Come out and play!

Hey Friends!

Picture yourself as a young child.  What do you look like?  What brings you delight?  What brings you fear?  What do you crave more than anything?

Now imagine this child residing in a cave inside your heart.  It longs to express itself, to be loved, to be accepted, to connect, to be seen.  The child draws a picture to give to someone you care about.  It is so excited to share this artwork.  But you, as an adult, don’t think the picture is good enough, so you say, “It’d be better to throw this picture away.  Once you’ve cultivated your drawing skills more, then we can show others your picture.”  Immediately the little child gets shoved deeper into the cave.   It feels hurt, inadequate, ashamed, small, and repressed.

As people, each time we label ourselves as inadequate, unworthy, or we tell ourselves that we should be achieving more than we already have, we harm the tiny child within us.  When we shrug off our challenges and say, “Well, that’s nothing compared to what other people have experienced,” we are shoving the little child deeper into the cave, telling it that its experiences are not valid, that it doesn’t really matter.

But when we speak lovingly to the child within us, with words of appreciation and affirmation, celebrating our successes every step of the way, we encourage the child to come out and play, to speak, dance, sing, shout, and create with abandon.  We teach ourselves that we are worthy, we allow healing to occur, and from this place, only good can come.

I invite you to take a walk with your inner child, give it space to shine, listen to what it is telling you, and treat yourself with compassion throughout your day.  Just as we would want our own children to feel safe, encouraged, affirmed and supported, our own inner children need just that.

Come connect with your inner child at a playful yoga class this weekend/next week at Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) and at Area Yoga Brooklyn.

IG:@annetangi@biteablelife @urbanyogafoundation_ @areayogabrooklyn

Wonder, splendor, imagination, healing, connection and freedom await you!

Saturday May 6 – Area Yoga Brooklyn (103 1st Place)
9:20 – Open
10:50 – Basics
12:20 – Open

Tuesday May 9 – Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) – 380 MacDonough
7:30 pm – Basic Hatha

#wellness #innerchild #yoga #brookkynyoga #playfulness #healing #freedom #wonder #creativity #imagination #emergewellness #urbanyogafoundation #areayogabrooklyn #tangiyoga

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To The Edge

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Dear Fellow Global Citizens,

I find myself asking, “What is my role in the current political, national and global environment?”  The inundation of flabbergasting and traumatizing information, combined with the inspiration I find in so many friends who are standing up against injustice, is pushing me to discover my own Edge.  In yoga classes we always seek to find our edge: that place where our bones are in alignment, our muscles are being used in the right way, we are going as far as we can while breathing fully, free of pain, and our energy can flow freely, allowing us to experience the most vibrant versions of ourselves and to grow.  Our edge is always changing, depending on our anatomy, what we are going through on a particular day, or at a particular phase of life, and how all of that is manifesting in our bodies.  Everyone has a unique expression of each pose.  It doesn’t matter where your edge is, but it does matter that you find it.

In the yoga of daily life, everyone has a unique way to use one’s passions, skills and community connections to stand up for Greater Good.  This means that we must explore what resonates with each of us.  Are you more into protests, doing research, calling your senator, educating others about what’s going on by posting enlightening information on social media, holding a safe space for people to express what they’re experiencing, organizing, creating positive spaces for people to experience joy (which can give us fuel to go on), leading meditations and prayers, having very real (and sometimes very uncomfortable) conversations with others whose views differ greatly from yours, or something else?  

