Friday, November 30, 2018

Meditations for Vaginal Steaming

"Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort"  -  Deborah Day

Vaginal Steaming:

How it Works:

Vaginal steaming (V-Steam) is a global traditional practice, that has been used by women across the world for centuries to maintain optimal health and vitality.  Using a specific blend of herbs suited for clients needs, vaginal steaming nourishes and tonifies the vaginal and uterine tissues. The steam helps to improve circulation, and alleviate symptoms caused by, or related to, congestion in these tissues, boosting circulation to the pelvis,  increasing oxygenation, dilation of blood vessels, and a relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles that tend to cramp or spasm before or during menstruation.

What to Expect in a Namaste V Steam Session:

You’ll sit in a comfy chair, wearing a silk robe, wrapped in a blanket, and offered a cup of tea to sip on. As you begin to relax, the pleasant steam will travel into the body, usually feeling a gentle sensation and warming. Our Steam Specialist will quietly check in with you over the duration of the session, monitoring the steam temperature ensuring your comfort. During the steam it is your choice whether you read, journal, meditate, set intentions or simply sit back and enjoy. Once steam is done expect to take some time to ground and reintegrate yourself back into your day.


The benefits of steaming are tremendous: deep relaxation, increased vaginal nectar, heightened libido and sexual sensation, circulation improvement, decreased PMS Symptoms, skin beautification, tightened and lifted vaginal canal, and scar softening. Steaming is believed to be preventative of infections, offers menstrual support: regulates irregular periods, cramping eases fatigue, headaches, abdominal discomfort and nausea. Steaming enhances fertility by clearing cervical fluids, helps relax the vaginal canal and cervix and nourishes the and tonifies the uterine lining.

V-Steam Plans:
(1) To maintain healthy uterine care and a regulate the menstrual cycle, women are encouraged to steam once a week for three to six months to receive optimal benefits. Contraindications include if you are pregnant, after ovulation if you are trying to conceive, actively bleeding, if you have an infection, and if you have vaginal sores or blisters.
(2) Women are encouraged to steam three days in a row before menstrual cycle begins to prepare the uterus for the natural cleansing of the vagina and three days after menstrual cycle ends to ensure all old residue, clotting, and mucus are removed.

"Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who come after her" - Christine Northrup

Guided Meditations 

"Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are." Ani Pema Chodron

Breathing Technique 

Begin by getting comfortable in your seat.  Feel your feet touching the ground below you.  Feel the crown of your head reaching up to the sky.  Soften your shoulders down your back. Begin by just noticing your natural breathing cycle.  Notice where the breathe moves in the body and what sensations come to you as you begin to relax.  As your ready, start to deepen the breath. Take three short and deep inhales through the nose, and three short and deep exhales out of the mouth, releasing tension in the jaw and making any sounds that may feel necessary.   As you’re ready begin to take a deep inhale through the nose for a count of three, following with a slow exhale out the nose  for a count of three. With each inhale feel the energy move up from the earth, into the uterus, up through the belly, and the chest.  Each exhale feel the air move out the chest, belly, uterus, and redirecting the energy back down to the earth.   Inhale feel the energy expand the body.  Exhale feel a sense of release.  Repeat this breathing, taking deep inhales, and slow exhales for a count of three or longer. Be gentle with the body, mind, and spirit.  The mind has a tendency to get distracted. Just come back to the breath.  It will always be there for you to return to.  Rather than achieving a particular outcome, use this time to establish a loving relationship with your breath and your body.


Place one hand over your heart and the other hand over the front of your pelvic bowl, right below the navel.  Begin by noticing the breath moving to the pelvic bowl, expanding it like a balloon, and up to the heart space.  As you are ready imagine a cord of light connecting your heart center to your uterus.  With each inhale feel the energy from the uterus move up the right side of the body to the heart, sending the energy of wisdom to this space. With each exhale feel the energy of the heart move down the left side of the body, into the womb, sending loving energy to this part of the body.  Create a cycle of energy moving from the womb space to the heart and from the heart to the womb space.  Begin to notice the deep connection between these two places.  Begin to align these powerful centers of the body--the womb, the place of intuition and deep knowing, with the heart, the place of love, rhythm, and kindness.

