: Westchester, NY
HOME TOWN: Chagrin Falls, OH
HOME TOWN: Huntington, NY
SPIRIT ANIMAL: golden retriever FAVORITE YOGA POSE: savasana HOME TOWN: Rochester, MN
PHOTOS: CHAS KIMBRELL
MEET THE TEAM!
NY YOGA + LIFE IS A VOLUNTEER BASED PUBLICATION, AND A PASSION PROJECT BUILT BY AN INCREDIBLE TEAM. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO BE INVOLVED, CONTACT OUR MARKETING GURU: VERONICA@NYYOGALIFE.COM
PHOTO: CHAS KIMBRELL CLOTHING: PHEEL STUDIO: LIFE TIME ATHLETIC AT SKY
profiles / Team
@chas_photoyogaphy CREATIVITY MEANS: Dreaming into reality
SPIRIT ANIMAL: my cat
FAVORITE POSE: tree pose HOME TOWN: Gaffney, SC
KEELY ANGEL @dearkeely
MASUMI GOLDMAN @twofitmoms
ALISSON MARIE WOOD @literarytswift
ASHLEY ROSE HOWARD @ashleyrosehoward
SHARI VILCHEZ-BLATT @karmakidsyoga
DIANA BEZANSKI @fogwoodandfig
CREATIVITY MEANS: trust, felixibility, imagination
CREATIVITY MEANS: passion, inspiration, innovation
CREATIVITY MEANS: determination, ink, bravery
CREATIVITY MEANS: In. The. Flow.
CREATIVITY MEANS: imagination, creation, play
CREATIVITY MEANS: authenticity, thoughtfulness, independence
SPIRIT ANIMAL: snow leopard
SPIRIT ANIMAL: butterfly
SPIRIT ANIMAL: ocelot
SPIRIT ANIMAL: bear
SPIRIT ANIMAL: owl
FAVORITE POSE: goddess
FAVORITE POSE: king dancer
FAVORITE POSE: childs pose
FAVORITE POSE: tripod headstand
HOME TOWN: Charleston, NY
HOME TOWN: Hackensack, NJ
HOME TOWN: Stratford, CT
LILLIAN DANIELS @thehappyknee_
JEFF POSNER @jeffposner
SUSANNA HARWOOD RUBIN
CREATIVITY MEANS: necessary, inspiring, powerful
SPIRIT ANIMAL: peacock FAVORITE POSE: mermaid HOME TOWN: Fort Washington, PA
handstand HOME TOWN: Syosset, NY
JEFF SIMMS @jeff_simms
RINA JAKUBOWICZ @rinayoga
MIRIAM CASTILLO @miriamcastilloc
CREATIVITY MEANS: liberate, expand, connection
CREATIVITY MEANS: intuition, self-awareness, risk
CREATIVITY MEANS: inspiration, focus, independence
CREATIVITY MEANS: fun, spontaneous, transformational
CREATIVITY MEANS: magic, inspiration, dreams
SPIRIT ANIMAL: gazelle
SPIRIT ANIMAL: bear
SPIRIT ANIMAL: butterfly
SPIRIT ANIMAL: snake
SPIRIT ANIMAL: lion
SPIRIT ANIMAL: snake
FAVORITE POSE: wheel
FAVORITE POSE: squat
FAVORITE POSE: triangle
FAVORITE POSE: crow
FAVORITE POSE: headstand
FAVORITE POSE: king pigeon
HOME TOWN: Syracuse, NY
HOME TOWN: Fair Lawn, NJ
HOME TOWN: Jersey City, NJ
HOME TOWN: Beacon, NY
HOME TOWN: Miami, FL
HOME TOWN: Mexico City, Mexico
HOME TOWN: Milford, PA
Childrenâ€™s Yoga Teacher Training
Nothing is more rewarding than introducing children to the world of yoga! Learn over 500 yoga poses, partner poses, group poses, yoga games and mindful activities, breathing exercises, relaxation and visualization techniques, classroom management skills and more for sharing yoga with toddlers through teenagers! Also check out our Teen Yoga Teacher Training Intensive for doing deeper work with the population that needs yoga most...teens! YA approved through Childrenâ€™s Yoga Teacher Training Collaborative.
COME PLAY YOGA ! Karma Kids Yoga | 25 West 23rd St., NYC 10010 karmakidsyoga.com | (646)638-1444 oct16_training_flier.indd 1
2/1/17 7:35 PM
PROFILES / Team
Thank you to the businesses below who support our publication. Their support keeps us free to the community, please support them as well. Swing by, thank them, and pick up your complimentary copy of our spring 2017 issue! Copies are also available on our website: www.nyyogalifemag.com
KRIPALU CENTER FOR YOGA & HEALTH 57 Interlaken Road Stockbridge, MA 01262 www.kripalu.org LIBERATION YOGA 862 Route 6 Mahopac, NY 10541 www.liberationny.com
SOME LIKE IT HOT YOGA & WELLNESS 181 NEW DORP LANE Staten Island, NY 10306 www.SomeLikeItHotYogaandWellness.com
LIFETIME ATHLETIC 750 Zeckendorf Boulevard Garden City, NY 11530 www.lifetimefitness.com
SONIC YOGA 944 8th Ave. 2nd Fl. NY, NY 10019 www.sonicyoga.com
LIGHTHOUSE YOGA SCHOOL 202 Grand St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 www.lighthouseyogaschool.com
THE YOGA COLLECTIVE 135 W 29th St. #603 NY, NY 10001 www.yogacollectivenyc.com
LITTLE FLOWER YOGA SCHOOL 9 Old Post Road South Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 www.littlefloweryoga.com
THREE JEWELS 61 4th Ave #3 NY, NY 10003 www.threejewels.org
NUEVA ALMA YOGA AND WELLNESS 799 McLean Ave. Yonkers, NY 10704 www.nuevaalma.com
URBAN YOGA FOUNDATION 549 West 152nd St. NY, NY 10031 www.urbanyogafoundation.org
MINDBODYSOUL YOGA 350 Fort Washington Ave. NY, NY 10033
YOGA NANDA 55 Hilton Ave. 2nd Fl. Garden City, NY 11530 www.yoga-nanda.com
ABSOLUTE YOGA 1 Guilles Lane Woodbury, NY 11797 www.absoluteyogastudio.com
FRESH 57 Spring St. NY, NY 10012 www.fresh.com
ALIGN BROOKLYN 579 Fifth Avenue 2nd Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11215 www.alignbrooklyn.com
HARLEM YOGA 44 West 125th St., 3rd Fl. NY, NY 10027 www. harlemyogastudio.com
ATHLETA 121 Wooster St. NY, NY 10012 www.athleta.gap.com
I AM YOGA 760 5th Ave., 2nd Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11232 www.iamyogany.com
OCEAN BLISS YOGA 533 Beach 126th St. Belle Harbor Yacht Club Belle Harbor, NY 11694 www.Oceanblissyoga.net
BIKRAM YOGA LES 172 Allen St., 2nd Fl. NY, NY 10002 www.bikramyogales.com
INTEGRAL YOGA 227 West 13th St. NY, NY 10011 www.iyiny.org
OM SWEET OM YOGA 12 Irma Ave. Port Washington, NY 11050 www.omsweetomyoga.com
BREAD AND YOGA 5000 Broadway Suite A, NY, NY 10034 www.breadandyoga.com
ISHTA YOGA 56 East 11th St. NY, NY 10003 www.ishtayoga.com
REX COFFEE 864 10th Ave. NY, NY 10039 www.rexcoffeenyc.com
CROSSFIT SOLACE 38 East 32nd St. NY, NY 10016 www.crossfitsolace.com
JIVA HOT YOGA 259 New Brunswick Ave. Fords, NJ 08863 www.jivahotyoga.com
SATYA 330 Bleecker St. NY, NY 10014 www.satyajewelry.com
FIREFLY YOGA 1004 Main St, Unit #8 Fishkill, NY 12524 www.fireflyfishkill.com
KAMADEVA YOGA 15 Lumber Lane, 2nd Fl. East Hampton, NY 11937 www.kamadevayoga.com
SKYBABY YOGA 75 Main St. Cold Spring, NY 10516 www.skybabyyoga.com
FIVE PILLARS YOGA 1298 Madison Avenue, 2nd Fl. NY, NY 10128 www.fivepillarsyoga.com
KARMA KIDS YOGA 25 West 23rd St. NY, NY 10010 www.karmakidsyoga.com
SAVASANA STATION 212 Ave. B NY, NY 10009 www. savasanastation.com
SHAKTI YOGA WOODSTOCK 1685 SAWKILL RD Woodstock, NY 12498
YOGA NANDA 52 East Park Ave., Suite 202 Long Beach, NY 11561 www.yoga-nanda.com YOGA SHUNYA 275 Grove Street, 3rd Fl. Jersey City, NJ 07302 www.yogashunya.com YOGASHAKTI YOGA CENTER 114-41 Lefferts Blvd. S. Ozone Park, NY 11420 www.teachyoga.org YOGASPARK 158 Duane St. NY, NY 10013 www.yoga-spark.com
The studios below have supported NY YOGA + LIFE for two consecutive issues. We thank you for your continued support.
ALIGN BROOKLYN Align Brooklyn is a boutique wellness studio located in South Slope, Brooklyn. They offer mindful practices for functional vitality including yoga, Pilates, barre, functional training, chiropractic & functional nutrition. Their array of classes are centered around one theme: alignment of body and mind. The synthesis of strength, core stability, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, balance, optimal nutritional status, and mental awareness creates wellness. www.alignbrooklyn.com
Nueva Alma opened its doors in 2012 with the vision of creating a place that was safe and welcoming to all who entered its doors. The intimate studio is sure to give you a special guided journey within. Nueva Alma aims to foster a sense of community both on and off the mat. Come to a studio oasis where you can escape from the worries of the world outside. The sanctuary atmosphere is set with burning sage and candles and smiling people who greet you from the moment you walk in. www.nuevaalma.com
YOGA NANDA Yoga Nanda began as an idea: home. Jules Boutelle founded Yoga Nanda in 2011 as a place for students to grow, flourish, and change. As the first stand-alone yoga studio in Garden City, Yoga Nanda has been home to over 40 styles of yoga, world-caliber instructors from all over the world, and an amazing community of students. Jules passed the studio on to Cara Stone in 2013, and since then, the vision for what Yoga Nanda can be has only grown stronger.
OM SWEET OM Om sweet om yoga offers the benefits of yoga to men and women of all ages and levels of experience in a non-competitive, supportive, down to earth manner. Specialized offerings are available for pre/post-natal moms, mom and baby, kids, teens, seniors and those with special needs. Voted “Best Yoga Studio” by Long Island Press in 2011! www.omsweetomyoga.com
YOGASHAKTI YOGA CENTER Yogashakti Yoga Center, established worldwide by H.H. Ma Yoga Shakti Saraswati, is a non-profit organization, Ma Yoga Shakti International Mission, that offers the teachings of yoga, meditation, and spirituality to all of those seeking guidance. Servicing the surrounding community since 1980, Yogashakti Yoga Center is the largest and oldest of it’s kind in Queens, featuring two spacious studios and a staff of experienced, dedicated teachers. www.yogashakti.yoga
KARMA KIDS YOGA At the Karma Kids Yoga studio, children are encouraged to “play” yoga and experience how their breath and body move together in a fun-filled way! The Karma Kids Yoga philosophy of teaching yoga to children provides kids with a variety of yoga tools that they can take away from yoga class and use throughout their lives. Through yoga poses, games, activities, music and stories, they promote strength, flexibility, coordination, and body awareness. Breathing and visualization techniques teach focus, relaxation and self-control. www.karmakidsyoga.com
JOIN US Be in our partner directory online and in print, and grow your business with us. Studio partners receive copies of NY YOGA + LIFE to share with their community and are eligible for special offers with our magazine family ! Sign up today! Email: email@example.com
New York is one of the most creative and diverse places on the planet. â€œCreatorsâ€? are those who are motivated by intuition and desire to bring something into the world from their heart. Welcome to our Creators List. In this feature, we rounded up the people we feel are having the biggest influence in our community in different categories. Enjoy meeting our favorite creators.
profiles / Locals
CREATE MINDFUL SPACE KHAJAK KELEDJIAN // INSCAPE
We’re reimagining meditation, just like in 1993 I reimagined the concept of the specialty boutique when my brother Haro and I founded INTERMIX. We disrupted the luxury shopping experience by uniquely styling different designers together in one space. Similarly, INSCAPE has infused a modern delivery of a traditional practices. We facilitate meditation in a new way that’s more accessible - the platform is neutral and contemporary. We’ve creating a brand that’s forward-thinking and relatable. What’s essential is how we take inspiration from what’s come before and translate it for today so that INSCAPE is innovative, immersive, balanced and connected.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE A MINDFUL SPACE?
DESCRIBE YOUR SPACE INSCAPE creates immersive guided meditation, relaxation and balance in an overstimulated, always-on world. We are the first multi-platform meditation and relaxation experience - an app and a physical studio which delivers signature content addressing the three primary reasons people meditate: health, performance and meaning. Our signature content is audio-guided, bringing the meditator through a unique flow of movement, breathing and meditation technique, step-by-step.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING “MINDFUL SPACES”? Over the last ten years, as I practiced and refined what mediation style works for me. I’ve been creating a “mindful space” inter-
nally. What started as a bet that I could not sit still for 15 minutes, when I was leading a hectic lifestyle as the founder and former CEO of INTERMIX, ended up inspiring me to make meditation more relatable and accessible. My friends and employees started asking how they could get started with meditation because they saw the positive changes I was experiencing. I realized there is an opportunity to create an immersive, community-driven space where people can find balance and calm within New York City’s urban setting.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? Reality inspires me. I think a lot about how people really live in our 21st century world and how I can reimagine an approach that’s amplified and more relevant.
For me, a mindful space has an infinite feeling and isn’t purely defined by a physical environment...It starts with finding an environment that supports the habit you’re setting and then you can work to create the mindful space inside of yourself. Once you have that space inside of yourself, you can be mindful anytime, anywhere. At our studio and within our app, we’re merging tradition, modern thinking and of-the-moment technology. There is a misconception that people need to detach from technology to find balance and create mindful environments. We want people to understand they can control how they interact with technology, rather than feel they are controlled by it. The reality is that technology is part of the evolution of our society and it can enhance and enrich our everyday lives if we utilize it mindfully.
