Goorus Serves as Location for December LA Yoga Magazine Shoot

Grateful, honored and thrilled to see such beautiful yoginis photographed in our studio by Jeff Skeirik for the December/January issue of LA Yoga Magazine! The story is titled: "The Importance of Yoga Teachers Continuing Education" by Marja Lankinen.

An enormous THANK YOU to editor Felicia Marie Tomasko, photographer Jeff Skeirik, yoginis Jasmine Rausch and Andrea Marcum Pietrangelo, make-up artist Monica Simone, K-DEER clothing, and

This is a wonderful publication on everything yoga—this issue is the Teacher Training Guide--so if you haven’t subscribed yet, do so now!

A big hug and a huge thank you to all who made this possible!


6-Week Yoga Challenge Winners Announced

Congratulations to the following yoga students who completed Goorus' 6-Week Yoga Challenge:

1. Howard K
2. Laura C
3. Jill C
4. Lexie B
5. Jacquie I
6. Beanie K

Howard, Laura and Jill completed over 30 classes between September 4 and October 15 and will receive a $50 credit at Goorus. Lexie, Jacquie, and Beanie completed over 18 classes during the six-week period and will receive a $20 store credit.

Here's what one participant had to say:
"Thank you so much, Gretchen and John, for all the support this past 6 weeks during Goorus's yoga challenge. I learned so much about yoga, stamina, the importance of pacing, listening to my body and mind, and being able to attend many different types of yoga classes was invaluable. I met many people I would not have met without the challenge and the Goorus community is rich with compassion, humor, and love.

Your support week to week helped so much to stay motivated and to keep things fun! Thank you for launching the idea and for keeping up with the numbers. I feel better for it all both physically and emotionally and will continue to take care of myself at Goorus.

See you very soon and know that I am so grateful to have access to your yoga studio and I will continue to spread the word to anyone who will listen. Yoga is life."

October News & Announcements

Exciting things are happening at the studio this Fall! Support and grow your practice with a Fall workshop or join the 6-Week Yoga Challenge. Please mark your calendar for the screening of “Sit Up & Change: Tales of Transformation” on Monday, October 9 at 8:30pm at L.A. Live Regal.  
Yoga Challenge
We are 4 weeks into our 6-Week Yoga Challenge. Our congrats to the following folks, who are off to a great start!
1. Howard K
2. Jill C
3. Lexie B
3. Laura C
3. Cathy L
3. Sandy M
3. Leslie W
There's still time to get in on the action, as the Challenge doesn't end until October 15. How It Works:

·       Complete 30 classes over the 6-week period and you will receive a $50 studio credit

·       Complete 24 classes in 6-weeks and you will receive a $35 studio credit

·       Complete 18 classes during the Challenge and receive $20 in studio credit

Fall Workshops
Spend a few hours laughing and learning in these workshops designed to help you better understand yourself and your yoga practice. 

Friday, October 13 | 7:00-9:00pm | $35-$40
Breathwork & Soundbath
Led by Guru Mitar Kaur
New this year at Goorus: Guru Mitar will lead a monthly breathwork & soundbath event the 2nd Friday of every month from 7-9pm.

Saturday, October 21 | 2-4pm | $35
Yoga Nidra: The Art of Letting Go
Led by The Den’s Meditation Chick Hilary Jackendoff

Friday, October 27 | 6-7:30pm | $35 early/$40 late
The Night Before: A Test Anxiety Solution
Led by Hilary Jackendoff & Josh Eckhaus
Is your teen nervous about the SAT or ACT? Nail it the night before with Goorus!

