Friday, April 30, 2010

What a Glorious Month April Was!

I have just finished teaching the last class for the month of April. The 7 wonderful people who came to class are still resting in savasana and listening to the glorious voice of Jeff Buckley singing "Hallelujah" to them. I am so complete with gratitude and amazement and joy for all of the students who have come to Laughing Sun Yoga in April - I am seeking words because my nature is to be a writer, but words are failing me. Words don't aptly describe the peace, the satisfaction, the bliss... April was only our second month of business, but thanks to all of YOU, we have had attendance like it was the 6th month. We set records, discovered the capacity of the yoga room (18!), and had so much fun. We've started to create a community - new friendships, families, all coming together to practice yoga, many of you for the first time. I'm loving the name of the studio, as it represents all of the laughter and love that are filling these walls, more with every class. I am so excited to expand the schedule in May and to see all of the glorious possibilities that the next month will bring. I am so honored to be in this position. I am so grateful. namaste rebecca

Saturday, April 24, 2010

May News Update - Laughing Sun Yoga

April Showers certainly brought lots of new growth to LSY! It's been a fantastic month of growth and change, and May is getting ready to blossom forth with all kinds of new opportunities.

First, apologies for the schedule confusion back in the beginning of April. All scheduling conflicts have been resolved and we are ready to open up with a full schedule starting Saturday, May 1! We will have 28 classes a week - please see the schedule and the class descriptions, below.

Second, it's been so much fun getting to know my new clientele and introducing Hot Yoga to the community in South Austin! I am learning so much from all of you about what you want and need from me for yoga, and I am so happy to be able to deliver. I have not only changed the schedule to be more accommodating to your class time needs, but also changed the class descriptions and basic format. Instead of offering multiple-level classes throughout the day, we will just have either 60 or 90 minute Hot Yoga classes. This gives you the flexibility to come to the class time that best suits you, and it gives me the freedom to customize the classes according to who is in attendance. The 3 stand-out exceptions to this rule: our lunchtime "Power Hour" Class is a strong vinyasa practice, the 75-minute "Hot Yogilates" class is an all-levels combo of yoga and Pilates done in our heated room, and the "Hot Vinyasa" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons is something else altogether!

In other news: EFFECTIVE MAY 1, I am discontinuing the $60 and $90 Introductory offers! First class is free, and the Intro offer is now $30 for 30 days (1 month). Now is the time in the next week to get your intro special if you haven't done so already!

Introducing LSY's new teachers! I'm very proud and excited to announce 3 new teachers who are joining Laughing Sun in May:
Barbara Ditlow - a 20+ year veteran of yoga and teaching, Barbara brings depth and wisdom and insight and intuition to everything she does. I consider her my mentor and I am so honored to have her teaching at LSY on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Rosie Bondi - Rosie is a powerhouse of energy! She makes me laugh and smile and has brought so many people to LSY with just the flow of her personality, now I am thrilled to have her teaching our "Hot Yogilates" classes on Monday and Friday at 9.30, and Saturday at noon!
Wendy Colonna - an Austin Music Legend, Wendy Colonna's Southern Soul has won awards and rave reviews, and now her legendary yoga teaching now comes to Laughing Sun Yoga! Please join Wendy for the Power Hour lunchtime vinyasa classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and check out her website at! You can also listen to her music on our homepage!

and I'm Rebecca Jordan, an 8-year certified Bikram teacher plus a Level II Barkan Method teacher and the owner and main instructor at Laughing Sun.

One more announcement and then on to the classes:

Introducing Thai Massage at Laughing Sun Hot Yoga with Amy Fletcher, LMT:

Thai massage is believed to have been developed by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, physician to Buddha, more than 2,500 years ago in India. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks as one component of Thai Medicine.

Stretching, supported twists, muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are all techniques utilized used during Thai massage. This treatment is wonderful for restoring flexibility, alignment of the joints, assisting with greater posture and range of motion in addition to all the benefits of a regular massage. Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage, while being just as relaxing and healing. Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.

