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All Things Yin and Yang…

Yin Yoga South Bay Immersion coming soon!

Yin Yoga is such an amazing practice that takes you to another kinestic awareness. I’m so happy to announce I will be teaching Yin Yoga 20-Hour Module at Just Breathe Yoga Rivermark in August. Register early, this training will sell out quickly.

Superficial Back Line – Yin Yoga Sequence

Have you ever thought about the fascia that runs throughout your whole body? I am so amazed by the fascia network. Yes! I was inspired by a recent video of a dissection Thomas Myers of Anatomy Trains did. If you want to check it out, look here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BUNcQMP2gwE. WARNING! It’s pretty detailed, so if you have a weak stomach don’t watch it (or as my teacher Bernie says “don’t get squeamish!”)
The Superficial Back Line consists of a line of fascia that begins at the plantar fascia of the foot. It travels up the entire posterior side of the body from Achilles to calves to hamstrings through back and moves up over the head and finishes at the brow. The function of this line is to extend the body. It brings the body into an erect an upright position.
So here’s my short sequence inspired by the superficial back line. Marinate in each pose for 3-5 minutes. Listen to your body, it is very intelligent! Come out when you ever feel anything off. Always check with your physician before attempting any workout routine.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana) for opening meditation. Bring awareness to your back body. Remember — “The mind moves chi. Chi moves blood.”

2. Japanese seiza pose with plantar fascia smushing. Use the top of the ankle into the arch of the other foot to compress tissue of the plantar fascia.

3. Dangling with mat roll. Use mat roll and blocks to access the Achilles and gastrocnemius. In the photo below, I walk my yoga blocks out and play with different angles.

Slowly come out and rest in child’s pose.

4. Supine hamstring with strap. Combine with the option of dorsi flexion of foot to access calves (I recommend experimenting with bending the knee on the flexioned foot)

5. Twisted Roots. Great way to access the spine and low back.

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6. Twisted Branches. Access upper back and posterior deltoid. Two options are shown here. For more details watch my video.

7. Neck release with block. Compress into acupressure points proximal or on to acupressure points. GB 20 and UB 10.

Savasana. Rest. Feel. Be present.

Enjoy! Let me know how you feel after this sequence.

Never Waste An Opportunity to Tell Someone You Love Them

Last night I had a bad dream. A bad dream is a nightmare. Why do we have nightmares? Stress? Things that we see? Things that we read before heading to sweet slumber?

So I traced my activities for the day. It was a typical busy Thursday. Four classes with a little league game in between and my kid’s open house at school. Dinner came at 8:30pm and as a family, we decided to go for Vietnamese Pho Noodles — since all the other restaurants that were streaming the live basketball game were packed. Was it carb overload?

I realized that it may have been triggered by a blog post that I had written in February of 2015. See: https://lisajangyoga.wordpress.com/2015/02/ I remember going back to read my old blog posts. Or maybe it’s reading the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna in the epic book Bhagava Gita (yes, I am reading it again).

My nightmare? Losing my older sibling. I tried to brush it off this morning. “Ah, it’s just a nightmare, don’t worry,” I said to myself. I kept thinking. Tears ran down my face uncontrollably. My heart sunk. I don’t see my brother everyday, nor do we chat everyday. I feel like a little sister does — my big brother will always be there for me, to protect me. Or maybe not? Could this be true?

I grabbed my phone.
Good Morning!!!!! I just wanted to say hi and I had a bad dream. Must be all the carbs I ate yesterday. LOL. Anyhow, stay safe your sis loves you.

I’ve told him plenty of times I loved him. Today felt urgent. Turns out he has some things going on and he needs to take care of himself. Wow. Maybe in some way the universe was telling me to reach out to him. I’m glad I did.

I’m still upset, emotional and crying. Not a bad thing here. Just know it’s simply natural human feeling and growth as it’s shaping me. I plan some quality time on my mat today so I can clear this and send my good intentions to my brother.

Nightmare or not. Today is the day. Take opportunity to tell someone who you love that you love them. I love you, Rick!

 

LES MILLS BODYFLOW® 72: My Review

This release has some really great sequences that flow directly and smoothly into each pose. I feel like this release is about movement and the repetition allows our minds to settle and our body slowly unravels each time. Ann-See Yeoh, Les Mills Presenter, says “can you tease more length?” in one of the tracks in the instructor video. This resonated with me and I feel like this question or statement is true to the whole release.