Saturday, October 28 | 5:00-6:15pm | $30-$35
Savoring the Soundscape: A Sonic Immersion
Led by Michael & Jahna Perricone
Our congratulations to Michael and Jahna, whose songs, “I Have a Dream” and “Opening”, were among the list of finalists in the 2017 Global Peace Song Awards. We are anxiously awaiting the announcement of winners on September 21.
Sit Up & Change: Tales of Transformation Screening in LA
Scott Powell and Susan Cambigue-Tracey’s short documentary, Sit Up & Change: Tales of Transformation has been picked up by the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Kansas International Film Festival. The 15-minute short highlights the transformative stories of several diverse people who take Susan’s chair yoga class twice weekly at Goorus. Susan guides them toward a heightened awareness of mind, body and sprit. Each student faced challenges in their lives which felt overwhelming, but they found hope, regained confidence, and developed new skills through this form of yoga. Designed to give hope, and inspire people to live longer, healthier lives, there is plenty of heart in this film to motivate anyone who has felt similar challenges.

Sit Up & Change” will be screened locally at the L.A. Live Regal Cinema at 1000 W Olympic Boulevard at 8:30pm on Monday, October 9. There will be time for Q&A and celebration afterward. Buy your tickets here.

6-Week Yoga Challenge at Goorus Starts September 4!

Summer is always such a special time of the year—vacation travel, cooking on the grill with friends, lounging at the beach or the pool, and indulging in ice cream.
We have fun all summer long, then suddenly along comes Labor Day and the reality of daily life hits us!
And, as a result, getting back to a regular yoga routine can be especially challenging in the Fall.
Here at Goorus, we like to think yoga makes life better. Think back to why you started a yoga practice in the first place. Has yoga made your body healthier? Has yoga helped you develop a better frame of mind? When you have a regular yoga practice, do you have more energy? Improved sleep? Increased productivity?
Whatever initially drew you to yoga, we are here to help you re-establish the habit of a regular practice…which is why we are launching our Fall Yoga Challenge! A challenge is often a life-changing journey that will clear your mind and strengthen your body.
If you are new to yoga, our challenge can be an opportunity to discover amazing things about yourself and your abilities. If you already have a regular practice, then our Fall Yoga Challenge will be an opportunity to take it to a profoundly deeper level.
The 6-Week Challenge begins on Monday, September 4 and ends on Sunday, October 15. The Challenge will be simple to undertake, since we already keep track of your attendance at the Front Desk.  Be sure to check in every time you visit Goorus, and we’ll do the rest!
How It Works

  • Complete 30 classes over the 6-week period and you will receive a $50 studio credit
  • Complete 24 classes in 6-weeks and you will receive a $35 studio credit
  • Complete 18 classes during the Challenge and receive $20 in studio credit

You may make up for a missed day by taking two classes on another day (i.e., a double). You may only do 2 doubles.
Triples—3 classes in a single day—are not allowed.
You may take any class on our schedule (e.g., Urban Zen, Yin, and The Class)
Credit can be used toward a membership package, retail items, or workshops. 


  • Be sure you are reasonably healthy and fit before undertaking the challenge.
  • It’s helpful to sign up with a friend for support and encouragement.
  • Don’t make any major lifestyle changes such as dieting or fasting during your challenge.
  • Minimize your intake of alcohol and tobacco. If you are already taking prescription medication and your body is accustomed to it, then it should be fine for you to continue.
  • Take it easy! The primary challenge is to commit to your practice and get to the studio a minimum of 2, 3, or 5 days per week over the course of six weeks. Don’t push yourself any more in class than your body is accustomed to; in fact, it may be wise to back off a bit intensity-wise.
  • This is a challenge, not a competition. There is no winning or losing. You can stop at any time without shame or regret.
  • If you think you have injured yourself during the challenge, be sure to seek advice and suggestions from an instructor before continuing.
  • Drink lots of water and have fun! Why not follow us on social media and post pictures of yourself doing yoga during the Challenge? Twitter: @GoorusYogaPP, Instagram: @GoorusYoga, Facebook:

Fall Workshops
Mark your calendar and plan to join us for one of our Fabulous Fall Workshops at Goorus Yoga:

