• Posted on December 5th, 2012 YogaGlo 2 comments

    Ask a Yogi

    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 questions 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:

    Besides yoga, what other forms of exercise do you enjoy participating in regularly? How does that inform your yoga & vice versa?

    • Elena Brower: As a New Yorker I walk a lot and love it. I jump on a mini-trampoline a few times a week, and I love practicing Kundalini meditations and Kriyas.
    • Kathryn Budig: I enjoy running a few times a week, hiking, bike rides with my dogs and skydiving. I love to be outside and breathe. It’s all a reminder to be in the present moment and soak in the beauty that we often miss right in front of us.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: I grew up running & playing tennis competitively and doing ballet for about 10 years so I have those in my blood and the athleticism inspires a lot of my teaching and is why I specialize a lot in athletes. Nowadays yoga is my life so I don’t do anything regularly but I still like to play tennis from time to time and every once in a while can be caught running in central park now that I’m back in NYC.
    • Steven Espinosa: I like playing basketball. I used to play a lot as a teenager. So for me it’s fun to just run and jump and shoot and bounce a ball around without a care in the world. Which also helps me to remember not to take life so seriously all the time. Which, in turn, helps me to remember not to take the yoga so seriously and forget that it is meant to be fun, too!
    • Marc Holzman: Hiking, light weights at the gym, fast walking on the treadmill (on an incline) … and I ride my bike everywhere in Paris twelve months out of the year (brrrrr!) My yoga practice has become so much stronger as a result. Even with hot power yoga classes, I wasn’t hitting the cardio in a way that I really needed. It was my acupuncturist who advised me to get my ass off the mat every so often and go outside in the fresh air and run around. She was absolutely right. So the downside is that my hamstrings are tighter …  this just means it takes me a little longer to meet Mr. Hanuman. But he’s worth the extra effort! And vice-versa: there is no doubt that my disciplined meditation practice is what keeps me on the treadmill a little longer without wanting to pull my hair out. Say YES to mixin’ it up.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Other forms of exercise – YES!  I love to ride my road bike up mountains and into the canyons around my house. I love swimming, functional fitness, hiking, boogie boarding, skate skiing, and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). Doing other exercise has totally helped my practice and made me stronger increased my flexibility. I will admit that road biking makes me stronger but does limit my flexibility in back bends. But it is worth it to be outdoors and on the bike as much as I am!
    • Tara Judelle: As much as possible these days I am looking for other forms of movement to inform my body and my practice.  Lately I have been obsessed with African Dance and Nia dance. Walking in nature and swimming in the ocean keep it real for me. I am adding Tai Chi and Chi Gong to the routine because I am interested in sourcing energy more authentically and finding the overlaps between systems and asana practice. The greatest way to keep the brain supple is to keep switching up movement, so the body plan doesn’t get stuck in a singular vocabulary.
    • Noah-Mazé: Yoga is it for me. Although I go through waves with this. The past few years I have pursued road cycling. This year, I have hardly been on the bike, and have spent a lot more time on the mat.  Additionally I am an avid outdoor recreationalist.  Hiking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, skiing whitewater rafting and kayaking etc. Yoga is about the only form of ‘exercise’ that I do inside. Does playing with the kids count as exercise?–cause I do a lot of that!
    • Christina Sell: Yoga asana is my primary form or exercise. I also love to swim, to ride a bike, to whitewater kayak, to hike and to take long walks. In general, yoga helps with sports more than sports help with yoga. I am stronger by nature than I am flexible  so when I go swimming or boating a lot my shoulders get tighter, when I go biking a lot my thighs and psoas get restricted and when I go hiking and walking a lot, I notice my hips are less open. So when I am doing those activities I have to spend a lot of time “undoing” them in order to make progress in yoga. The more sports I do, the more I need to add in time for flexibility work (and for bodywork). I also remember that most of life happens off the yoga mat and I don’t want to live without having fun times in nature and enjoying myself in these ways and so I keep in mind that  a little muscle tightness is not the end of the world.
    • Stephanie Snyder: I loathe exercise! I do go for a run once a year just to make sure I still hate it. How does that inform your yoga & vice versa? This means that my yoga is restorative some days and rigorous other days so that I can get what I need on all levels.
    • Jo Tastula: I go through phases, but at the moment my main form of exercise besides yoga is walking. Lots of hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and the challenging but effective soft sand shuffle down at Venice beach. I like to get in at least an hour or two a day. Mostly, I enjoy getting outdoors and plugging back into nature. It’s through observing the natural world that we are able to better understand our own wild nature.
    • Harshada Wagner: I like to ride my motorcycle. It is not exercise. Not much. But it’s a perfect compliment to my meditation practice and after hours on the motorcycle, you really need a good asana practice.

