Last updated 5 days ago
Here we are at the first of 3 separate leg, stretching poses. After completing the balancing series, we have effectively and efficiently warmed the muscles of the legs for a deeper, more therapeutic approach in this series. While this pose does continue to stretch and tone the greater muscles of the legs, we also start to enter into mild hip and back stretching. Primed, warmed leg muscles allow us the entry.
Begin by standing with your feet together. Breathe your arms overhead, allowing your hands/palms to touch in an overhead prayer position. Stretch up to the ceiling with a full inhale and take a big step out, simultaneously bringing your arm out to either side of your body like wings. Keep your arms straight, strong, and at shoulder height. Your step should almost be as wide as your wingspan to start (you can always adjust it later on in the pose).
Take another deep breath and begin to hinge forward from your hip joint. Feel free to soften your knees as you fold, and as needed throughout the pose. Once down, place your hands/fingers to the floor in front of you and give your body a few extra breaths to get used to the deep hamstring stretch.
Grab on to your heels with all 5 fingers. Take a nice hold on your heels and use your arm strength to help fold your body in towards your legs. Eventually your head and heart will drop in a direct line under your hips, leaving your arms holding this position with elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Once your body is sandwiched in as close to your legs as possible, it’s time to start straightening the legs to access the deepest and safest stretch for our hamstrings, hips and low back.
When attempting to straighten the legs, keep your body sandwiched in tight, neck neutral, chest open. Use your arms to hold this position, while you press your feet down and lift your hips high. The opposing movement from feet vs. hips IS what straightens the legs (eventually). Keep your thigh muscles engaged and only straighten as much as you can keep an even, smooth breath. Remember no pose is worth anything is you lose the breathing.
Slowly release the heels, reaching your arms back out like wings. Soften your knees, engage your abdomen and return to a standing position.
Standing Separate Leg Forward Stretching can help alleviate backaches, respiratory challenges, and even depression. Whenever we place our head and hearts below our pelvis, we start redirecting blood flow through the circulatory system. This allows gravitational pull and pressure to be lifted off the low back so the energy from the hips, pelvis, and back can begin to flow effortlessly. This effortless flow helps to rejuvenate intervertebral discs while reducing pelvic inflammation and hip pain. Ironically, opening up the hamstrings in a deep forward fold, actually funnels most of it’s benefits toward low back and hip health. Flushing the body’s blood in an “upside down” posture can also stimulate the brain stem, which helps to release “happy hormones.” So, those of you with lower back pain…focus on opening up your hamstrings! And those of you who may experience “the blues” every now and again, get into going upside down! There’s a reason we did these things naturally as happy, young children.
Last updated 17 days ago
1 whole-grain pita
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce mixed with cucumbers, tomatoes and red bell pepper
2 tablespoons reduced-fat feta cheese
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives (optional)
1. Toast whole-grain pita until crunchy, then chop into bite-size pieces. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper for dressing.
2. Mix together all remaining ingredients
3. Toss lemon dressing with remaining ingredients (including pita pieces).
Last updated 18 days ago
You just finished your first 60 or 90 minute Hot Yoga class and your instructor tells you to make sure you go home and hydrate! First thing that comes to mind is what? Drink Water! This does stand to be true; your body requires an ongoing supply of water throughout the day, especially when taking Hot Yoga. However, foods can also supply some of your daily water needs and should be included in your pre and post workout meal or snack.
Lettuce: This tops the list coming in at 96% water. Not only will it provide the body with water, but also potassium, folate and antioxidants. Treat yourself to nice big salad for dinner!
Watermelon: Ever wonder why watermelon is always at your summer picnics? It’s refreshing! Watermelon contains about 91% water and also contains vitamin A and C, fiber and potassium.
Grapefruit: This contains about 90% water and is a great option for breakfast if you plan on taking Hot Yoga later that day. It is low in calories for those who are looking to manage or lose weight and is a good source of Vitamin A and C.
Broccoli: This vegetable measures up pretty well- consisting of about 89% water. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Toss this water rich vegetable into your crisp salad to double up the water rich food intake!
Low Fat Milk and/or Low Fat Yogurt: Low fat dairy not only provides protein, calcium and phosphorus but it is a great source of potassium as well. Low fat milk contains about 89% water while yogurt has about 85% water. Even more reason to get your recommended 3 servings a day!
Tomato: Another great addition to make sure you include in your salad. Tomatoes can have up to 95% water content as well as lycopene, Vitamin A and C. Not to mention, it’s low in calories but good source of fiber!
Last updated 1 month ago
Here we are at the final balancing posture of our balancing series. Balancing Stick pose is a one legged balance held for 10 seconds only. Because the posture itself is held for such a short amount of time, it is important to give your “all” from the start – and hold on until you hear the “change” command from your teacher. This posture is meant to be a cardiovascular challenge, as the body is positioned to stretch all four chambers of the heart. All 4 limbs pull away from center, as the body maintains its intrinsic core strength to get all benefits from this power-packed posture.
Stand with your feet together. Breathe your arms over head and interlace all ten fingers, crossing your thumbs and releasing your index fingers. Stretch up to the ceiling, making your body as tall as possible. Draw your abdomen in and engage your core muscles.
Step forward with your right foot, shifting your body weight in your step. Charge your body forward, simultaneously lifting your back leg (in this case, your left leg) up behind you. Your body eventually makes a capital “T” shape.
Continue to squeeze your arms into your ears, palms pressed firmly, and stretch your arms forward. At the same time, point your back foot, firming the leg muscles, and reaching your back, lifted leg, behind you. Pretend you are the rope in a “human tug-of-war.”
Stretching forward and back, maintain your core muscles to engage and balance around your center. Strive to keep both hips in one line from the side, so that one hip does not lift higher than the other. This will guarantee a beautiful hamstring stretch on the standing leg. Keep your standing leg straight and hold this energy for 10 full seconds.
Step back, bring your body upright, and begin the other side.
As mentioned above, this pose is meant to be a cardiovascular challenge. It’s intense, but lasts only 10 seconds on each side. The standing leg continues to build strength as it balances the weight of a moving body. Your arms reaching forward from center and your free leg kicking back from center, both help to move energy from the waistline. Make sure you keep drawing your core energy in…don’t let your belly hang! This action will help to keep the hips parallel to the floor in the full expression of this posture, guaranteeing a hamstring/hip stretch for the standing, balancing leg. Be sure to focus your gaze in this posture to help keep your balance for the full 10 seconds!
Last updated 1 month ago
If you haven't had a chance to check out our 60 minute hot yoga class yet, make sure to stop down sometime soon and try one out! Our 60 minute class moves at a quicker pace, but still incorporates the same postures that are done in a 90 minute class. Moving quickly has a few added perks and benefits:
- It's a time saver! Yogis get the same great workout, cut down by 30 minutes
- It's a fun, new challenge (especially if you haven't tried it yet!)
- It's a high intensity workout
While many of our yogis love the 60 minute classes, it's not for everyone. So before choosing which class to attend, remember that the 60 minute ones move at a faster pace, so we recommend beginners start with a 90. And don't forget - you're committing to the room for the full 60 or 90 minutes, so be sure to check our schedule ahead of time to see how long the class is.