All Things Yin and Yang…

South Bay 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training 2017

The Just Breathe {yoga} (JBY) Teacher Training Program is offered under the direction of Yoga Alliance (YA) credentialed Director Angie Poon E-RYT.

Whether you are interested in deepening your own practice and understanding of yoga, or you feel the call to teach, the JBY Yoga Teacher Training Program is committed to providing every student with an in depth understanding of all the components necessary to be an effective and successful yoga teacher.
We offer a 200 hour certification program in Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, which will qualify and fulfill requirements for students to register with the Yoga Alliance for RYT. In this intensive 6 month program we will cover
✔️Mantras & Kirtan
✔️Yoga Thai Massage
✔️Alignment and injury prevention
✔️Intro to Yin Yoga
✔️Prenatal Yoga
✔️ Anatomy
✔️ Smart Sequencing
✔️ Hands on assists
✔️ Sanskrit terminology
✔️ Ayurveda
The history of yoga and classical yoga philosophy, including the study of several yogic textsThis training will run from January through June 2017 for 14 weekends on Saturdays & Sundays 12:30-5:30p.

Training Weekends for 2017:
January: 14/15, 21/22
February: 4/5, 11/12, 25/26
March: 11/12, 25/26
April: 8/9, 22/23
May: 6/7, 20/21
June: 3/4, 10/11, 24/25

Tuition Investment:
$2800 by October 31st
$3000 by November 31st
$3200 by December 31st
$3400 by January 12th
(check/cash preferred, additional $125 for credit card charges)
Payment plan options available. $500 Non-refundable Deposit required to reserve a spot. Please inquire.
Any cancellations before YTT begins can receive a refund less the $500 Non-refundable seat deposit.
*We will offer opportunities for “make up” hours, for those who wish to participate, but cannot attend all the scheduled weekend sessions due to travel and other extenuating circumstances.

❓❓❓Do you have final questions about Teacher Training

There will be 2 Q&A Sessions:

Saturday, October 15th, 2-3pm
Sunday, November November 6th, 2-3p
Bring your questions & see you all there!
If you can’t make the Q & A sessions, you can email or call in your questions to 415-517-2310 or

Sharing A Story of Compassion…Tenzin’s Story

I recently read an article today by Linda Ross Swanson, free-lance writer from Portland, Oregon – that left me flooded with so much awareness, attention, inspiration today. Love here – healing energy medicine in this story is in action. 

Sitting Downwind from Flowers

By Linda Ross Swanson

A few years ago, Seattle, Washington, a 52-year-old Tibetan refugee named Tenzin was diagnosed with one of the more curable forms of lymphoma.
After the first chemotherapy treatment, Tenzin, usually a gentle man, ripped the IV from his arm. He argued with everyone who came near, even shouting at nurses.

In speaking with Tenzin’s wife, the staff learned that he had been a political prisoner, held and tortured by the Chinese for more than 17 years. She said that the hospital’s rules and regulations, coupled with the chemotherapy treatments, gave Tenzin horrible flashbacks of what he had endured.

In conducting research about former prisoners of war who are later admitted into hospitals to receive treatment for diseases, I discovered that for some, the mere architecture of the hospital brings on painful memories. By design, the structure hinders opportunities to form a patient community, to interact with others in similar situations. Such patients often feel lonely and isolated. Identification bracelets seem to take away their rights, announcing that they are now hospital property. Stripped of their clothing, they suffer humiliation and torture by technicians who, unaware of their prison history or current feelings, painfully seek out veins and antagonize them further with tests and procedures. In Tenzin’s case, one treatment was enough for him to flee.

“I know you mean well, but your treatments are causing my husband to feel the same hatred he felt toward the Chinese. He would rather die than have to live with these feelings. He needs to be able to pray and cleanse his heart.”

Taking her advice, the doctors discharged Tenzin and asked the hospice team to visit him in his home. Marsha, a palliative care consultant was assigned to his care. She called the local office of Amnesty International for advice.

“This man has lost his trust in humanity and feels hope is impossible. If you are going to help him, you must find a way to give him hope.”

