Don't think for a second that yoga instructors are some ethereal form of human. We are just regular people engaging in regular people behavior. The yoga industry is booming here in the Yoga Mecca we know and love as Los Angeles. Warning: Yoga instructor (Me) is about to get judgemental, but only for a few paragraphs.
A surplus of yoga instructors pervades our tinsel-town, many of which have no business teaching and molding bodies in the first place. If you add up all these variable you get something very "unyogic" : COMPETITION. Competition is good just like Darwin said because it eliminates the weak and the talentless from the strong and talented. We are not all created equal in all respects. Some people are better than others at certain things. A yoga instructor who relies only their yoga teacher-training education program and their passion for could be a good instructor. However, when a lifetime dedicated to training for a career in professional dance, athletics, sportsmedicine, etc... is coupled with a yoga teacher-training education program the end result is a first-class instructor! Any regular Joe can sign up for yoga teacher-training courses, pay the money, and take the classes. It's not rocket science. What is a science is having a solid understanding of how to apply movement principles into action, and who better to teach these principles than people who move FOR A LIVING! I call these people, myself included, Movement Specialists.
Friday, 30 March 2012
REMEMBER TO JOIN ME TOMORROW AND EVERY FRIDAY FOR:
MORNING FLOW @7AM & RELAX, RESTORE, REJUVENEATE AT 5PM
Where: RaKsa in Culver City
Cost: 1st Class is FREE!!!!
Check out my bio on the RaKsa Wesbsite
See you in Down Dog!
Thursday, 05 January 2012
With the New Year almost here, we could all use a little more yoga and little less stress... STARTING JANUARY 6th JOIN ME BRIGHT & EARLY FOR MORNING FLOW YOGA OR IN THE EVENING TO RESTORE AND REJUVENATE YOURSELF. Where: RaKsa (10846 Washington Blvd in Culver City) When: Morning Flow from 7am-8:20am /// Restore, Relax, Rejuvenate from 5pm-6:20pm FIRST CLASS IS FREE!!!!!
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Yoga, pranayama, asana, dharana....these words generally do not elicit anxious and hormone ridden middle school or high school students. Why not? Yoga isn't an 18+ modality. On the contrary, yoga is beautifully available to anyone and everyone at any time and now Y.O.G.A. for Youth is making this possibility a reality!
Between now and November 15, 2011 Y.O.G.A. for Youth is giving away a FREE quarter (10 weeks) of yoga classes to ONE lucky Los Angeles County School on Sunday, December 4th, 2011.
Tuesday, 08 November 2011
It's been a busy fall season with rehearsals for The Nutcracker but I am excited to share with all of you that I added another class to my schedule! Beginning this Sunday November 6th restore your nervous system and prepare for the week ahead with a slow yoga flow, gentle stretching and restorative postures.
A restorative approach to yoga coupled with intentional movement techniques induces relaxation. Relaxing the physical body allows blood vessels to dilate improving circulation, digestion and elimination. Conscious relaxation also allows for mental expansion leaving you open and receptive for the week ahead. We will focus on using yoga props to alleviate sensation from pressure, compression and tension on the physical body to achieve a fully rested state. We will also use pranayama and mediation techniques to dim the infinite fluctuations of our "monkey minds."
