Congratulations To WE! Introducing The Dharma Project - Center for Civic Innovation Fellowship

Since last year I have been on a quest to clarify how the work I do can be of more value in Atlanta. I love teaching yoga and our community AND feel that we're not reaching so many that can benefit from this practice. Diversity, inclusivity and access are some of the major issues I wanted to address and so, The Dharma Project was born. With the help of some amazing people I have been able to formulate a beautiful vision and mission for our non-profit and now, I am ready to learn the skills needed to grow our organization in the most beautiful and impactful way. 70 people applied. 20 finalists. 8 fellows selected! I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing cohort of individuals embarking on six months of mentorship for their social enterprise with the Center for Civic Innovation. From the first panel discussion I attended at CCI, I knew I needed to somehow be involved with this organization. Now I get to study and learn from some of the finest in the city.

Here is the story of the eight social entrepreneurs that were selected for the inaugural Civic Innovation Fellowship. I get to spend the next six months with these amazing people! To read the entire story click to this link.

  • Alexander Acosta, Soul Food Cypher: Soul Food Cypher utilizes the power of freestyle rap and lyricism to transform the lives of individuals and their communities. They are an organization that showcases the positive aspects of hip hop culture through our cypher events, membership program, and community outreach.
  • Joshua Brown, The Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents of America:The Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents of America is a minority and veteran operated community-based organization whose mission is to divert parental and intergenerational incarceration, by helping at-risk, low-income individuals to stabilize their lives economically and reach their leadership potential in the community.
  • Monica Campana, Living Walls, The City Speaks: Living Walls seeks to promote, educate and change perspectives about our public space via street art. With their mission we aim to address blight, neglected public spaces, connection between people in their communities, and access to free thought-provoking art in the public space.
  • Rutu Chaudhari, The Dharma Project: The Dharma Project's mission is to educate, empower, and employ populations that face financial and/or social barriers to the transformative power of yoga. They introduce vulnerable populations to yoga and healthy lifestyle practices, and train individuals from those communities to teach yogic practices on their own, creating a cycle of wellness that continues to spread in underserved communities.
  • Marian Liou, We Love BuHi: We Love BuHi envisions a safe, attractive, fun, livable and inclusive Buford Highway corridor. The organization seeks to catalyze the area's revitalization through creative, collaborative placemaking showcasing the area's diversity.
  • Reginald Maisonneuve, eDea, LLC: eDea is dedicated to advancing the financial well-­being of individuals and communities and giving institutions the means to better serve them. Through the innovative use of technology, we define, visualize and quantify financial health to help people understand, achieve and maintain financial well-being.
  • Jeffrey Martín, honorCode: honorCode's purpose is to empower schools to build the capacity for tomorrow's world. They provide curriculum and training to schools to bring more web development into the general K12 classroom.
  • Susanna Spiccia, re:imagine/ATL: re:imagine/ATL is a nonprofit organization that equips youth from all backgrounds to share their stories through multimedia production, activating youth through project-based learning to positively impact their community.

The Plane of the Sun - Surya Namaskar


Tuesday, June 21st is International Yoga Day. It’s also a day after the summer solstice. I’d like to do a special donation only practice of the Classical Surya Namaskar for my Tuesdayevening, 6:30pm class.

The Classical Surya Namaskar (CSN) is the oldest known series. Whereas most asana developed within the past 150 years, there is evidence that the CSN has been around for thousands of years. For thousands of years, yogis have practiced this series in a very specific way to create very specific effects. So when I have students come to class wanting to modify the postures because they think they are more advanced than the seemingly elementary postures being done in the CSN I am adamant about explaining that there is no reason to change something that is perfect. Our limited minds think high lunges and Chatturanga Danadasana are most advanced than low lunges and ashtanga namaskar. They are not, but that is another blog.

The CSN has been practiced the way it is or good reason. It’s physical and energetic benefits are profound. All movements are done in the plane of the sun, the temporal plane. Every part of the body stays as close to the midline as possible. The hands don’t go out to the sides and the feet stay together. The eyes, like the body, move forward and back with particular points of dhrishti, one pointed focus. These actions create intense mental focus, which strengthens the mind. Energetically, the CSN is a practice of aspiration (for light) and surrender (of ego/darkness). So along with keeping everything at the midline, fixing the eyes on a single point pose to pose, maintaining a steady, deep breath, we also cultivate the qualities we would like to expand in our lives and those that we would like to release. When all the pieces come together and can be practiced with fluidity, you feel an alignment with the solar force and with those who have practiced this for thousands of years. It’s beautiful to be in that flow.

I forgot to mention, physically the CSN increases flexibility of the spine, hips legs, shoulders, stimulates thyroid and adrenal function, invigorates the organs, tones, strengthens and builds endurance, and much, much more....Join me next Tuesday, June 21st for an exploration of perfection in motion.


