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What could be better than Yoga, Raw Juice, and the funky music of DJ Sal on a rooftop, downtown in East Boca? Treat yourself to the healthiest of happy hours this Friday. Join us for a fun all-levels Vinyasa class followed by light bites and fresh juice. No registration required, just show up! It’s free! Bring your own mat.

Yoga Journey’s Lisa Poncek will be leading class. She says, “I’m  excited to teach at Raw Juice because it’s an event that really brings community together and I’m so proud to represent Yoga Journey there. Yoga Journey and Raw Juice are both such generous businesses.”

Come see your friends, and/or make some new ones!

Friday: 8/19/2016

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm 
197 S. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, 33432

Join Yoga Journey each month for this fun all levels vinyasa practice at Raw Juice.

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On this blog I’ve been covering the Yamas and the Niyamas, (which make up one arm of the eightfold path of yoga). In review, the Yamas tell students what not to do. Posts about these restraints can be found here: AhimsaSatyaAsteyaBrahmacharya and Aparigraha.

The Niyamas remind us what we should do. We’ve already explored three of the Niyamas, SauchaSantosha and Tapas. In this post, I delve into Svadhyaya, which means self-study. Truly, the possibilities are endless. If you master this, and become the observer of your own self, you will never be bored again.

You can explore Svadhyaya right this minute by stopping, taking a breath and checking in with how you feel. Are you feeling rushed? Are you sad? Are you angry? Content? Blissed out? Just notice without judgement what your primary emotion is. Be with it for a moment.

Are you aware of a favorite color? Smell? Sound? Taste? You may have always loved the color yellow, but check in; is it your favorite color today?

Are your thoughts really your thoughts? Is your thinking influenced by what you’ve been told by others?

Pausing to notice how we feel, especially when strong emotions come up offers an opportunity to go deeper.  Do you know what your triggers are?

Most of us can see very clearly where others need to grow, but are we able to look at ourselves objectively? Likely not. We all have blind spots. How willing are you to explore your own blind spots? Your triggers will take you there. What bugs you? We are never upset for the reason we think. There is a whole extremely complex history behind every strong reaction. We give situations all the meaning they have for us. Another person faced with the same situation might react very differently or have no reaction at all to something that sets me off.  Observing our personal reactions is a rich exercise. The more we do it, the more empowered we are. With self study, when triggered, we can choose to “react” the same way we always do, or we can choose to “respond” differently. Self observation, Svadhyaya, is key to this awareness, and gives us choice.

Are you aware of how you treat people? Are you kind and respectful? Sweet as punch? Are you condescending? Are you a giver (to a fault)? A taker (to a fault)? What’s your nature? Again, no judgement. Knowing ourselves can help to keep these tendencies in check so we can have balanced energy exchanges with others.

Speaking of energy…are you full of energy? Or does it take a little while for your enthusiasm to build? Are you an early adopter to new ideas, or do you need to hang back a bit to decide? There is merit to both ways of being.

Do you have a biting tongue? If so, why?

A hearty laugh?

Are you tired? Thirsty? Lonely?

What brings you joy?

On the mat, notice everything. Notice your breath. Notice the feel of the body as it roots down, lifts up, stretches. Notice where your mind goes. Ask yourself, who am I? Right now? And now? And now? Notice your emotional reactions as you breathe and move into each pose. No judgement.

Savor your self-study. Nothing is more fascinating than you.

And then ask yourself, who is doing all this noticing?

Take a breath.

Be with that.

Be still.

Now you’re cooking.

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Ladies, imagine it’s a new moon and you are sitting in meditation with a group of like minded women in Sedona, AZ, (known as one of the world’s most spiritual power centers). For the first time in years, Leslie Glickman is leading an all female retreat and you are invited! The theme is new beginnings.

Leslie says this four night/five day retreat over Labor Day weekend will be a very spiritual experience, “A good portion of the trip is going to be in ritual. We’ll be taking an off-road jeep tour to see some of the energy vortexes. We’re going to do a fire ceremony to the moon and we’re going to do a lot of meditation. We’ll hike to a beautiful place like Cathedral Rock and sit in the auspiciousness of the surroundings.”

