Excerpts from “Bust Those Meditation Myths in May″ Newsletter

Hello, You.

I’m so thrilled to have begun meditation month in Prema classes and at Yoga Vida. Each week, we start a simple meditation with the option of continuing to sit during savasana. Each week, more and more students are choosing to sit and explore a deeper meditation.

Over the years, I must admit that I have harbored some persistent myths, or misgivings, about my meditation practice.

The first misgiving was that I sucked at it. Guess what: Everybody sucks at meditation! It’s the mental equivalent of running: You know it’s good for you, it takes forever to talk yourself into it, within 8-10 minutes you hate it, and within about 11-15 minutes you’re hooked.

Like anything worth doing, meditation takes a little patience and discipline. But that will develop if you don’t begin!

Second misgiving: Everything has to be perfect for me to meditate. Over the years, I’ve thought I need just the right cushion on which to meditate, just the right teacher, just the right morning time, just the right diet, just the right mantra – Let’s face it: I was “just-the-righting” my practice into nonexistence!

This kind of perfectionism is actually procrastination. It’s making excuses instead of sitting down – like an artist – and getting messy in the process of getting to know yourself. What’s the worst that could happen? You spend 15 minutes not staring at your phone? I don’t know about you, but Instagram hums along just fine without me.

Third misgiving: Meditation is for the spiritually evolved, and not for mere humans. If I make an honest review of the meditation teachers that have radically influenced me, I see that what they all have in common is an honest but loving understanding of their own shortcomings. They are all acutely aware of their humanity, and sometimes admit to moments of existential crisis. That didn’t stop them from sitting down and being with themselves again.

In fact, this kind of “Dark Night of the Soul ” can lead to a deep love and acceptance of oneself. Loving Kindness Meditation teachers even use this realization to expand their compassion for other humans who have acted on their shortcomings. Being human makes you a great meditator, and meditation can help you choose to be a better human.

Fourth misgiving: Meditation is kind of bunk, because you pretend the world is peaceful when it’s not. Um…No. Nice try, ego! You’re not as gritty and punk as all that. All life includes suffering, as the Buddha taught. A meditator doesn’t sit to ignore the truth, but to accept it and to choose a righteous path.

In the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions of meditation, this is called a “satvic” state. Satvic is usually translated as “peaceful” or “calm,” but note that the root of the word means “truth.” Peacefulness is our natural state. As meditators, we can start to find this peace and identify with it. Sometimes it will feel like “faking it until you make it.” But with practice – over time, consistently, and with devotion – that peace can grow.

Whether you can get to class, practice on your own, or join us for the two-weekend meditation intensive starting this Friday, try to identify with your natural state of peace. Everything else – as Pema Chodron taught – is just a simple misunderstanding.

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Yoga Vida Meditation Intensive starts Friday!


May 13 – 22nd, Friday nights 6:30-9p
9a – 6:30p 
Saturday & Sunday
with a 30-day personal meditation challenge

Feature Teachers: Colleen Herman & Nevine Michaan Complete

Dive deep into the heart of the yoga practice with this two-weekend immersion into Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra. Cultivate a personal meditation practice, and learn classic pranayama and meditation techniques to apply in classes and with private clients in a modern way. Lead Yoga Nidra to encourage healing and relaxation.

Throughout this 50 hour module, we’ll explore:

– Yoga Nidra, the art of conscious relaxation
– the history, science, benefits, and accessible techniques
– Kosha theory to address physical, mental, and emotional imbalances
– The neuroscience of Meditation, Yoga Nidra, and Pranayama
– Pranayama for anxiety and depression
– Sacred Geometry Pranayama with guest teacher Nevine Michaan
– Developing a daily meditation practice
– Meditation from the Sutras
– Meditation from the Vedas
– Loving Kindness Meditation
– An introduction to Kundalini meditations and kriyas for memory, healing, focus, and more – Mindfulness
– Kundalini Meditation techniques

All students interested in Meditation & Pranayama are invited to join!

