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Blog Archives: January 2016 — December 2016

An 8 Limb Practice in 75 Minutes or Less: Part Two

December 30, 2016
Jim Freeman
The Prana Body. Retrieved from http://shaktianandayoga.com/teachings/chakras/ Nadi Shodhana Pranayama “If one wants to lead a spiritual life, this very pranayama is sufficient. It will steady the way to mediation and samadhi.” -Swami Satyananda Posture: Sukhasana. Mudra: Nasagra Mudra - right hand, index and middle finger rests on the eyebrow center; thumb is near the right nostril, ring and pinkie fold next to the left nostril (this is the suggested mudra by the Bihar Yoga folks but I typically use Vishnu mudra, which is folding the ...

An 8 Limb Practice in 75 Minutes or Less: Part One

December 23, 2016
Jim Freeman
The Sage Patanjali compiled a text called the Yoga Sutras, through which we were given a blueprint for practicing yoga. In Section 2.29 of the text, Patanjali lists for us the 8 limbs of yoga: Yama: codes of restraint, abstinences (described in sec. 2.30, 2.31) Niyama: observances, self-training (2.32) Asana: meditation posture and now the plethora of postures used in modern yoga (2.46-2.48) Pranayama: expansion of breath and prana (2.49-2.53) Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses (2.54-2.55) Dharana: concentration (3.1) Dhyana: ...

Yoga for Life with Gary Kraftsow

December 16, 2016
Beth St. Romain
When I read the title of Yoga Yoga’s upcoming workshop with Gary Kraftsow, Yoga for Life, it took me back to 2008 and memories of my training with Gary and the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI). The training changed my life. I left Austin for California in hopes of learning as much as I could about asana and the way it can transform your physical structure; I came home with an understanding of how Yoga can transform your entire life, from the way you move and breathe to the way you process hardships to the way you experience joy. Yoga ...

iRest Yoga Nidra: Ringing in the New Year with Ease

December 05, 2016
Sheila Singh
I find that the new year can be a time where we rush to set goals and intentions. In the rush, we may only be affirming the already established patterns of what we think we should be doing or the expectations we have taken on from the world around us. True intentionality arises from unconditioned listening, where we allow time to fall away from set patterns and habits. This enables us to know how we are and the direction we are being called toward in a spontaneous and creative way. The following passage by Jean Klein, a non-dual ...

Jump Back & Jump Through: The Art of Floating & Flying

December 05, 2016
Gil Perez
What I found interesting in the Rocket Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga system was the jump back and jump through technique, mainly used in the seated sequence. Not only do you have to do the seated posture, but to change from posture to posture you have to jump back and jump through, plus, to change side to side of the posture you have to use the technique in between. It’s a whole body of work just to realize that, but I think every posture is hard on its own, so why not add a fun way to transition from one to another? As I mentioned earlier, ...

Yoga Therapy at Yoga Yoga: A 15-Year Journey to Accreditation

December 02, 2016
Lori Johnson
Of all the programs I have created over the years as the Director of Teacher Training at Yoga Yoga, none has excited and challenged me more, or has been more rewarding, than the creation of our 800-hour Yoga Therapy program. Yoga therapy has been on Yoga Yoga’s radar since its early days as a company. In fact, when Westgate, our third studio location, opened about 15 years ago, it was the intention of the founders, Mehtab and Guru Karam, to dedicate the South location to the practice and delivery of yoga therapy. That particular plan didn’t ...

Unfolding on the Mat

November 14, 2016
Jess Goulding
In the big “pink” room of Westgate, I have evolved from a young 200-Hour teacher with a couple classes per week, to an “Experienced” 500-Hour teacher, and now Level 1 Yoga Therapist teaching six classes per week and serving many students one-on-one. Over my first years of teaching, I had two babies and created a class where I could both teach and be a mother at the same time, hence Postnatal Yoga. As my babies grew, we needed Crawlers and Toddlers, so that evolved. For many years I worked diligently in my lineage of Anusara to achieve their ...

Yoga in Bold

November 08, 2016
Susan Somers-Willett
In almost every Vinyasa or Ashtanga class I take, I hear it: “Bring your elbow to your knee, twist, and hold for five breaths.” When I hear this instruction for Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (revolved side angle pose), I dig deep. I want to do the twist and enjoy all of the detoxifying, lengthening properties this instruction promises. The problem is that, as someone who is both genetically predisposed to a large belly and as a mom who carries extra weight in the chest, arms, and thighs, this pose will never look like it’s shown on the cover of ...

40 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Training

November 08, 2016
Joe Hauger
A couple of years ago, I began one of my Vinyasa classes by announcing, “Everyone grab two blocks!”. A student approached me, replying, “This is a Vinyasa Class, right?” I just smiled and told her not to worry. As with most things, there is some misconception out there as to what a Vinyasa class should be like, who should practice it and what can be used in it. The answer to those questions is simply: It should meet each individual student’s practice where it currently is. Anyone and everyone that wants to can participate. Whatever ...

Conviction Yoga: Bringing Yoga Out of the Studio

November 07, 2016
Jim Freeman
After falling in love with yoga, I enrolled in Dharma Yoga’s teacher training to deepen my practice. I had so many friends and acquaintances that needed access to yoga who found a regular yoga practice to be cost prohibitive, so I decided to teach yoga for free. After surveying different groups that had little to no access to yoga, I noticed that many people want to help troubled youths, first time felons, the homeless, veterans, etc. but NO ONE wants to help those already incarcerated, those that may never be free because of the crimes they ...

