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Yoga: Practice #102 (11/20/12) core aplenty

I couldn’t think of a better way to practice while I’m home for Thanksgiving than to spend 60 minutes on my core with Kathryn Budig (on www.yogaglo.com of course). It’s amazing how solid your core becomes in a class like this that you become more stable in your inversions. We took handstand for 1 minute towards the beginning of class and I really did have that “wet noodle back,” all slithery like a snake, but after 40 minutes of our practice we took an inversion of our choice for 3-4 minutes. I started in handstand, went to pincha mayurasana and then sirsasana (forearm stand to headstand), and I could definitely tell the difference in my back. I was sucking everything in to create a firm core. Let’s see how it holds up while I stuff my face with Thanksgiving fixings…

The arduous mama task of getting back in shape...

I’m not normally a Gwyneth-hater (and, gasp!, I think she’s actually quite talented – though she should probably draw the line at acting), but I was somewhat exasperated by her “every woman can make time” comment about working out.  She can apparently work out with her “kids crawling all over the place”.  That’s a nifty trick, and I wish I could do so as well.  But I guess it’s easier when you have a full-time nanny and a chef and a personal trainer and space (space!) and and and…But again, I’m not about Gwyneth-bashing.  Of late, I’ve actually started to agree with her.  

Here’s the reason:

What a discovery!!!  For $18/month, you can practice yoga just as you would in a yoga studio but in the comfort of your own home.  You can choose from an infinite number of classes, organized by duration, style, level, instructor, etc.  Right after I’ve dropped C off at daycare, or when C goes down for a nap, I just set my mat down, and I’m good to go.  The classes are wonderful and as challenging as you want them to be.  Highly recommended.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m in tip-top shape.  But that’s not yogaglo’s fault.  If I’m not in awesome shape, it’s because of my daily indulgences at the local bakery/pastry shop.  And now that I’m pregnant again, all bets are off.  (Insert croissant into mouth.  Exit.)

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                           Yoga: Day 32 (8/1/12) arm balance galore!!!!!

I’ve written about Jason Crandell (www.jasonyoga.com) twice before, but seriously, this man has a surplus of knowledge that I literally cannot get enough of. In this 45 minute arm balancing class, entitled “Deconstruct Arm Balances with Jason Crandell,” we thoroughly stretched the hamstrings, hips, side bodies and shoulders to smoothly move into some pretty intense arm balances. We began our flow with several surya namaskar A’s, anjanyasanas (low lunge), planks, chattarangas, virbhadrasana II (warrior II), side angle pose and side angle pose variations with a bind, trikonasana (triangle) with a bind, plenty of wide legged forward folds and malasana (garland pose) to open up our bodies for:

Visvamitrasana (‘super pose’ with no English translation to be found!) Kathryn Budig has a great tutorial on how to work this pose (http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2149), but it’s soo über-imperative that you go through this asana slowly and heat your body before even thinking about it…you may break yourself, pull a muscle or shatter in half if you do not properly prepare yourself!

The next challenging arm balance we conquered was bhujupidasana, which is one of the steps to tittibasana (firefly pose) -the last pose we did. Here is a short Youtube video that shows you this transition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6dIhmd3p9Q

To try out this 2/3 level class with Jason, go to

http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-771-Deconstruct-Arm-Balances-with-Jason-Crandell.html

As Jason says, the harder the pose, the more intelligence you have to put into it, the slower you must get into it (and out of it!)*

Yoga: Practice #90 (11/1/12) Invited!

I haven’t done a class with Dice in months. I haven’t felt like he was what my body needed since my not-so-recent move to Pittsburgh. He’s fast paced, intense and challenging as all hell. The reason why I’ve felt like he was the complete opposite of what I’ve required is because fast paced, intense and challenging is the epitome of my daily life. Having the yin/yang balance is necessary and recognizing where you should give and take to find inner peace. I did do a yin class with him a couple months back, but not a 60-minute-sweat-your-brains-out-ouch-my-body-hurts-the-next-day class. The time arrived on Thursday, 11/1/12, the first day of November when I decided that Dice would be invited back into my life. In a level 2-3 60 minute class we, as a yoga class, had Block Party, and as long as you have 2 foam blocks in your possession, you are invited along too! I luckily have 2 miss-matched Gaiam blocks-one blue and one green, and utilized them in almost every asana.

It’s a block party! This class utilizes 1 or 2 blocks throughout the flow. The blocks help us to engage our arms, our bellies and even help some into a one-armed handstand…handstands optional of course. Enjoy my fellow yogis!

I have found one armed handstands to be really difficult for me. I don’t play around with them much but figuring out how to reestablish your balance is not easy.

Just like life you need to always reassess situations and find your balance when you lose the comfortable support you normally have (in this instance it’s two arms). Just more lessons to take off your mat…they’re never ending really.

Yoga: Practice #64 (9/28/12) comparative analysis?

