Everyday Yoga Excerpt: Post-Workout Restorative Hip-Opening Poses

My friends at Yoga Journal are offering Everyday Yoga excerpts to pique your interest in the book and jump-start your home practice. While the book is for not just athletes but everyone, the excerpts are keyed to pre- and postworkout routines, and you can string them together to do a complete practice.

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This is a postworkout recovery/hip-focused routine to help you unwind completely.

This multitasking routine marries blissful hip release and inversion to enhance your post-workout recovery and calm your nervous system simultaneously. You’ll stretch your hamstringsouter hipinner thigh, and hip flexors—all common tight spots for athletes—while releasing tension in your spine. Find a wall or a closed and locked door and get started.

Visit the Yoga Journal website to follow along! And, if you haven’t already, preorder your copy today!

Register Now for Sequencing Early Bird Discount

Everyday Yoga isn’t just my next book, it’s also the distillation of my approach to sequencing yoga classes. And it’s the textbook for this upcoming continuing education course for yoga teachers, part of our 500-hour advanced studies yoga teacher training but also open to everyone from every style, teacher and student alike.

I’m really looking forward to this fantastic intensive; it’s such a treat to spend five days with other teachers. Each morning includes lecture, discussion, and a long group practice to illustrate the concepts; each afternoon includes solo and small-group work developing and categorizing sequences, with a shorter full-group practice to conclude the day.

There’s a $50 early bird discount if you sign up before June 1! Read more on this approach in this piece I wrote for the prAna blog, and sign up for the intensive here.

Sequencing Yoga Classes from Welcome to Namaste

rp_Serve1-199x300.jpgDo you feel uninspired or intimidated when you face a room of students, despite your love for the yoga practice? Does your creativity freeze up when you need to modify on the fly? Have you ever taught a class that felt great, then forgotten what made it special? This is the intensive for you! This workshop, designed for yoga teachers from any tradition, will give you concrete techniques to craft, teach, and reflect on sequences that will keep your students safe, healthy, and inspired. Sage Rountree, your teacher, is the leading expert on yoga for athletes and a prolific author of articles on sequencing for various issues. She has developed a simple, useful approach to keeping students engaged that will help you take your teaching to the next level.

Using a framework that makes modification and creative approaches easy and natural, we’ll work together to design sequences for every portion of an asana class, from warmups to balance poses to the closing minutes. You’ll learn tools to structure balancing, fulfilling, inspiring sequences no matter what style you teach, and we’ll collaborate in group work, partner work, and team practice teaching to build an archive of sequences. Along the way, we’ll address kriya and krama, transitions between poses, clear languaging, and various approaches to modeling and assisting.

Each day includes led asana practice, discussion, workbook exercises, and collaboration. Bring a blank notebook, laptop, or tablet for taking notes, as well as a camera if you are a visual learner. You’ll leave both with the framework to continue designing fun, useful sequences and with a full list of sequences you can begin using in your classes immediately. Never feel uninspired again!

Many hotels are located a short drive from the studio, and a Hampton Inn is a block away. The studio is located just above the wonderful local co-op, with a hot bar, extensive salad and sushi bars, and bakery. In addition to learning a ton and refreshing your love of teaching, expect to enjoy your stay in our beautiful town and your collaboration with your colleagues.

This intensive is a required module for Carolina Yoga Company’s advanced 500-hour yoga teacher training; it is also open to everyone.

Required reading: Sage Rountree, Everyday Yoga.

Monday, June 22–Friday, June 26, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 2:00–5:00 p.m.

$699, $649 if paid before June 1.

Register now!

The intensive is also available as an online course at Sage Yoga Teacher Training.

Everyday Yoga Excerpt: 9 Yoga Poses to Balance Core Strength

My friends at Yoga Journal are offering Everyday Yoga excerpts to pique your interest in the book and jump-start your home practice. While the book is for not just athletes but everyone, the excerpts are keyed to pre- and postworkout routines, and you can string them together to do a complete practice.

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This is a postworkout core routine to balance front, back, left, and right. (If you’re in central North Carolina, come to the Pilates class I’ll be covering through mid-July at Carrboro Yoga on Mondays, 4:30–5:30, and you’ll get much more like this!)

Post-workout, slip in some core work to balance your strength front to back and work your obliques to support yourself through your next workout or yoga practice. Instead of just adding a couple sets of crunches to your training session, try this routine designed to target every layer of the core muscles front and back, as well as the glutes. These back and abs moves are sweetened with quick rests in delicious hip stretches. Ready?

