Posts

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January Pose of the Month: Peter Pan Abs

We know Peter Pan’s real secret to eternal youth… a strong, tight core! That’s why July’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.

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 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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December Pose of the Month: Seated Meditation

The pose of the month for December is: Seated Meditation. Even for many practiced yogis, sitting silently in meditation can be overwhelming, intimidating, and… well, just plain hard! We are so used to doing in order to achieve the goals we want for ourselves that “just sitting” can seem counter productive and, quite frankly, a waste of time. On the contrary, the benefits of a regular meditation practice are sung far and wide by not only yogis, but doctors, psychologists, and scientists as well. Studies show that as little as five minutes of meditation a day can lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain associated with relaxation and positive mood.

During the month of December, your YogaSport instructors will guide you into some helpful exercises to get you started and then allow a few minutes of space for you to get your meditation on. With a little practice, you’ll be totally zen just in time for the holidays!


BENEFITS:
• Calms and focuses the mind
• Slows emotional reactivity
• Creates clarity and awakens intuition
• Develops a mind-body connection

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Seated and alert
• Spine straight and tall
• Heart open and receptive
• Internal focus and gaze

STEP BY STEP (one of many variations):
1. Set a timer for your desired length of uninterrupted meditation.
2. Take a comfortable seated posture that is both alert and receptive.
3. Bring your hands to your heart or another mudra of your choice.
4. Close down your eyes and turn your gaze to your third eye center.
5. Become aware of each inhale and exhale. Release all other thoughts.
6. Notice thoughts as they arise, but let them go without judgment.
7. Stay. Trust your timer.

You will experience Seated Meditation in every Power Flow class this month.

Pose Of The Month – Frog

Disclosure: we promise our pose of the month WILL NOT give you warts. This month is all about Bhekasana, also known as Frog in our Baptiste yoga world. During the month of November, your YogaSport instructors will help you develop a better relationship with your Frog (interventions are often in order). Who knows, maybe you’ll even LOVE Frog by the time you are sitting down for your Thanksgiving meal. Watch our awesome video above and read on for alignment points and step by step directions to enter a masterful Frog.

BENEFITS:
• Stretches hips and groins
• Rejuvenates the body and is often emotionally charged

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Scoop your tailbone down and under
• Gently engage your belly
• Let your head drop
• Look between your forearms

STEP BY STEP:
1. Stand on your knees with your shins pressing into the floor.
2. Place your knees as far apart as you can.
3. Flex your feet and turn your heels out.
4. Align your shins parallel to the edges of your mat.
5. Relax onto your forearms and press your hips back.
6. Breathe.

You will experience Frog in every Power Flow class this month.

 

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September Pose of the Month: Half Moon

Double Pigeon has flown away and given Pose of the Month status to Half Moon! September’s Pose of the Month is Half Moon (ardha chandrasana). This month your YogaSport Instructors will guide you into this posture to help build strength, balance and focus!

BENEFITS
• Strengthens ankles, thighs, abdomen and spine
• Improves coordination and balance

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS
• Create a straight line from your bottom hand to your top hand
• Straighten your legs
• Press your back foot to the back of the room

 

STEP BY STEP
1. From forward fold, extend your right leg to the back of the room.
2. Tighten your left thigh.
3. Plant your left hand a foot in front of your left baby toe.
4. Place your right hand on your right hip and gently rotate your hip open.
5. Squeeze your right thigh.
6. Extend your right hand to the ceiling.

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August Pose of the Month: Double Pigeon

Our August Pose of the Month is one with many names . . . box pose, firelog pose, yes, even dwa pada raja kapotasana (whew, what a mouthful!). But it is best known by the name double pigeon. This is a pose that may send cyclists, runners, and other tight hipped yogis running for cover. But don’t be afraid! During the month of August, your YogaSport instructors will help you ease into a kinder, gentler double pigeon. Outside of the studio, this month is a great time to practice folding into tight spots and easing into uncomfortable situations that you confront in your daily life. Before you know it, you may just find yourself experiencing a new sense of openness and equanimity, both on and off your mat!

