Category Archives: Local Yogals

Musings on the local yoga scene in the Triangle

Advanced Backbending at Blue Point

Bonus segment for the holiday Y.A.T (Yoga Around the Triangle) Series 2011

Check out this amazing bonus segment for the Heart Opening for the Holidays (HOHO) flow seen here. Warm up with the HOHO flow and then dive in to these prana building shapes with pure awareness. Please exercise caution and connectivity when doing this sequence. There is a reason the segment is 16 minutes long….in fact slow it down if you like!  Let the Shakti flow… Continue reading

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HOHO flow: Heart Opening for the HOlidays

It’s that time again! CafeGanesha is traveling around the triangle, making pit stops on the way at some amazing yoga studios and spaces, connecting with the local yogis and yoginis, and shining the spotlight on the pockets of light that shine so brightly all over our geographic area. This go ’round we are visiting Blue Point Yoga in Durham, by Duke University and Duke Medical Center for a heart opening flow specifically suited for both recharging your batteries (which admittedly may be depleted this busy time of year) as well making space for compassion, grace, introspection and honesty. “Opening your heart” to these ideas implies both receptivity to love and intimacy in our relationships with ourselves, our friends, our family, and the world at large.

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All things in “Sync”- Strength and balance flow

It’s here, It’s here, it’s finally here!!!

The much anticipated “Yoga around the Triangle” series is finally taking flight with the first edition hosted at Sync Studio Downtown and yours truly. This flow series is directly inspired by the active yet balanced vibe of the Sync Cycle and Yoga community and will surely help you stand stronger, taller, and more open to life’s little jewels of humility. Open up those hips, strengthen your thighs and core, and let your heart sore. Continue reading

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Global Breath

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Check out these photos from the first Global Breath Yogathon. It was an amazing event to support the Ingrid School in the slums of Nairobi. A completely sustainable and global project! I had a blast teaching and taking and generally being inspired by the yoga community.

Thank you NinaBe, Yvonne Cropp, Christie, Burts Bees, Blue Lotus, Body Centering Yoga, Blue Point, and so many others for your support and presence!

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the Body Builder (in the) Ballerina

how do you like that Alliteration 😉

Teacher Spotlight: Margot Martin

Margot Martin has been immersed in the art of movement for 22 years. She has studied ballet, modern, jazz, and hip-hop with numerous well-known teachers throughout her career. Her professional career has carried her to stages across America, Europe, and the Pacific rim. Most recently, Margot retired from the stage after performing with the Carolina Ballet as a soloist for 13 seasons. Her innate understanding of the mind-body connection led her to become a certified Yoga instructor in 2005. Through her 5 years of teaching Yoga locally, she has earned her reputation as both a challenging and compassionate instructor. Margot has also been teaching beginner to advanced ballet nationally and locally in the Raleigh-Durham area to children, teens, and adults for nearly 10 years. Her love of movement, music, and good old fashioned hard work led to the creation of The Ballet Burn. After years of dealing with the critical world of ballet, Margot has found a new passion in making others feel good about their bodies starting from the inside out. She is committed to helping others achieve health and happiness through creative movement, total body awareness, and positive intentions.

So that is her bio. and it’s awesome. but…

you sort of HAVE to meet her to GET just how awesome she is. Just try to be around this chick and NOT smile. I double dog dare you (there’s that alliteration again, oh oh! and a ref to the pic… i’m just crackin’ myself up today 😉 ).

When I first heard she was a professional ballerina I was, I admit it, a little intimidated. There is just something about those tutus and toe shoes that throw a whole n’other egg in the basket. But woah was I surprised.

When I met Margot I immediately felt like i’d known her for a loooong time. She just has that effect on people. She makes you feel safe while you’re laughing your arse off and ready to throw your foam block at her pretty little grin for making you hold an elevated toe stand for 47 minutes (yes yes exaggeration, sort of). The smile is ridiculously contagious, and when it opens up to show the pearly whites, ringing out that golden giggle you just can’t help yourself. It’s the MM spell it ’tis.

