Friday, December 2, 2016

Is this true? Is this appropriate? Class notes from fridays Anusara yoga c

Friday at Centered city yoga. This class can be streamed from forte You can access this class for FREE and all the classes on FORTË for a limited time! Just go to www.forte.fit, click "Join Our Tribe - Sign Up Now" and enter the invitation code: CCYOnline.
Theme: Right action creates harmony versus negative karma, peace instead of increasing conflict and the rememberence of grace in midst of chaos... inner listening.
right action is what is called doing one’s Dharma.
Questions to ask when getting still and listening for guidance? "Is this true? Is this appropriate".
What we are doing on the mat is so much more the stretching and strengthening muscles. We are bringing more harmoney into the world by bringing more appropriate action that is alignment with our truth. This is loving your dharma. Better your own dharma—your personal duty—even if unsuccessful, than the dharma of another done perfectly.”
Anecdote: thanksgiving dinner. I paused and listened inwardly many times. Is this true? Is this appropriate? And many times it was true and not appropriate and sometimes it wasn't even true. I am learning to hold my tongue, honor my true the and I can see the peace it brings to my life and the world.
Heart quality: inner listening, peace, harmoney
Apex: camel with quad
Universal principle of alignment: thigh loop (an aspect of inner spiral in BACK. wide) and pelvic loop (a part of outer spiral)

Warm up
Supta thigh loop vs. pelvic loop
Table ""
Table - shalabasana
Down dog
Basic
High runners lunge (hrl)
Hrl twist
Kneeling push-ups
Mod w2, mod mod parsvak (on knee like captain Morgan)
W2- rev w
Parsvak- rev warrior
Harder
Trikonasana - half moon - standing hip stretch
L.l quad - Lunge- W3
W3- standing splits - handstand hop
Virasana
Apex
Camel
Ustrasana: 1 leg in ardha bekhasana
Cool down
Crunches with block btw legs
Bridge
Symmetrical root
Happy baby
Shavasana

Friday, November 18, 2016

Discover your COURAGE


Theme: Discover Your Courage
Anecdote: In a Sioux Indian story about courage, the Great Creator gathers all living things together and presents them with a challenge. “I gave each of you courage,” the Creator says. “But it is something I want humans to work hard to discover. Where can I hide it?”

The eagle spoke. “I am not afraid to soar high into the sky. I will place it among the stars.” But the Creator said, “No. One day humans will fly into the skies and easily find this.”

The dolphin said, “I am not afraid to dive deep into the ocean. I will deposit it on the ocean floor.” But the Creator said, “No. One day humans will go far below the surface of the ocean and find it.”

Then a tiny gnat spoke up. “I cannot soar into the sky or dive deep into the ocean or dig into the ground. Even so, I have courage. Why not place it inside of humans? Then it will be up to them to discover it themselves.” And so it was.

Until you discover your courage, you will not be able to see how high you can soar and all of the things that you can accomplish.

I will seek the courage within me and use it to guide me in all that I do.

“Courage is only an accumulation of small steps.”

—George Konrad
Heart quality: courage 
UPA: muscle energy to the midline 
Apex: warrior 1 
Sequence: 
Warm up 
Cat /cow 
Table shalabasana 
Ams
Basic 
L - tree  L 
L- tree- eagle- L 
L twist - half moon 
W2- mod. Parsvak- rev w 
Malasana- crow 
Utkanana twist - L twist- anjaneyasana twist- add quad stretch 
Harder 
Eagle- Standing split - handstand hops 
Low lunge quad 
Active pigeon Cow face 
Apex:
W1 
L- tree- eagle- w1
Cool down 
Janusirsasana 
Janusirsasana twist STRAP 
Fish twist 
Baddha konasana 
Shavasana 

Have questions a my short hand? Just ask. These are just my quick notes some students have been requesting I post. 

Thanks for reading

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Send out your heart intentions out into the world in an emPOWERing SKILLfull way!

If you have any questions about my short hand ask. I haven't been posting many blogs and some students have been asking for my notes. These are my ruff notes from Tuesday's Anusara class at metric yoga. 

