Posted on December 9th, 2013
The heart. The single most important and powerful organ in the body. A closed heart can lead to all sorts of physical and emotional problems, but when the heart is open, the possibilities are endless. We become more accepting, humble, genuine, our joys become greater and our sorrows bearable — not to mention all the physical benefits that come from having an open heart. So if you’re looking to open up your heart a little more, you’ve come to the right place. Several studies show how yoga can help the heart, through both the mind and the physical body.
This week’s featured classes invite you to open your heart to possibility, forgiveness and change this holiday season.
- Jivamukti Heart Expansion with Giselle Mari: We practice yoga for a variety of reasons, but why we come together in community is an essential piece to this practice. Join in this Jivamukti yoga class where it’s not just the people you are with, but the feeling that the experience provides. This produces an environment ripe for the expansion of heart, mind and soul, ultimately making way for a full and fruitful life.
- Lightness & Love with Felicia Tomasko: This Heart-Centered Yin practice offers us some options to take care of energetic and physical space of the heart, to remove stagnation in the lungs, and to help us practice the art of relationship with the self. According to Ayurveda, the kapha dosha (the earth element) has its home here, in this part of our body. It regulates our expression of love (self and community) and in balance, offers us strength. Out of balance, it may feel heavy or stagnant. Through this practice, we feel a sense of both lightness and love with the use of simple backbends, heart openers, and shoulder work.
- Remove Obstructions & Open Your Spiritual Heart with Sally Kempton: In this meditation, we practice a powerful mantra sequence which removes obstructions, empowers, and opens the spiritual heart to a subtle state of loving.
- Build Heat, Open Your Heart with Stephanie Snyder: This is an all around flow that will heat you up for sure. We move through sun salutes, standing series and prepare well for backbends. A straight up heart opening flow that I hope you love!
- 2nd Series as Heart Expansion with Jodi Blumstein: This fast paced 2nd series can be done by level 2 and 3 students. Jodi will take you through the postures of Nodi Shodona, or the Intermediate series of Ashtanga yoga offering modifications for level 2 students.
- Open Your Heart with Tiffany Cruikshank: This is a yin/restorative class to create some opening in the shoulders & chest. This is also a great class for working with mental or emotional challenges as well as for opening the heart.
Holiday Yoga, The Power of Yoga, There's a Yoga Class for That
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Posted on December 5th, 2013
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Claire Missingham reminds us that when practiced correctly, yoga can help clear out our root chakra so we feel grounded, secure and rooted in times of turmoil and change.
Take this class with Claire: http://bit.ly/1kcCmHI
Posted on December 4th, 2013
If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us this week as Kia Miller will be in town teaching a FREE Kundalini and a FREE Meditation class at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!
Kia’s Class Schedule:
- Friday, December 6th: 10:00am-11:30am – Kundalini, Level 2
- Friday, December 6th: 11:45am-12:05pm – Meditation
Don’t miss this opportunity to take amazing classes with this amazing teacher. Please check out our class schedule for more information and head on down to the Glo!
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Posted on December 4th, 2013
The landscape of teaching yoga has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. First, the practice of teaching individuals transformed into the practice of teaching larger and larger groups. Now, with the advent of more accessible technology and ubiquitous social media, teachers are engaging with their students over an even greater distance. Personally, I love the opportunity that all of these mediums provide. With this ever-changing environment, though, it can be challenging to stay grounded, present, and down-to-earth. It can be challenging to remember that we’re educators, not entertainers and our role is to share the vast, sublime teachings of yoga in a way that anyone can understand and find meaningful in their daily life. Here are some reminders that will help you keep your teaching real, accessible, and relevant.
I love having a job where I’m able to express myself. I’m mindful, though, that I can get so wrapped up expressing a teaching that—ironically—I stop paying attention to my students and become absorbed with articulating a concept or theme. Whether it’s getting lost momentarily in your playlist, sequence, technique, or philosophical agenda, all teachers face the challenge of focusing on the students that in the room. Being aware of this challenge is the first step in transcending it. The next step is honing your attention on your students’ body and breath. Watch your students’ eyes, arms, legs, and feet. Watch your students breathe. Trust that you don’t have to impress your students. You just have to witness them clearly.
Most teachers are fearful of sounding like a broken record. Of course, they are—who wouldn’t be? But, when you teach yoga you are teaching a subject. In order to teach a subject, you need to repeat, repeat, repeat. And, repeat. Imagine you are teaching someone a new language—or, how to do math or play an instrument. Would you be concerned about repetition then? By embracing repetition, you are embracing education.
