How did you get into astrology?
I absorbed astrology when my mom fell in love with it, way back in Salem, Mass. Growing up, I spent a lot of time daydreaming in the “occult” section of my favorite used bookstore. But I didn’t start to study astrology consciously til Haiti’s earthquake, on January 12, 2010 caused a spiritual revolution in me. Going to Haiti, for me, was a bit like what going to India meant for yogis in the seventies: encountering a place streaming everywhere with astrality, encountering a culture based around the physical experience of divinity. it’s kind of a long story, and I don’t wanna wax too poetic, but I’ll leave it at this: in March 2010 I worked with a UN psychosocial trauma outreach team around post-earthquake port-au-prince and a vodou priestess possessed by Gede, the spirit of sex, death, lewd jokes, and absolute honesty, declared that I had a talent like hers and why the hell wasn’t I using it. I’m doing my best I said, thinking a little ruefully of my weird, occasionally swashbuckling life as a poet. The next day the man who would become my teacher cast my birth chart in ballpoint pen on a scrap of paper. I finally accepted there was no outrunning the stars, even if it meant turning into a full-on woo woo Salem witch.
What can someone expect when they visit you for an astrology reading?
In both the Marguerite Hardass (200+ min) sessions & the Mini Marie’s (50 min) my job to introduce each person to their stars, to marvelous world of myth and story behind the astrological approach to life, and to empower people to continue to work with their birth charts once our session ends. I give an overview of how astrology works, and I also tell the planetary story of the unique talents and burdens, family themes and generational factors I see at work/at play in each person’s unfolding. It’s a combination of therapy, psychic surgery, and often hilarious and fun, super real work on the big stuff in life: relationships, career, soul yearnings, the hard s–t we inherit from our families and the glory too. Astrology shows us the keys to unlock some of the mysteries of love and teaches us just how and why certain dynamics play out the way they do in our lives. Sessions are action-packed &! over before you know it– oh and there’s always delicious & healthy refreshments for folks I work with in-studio.
How does your astrology practice feed your creative practice as a writer?
Oh my god, could anything be more inspiring than exploring the inner workings of the psyche with people? Not to me. Doing astrology is like exploring a gigantic family, where all the planets and even the asteroids are like the fairy godmother and crazy aunts and uncles and mothers and fathers stirring the pot of what we’ll come into this world equipped with and what we’ll be driven to search for. AND it gives me an opportunity to do healing and medicinal work so I’m free to be as devastating or as inscrutable as my art practice demands. As the daughter of two doctors I guess I couldn’t escape a yearning to really help people– it feeds my poetry like nothing else, and continually fills me with reverence for & faith in humanity.
How does your yoga practice affect your astrology and/or creative practice?
The rishis of old developed the science of yoga in conjunction with their knowledge of astrological principles. Isn’t that amazing? Practicing Bikram yoga rescued my body and soul and made space in my life for more and more truth: I recommend some form of yoga practice or meditation to all of my clients. One of the reasons yoga makes us feel so good is it harmonizes our bodies with the stars: all of our organs have planetary correspondences, just as our individual planetary placements can teach us a lot about how and where we store suffering. Yoga creates the flow that makes the impossible possible in this world: in order to do astrology, in order to write poetry, you’ve got to be supple enough to tap into your intuition. Honestly I don’t know how anyone can live without it!
1. Why do you like it HOT?
The heat helps to rid the body of lactic acid and oxygenate the body.
3. As a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?
I thought I was going into the Israeli army for sure. Total one eighty.
5. What’s your most prized possession?
My mini van– I hope that thing doesn’t break soon.
6. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and tequilla
7. What is your most embarrassing moment on the teacher’s box?
Oh wow! too many to count…
8. What were you doing the day you decided you were going to be a Bikram Yoga teacher?
9. What’s the best thing about being a Bikram Yoga teacher?
The best thing about it is you learn so much about the body and mind of other people not just yourself.
10. What was the first concert you went to?
My grandmother aunt and mother took me to a poison concert when I was still just a baby.
12. Describe your perfect yoga shorts.
13. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
14. What’s your sign and birthday?
A true scorpio never reveals the date.
15. Have you ever been in love?
16. Say one nice thing about the person who introduced you to Bikram Yoga.
I love my self
17. Words or phrases you overuse
super, tight and push
22. If you could have any other job besides teaching Bikram Yoga, what would it be?
23. What’s your favorite scent?
fresh juiced ginger
24. What’s your favorite place to hang in the Lower East Side?
BYLES of course. Amazing energy in this neighborhood combined with yoga
May NITE SWEATS is sponsored by LIPSTICK QUEEN!