Theme: let's send our heart intentions out into the world in an emPOWERing SKILLfull way by uniting our love (Anahata chakra) with our personal power (manipura chakra). 
Mantra: Aham prema = I am divine love. 
Visualization: pink flame in the heart of unconditional love and fulfillment. Remembering true fulfillment comes from being present and loving and seeing the beauty reflected in all things and acting from a place of unconditional love. Meaning you don't put any conditions on your love. (Seems simple much harder in practice) 
Anecdote: there is a lot of divide and fear in the world today. We are witnessing lots of action driven from fear. How can we act in alignment with the heart so our actions are skillful? This is how we follow our dharma by aligning our actions skillfully with the heart! This is how we empower ourself and others! 
Heart quality: LOVE 
UPA: shoulder loop + kidney loop (KL) + organic energy. Practicing shoulder loop the throats and arm bones curl back as the tip of the shoulder blades lift the heart and sternum and meet again at the top of the throat. This brings us into our heart. Into our power of love. However often when we practice this principle and dive deeply into our heart we lose our power and capacity to act. This can be seen in the physical body by the ribs sticking out, the kidneys collapsed and no tone in the belly. To connect to your power, from the heart press our through the hands ( the palms of the hands have little heat energy centers on them) as a way of initiating kidney loop which draws the floating ribs in with the power of the core and expands into the back of the kidneys. This is our manipura chakra, the energy center associated with our personal power  when this center is in balance we feel like we have the capacity to act and have confidence in ourself. 
Apex: eka pada rajakaptasana 

Warm up 
Supta blanket cactus twisting knees 
Supta blanket roll under heart sleep walking zombie arm plugs and reach over head 
1/2 sun 3x 
Half mood stretch
Basic 
Cat/ cow 
Kneeling Plank KL 
Push ups bolster KL 
L twist 
Anjaneyasana 
Handstand prep hands on wall
Harder 
Handstand L 
Kick up handstand 
Pincha prep forearms on wall 
Pincha L 
Sirsasana 
Pec stretch at wall hand on wall "high 5"
W2- Lunge - twist lunge arms in T- rev Lunge- high runners twist Lunge
Ardha Supta virasana 
Supta virasana 
L.l quad 
Pigeon quad
Cool down 
Cow face 
Fish twist 
Shavasana 

Monday, October 31, 2016

My November Yoga Newsletter

November Anusara Yoga Offerings:

  • Tuesdays & Saturdays 9:00AM
Renaissance Ranch Treatment Center (CLOSED CLASS):
  • Thursdays 6:00PM
Centered City Yoga (926 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105):
  • Fridays 9:05AM
Burn the Bird Practice! Centered City Yoga
  • 11/25/2016 9:05-11:05AM
  • $20 in advance $25 at door
  • After Thanksgiving we are stuffed full of delicious food and gratitude! Join us as we Burn the bird, while we continue to hold the flame of gratitude in our heart.
  • This will be a strong all levels practice. With standing poses, twists, inversions, backbends, juicy restorative poses and meditation. Focusing on shoulder alignment reducing habitual tension in the upper body so we can strongly anchor in our grateful heart.
Saturday Series: Finishing The Eight Limbs of Yoga 

November 6th: Dhyana 7th limb- the practice of meditation or contemplation.
November 13th: Samadhi 8th limb- a merging with the divine... A state of ecstasy.
------------ I have LOVED reviewing these limbs of yoga with you!
November 20th: TBD
November 27th: Twists to detoxify from Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned for the next series. 
Centered City Yoga has teamed up with FORTË, a company that streams live fitness classes based out of New York. My Friday Anusara Yoga classes are being filmed and uploaded every week along with other terrific teachers in many areas of health, fittness and mindfulness. You can access for FREE all classes on FORTË for a limited time! Just go to www.forte.fit, click "Join Our Tribe - Sign Up Now" and enter the invitation code: CCYOnline. You can share this free access with you friends :) 
'Tis the season to remember all there is to be GRATEFUL for in your life!
i am a huge fan of writing gratitude lists in the morning or in the evening. Research has shown people who write a gratitude list at night even sleep better! For the month of November I will be writing on gratitude every day and sharing my thoughts on Facebook for the extra accountability.

How to write a gratitude list? Simply write down what you are grateful for... (family, health, warm clothes, coffee, stars, curiosity, art work, flowers..)
Want to take it farther? Here are some of my favorite gratitude writing prompts:
  1. What is different today than it was a year ago that I’m thankful for?
  2. What have others in my life done that I am thankful for?
  3. What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced (or am currently experiencing) that I can be thankful for? (e.g., What have I learned? How have I grown?)
  4. What opportunities to help others am I thankful for?
  5. What accomplishments in your life have brought you the most happiness?
Samhain, meaning "Summer's End" and pronounced saah-win or saa-ween, is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. In the Celtic Tradition and for many practitioners, Samhain marks the beginning of the spiritual new year. This is a powerful time of year for inner work, personal reflection and to look ahead and set intentions. Just as we plant seeds into the dark fertile soil let yourself be embraced and nourished by the darkness. 
Request line OPEN!
Do you have a request? Want to clarify some alignment? Working toward a specific posture? Want a more emotional focused class? Have a question?... I aim to teach a class geared to YOU! If there is anything you want more of, or less of in you practice PLEASE let me know!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monthly Newsletter: Octobers's Anusara Yoga Offerings


