Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Another year passes.  It seems the older I get the faster time flies.

Tempus fugit! Est veritas!

Someone asked me about my New Year's resolutions.  Well...I admit I don't make them.  It isn't because I am doubtful or lazy.  Rather, I find that to resolve on something makes me uncomfortable.  I would prefer to identify my bliss and move towards that remaining open to what this will grant my life.  I know this isn't as absolute and possibly not as convincing as some solid and crystallized plan for the future, but I prefer to remain open to where my bliss might take me and discover gifts never imagined.

May I suggest that you look to your bliss this upcoming year and follow that wherever it may lead.

Namaste to you and happy New Year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Contentment

Can you believe this Winter Holiday Season is well upon us?  Hanukkah has come and gone! Solstice and its magical 108 has just passed.  Christmas comes in two days and before one knows it New Year's Day will be here.

Honestly, I feel rather different this year about the entire experience.  Years prior, I have felt the stress of holidays, usually a self induced infusion of expectations and other toxic emotions.  This year I must admit to another sensation, one gladly accepted.  Contentment has settled upon me for this season.

Sure there are material possessions and random things that come to mind that I think might be nice to have and honestly some of them I probably do need.  Who knows maybe I will have these kind of things eventually?  Who knows if I even really want them?

This year I realize all the magnificent things I really do have.  I am alive.  My eyes opened this morning. Besides a touch of the flu,  I seem to be pretty healthy.  I teach yoga for living.  How cool is that?  I am engaged to an amazing woman who adores me.  I live in a mind blowing beautiful place.  I have people who care about me.  Opportunities that I never thought of continue to open up on a regular basis.  The list goes on.   Yes, I am content this holiday.

Please don't think I am bragging.  I just wanted to share because maybe just maybe if you look at your life in the right light you will feel the same, that is if you don't already.

May you discover contentment in your stocking this season!


Namaste!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

108 Sun Salutations

Join me for a very special honor this year at the annual Inner Dance Winter Sun Salutations.  I will be the master of ceremony for this classical yoga experience.  After a brief introduction and a few words behind the symbolism of the Winter Solstice we will flow through 108 Sun Salutations together  as a community.  Karen Greenwood and her Kirtan band will lead us with music and chanting.  It should be inspiring.  

A well deserved hour of restorative yoga will follow then afterwards, enjoy a catered lunch by the Organic Oasis.  

Suggested donation: $30-60 All proceeds go to the Inner Dance Scholarship Fund.  

10:00-11:15 Sun Salutations 11:30-12:30 Restorative Yoga 12:30 Lunch

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

YinYang Yoga



Open Space Alaska presents Yin/Yang Yoga, Wednesdays & Fridays, 12 – 1PM

Revive yourself with Yin/Yang Yoga to get you through your workday with lightness and ease. We bring you a Noon practice intent on finding balance in a combination of energizing flow sequences well matched with nourishing Yin postures and Pranayama (breath-work).  Make this hour of self care, mindfulness and rejuvenation a regular part of your weekly routine.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Practicing Yoga

As a yoga teacher, I find it so important to practice as a student on my mat.  Actually, the urgency of this truth of having regular class attendance means more now than ever before.  Trust me, it's easy to equate teaching with such a personal discipline.  The reality, nothing beats going to classes.

As instructor, the experience of a class is very different.  When teaching,  I stand outside overseeing the movement on top of the ebb and flow of a vinyasa.  Even when the class takes on it's own journey, I still remain a pilot directing the controls in response to shifting energy.  I may or may not engage in numerous poses with my students, but I do so as the guide without completely surrendering to the full benefits of the asana.  This is the role of the teacher as he/she shares the intricacies of yoga and points the way to sublime profundity that rests behind the physical practice.

When I go to one of my teacher's classes, I remove the mantle of instructor and take on the humility of student once again open to the lessons of the mat.  This setting grants so much to me in way of teaching.  Deeper insights into the common poses, new ways to approach vinyasas, modifications and adjustments, the list goes on of things that come to me in the golden moments of practicing as a student.  Most importantly, I get to experience again the raw openness of being a student that combines the height of discovery with the humility of limitation.

Maybe you teach, maybe you want to teach, whatever the case,just  keep practicing.

See you on the mat!

Namaste!







Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Sitting

Recently, one of my teachers asked me rather casually if I had a sitting practice?

Oh no! Please don't ask that!

