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Hollye Holbrook

Pose of the Month: Savasana (Corpse Pose)



IMG_4636

Aaaah, Savasana. Although it looks easy, Savasana has been called the most difficult asana (pose). It is a fully conscious asana aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed so you may fully assimilate the benefits of your asana practice.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika—one of the ancient yogic texts—sums up the pose nicely: “Lying flat on the ground with the face upwards, in the manner of a dead body, is Savasana. It removes tiredness and enables the mind (and whole body) to relax.” Chapter 1, Verse 32

When you first start practicing Savasana, it can be a struggle to relax in the pose; you may lie there feeling tense. Or, you might fall asleep. The essence of Savasana is to relax with attention – to remain conscious and alert while still being at ease. It’s normal for the mind to try to resist this deep relaxation. It takes practice and patience to surrender easily.

It is called corpse pose not only because of the position of the body, but also in its ability to prepare us for the ultimate relaxation: death. Being aware of death doesn’t make us morbid and doesn’t need to make us afraid. It can bring about more joy as we choose to live our lives fully, knowing that it will end. Savasana represents surrender to the unknown, the foreign, to the changes that we need in our lives. It asks that we let go of our efforts and simply allow the Divine to work through us.

POSE TYPE:
Restorative

BENEFITS:
• Helps relieve mild depression, high blood pressure headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
• Calms the nervous system.
• Promotes equanimity in your entire body.
• Helps fatigued muscles relax.

PREPARATORY & FOLLOW-UP POSES:
Savasana should conclude your yoga practice.

VARIATIONS:
• Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart. Or, bring your feet about as wide as your mat and let your knees fall together in the center of your body (see photo).
• You can do Supta Baddha Konasana as Savasana. It helps your nervous system to place a block as support under each outer thigh (see photo).
• Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster.

IMG_4639
IMG_4635

TIPS:
• Rest the arms and hands away from the hips with the palms turned upward.
• Make a comfortable distance between the shoulders and ears.
• Relax the skin of the forehead, eyes, and cheeks down toward the bridge of the nose.
• Deliberately relax the weight of the bones, muscles, organs, fluids, and nerves.
• Explore and receive the feelings and sensations as they come in and out of your awareness.
• Experience what it feels like to relax. And relax a little more.

COMING OUT OF SAVASANA:
• Allow movement to stir throughout the body.
• Bend the knees, placing the feet onto the floor.
• Draw the knees in to the chest, and roll to the right.
• Pause.
• Prepare for what’s next.


Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.
~Bryant H. McGill


Hollye Holbrook

December at the Studio

 

  • Friends for Free Friday
  • Foam Rolling Class with Jess
  • Special Winter Solstice Candlelight Vinyasa Class
    with Hollye and LIVE MUSIC by Chris Brown
  • Music Class with Annette
  • Community Class with Karan
  • Special Aromatherapy Yin Yoga Class with Karlene
  • Ammended Christmas and New Year's Schedule
  • Annual 30 or 60 Day Challenge
  • Guest Teacher Jennilee Toner: Workshops and Classes
  • Next Level Core26 with Julie
  • SGY Yoga Retreat
  • Pose of the Month: Savasana
  • Student of the Month: Chris Brown


 
Friends for Free Friday

Friday, December 9th
All Classes
Bring one friend for free to each class you attend today!

_________________________________


Foam Rolling Class with Jess

 
Sunday, December 11th
9:30-10:30am 
$10 drop-in
 
foam rolling
 
 
Foam Rolling is a myofascial release technique designed to stretch out connective tissue, break up scar tissue in the body, and massage and release tight muscles. It also increases flexibility while decreasing muscle tightness, as well as muscle soreness. Join Kristen for these drop-in classes once per month and see how foam rolling can improve your yoga practice and mobility in daily life!
 
Attend this class, roll everything out, and then take Vinyasa at 11, which will feel amazing afterward!
 
Please bring your own foam roller if you have one. We have 20 available for use while at the studio, and if all of those are taken, you can also purchase a foam roller at the studio.

_________________________________

 

Winter Solstice Candlelight Vinyasa Class with Hollye & LIVE MUSIC by our very own Chris Brown!

 
Wednesday, December 21st
6:00-7:30pm


candles_large
As the days shorten, we welcome the darkness. We honor this time by turning inward, connecting to our heart’s desires, letting go of the things that no longer serve us and planting seeds of intention.

No extra charge for this class.

_________________________________

 

Music Class

 
Friday, December 30th
6:00pm • Core 26 Class
Led by Annette
Sun-Ra Jazz

_________________________________
 

Community Class

 
Sunday, December 18th
1-hour Strength & Conditioning • 12:30 - 1:30pm
Led by Karan
 
Luvable-Logo-trans_black

This month's class will benefit Luvable Dog Rescue, a local organization dedicated to re-homing exceptional, loving dogs who have been rescued from high-kill shelters where they had little chance of being adopted.

All levels of practitioners are welcome to attend this donation-based class.
 
_________________________________
 

Special Aromatherapy Yin Yoga Class
with Karlene

 

Saturday, December 10th
1-3pm
$35 or $30 for SGY Diamond Members

alternative-medicine-aromatherapy-career

Join Karlene in a slow and gentle yin flow, paired with essential oils, offering a deeper opening for the superficial back line of fascia* in the body, which includes hips, lower back, hamstrings, and the backside of the legs. This class will offer a remedy for runners, cyclists, avid yogis, and active people to help relax habitually tight hot spots on the lower body. When we focus on these specific areas of tension, a common tendency is to run away or fidget our way through the hold time. This class will offer you the time and space to lean into those tendencies and tender spots. Through this leaning in, you will transform moments of haste into opportunities to lengthen the body, breath and mind in order to receive the most benefits mentally, physically and emotionally.

*Fascia is the connective tissue network - the three-dimensional spider web of fibrous, gluey proteins that saran wraps our muscles, bones, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves and organs together and holds them in place.  Often times, what we experience as tight or inflexible muscles, like the hamstrings, is actually the product of a tight fascial chain that wraps around the hamstrings as well as other muscles in the body.  Loosening the fascial chain increases flexibility, mobility and ease in the body, which is exactly what this yin yoga class is all about!

 _________________________________


ws_holiday_lights_1280x960_copy

Amended Christmas and New Year’s Schedules:

Saturday, December 24th – 9am C26, 11am Vinyasa
Sunday, December 25th – 11am 1-hour C26
Monday, December 26th – no 6:30am class
Saturday, December 31st – classes as usual
Sunday, January 1st – 11am Vinyasa, 4pm C26 (no 6pm class)
Monday, January 2nd – classes resume as usual

_________________________________

Annual 30 or 60 Day Challenge

 

IMG_5183

 

Tuesday, January 10th through Friday, March 10th

The new year is right around the corner, and what better way to step into 2017 than with a commitment to your health and vitality! This challenge is an opportunity to truly see what’s possible for you mentally, physically and emotionally. Those of us who have completed this challenge in the past know that you move beyond your perceived limitations, work through plateaus in your practice, gain more energy and confidence, and start feeling great from the inside out. We also join together as a community for this challenge, which is such an amazing way to build positive group energy and send it out to everyone around us. If you’ve never tried it, 2017 is your year!

