Posted on April 24th, 2014
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Giselle Mari reminds us that we have a tremendous desire and capacity to connect with all of life but our busy lives often reinforce more separation. Yoga helps us to connect, reflect, understand and ultimately love in times that we think we can’t.
Take this class with Giselle: http://bit.ly/1lGumAQ
Posted on April 23rd, 2014
If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us as Noah Mazé will be in town teaching FREE Hatha classes at the YogaGlo studio next week. You will not want to miss this.
Noah’s class schedule:
- Thursday, May 1st: 10:00am-11:00am, Hatha-Level 2/3
- Thursday, May 1st: 11:30am-12:30pm, Hatha-Level 3
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take amazing classes with this amazing teacher. Please check out our class schedule for more info and head on down to the Glo!
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Posted on April 21st, 2014
Meditation is an extremely powerful tool that gives balance physically, emotionally and mentally and its countless values have been known and practiced for thousands of years. Several studies show that the benefits of meditation are endless, from inner peace and relaxation to slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases.
This week’s featured meditation classes will help you set the tone for your day, find your center in a moment of stress and help you explore your limitless potential.
- Five Elements of Meditation with Sally Kempton: Sally leads you through a meditation on the 5 elements in your body, and their interconnection with the elements in nature.
- Ultimate Surrender Savasana with Giselle Mari: Sometimes the only asana you need is Savasana. Take a load off, lay down and let go while I guide you into a deep relaxation through each section of your body/mind container, ultimately surrendering into complete silence to savor and marinate in a space of pure liquidity. Props Suggested: Three Blankets
- Embodying Deep Serenity with Tias Little: In this seated meditation, Tias guides you into the interior of your mind and heart through clear anatomical detail and beautiful imagery. His careful and loving guidance encourages a sublime connection to the subtle body. This meditative journey inspires a direct experience of true serenity. Props Needed: A bolster and a blanket.
- Awaken Your Motivation with Rod Stryker: Motivation for self esteem, motivation and inspiration. By learning to direct and collect awareness in the navel center we awaken the most positive and life affirming qualities of the mind. Prop Suggested: Blanket to sit on.
- Sattvic Alignment with Marc Holzman: When the body/mind are in sattvic alignment, a deeper meditation is more accessible: Asana/Pranayama/Meditation. We’ll do a short and simple 5 minute asana practice to move energy through the body, 2 minutes of alternate nostril pranayama to soothe and balance the nervous system, and approximately 10 minutes of meditation using a simple mantra as a tool to go deeper.
- Deep Relaxation with David Harshada Wagner: This is a guided session of ujjayi pranayama, with intervals of ujjayi breath and regular breathing. The sustained practice will serve as a deeply relaxing session. Props Suggested: A blanket and a bolster.
Posted on April 18th, 2014
The term “bandha” in yoga has several different meanings, some more philosophical and others more literal. The word itself translates as “bind,” “bond” or “bondage,” which can obviously signify a lot of different things, positive and negative, mental and physical. Nikki Villela, of Kula Yoga in New York City, says that “the more literal translation of bandha is bondage or lock. However, at Kula we like to refer to them as valves, as they regulate the flow of pranic energy as a switch would control the flow of electric current.” Sometimes called the “yogic locks,” bandhas are different ways of locking or contracting the body, and are said to direct the flow of energy, or prevent it from escaping. Other connotations of the word have more to do with the human condition, and yoga’s powerful capacity to help us understand and navigate it.
There are three main bandahs: Jalandhara, Uddiyana, and Mula. “Jalandhara means a netting or mesh,” says Villela. “When employing Jalandhara bandha the chin drops towards the notch between the collar bones as the side waist of the neck pulls back.” The chin can rest gently on the sternum, if possible, as the sternum reaches up towards it. Jalandhara bandha is generally done along with breathing practices, and, says Villela, is thought to regulate blood flow and energy from the constriction of the structures and vessels of the neck.
Uddiyana, known as the abdominal lock, actually translates as “flying up,” says Villela, and is thought to help energy rise upwards. “When employing uddiyana bandha, the navel draws towards the spine and the abdominal organs are lifted towards the heart (and away from the pull and effect of gravity).” Uddiyana bandha is done after exhaling, and while doing a “mock inhalation” – that is, you open your rib cage as if you were inhaling while the abdominal muscles are drawn strongly towards the spine. This bandha is also said to increase “gastric fire,” and help digestion.
