The Cayenne Experience: healers unite

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 I’m a huge fan of healers supporting each other so when I was approached by Mel Nicola (owner of The Cayenne Experience ) to cover this piece, I was overjoyed at the idea. There is nothing more exciting than a group of healers coming together to offer an experience that leaves one feeling a little better about how they live and will continue to live.


I had the fortune of asking Mel some questions and these were her answers:


1. What inspired you to start these ‘Cayenne’ events?  I have acquired many years of life experience through the lens of the hospitality industry. Have co-owned four restaurants in L.A. spanning three decades. Yet, while operating an iconic luxury brand fine-dining restaurant such as Nic's in Beverly Hills where my soul was still seeking something.  I wasn't sure what that was or looked like, so I began my journey to find a balance. Through interesting forces of nature I found myself in south central L.A at a high school where I was asked to collaborate on a culinary arts curriculum. I realized youth, in under served communities, need pathways out from poverty. I  formed a non profit called Culinary Arts Kids Eat, also known as C A K E to inspire youth to live a healthy lifestyle. C A K E also provides tools, toolkit and resources to lift youth out of poverty.  Our youth grow their own food hydroponically, develop fresh healthy recipes and study health-wellness-nutrition. They also practice yoga & mindful meditation, create their own cookbook called' From Our Hood To Yours". They become social entrepreneurs and ambassadors of health.
As word spread of the C A K E program, we had folks from Apple, Wolfgang Puck Company, American Heart Association, California Endowment all wanting to know, where can they take these classes?I began to craft an adult version of CAKE that could be enjoyed as a mini retreat. We want you to leave the ground but not on an airplane, no need for TSA!  An extra bonus is that the advanced CAKE team are the servers and sous chefs! The youth are able to utilize the skills they have learned and begin to create prosperity.It's a win win!


2. What is the inspiration behind the name, ‘Cayenne’? Cayenne is spicy, hot and has the ability to heal. Many of cayenne, the spice’s,  properties can prevent cancers and work as healing agents within our body.   Cayenne, the experience, is an event based series filled with sensory adventures for our soul. Healing us from within and forming communities to share our energies. It says, food is life and through food, we can connect with our bodies and lift each other to a life of happiness, joy,bliss and vitality.


3. I know that you have a culinary and restaurant background, how is what you are doing now different from owning a restaurant? Cayenne is able to connect much deeper with our guests and our events are set to be gatherings, intimate and powerful. Cayenne blends the power of healing arts with one of a kind culinary adventures. As a tribe we learn the art of mixing beverages with foraged items. As we break bread together as a newly united family we are joined by a motivational speaker who will inspire us to live the life we were designed to.Restaurants as incredible as they may be are set to primarily feed you an incredible meal. At Nic's, we mixed in many artistic layers to one’s experience:cool, hip and inspired art - live music -handcrafted cocktails and delicious food. Cayenne takes you to a new level of sensory experience, everything becomes heightened.

4. Please describe the experience that you would like to create in these events?Cayenne events are set to activate our reason to be, to guide us and open up new ways of seeing life. How the world as we know it has evolved and how each of us has been formed from the cosmos.Our story was written a long time ago. We are all connected.To gift each for us ways in which we can tap into our souls.  Expand our consciousness  and combine ancient wisdom with modern thoughts.

5. What would you like the guests to take with them when they leave each dinner? That in each of us, we have the capacity to live a full rich, prosperous life. One of invite health and well being. We are already complete.  Being still and quiet each day will allow us to go deep within and expand our knowledge of how we have been created. Once we are able to connect within, our consciousness will open and intuition will fill us and we will become harmonic with the energies around us. This synergy will attract other like-minded people into our lives and create a powerful vibration. We will live in the flow.The hope is that this powerful transformation is gifted to each guest through the wisdom from the healers.  That each of us leave with teachable tools that we will add to our day. Slowly the point of power is in the present will resonate, begin to live and have a deeper connection to humanity.


6. Bringing healers together is something very powerful, where do you see these events taking you in the future? Bringing healers together is a powerful source of deep energy. Our bodies are composed of energy and healers have the power to transform how the energy flows through our body.  Awakening each cell and when this happens and a group is in a state of flow, a tremendous energetic current lifts up a community! So it is is so important that each of us is concours of who we are around, that the energies coming from them are positive and uplifting.  We then become the conduit. It is important that we understand the science behind this though, that is why each of our healers discuss the process with the guests first. Wisdom is key, then practice.


