YogaCamp Testimonial: Angeline

Angeline was a piano major in college, and over time began to deal with chronic pain in her hands to the point she thought she wouldn't be able to play anymore.  Some research on how to alleviate the pain led her to the Alexander Technique (a workshop that she teaches at our Studio!), yoga and modern dance. We love her presence in our classes and her willingness to adapt to her own modifications as needed.  Always a student, she is full of wonderful questions and perspectives.  Read a little more about her, and her YogaCamp journey below!

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What lead you to enroll in the YogaCamp class?

I was interested in more than the asanas, I wanted to know more about the philosophies and mudras.

What were you hoping to gain from YogaCamp?

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the physical and mental benefit each yoga posture brings.


 Briefly describe your yoga background/experience.

I have been practicing yoga for about a year and a half.  I began at the downtown YMCA. My favorite part has been the options and modifications offered to the students from the instructor.  I never feel like I have to “hold” a pose too long and always know I can modify or come out of a posture at any time.

Did you have any apprehension about Yoga Camp?

I actually wasn’t too worried about YogaCamp, I knew we would be taking it slow, learning about the philosophy and breaking down the yoga postures.  

What motivates you?

I enjoy taking care of myself, I am driven, I like to learn as much as possible, applying the knowledge to my life.  I strive to apply the skill set learned so I may continue to have the capability to care for my aging parents.

Do you have any thoughts or feedback about the YogaCamp class structure or format?

I personally like the structure of the class.  I enjoy beginning class with the yoga philosophy and the time spent breaking down each yoga pose.  I would like to continue learning about some of the mudras we've touched on! 

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We are just wrapping up our inaugural YogaCamp and are looking forward to hosting another round in the fall!  If you'd like to sign up to learn more about Yamas and Niyamas of yoga, as well as spend a more significant amount of time breaking down postures each week, click here to register!

 

7 Yoga Poses from a Chair

Continuing with our theme of do it yourself yoga (last week we gave you tips for an any-sized home yoga space), we know that you can’t always make it to a class when you need one. So… we want to help equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to be a self-guided yogi, functioning all on your own out there in the big bad world.   Say, in the middle of the workday when it’s just too busy to take a lunch.  Or, two hours in to your second flight of the day on a trip (hopefully somewhere fun!).  Don’t sweat it, we’ve got your back.

We’ve put together some great stretches you can do right from your desk chair, or even in the middle seat of an airplane (yes… there is room)!  Keep these seven moves favorited for the next time you need a little seated stretch relief!

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Seated Neck Stretch - From a tall seated position, take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, let your right ear drop towards your right shoulder.  Take a few deep breaths here, being mindful, letting your shoulder blades relax down your back.  Inhale the head back through center, take a few shoulder rolls, and on an exhale, switch to the left side.

 

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Seated Spinal Twist - Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale twist your chest to face towards the right.  You can deepen this stretch up the spine by taking your gaze over the right shoulder in the back.  Use your legs or the seat as leverage beneath your hands to gently pull you deeper into the stretch.

 

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Seated Overhead Reach - On a breath in, reach your hands up to the ceiling, interlocking your fingers.  Press your palms up to deepen the stretch from your fingers all the way underneath your shoulders.  Be sure to watch out for your neighbors as you take those arms up!

 

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Seated Overhead Lateral Reach - Continuing to watch out for neighbors, if there’s room, you can exhale and extend that reach to each side.  Spend a few breaths on each side or move with one breath one motion a few times, coming back through center on an inhale.

 

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Seated Forward Fold - Yes, you can squeeze this in an airplane seat, trust us (if long-legged Sprenkel can do it, so can you!).  Bend through your knees and fold forward reaching for your feet.  Let your head hang heavy between your arms.

 

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Seated Figure 4 - Take one ankle and cross it over the opposite knee.  Simply sitting like this may be a deep enough stretch for some of you.  For others, feel free to lean forward with the chest a little bit, folding over the legs.  Be sure to switch sides.

 

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Standing Chest Opener (also can do seated with hands on back of desk or seat in front of you) - This is a sweet sweet ending to this sequence, and almost feels like a downward facing dog.  You can use a wall if you are in your office, the overhead bin area if you can stand on the plane, or the seat in front of you if you can’t stand.  Place your hands above you on your designated space and on an exhale, allow your chest to fall between your shoulders, sinking your hips back.  Play around with the space you have, maybe taking a little twist or two to either side.

