Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Schedule and Winter Solstice Celebration

This Weekend: Friday/Saturday: normal; Sunday, December 24: 10 am class at both studios; CLOSED Christmas Day.
Next Weekend: Friday/Saturday: normal; Sunday, December 31: 10 am class at both studios; 4-6 pm Open-Level Vinyasa class taught by Beatriz at Wake Up Yoga West; CLOSED New Year's Day.

The end-of-the year holidays are upon us. Ready or not, the 10-day slide to the end of the year has begun. If your schedule is anything like mine, at this moment you simply cannot take the time to read even an enjoyable (if lengthy!) post. I shall spare you that for the moment, and inundate you with opportunities to deepen your own practice next week, when hopefully you will have more time to reflect and plan for the New Year.

In the meantime, this is just a gentle reminder that tomorrow evening, December 22, we are having a Winter Solstice Celebration and Grand Opening Party at Wake Up Yoga West, at 4916 Baltimore Avenue. The evening will begin with a free yoga class being taught by Beatriz at 5:30 pm. We shall learn exactly how many mats will fit in this beautiful and bright new space! After the class, sometime around 7:30 we'll have a vegetarian potluck offering (bring whatever you'd like to share). There will be live music: Thomas Flanagan on Sitar, accompanied by his friends (to be announced!) on Tabla and perhaps some other instruments. Mike Mergen, the beloved Jill Manning's husband, is showing some of his photographs from their 6-week trip to India, which will be for sale (last minute holiday gifts?), and 20% of the funds generated will be offered to Operation Shanti, a non-profit organization caring for the welfare for the street children of India. We will also have some copies for sale of the Sringara Rasa Flow Audio CD recently 'released' featuring Corina Benner (me!) and accompanied by Craig Ebner on sitar. Students have already expressed excitement to be able to pop in the CD to feel the warmth, energy and love that we all generate here, while moving and breathing and even sweating a bit. At least one student told me that's she's taking me with her to Las Vegas for the holidays... I've never been to Las Vegas, so I hope we all have a good time! The CD sells for $15, including tax.

We'd also like to create an 'altar of intention' as an opportunity for students to write down: 1.) what they'd like to create in the New Year; 2.) what in their lives needs more attention and more love in order to fully thrive; 3.) what in their lives they are willing and ready to let go of, to create the space for this new growth. After the party, we may take these intentions and offer them to a sacred fire (not in the yoga studio!).

In any case, if you have the time to bless the space with your energy, please join us. If your dance card is already full, enjoy yourself thoroughly, and if you feel so inspired, please send us your blessing on the waves of a kind thought. Have a beauty-full holiday!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dharma Talk Tonight and Holiday Party Tomorrow Night

Just a sweet reminder that Michael Carroll will be here this evening for our once-a-month Dharma Talk in the Fairmount studio. Tonight's discussion is: "The Spiritual Wisdom of Dharma - How ordinary life can reveal the awakened state." Sounds like it ties in nicely with many of the week's class topics: Santosha/contentment. The talk is from 7:30-10 pm, and there is a $10 suggested donation. Hope you can make it! Michael Carroll will continue these talks in '07, but the next one isn't until February, so come get your fill tonight!

Also, a reminder that we're hosting a Holiday Party/CD Release party tomorrow night, Saturday, December 9 from 7:30-9:30, at Wake Up Yoga in Fairmount. It's a short little soiree, and all you have to bring is yourself (and if you'd like, your beloved, your friend, and/or your child/ren). There will be prosecco, a light Italian bubbly wine that is quite refreshing, and everyone's favorite preparer-of-spirit-infused food, Marla Wilner is making some hors d'oeuvres. I wouldn't recommend coming with a very hollow, hungry belly, but there will be some light snacks to tickle your tongue.