May we all recognize and remember that everything and everyone is connected.  All of life is connected. That is the meaning of Yoga: Union. To Yoke. Oneness.  And history is connected to the present. Mistakes of the past have the ability to repeat themselves if we lose touch with those connections and memories, and fail to take the lesson that those past experiences offer us.  When we stay in our bubbles, our comfort zones, and our fears, we miss out on opportunities to sink into that greater tapestry of Human Experience and Universal Consciousness.  In such moments, I risk losing sight of the fact that an injustice committed against you is ultimately an injustice committed against myself.  If I step out in an act of fear (disguised as an act love for my own, or the desire to protect my own AT ALL COSTS) then I may become blind to the moment when my sense of desperation to protect my well-being comes at the COST of YOUR well-being.  I may try to remove myself from the situation in order to avoid facing the difficult choices ahead, or I may act aggressively and senselessly, both paths yielding harmful results.  When I step out in an act of faith, hope and courage, however, I have the opportunity to cultivate Light in the Darkness. Love can then usher in the chance to build bridges rather than walls, to unite rather than divide, to develop friendships rather than enemies, to create space for conversations that can help to bring healing, understanding and forgiveness, rather than fuel chaos through rigidity and ignorance that can only breed more fear, hate and division.  

So let’s all work to find our Balance, our Edge: that sweet spot where we are aligned with our true selves, our best selves, which will allow our energy to flow freely, and enable us to use our power in the most productive, positive way, with AWARENESS, for the benefit of ALL BEINGS.   

There are times to walk and times to run; times to follow the path of least resistance and times to resist.  I invite you to connect with yourself and evaluate your edge, over and over, as it is always changing, so that you may connect with your community, the broader global community and the Oneness of All.  

Come discover your edge at a yoga class over the next couple weeks.  I’m teaching:

Tuesday Jan. 31
Area Yoga (Montague) – Express – 12.30-1:30 p.m.
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Power Yoga – 4:00-5:10 p.m.
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio * Like us on Facebook.  380 MacDonough St., Brooklyn, NY- Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Monday Feb. 6
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Basics – 8:25-9:35 p.m.

Tuesday Feb. 7
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio – Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Monday Feb. 13
Area Yoga (Court St.) – Sweat, Stretch, Relax – 4.20-5:30
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Basics – 8:25-9:35 p.m.

Tuesday Feb. 14
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio – Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu.  May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.

In Yoga,

Anne

Shifting With Grace

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Photo Credit Longtower Photography

 

Friends,

I hope you’re loving this weekend and that you caught sight of the full moon last night.  Come celebrate the last days of Summer and the beginning of Autumn with me at a yoga class!  As always, you can find my most up-to-date teaching schedule on the calendar tab at the top of this page. I’m also excited to start teaching yoga next week to Pre-K students at DREAM Charter!  If you or someone you know is interested in a mix of yoga/dance/mindfulness-based learning at schools, give me a shout out! I’m really looking forward to helping empower Young Souls.

As for my Grown Friends, I’ll be teaching….

Sunday Sept. 18 – Area Yoga
10:45 Open Level – Court St.
12:30 Gentle Flow – Court St.

Monday Sept. 19 – Area Yoga
5:30 p.m. Sweat, Stretch and Relax – 5th Ave.

Thursday Sept. 22 – Urban Yoga Foundation
12:30 Basic Hatha

May this transition into a new season bring welcomed shifts, new perspectives and opportunities for growth into your own life.  Remember that every season offers its own magic.

Peace,
Anne

Rekindling The Flame

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Albert Schweitzer – French-German theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician.

Dear Friends,

It’s been a while!  I am happy to be back in action with teaching and blogging.  Here is my offering to you today…

Imagine a dark night. You are with a community of others, families, friends, and strangers, all making a trek on foot toward a beautiful destination that is full of light, peace, abundance and beauty. You start out with lanterns to light your path. As you move forward, you begin to hear sounds around you that are frightening, as you cannot see where they come from. Sometimes you stumble for the same reason. The flames in your lanterns begin to grow weak. Children begin to cry, as the sounds of the night grow into monsters in their young minds. You know that the dangers of the night are real, and you also known that you cannot let the darkness consume you, or else you will not make it to your destination. You decide to play games with the children, to sing, to dance. Soon others join you. As your inner light begins to shine more brightly, you notice that the flames in the lanterns begin to strengthen, as well.

