Erin Wheeler

Member | Last logged in at

Erin Wheeler has been practicing the art of yoga since weight reduction surgery 2003. Using yoga to recover from surgery, she found that it healed her in more ways than she ever expected. A Mother, wife, writer, and a yoga teacher. From Prenatal yoga to Ashtanga, Erin teaches all levels of students. She believes with pranayama, all is coming.

For the Love of Wellness: Elements Wellness Center


Rasa-Lila Sponsor, Elements Wellness Center, is located at 100 South Edison Ave. Suite B Tampa, FL. Elements an oasis of Holistic healing for the Tampa Bay area. Offering: Acupuncture, Meditation, Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Facial Rejuvenation, Weight Loss, Timeline Therapy, Tai Chi, Stress Management, Sports Medicine, Sound Healing, , Qi Gong, Reflexology, Personal Training, NPL, Nutritional support, Life Coaching, Ionic Foot Bath, Inward Journey, Herbal Medicine, Hypnotherapy, Detoxification, Thai (Acu) Yoga.

The start of a New Year Elements offers various detoxes, cleansing and weight loss plans. Elements offer homeopathic Detoxs and Nutritional Plans as well as homeopathic HCG weight loss program

“Certified and licensed specialists at Elements Wellness Center work closely with primary care and other referring physicians to best meet your health needs. Patients are referred to us for many reasons including chronic pain and disease management. Specific diagnoses we treat include: allergies, asthma, fertility and pregnancy issues, problems related to cancer and cancer treatment side effects, arthritis, skin disorders, stomach and bowel problems, bladder problems, headache, orthopedic and sports issues, pain management and much more.”

Need a new Chiropractor or an adjustment?

Chiropractic Services are offered by Dr Han, DC of "Simply Chiropractic". A graduate of the Palmer school Dr. Han offers family packages that are less than most insurance co pays.

If you ever wondered about trying acupuncture?

In a New Year it’s great to try new things! This is a great time to make your appointment! Elelments is offering Acupuncture packages that you can afford! Acupuncture helps stimulate the body's natural healing process and boosts the immune system and well as boosting endorphins in the brain, which we all need but especially during the winter we were are getting less sunlight.

Dr. Su Thi Ho, Acupuncture Physician



Dr. Su Thi Ho, A.P. attended Texas A&M University where she majored in Nutritional Science before transferring to Florida College of Integrative Medicine to study Traditional Chinese Medicine.







Dr. Thoa Ho, Acupuncture Physician

Dr. Thoa Ho is a licensed Acupuncture physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine in the state of Florida She is board certified through NCCAOM.











Other services and providers include:


Emery Murray, Licensed Aesthetician / Wellness Consultant

Emery is passionate about creating beautiful healthy skin from the inside out. Her services range from holistic facials to microdermabrasion and peels.




Sahara Rodriguez, licensed massage therapist Sahara is a graduate of Bhakti Academe School of Massage in Safety Harbor. She is a licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master, meditation teacher and incorporates several forms of energy work into her massage.

Sahara teaches:
Guided Meditation Class
Every Monday 6:15 PM-7:15 PM
Cost: Donation Based Class
Limit 10 people to a class RSVP is advised at 813.217.5536
Optional: Please bring a yoga mat or blanket for your comfort.






For the Love of Yoga: College Park Yoga



     Founders of College Park Yoga, Teresa and Calvin Curameng, a.k.a. T & C, found yoga together in their first year in college. C is the one that brought T to the practice. “Alan Finger had a yoga show on TV back in the mid 90's. Calvin would set up his mat daily and practice. After a few months of watching him, I finally joined in. It was a one timer deal for me, as soon as I started, I asked him to do it every day with me, and he has since 1997. We were closet yogi's then.” College Park Yoga is at 3029 Edgewater Drive Orlando, Florida “in terms of the yoga practice we are owners of nothing,” says T.

     T & C had dreams of opening a studio and when a lease deal in Miami fell thru they headed to Orlando. T shares, “We are strong and not much brings us down, so we spent the entire car ride, discussing the next phase. We decided the universe was telling us Orlando is home for the studio. The next day we drove along Edgewater Drive, saw the for rent sign, called and were moving in that same day. It was a long journey before we arrived to that point, and took a lot of practice and energy work, and people have no idea what we mean when we say I have to "work" today! But all in all it was a small seed we planted that first practice together in the apartment, and since then it has been one click after another to become the CPY we know and love today!”

     The studio is small, but full of heart and inspiration.  “Astanga yoga.  Patanjali's 8 limbed (astanga) yogic path is at the heart of every class we teach.”

     “Our students are the core of our studio and world, and the energy they bring and leave in the space for the next class makes the space feel like it hugs you when you walk in! I am sure that feeling of a hug also may have something to do with the joy of free hugs after each class too!”

     T and C had a great time last year when they attended Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando 2011 and will be presenting Burn on Saturday, October 6th at 9 am on the Florida Power Yoga stage.

     “Burn is a lighthearted practice based on the Ashtanga method, backed with rhythmic beats, giving students a deep sensation of opening their hearts wide, while burning away the impurities of the mind, body, and soul. We will offer practitioners hands on assists to aid them and guide them. It is safe, and comfortable for all levels of yoga students. The easy going vibe of the practice will give students a perfect start to their full day of activities at the fest!” 

     Make sure to introduce yourself to Teresa and Calvin after their class or stop in to see them at their tent, they would love to meet you!


     Check out some upcoming events at College Park Yoga:

     Vampire Yoga - a Halloween yoga event celebrating the siddhi's of yoga
     Vampire yoga is- Oct 13- doors open at 8pm- $5 to Rasa Lila peeps (it's usually $18)
     They either let us know they are from Rasa-Lila or type in Rasa-Lila online under promo codes.

     Beryl Bender Birch weekend warrior workshop Nov. 9-11 workshop is $175 this is already discounted. Drop-ins as low as $45.

     Have a great week Rasa- Lila  Fest Fans, see you in a week!!!!





Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.







For the Love of Yoga : One Yoga and Fitness



      Terri Shulman & Gina Keefe own One Yoga and Fitness at 1214 Bowman Street, Clermont, Florida.  This year they are Platinum Sponsors for Rasa-Lila-Festival October 5-7th, 2012.

     Before the festival arrives, let’s get to know them.  As always I am fascinated how one dives into the venture of owning a studio. As it turns out, Terri and Gina found yoga on TV and at the gym years ago and were both drawn towards vinyasa style yoga.   “After many months of planning and a couple of false starts, I met Terri Shulman and we realized that we shared a common goal of opening a Yoga Studio in Clermont. But in December of last year we opened One Yoga and Fitness and have been growing ever since.” Keefe explained.  “Gina and I connected with our common goal of sharing Yoga with the community.” Shulman added.

I asked them both to describe the studio in one or two sentences.

Keefe: “Our main purpose in opening One Yoga was to provide our community with a true Yoga experience.”

Shulman: “Our studio is 1250 square feet of Yoga Love!!”

     At One Yoga there really is something for everyone.  From Power Flow, Hot Flow, restorative, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP yoga), just to name a few.   Shulman: “We have a wonderful space, a great staff of teachers and a growing student community all sharing one love of yoga.”