7. What does healing mean to you?
As our current world situation is in a tremendous flux, the energy of the entire planet is disrupted.  How do we gain our footing and continue as we had before? How do we get back to being comfortable? And, not feeling off? We don't. The earth is evolving and we as humans are as well.  We are being asked now to step into the next phase of our evolution, to actually design it.  We are at a loss as to what this should look like. Similar to when the single-cell traveled through the Cosmos and became a multiple cell. How did that occur?  We are designing the bridge from human, to humanity.  It's a quantum leap. Healers are the guides to gifting us how to navigate the formidable road ahead.


8. What is your contribution as a healer?My role is to gather the healers and create a wonderful experience for guests and healers to share life with one another.

9. What do you believe healing can do for LA, in particular, and maybe the world? Healing artists will be our guides and asking each of us to take the long deep breath.  To be open to recognizing we, humans, are a new species on this earth.  We are now advancing to the next level of consciousness. The narrative we had all lived by before know longer serves us.  Science has show us there is 50 shades of grey matter and we are currently operate only using 2. Let's be open to expanding our capabilities and adapt to a knew paradigm. It's our adaptation of a deeper consciousness that will allow our species to survive.

10. Please tell us about the upcoming events you have This Autumn? As each Cayenne event is hand-curated we will feature unique components depending on our location. We will be hosting an event in one of the oldest distillery's in L.A. back from Speak Easy days. Guests will learn the art of mixing a hand crafted cocktail, tour the distillery, imbide on cocktails and appetizers and connect with a powerful motivational speaker. Other locations are set across the city in a West Hollywood home where we can combine healing, culinary and mix classes. At a private home in Malibu, guests will  set their intention as we overlook the expansive Santa Monica Mountains and be guided on a transformational journey that will inform each of us on how best we may be of service and how to live with passion.

 

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More about Mel Nicola

 

Mel Nicola is a visionary restauranteur who is presently inspiring under-served youth to live a healthy lifestyle. Mel believes that wisdom and guidance combined with opportunity will lift youth up out of poverty and into a life of prosperity and balance. To cultivate this experience Ms. Nicola has created, Culinary Arts Kids Eat a dynamic non-profit set to engage youth to become ambassadors of health to their communities.

As the executive director of CAKE, she provides hands on training in culinary arts, and professional expertise in the restaurant & hospitality industry

The CAKE program has empowered the lives of 550 teens and recognized by L.A. Times, ABC and NBC as an innovative and sustainable approach to breaking the cycle of poverty.

With so many requests from adults to attend the CAKE classes, Mel has since launched Cayenne. A series of sensory adventure workshops - mini retreats where you experience a true alignment with the inner soul.

Guests enjoy activities to harness our state of flow and the senses are engaged; culinary arts, healing arts, soulful music and supercharged inspirational speakers to guide us on the journey.

Each series is rooted in lifting you up and filling your life with purpose, gratitude balance, vitality and bliss.

 

Mel brings three decades of expertise in the hospitality industry combined with her visionary service to community.

Humans, being we are all connected, It is when we nourish the planet, that we harness our energy and connect deeply we then can nurture our souls becoming rooted in our humanity.

 

Move With Love! Hali’s latest recommendation to try out.

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I, Hali Tsotetsi, am a firm-believer in products that have a conscious or social impact as well as being functional or looking good.  

So, when my friend, Holly Colino, told me about her new venture, I had to share it with you all.  

 

This is why:

 The Story behind it:

 Move With Love found me when my days were the darkest they'd ever been. It found me when I lost my everything: past, present and future.  Just after feeling like I finally had all the pieces in my life exactly where I wanted them, the world I was waking up to felt like a nightmare.  My fiancé, at the time, needed to take care of herself in ways that no longer included me. My body began to fight me back, after years of my own self critic being too loud, too aggressive, too mean; which resulted in me in a hospital bed. And, I left the one job that I really loved.  My work had felt like my chosen family but I came to learn its foundation was built on fear, so I gathered my strength and walked away.  I felt no love. I felt no hope.  I fell from the top and I had hit the cold hard floor of rock bottom and that fall hurt like hell. That fall left me broken into many pieces. 

 

I didn't know what to do and none of the tools I had spent years learning to wield were working in this foreign territory.  I knew what had brought me joy and healing in the past: taking yoga, teaching yoga, being with loved ones.  None of it felt like the right fit anymore, it felt as though my light had been dimmed. Thankfully a good friend freed me with the words- "You can be strong. You can be weak. You can be everything in-between. You are all." I exhaled for the first time in months. And it hit me - I could acknowledge my pain and do so with love.

 

How it manifested:

One day while running errands, I found myself in Michael's Art Supply Store, not knowing what to expect; I picked up a set of wood block stamps and an ink pad, and started one letter at a time. M. O. V. E. W. I. T. H. L. O. V. E.  I repeated the process AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. It was painful, but it was meditative. Letter by letter, I became a little calmer, the dark wasn't so dark, and I became stronger.