When Marsha suggested talking things over, Tenzin held up his hand and stopped her. He said, “If I am to heal my soul, I must learn to love again. Your job is not to ask me questions. Your job is to teach me to love again.”

Marsha took a deep breath, and asked, “How can I do that?”

“Sit down. Drink my tea and eat my cookies.”

Tibetan tea is strong black tea laced with yak butter and salt. It isn’t easy to drink! But Marsha did as he asked. On visits for the next few weeks, Marsha sat with Tenzin and his wife and learned to drink the peculiar tea.

At the hospital, she consulted with doctors to find ways to treat his physical pain. But after her visits, she noticed that it was his spiritual pain that lessened.

As time went by, Marsha found Tenzin sitting cross-legged on his bed reciting prayers from his books. Then he and his wife began hanging more and more colorful “thankas” — Tibetan Buddhist banners, on the walls. The room fast became a beautiful, religious shrine. Tenzin aligned himself with God, and Marsha learned to listen without talking or responding—the pure attending to another human being.

Springtime arrived and Marsha asked him how people in Tibet heal from illness and grief. He said, “They sit downwind from flowers.” She thought he spoke poetically, but his comment was literal. They sit downwind from flowers so they can be dusted with the new blossoms’ pollen. For them, this is strong medicine.

Wanting to help Tenzin, Marsha searched for flower blossoms; however, finding enough of them seemed daunting. One of her friends suggested that she call a flower nursery and explain the situation. She persisted until she found one that was finally willing.

The following Saturday, she picked up Tenzin and his wife along with their afternoon provisions: black tea, yak butter, salt, cups, cookies, prayer beads and prayer books. She dropped them off at the nursery. While curious employees watched, the couple wandered from one area to another until they found just the right place, then they sat down and enjoyed their tea. The following weekend, Tenzin and his wife visited a different nursery.

Soon nursery owners all over town were calling Marsha vying for the Tibetan’s presence. One of them said, “We’ve got a new shipment of nicotiana coming in and some wonderful fuchsias as well as great daphne! I know they’ll love the scent of daphne!” Another called and said that they had colorful windsocks that would help Tenzin predict the direction of the wind.

So during the week, the couple sat downwind from flowers at nurseries all over Seattle. Chairs were placed to match the direction of the wind, and fresh hot water was provided for the couple’s tea. Some of the regular customers started parking their wagons of plants and flowers near the two Tibetans. A community grew around Tenzin and his wife. The activity, or non-activity, of sitting downwind from flowers and drinking tea caught on.

At summer’s end, Tenzin returned to his doctor for a follow-up CT scan. The test revealed no evidence of cancer! Dumbfounded, the doctor told Tenzin that he didn’t know how this had happened

Tenzin lifted his finger and said, “I know why the cancer has left. It can’t live in a body filled with love. When I began to feel all the compassion from the hospice team, from the nursery employees, and all of the people who wanted to know about me, I began to change inside. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to heal in this way. Doctor, please don’t think that your medicine is the only way to cure.”

That spring a transformation took place in Seattle—not just for Tenzin—but for everyone who dared to sit downwind from flowers.  

(Linda Ross Swanson is a free-lance writer in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies all over the U.S. and Canada. She is also a respite care hospice volunteer and seminar presenter for two hospital systems in Portland, Oregon. Lee Paton is the hospice nurse who told the following story, submitted by Linda Ross Swanson in Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul. See the book for the whole story. The names have been changed in the story. She can be reached at )

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Update: Chinese Meridian Module

Due to many requests, we have decided to open up this training to those who have a deep Yin Yoga practice and those who want to learn more about the Chinese Meridian Theory. This is the ONLY Yin Yoga Teacher Training Program in the East Bay to offer the hands-on application of Chinese Meridian Theory.
We will be breaking up the sessions. Registration is now open at Please email if any payment/registration issues.

