MOUNT MADONNA CENTER

MOUNT MADONNA CENTER

MOUNT MADONNA CENTER

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We are a learning community inspired by the example of our teacher, Baba Hari Dass. Located on 380 acres of redwoods and grasslands in the Santa Cruz mountains overlooking the Monterey Bay, our retreat center offers a peaceful haven where you can step back, slow down, and reconnect to your self, to nature, and to a more authentic flow of life.

We offer a beautiful venue, centrally located in California near Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area, for yoga retreats, meditation retreats, corporate offsite events, personal practice, spiritual and personal development programs, and other types of seminars and workshops. Our modern meeting spaces evoke a rustic and tranquil atmosphere and provide a variety of settings to gather and practice.

CONTACT US:

reception@mountmadonna.org

Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt
Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt
Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt
INTEGRAL YOGA INSTITUTE

INTEGRAL YOGA INSTITUTE

INTEGRAL YOGA INSTITUTE

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The word “Yoga” means union or yoke in the ancient Sanskrit language. It is a perfect description of the science and philosophy of Integral Yoga. Integral Yoga® synthesizes the various branches of Yoga into a comprehensive lifestyle system. The purpose is to support the harmonious development of every aspect of the individual. The six branches of Integral Yoga® are each powerful tools to gain self-mastery. When combined to affect the whole being the results are at once subtle, profound and measurable.

Integral Yoga Institute was founded in New York City  by Sri Swami Satchidananda, a spiritual teacher from India, who came to America at the invitation of the artist Peter Max. On October 15, 1970, a beautiful brownstone building on West 13th Street in historic Greenwich Village was dedicated as the New York IYI. Both an ashram and a teaching center, it became a beacon for spiritual seekers from all over New York City and is the place where thousands of people experienced Yoga for the first time.

Over the years, the New York IYI has grown to become one of the most respected and beloved Yoga centers in the city, an oasis for busy New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors. Four Yoga rooms, each painted a different color and each displaying a symbol honoring all faiths to reflect Swami Satchidananda’s credo that “Truth is One, Paths are Many,” together constitute an environment of peace and serenity. Traditionally, more than 6,000 students each month attend 125 weekly Hatha Yoga classes at all levels, including Prenatal, Postnatal, Flow, Restorative, and Gentle. IYI pioneered Yoga for those with H.I.V. and AIDS. Nearly 200 active teachers teach as Karma Yoga—that is, as an unpaid offering.

Courses and workshops in meditation and breathing practices, health and nutrition, and other, related teachings create a unique and rewarding atmosphere for learning and sharing. Students gather both online and in-person for Scripture Study to read and discuss such fundamental works as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita. Kirtans (devotional chanting) and Satsangs (spiritual discussions) draw people from all over the country. Over the years, IYI’s renowned Teacher Training program has certified hundreds of teachers in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Hatha Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, Meditation, and Gentle and Chair Yoga.

IYI offers many classes and workshops on using Yoga to deal with a wide variety of life-threatening and chronic physical  and mental health conditions, including Yoga Therapy, Cardiac Yoga and more.  It has introduced programs called Yoga At Work® and Yoga At School™ to promote its message that Yoga is for everyone in every setting.

The New York IYI is a living embodiment of Sri Swami Satchidananda’s teachings, a community where the goal for all people is to have an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life.

WEBSITE:

IYINY.ORG

CONTACT US:

info@iyiny.org

Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt
Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt

Food is Love – A look inside Integral Yoga’s Kitchen

By: Diana Dharani Diaz

FOOD

BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL
Founded in a NYC brownstone by Swami Satchidananda in 1970, Integral Yoga Institute of New York is still open and thriving as a teaching center, and a place where thousands of people experience Yoga and community. Many New Yorkers also discovered the joys and benefits of a vegetarian diet when the Integral Yoga Natural Foods store first opened in the West 13th Street building in March 1972, and for many years it was one of the only places in the city where they could purchase exclusively vegetarian products. Today people can enjoy vegetarian meals lovingly created onsite in the community kitchen to share together. Learn more about love, food and community from the Integral Yoga kitchen manager, Tinuola Bello.