With the newfound strength I found through Move With Love, I decided to quite literally put it into practice. It was time to leave New York and travel for the first time in my life, alone.  I was scared.  But I was also ready. I had hope. I had love. I had me.  And it was time for me to lean in and risk my comfort-zone to know that I could Move With Love anywhere. I took Move With Love with me to India, Germany, and France.  I didn’t want want to come back to New York but having no other idea where to go, I eventually decided to return on my own terms.

I enrolled in a silkscreen studio in Brooklyn and learned a new craft. I was becoming an artist again in ways I never dreamed. Now Move With Love wasn't just on repeat with my stamps or my handwriting, it was the repetition of ink on t-shirts, tote bags, baby onesies, prints, or all over my skin. I wasn't sure what I would do with all of them, I never imagined selling them.  I just knew this is what I needed to create. 

 

Eventually I made so many, I realized if I wanted to make more, I would have to put myself out into the world in a way I never had before. I am and will to continue to Move With Love. Because Move With Love is a practice, a daily commitment, a mind reset and a mantra. It begins with the word. Becomes a breath, a step out of bed, it builds to a series of breaths, of steps, of words, a conversation, a connection, a contagion of kindness and a reminder that it is worth it to Move With Love.Again. And, again. And, again. It’s my hope that my story inspires your story. That when you feel like you’ve hit  your bottom, you get up, acknowledge it and Move With Love.  



Product Information.

All Move With Love products are made by hand at Shoestring Press in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. All are one of a kind and all are made with Love. Our stock has Adult T-shirts, Toddler T's, Baby Onesies, Tote Bags and Prints. All fabric is organic and machine washable.

 

Where and How to purchase the goods-

You can purchase the goods through: Move-With-Love.com. Holly’s instagram is @move.with.love 


Bio-

Holly Colino has been a lover of movement since a wee lilbabe of 8, where she went from dancing on roller skates to apprenticing with The Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City. Dance lead her to yoga, which she has been full time teaching for 8 years. Holly has been privileged to teach in New york City, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Seattle. She has taught thousands of yoga classes, managed studios, and ran Teacher Trainings. She currently is a freelance Yoga instructor and Artist in New York.  She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Beatrice and her boo. Holly Is looking forward to spreading love through her artwork, her MWL workshops, yoga classes, and her dream of owning her own yoga studio.

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Photo by @katrin_albert

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Haircare with love. MVG naturals

 visit www.mvgnaturals.com

visit www.mvgnaturals.com

I had spent hours on Instagram desperately looking for a hairstylist who lived close to me in Los Angeles and was able to strengthen and moisturize my damaged hair without making me feel as though restoring my hair was impossible.
Alas, Megan Green made her way to me while I was working at a yoga studio. I felt like it was a moment sent intentionally and I knew that I had to take her up on the offer to do my hair. So, she gave me a card and afterward, I sent her a DM via Instagram. We made an appointment, it was set to take place at her apartment.


On Wednesday afternoon, I arrive for the appointment. She is kind, calm and welcoming. She asks me questions about my hair in a non-judgemental tone. Her answers to my questions clearly show that she knows about hair.


After she washes my hair, she puts her magical conditioning treatment in my hair and puts me under a steamer for just over 20 minutes. After the steaming process, she rinses and blows out my hair. My scalp feels moistened as I am so used to my scalp feeling dry after being washed and conditioned.


I ask her more questions about how my hair can grow and why I have had issues in the past, she answers them with love and passion. She also promises to have my hair grow by a certain amount of time.


I highly recommend Megan’s hairstyle expertise, particularly for women of colour as I have finally found a hairstylist who doesn’t view my hair as unruly or untamed. She says, ‘Everyone deserves the luxury of putting their hair in a ponytail’, and I agree with that.

 

 


See more about Megan and MVG naturals below:

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Megan Green grew up doing hair in Philadelphia, PA. She began getting paid for her work at 13 years old and even worked at a hair salon in high school. Her personal life goal has been to figure out how to grow and maintain healthy hair.  She was the ‘go-to’ person for hair in high school and college. In 2014, while living in Portland, OR working in the aerospace industry,  she created her first two products, an avocado conditioner mask and a beard/hair oil that helped her grow and embrace her natural hair, heatless curls and eventually helped her discover her own natural curls and texture.  Megan specializes in extensions, bob cuts, press and trims, crochet styles and natural hairstyles and focuses on natural hair care. Product feedback from clients in her new home Los Angeles, CA encouraged her to create the company she's been dreaming about for years, MVG Naturals and the connected non-profit, Motivate Vibe Grow (MVG) to equip young girls with life skills to feel secure, empowered and beautiful.

