beginner yoga online

  • Class Review: Breathing for More Energy with Gigi Yogini

    The deets.

    Filming Location: Gigi’s Secret Studio in Los Angeles, California Style: Kundalini Yoga Length: 17 minutes Intensity: Level 1 = A Beginner Appropriate, All-Levels Online Yoga Video Focus: Beginner + Core-Focused Props: N/A Average Rating: 5/5

    On the teacher.

    Gigi Yogini is an advocate for JOY. Her diverse, empowering flows help students to find a natural rhythm for their practices and a sense of self-love. Fusing inspiration with bouts of laughter, Gigi Yogini creates a yogic bundle of bliss you’ll surely return to time and time again.

    camel pose

    On the class.

    • Invigorate! Activate the lymph nodes, increase wellness, vitality, and energy, and awaken for your day.
    • Dissolve negativity. Come into a place of new, infinite potential.
    • Strengthen your core. This transformational power breath is very activating to the abdominal muscles. Expect a core workout.
    • Shake the heart open. Move through blockages. Release tension.
    • Get big and crazy. You are in the comfort of your own home, so go all out on this energizing breath.
    • Let go of the victim voice. Let go of doubt. Move into abundance. Feel that you have everything that you need.

    gigi yogini yoga videos

    What people are saying.

    "Inspiring words, this Energizing Breath is simple and effective . By the end of the 15 minutes I felt I really was in a positive mindset & posture from where I started. A Thumbs up, Excellent encouraging instruction."

    "This saved my life today. Beautiful encouragement! Love the length! I did desktop yoga that you showed me how to do yesterday again today too. I love spending time with you on the daily...."

    "Wow! These are powerful tools. In the middle she reminds me of Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith"

    From Gigi’s website: Brigitte Kouba, M.A., also known as Gigi Yogini, inspires women of every age, shape and size to love their bodies and practice joy. She teaches weekly classes and works one-on-one with private clients at her studio in West LA. Gigi also leads retreats and teaches at festivals internationally. Her specialty is blending yoga with world music and dance to create empowering, blissful and transformational experiences. In recognition of her work, Gigi was named an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, YogaEarth and Manduka.

    Find more online yoga classes with Gigi Yogini HERE.

    Get more on Gigi Yogini at www.gigiyogini.com, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

     

  • Gigi Yogini on Yin Yoga to Begin Meditation

    comfortable seat

    How do you prepare for a deep meditation? How do you meditate comfortably? How do you release the thinking mind during your meditation practice? Let's turn these questions over to Gigi Yogini...

    Sometimes one of the biggest distractions for our meditation practice is how uncomfortable it is to sit. Even if you want to start with only 5 minutes of conscious breathing, it’s often a good idea to prepare yourself with some yin yoga to deeply stretch the hips. Otherwise, discomfort can become a distraction and meditation will seem unattainable.

    In addition to feeling uncomfortable, the other problem I had when starting meditation with the business of my mind. I thought I was supposed to immediately be able to erase all thinking from my mind, but it doesn’t always work like that.

    I started to use simple breathing techniques, such as counting, in order to keep my attention on the my breath. In my online yoga video, Yin Yoga to Begin Meditation, help yourself find a comfortable seat and concentrate on the breath. Use props if you need them. If 5 minutes feels easy, perhaps try another 5.

    ***

    meditation

    Happy and comfy meditating, yogis!

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Meditation via www.weheartit.com

  • Gigi Yogini on Shoulder Stand Modifications & Variations

    Sarvangasana variation

    Does shoulder stand freak you out? Does it feel so unpleasant that you shun it away entirely? Don’t worry. You’re not crazy. You’re not any less of a yogi. Freak-outs are normal in the yoga practice, especially when it comes to this mild inversion.

    Shoulder stand aversion is a pretty common condition. Eventually, however, your distaste for this inversion will dissipate. Eventually, through lots of trial and error and play with modifications and variations, you will find a comfortable place to work in this pose so you may soak up all of its awesome benefits.

    Don’t believe me? Just ask Gigi Yogini...

    When I first started yoga I would often suffocate in shoulder stand (sarvangasana). Not only was it uncomfortable, it was incredibly confronting. For a long time I had to stop practicing because I didn’t know my options.

    Sometimes, taking the time to get into a pose properly can really help us feel better. Other times we might need to use a prop to find a modification that can help us. If the pose really isn’t right for you, there are always other variations or substitutions that can be used to get similar effects.

    So if you have a hard time with shoulder stand, use this online yoga video to show you how to properly prepare and get into this beneficial inversion without injuring yourself. If it really isn't working for you, practice the variations and modifications using props like blankets, a block, and/or a strap. Let me know how it goes.

    ***

    Shoulder stand

    Don’t get bent out of shape if the shoulder standing is not progressing as you would like. Just keep practicing it. Keep exploring pose modifications and variations. Keep your spirits high. Release frustration. Release impatience. Release your attachment to outcome. And breathe. Always keep breathing.

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Shoulder Stand variation via www.yogaposeoftheday.com

  • 10 Ways to Elevate Your Home Practice

    Let's be real. Practice ruts are inevitable. But hey, don't you worry about it. Ruts are just signs that it's time to explore. Ruts are opportunities in disguise. They exist as catalysts to help us elevate and expand in yoga (and in life).

