• 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 October 24th, 2012 YogaGlo 3 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:

    What to eat before yoga class?

     

    • Elena Brower: Green juice. Dark chocolate. Either, preferably both.
    • Kathryn Budig: I try to give myself at least an hour of not eating before practicing, but if it’s early in the AM I’ll have a Purebar or a bit of almond/peanut butter to keep me going until I can have a full meal.
    • Jason Crandell: Chocolate and almonds.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Depends on when I’m practicing, being on the road a lot I’ve learned to let go of my rigid attachment to practicing at a certain time and just make sure I get it in, like a dose of a much needed medicine. Like many women my blood sugar is sensitive so it’s a perfect balance before class of having some fuel and not feeling weighted down. My digestion is pretty strong now after many years in holistic health so my body process things pretty quickly.  If I’m practicing in the early morning I will just have some greens powder & water, if it’s late morning I will add a little protein powder and make a smoothie. If I’m practicing later in the day I just make sure to keep full meals an hour or two away from my practice (but I don’t usually eat really big meals) and then take a small snack 30mins or so before practice to keep my blood sugar up (usually a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts). That works well for me but everyone’s digestion & blood sugar are a little different so its important you find the right balance for you.
    • Steven Espinosa: I definitely need to put a little something in my stomach before yoga class. Otherwise, I can get light headed sometimes. So for me, I found eating something soft like a small piece of toast (I’m gluten free so not wheat based) or a few bites of a protein bar gives me just enough but not too much so that I feel too full and get all “burpy” in class.
    • Marc Holzman: I try to leave at least 2 hours before practicing (and I am a morning practitioner). Here is a little mixture I whip together – it makes a small portion but it’s nutritious, satisfying, and light enough even an hour before: ½ banana mashed up, 1 TBSP goat yogurt (or soy if you are vegan/dairy-free), little lemon juice, 1 TSP flax or hemp oil, 1 TSP of ground seeds/nuts mixture I put in grinder (pumpkin/flax/sesame/sunflower… whatever you want in the mélange) mix it all together and enjoy.
    • Amy Ippoliti: I have two strategies, depending on how hungry I am! If I am ravenous and I know I will pass out if I try to practice for 90 minutes, I’ll nosh on a handful of soaked almonds, macadamias or brazil nuts. A small cup of a protein smoothie is even better if I have time to make it. If I just want to stave off hunger that might occur while in practice, I’ll eat a piece of fruit like half a grapefruit or some plain veggies – something that will digest easily and make sure there is a plan for food right after practice!
    • Tara Judelle: I like to not eat at least an hour before a yoga class. If I had my choice of what to eat it before that, it would involve quinoa, kale and tempeh. If I’m in a pinch I usually reach for a handful of almonds.
    • Noah Mazé: I drink a green drink/smoothie. It is a combination of fruit, vegetables, nuts, needs, coconut water, green powder and superfood powder.  It is nourishing and hydrating without weighing me down and filling my belly like something solid would.
    • Kia Miller: I try not to eat at all before yoga class, and mostly practice in the morning when my stomach is empty. I will drink a cup of my favorite Oolong tea beforehand or sip a herbal tea. My favorite go-to snack before teaching class is a smoothie, preferably with home-made almond milk, Spirulina and any other brain food like E3 LIVE, Maca, sometimes Cacao and often a raw protein powder. Failing that, if I am on the road I will reach for a banana or a treat like the coconut KEEN-WAH bar!
    • Christina Sell: It depends on the kind of yoga I am doing. If it is a hot yoga class, I drink some juice and make sure that I have a Gatorade nearby throughout the practice. I find that bananas are also great before a practice. Also I like a Larabars or dates. I also like a piece or two of dark choocolate! But the real thing is that each person needs to find what works best for them because everyone has a different digestion process.
    • Stephanie Snyder: I dont really think about that very much, I make sure Im well nourished in general so I stay pretty even. If I find Im hungry just before teaching then I will make a shake/smoothie and that usually does the trick without weighing me down.
    • Jo Tastula: I mostly practice and teach early in the morning, so I don’t eat anything before class. But I will have a cup of tea.  Right now it’s a green tea chai made with fresh almond coconut milk. If I’m really hungry I’ll have half a banana.
    • Felicia Tomasko: I find that the question of what to eat before yoga varies dramatically with each individual. And from the perspective of Ayurveda, can vary dramatically among people with different body types. For example, as I am a person with a generous proportion of the earthy kapha dosha, I actually find I need to fast for at least two hours before practicing, and an hour before teaching (aside from easy-to-digest liquids). If I eat too close to my time on the mat, I feel heavy, weighed down, sometimes even off. Other people I know will experience the sensation of an energy crash if they don’t eat before they practice. Therefore, my first piece of advice is to pay attention to yourself and observe what works for you: what allows you to experience just the right amount of sustained energy and stamina without feeling full and weighed down? If you don’t eat, does it have disastrous results? And if you do it, does it work for you, or does it backfire. There’s no hard and fast rule. If you’re going to eat, I’d say keep it easy to digest. I like some protein drinks and often make my own with a vegan protein powder and some essential fatty acid oil blends. I love veggie/avocado/cucumber rolls because they’re light and satisfying without being oily or hard to digest. For a quick fix, I’ll have a piece of fruit, something like watermelon, melon, or berries. And I do keep bars on hand, but I read ingredients carefully as I don’t want to eat a lot of processed soy as I find it can just sit in the stomach. I love coconut water and aloe vera juice blends, and I especially love chia seed drinks for a quick source of energy that doesn’t weigh down the body. (Native Americans would use chia seeds for energy on long runs or treks through the mountains.)
    • Harshada Wagner: Strong Black Tea with Oat Milk – or otherwise Chai from the little Pakistani place next door to the studio.