INSCAPE is located at 45 W 21st St, NY, NY 10010 for more information visit: www.inscape.life
CREATE FASHION KELLY HSIUNG // MODERN YOGI
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS Modern Yogi is a contemporary activewear line for yoga practitioners who value comfort and quality in their practice wear. Inspired by the love of yoga, fashion and luxury, we fuse our distinctive designs with high-performance apparel. Each piece is mindfully designed to provide premium comfort, function and style.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING FASHION? For as long as I can remember, I loved color, design, fashion and the arts. My favorite subject in school was art. I recall always carrying my pencils and little sketchpads with me. Over the years, my passion grew brighter and I launched my first activewear collection in 2015.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? Sketching a design, seeing it through the production process then witnessing the positive change it has on someone wearing it. That is amazingly inspiring.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “FASHION?” Fashion is an expression of self. Your distinctive perception dresses you in the morning and declares who you are without you having to say anything.
For more information visit: www.modernyogiclothing.com
MEERA GANDHI // FOUNDER OF THE GIVING BACK FOUNDATION
DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION The Giving Back Foundation is a 501(C) (3) organization founded in 2010 whose mission has three platforms: transformative education of the girl child, to be a platform for dialogue and debate, and to spread mindfulness and happiness.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING “CHANGE”? Since I was young, doing charity work and helping others, tutoring the kids of my parents’ staff at 13 and going to Mother Teresa’s
Asha Dan in Mumbai.
WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION TO CREATE? Everything and everyone inspires me.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “CHANGE” AS IT RELATES TO YOUR BUSINESS? To me, change is the daily transformation of each of our beneficiaries’ needs and how we adapt to them by rearranging our schedule and priorities.
For more information visit: www.TheGivingBackFoundation.net
profiles / Locals
SHAY MOTION & JEROME COFFEY // VISIONARY ORGANICS
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS Visionary Organics is an impact-driven media production company using digital films to document visionaries and solutions for a more sustainable and optimal lifestyle. Utilizing artistic cinematography and inspiring words from the universe to tell stories of spiritual and cosmic abundance. We promote positive social change through the power of film. Our films help transform the current paradigm into a greener biosphere.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN FILMMAKING? Visionary Organics has been creating documentary films for the past two years.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? Documenting visionaries who follow their passion and contribute their part to push humanity forward, drive us to create these films to preserve history. We are inspired by the beauty of humanity, and each moment is entirely unique.
For more information visit: www.visionaryorganics.com
HOW DO YOU DEFINE VISONARY FILMMAKING? Visionary filmmaking is an art form utilizing the power of film as a tool to drive positive social impact and shift human consciousness towards abundance.
CREATE EMPOWERMENT ELISHA SIMPSON // CROSSOVER YOGA PROJECT
DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION The nonprofit Crossover Yoga Project (CYP) empowers young at-risk girls to overcome trauma and move toward positive change through yoga and art. CYP teaches girls to learn to value themselves and their bodies. They gain tools to manage stress, anxiety, and anger, while learning to become more self-aware, compassionate, and resilient.
HOW LONG HAS CYP BEEN CREATING EMPOWERED GIRLS?
This email: “My granddaughter would not go into the pool past her chest. When she did, she would panic and get out of the pool because she was scared. After working with Elisha at camp, she jumped into the pool and swam underwater without hesitation. I asked her how she did it, she replied, ‘I thought of Miss Elisha's meditation and I knew I could swim!’”
HOW DO YOU DEFINE EMPOWERMENT? Reclaiming your own power.
Founder Elisha Simpson has been creating empowered girls for over a decade. CYP celebrated its one year anniversary as a nonprofit in December.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION TO CREATE CYP?
For more information visit: www.crossoveryogaproject.org
CREATE BEAUTY ALINA ROYTBERG // CO-FOUNDER, FRESH
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS Fresh is pure beauty. We are always inspired by the past and look to natural beauty traditions passed down through generations of different cultures. The origins of these remedies have withstood the test of time. We innovate and develop the science needed to further the ingredients’ efficacy without compromising their integrity. Traveling the world, we seek out natural ingredients to incorporate into our products, introducing new, highly innovative formulations into the market, keeping Fresh at the forefront of the beauty industry.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION TO CREATE FRESH? When we started Fresh, there was a lack of options for naturally based personal care products. Traditional brands in the department stores offered information, but it was hard to connect emotionally to the products. We felt, to really get excited about a product, one needs to be more connected to the story behind the product, its raison d’etre. History held all the answers for beauty remedies. Sustenance ingredients became beauty remedies ingredients. All of that was really fascinating to us and we wanted to explore it from the start.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE BEAUTY? It’s the knowledge, the emotion and the passion a person projects. Self-awareness. Knowing how to embrace every stage of life. Knowing how to live in the moment. Enjoy laughter. Not afraid to love.
For more information visit: www.Fresh.com
We felt, to really get excited about a product, one needs to be more connected to the story behind the product, its raison d’etre.
profiles / Locals
CREATE ENTREPRENEUR LAUREN PORAT // YOGASPARK
DESCRIBE THE WORK YOU DO
WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION TO CREATE?
I am the owner of YogaSpark, a boutique studio dedicated to hot power yoga. All of our classes are fun, open level, challenging, 60 minutes, and set to awesome music. We currently have two locations in Tribeca and Westchester. As the owner I hire staff, oversee operations, live the brand, and teach kick-ass classes!
At first, it was my personal desire for a studio like this. Now, itâ€™s the amazing community of yogis that graces us with their energy and spirit every day.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN ENTREPRENEUR? YogaSpark opened in 2013, but I started a tech business prior to this called Urban Interns in 2008. I was a big company girl for many years before that, at IAC and Merrill Lynch.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? To be an entrepreneur is to believe so strongly that there is a need in the world for your product that you cannot imagine doing anything else with your life.
For more information visit: www.yoga-spark.com
CREATE DIVINE ENERGY
DESCRIBE YOUR LINE OF WORK My work, whether via yoga, massage or Reiki healing, is to remind everyone that we are all divine energy. We cannot create it; we only create the conditions through which it expresses itself through us. Each modality is a way of removing blockages to the natural flow of divine energy.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING DIVINE ENERGY? I have been teaching and working as a healer for a decade, but I know this will be a lifetime of work.
...CONT. CREATE DIVINE ENERGY
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? I’m inspired by the renewed light and aura of peace surrounding a client after a session. It’s like they’ve let the human mask slip!
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “DIVINE ENERGY” Divine energy is life itself. It manifests in feelings of openness, growth, and playfulness. It is the willingness to give and receive love.
For more information visit: www.liberationny.com
CREATE COMMUNITY INTEGRAL YOGA INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK
DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION Integral Yoga Institute of New York is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the practice and teachings of Integral Yoga, as taught by Sri Swami Satchidananda. These teachings facilitate an easeful body, a peaceful mind, a useful life, and ultimately promote peace in the individual and in the world.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING COMMUNITY?
HOW DO YOU DEFINE ”COMMUNITY?” In Sanskrit the word is sangha. This is the belief that in coming together and supporting one another, we create a better world and healthier people.
For more information visit: www.iyiny.org
Since our founding over 50 years ago, Integral Yoga has embraced all people, from all walks of life, from all cultures, faiths and styles of living and loving.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? The benefits of coming together are reinforced every time we experience them. The depth of connection people find in the nurturing atmosphere of Integral Yoga.
PROFILES / Locals
CREATE ART LEANNE LEILANI ARANADOR
DESCRIBE YOUR LINE OF WORK The Doodle Journey is a creative platform that helps you un-edit yourself and unlock your creativity through tools and workshops that illuminate and magnify your inner voice.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING ART? I've always had an interest in art as a kid, but it wasn't until New Years' Day 2015 when I decided to take on a 365 #adoodleaday challenge that my career as an artist really kicked off.
Life experiences, relationships and hard conversations inspire me to create.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE? Life experiences, relationships and hard conversations inspire me to create.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE ART:
For more information visit: www.leannearanador.com
Art is a tool. It gives you an opportunity to transform your internal negativity into external positive thoughts and actions, which ultimately leads to transforming your world.
PROFILES / Local
PHOTO CREDIT: TODD MARSHARD
CREATE SACRED FERTILITY LAUREN HANNA
DESCRIBE THE WORK YOU DO
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO CREATE THIS?
My mission is to share the story of my fertility triumph, and to share my wisdom as a way to support all women who are trying to become pregnant. I have created a holistic yoga program that combines modern research, ancient teachings and my own personal fertility experience.
After a long, tumultuous journey of infertility, I conceived my daughter Jaya naturally at age 46. I am inspired to help others find the same joyous outcome.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SACRED FERTILITY?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING THIS SACRED SPACE?
Sacred Fertility Yoga is a live or online program that will bring balance, grace and ease into your life while optimizing your fertility.
It has been my passion for the past eight years. I am in the process of writing my book, and working on my online webinar program that launched July 2016.
For more information visit: www.sacredfertilityyoga.com
PROFILES / Locals
CREATE ALCHEMY LOULOU PISCATORE, MS L.AC LMT
DESCRIBE YOUR WORK
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
I use acupuncture, massage, essential oils, plant medicine, dreamwork, lifestyle counseling and food energetics to support my patients through healing crisis. Together we move energy physically, emotionally and spiritually. I try to remove obstacles so they can “become who they are.” I support their body and soul’s innate ability to heal itself.
My patients inspire me. The work engages not just on the physical level, but on the electromagnetic, astral and spiritual levels as well. We go on a journey together…it’s amazing.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING ALCHEMY? You create “alchemy” any time you engage with, move or change energy. I have been doing this work for more than a decade, but I have been studying five-element alchemical healing this past year and it resonates deeply.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE ALCHEMY? “Dying to be reborn.” Using chaos or disease to move forward instead of backwards. Letting things shatter to put the pieces together in a new way. Becoming who you are.
For more information visit: www.louloulac.com
PHOTO CREDIT: JENNA DUFFY
CREATE QUIET IN THE CITY JESSE ISRAEL // MEDI CLUB // THE BIG QUIET
DESCRIBE YOUR WORK
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
Medi Club is a collective of thousands of young New Yorkers that come together to meditate and have conversations about the topics that we donâ€™t usually have the space to discuss. The Big Quiet is a mass meditation series that hosts moments of quiet and culture with thousands of people in iconic landmarks like SummerStage Central Park and the Oculus World Trade Center.
I love bringing people together and facilitating experiences that deepen human connection. This is what makes me feel most alive and gives me the inspiration to create.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING QUIET IN THE CITY? Our first Medi Club was December 2014 and our first Big Quiet was Summer 2015.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE QUIET IN THE CITY? Quiet in the city is about making time to surrender to whatever is going on in our lives -- and rebuilding the courage to face it.
For more information visit: www.bigquiet.nyc
PROFILES / Locals
MONTAUK OUR PICKS FOR YOURÂ MONTAUK ADVENTURE BY: VERONICA BELTRAN AND KO IM PHOTOGRAPHY: RENEE CHOI CLOTHING: PHEEL
Summer is on the way and the NY YOGA + LIFE crew loves to head out to sand and surf in Montauk! Only a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, Montauk offers a great retreat from city life. Check out our favorite places to eat, shop and yoga!
YOGA Yoga Lila yogalilamontauk.com HOT’auk hotaukyoga.com
SHOP Nibi nibimtk.com Whalebone shopwhalebone.com Fin finmontauk.com
EAT + DRINK Montauk Juice Factory montaukjuicefactory.com Joni’s jonismontauk.com Naturally Good Foods naturallygoodcafe.com
UNWIND Montauk Salt Cave montauksaltcave.com Gurney’s gurneysmontauk.com Private Acupuncture and Massage louloulac.com
SIMMONS BY: TAWNY LARA PHOTOGRAPHY: THOMAS CONCORDIA
Co-founder of Def Jam Records. Promoter of Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run D.M.C., and LL Cool J. Fashion designer. Movie and television producer. Outspoken human rights and animal rights activist. Vegan. Meditator. Jivamukti Yogi. Yoga studio owner. Russell Simmons. Born and raised in Hollis, Queens, the man of many accolades is vocal about how living in the city has helped him find success in both business and stillness. He credits much of his recent success to yoga, mindfulness, and a vegan diet. We got to catch up with Russell to learn how yoga changed his life and how it helped him cultivate creativity.
In your book, Success Through Stillness, you say “Stillness is the soil in which imagination is nourished and our ideas can grow to incredible heights. The soil that can yield a crop — that will sustain us for a lifetime.” Can you elaborate a bit more on that and discuss how it relates to creativity? As yogis, we all know that creativity is self-evident. Everything that we create or anything that we do well, we do with a present awakened state of mind, more or less. That’s the reason we meditate and do yoga. In fact, everything in life is to achieve these seconds of stillness that allow us freedom from the noise that separates us from not only our creativity, but from all of our greatest gifts. Stillness is the purpose. The second sutra is about letting go of the noise that compromises the nervous system that separates us from god-like qualities. When the mind is still, there is this awakened state that can only be created in the present. We all work toward the more present seconds, expounding on the seconds of presence.
What kind of changes do you notice in your body whenever you are fully present? I’m never fully present. There’s always noise and suffering. But this idea we know is truthful, that there is such a thing as the fourth stage of Samadhi or this realization of nirvana or Christ consciousness, or whatever, you know. We know that just moving towards it promotes happiness, more creativity, more awakened state, greater functionality, all of these things. So this idea that Jesus changed things, right – “All these things I do you can do.” They say he was a miracle worker. So, he said that anyone who became fully present, fully awake who had Christ consciousness, or god consciousness or, you know, whatever – Samadhi we refer to yogis – those people are miracle workers but have no interest in changing the world. Jesus said he did it so you could see who you are, not for any other reason, because the world according to him was in perfect order, and all the prophets would say it’s in perfect order. We operate from this abundance, this reality
Music / Profiles
which is the presence that they all refer to. You know, this awakened state.