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Article: “Yoga Is Really for Imperfect People”

Hey guys,

My darling yoga geek friends at Yoganonymous just published my last article. I suggested the title, “Return of the Yoga Clown,” but they went with the classier title below. What do you think?

Thanks, D

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Yoga Is Really for Imperfect People

Lately, we’ve had another wave in the culture at large to satire and make fun of our yoga clique.

And why not? The yoga culture is absolutely begging for a good roast. Hula hoops, bandhas, scandals, and unicorns—oh my! It’s like the mid-60s overtook a bad ashram.

So it’s not so much that we’re a known punchline, but that some of the stock yoga characters have already become cliché—the lecherous male yoga teacher (on Modern Family), the hypocritical hot yoga chic (on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) — haven’t we seen these clowns already?

Read More

Excerpts from my “Twist and Transcend | Spring 2016″ Newsletter

Hello, Om-mie Hommies!

Over years of assisting students as they manage issues both mental and physical on the mat, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern.



The student reports that in the past, there was pain.  Maybe it was heartbreak, maybe it was a bum knee, maybe it was both.  But they’ve cared for themselves – seeing the right doctors and getting the go-ahead to practice.  And here they are on the mat, ready to move on.

But instead of fear being left in the past, that old mental pattern shows up again, as if they were still in the trauma.  Fear/trepidation is like an unwanted guest that follows them into the yoga room, begging to be heard. The practicing yogi is immediately engaged by a thought or sensation – not this again!  There’s fear that they’ll never get out of this pattern…but the thing is…they will.



And they usually do.  Each time fear appears, it’s is in a lesser degree than the last time you faced it.  It’s coming up again not to keep you from change, but so that you can transcend it.



Of course, we are all subject to time and space.  Injuries happen and experience comes with some heartbreak.  Through mindfulness, however, we can begin to discern the difference between an injury and the stiffness of scar tissue.  We can see that past disappointment does not equal future disappointment.  With mindfulness comes discernment, and through discernment we can identify the fears and old pain patterns that no longer serve us.  And then we can transcend.



As we open up to the possibilities of spring, we’re focusing on twists in class.  Twists have a way of wringing out what we don’t need, and leaving the body longer and stronger.  Mentally, twists can prepare us for change – empowering us to maintain our center even when life has thrown us a couple curves.



Next time you hit a tough spot on the mat or off, notice if you’re holding your breath.  Then – exhale.  It could be that you’re ready to transcend.


Your Fan,

Dana

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Sound Yoga Therapy

Pure Yoga- East
June 10-12

Immerse yourself in the transformative healing of sound with Jessica and Dana. Learn how sound creates the world, and how to use mantra, music, vibration and rhythm for healing effect. Review the science of sound therapy, and how music can improve mental processing. Learn to chant, play harmonium, tuning forks and Tibetan bowls, and deepen strength of and connection to the voice. Apply classic Vedic, Hindu, and Tibetan mantras to group and one-on-one yoga sessions for a comprehensive list of ailments. Musical instruments are welcome – not required. All curious yogis, teachers, and wellness professionals are welcome to join!

Click here for more information!

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Ayurvedic Prema Yoga Therapeutics 3 Wk Immersion

Pure Yoga- East
July 13-31

Immerse Looking to share the healing power of yoga with those that need it most? This advanced training focuses on teaching private clients and therapeutic students to specifically improve physical and mental imbalances. Use Ayurveda and yoga theory to apply the many techniques and benefits of yoga. Study sacred geometry and how to effectively “read the body” to improve structural alignment. Learn personalized lifestyle choices and self care to maintain your well-being, including Ayurvedic spices and essential oils. Practice teaching one on one, improving your ability to assess learning styles and to provide customized, therapeutic care. Review the red flags of yoga therapy, how to refer out, and how to treat specialized communities, including the elderly and those recovering from acute illness or managing a chronic disease.

