Thursday, May 24, 2012

Luke West Is Talented And Going For A Dream

Luke West

My young cousin Luke West is a competitive figure skater at the novice level and is training this skating season to make it to the US National Championships and hopefully medal there. 

I had a chance to see this performance and he blew me away. I am so proud of him! Luke moved to Montreal in 2010 to train with Bruno Marcotte, a former international competitive pairs skater who is now a very respected international coach. In addition to Bruno Marcotte, Luke works with a team of coaches and choreographers in Montreal including Sylvie Fullum, Julie Marcotte, John Mattatal, Anthony Evans, Nicholas Young and Andrea Chong. The team of coaches that Bruno has put together for Luke is working extremely well. He is transforming from a young skater into a competitive figure skater. 

Just recently, Luke and his family spent a week in Colorado Springs with Tom Zakrajsek, the premier freestyle skating coach in the world. After three days he told Luke he has what it takes to be a champion. Zakrajsek would like Luke to train there with his team of coaches ASAP. This is very exciting!

Please follow Luke's budding career as professional athlete on FaceBook and check out Luke's website. It takes a village to raise a child let alone a professional figure skater. Luke's family is fundraising to help make his dream come true to compete internationally and The Olympics. I see this happening - not only is he that good, but he has a tremendous heart. At such a young age, he is a role model much needed in competitive sports. 

The more support we can give, the more he can focus on skating and continue to be the shining, generous, dedicated super star that he already is. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arthur's Transformation

Arthur's transformation. The practice of yoga, changed his life. Inspirational story. Find someone who will help you and never give up!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Inspired by Avatars and Creatures

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana

I first became aware of Robert Sturman photography through the work that he does with The Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin Correction Facility. I've been keeping an eye on his work since then and quite honestly in awe of his ability to capture yogis as artistic expressions.

Urdhva Dhanurasana
A few months ago, Robert posted that he was doing a photo shoot tour for yogis on the east coast. I jumped on the opportunity to work with him and get the creative juices flowing. Surrendering to the idea that I am "married" (united intimately) to yoga being that yoga has been in my life for 20 years, I came up with the idea being a bride and wearing a long white beach dress, keeping it elegant, soft, ethereal.

As you can see, that idea went out the window.

Andy Golub appeared  on my radar just about a month ago while strolling through photos on Instagram. Someone had captured him working on a model and in the commentary someone else identified Andy as a rad artist who has a niche for painting bodies. And there you have it. The idea came to me to put us all together and see what we can create.

I did the unthinkable ... I picked up the phone and called Andy directly. 

To my surprise, he answered. We spoke for about 40 minutes and hashed out a plan. It took a bit of juggling with everyone's schedules, but we were able to make it work out and Mother Nature was on board, too. I had some back up ideas in case of rain, but we didn't have to go there. Couldn't have been a more picture perfect day.
Sirsasana with Garuda legs

Having my entire body painted and being naked in Central Park is far more my style and my essence than being a bride. Go figure. I am a New Yorker and I fully embrace my wild side, creative side, quiet side, upside down side and right side up side. All kinds of new experiences that day. To me that is what life is all about - experiencing. 

I am fortunate to have the paths of yoga and Buddhism to guide me on this extraordinary trip of life.  

Vashistasana Variation

Many thank yous to Robert, Andy and Andy's daughter, Indigo. Jacqui and Thaddeus, thanks for letting us do the prep painting in the privacy of your apt.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day - Every Mother Counts

 Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13th.
Every Mother Counts.Org has an idea of how you can participate differently this year.

Raise your voice through an act of silence. Learn how you can raise awareness about the girls and women who die each year during pregnancy and childbirth.

Whether you are a mother or you just love one, you can educate people about this issue and help prevent it. Here are some important facts about maternal health around the world.
  1. Approximately 358,000 women die each year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. That's one woman every 90 seconds.
  2. For every woman who dies each year in childbirth, 20-30 more suffer from lifelong debilitating disabilities.
  3. Pregnancy is the number one cause of death in women, ages 15-19, in the developing world. Nearly 70,000 young women die every year because their bodies are not ready for parenthood.
  4. Over 200 million women who would like to choose when they get pregnant don’t have access to family planning.
  5. The United States ranks 50th globally in maternal mortality, even though it spends more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world. African American women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than Caucasian women.
Almost all of these deaths are preventable.