About michele lauren

Born and raised in Queens, NY, Michele naturally became accustomed to the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. Yoga has become a great escape for her, both on and off the mat. Michele attended Syracuse University, where she studied Environmental Design and Interiors. After graduation, she returned home to begin her career as an interior designer. She worked at various design firms in NYC, specializing in hospitality and residential design. To help relieve the stressors from the fast-paced New York lifestyle and work, Michele began taking a variety of classes at Pure Yoga. Michele’s relationship with yoga quickly grew and she became ready to deepen her practice and learn everything there was to know about yoga. She completed the 200-hour intensive teacher training program at YogaWorks in Soho, NY. Upon completion, she began apprenticing with Sherman Morris. Michele views yoga to be a puzzle; each style is a ‘piece’ that contributes and comes together making a well-rounded practice. Her practice is strong, yet fun and playful. Having a design background, Michele has a keen eye for detail and has a creative mind. She uses her eye for detail to find the fullest expression and beauty in each asana. Her creativity comes into play with innovative transitions between each asana. Being slightly obsessed with arm balancing and inversions, her classes will always sweep you off your feet. :) She is thankful for all the great teachers that have guided her. She believes that yoga makes what may seem to be the impossible merely just a challenge. Michele looks forward to share her knowledge and passion of yoga with you.

doing it again …

Running the 2015 NYC Marathon was definitely an experience like no other. There was something so fascinating of going through each borough and seeing the city in such a different and unique perspective. For once there was no traffic holding me up or slowing me down, only myself and that notorious wall everyone talks about hitting. It was smooth sailing until around mile 19/20, then it got tough, but there was no way I was quitting. I was more than halfway to the finish line, but more importantly I kept reminding myself of the reason I was running the marathon to begin with — for FRED’S TEAM — for all of those affected by or with cancer, for all (including my own father and aunt) that have lost their lives to cancer! And that is why I have signed up to do it all over again.

Last year, my team Pure Runners raised a little over $30,000 and this year we plan to exceed that. Please consider donating to my run in support of cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research. http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/yoga_michele

Thank you all so much for your support !



more than halfway there …

Training has gone by so fast. Can’t believe there’s only 8 weeks left before Marathon Sunday! I am more than halfway there, in regards to training as well as in miles – a couple of weeks ago I ran my first half marathon run. Since then the miles have and will just increase, last week was 15 miles and this upcoming long run will be a sweet 16 miles.

13.1 mile route around queens

13.1 mile route around queens

To be honest, I had my doubts that I would be able to withstand the long distances. I credit yoga to giving me the mental strength to be able to fight thru whatever is going on in the body and mind during my runs, allowing me to complete the planned distances. I also just keep reminding myself of the reasons why I am running the marathon – in remembrance of my father and aunt who were taken way too soon from cancer, as well as everyone else I know that have been affected by the disease. I am so grateful to have the support of my team – Pure Runners – to keep pushing me and supporting me throughout the training so far.

I have a feeling that the next 8 weeks of training are going to be the toughest yet. My body, mostly my legs are starting to feel the buildup of all the runs and are forever sore. I am mindful not to push it too hard, as my goal for the marathon is not finishing in any particular time, but to just finish strong and feel good throughout the whole race. I want to enjoy running through the streets of New York City, the city I grew up in and the city I love so much.

Please take a moment to visit my official Fred’s Team page and consider donating in support of my run as well as for lifesaving cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Every dollar makes a difference in the fight against cancer!

Thank you so much for your generous donations – Kathy, Pat, Linda, David, Adam, Jillkerry ❤

becoming a runner .. it is happening !!

I am six weeks into marathon training and although I feel there is so much more about running that I have yet to experience and learn, I am at least getting comfortable in the routine of running. It all began when I went to get my gear at Jack Rabbit .. so yes I had all the essentials but what was I to do with it all. My first run was only 2 miles but at that point it seemed like 100 miles! There have been a bunch of mishaps along the way like not setting up the garmin to track my run to forgetting my running sneakers, however I am pretty much in a running routine now and got it down. Hence, that feeling of becoming a runner 🙂

Part of that feeling is also the fact that my routine has taken to icing and salt soaks. All the runs have slowly done some wear on my left foot and on some days it has not been pretty with major swelling. But that is how I view training for the marathon as a whole, it is not easy .. it is super tough .. but the feeling of accomplishment that I am already getting and I’m not even halfway thru training is what makes it all so worth it. To think of how far I have come as a runner in such a short period of time amazes me, I thought I would for sure get bored once the miles starting picking up, however last week’s 10 mile run I found myself running alone in Saratoga. Successfully completing that run solo has definitely boosted my confidence that I can do 26.2 miles and run the marathon come November. This is getting real 🙂

Don’t forget to visit my official Fred’s Team page to donate and support my run. Imagine a world without cancer!

