Glow May Curriculum
for Physical & Spiritual Growth
Arjava Yama - straightforwardness as a path to liberation
Ārjava (Sanskrit: आर्जव) is a great subject for contemplation on all the ways we are not straightforward in our life, with ourselves and others. Watch the short video below I made on the subject. This is a daily practice of uncovering the aspects of ourselves that we reject, judge, and hide from ourselves and others, our 'shadows'. Not being straightforward with ourselves creates an environment for dishonesty, blame, shame, and victim-play, which all lead to inner and outer violence. The most important rule of honesty is, to be honest with ourselves, to be able to face our problems and to take responsibility for our life. To be able to make empowered decisions toward solutions for the greatest good of all.
1. What do I already know to be true that I am not fully admitting to myself because I don't want to take a step to transform that part?
2. What stories of myself do I sugar-coat when talking to others?
3. What growth opportunity am I currently not taking?
‘Shadow’ on the yogic path is any part of ourselves we are not willing to look at. It is not labeled bad, or wrong, just any part we are not willing to look at. When we do, we bring it into the light of awareness. It's like that junk drawer in our house we just simply cannot bring ourselves to clean up. We lay the groundwork for change by acceptance, and acceptance begins through straightforwardness.
Please join our classes this month - we'll be considering the embodiment of Arjava from different angles.
Lets all take 12+ classes in May as a community! I believe we ALL can ❤️
How to win: visit twice a week and sometimes take 2 classes in a row: Meditation+Yoga, 360Core+Yoga, or Yin+SoundBath.
What you'll win: everyone with 12+ all get $20 gift card towards massage, membership or to pay forward for a friend who needs TLC, and also, one random winner will receive our fun Glow-Getter Fashion T 🎁
Challenge begins this SUNDAY, May 1st 10:30a Glow Flow with one & only professor Tolga 🧘🏽
Sending you peace, health, and clarity,
Natasha & Glowing Team
What 96 yo and 69 yo Yogis Are Like
Ahimsa Yama & Unconscious Harm
COVID Safety at Glow:
If you've been a member of Glow, you know that we always practice strict hygiene and cleanliness. Today we have implemented even more measures to make sure that your zen sanctuary is safe:
1. Our powerful HVAC is bringing fresh outside air in, plus we open our windows to continually ventilate the rooms. Our yoga room has 4 large windows, and our Spa rooms have 2 open windows.
2. Please use your own yoga mats. We have yoga mats for sale for $40.
3. Our team and members will stay home with any cold-flu symptoms.
4. We disinfect all door handles, water dispenser, and all touch surfaces with anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial solutions. Our floor cleaning solution has always been anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial.
5. We laundry our bolsters, straps, and blankets after use.
GLOW IS OPEN 24/7 FOR HOME SELFCARE
Our caring team has been creating uplifting daily classes for home selfcare, and we are happy to announce that a whopping 1,080 virtual classes been taken since the SIP! One thousand and eighty acts of love, a thousand hours of wellness. Thank you for your commitment to health and for the support of our mission. The selection of virtual classes we offer allows us to continue glow-getting, taking the best care of our body, mind, soul, and our planet. We will keep offering morning daily virtual classes via Mindbody schedule for easy bookings, so you can join us from anywhere. Burn extra energy, tone up, stretch, breathe, meditate, learn anatomy and self-massage with yoga TuneUp balls, relieve anxiety, dance, rehabilitate your pain, recover from fatigue: we have a class for everybody, even for your quirky aunt 😉
On a personal note, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this is one of the most painful times for me and the whole Glow Yoga team in our nine years of existence. We want to make it through so we can continue to be part of this amazing community we’ve become. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each of you who’s been practicing with us over the years, supporting our hardworking team and your local small business. I know it’s a really hard time to be able to manage the crisis and stay well: if you have lost your job, please reach out so we can help you get access to our classes with a scholarship. Just because you've lost your job - you don't have to lose your health. And if you are doing well - please consider sending any On-Demand recorded class to someone who might need to feel better. We are a community that is only possible when we help each other.