The darkness is ever present, but the more brightly these lights shine, the more expansive this realm of light becomes. Little by little your community develops into a city of jewels twinkling in the night, and then a bright fire offering warmth, energy, light, strength.

In our lives and world, as chaos and darkness can seemingly take over, sometimes we forget the importance of self-care, rest, fun, and celebration. Sometimes we get caught up in the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, go spend time with loved ones, or do something we really want to do, until the chaos has calmed and the situation has been resolved. We may even feel guilty, or that we are dishonoring the hardship of a situation by choosing to focus on light– thereby selfishly taking attention away from the dire state of this world.  In fact, taking time to celebrate is what will enable us to keep us going!  It is what will rekindle our flames. Life is NOW. Every moment is precious.

As your light shines more brightly, you will help others to shine, as well. And when all of our light shines, it will become so radiant, so powerful, that we will be able to make it through the Dark Night, together.

This doesn’t mean that we should deny the Darkness, ignore it, downplay it, or pretend that everything is okay when clearly is not. Rather– this is a time to be present in the darkness, a time to acknowledge it, walk through it, feel it, recognize how it is affecting our world and the worlds of others in our midst. As we are present we can take steps to shine more light, to answer the voices we hear crying out for help, to evaluate what our best access points to the Cause are and consider how we can make the most positive impact.

As we take those extremely vital steps toward healing, justice, freedom, equality, and peace, let’s remember that we are able to offer the most to others when we are healthy.  Let’s celebrate all along the way!  Let’s give ourselves permission to take child’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to laugh. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges. Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.

In your yoga practice, I invite you to tap into your inner flame, your inner light, and to honor Life with every breath.  During the asanas, or physical poses, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate. Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now. The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose. Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy!  I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body! I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow.  At other moments, we need to modify the poses.  I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.  As we practice celebrating with breath and movement, we are training ourselves to live this way throughout our daily experiences.  May we carry this with us through all of the darkness that we encounter along our journeys.

Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to be present with the experiences and circumstances that arise.  I invite you to connect with your communities and feel with others who are suffering, to listen to the need and examine how your gifts can best be used to help.  Meanwhile, remember how medicinal and nourishing laughter, fun, rest and play can be for the Soul, Body and Mind.  As the night reaches its darkest moment, may your light shine the most brightly, for we are Radiant Beings.

Come join me in Harlem at my newest teaching venue, Urban Yoga Foundation and let’s celebrate life together!

Thursdays 12:30 – 1:30 – Hatha Yoga Basics

And to my teacher friends/friends with kids: I am working to complete my Children’s Yoga Certification this summer (also through Urban Yoga Foundation) and would LOVE to come work with your kids at school!  Please let me know if you are interested.

As always, I am available for private classes and am looking for additional regular teaching venues.  Just shoot me an email at annetangi909@gmail.com and we can set something up. 😉

Until we meet, here are some tunes to help keep the party going and also remind us how connected we are:

“Celebration” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels
“Virgo Clown” — Van Morrison
“We Are Here” — Alicia Keys

In Light,

Anne

Monster in the Closet

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Take a moment to notice your breath, without judging what you observe.

One night, as a little girl gets ready to go to sleep, she hears a sound coming from her closet, and concludes: There’s a monster in my closet!  She won’t open the closet door, because the fear of what she might find is too intense.  If there’s a monster in the closet, it must be big, scary, and overpowering.  The risk of not being able to handle what’s on the other side does not feel worth taking.  So, the child has to scurry to her bed, pull the covers over her head, and she can’t relax because she has to be ready to run if the monster comes out. The sounds continue to keep her awake.  Finally, the little girl concludes that the only way she’ll be able to sleep is if the monster leaves her closet.  She bravely approaches the door, opens it, and shrieks as a moth flies out.  After watching the moth that was searching for a way to get outside, the little girl opens the window, and the moth flutters out.  The child closes her closet door, takes a proud sigh of relief, snuggles under the covers, and falls fast asleep.

