Yoga Belly Blog

Committed to delivering the 𝖌𝖓𝖆𝖗𝖑𝖎𝖊𝖘𝖙 yoga experience.

Happy Friday!

October 14, 2011 / Aaron

Happy Friday everyone!

In anticipation of Halloween at YB...

How I Met My Hamstrings: Behind the Scenes of a Private Yoga Lesson (And Why You Should Probably Get One): Part I

October 13, 2011 / Aaron


A few weeks ago, I had my first private yoga lesson.

I wanted to make sure I had all my basics covered, so that I could move into more challenging poses with ta solid foundation. I didn't want to learn any bad habits, and I felt like I was ready for the "next step" in yoga.

So, I show up to the studio, and to warm up, I have to get into headstand and touch my feet to the floor and back up again, five times. I'm a little nervous about the piking part, but my headstand has felt strong for months, so I figure I'll give it a try.

Cue humble pie.

First off, I hadn't been doing headstand properly. I didn't realize there was a "proper" way, I thought as long as your feet went over your head and you didn't topple over onto anyone, you were golden. I was wrong. My elbows were too far apart, my head was too close to my hands, it was a disaster.

Here's where a private lesson starts looking different from a group class: EVERY little detail gets serious attention. In a group of 15 students, no instructor has the time to kneel down by you, skooch your elbows into exactly the right position, and stand behind you as you lift your feet up. In a private lesson, everything gets adjusted precisely, and when I picked up my shaking legs, the instructor was right behind me, guiding my hips, pointing out things I didn't even notice (like, apparently I was leaning more on one elbow than the other). Nothing was overlooked. I got massaged every time I took a break. I started to realize just how much I was in for, and I was loving it.

Coming Up: Sun Salutations (And you thought they were easy!)

Thought For Your Tuesday

October 11, 2011 / Aaron

...because who doesn't need a little Zen?

“A person who is a master in the art of living makes little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their mind and their body, their education and their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which and simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace, whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them they are always doing both.”

--Zen Poet

So Much Fun Stuff

October 10, 2011 / Aaron


Happy Monday yogis and yoginis! I am grudgingly back from Puerto Vallarta, a little tanner, with a little cold, and with a yoga-less week behind me... I'm jonesing for my yoga fix, hard core.

Luckily, we've got a ton of events coming up! For those of you who missed the email (or just need to hear things twice):

Date Night

Date night returns on Friday, October 21! Led by Edna and Rodney, couples can enjoy an evening learning partner yoga and Thai massage. Space will be limited to 12 couples. For more details or to book your spots here.

Thriller Night

Come join us for our very first Halloween bash on Saturday October 29th. The theme this year: Fitness-wear of the ages. Please come in your most fabulous retro fitness wear (leg warmers, head bands, tights, you name it) and let's get the party started. Please bring your drink of choice and we'll provide munchies. Party goes from 8-11pm... Bring a friend like Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons.


Yoga Belly Power Bake

October 6, 2011 / Aaron

I wanted to catch up with Melissa Carlson and find out more about the Power Bake that she has coming up on October 16, 2011. I had never heard about a power bake and so I thought maybe our avid Yoga Belly Blog / Facebook readers would want to hear more about it. So here is a little Q & A with our very own Melissa Carlson:
Q. Is this your first power bake?
A. This is not my first power bake, it’s my fourth.
Q. Who came up with this concept?
A. Linda McGrath, owner of Yoga Source Los Gatos came up with the concept
Q. What is a Power Bake?
A. Power bake is basically a longer power class which gives us a chance to play more. We try to do ALL the poses from easy to more advanced.
Q. What is the benefit of a power bake?
A. benefit? haha, well that’s a tough question. everyone is going to have a different experience, but at the very least it is meant to be fun! I mean who does all the yoga poses in 3 hours? Have you ever left a yoga class and wanted a little more, to go a little deeper? Well this workshop leaves no stone unturned. We are going to try it all.
Q. What’s it like to do 3 hours of yoga in a row?
A. In the past, people have said time goes so fast. making sure to drink enough water and nutrients the day before will ensure a better performance just like any activity.
Q. What can people expect?
Expect to do a lot of yoga poses!
If you all haven’t had an opportunity to meet Melissa and experience her practice you are surely missing out. What an amazing light that emanates from her as she lights up with a smile as you engage her in conversation. I asked her if she wanted to share anything with Yoga Belly so we can get to know her better and she told me, “well I am a Nurse, a bartender and a yoga teacher. How deep do you want to go? Cause I will go there…” What an amazing woman, so open. If you get the chance to sign up for the Power Bake please do so. Challenge yourself in a different way and push your yoga boundaries to go deeper into your practice. You can sign up today by clicking:

