Spanish love affair

Leslie is resting up while I write this note following a wonderful day workshopping for Dhara Yoga in Madrid. The owners, Blanca and Pablo, found a beautiful loft operated by a woman who grew up in Lenox, MA (virtually around the corner from where Leslie raised his kids and keeps his horse!) and brought in a terrific group of yoga professionals, eager to learn more about the Krishnamacharya/Desikachar tradition. We’ve posted some snapshots from our time in this beautiful, vibrant city.

The Krishnamacharya and Desikachar lineage, projected large above Leslie's head


barcelona-poster-thumb Next week we’ll be returning to the Barcelona Yoga Conference.
There’s still time to sign up for Leslie’s two-day intensive on Yoga and Healing, Tuesday July 8-Wednesday July 9 and meet up with Leslie at a book-signing at the YogaYe table on Saturday July 5 at 2:00 p.m. (Learn more on their Facebook page.)
posted by Lydia: June 29, 2014

2014 Touring Schedule

I’ve had some exciting trips this spring and we’re still traveling! I hope to meet you if I’m heading your way. To keep up-to-date, please check my calendar and my Tweet stream, but here are some of the highlights:

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Haven’t you always wanted to go to Barcelona? Join us this July!

Lydia here. We are so excited to be returning to Europe this summer for the Barcelona Yoga Conference where Leslie is offering a two-day intensive, and hope you’ll help us spread the word. Leslie loves the opportunity to meet his online students in person, so if you’re one of them please come on down!

We put together a little interview including questions he’s been asked repeatedly about his adventures in Spain, as well as some fave articles and videos of his. Feel free to forward to anyone you know who may want to join us in beautiful Barcelona this July.

During your 2013 visit to Spain:

  1. Did you have a favorite experience?
    We stayed in El Gòtic and loved the easy access it provided. The Picasso Museum stands out as one of my favorite museums anywhere and walking to the beach for lunch and mojitos was also great!
  2. How about favorite food?
    I so appreciated many restaurants’ pleasure in offering wonderful, fresh-baked gluten-free bread, without additional cost. That just doesn’t happen here – when you can find it, there’s always a surcharge, and it’s not freshly baked.
  3. Did you experience any notable cultural differences?
    For sure: sense of time! Lydia and I think we’re late when we’re five minutes early. In Spain, half an hour late is a sampling error.…
  4. Anything else to share?
    You can take a look at this set of photos on Flickr. It gives a pretty good sense of some of the things we saw, found beautiful, different from home and memorable.


Some of our favorite You Tube videos:

How to help spread the word!

Thank you! we really appreciate your support.

Tokyo in June!

Lydia here to let you know about some upcoming travel we’re really excited about. We’re returning to Asia this June and hoping to meet a bunch of you this time! Leslie loves to meet his online students in person and overseas travel is a great opportunity for that.

He regularly gets asked questions about the 2013 visit, so we put together a little interview about his adventures and some fave articles and videos of his. We hope you’ll share them with anyone you know who might be able to join us in Tokyo this June.  We’re really grateful for your support and hope to see you soon.


During your 2013 visit to Asia:

  1. Did you have a favorite experience?
    We fell in love with Hakone while staying at the Tenseien ryokan. We’ll be returning there between the Hong Kong Asia Yoga Conference and my workshop in Tokyo.
  2. How about favorite food?
    The absolutely freshest sushi of my life at Tsukiji fish market early one morning.
  3. Did you experience any notable cultural differences?
    Yes! the absolute horror exrpressed whenever we tried to tip anybody. To us it demonstrated that good service is considered obligatory, not something surprising or deserving of reward. Definitely different from the United States.
  4. Anything else to share?
    You can take a look at this set of photos on Flickr. It gives a pretty good sense of some of the things we saw, found beautiful, different from home and memorable.

Some of our favorite You Tube videos:

How to help spread the word!

  • Post on your blog or Facebook (you’re welcome to use the interview questions and image above)
  • Tell a friend – here’s a link to a poster you can share
  • Join us – here’s the link to register
  • Bring some friends – contact us if you’re interested in coming with a group.

I love Austin. Y’all.

Leslie loves teaching Yoga Yoga students!

