Bandhas are energetic locks or psychophysiological contractions in the body that prevent energy from flowing to a particular area of the body. There are three main bandhas: mula (in the pelvic floor) uddiyana (in the abdomen), and jalandhara bandha (in the neck/throat). When the bandha is released, prana can flow freely throughout the body with an increased pressure, allowing us to collect, contain and control that energy.
Take your asana to the next level by learning to combine it with bandhas, the doorway to the energetics of practice. This week’s featured classes will help us apply the bandhas to our practice so we can increase our ability to build creative power and increase the transformative potential of our yoga.
Intro to the Bandhas with Jodi Blumstein: In this class we introduce the bandhas in a short practice designed to create awareness of this subtle and elusive aspect of practice. There will be an exercise at the beginning to really wake up this new awareness and then an opportunity to apply this advanced concept. Props Needed: A block.
Using the Bandhas Effectively with Rod Stryker: According to the yoga tradition, the bandhas are the next step after asana. In this short outline, we look at the three major bandhas, their affect as well as how we practice them. Learning to use bandhas effectively opens the doorway to taking your asana to the next level.
Cultivating the Core Sheath with Tias Little: Access the central channel of the body by directly engaging the “core sheath”. Via the all powerful ilio-psoas muscle, the inside legs, and musculature along the spine, this class is an internal guide to the deepest muscles of the body. We aim to use less force and more fine articulations of the core structures that support the yoga bandhas. Suggested Props: Blanket, 2 blocks, strap
High Flying Flow with Dice lida-Klein: This flow incorporates all the essential elements of a 60 minute flow practice. We use a block and blanket to fire up our bandhas in our Surya Namaskar A and we follow it up with a strong standing sequence. Many handstand options are given through out class for those of you high flyers! Enjoy my fellow yogis.
Pranayama Hit with Amy Ippolit: Ujjayi and Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril) pranayama (breathing). This practice is perfect before you sit for mediation and gives a quick explanation of the bandhas and Ujjayi pranayama followed by Nadi Shodhana pranayama to balance the right (masculine) and left (feminine) sides of the body. Have a blanket or a cushion to sit on.
Yoga for Core Strength & Awareness with Tara Judelle: Strong class to activate the core as the centralizing magnet of movement. Strong focus on the bandhas, using standing poses, working into arm balances, eka pada koundinyasana II (extended leg arm balance dedicated to sage koundinya, parsva bakasana (side crane) eka pada koundiyasana I. Class focus is on utilizing the core as the center of digesting awareness in order to cultivate center in challenging experiences.
If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us this week as Kia Miller and Jodi Blumstein will be in town teaching FREE Kundalini and Ashtanga classes at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!
Kia’s Class Schedule:
Friday, October 10th: 10:00-11:30am – Kundalini, Level 1/2
Friday, October 10th 12:00-1:00pm – Kundalini, Level 2/3
Jodi’s Class Schedule:
Saturday, October 11th: 10:00-11:30am – Ashtanga, Level 2/3
Saturday, October 11th: 12:00-1:00pm – Ashtanga, Level 2
Don’t miss this opportunity to take amazing classes with these amazing teachers. Please check out our class schedule for more information and head on down to the Glo!
Minute Maintenance Session with Marc Holzman: Also known as the “Better Than Nothing” session. This is a quick Hatha/Flow sequence for those overwhelming times when you feel there just isn’t enough time to practice. We’ll stay focused and hit all classes of poses. Props Needed: A block and a strap.
Minimum Daily Practice with Claire Missingham: An any-time-of-day sequence that has all the essentials: Five minutes Surya Namskar, five minutes of Standing Poses and five minutes of Backbending, followed by five minutes of forward bending and twisting. Now, get set, GO!
Wake Up Call with Annie Carpenter: Got no get-up and go? And no time? Grab 20 minutes and this short flow will wake up your spine, arms and shoulders and a bit of core too! Down Dog, Planks, Lunges and Twists will get your circulation going. Props Needed: A block and wall space.
Awaken Your Entire Body with Jason Crandell: If you want a strong, quick flow practice that will awaken your entire body, this is your class. This practice will get your blood moving and help you stay focused through your day. You’ll kick off practice with a few spinal lengtheners, transition into a steady stream of salutations, standing poses, and peak with Urdhva Dhanurasana. This practice provides minimal instruction so that you can have some peace and quiet while you move your body.
Quick and Dynamic Practice with Darren Rhodes: This is the weird that works sequence. Dynamic movements to warm up the back and legs and then move into a variety of arm balances, forward folds, and twists sequenced simultaneously. When you got lots to do, this is your go to class!