    Ask a Yogi


  • Posted on October 10th, 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:

    Why are students often overcome with emotion after yoga practice?

     

    • Elena Brower: For myself, almost every time I practice in a class setting, you’ll find me with tears streaming down my face. I love learning, I love being present in my body, I love being led, and I love how the practice always yields a feeling of strength and connection to myself and to my family. I hear folks commenting on a range of emotional experiences, from joyous to melancholy, but they always come away from practice sensing some sort of healing.
    • Kathryn Budig: The yoga mat is our own personal island where any emotions we feel—joy, dread, exhilaration or despair—can all surface safely here without judgement. A good yoga practice taps directly into our core and reality of what’s happening in our lives, so it can be an emotional release depending on what we’ve been denying or holding in. It’s a fabulous place for sweet release and surrender which leads to healing.
    • Jason Crandell: Practicing yoga reveals what is happening inside us. And, sometimes we have more turbulence inside us than we realize. The practice simply uncovers what we are already feeling. Sometimes it’s pleasant and sometimes its painful. Sometimes both. It’s normal to feel whatever you feel—and, it’s also normal to not feel overcome with emotions after your practice.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: So many reasons but the biggest is that yoga asks us to look at the parts of ourselves that we would rather ignore or forget about.Whether its the chronic pain from our daily lives or the emotional pain from many years of living.  Yoga asks us to show up and bravely look it all in the eye and sometimes its brutal but the practice is about showing up courageously regardless.  Sometimes that means we leave practice on a cloud and sometimes we leave feeling a bit vulnerable, neither one is good or bad, they all teach us more about ourselves so that we can choose to live the life we were designed to, to be our brightest selves.
    • Steven Espinosa: During my first year of practicing yoga, every time I was in Savasana tears would be literally streaming down my face! I would be laying on my back and my body would be convulsing trying to not cry out loud! It was crazy! Looking back on it now, I believe it was this huge release of pent up, stored up, bottled up energy and emotion. I had been struggling for so many years and trying to hold it all together physically, emotionally and mentally that it all just came flooding out! It was a mixture of tears of sadness but also tears of joy. Joy that I had somehow finally found my way back home. The Home Of The Heart.
    • Marc Holzman: I believe there are two possibilities for this emotional response; both signal a colossal breakthrough and indicate that the student has gone deep. I remember being on a yoga retreat very early in my practice, doing 3 hours of slow, intense hip openers, and subsequently sobbing for hours afterward. I mean SOBBING!  There was no specific memory attached to the moment, nor did the tears feel like they were springing from a well of sadness or joy. It was a non-specific emotional release. 1) An emotional response could simply mean that the student is going through an intense moment in his or her life (or just having a crappy day), and the very nature of the practice (moving, breathing, stillness, focused awareness, contemplation), allows the student to feel more of what they are already feeling. When you churn the Ocean of Consciousness in this way, by the time Savasana comes along, there is a sweet release. 2) We wear thick, protective, armor. Our survival tactics are well in place and have accumulated over a lifetime. After a deep practice, when you least expect it …  even when you’ve had an ordinary day …  some of that armor melts. The thick outer shield softens and gives way to a softer more vulnerable layer. We surrender just a little bit. We give up the fight. Emotions can easily make their way to the surface. Here is something I noticed: Ironically, sometimes after a deep meditation or asana practice, my anger and irritation is triggered more easily. How could this possibly be? What I think is happening is that diving deeply brings me to a very tender, vulnerable, and deeply personal place; my sensitivity is heightened. When I then transition into the ‘real world’ I feel easily assaulted by the harshness and protective of that quiet, personal space I’m still dwelling in. Thus, Marc gets a little prickly. There is window during the transition from class to street in which we’re a bit more hypersensitive.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Tears at the end of practice are so natural. For most people, touching into the miraculous nature of your own embodiment is not always a frequent occurrence, so when it happens we can get overcome with the torrent of, well…”being-ness”. The universe does its best to get us to notice how precious life is and how cherished we are, yet our human tendency is to tune out and forget our nature. So again, when we pause long enough to smell the proverbial roses of our essence, it’s mind blowing, and even astonishing at times. The key is to be in the world, fully awake, present to the details, to the people around us, and to our responsibilities, all from a place of this post – Savasana universal understanding. Imagine living your life blown wide open in the world. That is a conscious life.
    • Tara Judelle: In yoga we are working intentionally to transmute stored energy in the complex of the body/mind to a state of harmony or balance. In the journey toward that natural state there is the release of many stores feelings or emotions that can have been stored or stuffed inside. Some may be recent emotions, some may be very old. As we open up the muscles and the muscle casing (fascia) which stores memory and energy – we may experience that release as a raw emotional state. This is a natural process to restore balance and order into the body as we catch move into a place or clarity and resolution.