This is one of those questions that have an acid like quality.  It burns through any superficial idea of yoga because it forces the person being asked to reflect about the inward side of practice.  It is easy to engage in the physical side of yoga by going to classes and performing the external actions.  Well, maybe not easy with all the acts of will and sweat involved.  But, it is less of a challenge than the inner journey which involves the practice of sitting.

Fortunately, I could answer yes to his question.  I do practice sitting and have done so for a while. Several years ago, I discovered the importance for my mental and spiritual well being to engage in some kind of meditation.  I chose the simple art of sitting, no mantras, visualizations or special prayers and techniques, just sitting upright, breathing and being right there.  Upon rising and before embarking on the day's demands, I sit on a pillow or a yoga block in an easy pose, set my timer, close my eyes and breathe.  Then, the adventure begins.  I get to be right there and breath through any run of the mind or distraction in the room.  When I started this practice, yoga took off in my life in a way beyond my imagination and it continues to do so.

The point of this lies outside any self promotion and personal  patting on the back.  Yes, I practice a form of sitting.  My hope is that whoever reads this may delve into the world of sitting and find his/her own way.  Just try it and see what happens.  Sit and be right there wherever that is both on the inside and the outside.

Namaste

Monday, November 18, 2013

Teaching at Lululemon

This week I am the guest teacher at the Anchorage Lululemon Showroom.  During this month, the Showroom is offering free yoga and nutritional  classes every Thursday.  I am pleased and honored to be the guest teacher this Thursday 11/21 for a free one hour vinyasa class that will focus on detoxifying your body. Contact or stop by the Anchorage Lululemon Showroom to sign up for this opportunity.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yoga starts here

Where does my practice start?

Is it when I enter the studio? Step on to my mat?  Flow into a challenging pose?

Nope!

My practice begins with a pen and journal during my morning rhythm.  For years, I have kept the ritual of making a gratitude list of at least ten things.    This simple process of jotting down some things that I truly feel thankful to have in my life begins the opening process, furthering the unfolding that occurs while practicing yoga on my mat.  Trust me when I say this, that the gratitude list has power to do so. I am one of those people who have a temperament that see things half empty and naturally cynical towards simplistic formulas of feel good philosophy.  The gratitude list supersedes any such formula by granting me the opportunity of putting everything into its proper perspective.   I start by writing the word gratitude itself then follow with such things as:

Waking Up
Being Me
Love
My fiances name
Friends
Family
Yoga
My students

The list goes on from there and before I know it at least ten things are on my page.

Rather than convince you that it works.  Try it and see what happens.  It will revolutionize your yoga practice.

Namaste!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Teaching Schedule 11/11-11/17

Come to one of my classes!

Monday
5:30-6:30 Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio (Anchorage Athletic Club)

Tuesday
4:30-5:30 Yoga Conditioning Inner Dance Yoga Studio
6:30-7:30 Vinyasa Flow Basics Spirit Path Yoga

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:50pm  Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio (Anchorage Athletic Club)

Thursday
12pm Yoga Conditioning Inner Dance Yoga Studio
4:30-5:30pm Yoga Conditioning Inner Dance Yoga Studio
7-8:30pm Hips, Core, Explore Yoga Open Space

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
2-3:15pm Gentle Vinyasa Dharma Hot Yoga

Saturday
8-9:15am Yoga Stretch Solo Yoga
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness

Sunday
9:30-11am Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio (Anchorage Athletic Club)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Teaching Schedule 11/4-11/10

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm Core Conditioning (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:30pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness

Tuesday
4:30-5:30 Yoga Conditioning Inner Dance
6:30-7:30 Vinyasa Flow Basics Spirit Path Yoga

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:50pm  Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio (AAC)

Thursday
4:30-5:30 Yoga Conditioning Inner Dance 
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
2-3:15pm Gentle Vinyasa Dharma Hot Yoga

Saturday
8-9am Yoga Stretch Solo Yoga
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio (AAC)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three things to do every morning!

The morning has always been a special time for me. I love rising with the morning light and taking some me time before the day gets rolling. I find this essential for me and in some ways a determining factor in how I approach the day before me. There are three things I do every morning that Leo me get on the right track. Maybe thy will work for you. 

#1 Eat breakfast even if it is simple. I am one of those people who are starving when I wake up. Eating grounds me and and let's me get on with the rest of the day. 

#2 Write a gratitude list. I find this so important. It helps to place things in perspective and reminds me how much I have in my life. 

