Green Yogi of the Month North Berkeley! Jess Chavez

Jess Chavez YOM

We are so excited to honor Jessica Chavez as our Manduka Sponsored Yogi of the month for November! Jess has been practicing with us since the beginning and working her way up to more and more classes every week. At last count she’d taken almost 90 classes! We are continuously inspired by her positive energy and love for yoga and we are honored to have you in our yoga family!

OCCUPATION: I am a registered dental assistant in a general practice here in North Berkeley. I have a degree in photography from Sonoma State University. I am slowly making my way to learning digital photography. It is quite the learning curve from manual film.

NICKNAME: When I was younger my family would call me Jessie Wessie. My mom still does sometimes..

FUN FACT ABOUT  US: A fun fact about myself is that I am really lucky at winning concert tickets off of the radio. I have had lots of wins.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? I could never pick a favorite instructor, they are all so talented in so many ways. Also I have not experienced them all! So with said, it wouldn’t be fair to answer. But with every class I attend I always gain something meaningful.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? Clarity is my intention for my yoga practice. With every day my mind collects or sits with so many thoughts. These thoughts can be good or bad. In my practice I like to clear my mind. I attempt to think about as little as possible.  In return I can feel a little more at peace with life.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? I enjoy so many yoga poses I don’t know if I have a favorite. Though when I did do my first hand stand at a wall, I was so happy with myself. It was very nostalgic, I could feel the room for growth within myself.

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? One day in Eric’s class he played Aqueous Transmission by Incubus. I melted with happiness.  I had forgotten how much I love that song. Thats a keeper.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? All forms of movement inspire me. With every move there follows a rewarding outcome. Each individual can create their path. That inspires me to always get up and do something.  Life is short. I want to make the best of it.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? I began my yoga practice in May of 2013, yoga has improved my life by showing me how to slow down. I practice my slow and controlled breathing, it has gotten tremendously better. Practicing at the Green Yogi makes me feel apart of a caring and loving community of good people. Thank you to everyone at the Green Yogi.

Posted in The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

YOGIS of the Month!! Anne and Kevin

Kevin and Anne YOM

We are so excited to honor our first married couple as manduka sponsored Green YOGIS of the Month for November! Anne Carlin and Kevin Civale have been married for over 28 years, and the couple that practices yoga together, truly stays together. Individually and as a couple, Anne and Kevin are such inspirations to our team and with gratitude on the mind this month we couldn’t pass up honoring two very special yogis! Congratulations Anne and Kevin, we are honored to have you in our yoga family!

OCCUPATION:

Anne: Teacher/Reading Specialist

Kevin: Attorney

FUN FACT ABOUT  US:

We met when we were 13 years old.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY?

Anne: Heather’s classes kept me coming back. I also love Jamie and Tamal.

Kevin:  I have to say Matt since I got started at Green Yogi with him, but they’re all great: Heather, Jamie and Tamal are particular favorites.  It’s great that there are a lot of similarities in the way they all teach, yet at the same time each has a unique approach.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?

To stay physically and mentally healthy.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?

Anne: Warrior 2, Child’s Pose and Happy Baby.

Kevin: Savasana!

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST?

Halo (cover) by Ane Brune and Linnea Olsson

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Our four children

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

Kevin:  2011

Anne: Summer of 2012

Yoga has definitely improved our lives in so many ways.  We feel healthier, more present, grateful and happy.

Posted in The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Green Yogi of the Month: Karen Mattocks

We are so excited to honor Karen Mattocks as our Manduka Sponsored Green Yogi of the month for October! For almost 4 years Karen has been a Green Yogi and she continuously inspires us with her energy and dedication. Over the years Karen has logged an impressive 400+ classes, we are filled with gratitude for her presence and practice. Congratulations Karen! 

Karen Mattocks YOM

OCCUPATION: VP Sales & Marketing for a company that treats cancer patients

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:  I have two daughters born on the same day, three years apart. They both love yoga and got me hooked almost four years ago.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? Really? How can you pick just one?