    • Noah Mazé: We store all sorts of things in our bodies in the form of deeply embedded memory. Much of this is subconscious. Yoga, meditation, visualization, pranayama, mantra, etc all have the power to reach deeply inside of us and excavate these memories.  Also, an effective class can move us very deeply on the emotional level, just as we are moved very deeply on the physical level. The teacher may say something that deeply resonates, or the student makes a connection with something in their life, overcomes fear and/or shame. Yoga is a powerful path of transformation.
    • Kia Miller: When we practice yoga we start to penetrate into the deeper dimensions of who we are. What is unconscious is slowly brought into the light, and in the process often strong emotions are released. Past traumas, unprocessed feelings and thoughts get stored in our bodies. Holding postures and breathing with awareness helps us to move what is dark into the light. We cannot stay the same when we are engaging with our Self in this way. The practice of yoga is like peeling an onion layer by layer, eventually revealing our inner light. Welcome these emotions as they show that you are doing the work necessary to move beyond that which binds and constricts you enabling you to stand more firmly in the truth of who you are.
    • Christina Sell: I think emotional release can happen for all kinds of reasons. Most of us modern-day, householder yogis are pretty busy people. Given the amount of stress we are under and the amount of obligations that we are managing it is very easy for us to ignore our emotions in the name of “getting things done”, etc. Sometimes our sadness, grief and even anger is underneath the surface of our awareness and yoga is that time when we slow down enough to tune into what is inside, but not always on the top of the pile, so to speak. This happens a lot with meditation and pranayama where people will say, “That practice made me feel ________” when many times it is just that the contemplative, quiet practice cleared away the distractions blocking that feeling from their awareness and revealed the feelings that were already there. Another reason has to do with the body-mind-emotion connection where our posture and breath is very linked to our feelings. For instance, when we feel sad, we will tend to droop in our shoulders, cast our eyes downward and drop the top of our chest. This is a posture of sadness, so to speak, and while the posture expresses the feeling of sadness on one level, it does not express the sadness in a way that releases the feeling. When we move our body in the other direction, for instance by bringing the shoulders back, opening the eyes wide and lifting the chest, the opposite postural stance many times creates a release of the feeling. I had a teacher who called asanas “the postures of happiness” but there is a little fine print with that, in my experience, because when we adopt a “posture of happiness” many times we will have to face the sadness that lived in the habitual posture. Anxiety is like this also. When we feel afraid, we tend to hold our breath and breathe largely from the top of the chest, failing to take in a full breath. We might say that is a “Breath of Fear.” When we deepen the breath, the fear that was holding our breath more shallowly comes to the surface for us to release. A full-hearted breath or a “Courageous Breath” then, might ask us to face our anxiety directly before we feel its more positive nature. Or to state this in a more simple way, asana helps us move stuck energy. Emotions are energy at their most basic level and so as we move, breathe, stretch and strengthen our bodies, our energy channels open and as they open anything that is stuck inside gets liberated and released. I think the best strategy for dealing with this phenomenon is to be very loving and accepting with ourselves and be really spacious with ourselves as the emotions arise and yet, we do not need to make a huge deal of it either. Emotional release is so natural and it is a very normal part of practice and transformation. I always tell my students and myself “better out than in!”
    • Jo Tastula: Yoga is a practice that works on many different levels. Although it is grounded in the physical, it is also affects your emotional and mental bodies too. So, just as you can hold tension in your muscles from a stressful day at work, you can also hold onto emotional stress in your body. When you consciously work on releasing that stress and pent up tension, as we do in our yoga practice, you are letting go on all levels, not just the physical. Typically, it’s not until the end of the class when you’ve really allowed yourself to fully surrender, and that’s when the tears come. If and when they come, don’t stop the river… let the tears flow.
    • Felicia Tomasko: When I think about the phenomenon of being overcome with emotions and tears during class, a few things come up for me. First—how often in our lives, in a 24-hour day, do we pause to even pay attention to how we feel or notice the thoughts running through our mind? When we do take the time to stop and pause, then something beneath the surface has the opportunity to expose itself. It’s also important to remember that not all tears are necessarily sad; they can also be an indication just of emotion rolling through us. On a deeper note, emotions are not something that occurs between our ears, but our entire body, so there are times when our embedded feelings, stored within the body, start to emerge when we move. Yoga postures and connecting to the breath and body have a particularly powerful effect on us in this way, of unlocking what may be swept under the rug of our bodies. Sometimes we become fearful of our emotional state, but simply breathing and allowing emotion to move through you can be one of the greatest benefits of practice.
    • Harshada Wagner: There are lots of tears in my sessions. I hear this from many YogaGlo people too. There are many many reasons for this. But one of the simple things that is happening is that people experience some release. Maybe they were a little pent up or emotionally frozen. The practice unfreezes or unleashes their feelings. Sometimes there is a deeper release, a spiritual movement that unleashes a deeper energy that expresses itself in tears. But really, there are so many answers to this.

