Sunday, June 26, 2016

5Elements: Earth Yoga Flow Class

5Elements Earth Flow is a grounding, hip-opening practice which emphasizes stability and strength through a steady and strong flowing sequence.  Strength is cultivated through a series of slow salutations (namaskars) and standing and supine hip-opening postures.  5Elements Earth Flow is for all levels of students that with to move through a slow deep vinyasa practice; ending with a restorative savasana and a longer period of meditation.

Students attracted to the 5Elements Earth Flow are typically interested in this sequence because:

  • They would like a slow and safe, but strong practice
  • They have been to one too many fast, vigorous, hot classes and perhaps have injured themselves in fast, loud classes.
  • They do not want/need a basic flow class, and also do not want/need a vigorous class, they would like something in between.
  • They are kapha dosha and enjoy routine, stability, slow activities and meditation.
5Elements Earth Flow is going to be taught on the beach starting in the fall.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The 5 Elements: Water Flow Yoga

Panchamahabhutus is Sanskrit for the 5 Great Elements of Nature.  They are:

  • Water
  • Earth
  • Fire
  • Air
  • Space
Each of these elements have their own qualities and characteristics.  They also have a set of asanas (yoga poses).  We will explore each of them.  Today we will start with the Water Element.

The 5Elements Water Flow is a rejuvenating practice.  It is appropriate for all levels.  There is a soft, fluid, and cooling quality as we move through this routine.  The Bhava (mood) is feminine, lunar, and smooth.  The routine will activate your 2nd  and 4th Chakras.  The 2nd Chakra is located in the lower abdomen and we will be performing some poses to work those muscles.  The 4th Chakra, also know as the Anahata Chakra, is located at the heart.  We will be stretching the chest muscles to open the heart.  We will also be performing an Anahata Namaskar.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ayurveda: the Sister Science of Yoga

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally means "ayur" life "veda" knowledge.  It originates from India and focuses balancing the mind body connection to bring health to ones body.

In Ayurveda, each of us has a dosha, this is our constitutional make up.  We may have one (or more) dosha(s) for our mind and another for our body.  There are many tests online that you can take to discover your dosha.  Here is a link to one dosha quiz.  Basically, there are three different doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha.

Vata leads the other doshas.  Usually, vata will go out of balance before the others.  It controls all movement in the body.  People with high vata dosha tend to be thin and have difficulty gaining weight.  As a result, they can wear themselves out and need to make sure they have sufficient rest.  Maintaining a regular routine can help with this. They also tend to feel cold so they should make sure they are warm and comfortable.  

Pitta is characterized by fire and usually feel warm.  They need to keep an eye on their temper.  They usually are ambitious and have a decent amount of energy.  In order for them to sleep well, they should maintain a regular bedtime routine which allows them to unwind in the evening.

Kapha dosha controls the moist tissues of the body.  They have a sturdy frame with a healthy reserve of strength and stamina.  They tend to have a positive outlook on life.  They do need stimulation to bring out their vitality.

Once you know what your dosha, then you can work with balancing it.  There are different ways to balance one's dosha.  One way is thru the practice of yoga.  This is where the 5 Elements come in.  We're be exploring the 5 Elements in my next blog.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Yoga myths

This blog post is based on the original article from the American Council of Exercise found at Yoga: Myth vs Reality. What I've done is take a look at each of the myths addressed in this article and explain how they apply to my classes.  My hope is this will give you an idea of my teaching style so you'll know what to expect when you take my class.

Myth 1: You have to be flexible to do yoga.
Absolutely not!  Yoga increases flexibility, so if you're not flexible then you should be practicing yoga to increase your flexibility.

Myth 2: You have to sweat to feel the benefits of yoga
That's not true.  There is nothing wrong with sweating, actually it is healthy but you don't have to break a sweat to benefit from yoga.  My classroom is room temperature and my students sometimes begin to perspire slightly.

Myth 3: You have to execute the movements perfectly.
Nope.  Everybody is different and their expression of a pose may look completely different than the person next to them in class.  That does not matter.  What matters is that you are getting in touch with your body.  You are moving your body and making it healthy.

Myth 4: Yoga is boring
Says who!  I don't find yoga boring.  There are so many different kinds of yoga.  If you take one kind of yoga and don't like it, try another kind of yoga.  There is a type of yoga for everyone.  It's just a matter of finding the one that is right for you.

Myth 5: Yoga is a religion
No.  Yoga does recognize that we are spiritual beings.  That is why I am drawn to yoga because it uses the body, mind and spirit.  During meditation when you observe your thoughts, what part of you is observing your thoughts?  It can't be the mind because the mind is doing the thinking.  Everyone has their own spiritual beliefs and should find a class that they feel comfortable with.  I open and close my class with the sound of OM.  Some students have told me they don't feel comfortable with this.  Some of them felt better when I explained they had the option to remain silent.  Others never came back to my class.  That's alright. You need to find a class that works for you.
Myth 6: Only slender people can practice yoga
Huh?  No, yoga is for everyone.  People come in all different shapes and sizes and everyone can benefit from practicing yoga.

Myth 7: Yoga is Expensive.
My classes range in price from $6-10 for a 1 hour class.  Is that expensive?

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into my classes.  The only way to see if you like them is to try one.  Here is a link to my classes.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Yin and Restorative Yoga

Everyone can practice yoga!  But not everyone can practice every kind of yoga.  There are so many different types of yoga: hatha, hot, vinyasa, bikram, gentle, yin, restorative, etc.  The key is to finding what is right for you.  This article is going to take a look at Yin and Restorative yoga.

Usually, either you love Yin and Restorative Yoga or you hate it.  Unfortunately, there really isn't a middle ground.  That's alright, if you love it, you'll seek it out.  If you don't, there are plenty of other types of yoga.  Yin and Restorative are less strenuous types of yoga.  Yin increases flexibility and strengthens connective tissue (ligaments and tendons).  Restorative yoga increases lymphatic flow and activates the body's relaxation response.

In Yin yoga, we usually hold the poses anywhere from 5-10 minutes.  We use props to help us to be able to hold the poses for this time period, but you will feel your muscles stretching.  You should feel the stretch in the belly or the center of the muscle not at the end at the joints.

In Restorative yoga, we usually also hold the poses anywhere from 5-10 minutes.  We use even more props to support our bodies while they relax.  It's a good idea to set a positive affirmation or use a mantra to focus on as we hold the poses.  Although Restorative yoga is not strenuous for the body, there are many physiological benefits: lower blood pressure, lower respiration rate, lower heart rate, reduced cortisol (which means reduced body fat).  All this just from rolling around on the floor a little!  Everyone can practice Restorative yoga.  It is used with cancer patients and bed ridden patients.  However, not everyone likes it.  So, if you haven't tried Restorative yoga why not try my next class.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Hope to see you soon!