YIN YOGA & CHINESE MERIDIANS (20 HOURS) –   Pricing Full Session: $395 by October 1st, $425 thereafter Weekend Session: (10 Hours): $200 by October 1st, $225 thereafter
Dates: October 8, 9, 15, 16 Saturdays 11am – 4pm and Sundays 12pm – 5pm

The integration of Yin Yoga & Chinese Meridian Theory for Healing.

This module is the ONLY Yin Yoga Teacher Training in the Bay Area that offers Chinese Meridian Theory with Acupressure in its syllabus! The training may be taken on your own for self-inquiry, to fulfill continuing education hours with Yoga Alliance or as part of The Yoga Company’s 300/500HR Teaching Training Program.

Eligibility This training is open to the public and to all levels of practitioners, especially those wanting to teach Yin Yoga, acquire a better understanding of Chinese energetics or simply wanting to deepen their yin practice. No pre-requisite is required. A keen and sincere interest to learn is required.

Saturday, October 8th 11am – 4pm On this day we will cover the application of Yin and Yang energetic theory based on Daoism View and understanding of Chi, Meridian Theory, Five Element Theory. We will begin to delve deeper into understanding Meridian Lines using acupressure. Acupressure is an ancient system of healing from China. Students will learn hands-on experience feeling and locating meridians and points to promote overall balance and health. Meridian lines covered this day: Urinary Bladder and Kidneys. A review of Yin Yoga poses that target these meridians will also be discussed.

Sunday, October 9th 12 – 5pm We will begin to delve deeper into understanding Meridian Lines using acupressure. Acupressure is an ancient system of healing from China. Students will learn hands-on experience feeling and locating meridians and points to promote overall balance and health.  Meridian lines covered this day: Liver, Gall Bladder, Stomach & Spleen. A review of Yin Yoga poses that target these meridians will also be discussed.

Saturday, October 15th 11am – 4pm We will begin to delve deeper into understanding Meridian Lines using acupressure. Acupressure is an ancient system of healing from China. Students will learn hands-on experience feeling and locating meridians and points to promote overall balance and health.  We will begin to cover upper body meridians this weekend. Meridian lines covered this day: Lungs, Large Intestine, Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and Triple Warmer. A review of Yin Yoga poses that target these meridians will also be discussed.

Sunday, October 16th 12 – 5pm We will begin to introduce yoga props into the Yin Yoga practice to incorporate use of accessing widely used acupressure points. We will also introduce “gua-sha” – a healing technique of traditional East Asian healing with hands-on feeling and experience.

Accreditation: Students who complete 100% attendance and participation will be awarded a 20-hour module certificate of completion by The Yoga Company.

Required text: (Please purchase by the first day of training) Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, by Bernie Clark Recommended text: The Concise Book of Acupoints, by John R. Cross

Yin Yoga South Bay Immersion coming soon!

Yin Yoga is such an amazing practice that takes you to another kinestic awareness. I’m so happy to announce I will be teaching Yin Yoga 20-Hour Module at Just Breathe Yoga Rivermark in August. Register early, this training will sell out quickly.

Superficial Back Line – Yin Yoga Sequence

Have you ever thought about the fascia that runs throughout your whole body? I am so amazed by the fascia network. Yes! I was inspired by a recent video of a dissection Thomas Myers of Anatomy Trains did. If you want to check it out, look here: WARNING! It’s pretty detailed, so if you have a weak stomach don’t watch it (or as my teacher Bernie says “don’t get squeamish!”)
The Superficial Back Line consists of a line of fascia that begins at the plantar fascia of the foot. It travels up the entire posterior side of the body from Achilles to calves to hamstrings through back and moves up over the head and finishes at the brow. The function of this line is to extend the body. It brings the body into an erect an upright position.
So here’s my short sequence inspired by the superficial back line. Marinate in each pose for 3-5 minutes. Listen to your body, it is very intelligent! Come out when you ever feel anything off. Always check with your physician before attempting any workout routine.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana) for opening meditation. Bring awareness to your back body. Remember — “The mind moves chi. Chi moves blood.”

2. Japanese seiza pose with plantar fascia smushing. Use the top of the ankle into the arch of the other foot to compress tissue of the plantar fascia.

