Aparigraha On the Mat

June 13th, 2014

Aparigraha the fifth and final yama refers to non-craving and non-clinging. This can be directly applied to our yoga practice.

One of the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of practicing yoga in a studio setting is the community of like minded yogis and yoginis we practice with. It’s rewarding to know that in our crazy lives we can escape the “rat race” and competition that often comes with the work place to unroll our mats, breathe and move with a group of people all looking for the same thing we are, steadiness, ease, and health.

The flip side to this is that sometimes our denizen of peace mimics the rat race and the competition, and we unwillingly, controlled by our ego and monkey mind begin to crave our neighbors perfectly aligned, graceful revolved triangle. (Yikes! When I even think of that pose my IT band starts screaming at me!!) Or, we yearn for the flawless handstand to jump back to plank.

Believe me I get it!! As a practicing yogini for ten plus years, and a yoga teacher, I have often felt the pull of my ego when kicking up to handstand and falling right out of it, again, and again, and again. I wake up every day and my hamstrings are rubber bands, so freaking tight, everyday.

Aparigraha is an invitation to let go of our ego driven craving.   When we allow ourselves the space for acceptance, compassion and gratitude on the mat, the practice facilitates a much deeper unfolding than any arm balance will provide.

We begin to practice this on the mat. We honor our bodies and where we are at. We do the work every day, and celebrate the new growth, flexibility and stability that comes with an asana practice. Then something shifts, we still notice the perfect alignment of our neighbors, the handstand kick-ups in the middle of the room, the seated forward folds that take our breath away; but instead of lusting after these people’s practice, we can be genuinely happy and excited, not just for them and the progress they have made to get there, but for ourselves, knowing that through the discipline of practice maybe some day, we may get there too. BUT, (and this is a big but J) we are not attached to the idea that if we do not ever “get” these poses, we will be less of a yogi/yogini.

Like all yoga, what we practice on the mat, mirrors our lives. We learn to be where we are at, honoring our journey for the miracle that it is then this peace and acceptance ripples into our lives. We begin to notice that our former insecurities and petty jealousies cease to exist. We genuinely celebrate our path and journey, allowing us to genuinely celebrate the people around us.

As for me, my handstand is improving and I am working on it. My hamstrings are still tight as hell every single day when I wake up. That may never change, and I’m ok with it. What has changed is my relationship to my body. I used to curse my hamstrings, curse the intensity of my first forward fold of the day. Now, I welcome it, the physical sensation is like an old friend, it greets me when I step onto my mat and says “good morning friend.” I know that stress and tension in my body is simply information to me from me. This makes me curious about my practice, where will it take me today? What can I learn, what new space can I discover in myself? I take a deep breath in, exhale fold forward, inhale halfway, exhale fold and with the help of aparigraha, lean into the unknown.

with love, k


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featured article in “Local Answers”

October 18th, 2013

Retreat from the Hustle and Bustle of Daily Life at Urban Yoga

By Taz Loomans

Urban Yoga is aptly named, as it is a yoga studio in an urban setting on the first floor of a residential high-rise building in midtown Phoenix. It offers a variety of Haatha Yoga classes and workshops in a fantastic space and even has a spa . The studio has a great boutique in the lobby where you can purchase things like yoga mats, yoga clothes, and cool bags. Read more about this great yoga studio in Central Phoenix below!

A General Overview

Urban Yoga is a great place to practice yoga as they offer 13 different types of yoga classes including Foundations, All Levels Flow and Zen Yoga. Classes are either an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes long and are offered daily from as early as 6:30am to as late as 7:30pm. Rates for classes range from $15 for a drop-in to $108 a month. Urban Yoga also offers workshops for deeper yoga practice and for yoga teacher training. You can get spa services at the studio as well, such as massages, Reiki therapy and Energy Healing. Visit the boutique in the lobby of Urban Yoga, which is open during, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after each class. The boutique offers a variety of eco-friendly, Fair Trade goods, many of which are made locally in Phoenix. Check out the variety of yoga accessories, men’s and women’s clothing and skincare products on sale at the boutique. Urban Yoga is located on 3225 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Classes are offered from 6:30am to 7:30pm from Monday thru Thursday. On Friday, classes are offered from 6:30am to 6:00pm. On Saturday, you can take classes from 8:00am to 4:00pm and on Sundays from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

