Sunday, October 31, 2010

Power Vinyasa Flow Class

Early Saturday morning class many showed up at RRY for this moving class with some anusara thrown into it with backbends and hip openers even the "Wild Thing".

Friday, October 29, 2010

Aerobics and Pilates day

one hour this morning of aerobics and pilates with Halloween music including much of Ghost Busters.
Thursday night yoga class was Sivananda Yoga for Beginners.

After the night class, I stopped by Krebs Cemetery for  stories told by ghosts of Scranton, Kreole and Pascagoula from graves over a hundred years ago at Spanish Fort on the Back Bay of Pascagoula.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thursday morning class Sivananda Style for relaxation.

Going Into Handstand

Just lose 10

BMI= 24.96
Weigh in is each morning before sunrise.
Yesterday the urologist said I had a kidney stone on left side, maybe the fragment from lithotripsy a year ago, or new stone.  Drink lots of water, which I have been doing.  Maybe losing a little weight will help flush out the kidneys better.

  • Ashtanga:                                                Ashtanga Yoga is a very vigorous style of practice with a few distinct advantages for those who want to lose weight. Ashtanga practitioners are among the most dedicated of yogis, and beginners are often encouraged to sign up for a series of classes, which will help with motivation. Another advantage is that once you learn the poses, Ashtanga Yoga is ideal for home practitioners.

  • Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    yoga classes

    Tuesday evening class with 3 students turned into a more relaxing class but doing ashtanga yoga for life series.
    Wednesday morning Shanti yoga class,  the room was warm, and we had a meditative flow sweating and more easily binding and bending. 
    Sweat dripped onto the mat rug during asanas.  Some did complain about the a/c not keeping it cool enough.  It was a better than average class with 3 dedicated morning students.

    Body Mass index is now 25, losing the one pound overweight.  As incentive, progress for BMI shall be posted regularly with occasional pictures.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Monday morning led Ashtanga Yoga for Life emphasizing SS's  jumping back and forward.

    Patabhi Jois teaching a class:

    Tuesday morning class, we emphasized Marichiasana A, B, and C.  Only one student this AM and she managed to bind, while I did touch fingers for a moment. 

     Going into Marichiasana A

    After class I stopped by the Ingalls ave jogging track, power walked half a lap, then ran half a lap for total of 1/2 mile, then did the stretching exercise station.

    My BMI is 25.1 being 1 pound overweight for my height.  My goal starting today is Just Lose 10.

    Monday, October 25, 2010


    Sunday turned into rest day rather than traditional one on Saturday.  Saturday I volunteered to work at fair booth for literacy council in the afternoon and on Sunday removed items from booth and took to their building.  Most of the weekend was baby sitting youngest grandson.

    Partial video of class last week at Shanti Yoga and Counseling

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Saturday Morning

    Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,especially if he goes to a yoga class called Power Vinyasa Flow.  yes, i made it to River Rock Yoga even early.  Waited with the teacher, who thought I would be the only one there.  Like usual the teacher thinks few will show up and then at the last minute several cars pull up outside and the teacher must unlock the door and let them in.  The class had same format as last time, but at the end we could do our favorite inversions.  I did my Ashtanga flow series doing four of the seven headstands, each followed by a half vinyasa.  The class went to the wall while I stayed on the mat.  I do not believe  the class had seen one doing a vinyasa after each headstand and falling on the toe mounds with vertical legs straight.  Hearing the toe mounds hit the floor I am sure many thought I had fallen.  Then after doing  Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A, then  Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B, then Mukta Hasta Sirsasana C (yes, I surprised myself doing this one) then slowly lowering the legs to floor landing on the toes doing the vinyasa and then doing Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A, B the teacher looked at me starting to come over and adjust, but she stayed clear and then said to slowly come to seated position for meditation.

    While meditating I thought of the outdoor images of the Pascagaoula River Auduban Site near the River in Escatawba, MS.  doesn't this look like the Wheel Pose?

