Last week I guest blogged for Active Life DC about what you should think about before signing up for Yoga Teacher Training.  Check out the posts (and my past posts) here:

You’ve been thinking about, you’ve been researching online, you’ve been visiting studios in the DC area… so how do you decide?*

Well, first things first: make sure this is something you really want to do. You don’t want to go in iffy or unsure. While researching, you might change your mind, or postpone your training plans, but if you sign up for a yoga teacher training program, you are about to commit a lot of time and a lot of money… still want to? Good, because I definitely think it’s worth it.

ArletHandstand

extendYoga students working on their handstand with their teacher, TanO (far right). photo courtesy of Arlet Koseian.

 

Now, what to consider when choosing the best yoga teacher training (referred to as YTT) program for you, read on…

1. Cost:

Be prepared to spend between $2,000-$3,500. The majority of 200-hour YTT programs in the DC metro area fall in this range (depending on the location, style of training, if there is a visiting Master teacher involved, etc.). Some studios offer scholarships, work-study and other discounted registration options. If this is something you are interested in, make sure to inquire within the studio (fyi- these opportunities may not posted in the training description, so make sure to ask).

Don’t forget to factor in added costs for books, travel and food: books and materials could run you between $75-$250. If you need to pay for parking, metro, gas, etc. keep that in mind. And pack a lunch/snacks! You might be spending some long days at training— factor in your lunch breaks or bring your own. tip: buy used books, or borrow from your yogi friends. If you’re a big note taker like me, you might opt for new books, so you can have at it with your highlighters.

Post YTT costs: If you do end up teaching (note: you don’t HAVE to teach yoga after completing training- more on this below), consider some of the post training costs: Yoga Teacher insurance ($125-$200 per year) and Yoga Alliance Registration fees ($100 initial fee, $55 annual renewal fee).

2. Time/Training Schedule:

Depending on what you are looking for and your specific schedule needs, there should be a program out there for you. There are a couple options: a more intensive version (more hours a day, less total days), or over the course of a few months, or a longer-term program that could run for up to a year; usually taking place on weekends.

If you have a full time job, the weekend format might work best for you. If you are able to take off for an extended period of time, are in between jobs, or have the availability, you might want to check out a 1, 2, 3 or 4-week intensive program.

tip: what type of learner are you? For me, the intensive route was the way to go. I’d rather immerse myself and have my 100% focus on the task at hand and THEN, spend a few weeks/months letting it all soak in. If you’d rather have more space in between meetings to digest all the practice/information (and there is A LOT to digest), then spreading it out might work better for you.

3. Location:

You’ll be spending lots of time at your YTT studio/facility. Make sure it’s comfortable and convenient for you and you are familiar with the parking/metro situation. In addition to actual training dates, most programs require you to take additional classes at their studio (even more visits you’ll need to plan).

4. To Teach or Not to Teach?

It’s a common misconception that you HAVE to teach once graduating from YTT. It’s really up to you what you do with your education. I will say that many times, yogis go into training saying “I never plan on teaching,” and the come out wanting to do nothing but teach! There are also those who go into it thinking they were born to teach yoga, and along the way, they would rather focus on and deepening their personal practice. As long as you go in completely open minded and open too all the possibilities, the rest will work itself out.

5. Your Yoga Ability/Level

Another misconception of YTT is that you have to a super duper advance practitioner to participate. Unless you are applying for an advanced (300, 500, 800-hour, etc., or specialized) training, there are usually no/minimal requirements to sign up.

That said, I wouldn’t sign up for YTT if you haven’t been practicing some sort of yoga for at least a year or if you have any major/debilitating health issues or injuries. So don’t worry, you don’t have to be able to stand on your head for 10 minutes to sign up!

6. Size:

This goes back to what kind of learner you are. Would you rather be in a small, intimate group setting or with a group of let’s say, 20-30 other yogis– your choice!

7. Former Grads, References & Reputation:

The best way to get to know the ins and outs of a yoga teacher training program is to talk to former graduates of the program. A good way to start is by looking at the lead teachers that are running the training– if you already have a relationship with them, ask them about it!

Know anyone that has completed the training? Ask them what they thought (and then ask them if you can borrow their books). Many studios hold open YTT Q&A sessions as well. That’s a great way to get to know about the teacher’s involved, meet some other potential trainees and get a feel for the program.

Last of all, don’t be afraid to ask for or review a list of references (many places already post feedback on their website). It’s a big decision, so ask as many questions as you need and do your homework before taking the plunge.

Good luck and let us know where you end up receiving your yoga teacher training certificate!

*This post is all about Yoga Teacher Training programs in the DC metro area. There are lots of trainings all over the country and abroad. If you decide to go train in Costa Rica for a month– please do, and then come back and tell us all about it!

7 Things to Consider Before Signing Up for Yoga Teacher Training

7 Things to Consider Before Signing Up for Yoga Teacher Training

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)!

Still snowed in?  Here’s an activity that might be fun (but it does require a trip to your local home improvement store).  Check out my DIYY (do it yourself yogini) post…

Greetings from a do it yourself yogini!  I like to think that I am handy person.  After all, I am pretty much filling the roll and providing general handywoman, plumber, cleaning and painting services at extendYoga on the daily.  You name it; I am your go to maintenance person.

Most of the time, I actually enjoy fixer-upper projects, rolling up my sleeves and getting crafty.  I especially like to paint, so when I came across a photo of a giant chalkboard online, I thought that it would be a great idea and fun addition to the studio.  Originally this idea was added to my “summer projects” list, but it wasn’t actually completed until early November 2013 (you know how that goes).

final6

After researching online and grabbing all the supplies, I got to work.  If you are interested in this easy, fun and affordable project, check out the step by step below.

Supplies needed:
Chalkboard paint*
Paint rollers
Paint brush
Painter’s tape
Pencil
Tape Measure
Level (or the iHandy Level app on your smartphone)
Chalk

Depending on how big your chalkboard is going to be, the approximate cost for the project should be between $30-$50.  The paint is the most of it, about $10 per pint.

*There are various brands of paint, make sure to read the directions before you get started.  1 pint of paint is probably enough unless you are painting a large wall.  You’ll need several coats (2-3), so make sure you get enough paint and account for keeping extra for future touch ups.  I used almost 2 full pints and kept a 3rd unopened pint for future touch ups, in case I need  to paint a new coat or start a new project.

Chalkboard location selection:

When choosing your new chalkboard location, keep this in mind:
-Make sure the area you are painting is flat, smooth and clean
-If you are painting directly on drywall, prime the area first
-If the area is already painted, you can paint right on top, but make sure to sand down any bumps, rough spots— it’s very important to have the surface as smooth as possible before applying the chalkboard paint
-The paint works great on pretty much any surface, but check the back of the can for specifics

Fun places to paint on:
-In your kitchen
-In kids’ rooms or on top of a kids’ table
-On a door
-On the glass of a large picture frame

Once you have your wall/surface ready, use your pencil, ruler and level to tape off the area.  Once you tape is up and firmly pressed down, you’re ready to paint!

tape1

Make sure to paint in even coats and paint in once direction and smooth (avoid globs, streaks, etc).

 paint2

You’ll want at least 2 coats.  The paint dries pretty quickly, but in order for the paint to set and work properly, you should let each coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next coat.  I painted 3 coats on this board.