#3 Sit quietly without doing anything. Some call tho meditation but that sounds so pious. For me, I practice a mindful variation of just sitting upright closing my eyes and just seeing what comes up. No commentary no judgment no forced meditation practice. Just a few minutes is all one needs to center. 

Of course, these are just my personal things. Everyone has such things even if not aware of them. What are your morning practices?  



Monday, October 28, 2013

Class Schedule 10/28-11/2

As Heraclitus declares everything is flux!  I agree going into this week of classes.  You will see some changes but know that it will level off with some very surprising classes.

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm Core Conditioning (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness

Tuesday
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm Core Conditioning (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness

Thursday
12-12:50pm Lunch Yoga Motive8 Health Studio
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
2-3:15pm Gentle Vinyasa Dharma Hot Yoga

Saturday
8-9am Yoga Stretch Solo Yoga
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Monday, October 21, 2013

Class Schedule 10/20-10/27

Another interesting week of classes ahead.  Check them out.

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm Core Conditioning (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness

Tuesday
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:30pm Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Thursday
12-12:50pm Lunch Yoga Motive8 Health Studio
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
2-3:15pm Gentle Vinyasa

Saturday
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness
3-4:15pm Vinyasa Spirit Path Yoga

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teaching Schedule for October 14th-20th. Check it Out!

Namaste!

Lots of interesting classes this week.  I want to give special attention to a couple of classes this week.

My new TONE class at Solo Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays is going into its third week and so far a real hit.  It combines the wonder of a vinyasa yoga class with the fitness focus of a cross fit inspired experience.

Also, I am guest teaching at the new Pulse Studio this week for its Candlelight Gentle Vinyasa class.  I am looking for ward to being in its interesting space and teaching in a venue that is inspired by the world of dance.  Click on the link above and check it out.

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm All Mixed Up (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness
7-8:15pm Energy Yoga Flow I Dharma Hot Yoga

Tuesday
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:30pm Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Thursday
12-12:50pm Lunch Yoga Motive8 Health Studio
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
8pm Gentle Candlelight Vinyasa Pulse Studio

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew

Saturday
8-9am Yoga Stretch Solo Yoga
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness
3-4:15pm Vinyasa Spirit Path Yoga

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Friday, October 11, 2013

Giving up!

Things happen when we give up. I know this sounds contrary to everything you know but after the struggle their comes the give up stage and that is where the magic happens! Think about those times when you pushed and pushed to get something. It didn't work out and you walked away only to have an even more interesting thing emerge. Reflect and think about when this has happened to you. I bet it has. Namaste!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Teaching Schedule 10/7-10/13

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm All Mixed Up (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness
7-8:15pm Energy Yoga Flow Dharma Hot Yoga

Tuesday
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:30pm Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio
7-8:15pm Energy Flow Dharma Hot Yoga

Thursday
12-12:50pm Lunch Yoga Motive8 Health Studio
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew

Saturday
8-9am Yoga Stretch Solo Yoga
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness
3-4:15pm Vinyasa Spirit Path Yoga

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Yoga and Fitness Teaching Schedule 9/30-10/6

I am really pleased about a  new class starting up Tuesdays and Thursdays at Solo Yoga this week.  This hybrid yoga/fitness class called Tone will focus on developing long and lean muscles.  If you haven’t been to Solo Yoga then here is your chance.  Check it out!  Of course, let me know if you have any questions.  Namaste!  

Monday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
4:30-5:15pm All Mixed Up (Hybrid fitness for a complete workout) Alaska Fitness
5:30-6:50pm Muscle Fit (Body sculpting and toning) Alaska Fitness
7-8:15pm Energy Yoga Flow Dharma Hot Yoga

Tuesday
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Wednesday
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew
5:30-6:30pm Hot Yoga Zen Urban Yoga Studio
7-8:15pm Energy Flow Dharma Hot Yoga

Thursday
12-12:50pm Lunch Yoga Motive8 Health Studio
5:30-6:30pm Tone (Hybrid yoga/fitness for developing long lean muscles) Solo Yoga
7-8pm Yoga Flow Midtown Body Renew

Friday
6:30-715am Spin Alaska Fitness
10:30-11:30am Yoga Flow Eagle River Body Renew

Saturday
12-1pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness
3-4:15pm Vinyasa Spirit Path Yoga

Sunday
9:30-11am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio


Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekend Teaching Schedule 9/28+9/29

Saturday 
12pm Yoga Flow Alaska Fitness
4pm Vinyasa Spirit Path Yoga and Wellness

Sunday 
9:30am Heated Vinyasa Zen Urban Yoga Studio (AAC)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Yoga Spirituality?

