Albany yoga basics workshop

Over the weekend Curt and I were in his hometown.

Curt is from a small Missouri town. So small that they don’t have yoga among other things.

I held a yoga workshop for members of the community.

I love finding ways to bring yoga to anyone who wants to experience the practice.

It was my first workshop, which I called Albany Yoga Basics Workshop.

I taught the ladies basic yoga poses while also focusing on alignment and our breath. I also taught them some basic Restorative Yoga poses.

I was able to work on my language and really focus on teaching true beginners, which I feel is my specialty right now as a yoga teacher.

I really do enjoy teaching.

This was extra fun as all the women were familiar with each other and many are close friends.

They laughed and made jokes and enjoyed themselves.

They all got to take home a copy of the sequence we practiced so they can practice at home or even with each other.

I plan to try to get inventive and continue to bring yoga to a community that enjoys it and wants it. Stay tuned Albany, Mo.!

Listening to me

What do I need?

What do you need?

I have been really trying to listen to myself lately.

Work has been extremely demanding and busy and overwhelming and stressful as we continue to go through transition. More than usual I feel tired, exhausted and wiped out.

I have really been trying to take the queues my body gives me whether physically, mentally, physiologically, emotionally.

Last weekend we had an Intensive Weekend at teacher training, which was absolutely amazing and I learned so much. But it also took a lot out of me.

I had a lot of things I wanted to do on Sunday. They were to attend Vickie’s morning yoga class; attend an optional hour discussion on meditation before our required three hours of teacher training; the three hours of class; and Sunday night Restorative yoga class.

I knew that was all too much for me and something had to give. I decided to skip Vickie’s class and did my own home practice. This also gave me my whole morning to lounge, enjoy my coffee and do a little homework.

I knew my body needed and would benefit more from a Restorative class than an asana class.

I took … Continue reading

Home Restorative practice

Last weekend I was visiting my family in Tucson, my beloved hometown.

While visiting, my mom and I were able to practice yoga together three mornings. (She was very excited to get three private sessions with me.)

I wrote a practice specific to her requests, a second one we did I had written about before and love and the third practice, my mom wanted to do some Restorative poses.

We were limited on time and props for our Restorative practice. So I made do with what we had and we did three relaxing poses.

(In most Restorative classes, which run for 90 minutes, you only do 4-5 poses.)

Here’s the practice we did, with props we could use that should be in most people’s homes.

Practicing Sun Salutations

In yoga teacher training class on Thursday night we worked on Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations).

There are a variety of ways to practice Sun Salutations (aka sun salutes). The one linked here is basically what we worked on Thursday night.

We built on the sequence in class. The idea was, how do you teach a beginner student sun salutes? We worked with the idea of starting with Sun Salutations as easy and moving toward difficult.

In class on Thursday we “attacked” sun salutes as a beginner. How would a beginner practice? What modifications need to be made for a beginner?

As we continued with the sun salutes we tried the flow with a little more difficulty each time around.

Ann reminded us that the sun is the bestower of life. The sun salute is is a circular Vinyasa flow. Sun salutes are about flow, methodical thinking, building and deliberate Vinyasa sequence.

The original idea behind practicing sun salutes was to salute the bestower of life. The Vinyasa flow is typically done in the morning facing East.

But for many of us life doesn’t allow for yoga practice in the morning and for many of us yogis and yoginis we … Continue reading

Committing to your good health

I have been thinking a lot about priorities lately. About what is important for me and to me. And what makes me happy. (Don’t forget about Do you want to be happy?)

One of my friends/co-workers told me that something I said to her lately really hit a chord. And she suggested this be a Monthly Challenge.

I love ideas, suggestions and questions that lead to posts of any kind. So let’s try this for Go Fit Girl’s October Monthly Challenge.

What is a priority in your life? What is important? If something is really important you will make a commitment to it.

We all have excuses for why we don’t have time for something, right?

Choose a focus/commitment for the month. You, of course, can choose more than one. But don’t overwhelm yourself.

You can make a commitment to eat healthier; eat at least one fruit and one vegetable a day; get to the gym at least three times a week; do something that makes you happy (don’t forget about that theme we are working on for the rest of the year and was part of September’s Monthly Challenge); learn a new craft; get back into … Continue reading

My home practice

In my first Saturday yoga teacher training class we focused on home practice and I, of course, wrote about it.