    Ask a Yogi


  • Posted on November 14th, 2012 YogaGlo 1 comment

     

    Ask a YogiYou’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 questions 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 are your tips for establishing a home yoga practice?

    • Elena Brower: Make a promise to yourself to do a few minutes each day, and KEEP IT. Must. Stay. Connected.
    • Kathryn Budig: Find a space (if possible) that is ONLY dedicated to yoga. It’s difficult to focus, so if you have a room or space that is dedicated it’s easier to focus your energy. Remember that even 5 minutes is better than none and to not judge yourself. Somedays you’ll be on fire and others unable to move. It’s all good.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Set realistic goals and stick to them then build slowly over time. I love the new features to schedule & track practices on YogaGlo, its a great way to stick to your goals and the great thing about YogaGlo is that you can pick any length that works for your schedule. The hard part with a home practice is not getting distracted by the things around you. I like to just pretend I’m in a class and its not an option to get up and do something, its my own little sacred space.
    • Steven Espinosa: Start in increments. Often we think “I have to do a full practice everyday or else I’m not being dedicated!” I say, build it up slowly. Start by doing 10 or 15 minutes, once or twice a week. Then 15-30, two or three times a week. Soon your body will begin to respond naturally and want to do it more and more. Why? Because yoga feels good!
    • Marc Holzman: 1) Your yoga space at home should be clear/clean/energetically light/sacred. If not, you’ll always avoid practicing there. Would you want to practice in a dirty studio with dust bunnies sliding up your nose? Home practice already requires discipline. 2) Don’t fight the space. Practice in the same spot regularly. The area that you carve out will start building a certain Shakti (energy) that will support you. 3) Make yourself work on poses you don’t like or find challenging. Know what you want to do before hand and write it down. Otherwise you will waste too much precious time in a place of indecision. With a set plan, there is always room to improvise and play. 4) Don’t skip savasana just because you are home! 5) Log on to YogaGlo.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Create a warm spot in your home where you can practice. Keep a mat out if possible to entice you to practice. Use music to help motivate and keep you on the mat longer. Put your cell phone in airplane mode and leave it in another room. Commit to “the 10 Minute Gift”. By starting with a small, measurable goal, you’ll more easily attain it and likely practice longer. If you are not sure what order to do the poses, seek out workshops that focus on sequencing
    • Tara Judelle: Schedule a time to practice, and stick to it like anything else in your routine. Listen to your body. Come up with a strategy for practice before laying down the mat, (IE, today I will focus on backbends, today I will see where the flow takes me. Stay on the mat for the length of time you scheduled). Give yourself a monthly focus (ie – this month I will work on Handstand). Invite people to practice with you.
    • Noah Mazé: Plan it into your weekly schedule. Plan the days that you take classes at a studio. Plan the days that you take a Yogaglo class. Plan the days that you will do a self practice. Start simple; get the kids to school and do 15 minutes of sun salutations before you sit down at your desk. Do another 15 minutes of forward bends and inversions at the end of the day. Use your practice to help you transition; into a focused state of mind for work, into an open and receptive state of mind to be with your family after the work day. Plan the day that you have more time to practice, for an hour or more, and you will learn much about yourself as you generate the motivation to sustain a longer practice. On the days you need motivation, use a short YogaGlo class as a springboard to get you started and into your self-practice.
    • Christina Sell: 1) Be very clear about your motives. So many people struggle to establish a home practice because while they think they “should” practice at home, they actually prefer going to class or taking classes online. Doing yoga alone at home because you feel you “should” do it is not as motivating as establishing a personal practice for reasons you really care about. 2) Define for yourself what your home practice will be for 30 days. Be specific so you know you did your practice and/or know you did not do your practice. For instance, a specific statement of intention might be:  “For the month of December I will take one 60-minute class on YogaGlo, one 90-minute class and one 30-minute class each week. Two times a week I will practice on my own for 15 minutes.” You can even make a chart to check off your progress each week. And remember to reward yourself when you meet your goal! 3) Do something, no matter how small AND give yourself credit for it. I always say that the 10 minutes of asana you do is better than the 2 hours you do not do. Yogis often suffer from minimizing their efforts and from “not-good-enough” syndrome. Remember: Any practice you do is better than none. 4) Invest in a timer. I use the Yogatimer app on my iphone.  You can set a goal to practice for 15 minutes, set the timer and do poses until the time goes off. Or, use the repeat function to time your postures so you know how long to hold them. Start with 30-second timings and work up to 1-minute timings. 5) Make it fun. Personal practice is just that- personal. There is no yoga police and there is no wrong way to practice. If you like to play music, play music. If you love silence, stay quiet. If you like being upside down, work on inversions.  The practice you will do the most is the one you enjoy the most so make sure you get yourself started with things you actually like doing.
    • Stephanie Snyder: This is a question that comes up in teacher training often.The most complicated thing about a home practice is just getting on the mat. Roll out your mat and sit on it- the rest will come, you need no plan, no special outfit, no particular circumstance- you just need a mat and your butt sitting on it. In addition to the elegant get-your-butt-on-the-mat approach, it is helpful to have a “go-to” pose. This is one pose that you really like and is easy to flop into. For me its pigeon or straddle forward fold. Choose a pose that seems easy and feels good. Usually if you can get into that pose and hang out in it for awhile then the chances are really good that you may decide to do one more pose and then one more after that, etc.
    • Jo Tastula: Create a sacred space for yourself. Perhaps a spare room, or even a quite corner within a room. Make the space clear of clutter and anoint it with things that bring you into a peaceful state such as a candle, special rug or an inspirational picture. I find if my space feels tranquil and inviting I want to practice.
    • Harshada Wagner: Invest in “real estate”. Invest money. Invest space. Invest beauty. Buy a candle. Rearrange your room to make a really honorable, beautiful spot for your practice. Give it some permanent foot print- even just a framed quote on your wall or a little statue. Examine it’s importance to you, then invest accordingly.
    Ask a Yogi What are your tips for establishing a home yoga practice