Tai Chi: Yellow Flicker Beat, by Lorde

Elegant, simple, powerful.
This track starts of slow, allowing participants to ease in and acclimate to a rhythmic, calm and spacious breath. Feet are together for this one, but I always give the option of feet hip width. Personally, I love when my feet are feet width — I feel more stable.
Crescendo hits. Then the tai chi sequence begins and has so much energy. It’s powerful. It’s simple but can be complicated if you overthink it. When you allow yourself to feel the movement, the breath starts to breath you. The repetition is magic, you start to really let the muscle/fascia memory move you. 

Sun Salutations: Two Songs/Two sequences
Omen by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith then Deliver Me by Sarah Brightman
1st Sequence: Traditional Sun Salutation C with lunges, unconventional that we do a total of five instead of four. The four beat count plank to crocodile is genius. Again, simple and each time I feel more warmth in my body. Prana is dancing.
2nd Sequence: This sequence Jackie Mils calls the “Dragon Sequence.” I feel like this may have been inspired by Paul Grilley’s Yang Dragon Dance Sequence. I am biased here, I already love Paul Grilley’s Dragon Dance and this one evokes the feeling of openness, balance and strength. When I cue this, I think of the story of Bhagava Gita and the inner conflict that Arjuna faced.

Standing Strength: Real Life by The Weeknd
A short track, but it does it job to get into the legs. The addition of the heel lift definitely is great for working my arches, ankles and calves. I wasn’t sure about the pointing because I was told as a child never to point because it’s rude (insert sarcastic laugh here) but it works.

Balance Track: Take Me to Church by Hozier
Very challenged by the dynamic movement from standing knee lift to flower pose. I really like that side plank is added here. It would be nice if we had tree pose in the beginning, it would go with the tree side plank. Otherwise, it does sequence together nicely!

Hip Track: Purple, Six60
What a beautiful track. I love the flow from swan to lizard lunge to half lunging camel to seated half lotus. The way we can inch a little further with the lingering music as we side bend is genius to cue “can you give me just a little bit more?”

Abs: Two Songs/Two sequences (supine and prone)
Ain’t Nobody, by Felix Jaehn featuring Jasmine Thompson
Freedom by Pharrell Williams
Honestly have mixed feelings about this track. I love it but man oh man, my core is challenged!!! Phew! Simple, logical sequence for the first song with the crunch and single leg extension and cross-crawl.
The second song features spider planks. I love how the song goes with the hand taps. I love the way my core is challenged.

Back Track: As You Are by The Weeknd
This one is a very hard track. It taps into the strength and flexibility.  I see lots of stuff happening here and you have to be very good at cueing participants in their body to use the posterior muscles. I love this when I feel properly aligned and use proper muscles Always making sure to tell folks that they can rest in child’s pose.

Twists: Alchemy by TALA
No lunges but seated twists. Love the transition from seated hip width twist to the lift of the hips. Striking cobra with neck stretch is amazing here. The detail is simple yet effective.

Forward Folds: Two Songs/Two Sequences
I was made for Loving You by Tori Kely featuring Ed Sheeran
Something Beautiful by Jacon Banks
I’ve taught standing Forward Fold with Eale Arms in my Yin Yoga classes before. However, the entry into this one with the music is just so beautiful. I can feel the vunerability in this track. It’s hard not to get lost into it as I teach it.
The second sequence has all my favorite cool down poses. Squat Pose with twists, supine hamstring stretch and supine twist. Need I say more?

Relaxation/Mediation: As She Passes, Levi Patel
It’s delicate, it’s a perfect song to a beautiful release.

My students love this release. The WHOLE THING. The songs. The movement. Another thoughtful, potent release. Thank you Jackie & Diana.

Partner Yoga, Anyone?

Phillip Bossant, RYT and I are excited to create another Partner Yoga Workshop at the Yoga Company in San Ramon. Last session we did lots of great partner exercises and experimented with some great stuff, even Acroyoga!

So join us as we explore more partner yoga poses and enjoy another afternoon soaking in an abundance of love, laughter and joy. Because it’s truly about enjoying your partner/friend’s company and seeing what you can build together, right?

Congratulations to TYC’s Yoga Teacher Graduates!

“When you help, educate, heal, or nurture other people, your days become more and more meaningful, and you enrich the quality of your hours.”
― Max Strom, There Is No App for Happiness: How to Avoid a Near-Life Experience

They say if it challenges you, it makes you stronger. Sometimes it’s taking that leap of faith, a little courage to go outside your comfort zone.

