annie carpenter yoga

  • Class Review: Morning "Quickie" SmartFLOW with Annie Carpenter

    The deets.

    Filming Location: Exhale Spa in Los Angeles, California

    Style: Vinyasa Flow

    Length: 29 minutes

    Intensity: Level 2 = Moderate Intensity

    Focus: Alignment-Based Flow

    Props: 1 Block + 1 Blanket Recommended

    Average Rating: 5/5

    On the teacher.

    Annie Carpenter reflects her love of movement and rigorous discipline in her intelligently sequenced SmartFLOW Vinyasa yoga classes. With her great passion for creativity and metaphor, Annie loves to play with sequencing in order to take her students into a deeper understanding of a pose, and of themselves.

    titibasana

    On the class.

    • Rise and flow. Short and sweet, this is the perfect morning practice.
    • Alignment-focused. Annie’s online yoga classes are safe and provide "points of dharana" or gateways to inner stillness and meditation.
    • Strike a balance. Find harmony between awakening energies and softening or quieting energies.
    • Ease in. Build the intensity slowly. Begin by observing the breath, followed by a seated warm-up and pranayama. From here, move into a challenging series of standing balances.
    • Give in to gravity. End with a reclining hip stretch, twists, and finally savasana.

    vinyasa yoga at home

    What people are saying.

    "This was a great class! Thanks" ~John M

    "Thank you Annie!!! I've been waiting for this shorter class. It's wonderful!! It's so easy to fit this into my morning schedule. Love it!!" ~Lilla R

    From Annie’s website: Known as a “teachers’ teacher,” Annie believes that Yoga practice is a remarkable method for learning to steady the attention on what is actually happening in the moment. From this place, compassion and radical acceptance naturally evolve. Old mindsets of the illusion of separation, of me and them, and self and other, dissolve into the knowledge of wholeness.

    Find more online yoga classes with Annie Carpenter HERE.

    Get more on Annie Carpenter at www.anniecarpenter.com.

     

  • Feature Friday: What’s New?

    Let's see...

    What do we have going on this week? Well, lots. Read on to find an online yoga practice that strikes your fancy. Then, take it to the mat.

    firefly pose

    Arm balance junkie?

    Join Cristi Christensen for an online Vinyasa flow and exploration of eka pada koundinyasana II, titibasana, and bakasana post-hamstring and hip-opening. What’s more, enjoy a core plank, push-up, spinal flow series that will fire up your core and bring flexibility to the spine.

    Rock yo hips.

    Work in a quick and well-rounded hip opening practice complete with a warm-up, standing postures, balancing poses and restorative hip openers. Release tension to receive the numerous physical and energetic benefits of this online yoga practice with Gigi Yogini.

    Start trippin’ off the POWER.

    Begin this online yoga class on your back with Goldie Oren’s signature ab work to fire up the core. You'll then move into several low and high lunges to power up the legs. Then flow through four Sun Salutation A's to build heat. The sequence will continue to flow into externally rotated poses like Warrior II, extended side angle and half moon pose. After the standing hip openers, you'll come into several internally rotated poses and twists, including revolved extended side angle, revolved triangle and Warrior III. Then making your way onto your stomach for three bow poses and a restful child's pose. You'll close the practice with a long pigeon pose with the option to twist, and a peaceful savasana.

    Pranayamas, asanas, mudras, oh my!

    Join Andrey Lappa for a short Universal Yoga Mandala class introducing pranayamas, mudras, and color visualizations for the development of dharana (internal focus and concentration) while skillfully incorporating vinyasas, asanas, and turns on the mat. Feel a balancing of the mind and body - the internal and the external harmonized.

    Unleash your inner yoga ninja. 

    Sensei Kim McNeil takes it up a notch to lead you in an online yoga practice to safely improve the mobility of your lower body joints. Learn how to properly move the spine, hips, and knees in a way that will make you stronger, improve your balance, and promote happy joints. All the while you will be challenged to stay in touch with your breathing and find your inner yoga ninja so you can continue to karate chop stress long after you've left the mat.

    Release!

    Take a wonderful, guided journey with Annie Carpenter as you release through the entire body in this online pranayama and meditation class. Start with a guided relaxation as you prepare your body for a seated pranayama and meditation experience.

    Here comes the Barre burn.

    Join Tammy Rowe for a fast-paced online Core Fusion class which is a nice challenge for students with Core Fusion or barre experience. Fusing the disciplines of core conditioning, Pilates, the Lotte Berk Method, and yoga, this highly acclaimed transformational fitness experience incorporates 50 years of collective teacher expertise. It allows you to work from the inside out, consistently delivering results, including washboard abs, a tighter and higher backside, and a perfectly toned body.