    Ask a Yogi


  • Posted on September 20th, 2012 YogaGlo 3 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:

     

    Has yoga changed the way you connect with your body?

    • Elena Brower: Thankfully, it’s given me the context to make that connection.
    • Kathryn Budig: I’ve learned to accept my body for how it is. My body has ebbed and flowed with weight and muscle, but my gauge is no longer how I look, but how I feel. If I feel good and strong on my mat, then my body is exactly as it should be.
    • Jason Crandell: When I played hockey and rode skateboards I was more than happy to subject my body to any amount of discomfort in order to accomplish a task. And, honestly, I still respect people that use their body in this way and I feel like I understand this type of drive. That said, my yoga practice has fundamental reversed this process. Now, my body and breath are the muse. They are the topic. They are the point of curiosity and yoga is just a way that I access and experience my body in a more complete and interesting way. When I run into physical limitations, my end range of motion or my various imbalances, I’m rarely disappointed because I’m no longer using my body to try to get something I don’t already have. And, at the end of the day, I’m practicing to feel better in the body that I actually have rather than trying to exchange my body for one that I want to have. This has taken a lot of pressure off and allowed me to savor my tight hamstrings and all.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: I found yoga when I was 14 so for me it was a HUGE part of me getting comfortable in my body. I was teased a lot in school and yoga became a way for me to get to know myself and get comfortable with the awkwardness of life.  Even now my practice gives me a sense of comfort in my skin that translates into so much of my life, when I’m at ease in my body my mind is less reactive and I can appreciate the beauty of life. My practice has taught me that we all have insecurities and discomforts but that my imperfections are what make me human and that humanness is what helps me connect more deeply with myself & the people I love. That’s what its all about!
    • Steven Espinosa: I’ve always had a fairly good connection with my body because of dance. But yoga has helped me heal up many injuries from my past. It has also given me a greater understanding of why I might be hurting and provides me with the therapeutic tools of how to get out of pain. Of course, I still have the general aches and pains that come with being a human being in his early 50′s. Only now I know how to address those issues and prevent them from becoming chronic.
    • Marc Holzman: Before I did yoga, my relationship with my body was primarily dictated by vanity.  While it certainly got me to the gym, in hindsight this relationship was superficial and incomplete, fractured from mind and consciousness. I was “sculpting” my body in a non-integrated, non-holistic way. I wasn’t even aware of my breath! When I started doing yoga, I began to connect the disparate parts. Linking breath to action, connecting body to emotions. This was a monumental shift for me.  Through yoga I discovered Ayurveda and Acupuncture. I traded in the Met-Rx protein shakes for kale. And I slowly released the silly notion that sexiness, masculinity, and virility were somehow linked to a big, thick, muscular body.
    • Amy Ippoliti: I had no clue how my body lined up or how to breathe fully and deeply when I first started practicing. I also had no clue what my body was craving, what it needed, etc…yoga has been pretty tremendous in helping me listen more to what it needs rather than being on auto pilot.
    • Tara Judelle: In every way. Everything is more conscious.
    • Dice lida-Klein: Yoga has given me the tools to listen to my body more. Someways I may feel run down and all I need is a good legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani) and some days I need a strong practice with many inversions and arm balances, but the most important thing is that I listen to what my body needs at that time and day.
    • Kia Miller: I modeled for 12 years in Europe as my first career. At the time my connection with my body was with my outer form – the way I looked. Yoga helped me to learn how to tune into my physical body from the inside out – it has healed me on so many levels.
    • Christina Sell: Well, I wrote a whole book about this called Yoga From the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body through Yoga and another one called My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness because this topic is such a big part of my story. But here is the thing- I started yoga when I was  21 and I am now 43 years old. So I have been practicing yoga over half of my life and it is somewhat hard to give a real “before yoga” and “after yoga” comparison as the practice of yoga has been with me throughout my entire adult life and has morphed and changed and grown with me over the years. Having said that, I think that yoga gives me tools to relate to my body with greater awareness, insight and skill. To the degree that I implement the tools that yoga gives me, I have a profound, meaningful and caring relationship with my body. In 12-step recovery they say, “It works if you work it” and I feel that way about yoga. Yoga, in and of itself,  hasn’t changed the way I connect with my body (let’s face it… you can do yoga violently with a ton of negative self-talk) but it has given me ways to change my connection so that I am more loving, more realistic and more accepting of myself and my body. Another thing I would like to add is that for me, having a yoga  practice is very empowering as well. Knowing that through time, attention, and practice I can overcome tendencies, counteract negative impressions, and work in harmony with my body and what it needs is the real boon of the practice.
    • Sianna Sherman: I now love my body with full respect, honor and recognition that I am divinity embodied. The practices reveal to me emanating radiance that is born from the churning in the very depth of me.
    • Stephanie Snyder: The most important thing yoga teaches us about the physical body is that it is impermanent and always changing. This means that we dont have to get overly attached. The flip side of this is that we have to keep the body in good working order so that we can do our practice at all and so that we can do whatever good work we are called to do. I love my body and Im so grateful that it works for me. Yoga and water = long life.
    • Jo Tastula: I think before yoga I was very dissociated from my body. There were parts of my body that I actually hated. Through yoga, my body has become my teacher, my home and my sanctuary.
    • Felicia Tomasko: Since I’ve practiced yoga my entire adult life, and began when I was a teenager, I can’t really imagine my life without it. It helps me know what to do when I just don’t feel right, when I’m achey or tired, when I need to reboot, refresh or revitalize. But even more importantly, I think about how the philosophies of Yoga and Ayurveda ask us to relate to our practice. What I frequently turn to, in my teaching and in relating to my body in my own life, is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra from book II, number 46: sthira sukha asanam. I love the translation of sthira to mean steady, and sukha as sweet. In our Asana, Patanjali tells us, in every pose of our daily lives, in the way in which we relate to our bodies, may we do so with steadiness and sweetness. This is how yoga helps me relate to my body: how can I be both steady and approach the relationship I have with myself with sweetness?
    • Harshada Wagner: My body has really become my temple. It sounds cliché’ but it’s true. I experience the Sacred Presence in my body and connect to it first and foremost like that.
    How does yoga help connect you with your body?

     


  • Posted on August 31st, 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 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:

    How do you address specific body challenges in your yoga practice?

