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Hong Kong Highlights

The most frequently asked question I received over the last month was likely some variation of “Why did you decide to travel and/or study in Hong Kong?” So in order to appease all those curious minds, I will go ahead and address that right off the bat…

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In late February 2018, I completed the first 100-hour module of Jason Crandell‘s advanced teacher training program. Because I already earned my 500-hour credential in 2014 as the first graduate under the Colorado School of Yoga‘s 300-hour advanced teacher training program with my teacher Gina Caputo, I wasn’t in a hurry to finish another 300-hour program. Since Jason is an international yoga teacher, I knew he offered trainings outside of San Francisco so I decided I would wait and travel with him to Hong Kong and London to complete the 2nd & 3rd module in 2019 & 2020 respectively.

While many have Hong Kong on their travel wish list, it was never really on my radar. Since I was so focused on immersing myself in the teacher training, I hadn’t done much research prior to the trip as I might have had I chosen the destination myself.

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Hong Kong, a republic of China, is much more metropolitan than I anticipated. While several friends and family sent me countless tips on ways to navigate around the city and long lists of places to eat and explore, I experienced a bit of reverse culture shock. I highly underestimated this place and my naiveté left me in profound astonishment.

Luxury shopping malls are everywhere with entrances all around you and access on ever corner! The local metro station (MTR) is highly efficient and functional with stops that lead directly into a mall so you may somehow never see the outdoors! And with Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Dior on almost every corner, high-end stores are unavoidable as well. The cash money is colorful and fun and Hongkongers appear to have lots of it!

I quickly learned that people don’t have much respect for personal space and will literally walk right into you on the street, in the metro or anywhere they damn well please. That cultural difference took some time to get used to but eventually I returned to my NYC roots and navigated urgently around the passersby. Challenge averted!

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The view from Pure Yoga Peninsula Tower

As a former British colony, Hong Kong is also quite international as well. In the teacher training alone, I counted 21 countries represented including Mongolia, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates. The yoga scene is huge and much of that proof can be found at the 12 Pure Yoga studios in Hong Kong proper. I expected a translator to be in Jason’s teacher training program but with so many astute and educated students it wasn’t necessary.

While Hong Kong certainly triggered me in many different ways, I’m still grateful for my experience because it pulled me outside of my comfort zone and led me to share a new experience with like-minded yoga professionals from all around the world. I love that I now have yogi friends in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, Queenstown, Zurich, Taipei, Johannesburg, etc. Plus with any training, I learn more about myself both as a yoga practitioner and as a yoga teacher and all that increased self awareness contributes to my growth as an individual and as a conscious contributing member of the world.

May it be of benefit. Until next time, Hong Kong! Mhgoi! (Thank you!)

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Digital Detox Day

Saturday was a perfect day for a digital detox. What really needs to be a monthly event for me seems to be more of an annual activity. Initially inspired by Brad Feld, highly respected venture capitalist, tech entrepreneur and my adjunct professor during my tenure in b-school, a day free of devices and corresponding obligations is a real treat!

Since I basically work #everydamnday and January 5th was the only “off” day I enjoyed so far this year, I was overdue for a digital detox and a day at home. And while I was tempted to retreat to the mountains for one expectedly epic ski day, I just know myself and I knew I would feel better prioritizing my time in reflection and relative solitude.

After logging off and turning my phone off Friday night around 10:15PM, my early bird internal clock woke me up around 6:30AM but fortunately I got back to sleep and rose again shortly before 9AM. My apartment was in complete disarray with unfolded (clean) laundry still in its bin, my RAD tools still packed in my suitcase from my training in Colorado the previous weekend and lots of unopened mail and packages still to sort thru.

Admittedly I was only midly hungover after drinking two beers with high ABV content the night before with my friend Jack to kick off the start of #SFBeerWeek! (Side Note: I’m a lightweight now and/or I’ve finally come to accept that truth / I’m totally cool with it!)

So anyway, I got out of bed, showered and got to work on several things around the house; household chores that I rather not list or bore you with. I’m sure you get the idea.

