annie carpenter

  • Feature Friday: What’s New?

    We have some new and exciting classes to tempt you with in this week’s online yoga video lineup.

    core workouts  Gigi Yogini and students filming her new Hard Core on the Floor class at the Secret Studio.
    1. Chill Out. Supta that Padangusthasana with Annie Carpenter in yet another raved about, alignment-conscious "Quickie" SmartFLOW. This online yoga class is perfect for the end of the day, post airplane sitting, or traveling. Completely relax and restore and still the mind and body in this reclining yoga class.
    2. Got Core? Now you do. Try Gigi Yogini’s new Hard Core on the Floor class. Build strength. Connect to your center. Plus, rest easy knowing that the practice never picks you up off the ground. That being said, be prepared for a challenge intermixed with some humor and JOY.
    3. Play with Pranayama. Try an online meditation from a lineage of teachers in the Himalayan Mountains, brought to Jeanne Heileman from her grand-teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. Learn a special form of Pranayama to heighten your access to the Third Eye, increasing the amount of Prana (Life Force) you are able to gather and maintain in that region. Once that gathering is established, be guided on where to move this amazing ball of Prana. This is a powerful practice and worth repeating to improve your ability to build Prana and then keep it inside.
    4. Free Up the Hammies and Shoulders.  Try Joan Hyman's new class - a short online yoga sequence designed to open the shoulders and hamstrings in preparation for a yoga practice or any type of athletic sport. There’s no need to roll out your yoga mat for this one. All you need is your lovely self, a wall, and a strap.
    5. Shake Up Your Shakti! Try a Mixed Level Dharma Yoga practice that gives one a very real experience of the classical yoga teaching that has made Yogi Sri Dharma Mittra in such demand as a teacher the world over for so many years now. Those new to yoga and those who already have an established practice will all find much to inspire them in this complete online yoga practice. Maha Shakti is primarily asana (yoga postures), but what's on offer here represents a complete practice including both guided Deep Healing Relaxation (7 minutes) and a final meditation (3 minutes). This program is an excellent introduction for those new to Dharma Yoga and the powerful teaching of Sri Dharma Mittra and it will make those that miss spending time with him at the New York Center feel very much at home. Overall, a well-rounded and complete yoga practice. "I look forward to serving you only the best of the best," says Sri Dharma Mittra.

    There you have it, yogis. Chill options. Core challenges. Pranayama play. Hammie and shoulder liberation. Plus, the best of the best. Enjoy!

    ~Tess

  • Feature Friday: What’s New?

    We have some tasty new items on the online yoga menu this week to entice you:

    1. Start by taking the focus inward in Jeanne Heileman’s The Third Eye: A Practice Working with Inner Awareness.

      Join Jeanne and students for a strong workout that opens up a whole new world on the inside. This well-rounded practice moves you in a flow sequence from Sun Salutations into Standing Poses, into Arm Balances and Backbends, cooling down with Reclining Forward Folds. What makes this online yoga class special is the attention to the Sixth Chakra, the inner, Third Eye. It is said that when we close our outer eyes, the inner Third Eye can begin to awaken and see the light that dwells within ourselves. It takes time and practice. This online yoga class will not only show you how to start to access this inner light, but give you tips on the journey. The students in this video reported that they loved the experience and found it amazingly powerful. (78 mins.)

    2. Now this next one is especially geared toward the fellas. There’s no excuse now not to try yoga when you have a practice uniquely designed for you. Joan Hyman’s Yoga for Men class, appropriate for beginners, is an awesome opportunity for you guys to get a taste of some broga.

      Though created for men, anyone can benefit from this basic, slow moving online yoga class. Learn the fundamentals with this instructional-based sequence targeting the hips and shoulders. Gain a better understanding of the language of standing poses. This flow ends with light stretching, creating a well-balanced feeling in the body and mind. (59 mins.)

    3. If you are looking for something short, sweet, yet stimulating, join Annie Carpenter for a "Quickie" SmartFLOW experience, exploring the forearm balance and inversion Pincha Mayurasana.

      inversion Though this online yoga class is short, there is no lack of detail on specific alignment. Annie will help you find optimal alignment while lifting the arms forward and overhead as you work towards one of her very favorite poses, Pincha Mayurasana. (27 mins.)

    4. To top it all off, Join Rolf Gates one of his signature 90-minutes mixed-level Vinyasa flow classes - a Grounding Flow.

