Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Of My Favorite Yoga Books For Kids, Part 2

I went up into my yoga book library and pulled a few more books to add to my previous post:

1. C if for Curious: An ABC of Feelings by Woodleigh Hubbard
2. Fly Like A Butterfly by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
3. Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
4. I Love Yoga by Mary Kaye Chryssicas
5. Look Inside Your Body: A Poke And Learn Learning Book by Anna Nicholas
6. Sky Tree by Thomas Locker
7. The Amazing Pull-out Pop-Up Body in a Book by David Hawcock
8. The Empty Pot by Demi
9. Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein

I also love my:
1. Mr. Thrifty Budget Skeleton Model 33 1/2 inch high for classroom use
2. Muscular System Anatomical Chart Laminated
3. Yoga Classroom Border (from Yoga Accessories)

and I have a great piece of Cavallini Skeleton wrapping paper that is awesome!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some of my favorite yoga books for young children:

1.    Little Yoga: A Toddler's First Book of Yoga by Rebecca Whitford
2.    The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Power
8.    Create a Yoga Practice for Kids by Yael Calhoun and Matthew R. Calhoun 
10.  Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath  by Danielle Bersma, Marjoke Visscher and Alex Kooistra
11.  Benito's Dream Bottle by Naomi Shihab Nye
12.  Beau the Bee by Minda Devorkin 
13.  Each Breath a Smile by Sister Susa
14.  Baby Buddhas: A Gude To Teaching Meditation to Children by Lisa Desmond
15.  Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean
16.  Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean
17.  Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja 

Friday, December 2, 2011

November Yoga-Snack in MS. Forzaglia's class/Brown School, Natick, MA

We started seated in a wide stance butterfly pose (feet not pulled in close to the body) and then relaxed over our legs. Focusing on our breath and with each exhale, allowing the breath to accumulate three fingers below the belly button (a great place to store breath energy)

Class today was centered on finding balance in the crazy holiday season. Things that were mentioned: The setting back of our clocks, which changed the amount of daylight hours, and how that can affect your mood and energy level.; Eating varied foods and eating at different times which can upset your intestinal balance; The desire for certain gifts/the wanting can be unsettling; Changes in the household when guests visit; vacation time and finally because of the colder weather less time out doors and maybe less physical activity.

All of these things can lead to unbalance and the beauty of yoga is that is a very simple way we can bring balance back into our lives. The poses, the breathing, the meditation will help us relax or energize.

Sitting up, we tucked our feet under our bottoms and sat between the two heels (big toes crossed) stretched our arms behind us and pressed our finger tips into the floor-which lifts and opens our chest and opens our hearts for a burst of energy.

Then a modified opposite nostril breathing exercise:
1. Close of the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand.
2. Breath in and out with just the left nostril; repeat but this time on the exhale imagine a murky, swampy green color leaving through your left nostril (good bye to greed and envy); repeat
3. Now let go of right nostril and close off your left nostril with the ring and pinky finger of right hand.
4. Breath in and out with just the right nostril; repeat but this time on the exhale imagine a watery red color leaving through your right nostril (good bye to anger and hate); repeat
5. Let go of both nostrils.
6. Breath in and out with both nostrils; repeat but this time on the exhale imagine a dark, smokey grey color leaving through both nostrils (good bye to the dull, foggy sleepy mind); repeat

"You should now feel light, happy and aware" "Try putting a smile on your face and just see how that makes you feel better"

Cow (inhale) moooooooo to Cat (exhale) Meoooowwwww (hands under shoulder and knees under hips)
Plank (shoulders right over wrists; strong bellies; drop tail)
Side Plank (and for challenge try tree pose leg)
Down to floor and hissing up and moving spine-Cora Pose
Repeat whole sequence and do side plank on other side
Downward Facing Dog
Walk hands back to Standing Forward Bend back to Downward Facing Dog
Standing Tree Pose-variations of arms
Star Pose to Warrior 1 (I am courageous!) to Warrior 2 (I am Brave!) to Dancing Warrior (I am amazing!) to Extended Side Angle pose (use a good in breath to start to come out of the pose and finish with an exhale). Repeat fro Star Pose and sequence on other side.