For this retreat, Leslie is partnering with Andi Bond, a gifted teacher in Vedic astrology and Sanskrit. Leslie invited Andi in as a guest speaker for her recent 500 hour teacher training group and as a result was moved to partner with her for this trip.
While on retreat, Andi will be looking up birth charts for each participant in Vedic astrology and giving them the mantra they are meant to have based on the day and time of their birth.

“Having Andi with me will make this retreat very special,” says Leslie.

Andi’s says her work “helps people identify and align with their unique purpose.” She is able to give students specific guidance as to life direction, and karmic lessons and helps people see their lives from a broader, enlightened perspective.

Andi teaches a unique method of meditation called Transcendent Mantra Meditation. It combines techniques from her studies and years of immersion with direct disciples of spiritual thought leaders. Throughout her spiritual journey, she has been blessed with the opportunity to study under direct disciples of the following incredible teachers: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – founder of TM, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – founder of The Art of Living, Paramahansa Yogananda, and Her Holiness Amma Sri Karunamayi.

She says retreat participants “will learn multiple meditation techniques, as well as develop an understanding of spiritual evolution, consciousness, and how to transform mind, body, and spirit.” 
 

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In addition to visiting the energy vortexes, hiking and meditation there will of course be daily yoga. Retreat members will also be pampered in a magnificent setting at the 5-Star Enchantment Resort, where the food and beverage are world class. The spa at the resort is also world renowned.

Leslie spends a lot of time on and truly enjoys planning every detail of her retreats. She wants people to show up and not have to worry about a thing.

“They don’t have to think. They don’t have to plan, they don’t have to schedule. Everything down to the menus, the massages, even timing the meals and yoga so they don’t have to think about digestion. I want it to be an effortless opportunity for them to be mindful of themselves and to turn inward. They will also have time to connect with others that are doing the same work.”

A retreat with Leslie is truly one of a kind. One of the ways she ensures her retreat experiences are unique is to engage professionals with deep connections on the ground.

“That’s how we end up creating experiences that aren’t just your typical tours. Anyone who goes as a tourist anywhere can see or do the same trip everyone else is doing. My goal is always to create an experience they wouldn’t have been able to have on their own,” says Leslie.

The Sedona retreat is already starting to fill up, with people coming from all over the country. In addition to women coming from South Florida, there are others signed up from Park City, Utah, Vermont, and Asheville, NC so far.

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Trip starts Wed 8/31/2016 and runs through 9/4/2016.

Investment: $2750 (based on double occupancy – airfare not included).

Call to register 561-479-7819 or email leslie@yogajourney.com

 

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Saturday July 9th Mary Ann Morgan-Fried will be offering a workshop on Empowerment and the Shadow at Yoga Journey. The workshop will focus on personal growth, shadow work and the third chakra, which is the seat of the emotions. It is also the heart of personal power and has to do with how we identify ourselves in the world.

Mary Ann says it is important to explore those parts of ourselves that we have shame about or have kept hidden.

“When we embrace the challenges that we’ve had in life, instead of trying to suppress things, we allow them to be something we can learn from, something we can grow from. When we make peace with our shadow side it really changes everything so much.”

The workshop, a Vinyasa flow, is for those who want insight into understanding their shadow parts and living a more authentic life.

“If we continue to live in fear and if we continue to relive the bad things that happened in life it really blocks us energetically. That’s why I feel so passionate about teaching the chakra workshop because it gives us so much insight about where we are and how we can make the change and make a shift. It becomes such a sense of freedom when we start to recognize, let go of, and make peace with the shadow side.”

Yoga Journey student Teresa Trunzo has taken many of Mary Ann’s classes and workshops. She says this about her teaching style,

“Maryann has a welcoming energy about her that wraps around you like a big hug that says I know how you feel, I’ve been there, and you’re safe here. You can relate to what she saying. No judgement, just be…she radiates love.”

