Fancy Pants: LuluLemon Arrives in NYC


At last, the wildly popular Canadian yoga-clothing company, Lululemon Athletica, brings its innovative and high-quality gear to New York.

Already in L.A. and Chicago, the company’s designers use fabrics such as Silverescent (which draws on the anti-bacterial qualities of silver) and Luon (which wicks away moisture), to create sexy clothes for yogis and non-yogis alike. Lululemon also has a soul: In 2005 its stores gave $300,000 back to local communities through their Charitable Giving Program. Look good, do good: sounds good.

1928 Broadway at 64th St (212-496-1546, lululemon.com)


Goal Mate: Yoga for Running, Golfing, Dating, Public Speaking

Photo: Alexander Milligan

Photo: Alexander Milligan

Whether to improve your game or give you game, these inventive classes use yoga to enhance other pursuits.

For Going the Distance (running, golfing, cycling)

Pros on the Nets, the Mets and the Giants have all done yoga. Now savvy amateur athletes can benefit from asana guidance, too. This winter, Yoga Works (212-769-9642, yogaworks.com) offers a variety of two-hour yoga workshops that help runners, cyclists, skiers, golfers, dancers and marathoners train smart and stay focused.

Eschewing the smorgasbord approach, the Running Center (therunningcenter.com, 212-362-3779) holds ongoing yoga classes specifically for runners’ needs—knee and leg health, breath control, and mental endurance.

Yogi J.Brown (917-446-8871, yogijbrown.com) works with golfers on precision and flexibility to improve their swings and their scores.

And come January, Marissa Spano (917-734-7301), a recent transplant from Hawaii, will offer group classes for cyclists, using the techniques of pranayama (breath work) and asana to strengthen knees, ankles, wrists and shoulders and to develop balance on the bike. Ask her about her work with divers and surfers, too.

For Getting Some (dating, sexuality, fertility)

“First comes love, then comes marriage…” and now comes yoga for all stages of coupling. Start with Y-Date?!, an annual event at Noodle Yoga, in Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-624-5525, noodleyoga.com), where owner Nadia Block holds an open-level class followed by a singles soiree (the next Y-Date?! is scheduled for Spring ’07).

Once you’ve met the One, prepare yourself for consummation at a Yogic Ecstasy workshop with Marisa Sullivan (347-563-1404, yogicecstasy@yahoo.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sullivan helps women (and soon men) to expand their orgasmic potential through kegels, breathing exercises, vocalization and guided imagery.

And keep those nethers supple and toned at the ongoing Let’s Stay Juicy class at the Breathing Project (212-979-9642, breathingproject.org). If your next stop is babyland, boost your fertility in a Receptive Nest workshop led by Barrie Raffel and Karen Safire (212-898-0414), which focuses on restorative poses and calming the nervous system.

For the Call-back, the Calling and Speaking Up (writing, singing, public speaking)

Liz Caplan of Yoga for Singers (212-645-9369, lizcaplan.com) works with Broadway performers, while Suzanne Jackson of Yogasing (610-444-4135, yogasing.com) works with opera singers and public speakers—both offer yoga workshops, coaching and DVDs to help open up the muscles used to breathe, and to help calm performance jitters.

To get the creative juices flowing, award-winning TV commercial producer Barbara Benedict offers Yoga for Writers, Artists and Other Creative Souls at Levitate Yoga (212-974-2288, levitateyoga.com), a vinyasa class that incorporates artistic assignments (bring a sketchbook or journal).

Yoga for Public Speaking is also a part of Yoga Effects’ comprehensive 8-Part Beginner’s Series (212-754-5600, yogaeffects.com). Director Liz Mandarano says yoga helped her become a better speaker and lawyer—and motivated her to quit the corporate life. Who says creative leaps are limited to artists?

Class Menagerie: the IntenSati Workout at Equinox


Three city gyms have launched new workout series to entice you into their ranks.