Yoga is for everybody – and Prema Yoga Therapeutics prepares you to bring educated, mindful care to all – including yourself. Prema = Love.

Click here for more information!

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Click Here for Dana’s Weekly Schedule

Excerpts from my “Pop into an Amazing Workshop this February″ Newsletter

Hello, Om-mie Hommies!

Can’t commit to a whole training, but wish to deepen your practice, to study with the leaders in therapeutic yoga, and to feel like a college kid again? These amazing workshops are now open to the public. Please reserve your spot ASAP- slots are limited!

Your Fan,
Dana

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The Neuroscience of Yoga:
Yoga As Psychotherapy

with Dr. Chris Walling
Saturday, Feb. 13th 2:30-6 p.m.
Pure East

Since the days of Freud, research into the mind-body relationship has come a long way. Studies show that not only are your mental health and mood dependent in large part on physical factors like exercise, but also unchecked stress, anxiety and depression can affect physical health, increasing blood pressure, heart disease and even risk of death. With the advent of sophisticating imaging technologies, the neurobiological revolution has revolutionized our understanding of the mind body connection, and psychotherapy has changed by abandoning so called “talking cures” and bringing the body into the sense of mental health interventions. Join International Yoga therapist and body psychologist Dr. Chris Walling as he summarizes the latest cutting edge research into the psychological impact of yoga on the brain.

Click here for more information!

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Yoga Therapy for Spine Care & Joint Health

with Dr. Loren Fishman
Friday, Feb. 19 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pure East

Loren Fishman, MD, will share his pioneering, prize-winning research – both published and unpublished – on how yoga heals medical conditions. There will be asana and explanation for the seven major causes of back pain, spinal and bone issues, shoulder pain and more. Dr. Fishman studied with BKS Iyengar for a year in Pune, India, before establishing his 30+ year medical practice in New York.

Click here for more information!
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Tulum Update:

Be impulsive! One king room & two double rooms to share are left!

Rooms are filling fast.
Reserve your spot today!

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Drishti 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training

Costa Rica
April 1-25, 2015

Have you always wanted to do your teacher training, but need a vacation first? Why not do both? I’ll be teaching in this fantastic teacher training in one of the prettiest places in the world: Costa Rica. Be sure to tell them Slampy sent you!

Click here for more information!

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Click Here for Dana’s Weekly Schedule

 

Excerpts from my “Need Sleep & Care? Try the Yoga Clinic this February″ Newsletter

Yoga Therapy Clinics Coming to Pure Yoga 

We’re so pleased to announce that some of the finest therapeutic yoga teachers in NYC will be leading Yoga Therapy Clinics in February on both sides of town.   These semi-private series of 4 clinics focus on one of the following:

Joint Care
Back Care
Athletic Recovery
Sleep Techniques

These clinics are perfect anyone looking to modify their practice to empower their healing, and for those who have heard of evidence-based benefits of yoga, but who cannot attend a group excercise class or afford privates.

Space is limited, and a confidential intake form is required, so be sure to sign up soon!

Grateful,
Dana

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Tulum Update:

Single rooms for our Sweat and Surrender escape are filling up fast!  Reach out to me or Halle to hook up with an awesome roomie, or grab a friend and get yours.  Flights are starting to climb, so lock it down today!

Rooms are filling fast.
 Reserve your spot today!

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Medical Yoga Therapy:

with Dr. Chris Walling,

Dr. Loren Fishman and

Karen Nourizadeh

February 5-28, 2016
Friday 6-9p, Saturday 9a-6p, Sunday 11a-8p

Yoga is growing – AND getting more diverse.  Just check out the statistics from the 2016 Yoga in America Study referenced in this YogaU article!  If you’re a teacher, are you ready for it? Our Prema Yoga Therapeutics Programs provide you with immediate skills to use when teaching diverse populations.  Our next training – Medical Yoga Therapy – has only 6 spots left.  Please click here to check out all our offerings at, and to see what’s right for you.