What about people that have no interest in even getting there? They all have an interest in getting there. Again, I jokingly refer to buying it. Like we said, “Once I get this money, shit’s going to be perfect; once I get my shit, it’s all I need.” And the suffering continues. So, there’s always
...everything in life is to achieve these seconds of stillness that allow us
from the noise that separates us from not
only our CREATIVITY, but from all of our greatest gifts.
the next thing and the next, and needing things to be different. But needing nothing, being fully awake, that is the key. Needing nothing – that’s the state of yoga. That’s the fully awakened, present state that we’re all chasing. Seconds of it come from the new shit. Seconds of it come from the drugs that quiet the mind or numb the mind. Or seconds of it come from all of these success stories that, you know, you drive a new car around the block, you take off the seconds, oh shit. Then you forget. You’re upset because it’s supposed to relieve the suffering. So, none of this stuff on the outside that we are chasing that should relieve – that we think it’s to relieve our neediness – none of those things ease the mind or calm the mind. So, it’s this inner battle with the noise and the neediness that we are combating. What are your religious beliefs? It’s all the same. When Jesus passed, there were no Christians. When Mohammed died there were no
Music / Profiles
Muslims. When Abraham died there were no Jews. Even when Lord Buddha died there were no Buddhists. The gangs started after their passing. People came to give context to scripture that they were born into. Jesus was not a Christian. Mohammed not a Muslim. So, it’s interesting that they formed gangs based on these beautiful philosophies. It’s noteworthy for all those who are paying attention.
shit? What is wrong with you?” You’re like, “Fuck you; none of your business.” They may say “No, I’m just telling you, you’re going to fuckin’ die.” Hundreds of billions of animals are birthed into suffering and poisoned, and then they poison you, and it destroys the planet. None of us are enlightened, at least that I know. We are
I think it’s fantastic that people are doing asana as much as they are, because asana can lead to a real interest in the other seven parts of the yogic practice. The eight limbs of yoga are valuable and doing asana gets us somewhere. Every yoga teacher knows something and many of them expound on their practices. You know, we can get a certification so simply in America. It’s great to go to a 200-hour teacher training, and it’s great if you teach somewhere, but I encourage people to expound on their knowledge so they can understand all the benefits of yoga. That’s why I’m building a yoga studio, Tantris in L.A.
Why not New York? Because I live in L.A. That inner battle manifests in many ways. You’re very open about your past with drug use and partying. I’m wondering if you see that behavior in people that are in the party scene now, do you advise them against that sort of lifestyle or do you let them learn on their own?
But you’re from Queens, man! I am from Queens, but I live in L.A. now. I want to have somewhere to go that’s devotional every day, that was my selfish motivation. Then I also get to spread yoga. I would love to make it trendy. Not only the physical practice because that’s already trendy. It’s so easy to take the asana practice as a springboard because you do it every day. Many people do it every single day and they don’t know the eight limbs. I’m interested in the science, the philosophy, the texts.
I say things and think they’ll digest it; I try not to be too heavy handed. Sometimes I say something and they can’t digest it at the time, but it sticks in the back of their head and then someone says it in a compassionate way and they digest it...So there’s a lot of different routes through moving someone towards support systems. There was a Malcolm X, and there was a Martin Luther King. There’s always different ways to affect people.
I’m looking to get my 200 hour. Yoga and meditation have helped me through a lot and I want to
But needing nothing,
that is the key. Needing
Some people can easily get turned off by extremists. Some just don’t care about making a change at all. How do you approach that with compassion?
moving towards this state because we know it exists and because we know we are happy as we take the path on – whichever one – that moves us towards this more conscious state.
The angry ones have some validity. The compassionate one is probably happier and less judgmental, but the angry one can be effective too. If someone asks you, “Why do you eat that
You’re so passionate about traditional yoga and the traditional yogic values. How do you feel about the westernization and common cultural appropriation of yoga?
nothing – that’s the state of
YOGA. That’s the fully
awakened, present state that we’re ALL
give back in that way. Maybe I’ll teach at prisons or women’s shelter. Yoga shouldn’t be a luxury. Yoga should be easily accessible. I agree with you. You know, people would always write me when they wanted the scholarship that it would help them with their relationship with the world. The reason I wanted people to get the scholarship was so they could help the
The noise in the mind is the cause of all suffering.
Our SEPARATION from the present moment. Fully
AWAKENED, present people never suffer for anything
world, not help their relationship with the world only, but that their motivation was that they would teach in communities where people couldn’t afford it, or in places where people needed it the most.
You’ve been quoted comparing creativity to soil. How is soil similar to the mind when it comes to cultivating creativity? The noise in the mind is the cause of all suffering. Our separation from the present moment. Fully awakened, present people never suffer for anything. They are awakened and the experience is beautiful. Everything. A corpse. A sunset. Anything. So we are always working towards more presence. That’s our goal. We can buy it, we can take drugs to get it, we can do all kinds of stuff, but you know, the truth is the only way to get it is through the practices that are given to us through scripture.
Visit Russell’s yoga studio in L.A. www.tantris.com
BY: IANA VELEZ PHOTOS: PAYAL KUMAR
If the kirtan world had rockstars, it would Krishna Das. Originally from Long Island KD, as he is affectionately known, spent the late 60s travelling and living in India where he met his guru Neem Karoli Baba, known to most as Maharaj-ji. KD later returned to the U.S., and ultimately found peace through chanting after the death of his guru, and years of drug use. What started as a small group chanting at Jivamukti in NYC over twenty years ago, has turned into sold out tours all over the world and a Grammy nominated album. Editor in Chief of NY YOGA + LIFE had the opportunity to spend time with KD to chat about kirtan, joy, and saving your own ass...
I have to be honest, kirtan and chanting were things I used to dread. I’d be in a yoga class and the teacher would pull out the harmonium and in my head I’m screaming “no, no, not the chanting.” I still say that when most teachers pull out the harmonium (laughing) (laughing) Then I saw One Track Heart ( Documentary about KD’s work and life) and it pretty much blew my mind. What we want to share with our community is that there are so many paths you can take. Yoga may not be for you, meditation might seem impossible...but here is another option: kirtan and chanting. For someone new to all this, how would you describe kirtan? Lets just say that most of our pain and suffering, comes from our thoughts. It comes from the way our minds function, and the way they obsessively follow every thought that comes. And also believing every thought that comes. So the idea of yoga or union with your true self, would mean to find a way to let go of those thoughts that pull us out of our self and into confusion. Asana practice helps, but chanting is like asana of the heart and mind. It’s moving more directly at the root cause of unhappiness, and more directly at the cause of happiness, of peace, and well being. They say that underneath all the nonsense that we feel and think most the time is real happiness. Our true nature is a feeling of “OKness” which we in the West and the modern world have really lost touch with.
Music / Profiles
We use music and the repetition of these mantras, which in India they call the names of god. But we don’t have to call them that. For instance the word “God” bothers me, I’m not comfortable with that. It is a very western tinged word and it invokes a feeling of some big guy up in the sky throwing thunderbolts at you. That’s not my idea of fun. So when I went to India and met real godly people, people who knew what this was all about, the feeling was of a total being at home and total happiness. And none of that good and evil judgemental stuff, which is pretty much where we spend most of our time in our thoughts and emotions.
IS LIKE ASANA OF THE
HEART AND MIND
that’s not included in the five senses and the thoughts. That’s the place you are touching when you do asana. It brings you out of your thought process and paying attention to the body, and the body has many things going on that are revealed to us as our minds get quieter, and we pay deeper attention. Imagine taking that attention, and turning it directly to the source of all being. The source of life, the source of goodness and truth, peace and joy and happiness and real satisfaction—which is who we are. So what we chant is essentially the names of that place inside of us that is all those things. That is peace. That is happiness. That is a sense of OKness. It’s just that we’ve fucked it up so badly…(laughs) I love one of the things I’ve heard you say before is you chant to “save your miserable ass” (laughs) I love that. How’s that coming along? Is it still in process? Definitely still in process, and my ass has gotten much wider in a good way! (laugh-
ing) In a way that it includes a lot of people, it includes the rest of the world. So when I chant, of course I get results from that in the immediate moment, but I also recognize that there are other people involved that are also getting something. I'm not giving it to them, we are creating an atmosphere where each person can move more deeply into themselves. Through the chanting, through the music, and the chanting of these very special sounds. These sounds have come from that place within us, and so they have the power to bring us back to that place. That place is what we are all looking for. What we do is develop the ability to let go of thoughts, and come more deeply into ourselves while we are chanting, while we are doing that practice. And just that bit of practice loosens up the grip of all that stuff, little by little over time. Because we are so programmed on so many levels to look outside of ourselves for what’s really within us, it’s a very slow and deep process of turning towards ourselves.
Why is that? We are programmed that way. It’s the nature of this world. In this world everything is either too little or too much. And why is that? It’s because we are not dealing with real happiness, we are dealing with pleasure and pain. And the nature of pleasure and pain is that it’s always changing, it’s always in flux. What is pleasurable and brings some kind of happiness at first, morphs into something else and then it brings unhappiness. What’s painful, very often morphs into something else. The nature of the world of the mind and the senses, or the thoughts and the senses, is that it’s always changing and impermanent. Since that is all we have been taught growing up in western culture, it’s very hard to recognize that there might be another way to live. There might be another quality to life
Music / Profiles
...do what you can to realize what you are really longing for. The
is not only an expression of that
it is also the fulfillment of that longing at the same time
Watching you chant, it seems as if energy is travelling through you, not from you, so you never seem drained by what you are doing. When I am singing, I am not singing to the people in the room. I'm doing my practice. I can't even open my eyes, I never see people dancing and jumping up and down. My eyes just close and I forget about opening them because I am doing my practice. It’s not about the people in the room, it’s about me and that presence. So I don’t feel anyone is taking anything from me, I’m just entering into that presence and of course that brings a lot of deep feelings. I’m not trying to entertain anybody, I’m not trying to give anyone experiences or anything. I sing, then I go home. That’s why it’s so powerful I think, because I’m not trying to manipulate people. If I was trying to manipulate people, everybody would feel that somewhere. And some people want to be manipulated, they are the people that come
up and follow me around, because they enjoy being manipulated. This is given freely, and openly, you’re free to come, you’re free to go. Because it’s who you are, it’s inside of you. There’s nothing anyone can give you, except every once in awhile a great saint can give you a little glimpse of who you are. To encourage you to keep moving down the path to yourself. Do you think there are any more saints out there? If there weren’t saints, we wouldn’t be here. There are always saints, whether they show themselves to us or not...there’s a reason that they do or don’t. They are always here, they are the ones running the show. Everything happens for a reason and they are doing what has to be done. You can’t go looking for a saint, you’ll never find a saint. Saints find you. You don’t do it, all you do is try to get in touch with that longing that you have in your heart.
Trust it, and follow it, and do what you can to realize what you are really longing for. The chanting is not only an expression of that longing, it is also the fulfillment of that longing at the same time. The theme of this issue is CREATE. What does that word mean to you? All creation comes from some intention. A lot of people talk about creating happiness in their lives, people say “we create our own happiness and unhappiness.” Not really... our lives unfold in time, in front of our eyes, according to our karmas. Our own actions in the past that have been created by our own actions. Every action creates a karma and every karma creates an action so to speak. Our job, our duty, our responsibility to ourselves, if we want to “create happiness” is to deal with what arises in our lives, what shows up in our lives, in the best possible way that we can. That means different things to different people at different times. When I say “best” that is a qualitative statement, it
could mean a different thing to me tomorrow than it does today and that’s the beauty of it all. But the idea is that everything that is happening in our lives has been created by our own karmas. Like a wave that is coming in from far off in the ocean and crashing over us on the shore. All we see is the wave, we don’t see how long it took to get there, what originally created that motion in the ocean that created that wave. If we recognize that happiness lies beneath the waves, so to speak, we don’t want to create more waves by pushing back on that wave. We want to allow that wave to come over us, pass through us, and be gone. But if we react, we create more karmas in that moment, based on that wave. The idea of creation is very interesting.
You do have to
do the work,
you have to sit down and do the practices. That is what creates the space around the thoughts and
and reactions that we have. Krishna Das will release a new studio recording fall 2017. Forty day pre-sale of album with one time bonus items starts April 2017. Visit www.krishnadas.com for details.
So when we talk about creation we have to recognize as human beings in the situation that we are in, we are reacting all the time to stimuli inner and outer. If we want to create
happiness, we have to create the intention to find that place within us that is deeper than the reactions. Out of that place, an incredible space of love and compassion and kindness will arise. It’s not like we are going to just push a button and create something, not on a spiritual path...it’s very different. You do have to do the work, you have to sit down and do the practices. That is what creates the space around the thoughts and emotions and reactions that we have. To create or invoke the life we want, we have to have the intention, the will and the strength to participate in certain practices that will train us not to react, and not to keep recreating the storylines we tell ourselves.
BEAUTIFUL MAYACAMAS RANCH.
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Music / Profiles
DJ TAZ BY: DJ TAZ RASHID PHOTOGRAPHS: RENEE CHOI
riter’s block can happen to any artist, writer, or person whose vision is to surrender into a creative endeavor. Suddenly the writer is unable to write, the artist is overwhelmed by the canvas. Completely stunted, there is no ability to generate movement through the creative process. Most creative types recognize the personal hell of being blocked the minute it is mentioned. After enduring years of this roller coaster, I’ve accumulated a few tools that can reinitiate that creative spark. DISTRACTIONS: Daily distractions all try to steal my attention from my “should” list. For example, when I know I have to finish arranging a song or completing a project, I turn off ALL distracting websites (you know the ones), put my phone in airplane mode and if internet is not needed for the project, turn off the Wi-Fi completely. In my case, most or all my music production/studio work is on the computer and my distractions are a few keystrokes away. I let myself have a “treat” when I finish my task - that’s when I let myself check email or check in with whatever social media outlet I need to connect with. EXERCISE: Oxygen counts. A big part of my creative process is invigorated by doing breathwork, running and being dedicated to an exercise practice. When I know I’ll be facing a new deadline for developing music or writing projects, I either work out, do a power vinyasa yoga session and add in some breath work like kundalini, breath of fire, simple pranayama or mindful breath meditation to help turn up the creative juices even more. Exercise and yoga literally shakes things up and brings the reservoir of my creativity bank to the surface. FOOD: I consider myself a flexitarian when it comes to my diet but during the creative process I put myself on a vegan or raw diet, because heavier foods block the flow of energy and prana in my system and make me sluggish. The vegan/raw diet allows me to feel super light and natural energy flows easier. The joy I feel on natural clean foods permeates my creative work, and I have come to believe that it infuses my work with a natural spiritual energy as an added dimension.