"I was raised with the mentality that relaxers were necessary and straight hair was the only way to look put together, feel beautiful and be accepted"

My decision not to enter back into the corporate world and embrace entrepreneurship stems from the fact that I truly believe that "Everyone deserves the luxury of wearing their natural hair in a ponytail"

Words of encouragement by a fitness entrepreneur: Daniel Nyiri

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Daniel Nyiri is an entrepreneur and the Owner, Founder and CEO of 4U Fitness with one goal: to revolutionize the fitness industry.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Daniel started his career as a professional hockey player, model and certified personal trainer. He moved to the United States in 2011 with $150 and a dream to change the world through improving the health of others one person at a time.

Understanding how much work and capital is needed to build a business, Daniel worked five jobs to generate income and develop the right relationships so he could begin his entrepreneurial career. He developed the American version of E-Fit, the full-body electrical muscle stimulation workout, with Dr. Janos Papp, which catapulted his success.

He worked diligently to save enough money to purchase a small fitness studio for $30,000. This studio would become 4U Fitness. Daniel soon found his next passion in life, Nina Tamez-Mendez. Now Nina Nyiri, Daniel considers her his other half and supportive partner for life. A Master-Trainer and Lifestyle Coach, Nina is now the Head of Trainer Education for 4U Fitness and is holds a key role in the company’s brand development. With Nina, E-Fit, and extensive knowledge within the topics of health and fitness, Daniel has built a client base of professional athletes, Olympians and celebrity models, turning a barely-making-it business into a $1 million enterprise within two years.

In 2014, Daniel obtained FDA 510(k) clearance for E-Fit making it the only full-body EMS machine with that status in the United States. This became the final element to complete his formula for guaranteed, proven results for the everyday person.

For Daniel, it isn’t about the money but about “building a real company that adds and contributes to this world, just as Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Henry Ford did.” Daniel believes that by creating a company that stands for something more, we are building a legacy that will reshape the future.

Today, 4U Fitness has been featured in various notable publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, Business Observer, Oxygen Magazine, and Men’s Journal.
Recently Daniel was featured in the Movie Generation Iron 2 which was in theaters in 2017 with Arnold Schwarzenegger and now its available on Netflix.

 

 

1. We all have a moment when we decide to actively take care of ourselves. When was yours?

After my injury during my training camp, Upstate New York. While I was still pursuing my dream to play professional hockey, I got injured pretty badly. Then, I was  depressed and lost tons of weight. It took me about 8 months to finally realize I was being a victim of my life instead of creating it. And just like that everything changed!

2. What’s your approach to fitness?

In-and-out, as fast as possible! That is why we developed a high tech invention that allows you to get a 3 hour workout in just 20 minutes. So you don’t have to spend countless hours in the gym daily. Just 2 x 20 minutes per week. The truth is people are set in their own ways until someone fixes the problem that nobody knew it needed fixing. Just like Uber. Before Uber, you would stand in front of traffic and yell for a Cab, after Uber, that just seem stupid. Same here. 


3. You founded 4UFitness. Please tell us more about it?

Actually the name itself as 4U Fitness came from another person who was running a tiny PT studio and worked in it as a trainer. I purchased it because I liked the name and it already had a small location and as an immigrant for me to rent something, or do anything is almost impossible so i found this loop-hole where I already built a trust relationship with the seller so we worked out a payment plan. I worked 5 jobs, no sleep, no friends, to able to get it. The landlord was furious that i took over the lease and they tried to fight it since I was just a 23 year old kid with no money, no credit , no nothing. Don’t picture some big sale and tons of money we are talking about $30.000. lol But its from a kid who had $150 to its name.


4. What has been your biggest struggle with your own journey and fitness?

At first, it was the language barrier and not understanding that I am a business owner and not a personal trainer. I was working in the business instead of on it. As far as for fitness, my back is always bothering me since the injury so i cant lift weights i mainly do our full body electric muscle stimulation workout.


5. What has been your biggest struggle with a client’s fitness?

I don’t have any clients as I run the business but when i used to be a trainer the biggest struggle was changing their mind set of eating/working out. And that they don’t need to spend countless hours in the gym.

6. Where do you see yourself and 4UFitness in the next ten years?

Next 10 years is far away so many things can change. We do have a plan, however, we have to make sure that we look at statistics /market and not ignore the brutal truth to make sure we adjust. I mean if you are in retail you might want to rethink that because of Amazon. In 5 years, we are going to reach 100 locations and at that point we are going to start planing on going public in the near future with a main goal of revolutionizing the fitness industry!