Good luck trying these poses at home, and please be sure to let us know if you try any of these and how they change your day or your trip!  And don’t try to tell us we never taught you anything ;).

Breathe. Relax. Let go....at home! Tips for Creating a Home Yoga Space

Y’all know we just love having you in our space at the studio to practice yoga with us.  We have worked hard to create an inviting, magical and inspirational studio for you-- from the big-curtained windows to the twinkly lights above your heads.  While we love hosting you, we have been be so tickled to hear that some of you are creating space to practice in your own homes!  

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This seriously warms our hearts so much! We love to hear about your healthy lives outside of StudiOne. So, we wanted to put together a few tips for having a great yoga space in your home to use on those days you can’t make it in to see us.  

Your space can be created anywhere that you have room to roll out a yoga mat.  Don't let not having a separate room keep you from enjoying a little downward dog at home!  On the same note, if you've got a spare room, don't hesitate to turn it into a little dreamy home studio.  As with yoga, do what you can with what you have, right now.

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We have some tips for creating an area that feels inviting, even if it means rolling out your mat in front of the fireplace like Teresa! Or… if you have a junk room that is simply stressin' you out, spend this weekend converting it like Sprenkel did!  

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Tips for a Tight Space

What makes yoga so amazing is it’s portable, you can do it anywhere, a yoga studio or gym, the park or at an airport.  The fact is all you need is a yoga mat or a space equivalent to 24” x 68” (the average size of a yoga mat). At my house, I love to roll out a mat and set the stage in the living room. Here is how I set the tone...

  1. Make space. The first thing to consider is decluttering. Remove all clutter, from furniture that serves no purpose, storing toys in baskets, sorting through papers, recycling any material no longer needed and making your space a distraction free zone.

  2. Pick a place where there is a hard surface! It is important to have a flat, hard surface to place your mat.  This will prevent slipping and provides a stable surface to practice.

  3. Let the sunshine in. Fill your space with lots of natural light, open up the curtains, or blinds and let the light fill the room.

  4. Hot or cold? Be sure the temperature is optimal for practice, it is important to have the room comfortable, without needing to get up and make adjustments to the thermostat.

  5. Set the mood with a little scent. Get some lavender, whether diffused, or a lavender candle.  The scent and the softly burning candle encourages another level of relaxation.

Once you have your space ready, gather all necessary items.  The most important is the yoga mat.  I prefer to have a 3mm mat with lots of traction, to keep my postures as deep as I intend them to be, without any slipping.  If you like to use props, as much as I do, then get one blanket, two yoga blocks and a yoga strap.  

Tips for an Extra Room

Since my intention for the year is New Year, More Yoga, I wanted to convert a small side room of my house (currently collecting junk) into an inviting place for yoga and inspiration.  It’s the perfect size, just long enough for a yoga mat, and wide enough for me to move through some twists and turns.  

In the past, I have used this space as an office room but then it slowly just became a holding place for junk, and I never went into the space.  Recently, I had Ashley Daly of Retro Den come in and help spruce it up for me.  We organized shelves, threw away hundreds of books (things I’d saved from college swearing I would reference again someday - her response? “Google it, Sprenk”).  And I've already spent more time in this room since A.Daly left, than in the past year combined!

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  1. Have a central focus, like an altar.  For me, I like to have a place to focus my energy. This can be a significant piece of art or maybe some arrangement of your favorite photos on the floor.  A quote board, or some candles on a table.  Whatever accessories you want to help you create the mood you’re going for.

  2. Inspiration - Sometimes yoga can include a simple breathing or focused meditation.  One of my biggest goals for the year is to continue to get stronger in my running and qualify for the Boston Marathon in July, so I have a wall of running accomplishments to bring my focus to every now and then.

  3. Keep it organized and simple.  This means including some white space on the walls and bookshelves.  

  4. Add life!  I recently discovered this past year how much energy plants can bring to a space.  Fill yours up with succulents, fiddle leaves, or philodendrons.  You could also have a designated vase filled with fresh flowers every week.

