• Posted on July 24th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    THE QUESTION
    I struggle with tight hips and I want to learn Lotus Posture (Padmasana). Can you suggest a sequence that will help open my hips and help me do Lotus Pose?

    Most students make the same mistake when they work on their hips and try to grow a lotus: They focus too much on stretching their outer hips and forget to open the other muscle groups that comprise their hip-joint. Don’t get me wrong—the outer hips usually need plenty of help. But, the key to freedom and balance in your hips is working with all the muscle groups that affect the joint, not just your bum. I can’t promise you a Lotus, but practicing the following sequence will make your hips be happier and healthier—and, if anything is going to help you sit in lotus, this practice will.

    THE ESSENTIAL ANATOMY
    There are a couple of things to understand about your hips in order to approach them skillfully in your practice. First, your hip joint (Coxal Joint) is a ball and socket. This is simple enough, but it has big implications. It means that your hip-joint is 360-degrees and has muscles around the full-circumference that produce motion at the joint. In order to create a balanced hip-opening sequence—and, truly create more freedom and ease in your hips—you need to address all of these muscle groups. It’s true that Lotus Pose relies heavily on motion in your outer-hips, but it also requires fluidity in many of the other groups that line the circumference of the joint. If you want to open your hips and develop lotus, make sure you do postures that target each of the following muscular compartments:

    Hip-Flexors: These muscles cross over the front of your hip-joint and flex the hip.

    Adductors: These muscles that line the inside of your upper-thigh are usually left out hip-opening sequences. Not only do they quality as hip muscles because they start on the pelvis, cross the hip-socket and connect to the inside of the thigh, they may be more important to a comfortable lotus than you think. When these muscles are tight, they pull the knees up while attempting Lotus.

    Hamstrings: The hamstrings are not a significant factor in Lotus and they’re not usually thought of as hip muscles. However, they originate on the bottom of your pelvis, cross the back of the hip-socket, and run down the back of your leg. This means that a balanced hip-opening sequence will include postures that release this group of muscles.

    External Rotators and Gluteus Maximus: Describing the Gluteals and their functions in a few words is tough because this family of three muscles does a lot of different work. Let it suffice to say that this is the region that we tend to think when we think of hip-openers. This is the bitter-sweet, hurts-so-good part of the body that we stretch when we do Pigeon Pose.

    Abductors and IT Band: Targeting this region is another key step in releasing hip tension and developing lotus. These muscles run from the outside of the hip bone, cross the outside of the hip-joint and attach to the outside of the thigh. Since this region is harder to get good leverage on than the External Rotators, it is often short-changed in hip-opening sequences.

    THE SEQUENCE

    Anjeneyasana
    Focus on rooting down through the top of your back foot and lifting up through your hip-points to get the most from this hip-flexor opener.

    Anjeneyasana

    Low Lunge Quad Stretch
    This posture continues the hip-opening that began in Anjeneyasana and digs deeply into the quadriceps.

    Low-Lunge Quad-Stretch

    Prasarita Padottanasana
    This wide-legged standing forward bend stretches your hamstrings and adductors. It also prepares you for the more intense Wide-Legged Squat that follows.

    Prasarita Padottanasana

    Wide-Legged Squat
    This is the most effective standing posture for releasing tension in the adductors. This postures effectiveness by using your forearm to press your thigh away from the midline.

    Wide-Legged Squat

    Reclined Revolved Triangle
    Revolved Triangle Pose is one of the most effective postures for stretching the hamstrings, abductors, and IT band. This posture recreates the same dynamics of Revolved Triangle in a reclined posture. By reclining, you can stay in the posture for much longer and exert greater opening on the targeted muscles and connective tissue.

    Reclined Revolved Triangle

    Piegon Pose with A Twist
    This version of pigeon will help you access part of your adductors and external rotators and lead to more comfort in Lotus. To be effective, lift and turn your torso toward your front leg. Use your hand to pull strongly against your front knee.