We are also launching an audio yoga class CD that I have created with the help of some very skilled friends. The offering is a sringara rasa flow class, appropriate for people who have some familiarity with yoga practice, names and postures. My friend Craig Ebner accompanies the class on sitar, and the CD really does seem to convey the energy, enthusiasm and soothing vocal patterns that many people say they appreciate in the classes I teach. The CD is a great tool to help jump-start your own home practice, and may help you connect deeply with yourself on those days when you can't get to the studio, or perhaps are traveling for business (or pleasure!).

Also, please remember that we are having a Winter Solstice Celebration/Grand Opening Party for Wake Up Yoga West at 4916 Baltimore Avenue on Friday, December 22. From 5:30-7 pm, Beatriz will teach an all-levels, FREE yoga class, and from 7:30-10 pm-ish, we'll have a vegetarian potluck party (bring anything you'd like to share!), Thomas Flanagan on sitar with some friends accompanying him on Tabla and maybe some other instruments, and we'll build an alter of intention for the new year, so that you can infuse your own dreams for 2007 with this inspired, group energy. Jill Manning will be back from India (I think she returns this weekend!), and her husband, Mike Mergen will be displaying many of his India photographs on the wall. I hope you can come!

That's it for now. I really hope to see you either this weekend at Fairmount, or in two weeks at WEST, or both! We do have so much to celebrate, and the more joy we collectively find, the more we have to share with the world. This may be the greatest gift we can offer!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An Invitation (Or Two!)

On this Thanksgiving weekend, as each of us contemplates how to most effectively and efficiently 'get it all done' in order to arrive at the table surrounded by loved ones to give thanks, I wanted to share with you a musing offered by a dear friend and yoga student & teacher. Many of you know Julio Kuperman, a true renaissance man with a love of language that rivals (compliments?) my own. He shared with me a pondering on the root meanings of many familiar languages words for 'thank you.' In German, the way one offers gratitude is by saying "Danke," which Julio suggests come from a root meaning of "Thinking." In Spanish, "Gracias" stems from the root of "Grace." And in French, "Merci" has a root in "Mercy." So as you contemplate gratitude, and the richness that one experiences while being filled with gratitude, perhaps you, too, can spend the day "Thinking with Grace and Mercy." Thank you, Julio, for this very sweet lesson.

With that in mind, I want to personally invite you to not one, but two Wake Up Yoga events in December (with two studios, I don't want either to feel neglected!):j

On Saturday, December 9 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm at Wake Up Yoga in Fairmount (2329 Parrish Street) we're having a Pre-Holiday Celebration and CD Release Party!!! I'm really excited about the celebration, and rather nervous about the CD release! It is a Sringara Rasa Flow class, with me teaching and my friend Craig Ebner accompanying on Sitar. If the universe conspires with the duplicating company and UPS, we should have the shipment by December 6 or 7... just in time to pop open some champagne and toast the amazing team of professionals who made the cd possible, and the wonderful students who share their practice here at Wake Up Yoga; you truly are my greatest inspiration! This event will feature Craig on the sitar, and hors d'oeuvres by the Super Spectacular Amazing Earth Mama Marla Wilner of Food Practice. There will be some bubbly (avec et sans alcohol!) and, of course, the CDs will be for sale. Dress for fun... and it is fun to see your yoga buddies in 'real clothes.' We'll have a Barefoot Ball!!! Please plan to come... I do hope to see you there!

And Friday, December 22, from 7:30 - 10 pm, we'll be celebrating the Winter Solstice as well as having a Grand Opening Celebration for Wake Up Yoga West (4916 Baltimore Avenue)! Thomas Flanagan will play the sitar (perhaps with some friends accompanying), and this party will be a vegetarian potluck (bring anything you'd like to share!). Also, Jill Manning and her husband Mike will be recently returned from their trip to India, and Mike (a professional photographer) will be showing many of his photos. We will build an altar of intention for the year ahead, possibly join our voices for some sacred chanting, share some food, and raise a glass to toast each other, friendship, love and life. Please share your own vibrant energy with the burgeoning studio and bless the space with your presence! This is likely to be a very popular night for holiday parties; I hope you'll put Wake Up Yoga West on your Party Train!

