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.
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Steven Espinosa explains that often times we can get moving so fast in our daily lives it’s like our feet never touch the ground. Yoga helps with grounding both sides of the body to help us move forward from a balanced and centered place.
Whether it’s physical or emotional, most of us have experienced some kind of pain at one point in our lives. We are all different, so we all experience pain differently and cope with that pain in different ways. Some hide and suppress it, avoiding the healing process that we all need to go through in order to move on, while others decide that they no longer want their pain controlling their lives so they confront it. If you are having trouble healing or don’t know how to heal, practicing yoga is great way to being the healing process.
This week’s featured classes will help you heal – mind, body and spirit.
Yoga Nidra for Healing & Inspiration with Rod Stryker: Deep rest is key to healing and rejuvenation as well as improved focus. Enjoy this twenty minute Yoga Nidra session, the ancient yogic science of relaxation, and experience how twenty minutes of guided, systematic, relaxation practice can replenish and renew you. Use it to start your day, rest in the middle of it, or just before falling asleep and unlock your innate capacity for healing, inspiration, and peace. Props Suggested: Blanket to lay on or cover up with. Blanket or pillow for head, Bolster under the knees.
Healing Flow with Mantra with Jo Tastula: The use of mantra has a purifying effect on the mind and combined with asana becomes a very potent practice. In this class we use the breathing mantra So Hum and the Tibetan mantra of compassion Om Mani Padme Hum, as a vehicle for quieting the mind and accessing an authentic place of peace. Lots of seated meditation and slow paced flow. Be warned, there are very few vinyasas! Prop Suggested: A blanket.
Release Stress, Activate Healing Prana with Kia Miller: Stress and tension find their way into our muscles and joints creating congestion; physically, emotionally and mentally. This kriya systematically works to release stress and activate the healing flow of prana. Awaken a higher level of awareness and bliss. This is a great one to do anytime you need to change your inner channel. Clear your mind and set yourself up for the best day ever! Class ends with a breath meditation. Prop Needed: Blanket
Heal a Painful Memory with David Harshada Wagner: This is a powerful healing visualization where the practitioner is guided back to a memory that causes them pain. They use breath and awareness to soothe and ease the intensity of the painful memory. Prop Needed: Something to write on.
Healing Practice for Sore Muscles with Stephanie Snyder: This is a gentle flow designed for the days when you feel sore or just worked. We explore being in the pose without hitting our max. This allows for release of tension. We begin slowly and build in order to give the body plenty of time to heal itself.