Covid-19 Recommended Reading
Simply click on each to order:
Glow's Covid-19 Survival Plan
My heart is reaching out to all of our community. Together, let's choose to stay strong and support each other. Today we are presented with an opportunity to remember how important our health is, and how essential local businesses are to our lives. Please support Glow during this outbreak by not canceling your memberships, by taking our online classes (check current Mindbody schedule), and purchasing one of our specials below: your participation today will help us stay in business after March. Local businesses fully depend on your participation - an organic flow of love exchange where we help each other thrive. I trust that you care about your health, the health of our city, and the diversity of small businesses in our neighborhoods. Think about other local businesses you'd like to help survive beyond these challenging weeks - our health depends on you.
Here's is how you can help Glow, and your neighborhood thrive: buy a pass of classes or a Gift Card for a future facial, massage, or upcoming Birthday gift. Please lean in today and join so our teachers and I can keep serving you unmatching healthy services for many more years to come! Any previously purchased sessions that have expiration dates will be extended to use after the outbreak.
Glow is not a gym, and not a regular yoga studio. Glow is a school of wellness, where we acquire holistic tools for long-term health. Our variety of yoga and fitness classes focus on physical and spiritual development to help us see a bigger picture, be more effective in life, and not feel stuck. The range of our offerings is designed to include absolutely everybody. Burn your extra energy, tone up your body, or clear mental clutter, recover from injuries, emotional or physical fatigue: we have a daily class to serve all needs. Our Core program is designed to rehabilitate and strengthen, and our weekend wellness is to educate and help us live free of stress, pain, and unconscious patterns. Enjoy a regular massage, facial, and Red Light Photobiomodulation with our holistic therapists. Your direct participation allows us to serve these unmatching healthy services in our neighborhood.
Please share this with your neighbors, friends in the neighborhood. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this soon. Send us an email if you need help with anything - we are here for you.
Sending you love, peace, and health
Natasha & Glowing Team
What can 'New Me' actually mean?
This beautiful number 2022 can be an opportunity to upgrade ourselves: a chance to live more courageously and benefit from our growth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with us, we are the way we learned to be and should only be proud of where we are today. But life is not staying still and we are supposed to evolve with it. While time is shifting even the most iconic landscapes on the planet, our inner architecture needs the flexibility to allow our growth and bloom of our ever-changing body, lifestyle, and environment. Just like the trees are not afraid of dropping their leaves and being vulnerably naked to only bear juicy fruit next season, we must release the ways we used to cope, the defenses we hid behind and patterns we adopted to feel in control and dysfunctionally 'strong'. The winter is not the best time for drastic changes, but it's best for shedding stale arrangements. We cannot possibly believe that some opinions acquired 10+ years back could do us any good in 2022. As Carl Jung said: 'Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still; we take this step with the false pre assumption that our morning's truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. What in the morning was true in the evening will become a lie'.
I have been redesigning a few ways of living myself, honoring and appreciating all I used to be. They've brought me here - I'm definitely a work in progress, always learning and moving forward. For instance:
- Does not making enough of time in the morning and feeling rushed serve me well?
- Does playing 'agreeable', not advocating for myself, and being shy help me today?
- Do my current habits make my body stay strong and healthy as I age?
- Does my daily routine give my heart and soul the fuel that they need to stay optimistic and kind?
- Which people add wellness into my life, and which ones tend to take away from it?
- What TV/Media worries me, and which am I inspired by?
- Where do I go refill my energy and strength to face life's challenges, and where do I go to escape?
- Are my choices with politics/money/consumption aligned with the greater good of all, or am I acting on what is decided by the media, my parents, or my fears?
- Do the foods I am used to eating provide the nutrients that my body actually needs? .....
Don't forget to check our amazing lineup of educational and relaxing weekend wellness events and come visit, we would love to see you!
Wishing you a meaningful, brave, and healthy 2022, and beyond.
Natasha and Glowing Team
You are a vital part of the greater good
Holidays in North Beach
Diane was living on the streets of San Francisco for 30 years. That is until North Beach Citizens helped her turn her life around. Diane is now in permanent housing, successfully treating her addiction, and in a work training program. There are more people like Diane suffering on the streets this holiday season and as a community with very small acts of kindness, we all can help one person at a time. With the opioid crisis and fundamentally broken pro-profit insurance-run healthcare, it is truly up to us to keep ourselves and our community safe and healthy.
