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    October Posture of the Month: Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing Bow-Pulling Pose)

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Senior instructor and Holistic Health Coach Diana Bisso shares her thoughts on Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing Bow-Pulling Pose) pose this month. Check it out!

     

    Benefits:

    Standing Bow-Pulling Pose offers the body the opportunity to experience strength, elegance, grace, expression, flexibility, and endurance. This pivotal standing balancing posture requires tremendous concentration and mindfulness to execute correctly, and to gain maximum benefit. When done correctly, there are shades of balance, strengthening, forward-bending, back-bending, and detoxifying and toning twists.

     

    Technique:

    Stand with your feet together, side by side. Shift your weight to your left foot and pick up your right foot from the inside, with your right hand. Squeeze your knees together to help you balance on one leg. Engage your lower abdominal muscles and reach your left arm up to the ceiling. Stretch this arm as much as you can, reaching and pulling your body in traction between your standing leg and this stretching arm.

    Slowly begin to kick your right knee and foot (into your holding hand and arm) as much as you can back behind you. Let this kick slowly start to pull your right shoulder and torso back, as well, beginning a twisting form. Be sure to maintain good core strength so that you can hold your balance on one leg.

    Simultaneously, arch your body and reach your free arm out of the body forward toward the front mirror, until your body begins to make the shape of an archer’s bow. Your leading arm is the “arrow,” poised with directed and refined strength and determination.

    Eventually, your body will begin to hinge forward toward the front mirror and lay parallel to the floor. Your standing leg remains locked in muscular strength and your kicking leg continues it’s “back and up” motion, creating the necessary tension to elongate the body and the free arm forward and to the front. Be sure never to let your free arm fall below the level of your eyes in the front mirror. This arm, when reaching forward and high, will keep the spine in perfect back-bending shape.

    Stretch, kick, reach, and hold for 60 seconds. To exit the posture, slowly return to your set-up position and release the foot to the floor. Repeat on the other side.

     

    The Goods:

    When performed correctly, this posture brings together many different, seemingly unconnected classes of asana. Tipping your body forward over a standing leg will stretch the hamstrings of your balancing leg. Kicking back with graceful force against a firm hand will open the hip-flexors and quadriceps of the kicking leg. Reaching your free hand forward in a deep stretch will help with twisting the spine against the foot-holding arm. This twist will detoxify the energy of the spine, helping to improve blood flow and to restore natural range of motion. Remember to keep your core muscles engaged to center all that’s happening!

     

    The HotYoga4You Community Grows

    Last updated 3 years ago

    We are so excited to announce that we have two new studios joining us: HotYoga4You Locust Valley (formerly Bikram Yoga Locust Valley) and HotYoga4You Carle Place (formerly Bikram Yoga Carle Place.) Please take a moment to read the following letters from each studio's owner, and join us in congratulating them.

    To the Carle Place Yoga Community,

    I have an important announcement to make and think you’ll all be just as excited as we are. Please read this letter in full so we can all be on the same page.

    As of Thursday, September 12, 2013, Bikram Yoga Carle Place will be disaffiliating from Bikram Choudhury and his Yoga Headquarters. Our new studio name will be Hot Yoga 4 You, Carle Place. The reasons for this shift are many, so please allow me to explain my thought process with you.

    There has been some upheaval behind the scenes of the Bikram Yoga world, and much of this ongoing drama is nothing that I want to associate myself with, nor my studio. While many of you are already aware of this (as I’ve gathered from fielding your questions about the subject), Bikram, the man, is facing increasingly scandalous and injurious legal accusations. This is not the forum to discuss in detail what those claims are, but to put it simply – it’s nothing any of us would want to be affiliated with. There were a few students that emailed myself and some neighboring studio owners, directing us to womenagainstbikramyoga.com and its partnering facebook page. Again, I don’t have the desire to go in to detail with this letter. Please know I’ve thought deeply about making this shift – and I feel, along with many other studio owners, that it’s the right move.

    That being said, there was the opportunity to join like-minded Bikram Yoga studio owners to form a community of studios, owners, and teachers that will work together, though function as independent businesses. I jumped at the opportunity. The Hot Yoga 4 You studios of Long Island and Queens with locations in Rockville Centre, Locust Valley, Carle Place, and Rego Park are anticipating great things.

    Clearly, it will take some time for you all to see the changes, visually speaking. New advertising material, new logo, signage, and changes to our website will all be happening. More immediately, we can look forward to “Owner’s Teaching Swap,” where Hot Yoga 4 You studio owners will guest teach at each other’s studios, keeping teaching and learning fresh and community-based.

    Signature to Hot Yoga 4 You’s studios will be the inclusion of our beloved 60-minute classes, available at all independently owned locations. I will be teaching the first 60-minute Showcase class at Hot Yoga 4 You, Locust Valley this coming Saturday, Sept. 14th @ 10am. We are excited to welcome Hot Yoga 4 You neighboring studio owners to teach at our studio in the very near future.