     Keefe and Shulman will be presenting, a lecture: Yoga to Bring You Beyond Stagnation “While many people come to yoga to find calm and to reduce stress and anxiety, I have found yoga to be an amazing tool to help both myself and others find their power to move through passages in life where they feel stalled or stuck, and unable to move forward.  This lecture will introduce this aspect of the practice to participants.” Keefe shared.



 Check out One Yoga and Fitness links below for upcoming events and workshops! :

Kids Yoga and Prenatal Yoga

Stand Up Paddleboard and Yoga on the Water

Link below is for TRX Fall Series



      Make sure to connect with One Yoga and Fitness October 5-7 at the Rasa-Lila Festival, they would love to meet you!


 See you in a few weeks!





  Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the

art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or

Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.





For the Love of Yoga: Laughter Yoga Orlando and PositiveLY Pat

Always wondered about laughter yoga, but was too afraid to laugh, I mean ask?  Here's the breakdown with Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando presenter and sponsor, PositiveLy Pat, owner of Laughter Yoga Orlando.

EW:  Are you the owner of Laughter Yoga Orlando?

PP:  Yes, I am Laughter Yoga Orlando’s owner. I am also its founder and, as my name PositiveLY Pat suggests, its principal positivitist and funraiser.

EW: What was your first experience with yoga?

PP:   I first experienced yoga in 1999 at Women’s Health and Fitness Club, where I was employed at the time as the manager of personal training services. This was back in the day when step aerobics and kickboxing classes dominated the group exercise scene, Pilates was the next big thing, and yoga had yet to begin its meteoric rise in popularity in the United States.

     At the time, the club was trying to expand its menu of group exercise options, and I was looking for an alternative to stretching on my own to improve my flexibility. So I decided to give the new yoga class on the schedule a try. This first taste of yoga was an introductory class taught by a gentle woman from India named Bina. I easily settled into Bina’s unhurried progression of beginners’ poses and breathing exercises, and by the session’s conclusion, I felt relaxed and refreshed.


EW: What was your first experience with Laughter Yoga?

PP:  Laughter Yoga entered my life in early 2009, during a period when I seriously needed something to laugh about. I had spent the previous year struggling to keep it all together in the midst of a perfect storm of chronic pain, chaotic sleep, grief from losing my dad, stress from juggling more personal and professional duties than time allowed, and—on top of it all—a ride on the rollercoaster of shifting mid-life hormones. With each passing month, I found myself feeling more overwhelmed, dispirited, and depleted. By year’s end, it had become nearly impossible for me to even imagine how it must feel to be happy.

     In November 2008, an article on Laughter Yoga appeared in FitnessMatters, a publication that I received as a fitness professional certified through the American Council on Exercise. I skimmed through the piece and thought, “Laughter exercises? They’ve got to be kidding! Re-learn how to laugh by laughing? Ridiculous! Laugh for no reason? This must be a joke!” As a seriously serious grant writer and former scientist, I quickly dismissed Laughter Yoga as bunk. But something intangible urged me to investigate it.

     So I did. And while I had approached my first Laughter Yoga session with the notion that I badly needed to find something to laugh about, I soon found myself laughing about nothing. Not only did I laugh, I acted—and felt—as if I didn’t have a care in the world: I experienced JOY! The “laughter meditation” at the end of the session summoned even more laughter, and also an unexpected healing cascade of tears. It was a powerful release, a watershed that soothed my physical and emotional pain and, for the first time in a long while, gave me HOPE. But best of all, it connected me with what I now know to be my destiny: bringing laughter, joy, and hope into each life that I touch with Laughter Yoga. For you see, my first home was on a street named Jolly Way.

EW:  What branch of yoga does laughter Yoga draw from?

PP:   Laughter Yoga derives its basis as a form of yoga from Pranayama, the fourth limb of yoga. Drawing from their experience as yoga practitioners, Dr. Kataria and his wife, Madhuri, recognized that laughter shares some common elements with the breathing exercises of pranayama: Both engage the diaphragm and abdominal muscles; and both make it possible to breathe more deeply and to extend exhalation. This realization led Dr. Kataria to blend “laughter exercises,” which he created, with deep breathing exercises. He named the new technique “Laughter Yoga” because of its use of laughter and pranayama to train the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Although Laughter Yoga does not involve traditional yoga poses—rather, laughing and deep breathing—the practice does include some laughter exercises that are inspired by yoga poses, for example, Lion Laughter.

EW: When did you start teaching Laughter Yoga?

PP:  It’s hard for me to believe it’s been nearly three years since I began spreading laughter. How time flies when you’re having fun! I started laughing in January 2009, and a short five months later, I earned my certification as a Laughter Yoga leader from Dr. Kataria’s School of Laughter Yoga. In October 2009, I led my first Laughter Yoga session, establishing what is today the Southwest Orlando CommuniTeeHee Laughter Club.

     Since then, I’ve traveled across Central Florida, working with diverse groups to share laughter and its benefits, be they in the realm of health and wellness, stress reduction, employee engagement, learning, or just plain fun. I’ve had the great privilege and pleasure of sharing Laughter Yoga with so many wonderful people, among them, yoga teachers and their students, medical professionals, business leaders, cancer survivors, brain and spinal cord injury patients, public servants, school and church groups, seniors, library patrons, and the members of my weekly laughter clubs. Sharing Laughter Yoga with my Central Florida neighbors has made these past three years the most rewarding of my entire life.


EW:  How did your business come into fruition?

PP: On that January day in 2009—the day I started laughing for no reason—everything began to change for me.

     Imagine how threatening the public expression of spontaneous silliness might be to someone whose childhood experience had taught her to be serious and reticent, to carefully obey every rule, and to shrink from anything that might trigger embarrassment or failure. But Laughter Yoga had quite the opposite effect on me: It provided a safe space for me to lighten up and venture outside of my box; to play unabashedly and recapture a long-lost sense of childlike abandon; to overcome self-defeating resistance to the new and unknown—and to take formerly unthinkable risks.

    At age 53, I became a first-time entrepreneur, something I’d never dared to even contemplate before Laughter Yoga entered my life. Although I was no stranger to reinventing my career when circumstances dictated, I had always sought more conventional and serious-minded employment in my chosen field of biology—working first as a biotech researcher in the laboratory, then personal trainer at Women’s Health and Fitness, then grant writer at Florida Hospital. But laughter was a change-agent of a different color, propelling me in June 2010 to found Laughter Yoga Orlando.

    Today, laughter, silliness, and play are paving the way to a bolder, more fulfilling professional life for me. Because I take laughter and its benefits so seriously, I’m committed to my specialty as Central Florida’s authority on laughter for wellness. As such, I’m an active member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) and among the very first students to earn graduate college credit in the AATH Humor Academy, a new program of study exploring theory, application, and research in humor and laughter. I’m also Central Florida’s only laughter life coach, certified through The Levity Institute.

    But spreading laughter, joy, and hope is really so much bigger than my personal passion, specialty, or life’s work. It’s a calling that I know deep in my heart was set in motion from the moment of my birth. For something as simple as laughter, the effects can be profound. This, I know, on a deeply personal level. For the past four years, Laughter Yoga has been a healing and transformative force in my world—every bit the “life-changing experience” portrayed by its creator, Dr. Madan Kataria. And that is how my dedication to sharing the joy, healing energy, and power of laughter with others came to be.


EW: Tell me a little about your business.

PP:  I founded Laughter Yoga Orlando with the vision of spreading laughter and its health and wellness benefits far and wide. My mission is to enrich the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of as many people as possible with Laughter Yoga, so outreach is central to the services I offer.