After your final coat— the most important step is curing the paint.  Do not start to write/draw on your chalkboard without completing this step.

cure3

Take the side of chalk (I would recommend white chalk for curing) and rub the entire painted area.  This is what breaks the board in and will allow you to be able to erase the board without leaving behind marks.  Note: there will be a good amount of chalk dust that will accumulate from the curing process (you might want to put something on the floor for easy clean up).

chalkdust3

After curing, you’re ready to erase.  Most paint manufactures recommend you do not use regular chalkboard erasers on the paint.  I use either a large slightly damp sponge or old t-shirts (something not super abrasive).

erase4

Once you have erased— you’re ready to go!  Get creative and have fun!

ready5

Chalkboard paint versus chalkboard spray paint:

If you are looking to add a chalkboard indoors, and on a fairly large area, I would recommend chalkboard paint.  I have used chalkboard spray paint on the top of a small children’s table.  If you are able to take the object you are painting outdoors, spray works nicely, but for larger areas that require a little more durability, I’d go with paint.

Happy crafting!

DIYY (do it yourself yogini): chalkboards

DIYY (do it yourself yogini): chalkboards

hi there!  It’s been a while since posting a fun pose friday post.  I’ve got a fun one for you today.  Serving up Marichyasana– 4 ways (1-4 or A-D).  I’ve only explored I and III– let me know what II and IV are like!

(mar-ee-chee-AHS-anna)

Marichi = ray of light

You might find a variation of Marichyasana (referred to 1, 2, 3, 4 or A, B, C, D) in many yoga classes, but you’ll for sure find all 4 in the Ashtanga Primary Series.  note: I’m not a devote ashtangi– so feel free to enlighten me with any thoughts on this post/these poses!

Let’s check out some of the benefits of these poses:

  • Stimulates and also calms the brain
  • Stretches the spine and shoulders
  • Stimulates/massages abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys
  • Improves digestion

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Marichyasana I:

tip: Activate the straight leg by flexing the foot and pointing the toes up.

deepen this pose: Forward fold bringing the torso and forehead closer to the straitened leg.

Extend Yoga Arlet-12

photo cred: paul.lee.photography@gmail.com

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Marichyasana II:

tip: Warm up with poses like Half Lotus, Baddha Konasana and Gomukhasana

deepen: If you are looking for something more challenging – you cray!  (or see IV for a different challenge).

marichyasana-b-cs-9

photo cred: http://www.ashtangayoga.info

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Marichyasana III:

tip: make sure you’re sitting up nice and tall before taking your twist

deepen: Take a peak (your gaze) back behind you, over your shoulder.  Want more?  Play with a bind– hand on the ground wraps around your back.  Other hand meets the back hand.  Hold on tight!

marichyasana

photo cred: my MacBook ;)

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Marichyasana IV:

tip: Text me a photo when you do this– I need proof!

deepen: do you see where the toes are peaking out?  I can’t even!  #humanpretzel

marichyasana-d-cs-9

photo cred: http://www.ashtangayoga.info

For more Marichyasana party time, check these out:

images: www.ashtangayoga/primary-series/ and google images galore

video of all 4 versions: www.youtube.com/marichyasana A-D/

fun pose friday: marichyasana I-IV

fun pose friday: marichyasana I-IV

burn it off

Burn it Off DC

Burn it Off DC

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…

Dare I ask… Do you find yourself bored in yoga class?  Your favorite poses are not so interesting any more?  You’d rather go get fro-yo then take your friend up on a yoga class date invite?  You feel like you hit a yoga wall (and not like when you’re practicing handstands).

If you answered yes to any of these– you might be in a yOgA rUt.  It happens to the best of us; really, it does.
Here are some quick tips for when you find yourself in a yoga bind (yoga bind, get it?!):

  • Try a new class/teacher– this is the first thing I do when I’m in a rut.  We are creatures of habit, and although it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a yoga/exercise routine; taking the same class(es) for week’s on end can be not so exciting.  If you’ve been taking Hot Power yoga every Monday night for the last year– maybe mix it up and try a totally different style, class length or class level.  Be open to new experiences– you might just find something you’ve been missing!

Think outside the box

  • Change up where you post up– do you always snag your special spot in the back, next to the wall or by the fan?  I’m usually sneaking in (tisk, tisk), after class starts at my studio and head straight to ”my spot” by the door.  But every time I get in the front row or in the middle of class– it’s a whole new experience for me!  Try a new place to roll out your mat.  It could change your whole perspective on class.
  • Treat yourself to some new gear– no need to spend beaucoup bucks on top of the line yoga apparel/accessories, but you’d be surprised at what a difference a new mat makes.  Have you been eyeing a new pair of yoga pants in a funky color or pattern?  It’s definitely not about what you look like in class, but if some new duds excite you and make you feel good while practicing, try this yoga rut tip on for size!
  • Talk to your fav teacher– chances are, if you’ve been frequenting the same classes/studio, your yoga teachers know you and your practice pretty well.  Maybe they have some tips for you to spice things up.  Ever thought of asking them to stay after with you for a few minutes to work on that pose you’ve been trying to land for months?  Or maybe even scheduling a private session with them might be a nice change of pace.
  • Make yourself UNcomfortable– the first thing I tell students when they show discomfort or apprehension towards something new, is tell them to DO IT!  If there is an opportunity to try something new; whether it be a crazy pose that you never thought was possible, a new class, a new teacher, even taking a break for a few days… DO IT!  We learn so much about ourselves and our practice when we are faced with challenges, uncomfortable situations and spontaneity.  It can be so refreshing and exhilarating.  Ask yourself– what do you really have to lose?
handstand
So, when you are feeling meh, and the last place you want to be is on your mat, remind yourself of why you love yoga in the first place, mix it up and get right back at it!  The good  great news is, that the yoga is not going any where and it will be there for you, no… matter… what.

What are you waiting for?!  Make your way out of that rut and back onto your mat!

spice up your yoga

spice up your yoga

TGIF!  Happy fun pose friday yogis and yoginis.  This week’s fun pose is a balancing pose.  We love half moon pose (or Ardha Chandrasana), but have you ever bound your half moon?  No? Try it!  It’s fun… and wobbly.  So here’s the deal on bound half moon:

Benefits:

  • strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, booty, spine
  • improves coordination, focus and balance
  • helps relieve stress
  • improves digestion
  • increases circulation

catherine bound half moon

You can get into this pose a couple ways.  I think the natural (and more challenging way) is starting from half moon.  I like to get into half moon by transitioning from warrior II (or Virabhadrasana II).  That way, your hips are already open and your front foot is already firmly rooted on the ground.  You can use some momentum and push into your front foot and make your way into your half moon.

From half moon:

Once you are stable in half moon, you can slowly start to bend the knee (of the lifted leg) and reach for the top of your foot or ankle.  Keeping the hips stacked, slowly begin to open up; opening the hips and chest.  Once you are there, play with your gaze… maybe up? :)

From a forward fold:

If you are dying to get right into it, there a less challenging/less balance compromising option pictured below.  You can start with your hips square, facing the top of your mat, come into a gentle forward flow, ground down into your right foot, as you bend the knee of your left leg and reach for your foot/ankle with the left hand.  From here, start to open up, stacking the hips (which should now be open):

photo from sadienardini.com

photo above: sadienardini.com

Hetta-Welch1

Try some variations: revolved half moon, bound revolved half moon– wha?? huh??!!?

see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: bound half moon

fun pose friday: bound half moon

Happy fun pose friday!  This week’s fun pose is Wild Thing or as I like to call it, Wild THANG!  There are some variations of this pose and it could also be referred to as Flip Dog.  Here’s the step by step on how to get into this one:

  • Start in downward facing dog
  • Bring your weight into your right hand and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot, like Vasisthasana (Side Plank).
  • As you inhale, lift your hips and stay strong in your right hand.  On an exhale, step your left foot back and place your toes on the floor with your knee partially bent.
  • Lift your hips higher until you curl more into a backbend with your right foot solid on the ground.
  • Keep breathing and curl your head back, extending your left arm.
  • If you flipped your dog, than your feet would be  more in line with each other (like in Wheel) versus one leg extended out.  You would still get into Flip Dog from Downward Facing Dog, but skip the side plank!
wild thing

Me (Arlet) and Emily in our wild thing/flip dog!