    Piegon Pose with A Twist

    Ankle-to-Knee with Sidebend
    To make this posture most effective, be sure to place your top ankle on your bottom knee and flex your foot.

    Ankle to Knee with Sidebend

    Become an authority on yoga anatomy and yoga sequencing by joining Jason Crandell’s online trainings.

    Jason Crandell is a natural teacher and author with more than 15 years of experience. His accessible, grounded classes integrate the best elements of power yoga, anatomical precision and mindfulness teachings.  Considered a “teachers-teacher,” Jason has taught on countless teacher-training faculties, leads trainings globally, and regularly presents teacher-training content at esteemed conferences. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on July 24th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Sianna Sherman explains that one of the most important things as a yogi is learning how to trust our intuitive knowledge. She reminds us that practicing yoga can enhance our intuitive capacities and that is one of the greatest gifts of all.

    Take this class with Sianna: http://bit.ly/Upfm2l


  • Posted on July 23rd, 2014 YogaGlo 3 comments

    Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for many years, we all have a “moment.” A moment where something shifted and our practice allowed us to see ourselves and the world around us in a different way. A moment where we fell out of a pose and laughed and it was everything. A moment that showed us we’re stronger than we realized. A moment where we finally kicked up into headstand on our own and couldn’t believe it. A moment where we could finally let it all go and just be.

    That “moment” is different for everyone and this summer we want to celebrate YOUR yoga moments. We also want to acknowledge the many yoga studios all over the world that make so many incredible yoga moments possible. Want to share your yoga moment with us? Here’s how.

    This week’s Yoga Moment comes from Jillian McGehee during her practice at Barefoot Studio West in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    On this particular Tuesday, I was debating a run or do yoga. I had hoped for both but ran out of time. My schedule was busier than usual as I was on a clean eating/detox challenge and spending more time than ever on meal preparation.

    I’m glad I opted for the mat rather than the pavement that night. From the Ground Up – a workshop-style class that focuses on arm balances and inversions – takes place at Barefoot Studio West, one of two studios in Little Rock, Ark., owned by Breezy Osborne-Wingfield. Surrounded by open fields and horses, the west studio is the perfect retreat from city hustle.

    Instructor David Shropshire asked us what we wanted to work on. I agreed with the crow suggestion and also suggested hurdler’s pose. We warmed up our wrists with some rolling/bending exercises, then our core and our legs. We worked on crow about 15 times, each at our own pace. The neat thing about this class is instead of continuous flow and movement, you spend the entire time on the chosen pose or poses. After holding crow for longer than I ever have, David talked us through the steps toward hurdler’s pose.

    I was fearful and embarrassed for even bringing it up, worried that I’d fall on my face. But all day I had kept a photo I had been tagged in, which said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

    This pose was that one thing. I pointed my toes to help strengthen my legs and booty as much as possible, kept my shoulders closed, my elbows in chaturanga position, my core muscles tight – all while breathing! After many tries, I was suspended in the air! “Way to go, champ” is what I heard on my second try.

    That night I was balanced, strong and ready. Ready to face my fear of looking funny, falling or failing. The beauty of yoga is you never fail. You do what you can in that given moment. Nothing more, nothing less. The important thing is “whatever you did, you did it,” as Breezy often says.


  • Posted on July 21st, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    Have you ever had one of those days, or even weeks where you felt like nothing is going in your favor – days where you wish you could rewind time and just start over again? Days where you wish you could just hit the reset button? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The good news is that even though there is no magical button you can press, there is yoga and yoga can help “reset” you on those less than stellar days.

    This week’s featured classes will help reset your mind and body so you can meet the rest of your day with clarity and ease.

