Archive for Ballet

Adult Ballet Classes and Tai Chi Easy™


Finis Fridays Adult Ballet Class 

Sunday August 4th, I am teaching two adult ballet classes (subbing for my ballet teacher, Finis Jhung) at the Alvin Ailey Dance Extension Program. These “Adult Basic Ballet” and “Adult Beginner Ballet” classes are taught in the style of Finis Jhung, as I have completed a teacher training with him, and continue to study with him. We will be using compilations of his beautiful classical music cds, composed specifically for his classes. You can wear yoga clothes if you don’t have dance leotards and tights, but I do suggest you purchase a pair of canvas ballet slippers (at Capezios, Bloch, or elsewhere) for under $ 20. The Alvin Ailey boutique also sells our ballet barre instructional DVDs, so you can practice at home too. If you have any questions about ballet supplies, please email me!

Alvin Ailey Dance Extension Boutique


This August, my qigong teacher and Tai Chi Easy™ founder returns to the North East to teach special workshops at Kripalu. Dr. Roger Jahnke created this more simplified version of Tai Chi so that the profound benefits (balance, stress-reduction, self-healing) could be available to everyone no matter the age or condition of the students. Traditional Tai Chi requires years of study, but Dr. Jahnke’s shortened and flowing version will bring you those benefits almost immediately. I know it may sound too good to be true, but it really does work!  I teach Dr. Jahnke’s Tai Chi Easy™ in my Integral  Yoga classes and during my Dorot telephone series (a seated version). 

If you are interested in doing 5-day courses with Dr. Jahnke this Summer, he will be at Kripalu Yoga Center mid-August:  I highly recommend studying with Dr. Jahnke – he is a true spiritual teacher who walks the tai chi walk!

September 2017 Classes; Eclipse and Yoga; Adult Ballet; Self-Care Sabbatical

Hi friends and family,

I hope you are enjoying the last couple of weeks of August, whether you are on vacation or back at work. Maybe you had the opportunity to watch the solar eclipse today.  Although those of us in NYC did not have the total eclipse other parts of the country experienced, it was still pretty exciting watching NASA TV, observing the amazing eclipse effects and the excitement of the crowds and scientists. Were you aware that “hatha” yoga actually means sun-moon?  In other words, hatha yoga is the balance of the masculine energies within ourselves with the feminine.  This is an individualized personal assessment for each practitioner to explore. Similarly, tai chi state is the balance of the yang with the yin energies. Achieving that energetic balance in our yoga and tai chi/ qigong practices will be different for everyone, and will likely differ with each personal practice as well. So when we design our practice, or take group classes, we ideally want that balance of effort and ease, stability and mobility, rigor and rest, energetic and relaxation. These principles as well shall be applied both on and off the mat, so that we don’t suffer burnout or physical strain yet we do not become lazy or complacent – in our exercise and in our lives. Seeking balance, or the middle ground, is the heart of so many spiritual practices (even though we often observe how that middle ground is usurped by fundamentalism and extremes).  So it is our own quest to continually seek and find balance, knowing that there is no end result but rather a lifetime practice.  Enjoy the process, keep an open mind, and be non-critical to one’s self (ahimsa).

Speaking of balance, I am also making some yoga class schedule changes starting this month.   As many of you know, this past year has been a challenge for me and my family, as my father has been dealing with various health issues that have necessitated numerous trips to the ER, hospital stays, and doctor visits. He has been rising to each medical challenge with a level of determination that is admirable and I hope he continues to fight to regain his strength and health. However, the number of doctor visits and specialists has grown and it has been challenging for me to coordinate all those appointments around my daytime class teaching schedule. Truth be told, it has also been emotionally and physically exhausting, and I am listening to my inner guidance which is telling me to slow down and take time for myself and my family.

As such, I am taking a 4-month sabbatical (September – December) from my weekly daytime yoga classes.

My dear friend and fellow Integral Yoga teacher, Nobue Jaya, will be teaching the Monday morning Chair Yoga class at Dorot.   Many of you already know and love her classes, as Nobue has been teaching at Dorot’s Memory Tree program for a while. You are in lovely and capable hands with Nobue!