    Handstand

    If you are stuck in a rut, here are some ideas to get ya back on your yogic track:

    1. Go upside down.   Exhilarating and liberating, inversions are awesome opportunities to shift your perspective, release the thinking mind, and have some fun. What’s more, inversions are incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical bodies. Practice Shoulder Stand, Headstand or Viparita Karani once per day to restore vitality and blow away the cobwebs.
    2. Use all the resources at hand. We are so happy to be building this online yoga community. We have partnered with so many stellar, nationally recognized yoga studios and teachers to offer you an awesome mixture of free online yoga videos and full-length online yoga classes. There is something here for you regardless of your age, shape, and level. Use our class search feature to find exactly what online yoga experience you require.
    3. Reserve time for stillness.  There’s more to yoga than asana (the poses). It seems as though the physical, heat-generating element of yoga tends to draw people in more than the other forms, such as pranayama (breathing exercises) and dhyana (meditation). While there is a time and place for asana, there is also a time and place for stillness and surrender. Set aside time to meditate, even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day. Practice a few rounds of breathing exercises before or after your home practice. No need to get crazy about it to start. Just invite it in regularly.
    4. Go back to the basics. Sometimes when I’m in a practice rut, I like to revisit the basics. Even if you don't consider yourself a yoga newbie, try out some beginner yoga videos. The stronger your base, the stronger your over-all practice.
    5. Restore. Block out time for one weekly restorative practice to reset and renew.
    6. Prioritize and plan. If you can’t seem to find time to practice yoga at home, it might be that you need to ditch one or more things. Is there an activity (or activities) in your life that you could do without? Is there stress in your life that you need to release? Assess your situation. Then, devise a plan. Put your practice schedule on a calendar. Hold yourself accountable.
    7. Set up a support network. Ask friends and family to hop on the yoga train with you. Maybe create and commit to a yoga challenge with your peeps. Capture your daily practice on Instagram or Facebook to really unite the community. Make it fun!
    8. Sanctify your space. Devote a space to your practice. Spruce up the space with an alter, candles, incense, a mandala, plants, a Buddha statue, or anything else that holds meaning for you. You want your space to be simple, with few distractions, and to evoke peace.
    9. Set the timer. Be realistic and clear on how long you intend to practice. If you only have 15 or 30 minutes, you want to be sure that you make the most of it and find an online yoga class that fits your time criteria. Pick a time. Choose a class. Commit to its completion.
    10. Listen up. Some days you just won’t be feeling it. That’s okay. If fatigued, don’t overdo it. Take an online restorative or yin yoga class. Try Dharma Mittra’s Yoga Nidra class. On the flip side, if you’re experiencing a surge of energy (or a bad case of lethargy), you might want to work that out with a more intense, dynamic yoga at home experience i.e. Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Ask your mind and body what's up. Be real with yourself on what you need.

    ~Tess

     Photo Credit: Handstand via www.artofbeinghealthy.tumblr.com

  • Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) with Rolf Gates

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by Rolf Gates of the Pleasure Point Yoga studio in Santa Cruz, CA. In this free online yoga video, Rolf will run through a demo of Revolved or Twisting Triangle (parivrtta = to turn around or revolve;  trikona = three angle or triangle) and offer modifications to make this very difficult pose more accessible.

    Revolved Triangle Pose

    First, let’s mediate on the geometry of this pose. Let’s think about the posture. Let’s geek out on it for a moment. Then, we can move into it intelligently.

    The Triangle and Revolved Triangle poses are what I like to call the “holy trinity” poses. When you practice Triangle or Revolved Triangle you are making not one, but 3 triangles with your body. And when you revolve your triangle, something even sweeter happens. As you twist, you express the spiral line of the body - the connective tissue sash - that starts at the arch of the back foot and runs across the torso of the body up to the extended arm and fingertips.

    To maintain the integrity of this pose and avoid torquing your spine, Rolf will teach you three modifications. 3 angles. 3 modifications. Let’s do it!

    First, you’ll integrate a block into the equation to keep spinal integrity. This will allow you to better square the hips, lengthen the spine parallel to the earth, and stack the shoulders.

    Okay, but what if your hamstrings are too tight, causing the hips to be off or the spine to torque? That brings me to the second modification. To free up a stuck hip resulting from tight hammies, simply come on to the ball of the back foot. Yes, it’s a bit more tippy and unstable, but this will allow the hips to better square and the spine to be parallel to the earth. After you establish this correct alignment, feel free to take the twist.

    The last point Rolf makes has to do with the proper engagement of the core before attempting to revolve. Pre-twist, draw the belly button to the ribs and the ribs to the belly button, stack the shoulders, and then, go for it.

    Try out these 3 modifications for yourself:

    Revolved Triangle Pose with Rolf Gates Yoga

    Please don’t feel like a cheater if you rely on props in this pose. Props are your friends! If you learn Revolved Triangle with the assistance of prop modifications you will, with time, be able to go deeper and deeper into the pose in a safe and efficient way. Props allow you to build better body intelligence, to find ease in the pose, and to feel exactly where your body should be. Just because it is modified, doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

    Don’t force it. Grow into it.

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Revolved Triangle via Bocsányi Gábor

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