Excerpt: Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga

If you’ve ordered your copy of Lifelong Yoga and are waiting for it to arrive—or if you need a reminder to order it—take a look at this excerpt from the book, over at Yoga Journal.

Along with the smile lines and gray hair, aging brings changes that are harder to see but very easy to feel, especially during movement. As you age, you’ll encounter general physiological changes in elasticity, stability, speed, strength, and endurance, as well as a different perspective on physical goals. Specific health problems emerge as we age, and these age-related illnesses might affect your yoga practice. Here, we offer our thoughts on how to modify your practice for these common ailments, and we detail the ways that (in some cases) yoga can actually relieve symptoms or has been proven to improve medical outcomes. From heart issues to less lung capacity, decreased bone density to hormonal changes, and bad backs to artificial knees, physical changes will affect and dictate the needs of a yoga asana practice, but in all cases, doing yoga will make you feel better.

Read the full piece here. Then order your copy today! And once you’ve had a chance to read it, please leave it a five-start review. These help other people feel better using yoga, as they encourage more people to pick up the book. Thanks in advance!


Today’s the official release date for Lifelong Yoga. While it’s my seventh book, it also marks some important firsts—it’s my first book cowritten with my longtime assistant, Alexandra DeSiato, my first book to be published by North Atlantic Books, and the first to feature my husband, Wes, as a model. (He’s joined by two other lovely lifelong yogis with professional modeling experience, Victor and Patricia.) It’s also a treat to see the Gold Circle Room at Carrboro Yoga Company get its moment in the sun!

Alexandra and I really hope you enjoy the book, which has a special foreword from my star student, Coach Roy Williams. If you’ve preordered it in paper format, your copy should arrive today or this week. E-books should deliver today. If you haven’t ordered yet, what are you waiting for? Buy it at your favorite bookseller—links are here—or direct from me. If you prefer to shop local—thank you!—ask your favorite indie store to order you a copy. You can also pick up copies at Carrboro Yoga if you happen to be in central North Carolina.

Once you’ve had a chance to read and practice from the book, please give it a five-star review. These positive reviews will help other people find the book, so that more people can benefit from including a little yoga most days over the years. Thanks in advance!

LIFELONG YOGA is released one week from today! It features a foreword from this longtime student of mine, Roy, who also happens to be a three-time and the current NCAA men's basketball championship coach. Coach Williams's foreword is a testament to the power of yoga to keep you flexible and balanced across the years. Order your copy at the link in bio! @alexandradesiato #yoga #lifelongyoga #yogaforhealth #goheels #gdtbath #author #yogaforathletes #yogaformen #yogaforbasketball #yogaforbasketballplayers #yogaforbasketballcoaches #roywilliams

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The Absence of Stress ≠ the Presence of Recovery

Much of my work is selling the concept of recovery. My weekly Yoga for Athletes classes have a little bit of movement, mostly focused on balance, but the majority of class is an opportunity for Type A athletes to practice being still, quiet, and relaxed. This can be hard, and it’s the most important thing to learn if you want to reach peak performance in sports or in any endeavor. Beyond my studios, my other businesses—Hillsborough Spa and Day Retreat and Carolina Massage Institute—also create space and train skills so folks can help themselves and others relax better.

And of course, I wrote a whole book on how not to work out, The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery. It includes a chapter on the benefits of massage and the benefits of self-massage with a foam roller. (There, a little bit goes a long way; don’t think more is more, or you’ll wind up aggravating tissues that need time to rest and recover. Pain is not a positive in self-massage!) There’s a new, extreme version of rolling gaining popularity in weight rooms called body tempering. Here, the roller isn’t foam, but steel. I haven’t had the chance to try tempering yet, and I could see how for bigger, heavily muscled bodies it might be useful—and, conversely, for smaller, lighter bodies it might be overkill.