We’re thrilled to announce that our Medical Yoga Therapy Course is approved to provide 74 Continuing Education Units to nurses and psychologists.  Please spread the news to those you know in the medical community who would like to integrate yoga breathing and healing postures, Yoga Nidra, and mindfulness into their practices.

Click here to sign up today.

For CEU’s, Email Dana to find out more.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Dr. Loren Fishman, MD, and team will present evidence and yoga posture techniques to address:

– Neurological and Musculoskeletal Back Pain
– Scoliosis and Bone Health
– Rotator Cuff Syndrome
– Osteoporosis
and more.

Dr. Chris Walling, Somatic Psychologist, will present cutting-edge findings on how yoga addresses mental and emotional imbalances, including:

– Chronic pain
– PTSD and trauma
– Burnout / Stress Management
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Auto-immune disorders
and more.

Learn Yoga Nidra, postures and movement, mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises, and coaching techniques to address a broad array of conditions, including:

– PTSD and trauma
– Anxiety/Depression
– Stress management
– Heart disease and cancer prevention
– Chronic Pain
– Chronic Disease management
and more.

Prema Yoga Therapy trainings cultivate a community of like-minded individuals, sharing healing approaches from ancient traditions within evidence-based perspectives. Medical Yoga Therapy prepares professionals to integrate yoga into medical care, whether they work in yoga, complimentary medicine, or Western medicine. Approaches are practical, experiential, and evidence-based. Perfect for yoga teachers, therapists, mental health and medical providers alike.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Click here to sign up today.

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For Dana’s Weekly Schedule click here.

Excerpts from my “Tidying Up in 2016” Newsletter

Tidying Up in 2016

Happy New Year!  I hope that you’re staying warm and inspired in these shiny new days of 2016.  This year holds so much potential for us all.

Lately I’ve been following the organizational techniques made popular by Marie Kondo’s book,  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”  Her main technique is to hold an item close, sense if it brings you joy, and throw it away if it doesn’t.  So far, I’ve delivered 11 bags of donations to my local thrift store and 4 bags of old paperwork to the recycling bin.  Not only does my place feel more clean and tidy for the new year, but I get a secondary hit of joy of walking by the thrift store, and seeing that my old stuff was only displayed a few days before it was snatched up.

For me, this has been a conscious act – a metaphor for the emotional “cleaning up” needed to live my life more fully and honestly.  I’ve resisted unilateral decisions, instead initiating talks with people dear to me to “tidy up” our dynamic.  I’ve trimmed my schedule to devote my energy to the amazing events below, and to find precious free time for dreaming and friends and self care.

At home, the hardest places to clean have been the little nooks and cranny’s where I stored up old, sentimental stuff.  I was happy to come across an old Domestic Partnership Testament that my former boyfriend and I signed and sent in for insurance that year.   I got to tear it up, releasing the past.  It was trickier to tear up an old love letter, where he called me the “brightest star in his sky.”  But I did it – and with gratefulness.  [A good mantra for this kind of work:  “I was loved, I am loved, I will be loved.” ]

To clean up my “head space” – what the yogis call thecittakash – I’ve enlisted the help of a Life Coach.  Together, we meditate – always – with gratefulness.  I have already done the deep cleaning of scrubbing the past with my forgiveness, but there seems to be some hidden corners of my mindset that have not been purified with gratefulness.

And I’m just beginning to see the transformative effects of complete gratefulness.
Forgiveness releases others from your judgments, and you from the old mental pattern of hurt and blame.   But gratefulness can wash the entire slate clean!

Curious yet?  Come see me in class, or try this simple meditation detailed below at home.

See you on the mat,
 Slampy

Yoga Vida – Vinyasa Sequencing & Assists Training
Feb. 15-24

with Dana, Dominic Sarvino, Ali Cramer, and Ashtanga teacher Adam Wade starts January 15th!

Join me & the new generation of vinyasa leaders at my new downtown haunt,  Yoga Vida, in what is sure to be an innovative 300 hour program.

