Empowerment Through Yoga Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

For women, who make up 72% of yoga practitioners in the U.S., yoga has been lauded for its ability to cultivate self-love, confidence, and inner peace as well as strength, courage, and vitality. Yoga has fueled many heroine journeys.  

For BAMBU’s Kim Winnick, pranayama (yogic breath) gave her the power to overcome debilitating anxiety. Yoga taught Tracy Tushar that she didn’t need to “earn” the peace and quiet she craved, empowering her to prioritize her needs.

March 8 is International Women’s Day and in honor of our students – most of whom are women – we want to celebrate you and your stories of Empowerment Through Yoga. 

Through my practice of yoga, I realize all beings everywhere deserve peace and happiness it does not have to be earned.

~ Tracy Tushar

Has yoga helped you curb anxiety, reduce stress, and discover the joy of being in your body? Maybe it taught you the importance of deep and profound rest. Did it provide tools for you to step into your power and live life on your own terms? Whether it’s resulted in physical strengthening or mental fortitude, changes big or small, your yoga story is unique and worthy of reflection and celebration.

What is your story? How has yoga at BAMBU made a difference in how you live your life? Tell us about it here and we’ll send you a gift.

You can read Kim’s story here.

Maria De Noda On Core Strength Vinyasa and Her Upcoming Workshop

IMG_2851Maria De Noda has trained in many styles, and is influenced by many teachers but her biggest influences in body movement, alignment and anatomy have been Sadie Nardini, Leslie Kaminoff and Tom Myers. She has studied extensively under the guidance of Sadie in Core Strength Vinyasa and has a personal yoga practice of over 20 years. Maria is registered through Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Maria brought Core Strength Vinyasa to BAMBU at her sold out workshop in October. She returns later this month with Rediscover Your Power: Warrior Flow. We had a chance to ask Maria a few questions about the event on behalf of BAMBU students.

Core strength vinyasa yoga sounds like something for only very strong and athletic students. Is that true?

Not at all. Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga (CSVY) is a practice open to everyone. I teach it to all levels from individuals with health problems who practice in a chair to those who ran a marathon over the weekend. The practice works with the deep core line of the body, engaging deeper muscles than other practices. Most of us use the outer muscles of the body, but in this style of yoga, we learn to engage the muscles that are deep inside the body to make your yoga practice more effective no matter what your experience or fitness level is.

What differences will I notice with this style of yoga?

What is different about CSVY is that with it the body moves in a more natural, holistic and therapeutic way than the traditional yoga practices. The poses are the same, but HOW to get into them is different. A yoga pose is a template, and students in this style learn to fit their body appropriately into that template, with what feels right for them. Everyone’s pose shouldn’t be the same exact one and that’s OK. CSVY is about true balance and finding a practice that is right for you so you can own it. The practice is based on new, real world anatomy and biomechanics. As we learn more about the body a yoga practice needs to evolve and change. I will be bringing you the latest information.

Who is this workshop designed for?

The workshop is designed for everyone. New students can come and learn more about the body and how to safely transition from one pose to another. There will be plenty of modifications and suggestions. Advanced students will learn how to enhance their current practice by engaging deep core muscles that don’t get engaged in a traditional yoga practice. CSVY doesn’t take away from anyone’s practice; it adds to it. Yoga Teachers can come and get CE credit by studying with me and learn new ways to lead students in a more holistic, safe and natural way. Keep in mind that I am the only yoga teacher in this area qualified to teach this style as I am a CSVY Master Trainer and have spent the last couple of years studying the style with the creator, Sadie Nardini, in person and assist at her workshops. Come learn something unique. Your body will thank you.

Is this the same as the workshop you did in October?

No, this workshop is new and different from the previous one. While we will be reviewing some of the information from October as a refresher and also for anyone who might have missed that workshop, we will be learning new poses and new ways of coming into them. This workshop will focus on the Warrior series and I will be bringing in more things that I have learned as I continue to train with my teacher.

Click here to register and learn more about Maria’s Rediscover Your Power: Warrior Flow workshop on February 20 from 2-4pm.

So You Want to Learn Yoga, Part 1: Set Up Your Journey

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” ~ The Bhagavad Gita

Perhaps you’ve been hearing about the benefits of yoga and how it can improve your quality of life. Maybe a medical practitioner has recommended you take it up for health reasons. Or it could just be that with the new year you want to finally discover what this yoga stuff is all about. Whatever the reason, if you want to learn yoga, we’re here to offer some guidance on how to get started.

In Part 1 of this two-part post, we look at the big picture and prepping for your journey.

1) Explore different paths to find what’s right for you. There are almost as many varieties of yoga as there are teachers. You may find certain styles more appealing. If you’re athletic and like to explore physical challenges then consider Bikram, Power, or Acro yoga. Gentle, Restorative, and Yin practices are ideal for those just beginning a physical routine or who want to balance out an already physically challenging lifestyle. Vinyasa flow and hatha are the broad categories of yoga that you will find typically offered in studios, gyms, and recreational facilities.

2) Find a guide for your journey. You’ll want to learn from a qualified teacher whose style resonates with you. Seek recommendations to help narrow your options, and then evaluate your candidates by taking a few classes with each. When you find one who seems like a good fit for you and where you are in your practice at the time, stick with them. The more they get to know you the better they can direct you.

3) Be ready to go off courseAs you move forward in yoga, you’ll venture into different physical, mindfulness, and breathing practices. The further you travel in your journey the more you’ll come to realize that the road is not straight and narrow. For as you become ready and receptive to new lessons, the Universe will supply what you need to learn them.  That may mean a new teacher, a different route, and from time to time a respite from the road itself. Know that this is all part of this new adventure you’re embarking on and embrace it with an open heart and a willing mind.

In part 2 we’ll dive in with the nuts and bolts of beginning a practice.



Let’s Savor Our Successes in 2015

Each and every day students and teachers achieve milestones in their yoga practice. From finding stillness in savasana for the first time to coming into handstand in the middle of the room, there are always new achievements to be grateful for and to celebrate.

Moments like these easily get lost as we focus on the next ‘big’ thing we want to do. But when we make the effort to enjoy the things we did get done, we keep our energies in a state of celebration and that energy fuels us to do more.

So anytime you experience a ‘win’ or a ‘shift’ in your practice, we invite you to mark these landmarks along your yoga journey in our Community Celebration Jar. To record those experiences, victories, and observations, simply jot a note on one of the colored paper squares in the studio. Date your note and add your name if you like, then place it in the jar.

Each time we look and see the notes filling our jar with all the colors of joy, we’ll be reminded of how far we’ve come together! We’ll then commemorate our journey and acknowledge these beautiful memories at celebratory events throughout the year.