yoga union teacher training

despite the fact that i already teach yoga, i am now and will always be a perpetual student of yoga.  each year, i set out to explore a new area of yoga.  recently it's been meditation, anatomy and sanskrit and now i have just embarked on my second 200 hour certification course

since i took my first certification back in 2006 (no, i can't believe it's been that long ago either), i've really had a chance to explore the many different sides of what yoga means to me and where i'd like to learn more.  so in hopes of tying that information all together, as a sort of review, but a challenging review at that, i've signed up for yoga union's 200 hour teacher training.  this training is the first of its kind that alison west is offering!  in the past, the format has been a month-long intensive in which you literally stop your life and commit every day to yoga, which sounds awesome - but since i have full-time commitments (read: work and bills), that option wasn't ideal for me, so when this opportunity came along, i knew it was a sign. 

now through may 2012, i will attend monday evening sessions - a true commitment and challenge in and of itself for me (who tends to be fickle).  there's lots of homework and a big test at the end - the structure my inner dork needs to really pay attention. in short, i'm stoked! 

om meditation teacher training

"the hardest part is getting your ass there." - david nichtern on meditation

i've always heard about the benefits of meditation and have even dabbled in the practice myself, but had no idea if i was 'doing it right.'  so when i came across a meditation training at om yoga in union square (nyc), i didn't hesistate.  led by david nichtern, a senior teacher in the shambala buddhist lineage of chogyam trungpa and sakyong mipham rinphoche - oh and the husband of om yoga's very own cyndi lee, not to mention an emmy award winner and grammy nominee!  besides all of that pizzazz he has going on, he's really grounded and relatable and breaks the art of meditating down into really basic steps.  with that said, david also agrees that although it may seem simple, meditating is hard work and even harder to teach someone else. 

so how does one become great at meditation?
lots of meditating, self-discovery and getting to know those ancient buddhist monks who have already figured it all out. 

check out david's articles on huffington post to help guide you through your own self-study.  or if you're in nyc, visit om yoga for their 30 minute ($5) meditation sessions on tuesday evenings. 

90 minutes to change the world 101

continuing on my yoga teaching journey, i just completed this great webinar with the renowned and awesome amy ippoliti.  amy has made her mark as a top anusara teacher, but in this webinar series she was super informative and personal, basically everything that makes her a great teacher also makes her a great teacher's teacher.  since the 'class' is web-based it was super convenient for me to keep up, even though i wasn't able to listen live, the recordings were very clear and the homework (yes, homework!) was actually stuff i've been meaning to do so this was a great way to get me going. 

the webinar, 90 minutes to change the world 101, helped inspire and motivate me to the next steps in my teaching evolution, so much so that it is feeling more like a revolution!  a

my has a great vibe and a lot of down-to-earth info to share. she also has a freebie on her website - 5 steps to living funk-free - something everyone could stand to use.  check her out.  you're welcome :)

yoga cures - tara's new book project

strala is full of movers and shakers, including founder tara stiles!  her second book is already n the pipeline and is slated to hit the shelves next spring (2012). 

YOGA CURES: Over 50 Simple Routines for Radiant Health


a shot from tara's yoga cures photoshoot with justin boruckithe book's theme is shaped around what tara does best and what youtubers everywhere know her for - creating simple sequences that help solve common issues like hangovers, pms, tension, wrinkles and 46 other ones... you'll just have to wait until next spring to see what else tara can cure with the yoga.  in the meantime, get on your mat and find out what you can do for yourself.  

bonus tidbit:  deepak chopra (tara's yoga student) wrote the foreward (fancy, i know).

congrats tara!


holidayasana in nyc


\ˈhä-lə-ˌ ä-sə-nə\

the conscious effort of staying sane, healthy and green during the holiday season.

if you're in nyc, you have some moral support this season from fellow yogis.  embark on a month-long challenge to maintain your mental and physical health plus keep your lifestyle greener amidst the crowds of shoppers, fruit cake deliveries and excess packaging. is hosting holidayasana, in which it has partnered with 14 of nyc's top yoga studios (yes, strala included!) to present you with a holiday mission. 


