• Posted on October 3rd, 2013 12:00:19 PM Jason Crandell 6 comments

    5 Poses I Love And Why

    Common wisdom tells you to work on the postures that bring up resistance and challenge you. Yoga apparel bags also tell you to do things that scare you each and every day. Personally, I’m okay with these sentiments—after all, there’s plenty of value in exploring the edges of your comfort zone. As a practitioner and teacher, though, I choose to emphasize the opposite—I choose to indulge the postures that I love with egregious frequency. I encourage the teachers that I train to do the exact same thing. We love the poses that we love for good reasons: they awaken us, they ground us, they soothe us, they challenge us, and they nurture our mind’s ability to focus and settle down. These 5 postures come up time and time again in my classes because I’m shamelessly enthusiastic about them.

    • URDHVA DHANURASANA – IT SOOTHES ME

    Yep, that’s right, I find urdhva dhanurasana deeply soothing. Yes, I’m aware that everyone and their cousin goes on and on about how uplifting and energizing backbends are. But, honestly, my experience is the opposite. A nice, strong urdhva dhanurasana (or 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) actually cuts through whatever narrative my mind is engaged with, focuses my attention, and burns whatever anxiety I may be experiencing. Urdhva dhanurasana is never easy for me, but it’s always settling.

    • PASCHIMOTTANASANA – IT HUMBLES ME

    Paschimottanasana bums me out. I’m always prattling on about integrity of movement being more important than range of movement. Even though I firmly believe this, the first thought that runs through my head when I practice paschimottanasana is, “really, ugh, this is as far as I can go today?” This pose continues to reveal how judgmental I can be toward myself and provides me with the opportunity to let go.

    • PIGEON POSE – IT GROUNDS ME

    The bittersweet release of Pigeon is undeniable. While the big, tension-busting stretch in the outer hips steals the show, the posture has another component that helps produce a grounding effect: the vast majority of your body is laying on the floor when you do the posture. Sure, it’s intense for many, but the intensity is always local. The majority of the body has the opportunity to drop, release, and let go into the floor.

    • HANDSTAND – IT BALANCES ME

    There’s a saying in England that black tea wakes you up if you’re tired and quiets you if you’re unsettled. My experience of handstand is the exact same. If I need an uplifting boost of energy, practicing handstand does the trick. If, on the other hand, I’m over-stimulated 1-2 minutes in handstand grounds my energy and rebalances my mood.

    • PARIVRITTA JANU SIRSASANA – IT UNWINDS ME

    Oh, the poor side body. It can be challenging to access and rarely gets treated to elongation in day-to-day life. Even in asana practice the side-body rarely gets the TLC that the hips, shoulders, core and spine receive. Thankfully, parivritta janu sirsasana digs deeply into the side-body and wrings out tension. When I do this pose I literally have to will myself to get out of it. I want to stay there, nestle in, and take a nap.

    These are currently my top 5. How about you?

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on September 17th, 2013 7:00:13 AM Jason Crandell 11 comments

    How to Survive Teaching the Worst Class You've Ever Taught

    We’ve all had the same gut-wrenching, heart-breaking thought at some point while teaching a class: “This is not only the worst class that I’ve taught, this is the absolute worst class that has ever, ever been taught in the history of yoga.” In fact, by writing “at some point,” I’m being generous. We’ve all (yes, ALL) had this feeling more than a few times. Since you’re a consummate professional, highly trained in objectivity and managing your emotions, you probably finished class without burying your head in the bolsters or breaking into self-absorbed tears. But, honestly, what do you do with this voice—this feeling—of not quite being fully engaged or clear when you’re teaching? Well, let’s start with looking at the facts:

    • Class probably wasn’t as bad as you think

    Seriously, it probably wasn’t as bad as you think it was. Teaching yoga is a raw, vulnerable experience and sometimes you beat yourself up about it. People often talk about the importance of being authentic. What gets left out of this discussion is that being authentic means showing who you really are and expressing what you truly care about. Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t always easy or pleasant—especially if you feel that you aren’t communicating or engaging well. When this happens, your inner narrator may be telling you that class is much, much worse than it really is.