Click here to view my October yoga Newsletter. Read about my Autumn Equinox intentions and learn more about your butt!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Releasing with the Harvest Moon





Last night I gathered for my monthly full moon dance. Normally this dance happens in a small temple and only women gather together to move in our uniqueness, with intention, silently to rhythmic music as we connect with the current moon. This month for the celebration of the harvest moon we invited our brothers and we danced outside on the salt flats by the Great Salt Lake. When I first saw this invitation I instantly knew in my gut I was going. I told/asked my husband and he said yes and actually asked if he could come. I said no women only, confused that men were also invited this month. Once I realized men were invited I invited him and we lined up my dad to baby sit our two children. 

Tyler and I arrived at the beach early. Watched the sun set, talked and played around with some yoga poses. When the sun set and the moon rose we gathered with our group and howled at the moon which appeared red. The love and excitement we all felt for the moon was palpable. I thought of all the women in all the times in all the lands who have looked to the moon and sought guidance. I felt grounded in my blood, in my bones, with my feet in the sand.

My bare feet stood on cold dry salt sand. It cracked as I moved on it and we gathered into our circle. Our guides welcomed us, talked about the moon briefly, and the "rules" for our movement and then let us dance. Music played over generators as we danced, jumped, hopped, swayed, rolled, skipped, spun, pulsated, smiled, cried, yelled, laughed, crawled, ran, sat... It was beautiful to witness the black silhouettes of these human beings connecting with themselves, moving and breathing in their authenticity and how lucky I was to share that experience with them. 

We moved at different speeds within our circle outlined in the sand. As we repetitively touched the earth the sand that started our dry became wet and muddy.  It was such a magnificent experience to feel the change under my feet. I felt grounded and connected to my Mother... Earth.

The full moon represents abundance and she is about to move into waning, into releasing. As I gazed up at the moon with my hands over my heart I thought about what I want to release. I want to release my self judgment, and my self criticism so that I can stand in my power with self love and self confidence! With this intention I walk through the threshold leaving my old ways, thoughts and habits behind me. I move forward in a new way as a strong women who loves and cares for herself. A women who knows she can accomplish so much if she directs her energy into other things instead of the size of her love handles. How many hours, days, years I have wasted of my life caring about my size? and what you think of it? I have been working on this for 10 years but recently I have felt a lot of manifestation of forward momentum. Of letting go of that past identity so I can stand in my power fully. 

When we were dancing I also though of how we are all spiritual beings. About how lucky we are to share this human experience with each other. I caught myself finding my husbands silhouette watching him dance to his own beat and think how lucky I am
to share my life with this being! We get so caught up in life with children, bills, work, plans that I can forget this human experience and take it to seriously that I miss connecting with him as a Being. Dancing with him last night sometimes together but often apart was so amazing. Being able to do our own thing, feed our soul, be authentic, come together and connect, kiss, smile and then spin off again was a gift from Grace and one I will never forget. 

As we left we talked about our intentions. I shared with him about my self love and being ready to move past this threshold. He told me about his (I won't share it). He kept saying how much he enjoyed the dance and needed it. He also acknowledged how important these dances are for me and how much he supports me making time for them and will continue to encourage me to go to them in the future. This mad me so happy because I haven't been to a moon dance in a few months because I always assume he would rather me stay home and help with the kids. So hearing him say. "Yes! Do this!I will help you make this happen" made me heart soar. 

We talks again this morning about the transformative experience we had under the moon. Both so grateful that we can share these experiences. Tyler grew up Mormon and pointed out that there are many people who would be to uncomfortable with free movement under the moon and others would assume we were all on drugs and wouldn't want to participate. I am so grateful I can have these experiences. I am BLISSED out and am already counting down the days until I can dance with the moon again.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Anusara Shoulder Loop Workshop for Aerialists

One of my long time students who is a professional aerial artists asked me to come to her aerial studio to teach a workshop for her flying students about Anusara Yoga's Alignment Principle, Shoulder Loop. I broke down shoulder loop: why it is important, how to do it, what it feels like when your doing it, what it feels like when your not doing it and putting it in to practice. In between my teaching Elizabeth Stich guided the students in different apparatuses (trapeze, silks, lira, and rope) going over basic skills (they did not look basic!) while adding in this alignment principle.