should you choose to accept this challenge, starting december 1st (yes, you get a free pass for tofurkey day) the collective holidayasana mission is as follows:

  • practice yoga 20 times
  • eat 25 very healthy meals
  • volunteer 60 minutes for someone in need
  • avoid using ANY disposable plastic bags

in a nutshell, 'tis the season for living healthy and green, and giving a little back. you can track the group's progress online, bringing this bustling city some much needed positive energy.

join in the fun by visiting:

chat live with tara about holiday wellness

with the oncoming holidays, our days can often be filled with more stress than joy, so join tara in a live chat wednesday, 11.17, in her special 'wicked fresh! wednesday' session with tom's of maine.  tara will give you some pointers about how to breathe and be easy in your body, avoid over-indulging and how to truly enjoy your holidays.  also since it is a live chat session, tara will be taking your questions!  so be sure to tune in!

here are the deets:

on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 – 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 9:00 p.m. EST

go to Tom’s of Maine Facebook page - – via the Live Chat tab and join in the convo.

strala events for real life

currently my schedule at strala is limited (just my 8:45pm class on tuesdays and some subbing dates), but just because i am not teaching doesn't mean i'm not around!  coming to a weekend near you, strala has some really great and affordable workshops happening that apply various aspects of yoga to real life:

  • saturday 11/6 - ayurvedic brunch and farmers market tour with nadya - because fall is the perfect time for a field trip and delicious food! (11am-2:00pm; $50 includes brunch)
  • saturday and sunday (11/6 and 11/7) - childbirth education and pre-natal yoga weekend intensive - hang out and learn from lindsey bliss (a doula + mom of 4) and rebekah (bex) borucki (strala teacher + mom of 3 and one on the way + personal trainer) about the emotional and physical parts about being preggers. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $200 in advance)
  • saturday 11/13 - fireman ed (an avid stralan) is leading his first bootcamp that is coupled with a juicy recover yoga session taught by tara after (12:30pm - 3:00pm; $35 in advance).
  • saturday 11/20 - tao is back!  yes, the 90+ year old yogini is back and is hosting "vinyasa:  the dance of life" (1pm-4pm; $40 in advance).


re-learn to breathe

yoga has re-taught me to breathe innately.  somewhere between birth and adulthood, you get self conscious, learn to hold your breath and how to stress out without even being completely aware that it is happening.  i'm excited to take the upcoming workshop with ken van sickle as part of my strala level 2 training.  ken is a 78-year-old Tai Chi Master, so he's done his fair share of moving and linking the breath to his movements. he's also a nyc lifer, photographer, cinematographer, and whole-health guru (read:  he's super awesome!).

fortunately, the stralans are opening the doors to the public on this workshop (read:  we believe sharing is caring!).  so skip the boozy brunch and re-learn how to breathe next weekend.

here are the deets:


saturday, 10/23:  1:30-4:00pm
Strala Yoga
632 Broadway (between Houston and Bleecker)
$30 in advance, $35 online, $40 at door (if space available)

it's all about (what) you (have)

today marked day 1 of my level 2 strala training!  this training blends level 1 and 2 trainees into one group.  although the underlying themes are the same as the first training we are looking at it from a different perspective, which i find a really smart format as everyone learns in layers, taking away different pieces of knowledge each time.  today, the level 1 trainees were asked to step outside their comfort zone and teach for five minutes, while the rest of us were asked to observe the entire class.  it was really interesting to see how everyone is unique in their bodies and their communication style.  each person has something unique to offer and to gain. 

at strala the idea is to be the teacher you are and not about creating carbon copies of another yoga teacher which some other trainings tend to encourage.  the focus is on being the best you you can be.   

tara made the analogy today that "yoga is like dusting." basically the more you dust the better off your home is, so the more you yoga the better off you will be!