Mary Ann encourages students, to “Be real, be you, be authentic.”

Sat: Date: 7/9/2016

12:00-2:00PM

Investment in your self – $45 Sign up here!

**PLEASE NOTE THAT CANCELLATION MUST BE MADE 24 HOURS OR MORE PRIOR TO DAY OF WORKSHOP TO RECEIVE A REFUND. YOU MAY CALL OR EMAIL STUDIO

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Sunday, July 10th Anna Crane, certified yoga instructor and meditation guide, practitioner of meditation for over 40 years, will lead a workshop at Yoga Journey.

It will focus on three aspects of meditation. Mantra: The first entry into meditation, helps clear distractions and help our minds become quiet. A specific mantra (a word or sound) will be used at the workshop.

Mindfulness: The Bhuddist practice of mindfulness offers another way of responding to whatever is going on in our lives. We bring compassion directly to the core of the issue. This is the first step towards healing and releasing distress, whatever is going on.

Raja Yoga: The king of all yoga, focuses on the breath. Anna’s intention in leading the workshop,

“I hope participants come away with a profound experience of what a meditation practice can bring them. The word meditation means concentrated focus, getting used to something, and in this case, becoming familiar with the breath.”

She adds, “Meditation to me, means an experience of peace. Peace is within each and every one of us.”

If you’d like tools to bring more calm to your life, consider attending and learning from Anna’s wealth of knowledge.

The workshop is Sunday, July 10th from 12-1:30PM.

Investment in your own well-being, $20.00

Sign up here! 

 

**PLEASE NOTE THAT CANCELLATION MUST BE MADE 24 HOURS OR MORE PRIOR TO DAY OF WORKSHOP TO RECEIVE A REFUND. YOU MAY CALL OR EMAIL STUDIO.

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Melanie Haraldson practiced yoga sporadically for many years. She played soccer in college (and coached soccer as well, including coaching Leslie Glickman’s daughter Molli) and would come to yoga looking for a tough, challenging workout. In time she began to realize there was something more to the practice than just the physical, but it wasn’t something she felt ready to tap into.

“It was about a month after I lost my dad to suicide, through addiction, that I came to one of Debra’s classes, and while I was in Shavasana I started crying hysterically. It was terrifying for me. I always walked around with this front of I’m strong, and nothing can phase me, and I’m okay. Afterward, Deb sat with me for a long time and made me feel safe and held and loved and it made me feel like it was okay to go back. It took me a long time, but I did.”

Three months after that, in another class, it happened again.

“It really woke me up to the fact that I needed to pay attention to what was happening in my body.”

Leslie told Melanie to keep making her way to her mat.

And so, ten months after her father passed away, Melanie signed up for her 200 hour teacher training with Leslie Glickman. She had no idea how transformational it would be for her.

“There were two other women in our teacher training group that had also lost someone they loved to suicide, very recently, and so I truly believe the power of the Universe, God, Higher Power, Spirit, whatever you believe, brought us all together in that moment and in this training. It provided a very sacred and safe space that allowed a huge amount of healing that I never would have known could have existed, if I didn’t have that first experience of releasing those tears on my yoga mat.”

In addition to her 200 hour training with Leslie, Melanie has gone on to study with Nikki Myers founder of Y12SR and Tommy Rosen founder of Recovery 2.0. Both programs are geared toward serving those in recovery from addiction. She recently got back from a conference with these teachers and many others.

“Each time I go to a workshop like this, I think I’m going there to help other people, that I’m going there to learn as much as I possibly can so that I can bring this back to my community, and I am, but I also am reminded very quickly that I am there for myself and that I too still have a lot of healing that I need to let myself go through. These places always have a way of cracking me wide open.”

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Melanie is now teaching yoga full-time and most of her classes are in treatment centers. This has truly become her life’s work – to help others on the path of recovery!

She teaches Yin at Yoga Journey, and talks about her initial resistance to, and then progression into loving the Yin practice.