Some benefits of this pose:

  • Opens up chest, lung, and shoulder areas
  • Opens the front of the legs and hip flexors
  • Builds strength in shoulders and upper back
  • Looks pretty!

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: wild THANG

fun pose friday: wild THANG

Hola from the extendYoga blogosphere!  Today’s post is an oldie but a goodie and about a topic that I really care about.  I’m re-posting a blog post from last year’s blood drive in honor of our 2nd Annual Blood Drive this Saturday, June 1!!!  Here’s all the info about the drive this weekend.  And on to the (slightly revised) post…

I’m excited to blog about something that is very important to me.  :)

So many are uninformed, scared, nervous and have misconceptions about this topic.  The topic being: donating blood.  Don’t… stop… reading… see?  I knew you’d be hesitant to hear more!

Well, the fact of the matter is, that yes, you may think it’s scary, BUT when you have the power to actually save someone’s life in a matter of just an hour– I think it’s pretty easy to get over those fears.  It may also help to know that every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 38,000 donations are needed EVERY DAY.

Now of course, some may have legitimate medical reasons to not donate, but 37% of Americans ARE eligible to donate (and less than 10% actually do).

If you are part of that 10%– THANK YOU!  And please continue to save lives with your donations.

That other 27%… well if you have ever thought about donating, but said to yourself: “It’s not for me, there is enough blood, they don’t need mine, I don’t like needles…” or any other excuse, here is an opportunity to finally try it!

On June 1, 2013: 9:30am-2pm, we will be hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross.

Everyone who signs up will not only have the opportunity to save a life, but will get 1 FREE CLASS at extendYoga to use by September 30, 2013.  AND– you will also be entered into a raffle to win 1 MONTH OF FREE YOGA! WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO SIGN UP!? (well here is a whole list of more reasons)

We have 2 classes during the drive, so feel free to take a class, donate blood and top off your day with free juice and cookies!  Sounds like an AWESOME Saturday to me!

While IN class, here are some yoga poses you can work on to help your blood circulation and flow:
-Deep breathing
-Inversions: shoulder stand, headstand
-Standing postures: warrior poses, triangle pose, tree pose
-Relaxing/Restoring postures: shavasana, legs up the wall

To sign up:
call the studio: 301-881-3330 (currently, taking drop-ins only)

I hope to see you there and please invite your friends (it’s always nice to have a buddy with you)!

Yours truly,
Arlet, blood type A+ :)

Have questions?
Feel free to call the Red Cross: 1-800-Give Life or Arlet at the studio: 301-881-3330

Some more helpful links:
Donor eligibility requirements
How to prepare/what to do before donating
What to eat before donating
Blood Facts and Statistics

extendYoga / 12106 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852

save a life? free yoga class? sign me up!

save a life? free yoga class? sign me up!

Happy hump day!  Today’s post is all about amazing yoga in the DC-MD-VA area coming up during DC Yoga Week! The DC Community Yoga Association (DCCY) is proud to present the 8th annual DC Yoga Week and Yoga on the Mall.  April 29 – May 5, over 40 participating studios in the DC-MD-VA area will offer FREE and $5 yoga classes all week long as well as discounts on class packages, workshops, and yoga merchandise.  On May 5, from 11am – 1pm, the week will close with Yoga on the Mall, one of the largest outdoor yoga classes hosted in the country.

All  info and details can be found here:

DC Yoga Week website

Yoga on the Mall ~ May 5: 11am-1pm  yoga on the mall location: Constitution Gardens (by Vietnam Memorial) Rain date: May 11
John Schumacher, Patty Ivey, Greg Marzullo and Kevin Waldorf-Cruz lead the free class on the National Mall.

Sign up for free and $5 classes at extendYoga in Rockville:

DC Yoga Week: April 29-May 5

DC Yoga Week: April 29-May 5

The Hill article – A wave of new stores hit the area

The Hill

The Hill

Pink and Fabulous blog

pink and FABULOUS

pink and FABULOUS

extendYoga is honored to partner with many organizations, causes and small businesses in our community

Check out a few of our favorites:

local biz:
Synergy Chiropractic - extendYoga students enjoy $25 off your initial exam and treatment
Supreme Sports Performance and Training - extendYoga students enjoy 10% off memberships at SSPT
CrossFit DoneRight - extendYoga students enjoy 10% off memberships at CrossFit in Rockville
progressions salon spa store
lululemon athletica Bethesda Row
Activity Rocket
Washington School of Photography
Central Farm Markets- Bethesda & Pike and Rose
Gouter tonics & treats
3 Nanas
Serenity Fitness Boutique

charity:
American Red Cross

Headstand DC
Locks of Love
House of Ruth Maryland
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Armenian Relief Society
YogaHope and Project Haiti
Cupid’s Undie Run & the Children’s Tumor Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
Yoga Salutes Non-Violence ~ Domestic Violence Centers in Montgomery County

community:
DC Community Yoga & DC Yoga Week 
DC Area Yoga
Interfaith Works Women’s Homeless Shelter
The University of Maryland  – GO TERPS!
YoKid Stretch Your Limits ~ Yoga for Children & Teens
Norwood School ~ Bethesda, MD
Kensington Cooperative Nursery School
Landon School ~ Bethesda, MD
Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten & Nursery
Mind-Body Week DC
Community Wellness Collective (CWC), Anacostia, DC
Central Farm Markets- Bethesda & Pike and Rose

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Our Favorites

Our Favorites

Here are some of our favorite recent articles!

Spinach and Yoga posted 10 Belly Friendly Snacks for Sensitive and Bloated Tummies.

Yoganonymous blogged: Yoga Research: Five proven Facts that Make Yoga Awesome.  Sounds like a great article to send your friends that aren’t convinced about the amazing benefits of yoga!

Want to know How to Find the Best Time to Detox?  Check out the MindBodyGreen article and start to prep!

YogaDork posted a comical montage of What Your Yoga Teacher Really Does During Savasana.

MindBodyGreen also talks about Why You Should Drink Warm Water and Lemon.  Seems like a great (and quick) way to benefit your body everyday!

 

Enjoy and See you on the Mat!

-extendYoga

what we’re loving- the latest yoga blog posts

what we’re loving- the latest yoga blog posts

Today we’re sending you the best from all our yoga blogs this week…Enjoy!

Feel like you’re always running from somewhere to get to your yoga class?  We love this post about the 3 Must Haves for Yogis On-The-Go.

I haven’t made the switch from iced cofee to hot coffee yet (my official “summer’s over” moment), but it certainly feels like Fall is in the air!  Check out this post on How to Use Yoga to Transition Into Fall.

DoYouYoga posted 3 Yoga Poses to Improve Posture.  Check them out here, and stand up a little more straight!

Namastilo posted Bargain Hunter: Yoga Towels.  Read this post if you’re in need of a new yoga towel, these range from $11-$32!

Yoganonymous posted a yogi reading list entitled “What Your Yoga Teacher Read this Summer”…check it out for some fall reading!

YogaDork used this infographic to show Your Brain On Meditation.  Check it out to see the difference between Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma waves!

And, not just because we have to, but because its going to be AWESOME –   Here’s a link to our post about our Wine and Chocolate tasting…and you can sign up for the event here  (only $20!)

Enjoy your reading, and we’ll see you on the mat!

what we’re loving: latest links from the yogi blogosphere

what we’re loving: latest links from the yogi blogosphere

Relax & Unwind: Limited spaces still available

for extendYoga’s

First Annual Wine & Chocolate Tasting on September 29th, 2012

Join us for a “Night In!”

