6 States, 12 Yoga Studios: My Summer of Wellness

I’m having a real first teacher summer…and am loving it! Besides producing online courses, working on a grant, and doing grad school online (I don’t like to be bored, okay?!), I’ve been traveling a bunch to see loved ones + friends. I’ve prioritized doing yoga or some form of yogic-like exercise every day this summer and the results are in in the form of all the studios I’ve visited across the country. That, and I’ve even re-discovered and just plain discovered some studios in New York that are, well, not Laughing Lotus. Here’s where I’ve been practicing this summer. It’s a long post because I am very aware that it has been a very long time since I’ve posted! Let’s go East to West, shall we?

New York, New York 

5 Pillars Yoga

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  • Location: 92nd St + Madison Ave
  • Vibe: Upper East Side
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): David Regelin
  • Asana Style: straightforward slow flow
  • Intention: Move with intention, steadiness, strength, and from a place of light-heartedness too.

 

Yoga Vida

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  • Location: 11th St + University Place
  • Vibe: NYU (a great locale for students to go to)
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): Domenic Savino
  • Asana Style: straightup vinyasa
  • Intention: A safe environment to explore the tried-and-true practices of yoga.

Laughing Lotus

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  • Location: 19th St between 5th + 6th Avenues
  • Vibe: GLITTER
  • Phenomenal Teacher(s): Sheri Celantano, Deb Langley, Kenneth Frisby
  • Asana Style: Lotus Flow
  • Intention: Move like yourself…and sprinkle glitter all over!

 

Katonah Yoga

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  • Location: 17th St + 8th Avenue
  • Vibe: Hard.Core.
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Abby Galvin
  • Asana Style: Katonah
  • Intention: Fuse Taoism with the bodily practices of yoga to open everything up in an extremely intentional way.

 

New Haven, Connecticut

Fresh Yoga

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  • Location: 49 Orange St
  • Vibe: Get Your Yoga, No Strings Attached
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Kami + Ed Mikelis
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa Flow
  • Intention: Come in, get your yoga, open up your body, get a workout, and then move on with your day feeling refreshed.

Nantucket, Massachussetts 

Sconset Yoga Club

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  • Location: 18 Baxter Road
  • Vibe: Move + Be Still in the Sun
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Jenavieve Varga
  • Asana Style: YogaWorks
  • Intention: Practice yoga in the beauty of the sunlight, scenery, peace + quite of Nantucket, MA. It’s evident that the whole operation was created with a lot of heart by ladies who grew up spending summers on the island and now teach yoga in NYC most of the time.

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Shakti Shala

  • img_3256Location: 422 E Cooper Avenue
  • Vibe: Movement = Pleasure
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Jamie Butemeyer
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa
  • Intention: Take practice seriously + lightly at the same time.

 

Seattle, Washington

Grinning Yogi

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  • Location: 345 15th Avenue E
  • Vibe: Fast + Fierce
  • Phenomenal Teacher: Nancy Hwang
  • Asana Style: Lotus Flow
  • Intention: Lose + find yourself at the same time…through movement.

 

Portland, Oregon

People’s Yoga

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  • Location: 44th + Belmont
  • Vibe: Dedicated + Full
  • Phenomenal Teachers: This time around, I took class with Linnea Solveig.
  • Asana Style: vinyasa with heart
  • Intention: Feel a sense of complete spiritual flow + fullness while practicing in a room filled to the brim with like-minded people.

 

YoYo Yogi

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  • Location: 13th + NW Hoyt
  • Vibe: Sheer Awesomeness
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Alex + Kristi Cole (yes, they’re a father-daughter pair)
  • Asana Style: joyful flowing cathartic vinyasa flow (yes, I am being redundant on purpose – it’s just that good!)
  • Intention: Move so fast and with such flow that you forget what you’re feeling when you walk in the door and walk out with those feelings processed + feeling good!

Love Hive Yoga

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  • Location: 1847 E Burnside St
  • Vibe: Yoga w. Heart
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Jessica Garay, Audra Carmine + Roger McKeever
  • Asana Style: Vinyasa + Hatha
  • Intention: Move straight from your heartspace + while doing so, stay in touch with what your body needs + wants.

 

Grinning Yogi

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  • Location: 30th + Division
  • Vibe: Fierce + Kickasana
  • Phenomenal Teachers: Chase Connolly + Tori Greising
  • Asana Style: lotus flow
  • Intention: Provide a dance-like flow that allows students to lose themselves in movement + the themes it’s paired with.

 

Written on the subway on my way to Laughing Lotus because hey, hOMe is where the glitteriest OM is!

On Being Unable to Teach Yoga

I would like to foreshadow this next stage of life by saying that I have a hunch that not teaching yoga will be a lot like when I’ve tried to leave New York; the chances that I will come back to it, and soon, are very real. I would also like to provide a disclaimer that this post does not have anything to do with my body right now. I’ve taught yoga when I was unable to walk and in crutches. Teaching yoga when my body was unable to demonstrate poses was invaluable for my teaching abilities. Now, though I’m coming from a place of physical ability and agility, is the time when I need to take space.

I’m writing this post because last year I worked three jobs and started graduate school…and I felt all of those things fall through the cracks because I was over-committed. From a boyfriend telling me a few months ago after 3 hours of sleep (and not for fun reasons) that I did more than most people to a dear friend who told me yesterday that this is just what I do (a lot…too much), I realized that something has to give.

In New York City, being busy is too often considered a compliment / congratulations / accolade. I grew up (and honestly still am sometimes) very competitive – and almost territorial – about how busy I can be. But, you see, I have had the unique opportunity of living on the West Coast where people are infinitely more competitive about how often they go camping (which doesn’t involve a lot of bopping around from job to job) than how many hours they work in a day. I love being busy doing what I love and I am so grateful that I love what I do, in all sectors of my (professional) life. I do not love failing those things by making too many mistakes or being burnt out because I am just too overwhelmed.

I didn’t want it to be yoga, but for now, it has to be. It is the only job I do freelance, on a flexible basis, and can afford to leave for the time being. I told someone this recently – that I am so sad to not be teaching yoga this year (melodramatic that I am, I believe I used the word “mourning”). They responded by reminding me that I am still doing yoga (daily, I might add). That, my friends, can be enough for now. For now, growing up on OM means infusing the vibrations of this practice I’ve been so dedicated to – the practice that’s been the only constant in my life over 8 years of change and transitions –  into all I do.

Time to practice.