Please know that your children are always welcome at Wake Up Yoga parties, and we love it when you bring friends!

Also, be sure to check our Workshops Page for information about upcoming events: The Yoga Playground: Family Yoga in West Philly; Brand New Beginner's Series in Fairmount and West Philly; a once-a-month Sunday Ashtanga Primary Series Tune-Up Class (2 1/2 hours!) with Heather Marie; Prenatal & Mommy and Me yoga classes... and more!

In the meantime, continue to count your blessings, remembering to be grateful for your own sweet self and all you do for those you love and the communities you serve!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


On the morning of this festive holiday, we will offer our normal $5 vinyasa flow class (clear out some space for the big feast and prepare to enjoy time with your family!). The evening classes will not happen. My question is this: Friday. Are you planning/hoping to come to class this day? Please let me know. Thanks!

Oh, and Wake Up Yoga West has softly opened... students have been to every scheduled class so far! We're working out the kinks... hoping to have the credit card machine functioning soon, and work out the class card system. If you have a class card at Wake Up Yoga Fairmount, and would like to use it at both locations, please ask a teacher to transfer your classes to a punch card that you take with you. Or, you could have a class card at each location on file. We will have a Grand Opening Celebration soon! In the meantime, keep coming to class (at both studios!), tell your friends ... together we're building a community that spans many generations, cultures, socio-econonomic strata ... finding peace, compassion and joy, and feeling really good in the process. Yoga Rocks!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

WUY West Opening Monday!

Just a reminder: tonight is our once-a-month Buddhism Dharma Talk with Michael Carroll, from 7:30 — 9 pm. There is a $10 suggested donation; if that's too much for you right now, please make us an offer! Tonight's topic: Karma in Everyday Life - Understanding the Vision of the Boddhsattva. Intriguing!!! Don't miss this one!

Also, Once-a-Month Saturday Yin Yoga is being cancelled for now, which means we are NOT having the class tomorrow. This offering hasn't been well attended, and it seems unfair to ask a teacher to be here if students aren't going to be! If this news is devastating to you, please email me at: to let me know. With enough interest, we may look into beginning this offering again in a pre-registration format to gauge interest. In any case, it's supposed to be a beautiful weekend, so drink it up! Remember Kate is here Saturday morning at 8 am, Biz is here at 10 am, and Sunday morning we've got Nicole at 10 am, and Tina at 5:30 pm. Get Your Breath On!!!

And now, I am so pleased and delighted to announce the official soft opening of Wake Up Yoga West, Monday, November 6. Hurray! Thank you to everyone who pitched in, offered to help, and/or wrote an email or left a phone message voicing your support. Just wait 'till you see the space!!! It has great Bhava (mood/vibe) ... the walls are the same golden color you've come to call home here in Fairmount, and there is this interesting loft with a railing at the back that feels almost like a castle or something equally theatrical (in a very non-distracting sort of way). A beautiful sign is being built and we'll soon have the logo on the gorgeous display windows. There's also another display being created which, hopefully, will convey the spirit and joy that we intend to spread in West Philly. Still picking up the last of the immediately necessary supplies and figuring out how the systems will work ... but this is just the placing of the last pieces into the puzzle. Anyway, please plan to come practice with us next week! For the opening schedule, click here!

Boy it has been a whirlwind: running the one studio and teaching, while working to get the next one up and running. A labor of love for sure, and when you walk in those doors I hope you'll agree it has all been worth it!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wake Up West Update!

Wow! Autumn's late afternoon sky often leaves me breathless and almost giddy. The glow of our distant sun reflecting off of buildings and highlighting the fading glory of so many lifesaver-candy-colored leaves often startles me into moments of pure, vivid aliveness, complete with wonder, awe, and the bittersweet recognition of how precious and fleeting everything truly is. Winter sometimes feels like he will drag on forever, and summer has her timeless frivolity, but the autumn insists you realize his days are numbered; the autumn wants your appreciation and attention. Here's hoping that your days have moments of properly paying homage to this wondrous season, which surely will enhance your relationships and your experience of being alive. You, too, just might shed a tear for the miracle of it all!

