News

Integrating Alignment and Flow ~ Inversions ~

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Sunday, November 20 ~ 2-5pm

Yoga on 7th – 156 E 7th Ave

woman in headstand

Photo credit: Suzanne Rushton – Feeling Photography

________________________________________________________

Inversions restore life’s vibrance and tranquility and take you into the ideal state for pranayama (breath-work) and meditation. Other benefits include: increased circulation and vigour (unbeatable for draining tired feet and legs!); stronger, more open necks and shoulders; increased confidence, and a sense of well-being.

In this workshop we will teach you how to create a solid foundation for building your inversion practice. You will learn in detail how to maximize your power while moving in and out of inversions safely, and you’ll be able to apply these same principles whether you’re doing shoulderstand, headstand or handstand.

We will alternate between a sequence of moving postures and inversions, equally focusing on flexibility and strength. You will learn how to be stable and calm even when everything is turned right upside-down!

If you’re nervous about inverting, if you want to incorporate inversions into your home practice, have ever injured yourself in an inversion, or if you just want to dive deeper, then come out and explore with us!

$40 by November 6
$45 regular price

Is There a Foot in Your Brain?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The brains proportional map of the body._________________________________________

Brain research in the last few decades has given us a whole lot to chew on when it comes to understanding how the brain works. Most of it is quite positive. Boiled down to the frankest quintessence, your brain is highly mouldable and can overcome many setbacks and challenges to triumph as a well-developed, ever-evolving being.

Since mind and body are intimately connected, the plasticity of the brain has critical implications for our physical health and well-being. In fact, your brain contains an interactive, 3-D map of your body. The image of a distorted human figure at the top of this post is the cortical homunculus (fairly literally “brain person”).

Each person’s brain map is unique in the space it allots to each body part and how the neurons that populate the map interconnect and function with other neurons. The size, sophistication and interconnectedness of the brain map for Miles Davis’s fingers, for example, would make the average person’s brain map blush with inadequacy. If we were to view Miles Davis’s homunculus, we would no doubt see a larger, much more detailed representation for his playing fingers since he used them so deftly.

Brain maps not only differ from person to person, they actually vary in the same person from moment to moment, based on how she uses (or doesn’t use) her body. If you were to take a dance class or practice yoga on a more regular basis, your brain map would devote more space, and stronger, more numerous, more interconnected neural pathways to your body map.

As you begin using your feet more, your brain adapts and your feet occupy a larger, more integrated and co-ordinated space in the brain. In contrast, as we age, our brain follows the “use it or lose it” principle and parts of the body that we don’t exercise atrophy in the brain’s body map. This is the downside of having a highly changeable brain. Disuse has the effect of shrinking the body map, or at least the parts that have gotten rusty.

You can see this effect in elderly people who trip and fall over small irregularities in their walking path. Without continually stimulating our body map, it shrinks and, in the case of our feet, we develop progressive balance problems. What were once fairly intelligent, sensitive appendages become dull, almost foreign-seeming objects. Wearing shoes contributes to this downward spiral by making the feet less perceptive to the subtle nuances of the ground beneath, its senses dulled by a relatively homogenous-feeling sole.

The good news is that nature’s use it or lose it principle cuts both ways. If you start stimulating your body, you can turn the lights back on. For your feet, this means an increase in sensitivity and agility, and an improvement in balance. Taking off your shoes and walking around barefoot will rebuild your brain’s body map for your feet.

Standing on a yoga mat and practicing asana will not only keep your brain map from deteriorating, it will actually rewire your brain, restore lost agility, and make your brain map years — even decades — younger. In doing so, yoga asana offers protection and insurance against the potential hazards of aging.

Building Your Brain From the Ground Up

Here’s a simple exercise to increase your brain map for your feet. Sit on your mat (or on the lawn, a chair, or wherever you’d like), and separate your toes by interlocking them with the fingers of your opposite hand. This will help build the mind-body intelligence and make your feet much freer and open feeling. Try to progress to the point where you can have the webs of your toes plugged right into the webs of your fingers. This may take weeks, months, or even years and it can feel very intense at first, but with practice, your toes will get used to the stretch and feeling of being spread apart. You may never want to wear a pair of shoes again! As long as you give your feet regular stimulation, you will be building your brain’s “foot-intelligence”, if you will.

