INTRO OFFER – 30 days for $50!*

Posts Tagged with: ODDlight

#ODDLight: Niki Saccareccia

Meet Niki! She one of our newest teacher at ODD. If you haven’t taken class with her already, get on it! Find her on the schedule in Echo Park and Eagle Rock! In the meantime, you can brush up on all your Niki trivia by reading this post and learning more about the teacher, the student, the yogi, the human that is Niki Saccareccia.
Name: Niki Saccareccia
Nickname: The Great Pacifier, Lighthouse, Nikalini, NikNak, Nicolette, Curls
Hometown: Melbourne, FL
Favorite place: Anywhere in kind company with great food, music and fresh air.


What initially inspired you to become an instructor?
I was doing my summer internships at a sleep-away camp in upstate New York for at-risk and special needs youth. My colleagues and I were working 7-10 days straight through for 9 weeks, providing intensive 1:1 care to our campers. I saw how our entire lives/careers were going to hinge on self-sacrifice and burnout, just like every Psychologist and Therapist before us -t he need is always greater than those willing to help and it made me upset to think that the people spending their lives caring for other people’s children were destined for burnout. So, I started leading sunrise yoga classes so we could all get some self-care before our crazy, long days. I wasn’t formally trained yet, but knew I wanted the skills to help give back to my peers and other caregiver-types. I wanted to care for the caregivers.


Why do you continue to teach?
It’s rewarding to see immediate impact on people – I know I’m helping the world by sending people back into it feeling more grounded, cared for, seen and relaxed. It also uses every part of my talent and skill which keeps my spirit and mind sharp. Sometimes I teach 7-8 classes a day, but I always wake up happy because I’m doing what I love for a living, and continuing a lineage of applied philosophy that is more relevant than ever to the betterment of our planet and humanity. Plus, I can talk about poetry, philosophy, anatomy and physics in the same class and still be on topic. It’s so fun!


How do you define yoga?
Big Picture: Radical self-acceptance of what actually is.
Microcosm: The practice of balancing “doing” and “being” in one’s own agency, while being in relationship to all other things.


When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
Entrepreneuring ways to bring more yoga to more people, cooking with my friends, petting all the dogs, hiking and traveling/exploring places.


Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.

When I was in middle school, my parents and I were on a road trip in Florida, traveling on a toll road. As we were pulling up to the toll booth, I saw a small car in the lane next to us, moving but with no driver. I started to freak out, worried that the car would crash into the car ahead of it. Turns out, it was hitched to the tailgate of a giant RV that I couldn’t see because it was in the toll both area, already. My parents will still tease me about this, and it was over 20 years ago.


What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?

As a full time yoga/meditation teacher, I drive A LOT so I need counterbalance. I do Legs Up the Wall Pose everyday, at some point to counteract sitting upright. I also love Side Laying Savasana; it elongates the Psoas which is usually tight from holding my foot over the break pedal.

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use?
It never gets old how a simple blanket can be used for so much in terms of support, compression and balance training. I have at least 2 in my trunk at all times!

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I’m shy by nature, so I usually get embarrassed easily. Most recently, I learned that I’ve been saying the word “theater” wrong my entire life…if you ever hear me say “theer-ter” please correct me 🙂


What is your most empowering moment?
I’ve always been a clutz. The first time I ever did a vinyasa and it actually felt aligned, I had this surge of empowerment! I had an immediate download about why the vinyasa sequence is so essential and a comprehensive teacher in it’s own right. I suddenly understood what proper physical alignment can do to optimize our energy, how incredible our human architecture is, that I can hold every ounce of myself in a compromising position. It was the first time I ever felt athletic and graceful at the same time.

What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart?
Ramapo for Children is an incredible organization that gives at-risk youth and special-needs children in the greater NY area an opportunity to experience the outdoors in a summer-camp style setting with a counselor for every student. It was my first experience in an intentional-community focused on education, inclusivity and relational learning.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a non-profit that is changing the conversation, politics, and access around medicines that have been wrongly placed on the FDA’s Schedule 1. MAPS is helping educate the public about the medicinal value of substances that would change the status-quo of western medicine, one controlled study at a time.