What does “Food is Love” mean to you?
When I first came to volunteer at Integral Yoga’s kitchen in 2002, my Tuesday shifts with Kitchen Mother Andalamma were wonderful. She reminded me of my own mother – small, dark brown, no nonsense. When she cooked, she made the food that she ate and fed her own children. It was an invitation into her home, her space, her life. Into who she is. And when you do that, you’re inviting others to do the same. It’s an expression of love. 

Share with us what you love about the kitchen.
The kitchen operates mainly through Karma Yoga, the practice of selfless service, or volunteering. That in itself is an act of love. During my 18 years in the kitchen, it became a meeting place for the cooks and Karma Yogis to develop ourselves through friendships and through the food we prepared. Our cooking and sharing meals is an invitation for people to find a spiritual home here. Andalamma really created a sanctuary. As kitchen manager, it’s been important for me to continue that. We recognize who people are, not just what service they bring, and we nurture them. Karma Yogis have gone on to serve in other ways throughout Integral Yoga. Many, myself included, have become teachers. 

We‘ve also nurtured board members, program directors, sound healers and many more! People have met and married through this kitchen. The patience in learning, understanding proportions, and combinations of ingredients are still a labor of love and a metaphor for life itself.

What part of your life or yourself did you bring to the kitchen?
I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, Jamaicans, Indians, Pakistani, Italian, Irish and Chinese. Mr. Frederico gave me bread and salami from his deli on my way home from school, I ate homemade samosas at the Singh’s house (also where I first saw Michael Jackson’s Thriller video!) and of course fish and chips. There was a lot of food in my ‘hood, and it always came with a lot of love! This is reflected in our Integral Yoga’s kitchen. Here, you can share your culture and it will be appreciated. From time to time, teachers or staff would offer to cook the food they grew up with, and we would learn a lot about one another.  

And everyone is welcome. My Jamaican mother and Nigerian father raised five children in the ‘70s and ‘80s, during the Thatcher years. As hard as they worked, they always welcomed people into our home. I remember people stopping by and my father encouraging them to stay for dinner, telling them that we had more than enough to share. From a very early age, I remember eating every kind of food. Hanging with my mother at my Jamaican godparent’s parties at 12 years old, it’s the food that I remember – the salt fish fritters, chicken and beef patties and syrup. It was good and plentiful. 

Tell us more about this recipe.
Last summer, I spent many late nights driving uptown. We would usually stop at a really good Dominican eatery just before making our way over the bridge into the Bronx. This, my late night snack, was never disappointing. And those nights hearing music and simultaneous conversations, seeing the parked cars and the lines in all the restaurants made me feel there’s no community without love and no community without the love of food.

There’s something very loving about finger food and eating with your hands. You’re sharing with others. It’s communal. It’s also reflective of an important time in my life, when I was in Mexico teaching a performance workshop for young people. A local family cooked for us as a way of making money and at the time, I was a pescatarian. In Mexico, that’s a little problematic as dairy and meat are in almost everything. I asked if I could have a tortilla with just beans and  rice. They said of course. When I went to pay, they refused my money, even after I insisted several times. I once again experienced food as an expression of love and inclusion. 


Oyster Mushroom and Batata
(Purple-skinned Sweet Potato) Tacos

I am reminded of the combination of simplicity and creativity of meals that sit between a snack and ‘dinner.’ In these tacos, it was always about the batata for me – perfectly baked and naturally caramelized due to its own sugar. I love this purple sweet potato, and I remember the first few times I cooked them in the kitchen and how much they were enjoyed. The oyster mushrooms are delicious and versatile and remind me of a dear friend with whom I’m always sharing food. 

 Ingredients: (Makes 10 tacos)

  • 2 medium batata (or any sweet potato)
  • A large handful of oyster mushrooms  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 10 soft corn or flour tortillas

 

For the garnish:

  • Finely grated red cabbage
  • Finely chopped cucumber
  • Lime zest
  • Sliced red onion
  • Fresh cilantro

 

Wash and dry the potatoes. Make a small incision across the top and allow them to completely dry before wrapping in foil and placing in the oven at 350°F.

Separate, lightly rinse, completely dry the mushrooms and continue to wipe clean if necessary. Season with garlic powder, smoked paprika, and a little white pepper. Mix well and place aside for at least an hour. Add oil, then place in the oven.

