Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Eka Pada Muktasana and Dwi Pada Muktasana

Eka Pada Pavana Muktasana

One footed releasing the winds pose
Restorative Pose

Key Benefits
  • helps low back pain
How to get into Eka Pada Pavana Muktasana
  1. Lay in Supta Tadasana bring one leg towards your chest and wrap your arm around the shin.
  2. Keep the other leg in Supta Tadasana.  Bring both legs to Supta Tadasana and change sides. 
Key Points
  1. Relax the groin of the bent leg as you bring it towards the head and relax the foot. Keep the hip moving away from the head. 
  2. The Supta Tadasana leg is strong and the hamstring is reaching for the ground and the big toe mound is reaching away from the body. 

  • Take the hands under the shin for a knee injury or use a belt

Dwi Pada Pavana Muktasana

Two Footed Releasing the Winds pose
Restorative Pose

Key Benefits
  • helps low back pain
How to get into Dwi Pada Pavana Muktasana
  1. Lay in Supta Tadasana bend the legs and deepen the hip groins into the hip sockets and wrap both arms around the shins, keep as much of the sacrum on the ground as possible. 
Key Points
  1. Relax the groin of the bent leg as you bring it towards the head and relax the feet. 

  • Take the hands under the shin for a knee injury or use a belt

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Gaze to the past and present

Today I did a photo shoot with Paula and it brought back so many memories. Memories of Tuesday morning practices with Paula, practices with my babies, doing other promotional shoots for her, and fun shoots with my kids, which means not all of these poses have perfect alignment, but I chose these for the emotions they evoke. I wanted to put up some of my favorite pictures through the years that have been caught on camera.

Daniel came over and sat on me when I was a few months pregnant with Emma 

Paula had a photographer come out and take some pictures for the studio, we ended up having some fun with some poses.

 Daniel loves to sit on my bolster and pretend it is a Train. 

I loved doing headstand while pregnant. 

Carolyn Belko helped me all throughout my pregnancy with Emma. This was one of my favorite poses to be in.

Emma came out practically knowing what yoga props were. 

 We had a makeshift yoga photo session with the two kids one day. There is nothing more fun than playing with the kids.

 It was a snowy day in DC when we had finally finished shoveling all the snow I decided to measure the snow in my own special way.
 Yoga while pregnant with Michael. One of my best Adho Mukha Svanasana.           
                                                                                                                                                               The kids like to make things, today was a train.

Bringing babies to see Carolyn has always been a highlight of my yoga career. I will miss it.

 Yoga isn't always this cute, but when it is you have to have a picture. 

 This is the first time I have been able to do this pose in years. I was very excited to have this pose back in my sequencing!
The kids often play with me as they wait for their dad and my yoga class to start!

Emma's behind the scenes today!

Monday, October 16, 2017



Hero's pose
Seated pose

Key Benefits
  • cures rheumatic pains in knees
  • relieves gout
  • helps achieve shapely arches, ideal for pain in feet, calves and feel for calcaneal spurs and coldness in feet
  • good for those who work in water or stand for hours on feet and inflammation of blood vessels
  • done with ease on cycle
  • can be done immediately after food and will relieve heaviness in stomach
How to get into Virasana
  1. Kneel on floor knees together feet just wider than hip distance lean forward and place head on floor. 
  2. Take your fingers behind your knees and with your fingers move your calf muscle down your leg towards your ankle and out towards your outer leg as you sit back between your feet. 
Key Points

  1. Press all ten toes, the top of the feet, and the shins into the floor as you extend your torso towards the ceiling. 
  2. Lengthen your thighs towards your knees and move your tailbone into the body. 
  3. Release the groins down and extend the arms towards the knees
  4. Open the chest and move the shoulders away from the ears.  
  5. Look forward and keep the back of the head in line with the sacrum. 

  • Place a blanket under the buttocks in between your feet lifting the sit bones higher
  • turn feet inwards in weight can't be placed on ankles and metatarsals
Virasana Cycle

Parvatasana in Virasana

1. Interlace the fingers in Baddhanguliasana and bring the arms up over the head pressing the finger mounds towards the ceiling and bringing the thumb and pinkies towards the ground. 
2. Maintain weight in the sit bones and the tailbone in the body as you extend from the inner arm through the arms to the wrist and rotate the outer arm in. 
3. Keep the shoulders away from the ear and lift the sternum. Release and change the interlock. 