Visit the Yoga Journal website to follow along! And, if you haven’t already, preorder your copy today!

Everyday Yoga Excerpt: 5 Pre-Workout Warmup Poses

My friends at Yoga Journal will be running a nice series of Everyday Yoga excerpts over the next few weeks. While the book is for not just athletes but everyone, the excerpts are keyed to pre- and postworkout routines, and you can string them together to do a full home practice.

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We’re starting with a dynamic preworkout yoga—what my students know as Parking Lot Yoga.

This sequence highlights good form in Mountain Pose, the basis of good alignment in virtually every yoga pose and virtually every sport. It also challenges the glutes, wakes up the lower legs, and builds breath awareness, focus, and balance—all of which you need as you begin your workout. Bonus: All of these standing poses are done without bringing your hands to the floor, making it perfect for a mat-free practice in a parking lot, say, before a workout—or almost anywhere else.

Visit the Yoga Journal website to follow along! And, if you haven’t already, preorder your copy today!

Scheduled: Everyday Yoga Event at the Regulator Bookshop

As the release of Everyday Yoga approaches, I’ve scheduled an event at another local independent bookstore, the Regulator in Durham, on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m. Join me and you’ll be in a great position to go enjoy dinner at Rue Cler afterward!

Everyday Yoga Cover

Join Sage at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham for an Everyday Yoga event. She’ll give a brief talk about getting started doing yoga at home; offer time for Q&A; and lead a fun, accessible, all-levels, street-clothes-appropriate, mat-free yoga sequence.

Details →

Scheduled: Everyday Yoga Book Event at Flyleaf Books

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Join me at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill to celebrate the release of Everyday Yoga! On Wednesday, June 10, 7–8 p.m., I’ll give a brief talk about getting started doing yoga at home; offer time for Q&A; and lead a fun, accessible, all-levels, street-clothes-appropriate, mat-free yoga sequence. And you can pick up a copy of the book, which I’ll happily sign!

Recommendation: Yoga’s Touch, by Martia Bennett Rachman

My down-the-interstate neighbor in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Martia Rachman, has produced an absolutely beautiful book on yoga assists and, more broadly, a safe and effective approach to the practice. Here’s the blurb I wrote for Yoga’s Touch: Hands-On Adjustments, Alignment, and Verbal Cues:

Learning good hands-on assists helps teachers best serve their students. But most teacher training programs don’t have the time and space to delve deep into this individualized art. Honing assisting skills takes hundreds of hours of practice with a colleague, with lots of back-and-forth discussion and adjustments. Martia Rachman’s beautiful Yoga’s Touch is just the book to guide you as you practice.

With beautiful photos and clear words, the book gives exact instructions on how to get a student into each pose and how to enhance the student’s experience while there. The reason for and execution of each assist is laid out so cleanly that you could teach yourself straight from the book, or use it, as I intend to, as a workbook for practicing assists I’ve received and enjoyed as well as those I’ve learned over the years in various assisting workshops.

The first part of the book contains another beautifully clear set of instructions on how to use the more subtle elements of the pranic body to create the healthiest flow of energy to support a continuing practice. And lest we get too in our heads while working through the fabulous instructions, Rachman constantly reminds us to breathe and smile.

Yoga’s Touch belongs on every teacher training syllabus and in every yoga teacher’s library.

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Note the detail, right down to Martia’s left big toe!

I’ll reiterate that this book is extremely well done—lots of care went into the writing and the super-clear photography. At the Yoga’s Touch website, you can also order a poster to help you remember the assists as you lead private lessons. Teachers: get yourself a copy, then take some time to move through the assists with a colleague, sharing lots of feedback along the way. Your skills will sharpen with practice, and you’ll have another arrow in your quiver of tools to help your students feel better.yogatouchmethod_image_printbook-199x300

Watch: Behind the Scenes of Everyday Yoga

EY_CoverHere’s a fun time-lapse video that Seth K. Hughes grabbed as he shot the beautiful art for Everyday YogaYes: we’re wiping off the model’s feet with window cleaner in the first few frames!

Behind the scenes – Everyday Yoga from Seth K Hughes on Vimeo.

The book will revolutionize your home practice and will be out soon—preorder your signed copy here!

Postview: Yoga for Athletes, Go Yoga, Columbus

I spent a fun weekend with the good people of central Ohio at Go Yoga in Powell. A highlight was the chance to do Parking Lot Yoga in the actual parking lot, as part of the Yoga and Running session!

Parking Lot Yoga indeed!