A-E-I-O-U Meditation:
Sitting cross legged; pointer finger out and using thumb to hold other fingers curled
I am happy; I am good. I am happy; I am good (Shake pointer fingers)
A-E-I-O (hands together at the belly button) ; A-E-I-O (hands together by the heart) ; A-E-I-O (hands together by the forehead); U (hands reaching up to sky).
Ha-ha-ha-ha (hands together by the forehead) ; He-he-he-he (hands together by the heart) ; Ho-ho-ho-ho (hands together at the belly button) ; Hooooooo (pronounced "who" hands reaching our by the knees).

2 times out loud
2 times whisper
2 times in head (continue hand movements)
2 times whisper
2 times out loud

Namaste! Ole!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


On sale now! For tickets and information call 617-876-4275 or visit

Compañía Rafaela Carrasco
Performing the Boston premiere of Vamos al Tiroteo
Friday, March 2, 8pm l Saturday, March 3, 8pm l $65, $50, $40
Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston

From Seville, Rafaela Carrasco is a breathtaking dancer and one of the most important flamenco choreographers of her generation. With her company of five dancers and live musicians, she displays her rare ability to explore new concepts while maintaining the essence and integrity of flamenco in Vamos al Tiroteo. Set to a selection of popular Spanish songs originally recorded by Federico García Lorca and sung by La Argentinita in 1931, Vamos al Tiroteo brings new life and energy to the music that inspired a hugely influential generation of flamenco artists.

Compañía Olga Pericet
Performing the Boston premiere of Rosa, Metal y Ceniza
Sunday, March 4, 7pm l $65, $50, $40
Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston

Boston debut

One of flamenco’s most exciting new talents, Olga Pericet is a young, diminutive yet powerful dancer. Her elegant new work, Rosa, Metal y Ceniza, won the Revelación prize at last year´s Festival de Jerez. It seamlessly blends dream references with traditional and contemporary flamenco dance and features Pericet joined by two male dancers and live musicians.

Also this season, don’t miss:
From Spain
Wednesday, April 11, 7:30pm l $75, $60, $40
The Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston

“The most advanced guitarist in any idiom.”Guitar Review

One of the world’s greatest guitarists, Paco de Lucía is a living legend of flamenco music. Considered by many to be the most innovative and influential flamenco artist of the last 40 years, he has had a revolutionary impact on the art form, infusing it with new life and bringing it worldwide attention. Paco de Lucía will be performing with his world-renowned flamenco sextet and the spectacular dancer Farruco.

For tickets and information call 617-876-4275 or visit

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yoga-Snack in Ms. Forzaglia's class #2

This was my second time bringing my Yoga-Snack program into Ms. Forzaglia's fourth grade class and I felt the kids' energy right from the beginning. They were all psyched to see me when I came into the class and we pretty much got started right away (well we start class but then have to take a break for the Pledge and for school announcements).

I have been reading up a lot on the Fight or Flight Response in conjunction with my Warriors At Ease program that I am involved in (Warriors At Ease is  a yoga program that is geared to the military community that I am becoming certified in. I will be teaching a class at Edwards Church in Framingham MA) and it came naturally into the beginning of today's class as we discussed that yoga helps us reduce the stress in our lives.

We began sitting comfortably on the floor and for an exercise in changing our habits, I had each student notice which way they originally crossed their legs (making that their natural criss-cross position) and then had them switch the cross, just to feel the difference (Yoga is a great way for us to notice our habits and change them). We did three belly breaths and I explained that for good yogic breathing, when we fill our bellies with air on our inhale to think of a beach ball and if you press down in the center of it, the two sides would lift around your hands).

Next we play a right brain/ left brain game called The Nose Knows (slap legs two times, clap two times, grab nose with right hand and reach across with left hand to hold right ear; slap legs two times, clap two times, grab nose with left hand and reach across with right hand to hold left ear. Repeat trying to get faster and faster-a great brain balancing activity).

With some music, we did three modified A series: mountain pose, arms up for high mountain, breath in and drop your head back and gaze at your hands, breathing out, folding forward, breathing in 1/2 way lift, breathing out to plank: here we did knee to nose, before melting down to the floor, then breathing in, cobra pose, hissing up and down making our bodes move like a snake, then with a good out breath, pressing up into downward facing dog pose. Here we lifted our legs for three legged dog and let out a few woofs and barks.