    • Elena Brower: Shoulders. Maha Bound Lotus.
    • Kathryn Budig: Upper back! Backbends have always been difficult for me. I used to hate them, but through years of practice and trial & error I love them. I adore the challenge and constant quest to find a bit more.
    • Jason Crandell: The gap between my teeth and my skin tone are the two things that are holding me back in my asana practice. I work on them with rubber bands and self-tanning gel every night.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: Definitely my mind, the ability to settle into the practice mentally varies a lot from day to day. Usually my mat is my sanctuary where I welcome the place where my mind can just settle in, but some days are trickier than others for sure. If I can tune into my breath it usually creates a space for my mind to drop into.
    • Steven Espinosa: As a former dancer, I’ve always been pretty flexible. But even after all these years of practicing yoga my HIPS STILL GET TIGHT! I mean, they are far more open than they used to be for sure. But unless I keep them open they tighten up fast! But I’ve come to understand it’s just life. All the sitting, driving and working at computers we do make our hips tight. Biking, hiking, running, spinning, also tighten up the hips, thighs and psoas muscles. So whenever I practice, I make sure to include hip/thigh/hamstring stretches. Or else!
    • Marc Holzman: Shoulders. They’re strong but tight as hell. It’s tempting to force them open with brut strength, but actually just working with breath, softening, using props, and the wall yield the best results for me. I can turn any pose into a shoulder opener simply by placing my attention there.
    • Amy Ippoliti: It depends, I’ve got a lot of body parts and they each have their moments of taking center stage! It changes for me based on what is going on in my life. I try to take each challenge as they come, I’ll seek another teacher’s feedback on how I can align differently in poses to see if it helps, and I’ll also seek out bodyworkers, chiropractors and physical therapists to get to the core issue causing the challenge and then devote myself to getting better through their guidance and through my practice.
    • Tara Judelle: I broke my left arm when I was six in what was called a greenstick break (meaning the bones weren’t fully hard yet so the bone bent). They had to put me to sleep to reset the bone to wrestle my arm in to the desired position. Through body work I learned my fascia (muscle casing) wore the cast for 30 more years, so my left shoulder is always trying to figure things out. I am incredibly mindful of how I place my left collarbone, arm bone and scapula. I have learned through body mind centering that my bones can remember their original blueprint pre-injury, so I spend a lot of time trying to relearn the original structure.
    • Dice lida-Klein: My back body has always been tight. From my lower back to upper back, I’ve been quite inflexible. Only in the past 2 years have I begun to focus on opening my heart and exploring backbends. Achieving safe and effective backbends have been my main focus in my practice, so I make sure to go for safety over aesthetics.
    • Noah Mazé: In my practice, I seek out the challenge. Asana practice is about cultivating the range of possibilities. On any given day, something is tight, something is open. My hip flexors are often tight, so thigh stretches and backbends are regular features of my practice.
    • Kia Miller: My knees are both challenged in the last couple of years due to an injury. They have become my greatest teachers. I have learned to focus on what I can do and not to sweat what I cannot currently do. Every day is a new day and I am grateful as it makes me a better and more compassionate teacher.
    • Christina Sell: Well, I think the every part of my body is challenged and the longer I practice the more this seems to be the case. The whole thing with yoga is that as soon as we can master a basic pose we start looking at harder postures to perform. So while my hips are open enough for a good triangle posture, I want to do deeper postures than that and so I feel like they are still tight! It is a certain kind of madness, really. (I mean that with a sense of humor.) What do I do to address it? I keep practicing. I have a handful of things I do to release my psoas when it is bound. I a have routine to open my lower legs and feet when my legs are tight, I have great shoulder and chest opening protocol, and I have endless tricks for opening up my upper back. Really, it just all depends on what I am working on that day and what openings are required for the postures on my agenda and all that has to be balanced with what state my body is in that day as well.
    • Sianna Sherman: My mind. I attune my mind through proper breathing, meditation, mantra, contemplation and asana that balances steadiness and ease.
    • Stephanie Snyder: I have an old injury in my lumbar spine. I have to be mindful of extension and flexion in my lower back. Also carrying my baby around keeps my shoulders pretty full of love (read: tight ass shouldahs)
    • Jo Tastula: Hip flexors. Oye, they are perpetually tight!  I like to warm up with sun saluations ‘c’ (surya namaskar c) which has a lot of lunges in it. I also surrender to the fact that I am naturally a forward bender and not a back bender.
    • Felicia Tomasko: I’m not necessarily one of those naturally bendy people. And my back only bends so far back, so I don’t expect to be on a magazine cover rocking out some crazy poses. I like to think about how, through practice, I can cultivate a sense of overall strength, overall ease, overall flexibility. I do work with backbends, even though my temptation is sometimes to avoid them. I ease into them slowly, work carefully with my abdominal muscles, and focus on extension rather than compression. My shoulders are also not so in love with repeated Chaturangas. I’m not sure if I did something, but if I overdo it, I’ll feel a twinge (and sometimes worse) around my left deltoid, so I’m an every-other-Vinyasa knees-to-the-floor, engaging the abdominals, kind of yogini. I want to be still doing my practice when I’m 80, 90, 100, and beyond. Speaking of which, one of these days maybe I’ll pop into headstand, but it took me years (and some dedicated Iyengar and Sivananda teachers) to learn how to do headstand in the center of the room. Like all of us, inversions take some getting used to.
    • Harshada Wagner: The physical part. My asana practice is only a small fraction of what it was 20 years ago when I was an asana teacher. I have some old knee injuries that I know how to work around. I find much of the yoga these days to be super athletic – too much so for me. I like to do very mellow sequences that help my spine and help to balance my energies.

    Specific yoga poses to address specific body parts

     


  • Posted on August 24th, 2012 YogaGlo 1 comment

    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 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:

    How has your yoga practice helped you deal with fear?