Letting Go 

Settle into a comfortable position and bring your attention to the center of your pelvic bowl.  It may be helpful to place your hands on your lower belly.  Notice any sensations, feelings, or qualities regarding your pelvic energy.  Begin by visualizing the steam rising up into your pelvis bowl and beginning to cleanse and clear your pelvic energy, like water washing over you or sage smoke moving around you.  Choose the element you are drawn to and visualize the water or smoke moving in a circular pattern and clearing each part of your pelvic bowl.  If there is a place that feels blocked or stuck, spend extra time there breathing into that space. Do not try to push anything out, but allow the element of choice to gently remove the stagnant energy.   Invite the water to wash into the earth or the smoke to lift into the sky anything that is not serving your body or being.  There, in the earth or sky, this energy will be received and recycled; it is no longer needed in your life.  Continue until you feel a sense of peace and clarity in your pelvic bowl.  Picture your pelvic bowl as an altar space and imagine placing your offerings here.  Offerings may include expression of gratitude for this clearing, requests for support to make changes in your life or break old patterns, images of your creations, or whatever else comes from your spirit.  Rest in quiet reflection and pay attention to the words or visions that come to you.  Listen for the guidance or comfort that comes from this sacred place.


Our wombs are the center place of our creative energy.  When we set our intentions and on what we would like to create our wombs are powerful places to envision that creative energy manifesting.  Begin by finding a comfortable position and focusing on the breathe. Bring the awareness to the pelvic bowl.  Visualize a seed right at the center of your uterus.  Allow this seed to be a representation of what you are creating in your life.  This could be an intention of more support in your life, this could be a seed of financial abundance, this could be calling in of a new partner or career path.  Whatever it is that you are working on in your life, allow this seed to be that visual representation.  As you visualize this seed, begin to allow the steam from the smoke to gently wrap around the seed, giving it the proper nutrients it needs to grow.  With each inhale bring in the energy that helps to cultivate your seed, perhaps that is patience, love, kindness, or any other elements that help this seed to grow.  With each exhale begin to visualize the seed sprouting.  First start by seeing the roots moving down towards the earth, connecting you to the source of all creation. Then start to visualize the stem reaching up, moving to the belly, and through the heart center.  Continue to nourish your seed with what it needs.  Start to visualize the blossoming of your seed, seeing a lotus flower blooming out the top of your head.  Bring yourself back to what the original intention of the seed is.  What would it look like for this seed to blossom? What does it feel like? Taste like? Smell like? Sound like?  See yourself as this blossoming flower.  Remember yourself as the seed.  And be patient with the process of growth in between. 

You can book a vaginal steam session with Namaste online at:

- written by Shira Barlas


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Young Yogis: Help Students Begin Their Yoga Practice

Young Yogis: Help Students Begin Their Yoga Practice
By Olivia Martinez 

Last summer a friend and I decided to go on a 3 day yoga retreat in Mexico. Between the two of us, we had probably taken 5 classes total. So why did we fly 5 hours to do yoga? Well, the gourmet meals convinced her and the spa’s Margarita Massage hooked me. (#bestmassageieverhad). Yoga was just a side note. However, I ended up taking and LOVING every single class - the energizing morning classes and the restorative sunset ones as well. I was hooked after a couple days. I came back to L.A. and immediately joined Namaste. I fell more in love with yoga and found a new love for the studio and all the amazing teachers. Every class I take I learn something new and push myself to grow both physically and mentally.

It’s been a year now and I am still so grateful for this new part of my life. The next step in my yogi journey is to bring it with me to work. I teach 1st grade at Charles White Elementary in MacArthur Park. P.E. is part of our daily curriculum and I can’t wait to start teaching my students the basics of yoga. Not only do I see the physical benefits of yoga but the emotional ones as well. Giving students the tools and space to be mindful and present will last them a lifetime. 

