Photos, Videos, and Tips

Yin Yoga:

When Eileen and I connected, I was so thrilled to finally be able to offer a dedicated Yin class. Though she is our lead on this practice, we now have three Yin instructors available so our members can get their weekly Monday night fix, and I am offering Yin on Wednesday mornings as well!

Slow Burn

March Madness on the Mat! 3/23/18 was all about bringing the class together to get rid of the blues, get creative, support each other, and practice the benefits of balance on and off the mat. #tribalalabaster!

If you found this, be the first to text 15 for 10 to (205) 790-3727 to get a 15 class pass for the price of a 10 class pass. NO EXPIRATION DATE. $100

It is important to keep the heels aligned in the Warrior series. More seasoned Yogis have this technique down. For those newer to yoga, the top photo shows the alignment mats that I keep on hand to ensure that the heels are in line. It is also appropriate to align your front heel with the arch of the back foot. I have found that heel to heel works well, but it is completely up to the individual.

Be the first to text half my pass (205) 790-3727 and get a 15 class pass for $75.

Sometimes you just need to put your head on a block.

These ladies blew a Power Yoga class out of the water!

Three fish out of water. Tip: A great modification for this is to put a block between the shoulders relax the back of the head and turn it into a restorative posture!

L: pigeon Top Right :baby cobra Lower Right: Legs up the wall

As my sessions have evolved with new students, so has the information learned from them. One of the things you will find at the Yoga Loft is that we MODIFY. I will never push or twist you into pain, I consistently say, "Stop if it hurts. Stretching, or a little tightness is fine. Pain is not." So it is up to each individual to ask for a modification if I haven't offered one, or simply stop. Many however, have figured out their own modifications and I continue to pay them forward with in our tribe. Tree pose is a common balance pose with many modifications. The one place I discourage foot placement is on the inside of the leg with the arch of the foot placed on the side of the knee. While it seems to fit just perfectly, should you lose your balance and kick inward with your bent leg, you could potentially injure the standing knee. In the above, the was a great modification--only use the toes below the knee. Due to some a previous injury, It was about the only spot for her foot, but she avoided the danger of damaging the knee.

Be the first to text I can't do it alone! to (205) 790-3727. You and a friend can get a 6 month membership for the price of one. $320. I can split the bill, or if you are giving it as a gift, invoice you for one payment. (Great for couples, Mother/Daughter for Mother's Day/or just something fun for two friends.)

Yoga with an artistic touch

Warrior III

This is a great core balance posture. However those with pain, injury, or disc issues in the LOWER back might want to avoid the position or modify by placing their hand on a countertop, or table. Placing blocks on the floor and just extending the leg also provides for good core training. With both of these. Keep the naval to the spine!

Nice Lizards Ladies.

Me: If you are able, hold your left ankle with your right. Be careful, it is a little cold still--

Charlotte: Is this it?

Yes,Yes it is.

This is one badass momma and one of my favorite people! First off, she is a something high level black belt in karate, but she doesn't talk about that--she talks about the kids she teaches in karate. Then she pops on into yoga and is SO flexible and encompasses so many of the traits of yoga- kindness, patience, compassion, wisdom, etc. But it all comes second to her large family. I don't know how she does it, but I'd like just a smidge of those superhero powers.

One of my favorite pictures ever taken.

Top: Incredibly sweet young lady bored with adult talk..

Bottom: Badass momma showing that age is just a number.

Three beautiful camels!

I had the pleasure of working with the THS Boys Soccer Team. Great group of kids!

Above: A beautiful night at the ballet then dinner with a new great friend I met first in the community, then at the Loft. Below: My childhood next door neighbor! A member at the Loft. We decided that 2,000 times of viewing or listening to the Grease album and sing/acting every single word as kids wasn't enough.This was us at the Alabama Theatre for Grease Night.

Always eat the donut! Just maybe not before Vinyasa class. It will give you a stomach ache, but probably not one bad enough to keep you from doing it again.

Ahhh the love/hate relationship of Pigeon pose. Numerous modifications exist, it's just a matter of figuring out the right one for you. Two main things: Do not lay down with your front leg under your body. Putting your body weight on your knee could cause a knee injury. And next, line up the thigh of your bent leg parallel to the side of the mat.