strala on the move

like the yogis that flow on their mats, strala is moving!  save the sweat for class (as in don't sweat it) we are just heading across the street to our new diggs with better bathrooms, a cool chillaxing space for pre/post class hangout and of course a nice airy place to practice the yoga!

the studio is relocating to 632 broadway, right above the newly arriving petco, it will now be where the stralans go. 

no worries, no schedule disruptions!  we will close with a final relax class with tara on thursday at 7:00pm, september 30th and then re-open strong at 7:30am with a special class taught by tara to open the new space with a dose of her great energy!


be sure to check out the new class schedule and upcoming events for october at

i'm teacher of the week at strala!

i feel like i just got a gold star!  i am honored to be teacher of the week at strala!

here's the clip from the newsletter:


Strala Teacher of the Week!!

We're thrilled to present Strala Teacher of the Week, Jennifer Pesce. Jennifer is a graduate of the Strala Training program and is dazzling us with her fun, knowledgeable, exciting classes. Her roster of private clients is also filing fast so contact her if you're interested in squeezing in some down dogs!

We think Jennifer is awesome and we want all of you to get hooked on her classes too!

check out the newsletter for more details on the upcoming training, the new website, and of course the early bird yoga classes!  i will also be teaching a late night class during the week, in case you are more of a night owl, than an early bird (8:45pm).

subbing at strala this week (read: more classes taught by moi)

with some of my fellow stralans out of town, i am stepping up to the plate and teaching a few more classes this week and next!  here's the rundown, hope to see you on the mat! 

wed 9/8/2010 7:00pm {strong}
thu 9/9/2010 7:00pm {relax}
fri 9/10/2010 7:30am {strong}

mon 9/13/2010 7:30am {strong}
fri 9/17/2010 7:30am {strong}
fri 9/17/2010 7:00pm {strong}
sun 9/19/2010 6:00pm {strong}

remember, all classes are only $10 a sesh! and walk-ins are always welcome, just leave your shoes outside the studio.

stralans on tv!

as many of the yogis prowly in the interwebs already know, tara stiles just released her brand-spankin' new book, slim calm sexy.  although there have been mixed feelings and some yoga snobbery out there, i am pro-camp stiles so all i have to say is say congrats! 

congrats to tara on creating a book that makes yoga digestible for many out there that are intimidated/afraid of the big bad yoga that is thought by many to only be possible if you are super bendy and pretzels are more of a shape you take than a snack you nibble.  and also congrats to the strala family members who joined tara on tv (traci and shanda) for a super segment early this morning!


here's the video from the cw11/pix11 morning show.


yoga for night owls?

sure, the early bird gets to yoga in the a.m., but let's not forget about the night owls, they are equally great yogis too.

i need your help!  if there were hypothetically a late night yoga class, would you be more inclined to show up on the mat? 

please take a second (literally) and cast your vote:


when would your ideal late night yoga class take place in nyc?

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Create a Poll

saying hello to a new strala yoga chapter

this weekend marked the final two sessions of the strala intensive.  it was really bittersweet - to be going our separate ways, but also now moving forward with not only a fresh new perspective on teaching yoga, but also a new group of friends who are supportive and amazing individuals!

when one door closes.... another one opens.  with the sunsetting on the last day of our training, i'm anxious and eager to see what tomorrow's sunrise brings - literally, because i am teaching the 7:30am strong class (starting tomorrow 8.2 on mondays and fridays) at strala!

there are many exciting things to come with the strala team thanks to the efforts of tara and mike, and i am thrilled to come along for the ride.  i promise to pull my own weight and to keep you updated on these new developments.

what's next?

  • more trainings
  • more classes
  • more initiative to help the human community

and now for my shameless self promote:

join me for your weekly jenn pesce yoga sandwich!
start your week with my monday morning class and round out the week on friday monring to get ready for weekend!
mondays & fridays, 7:30am-8:30am

strala yoga
623 broadway, 4th floor
(between houston and bleecker; between chase bank and crate & barrel storefront)
$10 per class, always. ($2 mat rentals)