    • Elena Brower: Every day just being with myself. I find I’m most afraid to just be quiet.
    • Kathryn Budig: It’s taught me that love is the answer to everything—how I approach postures, how I remind myself to step back when I’m tired or injured and that my reactions on the mat are a reflection of the interactions in my life. Choosing love is the opposite of fear, and yoga has shown me that fear when only grip you if you let it.
    • Jason Crandell: My practice has helped me overcome some of my fears by teaching me to look at me fears with curiosity instead of panic. I’m able to steady my mind and breath a bit more when fears arise and this makes me less likely to pile on and conflagrate them. It’s also helped me with some of my fears by teaching me the skills of self-soothing. I’m better at letting go and becoming quiet than I once was. That said, I still experience fear, insecurity, doubt and the whole gamut of the human experience. I do not expect these experiences to completely go aware—nor, necessarily do I want them to. I just want to see the fear more quickly, understand it more completely, and manage it with more sanity.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: The beauty of yoga is that it forces us to be present in our lives. If we have lingering injuries it forces us to deal with them, if we are afraid, it exposes it, it opens us in a way that we are forced to look deeply. The fear that comes up in a posture mirrors the fear we see in our lives so when we learn how to stay with it long enough to release it we find a power that we can grab onto in our own lives as well.
    • Steven Espinosa: Yoga has helped me to see the bigger picture. It’s helped me to believe in something deeper and greater within myself. Yoga has taught me how to listen and follow my heart. It has helped give me confidence that I am good and have value and worth. Yoga has helped me to Trust in Grace. Oh, and as far the fear goes? I still have it. But it doesn’t paralyze me or keep from doing things anyways. Because I know it’s going to be okay.
    • Marc Holzman: In Hatha yoga, through an accumulation of years of inversions and scary partner poses, I’ve built up a sort of  “courage equity” that stabilizes me. God bless AcroYoga. In meditation, going very, very deep requires a certain degree of surrender that equates to a “mini death.” This is difficult to describe.  To shed and melt a familiar, tightly held, superficial identity in order to plunge into a sphere of deep, unbounded, consciousness, requires courage. I’m a control freak. Letting go still scares me. With each meditation I learn to surrender.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Yoga has helped me overcome fear through experience mostly. Whether is has been tapping into the breath, dealing with conflict in the community, surviving a face plant out of a pose, or working through pain & injury. Yoga has taught me about resilience and courage to move through fear. As scary as it might be, The practice has taught me that I will bounce back.
    • Tara Judelle: Today, after driving around the island of Santorini by myself, on a four wheeler, running over lava rocks to hang out in my secret cave spot at Amoudi beach before my last sunset, I realized I am here because I feel free to live my live as I dream it. This is the outcome of fifteen years of yoga practice that has taught me, the only thing that stands in the way are my own blocks. Starting with the smallest unknowns (Can I do this pose that scares me, can I visualize the possibility that one day I will do that pose) and growing to all life challenges, what we call yoga is realizing we are a piece of the infinite. The philosophy of yoga set up good, ideas, that were simply ideas until they have become the small success that lead to a drastic change of life.
    • Dice lida-Klein: My practice began early on with lots of arm balances and inversions. Though these require strength, agility and fearlessness, they also require a lot of mental strength as well. Postures are a great analogy for life. Sometimes you have to go beyond your own self-imposed boundaries, making the seemingly impossible possible.
    • Noah Mazé: It hasn’t. One does not overcome fear. Fear is one of the experiences of being human.  My yoga practice is not about transcending this human experience, but rather becoming more real and authentic and more skillful in every experience.  For me, the question is about empowerment or victimization; how does fear empower you, how does fear victimize you?  My yoga practice has helped me use fear in a skillful and empowering way.
    • Kia Miller: My biggest fear was always speaking in front of people. Teaching has enabled me to find my voice as a person and a teacher.
    • Christina Sell: All of the various practices of yoga have helped me gain awareness of my emotions and to see them for what they are. I do not know that I would ever claim to have “overcome fear” but what I can say is that yoga- most specifically my meditation and pranayama practices- has helped me see my fear for what it is and to put a break in my thoughts so that I do not always believe what the fear is telling me. My experience in yoga has more stories that go like this than anything else: “Nothing really changed except my relationship to myself, the feeling, the limitation, etc. and in that everything changed.” For instance, I still have anxiety and fear arise, but how it affects me and how I respond to it has shifted considerably over the years.
    • Sianna Sherman: The practices help me to recognize that while my fear might be present, there is something greater than my fear speaking to my heart simultaneously. It’s this expanded recognition that ushers me through the gateway of my fear and into a greater arena of what’s possible when I align my heart’s desire with knowledge and skillful action. The practices reveal to me from inside out the genuine authentic presence of me which is wiling to extend an open hand to my fears and help me remember that I am source energy.
    • Stephanie Snyder: The most important way that the practice helps me overcome fear is by dissolving the idea of separateness. It reconnects me to the whats real and keeps me on solid ground. It neutralizes fear and doubt and enhances clarity and steadiness.
    • Jo Tastula: I remember being terrified of handstands. Then after a lot of practice I got the handstand, but was terrified to do it away from the wall. Then after a lot of practice I got it away from the wall, but was terrified to jump into it. I’ve had this real honest working relationship with handstands and have witnessed myself grow through determination and effort. In my second DVD that I’ve just finished filming, I jumped into a handstand balancing on this wooden board wedged in between two rocks. I felt pretty darn pleased with myself.
    • Felicia Tomasko: Every day my practice helps me overcome fear. Not by making the fear go away (I wish and sometimes I still have to pull it together), but through steadiness, commitment, remembering that I have made a commitment. Reminding myself that I don’t have to know everything or do everything (handstand still scares me—a lot), but I have to be willing to be in the room. And be willing to sing. In moments when I’m spinning without the earth beneath my feet, I remember and recite the first mantra I ever learned in my studies of Yoga and Ayurveda—the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. The name of the mantra means the great victory over death—and really, the great victory is over fear. This is what the mantra asks: may we be released from fear. I wish I had something more concrete to say. I think along with all of us, I face fear every single day.
    • Harshada Wagner: Because I experience everything as a kind of illusion, and I also feel a deep connection with everything, the fear is just not what it used to be. Because I know my true Self, which can’t be harmed or diminished, I am generally not afraid. When fear does arise, I don’t believe it. I see it for what it is. When there is awareness of danger- which is different than fear- I am able to address the danger without the shakiness and stupidness caused by fear.


  • Posted on July 20th, 2012 YogaGlo 1 comment

    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 often do you practice other styles of yoga?

