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.
The wrists are among the weakest parts of the body, so it’s very common (especially if you are at a computer all day or you are doing a lot of weight bearing yoga postures) to experience some kind of wrist pain.
Looking for a way to relieve wrist discomfort or just looking to give your wrists a break? Well, yoga to the rescue! This week’s featured classes will help to build strength and flexibility in the wrists, as well as help to alleviate any tension or discomfort due to overused wrists.
Release Hand Strain with Tias Little: Releasing strain from hands, wrists and carpal tunnel. We will aim to create elasticity in palmar fascia, carpal tunnel area to help relieve strain in hand, particularly from keyboard work. Props Needed: A strap and a wall.
Wrist Flow with Dice lida-Klein: This short flow is all about our wrists! Using multiple vinyasas to warm up, we make our way through crescent pose to warm up our legs, lizard pose and half splits to open our hips and hamstrings, and finally eka pada koundinyasana 2 for our arm balance. From there, we make our way into mayurasana and some variations. We top it off with some wrist therapy and wrist stretches. Enjoy my fellow yogis! Prop: optional block.
Demystifying Arm Rotations with Marc Holzman: Proper alignment of the arms is essential for a safe practice. Your wrists, elbows and shoulders will thank you for many years to come. Using down-to-earth, simple cues, this quick tutorial teaches the internal and external rotation of the arms that can be used in every pose for a safe and powerful practice.
Many of us save our yoga practice for the afternoon or evening. With a long, stressful day behind us, we want nothing more than to clear our minds, shift our focus and release whatever stress that has accumulated throughout the day. By the end of our practice we are calm and relaxed, the stress has subsided and whatever seemed to bother us during the day is now a distant memory. What a great way to end the day, right?
Yes! But what if there was a way to start the day off right? Morning yoga to the rescue! A morning yoga routine can set the tone for the entire day. It helps to clear our thoughts so we can remain calm and clear headed throughout the day, it gives us more energy and endurance and it prepares us mentally and emotionally for our daily activities and interactions with other people, in turn making us more patient and less reactive. What a great way to begin the day!
This week’s featured classes will help get your day started off on the right foot. Rise and shine!
Awaken & Prepare the Day Ahead with Claire Missingham: The Kriyas, as defined in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, are practices that have a cleansing affect on the mind or the physical body. These morning practices awaken agni (digestive fire) and uplift any stagnant energy for the day ahead. We finish with uplifting mantra and affirmation to keep repeating all day.
Connect & Create a Beautiful Day with Jo Tastula:Connect with the creative energy of the morning and harness the powerful energy of the mind with this well rounded sunrise flow. Meditation and guided breathing, followed by gentle warm up and sun salutations (surya namaskar). Our flow opens up into temple pose and wide legged forward bend (prasarita padottanasana) with crescents and warrior 3 to invigorate (anjaneyasana & virabhadrasana 3) Finishing postures include locust pose (shalabhasana) and headstand (sirsasana). Wishing you a phenomenally awesome day! Prop Needed: A blanket.
Morning Flexibility with Tara Judelle: This class uses slow movements to coax our body into flexibility and fluidity for the day. Includes forward bends (paschimottanasana, upavistha konasana) and hip openers (gomukhasana, baddha konasana). Props Suggested: Two Blocks, Blanket, Strap.
Morning Wake-up for Balance, Vigor and Joy with Giselle Mari: Yoga is the type of wake up call you want to receive in the morning. Gently and slowly wake up the body with some stretching and heat building. This will kick start your day better than any cup of coffee – ok, maybe not that good! – but you’ll be caffeinated (yoga style) and ready to take on life with balance, vigor and joy. Props: Two Blocks, Two Blankets and One Strap.
Good Morning Energizing Flow with Amy Ippoliti: Begin your day with this energizing sequence designed to awaken the body and give you a positive outlook on the day ahead. Gentle stretches, easy half sun salutes, culminating with a hip opening restorative pose. Good morning to you! Props Needed: A Chair and Blanket. Props Suggested: 2 Blocks.
Gayatri Mantra Morning Flow with Sianna Sherman: Chant the Gayatri mantra with the morning sun and activate the solar power of your day with this standing flow that opens up into pincha mayurasana and backbends. This is a great up-tempo practice.