  5. Consider props. Do you like poses that use a strap?  Are you using blocks at StudiOne to help you maintain proper alignment?  Do you like the feel of a blanket under your hips in seated poses?  Ask us to help you find some props for your home studio!

When it comes down to it, you want the space to be inviting, filled by things that you love and that inspire you, so that you want to spend time in there.  You want to keep it simple and stress free so that you’re able to achieve the goals of your home practice - centering and calming the mind.

Something to remember (and why we keep mentioning it), anywhere you can place your yoga mat, is an optimal place for you to begin your own home yoga practice.  It doesn’t have to be a designated “only for yoga” place in your home.  If you can be present on your mat, breath, relax and let go, you are golden!

We hope this inspires you to get just a few extra flows in this weekend— oh and keep an eye out for our 20 minute flows on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Here Come the Reindeer Games,

Happy December, friends!  We're in the middle of that wonderful and hectic time of year when time seems to speed up and it's easy to put anything productive off until 2018.  Don't fall into that trap!  You have one last month, one last chapter of 2017 to do whatever you'd like with.  If you're wanting to prioritize yourself, your health and creating a strong community of support, we've got just the thing for you:

Reindeer Games Tulsa

The Reindeer Games originated in Memphis, TN at a sweet little gym called InsideOut.  Sprenkel participated one Christmas season and loved the spirit of the points and showing up every day to do something for yourself during this giving season.  (She also won a prize for most "Spirited Reindeer").  The concept is simple: come to the gym, workout, earn points, win prizes.  Our first round of the Tulsa version was a big hit last year and we've put a fresh spin on it for this season!

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How to Play:

Starting December 11 and running for 4 weeks, this holiday challenge will make coming to class even more exciting than it already is!  Read on to learn how it all works.

  1. Workout: Come to any StudiOne class!  Yoga, YogaFit, FIt Camp, Running Group or Fuel 66 Sunday Yoga.  By purchasing an entry in The Games, you'll have access to every class on the schedule (over 30 classes each week, Fuel will still be donation based!).
  2. Earn Points:  In this round of The Games, there are multiple ways to earn points.  Each box on the BINGO card will be filled with a class, a task or a challenge.  If you complete whatever is in the box, you get a stamp!  Every stamp is worth one entry in the Grand Prize drawing and if you make a BINGO row of 7, you get to pick from our special prize basket!
  3. Win Prizes:  This is the best part, right?  Aside from the fun you'll have earning points and strategizing your BINGO rows, your chances of winning a prize are pretty high.  They increase the more you stay involved in the games!  The Grand Prize drawing will be for a Studio Membership and a Fit Camp membership.  A BINGO row will earn you a chance to pick a prize from our local vendors (gift cards from Decopolis, Foolish Things and other neighboring businesses, free floats at Longevity Effect, shirts and studio goodies all up for grabs).

This is our end of the year gift to you and a great chance to try out all the styles of classes we have to offer.  We are working hard to continue to bring you everything you need for your health and wellness under one roof!  Ready to sign up?  Click the link here to secure your spot!

Pose Breakdown: Chair

Chair Pose

 

 Two variations of chair

Two variations of chair

Chair pose, utkatasana, is a powerful standing posture that often begets eye rolls and grumbles when we teach it in class.  And usually we smile, and encourage you to breathe through it, knowing the benefits that can come for your legs, heart and mind from holding this pose for a few breaths.

How to Sit into Chair Pose

  1. Start standing at the top of your mat in tadasana.
  2. Take a deep breath in and begin to sit your hips back (as if you're sitting in a chair), as you bend your knees into a squatting position.
  3. From here you can either reach your arms up to the sky or bring them to prayer hands at your heart.
  4. As you settle into the pose, think about dropping your tailbone towards the earth and lean the torso over the thighs, keeping the chest lifted.
  5. Hold for 3-5 breath cycles.
  6. To release, you can simply press into the feet to stand or fold the torso towards your mat and press your hips up into a forward fold.

Let us know, do you love chair pose?!  

