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.


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

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)






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

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!

I’m going to Yoga Journal’s Conference in NYC this year!  Who’s coming with me?!  It’s April 4-8, 2013.  Check out some amazing 40+ master yogi instructors teaching 100+ classes including styles ranging from Ashtanga, Forrest, Kripalu to Iyengar, Jivamukti, Restorative, and more!  Some instructors include: Kathryn Budig, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Rod Stryker, Ana Forest, Sadie Nardini and more!  Register by March 1, 2013 and get $50 off the main conference.  See info below and see you in my old stompin’ grounds, New York City!

Save $50 off the Main Conference with early bird discount.  Register by March 1 – use code NYC14

Your Journal Conference New York City

Yoga Journal Conference in NYC ~ Early Bird Discount

Yoga Journal Conference in NYC ~ Early Bird Discount

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!


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 or 301.881.3330

extendyoga is located at 12106 Wilkins Ave in Rockville, Maryland

chocolate and wine tasting

chocolate and wine tasting

What we’re loving today:  Our awesome instructors at extendYoga.  We have a studio party this weekend (photos to follow), and we’re so excited to have (almost) all our awesome teachers in one room at the same time.   We’re highlighting some of our instructors events and workshops below – enjoy!

Pratyahara Retreat (with Sarah Thomas Gulden)

September 28-30, 2012

Yoga * Juice Fast * Silent Retreat

at Am Kolel Sanctuary & Renewal Center

Beallsville, MD (1/2 hour drive north of Bethesda)

Come experience the serenity of “pratyahara” (sense withdrawel) through three days of peaceful “Silent Retreat” –no talking– so as to find a quiet internal space as well to purify physically through a guided organic juice fast.  The retreat offers two yoga classes each day: waking up to morning vinyasa, and later in the day, a more restorative yin class.  There are also twice daily meditations, pranayama (breath work), and opportunities for workshops, Yoga Nidra, walking meditations, hikes, and chanting.

For more information on the retreat you can visit Sarah Thomas Gulden’s site here, and click on the “retreats” page.

Seasonal Eating – 14 Day Fall Food-based Cleanse with Trifecta Wellness

Fall foiliage, whole food cleansing & eating what the body craves 

Even though Labor Day is behind us and the weather is still warm, fall is a time to reflect on the energy of the last two seasons while taking stock in what lies ahead. Soon, the leaves will turn beautiful hues of red and orange while the chill in the air says, “winter is around the corner.”  This fall, recharge your mental and spiritual engines with a 14-day Whole Food Cleanse commencing with the Fall Equinox on September 22nd.  What better way to welcome in the season?  Join us to get your mind and body prepped for the cooler months.  What better way to re-charge the immune system so you’re ready to tackle the flu season with plenty of inner strength?!

14-Day Whole Food Cleanse details:

  • Begins Saturday, September 22, 2012 complete with a Prep Week and Shopping List to get you prepared for success.
  • Four, weekly conference calls at 10-11 am, EST
  • Join fellow attendees via conference call and email to support each other and share your health goals
  • Receive a program packet full of over 25 recipes, cleansing techniques, support materials, health education & more

Why Cleanse? Consider doing a cleanse this Fall if you:

  • Want to lose weight
  • Are struggling with anxiety or depression
  • Have a hard time committing to a healthy diet
  • Would like the support of fellow cleansers
  • Want more energy & better sleep
  • Have mood swings and cravings
  • Want to release old beliefs, emotions and behaviors

  Check out the FAQ document for more information.  Register now, limited space is available! 

Goddess to the Core with Sierra Bender

Join Sierra in Core Power technique exercise, Yoga, drumming, boardbreaking, and Goddess to the Core Inside Out Workout.

Sunday, September 30th, 9am – 5pm

$145 for the day, and all registrants get a copy of Sierra’s book.

extendYoga: 12106 Wilkins Ave, Rockville MD 20852

To reserve your spot you can click here

what we’re loving: events coming up!

what we’re loving: events coming up!


Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana translates literally to One Foot Extended Upwards Pose, otherwise known as Standing Split.

Be sure that your body is very warm before you come into this pose.  Splits preps and Crescent lunges are great preparations for Standing Split.  You can move into this pose in a number of different ways, so experiment and see what works best for you.

 This is a great pose to practice against a wall – you use the wall and work on pressing your raised foot into the wall.  The wall helps to support the raised leg and allows you to deepen your fold (photo below).


