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May Pose Of The Month: Camel

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May’s Pose of the Month is Camel. This intense heart opener is notorious for causing even the most practiced yogis to see stars! But have no fear, your YogaSport instructors will guide you carefully into a camel pose that takes you just to your edge. Learning to balance our biggest, fullest effort with ease and self-compassion is a lesson that we can all stand to take off the mat and into our lives.

BENEFITS:
• Stretches the entire front body and deep hip flexors
• Strengthens back muscles
• Improves posture
• Stimulates organs of the abdomen and neck

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:3-Camel_3826

• Stack hips over knees
• Toes may be flat or tucked
• Draw shoulder blades together
• Relax neck and head

STEP BY STEP:

1. Kneel on the mat, knees hips width distance.
2. Place palms at the small of your back.
3. Keeping hips aligned over knees, arch back and take your gaze up to the sky or the wall behind you.
4. Draw your shoulder blades together to open your chest to the sky.
5. If you can do so without bringing your hips behind your knees, reach for your heels.
6. To exit, release your heels and bring palms to back. Rise up slowly.

You will experience Camel Pose in every Power Flow class this month. This program will help you learn and master the chosen asana.

 

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4 Reasons All Athletes Need Yoga

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Molly Cain

It’s no secret around the studio that I’m a bit of a meathead and fitness junkie. I’ve been competing in all kinds of athletic events for years, I love a good challenge and my body often pays for that. In fact, after several years pushing myself hard with three triathlons, seven half marathons and near daily Camp Gladiator workouts, an old injury found its way back to me in 2013. (Yes, even five foot tall girls get basketball injuries!)

The day I found out I needed knee surgery to correct the issue, I hopped on the Google machine and sought out an alternative workout to tide me over. Because of course I couldn’t stand the idea of being still for any amount of time.

First, I learned the term yoga was way too loose, because there are many different types of yoga (a frustrating discovery for a complete newbie). After researching, I found one that was commonly referred to as “athlete’s yoga.” It was called Baptiste Yoga, and everything I read sounded perfect for me.

That’s when I stumbled onto YogaSport, the only Baptiste-certified studio in Dallas.

Despite the description, I still held onto the stereotype that yoga was for wimps. That they spent all their time bending around, flipping their legs over their heads, stretching and just generally getting zen. In my mind, it was a good temporary fix for an injury – then I’d quit when my knee was functioning again.

It’s been almost two years since then. And I’m so deeply in love with yoga (and the physical and mental benefits that come with it) that I’m now also an instructor, having recently graduated from YogaSport Yoga School under the great Angela Wagner. I’m also an assistant at the studio, helping students get the most out of their workouts when they come in to practice.

So, why have I stuck with it? Why do I swear by it? Because I’m an athlete.

Here are four reasons why you, as an athlete, should try it too.

Get the kinks out. A lot of athletes suffer from one-dimensionality. Many people find what they like then they stick to it, like running, lifting, or wasting your life away on the elliptical (please don’t do that). Yoga, however, works your full body, especially Baptiste Yoga. You’ll most certainly get a workout (up to 800 calories burned in one class, in fact), but in the process you’ll become more flexible. Your tired hammies, sore shoulders or tweaked back are no match for the healthy combination of a warm room and poses that seem to know exactly where you ache. You’ll walk away ready for your next event.

Get breathy. If you practice a couple times a week, you will literally become a master at breath in a matter of months. No really, I’m serious. And I invite you to tell me which athletic event would NOT benefit from that. Runners, run farther. Meatheads, lift heavier. Camp Gladiators, take your cross-functional fitness to the next level. All because of your breath. It’s the first thing you learn when you come to our studio. The ujayi breath not only warms your body and your muscles, it ignites something within you and you will twist more, balance better, pull off handstands and maybe even lift a car off of someone. You never know.

Get stronger. Do you know what a chatarunga is? The other day I think we did 90 billion in class (I’m exaggerating just a bit). If you come to our studio, you’ll know it immediately. It’s a low push-up, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. It’s the pose just before coming to Upward Facing Dog. A chatarunga is tough, but it’s a gift to your arms. I dare you to attend class regularly and not have sculpted, strong triceps and a stronger core from just that one single pose. And who doesn’t want killer triceps and a stronger core? Yep, thought so.

And good news, there are 52 other poses in Baptiste yoga, so wrap your mind and future sexy body around that!

Get your head straight. So I’ve hailed the physical benefits of Baptiste yoga, but what really makes this practice special is what it does for you mentally. While potent in the strength department, this particular type of yoga will tackle your head like nothing else can. That is, if you’re open to it. Baron Baptiste designed this practice to empower you with greater focus, mediation skills and active self-inquiry. And there’s not an athlete alive that won’t benefit from harnessing that kind of internal power. Yoga requires discipline and builds wisdom, by pushing you into challenging poses and encouraging you to talk yourself into staying there. Or heck, just trying it.

