Month: December 2014

By Alison Feller

Here at Lyons Den, we’re all about learning from the past, living in the present, and making bold moves for the future. In the spirit of “past, present, and future,” we asked the Lyons Den instructors what moved them most in the past year, what they’re enjoying in the present, and what they’re looking forward to in the New Year.

#becourageous in 2015
#becourageous in 2015

What was your most poignant moment from 2014?

“He proposed. I said yes!” —Terri Bahr

“The moment my husband and I saw our baby on the screen at our first ultrasound. We found out we were expecting this past fall. That first look, where we saw the heartbeat and tiny legs kicking away, will forever be my favorite and most cherished memory of 2014.” —Sara Packard

Baby on the way . . .

“When my newest niece was born, and finding out she would be named about my mom, who passed away in 2011. It meant so much to see her remembered that way.” —Andrew Bass

“My Baptiste Level One training in Hawaii and Level Two training in Sedona. They were life-changing experiences for me. One year ago, I had no plans to become a yoga teacher. It’s remarkable how much my life and world have changed in just one year.” —Julie Brazitis

lioness. yoga teacher.

“Leaving South Africa to move back to New York City. I left my 14-year career as a schoolteacher to pursue my passion for teaching yoga.” —Meg McNeal

“Celebrating my dad 10 years after his passing. For a long time, I believed that accepting and moving forward was not only unlikely, but it was impossible. Thankfully, I was wrong. My father taught me to stand strong and proud, to love fiercely, take chances, and believe in myself. We are one badass family of Polish people!” —Michelle Swiatkowski

“Joining the Lyons Den family!” —Annie Fisco

Den Instructor, Annie & Den Staff-member, Sarah at our holiday gathering
Den Instructor, Annie & Den Staff-member, Sarah at our holiday gathering

“Sharing one of my most guarded circumstances in life with my fellow Level Two trainees and feeling nothing but love, compassion, and support in return. I was letting myself be seen and, in doing so, was able to see others and accept what they were offering me at such a vulnerable moment. Truly and example of what community is all about.” —Veronica Naughter

“Most poignant: losing my ‘second mom’ and dear family member, Barbara. She was one of the boldest lionesses I have ever known, and I hope I carry on a piece of her loving, no-holding-back spirit. Top moment(s): teaching in Times Square and celebrating the one-year anniversary at The Den.” —Bethany Lyons

Roaring in Times Square
Roaring in Times Square

What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?

“Seeing the pure excitement in my children’s eyes and the innocence in their nervous laughter as they anticipate Santa’s arrival.” —Veronica

“Taking our family Christmas photo! We always do a formal picture and lots of silly pictures. The silly ones are my favorite. They show who we really are: nuts. Seriously. We are all crazy and we own a nut company.” —Michelle

“Fairy lights, fireplaces, food, and family!” —Meg

“Family. Hands down. There’s something about finally getting everyone together — hanging out, eating too much, drinking too much, all with a sense of leisure — that captures what the holiday is truly about.” —Brooke Easton

“I love writing Christmas cards, giving gifts, making cookies, and watching old movies with my family. And peppermint bark!” —Jennifer Heister

Jennifer in the holiday spirit!
Jennifer in the holiday spirit!

“Besides my wife’s overwhelming and infectious love for the holidays, I love that the palpable sense of community in the city. I constantly observe people in wonder and awe at the magic of New York during the holidays. It’s also the perfect time for people to understand that New Yorkers are some of the nicest and most helpful people around.” —John Murray

What big, bold, ambitious plans do you have for 2015?

“I plan to apply for my Baptiste certification, run the New York City Half-Marathon, and do an inversion every day. I want to see the world upside-down in 2015.” —Diamond Zuchlinski

“I will make big commitments: to myself, my career, and my boyfriend. I am so excited to move in with the love of my life [and fellow Den instructor!], Andrew Bass, and cannot wait to lead yoga and be at cause for creation as my full-time job. Why have I been waiting so long?! I will step fearlessly onto my mat to lead, love, and embrace every opportunity that comes my way.” —Michelle

Andrew & Michelle ~ our first "Den Couple" awww...!!!
Andrew & Michelle ~ our first “Den Couple” awww…!!!

“I plan to become an official Baptiste-certified teacher, to write frequently for The Huffington Post, and to finally launch my own YouTube channel. Life can change on a dime; I’m open to the surprises 2015 has in store.” —Julie

“I’m looking forward to working closer with Baron Baptiste, and stepping into my own greatness with a few projects for women and girls battling eating disorders, body image disorders, and depression. I’ll be celebrating health in 2015.” —Annie

“2015 will be a year dedicated to self-growth. I am going to learn to speak Spanish fluently, get that big promotion at my job, and continue to develop my own yoga practice. All while eating a lot of ice cream.” —Brooke

Terri & Brooke, lioness duo.
Terri & Brooke, lioness duo.