    A special thanks goes out to Yolanda Nash (Hot Yoga 4 You, Rockville Centre & Hot Yoga 4 You, Rego Park) for allowing Carle Place to join this community. Also, congratulations to our friend and veteran teacher, Joe Giuliano (Hot Yoga 4 You, Locust Valley) for making the shift at his studio, as well. It’s not change…it’s evolution!

    Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to the future of the Hot Yoga 4 You community! 

    -Tommy McFeely

    Hot Yoga 4 You, Carle Place

     

    Dear Locust Valley Yoga Community,

    I have some important news to share with you all. Please take the time to read this letter in full, as I will be explaining much of what is to come and what you can anticipate from our yoga studio.

    Beginning on September 12, 2013, Bikram Yoga Locust Valley will now be called Hot Yoga 4 You Locust Valley. After careful contemplation, I have decided to end my business affiliation with Bikram Choudhury and his Yoga Headquarters. I am excited to join a growing community of previous Bikram Yoga studio owners in this shift and to expand our offerings as a hot yoga studio. My reasons for this have been well thought out and I'd like to share my process with you all, so you too, can share in this exciting time.

    The past 6 months have brought to light some very damaging accusations and legal matters associated with Bikram that, frankly, I want nothing to do with. I won't go in to detail here, but suffice it to say, the allegations are many, and are of a subject that I, personally, cannot stand united with even through business association.

    While at first I tried to separate the yoga from the man, the tipping point for me came from a student who forwarded me to womenagainstbikramyoga.com, a webpage that highlights the newspaper articles surrounding Bikram's legal issues. The result of this left me with a distinct discernment between the yoga practice (that we love) and the man behind the yoga. For some time, studio owners and teachers have rationalized their affiliation by focusing on the yoga, and forgetting about the man: "It's the man that's being sued, not the yoga." Still though, their affiliations in using his name, go to building the brand of his name. After many pow-wows with some neighboring and distant Bikram Yoga studio owners and colleagues, it became clear that disaffiliation is the answer.

    So, in light of all of the above, I have decided to change the name of our studio. With this shift come many exciting opportunities.

    Obviously, there will be transitional time needed for you all to see the visual shifts that come with a name change. Printed materials, a new website, brochures, waivers, signage and new logo, merchandise and aesthetic improvements will all be coming soon. We even have an online presence through social media accounts with Facebook and Twitter.

    Many of you, and many, many others that approach this yoga studio have expressed dissatisfaction and frustrations because 90-minutes is just simply "too much time." In a culture that is moving faster and faster, it's important the yoga community answers the call for a more realistic and accessible class model. Enter the new 60-minute class!

    While we will continue to offer 90-minute classes for those of you with more time to take advantage of, we think it's important to offer a carefully sequenced, hot yoga class for the tightly scheduled wellness warrior. Same sequence, more efficient. It's not 'change'...it's evolution!

    Although we have been practicing 6am "Silent Express" classes at our studio for quite some time, the new 60-minute class is more efficient and will be an instructed class for beginner and veteran yogis alike. For the remainder of September, we will be showcasing these 60-minute classes in specific time slots. We anticipate adding these instructed, 60-minute classes to our permanent schedule beginning in October.

    This is an exciting time for former Bikram Yoga teachers and studio owners to feel good about the community again, and we would like to specifically thank Yolanda Nash (Hot Yoga 4 You Rockville Centre, Hot Yoga 4 You Rego Park) for letting us join this community. Also, congratulations to Tommy McFeely (Hot Yoga 4 You Carle Place) for taking the initiative, as well. While each studio will continue to operate as an independent business, the Hot Yoga 4 You studios of Long Island will function as a community. We are excited to begin the much anticipated "Owner's Teaching Swap," which will give each Hot Yoga 4 You studio incredible opportunity to keep teaching fresh! Hot Yoga 4 You's studios stand united in principle and supportive in business ethics and I, personally, couldn't be more excited to be a part of this.

    Please come to one (or all) of our new 60-minute class preview dates, which are as follows, for the remainder of September beginning Saturday, September 14th:

    Hot Yoga 4 You Locust Valley: 60-Minute Showcase Classes

     

    • Saturdays @ 10am (9/14 taught by Tommy McFeely)
    • Sundays @ 10am (9/15 taught by Yolanda Nash)
    • Tuesdays @ 8pm
    • Tues/Thurs @ 6am (please note: beginning the week of 9/16, the 6am class will meet Tues/Thurs ONLY)
    • Fridays @ 530pm

    Lastly, I would like to thank you for your continued support. I am excited to bring these expanded offerings to our yoga community, and so grateful to feel good about the greater community with which I affiliate myself and this studio. Thank you, in advance, for understanding and trusting the great deal of thought and reflection that went in to making this decision and please know that great things are coming!

    There will be some follow-up newsletters regarding schedule shifts come late September/October, where you will see the 60-minute class sprinkled throughout the studio's schedule. Also, be on the lookout for exciting videos and promotions about the growing Hot Yoga 4 You community. Here's to the future!