7. Please tell us more about your book, Fitbiz?

FitBiz is about my realization . What I have been through and all the headaches. So I wrote a book that is like a punch in the gut for a personal trainer to teach them what to do if they want to have their own business. But this book is not just for personal trainers it is for any person who would like to start a business.

8. What message do you have for people who are afraid to get back into a fitness regime or never have?

What do you have to lose by getting back to the fitness regime? Nothing! So just do it! It is your body. You only have one you must take care of it. Nothing to lose but everything to gain by getting fit and healthy. You will be happier, you will have more energy and you will feel great at all times not to mention your pants will fit better.


9. What would you tell your younger self before you became an entrepreneur?

Put in the work and be patient. It will happen just focus on helping others.


10. How can we reach and follow you on social media?

Follow Me Online Here: Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/danielznyiriInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/danielznyiri/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanielNyiri/Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielnyiri/Twitter: https://twitter.com/nyiridanielMy Book: http://www.fitbizbook.comMy Website: http://www.DanielNyiri.com4U Fitness: http://www.4U-Fitness.com

 

* You can find Fitbiz by Daniel Nyiri in the third link listed above.

A must-read for this holiday season! Our first book of our book club.

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Hi Readers, 

I hope you enjoy our first book for our book club. This book is filled with insight, positivity and guidance. Which is why I recommend it. 

I am honoured to have been able to ask the author, Sam Chase, a few questions as he is well-known in the yoga community and anyone who knows him will tell you how moving he is.  

 

I hope this interview gives you just a hint of why I have chosen this book as our first for the book club. Sam truly embodies being a Yogi and not in an artificial way; in a ‘be true’ kind of way. Which I love. 

 

 

1. I love how you describe your journey to yoga, not as being flexible and intentional, but kind of by chance. Did you ever think that your life would be dedicated to yoga as much as it has been?

 

Not at all. If you would have told me when I finished school that I would end up with a career in yoga, the first thing I would have done is said, "What's yoga?" Then the second thing I would have done is laugh in your face. I never imagined this is what I would be doing. But then again, I think underneath any career, whatever it looks like on the surface, are some essential things it taps into or draws out in you. And teaching yoga offers me a chance to explore really fundamental questions about the human experience, and to share that exploration with others. I think the traditional yogis were really interested in two basic questions: Who the hell am I? And what the f@#! is going on in this world? Everything else is more or less just ways of experimenting with those questions, and I'm happy I lucked into a career that lets me play with them every day.

 

2. Your book is a guide to the pursuit of happiness. Please expand briefly on why you think that the two coincide?

Ironically, I don't think yoga actually promises us happiness--at least not the way we often think of it. I think what yoga really promises is an ability to experience life as it really is, and to be able to be ok with that experience. There's definitely a kind of happiness to be had there, but it's not about feeling good all the time. It's about being able to look life in the face, stand on your own two feet, and do your job in the world.

 

3. There’s no doubt that right now is a trying time for the world. How do you suggest that Yogis stay happy while so much negativity is going?

I get questions like this a lot. One radio show asked me, "How can we stay happy no matter what's going on around us?" And I said, "I hope you can't." That would be absurd. If you lose someone you love, there should be sadness, there should be grief. I'd be worried for someone who wasn't able to feel those things. Because it suggests a profound kind of disconnect between a person and the world around them. And I think that's dangerous. I think you see that playing out all over the country, all over right now. Thanks to technology, we are more and more connected to people all over the world than ever before. But that's hard to handle, because you can't see that much of the world without seeing more and more how much suffering there is. And it hurts to look, at citizens being shot, and the bodies of kids washing up on the shore. And one of the things I think we tend to do when we can't handle being in the presence of suffering is we recoil. We retreat to what we know, what feels safe. We become tribal, in the sense that our circle of concern shrinks and shrinks, until we have situations like this, where people all over the country are hating each other because of where they come from, what they look like, who they voted for. I'm not saying that we should be all fuzzy and kumbaya about everything, not at all, but it seems obvious to me that when that's the world you live in, there's a kind of happiness you can't have. A kind of happiness none of us gets to have until we wake each other up. And I think that yoga and meditation can help us do that--learn to sit face to face with a world that is suffering and keep caring. We can learn to reach into suffering rather than recoil from it.

 

4. What advice do you give to new yoga teachers?

Say yes until you have to say no. I in my experience, a career in this field is built on relationships. And relationships can spring up in the strangest places. Every single teaching opportunity I have ever had has come from someone coming to a class of mine or working with me and referring me to someone else. Sometimes you do have to say no to a chance to teach, but if we wait for the perfect teaching opportunity before saying yes, we just end up waiting.

