Russell Simmons at Tantris Yoga in West Hollywood

Russell Simmons at the Tantris Yoga opening party in West Hollywood

From the Editor

These days, it feels as though we need something to anchor us and keep us grounded amidst the challenges we face in everyday life on the local and global scales. I believe that gratitude can be one of those anchors. It is an anchor even when we may not necessarily feel grateful, when we have to call it up, make a list, or focus on the feeling. Our attitude may be crowded by any number of other experiences or challenges, but simply pausing for a moment to reflect on even one item from our gratitude list can be that anchor that gives us the strength and fortitude to take action effectively in the world: with ourselves, our family, our community, and the planet as a whole. These days require the best from all of us and we would do well to remember everything that fuels our resilience.

As we move through the Winter Solstice, the holiday season, and into the New Year, beginning or recommitting to a gratitude practice can serve as a powerful ally for our strength and faith. I love Tisha Morris’ suggestion for a 12 day Gratitude Practice as part of the ritual to celebrate this time of year.

Another way that you can build resilience is through all other kinds of practice—Tantris Yoga in West Hollywood is offering free classes throughout the month of December to support the LA YOGA community. The new studio is a sanctuary for the body and soul in the midst of the city.

However you practice and spend the holidays, may you be grateful for small miracles as well as great ones.

With Gratitude,

Felicia Marie Tomasko
Felicia Marie Tomasko, RN

12 Days of Gratitude Practice

Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs and practices, the holidays are ripe for getting in touch with your higher power. Gratitude is one of the best ways to do just that. By placing your focus on positive thoughts and experiences for which you are grateful, you instantly take yourself to a higher vibration.

Take a few minutes each day for 12 consecutive days to journal what you are grateful for. This is an easy practice before you go to bed. Keep a Gratitude Journal on your bedside table. It can be a small notepad designated for gratitude or an ongoing journal. Jot down a few things you are grateful for during your day. Start with the prompt, “Today I am grateful for….” Even on the worst of days, you can find a few things to be grateful for. Taking a few moments to note these will immediately shift your energy positively and attract more of those good things to you. Go to sleep with gratitude and you will wake up on the right side of the bed every time. Read more of Tisha Morris’ suggestions here.

Free Yoga in December for LA YOGA Readers

The new studio Tantris Yoga, in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, is offering LA YOGA readers free yoga classes in the month of December. Nestled in the heart of West Hollywood at 9200 Sunset Boulevard, the Tantris Yoga all-inclusive studio offers high-end, hot yoga classes, meditation, workshops, wellness services, kirtan and teacher trainings. Here you will be led by world-renowned yoga teachers and experts in field of yogic science. Despite the luxurious amenities, I assure you the studio is keeping it real with monthly themes to complement the essence of the ancient yogic teachings and a primary emphasis on the three pillars of Tantris Yoga: Daily Practice, Devotional Study and Karmic Duty. Read more about Tantris Yoga in Kumi Yogini’s article online here.

Sun Salutations as an Expression of Gratitude

The next time you practice sun salutations, consider the debt you owe to the sun. Offer your heart up. Then, bow down and say thank you. Offer gratitude. Move with intention. Match the movement of your body to the movement of your breath. Close your eyes. Concentrate on your heart and visualize the sun there. Imagine this light is within you; imagine you are this light. Take your time; you can’t rush a thank you.

Thanking the sun each day shifts our perspective through the practice of gratitude. Practicing gratitude can help to release our attachment to the ego and the desires of the mind. The intentional practice of gratitude is a powerful practice of yoga. Practicing gratitude is practicing yoga.

Read more of Garth Hewitt’s story here.

Best of Boston Yoga: How Yoga + Writing Deepens Practice

Both yoga and writing are a practice, a salve, and an exploration. A way to connect us more deeply to ourselves, make sense of our human experiences and, in sharing our own voice and journey, connect us more directly to others by way of our shared humanity. Both yoga and writing can create the space for us to slow down, connect in, navigate change (especially as we transition now further into fall), and support us in honoring the way that the body is a vessel for emotion and experience. Mindful movement and creative self-expression can be vehicles of self-sustaining support, portals for transformation, and allow us to embrace a sense of wholeness, fullness, and sensuality by embracing all of who we are. That may be one of the ways we carry our freedom with us off the mat, and that itself is truly beautiful.

Read the rest of Lindsey O’Neill’s article here.

The Perfect Gift for East Coast Friends: Superflow Tickets!

Featuring a dynamic line-up of yoga talent from both coasts in a spectacular downtown setting, SUPERFLOW is THE opportunity to commune with kindred spirits and power up naturally in preparation for one of the country’s most celebrated sporting events.  Three hours of cutting edge yoga, the latest in yoga apparel and accessories, high-powered products and community. This is an afternoon not to be missed.

Bring a friend and join us for our Second Annual SUPERFLOW right here in Boston. For more information and tickets, click here.

Sometimes Brilliant Book Review

Forty years in the writing, Sometimes Brilliant details the arc of Larry Brilliant, a young hippie doctor from Detroit who began living his dharma marching with Martin Luther King Jr in 1963, engaging deeply with the social movements of the time. He traveled overland from Western Europe to India with Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm Commune in an unsuccessful attempt to bring aid to the cyclone-devastated Bangladeshi island of Bhola. A year later, he was dragged unwillingly back to India by his wife Girija  to meet the great saint Neem Karoli Baba, at whose feet Larry realized his destiny to become a key player in the eradication of smallpox, an ancient disease that killed more than half a billion people in the twentieth century alone. Read the rest of Benjy Wertheimer’s book review here. sometimes-brilliant-book-review

Vedic Astrology with Sam Geppi

On December 28, The Sun and Moon come together today in Sagittarius, which begins a new cycle focused on hope, inspiration, and higher purpose. For the next 30 days we will be focused on what inspires us or what disappoints us. Often they are the same thing. That may sound ironic, but it is not. Being disappointed with one type of teaching or teacher compels you to seek another who you more relate to more effectively. Be vigilant and able to recognize to false teachers or overly simplistic answers to complex problems. While influenced by Sagittarius, we may be tempted to follow the simple belief that doesn’t require our inquiry and understanding.

This New Moon happens in Mula Nakshatra, a cycle related to the goddess Kali, the destructive force of the universe. This destruction is necessary for greater wisdom. Your old paradigm has been destroyed and you must resurrect hope from the ashes of the past.

For the full Jyotish forecast for December/January click here.