leslie g. lewis

Kapotasana is an intense backbend that opens the entire front of the body including the psoas, chest, thighs, ankles and even the throat. It also strengthens the back and stimulates the abdominal organs. Backbends like this are useful after a long workweek leaning over a desk. Join me today and this weekend to reset your body and mind to healthy with yoga. Times and studios listed below.
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
Fri 2pm - Yoga Express Hour
Sat 11:15am - Core Vinyasa
Sun 5pm - Vinyasa
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in TriBeCa
Sun 11am - Vinyasa

Here are my #2015bestnine. This past year was fantastic and I can tell that 2016 will be even better. Now that the holiday celebration is finally over, it’s time to get back on track with our health. And with three chances in both BK and Manhattan this weekend, there’s no excuse to not add some yoga to your new year routine. Times and studios listed below.
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
Sat 11am - Core Vinyasa
Sun - 5pm - Vinyasa
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in TriBeCa
Sun 11am - Vinyasa

Forearm wheel, an amazing chest and shoulder opener and super fun pose.  It’s great for an energy boost, stretches the entire front of your body, and believe it or not happens to be the correct way to fall out of a forearm stand;-)

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Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana, otherwise known as Half-Bound Lotus Seated Forward Bend, is most commonly practiced within Ashtanga Primary Series.  I often teach it in my Vinyasa Flow classes though as it’s a great hip opener, lengthens the hamstrings, opens the chest and shoulders as well as stimulates the digestive system.  For those that are newer to yoga or are working with especially tight joints, ease into this pose.  You can always forgo the bind or just sit upright versus lowering your nose to your knee.  One final tip, remember to keep your shoulders away from your ears and square to the mat;-)

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Slowly but surely...

For the past many months I have been trying to meditate.  I started this process over a year ago in order to bring more calm and serenity into my life.  Every Sunday I go to a meditation group and attempt silent meditation for 25 minutes.  But it’s very difficult for me to clear my mind of the billion thoughts always running through it for even one minute, let alone 25. Guided meditation has been a huge help but my goal is to finally get some silence in my mind.  

I’ve been reading books on meditation, both for my yoga training and also just for myself. While these books are not what one would call enjoyable reading (completing just 4 pages takes a LARGE amount of effort) they are certainly insightful.  Learning about Vipassana meditation has changed my entire perspective on life.  So much unhappiness is self created by attaching overly negative or positive connotations to certain experiences when instead one should just let all experiences pass and realize that life is constantly changing and nothing, good or bad will be forever.  And while books are helpful for realizing the positive benefits for meditation, they still can’t clear out the daily buzz and anxiety within the mind.  The only way to really do that is by practice.  

Almost every morning, when I first wake up, I practice concentrating on my breath and trying not to let daily stress immediately flood my brain.  I do this while still laying down under the covers.  Sometimes I’m able to get 30 seconds or a minute of freedom.  Today though was going nowhere.  So, for the first time I decided to not be so lazy and actually sit up in my bed while meditating.  And it worked!  Although it may have only been 3 or 4 minutes of actual meditation, my entire morning outlook went from anxious and bleak to calm and positive.  Slowly but surely I’m getting the hang of this.  No wonder it’s called a meditation practice.  Because only practice will bring about perfection.  

Labor Day weekend has arrived! Summer is on its way out and fall is approaching, so join me today and this weekend (Labor Day too!) for some yoga to get your mind and body on the right track. Lots of core strengthening, hip opening, smile inducing fun will be had with tiny assists from the little cream puff miathepom
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
Fri 2pm - Yoga Express Hour
Sat 11:15am - Core Vinyasa
Sun 5pm - Vinyasa
Mon (LABOR DAY) 11am - Vinyasa
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in TriBeCa
Sun 11am - Vinyasa

Bow down, the weekend has arrived! Join me today and this weekend in an orgy of awesome Vinyasa in either BK or Manhattan. Times and studios below.
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
Fri 2pm - Yoga Express Hour
Sat 11:15am - Vinyasa
Sun 5pm - Vinyasa
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in Tribeca
Sun 11am - Vinyasa

Here I am, doing eagle headstand.  FYI, if you wear a flowy top while doing inversions, it is likely to slide down over your head;-)

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Thursday, August 13th, is my birthday so I’m starting it my favorite way, teaching yoga. Join me at 6:30am in Williamsbirg @sanghayogashala or at 9am in TriBeCa @karenlordpilates for some energizing Vinyasa to make you smile the rest of the day through. See you there!
#leslielewisyoga #nycyoga #ekapadaurdhvadhanurasana

Yesterday afternoon, as I got off the East River Ferry to go home, I noticed this on a bench.  It must have been left there by mistake as the owner ran for cover from the thunderstorm that had just occurred.  It reads, “I like to be thankful for just being here."  What a great little idea!  Often people forget to do that and instead focus on the negative aspects of their lives.  Forgetting to be grateful is definitely an easy thing to do.  When times are tough it can seem like everything is wrong and even when life is fantastic it is often tempting to complain.  That job that you love might include long hours, your perfect gf/bf/spouse might sometimes drive you insane, and having a full life that includes frequent dinners and get-togethers with friends can occasionally be tiring.  That’s why it’s important to step back everyday and look for the goodness and beauty in your life.  Meditation is a great way to do this, as is writing a short gratitude list, doing yoga, going for a jog outside, or even just taking some deep breaths, looking around and smiling.  If you’re struggling, your "goodness and beauty” can just be your comfy bed or your favorite pair of jeans.  But once you start noticing the tiny things that are good, your mood usually brightens and opens your eyes to the bigger things that you’ve been taking for granted.  Life is precious, so try to live yours in gratitude and see how much better it can be.