     


  • Posted on November 7th, 2012 YogaGlo 2 comments

    Ask a Yogi: What are some suggested postures one can practice to improve flexibility?

    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 questions 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 are some suggested postures one can practice to improve flexibility?

    • Elena Brower: Downdog with slightly bent knees, either at the wall or with hands on a table or chair back, then slowly moving thigh bones back, is a great way to open up our hamstrings and start a process of opening up our spines, our breathing and our ways of seeing.
    • Kathryn Budig: I think Sun Salutes are the best because they get your body moving in all different directions.
    • Jason Crandell: Since the vast majority of poses will help improve your flexibility, learning to relax your nervous system while experiencing physical resistance may be a more helpful suggestion. Relax your eyes, ears, and tongue when you sustain a stretch. Also, practice lengthening your exhalation and letting go of any frustration and expectation that arises when you feel resistance in your body. Don’t allow yourself to get in a tug-of-war with your body—this will turn you against yourself.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Practice, practice, practice and then let go of your attachment to the outcome and practice some more.  When we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to progress we actually tend to clench up and pull back, actually hindering our progress. So let go and enjoy and trust that you will get just what you need.
    • Steven Espinosa: First I would determine where are your major areas of tightness? For most people it’s the lower body (i.e., hips, hamstrings, thighs, lower back) and/or upper body (thoracic spine, shoulders). Then proceed gradually from there by suggesting certain poses to target those specific areas. I also believe proper alignment helps greatly by allowing the body to open up naturally from a bio-mechanical level. Many people just think about stretching muscles. But when muscle and bone are aligned together flexibility occurs organically and exponentially faster.
    • Marc Holzman: I’d like to go outside the box and address flexibility of the mind and heart as they can become as stiff, creaky, and dry as our hamstrings): Spend more time in nature, do seva (volunteer work) for those less fortunate, do something that scares the crap out of you. Journal.
    • Amy Ippoliti: All of them! And the postures in which you feel the most stiff and tight – do those poses three times as much as the ones that are easier for you and you will quickly see improvement in your flexibility overall.
    • Tara Judelle: I think the most important thing to improve flexibility is consistency. The body needs repetition and immersion in order to learn. If I were to give 2 basic poses to do everyday I would suggest standing forward bend with hands clasped behind the back (Uttansasana variation) and Pigeon prep with a thigh stretch (Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana prep, thigh stretch variation). If I were to do my own advanced flexibility sequence I would work Hanumanasana (Splits), Urdhva Danurasana (Upward facing bow), Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (Full One Legged King Pigeon), Agnistambasana (Firelog Pose), Upavista Konasana (Extended angle seated forward bend).
    • Noah Mazé: Umm, all of them?  No really, every posture is stretching and opening particular things. Go after the poses that are hard for you, cause those are the ones you need the most. Don’t just play to your strengths and preferences, work on your deficiencies.
    • Kia Miller: This is a huge question as it depends on where you need the flexibility. Yoga is a balance between flexibility and strength,  we may be strong in some area and flexible in others. The key is to lean to stabilize the more flexible area whilst opening and stretching where you are tight. Sun salutations are my favorite all round postures as they work all the major muscle groups and create heat in the body, which is key when we are looking to improve flexibility. Do at least 5 sun salutes, then hone in on the poses that help your area of tightness (ham string stretches, shoulder openers etc). Do this as a daily practice to receive optimum results. Be patient and create a positive affirming relationship with your body – this is where maximum results are gained.
    • Christina Sell: My favorite poses for hamstring and hip flexibility is the Supta Padangusthasana series as outlined in Light on Yoga. My favorite to stretch the piriformis muscel is Succirandrasana or Figure-four pose. My favorite pose for stretching the quadriceps is supta Virasana. My favorite pose to stretch the shoulders is Gomukhasana. My favorite  pose to open the chest is Viparita Dandasana over a chair. In general, when I want to improve flexibility in myself or in my students I take the strength requirement out of the pose as much as possible and work in supported positions with integrated strength, long holds,  repetition and regularity.
    • Stephanie Snyder: Supta Padanghustasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Shalabasana, and Pigeon Pose.
    • Jo Tastula: Lunge with hands interlaced behind the back is my go-to counter pose if I’ve been sitting at the computer for too long. However, over particular postures, I’d suggest what ever you do, practice with regularity. Regularity is the key to flexibility.
    • Felicia Tomasko: I am admittedly biased, as I focus a great deal on a Yin style of practice. Of course, this is not the only thing I teach—or practice myself—as Yin is meant to be an adjunct practice, a cross-training as it were. I find that patience and persistence, slow and steady, is vitally important for melting the resistance in the body and allowing ourselves to become more flexible. It is also necessary for us to recognize what can and cannot be changed regarding our physiology. For example, bone structure determines some measure of flexibility. (I’m not about to audition to be a contortionist for Cirque de Soleil), but there is much that can be changed. (My regular practice allows my spine to be supple and allows me to easily tie my shoes). Without my regular practice, I find myself stiff and cranky, with shoulders up to my ears and a tight back. Flexibility definitely changes, but I find that what is more important than a specific pose is the compassion with which I greet myself in any pose, the way in which I can soften and surrender, and the use of the breath to assist in this process.
    • Harshada Wagner: A posture of humility and innocence is a good place to start, a posture of not-knowing.