Tuesday, August 29 | 7-8:30pm | $30-$35
Breathwork Experience
Led by Jon Paul Crimi

Sunday, September 17 | 2-5pm | $50
Find Your Voice | Find Your Self
Led by Annika Vandevelde

Friday, October 13 | 7:00-9:00pm | $35-$40
Breathwork & Soundbath
Led by Guru Mitar Kaur
Saturday, October 28 | 5:00-6:15pm | $30-$35
Savoring the Soundscape: A Sonic Immersion
Led by Michael & Jahna Perricone

Class News
The Class will be with us 2 more days each week starting the week of September 18!  Natalie Kuhn will teach The Class on Tuesdays at 6:30am while Erin Ward will teach The Class on Thursdays at 6:30am.
Yoga Teacher Training
Mazur led Goorus’ first-ever 200-hour yoga teacher training all summer long, every weekend, from June 24 through August 27. We are so proud of our graduates! {see above picture}  We are gearing up to offer our first 300-hour yoga teacher training in January. If you are interested in participating in our training to obtain your 500-hour level of certification, please contact Gretchen at
Kia Miller of Radiant Body Yoga will be leading an advanced yoga teacher training at our studio Monday, September 11 through Saturday, September 16.  During that time, all of our regular classes will move into the smaller asana room.  Due to the limited space, we ask everyone to pre-register for your favorite classes online or by phone that week to ensure you get your spot...of course, you can always try our classes from the comfort of your own home that week as well. Be sure to let us know if you'd like to practice online, live and interactive!
Love Goorus Yoga Studio? Why not "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Google+, Twitter and Instagram, and review the studio on Yelp?!
That’s all for now folks!
Gretchen & John

12 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga at Goorus on Wednesday (aka Hump Day)

12 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga at Goorus on Wednesday/Hump Day

1. 6:30am Level ½ Flow w/Susan Cambigue Tracey
2. 10:45am Level ½ Flow w/Al Tavera
3. 12:00pm Chair Yoga w/Susan Cambigue Tracey
4. 1:30pm Yoga for Health & Healing with Michelle Mazur
5. 4:00pm Level 2/3 Vinyasa Flow w/Ishmael Moran
6. 5:45pm Level ½ Flow w/Nichola Dunne
7. Benefits of yoga include: strengthening your core, correcting posture, increasing flexibility, relieving stress, & encouraging mindfulness
8. Connect with like-minded people. Practicing yoga in a community yoga studio includes being among people who all desire to improve themselves and the world around them. Connect with each other through a common bond of yoga.
9. Connect with people who are different from you! Yoga brings people together via love of the practice itself, but everyone is multi-faceted with various likes and dislikes, talents and personalities. Let’s embrace our differences and value each other for who we are.
10. Wednesdays are better with yoga. It’s the middle of the week. Work hasn’t drained all of our energy yet, despite the siren song of the couch. Instead of binge-watching the tube or getting caught up in social media, do something that benefits your body, heart and mind. Create a sense of peace for yourself after work by filling your evening with yoga.
11. Go to your happy place, not Happy Hour! Rather than reaching for a glass of wine, unwind with us through yoga. Stress can hold our minds hostage even after leaving work for the day. By breathing consciously and moving meditatively, you can relieve tension in your mind and body.
12. Let Hump Day be an opportunity for you to do something new! Oftentimes we do the same things over and over, yet expect different results. Unless you change things up, you might miss out on the new possibilities that are always within our reach. This Wednesday, commit to doing something different. Meet new people, practice new poses, and explore a change in routine.

How to Be "Successful" at Yoga

According to the ancient Indian text, The Bhagavad Gita, “Yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” To those who are familiar with the Gita, as it is sometimes simply known, the “successful” practice of yoga requires some basic self-awareness. However, with time and consistent effort, yoga practitioners can develop even greater self-awareness.

