TGIF yogis!  So this week at the studio was all about Grasshopper pose (also known as Dragonfly or Revolved Flying Pigeon).  It came up in every class I took in many forms: full grasshopper, baby grasshopper, and everything in between.  The same day I taught this pose in my Tues/Thurs early AM classes, I took another class revolving around this pose a few hours later.  It must be in the air (or all our teachers have been taking each other’s classes) ;)

We’ve actually briefly visited this pose before in a fun pose friday post over a year ago.  Check out the ah-mazing Krista Block demoing: http://extendyoga/2013/fun-pose-friday-grasshopper/.

Why write about the same pose twice?  Well, because why not? :)  and mainly because last year I couldn’t do it.  Surprise!  This year, I can!  It’s pretty impressive how much our practice can evolve and how much we can learn in a year’s time… same goes for off our mats, right?

arlet grasshopper

Last time we didn’t real break this pose down, so here we go…

  • step 1: Ground down in your right foot, cross your left foot just above the right knee- FLEX the left foot and sit back (think Utkatasana).  Bring the weight onto your right heal, bring the hands into prayer at the center of your chest.  Stay here for 5 breaths.
  • step 2: Slowly twist to the right, reaching your left elbow to the sole/center of your left foot.  Push the elbow (or upper arm if you can- eventually the arm pit!) into the foot as you press the palms together to deepen the twist. Start to sit lower and bend the right knee even more.  Only move onto step 3 if and only if you can get the sole of the foot above the elbow.  If you can’t get deep enough into the twist and work the foot up the arm, you won’t have anything to balance on.
rachel brathen

photo courtesy of: Rachel Brathen of Rachel Brathen Lifestyle

  • step 3: Here comes the fun part!  Keep sinking deeper into your right leg until you’re close enough to place your hands, shoulder-width apart, on the ground (foot still on upper arm/above elbow).  Look past your fingers and start to lean your weight forward, finding your Chaturanga arms– creating a shelf for you to literally stand on.  
  • step 4: Keep bending the elbows and standing on your left arm.  Start to lift the right leg up off the ground and in towards your booty.  You might stay here or if you feel balanced and your left foot is not sliding down towards your elbow,  keep looking forward and extend the right leg straight. note: in the photo above, Rachel starts with the gaze forward and then moves it towards the right toes– this is option too!  Once you’ve got the pose and feel confident in it, the gaze will follow.

Got it?– Now what?  At first you’ll probably rest the outer part of your right thigh on your arm (on your chatarunga shelf).  With practice and as you gain more strength, you can work up to a fully straight leg hovering above the elbow.

Don’t get discouraged if you fall out (or bust your leg!).  This is a great pose that has lots of steps and variations– so there is plenty of work to be done before moving onto the next part and eventually the full pose.

Failed attempts (this is ego getting in the way actually– WHY did I HAVE to try in the flower pot?!#@%$%):

grasshopper 2

Aftermath + a busted, bloody leg:

grasshppper fail

 

 

Check out some more tips on getting prepared for and into this pose via master yogini Kathryn Budighttp://blogs.yogajournal.com/challenge-pose-grasshopper.html

Have fun and report back!

fun pose friday: grasshopper II

fun pose friday: grasshopper II

Today’s blog post is all about Sara… and today is actually her birthday too!!!  Happy Birthday Sara!!!  :)
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The Sara(h)s and Lisa run this place.  Honestly, I don’t know what I would without my work exchange crew.  You really don’t realize what goes into the daily operations of extendYoga until you are behind the desk and behind the scenes– just ask a Sara(h) or Lisa!
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So what’s the deal with Sara? —there are currently 4 that work at the studio.  I often refer to them as the Sara(h)s: Sara C, Sarah E, Sarah S and another Sara C, and actually some times Sarah B during winter and summer breaks.  I don’t know how we landed so many Sara(h)s, but we sure are lucky to have them.
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It’s all about Sara C today.  Check out this interview and make sure to give her a birthday hug, high five or smile, next time you see her greeting you at the desk or rolling her mat out in class.
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  • Tell me a little bit about yourself (something we might not know). 
My husband Mike and I started practicing yoga together in 2011; we did the groupon circuit. We loved extendYoga so much that we stuck with it! I am a Professional School Counselor by day and a Hebrew tutor by night. I love to sing, but not in public!
sara sara and mike

  • What is your current favorite yoga pose and why? 
It’s hard to choose one yoga pose that I love most. I’d have to say wheel because it makes me feel strong and flexible at the same time.
  • What is your favorite part about working at extendYoga and about yoga in general?
My favorite part about working at extendYoga is the community that has come together around this special place. It’s a place where people become fast friends. My favorite part of yoga is learning to look inside myself and challenge my ideas of what I think I can and cannot do.
sara c
  • If you could only take one extendYoga class/teacher for the rest of your life– which one and why?
Nina all the time.  I love her calm voice and her acceptance of and appreciation for all of her students.
  • Other than yoga, what are your passions/favorites?
I love to run – it challenges me physically and mentally. I also love to sing and play piano, but don’t do either enough! I love to cook and bake, and am getting into trying new recipes.  ***join Sara & Juliet at extendYoga on 4/26: Flow for a Cause and raise funds for Sara’s 1/2 Marathon efforts and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society***
sara run
  • What’s on your iPod?
Well this is a loaded question – I have tons of music on my iPod! The most listened to are probably: Guster, Counting Crows, Ari Hest, Rosi Golan, Coldplay, Keane, Damien Rice, Ryan Adams, Fleet Foxes, Graham Colton, Pete Yorn, and The Weepies.

staff highlight: Sara C (and happy bday)!

staff highlight: Sara C (and happy bday)!

It’s that time of year again (already?).  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday– any way you look at it, the holidays and holiday shopping is creeping up.  The good news is– if you have a special yogi or yogini in your life, we’ve got the best holiday gift guide for you!  And even better news– if you’re in the DMV area, many of these gifts can be found at extendYoga (probably for less and no shipping).  :)

 

namaste_om_gf_satellite__52005.1333650914.1280.1280Every gal loves a good piece of jewelry, but yoga inspired jewelry– now we’re talking!  Erica Sara Designs jewelry has so many amazing pieces in not only the yoga collection, but many other themed collections as well.  You can also get pieces personalized/monogramed.

Erica Sara Designs jewelry ($30 and up)

 

 

 

 

matIs your friend or partner’s yoga mat getting a little funky?  Grab him/her a new mat!  Try kulae’s Elite Hot Hybrid.  The PERFECT mat AND towel for hot yoga lovers.  Available at extendYoga in Bamboo and Sea colors.

kulae’s Elite Hot Hybrid ($88), extendYoga ($68)

 

 

 

 

yogi-toes

Another great gift for the sweaty and slippy yogis out there.  If you don’t want to invest in a fancy mat, definitely get a towel to step up your practice.

Yogi Toes Skiddless Yoga Towel ($64), extendYoga ($60)

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga-journal-magazine-subscriptionGet a gift sent directly to your home every month, year-round!

Yoga Journal subscription (~$14 for a year subscription)

 

 

 

 

 

 

natureboxfoods.1367620218If you like having gifts mailed to your home, this gift is PERFECT for any health food/yoga (organic) nut.  NatureBox is a simple, affordable way for you and your family to eat healthier.  Subscriptions are easy to set up, can be paused at any time and shipping is always free.  There are 3 gift subscription options: 3 month, 6 month and 12 month.

