#ODDLight: Kim Ritley (The Yogi Doula)
As we head into month TWO of this crazy year called 2018, the ODDFam is so pleased to bring another teacher feature to the blog. In light (*wink wink*) of her upcoming prenatal partner workshop, we’re spending some time getting to know Mrs. Ritley aka The Yogi Doula.
Don’t worry, for those of you who read this interview and think, “Oh my goodness, this woman is so wonderful, I would love to take class with her but I’m not having a baby in the foreseeable future,” don’t fret. Outside of PRENATAL, you can soak up Kim’s yogic offerings in CHILL and FLOW in Silverlake.
Name: Kim (Neer) Ritley
Nick Name: Kimmy, Kimmie, Womps
Hometown: Bainbridge, OH
Favorite Place: national parks and gardens, or any place with a lot of trees
Favorite color: blue and green
What’s your sign? Aries
Most embarrassing moment? I think I just forget them right away, because I have never been able to answer this question.
Most empowering moment? Once I climbed to the top of a really steep snow covered volcano in Chile. I had to wear crampons and I was really bad at it (like the weakest link in the group for sure) and I wanted to quit so many times, and really didn’t believe I would make it I’m pretty sure the leader of the group I was in didn’t think I would make it (at one point he literally tied me to his waist). But after 5 hours of one step at a time I got to the top and the view was incredible and it felt so good to do something that I didn’t actually believe I could do. Sometimes I feel weak but when I remember that I climbed to the top of a volcano I feel kind of badass.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I never burp, it seems to be physically impossible for me.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I’m really good at untangling knots.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? Once I volunteered for 2 months at an orphanage in Peru and got really good at changing cloth diaper with pins. And I got good at riding in buses that I was too tall to stand up straight in, so I mastered the perfect amount of hunch. I am tall in Peru.
Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Once I was in the middle of Wisconsin driving to a friend’s wedding with a few other friends, and during a break at a rest stop I did a handstand against a tree because it felt good. While I was upside down, I heard a woman, utterly perplexed ask one of my friends “What is she doing???” and he said “Who knows, she’s from California.” And that answer seemed to satisfy her.
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? Working with pregnant and birthing women and new moms. Petting a dog. Or getting a spur of the moment tattoo.
How do you define yoga? Connecting mind and body to the present moment.
Why do you teach? I process and understand so much about myself, my habits, and my experience on my mat. Yoga has helped me cope with the innate challenges of being a life. And it helps me feel better in this body I’m living in. I teach to share that with others. To teach body awareness. To help others feel good in their bodies and in the present moment. And mostly just to share this tool that has been useful to me time and time again for many years.
What brought you to become an instructor? In my mid-twenties I spent a year traveling around South America, and that year I was constantly shifting and meeting new people. Sometimes I would feel very lonely and restless and unsure of who I was, having to reintroduce myself all the time. I started do a little bit of yoga every day, and then it became habit. At the same time, my mom was going through challenging health issues and I sent her a yoga book. She started getting into it and immediately began down a road of healing. At some point during the year, I got the idea in my head that I should be a yoga teacher. And sometimes when I get an idea, I follow through.
What is your favorite song to play in class? For some reason I like playing covers of Drake songs. There are a lot of good ones out there.
What is your favorite pose or flow? Why? I love hamstring stretches the most, specifically down dog, uttanasana or any standing forward fold really, and supine hamstring stretches with a strap. I just always feel better after stretching my legs, and I get a good release in my back. It’s a simple restart for me.
Memorable yoga moment? When I was a new teacher I volunteer taught a class at a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and one day I taught supported bridge with a block and as soon as the block was in place, one of the women basically shouted with joy and pleasure, freaking out about how that was the best she had ever felt in her body in years and it was a really big deal because she was not only a survivor of physical and emotional abuse but also an addict and this one simple body shape made her feel incredible and it brought tears to my eyes. I realized yoga can be so powerful in so many different ways, sometimes in the simplest ways.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? I actually first heard about ODD before it existed, because I worked the desk at Yoga Blend, the studio Jessica did her 300 hour teacher training at, and I heard her talking about it a lot during their breaks (this makes me seems like a stalker because we did not know each other then). Then I heard about it again because my friend Sam was friends with Caitlin who was working the desk and he told me about it for a reason I now forget. Then again when Jess got pregnant and wanted a prenatal teacher and my friend Courtney told me to show up to one of Jess’ classes and tell her I was a prenatal teacher and Courtney’s friend. And now here we are.