So, in answer to the title question of today’s post, yes, there most certainly is a foot in your brain. The more important question for you is, how well-developed is it and what are you going to do about it?

Photo Credit: Better Movement

June workshop at Yoga on 7th

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Integrating Alignment and Flow

Forward Bends and Twists

bless-forward bend

With Siobhan Sloane-Seale and Bless Leone

Saturday, June 18th

2-4:30pm at Yoga on 7th

Starting with anatomy and alignment principles, we will teach you how to create more space in the sides and back of your body, allowing you more freedom in your twists and forward bends. You will learn a sequence of moving postures in a way that’s safe, strong, and builds confidence in your forward bends and twists. As we expand on the practice, the symbiotic relationship of these two groups of poses will help you to go deeper into each posture, laying the foundation for seated work. We will finish by breaking down each pose with a slow and detailed approach taking you into some uncommon and interesting postures!

Why Alignment and Flow? 

It is important to learn how to properly execute yoga postures before moving quickly through them. This allows your body to be safe, integrated, and grow stronger. Once you have established awareness in your practice it is beneficial for you to move in different ways so that the body and mind do not become stagnant. When you merge alignment and flow, strength and movement, a graceful balance emerges.

Benefits of Forward Bends:                            Benefits of Twists:
>calms the nervous system                               >energizing
>reduces stress on the heart                             >relieves back, neck and shoulder pain
>activates a sluggish liver                                  >tones and massages the abdominal organs
>improves digestion                                           >increases flexibility in upper back and hips

Early bird rate: $40 (by June 11th)
Regular price: $45
Location: 156 East 7th Ave (Laneway entrance)

Space is limited. Reserve your spot today!

For more information on the instructors and to register:

Contact Bless: [email protected]
www.blessleone.com

Contact Siobhan: [email protected]
www.vancouver-iyengar-yoga.com

Ropes Workshop In Vancouver

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Yoga In The Ropes

Saturday, May 28 – 2-4:30pm

Headstand in the sling

An afternoon yoga workshop with Iyengar yoga instructors

Meghan Goodman and Siobhan Sloane-Seale.

This 2.5 hour workshop will teach you how to use the ropes and sling to strengthen and open your hips. We will lay the foundation for inversions like supported headstand and supported shoulderstand  so that you will receive the benefits of these poses. The ropes will teach you the correct physical actions and help you go deeper into your body by expanding your body intelligence.

Cost: $45 (e-transfer or cheque/cash only)

Location: Yoga on 7th (Laneway entrance)

meghan goodmanYoga Instructor Siobhan Sloane-Seale

Meghan and Siobhan are both yoga instructors and professional dance artists. Between them they have 34 years of yoga practice and 14 years of teaching experience. They completed their Iyengar yoga certification with well over 1300 hours of training each.

Iyengar yoga has become the steady path to finding stability and space in the body, the antidote to a physically demanding and busy lifestyle, and a method for moving deeper in the practice with intelligence and care. This workshop will help you understand your yoga practice and deepen your body awareness.

Space is limited to 14 participants.

To register please email:
[email protected]

For more information on the instructors visit: www.meghangoodman.wordpress.com or www.vancouver-iyengar-yoga.com

Integrating Alignment and Flow

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Learn to Love Backbends

urdhva large

Saturday, December 5 – 2-4:30pm

Cost: $40 (E-transfer or cheque/cash only)

Location: Yoga on 7th (156 East 7th Ave) – Laneway entrance

Backbends can be quite emotionally and physically challenging. They’re the opposite action of most everyday activities, which is why backbends are so healing. They reverse these habitual motions helping to restore balance to our bodies.  Backbends also energize the body and can lift our spirits when we are down.

In this 2.5 hour workshop you’ll learn how to use and integrate your muscles to keep you safe and strong in backbends.  Starting with simple actions, we’ll teach you the important but usually overlooked details on how to access the upper back and how to open the front of the body. Then we’ll build on these basics to take you deeper into your backbends.

In the first half of the workshop, led by Iyengar yoga teacher Siobhan Sloane-Seale, you’ll establish a solid foundation with slow, detailed and sometimes intense work. Siobhan will teach you how to modify poses to suit the needs of your own body which will build your body intelligence and awareness.

The second half of the workshop, led by yoga instructor Bless Leone, will teach you how to integrate what you learned in the first half into a sequence of moving postures in a way that’s safe, strong and builds confidence in your backbend practice.

