I wrote about my class with Jivamukti's Jessica Stickler before, and now another Jivamukti girl. Alanna Kaivalya is the "jivadiva" and has been podcasting her classes and travelling teaching Jivamukti Yoga for years now. I first ran across her when I was looking to do Jivamukti in the middle of the country and stumbled onto her site. Back then she had free podcasts and a few vlogcasts. These were always great with original music (often by her) and "light" manner. She makes yoga appealing to everyone, yet isn't afraid to get to the nitty gritty. Even though a podcast might be "Yoga for the Butt", she makes it pretty clear that you may want a better butt, and yoga may help you get there, but it's just not about that. There are things far more important than a better butt. No matter how good your butt is now, no amount of surgery is going to be able to transform your 90 year old butt to a 21 year old. So start peeling away those layers now so you don't have to do it all when you get old!
Alanna talking a bit about her book "Myths of the Asanas".
I, of course, suck at this. Coming from a long lineage of Flat Danish Butts, I am still attached to the idea of trying to attain an unlikely Bubble Butt. But it's cool to go to a class where at least it's a given that this is totally meaningless in the long haul. I was thrilled to see she was doing a 90 minute class at Pure Yoga, again, steps aways from Union Square, while I would be in New York. I have been following her for awhile and was excited to meet the person behind the podcasts. Pure Yoga has a great space and is pretty non-pretentious. It doesn't have all of the Altars with Gurus, the statues of Hindu Deities, and wasn't dripping in Ambiance like the Jivamukti Studio (which I love!). It's space was more simple, yet equally as beautiful. There are a few practice rooms. Our class was held in a very large room, of course high up in a building, with the entire wall covered with windows. Lots of afternoon sunshine pouring in, and the white noise of the streets down below. The street is just a bit quieter than Broadway. Her class was beautifully orchestrated, doing a lot of typical Jivamukti sequences. She talked about going deeper into yoga, about the Sutras and how it wasn't all a bunch of, um, I think she said BS (which made me adore her just a wee bit more). I got the idea that there were a lot of college students in the classroom. Probably also a lot of experienced yogis, but also a lot of kids just going to yoga practice week after week. Alanna created a totally relaxed atmosphere and seemed completely at ease being in front of all of these people. The class was challenging, (which I appreciated because the only other thing I do in New York aside from Yoga, is EAT) and I was relieved when it was finally Savasana. Of course I had just done a 90 minute class late the night before, so my body was probably a wee bit tired, along with endless amounts of walking. During Savasana, Alanna played "Oh My Heart" by Paul Mcmahon. Apparently Sharon Gannon & David Life are big fans and have passed their love down. Alanna has this music playing at the end of one of her video casts where she is outside, I think in a tye dyed shirt, barefoot, doing fun poses with a guy. They are totally adorable and having so much fun. This music is really beautiful and I have included a sample of it here.
Now you can subscribe to Alanna's classes for a minimal fee. 4 new classes a month. I signed up for this when she ran her "Podcast for Puppies", recruiting new podcast subscribers and giving that money to help stray dogs. How can you just not LOVE her? She is adorable, totally down to earth, and able to communicate her dharma talks to people in their 20's and 30's (and any other age) with ease. She's also a great musician.