This first module features a two-weekend immersion into how to create your own unique class that honors and proffers from classic vinyasa krama.  Learn how and why vinyasa works, and how to hold to hold a safe yet exciting and transformative space for your students.

This official sign-up deadline is this Sunday January 10!  If you wish to deepen your vinyasa teaching, don’t let it pass you by!  Pop in for just one module, or get this required module under your belt.

Perfect for all teachers with the equivalent of a YA 200.

Click here to register!

Tulum Update:

Single rooms for our Sweat and Surrender escape are filling up fast!  Reach out to me or Halle to hook up with an awesome roomie, or grab a friend and get yours.  Flights are starting to climb, so lock it down today!

Rooms are filling fast.
Reserve your spot today!

 

Medical Yoga Therapy:
with Dr. Chris Walling,
Dr. Loren Fishman and Karen Nourizadeh
February 5-28, 2016
Friday 6-9p, Saturday 9a-6p, Sunday 11a-8p

We’re thrilled to announce that our Medical Yoga Therapy Course is approved to provide 74 Continuing Education Units to nurses and psychologists.  Please spread the news to those you know in the medical community who would like to integrate yoga breathing and healing postures, Yoga Nidra, and mindfulness into their practices.

We also have about 10 spaces left for yoga teachers who’d like the skills to modify teaching for injury in an accessible way. These valuable skills are becoming more in demand, as experts like our own Dr. Loren Fishman release 
evidence-based studies of the efficacy of yoga.

For CEU’s, Email Dana to find out more.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Dr. Loren Fishman, MD, and team will present evidence and yoga posture techniques to address:

– Neurological and Musculoskeletal Back Pain
– Scoliosis and Bone Health
– Rotator Cuff Syndrome
– Osteoporosis
and more.

Dr. Chris Walling, Somatic Psychologist, will present cutting-edge findings on how yoga addresses mental and emotional imbalances, including:

– Chronic pain
– PTSD and trauma
– Burnout / Stress Management
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Auto-immune disorders
and more.

Learn Yoga Nidra, postures and movement, mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises, and coaching techniques to address a broad array of conditions, including:

– PTSD and trauma
– Anxiety/Depression
– Stress management
– Heart disease and cancer prevention
– Chronic Pain
– Chronic Disease management
and more.

Prema Yoga Therapy trainings cultivate a community of like-minded individuals, sharing healing approaches from ancient traditions within evidence-based perspectives. Medical Yoga Therapy prepares professionals to integrate yoga into medical care, whether they work in yoga, complimentary medicine, or Western medicine. Approaches are practical, experiential, and evidence-based. Perfect for yoga teachers, therapists, mental health and medical providers alike.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Click here to sign up today.

Prema Yoga Therapy Clinics

Care to see all that we will be offering in February of 2015?  Yoga Therapy Clinics are doctor-advised, and provide individualized care from some of New York’s finest therapeutic teachers, including Erica Mather, Karen Nourizideh, Jon Witt, Stephanie Ervin, and Taylor Dunham!  See if it’s right for you or a loved one that you would like to empower in the healing process. Yoga is a gift that can keep on giving throughout our lifetime. It belongs to none, but is made for all. Clinics address back care, joint health, sleep techniques, and athletic recovery.

Click here to see upcoming clinics!

Gratefulness Meditation

Sit in an easy way with your spine nice and long. Inhale and lift your shoulders towards your ears, then sigh it out as you drop your shoulders down and back. Repeat three times.Then, with your eyes closed or the gaze low and calm, bring your awareness to your breath, breathing through your nose. Observe how the belly expands when you inhale, and decreases when you exhale. Observe your deep breath without changing it.

On the inhale, say to yourself in your head, “I am grateful for- ”
On the exhale, complete this statement.

Keep this mantra going as you breathe, stating a new thing or person or quality you’re grateful for with every exhale. Five minutes can change your perspective. Practicing for 11 minutes or more can go into more ingrained opinions and thoughts. Observe what comes up, and “wash” it with your gratefulness.

