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#ODDLight: YTT Yoga Alums Edition

November brings us a v v special ODDLight feature. While we LOVE our teachers here at One Down Dog, we also LOVE our students. On the blog this month, we’re showcasing that love by featuring some of our fabulous Yoga teacher training alums. We’re getting to know more about them, why they love yoga, and what they most value from their YTT experience. Check back in a couple of weeks for another dose.

If you read these profiles and they inspire you to pursue teacher training, you’re in luck! We have another cohort of ODD teacher training starting on January 31st! Find more info here or speak to one of our lovely desk staffers the next time you’re in one of the studios.

Name: Katie Walsh
Nickname: Katiewalsh (one word), K-Dub, Kwalshy (this dates to college)
Hometown: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

What’s your ODD love story?

My ODD love story is YTT! I joined the studio in 2015, and for 2 years I was the kind of person who showed up, took class and left. I had friends who practiced at the studio and favorite teachers, but I didn’t really participate in the community that much. That all changed when I decided to do YTT (I took Sabrina to coffee to ask her about the program, and she said to do it!). Now ODD is a true hub of my LA community. I’ve forged meaningful friendships with my fellow ODDYTTIES and with the teachers and staff at the studio. ODD has even produced a fruitful freelance writing gig (thanks to Cindy!) And now I get to practice teach here too. YTT was so amazingly life changing for so many reasons, but the fact that it made ODD my true LA spiritual home, full of friends, has been one of the best parts.

How do you define yoga?

It’s all yoga. I’ve told friends who are nervous about taking my class all that’s required is showing up and breathing. Yoga is the union of breath and movement, but truly, it’s the union of body and soul, however that happens for you.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

One big fact is that I was born and raised in the Caribbean—on the island of St. Croix. My parents still live there and I try and go back every year. I’m a proud Crucian and native Virgin Islander.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Reading minds! But I think I’m getting better at it 🙂

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

Oh my goodness, EVERYTHING. I remember the first night of YTT, Jess mentioned how life-changing it can be and I was skeptical. I was so wrong. I cried with gratitude within the first hour of our first Saturday with Bri, and texted my mom that I could not have waited one second longer to have done this. Not only did I gain a whole posse of new friends, a supportive community, a whole new world of knowledge about yoga, the body, and the mind, but I can actually teach a yoga class! The biggest thing though, is probably the knowledge, acceptance, and trust in myself I gained during YTT, as well as the tools to hone that.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

I love Single Pigeon and could hang out in it for hours. If super-warm, King Pigeon is fun too. It just feels delicious and healing in my body. Having done teacher training, I now know just how important it is to open those hips, physically, mentally and emotionally too!

 

Name: Kathryn Corrales (just changed from Couillard)
Nickname: Kat
Hometown: Morristown, NJ

What’s your ODD love story?

When I moved to the LA from the Inland Empire, I knew two people that practiced yoga in the area. When I asked them for studio recommendations, they both recommended ODD, independent from one another. I took that at the first sign that it was THE place to be, it took only one class to know I had found my new yoga home. I loved EVERYTHING about it, the graffiti walls, the music in class, the teacher that encouraged us to give ourselves “a huge fucking hug” during cooldown, the sense of community that I felt immediately, and the dancing!!

How do you define yoga?

Yoga is everything. As cliché as it may sound… it’s where mind, body and spirit unite. It’s where I first found my self, it’s how I shed what doesn’t serve me. It’s my church, my therapy and my gym. It’s freedom and it’s discipline at once.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I’m part Hawaiian.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

That power that Sabrina the teenage witch had, where she just pointed at herself to change outfits and was magically transported to where she needed to be, no more getting ready or commuting. Is that just the anti-lazy superpower?

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

This is a hard question to answer because I gained so much from it, it’s difficult to choose one thing.
I have to say that it’s confidence. I gained a huge sense of confidence in myself and my knowledge of what serves me and what doesn’t. I gained the tools to build boundaries, in the best way. Having always been a “yes” person, I finally learned when to say no. It’s not what I set out to learn in TT, but it was what I needed.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

This is constantly changing. A good old sun salutation A never fails to feel good, and I do love Malasana but Savasana is always the best asana.