You can commit to either a 30 or a 60 day challenge. The 60 day challenge begins on Tuesday, January 10th, and we’re hoping to have a live DJ at the 6pm vinyasa class that night for the kick-off! The 30 day challenge can begin for you anytime between January 10th and February 8th so that we can all finish together on March 10th. You could even sign up for the 30 day challenge and then decide to turn that into 60 when you feel amazing after that first month.

We’ll have a big sign-up poster on our announcement board so that we can all support each other along the way. ALL CLASSES AT SGY COUNT TOWARD THE CHALLENGE! If you happen to miss a day of practice, you can make it up by doing a double on another day. We strongly recommend that you only do this once or twice, as the idea here is to develop a daily practice that is both sustainable and invigorating. Cheers to our upcoming new year and another step toward discovering your most authentic, radiant Self!
 

_________________________________

Guest teacher Jennilee Toner will be at SGY January 6-8 for a variety of workshops and classes!

 
Friday, January 6th, 6-8pm
2 hour Core 26 Smash-up with Music! with Jess and Jennilee


Jennilee8963_copy
 
Saturday, January 7th 1-3pm
The Perfect Chaturanga Workshop with Jennilee
 
Learn the proper mechanics of vinyasa transitions so that your shoulders, wrists, and core are aligned, safe, and stable. Jennilee has a wealth of knowledge about anatomy and yoga, and her workshops are dynamic, experiential and engaging!
$35; $30 for SGY Diamond Members

 
LTD_1756_copy2
 
 Sunday, January 8th, 1-3pm
Arm Balancing Workshop with Jess and Jennilee
 

 Join Jess and Jennilee for an exploration of arm balancing yoga postures. This is an entirely experiential workshop that will involve pranayama, meditation, prep poses, and techniques to work toward a variety of arm balances.
$35; $30 for SGY Diamond Members

_________________________________

Next Level Core 26 Series with Julie begins in January!

 

Join Julie for an exploration of the full lineage of 84 postures from which the Core 26 class was created. This series involves additional pranayama techniques, hip openers, arm balances, backward bends, and inversions. If you’re looking to deepen your physical and mental yoga practice, this is an amazing opportunity. Julie used to lead these sessions regularly for experienced practitioners before she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Sylvia, and she is now back for this special 8 session series beginning this January!

Total cost is $100 for all 8 sessions
Scholarships are available for this! Ask Julie for details.
 
Sunday afternoons 1-3pm
Jan 15, 22, Feb 5, 19, 26, March 12, 19, 26

For more information, join Julie on Tuesday December 13th from 6-7pm in the moon room! It is an open session, so please feel free to pop in anytime during that hour to ask her any questions you may have about the series.

 

 

First Annual SGY Yoga Retreat in Yachats

January 27th – January 29th, 2017
 
yachats

Join us for our first annual SGY Yoga Retreat from Friday, January 27th through Sunday, January 29th, 2017. The retreat will take place on the beautiful Oregon Coast at the Yachats Inn, where we will explore moving toward edges in life with grace, ease, and an open heart.  Our asana focus for the weekend will be on backward bending and opening up the thoracic spine just behind the heart center, for the purpose of discovering deeper physical capacity, letting go of mental roadblocks (called samskaras in yoga), removing energy blockages, and reconnecting with our higher sense of self in honor of the new year.

Retreat Schedule:

Friday, January 27th
6:30-8pm Dharma Talk with Jess

Saturday, January 28th
Two morning class options, and a restorative class in the afternoon
10-11:30am Level 1/2 Asana class with Jess and Julie
11:45-1:30pm Level 2/3 Asana class with Jess and Julie
4-5:30pm Restorative Yoga class with Karan

Sunday January 29th
Two morning class options, and a foam rolling class and closing meditation in the afternoon
9-10:30am Level 1/2 Asana class with Jess and Julie
10:45-12:30pm Level 2/3 Asana class with Jess and Julie
1:30-3pm Foam Rolling class with Kristen
3-3:30pm Closing Meditation with Jess

$150 for the entire weekend, or $125 for SGY Diamond members; lodging not included

Please bring your own yoga mat, 2 blocks, a strap, and 2 blankets. You can rent these items for an additional $10, or you can purchase them at the studio for 20% off retail price.

$25 cash only drop-in price for each class for anyone who would like to attend just part of the retreat


 

Pose of the Month

Savasana

IMG_4636

Aaaah, Savasana. Although it looks easy, Savasana has been called the most difficult asana (pose). It is a fully conscious asana aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed so you may fully assimilate the benefits of your asana practice.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika—one of the ancient yogic texts—sums up the pose nicely: “Lying flat on the ground with the face upwards, in the manner of a dead body, is Savasana. It removes tiredness and enables the mind (and whole body) to relax.” Chapter 1, Verse 32

When you first start practicing Savasana, it can be a struggle to relax in the pose; you may lie there feeling tense. Or, you might fall asleep. The essence of Savasana is to relax with attention – to remain conscious and alert while still being at ease. It’s normal for the mind to try to resist this deep relaxation. It takes practice and patience to surrender easily.

It is called corpse pose not only because of the position of the body, but also in its ability to prepare us for the ultimate relaxation: death. Being aware of death doesn’t make us morbid and doesn’t need to make us afraid. It can bring about more joy as we choose to live our lives fully, knowing that it will end. Savasana represents surrender to the unknown, the foreign, to the changes that we need in our lives. It asks that we let go of our efforts and simply allow the Divine to work through us.

POSE TYPE:
Restorative

BENEFITS:
• Helps relieve mild depression, high blood pressure headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
• Calms the nervous system.
• Promotes equanimity in your entire body.
• Helps fatigued muscles relax.

PREPARATORY & FOLLOW-UP POSES:
Savasana should conclude your yoga practice.

VARIATIONS:
• Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart. Or, bring your feet about as wide as your mat and let your knees fall together in the center of your body (see photo).
• You can do Supta Baddha Konasana as Savasana. It helps your nervous system to place a block as support under each outer thigh (see photo).
• Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster.

IMG_4639
IMG_4635

TIPS:
• Rest the arms and hands away from the hips with the palms turned upward.
• Make a comfortable distance between the shoulders and ears.
• Relax the skin of the forehead, eyes, and cheeks down toward the bridge of the nose.
• Deliberately relax the weight of the bones, muscles, organs, fluids, and nerves.
• Explore and receive the feelings and sensations as they come in and out of your awareness.
• Experience what it feels like to relax. And relax a little more.

COMING OUT OF SAVASANA:
• Allow movement to stir throughout the body.
• Bend the knees, placing the feet onto the floor.
• Draw the knees in to the chest, and roll to the right.
• Pause.
• Prepare for what’s next.


Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.
~Bryant H. McGill


 

Student of the Month

 
Chris Brown

music
 
My introduction to yoga was through music. Several years ago I attended music school at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After leaving school I traveled around the country playing and writing music everywhere. But it was coming back home to Pennsylvania where my discovery of yoga first happened. I was playing music on the corner of a windy street in my hometown of State college, PA one weekend night. The energy was incredible! Playing the guitar and singing has always been one the of the easiest ways to open my heart fully connecting to my most authentic self. It’s also given me a beautiful way to connect with others. That night was no different. There was a crowd of people circled around me dancing, singing, laughing, and existing, all of us awake, open to what that moment held. An owner of a local yoga studio happened to walk by as all the commotion was unfolding, and proceeded to start dancing herself. After I finished singing the song, she came right up to me, told me I had beautiful energy, and asked me if I wanted to play and sing at her yoga studio while she taught. I told her I would love to and ended up doing this on and off for a couple years in exchange for free yoga. That was 5 years ago or so.

DSC_2937

Anyhow, I drifted away from yoga for a few years while I continued to travel. After many stops along the way, I ended up in Eugene in January of this year. I came to SGY back in August setting different intentions about what yoga would be for me. I come from a long history of athletics. I was a nationally competitive runner in high school, and for a brief time in college at Penn State University. Since leaving college I’ve completed a few marathons, and an ultra-marathon as well. Now at 29 though, my body hurts a lot. I’m seeing how the choices I made to constantly push through pain have affected me. Practicing yoga this time around is about restoration, healing, and training wisely. It’s funny though, as much as yoga is a physical practice (and it’s working wonders for my body!), for me that’s not the point of it. It just happens to be another benefit. Maybe, I’m just in a different place in my life from the last time I practiced, but this time yoga is a major piece in the puzzle of healing my mind, and one of the ultimate forms of self-care. I’m learning about patience, self-compassion, right effort, being ok not being perfect, or the best, living from my heart not my head, and separating myself from my thoughts! I’m seeing how these lessons spillover from my practice of yoga to the rest of my life. I feel incredibly lucky to have met so many wonderful people at SGY in my brief time practicing there. It’s been an awesome place to develop a community in Eugene, and truly feels like coming home. Thank you to all of you for your practice, and I look forward to sharing the studio with you soon!
 
 

Hollye Holbrook

November News @ SGY

 

  • Friends for Free Friday
  • Foam Rolling Class with Kristen
  • Music Classes (2 this month!) with Daniel and Jocelyn
  • Community Class with Julie
  • Yoga Fundamentals Class with Ashley
  • Unlocking Bandahs Workshop with Jess and Julie
  • Ammended Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule
  • Black Friday Sale
  • SGY Yoga Retreat
  • Pose of the Month: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)


 
Friends for Free Friday

 

Friday, November 11th
All Classes
Bring one friend for free to each class you attend today!

_________________________________


Foam Rolling Class with Kristen

 
Sunday, November 6th
9:30-10:30am 
$10 drop-in
 
foam rolling
 
Foam Rolling is a myofascial release technique designed to stretch out connective tissue, break up scar tissue in the body, and massage and release tight muscles. It also increases flexibility while decreasing muscle tightness, as well as muscle soreness. Join Kristen for these drop-in classes once per month and see how foam rolling can improve your yoga practice and mobility in daily life!

Attend this class, roll everything out, and then take Vinyasa at 11, which will feel amazing afterward!

Please bring your own foam roller if you have one. We have 20 available for use while at the studio, and if all of those are taken, you can also purchase a foam roller at the studio.
 

_________________________________


Music Classes

 
Friday, November 18th
6:00pm • Core 26 Class
Led by Daniel
Chet Faker-inspired!

Friday, November 25th
4:00pm • Core 26 Class
Led by Jocelyn
DJ Dragonfly Music Mix!
 
_________________________________
 

Community Class

 
Sunday, November 27th
1-hour C26 Class • 12:30 - 1:30pm
Led by Julie
 
profilepic_l_copy

This month's class will benefit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to providing information about alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. In fact, it affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. with a lifetime risk of 2.1%.

All levels of practitioners are welcome to attend this donation-based class.
 
_________________________________
 

Yoga Fundamentals Class

IMG_2445

Join Ashley on Tuesday nights from 6-7:15pm in the Moon Room for Yoga Fundamentals, a class designed for beginners who would like to learn more about their bodies and how to get the most out of their yoga practice. Often times, when new folks sign up for class, they have questions about the practice and how it fits with their particular set of injuries, history, and life experiences. This class is designed to address exactly that! Yoga Fundamentals is a 4-part series that repeats each month, and anyone is welcome to drop in any point in the series. The first three classes focus on Mental Training, Breath Training, and Movement Training, and the final class of each month will be an Open Posture Clinic. Even if you are a seasoned practitioner, you might consider attending the Open Posture Clinic, as this is an opportunity to ask any individual questions you have about your body or particular yoga postures with which you are having difficulty. This class is included with any package or membership you purchase at SGY, including the introductory offer.

 _________________________________


Unlocking Bandhas Workshop

Saturday, November 12th
1-3pm
with Jess and Julie
$35 Regular price, $30 SGY Diamond Members

banda workshop (480x640)


If you've ever heard your yoga teacher say, "lift your pelvic floor" he/she was probably referring to a bandha.  Bandhas are energy locks in your body that assist you in channeling energy into your yoga postures, regulating your internal systems, developing breathing practices, and building mental concentration. Understanding the bandhas and knowing how to work with them in class are key elements in deepening your yoga practice. Join us for a detailed, hands-on exploration of these energy locks and how you can start to apply them.  
 
WE RECOMMEND NOT EATING FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS PRIOR TO THIS WORKSHOP 
 
_________________________________

Amended Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule


Thanksgiving-yoga-hands
 
Thursday, November 25th (Thanksgiving Day)
9-10:15am Vinyasa

Friday, November 26th
9am Vinyasa • 12pm 1 hr C26 • 4pm C26 Music Class

Saturday and Sunday
Classes as usual!

_________________________________

Black Friday Sale


6358399164393488481394647474_Black-Friday
 
Friday, November 25 – Monday, November 28th

• 10% off yoga packages and gift cards

• Set-up fee waived and half off the first month for NEW diamond memberships

• 20% off ALL retail items! – Diamond members get 30% off all non-local retail items

• Online sales use the code THANKSGIVING2016


 

First Annual SGY Yoga Retreat in Yachats

January 27th – January 29th, 2017
 
yachats

Join us for our first annual SGY Yoga Retreat from Friday, January 27th through Sunday, January 29th, 2017. The retreat will take place on the beautiful Oregon Coast at the Yachats Inn, where we will explore moving toward edges in life with grace, ease, and an open heart.  Our asana focus for the weekend will be on backward bending and opening up the thoracic spine just behind the heart center, for the purpose of discovering deeper physical capacity, letting go of mental roadblocks (called samskaras in yoga), removing energy blockages, and reconnecting with our higher sense of self in honor of the new year.