Let me know how it goes! Grateful, Dana

Dana’s Weekly Schedule

Monday
4:30p Hot Power @Pure West
7:45p Hot Slow Flow @ Pure West
Tuesday
10:30a Yin/Yang @ Pure East
6p Prema Vinyasa Lv. 2 @Pure East
Wednesday
12:30p Hot Flow @ Yoga Vida *NEW CLASS
5:00p Slow Flow @ Pure West
Sunday
11a Prema Vinyasa Lv. 2 @ Pure West
2:00p Hot Flow @Yoga Vida *NEW CLASS
4:30p Prema Vinyasa 2/3 @Pure East
6:30p Restorative @ Pure East

Excerpts from My September Newsletter

Follow Your Bliss in the New “School” Year

Hey Om-y Homies!  I trust you had an amazing summer.  In Prema Yoga Therapeutics, we graduated 14 teachers from the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Training Immersion, and still had time for a great vacation.  As we transition to fall and vata season, it seems the whole world is in transition as well.  Now is a time to empower our inner guide, and to seek outwardly what the heart inwardly desires.
In class,  we’re exploring the archetype of the eagle. Garudasana is commonly translated as “eagle pose,” but is named for a greater mythological creature named Garuda, the king of the eagles.  Garuda helps Vishnu – god of love and life – to see above the terrain and to go where he wishes to go.  Pursuing “garuda” energy means  developing one’s vision past your current drama, and honing in on just where your dharma (or truth) is meant to take you.
This coming year, I’m deeply pleased to join forces with some of the greatest “heart teachers” I know – all of them experts in their knowledge base – who follow their bliss with such a trailblazing presence that they light up the path for the rest of us.
I know that if I’m to ask you to follow for your bliss, I must do the same.  Each project is a true labor of love – come join us!
Announcing…

Follow Your Bliss  2015/2016

Yoga Sound Therapy Immersion with Jessica Caplan
Tulum Sweat & Surrender Retreat with Halle Becker
> Advanced Trainings at Yoga Vida and Ohra Yoga
> 200 Hour Teacher Training offerings with Drishti Yoga in Costa Rica and Three Sisters Yoga in Portland
And the granddaddy of them all….
> Medical Yoga Therapy Training with Dr. Chris Walling,  Dr. Loren Fishman, and Karen Nourizadeh.

Where is you bliss leading you?  I’m thrilled to see where our paths will connect this coming year!
Looking forward,
Dana

Yoga Sound Therapy Immersion:

With Jessica Caplan

Friday-Sunday Nov. 6-8 and Saturday Nov. 14

Pure West

Immerse yourself in the transformative healing of sound with Jessica and Dana. Learn how sound creates the world, and how to use mantra, music, vibration and rhythm for healing effect. Review the science of sound therapy, and how music can improve mental processing. Learn to chant, play harmonium, tuning forks and Tibetan bowls, and deepen strength of and connection to the voice. Apply classic Vedic, Hindu, and Tibetan mantras to group and one-on-one yoga sessions for a comprehensive list of ailments. Musical instruments are welcome – not required. All curious yogis, teachers, and wellness professionals are welcome to join!
Tulum Sweat & Surrender Retreat with Halle Becker:

Amansala Eco-Chic Resort in Tulum, Mexico

February 17-22, 2016

Indulge in a 6 day, 5 night Power Yoga retreat in paradise. Tag-team workshops twice per day with Halle & Dana, power beach walks, snorkeling, bike rides, and Mayan adventures fill your days for a retreat to strengthen your mind and your core.

Click here for more information!

