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cyogalab cyogalab

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Carmen Aguilar  Yoga force🌬 flow explorer🏔 teacher 🎡 Chicago YTT 🚀 1/13-14 Rock Island 🌞 1/19-20 Costa Rica 🍍 1/21-27 Retreat ℹ️ @ www.labchicago.com Online classes:

https://vimeo.com/cyogalab/vod_pages

The idea behind today’s modification is not only to ‘lift’ our #Wheels more but also to ‘move’ the arch higher in the spine. The thoracic spine, the middle one, is the hardest one to bend because there’s a lot of bones there (ribcage), so we feel more restricted in our movements. I’m not a backbender and those are a family of poses I’ve always had to work very hard at, so I understand your frustration and pain but, if there’s one MAJOR thing I’ve learned over the years is that, if you go slow, mindfully breathing where you need to, steering and guiding the opening to the exact place/s you want to, it’ll happen. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take but, one important side effect will be that you’ll feel NO pain in the lower back, either in the pose or after doing it. All this looks neat and pretty in writing but it’s difficult and sweaty when you try to implement it so, don’t despair! Use props like a couple of blocks, a wall, blocks + wall, to help that opening. Once you develop the muscle memory, your body will try to recreate it without props (it might take a while before you're fully independent from them, no worries, there’s no rush!). Coming up on the fingertips is a GREAT way to decompress the lumbar spine and help the shouldesr align on top of the wrists. Respect your body’s boundaries and let’s #keeppracticing!! Have a wonderful one!! For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner. For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

#Practice among friends and join us today at The Lab if you're in #chicago:
10am (level 1-2+) with Claire
12pm (level 1-2) with Claire
4:30pm (level 1-2) with Paloma

