This site is a window into my life of travel, yoga and life long learning. It's meant to inspire others as I reflect on the awesomeness of our planet, the diversity of humankind and the abundance of beauty all around, if one chooses to pay attention.
Two classes into Yogamatique’s inauguration we’ve had sign ups from:
San Francisco, California Fremont, California Seattle, Washington Buenos Aires, Argentina Corrientes, Argentina Cali, Colombia Bogota, Colombia Santiago, Chile London, UK Milan, Italy Severodvinsk, Russia
The idea was to have a safe, quality environment providing yoga for all.
Connecting the World has been an added bonus.
If you haven’t signed up for a class yet, let us sweeten the experience:
I cannot help but preface this article by saying that these events happened almost exactly one year ago. How the world has changed and what an awakening of sorts. Read through this to see what my last couple weeks of August 2019 were like. Will they ever be the same?
August 20th, 2019
After an amazing two weeks in Cali, Colombia, still feeling giddy from the effects of the music festival Petronio, I boarded a flight back to cold wintry Buenos Aires. Why would I do such a thing? If you love a place enough, it doesn’t matter what season it is. If you love a people as much, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Winter has it’s own charm and we don’t have that kind of winter where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so it’s nice to be able to stroll the city in winter garb and smell the crisp winter air.
I arrived early in the morning at 5:00 am on August 21st and I had already made lunch plans with my friend Luciano. We met up in an amazing “Parilla” in Palermo and had the best meal of Bife Chorize and some great Malbec to go with it. I was back in Buenos Aires with a bang.
I had just ten more days in my favorite city south of the equator, and I would be making the most of it. As luck would have it, they were to be my ten busiest days ever in Buenos Aires.
I was free-lancing and teaching my own yoga classes. I had a student of mine from Fremont, California coming for my Urban Yoga Retreat and I was gradually planning the next stage of my travels which would be in Europe for seven weeks. I was a bit concerned about the yoga classes. I had just left the studio I used to teach at and was now venturing out on my own.
I wondered if I would be able to gather enough students and have successful classes. Much to my delight I had about a dozen students attend every class I taught! The studio I had left wasn’t even bringing in that many on a daily basis, so I was quite happy. I do owe a lot of my success to my amazing circle of friends in the city whose relentless marketing worked wonders!
In this short amount of time I also pulled off my first yoga retreat! One of my students flew all the way from California for a six day yoga retreat with me. I provided all the logistics, provided her yoga everyday and I guided her through the city with the help of my friend Julian, an experienced Spanish teacher and guide.
We roamed the streets of La Boca, entered many a museum, visited the Recoleta Cementary where Eva Peron (Evita) among many others, is buried. And one of my all time favorites – we toured the Market of San Telmo on Sunday. The cobblestoned street of Defensa is closed to traffic and lined with vendors selling art, leather products, clothes, you name it. And the actual market is a food lover’s heaven with many little stalls serving everything form empanadas to fancy French food (Merci is my favorite little corner, and it’s not that fancy really, but the food is delectable).
These last few days in Buenos Aires were special. Being able to host a yoga retreat, that too my first ever, was so satisfying. And I was able to see the city through the eyes of a yoga student, a first time visitor to the city of “Buena Onda” loosely translated meaning “good vibes”.
I was truly surprised how my yoga classes transformed into a community with a sense of togetherness. Yoga, after all, means “union”. After every class the students and I would enjoy some sort of activity.
Sometimes we would hang out at one of my favorite coffee joints in the neighborhood of Palermo – Full City Coffee. They serve great meals as well. And after an evening class, we might wander somewhere for a drink, followed by a visit to a language meetup hosted by Mundo Lingo, where we would meet people from all over. A great way to practice Spanish, or any other language for that matter.
What draws me to this special place? Year after year. “La Gente”, the people. Argentina is an immensely rich land in terms of culture, heritage and even natural resources, but time and time again it faces political and economic turmoil, like no other. Even through all this suffering, people keep resilient, they keep their pride and they find a way of enjoying life, whether it be with their craziness over “Futbol”, their love of life’s simple pleasures – good food and wine, or love of tango and much more. It’s a vibrant country with passionate people. Their good vibes – Buena Onda – keep me coming back.
My last night in Buenos Aires I hosted a dinner party at my apartment. It was a great send off. Little did I know it would be the last time I would be in Buenos Aires for at least a year. You see, I was supposed to be back in March. And then you know what happened.
I cherish those memories of chatting into the wee hours of the night, listening to good music, eating good food, drinking good Malbec, having great conversations. Who would have thought that all way south of the equator in this far away land I would have found this sense of community, this sense of belonging.
Isn’t this what this fragmented world needs right now? As we live through these most isolating of times, as we see turmoil, revolution and irreversible change to the planet, I dream of community. I dream of togetherness.
Most of all, I am dreaming of landing in Buenos Aires once more …
I’ve uploaded a 1 hour Yoga session to my YouTube channel “Yogamatique”.