Every Sunday at 1pm we are hosting a fundraising yoga class ($15) taught by our dedicated yogini and a local small business owner Mary Nguyen. NorthBeachCitizens is a group of people like you who help 400 homeless and low-income residents find & stay in housing & rebuild their lives. 100% of your donation will go to helping people like Diane as other donors have covered the organization's operational costs. Please sign up for Sunday class, or simply make a $10 - $20 charitable donation to North Beach Citizens via Facebook here
Your Job Is Not Your Purpose
Have you ever thought of your purpose? It's a big question many of us struggle with while we spend our life chasing for something. The misunderstanding is that we think our purpose is found in the perfect job, secretly longing for the most ‘contributing’ position, making a profound change in the world, constantly seeking something better, bigger, more ‘meaningful’. I am here to remind us: the chase for anything will not bring us the fulfillment that we seek.
What if there was no such thing as 'a job'? What is the purpose of the rest of life on our planet? We are here to walk the Earth with compassionate footprints, and our purpose is fulfilled in the smallest DAILY acts. The choices we make daily either align or not with our purpose: the way we relate to ourselves and each other, and the way we treat our planet either align or not with our purpose. The products we buy, the companies we support, the shows we watch, the people we spend time with - all those daily actions either make us feel fulfilled, or more separated, unable and small.
When you offer away whatever you have today, in any form - you are living your purpose. When you clean your parents' house and your surroundings - you are living your purpose. When you choose not to buy a plastic water bottle - you are living your purpose. When you learn how to love and heal yourself - you are living your purpose. When you see others with the eyes of compassion - you are living your purpose. When you choose not to add to a negative conversation - you are living your purpose. Our daily actions that align with our core values fill our cups of fulfillment. Its a path of 'being' - being more peaceful, being with nature, being kind, being generous, being open, being with yourself and others, being courageous. I hope this reminder helps you stop the chase and start enjoying your life now, being aligned with your values which I know is what the world needs today.
Stop the Chase and Refuel Your Soul
Speaking of the chase and burnout, I am hosting my next Meditation & Books Retreat in 2 weeks, October 11-13 in the redwoods on a shore of Russian River at a beautiful property and all possible comforts to reset, remember our purpose and refill our cups. Read more and book >
Wishing you glowing health,
Natasha & Glowing Team
7 Ways to Heal Your Feet and Improve Your Balance
Our feet are some of the most used and abused parts of our bodies. They carry us through life, absorb shock, distribute our weight, and adapt to surface changes when walking, running, & climbing. After years of teaching yoga to thousands of people, I have noticed that most of us have incredibly weak feet, ankles, and frozen toes. Just like Acme bread turns stale on the next day, our feet become immobile and rigid wearing shoes most of our life. This immobility is widespread and unfortunately contributes to many injuries, falls, chronic back, hip, knee pain. Lack of foot strength and flexibility contribute to fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, and many other foot conditions. While knee and hip surgeries have been skyrocketing, most doctors would agree that the only way to prevent the surgery is to keep your body stable by making your feet strong.
Each foot is made up of 28 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance, and mobility. The only way to strengthen and reclaim the mobility of our feet is to perform focused barefoot exercises and stretches on a regular basis. The great news is that all our classes at Glow are barefoot, helping strengthen, stretch, prevent deterioration and undo the damages the shoes cause. In the video below, Jordan shares one simple way to activate your feet and toes at home. She also mentions an interesting fact: when your pinky toes are inactive - some of your leg muscles are inactive too. Using our toes turns on the vital supportive muscles in our legs, meaning that our balance and strength completely depend on the use of all of our toes. I find it fascinating; our body is intelligent in so many ways. Please remember, that knowing about it is not enough: transformation comes from regular practice.
7 Lifehacks for Your Feet To Unleash Your Body's Potential:
1. Avoid wearing any pointing shoes, and shoes with the hard inflexible sole on a daily basis.
2. In yoga classes, please pay closer attention to your feet: stretch your toes and press all of them into the floor in every standing pose, use them!
3. The best way to strengthen your feet are in one-legged poses: Half Moon, Warrior 3, Standing Splits, Tree Pose. While your standing foot is getting super strong, don't forget to flex or point your lifted foot, and stretch its toes; you can activate all 100 of your foot's muscles while it's free of shoes.
4. Take a weekly Barre class: with a lot of attention paid to feet and toes, there are many opportunities to activate and strengthen.
5. Join our Yin classes to release all tension and myofascial congestion in legs & throughout your body. Long holds in Yin classes restore your posture, release long-term damage and stress.
6. Join our weekend Myofascial Roll & Release workshops, where we explore our body and use tools like Therapy Balls to get deeper into the tissues.
