This SUP AcroYoga Demo is Meditation in Motion (VIDEO)

You may have heard of or tried SUP Yoga, but have you tried SUP AcroYoga? This video will leave you feeling excited and ready to get your board out and get your AcroYoga on!
 
In this stunning three-minute AcroYoga demo, filmed on a lake in the grounds of a mansion, AcroYogaDance Founders Eugene Vegan Butcher and Pip Elysium remind us how the impossible is possible. They take their existing Acroyoga practice and pop it onto an unstable surface.
 
It shows the power of yoga, trust, and connection with a flowing state of calmness that makes it seem effortless and even almost meditative—further proof that yoga asana and its various styles can be as peaceful as meditation in motion.
 
Video credit: AcroYogaDance

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Giveaway – Limited Edition △TWOFIVE△ Yoga Pants

Is part of your spring cleaning chucking out old clothes and worn out yoga pants? Luckily, you won’t even have to spend a single cent to refresh your yoga wardrobe because you might just get our fun and funky yoga pants for free!

Check out DOYOUYOGA’s signature leggings collection under our brand new △TWOFIVE△ active wear label, made sweatshop-free in sunny California!

giveaway leggings

From flowy Vinyasa to sweaty Ashtanga and Hot yoga classes, these signature leggings will see you through every asana session! Made from ultra breathable polyester and spandex, the form-fitting material on these babies will move with your body however you twist and bend.

Choose any design you want—whether you’re on the mat, going out for after-class smoothies with friends, or even just taking cute yoga photos right from your living room, your △TWOFIVE△ yoga pants will give you that perfect balance of style and comfort.

yoga pants 1

Can’t wait to have your own pair? Buy your favorite leggings today and get 25% OFF your order with the code TWOFIVE25 this week. Shop here!

HOW TO JOIN

Step 1

Share the giveaway on Facebook!

Share it now!
Alternatively, you can post a photo tagging @doyouyoga on Instagram!

Step 2

Leave one comment below 🙂


The giveaway runs from April 19 to April 26, 2017. Three random participants will be chosen to win one pair of △TWOFIVE△ leggings each.

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The Five Most Challenging Yoga Inversions

Standing on your head may not sound like the most comfortable thing in the world, but the benefits that come from practicing yoga inversions can be life-altering. Inversions pump more oxygenated blood to the brain, increasing alertness and focus (at least in the short term).
 
Being upside down also drains lymph and lactic acid out of your lower body, speeding up recovery and providing some instant and long-term relief for aches and pains. Inversions can be some of the most visually stunning yoga poses to perform, and while they are certainly challenging, they are also remarkably accessible to those with tighter lower body musculature.
 
But which ones are the most demanding? Here are the five most challenging yoga inversions.

1. Handstand (and its variations)

Credit: Kaitlin Daddona

Credit: Kaitlin Daddona

This one may look easy compared to the others ones on this list, but that only speaks to how hard the following poses are. Handstand’s main requirement is core stability, and shoulder strength and awareness..especially for variations like straddle, Lotus, and others.

Keeping your entire body in a straight line while upside down is something to work toward slowly, while using a wall. Work on shorter, less challenging inversions as you work your way up to Handstand, and make sure your wrists aren’t bearing the brunt of the work here by pulling the center of your palms up off the floor as you engage your whole hand, including your fingertips.

2. Scorpion

Holistic-Benefits-Handstand

Quite possibly one the hardest yoga poses in general, Scorpion makes the list because of its intense demand on all of your yoga skills: strength, balance, AND flexibility.

Whether performed on the hands or the forearms, this pose requires powerful core strength, shoulder strength and flexibility, and extreme back flexibility. It’s best to work toward this pose slowly, consciously, and with the help of a partner, teacher, wall, or all three.

3. One-Legged Inverted Staff

One-Legged Inverted Staff variation by Paige Rene

One-Legged Inverted Staff variation by Paige Rene

This is another inversion that asks a lot of your back flexibility. A creative combination of forearm stand and wheel, this inversion is a good one to put in between other poses, as it can be a wonderfully challenging stepping stone between a forward bend and a back bend.

Inversions help you flow more fiercely, and the spinal strength and flexibility required here is truly impressive.

4. Fingertip Handstand

Credit: Brock Cahill

Credit: Brock Cahill

If you thought plain old handstand looked hard, look again. This version of the pose ups all of the intensity by asking you to complete the pose with only your fingertips touching the ground. Some practitioners—mostly Tibetan monks, in my experience—can practice this pose with only one hand or even just two fingers supporting their entire body weight.