Resting in child's pose and then getting onto hands and knees, we did table top balance pose (right hand off floor and left leg stretched back, then switching sides).

Star pose to triangle to side angle stretch to warrior 2 for a short flow sequence.

Lastly, I went for an all time favorite, Yogini Went to Sea which is a yoga song with movement that I use (created by my dear friend and mentor Shakta Khalsa of Radiant Child Yoga). This song is actually a way of getting children to mediate by focusing on the song only and breathing well during the movement and singing along.

Savasana to end class.

¡Ole Namaste!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lola's Fandango Book Release Event

Last Sunday found me at Barefoot Books Studio in Concord, MA for a  90-minute event to kick-off a new Barefoot Books title, Lola's Fandango, by Anna Witte.  Illustrator Micha Archer was there to celebrate the launch of this distinguished new Barefoot Books title and she gave a reading at the studio's whimsical storyteller’s throne. She followed this with a craft-making activity of creative, fun wearable crafts (skirts, flowers, fans, and bow ties!).  To top this wonderful afternoon off, I offered the adorable participants a flamenco demo and then enlisted them in a follow-me flamenco dance in the wonderful, cheery studio! With flamenco fans held high and shouts of ¡Olé! we paraded around the studio stomping our feet and swishing our skirts! 

One mother wrote to me later, We just left barefoot books and had such a fabulous afternoon. My daughter is still clapping and stamping in between spoonfuls of yogurt (we are at Starbucks and she is putting on quite a show!). You were fantastic with the kids. It was such fun to watch!"

Lola’s Fandango is a story about a little girl named Lola who discovers one day that her mother (Mami) used to be a very good flamenco dancer. Lola secretly learns to dance a traditional flamenco dance, Fandango, from her father (Papi). Papi first teaches Lola the rhythm of the dance and then how to stomp her feet. And finally, he teaches her how to move her arms and hands. Lola practices, gaining confidence and developing the spirit (Duende) and attitude needed to be a great flamenco dancer. I won’t tell you anymore but the illustrations are beautiful and colorful and fully capture the fire of flamenco!

I was very pleased with the authentic use of flamenco in this book. Two points of note are the onomatopoeia of Lola’s dance shoes “toca toca tica” and the repeating rhythm of the Fandango: 1-2-3,  4-5-6, 7-8,  9-10,  11-12 (the count that is represents the base of all flamenco 12-count rhythms). A special treat is the CD that accompanies the book, narrated by the Amador family of the Pan-Latin musical and singing ensemble Soly Canto, includes flamenco music and real foot stomping in the background. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flamenco Algarabía

Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas 
presents JOSÉ BARRIOS in

Flamenco Algarabía
With special guest legendary jazz trumpeter 

$25 General Admission,
$10 Suffolk Community, Students and Seniors (with valid ID) or call 800.440.7654

Flamenco Dance Workshop

Flamenco Dance Workshop
for Adult beginners! 
Thursday, Nov. 10th at the Waban Library Center

Dance instruction 7pm - 8:15pm with
Eva Lorca.
Refreshments and good company until 9pm. $25 per person.

Space is limited. Reserve your spot by emailing

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Youth Flamenco and Lola's Fandango

Lola's Fandango New Book Celebration: Artist Visit & Kids Flamenco Dancing

Barefoot Books Studio

89 Thoreau Street
Concord, MA 01742 USA
A great 90-minute event to kick-off a new Barefoot Books title!  Artist Micha Archer joins us to celebrate the launch of this distinguished new Barefoot Books title (awarded a starred review in Booklist) with a reading at our whimsical storyteller’s throne, followed by craft-making of creative, fun wearable crafts (skirts, flowers, fans, bow ties and more!).  To top this wonderful afternoon off, flamenco dance instructor Eve Agush will offer participants a brief demo, then enlist the children in follow-me dancing in our wonderful Studio!  Ages 2-10.  $5 per child ($10 family max.); pre-registration required to attend.  Participants can purchase this new title at special discount.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flamenco Arms

To create the sweep for flamenco arms, grow wings! Spread your back wide and lift your arms. Keep this image of wings...feel like you back body is wider than your front body.

