300 Hr YTT + the Tridoshic System.

It’s been a moment since my last post and I’m not even sure where the time went. When I last shared, I was busy with personal running goals, teaching, and trying to suck up every ounce of outdoor time while the weather was still nice. I went through a few weeks of burn out where my creative juices had just ran dry and I wanted to honor the process that this happens from time to time. My body, mind, and soul was simply craving other hobbies to fill it up.

My schedule is still jammed back but I’ve missed my outlet here the last couple weeks. The spark came back with a recent decision I’ve made to sign up for my 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training! I’m very excited for this next step on my yoga journey and I’ll be sharing in a separate post about which program I’ve decided to go with. For today, I wanted to share a recent topic we are learning, The Tridoshic System.

The Tridoshic System is made up of the three different doshas; Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. These doshas are made up of a combination of the five elements; air, water, ether, fire, & earth.

Vata is made up of ether and air and has the characteristics of light, airy, cool, and lean. This dosha is associated with the seasons of fall and early winter. Pitta is made up of fire and water and has the characteristics of hot, warm, diligent, and tone. This dosha is associated with the seasons of late spring and early summer. Kapha is made up of water and earth and has the characteristics of slow, grounded, balanced, and receptive to sensation. This dosha is associated with the seasons of late winter and early summer.

I’ve wrote about the Doshas in the past and share a quiz you can take to see which one you’re personality aligns with. As I dive more into the information on the Tridosha System, I’m looking forward to food pairing to correlate with the dosha of the season and sharing with you!

Favorite Restorative Yoga Poses.

Over the years of my practice, I have grown an intense love for restorative yoga. This type of flow has helped me in numerous situations to deeply relax my body, calm my busy mind, and help release muscular tension. Restorative yoga is a variation of yoga practice where certain poses that typically aren’t stressing the muscles are held for an extended period of time and has the power to help heal the body and mind. 

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite restorative poses that you can do on your own time. Find a quiet, comfortable space, and let’s dive in!

The first pose (above) is Seated Staff Pose or Dandasana (Sanskrit name). Sit up straight, cross your legs in front of you at the skins, and place hands gently on top of the thighs and rested together in your lap. 

The second pose is Extended Butterfly which provides a great stretch for the inner thighs and groin, relief from menstrual discomfort, and helps maintain healthy bowel movements. From our Seated Staff pose, bring the soles of your feet together, place hands to the outside of the ankles or feet, and with a long spine, fold over your legs. 

The third pose is Savasana or Corpse pose which helps relax the body, reduce headaches, fatigue, and insomnia as well as potentially help lower blood pressure. Lie down on your back and extend your legs long allowing your ankles to splay out to the side. Arms can rest alongside your body, extend onto the floor over your head, or rest one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. 

Child’s Pose is our fourth pose and probably my all-time favorite yoga pose. This one flexes the body’s internal organs while lengthening and stretching the spine. It relieves the neck and lower back and gently stretches out the hips, thighs, and ankles. Bring your big toes to touch, knees can be together or knocked out wide, extend your arms long, and lower your chest and forehead to the floor. 

The fifth pose is Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana) which is a relaxing backbend and heart melter that some like to refer to as a cross between downward dog and child’s pose. From your child’s pose, bring your knees in under your hips and extend your hips up to the sky. 

Our last pose is Bow Tie Pose which is a nice, gently release for the back of the shoulders and the neck. Extend out onto your stomach and begin by placing one forearm parallel on the group in front of the other. Then start to walk the hands away from each other, crisscrossing at the elbows. Once you begin to feel the stretch in the back, release your head to hang heavy towards the floor or your forehead resting on a block. 

All of these poses can be held with your eyes closed and between 1-10 minutes for time depending on your comfort level. I hope these poses bring your relaxation and stay tuned for more of my favorite yoga poses! 

At-Home Favorite Workouts.

While everyone is staying home during this time, I have received requests to share recorded material of my yoga and barre sequences. I’ve dabbled with the idea because I do truly miss teaching and connecting with my students.