Marie Kondo‘s method of tidying up is trending again since this expert organizer has her own Netflix show. During my minimalist movement in 2017, I read her book and remembered that while the process of dumping and decluttering can be super therapeutic it also seems to be endless. From what I remember, her intention is to inspire everybody to keep things that only “spark joy.” And while I can’t stay that everything in my apartment sparks joy for me, I’m pretty damn joyful at this point in my life 🙂

While going through a bin of cards, photos, class notes and mementos, I took a serious trip down memory lane. There was laughter and there were tears. I saved some items that made me feel all warm and fuzzy then discarded anything that already spent enough time in my space and in my life. I even mailed out a few memories to my closest friends and family to share the love. It was all extremely necessary and quite therapeutic. Perfect for a cloudy rainy Saturday in my new home of San Francisco.

Once I felt my space was clean and free of excess clutter, I sat for a few minutes in meditation, rolled out with my RAD tools and enjoyed a moderate personal yoga practice. I laid in savasana and felt completely full of contentment, or what we yogis call santosha!

While I didn’t get around to the many unfinished projects still on my to-do list, I was happy with all that I accomplished. I finished the evening with a good meal, a good book and some chocolate in bed. Completely free of technology but so full of the freedom to do just as I wanted. So tell me, are you now inspired to enjoy a digital detox yourself?

Highly recommend it!

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Resolution Reset Retreat: 9 Reasons Why

Sonoma County may be home to hundreds of yoga retreats in the new year but there will never be another premiere yoga retreat with Jack Workman & Denelle Numis again!

And while there may be more co-led retreats with us in the future, don’t you want to be a part of our first one? Jack and I can’t hardly wait to host our first weekend getaway next month! And of course we want YOU to be a part of it too! Check out the 9 reasons why you need to attend our Resolution Reset Retreat in Cazadero, CA – January 11-13 2019!

9) Enjoy 3 days of complete and utter bliss in the majestic Redwoods of Sonoma County! Just 2 hours north of the city, Cazadero is home to the beautiful Ratna Ling Retreat Center.

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8) Indulge in an all inclusive vegetarian buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring organic produce from the Ratna Ling Retreat Center garden and local farms.

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7) Rest for 2 nights in your own queen sized bed in a deluxe shared cabin with private room, shared bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, shared kitchenette and an outdoor patio.

6) Practice daily with all levels vinyasa and/or yin yoga classes with Jack & Denelle! As CO-grown yogis, we are advanced yoga teachers (E-RYT 500) new to the bay area and have both trained with our local yogalebrity, Jason Crandell, and we each have close to 10 years of teaching experience! When one of us teaches, the other offers hands-on-assists! So you get 2 teachers for the price of 1!

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5) Opt for your own adventure with pre-scheduled down time. Schedule a massage at the Ratna Ling Wellness Center, go on a nature walk around the grounds or take a nap!

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4) Wine tasting by the stone fireplace Saturday night – featured winery TBA! (Hint below)

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3) Each attendee will receive one complimentary pass to attend an upcoming Après Yoga event and a FREE gift courtesy of Après Yoga Events, Denelle’s mobile yoga business!

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2) THIS JUST IN! You can bring a friend along with you and each receive $50 off your registration for a total combined savings of $100! Reduced price/person = $800

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1) C’mon…don’t you just deserve a weekend away?

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Please send any questions, comments and/or concerns our way!

Look forward to hosting you in January!

Namaste,

Denelle & Jack

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SF Review: Après Yoga

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community. 

Après Yoga is the premiere mobile yoga business where we welcome students of all levels into unique venues to connect in community over a refreshing beverage after class. Whether its a cup of coffee, a beer or a glass of wine, Après Yogis like to enjoy their #yogawithbenefits! Check out our full calendar and come to breathe, bend and brew!

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I first launched Après Yoga in Denver in May 2015 and last summer I took the concept on the road as the #RoadYogi! Since moving to CA last fall, I am proud to say that my small yoga biz is still going strong both in the mile high city and the bay area.

Since moving to SF, I have partnered with 8 breweries in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, San Leandro & Tahoe and 1 winery in Santa Cruz all the while doing my best to maintain several key partnerships in Denver. While some events are successful, there are as many that fail. This work continues to be a learning process but I guess that is all part of running a business. Special shout outs to my team of teachers and all the amazing staff at these numerous locations because I definitely could not do it alone. And of course deep bows of gratitude to the community of students who love and support Après Yoga!