I am so excited to report that, barring unforeseen challenges, Wake Up Yoga West will be open next Monday, November 6! Hurray! Thank you to everyone who emailed and phoned to offer your support and encouragement and services to help. The West Philadelphia community has really extended itself to welcome this new studio into the neighborhood, and we look forward to spreading our passion for yoga to all who are drawn to practice at 4916 Baltimore Avenue. Our first class that day will be a $5 flow at 9 am with Beatriz. Next we'll have a 12 noon Vira Rasa Flow with Renata. And at 6 pm, I will teach a Vira Rasa Flow class (I'm just filling in at Wake Up Yoga West until Jill returns from India; while I'm there, Jeremy K. will be taking over the Vira Rasa Flow class at Wake Up Yoga, Fairmount). We're hoping to have the full opening schedule on the website very soon. In the meantime, there are some tentative schedules in the door, and hopefully they will be distributed throughout the neighborhood this week.

The general operations of each studio will be very much the same. We'll keep a card file on premise for those students who want to house their class card at only one location. However, for students who are excited about utilizing both locations, we'll give you a 'punch card,' that you'll bring with you to class to be signed in. The good news about keeping your card at one spot is that it will never be lost. The good news about using both locations is that, depending on where your day's travels take you, you have more options. Both have benefits and both have drawbacks so you'll just make the decision that works best for you. I looked into getting swipe cards, like they use at Mugshots to keep track of how many cups of coffee you've bought, but that seems like an unnecessary expense right now (although it seems cool!). We'll work it out. And, after all, it's really about the yoga!

And speaking of Yoga - boy do we have some fine offerings for you! I'd like to just bring your attention to two of them right now. To find out more about these events and others, please visit the workshops page.

We will begin advertising some series at the new space (Brand New Beginners, Prenatal, and Mommy & Me) to start in the New Year. And I anticipate having a Grand Opening Party sometime in December (details soon!). Also, please save the date: Friday, December 22. Here at the old original Wake Up Yoga we'll be having a Winter Solstice and Holiday Celebration. This will be a potluck, with some live music and an opportunity to see your yoga friends in party clothes! I hope you will be able to share with us in reflecting upon the year past, and setting an intention for the year ahead.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Juice!!!

Things are certainly cooking around here, what with a bouncing baby yoga studio on the way. The lease has been signed and there are posters in the windows at 4916 Baltimore Avenue announcing the pending arrival of Wake Up Yoga West. This weekend we'll be there painting the walls and devising how to best utilize the space, as well as determine the system for operation. The space is very much like Wake Up Yoga: there is no foyer, one enters directly into the space, and there's a good vibe already present in the room. We're sticking with the vibrant, golden squash color and are on the lookout for just the right shelving and stereo. It's very exciting, and feels very sudden, although the idea for a West Philly space had been planted years ago. Many West Philadelphians have already written and phoned expressing their excitement and enthusiasm, all of which has been deeply appreciated! A modified November/December schedule is being created, with a full scale Yoga Assault planned for the New Year! If you live in West Philly and would like to register a vote for classes at particular time slots, please email me at: We'll definitely have 6 pm classes, and hopefully expand into 7:45 pm classes as well. A few 7 am classes could be offered, along with 9 am and maybe 12 noon. I'd be really excited to see if a 2 pm or 4 pm class would serve the needs of this thriving community; if any of this appeals to you and your own unique schedule, please let me know!

In the meantime, there is so much happening right here at home! Don't forget to review our upcoming events and workshops. If you're interested in enrolling in an event, please call the studio: 215.235.1228. You can enroll with a credit card or send a check, but do let us know you are planning to attend!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Exciting News!