Jessica, who already teaches Core Yoga at UWS Yoga and Wellness, will teach both the Tuesday and Thursday Core Strength Hatha 1 Yogaat noon. I know that many of you already take both my Tuesday class and Jessica’s Thursday class, so again you are in capable and lovely hands with Jessica!

My Chair Chi and Prana class will be held during this sabbatical period on three Monday nights (Sept. 25, Oct. 30, and Nov. 27) instead of weekly during the daytime. It will also now be 1.5 hours so we will have time for a longer savasana and yoga nidra (deep relaxation). I hope that you will appreciate this enhanced version of this fusion class! If this new time slot goes well, we will likely add a December date too.

During my sabbatical, I will continue to be on the sub list (so for example, I will be teaching Core Strength Yoga on Tue. Sept. 12 at noon at UWS Yoga and Wellness).

I trust you will all understand my situation, and my need for a bit more space (“sukkha”) in my life due to changed family circumstances. Since I plan to sub, I will notify you when I sub, and hope to see you in class on those occasions. I also know we will stay in touch via emails, and perhaps by getting together in person.

I hope you know this change is not a reflection of my feelings towards any of you. But rather, a needed self-care adjustment to support my and my father’s well-being.  Please email me any questions, concerns, and thoughts.

Adult ballet classes this month:  Additionally, my ballet mentor Finis Jhung will be having surgery early September, and so I will be helping to sub his adult ballet classes at the Alvin Ailey Extension School. These classes are open to the public and to adult beginners.  If you have had dance experience, you can take either the basic or beginner class, and if you are a brand new beginner, please take the basic class. I hope to see you in ballet class, and please join me in sending ballet master Finis Jhung healing energies for his surgery and a quick and full recovery!

August 2016 Schedule

Happy August!  After the recent heat wave (or “dome” as the newscasters labeled it), it feels as if we have already been in the midst of August, and yet, there are likely more hot and humid NYC days still before us.  So please stay hydrated, especially after yoga or dance classes or working out.  To help me remember to drink more water during these Summer days, I have been adding fruit slices, such as oranges, lemon and lime into my reusable water bottle and it is much more refreshing and flavorful than plain water.  Other nice additions are watermelon and cucumber slices – very cooling!  Berries can be added too. Be creative!  But please use a reusable water bottle made from glass or steel, and try to avoid all plastic bottles for your health and the health of the planet! Please see:

Some scheduling notes this month: I will be on vacation, the last week of August through Labor Day, so please see the side bar for my August teaching dates.  Also, on Sunday, August 7, I am teaching two ballet classes at Alvin Ailey Extension – subbing for my teacher, Finis Jhung.  For brand new beginners (no experience necessary), the 12 noon class is ideal.  For those of you with ballet experience, you can take the 12 noon class if you want a great refresher on the basics and an opportunity to really feel your muscles work, and/or the 2 pm class as well – which moves faster, includes turns and more center work off the barre. Sometimes, I take both classes in a row, and it a great combo to solidify one’s technique and build strength.  Please email me any questions!

If you are interested in learning Tai Chi Easy™ and Qigong from my first teacher, Roger Jahnke, OMD, he will be teaching at Kripalu in the Berkshires this month!  I highly recommend studying with him, and if you take my classes where I blend in Tai Chi Easy™ with yoga, you will recognize some of the healing movements.  This would be a way to deepen your practice and learn from the tai chi master himself!  See
August 19 – 21: Public Workshop: Portal to Happiness, Healing and Inner Peace – Awaken Your Healer Within and  August 21 – 26: Certification Training: Healer Within™ Practice Leader Training: Medical Qigong Certification

June Schedule; New Yoga and Ballet Classes this Month and Change to Thursday Core Strength Yoga

Hope you had a lovely Memorial Day weekend and took some time to honor all those who have bravely served all over the world in defense of freedom, human rights and liberty.  
Sailors and Soldiers Memorial, Riverside Park, NYC (2016)

Some scheduling announcements:

I am teaching a Yoga & Qigong fusion class at Integral Yoga Thur., night, June 16th – subbing for my friend Nadiya.  Additionally, this Sunday, June 5th, I am teaching two ballet classes at Alvin Ailey Extension – subbing for my teacher, Finis Jhung.  For brand new beginners (no experience necessary), the 12 noon class is ideal.  For those of you with ballet experience, you can take the 12 noon class if you want a great refresher on the basics and an opportunity to really feel your muscles work, and/or the 2 pm class as well – which moves faster, includes turns and more center work off the barre. Sometimes, I take both classes in a row, and it a great combo to solidify one’s technique and build strength.  Please email me any questions!

