Meet Sesa!

Today we’re getting to know Sesa, one of our newer Manhattan Beach instructors here at The Green Yogi! You’ll find the lovely Sesa here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 PM.

sesa yoga

Meet Sesa!

What are your classes like? What’s your teaching style?

My teaching style is very much instruction vs. demonstration, that way the student really has to listen and put their body in the pose rather than look at me and try to mirror what I’m doing. This allows me to walk around and make sure people aren’t doing things that will hurt themselves. I’m huge with hands on adjustments. I would like to think my class is the perfect combination between gentle and hard, the physical practice with the spirit…but I’ve never taken my own class so can’t really answer this, haha! But I try to teach my classes to all levels giving modifications for beginners but also allowing enough time in a pose that the more ‘advanced’ yogis can take the pose a little further. Using my voice I gently lead students through a very intense physical practice, and then leave them with some thought provoking words of wisdom at the end.

yoga on the beach

How did you get started with yoga?

I actually grew up practicing yoga as my spiritual path, but the asanas and teaching didn’t come until I was about 21 when I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. Being pregnant kind of forced me in to my physical practice since I couldn’t surf or run (the two things that I would normally do to stay fit). But with the physical practice came the realization that I could use teaching the poses to get the real message of yoga out to people; that even though the poses really have nothing to do with what yoga is about, they could be used as stepping stones to further ones spiritual growth or the true purpose of yoga.

yoga warrior 3

What are your hobbies?

One of my favorite hobbies is surfing, I find a peace and calm in the ocean that I don’t find anywhere else. I love making jewelry; being able to create something from design to finish is incredible. I also enjoy picking up a paint brush; sunsets are my favorite thing to paint.

What’s your favorite quote?

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” – Unknown

Follow Sesa!

Instagram: @SesaYoga

Twitter: @SesaYoga

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Live Music in Manhattan Beach!

We’re excited to bring you LIVE MUSIC from the extremely talented Delfina in our Manhattan Beach studio this week!

delfina music

Let’s get to know her, shall we?!

Where are you from?
I’m born and raised in Los Angeles— parents are from Argentina, so I grew up speaking Spanish.

How did you get started singing?
I always sang for fun as a kid but I didn’t pick up an instrument until I was 17 yrs old! I learned from Youtube Tutorials and now I play guitar and piano.

Tell us about your upcoming event on 1/31! How often do you perform?
I’m playing an intimate showcase for my fans and industry people, it’s a big night for me music-wise but also since I will be revealing my new look for 2015! I’m cutting off my long hair and straightening my curls! (For more details, click here!)

live music with delfina

Tell us about your yoga practice and how you began!
I love vinyasa and enjoy an occasional class of Yin Restorative.

What inspires you?
Life and life’s lessons inspire me. I’m motivated by learning and bettering myself as a professional but also as a woman.

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Meet Ali!

Today we’re getting to know one of our newest instructors, Ali Owens! You’ll see her smiling face at The Green Yogi in Manhattan Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM.

Ali Owens Yoga

Meet Ali!

Where are you from?

Phoenix, Arizona

What are your classes like? What’s your teaching style?

My classes are based on a strong foundation in alignment, mixed in with my background as a dancer and desire to make the practice accessible to everyone in the room.  The sequences are fun, yet challenging and will get you to work up a sweat while staying grounded through mindful movement.  I use music in my classes as a way to engage and create an environment where students feel safe to let go of negative energy or thoughts that are holding them back from living a life they truly love.  Classes are normally taught in a Vinyasa flow, movement with the breath in a continual sequence, unless it is a Yin or Restorative class where we focus on relaxation and seated/supine postures.

What’s your favorite quote?

The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do.

How did you get started with yoga?

I was a dancer in the World Arts and Cultures Program at UCLA, when I decided to sign up for a Yoga class as one of our extracurricular course options.  The class was a fully integrated immersion into the practice that not only included asana but also philosophy, history and spirituality.  After the course, I began practicing outside of UCLA at YogaWorks and Lululemon.  After graduating, I found my teacher and decided to sign up for a teacher training program simply to deepen my knowledge of the practice.  I originally went to Yoga to shed any stress from my day, flow (because I wasn’t able to make it to dance classes with my school and work schedule), and meet new people!  When I became more and more interested in the practice, it soon thereafter swept me up by it’s wings and I’ve been teaching full time ever since.

yoga on paddleboard

What are your hobbies? 

I love to hike, run, walk along the beach, travel, organize events, cook, spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.  After college, I worked in Marketing for the Greek Theatre so I love to listen to music and see what’s going on in Los Angeles to participate in the diverse events this city has to offer.

What pose was most challenging for you to learn?

