A CHATURANGA DEMO 35 MINUTES INTO CLASS?

I have taken classes where 35 minutes into class a teacher interjects…”Okay guys. Wait. Let’s work on Chaturanga. Let’s break this down.” After approximately 15-20 Chaturanga, now the teacher wants to explain halfway through class, what we initially should have learned at the beginning of class. By all means, now is the time to show us what we’ve done incorrectly for the past 35 minutes. “Wow, I’m so glad that [INSERT SAME NAME HERE] just showed us that.” 

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HOW TO BECOME FLEXIBLE FASTER

Ancient Yoga teachings say practice for a long time, without break and sincerely. We can interpret this saying in many different ways and receive a variety of results. But we want to become flexible as soon as possible! It’s obvious that within a week, we cannot become contortionists. It will take a while to get to that level and our genetics play a key role in how hard we have to work. Think of your body as pasta right out of its packaging. Pasta has to be submerged in boiling water for a little while before it shifts into its al dente flexible form. The water is like sweat. The boiling of the water is the effort we have to apply to get the results. In the case of flexibility, let’s practice daily for 21 days, for about 10 minutes and with correct alignment. The best way to become flexible is specificity and time. Passive stretching, takes months before you feel results. Passive stretching is taking a yoga pose and just laying there and breathing. Active stretching where you engage muscles and sometimes apply movement. Active stretching can yield faster results. This is one of the reason why effective vinyasa yoga classes can give you remarkable improvement when you are consistent with the practice.

Before you stretch, you must always be fully warmed up! Your muscles must be warm and functional in order to get the optimal results. Stretching without being fully warmed up can cause injury such a pulling a muscle or worse. Here are 3 yoga poses for flexible hamstrings and hips. If doing all 3 poses are a sequence, reset after each pose by doing tabletop/altar pose for 3-5 breath)

Yoga for Flexible Hips and Hamstrings: (all poses will come from Dandasana, STAFF POSE)


SEATED STRADDLE (UPAVISTHA KONASANA A) (15-30 breath)

How to to the pose:

-Extend your legs wide out to the side away from each other

-Walk your hands forward away from you hips

LEGS:

-Flex your feet (back of heels pressing into the ground and the bottom of your heels reaching away from your body) 

-Press your thighs into the ground 

This will efficiently stretch your hamstrings 

HANDS:

-Press your hands down into the ground. Without moving your hands, try to pull your hands back towards your hips. Simultaneously, reach your chest forward towards your hands.

This will assist lengthening the hamstrings while you stretch the waist and strengthen your arms


HEAD-TO-KNEE POSE (JANU SIRSASANA) (15-20 breath each side)

How to do the pose:

-Bend one knee into the chest

-Open the knee out to the side

-Place the sole of the foot into the opposite leg’s inner thigh

-Reach the arms forward to grab foot or shin of the extended leg


LEGS:

-Flex your feet (back of heels pressing into the ground and the bottom of your heels reaching away from your body) 

-Press your thighs into the ground 

This will efficiently stretch your hamstrings

-Press the outer thigh of bent leg down towards the ground

This will stretch hip and inner thigh

HANDS:

-While holding the extended leg or foot, reach your chest forward towards your extended leg or foot

This will stretch the waist, assist ion stretching the hamstrings and strengthen arms

BOUND ANGLE POSE (BADDHAKONASANA) (15-20 breath)

How to do the pose:

-Bend knees into chest

-Open the knees out to the respect side of the room

-Press the soles on the feet into each other

-Interlace fingers around the outer edges of the feet

-Bring chest towards the arches of the feet


LEGS:

-Press soles of feet firmly together 

-Press the outer thighs down towards the ground 

This will stretch the inner and outer thighs


CHEST:

-reach your chest forward towards and downward towards the ground

This will stretch the spine and  waist


Tabletop/Altar Pose (3-5 breath between each pose)

How to do the pose:

-Bend knee place feet on ground in front of the body

-Plank hand behind the body 

-Lift hips up toward the ceiling 

This will relieve the hip flexors

THE DOWNTOWN YOGA, SOHO YOGA VIBE

We are Soho yoga. We are yoga for the people, not just giving yoga to the people. With all the cracks and rough edges, the loud slamming iron door or the creaky metal door… the space is a reflection of me. It is a reflection of you. It is a reflection of society. We are rough, raw, vulnerable and welcoming. Why must we change ourselves for others to like us? We renovate our homes and lives displaying a fantasy? Do we fear expressing reality and truth; the rawness and grit of humanity. Are we decorating our yoga studios to mask the truth? Are we covering up like when we dress ourselves and face the world?

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