Elizabeth demonstrating Side bodies long and inner body bright.

I am so grateful to have been apart of this experience. It was amazing to watch these strong women take in this new information, digest it and put it into practice in the air. They are so strong and graceful. It was so clear to see when they were and were not doing shoulder loop and how much more ease it looked like it added to their movement.

Before we started class we went around and everyone introduced themselves and shared their current or past history with shoulder injuries. Almost every student had or has a shoulder issue! That is one thing I love about Anusara Alignment! It brings the body into "optimal alignment' which heals past injuries and helps prevent future injuries. This alignment can be practiced in class and also during daily activities like driving, holding children, cooking...After the class some students commented that they didn't understand the whole concept of shoulder loop. I reassured them "That is totally normal! I have been studying this for 8 years and I am still discovering more and more!" I said as long as you leave learning something that is a success and more will be reveled if you continue to practice.

The Shoulder Loop: What It 
Shoulder loop is one of the seven loops on Anusara yoga. It starts in the upper palate, flowing backward to the base of your skull, draws down to the bottom of your shoulder blades and then the shoulder blades go in and up to the heart and ends where it started at your palate, lifting your chest and opening your throat.

Functions

Releases the tension in the neck, stretches the chest, strengthens the back and makes room for more breath. Shoulder loop also aligns your arms with your shoulder joints, stabilizing the collarbones and shoulder blades. The loop gives your shoulders the widest range of motion without risking injury to your neck or shoulders. The aerial students were very excited about this last function.

Actions of shoulder loop. 

By integrating these movements of your shoulders, the loop aligns and opens your shoulder girdle and chest. These combined actions result in opening the space of your heart. Before doing these steps Open to Grace by lengthening the Side bodies and expanding the inner body bright which will broaden the collar bones. This will bring the body into a natural place to take shoulder loop.  Now... draw the head of the arm bones back, slide your shoulder blades down your back, press the lower tips of your shoulder blades forward into the bottom of your heart and lift your chest, slide your throat back so that your head and neck are aligned with the central axis of your body. Feel how magical optimal alignment is!

Sequence: 
Open to grace/ come into neutral with side bodies long (sbl) and inner body bright (ibb) 
Shoulder loop: starts in palate of mouth draws back and down skull, draws shoulder blades down and forward to lift heart and then comes back up to meet in the palate of the mouth. 

Repetition it's the same alignment in every pose. Optimal alignment in Tadasana and in real life is what we are building in every pose. 

30 minute warm up: 
Interlace hands in front of chest- over head sbl IBB - half moon stretch 
Uttanasana- ardha utt.- high runners lunge twist 
Interlace hands in front of chest- over head sbl IBB shoulder blade tips down and back - half moon stretch  
Uttanasana- ardha utt- hrl twist 
Pec stretch at wall 
Prone pec stretch - Prone quad stretch - Bridge 3x 
Pincha prep in table 
Dolphin 
lunge clasp hands behind back
Thread needle 
AMS 
Prone pec stretch
thread needle

To learn more about Aerial Arts of Utah visit http://www.aerialartsofutah.com/

Monday, July 25, 2016

Meditation for more kindness and ease

A short meditation I recorded in Jackson Hole. This meditation focused on the four aspects of your natural breath while cultivating kindness, love and ease. I hope you enjoy this short meditation.

Keep GROWING and PROGRESSING on and off the mat!

this is a 40 minute practice speed up that I narrate some of my alignment focus and my heart focus. My hope is seeing me practice might inspire or deepen your own practice. Today I focused on growing and progressing in my life on and off the mat.
"Let the goal be to reach perfection, but be content with a little progress toward perfection each day" BKS Iyengar.
I used to torture myself trying to be perfect. Now I don't want to be perfect but I do want to keep growing every day for the rest of my life! The dream of moving toward perfection ignites the fire inside me, the effort needed for transformation. That requires perseverance, continued effort over a period of time despite difficulties, failures or opposition.
Sequence:
Plank- Down Dog
Side plank
Lunge - twist- reverse lunge- high runners lunge twist, low lunge twist with quad stretch
Warrior 2- Reverse warrior- parsvakonasana- reverse warrior
half moon- standing pigeon- uttitha pada B- scandasana
Down Dog- wild thing- side arm balance variation- seated wide leg forward told- twist- briggets twist
forearm plank- dolphin
pigeon quad- twist quad- hanumanasana
headstand with windmill leg variation
handstand with windmill leg variation
forearm balance
full back bend at wall
dwi pada backbend- urdhva danurasana at wall
root fumer bone- supta pada B- mantra missile
Pranayama: alternate nostril breathwork
Mantra