  • Calms the brain
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves and thighs
  • Improves balance
  • Stretches the back of the leg, and the groin
  • Strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles
Here’s how to get into the pose:

1) Begin in Standing Forward Bend.

2) Bring your weight to the right leg and lift your left leg up behind you.  Make sure your hands stay firmly planted to the floor. Also be sure you’re keeping your hips squared.

3) Deepen the stretch by walking your hands closer to your right foot.  If you’re feeling balanced start to lift either one or both hands and hold onto your right ankle.

4) Try to maintain an equal strength between both legs. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

5) Lower your left leg as your deeply exhale, then repeat on the other side!

Here’s another step-by-step guide from Michael Taylor, who is a yoga guide at one of our favorite studios in NYC, Strala Yoga.

Enjoy and See you on the mat!

fun pose friday: standing split

fun pose friday: standing split

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

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. 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

My personal favorite brand of nail polish has come up with a “fitness collection” of nail polishes.  The Essie colors are always fresh and beautiful, but the name is what seals the deal.  One of my friends only chooses her colors by the names,  she’s always proud to know the exact color she’s wearing.

I bet your wondering what what “yoga themed” nail polish looks like, right?  Check out the colors below!

Here are the names and the color descriptions:

  • yogaga: a peachful sandy beige
  • boxer shorts: a cool purple color
  • gym dandy: a neutral brown hue
  • marathin: a rosy pink hue
  • pilates hottie: a lovely lilac hue
  • spinning again: a matte red shade

These shades promise to have you relaxed and ready for your next trip to your yoga/fitness studio.


what we’re loving: yogaga

what we’re loving: yogaga

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

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


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

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

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

Chakra:  Subtle energy centers. Wheels of light.

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

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

Karma: Action.

Kriya: A cleansing process.

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

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

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

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

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

Prana: Life force energy.

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

Sadhana: Practice.

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

Shanti: Peace.

Surya Namaskar:  Sun Salutation.

Yama: 5 ethical suggestions for how you treat others

Yoga Sutra: The classical work on yoga by Patanjali.


Enjoy and see you on the mat!


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“shit yogis say:” a short guide to sanskrit

“shit yogis say:” a short guide to sanskrit

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

While I was visiting some friends over July 4th, the topic of exercise and moving your body came up a few times.  My friends father let me know that he walks a marathon…weekly!  He does about 3-4 miles a day during the week, and then finishes the weekend with slightly longer walks to catch up on any mileage that he missed.  As a lover of walking, I was definitely inspired by this and have been trying to up my mileage ever since.

As I’m walking, no matter how hard I try to engage my core, and keep my spine straight, I always feel like my lower back is crunching by the end of the walk.  I’ve found a few yoga poses help to de-crunch and elongate my lower back, and big toe pose definitely does the trick!    I also have to admit, that after a long walk and big toe pose, nothing is better than putting your legs up the wall.

Here are just some of the benefits of big toe pose:

  • calms the brain, helps relieve stress and anxiety
  • stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • stretches the hamstrings and calves
  • helps relieve headache and insomnia
  • improves digestion
  • lengthens the lower back

We’re linking up to Yoga Journal for the steps to get you into the pose:

1. Stand upright with your inner feet parallel and hip width apart. Contract your front thigh muscles to lift your kneecaps. Keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hip joints, moving your torso and head as one unit.

2. Slide the index and middle fingers of each hand between the big toes and the second toes. Then curl those fingers under and grip the big toes firmly, wrapping the thumbs around the other two fingers to secure the wrap. Press your toes down against your fingers. (If you can’t reach your toes without overly rounding your back, pass a strap under the ball of each foot and hold the straps.)

3. With an inhalation, lift your torso as if you were going to stand up again, straightening your elbows. Lengthen your front torso, and on the next exhale, lift your sitting bones. Depending on your flexibility, your lower back will hollow to a greater or lesser degree. As you do this, release your hamstrings and hollow your lower belly (below your navel) as well, lightly lifting it toward the back of your pelvis.  Lift the top of your sternum as high as you can, but take care not to lift your head so far that you compress the back of your neck. Keep your forehead relaxed.

4. Finally exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides, pull up on your toes, lengthen the front and sides of your torso, and gently lower into the forward bend.

5. If you have very long hamstrings, you can draw your forehead toward your shins. But if your hamstrings are short, it’s better to focus on keeping the front torso long. Hunching into a forward bend isn’t safe for your lower back and does nothing to lengthen your hamstrings.

