Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Farzaneh Noori

Farzaneh NooriOur teacher of the month for July is Farzaneh Noori, co-founder of Yoga House in Pasadena, California. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years, and has studied with a number of influential yogis in the process, including Tias Little, Paul Grilley and Jill Miller. She focuses strongly on the healing properties of yoga, and some of her most popular classes include Prenatal Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer.

Farzaneh began her Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer classes in 2012. After her own cancer diagnosis and treatment, she attributed her recovery in a large part to the practice of yoga, and wanted to share its healing benefits with others coping with the disease. The classes are offered free of charge as a service to the community, and over time attendance has blossomed from a few participants to 20 or 30 per class. According to Yoga House’s website, “Each class offers a synthesis of several natural healing modalities: restorative yoga; gentle yoga; breath work; meditation; and hands-on healing, all of which promote a state of deep relaxation which enhances the body’s ability to heal itself.”

Yoga House was co-founded by Farzaneh Noori and Bruce Schwartz in 1997 and they’re a valued long-time customer of Barefoot Yoga, offering our yoga mats, bags, eye pillows and more. To experience Farzaneh’s inspiring and healing classes for yourself, visit Yoga House in Pasadena!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Yoga Studios, Yoga Supplies, Yoga Teachers

This post was written by Lauren on July 24, 2014

Top 5 Tips for Your First Yoga Class

Excited for that first class but don’t know quite what to expect when it comes to etiquette? Check out our list of do’s and don’ts below to get in the know!

Yoga Class

1. Try to get there about 10-15 minutes early (and don’t be late if you can help it!), and once you’re there, stay for the whole time. It’s disruptive to others to get up and go before you’ve gotten your Savasana in.

Cake

2. Don’t eat for 2-3 hours before class! This is an important one, even more so than the old “wait an hour after eating to go swimming”. If you eat too soon or too much before class, it’s possible you’ll experience nausea, cramps, or even vomiting (especially in a pose like prayer twist!)

Intention

3. Create an intention. Creating an intention before class and holding it during can help keep you centered and focused. Your intention can be anything from aiming to be more compassionate or kind to simply intending to be in the moment and not let your mind wander to what the next days holds. After class, reflect on both what you learned and how you feel. Awareness and reflection is key, in both expanding your practice and your mind.

Class Props

4. Treat studio props with care and respect. After class, pick up and neatly put them away for the next yogi to use.

Savasana Cat

5. Be kind and gentle to yourself; don’t push it. Listen to what your body tells you and don’t strive for that perfect warrior pose if you’re body says no. It’s also helpful to let your teacher know about any injuries so they can help you find what works for you.

Need to stock up on some props before that first class? Come visit us at BarefootYoga.com to find everything you need!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Yoga Studios, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by Carolina on July 17, 2014

Yoga Studio of the Month:
Yoga Yoga

The name ‘Yoga Yoga’ came about from teaching two forms of yoga at the same time in a newly leased studio for owners Mehtab and his wife. This was in the year 1997, after sporadic practice before that of almost 20 years. A life crisis motivated them to delve into their beloved Kundalini practice and discover their passion for Ashtanga and Hatha yoga.

Yoga YogaToday, they welcome their students to 4 studios in Texas to continue on their journey of self-discovery. They aspire to ‘make it for more people, for all people, to do yoga’. Their experiences with different forms of yoga gave them an appreciation of the benefits and beauty of each type of practice, and the people they attract. They embrace and strive for diversity in their teaching forms, focusing on their students. Teachers are encouraged to teach from their hearts and connect with their students in the spirit of yoga.

Yoga Yoga believes in yoga of action, elevating oneself so one may elevate others. They are active in the Austin community with free yoga classes for non-profit organizations, helping families in need and fund-raising for cancer, AIDS and other research. Their teachers volunteer their time to train and pass on the tradition of teaching to aspiring candidates.