To be a good and effective yoga teacher I must have a regular home practice. Five times a week for about 45 minutes is what is recommended.

I couldn’t commit to that at first so I have started with 20-25 minutes five times a week.

The first week that I committed to a yoga home practice I practiced five times (Monday through Friday) for 20-25 minutes.

The second week I tried a different variety of poses to practice and did it five times (Monday through Friday) for 20-25 minutes.

On the days I work from home I am able to make my practice a little longer. But on the days I have to go into the office I do a shorter practice as I am now getting up on those days at 5 a.m. (30 minutes early) to get my practice in.

I wanted to share with you the first week of practice I did. As the first week went on I adjusted my practice. I ended up holding each pose for six breaths.

And depending on how much … Continue reading

Learning about home practice

We’re not here to serve the (yoga) poses. These poses are here to serve us.

~Vickie Russell Bell in last night’s yoga teacher training class

Yesterday was my first Saturday class with Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Deep Yoga teacher training program. We have class every Thursday night and one Saturday a month.

Yesterday we got to get to know each other and we discussed home practice.

I loved working with others to brainstorm and giving each other advice and suggestions.

For most of us in the group our biggest obstacle with maintaining a regular home practice, which is ideally at least 45 minutes and five times a week, is time.

We talked about priorities in life and the “sacred hour.” What do we want to accomplish in the hour we set aside for our sacred hour?  Vickie said her four things in the sacred hour are writing, asana (yoga poses), meditation and restorative.

Before deciding how much time to spend on each we should ask ourselves: How do I want to feel? How do I get there?

Earlier in the day we talked about standing poses we liked and didn’t like. On Thursday Baxter assigned each … Continue reading

Practice yoga at home on the cheap

My friend Heather asked me if I could recommend some yoga videos for someone with limited resources.

So I did some research and here’s the cool thing I found: YogaGlo.

The YogaGlo site says: Take more than 1,000 yoga classes on your computer or on your HD TV whenever you want, in the comfort of your own home or on the go.

I reviewed as much as I could of the site without actually signing up for the free trial or a membership.

I do have a friend who has used YogaGlo and thinks it is great. And I trust her opinion. And a few of the reviews I read on the site appear to be positive. There are a few glitches, but that has to be expected with the World Wide Web.

The site has a great beginner center. Included are a variety of teachers, styles of yoga, levels and duration.

You can sign up for a 15-day free trial for limited access to the site or you can register for full access for $18 a month.

The videos I watched which show how to properly do a pose were well done. First they are listed under their English … Continue reading

Home practice while in Missouri

I am in Missouri this weekend visiting my in-laws.

Being married to a hunter makes it an annual tradition to come out for the opening of deer season. My brother-in-law and his sons are here for the weekend as well.

I brought my travel yoga mat with me in the hopes of practicing a few times.

Marilyn, my mother-in-law, asked if we could practice yoga together today.

I was happy to oblige.

The two of us took a break from the hustle and bustle of the house and went down to the basement with our yoga mats, some of my yoga music and a few ideas I had.

We were probably down there an hour. We worked on stretching out our lower backs, a little balancing and some stretching. Before getting into savasana, we stretched out in banana, which is a great stretching pose.

It was a great home practice for the both of us. I taught Marilyn a few things and I got to have a buddy while practicing.

I look forward to another practice or two with Marilyn this weekend.

Let’s celebrate National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I know that. But the weird thing is I am having a hard time finding a lot of current information on this.

In honor of of this month I thought I would FINALLY respond to a request from my friend Rosie.

Months ago she asked me for advice for someone who wanted to start practicing yoga.

When I started regularly practicing yoga a little more than five years ago I first started practicing at the gym. For me I was lucky, those classes were good beginner classes. And the instructors were well-experienced teachers as well.

When I started at Namaste I felt lucky then as well, too. All the teachers are pretty amazing and experienced and versatile. I have practiced with many yoga instructors, personalities, styles, types of yoga, class sizes, etc.

So here is my advice to Rosie and anyone else who wants it:

I suggest finding a yoga studio in your area and doing a little research on the instructors who teach at the studio. (You could do the same research on the yoga instructors at your gym.) The yoga studio website should have bios on the teachers and subs. And … Continue reading