And the winners are …

Thanks again to everyone who gave me their favorite and least favorite yoga poses.

Today I taught the sequence I wrote up of the favorite yoga poses. I will also teach it on Tuesday.

Then next Sunday and Tuesday (my last two yoga classes at Alameda Athletic Club) I will teach the least favorite poses sequence, which I still need to write up.

I received more favorite yoga poses than least favorite, which I take as a good sign.

Some people told me why they loved a pose or why they didn’t and some just gave me the poses.

If you told me why you didn’t like the pose I made suggestions to your comments on what may be going on or ideas on how to make it easier on your body.

This was a Comment Contest Tuesday and there were three winners.

As long as you made a comment on the actual blog post you got your name thrown into the drawing. If you made more than one comment you got your name thrown into the drawing more than once.

The randomly picked winners were Gail, Jen C. and Monica.

All three will receive (one already has) a box … Continue reading

Help me with yoga poses

We haven’t had a Comment Contest Tuesday in some time.

I need your help.

I am nearing the end of my teaching stint at Alameda Athletic Club.

I have decided for my last two weeks of classes I am going to ask for student (and GFG! reader) input.

It’s pretty easy.

Tell me your favorite yoga pose.

Tell me your least favorite yoga pose.

You can definitely have more than one of each.

If you’ve never practiced yoga or are new and don’t know a lot of the poses and/or the names you can still participate. Check out the yoga for beginners on the Yoga Journal website for some ideas.

When I write a sequence I try to have a well-rounded yoga practice of standing poses, seated poses, balance, challenging and easier poses, twists, etc.

I also make sure there are poses I truly enjoy and others I would really rather not do. The sequence I teach for the week is the sequence I practice at home for the week.

I am starting to ask my students what are their favorite poses and what are their least favorite poses to give me ideas for my last few classes at the … Continue reading

Wrapping shoulders

In many yoga positions you are reminded to wrap your shoulders, whether in Downward Facing Dog, Warrior I, High Lunge, Crescent Lunge, etc.

I have noticed when I am on the spin bike if I wrap my shoulders it prevents me from bringing my shoulders up to my ears. Wrapping my shoulders keeps my upper body relaxed while spinning, especially when I am climbing, working on endurance or sprinting.

In Forrest Yoga we work a lot of abs. Kristin really emphasizes us wrapping our shoulders during the abs practice. A fews weeks ago during my regular Saturday abs class I decided to wrap my shoulders. I was amazed at the results. I was able to crunch higher and deeper.

Who knew that such a small move like wrapping my shoulders could help me in so many of my exercise routines.

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Improving yoga poses, practice

Yup, another yoga post. Who knew I could write so much about yoga?

I have been practicing yoga semi-regularly for about four years now. There are poses that I feel I have made vast improvement with and others that come more easily. And there are those that are still difficult for me to do.

Until yesterday I didn’t realize I had been doing Upward Facing Dog incorrectly this whole time. Once Kristin, my Forrest Yoga instructor, pointed it out I made the correction. And I have to say it is much more intense and difficult than it was before.

I love that I am always learning something more about the practice of yoga, myself and my capabilities. I credit this to taking a variety of yoga classes with a variety of instructors.

The classes I am regularly taking right now are Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Forrest Yoga. I would also like to regularly add the Restorative Yoga class as well.

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Yoga continually teaches me new things

I have been taking yoga consistently for two years. I truly believe that one never masters every yoga pose.

I continually learn new things about each pose and new things about my own body.

I am amazed that after two years I am still adjusting and improving my downward dog and making it better. It seems like such a simple and easy pose. But it is really very complex.

The more I practice yoga the more intrigued I am by it. Besides that it is an amazing workout that works on flexibility, balance, patience, stretching, etc. each pose has a purpose to your body externally but also internally.

This simple seated twist does all of this:

Benefits (according to Yoga Journal Web site)

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders and hips
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Relieves lower backache, neck pain and sciatica
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion
  • Especially good in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back
  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome

If you look up a pose on the Yoga Journal Web site there is a menu below the description. If you click on benefits it will list all the great things that one pose … Continue reading

My wimpy upper body

I have been really working on my Chaturanga Dandasana in yoga. It is a difficult pose. Between my lack of upper body strength and my slight scoliosis and my major arch in my lower back this pose looks weird when I do it.

We focused on that pose a lot during Monday morning’s class. During and after class I talked to Sarah, the instructor, about it. Sarah asked me how many times a week I do weights. I told her once. She told me two times a week would really help. Not sure how I am gonna fit that into my workout sked since I already work out 6 days a week for a total of seven hours. Maybe 15 minutes after one of my evening spin classes.

Sarah told me that I need to work on upper body strength with lateral pulls and tricep exercises. I do some shoulder weight work in my Saturday body conditioning class. And we do the tricep exercises linked to earlier and these and check out this video. Most of these I could do at home while watching TV. I think I could even mimic the lateral pull with … Continue reading

Sore arms & shoulders

My regular morning yoga teacher has been out of town. So she has had two subs: Ken and Jennifer. I like both of them. They are so different.
Yesterday Ken had us continuously do vinyasa flows.

There are many variations of vinyasa flows. But the video above gives you an idea. I think what really made me sore was going back and forth between downward dog and plank to a push up (or really a push down).

My arms and shoulders are pretty sore. I love that good kind of sore.

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