Amy Fletcher, L.M.T. 480.221.2055

Here's the new schedule and class descriptions (and you can find all of this by going to our website:

Schedule Starting May 2010:


7am Hot 60

9.30 am Hot Yogilates

12pm Power Hour

5.00 pm Hot 60

6.30 pm Hot 90


7am Hot 60

9.30 am Hot 90

5.00 pm Hot 60

6.30 pm Hot 90 (please note there will be no 6.30 on Tuesday May 4)


7am Hot 60

9.30 am Hot 90

12pm Power Hour

5.00 pm Hot 60

6.30 pm Hot 90


7am Hot 60

9.30 am Hot 90

5.00 pm Hot 60

6.30 pm Hot 90


7am Hot 60

9.30 am Hot Yogilates

12 pm Power Hour

5.00 pm Hot 60

6.30 pm Weekly Wind Down


7am Hot 90

9.30 am Hot 60

12.00 Hot Yogilates

4.30 pm Hot Vinyasa (Level II)*


2pm Hot 90

4.30 pm Hot Vinyasa (Level II)*

*donation only. these classes are not included in our regular memberships and all proceeds go directly to the instructor.

Class Descriptions:

All of our classes are multi-level and beginner-friendly, except for the Hot Vinayasa classes on the weekends, which do require teacher approval to join. All of our “Hot” classes are based on the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga, from the lineage of Ghosh’s School of Physical Culture in Calcutta, India. Each class may be varied in intensity and postures offered, depending on students in attendance. Every student will receive the individual attention and challenge level they desire, and will leave class feeling revitalized, refreshed, renewed and restored.

Hot 60: 60 minute class

We begin with grounding and breathing, and then work through a vigorous yet gentle and straightforward standing series that includes opening the spine, strengthening the legs and hips, opening the joints, working on wide-stance Warrior postures and finishing up with centering and balance. Every class ends with our Floor series, which includes a hip opening sequence, spine strengthening sequence, hero (kneeling) sequence, leg stretching and twisting. This is our basic series and follows roughly the same format and postures every class. As students improve and increase their capacity, the instructor may choose to include some vinyasa and upper body strengthening work, either individually or for the whole class.

Hot 90: 90 minute class

Following a similar format to the Hot Hour class, the Hot Yoga class adds in multiple sets of certain postures, additional postures and variations, and some vinyasa sequencing and upper body strengthening. The last half-hour of the class is on the floor, and incorporates additional postures and variations.

Both the 60 and 90 minute Hot classes are ideally suited for beginners and were designed for beginners. Please come to the class that best suits your schedule.

Hot Vinyasa: 90-120 minute class

Come practice with Rebecca! This is a semi-guided, open format, casual practice session in which the instructor will be practicing alongside you in a vigorous, intense, sweaty and fun session. Questions highly encouraged! We’ll play a wide variety of music, work through a wide variety of postures, and finish thoroughly drenched and happy. Please, no first-time students. Donations for the instructor are requested, and all proceeds go directly to the instructor.

Power Hour: 60 minute class

A hybrid of our Hot Vinyasa and Hot 60 class, the Power Hour warms up with a vinyasa series, moves into balance, and finishes up on the floor. Due to the quicker-paced nature of the class, and its lunchtime slot, we do require previous yoga experience and teacher approval to participate in this class. Some experience recommended.

Hot Yogilates: 75 minute class

A hybrid of our Hot 60 class with deep Pilates-based core strengthening, this class, taught by Rosie Bondi, will make your abs ache with laughter! All levels.

Weekly Wind Down: 60 minute class

Rebecca’s Friday evening class is designed to relax and ease the stress of the week out of your system and prepare you for your weekend. Sweat, laugh, moan, groan and sigh out your week and breathe in your weekend. All levels.

Don’t see the class time you need? Let us know - we’re flexible!

Private sessions available.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Schedule change information

Schedule Change Information:
We had planned on expanding our schedule in April. Unfortunately, at this time, we are going to have to stick to our March schedule. We have class at the following times:

MWF: 4.30 & 6.30
TThS: 7am & 9.30
no class on Sunday

The schedule will expand as soon as possible to accommodate more classes. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laughing Sun Yoga News

Dear Friends,

It's been a wonderful first month for Laughing Sun Yoga! Thanks to everyone who has come out for class and enjoyed our intimate little sanctuary in South Austin. April is bringing more to LSY: more classes, more teachers, more community, more laughter, more yoga!