    • Even if class was as bad as you thought, well….

    You just taught the worst class in the history of yoga? Ok. It’s time to let it go and move on. This is what you’d tell someone else, right? If class was truly lousy, chalk it up to being human. You’re not a robot and even the most accomplished professionals have off days. If you don’t watch sports, it’s time to start in order to get some perspective. Not every top-notch pitcher throws and excellent game each outing. In fact, none of them do. And, thankfully, yoga students are infinitely more kind in the midst of an off night than football fanatics (especially if you live in Philadelphia).

    • Remember that students are having a different experience than the teacher

    Are you ready for some ego-busting news? Students are not hanging on your every word or emoted vibe. Yep, students are engaged with you but they’re also having their own experience. They are doing yoga, not just listening to you pontificate and DJ. Trust that even if you did not deliver what you feel was a million-dollar, soul-stirring class, your students got to breathe, move their bodies and have their own experience—and, they probably feel better after class than they did before.

    Here a few more things to remember when you bomb

    • You’re human and you’re teaching a live class. This means you’re going to trip over your words, feel energetically flat, forget the second side of a sequence, and mismanage your time on occasion.
    • You have the opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes. Be as objective as possible about what didn’t work in your class and learn from it. As teachers we’re committed to growing and learning—which means that we’re not already perfect.
    • Breathe in the difficulty and emotion, then breathe it out and let go.
    • Be comforted by the fact that all teachers go through this including the most popular and most respected teachers. In fact, my advice is to get used to moments like this because they never stop—you just get better at contextualizing them and letting them go.

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on August 14th, 2013 8:30:11 AM Jason Crandell 1 comment

    8 Ways Alignment Improves Your Practice

    It’s possible that I spend more time talking about the actions of the scapula in triangle pose more than most teachers. And, taken to an extreme, alignment cues can be arcane and tedious. After all, if I asked you to name the single most important thing that yoga has taught you, you’re not going to tell me that it’s how to spread your metatarsals in triangle pose. Yet, precision, alignment, and subtlety are essential aspects of a sustainable and informed asana practice. I continuously remind my students that they can be as physically powerful in their practice as they want, so long as they maintain precision and mindfulness. Here’s why:

    • Safety and Sustainability

    Skillful alignment is not the only key to injury prevention—but, it’s a good start. Accurate alignment distributes the mechanical forces of postures and decreases the likelihood that individual parts of your body will break down. It also makes it easier for your various muscle groups to work together which provides you with greater strength and resilience. We don’t always take the long-view in our life, but choosing to be patient and deliberate in your practice will help you do more for much longer.

    • Attention and Mindfulness

    Being attentive and mindful can be challenging. These are skill sets that need to be cultivated. Bringing your awareness to the action of your body in postures—and in the transitions between postures—is a way of training your attention to be present. Bringing your attention to the actions and sensations of your body in each asana helps you practice being mindful.

    • Efficiency and Efficacy

    Yogis have always focused on economizing their prana and directing it skillfully. We’ve entered an era where people believe that all hard work pays equal dividends. In yoga, however, not all work is equally effective. Effort alone produces diminishing returns. In order for your postures to have the desired effect, your body needs to be stable and integrated.

    • Discovery and Appreciation

    There is an old hatha yoga saying that there’s “no liberation without practice,” and “there’s no practice without a body.” Instead of beating ourselves up about our body’s imbalances and challenges, yoga teaches us to celebrate the experience of embodiment despite its’ challenges. By focusing on alignment you discover parts of your body that were previously unknown to you. Simply put, you learn to use your body more skillfully and appreciate its’ intrinsic beauty and complexity.

    • It’s easier than you think

    The hallmark of a good educator is the ability to describe complex phenomenon in a simple, accessible way without diluting its essence. Alignment does not have to be tedious or fussy just because it involves many layers. In fact, decent alignment is really quite easy. It just involves paying attention to the sensations that are present and making small improvements over time. Like everything, refined alignment takes patience and practice.