“The long slow deep holds used to feel too slow for me. I needed that fast paced, sweaty workout. I was always seeking that. So often we’re so busy that very little do we actually take the time to slow down. There is a lot of magic in slowing down and being still and being quiet and becoming fully present in your body. I find it’s exactly what I need. To find that balance in my life, when for so long I’ve been out of balance. Often when I think I need something more intense, really what I need is something that is quiet and something that is still. Yin allows me to come back to me. To come back home.”

Melanie is currently in Leslie’s 500 HR teacher training program. Her Yin class at Yoga Journey is on Thursdays at 4PM. Join her this Friday the 17th for Yin with Candlelight and Live Music from 6:00-8:00PM. Sign up here! 

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On this blog I’ve covered the Yamas: AhimsaSatyaAsteyaBrahmacharya and Aparigraha. In review, the Yamas tell students that want to live a yogic life what not to do. The Niyamas remind us what what we should do. The Yamas and Niyamas are listed in the ancient sage Patanjali’s Sutras, under the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

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We’ve already explored two of the Niyamas: Saucha and Santosha.

In this post I am going to delve into Tapas.

Tapas at its most literal means heat. It also means purification. It means to bring zeal to your yoga practice, to your life. For some, the hardest part of yoga is getting out the door, and/or onto the mat. It may take Tapas to peel the child off your leg, and honor the promise you made to yourself to get the studio! Another example of Tapas is bringing your very best to each pose. It might mean engaging your core, hugging thigh muscles onto bone during trikonasana, or plank pose. For others it might mean returning to the breath again and again as the mind wanders off during meditation.

Tapas is a form of self-discipline.

It is important to note that tapas should not be used as a tool to feed the ego. Tapas should not become a punishment or a tool to justify self-hatred. Tapas does not mean push yourself to the point of pain or injury or exhaustion. It means do your practice with enthusiasm, and give it your best.

Is there a pose that you hate or avoid? Bring the energy of Tapas to it next time you practice. See if you have a little more in you to give. Is there an attitude you carry around that is adversely affecting you? See if you can work on this during your practice, offer it up for purification, visualize burning it off and letting it go as you move and breathe.

Where in your life are you feeling dense, or sluggish? Where can you give it a little more oomph? Off the mat, how are your relationships? Are you taking them for granted? Tapas might mean doing something fun with your partner or friends to give those relationships a boost of energy. Turning off the phone and having a face to face heart to heart with someone you love might be a form of Tapas.

Are you feeling like eating junk and watching junk TV? Get up off the couch and do six sun salutations with Tapas. Notice your energy change.

Life is a gift. Tapas means don’t just go through the motions. If you are going to do something, put your whole heart into it. Whether it’s mastering a pose like vrischikasana or cleaning the toilet. Give it all you’ve got. Draw from your inner well. Be inspired. Think Tapas.

*photo of Yoga Journey teacher Laura Buchbinder Hedges. Photo credit, her sister, Sarah Jane.

 

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Left to right: Mary Ann, Debra, Leslie, Amy, Juli

Leslie Glickman will be offering her next 200 hour teacher training starting Wed. May 11, 2016. This particular training will be unique compared to past trainings. Leslie will be incorporating a team of her 500 hour trained teachers into the mix, to give her students even more individualized attention as they work toward their teaching certificates.

Leslie says, “It was a natural progression. I’ve done a number of the 500 hour trainings and as those teachers elevate, I want room to incorporate them in the organization. My fingers are going to be on the pulse of the training the entire time but this gives me some flexibility if I have to step out for an afternoon to tend to my current 500 hour students. I’ll know my 200 hour students are in great hands with seasoned teachers that can handle the curriculum.”  

In addition to Leslie, Yoga Journey teachers Debra Zambrana, Juli Kagan, Mary Ann Morgan Fried, and Amy Kleinberg will make up the 200 hour faculty.

“They all bring something to the table. They all have a really special way about them, and a passion for the content they’ll be covering. I feel proud to have them as part of my team. As their mentor and their teacher I am so happy that I have an opportunity to help them grow,” Leslie adds.

