August 31, 2011

Pose of the Week

Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

1. From Adho Muhka Svanasana (downward facing dog), exhale and step your right through to the front of your mat. Lower your left knee to the floor sliding the left leg back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh. Place the top of your left foot flat on the floor so all 5 toes are pressing into the floor.

2. Inhale and lift your torso upright, sweeping your arms up towards the sky, bringing your biceps in line with your ears. Draw the tailbone down toward the floor and lift your pubic bone toward your navel. Bring your shoulder-blades together on your back.

3. Take your head back and look up, being careful not to jam the back of your neck. Reach your pinkies toward the ceiling. Hold for a minute, exhale your torso back to the right thigh and your hands to the floor, and turn your back toes under. With another exhale, lift your left knee off the floor and step back to Adho Mukha Svanasana


-Stretches the quadriceps
-Stretches smaller muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
-Toning of buttocks
-Tones and strengthens muscles in the arms and shoulders
**As seen in Yoga Journal

This will be my last post until mid-September, I'm leaving the country to go sip coconuts on the beach in Costa Rica!!! I'll make sure to update you all on my spectacular adventures.


August 29, 2011

Urban Lily Health and Wellness Fair

Urban Lily, the beautiful studio which I teach at will be hosting a Health and Wellness Fair. See attached flyer for information. The whole weekend cost $75 or one day for $40. Take as many classes as you want!!

Urban Lily Yoga
14843 Burbank Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA

I will be teaching a Stress Relief Workshop on Sunday the 11th 3-3:50pm. We will be going over how to distinguis between positive and negative stress and how to transform that negative stress into positive stress. This workshop includes meditations, restoratives and a few warm-up poses and sun-salutes.

**The first twelve people to enter the door to my Stress Relief class will recieve a Lady J Yoga goodie bag to include a sample meditation candle from my new up and coming natural candle line, made from bees-wax and a blend of essential oils.

Like my Facebook Fan Page to recieve a coupon for your first two classes FREE. Only applies to new students. Make sure to bring in the flyer when you come to your first class.

Meditation Monday

Raja ("royal union") Yoga Meditation

The act of Raja Yoga meditation for at least 15 minutes in the early morning will have a positive effect during the entire day.

Upon waking, have the thought; I am a peaceful soul, my aim today is to radiate peace to every person that I come in contact with

I am a peaceful soul .............
I am a peaceful soul ............
My mind is filled with peace ..............
I radiate peace to the world ...............
I feel the gentle waves of peace flowing across my mind ...........
As these peaceful thoughts emerge in my mind I feel the stillness and silence envelopes my mind .................
I am the peaceful soul ......
I am a peaceful loving soul ............
My mind feels light and free from worries ...........
I realize my real nature is peace ..........
Peaceful thoughts flow through the mind and I feel the self becoming light ......................
I am a being of light shining like a star .......................
I radiate peace and light to the world ......................
The light and peace envelopes me and the waves of peace and light shine like a lighthouse.............................................
This is the wonderful journey of self discovery

Raja Yoga Meditation Philosophy

The basis for attaining an experience in raja yoga meditation in to understand the self and the mind. The human mind is the most creative, powerful and wonderful "instrument" we possess. Using this energy called mind we have been able to search the deepest oceans, send humans to the moon and scan the molecular fabric of the building blocks of nature. But have we found our true self? We have become the most educated and civilized society in our history, but are we civil towards each other?

According to raja yoga Meditation The soul has three main faculties; the mind or consciousness, the intellect and the subconscious.
Thoughts flow from the sub conscious mind to the conscious mind. Feelings and emotions form in accordance with the montage of thoughts flowing in the mind. Therefore our state of mind at any given moment is determined by the thoughts in our consciousness, and also with the feelings that we associate with those thoughts. Since our sub consciousness contains all our previous thoughts and experiences, it is necessary to selectively control the flow of thoughts that emerges from the sub conscious mind.

The intellect is the controller which is used to discriminate so that only positive and benevolent thoughts flow into our mind. With meditation or deep contemplation, the individual is able to strengthen and sharpen the intellect. The end result is a constant state of well being. If we are able to understand the self as the source of energy that creates our feelings, then the following will become our aims.

Become aware of our state of mind and of the thoughts that flows into the mind from our subconscious.
Strengthen the intellect so that the individual can discriminate and thereby only allow positive and peaceful thoughts to flow into the mind.
Through this process of self development the individual develops more control over the mind.