About Anusara yoga... I LOVE, teach and practice Anusara Yoga which is a style of hatha yoga that emphasis aligning the physical body in a way that cultivates health for the body, mind and heart. Some unique aspects of Anusara include the principles of alignment, a non-dual philosophy that looks for the good in life! and a friendly community.
To learn more about Anusara visit: http://www.anusarayoga.com/

Baby and Me Yoga

A short practice to strengthen and stretch your body. Motherhood is a constant invitation to practice cultivating more patience, for your child/ children and yourself. When we are patient we are present and more compassionate. As you move through this practice I invite you to stretch your body and your ability to be more patient. This class has some standing poses and hip openers. Please let me know if you have any questions.
The Sequence:
Sun salutation A 1x
Lunge holding baby in arms or taking a pec stretch
low lunge with a twist and quad stretch
half splits
active pigeon stretch arms up
double pigeon
reclined twist
shavasana
seated meditation
About Anusara yoga... I LOVE, teach and practice Anusara Yoga which is a style of hatha yoga that emphasis aligning the physical body in a way that cultivates health for the body, mind and heart. Some unique aspects of Anusara include the principles of alignment, a non-dual philosophy that looks for the good in life! and a friendly community.
To learn more about Anusara visit: http://www.anusarayoga.com/

Quick tips and tricks to open your HEART


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention
It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind, peace and happiness to your heart through Anusara Yoga. I provide knowledge, passion, a safe environment and some humor. Love Kim

Testimonials
"As a professional dancer and aerialist, Kim's classes have been an invaluable form of cross-training to keep my body happy and healthy. She offers a clear and dynamic focus on alignment that I find myself using in my own teaching as well. In fact, I have recommended her to so many of my aerial students that I worry one day her class will be too full for me!" Liz S

"Kim's classes have changed my approach to yoga, myself, and life more generally.  Her focus on alignment has helped me discover and create better posture in my poses and her cues resonate with me in a way that makes the poses more accessible.  I always feel challenged and encouraged in her classes and leave with good information about how to hold myself throughout the rest of the week.  Her teaching style is very down-to-earth and authentic and I appreciate the realness with which she approaches each class.  Her classes are also really playful. Kim encourages students to explore and introduces a sense of joy even when the pose is challenging.  For some students, any yoga class will do, but for me, Kim is a cult classic and her classes set the standard for public yoga classes." Stephanie

"I’ve been practicing yoga now for eight years, the last four years with Kim Achelis-Hoggan as my primary yoga teacher.  Kim is a very knowledgeable teacher and I’ve made her yoga class my routine and rarely miss it.  She teaches Anusara yoga and is Anusara certified.  There are only a couple teachers in the whole state that have that certification.  Every class has a theme and a peak pose that we work toward and there is a lot of focus on alignment, refinement and the breath.  I’ve consistently noticed that no matter how I feel when I walk in the door to practice yoga with Kim, by the time the class is complete, I physically and mentally feel better.  When I started going to Kim’s class, my practice was limited, but now I’m physically stronger than I’ve been since I was in my 20’s and can do handstands and more.  Kim’s class has a lot of great people in it too, so there’s a friendly community feel to it.  I wrote Kim a poem a couple years ago and I think that this sums up Kim’s approach to teaching yoga.
The Elephant Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, Deva of Intellect and Wisdom
Connector to people, anything is possible, a woman with true growing vision
Knowledgeable guru of alignment and flow, always prepared with a theme and a goal
Your morning practice has become my routine, they make my body strong and my mind serene
You reinforce your points, by repeating the words, in interesting tones of voice, so your point is heard
Keep that back leg straight, turn those lips up and smile, shoulders on your back, inward and outward spiral
Safely guiding us to places we might not otherwise go, you’ve given me more than you will ever know
Thank you Kim!" Kevin

"I've trained with Kim for four years and just love her to death. Yoga can change your life and Kim can be integral to that transformation. She gives individual attention so you feel safe and challenged, and her positive energy makes the whole session enjoyable." Kathleen

"Kim is an excellent yoga instructor. She is encouraging, very knowledgeable about body alignment, full of positive energy, and makes the class fun. You can tell she puts a lot of effort into her class plan, her sequencing is always challenging and interesting. She is definitely one of my all-time favorite teachers, I highly recommend her." Joy

"Kim offers a sweet and real approach to practicing yoga. Each of Kim's classes is rooted in rich tradition, philosophy, and anatomical understanding. She acts as a guide, allowing each individual an avenue to express postures in a way that is most authentic for them. It is a sweet opportunity every time I get to be a part in the safe, supported, and genuine space Kim creates." Aubri B.


