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justinwolferyoga justinwolferyoga

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Justin Wolfer  Director of Rise Yoga & Movement Arts Center - Saratoga Springs, NY. @RiseYogaMovement | link to 30 hr advanced training Aug 17-20⬇️


Surya Namaskar 2.0 - the first time I did sun salutations I thought the movements were absolutely genius. A perfect exercise that warmed up the spine, created concentration and super powers. After practicing it and seeing it done 10s of thousands of times I think it can be improved upon and made less brutal to the shoulders and low back.

I use many hybrid variations While trying to keep the intention of moving in a linear plane and introducing basic flexion and extension movement patterns. The aim is to make it more accessible, fluid and functional instead of rigid and robotic. Here is one variation I use especially with clients that have lower back injuries or need help with forward bending biomechanics. The focus is on: - Emphasizing relaxation and slow controlled movements.
- Engaging specific muscles and chains of muscles to ensure that the proper muscles are firing before we get into forward bends and backbends that require more range and create more stress to particular areas of the body.
- Learning to shift weight and stabilize the entire time.
- Being easy to identify adjust to the students needs.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

A student of mine recently emailed me that her yoga studio told her she is not teaching enough "power flow"... by the way people power flow is an oxymoron.

This is a common scenario for new teachers balancing the expectations of studios and students while trying to be authentic and stick to your guns.

My wife @camacha_rees and I have been discussing this a lot... Camacha has done a complete overhaul of how she teaches but everyone loves her movement based classes. I think when you get some new information that shifts how you approach your practice it's easy to want to throw everything out and feel like you were teaching "the wrong way" before this information.

Later we may realize that what we had was a good start but it can be improved upon to make it more intelligent and useful. That's all I continue to do is look at what I have with fresh eyes and refine it.

I like the metaphor of vegetables and desert for teachers. Students need their veggies and they need a little desert as well. Don't we all? Not everything we do can be so rigid, detailed, methodical, micromanaged. I don't want to walk down the street thinking about every minute detail of me walking. That would drive me nuts. Inversely, we can't just ignore the stops signs in life and avoid depth, reason and logic. We can't just walk through life with our head in the clouds on autopilot. A good teacher and practitioner can switch between these two states of breaking things down intelligently when needed and letting things be loose and light at times. Life is both.

Looking for a teacher training where you will be taught how to teach?

Winter 200 & 500hr sessions begin in December @riseyogamovement Saratoga Springs, NY. Message me for details.

Starts Today! Bring socks (for your hands)😜😌🤸‍♂️🕺🏻

4 Weeks to An Effective Handstand: This 4 week program is for all abilities giving you a clear cut path to progress in one of the most fun, informative and challenging physical skills. You will learn: -how to properly prepare joints for safe, sustainable practice. -how to effectively strengthen and open your shoulders for proper alignment and maximum efficiency of efforts. -core strength and control like no other exercise. - develop proprioception (body awareness) though effective movements that speed up your progress.

4 sessions - Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8

Cost $80 for the entire program or $25 to drop in for one session.

Learn more and register here: http://bit.ly/RiseWorkshops

Overly Complex Sequencing

Not everything you like in life needs to be smudged together... we are the multitasking, never in the moment, always need more generation. Is it too much to simply enjoy what you enjoy without trying to add? "I like drinking and I like yoga let's do a yoga and drinking class! That will be fun..." hmm. Well I would think that would diminish both experiences. While you are drinking do you really want to be sweating and focusing on not falling? And while you do yoga do you want to feel intoxicated and bloated? And what about over indulgence? One drink might be nice, one cup of coffee is great but 10?... that's going to have diminishing returns until of course it becomes quite taxing and toxic to your body. There are combinations in life that applied skillfully enhance one another but not every thing goes together and more is not always better.

So apply this to sequencing and we must figure out the elements of your class that will combine well with others. One obvious to me is relaxation. If you can give students tools to relax into their bodies that will enhance everything else they do going forward. If you can give them an intelligent arrangement of practices that will keep their minds engaged and that will enhance everything they do. If you explain what these practices are useful for and when to back off (most) students will appreciate this and practice with more skill.

Don't put things together because you like them. Study how this effects that and if it creates the effect you are aiming for. Know when more is not more (diminishing returns). More heat, more poses, more force...