NatureBox ($59.95, $99.95 or $199.95)

gift card

 

How about a good ol’ fashioned gift card to your honey’s favorite yoga studio?!  Always a crowd pleaser!

Yoga Classes or Gift Card ($??)

 

 

 

 

thai-yoga-extendyogaShare the Love: Couple Thai Massage with Dahlia Shaaban.  Trying to connect on a deeper energetic level with your partner?  In this dynamic massage, you will learn to utilize acupressure and deep yoga stretches to release stored tension in the body. Your partner will enjoy the benefits of yoga without the effort! You’ll learn all the principles of compassionate, therapeutic touch and yummy, easy-to-do-at-home techniques that release tension in common areas of the body that hold stress, including the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. 

Share the Love: Couple Thai Massage ($70 per couple, $35 individual)

 

 

 

 

art of yoga bookWrap this book up and add a note in your card about planning a trip to the first ever exhibit of it’s kind; Yoga: The Art of Transformation.  It’s a beautiful exhibit and book.  Great gift for a friend/co-worker!

Yoga: The Art of Transformation ($38-$55, hardcover/paperback)

 

 

 

 

 

 

imagesSpend the holidays and the new year in some new yoga duds.  Onzie yoga gear are all the rage.  With so many patterns and options, there is something for everyone.  AND all their products are made in the USA!

Onzie capri and long pants ($56-$65), extendYoga ($45-$52)

 

 

 

 

Greg-Tuscany-RetreatSaving the best for last, the ULTIMATE yogi gift.  The trip and retreat of a lifetime!  Your choice of two retreats with Greg Marzullo and crew.

Italy in May 2014: Surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and fruit trees, the villa features spacious rooms, breathtaking views and a nearby pool to enjoy on lazy afternoons. The food is revelatory – prepared by loving hands from ingredients grown at the villa’s organic gardens.  read more…

Italy: On the Heels of Dionysus ($1,600, plus flight)

Spain in Aug-Sept 2014: Spiritual explorers discovered ancient truths reflected in the wisdom of yoga; even a quick glance reveals the deep resonance between the mystics of all cultures, and, like Spain itself, our retreat will be a meeting place for the divine. read more…

Spain: Mystic Devotion ($1,650, plus flight)

 

***don’t forget your stocking stuffers***

vegan thin mintsVegan girl scout cookies– Yes!  You read it right!  Grab a box for your kids, spouse, friends (and obviously yourself).  Lot’s of vegan (and non-vegan) options.

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies ($4 per box)

 

pura-vidaVideoBanner-913x396Wearing one is cool, but stacking is way more fun!  Snag a couple and help someone start their puravida collection.  Wait, what? Each purchase also helps provide jobs in Costa Rica AND supports causes like: breast cancer, save the dolphins, migraine research, prostate cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, eating disorder awareness, hurricane sandy relief, autism speaks (just to name a few).

puravida bracelets & accessories($5-$20), extendYoga ($4-$15)

 

volunteer4And if you are still looking for gifts or even an addition to your existing shopping list, please consider volunteering your time, making a contribution to a cause, organization, charity event or person(s) in need during this holiday season.  Need help finding a cause?  Check this list for ideas.

 

 

 

Good luck and happy holiday shopping!

holiday gift guide for the yogi in your life

holiday gift guide for the yogi in your life

This post –and sorry it’s been too long since the last one– is dedicated to our recent 2nd birthday.  Woot!  Woot!

Each anniversary of the studio (even though it’s only been 2 :) ), I like to reflect back on the previous year.  Last year, it was all about survival and dealing with unexpected changes/situations.  Which don’t get me wrong, is a constant theme when running extendYoga.  But this year, it was more about CELEBRATING.  Not just celebrating another year keeping the doors open or in the “let’s have a party sense,” but celebrating: change, taking chances, over-coming challenges, new faces, old faces, the seasons changing, and of course,

celebrating YOU.

family tree

photo: our extended family (round 2). thanks for leaving your mark Nov 2011 & Nov 2012

Whether you’ve been to the studio one time, one hundred times, or not at all, if you’re reading this, you are in some way a part of our family.

And we THANK YOU!

Without you we couldn’t take those chances, we couldn’t get through each day, each week, each month, each year.

I’ve had these fortune cookie messages taped in my wallet (and transferred to a couple different wallets) for about 7 years now.  And yes, I’m guilty of ordering Chinese food (often) to my NYC studio apartment that was smaller than the extendYoga lounge area.

I saved these fortunes waaaay before extendYoga was even an idea or at all a possibility.  In fact, if you told me 7 years ago that I’d be doing what I’m doing today, I’d never believe you.

wallet

“You have a potential urge and the ability for accomplishment.”  

“You will take a chance in something in the near future.”

This year, I’m celebrating so many things, but most of all I’m celebrating having “urges,” desires, goals and not being afraid to go after them.  Celebrating not being afraid to take chances; all-the-while not knowing whether you’ll come out on top or not.   I wouldn’t know a life that doesn’t include constantly searching for what’s next and reaching towards getting closer and closer to crushing my goals and making new ones along the way.

I live for this.  

And for this:

suggestiong box

photo: anonymous suggestion box love notes. (if you’re wondering, I save ALL of them)!

And you better bet I live for when one of our awesome teachers walk’s out of teaching a class and says: “This place is so cool.”  #truestory

And this:

board

photo: chalkboard msgs from the BEST yogis on earth (and kick@#$ artwork from The art of JARRAD 113)

 

How perfect is it to have this awesome Ganesha chillin’ on the board?  I never want to erase it!  Ganesh is not only fresh, but the Remover of Obstacles and the God of Success… yes, please!

ganesha

photo: #Ganeshisfresh

A beautiful yogini hit the nail on the head when she picked up a piece of chalk and wrote:

“I am so happy we are all here.”  

Yes, yes… I am so happy we are all here too.  Now let’s celebrate.  Chinese food anyone?

with love, peace & forever goal setting,
arlet

 

 

sunset

photo: sunset on Wilkins Ave~ life is beautiful

a fortune cookie once told me…

a fortune cookie once told me…

TGIF yogis and yoginis!  This week’s fun pose friday post is all about Birds of Paradise.  For me, it’s one of those poses that I know I am either going to get into (or not) within a few minutes into class.  Some times I pop right on up and some days, it’s just not happening.  Does that ever happen to you?

The beautiful and uber talented Krista Block mentioned the other day on her facebook page how “It’s important to remember that a Bird of Paradise is actually a flower…. not a bird. If you approach the asana like a flower lifting from the ground instead of a bird taking off, balance is much easier to find. This one’s all about patience.” 

birds-of-paradise

it’s a flower, not a bird :)

birds

play time at Lake Artemesia in Berwyn Heights, MD

With the help of Yoga Journal, let’s talk about how to practice this one.

A very common way to get into this pose is via Extended Side Angle Pose (or Utthita Parsvakonasana).  Once you are feeling open and your bottom hand is able to comfortably touch the mat inside of your front foot– then and only then should you try to bind the arms.  From there you can try out your Birds of Paradise.