      Begin slowly with centering, followed by a slow warm-up. Practice proper standing alignment with a block sequence that will lengthen the side body while helping you ground into the earth. Build heat with a steady, challenging flow that includes Sun Salutation variations, a standing mandala-type flow and standing balance pose sequence. Finish with core work, backbends, and seated hip openers.

    There’s a lot going on here. Third eye awakenings. Broga. Quickies. Centering. Get it while it’s HOT yogis.

    ~Tess

  • Weekend Challenge: Use the Breath

    The breath gives way to power, presence, and peace. The breath can be used to access the life you want to create and the reactions you want to create. During experiences of stress, anxiety, discomfort, anger, and intensity, you can turn to your breath to achieve calm and escape undesirable external circumstances.

    You learn to breathe on the mat to create an asana experience of fluidity and ease. In the practice, the breath is your greatest teacher. Yet, its significance extends beyond the realm of your mat. The breath can be used anytime and anywhere to create that same experience of fluidity and ease.

    Easy Seat

    Ujjayi pranayama and other forms of pranayama may be used at any point to bring calm and help you control your responses to stress triggers. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, the breath comes into play constantly. As you become more conscious of it, you become better able to change your experiences and emotional responses. As you become more connected to your breath, you can allow this innate teacher to actually teach you.

    Take time this weekend to honor the breath, the prana, by practicing some online pranayama exercises. Prana, the life-force, is responsible for keeping us alive. The root ‘yama’ means breath expansion and 'ayama' means breath restraint. Pranayama, then, is the practice of breath restraint and breath expansion. In this practice, you use your breath as a concentration tool - an internal mantra. In time, and with regular pranayama practice, your mind will develop supreme concentration. In this place of pure concentration, all turnings or thoughts of the mind will temporary stop. Ahhhh...sweet liberation!

    Explore the following free online pranayama videos this weekend. These breathing techniques are highly accessible and only require a few minutes of your time:

    Use the breath to overcome fear, nervousness, and stress. Use the breath to open the door to poise, peace, and power. Use the breath drop in and let go.

    ~TJ

  • Yoga for Your Chakras

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the chakras recently, specifically my own. While I wish my chakras were seamlessly spinning and aligned to perfection, they most certainly are not. I know I’m in immediate need of some chakra fine-tuning. Perhaps you are, as well. If so, let’s get on it! Let's get in sync with our subtle wheels of energy.

    7 Chakra Energy Centers

     

    These featured online yoga videos will help to empower your 7 chakra centers, remove chakra blockages, and balance your entire energy system.

    Chakra Salutation Series with Shala Worsley - In this 30-minute online yoga practice, you'll flow through sun salutation variations, exploring and balancing each chakra as the series progresses. Practice this flow to balance and enliven you at any time. (29 mins.)

    Throat Chakra Opener with Gigi Yogini - Find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself in this online yoga video. Enjoy this playful online yoga class with mantra and affirmative singing. You'll smile and maybe even laugh. (12 mins.)

    Heart Chakra Healing and Balancing Kundalini Yoga Set with Kiyomi Takahashi - This powerful Kundalini yoga set is perfect for your morning or mid-day practice to uplift your energy. The short meditation at the end of the class will induce the sense of calmness in your heart. This class is designed to remove energetic blockages from your Heart Chakra, so you can connect with yourself with true compassion, and allow yourself to receive the healing, love, and compassion that you deserve. The ending meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others. May the increased healing energy from your heart penetrate and dissolve your pain, and the pain of others around you. You can increase the time for each exercise in the set and add the time for meditation from 3 minutes to 7 minutes, 11 minutes, 22 minutes and 31 minutes. Open and balance your heart to love yourself and all the creatures around you. This set ends with a Calm Heart Meditation, which can be used on its own. (49 mins.)

    Moving Through the Chakras: A Pranayama and Meditation Class with Annie Carpenter - Grab a couple of blankets, a bolster and a block as you start with a supported savasana and guided relaxation. Move on to deep breathing exercises and seated asanas to awaken the spine. Use specific breath techniques as Annie guides you on a journey up through the chakras. (59 mins.)

    Kripalu Yoga: Pranic Flow with Taj Paxton - This online yoga class is designed to open your chakras and free your energy. Have a block available, if possible. (25 mins.)

    Tantra Breath to Harness Sexual Energy with Psalm Isadora - Learn how to use your sexual/creative power to manifest your intentions and boost your energy. Pelvic floor and abdominal core exercises will tone your sexual chi, your belly, and organs. Stoke the fire of the second chakra to life to bring more energy to your heart and crown chakras. (16 mins.)