Truly, it was hard to come up with a list of four benefits to Baptiste Yoga. It’s made me a better, more winning, athlete. It’s changed me emotionally. And it’s given me a space to push myself without ever feeling the need to compete. What a gift.

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Molly has been practicing at YogaSport for almost two years. After studying under Angela Wagner, she now teaches corporate yoga classes and assists at the Studio. By day, she’s an entrepreneur and regularly contributes a leadership column on Forbes. 

Member Spotlight : Juan "Mario" Perez-Lomeli

me_parivrtta_utkatasanaName: Juan Mario Perez-Lomeli
Nickname: Mook (Mookie) Has something to do with playing a lot of street basketball and the movie “Do the Right Thing.”

Day Job: Network Engineer at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone of America.

How long have you have been practicing at YS? I’m not sure, but it’s close to 2 years. Been my home studio since the first time I tried it out.

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? Art of assisting is a ton of fun. It’s a great way to get out of your shell and meet interesting people.

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Dealing with chaotic situations and emergencies. I’d trade that in for being better at planning and preparing, though.

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Tolasana (scale pose) float through to chatarunga dandasana is probably my favorite right now but half pigeon is a close second.

Who inspires you the most and why? Mom, without a doubt. She’s a miracle worker and has accomplished so much considering where she came from and all of the obstacles that she’s overcome. I routinely witnessed her change lives and bring hope to undocumented Mexican Nationals dealing with impossible scenarios and dire circumstances.

Why did you start practicing yoga? A pretty girl had a little something to do with that. 2nd date kind of thing. Thanks to her I have a yoga practice and 3 super cats. IMAG0067

Why do you still practice? Each class is a mental and physical challenge as well as an opportunity to grow and get in touch with self. I truly believe it is a bridge to being in touch with my inner being; a way to dissolve the cultural filters that define who it is that I think I am.

What do you just love about YogaSport? It’s a community of great energy and positivity.  All of the instructors bring a unique touch and perspective that make every class arduous yet fresh and fun.

Spill – What’s your guilty pleasure? Oh man. Hmm… Hard to choose one but I’ll go with fantasy football since draft day is approaching. It’s one day every year where my oldest and dearest friends and I all gather to act like children. Christmas day for us, really.

What’s the best dish you can cook? Steak chimichurri or almond crusted chicken strips. The cast iron skillet does all of the work for me, otherwise I have trouble boiling water.

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? Played MC Hammer in my ninth grade musical in, of all places, Salt Lake City, UT.

Mac or PC? Linux.

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August Pose of the Month – Twisting Triangle

Ready to twist? This month’s pose of the month is a real wringer: Parivrta Trikonasana, also known as Twisting Triangle. This twisty standing pose provides an incredible opportunity to build both strength and flexibility, all while rinsing your internal organs and providing a healthy rinsing for your spine. During the month of August, your YogaSport instructors will help you develop a new love and appreciation for your Twisting Triangle… who knows, maybe it will be the start of a beautiful new relationship!

Read on for alignment points and step by step directions to enter a masterful twisting triangle.

BENEFITS:
• Rinses the organs and tissues of the mid-body and digestive system
• Releases the lumbar spine and helps relieve lower back pain

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Square your hips forward
• Stack your torso over your front leg
• Drop your shoulders toward your hips

STEP BY STEP:
1. From Pyramid (left foot forward), lift half way up to a flat back.
2. Place your right hand on a block and press your chest forward.
3. Engage your abdominals and press your left hip back.
4. Extend your left arm to the sky, spreading your fingers.
5. Press into your feet and engage your powerful legs.
6. On the inhale, extend your spine. On the exhale, twist deeper.

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April Pose of the Month – Toe Pose!

Hi yogis!

At last, warm weather is upon is. For many of us, that means flip-flops, sassy sandals, and tall wedges. Regardless of your summer footwear, take pause to give your feet some extra love. This month’s Pose of the Month is Toe Pose! Besides stretching the oft-neglected bottoms of your feet and toes, toe pose allows the opportunity to practice internal focus and mental calm. Starting today, your YS instructors and assistants will guide you to healthy feet (and mind!) all month long.

Benefits:
1. Stretches feet and toes

2. Helps prevent plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot and extends to the heel)

Alignment:
1. Set knees together

2. Lift torso and retract shoulder blades back and down

3. Hands to heart, fingers spread

4. Engage your abdominal lock

Step by Step:
1. From Down Dog, drop your knees to the mat.

2. Tuck your toes and sit back on your heels.

3. Smile!

February Pose of the Month – Camel Pose

The February Pose of the Month is camel pose. This intense heart opener is notorious for causing even the most practiced yogis to see starts! But have no fear, your YogaSport instructors will guide you carefully into a camel pose that takes you  just to your edge. Learning to balance our biggest, fullest effort with ease and self-compassion is a lesson that we can all stand to take off the mat and into our lives.