    Rather than asking my customers to come to me, I go to them. I travel throughout Central Florida and beyond, bringing a wide range of Laughter Yoga services to groups, businesses, events, meetings, conferences, and individuals. I go wherever I’m called to teach or speak, be it a yoga studio, healthcare facility, office, community event, or convention. Just name the place—I’ll be there, spreading smiles and laughter! In traveling, I’m able to reach more people over a broader geographic area with Laughter Yoga and its many benefits than if I were to offer my services in any one locale. I love it, too, that after I’ve led an onsite Laughter Yoga session,    there’s a positive vibe that remains in the space long after I’ve left.

    My services include all-purpose Laughter Yoga classes, as well as specialized Laughter Yoga programs for specific audiences, such as introductory playshops for experienced and aspiring yoga teachers; and onsite workplace wellness, stress reduction, team building, and employee engagement programs for businesses. I also offer Laughter Yoga presentations, icebreakers, and energizers for meetings, conferences, conventions, and special events. And I train and certify Laughter Yoga leaders (CLYL) on a regular basis. As a laughter life coach specializing in wellness, I integrate coaching principles with Laughter Yoga exercises to help my clients envision what they want, break through barriers, and create new possibilities for themselves.

    On Mondays, I lead two absitively posolutley free communiTeeHee laughter clubs—one in my neighborhood recreation center in Dr. Phillips, the other in the City of Orlando’s Beardall Senior Center—so I get to start each week by giving something back to my Central Florida neighbors. This year, I’ve also enjoyed the singular opportunity of starting a third laughter club (at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Winter Park) in conjunction with one of the very first programmatic grants ever awarded for Laughter Yoga.

 Now, I’ll ask you, how many people get to go to work to laugh? Life is FUNderful!

EW:. Can one be certified in Laughter Yoga by you?

PP:   Yes, in April 2010, I trained with Laughter Yoga’s creator, Dr. Madan Kataria, to earn my certification as a Laughter Yoga teacher. As such, I’m authorized through Laughter Yoga International to train and certify new Laughter Yoga leaders. More recently, I enjoyed the unparalleled experience of assisting Dr. Kataria with three Laughter Yoga teacher certification programs here in Orlando, as well as co-leading three Laughter Yoga leader certification programs with two of Dr. Kataria’s most senior Laughter Yoga teachers. And just last month, I trained and certified a staff member of Nemours Children’s Hospital, making it possible for the hospital to launch Laughter Yoga as a support service for its patients and their families when their new facility opens in Orlando in October 2012.

     I’m delighted to offer the Laughter Yoga leader certification program on a regular basis throughout the year. This two-day experiential learning program prepares participants to comfortably lead groups in Laughter Yoga exercises, laughter meditation, and guided relaxation. Whether you’re a yoga or fitness practitioner; holistic therapist or healer; healthcare professional; mental health counselor or therapist; eldercare worker; management professional; life coach; or someone who just wants to add more laughter to life, you can benefit from participating in this reasonably priced program.

 EW:  Why did you decide to get involved with Rasa Lila Fest?

PP:     My involvement with Rasa-Lila Fest began in June of last year when my phone rang and a lovely yogini by the name of Lee Clise introduced herself. As an ambassador of the 2011 Central Florida Rasa-Lila Fest, Lee had called to inform me of the event and ask if I would consider becoming one of its sponsors. After chatting with Lee for a matter of only minutes, I knew that I wanted to join the Rasa-Lila Fest yoga and wellness community, so I said yes to a sponsorship of the inaugural Orlando festival.

     Last September, I had a FUNtastic time meeting and sharing laughter with Lee, Nathan, and the many festival goers who stopped by my booth in the vendor community. Then, earlier this year, I had the privilege and great joy of making more new laughter friends while teaching Laughter Yoga at the 2012 Rasa-Lila Fest in Tampa Bay. I’m incredibly excited and grateful to be involved in this year’s festival in Orlando, as both a sponsor and presenter of Laughter Yoga. I can hardly wait to laugh with everyone in October!

EW:   What will you be presenting at the Festival?

PP:    At 2012 Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando, it’ll be my great pleasure to present Laughter Yoga: Deepen Your Inner Joy by Laughing for No Reason! During this hour-long playshop, we’ll exercise our laughter muscles, breathe deeply, and play our way to JOY! We’ll explore how it’s possible to laugh for no reason—even if we’re not in a good mood, even if we’re not happy—to live more JOY-FULL-y, regardless of our present circumstances.

     For those new to Laughter Yoga, laughing purely for the sake of laughing may seem ridiculous. The impact, however, even after a single Laughter Yoga session, can be remarkable. From personal experience, I know Laughter Yoga to be a powerful tool for coping with pain, lifting mood, cultivating a new and positive outlook, and reprogramming the body’s automatic reaction to stress. It’s also a healthy way of releasing internal pressure and pent-up emotions. And it’s a great outlet for adults (and children) to “let their hair down” and be just plain silly, to create, to explore—to play—something many of us have either sidelined or even forgotten how to do. Seriously, folks, it’s OK to take a break from seriosity!

     Beyond even all of that, perhaps the greatest application of Laughter Yoga is as a tool for helping each of us to find JOY within ourselves. With this tool, we can make the most of our intrinsic potential to be joyful, even as we face life’s challenges. When we choose to act happy, we can actually change our biology to create our own happiness. As it turns out, happiness is more than a feeling: It’s a significant factor in our health, wellbeing, and quality of life. In today’s climate of negativity and fear, to have the ability to upshift our mood, perspective, behavior, and outlook within a matter of minutes through Laughter Yoga is truly powerful. And that is not a joke.

EW:  Are there any special events you would like our Fans to know about?

PP:     Several upcoming events, including Laughter Yoga leader certification programs and focused workshops on reducing stress (holiday, and otherwise), are in the planning stages now. Stay tuned and visit frequently for details and updates.

EW: Please include anything else you would like our fans to know about Laughter Yoga Orlando and I would be happy to include it.

PP:     Wait … here’s another reason why Laughter Yoga, “the world’s happiest workout,” suits me to a T (and, for that matter, a Tee-Hee!). As a certified fitness professional since 1994, I see Laughter Yoga as a bona fide complement to more conventional modes of staying in good physical (and mental) shape. It’s a form of aerobic group exercise that is safe, easy, and adaptable for a wide range of fitness levels. It doesn’t require any equipment, and most of all, it’s FUN.

     In addition to my Laughter Yoga certifications, my fitness credentials include certifications as a Group Exercise Instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA); Personal Fitness Trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE); and Nutrition Management Consultant through the American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists (AASDN). I’m also licensed to teach Zumba® at the basic and gold (active older adults, beginners, and other special populations) levels. How laughable is all of this when you consider that I spent high school dreading gym class?!

     Oh, and one more thing: I admit it; I’m a major science nerd who is insatiably curious, much like my cat, August. This curiosity with all things biological led me to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and enjoy professional success as a researcher in several biotech labs and grant writer at Florida Hospital. I dig ridiculously long words like gastrocnemius, gluconeogenesis, and psychoneuroimmunology, and I’ve generated a number of publications in scientific journals and large federal grant awards. I’m also seriously addicted to watching The Big Bang Theory. Bazinga!

