Archive for Rasa Yoga

Feb. 2021 Zoom & Tele Classes; New “Sounds of Yoga” Class; A Lighter Mood

Dear Friends and Family,

Hoping you and your loved ones are safe and well during this continuing pandemic. I feel that there has been a palpable positive shift since my last newsletter (which I sent right after the failed insurrection in DC). We now have a new federal administration in place, and the Biden/Harris Inauguration Day events were beautiful, elegant, inclusive, and festive. I, and many others with whom I have spoken, feel that a heaviness has lifted from our collective shoulders as the toxicity of the past four years is now fortunately behind us. Although we can breathe a big sigh of relief, there is still much work to do in order to create and maintain a more just and ethical society with enlightened political leaders at the helm. We have seen too many times, in our nation and many other countries around the world, the human and environmental costs of incompetent, corrupt, and morally bankrupt leadership. I hope for the new occupants, including their beautiful canines, that the White House has not only been cleaned and redecorated, but also refreshed with a sage smudging!       
Please see below for a new class I am offering for Dorot – “The Sounds of Yoga”. I am excited to be teaching this class that will incorporate chakra sounds, toning, and the humming bumblebee breath. My first yoga teacher training course was actually a sound-based yoga system, and my initial class at that yoga studio profoundly changed my life.  I had never intended to leave the practice of law when I took that first class on the recommendation of my ayurvedic skin care physician. But this slow and gentle yoga class that utilized various sounds during the poses, and was held in a candle-lit studio with futon mats and the aroma of incense wafting in the air, allowed me to find deep relaxation and peacefulness in a way unknown to me prior to that class. I felt energy moving in my body during savasana, and I was able to truly relax in that resting pose for the very first time. So of course, I was intrigued and knew that this yoga (which my inexperienced and skeptical self thought to be extremely strange) was exactly what my body and soul needed. It felt like it was giving me a necessary reset and providing an unwinding of my tightly wound, Type A, driven personality from my many years of training and working in the competitive fields of ballet and law. That life-changing class eventually led to me graduating from their last teacher training – offered before the studio permanently closed. I feel very fortunate that, almost 20 years later, I can now offer a version of this practice to Dorot students on Zoom. Throughout the years, I have incorporated this sounding practice into many of my asana classes, and it brings me much joy. I am inspired to share with you this yoga practice that personally means so much to me.     
Photo by Melissa Elstein  
“Sounds of Yoga” – new Dorot Zoom Class

In this fun new 45-minute Zoom class, we will explore various sounding techniques helpful for moving energy in our bodies, focusing our minds, uplifting our spirits, and expanding our awareness. From the humming sound of the yogic bumblebee breathing practice, to the sounds of the 7 chakras (energy centers), and more, we will join together in a harmonious exploration of yoga and sound. (Some gentle seated movement will be incorporated as well). All levels are welcome. 

October 2016 Schedule and Core Strength Yoga

Wishing everyone a happy Fall and if you celebrate it, Happy Rosh Hashanah!  I am teaching over the Jewish holidays, but am away on Monday, October 10th – Columbus Day.

This month, in addition to my regular weekly classes, I am teaching on Wednesday morning October 19th – Level 1 Hatha Yoga at UWS Yoga & Wellness.  Also this month, I teach a “Strong to the Core” Yoga Workshop at Integral Yoga Institute on Monday night, October 17th.  At this workshop, you will learn safe and effective ways to strengthen the core, especially the hard-to-reach lower abdominals. Strong abs make balancing poses easier and are the key to a graceful posture. In this workshop, you will learn abdominal exercises that are alternatives to traditional crunches, thereby preventing any neck or upper-back tension. The 2-hour workshop also includes back-strengthening poses, as well as a focus on standing balances. Enhance your yoga practice with a strong center! This workshop comes with a take-home outline.  I hope you can join me!

I was super excited to see an article in last month’s Dance Magazine (see below)  that depicts and recommends one of the core exercises I give in all my classes!  The wellness editor of , Jan Dunn, writes that simply doing ab exercises can lead to “key weaknesses in supporting the whole body in action” because “core control is much more than just abdominal strength.”  Her “favorite” exercise is below as true core control includes “back stabilization, and involves the coordinated effort of several different muscles in the torso to stabilize the spine.”  I agree, and for those reasons, my personal practice and my classes focus on these type of exercises rather than traditional sit-ups. In my weekly Tuesday class at UWS Yoga & Wellness, instead of using foam rollers as mentioned in the article, we use soft medium-sized exercise balls under the low back and buttocks to create an unstable surface on which to balance and to protect the low back muscles while strengthening the core.  The effect and the results are similar to using the roller, but the balls are more portable and easier to store if there are space limitations. I love to travel with my pilates ball, as it is deflates and weighs next to nothing, and it can also be used as a back support in your car or on the plane.

Here is my full October 2016 teaching schedule. Also, if you are looking for a meditative style yoga class on Tuesday evenings, my friend and fellow Rasa Yoga teacher, Richard Allon, is now teaching every Tuesday evening 6:30 – 7:45 pm at NYC Pilates (located in the former Rasa Yoga building at 246 West 80th Street off Broadway).  It feels like I am blissfully returning “home”!  (My first yoga training was Rasa Yoga, and it incorporates sounding during gentle postures.  Richard’s class was the event that actually changed my life direction; I wandered into Rasa Yoga 14 years ago, and after taking his lovely class, I never returned to practicing law.  Instead, I completed their and other yoga teacher training programs, and have been teaching mindful movement practices for over 12 years).  Richard is teaching in the Rasa Yoga style, but also adding other postures and flows, in a generally gentle format.  If you have any questions, please see  and email Richard at

June 2014 – World’s Oldest Man

I am very intrigued by a news story last week regarding a NYC man designated by Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest man – he is 111 years young (and yes, the oldest human is a Japanese woman).  Alexander Imich lives near me at the Esplanade on West End Avenue, and he is a professor of the occult, a WWII POW, and had a book published in his 90s!  He seems to embody the spirit, humor and curiosity of a yogi – even though I do not know if he did or does practice yoga.  In the online West Side Rag article, he is quoted:  ‘“How long can this go on?” he told the Times. “The compensation for dying is that I will learn all the things I was not able to learn here on Earth.”

His quote reminds me of the ancient Upanisad Sanskrit chant that we do at Integral Yoga at the end of each class:  “Lead me from Unreal to Real, Lead me from Darkness to the Light, Lead me from the fear of Death to Knowledge of Immortality.  Om, Shanti, shanti, shanti.”  It is a beautiful and powerful chant (and by the way, it was chanted at the end of the first Matrix movie), and at Integral we chant it in Sanskrit and English.  When I was at Rasa Yoga, we chanted it repetitively in Sanskrit during cobra pose.  It speaks to so many spiritual aspirations, but the most challenging one for most of us is the deep-rooted fear of death.  Even for those of us who believe in soul reincarnation, there is still likely a sense of unknowing and fear (either in our conscious or unconscious) regarding what happens to us (the spark that makes us unique individuals) when the body dies.  Maybe I am reading too much into his quote, but it does seem that this interesting man who has lived on this Earth for 111 years has summarized the sanskrit chant in his concise and unique way.

And on a lighter note, he seems to have the yogic understanding of balance:  “Eat sparingly, but enjoy chocolate ice cream.”

For the full TV interview and news report:

And West Side Rag article: