5 Trendiest Ways Locals (And Celebs) Keep Fit in Santa Monica

au-newsAustralia's Allison Stephenson published this piece as a result of her visit to Santa Monica last month – a standalone article on the five best ways to keep fit during a visit to Santa Monica. Guess who made the list? You got it. We did. News.com.au is Australia’s most popular news website with 3.7 million unique viewers monthly. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >

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Women's Health UK Visits Santa Monica

womens-health-uk-2016We are so happy to share the Women’s Health UK coverage that resulted from Anna Hart’s media visit to Santa Monica late last year. The six-page standalone cover feature highlights Santa Monica as the ‘fittest city on earth’ and does a beautiful job positioning Santa Monica as the international epicenter of health and wellness trends. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >

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Pranayama Technique

[caption id="attachment_2417" align="alignleft" width="200"]Yoga Portraits at JR Studio on August 03, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra) Yoga Portraits at JR Studio on August 03, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra)[/caption] Prana, also known as vital life force, is the energy that composes everything in the tangible and intangible world. Pranayama is one technique out of the eight limbs of yoga and is an aspect that deals only with the breath. Your breath can control the currents of prana (energy) in your physical body. It is a very subtle practice and in this workshop we will explore tangible techniques to raise your energy levels. Breath controls your emotionality and through the practice of pranayama you can create a grounded, stable feeling. An example is when you are afraid you hold your breath, versus if you listen to a sleeping person their breath is long and deep, very relaxed. So through breath control awareness one can regulate the fluctuations of the mind. Doubt, fear, stress can all be worked through in this practice. There are different ways that one gets energy. There is prana in food. Through being outside you can gain prana from the sun. The company you keep, positive vibes from your tribe, can invigorate you. Moving your body in the asana practice creates energy. However breath is the purest and most subtle way to gain energy. Overeating and over booked social schedules can indicate a strained desire for energy. Learn pranayama and balance out the effects of a modern day life. I am grateful to Sri Dharma Mittra and all of my teachers at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York that helped me learn these techniques and I am excited to share them with you.

Pranayama Workshop with Yancy Schwartz Location: Santa Monica Studio Date: Saturday, February 27 (4-6pm) Click here to sign up!


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Seven Reasons to do Partner Yoga

You get taller. One of my favorite Partner Yoga asanas is also the one that adds inches to my spine! By hanging upside-down with the help of another yogi, you passively decompress your vertebrae and create space where you’re feeling a bit stuck. Goodbye chiropractors, surgery, disc herniation, and back pain--Hello Inversion Therapy :) You get smarter. Because many of the Partner asanas are inversions, we reverse the blood flow in the body and improve circulation. This is particularly powerful when we think about the benefits to the brain. Using gravity, we can safely provide this special organ with more oxygen and blood, thus increasing mental functioning, improving concentration, memory and processing abilities. In other words, skip the coffee and go upside-down instead! You lose weight. I mean this both literally and metaphorically. By practicing with a partner, we learn to let go enough that we actually feel our own lightness of being. The first time I was held in Partner Yoga was the first time I felt a profound sense of ease in my joints, length in my spine, and a playfulness that jump-started my literal loss of weight off the mat. Your MOM will look like WOW! As we come accustomed to reacting to our world in a predictable way, Partner Yoga teaches us that there is always another perspective to try on. By spending time upside-down in the hands (or feet!) of another yogi, we learn how to trust, how to relax, and how to see things in a different way. You strengthen your core. Especially as women, it’s more challenging for us to find our shoulder and arm strength, let alone use it to fire up our core. With the help of a yogi partner, I was able to finally connect the power of my limbs (legs and arms) to my CENTER! Partner Yoga asanas compassionately force your deep abdominal muscles to wake up and turn on...and this newfound strength translates seamlessly onto your individual mat. You build confidence and community. Remember that first time you kicked up into handstand? Or the first time you walked into a yoga class alone? The true gem of Partner Yoga is that the work is done WITH other people. And since every body is different, we fine tune our awareness and presence in a way that perhaps is harder to find alone. By spending time with each other like this, not only do we grow community locally in an organic way, but we support one another in becoming more confident and sustainable individuals. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to bring a partner! If you’re anything like me, the mushy-Valentine’s-gimmicky-couple stuff can make you a little anxious (or downright nauseous). This practice does not replace going on a date. The space is an environment in which you come as you are, bodies are bodies, we play and explore Yoga in a safe and fun way. Come join me in the upcoming Partner Yoga Workshop in Beverly Hills on Feb. 13th from 3-5pm! Contact me with any questions: jtroiani@gm.slc.edu. Looking forward, yogis!

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