Retreat Schedule:

Friday, January 27th
6:30-8pm Dharma Talk with Jess

Saturday, January 28th 
10-11:30am Level 1/2 Asana class with Jess and Julie
11:45-1:30pm Level 2/3 Asana class with Jess and Julie
4-5:30pm Restorative Yoga class with Karan

Sunday January 29th
9-10:30am Level 1/2 Asana class with Jess and Julie
10:45-12:30pm Level 2/3 Asana class with Jess and Julie
1:30-3pm Foam Rolling class with Kristen
3-3:30pm Closing Meditation with Jess

$150 for the entire weekend, or $125 for SGY Diamond members; lodging not included

Please bring your own yoga mat, 2 blocks, a strap, and 2 blankets. You can rent these items for an additional $10, or you can purchase them at the studio for 20% off retail price.

$25 cash only drop-in price for each class for anyone who would like to attend just part of the retreat


 

Pose of the Month

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

IMG_7258

Camels represent fortitude and determination. They teach us to stay the course and trust in the outcome. Camels seem to have the gift of accomplishing the impossible, and when we bring our bodies into the pose of the camel, we awaken that same gift inside of us. With consistent practice, we will find the source of strength that will sustain us even in the sometimes harsh climates of our lives.

Ustrasana brings us out of our daily habitual posture of rounding the back and hunching over. It stimulates and balances both the fourth and fifth chakras, located at the heart and throat centers, respectively. In many practitioners, the heart and throat centers are often closed off and protected, as evidenced by slouching, lowered chins, and poor posture. Ustrasana can sometimes stir up emotions in the practitioner more than other poses.

Ustrasana brings us into a posture of opening the front body as well as elongating the spine. It can be a very difficult posture and it is a challenge to do without overarching in the low back, which causes compression and pain in the lower spine. In order to prevent that compression and discomfort, it is important to find a long arc of extension from the sacrum to the crown of the head. I like to think of it like the arc of a candy cane – the heart center going up up up, and then going back. In Ustrasana, our legs are grounded so the extension and expansion is more focused on the thoracic spine (middle/upper) and cervical spine (neck).


Pose Type:
backbend

Benefits:
• Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat
• Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
• Strengthens back muscles
• Improves posture
• Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Preparatory poses: cobra; upward facing dog; locust; bridge, hero, reclined hero, wheel; supine wheel

Follow-up poses: staff; hero; wheel; supine wheel; bridge; shoulder stand; headstand

Tips:
• When practicing backbends, it is crucial to create length between your vertebrae, being careful not to collapse or crunch into the pose. Keep your pelvis stable as you lift and lengthen your sternum toward the sky.
• Take the pose slowly, only going as deep as your body will allow without pain.
• Avoid pinching the shoulders together, tensing the neck.
• Avoid crunching the lower back by squeezing the butt, pushing the knees wider than hip-width apart, or pooching the belly.

Variations:
• If it is difficult for you to touch your hands to your feet, tuck your toes to elevate your heels.
• If it is still difficult to reach your feet, bring your hands to your low back/sacrum for support or place your hands on yoga blocks positioned outside of each foot.
• To deepen the pose, squeeze a block between your thighs.
• You can go deeper into this posture by bringing your hands up over your head and reaching for your toes, letting your head rest between your feet.

Cautions:
• High or low blood pressure
• Migraine
• Serious low back or neck injury

 
"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete"

~ Jack Kornfield




Hollye Holbrook

Pose of the Month: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

IMG_7258_copy

Camels represent fortitude and determination. They teach us to stay the course and trust in the outcome. Camels seem to have the gift of accomplishing the impossible, and when we bring our bodies into the pose of the camel, we awaken that same gift inside of us. With consistent practice, we will find the source of strength that will sustain us even in the sometimes harsh climates of our lives.

Ustrasana brings us out of our daily habitual posture of rounding the back and hunching over. It stimulates and balances both the fourth and fifth chakras, located at the heart and throat centers, respectively. In many practitioners, the heart and throat centers are often closed off and protected, as evidenced by slouching, lowered chins, and poor posture. Ustrasana can sometimes stir up emotions in the practitioner more than other poses.

Ustrasana brings us into a posture of opening the front body as well as elongating the spine. It can be a very difficult posture and it is a challenge to do without overarching in the low back, which causes compression and pain in the lower spine. In order to prevent that compression and discomfort, it is important to find a long arc of extension from the sacrum to the crown of the head. I like to think of it like the arc of a candy cane – the heart center going up up up, and then going back. In Ustrasana, our legs are grounded so the extension and expansion is more focused on the thoracic spine (middle/upper) and cervical spine (neck).


Pose Type:
backbend

Benefits:
• Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat
• Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
• Strengthens back muscles
• Improves posture
• Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Preparatory poses: cobra; upward facing dog; locust; bridge, hero, reclined hero, wheel; supine wheel

Follow-up poses: staff; hero; wheel; supine wheel; bridge; shoulder stand; headstand

Tips:
• When practicing backbends, it is crucial to create length between your vertebrae, being careful not to collapse or crunch into the pose. Keep your pelvis stable as you lift and lengthen your sternum toward the sky.
• Take the pose slowly, only going as deep as your body will allow without pain.
• Avoid pinching the shoulders together, tensing the neck.
• Avoid crunching the lower back by squeezing the butt, pushing the knees wider than hip-width apart, or pooching the belly.

Variations:
• If it is difficult for you to touch your hands to your feet, tuck your toes to elevate your heels.
• If it is still difficult to reach your feet, bring your hands to your low back/sacrum for support or place your hands on yoga blocks positioned outside of each foot.
• To deepen the pose, squeeze a block between your thighs.
• You can go deeper into this posture by bringing your hands up over your head and reaching for your toes, letting your head rest between your feet.

Cautions:
• High or low blood pressure
• Migraine
• Serious low back or neck injury


"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete"

~ Jack Kornfield

Jess

Diversity and Inclusion at SGY

Dear Beloved SGY Community,

In the wake of the recent election, I feel compelled to write to all of you to express what is in my heart and the hearts of many of you who have taken the time to share openly in the last week.  Regardless of your personal political beliefs, our country is severely divided right now, and many of us are fearful of what will happen to our rights, our values, and our day-to-day lives in this climate.  I believe in some ways where we stand as a nation at this time is an accurate reflection of the lack of progress we have made together toward social justice.  At the same time, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease and this wheel is now squeakier than ever, meaning that we are also poised to respond accordingly and to unite in listening to one another, seeing one another as unique, beautiful human beings, and standing up for our collective humanity.

