Monday, August 31, 2009

Hurricane Waters Inspire Yoga

Yesterday, Nathan and I went to Misquamicut Beach for what we thought was going to be a nice sunny day of, well, beaching it up in the sun! However, when we got there, we remembered there was a hurricane out at sea, and it made the waves HUMONGOUS! We still ended up going in the water, though many were too scared to face the waves, but we joined the bunches of surfers who were in all their glory at Misquamicut Beach, Rhode Island.
Nathan braving the waves
This is Nathan braving the waves!

We found a nice rock where I could do some Yoga, of course. The sound of the waves crashing was very inspiring.

Balancing Stick Pose

Later, we took our bikes out and rode them all along Watch Hill and stayed out pretty late. The mist from the ocean was so refreshing as we rode. Here's a photo of Nathan with his bike. He loves this photo! Hahaha
Nathan and his bike

Before we left, we went to some of the calmer areas of water and we met this swan, who was VERY friendly!
Friendly Rhode Island Swan

The mist coming off the water and the sun setting was so beautiful. It was a BIG difference from seeing and hearing the crashing waters on the ocean side.
So peaceful

And of course I got inspired to do some more Yoga ;)
Dancer pose by the sailboats

We ended up biking about 8 miles, it was a good time. Sometimes I wish weekends were longer...hope you all had a great one!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bikram Yoga with Cysts in Your Ankle

Last night I went to Bikram Yoga for the first time in a month! I had been away so long because my ankle injury back at the end of July. My ankle is feeling about 95% better, but I still can't point my left foot because of where the 3 cysts are located.

While I had a REALLY great Bikram class (with the best final Savasana I have EVER had!), there's 2 postures that my ankle will not let me do. One is Supta Vajrasana, which I normally couldn't do that well anyway, but the one that surprised me was Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana. It only but when we faced the left side, but I never realized how much your ankle plays a role in that posture.

All in all, my ankle did feel better after the class, and the swelling went down quite a bit, so I am sure Bikram class is going to help my ankle more than hurt it, but it just sucks to know that I am starting at square one with the flexibility in my ankle again. All that hard work...

I guess that is why they call it a yoga practice...and not a perfect! ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Future of Yoga is Online

I am very pleased to announce that YogaDirect opened another location in the UK! We are still solely an online retailer, so there's no retail stores yet, but we now have a warehouse and a group of great customer service representatives over in the UK! The website, located at, hasn't even been live for a month yet, but we are already seeing success! Go visit the site and check it out!

Also, if you aren't already following YogaDirect Lady (me!!!) on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace, you should sign on and be my friend! I know that Myspace isn't all the rage anymore, but I am noticing a growing community of Yogis on many social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and it is very exciting. Through these sites, I have learned a lot about other Yogis philosophies, new postures, different opinions about classes, and more. I have also met a lot of great online buddies who all share a passion for Yoga.

Recently, I met a Yoga Instructor named Page Turner on Facebook. She teaches online Yoga classes on her website, and she offered I test out a class. I was very excited to try it out, since I am kind of a web geek and am into trying new things. Unfortunately, the class is still being tested for technical difficulties, but I got a good sense of what a class would be like.

When I connected to the class with my web cam, it was really exciting to see Page (who was in Costa Rica) and the other student in class, Christine (from Texas) on my computer screen with me. It was like we were in my living room taking a Yoga class like normal! Sure, Christine had her dog walking in and out of the video screen occasionally, and I had to fidget with my screen dimmer every so often, it was really great to feel a connection through Yoga with these two people who were in different parts of the world. I cannot think of anything more zen than that!

Though the connection was a little rough for the class, I'd recommended everyone give online Yoga a try. Online Yoga classes like these will be a great way for large groups of people to maybe experience classes from instructors they couldn't normally take class from because they lived too far away. While there's still some kinks to be worked out as far as the small size of the instructor on the screen, and connection problems, it is a great way for the teacher and student to interact remotely, and both can easily benefit from the experience.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get Ready for National Yoga Month at!

If you haven't heard, National Yoga Month is next month, and I am busy getting ready for the big events! I can't leak out what special things we are doing on the website and in the community just yet, but I can tell you that I am very excited!

