Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Community’

The Body Whisperer

One of the primary goals of Five Pillars Yoga is to support the heath and vitality of our community. “Off the mat” we can pursue Right Relaxation by working with exceptional practitioners in the fields of medicine, nutrition, body work, acupuncture and so on.

Neil Runyon, the founder of Carnegie Hill Massage, is one of these exceptional practitioners that we simply couldn’t keep secret.


Neil has extensive training in numerous modalities — including Swedish and Deep Tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and neuromuscular therapy — and has been working his magic for over seven years. He has been reviewed as one of the most knowledgeable and skilled massage therapists around, as well as being intuitive, caring and compassionate. After a treatment with Neil this summer I can second all of these raves!


If you’d like to experience the magic, he is currently offering Five Pillars students a 10% discount on sessions!


12961512_802767543189127_1831009344832943948_nCarnegie Hill Massage can be found in a converted garden studio that is sweet, peaceful and utterly convenient – it’s located just two blocks down from Five Pillars on 92nd between Park & Lex. Soft linens filter the light and pale wood and ivory walls create a tranquil atmosphere. Classical music sets the tone for a massage that felt just as precision as an orchestral arrangement. In fact “massage” is too minimal a word.

As Neil applied a combination of techniques specific to my issues (including trigger point and myofacial release) he spoke about the relationships and mechanics of my muscles and connective tissue the way an astronomer might speak of constellations.

His understanding of body mechanics, of anatomy and of modern human afflictions was staggering. He’s perfectly happy to let people drift off into Right Relaxation “la la land” during treatments, but, being the curious yogi that I am, I asked question after question and left feeling like I had taken a master class in my own physiology.

As for my body – the work he did that day was deep, targeted and corrective. I have been working with some issues in the low back and also upper shoulders and once my body had integrated his work, I’d say around 36 hours later, I felt like a whole new woman.


Neil has the skills and the intuition to give us each what we might need – one day might be just a relaxing slow Swedish indulgence, another day he might spend an hour working on just one hip. If you have specific issues you’re working with, he can help not only on the table, but also might recommend certain stretches or practices to help.


“Opening my own private practice has allowed me develop longer term personal relationships with clients who value the role massage therapy can play in their wellness regimens. My approach is a holistic one – I do believe that our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives express themselves in our bodies…”


Neil meets each client with skill and compassion and seeks to treat the whole person. His specialties include:



Low Back, Hip and Pelvic Imbalances

Shoulder Girdle, Neck and Head Imbalances

Post Surgical/Injury Rehabilitation 

Depression and Stress Related Disorders

Certified Pre and Post-Natal Massage



Neil books books both 90-minute and two hour sessions. Do yourself a favor and book the longer session. While he can work wonders in an hour and a half, with that extra time he can really #GoDeep, sussing out a few of your particular source issues and giving them the time and attention they need to begin to rebalance.


Whether you’ve got something specific that needs work or you just crave a little Right Relaxation, take advantage of Neil’s exclusive 10% discount offer for the Five Pillars community. For a limited time only. 

Click here to Contact Neil
Or call 347-324-6745



Just Relax – Val More Salon Has Arrived!

I’m a Carnegie Hill resident and some days I really need a blow out, but I don’t have the ambition to walk or take a cab for the journey to my regular spot. Instead, I opt to blow out my, hair believing I can create that “just walked out of a salon look.” Alas, I never quite achieve it, and after an hour of wrestling with the blow dryer and tugging at my hair I invariably end up with a healthy measure of self-inflicted stress and my hair pitifully tied up. This is not what I would call “self care!”


Well now it’s time to relax.

Much to my joy (and my locks relief), Val More Salon is part of the new wave of businesses bringing convenience and high-quality services to Carnegie Hill.

With 20 plus years in the industry, Val’s passion for his work stems from many years spent along-side one of the elite stylists in the salon world. His expertise and approach have earned Val the well-deserved nickname “The Hair Whisperer” by the many loyal clients that travel from far and wide to sit in his chair. And after my first visit to his gorgeous new salon, I can understand why.