Our expanded April schedule will begin on Tuesday, April 6th. We will be adding daytime classes to Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.30am and noon. The noon class will be a "Power Hour" class, just 60 minutes long, perfect for your lunch break.

Our intention was to add Tuesday and Thursday evening classes in April at 6.30, but those classes will be added in May instead. We will keep you posted!

Another change to the schedule: for now, disregard the class descriptions. Because of the intimate nature of our studio, we can customize every class to its participants! Please come to the class times that best fit your schedule, let us know how much of a challenge you are ready for, any limitations that you might have, and anything that you are interested in exploring, and we will work with you. As the studio grows, we may get more specific with the class descriptions; for now, just come in and enjoy!

Don't forget - we have the best rates and introductory offer of any hot yoga studio in town:
First Class Free!!
Introductory Special: $30 30 Days/$60 60 Days/$90 90 Days!
Single Class: $10, and all of our class cards and packages reduce that rate significantly.

Until July 1, 2010, buy a one-year membership for $500! We won't run this offer again, but you can buy as many years now as you would like, to run consecutively. Invest in our future and enjoy the benefits! Additionally, all Friends & Family 500 members will receive additional discounts for future workshops, retail, and other opportunities.

We are also very happy to announce our involvement in 2 significant events in Austin this spring:

Fusebox Festival ( "Fusebox is an annual contemporary art and performance festival that takes place in Austin, TX each April. This year’s dates are April 21 - May 2."

Laughing Sun, as a partner with Fusebox, will be offering discounted class rates to all performers, artists, volunteers and passholders during the festival, and special membership rates for local residents who participate. Many thanks to Ron Berry, the Artistic Director of Fusebox, and a good friend of LSY.

Austin Pride Run, part of Austin Pride Day ( "The Austin Pride Run is the queerest, most accepting, and the most fun 5k in Texas." June 5, 2010. Free yoga, discounted classes and special rates will be given to all Pride Day and Pride Run participants - just show us your wristband. Many thanks to Amy Fletcher, the race coordinator and massage therapist extraordinaire (

And one last note of thanks to some very special individuals who have made this first month and this studio so special: James Clark for his gorgeous graphic design, and Mike Bicknell for our fantastic website and social media upgrades and photography. I appreciate their efforts beyond words, and recommend their services to anyone.


Rebecca Jordan
Laughing Sun Yoga
411 E. St. Elmo Rd
Austin, TX 78745
Facebook: @Laughing Sun
Twitter: @LaughingSunYoga

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, How Hot is it?

How hot is it, really? That seems to be the next-most-asked question I'm getting these days.

There are 2 main camps in the world of "hot yoga:" the "burn me up please, I want it to be so hot that I singe my nose hairs" camp, and the "oh lord, that's that hot yoga stuff, it's like a sauna in there, my doctor won't let me do that, my mama won't let me do that, there's no way I'm ever going to do that, please don't make me do that!" camp. Luckily, Laughing Sun Yoga (and Jimmy Barkan) don't fall into either one of those camps. AT ALL.

Granted, I'm pretty much a heat-freak myself. I love a good hot room. But it is my passion and philosophy that the YOGA should not be about surviving the heat! Your yoga practice should not depend upon how well you can tolerate ridiculously uncomfortable (and easily controllable) circumstances. Instead, the room should feel pleasantly hot when you walk in. Hot enough that you feel rather delicious in your yoga clothing or t-shirt and shorts. Hot enough that your mind says, "hmmmm... sunshine!" But not so hot that you balk at the door. Just hot enough that once you begin the practice, you are coated with a light and pleasant layer of sweat that stays and never goes away until you leave the room at the end of class. Once you are sweating nicely, you are so comfortable in the heat that you don't even notice that you're in a hot room - you're sweaty, warm, comfortable, breathing, and the even heat is allowing for a wonderful deep stretch in all of your muscles and connective tissues.