In my recent five-day Teaching Yoga to Athletes intensive at Carrboro Yoga, we discussed this trend and, more generally, recovery modalities for athletes. Here’s a brief clip from the end of a 90-minute recovery yoga practice (hence the relaxed students).

Don’t confuse the absence of a stress stimulus—a 130-pound steel tube on your back, a three-hour run, a five-minute hold of a yin pose—with the presence of adaptation to that stimulus. Just because you aren’t experiencing extreme sensation doesn’t mean you’ve recovered from the stress that led to the sensation. Recovery and adaptation take time. You need faith in the process and patience to let it unfold at its own rate. It’s not glamorous, and you can’t force it. But when you learn to allow it to happen, you’ll be better prepared to achieve your best and perform at the highest levels.

In April 2018, I’ll be teaching a weekend on how to adapt to stress using recovery practices from yoga at the lovely 1440 Multiversity outside Santa Cruz, California. Stay tuned for details when registration opens!

Sage Advice: Medical Emergencies in Class

The first article I ever wrote for Yoga Journal gives advice to yoga teachers about how to deal with medical emergencies in class.

Despite every studio’s and teacher’s efforts to create a safe environment, such medical emergencies do happen in yoga classes, as a result of either an acute injury or an underlying condition. Knowing the symptoms that indicate the need for medical attention and thinking through how to react during an emergency will help keep your students safer.

Read the full piece here.

My advice still holds, and I’ll add some new thoughts in bold:

  • Learn CPR and first aid. If it’s been a few years since you were trained, brush up. Also be aware of where the closest AED is.
  • Know your students’ medical histories. While our studio policy is now not to ask for injury disclosures, awareness of general issues in the populations you teach will help you create safe routines for them. Lifelong Yoga gives you some useful pointers on working with the issues that come with aging bodies. And wise class planning will keep students safe while in your class.
  • Carry a phone.
  • Know where you are. Be sure you can find the physical address of the studio easily. At Carolina Yoga, it’s on the bottom of every printed schedule and flyer.
  • Consider the logistics of emergency response abroad.
  • Breathe.
  • Be sure your insurance is up to date!

You’ll feel best prepared to handle everything from heart attacks to fart attacks when you take the online course Classroom Management and Safety, available at Sage Yoga Teacher Training.

New: Core Strength for Real People: Pinup Warmup

Want to move over the long weekend without having to stand up? Here’s a preview of my new Pinup Warmup sequence, which focuses on mobilization through the shoulders and spine and activation of the muscles that move the joints in the upper body. As a bonus, you’ll get to hold several poses with your hand behind your head, making you feel like a 50s pinup while offering a beautiful stretch for your chest.

Enjoy the preview above, and buy or rent the entire video at the Core Strength for Real People page. Better yet, subscribe, and for less than the price of one Pilates or yoga class, you’ll get access to the entire library, and a new video to challenge you every other month. There are lots more fun challenges—and release exercises—coming your way! Get started now.

Not Too Late for Summer Intensives

Today feels like the first day of summer proper, as the first weekday with the kids out of school. If your summer isn’t booked down to the last minute, there’s still time to join me at one or more of these upcoming intensives:

Yoga for Athletes: Balance, Strength, Flexibility, and Focus
1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA
Friday, June 16–Sunday, June 18

Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Yoga’s emphasis on form, focus, and breath will make you a better, well-rounded athlete. Learn how yoga complements mental and physical training, translating into increased balance and enjoyment in your sport and your life.

Read more and register →

Teaching Yoga to Athletes
1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA
Sunday, June 18–Friday, June 23

This five-day intensive on yoga for sports training is designed for yoga teachers interested in working with athletes of all sports. It will also be useful for coaches, PE teachers, and personal trainers. Learn about the philosophy, physiology, psychology, pedagogy, and profession of teaching yoga to athletes.

Read more and register →

Sequencing Yoga Classes from Welcome to Namaste
Carrboro Yoga Company, Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC
Monday, June 25–Friday, June 29

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. 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.

