Hey, 2022…I’m back!

Well, a fresh set of Covid-19 antibodies wasn’t on my Christmas wish list, but I got them anyway. Between my original March 2020 battle with Covid, three vaccine shots, and a holiday bout with the Omicron variant that had me quarantining instead of festivating, I now assume I have sufficient immunity to get through 2022 with no further incident. I am very much looking forward to resuming teaching events scheduled for the first quarter.

The next in a series of popular 2-hour online workshops I’ve been doing for our U.K. friends at Keen Yoga is coming up at the end of this month on Sunday, January, 30 at 9:00am EST, 2:00pm UK time. The topic is something we could all use right about now: “Introduction to Healing Through Breath-centered Yoga.” The workshop is rooted in the perspective that there’s always more going right for a person than has gone wrong – something I’ve had to remind myself more than once in the past couple of challenging years. The recording will be remain available to replay for 14 days after the event.

Lauri and Leslie dissecting
Lauri Nemetz and me during the livestream of our first KNMLabs dissection workshop in October 2020

Looking ahead to March (the week of my 64th birthday!) Lydia, Lauri Nemetz and I will be back in Colorado Springs at the anatomy lab of our good friend Gil Hedley to lead a unique week-long cadaver dissection March 14-18. KNM Movement Anatomy Labs focus on interests of yoga educators, movement and fitness professionals, bodywork and massage therapists and artists.

A unique aspect of this hands-on lab is the opportunity to apply some of what you see in the lab in your own body during evening movement labs. There will also be opportunities to observe one-on-one work related to structural observations during the day’s cadaver lab.

We still have room for a few more participants, so click on the link above to find out more about this very special opportunity to experience human anatomy first-hand with an amazing group of individuals.

Share

Getting back to bizness

Change of seasons, and the discussion between Lydia and me turns to what to pack for teaching trips. Neither of us likes to overpack, but we have both underpacked, and that was most uncomfortable! Hand washing clothing in a hotel sink is only so effective.

This coming weekend I’m teaching a hybrid (in-person and online) workshop for Sun & Moon Yoga in Arlington, VA (predicted temps in the low 60s F). The title is a direct reflection on my own personal, present experience, Breath-Centered Yoga Practice: Maintaining Balance in Changing Times.

The weekend after that I will finally be holding the longest planned event in my history, for Matt Ryan at Manchester Yoga (predicted temps in the low 50s F). It was originally scheduled for May 2020, then October 2020, then May 2021. After holding multiple Zoom check-ins with the registrants, we will now finally get to spend time in the same space at the same time!

Pre-order your copy of Yoga Anatomy, 3rd edition.

Oh, and the third edition of Amy Matthews and my Yoga Anatomy should be shipping just about now! There are new chapters, new illustrations, new perspectives, and improved content across the board.

This has been a true labor of love through the Covid year as I fought post-covid brain fog and heart abnormalities, and Amy and I both spent most of the year outside of New York City, in Maine and Massachusetts, sheltering in low-population areas. Anyway, we hope you buy at least one copy! Bulk orders are definitely cheaper. Just sayin’.

Share

Miami, Memories and Me

Here we are at the cusp of September 2021, well into a second year under the looming threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. I, for one, really didn’t think I’d be saying that. Many of my workshops got rescheduled from 2020 (one even postponed multiple times!) but I am truly thrilled and eagerly anticipating a fall season of travel teaching.

Me (L) and my brother Rick, Key West circa 1963

There’s a lovely synchronicity that my re-entry to live, in-person teaching includes a weekend workshop at Kino McGregor’s new Miami Life Center, titled The Anatomy of Yoga, the Yoga of Anatomy. This topic will provide a solid grounding to the yoga I teach, and practice but – separately – I consider South Florida my ancestral home.

In the early to mid-60s, I lived in South Florida, splitting time between an apartment above my grandparents’ bar in Key West and Miami Beach, where my mother relocated as she rebuilt life with two young sons after her split from my father. Far from being the fashionable, hip enclave it’s become, the South Miami Beach I knew in the 1960s was almost entirely the province of an aging Jewish population that had found refuge from the cold Northeast and the ravages of the Holocaust. Thinking about that time span now, it’s incredible to realize that for the people I was living with in Miami, the end of World War II was as recent a memory as 9/11 is for me.

