Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pilates and M.E.L.T. classes continuing with Karin

The SIGs are over, we've wrapped up Yoga/Pilates for the summer, and everyone is into the riding season!
Thank you all for participating.
Karin is continuing to teach Pilates and M.E.L.T. classes at the Otello room on 72nd.
Lynette is teaching Yoga for Cyclists+Runners at Mondays @ 9pm and Fridays @ 7.30pm in Chelsea Manhattan.
Contact Karin at, (646) 729-8581
Contact Lynette at, (541) 513 7711
See you soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cranking it up: April Classes

Erica gets into position for Ardha Chandrasana at the wall (Half Moon Pose, ardha=half,  chandra=moon/shining, asana=pose). Now just straighten the front foot - that's what the line on the special "alignment mat" is for!
See a step-by-step description on the Galfromdownunder Yoga blog

Welcome back yo-lati's! 

The New York Cycle Clubbers are deep into their SIG program, and our students report that they are noticing good results. 

We've intro'd some new things for April - come and join us! 

On the Pilates front, Karin, also a trained MELT practitioner, brought out some new balls for stretching, massaging and rehydrating the fascia (connective tissue) in our hands and feet. It feels sooooo goodI. MELTing hands and feet relaxes and energizes the whole body. 

Karin says: "Carry a MELT ball on your next bike ride, and massage your hands when you stop.  And don't forget the feet... can you imagine the pressure we put on our feet when pedaling?" Read about the Melt Method and why it makes a real difference. 

On the Yoga front, Lynette's moving us into deep space - taking "air" with some balancing poses. Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) is tricky for beginners to get right, and feel right - the tendency is to buckle forward as you try to balance. Hence, the wall is your friend. See the above photo of Erica doing the move.

Here's an illustrated step-by-step for Ardha Chandrasana against the wall.

For those who aren't able to join us this week, here's a reminder video of a great sequence for cyclists by Finding Sukha owner Sarah Coleman. Sarah was one of my trainers, and is currently in India doing further schooling - where all of this began ... 

Before and after class ...

Before class we've been heading over to Grandaisy for the butternut squash slice, then after, to the Soom Soom falafelry (is that what you call it?) for their terrific manic Monday 2-for-1 pitas and divine juices. You're welcome to join us of course. 

Can you eat stuff if you exercise right? 
Yes you can! 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Yoga/Pilates for Cyclists: The SIG approacheth

Lynette has not had a hot dog like this in decades.
Annaline will probably tell you now many of these some
famous hedgefunders eat onone of her Wall Street Walks.
No, it's not a vegan hot dog ...

.. but someone was so hungry after the last class that they made a beeline for Gray's Papaya across the street, and throwing our better, yogic selves to the winds, we all tagged along! What was wrong with taking a few steps to the left and getting some Trader Joe's Trail Mix instead? 

"It's been here for years, it can't be that bad," was the reply all around. Indeed, perhaps it's the very strange combo of papaya, one of my utterly favorite fruits, that counters the mystery meat of the famous GP dog...


How's your SIG prep going? Your "Yolatis" classmates are getting in great shape.
Because we're competing for others for the studio space, the schedule for March is as follows:

Wednesday/ March 8 & 16
Monday/March 23 & 30

All classes are 6:30 - 8:00pm. 

Starting April, it'll be MONDAY's again, all the way.  Monday is an ideal day to work out kinks after tough weekends of early-season riding, n'est-ce pas?


$75 for the 4-week series (cash, check or Paypal) payable by the first session. 
Single sessions are $20 (cash, check, $22 by Paypal) - if there's room. 
This arrangement makes it possible for us to cover our overhead (studio rental, mats, MELT rollers, etc). Please bring a towel, large enough to cover a mat. A lightweight camping towel is ideal - it's small and dries fast. 

The class is limited to 10 people, so please let us know your intentions asap.

NYCC RAAM evening, Tue March 8

The SIGs will go a long way (well, a bit of the way), to getting you in shape for Race Across America, NYCC's Tue March 8 meet is all about RAAM by someone who did it.  I may be able to make it after teaching my volunteer yoga class at Chelsea Rec. I did a lot of work with the RAAM legend and founder, Lon Haldeman in my previous gig with Bike Friday.  I totally recommend watching the RAAM movies, particularly the lesser known 2004 edition where the late Juri Robic first won it. I think you can buy them from the Race Across America store.  - Lynette


A bit of a flashback to the Sampler Class in January, wup aith Karin talking about who to do with your shoulders and neck when you're out riding and see a hole in the road up ahead ...