    Ask a Yogi: What are some suggested postures one can practice to improve flexibility?


  • Posted on August 3rd, 2012 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 July 27th, 2012 YogaGlo No 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:

    How has your yoga practice changed over time?

    • Elena Brower: It’s gotten more concentrated, focused, relaxing and healing. Simultaneously. And way less competitive.
    • Kathryn Budig: I used to be an incredibly dedicated Ashtanga yogi with immense strength. I’m still strong and dedicated, but much softer. I don’t feel the urgency that I once felt and find that the poses and practice itself is more enjoyable to me now.
    • Jason Crandell: My practice has gotten softer, smoother, and more fine-tuned over the years. I did my practice like I played hockey and rode skateboards for the first few years. And, although this was gratifying in ways, I’m finding myself more intrigued by what is still and quiet in my body and mind than what is moving.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: A ton and not at all. It’s always like coming home to myself so in that way it hasn’t changed at all, but my personal practice is constantly changing to reflect where I’m at physically & mentally and I think it’s important to have the adaptability as a yogi to be able to do that. Otherwise we find ourselves injured or exhausted because we continue to force ourselves to do what we think we “should” do instead of what we need. This is where Satya (truthfulness) becomes so important to the practice in being truthful to ourselves in what we need at any given moment.
    • Steven Espinosa: I’m much more gentle with myself now. Back in the day, it was all about learning how to do the “hard” stuff. I would push myself sometimes to the point of injury. I took myself and my yoga very seriously. But now, as I am in my 50′s, my body is changing and I try to respect that. Therefore, my approach to the practice is also shifting. I find that doing the most basic and simple poses can be challenging in a whole new way. These days it’s all about moving my body, breathing deeply and most importantly, having fun.
    • Marc Holzman: Over the past few years three major shifts in my life have informed a new focus on what I label as “my practice:” A heart surgery, turning 50 and discovering what it truly means to meditate. I LOVE a good, hot, powerful asana practice, but those days of 108 drop backs are far behind me; my body simply doesn’t do the things it did fifteen years ago. Am I continuing to fall in love with my life? Am I meditating daily? This is Yoga for me now;  first and foremost my Hatha practice (and teaching) must support this.
    • Amy Ippoliti: When I started at age 16, I was really just getting used to all the poses, learning about all the crazy ways my body could bend. In my early 20′s that turned into more of a desire to become proficient and challenge myself by finding more challenging styles of yoga and more sophisticated teachers. From there I did my first teacher training  - so for many years my focus was all about learning alignment, meditation, pranayama, therapeutics and yoga philosophy. As a teacher, I worked on advancing my own personal practice, setting goals with my practice buddies to achieve certain poses, doing mantra and increasing my morning ritual of sitting practice. Then after a divorce, I threw myself into cardiovascular exercise to blow off steam, since getting on my mat and into my body as often as I had been doing became too painful emotionally, so I reduced my practice a lot.  I paid the price physically though, my “yoga body” atrophied, old injuries showed up again, and I turned to functional fitness and a personal trainer to get my muscles back in shape. I increased my mat time again. Now I am still not all the way recovered from that break actually, but am enjoying my practice just where it is. Teaching on YogaGlo has actually been so helpful in getting me more amped up about advancing my practice again, vs. just coasting. So I thank YogaGlo and everyone who practices for the enthusiasm and joy of doing this practice together. We are so lucky to have each other and I feel so fortunate to get to practice with my colleagues on YogaGlo too!
    • Tara Judelle: My practice changes and continues to change every year. If I were to categorize the main change, I would say that it has has moved from a muscle, bone practice to one that includes the organs, the glands, the fluids and greater ease and fluidity, than simple acrobatics and rigidity. There is an increasing desire to move with ease and three dimensional awareness rather than strict concepts of poses. There is also in my personal practice a greater bridge between dance and creativity and meditation than the earlier desire simply to achieve hard postures.