WHAT: RESTORATIVE YOGA FLOW CLASS w/Susy Vishmid
WHERE: SHAKTI WELLNESS SANCTUARY 27113 Indian Peak Road Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
WHEN: Every Sunday From 5:00pm-6:15pm
Shakti Wellness Sanctuary is a peaceful and nurturing environment, which is an ideal setting for a restorative yoga practice. A consistent yoga practice in a safe, clean and sacred space with access to yoga props will undoubtedly change your perspective on "gym yoga." When it does, observe the benefits of your practice fully soaking into every cell of your being. Ditch the gym and give yourself the gift of yoga in the proper setting. Namaste
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
"Do as I say, not as I do." These are the famous last words from people who appear to be wiser than they actually are. Last week while practicing at Yoga Works I witnessed something that blew my mind. The class I was in was a popular level 2/3 vinyasa flow class taught by one of the most popular instructors; however my gripe wasn't with the instructor or the sequencing of postures. I was standing one row behind another prominent, yet younger, Yoga Works instructor and I noticed her continuously stopping her practice to turn around and scope out the class in a way that was well… let’s just say it, bitchy. I was shocked! I totally get it if you have an injury or need to modify certain poses to take care of your own body, but that wasn't what was happening here. Don't get me wrong, the instructor in question is a great instructor and has a rock solid yoga practice herself; however her entire aura was tainted with attitude and judgment. Additionally, the instructor in question was practicing next to a friend and kept chatting with her friend loud enough for the row behind to hear. Did I mention there was music in the class? Yea, that’s how distracting the energy was. This is yoga not social hour at Urth Cafe down the street. When we step into the yoga studio and especially onto our mat aren’t we supposed to focus our attention on arriving and staying present mentally, physically and spiritually? Yoga teaches us to release judgment and quell the ego but I guess some people fell asleep during that lesson, which is fine if you aren’t then teaching others to do the very thing you gloss over.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
I am thrilled to announce that I am now accepting new clients at Shakti Wellness Sanctuary in Palos Verdes, CA. Clients will enjoy natural lighting and unique East Asian decor while gazing out into the Sanctuary's lush gardens. When practiced in a proper setting, yoga is a deeply intimate practice, which allows one to reconnect with their true creative spirit. Unlike a haphazard and noisy gym atmosphere, Shakti Sanctuary is an inviting and nurturing space where clients will grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga props including blankets, straps and blocks are provided at Shakti Wellness Sanctuary. Using props enhances your yoga practice by modifying postures and making them accessible for all yoga practitioners. Unfortunately most gyms do not provide yoga props. Enjoy a cup of tea and some healthy snacks provided for clients after completing your yoga practice at the Sanctuary.
So ditch the gym for a sanctuary!
Friday, 21 October 2011
It's really unfortunate that many gyms that offer yoga classes don't offer yoga props! Props like blocks and straps help make poses more accessible. Props can transform active poses into restorative poses. For example, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana without a block is more active which means you actively use your muscles to hold yourself up in the pose. However, placing a block underneath your sacrum in Setu Bandha feels wonderful. The block transforms this backbend into a milder one and it is quite delish. When coupled with pranayama, the benefits of practicing a restorative bridge pose span from physical rejuvenation to mental revitalization.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Do you relish the hours, minutes and seconds leading up to yoga class or do you approach your yoga practice as another task to check off the "To-Do" list? So many of us, myself included, correlate our self-worth with how much we can get accomplished. The more tasks we check off our "To-Do" lists the more productive we feel as members of society and the more valuable we feel as individuals. The connection between what we accomplish and our perceived self-worth is totally arbitrary and artificially constructed by Western culture.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
As a movement professional I take verbal cues very seriously regardless of whether I am the one giving them or receiving them. The ability to articulate movement to a student is the difference between good instruction and great instruction. I had many ballet teachers in my career yet only two of them were able to articulate their instruction in such a way that I immediately understood what to do with my body to achieve the desired lines. The same clear, concise and most importantly individually tailored verbal cues are necessary to proper yoga instruction. Whether you are an advanced yogi or a beginner or whether you are a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet or a ballet enthusiast, everyone needs a fresh pair of eyes. I call this the "spinach in between your teeth effect." If you have a piece of spinach stuck in between your teeth, wouldn't you want someone to tell you about? If you had your skirt tucked into your underwear in public wouldn't you want to know about it? How about if you had a piece of soiled toilet paper stuck to your shoe at a trendy nightspot, wouldn't you want someone to tell you???
Wednesday, 05 October 2011
Many thanks to those of you who attended my workshop yesterday on Getting Grounded at the beautiful Shakti Sanctuary in Palos Verdes. I am so excited to say that I will be teaching there now. The class schedule is to be determined; however, I am officially accepting new clients for privates and semi-privates at this AMAZING space. Please contact me for more information if you are interested in getting your yoga on with me in this stunning setting. I can say with utmost certainty and authenticity that practicing in an environment like Shakti Sanctuary will take your yoga practice to the next level allowing the benefits of your practice to fully soak into every cell of your being.