The arms must have energy all the way to the fingers, use Dynamic Tension. Feel your arm is moving with the strength of the shoulder muscles

Feel your arm pits are deep caverns with vaulted ceilings. 

In the passage of the arm, you must go through all the "stopping" points and create the shape necessary at that point (ie Never just bring your arm up with out passing through:  low "v" to "t" position to high "v" etc...). In low "v" & 6 o'clock, make sure you do not compress the arm pits. As the arms raise, do not lift your shoulders. Elbows must remain high throughout as the shoulders must remain down. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cultivate your flamenco body

In yoga class this week, my guru Barbara Benagh used a metaphor for cultivating a plant in relation to growing a pose in yoga. This metaphor really resonated with me and I brought it with me to flamenco class this week.

At the beginning of class, we explore the body structure to be held during flamenco. I usually describe the process physically:
*Drop your tail bone (or feel a long lower back)
*In return you will feel a response in your belly, a lifting in your belly
*Bring your belly into your back back so you fill out your lower back
*Feel your side ribs lifting
*Have deep arm pits
*Lift your shoulder girdle up and then drop it over the top pf the rib cage
*Do not pull your shoulders back, instead open your upper back wide
*At the same time, open your chest up wide too
*You need a micro-bend in your knees and elbows
*Pull the back of your cranium into your neck for a long straight line from tail to crown of head
*Eyes are down cast (hooded) in a far off type of way (do not look at the floor)
This week, however, I led the class using visualization to allow my students to create new habits in forming the flamenco body:

"When you want to plant a flower, you first need to till the soil, nourish it, plant the seeds, water it, and then sit back and wait to see the in relation to the flamenco body. If you imagine that the soil line is at the hips, so your legs and your feet are the roots below the surface. The roots grow down and ground the dance to the earth. From the waist up is the blossom, growing from the soil line (which is your hips). This is the blossom.With good, strong roots, you then use the upper body to create the shapes and lines true to flamenco, building out of the hips and allowing the legs and feet to move separately."

This is a much different image than if you imagine the feet are rooted to a soil line right below them. In this scenario, the legs are not rooted in the soil. But with the soil being at the hip line, you can instead imagine the legs to be strong roots growing deeply down into the soil and then allow the feet to hold you to the earth.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Children’s Dance Festival at the Dance Complex

The Dance Complex is 20 in 2011
Twenty years ago, a bunch of dancers took over the abandoned Odd Fellows Hall in Cambridge’s Central Square.  They now own the repaired and refurbished historic building with six beautiful studios and call it The Dance Complex.

As part of their fall birthday celebrations, the Dance Complex is hosting a Children’s Dance Festival on Sunday 16 October from 1:00-3:00pm.

For children with their guardians) ages 6-18, there will be  20-minute mini-classes. Taught by the faculty of the children’s classes there will be introductions to: ballet; tap; Duncan dance; Flamenco; Break Dancing. Following the classes, there will be a short, informal performances from the classes at the Dance Complex.

After the class, teachers will answer questions and provide information about how the classes are run at The Dance Complex.

No reservations are needed. Just bring a pair on NON-street shoes for dancing. A donation of $5 per non-enrolled  family is requested.  Consider it a birthday gift for The Dance Complex. Please share this event with all your friends!

The Dance Complex is the Central Square stop on the Red Line.
536 Mass Ave, Cambridge 02139 617.547.9363

Friday, September 23, 2011

Daytime Adult Flamenco

Last week started my new daytime adult flamenco program in Natick, MA. This year's class is on Friday 10:00-11:00AM at Sereda Dance Works, 89H Washington Ave., Natick, MA.

This has been an exciting and exhilarating start to the new season of flamenco. With a bang, the class size increased double and the camaraderie between the students old and new has been immediately encompassing. We have a really good time learning technique, listening to the rhythms, making noise and laughing-I love that the class erupts with laughter through the hour-today's humor resting on how we make sounds with our hands, apricots in the arms pits, "sand" "wich" "a" (or possibly "ta" "ta" "pa")...spilling out of the room, at the end of class, peals of laughter and smiles filled the space.

Ole! Namaste!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scenes of Spain

Scenes of Spain
A travel through Spain in music and dance with lecture presentation and wine & cheese reception.