Yoga Yoga offers Kundalini, Hatha, Flow-Based Hatha, Family, Relaxation, post and pre-natal, private and business classes. You can also enjoy their spa services at their Westlake branch.

Yoga Yoga has been Barefoot Yoga’s loyal client since 2003. We applaud and encourage them for spreading yoga. See our mats, rugs, blankets, bags, eye pillows and zafus in use at their studios.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios, Yoga Supplies, Yoga Teachers

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on June 26, 2014

Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Stan Woodman

Stan Woodman

Our teacher of the month for June is Stan Woodman, co-owner of Kaia Yoga in Connecticut. Stan took his first yoga class in 1991, and eventually completed his 1,000 hour certification with Beryl Bender Birch. Stan’s practice is rooted strongly in traditional Ashtanga Yoga, but he sings the praises of various styles of meditation and yoga, including Restorative Yoga: “Targeted breath work—particularly that connection between the inhale and exhale—creates a rhythm in our nervous system, in our wiring, that settles the organs, increases blood flow, and re-energizes us.” (source)

Stan and his wife, Gina Norman, founded Kaia Yoga with an eye towards a holistic way of living, incorporating meditation, spa treatments, a café offering whole foods and juices, and yoga for people of every age, including prenatal and kids’ yoga.

In a mission to relieve suffering, they are also deeply involved with charitable work through the Kaia Foundation, which currently supports four charities directed mainly towards benefiting women and children.

Kaia Yoga has been a long-time customer of Barefoot Yoga, and offers a number of our yoga props, mat bags and eye pillows for customers in their boutique. Stop by one of Kaia Yoga’s three locations in Westport and Greenwich to enjoy the beautiful space that they have created, and flow through one of Stan’s amazing classes to develop your strength, flexibility and mindfulness.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios, Yoga Teachers

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on June 13, 2014

Yoga Studio of the Month:
YogaWorks

Our yoga studio of the month is YogaWorks, a valued Barefoot Yoga customer since 1999!  YogaWorks founders Maty Ezraty, Chuck Miller and Alan Finger opened their first studio in 1987. They shared their vast knowledge and love of yoga with integrity, quality and authenticity. With the demand for well-trained teacher, the renowned YogaWorks Teacher Training Program was created.

Now YogaWorks has 29 locations in California and New York and they are still expanding. Their mission is to bring everyone into the fold of yoga—honoring, embracing and guiding each student’s growth and fulfillment. YogaWorks has many styles of yoga under its roof like Mysore-style Ashtanga, Iyengar, Therapeutics and other signature classes with emphasis on excellence in teaching. They also offer pilates and pilates teacher training courses.

YogaWorks Studio at Santa Monica – Montana Ave

YogaWorks Studio at Santa Monica – Montana Ave

They have classes for beginner, intermediate or advanced students and take special pride in classes catering to children, seniors, athletes and those in need of physical rehabilitation. In addition to classes in the studio, they offer online yoga classes that you can stream at home. These online classes vary in levels and lengths so you can pick and choose when and where you want to practice and for how long.

Take note of their reward system. For every class you take, you can accumulate points toward perks like a yoga mat towel.

Check out the boutiques at most of their studios that features quality yoga essentials like Barefoot Yoga mats, rugs, mat bags, blocks and eye pillows.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios, Yoga Supplies, Yoga Teachers

This post was written by Grace on May 21, 2014

Yoga Studio of the Month:
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a long-time wholesale customer of Barefoot Yoga and has carried a large variety of our products for over a decade. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Kripalu is a gateway to empowerment of the people and their communities through yoga. They provide transformative programs covering weight loss, healthy eating, Ayurveda cooking, detoxification, meditation, massage and bodywork, living with cancer or Parkinson’s disease and of course yoga classes for everyone.

Kripalu

Some of their unique workshops include CircusYoga (for adults and kids) or Mind over Medicine. Or create your own unique experience with their R & R retreats. You pick and choose which class or workshop you want to take, according to your wants and needs. Yoga classes are available daily but your schedule could involve a meditation class in the morning, nature walk in the afternoon and dance classes in the evening. You have a variety to choose from depending on your goals, whether its introspective soul searching, fitness celebration or just being present.