And now, after nearly two years of pandemic-separation, I will get to visit with my mother who lives back in the region, as well as teach in Miami! With so many memories intertwining on this return, I anticipate having a very resonant, heartfelt experience on this journey.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to help Kino open her beautiful new facility, and for all the hard work her team has put in to make it possible, in spite of nearly overwhelming challenges. It takes a lot of guts to open a new yoga facility these days, and I’m happy to support anyone who’s willing to take it on. If you or anyone you know is in the Miami area, I’d love to have a chance to connect.

This will be a hybrid event, with a limited number of vaccinated or recently negative-tested students attending the sessions in person as well as virtually, and filmed for replays by Omstars, a great online resource. I’m very much looking forward to connecting with the community there – even with all the challenges intrinsic to gathering with a group of people for an in-person learning event.

Share

Slowly but surely, life as we know it is re-starting, and workshops are scheduled!

On the road again!
On the road again!

I am sure I’m not alone in saying I was very relieved to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus back in April. Since then, I’ve gotten to dine with and hug friends I hadn’t seen in months, and I’ve been able to restart my private practice in New York City in a beautiful brand new space for The Breathing Project, just across the street from the apartment I share with Lydia on the Upper West Side. I will have more to announce about some exciting in-person and live-streamed programs from that location in the near future.

Happily, I am now starting to see my schedule – at least the last quarter of 2021 – begin to fill with workshops. Here’s what’s upcoming:

LONDON CALLING – I’m still doing the online series for triyoga London, with the next scheduled for this weekend, July 17-18. Our topic will be “Practice and Principles: a Weekend of Interactive + Breath-Centred Yoga.”

LONE STAR VISIT – Next will be my first in-person event in a year, “Asana, Pranayama and Bandhas,” for My Vinyasa Practice, in Austin, TX September 25-26. Tickets are being sold separately for the in-person and online component.

MIAMI ANATOMY – We are flying directly from Austin to Miami for our first collaboration with Kino McGregor’s OMStars and Miami Life Center October 1-3. We are very much looking forward to seeing the beautiful new space she’s built in Miami, and are honored to be the inaugural guest workshop there, entitled: “The Anatomy of Yoga, the Yoga of Anatomy.”

FAIRFAX FRIENDS – We are thrilled to be returning to Sun and Moon Studios in Fairfax, VA to visit with good friends Annie and Amir and their wonderful community for an in-person/online workshop October 22-24. Registration details will be posted soon to our calendar.

MANCHESTER ENGLAND, ENGLAND – At the end of October, my long-awaited, repeatedly postponed Manchester, UK workshop, is still on our calendar. Given the ongoing uncertainties of COVID outbreaks, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, I cannot 100% guarantee I can make it over there, but one way or another, I will be teaching something on October 29-31 to the resilient, loyal students who have stuck with us since May 2020!

ENCINITAS, ALWAYS – Last in 2021 is my annual weekend workshop for Soul of Yoga in beautiful Encinitas, California. It usually sells out, so I’m not sure there will be any tickets left, but keep an eye on my calendar in case any get released.

MARCH CADAVER LAB IN COLORADO SPRINGS! – The newest offering on our calendar is the second joint project with good friend and colleague Lauri Nemetz – a 5-day Movement Anatomy Hands-On Cadaver Dissection Lab March 14-18 at Gil Hedley’s amazing facility, the Institute for Anatomical Research in Colorado Springs. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to experience human anatomy close up and personal in a way that was once reserved only for medical students – through guided dissection of your very own human cadaver. This is a small-scale, personalized event in which we limit six students per table, with an absolute maximum of four tables in the lab. Because we are emphasizing the individualized nature of your experience, we encourage you to reach out personally for more information at info@breathinproject.org.

Share

A bright spot for 2020…a live-streamed Yoga Anatomy cadaver lab!

Hello Everyone.

I hope you’ve been staying safe and healthy in the upside-down dumpster-fire that has been 2020 so far. I’m writing to let you know about at least one pretty awesome thing coming up.

In a couple of weeks, Lydia and I travel to San Diego to produce a Yoga and Movement Cadaver Dissection Lab along with Soul of Yoga and the fabulous Lauri Nemetz, with whom I’ll be co-teaching.

This week-long lab was originally designed to be in-person only but after the pandemic hit it was reconceived to also include a livestream, online event. Reimagined for a much wider online audience, it is now a 20-hour professional training that has been fully approved by Yoga Alliance and IAYT for CEU credits. 