MEDITATION: I can do all of the above, but let’s face it - we can’t force creativity. So I practice meditation, prayer and asking the universe/God/higher power for help is a good place to start. I offer my intention, and ask to be open for the ideas to flow in. This approach also allows the conscious mind/monkey mind to rest and relax, often allowing my best ideas to come to me. These ingredients are always in the mix when I am arranging tracks as a DJ or creating original music. I also surround myself with quality music by other musicians, which is always an inspiration, and interface with anything or anyone that will motivate my inner strength and bank of magic. The joy and aliveness factor that gets strengthened by this streamlined approach provides me with the fuel that runs everything. So regardless of who you are or what kind of creative project you are working on, you can enjoy these touchstones to break through your inevitable blocks. Experiment with them and may you surround yourself with whatever and whomever inspires the best in you.
YOGA SERVICE CONFERENCE Supporting Practice & Building Community May 19-21, 2017 Register at eOmega.org/ysc or call 800.944.1001. Tiered pricing options are available.
Free download listen to DJ Taz Rashid’s new music for free by texting LOVEYOGA to 44222. Stay in touch at www.djtazrashid.com
Join leaders in the field to gain a renewed sense of purpose and learn concrete tools to integrate directly into the work you do in the world.
LINDA GRAHAM | GAIL PARKER SAT BIR SINGH KHALSA | LESLIE BOOKER TEO DRAKE | AND MORE Start the conversation early with one of three preconference intensives on May 19: Tools for Social Change, The Art of Compassionate Facilitation, or A Retreat Day for Service Providers. Presented by
The Yoga Service Council is dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness, sustainability, and impact of individuals and organizations working to make yoga and mindfulness practices equally accessible to all. Visit us at yogaservicecouncil.org to learn more about our membership benefits, yoga service best practices book series, community resource papers, webinars, and more.
Music / Playlists
Yoga + music BY: RENEE CHOI AND TAWNY LARA ILLUSTRATIONS: LAUREN REBBECK
When it comes to curating a yoga class, choosing the right music is just as important as choosing the asanas. Music can set the tone for the class and can even make that last breath in chaturanga almost bearable. We’ve carefully selected a few killer playlists from some of New York City’s top yoga instructors. Here’s what their classes are currently vibing to.
Hard Believer / Fink Help Me Lose My Mind / Disclosure, London Grammar Your Life / Andras Fox Clair de Lune / Flight Facilities and Christine Hoberg Valentine Virus Part II (Ode to Prod) / Royce Wood Junior Decks Dark / Radiohead The End New Stereo Mix Advanced Resolution / The Doors Into the Mystic / Van Morrison Better Than / Lake Street Dive River / Leon Bridges Boy 1904 / Jónsi & Alex Dot Gain / Tapes and Topographies 741 Hz Consciousness Expansion / Source Vibrations
CAROLINE MCCONNAUGHEY SMITH Seraphese / Morly Sea of Dreams / Baby Alpaca Special Affair / The Internet Float / Pacific Air Feel Safe / All We Are Disparate Youth / Santigold Jimmy Franco / Lolawolf Reunion / The xx Thea / Goldfrapp Babe I’m Yours / Whilk & Misky Huldra / Gigde Levitation / Beach House Messy Hearts / Moon Ate the Dark
Caroline McConnaughey Smith
Music / Playlists
DOMENIC SAVINO Shanti (Peace Out) / MC Yogi Moola Mantra Blessings / Sonido Shanti, Miranda Johansen So Ham - I Am That, the Mantra of the Breath / Vidura Barrios, Jeffrey Main Wicked Game / Tula Could / Elderbrook ...Passing By / Ulrich Schnauss Roads - Sultan and Tonedepth / remix by Portishead We Get High (feat J.U.D.G.E) / Henry Saiz Remix by Eagles & Butterflies Raoui / by Niconé, Sascha Braemer This Time /Original Mix by Alex Dimou, Black Soda Something Inside / Latefall remix by Jessie Ware, Latefall Living Stones / KiloWatts All I Want / Dawn Golden Only Me /Arctic Lake Beyond Raging Waves / DJ Krush, Shin’ichi Kinoshita Always feat. Renata Youngblood, Dave Eggar / Earthrise SoundSystem Ready or Not / The Fugees Just a Game / Birdy #3 /Aphex Twin Sea of Oms / Morley
Krissy jones KRISSY JONES
Aquarium / Casino Versus Japan
Didn’t Cha Know/ Erykah Badu
Nowadays - Remastered / YUS
Nikes / Frank Ocean
The Finishing / Stavroz
Hey Mama Wolf / Devendra Banhart
Cranes in the Sky / Solange
Weary / Solange
Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough / Bossa Nosta, Alanah
Fade Into You / Mazzy Star
COMMUNITY IN THE CITY BY: ASHLEY ROSE HOWARD
places to create community in your neighborhood
1. SPIRITUALIST CHURCH NYC
114 E 35th St
A church-like setting, sans church-like preaching. This spiritual community invites all religious backgrounds to join their services, which occasionally include mini reiki sessions and healing hymns. www.spiritualistchurchnyc.com
2. C.R.E.A.T.E. COMMUNITY SERIES 15 W 28th St.
Holy high-energy, batman. Twice a week Nat and Kristin offer a community gathering of local artists, actors and creators fully equipped with fun exercises and guided meditations to unlock blockages and, yep, you guessed it, become more creative. www.thecreateseries.com
3. NEW YORK INSIGHT
28 W 27th St
This urban center for mindfulness offers weekly sits and weekend retreats for all spiritual backgrounds. Yes, even if yoga is your religion. The diversity of their Sangha is as open as their front door. And their front door is wide open in the heart of NYC. So, basically, they’re very open. www.nyimc.org
My fave place to gain new insights into my yoga practice, and then indulge in a rainbow chakra smoothie. Whatta party animal. The studio and café is always buzzing with a vivacious and sweat glistening community of yogis where it feels 100% acceptable to be that girl vibrating with excitement over an all-vegan and organic menu. www.jivamuktiyoga.nyc
Body Local is a friendly community of passionate health and wellness advocates. In addition to annual events for wellness professionals and enthusiasts, they offer weekly networking events for members of their community. www.bodylocal.com
7. REFLECTIONS 227 E 24th St.
This truly is a hub for conscious living and yoga. I took my first Kundalini workshop here and immediately felt their strong foundation of support. Members of this community share a similar passion for spiritual development. Whether you’re a spiritual teacher, practitioner or dabbler, this center will welcome you. www.reflectionsyoga.com
8. THE OPEN CENTER 22 E 30th St.
It is here, in Midtown, you will find like-minded individuals looking to develop their spiritual growth. With over 30 years of creating holistically-based educational programs, this community center is a gem. Take a positive psychology class, join a Shamanic healing session, or rent space to teach. Every visit here has offered a unique experience. www.opencenter.org
9. THREE JEWELS 61 4th Avenue
This peaceful non-profit is community driven. Meditation, dharma and yoga classes are free, or by donation. If you’re tight on cash, but seeking satya – this community will serve you well. www.threejewels.org
5. THE BHAKTI CENTER
10. 92Y 1395 Lexington Avenue
There once was a time when Hebrew School was my source of community. Now, it’s a 6-story cultural arts center on the Lower East Side dedicated to the Bhakti Movement. Where else can you connect over yoga, chanting, philosophy and seasonal khichari? L’chiam! www.bhakticenter.org
The 92nd Street Y is a sassy cultural and community center on the Upper East Side. It’s a proudly Jewish organization, but in recent years has expanded its recognition within the health and fitness community. Looking for a place to socialize? You got it. Want to bring the kids? No problem. Ready to make new friends? You’ll love it here. www.92y.org
25 1st Avenue
6. BODY LOCAL Multiple Locations
Music / Profiles
GANDHI BY: TAWNY LARA ILLUSTRATION BY: LEANNE LEILANI ARANADOR
iran Gandhi does it all. She toured the world as MIA’s drummer while pursuing an MBA from Harvard University. While running the 2015 London Marathon, she made global headlines for free bleeding (menstruating without the use of pads, tampons, or panty liners). She’s a feminist activist who channels her passion through song lyrics and speeches. Kiran credits her accomplishments to what she calls Atomic Living. Kiran is focused on identifying what she’s truly passionate about: drumming, feminism, friends and family, and the music industry. When opportunities come her way that could potentially nourish one of those four pillars, Atomic Living tells her to say “YES!” and she goes with it. This way of living allows her to be present in the moment and contributes to her creativity.
What does creativity mean to you? Creativity is the ability to have the clarity to let your fullest self be expressed. It also means being able to shut out the surrounding influences and really assess what we think or feel. That’s part of the reason why, as a creative, I prefer to live in a place like LA. Now I even see a lot of New Yorkers going to places like Beacon or Hyde Park because sometimes when we are too stimulated by things around us, it’s difficult to access our inner creative spirits and inner creative thoughts. Creativity is also when you’re able to provide a new perspective that’s different than what’s around you so you can inspire and challenge others. How do you shut out those external influences? For example, one day I promised to meet some people at our local farmer’s market, then I realized I really needed to write and work on music at home. I didn’t feel the need to exchange external energy. Having the courage to accept that, without feeling obligated to say something that didn’t feel right to me, is very important. That’s not a selfish or egotistical thing; it’s more honoring and understanding myself so that I can actually be better to those around me. I don’t really book that many meetings. I try my best to spend time alone so that I can actually hear my thoughts. I think that’s why people like yoga and meditation. It’s the same idea. So many people are terrified of that alone time that you’re talking about. They are. At a recent show, I realized I only had five minutes left, but I wanted to share something with them. In a yoga class the day before, the instructor said “Let the blood rush to your pituitary gland, your third eye, your intuition, where you’re never wrong.” I was so obsessed with this because we question ourselves all the time. We’re afraid of being wrong and hurting ourselves or others. But at the same time, I do believe that those who practice meditation and yoga are so in touch with their own energetic flow that they know very clearly what they need to do, where they need to be, and what they need to say no to.
MUSIC / Profiles
You mentioned the importance of being cognizant of how you spend your energy. How do you balance that with what you call Atomic Living? It’s the exact same. It’s all connected. Atomic living is exactly what my yoga teacher said: listening to intuition. For so long, humans, especially women, only had their intuition. Think of motherhood. There’s no manuscript telling you what’s right or wrong. You just exist based on your intuition. You have a feeling through your own anatomy that your child is hungry, so you feed them from your own body. It’s so pure. Then in the 1200s, missionaries came in and told humans they need to listen to God. They told us to put our faith in something external instead of internal. This teaching shows up everywhere. We still look for external validation through Facebook. We look for the answer by Googling it. We look for hope by praying to God. While prayer is powerful and it helps millions of people, I don’t think it should come at the expense of being able to listen to our own intuition. When we say “The Future is Female,” it means returning to that place of trusting your own intuition.
“...I do believe that those who practice meditation and yoga are so in touch with their own energetic flow that they know very clearly what they need to do, where they need to be, and what they Need to say no to.”
Absolutely. I spread this message in my lyrics. In one song, I say “Own your voice, don’t be afraid.” In another song, I say “I own my voice, I am not afraid.” I say it over and over again because it’s so powerful. It can be something as simple as not telling their boss what they think because they’re afraid or something as extreme as sexual assault and rape victims not feeling confident enough in our society to speak up against right and wrong. A capitalist society depends on people not listening to themselves. The majority of us knows better. We know better than to idolize someone because they have fake breasts. We know better than to value ourselves based on how we look. We know better than to smoke or drink. But capitalism depends on us to ignore those things, to feel bad about ourselves. It’s a toxic system. Speaking of business, I think a big miss with struggling artists is that they don’t see themselves as entrepreneurs. Would you agree? Artists recognize that creativity and doing something pure at heart shouldn’t be tethered to material wealth, so they shy away from the business based on a stereotype of capitalism. I believe that artists need to be able to receive the value that they’re giving. We can exchange value in different ways. This is a materialistic example, but sometimes when you’re making art, you need material things. I recently went into a store that sells beautiful sunglasses. I told them I’m making music video and I’d love to be able to place their glasses in a shot because they’re so cool and really on brand for what I’m doing. I let them know that there was no money at all, but I used to work with MIA and we have a big press partner, so it could be a good opportunity for them, too. When I teach artists about business, I don’t teach them about greed or corruption, I teach them about how to understand the exchange of value.
If we go against the grain or that typical way of thinking, we’re thought of as weird. Look at the greatest leaders of our time; those are the people that listened to their gut. In the short term, they set back challenges and exclusions and even death threats. In the long term, they’re the ones who push our society forward. Most people don’t think that they have the capability to be that great. We often idolize celebrities or profound leaders from the past and think “I can’t do that.” They’re just people, too! They’ve learned how to ignore the haters and listen to their intuition.
When I speak about change and social justice, I talk about my four levers of social change. People don’t think that they can make a difference for various reasons, but actually, we need all four of the following to make any kind of social change:
”Artists impact people so much more than politicians because art caters to people’s emotions first.”
Radical Activism - This can be protesting in the street, my free bleeding during the London Marathon, or anything that forces society to question its norms. Access to Education - Education is the thing that convinces us because it caters to our brain and teaches us how to know better. It arms us with information so that we don’t have to be afraid of something because we don’t know anything about it. Policy Change - When the masses care about an issue, policymakers are forced to care about an issue.
Innovation - This is where the business people come in. Whether it’s an app or a product that can change the problem we’re trying to fix for the better.