Fall is a great time to reboot and refocus the mind and body. The summer days have come to a close and new habits and routines are being formed, so this is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start new. Whether we’re letting go, recovering from an illness, starting a new chapter in our lives, starting a new season or a new relationship, cleansing is an important part of honoring what came before and preparing for what’s next.
So this week’s featured classes will be sure to give your mind and body a good rinse, inside and out.
Cleanse Your Body, Balance Your Mind with Kia Miller: This class focuses on cleansing your body and balancing your negative mind tendencies. An active Kriya to move the issues out of your tissues followed by a short active meditation that helps to rebalance your energy. Do this class any time you feel your mind fall into negativity. Don’t be a slave to your mind. Choose the thoughts you want to embrace and release the others!
Deep Rinse & Cleanse Practice with Noah Maze: This sequence of twists and inversions will deeply rinse and cleanse you on every level. This sequence thoroughly prepares you to twist and invert, and deepen familiar poses as well as introduce some less familiar. Yoga turns us inside, to the source of wisdom, so that we can embody and live this wisdom to the fullest.
Energize the Internal Organs with Tias Little: Tias guides a deeply nourishing class of revolving poses to energize the internal organs. When the organs perform optimally, there is radiant health, vitality and sustained energy for the entire body. Through a slow yet deeply penetrating sequence, Tias leads a practice to squeeze, wring and cleanse the blood (and prana) through the abdominal organs. This class taps the profound ways that twists bring life, creativity and joy to the body. Props Needed: A bolster, a strap, a blanket and a block.
Release, Cleanse & Heal with Steven Espinosa: Yoga helps release our body from “fight or flight” mode (sympathetic nervous system) to “relaxation response” (parasympathetic system) allowing for physical and emotional cleansing and healing to happen. A slow but steady basic opening warm up including Surya Namaskar (sun salutations). Leading into an energetic Standing Pose series linking Extended Side Angle, Warrior Two, Reverse Warrior and Triangle together. Also includes breakdown of Uttkatasana (chair) to prevent knee discomfort. Continues with Bakasana (crow), hip opener in Pigeon and a series of Seated Poses for grounding and calming the lower body. Concludes with Backbends, Spinal Twist and brief Savasana.
Flush Out Toxins, Cleanse the Body & Mind with Tiffany Cruikshank: A short detox flow to flush out toxins and cleanse the body and mind. We will use the breath and movement to pump the blood through the abdominal organs as a refresher for the whole body. This class uses breath work and cardiovascular movement to increase circulation around the liver and digestive organs to help move stagnation and enhance detoxification. If you have a block, strap and blanket we will use them but there are modifications if not. A nice detox used on its own or in conjunction with a dietary modifications to help give your body a fresh start. Props: Block, Strap, and Blanket optional
Nerve Cleansing Practice with Jodi Blumstein: The 2nd series of ashtanga yoga is called Nodi Shodona – or Nerve cleansing practice, and usually consists of a pretty fast paced, challenging sequence of asanas. HERE, Jodi has put together a very accessible, level 1 practice that anyone can do to experience the sensations and effects of Nodi Shodona in 30 minutes.
Whoever says yoga isn’t a workout probably has never taken a vigorous, fast-paced, heart pumping flow. A vigorous yoga session done right can be more strenuous than an hour on the treadmill, plus using your own body-weight is a great way to get and stay toned. Adding a yoga practice to your exercise regimen will not only make you work up a sweat, but it will strengthen and stretch your muscles, improve your posture, and prevent workout injuries.
This week’s featured classes are fantastic for cardiovascular work, building strength, and cultivating endurance.
Brisk Power Flow with Marc Holzman: Back by popular demand, the 30-minute brisk flow has been revived and extended by 15 more minutes! This is a vigorous 45-minute non-stop flow/strength builder with many vinyasas incorporated until the final backbend. Standing poses, two arm balances (hello EP Koundinyasana #1), hip and thigh openers and a short savasana. You’ll be blissfully sweaty. Props: Blanket, Strap, 2 Blocks
Every Day Go-To Flow with Jason Crandell: This is a strong, thorough flow practice that includes a little bit of everything. Designed to be a class that you come back to time and time again, this practice includes hip openers, salutations, standing pose flows, inversions and backbends. This class is at a slightly quicker pace than most of my classes. Prop Needed: Some wall space.
Fun Continuous Flow with Tiffany Cruikshank: This is a fun continuous flow with some good core, leg and hip work throughout. Less talking, more doing so the instruction is minimal with options to make it more like a level 2 or more like a level 2/3. Have fun!
