Episode 15: Gentle (Not Gentle) Summer Flow

Episode 15: Gentle (Not Gentle) Summer Flow

This is a 75-minute Gentle Flow. This class focuses on offsetting one postural affliction of the modern age – slumped shoulders that round forward, crowding the chest and leaving little space for an expansive heart. This class explores your wingspan through open arm twists in many body configurations – folding forward, on knees, standing, squatting, and lunging. The class begins slowly and thoughtfully. A luxurious start on the back leads into Sun Salutations A that calibrate the breath and warm up the body. The pace of Sun Salutations B is measured (read: slow burn). Long holds offer ample opportunities to set up, refine, and deepen your standing postures. Special attention is given to the foundations of poses: your hands and feet. Get ready to notice small details that have the capacity to change a pose completely. This class is not an anthology of poses, but the poses that are offered have been carefully selected and are covered in more detail, more color. I invite you to slow down your practice and to *notice* how each pose feels. Don’t be fooled by the name. You will work, and you will grumble to yourself about my calling this gentle. The pace is gentle. The rest is pure commitment to growing your practice on the mat. Enjoy!

Episode 14: Heart & Hip Opening Power Flow

Episode 14: Heart & Hip Opening Power Flow

This is a 65-minute Power Flow. This class focuses on opening the chest and the hips. Many a chest-expansion are offered, however, as always, they are optional. We start out slow, but don’t let that fool you. High-to-mid planks, committed holds, and flowing breath to movement will challenge you and bring you into your body. Sun Salutations A set the pace for the breath, and the practice quickly gains speed and intensity as we add standing power poses. We explore hip opening in different planes, with different effects of gravity. Balancing challenges are added to take your practice up a notch or to bring it down a few pegs, in case you are feeling overconfident. Dancing Shiva pose makes an appearance as our twisting peak, and Tree Leg Side Plank puts all of the hip opening, hip flexor preparation, and core engagement together. We wind down slowly and mindfully, offsetting external rotation of the femurs with neutral and then internal rotation, easing into Supine Twist Eagle Legs. This practice is a challenge, an exploration, a study in balance and flow. It is a chance to connect with the breath and to let it get you through anything that is placed in front of you. Enjoy!

Episode 13: Let Symmetry Guide You Classic Flow

Episode 13: Let Symmetry Guide You Classic Flow

This is a 60-minute Classic Flow. The focus of this class is symmetry – front to back, side to side, to the front of the mat and to the back, clockwise and counter-clockwise. We explore all sides of the mat, and with them, all sides of the body. A fair share of hip opening and posterior chain activation comes into play as we hold, flow, and balance on the hands and on the feet. This class explores symmetry of movement, and you are invited to be a passenger on this yoga adventure. Let me drive, and just focus on the posture, the movement at hand. Worry not, you will be even and whole by the end. This is an exercise in trust and in restraint. The pace of this class is moderate, but it will make you work. Classic Sun Salutations A and B get a make-over, and not one Vinyasa transition (high-to-mid plank, up-dog, down-dog) makes an appearance. If you ever find yourself thinking that yoga classes have a formula, this may make you think otherwise. Flying Frog is one of our peak poses, and so is Tree Pose. An all-around core-activating segment invites every side of your torso to the party. You will feel well-worked. How can you not, when you have held a forearm plank? If you get easily bored, this class is for you. If you love routine, this class is also for you. You will feel at home while also discovering something new about your practice. Enjoy!

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!