All posts filed under: Yoga Poses

Alignment Focus: Extended Triangle Pose

I’m truly thankful for my teachers who have taken the time to show me proper alignment. It’s something I still work on, because it’s a lifetime endeavor to be sure. As an ICU nurse, I firmly believe in protecting our bodies—we only have one and we put it through a lot! As a yoga teacher in training, I believe alignment brings incredible power to each pose. When people ask me which form of yoga is best, I quickly reply, “I’m realizing all of them, actually!” They each bring something to the table that the other practices do not, and we can have a well-rounded practice when we learn from each practice. While Ashtanga yoga is my jam and I love the athleticism it requires (think Kino MacGregor’s crazy arm balances and inversions—swoon!), I am learning to embrace to spiritual flow of Prana, the healing elements of Tantra, and the safe alignment of Iyengar yoga. The side triangle is a staple pose in most yoga flows, and so here are a few tips and tricks to …

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 …

On and Off the Mat: Just Be Present Part 1

Is it December already? Seriously, Time! Pull those reigns in! You’re running away from me! As the holidays roll around, it’s usually a startling reality that the year has flown by, usually in a blink of the eye. Christmas, like weddings, always seem better in concept than in reality. An entire day dedicated to love, fellowship, and joy? Sign us up, right? But people are usually wildly stressed out and haggard by the time the actual day rolls around. The planning, shopping, organizing and trying to corral everyone together can be a big fat energy zapper. Ask any bride planning a wedding or a mother trying to get things in order for the holidays. I’m not saying it’s all a miserable experience, because big events (like Christmas and weddings of course) often bring huge amounts of joy. It’s the days leading up that often cause us to focus on anything and everything but our current time and place, and to soak it up and enjoy it. I personally despise the mall and would rather trek …

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 …

How to Do: Sun Salutation B

So you’ve mastered the sun salutation A sequence and you just want to keep going? Of course you do! I actually love this sequence, and I’ll tell you why (you’re welcome in advanced): go through this five times and you’ll feel it in your legs and booty. “I don’t want a good butt!” said no one EVER. So get to it, little yogini 🙂 After you flow through the sun salutation A 5 times, you should start feeling much more flexible and warmed up. Tips: 1. Alignment not only helps you build strength by properly working muscles, it will also protect you limbs and joints. When your yoga instructor tells you make sure your knee is properly aligned, that means it’s not track OVER your toes or leaning to the right or left. It’s in a straight line. 2. Keep shoulders pulled down away from ears in all poses. If you feel them shrugging up into a “turtle neck” pose, gently roll them back down your back. 3. In chair pose, keep weight shifted to …