FROM THE MAT

RESOLUTIONS vs. GOALS

The end of the year may often conjure feelings of panic about how much time is left, and how much we still haven’t done despite our best laid hopes and dreams. From both a personal and a professional standpoint, it can be tough to take a look at how much you have, or haven’t done READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Charlotte Munn

Here’s the official rundown on Charlotte Munn (from LinkedIn): Charlotte is a Yoga Educator of body, brain and spirit solutions for human beings. She has been a full-time teacher since 2009. Awakening the Truth through Yoga is her greatest joy! Charlotte is a master facilitator of both the heart and science of Yoga, and is READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Lonni Hawkins Rivera

“Yoga has made me a better human being. Life is always richer and sweeter after yoga. I love the challenge of bringing my mind, body and spirit in alignment. Everyday is different and new. I show up to my mat each day open to growth and discovery.” Although Lonni is in love with all the READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Karla Perez

“I come to my MAT to honor my body for its patience and resiliency. After breaking my foot 3 months ago, I’ve waited for this moment patiently. Knowing that when I returned to my MAT everything would be as it was before my accident. “ Karla is a creative soul who continues to find new READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Katelyn Hollenbeck

“Crow pose is my favorite because it is the most challenging for me. I have done yoga on and off for many years now and I’m still trying to perfect this position. I still need a block to balance but getting my feet off the ground is a huge victory. It is something I can READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Cambree Doll

“King pigeon is my favorite pose because it stretches so many areas of the body at once and is such a great heart opener.” “I come to my mat daily so I can check in with myself on all levels…mind, body and spirit.  So many things I learn about myself on the mat transfer directly to READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell

“My favorite go-to these days is called Gate Pose, or Parighasana in the Sanskrit. Between age (I’m 54), menopause, and a more sedentary life, I feel the need to stretch, as well as strengthen, and Gate Pose is a wonderful way to do both.” Now, because Jennifer is a bonafied anatomical BOSS, of course there READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Jasmine McKenzie

“I’ve got all sorts of fav poses (as I’m sure most peeps do) but I’m choosing Devaduuta Panna Asana / Fallen Angel. It’s a peaceful inversion, where we get to play with balance and breath. Showing up to my mat is like coming home. It is where my mind settles and my spirit soars.” *Jasmine McKenzie is an actress, READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Malaika Butoyi

Hi! I’m Malaika of Malaika Vida Yoga. I have been a yoga teacher and meditation coach in Los Angeles for the last 10 years. Here’s me doing Titibhasana – Dragonfly pose – on my friend Hunter’s shoulders. Sharing my yoga with a friend, aka Acro Yoga, has been an unexpected blessing of recent years. A READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Synovia Jones

“My preferred exercise is the Sumo Squat. I have a love/hate relationship with it because it hurts, but it does amazing things for your inner thighs and glutes. You can do them anywhere, with or without weights, and even improvise and hold pretty much any object to increase difficulty.”    Synovia Jones is a chef READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Keric Morinaga

“My two highest intentions for practicing yoga are consciousness and bliss. I love modern yoga shapes that are physically demanding and mentally challenging because these poses push me to learn more about myself (consciousness) and they’re also super fun (bliss).” “I think of the yoga practice as a metaphor for life. Each pose represents an READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: ALEJANDRA PULIDO

“Half Pigeon is my favorite pose. I chose it because besides opening my hip flexors, it is deeply emotional for me. It never stops challenging me to completely surrender and breathe. In fact, the first time I did, I cried. I realized that all the emotion I store on my hips can begin to heal READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Micki Searight

“This is my favorite yoga pose. Three legged dog. I love this pose because I feel strong when I’m doing it. I’m focused and present. When I raise my leg, and use my entire body and all my breath to hold it there I feel invincible. I show up on my mat because I deserve READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Elisa Vazquez

“Four limbs on the mat. Fingers gripping, heels pushing down, arms and neck extended. Core pulled in to the spine, straightening and elongating with each breath. Hips high, chest low, pushing and pulling at the same time. And just four limbs on the mat.Downward facing dog is one of the first poses that I tried READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Nicole Gaitan