Handstand.  I worked that pose for so many years and my weak arms would not support my body for more than a second.  There was a very kind gentlemen by the name of Peter who would spot me in Dice’s class at Black Dog Yoga and simply told me “use your fingertips, those are your breaks!” and I’ve held onto that cue ever since.  Probably the most awakening pose for me was, and still is, Warrior 3.  I had learned through dance to always turn out and Warrior 3 forces me to find stability through neutral rotation in the hips…and that’s only the beginning.  The practice is a beautiful challenge where we can learn something new from the poses each and every day.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by others and my practice.  When I see the positive work people are doing in the world, I am inspired to follow the path towards change and helping others lead the most fulfilled lives as possible.  I am inspired through movement, so my personal practice keeps my mind and body at ease while moving through difficult transitions in life.

yoga on rocks

Do you have any inspiring stories/moments from your teaching or practice?  

Perhaps the most life-transforming event took place on my first Yoga retreat to Thailand with Briohny and Dice Iida-Klein.  At the time, I was the Marketing Manager for the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and I was excited to get out of the office for a few days to practice on the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui with my teachers.  After seeing the community they were able to cultivate on the retreat and assisting them in a few of the classes, I was inspired to pursue teaching full time.  Since then, I’ve been able to travel around the world teaching Yoga and while I am inspired every day by my students here in LA, there is something magical about meeting someone for the first time in a foreign country (when sometimes you don’t speak the same language) and relating to them through the language of Yoga.  It’s like nothing else I’ve discovered.  To meet and connect with so many other like minded people through a common interest and life path.

happy on the beach

Follow Ali:

www.AliOwens.com

Instagram: @AliKathrine

Facebook: @AliOmYoga

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Green Yogi Of The Month, Berkeley: Risa Delappe!

We are so excited to honor Risa Delappe as our Manduka Sponsored Yogi of the month for JanuarySince she joined us at The Green Yogi last May, she has taken nearly 100 classes! Her sweet and grounded disposition continues to inspire everyone in the Green Yogi Tribe. We are honored to have you in our yoga family, Risa!

Congratulations!

Congratulations!

 

OCCUPATION:  Expressive Arts Therapist (MFT) and Yoga teacher

NICKNAME: Ris

 FUN FACT ABOUT ME: I’ve lived in California for the past 12 years. Two of those were in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and one of those was at a lighthouse. After some great adventures, I stayed for grad school in San Francisco and then gradually, Berkeley became my home.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? I love all the teachers at Green Yogi! But, Megan Spencer-King was my first. I love how passionate she is about sharing her knowledge of yoga, and how she encourages and fosters an inward gaze while practicing! She has a fierce strength and grace about her that resonates with me.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? To stay connected to myself, not to tune out, and listen closely to what my body is trying to tell me! Oh and then there’s the shutting off of my thoughts for a bit and reconnecting to my breath. And after that, forgiving myself if I’m not able to do any or all of the above :)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? Pigeon and Savasana.

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? Right now, My Primitive Heart by Eccodek, My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit, and any Krishna Das!

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? The playfulness and openness of kids, the unwavering and protective love of parents, the beauty of the landscape we live in and are surrounded by, and the random acts of kindness of strangers. And pertaining to yoga: The way yoga sheds the illusion of separateness between people. I love how open yogis are after they practice together. What a beautiful way to build authentic community…to be on the collective quest to be more in tune and aware of ourselves and our bodies.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? For the past seven years, and immensely! I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. Yoga has helped me to feel strong and vulnerable simultaneously. It keeps me heart open and listening, and slows down my reactionary nature. It helps me witness myself without judgment and really take time to slow down. I sought out yoga originally to help balance the stressful nature of my job working with underserved youth in Oakland. The next thing I knew, I was practicing every day! And then I thought, why not do a teacher training to deepen my practice? Now I want to share it with others as it’s been such a gift and so transformative for me! In fact, it has re-oriented the way I approach my work as a therapist. Having felt for myself the importance of staying connected to the body while unwinding past traumas or gaining insights, my work now addresses both through offering yoga and somatic experiencing in addition and in conjunction with therapy.

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Green Yogi of the Month Manhattan Beach: Toya Anderson!

We’re thrilled to honor Toya Anderson as our Manduka Sponsored Yogi of the Month for January, our first of 2015! At last count, Toya had taken an incredible 426 classes with The Green Yogi. We’re so impressed and are extremely grateful to have you in our family, Toya! Read on to learn more about what inspires her. (We’re loving her answer on how yoga has improved her life!)

Toya Anderson

Toya Yogi of the Month

Congratulations!

OCCUPATION: Instructional Coach – I train teachers on how to incorporate technology into classroom instruction.

NICKNAME: My Dad calls me Corolla (as in Toyota Corolla). My sister calls me T-Boz. Some friends call me T. Students call me Ms. Anderson.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: I spent my 40th birthday snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef as a non-swimmer. At the age of 44 I took swimming lessons and learned to swim.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? It’s a toss up between Jamie, Linda and Wendy. Each of their classes is so different, yet equally amazing. I always get just what a need. However, Saturday morning with Jamie is a special kind of awesome. My weekend just isn’t the same without it.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? Self-acceptance and compassion. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? I love the sequence – Warrior 2/Triangle/Half Moon. The sequence represents everything I love about yoga; strength, balance, focus, flexibility. It also makes me a little giddy. 

