Rox Does Yoga

Musings on Everything Yoga

vinyasa class sequence October 4, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:19 pm
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My first class at Wellness on Park on Tuesday was a lot of fun! My favorite massage therapist Sarah and her lovely daughter came out to share their practice with me. They both really seemed to enjoy the class (and Sarah wrote such a kind note on her Facebook page!). It was also great getting to know the new studio space! Next time I’ll remember to bring my own music. :)

My class on Tuesdays is an all-levels vinyasa class. Before I started going to East Eagle, vinyasa was the main form of yoga I practiced, but since starting my teacher training, I’ve stuck pretty strongly with a classical hatha practice. I feel a little rusty in my vinyasa practice – I don’t feel like I can freestyle it the way I can with hatha – so I’m going to try to make a plan or road map for class every week. This week’s class ended up being, basically, a hatha class with a bunch of vinyasas thrown in, which was perfect for the students I had. Here’s the sequence we did:

Warm-up:

  • childs pose
  • cat/cow
  • tabletop balance
  • down dog
  • fwd fold

sun salutes:

  • 2-4 half salutes
  • one full salute, low lunges
  • one full salute, high lunges
  • 2 standard sun salutes
  • chair
  • forward fold/gorilla pose

standing work:

  • warrior 1
  • warrior 2
  • vinyasa
  • warriors other side
  • vinyasa
  • triangle
  • revolved triangle
  • vinyasa
  • triangles other side
  • vinyasa
  • prasarita
  • goddess

balance: tree pose

cool down:

  • squat
  • cobbler
  • upward plank
  • forward fold
  • upward table
  • boat
  • seated twist

reclining/inversion:

  • knees to chest
  • bridge
  • savasana

I’ll probably riff off this basic outline for a while until I get a bit more confidence with vinyasa style. I’m hoping to get to a vinyasa class in my area sometime soon to experience a class from another teacher’s perspective; I’m also going to do some more research over the next few weeks to explore more sequencing possibilities.

Resources for further reference:

Come out to my Tuesday night class and see what I come up with next time!

 

Link Round-up: Body Image, Body Love September 12, 2013

Filed under: wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:59 pm
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I’ve read some really excellent articles this week, all somehow revolving around the concept of body image, and the recognition that there’s a human person living in that body you’re looking at:

  • What People Really Look Like: A look at bodies from the perspective of a massage therapist. I love this because I don’t get to see what my body looks like on a massage table. I love this writer’s sense of reverence and joy in his work.
  • These Are the Lines of a Story: This piece about a woman’s body after giving birth brought me close to tears twice (the part with the hair, and then the story she tells to her son). For the first time, instead of feeling thankful and proud that I have no stretch marks, I feel a little sad that I have no visible marks to share with my daughter when she’s older.
  • To Me, Mean Pictures Aren’t Funny (Even the Really Funny Ones): A nice reflection on kindness and compassion to reflect on the next time you get one of those email forwards with photos of people at Walmart in horrible outfits.

Here’s another one  that I didn’t read this week, but that I’ve been thinking about all week as the other articles above came across my screen:

  • When Your Mother Says She’s Fat: I love, love, love this piece and I think about it often. I remember how beautiful my mom was when I was little – I mean to say, she’s still beautiful, but I remember sitting on her bed and watching her and just knowing with little-kid certainty that she was the most beautiful mom there ever was. My heart breaks for the little girl this writer was, seeing her beautiful mom in that suddenly  harsh light; my heart breaks to think about YB having a realization like this. I am consciously trying, even now while YB is so little, to be careful about what I say to her about my appearance. If I practice now, it will come more naturally later on when she starts to understand more. When I’m feeling particularly down, I tell her, “Doesn’t Mama look so pretty today?” It makes me feel better, because it reminds me that to her, I am what beautiful is.
 

Glennon Melton’s Beautiful Heart June 28, 2013

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:06 pm
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I recently read a couple of absolutely beautiful blog posts and wanted to share them with you:

A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On

I Love Gay People and I Love Christians. I Choose All.

These two posts by Glennon Melton made me so happy. I wish that all Christians had an attitude like hers. This is the sort of Christianity that I talk about and wish for here on the yoga blog, and the sort of loving kindness and openness that I think the yogic scriptures advocate.  A lot of people are saying nasty things about gay people in the name of Christianity, especially this week in light of the recent SCOTUS rulings, instead of remembering that Jesus said to love everyone. Thank you, Mrs. Melton, for sharing your heart with us, and thank you for being a voice of Christian love and acceptance. I’m not a Christian, but I’d be proud to be your friend.

 

Yoga and Brain Stimulation June 27, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:48 pm
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Here’s the latest yoga news from the science world: A 20-Minute Bout of Yoga Stimulates Brain Function Immediately After. Researchers found that a single 20-minute session (“bout”? who wrote that headline?!) of hatha yoga improved participants’ speed and accuracy on cognitive function tests – basically, it improved their memory and their ability to stay focused on a task and to take in, retain, and use new information. The subjects who did yoga performed better than subjects who walked or jogged on a treadmill, indicating that the results aren’t just a reflection of burning energy to improve focus, or of exercise being good for the mind: it was the yoga itself that improved mental function. Yoga’s breathing and meditative exercises calm the body, allowing the mind to focus, and apparently this effect applies beyond the mat and into activities after the yoga practice is over. The lead author theorized a few possible explanations for the results, including enhanced self-awareness and reduced anxiety and stress. Conclusion: yoga makes you smarter!

