Fall 2018 Week 1/6: All-round practice

Although it doesn’t exactly feel like fall here, in Florida, just yet, we need to distinguish this course from the one before – so, we’ll call it Fall 2018 ;-). This shortened course is a “grab bag” of various practices, rather than the structured progression of the previous courses. We began with an all-round practice this week, and will focus on various areas of interest for students in the next several weeks, such as balance, core, vinyasa and a restorative practice.

Some suggestions for homework from this week:

Anjaneyasana | High to low lunge

Keep front of chest/heart center open. Touch down with back knee lightly – you may also remain on back knee, point toe and reach arms up for a deeper opening of hip flexors.

 

Utthita trikonasana | Triangle pose

Lower hip and knee remain in alignment, twist is in mid-spine. Imagine pulling mat longer with feet, placing more weight in heel of back foot.

Parivrtta trikonasana | Rotated triangle 

Here, wall is an excellent prop that helps one twist upper body. Keep hips even – there is a tendency to drop hip of back leg lower than hip of front leg. Core remains strong.

Ardha chandrasana | Half moon pose

As in triangle pose, keep knee and toes aligned, pull standing leg hip towards back edge of mat to prevent cramping of piriformis. Upper shoulder twists over lower shoulder, core remains strong. Second variation (with bind) is for those who are secure in their balance.

Ardha kapotasana | Half pigeon pose

Keep hips squared and extend front of body.

Mid-spine bolster (Ahhhh…)

Let your spine become like a wet noodle and drape over bolster. Place block under head if chin juts up or back of neck is cramped.

Happy, healthy practicing! 🙂

~namaste, Sylvia

Author: Sylvia Vitazkova, PhD, CYT

Dr. Sylvia K. Vitazkova is a certified yoga teacher, life coach, horsewoman, and conservation biologist. Sylvia’s formal study of yoga began while she was an undergraduate at Cornell University, and intensified when she began to practice Ashtanga Yoga in 1997 while attending Columbia University for doctoral studies in biology. Sylvia soon realized that she wanted to help others experience the consciousness and transformation that her own practice fostered in her and began to teach in 1998, subsequently studying in Mysore, India, in 2002. Sylvia continues to evolve her practice by learning from senior teachers, the most influential of whom has been Barbara Benagh. Her teaching focus is on correct alignment, the joy of being fully present in one’s body, and the psychological and spiritual context within which the physical practice is embedded. Parallel to being a yoga teacher, Sylvia had a full-time career as a professor of Conservation Biology, having taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including a course she created on nature and spirituality, which brought her two areas of expertise together. She has conducted and published the results of her research on wildlife in the tropics, and has been involved in the creation of a number of conservation studies programs. Sylvia’s experience in mentoring students naturally led her to life coaching, in which she became certified through George Mason University in 2014. A lifelong connection with horses has been woven throughout these experiences, from her first pony while a child in Africa, to teaching at riding camp in the U.S., then Claremont Riding Academy in NYC, to the current and ongoing exploration of how yoga can be a tool for better and more connected riding. Sylvia now leads InBodied Living LLC, a wellbeing organization and consultancy, with her partner, James Houston.