• 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!

    yoga poses

    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 


  • Fresh Vibes: Illuminate Your 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

  • Class Review: 30 Minute Pick Me Up with Joan Hyman

    The deets.

    • Filming Location: Los Angeles, California
    • Style: Vinyasa Flow
    • Intensity: Level 2 = Moderate Intensity
    • Focus: Backbends + Hip Openers
    • Props: Block + Blanket Recommended
    • Average Rating: 4/5

                                                                                                                                   On the teacher.

    Joan Hyman always brings her A-game. Her excellent instructions, challenging and upbeat flows, and openhearted approach create an alluring yogic elixir of intelligence, intensity, and lightness.


    On the class.

    • Sweat. This class packs a punch for its brevity. It you’re looking for a dose of intensity and perspiration, this class is where it’s at!
    • Energize. Start with a very stimulating pranayama exercise: Breath of Fire. Get the Shakti surging in no time!
    • Stretch it out. Open up the hip flexors – typical areas of tightness and tension.
    • Feel expansive and awake. Practice Ustrasana (Camel Pose) to feel open and energized for your day.

    yogaworks vinyasa online

    What people are saying.

    • “I've never had a class with Joan in person, but I've had bazillions with Jeanne Heileman and she has always spoken highly and fondly of Joan, so I thought, "why not gives this class a try?" I'm a stay at home dad and sometimes only have small snippets of time so a 30 odd minute class sounded great. And Joan did not disappoint. You get a nice little all around practice here and feel like you've probed the depths in a good way. And it's definitely a "pick me up"! I think Joan may have intended this as a way to get going in the morning, but I practiced it in the evening of one of those logy Sundays where my kids had worn me out and I just couldn't get going. This did the trick! Thank you Joan!” ~Eric O.
    • "Ahhhh, thank you Joan! Missing our great two-hour practices but this is a whole lot more do-able these days, and it was just what I needed. Cleared a lot of those cobwebs right out. I'll be seeing you again tonight for a pre-sleep wind-down! Would love to see more of these shorter practices... for those days when a little is better than nothing!" ~Anne F.
    • "Perfect pick me up and centering after a busy day!" ~Emily W.
    • "Great way to start the day! Thanks, Joan!" ~Kendra M.
    • "This is a lovely class. It's well paced and packs a lot of good movement into the 35 minutes. I feel energized, a lot less sluggish than I did beforehand, and more relaxed all at the same time." ~Elana M.

    From Joan’s website: Joan Hyman is a distinguished YogaWorks Senior Teacher, who weaves her personal yogic journey into popular teacher trainings, workshops and retreats around the world. Her teachings come from an organic, intuitive place as she draws upon the joyful study of Ayurveda (the science of life), chakras and meditation. With over 20 years of experience, Joan is E-RYT 500-hour certified with Yoga Alliance and a dedicated, 10-year Ashtanga practitioner who is proficient in second series and recently has begun Advanced A (third series)—a high level of achievement among Western yogis. Her challenging and upbeat YogaWorks Vinyasa flow classes are well liked among the Los Angeles yoga community. Practicing with Joan is an experience; her instruction is intelligent and light, infused with a strong level of intensity that stems from years of focused study.

    Find more online yoga classes with Joan Hyman HERE.

    Get more on Joan Hyman at, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


  • Locust Pose (Salabhasana) with Jeanne Heileman

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by the lovely Jeanne Heileman of YogaWorks in Los Angeles, California. In this free online yoga video, Jeanne and student will demo how to properly do Locust Pose or Salabhasana – a pose lumped into the group of so-called “baby backbends.” Though Locust is one of the more simple and mild poses of the backbending family, it still presents its unique set of challenges.


    As Jeanne will point out in this asana teardown, most of us don’t like this pose (myself included.) After watching this demo, I now have a better understanding of why this pose tends to get on my nerves.

    The thing is, a lot of people have the wrong idea when they approach Locust. They try to rely on the external muscles when actually, the internal muscles must be accessed. Also, the breath is super important in Locust. You must learn how to breathe into the pose to discover its sweetness.

    First, Jeanne will show you how most of us incorrectly do Salabhasana (the classical version). Sure, it looks okay, but it’s not very expansive in the heart and thoracic region (mid back). You can see that the student is dumping everything into the lumbar region of the spine. This annoys the spine and makes you cranky. No good.

    Next, Jeanne will show you how to correctly set up the pose by first engaging the core, scooping the pelvis off the floor and creating a hallowing in the belly. Learn to get long. Learn to create more space and expansion in the pose. Sure, this will make the pose more difficult. Yet, it will also allow you to work the diaphragm more, so you can breathe more.

    Try it out...

    Locust Pose

    Let this pose be more about receiving an inhale. If approached in this way, this pose will eventually begin to feel good and expansive and you will be able to receive its many delicious benefits.


    Photo Credit: Locust Pose via

  • Moving Through Depression with Ashley Turner

    Join mind-body psychotherapist and yoga teacher, Ashley Turner, in this online yoga class designed to relieve the symptoms of depression. Ashley is passionate about sharing the power of yoga, science, and meditation to help us in Western world (and all around the globe) deal with common afflictions, such as depression.


    At some point, we all suffer from some form of depression. Some of the key components of depression are lack of motivation, low energy, and apathy. To overcome these symptoms, the system requires “charging.” Yoga provides a way to up level and resuscitate the system – to get the body and mind up and running again.

    In this online yoga practice you will work with a “charging”, activating breath. You will work to stabilize your body’s biochemistry through twisting, backbends, and fiery sun salutations. You will focus on the middle back - the bra-strap region where the kidneys and adrenals live. It is here where we tend to hold the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenalin. The intention of this yoga practice is to flush out these stress hormones and activate the endorphins.

    Oxytocin and serotonin - the “happy” hormones” - help us to feel better and create a shift in our brain and blood chemistry, which dramatically influences our mood.

    This is where the power of yoga comes into play. Yoga creates a shift. Yoga activates. Yoga uplifts. The activating movements wipe out the stress hormones and get those “happy” hormones surging. That’s why it is so important to get the body moving when you are experiencing a depressive episode (even if it is all you can manage that day).

    Now, get ready for some serious re-charging. Start this online yoga practice with breath of fire – a very activating breath that fires up the lymphatic system.

    Yoga for Depression

    And remember throughout your practice and your day….

    “You are supported, you are loved, and you are upheld by this life-affirming flow of Prana.”  ~Ashley Turner

    Elevate your mood in this space of compassion and acceptance.


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