A Review

Urban Yoga’s robust schedule of classes makes it easy for people with even the busiest schedules to catch classes during the week. And the variety of classes cater to people of all abilities, from complete beginners to yoga masters. Even within each class, teachers make sure to cater to people of various abilities. The teachers are Urban Yoga are warm and friendly, as well as expert yoga instructors. They are always gentle with their students, but can challenge those who want to be challenged. If you are new to yoga, Urban Yoga offers great beginners classes with a welcoming atmosphere. And if you’re a seasoned practitioner, you will also enjoy the rigorous classes and talented teachers at this studio. Even though Urban Yoga is in an urban setting, parking is plentiful at the covered parking structure next door. And when it’s not too sunny out, you can park at the meters on the street for free. The staff at Urban Yoga make it easy to check-in, and then you just walk in to the yoga space. The studio has blankets, blocks, straps, cushions and other accessories available in the yoga space that practitioners can use during their practice.

What Makes it Great

What makes Urban Yoga great is the beautiful space its in. The main yoga space at the studio has high concrete ceiling and concrete walls. The small amount of drywall that is in the space is painted a serene hue of green. The raw concrete finish of the space along with the warm wood floor provide a surprisingly calming backdrop that facilitates the practice of yoga. The view to the north out of the floor-to-ceiling storefront glass wall also adds to the Urban Yoga experience. The iconic Financial Center building, built in the 1950s, is directly north of the studio and provides an inspiring and beautiful view. The fantastic palo verde trees that line the studio to the north adorn and soften the view to the Financial Center, making it even more lovely. The always friendly, open and warm staff and teachers at Urban Yoga also make it a very nice place to practice yoga. You can expect to be greeted with a smile by the receptionist on staff, and then warmly greeted again, often personally, but your yoga instructor.

The Downsides

The downside to Urban Yoga, is that it can get pricey at $15 a drop-in. If you intend to do yoga more than three times a week, your best bet is to get the $108 per month autopay membership. This is the most cost-effective plan if you practice regularly. But if you plan to take classes two times a week or less, then you can check out the various packages that range from the 5 class package available for $65 to the 50 class package available for $499. But make sure to use up your class package, as it comes with an expiration date.

Urban Yoga is a fantastic place to practice yoga for residents of Central Phoenix. It is conveniently located in midtown and easy to get to, with plenty of parking. The variety and quantity of classes offered in the studio make it a good fit for people with busy schedules and with varying abilities. The beautiful main yoga space at Urban Studio makes it a particularly attractive place for yoga practitioners in the area. And the friendly staff and teachers make sure people keep coming back.


New Arrivals from Teeki yoga wear: made from recycled water bottles!

January 26th, 2013

The Campus Closet: Eco-conscious and Wildly Adorable Teeki Yoga Pants

By Gabrielle Nelson
January 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

When I’m not writing my fashion blog or going to school I am a die-hard yoginni, and the new recent obsession in my closet are my “hot pants” made by Teeki.
"Clouds" Teeki pants. Photo by Cole Kiburz
Teeki “hot pants” are sustainable, wildly adorable, and extremely comfortable. They are a must-have for any active or eco-conscious fashionista.
Teeki started as a green swimwear line in Los Angeles, and now creates everything from scarves to skirts. They make all of their clothing out of recycled materials and every pair of yoga pants they create contains about 25 recycled plastic bottles. Being a lover of clothing I sometimes feel guilty about all of the pieces I own and the impact they make on the environment. The new line is really setting itself apart and creating a great example for other up-and-coming designers to think and act in a more eco-friendly way."Northern Lights" Teeki pants. Photo by Cole KiburzThis is how the designer of Teeki describes herself and her designs: “I am a mermaid. I am guided by water and the power of the moon. I am conscious about the earth and design with it to create beauty. I breathe with the universe. I create to inspire. I design through color and play with nature. I create with love. My dream is to live out the magic and to make you feel beautiful.”

