Friday, January 19, 2018

Changes and Transitions

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye today to Equinox, my home of 13 years. I had hoped for a different outcome, but this decision was not entirely in my hands.

Very few people know this, but in my days before yoga, when I was new to the country, I worked for a bakery, behind the counter, selling bread and pastries. After a few years I became a manager. While working for this bakery my passion for yoga was ignited, and I decided to take a yoga teacher training. Through the grace of miracles or coincidences I was given a chance to teach at Crunch in Miami. The manager who hired me has since passed away. I have fond memories of teaching at Crunch and I made wonderful friendships there.

Then a new company came to town, Equinox. Many of my friends went from Crunch to Equinox, excited about this new company that had mouth wash and clean towels and beautiful aesthetics and flower arrangements. I couldn’t teach at Equinox in South Beach because it was a conflict of interest (I had to learn and be reminded over the years what that meant, exactly) when they first opened because I worked for Crunch. But when Equinox Coral Gables opened, someone gave me a chance and I took it. My classes began to grow in numbers, and when the amount of classes I was teaching were bringing in about the same income as the bakery, I let go of the bakery.

I remember the fear mixed with excitement I felt that day. Things took off from there. Much of my career as a yoga teacher has developed in Equinox classes in Miami and New York. I have been back and forth between these two cities, and I remain humbled from the love I have received from my Equinox family all through these 13 years, in both states.

At one point in NYC, I was teaching more than 30 classes per week for Equinox (if you’re a teacher, you’ll understand how thinly stretched I was by that). But it was through really devoting myself to my students at Equinox that I earned a space in their hearts, and certain clubs became like my second home. My Sunday morning class at 74th Street became affectionately known as “Yoga Church,” and would often pack in more than 80 people, mats one inch apart, in a sweaty, joyful flow.

Equinox has opened doors for me that I didn’t know existed. I used to sell croissants and baguettes, and now — fast forward a few years — I am a full time teacher who leads international retreats, workshops, teacher trainings. I’m even taking baby steps into a more therapeutic approach to yoga and working to bring the benefits of yoga to communities in need by building new partnerships.

Through Equinox I learned discipline, how to get things done through hard work, and I would not give up that experience for anything. In my classes I have been exposed to a variety of people and characters and friends that I could never have imagined. I am eternally grateful to the many people in Equinox who gave me opportunities, and helped me along the way. I am not mentioning anyone. There are so many names that deserve to be called out in appreciation that I choose not to mention anyone and remember everyone — the ones who are still present, and those who unexpectedly left this world too soon.

After a rocky 2017, the death of my mom, and so many other events that have occurred, life is encouraging me to make some changes. And like previous times in my life, with change comes some fear, sadness, and anxiety. But I can’t ignore the calling that I feel, and I have made a commitment to myself that I won’t make decisions based on fear.

I am eternally grateful to the many faces who have filled my Equinox classes over the years. You have no idea how much your devotion to your practice has meant to me. I am also thankful to all the employees and managers behind the scenes who made my experience in this company truly remarkable on this 13-year ride. My doors and my heart will always remain open to you.

Most of all, I will miss my students at Equinox. I really wish that it didn’t have to be this way. But I am sure that our yoga paths will continue to cross in the future, in other ways. I am excited about the wonderful projects taking shape in 2018. I am looking at life with excitement, and I am open and ready for what’s next.

With love to you all,

Monday, August 14, 2017

SRF Annual Convocation - 2017

I spent last week immersed in meditation. I came to Los Angeles for the week-long annual convocation of Self Realization Fellowship. SRF is the non profit organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) for the continuation of all his teachings.

Thousands of devotees from all over the world gather together in chanting, meditation, and communion, to deepen our practice, to express gratitude for the teachings. Then we go back to our daily lives uplifted and inspired to awaken the qualities of our guru in ourselves and in everyone who crosses our paths.

It is very difficult to find the words to express the many feelings and realizations that come from a week of meditation and silence. Not to mention putting the phone away and taking a break from email and social media. It was kind of astonishing to check the phone at night and notice that I still had 80% battery left.

I would like to share with you some of the realizations of my week, with the hope that some of my aha moments might inspire you.

-Meditation: I noticed that as the days went by my natural resistance to being still faded away. I started looking forward to meditation. I noticed the effects that meditation has on my mind, the pace of my thoughts, even in my skin, but most importantly in my heart. 

Many times throughout the week I experienced moments of silence where my heart spoke loudly and clearly. I renewed my vows of meditation, not necessarily as a tool for slowing down but as a tool to stay connected to a quality of devotion and appreciation for the sacredness of life in general. 

-Relationships: One after another, I came up against the psychological maneuvers (many of them unconscious) that I use to avoid conflict, pain, and sadness in my relationships. I got to understand the why's of certain feelings and most importantly I got to free myself and the other person involved from the heavy weights of judgement and resentment. I realized how many of my closest relationships were being held captive to my resistance and disapproval. I freed some emotional patterns and made peace with myself. I couldn't have done that alone. Not on my mat. Not with a therapist. Not with a friend. I needed this time in meditation and silence to arrange the puzzle pieces inside myself.

-Love: I know that I am surrounded by it. But certain life situations create a wall between that pure feeling of love and the world. I came to this week’s convocation knowing that some of my life experiences in the past year have hardened my heart. The busyness of life, projects and demands didn't allow me to press pause and reflect. 

I understood this week once again that love is the main essence that we are made of. Love is the main language of communication. It is the only reason that we are here, and the only hope to live our lives fully. 

