Yesterday evening I reunited with the beautiful yogi Jess Bellofatto, who led the surf & yoga retreat I embarked on last November in Rincon. She’s a dynamite chick. Jess teamed up with Elena Brower, owner of ViraYoga in Soho to co-lead a heart and hip-opening Vinyasa power flow class. Heart-opening poses help clear the lungs, open the chest, and improve circulation— all wonderful things! Being a runner, hip-opening poses are so rewarding. That “ahhh” moment in rockstar/wild thing is one of the feelings I look forward to most on the mat. Muscles getting the relief they need, Feeling all my fears and stresses evaporate out me. The workshop today was themed Gratitude. Jess suggested the mantra- Inhale. “Thank you.” Exhale. “Thank you.” Silently thinking of all I am thankful for while inhaling and exhaling deeply throughout each and every pose in class- this grounds me. This keeps me hopeful. Confident. Richly happy. And I carry this with me off my mat tonight and always - whether the circumstances seem fortunate or misfortunate, having a strong sense of gratitude for the present moment and appreciation that I am able to feel whatever the present moment is, that is a true gift.
Photo above: Jess practicing SUP Yoga in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward dog)
“Jessica Bellofatto, Founder and Director of KamaDeva Yoga in East Hampton, New York, is best known for her easy laughter, radiant energy, and matchless knowledge of the body. A mother, yogini, doula, surfer, triathlete, and avid stand up paddleboarder, Jessica has inspired thousands of students in their journey to better understand themselves and their world. She uses movement as play, movement as therapy, and most importantly, views movement in general and the asana practice specifically as a spiritual practice done to benefit all beings.
Featured in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Post, New York Magazine, Hamptons Magazine, Well and Good and many more, Jessica, deeply steeped in her Jivamukti roots, co-founded Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, NY in 1999, co-directed Yoga Shanti’s first 500 hr Teacher Training Program, and co-directed the studio for nine years before moving in a different direction. She opened KamaDeva Yoga in April of 2009, and leads sold-out yoga retreats worldwide. In 2011, Jessica was chosen amongst over 400 other applicants to be one of Athleta’s Featured Athletes for 2011, and writes regularly for the ATHLETA CHI blog, and other periodicals.”
Bio from http://www.jessicabellofattoyoga.com/biography.htm