This of course is exceptional, but any version of the pose that brings the palms off the floor engages so much more of your upper body—your whole hand, forearm, and up into the chest and biceps. It’s important to try and not strain your neck in a pose like this! Keep your shoulders away from your ears to try and keep the tension at bay.

5. Knee-to-Ear Pose

Ear Pressure Pose Karnapidasana

This one just looks plain silly, but it’s an extension of Plow pose, and one you normally would come into after hanging out in shoulder stand for a little bit. It’s an incredible stretch for the entire back, and much more of a flexibility challenge than a strength one.

Getting your knees all the way down to your shoulders is a great way to check in with hip and lower back flexibility with a little help from gravity. The challenge here is to continue to be able to breathe deeply and not collapse through the spine as you essential bend your body completely in half…upside down.

Poses as basic as Downward-Facing Dog can still provide you with many of the benefits that other more challenging inversions offer, and can be just as stimulating.

Try an inversion when you need a little pick-me up during the day, and see if you can work on your strength, balance, and flexibility to work toward any of the more difficult ones on this list. (Or work toward a more intermediate inversion with this step-by-step).

Let us know in the comments your favorite way to hang out upside down!

Image credit: Paige Rene

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A Sample Yoga Lesson Plan for Kids

When it comes to creating a lesson plan for kids yoga classes, I’ve found that consistency and creativity are key. Each of my classes follow a basic structure to include a breathing exercise, a handful of poses, a game and/or activity, and a guided meditation.
 
Depending on the theme that day, each of those elements will tie into a bigger topic or idea. Coming up with a theme for each class will make it easier for you to create a dynamic and logical class that engages your students.
 
The following lesson plan is ideal for students in the 6-10 age range. I created this class with an animal theme to celebrate the Spring as the season of birth and renewal. This would also be a perfect lesson plan for the first class in a series because it uses a familiar topic to pique students’ interest in yoga, and allows them to get creative and active in the design of the class.

Intro to the Class

I recommend having students set up for this class by sitting in a circle.

Introduce the theme of the class. Explain how many animals are born in the Spring and it is a season of birth and growth. Explain that many yoga poses are inspired by animals and that we can embrace these qualities as we move into the poses. Depending on the maturity level of the class, you can ask them for input about spring time means to them or what animal qualities they can utilize in their lives.

Breath

There are so many animal themed breathing exercises you can use with kids. I love “Bumblebee Breath.” Have students sit comfortably. Then ask them to slowly inhale for a count of 3. On the exhale they will buzzzzz like a bee. Repeat 3-5 times. Ask them to notice the sensations that they feel as they make this sound.

Yoga Poses

Use traditional poses but swap out the names to fit with the animal theme. In each pose, I discuss the qualities or sounds that the animals make to encourage engagement.

Use the following series of poses:

  • Child’s Pose or “snail” – Discuss how snails are very small and still.
  • Cobra pose- Inhale to rise, “hiss” as you lower back to the ground.
  • Cat/ Cow – “moo” on cow, “hiss in cat”.
  • Puppy pose – stretching long like a puppy waking up from a nap.
  • Downward facing dog- walk out the heels like you’re walking a dog.
  • Ragdoll or “Gorilla”- gently sway your arms from side to side.
  • Dancer or “Flamingo” – find graceful balance on one foot.
  • Squat or “Frog”- crouch low to the ground with great flexibility.
  • Butterfly – gently flap your wings up and down.

Game

Going around in a circle, have each student share their favorite animal and create a pose that looks like the animal. Have the whole class try each pose.

Guided Relaxation

With all students laying on their back with eyes closed, read the following meditation:

“Imagine that you are your favorite animal settling in for a long night’s sleep. Think about where you might be sleeping. What does this place look like? What can you feel in this place? It is warm or cold, soft or hard, wet or dry? What can you hear in this place? Are there waves crashing? Is there wind in the trees? Can you hear other animals around you? What do you smell in this place? Are there fresh flowers or a salty ocean? Spend a few minutes in this place feeling totally safe and calm.

Using this basic template, you can easily create classes that fit with any theme or concept. A few important things to remember are the ages and attention spans of your students to help dictate how long you will spend on each portion of the class. Remember that each class and each student will be different. Be flexible enough to go with the flow if one activity just isn’t working, and remember to keep things light. No kids yoga class will ever go just as planned, but these surprises can be even better what than you expected! Good luck!

Image credit: Tie Simpson

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