But deep down in my gut, I know there are so many incredible teachers out there sharing their skills virtually at the moment (seriously, we are being spoiled right now). I selfishly have been taking this downtime to be a student again and I also want to allow these other teachers to truly shine. I can’t believe I am able to take class again with some of my favorites from San Francisco as well as finally indulge in some long-obsessed-over other teachers!

So I thought instead of sharing my own material, I would provide a list of resources I’ve been taking advantage of to support (& you should too 🙂)

  • Barre Forte: If you’ve been around here a bit, you know I have a deep love for Barre workouts. I’ve been going through my local studios to stream online classes and they. do. not. disappoint. They are offering a great discounted offer for new students!
  • Mary Beth LaRue: A fellow yogi that I have stumbled across on Instagram (@marybethlarue) during my student retreat (what I’ve begun to call it). I believe I actually learned of her streaming offers through Sol Rising’s stories since he’ll live DJ some of her classes (yes, it’s pretty yummy). Her classes have truly been a treat for me!
  • Touchstone Live Fitness: They have been sharing a TON of great variety of options (not just yoga) on their Facebook page and I’ve been enjoying taking Samantha Feinerman’s yoga classes. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while now (@sunandmoon_asana) so it has been so lovely so experience her teachings.
  • Arielle: Another fellow yogi and Coloradan, who I’ve also been following on Instagram for some time (@arielleshipe). She has shared a few different free options and live yoga flows on her platforms or else she has previous recordings of sequences as well.

These have been my quarantine favorites lately but there are definitely a ton more amazing resources out there! I’d love to hear what you’re doing at home to stay sane, fit, & healthy. Share with me in the comments section 🙂

What to Know Before Your First Hot Yoga Class.

Checking out a new workout or fitness class can be quite intimidating. You’ve never checked out the studio before, you don’t know where the bathrooms or water fountain is, you’re unsure the instructor’s name, and you’re not quite sure what cues are being called out so you for sure are sticking out like a sore thumb.

We’ve all been there. And none of us want to be.

  1. Have a good quality mat. This is important in a hot yoga class because a flimsy mat will be moving and scrunching up throughout the class so you’ll be focusing more on adjusting your mat back to place than the actual moves.
  2. Have a mat towel. This can simply just be a beach towel or shower towel, you don’t need an actual mat towel but I find this extremely important for soaking up sweat
  3. Bring a water bottle. This may seem obvious but you will increase your heart rate during these classes, you may sweat (quite a bit), so you’ll definitely want water breaks throughout.
  4. Show up early. Get to the studio 15-30 minutes before class. This will provide time before the majority of students show up and can give you time to get familiar with the studio, the room you’ll be practicing in, setting up your space, and getting the props you need for class.
  5. Introduce yourself to the teacher. If you feel comfortable with this, it is nice to connect with the person who is leading the class. They can make sure to give you enough attention throughout the class and also will normally give you insight after the class as well. This is also an opportunity to share with the teacher if you are dealing with an injury or don’t prefer to have hands-on adjustments or assist.
  6. Breathe. This will be your saving grace when you might be feeling dizzy, light-headed, or overwhelmed. The teacher will cue breathe but you might find yourself holding your breath at points when you’re trying to transition between poses, moving into poses, or holding a pose. This will take time to master and you’ll not be a professional in your first class but the more you can catch yourself in these moments the better.
  7. Go Slow. You do not need to keep up with the student to your left or right, you don’t even need to keep up with the teacher. It will more than likely be very hot and probably hotter than you’d prefer. Take breaks with you need to. Child’s pose is also wonderful when you need a moment to catch your breath.
  8. Don’t overthink the pose. If you can’t do the pose, don’t do the pose. Many yogis who have been practicing for years still can’t do many various poses. It’s a practice, not perfection so don’t overthink the pose and just do your best.
  9. Celebrate! You’re a warrior! You tried something new and you did a fabulous job. Now enjoy some savasana.

Namaste.

NYT + Corepower: My 2cents.

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This past Friday, the New York Times released an article about the state of Yoga Teacher Trainings, specifically about Corepower. Being someone who recently just went through YTT (not through Corepower) I had mixed feelings about this discussion. So, I wanted to open up the conversation with all of you. Specifically discussing the popularity of those going through training and the recruitment studios are doing to hold these training programs. I will not be touching on pay.