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? I love using blocks in my classes and in my practice. They can just be useful in so many ways, and for me can often deepen an experience.
What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart? (We will want to be more non-profits and would love to do so on your behalf) I am one of the directors of the LA Doula Project, we provide free birth doulas and abortion and fetal loss support to families in LA. We also have a teen mom program.
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? Let it slide. For some reason I hate when people point out that I have something in my teeth, it actually makes me feel kind of angry.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? @theyogidoula
(And don’t forget about her Prenatal Partner Workshop happening this Saturday February 10th!
Anything else? (feel free to add literally anything!) My current dream for my future family is to have a small dog, a big dog, a hairless cat, chickens, maybe a goat or two, and two human children. And to be living in Oregon, specifically Eugene. My husband is totally on board.
And now for the Quickfire Challenge!
If you could have any super power what would it be? Teleport
What was the last book you read? The Red Tent
Do you dream? Lucid dream? I wish, I usually forget my dreams.
Who or What is your spirit animal? elephants
If YOU were a color what color would you be? turquoise
#ODDLight: ODDMama Jess
Per tradition, we are kicking off the near year by shedding the #ODDLight on the one and only Jessica Rosen. In case you’ve been living under a rock, she’s the founder and CEO of One Down Dog (aka the one you might see dancing in the lobby of the Silverlake Studio and waving around raffle tickets) . This year we are celebrating 5 AMAZING YEARS of existence for this lovely yoga community so we thought we’d check in with the ODDMama herself to see what’s up to, extract some of her wisdom, and learn what she has in store for this year.
And if this post is not enough Jessica for you, don’t fret. She’ll be kicking off her annual Make Awesome Happen workshop next Wednesday, January 31. Check out the website for all the details. It’s going to be 5-weeks of life-changing, goal-setting, fear-fighting AWESOMENESS.
Real Quick. Tell us the ODD origin story.
ODD exists because after moving from Detroit to LA, I was looking for a yoga home – a space with a wide variety of classes and a strong sense of community where I felt like I belonged. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for in my neighborhood, I explored creating it on my own because I knew I couldn’t be alone in my search. I was told I couldn’t do it alone – that I’d need investors, bank loans, a business partner… but here we are almost 5 years later with a third location on the way, a solid team of over 30 staff/teachers and a student body that reaches all over the world. And ya know what? I did, indeed, do it on my own – with the help and support of the most amazing team, family and all of you! To this day, we remain a female owned small business and that is pretty freaking awesome! The journey has been a whirlwind, but damn has it been fulfilling and it is only made possible because of you – thank you!
If you could have any super power what would it be?
telepathic email responding. Basically I read an email and think about my response and it just sends without me having to type.
email is the bane of my existence.
What was the last book you read?
oh crap! potty training – gotta get my kid out of diapers for reals!
What brings you joy?
creative problem solving, an empty inbox, teaching yoga, hanging out with friends and family, being outside, french fries.
Do you dream? Lucid dream?
yes and no.
Who or What is your spirit animal?
Patrick Bateman. Duh.
my dog is my spirit animal. I put it on a tote bag. you can buy it at ODD:)
If YOU were a color, what color would you be?
What’s your current BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal)?
I’m living it baby:)
but for my future it’s to open a boxing gym, own a home with a lot of land, spend more time camping.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned recently?
when someone shows you who they are, believe them.
Any advice on somebody doing something they’ve never done before?
take the leap, the net will appear. it’s true what they say: the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward and nothing is a failure it’s just a lesson.
that’s a whole lot of inspirational quotes for ya, but I’ve found it to be 100% true in my life experience.
