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yoga journal

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Journal Post

As we see and feel the changes that take place in our body/mind from coming to yoga class each week, there's often a gradual stirring to begin to practice on our own. Our yoga evolves beyond a class we look forward to once or twice a week, and into a regular home practice in which the benefits of our yoga only multiply. It's actually in a home practice that we discover the nuances of the Principles of Alignment, and begin to feel what we need more or less of. Both I and my fellow teachers are very often asked: how might I go about developing a well-rounded practice that fits into my already busy life?
Greetings from Denver, where life is hot, busy, and good. The city is teeming with visitors from all over the world; and if there is anywhere that needs yoga right now, this is certainly it!
I just finished my third raw chocolate and superfoods truffle here at the Huffington Post Oasis at Denver's National Convention.
Teaching to nonnative English speakers is challenging, but these tips will help you make sure your teaching transcends all language and cultural barriers.
Once, while teaching in Paris with a translator, Nischala Joy Devi, international teacher and author of The Secret Power of Yoga and The Healing Path of Yoga, was asked by an English-speaking student if she would return to teach there again. "There are certainly worse places I could come back to
than Paris," Devi replied, smiling. The translator delivered her response to the group and, upon seeing the ensuing sea of horrified faces, Devi stammered to the translator, "What did you say to them?"
Find out why gender-specific classes can provide an inspiring teaching experience while attracting an appreciate audence.
As teachers, we can be artists who sculpt experiences for our students through words we use to teach a pose, the music we play during class, or even the ways we decorate our studios. We can also create a more meaningful experience by opting to teach to targe audiences.
This is not a new concept. A glance at any studio's schedule offers us plenty of options: Basics, Level 2/3, Hot Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Mysore, Meditation. Rarely, however, do we see options such as Women's Yoga or Men's Yoga listed.
When and how can you get your students to commit to one practice- and should you even try?
Walk down the street and witness the shapes and sizes of pedestrians, the colors and makes of passing cars, and the dazzling array of merchandise in shop windows. Abundance bombards us from every angle.
This smorgasbord of options also seeps into yoga. Ashtanga, Anusara, Bikram, Iyengar, Sivananda - the list goes on.
At a certain point you need to make some important decisions. Just as you determined whether of not you would be a vegetarian, how you would earn a living, or in what neighborhood you'd live, must you also settle on one style of yoga?
As a yogi, the question is no longer, "What advanced pose can I do?", but "Can I walk my talk?"
In other words, can you live your yoga?
This is the challenge and the opportunity. Especially here at the DNC, where wheeling and dealing is the name of the game and the decisions of a few affect many.
Opening the Conversation
At a dinner party two months ago a friend brought a controversial (and important) topic to a table of yogis.
"How is everyone planning on getting involved in the elections this year?" he probed.
Last night I attempted to stay up past my bedtime to attend an Etown event here in Denver, featuring some of my faves like James Taylor and Ani DiFranco.
Unfortunately, after a full day at the DNC I couldn't manage to keep my eyes open past the first third of the concert. On the ride back to Boulder, my boyfriend Peter (bless his heart for agreeing to chauffeur me home early), attempted to boost my spirits by reminding me of yoga's promise.
I could transform my nearly blinding fatigue by shifting my focus, he urged.
"Can you tap into the bigger picture?"
It may seem complicated to manage the needs of parents and their children in a yoga setting, but parent and child classes offer your students moments of calm and connection amid the chaos of parenting.
By Sara Avant Stover
Being a parent doesn't have to mean zero personal time and a slimmed-down social life. Today yoga classes are not just for the super-fit, super-flexible, and super-serious. Anyone and everyone can find a class that suits his or her needs-including parents and children.
Explore the pros and cons of hands-on guidance and learn to use skillful assists to empower
your students.
By Sara Avant Stover
"Come on! Extend, Karl! Don't be so stingy!" exclaimed Sharon Gannon, cofounder of Jivamukti Yoga, to student Karl Straub, as she assisted him in Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Straub, a Jivamukti Yoga teacher himself, as well as a Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner, recalls the potency of Gannon's assist-one that he revisits every time he practices that
Yoga as Usual in the Oasis
I almost forgot to brush my teeth this morning. Dishes are piling up in my sink; and for the first time in a long while, I didn't make my bed today.
Clearly, despite my best attempts to stay grounded, the DNC frenzy is having its way with me.
While this week has been electrifying, intense, and deeply inspiring, I will be happy to return to real life tomorrow. Simple acts like eating breakfast at home and sitting on my own meditation cushion (rather than the seat of the BX bus) seem like long-lost friends at this point. A lot has happened in four days.
We live in a universe of infinite possibility.
That's why last night, along with 80,000 other enthusiasts, I did the wave in a football stadium and swished an American flag through the air for the first time since the Memorial Day parade in the 3rd grade.
As an American, as a yogini, and as an ordinary person who believes in the immortal goodness of the human spirit, I went to Invesco Field last night to participate in history.
My journey there was indeed a pilgrimage- riddled with doubt, despair, dehydration, blisters, sunburn, resilience, and, of course, some raw truffles that I smuggled with me from the Oasis.
How to work with, not against, your fellow yoga instructors
Many of us turned to yoga for its promise of happiness. The four walls of a studio and its community of like-minded Sun Saluters offered solace from the rat race outside. When we stepped onto our yoga mats, we stepped intoa world where joy and harmony reigned.
Later, we became yoga teachers. Sometimes this entailed leaving behind careers that brought big paychecks (for some) an even bigger burnout (for most). Ready to serve students by offering them the scrumptious fruits of yoga, we were bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and, in hindsight, naive.
