Tag Archives: urban yoga spa

asana of the week- wheel

my wheel… more of an ellipse.

Chakrasana

Oh yes, we’re back-bending on this fine Friday. I recently did a yogathon at Urban Yoga Spa– two hours of hot power vinyasa, two hours of hot hatha, and two hours of yin/yang yoga. Sometimes I think I’m a special brand of insane. During the first two hours of power vinyasa, we did 5 wheel poses.

The teacher, Odessa, quoted Baron Baptiste saying: “Wheels are like pancakes. The first two are never any good” So we did two more. And when called up for the fifth, she invigorated us with another Baptiste quote. “This last wheel…is the difference between walking out of this room, and FLYING out of this room.”

I can’t say no to that, I want to fly.

  • Begin setting up for bridge pose, heels drawn close enough to the sit bones that you can brush your heels with your fingers.
  • Bring your hands mat-width next to your ears with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
  • Press into the four corners of your feet, inhale and on your exhale life your tailbone to the sky.
  • Push firmly into your hands and forearms to lift yourself up. I like to take a little pit-stop with the crown of my head on the floor, so I can go up with strength rather than momentum.
  • Draw the shoulder blades down the back, straighten the arms as much as possible.

More articulate instructions here.

Troubleshooting. If you think you’re going to die, stick with bridge for a while strengthening your back by NOT clenching your glutes. If your low back is yelling at you, make sure your feet are parallel in a number 11 and experiment walking them closer or further from you.

More. Come to your tippy toes, bring one leg into your chest and straighten it to the sky. Repeat on the other side. If this still hasn’t got you sweating, try some wheel pushups by simultaneously bending arms and legs…as if you’re doing an upside down pushup on the ceiling?

I’m still perfecting this one, any tips?

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olympians & Yoga

I had to talk about this great video if only for the fact that my home studio, Urban Yoga Spa, is featured. Olympic soccer player Alex Morgan has practiced yoga for four years. She does hot power vinyasa, which she says makes her muscles recover from long practices, and helps her focus and mental stamina. She goes on to say that yoga is ‘rehab for her body,’ and that she needs an hour every once in a while to focus on her breath.

I love hearing about athletes doing yoga because it does so much for the body and mind. It reminded me of an article last week about an Olympian doing yoga at The Grinning Yogi on Capitol Hill. With all the intense training they do, yoga must feel like a treat to their muscles and joints.

I highly encourage you to watch this video filmed at my home studio, it’s beautiful and reaffirms why we all spend the time we do practicing yoga.

Here are some articles on the benefits of athletes doing yoga.

Yoga training with Olympians

Why every athlete should do yoga

Pro athletes who practice yoga: Lebron, Shaq, Andy Murray, the Philly Eagles & more!

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yoga & music

I know there are a lot of people  in debate about the concept of playing music in yoga class. I see your point- yoga should be for quieting the mind, listening to only your breath and your body. But I LOVE music during yoga. I was raised in a musical family, and have been a pianist for years so I might be extra sensitive to the feelings that music can evoke. Anything to enhance the experience of the student and help them connect is a good thing, in my opinion.

Urban Yoga Spa occasionally offers amazing themed classes “Get the Led Out” Led Zeppelin power vinyasa, “Lighten Up” pop music power vinyasa, Madonna, etc. They are fun and really get you out of your routine. I recently did a two hour ‘music intense’ class and what really picked me up was “Don’t Stop Believin'” played right in the middle of our flow. That’s all it takes- something to break you out of any frustration you have and get you to smile. I think it’s very possible to have a focused practice accompanied by music. At The Grinning Yogi, a new studio in Seattle, the concept of every class is based around music.

I am CONSTANTLY looking for new music for my practice and imagining what songs I’ll play in classes of my own someday. I’ll only share two today, because if you’re like me, you get excited to get brand new music all the time. I swear, this is good shit.

My Current playlists-

Salutations. A high energy playlist I pair with a modified Baptiste flow. It was made for Vinyasa!

Don’t Panic. For a more mellow, restorative session with lots of fun, focused experimentation.

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