Have any anecdotes/funny stories of an awesome you were trying to make happen that flopped?
Totes. Not a total flop, but a challenge for sure! I signed the lease on our Echo Park studio in November of 2016. It’s Jan11, 2018 and we’re still not fucking open! It’s happening though…it’s happening! And soon! It’s been a year of tons of lessons in patience, communication and standing my ground. I’ve had to pull up my big girl pants and handle some shit over there – major growth year for me.
What is your favorite tool to help you make awesome happen?
small, sustainable steps towards big scary goals. trying to do it all, all at once blows up real quick. no bueno.
Share some wise thoughts on community.
Making awesome happen takes a team. trying to do everything, and be everything for everyone will land you in the luny bin. There is no way I would be where I am without the love, support, encouragement and actions of my community. Having a community of humans that are doing the work together is the best! ODD is always working to be that community and we start each year off with a weekly course to be that fam for one another. Join me on this years journey starting Jan 31st!
#ODDlight: January Student Features
Hey there yogis!
Have you ever been practicing next to another human and thought, “wow, that person seems cool, I wonder what color they would be if they were a color?” Well! Today is your lucky day because we’re learning all about four AWESOME ODD members in this post. You’ll probably recognize some their faces from hanging out at the studio and now that you know everything about them, be sure to spark up a conversation the next time you see them.
Name: Peter G.
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Favorite Place: Sunday AM Hollywood Farmer’s Market. No! One Down Dog. Maybe underwater?
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? My first car was a 1996 violet Dodge Grand Caravan, handed down to me very generously from my Mom. Oh, and I spent three years as my high school mascot. TWO fun facts for you. High School was a blast. 😛
Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. When I get to my mat, I have one rule. Don’t forget to breathe. I try to take that with me always. My practice changes every day because I change every day. So I’m really grateful for the presence that my practice brings me. It’s just that, a practice. To me that quality is a lesson in itself, one I hope to be mindful of as long as I’m breathing.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Driving Sunset Blvd., I saw the funky decorations on the 2nd story balcony. I googled the studio and knew right away I wanted to try it out.
What has kept you around the ODDfam? All the amazing people! It feels like home to me. I don’t feel judged by what I can or cannot do on my mat. That kind of acceptance is really important to me. Plus, I really like getting to know the staff and teachers. Everyone I’ve met is totally unique and inspiring in their own way. I hope to be like that too.
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? Oh jeez. I’d definitely say something. Mostly because if it happened to me and no one said anything, I’d be horrified. Do unto others, right?
If you could have any superpower what would it be? The power to reverse Climate-Change and Global Warming. Or time travel. It’s kind of a toss-up these days.
What was the last book you read? The Last Colony, by John Scalzi. *sci-fi fan*
Do you dream? Lucid dream? Yes! I dream. Do people not? I find I dream most often when I’ve also done my daily journaling. (TMI?) I don’t have lucid control though. That would be really cool. Can we do a workshop on that?
If YOU were a color what color would you be? Violet, definitely violet.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? @peter_thelle But it’s totally random-preachy-banal-stream-of-conscious. Which I guess, describes me pretty well.
Name: Haley Potiker
Hometown: Villa Park, CA
Favorite Place: One Down Dog of course! But also Sedona, AZ.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? In addition to doing communications for political causes and nonprofits, I also run a small record label called POW Recordings.
Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. My boyfriend and I went to a yoga festival in Whistler during the fires in Western Canada. We were expecting to spend our time hiking in the mountains and paddle boarding in the lake. Instead, all outdoor activities were cancelled or moved into hotel conference rooms! At first we were frustrated, but as we explored meditation, restorative, and yin yoga I began to embrace slowing down my practice and taking time to look inward. Now yin is my favorite style of asana.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? I had just moved to Silver Lake and was trying out all the studios in the area when I landed at ODD’s old shared space down the street. It immediately felt like home to me, and i’ve been coming ever since! (I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years!)