     All kidding aside, my BIG intention is to synergize all of my experience and talents—as fitness professional, biologist, researcher, and writer—with my passion for Laughter Yoga into one day contributing to the evidence base for laughter’s health benefits and its value as an integrative therapy. With the emergence of Orlando’s new Medical City, I’m imagining enormous possibilities for clinical research—even a grant from the National Institutes of Health—to provide empirical evidence supporting the personal experience of people from around the world: Laughter Yoga is good medicine.

EW: Namaste!






     Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.






For the Love of Yoga: Florida Power Yoga

     Originally from Ohio, Denice McClure decided to bring a bold, high energy, athletic style power yoga studio to Florida and create a place where others could experience Baptiste inspired yoga.  She also brought her 12 year old daughter Christie McClure, 500hr, RYT to teach these powerful breath centered vinyasa classes. Denice left a 20 year career in chemistry and practiced yoga religiously for 2 years before she decided to take the plunge to become a teacher. She wanted to create the same experience in Land O’Lakes by mixing just the right levels of heat and humidity that she enjoyed up north.  Not shy of a good sweat when she practices or teaches, she describes it “…like going up a steep hill, sticking the flag in the peak and then taking a leisurely walk down the hill to rest in a grassy meadow.” 


     McClure also completed training and aligned herself with Live, Love Teach, a company born from Baptiste yoga for teachers and studio owners geared towards creating an innovative environment to support the growth of teachers and students.  Florida Power Yoga was created to get people amped up and make you feel like you are part of the party from the moment you walk in the door.  McClure will be bringing 6 other Live, Love, Teach friends that she calls The Yoga Cocktail Party to Rasa Lila Orlando 2012.  Mom and daughter are presenting, “… a Yoga Body Boot Camp Class. Yoga Body Boot Camp is trademarked by Debbie Williamson as a class that integrates a yoga flow with boot camp stations to deliver quite an amazing punch!” Christie is also teaching a Kids Vinyasa class at the Fest. Christie is the youngest person in America to earn a 500 hour certification, as well as the youngest presenter at our Festival.  McClure is also our Rasa-Lila Fest Photo Contest winner and a proud sponsor.  

  Wanna party with McClure after the Festival?  Check out what McClure’s describes as Master Mashes. “Florida Power Yoga will have Master Mashes the second weekend of each month.  These are some of the best Vinyasa Teachers in the world who own studios and don't typically travel to other studios.  We worked out a pretty special package to make them journey out of their wildly successful studios.”

     Make sure to introduce yourself to the McClure ladies, and Yoga Cocktail Party goers in October, don’t forget to bring the kids too!


Florida Yoga Power upcoming events, classes, workshops and membership prices.

The classes’ times are the same for each month. 

TGIF Master Class from 7-9PM on Friday Cost for Members $25. Cost for Soon to be Members $40

Yoga Cocktail Party from 10:15AM-11:30AM on Sat. Cost for Members $15. Cost for Soon to be Members $25

Wilderness Market Yogi on the Lake Lunch with Guest Teacher from 11:45AM- 12:45PM. Cost $15

Make Something New Happen in Your Practice Workshop from 1:15-3:15PM on Sat. Cost for Members $20.  Cost for Soon to be Members $30.

For entire Master Mash: For Members: $65, for Soon to be Members:  $99

For Year of Master Mashes: For Members $699 for Soon to be members $999

The dates are as follows:
January 11, 12, 2013
February 8,9, 2013
March 8,9, 2013
April 12, 13, 2013
May 10, 11, 2013
June 14, 15, 2013
July 12, 13, 2013
We are closed in August for Retreats
September 13, 13, 2013
October 11, 12, 2013
November 8, 9 2013
December 14, 15 2013




Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.


For the Love of Surfing: Indo Board



     Rasa-Lila sponsor Hunter Joslin is a competitive surfer and owner of Indo Board.  He’ll be surfing into the Orlando Rasa-Lila Festival with something brand new on October 5-7th.


     Joslin had his first yoga experience when he was 15. Joslin said he “found it to be challenging and fun. I practiced my own yoga routine for 20 years to keep me tuned for surfing.”  Joslin explained that early on he found a “homemade balance board in 1967 which captured my attention to the point I would spend hours a day on it. I actually taught myself to surf using that balance board.” From that he designed the first Indo Board in 1975 when he was making skateboards, skimboards and balance boards for his friends. “I mounted a round skimboard on top of a cylinder and it worked much better that the rectangular deck I had been using. After several prototypes I arrived at the Original Indo Board design but lacking funds and business knowledge I put the project on the shelf. The shelved prototype stayed there till 1998. “After 23 years in various businesses, I started the Indo Board Balance Trainer business. Entering my 15th year in business the Indo Board product line now has 8 unique deck designs, 3 different size rollers and 2 different sized IndoFLO® air cushions. The Newest addition is the Indo Yoga Board”

      His design concept was inspired “by the latest direction yoga has taken with the advent of Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga.” Joslin explained that the Indo Yoga Board is equipped with four rocker shaped supports attached under the deck to create a subtle side-to-side instability, which is the basic level of difficulty. This is a real departure from practicing yoga on solid ground as the side to side movement of the deck increases the recruitment of core stabilizers to properly execute each position.


     Adding two or three IndoFLO® air cushions under the deck with just enough air to raise the rockers off the ground creates a greater level of instability that is an even more difficult challenge to successfully execute a yoga position. This combination of deck and cushions closely mimics the instability found in the water based SUP yoga. The instability can be increased by simply adding more air to the IndoFLO® cushions which in turn causes an even greater amount of instability. This increase is recommended to yoga experts looking for the most challenging yoga experience found on dry land. Originally founded as a training device for surfers the Indo Board has now been accepted by mainstream fitness as a viable piece of workout equipment. The Indo Board is a fun full body training system for everyone who wants to improve balance, coordination, core strength and functional fitness. The Indo Board is used in school PE programs across the country as well as in commercial gyms and by personal trainers with clients of all ages and fitness levels.

      The Indo Yoga Board is a yoga specific product and the release of this new Indo Board is scheduled at the same time as the Rasa Lila Fest. The inclusion of SUP and SUP yoga into the Rasa Lila Fest programing appears to be a perfect fit for the Indo Yoga Board as it evolved from SUP yoga.
Indo Board will have Taylor Nelms, an Orlando Yoga Instructor, to present an Introduction to the Indo Yoga Board workshop at 3 p.m. on both Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 7th. There will be plenty of Indo Yoga Boards available for everyone who signs up to attend.

     On a mat or on a board yoga continues to evolve.  People like Joslin are bringing technology, invention and fun to Rasa Lila.  Let’s play!






     Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.


For the Love of Yoga: Ananda Center for Yoga and Massage, LLC





      Ramona Crabtree-Falkner is the owner of Ananda Center for Yoga & Massage, LLC, at 16 E Joiner St in Winter Garden, Florida.  I always love getting to know the community of wellness practitioners, so I was excited to hear her story. Crabtree-Falkner began the art of yoga about 10 years ago when she had her son. “A friend of mine had shown me a few yoga poses before but I never really saw myself going to a class.”  After having her baby and resting for several weeks, she knew she needed to get her “body moving gently back into working out.” After finding a small studio located above a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Dallas, Texas it became her weekly practice to be on the mat and to have dinner after. “I was hooked from that point forward. “


     Her inspiration in the beginning was teaching basic Hatha classes.  Over the last year she has completed her last 300 YTT, with the focus on Yoga Therapy. “Learning how to help anyone use yoga as a tool to heal through approaches both physical and energetic.”  Her style “encourages each student to meet themselves exactly where they are by honoring their bodies and never pushing themselves beyond their limits; encouraging them to meet their own personal edge and connect with their inner guidance to surrender to the practice and truly let go.”


