All posts filed under: Arm Balances & Inversions

Review: Best Yoga Books (for yoga addicts like you)

I collect two things in life: books and music. And according to my bank account, I apparently go a little overboard with my obsession for both. I am unrepentant. I am without question a book fanatic/literarazzi/reader-of-all-the-things. I don’t know about you, but any location that houses books in a happy place: libraries, used bookstores, Barnes and Noble, that random pop up store down the street, etc etc etc. I’m not kidding when I say I read at least a book or two a week. I will happily turn down social engagements to snuggle up with a my fat cat and a book. HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH—called my sofaaaaaaaa. Anyway, now that we all know the real reason I’m sometimes a terrible friend (those books aren’t gonna read themselves, people), I wanted to share with you several that I’ve found really beneficial to my yoga practice. Inspirational and philosophical books are pretty easy to come across, but books with a technical focus are often difficult to find. I’ve curated several gems along the way, and they’ve made …

Give Me All the Upside Downs (Inversions!)

I love inversions. I mean, honestly I’m like a little monkey when it comes to certain asanas. While inversions bring both levity and varity to your flow, they also build upper body strength. This is a major plus, since a great deal of our yoga work is more from the core down.  In addition to being (in my oh so humble opinion) ridiculously fun, inversions have major health benefits.To clarify, an inversion is any asana (pose) where the head is below the heart. Here are just a small handful of the significant health benefits of inversions: 1. Reverses blood flow and improves circulation: this in itself is a huge heart-helper, because the heart spends all day long pumping blood against gravity to get blood to the body’s limbs. By getting yourself upside down, it actually takes strain off the heart. 2. Gives a great boost the the immune system: going upside-down allow lymph to move easily through the lymph nodes, picking up toxins and bacteria and cleaning out the body. The lymph system is an …

Yoga Detox Moves

Spring is that fabulous time of year when cherry blossoms paint DC in pink, and new life unfurls itself by way of buds and leaves and grass. Everything feels fresh and new, and we want to feel that way too. After all, why should Mother Earth be the only one to get a facial, right? “Spring cleaning” is a common phenomenon of the season, but I think it’s partly because the season powerfully awakens in us the desire to detox and start fresh. We want to plant new ideas and watch them grow. Being a little OCD and still traumatized by the show Hoarders, I live a pretty minimal life, but I do love a good scrub down. It occurred to me that while it’s important to clean out my home, it’s equally important to detox our bodies. What an awesome opportunity to re-calibrate and renew ourselves from the inside-out. And fortunately, few things benefit a good detox like yoga. While I firmly believe the best detox is from a healthy food source like clean, …

Inversion Workshop with Marie Belle

Workshops are an amazing and frustrating experience. They’re a phenomenal way to learn new tips and tricks, but at the same time, there are some yoga skills that you simply cannot ever ever ever learn overnight. Yoga forces us to be patient and persistent. You might be able to conceptually understand how to do an asana, but your body will demand you work to obtain the strength and flexibility to get there. Time is our friend when it comes to learning yoga. We can look back and see great growth, even if it doesn’t feel like it while we’re marching on. District Yoga recently held an incredible inversions workshop by internationally renowned Marie Belle. Not only is she a phenomenal yogini and teacher, but she has the most intelligent and beautiful approach to life. Over 100 people crammed into the studio to learn from her, and she still made it feel like a group of friends just hanging out to do some intense yoga. I’m personally tremendously inspired when someone has a rare combination of …

How to Do Vasisthasana |Side Plank

Vasisthasana is one of those fabulous asanas that’s a one stop shop arm balance. Not only will you get an intense ab workout that targets those often neglected obliques, but it tightens the entire core. It’s such a great pose, that it’s been borrowed by non-yoga workouts as a secret weapon for keeping abs tights and the waist small. It primarily strengthens entire core, but it also targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus in the hips, as well as the adductor muscles located in the inner thigh. But wait! There’s more! The secondary the side plank also works several other muscles that provide additional stability as you hold the position including the gluteus maximus, the quadriceps on the front of your thighs and the hamstrings on the back of your thighs. TIPS: Keep your shoulders, hips, knees and feet in one straight diagonal line, Important: make sure your neck and head continue the line of your spine. Keep obliques pulled up up up at all times to avoid hips collapsing. HOW TO: From downward facing down, come …

An Asana of Freedom: Wild Thing Pose

I absolutely love the yoga community on Instagram. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by the mutual journey I get to take with other yogini’s, and I am deeply moved when people take time to comment. It’s so uplifting! I try to do the same for others, because it honestly is such a lovely encouragement to me and I want to be that for others. I was recently tagged by a friend to do a stop, drop and yoga pose, and I thought over which one to do. I felt like so many people chose mind blowing poses that demonstrated such strength and inspiring skill. I was tempted to pull something similar out of my bag of tricks, but I felt moved to do one of my favorite poses: wild thing. To see tips on the pose, jump to the bottom of the page. I love the pose wild thing because it’s accessible at many skill levels, and it reminds us we’re all wild at heart and should never let life break us or totally …