We've had a wonderful time brining Purna Yoga to farmers markets around Atlanta!

Click each link to learn more!

Ponce City - Tuesdays at 4-5pm
Decatur - Saturday 6/18 at 10-11am
East Atlanta Village - Thursday 6/16 at 6-7pm
Westside Provisions - Sundays at 10-11am

These classes are outdoors  - please arrive a few minutes early and bring a mat. If you have any questions, let us know or visit the information booth at the markets for help. See you at the farmers market!

200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training starts June 11th

"To be well-rounded teachers of yoga, to serve our students with it's priceless gifts, to help each student fully realize the blessings that yoga has to offer, we cannot merely teach asana. It's not about hamstrings--it's about life. Our responsibility is to cultivate human beings, and the asanas are bait. People come merely to get fit, and we offer them a powerful evolutionary process leading to the revelation of Self and the fulfillment of dharma. The true impact of yoga is felt only when the student's entire life changes for the better from the practice." - Aadil Palkhivala from Fire of Love  Teaching is a joy, a privilege and a huge responsibility! This is the last week to register for the 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training that begins Saturday June 11th, 2016. Learn more about the course and register here.

Contribution Classes

I am so happy to have contribution based classes at All Life is Yoga. I hope to continue to transition the schedule in this direction. I love the feeling of inclusion that is blossoming at the studio.

There seems to be some confusion around the contribution classes for our current student base. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity. You are welcome to attend any of the contribution based classes and pay what you are able. You are able to use your class card but do not have to. You are unable to register for the classes online so come a few minutes early and the teacher will sign you in. Please bring your friends and family and practice with our eager, new teachers.

All Life is Yoga has teamed with CFM to bring free Purna Yoga classes to the community! Upcoming Events:


Ponce City - Tuesdays at 4-5pm
Decatur - Saturday 6/11 & 6/18 at 10-11am
East Atlanta Village - Thursday 6/16 at 6-7pm
Westside - Sunday 6/12 & 6/19 at 10-11am

These classes are outdoors  - please arrive a few minutes early and bring a mat. If you have any questions, let us know or visit the information booth at the markets for help. See you at the farmers market!

The Most Underrated Muscles

I'm currently fascinated by the intercostal muscles: the muscles between each rib. I'm spending a lot of time opening them and learning about their unique position and function in the body. Did you know that the intercostal muscles are the only muscles in front of your thoracic spine? The cervical spine has many muscles in front of it, and the lumbar has the psoas, but the closest muscles to the thoracic spine are the intercostals—and they aren't even attached to the spine itself. How interesting! The intercostals are responsible for 30% of normal breathing. 30%! That’s one-third of our breath capacity, which means that tension in the intercostals equals 30% less oxygen for the body.

And there is definitely tension in the intercostals. Beyond the fact that they are used all the time for breathing, a common problem called “dowager’s hump” is created by sitting at a desk and slouching. Of course carrying grief and sadness from the past also creates tension. These muscles work hard and often, which means that in order to open them, time is required. A thirty-second backbend just won’t do it, even if repeated many times.

When held for 5-10 minutes, postures like the Supported Matsyasana help to undo the tension held in the intercostals, as well as improve breathing, correct posture, remove grief, bring the feeling of joy, and—like all backbends—move you from fear to power. All very important things to work on.

I'll be in Asheville this weekend, teaching more about the intercostals for a Purna Yoga Weekend at One Center Yoga. Other topics for the weekend include Aadil's famous Eye Workshop, a DIY asana detox, the two most important postures in asana: The King and Queen (Shirsahasana and Sarvangasana), and meditation—the reason for your practice. Asheville is only three hours away and it's so beautiful right now. Join me at One Center Yoga June 3-5th.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the wonder that is your body, join me for the 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training that starts June 11th, 2016. Preview the curriculum here and register on our website .


Free Classes @ Local Farmers Markets

Ponce City - Starting Tuesday 6/7 at 4pm Decatur - Saturday 6/11 & 6/18 at 10am East Atlanta Village - Thursday 6/16 at 6pm Westside - Sunday 6/19 & 6/26 at 10:30am

Don't forget about our new contribution classes! Click here to view our full schedule + register for classes at All Life is Yoga online.

Work is Love

...made visible - Kahlil Gibran

When I was in college my friend, Christina Bulostine, had just graduated from a 200 hour yoga teacher training and was offering a donation class at another friends house. I was a bit averse to yoga in the US because I didn't relate to it. No one that did yoga looked like me. Even though it's roots are in India, ironically, I didn't think yoga in America was for me. I went because she was my friend. After that first class, though, I was hooked. I felt a huge burden release in my body. Yoga helped me with my body image, healing the trauma of a violent past, dealing with my anxiety, and so much more. It got to the point where I couldn't leave my house without doing my practice. It was my medicine.

