Foundations of Yoga

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Lesson 5: Commitment

This week, focus on committing to your practice. 

Find your Motivation

In the first lesson, you wrote down an intention for the course along with any specific goals you identified. Take some time now to review what you wrote down. Has your intention or any goals changed? Reaffirm your intention, modifying it as you see fit. This is your motivation.

 

Find your Direction

With your intention in mind, form a plan for how you want to commit to your practice - with special focus on finding a reasonable and doable commitment for you and your schedule. Ask yourself, how frequently would you like to practice moving forward? What is an ideal length of time to practice?  What types of styles did you find most supportive? These answers give you direction.

 

Commit

Review your motivation, along with your direction, and think on the different practices you did during this course. Pick one practice, in any style, that you can commit to - that fits your motivation and direction. For this week, when you come to your mat, do your chosen practice. Whether you practice everyday or 3 days a week, this last lesson is a way to apply what you've learned and create a routine going forward.

Establishing a practice is about enjoying the time you have set aside for yourself, with yourself!  Yoga is a connection to wisdom and nature and an endless source of peace, joy, and love. When you commit to your Yoga practice, you're committed to yourself and your own wellness.

Congratulations!

 

Lesson 4: Styles of Yoga

Yoga comes in all different shapes and forms, and on any given day, one style may suit your needs more than another. This week, take a tour of yoga styles and see which best fit you. You'll take everything you've learned thus far - breath, movement, and awareness - and apply it to a variety of styles!

Deep Dive

Go through the different styles of yoga that we specialize in and the ways that we've categorized them on our home practice platform.

With that overview of our yoga styles in mind, check out the Align & Flow, Gentle, Yin, Restorative, Meditation, & Pranayama practices below. After each style you explore, reflect for a few moments...ask yourself what you thought about the practice before you started and then compare it to how you feel after. 

37:10

Strength Building (Align & Flow)

Rachel Bush

Develop your strength and resilience with a lively combo of standing poses, inversions and backbends.
 

27:08

Take A Load Off (Restorative)

Emily Brown

Using the chair, take a load off your feet and lower body in a restorative inversion practice. Fully supported inversions help hit the reset button, leaving you feeling renewed. 

43:13

Rejuvenating Flow (Gentle) 

Emily Brown

Restore your energy when you're feeling depleted or overwhelmed. Connect movement with breath to give you a sense of uplift on days when you're feeling drained.

10:53

5 Elements Meditation

Rachel Bush

Use the 5 Elements as a guide to observe your inner body.

28:10

Soothing Waves (Yin)

Emily Brown

Soften deep held tension using the ebb & flow of your breath.  Like water smooths the rough edges of a rock, we'll use the quality of waves to care for ourselves and invite in softness.

6:27

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Pranayama)

Rachel Bush

This pranayama, also called nadi shodana, helps to relieve stress, create balance between left and right hemispheres of the brain, and rejuvenate your energy.  

Lesson 3: Move with Breath

First, we become aware of our breath. Then, we practice applying it to our yoga. Because we spend so little of our everyday lives thinking about our breath, connecting with it can be challenging and even awkward. In this lesson, dive into the flow of your breath, through movement, and create a lasting relationship with it that will guide you from one moment to the next. 

Deep Dive

Apply your knowledge of breath, props, and awareness in this practice that focuses on making space for the breath along the spine and sides of the body. 

Little Bites

Delve into different tips & tutorials to add flavor to your weekly lesson.

Breath & Online Classes

You may have noticed that online learning is different than in person learning... There are a few advantages to online learning and using our breath can support us to access these special opportunities.
 

Pranayama to Cultivate Flow

In this introductory Pranayama practice you will learn how to observe basic qualities in your breath as well as it's length and pace.  Once you understand these facets of the breath you can apply them to all pranayama practice.  This video will end with a practice of Ujjayi breath as a way to soothe and calm your body, heart and mind.

25:27

Basic Flow

Rachel Bush

Follow your breath and come back into your own rhythm with this energizing sequence of mostly standing poses.

31:19

Rise Up

Emily Brown

Feeling sluggish or tired? Raise your energy in this supported, 30 minute practice. Move mindfully with strength and fluidity as you connect with yourself to rebuild your energy.

21:16

Mellow Flow

Emily Brown

Connect to yourself with breath and movement in a low to the ground, mellow flow. Unwind from your day and leave your practice feeling centered and grounded.

12:31

Anytime Relaxing Practice

Rachel Bush

Need a Break?  Don't have a lot of time?  Try this calming practice of mostly hip openers, any time of day for a quick way to connect with yourself.

35:32

Invigorating Flow

Jason Shaw

Flow gives us the opportunity to connect with our breath as we move from one pose to the next. In that connection, you'll explore flow that renews your energy. 

 

Lesson 2: Yoga is Breath

After getting established, finding a comfortable seat, and familiarizing ourselves with props that can support us, we come to the breath. There is no yoga without breath. It's a crucial part of the practice that enhances all of the postures we do and guides us as we connect with the many layers of who we are. 

And yet, the breath is so easy to overlook. It's not as visible or as impressive as the shapes you can make with your body. But without including the breath, it's easy to miss the magic - the wonder in the yoga practice.

Deep Dive

Learn about the mechanics of your breath, why it's important, and how it can transform your practice.

Little Bites

Delve into different tips & tutorials to add flavor to your weekly lesson.

 

Breath Awareness

Build a relationship with your breath in this inquiry that promotes curiosity and observation. Grab a pen and paper to write down what you observe.

** Challenge: Everyday, check in with your breath for 2 minutes. Observe where it starts & ends, the largest and smallest places you feel your breath, and it's quality (smooth, rough, easy, labored). Does it change?

Pranayama to Cultivate Flow

In this introductory Pranayama practice you will learn how to observe basic qualities in your breath as well as it's length and pace.  Once you understand these facets of the breath you can apply them to all pranayama practice.  This video will end with a practice of Ujjayi breath as a way to soothe and calm your body, heart and mind.

20:26

Three Point Breath

Rachel Bush

Feeling stressed?  Need to relax?  Take a 10 minute break to practice this basic and foundational breathing exercise. This is a great way to start a meditation, to prepare yourself to get to work or ready yourself for an important conversation.

34:19

Upper Body Release

Rachel Bush

Tensions in the upper body can prevent us from receiving the breath fully and comfortably. Focus on unwinding tension in a series of 4 restorative poses to open your upper body and receive the breath like water nourishing parched earth.

11:12

Sandbag Breathing

Rachel Bush

Often pranayama is practiced sitting up, but for this practice we will recline in order to restore and calm our energy.  For this practice you will need a bolster or 2, an eye pillow or scarf and a sand bag or extra blanket.