Special thanks to Aaron and Ben ❤

26.2 miles?!? .. one training run at a time

It’s almost one month ago that I decided to run the TCS NYC Marathon this year. An event that is so daunting for anyone even avid runners. So what was I thinking? I have never run a day in my life! I dabbled in one race  – the midnight run in Central Park a few years ago, but that was to celebrate the New Year, as I ran with my sister and friends (Kristin and Dan) – and the result was a super sore body for weeks. So let’s just say running was not on the top of my to-do list! However, even with that in mind I signed up with the team at my yoga studio. (GO team Pure Runners!) I am so excited to be running with such a great group and look forward to the experience along our training journeys. We are running as part of Fred’s team to raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research.

Last week was the official start of my 18 week training program, as I am following Hal Higdon Novice 1. To be honest, it was not as bad as I had hyped it up to be. Looking at the schedule, the longer runs are always on Saturday and the smaller ones during the week. This week culminated with a 6 mile run, which is by far the longest run I have ever done. The two weeks prior I slowly began preparing, running 2-4 mile runs. As the training continues each week the mileage will begin to increase, so I will spare you all the – this is my longest run ever! – comment every week, well until November 1st when I cross that finish line because I do not foresee myself ever running more than 26.2 miles at a time.

I will continue to update you on my progress, the ups and the downs and everything and anything that has to do with me doing this run. Follow me on twitter and instagram for daily updates on my runs.  I look forward to sharing it all with each and every one of you!

Getting my running gear in preparation for training

Getting my running gear in preparation for training

As mentioned above, my team is running to raise money for cancer research. Please visit my official Fred’s Team page to read a little more about the cause and why I am running, as well as consider to donate and support my run.

Big thanks to Katie & Gregg, Vicki, Jen and Donny! ❤

beautique … c’est magnifique !!

Usually I am a total planner and like everything to be scheduled but at times I also love being spontaneous and to just live in the moment. I have to admit that those spur of the moment outings tend to result in some amazing times. My last minute dinner at Beautique restaurant last week did not let me down at all.

I am a creature of habit — my ‘going out’ routine consists of the all important choosing an outfit and doing recon on where I’m going – check out the website, look at the pics and do a scan of the menu – doing so makes my night out complete. So I did a quick visit to the restaurant’s website prior to heading there, and I must say the pictures are very nice but seeing the space in person is so much better. The interior designer in me loves going to new spaces for inspiration. Beautique is one of the most luxurious spaces I have seen in awhile, each design element ties into and complements the other allowing for a lovely dining experience. And if being in such a beautiful space isn’t enough, the food is so delicious. Each plate was like a piece of artwork – elegantly setup and prepared, and let me say it again it was so delicious. The service was superb as well, they were very attentive and helpful in choosing a dessert (they all looked great!!)


Just in case you want to know, here’s what we had at the table — for drinks the Maison Martini and Beautique Bellini, for appetizers the Matchstick Salad and Rocky Nook Oysters, for dinner the Branzino and Halibut (which was the special for the night), and for dessert the Mango Panna Cotta.

After dinner we sat at the bar for a final after dinner cocktail, and midway thru Roberto the manager was kind enough to come over and see how our night was going. He then offered us a tour of the restaurant, which gave me the opportunity to get a better look at the intricate design. However my favorite part of the night was the last stop of the tour where we ended up in the back lounge and enjoyed a couple more cocktails before we had to head home … yoga was calling bright and early the next morning!

This info will come in handy for making your reservations …

Beautique 8 West 58th Street New York, NY 10019  | 212.753.1200 (www.beautiquedining.com)                                                                                     Facebook — facebook.com/BeautiqueDining  |    Twittertwitter.com/beautiquedining


Guest Blog: The Power of the Myths of Yoga by Alanna Kaivalya

The Power of the Myths of Yoga

by Alanna Kaivalya


The myths of yoga are captivating and timeless. Practitioners who have been drawn to the stories of the monkey god, Hanuman, or the destroyer, Shiva, know that yoga’s mythology is rich, complex and evocative of the human condition.