If yoga isn’t your thing, but you’d love to come to a wine tasting you’re in luck! By popular demand, the wine tasting portion of the workshop is now available as a separate event for a maximum of 60 people.  We’re half FULL so reserve today.  Come how you are!  Feel free to come in your sweats, yoga clothes, jeans or whatever you plan to wear if you go out afterwards.  Either way, we don’t want you to miss out on this fun, tasting, interactive wine tasting.

 

For only $20/person, enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing from Chateau O’Brien, a high-quality Virginia winery and food samples from Trifecta Wellness. Taste, sip, mingle and enjoy!  Want to find out more about the featured wines?  Read below:

  • 2010 Northpoint White – a refreshing, elegant wine with underlying minerality and subtle accents of tropical fruit. Produced exclusively in stainless steel to preserve its naturally bright and crisp character                 
  • 2009 North Point Rose – a refreshing, dry wine with hints of strawberry, citrus, and peach-laced fruit.
  • 2008 Padlock Red – blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.  Rich in dark fruit with lovely tannins and a silky finish. 
  • 2009 Petit Verdot Cellar Collection – a Petit Verdot uniquely at home in Northern Virginia.  Full bodied & rich, tannic, expressing opulent dark fruit with subtle spice accent, and a clean finish. 
  • 2010 Virginia Apple Wine – a dessert wine that is full-bodied, elegant wine that captures the essence of apples at their peak of fall ripeness. The wine is crisp with delineated flavors and possesses lush aromas of vibrant ripe apples. 

 

Please note: All wines featured will be available for purchase at the event!

Don’t forget about the chocolate pairing and food samples to enjoy as well .

Saturday, September 29, 2012

7:30 pm – Wine & Chocolate Tasting

Click here to register today  – limited space is available

Enjoy a “night in” at extendYoga for only $20/person

Questions?  Contact us at info@extendYoga.com or 301.881.3330

extendyoga is located at 12106 Wilkins Ave in Rockville, Maryland

chocolate and wine tasting

chocolate and wine tasting

Vasistha literally means “most excellend, best, richest”, and vasisthasana is translated to what we know as side plank.

Benefits include:

  • strengthens the arms, belly and legs
  • improves sense of balance
  • stretches and strenthens the wrists

We’re linking up with YogaJournal for the step-by-step

-Start in plank pose.  Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, and stack your right foot on top of the left.  Swing your right hand onto your right hip, turn your torso to the right as you do, and support the weight of your body on the outer left foot and left hand.

-Make sure that the supporting hand isn’t directly below its shoulder; position the hand slightly in front of its shoulder, so the supporting arm is angled a bit relative to the floor. Straighten the arm by firming the triceps muscle, and press the base of the index finger firmly against the floor.

-Strengthen the thighs, and press through the heels toward the floor. Align your entire body into one long diagonal line from the heels to the crown, your spine should be straight.

-If you’d like you can stretch the top arm toward the ceiling, parallel to the line of the shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position, or turn it to gaze up at the top hand.

-Hold for 5-15 seconds and then come back into plank pose, and do the same sequence on the other side.

To read about one yogi’s journey with slide plank you can click here, Yoga with Nadine takes you through a few different variations that will help modify your body into the side plank that works best for you!

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

 

fun pose friday: vasisthasana

fun pose friday: vasisthasana

Tuesday, September 5, 2012

That’s right.  Yoga and Local, FRESH food.

On Sat, September 15th, extendYoga‘s pairing up with the Central Farm Markets, Rockville Pike location and offering two COMPLIMENTARY yoga classes.

 The sessions will take place on the grassy area in the middle of the market.  The first class is from 10:30am – 11:15am (adult class), and the second class is family friendly and offered from 11:30-12:15pm.  We’ll have around 10-15 mats available, but you’re encouraged to bring your own mat if you can.

For more information, please check out this link: Central Farm Markets Free Yoga Classes – Rockville

The Farmers Market is located at 11806 Rockville Pike, between Old Georgetown and Montrose Roads in Rockville (Mid Pike Plaza: La Madeline, Toys R Us, Chipotle Shopping Center).

The market is open from 9am-2pm on Saturdays, so feel free to come early to get your shopping done before class!

Excited to check out Central Farm Market but overwhelmed at the thought of so many great choices?  lululemon posted 9 tips for shopping a farmers’ market.

We hope you’re loving this as much as we are!

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

FREE YOGA at the Central Farm Markets in Rockville

FREE YOGA at the Central Farm Markets in Rockville

Monday, September 4, 2012

In honor of Labor Day the studio is closed today.  We hope you take this day to spend some time with loved ones or with yourself.  Either way, enjoy your day and the last unofficial day of summer!

ps – our new fall schedule is up – you can check it out here.

See you on the mat!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Halasana comes from hala, meaning plow.  The pose is named after the shape of an Indian plow (or plough), which is used to cultivate the land.

FitSugar.com says that “If you work all day at a desk, you’re not doing your neck, shoulders, or lower back any favors.”   This pose does look strange at first – but I can assure you, once you try Plow it may become part of your daily routine (it’s normally a pose taken at the end of practice, since it requires your spine to be warmed up).

There are multiple benefits, you can check them out below:

  • calms the brain
  • stretches the shoulders and spine
  • reduces stress and fatigue
  • stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland
  • helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis
Here’s how to get yourself into Halasana:

- From shoulder stand (or supported shoulder stand), bend from the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor above and beyond your head. As much as possible, keep your legs fully extended.

- With your toes on the floor, lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis.  Continue to draw your chin away from your sternum and soften your throat.  Be sure to keep your face looking straight up here, don’t look side to side as it may cause extra strain on your neck.

- You can continue to press your hands against the back torso, pushing the back up toward the ceiling as you press the backs of the upper arms down, onto your support. Or you can release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms out behind you on the floor, opposite the legs. Clasp the hands and press the arms actively down on the support as you lift the thighs toward the ceiling.

- Plow is usually performed after Shoulder stand for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. To exit the pose bring your hands onto your back again, and simply roll out of the pose on an exhalation.

 

Enjoy Halasana and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: plow pose

fun pose friday: plow pose

Mayurasana or Peacock Pose is one of the best detoxifying poses.   It gets its name not only because of the shape of the pose, but because of its strong, tonifying effect on the digestive system.  If you do this pose, you’re supposed to “have a stomach like a peacock.”

For many of you (and me included), this phrase probably left you a little confused…stomach like a peacock?!  After looking into it, I found out that peacocks actually eat a wide rande of foods everything from poisonous snakes, to scorpions, and all kinds of insects.  They’re able to digest all these animals without harm to their stomachs.  So, I wouldn’t practice peacock pose and start testing the limits of what YOUR body can digest, just take my word for it, and know that it’s stengthening your digestive system.

Besides its digestive benefits, here’s how Peacock Pose can help you:

  • invigorates the entire body
  • increases blood circulation throughout the abdominal organs
  • relieves many digestive ailments
  • massages and strengthens the stomach and spleen
  • revitalizes the pancreas
  • tones and supports the reproductive organs and sexual funtion
  • decreases acidity in the blood (especially when performed in the morning)
  • strengthens wrists, elbows and shoulders
  • promotes elimination of toxins (especially from the liver)

To give you the step-by-step, we’re linking up to Kathryn Budig and her Challenge Pose Blog, so click here.

 

If you want to fully experience the pose – you can even get the full “look.”  Namastilo put together a “look inspo: peacock pose, peacock clothes.”  You can even buy those amazing peacock leggings here.

