the new yoga competition

i remember when i first heard about bikram’s asana championship (was it in 2002?). i was absolutely appalled. how could there be an asana championship when asana is a state of mind far more than a state of body? were they going to attach electrodes to competitors’ heads to see who was the calmest? fast…

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instant karma’s not gonna get you

bad news. instant karma is not gonna get you. worse news. there’s no such thing as instant karma beyond the beatles. as my mom always told me, “life is not a meritocracy.” and as an adult, i can now attest (excuse my french), “no shit.” i say this by way of justifying the karmic concept,…

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what would bob do?

when i started yoga–around the turn of the century–each asana had two names. one was the sanskrit name and one was the translation. bhujangasana, cobra. dhanurasana, bow. natarajasana, king dancer. these days, it seems every pose has a hundred names. none in sanskrit and none in translation. classic asana nomenclature has transformed into modern slang.…

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you don't need a yin practice.

By Shana | January 23, 2015

so, i was working with a student–coincidentally named yin–and she was pontificating the value of a yin practice. her exact words (to the best of my recollection): “i really should start a yin practice, huh?” honestly, my response: no. let me preface this by saying these are my thoughts while i am still (relatively) young…

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get smart

By Shana | December 25, 2014

’tis the season. christmas. the time of year where i have to explain over and over again why i–a jew–do not celebrate christmas. the conversation usually goes something like this: them: merry christmas. me: thanks, but i’m jewish. i don’t celebrate christmas. 🙂 them: really? why not? me: because i’m jewish. them: but why don’t…

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om sweet om

By Shana | October 29, 2014

so it took me a little while to foster a consistent home practice. a few years really…well, let’s be honest, a decade… for the first few years, i would hunker down for a home practice, do a few sun salutations, a couple of poses, and ten minutes later, i was done. that was the end…

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a simple test to find out if you are ready for level 2/3 yoga classes…

By Shana | October 21, 2014

So, some people think they are ready for a 2/3 yoga class…until they actually take one and the truth becomes readily apparent. Here’s an easy test to determine whether you are 2/3 caliber: Go to a Level 2/3 yoga class. If you can’t wait for the next one, you’re ready. If you can’t bear the…

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how to go to an awesome yoga workshop and get absolutely nothing out of it

By Shana | October 10, 2014

one lovely day many years ago, i was lucky enough to attend an amazing, exclusive, private workshop with a world famous yogi who offered to teach a handful of people how to press into handstand. for a few hours, the group of us pushed and pressed our way through the material. everyone in the room…

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because i said you can…that’s why….

By Shana | August 14, 2014

it’s funny. i mean not ha-ha funny, but funny nonetheless. i work with a lot of special needs yoga students (that’s not the funny part), of every age and every challenge, be it mental, physical, or emotional. most of the time, i make tremendous strides. i’ve had a student come to me in a wheelchair…

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about last night…

By Shana | July 12, 2014

so…about last night. it wasn’t a great night. as some of you know, i am pretty active in pro-israel politics (“pretty active” as in: it’s the single most important thing in my life) and the recent events in israel have been quite unsettling, to say the least. it’s been a few days of conference call…

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the spiritual handstand

By Shana | July 3, 2014

So, here I am minding my own business, taking advantage of the awesome summer sun, practicing on the cliffs in Santa Monica. Runners run by, bikers bike, strollers stroll…and then there’s this one random guy who feels it is very important to take it upon himself, come over to me, yell that “That’s not yoga,…

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my million dollar baby moment

By Shana | June 12, 2014

okay…i’ll admit it’s not the easiest transition in yoga, but honestly, it’s not the hardest one either. in fact, it’s pretty manageable…albeit perhaps a tad bit scary. i’m talking about vrschikasana in adho mukha vrksasana to gandha behrundasana, silly! but of course! oh…sound like sanskrit to you? basically, it’s going from scorpion in a handstand…

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there’s no business like yoga business…and i mean that literally…

By Shana | March 14, 2014

i’ll admit, i’ve been called a lot of things in my day–mostly behind my back–but the one thing that kills me every time is when people (let’s call them yoga instructors) accuse me of being (brace yourself) a businesswoman. usually in the form of “you think this is a business! it’s not! it’s yoga!” oh,…

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now, that's the yoga spirit!