Another basic component of a “successful” yoga practice is knowledge of the basic postures. Curiosity about expanding one’s knowledge of more complicated asanas may lead to a more satisfying yoga practice over time as well.  As so often happens in life, the journey turns out to be more meaningful than the actual destination. This concept of non-attachment (vairagya) is mentioned several times in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Get to know Yoga
In his book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. The sage Patanjali himself tells us that practice (abhyasa) is one of the core principles of yoga.  And we’ve all heard the old adage, “Practice makes perfect.”

My advice:  Attend yoga classes of all styles and with a variety of teachers.  This is the only way you can truly find out what--and who--you like.  At Goorus Yoga, we encourage all new students to take advantage of Goorus’ 14-days of unlimited yoga offer, our 2-for-1 special, or both!  In between classes, page through B.K.S. Iyengar’s seminal text, Light on Yoga, and check out websites like Do You Yoga and MindBody Green.

Why do you want to practice yoga?
Are you hoping to improve your flexibility or balance? Are you seeking stress relief, hoping to address an injury or health concern, or needing help with weight management?  Over time and with dedicated practice, yoga will help you improve your flexibility and balance; it also helps to alleviate anxiety and sleeplessness.  The true magic of yoga is the development of self-awareness. People ask me all the time if yoga will help them lose weight.  People do tend to lose weight once they take up a yoga practice, but is primarily because they are becoming more aware of what they should or should not put into their bodies, or they start noticing when they become full.

At Goorus Yoga Studio in Pacific Palisades, we have a variety of yoga classes, suitable for all levels of practitioner:

Beginning Yoga/Level 1/Level 1-2
If you are new to yoga, we recommend attending one of Nichola Dunne’s or Al Tavera’s classes.  Al teaches a 1-hour Level ½ Flow class on M/W/F at 10:45 and a 1-hour class at 8:30am on Sundays; he also teaches a longer class on Saturday mornings at 9:30am.  Nichola teaches a Level ½ Flow class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11:15am and on M/W from 5:45 to 7pm.  We also recommend trying Erin Fahy’s 1-hour Gentle Yoga classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm, or her Alignment Focused Yoga on Mondays from 1:30-2:45pm.  All of the above classes are also great for people who haven’t practiced for some time as they can serve as a “refresher” of sorts.

Intermediate to Advanced Yoga/Level 2/Level 2-3
For folks who would like to explore more complex sequencing, a more vigorous flow or more advanced postures such as arm balances and inversions, we recommend trying Paula Edwards’ 9am class each Monday, Ishmael Moran’s 4pm classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, or Jeff Wells’ class on Sundays at 10am.  If you are seeking more of a cardio workout or “yoga boot camp” experience, we recommend trying out “The Class “ with Natalie Kuhn on Fridays at 9am.

Restorative/Yin/Chair Yoga
For those who are recovering from injuries or who have trouble getting down to/up from the floor, we highly recommend Susan Cambigue-Tracey’s Chair Yoga classes on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 1:00pm.  Chair Yoga is a great way to maintain your flexibility and have fun – take it from someone who knows personally!  For those seeking deep relaxation, try Doug Binzak’s yin class on Thursdays at 4 or Nichola Dunne’s Urban Zen class on Sundays at 5:45pm. Try to approach each yoga session with a beginner’s mindset, and you will never be bored!

Deepening Your Practice Through Workshops & Trainings
Ready for a change?  Want to better understand the origins of yoga? Want to help others? If so, try out one of Goorus’ weekend workshops or enroll in our 200-hour yoga teacher training this summer with Michelle Mazur.  You may not even want to become a yoga teacher, but you will learn more healthy alignment for yourself because you will receive more personalized attention. By supporting your local studio and its teachers, you will meet other people in your home community, make new friends, and strengthen your existing relationships. 