I would like to acknowledge that I speak to you from a position of privilege as a White person.  This privilege allows me to commune with people of my own race anytime I want, especially in Eugene.  It means I don’t need to worry about doing something human like coming late to a meeting and wondering if people think that this is a reflection of my race.  It means my credibility is not immediately questioned because of the color of my skin.  It allows me to walk down the street without fear of being mistaken for a terrorist.  It allows me to write this email and to be taken seriously.  We don’t often acknowledge or think about the ways in which privilege operates in our lives and our blindness to this makes us part of the problem rather than the solution.  My point in putting this out there is to say, there is inherent power in privilege, and it doesn’t matter that the privileged may not have asked for such power.  With that power comes great responsibility to speak up against injustice, to act out against injustice, and to build a community where we can do that together.

I also want to acknowledge that I self-identify as a woman.  Compared to those who identify as men in our society or those who are seen as men, this is an underprivileged position.  Like all women, I have encountered misogyny, sexism, verbal aggression, emotional abuse, and physical threats to my safety as a result of my gender identity.  At times I have been brushed aside and have had to fight for respect in my role as a woman business owner.  Even in the field of Yoga, which is mostly women-dominated, men tend to be the figureheads and the spokespeople we know and trust, which is a reflection of the larger culture in which we exist.  I am moved to inspire women to find their voices, acknowledge their gifts, live in their hearts, and embody their strengths without giving their power away to those around them who may have more culturally conditioned power or privilege.  Many of you may recall that when I purchased this studio 4 years ago I changed the name in part because I wanted to expand our class offerings, but also in part because Bikram Choudry had been formally accused of rape and sexual assault, with several court cases pending.  As a woman and as a proponent of social justice I could not be in integrity with my personal values and the values of Yoga and also keep Bikram’s name on my studio doors. 

Our president elect is someone who has openly taken advantage of his power and privilege as a White person and as a man in ways that are oppressive, demeaning, condemning, minimizing, and dishonest.  This is not unlike the claims that have surfaced in the last several years about Bikram Choudry, except that the power handed to the President elect is far greater than that given to a Yoga guru in the United States.  In the name of social justice and as someone in a position of power in our local community, I am committed to providing a safe and inclusive studio space that upholds the values of Yoga: a space where diversity is promoted and welcomed, a space where sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, racial identity, cultural identity, and life experiences are acknowledged and validated, and a space where inclusivity is not just an aspirational value but a practiced value.  It is our differences that make us each unique beings of light, and together that light is so much more vibrant and complex than any one of us on our own. 

Inclusivity does not mean brushing aside the differences between us or saying that we are all the same.  We are not all the same, and that is profoundly important as it creates the foundation for deep connection, education, and transformation.  Simultaneously, we are all human beings on this planet, and according to Yoga, our higher purpose is to reconnect with our true nature.  That is a deeply spiritual place of love and belonging that resides within each of us – a space we were born into and which has been masked by social and cultural conditioning.  For me, this is also a piece of what it means to be inclusive.  In everyone who walks through the doors of SGY, I see the innate capacity for love and belonging.  All of our teachers share this value and this commitment to you.  This energy pervades the studio and makes us who we are as a community.

I am eternally grateful to each of you for sharing your uniqueness, your voice, your vulnerability, and your light with the SGY community.  SGY continues to grow and in our growth I am committed to encouraging and promoting diversity, educating and uniting our community against injustice, and providing a safe and inclusive space for everyone.  There is much more to be said and done in our political climate right now, and change begins within ourselves and within our communities.  Let us live the values we share and let us help shape the world around us.


With love and gratitude,
Jess

Hollye Holbrook

Pose of the Month: Vrksasana (Tree Pose)



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The name Vrksasana comes from the Sanskrit word vriksa or vriksha meaning "tree”. Vrksasana is both a balancing pose and, secondarily, a hip opener. It also contains elements of movement that ascend while others remain rooted into the ground.

In Tree Pose, it helps to imagine that your body is centered on an invisible plumb line dropping from the crown of your head, through the middle of your torso and pelvis, and straight into the ground beneath you. You want to remain centered around that plumb line even though you’re on only one leg. To do this, strengthen the trunk of the tree—your core—and firm your standing leg by hugging the muscles of your inner thigh in toward your midline. Your standing leg is like the roots of your tree, and your stable pelvis carries energy from your roots up into the spine and torso, creating a strong trunk. Your arms reach up and out like branches expanding into the sky.

In yoga, there is a principle called satya (the practice of truthfulness) that teaches yogis to think, speak and act in alignment with what is true. Because it’s a challenging balancing pose, Tree Pose offers an opportunity to practice this principle by aligning yourself with the truth in your own body.

Pose Type:
standing pose

Benefits:
• Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
• Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
• Improves sense of balance
• Improves concentration
• Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet

Preparatory poses: butterfly; triangle pose; warrior II

Follow-up poses: standing poses

Tips:
• Work the pose from the ground up. Balance your weight evenly across your standing foot. Then, find balance and strength in the shin, calf, and thigh of your standing leg. Find alignment in your hips, tailbone, pelvis, and belly; and then in your collarbones, shoulder blades, arms, and neck.
• You can put a hand on a nearby wall or stand near a wall in case you lose your balance.
• Place your lifted foot lower on your standing leg. It’s fine to put your foot on your inner calf or even at your ankle, with your toes resting on the ground.
• Soften your face. If you are biting your lips or gripping your jaw, soften and let go.
• It’s OK to fall! This is the practice: try, fall, and try again. See whether you can keep trying without sinkinginto frustration. Try to have fun!

Variations:
• You can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn to balance without any reference to the outer environment.
• Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.

Cautions:
• Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic knee or hip injury.
• Due to the balancing nature of this pose, do not practice Half Lotus Tree Pose if you are currentlyexperiencing headaches, insomnia, low blood pressure, or if you are lightheaded and/or dizzy.


Hollye Holbrook

October at the Studio

  • Friends for Free Friday
  • Foam Rolling Class with Kristen
  • Free Your Hips Workshop with Jess and Karlene
  • Music Class
  • Community Class
  • CommUNITY Yoga Celebration
  • Yoga Fundamentals Class with Ashley
  • Unlocking Bandahs Workshop with Jess and Julie
  • SGY Yoga Retreat
  • Pose of the Month: Vkrsasana (Tree Pose)
  • Teacher Feature: Hollye Holbrook


 
Friends for Free Friday

 

Friday, October 14th
All Classes
Bring one friend for free to each class you attend today!

_________________________________


Foam Rolling Class with Kristen

 
Sunday, October 16th
9-10am 
$10 drop-in
 
foam rolling
 
Foam Rolling is a myofascial release technique designed to stretch out connective tissue, break up scar tissue in the body, and massage and release tight muscles. It also increases flexibility while decreasing muscle tightness, as well as muscle soreness. Join Kristen for these drop-in classes once per month and see how foam rolling can improve your yoga practice and mobility in daily life!

Attend this class, roll everything out, and then take Vinyasa at 11, which will feel amazing afterward!

Please bring your own foam roller if you have one. We have 20 available for use while at the studio, and if all of those are taken, you can also purchase a foam roller at the studio.
 