BENEFITS:
• Stretches the entire front body and deep hip flexors
• Strengthens back muscles
• Improves posture
• Stimulates organs of the abdomen and neck

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Stack hips over knees
• Toes may be flat or tucked
• Draw shoulder blades together
• Relax neck and head

STEP BY STEP:
1. Kneel on the mat, knees hips width distance.
2. Place palms at the small of your back.
3. Keeping hips aligned over knees, arch back and take your gaze up to the sky or the wall behind you.
4. Draw your shoulder blades together to open your chest to the sky.
5. If you can do so without bringing your hips behind your knees, reach for your heels.
6. To exit, release your heels and bring palms to back. Rise up slowly.

You will experience Camel Pose in every Power Flow class this month. This program will help you learn and master the chosen asana.

featuredasana-feb-camel-pose

CultureMap Dallas features YS!

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Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.42.35 PMScreen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.46.00 PMaron Baptiste is known as the founder of power flow yoga. Because Baptiste grew up with yogi parents, we’re not surprised that he lives a very zen life.

But its the “Baptiste” movement — a special practice combining meditation, intense movement and peace of mind — that makes him so remarkable. When Baptiste came to town for a sold-out all-day workshop, we sat down with him at Yogasport in Dallas, one of his affiliate studios, to learn how to find better balance and emulate his lifestyle.

CultureMap: When you created power flow yoga more than 20 years go, was it your intention to create a kind of brand?

Baron Baptiste: It wasn’t the goal. I wanted to take the mysticism out of yoga and create a disciplined power yoga practice. It worked out: When I first practiced in Beverly Hills, people quickly saw physical, mental and emotional results.

CM: Does yoga always have to be incorporated with mediation?

BB: They don’t have to go together, but they certainly lend to each other. Poses create health, strength and calmness in the mind; meditation creates stillness.

CM: How do you suggest staying balanced with a busy work/travel schedule?

BB: The good thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere. But it’s always better to get to a class and practice there, where you have a dedicated space with no distractions.

CM: Can anyone practice Baptiste power yoga?

BB: As long as they are healthy overall, one can jump right into it — at any age.

CM: How hot does a class get?

BB: Our studios vary, but I will say that this practice generates body heat of about 80 degrees. With contracting and extending you are heating and healing from the inside out. You’re detoxing and cleansing.

CM: Do you follow a special diet?

BB: I try to eat as natural as possible — whole foods. I think it stems from a wholesome attitude.

CM: More and more men are practicing yoga, but it seems like they’re still a minority. Why do you think that is?

BB: In our classes we see a lot of men, actually, because they are more athletic. You don’t need to be flexible for this kind of yoga. Women are certainly more open than men, but I think there’s definitely a breakthrough from the perception that yoga is only for women.

CM: Yoga clothing has become so prevalent. Do you think yogis need to wear special gear?

BB: The good thing about yoga is that you don’t need much. You have to be comfortable, and you must be able to move in whatever you wear. Lululemon happens to be an amazing brand.

CM: In another life, what would you be doing?

BB: I’d be on the radio. I like to talk.

 

Read the story on CultureMap Dallas, here.

Summer Power Yoga – Top Ten Sweat and Hydration Q’s

A Q&A with our studio owner, Angela Wagner, to answer all your hygienic, hydration and sweat-related questions.

1. How should I hydrate for yoga class? It’s important to find a balance between drinking plain water and electrolyte-infused water. When you sweat, you lose a lot of water, salt and other important minerals. The amount of water and electrolytes you will need will depend on how hot it is outside, your weight and your activity level. Drink plenty of plain water throughout the day and leading up to your practice (skip the soda at lunch). I personally always drop a scoop or packet of Ultima in my water before/during class and leave the studio with a coconut water in hand.

2. Doesn’t Smart Water have electrolytes in it? Unfortunately, Smart Water does not have sufficient electrolytes for a YS yogi.

3. How do I get that weird sweaty smell out of my clothes? It may have been cool enough during the winter to leave your clothes in a pile in your car/home, but it isn’t now. Hang your clothes and Yogitoes to dry (preferably outside) immediately after practice… or else. Or, even better yet, throw them right into the washer!

4. And the follow-up question… How come Kelly always smells so GOOD?! Our lovely and awesome Kelly is an expert on cleanliness. Because of her, the YS Team puts half of a cup of white vinegar in with their yoga laundry. If your clothes are really stinky, you can even rinse them in a vinegar and water bath before putting them in the washer. Don’t worry, the vinegar scent will dissolve. We also suggest washing your yoga, gym and extra sweaty stuff separately from your fancy pants clothes.