I have many conversations with people as I travel around teaching classes. Sometimes the topic of spirituality comes up. These are always interesting moments as  people speak about their beliefs and practices. Everybody  has convictions and ideas about the yoga path. Who's to say that what they believe is right or wrong?  I don't know. People often look to a yoga teacher as somebody who may have some spiritual insight and can be rather disappointed when a teacher turns out to be quite a regular kind of person. I can say with honesty to being a person on a deep spiritual path but also a person full of all sorts of idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies, just another trying to figure out the mysteries of life. It does make me wonder what is my spiritual practice in yoga and what are my convictions for such a path. Honestly, I am not religious whatsoever although having had some periods in my younger years when I involved myself in the established means of the spiritual life such as through synagogues and churches. This didn't work for me and turned to something more physical practices eventually ending up in the world of yoga.   Within yoga, there are a lot of ways to access spiritual questions and for my part I tend to remain on the fringes of such inquiries.  Sure, I have my own beliefs which are very few in number believing more in the unique path that every person is on. I tend to make my classes about the physical practice with a dose of mindfulness thrown in to help my students in the now.  If really pressed I would have to say that my yoga spirituality is about the asanas and the suggestions they bring along with them in how to move live and be.  Come and explore a class of mine to find out what this means for yourself.  


Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekend Classes 9/21 and 9/22

Saturday 9/21
Alaska Fitness-12pm-Yoga Flow
Spirit Path Yoga-4pm-Vinyasa

Sunday 9/22
Zen Urban Yoga Studio-9:30am-Hot Vinyasa

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fifth Fitness Component

Often one hears about the four components of fitness (balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance). One can find a great deal about these but there is a fifth essential component often overlooked. I call this mindfulness and think of it as the central point that all others circle around. Mindfulness is the awerness and intention behind physical actions. When involved in an action or exercise mindfulness is what we use to isolate a muscle group, involve the whole body or further align ourselves to reach full potential. This connects all the components together as well as linking physical exercise with the mind aspects of our being. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September

It is just another month but so more. September is a month of new beginnings. It seems more like the season of New Year than out usual one in January. After activities and the interruption of rhythms that the summer brings, this month begins a time when people get down to the real tasks of another set of seasons. For me, it is a time to rethink my priorities and set the intentions that will carry me through months ahead, through the dark and short ones and into the lighter and longer ones that follow. May it be a time of new beginning for you! Namaste!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How about a little mindfulness in your life?

Why not join me for my 30 Day Meditation/Mindfulness Challenge?  It is simple all you have to do is start meditating and do so for thirty days. Well hold on, this doesn't mean you actually meditate for thirty days straight but for a small moment of time every day for thirty days. It only takes a few moments probably at least five minutes to just sit and be right there without doing anything at all besides breathing. Just try it and see what happens. Namaste!  




U

Monday, August 26, 2013

Teaching Schedule Aug. 26-Sept. 1

Hello Everybody! As requested I am posting my yoga teaching schedule for all to see.  I hope to see you in one of my classes.  Please email me with any questions. westlake.david@gmail.com 

Monday
Eagle River Body Renew 10:30am Morning Flow
Zen Urban Yoga Studio 12pm Power Hour

Tuesday
Zen Urban Yoga Studio 12pm Power Hour
Midtown Body Renew 7pm Evening Flow

Wednesday
Eagle River Body Renew 10:30am Morning Flow
Zen Urban Yoga Studio 12pm Power Hour

Thursday
Motive8 Health Studio 12pm Gentle Flow
Midtown Body Renew 7pm Evening Flow

Friday
Eagle River Body Renew 10:30am Morning Flow
Spirit Path Yoga 5:30pm Fitness Flow

Saturday
Alaska Fitness 12pm Yoga Flow
Spirit Path Yoga 4pm Vinyasa

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Teaching Schedule August 22-25

I am teaching all over these days.  If you want to come to one of my classes I would love to see you stop by and flow with me.  Here are the times and places.