Connect with Niki on the social media!
#lightinsideyoga #relaxationresidency

How to Pick the Perfect Crystal with Hanna Ketai

If you haven’t heard, the wonderful Hanna Ketai is hosting an Intuitive Crystal Ceremony and Jewelry Making Workshop on May 3rd! It is sure to be awesome. Why? Because she’s awesome and talented and if you don’t believe me, check out her ODDLight feature to confirm.

To bring you into the crystal-sphere, Hanna has devised some quick tips for choosing a crystal that is perfect for you. Crystals are super personal. They all have different qualities and one may/may not resonate with you at a given moment in life. Be sure to follow Hanna’s advice to find the one (or five!) for you.

And don’t forget to sign up for her workshop to learn even more about crystals and jewelry making.

 

1. Tune in

Close your eyes and take at least five slow, deep breaths in and out of the nose.

2. Set your intention

Take a moment and think of one new thing that you’d like to manifest in your life.

3. Observe

Use your eyes to look at the crystals in front of you, observing the different sizes, shapes, lusters, colors. Then notice which ones you are immediately drawn to.

4. Touch

Pick up the crystal(s) that you’re drawn to and hold them in your hand. Take in the sensations you feel when holding it.

5. Trust your gut

Don’t worry about any pre-assigned meanings of certain crystals that you may have heard. Pick the one that speaks to you…that’s the one you need!

 

 

 

ODDLight: Hanna Ketai

 

March! It’s here! And it brought a whole new ODDLight with it. This month, we’re featuring Hanna Ketai. Hanna is the woman – the dream – behind many of the lovely rings, bracelets, and necklaces that you see at ODD. She’s been around One Down Dog FOREVER and it’s time for us to introduce her to the masses. Read on to learn more about Hanna and be sure to sign up for her workshop, Intuitive Crystal Ceremony and Jewelry Making, which is happening March 14!

Name: Hanna Ketai
Nick Name: “The Crystal Yenta” (Megan Feinberg coined this one)
Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
Favorite Place: Sedona, Arizona
Favorite Color: Olive Green ( Some of my friends call it “Hanna Green”)
What’s your sign? Cancer

Most embarrassing moment?
Throwing up while teaching a yoga class ( I got food poisoning from Kombucha)

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
I was named after Hana in Maui even though I have never been there! Also, in addition to designing jewelry and owning a crystal business, I am also a therapist. I have my own private practice in Beverly Hills.

Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous.
Something that you love to tell. : I recently took myself on a solo trip to the desert to paint and wander around. I got attacked by a cactus and ended up in urgent care. Lesson to be learned: Don’t wear Birkenstocks in the desert.

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
Playing with crystals, playing pool, seeing live music and hiking with friends

How do you define yoga?
Yoga is all about coming “home” to yourself

Why do you teach?
I am not currently teaching yoga, however what I used to love about teaching was creating and holding a special space for people to connect and come home to themselves. When I teach workshops, it’s a similar feeling but now I am teaching people about crystals, how to use them to connect with yourself and cultivate a deeper intuition. And of course, how to make some badass jewelry with those crystals too!

What brought you to become an instructor?
My yoga teachers and the owners of the studio encouraged/forced me to become a teacher. I’m glad they did!

What is your favorite song to play in class?
Sideways by Citizen Cope

What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?
Pigeon pose because the hips don’t lie!

Memorable yoga moment?
I still remember my very first yoga class at the Yoga Shelter in West Bloomfield, Michigan. I was 16 years old and it completely changed my life.

How did you first hear about One Down Dog?
Jess, the owner, is one of my oldest dearest friends from Michigan.

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use?
I love bringing crystals to class and placing them at the front of my mat when I practice!

If you could have any super power what would it be?
FLYING

What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart?

NKLA, ACLU


Check out Hanna’s beautiful creations @Hanna.LAHandmade on instagram!

Learn more about Hanna’s upcoming workshop,”Intuitive Crystal Ceremony and Jewelry Making“, and sign up, on the ODD website or check in with any one of our lovely desk staff members the next time you’re in a studio.