The last bandha is the Mula bandha, known as the “root bandha.” Says Villela, “This bandha corresponds to working the pelvic floor. It can be helpful to think of the pelvic floor as a second diaphragm or a parachute that contracts and lift up.” Mula bandha is thought to redirect the flow of energy upwards towards the heart, and prevent energy from leaking out through the base of the spine or pelvic floor. ”Awareness of mula bandha helps to organize the organic body and give it support from the bottom up, much like working the feet helps to organize the entire body above them,” says Villela.
Maha Bandha, or “the great bandha,” is when all three bandhas are done together, begun one at a time and then released in the same order. “For me personally,” says Vilella, “I like to think of the bandhas as a way to assist in one of the yogi’s primary goals: how to channel and then conserve energy. How do we work more intelligently so that less effort is exuded and less energy is lost? How can we conserve energy? How can we get our energy, which is said to lie dormant at the base of the spine, to percolate so that we can channel it and use it more efficiently? The bandhas.”
As mentioned, bandha also has other meanings. Its translation as “bondage” can also refer to our original state – the state of “unenlightenment,” which yoga seeks to help us undo. In other words, the “bondage” refers to our own spiritual ignorance or unknowingness, and it’s yoga that helps us peel back the layers to reveal a more enlightened self.
Another meaning from classical yoga is that it signifies the “correlation” or bridge/bond between our two selves, the ego self (the finite) and the transcendental self (the infinite). In this way, it is related to the term samyoga, which suggests that this “correlation” between the two selves is actually the root of all suffering, or dukkha. Through study and practice, it’s possible to break the “bond” – so in some ways, bandha is not only the source of suffering, but it’s also the key to enlightenment.
Finally, as Patanjali says in the Yoga Sutras, the sixth limb of yoga, dharana (concentration), is about bandha of another kind. With dharana, the goal is to focus on something visual (e.g., a flower) or auditory (a mantra). Since the mind naturally wanders from the object of attention, the task is to bring our attention back to the object, again and again. So here, bandha represents the bond that forms (after a lot of practice!) between the mind and its object of focus.
So, bandha can have a lot of different connotations. In yoga class, it typically refers to the more advanced practice of the yogic locks. Philosophically, it has different meanings, which, in various ways, all conjure up the larger aims of yoga: To break down the bonds that hold us back, to connect with things outside ourselves, and to move from a limited form of awareness to a more encompassing one. Removing the bonds that limit us and creating new ones within and outside ourselves is, after all, what yoga is all about.
Alice G. Walton, PhD is a health and science writer, and began practicing (and falling in love with) yoga last year. She is the Associate Editor at TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com and a Contributor at Forbes.com. Alice will be exploring yoga’s different styles, history, and philosophy, and sharing what she learns here on the YogaGlo blog. You can follow Alice on Twitter @AliceWalton and Facebook at Facebook.com/alicegwalton.
Posted on April 17th, 2014
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Darren Rhodes encourages us to practice without judgement and reminds us that to observe our practice without judgement is a practice in and of itself.
Take this class with Darren: http://bit.ly/1irjwzn
Overheard in Class
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Posted on April 16th, 2014
If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, please join us next week as Seane Corn & Marla Apt will be in town teaching free classes at the YogaGlo studio! You will not want to miss this.
Seane’s Class Schedule:
- Tuesday, April 22nd: 5:30-7:00pm: Vinyasa Flow-Level 2
Marla’s Class Schedule:
- Wednesday, April 23rd: 4:30-6:00pm: Iyengar-Level 2
- Thursday, April 24th: 10:00-11:30am: Iyengar-Level 2
Don’t miss this opportunity to take these amazing classes with these amazing teachers. Please check out our class schedule for more info and head on down to the Glo!
Announcements, Free Classes
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Posted on April 14th, 2014
Most of us have experienced some sort of deep loss or trauma where our heart felt like it was broken. The experience of losing something or someone that mattered to us can be emotionally and physically debilitating and the thought of ever healing from that loss can seem inconceivable. Although we might not think it at the time and though we may never truly be the same, we can eventually heal.
If you have been struggling with a broken heart, give yoga a try. This week’s featured classes will help aid in healing a broken heart by nourishing the physical, emotional, and spiritual heart space with unconditional love.
- Heart Healing Meditation with Kathryn Budig: This visually guided meditation takes you through a journey to your heart. It aids in the healing process and allows us to see our light, the light in others and encourages our ability to both give and receive love.