Too much at first? Try a reclined pigeon, as in the upper left corner, sitting on a tightly folded blanket, or a blanket under one leg, or until the hips are flexible enough to flip over into the correct position, with your hips aligned straight ahead as seen below:

We had a great time celebrating St. Patrick''s Day in 2017. All of the food was green, and though no alcohol was served, Wicked Cakes in Helena served red velvet cake dyed green and the icing was buttercream & Bailey's Irish Cream.

The yogi on the bottom is a long-time yogi and very "bendy". Olivia and I are on top, not having quite as much success, but still getting a good stretch.

Bruce did a great job on the wheel (above) to help loosen his back.

I have to admit I was proud of myself for getting into the splits, at age 51, but then Jan, 71 popped into them as well. It's all about moving and breathing folks, age is just a number. It's up to you how you want to live out the rest of your life.

Suzanne came to me on Grand Opening with an achilles problem and was unable to get off the floor without assistance. A few weeks in, she could get off of the floor with no assistance.

The photos on the left represent a different foot surgery. As soon as the doc gave her the go ahead, she came straight to yoga in her boot.

If you think yoga doesn't give you a way to build muscles, think again.

Know when to STOP. The quickest way to an injury is to try to compete with someone more advanced in a posture, or pushing yourself to the point of PAIN. Yoga is a non competitive, non judgmental practice (especially at my studio). I have a modification for almost everything. And if I don't? I can offer a different pose or you can choose a resting posture.

This class has been together for months and pushes extremely hard. Couple Cynthia and Bruce anchor the class with positive energy, laughter, and extremely hard work. Cynthia is one of our more advanced yogis and has ZERO fear. Bruce was our first man to join the Loft. The first man to text Cindy, "Real men do yoga" will win a 10 class punch card.

Another day at the studio.

Yoga with Luna. We're pretty laid back around here, so we invited puppy Luna to join an impromptu 8:30am class since all four of us knew her and were ok with her being there. She even did final relaxation with us. (There may have been a little activity between those two shots :-) Text I'm Down, Dog to Cindy to win a 10 class pass.

This is a great example of three ways to modify cobra.(L-R) In my opinion, (from one who started doing yoga because of debilitating lower back disc disease), Sphinx is the best way to modify if you have lower back pain. Baby Cobra is barely pushing up into a cobra and is also indicated for a bad lower and middle back. Updog is where your arms are straight, your legs are off of the floor and the tops of your feet are flat on the floor. Jan on the far right is in up dog to give her a more advanced workout. If she put her legs on the floor and bent her elbows, she would be in full cobra.These ladies know where they need to be each day.This is how multilevel classes work. Note: People with lower back pain are often sent to yoga. It is to build their core to PROTECT their back. Not make their back worse. Please tell me or another instructor if I am not there, that you have lower back pain, any back pain, knee pain, neck pain, etc. and STOP if anything makes your pain worse. IF IT IS PAINFUL IT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU.

Extremely difficult pose to stay in. Looks MUCH easier than it really is.

This is a deep straddle,left knee is bent at 90 degree angle over ankle, right leg is extended. Jan is working her hands towards final position with left hand directly in front of left foot. Then keeping a straight back, and lifted head it is held for 3-5 breaths. No idea what this pose is is called...Spidey (Spiderman) sounded good.

Savasana (shu-VA-sun-uh), also known as final relaxation, is the most important part of your practice. This is where everything you've done in class sinks in. It's your recovery period. And while it looks like these ladies are simply lying on their backs, this is known to be the hardest pose in yoga. During this time, you are not supposed to be making lists for the kids, or thinking about dinner or work. The idea is to clear your mind. I do give visualization cues to help you get into a meditative state, but maintaining that state for 10 minutes can be hard. Tip: Try rolling to your side instead of your back and not covering your eyes with the eye pillow. Or try sitting up in easy pose with smooth rocks in each hand then close your eyes and lower your chin to your chest. Knowing others are resting may help you relax a little easier.

Did You Know?

Yoga is a moving meditation. Listening to cues, moving in and out of postures, deep breathing, balancing, and talking with others, requires thoughts inside the yoga studio; keeping your mind off of outside distractions. So if you lose your way in final relaxation, try to at least be still, and don't be too hard on yourself. You'll get there in your own time.

Everyone in Lotus!

As comfy as it looks.

Harder than it looks.

Easier than it looks.