#ODDLight: Sarit Rogers

Name: Sarit
Nickname: I’ve been called a lot of things, but nothing stuck.
Hometown: Southside SM/Venice
Favorite place: The Darkroom or in a kayak on the ocean

What initially inspired you to become an instructor?
I have been practicing yoga off and on since I was around 7 or so. It was a tumultuous relationship. In 2012, I photographed the cover of 21st Century Yoga, and then began photographing a lot more yoga. I thought, hey, maybe i should learn more about teaching so I can shoot better. But then I became so inspired and was so encouraged during my training, both by my cohort and by the teachers, I leaned into my voice as a teacher.

Why do you continue to teach?
I love seeing the shift in folks when they take that involuntary deep breath as their nervous systems settle. I love being in community. I love holding space and inviting safety and resonance into the room. 

How do you define yoga?
There’s the literal meaning: union, right? But it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a pathway to the heart, to our breath, to a means of listening to our bodies. It’s connection. It’s music in motion. It’s an oasis that we have the power to create for ourselves where we don’t have to be anyone other than ourselves.

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
Hm…. I’m everywhere.Usually, I’m working in my role of Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, seeing clients (adolescent and adult) or I’m photographing someone or something, or I’m snuggling my fur-babies, or managing teen drama.

What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?
To be honest, it’s contingent on mood, but i always love a reverse warrior. I have a weird adoration for triangle and chair pose (yes, i realize how weird the latter is) and child’s pose is simply magic. I love a good warrior flow. And i love a random dance party.

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use?
The block is my best friend. I have short arms….. thank you, Block, for bringing the floor closer! I love props in general. I always use a blanket under my seat, and love a bolster under my knees in savasana or in child’s pose.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Most? eek. Well, there was that one time when was working on a film (used to costume for nearly a decade), and we were dressing Ru Paul. His manager had sent us the wrong measurements — his fem measurements, so they were particularly unusual, for example, 27 waist, 42 inseam. Um….. So, I’m in Beverly Hills with the designer and see these two extraordinarily tall guys in front of me. I ran up to them and siad, “Excuse me, this might sound really odd, but where do you buy your pants?” They both looked at me like I was completely nuts, but they answered me. As I turned around, I realized it was Vlade Divac.

What is your most empowering moment?
Discovering my truth and finding my feet on my mat, in my life, and in my profession(s). I had a particularly profound experience during my SE training that literally changed my life. SE has been empowering and lifechanging in general, so it’s been a culmination of moments. There was a momentum in my life that was propelling me forward, and it happened gradually but summed up to be a true sense of who i am in the world, my worth as an artist, and an almost unapologetic fierce compassion akin to Kali and Guan Yin,
What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart? Being of service is the most important thing to me. It drives me and gives me great joy. But my all time favorite organizations are Homeboy Industries and Off the Mat, Into the World.
 
Find Sarit and her passion projects on the Soc-meeds! 
@saritphoto #notaweaponofmassperfection  
@lovemoremovement #choosejoy #lovemoremovement #compassionrevolution
 
All the love!

January #ODDLight: Jessica Rosen

Every January is special here on the ODD blog because we feature none other than our fearless leader/owner, Jessica Rosen! Rather than our usual interview style post, we’re instead bringing you the origin story of One Down Dog straight from the…horse’s mouth…(that phrase is really strange when you think about it). Grab yourself a nice hot mug of tea and sink into it!!

For most of my life I’ve known that I wanted to start a business based in service. I started out thinking that would be as a therapist – developing my own program for teens struggling to find their way in life. While in my masters program (I have a MA in psych) I found yoga and took my first teacher training right after graduation. I soon realized I enjoyed teaching yoga and leading groups far more than working as a therapist in a one-to-one capacity. I moved to LA, managed a yoga studio, and started to ideate ways I could make a living in the wellness space. I had this crazy wild dream of one day opening a yoga/wellness space, but I never gave it much thought because of layers on layers of self-doubt and negative self-talk along with the voices of many people in my life that meant well, but told me that my dream was basically impossible.

In 2008 I took a massive leap and moved to LA from Michigan where I was working as a substance abuse counselor and yoga teacher/front desk associate.  The studio were I worked was opening a location in LA and I moved out here to manage it and teach. A month into being in LA the economy crashed and the studio fell through. I was broke- I had no job and a mounting pile of debt. My MA in psych was basically useless as my license didn’t transfer to CA and I had no idea how I was going to survive. I just knew I couldn’t go back.