How does feminism fuel your creativity? I think of my creativity as the method through which I express my beliefs on women’s equality. I believe we still live in a world where a woman is a second class citizen. I use my creativity in an innocuous way to inspire change. If I were to be a lawyer or politician and say the things that I believe, it would make people afraid or repulsed by my ideas. But I say the exact same thing and express it through art and music. Because art and music don’t exist in our official channels, a lot more can pass through. Artists impact people so much more than politicians because art caters to people’s emotions first. (Continued on page 82)
YOGA / Profile
ASK A GURU: CARRIE OWERKO COMPILED BY: RENEE CHOI PHOTO: SHAHAR LION
Carrie Owerko has been teaching yoga and exploring the relationship between body, breath and mind for several years. She holds a Senior Intermediate Iyengar teaching credential and continues her studies with the Iyengar family by traveling to India on a regular basis, as well as by continuous and in-depth studies with her yoga teacher, Patricia Walden. Curiosity, openness, and affection are of the utmost importance in her approach to Iyengar Yoga, as is the integration of science, yoga philosophy, and the poetic imagination in the yoga practice. Most importantly, she loves to explore the relationship of discipline and playfulness and is a firm believer in the power of controlled folly. How do you think yoga has changed your body over the years (prevention-wise)? What's the biggest “a-ha” moment you had in asana? Yoga has helped my body become more resilient and adaptable. The same would be true for my mind. The practice develops one's capacity to change and adapt to a variety of circumstances. As for an a-ha! moment, there have been so many, and there still are the many little a-ha! moments that come because the practice also develops spontaneity and there is always something new to discover; there is no end to looking—no end to seeing. But many years ago I realized how significant it was when I was able to relax my eyes, tongue and jaw. Especially the jaw—letting go in my jaw helped unlock my whole body/mind. Have you ever taken a "break" from yoga, or do you ever take a day off from the asana practice since you first became a student of Iyengar? Honestly I have never taken a "break" from the practice. I love the practice. It is like breathing for me. As long as I am breathing, I give myself the daily nourishment of practice. What has been the biggest change in your practice over the years? I have come out of the box. My practice is much more of an exploration, a true inquiry, than it has ever been. Many things that I used to care about have lost their pull on my psyche. I am in it because of a love of learning, and I love how there is always something new to discover/uncover. I don't care if it fits in a certain "box" anymore. How do you mentally handle watching your body change? Change is challenging and wonderful and a fact of life. I am trying to go with it, play with it, dance with it. T.S. Eliot wrote: "There is only the dance." So...dance!
Have more questions for Carrie? She is on twitter and instagram as @carrieowerko, and www.carrieowerko.com.
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Yoga / Products
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NABOSO YOGA MAT
BAREFOOT TRAINING SURFACE ENHANCES YOUR YOGA CLASS
Dr Emily Splichal, DPM, MS, CES
Strong feet means better balance and a stronger body. With over 2,000 nerve endings in the bottom of the foot the uniqueness of the human foot has led to our ability to stand, walk, run, jump plus more. In yoga we want to stimulate and utilize the barefoot as a gateway between the body and ground. Many of the balance poses in yoga require the practitioner to be connected through their feet or the Pada Bandha, which in turn must be connected to the core or Mula Bandha. Connecting Pada Bandha to Mula Bandha through the stimulation of the foot via the Naboso Yoga Mat is a powerful technique that translates to postural control during all movements both inside and outside the yoga studio. At Naboso Technology our concept is you must always #ownyourmovement - the movement does not own you. We achieve this from the ground up stimulation and barefoot technology.
INSPIRATION Naboso which means barefoot in Czech was created as an extension of my passion and dedication to advancing barefoot science in the health and fitness industries. The development of Naboso Yoga Mat came from the need for better barefoot stimulation during barefoot practices such as yoga. I’ve built my medical career around studying the benefits of (bare)foot stimulation, foot strengthening and foot to core sequencing for improvement movement and decreasing pain. The human foot is a fascinating structure and as the only contact point between the body and the ground it plays a critical role in how we maintain upright stance, perceive impact forces and navigate shifts in our center of gravity. Daily barefoot stimulation through yoga, pilates, barefoot exercise or simply walking around the home without shoes can have an amazing impact on central nervous system growth, muscle tone, concentration, chronic pain plus more.
EVOLUTION The evolution of Naboso Yoga Mat came during my travels
around the world teaching professionals and consumers about the benefits of barefoot stimulation for fitness, performance and rehab - and the realization the lack of appropriate surfaces for barefoot training. The majority of people don’t realize that every surface stimulates the foot and nervous system differently. Softer surfaces (and certain yoga mats) can actually block our nervous system and proprioceptors thereby making it harder to balance and stabilize. Surfaces with textures or tackiness stimulate unique nerve endings in our feet and hands resulting in improved postures and muscle strength.
INNOVATION The Naboso Yoga Mat combines a unique texture with the
shape, height and distance between each stimuli being based on research. The Naboso texture is much more subtle that people would expect. The reason for this subtle but powerful texture is that our nervous system is very sensitive - we don’t need to have a loud stimulus for it to be effective. I tell my patients to think of the stimulation from the Naboso Yoga Mat as a gentle reminder to be present in your feet throughout your entire practice. Naboso Yoga Mat is a great travel mat as it rolls up perfectly like all other traditional yoga mats. It comes with a carrying strap which doubles as a yoga stretching strap which all together only weighs 4 pounds.
Naboso Yoga mat can be purchased at www.nabosotechnology.com and Amazon.com – Follow us on Facebook, Instagram @nabosotechnology
yoga / Asana
YOGA nidra BY: MASUMI GOLDMAN PHOTOS BY: CHAS KIMBRELL
Many people crave the calming, healing effects of meditation but have convinced themselves that they don’t have the patience or focus to sit still. If you happen to fall into this camp, yoga nidra might be the perfect practice for you. Also known as “yogic sleep,” yoga nidra is a guided form of relaxation that doesn’t require any knowledge of breath work or any previous meditation experience. As you lie on your back with your eyes closed, an instructor leads you through a number of mental exercises and visualizations. The goal is to find deep, restorative rest in the physical body while the mind remains awake. Although sessions will differ from instructor to instructor, there is often a similar structure to each practice. You will gaze into the space between your eyebrows and create a short, positive resolve, or sankalpa, that reflects your heart’s true desire for your life. You will repeat this resolve in your head to internalize
it. You will then begin to find deep relaxation as you systematically bring awareness to different parts of the body. Depending on the length of the practice, your instructor may guide you through other relaxing exercises and visualizations that will bring you deeper into your yoga nidra journey. By the end of the session, you will have traveled into a state of consciousness that hovers somewhere between waking and sleeping. You will complete your session by repeating the sankalpa that you created at the beginning of the practice. Your sankalpa, which has been planted deep into the subconscious mind during yoga nidra, will be fulfilled in time. It’s an experience that you don’t want to miss. Whether you journey into space or find yourself walking on a secluded beach, you’ll rise from your session feeling refreshed and renewed. You can find a yoga nidra class at a local studio, or you can download a pre-recorded session onto your phone. Here are some tips to consider for your yoga nidra session:
1. Practice in a dim room away from harsh sunlight. Although you will not be sleeping, your environment should be conducive to finding rest. Shut the curtains, turn off any bright lights, and find a peaceful place to practice.
2. Cover your body with a blanket at the start to stay comfortable. As you begin to relax, your body temperature will drop.
3. Don’t rush to find stillness. If you lie down and realize that you need support under
your knees or your head, go ahead and get a bolster or pillow. Your instructor wants you to be comfortable and relaxed, so take any extra time that you need.
4. If you fall asleep during your yoga nidra session, don’t feel guilty or berate yourself. Keeping the mind awake is no easy task when you’re being guided into a blissful state. Recognize that you’ve done something good for yourself, even if you fall asleep.
5. Try yoga nidra at different times of day to see what works best for you. See how you feel in the morning versus the evening. If you are too tired to practice late at night, try practicing before dinner. Play around with timing, and take note of what feels best.
Ingredients: 1 cup local raw honey
yoga / Anatomy
When it comes to wrist pain YOU’RE ALL THUMBS... BY: JEFF POSNER
IMPRINT PRESSURE MAPPING SYSTEM: AETREX WORLD WIDE, INC.
If you have been practicing yoga for some time you may have encountered wrist pain along the way. Whether a sprain, injury or just common aches and pains, these problems are occurring throughout the yoga industry with little guidance or explanation on how to fix them. In order to alleviate pain and pressure in the wrist, the weight needs to be properly distributed in the hands. The biggest problem in this equation is human evolution. One of the leading factors of wrist pain in yoga has to do with our ability to use an opposable thumb. This feature that allows us to hold, grasp and handle objects has also hindered our perception on weight distribution in the hand. Think of the feet. They are limited in their mobility with toes flexing/extending and the ability to move the feet as a whole when the ankle is in flexion and extension. This limited action in the feet provides stability and power to push rather than grasp and pull. If you try to grab the floor with your toes and lift the big toe mound (metatarsal head) you can accomplish this same “opposable thumb” like feeling in the feet. If you were to stand and walk in this fashion you would begin to suffer from ankle pain similar to walking/balancing on your hands incorrectly and suffering from wrist pain. Holding and gripping the floor with the hands is impossible, you can only push it away like the feet. Pushing will allow the muscles and bones to align property while not absorbing pressure incorrectly.
GOING PRIMITIVE In order to keep the weight out of the wrist you have to go primitive. Mimic the feet, and pretend you don't have an opposable thumb. Promote extension in the metacarpal bones and only maintain small amounts of flexion in the fingers. Lets take a look at the pressure sensor images on the right:
WEIGHT IS PUSHED INTO BASE OF HAND
WEIGHT IS EVENLY DISTRIBUTED
On one of the images you see how the weight is being pushed into the base of the thumb and outer edges of the hand. This is where the “opposable thumb” and metacarpal flexion is happening. In the other image you can see how the weight is evenly distributed throughout the finger pads, metacarpal heads and then the rest of the hand and wrist. Observe these images and think about how you are placing the hands on the floor every time you enter into a plank pose. Move the shoulders forward (beyond the wrists) to allow weight to enter the metacarpal heads and finger pads. Avoid your evolved urge to grasp the floor, instead think primitive and push it away. Keeping your wrists safe is a major concern in the practice and prolonged wrist pain is a serious issue in yoga today. Learning how to adapt your practice may not be easy at first, but your wrists will thank you in the long run.
Glossary Flexion – the action of bending, that decreases the angle between the bones of the limb at the joint "flexion of the fingers." Metacarpal Heads – top of the metacarpal bones that form the intermediate part of the skeletal hand located between the fingers and the wrist.
Happy knee BY: LILLIAN DANIELS PHOTOS BY: RENEE CHOI
Our knees can be overlooked until they begin to give us pain, and that is a mistake. Frequently, knee trouble is caused by years of specific habits that over time can have a negative effect on our body. Knowing which habits you can add to your daily routine will contribute to allowing your knees to be as healthy as they can be for as long as possible. If you or a loved one have ever experienced knee trouble it is important to know how alignment, yoga and your knee are all connected. This knowledge will be key in contributing to less pain and avoiding surgery or prescription drugs. Yoga is a key tool to ensuring that your knees are healthy for the long run by:
• Offering low impact poses that improve blood circulation • Strengthening your knees • Contributing to a longer and healthier life overall The following are some key yoga poses to help with overall well being with an emphasis on working towards healthier knees.
BREATH: CHEST OPENER Breathing is the root of yoga, and it can also be helpful in relieving stress on a day to day basis. When you are able to effectively relieve stress, you can then focus on the tasks at hand.
CHEST OPENER: 1. Stand with ankles together back straight and looking forward 2. Grasp your hands behind you 3. Inhale deeply bringing your shoulders and your clasped hands further back
Yoga / Anatomy
BREATH: CAT/COW CAT POSE
CAT/COW POSE (REPEAT ON BOTH SIDES): 1. Position yourself on all fours with hands and knees hip distance apart, shoulders right above your wrists 2. Inhale, drop your belly, gaze up: Cow Pose 3. Exhale, pulling your belly button towards your back and tucking your tailbone in: Cat Pose
BALANCE: TREE POSE
This pose allows you to build balance and engage your legs at the same time strengthen your knees and your legs, improve balance and strengthen quads.
OPEN YOUR HIPS: BUTTERFLY POSE
Improving your balance and the strengthening your leg muscles will help ensure that your knee has the support that it needs. When your knee has the support of other muscles, injury is reduced and your body is in better alignment. As you are doing the pose engage your muscles, especially your quads right above your knee and hamstrings. Both of these are key in ensuring that your knee is stable and healthy.
TREE POSE (REPEAT ON BOTH SIDES): 1. Stand straight, ankles together 2. Shift weight to left leg 3. Lift your right leg so that the bottom of your foot is either at the ankle, calf or inside thigh 4. Do not place bottom of foot on the knee 5. Bring hands together in the front of your chest and breath BUTTERFLY POSE
This pose helps in strengthening your hips and improving their flexibility. Work with this pose to help ensure that weight on the knee is allocated in a manner that does not harm it. Opening the hips and improving flexibility will also contribute to improved circulation.
Are you a yoga instructor? Take a teaching vacation!
BUTTERFLY POSE 1. Sit on the floor with the bottom of both your feet touching 2. Clasp all fingers over your toes and extend your spine so that your back is straight 3. Exhale, bow over your knees, relax into the pose 4. Inhale, bring knees up, extend legs forward
Doing this slowly allows to improve flexibility over time. Increasing the movement also helps to open up the hips.
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A Day in The Life Working in Wellness: Raghunath BY: JEFF SIMMS
In yoga, we don’t idolize one another; we’re all on the same playing field, all evolving at our own pace. Yet there’s something about seeing how others live. It humanizes people we may not know well, or those from whom we’ve learned. We may draw inspiration from others’ routines, or add a slightly new twist to something we’re doing already. Father of five, and one of the country’s 100 most influential yoga teachers, Raghunath Cappo has traveled the world countless times over. From the punk bands of his youth, to living as a monk in Krishna Bhakti ashrams in India, to the busy teaching schedule that takes him all over the U.S.,Europe and twice yearly back to India. But more than anywhere else, “inspired living” — the tag line for his wife Bridget’s Supersoul Yoga studio in Chatham, NY — is found for him at home with family and friends, preferably outdoors — shoes optional. Raghunath and Bridget live at Supersoul Farm, the educational yoga center they’re opening to the public this spring, with their children Sachi, Rocco, and 3-year-old Tarun Govinda. Like for all of us, no two days are the same. Here is a day in the life at Supersoul...
