Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why the heck should you meditate? Here's some scientific proof...

Hi everyone!

This past Tuesday in yoga class, one of our students had never meditated before. Big surprise? Probably not. I mean, how many people have actually tried it, or if they did, gave up because it was too hard, didn't seem to work, or just wasn't for them? Sound familiar? Well... I have to admit - I was one of those people.

Antonia is much calmer than me as I'm a type-A, relatively hyper person, so meditation is super difficult since I find it hard to stay still most of the time. When I first got into yoga, I mainly did the asanas (Sanskrit for "seat" which are the poses/movements), and I always traded meditation for headstands and faster sequences.

Then I started researching (mainly because I love finding scientific proof for stuff) and what I discovered forced me to get with the "Sit Still, and Give Your Mind a Break!" program. Truly, who really wants to always be thinking about 10 million things simultaneously in their head anyway?  Meditation gives you the space and openness to get out of the monkey mind that rules you, and actually find some, ah ha! Peace.

So what's up with meditation? Over the past 40 years, dozens of universities across the world have studied it, specifically looking at the effects of meditation on human physiology and behavior. The research essentially says that meditation produces benefits for your mind, body, emotions, mental functioning and relationships.

  • Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
  • Improved Ability to Focus
  • Increased Creativity
  • Deeper Level of Relaxation
  • Improved Perception and Memory
  • Development of Intelligence
  • Natural Change in Breathing
  • Decrease in Stress Hormone
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Reversal of Aging Process
  • Reduced Need for Medical Care
  • Reduction in Cholesterol
  • Increased Self-Actualization
  • Increased Strength of Self-Concept
  • Decreased Cigarette, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse
  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved Relations at Work
  • Increased Relaxation and Decreased Stress
  • Improved Health and More Positive Health Habits

And if that doesn't give you reason to try it, check out the video below of a newbie meditator :)


P.S. The above list was taken from

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

YIA loves SheSays

Hi everyone - We were mentioned in the latest  SheSays newsletter!

If you're in the advertising industry, you definitely need to know about this amazing group.
Alessandra Lariu

SheSays was co-founded by Alessandra Lariu (Digital Group Creative Director, McCann New York) because she felt that there weren't enough females in the creative departments of most digital agencies, so she decided to do something about it.

SheSays has been holding monthly events for three years where top females in the industry share their thoughts and help others get started to work their way up in the industry!

Check out the invite below for the next SheSays event at Razorfish NY...

Also, be sure to check out their website to learn more :)

Love and respect for all, 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looking forward to sharing a special class with you on February 22nd :)

7:30 PM in The Bhakti Center, 2nd Fl., 25 1st Avenue at 1st St.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

We hope everyone had a fun weekend :)

We've got some good news!
Our friend Erika Levy is in charge of marketing a new yoga book called
Lovers' Yoga by Darrin Zeer.

She lives in Denver and sent us a package about 2 weeks ago. The other day I called her up and said that we never received the box of books. She was disappointed because she didn't put tracking on it, so we figured they got lost in the mail from Denver - New York.

Then, just in time for Valentine's Day, the 10 autographed books arrived!
Whoever shows up to our next class on Tuesday February 22, will get an extra special gift.

Better late, than never :)

Love and respect for all, 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our first YIA YouTube video

Hello Everyone :)

We had a great yoga class yesterday and we thought what better way to introduce ourselves then to make a little video so that you can get to know us better!

Hope to see you at our next class on February 22.

Love and respect for all, 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Class on February 8th - as always, with tea & cookies

Yoga/Meditation class with a special focus on Love during the month of Love:
Self-love and Love all around us.

*Special "Lovers' Yoga" book 
for the first 10 who come to class*

One action to commit to your experience of love, support and kindness all around: 
~ YIA Yoga/Meditation class TUES February 8th @ 7:30 PM ~

We'll be sharing some ancient yogic teachings
for planting the seeds of love,
as well as a special meditation 
to ground and uplift our hearts.
As always, 
tea & the most amazing homemade cookies served after class.

RSVP via email
or comment here 
so we can make preparations for all :)

Love and respect for all, 

How yoga helped me face my fears

In September 2008 I left a fulfilling job in Toronto to embark on my yoga journey.

Now you might be wondering, why would I give up my job for a yoga teacher training course? The reason was simple - a lifetime opportunity to study with a special teacher.

After reading the book “Yoga Beneath the Surface” by Srivatsa Ramaswami & David Hurwitz, I knew I had to find out more about Ramaswami because I was so inspired. Through my research, I discovered that his teacher had been the legendary Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and that he had studied with him for 33 years as the longest standing student outside of his own family.

For those not familiar with Krishnamacharya, he is known as “the father of modern yoga” and taught many of today’s most influential yoga teachers that came to the west including B.K.S. Iyengar (founder of Iyengar yoga), Pattabhi Jois (founder of Ashtanga yoga), and T.K.V. Desikachar (Krishnamacharya's own son).

A young Ramaswami chanting with his guru Krishnamacharya. 

What was strange is that hardly anyone in the west had ever heard of Ramaswami before and yet Krishnamacharya had taught two very famous teachers that essentially helped popularize yoga. The book said that Ramaswami came from Chennai (India), so when I discovered that he had been living in New Jersey and was going to be teaching in LA I knew I had to sign up no matter what. It was also the first time he was offering a full 200-hour teacher training course, as previously he had only done short workshops, and I felt it was meant to be.

The course changed my life, and Ramaswami turned out to be a humble, funny and knowledgeable man who knew the yoga sutras by heart and possessed one of the most beautiful chanting voices I'd ever heard. In fact, on the first day of the course, he sat at the front of class in his gray slacks, button down dress shirt and bare feet and chanted for the first five minutes without saying a word, his presence was simply transcendent and brought tears to my eyes.

Meghan and Srivatsa Ramaswami 
Ramaswami made me realize that sometimes fear was holding me back from fulfilling my true potential. I danced growing up, but I was never the most flexible in class - my strengths were my jumps and my personality on stage. Later as I got into yoga, I always told myself that if I couldn’t do certain yoga poses it was because my body was not flexible enough. Doing his classes daily made me realize that I could go further than I thought possible. The discipline of waking up early and riding my bike for 20 minutes to the yoga practice wasn't always easy. Some days I felt like sleeping in, but I never skipped a class. Slowly, I started to see small changes occur not only in my physical body, but also in my mind and breathing patterns. I noticed that I was less stressed, I slept better, and I felt more fit and strong.

Now that I'm back to working, it's been more difficult to have a structured practice, but I've found that the same rules that apply to yoga apply to life. Whenever I face my fears and commit to something, I see results. Discipline is not always easy and I think that we can be least accountable to ourselves and more with others as we want to live up to their expectations. Learning with a teacher like Ramaswami helped me get in tune with my body and mind, more than I had ever been before, and I realized that being accountable and committed led to breaking through my fears, which was one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

Each month Ramaswami puts out a newsletter that I strongly encourage you to read.  Not only does he pass down his yogic wisdom, but he has even gone as far as digging through his old notes from the 1960s-80s from his studies with Krishnamacharya. Take a peek at his February 2011 newsletter, by clicking here. Enjoy!

Srivatsa Ramaswami with a photo of our class, the first 200-hour teacher training.

The LMU classroom where we spent every day for 6 weeks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Class rescheduled to: February 8. Freezing rainstorm coming to NYC around 8pm onwards... Get home safe everyone... :)