I hustled trying to find a job. I ended up working at American Apparel, and eventually (after a bunch of interviews) got a job at Lululemon in Glendale. I worked at YAS on Hyperion for a hot minute, almost became the manager of The Hub yoga studio in West LA, taught at Shakti Box in Los Feliz…I did whatever I could to get by.

While at Lululemon I had the assignment of writing a 10 year vision. I wrote something along the lines of… “I own a yoga studio in Los Angeles with 2 rooms, a room for wellness/massage services, an awesome retail space, and the most amazing community of students.” I laughed about how impossible that was and thought for sure that there was no way it would actually happen. That was August 2009.

Soon after, in January of 2010 I finally got to manage that yoga studio I moved out here for. I did that for a few years and started teaching and leading a group at a rehab facility for teens in Malibu. After about a year I realized it was time to form a business and decided to create my LLC  – which meant I needed a name. I wasn’t quite sure what the business would be, at the time I imagined that I would create a yoga program for addiction that I would teach throughout LA and train others to teach the program under my guidance. It didn’t quite work out that way, but that intention is what sparked the name, One Down Dog.

I was sitting at lunch with a friend of mine that was interested in by business concept and together we started brainstorming ideas for names. I was talking about what I wanted to convey – this idea that we don’t have to rush, it doesn’t have to be all at once, all or nothing – we can slow down and use our practice to find what we seek from within. We threw out a lot of ideas and then came back to what is said often in meetings and therapy – “take it one day at a time.”  The lightbulb went off! One Down Dog… at a time. I had no idea One Down Dog was ODD.  Thank you Universe (or whatever) .

Fast forward a couple of years – I left the yoga studio and started teaching yoga and working as a substance counselor at a private school. A student of mine asked if I’d like to teach yoga at her tae kwon do studio on the Westside. I met with the owner and found out that he is also renting a small space next to the studio that was empty at the time. All of a sudden, this crazy wild idea of opening a yoga studio one day became a possibility. After doing the drive twice, I said “this is not what my dream looks like” and ended up passing the space on to a friend that went on to open a studio there – sharing is caring.

It was in that process that my now sister in law, Chelsea,  suggested that if something like that existed on the Westside, it also had to exist on the Eastside. We went on Craigslist and found our first space – a 1 room space that we shared with an ashtanga teacher that only led classes from 5-10am. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t what I had visualized, but it was exactly what I needed to overcome all of the fear/doubt. Chelsea expressed interest in partnering and I was certain I couldn’t do it on my own, so we went into business together and got started on making One Down Dog. We didn’t have much money, or business experience, but for some reason people kept showing up. After a few months Chelsea realized business wasn’t for her. I cried a lot. I thought for sure it was all over. I told myself “see you are a complete failure, nothing you do will ever work out.” …and a whole lot of other horrible things. But something inside of me kept me going.

Chelsea and I worked our shit out and I took a leap on signing the lease on our current Silverlake space 9 months in to our venture. I had no idea how I would fund it / stay open, but I signed on the dotted line anyways. I managed to scrounge up enough cash to do a full build out between JFLA, an Indiegogo campaign, and a small loan from my parents. MAD LOVE TO THOSE EARLY SUPPORTERS!! One year from opening our temporary doors, One Down Dog Silverlake launched with a big opening/anniversary party. Raise your hand if you were there! I still have a hard time believing any of this is real. It often feels like a dream. But here we are, 6 years later with 3 locations and the most amazing crew of staff, teachers, and students. Let’s be real, none of this would be possible if it weren’t for all of you. Thank you for going on this journey with me… One Down Dog at a time <3

If you’d like to soak up some of Jessica’s awesomeness while simultaneously tapping into your own, be sure to sign up for her annual Make Awesome Happen workshop that’s kicking off on January 23rd. The four-week series is all about goal-setting and goal-crushing. You’ll spend the time learning tools to help you tap into your innermost fabulousness while basking in the amazing energy of the equally ambitious people around you. Sign up in any of the studios or online!