  • Julie – My first instructor. I thought I was in shape! Ha! Ha! Ha!
  • Jamie – Do you like to sweat? How loud can the music get?
  • Tamal – Yoga boot camp and killer abs, but the ukulele makes is worth it.
  • Heather – Does anyone really want to be up at 6am for a 7am practice?
  • Marybeth – The most soothing voice, creative transitions during flow and always a great playlist.

The list goes on and on…..

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? It depends on the day. If I am focusing inward, my intention is “balance and piece.” If I am focusing outward, my intention is “to look for the good and praise it.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? Probably wheel, especially if my back is tight after gardening all day. But savasana at the end of a practice reminds me why I do yoga.

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST?  Any classical guitar piece, but my favorite is Layenda by Isaac Albéniz.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?  I love traveling with my husband. We have been to all parts of the world. It is amazing to experience the diversity of people, cultures, food, art and landscape in each of the countries we have visited. But the best part is coming home to Manhattan Beach and getting my hands dirty in the garden or creating a new recipe in the kitchen, while enjoying a glass of wine.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?  I began practicing yoga in January 2011. At the time, a family member was undergoing extensive diagnostic work that could have been life threatening. Yoga kept me grounded, focused and strong. Thankfully, everything turned out OK, but yoga has become a permanent part of my life.

Posted in Living Green, The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Green Yogi of the Month Berkeley: Edi Pfeiffer

We are so excited to honor Edi Pfeiffer as our Manduka Sponsored Green Yogi of the month for October! In just over 7 months Edi has taken over 80 classes at the studio and we are continuously inspired by her positive energy and love for yoga. Congratulations Edi!

Edi Pfeiffer YOM

OCCUPATION: Family Practice Homeopath, Mother

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: I’m a second generation Northern Californian. Not realizing how lucky I was, when I was 20 I waitressed and saved enough money to visit friends in England and ended up travelling through Europe and living there for four years. I found out about and started studying homeopathy there, lived in some beautiful places, including a tiny valley in Wales (Cwm Coile) in a farmhouse with two meadows, a garden, a spring and small river all surrounded by wooded hills. This is where I had the first of my three daughters quite a few years ago! Since I came back, I’ve been quite happy to live here, although I love being in other places and experiencing life from other perspectives.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY?  That is such a hard question to answer! I’ve enjoyed and gotten something different from every instructor I’ve had at Green Yogi. They each have a special way of leading their classes—my overall impression is that Mary’s are hard core and philosophical, Christie’s are playful and sweaty, Megan’s are instructive and technical, Reba’s are fun and gentle, Maria Christina’s are beautiful and mystical, Naushon’s are practical and challenging, Kari’s are deep and relaxing, Marina’s are grounded and creative. I just have to say I feel lucky that we had Broderick for the time we did; his relaxation classes were lovely! I miss him and his sweet bells during Shavasana. I feel I’ve been give a precious gift after each teachers’ class.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? I want to feel grounded and calm, to take a break from my stressful life. Being a health care practitioner and a mother of a teenager means I’m there for other people a good part of the time, so yoga is important for my self-care. The added benefits of looking and feeling more healthy and fit, having more endurance and desire to move throughout my day are huge.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE? I have three favorite poses: Malasana, Sphinx and Half pigeon just because my body feels so good when I do them. My favorite challenging poses are Warrior II and any of the one-legged balancing poses. When I’m strong and steady in them I love that feeling of accomplishment!

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? Om Mani Padme Om

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Being as healthy as I can be and helping everyone I can to do the same. Hanging out with other people who are inspired by this. Seeing Green Yogi thrive with the positive loving management of Mary and her amazing team. Community, good food, growing things, swimming in rivers, running on the beach, creating…

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? I remember teaching yoga while I was in high school as an assignment to teach something we loved. That’s a lot of years ago (I’m not saying)! For a few years in my thirties I had a regular Kundalini practice, I remember feeling like I was floating at the end of those classes. I hadn’t been a regular yogi for many years, but I’ve gotten much stronger and more flexible since I started at Green Yogi in January. I’m more calm and able to handle the day to day. I’d like to live a long and healthy life since there’s still a lot I’d like to accomplish and experience and my yoga practice is a big part of that.