One of our favorite Nite Sweats sponsors is back! We’ve celebrated fabulous Lipstick Queen creations Hello Sailor and Oxymoron. This May, Lipstick Queen is presenting a new shade called Frog Prince. This lipstick appears green (!) but then transforms to a lovely shade of pink when applied. It is also a bit magic, because it adjusts to the your pH level, turning into a unique shade just for you! It’s also made with Shea Butter and Vitamin E to keep your lips soft and moist.
The Lipstick Queen herself, our very own Bikram Lower East Side-er Poppy King says “What I love about this new lipstick Frog Prince is that its about transformation, and so is Bikram yoga. The green lipstick transforms to pink on the lips, and the Bikram series transforms you on the inside as well as your outside. Both show us that things are not always what they seem and to keep an open mind!”
And there you have it! Hot yoga, lipstick, transformation: get it.
LES workstudy-er Whitney Jacoby is a mentor with an amazing organization called Girls Write Now. See below for a way to #BreedCompassion during the Holiday season!
I hope you don’t mind, but I am writing you today to ask for your support for something that is incredibly important to me–and to the hundreds of marginalized and underserved girls served each year by this fantastic organization. Girls Write Now is an amazingly effective non-profit that matches bright, underchallenged teen writers in NYC high schools with professional women writers for a mentoring relationship that lasts from one to four years–a relationship that changes the lives of these young women forever.
This is my third year as a mentor for GWN and it continues to be an amazing and rewarding experience! I have absolutely loved working with Shannon, now a senior in high school–being there for Shannon as she pursues her dream of being a writer has been a truly wonderful and rewarding experience. I am so proud of all the achievements I’ve witnessed Shannon accomplish–in fact, last she she received Gold Medal from the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards. While I am sad this is our last year working together, I’m so proud and lucky to have been there for her throughout her high school career!
If you know anything about Girls Write Now, it’s that we always set the bar high—then exceed it. Be an active part of our continued success: donate today and help us reach our goal of $100,000 by December 31.
Click here to check out my page and place a donation! The smallest donation can go a long way and will go to support a truly worthy organization. Thank you so much for your time!
With all my love and gratitude,
Tricia and Bikram Yoga Lower East Side are featured on AOL.com in the jobs section in a piece titled “What It’s Like To Be. . . A Yoga Instructor.”
What is the best part of the job?
“I get to go to work barefoot and make people feel better,” says Tricia.
WHAT: A benefit concert of “Songs of Nature.”
WHY: To celebrate the Soliphilia Farm Project, an exciting new agricultural venture in upstate New York. This organic, Biodynamic farm has committed 100 acres of land to sustainable, responsible use as a community farm in perpetuity! http://www.soliphiliafarm.com/
WHEN: Sunday, November 24 at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Greenwich Music House, 46 Barrow Street, New York City
More info at darrenchase.net
It’s time for NITE SWEATS! On this Friday, November 1st, NITE SWEATS will celebrate the launch of LES yogi Radhika Philip’s new book Being Here, which is a compilation of interviews with New York City jazz musicians. Radhika answered some questions for us about her book and creative process:
When did you first become interested in Jazz music?
About ten years ago when I walked down the stairs at Smalls in the West Village. It was the music and the joyful and intimate ways in which the musicians related to each other, gave to each other, and to us, the listeners.
What made you inspired to write a book?
I had always wanted to document a New York City creative community, to pay homage to this city, if you may. When I came upon the jazz scene, a highly creative and collaborative space, that idea found a place to take root and grow. It was serendipity. The important thing was the initial intent, which found its expression years later at the right moment and place.
What was your research and writing process like?
I listened to music, and asked musicians about artists who they thought were influential and truly experimental – pushing themselves to do things differently, and discover new expressions. I would then go to a performance where I knew the musician I wanted to speak to was playing, and ask for an interview. I have interviewed close to 80 musicians at this point, only 24 are in this book.
Editing was hard, because there was so much beauty and things of importance in each person’s story. One day I want to have the entire unedited interviews available to people.
I couldn’t have done any of this without the generosity of the musicians, who gave their time, and shared their innermost thoughts and feelings.
What do you hope people learn from your book?
Maybe most importantly, that there is no one way to follow your intent. People do it in different ways. The important thing is to persist and work at it. There will be hard times, but you will find support, often from unpredictable places.
The other thing – to balance focus and openness in whatever you do. That dialectic between the two is needed to develop and realize creative expression, and the self over time.
How has your yoga practice supported your work as a writer?
My yoga is essential to my life; it gives me the time to move and breath. That process creates channels for movement within me. Sometimes things leave me, sometimes they resolve themselves, other times new ideas find themselves. This process creates a cleansing and coherence, which I take with me when i walk out of that room. What’s been a blessing, and perhaps underlies the process that goes on in the room, is the love that the people at the LES studio give us – Tricia, the other teachers, Nick at the front desk, and other yogis. They sustain me without knowing what they are doing sometimes.
You can read more about Radhika and the book, as well as watch a video and see audio excerpts at RadhikaPhilip.com