Posts Tagged ‘yoga music’

I FINALLY got my most recent mix updated on imeem to include *all* the songs. It had been missing the Gomez song, which I kind of love, so I wanted to make sure it was all there. The mix has gone over really well in my classes.

I’m really really excited about Halloween, mostly because of my costume. I’m looking forward to dressing up and going out and have volunteered to be the designated driver for a few of my friends. Being sober also means I’ll get the best pictures. Heh.

Wedding stuff will keep me busy for most of the weekend but I’ll be attempting to steal internet time whenever I can. I’ve also got an eye appointment at 8:15 in the morning and may need to sneak a yoga class during the morning. We’ll have to see how forgiving the schedule is.


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Tonight’s class was awesome.

Warrior III (Virbadrasana III) is a challenging position because it involves balancing on one leg, bending so that the length of the body is parallel to the floor (hamstrings! glutes!), and extending the arms forward to lengthen the spine and open the chest. Keeping the hips parallel to the floor (as though you were going to balance a tray on the buttocks) makes it even more work. The toes, feet, and ankles have to compensate for fluctuations in your balance. Squeezing the thighs together activates the gluteus minimus and draws strength into the core – as does engaging the shoulders and hands.

With a lot of asanas, the internal voice takes over. “I’m not flexible enough. My balance isn’t good. I don’t look like s/he does. I’m not doing this right. I’m going to hurt myself. I look ridiculous.” It’s a classic fear of not fitting in or not being ‘good’ enough. It’s the biggest challenge in any exercise class but (it seems) especially in yoga because people are trying to tune into their bodies.

For that reason, I like to balance a challenging position with a *more* challenging position. I use blocks and any additional props to help facilitate the work, but in my experience it’s most effective to face the fear than to modify away from it.

In tonight’s case, We started with the normal breathing and hamstring stretching. Then we walked through sun salutations. Cat and cow stretch, flying angels, dolphin, seated spinal twists, and standing side stretches. Once everyone was sufficiently warm, I introduced Warrior III. Everyone got two blocks – one for the front of the mat and one to hold. We placed the block on the mat by doing a forward fold and lining the block up with the shoulder for the best support.

To start, we came into the position without the arms. Hinge forward, extend the back leg.

The second time, we came into it and engaged the arms by squeezing the block – either under the chest or with the arms extended forward.

The third time, we did the modified version – hands on the blocks (use the block you’re holding to balance on the floor block if necessary – and focused on extending the back leg while keeping the hips parallel to the floor.

Then we switched to Half Moon. There are any number of ways to come into the position, but we started by folding forward, placing a hand (or two) on the block and extending the back leg. Then we opened the front of the body toward the long end of the mat (as though your back is pressed against a wall). It’s balance work, core work, hip stretch, and arm work. It’s tough for a lot of people and the most common reason is fear.

It feels unnatural. It feels wobbly and sometimes unsafe. And the internal voice takes over.

This is why I emphasize props. Everyone has structural differences and structural limitations. No one’s stretch looks exactly like someone else’s. Props help you feel more comfortable trying to get where you’re going and help you do it safely.

One of my students said, “I can’t do this.” While I never want someone to feel that limited in a class, I love that she felt comfortable saying so. And then I got to help her fly.

By providing support at her hip, I kept her from feeling like she was going to topple over (for the same effect at home, do this with your hips pressed against the wall). The first time, she was tentative – not wanting to release and open up her chest. Once she realized that she had support and could feel safe, she let go. And when we switched to the other side, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation before she opened right up. It was completely awesome.

But that’s not the best part.

After Half Moon I talked about how one of the best things about yoga is that it keeps you humble. If your concentration is off, balance is more difficult. You have to recognize the limitations of your body in each asana. Yoga is process oriented rather than goal oriented – and your process changes each time you try something.