To me, the perfect hot yoga room is about 5 degrees hotter than "warm," and about 5 degrees cooler than "wow- that's hot!" To me, the perfect room is about 102 degrees, with about 40% humidity. The higher the humidity, the cooler the temperature, and the lower the humidity, the warmer the temperature. The more strenuous the class, the lower the temperature. The larger the class, therefore the more bodies and body heat, the lower the temperature. And the more experienced, and therefore acclimated, the participants, the higher the temperature can be while still feeling comfortable. Slighter, smaller people with lower body fat percentages tend to want the room hotter, and larger, heavier people tend to want the room cooler. Men tend to perceive the room hotter, and sweat more, than women. I have one lovely student - a tiny thin woman - who wears a sweater in class, while the man next to her is dripping in sweat wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. Same room, different experiences of the heat.

So, using our "state of the art" heating system here at Laughing Sun Yoga (in other words, space heaters plugged in strategically around the room), we can control the heat precisely to guarantee the best experience for you. There are hotter and cooler areas of the room, heaters can be turned on and off, and you can be given instruction that will either heat you up or cool you down. The purpose of the heat is not to roast you like a turkey, it's to create a warm, nurturing and loving environment that allows you to go more deeply into your practice while you learn to access your own internal heat and internal fire (tapas).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Back to Normal

Welcome back, folks! I'm excited to be back to normal, and really looking forward to expanding into our full schedule on April 1.

I wanted to address some questions I've gotten about the different class levels I offer. For people coming from a straight Bikram practice, where every class is the same and every level practices together, the idea of a multi-level/multi-class studio might seem a tad bit intimidating. But I want to assure you that there is nothing to be intimidated about. It's fun to expand your practice into new postures, new variations, and to start to add in some upper-body weight-bearing postures, like downward-facing dog, plank, chatturunga-dandasana, and even more fun things like crow, handstand and headstand. Nothing to be afraid of! If you have been consistently practicing Bikram yoga for awhile - or even if you never have - and your shoulder range of motion is fairly easy, there is no reason why you cannot try the Intermediate class. In fact, you may find that you love doing hot vinyasa so much that you never want to go back to a straight static class (that's how I felt after practicing Jimmy's level II class ONCE - I was hooked, signed, sealed, delivered!).

However, if your shoulders, back, hips or hamstrings are still particularly troublesome or challenging, then you can skip the Intermediate class for now and just focus on the Basic and/or Intro classes. The Basic class is the most like the Bikram in terms of the postures we do, just with a different sequencing, and with some flow/connecting elements that make it more challenging. Of course, if they are too challenging, just don't do them, no worries. I'll guide you to some variations or modifications, or just ask you to rest for a moment. And if someone else in the room needs something more, I'll guide them to do their own variation and modification.

This is true regardless of the class level you're attending. A bare beginner could come into an Intermediate class, and they will get the class they need for their skill level. An Advanced practitioner could come in to an Intro class, and they will get the class they need for their skill level. One of the great joys of having this studio - and in particular, having such a small studio - is that I can pay such close attention to everyone in the room, and give everyone exactly what they need. It's about the individuals, not about a format. Within each basic format is a range of expression and customization and connection that makes my heart sing. It's the most fun.

See you on the mat!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Break!

Spring Break in Austin means one thing, and one thing only: SXSW!!! The whole town - and the whole music and film industry! - has donned its flipflops and shorts, or its glammed-out costumes, or its rocker-hippie chic and descended upon every music venue within 20 miles. The weather is glorious (except for that rainy day on Tuesday) and we're all on vacation! yippee!!

I'm taking advantage of the beautiful weather to enjoy the door being open and the breezes blowing while I prepare the materials for our big marketing campaign which begins next week! Starting next week, on community bulletin boards all over town, you will begin to see tear-away fliers and handouts about Laughing Sun Yoga, and in the next few weeks, postcards will be mailed out to residents in the 78745 and surrounding zip codes. I'm very excited to start getting the word out, including hitting the road all over the neighborhood myself, introducing myself and the studio to local businesses and residents. Because we're so tucked out of the way in our artist's warehouse, I am excited about getting out there and letting people know about this great little studio.

Meanwhile, the website has been updated, and pictures of the studio will be posted soon! Little by little, every day in every way, the studio gets better and better! I love being here, I love teaching here, and I am so excited about everyone who is walking through our doors!