December 30, 2015

E-News from LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine

December 2015 | ISSUE 294

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LA YOGA Magazine Cover
December 2015
On the cover: Matt Hodges
Photogrpahed by: Amy Goalen

From the Editor

As we continue to celebrate the holiday season we prepare for the changing of a calendar year. This is a meaningful time to evaluate and reevaluate our views on life (Zoe Kors suggests three tools for creating more power in our perspective). This is also a meaningful time to ring in the new year with practice. A number of centers and studios are offering opportunities to pose, chant, play, meditate, immerse yourself, and more in the old year and the new.

If you are taking the time in silence or solitude, try asking yourself what brings you joy, what allows you to move through the day with grace, what supports your resilience. Repeat these often. Take them with you from 2015 into 2016.

And nourish yourself. Mee Tracy McCormick shares herblack eyed pea croquettes—if you grew up in the South, you may be familiar with the tradition of eating a few of these legumes to invite in luck and abundance for the New Year. Be creative and serve them to family and friends.

Speaking of friends—the furry kind—we’re collecting photos of you and your cats (meditating, practicing, or just chilling) for our annual gallery of yogis and their companion animals to appear in our March 2016 issue. Please email your pics to: [email protected]

May you find a way to celebrate even amidst the daily challenges we face.

Happy New Year,

With Joy,

Felicia Marie Tomasko

Felicia Marie Tomasko, RN
LA Yoga Magazine, Editor in Chief


Upcoming Events


7:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. New Year’s Eve Kundalini Yoga Bash with Gurmukh and Wah! Join our soul family for a special way of bringing in the New Year! In sacredness, community and love, we will move into new beginnings together. Feeling connected to the possibilities and energy of 2016. With clear hearts and minds anything will be possible! Come raise the roof off! Golden Bridge Yoga. 719 Broadway. Santa Monica.

8:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. Intention and Sound Activation Workshop with Tracee Stanley & Gabriel Logan Braun. Join Tracee Stanley and Gabriel Logan Braun and end the year by retuning yourself with the healing frequencies of sound and intention activation. $35. Unplug Meditation. 12401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

8:30 P.M. NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATION WITH HARIJIWAN, TEJ, AND WHITE SUN.  $40 advance / $45 day of. Yoga, Bazaar, Gong, Dinner, Dancing. SANTA MONICA BAY WOMAN’S CLUB. 1210 4th St., Santa Monica.

9:00 A.M. -10:30 A.M. at The Rose Room, 6 Rose Avenue, Venice CA 90291. $15 min donation at the door (cash or cc). Please bring your yoga mat and towel.

10:30 P.M. – 12:00 A.M. New Year’s Eve class with Yancy Schwartz. Our “”Ring to 2016″” class will offer our traditional Power format with an extra NYE flare. Start your coming year off right with health and wellness! Suggested Donation $10. Hot 8 Yoga Beverly Hills. 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.

10:30 P.M. – 12:00 A.M. New Year’s Eve class with Marja Lankinen. Our “”Ring to 2016″” class will offer our traditional Power format with an extra NYE flare. Start your coming year off right with health and wellness! Suggested Donation $10. Hot 8 Yoga Beverly Hills. 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.

9:30 P.M. – 1:00 A.M. SPIRITUAL NEW YEAR & NAAMATHON. Make your New Year a new beginning with Naam! Join a special New Year’s Eve Celebration with Dr. Levry and Naamathon all night meditation which continues 1am-6am free and open to the community.Join us as we usher in 2016 with the blessing and unlimited power of Naam! The NAAMATHON is continuous 5 hour guided meditation and chanting with sacred music, mudras and mantras. When many people come together in this way the concentrated positive energy increases exponentially. Naam Yoga.1231 4th St., Santa Monica.

10:45 P.M. – 12:05 P.M. NYE Yoga Class. Brent Laffoon and Angela Taylor for a very special NYE class at yogaraj. Lots of yin, a little yang too. $10 at the door. Yoga Raj. 2001 S. Barrington Ave. Santa Monica.