We went back to Warrior III. And everyone came up immediately, very little wobble and great extension. And they HELD it. Not indefinitely, obviously, but long enough to not just balance, not just lift, but also lengthen their bodies. I told them not to think about lifting themselves up – think about it like flying. And when we got done with both sides, everyone had HUGE smiles on their faces. What seemed really challenging five minutes ago wasn’t NEARLY as hard as they’d thought it was. They had huge confidence because they’d just faced a bigger challenge. Confidence makes all the difference.

Pushing your boundaries can be good. Trying new things makes your brains work in new ways, but it also gives you a different view of yourself when you’re done. And even though Half Moon seemed really difficult today, there’s something you can do tomorrow that will make you think differently about it. 

It’s an amazing feeling to be able to convey the ‘journey’ part of yoga in a class and see that everyone left the room lighter.

The woman I assisted came up to me after class and we had a conversation about the fear of flying. She left feeling better about how she practices and about her own abilities.

That’s what I’m here for. 


I also used the mix I posted yesterday in class and it was really well received. A pretty great blend of upbeat and mellow tunes that led to JUST enough dancing and smiling.

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I made this mix a week or so ago and have been listening to it kind of nonstop on my Zune. Fair warning – I just pulled it up on the lab computer on campus (killing time before Micro lab) so I haven’t actually heard it. I’m hoping all those songs are the originals. It’s also missing Woman! Man! by Gomez, so when I get home maybe I’ll upload it.

Related to that, it was awesome to see Adele on SNL last week. I really love her album and I would not have picked it up if it weren’t on eMusic.com

I’ve got to say that as far as websites/apps that I’ve used the most in the last year, imeem and eMusic are right up there. Imeem lets you find out if you like something before you buy it. Emusic lets you pick up loads of music for way cheap and has a metric asston of awesome indie artists. If you like Hem, eMusic is Hem heaven. ;)

Micro midterm was meh. I’m not thrilled with my performance, but I guess I’ll wait to get the final results before getting overly worked up about it.

I am still way tired – ostensibly left over from the weekend. I’ve got to pick up my costume today (alterations done) and my bra for the wedding (ditto). My major plan after that is paying bills and sorting/boxing books. I live a life of wild excitement, I’m telling you.

Last night was the Bandwagon Book Club. I always enjoy the discussion there, though I sometimes feel conspicuous with my English degree. Last night it meant an explanation of Gothic literature. It’s weird because I’m in a group of mostly retired teachers and I’m also the youngest person by at least 10 years. This month’s book was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I really enjoyed it and thought she did a great job of incorporating the Gothic style and themes, but making it a more modern and interesting story. I’d recommend it (gave it 4 out of 5 stars).

If you’re looking for something fantastic, read Infidel by Ayan Hirsi Ali or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseini.

TV Notes:

Heroes- WTF? I mean, really? WTF.

Sarah Connor Chronicles (Terminator) – Getting wicked awesome. Also, Brian Austin Green has NEVER been this hot. Not ever. I dig that the kid playing John is able to convey a lot of emotion with a minimum of dialogue. I also like that Sarah is starting to see things unravel. Love.

Chuck – I started watching this season after having caught a couple of episodes last season. This show is great. Funny and slapstick spy show with heart. I cracked up at several points.

Yoga notes:

If you don’t normally read The Yoga Journal, I’d recommend picking up this month’s issue. They’ve got a great article on Warrior I as described by people from various yoga disciplines (Kripalu, Anusara, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, et cetera). I love it because it highlights that everyone teaches things in slightly different ways to accomplish different things (I tend to go with the Viniyoga approach to Warrior I). It also shows that just because someone is describing one variation, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Most importantly – EVERY VERSION talks about safe knee position. I’m a stickler for knees.

My class schedule is changing slightly and I’m excited about it. Life is about to get wicked hectic, though.

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Friday was a trip to Detroit and dueling Pianos in Pontiac. Saturday we headed to Windsor early and had several appointments at Estetica Day Spa. Everyone loved their services and we spent the split time (appointments at 9 and then at 3) at the Devonshire Mall. Best food court EVAR.