Thursday, August 22nd
Motive8 Health Studio-12 Noon Hour Gentle Flow
Midtown Body Renew-7pm Evening Flow

Friday, August 23rd
Urban Zen Yoga Studio (AAC)-6:30 Morning Vinyasa
Eagle River Body Renew-10:30am Morning Flow
Urban Zen Yoga Studio (AAC)-12 Noon Power Hour
Spirit Path Yoga-5:30pm Fitness Flow

Saturday, August 24th
Alaska Fitness-12 Noon Yoga Flow
Spirit Path Yoga-4pm Vinyasa

Namaste!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Individual Sessions

Some of you have asked about my individual yoga and personal training session rates.  My prices are reasonable for the advice and specific attention you will receive.  These are paid for in advance in packages of three or five.  If one purchases ten in advance rates drop by five dollars per session.

$45 for a one hour session.
$25 for a one half hour session


Namaste!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Breathing into my what?

As previously mentioned three days a week I drive to Eagle River to teach a vinyasa style class at the local Body Renew gym. I have great students who are lively and outspoken regarding their feelings about yoga. Today as I prepared to leave, two students were laughing about a previous instructor and some of the long and odd breathing practices she made them do. When I joined the conversation, we laughed a little more about certain phrases and the cliches of certain yoga experiences. Honestly, I get what they are saying at the same time having a deep appreciation for some of seemingly more arcane sides of yoga. For me, there is a powerful message for my practice as a teacher.  My classes are about the students and the needs they bring. I have to read where they are and adjust  for the class to flow and be successful. Most students come for a different experience of fitness. Flexibility, balance and some inner necessity drawing them towards an indescribable aspect of health are just some of the reasons. Rarely in the gym environment are students seeking the mystical. This doesn't diminish the experience. I would argue it actually makes it even more available for many people to come and enter the joy of a yoga practice. A class free of Bhakti like yoga aspects opens the door so that people can find it through the body without having their mind or personal beliefs get stuck. Save the advanced breathing techniques and pseudo Indian philosophies for other times. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Knowing my why!

Recently somebody asked me why I teach yoga. That why question keeps coming up for me. Perhaps, it's because I just finished reading Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why. Maybe, the question is just in my head now, and I am suddenly aware of it's tantalizing pull. What is my why behind yoga?  I could go into long pontifications about this curious question. Instead, I shall follow the advice of a beloved mentor and keep it simple. For me, yoga incorporates many of the things that have interested me since early on. Beauty, philosophical inquiry, alternative health, spiritual longing, fitness and let me me not forget creativity nor the essence of play. Yoga takes all these and rolls them together into a practice of mind, body and spirit. This practice both challenges and invigorates, all the while fueling an inner curiosity to see what more shall be offered.  For me this is like the journey of life. Yes, yoga is the metaphor for this earthly existence  that meets me for who I am and who I might become. Namaste!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eagle River Yoga

Three times a week I make the pretty drive out to Eagle River and instruct a yoga class at Body Renew.  What a wonderful experience this has been!  Even though, Eagle River is so close to Anchorage but that site has had a hard time holding on to a regular instructor.  The students are dedicated and bring with them openness and plenty of experience.  Our yoga room may leave some things to desired, but we have great classes.  This demonstrates how yoga is beyond settings and more about intention.  Thank you to all my students at Eagle River Body Renew!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Evolve Yoga

Many thanks to Evolve Yoga of Johnson City NY for interesting classes this week. I have never practiced in 110 degree classes without a Bikrim twist.  Wow it was hot but very cleansing. http://www.evolvehotyoga.com

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yoga Body Shop

Thank you Yoga Body Shop of Johnson City for great classes last week. You power style vinyasa rocked.  http://yogabodyshop.com/

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gratitude List

Want to start off your day with powerful intent? Try a gratitude list. Most mornings before setting off I begin by sitting and for a few minutes jotting down what I  am grateful for in my life. Sometimes it's a list of large profound ideas such as personal freedom and health. There are other times when much of the list is a set of here and now joys, the immediate things that make life beautiful. We all have these regardless of who we are and the present circumstances of our lives. I have found that this practice has helped me appreciate what I have and place my life on a different perspective. Trust me in saying that I am by nature a rather critical person and it has made a difference in my perceptions. May it be the same for you.   

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yoga? Not your thing? How about a group fitness class?

Maybe yoga isn't your thing?  Check out one of my group fitness classes at the Midtown Body Renew!

Tuesday
Boot Camp 7am
Power Cycle 4:30pm

Thursday
Boot Camp 7am
Power Cycle 4:30pm

Saturday
Boot Camp 9am

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Yoga Teaching Schedule


Here is my new class schedule.  Click on the links to learn more about these locations.  Namaste!