Beginner Challenge Flow with Stephanie Snyder: This is a well-rounded flow that will challenge level 1 students and meet level 2 students somewhere in the middle with modified standing poses and backbends. The pace is quick-ish so the practice will feel strong and vigorous for both level 1 and 2. Optional Props; Strap or towel
Chakra, Sanskrit for “spinning wheel of energy”, signifies one of seven specific energy centers in the body and mind. The seven main chakra centers are aligned along the spinal column and are connected to our being on several different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Since our chakras are connected to our being in so many different ways, it is important that they are balanced. When our chakras are balanced, energy flows freely and we are able to achieve mental, physical and spiritual well-being. If the chakras are out of balance, the energy doesn’t flow as smoothly or effectively, resulting in feelings of disconnect or dissatisfaction.
Want to learn more about these fascinating spinning wheels of energy? This week’s featured classes concentrate on introducing and opening up the chakras through asana and meditation. Also, our seven part chakra series will provide more insight into each of the seven chakras.
Chakra Meditation for Balance with Giselle Mari: This chakra meditation provides a great entry point to these seven subtle energetic centers and the karmic relationships that correspond to them. Sit, be still, and focus your attention, intention and bija (seed) mantra on your chakras to make way for peaceful balance. Prop Suggested: A blanket to sit on.
Chakra Radiance from Root to Crown with Sianna Sherman: Learn the wisdom of the 7 Chakras and how each chakra is meaningful for your life. Each chakra has specific asanas and mantras for activation. From the root to the crown, you will be transformed and bring greater radiance and balance into your life. Prop Needed: A block. Props Suggested: Blankets for shoulderstand and wall space for inversions.
Tour Your Chakras with Elena Brower: Take a quick, comprehensive tour of your chakras. With just a few minutes at each latitude, learn the shorthand for the function of each chakra and become familiar with ways to open and explore your practice with the chakras in mind.
4th Chakra Heart Flow with Claire Missingham: This heart flow is a morning sequence that gets the energy around the heart (4th Chakra) flowing. Vinyasa to begin to slowly build the rhythmic foundations of breath and movement within the framework of structured alignment and skilled sequencing. Based around the concept of the heart. Props: 2 blocks, blanket
2nd Chakra Sacral Flow with Jo Tastula: This is a creative flow that explores the water element and fluid movements. We delve deep into the hips, pelvis and lower back and also the second chakra which is our center for birthing creativity. Guided meditation to start, then warm up pelvic tilts and figure 8 leg rotations. We flow through warrior/triangle sequences (virabhadrasana/trikonasana) into more challenging transitions like half moon into standing hip opener (ardha chandrasana and eka pada galvanasan prep). Finishing with pigeon (eka pada raja kapotasana) and guided savasana. BLESS!! Optional Props: Blanket, block
According to the yoga tradition, the bandhas are the next step after asana. In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Rod Stryker explains the three major bandhas, their effect as well as how we practice them. Learning to use bandhas effectively opens the doorway to taking your asana to the next level.
A solid foundation determines the viability of the rest of the structure as it goes up. In order to sustain any type of growth, evolution or success, one must have a solid foundation from which to build. Whether it’s a new creative pursuit, a new personal goal or your yoga practice, a good understanding of the fundamental elements will help you establish a foundation that allows you to thrive.
This week’s featured classes will help us build a solid foundation, inside and out.
The Foundation of Standing Poses with Sianna Sherman: At the heart of yoga is the wish to grow with awareness in every area of life. In this foundational class of standing poses, you will learn key biomechanics to stabilize the physical body and restore a spacious feeling in your mind and heart. Props Suggested: A block and a strap.
Stable Foundation with Marla Apt: Using the feet to align and enliven. The feet can be the gateway to alignment of the joints, balanced action in the muscles and ease in the asanas. In this practice you will mindfully focus on the actions of the feet as well as balancing the weight on the feet as the foundation of the standing poses to bring evenness to the legs, hips, pelvis and back. Prop Suggested: A block.
Create a Foundation for the New with Elena Brower: A slightly more active sequence, with a focus creating a foundation of serenity, for magnetizing a new life, a new project, or a new relationship. Based on chapter 2, verse 65 of the Bhagavad Gita, from Dr. Douglas Brooks’ translation entitled Poised for Grace, cultivate a base of calm and rest your mind there. Mellow standing poses to stimulate circulation throughout your abdomen, a seated hip opener, legs up the wall (Viparita Karani), meditation and savasana.
Connect to the Subtle Realms of Your Being with Kia Miller: This practice builds a solid foundation from which we can then connect to the subtle realms of our being. Bring your sense and humor and join Kia for a wild ride to liberation. This class includes an 11 minute meditation which uses the mantra Har Har Mukanday. Har – Creative aspect of Source. Mukanday – Energy of Liberation. Enjoy!
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Richard Freeman explains Svara. The flow of breath. Learning to observe the flow of breath in the nostrils and the subtle impact the breath can have on mood and concentration takes practice and patience.