I just spent the past 45 minutes with Tiffany completing her Fresh Hips! class on Yogaglo.com. Damn are my hips as tight as ever! I had a bit of a internal scuffle regarding how inflexible I felt and how inadequate I must have looked compared to Tiffany. Yoga is not a comparative analysis, I know. I also know that Tiffany has been practicing for a much longer time than I. I additionally know that I have not dedicated myself to my practice as much as I feel I should have been the past few months. I used to practice 6 days a week, now I’m down to 3-4 and for me, that is just not enough. My sage friend, Holly, told me that I need to spend 20 minutes a day practicing. Even if that means in balasana (child’s pose), I must do it. I know this and that the benefits are tremendous…I just can’t understand how people work all day, barely have time to eat, work out and then have enough time to spend with family. I commend all of you working-fitness addicts who take care of yourselves and your families-you are truly amazing.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I need. Kundalini? Yin? Restorative? Jivamukti? Ashtanga? Vinyasa? I’ll pinpoint it this week since I plan on devoting myself and my time to some upkeep (mani/pedi), cleaning my house, doing laundry and most importantly….YOGA!!!

Yoga: Day 28 (7/25/12) embracing the moment when it sucks...

I write this blog in a much later fashion than I typically attempt to post my blogs. The occasion is solemn yet celebratory as this day was the day we put my cheerful Bubbie (yiddish for grandmother), to rest. I felt in my heart that I needed my practice more than anything this particular day. No one body part was craving attention…a general body practice was ideal for this day. The funeral was at 2pm, so I woke with a fervor in my childhood room with my sleeping fiance next to me with the intention to delve into my yoga practice in order to take my crying mind into a calming world that could transport my mournful body to a purposive one.

I found this 60 minute practice with Dice Lida-Klein on www.yogaglo.com. It’s called Mixed Bag Flow and Dice describes it as:

…hav(ing) one final destination…to flow continuously and feel good while doing it. To get to our one destination, we have many different routes and approaches. This mixed-bag flow takes us through a thorough supine sequence including core work, a surya A and mixed surya C and strong standing postures like garudasana (eagle pose) and horse stance. Handstand options are given of course! We finish with some backbends, hip opening and forward folds.

I can go on and on about my Bubbie, about how much of a optimisitc, loving and vivacious woman she was. She lived almost 92 years and passed on what would have been my Zadie’s (grandfather) 99th birthday. We hoped she would make it to my wedding in April, but her fortunate attendance to our engagement party in May was exactly that, fortunate, for all of us to have her there with us to celebrate my soon to be marriage.

In order to help me cope with this I wanted to integrate my yoga practice into the grieving process. I found this article that I posted on my facebook page the day before the funeral that put some facts into perspective for me. It’s entitled: Embracing the Moment When It Sucks: Dealing With Death. (http://tinybuddha.com/blog/embracing-the-moment-when-it-sucks-dealing-with-death/). To introduce this posting I wrote that living in the sucky moments, such as a loved one’s passing, almost seems paradoxical. I wanted to celebrate her life and so I wore one of her very posh, retro-vintage hats with a veil along with her pearl earrings and necklace and an onyx ring to her funeral. It may have looked over the top, but I felt her strength and humor internally. For anyone who has dealt with death and is having a difficult time, I am following these 5 rules and they may help you too:

1. Talk about the person who is gone.
2. Keep visual reminders if it helps you.
3. Don’t hide your feelings.…
4. Celebrate the landmarks of a person’s life.
5. Don’t be afraid of the places you went or the things you did together.

All my love.

Stjerneyoga når det passer dig

Kunne du tænke dig at gøre yoga med nogle af verdens dygtigste lærere? Hjemme i din egen stue? 

Det kan faktisk lade sig gøre på Yogaglo.com. Selvom det kan aldrig erstatte ‘rigtig’ undervisning, hvor læreren kan give dig feedback, og hvor du kan forbinde dig med de andre i rummet, men det er et udmærket alternativ - især hvis du er ude at rejse, der ikke er flere pladser til den time, der passede dig eller det øsregner. 

Yogaglo.com er et website, hvor du streamer yogaklasser på din computer. Som sagt er det nogle rigtig dygtige undervisere, og du vælger selv hvornår, og om det skal være Anusara, Hatha, Kundalini eller måske en meditation.

Det, der virkelig gør det attraktivt og super bekvemt, er, at der findes klasser fra 5 til 225 minutter, så du både kan snuppe en hurtig klasse, hvis du gerne vil gøre yoga, men ikke har så meget tid, eller bruge tre en halv time og virkelig komme i dybden.

Og så er det rørende billigt: Ubegrænset yoga for 18 dollars om måneden. Altså cirka hvad en enkelt klasse koster i Danmark.

Timerne bliver i øvrigt filmet i Yogaglos yogastudie i Santa Monica, så hvis du er i nabolaget, kan du kigge forbi - de fleste klasser er gratis.