And if you want to see a video on some variations  - you can check out the “Mayurasana – Variations of Yoga Peacock,” on our YouTube favorites page.

Enjoy, and see you on the mat!

 

fun pose friday: mayurasana

fun pose friday: mayurasana

August 22, 2012

“Never worry about numbers.  Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”  ~Mother Teresa

Today’s post is about giving; giving back, and giving to your community.  When we decided on the location of extendYoga we LOVED the space.  It was open and provided a clean slate for us to build out our dream studio.  Once we moved in, we took a walk and introduced ourselves to our neighbors.  It was on that walk that we found the Interfaith Works Women’s Shelter.  We immediately felt a need to be involved.

It started with a simple fundraiser.  We planned a donation based class in January, and all the proceeds went to buying high efficiency laundry detergent – something the shelter was in dire need of.

We then realized that the women at the shelter could greatly benefit from yoga, and we decided to teach a yoga class for them.  Since January, we’ve been teaching these women once a week (even the flood didn’t stop us!).  It has been so amazing to work with such a great group of women, who go through so much in their daily lives, yet still manage to make it to their mat to get some time to work on themselves, their body, and their mind.  While we love seeing their faces every week, it’s when they stop coming to class that makes us the most happy.  This means (in almost all cases), that they’ve gotten a job and moved out on their own.    We’re so thankful to be involved with such a great organization.  (you can read more here)

Today, we (extendYoga and Interfaith Works) were filmed for News Channel 8, and its airing tonight (Wednesday, August 22 at 10pm EST)!!  We’re thrilled to have publicity around something that means so much to the studio.  Be sure to check it out if you live in the MD/VA/DC area. (update: here’s the link to the story)

If you’d like to learn more about InterFaith works you can check out their website here.

Donating your time, or money/supplies  is an easy way to give back to your community.    If you’re in the Rockville area you can check out this website to learn about ways to help.

what we’re loving: giving back

what we’re loving: giving back

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

Today’s post is written by Edie Lazenby.  Edie teaches Beginner Flow at extendYoga on Saturday’s, and this weekend (August 12th) has her second Family Yoga workshop at 3:30 at extendYoga.  The cost is $15 per child (adults are free) – There are a few spots left – you can sign up here.

 

Family Yoga? Why do I love teaching this? Because you see how people can connect and have fun exploring themselves and one another in a safe non-challenging environment. There is no right way or wrong way. Of course for the little ones skills like listening and following directions are employed. But who would not listen when asked to paddle through the ocean on a surfboard or roar as loud as a Mommy lion protecting her cubs?

We play games. We have fun. We share.

Partner poses give the adults and the children a chance to be together and help each other do the pose. Partners have to communicate openly and willingly to make sure what the other is doing is supportive. Siblings too have the opportunity to play together here, the older one’s taking a leadership role and sometimes children will do poses with children they’ve never met before, which takes some courage when you’re an adult, much less when just a young one.

Family yoga builds harmony. Family yoga gives everyone quality time. The parent’s don’t have to be in charge. The children don’t have to challenge anyone. The goal is for all to have fun. Many times the yoga is new to the children or the adults. Or, the adults do yoga and the children have an opportunity to do what they see their parent’s do with them.

Is it Asana-based? No…not when the children are younger. It is based on fun. We play games. We breathe. We Aum. We might play a game of hot potato or make a portrait with the students with the poses to tell a story. When I have had a class with four year olds and 12 year olds it is amazing how the older children participate, have fun and enjoy sharing with the younger students.

Yoga is about connection and how we engage. Families are already connected and engagement is the name of the game. Family yoga just makes sense because all the ingredients of yoga are already there. We just add awareness and fun.

 

Edith Lazenby is a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC, and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has been writing poetry since she was nine years old. Poetry is her first love and yoga continues to feed her heart. She writes because she loves it. She teaches because she loves it. She tells her students all the time: do it because you can. That works for her. She believes in creating opportunity. She believes in helping herself and others. She thinks faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. She believes the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help her celebrate.

 

See you on the mat!

fun with the family (yoga)

fun with the family (yoga)

Today’s fun pose is Matsyasana or Fish Pose.  Some claim that if you perform fish pose in water, you will be able to float like a fish – try it out for yourself!

matsya = fish

There are many benefits to matsyasans:

  • Stretches the hip flexors and the muscles in between the ribs
  • Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck
Before we take you through the steps to your fish pose, we should warn you that with any chest opener you could feel an giant emotional response.  Read about Anacostia Yogi’s emotional experience with fish pose here.

Here’s how you can realize your fish pose:

1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor, and slide your hands, palms down, below your back (on either side of the small of your back) . Then rest your buttock/backs on the backs of your hands. Be sure to tuck your forearms and elbows up close to your sides.

2. Inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Next press your with an inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Then release your head back onto the floor. There shouldn’t be a big amount of weight (just really light!) on your head to avoid crunching in your neck.

3. You can keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor. If you choose to straighten your legs be sure to keep your thighs active, and press out through your heels.

4. Stay for 30 seconds, keeping your breath steady. When you’re complete in fish post, gently lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your thighs up into your belly and squeeze.

Here’s a video on youtube showing you a slightly different variation of how to get into the pose.

Enjoy your fish pose – and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: fish pose

fun pose friday: fish pose

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

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

I’m up in MA, celebrating some friends and family birthdays and I was able to fit in a yoga class this morning at the Whitman Wellness Center.  We worked on tripod headstand (and the transition to and from crow pose), so that’s the inspiration for todays’ fun pose Friday post.

When practiced correctly (and safely), headstand has many benefits to the mind and the body.  The pose increases blood flow to the brain as well as stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands to revitalize and calm the mind.  As other inversions, it helps to relive stress, depression and insomnia.  It also regulates your metabolism, improves memory, concentration and aids circulation.  When it comes the the physical body, sirsasana II works on the neck, abdomen, shoulders, back and arm muscles and thereby strengthens the core.  It helps lengthen the spine and relieve pressure on the lower back.

If this pose brings up a lot of fear for you make sure that you take your time in the setup, establish a focal point for your eyes, and breath as you begin the process.  No matter how advanced your practice, it is incredibly important to treat each headstand with respect; aligning and moving into the pose with commitment and integration.

Click here to be walked through step by step by our favorite challenge pose master, Kathryn Budig.

 

Enjoy your SAFE practice of tripod headstand and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: sirsasana II

fun pose friday: sirsasana II

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

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

I love blogs.  So, I’ll confess, one of my favorite things to do is open my google reader and catch up on all the latest in health, wellness, fitness, fashion, weddings, and diy projects.  I “star” all articles that I want to look into, or use as future inspiration for a post, and I usually find a few things that I want to try out, or incorporate into my life.

So, when one of my favorite lifestyle, workout and healthy living bloggers Think Pretty Thoughts posted about her routine of drinking Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), I couldn’t get to Whole Foods fast enough.

All this may sound crazy,  don’t worry – I’ll walk you through the steps you need to know to get yourself started on this (not so) tasty little treat after I first talk about the many benefits:

  • High Cholesterol:  A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol.
  • Diabetes:  Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels because it lowers the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.
  • Rich in Potassium: Helps prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses, also key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, and heart activity
  • Calcium: helps create strong bones and teeth
  • Contains ash which gives ACV its alkaline property.  Ash aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state
  • Rich in malic acid which gives Apple Cider Vinegar its anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Helps improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate
  • Helps clear up skin blemishes
  • Bloat Reducer
  • Weight loss: ACV helps with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them
If that’s not enough – here are 25 uses for Apple Cider Vinegar.

I couldn’t find any studies on this one – but some claim its an instant cure for hiccups!

Wanna get started?!