Whew! It's been a whirlwind journey toward autumn, and there is some exciting news on the horizon. It looks like Wake Up Yoga will have a little sister in West Philadelphia. Plans are still being finalized for Wake Up Yoga West, but a very sweet space has been offered and the lease should be signed tomorrow morning. If all goes as planned, we'll be painting next weekend, and heading toward a 'soft-opening' at the start of November. We'll begin with an abbreviated schedule to gauge interest and get a feel for how to best serve the community. Our intention (if the demand is there) is to offer $5 morning yoga classes (both Yin & Flow), early evening prenatal yoga (in addition to Vira Rasa Flow, Sringara Rasa Flow and Yin Yoga), Brand New Beginner's Series', and weekend classes; we'd also love to offer Mommy & Me Postpartum Yoga, and even Family, Kids and Teen Yoga (let us know if any of this tickles your fancy!). Over the years quite a few West Philadelphians have expressed a strong desire to have Wake Up Yoga closer to home; if this news makes you really happy, OM three times and hug the first person you see!

The possibility of a second location really excites me with the realization that we will be able to hire more teachers! Many trainees have graduated from our certification program with so much to share and few opportunities to do so. And I believe much of what makes Wake Up Yoga so special is the warmth, the heart and the sense of community that is palpable in this space. To create yet another haven in this city for people to breathe together, to discharge toxicity and nourish their entire being body to spirit surely will do no harm and may even help stem the tide of violence, anger and aggression which has been widely reported and perhaps directly experienced this year.

Of course, the same quality of love and dedication will be lavished upon the old original Wake Up Yoga. To that end, click here to see our newly added events and workshops!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Beet Dip Recipe!

For anyone who attended the Fall Equinox Retreat and wanted the recipe for the amazing Beet, Chickpea and Almond Dip that Marla brought, it can be found here on It was delicious... and vegan!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yin Yoga Tomorrow Night

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful journey into the autumn. Sunlight reflecting off of leaves, sculpture and beautiful buildings this time of year is, to me, evocative, whistful and painfully beautiful. It's so lovely it hurts! Hope you, too, find wonder and awe in these crisp, cool days.

Just a quick reminder that we have our Once-a-Month Yin Yoga happening tomorrow night. The irrepressible, enthusiastic, sweet-natured Jill Cummings is teaching, which will surely send you into your weekend, and the autumnal equinox feeling balanced, nurtured, and grateful for this amazing experience of being alive.

Our Equinox retreat day is fully enrolled, and please remember that the Saturday morning 8 & 10 am classes (this week only!) are not happening. There is, however, a big event happening on the parkway. A parade and celebration from Love Park to the Art Museum Circle, complete with free vegan food, is beginning at 12 noon. If you are interested, find out more details at: Ratha Yatra Parade in Philadelphia.

Have a beautiful weekend, and we hope to see you soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Upcoming Events

When I was in junior high school the song, "See You in September..." was always played over the loudspeaker on the last day of school, carrying with it the mildest form of sadness for the parting... and hinting at the excitement that the fall would bring.

I'm feeling that excitement here at Wake Up Yoga, as faces who were sunning themselves somewhere else this summer have started showing themselves back in classes this week. There is a reunion-like feeling with everyone (I hope) enjoying the sense of 'returning home': home to this studio, home to your breath and body, and home to the challenge of diving back into your work with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Here's wishing you an autumn filled with moments to savor the changing leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the cozy sense of being at home, of belonging, wherever it is you happen to be!

As for events, boy do we have a veritable plethora of offerings for you this fall. You can find out details on our Special Events and Workshops Page.

While perusing the offerings we have on tap here at Wake Up Yoga, I'll encourage you to consider the notion of the 'Purusharthas,' which means 'that for which a person strives,' and essentially refers to our goals in life. According to this methodology, we need to spend equal energy in our lives toward: Artha: earning a living and having material needs met; Kama - pleasure and enjoying life; Dharma - conscientious, right living and the fulfillment of our individual purpose; and Moksha: liberation, the efforts we make toward our spiritual lives. If you realize that you spend too much time at work, or in chasing evasive pleasures, perhaps you will be inspired to tend to your spirit as well. It is our intention to provide you ample opportunities to tend to your Moksha here, which we believe will greatly enhance your own experience of being alive.