Living Yoga Yogathon

I am participating in fundraising for Living Yoga’s Yogathon in the month of April.

Living Yoga is a nonprofit in Portland, which is changing lives by fostering healing and resilience in vulnerable and marginalized communities through trauma-informed yoga.

Living Yoga brings trauma-informed yoga classes to prisons, youth centers, addiction facilities and to people in the community who would not otherwise have access to yoga.

You can find my fundraising page here.

I am teaching a benefit class at Turtles Yoga & Wellness this month. All proceeds will be donated to Living Yoga.

What: All levels Hatha benefit class
When: Saturday, April 22
Time: noon-1 p.m.
Where: Turtles Yoga & Wellness in Beaverton
Suggested donation: $5-10 (all proceeds will go to Living Yoga)

My donation-based Hatha benefit class will have an emphasis on anatomy and alignment with a focus on celebrating Earth Day. The class will incorporate yoga poses, regulated breathing and meditation with a little fun and humor thrown in. All levels are supported and welcome.

You can come to class and donate and/or you can go to my fundraising page, link above. You can also donate to Turtles’ fundraising … Continue reading

My Triangle continues to transform

Over the past three years I have been observing Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) in my body.

To the left you can see the variations and changes over the past three years.

When I applied for Piedmont’s Yoga Teacher Training in May/June 2013 an optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Triangle Pose.

Once in the teacher training our long-term anatomy project was to pick three yoga

poses that we were able to do but found challenging.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The top middle photo is the first photo I submitted for my long-term anatomy project.

We took the first set of photos of our three poses and did a write-up on the poses.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

There is a vast improvement between the first and second pose. I learned to eliminate hyperextension in the front leg without losing strength in the pose. I found a better spot for my head and neck. And I found more extension in my side body.

(If you want to … Continue reading

Continuing the triangle transformation

When I applied for Piedmont’s Yoga Teacher Training in May/June 2013 an optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left photo, taken May/June 2013.

Once in the teacher training our long-term anatomy project was to pick three yoga poses that we were able to do but found challenging.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The middle left photo is the first photo I submitted for my long-term anatomy project.

We took the first set of photos of our three poses and did a write-up on the poses.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

There is a vast improvement between the first and second pose. I learned to eliminate hyperextension in the front leg without losing strength in the pose. I found a better spot for my head and neck. And I found more extension in my side body.

(If you want to learn more about eliminating hyperextension in the knees in poses liked Extended Triangle, read a … Continue reading

Taking public yoga classes

At some point this summer when I was still working full time the shuttle bus schedule changed. With the change I wouldn’t be able to make my regular 5:45 and 6 p.m. yoga classes that I liked to regularly take during the week.

I was talking to a friend at work about the new schedule and how some days I was going to need to take BART if I wanted to make it to my favorite yoga classes in the evenings.

My friend said something to the effect of why would I need to take yoga classes anymore since I am a yoga teacher.

Recently while waiting to teach an evening yoga class I was chatting it up with a student. I said something about the yoga studio down the street from my house where I take classes.

She said, you take yoga classes?

Yup, I do.

For many reasons I take public yoga classes about four times (sometimes more) a week. (I also have a regular home yoga practice 4-5 times a week.)

Here are the reasons I still take yoga classes (since becoming a yoga teacher):

My Triangle transformation

A little more than a year ago I applied to the Piedmont Yoga teacher training program, which I graduated from at the end of June.

An optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left corner, taken last May/June.

The bottom left photo is from an anatomy long-term homework assignment where we were instructed to pick three poses we could do but found challenging and do a write-up.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The bottom left photo was taken in mid-December 2013.

We took our first set of photos and did a write-up and turned in.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

The photo on the right is also from the anatomy long-term homework assignment. That photo was taken in early May 2014.

Over this past year I have learned how to work with my hyperextension in my front leg and eliminate it. (I can clearly see hyperextension in the first photo, … Continue reading

Becoming a better yogini by working through frustration

When I started the yoga teacher training program at Piedmont one thing that was reminded to my classmates and me by the teachers and in the paperwork we had to review and sign before the program started was that students in the program can go through many emotions.

I have felt overwhelmed at times and even anxious on how I can possibly fit all of this into my already busy and hectic life.

My most recent emotion has been frustration.

We are learning so much, some new, some old and some different. No teacher or class is the same. Teachers have different styles. Sometimes one teacher will tell you something and then you will hear the complete opposite from another teacher.

Our job as yoga students is to take that information in and decide what is best for our own bodies. I am more than OK with taking information in and then making a decision for myself and my body on any given day or practice.

But there are times when I find out I have been doing a pose “wrong.” Such as anatomically unhealthy for my body.

After class on Thursday night I felt really frustrated with how I … Continue reading

Yoga anatomy

Last night in yoga teacher training class we learned about bones, muscles, joints, connective tissue, etc.

It was fascinating and I learned so much.

It’s A LOT of information. But Baxter broke it down and made it easy to learn (and hopefully remember).

We had Pat, our skeleton, along with two huge diagrams on the muscles and skeleton.

We also had us. Baxter used markers to draw on feet and legs to show us where muscles and bones are placed. We also would feel around our own bones and bodies and feel things move or where something is placed.

I learn best when what I am learning is visual and I can also read about it. The dual learning works best for me. However others learn, all aspects are being used in class and in the readings we are assigned (lots of pictures in our books).

There are so many cool things I learned and I am still struggling with what I am going to share.

Did you know that we have 206 bones in our body? And 52 bones in our feet? The bones in our feet make up almost one-fourth of all the bones in our body.

There … Continue reading

Ouch!

So for those of you who don’t think yoga is a real workout … I hadn’t worked out in almost 3 weeks because of the cold I had. I went back to yoga yesterday. And I took it easy. I didn’t overly push myself.

Today I am sore! My chest is a little sore and the part where my arm meets my arm pit is sore.

I tried to figure out what muscle that is but the charts online don’t specifically point to it and label. Is there such thing as pectoralis minor?

I took anatomy in college when I thought I wanted to be a nurse but I don’t remember much. (And yes, I hate blood and needles so what the hell was I thinking?)