7. Watch Jordan's video for self-care at home, and create a new habit of stretching and flexing your toes for one minute after you take your shoes off.
What is a Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous System?
I bet the majority of us don't know about the invisible but the most important part of our body, our mission control. I bet you instantly thought of your brain. The brain is just a part of it, our powerful nervous system. Here are a few facts I found fascinating about our nerves:
1. Our heart would be pumping 100 rpm (at a restful state instead of 60!) if our Parasympathetic Nervous System was turned off. That would wear-out our heart twice as fast, and we could not live much beyond 40 years. If our Parasympathetic System was off, our stomach would not digest any food and our body would not recognize or combat any viruses or reproduce any cells. Only thanks to our Parasympathetic nerves we are able to repair & rest our body. What!
2. Our Parasympathetic Nervous System is made of our brain and gazillion of cells & hormones that work together to calm down our heart, turn ON our digestion, immunity, control blood pressure, our immunity to fight off the infections, our liver, kidneys, reproduction - it controls ALL of our organs and their function or the lack of it. It triggers our immunity cells to recognize, destroy & eliminate our old/broken/cancerous cells, as well as all dangerous bacteria, pathogens inside of our body. It's the main system that keeps you alive & healthy long-term! You can literally figure out how to keep in ON and reduce your dependence on medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, digestion, thyroid pills, sleeping and more. Consider this: simple daily practices can allow your body to regulate itself.
3. Our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is only ON when our mind is at peace - when you are in the state of presence, safety, and calm. The moment you start worrying, figuring out your to-do lists, or trying to push through your work deadline, your PNS shuts down, and the Sympathetic Nervous System takes over. The Sympathetic state is the antidote of PNS: designed for our immediate survival, it raises the heart rate, blood pressure to send blood to our muscles; it minimizes our immunity, digestion, and cell repair, shuts down reproduction and processes designed for longevity. It's an excellent tool to protect us in moments of real danger, but as you can see, our body cannot thrive long-term running in a Sympathetic state (stressed state) without proper immunity, repair, and digestion. Your racing mind is what keeps your Sympathetic state in charge, and our job is to shift to a Parasympathetic state as often as much as possible!
You achieve this state in yoga class, meditation, doing the breathing exercise, reading a book or while enjoying the beauty of nature.
Now that you know something about your nervous system, you can do a lot of things to help your health starting today: it is never too late to begin! Your body loves to heal and repair when you are in a state of inner peace. If you'd like to learn about the anatomy of your mission control, please use the Youtube playlist I created below. Most of our yoga teachers share this information in their classes too. I find it really empowering to know how my body works and what it actually needs to thrive.
I hope to see you in class soon, but in the meantime, please take deeper longer belly-breaths throughout the day - the fastest way to access that magical Parasympathetic state.
Wishing you glowing health,
Natasha & Glowing Team
What do Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama & Larry Schultz have in common?
Michelle Obama, Larry Schultz, late Maya Angelou, and many leaders we admire are all early birds! We have created so many conveniences in our culture, we plan so much, but we have less and less time. Sometimes it's challenging to fit a workout after a long day in the office, right? Guess what now? We just launched the best-rated membership catered to a full-time work schedule, a real life hack. Whether we are early birds or not, we all can wake up at 6am-6:30am, take a morning class and feel uplifted all day! With this new membership, you don't have to choose between your after-work commitments: rise early and seize the day. Having a hard time waking up? Read below about the life-changing gadget I discovered.
Do not let the old you stop the New You from achieving your dreams
Having a Hard Time waking up? Try a Sunrise - Imitating Alarm Clock
This clever $40 gadget wakes you up gradually, tricking your mind to a gradual sunrise making waking up natural and gentle - makes me wake up before it even rings! A perfect way to get up on those darker mornings, plus you can now leave your Phone in another room, eliminating the late-night scrollings and distractions. As Arianna Huffington mentions in her research-based book Thrive, having a mindful evening routine is one of the best decisions for your health, happiness, and success. You can literally transform your health by trying this or a similar light-emitting Alarm Clock and make more time in your day, for YOU.
Wishing you glowing health,
Natasha & Glowing Team
Did you try Cupping? Cupping and I, We Go Way Back...