- Don’t Confuse Being Authentic With Being Complicated or Difficult
You don’t have to be complicated or difficult to be authentic. Most of the teachings we yearn to share with our students are simple: we want to teach people how to breathe, how to listen to their body, how to be less judgmental, how to release unnecessary tension, and so on. These are our “authentic” teachings and expressing them in simple, clear ways honors our dharma.
Pressing into handstand, doing complicated arm-balances, and experimenting with deep backbends make for good social media clips. They are striking, inspiring poses that speak to our aspirations. They are also good, interesting things to include in your advanced classes—I work on these poses, I teach them and I post them on social media platforms. That said, we have to remember that these poses are not terribly realistic for the vast majority of students. It’s incredibly valuable to experiment with your edge and encourage your students to do so from time-to-time. But, let’s not get carried away—or become convinced that harder poses provide more benefits than simple poses. Feel free to challenge your students, but make sure that your classes are chock full of postures that your students can do with precision and care.
Jason is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal and has written over 13 articles for the magazine and website – many of which have been translated internationally (including Japan, China, Italy and Brazil). His integrative and accessible teachings support students of every background and lineage, helping them to find greater depth, awareness, and well-being in their practice – and in their lives. Follow Jason on Facebook and Twitter.
Become a Better Teacher, Global Classroom, Teaching Yoga
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Posted on December 3rd, 2013
Drishti comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “gaze” or “view.” Many think of it as describing the position and placement of your eyes during an asana practice. This is certainly part of it: Focusing your gaze can help focus attention, since your mind tends to follow your eyes (e.g., if your eyes wander over to the person on the mat in front of you, suddenly that’s what you’re concentrating on). But YogaGlo’s David Harshada Wagner, who teaches meditation, yoga, and “no bullshit spirituality,” points out that as with most yogic concepts, there’s volumes more to the meaning of drishti than just eye placement. Your gaze is also your vision in a larger sense: It pertains not just to what we see on the mat, but also what we see in the world as we move through it.
“Drishti is one of my favorite Sanskrit words,” he says, “and one that is often misunderstood. Or, at the least, I find us is often under-understood. With the prevalence of asana practice in the last 20-30 years, a yoga student often only hears the term drishti in the context of the placement of ones vision during the performance of a physical yoga practice. Along with awareness of breath and the gross placement of limbs and spine, the yogi can also refine practice by paying attention to where he or she looks.”
So that’s the classic definition. But Wagner points out that how and where we look guides us through life in a much larger sense, because our minds follow what our eyes do. “One of my hobbies is precision police-style motorcycle riding,” he says. “We learn to maneuver giant 750 pound police Harleys through seemingly impossible obstacle courses and avoid accidents in part by having control over our drishti. The huge bike follows wherever you put your eyes. This is true for life too, and the ancient yogis knew this.”
Going even a step further, drishti is about how we see the world as we navigate it. Our vision – both of ourselves and what we choose to set our sights on in the grander scheme – is all drishti. “In the Sanskrit texts, drishti refers not just to our gross vision, but to our overall vision of the universe,” says Wagner. “Drishti, in this sense, means our understanding, our outlook, our way of seeing.” He says that long before drishti referred to the placement of the gaze in asana practice, the term, first mentioned in the Yoga Vasishta, described one’s relationship with the universe.
“Here’s my favorite verse: ya drishti sa srishti,” says Wagner. “Here drishti is juxtaposed with the equally cool word srishti. Srishti means creation, or more literally, emission – that which flows forth. In this context it means the universe, our more specifically one’s universe.” So, he says, you could translate the term as meaning, “As your vision, so is your universe. Or: The world is as you see it. Or: As is your understanding, so is the world that you create.”
This is such a universal concept, one that’s been written about in some form by sages, scientists, poets, and philosophers. Just as our minds follow our eyes on the mat, our lives become very much how we view the world when we’re off it. If your gaze is focused mainly on problems, then that’s what your mind will also settle on. And this can actually be a disadvantage, because although it’s important to be honest about things that need fixing, focusing on them solely can make it hard to change them. For example, if you’re dealing with depression, focusing too much on the feelings of depression and the fact that you’re depressed will only amplify the feeling – discovering the right array of tools to treat or manage it, and spending your energies on those, is much more effective. And even if you don’t yet have the tools to fix the problems, just bringing to mind that they can be fixed is essential.
“It’s an absolutely brilliant, life-affirming, life-changing, life-saving teaching,” says Wagner. “Anyone who walks sincerely on the path of yoga will tell you that one of the big transformations is our outlook and understanding. We get a new prescription for our life-glasses. So, whether we’re doing an arm-balance, or riding a motorcycle, or creating a life full of love and wisdom, a conscious drishti is an essential ingredient.”