Twist in Virasana

1. Take the left hand to the right thigh and the right hand behind the right hip, press into the shins and sit bones, lift the torso and turn.
2. Rotate the ribs from the left towards the right letting the head follow as you lift the sternum. Release and change sides

Adho Mukha Virasana

1. For an easier pose, take the knees apart and bring the toes together. For a more advanced pose keep the feet where they are and just bring the knees apart.
2. From the front of the hip crease bend for
ward keeping the hips on the heels and walk the hands forward till the head rests on the ground or a brick keeping the hips on the heels.
3. Press into the hands so weight stays in the heels and rotate the inner arms out.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Exciting News!

Two great announcements!

First I will be holding a free monthly intro to yoga class at Yoga Space on a Saturday. Time and which Saturday is yet to be determined. I will update when we set the class on the schedule.

Secondly, I am going to start creating 30 min Iyengar level 1 and level 2 sequences that you can do from home.

I know how hard it can be to leave your house, especially if you have little kids. I know how hard it can be to pay for a weekly yoga class, especially if you have to pay for a babysitter. I know how frustrating it can be if the only yoga you can take is from a yoga teacher you don't know because that is who teaches at your gym.

I know you want to do yoga.

I know the benefits of yoga. I have read studies, I have witnessed its effects in my life, and I have seen it change others. I want to bring yoga to you.

So starting soon you will grab your mat, maybe a yoga block or two and come do yoga with me!

Until then, enjoy these videos taken by my son of standing poses level 1 and level 2 sequences will contain.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Level 1 vs Level 2

Tues nights starting Oct 10th I will be teaching a Level 1 and a Level 2. I want to explain the differences of the classes so you can see which class is best for you.

I teach both classes in progressive manner so each week builds on the previous week, linking what you are learning throughout the month. Allowing you to perfect new poses and really focus on certain aspects of your yoga practice.

In Level 1 each week the emphasis is on standing poses, as these are the foundation of all of our yoga practice for the rest of our lives. Later in the year we start to incorporate the same schedule as Level 2.

In Level 2 each week of the month has a focus
Week 1- Standing poses
Week 2- Forward bends/ abdominal
Week 3- Back bends/ abdominal
Week 4- Restorative

Level 1- Brand new beginners, those coming back, those with injuries

  • basic standing poses, balancing, and forward extensions 
  • seated poses
  • introduction to forward bends
  • introduction to backbends
  • inversions
    • shoulder stand sequence
    • restorative inversions
  • twists
  • restorative
    • learn how to relax your body at home, or on your cycle
Level 2- those who can hold shoulder stand for around 5 min

  • more advanced standing poses
    • twisted and balancing poses
  • seated poses
  • forward bends
  • introduction to abdominals
  • back bends- including
    • camel pose
    • back bend in the chair 
  • inversions.
    • headstand
    • expanding shoulder stand sequence 
  • more advanced twists
  • restorative- continuation of level 1

Children's yoga and Katie's Karate Class

Once a month I get to teach a children's yoga class as part of an art cooperative program. The class is small, but fun to do. I have to be creative in how I teach and make sure I am presenting my material in almost a non yogic way, as I know some parents have concerns about yoga. So all poses are talked about in Animal, shapes, nature names. We count while we hold poses, and just as we do in my adult classes we have a focus for the class, but there is nothing to stop us from throwing in a few back bends to our standing pose class. :)

I want to teach more children yoga classes but they are hard to teach with my little ones in the way, hopefully as the kids get older I will be able to teach more of them.

katies-karate-class coverI was approached this week about writing a review about a new children's yoga book. I LOVE children's yoga books. I think I have 4 or 5 in my house. I am very picky, I want the story to flow about yoga, and I want to see poses that make a good sequence that my family can practice. I also want pictures that show poses accurately.

I know, I am easy to please right? Well this book was very cute.

I was a little skeptical at first, ok very skeptical at how the Karate and yoga would work together. To me Yoga is yoga. Not pilates, not power yoga, not hot yoga. But the story was very well written and very cute. It tells of a little girl who is scared to start something new, and she uses the comfort of her yoga to give her the confidence to try it.

There are not many poses shown, so I would not buy this book for a sequencing book, but rather a book that shows how yoga can influence other aspects of our lives. The few poses that are included are basic, and the pictures are appropriate.

Overall I would not buy this book myself, as it is not what I am looking for in a yoga book, but it is a really cute book that fills other needs.