• Posted on October 22nd, 2012 YogaGlo 2 comments

    New to yoga? Yoga is an amazing practice of connection through your mind, body and soul. The benefits of practicing yoga are endless and the best part is that you’re never too young or too old to begin a yoga practice.

    We undertand that beginning a yoga practice can be intimating, so this week we are featuring all beginner classes. You will learn the learn the fundamentals of yoga – from what yoga is to how to choose the right mat, from basic form to breath work and more.

    Yoga for Beginners

    You can use our Beginner Center to search through all the Beginner Yoga classes on your own. To get you started without searching, we’re highlighting six classes in a variety of styles, levels and durations that are designed just for beginners!

    • Foundational Postures of Vinyasa Flow with Jo Tastula: This video starts with some foundational postures that you will most likely use in every yoga class! We break down Standing pose/Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Forward bend (Uttanasana), Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) & Cobra Backbend (Bhujangasana).
    • What is Yoga with Steven Espinosa: Introduction consists of a thorough explanation for the absolute beginners first class. Addresses many of the most FAQ’s, preconceptions and misconceptions about yoga. Other topics are covered such as: how to choose a mat and what to wear to class. Also includes a brief description of the different styles of yoga and breathwork.
    • Introduction to Kundalini with Kia Miller: A quick Introduction to the Kundalini Beginner Series with an overview of what Kundalini yoga is, and how it works to balance the nervous and glandular system and awaken you to deeper levels of yourself.
    • Vinyasa Yoga Tutorial with Jason Crandell: Ever wonder: How do you make that whispery sound with your breath–and, why? How do you get your foot all the way between your hands when stepping forward from down-dog? How do you figure out if you’re moving too slow or your teacher is just plain insane for having you move so fast? Yep, you’ve probably had these questions and more. If you want to understand vinyasa yoga more skillfully, here’s your vid!
    • Intro to Ashtanga Primary Series with Jodi Blumstein: A 60 minute led class which introduces students to the begining of the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice, or Primary Series in a way that is accessible for all students.
    • Short & Sweet Beginner Flow with Stephanie Snyder: This is a short and sweet beginners flow that will move your body in all directions, create some heat and leave you feeling energized. We move through standing poses (warrior 2, side angle, trikonasana) a seated twist and a modified backbend. This class ends with a simple hip opener and back release pose.

     

     


  • Posted on February 14th, 2012 Alice G. Walton 5 comments

    The Science of a New Yoga Practice

    A year ago I was a yoga virgin, and I have to say, I gave myself up with a bit of an eye-roll. I had actually made a practice of resisting suggestions that yoga could be good for me and my escalating level of stress, because it seemed so hokey and ungrounded in evidence (please keep reading, I’ll recant this shortly).

    Full disclosure: I’m a science nerd. I love understanding why things work, and I couldn’t imagine that yoga might possibly have scientific backing behind it. I was wrong.

    The Art and Science of Yoga

    Since that time, I’ve learned a lot about what yoga and meditation can do for our bodies and brains. Science lays out how the practices affect the body on multiple levels – from the grandest to the most miniscule. The large-scale changes are straightforward, but valuable, and are what many associate with yoga: building and lengthening muscles, improving balance and flexibility, and, for lack of a better term, working out the kinks.

    But almost more impressive and affecting are the molecular changes it can bring with it. Cortisol levels fall, and the stress response is quieted. Inflammation, which researchers are discovering is a major culprit in many areas of health, is reduced, as key markers in the blood diminish. The practices appear even to change the volume and wiring of the brain. For example, after learning how to meditate, people show increases in the gray matter of the brain, in areas that govern attention, learning, and memory – and decreases in the regions involved with stress and anxiety, from which a majority of people today suffer, some of us more than others.

    The science of yoga is sexy, for sure. And experiencing firsthand the shifts that it brings about can be even more startling to a beginner. It’s pretty wild to discover for yourself in the studio – or in your living room – the very same changes that researchers are visualizing on MRIs in the lab.

    For me, there’s something comforting about knowing that science backs up what we discover in our own practices. It somehow gives yoga more heft and more muscle. Though generations of practitioners over millennia have known intuitively the very same things that modern science is just now figuring out empirically, it still makes me happy to understand why yoga does what it does. It doesn’t take the magic away from it – it actually makes its pull even stronger.

    Do you find that understanding how yoga affects the body helps your practice?

    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.