 

Yoga in the News: Yogi Protesters in Turkey June 13, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 12:58 pm
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My husband F sent me this link: Turkish Protesters Hold Mass Yoga Demo. I’m not really aware of the full extent of what’s going on in Turkey right now, besides just a general sense of “bad shit is happening” (busy full-time job plus busy toddler at home doesn’t exactly foster much knowledge of current events – I knew that a building fell down in Philly only because I was two blocks away from it at the time), but I thought the video was cool. I am glad to see that, in the midst of what’s going on in Turkey, some people are finding a little peace and maybe making some spectators smile.

 

Links: a minister responds to a “concerned Christian neighbor” about interfaith dialogue June 6, 2013

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:29 pm
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I love this open letter from the pastor of Fairview Community Church describing the reasons behind a planned interfaith dialogue between her church’s community and a Wiccan. I love Rev. Halverson’s desire to learn from our differences and to find the places where our faiths intersect, and I love that she responded to the concerned neighbor who wrote to her in such a public and affirming way. I love it when I get to say “Hooray for Christianity!”

 

Yoga: The Art of Transformation May 31, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 11:38 am
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Yoga: The Art of Transformation

 

I’ve been taking a bit of a blog break this week after traveling for the Memorial Day holiday, but I just found out about this and had to share: the Smithsonian will be running a ground-breaking special exhibit called Yoga: The Art of Transformation this fall. I haven’t had time to look at the materials in-depth yet, but the planned exhibit looks amazing. I’m excited because I have a potential business trip to DC on the calendar for this fall and so I might actually be able to view the exhibit in person – but even if I can’t see it myself, they’re planning an in-depth online exhibit as well.

The Smithsonian is hoping to crowdfund most of the costs, so if you’re feeling so inclined, check out their fundraising page!

 

Guest Post at 5 Cities 6 Women May 13, 2013

I’m happy to announce that I have a guest post up this week at one of my favorite blogs, 5 Cities 6 Women!

My post is about breastfeeding, pumping, and mom-life balance. It was fun to write a blog post and not feel like I somehow had to bring it around and relate it back to yoga and wellness. I hope you’ll go check it out, and while you’re there, take a look at what Katie and the other ladies are up to. There’s always something interesting happening at 5 Cities 6 Women.

 

goals in mainstream fitness May 7, 2013

Filed under: wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:12 pm
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Earlier this week, Heather turned me on to this interesting post: It’s Time for a Makeover of Mainstream Fitness, by Ruthie Streiter. When Heather read it, it reminded her of the identity-based habits I was talking about earlier this year, and I agree completely.

First of all, I love that Streiter is advocating that people really think through their body’s particular needs and problems before embarking on an exercise program. So often, people take up a diet or fitness regimen just because it’s the latest fad, or it worked for a friend, but every body is different and has different needs. What is fantastic for one person’s body could be catastrophic for another, and result in no change at all for someone else. Planning out your exercise program in a thoughtful way can help you to save time and ensure that your actions will result in positive change – after all, who wants to spend hours on vigorous exercise if you don’t enjoy it (which is how most Americans feel about working out) and if it’s hurting you?

And Streiter’s article fits in well with the idea of identity-based habits. Remember, identity-based goals are the opposite of appearance-based goals (like “I want to lose ten pounds” or “I want a flatter tummy”). With an identity-based goal, you’re thinking, “I want to be a healthier person”, “I want to be a balanced person”, and, starting from there, you work on making healthier choices, day by day. Just starting out with that frame of mind could make the difference and keep you from throwing yourself into an exercise regime that’s not right for you. You’re not focusing all your energy on this one small aspect of yourself (your weight, your tummy), which could go wrong so easily; instead, you’re working on gradually changing your whole identity to that of a more healthful person, so you’ll naturally think in more holistic terms. And when you set an identity-based goal, the changes you make will last longer because you’re not only creating a new habit, you’re reinventing yourself, reimagining yourself, as a healthy sort of person, so your behavior will naturally come more and more in line with your goal.

A new month has just begun, and spring is springing up all over. It’s a great time to go play outside, enjoy the fresh air, and pick up the season’s first fresh produce at the farmers’ market. It’s a great time of year to think back on your New Year’s resolutions and recommit to working toward a balanced, healthy lifestyle in the way that’s best for you.

 

WWJD May 2, 2013

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:28 pm
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I was looking through my list of things I want to post about someday, and I came across the following link: Just Because You Love Jesus Doesn’t Mean You Have to Disrespect the Buddha, Dishonor Muhammad or Disregard Moses. Brian McLaren wrote that article to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, but it’s just as valuable today – perhaps even more so, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. I’ve seen a lot of hateful press about Muslims recently, stories with strongly worded headlines above photos of wounded people. It’s propaganda, and it saddens me. After the bombing, the city of Boston came together in pride and strength, and the rest of the US sent our support and love. Now a few weeks later, that community feeling has degenerated into hatred for those who follow the same faith as the bombers. After a wound or a scare like this, it can be painfully difficult to be open-hearted, but Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna alike would call us to that challenge. I hope to see more articles like McLaren’s that make us think about what Jesus truly would do and say if he were here today and inspire us to be gentler and kinder.

 

 

 

 
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