    Yoga for a Reset

    • Deep Body Reset with David Harshada Wagner: An extended meditation connecting to and soothing the respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems of the physical body.
    • Reset Your Expectations with Tiffany Cruikshank: This class is about resetting your expectations to change your relationship to your practice and yourself. We’ll use a hearty array of standing poses to prepare for a backbending practice to reframe your expectations. Culminating with viparita dandasana variations and backbend/headstand transitions (but don’t let that scare you away that’s just the last few minutes.
    • Reset Your Entire Body with Jason Crandell: This practice will reset your entire body. It’s not a sweaty massacre of a flow practice, but it may be exactly what you need. You will proceed through all of the major muscle groups of your entire body, beginning with the ball of your feet and finishing with your neck. To name a few, you will unravel tension in your calves, hamstrings, quads, and hips before proceeding to your spine and shoulders. This is a thorough, complete class that will leaving you feeling more than 60-minutes better. Props Needed; Block
    • Reset with Felicia Tomasko: Wherever and however our journeys take us in life, long periods of sitting may create stagnation, tightness and tension in the body. This practice of supported bridge series, hip openers, pigeon, a delicious seated forward fold and twists helps to reset whatever needs to be reset. We spend some time on the Earth practicing with devotion to remember that wherever we travel, the best companion is our own heart.
    • Reset Your Natural Breath & Pranayama Practice with Sianna Sherman: Pranayama is the expansion of the life force energy. Rest into your natural breath as you cultivate a deepening relationship with the prana in your own body through these techniques. Finish with a sweet chant of Prana.
    • Reset Your Mind with Tara Judelle: In this short practice to reset your nervous system for calm and ease we use pranayama, forward bends and an inversion to prepare you to meet the rest of your day with clarity.


  • Posted on July 17th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Kia Miller explains that our body is a map, which reveals the patterns and emotional tendencies that govern our life. Many of these patterns of thinking and feeling get coded into our muscles and joints. She reminds us that a particular focus on the breath will help us unravel years of stress and tension and will help us to reclaim our vitality, stand tall and walk with majesty.

    Take this class with Kia: http://bit.ly/WcyEsS

     


  • Posted on July 16th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    My Yoga Moment

    Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for many years, we all have a “moment.” A moment where something shifted and our practice allowed us to see ourselves and the world around us in a different way. A moment where we fell out of a pose and laughed and it was everything. A moment that showed us we’re stronger than we realized. A moment where we finally kicked up into headstand on our own and couldn’t believe it. A moment where we could finally let it all go and just be.

    That “moment” is different for everyone and this summer we want to celebrate YOUR yoga moments. We also want to acknowledge the many yoga studios all over the world that make so many incredible yoga moments possible. Want to share your yoga moment with us? Here’s how.

    This week’s Yoga Moment comes from Anna Garrido during her practice at Mandiram in Barcelona, Spain.

    I’ve had many “special moments” in yoga throughout the years. I will never forget the first time I did Sirsasana on my own, after months of practice. I couldn’t stop smiling, and I had to control myself not to laugh aloud and tell everyone in the room what I just did!

    But the most beautiful shifting moment I have had in yoga was in Savasana. I was attending a teachers’ training and we did a “yoga for kids” session. I loved the teacher: she was joyful, loving and full of light. In savasana, after the very fun class we had had, everything was moving inside me, but I was very relaxed. She read a few words and then asked us to repeat these words internally: “I love myself. Exactly as I am now. I love myself sooo much. I respect myself. I totally love myself.” When I tried to say that, I surprisingly realized I wasn’t able to say those words to myself. There was a block inside me that didn’t let me say “I love myself”! Suddenly, I was aware of my lack of self-esteem. I fell into tears. I silently cried for minutes, releasing an enormous weight I had carried for years. I felt terribly sad to see all my pain but at the same time I felt deeply happy and grateful to see the truth and to feel that something had shifted inside me.  At the end of savasana, for the first time in a very long time – and although it was almost painful – I was able to say… slowly, carefully and very low: “I love myself.” 