Benefits:

Stretches the hips and groin
Relieves stress
Regulates digestion and metabolism

Key Alignment Points:

Bring shins parallel
Stack knees and ankles
Externally rotate thighs
Keep active feet to protect knees

 

 

Step by Step:

1. From downward facing dog, step forward into half pigeon.
2. Bring your back leg around to the front and stack it on top.
3. Push both feet forward until ankles and knees are stacked and shins and parallel.
4. Lift your hips and untuck your tail.
5. Draw shoulder blades together to open heart and straighten back.
6. As you are able without pain, reach forward and rest over your shins.

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MAY POSE OF THE MONTH: FLIPPED DOWNWARD DOG

Spring has arrived – it’s time to add some fun and playfulness to your practice! This month’s Pose of the Month is Flip Dog. Get ready to flip and open your heart to new possibilities! See ya on the mat!

BENEFITS:
• Strengthens arms, legs and core
• Is a great balance between power/strength and freedom

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS
• Bring your feet about hip width and parallel
• Press into your lower hand
• Lift your hips up high
• Let your head drop back

STEP BY STEP:
1. From down dog, lift your right leg, bend knee and rotate open.
2. Keep rotating until you can gently land your right foot on the floor.
3. Set your feet hip width and engage your thighs.
4. Extend your right arm over head, spreading your fingers.
5. Ground your left palm and engage your shoulder blades.
6. Keep extending right arm, turning left palm to progress to wheel.

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APRIL POSE OF THE MONTH: DANCER POSE

April’s Pose of the Month is dancer pose. Nataranjasana is a balance pose and heart-opening backbend wrapped all into one – wow, what a deal! This month, your YogaSport instructors and assistants will help you find a solid stable foundation and then guide you into increasing expansion and freedom as you work toward your mastery of this difficult asana. By the end of April, you may just find yourself feeling like this pose’s other alias: Lord of the Dance!

BENEFITS:
• Stretches the shoulders and chest
• Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
• Strengthens the legs and ankles
• Improves balance

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS
• Inner side of arm reaching for foot faces outward
• Standing leg solid and engaged
• Shoulders and hips square
• Heart open and drawing upward

STEP BY STEP:
1. From Tadasana, bend your right arm at the elbow and bring it out to your side, palm facing up as if carrying a serving tray.
2. Extend your right leg behind you and grasp the inner edge of your foot with your right hand.
3. Reach your left arm skyward.
4. Ground down through your left foot and engage your left thigh.
5. Press your right foot into your hand to extend your hip back and heart forward. Gaze out over your left hand.

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

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MARCH POSE OF THE MONTH: CAMEL

March’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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FEBRUARY POSE OF THE MONTH: HANDSTAND

It’s time to get upside down! February’s Pose of the Month is handstand. Adho Mukha Vkrsasana is a balance pose that improves blood circulation and can change up your perspective. This month, your YogaSport instructors and assistants will help you find a solid foundation and then guide you into increasing strength and balance as you work toward your mastery of this difficult asana. By the end of February, you may just find yourself getting upside-down every chance you get! Feet up yogis!

BENEFITS:
• Stretches the shoulders, arms and wrists
• Improves sense of balance and calms the brain

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS
• Engage your bandhas
• Inhale as you bend, exhale as you kick
• Extend both legs completely
• Look between your hands

STEP BY STEP:
1. From Down Dog, place your right heel in front of your left big toe.
2. Extend your left leg in the air, pushing the ball of your foot back.
3. Lift up onto your right toes and keep your right leg engaged.
4. Shift your weight forward and stack shoulders above your wrists.
5. Keep your weight forward and bend your right knee.
6. On the exhale, extend your right leg straight as you kick up.

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

Pose Of The Month – Frog

Ribbit! The pose of the month is Bhekasana, also known as Frog in our Baptiste yoga world. During the month of November, your YogaSport instructors will help you develop a better relationship with your Frog (in case you were on bad terms). Who knows, maybe you’ll even LOVE Frog by the time you are Christmas shopping (hey, we can dream). Watch our awesome video above and read on for alignment points and step by step directions to enter a masterful Frog.

BENEFITS:
• Stretches hips and groins
• Rejuvenates the body and is often emotionally charged

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Scoop your tailbone down and under
• Gently engage your belly
• Let your head drop
• Look between your forearms

STEP BY STEP:
1. Stand on your knees with your shins pressing into the floor.
2. Place your knees as far apart as you can.
3. Flex your feet and turn your heels out.
4. Align your shins parallel to the edges of your mat.
5. Relax onto your forearms and press your hips back.
6. Breathe.

You will experience Frog in every Power Flow class this month.