Go pick up a bottle of ACV.  Make sure it’s unfiltered, not pasteurized and made from organically grown apples.  It should be a cloudy dark yellow/brownish color and, if it’s not shaken, it should have a lot of cobweb like build up on the bottom of the bottle (that build up is the good stuff, it’s referred to as the “mother”).   My go-to brand is Bragg.  It’s sold at Whole Foods, some grocery stores and health stores.  Make sure whatever kind you get that it’s not tansparent – that will give you all the bad taste and none of the benefits listed above.

Start off with 1 tablespoon in a full 8oz of water, stir it up and enjoy :)  Please give yourself a little time to get used to the taste  - it’s prety disgusting at first, but it grows on you and you will enjoy it once you start enjoying the benefits of it!

If you truly don’t think you can handle the taste – here’s an alternative drink recipe that include honey.

I try to drink that mixture 1-2 times a day.  PLEASE NOTE: its not recommended to drink more than 3 tablespoons per day as its extremely acidic and could overtime cause damage to your stomach.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to facebook and/or email (info@extendYoga.com).

See you on the mat!

all about apple cider vinegar

all about apple cider vinegar

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

What we’re loving this week is very scattered!

The humidity here is getting a little out of control.  For those of you whose hair is unaffected – ignore this post and know that we are all super jealous!  For the rest of us, I found a natural Frizz Fighting hair mask reicpe on MindBodyGreen:

  • Blend together 1 cup of pure coconut milk, 1 ripe avocado, 3 tablespoons of honey, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Mix at high speed in a blender until smooth. Generously apply evenly to shampooed hair. (If you or your nieces have fine hair, avoid your roots to keep your hair from looking flat).
  • Cover with shower cap and allow it to sit on hair for at least 15 minutes (and up to 1 hour, depending on how much time you have!).
  • Rinse and follow with conditioner. Leftovers can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Here are 4 Simple Ways to Be Happy.  They really are simple!  My favorite might be to “Lose your addiction to ‘dramayama’”- what a great word!

 

I’m loving summer and fresh, local farmers markets!  Need a guide to know when fruits and veggies are in season?  Here’s a great cheat sheet!  Right now its: Corn, Eggplant, Bell Peppers and Okra for veggies and in the fruits its: Apples, Figs, Grapes, Mango, Watermelon and Tomatoes.  Eat up!

 

See you on the mat!

Zero Frizz, Happy, Watermelon

Zero Frizz, Happy, Watermelon

 

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

Tween-Yoga

GROWING GODDESSES~ LET YOURSELF GLOW (AGES 11-14)

W/ RONI ZELIVINSKI

FIRST FRIDAYS OF THE MONTH: MARCH 7, APRIL 4, MAY 2: 5pm-6:30pm

Cost: $85 per person for all 3 dates, $32 to drop in (contact the studio to purchase drop in- stop in spots available!)

This three part workshop is designed specifically for pre-teen/teen girls ages 11-14.  Each class, we’ll learn more about embracing, celebrating, and taking care of our bodies. We will be flowing through some relaxing yoga poses (especially great during the moon cycle), making jewelry and art, listening to inspiring music and eating some tasty healthy snacks. It will be a beautiful feminine practice designed to awaken the inner goddess in everyone!

We’ll cover themes like:
March~ Goddesses of the Elements: Earth, Wind, Water & Fire (make bracelets in the theme of our favorite elements)
April~ Goddesses of the Moon, Stars & Sun (decorating beautiful candles)
May~ Zodiac Goddesses (collaging about our dreams, favorite things and loves)

Growing Goddesses~ Let Yourself Glow (ages 11-14): March-May

Growing Goddesses~ Let Yourself Glow (ages 11-14): March-May

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

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here.  It’s good to be back on the blog and I’m excited to blog about something that is very important to me.  :)

So many are uninformed, scared, nervous and have misconceptions about this topic.  The topic being: donating blood.  Don’t… stop… reading… see?  I knew you’d be hesitant to hear more!

Well, the fact of the matter is, that yes, you may think it’s scary, BUT when you have the power to actually save someone’s life in a matter of just an hour– I think it’s pretty easy to get over those fears.  It may also help to know that every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 38,000 donations are needed EVERY DAY.

Now of course, some may have legitimate medical reasons to not donate, but 37% of Americans ARE eligible to donate (and less than 10% actually do).

If you are part of that 10%– THANK YOU!  And please continue to save lives with your donations.

That other 27%… well if you have ever thought about donating, but said to yourself: “It’s not for me, there is enough blood, they don’t need mine, I don’t like needles…” or any other excuse, here is an opportunity to finally try it!

On April 20, 2012: 9am-3pm, we will be hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross.

Everyone who signs up will not only have the opportunity to save a life, but will get 1 FREE CLASS at extendYoga to use by Oct 31, 2012.  AND– you will also be entered into a raffle with other April donors to win a 16GB iPad2!  WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO SIGN UP!? (well here is a whole list of more reasons)

We have 3 classes during the drive, so feel free to take a $5 Friday yoga class, donate blood and top off your day with free juice and cookies!  Sounds like an AWESOME Friday to me!

Fri, April 20 classes during the drive:
8:30am Hatha Yoga (mixed level)
9:30am Flow (mixed level)
12noon Flow (mixed level)

While IN class, here are some yoga poses you can work on to help your blood circulation and flow:
-Deep breathing
-Inversions: shoulder stand, headstand
-Standing postures: warrior poses, triangle pose, tree pose
-Relaxing/Restoring postures: shavasana, legs up the wall

To sign up:
call the studio: 301-881-3330
sign up directly at: http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation
or respond to our blood drive facebook invite

I hope to see you there and please invite your friends (it’s always nice to have a buddy with you)!

Yours truly,
Arlet, blood type A+ :)

Have questions?
Feel free to call the Red Cross: 1-800-Give Life
Myself or Antonia at the studio: 301-881-3330

Some more helpful links:
Donor eligibility requirements
How to prepare/what to do before donating
What to eat before donating
Blood Facts and Statistics

***If anyone is available and interested to Volunteer for part of or the whole day– please let me know!  We need someone to help pass out juice and cookies.  :)

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852

What’s better than a free yoga class?… saving a life… or two!

What’s better than a free yoga class?… saving a life… or two!

Today’s blog is coming from extendYoga’s talented instructor, Amanda Credeur.

Celebrate Spring (& our REOPENING) by Saluting the Sun.

Spring is known as a time of renewal, so it is fitting that the reopening of extendYoga coincides with the Spring Equinox (March 22nd).   Come celebrate the Spring Equinox THIS SATURDAY for FREE! at 1pm.  Along with rebirth, the Spring Equinox is associated with he most well known yoga sequence, the Sun Salutation* (Surya Namaskar). As we move from the shadows of winter into the spring sunlight, sun salutations are a wonderful way to welcome this new season.

The sun salutation sequence is great as a short, daily, home practice, which can help maintain proper alignment between regular yoga classes. Regularly practicing sun salutations is a great way to check in with your body every day; since the sequence includes the same poses, noticing subtle changes in the body between practice sessions becomes easier. One of the best benefits of regularly practicing sun salutations is that the poses build a strong foundation for many intermediate and advanced poses. If strength isn’t always what you’re looking for, any memorized sun salutation can be used as a form of moving mediation.

While the most popular Sun Salutation is Surya Namaskar A (pictured above), there are many other versions and variations. Anyone can easily adjust Surya Namaskar A to fit their practice level. For example, the sequence can be modified by holding some of the poses longer than one breath, practicing lunges when stepping forward and backward or practicing hand stands as the transition to and from downward facing dog. The possibilities are endless! We hope you’ll join us in our flow and power yoga classes to learn the many variations and benefits of the Sun Salutation sequence. Join us in our celebration of spring by saluting the sun!

