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Yoga Pose of the Month

Poses are a mainstay of yoga. We look to provide you with insight into the various poses, their origins and their value to your yoga practice.
  • Fire Log Pose: Ignite Your Inner Fire

    Agnistambhasana: Fire Log Pose

    Fire transforms—wood into ashes, ice into water and then into steam, raw ingredients into a warming meal. In the Vedas of ancient India, fire was personified by the two-headed fire god Agni. Stemming from the same root as the Latin ignire (to ignite), Agni was the force behind heat, light and will power. According to the Vedas, Agni fueled the sun, the stars and lightning.

    In Ayurveda, Agni is the word for digestive…continue reading

  • Ardha Padmasana: A Lotus Pose for Everybody

    Supta Ardha Padmasana: A Lotus Pose for Everybody

    In 2001, I co-taught a teacher training with Donna Farhi in Vancouver, BC. The 50 attendees were experienced yoga teachers and body workers from all over the world. During the training we questioned teaching methodologies that shoehorn students into a one-size-fits-all model.

    One misconception we talked about was the perceived necessity of practicing what is probably yoga’s most emblematic pose: P…continue reading

  • Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching

    Supta Padangusthasana: Sustainable Stretching

    There are many reasons people decide to start practicing yoga. For me, it was simple curiosity, at least at first. Many of my students come to yoga to bring some calm to their lives. Some want to increase flexibility. A healthy percentage of my students originally came to practice hoping to resolve a physical issue, especially back pain. Whatever your intention, practicing yoga can indeed confer these …continue reading

  • Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

    Parsvakonasana
    Parsvakonasana: Finding Continuity

    Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose) is a pillar among standing poses. It combines strong grounding with expansion and spinal rotation. It looks like a lateral stretch, and may even feel somewhat like one, but it’s not. In a true lateral stretch, your pelvis is not moving in the same direction as your spine (think Parighasana or Gate Latch Pose). In Side Angle Pose, your legs, pelvis, spine a…continue reading

  • Talasana: Sway Like a Palm Tree

    Talasana: Palm Tree Pose

    January signifies new beginnings, a fresh, new, canvas on which to paint our intentions. The new year often inspires a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, including caring for our bodies, stimulating our minds and seeking new, revitalizing experiences, or experimenting with balancing what we already do with practices that complement our lives.

    The key is patience. Changes, big or small, take time. It takes time to f…continue reading

  • Instant Maui - Your 20-Minute Vacation

    Take a Midwinter Break in Instant Maui

    It’s the season of short days, long nights and monumental to-do lists. Potlucks, concerts, rehearsals (for those of us who play holiday concerts) and gifting take us out of our usual routines. At a time when our schedules are stuffed to capacity, often the first things to get knocked off our to-do list are those niceties we do to take care of ourselves.

    I’m writing this month to suggest—strongly—that y…continue reading

  • Shoulderstand - Save Your Neck with Yoga Blankets

    Shoulderstand on Yoga Blankets
    How Using Yoga Blankets in Shoulderstand Can Save Your Neck

    Looking to see the world from a new perspective? Going upside-down is one way to shift your point of view—literally.

    Inverted yoga poses are perfect for cultivating fertile creative ground in the body/mind. In addition to their many physical benefits, inversions are said to allow us to see with new eyes. When we turn upside down, the world looks different. …continue reading

  • Urdhva Mukha Prasarita Padottanasana

    Urdhva Mukha Prasarita Padottanasana: Hugging the Earth

    I’d like to propose an inevitability to accompany death and taxes: gravity. In fact it’s arguable that gravity is more consistently inevitable than taxes, because there are ways to get around paying taxes if you can afford it. None of us escapes gravity.

    Gravity is responsible for keeping us from floating off the surface of the Earth. It is also responsible Earth’s orbit around the sun a…continue reading

  • Hanumanasana: Take a Flying Leap

    Hanumanasana with Block
    Hanumanasana: Take a Flying Leap

    A while back, I recounted the story of Anjaneya, a child prodigy—part monkey, godson of the wind god Vayu, and reincarnation of Shiva—that got himself into trouble for making a giant leap for the sun without the sun god’s permission. Long story short, Anjaneya was not only absolved of his crime, after some wrangling with the sun god, but even elevated to god status. Dubbed Hanuman, he …continue reading

  • Baddha Konasana - Barre to Blankets

    Baddha Konasana: Barre to Blankets

    During grade school, my sisters and I took ballet classes. We studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory with a lovely young dancer named Donna Ficker. A year or two into our lessons we had to find a new teacher when Donna’s mother moved the family to New York, where her younger sister Suzi changed her name to Suzanne Farrell and joined George Balanchine in the New York City Ballet. I particularly remember watching…continue reading

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