Check the potatoes periodically, between 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size). Remove them from the oven once they are soft all the way through. 

Set them aside for 30 minutes to cool, then refrigerate for an hour. Carefully peel the potatoes and cut into bite-size cubes. Optional: Sauté the cooked, diced batata over medium heat, until golden.

Warm tortillas in skillet or frying pan on low heat. Once cooked, check the mushrooms for seasoning. Place mushrooms on the tortilla and top with cubed batata.

To garnish, add red cabbage and cucumber, a pinch of lime or lime zest if desired. Add a slice of onion and sprig of cilantro to the taco.

BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL

SUI YOGA

SUI YOGA

SUI YOGA

SUI Yoga studio
Celebrating Uniqueness, Together
Nestled in the heart of New York City’s vibrant SoHo, Sui Yoga is more than a hot yoga studio—it’s a space for conscious connection. Our name comes from the Latin sui generis, meaning unique, of its own kind. Sui in Japanese refers to the water element. In each of our offerings, we are committed to nurturing the unique potential of the individual while simultaneously fostering the expansion and joy that community brings.

Flooded with natural light and teeming with plants, our 6,000 square foot, bi-level space is a serene oasis. Our two spacious studios feature healing, restorative Himalayan salt walls and artfully-curated lighting systems. Our state-of-the-art locker rooms are outfitted with 12 showers, stocked with clean, all-natural bath products. Our café offers healthy bites and beverage options to help nourish and fuel you throughout your day.

Our interiors are curated with the utmost care and attention to detail, adhering to the principles of biophilic design—a concept that celebrates the symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural world, encouraging a deeper connection with nature that strengthens our intuition, restores our natural rhythms, and promotes tranquility.

We invite you to slow down, nourish your soul, and activate your higher consciousness. Come visit us today.

WEBSITE:

SUIYOGA.COM

CONTACT US:

hello@suiyoga.com

Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt
SUI Yoga studio
KARMA KIDS YOGA

KARMA KIDS YOGA

KARMA KIDS YOGA

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The Karma Kids Yoga philosophy of teaching yoga to children provides kids with a variety of yoga tools that they can take away from yoga class and use throughout their lives. Animals, nature and other objects come alive in our classes; as we move, we learn to stretch our bodies in new creative ways. Through basic and challenging yoga poses, partner poses, group poses, yoga games, mindfulness activities, music and stories, we promote strength, flexibility, coordination, and body awareness. Breathing and visualization techniques teach focus, relaxation and self-control. The Karma Kids Yoga program also promotes inner-strength, confidence and self-esteem; a feeling of well-being and respect for others; and, love for one’s self, inside and out.

CONTACT US:

CLICK HERE

ABOUT: Shari Vilchez Blatt

Founder & Creator of Karma Kids Yoga

Shari was a VP, Advertising Director before completely changing her path to combine two things that are close to her heart – yoga and children. She created Karma Kids Yoga in 2002, encouraging playful and imaginative movement through yoga as the core philosophy. Kids really respond to Shari, as she communicates with them in a fun and trusting way that will comfort even the most shy child. She knows how to connect and talk to kids on their level, allowing them to sense her friendliness and understanding. Shari can turn any task into something fun and is simply an enthusiastic child in an adult body.

Yoga Plus magazine Teacher bio photo - Shari Vilchez-Blatt

LOVE PROFILE: Shari Vilchez-Blatt

Founder Karma Kids Yoga

PROFILES

LOVE PROFILE- Shari Vilchez-Blatt - Preschool Group Tree

As we prepare for our June 2023 release of our print issue themed LOVE, we reached out to our amazing community to share with us a few thoughts on love. Our first feature celebrates Shari who was a VP, Advertising Director before completely changing her path to combine two things that are close to her heart – yoga and children. She created Karma Kids Yoga in 2002, encouraging playful and imaginative movement through yoga as the core philosophy. Shari has trained over three thousand people around the world to teach yoga to children through the renowned Karma Kids Yoga Teacher Training Program and her latest endeavor is her Girl Empowerment Series. Shari is currently working on projects with Sesame Workshop…stay tuned.