Read more and register →

Teaching Yoga to Athletes
Carrboro Yoga Company, Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC
Monday, July 17–Friday, July 21

This five-day intensive on yoga for sports training is designed for yoga teachers interested in working with athletes of all sports. It will also be useful for coaches, PE teachers, and personal trainers. Learn about the philosophy, physiology, psychology, pedagogy, and profession of teaching yoga to athletes.

Read more and register →

Advanced Studies Yoga Teacher Training

The five-day intensives are part of Carolina Yoga Company’s advanced studies yoga teacher training. If your summer is especially free, it’s not too late to sign up and complete a large chunk of the requirements for your 500-hour yoga teacher training designation with Yoga Alliance. Read more and register →

Sage Yoga Teacher Training

Can’t travel, but ready to deepen your understanding? Check out the online courses at Sage Yoga Teacher Training, including Teaching Yoga to Athletes, Sequencing Yoga Classes from Welcome to Namaste, and more. Read more and sign up →

Newly Certified: Kirsten Larson

Meet Kirsten Larson, one of the newest certified Sage Yoga for Athletes teachers. This beauty lives on the eastern side of the Research Triangle, but we’ll get to see lots of her at Carrboro Yoga as she moves through our teacher training. She’s already a wonderful teacher, though. Her classes are inclusive, clear, and calming, and her precise cuing gets students into the right places so that there’s plenty of room for quiet and inner experience. To me, this is a major sign of a gifted teacher.

Kirsten is especially interested in soccer and football players, and I also highly recommend her for any athlete or non athlete looking for a skilled teacher in Raleigh and points east. Reach her here.

If you’d like to join Kirsten and Tracey as specialists working with athletes, the first step is to take my five-day intensive on teaching yoga to athletes. You can do this online anytime at sageyogateachertraining.com, or in person at:


Newly Certified: Tracey Turner-Keyser

Meet Tracey Turner-Keyser, one of the newest certified Sage Yoga for Athletes teachers! In addition to being a wonderful yoga teacher, Tracey is also a high school running coach and a wonderful family therapist—this is a triple whammy of goodness in helping people feel balanced, connected, and capable of peak performance.

Tracey is not only sympathetic, she’s empathetic, because as an athlete she knows exactly what yoga tools work, and at what point in the training cycle each is most appropriate. Whether they’re building core strength and balance or enhancing their recovery, her students use yoga as the perfect complement to their training. And they do so with laser-sharp focus—a skill that serves them on the mat, in the classroom, on the course, and in life.

If you are a high school runner or parent of a high school runner in central North Carolina, check out Tracey’s running camp this summer! Students will head into cross-country season centered, fit, and ready to run. And read more about Tracey’s work here.

Listen: Fit Bottomed Girls Podcast

I had a really fun chat with Fit Bottomed Girls for their podcast, and I especially appreciated the opportunity to shout out one of my favorite songs, “Both” by Gucci Mane and Drake, and one of my favorite writers, Tana French. You can hear the whole thing here! The FBGs do an especially lovely job of promoting my upcoming workshops at 1440 Multiversity. My wonderful student Ali gives a beautiful description of the content of the workshops—she took them both at Kripalu in January. Once you’re excited to join, sign up for the 1440 workshops here. I’ll be back at Kripalu next January—registration will be online soon here.

New: Core Strength for Real People: Stretch Your Front

The first of this odd-numbered month means a new video is up at Core Strength for Real People. This one is not for core strength, but for core release. If you get enthusiastic about ab exercises, you can get too tight across the front of your body, putting extra pressure on your back. The stretches you’ll find in this sequence target pectoralis minor and the hip flexor muscles to help bring you back into balance front to back. As a bonus, they’re relaxing!

Enjoy the preview above, and buy or rent the entire video at the Core Strength for Real People page. Better yet, subscribe, and for less than the price of one Pilates or yoga class, you’ll get access to the entire library, and a new video to challenge you every other month. There are lots more fun challenges—and release exercises—coming your way! Get started now.

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