Sunday, June 19, 2016

Restorative Yoga Poses for Times of Tragedy

Today was the one week anniversary of the tragedy in Orlando. It has been a heavy, yet uplifting week in the studio as our staff and students have come together to practice. The word "Yoga" translates to "union", and it is our honor serve as a place for people to unify, breathe, and become rooted in their bodies. In this post you will find a few restorative yoga poses to use at home to help ground yourself during difficult times as you practice principles such as openness, breath, and presence, which have their place both on and off the mat.

1. Half Pigeon

Half Pigeon is a pose that is often dreaded because it can be uncomfortable. Half Pigeon is a pose that can be conquered, and even enjoyed, by focusing on breath. If Half Pigeon is a pose that causes your mind to race and your body to panic, focus on breathing in and out and deeply as possible, and imagine that energy channeling into where you're feeling uncomfortable. In Yogic tradition, hip opening poses are believed to birth new ideas and release pent up emotions, especially those related to control in our lives. Practice Half Pigeon and allow your body to melt into discomfort, breathe, and let go of control.

Option 2:

Try practicing Half Pigeon using the wall for some variety!

2. Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana is a subtle heart-opener, which is a type of post that encourages patience, compassion, and honesty. Because it is a supported position, it allows for full relaxation which destresses and lowers your heart rate. This is a pose that encourages the body to let go and encourages a subtle stretch in the hips and inner thighs. Spending anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes in this pose is like hitting a "reset" button.

3. Supine Twist

A favorite pose to practice just after Supported Supta Baddha Konasana is the Supine Twist. Placing a bolster or pillow between the knees will make this post even more restorative. Supine Twist is another pose that allows the body to relax and let go, while practicing calm and relaxed breathing. This is a pose that will help you learn how to "be" as you quiet your mind, release the lower back, open the shoulders, and elongate the spinal muscles.

We hope to see you in the studio soon! For class times and upcoming workshops, please visit our website.


Friday, June 10, 2016

New Teacher Alert: Meet Dana Kraft!

Meet Dana Kraft!  

She is our newest instructor as Namaste Highland Park and we couldn’t be more thrilled to call her a part of our team. We first met Dana two years ago when she did a workshop at our studio, and we are honored to have her teaching in our community regularly.

While Dana earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan and used to be an actress/professional singer, Dana’s journey in teaching first began in a high school classroom.  After finding herself at a crossroads in her life, she attended a yoga retreat in Costa Rica during her summer break. After her first class on the beach with Marco Rojas, she found her calling: teaching yoga. She maintains the perspective that our yoga practice parallels the obstacles faced in our daily lives, that by breathing through challenges on our mat, we can learn overcome them off the mat. She strives for her students to feel empowered, capable of working through discomfort, and motivated to grow in their practice as well as their lives. Dana’s personal practice currently includes meditation and asana, and she is eager to learn more about physical therapy to help other’s maintain a strong and healthy practice as they age.

Dana is currently teaching the following classes:
Wednesday, 4:30-6:00pm - Vinyasa: Advanced
Wednesday, 8:00-9:15pm - Vinyasa: Candlelight

Upcoming events with Dana:
August – Four Week Series: Yoga in Pregnancy
October – Yoga 108: 200 Hours of Mind, Body, & Spirit