Medical Yoga Therapy:

with Dr. Chris Walling, Dr. Loren Fishman and Karen Nourizadeh
February 5 – 28, 2016

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of Yoga Therapy can powerfully compliment Western medicine. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can easily be incorporated into conventional treatment models for both behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Dive into the literature on cutting-edge somatic psychological theory, and learn evidence based mind body interventions for chronic pain, depression, burnout, or anxiety. Practice assessment strategies to apply Yoga Therapy, and the appropriate indicators for referrals. Participants will also learn how to apply Motivational Interviewing skills – a proven peer coaching technique that can help overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices. Learn how to use the HeartMath (TM) system to manage stress, increase resilience and more. Perfect for yoga teachers, therapists, mental health and allopathic medical providers alike.

Click here for more information!

Shop Prema Style!

Now introducing Prema Therapeutics’ new “Shopping” page! Shop for Hyde Organic Yoga Apparel and Banyan Botanicals here! When shopping with Hyde, be sure to use the code “Dana10”! I absolutely love the products these companies provide, and, most importantly, how they produce them. They have both positively influenced my yoga journey so much. Hyde is a locally-owned company that sources organic, breathable cotton from fair labor businesses. Banyan Botanicals is the leader in providing Ayurvedic products you can count on.

ayurveda and pleasure [ayurveda series no. 2]

Recently I was asked to contribute an article to the site the Five Tattvas.  A sampling is below.  Enjoy the whole article here.
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Dana Slamp

Guess what? There’s a lot of it!

At the beginning of this earth, legend has it that the Devas (the demigods) and the Asuras (the demons) each desired the nectar of immortality.

To possess the nectar, they first had to draw it up from the ocean of consciousness. But how? The Ocean of Milk was vast – even for deities – and held its secrets beneath fathoms of icy green water. They determined to stir it up – to churn the waters until they got what they wanted. To that end, they picked up a mountain and turned it upside down into the ocean to use as a “churning stick.” To turn it, they enlisted Vasuki, the snake. But when they wrapped the snake around the mountain and worked together, with each camp pulling on one side at a time like a cosmic tug of war, the mountain did nothing but drill into the earth.

Luckily Kurma, the tortoise, volunteered to swim to the bottom of the ocean, withdraw his five limbs and head, and become the base for the mountain. After this cosmic engineering, a great many vast and wonderful things emerged from that ocean. There are many ways to tell the stories that grew out of this episode. I will tell you one as it was told to me:

The last deity to emerge was Lord Dhanvantari – medic to the gods and the father of Ayurveda. And what did he hold in his hand but Amrita – the nectar of immortality!

A great fight was soon brewing. Each side wanted the nectar for its own. Any camaraderie that had been built in their endeavor was immediately lost. The Devas readied their weapons as the Asuras’ breath focused into flames. It seemed like what little existed of the world was about to die in a clash of opposites – the hideous magnet that is war.

Lord Dhanvantari, an avatar of Vishnu, prayed for help. And this time Lord Vishnu sent another avatar in the form of Mohini. Mohini was beyond beautiful – she was beauty itself. When she moved her hips, the pleasure of the vision settled the armies immediately. When she spoke her honeyed words, they agreed to come to terms.

Mohini assured them that each one could get a taste of immortality. All they had to do was line up, like boys, in an orderly line. She was so beautiful and persuasive that they complied immediately. Mohini then went down the line, placing a drop of nectar on each of the Devas’ tongues. The Asuras waited patiently, their fiery breath contained. But when Mohini got to their place in the line, she began to disappear!

The largest and closest of the demons reached out to grab her and stop her. But Mohini’s curves were ephemeral, and all he could grasp was the edge of her sari. At that moment, a drop of the nectar fell to the earth.

From that drop came all the vitality of all earthly living. Using this force is called Ayurveda.

To read the whole article click here.

Need an Abundance Tune-up?

Recently I was asked to contribute articles to the new “Embodied Philosophy” site the Five Tattvas.  I chose a personal subject for me – tackling inherited Poverty Mentality from an Ayurvedic perspective.  A sampling is below.  Enjoy the whole article here.