    Lots of newness to explore, right? Enjoy your exploration. Enjoy your practice.

    ~Tess

  • To Yoga or Not to Yoga?

    I awoke yesterday feeling not so groovy. Sniffles. Sneezes. Soreness. The works. You know you’re a yogi when the first thing you ask yourself in the face of sickness is, “To yoga or not to yoga?”

    Kapotasana

    Yesterday, I was too hung up on feeling sorry for myself to practice. I was turning a minor sickness into a life-debilitating ailment.

    Today, I had places to be and things to do. No longer did I have the option of whimpering in bed absorbed in some mind-numbing series on Netflix. Today, I really could not let this microscopic monster own me. Being that I’m at a yoga studio all day, it only made sense to practice. In fact, I couldn’t resist the temptation.

    So, here I am directly following a 1.5-hour crazy, sweaty Vinyasa practice. And you know what? I feel relieved.

    I’m not saying practicing during sickness is a smart move all the time. There are legit reasons why you shouldn’t practice, including difficulty breathing, build up of pressure in the sinuses and head, etc. However, don’t let yourself cop out when you don't have those legit reasons. Mindfully assess your situation. See how you feel. Maybe try it out. Post class, you could end up feeling revived. In my case, I do.

    Now, I’m pretty much a nut so a crazy, sweaty Vinyasa flow did me well. However, I would caution you to verge on the more restorative end of things, at least at the onset of your illness. Here are some therapeutic, calming flows to attempt while battling a bug.

    If you’re dealing with a cold, Ashley Turner’s Yoga to Relieve Cold Symptoms is what you want. In fact, I’m going to give this a go later this evening.

    As I'm well aware of currently, it is sometimes difficult to practice yoga at your normal pace or intensity when you have a cold. This online yoga class will help you increase the flow of oxygen through your body and get your prana moving in order to help your body heal itself. Practice a series of poses that can be held for longer if you are able. Listen to your body and take extra breaths if necessary. Finish feeling more energetic and less congested and foggy. Have a bolster (or bed pillow), blanket and eye pillow available to make yourself comfortable. (21 mins.)

    These bugs always seem to get worse as the day continues. To end your day on a high note, do Annie Carpenter’s Chill Sequence: End of Day Practice filmed at Exhale Spa's Venice location.

    This online yoga practice will help you calm your mind and body. You will run through simple prone releases and a guided deep relaxation to a blissful savasana. (24 mins.)

    To deeply relax in mind and body, do Yoga Nidra - a Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method - guided by Sri Dharma Mittra.

    Sri Dharma Mittra teaches that stress is the number one cause of injury and illness, and that we must explore methods to keep balanced and joyful in the thick of everyday life. Guided Relaxation removes tension and fatigue in the physical body, relieves depression and anxiety, relieves headaches, reduces cravings and desires, rejuvenates and energizes the entire system, bolsters the body's natural healing capacities, and normalizes the circulatory system's functioning. You will be guided into a state of deep relaxation where the breathing and the thoughts are slowed almost to the point of stopping, which can be as restorative as a full night's sleep. When done regularly and with pure intention, one can depart the body and cross over into Psychic Sleep, briefly experiencing the Astral Plane. It is through this deep practice that one can gradually come to recognize that you are so much more than the body or the mind. The benefits of this class are cumulative - the more you do it, the greater the benefit. No previous experience needed! (45 mins.)

    Lastly, if you have the strength and stamina, try Hala Khouri’s Therapeutic Flow filmed at Exhale Spa.

    This online yoga class starts with hamstring and hip releases and lower back stabilization exercises. Move into a grounding flow to create support in the lower back, which is followed by a series of shoulder openers. This therapeutic class is nurturing as well as challenging. (83 mins.)

    Even if you’re battling a bug, you can still find methods of practice. The first step is letting go of all the excuses and the feeling sorry for yourself nonsense. Getting sick sucks, but it happens. It is only temporary (as is everything). This too shall pass, yogis.

    ~Tess

  • Yoga for Healthier Posture

    Tadasana

    As a kid, I was above average for my height. In fact, during one visit to the doc, I was told that I was headed for a soaring height of 6 feet. Following this conjecture were my tears. I didn’t want to be that tall!

    I was, until high school, at least a head taller than every boy that crossed my path. This bird’s eye view wasn’t where I wanted to be. To compensate, I unconsciously did lots of hunching over. My Mom was incessantly on my case. Stand up, Tessa. Stop slouching. Stop hunching over. Sometimes I would listen (especially upon the threat of a back brace). Other times, I’d just mock her and, with exaggeration and my flare for drama, hunch over even more.