Name: Elena
Nickname: Never had one!
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

What’s your ODD love story? 

My favorite love story with ODD is the love I found with my fellow teacher trainees. I feel so blessed to have to have such a strong bond with a few of the women in my class. They have become women I am overjoyed to see around the studios and anytime we grab coffee or hanging out we never stop laughing.

How do you define yoga?

I define yoga as the practice of feeling better. Whether that means sitting and breathing for a few minutes or flowing through a yoga class it’s all yoga to me.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I love ramen and try to eat ramen in every new city I travel to.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I know it’s basic but I really want to fly. I used to dream about it when I was a kid and I’ve always loved being up high!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

Wow picking one thing is hard but I have to say the community and friendships I gained. Like a lot of people in LA I’m from somewhere else so having such a wonderful community where I can go and everyone that works there is amazing and I see friends in class really makes this place special.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

One pose that always puts me in a state of immense gratitude is pigeon pose because at the beginning of my asana practice I couldn’t do pigeon and had to modify with reclined figure four. So it’s a beautiful reminder of how much our bodies can change and to continue working towards the poses that seem impossible right now.

 

Name: Katie Wong

Nickname: Parents call me Kate, strongly dislike it. Wish I had more it got confusing with 3 Katie W in our ytt group

What’s your ODD love story?

I started my yoga journey at One Down Dog. I used to be really into indoor cycling and was committed to Audrey’s classes. Sweat was the first yoga class I ever took and I barely made it out alive. The challenge is what initially pulled me in and the teachers kept me coming back. Time spent out of the house and on my mat helped reduce caregiver fatigue, so thank you ODD!

How do you define yoga? 

You know that sweet moment that can happen in a class, when everyone sighs at the same time? It makes me check back in and feel the collective energy of everyone in the room. Yoga is connection to the self and to others. It makes me a better human.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I have never traveled outside of the country, but I will be backpacking in Thailand mid November.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Ability to fly. Driving in LA is too stressful.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

I am painfully shy and have gained so much confidence from ytt. Very much attributed to the wonderful friendships I’ve made. If you’re considering teacher training, make the jump! You will find your people and continue to fall in love with the practice.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

Favorite pose is any grasshopper variation. My usually dirty feet help keep my foot from slipping and it’s a fun silly shape. New fav is Stonehenge, learned that cozy pose from Natalie. I’m the person twitching through savasana so give me all the props!

#ODDBeats: ODD YTT Alums

So I’m sure you remember all the awesome ODD YTT trainees that we featured on this very blog just last week. Well those people each gave us a few songs that they’re really digging right now during their yoga practices. We put them all together on this nifty Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. Please be sure to shake all the booties and down all the dogs to these tunes.

Fall into an Easeful Fall Routine with Paula Pister

This week on the ODD Blog, we’re bringing you a little wisdom nugget from yoga health coach and ODD FLOW instructor, Paula Pister. Although the temperatures in LA are slowly creeping back up, it is indeed fall. And as with any major shift, we need to set ourselves up to successfully ride nature’s new wave. Paula is helping us do just that with these three helpful steps for transitioning from Summer to Fall according to the principles of ayurveda.

This post is just a little taster of all that Paula has to offer so definitely head over to her website, Mind, Body, Bright, to read this article in full and check out some of the other amazing content that she has to offer.

STEPS TO TRANSITION FROM PITA SEASON TO VATA SEASON (SUMMER TO FALL)

By making a gradual adjustment of diet and lifestyle from summer to fall and enjoying seasonal routines and self care practices, you can make a healthy transition between seasons and prevent problems that may arise as we get further into fall. Keep in mind that what is happening outside is happening inside of you too. Like increases like, this is why we want to do the opposite to find balance in our body, mind and spirit.

1. CREATE AND STICK TO A DAILY SELF- CARE ROUTINE:

Do the same things at roughly the same times daily – When you wake up, eat, exercise and go to bed. The body loves predictably and routine. Because of the light, airy and drying qualities of this season, it’s important to balance it with grounding, nourishing and more structured practices.