In all seriousness though, Margot has a gift. A gift of taking all the disciplines she has so skillfully studied and integrating them together to give her students an energetic, innovative, and highly effective workout (body, mind and soul).

Check her out at Blue Lotus on Thursday mornings at 9:30 for Warrior Hour. The Warrior Hour will help you tap into your inner warrior finding the power to build strength while maintaining flexibility and a conscious breath. Hence the Body Builder Ballerina. Lithe, Graceful, Gorgeous…Buff, Strong, Kick-your-asana awesome.

“The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.” ~ Maya Angelou

Namaste ya’ll,

Jennifer

Need more RYT’s in your life? Here are more of my rockin’ reviews

Carrington Jackson

Leilani Walker

Jen Bluestone

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The littlest yogini…AKA. big things from a very small package

Teacher Spotlight: Leilani Walker

Today I had the privilege of taking this lovely yogini’s first class at Blue Lotus in Raleigh. It was a freedom style yoga based on the teachings of her teacher, Erich Schiffman. When I heard that this tiny little woman was a student of the largest, most teddy bear/santa claus-esque guru I know of I couldn’t stop smiling. Just the physical comparison was enough to draw me to her class. I had to see if someone so tiny could project the larger than life teachings of Mr. S.

I was NOT disappointed my friends. Despite the tiny package, Leilani has an overflowing and endearing personality both on and off the mat. She invites you in with a big genuine grin and a twinkle in her eye and you’re hooked from there!

This is what I was greeted by walking in today 🙂 …

Leilani with the Blue's own love bunny- Nicole

I arrived early to set up my mat as the community strolled in, chit-chatting and energizing the space…

The Sanctuary

And promptly at 9:30 the lovely Leilani sat down to begin her first class with us. She giggled and clasped her hands together with joy and I could tell from that point on, something I already guessed, she is just as beautiful as her name, this one, inside and out.

The class was fantastic. An all levels vinyasa with a self guided edge. As she guided us she continually reminded us to move from an intuitive place. After a few breaths this became natural, and then more natural, and then we let loose for a full song moving full freedom style. No guidance. No instruction. Just open up and let it out, or don’t, your choice. The embodiment of listening to your inner guide, your own best teacher in a safe and sacred space. Ahhhh lovely.

Class ended with a sweet deep stretch and a lovely savasana complete with essential oils and a wonderful head massage (yes please!). We all walked out refreshed and glowing and ready for next week 🙂

I see BIG things in this little yogini’s future…

Come roll out your mat next Tuesday for round two of Freedom Style yoga or Wednesday (Yoga and meditation at 11:30). I hope to be there!

Namaste ya’ll
Jennifer

Like this? Check out other teacher spotlights:

Jen Bluestone

Carrington Jackson

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lululemon … why I adore Raleigh’s fitness fashionistas

I can’t help myself. I adore lululemon apparel. It’s sleek, comfortable, super damn cute, and more than just clothing. It’s community. Authentic community. A company that actually cares about doing more than selling “black stretchy pants” for profit?! Whodathunkit?

Now I know i’m gonna get some of you all in a hizzy by saying this. You may be thinking”What kind of yogini is this chick? How can she support a company that so obviously exploits the yoga community for profit? What a mess this girl must be! How easily swayed by pretty colors, trendy cuts, and a boutique atmosphere she is!”

And I hear you, but I politely (I am southern after all) have to differ with ya on this one. The thing is they ARE a company, therefore they DO have to make a profit, just like ALL companies strive to do. The beautiful thing about Lululemon though is that they do more than just make pretty clothes. They create awareness around a better, healthier, more aware lifestyle through community. Come to your favorite yoga, pilates, cross fit, functional fitness, bootcamp, purebarre class and chances are you’ll see a group of these lovely ladies and gents grunting, sweating, and “OMing” right along side of you. They make money so they can be in the community, connecting people, creating enthusiasm around fitness, fun and connectivity.