Sometimes we attach a certain meaning to something about ourselves, some factor in our lives, some idea, some possibility.  Sometimes we are too afraid to look at what’s there to even consider what it is.  Maybe, after giving ourselves the space to consider it, however, we’ll begin to see ways that we can deal with what is there.

Today I invite you to increase your awareness, without judging what you see or attaching meaning to it, so that you can truly see.

A yoga practice provides a space to observe without judging.  We draw our focus to the breath, which helps the mind to slow down and helps to take attention away from the stories that we tell ourselves, or the monsters that grow inside our closets.  In addition, as we practice mindfulness with the breath, we also practice mindfulness with our bodies and movements.  We learn to breathe through the sensations that arise and to be present.  Sometimes this means adjusting the pose so that we can find our true best or “edge”, rather than push beyond it to our expected edge.  We practice this constant communication between the body and breath without judging ourselves for not being able to achieve a certain expression of the pose that we might desire.  Through this practice, we train ourselves to remove some of the stigmas that we attach to our experiences in life so that we can embrace them, learn from them, and move forward.

Notice your breath again.  During your physical yoga practice, or asana practice, observe what’s going on within you in each pose.  Observe when you reach your edge, if you need to modify the pose, if your breathing changes and the thoughts that come.   Maybe certain thoughts need to come to the surface, so that they can then pass on by, or so that we can deal with them in another way.

What monsters in your closet are you ready to face this week, this month?  We Got This!!!

Check out my calendar for my up-to-date teaching schedule.  Hope to see you on the mat!

Peace and Sweet Dreams,

Anne

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Butterflies and Coccoons

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With the new warmth of this season, I’m getting excited to see Butterflies.  While they haven’t yet emerged in New York City, I bet they’re making their way around town in Baton Rouge, LA, my first home.  And if not, I am sure that there are lots of fuzzy caterpillars squirming around near the oak trees there, as they prepare for their next stage: chrysalises in cocoons.

Picture a garden with a plethora of flowers, plants, colors, birds , and insects.  Imagine a butterfly gracefully fluttering through this garden.  It has radiant wings, with a unique design.  Watch the butterfly land on a flower and sip its nectar.  And watch it soar to another flower, helping spread pollen.

Notice the life, the colors, the grace, the UNIQUE beauty that this butterfly shares with the garden, and notice how this creature went through several stages of metamorphosis before it could spread its wings.  Each stage was vital to bring it to this moment.

It began as an egg, supported by a leaf that would later become its food.  It hatched into a caterpillar or larva, whose job was to eat and grow, and store nutrients.  When it was full, it wrapped itself in silk, becoming a chrysalis in a cocoon.

This stage was so important, as the chrysalis began to develop its legs, eyes, and wings.  Even though major transformation was taking place, the chrysalis was isolated from the rest of the garden, from the world, because it was tightly wrapped inside its cocoon.

A moment came when the chrysalis had become a butterfly, and was ready to meet the world, to connect.  If it were to stay in its cocoon, no one would ever know its beauty.  It would not be able to connect with and inspire others, or make the garden even more colorful, more alive.

So when the time was right, the butterfly came out of the cocoon, spread its wings, and began to fly.

Today, I invite you to tap into your inner beauty, your gifts.  I invite you to cultivate them, nurture them, open your heart, come out of your cocoon, and share your light with those in your midst, so that you can connect with others and experience community.  As you inhale, expand and open.  As you exhale, share.

Sometimes we struggle during transformation, as challenges arise.  But that’s OK! Through this process we grow wings, a new perspective, and beautiful, colorful patterns.

Come spread your wings with me at the yoga studio this week.  Check out the schedule below.  You can always check my live calendar for the most up-to-date schedule, as well.  I often pick up extra classes at the last minute when subbing for fellow teachers.

Radiate as a unique, exquisite creature.  Spread your wings, soar, and share.