_________________________________

Free Your Hips and the Rest Will Follow: Hip Opening Workshop for all Levels

IMG_5021

 
with Jess and Karlene
Saturday, October 22nd, 1-3pm
$35 regular price, $30 SGY Diamond Members
 
Join us for a hip opening exploration like no other. All practitioners welcome! We will combine meditation, pranayama, myofascial release, and asana tools from vinyasa, yin and restorative yoga to increase mobility in the hip joints, legs, and lower back. Come prepared to learn, practice, and ask any individual questions you might have. Register online or in person at the studio. Space is limited!!

_________________________________

Music Class

 
Friday, October 28th
6:00pm Core 26 Class
Led by Benjamin
Halloween Monster Mash!
 
_________________________________
 

Community Class

 
Sunday, October 30th
1-hour C26 Class
12:30 - 1:30pm
Led by Jocelyn
 
wcc logo white no bug
 

This month's class will benefit the Whiteaker Community Council, who works to make the neighborhood safer and more enjoyable for the community.

All levels of practitioners are welcome to attend this donation-based class.
 
_________________________________
 

CommUNITY Yoga Celebration

Saturday, October 15th
12-5pm
Unitarian Universalist Church (1685 W 13th Ave)
$5-25 sliding scale ticket price
 
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Join us for our very first CommUNITY Yoga Celebration, organized by most of the yoga studios in Eugene! Enjoy an afternoon of meditation, kirtan, chanting, and 3 different yoga classes appropriate for all ages, bodies, and levels of experience. We will also have local food vendors on site with samples, and raffle prizes from each of the participating studios (Balanced Hot Yoga, Eugene Yoga, Gather Together Yoga, Everyday People Yoga, Eugene School of Yoga, Hard Core Yoga, and SGY). All profits benefit ShelterCare. Space is limited so we recommend buying your tickets in advance at SGY! $5-25 sliding scale ticket price.
 
_________________________________
 

New Yoga Fundamentals Class begins in November!

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Starting November 1st, join Ashley on Tuesday nights from 6-7:15pm in the Moon Room for Yoga Fundamentals, a class designed for beginners who would like to learn more about their bodies and how to get the most out of their yoga practice. Often times, when new folks sign up for class, they have questions about the practice and how it fits with their particular set of injuries, history, and life experiences. This class is designed to address exactly that! Yoga Fundamentals is a 4-part series that repeats each month, and anyone is welcome to drop in any point in the series. The first three classes focus on Mental Training, Breath Training, and Movement Training, and the final class of each month will be an Open Posture Clinic. Even if you are a seasoned practitioner, you might consider attending the Open Posture Clinic, as this is an opportunity to ask any individual questions you have about your body or particular yoga postures with which you are having difficulty. This class is included with any package or membership you purchase at SGY, including the introductory offer.

 _________________________________


Unlocking Bandhas Workshop

Saturday, November 12th
1-3pm
with Jess and Julie
$35 Regular price, $30 SGY Diamond Members

banda workshop (480x640)


If you've ever heard your yoga teacher say, "lift your pelvic floor" he/she was probably referring to a bandha.  Bandhas are energy locks in your body that assist you in channeling energy into your yoga postures, regulating your internal systems, developing breathing practices, and building mental concentration. Understanding the bandhas and knowing how to work with them in class are key elements in deepening your yoga practice. Join us for a detailed, hands-on exploration of these energy locks and how you can start to apply them.  

WE RECOMMEND NOT EATING FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS PRIOR TO THIS WORKSHOP 

 



SGY Yoga Retreat

 

yachats


Mark your calendars for our very first SGY Yoga Retreat in Yachats next year, from Friday January 27th through Sunday, January 29th. This retreat includes a dharma talk, active asana classes focused on backward bending, restorative yoga class, foam rolling class, and meditation, all with the backdrop of the beautiful Oregon coast. Stay tuned for more details next month!



Pose of the Month

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

img

The name Vrksasana comes from the Sanskrit word vriksa or vriksha meaning "tree”. Vrksasana is both a balancing pose and, secondarily, a hip opener. It also contains elements of movement that ascend while others remain rooted into the ground.

In Tree Pose, it helps to imagine that your body is centered on an invisible plumb line dropping from the crown of your head, through the middle of your torso and pelvis, and straight into the ground beneath you. You want to remain centered around that plumb line even though you’re on only one leg. To do this, strengthen the trunk of the tree—your core—and firm your standing leg by hugging the muscles of your inner thigh in toward your midline. Your standing leg is like the roots of your tree, and your stable pelvis carries energy from your roots up into the spine and torso, creating a strong trunk. Your arms reach up and out like branches expanding into the sky.

In yoga, there is a principle called satya (the practice of truthfulness) that teaches yogis to think, speak and act in alignment with what is true. Because it’s a challenging balancing pose, Tree Pose offers an opportunity to practice this principle by aligning yourself with the truth in your own body.

Pose Type:
standing pose

Benefits:
• Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
• Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
• Improves sense of balance
• Improves concentration
• Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet

Preparatory poses: butterfly; triangle pose; warrior II

Follow-up poses: standing poses

Tips:
• Work the pose from the ground up. Balance your weight evenly across your standing foot. Then, find balance and strength in the shin, calf, and thigh of your standing leg. Find alignment in your hips, tailbone, pelvis, and belly; and then in your collarbones, shoulder blades, arms, and neck.
• You can put a hand on a nearby wall or stand near a wall in case you lose your balance.
• Place your lifted foot lower on your standing leg. It’s fine to put your foot on your inner calf or even at your ankle, with your toes resting on the ground.
• Soften your face. If you are biting your lips or gripping your jaw, soften and let go.
• It’s OK to fall! This is the practice: try, fall, and try again. See whether you can keep trying without sinkinginto frustration. Try to have fun!

Variations:
• You can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn to balance without any reference to the outer environment.
• Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.

Cautions:
• Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic knee or hip injury.
• Due to the balancing nature of this pose, do not practice Half Lotus Tree Pose if you are currentlyexperiencing headaches, insomnia, low blood pressure, or if you are lightheaded and/or dizzy.


 

Teacher Feature


Hollye Holbrook


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Hello wonderful SGY community! It is an honor to be featured in the Teacher Feature this month.

I grew up in the forests outside of Cottage Grove, went to school at Oregon State University (I know, I know to all the Duck fans), played professional basketball in Guatemala, moved to New York City for two years and began a career in Graphic Design, moved to Los Angeles for eight years and continued my career while teaching sewing and falling in love with yoga, spent over 600 hours training with master yoga teacher Annie Carpenter, and finally moved back to my favorite place (Oregon!) in July of 2015. I currently work as a full time Graphic Designer here in Eugene, go hiking as often as possible and am so very grateful to teach yoga here at SGY.

While living in Los Angeles, I went to my first yoga class simply to explore something new and to aid in my physical fitness. Since then, it has grown to mean much, much, much more to me. In the first few months of a once-per-week practice, I always left class feeling grounded, centered, stronger in mind, body and spirit, and with a general feeling of peace and wellness. The days I went to yoga class were always good days. I soon was hooked. I wanted to learn more. My once-per-week class became an almost-daily class. And eventually, a seed was planted for the possibility of me teaching yoga. My gut said “Yes!”.