We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣7️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 #Wheel with one leg up or Eka Pada #UrdhvaDhanurasana 📿❤️🙏 Whenever you try to lift one limb off the floor in Wheel, you need to be able to transfer that weight into the other 3 so, this #backbend is more about strength than flexibility (granted that you need some to get into the pose). I particularly like this variant because, in order to float the leg and extend it fully, you need to send the chest waaaayyy out, away from the arms, so it deepens the arch in the thoracic spine. The elbows need to be really straight, otherwise you’ll keep too much weight in the lower body and the legs will feel too heavy to lift. Once you're at your highest (aka, most arched) version of Wheel, arms and legs very straight, shift more weight into the palms, send the sternum up and away, walk feet closer to the midline, push one into the ground, bend the other knee into the chest and extend it up. Keep using the base leg to help you push the arch higher, towards the back of the heart. The more leg extension, the lighter you’ll feel and the easier to hold. If you can’t lift the leg or you do so for a couple of seconds, instead of trying and falling numerous times, tilt the weight slightly to the other (and the arms) and come up on the toes, then switch legs. Do it 2-3 times and lower down. I promise if you do that consistently, you’ll lift it beautifully very soon! As with many (most, I’d say) yoga poses, the first few inches lifting, are the hardest so, if you manage to keep the hips in place and the arch in the correct spot, the leg rise is a piece of cake. For those having trouble ‘straightening’ their Wheel, wait up for tomorrow’s modification!! Have a wonderful #practice!
For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Just as promised, something we can all give it a try. Granted that you might not pass the body/arms through the space between the legs but, some version of this, is very doable. Let’s give it a go: after some warm up, especially in the hip flexor area/low back/hamstrings, sit facing a wall and connect the soles of the feet. Allow the knees to point out, in opposite directions, as you engage the hip flexors to bring the body closer to them. Hold onto your feet, floor, wall, whatever gives you a better chance for that action to happen. Once you’re pretty close, pass the arms under the legs, then take the rest of the torso (and head) with them, trying to go through with those too. Keep the spine as straight as you can until the last moment, remember the fold should come mostly from the flexors, not the low back. Avoid extra tension in those tendons and send the knees wide when you’re doing the maneuver (you might notice they draw closer together as you bend deeper, don’t let that happen!). If you press the soles against each other, it’ll make you more aware and help prevent that. Breathe fully to lengthen the front of the body. Go wherever it feels appropriate today and keep going, you’re doing so well, more than half way done!!
For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner
For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Weekend is here!!! Join us at #thelab if you're in #chicago and let's practice together this morning!:
9am (level 1-2) with Rebecca
10:30am (level 1-2+) with Nicolette
12pm (level 1) with Ali
We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣6️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 #TittibhasanaC 📿❤️🙏 The more unknown of the Tittibhasana family, this one requires a bit less flexibility than its brother B, but there’s a lot balancing involved, probably as much as in A, only this one’s on the feet. The wall will be of GREAT help for that! Especially the first few times you #practice this, face one, go into a forward fold, legs hip width apart (or less, if you can, it’ll be easier when you’ll have to bring the heels together), pass the body through the space between them and, if at this point your back no longer touches the wall, scoop a bit closer to it. Approach carefully the heels until there’s a very small gap, then engage the hip flexors deeply and pass the head, shoulders, arms and torso, through that hole. ‘Seal’ that space by connecting the heels completely, toes pointing out to the sides. Try to wrap the arms around the ankles and lace the fingers. Straighten the legs as much as you can (hello hamstrings!), while you maintain your balance. I think this pose looks more harmless than it is (balancing is a big issue!), so try to move patiently in and out of it. At some point you might feel trapped/entangled, just keep breathing to allow that sensation to leave. If you keep the little fingers on the floor at all times, that’s cheating a bit but, it’ll make you life easier. You can use this #asana to warm up for other ‘leg behind the head’ poses too. If your hips are too stubborn to even start to do this, wait up for tomorrow’s modification to help you get ahead!! Nobody is left behind, don’t worry, you’ll be able to, at least, try that one. Stay tuned!!!
For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Maybe not on a window ledge, but you can try this variation resting one foot on a couch or comfy chair, and see where you get. I’m pretty obsessed about keeping the soles 100% on the ground, including the little toe, so that you stretch the outside of the ankle, all the way up to the outer thigh, but mostly, you do it to protect the inner knees. If you try this at home, be sure you're not caving the hips down and lifting part of the foot because that’s when all the pressure will go to that joint, making it extra unstable. If the chair you’re using is not very high, you can bend the other leg, drop down on its knee, point the toes out and, with palms on the ground, sinking the hips gradually, do a Half Frog pose. That way the whole knee issue will disappear and you’ll be able to focus on those inner groin muscles, shifting slightly more forward or back, so you’ll get different angles in that stretch. Resting the forearms on the floor will make your life easier (but requires some extra flexibility). Include these type of stretches as part of your routine and notice if some of the aches you have, start to go away, or shift to other places. Be mindful, there’s no rush. Keep accessing different layers as you do it consistently and let’s open up…For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner. For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Weekend is almost here!! Come #practice at the studio if you're in #chicago and let's have a great time together!! We'll be here from lunchtime to the late evening:
12pm (level 1-2) with Kate
3:30pm (level 1-2) with Nick
5:30p (level 1-2) with Ali
6:45pm (level 1) with Paloma
We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣5️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 Reclined Transversal #Splits or Supta #Samakonasana 📿❤️🙏 Time to work on those Transversal Splits! In my case, this pose came slowly and not gradually: for 5-6 years I’d get stuck at a certain angle, then one day, all of the sudden, I’d clearly open more, got stuck again and so on. This reclined version is easier on the knees but it requires a stronger hip flexion (unless you use weights or sandbags to help you) so, a prior step to this one, or a good pose to warm up, would be to do the same thing but with the legs up against a wall. Gravity will help you open the legs wider and, as long as you keep the lower butt touching it, it’ll help with the heel-knee-hip alignment. Avoid overarching the lumbar spine by pulling the navel in and engaging the flexors some more. You can also sit up and do regular Samakonasana, either entering from a wide standing position (Prasarita Padottanasana) or a seated one, opening the legs as much as possible. I think for most people the first entry works better because the hips are always aligned properly and, once more, gravity is constantly pushing down, stretching us. In the seated one, it’s quite challenging to level the hips with the knees and heels, making a complete straight line, and gravity isn’t there to lend us a hand. Going back to today’s reclined pose, make sure you don’t ‘cheat’ by bringing the legs closer, trying to touch the ground with those toes. Keep opening wide, making the inner thighs (not just the hamstrings), do their work. If you push with the hands on the heels, you’ll feel a deeper stretch. Once that’s comfortable, you’re ready to try it without hands and rest them in prayer like in the pic. More funky ideas to try in tomorrow’s post, stay tuned and let’s keep at it!! If you #practice, it’ll happen!!! For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

