• Posted on August 3rd, 2012 8:00:32 AM YogaGlo 2 comments

    Ask a YogiYou’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 that 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 question to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:

    What's your go-to pose for a quick hit of energy?

    • Elena Brower: Shavasana
    • Kathryn Budig: Handstand. There’s nothing like flipping yourself upside down to change up the mood!
    • Jason Crandell: There’s a saying in England that tea calms your nerves when you’re agitated and wakes you up when you need a lift. I feel the same way about Down Dog.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Headstand, it’s like a shot of espresso. It doesn’t usually require a lot of flexibility or warm up to get into and it can be held for several minutes to get a nice shot of energy as well as invigorate the mind.
    • Steven Espinosa: Without a doubt, Handstand. I sometimes tell the story about when I used to work in an office. In the afternoon when I would get that post lunch crash, I would go into my bosses meeting room and flip upside down into a Handstand. Not only did it help clear my head and wake me up, it also helped remind me of the important things in my life like yoga.
    • Marc Holzman: 1-minute timed Handstand (hands 10-12 inches from the wall) with my butt on the wall. It’s really a handstand/shoulder opener/backbend in one. Big shakti-blast.
    • Amy Ippoliti: 911 Handy! (That would be an emergency Handstand).
    • Tara Judelle: Pranayama and Handstands.
    • Kia Miller: Ego Eradicator – it is my go-to pose. Period! …. And of course any backbend especially with Breath of Fire.
    • Christina Sell: If my mind is tired, I do Headstand. If I need energy because my body is tired I do Shoulder Stand, Plow or legs-up-the-wall.
    • Sianna Sherman: Ahhh.. Hanumanasana! My most favorite pose and it can shape shift into multiple forms. If I feel the need to turn in for a rejuvenation effect, then I fold forward. If I want to clear my inner organs, I turn it into a twist. If I want the bathing of my heart, it becomes a backbend. If I need a refreshing tonic for my mind, I flip upside down into Handstand or Headstand with Hanumanasana. And all the while my hips are opening, my body is grounded and every part of me is renewed in a few mindful breaths.
    • Stephanie Snyder: Definitely Kapalabhati breath and backbends or an inversion.
    • Jo Tastula: There’s nothing like a Handstand to shake things up. I learned to do Handstands as an adult not as a kid. So I still have a healthy dose of adrenaline kick-in when ever I kick-up!
    • Harshada Wagner: Honestly, I do 10-20 vigorous push-ups if I need a hit of physical energy. Urdvahastasana (upward arm extenstion) with fingers interlaced, palms up is a good one too.

    Favorite Yoga Poses


  • Posted on June 15th, 2012 8:00:25 AM YogaGlo 1 comment

    Ask a Yogi: What's your favorite pose right now?
    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 favorite yoga pose?