"I truly appreciate the way you integrate meditation, super good alignment, humor in the perfect amount of work/exertion in your classes. You're amazing." Kelli



"Kim is an incredibly attentive teacher.  She brings purpose and joy to every class.  I always appreciate her attention to detail and technique and her enthusiasm for yoga is infectious.  Her knowledge of her craft is impressive, but even more so is her ability to communicate and teach clearly.  I always leave her class feeling refreshed, challenged and encouraged to continue my practice." Misti 

"I always love Kim's messages (theme) in class. They are always profound. And not pretentious in a way that makes me not like yoga. I like Kim's yoga classes." Tessa

"I miss you and your yoga classes so much. I'm still checking out lots of different teachers but just wanted to let you know that you're the best teacher ever!"Kelly H

"I have known Kim Achelis for the last several years, as a student, substitute teacher, and workshop presenter at our yoga studio in Olympia, WA.

Kim’s lives, breaths and exudes yoga. Her adeptness in the practice of asana, her understanding of the depths of its rich tradition, the boldness, creativity, humor, big-heartedness and insights she displays, on and off the yoga mat, are truly remarkable and an inspiration for others.

In the circles of yoga practitioners, Kim is a natural leader. I have personally watched many students at our studio gravitate in her direction enthusiastically, wanting to learn from her and share in her knowledge of yoga and her joy for life.

I also have had the opportunity to observe Kim teaching at the studio, and can say, without reservation, that she would be an asset in most any setting where yoga is taught. She makes things fresh and fun for the students, in a natural and compelling manner, that both inspires and appropriately challenges students. She is clear in her instructions, engaging and connecting with them, and offers balanced, safe, sensible sequences that allow students to experience the extra-ordinary.

Many students at the studio who have taken a class with Kim have come to me and raved about her style of teaching.

In my opinion, Kim’s strengths as a yoga teacher are: 1) the depth of her own personal practice and her knowledge of its tradition, 2) her natural enthusiasm and creativity, 3) her inner drive to continue to evolve as a teacher and person, and 4) the humility and genuineness of her heart. " Nathan Hayes, Director Living Spirit Yoga



Monday, May 16, 2016

gods love is the electricity and we must be the lamps


Theme: connecting to a power greater then ourself. 
Anecdote: Marianne Williamsom's quote "gods love is the electricity and we must be the lamps" I love this. It's like we are all lamps with a cord that is plugged into a wall and we are powered up with electricity from a greater source. (Whatever you want to call this source Grace, Goddess, God, Spirit, Nature, Science...). And we feel so good being plugged in. But then we start doing are own thing  and we start moving further and further away from the wall and our cord gets tight and then... It unplugs from the wall! and we wonder what happened? Why don't we feel good any more? Why don't we feel connected? Loved? Joy?... This is one of the blessing we get from our yoga practice. It is a time for us to connect to something bigger then our small self and connect to something bigger. To remember the big picture. To open to grace! Practicing yoga is one of the ways we stay close to the wall and stay plugged in. Other ways I "stay close to the wall" is meditating, journaling, spending time alone in nature, being present with my children, and having honest heartfelt conversations with friends. In today practice we are going to plug back in to something bigger then ourself. We are going to move toward our heart and away from our head and our stress that keeps us wrapped up in our small self. 
Upa: this month we are focusing on upper body alignment. The first few weeks we focused on getting our side bodies long (SBL), then we added onto that broadening our collar bones. In Anusara yoga we call this inner body bright (IBB). Now we are going to add on by using our muscles (muscular energy) and drawing the head of our arm bones back (ABB). This is sometimes called melting you heart in Anusara. When we do these actions we are literally moving our shoulders away from our head and physically plugging into our heart. How lovely is that?! 
Apex: urdhva danurasana 
Heart quality: love 
Props: 2 blocks, blanket 


Warm up: 
Tadasana 
1/2 sun salutations 3x 
Audo Muka Svanasana (AMS) push ups 
Mod. Parsvak 
High runners lunge twist one hand down 
Tadasana interlace hands above head sbl, IBB, abb 

Basic 
Wall pec stretch abb 
Prone pec stretch abb 
Mod. Parsvak 
High runners lunge twist- Lunge twist - tree zombie arms sbl IBB abb reach up 

Harder 
Low lunge quad stretch- upright twist  with quad stretch 
Trik 
Half moon 
Half moon quad 
Pincha wall sbl IBB abb  
Bridge

Apex
Urdhva top of head plugging (option hands on blocks at wall) sbl IBB abb 
Urdhva danurasana 

Cool down 
Mantra missile wall foot on wall 
Root femurs 
Supta twist
Supta baddha konasana 

Shavasana 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

What kind of lake is your low back?