The article states that “for every current yoga teacher, there are two trainees.” I personally think this is amazing! The more we can spread the love of yoga the better. But the article spins this point to state that studios are having the discussion that students need to take training to take their practice to the next level. Signing up for YTT is your own choice, just like how you choose to use your time in any other situation. You wouldn’t go to a Crossfit class if that doesn’t fill your cup and vice versa for Yoga classes and training programs. YTT is a significant investment of not only money but time. I think the pressure needed to force someone into training would also be pretty significant since it is not a decision you make on the fly.  If you feel you’re being pressured at a studio to sign up for their YTT program, then maybe it is time to consider another studio.

Another argument is that training programs are being held at studios that aren’t actively hiring teachers. When you sign up for training, you’re signing up for exactly that. The rest of the work after training is on you. Continued teaching practicing, networking, marketing yourself, educating yourself, etc. One opinion I came across on this topic was comparing YTT to College. After college graduation, some individuals have guidance with a job placement but not everyone does. After YTT, some individuals might have connections for teaching opportunities but not everyone does.

We don’t expect to get our degree and then walk into a six-figure paying job the very next day. We need to put in the work to finesse our skillsets as well as determine “is the career path for me even?”

After training, we can’t expect the responsibility to lead students in a class where we’re instructing them on what to do with their bodies. Being an instructor myself, this responsibility is powerful and insanely scary.  Students normally walk into a class fully trusting the instructor that they know what they are talking about. As a yogi or fitness student, you can probably remember instances where you realize the instructor is not as well informed as you believe they should be to be in their position. No amount of instructor insurance can justify not being educated enough to lead a class. This is why further education, training, and teaching practice is needed before being hired as a professional instructor.

Lastly, the article touched on the business decision studios make to hold these training programs. They may partially hold these training programs to bring in revenue but they are also putting on retreats, workshops, and events on top of classes. It is not their only means for revenue as a studio even if it good be a large portion of it. Hopefully, these studios are still holding educational training programs that provide their trainees the material and information they need to guide intelligent sequences and cueing. If their programs are merely to bring in revenue, then I would assume these programs will not last long. Also, if these programs are recognized through the Yoga Alliance, the process to be able to lead trainees is more rigorous than the YTT training itself. I would like to think someone wouldn’t go through the whole process for the revenue alone.

If you are interested in signing up for a training program, but you fear this might be the case with the studio you’re considering going through, do your research to make sure you are getting your money’s worth! There are plenty of different training opportunities out there that you do not need to limit your decision making.

If you have strong opinions on the NYT’s article or YTT, I’d love to hear them! You can share with me in the comment section or email me at onedreamyyogaflow@gmail.com.

Namaste.

 

Hour Vinyasa Flow.

Yesterday evening, I put on a Vinyasa & Vino yoga class for the community at a local Clubhouse over in North Beach. It was so much fun to see friends and new faces and all that attended were such inspiring yogis. The flow was very smooth and I paired it with the Power Flow Playlist I shared last week on here with a few adjustments for time. The group was able to enjoy some light socializing, snacks, and wine afterward which made for a really delightful Thursday evening.

I wanted to share the class sequence here for you all to try out at home and I’m always welcome to feedback for how you modify the practice for your own style 🙂 Knowing that written out sequence aren’t always the most inspiring and the fact that I’ve received a handful of request for video tutorials of sequences, I’m happy to announce that a few are in the works and I’m so excited to share soon! But for now written directions will be my go-to. So grab a small glass of wine and enjoy. Namaste.

*Note, I do not note the breathe or duration of holds for poses but if this is helpful for you and your practice please let me know and I’d be happy to add. 

Vinyasa + Vino Sequence

Savasana

Start to tap into your breathe here by giving each inhale and exhale a 4 count.

Bring right knee to chest and interlace fingers behind kneecap | Draw small circles with the knee starting to open up the hip. (Repeat on left side.)

Roll up to seated | Seated Staff pose (Dandasana) | Arm above your head | Side bend (both sides) | Forward fold reaching for shins, ankles, or feet.