This is the fourth year I’ve taught for Yoga Yoga in Austin as part of the great teacher training program run by Lori Johnson. She and director of special events, Laura Forsyth, have made sure I’ve been getting socialized around town each year and now I realize I just love this place. It helps that it’s 70 degrees when it’s below freezing in NYC, and it helps that there is great barbeque all over town, every meal has been delicious and reasonably priced and tequila is a beverage of choice.

I also love the studio. Yoga Yoga has a bunch of locations and I get to teach in this big, beautiful room at their Westgate venue (high ceilings mean I can throw my teaching toys all the way to the back of the room) and light from two walls of windows reminds me of my home studio, The Breathing Project. The room is full of experienced teachers and those in training asking pointed questions.

Teaching teachers is so satisfying. Here’s a taste of what we’re covering today: Bandhas and ujjayi is over-taught. From the first moment you ask someone to coordinate their breath with a long, slow movement, they’ve already started to use ujjayi. Bandha is just not that complicated.


I hope to meet more of you on the road. Next up, Sadie Nardini and me at Maya Tulum.

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Tired of the cold? Me too!

ugh NYC in the snow - it ain't pretty

I’m so ready for Tulum.

Here’s the deal: My good friend Sadie Nardini and I will be teaching together for a whole week. There will be classes with each of us catering to all levels and interests, plus the chance to explore the Mayan world of unspoiled beaches, peaceful lagoons and ancient pyramids. (No, I didn’t write that copy but it makes me drool.)

Pricing (see accommodations page) includes your cabana, meals, yoga program and the unlimited ocean at your doorstep. Like this…

glorious white sand beach at Maya Tulum

I hope you’ll join me. Questions? contact Laura Forsyth who knows everything and will also be there.


My Breath-Centered Yoga Week at Rancho La Puerta

I just finished a delightful week getting back to my roots teaching Yoga to normal people (as opposed to Yoga teachers). It was Breath-Centered Yoga Week at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico.

I came up with a series of five 90-minute classes that progressively built skills and awareness throughout the week and was gratified to have a core group of dedicated students who attended throughout. Predictably a few folks were initially disappointed, thinking the designation “level two” meant a sweaty yoga workout, but by the last day there were students who proclaimed this the hardest Yoga they’d ever done. Individualized, breath-centered yoga can kick your ass from the inside-out.

In addition to these great classes, we met fantastic people including author and yoga teacher Michele Hebert and her husband, Dr. Mehrad Nazari, the wonderful writer and musician Marshall Chapman and her husband Dr. Chris Fletcher, the multi-talented Kerry Wilson (who ditched family traditions to spend this week with us!), Pilates and fitness trainers Sara and Joe Talbert, yoga teacher Phyllis Pilgrim (one of the only people I know who’s been teaching Yoga longer than I and whose mother learned Yoga from Indra Devi’s book in the 1950s) and the “Godmother of the Wellness” and founder of Rancho La Puerta Deborah Szakely.

All that plus some great hikes and basketball games left us really looking forward to returning in the spring of 2015!

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Underwater pranayama at Rancho La Puerta

I’ve always wanted to try Watsu. For the uninitiated, Watsu is a combination of Shiatsu and water-based bodywork in a 96-degree pool. I had two hour+ sessions while teaching at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico with Pete Voggenthaler, a masterful underwater expert.

Here’s a little video to give you a sense of Waterdance, a Watsu variation in which the practitioner takes you underwater (thus the pink nose clip!) while cradling, stretching and guiding your body through waves, rolls, twists and inversions.

In my first session the underwater part was done only on retention after an inhale. For the second session, pictured here, I requested that we work with the exhale underwater as well, which drastically changed my buoyancy and flexibility. The body stiffens on an internal retention and is much more released during and after an exhale. Pete ran with the idea resulting in the best pranayama session I’ve had in a long time.

In addition to his work at Rancho La Puerta, Pete does aquatic show consulting, water show artistic direction & training for extravaganzas around the world. If you have an opportunity to work with him, I highly recommend it.

Fall tour recap, part 4: Vancouver, BC

Leslie in the fogFoggy. That’s what it was for most of the five days of my stay in Vancouver! Fortunately the students at Y Yoga were far from it and the week-long training was challenging and engaging in equal parts.

And the FOOD! We have never had such impeccable meals, not a dud among them. Still craving a repeat of the sushi at Samurai and cocktails at Lolita.

Students learning hands-on techniques
Teachers working with each other, to practice techniques for better grounding.