As a yogi I value this connection. Yoga does mean union after all. Union in the sense that we strive to connect our ownbody, mind and soul…but also that we aim to connect with the rest of the world. Events like Salutation Nation (coming up September 10!) where hundreds of yogis and non-yogis alike will gather and share in the collective positive energy of a community to practice under one sky…BEAUTIFUL! And yes, lululemon will sell clothing. But they’ll do more than that. They’ll effect positive change in the community by getting more and more people out to check out the positivity connected to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Oh and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel hill area just happens to be blessed with some really amazing educators at the Raleigh branch (opening a full store at North Hills in a month!). If you haven’t met them please do! You’ll love them! Super sweet, dedicated to empowering the community, and constantly cultivating good energy.

Local bloggers and healthy living folks (myself included) with the lulu-lovelies

Give an open mind a chance ya’ll, You may fall in love with more than just the luon (although it’s kind of unbeatable).

Jennifer

Check out posts about lululemon on other area blogs:

Lululemon focus group and exhaustion : Ilovefetacheese

Lululemon, salutation nation, and ABC news! : fANNEtasticfoods

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The Yogi Collective…courtesy of Ali Hinks

What makes yogis awesome as a community? We are a true collective!  We help eachother out, we refer to eachother, we get to know eachother and we hitch our magic carpets and ride off into the sunset together 😉 (Ok that was a bit much)…

Ali Hinks has taken it upon herself to do just that by combining all area yoga teachers into one database. So here is a return on that favor love!

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The ambrosial hour: Practicing in the early morning

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
—Rumi

Ambrosial hour…hmmm…does it involve canned fruit and coconut? Whipped cream?

Not quite 😉 . The amrit vela, or ambrosial hours just before dawn, are the time recommended by many yogic traditions to wake and practice in order to maximize the potential for spiritual awakening. Morning practice is said to be the time when the veil of the ego is thinnest, offering fewer of the distractions that are present throughout the day. I can attest, it’s pretty awesome.

Challenge:

for 30 days (a mere month) honor these early morning hours by awakening early and getting your sadhana on. Cold shower, clean body, Meditation, Asana and whatever else gets you centered in grace. See how you feel. You may be surprised. And if you don’t, big deal, it’s only 30 days.

Need some direction in your amrit vela practice?

Come practice with me at 6:30 on Wednesday mornings at Evolve Movement in Cameron Village starting September 7, and at 6:00am at Blue Point Yoga on Fridays starting September 16. We’ll enjoy a vigorous flow with a peaceful meditation and juicy savasana. Come early for some additional centering and meditation time.

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Teacher Spotlight: Carrington Razook Jackson

Have you ever been in the presence of someone who could truly see you? You know the type…the kind of person who looks deep into your soul without needing to even speak. That’s the lovely Carrington (“C”) Razook Jackson, Vinyasa Flow teacher extraordinnaire at Blue Lotus in Raleigh. Walks soft but carries a rather big spiritual stick.

The thing about Carrington is she can have you resting in eka pada koundinyasana sliding in to mayurasana after about 47,000 chatarungas and STILL have you opening more to Grace. I wonder if that is her middle name?

Her classes are a serious physical challenge, yet somehow still accessible to all BECAUSE they embody the yoga from all angles and perspectives. She lives and breaths it without being pretentious. And yes, she does wear “the lulu,” read Vogue, and sometimes jams out to Gaga in class, but these little trinkets are more endearing and lovely little bits of her personality, a beautiful representation of balance, rather than a means to make her class and image more trendy.

Want to join me? I’m a religious regular at her Friday morning all levels at the blue! I’d love to flow, breathe, and spin around in the vortex of peace and grace with you.

Namaste ya’ll,

Jennifer

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