    That’s a bounty of chakra balancing yoga online! Start practicing to bring your internal forces of energy into line.

    ~TJ

  • 13 Benefits of Shoulder Stand: The Queen of All Asanas

    Yesterday, we touched on the benefits of Headstand – the designated king of all asanas. As promised, it’s time to explore Headstand’s counterpart: Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), the dubbed queen of all asanas. Both poses, practiced alone, offer amazing benefits to the practitioner. When practiced together, back to back, the received benefits are only magnified.

    rolling stones yoga Mick Jagger Doing Shoulder Stand via MindBodyGreen.com

    Being queen, Shoulder stand helps us to develop the more feminine qualities of patience and emotional harmony. It is very neutralizing to the nervous system compared to its counterpart Headstand - a very heating and energizing pose. That’s why, in our yoga practice, it makes sense to practice Headstand followed by Shoulder stand. That way, we ease our way out of the practice and emerge in balance. If you practice Headstand solo or last, you may end your practice in a hyper-stimulated state. Depending on what you’re doing next, that might be a good thing. Just keep yourself in check.

    At the onset, this queen bee asana may seem a little less daunting to approach. Of the inversions, I consider Shoulder stand to be a bit more mild. That’s not to say it’s easy. In fact, I know people who have more aversion to Shoulder stand compared to the big boy asana, Headstand. Why? Again, you know why. Fear.

    Different poses bring up different issues for different people. It’s all an opportunity. Yoga is providing you with a chance to work on you and overcome some of your personal fear and struggle. That’s why yoga is so beautiful! It shows you what you need to know. Allow yoga to unravel the fears and issues that are residing right below the surface ready to be unleashed. Sure, it’s a little scary. This is a good thing, though! Trust me. It’s a beautiful, liberating release of all that toxic baggage.

    Iyengar, revered yogi, refers to Shoulder stand as the “mother of all asanas.” Regular practice of this pose promotes harmony and happiness of the mind, body, brain, and spirit. It is considered a remedy for almost, well, everything. If you have some sort of common health concern, Shoulder stand just may function effectively as your drug of choice.

    Shoulder Stand Perks

    1. Eliminates common colds and other nasal issues
    2. Calms the nervous system
    3. Eases irritation, shortness of temper, nervous breakdowns, insomnia, tension, upset, nervousness, and fatigue
    4. Speeds up metabolism
    5. Relieves digestive discomfort and constipation
    6. May help with epilepsy, low vitality, and anemia
    7. May alleviate urinary disorders, uterine displacement, menstrual troubles, and hernias
    8. Strengthens the upper body, legs, and abdomen
    9. Opens the heart/chest
    10. Stretches the neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles
    11. Relieves headaches
    12. Helps relieve breathlessness, palpitations, asthma, bronchitis and throat ailments due to healthy blood circulation around the neck and chest
    13. Helps thyroid and parathyroid glands to function efficiently due to increased blood flow, keeping the body and the brain in harmony

    After that breakdown of benefits, I know you’re ready to sample this drug. Experience a sampling in these two online yoga videos.

    First, rock some Iyengar Hatha yoga online with Kim McNeil. This 49-minute online yoga class takes it up a notch. Build on the key lessons taught by Kim in her Rockin' Iyengar Hatha Yoga I (Beginner) Class on YogaVibes. In this online yoga session, you'll learn how to link back to key alignment points from the beginner yoga video and apply these points to a more advanced asana practice. You'll add twisting to standing poses, go from downward dog to a safe Headstand, and take bridge pose into Shoulder stand. Talk about fun times!

    Desire more soothing Shoulder stand pleasantness?

    Experience an amazing, heart opening online Vinyasa flow with Annie Carpenter. This 91-minute online yoga class explores sustained shoulder opening, leading to Shoulder stand and Shoulder stand drop-backs. After all that shoulder-opening goodness, enjoy some lovely hip stretches to chill way down.

    Don’t brush off this queenly asana in your practice. If you desire happiness, harmony, and peace within, hit the mat to receive the benefits from this lovely asana elixir.

    ~TJ

    Note: There are some legit reasons not to practice Headstand and Shoulder stand. Neck injuries, slipped discs, and high blood pressure are a few reasons. Do your research. Consult a qualified yoga teacher. Approach with caution. Caution; not fear!

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