inversions

  • 4 Key Actions of Inversions + Arm Balances

    Yesterday, I experienced an awesome YogaVibes home practice with Ashley Turner - a teacher with such great presence and energy. What’s more, her intelligent way of building this particular online yoga sequence led to some aha! moments in my personal practice. After all was said and done, I had developed greater intelligence and confidence in experimenting with the peak pose introduced: Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance).

    arm balances and inversions

    But it doesn’t stop there.

    As you move into the more advanced inversions or arm balances, such as Pincha, there are a few finer points to consider - points that Ashley clearly introduces and reiterates throughout this strong, challenging Vinyasa yoga video.

    Ashley covers these 4 key actions in a step-by-step fashion, which I think is useful for both yoga teachers and students alike.

    1. Breath. First, attune to your breath. Make sure the breath is full. Slow down your breath to slow down your movements. Find more grace.
    2. Drishti. Second, steady, soften, and set your gaze like a laser beam. Find more focus.
    3. Uddiyana Bandha. Next, use your lower belly. Keep your core integrated by lifting the navel in and up. Find more buoyancy.
    4. Omniscience. Lastly, spread your attention in all directions. Work out the kinks by moving and extending in every direction. Keep all parts of the body alive. Find more expansion.

    Students, play with this 4-step sequence of key actions when approaching arm balances, inversions, or any pose really! Teachers, play with these step-by-step instructions when structuring and leading your own classes.

    Without these key elements in action, it's gonna be tough to work towards the asana big boys. So start practicing, start playing, and start internalizing.

    Start here in Ashley’s Power Hour - a shoulder-opening online yoga class. Flow to the peak pose of Pincha Mayurasana. Learn the art of the internal spiral. Learn to collect your core power and accurately align the shoulders in preparation for arm balances and inversions.

    Enjoy!

    vinyasa yoga online

    Image Credit: Pincha Mayurasana via www.sitarabird.tumblr.com 

  • Seeds of Intent: Plague the World with Joy

    “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ~ Swami Satchidananda

    forearm balance Practicing Joy via www.deeeezzy.tumblr.com

    Yeah. Why not?

    We get so caught up in how we think things should roll, both in our practices and lives. We survey the external and think about ways we can tweak this or that, struggling to control the uncontrollable. Maybe we attach to grandiose ideas of changing the world or aspects of it. Maybe it’s not that big. Maybe we form attachments to ideas of how certain people or things in our worlds - be they friends, asanas, lovers, business endeavors, family members, teachers, co-workers - should be. We all do this. It's natural.

    But guess what? You cannot expect to change ANYTHING outside of you. In fact, the more hung up you get on changing and controlling what’s out there – beyond you - the more lost, confused, and stuck you feel. You become a slave to expectation.

    Peace isn't having everything rolling as you think it should. Peace, instead, is detaching your self from these fantasies of how things, people, and circumstances should be. Peace is knowing that the only freedom you’ll ever have in life is your ability to control your reactions and maintain your cool in the in the midst of madness and messiness. The other stuff going on around you isn’t necessarily yours to change. All you have control over is your experience. So, why not make it serene? Why not color it with joy? Why not die happily, laughing?

    I think it’s because we take things too seriously, including ourselves. I get it. It's easy to do. And sure, there is a place and time for seriousness. Sometimes, you gotta put your game face on. Yet, too often, we are all walking around with our game faces on, wrapped up in tasks, lists, distractions, chatter, expectations, fantasies, etc. I say we all walk around with our smiley faces on and move through this world without all the heaviness. I say we wrap our worlds in joy, laughter, peace, and freedom. Because...why not?

    To tap into your inner joy, practice a vigorous online yoga class: Causing Breakthroughs in Your Life Through Your Asana Practice. Instructor Jen Pastiloff will lead your through meditations to release unhelpful thoughts and manifest your life's goals. Explore arm balances and inversions and enjoy singing by Samadhi Bishop. (90 mins.)

    Jen Pastiloff yoga online

    And for a dose of laughter - the best drug - join Gigi Yogini for an online yoga class weaving together meditation, pranayama, and Kundalini yoga: Throat Chakra Opener. Find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself in this practice. You'll play with mantra and affirmative singing, smile, and, if all goes to plan, crack up. (12 mins.)