Peace,

Anne

Classes this week:

Tuesday April 21
8:00 a.m. Open Level – Studio 312

Friday April 24
5:00 p.m. Basic – Area Yoga (5th Ave)
6:30 p.m. Warm Restorative – Area Yoga (5th Ave)

Sunday April 26
8:30 a.m. Slow Flow – Area Yoga (Montague)
9:45 a.m. Open Level – Area Yoga (Montague)
12:30 p.m. Warm Restorative – Area Yoga (Court St.)

Monday April 27
9:20 a.m. Open Level – Area Yoga (Court St.)
12:30 p.m. Express – Area Yoga (5th Ave)

Tuesday April 28
8:00 a.m. Open Level – Studio 312

Spring’s on its way!!!

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WOW!  How LOVELY it is to be able to take a walk with only one sweater today!!  I know Winter is still in our midst, but Spring is on its way!  What a great reminder to embrace each moment, and then let it go, as circumstances are only temporary.

Come play this week and celebrate the New-ness of the changing season.  Here’s where you can find me this week:

Tuesday, Mar. 10
8:00 a.m. Open Level (Studio 312)

Thursday, Mar. 12
12:30 p.m. One Hour Express (Area Yoga – Montague)

Friday, Mar. 13
5:00 p.m. Happy Hour (Area Yoga – Court St)

Sunday, Mar. 15
8:30 a.m. Slow Flow (Area Yoga – Montague)
9:45 a.m. Open Level (Area Yoga – Montague)
12:30 p.m. Warm Restorative (Area Yoga – Court St)

Wishing You Peace, Warmth, and Excitement this week,

Anne

Reflections on My Journey Through Brazil

 

Hello, Friends and Fellow Yogis!

I have returned to New York City after two amazing months of travel through Brazil. Through adventures of learning Portuguese, learning how to navigate new cities and a new country, learning about the culture, developing friendships, taking leaps of faith, facing many fears and exploring exquisitely beautiful places, I also had the chance to deepen my yoga practice physically, mentally and spiritually.

For one thing, I had to commit to maintaining my own practice throughout my travels, as I did not have access to classes at studios. One thing I learned was the value of consistency and routine. Some days my physical practice was only 20 minutes, or even just 10 at times; but the act of practicing almost every day helped my body to stay mobile enough to regularly practice poses that I used to avoid because of pain. For example, for years I would often have pain in my lower back during or after urdhva dhanurasana, or wheel pose. Because of that I would typically practice other heart-openers instead. In Brazil, however, I found that the combination of practicing asana almost daily (as well as taking a break from some of the other types of movement that I was accustomed to practicing in New York, such as certain dance styles) resulted in my ability to go into wheel without pain and without having to spend a long time preparing my body beforehand.

In Brazil my day-to-day asana practice did not vary too much, although every day was a chance to explore and discover what served me the best. A simple routine of warming up the spine, joints, and core, followed by poses to elongate my muscles and open my hips and heart, did me a WORLD of good while I was traveling in terms of preventing pain, releasing tension, staying flexible, and feeling connected with my body. As it was sometimes hard to find opportunities to venture into the city and move in other ways, being able to maintain a home practice was invaluable. Any poses that feel good to you (no matter how simple), when practiced regularly, can enhance your life. Yoga does not have to be practiced at a studio, and physical yoga does not have to be specific “asana”.  Simply following your breath while moving is practicing yoga. I invite you to take a few moments each day, wherever you are, to move in a way that feels good to you. 🙂

On another note, mental flexibility was a huge part of my yoga practice while traveling, as pretty much everything went differently than I had envisioned. My trip was quite a lesson in the importance of letting go of expectations in order to be ready to take on what actually comes up. While I have tons of beautiful, happy, exciting, rewarding, freeing, loving memories from my time in South America, I also had moments of frustration, loneliness, disappointment, discouragement, confusion and sadness.