You can tell her designs and patterns are influenced by nature; my favorite pair resembles a sunset. Wearing them during a run or intense yoga class is like a dream. Despite being made from recycled bottles, the material is surprisingly sweat resistant, flexible, and breathable.

You can find Teeki yoga pants locally at Urban Yoga, located in downtown Phoenix.

Go active fashionistas!




Read Gabi’s full article here,


Manifest Peace in the New Year

December 26th, 2012

Check out AZ Foothills feature on 5 easy ways to manifest more peace in 2013 – one day at a time, one moment at a time. You might be thinking, yeah right, sounds easy, but…. TRY IT – and respond to the blog and let us know more ways to manifest peace in 2013. We want to hear from you!

Happy New Year Yoga Family!

May you and your family be blessed with Peace, Health & Happiness!

Love & Light from everyone at Urban Yoga


3 Easy Ways to Live in the Present by Jenn Chiarelli

October 29th, 2012

Check out these great, easy tips from Jenn on how to live in the present each day!

1. Slow down.

Everyone is in a rush these days. In order to live in the present moment we need to slow ourselves down, from our driving, eating, our speech, to our thoughts. In order to experience the present we just need to consciously slow down. The next time you’re chatting with a friend, notice if you take breathes in between your thoughts. Do you cut your friend off or do you stop and listen? This is an important way to do some self study. In yoga this self study or self reflection is called svadhyaya. It’s the 4th Niyama of the Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga.

2. Get out and enjoy nature.

A way to slow down and become more highly aware is to get outside. Enjoy a long walk and listen to the sounds that surround you: the birds, the wind, a dog barking in the distance. Observe what you smell: the flowers, the crisp fall air. Notice what you feel externally (the sun on your skin), and internally (are you happy, sad, calm, uneasy?). Observe your feelings. Connect with the rhythm of nature and notice that you are a part of it all.

3. Breathe.

Most of the time our breath is completely involuntary, however, in yoga we teach conscious breathing. This will immediately slow you down and shift you into presence. Take a long inhalation, filling your lower belly first, then your middle belly, and finally your upper chest and clavicle. Then slowly exhale from the upper chest, then middle belly, and finally your lower belly. Draw your navel in to expel all the stale air out. Practice this a few rounds. This simple yogic breathing exercise is called 3 part breathe or Dirgha Pranayama. When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, this very simple breathing technique will calm you and bring you to a peaceful state of being.

Take Jenn’s classes Tues, Thurs & Fri  from  12-1 pm  for an All Levels, Vinyasa Vibin’ Flow !

Read her tips featured in a recent AZ Foothills magazine article here


Mary Bruce featured on “Where is My Guru?” on Blog Talk Radio

September 10th, 2012

Check out our very own Mary Bruce featured with Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland.  Mary talks about her own teacher, Rod Stryker, her experiences teaching yoga on tour, and her upcoming Master Yoga Immersion (at Urban Yoga!) Click on the title link to listen to the broadcast 🙂



Urban Yoga is a proud sponsor of Yoga Rocks the Park in downtown Phoenix!

May 25th, 2012


Check out Girish’s live music performance & more info on the event by clicking the title link above!


Each week will highlight & benefit different LOCAL non-profit charities!
* Urban Yoga will be the featured sponsor with our very own, Jenn Chiarelli co-teaching on MAY  6!
3/25/2012 Margaret T. Hance (Deck) Park
                benefiting:The Melonhead Foundation
                Anton Mackey & Jaqlyn Collier accompanied by Brian Chartrand doing live music
4/1/2012 Steele Indian School Park
                benefiting: The Real Gift Foundation
                Ian Lopatin accompanied by a live DJ
4/15/2012 Steele Indian School Park
                benefiting: The Wellness Community
                John Salisbury & Courtney Chalfant accompanied by Lisa Eastman and band
4/22/2012 Margaret T. Hance (Deck) Park
                benefiting: Valley Permaculture Alliance
                Patricia Tran Van & Rosa Rendon accompanied by Eric Ramsey
4/29/2012 Margaret T. Hance (Deck) Park
                benefiting: Free Arts of Arizona
                Danielle Campagna & Kristina Krump accompanied by Girish
5/6/2012 Steele Indian School Park
                benefiting: Teach For America
                Jenn Chiarelli & Alex Austin accompanied by The Luminaries
Registration begins at 1pm
Yoga and Music from 2-3:20
Music, Vendors, Demos until 4pm
The kids area each week called Camp Yoga Rocks will be run by the lovely Meg and her team with Lil Yogis at Play! This is fee based activity zone for children ages 3 and up!


