Lila-Yoga-2012-136Over the last few months I have been on a mission. A mission to uncover who you are – our Lila Yoga student, what you want from your yoga, and how we at Lila Yoga can best serve YOU.

Your teachers and I gathered together last weekend and discussed our strengths. We looked for how we could create the perfect match between our best teaching and what you most want from your yoga.

I am so excited to share with you what we came up with, because it is AWESOME! Here’s what YOU CAN COUNT ON in every class you attend at Lila Yoga.

  • A physically safe practice
  • A message woven through the practice
  • Simplicity
  • Help resting your mind
  • An emotionally safe space
  • Patience
  • Repetition to achieve desired effect
  • We will work skillfully with your physical limitations
  • Lightness and joy in practice
  • A sense of community

This is what we, your Lila Yoga teachers have unified around. This is what you can depend on, no matter what class or with which teacher. These are the elements you will experience in every class with us. This is our commitment.

We hope you love what we’ve created and truly experience all that we are committed to offering. And of course, let us know how we’re doing!

Thank you for being a part of Lila and we look forward to continuing to share our very best with you.

With love and gratitude,


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Trust and Flow

meditation nature“Focus, [Patanjali's Yoga Sutras] tell us, on the absolute certainty of your connection with life now matter how unfathomable this life may be.”
~Donna Farhi

To be perfectly honest, the month of May was one of the more “unfathomable” months in my life. With a death in the family, a break-in at the studio, a deadline to find a new home and other seemingly random hardships, I reached May 31st at the end of my rope.As I lie in bed that night, feeling the beginnings of a panic attack coming on, I remembered a Facebook posting about positive affirmations. Even though I had reacted cynically when I first read the post, I decided that a panic attack was much worse than feeling a little silly, so I literally “turned my mind” from its focus on all the bad stuff that had been going on, and instead focused on what I want, what would nourish myself, my family, and our Lila community.As I did this my heart rate began to slow down, my breathing calmed, and my body relaxed. For the first time in weeks, I felt happy and peaceful as I went to sleep.

To my surprise, within 48 hours we found a new place to live!

Donna Farhi says in her book, Bringing Yoga To Life, “when we focus our mind and bring it back to center,we find a place of spaciousness. It is here we have enough room to let the mystery we call life live itself through us.”

It’s not a mystery to me how refocusing my mind that evening, helped my body and mind calm down and as a result, I felt better. This is a good practice for all of us – and it’s what we do in every yoga class at Lila Yoga!

However, it is a mystery to me how within a matter of hours of doing these affirmations, we got a house in an outrageously competitive market that’s just the right size, location and price!

But I guess that’s the point of the teaching – Come back to your center, trust your connection to life, and allow the mystery to flow through you. This is what yoga gives us, and this is what we teach here at Lila. Join us!

Don’t miss our Super Sweet Summer Specials! Enjoy discounted classes with us at Lila this season and feel good all summer long!



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Spring Into Spring with Yoga and Ayurveda

This week’s post is by Lila Yoga Instructor Megan Carroll

Cherry blossomWinter is finally over! For many of us, it feels like a reason to celebrate, and
rightfully so; as we emerge from hibernation we are redeemed by the warmth of the
sun, the longer days, and the vibrancy of the plants and animals around us.

Because we are a part of nature, the energies of the transitioning seasons are within
us as well as all around us. Although this is one of the most welcome transitions, it is
good to remember that any transition can be challenging.

As you move into spring you might be feeling a little bit sluggish, stuck, or
depressed. Or maybe you are finding yourself a little bit congested, retaining water,
gaining weight or oversleeping.

Ayurveda, the medicinal aspect of yoga, says that you can blame it all on Kapha.
Kapha is the Ayurvedic term for the energy of this time of year. It is the energy of
water and earth. What do you get when you mix water and earth? You guessed it -
mud. Kapha is a heavy, muddy kind of energy. Hence the heavy, muddy feelings you
might have in your body and/or mind.

In early spring, we are seeped in Kapha. It has been accumulating all through the
winter, and now the warmth of spring comes and challenges the accumulated
Kapha to melt away. As Kapha is “burned off” by the warmer days of spring, you will
experience its heavy, muddy nature, especially if you accumulated too much Kapha
over the winter, as most of us probably did. (It comes from living in an unbalanced
way, out of tune with nature. Don’t blame yourself. It’s hard not to be unbalanced in
the modern world).

leafy greensYou can help shed the excess Kapha using these Ayurvedic techniques:

- Eat lots of leafy greens, and lighter meals in general.

- Try adding ginger to your meals, or drinking ginger tea.

- Give yourself time for a healthy balance of activity and rest.

- Spend time outdoors, connecting to nature.

