Episode 12: Core Strengthening Gentle Flow

Episode 12: Core Strengthening Gentle Flow

This is a 60-minute Gentle Flow. The focus of this class is the core - the powerhouse of stability that wraps around the center of the body and includes not only the front, but also the sides and the back. This class is a slow burn - we move with intention and honor the breath, while holding poses for a spell or two and feeling the burn. You will begin to notice new components in foundational poses such as Downward Facing Dog, Warrior 2, and Table Top. We explore alternatives to the classic Vinyasa high to mid plank transition, such Locust, Rolling cobra, and Child’s pose. We activate the core in a variety of side stretches and strengthen it in balancing poses on hands and knees as well as in standing postures. Special attention is given to achieving a balance between hip flexion and hip extension. If you love core work, this class is for you. If you dislike core work, this class is also for you. This is not a “Belly Blast” VHS workout from 90s. You will be challenged. More importantly, you will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!

Episode 11: Lunging Crescents Classic Flow

Episode 11: Lunging Crescents Classic Flow

This is a 60-minute Classic Flow. This well-rounded practice is built around the idea of squaring the hips and twisting from the mid-back. We open the shoulders, ignite the core, challenge the quads, glutes and hamstrings, and work on isolating spinal twists while keeping the hips level. Chest-opening and shoulder-waking Sun Salutations A give way to Sun Salutations B featuring Crescent Lunge and its core-challenging variations. Modified Pyramid Pose provides a hip-leveling check point as we flow and eventually becomes full Pyramid Pose. Revolved Half-Moon is the peak pose that we work towards and where we put it all together. This practice incorporates back-body work and offers poses for strengthening the spine. We wind down with a few reclined stretches that release tension in the hips and calm the nervous system. If you love Crescent Lunge, this is your practice. If you don’t love Crescent Lunge, this is your opportunity to flow through it and learn that discomfort is temporary and that your strength is infinite. Enjoy!

Episode 10: Lengthen & Twist Classic Flow

Episode 10: Lengthen & Twist Classic Flow

This is a 65-minute Classic Flow. This practice is as continuous of a flow as it will get. The special focus of the class is lengthening the sides of the torso and twisting more productively. Lengthening the sides and twisting go hand in hand, and we explore this dynamic relationship through a flowing practice grounded in a series of powerful standing poses. Moving through a variation of classic Sun Salutations A warms up the body, and special attention is given to waking up not only the front and back of the body, but also the side walls. Sun Salutations B continue to ignite the sides, while energizing the legs and opening the hips. The last series of standing poses work up to Revolved Triangle by way of Warrior 1 and Pyramid pose. A progression from Gate Pose to Modified Extended Half Moon presents the final challenge for the sides of the body, while allowing the heart rate to settle. Camel pose is the peak backbend offered in this practice, and it is intended to take advantage of the now supple side body walls. The descent into rest is restorative and slow, as always. If you are looking for a flow practice to take you out of your head and deliver you into your body and breath, this class is it. Enjoy!

Episode 9: Mandala Classic Flow

Episode 9: Mandala Classic Flow

This is an 85-minute Classic Flow. Let’s start 2019 with a BANG and BIG dose of presence! The first practice of Season 2 is a special, extra-long well-rounded practice that opens the chest, inner thighs, and outer hips. This practice offers a luxurious opening that allows you to truly arrive and relish in how good it feels to just move on your mat. Rounds of Sun Salutations A introduce gentle back-bending and chest-opening and ignite the quads. Sun Salutations B fluidly move front to back on the mat and back again, offering full body engagement in standing poses. A special focus on inner thighs will make you smile, or at least notice that you have inner thighs. Crow pose flies by. Fly with it or keep your crow grounded. This is your practice. The next standing series puts it all together as we work up to Airplane pose (aka Warrior 3 Airplane Arms), Humble Warrior, Triangle, and end with the lusciously restorative Wide Leg Forward Fold. As we come down to the mat, more hip openers are offered -- one-legged and two-legged -- as well as some gentle twists. Bound Bridge pose draws on the warmth we have built in our thighs and completes our chest-opening, back-bending adventure. As the descend into stillness begins, a sense of deep well-being is bound* (yoga pun intended!) to wash over you. This class will make your body hum with gratitude, pure joy, and warmth. Enjoy!

