Yoga 101

Meet the Instructors!

1. Jenni Elzwig – Beachfit Trainers (private residential community classes), Kids Get Fit Program through V-Fit Studios, private classs YogaByJenni

2. Maria Teresa Dominguez –Kids Get Fit Program through V-Fit Studios, Yoga Studio of CC

3. David Nuss – Teaches at the food bank – Practices the oldest form of yoga, which is Ashtanga Yoga (the eight limbs)

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Pose: Padmasana- Lotus Pose
Padma means “lotus” and asana means “pose” This posture is used for the practice of Pranayama (breathing excersise) and meditation. For many people, this posture is one of the most difficult to master, however, once mastered, Padmasana is one of the most relaxing postures.
Difficulty: Intermediate/advance
Caution: Never force the feet into this posture
Benefits: Increases pelvis mobility, massages the abdominal organs, increases circulation in the lumbar region and strengthens ankle, knees, hips and joints.

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Pose: Urdhva Mukha savannas – Upward facing dog pose
Urdhva means “upward, Mukha means “face” and svana means “dog.” This posture gives a vigorous upward stretch to the spine.
Level: Beginner/intermediate
Caution: This posture is not recommended if you have a weak back or wrists, or neck stiffness.
Benefits: Strengthens the arms, legs, shoulders and back. Improves the circulation and invigorates the body.

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Pose: Vrksasana – Tree pose
Vrksa means tree, and is a graceful balance pose. The foot pressing into the ground is like the root of the tree and the arms stretch up like the branches of the tree.
Level: Beginner
Practice: If balancing is difficult, stand against a wall to avoid falling.
Benefits: Develops memory and concentration, improves poise and posture, firms and tones the muscles of the legs, back and chest.


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Pose: “Eka Pada Sirsansana” = One Foot to Head Posture
Eka = One
Pada = Foot or leg
Sirsa = Head
Asana = Posture
Level: Advanced
Benefits: This asana is one of the greatest challenges and comes with an increase in the flexibility in the hips and hamstrings.  Traditionally this posture is said to enrich our hemoglobin, thereby affecting our metabolism in a positive way, and decrease nervous trembling.

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Pose: “Garbha Pindasana” = Embryo-in-Womb Posture
Garbha = Womb
Pinda = Embryo
Level: Advanced
Benefits: Relaxes the whole spine, especially the muscles of the lumbar spine, and strengthens the abdomen.  Traditionally it is taught that the pressure of the heels on the abdomen cleanses the liver and the spleen, and the points of contact on the arms and legs stimulate the corresponding lymphatic tissue.

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Pose: “Sirsasana” = Head Standing Posture
Sirsa = head
Level: Intermediate
Benefits: By reversing the blood flow in our body and sending a powerful inflow into our head, it is taught that the brain, sense organs, and memory are nourished and their potential increased.   The benefits of all that we digest, physically and mentally, can head directly toward the crown of our head and assist our intellectual abilities, and eventually our spiritual illumination.  Note the scripture “Yama matram vashe nityam” [We can dwell in Sirsasana for three hours].  It’s recommended starting with less!

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Pose: “Viparita Virahbhadrasana” = Reverse Warrior or Sun Warrior
Level: Beginner
Benefits: Reverse Warrior Pose is a variation of Warrior II pose with many benefits. Strengthens the quads, arms and neck, Stretches the groins, hips and obliques, Opens the chest and shoulders, Increases self esteem and perseverance
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, back, or shoulder
Tip: Brace your back heel or the back of your torso against a wall if you feel unsteady in the pose.

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Pose: “Eka Pāda Adho Mukha Śvānāsana” = One Legged Downward-Facing Dog
eka = one
pāda = foot or leg
adho = downward
mukha = facing
śvānaāsana = dog posture
Difficulty: Intermediate
Benefits: Full-body stretching, strength building, energizing and rejuvenating the nervous system, relief from stress, headaches, fatigue, poor digestion, and back pain. This variation has the added bonus of opening your hips and ribs while improving your body’s overall balance. It will build strength in your upper body, arms, and shoulders in no time. It will also quickly tone your hips, butt, and thighs.

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Pose: “Paripurna Navasana” = Full boat pose (variation with partner)
Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Benefits: This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles, the legs and the lower back. Paripurna Navasana is said to relieve stress, improve digestion and aid the lower abdominal organs.

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