Patricia Moreno’s class at Equinox Gyms won’t just sculpt biceps and buttocks. It also aims to turn unhappiness into positive expectations. Moreno, a former kickboxing teacher, developed IntenSati by blending cardio, dance, yoga and aerobics with life coaching. Sati is the Buddhist concept of intention, so students repeat affirmations such as “Every day, in a very true way, I cocreate my reality,” while following Moreno through a butt-kicking workout. The class concludes with a meditation session, during which Moreno assures us that we can live the life we want and look great, too. We just need the right intention and enthusiasm—and a membership at Equinox. At four Equinox locations throughout the city. Call 212-774-6363, or visit www.intensati.com or www.equinoxfitness.com for information.


Raw and Order: Matt Amsden Begins Raw Food Delivery


Matt Amsden launches his L.A.-based raw-food delivery service in New York.

Do you like broccoli when it’s been boiled so long that you can mush a floret with your tongue instead of chewing it? According to raw-foodists, you’re not getting much more nutrition than you would from a bowl of air. The raw-food movement is already well under way in New York and if you haven’t jumped on board yet, Matt Amsden will come to you. The 30-year-old founder of RAWvolution, an L.A.-based meal delivery service, began eating a diet of exclusively uncooked, vegan food at 21. After becoming an integral part of the West Coast raw-food scene, Amsden launched RAWvolution in 2001, and soon was counting Cher and Alicia Silverstone among his clients. This month he brings his convenient, healthy food to Gotham.

Why did you decide to launch RAWvolution in New York?
New York is ready for raw food. And most of our shipments out of L.A. are to the East Coast already. This is a takeout oriented city: If it’s made easy, people will do it.

Why go raw?
The benefits are innumerable, but the main thing is how great it makes you feel. Not long after I started [eating this way], my mind got really clear. And if you need to lose weight, you will—I know people who’ve lost more than 100 pounds. Raw food has 80–85 percent more nutrition in general. In cooked food, the enzymes necessary for digestion are mostly destroyed. Enzymes are involved in every metabolic process in the body. If you’re always eating denatured food, you’ll always be hungry. I don’t get headaches or colds anymore and my digestion is great.

When you first went raw, did you miss things?
Definitely. I went cold turkey from eating junk food to 100 percent raw. It’s not what I recommend, but it’s what I did. I had a visceral craving for corn chips—corn chips were like heroin.

Any particular brand?
[Laughs] Any kind of fix would have done it at the time. As long as it was salty and crunchy.

Where did the name RAWvolution come from?
There’s a lot of craziness, fighting and unhappiness in the world. We all need to clean out. I became calmer and happier with a better diet. We call it the RAWvolution because it’s a revolution with food, but it’s also doing something better for the world.

Visit rawvolution.com or call 800-9976-RAW. $110–$140 per delivery (includes two soups, four entrées, four side dishes and two desserts).

Om Sweet OM


According to Cyndi Lee, director of OM Yoga, the perfect date includes a restorative yoga class, deep tissue massage and a movie. You may not want to do that on a first date, but you certainly could at OM’s new Wellness Sanctuary—all but the movie. “People come here to feel good about themselves; bodywork is an extension of that,” Lee says of her decision to expand services. Mix and match your treatments on a ten-visit card ($850): get a Swedish massage, relax with reflexology, be stretched Thai-yoga–style and consult with a nutritionist. Or try sample of them all for free at Om’s Wellness Week, Mon 18 through Sept 22 . There’s no push to sign up for yoga classes or buy OM products—the only pressure will come from the bodyworkers’ talented hands.

826 Broadway at 12th St, sixth floor (212 254-YOGA, omyoga.com)


Cosmic Con: The Path of Yoga Conference


Calibrate yourself with the universe at the Path of Yoga conference.

In India, millions gather at kumbha melas, or spiritual festivals, to cleanse body and spirit in sacred rivers like the Ganges. The Omega Institute, the upstate center for holistic studies, will host its own form of kumbha mela in Manhattan September 15–18 with the seventh annual Path of Yoga conference. This year’s pose-a-thon, which alternates each year between New York and Miami, welcomes 28 established instructors—some of them full-blown yogic celebrities—who’ll lead more than 85 workshops. We checked in with a few standouts, each of whom has several sessions; here’s what to expect. 