Through practicing yoga (then and now) I feel more mindful, more conscious and compassionate, centered and balanced, more limber in body and mind, empowered, less fearful and more confident. I live with more intention and presence both on and off my mat. I feel connected to something greater, connected to community, more connected to myself, and able to put a more authentic expression of myself into the world.

The benefits and wellness that come from moving our bodies, cultivating mindfulness, exploring our truths from one day to the next and continuing on the path are incomparable. I think that one wonderful aspect of yoga is how accessible it is to people of all shapes and sizes; on sleepy days and energetic days; on good days and bad days; both day and night. As we grow, change, age, change again, and continually travel through life, yoga is now. The form it takes may change. The reason we do it may change. The way it changes us may change. But, it is now.

I am so very honored to be a part of the community at Sweaty Ganesh Yoga. Thank YOU for making this an authentic, wholehearted and welcoming community.

Love Loudly. You Are Beautiful.

— Hollye Holbrook

“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” — T.K.V. Desikachar


Jess

SGY September 2016 Newsletter

September at SGY


Contents:
  • Welcome Fall Message from Jess
  • New Fall Class Schedule
  • Pranayama Tools for the Nervous System Workshop
  • Music Class
  • Community Class
  • Back to School Sale!
  • Free Your Hips Workshop


Dear SGY Yogis and Yoginis,

Fall is upon us, and we are gearing up for all kinds of exciting events, classes, and happenings at the studio!  Our new Fall schedule begins September 30th, as does our very first SGY Hot Yoga Teacher Training.  As part of this training, we will be offering public workshops each Saturday of training on a variety of topics from hip opening to preventing vinyasa injuries to handstanding.  Our first workshop on Pranayama Tools for Nervous System Regulation is happening on Saturday, October 1st.  See below for more details.  I am also beyond excited to announce that all yoga studio owners in Eugene have been working together for the better part of a year organizing a community wide yoga event to take place on Saturday, October 15th.  Stay tuned for more details about this event.  Tickets will be available for purchase at the studio, and we are also in need of volunteers for this event. If you're interested, please come talk with me!

Regarding our Fall Schedule, there are a few noteworthy changes this year.  First, we are eliminating the C26+ class.  Based on many of your requests, we will replace it with one more evening vinyasa class on Wednesdays from 6-7:15pm, which Hollye and Ashley will alternate teaching.  The Thursday 4:30pm Strength and Conditioning class will remain non-heated, but it will take place in the sun room to allow more space for many of the activities in that class, which involve exercise balls, balance boards, and "across the floor" functional fitness exercises!  We will be adding back Tuesday 4pm C26 class as well as Friday 4pm and 6pm C26 classes.  We will continue to offer Ashtanga on Thursdays at 5:45pm, and we will add one more Ashtanga class on Mondays at 5:45pm.  Restorative yoga with Michele returns on Tuesdays at 7:30pm!  And last but certainly not least, we are thrilled to announce a brand new class called Yoga Fundamentals, which will begin November 1st on Tuesdays from 6-7:15pm in the moon room with Ashley.  This class is a 4-part series that covers breath training, mental training, and postural mechanics for both vinyasa and C26 classes, and it is open to everyone.  We will have more details about this next month.

As many of you know, we recently bid adieu to one of our newest and beloved teachers Cloud, who taught the Wednesday morning vin-yin class.  That class will remain on the schedule; Alaina and Karlene will alternate teaching it.  Alaina completed a 200 hour vinyasa training with Mark Stephens this summer, and we are so excited to welcome her into vinyasa teaching at SGY!

As many of you know, I've been on a teaching break since August.  I have missed you all dearly and I'm feeling refreshed, ready, and thrilled to be back teaching the last week of September.  I can't wait to see all of you at the studio!  Cheers to Fall, a welcome return to a little more routine, and our continued growth as a yoga community!

With love and gratitude,
Jess



 
New Fall Schedule
begins Friday, September 30th

 

Fall 2016 HOT STUDIO

 

MON

TUE

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

6:30am

1hr C26

Vin

1hr C26

Vin

1hr C26

 

 

9:00am

1hr C26

 

 

 

Vin

C26

 

9:30am

 

 

Vin-Yin

Vin

 

 

 

11:00am

 

 

 

 

 

Vin

 Vin

12:00pm

1hr C26

Vin

1hr C26

Vin

1hr C26

 

 

4:00pm

 

C26 

 

 

C26 

1 hr C26

C26

4:30pm

Vin

 

Vin

 

 

 

 

6:00pm

C26

Vin 

Vin

C26

C26 

 

1hr C26 

 

C26 = Core 26 (90 minutes)
1hr C26 = 1 hour Core 26
Vin = Vinyasa (all classes are 60 minutes, except for Tue and Wed 6pm, which are 75 minutes)
Vin-Yin = Vinyasa-Yin combo class (60 minutes)


Fall 2016 NON-HEATED STUDIO

 

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

9:30am

 

S&C

 

 

 

 

 

4:30pm

 

 

 

S&C

 

 

 

5:45pm

 ASH

 

 

ASH

 

 

 

6:00pm

 

 

YFUN

(begins Nov 1)

S&C

 

 

 

 

7:30pm

 

RES

         


S&C = Strength and Conditioning (60 minutes)
ASH = Ashtanga  (90 minutes)
RES = Restorative/Yin (60 minutes)
YFUN = Yoga Fundamentals (75 minutes) begins NOVEMBER 1st



Pranayama Tools for the Nervous System: Moving out of Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Submit
Saturday, October 1st, 1-3pm
with Jess and Ashley
$35 regular price; $30 SGY Diamond Members

meditation 2


Join us for an exploration of the nervous system responses fight, flight, freeze, and submit (FFFS). These are instinctual responses that have developed evolutionarily in our bodies for good purposes. Unfortunately, we tend to overuse these responses in the modern world without awareness of what our bodies are doing. These responses hijack our bodily systems, including our ability to think, reason, make decisions, and connect with one another socially. Through discussion, experiential pranayama, and asana practices we will learn how to recognize FFFS and restore our bodily systems back to the capacity for openness, connection, and higher level thinking.  Register online or at the studio. Space is limited!



Music Class
Friday, September 30th
6pm Core 26 Class
Led by Julie
This month's theme is Julie's favorite female artists...Tori Amos included!



Community Class

Sunday, September 25th
Warm Vinyasa Class
12:30 - 1:45pm
Led by Natacia

Alseny with Students with Colette Laughing


This month's class will benefit the West African Cultural Arts Institute, a local non-profit co-founded by our beloved student Andrea DiPalma and her husband, Alseny Yasane.  The WACAI focuses on educational programs, including dance and drumming classes in Eugene, through the cultural arts of West Africa and charitable programs in Guinea, West Africa.