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on July 8th, 2013 7:00:42 AM YogaGlo 2 comments

    Sadness is an emotion that we have all experienced. Although not a good feeling, sadness is just that, a feeling – that at any point we can choose to be without. Not saying that we should just turn that feeling off, as we need to grieve in order to heal, but when we hold onto past sadness for too long, it can become an all-consuming, permanent emotion that can prevent us from moving on with our lives.

    If you’re having trouble releasing past sadness, then yoga might help. This week’s featured classes will be sure to help you release emotions from the past so you can focus your mind and energy on the present and the future.

    Weekend Challenge

    • Release Sadness with Harshada Wagner: A meditation to examine, honor, and release feelings of sadness.
    • Release Emotions from the Past with Kia Miller: This simple but effective breath meditation is a wonderful way to release emotions from the past and focus your mind and energy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Release Emotional Weight with Steven Espinosa: Lightness – the release of physical and emotional heaviness through yoga to create lightness and well being. Slow but steady basics warm up excellent for beginners. Includes sun salutations and warrior one. Shoulder opener with partner. Floor work with hip and thigh stretches and spinal twist. Easy backbend in bridge pose to finish.
    • Difficult Transition with Harshada Wagner: A meditation to help the process of embracing change and letting go during break-ups, deaths, failures, and other difficult transitions.

     


  • Posted on June 18th, 2013 12:00:45 PM Jason Crandell 3 comments

    5 Ways to (re)Inspire Your Practice and Teaching

    We all get stuck in a rut from time to time—even yoga teachers. In fact, the question that comes up most frequently in the group of teachers that I mentor is, “how do I keep my practice and teaching fresh?” After all, it’s hard to inspire and connect with your students when you’re feeling stale. The first thing to do is remember this: all relationships, vocations, and passions go through different phases, and, feeling a little lackluster from time to time doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your relationship to yoga. So, don’t go crazy if your practice and teaching feel stagnant—you probably just need to experiment a little and get back to what matters most.

    • Recommit to your practice

    If you sat down and listed all the variables that led you to you teaching yoga, you’d run out of ink before you ran out of reasons. One reason, however, would outshine the rest: you fell in love with your yoga practice and, even more than you wanted to share that love, you wanted to deepen and retain it for yourself. And, maybe, just maybe, you’ve gotten away from your practice. If you’ve strayed from your practice don’t think to yourself “I need to practice more.” Just go practice more! Maybe this means taking a different class, doing a different home practice at a different time, or exploring meditation and pranayama. Maybe it is as easy as it sounds: your practice is right there waiting for you—go enjoy it.

    • Change your pace

    One of the best elements of your practice to change from time to time is the pace. Changing the pace of your practice changes the rhythm of your breathing and the overall feeling tone of your experience. If you like a slower flow consider getting the lead out for a few days. If your practice resembles a spin class, consider applying the breaks and slowing things down for a little while. Changing your regular cadence tends to reveal different sensations and produce an experience that may be different enough to re-inspire you and your students.

    • Experiment with a different pose

    Pick up your worn and torn copy of Light on Yoga, flip around until you find a pose or two that you haven’t tried in a few years (if ever), and experiment with it. Deconstruct its’ elements and figure out how to create a sequence for you and your students.

    •  Take a break from your staples

    Honestly, there are days when I’d rather stab myself in the eye than teach chatturanga and upward-facing dog. As a vinyasa-based instructor this can be difficult, but, since I’m completely averse to losing an eye, I don’t teach those poses that day. Instead, I change my routine to exclude these postures and include different things like longer-held planks, locust variations and cobra. I’m always a little fearful to drop poses that are feeling overly rote for me, but leaving these poses off the menu for a day (or a week) varies my sequencing and always leads to something interesting that I hadn’t explored in a while. Even more, it tends to re-engage my students who are just as happy to have the occasional change of pace.