Pose Breakdown: Triangle

Triangle pose, or trikonasana, is a fairly basic standing pose.  Not basic in the sense of being very easy to master, but basic in the sense that you're likely to find it in many sequences at all levels of yoga classes.  It is a beautiful standing posture that focuses on opening up the chest and hips, while stretching the back of the front leg.  Here are a few key pointers for an effective triangle pose.

 Triangle pose is accessible to all levels!

Triangle pose is accessible to all levels!

How to Step Into Triangle Pose

  1. Begin in a strong standing pose at the top of your mat.  On an exhale, step your left foot back about 3-4 feet, opening the back foot to be almost parallel to the back of the mat as you step.
  2. This will cause your hips to open and square to the left side.  Let them do that, and allow your chest to follow.  Take a deep breath in, as you exhale bring your hands to your hips.
  3. Tilt your right hip down towards the mat, sending the left hip up and back a little bit.  You might feel a stretch sensation up the back of the right leg.
  4. Begin to hinge at the hips (still oriented through the chest to the side of the mat), reaching the right hand down towards the ground or your leg as you reach the left hand up directly over your shoulder (maybe picture your hands moving in towards the start of a cartwheel!).
  5. You can take your gaze down to the mat, straight ahead or up towards your hand.
  6. To come out of this, bring the left hand down to meet the right on the mat and step the back foot forward into forward fold.  Inhale back up to standing and repeat on the opposite side.
 Full extended triangle is a beautiful hip and chest opener.

Full extended triangle is a beautiful hip and chest opener.

How to Modify Triangle Pose

You may want to consider modifying triangle pose if you are not able to reach the mat with your hand without some compensation in your spine.  Proper alignment is looking for a spine that is straight from your shoulders to your hips.  If you have to laterally flex through the spine in order to reach the floor, it'd be better for your body to use a block underneath your hand.  See the pictures below for two comparisons. 

 Those wanting the most advanced posture can reach the hand to the floor.

Those wanting the most advanced posture can reach the hand to the floor.

 Never feel pressured to touch the floor!  You can rest your hand on or beside your shin.

Never feel pressured to touch the floor!  You can rest your hand on or beside your shin.

 Sprenk uses a block to help maintain proper alignment in her spine.

Sprenk uses a block to help maintain proper alignment in her spine.

What is Beer+Yoga?

For the past couple of months, we've been venturing outside our Studio walls to teach a Sunday morning class.  Our hosts are the guys behind Fuel 66 Tulsa, a food truck yard and bar.  They provide the ample patio space, drink specials and roof over our heads while we bring the yoga flows.  We keep things laid back, being sure to remind students to take sips of their drinks while we practice!

If you don't partake in alcohol consumption, we've got students who stick to water or who bring coffee in with them - we are open to all kinds of drinking!  If you've been considering starting a yoga practice or taking a class, this would be a great, playful and friendly place to begin.   You are certainly welcome to also bring your furry friends if they do well in public settings.  We've got a few regular pups who attend each week!

After class, the food trucks have arrived, the bar is still open and students usually stick around for brunch.  We meet every Sunday at 10am!  Please bring your own mat and a donation for the yoga. We hope to see you there!

Pose Breakdown: Tree

We're back with another pose breakdown today.  We're going to step into the realm of balancing poses today with a posture that is easily modifiable for all levels: tree pose (vrksasana).  This pose challenges you to balance on one leg, but allows for variety in the placement of the leg acting as a branch so that you can pick a stance that works for you on a particular day.

 A strong balance posture!

A strong balance posture!

How to get into Tree Pose

  1. Start standing tall in mountain pose (tadasana).  Feel the earth under your feet and a strong foundation moving up your legs into your hips.  You should be able to lift your toes up off the mat and maintain your balance.
  2. Ground firmly through the left foot as you inhale the right knee up in front of you.  Once you feel steady here, begin to open the right knee to the outside of your body.
  3. Once you feel steady with the knee open to the right, you can bring the right foot in towards the standing left leg.  See where you can get it to land without using your hand to help pull it up higher.
  4. Check to make sure it isn't pressing directly into your knee joint.  The right foot should land above or below the knee.
  5. Your hands can do a variety of things.  For centering, bring the hands to your heart.  To open your chest, grab opposite elbows behind you.  For growth and additional challenge, raise the arms up like branches.
  6. Hold for several rounds of breath, making sure to press firmly into the standing leg so the hips stay even.  Then exhale the right foot back down to the mat and repeat on the opposite side.
 Hands at your heart can bring a centering feeling to the pose.