Check out my bio on the Shakti Sanctuary website.
See you in Down Dog!
Monday, 03 October 2011
A Workshop For My Fellow Yogis...
GET GROUNDED: A Physical Journey Inward
JOIN ME FOR A DEEPLY REJUVINATING PRACTICE AT THE GRAND OPENING OF THE BEAUTIFUL
Date: Sunday, October 2nd 2011
Instructor: Susy Vishmid
Location: 27113 Indian Peak Road
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
(Shakti Sanctuary is a fine treasure hidden within a residential area so please be mindful of this as you enter and exit)
Suggested Donation: $15
I HOPE TO SEE ALL YOU LOCAL LOVLIES THERE!
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Here's something worth waking up for: Coffee is actually good for all you! Especially for all the physically active folks! Yes, this is true; I am a yogi after all and this means practicing satya or truthfulness in every aspect of life. And to all the yogis out there who catagorically oppose the ingestion of caffeine I say LIGHTEN UP and practice what you preach, non-judgement and acceptance of factual information.
I heard about the positive effects of caffeine on muscle recovery many times but considered it an anecdotal piece of advice, but it is actually a verifiable fact. According to a February 2007 issue of The Journal of Pain, a team of University of Georgia researchers found that moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48 percent in a small sample of volunteers. Another study conducted by the University of Georgia in 2003 found that caffeine mitigates inflammation in the body by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain.
Monday, 19 September 2011
What is this crazy idea of “oneness” that lies at the heart of each yoga class and is prescribed by every piece of yoga literature out there? How the heck are you supposed to experience wholeness, balance, “oneness” (insert your own adjective here) if some aspect of your life is always out of whack? All right, so maybe you’ve nurtured your personal relationships with utmost diligence and finally your personal and social life is falling into place. Nonetheless, and similar to a game of Jenga, the moment a single puzzle piece actually fits nicely into the manifold of bullshit we call life another piece slips out propelling us into yet another hot mess. Whether you are dealing with professional purgatory in our weak-sauce economy or social isolation because your last beau was a badass, and not the sexy kind. When one door slams in your face another one will open. I hope. It is impossible to control or to foresee the little games life plays with us, or shall I say on us.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
I knew I wanted to discuss success today, but was unsure where to start so I turned to my trusty dictionary for help and here is what it told me:
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose : the president had some success in restoring confidence.
• the attainment of popularity or profit : the success of his play.
• a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity : I must make a success of my business.
• archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims : the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.
All four definitions involve attachment or expectation of a specific result. I suppose the question then becomes how do you define your goals? I am not interested in this, at least not today. I want to know how do you define success and why? Maybe you drive a really nice car, does that make you successful? Do you dine at McDonalds or at McCormick & Schmick's? Which one do you associate with success? Duh!!! When I teach yoga I always offer students options with the hope that they will pick an appropriate one for their level. About 90% of the time the less advanced students push themselves to the maximum. Not only do I see how their physical bodies suffer, but I also see it in the way their faces wince from physical discomfort. Ironically, the more advanced students pause more often during their practice and take time to honor their body and rest during their practice. Does success in yoga mean contorting your body against its will into a given position just to please your ego? Attaining the final version a yoga pose might arouse a brief sense of accomplishment; however, this will fade all too quickly for if the process of positioning the body into these postures is miserable one will not look forward to the next yoga practice. So this is when I pause and ask the question: why do you do what you do? Are you on auto-pilot? Do you do what you do out of physical, financial or social necessity? Do you do what you do because you actually love it? I insist that success in yoga is not executing all the poses perfectly, but only those who want to listen actually do.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Most people begin their yogic journey for the physical benefits and only later realize yoga's positive mental and emotional side-effects. Aside from feeling rejuvenated and experiencing reduced stress levels many yogis also report feeling a state of blissful euphoria after a deep practice. The experience is similar to being in love. Studies show that a regular yoga practice produces dopamine--a neurotransmitter responsible for eliciting deep pleasure in the most mundane of details and endorphins--natural mood enhancers responsible for reducing stress and generating a more focused state of awareness. In essence, yoga and love have a similar effect on the brain. When we love with utmost purity we are truly happy because this kind of love is unconditional. Pure love has no expectations attached to it. The love struck one experiences a change in behavior observable by the rest of the world because when we find love, whether through the practice of yoga or through a deep connection with another person the love is reflected in a willingness to offer 100% of yourself to whatever is. To whatever happens. Love, yoga and dare I say love through yoga opens up the soul and renders an individual as receptive. Being able to welcome the unknown with open arms and open eyes demonstrates that hope is alive and to me this life's greatest gift.