    •  Reconnect with your “big picture”

    If you could teach your students one thing, what would it be? If you don’t teach, what is the deepest, most valuable lesson or value that your practice has given you? Chances are that if you’re feeling stale you’ve gotten disconnected from your answer. We all get carried away from what matters most on occasion. Try spending 5 to 15 minutes in seated meditation with this question in mind and observe what comes up. My guess is that your answer will be a simple, deep guiding principle. Reconnecting and recommitting to this guiding principle will re-energize your practice and teaching right away.

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on June 4th, 2013 12:30:16 PM Jason Crandell No comments

    How to Feel at Home in Your Body When on the Road

    Summer travel is upon us. And, for some of you, this means a decrease in the in the quality and consistency of your practice. After all, travel shifts your routines and easily disrupts the rhythm of your practice. Yet, the value of practicing while we’re on the road can’t be over-stated. Maintaining your practice while you’re traveling—especially when you’re out of your time zones—can help reduce the physical stress of travel, improve the quality of your sleep and digestion, and help settle your body and mind into your new location. And, to be honest, it’s not very difficult. All you need to do is adjust your expectations and have a plan for practicing in your new environment. Here’s how to make yourself feel at home in your body when your away from home.

    • Adjust your expectations

    Whether you’re traveling for business, pleasure or both, travel changes your daily schedule. When your schedule changes you may be inclined to throw in the towel and skip practicing all together—especially if you’re used to a longer, more thorough practice. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to modify your expectations. Consider your practice while on the road to simply be maintenance. You don’t skip brushing your teeth while you’re traveling even though you may be using a lousy toothbrush. And, it’s still worth it, right? We’ll the same goes for your practice. 10-20 minutes at the very beginning or end of your day may be enough to keep your body in basic balance.

    • Soothe your nervous system

    Some people are deeply grounded, even keel, unflappable specimens. The rest of us, need help staying grounded and focused when the environment changes—especially if you’re in a new, stimulating place. One of the most essential things to orient your practice around when you’re on the road is keeping your nervous system from being over-stimulated. Practicing head-supported forward bends and inversions while lengthening your exhalations may help keep you more focused and calm.

    •  Unwind your tight spots

    If you’re traveling for business and you’re cooped up for hours in meetings, it may be wise to focus on shoulder, neck and upper-back opening. If you’re pounding the pavement from dawn to dusk while you tour a city, practice hip, hamstring, quad, and calf openers. It stands to reason that there will be some distinct activity—or distinct lack of activity—that you’re engaged in while you’re away from home. Listen to your body and create a simple practice that focuses on whatever it needs to feel more comfortable at the end of the day.

    • Rearrange your room and improvise props

    Whether in a budget room or a decimate-the-budget room, I can rearrange my temporary quarters to resemble a halfway decent yoga studio in less than 10 minutes. Don’t travel with a bolster (no, of course you don’t because you’re not crazy)? That’s okay, you can remove the seat or couch cushion and cover them with a towel. Want a smaller bolster? Roll up 2 or 3 pillows in a towel. Forget your strap? Grab the belt from the robe in the bathroom. Didn’t bring your mat? Lay a towel on the floor and do seated postures. Is the couch, table and chair blocking your potential practice space? Move them! Setting up space in the majority of hotel rooms is easier then you think—and, I’ve travelled extensively in Japan, so trust me on this one. If you clear some space and unroll your mat, who knows, maybe you’ll have a killer practice in the middle of the night while in the throes of jet-lag.

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on December 11th, 2012 12:00:14 PM Jason Crandell No comments

    The Power of a Well Paced Yoga Class

    Pacing class effectively is an art form. The bottom-line of skillful pacing is simple: a vinyasa practice shouldn’t be too slow or too fast. Of course, managing this bottom line isn’t always easy. After all, someone’s too slow is someone else’s too fast and vice versa.

    It’s best to think about pacing as another tool to communicate what you are teaching in any given class. If you are teaching a mellow, hip-opening class, you want the pace to be slow and soothing. On the other hand, if you’re teaching an invigorating sequence of standing poses, you may opt for a strong, steady pace. In both of these scenarios, you have to consider the experience you are looking to give your students and tailor the flow accordingly.

