Yoga 2 De-Mystified

Hi Yogis! Today’s post is from the fabulous Andrea Creel!

 Hi everyone! I’m Andrea and I teach the Yoga 2 class at 6:30 p.m. On Thursday evenings!

When several class levels are offered on the schedule, it can sometimes be difficult to know which class is right for you. If you have been practicing yoga for a while, you may find that you want to take your practice deeper. If so, a Yoga 2 class could be the right fit for you! Here is a sneak peek into what to expect in a Yoga 2 class, to help your decision-making process.

1. Deeper Variations of Poses – In a Yoga 2 class, deeper variations of the foundational yoga poses are taught. That might mean learning how to find a full bind in a pose, moving from bridge pose to wheel pose, or moving just a little bit deeper into a pose you have been practicing for a while. Just like in any yoga practice, your body’s wisdom is always paramount, and child’s pose is still an option at any time.

2. Sun Salutations – Sun Salutations are a central part of most yoga classes of any level. One big difference between a Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 class, is practicing Chaturanga Dandasana and Upward Facing Dog in our Sun Salutations. In Yoga 2, we also learn how to jump forward from Downward Facing Dog to Standing Forward Fold, and eventually, how to jump back from Standing Forward fold to Chaturanga Dandasana. All of these poses and transitions are works in progress, so don’t feel like you need to already know how to do these poses perfectly before starting a Yoga 2 class – we will go over the poses together and learn correct techniques to keep your body healthy and happy in the poses.

3. Arm Balances – Once you have the alignment mastered in your Chaturanga Dandasana, it opens your practice to the world of arm balances! In a Yoga 2 class, we spend time practicing various arm balances, the most common being Crow Pose (Bakasana). Arm balances give you the ability to build strength, steady your focus, and find a sense of playfulness in your yoga practice! Just like all yoga poses, you start where you are and build from there.

4. Inversions – there are many inversions in yoga practice, but the two that are practiced most regularly in a Yoga 2 class are Headstand (Sirsasana) and Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana). In a Yoga 2 class, time is spent learning correct alignment and technique in the poses and practicing these inversions under the guidance of the teacher. Inversions are important postures because they allow us to experience a new perspective, face fears, build confidence, boost immunity, and reverse the effects of gravity on our body.

After learning more about what happens in a Yoga 2 class, you may have realized that you are already practicing many of the poses found in a Yoga 2 class! Or you may not know these poses yet, but have a strong desire to learn. If you’re still not sure if a Yoga 2 class is right for you, feel free to ask your teacher the next time you attend class if she thinks a Yoga 2 class might be right for you, or come join me for a Yoga 2 class and find out! I look forward to seeing you on the mat soon!

Namaste,

Andrea

Andrea teaches Level 2 on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM. Find out More about Andrea here!

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Spring Equinox

Hi Yogis! Today’s post is from the lovely Andrea Creel!

I’ve always been drawn to honoring the cycle of the seasons in my yoga practice.  And the Spring Equinox is one of my favorites!  The Vernal Equinox is one of two days in the year when the day and night are perfectly balanced.  Flowing with the energy of the Equinox gives us the opportunity to align with nature and bring more balance into our own lives. I don’t know about you, but I often feel that I could use a little more balance in my life!

 The symbolism of the Equinox flows nicely with the basic philosophy of yoga. The word yoga means “to yoke” or “unite,” a practice that encourages finding a balance of opposites and merging together. 

The Yoga Sutras teach us that our yoga postures should be both steady/firm and filled with ease;Two  qualities which serve as counterpoints for each other.  We cannot maintain a yoga pose without muscular action and a steady mind and body, but yoga also teaches us that we don’t always have to try so hard, and to develop a sense of ease, or letting go within the posture. Our yoga mat is the practice space for our lives.  Finding balance on our mat can help us to find and cultivate balance in our relationships with others and within ourselves. 

 There are many ways to celebrate the Spring Equinox on your yoga mat, but to get you started here are 2 yoga practices designed to cultivate balance in body, breath, and mind.

 Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – Stand tall in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with hands in front of your heart, find a steady gaze in front of you, and begin to bring your weight into your right leg. Bend your left knee and take the sole of the left foot onto the inside of the right leg, either above or below the knee. If you feel steady, raise the arms alongside the ears.  Press your left foot into your right leg, and your right leg into your left foot.  Take 5 deep breaths in this pose, then repeat on the other side.  If you’d like to deepen your connection with nature and the new season, find a tree and practice this pose facing the tree, honoring your connection with the tree, the cycles of nature, and all living things.

 Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) – Find a comfortable seated position, and begin to pay attention to your breath. Bring your right hand up to your nose and place your right thumb against your right nostril, right pinky finger against your left nostril, and rest your 3 middle fingers in between the eyebrows at your third eye point.  On your next inhale, close of the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left. At the top of your inhale, pause, then close off your left nostril and open the right as you exhale. At the bottom of your exhale, pause, then inhale through the right nostril. At the top of your inhale, pause, then close off your right nostril and exhale through the left. At the bottom of your exhale, pause, then start the cycle again.  Repeat for several rounds. This breathing practice helps to bring balance to both sides of the body.

May this season bring you balance, joy, and harmony with nature!

Namaste!

Andrea

 Andrea teaches Level 2 on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM. Find out More about Andrea here!

Spring Into Life

Hi Yogis! Today’s post is from Debi Schenk!

Yoga teaches us that we shouldn’t wait…we should live in the present moment. Every morning is like a sunny spring day – a renewal of life, a  fresh start, a rebirth.  We are given the opportunity to blossom, just like the flowers that will soon open to show their smiling faces. 

Our daily goal should be just that – wake up and choose to make each day the best day it can possibly be mentally, physically, and emotionally.  We can become more balanced, more flexible, and more loving. Think about it – you will be happier, the people you love will be happier, and quite honestly the ripple effect will make the world happier

Debi is founder of trueUyoga, is a registered yoga teacher with over 15 years of yoga experience. She has helped numerous clients on the path to better health. Debi began practicing yoga before it became a trend and understands the positive benefits that it can have in many areas of your life. What makes Debi different is her extensive background in alternative health. She is able to draw from her knowledge and create a yoga practice just for you, while keeping your overall health in mind.

Yoga Saved Me

Hi Yogis! Today’s post is from Debi Schenk!

I have said it many times over, yoga saved me.
In so many ways, more than simple words can express.
The connection between mind and body, one way.
Learning to be present, another way.
Letting go of negative thoughts,
Being strong and flexible,
Being engaged, other ways.
Creating a true sense of peace within,
possibly the most precious way.
I truly believe, that after years of doing yoga,

it has saved me, over and over.

Debi is founder of trueUyoga, is a registered yoga teacher with over 15 years of yoga experience. She has helped numerous clients on the path to better health. Debi began practicing yoga before it became a trend and understands the positive benefits that it can have in many areas of your life. What makes Debi different is her extensive background in alternative health. She is able to draw from her knowledge and create a yoga practice just for you, while keeping your overall health in mind.

Let The Sun Shine In

Hi Yogis! Today’s Post is from Debi!  

Often at the end of a class I will ask that we take our seated position with our palms open and facing up on our knees. When we gather together to share our yoga practice, the energy we create together is both peaceful and powerful. Next, I ask that we envision that energy as rays of sunshine shooting into our palms, that we bring our hands together, that we push that energy into our heart center. If we believe that our practice was filled with love and joy, the energy that we push into our heart will also be filled with love and joy. We can gather it, share it, express it, and most of all radiate it out into the world.

Debi is founder of trueUyoga, is a registered yoga teacher with over 15 years of yoga experience. She has helped numerous clients on the path to better health. Debi began practicing yoga before it became a trend and understands the positive benefits that it can have in many areas of your life. What makes Debi different is her extensive background in alternative health. She is able to draw from her knowledge and create a yoga practice just for you, while keeping your overall health in mind.