Yoga styles and traditions to complement your practice

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Iyengar

Focus on alignment, precision and strength, often using props.

Iyengar Yoga is based on the teachings of a yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar (author of numerous books including the definitive guide, Light on Yoga). The method of study of Iyengar yoga is progressive with an emphasis on precision and form in order to maintain a balance between flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Through intelligent alignment, sequencing of asanas and timing in the poses, the practice of Iyengar Yoga can safely lead beginning and advanced students alike to a mindful practice that is absorbed with attention so that the mind and body work together. Oftentimes props are used to allow the practitioner to go deeper in the asana, adapt to an individual's needs, make an otherwise challenging asana attainable, or to provide support. In addition to his many innovations that are utilized throughout the modern world of yoga such as props, B.K.S. Iyengar developed therapeutic and restorative yoga that utilize the practice of asana and pranayama for deep relaxation and healing.

When your body is ready for it, urdhva mukha paschimottanasana can feel like you're giving yourself a deep hug. Prepare your back, legs and neck to surrender into the embrace of upward-facing intense west stretch with a sequence that includes standing forward bends, seated forward folds and inversions. Begin in adho mukha virasana and move through asanas that include padangusthasana, salamba sarvangasana and halasana, to prepare you for urdhva mukha paschimottanasana. Props Needed: Three blankets and a strap.
When you are stable in your sirsasana (headstand) practice, you can start learning its many leg variations. These variations help prepare your body for backbends and forward bends, as they energize and lengthen your spine. Be ready to invert (this class is practiced entirely in headstand), and move through a detail-rich sequence focused on eka pada and parivrtta eka pada sirsasana, with emphasis on precision and alignment
Virasana works on the flexibility of your hips, knees and ankles, which effects your abdomen, pelvis and lower back, as well as your digestion. In this grounding sequence, explore virasana, or hero's pose, taking a journey into variations, focusing on detailed body alignment cues. Practice includes vajrasana, adho mukha savasana and jnana mudra. Dedicate time to yourself to tune inward and discover an improved way to access this posture. Props Suggested: A bolster.
Strive to create evenness and stability in your hips with this class focused on your body alignment in two challenging standing balance asanas, virabhadrasana III and urdhva prasarita eka padasana. External rotation helps to stabilize your standing leg and hip, while internal rotation helps to lengthen your uplifted leg. In this sequence, learn to work with both rotation elements simultaneously to bring the lightness of contained extension to your practice. Props Suggested: Two blocks.
A great class for beginners or if you experience tight frontal hips due to physical activity or sitting at a desk or in a car for long hours. Begin to open and extend with a supine hamstring opener before standing for triangle pose (utthita trikonasana) and warrior I prep. Working towards supta virasana, a supine thigh and front hip opener, walk away with more awareness and opening in your hip flexors and legs. Props Needed: Two blocks and a strap.
Practice addressing the various elements of chaturanga dandasana in a simple way. Learn in detail about the arm and shoulder work, abdominal actions, leg work and upper back involvement, step by step. Open your shoulder joints first with gomukhasana arms, then begin to build stability and awareness with staff pose instruction. Use props to access different aspects of this pose and to modify for individual needs, and then put it all together. Props Needed: Two blocks.
A well rounded sequence of forward, side and back bending. Strengthening your muscles with contraction and stretching bound muscles with extension, these asanas help bring more ease and mobility to your lower back. Specific asanas include a seated wide leg forward fold, janu sirsasana and a juicy supported backbend with the help of your chair. Walk away feeling more freedom and space in your low back and side body. Props Needed: Two blocks, a blanket and a chair.
A sequence of mostly seated poses to illustrate asymmetries in your lower back, knees, hips and pelvis. Address those asymmetries with awareness and an attention to detail in your body. Work your legs in poses like down dog, upavistha konasana and baddha konasana to help open your lower body so your lumbar region can fully relax. Put your awareness on your skeletal structure so that you learn proper alignment for a safe and solid practice. Props Needed: Two blocks and a blanket.
Use simpler asanas to become acquainted with your inner form in order to manage and maintain the inner space of your body in twisting asanas. Use standing asanas like utthita trikonasana and parsvakonasana to learn how to access your spine and create freedom in the cavities of your body. Expect twists, but with emphasis on widening your diaphragm and perhaps your perspective. Props Needed: Two blankets. Props Suggested: A block.
Work your arms to bring freedom to the joints in your hands, wrists, shoulders and neck. Small arm movements bring lightness and mobility to the joints of your upper body. These poses can be done standing or seated. Finish with poses that prepare you for downward facing dog pose and other asanas that involve standing on your hands. A great practice to do as a counter to computer asana or slouch asana. Props Needed: A strap.
Strengthening and moving your outer hips while lengthening your inner thighs gives access to deeper openings so that your hips, rather than your knees get involved in more advanced bent knee seated poses. Begin with variations of supta padangusthasana and standing poses to awaken your outer hips and stretch your groins. Use the same actions in inversions, supine and seated poses. Repeat the final pose and take savasana on your own. Props Needed: A strap and three blankets.
Prepare your upper back, shoulders and hips for back bending. You mindfully build your practice working on abdominal backbends with particular attention to strengthening your upper back in standing and supported floor poses. Learn to support your thoracic spine, neck and head so you can open safely through your front body. After the abdominal backbends, you practice chatush padasana and progress into urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog) using your chair. Props Needed: Two blocks and a chair.

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