YogaVibes

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  • Build Up Your Backbend Know-How with Joan Hyman

    Discover the freedom of backbending!

    Join Los Angeles based yogi, Joan Hyman, for an online yoga demo - a Backbend and Dropping Back Tutorial.

    Unlock the secrets of these deep yoga poses by spending some time imprinting the proper leg action in backbending postures.

    In this free online yoga video, Joan will teach Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Full Wheel Pose) at the wall with the use of blocks and straps to help stabilize the legs to protect the lower back in these poses. Learn to avoid backbending from the lower back by working the legs and getting into the thoracic spine. Joan will break down the proper action of the shoulders and shoulder blades to encourage the upper arms to plug into the shoulder sockets for a safe and solid backbending practice. After alignment is set, move into dropping back at the wall and then, in the middle of the room.

    This online yoga video is incredibly informative for teachers, yogis in training, and serious students. Definitely add it to your repetoire of asana!

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    As you come into better alignment in your backbends, you’ll feel more grounded, exhilarated, and ready to tackle even crazier backends. In the meantime...

    Be sure to go in easy, be patient, and enjoy the journey!

    Image Credit: Joan Hyman captured by Fluid Frame Photography 

     

  • The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Flow

    spring cleaning yoga

    Ah, spring!

    Tomorrow you arrive, bringing with you more sunshine, warmth, and renewal - all reasons to celebrate!

    Springtime's the prime time to cleanse your body with detoxifying yoga. As Mother Nature’s New Year, ‘tis the season to get rid of any old stuff hanging around to make space for greater health and happiness.

    To shed that heavy winter coat, it's important to get into a rhythm and routine that gradually helps you to lighten up physically, mentally, and emotionally. The best yoga routine includes lots of twisting, pranayama (breathing practices), Sun Salutations, strong standing poses, and backbends, all of which pump prana (vital energy) throughout your system and turn up tapas (inner heat).

    Lucky for you, we feature many routines fitting for spring. To shift into the season smoothly, we especially recommend Kiyomi Takahashi’s freshly added yoga video: Detox and Cleanse for Clarity.

    This online yoga class is specifically designed to cleanse your system and clear out mental cobwebs. Featuring lots of twisting poses and breath work, this Vinyasa flow will help you let go of the old to create space in the body to receive new energy. This practice will also aid your digestion and elimination by wringing out acid, toxins, and mucus that build up in our digestive systems. Walk away from this online yoga experience feeling light, cleansed, refreshed, and clear-headed. Chances are you'll want to make this online yoga video an integral component of your spring cleaning strategy. (48 mins.)

    detox yoga

    For more detoxifying delights, head over to our virtual yoga studio. We’ve plenty of online yoga classes to choose from to get in a good spring detox!

    Image courtesy of www.allisonzimmermanyoga.wordpress.com

  • Natarajasana: Feel the Dance!

    noelle connolly yoga

    Work toward one of the most celebrated backbends in yoga: Natarajasana (nat = dance, raja = lord or king), also called Dancer's Pose, Lord of the Dance Pose, Dancing Shiva Pose, and King Dancer’s Pose.

    Given its many names, it must be pretty significant, right?

    Well, yeah. It is.

    Nataraja is Shiva as the Lord of Dance and symbolizes the cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and dissolution. Heavy stuff, I know. Cultivating this dynamic pose allows you to experience stillness within movement, and feel the dance contained within stillness.

    By opening up the front body and simultaneously strengthening the standing leg and engaging the lower abdominals, this standing backbend:

    • Builds focus and confidence
    • Opens up the shoulders and chest
    • Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
    • Strengthens the legs and ankles
    • Enhances balance

    To experience the benefits, check out these online yoga videos all specifically choreographed with shoulder and heart openers to prep for this kingly pose.

    • Natarajasana: King Dancer's Pose Flow with Joan Hyman
      Joan will break it down, teaching component parts like opening the shoulder girdle and the hip flexors, along with teaching how to engage the pelvic floor. This is an energizing online yoga practice, including handstand variations and twists that leave you feeling grounded and open at the same time! Begin on two blocks opening the thoracic spine with breath awareness. Enjoy the flow and find your dance within! (62 mins.)
    • Dancing Shiva Flow with Ashley Turner
      Strengthen by softening in this online yoga class. Travel through a dynamic standing/balancing sequence and dive into the myth of Natarajasana. Learn how to dance through "the rings of fire" in life in this dynamic, Level 3 online yoga video. (92 mins.)
    • Hip and Shoulder Opening to Natarajasana: SmartFLOW with Annie Carpenter
      This steady and focused alignment-based yoga video features postures to open the shoulders and front hips in preparation for the dance. (88 mins.)