Saturday night was all about club hopping. I’ve got to say that it’s been a number of years since I’ve done that and we had a lot of fun.

Today I am still exhausted and not really enthusiastic about attending poli-sci. It doesn’t help that it’s rainy, overcast, and just chilly enough to be inconvenient.

SNL has returned to its tried-and-true format of fantastic and scathing political commentary and then deadly unfunny everything else. Adele’s performance was great and Cold Shoulder is already on my new yoga mix.

Life is still awesome and I’m loving Donal Logue.

True Blood ramped it up again this week and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I am hearting Tara more and more with each episode, but Lafayette is still my favorite.

If I’m going to class, I’ve got to get into the shower.

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I love that this show is introducing a new generation to classic rock. “Agents Angus and Young.”

At least, I *think* it’s introducing a new generation. I mean, if I was in high school or college, I’d totally be watching this show. Two hot guys and monster hunting? What’s not to love? Also, it’s funny. (“Rehymenated.” OMGHILARIOUS)

My goal for this move is to reduce my clothing by like HALF. I’d like to have enough clothes for 2 weeks, with the exception of special occasions and sweaters. After all, I’m moving to Colorado. I’m not getting rid of ANY sweaters that fit. I have more t-shirts than I could possibly need, so how come I feel like I should keep them all? Possibly because I hate doing laundry.

Spouse is having a positive experience with the folks who live out there. I dig that and I’m jealous that I’m missing out.

Tonight I taught a yoga class where we never left the floor. I like those classes because people are always surprised at how much work you can do without standing up. Everyone also used props (straps, blocks, and blankets) so that always makes me really happy. Trying things in new ways stretches your brain, too.

I’ve got a Micro midterm on Tuesday and a girl’s Bachelorette weekend beginning tomorrow at 5. I’ve also got to make a brief out-of-town detour to check the location where I’ll be doing a yoga series. I also have to decide if I’m going to use music or not.

I’m going to finish Supernatural and go to bed without folding my clothes. Because I can.

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Yoga mixes

I’ve got another 70s yoga mix working in class. Tonight there was singing *and* dancing -which I love.  I haven’t decided whether or not to upload it to imeem, but maybe I’ll just list the songs in a post.

I’m having the terrible urge to do an all-metal yoga class, but I think I’d have to advertise it separately. I’ve had enough people comment about it that I’m reasonably confident I wouldn’t be the only one there but it’s not like you can just spring that on a whole class without warning.

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Oh right – Wednesday. I taught two yoga classes today and attended Spouse’s farewell gathering at work.

Both yoga classes were pretty great. The morning class had 7 students, evening had 14. For tonight’s class we used the hip hop mix (a personal fave). I think my classes are amused because whenever a song comes on, I’m all “I LOVE this song!” It shouldn’t be surprising since, yanno, I MADE the mixes. What happens is that I rotate through my music and I’ve got several different things I use. So by the time I play a mix again, I’ve kind of forgotten what was on it, or what order the songs are in, and it’s a pleasant surprise every time because I love the songs.

A woman attended my class this evening (Power Yoga) for the first time. She was new to yoga and 8.5 MONTHS PREGNANT. What? I was able to structure the class in such a way that she could participate (though I would have probably had a stroke if I’d known how far along she was BEFORE the class started) but I’m still kind of in shock.

Speaking of shock, I MISSED the Wipeout finale last night! Totally disappointed. I did catch The Closer finale which was crazy and kind of bizarrely ended like a regular cliffhanger episode and didn’t really have a finale feel to it. Weird.

I’m going to admit to liking this interior design on Bravo. Tonight was all about designers from Project Runway and it is completely awesome. I love Big Daddy, not the least of which is because people call him Big Daddy.

My life is utterly lacking in excitement right now so I’m going to get some Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

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