Video of the Day

  • Saddle Pose with Jennifer Beyt Coffin

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by Jennifer Beyt Coffin of The Glowing Body yoga studio in Knoxville, TN. In this free online yoga video, Jennifer will walk you through Saddle Pose – a yin yoga posture resembling Supta Virasana (Relining Hero Pose).

    Saddle Pose

    Saddle Pose can be a tricky yin posture because it is a fairly deep backbend. In this pose, you will deliberately apply pressure to the lumbar spine, which, for some, may feel like murder. For folks suffering from lower back pain, SI joint pain, and/or flattening or degeneration of the lumbar spine, the full expression of Saddle Pose may be problematic.

    Fortunately, there are many pose alternatives and options you can explore in Saddle to reap the long-term benefits. In this online yoga video, Jennifer will run-through these variations, which rely on the usage and support of bolsters, blankets, and blocks. So, make sure you have these handy before you begin your exploration.

    When you determine your edge and settle in, this pose can feel oh-so-delicious. As a total front body stretch, this pose is super beneficial to athletes and people who do lots of standing or walking. Connective tissue stimulation is felt in front body. The quads and hip flexors will be stretched. Pressure stimulation around the SI joints will create a deep opening in the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine. Sweet, sweet expansion!

    But remember: If the knees, ankles, SI joints, or lower spine protest, it’s very important to back off and prop up. As Jennifer says, “Don’t deny yourself the prop. Please!” Be okay with where you are at and accept your physical limitations. If you feel any sharp or burning pain, your body is signaling you to take it easy. Don’t create murder on your spine. Just don’t.

    Once you find your appropriate edge - your place of comfort - it is recommended that you hold Saddle for one to five minutes. Iyengar recommends 15 minutes. For most, this long of a hold will be too intense at this stage in the game. Consider it a goal.

    With time and practice, Saddle Pose has the potential to re-establish the natural curvature of the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine if any flattening or degeneration has occurred. It’s also a great pose to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and to simultaneously stretch and work many areas of the body: the tops of the ankles, the knee caps, the hips, quads, hip flexors, lower back, and upper chest (if you bring your arms up).

    Simply lay back, relax, and enjoy the stretch.

    Want a great bolster? Sign up for our annual subscription, and get a hand crafted bolster from Inner Space as your gift! Or you can take a look at all of Jennifer's creations at innerspaceyoga.net

    Saddle Pose

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Saddle Pose via www.therawyogini.blogspot.com

  • Class Review: Core Fusion® Cardio Express with Tammy Rowe

    core fusion

    The deets.

    • Style: Core Fusion® Yoga
    • Intensity: Level 2 = All Levels Online Yoga Video
    • Focus: Core-intense + Sweat-inducing
    • Average Rating: 4/5 

     

    On the teacher.

    Tammy Rowe joined the exhale family in 2006 after dancing professionally with the Chicago Bulls, Royal Caribbean, and numerous productions in New York City and Europe. She brings her dance background, expertise in movement, and inspiring energy to each online yoga class. Tammy is a National Teacher Trainer for exhale and can be seen on the Core Fusion® Power Sculpt and Pure Intensity DVDs.

    On the class.

    SWEAT IT OUT in this barre-less, fat-blasting cardio class, designed to sculpt and tone your entire body in only 45 minutes! Consisting of weights, mountain climbers, karate kicks, speed skaters, flowing yoga poses, and an ab sculpting series, this high-intensity class (followed by a calming cool finish...whew) will leave you feeling energized and strong. Kick your heart rate into high gear in this non-stop, endorphin-filled all levels yoga video.

    What people are saying.

    • Great class, working entire body. Sometimes a little hard to see the moves. Overall will come back to workout.
    • I was surprisingly impressed. Challenging without being manic given the shorter duration. This will be a go-to class for sure.
    • Great class, I felt energized after a long work day.
    • Awesome, quick workout. Keeps your heart rate up and makes you sweat.

    online yoga

    For more of Tammy Rowe’s wildly popular Core Fusion® yoga videos, hit up our ever-expanding online yoga studio. New Core Fusion® additions on the horizon!

  • The Secret to Deepening Your Practice

    uddiyana bandha

    For the more seasoned of practitioners, you’ll already be familiar with this subtle, yet powerful energetic element of the practice.

    One word:

    Bandhas.

    Bandhas are extremely beneficial and hold the power to take your practice to the next level, inspiring many asana Aha! moments along the way!

    But first, if you’re unfamiliar, what the heck are these things?

    Bandha simply means lock. Bandhas are locks or points of engagement created in areas of the physical body during the yoga practice.

    These bandhas are a great way to align the body, connect mind and body with breath, strengthen the core, quiet the mind, and increase flexibility. The bandhas bring greater awareness to the practice, to the breath, and to the spine. By engaging these locks, you can greatly improve your posture while sitting, standing, walking, transitioning from pose to pose in the practice - anytime, anywhere!