As a way to get you back into your yoga practice since we’ve been closed – extendYoga is offering this class FREE on Saturday, March 17th at 1pm.  Be sure to sign up online: HERE or call the studio: 301.881.3330 to reserve your spot!

See you on the mat,

Amanda

*Link to pose names and descriptions of the full sequence: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2746?page=2

Please note: While there are many benefits of practicing sun salutations there are also possible pitfalls. If you have injuries, especially in the shoulders, wrists, or feet, you should ask your instructor for modifications or forego practicing poses within the sequence that you cause discomfort. 

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave in Rockville, MD 20852

info@extendYoga.com

301.881.3330

Saturday: 108 Sun Salutations to Celebrate Spring (and our reopening!)

Saturday: 108 Sun Salutations to Celebrate Spring (and our reopening!)

Today’s post is written by Emma Andrews, one of the lovely instructors here at extendYoga.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are one of the ancient texts containing the basis of the philosophy of yoga. Written in Sanskrit, the text is broken up into four different sections, “padas”, or “feet”. Each pada contains short lines or, “sutras”. These sutras are meant to be contemplated as part of a student’s mental and physical practice of yoga. Dating back to somewhere between 5,000 B.C. and 300 A.D. , the sutras were intended for a very different student,  but I believe they are still relevant nuggets of wisdom to broaden the modern-day student’s mind.

“’Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah.’

The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.’”

-        Samadhi Pada, Sutra 2. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

This second sutra speaks to a core theme of yoga. Yoga isn’t just about doing different poses to build up flexibility and strength; it’s about finding focus and peace on the mat and transferring those discoveries into daily life. I know, it sounds a bit hokey, but consider that as a yoga student you’re moving through different poses to build strength and flexibility so one day you can do the poses without worrying about the actions. In the same way a natural runner runs to clear their mind, a natural yogi (or yogini) comes to the mat to clear their mind. Moving through the actions becomes calming and meditative.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to move through vinyasa after vinyasa in a meditative state, but next time you’re in class, see if you can practice yoga without letting all the “vrittis” (mind chatter) get in the way. When the voices in your head start chattering, see if you can push them away and focus on what you’re doing in that present moment. Learning to restrain your thoughts is part of the practice of yoga.

-Emma

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville/North Bethesda, MD 20852

finding peace and focus on the mat

finding peace and focus on the mat

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

We’ve been getting lots of compliments on our unique artwork here at extendYoga.  In the past few years Arlet and I’s yoga mats have seen hundreds of hot yoga classes in a number of different cities and, needless to say, they have taken a lot of wear and tear.  With the opening of extendYoga we decided to end our relationship with our old mats and hang them on our (new) walls to give them the proper retirement they deserve.

Here are some (iphone) photos of our mats:

Framing our mats was our way to recycle our mats, and hold onto our memories (not to mention, have free and meaningful artwork for our walls).

Here’s a list of other ways to recycle your yoga mat if you find (like most of us) that you have those few mats that you can’t get rid of but just don’t use anymore: 50-ways-reuse-your-yoga-or-fitness-mat

And just because we’re on the subject, below are some of our favorite (and eco-friendly) products.

With all the yummy tea at the extendYoga Tynan Tea bar, we’re trying to use plastic, reusable tea cups: Eco_Cold_Drink_Cup

A refillable water bottle is always great to have.  There are BPA free, stainless steal and contain no paint or plastic:  www.kleankanteen.com

Enjoy going green!

going green

going green

2011 was a great year, lots of exciting events, fun changes, and many things to be very thankful for.  We’d like to take a moment to thank EVERYONE for their support of extendYoga.  Arlet and I relied so heavily on our friends and family in 2011, and we’re so blessed to have such a supportive group surrounding us.  In addition to our friends and family we also have an amazing group of instructors at extendYoga that we are so lucky to have. They have believed in us from the start, stuck with us through a lot of construction set backs during our opening process, and they continue to amaze us with their support for the studio, and their belief in us and extendYoga.  And last, but certainly not least, we have a wonderful group of clients in our community that we can’t thank enough for coming to classes and visiting us at the studio! Thank you all so very much, we appreciate you all every day!

Now for a personal thanks – and that’s to my best friend, business partner, and basically my better half.  I could not have lucked out more in having Arlet as my business partner and I’m so thankful for her everyday. I never knew I could sit next to and talk to someone for 12-14 hours a day, and then when we part still feel the need to call immediately because there’s something else to discuss (whether its a new marketing idea for the studio, or to recap what happened on the latest episode of the Kardashians…yes, we watch the show – don’t judge).

With all those thanks out there, and without finishing my novel on all the reasons I’m thankful for Arlet – I’m going to shift to 2012.  The New Year is here, and I’m sure (like us) you’ve all made your new years resolutions and intend to keep them throughout the year.

One of our intentions for the studio is to give back – to you, and to the community.  We’re continuing this intention in 2012, and already have a lot on the calendar for it.

  • We know yoga can be expensive, and we want to make sure it can be accessible to everyone so we offer two $5 classes per week at extendYoga.  Check out our schedule to see the $5 class times: http://extendyoga.com/classes/schedule/.
  • We’re offering a FREE ZUMBA class on Thursday, January 5th.  To sign up online click here.
  • We have an ALL PROCEEDS GO TO CHARITY class on January 16th.  The class is only $5, so please feel free to donate more.  All proceeds will go to buying high effiency laundry detergent for the Interfaith Works Womens Shelter in Rockville.  You can sign up for that class here.  We’re planning lots of other ways to give back to you and the community – so if you have any causes you are passionate about and would like to work with us please email us at info@extendYoga.com

To end this post with some laughs – I’m going to repost YogaDork’s 10 best and funniest Yoga videos of 2011.  You can see the top 10 and watch them HERE.

We wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Namaste,

Antonia

Set your intentions for 2012

Set your intentions for 2012

While I’m sure everyone is prepared this year, and already has their gifts purchased and wrapped, we have the perfect gifts for the yogi in your life.

I’m an avid blog reader, and YogaDork is on my list of daily reads.  YogaDork posted the “Best Yoga Gifts of the Year” on their site…you can check that list out here: http://www.yogadork.com/news/yogadork-holiday-gift-guide-2011-the-best-yoga-gifts-of-the-year/

I decided it was time for me to put together my yoga wish list for 2011 Holidays (just in case Santa reads our blog):

Since the studio is finally open I’ve been taking a lot of classes with our great instructors.  My mat is getting a lot of wear and tear so I’m going to be needing a new one soon!  This kulae tpECOmat in midnight/ blossum is great for hot yoga, its very anti-slip!

I love a versatile pant that I can practice in and then keep on while I run some errands.  These Zweet Lima Capri’s are the mix of style and function and let’s be honest, I love anything with rouching!

Lululemon No Limit Tank, this is the perfect top for all the hot yoga classes I’ve been taking at extendYoga.

For anyone who knows me, you know my ideal outfit (for any season other than in the summer) is yoga clothes, and now that I work in a yoga studio I can get away with wearing my yoga clothes everyday!   I can’t get enough of the Run: Your Heart Out Pullover from Lululemon.  I’m a sucker for anything with thumbholes.

After class its tough to go out in the cold with my capris and uggs (since a part of my calf is exposed to the winter!), so I’ve been loving leg warmers lately to keep my whole leg warm and bridge the gap between my boots and my capris.  These leg warmers are hand crafted in the USA and are made from reused, recycled and earth friendly materials.

These Made with Love Recycled Rubber Bracelets are great to wear during yoga because they can bend with you, and don’t make any loud clinking noises like other bangles.  The best perk is that the proceeds go to providing shelter, meals, education and training programs to children from the streest of Dakar, Senegal.