5. How often and how should I wash my yoga mat? You should wipe down your yoga mat after every practice. Yes, seriously, even if you practice with a towel on your mat. We sell my favorite mat cleaner, Sarah’s Wicked Witch Hazel spray. It smells like peppermint. Yum.

6. Should I wash my Yogitoes after each use? YES. Yogitoes are like your undies. Wear, wash, repeat. Your yogi neighbors will thank you. Oh, and remember NOT to use fabric softener or it will make your towel a slip and slide.

7. Do yoga clothes/Yogitoes expire? Believe it or not, yoga clothes and Yogitoes expire. Pay attention and give them a whiff. If you simply can’t get the sweat smell out, throw them away. Also, when fabric gets warm, it expands and can start to stretch to where you can see through it. Cotton yoga pants tend to expire quicker than a dry-wick fabric. It’s a good idea to invest in some good yoga clothes and wash them properly.

8. Is it cooler in the studio than outside? Probably. It’s Texas, people. That’s one of the many benefits to practicing in the summer. As we say, cool off, take hot power flow yoga at YogaSport!

9. How do I smell?? Here’s the thing… everyone gets stinky during class. It isn’t exclusive to you. So please don’t spritz on perfume thinking that will help (it makes things worse). But please shower before class if you have had a long, stinky day, and obviously, shower after.

10. Why is everyone washing their feet? It’s flip flop season. Mix a day full of hot weather and flip flops and, well, you know where I am going. We provide “feet wipes” in the Refresh Bin in the Zen Den as well as in the women’s restroom. Check your feet before each class and if they are dirty, give them a wipe. It will make you feel refreshed, and will ensure you get those yummy foot assists in class.

Have a question for us? Ask it in the comments section of this blog post.

Meet The Heat 2013

YogaStar

  • Friday, June 21st – August 29th
  • YS Members – FREE!
  • Non-members – $250 [includes 70-day yoga pass]

 

 

Let’s MEET THE HEAT together on our mats this summer!

Celebrate summer with our 70-Day Challenge. Choose your commitment goal and start the summer off right with sweat, fun and power yoga!

Challengers will be listed on our MEET THE HEAT chart and given a sticker for each class attended at YS. The more classes you attend, the more rewards you can win! Each day of the week during the 70-day challenge will offer a different theme to deepen your practice, a goodie to perk up your week, or prizes like Yogitoes, practice gear, YS VIP status, and a free month of yoga! Check our Facebook page often for challenge updates, surprises and prizes.

MAT-DOWN REWARDS: On top of the benefits of a regular practice, challengers will be rewarded for packing their summer full of yoga!

  • 25 practices = YS goodie bag
  • 35 practices = YS headband
  • 50 practices = 25% off September membership


DAILY THEMES AND REWARDS: Come each day of the week for a different challenge perk.

  • Mondays, Thursdays & Sundays: Win It!
    Drop your name in the Front Desk Fishbowl each time you practice on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays during the challenge. The more you practice, the more chances to win! We will give away a different prize each week and announce the winners every Friday on our Facebook page and in the studio!
  • Tuesday: Twisted Tuesdays
    Added core and detoxifying twists.
  • Wednesday: Double-Down Wednesdays
    Earn TWO stars for each practice
  • Friday: Friendly Friday
    Bring a friend to class with you and they practice for FREE!
  • Saturday: Pretox Saturdays
    Get ready for the weekend with an electrolyte-infused treat after class.

 

Sign up at the front desk, online or email Cassandra at Cassandra@yogasportdallas.com with your goal number.

*Only in-studio practices count for this challenge

 

June Pose of the Month: Peter Pan Abs

PeterPanFlyingWe know Peter Pan’s real secret to eternal youth… a strong, tight core! That’s why June’s Pose of the Month is Peter Pan Abs. This month, your YogaSport instructors and assistants will help you focus in on your abdominal muscles and learn how to access the deep layers that support a healthy spine and body. Coincidentally, it’s time to shop for swimsuits and hit the pool… Happy June!

BENEFITS:
• Strengthens the upper, lower, and transverse (deep) abdominals

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Hold your straightened leg at a 45 degree angle from the earth.
• Align the inner edge of your foot against the inner calf of your opposite leg.
• Point your bent knee directly toward your face.
• Activate your toes and feet in a demi-point.

STEP BY STEP:
1. Lie on your back and lift your feet directly up to the sky above.
2. Lower your left leg to 45 degrees.
3. Bend your right knee toward your face and place the inner edge of your right foot against the inner of your left calf.
4. Extend your fingers in the direction of your left foot and peel your shoulders off the mat.
5. Exhale strongly as you tighten your abs and reach for your toes.
6. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…. You get the idea!
7. Switch your legs and complete an equal number of repetitions with your right leg extended.

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