    Sean Gray’s instructional online yoga video will shed light on two of the major - and probably most accessible - bandhas to further and deepen your personal practice.

    First, work with mula bandha - the root lock - which involves the engagement of the pelvic floor muscles or perineum. Next, work with uddiyana bandha - the belly lock - which engages the lower abdominal muscles. The belly lock helps to completely empty out the lungs. Get everything out so you can enjoy a full inhale, which allows you to receive more oxygen, more energy, and more prana! This bandha also helps to cultivate strength of the core. Both bandhas strongly lift and lengthen the spine.

    Using your breath to assist the process, you’ll take a look at some simple poses in this online yoga practice. Bringing the bandhas into play, you'll experiment with Downward Dog, Warrior I, Warrior II, Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana A, and Konasana. Feel energy lifting up, promoting better alignment of the spine and more length in the posture.

    Experiment, engage, and enjoy the bandhas.

    Eventually, you'll see results in your asana practice and beyond!

    yogavibes-yoga-online-bandhas

    Image courtesy of www.ztopics.com

  • Sigrid Matthews on Tapas

    tapas yoga

    Tapas: Creating physical heat and enthusiasm to practice and burn out any limitations that are hindering your progress forward.

    Thirty minutes to cleanse your body, mind, and soul!

    So many times we decide not to do something (like practice yoga) because we feel pressed for time. We decide that we'll wait until we have a full 90 minutes to take class and then the days may get away from us and we haven't been on the mat in weeks. One of the most important philosophical ideas in yoga is tapas. Tapas is referenced in Patanjali's yoga sutras as one of the "self" (niyama) actions that we choose to do in our quest for peace and enlightenment. Yoga always asks us to be regular, dedicated, and practicing all forms of yoga (kindness, compassion, nonviolence, service, asana, pranayama, meditation, etc.) on a daily basis.

    Somewhere along the way it was decided that a daily asana practice had to be 90 minutes long. From a fitness standpoint, this simply isn't true. In fact, more and more scientific evidence points to 20 or 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity as the optimal way to enhance strength and endurance. And, the best part, is this is infinitely more achievable. As we get into the groove of a daily practice whether it be 15 minutes or an hour and a half the more we reap the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of this powerful practice.

    Focused Flow Yoga Cardio Boost was specifically designed to multi task so that you could skip your walk, run, or spin and raise your heart rate effectively while practicing asana and building strength. This particular online yoga class does get the large muscles of the legs moving to raise the heart rate (like you would on a bike) so the standing postures become flow postures as well as utilizing sun salutations to rev the entire system and tone the upper body and boost the core.

    The very essence of Cardio Boost, and the underlying theme is tapas and fire. We use kapalabhati (skull shining breath) and the image of fire throughout the practice to tap into the ancient wisdom of yoga. While it is so very important to keep the body fit and strong to take on what we must off of the mat, we always want to honor the focus yoga gives us on the mat to create a balance, serenity, and an attitude of gratitude off of the mat.

    I bow to the light in you. Shanti.

    ~Sigrid

    To practice Sigrid's short, yet thorough online yoga practice, click on the yoga video below!  

    cardio yoga

    Image courtesy of www.hothotyoga.net

  • Learn to Headstand!

    sirsasana

    Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) is celebrated as "The King of all Asana" because of its incredibly powerful health and energetic benefits.

    Benefits of Headstand:

    • Calms a busy brain
    • Eases stress and softens mild depression
    • Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
    • Fortifies the arms, legs, and spine
    • Boosts lung strength
    • Tones up the belly muscles
    • Enhances digestion
    • Relieves symptoms of menopause
    • Provides good therapy for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis

    With benefits such as these, why aren’t all yogis stop, droppin, and rockin’ Headstand all the time?

    One word: Fear.

    Turning your world upside down can be disorienting and scary. But it’s nothing that you can’t overcome with a devoted, dedicated practice.

    Now, there’s no shame in using the wall to support you in Headstand, but one day you gotta let go of that crutch. After awhile, the wall is no longer serving you. The following online yoga sequence, led by Justin Michael Williams, is designed to bring you away from the wall and into open space.

    In this online yoga video, you will learn the basics of how to Headstand, including how to create a strong, solid foundation, so you can begin practicing this pose in the center of the room. This online yoga class is suitable for all levels, but if you're new to practicing headstand, it is recommended that you practice against a wall (or with a trustworthy partner!) and slowly begin to move away as you build adequate strength of the body (especially the core!) and internalize the proper alignment. (16 mins.)

    how to headstand

    But don’t stay at that wall forever! Boooooring. Keep inching away until one day you float your feet up like it ain’t no thing.

    Image courtesy of Himalayan Connections Students

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