Sheraton New York, 811 Seventh Ave at 53rd St (800-944-1001, eomega.org). $445, individual workshop price TBD. Pre- and postconference intensives $125, non–conference attendees $175.

Author of Yoga for Depression Amy Weintraub.jpg

Amy Weintraub

“We’ll be using techniques to create self-acceptance and compassion. Every time you roll out your mat you’re creating sacred space—accepting where you are first, then moving towards where you want to be.”

Author of Yoga for Depression, Amy Weintraub has learned to use the yogic techniques, including pranayama, or breath control, to balance moods and emotions.

Master Ashtanga Yoga teacher David Swenson.jpg

David Swenson 

“The most important thing is to practice in a way that you enjoy so that you’ll want to do it again the next day. It’s just a matter of practice. That’s all [my guru] Pattabi Jois has ever said.”

Master teacher David Swenson has practiced ashtanga since 1969. His workshops will expand students’ understanding of vinyasa and hands-on adjustments in this physically demanding practice.

Shiva Rea Yoga Teacher TimeOut NY Interview.jpg

Shiva Rea 

“My classes are about awakening the sahaja or spontaneous flow of yoga. The way Americans interpret yoga can be quite rigid; I help people connect to the inherent freedom of their fluid body.”

California yogini Shiva Rea wants her students to experience yoga not just as physical practice but also as an embodiment of the life force flowing within us.

John Friend Anusara Yoga Teacher Interview TimeOut NY.jpg

John Friend 

“Yoga promises the experience of the very essence of life. It inspires you to be a full citizen and to add to the artistry and goodness of the world.”

John Friend’s internationally popular style, anusara, emphasizes alignment, joy, and community in practice. Friend is a busy bee at this conference: He’s giving six workshops, including Rock with Shakti, and Align with the Divine, in addition to the keynote address.

Ken Wilber: Man of the Our


Ken Wilber thinks we could all benefit from adopting each other's philosophies.


Ken Wilber, founder of the Integral Institute, has written more than two dozen books. In his latest, the forthcoming Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World (Integral Books, $23), the scholar draws on science, psychology, philosophy and world religions to argue that an integral understanding of them all will benefit our lives more than a my-way-or-the-highway attitude. On Friday 8 and Saturday 9, he brings his complex theories to the masses, joining Tibetan Buddhist monk Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche at the New York Society for Ethical Culture for a program titled “Spirituality and the Modern World.”

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

What is the “integral approach”?
It’s a map of human capacities and tools developed by comparing theories spanning the last 2,000 years—psychoanalysis, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, science, philosophy, etc. Common themes tend to emerge.

You say that modernist and postmodernist theories have trashed ancient thought, such as the world’s major religions. How?
The great metaphysical traditions contain extremely important truths about body, mind, soul and spirit, but express them in ways that made science—in this case, science is modernism—very suspicious. Science came in and said, “I need objective evidence.” And in part that was right: Those traditions couldn’t understand, for example, what’s going on with the brain’s chemistry during meditation. So half of what science did is really important. But the other half was a disaster; it reduced everything.

So science and religion became locked into a domestic dispute?
Yes [laughs]—of colossal proportions!

And it’s important to reconcile these ideas because otherwise we only profit from one body of knowledge instead of both?
Exactly. The integral approach finds common ground. Why should these things be fighting? It makes no sense whatsoever.

But now you’re coming to talk along with someone who is a master in one particular spirituality. Isn’t that counter to the integral approach?
You can use any tradition you want, including, in this case, Tibetan Buddhism, as a basis for the integral approach. People get excited because we don’t tell them what to think. They fill in the blanks themselves.

What do you hope will ultimately come of your theories of spirituality?
I hope we could all have a bigger view of things. There’s a lot of war in the world today—and virtually every answer to it is “Get rid of the other views.” It’s crazy—not once did somebody say, “Hey, wait a minute: Everybody’s right.”

Wellness: The Twisting and Turning Trends of the Season


Fall Preview 2006

The world of yoga will stretch in several new ways this season.