Hands at your heart can bring a centering feeling to the pose.

 

How to modify Tree Pose

 

  1. Use the same steps to get into the pose as outlined above.  As you ground through the standing left foot, bring the right foot in to balance at the ankle of the left.  Use the right toes to press down as roots into the mat to help you hold your balance.
  2. You can choose any variety of stances for your arms, as listed out in number 5 above.

Practice using tree pose while you stand in your kitchen cooking, or watching your kiddos games from the sidelines.  It's a great way to build balance and stability in your body!

Yoga Pose of the Week: Lotus "Padmasana"

Lotus is considered to an intermediate to advanced yoga posture.  

Due to the difficulty of Full Lotus, I would recommend trying the half lotus pose "ardha padmasana" before attempting a FULL Lotus.   Most yoga students aspire to conquer the full lotus, however, it takes lots of practice, open hips and patience to master this one.  

How to get into half lotus

1. Begin by sitting on the floor in a criss cross position.  Draw both feet in toward your body, as close to your hips as possible.

2.  Take your right foot and bring toward your left hip crease, then place the outer edge of your right foot onto your left thigh.  

3. Ground through the earth, sit up tall, lift your heart up and continue to make space between your tailbone and the crown of your head.

4.  Hold this posture for 3-5 breath cycles, then switch sides. Allow your hands to rest on your knees, thighs or lap.  If you feel any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediatley.

Once you are able to sit in half lotus "arch padmasana" comfortably for 3-5 minutes, then you may be ready to try a Full lotus "Padmasana".  Take your time, have an open mind and focus on your breath cycle on this one.  I would encourage an auditory exhale while in this posture, allowing you to completely let go.  

How to get into full lotus

1. Begin by sitting in a criss cross position.  Draw both feet in toward your body, as close to your hips as possible.

2. Take your right foot and bring toward your left hip crease, then place the outer edge of your right foot onto your left thigh.  

3. Take your left foot and bring toward your right hip crease, then place the outer edge of your left foot onto your right thigh.  

4. Ground through the earth, sit up tall, lift your heart up and continue to make space between your tailbone and the crown of your head.

5.  Hold this posture for 3-5 breath cycles.  Allow your hands to rest freely on your knees, thighs or lap.  Then switch the position of the top leg, providing equal opening for both hips.  

6. As you practice this posture, you will begin to lengthen the amount of time in he pose from 3-5 breath cycles to 3-5 minutes.  If you feel any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediatley.

A few tips and tricks to keeping both sides opened evenly -  If is is an even day begin with the left leg and on odd days, begin with the right one.  Do not expect to master this pose overnight.  Every body is built differently; some have naturally open hips, while others do not.  Continue to revisit the poses that challenge you and over time these poses will become your favorites.  

 

 

 

Yoga Pose of the Week: Basic Warrior Flow

Hi friends!  The past couple of weeks we've been breaking down individual yoga poses for you.  Today, and every couple of weeks, we will build a short flow from the ones we've reviewed to help you practice anywhere you are!  

This week we will start with a basic flow that includes downward facing dog and some lunge variations.  Grab a space and try it!

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale your arms up overhead and exhale your hands to your chest.
  3. Inhale your arms over your head and exhale, diving down into forward fold.
  4. Inhale halfway lift, exhale fold.
  5. Plant your hands as you step the right foot back to tall plank, followed by the left.
  6. Inhale, hold plank strong, exhale lower yourself all the way down to the mat.
  7. Inhale lift your chest to cobra.  Exhale fold to the mat.
  8. Inhale press to your knees then your toes in downward facing dog.  Exhale.
  9. Inhale lift your right foot up.
  10. Exhale, step the foot between the hands.
  11. Inhale raise up - crescent lunge or Warrior 1 (depends on your back foot!)
  12. Inhale hold, exhale twist open to Warrior 2.  Hold for 3 breaths.
  13. Exhale, cartwheel your hands back down to the mat.
  14. Plant your hands, step the right foot back to tall plank.
  15. Begin on step 6 and repeat the steps to the left side.

