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Yoga ah! Blog

Lighting a Candle for BKS Iyengar

BKS Iyengar left his body on August 20 of this year 2014 at the age of 95. When a spiritual person dies we tend not to use the word death because our yoga practice teaches us that we are more then our "food body" it may be referred to as "maha samadhi" which means absorption with the universal energy of all life. 

Iyengar was known as one of the most influential yoga teachers of his time, he created his own style of yoga called Iyengar which many modern practices are based from including, "Anusara" and "Hatha" yoga. He is also well known for his book called 'Light on Yoga' which some yogis see as a yoga bible.  His passing marks a corner stone of an older group of yoga instructors that have all recently left there bodies including Pattabi Jois and Larry Schultz. This is truly a time that yoga instructors that are from this lineage have an opportunity to pass the torch to our students and one day our students students. 

At Yoga ah we have been updating all our teacher training materials to reflect the history of our practice and for those of you just learning about yoga and yoga lineage may have a better understanding. It is a perfect time to begin your journey. May the next generation step forth and take your place on the yoga lineage tree and those of you who were blessed to study with great teachers keep on, keep on. As Larry once changed a JF Kennedy quote to say, "it is not what yoga can do for you, but what you can do for yoga". Bless you and tonight we will light a candle for all our teachers in maha samdhi.

Yoga is for Athletes

Yoga is a wonderful compliment to all types of sports and athletic activities. Rocket Yoga classes can offer great cross training techniques for athletes. In addition to building core strength and flexibility, athletes will find yoga helps them improve their endurance with better breathing techniques.

Increased Range of Motion : All athletes know increased range of motion in the shoulders,back and hips result in more powerful strokes and swings. Golfers, tennis players, baseball players and hockey players are just to name a few who especially benefit from this type of flexibility.

Reduced Chance of Injury : Tight hamstrings and hip flexors plague all athletes but basketball players, soccer players and runners are especially at risk. The constant strengthening shortens the muscles, eventually reducing performance and increasing the chance of injury. Yoga keeps the muscles long,supple, and strong, preventing injuries and protecting the joints.

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Elbow Stand

The Elbow Stand is a super fun Rocket pose. Once you begin to get upper body strength you can begin to practice the elbow stand by the wall. This is a much safer approach to practice of headstand. Gaze is focused between the arms, core is engages and energy reaches up through the feet.

With Regular Rocket Yoga Practice both your feet will come up off the floor!!

The Dolphin

The Dolphin is one of the foundation poses in a Rocket Yoga Class. It provides the building blocks necessary for headstand, elbow stand and over all upper body strength. All Rocket classes at Yoga ah include 3 dolphin poses as you gain strength you can begin to practice more advanced variations of the pose by lifting your feet off the ground. Notice the gaze is at the thumbs this allows you to keep your head high off the floor. Core is drawn in and breath is strong.


New to Yoga?

If you are new to yoga you may feel overwhelmed choosing a studio. Many choose a studio based on location, what is closest to you. Yoga ah is an Ashtanga studio. Many yogis interested in yoga ask what is the difference between hot and Ashtanga Yoga? In Ashtanga Yoga we are using our ujjai breath and our core to create internal heat, as practiced in India. In hot yoga the room is usually heated and you begin to feel an outside experience making you sweat. At Yoga ah we encourage all yogis to build heat from within as a powerful tool to taping into your inner teacher. Yoga ah also offers routines or sequences of yoga poses in all of our classes, in practicing this way you can create consistency to improve your practice. Yoga ah is also a training school, meaning we train yoga instructors, this makes us a learning center for yoga. 

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Often people walk into It’s Yoga with worry, stress and tiredness written all over their faces but when they leave, they show the effects of Ashtanga Yoga: they feel better and look better, lighter, freer, more relaxed and energized. This is why to me, teaching Ashtanga Yoga is a kind of self-realization; every time I lead class I, as a teacher, grow and express the insights of my own yoga. I see people take in the practice from various angles and develop, change and transcend their limitations, realize their possibilities.

In Memoriam: Larry Schultz, YogaDragonden (1950-2011)