Home » Blog » Poses

Category: Poses

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 95 with Anthony Davis – Not Everyone Enjoys Chaturanga

Today on the show Anthony Davis and I chat about some postures that might need a bit more attention and warm up before getting into them. Anthony left a comment about very common poses on a yoga teacher thread that really resonated with me and it was super cool to have him on to talk about it. Listen in to why leaving chaturanga out in your yoga class could be a good idea, because somebody in your yoga class doing chaturanga is not enjoying them.

Anthony is studying to be a Doctor of Chiropractic, emphasizing in Sports Medicine. He was originally drawn to yoga during battles with alcoholism and drug addiction, when his sister dragged him to a hot power vinyasa class despite his reluctance due to withdrawal symptoms. This class totally transformed him, and for the first time in years a healthy and positive relationship to his own body was formed. Simple tools like breathing and meditation combined with intentional movement and a commitment to personal health and growth can radically transform anyone’s life. Yoga works if you work it. 
 
Since beginning a yoga practice in 2009, Anthony has completed over 700 hours of yoga teacher training, become certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Certified Personal Trainer with a Corrective Exercise Specialization. He has also taken many immersive workshops with world class teachers like David Swenson, Ana Forrest, and Rod Stryker, and been accepted to the Doctor of Chiropractic program at NWHSU where he will complete a Master’s in Exercise Science while getting his Doctorate. Education is the best thing one can do to enhance one’s own power and mastery of life. Giving it back through teaching is the practice of karma yoga which drives him. 
 
Want more awesome stuff from Anthony? Check out the links below!!
 
YouTube Channel
Instagram: @shapeshiftwellness
Facebook Page

Special thanks to Anthony for joining me on the show. Until next time!

Meet Paulina Plascencia, Kula Yoga Teacher And Hibiscus Taco Lover!

What type of yoga do you like to practice?

Vinyasa

Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

Kula Yoga

What do you like the most about practicing there?

The students, the instructors, the space. You can feel the good vibes when you walk in the door. The space feels welcoming, everyone is friendly. We are like family.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

It’s usually with the reverse camera on my iPhone on video mode, lol. I practice yoga off the mat on the daily, I work in the medical field and patients can be- not very patient. They should be called ‘impatient’-just saying. 
However, because I practice yoga I have learned to be mindful and compassionate. I learned to flip the negative to a positive and it works most of the time. I practice the mantra “think kind thoughts of yourself, and of others. Speak kind words of yourself and to others & have kind actions towards yourself and onto others”.

The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?

I don’t spend enough time with my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) as I should. I think if the world ended tomorrow I would have a family reunion and spend my last night with them, reminicing on old times, sharing good laughs, tears and love.

What was your first experience with yoga?

Definitely NOT what I was expecting. Previously to trying yoga for the first time I was an avid gym goer. I was always at the gym 2-3 hours a day, sometimes. I enjoyed lifting weights, doing cycle classes, turbo kick, HIIT. I did it all! When I went to my first yoga class, I was so shocked that I couldn’t touch my toes, I couldn’t lower and hold my body weight in what is called a chaturanga, without flaring my elbows. I most definitely could not sit my hips to my heels in a “resting pose” called child’s pose. I believe I got a 10 day pass- I only went 2-3 times then I came to the conclusion that yoga was not for me. I went back to the gym, back to my comfort zone. Back to where I was great at everything I signed up to do. Fast forward a year later I went back to this yoga studio and I fell in love with Yoga! I couldn’t stop, I learned so much about myself. I even learned- that looking back to when I first went to yoga, my ego was the one that stopped me from wanting to return. My ego didn’t like the feeling of not being good at yoga. It was difficult to see how everyone else around me moved majestically on their yoga mats and I couldn’t even touch my toes. I have now been practicing yoga for 3 years, going on 4 in October and I love it. I am a yoga instructor, but most importantly I will forever be a yoga student.

What is your favorite food?

Jackfruit Birria Tamales & Hibiscus Tacos & COFFEE!!!

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

Kasyapasana Lotus plank! this pose is so awsome! I think it’s my favorite pose.

If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh man, the Himalayas in India.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?

I would ask them what is it exactly that is stopping you? Most people respond that they don’t do yoga because they are not flexible. If this is your reason: You are not going to gain flexibility by not coming to yoga. Did you know that you stop aging when you start yoga? It’s true. You gain mobility in muscles, tendons, ligaments that we usually don’t move. You gain strength, balance and you so much about your self. What do you have to lose? If money is an issue Kula Yoga has a great deal for new students: 2 weeks of yoga for $20.00. If you walk by the yoga studio and grab a flyer you get $5.00 off making that 2 weeks of yoga for $15.00. It cant get any better than that! oh wait yes it can; Yogi-Tones & I teach there.