5 a.m. MORNING PUJA (worship), before the kids are up Raghunath: It’s where I get focused. We have an altar with pictures of my teachers and my personal deity, or how I perceive God, which for me is Krishna. For me it’s a place of prayer. I extend gratitude to all the teachers in my life. That can extend to official gurus but it also goes down to parents or my kids. It’s like my good morning gratitude. Then, Brij and I will have some reading time together before the kids get up. We find that to be a way to recalibrate our brains before the day.
7 a.m. CHORES Bridget: We’re trying to get the kids more regulated with chores they do everyday. One lets the chickens out and feeds them. Another empties the dishwasher. I try to keep the mood from getting into that frenetic midday energy, but by the time we leave the house there’s always a crazy five-minute scramble to get everyone in the car.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. TEACHING AND CONNECTION Raghu and Bridget both teach at Supersoul, a 15-minute drive from their home. They routinely attend each other’s classes. Each one offering a different, often complementary, take on bhakti-infused vinyasa. These hours, noticeably more quiet with the kids at school, also provide valuable time for reconnection. Bridget: There’s so much energy going into moving this thing forward. We’ve had to take a pause and look at what it means to keep the marriage thriving and the family thriving, in the midst of being pulled all over the place. What we’ve seen is that when we create a little bubble around us, we realize quickly that we’re best friends. We love being together and doing the same stuff together. We always have to go back and remember what values are motivating why we do what we do. The stuff that we’re doing is really meaningful, but it’s not going to happen if there’s not a really strong… Raghunath finishes the sentence for her, as if in sync…”personal commitment.”
For Raghu, the secret to staying “on,” sometimes for days at a time, lies in the outdoors. Raghunath (walking along the creek that runs through their property): I love to teach, I love kirtan. But coming out here or chopping wood — being outdoors is sort of the grounding force. God is everywhere in plants and in nature. One of the healthiest things you can do is go to the forest, take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Breathe deeply. Before you spend so much money on a naturopath, do that. The natural world is such a powerful healer.
5:30 p.m. MEAL TIME Meal time begins with call-and-response prayers with the kids. They’ve recently learned Reinhold Niebuhr’s serenity prayer and St. Francis’s prayer for peace. While eating, Raghu and Bridget try to steer conversation back to each person’s daily gratitudes, highs and lows. Bridget: It’s a way we can reflect on what our experiences for the day were and notice places where we got triggered. Tarun’s highs and lows generally involve whatever is on his plate. Some days, the adults — at home or elsewhere — may get together later on to discuss their own challenges. Bridget: Not every day but many, we’ll circle up and have maya (Sanskrit for illusion) meetings. It’s like, “My name is Bridget and I’m in maya.” We do a share, and oftentimes beforehand we’ll read something enlightening. We’ll text and call in a maya meeting for wherever people are at the time. My gratitude yesterday was that I’m grateful for the maya meetings. We face one another and state whatever is true and real in the moment, whether it’s something to celebrate or not.
7 p.m: READING TOGETHER AND WINDING DOWN Raghunath: With the kids I like to read the Mahabharata because I think it’s good for them to get those archetypes and stories. They’re sort of like comic books in one sense to a child but truthfully for some people it’s their object of meditation at their time of death. It’s not all serious, all the time, though. Bridget: We read A Fish Out Of Water every single night, too.
FITNESS / Profile
Kenny Santucci is a fitness professional and television personality often recognized for his time on MTV’s reality competition show, The Challenge. His hard work and confident spirit have awarded him opportunity and financial abundance, but in return, tested his will to continue moving forward. A top CrossFit coach at CrossFit Solace in New York City representing one of the best fitness brands in the world with a positive voice through social media, Santucci’s current success didn’t come easily to him. He experienced hard times and persevered. We sat down to talk to him about using experience to inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
Does your social media presence portray who you really are? Yes. I just admitted something personal on social media that I kept to myself for a while. For the past 7 to 8 months I was sleeping on friend’s couches and in my car. (At time of interview.) I wouldn’t have guessed that. No one does. I think people need to go through struggles. I grew up in Newark, New Jersey until I was 19. My dad had a business and lost it all when we were younger. I experienced growing up with money and I experienced growing up without it. It showed me a lot. I won and I lost. I saw the good and the bad. There were times when I would come off of a show (The Challenge) and I would have more money then I knew
BY: LAUREN CAP PHOTOS: TEDDY WOLFF
“There are other things in our universe that support us and show us that there is good in the world and that things will get better. Whether it’s someone or something. When you start to generate good energy, good things will happen.” - KENNY SANTUCCI
“I consider most gyms a spiritual place. It’s the modern day church for some people. People come here to feel good and I help them feel good.” what to do with it. There were other times when I was dead broke sleeping in my car. It changes you and humbles you a lot. I think a lot of people need to see both sides of it. The world would be a better place if people respected other people who have gone through struggles because they have gone through it themselves. What would you say to someone who is struggling right now? It’s always darkest before dawn. That thought pushed me through. There was a period in my life where I had come off of the show and I lost within a four to five month span: my girlfriend, my job, and the show. It was just this downward spiral. Everything I thought I had was gone.
Were you depressed?
How do you use your creativity in your teaching?
I didn’t know what depression was until then. There were times when I was like maybe I should numb the pain with alcohol or drugs, but that’s the easy way out. Or I can stop feeling sorry for myself, grow a set of balls, and keep trying. Keep doing other things and do what I have to do to stay on the right path. I kept pushing. I tried this and I failed; I tried that and I failed. You’re going to fail and fail and fail until eventually it works out.
I like being creative. I see who my audience is so I kind of change it up. I know what you want and know what you need and merge it all together. I’m constantly being creative with it. That blend is kind of like the art form. That blend allows me to create. I hire great trainers that have that artistic ability as well to manipulate a workout. We deliver things in the workout without making people realize how much work they are doing. Is fitness more of a passion for you than being on TV? I think just being me is a passion for me. I love attention. I love standing in front of a class or standing in front of a TV. For me it’s a combination of the two. I crave fitness and gravitate towards it. I think it’s very human to want to move and want to use your body. I don’t care about money. I want to live comfortably but I would do what I do for free if I could. There were times when I was sleeping in my car or sleeping on someone’s couch and I thought…I really don’t need much.
And how is life for you now? I love everything about what I am doing. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. People come to CrossFit Solace to release. I consider most gyms a spiritual place. It’s the modern day church for some people. People come here to feel good and I help them feel good. What’s your advice to someone wanting a similar career? I put myself in place to do it. I surround myself with good people. I try to be as good as I can be at what I am doing and then it will, like a black hole suck the good in. I’ve gotten opportunities because I have been at the right place at the right time but also I have allowed myself to do it. When I was on TV, I made the career change to fitness. It was a humbling experience to be making all of this money and then to doing this. But you have to jump and take the plunge. I love this. I wanted to be in a gym so I hung out in a gym. The formula is pretty easy if you really want to do it.
“I tried this and I failed; I tried that and I failed. You’re going to fail and fail and fail until eventually it works out.”
Follow Kenny online: @kennysantucci
YOGALIFEMAGAZINES.COM NY YOGALIFEMAG.COM
go to the Lower East Side Girls Club. My social justice and feminist concerns were alleviated before I even walked inside.
your first bikram YOGA class BY: ALISSON MARIE WOOD PHOTOS: CHAS KIMBRELL
y primary relationship to heat is one of anxiety. At nine years old, I passed out (but first threw up) during the annual “Field Day” outdoor dodgeball game. Since then, I’ve maintained a cautious and respectful distance from extremely high temperatures. So I had some reservations about taking a Bikram yoga class, known for its intense heat and humidity. While I’ve been doing yoga regularly for about seven years, the Bikram studio environment of 104 degrees and 40% humidity which creates a room that feels like 121 degrees, was intimidating as heck. With my past in mind, my number one goal was just to not throw up. Or pass out. I also had some political reservations about taking a Bikram class. I am deeply disturbed by the constant accusations of sexual harassment and even rape associated with the founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury. A recent interview as part of the HBO Real Sports series where he referred to his alleged rape victims as “trash” didn’t help. Holistically, my feelings towards Bikram yoga are decidedly negative. With all of this in mind, I was wonderfully surprised at Bikram Yoga Lower East Side in New York City. I was lucky enough to take a class with studio founder Tricia Donegan, who took the inspirational and badass stance of formally leaving the misogynistic Bikram organization. While her studio is influenced by the Bikram style, her studio is deeply committed to the larger world and the local community. Each month Tricia hosts a “nite sweats” class where 100% of the proceeds
That still left the big, sweaty fear: the temperature of the studio. I signed up for a 60 minute class with Tricia, nervous but ready as a hot yogi baby. I arrived early and settled in, sweating profusely before the first posture came into being. Tricia is a dynamite instructor; she continuously raised everyone’s confidence and energy levels with shout-outs throughout class. Shockingly, I mostly kept up for the first 45 minutes, sweat steadily dripping off my limbs like a shower that won’t turn off properly. But then I began to feel it: pounding heartbeat, woozy vision. I sat down in virasana (hero’s pose) and tried to keep it together. Tricia, the pro that she is, noticed and encouraged me to stay upright and watch myself breathe in the mirror, assuring me that my body can do more than I think. And it did. While I didn’t rejoin any of the standing postures, I
yoga / Asana
The Teacher: Tips for Bikram BeginnerS: ALISSON marie WOOD WATER: Bring more water than you think you’ll need (a bottle cozy or an insulated container is ideal). You will need it.
HAIR: Secure your hair up and out of your face, it will become not only a distraction but a real problem in a Bikram class once the sweat begins to pour out. Extra grippy hair ties and head bands are a must.
your first bikram class BY: TRICIA DONEGAN
he best way to prepare, is to come in. Don’t wait. Come with no expectations — they will limit you. Prepare your mind to be blown away. Your body can do so much more than your mind thinks it can. Don’t believe anything you think — experience what you can do. We have demystified yoga, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy, it just means we can all come in the same room at the same time. This yoga meets you exactly where you are at: we are in a full blown relationship, we are here to support each other. Require a lot, while creating the space to take your time. You are not a typical yogi, we are not a typical yoga studio — we get it.
COMFORT: Wear what you feel comfortable in. A heated class is your chance to break out your yoga shorts and most lightweight tops, but in my class there were other yogis in long pants or capris too. It’s also an opportunity to show off your favorite sports bra! Fifteen minutes into class, I wished I had been brave and taken my shirt off like most of the other women practitioners. Next time.
Arrive early. While it’s always nice to have a moment of calm on your mat before your practice begins, acclimating to the temperature of the studio is key—I gave myself 20 minutes to sit and breathe and let my body adjust before the class started.
wasn’t the only one taking it slow; Tricia created an atmosphere that encouraged both safety and bravery in the room. Bottom line: I stayed conscious the whole time. And I did not throw up! While I might not be a Bikram convert, I appreciate the appeal: this is an extreme yoga practice, perfect for people who want to test their physical and psychological limits. I can also vouch for the increase in flexibility, as a warm body is a supple body. This practice is not for the faint of heart, but it is an empowering practice that offers compassion to everyone who shows up on the mat ready to face their fear, whatever it is.
Tips for Bikram BeginnerS: TRICIA DONEGAN Physically, prepare yourself to be hydrated and come in on a digested belly. Wear something you will be comfortable sweating in. Prepare your soul that for whatever you ask for you will get. The practice of yoga creates clarity in who you are and the potential of what you can become. We practice the potential. We practice bigger than us. You get good at whatever you practice. Practice jumping in. I don't know if I practice what I preach, but I definitely preach what I practice. A yoga practice will allow you to feel, rather than convince yourself of the confidence we all need to love our biggest fears. I need you on this planet, I need you to practice yoga.
Thank you for your generosity giving more than you are used to, more than you thought could, more than you were in the mood. Together we can get each other to do more than we think we can. Not by pushing or comparing, but by being generous, forgiving, and continuing to practice endurance and the patience we need. We are not only enough, but just enough to change the way we think, the way we move, the way we treat this planet. Thank you for practicing yoga, I guarantee it will make you a kinder person.
Visit Tricia’s studio in NYC www.bikramyogales.com
yoga / Business
yoga / Philosophy
PHOTOS BY: LAURA KASPERZAK 64
with your child BY: SHARI VILCHEZ-BLATT PHOTOS BY: LAURA KASPERZAK
Have you ever rolled out your mat for practice at home and within two minutes your child is under or on top of your down dog? It might not be the practice you planned for, but should be embraced given the opportunity to plant some important seeds. You might not get on the soccer field and kick the ball around with your kid or put a tutu on and dance in their recital, but yoga is something we can do with our kids forever! Introducing yoga at a young age is a great way to bond, play, create, explore and live a healthy lifestyle together as a family. Sharing the physical practice, breathing exercises, and relaxation time is great for building connection, trust and teamwork with your child. It's also great way for a child to discover how to self-soothe, to calm and energize. To build communication skills, eye contact, and to have fun while strengthening their body. Your child is never too young to do yoga!
TIPS • Be sure that your space for yoga is set up without distractions and electronics. • Mats can face each other or be next to each other. • Embrace their creativity for pose invention and try it! • Don't expect or wait for perfect poses or alignment — let them be where they are. • Your yoga practice is YOUR practice. It's different from what a child is capable of and interested in. So keep them separate. • Laugh and have fun!
yoga / Profiles
Spanish yoga BY: VERONICA BELTRAN AND IANA VELEZ
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts is at the forefront creating programs and partnerships with experts in the wellness industry that empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. In 2016 Kripalu joined forces with International bilingual yoga teacher, Rina Jakubowicz to offer the first 200hr Spanish yoga teacher training in the USA. Kripalu and Rina co-created an all Spanish manual for the groundbreaking program, complimented by mentorship months with Rina. Upon completion of the program these teachers will become lifelong learning partners of Kripalu’s Yoga and Ayurveda Association with access to continuing education, resources and eligibility to grant program applications. NY YOGA + LIFE sat down with former Kripalu CEO David Lipsius and Rina to chat about this pioneering collaboration.