We’ll be streaming this training from a state-of-the-art anatomy lab in San Diego and I’m offering a special $50.00 discount code for online registrations. All you have to do is enter Y-AN.ORG50 when you sign up. Once registered, you’ll be able to access the livestream in real time, or review the recordings for up to one month. That means if your schedule doesn’t permit you to view the training during the livestream, you’ll be able to watch, pause, rewind, and review for up to one month following the lab. We look forward to answering your submitted questions, if possible during the next day’s session. The daily schedule of topics is attached below and on the Soul of Yoga site.

If you are interested in attending live, we have a waitlist in case extra spots open up at one of the tables. To get on that list or to ask about any aspect of the lab, please contact me.

Share

Old Friends, New Places, Special Spaces

I was very sorry to read about Yoga Yoga closing in Austin, Texas – not only because I had my annual workshop scheduled, but because I’d grown close to the yoga community there after a decade of teaching. Fortunately our friend Chris Totaro introduced us to Jeff Chen, and his team at PURE Yoga Texas who gamely provided a new home  for my October 18-20 workshop. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones as I continue my yearly Austin visits.

I rarely get to teach both the anatomy/physiology of meditation and my OM workshop in one weekend, but it’s auspicious those are the topics my friend and honest-to-goodness astrophysicist Tammy Bosler chose for our November 2-3 return to the Zen Center Regensburg! This is the same location I taught in 2017 and I was taken with the atmosphere of a space created by the practice of serious meditators. If you or anyone you know is interested in these topics and able to get to this beautiful part of Bavaria, please join us!

That same tour takes us to Wiesbaden – a city near Frankfurt I’ve only heard about – to teach for Jang-Ho Kim at Now Yoga, November 8-10. I have a special interest in mixed martial arts and I’ve heard Jang-Ho is an expert in Taekwondo, so I’m looking forward to learning more about how that connects with his yoga.

After Germany, we’re returning to London for a whole week of workshops, this time in both the Camden (November 12-13) and Soho (November 15-17) locations of triyoga. I’m particularly excited about the midweek sessions in Camden, targeted to practitioners using yoga for healing. This material gives me a chance to reference and honor the work of my teacher, T.K.V. Desikachar, who was acknowledged as one of the greatest exponents of individualized, breath-centered, therapeutic yoga.

The final leg of this trip takes us to B. Yoga, November 23-24, in Basel, Switzerland, another place I’ve never been. Meeting new places and people is one of the perks of my job, and my upcoming schedule certainly provides that.  Lydia and I hope to meet up with you on some of our journeys!

Share

A very full (Mr.) September!

Well, the month I’ve been waiting for is finally here: September 2019 is when everyone who purchased the Jade Yoga Calendar gets to look at my bare chest for a whole month. Being a calendar model is now something I can check off my bucket list, along with being on the cover of Yoga Journal (although it was the back cover, when Jade used my calendar photo for an ad in the May-June issue). A big special shout-out to the amazing photographer Francesco Mastalia, whose wet plate collodion work is truly gorgeous.

Now, Lydia and I are off on the first of two fall European teaching trips, and we’re excited to be starting our tour by visiting three new cities, as well as returning to some old friends in the fourth. That makes four workshops, in four countries, in three weeks.

First stop is Stockholm, Sweden to teach a weekend workshop for Yoga Shakti titled Breath-Centered Yoga and “Reimagining Alignment,” September 7-8.

Next, we land on the beautiful coast of Ireland in County Clare’s Lahinch Yoga for a midweek (Tuesday-Wednesday, September 10-11) program focused on integrating body, mind, and breath as well as non-linear teaching methods and arm supports.

Then, we hop over to Amsterdam where we recently added a Friday evening masterclass to accommodate the waiting list for our sold-out weekend program for Global Flow Yoga. The weekend will touch on some cool topics like fascia, fluids and creative chaos in the classroom, September 13-15.

From Amsterdam, we fly to Valencia not to teach but to visit the home of one of our favorite dishes – paella! It’s a trip we’ve wanted to do for a while, and we’re very happy to have a couple of days there before we wind up the trip in Madrid. This will be our fourth time teaching for our good friends Blanca and Pablo at Dhara Yoga. We really enjoy teaching in Madrid, and during this visit we’ll cover some more advanced topics related to Hatha Yoga theory and practice like Shushumna Nadi and the physiology of meditative states, September 20-22.

After all that, we will be more than ready to come home just in time for some rest and fall foliage. Enjoy the beginning of your fall!

ANNOUNCEMENT: For those of you who have been following my Wednesday night online classes on OmPractice, please note that due to my travel schedule, I am suspending those classes until further notice.

