If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us this Saturday & Sunday, as David Harshada Wagner will be in town teaching FREE Meditation classes at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!
Harshada’s Class Schedule:
Saturday, August 9th: 10-11:30am – Pain Body – Pleasure Body An exploration of the way our subtle body holds positive and negative energies and how those energies influence our minds, our behavior, and our experience of life. The class will include a discussion of the koshas or subtle layers described in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, practices to get free from our pain body and strengthen our pleasure body, and guided meditation.
Sunday, August 10th: 1o-11:30am - Living Wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita In this class, we will explore three key shlokas (Sanskrit verses) from the 2500 year old treatise on Yoga, God, and life. The teachings of “The Gita” happen on a battlefield during an important battle in the Indian epic Mahabharata. It’s teachings can provide great insights for modern spiritual warriors on the path of living mindfully. Class includes discussion and guided meditations inspired by verses in the Gita.
Don’t miss this opportunity to take amazing classes with this amazing teacher. Please check out out our class schedule for more information and head on down to the Glo!
In order for our practice to truly evolve, it is important that we brush up on the foundation of our yoga poses. We can have all of the strength and experience in the world, but if we don’t understand the mechanics of the pose, then how will we be able to bring our practice to the next level?
From Meditation & Up-Dog, to Inversions & Savasana, we’re breaking down all of your favorite poses so you can safely and effectively get the most out your practice.
Sirsasana Tutorial with Marla Apt: This short sequence will take you through a few poses to prepare to go upside down into headstand and then you’ll practice the preparation for headstand and then learn the primary actions and alignment of the final pose (practicing at the wall). Props: A block and wall space.
Meditation Tutorial with Giselle Mari: Have you ever wondered if you’re meditating correctly? This simple yet effective offering provides you with 3 steps you can apply to your meditation practice, taking the guesswork out of this mindful experience. Props Recommended: Block, Blanket
Handstand to Chattarunga Tutorial with Marc Holzman: It’s a little scary to move towards the floor from a handstand. Here are a few remedial steps to build strength and confidence so you can lower yourself with ease. Props Needed: A chair and wall space. Props Suggested: Two blocks.
The Interior Architecture of Savasana with Tias Little: This class is a map of the interior body in Savasana. Through guided imagery and anatomical detail, we first set the posture. Then Tias leads students through the inner labyrinth of the pose in order to to prepare for yoga nidra, the Great Yogic Sleep. Through small internal detail, learn to rest from your ears to your innermost brain, and from your skin to your soul. Suggested Props: Bolster, 3-4 blankets
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Tiffany Cruikshank explains that our physical practice can shift our mental perspective and that our mental perspective can shift our reality. Step into your strength as a woman and embrace your perfectly imperfect self!
They say that being a parent is the toughest, yet most rewarding job in the world. It comes with more responsibility and stress than any other occupation, so that’s why it is so important that we have the ability to cultivate mindfulness and presence, acceptance and awareness, compassion and gratitude so we can be the best we can be; the greatest gift we can give to our kids.
This week’s featured classes will help you navigate the road of parenthood through breath, body and mind awareness.
While Baby Naps with Claire Missingham: A fantastic little ‘While the baby naps’ class focused on bringing you back to your centre line physically and mentally. Zip back up the rectus abdominals and open your chest to release tension from the shoulders and neck from carrying and feeding. Make the most of the moment!
Practicing Yoga with Baby with Jo Tastula: This fun little class is a good introduction for practicing yoga with your baby. Lots of seated movement for opening legs, torso and arms. Have fun with tickles in head to knee pose and windmill in straddle. Also lunges and downward dog mini cuddle savasana if all goes well. Prop Suggested: A blanket.
Practice for New(ish) Parents with Jason Crandell: This class for new(ish) parents (and everyone else that is madly in love, is oh-so tired and whose shoulders and back are killing them) I filmed this class 6-months (to the day) that my daughter was born. It was done in pure self-interest to help my shoulders, neck, upper-back and hip-flexors feel less terrible. If you are new(ish) parent—or are madly in love with someone or something else—and your shoulders, neck, upper-back, and hip-flexors are paying the price (and, you’re starting to get out of shape), this one is for you. Props Recommended: Strap and Blanket
Guided Mediation for Parents with Elena Brower: This meditation was designed to bring you to a place of patient listening and acceptance of yourself, so you can begin to do the same for your children. Rather than rushing to “fix” things, this practice is all about observing and seeing yourself clearly, so you can design your responses and your relationships to your children.
Low on Sleep Practice with Stephanie Snyder: This sequence will help restore you when you are functioning on very little sleep. Easy twists will encourage mental clarity and standing poses that will bring some heat and energy without deplteing you. We finish with a soothing restorative supta baddha konasana. You will need 2 blocks, a blanket and 2 bolsters or pillows.
THE QUESTION I struggle with tight hips and I want to learn Lotus Posture (Padmasana). Can you suggest a sequence that will help open my hips and help me do Lotus Pose?
Most students make the same mistake when they work on their hips and try to grow a lotus: They focus too much on stretching their outer hips and forget to open the other muscle groups that comprise their hip-joint. Don’t get me wrong—the outer hips usually need plenty of help. But, the key to freedom and balance in your hips is working with all the muscle groups that affect the joint, not just your bum. I can’t promise you a Lotus, but practicing the following sequence will make your hips be happier and healthier—and, if anything is going to help you sit in lotus, this practice will.