NYYLM: David can you tell us how this collaboration came into fruition? A chance meeting between Rina and I at Kripalu when she was here, sparked the inspiration of “why don’t we do this together.” We had the platform, she had the ability to teach, and we said “let's do this!” It turned into the most important program of the year as far as I’m concerned because we are finally able to reach a group that we haven’t been able to reach. NYYLM: Why this program now? In 2013, Kripalu was at a crossroads where we could continue doing what we had done successfully as a program and retreat center, or we can shift our focus towards having greater social impact. Some of us who came from different backgrounds from outside the organization came together at this moment in time and said “we can do better, we can do more.” Our board responded and had the same heart and said, “this is our obligation”
most importantly they said, “if not us...who?” I think a lot of people here at Kripalu felt like we are doing the work of yogis, and then
“...‘can we open our hearts up more?’ When the answer was yes...well then you can’t go back. When the answer was yes, you have to.”
there was that moment a few years ago that was “can we open our hearts up more?” When the answer was yes...well then you
can’t go back. When the answer was yes, you have to. It's really Rina who’s carrying the load and having to create a methodology that’s wholly unique, pioneering and trailblazing in an area that hasn’t been touched. Everyday in the classroom there is this incredibly gifted and committed yoga teacher that is creating something brand new that will likely have ripple effects that none of us can predict. They will reach farther than we have ever imagined. That is magic. NYYLM: Rina, how exciting! Tell us how has this experience been for you so far? Is this training conducted fully in Spanish or is there a “Spanglish” mix of English and Spanish? We decided to be disciplined in making this a fully Spanish program. Although doing it half in English and Spanish may be tempting as “Spanglish” suggests, we found we wanted to stay true to the language best we could. Because Spanish is such a rich language
there are so many ways to say the same thing. Words change depending on the country of origin or the background of the person, so it was an interesting Spanish lesson along with the yoga lessons. Because we are all Hispanic, we have a tolerance for the differing dialects included in the Spanish language.
NYYLM: So even within diversity, there is another layer of diversity? Yes! Most people who aren’t Hispanic don’t understand how diverse we are considering we have twenty two Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America, not including the U.S. Each country has its own way of expressing themselves. We need to have a tolerance and sensitivity to the differences in order to move past those to get to the similarities.
for their bodies and minds. Then the rest will come. NYYLM: Do you use Sanskrit and translate it to Spanish in this teacher training? I use both Sanskrit and Spanish in my teacher training because Sanskrit is phonetic, just like Spanish. I usually start with the Spanish (continued on page 82)
NYYLM: Are yoga books and texts available in Spanish? There are books in Spanish, yet I haven’t found any thorough books describing the process of yoga from the beginning to the end. People often ask me, “Rina where can I get more information? I need resources.” I mostly get requests for philosophy books and how to merge it with with one’s asana practice and their lives. My teacher Swami A. Parthasarathy, does not have his texts translated. He has a rule that no one can translate his book unless they live in the ashram for at least six months and dive deep into that one text they want to translate. I know it would be for the greater good to do this, but part of me wants to reach out and say, “this Spanish yoga movement is happening and people need to understand this now and not wait - we need to do this.” But I know that’s just me being impatient with the process. The reason I say this is because he explains the philosophy of yoga logically and simply without adding the esoteric aspect. He doesn’t go to extremes, which I think is good for the Hispanic community because they tend to be more religious. To keep the teachings cut and dry helps maintain yoga logical eliminating the question of “is yoga a religion?” which we know it’s not. We need to first help Hispanics learn that yoga is healthy
Yoga / Asana
BY: RINA JAKUBOWICZ PHOTO BY: NIR LIVNI
The most stable structure in architecture is a pyramid, hence an equilateral triangle. When you are practicing your Triangle Pose, you should feel stable, strong and balanced on all sides. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) stretches and opens the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, chest and back. It also strengthens the legs and the back muscles by engaging the muscles that wrap the spine, known as your core. As a lateral pose it stretches the sides of the body (latissimus dorsi) by creating an open twist. These movements are seldom used in our daily lives so practicing Triangle Pose helps challenge the body and its routine-conditioning in order to provoke a positive shift within.
STEPS FROM SAMASTITHI • Separate your legs lengthwise on the mat, about 3.5 feet apart. • Point the front foot forward. • Point the back foot 60 degrees from the front foot. • Both legs remain straight. • The torso remains on the same plane as the hips. • Arms stretch out parallel to the floor. • Shift the hips toward the back of your mat. • Keeping your arms straight, lean the torso sideways so that the front arm rests on the front leg. • Maintain the torso on the same plane as the legs, as if you were standing in a narrow space, between two walls. • While the front arm is on the front leg, the back arm lifts up towards the ceiling creating a straight vertical line with both your arms. • The shoulders draw back and down away from the ears. • The ribs draw in. The core is engaged. • Gaze up towards the thumb of the top hand. • Take 5 deep breaths.
La estructura mas estable en architectura es una pirámide, un triángulo equilátero. Así que cuando estás practicando tu Postura del Triángulo Extendido debes sentirte estable, fuerte y equilibrado en todos los lados. La Postura del Triángulo Extendido (Utthita Trikonasana) extiende y abre las caderas, los isquiotibiales, los hombros, el pecho y la espalda. También fortalece las piernas y los músculos de la espalda por la activación de los músculos que envuelven la columna vertebral, conocidos como tu core. Como postura lateral, extiende los lados del cuerpo (dorsal ancho) por la creación de una torsión abierta. Estos movimientos no se utilizan en nuestra vida cotidiana por eso es que practicando la Postura del Triángulo Extendido ayuda a desafiar al cuerpo y su manera de condicionarse a las rutinas para provocar un cambio positivo en tu interior.
PASOS DE SAMASTITHI • Separa las piernas a lo largo del tapete, aproximadamente 3.5 pies de distancia. • Apunta el pie delantero hacia delante. • Apunte el pie trasero 60 grados desde el pie delantero. • Las dos piernas permanecen derechas. • El torso se mantiene en el mismo plano que las caderas. • Los brazos se extienden estirados hacia fuera, paralelos al piso. • Mueve las caderas hacia la parte posterior de tu tapete. • Manteniendo los brazos derechos, inclina el torso hacia adelante apoyando el brazo ligeramente sobre la pierna delantera. • Mantén el torso en el mismo plano que las piernas, como si estuvieras parado entre dos paredes. • Mientras el brazo delantero está ubicado en la pierna de adelante, el brazo de atrás se eleva hacia el techo creando una línea recta y vertical con ambos brazos. • Lleva los hombros hacia abajo y lejos de las orejas. • Mete las costillas. Se contrae el núcleo. • La mirada se ubica en el dedo gordo de la mano de arriba. • Respira profundo 5 veces.
yoga / Philosophy
Opening Your Heart & Mind to Your Deepest Desires with Mantra Meditation BY: ANGELA WILLIAMS -JONES, E-RYT ILLUSTRATION: MIRIAM CASTILLO
“When you cannot be protected, this mantra shall protect you. When things stop, and won’t move, this makes them move in your direction.” – YOGI BHAJAN
There are times when we may feel fearful, saddened, uncertain, vulnerable and out of sorts. This sense of chaos may lead us to a space of feeling unprotected, making it difficult to bring focus back to what your heart truly desires. To help release fear and anxiety, practice the Mangala Charan Mantra (aka Aad Guray Nameh Mantra). This mantra helps clear uncertainty, opening yourself to guidance and protection for endless opportunity and boundless prosperity. This clarity will allow you to refocus and achieve your heart’s deepest and most profound desires. Allow yourself to be guided. Ideally, this chant is done for thirty one minutes in your own sacred space. Begin with three minutes, moving to eleven, then increase to twenty two minutes. Over time, you will gradually work your way up to thirty one minutes.
Chant the Mangala Charan Mantra aloud for thirty one minutes. Ten minutes covers your past, ten minutes are for the present, ten minutes are for the future, and one minute is for infinity. MANGALA CHARAN MANTRA Aad guray nameh jugaad guray nameh Sat guray nameh siree guroo dayv-ay Nameh
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: I bow to the primal wisdom I bow to the wisdom true through the ages I bow to the true wisdom I bow to the great unseen wisdom
• Sit in easy pose with a straight spine. • Rapidly rub your palms together for thirty seconds to generate heat around the heart center.
Rub your palms together for thirty seconds once again and bring them back to prayer with your thumbs crossed.
• Press your palms together in prayer. If you are female, cross your left thumb over your right. If you are male, cross your right time over your left.
Keeping your hands at your heart center, take a deep breath in, hold for 20 seconds and release.
• Place your thumbs firmly into your sternum. • Eyes are closed and shifted up toward the center of your brow.
Recite three times Sat Nam (Truth is My Identity) pulling your navel in on the word Sat and release with Nam.
• Inhale deeply, and begin with the opening chant of Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times (translation: I bow to the divine teacher within).
With each breath that you take, I send you love, light, positive energy and well wishes. Sat Nam.
SMOKY CHICKPEA SALAD WITH JALAPENO MINT DRESSING RECIPES AND PHOTOS BY: DIANA BEZANSKI
This salad is a crowd pleaser with a dressing you’ll love. Not only is the dressing wonderful in this salad, it is also fantastic on burgers, sandwiches, wraps or tacos. The dressing is thick. If thinner consistency is desired, add 1 tbsp of water at a time and taste. Leave it thick for burgers and sandwiches. For the kale, a strong curly variety is best and there’s no need to massage it. The dressing will soften the kale a bit on its own but still maintain a nice firm texture.
SMOKED CHICKPEAS 2 cups fresh chickpeas, rinse well if canned 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika Sprinkle of apple wood smoked sea salt or other smoked sea salt Heat the oil on high heat, add the chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika, smoked salt and toss for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
JALAPENO CILANTRO MINT DRESSING 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 3 tbsp water 1 large garlic clove 1 inch fresh ginger 1 cup vegan mayo Mint (about 12 leaves) Handful cilantro (stems OK) 1 Jalapeno (remove seeds) ¼ tsp sea salt 73
Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add more sea salt if needed.
SALAD Curly kale Green leaf Fresh mint Dried cranberry, rehydrated or not Toasted pumpkin seeds Avocado Chop the kale and green leaf and add to large bowl along with the chopped mint. Add the dressing and mix well. Season with black pepper and sea salt if needed. Serve in bowls and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, the cranberry and a side of avocado.
yoga / Meditation
QUINOA WITH ROASTED CARROTS AND EGGPLANT WITH DILL CASHEW GINGER CREAM
QUINOA 1 cup dry white quinoa 1½ cups water Sea salt Rinse the quinoa very well. Add to a medium pot, water and large pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer covered for 16 minutes. Check that there is no more water. Remove from heat, and lightly fluff with fork. Keep covered off the heat for another 10 minutes, and the quinoa will fluff even more. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
INGREDIENTS FOR ROASTING 1 small eggplant, cubed 3 medium carrots, sliced thin 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 inch ginger, minced 1 tbsp Coconut oil Sea salt Method for Roasting: Add the eggplant, carrots, garlic, ginger to a large bowl, add the coconut oil. If it’s solid rub it in your clean hands and rub on the vegetables, sprinkle with salt and toss again. Roast on parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
DILL GINGER GARLIC CASHEW CREAM ½ cup raw cashews ½ cup water 1 clove garlic ½ inch ginger 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp Umeboshi vinegar Add all the ingredients to a powerful blender until smooth and creamy.
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS WHEN PLATING Fresh dill Fresh mint Fresh basil Fresh parsley Toasted walnuts Cracked red pepper Plating: Add quinoa to a bowl, along with the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with the cashew cream and top with all the fresh herbs, walnuts, and pinch of red pepper flakes or fresh cracked black pepper and more sea salt if needed.
art / Profile
YOGA + CREATIVE LIVING WORDS AND ART BY: SUSANNA HARWOOD RUBIN
The Yoga of Living a Creative Life By Susanna Harwood Rubin
a handful of visiting scholars and artists on the stone floor of my studio before we ate breakfast and got to work. I had created my first unpaid teaching gig. My artwork flowed. My yoga flowed. My writing flowed. When I returned to New York, I realized that I had to begin addressing the greater question of who I was as a creative being and what I wished to create in the world. My art friends were perplexed. Why was I devoting as much time to yoga as I was to my artwork? At the Museum of Modern Art, where I lectured and worked, they didn’t seem to want to talk with me about it. Yoga wasn’t serious. It was something that existed at the gym or in one of a handful of yoga studios, which, at the time, were fairly alternative places. To the yoga world’s chanting, essential oils, and shades of vegetarianism, the art world meant
“I realized that I had to begin addressing the greater question of who I was as a creative being and what I wished to create in the world.”