Why Alignment and Flow?

Movement-based yoga gives you a different kind of strength and flexibility than Iyengar yoga’s stillness and long holds. If you only learn to engage your body in long postural holdings, your practice can easily become rigid and stagnant. If you only flow quickly, you might feel strong and flexible, without realising you’re missing a deeper muscular stamina. Learning how to work in a deeper more integrated way, means that when you stretch, it will be from a place of grace, awareness, and wholeness. When you merge strength and movement, you’ll find balance.

For more information and to register:

Space is limited. Reserve your spot today!

Early bird rate: $40 (until Nov 21st)

Regular price: $45

Contact Siobhan: [email protected].com

www.vancouver-iyengar-yoga.com

Contact Bless: [email protected]

www.blessleone.com

Ropes Workshop in Vancouver

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

An Introduction to Yoga in the Ropes

Saturday, February 21 – 2-4:30pm

rope sirsasana_52

An Afternoon Workshop With Iyengar Yoga Instructors Siobhan Sloane-Seale & Meghan Goodman.

This 2.5 hour workshop will teach you how to use the ropes and sling for basic poses such as chest opening, Urdhva Hastasana, standing poses, and also for more complex poses like inversions and backbends such as Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand preparation) and Ustrasana (Camel pose).  The ropes teach your body the correct physical actions and therefore help you achieve the maiximum benefits from each pose. There will be time to ask questions during and after the workshop.

Cost: $40 (E-transfer or cheque/cash only)

Location: Yoga on 7th (Laneway entrance)

Yoga Instructor Siobhan Sloane-Sealemeghan goodman 

Meghan and Siobhan are both yoga instructors and professional dance artists. Between them they have 32 years of yoga practice and 12 years of teaching experience. They completed their Iyengar yoga certification with well over 1300 hours of training each.

Iyengar yoga has become the steady path to finding stability and space in the body, the antidote to a physically demanding and busy lifestyle, and a method for moving deeper in the practice with intelligence and care. This workshop will help you understand your yoga practice and deepen your body awareness.

Space is limited to 14 participants.

To register please email:
[email protected]

For more information on the instructors visit: www.meghangoodman.wordpress.com or www.vancouver-iyengar-yoga.com

Ropes Workshop on Bowen Island

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Introduction to Yoga in the Ropes

Saturday, April 26 – 1:30-4pm

rope sirsasana_52

In this 2.5 hour ropes workshop you will learn how to use the ropes for basic poses such as chest opening, Urdhva Hastasana, standing poses, and also for more complex poses such as inversions like Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand preparation) and Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand in the sling).  The ropes teach our bodies the correct physical actions and therefore help us achieve the most benefits out of each pose.  There will be time to ask questions during and after the workshop.

Location: Bowen Island Yoga

Cost: $35

Bowen Island Yoga is located  at vibrant Artisan Square on Bowen Island.  It is easily accessible by water taxi from downtown’s Granville Island, or by ferry from Horseshoe Bay.

Yoga Instructor Siobhan Sloane-Seale

Siobhan Sloane-Seale is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor with over 1300 hours of teacher training.  She is also a professional contemporary dancer and musician.  She’s been performing and studying dance for 24 years.  Her teaching is grounded and playful with clear instructions.  She helps her students understand their yoga practice and deepen their body awareness.

To register:  Call 604-313-0358 to register or email [email protected]


February 7

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

wolf

Everyone has to go through the woods and meet the Big Bad Wolf
in order to get to Grandma’s house.

Living Your Yoga: We grow up when we realize no one’s life is perfect or easy.  Spend a quiet moment and take stock of your blessings.  Say aloud, Today I am grateful for _____.  Then realize that, even with problems, on the deepest level your life is perfect.

Judith Hanson Lasater

 

grandma

Image credits: Access Local TV & doganart.com

February 6

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Practice is uncovering the resistance.

Living Your Yoga: Step on your mat and practice Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing-Dog Pose).  Breathe into your physically tight spots and into your mental agitation.  Remember that practice allows resistance to surface so it can fly away.

Judith Hanson Lasater

February 5

Posted by & filed under quotes.

The depth of my practice is revealed by how many times a day I get angry.

Living Your Yoga: We cannot become angry unless we believe we are right.  Today when you feel irritated about something, breathe deeply and allow being right to melt into being present.

Judith Hanson Lasater