Yoga Belly is Lululemon Palo Alto's studio of the month

October 3, 2011 / Aaron

So many cool things are happening in October. Make sure you check your e-mail for the October newsletter for highlights on some of the events in October. Today we are featuring the fact that we are Lululemon Palo Alto's studio of the month. I dont want to ruin any of the surprises but I will say. Expect the unexpected this month....

Happy Friday!

September 30, 2011 / Aaron

Have a great weekend lovelies... I'll be in Mexico (sending a smoke signal up to Edna) all of next week but will resume business as usual on Monday, October 10th.



Shout Out...

September 29, 2011 / Aaron

... to Fiona for being the first instructor I've heard play RENT during class! Yes!

Oh, and for kicking our butts too, oui.

Oh, and for those of you who haven't noticed, we have another blogger on board! Aaron will now be joining the conversation and adding his voice to the YB blog. Weeeeeelcome, Aaron!!

Yoga Belly’s 2nd year is going to be bigger and better!

September 29, 2011 / Aaron

If you have been in the studio this week you have seen a new addition to the Yoga Belly experience. We’ve upgraded our disco ball to the next level! In case you have ever wondered why we have a disco ball in the studio I should give you a little background info. Way back in the day William and I had a little business called Club Yoga. A workshop that combined dance and yoga that we would go around to different studio’s and play dance music and set up these 4 little plug in disco balls w/ built in lights that were on a stand and about the size of your fist balled up. We would place our little balls around the room and William would teach inspired dance sequences using your favorite yoga poses. We were trying to blend fun, movement and a light-hearted approach to yoga. For a while Club Yoga was on the schedule at YogaSource Palo Alto on Wednesday nights (A special plug for our good friends at YogaSource, we love them). When William and I decided to take the playfulness to the next level and start our own yoga studio one of the first decisions we made was to put in a disco ball with lights so the studio would convert easily to a party. This is the foundation of Yoga Belly philosophy… Work hard, play hard, have fun, enjoy the life that you have been given and make yoga a part of your life. Yoga will accentuate your existence making your life better, fuller and stronger.
As part of the changes that you will see taking place around the studio in year 2 of Yoga Belly, the first is a bigger ball. Start at the core and work your way out. We have some exciting plans in store for you in the coming year. Thank you for your patronage and next time your frustrated that you can’t float with grace into some of the more difficult yoga poses, look up and see the giant disco ball and remember…it’s not that serious, you’re practicing yoga under our giant shiny ball. So if your preference is the smaller balls or the new bigger balls… Smile and enjoy your experience in the studio!
Much Love,

Anyone Looking for a Gently Used Yoga Mat...

September 28, 2011 / Aaron

... this one comes with a pretty detailed usage history. Hilarious! Enjoy : )


Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.

Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don't exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.

Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.

It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other's body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don't worry, I'll mention them later.)

It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.

It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I'm in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, "for better or worse" is what we committed to so we press on.

The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.

This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?

140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don't get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!

150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed.
I lose consciousness.

I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can't really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.

I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it's voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It's like juice and cracker time, ok?

It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?

Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and 'cool down' in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.

My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level - probably by 15 degrees. So let's conservatively say it's 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.

The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day's turmoil and mental scaring.

Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein -- effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the "shakes" consume my body.

Note to self - check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.

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