To commemorate this special occasion, please use the code DENELLE at checkout for $5 OFF your next event as a token of my appreciation! Hope to see you on the mat soon!

Cheers,

Denelle

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SF Review: Yoga Garden

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community.

I first visited Yoga Garden during a spring trip to San Francisco in 2012. I remember the studio conveniently located steps away from my friend Marissa’s apartment in the Lower Haight neighborhood. We practiced the Ashtanga primary series in the Water studio with Mark Rausa, who I now know as the owner of another yoga studio in town, Moxie Yoga!

Unsurprisingly, Yoga Garden was one of the first studios I looked at once I decided to make the move to SF. Unlike many other yoga studio hiring processes, the application to Yoga Garden was extremely thorough. While many yoga teacher applicants might be swayed from such an intense application process, I was down right inspired to work for an organization that made the hiring process that thorough. I wanted to work for a team that appreciated my experience and education so I knew this place was right for me.

Yoga Garden is housed in an Old Victorian style home where each studio room is located on a separate floor and each is named after representative elements; Earth, Water & Air! Having recently surpassed 20 years in business, Yoga Garden is recognized as one of the best yoga studios in the city. As described on the website, “Yoga Garden San Francisco is more than a yoga studio–here you will find a diverse community of welcoming, friendly students and world-class yoga professionals. From your first class to advanced yoga teacher training, you are guided and mentored by San Francisco’s best teachers, with decades of experience practicing, studying, and instructing…”

So what do I love about this studio? From the minute you step into the space, you feel hOMe. I absolutely love the local owner small business operation in a home setting. I have tons of respect my peer teachers at this studio and I appreciate the ability to connect with the community and get to know the students individually after class.

As of October 30th, I will have 3 classes at Yoga Garden SF. If you are curious about this hometown studio want to support local business, please join me as my guest for only $7!

12PM Friday Mornings

6PM Sunday Evenings

7:40AM Tuesday Mornings

BONUS: Branded rental mats provided by my favorite yoga mat company, Kulae Yoga!

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Namaste,

Denelle

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SF Review: Yoga Works

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community.

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I first discovered Yoga Works while visiting my cousin Adam in Santa Monica, CA. Maty Ezraty, original owner and founder, opened the Main Street studio location in 1987 and the company is now revered as one of the top yoga businesses in the U.S. Originally “the first school of its kind, Yoga Works offered different styles of yoga including Iyengar and Ashtanga with many of the world’s best-known teachers” and still does today!

Whenever I visited Adam and/or our friend Ben in Santa Monica, one of my most favorite rituals was walking down to the beach for seated meditation, hitting a 2 hour class at Yoga Works – Main and grabbing an iced coffee, juice and/or pastry after class. Since I always make it a priority to visit a Yoga Works location every time I’m in Los Angeles, I knew I had to be on the teacher roster at Yoga Works San Francisco.

Yoga Works currently operates over 50 studios across the country but even with that massive growth, the studios still celebrate diversity and creativity in its offerings. In 2015, Yoga Works purchased all of the Yoga Tree studios in San Francisco. Once I auditioned for both studios, I was invited to teach at Yoga Tree and Yoga Works!

What do I love about teaching at Yoga Works?

  • Expansive Yoga Studio Space for all the Instagram worthy shots
  • Comfortable Sitting Area so I can connect with my students after class
  • Complimentary Numi Tea so I can sip while I chat
  • Walking distance to my apartment
  • Stellar team of teachers and supportive staff
  • Dedicated students
  • Opportunities and growth ahead

To follow up on that last bullet point, I’m leading a mini-workshop series on myofascial release therapy every Sunday this month. Limited to only 10 students, I have a few spots available so if you’re interested in rolling out with RAD Roller, reserve your spot today!

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See you on the mat!

Namaste,

Denelle

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SF Review: Equinox

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community. 