All levels of practitioners are welcome to attend this donation-based class.



 
Back to School Sale at SGY!
Friday, September 30th through Monday, October 3rd

Take 10% off all retail items, packages and gift cards, including the introductory offer.
If you sign up for a diamond auto-debit membership during the sale, we will waive the set-up fee and take 10% off your first monthly payment.
For online sales use the code BACKTOSCHOOL
(student discounts and diamond auto-debit memberships cannot be sold online - come into the studio!)



 Free Your Hips and the Rest Will Follow: Hip Opening Workshop for all Levels
with Jess and Karlene
Saturday, October 22nd, 1-3pm
$35 regular price, $30 SGY Diamond Members

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Join us for a hip opening exploration like no other. All practitioners welcome! We will combine meditation, pranayama, myofascial release, and asana tools from vinyasa, yin and restorative yoga to increase mobility in the hip joints, legs, and lower back. Come prepared to learn, practice, and ask any individual questions you might have. Register online or in person at the studio. Space is limited!!


 


Hollye Holbrook

Posture of the Month: Parsvottanasana (Sept 2016)

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The name Parsvottanasana comes from the Sanskrit parsva, meaning "side," ut, meaning "intense," tan, meaning "to stretch" and asana, meaning "pose" or "posture." Parsvottanasana may also be referred to as intense side stretch pose or pyramid pose.

Parsvottanasana is a great pose as is prepares us for inversions, forward bends and backbends. It is also both an intense hamstring stretch and hip strengthener. It is a pose that teaches one to facilitate freedom by setting up boundaries. The boundaries and structure of alignment and muscular action allow for a safe and deep release, as well as the ability to experience more freedom of movement in this and other poses. Ironically, it is the discipline of creating clear boundaries that can help set you free!
The Core26 posture Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee is a similar pose. In this variation, rounding your back opens up your spine with a powerful, inner compression. It is also a deep forward bend with an added hip-opener – there’s a lot going on here!

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Pose type:
standing pose

Benefits:
• Calms the brain
• Stretches the spine, shoulders and wrists (in the full pose), hips, and hamstrings
• Strengthens the legs
• Stimulates the abdominal organs
• Improves posture and sense of balance
• Improves digestion

Preparatory poses: downward facing dog; prayer hands; butterfly; supine butterfly; cow face; wide leg forward fold; standing forward fold; tree pose; triangle pose

Follow-up poses: staff; peacock; wide leg forward fold; shoulder stand; head stand; chair; warrior 1; locust

Cautions:
• Do not practice this pose if you have a hamstring injury.
• If you have a back injury or high blood pressure, avoid the full forward bend; instead do Ardha Parsvottanasana (pronounced are-dah = half). Lower your torso parallel to the floor and reach your hands out to a wall. Press your palms actively into the wall (preferably with your elbows fully extended), keeping your front torso longer than your back.

Tips:
• Keep hips squared to protect your back.
• In Vinyasa we want to keep the spine straight and long, folding at the hip, as well as keeping the legs straight. In C26, we want to round the spine and if needed bend your front knee so your forehead is close to your shin/knee.

Variations:
• The full version of this pose is performed with the hands behind the back in Anjali Mudra (referse prayer position).
• Another variaiton is to simply cross the arms behind the back, parallel to the waist. Hold each elbow with the opposite hand. When the
right leg is in front, bring the right arm around behind the back first; when the left leg is in front, bring the left arm first.
• In C26, bring your palms together only a few inches in front of your extended foot so as you straighten your arms you’re able to round your spine completely. The elbows straighten out and the arms go behind your ears.

20160902_103256

As with all postures, I encourage you to listen to your body and honor where you are
mentally, physically and emotionally each day. The pose will be there again tomorrow...
practice in such a way that you can be too!

Warmly,
Hollye and the SGY Teaching Team



Hollye Holbrook

Posture of the Month: Virabhadrasana III / Tuladandasana (August 2016)

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Warrior 3 Pose (also known as Standing Stick Pose) is an asana commemorating the exploits of the warrior Virabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva. The name of this asana is rooted in Hindu mythology. The myth is that the powerful priest Daksha made a great ritual sacrifice but did not invite his youngest daughter Sati and her husband Shiva, the supreme ruler of the universe. Sati found out and decided to go alone to the yagna. When she arrived, Sati entered into an argument with her father. Unable to withstand the insults she spoke a vow to her father, “Since it was you who gave me this body I no longer wish to be associated with it.” She walked to the fire and threw herself into it. When Shiva heard of Sati’s death, he was devastated. He yanked out a lock his hair and beat it into the ground, where up rose a powerful Warrior. Shiva named this warrior Virabhadra (Vira (hero) + Bhadra (friend)) and ordered him to go to the yagnaand destroy Daksha and all his guests.

• Virabhadra's first aspect, Virabhadrasana I, is his arrival, with swords in both hands, thrusting his way up through the earth from below.

• In his second aspect, Virabhadrasana II, he sights his opponent Daksha.

• And in his third aspect, Virabhadrasana III, moving swiftly and precisely, he decapitates Daksha’s head with his sword.

IMG_3252 

Pose type:

standing balance pose

Benefits:
• Improves balance and posture
• Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
• Tones the abdomen
• Strengthens the ankles and legs

Preparatory poses: half moon pose; wide leg forward fold; reclined hand to toe pose; reclined hero’s pose; chair pose; forward fold; warrior 2; warrior 1; hero’s pose; tree pose

Follow-up poses: one-legged king pigeon; plow pose; monkey pose; boat pose; supported headstand; chair pose; yogic squat

Cautions: This asana should be avoided by practitioners who have a weak heart.

Modifications:
• Use the support of a chair, wall or solid item to help maintain balance.
• Do the pose with your palms pressing into the wall.
• Do the pose with your back heel pressing into the wall.

TIPS:
• Lift the arches of the standing leg foot and keep the outer standing hip engaged.
• Do not lock or hyper-extend the knee of your standing leg.
• Keep both hips aligned as you lower the body toward the floor.
• Focus on the stretch, not on the lift. It doesn't matter how high your leg goes if you don't have safe alignment.
• Work to keep your arms, trunk, and raised leg in one line. Do not bring your raised leg higher than your hips or your head.
• Keep your neck relaxed, not stiff or compressed. Reach forward through the crown of your head.
• Keep your spine in one straight line.
• There are many options for your arms in this pose: arms forward with either palms facing each other or fingers interlaced with the index finger pointing forward and the thumbs crossed; arms to the sides like wings; hands at your heart center; fingers interlaced behind your back with the arms pulling towards the back of the room; bring your arms back alongside your body; and, a reverse Namaste position with palms of the hands pressed together and fingers pointing upward behind your back. Or, how about with Eagle pose arms? :-)

As with all postures, I encourage you to listen to your body and honor where you are mentally, physically and emotionally each day. The pose will be there again tomorrow... practice in such a way that you can be too!

Warmly,
Hollye and the SGY Teaching Team



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