Dec 13th, 2013
Sep 28th, 2013
Nov 14th, 2012
CHATARUNGA: cornerstone of traditional Ashtanga Yoga & I.AM.YOU.. Excellent for strength building in back, abdomen, triceps, quads&hellip and all over! Make sure your shoulders never go lower than your elbows & that you bend your elbows straight back, not out to the sides. How to here & how not to here.
Nov 2nd, 2011
What is I.AM.YOU. Yoga?
It seems like ‘yoga’ is everywhere these days, literally. There is so much of it, in fact, that it can be hard to discern the yo from the ga. And the yoga from the yoga.
So what are some of the most commonly practiced and advertised forms of yoga, and where does I.AM.YOU. yoga lay in all that?
Bikram. Bikram yoga is the most common portal of entry into practicing yoga. A Bikram class is broken down into twenty-six asanas, or poses, done in a fixed sequence, repeated twice over the course of ninety minutes. Given it is done in a room heated at 105°F with 40% humidity, it is an assured sweat, creating the sensation of health, ‘efficiency,’ and having worked out. In 2003 the Mr. Bikram Chaudry trademarked the practice, in this case specific sequence and setting, thus no matter where you go, the elements will be consistent. A bit like a Mc-y-Ds, but healthy for you.
Pros: It is easy to follow and very clear and direct in terms of instruction. If you have wrist problems it ideal given chatarungas and vinyasas are not part of the 26 asanas. The repetition allows you to work on perfecting the 26 asanas.
Cons: The heated room creates fake body heat, thus giving the sensation of a tough work-out or intense sweat which did not necessarily come from true physical exertion. The heat can also tend to a false sense of flexibility, so the asanas must be practiced with caution in order to prevent injury.
Iyengar: Iyengar is the style of yoga most focused on alignment, or anatomical precision in each asana or pose. B.K.S. Iyengar invented the practice in aims of placing each physical element of the body in its proper place so that the body could then work as a doorway for the mind and thoughts to be transported to another, higher level. The spectrum of asanas practiced in Iyengar is quite vast, thus allowing your body to explore variation of shapes and positions. Each asana is held longer than average, anywhere from 8-20 breaths, and props such as belts, walls, blocks, blankets, and chairs are typically used as well.
Pros: It forces you to know where things are in your body and how to do things correctly. If you are less athletically inclined or sweat averse, it provides a perfect platform for a yoga asana practice.
Cons: You need ‘stuff’ to do it as Iyengar intended. If you are athletic or looking for a sweat or ‘moving meditation,’ you could get impatient with Iyengar’s static nature.
Ashtanga: Until recently, Ashtanga was the more commonly known style of yoga in the West., brought to the States by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, often considered the grandfather of yoga asana. Initially Ashtanga was invented to calm the mind of teenage voice, and thus has a higher level of physical vigor than the aforementioned styles. The yoga asanas are broken down into six fixed series, which are done in identical order, every time, much like Bikram. The difference lays in i) the focus on ujjai breath. Each pose and each movement in ashtanga is linked to a precise breath count, inhale or exhale, and the core yogic breathing, ujjai, is mandated to be maintained throughout the duration of the class, along with the bandhas. Thus the core of the ever popular vinyasa yoga. ii) The integration of Surya Namaskar A and B, as well as chatarungas. Each ashtanga class starts with a series of Sun and Moon Salutes, and the chatarunga-up dog-down dog sequence is inserted between every pose.
Pros: It is the most athletic and cardiovascular toning form of yoga. It requires you to work your muscles, and from there, your mind.
Cons: Given it is a set series, it can get repetitive, like Bikram, but also lead to strain on certain muscles and body parts that are overused vs others.
So what is I.AM.YOU.??
Like the name, I.AM.YOU. has a bit of all, with a dash of original funk. I.AM.YOU. yoga strives to provide a 360-degree sensorial, customized, kick-your-ass yoga experience that will rock your mind and body. Classes link breath with creative and athletic movement, and feature music curated by I.AM.YOU&rsquos Resident Mixologist, vintaj, influenced by rock&roll, hip-hop, salsa, flamenco and other rhythms from around the globe.
I.AM.YOU. yoga classes have an ashtanga core, starting always with Sun Salutes, closing with an inversion, and using regular, guided, steady breath and bandhas. They have a focus on alignment and proper positioning, alla Iyengar, and a good bucket of sweat, alla Bikram, but all self-created.
I.AM.YOU. classes begin with a brief meditation and talk based on the philosophical teachings from Tibet and India, and is carried into a theme which is weaved into every portion of the class, from the music to the physical asana sequencing that follows. Every class has a creative focus on anatomy, so that you learn about your body, how to change it, and how to protect it, and a real-life focus on the workings of your mind, so you can become all the you you want to be.
This combination creates a unique experience in each I.AM.YOU. class, one that leaves you floating and light inside and out. One that you could get addicted on forever……
Photo: Walt Lindveld
Sep 26th, 2011
RUNNING & YOGA - Yes, YOU can be a Runner & a Yogi at the same time. I was. And I still am at heart.
In fact, it was my love of sweat, endorphins, and a cardiovascular challenge that kept me away from yoga for years. But when I started practicing yoga on my own, ie inventing my own routines on my mat, and years after developing I.AM.YOU., this all naturally came to the forefront. An I.AM.YOU. class is athletically rigorous, anatomically accurate, and cardiovascularly challenging, all within the confines of a traditional yoga practice. It is a mere myth that yoga is not a workout – at least at I.AM.YOU. - as many of you know.
So? Yoga will be the most transformational aspect to your running if you, if you let it be. I.AM.YOU. in particular is a type of yoga that strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, and acts as cardio training.
How? Breath centered yoga, such as I.AM.YOU., builds endurance and stamina. It trains the body to work more efficiently by enhancing oxygen flow throughout the system and bettering communication between the various organs, muscles, and inner tissues that hold it all together. The ujjai breath of this yoga is invaluable for the Runner&rsquos entire system, from the muscles to the brain.
The asanas, or poses, themselves increase flexibility while also building strength, which is critical for injury prevention and muscle function. These asanas lengthen the muscles and fascia that get tight, break up scar tissue and build up from overuse and old injuries. They also build strength in the complimentary muscles that often get ignored in a regular training system, the very muscles that are critical to an overall healthy, injury free body and stellar performance.
Curious? You should be. Come try an I.AM.YOU. class no matter what your shtick is…. This Week’s RUNNER’s SERIES or any open class…. www.iamyoustudio.com/schedule.
See you on the mat, or on the track.
Daily Blog: http://www.iamyoustudio.com/blog/ @IAMYOUstudio