Go to bed early – If we want to optimize our energy levels, our productivity and our attitudes we MUST be well rested. I see this “habit of sleep” as the one we build all our others habits on top of. If we’re not getting the sleep we need, we can’t fully operate at our greatest potential. If we’re tired, depleted and stressed out, we’re approaching each day in a state of fight or flight. We’re not making the best decisions on a regular basis, we’re not showing up in our relationships as awake, tuned in and accessible as we could be and most of all we’re at risk of all sorts of dis- ease and health issues. Ideally, we want to be going to bed by 10pm and waking up before 6am. Check out my blog on sleep for more detail.

Wake up early – Enjoy the magical early morning hours. This is the best time to tap into creativity, establish a mediation practice or journal. Use this quiet time to set your daily intentions, activities and connect to the bigger picture.

Rub oil on your body -This season can be very drying in many climates. Oil helps to calm the nervous system, ground energy and awaken the tissues. If you enjoy a little fragrance, vetiver, geranium, and citrus essential oils are great this time of year (either applying directly to the skin or using in a difuser). Using your own hands to heal your own body, tells your body that you’re paying attention and is also very grounding.

Move your body– The best times of day to exercise are in the early morning and evening hours (6–10 a.m. and 6–10 p.m.). Vata is very easily aggravated by fast, mobile activities, so instead think slower activities such as walking, hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, and tai chi. In the evening hours think more restorative and less energizing activities- even light housework, bouncing on a trampoline, going for a walk with friends or family.

2. TRANSITION INTO A FALL EATING:

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Think seasonally– This is my favorite season of foods with squashes, roots and late summer season fruits and veggies. The markets are vibrant and overflowing. Shop the outer aisles of your local grocery stores and choose what’s new in this season.

Consume less rawfood- Begin to shift from astringent foods such as raw salads to warmer foods and more cooked foods. Making this shift gradually will be easier on the system. Consider the warming and grounding qualities of root vegetables, soups and stews as you move though this new season.

Best foods for Vata season – Oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices, and served hot, will help to keep moisture in and help you stay grounded through the vata season. Favor the sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Breakfasts of cooked grains are perfect at this time of year. Lunches and dinners that include steamed vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are grounding and moisturizing. If you eat meat and eggs, this is one of the best times of year to enjoy them. Dairy products and most nuts and seeds are also beneficial. In general, you’ll want to reduce your consumption of raw vegetables, cold and frozen foods, as well as the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes.

Head over to Mind, Body, Bright to soak up more of this awesomeness!

#ODDBeats: Armen Menechyan

This month’s musical vibez are brought to you by the one and only Armeeeeeeeeeeeen Menechyan (*said in sports announcer voice*). Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “Who’s this Armen? He sounds great,” you’re in luck because he is this month’s ODD Teacher Feature and you can indulge in all of the intimate details of his life through this blog post.

Here’s something to put on in the background while you read:

Explore your Cycle with Rachel Werline

 

Hey ODD friends!  I’m Rachel Werline and I’m a Women’s Holistic Heath Coach. I specialize in helping women to heal their cycles so they can use their monthly ups and downs to work for  them instead of against them.  Yes, I’m talking about your period, but its so much more than just that! Here’s a quick history about how I got to where I am and why I love this stuff so much, and then we’ll get to all the details about my upcoming CYCLE.WORKSHOP Four Part series at One Down Dog starting this Sunday, October 21st.  

