Leslie has been exploring movement her entire life. From ballet to boxing, her exploration brought her to yoga 20 years ago. Over that time, she has practiced many different yoga styles and has traveled to India to study with the masters of Ashtanga and Iyengar, Pattabi Jois and BKS Iyengar. She found the practice so transformative that she became a walking billboard for yoga, which inspired her to become a teacher. She did her first teacher training at YogaWorks in 2001 and continues to be a student as well as a teacher, living the questions that life asks. She has studied and practiced therapeutic yoga for years and has witnessed its healing transformation in her own body and life as well as in her students. Certified as a gait therapist by Sherry Brourman and a yoga therapist through Loyola Marymount University, Leslie understands the body's systems beyond structure, what occurs in dis-ease and how yoga can be used safely to effect a greater sense of ease and well being.
Leslie has had the honor of combining the healing art of yoga with the science of medical research, collaborating on the design and implementation of several NIH-funded yoga studies. She is a consultant for the UCLA Department of Geriatrics as well as the Biokinesiology Department of USC in a true East meets West partnership.
Leslie believes the practice of yoga starts with the breath. By connecting to the breath, you connect to your self. By expanding and freeing the breath, you expand movement and create freedom in the body, in your self and in your life. She infuses her teaching with her joy of life and irreverent sense of humor as she guides students along their personal journey, meeting them wherever they are.
Get ready to build strength and open your chest and breath in this challenging session. From plank to cobra, high lunge into a twisting version, you will be amazed by what you can do with consistent practice. Be sure to check out the "A" side for modifications that make these challenging poses accessible. Play with different versions for variety to keep it fresh and fun. Remember you can literally press pause and rewind to make this practice exactly the pace that works for you!
Welcome to the Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis Course! This series of practices is based on yoga sequences designed by Leslie Kazadi for 2 pilot research studies, conducted by University of Southern California. Our goals: increase lumbar and scapular stability, increase thoracic mobility and vital capacity and... STRESS RELIEF! Many poses have been modified in consideration of possible side effects of CF, including: GERD, hyperkyhosis, osteoporosis, shortness of breath and fatigue. Check out this brief video intro to learn how to use the course. And remember, Leslie is accessible by comment and so is a whole online community that you can practice with!
This tutorial will give you options to set up props to find a position of comfort and ease while reclining and sitting. Explore breathing techniques that will expand the breath, enhance awareness, strengthen your belly and maybe even expel mucus! We will also play with positions so that you find the movements that get you into the sweet spot of feeling what is accessible now AND moving into possibility. Feel how moving the arms and spine create a balance of flexibility and strength that make more space for the breath and new awareness of and support for your posture. Take what you learn here to the "B" Side and begin to practice these postures and techniques in a fluid moving meditation.
This tutorial breaks down whole-body movement, and focuses on the breath. It is a dynamic, moving meditation that calms the mind and enlivens the body. Traditionally, sun salutes have a lot of forward folds, which can elicit GERD symptoms; and weight bearing on the hands, which can overtax the musculoskeletal system. This modified version of Sun Salute C gives you all the joy and freedom of movement that we love while avoiding the contraindications for CF students. We break it down here on the "A" Side so you can feel your way into the poses. Then shift over to the "B" Side for a fluid flow!
Sun Salutes give you a sense of balance, beauty and grace! We will warm up the body with a modified version that avoids forward folding and full weight bearing on the wrists so that you get all of the movement, fluidity, freedom and joy of practicing "vinyasa" yoga while avoiding any strain or pain. Let this practice warm you up for more challenging sessions 3-5. Or do it alone to invigorate your body for a quick morning practice to invite the sunshine into your day.
We will open the hips, build strength, stamina and balance in this tutorial as we learn how to stand in our power in a series of these essential standing poses. Learn the alignment and find your edge in this tutorial. And then let's dance! After we establish the basics in these standing poses, we will learn the steps to move from one pose to the next in a dancing warrior series that will make your heart sing! Then take it to the B side and flow with your dance.
We begin this practice by setting an intention so that each time you get on your mat, you choose how you want to practice and what you want to receive. You will set yourself up with props to support your body for a guided relaxation and body scan. Then you will find a comfortable seated position and move the spine in all directions. This will prepare you for breathing exercises to open the chest and strengthen your core. Over time, these relaxation and simple movement & breathing practices will build resilience and create ease in your body and mind!
Let's build strength and stamina, open up the hips and feel the power of your legs in this standing sequence. After we warm up the body and find alignment in the poses, and you know all the steps, let's dance with them! Moving through each of the poses on the breath creates a sense of fluidity, enhances the breath and even improves balance and posture. AND it's fun! Enjoy the strength of stillness and the beauty of dynamic movement in this challenging session. And notice how these postures create freedom in your body and awareness in your posture that you can feel throughout the day!
This tutorial takes you through some simple tips to steady your mind and body in balance poses. This is a great session to challenge your strength, focus your mind and engage your sense of humor as we play with standing on one leg, staying centered and calm. Believe it's possible and you will be well on your way to finding balance!
This is a great session for days when you have more energy and are ready for a challenge. You will build your confidence and give your sense of humor a workout in this practice that is filled with standing balancing poses. This is the best part of yoga - learning to be steady when you are challenged and choosing to be present when it looks like you might be headed for a fall. And besides... "But oh, my darling, what if you fly!"