YogaNej - November News and Updates
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YogaNej - November Newsletter

Winter is coming.
~Stark Family

The daylight hours are getting shorter, and the temperatures are getting cooler.  The trick-or-treaters have come and gone, and we've officially had our first snow of the season.  It seems like autumn came and went in the blink of an eye.  Winter is coming, my favorite bluejeans and sweatshirts have been unpacked, and I love it!

“Make your booty sassy.” 

"Allow your tailbone to shine."

“Duck Butt.”

You’ve most likely heard one (if not all) of these said in a yoga class. 

And some (if not all) of you have scrunched up your forehead,  raised your eyebrows, or tilted your head to one side wondering what in the heck your instructor was trying to say. 

Open up any anatomy book, or type “pelvis” into any online search engine, and you’ll be inundated with pictures of the human skeletal pelvis.  If you look close, you can see that the pelvis is shaped similar to a bowl, and with reason.  The human pelvis is bowl-shaped so it can hold our abdominal organs in place as we stand, walk, run, and practice yoga in an upright position.

There are three basic positions your pelvis can sit.  Neutral, anterior tilt, and posterior tilt. 

If you imagine your pelvis as a “bowl," then fill that bowl with water, you can see what happens to the water when you tilt the pelvis in different directions.   It spills out.

There are different situations in yoga where different angles of the pelvis will be cued by your instructor.  These situations are where "sassy booties" and "shining tailbones" come into play. 

Have you ever had your instructor tell you to come to a seated position with your sits bones on the edge of a blanket?   And have you ever wondered why?

As I look around my classes, I find that quite a few of my students will sit with a posterior tilt to their pelvis (the middle row of images above).  That posterior tilt allows your “bowl of water” to
spill towards the wall behind you.   In addition to causing the shoulders to round and the entire body to slouch, this posterior tilt can also cause lower back and neck pain. 

There are a great number of reasons a person sits with a more rounded lower back.  It could be tight muscles along the front of the hips, caused by slumping in front of a computer all day.  It could be weak muscles along the spine or in the "core" of your body.  Etc, etc.

Not everyone "needs" a folded blanket when sitting on the floor, but if you plan to stay in that seated posture for an extended amount of time, it’s nice to “help” yourself out by adjusting/propping the hips with a blanket. If you find that sitting on the floor at the beginning of class is uncomfortable, make eye contact with your instructor and they'll be happy to help!

Tip:  When you sit yourself on a folded blanket make sure your Ischial Tuberosities  or “sits bones”  are near the front edge of your blanket. 

(Your sits bones are those pointy bones your mom would complain about when you sat on her lap as a kid.  The ones that made her say “oh honey, you sure have a boney butt.  Sit here on the couch beside me instead, would you?”)
Off the Mat with...Frank W.

One of the perks of being a yoga instructor is the people I come into contact with every week.  Developing relationships with individuals I'd never have met otherwise, and deepening friendships with those I already knew outside my "yoga world."  As an instructor, it's not uncommon to have friends and family take a stab at a yoga class.  Mostly they just want to know what it is you do every day, but every so often someone close to you tries yoga, and it sticks.  Being able to share my love for yoga with those around me is exciting, and seeing someone start to love it as much as I do...well, there are no words.  It's simply awesome. 

This month I asked one such friend if he'd take a few minutes to share a little of his yoga story with you.
YN: How long have you been practicing yoga?
Frank:  I have been practicing yoga off and on for a little more than a year.  I started only attending the Wednesday evening classes, added Sunday morning, and now I attend 3-4 classes a week consistently.  I started attending with a friend.  Neither of us had practiced before and we are friends with Jen W. so we thought it would be a great way to be introduced to yoga.
YN:  What got you interested in yoga?
Frank:  Growing up living in the country PBS was our consistent TV channel.  I remember being a kid and watching “the yoga lady” Lilia Folan.  I don’t remember doing yoga with her, but I do remember being amazed at how bendy she was.  When my friend first mentioned attending one of Jen’s classes, Lilia was the memory that popped into my head.  I guess she has always been tucked away in my mind waiting for me to move forward with my practice.
YN:  Do you have a favorite pose?
Frank:  Right now, I am enjoying Pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana).  It is challenging enough to keep me coming back for more.  Every time we get into Pigeon, I feel myself improving and being more comfortable in it.
YN:  Do you have a story or anecdote you’d like to share about your yoga practice?
Frank:  Physically, going into my first yoga class, I knew I was not flexible.  Like most of us, I spend the majority of my day in front of a computer.  A couple years ago I pinched the nerves in both of my shoulders from “hunching” over my keyboard.  This greatly restricted my range of motion and certain movements even caused pain.  Since I’ve been practicing the pain is gone and my range of motion is improved; not just in my shoulders but throughout my body.  It was worth it just for that!  Mentally, I wasn’t flexible either.  I am now better at recognizing when and where I carry stress, and focus on releasing that stress throughout the day versus holding it in.  Simple breathing and stretching at my desk does wonders.
YN:  If you could tell someone who’s never been to a yoga class one thing, what would it be?
Frank:  Try it.  Like most things in life, you won’t know if you like it unless you try it.  Just remember, it is your practice and you’ll only get out of it what you put into it.  I guess that was two things. 
Curvy Yoga workshop dates fast approaching

Starting January 2015: Intro to Curvy Yoga - Intensive: The multi-week Intro to Curvy Yoga workshop series returns in 2015, and what a great way to ring in the new year!!!!
**This workshop gives us time to more deeply explore the physical poses and modifications to fit your body, the use of props, breath work and meditation. 
(The next session will run Sundays, January 4th - February 8th, 75 minutes beginning at 1:15...
What is Curvy Yoga

Not everyone falls in love with yoga, but I want to create an environment where they feel comfortable giving it a try.  My goal is to help make yoga an option for those who never thought it possible.  To provide a space where students feel comfortable practicing yoga using modifications, props, and intelligent choices based on their own bodies. If you have any questions, you can check out the link on
Sound Method Yoga's website. 
Wed            Beginner Flow             7:00pm - 8:00pm               @ Sound Method Yoga
Sun             Beginner Flow             10:00am - 11:00am            @ Sound Method Yoga
Sun             Curvy Yoga                  11:30am - 12:45pm            @ Sound Method Yoga