Commit to Growth over the Long Term
Like with anything new, it’s best to start off slow.  Taking group classes or private lessons 2 to 3 times a week is a smart way to go at first—you are less likely to burn yourself out and less likely to injure yourself.  Another yogic principle is that of ahimsa—non-harming—toward yourself, others, and all living creatures. Gradually, over time, you can work up to 5 or more days a week, depending on the amount of free time you have in your schedule, of course!

Most of us want a quick fix for whatever ails us. With yoga, patience and persistence is key!  It may take as much as a year or two for yoga to reveal its benefits, but the rewards will touch upon every aspect of your life. Try thinking about yoga as more of a journey rather than a destination, and you won’t be disappointed with your progress or feel guilty about missing an occasional class.

In my gym rat days, I found it helpful to enlist a “workout buddy.”  Brainstorm about who motivates you, and create a support system for yourself.  Above all, do your best by listening to your body and focusing on your own yoga practice.  Watching other practitioners and comparing ourselves will only lead to frustration.

If you find yourself struggling, focus on your breath.  Along with awareness, breath is like the secret weapon of yoga.  There are so many other aspects of yoga to explore besides asana!  In addition to pranayama, there is also meditation, mudras, yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and so on and so forth.  Yoga is a very deep subject.

Think of yoga workshops and trainings as self-care or investments in your self.  According to Adidas ambassador, ultra marathoner, and Peloton instructor Robin Arzon, “Self-care is the most self-less act you can do for everyone who encounters your energy.  You are going to be a better sister, a better partner, and a better co-worker.” Now that, to me, sounds like success!

11 Beginner Yoga Mistakes Almost Everyone Will Make In Their First Class

Nowadays, it seems like everybody and their best friend is doing yoga. From in-person group classes at a gym to DVDs and online tutorials, Hatha and Bikram to Vinyasa and Kundalini (and more), the prevalence of Western yoga practices has taken off. People turn to yoga for all different reasons. Some begin practicing to gain greater flexibility, others to build strength, and more for peace of mind. Whatever leads you to yoga,  it can be fairly easy to make at least one of the many beginner yoga mistakes almost all newbies make.

To be honest, there are even days when the most veteran yogi decides to hit a last-minute heated class and hadn't properly hydrated or wears their new yoga gear to class before realizing that it is not going to work. But those are mistakes that you'll be much more likely to make when you're first starting out and haven't figured out what works for you in your practice (like how hydrated you really need to be before stepping in that room — can you tell I've made this mistake before?). Being are of the following common beginner mistakes will help you feel more confident and at ease when you step on the mat.

1. They Don’t Pick the Right Yoga to Start

With so many different yoga and yoga-style classes available, it can be difficult for beginners to know where to start and how to find the class that they're looking for. "So many new yoga students walk into power yoga or hot yoga classes only to be discouraged by the experience and get 'turned off' by yoga," yoga instructor Miriam Amselem says in an email exchange with Romper. "The best yoga style to start with is Hatha/Raja, which focuses on simple stretching poses with proper breathing techniques and light meditation." If, however, you're looking for a power yoga class, read up on it and know what to expect when you walk in the door. It'll be quite a bit different than some of the other styles.

2. They Ignore Their Breath

Breathing is so key each time you step on the mat to practice. To best honest, breathing is still hard for me sometimes, even five or so years into practice. "Don't hold your breath in yoga, unless you're doing pranayam," yoga instructor Katharine Bierce tells Rompervia email. "Conscious breathing is a part of the practice and many beginners miss out on the benefits of yoga by focusing on how it looks and not on how it feels." It can be hard to remember when you're focusing so intently on alignment and other things, but yoga relies on the breath, so cultivate that each time you practice.

3. They Don’t Use Props

Props like blocks, bolsters, and straps are meant to help add ease to your practice. It's not cheating to use them, but sometimes beginners worry that it's a sign they can't do something without help. "Props should be your best friend," yoga instructor Brittany Szafran tells Romper by email. "Newbies tend to either be intimidated by the equipment or embarrassed to use it and look like a beginner." If you aren't sure if you're using a prop correctly or want to know how you can better incorporate them into your practice, talk to your teacher after class. They'll know what to do.