11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. New Year’s Day Mala Practice with Jennifer Winther. We’ll open with a gratitude and intention-setting meditation before we start to flow. Please note that all levels are welcome and not all 108 sun salutations need be completed to enjoy this practice of community and celebration! $10. Yoga Raj. 2001 S. Barrington Ave. Santa Monica.

1:00 A.M. – 6:00 A.M. SPIRITUAL NEW YEAR & NAAMATHON. Make your New Year a new beginning with Naam! Join a special New Year’s Eve Celebration with Dr. Levry and Naamathon all night meditation which continues 1am-6am free and open to the community.Join us as we usher in 2016 with the blessing and unlimited power of Naam! The NAAMATHON is continuous 5 hour guided meditation and chanting with sacred music, mudras and mantras. When many people come together in this way the concentrated positive energy increases exponentially. Naam Yoga.1231 4th St., Santa Monica.

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. Intention Setting, Manifesting Meditation, & Ecstatic Breathwork with Scott Schwenk. In this very special New Year’s Day class, Unplug teacher Scott Schwenk is guiding us into a super-charged meditation and Ecstatic Breathwork experience for manifesting the experience of completely fulfilled intentions right out of the gate on this auspicious first day of the New Year. $30. Unplug Meditation. 12401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.


10:00 A.M. Dance of Liberation. Dance with Parashakti – people tie on blindfolds (all the better with which to see the inner world) and then dance accompanied by music with trained facilitators holding the space and making sure everyone is safe. The dance is not about outer performance but expression of the inner heart. Wanderlust Hollywood. 1357 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles

1:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. Therapeutic Aspects of Meditation with Richard Miller PhD. Showcases Direct Path teachings that help you realise “this” that is already whole, healthy, healed and perfect. With this realization in place, Progressive Path teachings will reveal aspects within the body, mind, emotions and beliefs that underlie whatever needs healing. $280. Loyola Marymount University through Samata and YTRx. Los Angeles.


The Yoga Expo. It’s the first expo of its kind attracting the Who’s Who of Yoga! With already 7,200 tickets sold, thousands of teachers and students gather in an exchange of mind, body, and spirit in a one-day fun-filled, family-friendly event on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. A ticket price of just $10 grants access to unlimited classes and workshops. $10. Los Angeles Convention Center. 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.

10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. Manifesting Your 2016 with Keith Mitchell. How are you planning to show up in 2016?  Many times we begin strong yet we lose track of the path. How can we reconnect?  How can I disconnect from the performing and reconnect to reforming. How can I take this self reflective practice and apply it to life? This is what we will dive into in this workshop.  Let’s ask the genuine questions and through this authentic reflection we will work towards achieving my new way of being. $30. Wanderlust Hollywood. 1357 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood.

10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Pop Up Yoga Venice. Cristi Christensen, Micheline Berry, DJ Sol Rising and Joey Lugassy Grand Opening New Year’s Celebration. $20-25 Presale event only! Only 25 tickets remain!

11:30 A.M. – 1:30 A.M. FREE Pranayama & Restoratives Class. Jeff Perlman will lead a FREE Restorative & Pranayama class. Goorus Yoga. 15327 W Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades.


7:30 P.M. – 9:30 P.M. New Year’s Workshop. Christine will be teaching a transformational goal-setting process that will make manifesting your dreams A LOT easier. She will also be leading a guided meditation to support you in completing 2015 and creating a clear vision for 2016. $40. 716 Taft Way. Santa Monica.


9:30 A.M. Prenatal Yoga. “Prenatal Yoga”” will make you feel fit and relaxed throughout your pregnancy and will help to build up stamina and endurance preparing you for labor, delivery, and the new baby. $54 for 6 meetings. South Bay Adults School. 1600 Pacific Ave., Manhattan Beach.

