Have you seen the flyers for our Body Trust Workshop happening with ODD student and YTT alum, Meg Bradbury, on January 20? Are you wondering what you should expect from it? Wonder no more! This post is dedicated to breaking down the concept of body trust so that you have a thorough understanding of all the awesomeness that you’ll experience if you’re in attendance. After reading, be sure to sign up in any of our studios or online!
We humans get caught up on the cultural hamster wheel of body shame. Are we ever satisfied with our bodies? Do we ever figure out the “right” combination of foods? Is it necessary to live in a constant state of vigilance and fear in order to attain these goals? How can we trust our bodies to just be what they are when we are told what they are is wrong, somehow?
What is Body Trust, exactly?
You were born with an inherent trust for your body. Somewhere along the line you became disconnected from that way of knowing.
Body Trust is disrupted by social constructs of beauty, health, weight, race, gender; it is a product of trauma, illness, and oppression.
Body Trust is an invitation to return to a relationship with your body and yourself that you want and deserve to be in for a lifetime—flexible, compassionate, and connected.
Body Trust is fat positive, weight inclusive, queer/trans/NB friendly; all bodies in all expressions are worthy and deserving of respect, access, and love.
Led by certified Body Trust practitioner, eating disorder survivor, certified anti-diet nutritionist, folk herbalist, and ODDYTT alumna Meg Bradbury, CBTP, CNE www.lamplight.space
If you are struggling to be in your body, to accept your body, to feel good in your body today, please join me.
In a one-day workshop, we’ll explore telling, hearing, and writing our body and food stories, discuss principle concepts from the compassionate programs Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating, break down diet culture and weight cycling, do some inclusive asana, sit in guided meditation and stillness, and hold space for ourselves and each other.
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!
A yantra is a mediation device, similar to a mantra or a gazing point.
Use a yantra to hold yourself to your meditation: stare at the central point (the bindu), and return there every time you drift away
Yantra comes from root yam + suffix tra
Yam means to hold, restrain, extend, or keep orderly
-tra makes something an instrument
Yantra literally means a holding device. So basically it means something to be used for meditation
How to meditate with a yantra
Choose a yantra to work with in your daily practice (sādhana) and use it for an extended period of time to gain its full benefits.
Find a comfortable seat with the yantra directly in front of you, slightly above eye level.
Let the orderly lines and the gentle curves of the yantra guide your eyes in towards the central point.
Every yantra is an embodiment of divinity (Kālī, Tripura Sundarī, Ganesh). Hold the divinity in your mind as you maintain focus (dhāraṇā) on the yantra.
Every yantra has an associated mantra. Subverbally (in your head) repeat the mantra as you gaze at the yantra.
In Vedic astrology the planet Jupiter is called Guru
gu (darkness) + ru (one who dispels) = guru: dispeller of darkness
Through the light of knowledge, through the teachings, we dispel the darkness of ignorance
Jupiter is the great teacher, the bringer of light. Jupiter is all about expansion, about finding your growing edge and leaning into it.
Keep staring at Jupiter’s bindu. Allow your awareness to expand from that point as you inhale, and contract to that point as you exhale
Use your peripheral vision: with each breath cycle let your awareness swell like the growing of the light and narrow like the coming of darkness. In this way, take in the whole yantra, from the bindu to the edges of the four outer gates (the bhupūr).
What areas of your life are you expanding into? Where would you like to expand? What areas of your life need to be put into order for you to grow as big as dream? Shine the light of your awareness on those areas that you wish to enliven in your life.
Remember that expansion is not always a perfectly orderly thing. Sometimes we grow into one part of our life before we grow into others.
Let the things you are outgrowing drop away. Hold your focus to the things you wish to empower. Each time your eye wanders return to the central point. Each time your speaking mind starts talking return to the mantra.
Jupiter Mantra – ॐ बृं बृहस्पतये नमः
Aum bṛṁ bṛhaspataye namaḥ
Pronounced “om brim brihaspataye namaha”
Bṛhaspati is the name of the Indic god that equates to Jupiter. Bṛṁ is the seed syllable (bījā). Namaḥ is an expression of reverence from the root nam – to bow. Aum brings it all together: combining diety, essence, and salute into one super potent mantra
Repeat this mantra aloud or subverbally while you meditate upon the Jupiter yantra, empowering your meditation.
Work with this yantra and mantra every day to call in the gifts of Jupiter. Jupiter is in its home sign, Sagittarius, until December of 2019, making this an extremely potent time to devote yourself to meditation upon it. Continue this sādhana for forty days to super charge your intention, calling in expansion, abundance, adventure, growth, the coming of light into your life, the falling away of things that no longer serve you, an increase of knowledge, and a decrease of ignorance.
Jupiter Mantra (spoken)
Jupiter Mantra (chanted)
Aum bṛṁ bṛhaspataye namaḥ!
To learn more about Jupiter’s transit in the coming year please follow astrologer Chani Nicholas at their website or on IG
Happy holiday season everyone! The holidays can be a weird time of year. You’re excited to take time away from the usual routine and spend time with loved ones but you’re simultaneously anxious about starting a new year and all of the pressures that come along with the idea of a “fresh start.” You might also find that while family and friends are wonderful, they are also EXHAUSTING. Luckily, our resident yoga instructor and yoga life coach, Paula, has a few tips to help you battle the holiday weirdness. These tips are simple and easy to follow. They’re a excellent way to regroup and starting setting yourself up for success in 2019! Woohoo! For more excellent hacks on life, be sure to pop over to Paula’s blog, Mind Body Bright and/or catch her in class on Saturday mornings @ the Silverlake studio!