  • Let’s start with the right side:  once you have established your bound Extended Side Angle with your right leg forward, slowly bring your left foot to meet your right (feet are now parallel, about hip width apart).  
  • Gaze down in between your feet or a little bit ahead and take a moment here to readjust as you start to shift your weight and ground down into your left foot, beginning to lift the right heal off the mat, coming up onto your right tippy toes.  If this pose is very new to you, this might be it for you today.  If you feel stable in your left foot and are able to lift a little more, then…
  • Keeping your bind, and with steadiness and control, continue to lift up, slowly straightening the left leg as you rise to standing up tall.  As you continue to grow your Birds of Paradise, you want to open up the chest/collar bones.
krista in birds

Krista Block looking beautiful & strong

  • If you are balancing just fine here (with your right knee still bent), then you can begin to play with straightening the right leg.  The next step from here would be to gaze over the left shoulder.

Note:  this is definitely one of those poses that requires a lot of steps and also one to build up to (patience).  It takes lots of practice and being very open and warmed up.  Don’t muscle through this one and most importantly have fun experimenting!

See you on the mat!

fun pose friday: birds of paradise

fun pose friday: birds of paradise

I know most have you have seen the video: Shit Yogis Say (which is hilarious), but do you ever find yourself in a yoga class and the teacher says something in Sanskrit and you have no idea what she just said?    Luckily, Yoganonymous posted a 1.5 minute guide to Sanskirt and instead named it “What Yogis Say.”  You can check out the link here,  or read below for more.  The links go to different Yoganonymous pages, so be sure to click through if you want more info or related stories!

 

Asana: Yoga posture. Yoga pose. A physical position in which stability and ease are balanced and maintained.

Ayurveda: The science or knowledge of life. A thousand year old scientific approach to medicine, Ayurveda recognizes differences in individual constitutions and treats each person uniquely.

Bandha: To bind or lock. You may hear your teacher talking about bandhas or locks. A bandha is a muscular hold that enhances subtle energy flow. Here are the three most commonly used bandhas: Jalandhara Bandha, Mulabandha, Uddiyana Bandha.

Chakra:  Subtle energy centers. Wheels of light.

Guru: Teacher.  And Sat Guru which means the teacher within, YOU.

Jalandhara Bandha:  Chin lock.  This lock is in the neck and is used to prevent downward loss of spiritual energy especially from the crown chakra. To practice this bring and hold your chin down towards your chest.

Karma: Action.

Kriya: A cleansing process.

Mantra: Sacred sound or word or phrase often used as a focal point in meditation.

Mudra: A gesture used to recirculate energy and focus the mind.

Namaste: I honor the light in you and you honor the light in me, when we are both in this light together we are one, or, “I bow to you.”

Niyama: 5 Lessons or suggestions for how you treat yourself.

Om: Universal representation of what is yet to be made manifest. Our potential.

Prana: Life force energy.

Pranayama: Regulated breathing. Using the breath in an organized way to circulate prana in the body.

Sadhana: Practice.

Sanskrit: The ancient language of Hindu scriptures and yoga texts, which is the source of modern Indo-European languages.

Shanti: Peace.

Surya Namaskar:  Sun Salutation.

Yama: 5 ethical suggestions for how you treat others

Yoga Sutra: The classical work on yoga by Patanjali.

 

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

 

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“shit yogis say:” a short guide to sanskrit

“shit yogis say:” a short guide to sanskrit

Downward Facing Frog, or Frog Pose is an extremely useful stretch for runners or other atheletes who risk injury to the groin or hip area.  It also benefits anyone who spends a lot of time sitting and are at risk for developing tigh hips.  There are a few other asanas called Frog Pose, but this version, Adho Mukha Mandukasana is most commonly found in Yin Yoga (although I’ve seen it a lot in Vinyasa classes).  I know I’m a little crazy about using the cheesy (frog and fish) photos to go with the poses, I just can’t resist!

Frog pose is definitely a challenge for those of us with tight hips.  Most people I hear from have a love/hate relationship with Frog Pose (is there a pattern with love/hate relationships and yoga poses?), however, I’m sure everyone LOVES coming out of the pose.

Benefits include:

  • open and stretches the hips
  • stretches the groin and inside of the thighs
  • provides slight back bend
  • aids digestion

Here’s how to work your way into it.  Be sure to stop at your own limit, and breathe through any blocks and/or resistance that you may feel.

1. From table, walk the knees out to the sides as wide as comfortable. Bring the ankles directly behind the knees with the feet turned out towards the side walls.

2. Bring the elbows and forearms on to the floor with the palms flat on the floor (or with the palms pressed together).

3. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.  Feel free to stay in this pose and continue your breath for as long as feels good to you.

4. To release: rock the hips forward and either bring the palms under the shoulders and press back up into table, or walk the arms forward lowering the hips and whole body flat on the floor.

Check out this YouTube video if you want a different approach to get into the pose.

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

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fun pose friday: frog pose

fun pose friday: frog pose

Today’s What We’re Loving is focused on the latest from the yoga blogosphere.  Check out the links below, happy reading!

Like to golf?  Here’s 3 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Golf Game.

Scorpio?  Aries?  Namastillo shows your your YogaScope for the month of August. 

If your summer’s been like mine, you’ve been travelling everywhere!  I always feel “off” when I’m not practicing yoga.   Here are some tips on getting your yoga in while on the road, it even includes ways to rearrange your hotel room and use furniture as props!

 

Want to know how to improve your savasana?  Check out these 5 tips for a Blissful Savasana. (ps – I need this t shirt!)

 

Feel like you’re not already wasting enough time on facebook?  Here’s a Yoga Retreat Game.  Its described as The Sims meets Farmville, meets yoga retreat.

 

See you on the mat!

 

what we’re loving: links from the yoga blogosphere

what we’re loving: links from the yoga blogosphere

Today’s What We’re Loving is dedicated to sugar busting.    Here are some of our favorite articles this week about sugar myths, sugar addiction and how to kick the habit.

Cereal is one of the most processed foods available; many are loaded with carbs and lacking in fiber.  Avoid cereal – its recommended to eat (rhyme coming) clean lean protein and healthy fat  for breakfast.  Check out more in this article - Cereal: Not the Breakfast of Champions.

Did you know that the average American consumes 10 teaspoons of high-fructose corn syrup a day?! This is just one of the eye-opening facts in this infographic from MindBodyGreen.

Feel yourself getting tired throughout the day and want a natural way to keep those energy levels up?  Start by avoiding energy draining foods:  fast food, canned, frozen, packaged and processed foods are all energy zappers.  They are all difficult to digest and contain little nutritional content.  Check out this article for Ayurveda and Yoga Tips for High Quality Energy.

Remember our post about Sugar Addiction?  Well, Trifecta Wellness is offering a 30 Day “Kick the Sugar” Challenge starting Monday, August 20th.  Don’t worry if you’re not in the Maryland area, since its over the course of 4 weekly conference calls, you’ll still be able to participate.  You can see the details and sign up here.

See you on the mat!

what we’re loving: sugar busting

what we’re loving: sugar busting

The Olympics are everywhere – and if you’re like me, you’re probably frusterated with social media lately for all the spoiler alerts throughout the day on the events and outcomes.  Is anyone else finding it impossible to watch the games at night without knowing who won already?

While watching the games I’m so impressed with each of the athletes (especially Team USA!), and their incredible strength, stamina and overall athletic abilities.  Since this is technically a yoga blog – I thought I’d share this article that highlights some of the Olympic atheletes that incorporate yoga into their training.