6. Hold the final position for one minute. Then release your toes, bring your hands to your hips, and re-lengthen your front torso. With an inhale, swing your torso and head as a single unit back to upright.

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: big toe pose

fun pose friday: big toe pose

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 – hands down – one of my favorite poses.  Viparita Karani, or legs up the wall pose just seems to be THE cure for anything you could possibly think of.  In addition to calming a racing mind, here are more of the benefits:

  • anti aging benefits
  • helps arthritis
  • helps reduce high blood pressure
  • helpful for respitory ailments
  • improves digestion
  • relieves mild backache
  • restores tired feet or legs (this one’s for you, runners!)
  • calms anxiety
  • relieves symptons of mild depression
  • helps with insomnia
  • relieves swollen ankes and varicose veins
  • regulates blood flow
(see all those benefits?  I’m telling you, it’s a cure all!)

Here’s how to get yourself into the pose:

Start by collecting the items your will need for this pose, which ideally includes a yoga mat and a yoga block (don’t have these?  You can fold a blanket up, stack a few pillows, etc).  Start by sitting sideways against the wall with either your right side or left side against the wall.  From here, you can lift your legs up as your twisting your legs towards the wall and your torso, head and neck are twisting and laying down on the mat.   Your heels and sitting bones should be supported against the wall. If you have any discomfort in your lower back, adjust your body slightly back from the wall so that your sitting bones are not touching it – this should not feel like a hamstring stretch. Rest your head on the mat/floor, and keep your spine straight.

Support your body by placing a block/folded blanket/pillow on the ground beneath your back on the small of your back. This should not be uncomfortable or painful in anyway, so if it is, please take a second to reposition your prop so its gently and comfortably lifting your hips.  Your sitting bones do not need to be against the wall, rather “dripping” down into the space between the wall and your support.

If your neck feels strained, place a small, rolled-up towel under it. Close your eyes.  Rest your arms out to your sides. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine, relaxing your hands and wrists. Keep your legs held vertically in place, but only partially flexed.

After you come out of this restorative pose, be sure to lie on your side for a few breaths before sitting upright with your back against the wall, then slowly rising to your feet.  Its normal to feel a little tingly in your feet or legs – just give yourself a second while on your side to notice this, and make sure your legs feel back to normal before you slowly stand.

Since you can modify props (don’t have a block but have a pillow you can fold up?) it’s always the perfect time to do legs up the wall…after you get back from a run (or a bike ride like in the photo above), at the end of the day, while chatting on the phone, while reading, if you need a little energy boost, even on vacation.   Want to see it done for you?  Here’s a YouTube video link.  Enjoy!


See you on the mat!

fun pose: viparita karani

fun pose: viparita karani

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

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

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

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

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

See you on the mat!


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what we’re loving: olympics edition

what we’re loving: olympics edition

We had such an amazing turn out at our donation class last Friday to benefit Michael Joel Hall.

I wanted to keep today’s blog short, and send you this link to follow all that’s going on in the yoga community for Michael Joel Hall.  You can also find a complete list of donation classes being held all over DC, MD and VA.

Thank you to everyone that attended ANY donation class in and around the DC area.

If you’d like to go and show your support, you can attend a special donation class hosted by lululemon Logan Circle.

Here’s the info:

Sunday, August 5th at 5 p.m.
Meridian Hill Park – 16th and W St NW
12 Teachers – 108 Sun Salutations – Bring Your Own Mat

For more details, here’s the facebook event link!

yoga cOMmUNITY

yoga cOMmUNITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you on the mat!

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

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

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

Today we’re re-posting a great article from Terri Carr, the author of  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

Lots of text with no photos today – but we’re sharing (some of) our daily blog reads!


For clean eating, fitness, healthy lifestyle mixed with fashion and pretty things we love Think Pretty Thoughts.

Our daily read of yoga style, yoga lifestyle and diys is Namastilo.

A holistic and wellness blog about avurveda, yoga is Spinach and Yoga.  There are tons of great recipes, and the blog gives you a balanced approach to wellness.

The Daily Downward Dog has lots of fun playlists, inspirational stories, and shares fun yoga experiences with you.

Lululemon has a community blog about yoga, running, goal setting and “a healthy dose of inspiration.”  They have fun stories behind their yoga clothing, yoga playlists, and feature yoga and fitness events happening around the country.