Now that I’ve outlined my ideal outfit and day to you, what’s on your holiday wish list?

Still need a gift for the yogi (or anyone) in your life?  At extendYoga, we have lots of variety in our retail shop and you don’t have to worry about shipping costs, or your gift not getting here in time.  We also have great holiday specials going on until January 7th (only $950 for a YEAR membership with unlimited classes!  Way to get a jump start on your New Years Resolutions!), as well as gift certificates in any amount.

Stop in to take your favorite class, try something you never have, buy a last minute gift, or just unwind with some gourmet, complimentary tea from our Tynan Tea Bar.

happy holidays and namaste,

Antonia

a guide to top yogi gifts

a guide to top yogi gifts

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!

to our Grand Opening Celebration – Hope to see you all there!

you’re invited…

you’re invited…

For those of you that practice yoga, your instructor may have asked you to set your intention at the beginning of class.  If you don’t practice yoga, you could still be setting your own intentions and goals on a daily basis, once a month, once a year… whatever it may be.

Last week, we re-submitted our architectural drawings to the dreaded county in our second attempt to get our final building permit (which we need to complete construction).  We did this on a Thursday.  We left the county saying (and really believing) “We are getting our permit on Monday… we are getting our permit on Monday…”

We even joked “We have to keep Monday morning open, so we can go pick up our permit.”  “Should we start writing thank you cards to the permitting people for getting us our permit?”  We even took it as far as emailing our architect and contractor stating that we WILL be receiving our permit on Monday and asking when we can start up the construction again.

Sure enough, Monday afternoon we received an email confirming that our drawings have been approved and we can come in and finally pick up THE infamous permit!  We always said that we would cry hysterically when we got this news, but instead of getting emotional, we reverted to a “we’ll believe it when we see it” attitude.  Well, a few hours later, we did see it and immediately posted it right up on our windows at the studio!

So the moral of the story (or blog) is that if you really believe something is going to happen and direct your mind to a purpose or plan… it will happen!  Whether you want to perfect your yoga pose in class or get your Montgomery County building permit, just believe and it may just come true.

Namaste,

Arlet

power of positive thinking

power of positive thinking

Just a few updates since the last blog went out.  We put up our Coming Soon sign and it looks great!  Shout out to my uncle, Artur for helping us get it up (he actually did most of the work).  We already got a couple emails from people who said they saw it and wanted to get on our mailing list– very exciting!

As for the status on our construction and obtaining all of our permits… we are slowly moving along in the process and making some headway.  We should have more news within the next 2 weeks.

In the meantime, here are some pics me over labor day weekend that you might enjoy!

That’s me at the Willis Building Skydeck in Chicago.  It’s the 8th tallest building in the world… representing extendYoga with a headstand on what they call “The Ledge.” I’m on the 103rd floor, 1,342 feet in the air!!!  It was scary, but what a rush!!!

Tree pose on top of the city.

Stay tuned for the next update!

-Arlet

Coming Soon Sign is up!

Coming Soon Sign is up!

After weeks of ironing out our architectural drawings and plans with our Architect and Engineer, we finally submitted our plans to the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services!

Sounds boring… but it’s actually a really big step for us.  Now that we are in the system, we’ll go through several rounds of edits/notes and then our final inspections.  Once we get approval and obtain our permits, we’ll be able to finish our construction and open our doors!  There are of course, a few more steps before opening day– we’ll make sure to fill you all in on those details as we get to them. :)

In addition turning in our drawings to the county, we also participated in the Wine & Women Networking Happy Hour event hosted by Women Ambassadors for Business and the Rockville Women’s Business Center.   Antonia and I had a great time drinking wine, eating cheese and networking with other women business owners in the area.  It was a great turnout and we left with some awesome gift bags!

Filling out some paperwork as we wait for our number to be called at the Dept. of Permitting…

See ya soon!

quick update from extendYoga “offices”

quick update from extendYoga “offices”

As my friends and family can atest, I’ve been “moving to Maryland by the end of the month” every single month since October.  Well – I’m finally here!
I’m so thankful for the extended time I got to spend at home and I already miss Massachusetts – my family (including E, T, M & H), my friends, omi-lettes (omelettes made by my omi), my love, and who can forget the infamous accents, the aggressive drivers, honeydew, podima, etc.  However,  I’m beyond happy to finally be reunited with Arlet and starting this new adventure.  As many of you know, we’ve been dreaming of this day for a while now and we are thrilled its finally here!

I made the big move on Monday, driving 8.5 hours with my clown car overflowing with things I just couldn’t leave at home.  Arlet has already teased me about all the “essentials” I brought but I clearly needed my crockpot in the middle of summer and my 15+ cookbooks that I’ll never use.  Thanks to Arlet and her family (my adopted MD family), I’m hooked up with an apartment, my furniture’s all moved in and I even have weekend plans that include, girls day/night and even a family bbq on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to so much about living in MD!  Even though I don’t like seafood, a crab feast is on the top of my list – who doesn’t love the idea of drinking beer and eating messy food?  Also on the list are to be a tourist in DC-a lot, go to a Nationals game, visit friends I haven’t seen in way too long,  go to the beach, visit Annapolis, wine taste in VA, visit Baltimore and see an Orioles game, and last but not least, open our yoga studio!  here’s a shameless attempt to get more “likes” on facebook:  For more updates on the studio and its progress (which is a lot!) head over to our facebook page and “like us” there…there’s tons of photos of the construction so far.

A giant THANK YOU to all my friends and family that have been so supportive in my move including everyone that came out to my family BBQ last weekend and everyone who has put up with long phone calls (including facetime) to make me feel like I’m not missing anything.  Especially thank you to my adopted family and Arlet; They have been so supportive and welcoming I would definitely still be unpacking boxes and would be sitting on the floor if it weren’t for you and your help!!  I’m so thankful that you welcomed me into your lives and made me feel right at home.
xoxo
Antonia

maryland welcomes me!

maryland welcomes me!

It’s been almost two months since our last post… our apologies!!  Luckily for you, we have a jam-packed blog with some pretty major updates and big news!

Last week– after many, many conference calls, meetings and walkthroughs of the site, we finally chose our wonderful architect and awesome contractor.  We had a group meeting on Monday and demolition began Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to work (in flip flops?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antonia’s stand-in (AKA, my mom)

Old walls come down, new walls will go up

Antonia was in town Monday and Tuesday, so she missed the first day of demolition, but she was here for a couple major items that we checked off of our to-do list.

We spent an afternoon in Baltimore filing our articles of organization.  After about an hour in a DMV style environment, extendYoga officially became extendYoga, LLC!  We tried to sneakily record the lady call out our business name on my iPhone when it was time to pick up the paperwork, but found that challenging when she yelled “NO CELL PHONES!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s official!  Notice the “no cell phones” sign in the background

We also opened our small business bank account.  Shout out to the amazing staff at BB&T Bank – Shady Grove location: Mimi and Aasim (literally pronounced “AWESOME”– how can you go wrong with opening an account with him?)!!!

Coming up with our online banking login name and passwords was a comical scene at the bank… something we both will remember, something meaningful, needs to have numbers and letters… it was funny to hear our rationalizing on how we would remember the answers to some of the security questions.

The last item on the list was apartment hunting for Antonia.  What is the deal with New York City prices in Rockville-seriously?!!  After many visits, we found a frontrunner in the Rockville area, but no lease just yet.

And finally– the question of the hour:  WHEN ARE WE OPENING?  You will have to wait for the next blog and obsessively check our facebook page to find out.  Speaking of facebook… PLEASE “LIKE” OUR PAGE!

Arlet

helloooooo demo!

helloooooo demo!