    • Kia Miller: My practice shifts as often as the seasons of the earth and the seasons of my life.  I like to stay sensitive to what my body is calling for in the moment and aware of what I may need verses what I habitually go for. This is the wisdom of many years of practice.  Sometimes I need the sweaty packed class to work it out of every cell of my body, sometimes I need a little tender sweet Yin class or an energetic Kriya. My constant companions in this season of life are a daily practice of breathwork and meditation with a physical practice that feel nurturing. For me, sometimes strong can feel nurturing!
    • Christina Sell: My practice has always been changing. While many of the poses stay the same my bodies’ ability shifts, my schedule is always in flux and my interests in the postures changes continually. I have been practicing since 1991 and so I have moved through so many cycles of practice – both interiorly and exteriorly. There is all the usual stuff now with aging- my body needs more time to recover, misalignments create tweaks more quickly, I have to work harder to go against some genetic body tendencies and so on. My metabolism has shifted a bit and all these things affect my physical practice. I am still interested in advanced postures, but I am a bit more sober in pursuing them than I used to be. My pranayama, mantra and meditation practices are more interesting to me now than they used to be and I am more aware of my energy than I used to be and how things I do and do not do affect me on an energetic level. I travel a lot right now and have little outer routines and so I am really enjoying Bikram Yoga practice. The consistency and predictability that the repetitive approach provides for me is very grounding and stabilizing. During times when I was more stable – for instance, when I was running a studio and teaching 15 classes a week in the same place for six years, I enjoyed being more creative in my practice. So all these things are variables and part of the ongoing conversation of “what to do when I roll out my mat” and how that interfaces with the outer circumstances of my life.
    • Sianna Sherman: My practice has undergone so many renovations and innovations along the way. It’s been a twisting, turning trunk of Ganapathi ever since I began more than 22 years ago. The steadiness and exploration of the practices have been a vibrant force in my life, and the multifaceted jewel of yoga continually reveals itself to me through the many possible forms of practice. I began with a focus on meditation and a little asana to support the meditation jewel. I yearned to fall in love with myself and attune my mind in a positive way. Meditation has been the very core of my practices from the beginning. Next I turned my awareness to the therapeutic aspects of asana and learned in great detail clear biomechanical alignment to support the health of the body. During these years, there emerged a deep interest in pranayama and bandhas, and I practiced in a way that focused on these jewels. I had been learning from the classical philosophy of yoga and several years into this, I was ignited by the teachings of Tantra. I then devoted myself to studying the texts and being in satsang with masterful teachers. Now I practice an integration of all these forms and my awareness is growing ever more in relationship to chanting, mantra, mudra, mythology and dream yoga. I listen deeply to know how my being wishes to embody the practices and I’m very much devoted to all of these practices as embodied life in relationship to my family, friends and expanded community.
    • Stephanie Snyder: My practice is never the same because I’m never the same. Yoga rises up to serve me as I am each day and I’m so amazed by how consistently and profoundly I am supported by the practice. I can say that my idea of what a ‘yoga practice’ is has both loosened up and become more sophisticated over the years.
    • Jo Tastula: My practice has gone through many different evolutions which range from the purely physical (high sweat and grunt) to the sublimely meditative (zero sweat and eyes half open). Now I’m not attached to it being any one thing, so I guess that’s probably the biggest change.
    • Harshada Wagner: It used to be more structured, more formal, and more compartmentalized. There used to be a specific thing I would do in a specific way and in a certain place at a certain time, etc. Over time, the yoga has become more subtle. The goal of the yoga is more readily accessible in my inner being now. It takes less “intervention”. These days it’s more about subtle shifts of attention and ways of being.