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Sivananda Yoga

    Moss Point Riverfront Community Center Glass Windows overlook the River and a lake.  We turned off the lights at the beginning of class and noticed an almost full moon rising, so beautiful shining within our yoga space and over the river lake adjacent to the community center.

    Observing tradition of moon days, we did not practice Ashtanga Yoga for Life, but did the Sivananda beginner's class experiencing a very relaxing practice.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    This morning's class had a visitor from near Austin Texas.  He was visiting relatives and mentioned he had never attended a led yoga class..  So we started off class with more verbal instructions than usual and I noticed he was flowing with grace and after saying either jump back or step back for the 2nd SS, he did not hesitate and floated back.  Then we went into minimum instruction just counting each vinyasa position and saying exhale or inhale.  We did 5 SS-A, 3 SS-B, the entire standing series , about one-third of the Primary Series, and two of the finishing poses followed by 7 minutes of corpse pose only having 60 minutes for the class and warm up exercises for the spine.  The new student from Texas nailed every pose , even Bakasana, did the float backs and jump thrus having an excellent flowing meditation.

    After class the Texan stayed and talked about his meditation practice and how our yoga practice reminded him of his meditation and that he went to a gym in Texas to workout  each morning at 4:00 AM.  After a couple of hours working out, the gym has a yoga class and having done the class with us, he was ready to attend a yoga class at the gym in Texas.

    I thought to myself, this man did really well for someone not having attended a yoga class; but he was extremely flexible and had the arm strength and balance easily doing crow with knees almost in the armpits.  While looking at him in a very advanced version of crow, I thought to myself this guy looks like David Swenson in the way he does the yoga practice.  He was very laid back, focused, flexible and having strength and balance.

    The regular students gave me a gift and card for being a dedicated yoga teacher, which made my Day! making all the effort and time so worthwhile.

    To Teach Yoga or Not

    My yoga students faithfully attending classes for a year at Moss Point Community Center on the Riverfront where I am a volunteer Yoga Teacher gave me this card and a candle recognizing the joy and peace we experienced for the Ashtanga Yoga for Life classes, which I learned from David Williams workshops and David Swenson’s Short forms Ashtanga from the Practice Manual.

    The question comes to light:  It is not whether I should teach Ashtanga Yoga for Life, but how long should I continue to be a teacher of this spiritual meditative flow yoga class?  David Swenson is known for saying teach yoga as long as you have students.

    Mysore leading teachers have expressed the viewpoint that one should not teach Ashtanga Yoga until meeting certain criteria that can only come from their studio for a select few who have paid the monthly fees for many years, which are too expensive for myself and I just do not have the time traveling so far away from home, where there are a few certified Ashtanga teachers doing workshops or authorized teachers within a couple of hours drive from home here in the deep South of the US that have an Ashtanga Yoga studio..

    The yoga alliance as well as Sivananda Bahamas and Joyflow yoga have issued me certificates to teach yoga.  See below:

    There are many viewpoints on this subject and your opinion is appreciated whether positive yes or no.
     I have 13 years practicing yoga and over two teaching the Real Ashtanga Yoga as learned from David Williams and David Swenson .  I have the DVDs from S. J. and have chosen to have an injury free yoga practice as learned from the real yogis from North Carolina and Texas.

    Om Shanti

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Shanti Yoga poses class worked on this morning

    Shanti Yoga and Counseling Monday Morning Ashtanga Yoga for Life poses we worked on today:

     Prayer Twist
    from here relax shoulders, open heart and lower shoulder to outside of left knee.   This is optional version with right knee to floor.
    Warrior I
    Remember to relax arms when raising up to touch index finger knucle mound and then touch palms together.

    Only had 10 seconds after releasing shoot button to get into pose, so each picture not showing final version of the pose.  Today Six students were in the class and over half had no problems with Headstand.  Of course we do not use the wall.  Students are doing really well considering the studio has only been open a few months.  Normally we skip headstand with "Ashtanga Yoga for Life" but these students attended advanced class last Saturday when I substituted and we worked on several variations of headstand.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Workshops Can be helpful  

    is worthwhile workshop.