    • Elena Brower: All day long. I’m an official, proud hybrid.
    • Kathryn Budig: As often as I can! I love vinyasa flow, but stay inspired by experimenting in all other fields. I nibble away and take home what I love about each and turn it into my own.
    • Jason Crandell: I’ve always embraced a fairly wide-spectrum of Hatha yoga—from slow, quiet and contemplative to vigorous and technical. I like to think I’m educated about the history, cultural context and evolution of hatha yoga, but I have modern—and strongly secular—sensibilities. The truth is that the vast majority of what we do nowadays is so blended and derivative, that I can’t say I do this style or that style. Honestly, if I go slowly one day and stay in postures for 5-6 minutes with attention and softness, do I have to call it “Yin?” If I focus on grounding my femurs and spreading my metatarsals, do I have to call it “Iyengar?” If I focus on fluid movement, breath and rhythm do I have to call it “Flow,” “Power,” “Vinyasa?” With all due respect to all of the excellent teachers and lineages that we have access to nowadays, I just can’t do it. Instead, I practice hatha yoga in any given way on any given day that makes me feel sane and grounded.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: I try to do something different once a week give or take. It’s important to have a consistent practice to build stability most of the time, but to regularly step out of the box to shake things up and keep you on your toes. That way I never get stagnant and I constantly find new inspiration.
    • Steven Espinosa: When I first began practicing, I was pretty much dedicated to one system of yoga. Then, over the years I took the many valuable lessons I learned and began to branch out and explore different styles. Nowadays, I like to just “drop in” on a class without knowing the style or system or teacher and just enjoy what is being offered at that moment.
    • Marc Holzman: Several times per week. Every style targets a different aspect of my practice. Iyengar. Vinyasa Flow. Kundalini. Restoratives. I love them all.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Probably bi-monthly. But lately I feel like like a hybrid.
    • Tara Judelle: Right now I am in an exploration phase, so I practice any style of yoga I can find the time and place to practice. I am interested in moving beyond style into a comprehensive understanding of body/mind. So to me, if it’s moving with mindfulness, it is yoga, and I will practice that every chance I get.
    • Kia Miller: My personal practice is a mixture of everything I have learned from many different branches of the same tree of yoga. I see it all as Yoga with a capital Y. I practice much of what I teach. My daily sadhana is the same: good warm up with Kriya and Meditation. I love Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar etc… Many paths leading to the same inner connection. Some are express trains, some are a meandering ride in the park!
    • Christina Sell: I have always practiced a variety of styles of Hatha yoga- Anusara Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Bikram Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga has been my primary interest and influence. When I practice alone my practice is a bit of a hybrid of these various approaches with time spent in Vinyasa as well as time spent in analysis, repetition and refinement. I do not heat a room when I practice alone but I certainly do not like it cold either. When I am in a class of a particular style however, I do my best to go with a “purist” mindset in order to really understand what a particular method or style is offering.
    • Sianna Sherman: Baseline…it’s all one yoga family to me. It really is…I go to a variety of classes all the time and learn from everyone, all styles, traditions, and teachers. It’s the most fantastic experience to show up as a beginner wherever I go and experience the essence of yoga through it’s many faces and forms. How often? As much as possible!
    • Stephanie Snyder: I practice all styles of yoga. Although Vinyasa is at the core of my practice, I integrate Kundalini, tons of Iyengar, Restorative and even somatic movement. It’s all Bhakti as far as I’m concerned. And as a teacher I am fascinated and grateful for all of the gifts the teachers before me have left for us to uncover and re-discover.
    • Jo Tastula: When I first started practicing yoga I tried everything from as many different teachers as possible; Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, Kundalini, Shadow Yoga… you name it!  But now pretty much I stick to my own home practice. If there’s a new teacher in town or I’m visiting a new city I like to check out the local style.
    • Harshada Wagner: Seldom….if I feel like yoga is “styled” I avoid it. If it’s yoga, I will do it


  • 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 22nd, 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 has yoga changed the way you interact with others?