What music are you jamming to right now?

Ituana– You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Where else can we find you?

IG @_pow__pow_
Facebook
yoga alliance
FiitZ

Anything else you would like to add?

I currently teach at Kula Yoga on Wednesday #PauHour at 7:00pm. 
Yoga is not a competition otherwise, we would be in the Olympics. 
Yoga is a self practice, practice not perfect!

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 86 – An Evening With The Kula Yoga Fam!

Love and positive vibes is abundant when you hang with the Kula Yoga Family! Always a good time when we get together! This time I was able to record it so you could hear how great it is to vibe higher with the awesome people. Find your community and love them! Still looking for a community?! Kula is on 3rd Avenue in downtown Chula Vista. Come check us out, take a yoga class and soak in the good vibes!!

This episode we get into how loud you have to speak when teaching yoga and how your mom voice can help, Darek breaks down how to be an insta yogi when using peacock pose. Teaching tree pose the right way, baby grasshopper, giving que’s in Polish, helping beginners, how to say yoga in Spanish and much much more!! Listen in and enjoy your day!

Follow everybody on Instagram because they always have fun yoga stuff to follow along with and enjoy!

Darek Oktaba The Sun Watcher

Sonia with Upright Citizen

Kula Yoga SD

Paulina aka Pow Pow

After you follow them on insta, check them on facebook or drop in and take a class from one us!!

Facebook page link

Kula Yoga Website

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

Special thanks to the entire Kula Yoga Family for joining me this week. Until next time!

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 77 With Amina Taha – Trust Your Journey

This episode features Amina Taha and she is awesome! We chat about teaching yoga of course but also how a direct message on Instagram can lead to business for you as a teacher, because it’s exactly what happened to Amina.
 
With a background in fine arts, fashion and philosophy, Amina’s approach to yoga is one that honors the harmony between the bodily movements in asana and the mind. After completing her masters in fashion design in New York, Amina relocated to Dubai at the age of 27 and attended a yoga class out of curiosity. Ever since then, she was drawn to how you can unlock layers of tension in your body through yoga and through freeing your mind.
 
Amina is constantly studying techniques, anatomy; exploring yoga fully, through her own practice and teachings of others. In June 2016, Amina has completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at YogaWorks, New York City led by Chrissy Carter. In July 2017, Amina obtained her 500 hour teaching certification under Jared McCann at Lighthouse Yoga School. Amina believes that precise alignment and integrity in technique are integral for a lifelong asana practice, and encourages the cultivation of sensitivity and awareness to the body using the breath. Amina’s classes, privates and workshops are dedicated to opening the heart, strengthening and freeing the body from tension in order to be free in its infinite possibilities of movement without limitation.
 
Find more from Amina @aminatahayoga.com
IG – @aminahtaha

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

Special thanks to Amina for joining me this week. Until next time!

 

 

Yogi Tones Featured Teacher – Rosie Christian

What type of yoga do you teach?

Vinysasa

Do you teach at a studio?

Yes

Yes? Which studio/s?

Samadhi Center for Yoga

Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

Samadhi or outside

What do you like the most about practicing there?

I love practicing at Samadhi because it feels like home to me. The ambiance is so warm and welcoming. At Samadhi I can truly rediscover and be myself.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

I try to constantly remember that we are all one.

The world ends tomorrow. What will you eat tonight?

I’d still eat a healthy meal. That is when I truly feel my best. My body is my temple and it should be treated as one. I would eat a ton of mixed veggies, a protein, and some tea before bed. 🙂

What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?

My first time teaching yoga was a surreal experience. I was hired to teach yoga in the jungles of Costa Rica to volunteers from all over the world.

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

Infinity Pose

What inspires you to teach yoga?

I want to bring people to heal and love.

If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would love to teach to people who need yoga the most anywhere in the world. People who would not receive yoga teachings otherwise.

What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?

I once walked into my EVENING yoga class welcoming everyone with a huge, “Good MORNING, everyone!”

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?

AnyBODY can practice yoga, male, female, toe-toucher or not. Yoga is truly for anyone and if you’re scared or intimidated, just take a leap of faith…you will be glad you did.

What music are you jamming to right now?

Twiddle. Such positive music!

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?

It is an incredibly rewarding feeling when people who have been reached by my offerings connect with me later and tell me how much their lives have been changed because of yoga. My favorite rewarding experience was when a friend reached out to me 2 years after I taught him his first yoga class. He said, “I may have forgotten the yoga poses you taught that class but I will never forget your words that help me in my most trying times in life, ‘If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.’”

Where else can we find you?

My Facebook page is Root with Rosie Yoga and Nutrition

Visit my website: rootwithrosie.com

Anything else you would like to add?