“Honestly, pain is what has brought me back to my mat. This pandemic has uprooted any since of normalcy in my life since before March. Thankfully, I still have a job when I know so many people do not. But my lack of daily scheduled movement that I used to religiously abide by has gone READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Brian Scott Gross

“What a year! Good or bad, 2020 showed me what I’m made of… and plank pose is a physical manifestation of my constant negotiation with movement and stillness. Even when it looks like I’m holding still in plank, I’m still breathing and making the smallest shifts in muscle and joint engagement. I learn something new READ MORE

FROM THE MAT: Adila

“Thanks to my big sister, I’ve been working out for as long as I can remember…13 years old, to be exact. I was a spindly preteen who probably needed every calorie I had, but there I was, jumping and kicking in sync with Janet Jones as we did The Firm every morning. I did that READ MORE

STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE COMMUNITY

FROM THE MAT: Charlotte Munn

“My body is a tool to remember I am more than a body. I am a spirit manifesting as a body.”

Here’s the official rundown on Charlotte Munn (from LinkedIn):

Charlotte is a Yoga Educator of body, brain and spirit solutions for human beings. She has been a full-time teacher since 2009. Awakening the Truth through Yoga is her greatest joy! Charlotte is a master facilitator of both the heart and science of Yoga, and is skilled at simplifying complex concepts for the modern practitioner with depth and playfulness. She facilitates;

– Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings
– Continued Education Workshops
– Private and Public Classes
– The Thinking Body Feeling Mind Movement Modality
– Power, Yin, Vinyasa, Yoga Sculpt, and Hot Yoga
– Coaching and Personal Development
– Tools for peace and joy

Here’s the unofficial:

The first thing you notice about Charlotte is her smile. It occupies her entire body. When she smiles it comes from her heart, and when she tells you that she loves you, you believe it. Charlotte is as excited about making sure you are loved as she is about human anatomy… and that’s saying something. Because she LOVES anatomy… like, LOVES IT. When I first got the opportunity to learn from her (she who studied with Paul Grilley), she bounced around the room with that smile, in a skeleton tank top and muscle tights, and excitedly shared her knowledge of bones and fascia and muscles like it was the best thing ever… because it was.

I am happy, honored and humbled by Charlotte’s participation in this campaign. May we all work to uplift, encourage and love each other. We are not alone… not now… not ever. Smile.

FROM THE MAT: Lonni Hawkins Rivera

“I show up to my mat because the ancient practice has always held me accountable.”

“Yoga has made me a better human being. Life is always richer and sweeter after yoga. I love the challenge of bringing my mind, body and spirit in alignment. Everyday is different and new. I show up to my mat each day open to growth and discovery.”

Although Lonni is in love with all the movement associated with yoga, she leans into inversions the most.

“I love inversions because I used to be afraid of them. I love the physical rush, because the circulation wakes me up.”

“I love twisty poses because they help to detox the body. Obviously, I love hitting my mat outdoors because I feel connected to nature. It calms me.”

In addition to working as a television journalist and entertainment host, Lonni also teaches yoga. With studios closed around the country, she’s taken her practice online. You can find out all about it on her Instagram, where she shares video and pictures of poses, and tips to help make the most of your practice.

FROM THE MAT: Karla Perez

“I come to my MAT to honor my body for its patience and resiliency. After breaking my foot 3 months ago, I’ve waited for this moment patiently. Knowing that when I returned to my MAT everything would be as it was before my accident. “

Karla is a creative soul who continues to find new and amazing ways to express herself. When COVID-19 forced us inside, Karla lost the opportunity to venture out an explore new things.

Karla recently started expressing her creativity with wearable art in the form of embroidered t-shirts. She is also linked to the non-profit No Us Without You LA – which provides food security for undocumented hospitality workers.

FROM THE MAT: Katelyn Hollenbeck

“Crow pose is my favorite because it is the most challenging for me. I have done yoga on and off for many years now and I’m still trying to perfect this position. I still need a block to balance but getting my feet off the ground is a huge victory. It is something I can work on during each practice and improve every time.”