You’d assume the Olympians eat a strict diet, and eating heart healthy, protein rich foods.  This article goes over weird diets of the Olympians.

Here’s an interesting take on yoga and the Olympics that discusses how asana is only one of the eight limbs, but it’s the obvious Olympic limb.

My fiance noticed that the USA Men’s Volleyball Team was sporting lululemon – he was so proud of himself for noticing my favorite brand on our athletes.   Here are some photos!

See you on the mat!

 

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what we’re loving: olympics edition

what we’re loving: olympics edition

Today’s blog is written by Greg Marzullo.

Massacres by the Syrian government have killed thousands.

A young man in Colorado goes berserk and guns down a movie theater full of people.

Here in D.C., a yoga teacher and his boyfriend were viciously assaulted over the weekend. (to attend a donation based yoga class to benefit Michael Joel Hall at extendYoga, click here)

At every turn, with every click of a remote or a mouse, we’re confronted with the insanities of humanity run amok. Violence, degradation and breathtaking suffering are our daily bread, leaving us to wonder what any of us can possibly do in the wake of such overwhelming odds.

The answer is simple, yet nonetheless daunting: Transform yourself.

The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of the Lord, is one of the great spiritual classics of the world, and although the actual time of composition varies between the sixth and second centuries B.C.E., the wisdom contained within its verses have stood the test of time. Ranging in content from impermanence to the true nature of the transcendent Self, the Gita has been a guidebook for yogis, saints and everyday people trying to lead a better life.

Set against the backdrop on an impending epic battle between two sides of a large family, the Gita is a conversation between the mortal warrior Arjuna and his charioteer Lord Krishna. As Arjuna stands on the battlefield staring across enemy lines, he sees his foes and recognizes them as friends, cousins and well-loved uncles. Despairing at having to slay kith and kin and fearful of incurring great sin, he throws down his bow and says, “I will not do this thing.”

It’s at this point that Krishna leans down and says (if he were to speak in 21st-century idiom), “Get your ass up and fight.”

It’s at this point that Krishna delivers the famous lines of the text, which are meant to help all peoples overcome the war of the mind and reach enlightenment. This is not just some far-fetched notion meant only for holy people meditating atop the mountains; the Gita is specifically designed to assist those engaged in the rigors of the real world.

Mohandas K. Gandhi lived his life by this book, and although there is some debate as to whether or not the Gita is in favor of war, the great pacifist said to try living your life by this book and see if you can harm anyone. In some of the most moving passages, Krishna tells Arjuna to see God in all creatures, from a priest to a cow.

Recognizing the divine in all beings is so obviously needed in today’s world. Who could say a cruel word to God? Who could raise a fist or an assault weapon to that which is Pure Love?

In order to find peace and change the world, we must drink deeply from the wellspring of transcendent consciousness that bubbles up within each one of us. The Gita in all its profound wisdom is like a divining rod held in our trembling hands. If we just become still and listen, the rod begins to twitch and tremble, leading us eventually to that font of wisdom that never runs dry.

You are the rod and the fountain. Change yourself, change the world.

 

Greg Marzullo is teaching a third installment of his workshop, Yoga of the Revolution on Sunday, August 5th at extendYoga.  To read more and sign up please click here.

 

Change yourself, change the world.

Change yourself, change the world.

Today’s fun pose is Mermaid, we practiced this today at extendYoga in Lika’s morning heated flow.

When Mermaid Pose is performed in correct alignment, it creates freedom throughout the entire front torso. It also lifts and opens the heart. This pose also provides a deep stretch to the thighs, groins, shoulders, and chest. It improves mobility in the spine and hips, strengthens the abdominal muscles, and stimulates the organs of the torso.

To show you the step by step, we’re linking up with Kathryn Budig – check out her instructions here.

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: mermaid pose

fun pose friday: mermaid pose

These Zen Bracelets are adorable on their own, and look great stacked too!  Check out Blooming Lotus Jewelry here.  My personal favorite is the yellow jade with the elephant charm.

I need to take a yoga class with this playlist.   You had me at David Gray.

These candles are soy and handmade by Array of Aromas.  The wax never gets hot – so when its melted you can use it as oil on your skin.  The best part? They smell delicious!  I can’t get enough of the Black Raspberry Vanilla. (extra bonus = you can pick them up at extendYoga!)

This is a great post on Yoganonymous – “10 Signs that Point to Your Social Media Addiction”

I have to say we’re guilty of: You answer questions with “you should read my blog post about that.”

See you on the mat!

ps: click here to sign up for our email lists!

what we’re loving: jewelry, candles, music & more!

what we’re loving: jewelry, candles, music & more!

Today we’re re-posting a great article from Terri Carr, the author of YogaSOULutions.net.  We have people say “well, I’m not flexible, so I can’t do yoga” all the time.  Our response is always the same – you need yoga to make you more flexible :)

 

Why Flexibility Doesn’t Matter in Yoga Practice.

You have probably overheard a comment like this at some point, “I don’t like/can’t do/am not good at yoga….I’m not flexible,” as if the sole purpose of yoga is for flexible people to get together to practice their flexibility ;-)

Sigh. Whenever I hear this kind of comment, I want to jump in with, “No, no, no. Yoga is not just for people who are already flexible. It’s about increasing your flexibility and your strength and your balance, not just on the physical level but mentally and emotionally too.”

I want to say, “Please take a half dozen or so classes and see what it feels like to actually experience the effects of yoga once you put aside the idea that you are not ‘good’ at it.”After a couple of weeks (or even one class!), you might notice you can actually move in ways you couldn’t before coming to yoga, or you might observe that you feel calm and grounded in stressful situations. You might find you can comfortably stand your ground in a situation where previously you would run away, or  that conflicts with others happen less as you communicate with more openness and understanding.

I do try to say something to this effect, but I usually get the sense that the listener hasn’t really heard me. And the myth persists.

I guess it will persist until people have had a taste of the TRUE benefits of yoga, which is to say the openness and flexibility of spirit, the renewed sense of vibrancy, the joy and happiness of being able to roll with life’s rhythms instead of resisting them.

Just because someone can do a wide straddle split, or put their leg behind their head does not mean their life runs smoothly. It just means that they have an advanced degree of physical flexibility.

Sometimes a person can actually be too flexible, or too open in the sense that they don’t keep any boundaries for themselves. Whatever is asked of them, they give, running here and there trying to accommodate others, but disregarding their own needs.

So, folks, if you are one of those people who still thinks that yoga is ‘for flexible people,’ give it a second look. In most yoga classes you will see varying levels of flexibility. Even among people in their 20’s, some yogis are not all that flexible.

But if they practice regularly, they will become at least a little more flexible. But even better, they will feel more resilient, more patient, more determined, more forgiving, more accepting, more compassionate. Things we can all be good at.

flexibility and yoga

flexibility and yoga

Today we have a guest post by one of extendYoga’s fabulous instructors, Leslie Edsall.

Deconstructing Cravings
The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting food and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem, but they are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.

The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients? Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.

Your body knows best and is always trying to create balance. However, products like refined foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol are confusing as they throw the body off-balance and can create serious cravings.  The body tries to get what it needs to restore internal harmony. The more your food is whole and healthy, the easier it is for your body to stay in balance and provide you with a happier, healthier life.