    • Elena Bower: “Bound Lotus. So so challenging to stay there for more than 5 minutes.”
    • Kathryn Budig: “It might sound funny, but Savasana. I’ve been having amazing, deep savasanas that leave me feeling so revived and refreshed. I’m on the road a ton, so this is the perfect pose to bring me back to life.”
    • Jason Crandell: “Natarajasana has been incredibly satisfying lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusion that my hands will ever catch my foot. In fact, as I’ve let go of trying to get somewhere other than where I am in this (and most every) pose, I’m enjoying my experience much more. And, honestly, I’m appreciating the 2 feet of belt that is connecting my hands to my feet and savoring the even, balanced opening that I receive from deep inside my upper-arms all the way through my shoulders, spine, hips and thigh.”
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: “People assume that just because I can do the fancy poses that that’s all I want to do, but nowadays, especially when I’m traveling a lot, I find the simple poses do the most for me. Maybe I’m just getting old. Lol  :) When I’m traveling, I often practice in my hotel room sans mat. I try to take classes when I can and people are always surprised that I’m not busting out fancy poses, but those really aren’t important to me these days. To me, it’s all about how I move & breath in whatever posture I’m in and my reactions within the pose. Even the simplest of poses can trigger big reactions. I find warrior 2 is a big one. In most vinyasa classes this is a transition pose and when I first started holding it it was like nails on a chalkboard cause my body felt like it should keep moving. I love that stuff!  To look at our reactions and start to rewire how we react & how we live, that’s what it’s all about.”
    • Steven Espinosa: “This is always a tricky question because I feel I should be saying something hard like “handstand drop overs!” But to be perfectly honest, my favorite pose right now is Supported Bridge. By placing a firm block underneath my sacrum it allows my pelvis and lower lumbar spine some immediate relief. Then by lifting my legs straight up into a Shoulder Stand Variation, I can get the reverse blood flow down my legs which also feels great. Finally, bending my knees and opening up my inner thighs allows my inner hip sockets to deepen and widen which also relieves tension and pressure in my lower back.”
    • Marc Holzman: “Hanumanasana. This pose falls under a category that I’ve affectionately dubbed “Use It or Lose It Poses”. There are certain asanas that live in my body very fluidly. Even if months pass without practicing them, I have easy access to these poses; I pull them out, dust them off and voilà! It’s as if no time has passed. Hanumasana is NOT one of those poses for me. If I don’t practice it several times a week it just disappears into the ether, and I am back to square one. It’s precisely because it’s so challenging for me that it is currently my favorite pose. It also teaches me to be gentle and generous with myself.”
    • Amy Ippoliti: “Pincha mayurasana because of how it opens my shoulders, keeps me strong and gets me upside down.”
    • Tara Judelle: “Right now, I’m hooked on Trikonasana, Triangle, because I can use it to find the balance in the bones, and to explore infinite expansion through the potential space that comes from lateral lines (the energy in our body that desires to move out sideways from the core).”
    • Dice lida-Klein: “Favorite pose right now is dwi pada viparita dandasana. It’s a deep backbend, a nice shoulder opener and it’s fun to tick-tock between there to dolphin pose. Viparita chakrasana on the forearms!”
    • Noah Mazé: “Honestly, I have a lot of favorite poses. I love the basic poses, like downward facing dog, as it never fails to make me feel better. A lot of my favorite poses are also difficult poses for me, and they ask that I be focused, prepared and energetic to be able to do perform well. Depending on the direction of my practice, I have favorites in every category that I will work on.”
    • Kia Miller: “My favorite pose is Ego Eradicator. Sitting with the arms up at 60 degrees with Breath Of Fire for 3 minutes. I experience this a my reset button. One of the beautiful things about Kundalini yoga is the extensive toolbox of breaths and postures that rebalance your energy in short periods of time. For greater results practice daily!”
    • Christina Sell: “Well, I have favorite hard poses I am intrigued by at any given time and then favorite poses that are like old friends or a comfortable pair of shoes. As far my favorite hard things I am working on right now, I am exploring some work in Natrajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose) that has some interesting tidbits of alignment in the standing leg, the shoulders and upper back that is very fascinating to me. I can’t get to it every day but I do work on some of the more basic variations of that pose like standing bow almost every day and I am practicing moving  that posture into more and more of a standing split. So natrajasana  and also one-armed mayurasana  (peacock pose) are my favorites on the “hard” list. I actually balanced for a while in that pose the other day and it was so thrilling! On the other list of favorites but not “hard” live the seated forward bends like janu sirsasana (head to knee pose), parivritta janu sirsasana (revolved head to knee pose), ardha badha padma pascimottanasana (half-bound lotus in seated forward bend), triang mukaikapada pascimottanasana (three limbs pose), pascimottanasana (seated forward bend/intensice western stretch pose) and parivritta pascimottanasana (revolved western stretch pose). That sequence is just so wonderful, soothing and deep so I love it a lot right now.
    • Stephanie Snyder: “My favorite pose right now is Ardha Supta Virasana (supine half hero pose). I am a mother of two small children- one of which is still a baby. I am cradling, nursing, holding, bouncing, rocking my baby most hours of the day. So, Supta Virasana really helps to balance all of that with a great amount of opening in my front body. It’s absolutely delicious!”
    • Jo Tastula: “Ha! Choosing a favorite pose is like naming a favorite child! But if I had to choose one that I’m gravitating to at the moment, it would be down dog (ardho mukha svanasana). It’s one of the few postures where you get to put both your hands and your feet on the earth, so there is this real sense of physical connection and support. It’s a pose which draws your attention inward so I find it very peaceful and meditative. There is a great skill also in aligning the arms, spine and legs to create maximum length and symmetry with minimum effort. I love tending to the pose with minuscule adjustments that help to create this delicate balance. After a few minutes in down dog I often feel connected, supported, aligned and relaxed.”
    • Harshada Wagner: “I can speak about my favorite meditation. It is actually kind of a prayer. I connect with a sense of limited-ness and smallness. I contemplate and connect with my incompetence and powerlessness. I let myself feel really small, like the tiniest thing in the world. From this space, I pray for help. I offer my body, mind, life, and time over to Grace with a simple feeling of “I can’t – you can”, and then let go into the energy of Grace. It is SO delicious!!! That’s what I’m into right now.”


  • Posted on April 30th, 2012 12:33:49 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Yoga Pose of the Week

    In this Pose of the Week, Steven covers basic Dos and Don’ts of proper placement of the feet during your practice. A solid foundation ensures that we can direct our concentration and focus to other aspects of our practice.