This link to an online Newsweek article, dated May 13, 2010, came from a friend through my email the other day. Titled "The Clash of the Yogis: Do the Hindu Roots of Yoga Matter?," author Lisa Miller, the magazine's religion editor, raises several issues that beg responses, though because of space limits I'll only be able to deal with the question asked in the piece's sub-title.
I reviewed my first video for Yoga Journal in 1991, and since then I've reviewed at least a couple in every single issue for the last 18 years. Just this year I reviewed my 300th video (though I've probably watched at least half again as many that didn't pass muster), and by some strange alignment of planets or more likely some cosmic comedy of karmas, it was a presentation by our very own Rod Yee.
The February issue of Yoga Journal includes an article by John Schumacher.
Regular readers of the magazine look forward to the monthly Home Practice feature for fully illustrated sequences of ten poses. This month's sequence is designed to build the strength and flexibility needed for arm balances, such as Bakasana (Crane Pose). Each pose is photographed, with John's precise descriptions guiding readers through the work in each asana.
John is featured in the Yoga Journal Asana Column
When it came to the fitness benefits yoga can or can't provide, yoga teacher John Schumacher had heard it all. A student of B. K. S. Iyengar for 20 years and founder of the Unity Woods studios in the Washington, D.C. area, Schumacher was convinced yoga provides a complete fitness regime. But many people, even some of his own students, disagreed. Yoga might be good for flexibility or relaxation, they'd say, but to be truly fit, you had to combine it with an activity like running or weight lifting.
Schumacher just didn't buy it.
GhandiAfter a month of gratitude, it is time to answer the question, What Impact can the practice of Yoga have on the World? In the spirit of giving, we have several Complimentary Pieces of audio for you to help answer this question. Our feature this month is a discussion with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, John Schumacher. John tackles the question, " Can Yoga Save the World?"
On day 8 of my cleanse, I was blessed to attend one of two days of a workshop with Judith Hanson Lasater, author of several books including, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times,Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life, and her most recent book which I am dying to read, What We
If you need some inspiration to reinvigorate your daily yoga practice, September is a great month to start.
Lately I have been practicing a series of poses recommended by Patricia Walden in Dr. Timothy McCall's book, Yoga as Medicine, which includes another of my favorite yoga poses, Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Pose. I love to enter Ardha Chandrasana through Utthita Trikonasana , Triangle Pose, another incredible asana. In case you had not guessed from my last Favorite Yoga Pose post, Anantasana, the external/internal hip rotation poses are a lifelong favorite of mine.
Although some are talking about another 40 inches of snow this month, March is the month of the spring equinox and therefore heralds the beginning of spring. Until then, we are still in the water element and the end of the winter.
We are surprised to find, or not find rather, Vrschikasana, Scorpion Pose, listed among the backbends or the arm balances on the Yoga Journal List of Poses. As we wind down our backbends as we approach the spring equinox, we would be remiss in not including this challenging backbend among our poses.
Bhekasana or Frog Pose is another challenging backbend which requires strength not only in the back but also in the arms and flexibility in the shoulders. Bhekasana is best practiced after warming up with standing poses or other preparatory backbends.
dhanurasana (bow posture) Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, is a fantastic back-bending pose for opening the chest and shoulders and strengthening the back. This pose is challenging as it reminds how important the legs are in back-bending poses. In addition to the strength in the back required for backbends, there is even more strength required in the legs, particularly the quadriceps.
Butterfly PoseWhen determining which yoga pose to highlight today, I could not help but ask our Co-Founder, Peter Agelasto, what pose is his favorite yoga pose. Why? Because Today is his Birthday. He has given so much time, effort and resources to this project. He is the ultimate Karma Yogi.
Bhujangasana -Cobra Pose Open the heart and stretch the belly with Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose. Back bends stimulate the Kidney Energy and invigorate the heart. Back bends can counteract the effects of depression. During the winter, many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, because of the decrease in light. Back bends, when practiced correctly, elevate our mood. This gentle back bend improves digestion and creates flexibility in the spine.
It is wintertime. One of the best seasons to practice yoga simply because it is an excellent indoor activity. In the chinese tradition, wintertime is a time to focus on balancing the Kidney Energy (Qi). One way to access the Kidney Qi is to practice backbends. And since it is February, it is also nice to focus on poses that open the heart. One of the myriad backbending asanas to choose from is Matsyasana or Lord of the Fishes pose. Yoga Journal has a good description for practicing Matsyasana. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a good video description of this pose, so we will just have to create one...
Colorful TurbinsAhhh August! Summer begins to come to a close; a bittersweet feeling. But this also means the cool winds and vibrant colors of Fall are on their way. iHanuman is busy upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, We hope to roll out our new features next month, September, so please stay tuned.
Lord ShivaHappy July Friends! iHanuman has been busy this month working on upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, so we do not have a new feature this month, but we do have 6 new video classes with Anusara Yoga Teachers Betsey Downing, Ph.D and Jaye Martin.
Fine tune your approach to Corpse Pose through an exploration of varying teaching philosophies.
By Sara Avant Stover
From Vasant Lad's Yoga Journal Post: Unusual mental or physical exertion, stress, and lack of sleep can make people tired. Prevention in these cases simply requires self-observation. Sometimes it means not pushing the body and mind beyond its limits. Other times it means walking or doing some physical work to help increase the body's energy level.
Discover how using themes can turn your yoga class from mundane to memorable. We all have yoga classes that stand out in our minds. Perhaps we found ourselves in a puddle of cathartic tears durning Savasana (Corpse Pose) or euphoric after rising into an unassisted Sirsasana (Headstand) for the first time. Something that the teacher said, or simply her way of being, can stick with us for years. As yoga teachers, we all want to deliver such classes. We want to touch our students' hearts, even long after they leave their yoga mats.
So, then, what is it that sets an exemplary yoga class apart froma forgettable one? Is there a method behind the magic? The Power of Themes
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