      Being a licensed Massage therapist for 9 years, divorced 8 years ago and struggling to make ends meet, Crabtree-Falkner’s father planted a seed, “My father came to me and said he wanted to help me open a store front so that I could find a little more stability.” After waiting over a year to decide, the seed began to bloom and she decided to “take the risk.” Deepening her practice, YTT training, and a vision, her vision had blossomed to Yoga and Massage, total body, mind, and spirit healing for her clients.  “I found myself exploring, crying and healing every day of my businesses birth and growth. Just like my yoga practice I was learning to become aware of my ego and guide it to step out of the way; I struggled a lot in the beginning and saw myself struggling with the stresses of being a leader and business owner. I am thankful for every experience I have had through the creation of this business because every one of the experiences has brought me to today and I am thankful for this life.”


      Ananda is a community of teachers and therapists “that work together to bring our students and clients many different options to meet their specific needs.”  Ananda offers group classes, including stress relief, vinyasa flow and traditional hatha.  They offer privates, traditional massage, Thai massage and barefoot massage. In addition they often offer special classes for guided meditation, crystal bowl meditations, yoga for chakra balancing and private reiki sessions. “Our intension as a studio is to offer a space for our students to feel safe to explore healing for mind, body and spirit.”

      I asked Crabtree-Falkner what her feelings were regarding the importance of our Rasa-Lila Festival, “I feel it is important to come together as a community of like minded people to share our love of yoga with not only each studio but with the students of yoga that we have the opportunity to help along their journey.  We are all one and this event I feel is a space for each of us to share our light that bonds and allows us to expand all the love that yoga cultivates.”

      Crabtree-Falkner will be presenting a yoga practice for Chakra Balancing.  “I guide the students to bring intention to each chakra that we are working with in each posture taking the practice of awareness to a deeper level. We close the practice with a guided meditation through the chakras to help find balance and grounding. “

     We are offering many special events in the Month of September in support of Yoga Awareness month. 

     Check out Ananda Center for Yoga and Massage, LLC at The Rasa-Lila Festival in Orlando October 5-7th 2012.  Introduce yourself to Ramona and her talented family of healers!


Above pictures coutesy of Picture This by Asna
Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow her on twitter @luckycatyoga.

For the Love of Yoga: Yoga East



      Michelle and Greg Owens co-own Yoga East at 3734 Avalon Park Boulevard East ,Orlando, Florida.  Urban planner by trade, Michelle teaches full time at the studio and is Director of Operations. Greg Owens is a retired navy submarine officer, working fulltime in the computer modeling and simulations industry.  He works part time at the studio serving as a substitute teacher and business manager.  “For years, we didn’t have a studio convenient to our neighborhood. We’d have to drive 30 to 40 minutes each way to the nearest studio. We kept hoping someone would open a studio nearby.”  The Owens decided after a few years, “to give it a try ourselves. We created a business plan, secured startup funding, found our location and Yoga East was born.”



     Michelle’s first experience with yoga was, like allot of us, in gym setting.  Michelle left the experience thinking “what was the point?”  She adds “Luckily, I tried again with a more experienced yoga teacher who could articulate the importance of unifying breath, mind and body for spiritual, physical and emotional transformation. From then on I was hooked.”  A few years ago, Michelle and Greg did a 200-hour teacher training and started teaching corporate yoga sessions around Orlando. Greg and Michelle have just become certified in the Yoga Warriors International teaching method, so that they can use yoga to help combat veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “We’re looking forward to offering a free, weekly Yoga Warriors class starting in September.”

     About her studio Owens shared, “Yoga East is celebrating its First Anniversary in August.  We like to think of Yoga East as the calm place amidst the chaos of life. We have a spacious practice space, two massage rooms and a retail shop that sells eco-friendly, fair trade and handmade items. The studio floors are an eco-friendly bamboo with a warm golden finish. We offer 25 classes weekly from beginner to advanced levels and usually have 10-12 different teachers on the schedule.”


Every teacher has a personal style for their own self practice and then what they teach to their students, “For my personal practice, Michelle explains, I like more yang than yin in my practice. More “ha” than “tha.”  Probably because I have a strong Kapha dosha and need to be mindful of the Kapha tendency toward inertia and weight gain. However as a yoga teacher she is just the opposite. I like teaching the more gentle and therapeutic forms of yoga.”


      I asked her how she felt about Rasa-Lila Fest and Yoga East’s involvement “I see Rasa-Lila as one of those all important community events creating strong bonds in the yoga community. We need these connections if the Florida yoga community is to flourish like those in California and New York. Every yoga teacher, studio owner and yoga business person needs to be connected in the spirit of unity rather than a spirit of competition because a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Last year, Yoga East won first place in a contest sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Orlando Chapter. They received startup funding and a year of business consulting services that “taught me so much about running a successful business.”

      This year Yoga East will be presenting the Business of Yoga portion of the Festival, they will be partnering with NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Orlando chapter to offer a networking brunch and discussion for owners of class and appointment-based businesses.  “Attendees will have a chance to connect and learn from NAWBO business experts and each other. Our presentation will focus on the business side of yoga because I’m drawn to the entrepreneurial yoga experience just as much as the spiritual side”


       Make sure to introduce yourself to check out the Yoga East tent, workshop and Michelle in October for Rasa- Lila Fest 2012!

 Namaste Rasa- Lila Fest Fans!










     Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” or Follow @luckycatyoga on twitter.






For the Love of His Clients: Anthony J. Diaz



           This year the Rasa-Lila Fest is happy to offer workshops from Inspirational Empowerment Facilitator, Coach and Attorney, Anthony Diaz.  As a coach and a family law attorney, Diaz gets “fired up when I work with people who want to shed the erroneous beliefs about themselves and step into the perfection of who they really are.” Diaz hosts a weekly radio show called Inner Conflict to Outer Resolution.  The show airs Sundays at 7PM on BlogTalkRadio.  Each week he “explores core concepts that are key to living a life of meaning and purpose NOW.”  You can listen weekly on Sundays live or check out any previous episodes at

          Diaz uses his expertise as an attorney and an inspirational coach to overcome these difficult transitions in life “by helping people to understand that they are responsible for any outcome in their lives, it creates a path for them to go within themselves.  When they are able to see the role they play during the challenges of divorce or any other conflict, my clients begin to see what is at the root of the legal or personal issues they are dealing with. Once they can understand that, then they can see how their inner conflict is affecting their outer circumstances.”

          When I asked Diaz about his involvement and sponsorship at Rasa-Lila Festival, he shared, “The Rasa Lila Fest is a great example of the connection between the Body, Mind and Spirit.  I love to work with people who are open to this concept of how these aspects of our inner being are intertwined and being involved with the Fest gives me an opportunity to do just that.”

          Rasa-Lila fest goers will get 2 workshops with Diaz.  The first workshop is called Waiting on the World to Change.  “Here, we will exploring whether we are waiting on the world to change or are choosing to affect the global consciousness that will change the world.  While many people look at everything going wrong in their world, this workshop will focus on the impact we can and do have on our future.  If one would like to learn how to be part of the solution and take responsibility for the outcome of your choices, this is the presentation to attend.”

