Well, the 2014 movie awards season may have come to an end, but it’s not too late to get dressed up (in some snazzy yoga pants from Onzie), roll out the extra-long red yoga mat, and hand out the 2014 YOGAR Awards!

What are the YOGARs, you ask? Just a groovy little award presentation I’ve been doing since 2010 to recognize the cool yoga experiences, music, and people who have made the last year completely yogalicious.

In 2013, I added a new twist by asking my yoga students to nominate their favorite asanas, and then I themed my yoga classes around their picks during the week of the Oscars. This year, I’m skipping the nominations and going straight to the awards! YOGAR Award jpg


Adho mukha savasana (downward dog) is always a big contender, followed up strongly by savasana (corpse), but this year I’ve got to give the award to eka pada rajakapotasana (one-l­egged king pigeon). Eka P. R. and I never experience drama – only a sweet, long, juicy release for my hips, thighs, shoulders, and low back. Thank you, Eka!

BEST SCENERY (Cinematography) for YOGA

Wow, the competition was tough in this category as I got to practice yoga on the Caribbean beaches of Aruba, the mountains of Colorado, the shores of Cinque Terre in Italy, and in Mykonos, Greece. But, nothing beats a hometown sunset, and the YOGAR award goes to the stunning views on the beaches of Lake Erie at Linwood Park, Main Street Beach Vermilion, and Firefly Beach in Huron, Ohio. During the evening sunset classes in particular, you could not ask for better cinematography while looking out at the colors of the sunset painted on the sky and water as the waves crashed up on the beach. The picture below beautifully captures one of my favorite scenes from the summer Beach Yoga Bliss retreat held at Firefly Beach.



It was a big year for yoga in my life, and some of the top moments included having a swarm of yogis show up at Firefly Beach for a full moon yoga class I taught over the summer, attending a live music class with Girish,


Blissed out at Yoga Bliss with Girish!

and practicing yoga with over 1,600 yogis in front of the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as part of the Believe in CLE event. The best yoga moment, though, goes to how incredible I felt when practicing yoga on the beach in Aruba right after I finished teaching the last class of my very first Beach Yoga Bliss retreat. It was a combination of sheer exhaustion and utter delight when I realized that one of my dreams had just come true, and the accompanying feeling was both exhilarating and moving as it brought me to tears of joy.


Teaching yoga in Aruba!


Hands down my favorite yoga wear this past year has been from the colorful and unique prints and designs from Onzie. I just got to try out their new spring line, and it rocks.


These capris in the Meadow print have a waistband that fits really snug, stays put, and is super comfortable.

Onzie’s All in One Tank Top completed my YOGAR winning ensemble with free-flowing jersey fabric that has all the right moves: snug and secure in the lined built-in-bra, loose fitting around the belly (love that), longer length to cover the hip area, and a really cool looking back!


Head on over to the Onzie website to check out their new collection, but make sure you have more than a few minutes because their array of 15 creative and playful fabric designs for their capris makes it hard to pick just one style.




Yoga teacher, storyteller, and really funny guy David Rominelli at Studio Oxygen in Canfield, Ohio

Best Director. My teachers last year included stand-up paddle-boarding and inversions with Rachel Brathen in Aruba, and wine and chocolate after a vinyasa practice with lots of great storytelling and laughter from David Rominelli.

Rachel class

Full of Bliss after practicing with Rachel Brathen in Aruba

But I have to give this one to yogini goddess Angela Farmer, who I had the privilege of studying with for a few days in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Angela taught me a lot about listening and trusting my body. To remember to look deeply into ourselves and when we do we can go on a journey where new things will open up for us.

Angela Farmer and Maria Santoferraro


As great as it is, Pharrell William’s catchy feel-good song “Happy” did not win the Oscar, and it didn’t win the YOGAR. But it definitely has a fond place in one of my yoga class playlists. “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors also was nominated, but the award this year is going to one of the coolest albums for yoga class playlists, Jahta Beat The Lotus Memoirs by DJ Drez and, in particular, the song “For What It’s Worth,” which graced my yoga class playlists countless times.

DJ Drez at Tadasana Festival



Well, of course, the Hang Ten Meditation videos completely swept this category. If you have ten minutes, take a break and enjoy a guided meditation with me and the sound of the waves. In my acceptance speech, I’ve got to thank Greg and Candice Slawson of GC Creative Studios for their expert work in bringing these videos to life. Maybe this year I’ll try an animated version. 😉

Hang_Ten color jpeg



This one goes out to the City of Vermilion and the Vermilion School Board for giving me a home for my yoga classes throughout the summer and winter months. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Got a special moment from 2013 you would like to share, or something or someone you want to give a shout-out to? Please leave a comment below to join in the YOGAR celebration! I can’t wait to see what yoga in the year 2014 will bring!

You can catch up on the last few years of YOGAR winners here…

1st Annual YOGAR winners

2nd Annual YOGAR winners

3rd Annual YOGAR winners