Debra Zambrana says with five instructors, students are likely to benefit from getting the experience of several different teaching styles.

“Variety is the spice of life. There is no one way to do anything. We as a team can offer different perspectives. So if one doesn’t resonate maybe another will.”

Amy Klienberg says she’s honored to be part of this dynamic team of talented teachers, “It is exciting to contribute my knowledge of yoga as it was taught to me and to share all the little things that I have figured out on my own. Every time I teach, I continue to learn.”

Whether your goal is to teach, or to just gain a deeper understanding of yoga for your own practice, Mary Ann hopes each student “finds within themselves nothing is ever impossible.”

The 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Journey is a very comprehensive, organized program. Juli Kagan says,

“I have had the rare privilege of both teaching & taking numerous yoga teacher trainings -all of them at least at the 200 hour level – and without a doubt, the most comprehensive yet personalized and unique program is at Yoga Journey!  A big reason is owed to the fact that Leslie Glickman has this exceptional ability of bringing each of her students to a higher level of purpose, consciousness and giftedness because she sees possibilities in an individual more than they see for themselves. It is truly striking to be a witness to such grace and, I can honestly say,  it happens with every student Leslie touches. It is a sincere honor and privilege to be part of the Yoga Journey faculty and look forward to sharing my love of yoga with those ready to embark on a journey of enrichment and pure joy!”

This particular training is also a rare opportunity to take the 200 hour over the summer. Leslie’s Spring/Summer 200 hour trainings usually run April through July.

It’s almost full, but not too late to sign up. Do you feel the call? If so, contact Leslie ASAP.

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The following is a repost of blog written in December 2014. Mary Ann Morgan-Fried will be teaching a two hour yoga chakra flow workshop this Saturday from 12-2PM. Sign up here! She also teaches a beautiful all-levels Vinyasa class on Wednesdays at 9:15AM. 

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Mary Ann Morgan-Fried got into yoga at her doctor’s recommendation. She was in the corporate world, and was experiencing a lot of anxiety. Her doctor gave her a choice, anti-depressants or yoga. She chose yoga. That was about 15 years ago.

At first yoga was sporadic for her. On the one hand, she loved it. On the other hand it often unleashed emotions that left her feeling shaken up after practice. She had been a self-described party girl, using drugs to numb feelings that were painful to deal with, and had been through the 12-step process in her 20’s, but there was still a lot of stuck energy inside her.

“What 12-step gave me was an understanding of my journey, of my family, of my life, but energetically I still had a lot of unhealed stuff from my childhood and I didn’t know how to channel that energy. I started reading Wayne Dyer and began seeing things differently, and I began to be more serious with the yoga and it’s been an incredible journey,” says Mary Ann.

It was in 2010 that she started teacher training with Leslie Glickman.

She says yoga helped her untie the energetic knots that were holding her back.

“I’d done well professionally, but in my personal life I was always stuck. And I didn’t know how to get out of that. Now that I understand it and now that I look back I see it was so much energy that I was carrying through my life and I never expressed it and never learned how to talk about how I felt growing up. There was a lot of stuff that I protected in my life. We get so tangled with our emotions whether it’s an addiction to drugs or an addiction to something else, we are so tied up in those knots and yoga helps unravel them.”

Mary Ann teaches chakra workshops. She says chakra work has helped so much in untying those knots.

“The yoga is one of the limbs of the practice but it’s the chakras that help bring an understanding of who you are, your journey and bringing you a lot of transformation. When you understand the chakra work, you start understanding your journey and you start understanding yourself and where things come from in your past.”

Mary Ann says yoga has helped liberate her.

“After all the years of taking yoga classes and teaching yoga classes, I feel such a sense of freedom and peace, and every once in a while something will come up that just gives me more understanding of my journey, and my shadows. Not to go back to my past, but integrating all the parts of me, letting them come up so they can be released and healed. In my practice, the last few years I feel like I am one, meaning I didn’t used to share that I was in the 12-steps because of shame, and Leslie really helped me with that because I didn’t realize how I was keeping myself separated. When really, as a result of my sharing, it has allowed so many people to share their own stories and to know they have support. I understand the process and the journey because it can be very difficult and the challenge is…when you go through the 12-step program, now what do you do? You did all the work, and it’s very challenging for people after. Where do you go from there?”