    The following 3 considerations will help you pace your classes skillfully:

    • Pace and momentum should facilitate—not detract—from awareness

    Imagine that you have just arrived in a foreign city and you’ve decided to do a walking tour. But, well, you just want to get so much done on the walking tour that you run as fast as you can from scenic point to scenic point. Kudos to you, you completed the walking tour in record time (wow, what an accomplishment)! But, what did you notice about the scenic points? What did you notice about the sights, scents, and sounds? Did you notice any subtlety and detail or did you just get so much done? Of course, not. In fact, the whole notion of this is ridiculous. So, why would we sprint through our yoga practice? Is our practice just another thing that we’re trying to get done so that we can have a sense of accomplishment? If so, what exactly ARE we accomplishing?

    In general, the pace of a vinyasa practice should be in direct proportion to a student’s ability to focus on the details that are present in their body, breath, and mind. This means that sprinting through a vinyasa practice to do 400 postures is unnecessary and ineffective because very little is understood in the process. That said, doing 6 poses in a 90-minute class isn’t the best solution either—at least not in a vinyasa-based practice. Other practices work this way to great effect, but this isn’t in keeping with the heart of vinyasa yoga. Practice observing your students as they glide from pose to pose and notice if they are moving with awareness and skill. Notice if the pace is helping them focus on their practice. If not, notice if are you lulling them to sleep or accidentally teaching a spinning class (not that there’s anything wrong with spinning). Find the middle ground that captivates your students’ attention and provides them with a strong, satisfactory experience without making them run on fumes.

    • Pace your class like a bell-curve

    It is helpful to imagine the pace of class as a bell-curve. You start class slowly and gently pick-up the tempo until it has a strong, yet sustainable tempo. Once you have hit the apex of your class, you can begin to slow down the pace and settle in. This doesn’t mean that the peak-pose or crescendo of class has to be paced intensely. In fact, you may decide to slow things considerably as you work the most difficult postures in your sequence. The important thing to take away is that pacing transitions should not be abrupt. Instead, students should be taken from a quiet beginning, through a substantial adventure and brought to a relaxing finish. The pacing along the way should accelerate and decelerate incrementally and in proportion to the intensity that you want to deliver in any given class.

    • Keep with the theme of class

    As previously stated, pace is one of several tools that you have at your disposal to communicate the essence of your teaching. Pacing is in the same tool-chest as sequencing, adjusting, demonstrating, verbalizing and so on. This means that the pace of your class should not be taken for granted or assumed. Instead, it should be a mindfully implemented instrument of your teaching. As such, your pace should be in-tune with your sequence and your teaching points of any given class. Of course, your pacing—like the other elements in your teaching tool-chest—is subjective and open to exploration.

    Jason Crandell was recently named one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga’s future by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Jason’s steady pace, creative sequencing, and attention to detail encourage students to move slowly, deeply, and mindfully into their bodies. Jason credits his primary teacher, Rodney Yee, teachers in the Iyengar Yoga tradition such as Ramanand Patel, and ongoing studies in Eastern and Western philosophy for inspiring to him bring greater alignment and mindfulness to Vinyasa Yoga.

    Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Posted on June 8th, 2012 8:00:35 AM YogaGlo No comments

    Ask a Yogi: What's your go-to practice when you're pressed for time?

    You’ve practiced with them on YogaGlo. You’ve followed them on Facebook. You might even take their classes in person once in awhile if they travel to or live in your city. But how well do you know our YogaGlo teachers? We’ve created a new series, Ask a Yogi, so you can learn more about them by asking questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

    From favorite poses and tips for beginners to deeper questions about how their practice has changed their worldview, our teachers will collectively answer a new question each week. If you have a question you’d like to “Ask a Yogi” let us know in the comments or email us at hello@yogaglo.com and we’ll add your questions to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:

    What's your go-to practice when you're short on time?

