Welcome to Yogi Sticks!

Do you know your Gomukasana from your Adho Mukha Svanasana? Is your Vrksasana all it can be? And how do you feel about Supta Baddha Konasana? Do you know what I'm even talking about?

Sometimes the Sanskrit - however beautiful it sounds - is not very helpful. So, to encourage my students to expand their yoga practice into their home, I sketch the poses we practice during class on a chart and add the Sanskrit and common name. Hopefully, this is a useful tool to help them along in their yogic journey. I also troll the internet, books, and journals to find interesting articles about yoga and the yogic lifestyle.

Sweetwater Organic Farm

I know I've posted about this Community Supported Agriculture farm in the past, but it is worth noting that they have less than 100 shares left - and less than 100 days to sell them. Put simply, you buy a "share" of the Sweetwater Organic Farm at the beginning of the season (in other words, now) and then starting in late September or early October, you pick up your "share" at the farm each week through April/May, depending on the crops.

The shares are quite plentiful, and you never know what you will get: collards, kale, mustard, bok choi (and other choys), lots of lettuces (romaine, butter, deer tongue, red romaine, red oak), arugula, herbs, squashes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, daikon, radishes, sunflowers, and other surprises. My family (of 4) and my in-laws (2) split one share each week and have more than enough - plus some to spread to family and friends.

On Sundays (one of the pick-up days), Sweetwater has a farmer's market that is more like a trip back in time to Woodstock - folk singers (scheduled and open-mic), tie-dye, candles, organic produce and smoothies, arts, crafts, apparel, fresh goat milk and cheese, local eggs (duck, too!). And you are encouraged to volunteer - in fact, you can earn money off of your share price for each hour you work. My kids and I have been going for 4 years now, and miss it terribly in the summer. The kids even say, "I miss real lettuce" when I open a bag for dinner.

I encourage you to check out the website www.sweetwater-organic.org and sign up - it's very reasonable for organic, local produce, especially when you split a full share!

7-19 Upper Body and 7-21 Warrior 2

This is one of my favorite practices -the wall is a wonderful tool to use in exploring our poses further. It gives you that stability and alignment that allows your body to just open and relax. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2) is all about external rotation of the thighs, creating a more open hip and pelvic area. It is also about lengthening through the upper body as the arms pull away from the mid-line. Though it looks like a straightforward posture, it is actually quite "busy".

Quote: "Being present is not difficult. Remember to be present is."

Because we have been spending so much time with our legs and hips, I wanted to use our upper bodies a bit more for this practice. So, I chose these postures to emphasize our use of our back body (rhoboids, trapezius), chest (pectoralis), arms, and shoulders. Remember that in all poses, however, be conscious of your core - for example, the forearm planks in this class seem like a lot of shoulder work. However, the more your core is contributing, the more ease you will find in the pose.

"A river requires strong banks as well as flowing water. Find harmony between the steady and firm and the soft and yielding."


In the newest Real Simple magazine, there is an article about stretching. Interesting information about the surprising benefits of staying limber and some suggestions on quick stretches to do each day that only take about 10 minutes. Check it out at http://www.realsimple.com/ and do a search for "stretching" - it is the first article listed.

7-12-10 Joints and 7-14-10 Pelvic Rotation

Tonight's practice was all about internal and external rotation of the thighs within the pelvis. As you can see from the drawing, movement of the pelvis and thighs works the piriformis, sciatic nerve, greater trochanter, and the SI joint.
We used a block to help us visualize the direction of movement, as well as physically feel the sensation of the rotation. When the block is placed just above the knees, try to roll it toward the wall behind you creating an inward rotation. Imagine the backs of your knees, thighs, and calves are all reaching back. This techniqe was used in cat/cow, half dog, down dog, forward fold, and half forward fold.

Then we worked through some external rotation, where you imagine the inner thighs are wrapping around the front of the femur bone, thereby rotating outward. This is the rotation used in triangle, warrior 2, and side warrior.

The quote for practice: "There is always part of us that knows what we need." True in life - true in your yoga practice.

Monday's class worked through many of our main joints, building strength, stability, and flexibility. NEVER LET AN OLD PERSON MOVE INTO YOUR BODY! Keep those joints juicy and fluid!

Quote: "If you want to embrace the light, you must also embrace the darkness."

6-28 Arms/Legs and 6-30 Favorite Flows

We usually lean toward an Iyengar style in my classes - holding poses for a few breaths and working on alignment. Tonight, however, we worked more of a flow style, moving from one pose to another in a graceful, thoughtful flow of movement. Both styles have their benefits, so it's important to visit each regularly.

Quote from tonight's practice: "Trust yourself first." - Judith Lassater

Lots of strengthening in tonight's practice. Remember to only go to your edge - and maybe not even that far! Give your yoga practice a future by not injuring yourself today!!

Tonight's quote was from Herman Hesse: "Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object."

YogiSticks - The Return

I'm back from my travels out west (Yellowstone, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming), so I hope to scan and post the class sketches from this past week very soon. It was wonderful to get back home, back to my practice, and back to the wonderful energy at the studio.
Remember - if there is anything you'd like to see explored in the blog, please let me know! I love to research and share my findings!