Monday
10:30am Contemporary Vinyasa  Body Renew Eagle River
Tuesday
7pm  Contemporary Vinyasa  Body Renew Midtown
Wednesday
10:30am and 5:30pm Contemporary Vinyasa  Body Renew Eagle River
Thursday 
7pm Contemporary Vinyasa  Body Renew Midtown
Friday 
10:30am Contemporary Vinyasa  Body Renew Eagle River
5:30pm Fitness Flow Spirit Path Yoga
Saturday
2pm Hot Flow Spirit Path Yoga


Friday, May 31, 2013

Power yoga?

I often refer to myself as a power yoga teacher. Why? As I understand power yoga, it focuses on complete whole mind/body engagement for every pose and transition throughout an entire vinyasa practice. I seek to engage my students in this process so that their practice is a complete experience, one that grants them the ability to release in the final asana of corpse pose. This posture represents the goal of a successful yoga class permitting them to access the stilling of the mind described by Patanjali. Since power yoga asks the participant to travel  through this state of constant engagement of mind and body then there is a better chance for one to arrive at a true resting pose. This is my why. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What is Hot Yoga?

I am primarily a hot yoga instructor and many of my classes fall under this style. Even though I teach these classes, I am often puzzled over how to describe exactly what this nomenclature means. What exactly is "Hot Yoga"? To answer such a question in a comprehensive way, one might be better off writing a book of many volumes. For this blog’s purpose, let me describe my personal understanding of this tradition. As I comprehend it, hot yoga takes its literal inspiration from the land of origin, India. Although a land of many geographical regions, many locations in India are both hot and humid. This is even truer for several of the regions that yoga has come from in recent times. If one has ever spent time in such an environment then one realizes the added benefit to flexibility in such a combination. Turning up the heat in a yoga room imitates this, creating an environment that promotes a persons ability to sink into and perform poses. To achieve the desired effect, the heat is turned up to at least 85 degrees and sometimes humidifiers give an extra touch of moisture to imitate an Indian environment. This sets the context; from here, it all depends upon an instructor’s lineage and choice of poses. Sometimes, it is predictable such as in an Ashtonga, Moksha or Bikrim class. Regardless, there are elements and common poses that one will find in all hot yoga sessions. If you attend one of mine, expect a heated room between 90-100 degrees, a vinyasa style flow and an awesome sweat!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Individual Sessions

How about an individual yoga session? Enjoy the personal attention and unique guidance of this one on one opportunity. I can help you discover variations and simple adjustments that will help deepen your practice. Using my experience as a certified personal trainer and registered yoga instructor, I will help you discover variations designed especially for you and your practice. Try one of these packages: One session $40 Three sessions $110 Five sessions $150 Send an email or call to let me know when we can start furthering your practice. Your mind and body will love you for this. westlake.david@gmail.com 607.262.0318

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dreaming and Goal Setting

Dream big! Set goals and achieve them! Powerful words but how does one move in such a direction. Rather than recreate the wheel let me point to some inspirational and helpful advice. Lululemon offers some fantastic tools for goal setting in one's life. Check out this link and enjoy. I found it very helpful. Namaste!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Certified Personal Trainer

Awesome! I completed my personal trainer certification program and passed the test with flying colors. I am now official.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Yoga Bio

I attended my first yoga class ten years ago while living on the coast of Maine at the request of a friend. At the time, I practiced numerous intense physical activities such as sport fencing, running, and endurance hiking; yoga didn’t seem to fit into my scene. Yoga went on to challenge all my unwarranted presuppositions and to turn my understanding of physical practice on its head. That began my journey into the profound depths of yoga. Since then, I have studied at a variety of places with a number of teachers ultimately going on to complete a 200hr teacher training. I call my personal style of yoga “Contemporary Vinyasa” which blends a flowing set of traditional poses with new variations, intentional transitions and active core strength. This is set to inspiring music and combined with levity and mind/body philosophy. Questions? Comments? Come to one of my classes and discover more. Namaste!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yoga Teaching Schedule

Monday Coming soon! 7:30am Awakening Flow Namaste North $12 Wednesday Noon Gentle Hatha Flow Motive 8 Health Studio $12 Friday Noon Power Hour Zen Urban Yoga Studio $7.50 Saturday Noon Core Power Yoga Alaska Fitness $10 2pm Hot Yoga Spirit Path Yoga $10 Sunday 9am Hot Vinyasa Flow Zen Urban Yoga Studio $7.50