People

Krav Maga + Alan Predolin

fighting + kicking to empower yourself

May 6, 2016

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Yoga, with all of its slowing down and mindfulness of the present moment, is a practice full of relief, healing and unexpected strength. Kickboxing and Krav Maga, with all of their punching and kicking and maximum efforts, embody confidence, power and an unexpected gracefulness.

I met Alan one summer day after stumbling into the tiny door on Westwood Boulevard that led to into 360 Fight Academy. A 45-minute session wrung me of all sweat and I walked away a little more humble, much more sore and feeling slightly stronger. One night was all it took, and I stayed for the kickboxing, the camaraderie and Alan.

Alan is the best trainer I’ve ever had. Genuine knowledge and experience inform his refreshing coaching style. He educates women and men alike about the practical advantages of self-defense, as well as pushes people to find fitness and to find their strength — to know their strengths. To him, the idea that women are not strong or should not be strong is bullshit. When his words on fighting, loving and living stir you up, connect with him on facebook, instagram and the 360 website.

In his own words:

On 360:

I opened 360 in 2003 in Long Beach. My mission is to impact people on and off the mat with Krav Maga and combat sports. I started martial arts at the age of 6 with karate. From there, I continued with everything I could get my hands on until I joined the Italian Army in 1994.

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Back to Basics

NÜ Day: Finding simplicity on your mat

February 18, 2016

I brought myself back to basics in Sanya, Hainan. A salty breeze, my mat and a rusty yoga practice made for an especially peaceful time. Bringing yourself back to basics doesn’t have to indicate failure or mean drastically downsizing your entire life, but simply treating yourself right and remembering the things you love.

Four months isn’t the longest amount of time, but like any amount of time, it can be significant. My move to China was something I’d planned for since my junior year of college. To be honest, however, I didn’t get here the way I expected to — I left four months after my planned departure and only after a long summer of surprises, delays and changes. Arriving here, the disarray only continued. My sense of adventure carried me high in the beginning, but expectations began to falter, work had its complications and, of course, longing for my family and friends back home settled deep into my heart. These four months have been significant so far for many reasons. Adventures and misadventures alike (as well as the bullet trains) have twirled me around this modern-day iteration of one of the world’s most ancient nations and I’ve learned just as much about myself as I have about this land of a billion people and of a billion smells, tastes and colors. It’s chaotic for sure, but with a little space for myself and some time, I’m learning – as I do time and time again – that I can always come back to basics on my mat.

Whatever being centered means to you — clarity of mind, peace with your present situation, a nice session of deep breathing and deep stretching — know that you can create it and you can find it. It might not always seem that way, you might be so stressed at work that you can’t see past the next hour or you could be crying on the phone with your mom during a particularly terrible sickness or across the ocean from everyone you love and realizing that your heart is still back home, but that’s okay too. Every person is different, but even tantrums and negativity can all be a part of the process. Just keep breathing and know you can take it day by day. Eventually an hour or a moment or a morning will come where you feel just a little better and just a little more ready to feel okay.

Remember: time and space, day by day.

Yoga is a great re-centering tool because the practice’s primary focus is not merely “letting go”, but is rather centered around leading you to the letting go (of worries, of stress, of anger) by connecting your breath to your movement. There are different forms of yoga and its variety can suit different people with different needs. Personally, for going back to basics or re-centering or simple self-calming purposes, I recommend two ideas:

A beginner’s vinyasa flow,herehere, and here (15, 20 and 30 minutes, respectively; Yoga by Candace is a great resource for all types of yoga, especially beginner and power flows)

Why? A simple, unadorned flow will allow you to really concentrate on linking your breath to movement
Simplicity and repetition are sometimes the key to powerful, meditative movements

Yin Yoga, found here, here and here (30, 30 and 45 minutes, respectively)

Why? Yin is a slow paced style of yoga with poses that are held for longer periods of time. Yin’s slowness and deepness can complement the more hectic parts of your day (as well as a more vigorous yoga or exercise routine) and serve as a wonderfully therapeutic time to slow down, get sleepy and let go of outside difficulties.

Definitely check out the above videos and add them to your playlists or remember parts and bits that you especially love that you can integrate into your own, organic re-centering routine!

Easy days below!
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People Yoga

Beach Yoga + Skyler Dearen

NÜ Girl: Instagram star and Newport Beach darling and America's Youngest Certified Yoga Teacher

July 31, 2015

I believe in exercise as a tool of empowerment. Connecting to your body on different and deeper levels through physical training is an incredible experience that can move an individual deeper into themselves, closer to confidence and connect their spirits to their bodies.

Yoga, as a “work-in” is just as powerful and effective as it is as a work-out. With a philosophy of self-acceptance, getting in touch with one’s vulnerability is often a natural progression of the practice — natural, but difficult.

Yet at only fifteen-years-old, Skyler Dearen is a beautiful and humbling example of the “ work-in” and of healing through yoga. At age fifteen, Skyler is also the youngest certified hot yoga teacher in the United States and is, again, a beautiful and humbling example of hard work, passion and the potential inside all of us.

Skyler and I spent an afternoon taking her practice out of the 105 degree fahrenheit classroom boasted by Radiant Hot Yoga — the studio where not only Skyler teaches, but also where her mother, Darlene Dearen, is the owner — and into the breezier summer heat and sand of Laguna Beach. In between backbends and inversions, she sighed at the beauty of living in Orange County, washed her hands in the waves, scrolled and giggled through Instagram, sipped on iced tea and lit up instantly when asked: “why yoga”?

In Skyler’s Words:

SKY2
I was introduced to yoga through my mom at age 6. I was in awe of how it changed my moms life and her perspective on everything so i was inspired to try it. I fell in love with “yoga” within minutes of my first class. By the end of savasana i felt completely changed and inspired.

SKY3

I became certified at 14 and was inspired to take teacher training because of the many ways yoga has changed my life and how it has healed my family and me from deep scars in our past. I became certified at 14 and was inspired to take teacher training because of the many ways yoga has changed my life and how it has healed my family and me from deep scars in our past.

My mom is my role model because she has been through so much and has risen above all of it. She has created a sanctuary of love and healing. She inspires me daily and I hope to be as amazing and inspiring as her one day.
My mom is my role model because she has been through so much and has risen above all of it. She has created a sanctuary of love and healing. She inspires me daily and I hope to be as amazing and inspiring as her one day.

Yoga helps make you content with who you are and allows you to see the beauty within your imperfections. When practicing regularly, you will start to notice that you are truly at peace and less stressed.
Yoga helps make you content with who you are and allows you to see the beauty within your imperfections. When practicing regularly, you will start to notice that you are truly at peace and less stressed.

SKY7

Always follow your heart! Your heart has all the answers. So whatever makes you happy and smile continue to take that path. If you love the life you are living, the life you live will love you back!

SKY8I highly recommend trying hot yoga. It’s an amazing work in, so healing. And an awesome work out. Hot yoga will challenge you, both physically and mentally. I love wearing Mika yoga wear, Shakti, and Onzie. For hot yoga all you need is a yoga mat, yogitoe, water and a willingness to try!SKY9My favorite pose is standing bow because it makes me feel so strong and driven. I also connect deeply with headstands because I feel aligned to the earth and filled with so much balance.


Yoga has healed me from my past and continues to heal me when ever I come back to my mat. When you cry to your mat, you feel that you can let any thing go and just truly get away from life. Yoga really is an amazing journey of the self, to the self, and through the self.

 

 

 

Skyler: Instagram
bra: Mika Activewear
pants: Radiant Hot Yoga

Radiant Hot Yoga: Schedule