The next time you have a craving, treat it as a message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:

  • Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
  • Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
  • What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
  • When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.

 

Food Focus: The Easiest *(Fun) Way to Get More Greens

 

Why Green Smoothies?

See below for many health benefits of blending greens in to a delicious smoothie:

  • Use 60% organic fruit and 40% organic greens.
  • When blended well, the cells in the greens are “ruptured,” making the nutrients easier for the body to digest. This creates an energy rush!
  • As opposed to juices, green smoothies are a complete food because they still have fiber; an important part of our elimination system
  • With a 60/40 ratio, the fruit taste dominates the taste.  Promise!
  • Green smoothies are easy to make and a quick clean up afterwards. Children love them!
  • When consuming green smoothies, you’re greatly reducing the consumption of and salt in your diet by replacing it with a healthier alternative
  • Regular consumption forms a good habit of eating greens.
  • After a few weeks, most clients actually begin to crave and enjoy eating more greens.

 My two favorite green smoothie recipes are below.  Enjoy!

Mango-Banana-Spinach
2 mangos (or one cup, frozen)
1 handful of organic spinach
1 banana

½ an avocado (healthy fats for glowing skin)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (yummy protein option)
2 cups ice if using fresh mangos, use water if frozen mangos
Blend for 3 minutes until smooth and enjoy!  Makes 2 servings

Strawberry-Banana-Romaine
1 cup organic strawberries or mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
1 banana
1 bunch organic romaine

½ cup of quick cooking oats (raw – this is optional for a healthy carb boost)
2 cups water
Blend as above

Here’s a YouTube video of the Strawberry-Banana-Romaine recipe above in case you need a little motivation to get started.  Share with the whole family! Try a green smoothie as a mid-day snack or experiment with starting your day off right at breakfast.  You’ll be amazed by the results and find yourself craving them after just one week!

 

Leslie Edsall is a nutrition, yoga and health education expert who offers nutrition programs to clients, leads yoga classes in the local community and offers nutrition workshops.  To learn more about Leslie or to schedule a consultation: www.TrifectaWellness.com

deconstructing cravings and green smoothies

deconstructing cravings and green smoothies

Urdhva Dhanurasana can also be referred to as upward bow or wheel pose.

urdhva = upward

dhanu = bow

Most people that I hear from have a love/hate relationships with backbends.   Backbends can feel especially unfamiliar and difficult since its such a deep arch in the spine, as well as opening in the chest and across the abdomen.  The truth is – that backbending is just not a movement that most adults make in their day to day lives.

Because of the intense opening throughout the front of the body, backbending often brings up feelings of anxiety and stress – the key is to learn how to stay with the difficult places and work through them.

Pre urdhva dhanurasana: It’s best to practice backbends when the body (especially the spine!) is warmed up, and its most safe to start with a few gentle backbends such as bridge pose and work toward a deeper backbend from there.

Post urdhva dhanurasana:  Make sure to neutralize the spine with either downward dog or dandasana.

Benefits include:

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine
  • Improves posture
  • Relieves tension in tight shoulders and eases mild back pain
  • Stimulates the thyroid (regulates your metabolism) and pituitary glands (regulates secretion in all the other endocrine glands)
  • Increases energy
  • Counteracts depression
  • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, osteoporosis and infertility
We’re linking up with Kathryn Budig’s Challenge Pose for the step-by step!
Enjoy your weekend and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: wheel pose

fun pose friday: wheel pose

The fun pose of the day is adho mukha vtksasana or handstand.

adho= downward
mukha = face
vrksa = tree
asana = pose, posture

Today was a steamy 100 degrees, so we didn’t even need to add more heat to our heated flow class this evening.

With the natural heat we had an amazing class – and we started our handstand prep.  While I spent my time with my feet on the wall (like the photo below) , I feel like I made a lot of progress!

Before we take you through the steps to handstand, here are just a few of them nay benefits:

  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Calms the brain
  • Relieves stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the belly
  • Improves circulation
We’re linking up to Kathyrn Budig and her Challenge Pose blog to help guide you through the steps.
Enjoy and we’ll see you on the mat!

 

fun pose friday: handstand

fun pose friday: handstand

happy Wednesday yogis!

These flip flops are awesome – and I have to admit, I’m a sucker for anything DIY.  Learn how to make these studded flip flops here.

 

This concept is straight out of a Hollywood sci-fi movie.   Check out this high tech tank top that will give you a subtle nudge in the area that needs adjustment.  It’s a great concept – but won’t replace the need for awesome instructors!

 

We love this post on staying cool in the heat that combines ayurveda and yoga moves.

 

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

what we’re loving

what we’re loving

Summer has finally arrived!  And based on the weather we had last week— it’s looking like it’s going to be a scorcher here in the MD/DC/VA area.

I had my first trip to our neighborhood pool the other day.  It was so refreshing taking a dip every few minutes after frying in the sun (make sure to always lather up with your SPF)!

If you are like me, yoga is always on your mind.  As I read this month’s addition of Yoga Journal in my pool chair, I couldn’t help but think… how can I incorporate yoga into my adult swim?

When I headed back to extendYoga, I googled ‘yoga at the pool.’  Low and behold, of course you can do yoga at the pool!  You can virtually practice yoga anywhere… duh!

Women’s Health Magazine wrote a short article  called Yoga Water Workout; with pictures too:

backbend

standing head to knee pose

triangle pose

By practicing in the warm water at the pool, you can work deeper into poses and hold them longer without getting too tired (since your muscles will be relaxed and the water will support your weight).

Since water yoga is low impact and gentle on the muscles, it’s also great for the elderly, pregnant and anyone with injuries.  Check out these additional water yoga exercises on LIVESTRONG.COM.

Remember when you used to do handstands in the pool when you were young?  And we all floated on our backs (aka: savasana).  Turns out, I was doing water yoga before I even knew what yoga was!

So next time you need a break from the sun, jump in the pool and get your yoga on.  I can’t wait to try some moves the next time I’m poolin’ it this summer.

I wonder how this could work in the ocean???…

See you on the mat (and at the pool)!

yoga for pool lovers

yoga for pool lovers

A few of you may be asking “how is supported shoulder stand a fun pose?!”  Well, it is a pretty pleasant asana, and more importantly it will help you cool down during all this heat!

This inversion requires little muscular effort (unlike a headstand, or handstand), so the large muscles can rest. It encourages lymphatic fluid to flow toward the heart, sweeping out toxins and boosting circulation.

Other benefits include:

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates the thyroid and abdominal organs
  • Stretches the shoulders and neck
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia

To enjoy this pose with the least amount of effort you should put a block under your sacrum (as in the photo below).  And that’s what we’ll walk through today.

 

1) Begin lying on your back on a mat or rug.  Come into Plow (below) with your feet over your head and your hips over your shoulders.  Be sure to have your block close by.

2) Grab your block and put it under your sacrum (the height of the block should be based on how much support you’re looking for: choose the lowest height for more relaxation, and a slightly higher height with the block on its side to get the hips higher).

3) Relax here.  Go into savasana, with your arms by your sides and your palms facing up (this helps open and relax the shoulders).   Try and keep your body completely relaxed.  If you find it at all difficult to breathe, just shift your hops away from your head a few inches.