Today, I am honored to present the 2016 teacher graduates from The Yoga Company’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program. Throughout the journey, I’ve seen tremendous growth. Most of all, the courage from these students to step into such an intense program with open hearts, minds…and an eager thirst for knowledge to help, heal and nurture people. With my palms sealed, I bow. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as your teacher.

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saha nāvavatu

saha nau bhunaktu

saha vīryam karavāvahai

tejasvināvadhī tamastu mā vidvisāvahai

om śāntiśśāntiśśāntihi

May the Lord protect us. May he nourish us. May we work together uniting our strength for the good of humanity. May our learning be luminous and purposeful. May we always be civil with each other. May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace.

Upcoming: Yin Yoga, Acupressure & Essential Oils Workshop

Year of the Monkey, right? Well, things are getting really busy around here. Workshops, teacher trainings and travel. I’m getting ready for another workshop at Just Breathe {Yoga} Rivermark in Santa Clara, CA. Registration is now open! Reserve your spot now, wait list will be available after spots fill up.

JBY-YinAcuEOWorkshopMay

Yippee!!! 2016 Yin Yoga Teacher Immersion is Back

I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be facilitating another Yin Yoga Teacher Immersion at The Yoga Company in San Ramon. Two exciting modules will be offered to those who are interested in learning about the Yin Practice. Module 1 will give you a solid base of Yin Philosophy and Foundations. Module 2 will take you to Yin Yoga and Chinese Merdian Theory. Register early to save your spot.

 To find out more, click here.

Yinspired by Inside Lines: Yin Yoga for Kidney Meridian

The Kidney Meridian represents the Yin aspect of the Water Element. The meridian channel has twenty-seven (27) acupoints from the medial aspect of the foot and loops back onto itself before ascending the medial aspect of the leg and anterior aspect of the abdomen and chest to end on the medial aspect of the collar bone. An internal channel leaves Kidney 11 at the groin and supplies the kidney, bladder, lower spine, stomach, diaphragm and mouth with a further internal channel leaving Kidney Point 27 towards the throat. See diagram from Bernie Clark’s Yin Yoga site.

This Yin Yoga flow was created with the intention to tonify the Kidney Meridian. It’s function is to regulate water balance within the body, and keep the fire heart cool, according to the McKinnon Acupressure Manual. In addition, when we exhaust our stores of yin energy, the result is fatigue. When the heart fire is not cool, complaints about anxiety, panic attacks, etc can be traced to an empty kidney meridian. As always, please consult a physician before attempting any exercise. All the poses below should be held for 3-5 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Remember, the Meridian lines are a map that is useful to myself and maybe you. (Note: In the photos shown below, there were not too many props used. I would suggest having props for this practice.)

  1. Start off in opening meditation, laying down on your back (supine).
    You may choose to do a supported supine butterfly pose or pentacle pose (laying down on your back with the arms and legs out like a star)
  2. Draw knees into chest (Ardha Apanasana) and rock from side to side, circle knees, do what resonates with you for a few cycles of breath.
  3. Series on Right Leg
    1. Supine Half Happy Baby Pose (Half Butterfly option on other leg) 
    2. Supine Modified Half Happy Baby Pose (Half Butterfly option on other leg and feel the difference in positioning of leg, the pose should be felt in the inner groin tissue)  
    3. Supine Hamstring Stretch for a few breaths then move your leg into B position.  (Half Butterfly option on other leg) 
  4. Repeat the series above with the Left Leg
  5. Option, both legs up the strap and pause there for a few cycles of breath.
  6. Squat (Malasana)  
  7. Seated Dragonfly Pose (I’ve shown knees bent variation here)  
  8. Dragon Pose
    1. A minute and a half in Baby Dragon  
    2. A minute and a half in Winged Dragon (photo not shown here, but click on this link to see what it looks like).
  9. Deer Pose  
  10. Frog Pose (Tadpole Option) 
  11. Supine Twist (option Twist Roots)  
  12. Savasana

Remember to pause in between each pose, stay and observe or move a bit. Getting into Yin tissue takes time, patience and immense inner listening. Remember, you should come to the pose where it’s your own threshold. Where the pose is not straining, but interesting enough for you to stay in and observe. 

Photo credit: https://bousbous.com

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