Over time, I became aware that some of the frustration, anxiety and depression that I experienced during my travels stemmed from my desire to fulfill the expectations that I had for myself prior to arriving, as well as expectations that I thought other people had for me. Many people had recommended places to visit and things to do in Brazil. I, too, had big hopes of doing certain things, such as taking dance classes at studios that I my teachers had recommended to me. Well, I encountered many challenges in relation to transportation, safety, communication, weather and the fact that my plans were often so on-the-fly, that made it much more complicated to check out some of these places and do some of these things than I had hoped. Due to these factors, I accessed way fewer dance opportunities than I had expected, for example. This was really frustrating and disappointing for me at the time.

At moments I felt pressured to find a way to make certain things happen because I thought that it would be such a shame to return to the States and say, “Actually, I didn’t go there, I didn’t do that and I didn’t even find a way to do some of the things that were on the top of my list when I arrived.”  I felt that I would somehow be a failure if I didn’t follow through with these ideas. A friend in Brazil reminded me of the following truth: “You make your own adventure. Everything everyone else recommends is just a suggestion.” Touché. Yet, it took me most of my trip to come to terms with that and just let go.  In my classes, I often remind my students that part of yoga is constantly adjusting as your receive more information, allowing yourself to stay flexible (with yourself and others) and to embrace the present moment, then let it go. On the mat, this can manifest in the form of being patient to accommodate fellow students who enter into an already-crowded room after class has started, or in modifying a pose if you start to feel pain. In Brazil, this manifested in many forms, especially mental ones.

On the flip-side, MAN did I have some AMAZING times full of AWESOME surprises!!! The diverse places I did check out were so enriching and I would not trade those experiences for the world.  I developed beautiful friendships in unexpected situations.  I got to see things that were exquisitely beautiful and things that were ugly.  I had chances to experience Brazil with locals, allowing me to see beyond some of the tourist attractions and to experience aspects of Brazil that are not advertised.  Through my journey to learn Portuguese, I was reminded that we must be willing to make ourselves vulnerable in order to grow.  I DID dive into the dance scene as best as I could, through checking out clubs and festivals with live pagode and forro music, as well as attending the capoeira and dance classes that were in reach.  My experiences of having a tough time accessing some of the dancing that I craved actually reaffirmed my passion for dance and helped me to realize new horizons that I want to reach with my art.  All of these experiences taught me about the importance of realizing the freedom that you have to dramatically alter your routine, and then finding the courage to risk losing something from your current lifestyle along the way.  I became aware that the things that are most important to your soul will not simply diminish when you change your routine.  In fact you might even come back more driven than you were before.

In addition, I observed how powerful perspective is in shaping the quality of our experiences and altering our reality.  This makes me think about the idea that things are not necessarily positive or negative, right or wrong, helpful or unhelpful, great or small.  Our attitudes in a certain moment can cause us to see a situation in a particular light, and our attitudes can drastically change when we are caught off guard by new information.  If that’s the case, then where does the truth lie in any given situation?  Well, perhaps this can serve as a reminder of the importance of cultivating a steady mind so that we can have the best chance to see life as clearly as possible.  Coming to your mat to draw focus to the breath while tuning into what is happening within your body helps the mind to slow down.  As you move through postures (asana) and breathe through the sensations that arise, you begin to clear and stimulate different channels throughout the body.  This allows energy, blood, oxygen, as well as fluids throughout the brain, internal organs and joints to flow with more ease.  Meanwhile, you begin to release tension, toxins, and even mental clutter.  Through this practice, you are training your mind to be present in the moment, to accept what is and to move forward from that place.  As you practice listening to and nurturing your body, breath and mind on your mat, you are teaching yourself to live in this way throughout your daily activities and interactions.  Through a consistent yoga practice we can cultivate more steady minds, which benefits not only ourselves, but all of those with whom we interact.

I hope to see you soon in the City. Please check out the live calendar to stay tuned for classes.

Peace and Cheers to Adventures!,

Anne