Brian November 30th, 2013
Wednesday Workshop: Tight hips? This is the class for you. More or less a regular asana class but with the pose selection geared toward opening the hips. You’ll feel good for days afterward!
Friday Evening Class: We like having this class, but feel like every week is a bit much, so are going to try once a month for a while. This month the class will be on the 20th. Jamie will be teaching and there will be a live sitar player!
Solstice Event: Also on December 20th there will be an open mic style music event hosted by the Oh-So-Popular (and local) Womack Family Band.
Brian November 23rd, 2013
Open Art Studio, 3-6pm. Lots of fun stuff going on.
Tai Chi, 9:30-10:30 am
Evening Stretch, 6-7:30 pm, Brian
Morning Stretch, 9-10:15 am, Brian
Wednesday Workshop, 6-7:30 pm, Brian
It’s a Yin class again. Scroll down to the November 12th post for more information.
Morning Stretch, 9-10:15 am, Brian
No 6 pm class
Intermediate, 9:30-11 am, Patrick
Mark your calendars! There will be a winter solstice celebration at the studio on Friday, December 20th. The evening will begin with live sitar music to accompany a yoga class, followed by an art opening, flowing into an open mic night hosted by the local favorite Womack Family Band!
Brian November 18th, 2013
Wednesday Workshop: Twists are a very fundamental part of a yoga asana practice. They help to lengthen, straighten and stretch the spine, as well as giving a gentle “massage” to the internal organs of the body. In addition, they stretch the intercostal muscles between the ribs. The looser these muscles are, the more the chest can expand on inhale, allowing for a deeper, fuller breath. And you know how I feel about big full breaths! Twists can also be good for many types of back ailments. 6-7:15 pm
This class would count toward the 200 hour yoga Teacher Training that will start after the first of the year. More on that soon, once we get the winter class schedule set.
Saturday Morning Class: I was able to attend Patrick’s Saturday morning class this past week and it was FABULOUS. He has a great way of leading a very relaxing, slow flow practice that focuses on the breath while simultaneously incorporating a very deep well rounded asana practice. This class was VERY accessible to yogis of all levels. Do not be intimidated by the “Intermediate” title.
Brian November 15th, 2013
This is the title of an audio interview with a yoga teacher who is paralyzed below the waist.
Brian November 12th, 2013
It’s Yin Yoga time again. (We are the House of Yin after all!)
This class was quite popular and frankly, it’s one of my favorite ways to practice. In general a Yin practice means that basic poses (mostly on the floor) are held for a long time. While it might seem that practicing in this way is very easy, it’s actually quite challenging due to the very deep stretch you get from holding the poses so long. And it feels GREAT when you are done. If you have never tried this style, come see what it’s like. Variations of the poses can be found for all levels, so this type of practice is open to people of all abilities. You can get a sense of the practice from this link: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2545
I’ll be following sequences and reading from the Yin book that will be used in the teacher training course next year. Here it is: http://www.yinyoga.com/newsletter9_the_complete_guide_to_yin_yoga.php
Approximately half of the remaining Wednesday classes for this year will be Yin Yoga, giving us a chance to experience and explore this style with some depth.
Brian November 8th, 2013
As those of you who come to my classes know, I’m a stickler for form and alignment. “Straighten the leg! Tuck the pelvis in! Turn the foot more to the front!” But what’s the big deal if your toes are pointed a bit back or your arms are not quite straight?
Three main things:
1. Proper alignment in poses assures safe execution of the poses. In other words, we’re avoiding injury.
2. Proper alignment assures a proper stretch of targeted muscle groups. For example, bending the knees in a forward fold takes the stretch out of the hamstring.
3. This type of yoga stimulates and opens energy channels. The poses are designed to target specific channels and centers so without proper alignment and form, this benefit is lost. Doing yoga asana in this way is somewhat similar to receiving an acupuncture treatment. You want the needles in the right places!
On the other hand….
There are many non-yogic alignments that are also quite good at stretching the body and stimulating energy channels, so a bit of “organic-ness” in form and practice can be ok, even desireable. In the end, you want to feel the proper alignment from the inside, from the awareness of physical sensation that you have been cultivating. What feels good and right? How is your breathing? Can you feel the increase in pranic flow or opening in the body? Does it feel “good”?
Here’s an article on alignment that you may find interesting:
And for as much as I get on you all about practicing with correct form and alignment, I spend a sizeable chunk of my practice in “organic” form and movement. Here’s an example of me practicing in my more organic state. Nowhere near any yoga asana I’ve seen. Not good yoga form! But very open and alive.