  • Posted on April 2nd, 2012 1:06:59 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Yoga Pose of the Week

    In this Pose of the Week, Jodi Blumstein demonstrates Marichi’s Pose B (Marichiasana B). She reminds us that in Marichi’s Pose B, a certain amount of flexibility is needed to protect the knee from being strained. A modified version is offered as an alternative.


  • Posted on February 21st, 2012 8:00:30 AM Andrea Ferretti 2 comments

    Finding Inner Harmony in Savasana

    There’s been a lot of attention paid to the recent New York Times article, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.” I’ll admit that I ignored it until days later when I noticed that it popped up on the most emailed list in my New York Times reader. When I finally read through the story, one of the most noticeable aspects was that the author selected the most panic-inducing studies he could find—and they were all from the early ‘70s.

    There were several other ways in which I felt the article generally missed the mark, but I won’t go into all of them. I’ll simply say this: Reading this article and noticing how much attention it got in the mainstream media gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I think yoga is so important despite the fact that, like any other physical endeavor, it can lead to injury. (And I’ll be the first to admit that I weathered a few yoga injuries in my early days of practicing.)

    So, here goes: after years of soaking in the teachings about how much to externally rotate my thigh and where to place my big toe, the most valuable lesson we can learn from yoga is that we can use the tools to create inner harmony. In other words, instead of getting up and doing a sequence to Forearm Balance five days in a row, you can go to your mat with the intention to create a practice that balances whatever state you’re in at that particular moment on that particular day.

    If you’re full of energy and you want to open your upper back, do the aforementioned Forearm Balance practice. But if you’re drained or feeling a bit frayed around the edges, try staying low to the ground in your practice, perhaps focusing on hip openers like a diamond-shaped Baddha Konasana or a supported Pigeon Pose.

    Savasana, the final relaxation pose, is critical in any practice, but it’s especially important to give yourself lots of time in the pose if you’re fatigued. A long relaxation at the end of practice has the power to refresh your energy and help you integrate all the work you’ve just done. If you stay in the pose for 15 minutes or more, you can induce the relaxation response, which lowers stress hormones and increases feelings of calm. In Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar says this about Savasana: “The stresses of modern civilisation [sic] are a strain on the nerves for which Savasana is the best antidote.”

    What’s that you say? You don’t find Savasana particularly relaxing unless you’ve sweated and snorted your way through an exhausting practice? That’s OK. You might not always have those deep, easy, peaceful Savasanas because relaxation isn’t something we’re taught to do in Western culture. It takes practice, just like any other pose. Stay with it, don’t skip the pose! And, with practice, it will become easier to drop in.

    I love to riff on Erich Schiffman’s approach to Savasana, which is, in essence a three-part process:

    First, relax your body.
    In order to fully relax, you need to find the sweet spot of the pose that’s comfortable for you, which means that it’s important to take your time and mindfully set up the pose. If you tend to cool down quickly, cover yourself with a blanket and put on your socks. If your back feels sensitive as you lie back, place a bolster or a folded blanket under your knees.

    Once you’ve gotten yourself into position, allow yourself to take up as much space as possible. If you have a neighbor close by and you can’t bring your arms 45 degrees away from your body, you can bend your elbows and place your hands on your torso.

    Second, notice how you feel
    Bring your awareness to the top of your head and begin to scan through your whole body, noticing where there is tension. Invite yourself to let it go, to relax, and to enjoy the feeling of relaxing.

    Third, feel the bliss
    Schiffman says that, “As you relax, you will expand. You will begin to feel big, huge, spacious.” This expansive feeling can feel wonderful as it overtakes your entire being. Your thoughts begin to fade into the background and you experience openness, peace, ease. You might even have moments of joy or emotion well up in you. However you are feeling, surrender, surrender, surrender into the experience.

    Come out of the pose slowly and gently, rolling onto one side and resting there for as long as you need to before you come up. Open your eyes, keeping your vision unfocused and wide. Enjoy the feelings of inner harmony you’ve cultivated.

    An editor at Yoga Journal for nearly a decade, Andrea Ferretti has had the honor of writing about and learning from some of the best yoga teachers in the West. She has been greatly influenced by Sarah Powers, Sally Kempton, Cyndi Lee, and her husband, Jason Crandell. For more of her personal writing, visit her blog, Mindful Living.


  • Posted on February 13th, 2012 1:11:31 PM YogaGlo 2 comments

    Yoga Pose of the Week

    Tiffany demonstrates Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle (Crooked) Pose.