 

5. What advice would you give to yourself as a new yoga teacher?

Go slow. When I started out, I wanted to do everything. It was a bad idea. This is embarrassing, but I remember very early on, someone asked me to teach an Ashtanga class, and I said yes (see above) but I had no business teaching Ashtanga yoga. I'd practiced it for years, but my training was at Kripalu. The styles are nothing alike. But I thought I could use what I know and adapt on the fly, and it was just awful. Often we see teachers we admire and we want to just leap into that seat. Or sometimes we're embarrassed because we think we don't know enough. But I think we're always safest and strongest when we're teaching what we know, and what we practice. When we try to jump beyond what's truly ours, it's a dangerous game. That's what Krishna says to Arjuna in the Gita--looking for success in another's dharma is full of peril. The good news is yoga's been around for a long while. You've got at least one lifetime to work with it.

 

6. I absolutely love that you have included exercises in the book, I thoroughly enjoyed them. How did you come up with them?

Many of them are traditional practices of meditation, some were taught to me from my mentors, and some are actually the result of scientific research into happiness and well-being. I tried to include a blend because I think different people respond to different experiences.

 

7. Do you practice any of them yourself?

Every single one.

 

8. Living in a city like New York, how do you stay free, open and receptive?

New York is a city that loves to get people into habits and then exploit those habits. I've sometimes joked that if you can get a New Yorker to cross the street for a cup of coffee, you can figure out world peace. Even with all that variety, most people (myself included) walk the same routes every day to do the same things. So I think you're right--staying open in that environment can be tricky, and I don't have any easy answers. But one thing I did last year to help get me out of those ruts was to give myself an assignment: every day for 100 days, I had to find something interesting to take a photo of, and then write a haiku about it and publish it. That was a lot of fun because suddenly even when I was on the same streets I was looking at them differently and thinking of them differently. Even now I'll still snap photos and compose tiny poems for the city in my head.

 

9. What does your daily morning practice entail?

Right now, it's waking up with my kids, making breakfast, and taking my son to school. If I want to sit or get on the mat, I have to do it another time. My family has to come first then, and I had to make peace with that.

 

10. What would you tell someone who is interested in your book but unsure if they should read it?

Stay interested and stay unsure. I think some healthy skepticism is a really good thing. Nobody should believe something just because a bald, middle-aged white guy says it. Guys who look like me have been telling the world what to do for too long. So if I have something to say, or an idea or practice to share, I'm trying not to sell it too much. But that's the nice thing about a book--you can be unsure for as long as you want. The book will always be there.

 

11. What is your Instagram, FB and Twitter? We love following influential people as yourself.

I've got a Sam Chase Yoga page on facebook, but I don't do instagram and twitter. I don't have a thing about it, I'm just not cool like that.

 

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*Sam’s book is available through Amazon and book stores.  

I went in for acupuncture and I received so much more.

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I enter Erin Rose Vaughan’s healing space and I am met with a welcoming and sincere face. We speak about how we remember each other from a teacher-training that I took a couple of years ago, where she taught the anatomy classes.

 

Before I lay down on what appears to be a massage table, she asks me what’s up with my body, I tell her that I always have shoulder and neck tension. She responds that a lot of people usually suffer from this.

 

As she starts to access the acupressure points of my body, she explains what they are and affirms that I have tension in the places that I mentioned. She carefully explains that she will place needles in specific points, it is clear that I am in good hands.

 

We briefly talk about the difference in her healing methods as opposed to common Western healing practices. For me, the biggest difference is that she is clear of judgement and genuinely cares about my wellbeing. I feel like I can tell her what is going on with my body completely and she understands. My questions and concerns are met with a plethora of knowledge.

 

As she places the needles in the acupressure points, I feel a tingling in my arms, legs and lower spin. After a few minutes of the needle placement, I feel completely relaxed- as though I have just left a meditation class.

 

Once she is done with the needles, I receive a gentle body massage to ease tension and she informs me of the parts of my body that I will need to come back for.

 

This healing session is so informative and I look forward to the next time that I am met with Erin’s sincere and welcoming demeanour again.

 

Here is more about Erin Rose Vaughan:

 

Rose Erin Vaughan, MSAc, is an experienced  Acupuncturist, Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and Anatomy specialist.  Her extensive training in a variety of modalities, techniques, sciences and philosophies has helped her to establish a contemporary and unique approach to heal her clients on an individualized basis in the New York City Metropolitan area.  She is the author of 2 books on energy anatomy and yoga.  She currently teaches Yoga classes in NYC and worldwide and run a Yoga teacher training.