“I come to my mat because I have noticed how yoga has affected my every day life. Learning how to breathe, focus, keep calm, and build strength has helped me grow into the woman I am today. I am always surprised at what my body can do and yoga has taught me self love and acceptance.”

*Katelyn is a post-production supervisor for Warner Bros. Entertainment, and proof that yoga is for EVERY BODY. So often we get caught up in what we think a pose should ‘look’ like, that we reject the very valuable use of props like blocks. This picture is a great reminder to lean into what a pose ‘feels’ like in your body. No one is like you, and THAT is your superpower.*

FROM THE MAT: Cambree Doll

King pigeon is my favorite pose because it stretches so many areas of the body at once and is such a great heart opener.”

“I come to my mat daily so I can check in with myself on all levels…mind, body and spirit.  So many things I learn about myself on the mat transfer directly to my life off the mat. I am forever grateful for my practice.

*Cambree Ty Doll is a dancer, makeup artist, stylist and entrepreneur. She is the founder and designer of Doll+GoPaul: a unique collection of body jewelry designed to embrace and enhance any body.*

FROM THE MAT: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell

“My favorite go-to these days is called Gate Pose, or Parighasana in the Sanskrit. Between age (I’m 54), menopause, and a more sedentary life, I feel the need to stretch, as well as strengthen, and Gate Pose is a wonderful way to do both.”

Now, because Jennifer is a bonafied anatomical BOSS, of course there is more to this pose than simply putting your parts in a certain place. Observe the breakdown:

“Gate Pose concentrates the frontal plane (side bodies) and taps into all those forgotten muscles from the tip of your heel to the top of your head. Seriously, it opens up the entire spine, and strengthens shoulders, hips, and quads, especially when you uplevel this variation by lifting the top leg, or go into full Gate Pose by lifting the torso laterally. If you hold this for 30 seconds or longer, you definitely feel it all.”

“Thanks to this crazy pandemic, I am not on my mat as much as I used to be, and my practice has definitely changed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of practicing in order to “teach” to others (which was a lot of my practice), I now practice for me. It’s a slower and shorter practice that is more focused on breath and living in the postures rather than trying to do fancy things with them. It is a commitment to stay strong, healthy, and to take care of the body that exists now, not the one I had 10 months ago, or the one that I will have in the future.”

Jennifer is a highly skilled and experienced yoga teacher (ERYT-500), writer, and Reinvention Coach. You can find out more about Jennifer and her journey on As the Girl Turns Inc. asthegirlturns.com

FROM THE MAT: Jasmine McKenzie

Photo: Tatjana Smith

“I’ve got all sorts of fav poses (as I’m sure most peeps do) but I’m choosing Devaduuta Panna Asana / Fallen Angel. 
It’s a peaceful inversion, where we get to play with balance and breath. 
Showing up to my mat is like coming home. It is where my mind settles and my spirit soars.”

*Jasmine McKenzie is an actress, a singer, and a Yoga guide/practitioner

FROM THE MAT: Malaika Butoyi

Hi!

I’m Malaika of Malaika Vida Yoga. I have been a yoga teacher and meditation coach in Los Angeles for the last 10 years.


Here’s me doing Titibhasana – Dragonfly pose – on my friend Hunter’s shoulders. Sharing my yoga with a friend, aka Acro Yoga, has been an unexpected blessing of recent years. A natural arm-balancer, I love dragonfly pose because it makes me feel strong. 
I feel the back of my heart lift to engage my rhomboids and spread my toes wide with a strong core to find my infinity lines through my hands and feet. My hands fit perfectly along my friend’s back, my weight presses down to massage his shoulders.
In life, as in yoga, we must root down deep into ourselves to find the anchor which carries us through this life with purpose. As we connect with the Dragon lines of the earth, so too we harness the flowing life force energy of the Nadis – Chi lines – within. 
Yoga helps me live a life of purpose. I support you in finding your Dharma – purpose – and ways to manifest your heart’s desire in the world!

Malaika Vida is available for one-on-one wellness coaching on WellSet.co

For videos, information on group classes and upcoming events, visit: Malaikavidayoga.com

Find me on Facebook: Malaika Vida Yoga

Instagram: mvbutoyi