    Ask a Yogi Amy Ippoliti


  • Posted on July 13th, 2012 YogaGlo No 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 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:

    How does your yoga practice help you in moments of stress?

    • Elena Bower: Reminds me that there is something bigger than me and I must respect that sense of scale and relative importance.
    • Kathryn Budig: My practice is always a game changer. I can unroll my mat miserable and by the end of my practice remember that everything is lined up and happening for a very good reason.
    • Jason Crandell: When people find out that I teach yoga they say things like, “oh, you must be so relaxed all the time.” I do my best to show who I really am to my regular students, but even most of them think that I’m a calm, mellow guy that responds to all of life’s vicissitudes with ease and grace. The truth is that I’m a simmering ball of tension ¾’s of the time and that yoga has simply helped contextualize, manage and respond to the stress more skillfully. Yoga has helped me understand that my personality, as well as my insecurities and ambitions make me prone to stress—and, it’s helped me fundamentally accept who I am (and that includes being a bit of a stress-maker). My practice has also taught me to give in less to my inner-narrative, especially when it’s spinning toward some sort of anxiety or fear. It’s helped me downgrade my experience of stress by teaching me to witness my stress without completely identifying with it. My practice has also taken the feeling of inner-pressure that stress invokes and replaced it with a sense of greater calm, composure and space. In short, I still experience plenty of stress but yoga has redesigned my relationship to it—most of the time—except, (of course when it hasn’t, like when there’s turbulence at 35,000 feet or when the other members of our HOA don’t bring in the !@#$ garbage cans).
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: My practice is like my anchor that brings me back to myself over and over again, whether it’s a good day or a bad day is irrelevant. It’s like coming home to yourself and realizing that usually the stuff that stresses you out is small and insignificant in the whole scheme of things. If I can change how I react to the stress of holding a posture I can change my perspective of stress in my life.
    • Steven Espinosa: I believe my yoga practice has taught me how to remain more grounded and steady on the inside even when things are chaotic on the outside. So in times of high stress I am able to stay more centered instead of reacting from a “fight or flight” perspective.
    • Marc Holzman: Inhale for 4. Hold for 16. Exhale for 8. Works every time.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Practicing when I am stressed inevitably reminds me that the world is not going to fall apart if I duck out and get on my mat for 20-90minutes. And of course I feel more relaxed and at ease when I finish. I rarely regret having taken the time to get on the mat in stressful times.
    • Tara Judelle: Stress is just energy that is misappropriated and usually in need of direction so I can take action. When I am stressed, I work to redirect the energy in a way that is beneficial to my body. This means that I want to reconnect to my breath, and usually, to move the energy down. I also want to move back into a place of ease. Depending on the time and the situation, the practice becomes the platform for breathing, grounding, and reconnecting.
    • Kia Miller: My greatest practice is to take a deep inhale when-ever something happens in life that I perceive as not going the way I had intended. The deep breath allows just enough time for me to be willing to shift my perspective.  If the stress is substantial then I must take more deep breaths before I respond! I have found this practice to be my greatest ally in life. It has helped me to remain graceful in the most ungraceful of circumstances!
    • Christina Sell: I think at the heart of any yoga practice is really one’s relationship to awareness. So, yoga has given me tools to be connected to myself and to stay aware of that connection regardless of circumstances, for instance, even in moments of stress. Additionally, yoga- not just asana but the whole ball of wax that I consider “practice” such as diet, sleep, meditation, pranayama, mantra, conscious relationship, communication practices and other various inner orientations– help me to connect to something that is larger than my personality which is usually where stress resides. Having said that, I make tons of mistakes, I am not a very patient person by nature, I am in no way a mellow, relaxed kind of yogi so one great benefit of a regular asana practice is that when stress has built up inside me- physically, emotionally, intellectually, nothing moves stuck energy for me like asana. I am a very physically-oriented person and asana practice is like pushing a re-set button so if I “forgot to practice” in the stressful moment, I can re-set, release, let-go and start again. I am very grateful for this tool.
    • Sianna Sherman: I turn my awareness to my breath and allow prana to source me in the living, breathing space that always calls me home. Stress occurs when I push against the current and move in a way that is disconnected, sometimes trying to push something away and other times wanting something that seems out of reach. The incredible beauty of awareness and breath is that they are tandem friends and help me shift my perspective the moment I turn to them. Immediately, I start to remember the truth of myself and can rest in the paradox that I’m embodied spirit.
    • Stephanie Snyder: One of the greatest aspects of the practice is that I can prescribe a sequence to address nearly any issue I’m dealing with whether it be physical or emotional. And I do! When I’m stressed I usually go for long forward folds and hip openers to ground me. If I just need to burn something out then Ill do a quick all around flow with vinyasa, a rhythmic and fluid practice to try and move out anything thats been sticking around for too long!
    • Jo Tastula: Stress can overtake you like a hostage. Before you know it you’re stuck in the turbulent fears of your mind and unable to see the forest for the trees. The skill of yoga is to simply be with what ever is happening right now in this moment, and to meet the moment with your undivided attention. It reminds you to breath, to feel and to acknowledge what is. Somehow, doing these simple things can bring the ground back beneath your feet and the breath back to your lips (or nose). In times of great turmoil this skill is a real lifeline.
    • Harshada Wagner: Well, honestly I don’t have many moments of stress, and this is thanks to my practice. Meditation practice expands your limits in a way where you don’t feel so pressurized. You feel spacious, so it’s easier to welcome intense energy. When I do get run down or feel pressurized, then surely a moment of remembrance, a few conscious breaths, the sweet vibration of mantra brings me back to spaciousness.