MindBodyGreen always has tons of content and has quick reads like “3 Life Lessons” and “5 Practices to quiet your mind.”  It’s a daily go-to for inspiration.  It claims to be the “Go-to Guide for Yoga and Wellness,” and for us, it is!

If you’re only going to read one blog and want to be in the know on all things yoga, YogaDork is the blog for you.  It has a fair share of celebrity posts, big news in the yoga world and great interviews.

Yoganonymous has great interviews and shares big yoga events happening across the country.  They have fun reads like “7 mouth watering recipes for a healthy independence day,” and always feature fresh content.


We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

See you on the mat!


what we’re loving: blogs!

what we’re loving: blogs!

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!

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

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:

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

Happy Monday!  In a little under 5 short months I’m getting MARRIED!  Crazy right?

With so many major things left to still plan – I find myself daydreaming about the little things…daily activities like snorkeling, trips to sting ray city, rum tasting, and yoga, of course!

I was inspired by my friends destination wedding itinerary where we had a yoga class in the Rocky Mountains on her wedding day (you can read about that here), and we’re planning on having a morning beach yoga class every day during our wedding week in the Cayman Islands.

With all things wedding on the brain I thought I’d share some things I’ve been reading about weddings and yoga :)

My fiance is coming to all the classes at extendYoga this weekend, and I’m so excited to practice next to him.  Check out this post on 7 Yoga Poses for Brides and Grooms.  You’ll learn how to chill out and get in shape for your wedding day!

While I can’t say that we’re considering it – Here’s an interesting idea…you love yoga right?!  Why not have a yoga wedding complete with white yoga pants!  Read all about the trend here.

While wedding planning can be fun and exciting, for a lot of people its stressful.  Here’s a breathing meditation specifically to help people deal with stressful relationships and family issues.

We have so many students engaged and planning weddings and its so fun to hear about all their planning!   Are you incorporating yoga into your wedding planning?


See you on the mat!

yoga and your wedding

yoga and your wedding

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

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.



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 (

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 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 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

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:

the truth behind sugar addiction

the truth behind sugar addiction

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

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

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


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 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

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 ( 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,



12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville, MD 20852 

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:
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.  :)


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,


*Link to pose names and descriptions of the full sequence:

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. 


12106 Wilkins Ave in Rockville, MD 20852


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.



12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville/North Bethesda, MD 20852

finding peace and focus on the mat

finding peace and focus on the mat

While our post a few weeks ago was about going green (if you missed it you can read it HERE), today’s post is about GETTING your greens.

Like us, I’m sure you all had big hopes of being super healthy, eating right, exercising more, (insert resolution here) in 2012.  Its been two and a half months – how are you all doing!?  If you’ve fallen off the New Years Resolution wagon – don’t be too hard on yourself, its not too late to get back on track.

An easy way to make sure you’re eating right is to make sure you’re loading up on greens – the more the merrier.  My favorite green right now is Kale,  I cannot get enough.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  The Huffington Post recently wrote and article “7 Reasons Kale is the New Beef” and lululemon athletica recently blogged “whats up with kale”.

Here are some reasons why Kale is such a super food:

  • one cup of kale contains over 1000% of your daily recommended value of vitamin K (which supports one growth and regulates blood clotting), and over 350% of your daily value of vitamin A (helps your vision, growth, bone formation, tissue repair, etc) and  5 grams of fiber
  • per calorie kale has more iron than beef
  • per calorie kale contains more calcium than milk! (and its also better absorbed by the body than dairy)
  • a serving of kale contains 121mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4mg of omega-6 fatty acids
The list goes on!
Want to know how to incorporate it into your life?  Here’s an easy recipe for a quick smoothie with only 4 ingredients (and it’s gluten free/vegan):
1 banana
1 green apple (cut in pieces)
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach (or more!)

Throw all in a blender and add water as needed.   It only takes about 5 minutes to make, and gets you 2 fruits and 2 vegetables (and I promise it doesn’t taste like spinach!).   Its a great breakfast smoothie and gets you your greens first thing in the morning!

Now that I’ve told you my secrets – tell me, How do you incorporate greens into your life?


12106 Wilkins Ave, North Bethesda MD 20852


getting your greens

getting your greens

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!


12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville, MD

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:

Enjoy going green!

going green

going green

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:

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,


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…
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!)…
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!


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

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

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.



power of positive thinking

power of positive thinking

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.

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!


helloooooo demo!

helloooooo demo!