Tips to Tune-up your Abundance Mentality

Abundance is a practice, and takes time to become your new mindset.  If – like me – you’ve discovered that you have a worldview that might not be serving you, give it time!  I see my students and family members evolving every day.  Part of living abundantly is acknowledging your personal progress as well.

Here’s a few truths I’ve learned in my transition from a mindset of scarcity to abundance:

  • We’re already rich.  We are living in a time and place that is absolutely abundant with opportunity.  There are times and places on this earth where people don’t have enough food or a roof over their heads.  We are not in one of them.
  • You need very little of what is being sold to you.  Take a look at your monthly bills and credit card statements.  Are these all necessities?  Are you using some funds for your pleasure (another purpose of life), or are you using a pursuit of pleasure to avoid the present?  Pleasure is passing and variable.
  • Contentment is free, but must be cultivated through proper thought and discipline.  For a quick jolt of contentment, try some time in nature.  For me, a swim or a walk in the trees can bring me back to equilibrium.
  • Care for your earnings, and your earnings will care for you.  Be sure to always save a little income, and invest when you can.  This will give you the security you need to continue giving.
  • Being abundant costs less in the long run.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away from a group dinner wishing that I wasn’t petty about the check, or walked away from a conversation wishing that I had been more generous in listening and with my compliments.  When I am abundant – and still well within my means –  I can reserve this mental energy instead of using it to judge or second-guess myself.
  • If you are too busy to volunteer sometimes, you are probably making yourself too busy.  Is checking social media absorbing too much time? Do you have a tendency to overbook projects, or to overbook your children in programs? The world needs your skill set and your expertise in service, and service can instantly bring you back to a state of abundance.
  • Ask for what you need, including help.  As a woman, I’ve had to learn negotiating skills that protect me from over-giving at work and over-exerting for less income then I may deserve.  As a stubborn woman, I’ve had to learn to ask for help!
  • Give from your “froth” and not from your “depth.”  This advice comes directly from Nevine Michaan, master teacher of Katona Yoga. To give from my froth, I must first “fill up” with satisfying hobbies and down time, not just fulfilling work.
  • Take time out every day, every week, and every season.  “Dharma jobs” often have odd schedules – nurses and doctors can work 14 hour shifts.  Yoga teachers can never take a day off.  A parent’s work is never done.  Be sure to be abundant with time for yourself.

And when in doubt, always practice gratefulness. A quick inventory of all you have may reveal that you are already in abundance.  If your worry is overwhelming, try one of my favorite mantras:

There is plenty of time
There is plenty of money
There is plenty of space
There is plenty of love.

Good Vibrations: Pitta Season Approaches

Well, Summer is al​most here at last. I’m preparing the Summer Solstice Handstand/Backbend Workshop and the Ayurveda Yoga Therapy Immersion – and I feel like I’ve been getting the gang together for one last heist!

The incomparable Naveen Michaan, Founder of Katonah Yoga, will be teaching Sacred Geometry in Prema’s Ayurveda Yoga Therapy Immersion  July 14 – August 2 at Pure East. Studying with Naveen has changed the way that I look at bodies forever. Her keen eye considers the sacred geometry of who we are, how we became what we are, and how we can transform for greater ease and happiness.

We’ll take a field trip to the Town of Mid (i.e.: 57th Street) to study with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein. As a chiropractor and teacher, Gregg has a way of making even the most scary back-injury “-isms” understandable and manageable. I always leave his lectures feeling ready to empower back injury clients to move and be well.

My first Ayurvedic teacher – Alison Cramer of Laughing  Lotus fame – is going to teach us how to mix spices to treat doshic imbalances, and Pure’s own Private Yoga Manager, Sonja Rzepski, will be guiding us through teaching privates for abundance – in complete alignment with the principles of yoga.  Check out her inspiring interview below.

I’m so honored and humbled to have these guys back on the team.  Be sure to sign up to reserve your spot soon.
And if you have any backbend or handstand varieties that you’d like to break down in the Summer Solstice Workshop June 19th,  holler back – I am taking requests!

Grateful, Dana