    Like anything else, Natarajasana takes practice, especially for the less bendy of yogis.

    Enjoy the journey, don’t freak out over falling, and trust that with practice all is coming, including strength and poise.

    Natarajasana by Joe Longo Photography via www.noelleconnolly.com 

  • How to Build a Safe L Pose by Sigrid Matthews

    yoga poses

    Alignment, alignment, alignment!

    Sometimes, don’t you just wish your teacher would shut up and let you go with the flow, literally? There is nothing like moving on the breath, flowing gracefully from one pose to the next, not staying too long anywhere - almost like dancing to great rock and roll in your bedroom.

    Yes, I’ve been there too and taught many a fun, sweaty, flow yoga class where everyone was grooving to tunes and meditating on their higher self. There is nothing wrong with this, but over the years of repetition and moving your body around unconsciously, you are at a higher risk for injuries, particularly in the shoulders.

    One of the most common complaints and recurring site of injuries in yoga these days is the tearing of the rotator cuff. It’s giving yoga a bad reputation and some are going so far as to say that yoga can wreck your body! Luckily, many of us know how many stories of healing the body are attributed to yoga. However you may want to consider fine tuning your practice to lessen the risk of injury in yoga poses like chaturanga dandasana, plank, vashistasana, handstand, and even, upward facing dog.

    L pose is a fantastic way to get the strengthening benefits of the above poses with a lot less risk.

    One of the main reasons people get hurt flowing from chaturanga to cobra or up dog is that they allow the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) to protract or “drop” forward in the shoulder socket. This protraction can also be accompanied with scapular protraction, but many students simply “pull” their shoulder blades back (retraction) without addressing the real issue of the forward upper arm bone. In fact, the shoulder blades can be somewhat neutral in plank. When you cleanly bend your arms, stopping just before the chest is lower than the elbows and keeping the front of the chest open, the shoulder blades will move towards one another as much as needed (you don’t need to do more). Keep the front of the shoulders open as you transition into upward facing dog.

    Okay, so problem solved. Well, as people do cycle after cycle of vinyasa they tend to get tired and sloppy and that’s when you see the pose beginning to break down. Rather than doing 100s of chaturangas to develop strength and tone, challenge yourself by working L pose for up to a minute at a time.

    ***

    To start working your L pose, tune into Sigrid's Focused Flow yoga video. Build confidence and self-esteem and receive all of the benefits of a full handstand as you practice this safe inversion utilizing the wall. This online yoga class is taught progressively for safety with all of the prep poses creating spinal alignment, posture, and deep core integrity. (15 mins.)

    yoga online

  • Fresh Vibes: Illuminate Your Backbends!

    backbends

    Backbends...

    I feel like either you love ‘em or hate ‘em.

    If you’re a backbending junkie, prepare to get high.

    If you consider backbends your nemeses...well, buckle up. They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. So maybe, just maybe, you’ll cross the line.

    • Don't Back Down with Gwen Lawrence
      This powerful online yoga flow is designed to build strength and stability in the back and core. In this online yoga class, you will challenge the breath and deepen your focus. Enjoy a deep hip-opener at the end to let go of any low back strain. (67 mins.)
    • Expand from Stability: Bow Shaped Balances with Stacey Rosenberg
      Filmed live at Yoga Tree Hayes, this alignment-based practice is loaded with stabilizing balancing poses and strengthening asymmetrical backbends. Explore atypical ways to find yourself in Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) or Vasisthasana (Side Plank) and even Cobra. This practice is challenging and flows through many variations of familiar poses. You will build the stability and focus required for balance and cultivate the strength and opening to create the many variations of bow shaped backbends. Come out with more space to breath and perhaps a little taller. (59 mins.)
    • Open Heart: Yoga for Athletes Short Practice with Sage Rountree
      In this short, beginner yoga video (designed especially for athletes, but open to all!) you’ll focus on opening the chest and hips. Relax into both supported and active backbends as you address all areas of the chest and shoulders to find greater ease, expansion, and openness through your front body. (30 mins.)
    • Build a Backbend with Stacey Rosenberg
      Start with simple poses that bring awareness while opening both your back body and the front of your thighs. The sequence progresses by building strength in your middle and upper back and engaging your core to bring you into full wheel pose (urdhva dhanurasana) safely and with integrity. Filmed live at Yoga Tree Hayes, this online yoga video is great for people who already have a backbend practice or for those who want to strengthen their upper back and work toward fuller backbend expressions over time. (59 mins.)

     

    There's plenty more where that came from! For more backbending madness, head over to the YogaVibes studio.

    Image Courtesy of www.zainsaraswatijamal.com

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