My goal in life is to teach people how to live happy and healthy lives through Yoga and Nutrition. In addition to being a Yoga Instructor, I am also a Nutrition Therapist and I have found that the two work very well together in order to reach optimal health.

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 62 With Fanny Spencer – Remove The EGO

Fanny Spencer began practicing yoga six years ago, and yoga slowly revealed more than a physical activity to her, but a way of life. Yoga enabled her to calm her mind and connect with her body and the people around her. In moments when she felt most confused, uncertain or lost, returning to her mat always brings clarity. In a pursuit to deepen her practice, she completed a 200 hour Vinyasa Flow teacher training with the greats Amanda Winkler and Taryn Vander Hoop at Om Factory New York.

Find more from Fanny on Instagram @curlie_flow

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

Special thanks to Fanny for joining me this week. Until next time!

Featured Yogi – Briana Randall

Are you a yoga teacher?

Yes

Where do you teach?

Yoga General – Decatur, GA / Active Sol Yoga – Atlanta, GA

Favorite place to practice yoga?

Active Sol Yoga

What do you like the most about practicing there?

The sense of community. Over the 2 years I’ve been practicing there I’ve come to know most of the instructors and practitioners pretty well. The teachers are both knowledgeable and down to earth, and everyone is there to support each others’ practices both on and off the mat. During my time there I’ve really been able to build an amazing support system that goes way beyond asana.

If you could roll out your yoga mat anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Bali looks absolutely beautiful!

What was your first experience with yoga?

I was introduced to it in 2014 by the guy I was dating at the time and practiced a little with him, but in 2015 I really committed to a daily practice by purchasing Travis Eliot’s Ultimate Yogi DVDs and participating in his 108 day challenge. From there I built a daily practice and began trying different studios and styles of yoga.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

Yoga is so much more than physical. I try to take the inward focus, sense of calm, and teachings that I get from my asana and meditation practices and apply them to the real world when life really starts to get challenging: when I’m stuck in terrible 5 o’clock traffic, when one of my clients just isn’t ready to put in the work, when the entire day/week/world seems to be falling down around me I cultivate that focus and put it to use.

The world ends tomorrow. What will you eat tonight?

waffles and tempeh bacon

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

padmasana

What inspires you to practice yoga?

The idea that the best is yet to come. Seeing my progress over the last 3 years has been amazing! Knowing that I’ve been able to take this practice, these physical postures and use that awareness to pull me out of the depths of the worse depression I’ve ever known. It drives me. Accomplishing physical poses will never not feel fantastic, but knowing that I’ve put in the work and commitment to making my life better is truly inspiring. Sometimes you have to be your own savior.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about trying yoga?

Just hop in there! There is something for everyone in the practice. Try different studios and different styles of yoga, each one has something beautiful to offer. And the sooner you let go of preconceived notions of how you’re supposed to look or your level of flexibility etc., the sooner you can unlock a whole new world of physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

What music are you jamming to right now?

The King Arthur: Legend of the Sword soundtrack! And I’ve recently discovered Sofi Tukker and I’m quite smitten

Where can we find more from you?

You can check out my website at brirandallfitness.work and of course find me on Instagram randallbriana

Featured Yogi – Amanda Limon

Are you a yoga teacher?

Yes

Where do you teach?

Bloom Yoga in Ranch San Diego

Favorite place to practice yoga?

Buddhi Yoga

What was your first experience with yoga?

I had practiced on my own but my first real yoga class was a week before my teacher training. I figure I had to go to a real class before I went into teacher training. I can’t remember my first experience but I do remember that first class. I felt amazing after and was excited to learn. Never thought I would teach yoga.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

I found yoga to help with stress so I use a lot of my life practice just being calm and relaxed. Instead of letting things bother me right away and getting angry, I can relax and just know I don’t have to give a shit all the time.

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

Eka pada koundinyasana (I had to Google that)

The world ends tomorrow. What will you eat tonight?

I never pick the food to eat.

If you could roll out your yoga mat anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Anywhere green with a waterfall. Must have a waterfall.

What inspires you to practice yoga?

Instagram inspires me. Silly as it sounds, I follow a lot of inspiring people and seeing their creativity make me way to get down and flow.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about trying yoga?

I wish I would of found it earlier, save me from heartache and pain. I’d give anything to get back the years I spent too stressed out to enjoy. But then again stress is what causes grey hair early and that’s trendy right now, choices my friend…choices

What music are you jamming to right now?

Indie house music

Where can we find more from you?