It’s a well rounded one hour, that focuses on the legs and knees. With the amount of sitting we are all doing these days, whether in front of the monitor, the cell phone or TV screen, we are definitely tightening our legs and stiffening those knee joints.
Of course you will work out the entire body in this session. It is also a bit slower – so it allows you to focus and work on the task at hand with mindfulness. The mind is a powerful thing. When you “will” something to happen with focus – you can achieve it!
Some of our every day yoga poses, if done correctly can keep your legs in shape & your knees healthy. For example the classics such as Prasarita Padottansana, Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2) and their variations work wonders. And a simple Hero’s Pose achieves so much hitting the knees, ankles and a bit of the quads.
Blocks are used generously, allowing you to moderate all poses and be careful to avoid overdoing.
Here you can find the link to the video and my YouTube channel Yogamatique. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a video 😀.
100 plus days into lockdown, quarantine, limited movement, working from home, sitting a lot. Has it started taking a toll, not just emotionally but also physically?
Back pain and back injuries are some of the most common maladies among the entire population. Current conditions may be acerbating these.
Whether you work at a computer all day, do heavy lifting or are an avid athlete, the back is usually victim number 1!
Everyone has a differently shaped spine and everyone has a different back problem. Some might be aggravated by forward folds, some by back bends. And even twisting may be someone’s limitation.
Today I needed some back maintenance and I present to you 40 minutes of general yoga that involved mild forward folds, back bends and some strengthening and twisting.
Alleviating the back does not mean that it is just the back that should be contorted and focused on. Tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, shoulder irregularities, tight adductors, are just some of the target areas to alleviate back issues.
So you will see such poses as Warrior 2, Parsvakonasa, Prasarita Padottanasana, Cresecent Pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 3, Humble Warrior, Malasana, Bakasana and more. These are mostly standing poses that are very active in nature. And a whole bunch of seated poses such as Baddha Konasana, Janu Sirsasana, Matsyendrasana should give you some relief. And I threw in one Yin pose Dragonfly Side Bend, because it really opens up the QL (Quadratus Lumborum) and feels so good on the side body.
It’s the end of the week. It’s the beginning of July. We are in the middle of a global crisis and we have no idea what stage we are in. So it’s important to take care of ourselves. With that in mind I present a Yin Yang Yoga session that I hope will bring you some joy this weekend. My longest session on YouTube yet, I give you 70 minutes of yoga – a solid warm up, a visit to some of the classic poses including Warriors and some good challenges with a peak pose of Bakasana. I show you how to use props to ease into the pose if you are struggling or are a beginner. And I will leave you with four Yin poses that should perfectly ground you and give you an opportunity to find a somewhat meditative state as you loosen up some very tight areas in the body. I hope you enjoy this routine as much as I did making it. Make any day a Friday by doing Yoga!
I’ve uploaded a half hour session to my YouTube channel “Yogamatique” that targets some of the tightest areas in the body such as the hamstrings, the calves, the hip flexors, the adductors, the quads, the quadratus lumborum, the shoulders and more.
Even though specific poses were chosen to target a certain area, we are also gaining benefits in other areas of the body as well. That’s one of the beauties of yoga – we are able to get a well rounded exercise as we achieve our specific goals. And of course done mindfully, yoga will leave you a little more grounded than when you started.
Here are the 10 main poses and the targeted areas
Padangusthasana – Hamstrings
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Calves
Anjaneyasana – Hip Flexors
Virabhadrasana 2 – Adductors
Parsvakonasana – Quadratus Lumborum
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Hamstrings and Hips
Natarajasana – Quadriceps
Prasarita Padottansana – Legs and Shoulders
Parsvottanasana – Hamstrings and Shoulders
Humble Warrior – Hips and Shoulders
Check out the video below and please subscribe to the YouTube channel “Yogamatique”
What is meditation? How do you meditate? Are there other forms of meditation?
This is a recording of a discussion between Silvana Vryll, a yoga instructor from Buenos Aires, Argentina and myself. We talked candidly about what yoga and meditation mean to us. How cycling, hiking and walking are also forms of meditation.
We also talk about how someone new to yoga and meditation can approach these activities and how yoga is for everyone! There is no right body type or religion or lifestyle for yoga. Anyone can do it and adapt it to their own needs.
New Video Uploaded to YouTube Channel “Yogamatique”
First in a series under the playlist “Self Care Yoga”. Subscribe to get subsequent uploads.
The Hamstrings form a group of muscles that are constantly used whether we are simply walking and sitting, riding our bikes or running. We demand a lot from our hamstrings yet we sometimes don’t give them the care that we need to. This often results in injuries. Hamstring pulls are very common. But tight hamstrings can tug on the low back, creating arching and spine compression. In this 8 minute video I go over 3 classic yoga poses that target the hamstrings: Parsvottanasana, Trikonasana, and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. I break the poses down – how to get there safely, how to align and what muscles to activate to maximize benefits. If you are a runner or cyclist this is a must do! If you aren’t you should still do these to keep those hamstrings limber!