    • Elena Brower: “One deep breath.”
    • Kathryn Budig: “I practice either the asthanga first series or do my own mini practice at home when I don’t have much time. As long as I get my sun salutes, some solid standing poses, a few twists, handstands and a good backbend followed by deep hips I’m happy.”
    • Jason Crandell: “I can’t say that I have one go-to practice when I’m pressed for time, but I’ve gotten to know my body well enough over the years that I know that my hips need daily maintenance—especially my hip-flexors. So, if I’m in pinch, I usually dig into the full-circumference of my hip-joint and make sure that I’ve done my due diligence there. If my hips feel spacious, mobile and balanced, the rest of me usually feels pretty good and my mind seems relatively sane. If they don’t get taken care of, everything gets cranky (yes, yoga teachers get cranky, too). I’ve also figured out how important it is to scale my practice according to the time and energy that I have. I used to try to cram a ton of things into short practices, thinking that I had to get my laundry list of postures and body parts done. I’ve certainly matured out of this mindset, which, honestly, made me feel more scattered and pressed for time anyway. If I don’t have much time, I don’t do much. I’d rather do fewer poses for longer with greater skill and deeper relaxation than take a buckshot approach in which I try “to get everything in.”
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: “Standing poses, I can’t say enough how much I am a huge fan of standing poses. As in life it’s the simple things that give us the most bang for our buck. When I’m in a pinch I can bang out a really potent standing practice in 30mins.”
    • Steven Espinosa: “When time is tight and I can’t get a full practice in the first area I go to is the lower body. Given that we all spend so much of our daily lives sitting, driving and working at computers, it’s usually my hips, hamstrings, thighs and lower back that need the most immediate attention. I also find that by opening up those areas it calms my central nervous system down in a way which helps me feel more grounded and centered during or after a long hard day.”
    • Marc Holzman:For those of us who are accustomed to a standard 90 minute practice, the thought of a 30-45 minute session may seem like the Great Yogic Rip-off. So here’s the key:  FOCUS. INTENTION. DISCIPLINE. If you are super clear about what you would like to do in your short practice, it’s astonishing what you can accomplish in 30 minutes. Turn the phones off. Put the computer to sleep. I reserve one minute to sit, close my eyes, tap into Consciousness and recite a mantra. I never sacrifice a moment of centering and sweetness simply because I have a time constraint. A full spectrum, potpourri practice is my choice so I can hit all body parts.  After a few Surya Namaskars, I target one or two poses from each of the major categories: Standing Poses, Hand Balancing (always includes one timed handstand for at least one minute), Twists, Inversions (always a headstand for at least 5 minutes), Some Hip Openers/Thigh Stretches, Backbends (always includes three Urdhva Dhanurasanas), Deeper Forward Bends and Hip Openers (always one Hanumanasana and Padmasana), Pranayama, Savasana (always … even for just 2 minutes). When the boundaries of time are constrained, my resolve and intensity grows ~ thus during these practices I move in a quick (but mindful) flow. I don’t hold poses for very long, and I generally don’t stop to take breaks.”
    • Amy Ippoliti: “A down dog, a handstand, and a prasarita paddotanasana with hands clasped overhead (because it’s an all-in-one pose that gets your hamstrings, hips, shoulders and it inverts you!). If I’m lucky a little supta virasana is the cherry on top.”
    • Tara Judelle: “For me, there really is no “go-to” practice. I always check in with my body, see- does it need fire, and something stimulating, like handstands, or does it need a cooling reset? No matter what, it is always to assess what it needs, and attend to that.”
    • Dice Iida-Klein: “My go to practice is a 1min. hold in handstand and hollow back forearm balance. Tons of stretching from the floor, including upavistha konasana, janu sirsasana plus variations, ardha matsyendrasana, core work with a block between my thighs and a few supine postures like padanguthasana, happy baby and twists from the floor.”
    • Noah Mazé: “This depends on what is pressing, where my energy is, and where I would like my energy to be. There are days when I am tired, and have only a short time to practice, and want to be rejuvenated. On those days, I will practice the basic inversions (down dog, uttanasana, prasarita padottanasana, sirsana, halasana and sarvangasana). On other days, when I want to energize and focus, I will simply do 5 Surya Namaskar A and 5 Surya Namaskar B. And there are days when I practice a shortened version of the sequence that I will be teaching, to get it fresh in my body and mind.”
    • Christina Sell: “1 minute Child’s Pose, 1 minute Down dog, 1 minute Standing forward bend, 1 minute wide-legged standing forward bend, 5 minute headstand, 2 minute plough pose, 5 minute shoulder stand, 2 minute corpse pose”
    • Stephanie Snyder: “In my twenties and early thirties I did 2-3 hours of yoga a day- everyday, no matter what. I had tons of time and a flexible schedule that allowed me a long luxurious practice. Gratefully, over the years my life has become even more blessed and full with family and work and fun. So while I may not get several hours everyday anymore, I CAN do something everyday. My go-to practice when Im pressed for time is simply 5 surya namaskar A and 5 surya namaskar B. This can be mindfully done in 20 minutes and includes a pretty complete practice of strengthening, front and back body openers, and Ujayyi breath. If I have 30 minutes, I’ll link some standing poses into the surya B series- usually parsvakonasana (side stretch) and Parvritta Trikonasana (twisting triangle). If I have 45 minutes I’ll add a backbend and follow that up with straddle forward fold and of course at least 5 minutes for Savasana. The longer I practice, the more I realize that its not about the poses, that my practice has no particular boundary in time, does not exist solely on my mat or my meditation cushion or in front of my harmonium- but in fact my practice begins when I open my eyes in the morning and ends when I close them at night.”
    • Jo Tastula: “Cat/cow (majaryasana/bitilasana or chakravakasana) can be an entire practice for me these days. The gentle wave like motion through the core of the body enhances flexibility of the spine and supports the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which is essential for well being and feelings of well being. It’s something I can do that doesn’t require a lot of energy and in my experience it creates energy! The rhythm of chakravakasana draws attention to the breath, the core abdominal muscles and how they coordinate with the breath. It transports me into that innate primal place that occurs all on it’s own and requires no thought or analytical process. It seems to evoke and stimulate the yummy creative juices and from there the practice evolves and I simply go with the flow.”
    • Harshada Wagner: “Slowing down. If I’m not going to do a formal practice, I just slow down in the midst of whatever else I’m doing. Even if I am super pressed for time and going fast wherever I am going, I try to have the inner awareness, “slow down” so that I can connect with my Heart. I sort of say, “Okay Harshada, this is it- this is all you get right now, so make it count.” Then wherever I am, in the elevator going to my teaching space, getting dressed in the morning, taking a shower, whatever, I just slow down my whole inner experience and savor the moment. I connect to my heart and keep moving into wherever I am needed.”