    Looking back on the youthful version of myself, I wish what I have wished many times – I wish I had listened to my Mom. All of that slouching set the stage for lots of lower back pain and the tendency to hunch over even in adulthood. For example, I’m currently hunching over my computer as I type. Grrr. Thank my lucky stars for yoga.

    Though I was a dancer and athlete for many years, there was nothing that brought so much awareness to my body and posture as yoga. One of the first yoga classes I experienced was themed around Tadasana (Mountain Pose). The teacher simply instructed how to properly stand and how to bring more awareness to your posture. The message in that class really resonated and I found myself checking in with my posture way more than I had previously. I was so jazzed on the class that I went home to tell my Mom about why it’s so important to stand tall. She smiled and took it all in, but I’m sure she was thinking, “I told you so.”

    Maybe this goes without saying, but it is so important to make an effort to stand tall. Yes, slouching can be a hard habit to break. It’s still a work in progress for me. But a conscious effort to reverse this phenomenon will pay off in more ways that one, warding off long-term pain in the head, shoulders, neck, and back and serious havoc on the joints, discs, and muscles. Plus, standing tall exudes self-confidence and looks a lot more pleasing to the eye than abnormal, C-shaped spinal curvature.

    To quickly learn how to stand tall, tune into a free online yoga video with Chad Moline demoing Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

    In this online yoga video, you will learn the fundamentals of Tadasana and how it shows up in many other yoga poses.

    Tadasana

    For additional Tadasana amusement, try Sarah Faircloth’s alignment-based online yoga class sequenced around this fundamental pose.

    In this online yoga class, you will practice stepping through thresholds. The powerful energy of those in between times when we are at a threshold is the way we will approach this series. Do not worry so much about whether you "get" the pose. Rather, think of each phase of the pose as a threshold. Keep practicing with self reflection and you will progress, and reach another threshold. Tada means mountain. Another name for Tadasana is sama sthitihi (meaning equal or same standing). Keep coming back to Tadasana. The breath is the thread of the practice. String all the poses along the breath while maintaining your Tadasana in each pose. (55 mins.)

    mountain pose

    And for the grand, posture-enhancing finale, try Annie Carpenter’s Improve Your Posture online Vinyasa flow.

    Focus on strengthening your shoulders and upper back and opening your chest to create healthy and beautiful alignment in this online yoga class. (29 mins.)

    online vinyasa yoga class

    The more you practice yoga the less natural it will feel to slouch. So get to your feet and hit the mat to cultivate a healthier, more beautiful stance.

    ~Tess

  • Weekend Intention: Kill Comparison

    I hear it a lot. Oh, so-and-so has such an advanced practice! I want my practice to be like (or as good as) so-and-so. Even this: So-and-so is better than so-and so at yoga. Yikes.

    Here’s what I have to say to all that so-and-so nonsense: Kill the comparison crap.

    First off, the true sign of an advanced practice doesn’t always present itself in physical form. Being a yogi isn’t exclusively a physical lifestyle and journey. The poses – or asana – make up only one limb of the 8-limbed path. As the most visible and physical limb, it’s easy to get caught up in asana. It’s easy to judge and critique. It’s easy to become envious (even jealous) of so-and-so’s practice. Maybe it’s even natural. It’s also, however, an opportunity to practice the art of letting go, non-attachment, and self-acceptance.

    Acceptance

    When I think of an "advanced" practice, I think of someone that mindfully approaches the mat. I think of someone that takes his or her ego completely out of the equation. I think of someone that flows through the practice with grace – grace that usually comes from years and years of patience, practice, and devotion. I think of someone that is totally integrated in breath and body - so integrated that the practice becomes a dance.

    See, the poses don’t really matter. They are cool. They look cool. They are super cool to practice. But they are just shapes – shapes that need not be judged or lusted after. What’s really so sweet about the poses is that they teach us lessons. They give us glimpses into what is going on at deeper levels. So, yes…in that way they do matter. The point is: Yoga is much, much more than striking sweet postures. And advancement is certainly much, much more than being an asana champ. And finally…comparison will get you into trouble.

    Letting go of asana offers a metaphor for letting go of our attachment to all things physical. The physical world is harsh with judgment, criticism, and expectation. Letting go of all that crap is liberating. Not trying to live up to some physical standard of being is liberating. Truth is, the physical body is beautiful. Each one. The yoga practice is beautiful. Each one. It’s all beautiful despite where it is at. Everyone is as they should be. You are as you should be. So, stop comparing it all. Be you and let others be.

    To practice the art of acceptance, join Annie Carpenter for her signature SmartFLOW Vinyasa class. This online yoga class is a classic Annie SmartFLOW practice. Unite Sun Salutations, handstands, standing splits and upward bow to bring sweat, mindfulness and acceptance. (86 mins.)

    Annier Carpenter Yoga Online

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: www.yogadownload.com

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