Recap: Yoga on the Mall 2013

Sunday was an amazing day!

I participated in Yoga on the Mall for the first time. I even had the honor of practicing on stage with a few of my favorite teachers like Nina Stanger and Andrew McAuley! Over 1,600 yogis joined in the wonderful event and my goodness was it wonderful! The day started off cool and cloudy but by the time practice started the sun was shining and it had warmed up considerably.

At some point Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” was blasting over the speakers, teachers were snapping their fingers and everyone was singing along as they rooted their feet into the earth while hands reached up to the glorious sky. The only thing brighter than the sun was the smile on everyone’s faces. I was not expecting to be so moved by the experience of doing yoga in a beautiful place with hundreds of other yogis but my heart felt like it was going to explode from all the joy. I felt alive, awake and so grateful to be part of the DC yoga community. I thought my heart would burst! (No wonder Forbes.com recently counted Washington, DC in the top ten U.S. cities for yoga). By the time we reached the end and everyone chanted OM loudly and clearly, it felt like every cell in my body was vibrating! I felt alive, awake and thankful to be part of this yoga community. I will not easily forget this day. But I will let the pictures below do a better job of describing what I saw. (There are more pictures on my Facebook page.)

Yoga on the Mall 2013

Yoga on the mall sun salute

Yoga on the mall sun warriors

Yoga on the mall childs pose

If you missed it this year, hopefully you can join me in 2014. One thing is for sure, whether you practice yoga or not, you shouldn’t miss it. Thank you to the organizers of DC Yoga Week for all of their hard work!

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You’re a mean one, Ms. Grinch!

For most of my adult life, I have considered the holiday season as hell on earth. It combines two of the things I hate the most – good cheer and shopping.

The cheerful well wishers, carolers, fake Santas and the “Isn’t it a great time to be alive?” folks all encourage me to be more creative about inflicting pain. (Where does one buy an anvil anyway?) Their clear joy and anticipation of the holidays grating on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. If I could hide out during the entire month of December, I would.

And oh, how I LOATHE shopping! I hate the stress of figuring out the perfect gifts… Of not having enough money to get it… And the crowds! For the love of God, the rabid crowds at the store! (Are we people or animals?)

Don’t get me started on the commercialization of Christmas!

Add to it all the stress of having to deal with holiday traffic, will my gifts (ordered online) arrive on time (if at all), did I forget to send someone a Christmas card, what about the obligatory holiday parties? It is complete and total madness! Silent Night my butt!

This season never fails to bring the worst out in people and I am no exception. As the temperature drops, I sink deeper into my sullen mood. When I happen to hear holiday music, it makes me want to drop kick cute puppies and kittens. I have my own personal thundercloud hovering over my head until I am safely ensconced in my sister’s house… A signal that all the holiday preparations and obligations are done and I can finally kick back , relax and enjoy.

But then it’s over too soon. And year after year I am left wishing that I could have enjoyed the holidays just a little bit more. Maybe sang along more loudly and more often when Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You came on. Or maybe even marinated just a little bit more in the gleeful anticipation of the holidays!

You see, my dirty little secret is that I love Christmas. I love celebrating Noche Buena with my family… Eating together, opening presents, playing Mahjong and Rock Band all day long in our PJs! LOVE IT! My heart could explode from the joy of Christmas. There is nowhere else I would rather be!

But I always feel like it’s over before I have even begun to enjoy it! This year though it is going to be different… I will get the business of gift shopping out of the way as soon as possible so I can revel in all the social celebrations that are to come. I can stay away from the crowds and sing along to all the holiday music with a clear conscience. And see? I even put up Christmas lights in my little apartment! So good luck to all of you this year… May you find a little bit more enjoyment in the spirit of the season.

Light Explosion in the Humble Abode

Happy Holidays, my friends! I hope it is a wonderful one!

DC Yoga Week descends on the Mall

Originally posted on DCEventJunkie

Yoga On the Mall

Picture yourself in the shadow of the Washington Monument, eyes closed, sitting cross-legged on the grass, palms pressed together in your heart’s center, calmly breathing with hundreds of other yogis. Is it a dream? No way! On Sunday, May 15th yogis from all over the area will be descending on the grounds of the National Mall to participate in Yoga on the Mall (YOTM). This event kicks off DC Yoga Week! Their mission is to promote yoga, share the wonderful benefits of a yoga practice, and encourage everyone to give it a try.

Participating studios will offer free and $5 classes all week-long! This is your chance to check out your local yoga studio or the one around the corner from your job and find a new place to call your zen home.

What? You’ve NEVER tried yoga? Excuse me?! What are you waiting for? Participating studios like Tranquil Space in Washington, DC will open their doors and offer various classes at an unbeatable price. Joining a yoga studio is a huge financial commitment for most of us. DC Yoga Week will allow you to try out different studios with zero obligations. Talk to instructors and seasoned yogis and ask them any questions you may have about yoga then try a beginner’s class or a class on meditation.

I have said it before and I will say it again: There are only two types of people in the word – those who can’t live without yoga and those who have never tried it. Participate in Washington, DC’s vibrant yoga community starting with Yoga on the Mall and open yourself up to a whole new way of looking at life.

What: DC Yoga Week
When: May 15 – May 22, 2011 | Mall Event May 15th 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: National Mall & Various Yoga Studios Around Washington, DC
Who: Yoga Enthusiasts, Novices, and Experts
What’s Next: Check out participating studios and schedule; Fan on Facebook; Follow the fun on Twitter

Image via Flickr (creative commons) by Lululemon Athletica