a life worth living is a life worth sharing… or maybe it’s the other way around? in this category we share our lives with you – we have learned so much through the practice of yoga and can’t wait to share it with you.
This past Saturday, I attended a friend’s backyard birthday party. It was a familiar scene as we gathered under the trees, drinks in hand, catching up around the fire pit. Then Gel gave me that sly smile: “Did you bring your cards?”
I did—I almost always do. So then and there we sat down on the Earth to ask ourselves some questions, and remind ourselves what we already know. Others came up to pick a card, to engage in their own knowing. And, the inevitable questions arose.
“How do you remember all the meanings?”
“Where did you learn?”
“How long did it take you?”
My answers, though, may not be what folks expect. I assume that they want to hear about an apprenticeship under a Master Psychic. (Do those exist? Please put me in contact.) Or that it runs in my blood from my great-grandmother’s lineage. Yeah, no. My answers are less exciting, but open all of us up to this beautiful instrument for self-knowledge.
See, the thing is, I taught myself. I’m teaching myself, still. Tarot is an art form that simply makes sense to me. It’s a language we can all speak and interpret. There is no certification required to pick up a deck, and learn with the cards about yourself, about your friends, and about the opportunities on your path. I learned, and I continue learning, by reading for and with others.
In Intuitive Tarot, offered for the first time at One Down Dog, we will collaboratively learn with one another and lots of amazing decks. Certainly there are basics to tarot: what each suit represents, or the form of the Major Arcana, for example. Yet there are far more interesting questions hidden in the cards. Three of Wands asks what you envision for yourself, and the Queen of Cups reflects back your own intuitive advice. In gathering together we will act as mirrors for one another while we gain confidence and deepen our understanding of tarot.
A beautiful and short reading you can do for yourself or a friend is by simply pulling four cards from your deck, representing your Mind – Body – Spirit – Heart. There are many questions that can be asked with this foundation, but the importance comes from holistic self-examination.
The Mind: What stories am I telling myself? What underlying assumption masking itself as a truth? What logical line of thinking should I be considering at this time? Or, for a twist: What teaching and learning can I cultivate during this phase?
The Body: What actions do I need to take? What messages is my body giving me about this situation? How should I nurture my physical form, in order to thrive?
The Spirit: This question depends deeply on the individual, since spirit means so many different things (or nothing at all!) to different people. But some questions include: When and where I encourage inspiration in my life? How is the world calling to me? How can I improve the energetic influence of my spirit in my community?
The Heart: Not always included in similar spreads, I had to add in The Heart, because it is so important to listen to the beats of our very own drums. What practices do I need to help foster a healthy, open heart? What is my heart crying out for?
*** Intrigued? Join me at One Down Dog (Silverlake) for three Intuitive Tarot workshops!
Thursday, 7:30 – 9:30
9/29: Meet the Cards
10/13: Following the Thread of Intuition
10/27: The Art of Storytelling
$75 for all three classes or $30 drop-in, if available!
Each month we bring a teacher into the #ODDlight and illuminate their interests, practices, and who they are. There is a real person behind those people you see in the studio!
Name:Liza Lucia Stratton Thoms
Nick Name: Lulu, Grizz, Luchita
Hometown: Fairfax, CA up in the SF Bay Area
Favorite Place: Swimming in the ocean/floating in a river or lake or in a hug with someone I love
Favorite color: Green!
What’s your sign? Virgo
Most embarrassing moment? Turning my oddlight questions in sooo late (not a good look for a manager!)
Most empowering moment? I don’t know if I have one huge empowering moment but there are a series of little things, telling my first good joke in Spanish, getting off medication for my epilepsy and being seizure free, teaching an english class to 30 adults (public speaking is my nightmare), graduating college, telling my honey I loved him for the first time…
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I never played any sports but started dance classes when I was 4 years old.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? My boyfriend taught me to drive in San Francisco and at the ripe age of 26, I got my license.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I speak Spanish, it was one of my majors in college and I lived in Queretaro, Mexico for a year.
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? Seeing live music or out on the town with friends.