By Shana | February 20, 2014

so…here’s a challenge…find the spirituality in a yoga class…in los angeles. i’ll wait… waiting… still waiting… sort of hard to find, huh? lodged somewhere deep between the guy with the turban who molests women and the naked girl who does a really nice split…it’s there…i promise you. and it’s there in every class. preposterous, i…

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the one yoga pose you never suspected would revolutionize your handstands forever!

By Shana | February 15, 2014

okay, i’m about to share a deep, dark secret with you about handstands. so, brace yourself. when i ask people what part of their body they think affects their ability to handstand the most, the #1 response i get is arms–or shoulders. and, yes, without arms and shoulders, handstands would be a bitch. pardonnez mon…

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how to go vegan in three easy steps

By Shana | November 22, 2013

there are some very hard things about being a vegan. for one, you can’t be a party to hurting, killing, or maiming any animals. (sorry!) like, you can’t trade the pain of an animal for the satisfaction of your sweet tooth, for example. it took me 21 years of being a strict vegetarian to finally…

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sagging upwards: the yoga inversion secret you need to know!

By Shana | September 11, 2013

ever see one of those REALLY OLD yogis or yoginis and wondered how on earth they stay so young? if the answer is no, it’s probably because you did see one but didn’t even realize it because s/he seemed so strong and vibrant. there is a secret, you know. the yoga fountain of youth, if…

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the party’s over

By Shana | August 16, 2013

so, i was leading this fabulous handstand workshop. everyone was having a great time. it was like the best party you’ve ever been to, minus the sex, drugs, and alcohol. rock stars everywhere, legs flying hither and nigh. fun! fun! smile! smile! fun! yay! and then, out of nowhere, the whole world came crashing down.…

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pump up the volume! somewhere else…

By Shana | June 11, 2013

let me preface this post by saying that i love music. from classical to classic rock, and even country, i love it all. you would be hard-pressed to find any genre on earth missing from my ipod, and music keeps me company pretty much every moment that i’m awake…except while i’m practicing yoga. kill me…

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are your goals holding you back???

By Shana | June 6, 2013

when i was just a wee lass of maybe 14, my father handed me a dumbbell. it was some random dumbbell, whatever weight, and he asked me how many times i thought i could curl it. sporty spice that i was, i picked a high number–say, 50–and he handed me the weight and told me…

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you complete me yoga-ly

By Shana | January 17, 2013

here in america, we say “hi” and we say “bye” and, so far as i can tell, those words in their deepest, most profound translations mean “hello” and “goodbye”.  it’s really nice that we wish that the “bye” is a good one…that’s how thoughtful we americans are! 🙂 in india, they say “namaste”. it’s sort…

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how you know you've arrived

By Shana | December 14, 2012

what level are you? surely, you’ve been asked that before. so, what do you answer? level one? two? three? (that’s clever yoga-speak for beginner, intermediate, or advanced). how do you know? because you can do a handstand? because you can’t do a handstand? actually…neither factor matters one bit. and if you think it does, you’re…

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how you know you’ve arrived

By Shana | December 14, 2012

what level are you? surely, you’ve been asked that before. so, what do you answer? level one? two? three? (that’s clever yoga-speak for beginner, intermediate, or advanced). how do you know? because you can do a handstand? because you can’t do a handstand? actually…neither factor matters one bit. and if you think it does, you’re…

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p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face!

By Shana | November 28, 2012

staring contest! no smiling! (but you can blink!) and what does this have to do with yoga at all??? well, a big part of yoga is practicing non-reactivity. and… we all know that when we feel emotions, our facial muscles tell our story. we’re happy, we smile. sad, we frown. did you know, however, that…

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