THE ESSENTIAL ANATOMY
There are a couple of things to understand about your hips in order to approach them skillfully in your practice. First, your hip joint (Coxal Joint) is a ball and socket. This is simple enough, but it has big implications. It means that your hip-joint is 360-degrees and has muscles around the full-circumference that produce motion at the joint. In order to create a balanced hip-opening sequence—and, truly create more freedom and ease in your hips—you need to address all of these muscle groups. It’s true that Lotus Pose relies heavily on motion in your outer-hips, but it also requires fluidity in many of the other groups that line the circumference of the joint. If you want to open your hips and develop lotus, make sure you do postures that target each of the following muscular compartments:
• Hip-Flexors: These muscles cross over the front of your hip-joint and flex the hip.
• Adductors: These muscles that line the inside of your upper-thigh are usually left out hip-opening sequences. Not only do they quality as hip muscles because they start on the pelvis, cross the hip-socket and connect to the inside of the thigh, they may be more important to a comfortable lotus than you think. When these muscles are tight, they pull the knees up while attempting Lotus.
• Hamstrings: The hamstrings are not a significant factor in Lotus and they’re not usually thought of as hip muscles. However, they originate on the bottom of your pelvis, cross the back of the hip-socket, and run down the back of your leg. This means that a balanced hip-opening sequence will include postures that release this group of muscles.
• External Rotators and Gluteus Maximus: Describing the Gluteals and their functions in a few words is tough because this family of three muscles does a lot of different work. Let it suffice to say that this is the region that we tend to think when we think of hip-openers. This is the bitter-sweet, hurts-so-good part of the body that we stretch when we do Pigeon Pose.
• Abductors and IT Band: Targeting this region is another key step in releasing hip tension and developing lotus. These muscles run from the outside of the hip bone, cross the outside of the hip-joint and attach to the outside of the thigh. Since this region is harder to get good leverage on than the External Rotators, it is often short-changed in hip-opening sequences.
Focus on rooting down through the top of your back foot and lifting up through your hip-points to get the most from this hip-flexor opener.
Low Lunge Quad Stretch
This posture continues the hip-opening that began in Anjeneyasana and digs deeply into the quadriceps.
This wide-legged standing forward bend stretches your hamstrings and adductors. It also prepares you for the more intense Wide-Legged Squat that follows.
This is the most effective standing posture for releasing tension in the adductors. This postures effectiveness by using your forearm to press your thigh away from the midline.
Reclined Revolved Triangle
Revolved Triangle Pose is one of the most effective postures for stretching the hamstrings, abductors, and IT band. This posture recreates the same dynamics of Revolved Triangle in a reclined posture. By reclining, you can stay in the posture for much longer and exert greater opening on the targeted muscles and connective tissue.
Piegon Pose with A Twist
This version of pigeon will help you access part of your adductors and external rotators and lead to more comfort in Lotus. To be effective, lift and turn your torso toward your front leg. Use your hand to pull strongly against your front knee.
Ankle-to-Knee with Sidebend
To make this posture most effective, be sure to place your top ankle on your bottom knee and flex your foot.
Jason Crandell is a natural teacher and author with more than 15 years of experience. His accessible, grounded classes integrate the best elements of power yoga, anatomical precision and mindfulness teachings. Considered a “teachers-teacher,” Jason has taught on countless teacher-training faculties, leads trainings globally, and regularly presents teacher-training content at esteemed conferences. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Sianna Sherman explains that one of the most important things as a yogi is learning how to trust our intuitive knowledge. She reminds us that practicing yoga can enhance our intuitive capacities and that is one of the greatest gifts of all.
Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for many years, we all have a “moment.” A moment where something shifted and our practice allowed us to see ourselves and the world around us in a different way. A moment where we fell out of a pose and laughed and it was everything. A moment that showed us we’re stronger than we realized. A moment where we finally kicked up into headstand on our own and couldn’t believe it. A moment where we could finally let it all go and just be.
That “moment” is different for everyone and this summer we want to celebrate YOUR yoga moments. We also want to acknowledge the many yoga studios all over the world that make so many incredible yoga moments possible. Want to share your yoga moment with us? Here’s how.
This week’s Yoga Moment comes from Jillian McGehee during her practice at Barefoot Studio West in Little Rock, Arkansas.
On this particular Tuesday, I was debating a run or do yoga. I had hoped for both but ran out of time. My schedule was busier than usual as I was on a clean eating/detox challenge and spending more time than ever on meal preparation.
I’m glad I opted for the mat rather than the pavement that night. From the Ground Up – a workshop-style class that focuses on arm balances and inversions – takes place at Barefoot Studio West, one of two studios in Little Rock, Ark., owned by Breezy Osborne-Wingfield. Surrounded by open fields and horses, the west studio is the perfect retreat from city hustle.
Instructor David Shropshire asked us what we wanted to work on. I agreed with the crow suggestion and also suggested hurdler’s pose. We warmed up our wrists with some rolling/bending exercises, then our core and our legs. We worked on crow about 15 times, each at our own pace. The neat thing about this class is instead of continuous flow and movement, you spend the entire time on the chosen pose or poses. After holding crow for longer than I ever have, David talked us through the steps toward hurdler’s pose.
I was fearful and embarrassed for even bringing it up, worried that I’d fall on my face. But all day I had kept a photo I had been tagged in, which said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
This pose was that one thing. I pointed my toes to help strengthen my legs and booty as much as possible, kept my shoulders closed, my elbows in chaturanga position, my core muscles tight – all while breathing! After many tries, I was suspended in the air! “Way to go, champ” is what I heard on my second try.
That night I was balanced, strong and ready. Ready to face my fear of looking funny, falling or failing. The beauty of yoga is you never fail. You do what you can in that given moment. Nothing more, nothing less. The important thing is “whatever you did, you did it,” as Breezy often says.