The very first time I remember myself being sick, I think I was 4 years old. My mom did this very strange thing on my back that helped my recovery. I still remember the smell of burning cotton balls, alcohol, the feeling of suction, the whole thing was unfamiliar. Our sweet mother used to take out that box with adorable glass cups every time me & my sisters got cold, flu, and pretty much anything that made us stay in bed. Needless to say, it felt very, very good! That's over 30 years ago. Cupping actually goes far back, into the ancient eastern civilizations, who created quite a few of healthy things we are smart to continue practicing today, Om :) Since then cupping has evolved - no burning, no glass, no medical smell I remember with nostalgia from childhood. And, I am happy to tell you that our therapist Nora loves cupping as much as my mom, adding it to her amazing massages, or as a separate treatment.
Nora is available during the Holidays (closed on Christmas Day) for you to enjoy the staycation. Consider giving Massage & Cupping Gift to your favorite people. Please watch about the benefits and few cupping techniques Nora shared. She said there are many ways to use the cups, and the video we made features them on the back and shoulders, in our 30-minute cupping addition to massage. With Glow Spa Membership, you can schedule cupping/massage/facial every month, and book any class for $20. Check our new spa treatments here >
Thank you for reading my blog, and please let me know how else we can help you feel better.
Happy Healthy Holidays and Beyond
Natasha & Glowing Team
How Not To Spend Thanksgiving
Thank you for staying positive, open to changes, resilient to challenges and loving without fear. Your commitment to yoga & conscious practices, being aware of your inner 'weather' is the first step towards safe, flourishing, and compassionate world. Please watch my simple practice for emotional health to help navigate through Bay Area's current conditions and our relationships during the Holiday season. Less finger-pointing and more love & compassion. Inner peace is a lifetime practice of releasing old beliefs, perception cleansing, healing traumas and lots of loving, forgiving and appreciating. Yoga, meditation & mindful education help us find that sweet calm within, and we thank you for showing up to do your work.
The next step we choose to improve our world is by participating in our immediate community: supporting local businesses, schools and non-profits.
I am very inspired hearing about your involvement in wonderful neighborhood organizations, and this Thanksgiving I want to invite more of us to BE the change. Please reach out to the local companies I listed below: not just this week, but year-round you can give a little of your time and add whole a lot of purpose to yours and others life. When every given hour truly matters. Special shout out of appreciation to our local Cole Hardware Stores for providing over 300,000 air masks during the fire. Please support your good neighborhood businesses. It's easy to make it all about the turkey, but I know you will do better than that. Thank you for leading the way.
Have a meaningful Thanksgiving, and beyond.
Where To Give Locally in San Francisco
Salesian Boys & Girls Club (at St.Peter & Paul): please contact them and see how you can contribute to our local kiddo's inner growth and development, they will be grateful for your participation. Also, I am personally inviting certified yoga instructors to teach there once a month with our team. >
Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center: you can help with children or adults within this organization, please check here >
Glow Yoga & Wellness: we are looking for 3.5h weekly desk volunteers to support our students. Please email us to join & get Free Membership >
Reading Partners at Jean Parker Elementary School: Once a week for an hour in North Beach you can really change a child's ability to read, succeed and see the goodness in others. Only 34% of 4th graders can read well, and the rest need extra tutoring >
Thank you for reading my blog, and please let me know how else we can help you feel better. We are always grateful for you!
Natasha, Glowing Team
Healing chronic pain
Thank you for opening our blog. I want to share the story of healing my physical pain. I used to take a few pills a day to numb my neck, that pain just appeared out of nowhere - no prior injuries, no whiplashes. My doctor said it's here to stay, as it was related to our sitting working environment. I thought chronic pain was an illness de jour - my friends and coworkers had some type of ache they could vent about any day. The truth is: physical pain is not a disease, and it does not have to be chronic. You don't need to live with it. I surely don't munch on pills anymore, even though I still spend full workdays sitting writing things (like now). It took me a long time to realize that only I hold the power to improve my life, strengthen my health and that it must be simple.
Please watch my story, which I bet is very common, and the testimony from one of our members, local North Beach firefighter Dan. I opened Glow to offer feel-good and healthy activities in the neighborhood. We don't need to go far to get far, and we can heal ourselves without depending on doctors and pills. Plan your health calendar today: choose from 20 weekly movement classes, book a Spa day, don't wait until vacation to recharge your batteries. When you need rest & nurturing - Yin to Restore with Hot Stones class is the best medicine.