“Voted Best Gym in America by Fitness Magazine, Equinox is a temple of well-being, featuring world-class personal trainers, group fitness classes, and spas.” With immaculate facilities stocked with all the amenities you might need in a gym setting, Equinox elevates the gym experience to an entirely new level where each location serves as a sanctuary, an oasis from hectic city life in SF.

When I was living in NYC after college, I frequented the Equinox on the Upper West Side. I often received direct mailers with free passes so I took advantage as much as I could. Once I moved to San Francisco, I knew I had to be a part of this global fitness brand.

Since I started teaching  in 2010, I found out quickly that I was a good fit for the gym environment. My first regular teaching gig was a 6:30AM yoga class at One Boulder Fitness and even though I was a novice teacher, I woke up bright eyed and ready to go knowing that the students would show and that I always had something to teach them.

Over the last year, I’ve taught countless classes at all 3 Equinox club locations in the city. I’ve noticed that the caliber of students at Equinox is really solid and I absolutely adore the members that come practice with me week after week. Yet, one student made me feel the most welcome. One Friday last fall, I taught my regularly scheduled 90-minute Vinyasa flow practice at Pine Street. Global CEO, Niki Leondakis, came to take my class that night and we connected after class but she never mentioned who she was. I only learned she was CEO after she emailed my manager that night with this glowing review:

“Denelle’s energy, humor and quality of her instruction were great. She did helpful adjustments throughout and provided consistent detailed instruction. Her demeanor and personal approach creates the type of community feeling we want to create at Equinox and the soul we need in our yoga.”

While the perks of working at Equinox are plentiful, it feels so good to be seen and appreciated by the leader of a global luxury fitness organization. And even better to be acknowledged and respected by the students, peers and staff. My managers Buddy Macuha and Ingrid Zagzebski continue to make me feel special and I am so grateful!

If you need to find me midweek, you can usually catch me at Equinox soaking up the steam room, working on my various projects in the workspaces or teaching some good fun yoga! If you would like to check out any Equinox facility, email me your name, phone number and which location and date you would like to enjoy and I’ll send you a guest pass. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Happy Friday!

Cheers,

Denelle

 

 

 

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SF Review: Yoga Tree

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community.

Where do I begin? Ever since I first learned about Yoga Tree many years ago, I knew it was highly revered and widely respected as showcasing the best of the best of yoga talent in the bay. So if I was going to “make it” in the city, I knew I had to be a part of it.

Yoga Tree is the San Francisco Bay area’s premiere yoga center with 7 diverse and local yoga studios featuring the top yoga teachers in the area and from across the globe. Featuring world-renowned teachers like Janet Stone, Jason Crandell and Darren Main, the Yoga Tree studios move beyond the idea that yoga needs to be this commercialized experience and remind our yoga community to appreciate high-quality yoga instruction.

Getting into this club was not easy. Even though I knew I wanted to teach at a few of its premiere yoga studios, Yoga Tree only holds auditions a few times/year and I had to wait 2 months before I had a chance at bat. I know of several peer teachers that had to audition several times before being invited to sub but fortunately, I was accepted after my first try. Once I was invited on the Yoga Tree sub list, I started to sub classes at studios all over the city. After the students experienced my class, some would relay feedback to the studio managers so they could be better informed about where I might fit.

In June, I accepted a 3PM Tuesday/Thursday slot at the Hayes studio but today will actually be my last day teaching this class. I lovingly joke that I am pledging the Yoga Tree fraternity so I’ll consider this transition to be a part of the pledging process.

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In addition to my regularly scheduled classes, I also sub for my teacher Jason Crandell and new yogi friends like Yvonne Kingsley, Laura Burkhart and Mira Valeria. I still plan to be a part of these studios, just waiting for another class opportunity to come my way!

If you find yourself in the bay area, these studios are a mandatory stop! With numerous yoga offerings in Vinyasa, Hatha, Kundalini, Prenatal, Restorative and Meditation, there is something for everybody. Join me and my peer teachers for a well-rounded experience that will leave you with a piece of serenity before stepping back out into the big city.

Thanks to Yoga Tree for welcoming me hOMe. I am honored to be a part of your lineup.

Namaste Yoga Fam,

Denelle

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SF Review: Yoga Flow

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community.