I gave myself time to ask, reflect, and meditate on all this matters and so many more. None of this could have happened if I hadn't taken the time to ask and listen, if I hadn't made my spiritual questions a priority amidst the rush of obligations in my daily life.

I hope whoever you are, reading this, that it gives you food for thought. And that you make some time for yourself to really listen. And trust that an answer is always given.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I’m A Yoga Teacher And I Was Depressed

I stood staring at the tiny white pill in my hand.
I was supposed to believe that this pill would alleviate my pain, my fears, my inability to function, my sadness and disconnection from the things I loved, my extreme and disturbing thoughts about life and death. 
It took me a few minutes to swallow my pride before I could swallow the pill. I knew I was moving into unknown territory. 

On paper, it didn’t make any sense for me to be experiencing a “major depressive episode,” as the psychiatrist had called it. People like me aren’t supposed to go through depression. Are we?

For over a dozen years I’ve been a successful yoga teacher, devoted to holistic health, to meditation, and to spirituality. I’m thriving in my job, with hundreds of beloved students in New York and Miami, working for a great company, taking people on retreats to beautiful places around the world, leading yoga teacher trainings and workshops, married to the love of my life, with a beautiful apartment and two loving cats, living in my favorite city surrounded by beaches and sunshine.

But there I was: struggling with the most basic decisions, like brushing my teeth, drinking water, taking a shower, getting out of bed. And nonetheless, I kept going, day after day.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Your Presence

By Adrian Molina

Last weekend in NYC flew by so quickly. But I still wanted to share something that stayed with me… 

Many students come to me to share amazing stories of success, triumphs, accomplishments. I love giving high fives to their success stories. But there are also the other ones. The stories about heartbreak or illness or difficulties in life… 

A student came to talk to me at the beginning of one of our workshops. It was the kind of story that, after less than a minute, had me in tears.

There were no words of solace good enough. 

There was no scripted line that I could respond with...

There was nothing to be said. Because no words could possibly diminish the pain.

I hugged my student for the longest time. It’s not always your job to provide answers.

Monday, September 14, 2015


By Adrian Molina

One of the great things about teaching many yoga classes every week in a city like New York is that you get to meet a diverse and wide range of professionals—doctors, lawyers, CEOs, celebrities, Ph.D.’s, scientists, teachers and professors. 

I've been blessed to have in my classes professionals of every possible field. One of my favorites to have in class are teachers. Because they know the importance of learning, and they understand and appreciate the role of the teacher. And I learn a lot from them.

I have pre-K teachers, elementary and high school teachers, NYU professors, published teachers who travel to symposiums and congresses, decorated with awards and recognition. Some of them have newspaper or magazine columns or segments on TV, or even their own TED talks. When I see them in my newsfeed teaching and speaking in such prestigious venues I feel humbled that they choose to share some of their time with me.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Say "Thank You!"

by Dennis Hunter

There is a moment at the beginning of Wayne Dyer’s film “The Shift,” in which he demonstrates how he would wake up each morning at around 3:30am. Rolling to the side of his bed, placing his feet on the floor, he lifts his gaze slightly, takes in a deep breath, pauses to appreciate the miracle of being alive, and whispers: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

If you’re anything like me, that’s a far cry from how you usually wake up. You, too, might utter phrases and perhaps even invoke the creator, but it’s not in gratitude for another day lived. It’s probably more like:

“Oh God! I hate getting up this early.”

“Oh God! I wish I didn’t have to go to work today.”

“Oh God! I feel like a truck ran over me.”

“Oh God! I don’t want to go to that meeting / teach that class / cook breakfast / etc…”

“Oh God! My back aches / my head hurts / my allergies / etc…”

The writer Ben Okri once said: “Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.” But this happens all the time, not only at night. It happens from the very first moment you wake up. We must always be vigilant about the stories we tell ourselves, and how they alter our world.

What is the first story you tell yourself upon awakening, when you first open your eyes and set your feet on the floor? Is it a story about how much your day is going to suck? Then guess what? Your day is going to suck. You’ve pretty much willed that perception into existence.

But what if you could wake up and tell yourself, instead, a quick little story about what a marvel it is to be granted one more day of life? How would it change the narrative — and how would the narrative change your experience? — if the first thing you articulate in your mind is not a complaint about your day but an expression of gratitude for it?

And when you come home at the end of the day, and you drop your bag and take off your shoes, examine the tone in which you exclaim: “Oh God! What a day!” Are you bitching about it? Or expressing wonder and appreciation for the fact that you were lucky enough to have another one?

Someday soon you will run out of days, and then you will see that each day of your life, beneath the waters of consciousness, the stories you told yourself were, in fact, altering your world. You can’t always alter the circumstances of your life, but you can always alter the story you tell yourself today. Start now.

Say “Thank you.” Say it three times, when you first wake up, before doing anything else. It may feel phony at first. You might even feel like a new age Pollyanna. Try it anyway. And see if that story doesn’t alter your world for the better — just a little bit.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Come to Cuba with Us!

February 6-11, 2016.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore yoga and meditation while immersing yourself in the unique culture of Cuba. This is not your average yoga retreat, and Cuba is unlike any other destination. Organized by Pure Yoga, the retreat will include daily yoga and meditation with Adrian and Dennis while you explore the heart of old Havana and the stunning beauty of the Viñales region of the island.

Spaces on this retreat are limited and it’s expected to fill up very quickly.

Click here for more information and itinerary, and email Laina Jacobs at Pure Yoga ( to arrange your deposit.

Changes and Transitions

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye today to Equinox, my home of 13 years. I had hoped for a different outcome, but this decision wa...