Pose of the Month: Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Pose of the Month: Vrksasana – Tree Pose

By Natalie Weinstein I love trees and feel the most at ease, grounded, and connected when I’m hiking in the woods. I love trees so much that I even dressed up as one for Halloween in college (picture purposefully excluded). My connection to trees extends to my love of Vrksasana, or tree pose, in yoga. In its true sense, this posture teaches you to feel rooted to the earth, yet just as wind does to a tree, it teaches you to maintain balance even when a slight shift may cause you to sway or wobble.   Not only does tree pose enhance your ability to balance by strengthening your calves and thighs, it’s also a great hip opener, and stretches the chest and shoulders. There are many fun variations in this posture and a lot of dynamic ways to transition into and out of this posture — come to one of my classes to explore this posture further! Tree pose can be accessible to anybody. There are many modifications and stages to this posture, so yogis can choose what is right for them. Step 1: Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) at the top of your mat. (You can also modify this pose by standing against a wall.)    Step 2: Place your hands on your hips. Begin to shift your weight into your left foot. Step 3: Lift your right foot and place it either: against your inner left ankle, inner left calf, or inner left thigh. Be cautious not to place your foot against your inner left knee.                Step 4: Bring your...
Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Niyamas, Living Yoga

Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Niyamas, Living Yoga

By: Juliana Cole – Living Yogi, Yoga Instructor, Studio Manager at Yoga Heights   Hello Yogis! Thanks for tuning in once again as we continue our discovery of the Eight Limb Path of Yoga. Last month, we got into the Yamas, the first limb, and in this post, we will look more closely at the Niyamas.   Quick review – we are exploring the eight limbs or stages of yoga which are all about the practical application of yoga. Yoga can be considered the study of the mind with the intention of understanding the workings of the mind, connecting with one’s innermost self and feeling at peace and at one with everything around you. The eight limbs are offered as a means to reaching this ultimate goal and should be practiced all at once, all the time. Yes, that sounds like a lofty goal and it is! In a way, that’s the point: this is a practice that is constant and though at times can seem easy, there is the inevitable eb and flow which implies that there are times when it seems impossible. I think it is safe to say that most people embark on a yogic path because they are drawn to it, so the work (which eventually becomes ever present) is truly a labor of love. Let’s get into it then- the second limb of this wheel or path of yoga- The Niyamas!   The Yamas and the Niyamas make up what could be considered the ten ethical principles by which we guide our thoughts and actions. We reviewed the Yamas last month, discussing the five...
Meet Cameron and Greer: two Yogis who dreamed up something delicious – and delivered.

Meet Cameron and Greer: two Yogis who dreamed up something delicious – and delivered.

by Amy Rizzotto, E-RYT & Co-Owner of Yoga Heights   On a recent trip to Charleston, I did what I always do when I travel – wake up, find a yoga studio to try, take a class and chat with the teacher afterwards. As a studio owner and yoga teacher, I love seeing what yogis in other cities are up to and drawing inspiration from what they’re putting out to the world. While Community Yoga Charleston could in itself be the subject of this blog post, it’s a post-class conversation and where it led me that I want to share. As I was talking to the teacher of a sweaty morning class, I was telling her that two former DC-dwellers – one a former yoga teacher at YHDC and one a former teacher trainee of Owner Jess Pierno – had moved to the area to open a cute little cafe. “Harbinger?” I asked (butchering the pronunciation with my dormant Massachusetts accent). “Oh, my goodness, I’ve heard it’s amazing. I’ve been dying to go!” the teacher replied. Two others lingering in the studio’s communal space chimed in, emphasizing this sentiment. My heart soared to think of a time, roughly two years ago, when Cameron (Jess’ former teacher trainee) and I sat down and she expressed her concept for a cool and welcoming cafe in Charleston, asking questions about how it went for Jess and I opening YHDC. She was so excited by the idea of it and here she had actually done it! With Greer (a former YHDC teacher with crazy good culinary skills) by her side, the dream had...