We're not planning to attempt Peacock Feather Pose (although it just takes a little more practice) but here's a inspiring little clip of one of my favorite yoga teachers, Andrew Tanner at Yoganesh. It's the most affordable yoga studio I've come across in NYC (apart from my free class at Chelsea Rec)  all classes are a flat $10. And ... Friday at 6.45pm is a Yoga for Runners class - see you there!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day must be changing. We had only one student bow out and it was because of work, not a romance (so he says)! A cardamon or chocolate ganache heart from The Three Tarts in Chelsea replenished any calories burned in this session. Afterwards, some of us joined the 11 "Valentinos" - single people or couples who'd prefer not to argue over candlelight on Valentine's Day - to Henry's restaurant. Watch my video interview of Henry's

Back up a little! 

We got some nice new mats and blocks delivered from who have a massive range of yoga kit (as the Brits say). We re-reversed our rule about insisting people buy or bring a mat, and now provide them because it's just easier

This is how we like to end each session - with a bit of Karin's MELT technique using the roller. 

When you get off the roller, it feels amazing. Like lying in a trench, which is, believe it or not, quite appealing.

Try it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First class!

Child's Pose (Balasana): a surprisingly beneficial stretch despite its deceptive
easiness - like being a cat or dog all over again!
Karen uses the roller to make Child's Pose easier for some
Thank you folks for showing up to your first class! It's certainly a cute little room and looks like eight people would be the max. We have several people doing A and B SIGs with the NYCC. Erica showed up on her urban assault vehicle - a really cool disc brake commuter MTB putting the rest of us to shame.

Stephen, we worked out how to turn on the heater so you should be ok in your shorts next time!

YOGA notes from Lynette:

Twisting and shoulder opening. The cyclists soon realized what we all realize when we start doing yoga - how tight and inflexible we've become, despite the deceptively all-body activity of cycling!

Twisting poses are imperative - especially as we often snap out heads around to look behind. The trick is not to torque the neck, but remember that it's attached to the rest of our bodies. So if you want to look around to the left, say, drop your right shoulder and open the left so it's not all about the neck. But keep control of the handlebars, of course! The "Threading the Needle" little twist on hands and knees was an introduction to that. Threading the Needle post with picture. (Thank you Pragmatic Yogi, who is a physical therapist). Repeat other side.

Standing twist: A standing variant of the move. Fold forward (remembering to exhale when folding), bend the left leg, straighten the right, grab right calf with left hand, rest left elbow against left bent leg to steady it, and sweep right hand up to the ceiling (inhale), try to touch ceiling with fingers! Open your right shoulder as much as you can. Keep your eyes on that raised hand, because where the eyes go, the body will follow.

You can also do this in your office chair: place your right hand on the right knee, left hand and arm positioned as described in the previous para,  and dive forward between your legs, pressing down with the right hand to turn your right shoulder and gaze towards the ceiling. It feels really good, I did it just now!  REPEAT OTHER SIDE of course.

In all of the above, try to do Ocean breath (see below).

Ocean Breath. Try to do the Ocean Breath (Darth Vadar Breath, Ujjayi breath) that we taught you as  often as possible. As you can see from that link, Yoga Journal is a truly excellent yoga resource on the web with loads of free info.  This breath is great when stressed (when we tend to hold our breath or hyperventilate), or if we wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, or during any static activity involving exertion (reaching and grabbing, twisting).  It will calm you and ensure you don't stop breathing. Try to use the breath - inhale when reach up or opening up, exhale when folding forward, bending down etc - to fuel your movements throughout the day. Rather than the breath be in the background as a by product of being alive, try putting it in the foreground - and see how it stills the mind.

PILATES notes:

When Karin gets off jury duty she'll pop something to think about here. Until then ... use your pink balls wisely!


YOGA MATS:  I'm ordering an alignment mat for three of you who asked for it - Erica, Dana and Damon. It will probably be around $20, including the shipping, and I'm also ordering a couple of $6 yoga bags and mat carrying straps if you want to buy one of those from us too. The mats should be fine stored at the studio, but of course, because it's not our space, there's always a risk of a purloining Pavarotti. If bring a tag to put your name on it that would probably be a good idea.

Otherwise, please bring your own mat (can get them cheaply almost anywhere now, TJ Maxx etc) or a towel for the rest of the course. The cushy floor means a towel is actually fine - it's studios where the floor is hard that you need a mat. Yoga sox (ones with grip, lots of different sorts, Walgreens etc sell them) are also a good thing to use with a towel - because rubber DOES stop you slipping.

Although we thought we could "rent" the mats to you, we've decided we are not really big enough to do mat rental and make it cover the cost of them.  If you like the roller, rather than rent it each week, Karin encourages you to buy your own from her, again, at cost.