Men on the Mat

October 31, 2016
Joe Hauger
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi It was 2010 at Yoga Yoga Westgate and I was about to practice Restorative Yoga with Everitt. As we went around the room saying who we were and how we were one very strong looking man said: “I’m a boxer and I just needed a break from getting punched.” In that one moment he singlehandedly blasted away any stereotype, societal pressures or any other ridiculous reason that keep men off the mat. Men and women live in the same fast-paced, ...

Celebrating the Men of Yoga Yoga this Movember!

October 31, 2016
Each November, communities partner together with the Movember Foundation to advocate for men’s health. What started as a fun way to bring the mustache back into style has evolved into a worldwide campaign to start conversations about prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health in an open and helpful way. This year, Yoga Yoga is getting involved. We realize that yoga isn’t the first thing that comes to many male minds when they think of health and fitness, but we believe that anyone can benefit from a regular practice. Because of ...

What Is Qigong?

October 19, 2016
Stephanie Brail
You might have heard of this mysterious practice from China called "Qigong" (pronounced chee-gong), but what is it? Qigong is the yoga of China; or, perhaps more accurately, yoga is the qigong of India! Why would that be? Qigong comes from two words - qi, meaning energy, and gong, meaning work or effort. Qigong is therefore literally means "energy work." And, since any practice that moves qi (or prana) can be considered "qigong," yoga is, technically speaking, a form of qigong! If you understand the concept of prana from yoga, then you ...

Chair Yoga for Everyone

October 14, 2016
Beth St. Romain
I was first introduced to Chair Yoga on February 10, 2007. I remember, because I was in excruciating pain, and I had no choice; I had to sit down. Well, I didn’t exactly sit; I fell. And, it wasn’t exactly a chair; it was a stack of Mexican blankets. Let me explain. I had been under an incredible amount of stress that year, for lots of reasons: I had two young children, a husband with cancer, financial woes, migraines, and back pain. (I could go on, but you get the picture. You’ve all been there, in some way, shape, or form.) It was a ...

Are You a Gong Head?

September 20, 2016
No doubt about it – the sound of the Gong is addictive. There used to be a time many years ago when I did not play the Gong at the end of every Kundalini Yoga class I taught. I thought it might be a good idea not to get every one all strung out and dependent on a gong relaxation. So every now and then I would play some music and mantra and chill instead. And then I noticed people were twitching, peeking at me during relaxation to see if I might pick up a mallet and then giving me a thumbs up when I turned the music off and struck the ...

Rocket Yoga

September 16, 2016
Gil Perez
What is Rocket Yoga? People ask me as soon as they hear this name.  To keep it simple, I respond, “It’s just yoga!” as Larry Schultz (the creator of this style) used to say.  If you are expecting a more, let’s say, specific answer, I can tell you that this style is rooted in the traditional Ashtanga Yoga but adds a progressive way to it, a non-traditional kind of method, western-style system, breaking the hierarchy.  Quite long right? I tell you, “It’s just yoga,” because sometimes people don’t know what Ashtanga Yoga is in the first place, ...

Celebrating Free Day of Yoga for 24 Hours

August 27, 2016
  Free Day of Yoga (FDOY) has been a Labor Day tradition in the Austin Yoga Community since 1999. Each year, studios and teachers collaborate to provide a diverse array of free classes and events across the city. From Hatha to Children’s Yoga, everyone can find a way to participate in this citywide push for health and wellness through free yoga. This year, Yoga Yoga is delving into new territory by holding a full 24 hours of free yoga! We’ll kick things off at Yoga Yoga Westgate with a Global Soundscapes concert at 8pm on ...

Why You Should Grow Your Own Food

August 11, 2016
Rhonda Green
Rhonda is a local organic gardener who shares her passion for empowering others to grown their own food in an upcoming workshop, “Get Growing! Planting your Fall Garden,” on August 28 at Yoga Yoga Westgate. She is a teacher at Yoga Yoga and shares her love of food and gardening as the Gardening Yogini. Today, we live in a fast-paced world and rely almost exclusively on others for our food. Grocery stores, warehouse and convenience stores provide commercially grown and prepared, non-perishable, pre-made, pre-packaged foods. These foods can ...

Yoga for Prosperity

July 30, 2016
Jill Seigel
Jill Seigel is a teacher with Yoga Yoga who has led several workshops in our YogaPlus+ series. So what do we mean by prosperity? Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, and good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes other factors, such as happiness and health. According to Yogi Bhajan, "A prosperous person has certain characteristics. For that person richness itself is not the basic aim. It happens anyway. A prosperous person does not gather wealth, but the wealth of wealthy. No matter what the ...

Ayurvedic Yoga: The Path to Balance

July 11, 2016
Clarissa Smith
The sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda have been healing mankind for more than 5,000 years, providing a complete holistic system of health and healing. Ayurveda is the science of life, the body, and daily living. Yoga practices help bring balance to all bodily systems, combating stress and stress related disorders. Together, Yoga and Ayurveda offer individuals therapeutic practices to maintain health, happiness, and longevity. Ayurvedic asana is based on the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Asana is selected based on a person’s ...

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