Posts tagged ‘Evening’

Episode 55: Relax Deeply Restorative

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This is a 60 minute restorative practice. For this class we use many props, including a bolster, blankets, two blocks, and a strap. If you do not have all of these props, you can do your best with what you have. See this post for how to fold three yoga blankets in order to create a bolster.

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Epsiode 54: Yoga Nidra Meditation

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Back by popular demand, it’s another yoga nidra class. In this 20 minute class, you will be guided through a scan of the body while resting in savasana. This form of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety, to help those who suffer from a scattered mind, and to heal insomnia.  A focus will be placed on specific parts of the body throughout the meditation allowing the mind to concentrate on the sensations that are present. Do this class on its own for a break in your day, or as an addition at the end of an active class.

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Episode 53: Reaching, Ribs, and Relaxation

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photo credit Tiffany Sankary

This is a live class from a summer intensive taught in July of 2016. Class begins with developmental movement warm-ups focused on waking up the side body. This warm up prepares you for the active asanas that are done in the last half of class.

Just under two hours, you may need to carve out some time on a Saturday afternoon for this one. The first hour of this class could be done alone as a gentle restorative class to wake up the torso.

Props needed: 1-2 blankets, 2 blocks

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Episode 49: Undo your desk job shoulders!


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When something stressful is happening in our lives the shoulders tend to be a common place where we hold tension in the body. Tense muscles, if ignored can lead to injury later on. This tense feeling in the shoulders can even start to creep up towards the ears, give us tension headaches, and keep us from having a healthy and restful night of sleep.

Sitting for hours over a keyboard, which we are all too familiar with, can contribute to tightness in the hips, legs, neck, shoulders, and back. This creates an unhealthy posture that you take with you when you leave your office for the day, in which the back and shoulders hunch down and the neck protrudes the head forward. The spine thus becomes misaligned when the body is in such a stagnate position.

In this short class, we will move through basic poses that target areas of tension which can be an effective antidote to many desk job ailments and general stress build up in the shoulders. This is meant to be a class that you could use if you only have a short amount of time, but need a quick break from sitting at your desk. Or, if you come home from work and you need a little pick me up, this class will energize those stagnate tight areas. As an added bonus, yoga can have powerful effects on the mind and may help address the damaging stress of a high-pressure job by helping to calm the mind and quiet racing thought patterns.

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Episode 45: Discovering and Softening Into Boundaries

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In this 90 minute class, I build upon some of the material that I will be exploring during my March retreat. The class will grow from a seated meditation into some longer yin style poses and eventually towards more challenging asanas. Take this class as a way to discover your limits, and soften your mental and physical boundaries. Your hips and lower back will thank you, and you will get a tiny glimpse of what I have planned for the retreat.

You will need a block, a strap, and a wall to place the short end of your mat.

A large part of the art and skill in a yoga practice is the ability to sense how far one can move in a stretch. If there is no challenge in a pose, no intensity or stretch, then there will be little possibility for opening. The opposite approach of going too far in a pose, increases the possibility for pain and injury to occur. Somewhere between these two places is a happy middle ground. It is possible to find a degree of stretch that is in balance. Where there is a challenge without pain. Where there is vigor without strain.

Experiencing this balance or middle ground relies on a high degree of sensitivity. This place in the stretch just before pain, but not pain itself, could be referred to as a your boundary. With heightened sensitivity, the boundary can soften and you will be able to feel more space in your poses. Pain tells you where the limits of your physical conditioning lie. The length of your stay is determined by your endurance limit, while your interest in a pose is a function of your attention.

Take this class as a way to play with all of these boundaries: endurance, strength, stretch, and mental attention. As you “play the edges of the boundaries”, your skill in yoga has little to do with your degree of flexibility. Rather it is a function of how sensitive you play with these limits.

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Episode 42: Get out of your chair! 45 minutes for travelers and people who sit a lot.

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Take this podcast with you when you travel. Bring it into your hotel room or even do it in the airport. It’s another great class if you have been sitting at your desk all day. Stand up, lie down, twist and move things into a different shape!!!