What are you focused on? If you’ve been spending too much time staring at the negative things, how can you refocus?
Alice G. Walton, PhD is a health and science writer, and began practicing (and falling in love with) yoga last year. She is the Associate Editor at TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com and a Contributor at Forbes.com. Alice will be exploring yoga’s different styles, history, and philosophy, and sharing what she learns here on the YogaGlo blog. You can follow Alice on Twitter @AliceWalton and Facebook at Facebook.com/alicegwalton.
The Language of Yoga
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Posted on December 2nd, 2013
It’s that time of year again. Yep, you guessed it. Cold and flu season. While everyone is bound to suffer from the occasional cold, the practicing yogi is less likely to come down with it and if they do, their recovery time is a lot quicker. Several studies show how yoga can help strengthen your immune system, making you less susceptible to those crummy colds. They say that the best treatment is prevention, so make sure you give a little extra love to your mat during this time of year.
This week’s featured classes will help regulate and boost the immune system, keeping it strong and healthy.
- Immunity for Fall with Dice lida-Klein: This class is focused on ridding the body of toxins and impurities via deep twists, a good amount of folds and a nice dose of inversions through handstands. We venture through postures like twisted lunge (knee up and down), twisted half moon pose, twisted triangle and ardha matsyendrasana. For folds we incorporate seated fold, standing fold, seated wide legged fold and standing wide legged fold. We finish with a supine sequence from the floor. Enjoy my fellow yogis and stay healthy this fall/winter!
- Get Grounded When Deeply Fatigued & Depleted with Jason Crandell: Got stress? Got a cold? So stressed that you got a cold? Stressed that you have a cold (yes, I could go on…)? This practice will treat you well if you are struggling with either or both. Designed to be practiced when you are feeling depleted, this practice is mellow, grounding, and soothing. It will patiently open your body, encourage circulation in your upper-extremities and allow you to move deliberately even when you are deeply fatigued. Best of all, you’ll feel a little better afterward.
- Immune System 101 with Jo Tastula: A brief overview of what it is and how it works AND some super easy and effective exercises that you can do ANYWHERE to help boost your immune system. Learn body tapping for skin stimulation, swinging arms kidney massage, lymphatic drainage sun salutations and positive thinking hip openers. I hope this class motivates you to a new level of health!
- Immune System Booster with Kia Miller: When you are feeling down or depleted this is the practice for you! This meditation stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and the right hemisphere of the brain to adjust, balance and help remove inner conflict. Think of it as advanced immune therapy! Use it to promote heath and wellness and combat any dis-ease of the body. Practice regularly for maximum benefits. Enjoy!
- Ashtanga for the Immune System with Jodi Blumstein: This is a traditional full primary series class where Jodi is emphasizing and explaining the many many ways that the practice positively impacts the immune system. Focus is placed on explanation of how the postures affect the circulatory, endocrine, respiratory and nervous systems.
- Enhance Your Immune Function with Elena Brower: A quiet hourlong exploration of various postures to enhance your immune function. Address and approach the glands that control your hormones, which enhances organ function. Sometimes with specificity and more often with a simple reference and some much-needed healing silence, this practice offers a little science and lots of time for listening.
The Power of Yoga, There's a Yoga Class for That, Yoga for Beginners
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Posted on November 27th, 2013
If you Glo in LA or in the surrounding area, come join us next week as Dice lida-Klein will be in town teaching a FREE Vinyasa Flow class at the YogaGlo studio. You will not want to miss this!
Dice’s Class Schedule:
- Wednesday, December 4th: 5:30pm-7:00pm – Vinyasa Flow, Level 2/3
Don’t miss this opportunity to take amazing classes with this amazing teacher. Please check out our class schedule for more information and head on down to the Glo!
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Posted on November 26th, 2013
The holidays are officially here! While we know that this is a wonderful time filled with lots of joy, family and friends, we also know that it can be a very stressful time. Not to worry though — yoga to the rescue! Yoga can alleviate stress due to travel, family and can even help aid in digestion after that big turkey meal.
This week’s featured classes will help reduce stress, prep for a big meal, will help aid in digestion after that big meal and will help you find a way to give thanks during it all – even after a long flight.
- Yoga Before Big Meals with Jo Tatsula: This is a great pre-holiday class, perfect to take before eating any big meals!! Before we start the flow, take a moment to allow the atmospheres around you and within you to mix and merge. Becoming one with your space. Then it’s a nice steady flowy flow that builds into a dancing warrior sequence using warrior 1 & 2, reverse warrior & extended side angle pose (Virabhadrasana 1 & 2, Utthita Parsvakonasana). We work the actions of side plank (vasistasana) and build to side plank tree (vasistasana vrksasana). Use the heat of the flow to open the chest, lungs and heart with these tasty backbends ~ locust pose,bow & bridge (Salabhasana, Danurasana & Setu Bandha…. Urdhva Danurasana is optional!) Finish with pose of your choice ~ hip opener or inversion. Happy Holidays!