Posted in Living Green, The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Yoga ~ My “100-foot hole”

Today’s post is from North Berkeley Green Yogi teacher Christy Evans! She will be leading a Mukti Foundation Teacher Training starting October 25th as well as offering a Teacher Training Preview September 28th from 4:30-5:30pm to give interested students an idea of what a teacher training is like as well as a 45 minute free class! Click here for more details and keep reading to Be Inspired by Christy Evans’ story. 

team_Christy-Evans2

It was reflected to me in my early 20’s that I was metaphorically digging hundreds of 1-foot holes, all the while avoiding the one, 100-foot hole I was actually seeking, me. That lesson stopped me in my tracks and without knowing it then, that was the start of my yoga journey. Up until that moment where I was sitting there talking to this mindfulness-based meditation teacher, life was only happening out there, externally: treating patients by day and night, collaborating on a research article for publication, co-creating two adult speech therapy books, starting a home-health business with colleagues, jumping out of planes to get my A-license in skydiving, and then … I found my way into a yoga class.

I had resisted yoga for years because I thought it was just stretching (ha!). One day as I was hanging out at the drop zone passing time between jumps (skydiving) a friend invited me to a yoga class. I was confused, I didn’t understand how someone with this much energy could stay engaged for an entire yoga class (“of stretching?”). I became curious, accepted the invitation, and the rest is history. That day long-ago, this young, competitive, athletic, twenty-something-me met the challenge of a power yoga practice. The real gift I received from that yoga class is that it met me where I was at mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. That one class invited me to go deeper into the body through an exploration of powerful asana while subtly, introducing me to my very own and relatively untouched “100-foot hole”.

That was well over a decade ago and my journey continues. The journey, or yoga, does not end at some static place, rather it continues to unfold in each moment, pose, and breath. The path of yoga continues to be my guide and teaches me how to connect with, and live from, this inner awareness. While teaching yoga, I hold a gentle space for students to connect with their own “100-foot hole” journey within, a movement of the heart toward authentic being. My intention as a teacher of yoga, meditation, and vinyasa is to offer the practices in a playful, compassionate, and creative way that ignites this inner flame and sparks the curiosity toward an exploration of inner freedom, Mukti!

On October 25, 2014, I will be leading a Mukti Yoga Foundation teacher training at The Green Yogi in North Berkeley. This training will hold space for those who are ready to say yes to their next growing edge on and off of the yoga mat. I look forward to sharing many of the tools and techniques that have facilitated my journey toward authenticity, connection, and presence while collectively we will dive deeper into the ancient science, art, and joy of yoga. For those ready for heart activation and embodied transformation, come play!

Posted in Living Green, The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Evolution as a Yoga Teacher with Wendy Garafalo

Wendy Garafalo teaches classes at The Green Yogi and is leading two teacher trainings this fall for the Mukti Yoga School.  The first, co-taught with Linda Baffa, is an 150-Hour Foundation Training and begins this Friday Septemper 12th.  Meetings are two weekends per month ending in February 2015.  The second, co-taught with Chelsea Rothert, is a 50-hour Therapeutic Teacher Training and begins on Friday September 19th.  It meets one weekend per month thru Dec 2014.   For more info click here and read on to Be Inspired!team_wendyGarafalo_2-1From the first moment I stepped in front of a class, during my teacher training, I opened my mouth and the words that came out flowed from a deeper space.  They were very simple words, I was leading the class into Warrior Two.  But it was the energy behind what I was saying.  At the time I was working a full-time corporate job and had to speak in front of people all the time.  This moment was different.  I had become so passionate about the practice of yoga, loved the way it made my body move, loved the way I felt after savasana, I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.  I was hooked and knew I had found my path.