How do you define yoga? For me, Yoga is about learning to let go and to tune in. It has given me this great tool to examine myself and the world with less judgement.
What brought you to One Down Dog? I had just moved to LA from SF and was looking for some grounding and community in this big city and man oh man did I find what I was looking for!
What is your favorite pose or flow? Why? Warrior 2 because I feel fierce and confident and strong and I love the dance-like transition in and out of this pose. Just typing that made me get up and do one. Yup, my favorite!
Memorable yoga moment? My first tears in savasana. They were tears of gratitude for this heart opening practice.
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala etc) Blocks and Beyond Yoga high waisted pants are my shit!
What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart? My mom is a mental health specialist at the Homeless Prenatal Program in SF and so it is a place I hold near and dear. Their mission is about empowering people to recognize their strengths and trust in their own capacity to transform their lives in addition to offering various methods of support. I think this is such important messaging.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? You know I am not up on the times with this! @_luchitas is trying to keep up on instagram though! Follow me and keep me relevant.
Anything else? (feel free to add literally anything!) I have always been blessed with strong community and grew up surrounded by an enormous family (both immediate and extended) along with lots of people I called “aunts”, “uncles” and “cousins” and great friendships. I am full of gratitude for this. Having a workplace with such a sense of community is my dream come true. Finding this studio made me feel at home in LA, I love this place and all the amazing people that make it what it is! Thank you ODD fam.
New classes and types were added, our first Sculpt/Sweat training, a new Massage Therapist, MIND our donation meditation class, our growing 200hr Teacher Training, regular SoundBaths, with Jamie Ford and a range of workshops and community events. This year was huge!
Personally – Jessica bought a house and had baby boy Max!
We got to know some of our #ODDfamily a little better each month by tossing them into the #ODDlight. We will continue featuring the yoga family each month but many of those #OGODD family members have been featured so take a look!
Many of teachers provided insight into their hearts and minds with the #ODDlight interviews, but several teachers also contributed writing on what it is like to get your Teacher Training at One Down Dog as well as what it is like to be a new yoga teacher.
Clara Roberts-Oss was a phenomenal guest teacher who came to share a whole weekend of workshops and trainings. Check out her guest post: 12 Tips For New Yoga Teachers
To get some insight into the hearts and minds of our students we spent the #ODDlight shining on all of YOU in November. We featured our students online and asked some questions in studio that people answered anonymously:
“My first headstand!”
“The first time Patrick, the mascot, sat on my lap.”
Who or what has made a mark here for you?
“The positive energy from all of the students & teachers.”
“Great Classes! <3 Ducky ~ Ducky is awesome & she makes you work for it. Thanks!”
Most important or most favorite thing you’ve learned at ODD?
“I have learned that perseverance pays off. Ive also found joy in the struggle.”
“I <3 this ODDcommunity – I’ve learned to Let That Shit GO! :)”
Why do you stay and practice here?
“Yoga helps me align myself physically and emotionally.”
“You’re amazing, loving, kind, and like family!”
“Loved the fun vibe of the website and that there were dogs. Stayed because it’s the best place in LA & my ODDfamily!”
This commUNITY really is the thing that separates One Down Dog from other yoga studios. It’s a home, it’s a family, it’s a lot more than asana classes. We try to bring awesome workshops to diversify and deepen your practice in ways that interest you and community events so we can connect off the mat. From Clothing Swaps to our 2nd Community Shop Day over to BodyBurst weekends and ButiGlo parties we had a range of ways for you to get involved. Check out just a few more of the amazing workshops we had this year:
2015 has been a year of living #MakeAwesomeHappen and we are already on fire for more in 2016. Join us to create the vision of what this year will be and work with us on how to create more awesome in your life with MAKE AWESOME HAPPEN workshop series with Jessica.
Keep an eye on our schedule, events, and blog as you can expect in 2016 – our new BABY ME, Kids Yoga, Yoga Unplugged with breath work, chanting, and meditation, Yoga Dance Parties, Asana workshops and special philosophy study classes.
