Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Break Dancing

My brother just finished a video with his friends...not only is it shot very well but all edited incredibly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Om Shanti South America

Incredible classes and people on this trip. A few places that you should check out if you are planning a trip to South America

In Bogota, Colombia please visit Yoga Studio Colombia. It is a great spot with Jivamukti and Anusara classes and many more. Food was a bit difficult when we ate out but did find one fun place Quinua y Amaranto. Although not all the way vegan it was easy enough to order and they have a preset lunch menu which made it easy to choose.

Sao Paulo was next on the list and I had so much fun walking around and looking at all the graffiti. Although it was expensive in general I found some great food. My favorite was a tie between a place called Maha Mantra and Vegacy. Maha Mantra was buffet style (which is very popular in Sao Paulo) which had Indian style food for the most part and again although not totally vegan the options were great not too mention the fact that the most friendly people in all of Sao Paulo work there...not kidding. Vegacy as the name implies was a total vegan spot and had many traditional food items with a vegan twist. It was so good I went back twice and even got some food to take on the plane. I taught at a yoga studio called Yoga Flow which had a beautiful space.

Stop number three was Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eating out did not happen as I stayed with an incredible family and they cooked a decent amount and I did as well. Days I spent teaching at a lovely studio called Kaladanda. Owned by a Jivamukti teacher the feeling of the space is great. The students (although few) were so inspirational and excited about Jivamukti Yoga. The nights were late, there is nothing like a party in Buenos Aires...

Finally Lima, Peru. I am not done with my trip in Lima yet still have one more class to go. But so far its great. This whole trip would not be possible without Ximena Savitch. A Peruvian Jivamukti teacher based in NY. She set everything up including the place we are staying at now...her parents house. Never had so much fun with someone else's parents. Been eating so much, the food is cheap and there are so many veggy spots I dont know what to do with myself. The ones I really enjoyed do not have websites, they are a little bit ghetto but some of thebest food I have ever had. All of them in Mira Flores. Class tomorrow at Lima Yoga. Come by if you are around...

Peace, Love and Vegetables

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hip Hop Asana at the Yoga Journal Conference NYC 2012

Hip Hop Asana is making an appearance for the first time ever at a Yoga Journal Conference and needs your support. Sat April 14th, all proceeds will be donated to the Andrew Glover Youth Program which provides legal services to youth from the Lower East Side and Harlem. Please come ou and support.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walking in Sao Paulo

Spent the day walking around Sao Paulo and saw so amazing graffiti. Looks like NY is slipping. Not only was there art all over the street but we ran into some fellow vegans out on the street giving out information. That was great as I needed some for my class tomorrow. So of the pictures might be a bit blurry. But still pretty amazing.

YouTube Video

Peace, Love and Vegetables

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Driving Through Bogota

Peace, Love and Vegetables

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Morning Walk

Just behind the the apartment we I am staying in is the top of a mountain. Bogota is built about 2625 meters or 8612 feet above sea level. It took a bit of time to adjust to the altitude but once I did it was great. Below are some pictures from my morning walk.

Peace, Love and Vegetables

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bogota Streets

Below are some pics from walking around Bogota today.

Peace, Love and Vegetables

Colombia and beyond...

Yesterday I started a tour of South America, 5 countries in about 3 1/2 weeks. It is a fun time to be teaching Jivamukti...the focus of the month is Brahmacharya and Veganism. When I travel I try not to teach too many workshops. I can only take so many backbending or inversion or standing workshops and I am sure others feel the same. I prefer to teach Open and Basic classes when I am on the road which means I have to teach the focus of the month. This can make it more accessible for different ages and levels. However it can be challenging. The focus of the month is usually a bit more intense then most people are use to. Especially when the focus is similar to this months. One of the benefits for myself, teaching an open class with a challenging focus in an area I have never been to and may only know a few people, is that I must find creative ways to grow and be comfortable in what may not be a very comfortable situation. Everywhere I go people seem to think their community or culture is very different from the rest of the world. In some obvious ways they are correct but for the most part we live in a world culture. "Jules you dont understand my family going back many generations has been eating meat, we barbecue we have large family dinners with a roast, my mom always made me chicken soup." Guess what? that is pretty much the same everywhere especially in affluent countries. According to the USDA, America is the largest beef producer and the second largest beef exporter (although wikipedia says it is Brazil, then Argentina both countries I will be teaching in). Americans are no stranger to a meat based culture, and being an American with Latin roots I am definitely no stranger. People always assume I have been vegan forever, since birth, that somehow I have it easy. Not true. I became vegetarian when I was 18 and vegan when I was 19. I have an aunt and uncle who have been vegan for many years. They were never shy about the issue and it always made me a bit uncomfortable. I resisted it for many years and it was not until I was in my last year of high school that I met someone who really motivated me to become vegetarian. He was incredible smart, a graffiti artist and very much loved being a counter culture type of person. I was drawn to the fact that his food choices did not make him a "not cool" person. That he was able to hang out, go to parties and not feel like he had to convert or argue the food issue. It allowed me to drop my psychic barriers and go a bit deeper and investigate vegetarianism on my own. I needed someone who was not going to hit me in the face with the message. Some people need that but I did not. What I needed was someone who was willing to be an example, have the info and hold the space for me to ask questions and explore. Of course my aunt and uncle had been doing it the whole time but I was not able to see them as cool until a bit later. I try to infuse that feeling of holding a safe space, whenever I am teaching. Bringing a sense of where I have come from, what my community and culture is like and how it is the same as the one I am in. Find some common ground and from there gain the trust that is necessary to broach the sensitive subjects in a short period of time. That comes from strong and intelligent sequencing (some humor always helps). The practices of asana, meditation and chanting all help to build that strong bind that will allow us to be a spokes person for the animal without being ashamed or afraid or feeling like our story is too different from other stories. Let our lights shine so that others have the confidence to do the same...brahmacharya-pratishthayam virya-labhah (PYS II.38)
When one does not misuse sexual energy, one obtains enduring vitality resulting in good health.