If you haven't heard about National Yoga Month, here is a blurb about it from their website (

Get One Week Free Yoga during National Yoga Month 09.2009

September is National Yoga Month

Join us in educating, inspiring and building awareness of the positive impacts of yoga on health.

In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services designated September as National Yoga Month. That same year, thousands of yoga and health enthusiasts participated in a 10 City Yoga Health Festival Tour featuring yoga classes, lectures, music, entertainment, exhibits.

This year, people across the country will participate in free events and activities, designed to build awareness of the mind and body benefits of yoga practice. In nearly every city, hundreds of yoga studios, teachers, individuals and event organizers will create National Yoga Month events.

Whether you’re trying it for the first time or are an experienced yogi looking to deepen your practice, there’s never been a more opportune time to practice yoga. The economy and job loss are always on our minds these days, causing anxiety and fear. But yoga provides an accessible way to manage stress for anyone.

Yoga is one of the oldest known sciences in the world and is widely acknowledged as a highly effective complementary alternative medicine. So, as we all explore ways to take better care of ourselves and even reduce health care costs, it gives us a proven way to do so.

The best reason yet to participate in National Yoga Month? It’s free – something you don’t hear a lot these days. Just follow these steps to enjoy one free week of yoga in September:

1. Visit to find participating studios and teachers
2. Print out the Yoga Month Card
3. Redeem it at the participating location most convenient to you

The Yoga Month campaign is produced and administered by the Yoga Health Foundation. The foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization registered in the State of California. All funds benefit the national awareness campaign and yoga health education.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet Some Connecticut Yoga Instructors!

I would like to introduce you to three of my very good friends who all live and teach Pilates and Yoga in Connecticut!


Amy Merli

Amy Merli is a professional performer who is based in Hartford CT. She currently performs and choreographs for CONNetic Dance a Contemporary Ballet company in Hartford CT. She is a 200 hour trained yoga instructor specializing in Vinyasa Power based Yoga and is also a ACE and NASM Certified Personal trainer who works 1 on 1 with clients. Along with her fitness expertise, Amy is a model with experience with dance, yoga and fashion modeling. You can learn more about Amy by visiting her website at


Emily Lutin

Emily Lutin, owner of The Movementality, believes in making Yoga accessible to all. She specializes in private yoga instruction for individuals, small groups, and special events. Emily works to increase your self-awareness by focusing on the connection between mind, body, and spirit.

With a holistic approach to life, Emily also runs an organizational business called Square One Organization. Here, she focuses on helping you make room for changes in your life, both literally and figuratively.

Her holistic goal is to help others live a self-aware, clutter-free life. Creating space for clarity, ease and enjoyment in every moment.


Kelly Scallion

Kelly Scallion is a STOTT Pilates Instructor trained in Level 1+2 Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. Kelly also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Theatre from Manhattanville College, 2006.

Kelly has a deep kinesthetic understanding of the body and the ways it can move because of her many years of Modern Dance training. Kelly is a challenging and energetic instructor who prides herself in helping clients to reach their individual potential, while understanding their personal needs and goals.

You can learn more about Kelly, and her Pilates studio by visiting her website, Pure Body Pilates.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Took a Trapeze Class in Boston!

I went to the foot doctor on Friday to find out the results of the MRI they took of my ankle. It turns out that I hadn't torn a tendon in my ankle, as the doctor originally thought. The MRI showed that I have 3 cysts in my ankle, above my heel bone. He also mentioned about the random marble-sized bone I have hanging out in my ankle as well, and he thinks I may have ruptured one of the cysts, and the synovial fluid from the cyst caused inflammation and pain. He recommended I keep the orthopedic boot on for another two weeks. I think I am going to try to get a second opinion because I think I need a sports medicine doctor, as this guy told me I'd never be able to point my toe again and my dancing days are over.

Anyways, in spite of my ankle problems, I went to Boston yesterday with my fiance and some friends and we all took a trapeze class at TSNY Beantown! It was the perfect activity for me, since you don't put weight on your feet when you are flying in the air, so I knew my ankle wouldn't be harmed! I was very nervous at first, just waiting on the 23 foot tall platform before my first try at the trapeze. Though they showed us what we would be doing in the air while we were still on the ground, I still felt jittery and unprepared when I had my hands on the trapeze.