August 25, 2011

Consciousness Cleanse

I have reached the final day of my 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse! Wooo..although I did break the NO computer and phone rule after 10 days. It's hard disconnecting from the world when your work involves being on a computer all day. I did forget that Facebook even existed though until my little sister spoke about a post on Facebook, around my day 7.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up with me through the process, the consciousness cleanse was from a book called 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse  by Debbie Ford.
The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse: A Breakthrough Program for Connecting with Your Soul's Deepest Purpose [Book]

I chose to do this cleanse because at times I do find it difficult to remain present because of situations that have happened in the past. Even though I'm conscious of what I'm doing and I'm quick to turn it around, I felt I needed some more discipline. This cleanse is about building a profound and intimate relationship with your soul and to help you let go of all the false beliefs and assumptions that no longer serve you. We as individuals tend to assume a lot and tell ourselves lies, which in turn makes us unhappy. Nobody else can make us unhappy but ourselves. In order to help us understand that, this book breaks down into three sections - Past, Present and Future. It allows us to go back into our past and get rid of all the negative energy that we've been only covering up. The present focuses on what do we want right here, right now and the future allows us to look ahead and plan for how we would like to see our life evolve.

It's a beautiful spiritual reading with daily journaling and questions to answer. For me, the first section, the past, was an emotional rollercoaster. I cried, I screamed, I hated myself, I hated others, I thought my boyfriend was unsupportive, I thought about quiting my job, it was a rough week! But it did exactly what it was meant to do, as you're going back into your past, revisitng these situations, you're focusing all your energy on it to allow yourself to release it and let it go while your ego is still trying to hang on and keep those past memories inside you.

I recommend this reading to everyone who is ready and willing to change their lives around to become more peaceful and forgiving to themselves (first and foremost) and to others.
I have a vast library on spiritual readings, if anyone is looking for help on anything in particular please get in contact with me and I would love to share my knowledge and suggestions with you.


love & light
be blessed

August 24, 2011

Pose of the Week

Bhujangasana a.k.a Cobra Pose

1. Lie on your stomach on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and in line with your chest. Hug the elbows into your rib cage.
2. Press the tops of the feet and thighs and pubis firmly into the ground.
3. On a inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, making sure to keep a bend in the elbows so your thigs and pubis stay rested on the floor. Keep the buttocks soft.
4. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the top ribs forward. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout your spine.
5. Stay in this pose for 15-30 seconds and then release back down to the floor on an exhale.

-Strengthens the spine
-Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders and abs
-Firms the buttocks
-Stimulates abdominal organs
-Helps relieve stress and fatigue
-Opens the heart and lungs
-Soothes sciatica

August 23, 2011

Top 5 Unusual Places to practice Yoga

Yoga isn't just for studios or the home, at least not for me. I'll take the time to practice yoga anywhere and everywhere! With a full-time job and a teaching schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to fit in a studio practice so below I've listed the top 5 places you can find me fitting a quick practice in:

1. Elevator - Even in the office I like to get my practice in. While I'm riding the elevator up and down the floors I do backbends, warrior poses, downdog, uttanasana..anything to give me a quick little stretch to keep me from getting stiff and to relieve some stress. Yes, it can be a bit akward for the other person outside the elevator when the doors open and I'm in downdog, I don't embarass easy so I just smile and say hello as if it's normal to find someone practicing yoga in the elevators.

2. At my desk in the office - This is actually one of my favorite places to practice arm balances and teach others in the office. I'll do a quick astavakrasana, eka pada koundiyanasana II, bakasana, bhujangasana, or downdog. My co-workers will even stop by with a quick, "Hey, can you show me how to do such and such pose correctly?" and i'll break it down for them and we will have a quick little session behind my desk. If an office is empty for the day, we'll step in there instead for a little more privacy.

3. Airport  - Requirement to get to the airport before a flight is at least 1 hour, i like to get there 1 1/2 to 2 hours early so I can fit in a little practice before I get on the plane. I'll set my stuff down, plop on the floor and do a floor workout, occasionally with a headstand. Yes, I'm that girl that everyone points and stares at because how dare she embarrass herself like. ;)

4. Standing at a cross-walk - as I wait for the light to turn (some of the stoplights in Westwood are ridiculous, they can stay one color for 10mins.) I like to do a quick tree-pose, focusing on my third eye internally to bring me peace. It tends to make everything around you slow down and become quieter, like time is standing still.

5. Beautiful Great Outdoors - although not an unusual place to practice, mother nature has always been my favorite place, for anything. I grew up on a farm where every day was spent out in the garden, in the trees, the sandbox, the pastures, at the river fishing, swimming and boating. I've always felt a deep connection with the earth and to this day, any chance for an outdoor yoga pracitce I'll take it, whether it's at the beach, on a hiking trail, or on top of a mountain. The tranquility of the birds chirping and wind blowing makes me become more present than I am at any other moment.

 Practicing in a tree in Malibu...