As you can imagine, funding for public schools is limited and Donors Choose has been such a blessing for teachers who usually pay for many classroom supplies and “extras”. With Donors Choose people can select projects that they feel passionate about and help make them a reality for students and teachers. Please take a minute to check out my proposal “Young Yogis” and consider supporting my plan to bring a little Namaste to my classroom. While there, check out my other proposals and those of teachers around the country! And always feel free to share this with any of your generous friends and family. Thank you in advance and I’ll see you around the studio.  

Please visit HERE for more info and to donate! 
Photo via The New York Times.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

What is Ashtanga Yoga?
by Chris Reed

Did you know that most modern vinyasa practices stem from the Ashtanga Yoga method? Developed by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga is the sanskrit word meaning eight-limbs as mentioned in the yoga sutras of Patanjali. The practice incorporates breath, drishti or focus, and bandha in a fairly rigorous sequence of postures. Students usually practice the memorized sequence at their own pace in what is called "Mysore style" named after the city where Jois taught. Usually an Ashtanga practice begins with five repetitions of Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskara A and five repetitions of Surya Namaskara B, followed by a standing sequence. After this the practitioner begins one of six series and ends with the closing sequence.

Yoga Chikitsa (Yoga Therapy) or the Primary Series is the most common practiced sequence in Ashtanga yoga. Many students will spend up to a few years learning the entire sequence before moving on to second series. Postures are recommended to be held for at least five full deep breaths through the nose or whats also referred to as Ujjayi Pranayama. Where the practitioner focuses the eyes while is the posture is what is referred to as the drishti. There are few different key drishti's in the Ashtanga practice, mainly the nose, navel, between the eyebrows, thumbs hands and feet. The bandhas are energy locks within the body that we often hear teachers talk about in vinyasa classes. Ashtanga focuses on three main bandhas; the mula bandha or root lock at the pelvis floor. Uddiyana bandha is located at the abdomen 2 inches below the navel and the Jalandhara bandha is found by tucking the chin to the chest.

There are many different opinions and beliefs surrounding the "tradition" of Ashtanga Yoga. One school would say that you must "master" a posture before being given permission to move on to receive the benefit from the practice. I personally subscribe to my teacher's teacher Manju Jois (Pattabhi's son) and his more laid back approach of adjusting the practice to the practitioner. Having done a few workshops with Manju, I have experienced how this non-linear approach allows the student to complete a practice while being safe and not leave feeling completely defeated.

Join Chris for a Workshop: Balances, Bhandas, & Binds on Sunday, May 20th from 2pm-4pm at Namaste Highland Park. Sign up at 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Cookin' with Jazz - Rich and Creamy Horchata Muesli

Horchata Muesli 

When I first realized the next Breakfast on the Patio at Namaste falls on Cinco De Mayo, the first thing that came to my mind is Horchata. 

Horchata is a Mexican drink typically made from rice milk, cinnamon and vanilla, and is simply delicious. My husband requests Horchata frequently as he likes to add it to his iced coffee. The only thing I don't like about Horchata is the amount of sugar added, so I decided to sweeten mine with dates, and made it vegan by using almonds and coconut milk. It is time consuming, but is so worth it. The result is rich and full of flavor - making the muesli extra creamy. 

Vegan Horchata (serves 4-6) 

1 cup white rice
1/2 cup almonds
1 cinnamon stick
1 can whole fat coconut milk
4 dates
1tsp vanilla 
1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
dash of salt


1. Start by soaking the rice, almonds, and cinnamon stick in water overnight. Once done soaking, drain out the water, rinse through, and add the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high with the canned coconut milk until well blended and frothy. 

2. Pour mixture into a cheese cloth strainer, or nut milk bag, and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible. 