“Becoming a mom! It’s something I’ve wanted for a really long time, and I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming year and what it has in store. I’m so grateful to be able to share this journey with the wonderful community at Lyons Den.” —Sara

“I am looking forward to making and keeping one commitment at a time, and instead of talking about what I’m going to do, I will enact a practice of being in action and sharing the results.” —John

“We have big plans for The Den. Stay tuned.” —Bethany

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By Alison Feller

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the holiday spirit in a big way here at the Den. We’re decking the halls on Church Street while decked out in reindeer antlers during down dog (seriously)! And, of course, we’re all about giving: giving love, giving presence, giving gifts, and giving back.
If you’re in a giving mood, too, read on. We’ve compiled our first annual Lyons Den “Shop Local” Giving Guide, with something for everyone on your list (or a little something special for yourself — we’re sure you made it onto the nice list this year!).

#reindeerpower
#reindeerpower

For the New Yogi or Yogini
A jewel-toned Nalgene bottle. Den-goers tend to sweat and hydrate quite a bit during class. Keep your new yoga pal refreshed and hydrated with a super-durable bottle that holds enough water to last you through even Bethany’s fieriest 90-minute flow. ($24)

NALGENE

A U Fit No Slip Yoga Towel. It’s frustrating to be on the brink of something great — say the best Side Angle ever — only to slip on a sweaty yoga mat. The U-Fit No Slip Yoga Towel will prevent that from happening. Savasana just got a lot cozier! ($65 for a Den-branded hand towel and mat towel combo)
Baron Baptiste’s Being of Power book. In his book, the founder of the Baptiste method explores “the nine practices to ignite an empowered life.” Think of it as a beyond-yoga self-help book that’ll inspire you on and off the mat. A must-read for yogis of all levels. ($20)

Being Of Power

For the Longtime Lyons Den-Goer
Show your Lyons Den pride by wearing it! All Lyons Den apparel — like our lioness flow tops and roar capris — is made by Royal Apparel, which is the best in the business, (& made in the USA). Everything is soft and comfy, and great for class, brunch, or bed! (prices vary)

#retailtherapy

Bring home the comfort of the Den with our signature holiday scent: Golden Cypress by Voluspa. ($10 for 3 oz. candle, $28 for 12 oz. candle, $19 for spray)

cypress

For Someone Very Special
Eye of the Sea bracelets. Made of black onyx, lava stone, labradorite, power red crystal, and hematite, these lush bracelets are more than fashion statements: Each stone holds a unique and powerful meaning. (Think inner peace, willpower, or physical and mental strength — things we can all use this holiday season!) Made by a local jewelry artist in the West Village. ($55 – $70 each)
EYEOFSEA

An Io Jewelry necklace. Liven up office attire or add some shine to a party outfit with a ruby necklace or a long layering necklace featuring gold pendants. ($75 for short necklace, $120 for extra long – can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet, $250 for ruby necklace – only 2 available!)

Ruby Buddha Necklace & Golden Cypress Candle
Ruby Buddha Necklace & Golden Cypress Candle

For the Do-Gooder
Consider making a donation in someone’s name, or making a donation for yourself or your own family, to one of our favorite charities:
Africa Yoga Project is a non-profit based in Kenya that educates, empowers, and employs youth from Africa using the power of yoga. AYP delivers free teacher trainings and employs more than 72 Kenyan yoga teachers.
The Wounded Warrior Project raises awareness and enlists public aid for the needs of injured service members. WWP helps injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and provides programs to help them meet their needs.

For the Yogi (or not yet a Yogi!) Who Has Everything
A Lyons Den gift card! Available at the front desk. (any amount) and comes in a cute gift bag with den matches and a fireball.

The gift that keeps giving.
The gift that keeps giving.

What the Lyons Den Team is Thankful for This Year
By Alison Feller

Starting with Thanksgiving and going straight to Hanukkah, Christmas, and into the New Year, the holiday season brings out our most grateful and reflective sides. From community to crow pose, and savasana to Starbucks, here’s what the Lyons Den team is thankful for this year.