We'll breakdown and apply these principles and more.
Upcoming workshop schedule! Let's practice

Sept 16 2pm Sequencing Workshop for teachers @riseyogamovement

Sept 17 Handstand bootcamp 4 week series. Meeting 4 consecutive Sundays at 2pm @riseyogamovement

December 9th 200 hr and 500 hr teacher training begins @riseyogamovement

Life is truly 2 steps forward and 2 steps back as the great sage Paula Abdul once said... hopefully we learn a few things along the way. Our sweet baby girl had been amazing this week with potty training and then peed on the floor three times today🙄 just stay the course

It's not what you do that is as important as how and why you are doing it. So many of us embark on all these self-improvement projects to get healthier, look better, feel better, get better opportunities but we worry about the results of our efforts before we even begin... you scroll up and down the internet and are bombarded with ads for products and programs that are going to give you the edge over everyone else that is doing the same thing (scrolling). Keeping up with Jone's is now all about self betterment and how spiritually connected we can come off as....

As a teacher I look for how relaxed and deliberate students are when they practice. Relaxation is a great measurement of how you are going about the things that you say you want for yourself. If you observe people closely they often go about even the joyful parts of their lives as if they are being chased by a tiger (sympathetic nervous system). Relaxation indicates that you are here and fully involved in what you are doing. There's no urgency to become something other than you in this present experience. There's no need to force things carelessly to how you believe they need to be. That's self betterment without having to join someone's mailing list☄️

You can't just stretch and expect physical tension to dissipate. Often times if you are trying to force tense muscles to release you can make the situation worse. Tense muscles are tense for a reason. And if you feel stressed out all the time it will completely change your anatomy and how physical activity effects you.

"Technique is a man made container, its origin in the need to transmit collective human knowledge from person to person, generation to generation.

And yet, once that transmission has been made, being overly technical will prove problematic in the application - as life unfolds in an absolutely original way, you'll never step into the same river twice.

Our eyes became accustomed to the aesthetics of text book technique to such a level that many fields have forgotten actual utilization will result in a different appearance - one in which the important is maintained firmly (principle) but the rest is adapted in a flexible manner to reality.
Lots of focus has been given to what is the core principle to maintain but alongside that one should address what can be dropped off, discarded and modified so adaptability is present."

Early on in my yoga practice I took pride in never resting.... I thought taking a rest was a break in focus and a sign of physical and mental weakness. That's the way that most Vinyasa practices are designed that the only intended rest came at the end of the practice in savasana. But when I started practicing more challenging skills like handbalancing I was instructed to rest in between each set so that the body could recover and be at full strength when I did my next set. Isn't it ironic that what I thought was a sign of weakness was actually making my body weaker? Rest is an essential piece of a healthy nourishing practice and life. It effects your strength, vitality and the function of the mind and body. This is something as yoga teachers that we need to better understand and apply within the practices we offer our students. I have a sequencing workshop for teachers coming up this Saturday. We'll breakdown and apply these principles and more.
Upcoming workshop schedule! Let's practice

Sept 9 11:30a Total System Reboot @riseyogamovement

Sept 16 2pm Sequencing Workshop for teachers @riseyogamovement

Sept 17 Handstand bootcamp 4 week series. Meeting 4 consecutive Sundays at 2pm @riseyogamovement

October 14 Solona Yoga, Niskayuna, NY

December 1-2 @Oyoga Syracuse, NY

December 9th 200 hr and 500 hr teacher training begins @riseyogamovement

Think less, feel more!

Guilt or anxiety about not following through with something is like sprinting directly at what you do not desire to happen. Take a small simple step in the direction you want to go. And if you can't do that call someone that you know has your best interests in mind.

I think the secret to a successful anything is to give it your all and be humble enough to change. Feeling incredibly grateful for my wife and child and their unconditional love for me #Repost @camacha_rees
I've had the best summer of my life. It wasn't how I was expecting to spend it that's for sure, but it's been perfect. Madly in love with my husband @justinwolferyoga, feeling closer than ever to him and we had some of the best heart to hearts and dance parties we've ever had. I've spent so much quality time with my girl who just gets bigger and brighter every single day somehow. Hanging with my sister @milliereesjones at The Lake Local whilst Veda paddles in the water. It's been blissful actually. Said goodbye to some old friend and some new amazing ones have come into my life. It's starting to feel like autumn and I'm all about my wooly jumpers cosy nights in with the famalam 🍂

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