What has kept you around the ODDfam? ODD is like the Cheers of yoga. It’s not just the friendliness of the front desk staff or the teachers — it’s also the other students, who embody that same attitude. All my shyness and anxiety melts away when I walk through the door.
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I always tell people when they have food in their teeth!!! Do unto others, right? I think I told my boss she had lipstick on her teeth my first week on the job. (Please tell me if my yoga pants are see-through.)
If you could have any super power what would it be? The ability to locate lost objects.
What was the last book you read? A Time To Be Born by Dawn Powell. She’s amazing.
If YOU were a color what color would you be? I’m blue (if I were green I would die)
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?
Name: Santiago Pazos
Hometown: I have two, that’s how international I am! : La Coruna ( Galicia – Spain) and Los Angeles
Favorite Place: Yosemite.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I am a hardcore GAYmer and plenty of people don’t know this, but I am a PR and work in the worlds of art & entertainment. And one day I want to do yoga with a kilt on! See picture
Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. I think one of my most magical experiences in life was walking down Grand Canyon, walk from 5 miles, and reach the Havasupai Waterfalls – part of a Indian Reservation. It is just magical and one of the most unique experiences in my life. A huge elk welcomed us on our way there ( the sun was between his horns by that time from our angle), we saw two wild horses ( a mama and her son) being reunited… and our backpacks being bitten by hungry squirrels. It was just surreal… and those waterfall! Wow.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Two friends! One of them is still a student I believe!
What has kept you around the ODDfam? The entire crew plus of course the fact the studio is right across my office
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I am my own boss so I would say: bitch! You better clean yourself honey
If you could have any super power what would it be? Flying, for sure
What was the last book you read? INSTALLATION ART
Do you dream? Lucid dream? I dream but most of the times I don’t remember. Suddenly a flash might come during the day and I say: oooh ok, I dreamt about that. I dreamt so so many times about me flying though. And also what’s dreamy is my boyfriend
If YOU were a color what color would you be? Absolutely blue
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? PazosMedia and #Europamerican #PazosMedia
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Favorite Place: LA, duh!
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I can whistle 3 different ways!
Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. – My absolute favorite yoga story is when I had a teacher force the whole class to do a dance circle at 9am. I was absolutely TERRIFIED to dance in front of a bunch of strangers.. as I’m sure were the rest of the totally sober students. In a panic, after years hiding in retirement, I busted out the worm and surprisingly didn’t break my face. It was the most liberating and empowering moment – which to me, is the very essence of how yoga has impacted my life.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? – groupon! when i first moved to la I used groupon to try out different studios before making the plunge.
What has kept you around the ODDfam? i LOVE how down-to-earth and playful the classes are. They don’t make you feel like you’re participating in some pretentious competition. The teachers and staff are so warm and friendly, and as a musician with a rather transient lifestyle, it’s so nice having that sense of community.
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? – Tell them for sure! A little bit of embarrassment right away is better than agonizing over how long it’d had been there.
If you could have any super power what would it be? Being able to (anonymously) give the gift of self-love.
What was the last book you read? women who run with the wolves!
Do you dream? Lucid dream? NON-STOP! I have about 10 books I want to write just based off the dreams I have. Sometimes I wake up exhausted from having dreamt the whole night away haha!
If YOU were a color what color would you be? Gold!
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? @whoistiLLie #theglittergang
Name: Ginée Nicole Arreguin
Hometown: Healdsburg, Ca
Favorite Place: my grandparents cabin in the woods up North. Some of my favorite childhood memories were made there, running around barefoot and free. Whenever my my mind feels especially loud, I imagine myself there and just like that it’s quite. Pure bliss.
Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.
I spent St. Patrick’s day in Ireland a few years back and as my friend and I were leaving one pub to go to another, she grabs my arm and stops abruptly. Then she proceeds to run into a tiny pizza shop, dragging we in with her. That’s when I hear it. Our favorite song( I love it, by Icon Pop) was playing and we proceeded to dance our tutu wearing hearts out. The guy behind the counter was about to kick us out when a whole crowd of people came in and joined us. It felt like what I would imagine being the first person to start a slow clap and the end of a Rom-Com would feel like. To this day, I hear that song and I have to dance.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? when I first moved into the neighborhood I google searched the nearest studios.