Rise and move into Tabletop | Move through Cat + Cow following the breathe. | Return to neutral spine.

Rise the right arm to the sky | Thread the needle (Repeat on left side.)

Downward dog

Half Sun Salutations x3

Lunging Salutations

1st round : Cactus arms x3 | Simple Twist

2nd round : Runners Lunge | Half Splits | Move through x3

Surya A

Surya B

Warrior II | Reverse Warrior | Side Angle | Warrior II | Vinyasa

Warrior II | Reverse Warrior | Reverse Triangle | Triangle | End with Half Moon if in your practice | Warrior II | Vinyasa

Downward Dog | 3 Leg DWD | Stack the hips | Center the hips | Half Pigeon (Repeat on opp. side)

Seated Twist | Counter Twist (Repeat on opp. side)

Seated Staff pose (Dandasana) | Forward Fold (Paschimottansana) | Rise back up on an inhale.

Lift to Boat | Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute | Release all the way to your back on an exhale.

Rolling Bridges x5 | End with Wheel if end your practice.

Release to your back | Spinal Twist on both sides

Happy Baby

Savasana

The most angelic yogi from class last night in the back row.

Power Flow Playlist.

Here’s my recent lineup of tunes I’ve been flowing to & teaching to. Hope you all enjoy! The jams start out smooth, then pick up to a more up-beat pace, then smooth back out. Full playlist end up being around 85 minutes.

Yoga Mood on Spotify

  • Om Mani Padme Hum 1 | Jane Winther
  • Ganesha | Janet Stone & Nat Kendall
  • Redbone | Stan Taylor
  • I Fall Apart | Post Malone
  • Wheel of Time | Ayla Nereo
  • Always There When I Need You | Salt Cathedral
  • Jupiter | Beauvois
  • Far Away From Home | Paratone & Katrine Stenbekk
  • Oceans | Petit Biscuit
  • Tonic Water | Moglii & Novaa
  • Midnight Sky | Sol Calor
  • Films | StayLoose & Mascolo
  • Modern Flame | Emmit Fenn
  • Waiting | KIAN
  • Clone Phone | Kamandi
  • Sunday Strut | Cody G
  • Only You | Jimi Charles Moody
  • Blinded | Emmit Fenn
  • Faith’s Hymn | Beautiful Chorus

Benefits of Backbends.

Life has been pretty crazy these last couple weeks, as you might have been able to tell from the lack of noise you’ve all received from me on here. Endless to-do lists and tasks normally tend to lead me towards stress and anxiety.

Backbends can be one of the best cures for acute of even chronic anxiety. Which you may not believe me right off the bat when I say that. Do you ever feel anxious, nervous, or worrisome when in a backbend? But the short term feeling right after is relief and calmness. A consistent yoga practice that contains backbends can also reap long term benefits of helping to not only relieve anxiety but also increase the body’s resilience to it. The consistent practice can also potentially eliminate chronic back pain.

We bend forward all day long, as we’re sitting at our desk, driving in our cars, or even walking down the street. Our spines have a complete range of motion, so we should be able to bend forward comfortably but we need to make sure we’re balancing that consistent forward bending with back bending to restore the spines natural flexibly and reduce injury.

Aside from balancing the spine, backbends can also help to improve breathing, open up and stretch the front body, abdominal muscles, and internal organs, build strength and trust, compress and flush the kidneys, and even relieve insomnia and restlessness.

In the above photo, I am practicing Wheel pose but there are multiple other poses that help to incorporate back bending into your practice:

  • Bridge
  • Bow Pose
  • Camel
  • Cow Pose
  • Fish
  • Upward Facing Dog
  • Cobra
  • Reverse Tabletop
  • King Pigeon Pose
  • Dancer
  • Sphinx Pose
  • Wild Thing

Try out a few of these consistently and let me know what benefits you start to experience!

Namaste, loves.

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Basis to Chakras.

The chakras or force-centres are points of connection in which energy flows from one vehicle or body of a man to another. – C.W. Leadbeater, The Chakras

The seven colors of the rainbow represent an alternative to our binary black and white consciousness. The rainbow of seven colors express how light moves from source to manifestation through the chakra system in the body. These seven different colors represent the seven vibrational energy centers in the body, or as more well-known as the chakras.