Presented by the Boston Arts Consort
Linda Papatopoli, Director

Friday, September 30th, 2011 8PM
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA

Doors open at 7:15PM with a 15-minute video of Barcelona at 7:45PM.

Margarita Campos
Luis De Haro
Elizabeth Leehey
Linda Papatopoli
Donal O'Sullivan
Tom Rhode
Roberto Rios 
Clara Sandler
Gary Tucker

Flamenco, tap and yoga classes for youth and adults with Eve Agush

Flamenco, tap and yoga classes for youth and adults with 
Eve Agush

Classes begin the week of September 12th, 2011  
All new students enjoy their first class for $10.00-please invite your friends to join!

·       Mondays @ Sereda DanceWorks, 89H Washington Ave., Natick, MA.
Youth Tap Dance Level 1 (ages 5-9) 3:30-4:30; Youth Tap Dance Level 2 (ages 10+) 4:30-5:30PM; Adult Tap Dance Level 1:6:00-7:00PM

·        Wednesdays @ The Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
Youth Flamenco Level One (ages 6-10) 4:00-5:00PM
Youth Tap Dance Level 2 (ages 10+) 5:00-6:00PM: This is not a beginner level class; all students should have at least a year of tap dance and understand the basics of tap dance technique.

·        Thursday @ 258 Mt. Vernon Street, Newton, MA
Youth Flamenco Level 2 (ages 8-15) 5:00-6:00PM: This is not a beginner level class; all students should have at least a year of flamenco and understand the basics of flamenco technique and rhythms.

·        Friday @ Sereda DanceWorks, 89H Washington Ave., Natick, MA
Adult Flamenco L:evel 1 10:00-11:00AM *** NEW DAY AND TIME****

Eve is also a gifted individual instructor for adults, teens and children. Contact Eve to schedule a private flamenco, tap or yoga session. Eve also presents flamenco and yoga birthday parties.  

   Remember to always be dancing!
          No olvides bailar siempre

Thursday, August 25, 2011

“Scenes of Spain” on Friday, September 30th at 8PM

Dear Friends and Patrons,

Hoping everyone is enjoying these beautiful last days of summer. We would like to extend a warm invitation to our upcoming event, “Scenes of Spain” on Friday, September 30th at 8PM.

In “Scenes of Spain” we will travel the regions of Spain in music and dance with notes from Spanish lecturer Margarita Campos and enjoy Spanish wine and cheese chosen by Spanish food connoisseur Luis de Haro. Also included in the program will be pianist and artistic director, Linda Papatopoli; clarinetist, Liz Leehey; flamenco artist, Eve Agush; flamenco guitarist, Roberto Foreman; classical guitarist, Tom Rhodes; Baritone; Gary Tucker and more.

More information soon with how to purchase tickets and with the venue address. 

Scenes of Spain, September 30th, 8PM

Linda Papatopoli & The Boston Arts Consort

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yoga Books, DVD's etc for Children with Special Needs

On a previous post, I received a comment form a mother who is interested in books, DVDs etc for her child who was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I thought I would compile a list for her and anyone else who is interested. 

1. Yoga Therapy for Every Special Child: Meeting Needs in a Natural Setting by Nancy Williams and Leslie White

2. Yoga for the Special Child; A Therapeutic Approach for Infants and Children with Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Learning Disabilities by Sonia Sumar

3. Yoga for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents and  Caregivers by Dion E. Betts and Stacey W. Betts

4. Integrated Yoga: Yoga with a Sensory Integrative Approach by Nicole C. Cuomo

5.  I Can Be:A Child's Whimsical Introduction to Yoga by Christine M. Sumner and Kirk Salopek

6. Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Whole Brain Learning by Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison

7. Yoga for Children with Special Needs by Aras Baskauskas and Britt Collins M.S., OTR (DVD)

8. Yoga-Yingo Classic Set (GAME)

9. Abilitations Super-Pro Anti-Burst Therapy Ball 65cm (PROP)

10. Learn With Yoga: ABC Yoga Cards for Kids by Christine Ristuccia

11. Sensational Meditation for Children: Child Friendly Meditation Techniques based on the Five Senses by Sarah Wood Vallely

12. Starbright Meditations for Children by Maureen Garth 

13. Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children by Shakta Khalsa