4. They Overcommit

If you're new to yoga, don't try to do too much too soon. "Starting off two to three times a week is better than jumping into a 30 day challenge after being a serious couch potato," Bierce says. "Work up to a daily practice, but I wouldn't recommend it immediately."

5. They Only Focus on the Poses

Yes, the postures and your alignment and body mechanics are very important when practicing yoga, but it's about more than just that. "Physical yoga is not the goal of yoga, it's just one of the tools for learning to ultimately better control the mind," Szafan says. "The experience of getting into the pose and the awareness of your body and mind that you cultivate along the physical journey is much more important than the pose itself. Handstands don't make you a better yogi." Remember that yoga is about more that just your flexibility or muscle tone.

6. They Don’t Listen to Cues

This can be especially difficult if the instructor is using terms with which you aren't familiar, but listening to vocal cues that your teacher provides will help you adjust your alignment to practice safely and successfully. "New students are overwhelmed. The poses are unfamiliar, breathing seem to be a foreign request, and listening is the last thing they can do, as their senses are simultaneously being stimulated," yoga instructor Parinaz Samimi says in an email exchange with Romper. "My suggestion to all new students is to slow down and listen." When in doubt, take a deep breath, look to your instructor (if you can), and focus on what she's saying.

7. They Don’t Know Yoga Etiquette

Yoga isn't like a typical group fitness class. Removing your shoes and socks before you enter the yoga room, silencing your phone, and speaking very softly, if at all, are all important things you need to know before your first class. "Most studios have frequently asked questions posted on their website or they might have rules posted up above the asana room," yoga instructor Gretchen Lightfoot. She adds that this will help you figure out what you need to be ready for when you get to the studio.

8. They Don’t Leave Time to Ease In

Rushing into a class that's supposed to help with mindfulness isn't the best way to get the most from your practice. Lightfoot recommends arriving with enough time to find somewhere to park, sign in, get the lay of the land, and set up in the room so that you don't have to hurry or get yourself all worked up unnecessarily.

9. They Only Try One Style

As you probably know by now, there are many different styles of yoga. If one style isn't right for you, another one might be. "New yogis tend to get caught up in the more mainstream styles such as Vinyasa Flow," Szafan says. "But there is a whole universe of other styles that may better fit their needs if they were to open up to discovering them. Within these styles there are many techniques other than asana such as pranayama, mantra, and meditation to also expose yourself to." It's supposed to be enjoyable, so if you don't like the pace or tenets of one, there are plenty other for you to try.

10. They Don’t Take Advantage of Beginner Specials

Many yoga studios offer beginner specials. Sometimes it's free yoga for a week, sometimes it's a reduced fee for a month, it varies from studio to studio. Lightfoot recommends taking full advantage of that offer and take a wide variety of classes with different teachers and at different times. That way, once you have to pay more for classes, you'll know exactly which are right for you.

11.They’re Hard On Themselves

It's hard not to compare yourself to everyone else in the room or even your own abilities the last time you were on the mat. "If you make mistakes, embrace them because this is how we learn," Lightfoot tells Romper. "Have a little fun with it and have a little fun with yourself because it’s meant to be kind of creating awareness for yourself and awareness of your body and human bodies and humans are funny. Every day is different, so just embrace it and have fun with it." Some days you nail crow pose and other days you stumble out of downward-facing dog.

Additionally, feeling bad that you can't do the same pose as someone else because it's uncomfortable or painful is unnecessary (though understandable, I know). "There’s a chronic fear people have of posing incorrectly, especially when starting off," yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley tells Romper by email. "Copying a pose to look just like someone else’s won’t be comfortable or feel natural and could end up just hurting you or straining your muscles."

This article originally ran on Romper on Friday, May 19, 2017.  Romper is a site for a new generation of women figuring out what motherhood means for us.