“I’m thankful for the warmth of Lyons Den on a cold windy day, my voluptuous kitty cat (named Brie), my health, my apartment’s proximity to Stumptown Coffee, wine and chocolate, and chocolate and wine.” —Diamond Zuchlinski, Instructor
DIAMOND WINE

“I’m thankful for all the students who come to class and allow me to assist their practice and take them to greatness for that pose that day. I’m thankful for the great LDPY founders and staff for supporting me on my process to Certification. I’m thankful for a loving, supportive husband, who practices beside me, and all the friends I have made through Baptiste yoga. And I’m thankful for brunch at Butterfly’s, a hot shower after class, and Josie, the studio party girl and watch-dog.” —Christine Sebor, Asssist Team

Christine (w/Bethany & Den-Goer Doris)
“I’m thankful for my girlfriend, Michelle — more than words could possibly say. I know, so cheesy, but it’s true. And for Bethany and John, for bringing Baptiste yoga to New York City, where it is so desperately needed. Plus, they created a space where I could meet Michelle!” —Andrew Bass, Instructor & Founding Pride

Our first Den Couple.
Our first Den Couple.

“I’m grateful for students who show up on the mat ready to play big. Leading a class of New Yorkers who are totally present and committed to the process inspires me big-time. On top of that, I’m grateful for the LYPY community — I’m so happy to finally have a true yoga home in NYC — and for Andrew Bass, the love of my life. I’m thankful for NYC diners, puppies, sleeping in, and my family.” —Michelle Swiatkowski, Instructor & Founding Pride

#LIONESS Michelle
#LIONESS Michelle

“I’m thankful for my remarkable family and friends, the endless supply of New York pizza and California Zinfandel within steps of my apartment, the onset of ski season, and pigeon pose.” —Julie Brazitis, Instructor & Assist Team

Julie & Camille.
Julie & Camille.

“I’m thankful for my Baptiste yoga family, NYC during the holidays, and the yoga glow my students have when they leave class.” —Annie Fisco, Instructor

“I’m thankful for my kids’ sense of humor and their laughter, a yoga practice that breaks down the nitty gritty, a yoga community that believes in building each other up to shine brighter as a whole, and caffeine—in coffee or chocolate, preferably the latter. I’m thankful for friends who are there in good times, and especially in hard times. And I’m thankful for snow days (and yoga!) that remind us there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do—just be in this moment.”
—Veronica Naughter, Instructor & Assist Team

#LIONESS Veronica.
#LIONESS Veronica.

“I found out I was pregnant shortly after returning from Baptiste Level I training last year. With my husband’s support and my doctor’s clearance, I did my teacher trainings with a baby in my belly! Coming back to New York so lit up from weeks with my Baptiste family, I made the decision to leave my previous job. It was a decision I had been pussy-footing around for the past two years, but I was too much of a worrier to make any moves. With my husband cheering me on, and knowing I needed to be a stand for my kid, I got up the guts to quit my job and find a new career path, all while four months pregnant. My baby was the catalyst for such a huge life change. I am eternally grateful for my family, who encourage me to be up to bigger things and remind me that when I put them first, my fears are much more easily surmountable.” — Camille Heller, Assist Team

Camille, 5 months pregnant at Solstice In Times Square
Camille, 5 months pregnant at Solstice In Times Square

“I make a conscious effort to be thankful every day. Each time I come onto my yoga mat or I’m teaching, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be on the path of yoga, and to have a community like Lyons Den to continue to empower, inspire, and challenge me. I am eternally grateful for my family, my education, and the many experiences I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. I am also thankful for everything bagels with tofu veggie cream cheese, The Daily Show, and Brooklyn bars with whiskey cocktails and fireplaces.” —Meg McNeal, Instructor

Meg. Center. Middle. #Denniversary Celebration
Meg. Center. Middle. #Denniversary Celebration

“I am so grateful to be able to do what I love most — teach yoga — and to get to do it at Lyons Den in the greatest city in the world. I have multitudes of gratitude to Bethany and John for creating this sacred and beautiful space, and for believing in me. I’m grateful for every day I spend with my soon-to-be-husband, Robert, and I’m thankful Baked finally opened next door to the Den!” —Terri Bahr, Instructor

#LIONESS Terri
#LIONESS Terri

“I’m grateful for my body, in all of its quirks and imperfections. It carries me through this life. I’m thankful for Trader Joe’s, awareness that starts on the yoga mat, and finding new ‘first times’ at any age. This holiday it’s Wii sword fighting. I am not good at it.” —Annette Shantur, Assist Team

Lioness Pride. (from top left Annette, Veronica, Julie, Bethany & Diamond)
Lioness Pride. (from top left Annette, Veronica, Julie, Bethany & Diamond)