y yoga life took over my artist life around spring 2002. It was a few months after 9/11, events I watched live from Washington Square Park. I moved numbly through the ensuing atmosphere of smoke, stench, and sorrow that engulfed my neighborhood in the weeks that followed, then dove into my yoga practice, choosing community and the affirmation of movement over solitary hours drawing in my studio. I enrolled in a teacher training because yoga seemed to be the only thing
late-night dive bars in Williamsburg, cigarettes, and cutting edge conceptual inquiry. Despite the art world’s liberal demeanor, they just couldn’t get with my yoga thing. It wasn’t cool yet. I had changed — the art world hadn’t. that made sense to me. My breath. My body. I was alive. I had no desire to become a yoga teacher, but took the teacher training because it seemed to be the one way of immersing myself in yoga. I had no intention of leaving New York, where my entire life revolved around the art world. I emerged from teacher training transformed and perplexed. I immediately took off for an Artist Residency at the American Academy in Rome, where, in addition to drawing and working on installations, I taught
So I led a divided life. I had my yoga friends, and I had my art world friends. I had my drawings and installations acquired by major collectors and museums. I co-wrote a book on Matisse and Picasso for MoMA. I lectured passionately on Andy Warhol’s Gold Marilyn. I went to kirtan with Krishna Das. I studied yoga philosophy with Tantric Scholar Dr. Douglas Brooks. I hid my yoga website deep within my art website because the yogis thought the art thing was cool but the yoga undermined my credibility with the art people. I had self-identified as an artist my entire life,
so this divide was fairly angst-ridden. Who was I if not an artist? Every time I had to fill out a form asking me my profession, I still wrote artist, but had a little twinge of doubt. I had no idea if and when I would be able to resolve this inner rift. Then two things reframed the situation: the first was writing, the second was India. Along with my lifelong identification as a visual artist, I also identified as a writer. Writing was easy for me-like a game of shifting and moving words to create textures and tones, thoughts and stories. More than anything, I loved essays; James Baldwin, Paul Auster, and MFK Fisher were my gods. So writing on art came naturally. And then, upon the request of a friend with a blog, writing on yoga came naturally. I began to feel as passionately about writing as I did about drawing and yoga, so my creative time was now split into three parts. For some reason, this excited rather than dismayed me. It showed me that my creativity could not be contained by one rigid form, that my attempts to define it through words, terms, and titles was misguided. There was no longer an either/or. Instead, there was a creative triad. I realized that my creativity would be whatever it needed to be and would take whatever form it needed to take. I would reject being pigeonholed and allow each of my ideas to take the medium it required. I was slowly beginning to care less about what people thought and more about what felt meaningful to my creativity. Around 2008, I finally went to India. In the Tamil temples I was visiting, the aesthetic of color, design, and artistry was jaw-dropping. Daily life was filled with visual richness, from
kolams - the elaborate designs drawn in rice flour on the thresholds of homes, to the abundant flower malas draped around deities, and the moving rainbow of fabrics worn by men and women. Every surface seemed to be an opportunity for artistry to flourish. Here I found what I didn’t realize I had been looking for: a blending of the aesthetic with the spiritual in everyday life. I returned to New York with the recognition that my artwork did not have to be separate from my yoga life. In fact, my spiritual life could actually drive my work. This was not a
“We cannot help but be creative because we create with our every gesture and utterance.”
new concept, but it was one that felt personally revolutionary. My drawings were infused with a new sense of color, pattern, design, and purpose. I could barely move my fingers rapidly enough to capture the writing that was streaming out of me. My yoga life had become the great collaborator of my creative life. One discipline did not have to be in the lead; this divide was an artificial one, and had become irrelevant. For the first time since I was a child, my creative life felt free. Artistry can be present within our simplest daily acts: making food, arranging our homes, tending to our bodies. Creativity is present in every decision we make in our everyday lives. Every individual human being is profoundly creative. How do you choose to dress? How do you use language? How do you move? What are your chosen routines and rituals? In every moment of our lives, we make aesthetic decisions, we perform creative acts. We cannot help but be creative because we create with our every gesture and utterance. Yoga helped me to delight in small acts of creativity and to create without limits. As yogis and as artists, each of us is engaged in daily creative inquiry. The rules and boundaries we choose shape us, so be mindful of self-imposed limits, and wary of external judgements. Allow flow. Our yoga is our own. Our artistry is our own. No one else sees, thinks, or expresses themselves in the same way. So we must not hesitate to claim our creative selves and to express ourselves in whatever aesthetic form we desire.
Learn more about Susanna: www.susannaharwoodrubin.com
Health / Ayurveda
CREATIVITY OFF THE MAT PHOTOS AND ARTICLE BY: RENEE CHOI
Ask any myriad of full-time yoga teachers shuttling around the city everyday, and they will most likely agree #thestruggleisreal. From completing teacher training, to subbing, to getting their own class (finally!), working as a yoga instructor is not generally the easiest or quickest route to making your first million dollars. So what’s a yogi-freelancer to do? For some, yoga has served as an impetus for creating another business venture, blending yogic teaching in with other platforms. For others, yoga furthers artistic expression that had existed before, channeling creativity in a new way.
MOON DECK Aarona Ganesen and Andrea (Andi) Keh were both artists and yoga teachers before creating their first joint enterprise: the Moon Deck, a set of daily intention cards designed to engage intuition with reflection and ritual. Both have found themselves, students and fellow teachers responsive to imagery in yoga exploration. Aarona often handed out cards with words of intention to her students before class and found students responsive to the cards, a single word with the ability to deepen their own practice. Their Moon Deck creation serves as an expressive outlet for them both, a natural extension of existing passions.
Ohm K In the same way, Katharine Lucić and Katie Vohwinkel co-founded Ohm K, a yogainspired clothing line followed the same path of yoga/fitness teaching and the desire to create. Both actors turned fitness instructors were ready to do something additionally out of the box. When Katie approached Katherine to create some tank tops with yoga puns, Katharine expanded the idea to turn the line into a business. Their joint brand provides another outlet for creativity, while their continued yoga practice allows for deepening of openness, receptivity and positivity. As Katharine noted, after a day of struggling with a full-time job and a small business, the meditation of practice opens her up to “possibilities and a much more creative space.” Ohm K also gives back a portion of proceeds to select non-profits, believing in giving back towards journeys of wellness. As B.K.S. Iyengar is often quoted: “Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” Whether yoga enhances existing creativity or brings new perspectives, there is no doubt that the practice transforms. With enough hustle, luck and perseverance, a whole new journey into creative vision opens. So maybe, #thehustleisreal.
KATHARINE LUCIĆ AND KATIE VOHWINKEL (PICTURED ABOVE) AARONA GANESEN AND ANDREA KEH ( PICTURED LEFT)
BY: KO IM ILLUSTRATION BY: KEELY ANGEL
haron Salzberg can be credited for bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West decades ago. The world-renowned teacher and NY Times bestselling author most recently penned Real Happiness At Work. Co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, Sharon is accessible in her humor and renowned for her down-to-earth approach to Buddhist teachings. You may find her guiding busy New Yorkers at the Rubin Museum or through The Path and MNDFL. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast: “The Metta Hour.”
“I’m inspired by my teacher Dipa Ma, who is the person who told me to teach meditation. It was 1974, and I was in Calcutta to say goodbye to her and get her blessing for what I thought would be a very short trip back to the US. She told me I’d start teaching when back here. When I protested, she told me two lifechanging things: First she said, ‘You really understand suffering, that’s why you should teach.’ Then she said, ‘You can do anything you want to do. It is only your thinking that you can’t do it that’s going to stop you.’ Those words have stayed with me for decades.” “I’m inspired by NYC. There’s such incredible resiliency here, and generosity. Despite the reputation of New Yorkers as being kind of perpetually grumpy, I feel I’ve experienced tremendous kindness here. And of course I was here after 9/11, where I witnessed countless acts of goodness and caring. After the bomb went off near Chelsea/Flatiron last fall, I saw people reaching out to others — ‘Are you ok? Are you anxious? Can I help?’.” “I’m inspired by a mala (rosary) that someone made me. It has the classical 108 beads, and I wear it looped around my wrist. It is a very simple thing, but a profound reminder. Sometimes I notice the feeling of it on my wrist, my glance will fall upon it, and then I remember to take a few moments right then to practice: to breathe, or offer some lovingkindness, or silently repeat a mantra. So it becomes my entryway to balance many times throughout my day.” For more information, visit www.SharonSalzberg.com
Yoga / Profiles
Kiran Gandhi (continued from pg 45)
What’s your yoga/meditation practice? 7 a.m. yoga - that’s my jam. I don’t have a “job” that I have to wake up and go to, so creating this has been an anchoring point for me. It keeps me from drinking the night before. It makes me go to bed early. It makes me start my day at 8:30. I feel like my limbs are stretched out. I feel like my physical well being supports my mental well being. There’s oxygen getting to every fiber in my muscles. The meditation I do doesn’t happen by sitting still in silence. It happens at two specific times. It happens when I’m driving. I get the chance to zone in on what I really want. I’ll take notes and send myself reminders from that time. Another time is when I’m drumming. As a musician, you get to a point to where your craft becomes muscle memory. I’m no longer addressing the learning at the front of my brain—it’s already happening. I let my limbs do whatever, and my brain goes off into a thought process. I recognize that most schools of thought for meditation are about clearing your mind completely. The way I think about it is clearing external stimulation completely — so that I can hear myself. Maybe I still have work to do when I access one level beyond that, which is complete blankness of the mind, which is a very Indian school of thought. A lot of people do find peace through stillness. It sounds like you find meditation in movement. The beauty of meditation is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Some people can sit quietly for 20 minutes and feel recharged. For you, maybe you get that from drumming. Yea, totally.
Spanish Yoga (continued from pg 67) name of the pose followed by the Sanskrit name. NYYLM: Tell us about the students. One of the amazing things about this training has been that we have students from various countries. Some were born here, others came
They will get weekly theme assignments and classes to teach to help them think faster on their feet. I change up the class assignment for each class so they learn how to think outside the box with their sequences. When we return to part two they have worked out some kinks and feel confident. NYYLM: What do you want your trainees to walk away with? I want my students to ignite the questioner, the ability to think for themselves and develop critical thinking by observing a situation first and then consider solutions. I don’t want them to be “mini me’s” - just spitting yoga words out. They develop their foundation first and then they can flourish on their own, like a dancer is advised to learn ballet first and then adventure into other forms of dance. NYYLM: So they need to learn the rules before they can break them? Yes! This will mean they thoroughly learned the information. In addition, they will then be able to integrate this into their daily lives.
here years ago, but we all call the United States our home now. No matter the different walks of life, we all had one goal: to learn and share the beauty of yoga with fellow Hispanics in the U.S and around the world! NYYLM: Kriplau has two formats for teacher training programs. Which one did you choose and why? I chose the two week twelve day format, with mentorship time between training dates, totaling four months. It takes time to create a teacher. I like to have my students apply what they have learned in class to their lives.
NYYLM: This is all very exciting, and we are looking forward to watching the ripple effect as it multiplies benefiting more communities. I am itching with excitement! People want to be part of something bigger. This is the first Spanish teacher training in the freaking United States! It’s a movement. We have planted the seed and soon I’m will be teaching the next training in Wanderlust Hollywood, California!
Learn more about Rina: www.rinayoga.com
Learn more about Kiran Gandhi and Atomic Living: www.kirangandhi.com IG and Twitter @madamegandhi
PHOTOGRAPH: PAUL UNDERSINGER
CREATING A NEW KIND OF YOGA FESTIVAL “We envision a world where the power of yoga is made available to all, regardless of age, race, gender, and class. Yoga can help provide the tools and momentum for positive change in individual participants, and the communities they create.” -SoulFest NYC Team
SoulFest is NYC’s first day-long yoga and wellness festival created by the community for the community. Join us as we gather 2,000 yogis at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza in the heart of Harlem, NYC for a full day of classes, workshops and community building.
WHAT: SoulFest NYC
Created by Lara Land, and co-created by Iana Velez, Editor in Chief of NY YOGA + LIFE magazine and the NY YOGA + LIFE team, this event was created to celebrate the diversity in the yoga and wellness community, and to help make yoga and wellness accessible to all.
WHEN: May 20, 2017
Join us on May 20th 2017, as we kick off our celebration with Faith Hunter leading her signature Spiritually Fly™ class and Lauren Imparato teaching the first Spanish Yoga class at a NYC yoga festival. Additional presenters include Erica Garcia, Judi Checo from Bread & Yoga, Benswic personal training, the I Love Kickboxing Team, Ahemd the Yogiman, Lara Land and many more.
WHERE: Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza, NYC WHY: To help make yoga and wellness accessible to everyone. HOW MUCH: General admission is FREE, VIP ticket options available. GET INVOLVED: for more information and to register for tickets: www. soulfestnyc.com
This event is FREE register online to attend. VIP ticket options also available. .
TEACHERS WE LOVE THIS PAGE: JILLIAN PRANSKY (PHOTO: RENEE CHOI) OPPOSITE PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) KARLA MISJAN (PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER STARBODY) JENNIFER VAGIOS (PHOTO: BRANNON CONZA) SHOKO DUBISKI (PHOTO: 1TAKEWONDERS) COURTNEY KING (PHOTO:ETHEL KAMBOURIAN) FRANCESCA VALAREZO (PHOTO: DAVID TUFINO) JOE LOIZZO (PHOTO: DARREN ORNITZ) CENTER: VANESSA VAN NOY (PHOTO: KRISTIAN QUISTGAARD)
87 NY YOGALIFEMAG.COM
Lifestyle / Team
NY YOGA + LIFE always works hard all year, but we always have a good time. Here are some behind the scenes shots from issue #3!
On e -of-a-kind Sum merti m e D ay R e tr e at
EVOLUTION SOUL IS IN SESSION FOR THE SUMMER
Nourish yourself with love, and get away from the hectic pace of life at Evolution Soul Day Camp. An outdoor adventure for adults. Experience all levels of kayaking, paddle boarding, hikes, surfing, bicycling and relaxing with the warm sunshine and ocean. Join us in the beautiful towns of Montauk, Mastic Beach, Fire Island and Clearwater Florida. Travel on a small water taxi for a ride to the shores of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Stroll the limitless sandy beaches of Long Island and Florida. Satisfy your soul during the day with nourishing food, good company, meditation, yoga, learning, growing and the great outdoors in a small 10-15 person retreat. Rejuvenate for $129 per person for the day 7:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
R ETR EAT I TI N E RA RY 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. Check-In. 8:00 a.m. Yoga on the lawn taught by Katherine. 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Organic breakfast spread. 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Beach, water sports or relaxing on the beautiful white sand. 1:00 p.m. Signature organic veggie burger made just for you! 1:30 p.m. Back out on the beach, water sports. 4:00 p.m. 15 minute meditation led by Katherine, 45 minute yoga class led by guest teacher.
Gradually develop yourself into all you want to be. A green organic mind, body, soul and home
5:15 - 6:30 p.m. Simple Ayurveda organic farm to table cooking class on one of the finger foods you will be eating for dinner.
A GREEN MIND, BODY, SOUL & HOME
For more information check out dates and video on our website under “SOUL”
October 10 - 15 Register with code SOLSTICE by June 21st to receive your exclusive rate.
| Kalani.com | 800 800 6886
Kalani is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational retreat center. The Hawaii Yoga Festival is generously supported by the Hawaiâ€˜i Tourism Authority and County of Hawaiâ€˜i.
Published on Mar 1, 2017
Ny YOGA + Life™ Magazine | Spring-Summer 2017, Russell Simmons (Cover), Robert Sturman (Photographer), Iana Velez - Editor-in-Chief. Publis...