  • Posted on July 6th, 2012 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 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:

    Tips for Yoga Beginners

    • Elena Brower: Be patient with yourself.
    • Kathryn Budig: That everything is exactly where it should be. No panic, no rush, enjoy the ride.
    • Jason Crandell: There’s no hurry and there’s nothing to prove. But there are countless things to learn about your body and mind that will, with absolutely no doubt, improve the quality of your life. I suppose that’s a couple things…
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Don’t fight it. Usually we are our own worst enemy and it’s definitely true in yoga as well. Clear your expectations & agendas and leave them at the door and you’ll be much better off. If you can approach each practice like an explorer you’re already a yoga master.
    • Steven Espinosa: That all you have to do is the best you can. Now matter what people say yoga is hard! It gets easier over time but in the beginning it’s difficult and challenging. So I constantly try to remind newer students to give themselves lots and lots of credit just for showing up on their mat and doing the very best they can. To remind them they don’t have to “master” yoga immediately and to allow the process to take them on the journey.
    • Marc Holzman: To all the beginners I have two things to say: “Don’t give up!” and “Be kind to yourself.” I’m speaking not only from a remembrance of my own initial experience with yoga but ANY experience in which we are placed in the vulnerable position of doing something for the first time. Generally speaking, a beginner’s body is weak, stiff, or lacks stamina. Additionally, it’s difficult for the mind to focus on several isolated actions at the same time. Understandably this can lead to frustration and throwing in the towel. But progress comes quickly! You can have an opening in just a few sessions. If you can hang on and just push through that initial threshold, you will get a taste of something truly divine. I couldn’t touch the floor in a forward bend with straight legs for a full year when I started. Trust me – if I can do it, so can you. I repeat: Don’t Give Up and Be Kind to Yourself
    • Amy Ippoliti: Love yourself, accept yourself and figure out what you are good at so you can share that with the world.
    • Tara Judelle: Your body is your mind. Everything you are doing is not just a physical practice but a mind practice.
    • Dice lida-Klein: Every beginning yogi should know there is never just one way to do things, ESPECIALLY yoga. Find out what is right for you in the present moment and be open to new forms and new styles. What you love will possibly change, so be open to the change and the process of changing. All is good!
    • Noah Mazé: Yoga is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Yoga is the practice of knowing yourself. The practice will give you ‘feedback’ every day. Sometimes it will calm and comfort you, sometimes it will agitate you. You will see the things that you like about yourself, and the things that you don’t like. The practices are powerful, and if you commit to them, you will gain tremendous benefit. As my teacher says, ‘A little bit of yoga goes a long way. For a great deal of benefit, it is going to take some time.’ You will make great friends along the way, and surround yourself with people who are cultivating the best qualities of themselves and seeking to live from the vision of the heart.
    • Kia Miller: Everything starts with the breath. First learn how to breath, then everything shall follow…
    • Christina Sell: One thing? Wow. I want beginners to know so many things. The thing I tell all my beginners is to practice in a way today that makes you want to come back and try again tomorrow. That, and if something hurts, stop. And ask questions. (Okay, that is three things and I am nowhere near finished with my sermon for the beginner!) One more– stick with it. Yoga is an investment and a little, over a long period of time yields impressive dividends.
    • Stephanie Snyder: I always say in my classes, if you are new the only requirement as you embark on this path is a good sense of humor.
    • Jo Tastula: Start slowly. Enjoy being a beginner. Have FUN! Take beginner classes!! It’s important to invest your time in creating a strong foundation.
    • Harshada Wagner: Take the yoga -whatever it is- like medicine, or like a prayer. Otherwise it becomes another achievement- another thing you know and can do. Or a mere exercise, or it becomes a competition, with others in the room, or with yourself. You don’t compete when you’re taking a healing treatment, you don’t compete when you’re in an intimate moment of prayer. There are plenty of ways to achieve and compete- and get exercise. Let yoga be something deeper for you.