Thursday, 08 September 2011
Yoga instructors, listen up! Do you ever find yourself recycling the same words to convey important instructions to your students? It can get pretty annoying hearing “just let go,” or “try to relax,” or “pull your belly in.” Expanding your yogic vocab is essential to the flow of a good yoga class. Using verbs instead of adjectives is more beneficial for students so consider this when scrolling through your mental Rolodex of yoga instructions. Students come to yoga class for instruction on what to do and how to do it, not for a description of postures or moving body parts. For example, “Draw the tailbone towards your heels” concisely communicates an action to the student versus “The tailbone is drawing to the heels.” Ability to communicate the same idea using different language is what distinguishes a good instructor from a great one.
Friday, 26 August 2011
Sorry guys, but not all yoga instructors are created equal. I have taken my share of yoga classes with inept instructors where the sequencing of postures was nonsensical and the instructor's lack of articulation cut my ears like nails on a chalkboard. Like a good yogi, I resist the urge to judge and do what I know is right for my body. A beginner might not have the good judgment to back off or do what is best for their body for fear of not being able "hang" with the rest of the crowd. Having a ballet background makes it easy for me to decipher whether or not an instructor actually understands movement or if the instructor approaches teaching yoga in a Simon says manner. Yoga is a powerful tool and without a skilled instructor the potential for serious injury is much greater. Nowadays everywhere I go someone tells me about beginning a teacher-training course with the intent of going out into the world to teach yoga. Don't get me wrong, more power to you friend; however, not everyone has it in them to be a good yoga instructor. Exposing this darker side of the yoga world--call it yoga politics-- seems like the karmic kiss of death but it is necessary. Who you practice with is the most important aspect of your yoga practice, especially if you are a beginner. Yoga instructors have more power than you might think since he or she can make or break a beginner's yogic experience for life.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
This past weekend I went to the IDEA Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a couple girlfriends and we had a blast! So many awesome products (and so many bizzare ones also). If you are a fitness professional or even a fitness enthusiast, (and especially if you are single) I highly recommend visiting the next Fitness Expo!
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
I recently watched Did God Create the Universe? the latest episode on the Discovery Channel series Curiosity. The topic was fascinating and prompted the rusty wheels in my brain to start turning. Being the philosophy junkie that I am I researched this esoteric topic further. The discussion of black holes is what really did it for me. Theoretically, black holes are regions in space where the gravitational pull is so extreme that all the particles within it are crushed together so that nothing, not even light can escape. Air, the essential element sustaining all living and breathing creatures on our unique planet cannot exist without space. Space does not exist inside a black hole; therefore neither does movement. The need for perpetual motion is shared by many professional athletes, dancers and yogis alike because movement makes us feel alive. If Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant scientific minds of our century is correct and we are in fact mere collections of fundamental particles of nature, the same particles that comprise all matter, what makes us so remarkable? The fact that we have come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is incredible! If such impressive strides in the unveiling of the great mysteries of our universe have already been made, can science ultimately piecemeal a theory for Creation or a Divine Creator? If scientific reasoning leads to the discovery of our own creation is it safe to say we are responsible for our own destiny?
Monday, 15 August 2011