          The second workshop is titled Is There Life in your Breath and Breath in Your Life?  "This presentation will focus on how our breath is at the center of how we create the life we have and how breathing creates the life we desire.  I will explore going within and not being without."  Both presentations have a guided meditation and an ending affirmation as well as theme appropriate beginning and ending music.

     Introduce yourself to Anthony Diaz’s this October, before or after one of his workshops.  You can also find him on Facebook or Twitter for upcoming conferences or events.





















     Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” Follow @luckycatyoga on twitter.






For the Love of Yoga: Winter Garden Yoga


Brain Friedman
, owner of Winter Garden Yoga  will be presenting at this year’s Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando, October 5-7th, 2012. I had a chance to ask Friedman a few questions to help the Rasa-Lila Fest community get to know him, his studio, and his teachers.  Friedman’s first experience with yoga was at the Sivananda Ashram on Paradise Island, Bahamas around 1993.  As a teacher, Friedman doesn’t choose a particular lineage of yoga to draw inspiration from instead; he draws his inspiration from other teachers like, Barbara Benagh, David Williams, Doug Swenson, and Sri Dharma Mittra.

          This will be the 2nd year that Winter Garden Yoga is participating in the Fest, and like Rasa-Lila, will be celebrating their two year anniversary October 9, 2012. “We decided to get involved with Rasa Lila Fest during the first event in Orlando, last year in 2011. It was such a great experience that we decided to do it again in 2012. Rasa Lila is such a great way to meet so many like-minded people and such a great way to try out different types of yoga, meditation, and other types of life affirming activities. We are very happy to be part of such a great event.”

          Friedman will be offering one of his signature  Power Yoga   classes at the festival.  He explained that the participants will “get to experience the Winter GARDEN Yoga difference.”  Promising slow, controlled, movements with an emphasis on strength and alignment versus flexibility. “Students are given a chance to hang out in each pose to truly feel each and every subtlety and nuance every asana has to offer. This means you will experience heightened body awareness, burn calories, tone muscles, de-stress, and make your body feel good in a completely safe and innovative way. We encourage everybody to come out and experience this truly unique approach to the wonderful and ancient art of yoga.”

           Winter Garden Yoga is very unique in many ways in that we offer much more than most yoga studios. “Our teacher’s offerings include certifications in yoga, pre natal yoga, FMS, with expertise in PNF, kinesiology, sport specific training, meditation, and more.”
Friedman recommends connecting with Winter Garden Yoga on Facebook and keeping an eye on their website ( ) for upcoming events. 


           He also recommends checking out his weekly Power Hour.  “Each Power Hour is like a private session in the context of a class. I call it an hour full of powerful information.It’s a great way to hone your technique or learn something completely new that cannot be offered in a regularly scheduled class.”







Buy your  tickets now for Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando, check out Brain’s class, and stop by Winter Garden Yoga’s tent to introduce yourself!







         Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida. Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay. Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place! “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” Follow @luckycatyoga on twitter






For the Love of Yoga: Wave of Wellness SUP



     Wave of Wellness was first invited to Rasa Lila Fest Orlando in 2011 to host the standup paddleboarding activity.  “Since we love both practicing & teaching yoga and paddleboarding, it was a no-brainer. Rasa Lila 2011 turned out to be an amazing event with excited participants, vendors, instructors, volunteers and more - all connecting and sharing the same the same passions ...we couldn't wait to come back this year!  Co-owner of Wave of Wellness Jessica Cichra explained.  

     Wave of Wellness is providing FREE SUP experiences all day at the Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando, October 5-7th 2012!  “Our team will give participants a brief safety & paddling lesson, followed by play time on the water.  Also, our talented teachers and sponsored SUP riders will be demonstrating Bala Tula and advanced paddling maneuvers every other hour Cichra explained.    Like kayaking or canoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is an outdoor activity that allows you to paddle and glide across virtually any body of the water.  It is different from kayaking in that your "boat" is a board, similar to an oversized surfboard or windsurf board.  A SUP is thicker than these and designed to support a human standing on it without the momentum of wind or wave.  A paddle is used for propulsion and looks similar to a canoe oar, with a single blade at the bottom and handle on top.  SUPing is also different from kayaking in that you can stand, offering a different vantage point and better perspective of the water beneath you and horizon around you.  SUP is amazing for total body fitness in that it exercises the stabilizer muscles in your legs and core, offers resistance training for your whole upper body, increases balance and coordination skills and endurance, and benefits cardiovascular health! “You can SUP down river, in a lake or pond, in the ocean and even surf waves!” 


There are many board sizes and shapes to accommodate all human sizes, ages and levels of experience.  “With a knowledgeable instructor and the appropriate board, most people are successful SUPers their very first try.” Jessica says, “it just gets easier each time you do it.  SUPs have more perks than other water vessels in that you can sit, kneel, stand and lay down.” You can take a rest or just catch some rays.  SUPing can be very meditative and peaceful especially in the morning and evening hours, or a blast at parties and family events, or even intense and competitive once you graduate to SUP sprints and race training.  “You can SUP with your kids, your dogs, your pet turtle, you name it!  SUP all around the world with everyone you love! Cichra wanted peope to know Wave of Wellness understands that SUP rentals and classes can be very exspensive, so they decided to charge only $25/day/board to make SUPing accessible to the community. 

     Wave of Wellness began simply; Jessica was yoga/Pilates/aquatics instructor who was looking for a way to add to her repertoire of skills.  She decided to become certified as a personal trainer with the vision to train individuals holistically, incorporating all elements of fitness and wellness like balance, breath, flexibility, core stabilization, alignment, inner peace and more. Wave of Wellness combines the love of fitness, Yoga and the Love of SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) into a successful business.  Her boyfriend and fellow Co-owner Jason Meehan: Co-Owner, Director of Sales, wanted their clients to enjoy training and to be introduced to a variety of training modalities. They didn't want them to feel stuck in the same routine at the same gym.    Meehan and Cichra  began training people in their homes, community pools and outdoors with this cross training style. “It was really working and was really fun!”   Developing unique classes like Bala Tula, which is yoga fusion on a SUP and it took off!  Participants wanted to buy their own boards, so they started selling them.  Since then W.O.W created a specialized, outdoor, 10 week cross training program called WOW Fit including SUP, Yoga, Surf Fitness and more.  “With the love, encouragement and support of our community, we can't wait to see where this amazing journey takes us!”



   For the Rasa- Lila Fest weekend, Jessica shared that participants will need to wear something that they don't mind getting wet.  She recommends a bathing suit or dry-wicking clothes, shorts or capris.  “Please wear sun protection and hydrate before and after your paddle.  Other than that, “a smile and adventurous spirit is all that required.”  No experience is necessary. Jessica and her crew will teach you the fundamentals and you'll be up and paddling in no time!

     There are some exciting special events Wave of Wellness is having before and after the Festival:

     “We just launched a one-of-a-kind cross training program called WOW FIT.  It's broken up into 3 programs, with each one building on the last with increased skill sets, challenges and intensity.  The first program "Get Stoked" begins July 16 and the graduation celebration is filled with surfing, open ocean SUP, team beach relays and more!  For more details, visit:

They are also hosting thier first SUP race on Oct. 13: Lake Mary Jane Open Water Swim & SUP Race!  Sanctioned by the WPA & fun for all ages & experience levels with recr eation & elite courses, kids race, racing clinic & more! 