- Post-Turkey Yoga Flow with Dice lida-Klein: An all-around flow that geared towards burning off the bird, post turkey day! We begin on our backs to wring out the laziness and make our way into a modified Surya Namaskar A. From there we continue through quite a few standing postures and incorporate our tripod headstand into the flow. We breakdown tripod headstand and a few of the transitions in and out of it. Using danurasana for backbends, we finish with janu sirsasana and paschimottanasana. Down with tryptophan my fellow yogis!!!!
- Antitode Yoga for Holiday Excess with Felicia Tomasko: Antidote for holiday excess? Stimulate healthy digestion and elimination with a gentle sequence of twists alternating with abdominal strengtheners and forward folds. Take a break two hours after or one hour before you eat to enjoy your food even more.
- Yoga for Travel with Jason Crandell: When I get off a plane or out of a car, I want to do 3 things: open my hips, fix my back and appreciate that I’m at my destination. This is my go-to practice to re-balance my body. It has just enough movement and strength to make you feel alive, manage your jet-lag, and help reboot your system.
- Nurture Detox Holiday Yoga with Kathryn Budig: Learn how to nurture and detox your body through the holidays. This class focuses on core work and twists to aid in digestion, detox and deep core appreciation. Enjoy the decadence of the holiday season with the balance of your practice. Trust your gut!
- Celebrate the Bird Poses with Steven Espinosa: Bird Poses – basic warm up gradually building to vigorous standing pose flow to heat the body. Leading to a series of various “bird poses” to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Instruction includes sanskrit to english translations for bird poses.
Holiday Yoga, There's a Yoga Class for That
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Posted on November 25th, 2013
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~John Milton
Gratitude is one of the landmarks of well-being. Having a grateful heart effects not only our well-being, health, happiness and coping skills, it also changes how we view the world and how we experience life. Studies have found that gratitude arises in two ways. It can be a response to a gift or to something nice that happens to us, or it can be a general, habitual, inclination towards a happy, appreciative attitude. If you feel like you could use a little gratitude check or if you’re looking to improve the general habit of just feeling grateful, yoga can help. Several studies show that gratitude can be developed deeply through yoga. So this week’s featured classes will help us cultivate deep gratitude through asana and meditation.
A grateful heart is a quality that serves us all year-round, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to know what you’re grateful for? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Gratitude with Tara Judelle: Gratitude: is one of the landmarks of wellbeing. In this class we flow through poses with an emphasis on backbends. Includes Anjaneyasana, Urdhva dhanurasana, and “Wild thing”.
- Gratitude Meditation with David Harshada Wagner: Gratitude is a powerful energy that we can use to open our heart and heal negative emotion patterns. In this 15 minute meditation, Harshada leads a simple meditation on gratefulness.
- Find Gratitude Flow with Kathryn Budig: This class is geared towards finding gratitude regardless of the situation. This ‘stretchy flow’ keeps the heat up without over wearing the body. We lead up to different variations of hamstring openers including standing and regular splits.
- Set a Positive Tone for Your Entire Day with Amy Ippoliti: Join Amy for her daily morning ritual to consciously set a positive tone for your entire day with heart breathing, gratitude practice, a celebration of your successes, a touch of pranayama and some meditation. You will need a pen and paper and a cushion or blanket to sit on that helps you sit more comfortably. Do this ritual daily and watch your life take off!
- Prepare for Vishvamitrasana with Deep Gratitude with Marc Holzman: This slow, deep, intense class is designed to get us into vishvamitrasana as the peak pose. We cover twists, hip openers, inversions and arm balances vasisthasana (side plank pose) and camatkarasana (wild thing). A short viloma pranayama is added at the end to help deepen our savasana. We explore our deep gratitude through asana.
- Find Your Gratitude with Noah Maze: Find your gratitude in this steady practice of basic forward bends and hip openers. This is a great practice before meditation, and/or anytime you need to ground and come home to yourself.
There's a Yoga Class for That
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Posted on November 21st, 2013
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Amy Ippoliti explains that in order to have more ease, more joy and more laughter in our lives, we must be able to create the space to have that laughter and that enjoyment. The space cannot be created when we view everything as a struggle vs. easeful or we have a “burdensome” attitude.
Take this class with Amy: http://bit.ly/1diRUfa
Overheard in Class
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