Now, with that shame in the past, she finds great meaning in sharing her story with her students.

“I am beyond grateful for so much, and that’s why as a teacher I just want to share my journey and everything I’ve learned from so many amazing authors and teachers. I just want to help people have the courage truly to look at themselves. Taking that inner journey of self-discovery, self-healing, self-forgiveness…. that truly is my intention as a teacher…to bring that, so they can feel peace and love.”

  • photo credit Lew Lautin

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Lisa Ponczek is one of those people that is always upbeat. She doesn’t spend a lot of time complaining. Her energy is infectious. She’d been practicing yoga for over a decade, but it never really grabbed her. She thought of it as just a workout and would often run off to do more cardio after class.

Then, in September 2012 she went to the doctor for a routine checkup. She had no symptoms, but a nagging feeling that something was wrong. She was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

“For a month, I couldn’t function. I couldn’t leave the house. I was convinced I was going to die,” says Lisa.

She went to a different doctor, a holistic oncologist, and who told her, “Go to yoga.” Specifically he said, “Go to kundalini yoga.” She went, and found a sense of peace there.

“That day, after that initial kundalini class, it was the first time I wasn’t crying all day. I felt more centered. So I kept going.”

Before her diagnosis, Lisa was becoming an empty nester. She was a speech pathologist, but primarily she was a mom.

“I was losing my purpose. I almost feel like the diagnosis was God saying this is what you are going to do, and turning me in a different direction. Little by little, I took more and more yoga classes and fell in love with it because I was no longer there for just the physical. I was there for so much more.”

She soon would sign up for her 200 hour teacher training, followed by another 200 hour training at Yoga Journey.

“I teach ten classes a week now and get on the mat myself at least 3 x per week and I couldn’t live without it.”

Lisa continues to get treated for CLL.

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“I use yoga and meditation to get through the treatments. Whether it helps your prognosis, you can’t really say but it helps your attitude and helps you handle whatever is going on in life. The yoga definitely helps me accept that and gives me strength.”

Lisa is currently in a 500 hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Journey and is taking part in the Yoga 4 Cancer training program as well.

“I hope to go into cancer support groups. I’d like to work with not just patients, but their families as well. It is so stressful for families and caregivers.”

She says teaching yoga is a blessing for her,

“When I teach I feel like I’ve been healed. I love teaching so much. Whether it’s two students in a room, or 30. It feels so good to be giving. I think that was one of my fears. I always nurtured my family, my children,  but they were leaving. Now I can nurture myself by nurturing others. I find it so rewarding. I still have to take time to just get on my own mat and take care of myself as well. I’m working on finding the balance. I feel pretty confident I’ll get through this.”

Of the yoga community,

“The yoga community has been so supportive. The calls. The texts. The bringing over food. The constant checking on me. I’ve been in this community for a relatively short time and it’s really incredible how loving and caring they are. I truly feel part of something that is so positive and nurturing and I hadn’t had that in so long. It creates an energy with all love. That’s been the greatest lesson and I don’t think I’d have found that without my diagnosis and I truly have to be grateful for that.”

Lisa says most of all, yoga has helped her let go of fear and attachment to outcomes.

“Practicing yoga doesn’t guarantee an outcome that you’ll survive and be okay. Nothing can guarantee that. Hopefully that is the case for most, and yoga helps you deal with the treatment, but in case your treatments don’t work, and you don’t survive, the yoga helps you to accept even that. You never know, but the yoga helps you let go and not hold on to an outcome. So hopefully you don’t leave too early, but the yoga helps with acceptance of whatever happens.”

Lisa teaches Wednesdays at 7AM, and Thursdays at 12:30, both are all-levels Vinyasa classes.

*Photo credit Andrea Blakesberg, and .George Ponczek.