I am back! 

Theme: be calm and clear like a still lake. 
Universal principles of emphasis: foundation, muscle energy, thigh loop, pelvic loop, organic energy
Apex: Dancer 
Heart quality: calm 
Anecdote: I just had my second baby 2 months ago and life with two children under three can be a little chaotic to say the least. One technique I have been using to stay calm in the chaos is by visualizing a lake. A clear, calm, still lake. When I do this I feel those same qualities in my own body, mind and spirit. This is one thing I gain from a consistent practice whether it be yoga, meditation, breath work, mantra repetition , or journaling... I am able to tap into this crystal lake experience easier and during challenges. Now if I visualize a lake that has choppy and dirty water I instantly feel chaos and anxiety. 
I like to think about the joints in the body as being like a lake. And the way we hold the joint determines if the lake/ joint will be calm, clear, steady, peaceful and grounded of if the lake/ joint will be turbulent, chaotic, stressful, and  un grounding. In this class we are going to focus on the low back. The low back tends to either have to much curve or not enough curve and be rounded. In both these situation the joint would be like the dirty lake. The alignment we want to apply is listed below and should create the feeling of having that peaceful lake in your back;)

Open to grace: get connected to the foundation. 
Muscle energy: create stability. One way to do this is squeeze the foundation toward the midline. 
Thigh loop (TL): Move the thighs back and create a curve in low back
Pelvic loop (PL): Tone pelvic floor anchor and tailbone down. 
Organic energy (OE): Extend from hips down toward earth and from hips up to crown of head and create space in low back. 

Sequence: 
Warm up:
Sun A 3x
Tadasana half moon leg lift 
Utkatasana prep cat/cow variation 
"" hands on knees TL PL OE
Tadasana half moon stretch 
Uttanasana- high runners lunge

Basic 
AMS 
Lunge 
Anjaneyasana
Anjaneyasana quad - upright twist with quad 
Lunge- eagle- standing splits - handstand hops 
Lunge - Dancer- lunge  

Harder
Eprk forearms- off to side twist- off to side quad 
Eprk quad 
Dolphin 
Hero toes tucked 
Virasana - supta virasana 
Half hanuman 

Apex 
dancer 

Cool down 
Baddha konasana 
Janusirsasana 2x 
Twist 
Symmetrical  root femurs 

Shavasana 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

More Ease Please

Theme: stay connected to you heart with ease as you move through the busyness of life and your practice. 
Anecdotes: as I get ready for the birth of my second child, Violet, I feel myself rushing to check off my to do list before she gets here. I can feel the effect that rushing has on my body, mind and heart moving me from ease to dis- ease. With this awareness I have been challenging myself: can I move through my to do list calmly while enjoying the end of my pregnancy and the one on one time I have with my son. I love that I can practice this on my mat as well. Moving through my yoga poses while staying connected to ease. Ultimately that's what I want from my practice, to train myself to hold ease in my body, mind and heart during the ups and downs of life and to notice quickly when I am moving toward dis-ease, so I can make adjustments to come back to ease. 
In today practice we are going to move quickly and through challenging poses but we are going to work at cultivating ease throughout the flow ! 
In the busyness of life can you stay connected to your heart?  
Heart quality: ease 
Principles of emphasis: open to grace, muscle energy, organic energy 

Sequence: 
Warm up 
Utt- w2- hrl twist- w2
Utt- Lunge 
AMS- plank 3x 
Pigeon with side stretch 

Basic 
AMS- half moon- w2- rev W
AMS- half moon - w2- rev w- mod. parsvak   
Malasana - crow 

Harder 
Utk- twist utk- lunge twist- lunge- AMS- Same leg L- twist L - twist utk- utk (repeate second side) 
Uttanasa with clasp behind back 
AMS- half moon- w2- rev w- Parsvak 
Prone quad stretch 
Danurasana 
Dolphin

Apex
Sirsasana - Hero clear head and neck 
Pigeon quad twist 

Cool down 
Thread needle- root femur bones asymmetrically 
Twist 
Symmetrical pose 