Amandalimonyoga.com

 

The Chaturanga Debacle

 Posted on by 

Let me first say, I absolutely invite arguments. Not on the reg, mind you. But on this topic, oh hell yes. I’ve been teaching for over eleven years. So, I’m experienced, but not nearly as much as many others. I seek the knowledge, perspective, and wisdom of those who’ve been instructing longer and better. I enjoy the fresh eyes and ideas of new teachers as well. We all have something to offer. We arrive at opinions a number of ways:

  1. Experience
  2. Hearing something from a trusted source and accepting the content as true.
  3. Research. Making sure we have all the facts necessary to develop an informed opinion.
  4. Listening to analysis of a differing opinion from our own and weighing that with what we currently believe.

I never questioned teaching chaturanga. It’s a staple pose in vinyasa, and if done CORRECTLY, it offers great strengthening opportunities for the triceps and core. It’s also a potentially smooth way to travel into upward facing dog.

I went to Jason Crandell’s workshop in Cleveland, Ohio in November of 2016. That was merely six months ago. To my surprise, I STILL was not doing Chaturanga properly. Jason’s excellent assistant, Mike (dammit, shoulda learned his last name) helped me pull my ribs in toward my lumbar spine and keep them there as I moved through. Game changer. So much harder, and way more effective. I may not be the most gifted chick on the planet at asana, but I ain’t bad. My point is: After teaching for over a decade, and years of practice before that, I still really didn’t get it. Most don’t. Very few do.

So, I came back to Columbus, and began breaking it down every class. I had students doing it on their shins, to which there was quite a bit of resistance. And those who got it were amazed at how hard chaturanga is when done properly, and old habits holding them back were dismissed. And you know what? Almost everyone went right back to doing it the old way because it was easier and what they were used to.

This begs the question, Is a posture useful if so few practitioners are willing to do it correctly, or even able to do it properly? Is it the responsibility of the student to be disciplined or is it more the teacher’s job to insist on it? Is it fine to continue to offer it and witness almost every student doing it wrong and just not worry about it? And how about just not teaching that pose? Huh? What about that opinion? It’s one posture, and it’s heavily discussed for all of the reasons I’ve listed. Are there other ways to get the benefits that chaturanga can potentially offer? Yes, the answer is very much a yes.

Once upon a time, every yoga pose was invented by someone. They didn’t exist until they did. And new poses are made up all the time. I love inventing poses, don’t you? Just because a yoga posture has prevailed doesn’t mean we have to continue to execute it.

Doug Keller wrote an excellent piece for Yoga International titled, ‘How to Avoid Shoulder Injuries in Chaturanga and Plank.’ You can read it here.

The main take away is this quote from Keller’s article, “If your shoulders are incorrectly positioned in weight-bearing poses like chaturanga dandasana, the tendons attaching the biceps to the fronts of the arm bones can be strained and may begin to tear.”   Does that scare you? It should. It really should.

Naysayers will retort that the answer is not to avoid the pose, but to execute it correctly. Well no shit! But considering most people can’t, and those who can often won’t, I’ve landed on basically not teaching this pose anymore, not unless the class is on their shins, and we break it down slowly. This also gives me time to offer several adjustments. Most vinyasa classes offer chaturanga at least fifteen times per class. I’ve counted several times, and this is a fair number. That’s fifteen times a student can do the pose incorrectly, greatly increasing the odds of causing a shoulder issue.

So how to strengthen the triceps? There are many ways, and my favorite is to do isometric, non-weight bearing work. Engage the triceps by wrapping the muscles around bones as tightly as you can. You can do this in many postures. Try this sequence: Warrior one, with your arms slightly in front of your face. Imagine you are holding a beach ball (which I now refer to as ‘beach-ball arms). Move into Warrior three, same arms, and land in high crescent lunge, SAME arms. The way I see most students perform chaturanga doesn’t work their triceps anyway, so the pose basically only functions as a travel method into upward facing dog. Moving from plank into up dog is a much better choice if the arm and core strength are not yet present to support chaturanga. Even having the strength to fully support plank requires quite a bit of muscle. It’s the willingness to go back to eventually move forward that can eventually propel a student to a place where chaturanga can be achieved. That, and an attitude of do it right or don’t do it.

Yoga can and will heal. But it has to be approached with the respect anything super powerful deserves.

If you have a comment or question about this article, ask it below or in the forum

This was written by Lara Falberg from iworkbarefoot.com

 

Meet Lara Falberg, yoga teacher, novelist, and founder of iworkbarefoot.com, a yoga teaching resource offering verbal cues, mini sequences, class themes, and advice if you want some. She’s been teaching since 2006, and is constantly struck by how our lens of the practice and the teaching of it changes so constantly. Read her novel about the yoga teacher training experience, Yoga Train, or if that’s too big of a commitment, and articles are more your jam, she’s written a fair amount of those too.