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.
A sweaty hip-and-shoulder-opening Humble Warrior flow with a few twists. Get into the spots where you're holding on so you can let go and give yourself permission to release. Warrior III gives you a chance to play with standing balance, while opportunities for Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, Bakasana, Bhujapidasana, and Tittibasana give you a chance to play on your hands. Lizard pose, Janu Sirsasana, Double Pigeon (aka Fire Log pose) and Baddha Konasana give you plenty of chances to let go in the hips.
Thorn in your side? Get it out with this hip-opening flow that gets deep into the side-waist. Extended and Bound Side Angle, Skandasana, Janu Sirsasana, and Double Pigeon, as well as some twisted Crescent Variations, help you find the space to open up along the side body and find some room to breathe and move. As usual, there's time for backbending and inverting on the way to a sweet Savasana.
A sweaty flow gets you into the side body and hips with Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, and a simple twist. We sprinkle some extra hip opening throughout the class, leaving no part of the hips untouched before we hit the floor for more hip opening, with single pigeon, and some heart openers.
This heart-opening flow gives you plenty of time to get into the psoas and shoulders (and the hips!) with poses like Crescent, Humble Warrior, Lizard, Skandasana, Eagle, Puppy Pose, and a reclined Gomukhasana. You'll also find time to play with standing balance in Warrior 3 and a standing Marichyasana variation.
A heart-opening flow with a twist or two. Open up across the heart and the psoas so you feel freer by the end of class. We flow through Series A and Series C with some low crescent lunges, tackle Series B with a Humble Warrior variation, and then move on to a twisty Reverse Crescent Flow. We get some standing balance with Eagle pose and Warrior III with eagle arms, and open up the hamstrings with Hanumanasana/Monkey pose before some heart-opening on the floor and a good, deep Gomukhasana/Cow Face pose to open the hips (with an option to modify).
Take the time to notice how you feel in each pose as you flow through Warrior II, Ardha Chandrasana, and Extended and Bound Side Angle poses. A pause in Goddess Pose/aka Standing Frog, gives you a chance to really feel those hips and quads and keeps you in the moment. As usual, there's time for backbends, and then we take a little extra time for inversions before single pigeon (or threading the needle on your back).
We build some good solid heat with a Humble Warrior and Warrior II flow that's guaranteed to get into the hips (and shoulders) while it challenges your stamina. Looking for extra hip-opening? You've come to the right place. Lizard pose, a hip-opening side plank variation, and single pigeon get the job done. There's more time to get into the shoulders with a bound side angle and side plank. Backbends, as always, are included, and a wide-legged forward fold at the end will set you up for a well-earned savasana.
Get into your hamstrings & side waist while you open your hips and sweat "it" -- whatever it may be -- out. We start slowly with a little extra love for the hip flexors and hamstrings before moving into a Warrior I to II flow. We hit Ardha Chandrasana, Standing Hand-to-Big-Toe pose, Extended and Bound Side Angle, Standing Splits and Lizard pose before playing with some twisting arm balances. Arm balance options include Twisting Bakasana, Eka Pada Koundinyasana I or Dragonfly pose. As usual, we finish with plenty of time to open your heart and hips on the floor before finishing with a restful Savasana.
Link up instinct and intention (in this case, breath and movement) with a hip-opening flow that has some extra core-work thrown in. Series A and B, followed by some time to flow at your own place through Warrior II and Reverse Warrior, leads us to some side angle variations. Double pigeon is our hip opener of the day, with an option to modify or take it on your back threading the needle.
A sweaty hip-opening flow that includes some time in Humble Warrior, Warrior 2, Extended and Bound Side Angles, Triangle Pose and Ardha Chandrasana. There's plenty of time to get into the hips with Lizard Pose, Janu Sirsasana and Double Pigeon, and we finish up with a wide-legged forward fold before Savasana.