Originally from North Carolina, Vaughan attended the NC School of Science and Mathematics, and then graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wake Forest University with a BS in Biology.  This began her dedicated research and study of anatomy, which is still an ongoing and vital aspect in her approach and treatment program today.  Shortly after graduating, she was licensed to practice Massage Therapy,  focusing on Trigger Point, Myofascial release, Deep Tissue and Sports techniques.  Her career includes residency as a Senior Massage Therapist and Yoga instructor at the notable Duke University Integrative Medicine Clinic & Diet and Rehabilitation Center for 3 years.  As one of the professionals there, she worked with doctors to treat a wide range of patients including those suffering from arthritis, heart disease, cancer, obesity, eating disorders, sports related injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and more.

See more at www.bodyawarenewyork.com

 

 

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Her book is available through www.bodyawarenewyork.com

Who knew that Pilates could be THIS fun?

 

I have only recently gotten into Pilates. Honestly, seeing a lot of friends and celebrities' Instagram posts about Pilates has inspired my interest into this low-impact approach of working out. Not to mention, also seeing some of the transformations by Pilates, leaving people's bodies more defined and with less cellulite.

 

Although, how our bodies look is not the main focus, it can be a bonus to the benefits of having a healthy and full range of muscular activity.

 

I would be lying to you if I told you that when I walked into East River Pilates' Open Reformer class I wasn't nervous. However, my nerves began to calm as I spoke to The Instructor, Helen Phelan. She was warm, kind and made me feel comfortable even though it was my first time on the intimidating machine.

 

The class took place at their studio on Broadway and was 55 minutes long, which went by pretty quickly. Clearly, I was having fun. Who knew that was possible? I had always thought of Pilates being boring and taking up a lot of my time or too hard. Well, I was wrong!

 

She instructed the class very well and used terminology that applied to anatomy but not in a show-off way, just to inform us. When she adjusted us, it was clear that she had every intention of guidance; not force.

 

 

When I visited the other location, which is a bit bigger but still the same clean decor, friendly faces and fresh smell, I took an intermediate mat class. The class was led by Tina Luo. Her instructions were clear and she made sure to check on each of us to see that we were doing the postures correctly. Which I greatly appreciate about East River Pilates. I felt like I was in good hands.

 

Tina played urban pop from the early 2000s, which brought back great memories of me being in High School and helped me get through it easier. It was a challenging class. However, when I wanted to give up, Tina came around to reassure me that I could get through it. I always appreciate positive affirmation and, East River Pilates oozes positivity, challenge and fun.

 

I recommend this studio as it is fun, friendly and the next day my body was tighter- literally magic! I plan on practicing Pilates myself at least once a week here. 

 

*East River Pilates has two locations on Broadway and  South 1st, both in Williamsburg.

 

Here is more on the instructors:

 

 

 HELEN PHELAN   Photo by Dan Batten

HELEN PHELAN

Photo by Dan Batten

Helen began teaching mat Pilates in 2013 while finishing her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and BA in Psychology at Elon University, but found a deeper passion for the method after making full recovery from a dance injury that she attributes to its rehabilitative powers. Since completing her comprehensive contemporary equipment certification in 2015 under Lawson Harris, Helen maintains her education with various workshops in NYC and has further studied Prenatal/Postpartum Pilates & Diastasis Correction, Gait Correction, Pilates for the Elderly, Pilates for Scoliosis under Erika Bloom and Reiki 1 at Maha Rose. Helen's classes are both athletically challenging and technically specific for the beginner and advanced practitioner alike. Helen lives and teaches in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at East River Pilates. When she's not at the studio, she's learning French and taking her new puppy to the dog park. Find out more at www.helenvphelan.com@helenvphelan 

 

 

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TINA LUO

Photo by Hayley Hill

Originally on the path to becoming a physical therapist, Tina was first introduced to Pilates while she was completing an internship at The Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. After becoming certified on the reformer, she got hooked and realized that Pilates is not only incredibly effective, but that teaching it is really rewarding.

Tina believes Pilates can be incorporated into any form of exercise and has previously taught boot camps, interval training, and TRX, all with a Pilates mindset. With her knowledge of anatomy, experience working with diverse body types and fitness goals, and background in rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, and pre and post natal clients, her teaching style is informed, precise, and tailored. In Tina's eyes, Pilates should be challenging and never boring!

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Yoga meets Pilates-type challenge at SyncStudio in Williamsburg

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Image by Mike Skigen

As I enter SyncStudio, I am greeted by two genuinely friendly gentlemen at the front desk, Chris Montalvo and Javi Arteaga, a lead instructor at SyncStudio. 

 

I was ready to take Leslie Bish's SyncFusion class. 

 

As someone who has been practicing for almost 14 years, I highly recommend this class. The studio is clean and inviting. It is well-kept.There is no judgement or hierarchy, clearly everyone is welcome.