    • Elena Bower: I’m listening.
    • Kathryn Budig: It’s given me an enormous amount of patience. I used to react without much thought process and now I find myself observing, rationalizing and then speaking—hopefully always impeccably.
    • Jason Crandell: I think you’re going to hear this from most people that have practiced for a long time, but, my practice has slowed me down, softened me, and helped me become more clear and responsible in everything I do. Trust me when I tell you that I can still be quick to judge and dismiss others—I still have a while before I apply for sainthood. But, on the grand scale of who I am with my personality and conditioning, I have gotten much, much more interested in understanding others and unconditionally respecting everyone that I come into contact with on a daily basis. In short, I’m nicer than I used to be and I try to take time to witness other people instead of just blazing around in my own self-absorption (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). With a baby on the way, this is one of the first things that is coming up for me when I think about parenting. That is, how I will influence our girl to interact with others and perceive herself in relation to others. When it comes down to it, I want her to know that there is no one on the planet that is above her and no one that is below her. Another aspect of how my practice has effected my interaction with others is that I’m much more direct than I ever used to be—especially if I have a need or a conflict. I’m able to speak more honestly and clearly in various situations—and, I’m more able to actually listen to what others are saying without being defensive or preparing some sort of counter-point.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank: I would love to say yoga has made me a perfect human being, but I still do stupid things. To me, yoga isn’t about being perfect, it’s about starting to look at how we’re living. Not to be “good” but to make sure it aligns with what we want in life.
    • Steven Espinosa: I honestly feel this is one of the most important revelations and transformations yoga has to offer us as individuals. Before I started practicing yoga, I was always very focused on my career and very hard on myself. Eventually, when everything in my life fell apart and I discovered yoga, it taught me how to be more kind and gentle with myself. That I needn’t push myself so hard all the time and learn to be more compassionate. As I learned these kind of lessons over time, I realized I was treating others in the same way. I discovered that I wasn’t “reacting” in stressful situations the same way anymore and found myself really listening more which was huge for me.
    • Marc Holzman: Ah yes, progress on the path. Or, as Sally Kempton coins it: The Raising of our Spiritual IQ. I maintain a strong, daily meditation practice, and I believe the fruits of my sadhana are finally paying off.  Here’s what I am noticing: I’m happier when I am not trying to control everyone or every situation, I’m getting much better at not seeking everyone’s approval, more and more I respect the nobility of life, less afraid to speak the truth and know how to do it gently, cultivating more of a kinship and concern for other people, animals, and the earth, I’m way less reactive. This doesn’t mean that I am above getting smacked with feelings of rage, envy, self-doubt, or a host of other shadowy human emotions, but my turnaround time for processing them is a hell of a lot faster than it was ten years ago.
    • Amy Ippoliti: Yoga makes me more present. And presence is so key when interacting with others. Good listening, eye contact, full engagement.
    • Tara Judelle: It has changed everything.  Yoga has taught me that “others” are an expression of the “Self”. We are one. It has allowed me to remember my true self, which is formed from an energy that is universal. We call that energy love.  That love has grown inside of me to such a magnitude that I treat “others” from that space.
    • Dice lida-Klein: Yoga has taught me to be less reactive to others judgements and to be more compassionate to those around me. If I can understand my reactions and my triggers, I can then be a better person for myself and for others.
    • Noah Mazé: Yoga is first and foremost the opportunity and practice of interacting with myself.  It enables me to attune body and mind and heart, and to clarify my intention and to put that into action. It is a practice of self care and self love. From there, my interactions with others are always more skillful, as I interact with others from a place of my own integration and clarity. I very consciously transfer and translate my practice on the mat to my practice off the mat; into relationships, into my work etc.
    • Kia Miller: I live by yogic philosophy, practicing the 8 limbed path which outlines a strong moral and ethical code for how to interact with all aspects of life. The practice of yoga has made me more present in all my interactions. I am continually aiming to see the Divine in all, even in challenging situations and to spread the light!
    • Christina Sell: Well, it has and it hasn’t. I have been doing yoga since I was in my 20s and so a lot of other things have influenced my interactions as well- like therapy, growing up, being married, traveling, etc. It is a bit hard to say what was the yoga and what was life’s lessons. For me, yoga is an integrated part of my life and some days I draw very naturally on its positive lessons and other days I forget to “practice” in the middle of my interactions. I don’t have a story that does, “And then I started yoga and I had a radical shift.” Yoga has been there through some pretty hard times and some pretty wonderful times in my life. It has definitely helped me be healthier, stronger and more resilient. However, yoga  has not made me someone I am not or turned me into some new-and-improved version of myself. I still have lots of opinions, I still interrupt people and forget to wait my turn to speak, I still catch myself jumping to conclusions and being impatient and so on. In fact, training my awareness through yoga has been like shining a bright light on my best and worst qualities. What having a steady and long-term practice has given me, however, is the ability to be more compassionate with myself when I am in the  less-than-atractive aspects of my personality. Having said that, I also think I suffer my shortcomings more acutely because I am a yogi. In a certain way, yoga gives me a very high standard to reach for in my interactions so while it has helped me for sure, it has also given me these high expectations to meet, and many times fall short of.  I hope this doesn’t sound bleak because it doesn’t feel that way to me at all. To me, yoga is simply a practice that lives in the midst of all of those ups and down and I find it incredibly wonderful to have something like that in my life.
    • Stephanie Snyder: I could probably write an entire book to describe how yoga has changed my interaction with others. But in the interest of bloggy-ness I’ll keep it simple. Yoga has given me insight. This is the most powerful tool for me and one of the greatest benefits of the practice. Insight comes through all parts of the practice, but particularly through what Patanjali outlines in the Yoga Sutras as Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga is comprised of the last 3 Niyamas: Tapas (the burn of change towards good), Svadhyaya (study of self and texts), and Isvara-Pranidhana (surrender that follows hard work). I encourage you to look into this if you are interested. Fundamentally, the practice asks us to turn towards the places of tension in our lives and ask ourselves how can we relieve the tension in a way that is both appropriate and honest. Of course we do this on the mat in a very physical way and then we are to bring this skillfulness into relationships with ourselves and others. There is another way the Sutras tell us exactly how to be in relationships with others. I find it so useful that I require my teacher trainees to memorize it, Sutra 1.33: ”Maitri-Karuna-Muditopeksanam Sukha-Duhkha-Punyapunya-Visayanam Bhavanatas Citta-Prasadanam.” It says, “By cultivating an attitude of friendship towards those who are happy, compassion towards those in distress, joy towards those who are virtuous, and equanimity towards those who are nonvirtous, lucidity arises in the mind”. I fall back on this when I’m not sure intuitively how to handle a situation or when I feel contracted in a relationship. And if you are not interested in the Sutras or the deeper philosophical implications of the practice I’ll leave you with this: Compassion, when in doubt- how can I be compassionate? This is always the most fruitful question I can ask myself in any relationship. Can I always pull it off? Hardly ever. Do I do my best to try? Yes. And I’ll tell you that the teaspoon of compassion I have been able to cultivate has been enough to change my whole life.
    • Jo Tastula: Over time it just happens that your whole life becomes your yoga practice. You begin to tend to all of your relationships with the same awareness and sensitivity as you would a difficult posture. There is more of a reverence and respect for life itself and the mystery of life. This has been the healing balm of my life; a deep knowing that all relationships both with ourselves, each other, the plants, the elements… it’s all a cosmic dance and an opportunity to wake up and play. Even when life gets hard, there is opportunity for healing and more love.
    • Harshada Wagner: Because I have gained an understanding of my own deeper dimensions through yoga (here I mean yoga in the broadest sense), I can’t help but be aware of the deeper dimensions in the people I interact with. People are no longer just 2 dimensional characters, they are Souls, rich incarnations. Whoever they are an however they are being, I relate to them as many faceted beings worthy of respect and love. This might all sound cliche- but this is my experience.


  • Posted on June 15th, 2012 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.”