  • Posted on January 30th, 2012 1:29:30 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Yoga Pose of the WeekFelicia Tomasko teaches you how to ease into the Bound Angle Pose (baddha kona) for a groin and hip opener.


  • Posted on January 16th, 2012 1:50:06 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Stephanie Snyder helps you get into Tree Pose (and reminds us all to honor that some days “the force is with you and some days it’s not”)


  • Posted on January 9th, 2012 3:28:11 PM YogaGlo No comments

    Yoga Pose of the Week

    It’s a New Year, time to perfect your strong, courageous Warrior III pose with Dice.


  • Posted on November 15th, 2011 9:00:44 AM Andrea Ferretti 5 comments

    Revolved Triangle with Andrea Ferretti

    Recently I’ve been editing a book by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. It’s a book about the Hindu goddesses – Parvati, Sita, Saraswati, Kali, and Lakshmi, to name a few. The book is wonderful and has given me lots to reflect on. (Look for it late in 2012 – I will give you a heads’ up!) Most recently, the chapter that has stuck with me focuses on Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. When we learn about Lakshmi, we typically learn that she’s associated with wealth, accomplishment, and success. But Kempton proposes that Lakshmi is also the felt sense of having enough. In other words, when you’re in tune with Lakshmi’s energy, you feel full and satisfied. The key is that this feeling doesn’t require that you have more stuff, you simply have to know that this sense of abundance is within you and around you all the time.

    Editing this chapter has me thinking about the concept of having enough. I think it can apply to how we feel about ourselves, too. I think we often worry unconsciously that we might not be enough. We often pursue things—ahem, even fancy yoga poses—hoping that reaching a goal will give us a little more inner currency to deposit into our bank of self-worth. And as great as reaching goals can feel – and as important as it is to have them – there comes a point where we have to ask ourselves, ‘Am I enough without all my inner and outer stuff? Can I appreciate myself just because I’m me instead of ticking through my list of accomplishments?’ And finally, ‘Can I limit my tendency to do my yoga practice and allow myself to be in it?’ What do you think? Are you “enough?”

    The yoga mat can be a great place to reverse the tendency to doubt our self-worth. Really, is there a better time or place to affirm your own inner sense of fabulousness? Or if you can’t quite go that far, can you allow yourself from time to time, to feel content on the mat?

    One of the best ways to feel Lakshmi’s energy, says Kemptom, is to honor the aspects of Lakshmi within you. And so, when you get on your yoga mat today, I invite you to say to yourself, “I am enough.” You don’t have to look into a mirror and say it out loud like Stuart Smalley did. But know that you have the power to internally drop the self-improvement efforts, put down whatever heavy load your psyche may be carrying today, and know that you are abundance itself. Each pose that you do is deep enough or good enough. Each breath you take sustains you enough so that you can do this practice. The amount of time you have to devote to it is enough. This is really a practice of self-love.

    The Practice:

    One way that I allow myself to be “enough” on my yoga mat is to use props, because they help me let go of over-efforting. They also usually make my poses feel more spacious, which allows my breath to flow more freely.

    Using a wall and a block for Revolved Triangle is one of my all-time favorite proppings. The block gives me a little extra support and pressing into the wall helps me create a nice long line along the bottom side of my waist. It also provides leverage to help me twist. Try it and let me know what you think! Or add your favorite prop/pose combo that helps you feel full and satisfied to the comments below.

    Warm up your body with Sun Salutations and standing poses such as Triangle and Extended Side Angle Pose.

    When you feel ready to twist, bring your mat and block (I’m using a 3-Minute Egg here) to a wall. Stand next to the wall and press your hand into it. Stand a forearm’s distance away from the wall with your right leg forward, left leg back. See that your front heel is in line with the arch of your back foot. Inhale, bring your hands to your hips. Exhale, fold forward and place your left hand on your block, to the inside of your right foot. Pause for a moment and notice if your right hip is poking out toward the wall or hiking forward. Right the right hip crease into the midline of your body and square to the other hip.

    From there begin to lengthen the left side of your waist. Don’t twist yet! Just focus on getting long, long, long. Then exhale and twist toward the wall. Press your right fingertips into the wall, at whatever height gives you the best sensation and leverage. Stay for five breaths. Inhale, continue to lengthen the spine and waist, exhale, press the fingertips into the wall and twist. Feel spacious. Feel light. Feel like you are enough.

    An editor at Yoga Journal for nearly a decade, Andrea Ferretti has had the honor of writing about and learning from some of the best yoga teachers in the West. She has been greatly influenced by Sarah Powers, Sally Kempton, Cyndi Lee, and her husband, Jason Crandell. For more of her personal writing, visit her blog, Mindful Living.