Share

Upcoming travel to fabulous places!

Rafael Corrochano from Radiantly AliveIn one month, Lydia and I will be heading to the other side of the world to teach for Rafael Corrochano and Jasmine Dañino, owners of Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali on June 1 & 2. This is a beautiful space amidst the treetops we visited last year during a 2-day holiday. During that too-short stay, Ubud became one of my favorite places and this will be my first time teaching in that yoga-haven. I hope to attract all those yoga retreatists for some breath, bandhas and om-ing between their massages and cocktails so please send all your vacationing friends and colleagues my way!

Shivom Yoga & Dance logoAfter Bali, we will teach a weekend workshop June 8 & 9 at Shivom Yoga & Dance in Hanoi, Vietnam. Lydia and I have dreamed about visiting this beautiful country for years and look forward to exploring both before and after teaching. We welcome your recommendations for affordable and restful places to visit.

Our yearly summer retreat in Cape Cod will be extra special this year, because we have added a Friday/Saturday workshop at the fabulous Orleans Yoga July 12 & 13. Studio owner Petra Ledkovsky was excited to learn that we’d be neighbors, so we put together an exciting program for this popular summer destination. It’s selling quickly, so book soon if you’d like to join us.

Rounding out the summer will be our first ever trip to The Yoga Think Tank in New Harmony, Indiana. My August 17 & 18 workshop will be held at the beautiful New Harmony Inn Resort. This event is being hosted by our good friends Shanda Packard and Karen Sahetya, and we are anticipating a weekend filled with inspiration, transformation, and fun. There are just 25 spots open for early registration, so if you or anyone you know is in that area sign up now!

Share

A tasty return to CAMYoga (and Stem + Glory)

Delicious vegan (!) food from Stem + GloryWe’re thrilled to be returning to CAMYoga in November for one of my favorite topics geared specifically to yoga educators, Teaching Methodology For Breath-Centered, Individualized Yoga, as well as a weekend workshop for all yoga practitioners.

Our host, Louise Palmer-Masterton wrote to say: “Leslie’s annual visits to CAMYOGA are the highlight of our academic year. He has had a huge influence on our diploma courses, and we are really excited to experience this year’s all new content especially for teachers, alongside two days for non-teachers. Leslie’s work really is inspiring for everyone, and is an absolute must for anyone interested in the subject of yoga.”

We’ll be there over American Thanksgiving (a feast of gorging, for those of you unfamiliar with the holiday) which we may miss a bit, but we’re looking forward to delicious daily lunches at Stem + Glory, one of CAMYoga’s restaurants onsite at the Mitcham’s Corner studio. I don’t often find myself singing the praises of vegan food, but we loved each of our meals there.

There are still a few seats left for each of my workshops but seating is limited so don’t delay (or send your friends if they’re in the vicinity!). And if you’re in Cambridge or London, make sure to stop by one of the Stem + Glory restaurants and tell them Leslie sent you.

Share

Relationship: it’s the key to what I do

Just finishing a month of teaching in Australia, I’ve had innumerable opportunities to practice a principle my teacher T.K.V. Desikachar often emphasized: “Yoga is relationship.”  One of our Brisbane hosts is the witty and fierce president of Yoga Australia, Leanne Davis. I was intrigued to learn her community is small enough that they all know each other. With only around 100 teaching programs in the whole country, Yoga Australia is able to provide support, check-ins and coaching in a really personal manner. It’s not a model that could directly scale in the U.S., but it’s worth noting that the only valid way to deal with ethics and scope of practice issues lies in the context of the community in which teachers operate. Studios, peers, colleagues – as well as the students –  always need to be in direct relationship to teachers, and feel empowered to give them feedback. We all need to be answerable to someone, but that someone should be part of our immediate community.

I have been thinking about the role of coaching and personal connection in relation to the specialized work I do. It will be a big part of my upcoming 5-day (30-hour) immersion “Breath Education: Coaching Better Breathing,” August 20-24, 2018, under the aegis of my educational nonprofit, The Breathing Project, Inc. With an intimate group, I look forward to covering the anatomical and practical underpinnings of breath coaching, as well as how to nurture supportive relationships for therapeutic breath work with individuals and groups.

Having just turned 60, I can confidently say that every good thing I’ve achieved in my life, every positive effect I’ve wrought, has been based on a willingness to be related. Whenever I shied away from relationship by generalizing or depersonalizing, I have failed. I am committed to remembering this for my next 60 years.

Share