What has kept you around the ODDfam?From the first day I walked in, to the class I took today, I’ve felt not only welcome but like I had finally come home. The community that ODD is, is like no other. People really see you here, they want to get to know you and for you to get to know them. It’s an infectious and magical place that I just can’t get enough of.
Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I’m pretty close with my boss, so I would definitely consider telling her;)
If you could have any super power what would it be? To be able to fly, is there even another?! Think yogi Wonder Woman.
What was the last book you read? Healing Mantras, by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
If YOU were a color what color would you be? All of them. I would be all of the colors.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?
@mamagmoneyy on instagram for more on my life, which is mostly cats and yoga.
We weren’t able to get an interview with Angela and Victor Ganata as they JUST HAD THEIR BABY! But you’ve definitely met these two on the mat. We featured them last year for their dedication to trying and sticking with yoga last year and it’s proved through this year and their entire pregnancy. They’ve got a very exciting new journey ahead. Cant wait to see them in BABY & ME next!
Holiday Gift Guide – #ODDgifting – Shop Small
Holiday Gift Guide time! It’s that time of year again! (HOW!?) Share the gifts you get here with #ODDgifting!
It’s becoming increasingly more important to place your money where your heart lies. Supporting a small business is supporting a dream. Every single item in our retail is hand picked and thought through.
GIVE THE GIFT OF YOGA! – When you grab a $50 giftcard you’ll get 20% off any clothing items!
our holiday gift guide recommendations –
Offer a message with your gift!
Whether it’s one of the many shirts with sayings or a non-clothing item – take your time to read what things say. Yoga is all about how things make you feel… and sometimes we need to feel like a mermaid.
You don’t need to do yoga to be a warrior
You don’t have to be a yogi to enjoy #ODDgifting. Be a #SpiritualGangster warrior, wear sparkly #FreePeople socks and show that ODD love with our custom pins! If you are a hippie like us, you’ll love the oracle candles on the right. All charged by a new moon or a full moon with crystals in the candle! YAS YAS.
Support, and real talk…
When was the last time you grabbed a new yoga bra? We’ve got a gift card promo going on where you get 20% off of a clothing item with the purchase of a gift card for a friend of $50 or more. Consider giving yourself some good clean support this holiday season. #SelfCare, y’all.
One size fits all!
With a lifetime guarantee on the Manduka Pro and Pro-lite it’s like a challenge to have it run over by children, stored hard under a couch, left in a car, and taken outside. Oh, and the yoga block? GREAT gift if you’re supporting a home practice for somebody in your life. Show them how to lay over them and enjoy. We NEVER have sales on these gems and they are 30% off when you purchase 2 or more items!
Voted #1 most favorite Pants
If you haven’t noticed the worlds softest fabric – take the time to touch and compare the Space-Dye from Beyond Yoga. These pants are nearly the One Down Dog uniform. We’re in love with Beyond Yoga because it is a wonderful, body positive, woman owned company based out of LA.
Go unique for your Secret Santa stylings this year. Liza’s sister makes the eye pillows (bring them to restore, great for headaches too!), our breathwork teacher Michelle wrote a book! Stark Frontier is a local Silverlake spot worth supporting and dang their stuff smells great! Handmade candles from teacher Ellina that are FULL of intention and some magic. From healthy skin products to mindful messages all of this stuff is a great gift for a work friend, a white elephant exchange, or some unique stocking stuffers.
The details are huge!
Small gifts hit big spots in a wardrobe and look. PLUS it’s a simple gift without and sizing thoughts. You should probably pick yourself up some ODD pins and a Patrick necklace while you’re at it.
With all this talk of gifting don’t forget you’re a damn gift too! Treat yo’self to golden glittery goodness, these reversible pants and top baggy comfy pull over, pinky perfect gifts for your girls, and Christmas colored stylings completely from Manduka. Whether it’s a gift or a grab for yourself remember that when you support a small business, you support a dream!!