    Just returned from workshop here with Paul Dallaghan in New Orleans.  I chose Guided Full Primary Series class learning subtle pointers that are very helpful and plan on telling these for my classes next week. Paul emphasized relaxing the arms, how to jump thru using proper breathing technique, and how to land quietly.  Now I have another technique explaining how to develop and use leg strength not depending upon arm strength too much.  We practiced bending legs from dandasana to shins and then using feet and abs without touching palms to floor and rising up.  I also learned how to do revolved side angle getting the shoulder over the knee, which I could not do until today after his instructions.  He explained critical things in the Sun Salutations which if learned early make more advanced poses easier.  Now that I know these and practice them, then after 12 years, I should easily do within a few weeks of focused practice on the poses I am striving for improvement..  I have some pictures and videos of past to compare with new ones after today.

    Friday, October 15, 2010


    "The final bit of advice I have is to enjoy your practice regardless of the ability..... We tend to place too much emphasis on the external aspects of the practice. These abilities are fleeting at best, and the "real" yoga is what we cannot see." -david swenson.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Home headstand practice

    On Thursday I teach led class Ashtanga Yoga for life in the morning and then again in the evening.  During the day I practice at home.    I must practice more and post.improved version later in the week.  Friday is rest day, then Saturday Ashtanga workshop in New Orleans. For someone age 62, my life is active and healthy.

    Home Practice

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Shanti yoga and Counseling

    Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B

    Going into pose with camera set 10s delay. 
    (palms should face upwards)

    Going into side crow with camera set at 10s delay release.

    This morning's am Ashtanga Yoga for Life class was moving meditation with entire class doing jump backs.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Home Practice after led class

     I took these pictures with 10 second release:


    1 Sirsasana

    2 Sirsasana
    3 Sirsasana 
    The last 3 show getting into headstand using scissors method which requires less strength more balance. Three separate pictures taken until able to get into headstand within 10 seconds (rushing into it, not recommended).

    This morning's Ashtanga Yoga for Life led class included Sirsasana, variations and methods.with Moss Point Community Center class.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Where I teach Monday and Wednesday

    Outside of building from parking lot:

    Inside building:

     Am class was led in Ashtanga Yoga for life.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    experienced yoga class

    friday rest day.
    Saturday agreed to substitute for the led class of Advanced yoga at Shanti Yoga and Counseling.  The class turned out to be 90 minutes (normally 75, but class wanted to stay longer) doing Primary Series adding advanced inversions to the finishing poses.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Moss Point Community Center Yoga

    AM class AY for Life, worked on details of jump backs.

    PM class AY for Life, focused on breath and engaging mula bandha holding stomach still and focus.  Used beginner's options with no jump backs resulted into very relaxing class.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Shanti Yoga and counseling

    Led class in Ashtanga Yoga for Life.  Before class did personal practice and easily accomplished Mukta Hasta Shirshasana B.  I had never tried before today having some fear of injury, but using two blankets under head made it an easy headstand.  Actually I was surprised how strong my abs were going upward into this headstand and controlling the fall downward onto the toes with legs straight then the vinyasa.


    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series Dandasana, Paschimottanasana A


    Paschimottanasana A

    ,Prasarita Padottanasana C,Surya Namaskara A Six,Prasarita Padottanasana D,Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A,Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana B, Utkatasana,Virabhadrasana A, B version,Virabhadrasana B, B version,Surya Namaskara B, position Nine.

    Week's Progress

    Tuesday:  Morning led class in Ashtanga Yoga for Life, came home and worked out with medicine ball, two rounds of push ups, knee lifts on parallel bars, pull ups, then bicep and arms with bands, cool down.....

    Monday:  Led class at Shanti Yoga and Counseling.

    Sunday: Rest Day

    Saturday: went to Power Vinyasa Flow class.  Instructor added arm balances at the end per student request.  Thanks.