Wanderlust Yoga Festival

May 10th, 2011

Urban Yoga was at the Wanderlust Festival on tour in Phoenix May 3, 2011! We also had the largest representation in students & teachers than any other studio — way to go Urban Yogis!


Urban Yoga is Lululemon’s Studio of the Month!

September 28th, 2010

Urban Yoga is Studio of the Month for October 2010! Lululemon is hosting free classes by your favorite Urban Yoga Instructors all month long! Classes are from 10:30-11:30am and held outside in the Biltmore Shopping Center Lawn. Come and practice with us on Sundays in October !


Urban Yoga is voted one of the top 5 yoga studios in Phoenix by Haute Living!

May 27th, 2010

Read our feature here…

Urban Yoga

      If you’re looking to incorporate yoga into your daily routine as part of a greater change in lifestyle, you might want to consider checking into Urban Yoga. Located in a beautiful high-rise condo development, the very zen Urban has all the qualities and ambiance of both a yoga studio and a healing and wellness center. In addition to instruction in meditations and many forms of flow yoga, including power flow, Urban also offers services in reflexology and shiatsu, life coaching and hypnotherapy, reiki, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, and aesthetician and massage services. There are also lockers, showers, and even a sizable boutique with fitness products. The studio’s calendar is filled to the brim with upcoming events. On June 13 at 10:30 a.m., an Urban instructor will hold a free community yoga class at Lululemon Athletica at Biltmore Fashion Park, and rumor has it there will be prizes given away. Visit the studio’s site for details regarding pricing and schedules.

Urban Yoga is located at 3225 North Central Avenue in Phoenix (602) 277-9642

For the full article, click here


Beth Shaw from YogaFit leads Charity class

May 5th, 2010

Beth Shaw from YogaFit visiting Urban Yoga for a Charity class
Donations in any amount will be greatly appreciated

Click on the title link to view a video clip!



Charity Class with Desiree Rumbaugh

March 17th, 2010

Desiree Rumbaugh and partner, Andrew Rivin, will be leading a Heart Opening Yoga Flow at Urban Yoga
March 17, 2010
Suggested Donation $20


We made Phoenix Picks Writer’s Favorites for 2008! Read on…

December 3rd, 2008

Twisted Reasoning

”  Life has been somewhat, how do you say, nerve-racking for the past few weeks. Our shoulders have so many knots in them that people have been asking us if we ring the bells at Notre Dame. We’ve tried wine, but that just makes us pissy and hate the light. We’ve tried muscle-relaxers, which make us unable to operate heavy machinery (aka, drive), which is not so good. And we’ve tried eating our feelings, which just makes us feel, well, like a manatee.
When we heard about the new Urban Yoga studio, we figured we’d give it a shot. And lordy, lordy, are we glad we did! With the soothing scent of incense in the air, soft lighting and a Zen atmosphere, we felt immediately calmer.

The actual work-out, however… Honestly, we found it difficult to sun salute while wiping sweat out of our eyes, making sure our rolls were covered and glaring at the elfin waif next to us who was touching her nose with her feet while balancing on her whosie-whats-it. Nevertheless, we persevered, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we felt so much better. As much as I detest working out, I can’t help but admit that yoga has helped me immensely. Not only am I a twist and bend Gumby (a definite attention-grabber for the men, ladies!), but I’ve also been able to find some much-needed calm in this little chaos-prone world.”

~ Rebecca Cannon