    Sincerely,

    Joe Giuliano

    Hot Yoga 4 You, Locust Valley

     

     

     

     

    September Posture of the Month: Standing Head To Knee

    Last updated 3 years ago

     

    Senior instructor and Holistic Health Coach Diana Bisso share her thoughts on Standing Head To Knee pose this month. Check it out!

    Benefits:

    Here we are at the balancing series! After an intensely focused warm-up series, we arrive at our one-legged balancing series. This is where the mind and body really come together in an effort to strengthen the spirit. Once the body is properly warmed, the challenges of class become a way that we strengthen our spirit, our determination, and our willpower. A true yoga practice nourishes far beyond the physical feats.

    Technique:

    Stand with your feet touching side by side. Shift your body weight to your left leg and lift your right leg so that your thigh is parallel to the floor and your heel is directly under your knee, forming a perfect 90-degree angle. Slowly curly your body forward to grab a hold of your lifted foot, all ten fingers interlocked tightly to the webbing. Be sure to keep your belly muscles engaged, supporting the deep stretch of your spine. If your lower back hurts at all, stand upright and interlace your fingers around your knee. With either method, be sure to keep your belly muscles hugging the spine.

    Your standing leg should be absolutely straight, with the kneecap supported and lifted by its surrounding muscles. From the side, your hip is over your knee is over your heel. Be careful to hold the knee (with muscle) in the center of your standing leg. With too much muscle, it will bend forward. With too little muscle support, it will jam back into hyperextension.

    The challenge of this posture is to find that balance point, on one leg.

    Hold for 60 seconds, and then slowly release the grip, placing both feet on the ground. Stand tall and breathe deeply before beginning the second side.

    The Goods:

    Standing head-to-knee pose is really one of the quintessential postures of our hot yoga sequence. It marks the beginning of one of our more challenging series. The balancing series, in general, calls upon our physical strength as we seek to steady ourselves on one leg (1/2 the support we are used to having). In this struggle, we are often triggered on a mental and emotional level. Our patience, endurance, stamina, willpower, and determination are all recruited in order to sustain the 60-second balance. A yoga pose, done in perfect form, will always challenge the body and the mind, thus giving rise to the spirit of the practitioner.

    August Posture of the Month: Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

    Last updated 4 years ago

    This month we're focusing on Eagle Pose - check out the benefits, technique and the goods, then put it all to work in class!

     

    Benefits:

    Eagle pose is the last of the warm-up series and provides us with the most critical of warm up infusions: lubrication of the major joints of our body. In this “twist like ropes” posture, our squeaky joints get a hot oil treatment and the tourniquet effect allows for a full blast of freshly, oxygenated blood to rush through all four limbs. Wow!

    Technique:

    Begin standing with your feet together, arms by your side. With a big breath, raise both arms overhead and quickly swing your right arm under your left, crossing above the elbows (aim for triceps) and then again at the wrists. Try to press your palms together and hold prayer position, thumbs crossed. If that’s not available, interlace your fingers into a fist and pull your elbows down to help open the shoulders.

    Now, sit down into a chair while squeezing the legs together, helping to keep the core muscles engaged. Lift your right leg up and over your left, crossing at the thighs and if possible, again at the ankle. Try to wrap your right ankle around your left standing calf to really squeeze the legs of existing blood supply. If you can’t double cross your legs at the ankles, don’t worry! Just squeeze your hanging ankle as close to your standing calf, ensuring the effects of the tourniquet.

    Sit a little deeper and use the mirror to try and line up your fingers under your nose, your elbows under your wrists, and your knees and ankles under your elbows. Do your best to get all major joints in one line down the center of the body. Sit low and arch your upper body back to stretch the spine.

    Repeat left side.

    The Goods:

    Eagle pose is the final pose before we begin the balancing series. After breathing deeply in Pranayama, opening the spine and hamstrings in Half-Moon, and warming the leg muscles in Awkward, we finally address the joints in Eagle. Upon completion of this pose, we have successfully prepared the body to work as a whole unit. This pose really flushes the limbs with oxygenated blood and wakes up the nervous system by twisting and toning the leg and arm muscles. Take a sip of your water, and get ready to practice standing on one leg!

    Who's Hungry?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    An important part of any yoga practice involves proper nourishment. We always talk about hydration, replacing your electrolytes and so on, but it's really so much more than that. So to get you started, we've got an awesome spinach burger recipe for you. It's quick and easy and best of all, you'll get a nice serving of greens!

     

    Spinach Burgers

    Ingredients:

    1 bag thawed and drained chopped spinach

    2 egg whites

    1 whole egg

    ¼ cup diced onion

    ½ cup shredded cheese

    ½ cup bread crumbs

    1 tsp red pepper flakes

    1 tsp salt

    ½ tsp garlic powder

    Directions:

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl

    Shape into patties and cook over medium high heat in a non stick skillet with a small amount of cooking spray

    Patties are done when they are golden and firm (about 4-6 minutes)

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