 

What made it so great? You might ask. For one, Leslie was very welcoming and knew her anatomy well. I can't tell you how many classes that I go to where teachers don't know what they are talking about. Which is no shade to those who don't; however, when teachers know what they are talking about, their students are able to trust them.

 

This type of trust is very evident as I felt comfortable jumping around and doing burpies. Which, as a yogi, is out of the norm for me but was so fun. The class consisted of a warm-up, a follow sequence and then Pilates or HIIT-type poses. It ended with a cool down and a surprise massage on the forehead with essential oils.

 

Her theme throughout class was about patience, which was exactly what I needed to hear. It's something that I struggle with as a New-Yorker- especially during tough times. I felt it very appropriate.

 

Overall, the class is very well-orchestrated and not that far out for Yogis who are looking to try something new and keep  strengthening themselves. It was challenging but I could still keep up with the class and I wasn't awfully sore the next day.

 

I don't believe in rating but if you are looking for a class that is structured like yoga but has extra core-strengthening, arm-strengthening and a little thigh heat, I recommend giving this a try.

 

Besides this class, SyncStudio (which has been open in Williamsburg for 4 years) offers other classes that include cycling and training. Classes which I will definitely be trying soon.

 

Here is more on Leslie Bish: 

 

A Colorado native, Leslie’s has been a fitness instructor in New York for the past 3.5 years. Her classes marry the down-to-earth vibes of her life in the Rockies with the movement and energy of life in New York City. She teaches cycling, TRX, circuit training, yoga fusion at Sync Studio in Brooklyn, and most recently joined the ranks as a teacher at The Class by Taryn Toomey.

 

• How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching cycling for 3.5 years, TRX for 2.5 years and I began teaching yoga fusion last January.

 

• What has been your journey, physical and mental, to SyncStudio?

My journey at Sync has been one of great growth, both mental and physical. I never previously envisioned myself leading groups of people to become a stronger version of themselves. This process has brought me clarity on my own abilities. Through the process of training for each and every modality, I have had the opportunity to tackle a new and unique challenge - ultimately strengthening my personal practice.

 
• What inspires you to teach?

A lot of my inspiration comes from what I am currently experiencing in my own life. If I can speak to my needs, I feel like I will be able to speak to someone else's. I also find a lot of inspiration in music - when I hear a song that makes me want to get up and move, I know it has an energy that will only elevate the experience in my class.

 

For more information, visit: 

www.syncstudio.net

 

Located: 133 S 2nd St

Brooklyn NY, 11249
(between Bedford & Berry)

A class with a different take on Bikram yoga

I have shared my love for Bikram Yoga with all of you, which I have been practicing for seven years.

As with anything, doing the same thing day-in and day-out gets tedious. So, I was very pleased to start taking The Bikram Core class at Yoga Tribe Brooklyn.
They offer different slots throughout the week; however, the first one that I took and have continued to take is on Monday and Wednesday at noon. This class is taught by Saya Ishii Velasquez.

Even though the class follows the strict 26 postures and two breathing exercises, it adds other postures with the addition of music. Saya often plays music with chants which allows the body to automatically open up as vibration are heightened. She teaches a lot about expression through the body and openness of the mind.
The class is fun and I highly recommend it. I recommend it because her experience is very evident. Her teaching style is effortless, knowledgeable yet trusting. She allows students to express themselves. Which is a step away from the traditional style of Bikram, where everyone must do each posture or sit out.
If you are looking for a fun yet open approach to yoga, take this class! I have already seen my shoulders, hips and chest open up as a result of taking this class once or twice a week for the past three months. 
The class is 60 minutes long and is not heated; however, you still work up a sweat as though it is heated. 

Saya shares her yoga journey with us:
I have been teaching yoga for over 15 years now.Once I experienced the healing power of yoga and how it empowered me, I knew I wanted to share this with others.Yoga is so much more than exercise in that once you learn to quite the mind, tame the mind and turn it into a moving meditation- you're able to eventually free the body mind of stress, hence setting yourself free from suffering.Yoga has become the key to my peace and happiness on this journey called life and as I work on myself and get stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually,it makes it easier to navigate through life circumstances  with a sense of ease, confidence, and clarity.In my class, yoga has very little to do with if you’re a new student or seasoned, whether you can do a headstand or get that leg over your head, but everything to do with showing up and trying , with an open mind to the possibilities. The goal is self-awareness. I am always humbled when students show up to class and entrust in me to guide them. I teach from the heart and if I am able to plant a seed or open new doorsfor my students, that's one successful day. I find teaching yoga very rewarding and am constantly learning from my students.  I am so grateful to have had found this path.I am and will always be a student of life.

“Work is love made visible “ Kahlil Gibran

 

*Visit:www.yogatribebrooklyn.com to view their schedule.  

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