    Gigi Yogini yoga online

    Sending joyous vibes to you all!

    Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

  • Fresh Vids + Vibes: Recharge the Batteries, Go with the Flow, Stabilize and More!

    What are the latest offerings on YogaVibes?

    Go with the Flow.

    Heart Opener

    • Mix things up a bit! Join Michelle Johnson for a grounding Vinyasa flow class. Move through Sun Salutations, lunges, and standing split variations. Work into a headstand prep and headstand, and end with a few heart openers and hip openers. (60 mins.)

     

    Recharge the Batteries.

    Seated Meditation

    • Short on time? This online Vinyasa practice, led by Sean Gray, is the perfect lunch break yoga practice. Get in a full, well-rounded class. Invigorate the entire body, pump some freshly oxygenated blood through your veins, and clear your mind. Feel completely refreshed and recharged! (41 mins.)

     

    Stabilize.

    tadasana

    • In this slow flow, Vinyasa yoga class with Hala Khouri, you will begin by examining what needs to be witnessed in your own body and mind. Wake up the body slowly with reclining hip and hamstring openers and unique core work before stretching the hips and quadriceps without over-using the glutes. Practice a shoulder equalizer in dolphin pose and several standing sequences, a thigh or quad stretch that is practice three different times to allow you to go deeper each time, Sun Salutation variations, and balancing poses. Finish with opportunities for back bending in camel pose, hip openers, and cooling inversions before settling into savasana. Benefit from Hala's detailed alignment cues and focus on stabilization so that your yoga practice can be a life-long one. (84 mins.)
    • Focus on building strength in the trunk and lower body in this online Vinyasa practice with Alexa Lane. Filmed at Exhale Spa, this online yoga class includes Sun Salutations A and B, Warrior I and II, high lunges, hand-to-big-toe pose, and core strengthening exercises. Enjoy a seated cool down followed by savasana. (31 mins.)

     

    Surrender & Soften.

    childs pose

    • Join Ashley Turner for an online Vinyasa flow filmed at Exhale Spa. Start this class reclining with a simple pranayama practice to bring attention to your breath and body. This practice is all about trusting your spiritual nature, surrendering and softening. This level 1/2 class will focus on standing balances and work towards the basis of handstand with a strong standing flow that includes Sun Salutation variations, standing splits, Warrior II variations, Warrior III, and lots of opportunities to open the side body. Cool down with hero pose (virasana), a quad stretch, back bending in wheel or bridge pose, and several different seated forward folds. (90 mins.)

     

  • 21 Day #InversionADay Challenge

    Love to take it upside down? Love YogaVibes? Well, you might just want to get in on this 21 day #InversionADay Challenge headed by Lora Hogan of Daily Southern Sunshine.

    handstand YogaVibes teacher Joan Hyman piking to Handstand...

    Why’s that?

    Well, as a challenge it makes sense that there awaits some sort of super awesome prize at the end of the tunnel. And yes, this holds true here.

    The super awesome prize that awaits? A year subscription to YogaVibes!! A year of unlimited online yoga classes instructed by internationally recognized, inspiring yogis. A year of yoga abundance and variety. A year of yoga at home, yoga on the go, and yoga anytime, anywhere. Pretty freakin’ awesome, right?

    How do you play along?

    Simply post a picture of you doing one inversion (of your choice) per day. Handstand, Headstand, Forearm Stand, Shoulderstand, Inversion Swings, Inversion Tables, Legs Up the Wall, etc. Remember, Down Dog is the first inversion, so if you’re timid in the face of taking it upside down, rock out a Down Dog. It’s your practice. It’s your call. Have fun!

    Post your pictures to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, tagging your upside down-ness with #inversionaday. Share your successes, falls, tips, or probe your fellow yogis for some advice. This is a wonderful opportunity to share your practice and connect with yogis outside of your immediate environment.

    This challenge is coming to an end (June 30), but there is still time to participate! By July 1st the winner will be announced.

    So, without further ado, take it upside down, snap a photo, and tag #InversionADay to score a year of unlimited online yoga classes with YogaVibes.

    P.S. If you are looking for some extra guidance or inspiration, check out our free online yoga videos instructing a variety of inversions.

  • 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

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