When you are standing on the platform, they strap you in, you chalk up your hands, and then the instructor tells you to put your toes on the edge, lean forward with your hips, shoulders back, and as they hold on to you, you slowly grab on to the trapeze one hand at a time. Then they say, "Ready," which means you bend your knees. And the next cue they give you is to JUMP!

Immediately you are swinging into the air, and a great rush of adrenaline overtakes you. But, this is a class, and the instructor is calling you on the microphone, instructing you exactly when you should tuck your knees in, and up into a knee hang.

Being upside down in a knee hang on a swinging trapeze is so much fun! They tell you to reach your arms back and arch your back as much as you can when you learn knee hang, so you'll be ready later for a catch. Below is an image from the TSNY website, showing a knee hang (this is not me :)

Knee Hang

Then, once you get a good knee hang, the instructor tell you when to come back up and hold on with your hands to swing normally again. At the end, the instructor tells you how to prep for a back-flip dismount, which seems crazy and impossible when you watch it, but when you actually try it, comes really naturally. And then you land gracefully on the nets below.

After I practiced the knee hang and back-flip a few times, the instructors taught us a new trick - the SPLIT. Yes, the name is very intimidating, and so is the move. The image below is from the TSNY Beantown website, and it shows a girl doing a split trick on the trapeze. Basically, you are holding a split upside down. It was probably the hardest trick I learned that day!

The Split

I tried the Split two times, before they stopped us to teach us one last trick - THE CATCH! One of the instructors went up and began hanging on a trapeze next to the one we had been using. Before we got up, we were told to start the catch from a knee hang position. The only difference was that this time, if we chickened out at the platform and did not jump when instructed, the timing of the catch would be messed up and it wouldn't work right. I was incredibly nervous about messing up the catch because I didn't want to mess up the instructor as well, so I was very proud of myself that I successfully did the catch 2 times before the class was over. Here's a photo from the TSNY Beantown website showing a catch from a knee hang.

A Catch

The Trapeze Class was two hours of fun - and I feel like I did something that really tested my limits. I would recommend that if you are near a trapeze school, you should definitely check it out! They have locations in Washington DC, NYC, Boston, and more! I am really sore today, though...and so is my fiance, who is not really used to physical activity like that. He ended up taking the day off today to rest his aching muscles!

Last week at we added two new items that are selling like hot cakes! One is the beautiful
Guatemalan Yoga Mat Bag, pictured below...

Guiatemalan Yoga Mat Bag

Guatemalan Yoga Mat Bag measures 30" long and 11.5" wide, has a reinforced strap, and is padded on the inside to keep your belongings safe and cushioned. The bag has one large drawstring opening that fits a yoga mat inside, and the outside of the bag has a zipper enclosed opening that is large enough to fit your wallet, keys, or even a yoga strap. And at only $29.99, it is a super deal!

We also have new Wooden Yoga Blocks, pictured below...

Wood Yoga Blocks

These new Wood Yoga Blocks are strong enough to support your full weight, and smooth to the touch, making them comfortable against your skin. Made from the finest pine wood in New Zealand, these blocks come in two different sizes: 3" x 5.7 " x 9" wooden block or the 4" x 5.7 " x 9" wooden block.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This Orthopedic Boot...

I haven't officially been to a Yoga Class in over two weeks now. My body feels so blah! I am still wearing my orthopedic boot, and though my ankle feels like it is still getting better, I am not sure it is quite there yet. I want to take the boot off, but walking up and down stairs hurts, and so do jumping, pointing my foot and moving my foot inward. Also, when I try to point my foot, a strange hole becomes present on the topside of my foot close to my ankle. It makes me feel like the tendon is no longer attached to whatever it is supposed to be attached to. My MRI is tonight, so that will tell the doctor exactly what is wrong, and I have my follow-up with the doctor on Friday and then I will know if I can go back to Yoga class anytime soon.

I have been still practicing my head stands! I am getting really good - I almost don't need the wall anymore! At least I can still do some Yoga even though I can't move my ankle!

My Headstand