Yoga day spas: Area Yoga and Namaste Yoga were among the first to offer extras such as bodywork, nutrition counseling and even psychotherapy. Before you know it, you could be using your class card for a facial.

The slipping of savasana: When centers cram the content of a 90-minute session into 60 minutes of “express” yoga, savasana—the meditative relaxation that concludes each practice—is sometimes shortchanged, and is in danger of disappearing altogether.

Downward-facing daddy: First there was mommy yoga, then kids’ yoga, even dog yoga. A few family-unit classes have already popped up and we expect many more.

Small time: Big studios stay big by offering scads of basic classes to attract beginners. Veteran practitioners will flee to smaller studios (such as Kula Yoga Project, the Shala and Yoga Center of Brooklyn) in search of reliable, advanced classes taught by homegrown studio owners.

Alternative deities: Classes such as Jill Satterfield’s are fusing Buddhist principles with yoga practice. The 92nd Street Y and the JCC hope to launch Jewish yoga classes within the next year. It can’t be long before Christian yoga, popular in the Midwest, makes its way here.

Yogi passports: Based on the popularity of retreats in Costa Rica and Mexico, NYC studios are sponsoring studies farther afield; trips are planned to Brazil, Japan and Patagonia this year and next.

“Power” power yoga: Since sports-tailored classes—yoga for golfing, surfing and biking—will soon flourish, it can’t be long before career-performance classes sprout up. How about yoga for public speaking?


The Heart and Soul of Sex: Book Review


A few blissful nights might tell you what tantric yogis have always believed: Sexual and spiritual ecstasy are related. And now we’ve got hard evidence. Sex therapist and scholar Gina Ogden, Ph.D., applies Western academic research methods to the ancient tradition in her new book, The Heart and Soul of Sex: Making the ISIS Connection (Trumpeter, $23). Of the more than 3,000 women and 600 men she polled, 67 percent say, “Sex needs to be spiritual to be satisfying.” These findings challenge prevailing medical models, which study intercourse within the parameters of performance and dysfunction. On Tuesday 25, Ogden discusses her findings at the Open Center and offers practical advice for transcendence in the bedroom (think tantra, chakras and visualizations). Yes, the book is aggressively New Agey, but don’t let that turn you off, because it could ultimately turn you on.


Critic's Pick: 100 Years of Solitude


In the 1970s, guru Paramahamsa Hariharananda (1907-2002) fell in love with New York and introduced thousands here to the meditation-focused methods of Kriya Yoga. By mastering breath, students delve into their psyches, hoping to free themselves of karmic debt and ultimately reach samadhi, or nirvana. As part of an international celebration of Hariharananda’s legacy and upcoming centenary, Kriya Yoga New York hosts A Celebration of Love and Peace Thursday 22 through Sunday 25. Workshops will be led by renowned sages of the Kriya Yoga lineage (which has included Mahatma Gandhi and the saints of the Bhagavad Gita). A film screening, photo exhibition and, on Sunday 25, a discussion at the Rubin Museum titled “Path of Yogis: A Dialogue” are also on the bill. All events at Morocco Studio except the Sunday 25 discussion at the Rubin Museum. See listing.


The Zone: Union Square, Yoga HQ


On Mon 1, Jivamukti Yoga School, a giant among centers, opens its highly anticipated, eco-friendly new studio. The 12,000-square-foot space features floors made of recycled tires and a vegan café designed by natural-food chef Matthew Kenney. It also consolidates Union Square as a mecca for practitioners: East West Yoga opened in January; nearby Be Yoga relaunches this month as Yoga Works; heavy-hitters OM Yoga and Bikram Yoga Union Square have been booming since 2003; and at least five other studios exist in the area. Things have certainly changed since Kundalini Yoga East struggled to find an area landlord willing to rent it space in 1994. Some yogis anticipate competition, but not Sky Meltzer of Yoga Works: “More places means more yoga for everyone.” Let the sweat begin.

Jivamukti Yoga School, 841 Broadway at 13th St, second floor (212-353-0214).