Also, staring this month, I am taking a leave from teaching the Thursday noon Core Strength Yoga class at UWS Yoga & Wellness in order to work on a friend’s local political campaign through the Fall.  Micah Lasher is running for State Senate in my district (to replace Senator Espaillat who is running to replace Congressman Rangel).  In case you live in my district, here is Micah’s site:

Depending on my campaign workload, I will possibly be subbing other classes at UWS Yoga and offering periodic workshops.  I have loved getting to know all of you at UWS Yoga individually and collectively, and being a part of the UWS Yoga and Wellness family!  I hope to remain a part of the teaching group there, and am trying to consolidate all my weekly group yoga classes on Mondays and Tuesdays during this Summer and early Fall (the primary is September 13th).  Currently, I am looking at spaces to potentially rent on Tuesdays for Core Strength Yoga, and I will let you know the details if a studio space is available.

So please, stay in touch, and email me if you want to organize periodic classes or semi-privates, etc., that can work around my campaign hours. I want to remain flexible (no pun intended) with my teaching and will have a better idea of my schedule once I start with the Lasher campaign.  Please email me your thoughts and/or concerns.  I do hope we can still practice yoga together, and can work something out if you are interested!

On another note, my neighborhood association’s Second Annual “Love Your Street Tree Day” event went very well on Sunday, May 22, with a large turnout of volunteers who came from the W. 90s down to the W. 30s in Manhattan!  It was a lovely day for cleaning and beautifying tree beds, removing litter, adding compost, mulch, flowers, curb your dog signs, and tabulating the amount and type of litter for our sidewalk trash audit. Here is a short article on the event, and stay tuned for hopefully a longer piece to be published.


May Schedule; New Yoga Barre Class; Plastic Bags; Love Your Tree Day

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy May!  I am back from a fantastic vacation to Sedona. I highly recommend traveling to this beautiful area of our country for amazing hiking, sight-seeing (ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, an artsy old mining ghost town, new age stores and crystal shops), and delicious food (found the best vegan garden restaurant and chocolate bar for lunch, and an incredible gluten-free pizzeria).  If you go, email me for travel suggestions!

A few exciting announcements:

First, I have a new 3-week class at Integral Yoga Institute for the next 3 Monday nights: My “Yoga Barre” at 6:30- 8 pm combines yoga warm-ups, pilates, and ballet barre to strengthen and tone the body, and increase balance and coordination.  Come to any one or all three classes! Go to  to sign up!

Second, on May 22, please come join my West 80s Neighborhood Association, our elected officials and community board, environmental organizations, non-profits, students, businesses and city agencies, as we clean and green across the UWS. It will be a fun afternoon as we care for our important NYC street trees by adding mulch and compost, clean up litter, engage in a voluntary trash audit, and join with other New Yorkers who want to see our city be cleaner and greener.  Free goodie bags will be distributed with gardening tools, curb your dog signs, and other free items.  Compost and mulch will be provided in free take-home buckets, and coffee and snacks will be served.  We need volunteers to help that day, as well as volunteers to help market our Second Annual  “Love Your Street Tree Day”.  Please let me know if you are interested! To sign up for May 22, go tohttp://loveyourstreetday/

Finally, the most recent The New Yorker magazine has a great article on the plastic bag issue, and I am quoted in the middle of the article as the author shadowed me and my neighborhood group as we trained with Bette Midler’s organization, NY Restoration Project, learning how to remove plastic bags from trees with a tool called a bag snagger.  The article is very thorough regarding plastic pollution issues, laws seeking to curtail plastic bag use, and obstacles to that environmental fight.  I do hope NYC’s carry-out bag law currently pending before the City Council gets signed by Mayor De Blasio this week.  The Speaker just endorsed it, and there are 26 co-sponsors now in the Council!   Please see