So make sure you bring your bathing suit October 5-7th and not introduce yourself to SUP, Jessica and Waves of Wellness, you never know, you might find a great new activity, like yoga, that you can’t live without!




For The Love of Yoga: Prana Vinyasa YTT


The Prana Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training program has been huge supporter of Rasa-Lila Fest since the inception of the festival over 2 years ago.  This year, in Orlando, October 5-7, the Prana Vinyasa Program will be having one of their graduates and highly respected teachers, Adam Welch teach yoga Nidra in honor of Sara Devi’s recent and sudden passing.  I interviewed Sara before Rasa-Lila Fest Tampa this past March and Devi enthusiastically spoke about the festival, the yoga community, her studio (Stillpoint) and the teacher training program, Prana Vinyasa.  In my article For the Love  of Yoga: Stillpoint  you can feel how proud she was of every student she ever taught, including Welch. 


     Prana Vinyasa Teacher Training Program has graduated over 780 students in the state of Florida alone.The program founded by Sara Devi and Vaz Rogbeck in an effort to expose as many people to their own personal trainings with many of the greatest yoga teachers of our time. The program exposes the student to everything from gentle to power yoga, and within that exposure, allows the student to find their own voice and teaching style. The program is Yoga Alliance compliant and is a charter school of The International Association of Yoga Therapy.

     Since the passing of Devi, Jennifer Leavy is now the acting director of the teacher training program, “ I was fortunate to spend the last 7 years training with both Sara and Vaz. I began teaching in the training program early on, and helped establish the Tampa program we are currently running.”  

     Prana Vinyasa training is currently holding trainings at Bella Prana Yoga and Meditation, in Tampa and in Orlando, Christine Northcote, facilitates it at her studio, Full CircleYoga  in Winter Park.  “We do adjunct trainings and workshops around the Bay Area. Most recently Prana Vinyasa was at Sun and Moon Yoga in Dade City and will be at Yoga Shakti in Tarpon Springs.” said Leavy .

     Prana Vinyasa is currently running 200 and 500 hour programs in Tampa.  At Full Circle Yoga in Winter Park they are offering a 200 hour programs, and are considering beginning their 500 hour program very soon.   The trainings meets once a month, and this allows students 13 months to graduate our program which takes about 10 months.  “ We understand that things happen, and allow for a month or two to take care of those things while in the program.” They offer scholarships in honor of Sara and Vaz. You can contact Jennifer at to obtain a scholarship application.


     Leavy shares that for her, “ the highlight of our program is the wonderful group of people who have assembled for the common goal of advancing their yoga practice so they can share it with others. In both Tampa and Orlando we have great support group from the community, and are excited to introduce students to teachers like Christine Northcote, Roni Sloman, Anita Rao, Steve Rubin, and so many others.”  I asked Leavy if they are seeking out local teaching talent, she said “if anyone were to be interested in teaching in the program, our Facebook page is a great way to contact the current director of the program.”

     Leavy emphasized that “ the most important thing to know about Prana Vinyasa is that it is a program that stays true to its original intention, we want to help students gain a voice to share the gift of yoga."

Make sure to save the date for Rasa-Lila Fest Orlando October 5-7th, 2012




Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida. Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay. Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place! “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule under “About” Follow @luckycatyoga on twitter.


For the Love of Yoga: Paddle Board Safety




     On April 28, Jeffrey Comer, 50, of Tampa, parked his car at Fort DeSoto beach, and went out for a day of Paddle Boarding.  Later that evening, his paddle board was found  at the North Entrance of the Manatee River, other than that,  no trace of Comer. The paddleboard was given to Holmes Beach Police Department where Comer’s wallet, car keys, and cell phone were found in his PFD, personal flotation device, that was still attached to his board.

        “Using the information from the wallet, Tampa Police Department conducted a welfare check at Comer's residence and didn’t find him During the 55-hour search, rescue personnel saturated an area more than 560 square miles, an area nearly the size of Pinellas County”, says the USCC web-site.

          Rasa Lila Fest Sponsor, Jessica Cichra, of Wave of Wellness in Orlando, FL shared with me her views on Stand Up Paddle Boarding safety,  “SUPing is an amazing & fulfilling sport that Wave of Wellness wants to share with everyone...but like any other sport, it has it's risks.  We encourage you all to practice safety, no matter how experienced you are!”

     Here are Cichras' top 5 saftey tips:

     1. Research the area you will be paddling.  Look online at local condition & weather reports for tides, currents, & weather forecast.  Talk to locals, they can help you time your paddle with the tides & direct you so you flow with currents.  If you're paddling out & back, always start against the wind & current.  Paddle along the shore so you have a close refuge if the wind changes direction or the weather flares up or if you just need a break.   If you encounter a heavy gust of wind, paddle from your knees (so you are less of a "sail"), choking up on your paddle, with your bottom hand close to the water (giving you a stronger, more efficient power stroke). 

     2. Paddle with a friend.  If your buddy isn't available, be sure to tell someone your planned route & what time to you expect to return.  Bring a fully charged smartphone with your GPS locater turned on & keep it inside a pack (like a hydration pack or inflatable pfd) attached to your person.  There are plenty of waterproof cases available.  This way you can be tracked if you're not responding, or of course, you can call for help!

     3. WEAR a hydration pack & make sure it contains enough water for the duration of your paddle.  You will not only avoid dehydration & it's nasty symptoms, but you will have a happy mind & body & a more enjoyable, longer lasting paddle!

    4. WEAR a pdf with an attached whistle.  There are inflatable pdf's that can be worn around the waist.  They are small & light weight & won't get in the way of your paddle stroke.  If not, at least tether to your board with a leash.  Your board is a flotation device, but won't do you any good if it gets swept away from you.  If you're paddling at night, you must have a light for distress signals & proper navigation lights.  Wear bright clothing...don't count on boaters having the best eye sight.

     5. Work your way up to paddling long distances.  If you were new to running, you wouldn't throw down 6 miles on your first session.  SUPing can be leisurely, but it can also be intense, especially in (sometimes unexpected) high winds or against current.  It's better to start with shorter duration paddles & build your endurance to tackle longer ones.  If you're tired, head to shore to take a break.  You can also sit down or paddle from a kneeling position to rest.  Bring protein-rich snacks to refuel your exerted body.



     Another Rasa Lila Fest sponsor, Tim Ganley, of Yoga Energy Studio, in St. Pete,  offers up some more safety tools to use when Paddle boarding.  Ganely reminds us,  “ There are numerous things that you can do to make your time on the water safer but these are the ten obvious things that should always be in place first.”

     Some of Ganleys' tips may overlap Cichras', but honestly, after the loss of Comer, we all need to have these rules deeply engrained into our  mind, bodies, and souls.

     Ganleys' top 10 tips:

     1. Wear your life jacket. Your board floats on its own, it does not need a life jacket attached to it. It is federal law that any one outside the surf zone must have a life jacket and whistle with them.

     2. Wear a proper (for stand up paddling) leash with a quick release mechanism that attaches you to your board.

     3. If a safety issue does occur stay with you board. It is easier to see a board floating on the water than a person. (If it is more dangerous to stay with your board than not to stay with your board, then, please, do not stay with your board.)