If you are unsure where to start, pick a theme from their user-friendly website to guide you. It gives you a list of classes or workshop that relates to themes like Yoga for Women, or Families and Kids.

Find Barefoot Yoga products such as Mats, Bags, Eye Pillows, Blankets and other yoga accessories and props.

Posted under Yoga Studios

This post was written by Grace on April 25, 2014

Yoga Studio of the Month:
Joyful Yoga and Spa

Joyful Yoga & SpaOur Yoga Studio of the Month is Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida. They offer yoga classes and spa treatments like massage, skin care services, Reiki, Sound Therapy and Ayurvedic consultations. They are touted to have the largest studio in southwest Florida with a floor space of 750 square feet. Their 50 yoga classes per week are geared toward all levels and styles including a comprehensive 200 and 500 hour teacher training. They also offer monthly Primordial Sound Mantra Meditation classes endorsed by the Chopra Center as well as kirtan concerts, crystal sound baths and other energetic healings.

If you’re in the area, check out their boutique for a wide range of yoga products and props, including mats and rugs as well as Barefoot Yoga brand eye pillows and meditation zafus.

Posted under Yoga Studios

This post was written by Grace on March 18, 2014

Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Michelle Kronenberg

Michelle Kronenberg

Our yoga teacher of the month is Michelle Kronenberg.

I was so fortunate to meet Michelle back in 1996, while breakfasting at the home of Nagaratna after practicing yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India.  What was most apparent when I met her was her sense of humor.  She was hilarious.  A New Yorker living in LA, and deeply immersed in a yogic journey of discovery.  She was completely in touch with all the humorous elements of her upbringing and her new-aged pursuits, and made fun of herself better than anyone else.  As I got to know Michelle a little better, her dedication to the practice of yoga and meditation was inspiring, as were the many profound insights she had to share.

Almost 20 years later, Michelle is a premier yoga teacher in Malibu, California.  Her passion and commitment to yoga are “the real thing.”  “This is what I do, this is my life,” she says.

Michelle brings a deep and diverse range of knowledge and experience, mixed with lightness and joy – to her classes.  Michelle has an Ivy League education of yoga training and it shows in her teaching.  She lived in India for a year and studied with Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system of yoga. In Pune, India, she also studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, the creator of the Iyengar system of yoga. Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Erich Schiffman, Lisa Walford and Guru Singh are more notable teachers from whom she has learned. Most recently she spent a month in Italy studying with Donna Holleman, an Iyengar-influenced teacher who has created her own system.

Her classes can be strong and yet incredibly precise. She never teaches the same sequence. “I teach for the moment,” she explains. “I want my students to come away from my class more aware and more centered, sharper and clearer,” she says. Her classes are laced with humor, “just so we don’t get too serious” during the practice.

“I use my practice to sharpen my mind and there is a freedom that comes from that,” she says. “It gives me respite from the unending chatter of the mind. That is what I share in my teaching and that is what I hope people leave my classes with. I hope they take that philosophy off the mat into their lives.”

“My life has been devoted to the path of self-discovery and yoga on so many levels.” She admits that it is not always an easy path, “but it is an amazing reflection for me to see myself and where I am in my life. In order to maintain my centeredness and bring myself back to a place of openness and self love, I use my sitting practice.”

As for her teaching, she notes, “I love to teach. I love the detail. I love seeing people come into their bodies and wake up. As a teacher you can see people start to breathe and feel truly alive. For me, the studying, practicing and teaching of yoga awakens a sense of presence, and the feeling of being present encourages my heart to soften and open,” she says. “When I live from my heart, I feel greater love and compassion for myself and others. My hope is that my students feel this as well.”

Michelle Kronenberg’s yoga schedule.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios

This post was written by David on February 11, 2014