Episode 8: Triangles Everywhere Classic Flow

Episode 8: Triangles Everywhere Classic Flow

This is a 60-minute Classic Flow. In this class we bring the magic of breath to movement to the forefront of our practice. Rounds of Sun Salutations A wake up the spine, the core, and the hip flexors. Repeated rounds of chair pose bring energy and warmth to the quads, preparing them for standing postures. Moving Sun Salutations B work up to triangle pose, and rounds of one-legged plank flow gently work the core while featuring breath front and center. Warrior 1 and pyramid pose continue to prepare the legs for our peak pose - revolved tringle, which wrings out tension while challenging the sense of balance. Gentle backbends sprinkled throughout the practice are welcome counterparts to all the forward bending (and also to living in a hunched-over world). A mellow half pigeon and easy seated forward fold ease tension in the hips and lengthen the sides of the body. This class offers repetition in rounds of poses to let you focus on your breath, to let it shine, to let it rejuvenate you. We make shapes in order to access the breath and the sense of presence here and now. This class is intended to feel like a moving meditation, a journey within - with breath as your guide. Enjoy!

Episode 7: Glutes & Outer Hips Classic Flow

Episode 7: Glutes & Outer Hips Classic Flow

This is a 60-minute Classic Flow. In this class we address glutes and outer hips with strengthening and lengthening postures. Take this flow at your own pace and bring mindfulness to all repetitions of the offered poses. Instead of just getting through it, challenge yourself to be present and fully immersed in the journey. The destination is secondary, while the journey is the whole point. Echoes of poses you have seen earlier in the class show up later with a twist. Enjoy them! Welcome them! Take them up a notch, if you wish. After a gentle waking of the spine in Sun Salutation A without any chaturanga pushups, we move into a dynamic flow of standing postures in Sun Salutation B and belly-down core work which targets all three layers of the glutes; all I ask is that you follow along mindfully, feeling each movement rather than rushing through it. Gentle twisting in the mid-back paired with spine-lengthening concludes the ‘hard work’ portion of class, and after we take it down to the mat with Half-Pigeon (which can always be substituted with a reclined figure four stretch on each side), the ultimate hip and glute release. A few more relaxing stretches prepare your body for slowing down and going deep in Savasana. Enjoy!

Episode 6: Supported Half Moon Gentle Flow

Episode 6: Supported Half Moon Gentle Flow

This is a 56-minute Gentle Flow. Allow the intentional flow and gentle pace of this class to draw you deep into your practice. Enjoy ample time to set up your poses and take them to your edge. I invite you to open your heart and shoulders and to explore the strength of your side walls and your obliques. In this practice I offer a flowing Sun Salutation A and Vinyasa-style Sun Salutation B. A break for the legs brings core strength to the forefront of your practice and calls you to challenge your center – everything from your upper abdominals to inner thighs. Forearm planks make a brief appearance, as do forearm side-planks. The last standing series puts it all together with Supported Half-Moon/Sugarcane option. Enjoy a gradual wind-down and notice your heart rate slow down as you lay back onto the mat. This gentle flow has a little bit of everything (hello heart, shoulders, sides, hips, ankles) and a whole lot of mindful presence. Make it what you need today. This is YOUR practice. Enjoy!

Episode 5: Seal & Bow Power Flow

Episode 5: Seal & Bow Power Flow

This episode is a 65-minute Power Flow. This flow is a yoga equivalent of legs and back day at the gym, only a lot more zen. Your quads will be challenged by many a chair and crescent lunge. Your back will grow taught as we flow through flying locust in repeating rounds of Sun Salutation A. A steady rhythm of energetic standing poses in this slow-burn-flow Sun Salutation B will keep you moving and breathing. Core work will help in our quest towards the peak and will give the legs a much-needed break. Eventually we work up to Standing Bow Pulling pose and Floor Bow as well as prepare for and test out Seal pose. No attachment to taking any of these, of course; they are just opportunities to take your flow one step further if you wish. Towards the end of class we slip into a restful state of body and mind. Your effort and movement are rewarded with release and stillness. In this class I invite you to practice out of intention rather than out of habit. Some unusual transitions may come up, and I encourage you to resist muscle memory and to let my voice guide you. This class is the ultimate opportunity to go with the flow. Perhaps you can take this attitude with you off your mat. And who couldn’t use more flowing and less resisting in their day-to-day? Enjoy!