We hope you enjoy this little sequence, and this series on the blog.  Please comment if there is anything we can do to further enhance your practice or make it more accessible - see you in the studio!

Yoga Pose of the Week: Warrior 2

Hello yogis.  This week's posture is Warrior II; Virabhadrasana II.  This posture targets the legs, shoulders, thorax, abs and groin.

How to get into a Warrior II:

1.  Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

2. Inhale and fill up with air, then on your exhale gaze down to the mat and step your right foot back, about 3 1/2 feet(adjust your stance accordingly - longer for more work, shorter for less).

3. Inhale your arms up overhead, then exhale them parallel to the floor, palms facing down., keep your hands active.  As  your arms come down, open your hips to face the right and pivot on the right foot so it is parallel to the back of your mat.

4.  Gaze down to check your alignment, front knee is over your ankle, or behind.  If it is in front then widen your stance.  Be sure that your front knee is tracking toward your big toe and and second toe of the front foot.  Sink into the pose.

5.  Shoulders stack over your hips, chest is open, hands are active (reaching in opposite directions).  Press firmly into both feet and you send the front foot through the top of your yoga mat and the back foot (press firmly and through the pinky toe) through the back of your yoga mat, using the opposing force to stabilize you.

6. Gaze over the front fingertips, soften through your face, neck and allow the shoulders to settle.

7.  Hold this pose for 3-5 breath cycles, then step your back foot up to meet your front foot, inhale your arms overhead and exhale your hands to heart center.

8. Repeat steps 1-6 for the opposite side. 

 

Let us know how your practicing is going, and be sure to check back next Monday when we string the last few poses together into one flow!

Studio Events: A Yoga Sprinkle

While it may seem like our primary work at the studio is teaching yoga + fitness to residents of Tulsa, one of the best things about having our own space is being able to make people feel like they're at a second home.  For every class, we are your hosts and hope to make you feel like visiting family in our space.

 We're ready to host your special event!

We're ready to host your special event!

Since we love hosting people in our space, we have decided to open up more opportunities for celebrations and parties to the people of Tulsa!  We are now offering special events services that can or don't have to include a private yoga class.  Last weekend, we had the privilege of hosting a small sprinkle for Beth, who is expecting her third child next month.  The idea for this came about because she'd been wanting to make it to a yoga class but the schedules of her work and two kiddos made it tough to find time during the week.

 Personalized decor and message board.

Personalized decor and message board.

We helped her friends plan the event around her schedule so that she could have a small party, and include a yoga event for her and all of her guests!  A variety of fruits were set out on the front desk and water and Le Croix were provided.  Her friends decided what message they wanted on our inspiration board and decorated the front desk with a splash of blue.  It was easy to keep simple since the studio is so inviting and calm.

 Light snacks and drinks, optional.

Light snacks and drinks, optional.

After about thirty minutes of mingling, Jessica led the attendees through a special yoga class.  Because Beth is pregnant, it was catered specifically to her and her needs.  All mats and props were provided.

Following the blissful yoga class, there was time for more snacks and of course, gifts.  

 Personalized yoga class included!

Personalized yoga class included!

"My yoga sprinkle was the most unique and beautiful celebration for baby and mama to be.  The studio was set up with mats and yoga props, and looked so calm and inviting.  The gentle yoga session was perfectly balanced with a fun, playful and serene vibe.  My friends loved the event and idea!"

We can't wait to host more yoga-themed events for birthday parties, baby showers/sprinkles, bridal showers or bachelorette parties.  Heck, you don't even need a reason to celebrate, just get some friends together for a girls weekend and rent the space.

What is included?

We will provide the studio space, an instructor and all the props for up to 12 guests.  We can go full throttle host and also provide a (healthy) snack and drink bar or you are welcome to bring in your own outside food and drink.  Different packages are available for different events - email fitness@studionetulsa.com to start planning yours today!