Traveling, especially by air, can be very hard on the body. It wreaks havoc on our posture and the our mental state. You may feel spacey, anxious, or generally unsettled when you are traveling. This class will ground your energy, helping you to feel awake, rested, open and ready to enjoy the rest of your day and your new destination.

As you do this practice, cultivate a slow, deep and even breath. On slow inhalations focus on bringing space and life back into the body and on long exhalations focus on a sense of grounded steadiness.

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Episode 34: A 35 minute podcast for when “there is just not enough time” … Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for you! Now go practice some yoga! It’s a short practice. No excuses!

Like the podcasts? Want to keep them coming? Please consider donating to support the costs of creating these classes for you! Or just press the play button below to start the class for free!

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Episode 26: Yoga for Spring Allergies, Head Colds, or Too Tight Shoulders! (hatha style)

This class is designed to help if you are someone who has seasonal allergies during this time of year when all the beautiful flowers start to come into bloom. There are actually three separate times of year when seasonal allergies tend to occur: spring (tree pollen), summer (grass pollen), and early fall (ragweed pollen), so feel free to use this class whenever you need it. This will also be a useful class if you have a common head cold, if your shoulders need some stretching, or if you need a nice way to calm down in the evening.

Here are some class notes to help with unfamiliar poses and prop usage:

Shoulder opener with blocks:

We do move into shoulderstand at the end of class. I highly recommend you practice shoulderstand with a folded blanket under your shoulders to avoid any compression into your fragile cervical spine or pressing your neck into the floor. Yoga Journal has a perfect picture of salamba sarvangasana with a blanket here if you need an image.

Directions to get into Salamba Sarvangasana (shoudlerstand): Place a neatly folded blanket with about an inch of thickness at the middle of your mat. You will eventually put your shoulders on the smooth edge of the fold, but first take the end of your mat and fold it over to the smooth fold of the blanket so that you have all sticky surfaces. Lie down, with your shoulders about an inch down from the end of the mat and blanket. Your head should be off the blanket and on the part of the mat that is not elevated; when you touch your shoulders, you should feel that they are lifted about an inch off the floor resting on the blanket, while your neck should not be touching anything. There should be a lot of space between your neck and the floor. Bend your knees and place your arms along the sides of your body. Lift your knees toward your head and beyond to lift your hips. As your hips move higher, place your hands with fingers pointing towards your feet at your mid-back. With bent knees, shimmy your shoulder blades toward each other and narrow off the space between your elbows. Once your hips are directly above your shoulders, begin to lengthen your legs towards the ceiling. The higher your legs lift, the more you may want to walk your hands down your back — towards the ground and open your shoulders. Take your gaze to your toes, your breathing belly, or close your eyes.

Final Restorative pose:


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Episode 20: Imagery #1 Domes

This is a 20 minute podcast with very few poses. It is the first in a series I will be doing that uses imagery to help soften tension and bring space and awareness into the body. The focus of this class is mainly on breathing, the pelvis, awareness in the spine, and feeling the expanse from head to toe. If you are feeling extra wound up today, this podcast could be a nice way to start a longer practice or a way to simply chill out and release some aggression you may be holding in the body.

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Episode 19: 1 hour Hatha class for a steady mind and a calm body.

This class is a great way to end a long day of work or to do before bedtime.

Here is a sampling from Ted’s Yoga Journal about this podcast:

“The first five minutes were bliss.  I laid down on a long rolled up blanket to support my spine and placed my hands on my ample stomach to feel it rise and fall as we deepened our breath.  Little did I know the challenging poses that awaited me.  My shoulders were sore from the day before.

Lots of high plank, lots of downward facing dog.  My downward dog is improving though.  It’s amazing how quickly one’s muscle memory clicks back into place after a long time out of practice.  The highlight of this practice was the pigeon pose.  I LOVE PIGEON.  I work on my feet, so my lower back gets sore and tight all the time.  Pigeon always helps ease the tension.  Yay pigeon! When I finally finished the practice, my (mom’s) yoga mat was damp with sweat.  Despite my struggle, I will say that my mind was steady and my body was calm.  It’s intense, but Sarah was right, great to do right before bed.  I slept like a baby.”

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