     4. Have a float plan in place with a responsible adult. Some one should always know where you are going and what time you are supposed to be back. They should also know what to do if you do not return.

      5. Know your waters. Whether you are paddling on the ocean, on a river or on a lake you need to know if there are any safety risks related to the area.

     6. Know your weather. There is no bad weather, there is wrong gear. And sometimes the paddle board is the wrong gear. There are just certain times that you should not be going out.

     7. Do your hard paddle first. Paddle out into the wind or into the current first when you have the strength and energy. That way you can rest more on the way back in.

     8. Wear your cell phone in a dry bag that is attached to you.

     9. Take a safety class by qualified instructors.

    10. Always paddle with a pal. Try to find a stand up paddle club in your area. If there isn't one, create one!


       We at Rasa Lila Fest dedicate this blog to Jeffrey Comer and his family and friends. They all are in our hearts and minds.  I hope his story stays with you during your next trip out on the water, it might save your life.

     If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Comer, you are asked to contact the Coast Guard at 727-824-7506.


Please be safe, have fun, and enjoy every day for each one is a gift.


For the Love of Yoga: Bella Prana's New Studio Space is Open!



      This weekend the very excited highly anticipated grand opening of Roni Sloman’s new studio space for Bella Prana Yoga & Meditation.  The re-opening party on will be Friday April 27th from 7-9 pm. The new studio is located at 1000 Kennedy Blvd. on the corner of Kennedy and Edison. It is one block east of the current Lotus Room and is on the south side of the street. Yes I can tempt you with food and drinks at the party, but if you are like me, your get to SEE the new space!



If you can’t make it Friday night, here’s a little For the Love of Yoga sneak Peak:

      The new space will offer 2 studio spaces with tons of natural light. Bella will be the only yoga studio in Tampa with sprung floors! This means that there is foam blocks 1.5 inches tall set about 6 inches apart underneath the floor. When you jump or place your weight, the floor will have give in it to absorb and help to protect your joints, prevent injuries, and reduce aggravation of past injuries. Unlike The Lotus Room, Bella will have ample parking; I mean there are PLENTY of spaces!! 

     The studio will be offering some new classes that include Hot and Warm Flows, and you can REALLY let the sweat flow without worry because the new space will have SHOWERS! YES, showers and changing rooms for men and women!  Not only did they add the hot and warm classes, but they are offerring a mixture of  Kids yoga! From babies to tweens, there is something for every age throughout the week.

     You will be delighted by not only the selection of new classes, but the plethora of Tampa Bay teaching talent under one roof.  I am sure one of your favorite Lotus Room or  Bella Prana teacher has a class on the new 50 plus class schedule offered thoughout the week. 

     Pricing is a bit different.  Bella drop-in rate of $13 will go to $15, but packages will continue to be available allowing you to pay as low as $9.90 per class, and Bella students will now be able to purchase more package deals!

Grand Opening Weekend Special: Brand new students can enjoy One Month Unlimited for $39.00! (Students who practiced at either at The Lotus Room or Bella Prana do not qualify)

1 Year Unlimited Yoga on Sale our Grand Opening Month for $1,000.00!

Bella Prana will be honoring non-expired Lotus Room packages until June 1st.

For this weekend only Bella Prana has created a special schedule for Saturday and Sunday, see it below.  Then the regular schedule begins Monday morning the 30th, 2012.

Saturday April 28th 

9:00am - 10:30am           Flow Level 2 DJ Class Chay Prieto
9:30am - 10:45am           Shelly Yoga
12:00pm - 2:00pm          Core Workshop w/ Stephen Kaleda
11:15am - 12:30pm         Hatha with Carla Jimenez 
1:00pm - 2:15pm            Power with Eric Wheeler
2:30pm - 3:45pm            Hot Flow 1 Tina Tidwell
2:30pm - 4:00pm            Flow Level 2 with Ashley Halley
4:30pm - 5:45pm            Stress Relief Yoga with Dina Georgoulis
4:15pm - 5:30pm            Heart Openers with Megan Weathers
6:00pm - 7:15pm            Donation All Levels Class with Shari Feldman

Sunday April 29th  

10:00am - 11:30am         Flow Level 2  Chay Prieto
9:30am - 11:30am           Foundational Meditation Class
12:30pm - 2:30pm          Power Level 2/3 with Stephen Bickle
12:00pm - 1:15pm          Donation Crystal Bowl Meditation
2:00pm - 3:00pm            Free Kids Yoga - All Ages
3:15pm - 4:30pm            Gentle with Karen Kessel
3:00pm - 4:30pm            Warm Flow 1 with Erin Wheeler
5:00pm - 6:30pm            Hot Flow 2 with Stephen Kaleda
4:45pm - 5:45pm            Donation Yoga Nidra with Laraine O’Neill
6:00pm - 7:15pm            Donation All Levels Class with Shari Feldman

Studio's Pricing Below:

Single Drop-In Class $15.00
5 Class Package  $58.00 ($11.60 per class)
10 Class Package $108.00 ($10.80 per class)
20 Class Package $198.00 ($9.90 per class)
1 Month Unlimited Yoga   $150.00
3 Month Unlimited Yoga   $400.00
6 Month Uniimited Yoga   $680.00
1 Year Unlimited Yoga  $1200.00

I am excited about the new Bella Prana and I hope you are too, see you on the mat!






Erin Wheeler is a mother, writer, and yoga teacher in Tampa, Florida.  Her weekly column, The Balanced Life, covers yoga postures, yoga happenings & events, around Tampa Bay.  Her company Lucky Cat Yoga brings the art of yoga to anyone, anytime, at any place!  “Like” Lucky Cat Yoga on Facebook and see her teaching schedule.  Follow her  @luckycatyoga on twitter.


For the Love of Yoga: Moses Love and I Love Yoga Apparel

     Teacher, student, Yogi, Author, and Clothing entrepreneur Moses Love, of the I Love Yoga apparel line, will be presenting his Organic Inspirational Vinyasa Flow class for tonights sold out opening event at Rasa-Lila Fest.  I had the opportunity to speak with Moses this week and get to know him a little and found inspiration by the story of another human’s art. 

     Yoga found Moses when he was a small child, “I would see my grandmother practicing Yoga, she practiced till she was 90. I remember watching her at 7 or 8 years old, it really imprinted into me, an energy field of a peace, curiosity, a wonder seeing her being so graceful and intentional and moving in her body.”   Love found meditation at the age of 18 and cultivated a practice of pranayama and philosophical studies.  Around 28 or 29 Love began “the study of asana.” 

     Hot Yoga is what “opened the door” to the asana practice for Love.  “It was really powerful for me, I remember being on, what I considered to be a spiritual quest, having the sensitivity, compassion and connection to all life forms, that had been there for me, but to actually experience it  in my physical body the synchronicity of moving and breathing, that I had missed.   I was a professional water-skier, waterskied my whole life, surfed, snowboarded, tennis, and college football; I had spent my whole life being very active.  I was BLOWN away when I did my first hot yoga class. It really opened up a whole new realm of possibility, of really being at peace, really being connected to god, and being connected to the things that matter most, It was a profound experience.  I continued to practice and continued to study and never looked back.” 

 I LOVE YOGA apparel will be on sale in the Green Bus tonight for a trunk show from 5-6.

Come and meet Moses and his wife Zeina today and tomorrow at Rasa-Lila Fest 2012!