• Posted on December 2nd, 2013 YogaGlo No comments

    It’s that time of year again. Yep, you guessed it. Cold and flu season. While everyone is bound to suffer from the occasional cold, the practicing yogi is less likely to come down with it and if they do, their recovery time is a lot quicker. Several studies show how yoga can help strengthen your immune system, making you less susceptible to those crummy colds. They say that the best treatment is prevention, so make sure you give a little extra love to your mat during this time of year.

    This week’s featured classes will help regulate and boost the immune system, keeping it strong and healthy.

    Yoga for the Immune System

    • Immunity for Fall with Dice lida-Klein: This class is focused on ridding the body of toxins and impurities via deep twists, a good amount of folds and a nice dose of inversions through handstands. We venture through postures like twisted lunge (knee up and down), twisted half moon pose, twisted triangle and ardha matsyendrasana. For folds we incorporate seated fold, standing fold, seated wide legged fold and standing wide legged fold. We finish with a supine sequence from the floor. Enjoy my fellow yogis and stay healthy this fall/winter!
    • Get Grounded When Deeply Fatigued & Depleted with Jason Crandell: Got stress? Got a cold? So stressed that you got a cold? Stressed that you have a cold (yes, I could go on…)? This practice will treat you well if you are struggling with either or both. Designed to be practiced when you are feeling depleted, this practice is mellow, grounding, and soothing. It will patiently open your body, encourage circulation in your upper-extremities and allow you to move deliberately even when you are deeply fatigued. Best of all, you’ll feel a little better afterward.
    • Immune System 101 with Jo Tastula: A brief overview of what it is and how it works AND some super easy and effective exercises that you can do ANYWHERE to help boost your immune system. Learn body tapping for skin stimulation, swinging arms kidney massage, lymphatic drainage sun salutations and positive thinking hip openers. I hope this class motivates you to a new level of health!
    • Immune System Booster with Kia Miller: When you are feeling down or depleted this is the practice for you! This meditation stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and the right hemisphere of the brain to adjust, balance and help remove inner conflict. Think of it as advanced immune therapy! Use it to promote heath and wellness and combat any dis-ease of the body. Practice regularly for maximum benefits. Enjoy!
    • Ashtanga for the Immune System with Jodi Blumstein: This is a traditional full primary series class where Jodi is emphasizing and explaining the many many ways that the practice positively impacts the immune system. Focus is placed on explanation of how the postures affect the circulatory, endocrine, respiratory and nervous systems.
    • Enhance Your Immune Function with Elena Brower: A quiet hourlong exploration of various postures to enhance your immune function. Address and approach the glands that control your hormones, which enhances organ function. Sometimes with specificity and more often with a simple reference and some much-needed healing silence, this practice offers a little science and lots of time for listening.


  • 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 28th, 2012 Alice G. Walton 8 comments

    The Science of a New Yoga Practice
    I’d become pretty comfortable in the style of the yoga with which I’d begun, so I decided to branch out. I should mention that branching out doesn’t come particularly easy to me, but I went for it anyway.

    Knowing relatively little about the different styles of yoga actually serves as an advantage in some ways, since I have few preconceived notions about what might and might not be good fits for me. So I found a style of yoga that sounded different, a studio that offered a nighttime class in it, and a teacher who had studied with one of the masters of the style in India himself. Perfect.

    I should also say that the day I took the class had been a particularly rough one, which involved a certain amount of stress and tears. I was actually kicking myself for having registered online, since I now had to follow through with it, and trudge back out through the freezing New York winter rain.

    But then I walked into the studio. The vibe inside was lovely – totally different from what I was used to, and equally wonderful. It felt warm, and inviting, and otherworldly. However much I had resisted, walking through the door felt like a release, and I totally forgot myself. I laughed inwardly at how ridiculous I’d been for wanting so badly to skip it. Score one for yoga that evening.

    Then, however, class got started.

    Yoga Is Smarter Than Me

    Realizing that this was really, really different from what I was used to, I went right back into my head. Where were the Down Dogs, Warrior II’s, and Trikonasanas? Heck, I would have welcomed an Astavakrasana, just to have recognized something. But they were nowhere to be found. The class was made up of movements and repetitions that felt totally foreign to me, and therefore, unsettling.

    But as my body settled in to the unfamiliar motions, my brain started to shut up again. One part of class involved fast movements of the arms for what seemed like an extraordinarily long period of time. Every now and then, the teacher would say to the class, “keep your eyes closed, and try to move as quickly as you can.” And so we did. And then we did it some more.

    At some point, I noticed that I wasn’t thinking so much about it, I was just sort of…doing it. Cheating by opening my eyes to check out what my arms were doing, I found myself shocked at how fast they were moving. I must have furrowed my brow or dropped my jaw, because I’m pretty sure the teacher cleared her throat in my direction. But by the time class was over, I was taken, and walked back out into the wintry rain in a completely different headspace.

    So, score two for yoga that night. It’s pretty humbling when the practice takes over and brings you to that place of not thinking, but totally attending. My body, the next day, is still sore from the movements, and my brain is still reveling in the fact that it lost itself (or perhaps, found itself) in the very thing that it had resisted so strongly. This, of course, is what mindfulness is all about. Its effectiveness has been borne out in the scientific literature so many times, but there’s nothing like feeling it in action – and acknowledging the fact that it might actually be bigger than me.

    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.


  • 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.