Where is your favorite place to break out a quick practice? Add it to my comments below. Or what unusual place would you like to see me pop up and practice? Comment and I'll post a photo of me practicing in your requested spot!

August 22, 2011

Meditation Mondays

Yes, I'm a little behind..on the day and I think it has been a week since my last post. Oops..i believe it's the excitement of preparing for Costa Rica! I will be traveling the 31st - 10th, during this time I will not be blogging but will update you upon my return! Days have been filled with endless research and figuring out just what I want to bring and then yes, it hits me, again, for the 100th time, you're going to the really only need your bikins and cute little cover ups! Talk about packing light, I've never been one to pack light, a girl never knows what she wants to wear presently in that moment so it's not fun packing for a few days when what you might want to wear that day isn't what you felt like packing in previous days.

In the midst of all this, and teaching classes, and working, I still find the time to meditate daily. This may come in different forms, usually on my drive to and from work where I'll turn on my "yoga" music and tune out and focus on the surroundings. It's amazing how time stands still for that hour drive, yes I am a commuter..that hour is for 15miles. Other times it comes as a walking meditation, and some days I even find the time to sit peacefully in my corner and drown out my surroundings. But there are many forms of meditation, so no more excuses on not having the time to meditate. Set aside at least 5-15mins per day. My Monday blogs will be meditation days to help you get starter,  and I promise next time I'll get the post in earlier than 9:30 at night.

Lets start this week with a basic breathing meditation. Use this meditation to get centered anytime and anywhere. You can retreat into your breath whenever you are feeling tired or stressed out. Make sure before you start to set an alarm for your desired time so you're not thinking about how much time you have left.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed
-Breathe quietly in and out through your nose. Feel each breath as it moves through your torso. Feel where in your body where your breath is moving and where it is not
-Begin to notice how your breath changes as you focus on it, and how awareness changes in turn.
-When your mind begins to drift, gently bring it back to your breath
-Begin to bring your breath into areas of your body that feel dull or "un-breathed" Imagine your torso as a container and actively send your breath into the places it's not reaching, such as your pelvis or the small of your back. Don't force the breath, just allow it to follow your consciousness
-At the end of your session, wiggle your fingers and toes, then stretch your legs and arms

If you are a beginner, start your session out at 5mins. per day and gradually work your way up.
My Monday/Wednesday evening classes incorporate breathing and meditation, if you're looking for a way to be guided through these meditations come check out one of my classes.

Love & Light

Lady J

August 10, 2011

Pose of the Week

Every Wednesday I'll be selecting a pose and breaking down how to get into it and the benefits of the pose.
This week I have chosen Adho Mukha Svanasana a.k.a. Downward Facing Dog.

 It seems like such an easy pose, as most of us cheat at it, yes even I like to sometimes, but if done correctly it's actually a very advanced pose with many benefits.

 1. Start by coming to the floor on your hands and knees, placing your hands directly under your shoulders and knees sits-bones distance apart (touch the bottom of your bum and find those boney points on either side -- those are your sits-bones, place your knees that far apart). Spread your fingers nice and wide making sure your pointer fingers are parallel with one another. Curl your toes underneath you take a deep inhale and on an exhale...
2. Lift your knees away from the floor and press your thighs back in space. Keeping your knees slightly bent, heels lifted off the floor, really press your sits bones up towards the sky and press your chest towards your thighs as if you're trying to lay your chest on your thighs. Keeping this, straighten your legs and lower your heels towards the floor.
3. Externally rotate your upper arms to bring your shoulders closer together on your back and really lengthen from your tailbone to the crown of your head creating a long spine.  Keep your ears in-line with your biceps; don't let it hang.
4. Stay in this pose for 1-3 minutes and with an exhalation lower back down to your knees.

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue

To deepen your practice - visit my website to contact me for information on PRIVATES

Love & Light

August 9, 2011

This is the beginning of great things to come..

Welcome to my world where I live, eat, breathe YOGA. Follow me along this path as I inform you of all things Yoga and that doesn't mean just poses and the coolest yoga attire. Yoga to me is in everything I do, whether it be eating, driving, shopping, talking - being in the present moment in anything  you do is Yoga. I will, yes of course, keep you informed on poses and yoga attire but I will also keep you informed on events happening around the community, great farmers markets, recipes, poses of the week, crazy diets I'm doing (who knows..maybe you'll all want to join me while I drink slimy green things) and much more!

So this is where it all begins...I welcome feed back and ideas from everyone! If you have something to share with me, please do. Who knows, I may use it in my new DVD release!

With that, check out my website, which I am constantly updating cause I can't leave anything alone...
and visit me in class at
Urban Lily Yoga
14843 Burbank Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA

Yoga for Stress Relief

Level 2
**Some experience required

Love & Light

Lady J