  • Posted on July 14th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    From tight hip flexors and hamstrings to achy knees and low back pain, running can certainly take a toll on the body. Over time, an activity like running can shorten and imbalance muscle groups in ways that can inhibit your athletic performance and cause injuries. The good news is that yoga can help. Yoga is a perfect complement to running, as it can help cultivate freedom, balance and flexibility in the lower body so you can stay injury-free and running for years to come.

    yoga for runners

    • Cross-Training Flow for Athletes with Stephanie Snyder: This sequence is designed for the athlete (or anyone) who has tight hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings. Activities like running, hiking, cycling can all shorten these muscle groups in a way that can inhibit your athletic performance and cause aches and pains in the low back and knees. We will move through a flowing vinyasa class that will help cultivate freedom and flexibility in your lower body.
    • Strengthen Hamstrings, Stretch Quads with Jason Crandell: Most asana practices include an abundance of hamstring stretching and very little hamstring strengthening. Conversely, most practices do several postures that strengthen the quadriceps and few that stretch the quadriceps. This sequence flips these roles by emphasizing postures that strengthen the hamstrings and stretch the quadriceps. In addition to benefiting regular asana practitioners, this class will be particularly helpful to runners.
    • Post-Run Stretch with Tara Judelle: For runners post exercise to stretch and lengthen hamstrings, hips and inner thighs to create balanced muscles. Includes, Uttanasana, Pasarita Padotanasa, Pigeon, Runners Stretch, and Janu Sirsasana.
    • Post-Marathon Practice with Felicia Tomasko: Just ran a marathon or feel like you did? This hip and hamstring practice that uses two blocks is entirely done on the floor, mostly on the back, without our usual forward folds and twists. Cultivate stability in the low back and hips with this practice that is cross-training not only for runners, but for the rest of the us.
    • Cross-Training for Runners with Tiffany Cruikshank: A 45min flow aimed specifically at runners with a focus on the hips & legs. Designed to be a good cross training routine for low intensity training days or rest days.
    • Post Cardio Yoga Practice with Elena Brower: Specific standing poses and hip openers – and one delicious backbend – to root our thighs back into their sockets and open our quads and hamstrings efficiently, thereby easing our lower backs. Superb for runners, hikers, swimmers, cyclists, and elliptical enthusiasts; we practice matching the intensity of any perceived boundary – in our postures or in our lives – with some more softness, more respect, more attention.


  • Posted on July 10th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Kathryn Budig reminds us that one of the biggest ways to improve our posture or practice is our level of confidence and how we talk to ourselves. So not only bringing confidence, but bringing a really strong helping of self love.

    Take this class with Kathryn: http://bit.ly/1mBfmqA


  • Posted on July 8th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    Kathryn Budig at the YogaGlo Studio

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us next week as Kathryn Budig will be in town teaching FREE Vinyasa Flow classes at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!

    Kathryn’s Class Schedule:

    • Tuesday, July 15th: 10:00am-11:30am – Vinyasa Flow, Level 2
    • Tuesday, July 15th: 12:00pm-1:00pm – Vinyasa Flow, Level 2
    • Wednesday, July 16th: 10:00-11:30am – Vinyasa Flow, Level 1/2
    • Wednesday, July 16th: 12:00pm-1:00pm – Vinyasa Flow, Level 2/3
    • Thursday, July 17th: 10:00am-11:00am – Vinyasa Flow, Level 2
    • Thursday, July 17th: 11:30am-12:30pm – Vinyasa Flow, Level 1/2

    Don’t miss this opportunity to take amazing classes with this amazing teacher. Please check out our class schedule for more information and head on down to the Glo!


  • Posted on July 7th, 2014 YogaGlo No comments

    Felicia Tomasko at the YogaGlo Studio

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us next week as Felicia Tomasko will be in town teaching a FREE Yin class at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!

    Felicia’s Class Schedule:

    • Monday, July 14th: 5:30pm-7:00pm – Yin, Level 1/2

    Don’t miss this opportunity to take this amazing class with this amazing teacher. Please check out our class schedule or more information and head on down to the Glo!