4) If you’re feeling any pressure in your neck, press the back part of your head into the ground.  Don’t shift your head side to side, try to keep the body in as much of a straight line as possible to avoid straining any muscles.

5) Stay here for 10 or more breaths, and when you feel complete you can slowly lower your feed back down towards the ground coming back into Plow pose.

6) From here bring your hips slowly to the ground and hug your knees into your chest.

 

Be sure to take your time coming out of this pose.  Since its an inversion, you may feel a little dizzy if you try to stand up too quickly after the pose.

 

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: supported/half shoulder stand

fun pose friday: supported/half shoulder stand

Right in the middle of a HOT week  - see what we’re loving this week…

Want some yoga art in your life?  We love this post by lo over at Namastillo…My favorite is “With my Whole Heart”.  For more information and where/how to purchase head on over to Namastillo.

extendYoga

 

The heat is certainly here – read this MindBodyGreen article to find out what foods are going to cool you down.  I was a little sad reading this because when it gets hot the two things I reach for are frozen yogurt and iced coffee.  The article explains when it get hot you need to enjoy water-rich foods.  While that Starbucks iced coffee might seem like a quick fix, it’s actually going to dehydrate you.  A quick trip to yogiberry may actually cause congestion and hinder your body’s cooling systems.   Instead its recommended to reach for fresh and raw vegetables and fruit with a high water content.  For the full list check out the article here.

Some people think that hot yoga in the summertime is crazy, while others are thinking “if I’m going to be sweating anyways I might as well be doing some hot yoga!”  Check out this new “hot but not” tank from lululemon – looks light and airy and I’d buy it just for the back!

Enjoy the heat and see you on the mat!

yoga art, what foods cool you, hot but not

yoga art, what foods cool you, hot but not

Today’s fun pose is brought to you be Amanda Credeur.  Come check out Amanda’s classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.  For the schedule of classes click here.

Astavakrasana/Eight-Angle Pose

Asta means eight, vakra means bent or curved (angle), and asana means pose.

This pose includes a forward fold, twist, hip opener/leg extension, and arm balance all rolled into one. Keep an open mind when practicing (just have fun with it!) and you’ll gain increased core and arm strength, enjoy a deep twist, gain flexibility in the hips and hamstrings and get a huge confidence boost. Before you try this pose, you should do a few rounds of sun salutations, warrior 1warrior 2extended side angle, low lunge and lizard. After you’re done practicing eight angle pose, enjoy a cool down of child’s pose, happy baby and corpse pose. Please do not practice this pose if you have any injuries in your hands, arms or shoulders. If you have knee injuries you can keep your knees bent as much as you need to in this pose.

 

Let’s start on the right side!

 Sit up straight, with your legs stretched out in front of you. Grab your right foot with both hands and gently bend your knee toward your chest; put your knee under your arm pit. Slide your right arm on the inside of your thigh, under your calf, and put your right hand on the floor. If you can manage, put your left hand on the floor (both hands on either side of your hips); if that doesn’t feel stable, keep holding your foot with the opposite hand. Grounding down through your hips and your hands, lengthen your leg for 3-5 breaths, and then let your leg go.

 Bend your knees, putting your feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand between your legs, twist to the left. Pressing your hands through the floor, keep twisting and bending your elbows. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

 

Cross your left leg (bottom leg) over your right ankle (top ankle). Squeeze your arm with your thighs. No, really; sqeeeeeeeze your arm and start engaging your inner core muscles (root lock/mula bandh anyone?).

 

Pressing into your hands (fingertips are important!), use your feet for support to lift your hips off the floor. Remember: bend your elbows, open your chest toward the floor.

 

Press your feet and hands into the floor and lift your hips up; try to keep your shoulders level with each other by dropping the shoulder with your leg on it, and lifting the free shoulder up.

If you feel confident enough, lift your feet off the floor by stretching the legs out (you can keep a bend in the knees). Lifting with your thighs won’t get your far; you have to use those inner core muscles and work on the balance of the pose between your hips and your feet.

 

Relax, and sit back down. Readjust in the twist to set up for one more try. Make sure your thighs are squeezing your upper arm (above your elbow).

 

 Lift your feet off the floor, and extend through the heels. Keep your feet lifting tot the ceiling and use your hands and abs to lift your hips off the floor.

Slowly lower your chest to the floor by lifting your hips up. Press your tailbone back, and press your heels away from you. It’s a balancing act of opening the chest, lifting the hips, and extending the legs…. try to keep your shoulders level. Look forward, breathe and smile! Slowly sit back down.  Do child’s pose, downward facing dog, and then repeat on the other side.

If you have any questions at all, comment on our Facebook page, or email us at info@extendYoga.com. Amanda is happy to answer questions.

Come try out astavakrasana in Amanda’s classes next week!

See you on the mat!

fun pose friday: astavakrasana

fun pose friday: astavakrasana

 

Today’s fun pose is Hanumanasana or Splits pose.

Here’s the story behind the name:

Hanuman is the monkey God whose story is narrated in the Ramayana (an ancient Hindu epic).   He is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu pantheon and his story in the Ramayana is known for its astounding ability to give the reader inspiration to face ordeals and conquer lifes obstructions.  In the Ramayana he was given the task of locating Rama’s wife Sita, who had been kidnapped by the demon king of Lanka.  The story goes that he took a giant leap across the ocean between India and the island of Lanka to rescue Sita, and Hanumanasana represents his super-human leap.  So if this pose is difficult for you or requires perseverance to achieve, relax, because you are embodying the true feeling of the pose.

Benefits:

  • helpful in gaining flexibility
  • stretches the thighs, hamsrings and groins
  • stimulates the abdonminal organs and makes the blood flow properly through your veins

There are a lot of prepatory steps in realizing the full expression of the pose, and you may only make it to the first one.  Instead of cursing yourself for not getting it, learn to love your individual experience and be happy where you are at.  You will get it!

You can see all the steps on how to get into this pose by clicking here.

And here’s Arlet and I practicing Hanumanasana on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain last fall:

 

Enjoy!

fun pose: hanumanasana

fun pose: hanumanasana

Today we’re loving guest blogging for Hitched Salon in Georgetown.  Check out our post on getting wedding dress ready and staying relaxed during all the crazy planing:  From Hello to Hitched

 

(free class is for new customers only)

See you on the mat!

say “i do” to Yoga!

say “i do” to Yoga!

With summer right around the corner (YAY!), it means schools are coming to an end.  Lots of our students are coming in for their daily zen, their time to get away from their books/notes/library and take some time to breathe.

We’ve all been in experiences where we’ve had some symptons of anxiety – Sunday night blues, butterflies and nerves before a first date, a racing heart in a job interview, or a complete blank out during a big test.

While it might be difficult to practice most yoga poses sitting in a conference room waiting for an interview to start, or sitting at a desk while your exams get handed out, we’re going to highlight some poses you can practice to combat stress before you leave your home (or even if you can sneak away to a bathroom).

The poses below are just some of the many yoga asanas that can help reduce your stress and anxiety.  If its too hard to remember  a specific pose, just remember this: try and get your heart higher than your head, or even your feet higher than your heart.

What’s important to remember in any case of stress or anxiety is to continue to breathe, so while in any of the asanas below be sure to keep your breath strong and steady.  Click here to read more about the importance of breath.