A chakra is a center of organization that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy.

Aside from the seven main center points through the center of the body, there are also minor chakras in the hands, feet, fingertips, and shoulders. It is the seven major chakras I list below that correlate with the basic states of consciousness.

  • Muladhara: Root
    • A healthy first chakra allows a person to be energetically grounded.
    • To Be Here
    • Physical Identity
    • Fear Demon
  • Svadhisthana: Sex Organs
    •  The second chakra starts to encounter the watery realm of emotions and sexuality.
    • To Feel
    • Emotional Identity
    • Guilt Demon
  • Manipura: Solar Plexus
    • If our grounding is strong and solid and the natural flow of emotion and movement is not thwarted, then we have the means to convert energy into action.
    • To Act
    • Ego Identity
    • Shame Demon
  • Anahata: Heart area
    • In the heart chakra, currents come to perfect balance in the center of our being where we enter the mystery of love.
    • To Love
    • Social Identity
    • Grief Demon
  • Vissudha: Throat
    • The fifth chakra enters the symbolic world of the mind where words, images, and thoughts manifest.
    • To Speak
    • Creative Identity
    • Lies Demon
  • Ajna: Third Eye
    • The brow chakra, or third eye, we can see where we are now, where we have been, and predict where we are going.
    • To See
    • Archetypal Identity
    • Illusion Demon
  • Sahasrara: Cerebral Cortex
    • The seventh chakra is the final frontier, the consciousness.
    • To Know
    • Universal Identity
    • Attachment Demon

This is the slightest drop in the pool of all the chakra knowledge and in further posts I plan to dive into each chakra more in-depth. Understanding how to work with chakras can help you to achieve new levels of health and well-being, improve your relationships, and even assist in your spiritual growth and development. So here’s to future growth!

Namaste, loves.

The Five Klesas.

The other day I shared the Eight Limbs of Yoga that provide a type of guideline to lead us to liberation. But through this journey we can struggle. It’s natural human behavior to obstruct ourselves from happiness, maybe not even intentionally. For the most part, we strive for happiness and to avoid suffering. We’re striving for Samadhi, a state where suffering doesn’t exist and we simply exist with awareness. But our darn natural human behavior can get in the way of that.

Patanjali has described the following five factors as the elements that contribute to suffering:

  1. Avidya: Not seeing things as they are
  2. Raga: Attachment
  3. Dvesa: Aversion
  4. Asmita: The story of I, me, and mine
  5. Abhinivesa: The thirst for further existence

These five factors are referred to as the five Klesas. The term klesa comes from the verbal root klis, which means “to suffer, torment, or distress.”

The five Klesas keep suffering in motion because they create loops in the mind-body that reinforce habitual patterns of perception and reaction. The important question then is how do we work with these obstacles called Klesas, keeping in mind there is no way to avoid completely.

This work can be a more in-depth process since we all need to have a deeper understanding of self to fully understand how we relate and cling to each one of these Klesas.

Asmita can be a strong one for all of us since we all have a tendency to paint a story in our mind of how our lives should unfold. Raga is another obvious one since attachment is a natural occurrence in our society. A way to start exploring your relationship with the different Klesas is through meditation and asana practice. Notice through the practice how each Klesas arises and address how you feel and react in the moment. For example, half moon might be a pose that comes easy to you but on a particular day you are struggling to keep your balance and can’t find the strength to lift your leg off the floor. Asmita might arise with thoughts that you should be able to do this since you’ve held this specific pose many times before and raga might be present because your attached to how practice went the day before.

As we begin to see how Klesas arise in our meditation and asana practice we’ll begin to seep this over into other elements of our lives. In Michael Stone’s book ‘The Inner Tradition of Yoga’, he explains that:

‘The Five Kleasa teach us that by putting a wedge between our feelings and our aversion or attachment to them, we make a seat for ourselves in present experience.’

I would love to hear how you personally relate or struggle with any of the specific Klesas. Share with me in the comment section!

Namaste loves.