Upon arriving in San Francisco, I immediately began to leverage any connections I had from my previous yoga experience in Colorado. I knew a few local, established teachers from my work with  Hanuman Festival so I reached out to my network. Darren Main was one yogalebrity who responded almost immediately to my inquiry and introduced me to a few studios. One of those contacts was the manager of Yoga Flow, Britany Paradis. Britany and I immediately bonded and I was soon hired on to sub at Yoga Flow SF!

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Owned by a local yoga loving family, Yoga Flow has 2 studios which offer dynamic, hot vinyasa flow classes in Cow Hollow and in the Ingleside neighborhood. Each studio has its own unique setting but they are both completely photo worthy.

Nicknamed the “Tree House”, Yoga Flow Union has 2 practice rooms on the second floor with beautiful bay windows amongst the tree tops with a bustling street below.

Yoga Flow Ocean has an expansive studio with high ceilings and giant singing bowls to accompany your practice. This space also has another small room which serves as an additional practice room in the evenings but is utilized for child care during the day.

After fulfilling numerous sub requests early on last fall, Britany and studio owner Kathleen Holm brought me on board to teach a few regularly scheduled classes at both studio locations. In addition to my yoga teacher experience, I also leveraged my previous retail experience and assumed the role of Retail Manager. I instantly felt so welcome and supported by the dynamic team at Yoga Flow and was honored to be a part of it all.

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With all things in life, we must practice impermanence since change is ultimately inevitable. After teaching and working with the team at Yoga Flow for a few months, it was time to let something go. As you will see in future blog posts, I immersed myself in several yoga communities here in the city and it was only a matter of time before I refocused my energy elsewhere. I still have so much respect for Kathleen as the owner of this studio and I absolutely adore Britany, the main yogini in charge. If you are interested in purchasing some new yoga gear from brands like Beyond Yoga, NUX and Kulae, check out the retail assortment at both locations as I might have had something to do with it!

Happy Shopping!

Namaste,

Denelle

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SF Review: Wheel House

As a countdown to my 1 year anniversary of living the dream in San Francisco, I would like to honor and highlight each studio that has welcomed me to teach yoga to its community.

When I was arrived in San Francisco last fall, I immersed myself in attending yoga classes at various locations around the city. I leveraged my network and connected with as many people as possible and I applied to as many yoga opportunities I could find.

Just 2 weeks after living in SF, I was hired at Wheel House and I taught my first yoga class in the city in their space the following day. As described on the website, “Wheel House provides yogacore strength classes and indoor cycling; combining the perfect balance and environment between restoring mind and body and energizing the soul.”

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Located in One Embarcadero Center, this immaculate studio is a legitimate sanctuary nestled in the hustle and bustle of one of busiest neighborhoods, the Financial district. Co-owned by Carl Morley and Suhail Maqsood, Wheel House has 3 separate studios for yoga, cycling and core workouts. The owners intentionally invested both time and money to create a stand alone yoga studio just steps away the main studios. With this set up, students can enjoy the yoga experience without unnecessary distractions or interruptions from noise that typically accompanies cycling and core focused classes.

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Stocked with 30 Manduka mats and prop set ups, the studio is prepped before each class so all students who attend class never have to worry about dragging their mats and towels across town. They even have a state-of-the art yoga mat cleaning machine!

So what do I love about this studio? Most importantly, I love the students! I have a solid group of regular students who love to practice with me every Tuesday. And because the space is limited to 30 mats, the experience becomes much more intimate and enjoyable.

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I also love the team! From the owners to my peer teachers and the front desk team who appreciate my experience and who all help make my job easier and almost effortless! Thanks for seeing my strengths and honoring my wheel house!

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In you find yourself in SF this fall, come join me at 6:30PM every Tuesday for Deep Flow Vinyasa. I’ve got a special BONUS Class this Saturday too! As part of the Wheel House yoga schedule, I’m teaching a Sky Deck Yoga Class at 9AM on the 40th floor of the Lowes Regency Hotel. Last month I was up there with my fellow CO yogi friend Jack Workman.

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More backbend cheesy smiles surprises to come from Jack and I in the coming months.

Namaste,

Denelle