See you next Monday!


A yoga post on the LIVESTRONG site

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yoga/Pilates for Cyclists: The "SIG-Ready" Sequel, starting Feb 2011

Karin teaches a M.E.L.T. technique using rollers and balls as part of her Pilates instruction

MONDAY Feb 7th, 6.30pm marks the start of a new series of classes - the SIG-Ready series. For the uninitiated, SIG (Special Interest Group) is a special cycling training series run over 8 weeks by the New York Cycle Club. There are several levels, this is not just for aspiring Lance's! Best of all, it's free to members, and membership is just $20 (or thereabouts)/year. 

And so to the class ... thank you again for making the introductory NYCC Yoga/Pilates Sampler for Cyclists a success in January 2011. Judging by the feedback, people found it very interesting and beneficial (OK, we did hand out 85% dark chocolate with the anonymous feedback sheets). 

View more photos on Facebook | View feedback 
Here's what we've cooked up starting February 2011:

Yoga/Pilates for Cyclists: the SIG-Ready Sequel
About NYCC SIGs:

GOAL: To be stretched, strengthened and SIG-Ready by March 5th (SIG start date*)
HOW: Four 90-minute Yoga/Pilates sessions, 10 participants max
COST: $80 for the four sessions ($70 for returning participants), $20 per single session (space permitting).
WHERE:  2067 Broadway at W. 72nd Street, 5th Floor
WHEN: Mondays 6.30-8.00,  Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
      Alternate day, if there's interest:
Taking "flight" from Lizard Pose -

 now straighten out that back leg, lift the back knee 
off the ground and f-l-y ...
      Saturdays 3:30-5.00pm,  Feb 5, 12, 19, 26
If there’s enough interest, we'll offer the series on both days.  Monday was voted as the day!
Every month, a new 4-week series will start.

To guarantee a place, please register with payment as follows:

1. Via Pay for the 4-session series or single class by logging into, sending it to email address:
2. By Check: email us for details


  • We can provide equipment to rent each time you come - a mat and roller, $1 each (unfortunately they do cost money and they do wear out, have to be cleaned etc)
  • MAT: If you like, we can order you one of these clever yoga alignment mats that Lynette recommends (at wholesale + shipping). If you want one, write to us at
  • ROLLER: you can rent each lesson, or buy one
  • You can store your personal mat and roller at the studio

* YOU set monthly fitness/cycling goals.
* WE will  help you achieve them

Take a look at the space ... 

We are thrilled (truly!) to have found an ideal space. It's freshly painted with a cushy new carpet. More about the studio:

It's called the Otello room, because it's also used as a recital and practice space by opera singers. It overlooks the 72nd Street 1/2/3 subway stop on Broadway. Very central and convenient (next door to Trader Joe's).

There's a nook for us to store mats and props, to avoid schlepping.

BY PHONE: 541-513-7711 (Lynette, cell) and 212-873-5559 (Karin, home)

MOVIE: Why Cyclists Need Yoga!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yoga/Pilates for Cyclists: coming to an Otello room near you!

Following our sold-out Yoga/Pilates for Cyclists Sampler class in Jan 2011, Karin and I have found a cozy space to continue the series. Judging by the feedback the New York Cycle Clubbers found our class very interesting and beneficial. (OK, we did hand out 85% dark chocolate with the anonymous feedback sheets). Here's a movie tour of the space:

Tour around the space above - and apologies - I couldn't help but tickle the ivories a little, despite a traumatic childhood involving piano lessons and a book of mindless Czerny Etudes that resulted in teethmarks on the piano ...

A musical space indeed: a 72nd St location - with cushy new carpet - for around 8-10 participants
(when we stack the chairs)
"What a tangled web we weave ... "
It's called the Otello room, normally used as a recital and practice space by musicians and opera singers. Signed photos of famous warblers, and even a signed score, decorate the walls. In a corner, a small baby grand sets off the space but doesn't intrude too much into it. The location is right above the 72 St subway on Broadway. Very central and convenient (Trader Joes right opposite), freshly painted with a cushy new carpet.
The view towards Broadway - and signed photos of famous opera singers on the wall. 
There's a nook for students to store mats and pilates rollers to save schlepping. Alternatively, we can provide some that you can rent each time you come.

Aaaaah, using the foam roller (pilates/MELT technique). Once you've tried it, you gotta have one.
More pictures on my GalfromdownunderYoga Facebook page
Feedback welcome in the comment field below. Details of our sequel to the series coming soon. 

Very useful (and artsy!) feedback from participants.  See more.