Getting ready for hot and dry weather

– talk with Yulia Piskulina, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, Saturday April 17th, 9am.

Once again we have a please to virtually host a very special  guest Yulia Piskulina. This time Yulia will talk about how to stay healthy and energized during hot and dry season. She will address how to adjust your diet, what are the best foods to include in your daily meals and what food combinations are the least healthy during that time according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. She will also talk about acupressure and breathing techniques that will help you to cool down your body during hot days and to stay balanced during cool nights.

We are meeting on Zoom on Saturday, April the 17th at 9am. If you are interested please sign up using YiY website. If you can’t attend that day but would like to watch the recording later it will be available to all participants.

About Yulia

I grew up in Siberia, had a degree in Public Relations, but was introduced to Chinese Medicine and alternative ways of healing by Taiwanese doctor Zen Master Cuckoo.
I discovered the healing power of acupuncture when I helped Him in his clinic in Goa and Moscow. At first I was sceptical but then blown away by how much it helped hundreds of people in front of my eyes. I immediately quit my job  and started to follow Master Cuckoo all over the world. It was one of the scariest and one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I have been a lover of Traditional Chinese Medicine since then (2008).  I’ve been studying and practicing in Taiwan, Russia, European Union, India (Goa, Mumbai). 

I am an acupuncturist and have completed training in:
Traditional cupping and moxibustion
Gua sha massage 
Facial acupuncture
Dr. Tan Balanced Method Acupuncture

Its my passion to help people discover new ways of feeling their best. And teaching them  to self-heal. The medicine I practice is rooted in a holistic approach. I believe in providing tools for people to help themselves, because for 99% you are doctor for yourself, and 1% is your healer. I invite you to allow me to walk with you on your healing path.

Bodywork for Friends (Online)

Sunday, March 28th, 9:30 am – 10:145am (San Francisco)

Contact Mitchell ( to Register

For friends, couples, and those caring for one another,

This is a 1-hour class in touch beginning with the basics. We will begin with the neck with each person learning how to use their hands with sensitivity, learning what works for our partner while discovering how simple and delightful this can be.

Self-practice next week

Next week I am taking a short break from everyday routine. Anne, Philippe and Thoa will start zoom Monday 22nd-Wednesday 24th. So there will be only self-practice next week, no verbal adjustments on Monday and Wednesday. I will see you again back on Thursday during our practice together.

Stay healthy and warm.

Friday Discussion: Yoga & Buddhism

This was prompted by a conversation on the topic with Dainuri.

My contention that there are major differences between Yoga and Buddhism (with Zen Buddhism sitting a little bit in the middle between the two):

  • Yoga is procedural whereas Buddhism is teleological. Meaning in yoga, the focus is the practice (Yoga Sutra 2.1), whereas with Buddhism the goal is nirvana/enlightenment. How you get there is not the focus of Buddhism. In contrast, Patanjali asks us to devote ourselves to Ishvara, through tapas and swadhyaya, which are practices.
  • Buddhism begins by asking us to accept the 4 Noble Truths. Yoga does not ask us to accept any truths, but to make a choice: either control and manage your thoughts, or identify with them (Sutra 1.2, otherwise 1.4).
  • Yoga assumes an essential self, and the path of yoga is to discern that this self is separate from the world/circumstances, and the most authentic part of us – purusa (Sutra 2.25). Buddhism says the self is a process, and if you look close enough it’s an illusion (anatman). Also for Buddhists, suffering is caused by our experience in that the self is real and has desires.
  • The way to nirvana in Buddhism is to get to a place of no self, and no desires. The path of yoga is to embrace the beneficial desires, distance from the harmful/selfish desires, and continuously improve the choices we make as purusas (Sutra 2.26).
  • Buddhism takes ahimsa, non-harmfulness, to mean that one should not harm sentient beings. In yoga, ahimsa is a more active stance, in that the yogi stands for the disruption of harmful patterns where ever they may be found (Sutra 2.33).



A year passed. A year of fears and struggles. It’s been hard and challenging times, in so many different ways and levels. Different and the same for all of us. And for our ashtanga community it’s been a hard year of self-practice and not being able to connect with other practitioners over a morning cup of chai before facing the day. I am sure many of you miss it. I do, a lot. But when I talk to many of you (those who managed to keep practicing on their own or Zoom) what I keep hearing is that they are all really grateful for having their yoga practice. It’s been keeping them afloat. The yoga practice definitely has been keeping me sane and able to deal with everyday struggles during the pandemic and stay calm when thinking about the hard-to-imagine future.

Everyday practice has been possible thanks to our community, practicing together over Zoom. I know it’s not ideal and not the same as meeting in person but it was the closest to best in current situation. Hopefully soon when the weather gets warmer in the morning we will be able to meet in the park again, before we even meet in the studio. 

You all know how challenging it could be to keep consistent practice when doing on your own and how hard it is to find the motivation day after day. And often once we stop it is hard to get back to it, especially when we start beating ourselves up for not doing it and judging ourselves and the quality of our practice. 

I believe that consistent practice doesn’t mean that we have to give everything everyday and do the full practice day in and day out. Consistent practice doesn’t mean we have to do all the poses with the maximum effort no matter what. It’s not a sustainable approach to me. We get tired and drained off energy these days even more, the body pains and aches reflect our daily struggles and it is important to adjust our practice to what’s going on with us and our lives. 

Maybe it won’t be the whole primary or second series day, maybe you need to do easier version of the pose, modify or skip it for a little bit so the body can heal. Maybe gentle or restorative practice is necessary that day. Or maybe it is a sit and breath practice today. For me that’s the way yoga can support my life. I believe my yoga practice is suppose to make my life easier and better not the other way round.  And if you still want to do the modified practice together with others over zoom it is great. It may help someone else to make similar choice when it is needed. Nobody is judging you and I am there to help and support.

You have heard many times and you know it but sometimes it is good to be reminded. Show some compassion towards yourself. Give yourself permission to let go from time to time. Give yourself some love.

PS. I am not encouraging you to do whatever you like all the time otherwise the ashtanga will lose its essence and teachings but I am encouraging you to listen to your body and respond to it with loving kindness, especially these days. So you can go back to your full practice with more strength when time comes.

Waking Up Your Feet

Sunday, March 7th, 8:30 am – 9:45am PT (Pacific time)

Contact Mitchell ( to Register

There is a vast amount of intelligence that can be initiated from the arches of your feet. Control here can affect everything from the support of your knees through the expansion of your breath. In this class we will use Parsvokanasana (side angle pose) to explore the finer elements of that oft-forgotten tool, the foot.

Kapalabhati Workshop

This Friday March 5 at 8:00am PT, instead of the usual Pranayama session we will have a 30 minute mini-workshop on Kapalabhati.

It’s a free workshop and no need for any prior experience. Sign up here or just join the normal pranayama class on

As per AshtangaYogaGirl, it is the ‘most important kriya for yogis’:

Kapalabhati involves forcefully expelling the breath out through the nostrils using the lower transverse abdominus muscle. The exhalation is active and the inhalation is passive. This creates a very slight CO2 debt in your body, so that when you move on to practise a slower-breathing pranayama exercise (like alternate nostril breathing), your breath is longer, deeper and it’s easier to enter a calm and meditative state.