Share with us what you love about what you do:
I’m a children’s yoga teacher. I love what I do. It’s playful, unpredictable, humorous and always an adventure. I love when children surprise themselves with their own abilities. I love observing them use the yoga and mindfulness tools that I share and feel the benefits. But what I love most is when a child is about to give up and I can encourage them to believe in themselves, remind them that they were made to do hard things, they tap into their courage and strength and nail the pose! Their expressions and excitement beam with pride. This makes my heart explode every time.

Share with us what you have learned about LOVE:
Love is easy to spread around! I’ve learned that the more I spread it within the community, the more it flourishes and grows. When spreading love, I feel love back. When spreading love with children and teens, they’re more likely to open up, trust, share, connect and hopefully continue to spread love. Love feels so much better in the body and mind than any other emotion I can think of.

What inspired you to support Yoga Love Magazine?
This magazine is unlike any other yoga enthused publication I have ever seen. I love that real teachers, not yoga celebrities, are featured.I love that it feels approachable and connective versus like a fashion magazine. It feels like a community that you’re welcome to join versus “look at us.” I love the tireless spirit of a female Latina leader and all female staff that makes this magazine happen and I feel big love when I support this.

YOGA MOXI

YOGA MOXI

YOGA MOXI

Yoga Purse

An App for Yoga Teachers

Yoga Moxi is a yoga app designed (mostly) for newer yoga teachers who have recently completed their first Teacher Training and are ready to teach.

After a teacher completes their first 200 hours of training, (RYT 200 = Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hours), they may be nervous, or not have total confidence in how to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills. Yoga Moxi provides tips, reminders, guidance, and instruction to help build confidence as they start their teaching journey.

The app contains content ranging from “Themes for Class” to advice (as consideration) on “Yoga Business”. All categories of content are arranged in a similar order to how a class may be “crafted” from start to finish. Within each category will be short snippets of reminders, or tips yoga teachers can refer to quickly – all at their finger-tips.y, inspiring, and safe space for all cancer survivors to thrive and connect.

SHAY’S WARRIORS

SHAY’S WARRIORS

SHAY’S WARRIORS

Yoga Purse
Simply put, Shay’s Warriors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed in the Coachella Valley to help the cancer survivorship community.

But like any other non-profit, there’s a story. Shay was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2016. She fought for her life until the day she was told that her cancer was gone. Too-da-loo, cancer!

But those lucky enough to experience those words know that cancer never truly leaves you. Physically, yes. Emotionally, never. Your body acts differently now. There’s often guilt, fear, loneliness and an overwhelming sense of what in the actual hell did I just go through? Is it fair to have confusion with a clean bill of health? Of course, it is.

This will come as a shocker to no one: women struggle to ask for help. Shay’s a woman, she gets that. And after her own (very quiet, of course) struggling search for local resources, Shay had a passion to do more. So with that, Shay’s Warriors was brought to life in hopes of providing a healthy, inspiring, and safe space for all cancer survivors to thrive and connect.

CONTACT US:

CLICK HERE

WANT TO HELP US OR DO MORE FOR OUR CANCER SURVIVORSHIP COMMUNITY?

Make 100% Impact to Cancer Survivorship Programs

Nominate a Survivor for The I AM HOPE Survivors Reset Retreat

Shay’s Warriors is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization #83-3466948

Yoga Purse

LIVING LIFE IN BOLD BRIGHT COLORS

Interview by Iana Velez

Shay Moraga is the founder of Shay’s Warriors, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed in the Coachella Valley to help women who have gone through breast and other reproductive cancers. Shay was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2016, and after her own struggles searching for local resources, she had a passion to do more. So with that, Shay’s Warriors was brought to life in hopes of providing a healthy, inspiring and safe space for survivors to thrive in life after cancer. Shay’s Warriors helps build community, connection and authentic conversation around what life is like after cancer so that fellow warriors live “hope in color.” 

How has your yoga practice and teaching changed through your cancer diagnosis, treatment and healing? 