 

 

Seated Forward Bend

For instructions on how to get into the pose, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standing Forward Bend / Uttanasana

For instructions on how to get into the pose, click here

 

 

 

 

 

Dolphin Pose

For instructions on how to get into this pose, click here

 

 

 

 

Malasana / Garland Pose

For instructions on how to get into this pose, click here

While in Malasana, reach your hands out in front of you (about 12 inches) and place them flat on the floor.  Then just rest your neck down, almost touching your chin to your chest and slightly round your back into your squat.  This puts the head a little below the heart and helps to relax your body. (it’s also very comfortable and calming)!

 

Now you have a few strong poses under your belt to practice when you’re feeling stressed and/or anxious.  Here’s how the poses benefit your nervous system and overall body:

  • Enhances your ability to concentrate and remain focused.  These poses help increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression
  • Helps the body effectively relax by relieving tension and pain in your muscles that is often caused by stress
  • Relives headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue
Good luck – and remember to breathe!
See you on the mat!

yoga for stress and anxiety

yoga for stress and anxiety

 

I’m a big Bethenny Frankel fan, she had me at Real Housewives of NYC.  I was so happy to watch her season finale and see that she got the talk show that she wanted!  Here’s a quick article from YogaDork that has a video of Bethenny and Ellen.

 

There’s nothing better than a cold smoothie with all this heat!  Never know whether to blend or to juice?  Check out this article for some advice and tips! 

 

Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga?  Here at extendYoga we offer an alignment based practice in a VERY HOT room that is Bikram inspired called Traditional Hot Yoga.  You can read this article entitled “5 Reasons Why I Love Bikram Yoga” and come check it out!

And lastly: While the summer is HOT and its here, you can still benefit so much from taking a heated yoga or hot yoga class.  Here are some Tips for Enduring Hot Yoga Class.

 

Enjoy your week and see you on the mat!

 

what we’re loving: Bethenny, Smoothies and Hot Yoga

what we’re loving: Bethenny, Smoothies and Hot Yoga

The term ‘sugar addiction’ has finally been making some headway in the media.
Ironically, the cause of sugar addiction truly stems from the mind. Researchers say that sugar and the taste of sweet is said to stimulate the brain by activating beta endorphin receptor sites, the same chemicals activated in the brain by the ingestion of heroin and morphine. Sugar is a manufactured, white substance just like the two mentioned above. Why else would it be so hard to give up coffee (with sugar added), diet or regular sodas, chocolates, cake, sweet treats and so on. Everyone, I mean everyone, has a food or drink vice (be it big or small) that is contributing to their lack of vibrant health. It took me 4 years to get my dad fully off of coffee. His coffee was full of three heapings of sugar, but it finally happened. (replaced with green tea, no sugar) If my dad can do it after drinking coffee for 75 years, beating a sugar or caffeine addiction certainly IS possible. After all, none of us are perfect, but we all continue to strive for better health and more energy.

Why this topic?
Because I have struggled too! I have to admit that my sugar of choice is dark chocolate. It’s much easier to be mindless and eat what we want UNTIL it is no longer serving you. I came to that place several years ago and although I do admittedly fall off of the “healthy eating” wagon now and then. When I do, my body pays the price and I jump back on. I’ve learned to eat what my body (not mind) needs at least 90% of the time. Sugar is also associated with many chronic conditions including decreased immunity, some chronic infections, diabetes, weight gain, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, pain syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, ADD, chronic fatigue, and candida.

What about the food industry’s involvement?
Let’s reflect on advertising. Consumers are going about purchases without being mindful of what is fueling sugar addiction from marketing. (think pretty little candy packages) Add stress and the habitual use of food as a coping mechanism during busy days, skipped meals, emotional distress and so on. Before you know it, you have a full-blown addiction to sugar. (and the Mars Bars companies are more than happy to have you!)

Society needs a change for the better.
Our society and future generations need our help to educate them on how to break these habits and instill healthier choices. Children are being diagnosed with adult onset diabetes at alarming rates which increase every year. The time to change is now – as an individual, a family, a community, and a country if we just begin with ourselves. But how? Work with a nutrition educator, a health coach or a holistic nutritionist to help you better understand what’s behind your sugar addiction. You ca also learn to “crowd out” the foods that are no longer serving you. Start with a health food store tour and a pantry clean out to put you on the right track to continued success!

 

Leslie Edsall is a nutrition, yoga and health education expert who offers nutrition programs, teaches AM yoga at extendYoga and offers workshops in the local community. To learn more about Leslie: www.TrifectaWellness.com

the truth behind sugar addiction

the truth behind sugar addiction

With the long weekend almost here, we’re going to highlight a VERY fun yet, EXTREMELY challenging pose:  Eka Pada Rajakpotasana II (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II).

Here’s how the name of the pose breaks down in sanskrit:

eka = one
pada = foot
raja = king
kapota = pigeon

extendyoga

Want to know why to do it?  Some benefits include:

  • stretches the entire front of the body, including: ankles, thighs and groin, stomach and chest as well as the throat
  • stretches the deep hip flexors
  • strengthens back muscles
  • stimulates the organs in the abs and neck
  • can allow for deep emotional insight
  • stills the mind, and calms the nervous system
  • improves posture

To give you the step by step, including photos – we’re linking to Yoga Journal’s Challenge Pose with Kathryn Budig.

Send us photos of you in your Eka Pada Rajakpotasana to info@extendYoga.com and we’ll feature you on our facebook page!

Be sure to honor and remember all of the men and women who have lost their lives serving our nation this weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

 

See you on the mat!

 

fun pose Friday: eka pada rajakpotasana II

fun pose Friday: eka pada rajakpotasana II

With our new blog look we’re launching a bit of new blog content.  So, every Wednesday you can look forward to seeing what’s hot on our radar.

 

hot yoga, yoga

 New Yoga Clothes.  Okay so, maybe we did agree with #9 on this yoganonymous list that’s been going around, but there’s something about new yoga clothes that bring back the “new back to school clothes shopping” experience.  With summer right around the corner, it’s a great excuse to pick up a few new pieces.   I’m loving this lululemon power dance tank in heathered rose quartz.  Its a perfect staple for hot yoga classes this summer, and the light color will look great with a sunkissed glow!

yoga, extendYoga

 THIS LADY.    Many of you have seen the interview with Master Tao Porchon Lynch who just got inducted into the Guiness Book of World Records for being the oldest living yoga teacher at 93!!!  For those of you who haven’t seen it – you can click here.  Its worth checking out for the beautiful photos!

 

 

How many of us look like the photo on the left for 40 hours a week?  If you substistute the computer in the photo for a smartphone/ipad/kindle then its probably more like 60 hours.  Ladies Home Journal posted this article  (its an oldie but goodie) about how to incorporate yoga into your workday.  I especially like the chairtwist.  The photo is great:

 

What have you seen lately that you’re loving?  If you want to submit something that you can’t get enough of you can email us at info@extendYoga.com

See you on the mat!

 

what we’re loving

what we’re loving

Today’s post is written by one of extendYoga’s talented instructors, Amanda.

A Call to Give and a Big Thank You!