I’ve been interested in wellness, alternative healing, and deep self work for well over a decade now, but my specific interest in women’s cycles began when I decided to go off of hormonal birth control 5 years ago.  Things went fine at first, and then I quickly learned that my body had forgotten how to make hormones for itself! My cycles became longer, 35 days, 40 days, and at one point I was only getting my period every 90 days- I was a little concerned, but more than that the effect I was experiencing from my wonky hormone levels were awful- my hair was falling out and had changed texture, my skin was breaking out like crazy, my digestion was wacko and I just felt like an anxious mess.  It was a long journey back to balance, but what I learned over these last five years has made me realize that having a monthly cycle is so much more than just bleeding once a month.  In fact, I found it all so fascinating that I changed my whole career, that’s how juicy this stuff is!  There is a whole hormonal dance that goes on throughout the month, and if you can’t hear the music, you may feel constantly out of step.  Not to mention that you miss out on the superpowers you posses during each phase of your cycle.  There’s a lot more to say, but hopefully we’ll get to chat in person and we can cover all the TMI bits and bobs.   If you’d like to learn more about your cycle, explore alternative methods to hormonal contraception, find your way out of the hormonal birth control world while avoiding the negative side effects, and begin to heal the root of your imbalances that cause your monthly woes, please join us for the CYCLE Workshop- be warned though, spend four months with me and you may find that “That Time of the Month” is your most pleasurable phase of your cycle!

Cycle.Workshop

All workshops are Sunday evenings, 5-7pm at our Echo Park Studio

HERE’S WHAT YOU DIDN’T LEARN IN SEX ED…..

Also what your mom didn’t tell you, and your Gyno may not even know about you and your Period.  We live in a linear, masculine culture, but we are Cyclical beings and as Women we are inextricably linked with our Menstrual Cycle.  In this Four Part Workshop we will deep dive into all aspects of our monthly cycle including the flow and function of our hormones, the four phases of our menstrual cycle and their implications on our physical and emotional experience, how to learn and chart simple signs and symptoms to gain invaluable information about your fertility and overall health, how to reduce or eliminate PMS and painful periods from a root cause approach and much more all in a non-judgmental and supportive environment.  This is a safe space to explore the intricacies of your body while empowering yourself to be your own healer, best friend, and advocate.   

Part 1-Cycle. Basics

Sunday- October 21, 2018

We will begin our path towards body literacy by exploring the 4 Phases of our monthly cycle.  You will learn how to identify and work with those phases for increased productivity, pleasure, and pain reduction.   We will cover the flow and function of your hormones through the cycle and the how’s and why’s of adjusting your diet, exercise routines, work tasks, and habits to create more flow and ease in your life.  This class is going to be FULL of information, so bring a notebook and be ready to learn.     

Cycle. Chart

This second workshop will be devoted to the art of the chart.  We will go over every aspect of how to identify the signs of symptoms your body gives you throughout the month and how to chart that information so you can use it to plan your life and manage your fertility.  If you’re already using an app to track your cycle- great! We will discuss your choice of app to make sure it covers the basic functions we need and will also learn how to chart on paper for those who’d like to a break from technology.  There will be lots of time for questions and clarifications in this workshop so you can leave feeling confidant in your charting skills.

Cycle. Empower

Now that you’ve had some charting experience under your belt, we will use that data to empower you to be the arbiter of your fertility and health.  We will make sure you’re confidant about when you are fertile and when you’re not so that you can reach your personal fertility goal, whether that is to conceive or to prevent pregnancy naturally.  We will also decode the messages our body is sending us so we can learn about potential health issues we may be facing, often long before a test would even be able to identify certain conditions.  

Cycle. Heal

Your period is a vital sign, just like your pulse and temperature- she’s talking to you and sometimes she has a lot to say.  As women, this information is so often dismissed by the healthcare system and we are often left with few options for treatment or told that perhaps its all in our head.  Your experience of pain is valid, real, and important- and this class is here to support you in your healing journey.  During our final class together we will learn what’s healthy and natural and what might actually be a sign of an underlying issue when it comes to your cycle.  We’ll work together to get to the root cause of cycle related issues, explore natural treatment options you can do at home, and continue to strengthen the foundation of your hormonal health.

Who is this for?

Any person who menstruates or who used to and is hoping to regain their period naturally.  This workshop is focused on tending to your cycles without the use of pharmaceuticals.  If you’re currently on hormonal contraceptives and are curious in learning other possible ways to manage your fertility and symptoms related to your period, this workshop is the perfect place to start.   All ages and gender identifications are welcome.