I teach yoga because I hope to bring others some of the joy, the strength and the ease that it's brought me, both on and off the mat, mentally and physically. My yoga practice has changed my life, and I'm not just talking about stronger arms and longer hamstrings.
Yoga for me was not love at first breath. I took my first yoga class as a college cross country and track runner looking to fulfill a PE requirement to graduate. I learned a lot, but by the end of the semester, I had decided yoga wasn't for me.
It wasn't until I walked into Ally Hamilton's vinyasa flow yoga class in 2006, a little over a week after moving to Los Angeles from New York, that I really began practicing yoga. I was nursing a sore back from the cross country drive and my hamstrings had forgotten what a stretch felt like, but I was hooked. Two days a week turned into three, three into five, five into six. I did my teacher training with Ally at Yogis Anonymous in 2012 and started teaching there the following year.
I have a background as a journalist and believe that our stories are our currency in life -- that the path to compassion starts by sharing and listening to each other's experiences. I also believe that sweating and laughing are two of the better things in life, and if you can do both at the same time, all the better.
Get into the hips and side waist with this fiery class. A Warrior II/Side Angle Flow builds heat, before we take it into some balancing poses with Ardha Chandrasana and Bakasana. We finish up with bridge (and maybe an Upward Facing Bow) and take some time to go upside down before we let it all go with a good long hold in a hip opener.
Wind it up and sweat it out with a Side Angle/Warrior II Flow that will take you into the hips and side body and get your heart rate up while you do it. An early Lizard pose preps your hips to let go, and a late, deep and long Pigeon should get the rest of it (whatever it is ;)) out. Side Plank and plenty of vinyasas for your shoulders, and of course, some heart opening and a sweet Savasana.
A sweaty flow that takes you through a full range of opening for your hips, with some side waist lengthening to take you deeper. Gate pose and Side Angle variations get you into your waist; we get into the hips with Humble Warrior, and Warrior 1 and 2; and some low and high Crescent variations and Lizard get into the psoas and front hip region. Of course there's plenty of time to sweat and flow, and then to release and open with heart openers and some deep hip opening on the floor.
Get deep into the hips with a flow that includes Warrior 1, Warrior II, and Extended and Bound Side Angle. Explore what you find and take the time to enjoy any wobbles or so-called "imperfections" with poses like Bird of Paradise, Half Moon pose and a Crescent lunge twist. There's plenty of time to let it all go in Lizard, Single Pigeon and Hanumanasana, and of course, some heart opening and core strengthening before Savasana.
Staying strong and letting go: We play with structure and softness as we work to target different places in the hips and shoulders. A strong flow builds heat, and we target both the hips and shoulders with different arm variations in humble warrior, along with some hip-opening side plank variations. We work the core throughout our flow with some Koundinyasana prep work and Dolphin plank, and then (in case you didn't get enough) there's more time for your core once we hit the floor. As usual, there's always time for backbending, and there's plenty of time to let the hips release in Lizard and your choice of Pigeon. Forward folds close it out before a good, long Savasana.
If this one doesn't make you sweat, nothing will. Keep breathing through a non-stop, sweaty, energetic flow that's spiked with some good old-fashioned core strengthening. We build heat as we flow through Humble Warrior, Warrior II, and Extended Side Angle, getting us deep into the hips and shoulders. Then we go deeper into the shoulders with Dolphin Plank, Dolphin, Bound Side Angle, and Side Plank. There's also time for standing balance with Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) and some fun with arm balances, including options for Bakasana, Bhujapidasana, and Tittibhasana. A luxurious hold in single pigeon, and of course some time for backbending, should leave you feeling wrung out and like you left it all (sweat included) on the mat.
A few rounds of Series A and C warm you up and set you up for a sweaty class that includes a couple different Humble Warrior variations, Lizard pose, Side Plank, Eagle, and some extra shoulder-opening with Dolphin, Dolphin Plank and a Dolphin side plank. There's also a chance to play with Eka Pada Koundinyasana I, and of course, some heart and hip opening on the floor to close it out before Savasana.
Breathe and take your time as you build towards opening both the hips and the shoulders, and then take time to let it all go. We get into the hip flexors with some low lunges and Crescent pose, before opening things up with Warrior II and Extended Side Angle. Lizard pose and Single Pigeon get you deep into the hips, and as always, there's time for backbending with Bridge or Wheel.
A strong flow with a chance to get deep while staying strong with some fiery standing hip openers that force you to engage as you surrender. We hit Warrior II, Side Angle, Ardha Chandrasana, Standing Frog pose (aka Goddess pose), some Lizard pose variations and Eka Pada Koundinyasana II on our way to the floor, where there's some core strengthening, backbending and inversion time waiting for us. We finish out the class with a chance to extinguish all that fiery hip energy with a good, long hold in Frog and a chance to forward fold with Baddha Konasana and a wide-legged forward fold. Savasana should be sweet.
We warm up the body and fire up the core with some sun salutes spiked with a bit of core strengthening. You'll have chances to play with standing balance in Warrior III, Twisting Ardha Chandrasana and Eagle Pose, and some hamstring-opening opportunities with Standing Splits and Hanumanasana. Crescent pose, Locust and Bow pose let you open up the front side of your body, and we finish with a reclined Gomukhasana (with an option to thread the needle instead). Savasana should be sweet.