We’ve all heard the word karma before, in a joke, in a yoga class, or in an article. Karma Yoga is one of the six branches of the yoga tree. Most of us are familiar with the branch of Hatha Yoga, which focuses primarily on the practice of asana/postures. Karma Yoga focuses on yoga through action, with an emphasis on seva, selfless giving. Since the concept and practice of Karma Yoga is immense enough for many blog posts, today’s post will focus on seva, sometimes simply referred to as service. When you donate to an organization, hold the door open for someone else, or lend an ear to friend, you are practicing seva.

Spring and summer are great times to think about seva (selfless giving). There are ample opportunities to attend donation yoga classes, run a 5K, volunteer for environmental projects, and donate money or other items of need to organizations/causes. Seva is very personal, so before you decide to give of yourself, you should reflect on your values. What causes are important to YOU? Cancer research? Homelessness? Giving in line with your values will ensure you foster an even greater connection to the cause, and feel even better about your action(s). Whether you give because you feel a connection to a person, event, or organization, allow yourself to reflect. Seva is a great addition to any yoga practice because it brings you on a journey of self reflection.  You’ve done something selfless for another; breath deeply into those feelings.  Reflecting on seva will allow you to see and enjoy the gift.  Seva always includes a gift back to you: a chance for self discovery, or even a wonderful yoga class.

While there are plenty of individual ways to give back to your community, partnering with a business that takes seva seriously, is wonderfully rewarding and particularly easy. We don’t all have the resources for large donations, or a room to host a yoga class; that’s where businesses come into the seva picture. Businesses, especially local, have resources to double our gifts by allowing us to partner with our fellow yoga students, and neighbors. You also get greater satisfaction knowing your gift has community impact. extendYoga is one of these businesses dedicated to seva. For our students, it is important to show that we care just as much about our community as you do. With that in mind, we plan on actively participating in community seva, which allows you an easy way to practice seva along with us. Since extendYoga doors opened in November we’ve collected three large boxes of toys for Toys for Tots, held a donation class that raised funds to purchase high efficiency laundry detergent for Interfaith Women’s Shelter, and held a blood drive for American Red Cross (free class to those that donated).  Just a few weeks ago I was honored to teach a donation class that raised $155 for  St. Jude’s Research Hospital.  None of this could have be done without YOU. You are the yogis graciously giving to benefit others, so thank you. We appreciate your support in making this community a better place, and ask that you continue to partner with us in all our seva events.

Our next donation class is Saturday, May 19th (you can sign up on our website here); donations will benenfit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Also this summer will be a donation class benefiting Headstand for DC (www.headstand.org) date TBD (check our website or facebook for more information).  If you have any ideas for other service events or organizations in the area that we can partner with, please let us know.

Much love & gratitude,

Amanda

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville, MD 20852

www.extendYoga.com 

karma yoga

karma yoga

Everywhere you look people are doing yoga.  Not only “normal” people like you and I, but everyone from star athletes to celebrities to OPRAH incorporate yoga into their lives.

There are so many benefits to practicing Yoga it would be hard to name (and type!) them all in this blog.  For  example, Sting says Yoga is reversing the aging process, and Meg Ryan says it changes her life.  You can read about the other celebs who have a regular practice HERE.

Matthew McConaughey practices yoga shirtless (does he ever wear a shirt?!) on the beach, and Jennifer Aniston says yoga is therapeutic for her (and helped her get over Brad).

Now onto athletes…

Superbowl bound NE Patriots Cornerback Devin McCourty credits his success to hot yoga in the off-season.  And Lebron James’s secret is Yoga (and where he practices is a secret too!)

Do you want to have a regular practice but don’t have a celebrity paycheck?  Not a problem!  extendYoga’s new schedule starts FEBRUARY 1st and we’re happy to announce that we have Four classes for $5 on Fridays in February.  Join us every week and enjoy and hour of yoga for just $5 (that’s less than a latte at Starbucks!).  We’re also teaming up with lululemon athletica to offer COMPLIMENTARY classes on Sundays at 11am – that’s right, $0 for one hour of yoga!  At extendYoga we’re making it more affordable than ever to get yoga into your life.

See you on the mat!

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville, MD

www.extendYoga.com

yoga: everybody’s doing it

yoga: everybody’s doing it

a few big December announcements for you all!

Our Holiday Fair is fast approaching!  Come to the studio on Saturday, December 17th anytime between 12-4pm and finish your holiday shopping!  Our class packages will be 10% off!  We’re featuring local artists, crafts, jewelry, clothing, organic cleaning products, accessories, etc.  Stop by and put your name in our jar.  One lucky attendee will recieve a MONTH of FREE unlimited classes, and three people will win 5 class passes!

We’re an official TOYS FOR TOTS drop off, so please bring by any new and unwrapped gifts.  We are collecting gifts until December 20th.  For more information on the organization check out the website: Toys for Tots.

And last, but not least – we have some holiday specials to share!

For someone who wants to try out yoga…
YOGA 101 GIFT PACK
5 yoga classes with suggested class plan
1 yoga mat
$15 gift card to our retail area

$75 (a $115 value!)

For the yoga-fanatic in your life (or for yourself!)…
YEAR UNLIMITED
1 year unlimited Yoga (that comes to only $79/month!)
$15 gift card to our retail area

$950 (a $1165 value!)

For anyone and everyone…
GIFT CERTIFICATES available in any amount!

(holiday specials available through Sat, Jan 7, 2012)

Winter is finally here!

Winter is finally here!

Well… we did it!!!  We are open!

This is a little overdue… but THANK YOU to all of those who came to our grand opening celebration on the 5th.  And a special thanks to so many friends and family members who worked so hard and helped the week leading up to the opening (we had a lot of late nights and pizza dinners)!

We were more than thrilled with the turnout and it was truly a special day for Antonia and I.  We are so thankful for all the support and grateful to be a part of the community.

 

 

Our 10 minute sample classes at the opening were a hit!

Our visitors loved 10 minute Zumba! Check out a full Zumba class at the studio 6pm-7pm on Thursday nights!

Me and my mom at the front desk under our logo decal we had put up a couple days before the party (we love it)!

Our first couple weeks in business have been great.  We are excited to see new faces and get to know our neighbors each day.  Don’t forget that we are offering 10% off all our packages for the rest of November!

Stay tuned for information on our first HOLIDAY FAIR!  On Sat, Dec 17, 12pm-4pm we will be opening the studio up to the community and local vendors who will be showcasing their crafts, art and more, for all to enjoy!  extendYoga will be offering 10% off all packages during the holiday fair as well.

Last of all, with thanksgiving around the corner… we take a look at how far we have come and how blessed and THANKFUL we are for everything that we have and for everything that lies ahead.  We wouldn’t be able to follow our dreams without those who love and support us every day.

And to Antonia– I have no idea what I would ever do without you!!!  I could tell you in person, but I feel the world (or our handful of blog followers) should know what a wonderful, supportive, patient and caring person, friend and business partner you are. :)

Gobble gobble!  Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Arlet

come in… we’re open!

come in… we’re open!

We are anxiously awaiting our grand opening celebration on Sat, Nov 5, 12pm-4pm.

Please stop by and enjoy sample classes, a variety of retail and gift items and most of all
20% OFF ALL PACKAGES!!!

Don’t forget to check out our website.  We went LIVE last week!  www.extendyoga.com

See you all soon!
Arlet & Antonia

In case you didn’t get the invite the first time….

and the countdown begins!

and the countdown begins!