I didn't miss Christina's weekly donation class. I started to tape the classes so I could practice them at home. I got videos of Baron Baptiste and Kundalini Yoga and I made mix tapes. Standing poses from this VHS, twists and backbends from that audio, core strengthening from a website link...Early on I was creative with my sequencing!

After three years I was feeling a bit stagnant in my practice since I was self teaching. My sister suggested I do a yoga teacher training. "Are you crazy! I exclaimed. I am not a guru. This is a respectable practice with lineage. I've only been doing it for three years. I'm not qualified!" But I wanted to learn more about yoga. So I did it! My sister's subtle nudge would change my life and direct me towards my purpose. What a huge gift she gave me. Within a few months of being in training I got my first gig as a teacher. :)

The point of my story is that yoga teacher training, esp. at the 200 hour level, is more about deepening your personal practice. You all know how much depth and breadth Purna Yoga has and some of you are more than ready to take your practice to the next level of understanding and application. Our mission is to embody the practice, to live it and for that, you need more training. Even if you've gone through a 200 hour in the past, this training is a tremendous eye opener. It will propel you in your practice. Learn the anatomy, physiology and refinement of posture, how to apply yogic philosophy in your day to day, and most importantly, how to embody the light that is experienced through meditation.

As Aadil often says, yoga is not usually the path but the path to the path. It's designed to align you with your purpose, your dharma. My purpose happens to be teaching. I have been teaching yoga for a living since 2003. My work involves my personal practice, so I can continue to heal myself and teach with integrity, sharing the gifts of yoga with others so they can feel more alive and joyful and earn a living do it. Wow! Talk about love manifest. It's pretty rewarding when your work serves you, your community and the planet.

Our 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training Starts June 11th. Apply Today!

Leggo My Ego

"The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." Charles Du Bos

At any moment! Can you imagine what that must feel like? That level of trust and humility. I've been contemplating this quote a lot lately. I wonder how many opportunities I've missed to live to my potential because of my inability to surrender my ego. Lately my ego feels so strong. I meditate, I practice, I pray and yet this incessant voice of fear and unworthiness dominate my consciousness.

I want to be that person who can sacrifice her ego at any moment. I want to become the person I dream about being, do the work that I'm here to do and help to create a more beautiful, just and loving world. I know yoga is in my life to teach me how. I hope I'm open to receiving the wisdom in my heart amid the current raging voice of ignorance. I'll keep practicing, I guess...

Of course I will. What other real option is there?

All Life Is Yoga At The Community Farmers Markets

All Life is Yoga is partnering with Community Farmers Markets throughout Atlanta. We will teach yoga at the farmers markets as well as other programming to be announced in the near future.

I will be teaching the following classes :

Westside Provisions Farmers Market 6/19 and 7/17 from 11:30-12:30pm

East Atlanta Village Farmers Market 5/19, 6/16, 7/14 from 6-7pm

Grant Park Farmers Market May 22nd from 11:30-12:30pm

I hope to see you there!

I'm So Touched By Your Goodness

I recently called my mother to share some exciting news. I was elated, and my mother and brother are usually the first people I contact to share my joys and challenges. But I was a bit thrown off by my mother’s response. She said, ”Be humble, beta” (an endearing term meaning “my child”). I didn’t really think I was being arrogant! I thought, Mama, can you just be happy for me and share in my elation? After I got off the phone, I thought about her response and it occurred to me that my mother was teaching me a lesson in equanimity.

She was excited for me, of course, but was reminding me that humility is the most harmonious state and a worthy endeavor to strive for, especially in moments of intense emotion. No matter what is going on, I must maintain humility. The higher I go or the lower I allow myself to fall, the harder the return journey to what is called samata, or equanimity. In yoga, we practice samata because it mitigates future pain. I am one of those very lucky children who is blessed with a tremendous force of a mother. On a regular basis I wonder how I attracted such a graceful, kind, and humble person to guide me through life. My aspiration is to continue to receive her teachings and the gems that she drops, and not block them due to my stubbornness or sense of self-importance. I know many feel a deep gratitude for their mothers. What amazing gifts they are.

This Friday night’s restorative class is dedicated to my mother. I will read the chapter on 'Love' from Aadil Palkhivala's book Fire of Love. All the chapters in Fire of Love are profound, but this one is pretty special. Bring your mama!

Friday, May 6th, 2016 6:30-8:30PM Cost $15 Register here

We've added new classes!