I’m flipping today’s pose and, instead of balancing on the crown of our heads, we can do so on our sacrum. Even if #Lotus isn’t an option, you can fold the legs in a crossed legged position, or do a Half Lotus and just bend the other one in, so you can balance on the tailbone and test both: how steady you are and how much you can tuck the knees into the chest. The easier you do both actions, the more doable last night’s inversion. I’m wrapping my arms around the legs to make a ‘tight’ Lotus but you can do the same thing just engaging the flexors and it’ll feel closer to the real sensation. I also like both this pose and last night’s because, when I teach workshops, I find a lot of people struggle to get into Urdhva Kukkutasana (Lotus arm balancing) and, the main reason why they can’t pick their heads off the ground (assuming we start from Tripod, which is the easiest entry), is because the hips don’t drop enough, there’s not enough fold at the hip flexor crease, so they’re forever stuck in this back and forth motion, trying to shift from their heads into the hands, pushing strongly, but nothing moves. The hip fold is essential and, if you can sit down, cross your legs and bring them very close, maybe even touch, the chest, just using those muscles, you’re on your way to Urdhva Kukkuta…. time to unroll that mat and #keeppracticing… You can do this!!
For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner
For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️:
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Come practice with us today at #thelab if you're in #chicago and let's unwind from the week... We'll be here from lunchtime to the late evening:
12pm (level 1-2) with Gina
5:30pm (level 1-2) with Emma
6:45pm (level 1-2) with Paloma
8pm (level 1-2) with Emma
We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

🙏❤️📿Day 1️⃣4️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀  Lotus or #Padmasana in #Headstand or #Sirsasana variant📿❤️🙏 This #inversion is more challenging than it looks, even if Headstand and Lotus are comfortable… just watch out for those last few inches where the kneecaps try to find the triceps and say hello to your core/upper body strength. Or say goodbye and prepare those butt cheeks for landing…. but, before that happens, keep reading for a minute: when you fold the legs in Lotus (if you can’t, do a Half Lotus/Half Crow kind of pose), guide the knees towards the back of the arms, pulling the navel in and, very importantly, maintaining the spine as straight as you can, for as long as you can. It’ll get to a point where you no longer will be able to do so and you’ll have to round, in order to tuck the legs into the chest. Keep engaging the hip flexors, press the arms down and lower the knees only to a point where you can still ‘recover’ and ‘undo’ the movement with your low back, like a scorpion about to sting with its tail. If you let impatience drive in the front seat, you’ll pass that ‘recovery line’ and, once you do that, your butt will find the ground before you’ll finish that thought. It’s better to NOT lower/not tuck all the way in, but ‘unroll’ and return back up because, that way, you’ll be gaining strength and muscle memory. Little by little, you’ll be inching your way down, until you’ll touch one day. Also, avoid putting extra weight on the head trying to get the touchdown. Practice both Lotus crosses (or Half Lotuses) and, for those not convinced about this, wait up for tomorrow’s alternative where we’ll work that hip flexibility and our balancing skills in a different way… Some extra padding right under the butt/legs can be a good idea, especially if you’ve never tried this before! Happy #practice!!! For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts⬇️⬇️⬇️
Russian: @cyogalab_ru
Korean: @cyogalab.korean
Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese
Español: @cyogalabenespanol
Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

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