3. Dangling with mat roll. Use mat roll and blocks to access the Achilles and gastrocnemius. In the photo below, I walk my yoga blocks out and play with different angles.

Slowly come out and rest in child’s pose.

4. Supine hamstring with strap. Combine with the option of dorsi flexion of foot to access calves (I recommend experimenting with bending the knee on the flexioned foot)

5. Twisted Roots. Great way to access the spine and low back.


6. Twisted Branches. Access upper back and posterior deltoid. Two options are shown here. For more details watch my video.

7. Neck release with block. Compress into acupressure points proximal or on to acupressure points. GB 20 and UB 10.

Savasana. Rest. Feel. Be present.

Enjoy! Let me know how you feel after this sequence.

Never Waste An Opportunity to Tell Someone You Love Them

Last night I had a bad dream. A bad dream is a nightmare. Why do we have nightmares? Stress? Things that we see? Things that we read before heading to sweet slumber?

So I traced my activities for the day. It was a typical busy Thursday. Four classes with a little league game in between and my kid’s open house at school. Dinner came at 8:30pm and as a family, we decided to go for Vietnamese Pho Noodles — since all the other restaurants that were streaming the live basketball game were packed. Was it carb overload?

I realized that it may have been triggered by a blog post that I had written in February of 2015. See: I remember going back to read my old blog posts. Or maybe it’s reading the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna in the epic book Bhagava Gita (yes, I am reading it again).

My nightmare? Losing my older sibling. I tried to brush it off this morning. “Ah, it’s just a nightmare, don’t worry,” I said to myself. I kept thinking. Tears ran down my face uncontrollably. My heart sunk. I don’t see my brother everyday, nor do we chat everyday. I feel like a little sister does — my big brother will always be there for me, to protect me. Or maybe not? Could this be true?

I grabbed my phone.
Good Morning!!!!! I just wanted to say hi and I had a bad dream. Must be all the carbs I ate yesterday. LOL. Anyhow, stay safe your sis loves you.

I’ve told him plenty of times I loved him. Today felt urgent. Turns out he has some things going on and he needs to take care of himself. Wow. Maybe in some way the universe was telling me to reach out to him. I’m glad I did.

I’m still upset, emotional and crying. Not a bad thing here. Just know it’s simply natural human feeling and growth as it’s shaping me. I plan some quality time on my mat today so I can clear this and send my good intentions to my brother.

Nightmare or not. Today is the day. Take opportunity to tell someone who you love that you love them. I love you, Rick!



This release has some really great sequences that flow directly and smoothly into each pose. I feel like this release is about movement and the repetition allows our minds to settle and our body slowly unravels each time. Ann-See Yeoh, Les Mills Presenter, says “can you tease more length?” in one of the tracks in the instructor video. This resonated with me and I feel like this question or statement is true to the whole release.

Tai Chi: Yellow Flicker Beat, by Lorde

Elegant, simple, powerful.
This track starts of slow, allowing participants to ease in and acclimate to a rhythmic, calm and spacious breath. Feet are together for this one, but I always give the option of feet hip width. Personally, I love when my feet are feet width — I feel more stable.
Crescendo hits. Then the tai chi sequence begins and has so much energy. It’s powerful. It’s simple but can be complicated if you overthink it. When you allow yourself to feel the movement, the breath starts to breath you. The repetition is magic, you start to really let the muscle/fascia memory move you. 

Sun Salutations: Two Songs/Two sequences
Omen by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith then Deliver Me by Sarah Brightman
1st Sequence: Traditional Sun Salutation C with lunges, unconventional that we do a total of five instead of four. The four beat count plank to crocodile is genius. Again, simple and each time I feel more warmth in my body. Prana is dancing.
2nd Sequence: This sequence Jackie Mils calls the “Dragon Sequence.” I feel like this may have been inspired by Paul Grilley’s Yang Dragon Dance Sequence. I am biased here, I already love Paul Grilley’s Dragon Dance and this one evokes the feeling of openness, balance and strength. When I cue this, I think of the story of Bhagava Gita and the inner conflict that Arjuna faced.