    Don’t forget – if you have a question you’d like to “Ask a Yogi” let us know in the comments or email us at hello@yogaglo.com and we’ll add your questions to the list. Stay tuned for next week’s Ask a Yogi where the question answered might be yours!


  • Posted on June 4th, 2012 9:15:09 AM YogaGlo 1 comment

    Notice something different about the YogaGlo site today? In addition to a pretty new background and a few subtle changes, we’ve launched an exciting new feature. You’ve asked for an easier way to find great yoga classes and…your wait is over! Our newly designed search feature has just launched.

    Instead of selecting “Specific Uses” from our top navigation, you can now go directly to the Search page to filter over 1,500 YogaGlo classes by a variety of criteria so you can hone in on a perfect class depending on what you need at any moment in time. Want to skip ahead and get straight to searching? Go, search, enjoy!

    Want more information about this new search feature and its close cousin the re-vamped Filter feature? Here’s how they work:

    As with every part of YogaGlo, new features are a work in progress and we’re only as amazing as all of you in the YogaGlo community. If find something that seems funky or isn’t working for you, please let us know. If you have more questions about how it works, let us know. If you have ideas about how it could be even more efficient for you, let us know that too. You can even let us know if you like it. ;)

    Now…get out there and find a YogaGlo class you love and take it today. Enjoy!


  • Posted on January 26th, 2012 2:16:23 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Jo Tastula reminds us that the energy of our minds is so strong, whatever we set our minds to… we can create.