In your yoga practice;

-Build heat. This doesn’t mean that you have to take up hot yoga or work yourself
to the point of exhaustion (from an Ayurvedic standpoint that would actually be
a really bad idea), but try to do some poses that make you warm and feel a little

- Do strong leg work, like lunges and squats. This help to clear the energy channels
in the legs, where Kapha tends to accumulate.

camel pose-Try Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Virbrdranasana 1 and 2 (Warrior 1 and
2), Bhujangasana (Cobra) and Ustrasana (Camel).

-Try to practice as regularly as possible.

Be patient and persistent with all of your Kapha-reducing endeavors. Kapha can be
like a stick in the mud, and it takes real tapas (a Sanskrit word that means effort or
austerity) to get it moving.

All of your efforts will ultimately increase and free up the flow of prana in your
body, allowing you to feel lighter and more vibrant.

It’s time to spring into spring! Enjoy!

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Tired of sleepless nights? Yoga can help!


This week’s blog is by Lila Yoga Teacher and Certified Yoga Therapist: Darcy Stewart

The Vicious Cycle of Sleeplessness

One of my favorite cartoons shows “Work:” a worried-looking woman sits at her computer while a thought bubble floats above showing her snugly slumbering in her bed at home. In the next frame, “Home:” the same woman lies anxious and awake in her bed with a thought bubble floating above showing her worriedly working at her computer. Sound familiar?

Decades before this type of work/home pattern entered my life, I had my first experience with insomnia and what I call,  “The Vicious Cycle of Sleeplessness” as a young child. When I was about six years old, after a scary television program, my fear-induced stomachache kept me from falling asleep for what seemed like hours (although it could have been much less).  The following evening, as the bedtime routine approached, I found myself getting more and more anxious that I would get a stomachache and struggle getting to sleep again. What do you think happened? Well the anxiety about getting a stomachache, in fact, gave me just that stomachache, and I was again unable to go to sleep peacefully that night. This pattern stayed with me for some time, and is burned in my memory as a very stressful part of my childhood. I don’t know at what point my young brain and body began to better understand this cycle and my role in its creation, but just because I was six doesn’t relegate my experience to the ignorance of children. Like our friend in the cartoon, a lot of adults struggle with sleeplessness in similar ways.

Our physiology and psychology are powerfully interconnected, and although it may feel like we are powerless when that stomachache or those racing thoughts and anxieties begin to surface at night, there is actually a wide range of tools we can employ to help ourselves when rest seems fleeting. How and when we employ our tools makes a difference too. “When should I practice yoga during my day?” and, “What kind of yoga class?” can be just as important as, “Will a bedtime snack help or hurt?” and the ever-seductive, “To nap or not to nap…?” How we answer these questions can have a big impact on how conducive our lifestyle is to supporting our bodies’ natural rhythms for falling and staying asleep.

This month’s, “Sleep Solutions” workshop on April 21st will help answer these questions and others, as well as provide a slew of simple yet useful tips you can employ at home for better sleep. Simple tips like: “Leave your alarm set, even on weekends,” and, “Nap for 20 minutes but not more,” can have a big impact. Come and find out what science says about how and why we sleep, what happens when sleep isn’t working, and most importantly, what can we do (and how can yoga help!) to put the vicious cycle of sleeplessness…to bed.


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Clear Communication

heart-shaped-leavesWhile practicing this evening in my bedroom my little boy, Andreas, came in and asked, “Why do you do yoga so much?”

Several possible answers came to mind. I thought, “this is what I do,” “this is the business I have,” “yoga is my life,” but what I actually said was, “Because I love it.”

Completely satisfied with my simple response, Andreas said, “Oh,” and went on about his business. My communication was clear and heartfelt and that’s all that was needed.

Isn’t it nice when communication works this way? When we don’t overstate, or over explain, justify or defend, when we just say what’s simple and true and that’s enough?

Yoga helps us do this! We get in touch with what’s in our hearts and then slow our minds and bodies down enough so that when we communicate we can do so intentionally and truthfully.

We have some amazing workshops coming up at Lila Yoga that are all about slowing ourselves down, tuning in to what’s true and the healing that can come when we do.

This weekend’s CHAKRA SERIES #5: CLEAR COMMUNICATION with Natalie Ginapp, will help you access the power that comes when your communications are in alignment with your heart and see how your yoga practice can support you in this.

Then in April you don’t want to miss Darcy Stewart’s SLEEP SOLTUTIONS: YOGA TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP. Life is just better when we get a good night’s sleep! This workshop will give you everything you need to ensure that you start getting the sleep you need.

And finally in May we welcome Rebekkah LaDyne back to Lila Yoga for her THE HEALING POWER OF MINDFULNESS workshop. One more opportunity to slow down, get in touch with your heart and learn how practicing mindfulness can have a healing effect on your life.

Join us for classes and all of these important workshops. We look forward to supporting you on your path.


Kelly Valenzuela

Lila Yoga Director

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