Shavasana 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Create Happiness

Theme: happiness/contentment is hard to find can you produce it 
Anecdote: meme of two stick figures. One says "where did you find that? I have been looking for it everywhere!" Referring to the bottle of happiness the other stick figure has inside his body. The second stick figure says "I created it myself." 
Heart quality: happiness 
Principle of emphasis: first principle: side bodies long + inner body bright. Muscle energy: arm bones back. Shoulder loop 
Apex: Camatkarasana (wild thing) 

Warm up
AMS 
Uttanasana hands clasped behind back 
Tadasana explain traps and shoulder actions 

Basic 
W2
High runners lunge twist 
W2- mod. Parsvak- rev warrior 
Parsvakonasana
Mod. Vashistasana
Vashistasana - pigeon 
 
Harder
Dolphin
Bhujangasana
Eka pada bhekasana 
Anjaneyasana twist with quad stretch  
Ardha chandrasana- chapasana 
Danurasana 
 
Apex 
Vashistasana- Wild thing 

Cool down  
Virasana self wrist massage and traction 

Bharadvaja’s Twist

Balasana head on block. Know that everything you seek is within you 

Shavasana 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Foggy Road

Theme: come out of the fog and see yourself clearly as amazing, brilliant, loving, capable being that you are. 
Anecdote: Thursday it was super foggy in Utah. As I was driving trying to navigate where I was going with out being able to see I was reminded of a teaching within Anusara Yoga about Malas. 
The philosophy that informs Anusara say there are different malas which are normally compared to dust on the mirror which prevents us from seeing our self clearly. We can also think of malas as fog on the road that stops us from seeing clearly, like my experience Thursday. There are three ways that this dust/fog prevents us from seeing our truth and as a result creates feelings of limitation around our heart (iccha), mind (jnana), and body (kriya). 

Anava Mala- veils the iccha shakti. Feeling limited in the heart, this leads to desire, feelings of lack, sadness, unworthiness, and incompleteness. The main feeling connected with this veil is sadness.
Mayiya Mala- veils the jnana shakti. Limits knowledge. We see duality not realizing the unity/oneness this leads to conflict and hate. The main emotion with this veil is anger.
Karma Mala- veils the kriya shakti. Feeling limited to act. Creates fear of not being able to accomplish something or ability to create. The main emotion from Thai veil is anger. 

These different malas prevent us from seeing clearing and not being able to see clearing prevents us from connecting to our truth and our heart, just like the weather on Thursday. It was so foggy it was hard for me to see clearly. At one point I thought I was driving between the lines but then I saw that was not the case. Just like in life I will be so sure I can't act or that I am not intelligent enough to do something. But then I am reminded that I am, that it was just the fog preventing me from seeing my wholeness. 
In our yoga practice and in our life when we feel inadequate or less than in our mental, emotional or physical abilities we can remember it's the fog on the road. 
Universal principle of alignment emphasis 
first principle: side bodies long which often pulls shoulder up to ears with neck muscles (this is like the fog. We don't even realize we are creating more stress in our body and moving away from the heart) - inner body bright "collar bones broad" to disengage upper trapezius muscles. 
muscle energy: (this is remembering to move to the heart) drawing the arm bones back tips of the shoulder blades down and towards the heart to engage lower trapezius muscles (this is remembering to move toward the heart, to our truth) 
FYI this like all good alignment is therapeutic. In this case should shoulder alignment is therapeutic for the neck, shoulders, elbows wrists. 
Heart quality: clarity
Apex: Parsva bakasana 
Props: bolster, 2 blocks, blanket 

Warm up 
1/2 sun 3x 
Tadasana breakdown principles shoulder and action of trapezius muscle 

Basic
W2 
High runners lunge twist - w2
One hand Hand on wall - side bodies long- inner body bright - lower trapezius pull behind heart - pec stretch 
 Parsvak 
Trikonasana

Harder  
Prone over bolster pec stretch 
Wide leg forward fold clasp hands 
Dolphin  
Handstand L partner 
Anjaneyasana - Anjaneyasana quad stretch
Fish twist 
Lunge twist 

Apex
Parsva bakasana 2x

Cool down 
Bridge
Urdhva danusara 
Supta Twisting core 
Symmetrical root femurs  2 ways 

Shavasana supported on bolster with 2 blocks to angle bolster and blanket to put around ankles in variation of Supta baddha konasana to release hip flexors. This supporter bolster variation will allow gravity and props to uplift heart while keeping the upper neck soft
Meditation

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...