From the moment I opened the door my experience at Val More’s was luxurious and relaxing. I was graciously welcomed with warm smiles from the staff that offered sweets, coffee and tea. I immediately took in the elegant interior, with exposed brick walls, and sleek glass cases displaying a thoughtful selection of hair products. I loved seeing Living Proof and Alterna Caviar — both sustainable and non-toxic products — as some of the items sold. Contemporary photography hung on the walls, lush orchids adorned the counters, and the space’s soothing palate of sleek black, white and grey was illuminated by well-designed lighting. All this prepared me for a feeling of being pampered and spoiled.



I was not disappointed. I nabbed a seat in Val’s chair where he seamlessly transformed my ratty locks into a flowing, smooth hairstyle that kept up with me the next two days. (I’ve already been back a few times for blowouts and can’t wait to try out the many other services too!)


Val More is an all-service salon providing:

Hair Services
Blow outs and haircuts for women, men and children ~ Keratin treatments ~ Hair extensions ~ Styling & Up Dos ~ Color treatments – Conditioning masks

Beauty Services
Makeup ~ Eye lash extensions ~ Eyebrow shaping

Body Services
Spray tan ~ Body scrubs ~ Massage ~ Manicure & Pedicure

Plus – Bridal services, house calls and much more


With all these amazing services I am thrilled, and I know others are as well, to have this exquisite boutique salon as part of our growing neighborhood community. Val More makes it easy and indulgent to look and feel our best, and we love supporting a fellow independent entrepreneur, especially one as creative as Val.


Welcome Home Val More!

Val More is located at 1323 Madison Avenue @ East 93rd St.
212 300-4169





Join our 10-Day Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!

The week before the Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal time to deepen into an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

It’s impossible not to be reminded of the heartbreaking struggles and tragedies taking place every day around the world every day. This week, in the wake of such horror and such loss in Paris, Beirut, Kenya and elsewhere, it is easy to feel deep sorrow, confusion and even hopelessness. We wouldn’t be human if this didn’t touch us.

And even though our own daily struggles, god-willing, pale in comparison, it’s still easy to get mired in the daily grind, daily disappointments, daily frustrations.

It can be surprisingly easy to lose sight of our blessings.

This is a time of year that asks us to remember. That asks us to give thanks. That asks us to acknowledge all of the blessings, no matter how big or how small, make up our individual lives. And they are indeed, different for each of us.

Aside from cultivating a state of grace, compassion and connection, living in a state of gratitude has a host of incredible physical and psychological benefits. Forbes has published an article on seven scientifically-proven benefits including reducing aches and pain, reducing anxiety and frustration, reducing aggressive behavior, while boosting self esteem and supporting optimum sleep.


Join The 10-Day Challenge!

Our invitation for you this coming week is to end each day with a reflection on three things you’re grateful for. You can write them down in your journal. Text them to a friend. Simply sit in quiet contemplation and think about them to yourself.

Join us via Facebook and share the things, moments, people or blessings your thankful for! 

As part of our gratitude for YOU — our community and students who help make Five Pillars Yoga the special place it is — everyone that participates on Facebook will receive 50% off your their class. 


If you’re a little stumped on where to start, you can check out this fun article from They point out it’s easy to be grateful for the big things, like a promotion at work, but we’re also allowed to appreciate the small things — like just how delicious a piece of pie can be. You can go broad, like “I’m grateful for my family,” or specific like “I’m so thankful my daughter cleaned her room today!”




Taking the time out to notice moments of blessings in your life will have a profound impact over time. You may notice as you attune yourself to notice blessings you’re more in the moment, more centered and calm. And when you attune to your blessings, you may begin to notice just how many of them there are!



To kick off the challenge, I’d like to express my appreciation for Peter Tunney’s “Grattitude” billboard that soars over the Bronx. I’ve gotten to see it many times as I’ve been inching along in traffic on the Major Deegan Expressway, and it always reminds me in that moment to take a pause and count my blessings.

So give it a try this week and see how you feel.
Join us on Facebook to share the love!