Pose of the Month: Forearm Plank

Plank pose is a beautiful exercise that crosses the boundaries of yoga into fitness and vice versa.  It is a total body move that really focuses on core strength and developing excellent posture.  It is a foundational posture for other exercises in fitness like pushups, as well as in yoga as transitions from downward dog to upward dog.  In other words, you want to know this move and feel confident in the pose.  Here are some tips for executing a strong and effective forearm plank:

 Forearm plank

Forearm plank

  1. Keep the body in alignment: You want your shoulders over your elbows, your hips in between your shoulders and knees and your spine in a nice straight line from your head to your toes.  
  2. Press into the elbows and toes: It's fairly common to see folks sink down into their shoulder blades which causes the entire plank to sink towards the mat.  Press into your elbows to lift your spine up out of your shoulders.
  3. Tuck the hips up:  If you come to our classes you've heard several different cues for this.  You want to think about pulling the belly up towards the spine, to make a nice solid floor for the spine to rest on.  You may also think about curling the top of your hips up towards the bottoms of your ribs, almost like you're tucking your tail under.  
  4. Squeeze everything to the midline: You should feel everything gently pulling towards the center of your body.  The legs gently squeeze together, the ab muscles pull the ribs and belly up to the spine and the shoulder and triceps muscles squeeze in towards your body.
  5. Breathe: Use the stillness to focus on your breath.  Feel and see your breath moving in and out of your body and when you start to feel weak or shake, breathe a few more rounds.  Your body is stronger than you think!
 Hips too high

Hips too high

 Sinking into shoulders

Sinking into shoulders

Try it today:  Start out just by timing yourself to see how long you can maintain a plank (in proper form!).  Then, each day see if you can match that or beat it by a few seconds!  Feel free to share with us how you do, we're rooting for you!

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Tulsa Yogi

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the studio!  We’ve got the tree up, bows on some merchandise, a few themed workouts planned and even a carol or two snuck into our classes.  We took some time to put together not one but two gift giving guides for you to help expand your yoga+fitness experience or to help you spread some joy to a special person in your life.  We’ve included some products we carry in the studio, and some products that we just love personally.  It’s kind of like Oprah’s Favorite Things, minus Oprah

  • Yoga Strap - if you’re a member of the studio, you’ve likely used these in a yoga class or the cool down part of a fitness class.  They are great for opening up the chest and shoulders, helping to gain length in the hamstrings and open the hips.  The ladder loops help you gauge your progress and provide a steady grip.  And the bright green color helps ensure it’s easy to find!  $15.00
  • Yoga Block - also a favorite accessory in our yoga classes.  These toys can both modify a pose to be more gentle and serve as a tool to make poses more difficult.  Talk about a jack of all trades!  The most common ways to use blocks are to lengthen limbs either by making arms longer to help maintain alignment or legs longer to go deeper into the stretch.  If this doesn’t make sense to you, ask us for a demo sometime!  $10.00 per block
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  • Essential Oils - we use these, and encourage our instructors to as well, to close out almost every yoga class.  Lavender and peppermint are our favorites.  Lavender to calm and peppermint to energize!  There are many kinds of scents and each scent has its own purpose.  You might try starting with the sample kit before you invest in a bigger bottle of a scent you’re unsure of.  
  • Manicure/Pedicure - when you’re walking around barefoot a lot and staring at your toes in forward folds, its a nice treat to see some polish shining back at you!  Our favorite place to go locally is Hollywood Nails across from Whole Foods down Brookside.  Sprenkel says they’ve got the best massaging chairs she's ever felt and Teresa trusts them so much she’ll let them pick her color every time!  $25-60
  • MantraBands - we love these simple little bracelets.  We each have one with Inspire written on it to remind us of our original mission.  Sprenkel gave one to Teresa with patience on it when we were stuck looking and looking for a home.  Sprenkel loves her just run and infinite love.  They come in many, many mantras and are available in silver, gold and rose gold.  $25-$35
  • StudiOne Membership - saving the best for last!  By giving yourself or a loved one a membership, whether one month at a time, or for an entire year, you are gifting community, health and a chance for someone to reconnect to their body in a way that will thoroughly enhance their life.  This is the deal, we are serious about having fun - and if you buy a one year membership, you get one free (offer valid through the end of the year!).
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Happy shopping y'all.  And if you're still stressed out about some people on your list, 60 minutes under our lights will be sure to bring some peace to the season.

 

xoxo, cheers

sprenkel+teresa