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This week’s practice is a great short class with which you can start your day.  It is a full body warm-up to greet your day with energy and presence.
This shorter practice explains often overlooked alignment points in our most common vinyasa sequence, Surya Namaskar A.  It progresses to a near constant flow making it a perfect yoga “quick fix’.
Your spine and its energetic ethereal double called sushumna nadi act like an antenna. This antenna behaves just like old school TV antennae did not so long ago.   The antennae (for those of you who are too young to remember) are rods or wires for radiating or receiving radio waves.  If the TV picture was fuzzy,  we had to adjust the antennae, moving them into the right place to receive the waves.   When we align the curves of the spine and its energetic double (sushumna nadi), your body becomes more effective at moving blood, lymph and breath as well as more effective at opening the energetic channels in the body so prana (aka energy/ life force) flows freely.   In this practice we align the top of the "antenna".  We all have "tech neck" a condition where the skull is anterior to the rest of the spine.  It comes from reaching the head forward to look at our tiny smart phone screens.  This one misalignment can wreak havoc throughout the body.  This alignment principle is called "skull loop".  Skull loop is illustrated in the photo below.
We will work strengthening the foundation of every pose eventually building to handstand.  Your foundation is the basis upon which you stand or are supported.  The smaller the foundation the harder it is to balance.  We will challenge ourselves by progressively working toward smaller...
We will work strengthening the foundation of every pose eventually building to handstand.  Your foundation is the basis upon which you stand or are supported.  The smaller the foundation the harder it is to balance.  We will challenge ourselves by progressively working toward smaller...
Allowing the breath to guide your movement is the focus of this week’s practice.  It is a true vinyasa class.
This practice focuses on the relationship of two alignment principles called kidney loop and shoulder loop. The essence of this relationship is that we need to have a strong core to support healthy shoulder alignment and posture.   We will explore this relationship through...
A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the Jasper Johns show, Something Resembling Truth,  at The Broad Museum.   The way in which this show was curated highlighted his use of repetitive themes.  His 0 Through 9 series and all its iterations inspire this practice.   I walked away remembering the Tantrik idea that nothing is ever the same, each moment is a unique experience.  Even if something seems repetitive like a bunch of paintings of flags or the mundanity of our daily lives, we need to examine further and understand that there is something new to be discovered in every moment.   This week we explore essentially 9 poses over and over again discovering something new every time (or at least that is what I hope!).
This is the closest I get to a “Power Yoga” class.   We pack everything you need into 22 minutes.
This week’s practice focuses on the strength building aspects of heart opening poses. We focus on an alignment principle that I call “shoulder loop”.  In Sanskrit, there are many words for love. Prema means divine self love.  It occurs when we understand ourselves completely....
I was blown away by a Yayoi Kusama exhibit I saw a couple of weeks ago at the Marciano Arts Foundation called With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, 2011(photo below).  It was a brilliant reminder that sometimes the simplest idea or action can be the most profound. Her work is the inspiration for our practice this week.  Staying aware of the breath, finding the basic form of the pose, and infusing the movement with the intention of "keeping it simple"  are the three pillars of this practice.   Nothing fancy.  Just the basics.  I hope you find this practice as satisfying as I did.  This is my new go-to everyday practice. 
Spanda means pulsation. Everything manifest is pulsing between contraction and expansion.  As made evidence from physics, even matter we believe to be solid and completely stable on a microscopic level is comprised of pulsing molecules.   Think about an EKG reading; when your heart is beating the reading is a wavy line when your heart is no longer beating it is a straight line.   The pulsation defines our existence even though many of us would like to cling to the peaks and forget the valleys, both are required for life.    We explore how spanda informs the practice by working the contrary complimentary alignments actions of muscular energy and organic energy in this practice.   We build to variations of Eagle Pose aka Garudasana Pose. 
Svatantrya is a very important concept to the philosophical tradition from which I teach.   It means "self-dependent" "free will" but I think a more comprehensive meaning is divine freedom.   If we are all consciousness manifest, then the will that fueled the momentum for our existence can be described as Svatantrya.    We use this idea to inspire us as we find freedom in the low back through the alignment principle I call inner spiral. There is about 4 minutes of philosophical context and breath work in the beginning of the practice.  The isometric work and manual adjustments in this practice are especially helpful for those of you who suffer from low back issues.  
There are many principles we could focus on for this practice which peaks with Parvritta Bakasana (twisting crane pose). But I chose to focus on kidney loop because it forces the exploration of the more subtle mechanics of twists like the breath.  I hate when teachers say things like "breathe into your smallest toe" (insert puke face emoji) because unless you are some jedi breath master that cue makes no sense.  However, in this class you can actually move the breath into the back side of your ribs and waist which aids in creating a deeper twist.  Connecting  to the back of the body also creates a natural bowing action which is the universal posture of gratitude.