Standing Strength: Real Life by The Weeknd
A short track, but it does it job to get into the legs. The addition of the heel lift definitely is great for working my arches, ankles and calves. I wasn’t sure about the pointing because I was told as a child never to point because it’s rude (insert sarcastic laugh here) but it works.

Balance Track: Take Me to Church by Hozier
Very challenged by the dynamic movement from standing knee lift to flower pose. I really like that side plank is added here. It would be nice if we had tree pose in the beginning, it would go with the tree side plank. Otherwise, it does sequence together nicely!

Hip Track: Purple, Six60
What a beautiful track. I love the flow from swan to lizard lunge to half lunging camel to seated half lotus. The way we can inch a little further with the lingering music as we side bend is genius to cue “can you give me just a little bit more?”

Abs: Two Songs/Two sequences (supine and prone)
Ain’t Nobody, by Felix Jaehn featuring Jasmine Thompson
Freedom by Pharrell Williams
Honestly have mixed feelings about this track. I love it but man oh man, my core is challenged!!! Phew! Simple, logical sequence for the first song with the crunch and single leg extension and cross-crawl.
The second song features spider planks. I love how the song goes with the hand taps. I love the way my core is challenged.

Back Track: As You Are by The Weeknd
This one is a very hard track. It taps into the strength and flexibility.  I see lots of stuff happening here and you have to be very good at cueing participants in their body to use the posterior muscles. I love this when I feel properly aligned and use proper muscles Always making sure to tell folks that they can rest in child’s pose.

Twists: Alchemy by TALA
No lunges but seated twists. Love the transition from seated hip width twist to the lift of the hips. Striking cobra with neck stretch is amazing here. The detail is simple yet effective.

Forward Folds: Two Songs/Two Sequences
I was made for Loving You by Tori Kely featuring Ed Sheeran
Something Beautiful by Jacon Banks
I’ve taught standing Forward Fold with Eale Arms in my Yin Yoga classes before. However, the entry into this one with the music is just so beautiful. I can feel the vunerability in this track. It’s hard not to get lost into it as I teach it.
The second sequence has all my favorite cool down poses. Squat Pose with twists, supine hamstring stretch and supine twist. Need I say more?

Relaxation/Mediation: As She Passes, Levi Patel
It’s delicate, it’s a perfect song to a beautiful release.

My students love this release. The WHOLE THING. The songs. The movement. Another thoughtful, potent release. Thank you Jackie & Diana.

Partner Yoga, Anyone?

Phillip Bossant, RYT and I are excited to create another Partner Yoga Workshop at the Yoga Company in San Ramon. Last session we did lots of great partner exercises and experimented with some great stuff, even Acroyoga!

So join us as we explore more partner yoga poses and enjoy another afternoon soaking in an abundance of love, laughter and joy. Because it’s truly about enjoying your partner/friend’s company and seeing what you can build together, right?

Congratulations to TYC’s Yoga Teacher Graduates!

“When you help, educate, heal, or nurture other people, your days become more and more meaningful, and you enrich the quality of your hours.”
― Max Strom, There Is No App for Happiness: How to Avoid a Near-Life Experience

They say if it challenges you, it makes you stronger. Sometimes it’s taking that leap of faith, a little courage to go outside your comfort zone.

Today, I am honored to present the 2016 teacher graduates from The Yoga Company’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program. Throughout the journey, I’ve seen tremendous growth. Most of all, the courage from these students to step into such an intense program with open hearts, minds…and an eager thirst for knowledge to help, heal and nurture people. With my palms sealed, I bow. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as your teacher.


saha nāvavatu

saha nau bhunaktu

saha vīryam karavāvahai

tejasvināvadhī tamastu mā vidvisāvahai

om śāntiśśāntiśśāntihi

May the Lord protect us. May he nourish us. May we work together uniting our strength for the good of humanity. May our learning be luminous and purposeful. May we always be civil with each other. May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace.

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