Wednesday 6:30-7:30PM with Narin
Thursday 6:30-7:30PM with Michelle
Friday 10:00-11:00AM with Ashley
Sunday 5:30-6:30PM with Myka

New classes start at $0 to priceless. Contribute what you can.

Please welcome our new teachers Myka, Michelle, and Ashley who are teaching contribution classes at the studio, beginning this week. These classes give you, the student, an opportunity to contribute an honest value for what you receive, rather than pay a flat rate like most of our other classes. Our intention with this transition is to create more access to yoga for those who struggle with financial barriers. I'd love to see existing students practicing more, and contributing generously to give new students the ability to practice this beautiful work. I welcome you to participate in our new direction and support the potential for others to experience the healing, transformative power of Purna Yoga.

New Classes, Workshops And Events

All Life is Yoga is adding four new classes and three new teachers to our schedule. During the anniversary party we discussed offering donation based/contribution classes and this is the first wave of them. I'd like to welcome Ashley Erwin, Myka Barbato and Michelle Stevens to the Purna Yoga teaching community. New classes begin in May!

Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm with Narin
Thursday 6:30-7:30 with Michelle
Friday 10:00-11am with Ashley
Sunday 5:30-6:30 with Myka

Upcoming Workshops:

Mother's Day Restoratives - Friday May 6th 2016
Spinal Rejuvenation Series - Friday May 13th 2016
Ongoing Teacher Training  - Friday May, 20th 2016

The Inman Park Festival happens this weekends and access to the studio is difficult. Therefore, we will cancel classes Saturday and Sunday April 30th and May 1st. We'll see you May 3rd!

Our 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training is starting soon! Click here to learn more and apply.


200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training Starts in June

I'm having a fabulous time in Clayton, NC assisting Aadil Palkhivala for the 500 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training at Purna Yoga East. There's refining of material learned, recollection of material forgotten and a new layer of material to process and begin to integrate. Being around Aadil reminds me of how lucky I am to have attracted this work into my life and be given the opportunity to share Purna Yoga in Atlanta. It's also got me super energized for our upcoming 200 hour teacher training at All Life is Yoga. Starts June 11th, 2016 and goes through December 11th, 2016. Contact us to apply.

Also, Save these Dates:

Mother's Day Restoratives Friday May 6th 2016
Spinal Rejuvenation Series Friday May 13th 2016
Ongoing Teacher Training Course Friday May, 20th 2016

While I'm Away

I will be at Purna Yoga East in Clayton, NC assisting Aadil Palkhivala with the 500 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training. There are still a few more days to register for this training. This time that I spend immersing myself in study and teaching not only feeds my development as a student of yoga but it also allows me to better serve you in your process as a practitioner. The challenge I experience when I leave town is that my classes diminish in attendance. I understand the connection one has to a particular teacher and I appreciate the investment of time, money, and effort that you make to attend my class and study with me and it is important for me to leave town to refine myself and my teaching.

I would like to leave town and not worry about whether or not two weeks away will create a strain on the business. My request is that you continue to attend class, nourish your practice with consistency, expand your mind to the potential of learning from another teacher, support me so I can better support you and help keep the doors of this beautiful studio open. We're in it together.

Thanks for your continued support of All Life is Yoga. I look forward to sharing the teachings I receive from Aadil with you.

Community Strives For Integration

I want people who want yoga to have access to yoga.I want people who don’t even know they want yoga to have access to yoga. I want people who have more than enough to give, so that other people can have yoga in their lives. I want everybody doing more yoga!

Hmm... there’s plenty more I want for this community, but this is a good start. :-)

I look forward to sharing dreams and ideas during our five-year anniversary party this Saturday, April 9th. My 10-11:30AM teaching will be a free community class. After that, at 12PM, stick around for a vegetarian potluck and community discussion. Please bring your suggestions for strengthening and expanding Purna Yoga in Atlanta.

As an aside, one of my blog entries, “May Your Medications Bring You Peace, Love, and Bliss,” got published in Elephant Journal. Here it is! Please share the link on Facebook or whatever social media avenue you choose. The more views it receives the more potential for me to get better opportunities to write. Thank you!

rutu chaudhari yoga teacher

Rutu Chaudhari is a certified Purna Yoga teacher who holds a 2,000-hour certification. Rutu assists teacher trainings, yoga workshops and conferences with Aadil Palkhivala.  She is the Director of the College of Purna Yoga in Atlanta and conducts teacher trainings at her thriving studio, All Life is Yoga.

Rutu is a shining example of the discipline and love for yoga. She sincerely lives her yoga and her radiance and light shine from the inside out. Rutu offers an abounding knowledge of alignment and anatomy, meditation, practical application of yogic philosophy and nutrition and lifestyle from Ayurveda, Chinese and Western traditions. She is also a leading teacher of yoga therapeutics.