    Step 1 - Arms & Hands
    Sit up on your heels, then catch hold of both your elbows with the opposite hands. Lean forward and lay your forearms on the ground, directly beneath your shoulders. Let go of your elbows, and clasp your hands together.
    Step 2 - Head Down
    With your arms in the tripod position, above right, lower your head so that the top of your skull touches the ground and the back of it is cradled in your hands. Do not make any abrupt movements. Take the next steps slowly.
    Step 3 - On Your Toes
    From the crouched position with your head resting in your hands, straighten your knees and push your hips up above your head. Then, keeping your legs straight, stretch up high on your toes.
    Step 4 - Half Headstand
    Now bend your knees, bringing them to your chest. Arch your back slightly, as you do when standing up; this will enable you to balance your body in this position. Do not proceed unless you can hold this position for at least 30 seconds without feeling any discomfort.
    Step 5 - Knees Up
    With your knees still bent, start to straighten your hips. Slowly and carefully, raise your knees until they are pointing straight up toward the ceiling.
    Step 6 - All the Way
    Straighten you knees and lift your feet up toward the ceiling. Support your weight by bracing your elbows against the ground. At first, hold the Headstand for 30 seconds; as you become more skilled at adopting this pose, gradually increase the time to 3 minutes. Always come down before you start to feel tired. Leave the pose slowly and under control (see below). Head in Hands: Rest the back of your head against your hands. Relax, breathing through your nose.
    Coming out
    You should leave this Asana as carefully as you entered it. Do not move jerkily or quickly, or you may lose control and fall.
      • Bend your knees and lower them.
      • Straighten your legs. Bring your feet to the ground, and then lower your knees.
      • Lower your body so that your buttocks rest on your heels as in the Child's Pose.
      • Finally, relax your hands and return to the full Child's Pose.
      • Do not lift your head up straight away. Rest for at least a minute.
      • Relax in the Corpse before continuing
    The headstand is one of the 12 basic Asanas (postures) as taught by Guru of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
    Definition: An asana in which you balance on your elbows, arms, and head Known as the "King of Asanas" because of its many benefits, the Headstand is the first of the 12 asanas and is considered by many to be a panacea for countless human ills. Sitting and standing for most of the day causes your circulation to become sluggish, so your heart has to work harder to pump sufficient blood to the upper parts of your body. Normally, your heart works against gravity; inverting your entire body lessens the strain on your heart, and allows a plentiful supply of oxygen-rich blood to reach your head and brain. This pose is not an advanced asana; even so, to begin with you may wish just to undertake the child's Pose and the Dolphin, progressing to the full Headstand later.

    Side Crow - Parsva Bakasana
    Side Crow - Parsva Bakasana
    Photo © Barry Stone

    Also known as: Side Crane Pose Type of pose: Arm balance
    Benefits: Strengthens the wrist, forearms and abdomen. Improves balance.
    1. Come to a squatting position with the knees into the chest.
    2. Come up on to the balls of your feet and bring your palms flat on the floor in front of you about shoulder's distance apart.
    3. Keeping the palms in place, turn your knees to face the right side.
    4. Start to lean forward, keeping the head lifted, and place your hips on top of the left arm and your knees on top of the right arm.    (I must remember to place hips on top of arm.)
    5. Take one foot and then the other off the floor so you come to balance with both feet up.
    6. Come down and try the other side.
    Beginners: Try lifting one foot up at a time to get a feel for how far forward you need to bring yourself. Do not let your head drop! This will cause you to tip forward and lose balance. Put a blanket in front of you so you won't be afraid of hitting your head if you fall. Most everyone falls when learning this pose.
    Advanced: Try the following variations:
    Straighten both legs, keeping the feet in line with the hips.
    Straighten both legs, and move the right leg to the back (see photo).
    Come down and this time center the thighs on the left arm bringing all your weight onto the left arm when you come up.
    Jump back to chaturanga.