5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. AromaTouch Certification. Get certified in AromaTouch! Just $149 and includes the Essential Oils, DVD and Student Manual. The AromaTouch Technique incorporates the power of essential oils to create a powerful whole body wellness experience. It seeks to address four systemic constants that are present in daily life and which may serve as limiting factors in health: stress, immunity, the inflammatory response, and the autonomic imbalance. Sybaris Rejuvenation Lounge. 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica.


7:00 P.M. – 7:45 P.M. Overcome Insomnia- Meditation for Deep Sleep with Sara Ivanhoe. Please join special guest Sara Ivanhoe for a special “Sleep Session”. Learn the tools to sleep deep and overcome Insomnia with meditation. We have had so many people come to unplug to overcome sleep issues – This is the class! Please pre- sign as it will fill up! Unplug Meditation. 12401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.


10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Special New Year’s Yoga + Sound Bath @ Hotel Bel Air. Set your new year’s intention with invigorating yoga and sound bath at the beautiful Hotel Bel Air! Pre-register online to be entered for Manduka prizes! Plus, enjoy fresh juices and small healthy bites. Class lead by Sarah Helt and Helane Anderson. $25 pre-register / $30 at the door. Hotel Bel Air. 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles.

11:00 P.M. – 12:30 P.M. Bring Your Family Yoga. Yoga is not only for kids! In this workshop you”ll learn to get the entire family on board. Determine a night or two during each week where you can practice yoga together as part of a physical fitness routine. $25/family. Goorus Yoga Studio. 15327 W Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades.

1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. Hot 8 Yoga Foundations with Rebekah Rivera. Hot 8 Foundations is designed for those who are new to yoga or have practiced for some time and are looking for a deeper understanding. Come learn about the 8 Limbs of Yoga and take your practice to the next level! Registration $75 for 4 week series. Hot 8 Yoga. 1422 2nd St., Santa Monica.

2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Clutter Healing Workshop with Lili Pettit. Clear your clutter and set your home up for success with organizing and energy clearing techniques. House blessing ceremony, visualizations and setting up your home to prosper in love, health, money and career from pro clutter healer, Lili Pettit. Unplug Meditation. 12401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.


10:30 A.M. Yoga Barre Teacher Training Open House with Nancy Norby. Please join Hot 8 Yoga for our upcoming Yoga Barre Teacher Training Open House in Beverly Hills. Meet the trainer Nancy Norby assisted by Briana DeFalco, who will guide you through a sample of what we do in a training with Q&A. Hot 8 Yoga. 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Fine Tuning Workshop.  Join us this month to focus on releasing the glutes, outer hips, and hamstrings! JQ Williams (Veda Yoga Instructor) will use a variety of self massage techniques along with active and passive stretching to loosen connective tissues and tight muscles. Veda Yoga. 9349 Venice Blvd., Culver City.We’re honored to be the sponsor of Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist on every Tuesday from 5-7pm Pacific.

Yoga Chat features world music plus interviews with an eclectic group of guests: teachers, musicians, authors, filmmakers, chefs, health professionals, and many more.

Archived podcasts are available on iTunes and at

Black-Eyed Pea Croquettes to Begin your Year

Chef and healthy food advocate Mee Tracy McCormick loves these flavorful beans and evokes their use to start the year with luck. Try this vegan version to start your year with compassion on the plate, “In the deep South where I live, black-eyed peas are symbolic of luck and money when eaten on New Year’s day. Traditionally, they are made with ham bones. When I ran my first community kitchen, I used the familiarity folks have with black-eye peas to create a heart-healthy recipe.” Read her recipe here: for Yogi Cat Pics!

Whether or not we mean to do so, we often share our yoga and meditation practices with our animal companions—and we love to share the pics of our furry four-legged friends! In LA YOGA’s March 2016 issue, we’ll be sharing a gallery of photos of you and your cat friends on and off the mat.

Please send us high resolution images and tell us the story behind the pic. By sending them to us, you’re giving us permission to share the portraits in the print magazines, on our website, and in social media campaigns. We will credit and hastag you and and you’ll see your animal love shared with the community!

Write us at: [email protected] by January 21 for consideration.