Since my very first teacher training, I’ve evolved as we all do as a human and as a yoga teacher.  I began teaching in a way that served my soul at the time.  The movement was more like a dance, flowing seamlessly from one asana to another.  I was obsessed with finding and creating new sequences, creative movements that I hoped tapped people into their own inner grace and creativity.  I was taking as many classes as I could from different teachers, different styles and different trainings.  I was searching for my own unique way of teaching, something which served me, but also honored all the teachers whom I learned from.

Then, my world shifted.  I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, my little man Luca.  Because my body couldn’t move like it used to and because my energy was being reserved to grow a tiny human, I had to take a step back from teacher trainings and from taking classes 5-7 times each week.  I had to turn inward to find direction and to find inspiration for my teaching.  Up to that point, I was relying on others to fill my cup, to fill me with creativity and new ideas.

When I started to trust my instincts and started to really sequence a class in a way that made sense in the moment for those students and for their energetic state, I started teaching from my soul.  My classes began to focus more on alignment to ensure students were safe and to truly teach them how to feel the pose from the inside out.  I begin and end each class with a prayer to invoke a spiritual energy into the space, a higher being, and a purpose behind the movements.  It helps calm me and allows me to open myself up to that first energy I felt when I first taught.  I know the words and the movements come through me from a deeper space, from a connection we all have to a higher power.  In that connection, I lead my classes by reading energy and by trusting my intuition.  It has moved me into a place where I know exactly the type of teacher I am.  I understand my purpose, my intention when teaching is to heal.  My classes create a space for you to connect and for you to heal whatever ailments you face.  From sprained ankles to broken hearts to cancer, my hope is you come to my class to heal your mind body and spirit.

I love what I do and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to teach, to connect, and to grow.  I’m grateful for all my teachers who have influenced the way I teach and I’m grateful for the way my teaching has changed and evolved to serve my soul today.

May your lives be blessed.  May you find yoga when you need it most.  May your heart be open to all the different yoga methods, to all the different teachers and may you find the teacher that feeds your soul.  And finally may you trust that change happens, may you embrace the journey exactly as it exists, allow yourself to learn from your mistakes, to be present in your moments, and create more space for love.  Namaste.

 

Posted in Living Green, The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Yogi of the Month Kim Pickerell!

Kim P YOM

We are so excited to honor Kim Pickerell as our Manduka Sponsored Green Yogi of the month for September! Since September 2013 Kim has taken close to 200 classes and has been inspiring our entire team with her dedication and positive energy in the studio. Congratulations Kim!  We are honored to have you in our yoga family!

OCCUPATION: Healthcare Account Manager – AT&T

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:  I’m from Kansas and when I’m not at yoga, love playing golf and shooting pool.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY?  Although I enjoy many instructors for different reasons, Tamal is my favorite.  I find his classes the most challenging and look forward to the thorough work-out, long shavasana while listening to him rocking out on the guitar.

WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?  Mostly to stay in shape –  both mentally and physically. Especially during the week – after work, I am in desperate need of a stress release and by the time I walk out of class, I forgot what I was so stressed about to begin with.  My intention is to practice yoga for the rest of my life.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?  Warrior 3 – because it took me years to finally master!  I could hang out there now, for hours☺

WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST?  Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby” – but seriously, a regular old-school music yoga class would be incredible.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?  Positive energy, positive people.  I listen to Joel Osteen every week to get inspired as to how I can live a better life and appreciate all the blessings in my life.  One of my favorite quotes of his is “don’t let other people steal your joy.” It’s up to ourselves to wake up every day and choose to live with a positive, appreciative attitude.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?   I have been practicing yoga for about 12 years – although you might not know it by watching me.  Maybe in the next 12 years I’ll be able to finally master crow pose….!:)

Posted in Living Green, The Green Yogi, Yoga | Tagged , , | 1 Comment