These myths have always captivated me in my years of study in yoga. Initially, I started studying the myths in college. I’d never heard such a magical plethora of stories and I was immediately hooked. There was something about the flawed characteristics of the characters I was learning about — Shiva’s temper, Hanuman’s forgetfulness and Kali’s passion for destruction — that intrigued me and made me feel better about my humanness. This seems to be the clincher that draws yoga practitioners to the myths — that through the illumination of the flawed aspects of divinity, we see the power of our own humanness through this lens. If gods can be flawed, can’t we then express divinity through our own humanity?

And, like yoga, these myths are very flexible, changing in response to the audience that needs them. They can be presented in a modern context to speak to real life and our present day condition. The stories of yoga are not exactly canonized, and so we find different stories of all the gods that vary not just from region to region, but sometimes from town to town. No one is “right” and yet every telling of the story reveals the brilliance behind these fantastic myths.

Different versions are often told based on the teller’s own experience and understanding of the myth. As they share their version of the story, we learn a different perspective, and we also learn something about what is important to the narrator. Their telling of the story will reveal the relationship they have to it, and in turn, it will influence the kind of relationship we build with the character in that story, too.

Through the mythology, yoga practitioners find they begin to cultivate a different relationship with the practice that goes far beyond the physical realm. Though many yoga practitioners begin yoga for the physical benefits, yoga is quick to reveal that there is something deeper going on here.

A little inquiry reveals the rich tradition of what yoga has to offer. But where to begin? The sutras may seem too scholarly. Pranayama may feel too austere. But, stories? Stories are embedded within the human psyche and help to illuminate every aspect of our lives. Stories allow us to connect to the tradition, to our teachers, our fellow yogis, and allow us to connect to deeper parts of ourselves. And they’re fun. It’s kind of a win/win. The mythology of yoga gives us access to the deeper realms of our psyche and brings our beloved yoga practice to life.

For example, when we first see an image of Kali — skin the color of night, tongue dripping blood, sharp teeth and necklace of skulls — the image can be overwhelming. Though, when we understand that she represents not just death and destruction, but the slaying of the ego and the power of the feminine to act with passion and urgency, we suddenly have a context for what that might mean to our lives.

Maybe it makes us think of our mother who went to hell and back to protect us. Maybe we think of an image we’ve seen on the National Geographic Channel of a mother lioness fighting for the safety of her cubs. Or, maybe we think of the Greek tale of how Orpheus had to go to the underworld to save Eurydice. Ultimately, Orpheus could not save the girl, but in making that journey, he was able to make the most beautiful music the world had ever known and so her death revealed a new power in him. Stories of all kinds give us deeper access to the things we cannot describe accurately, but that we can feel and understand on an innate level as human beings.

Because every myth illustrates some kind of human truth, every myth calls out to what is enlivened inside our own psyche. Every myth helps us to realize and bring about our true potential. This is the power of mythology. We find some kernel or ultimate truth in every story — a lighthouse that guides us home. The myths that speak to us are the ones we should listen to and follow… no matter what version we know. If it calls to our soul, we should follow it.



Alanna Kaivalya is the author of Sacred Sound. She is the yoga world’s expert on Hindu mythology and mysticism. Her podcasts have been heard by more than one million people worldwide, and her Kaivalya Yoga Method melds mythology, philosophy, and yoga.Visit her online at http://www.alannak.com.



Based on the book Sacred Sound © 2014 by Alanna Kaivalya. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com

‘pick your yoga practice’ book review

One of the things I love the most about yoga is that there is always more to learn, whether it is in my asana practice or in the more philosophical sense with the sutras and history of yoga. I have to admit that I do pay a lot more attention to my asana practice, than my general knowledge of the sutras and such. I always tell myself that I will re-read them as well as other yoga must reads when I have time, but time is so precious and reading has never been my favorite pastime. Alas, I came across Meagan McCrary’s book – ‘Pick Your Yoga Practice’, and I was hooked in. It is everything you need to know about yoga all in one book. The first few chapters explain yoga, its history and philosophical foundations, then it delves into the myriad of styles of yoga. My personal practice as well as teachings is in the style of Ashtanga and Vinyasa. I have taken and tried other styles of yoga but never could quite grasp what it was all about. It was great to know the background and meanings of the other styles more in depth than a brief class description at the studios. I highly recommend this book for yogis to get a better understanding of yoga, and for non-yogis to find a newfound interest. Maybe I am a little biased with my obvious love for yoga but I truly believe that there is a yogi in all of us, and this book might just unveil it.

check out more about the author at http://www.meaganmccrary.com