Look at the Sun!
Brian November 3rd, 2013
Wednesday Workshop: The focus of this week is balance. We’ll explore the general concept of balance and practice in the physical realm with a healthy dose of standing poses. The standing balance poses are good for developing focus and concentration as well as slowing the breath, improving alignment, strengthening and of course stretching.
Beginner’s Class: Monday is the last class in the series. You can still come to the last class even if you have not attended the previous three. If you or someone you know is curious about yoga, this is a good opportunity to check it out. People who are finishing the series now have enough experience to attend any of the other classes on the schedule.
Open Art Studio: Mondays from 3-5pm (to be extended to 6pm starting the 11th). Creative expression is an important part of a healthy human experience. If you could use a little more creativity in your life stop by! There are many different projects happening at the studio. This is a pretty casual event so please feel free to stop in and say hello.
Brian October 27th, 2013
Open Art Studio: Last week was fun! People came early and stayed till the very end, absorbed in the creative process. Come check it out, 3-5pm Mondays. All ages welcome.
Wednesday Workshop: I’m going to sneak a little chanting into class this week. Chanting is a great way to focus and calm the mind. It can also serve as a breathing exercise, which you know is important in the yoga I practice. The majority of the class will be postures, but in place of meditation and pranayama, we’ll do some chanting. See the post below for one of the chants that will be introduced. The other chant that we will explore is the Bija mantra, the six sounds associated with the chakras. These aren’t words that mean anything, just sounds. Here’s a version you can listen to by MC Yogi. He does modern rap-style stuff with beats. Kind of corny, but also kind of good! At the very least you will become familiar with the sounds and intonations. (I do it a little faster.) The pictures of the chakras that go along with the video are some of my favorites.
Gym Yoga: I teach at The Gym in Huron, Mondays and Fridays 7:15-8:30 am. It’s a nice All Levels class. You don’t need to be a member of The Gym to attend. Just come to the back room. $10/class.
Kids Yoga: Is no longer happening. If you or a child you know is interested, I’d suggest they come to the Art Open House on Mondays. We tend to mix a bit of yoga in with the art.
Reminder: There are classes nearly every day. Get yourself to the studio and get your yoga on!
Brian October 20th, 2013
Open Art Studio: Mondays 3-5pm starting tomorrow. The studio has been transformed. Even if you don’t want to stay and be artsy, feel free to stop by and say hello, have a cup of tea and relax. See the post below for more details.
Wednesday Workshop: This week the focus is on the hips. The simple act of walking can tighten the rotators in the hips. (In terms of physical evolution, we began standing a bit too early!) Runners and dancers get an extra dose of this tightness. And unfortunately for people who work at a desk or spend lots of time driving, the hip muscles can be extremely tight, causing sciatica, lower back and knee pain. But do not despair! Come to this class and your hips are guaranteed to be looser when you leave! We’ll do some active standing poses to get things warm and loose, leading to a nice long pigeon pose, followed by a section of seated hip stretches, with twists. As with all the Wednesday classes, some yoga experience is recommended, but you do not have to be able to do advanced poses. Modifications will be given.
Teacher Training: After the first of the year I’ll be offering Yoga Teacher Training. This training will lead to official Yoga Alliance RYT200 certification. Even if you are not interested in teaching, you may be interested in the program as a way of deepening your yoga practice. We will be covering a wide range of topics including history, philosophy, breathing exercises, meditation, chanting, anatomy and a survey of current yoga styles. And of course time will be spent on practical aspects of teaching. The Wednesday classes will all count toward the 200 hours, so if you are interested you may want to attend one or more. Once dates are set I’ll make official posts with details. For now, if you have questions, write to me directly: email@example.com
Brian October 17th, 2013
The Gyatri mantra is perhaps the most highly revered hymn in India. Here’s a link to the version I do. You may have heard it play in the studio.
Chanting is an excellent concentration and breathing exercise. When I chant I attempt to do the whole thing in one breath.
Here’s a pop version that plays all over India. It makes me smile.
And one more. This one by Deva Premal.
I’m not going to put forth a translation, there are many and they vary considerably. If you are curious, see if you can find one you like.
This next artist is a modern dj who mixes lots of great traditional music of India into his work. He goes by Cheb I Sabbah. He’s of Indian decent, grew up in Morroco, got famous playing at raves in Goa, India. Here’s the link to his youtube playlist.