  • Posted on June 29th, 2012 YogaGlo 4 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 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:

    Which pose calms you down in a pinch?

    • Elena Bower: Jnana Mudra. No joke. I do that mudra and time stops.
    • Kathryn Budig: Legs up the wall. It sends me to my happy place.
    • Jason Crandell: Ha! If it were that simple! I suppose it depends on how not calm I am! If  I’m only a bit uneasy, 3 minutes in down dog tends to work some serious magic. If I’m really coming apart at the seams it takes a little bit more time and intervention!
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: I love humble warrior, headstand or pincha. That sensation of the head hanging and the ability to just linger there and let the brain rest on the top of the skull. For me it feels like a big Ahhh moment where my brain can finally rest. Those moments are like the days when you can sit and meditate and it seems in sync, it’s priceless.
    • Steven Espinosa: It’s not really a pose but just breathing deeply and fully always calms and settles me down. Whether I’m stuck in traffic or just plain stressed out it always does the trick. I shared a story in my YogaGlo class about a recent visit to the doctors office for an annual check up. After the doctor took my blood pressure, I was told it was up. Like, way up! So I asked for some time alone and I just focused on my breath. Ten minutes later, he came back in and it was down to a reasonable place. He asked me what I did and I said “just breathed.” That’s a true story.
    • Marc Holzman: Any in which my head is below my heart (Inversions). Since I travel often, and I am prone to severe vata imbalances, I have a handful of poses that I can whip out in a pinch to activate my parasympathetic nervous system. Any of these will do the trick: 5 minute Uttanasana with my head pressed into 2 blocks, 3 minute Prasarita Padottanasana with my head pressed into a block, 5-10 minute headstand (heats my body but cools my mind), simple Child’s Pose brings me directly back into myself or a 10 minute supported Supta Baddha Konasana on bolster: feet, butt, back on the bolster – shoulders and head on floor, legs and feet supported by a belt and add an eye pillow to this (or any supine pose) and I’m good to go.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Legs up the wall pose, and lately, I’ve been digging legs up a fit ball where I twist my legs from side to side. It cracks my back and juices up my spine and I instantly feel better!
    • Tara Judelle: Uttanasana, standing forward bend. With deep breathing.
    • Dice lida-Klein: Hands down, HANDSTAND!!!
    • Noah Mazé: Meditation and basic ujayii pranayama always calms me down. In these practices, I observe and inquire more deeply into my agitation, or whatever it is that I am experiencing  I can ofter gain clarity on it and shift it to a more usable energy. As far as yoga poses go, headstand is a pose that I will put in the beginning of my practice to calm me down. If you are not integrated and focused, you will wobble and fall out of headstand. And, the physiological process of inverting have powerful effects on the nervous and circulatory system.
    • Kia Miller: Any deep forward bend with long deep breathing.
    • Christina Sell: Shoulderstand.
    • Stephanie Snyder: Pigeon or supported straddle forward fold, works everytime!
    • Jo Tastula: Child’s pose and if that fails then happy baby. Who can stay mad in happy baby??
    • Harshada Wagner: Here I guess I am kind of weird. I am pretty calm usually and actually enjoy being stimulated. I teach meditation all day most days, so I usually need something opposite that vibe. So when I get like that, I like to ride my Harley while listening to loud music. Sometimes it is kirtan- sometimes it is something like Black Sabbath or Johnny Cash. My motorcycle is kind of loud to the outside world and the music is loud in my headphone (I only wear one for safety). I ride around and make a big noise and go fast. Playing with my baby son or just being in his presence also gives me a tremendous balance.


  • Posted on June 1st, 2012 YogaGlo No 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 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.

    We kick off the series next Friday with the very first question. Will it be yours? Stay tuned.