If you ever want to contribute or get involved by writing a blog, hosting a workshop, or being in our all LA based retail store just get in touch! We are always down.
It’s hard to come up with unique gifts that align with what somebody wants and what you want for them. Shopping at your ODD-est little yoga home can lead the way to a sweet simple gift that says “hey! I thought lots about you! To help you find that perfect gift for you or a friend we came up with our #ODDgifting guide and are offering 10% off all retail through the end of the month.
When you get a gift card of $50 or more for a friend, we’ll give you 20% off a retail purchase (the discount must be used by Dec 31st 2015) that you can use to grab goodies for yourself or more for your friends.’
Why we love it: We all need a little encouragement and uplifting. That’s why we love Your Joyologist so much! Grab a journal, poster, pins, and an Own Your Awesome affirmations deck to give that extra boost of inspiration to the people you love.
Why we love them: great little gifts that support awesome artisans in Costa Rica and a small business in San Diego that has since exploded! We love to accessorize with their beachy wears.
Why we love them: locally made, awesome yoga duds. Wear your inspiration on your sleeve.
Why we love them: made in LA, fantastic fits, most comfortable and flattering yoga gear out there. This shit lasts forever – Jessica’s first pair is 7 years old and still looks as good as the day she bought them. We are obsessed with Beyond Yoga and you should be too.
Why we love them: they’re brand new on the yoga scene, made in LA and killing it with their Heavily Meditated tanks, tees and mugs.
Why we love them: they’re the OG in high-end long lasting yoga mats (they come with a lifetime guarantee!). They’re killing the game in blocks, bolsters, sweat absorbing towels and mat carriers…yep we’ve got all of them at the studio. AND extra bonus this month: they’re offering a FREE equa hand towel with the purchase of a PRO mat.
Why we love them: we all need a little extra support, some extra cushion for the pushin. Yoga Coasters can be used for all sorts of poses to help ease our gentle wrists, elbows and knees.
Still need some gift giving inspo? Check out our instagram for #ODDgifting bundle ideas at discounted prices! Stop in the studio and we can help hook up your crew, and we’ll even wrap it up for you!
Shop local and support small business this gift giving season! It’s a gift to us too.
We’re thrilled to welcome Laura Jenkins, our new massage therapist in Silverlake location of One Down Dog! Click here to read Laura’s bio.
Why should I incorporate Massage Therapy into my fitness/wellness regimen?
You take your car in for a tune-up, or an oil change right? Well, think of your body as your vehicle. You’re working out and taking Yoga! That’s a great start. Those muscles are working, getting stronger, keeping your body moving and fit. Ever feel sore, stiff, tight or plain old tired? Your muscles need some lovin’ too. Massage Therapy helps push all that lactic acid out of your tissues which helps aid in a faster recovery. Overworked, tight muscles need to release tension before they start overcompensating for other areas or joints of the body. The goal is maintenance and balance for your muscles. If you want to be able to keep moving, massage is important. Aside from all the other amazing health benefits of massage, active folk should make massage a definite part of their routine.
What style of Massage do you do?
I combine various techniques to cater to your specific needs. This isn’t your typical spa experience. I focus on specific areas of need, or do a general tune-up of the body using techniques such as deep tissue, swedish, traction, range of motion, trigger point release, myofascial to name a few. I consider it Therapeutic Massage. I work with you to find out what your body likes and what it responds to best. Don’t worry — I won’t make you cry unless it’s needed. 😉 Most importantly, always be open and honest with your therapist. Be vocal when you feel the need, so you can communicate on what your body is supposed to be responding to or feeling. And yes, I can also do a very stress-free, relaxing, “put me in the best mood ever” massage as well as prenatal.
How do I schedule an appointment?
The best way to schedule is to e-mail me directly: JENK.LAUR@gmail.com. My schedule is flexible, but also depends on classes happening at One Down Dog (Silver Lake). Day times are the best times. But I get it — some of us do have 9-5ers. E-mail me a couple different options of the best days/times that work for you, and we’ll make it happen.