- When Life Throws You Curve Balls with Amy Ippoliti: When your spirit has been broken, you feel defeated, or you’re grieving, sometimes a practice that helps you blow off some steam and “get back on the horse” is just what is needed rather than something slow or gentle. This is straight up vinyasa, warrior poses, and hand balances for a full body rush of transformative power when times are tough.
- Release Sadness with Elena Brower: All we have is our inner state. Inspired by a meditation with Tara Brach, we will release physical contractions by moving gently, release heart contractions by opening slowly and pointedly, and release mind contractions using our breathing in a quiet meditation. You’ll feel any sadness softening and dissipating with this practice.
- Calm Your Heart with Kia Miller: This meditation induces a feeling of calmness. If you are feeling emotionally challenged at work or in a personal relationship then practice this meditation before deciding how to act. Practiced daily it helps to develop your concentration and promotes rejuvenation at a deep level. An essential tool to keep in your back pocket!
- Let Go of Heartache, Nourish Yourself Deeply with Felicia Tomasko: Every breath is an opportunity to nourish ourselves (inhalation) digest (the pause) and detoxify (the exhalation). We incorporate this process throughout class. In this heart-opening restorative practice, the focus of the breath is to let go of heartache and to nourish the physical, emotional, and spiritual heart space with unconditional love. The sequence utilizes a supported backbend with two blocks along with forward folds and a variety of side bends and twists, all with the aim of creating and enhancing the suppleness of the heart as well as the entire region of the chest, which in Ayurveda is seen as the home of the kapha dosha, the energy of water and earth. Through the breath, we can remove stagnation. Through the breath, we love and nourish ourselves deeply.
- Hamsa Heart Meditation with David Harshada Wagner: This meditation uses the ancient mantra Ham-Sa to connect us deeply with the heart.
Posted on April 10th, 2014
If you Glo in LA, come join as next week as Tias Little will be in town and teaching free classes at the YogaGlo studio. You do not want to miss this!
Join us to practice with Tias:
- Wednesday, April 16th: 10 – 11:30am, Level 2 – Hatha
- Wednesday, April 16th: 12 – 1pm, Level 2/3 – Hatha
- Thursday, April 17th: 10 – 11:30am, Level 2 – Hatha
- Thursday, April 17th: 12 – 1pm, Level 2/3 – Hatha
- Friday, April 18th: 10 – 11:30am, Level – 2/3 Hatha
- Friday, April 18th: 12 -1 pm, Level 1/2 – Hatha
We look forward to seeing you and practicing together. You can check the studio schedule for more visiting teachers and to keep up to date on other offerings.
Announcements, Free Classes
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Posted on April 10th, 2014
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Stephanie Snyder explains that pratyahara helps us turn in and reconnect with our inner enviornment because these days it’s becoming more and more important and also harder to do
Take this class with Stephanie: http://bit.ly/1n5Y6YY
Overheard in Class
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Posted on April 9th, 2014
We are honored to announce that Richard Freeman is now a YogaGlo teacher.
Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He has spent nearly twelve years in Asia studying various traditions, which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s background includes studying Sufism in Iran, Zen and Vipassana Buddhist practice, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1974 he also began an in-depth study of Iyengar yoga, which eventually led him to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, as well as Sanskrit. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, metaphorical teaching style.
Richard teaches public classes, month and week-long intensives at his home base, the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, as well as spending a good part of each year traveling as a guest instructor at studios throughout the world. He is the author of the book, The Mirror of Yoga (Shambhala Publications), and has produced a number of instructional DVD’s and CD’s on yoga asana, philosophy, breathing and chanting.
You can begin practicing Ashtanga with Richard today as several classes have been added to YogaGlo:
- Reaching to Infinity - Basic, but elusive, scapula rotation allows integrated arm and breath movement.
- Deconstructing Sun Salutations - A step by step deconstruction of the forms used in Sun Salutations. This allows one to adapt the postures and movements to avoid discomfort and to reap the full benefit of this rhythmic practice.
- The Foundation of Alignment - Prana governs inhaling. Apana governs exhaling. This class explores how these two primary patterns of Internal Shakti are the foundation of alignment and how they need and love each other.
- Pattnerns & Principles of Pranayama - After finding a correct sitting posture, we will explore core principles and patterns of this basic pranayama.
- Training the Pelvic Floor – Training the pelvic floor to remain integrated keeps the spreading cobra pattern at the back of the diaphragm. This prevents compression and improper hyper-extension of the spine in full back bends.
- Optimal Positioning in Shoulder Stands & Plough Poses - This class explores the optimal positioning and action used in Shoulder Stands, Plough Poses and the closely related Jalandhara Bandha.