3. Add the liquid back into the blender, and blend with dates, vanilla, almond or coconut milk, and a dash of salt! 

4. Store in the fridge for about 3-4 days. 

Horchata Muesli (serves 2) 
1 cup oats
3 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp almond or coconut yogurt
2 - 2 1/2 cups Horchata


1. Add all the ingredients into a bowl, and mix together. If you notice it's a little dry, you may need to add more Horchata. Keep in the fridge overnight. Enjoy with added fruit, nuts, seeds, and extra Horchata! 

Join us for yoga, community, and nutritious food! 

Saturday, May 5th from 10:45 - 11:15am. 
Free to those who attend class before or after. 
Reserve your spot online here.


Friday, April 6, 2018

30 Day Yoga Challenge

30 Day Yoga Challenge
by Steve Arcos 

When you first heard about the 30-Day Challenge what went through your mind? Were you excited? Did you feel overwhelmed? I remember my first time participating in one of these challenges. I thought: how will my practice transform?  Is thirty days a commitment I'll be able to keep?

The first week flew by. Seven classes in seven days? I felt unstoppable!  I could already tell my forward folds were getting deeper and my arm balances getting stronger.  My focus was unshakable.  I felt the solidarity of the yogis. I had this in the bag.

By the second week my momentum was slowing.  I pushed it hard and was sore from over exertion.  Meanwhile my social life kept trying to get in the way: dinner plans, movie date nights, was I always so popular?  I realized I had to mix up my routine with restorative and meditation classes to find a balance between the demands of the 30-day challenge and my personal limits. I also realized that I couldn't keep every one of my social engagements. If I wanted to get to thirty days; this month, my priority was my practice. 

Once the third week rolled around I had found a new source of motivation.  I was starting to see a lot of the same faces around the studio. I would look forward to class because I would also be seeing all of my cool yoga friends.  These were my people now.  A lot of us were having major breakthroughs on the mat and it was awesome being able to share that with my fellow 30-day challengers.  

When I finally reached the end I knew that I had accomplished something amazing.  I completed thirty classes in thirty days!  I had discovered a new level of physical intelligence and self-awareness. Most remarkable though was the realization that I was part of something bigger than myself.  Sharing this experience with so many inspiring yogis, many of which are still my close friends, truly made the 30-Day Challenge memorable. 

Have you signed up for the #30dayNamaste yoga challenge?  Just write your name on one of the poster boards hanging in the lobby.  Every time you take a class place a star sticker next to your name.  Every five classes you will be entered into a raffle for some fun and fabulous prizes including private yoga sessions with many of our teachers, art lessons, ayurvedic assessments, acupuncture, Town Pizza, La Tehuanita tacos, and so much more.  See the full list below, and don't forget to post your journey using #30daynamaste.  See you on the mat. 

Lea Kramer - Ayurvedic Assessment
Dana Kraft - Private lesson, Pre-natal Lesson
Ana Aguire - Photo shoot
Jasmine De La Paz - Homemade Bliss-Balls
Steven Arcos - Private handstand lesson
Nora Brank - Philosophy of Yoga group lesson
Chona Bernardo - Mandala art lesson
Sondra Sun - One free workshop
Meg Shoemaker - Private yoga session
Roxy Lange - Date night Nanny
Jenny - Private yoga session
Town Pizza - $25 and $5 gift cards
Leader of the Pack - $25 gift card
Shorthand - Stationary gift set
Study Hall - Swell water bottle
House of Intuition - May HOI MOON BOX 
La Tehuanita - Gift cards
Joy - Gift cards
Adriana Rizzolo - Healing Shakti Haircut
Amalia Gardner - Pardon my Heart Acupuncture
Jolie Matty - Private yoga session
Dylan Coffey - Herbal Remedies goody basket
More to be added! 