I originally taught kids yoga because my daughter, Jalen, has done yoga since she was inside my belly. As she got older, and I got stronger with my practice, I became a power yoga teacher, then a yoga sculpt teacher. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I remember the very first thing that happened to me in the doctor’s office as soon as she told me was I clenched my fists, and held my breath. I wasn’t able to find the natural rhythm of my breath, I don’t even know how I was breathing, to be honest. I was just gasping, and what yogi doesn’t know how to breathe?

One of my friends who owned a yoga studio called me and said, “Shay, come and get on your mat.” I said I couldn’t because I was too scared. “Just come and be in Savasana,” she offered, that was probably the thing that I was most scared of. The moment I was still, was the moment I would have to think that I had breast cancer and I didn’t know yet if I would lose my breast, or if I was going to die.

She walked me through a class with a ton of modifications. I couldn’t do a Chaturanga, because they had just put my port in my chest for chemo, but I could do a high plank. I could no longer go down on my breasts after my surgery, but I could do a tabletop. It was really learning how to be able to navigate the poses, to let go, to give my body grace to be able to heal.

Learning how to redo yoga all over again was a big deal for me. Your balance changes after you have surgery, especially breast cancer. Luckily, yoga allowed me to get full mobility back fast. I now teach yoga for cancer at a cancer center, in Rancho Mirage, CA. I went from power yogi, to teaching what I call “move to heal.” It is the practice of movement and healing at the same time, mind-body connection work. It’s also about challenging yourself, and pushing yourself past fear to live.

Tell us what inspired you to create your website, shayswarriors.org. I was particularly struck by the great illustrations and design. 

After I was done with chemo, I was just kind of like, “This sucks.” There’s no support locally after you are done with active treatment. I didn’t know who to talk to because everyone went back to their normal lives except for me. I went through all of this stuff, and I couldn’t teach yoga. I had major fatigue, no hair, I was so bloated from all the chemo and radiation. I was looking to connect with others like me, so as I continued to write a blog about my life after cancer struggles, I realized a need to do more. I wanted to create a community and connect with those who also were going through these same emotions and after cancer feelings.

I went online, but I just couldn’t find anything that spoke to me. All the websites were so doctor-like and sterile. I’d go to these websites, and it felt like I was sitting in the freaking hospital again. I have a creative imagination and background, so I called my talented girlfriend Lindsey, and asked her to help create a website that stood out and was full of color. Happy big bold and beautiful colors. Because I see things differently now, I live life with new meaning. The flowers are brighter. The birds chirp louder. The music hits my soul more. Cancer was a stop sign that  shouted stop and start living! Let shit go, you only live once.

When I was little, my dad would always say, “After a storm, look up in the sky there’s a rainbow. That’s the sign of hope.” That became this palette of colors that we resonated with, which is also somewhat like my personality.

The theme of this issue is inspiration. How did you stay inspired during this time? What was the light that kept you going through? 

The light that always kept me going was my faith and my daughter.No matter what, at the end of the day, I was going to live for her. She was my will to live.

The second will to live was the connections to the people I met when I went every Thursday to the chemo room. I would see the same people every visit, and it’s important you get to know those people. The one thing that was the common denominator among us was that we were there so that we could live. None of us wanted to die.

What was the thing that surprised you the most about going through this process? 

People are so much more resilient than they give themselves credit for, and your mind is such a powerful tool in healing. Focus on the present moment and do stuff that fills you up — it makes it that much easier to get through things. Get rid of drama. Give yourself permission that while you are going through the hardest thing in your life, to be selfish. When you are sick, let people show up for you so you can take the back seat for once. Allow yourself the time to heal.

You think that some of  the people you have known all your life will show up for you and be there by your side, but that doesn’t always happen. Then there’s people that come out of the woodwork, they are perfect strangers that will bend over backwards to help you with whatever you need. When people find out you have cancer they go through their own journey, because they are also faced with their own mortality. Easier said than done, but try not to hold it against them. If it hurts you, try hard to let it go for you, not for them.

The power in community is incredible when people ask for it, and you have to be willing to be vulnerable to ask for it. That’s where the resiliency comes in. It takes a lot of courage to ask, and when you do ask, it’s like your heart is ripped open and the love just starts pouring in those bold, bright beautiful colors.

Learn more: www.shayswarriors.org

Yoga Purse