Yogawear Designer: Kelly Hsiung of Modern Yogi

Can you tell us something about your line?
Modern Yogi is a contemporary activewear line for yoga practitioners who value comfort and quality in their practice wear without compromising style. Each piece is mindfully designed to provide the support needed in body-flattering silhouettes. All products are Made in the U.S.A.

What inspired you to produce your products and how did you get started?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved color, design, fashion and the arts. My other love is yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga for 9 years and became a yoga teacher in 2011. I had an “aha” moment one day when it became apparent to combine my two passions: yoga and fashion.

How did you come by your yoga practice and how is it related to your line?
I used to be easy for me to get very light headed and overheated during the hot summer days in NY. I picked up Bikram yoga to overcome the heat.

What is unique about your products that you know we will all love?
I’m a thoughtful designer. I add unique touches to my designs.  For instance, on my men’s Power shorts, I designed a stretchy 4-way gusset at the base that provides extra mobility for postures like Triangle pose. When designing the Unishort for women’s, I made sure the straps on this piece were adjustable so this style can fit many different body types.

About Kelly
Kelly Hsiung is a yogi, entrepreneur and New Yorker. Driven by the love of yoga, fashion and wellness, Kelly combined the things she’s most passionate about and founded Modern Yogi. She is a certified yoga teacher with a background in Retail Marketing and a degree in Business Administration and Art. Kelly has a meticulous eye for design details and is obsessed with creating apparel that empower her fellow yogis.


Tocando la Luz

Join South Slope yogis Jen and Tim for the NY premiere of their film Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light) at DOCNYC next Sunday 11/15 at 4:45PM! The film will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger and a reception hosted by PBS’ DOC WORLD.

Trailer & Tickets: exclusive clip of a baseball game for the blind:

Synopsis from the DocNYC catalog: Havana, Cuba. An up-and-coming singer searches for confidence, a young woman in love longs for motherhood and a veteran of the Revolution comes to terms with the death of her husband. Three women, united by blindness and a desire for independence, guide us through Cuba’s current economic and social landscape while pursuing their dreams and breaking through personal and societal limitations.

photo: Monica Felix

Teacher of the Month: Karli McGuiness

I started practicing Ashtanga yoga on a mat next to my older brother’s when I was a toddler and I giggled through my first several years of practice because we thought the chanting of “Om Shanti” was hysterical. My mother and grandmother belonged to an ashram in Long Island, so we were around yogis often. I practiced sparsely throughout my childhood and teens, but mostly took up equestrian riding and other sports.

I returned to (Bikram) yoga in high school and college but really began my daily practice in 2009 when I moved back to the States from a year abroad. The philosophy of yoga is one that has been a familiar thread throughout my life, but no other practice has transformed my mind (and as a result, my body) like Bikram yoga. My athletically disciplined mind became more determined than ever. My self love and artistic creativity expanded 100 times over. Compassion for others had always been important to me and I loved that my Bikram practice fed that. I physically felt like I could do anything. I started canceling social plans so I could take class… I was hooked!

Becoming a Bikram teacher has been, and continues to be, one of the greatest lessons and gifts Bikram Yoga has given me. I continue to learn and be inspired through teaching. Making note of how this yoga has changed my life would be an extremely long list, which would definitely lose the attention of those reading this! What I believe to be more powerful is how I have seen this yoga transform my students. I have seen those who have been disempowered by traumatic physical and emotional circumstances in their life take their power back, literally by the sweat of their brow. I have seen self esteem blossom and kindness grow where resentment once was. I have seen tremendous efforts and strides made towards patience, empathy, understanding, and acceptance of not only individuals, but of the group.

Our Bikram Yoga Park Slope community is incredibly special and the only proof you need is right in the locker rooms! The encouragement that happens from veteran students to newcomers over a shower after a killer classes is heartwarming. The bonds made over students navigating through tough personal issues while having their yogi friends to encourage them and their practice to ground them has been among the most special things to witness as a teacher.

BYPS has become home to so many, and I am SO proud to call it my yoga home. The only advice I have for new students is to drink plenty of water in preparation for class and just get to class! Then come back, even if it’s hard! Oh, and please don’t wear cotton, it makes you feel sooo much hotter. We have that part taken care of for you 😉 My last tip is paraphrased from Bikram himself: Let nothing steal your peace. You are infinitely stronger than you think you are. Never, ever give up.

photo: Monica Felix



Running Yogis

Starting Thursday August 27th at 6 p.m. Bikram Yoga Park Slope will be hosting “Running Yogis,” a group of dedicated runners and yogis led by Bikram Yoga Park Slope instructor, Natalie Phelps. We will be meeting at the Lefferts Avenue studio at 6pm and running for about an hour around Prospect Park and the surrounding neighborhoods returning to the studio in time to take the 8pm class. Please come and join us regardless of your pace or running experience.

Why running and yoga?

Yoga is a wonderful activity to increase balance and flexibility for runners and help prevent injuries. While running is a great cardiovascular activity, it can lead to repetitive stress injuries (such as runners knee, IT band syndrome, tight hamstrings) if not properly balanced with strength and flexibility training. The repetitive movements of running contract the muscles over and over again which can result in shortened muscle fibers, imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, and reduced range of motion in related joints. A regular yoga practice can help runners create length in those shortened muscle fibers and increase strength in underused muscle groups that cause musculoskeletal imbalance.  Yoga can also reduce stiffness from post workout lactic acid buildup and improve breathing.

A little about Natalie

Natalie has been practicing at our studios since January 2012 and joined the Bikram Yoga Park Slope team this May after attending the Fall 2014 Teacher Training in Thailand and traveling as a visiting teacher for 6 months. She has taught in studios all over the world but is happy to be back at her home studio in Brooklyn.

Natalie has been an avid long distance runner since her teenage years on the track and cross-country teams. She has run 8 full marathons, at least 16 half marathons and countless shorter individual races and relays. Natalie tried Bikram Yoga for the first time after running her first marathon as a way to stretch and strengthen her muscles after pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles and was instantly hooked. She is currently training for the Detroit marathon and would love to share her running experiences with the yoga community.

Pranayama: Standing Deep Breathing

This month we are releasing one posture per week to lead you through the 26 + 2 Bikram yoga series. We know many of you are away over the summer — we miss you over the holiday and look forward to seeing you when you are back! In the mean time, use these videos to support your practice when you find yourself away from your home studio.

Some benefits of Pranayama breathing:

  • Encourages mental relaxation
  • Supports good blood pressure and circulation
  • Improves conditions of the lungs – increasing lung capacity

We would love to hear what Pranayama does for you! Share with us on Facebook and Twitter.