Friday, March 9, 2018

Cookin' with Jazz - Glowing Yogi Bowls

Glowing Yogi Bowls
by Jasmine De La Paz 

Like many things in life, I go through phases with chia pudding. There are times when I crave it, make huge batches, and eat it everyday for breakfast or for a snack. Then there are times when just the thought of chia pudding makes my nose scrunch, and I don't eat it for weeks. Well, lately I have been all about the thick, gelatinous pudding and am always thinking of ways to adapt it. 

A few weeks ago I strolled into a juice bar (I will not mention the name), and was perusing their fridges full of pre-made puddings, juices, and bars. Not to sound too presumptuous, but most of the items I found I could easily make myself (or already do), and really didn't feel like paying the hefty price for a chia pudding bowl. I did however notice their use of probiotics in puddings, and that got my brain going. The result is this Glowing Yogi Bowl - I added coconut yogurt as the probiotic to the chia pudding, which also makes it extra creamy. I was also wanting to re-create an orange creamsicle flavor, so decided to make orange coconut cream to swirl on top (plus it looks pretty). 

Glowing Yogi Bowls (serves 4 - 6)

Probiotic Vanilla Chia Pudding
4 cups coconut milk 
1/2 cup coconut yogurt (unsweetened) 
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. chia seeds
4 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

Orange Coconut Cream
1 cup orange juice (I juiced a 2-3 oranges)
1/2 cup coconut milk (the thick cream from a chilled can) 
2 tsp. maple syrup 
squeeze of lemon juice 


1. For the chia pudding, blend all the ingredients together except for the chia seeds. More the mixture into a bowl, and slowly stir in the chia seeds until well combined. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, give it another stir, and then place in the refrigerator, ideally overnight. 

2. For the orange coconut cream, juice your oranges (I used a variety, including one blood orange to make the color pinkish). Add the juice with the rest of the ingredients to a blender, and blend on high for a couple minutes. Pour into a jar or bottle, and let is cool in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Once ready to use, you will need to stir or shake it up to combine again. 

3. Add chia pudding to a bowl, top with coconut cream, granola, fresh fruit, and edible flowers! 

Join us for yoga, community, and Glowing Yogi Bowls! 

Saturday, March 10th from 10:45 - 11:15am. 
Free to those who attend class before or after. 
Reserve your spot online here.

For more recipes and food inspiration, follow Jasmine on Instagram. 



Friday, February 16, 2018

Ask & You Shall Receive!

Thank you for giving us your input and ideas.  
We are excited to have implemented a few changes below, and welcome new members to our staff! 

Highland Park Studio
  • Sunday GENTLE :: Yin Restore :: 6:15 - 7:30pm has been extended to 75 min with a new start time. 
  • New 90min class! VINYASA :: Intermediate on Saturday at 9:15am with Alex Halenda. 
  • Saturday YOGA :: Hatha & Kundalini will start at 9:30am.
  • Saturday VINYASA :: All Levels moves to 11:15am and is now taught by Ani Raya-Flores
  • New Saturday GENTLE :: Flow + Restore :: 11:15am with Meg Shoemaker
  • New MEDITATION :: Morning Sit (c) with Nora on Wed 7:50am - take a class before or after.
  • Per popular demand Wed 8:15am now moves to 8:30am as a VINYASA :: Intermediate class.
  • New VINYASA :: Advanced classes:
    • Monday & Friday at 8-9:15am with Chris Reed  
    • Tuesday 6:45-7:45am with Ani Raya-Flores

Downtown Los Angeles Studio
  • Welcome Hannah Rodriguez! Join Hannah downtown on Sundays VINYASA :: Candlelight at 7:30pm and on Saturday at 4pm VINYASA :: Intermediate.
  • New VINYASA :: Basics on Saturday at 10am taught by Chona Bernardo.
  • Chris Reed now teaches a weekly VINYASA :: Intermediate on Wed at 7:45pm.
  • New class with Kendra Baranko on Mondays at 7:45pm VINYASA :: Candlelight.
  • Roxy Lange has a regular class downtown on Wednesday at 5:15pm VINYASA :: All Levels.

Visit our schedule HERE and sign up for class.