Parking Lot Yoga indeed!

As promised, here are my practice notes. They link to routines in Everyday Yoga, which will be out late May/early June! I’d love to send you a signed copy—preorder here.

Friday Night: Yoga for Strength

Six moves of the spine prone, bent knee
Belly-down corpse
Sphinx
Prone tree pose with side bend
Prone tree pose with twist
Inchworm flow to locust/reverse vinyasa, as described here: http://sagerountree.com/2010/11/09/reverse-vinyasa/
Warrior I flow
Warrior I
Trident arms to diagonal warrior
Tap pinkies and thumbs
Pyramid
Warrior III
Warrior II flow
Warrior II
Exalted Warrior to side angle
Triangle
Half moon
Squat, crow
Planks and backbends
Plank: variations with one elbow down; raise and lower legs and/or arms
Half bow, full bow
Side plank: variations on knee and elbows; pigeon leg, top foot steps back
Mermaid, easy twist
Head-to-knee flow
Seated twist
Head-to-knee
Revolved head-to-knee
Side plank variation
Bridge to block
Hip reset
Cow-face on back
Reclining cobbler
Happy baby

Saturday Morning: Yoga for All Athletes

Six moves of the spine, supine, one leg
Hug knees
Hamstring stretch
Hip flexors stretch
Hip circles
Reclining tree with side bend
Reclining twist with shoulder circles
Rolling like a ball
Tall mountain flow
Raise arms
Raise heels
Bend knees
Roll back!
Crane flow and starfish flow, as described here: http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/the-body-shop-standing-core-strengtheners
Core planks and lunges
Downward dog
Leg swing to rounded plank
Crescent lunge
Leg swing to opposite elbow
Side plank with extended leg
Leg swing to mountain climber
Lizard lunge
Handstand, as in this class: http://www.yogavibes.com/store/paid-classes/product/teacher-training-momentum-core-yoga-for-athletes/ (use code sagefreemonth for a free month’s trial)
Wall folds
Legs up the wall
Hamstring stretch: central, outer, inner
Half happy baby
Figure 4
Bridge/half shoulderstand
Double knee twist
“Christina’s World”
Table pose
Prone twist
Pinwheel pigeon
Wild camel
Metta meditation, as described here: http://sagerountree.com/2014/09/29/metta-meditation-at-wanderlust-108-atlanta/

Saturday afternoon: Slow Motion Yoga

Slow six moves of the spine
lateral child’s pose, in stages
slow-mo cat/cow
slow threading the needle, hand, elbow, then shoulder, hand to pelvis to keep level, then arm increases stretch
Slow sun salutes
lift knees from table to tease out dd
slow walk to front
slow lift, lower
pick up foot
set it back down
45 degrees at the shin
90 degrees at the shin
L pose
lunge
pick up front foot, or wish you could
bend knee
step back
slow lower in stages
backbend in stages
slow lift to stretch feet
downward dog
lift foot
core plank
step down
rock onto front foot
finish slow
Slow core
roll downs
leg lifts
twists with full breath at pausing point
bridge articulations and slow lower, à la slow-mo cat/cow
Slow hamstring series
hamstring stretch with other leg bent, slowly extend base leg
slow trip open wide
slow trip over to outer hamstring stretch, both hips down
slow cross-over twist

Sunday morning: Yoga and Running

Six moves of the spine standing with chair, as demonstrated here: http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/5-yoga-poses-winter-endurance-sports/
Parking lot yoga
Mountain pose
Crane
Diagonal lunge
Crescent lunge
Warrior II
Crescent lunge
Diagonal lunge
Crane
Mountain pose
Don your shoes as demonstrated here: http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/warm-up-while-you-lace-up
Focus: form, breath, mantra, drishti
Tables/boats/folds
Mud-flap girl/reverse table/reverse plank
Boat with variations: twist, listing boat
Cross-legged fold/forward fold
Reclining twists
Figure 4
Supine pretzel twist
Reverse supine pretzel twist
Cross-legged twist
Thanks, everyone, for your presence and attention! I hope to connect with you again soon.

Watch: Yoga for Endurance Athletes

When I was in Minneapolis last month, I had the pleasure of talking to Olympian Carrie Tollefson, host of the C Tolle Run show. We had a chat about yoga’s benefits for endurance athletes, and I led her through Parking Lot Yoga, a routine you’ll find in the forthcoming Everyday Yoga (preorder now!) that’s perfect as a pre-run warmup.

Subscribe to C Tolle Run here or visit ctollerun.com.