Pictures here: Erika Burkhalter with Emerson.
Perspective as Power Tool

It’s part of the human condition that we come upon challenging moments when it feels as though the people in our lives, or even life itself, is beating us down. Or perhaps there is a specific aspect of a situation or relationship that is showing up as a persistent source of discomfort. At these times, we lose objectivity and become immersed in our own myopic experiencing of the circumstances. So how do we change the way we perceive things? Try Zoe Kors’ three suggestions: the Dance of Liberation January 2

During a Dance of Liberation session, people tie on blindfolds (all the better with which to see the inner world) and then dance accompanied by music with trained facilitators holding the space and making sure everyone is safe. The dance is not about outer performance but expression of the inner heart. Read more about Dance of Liberation creator Parashakti and her approach to the practice here.

Dance with Parashakti on January 2 at Wanderlust Hollywood. Find out more information here.

RENEW U. at Wanderlust Hollywood Jan. 1-3

Join this 3-day intensive to ignite your practice, enrich your soul, and inspire your creativity. This immersion gathers experts and leaders in yoga, meditation, food, nutrition and the arts to help you welcome the new year renewed.


Gurmukh | Schuyler Grant | Sianna Sherman | Keith Mitchell
Cristi Christensen | Tommy + Kia | Hemalayaa + More

For more information, click here.

Quinoa Johnny Cakes

Need a brunch recipe for the holiday weekend? Try these quinoa johnny cakes for a protein-rich version of comfort food that will please a variety of palates. True Food Kitchen Executive Chef Michael Stebner shares
Yoga for Men Calendar

LA YOGA’s December cover teacher, Matt Hodges, is one of the yogis featured in photographer Amy Goalen’s Yoga for Men 2016 calendar. A selection of inspirational images of men practicing decorate the year. Order your calendar here.

Read Matt Hodges’ teacher profile on here.

Jasper Johal’s “The Body as Temple” 2016 Calendar

Jasper Johal’s “The Body as Temple” 2016 Calendar, filled with classic black and white nudes of yogis, dancers and athletes, is available for sale at Amazon

Jasper Johal’s photography is well known in the yoga community. His simple yet striking images of yogis have graced the ads for Hard Tail, Toesox, and Yogitoes. Each year Jasper produces a limited run of his “The Body as Temple” calendar, featuring beautiful nudes of yogis, dancers and athletes. This is a calendar designed to be framed. Twelve classic black and white photographs. Reproduced with rich duotone printing on a sheet-fed press for exceptional depth and nuance in the images.

For more information, click here.
This is What a Yogi Looks Like! Calendar

Sarit Z Rogers of Sarit Photography contributed 15 months of images in this gallery of photographs showing a variety of people showcasing “This is What a Yogi Looks Like.” Rogers collaborated with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in an effort to broaden the real-world images we see of people practicing. Sales of the calendar benefit the nonprofits Love More Movement and the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Order here.

Vedic Astrology with Sam Geppi

January 5 – January 25
Mercury will be retrograde in Capricorn and Sagittarius at this time. You will be reflecting on your long-term commitments and measuring them against your deeply held convictions. Are you on track with an inspired life? Are you in service to something bigger yourself and larger than just day-to-day survival? These are the big questions at play now.

Read the rest of Sam Geppi’s forecast here:
Read LA YOGA via APP on your Mobile Device
We are excited to announce the LA Yoga app is now available for Apple and Android devices.

The app is a free download, and each issue is only $.99 or the entire year for $9.99.

Read the entire yoga teacher training guide through our interactive app platform with enhanced social media sharing and live links to programs and websites. Read stories on your mobile device or tablet and take LA YOGA with you anywhere for your research and inspiration.

Get your LA Yoga app now.

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Karen Henry
Karen Henry is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA who volunteers in a variety of capacities for nonprofit organizations and artists around Los Angeles. She practices yoga as a counterbalance to her daily impact sports and is a mother of four grown children who also practice yoga (well, the two in California at least).