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? Prince – Let’s Go Crazy. I am also still waiting for Jamie to do a disco playlist! 

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Passionate and smart people who are incredible at what they do. Who also maintain balance, humility and gratitude.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? I have been practicing yoga for a little more than 6 years. Weight and body image have been a lifetime struggle for me. Yoga has helped me to be present and accepting, wherever I am in my weight loss journey. Practicing yoga has quieted the critical voice in my head and I don’t compare myself with others or judge myself for my setbacks, flaws and imperfections, as much as I once did. With yoga I am becoming more and more accepting, embracing and loving of me.

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Green Yogi of the Month, Manhattan Beach: Alissa Murgia!

We’re thrilled to honor Alissa Murgia as our Manduka Sponsored Yogi of the Month for December! At last count, Alissa had taken an incredible 231 classes with The Green Yogi! We’re so honored to have you in our family, Alissa!

Alissa Murgia YOM

Congratulations!

OCCUPATION: Regional Director of Sales for Silverado; Memory Care Communities

NICKNAME: Pretty much every derivative of Alissa…Lis, Aliss, Lissy, A-Town

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:

I’m a Board Member of Mychal’s Learning Place, an awesome local non-profit committed to creating a world where all individuals with special needs have the opportunity to succeed. Come join me this year on December 6th (my birthday eve) for our third annual Art Show and Auction!

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY?

Everyone at The Green Yogi is great! With that said, I often find myself in Jamie’s classes the most. She’s intuitive, fun and a thoughtful teacher.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?

To be present.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST?

“Let Go” by Frou Frou

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

People who are true to their essence. As a life coach, it inspires me to support those achieving their best selves.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?

Yoga has been part of my life for more than 16 years. Not sure what I’d do without it. Yoga has improved my being in ways I could never have imagined; teaching me to be patient, positive, and present. With each class I learn more about myself on the mat.

 

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Green Yogis Of The Month Berkeley: Kevin and Theresa!

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We are so excited to honor Kevin and Theresa Lew as our Manduka Sponsored Yogis of the month for DecemberSince our Grand Opening in January 2014, Theresa has been a dedicated Green Yogi. As of the end of November, she has taken over 185 classes!! Kevin joined Theresa in March, and he instantly became just as dedicated–he’s taken over 170 classes!! Their peaceful and hardworking spirits continue to inspire everyone in the Green Yogi Tribe. We are honored to have them in our yoga family!

OCCUPATIONS:  Theresa: Radiation Therapist. Kevin: Radiation Therapy Dosimetrist – designs the radiation fields which are used in cancer treatment.

FUN FACTS ABOUT US: We’ve been married for 31 years.  We are immensely proud of our family: Two sons, one daughter-in-law and one grand dog:  Eric-engineer in the aerospace industry, Vicky-working on her masters in Occupational Therapy, Garrett-works in management for a non profit, Ella-an adorable cockapoo! The five of us are going to Ecuadorand the Galapagos Islands this month. We are all looking forward to exploring and experiencing new things together. We tried a few other activities as empty nesters: Taiko drumming and Latin dancing, but didn’t get very far due to Theresa’s lack of rhythm. Theresa grew up in family of 8 daughters (with one bathroom in the house), and thus learned how to share from an early age.  Kevin grew up in Berkeley! Attended public school all the way from K through CAL.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? We’ve had the pleasure of trying just about every instructor and haven’t met one that we don’t like!  We regularly attend classes with Marina, Mary, Maria Christina and Christy – these four have a great presence – just seeing them puts a smile on our faces and sets the tone for a great practice.   All of the teachers are good for the soul! Truly impressed by how artfully they guide and flow through their appointed session.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? Theresa: To stay grounded and feed my mind, body and soul.  Kevin: To get into the ‘zone’. Strive for an inner quietness. Seek a balance within this mind-body discipline.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? Theresa: Savasana – Once I am in that pose, I know I have completed a good practice! Kevin: Warrior 2

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? My Favorite Things, John Coltrane

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Theresa: The women in my family who are no longer physically with me – my mom, aunt and grandmother. Plus, all of my patients – they are going through probably the most challenging time of their life. Kevin: Random acts of kindness. Theresa Lew. Mary Strong-Sullivan. The Green Yogi teachers.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? Theresa: 6 years. Yoga has been an integral part of keeping myself centered and present. Yoga allows me to take care of myself in order to take care of others at work and at home. I love the community at Green Yogi. Kevin: March 2014 at the Green Yogi at the age of 61! It’s never too late to start yoga! I came to rehabilitate my lower back. I soon discovered the spiritual nurturing of yoga. It was liberating, come to your mat and clear your mind. I am a convert, so I guess that makes me a disciple of Mary Strong-Sullivan!

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