Supportive Yoga Blog

Getting Started with Inversions

Hi everyone! As promised on instagram last week, here is the Supportive Yoga Guide to Getting Started with Inversions.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the years figuring out these poses for my body and I am super stoked to share what I’ve learned with you.  So if you think you would never be able to go upside down, or you look at those crazy inverted poses on instagram and wonder how you can build up to that point, this video is for you!  We’ll tackle the prep poses, talk about how you know whether you are strong enough to give these poses a shot and I’ll show you how to use the wall (no other props required!) to build your inversion practice! As I say about 5000 times in the video, I’m only teaching handstand and forearm stand and not headstand or shoulder stand.  Why?  Because I firmly believe that learning those poses over the internet is a terrible idea.  A safety disaster.  Your neck is precious and I really don’t want you to injure it – it’s not hard to do.  If you are interested in these poses, please find a qualified teacher in your area to help you!  Ok, enough lecture!  Here’s the video: And here are links to the videos I mention at the end: hallway handstand and chair headstand. Please let me know if you have any questions and happy...

Stepping Forward and Back in Sun Salutations

Hi everyone!  I got a question a week or so ago about how to step forward and back during sun salutations if you don’t have time/don’t feel like messing around with blocks – or maybe they aren’t available.  Now, I love props – a lot – obviously, but I totally understand that sometimes you just don’t want to deal with them, or you don’t have them handy, so I’m really glad I got this question and I’m so happy to share this video with you!  I give you a few different options to try (and get a little out of breath by the end – this was a good workout!).  My goal is to empower you to feel comfortable in any class you like, even those fast-paced vinyasa classes, if that’s the practice you prefer, even if your body doesn’t do exactly what the teacher says to do! I briefly say this in the video, but it bears repeating…let’s say you get behind the breath count during class.  Who cares?  I don’t care…and it happens to me all the time.  The nice thing is that downward facing dog is usually held for five breaths in a traditional sun salutation A so you’ll meet everyone there eventually.  Plus, it’s so much more important that you are moving with your own breath than it is to keep up exactly, so cut yourself some slack and don’t rush!  Like most things, sun salutations get easier with practice as your body gets used to the movements – muscle memory is a powerful thing! As always, please let me know if you have any...

Supportive Yoga Warm Up Video

Hi Everyone!  I’m starting to work on filming yoga practice videos for you and I’m really excited to share the first one with you today! Also, I just realized that it’s Wednesday – so I guess this means Sequence Wednesdays are back? Maybe? Ha! Sometimes the hardest part of practicing yoga at home is figuring out how to get started.  So I decided to record my warm up yesterday!  This 12 minute sequence is a great short practice in itself or a nice way to prepare for the rest of your practice (or instagram photoshoot!). Make sure you practice in a way that supports your body today.  Everything is optional and if something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!  I hope you enjoy it!  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or send me an email at annie@supportiveyoga.com!  Happy...

Which class should I take?

Hi everyone! I’m settled into my DC/Silver Spring digs and getting ready to film some videos for you! In the meantime, my classes start this week and there are a lot to choose from (a very good problem to have) so I thought I’d do a little introduction and tell you a bit about them so you can decide which class is right for you!  I find yoga class names to be confusing at best so while I can’t promise that my definitions will be the same as other teachers’ definitions, maybe this can help you navigate your local studio as well! For those of you who don’t want to or can’t watch the video (though you are missing some awesome awkward laughing) here are some quick descriptions of my classes and what you might expect when you attend them.   I truly believe that you can take any class you like as long as you can do it without hurting yourself (and/or are confident enough to opt out if something isn’t appropriate for you – what really makes you an advanced yogi in my opinion).  You $$ buys the same mat space as anyone else! Yoga Fundamentals: this class is for beginners, especially those who have never done yoga before or maybe did it once 10 years ago.  We’ll start slowly, learning how to sit, stand and find out neutral positions on the mat.  Then we’ll break down basic poses – plank, lunges, downward dog, warrior II, tree, triangle etc…nothing fancy – but foundations for the asana practice.  We’ll go over sun salutation modifications and prepare for basics...

Heading back to DC!

Group classes in Silver Spring, MD starting Wednesday, March 25th at Blue Heron Wellness!  Classes in the District coming soon! This has been the most non-linear year of my life.  Eleven months ago, I packed up my things and headed back to my hometown (Brooklyn, NY).  I decided to give teaching full time a try.  It’s been an interesting, windy, twisty road – I found new yoga communities, reconnected with old ones and taught and practiced a ton!  I got to fall in love with my own practice all over again and really treasure my teaching experiences.  Then out of the blue, the universe gave me a big ol’ boot in the butt (life happens that way sometimes) and now I find myself headed back to DC – something I swore I would never do!  Never say never!!   I’m so incredibly lucky – both to have had this time in Brooklyn and to have met so many amazing people in the yoga community here, and to have connections and opportunities in the DC and Maryland yoga communities as well.  I am super excited to announce that I will be teaching on Wednesday nights at Blue Heron Wellness in Silver Spring, MD starting March 25th, 2015 and will hopefully be adding classes in the District shortly thereafter (the details are still being worked out).  Stay tuned for more details as I have them.   My last class at Mala Yoga will be on Tuesday, February 24th 2015 (that’s next week – hope to see you there!) and my last class at Third Root will be Thursday, March 19th.  Brooklyn yogis – I will miss...

Arm balance prep for larger bodies

Hi everyone!  If you follow me on social media, you might already know that I sort of declared 2015 to be the year of the arm balance for supportive yoga.  I was getting a lot of questions about arm balances for large bodied yogis and I decided to put some serious thought into how to make these poses work for our bodies.  I’ve been working on eka pada koundinyasana a lot in my own practice so I decided to record a video of how I began prepping my body for this very challenging asana. You need strength of course – I don’t think you need me to tell you that.  And, here’s the thing, large bodies are strong bodies – we just have more to lift.  So any poses where we bear weight are harder for us. What I’m not sure everyone realizes though, is that you have to be pretty flexible to get yourself into the shapes of arm balances too – and that’s where this video comes in.  If you can do three-legged dog (downward dog with one leg up), you can do this prep work.  And if you can’t, you can do the first part of the video (hands and knees). In this video I: *show you how to bring your knee towards your elbow from hands and knees (table top position) *show you how to bring your knee towards your elbow from downward dog *Talk a lot – as per always, be a big dork and laugh awkwardly – as per always *Freak out a little bit about the fact that I’m doing a video...

Best Leggings Ever: Lineagewear Review

It’s no secret that I LOVE yoga clothes.  Yoga clothes make up the vast majority of my wardrobe and since I left my office job behind, I pretty much wear yoga pants all the darn time.  I spend quite a bit (actually an embarrassing amount) of time trolling the internet looking for new and interesting activewear clothing lines.  So when Katie at Lineagewear, a local company based right here in NYC, offered to send me a pair of her beautiful leggings to try, I pretty much shrieked with joy and did a little happy dance around my bedroom. I had been eying Lineagewear leggings on Instagram and there were several things that made them standout from the vast array of other clothing companies advertising there.  First, the fabrics and patterns were beautiful – bold without being obnoxious, and it seemed like they looked good on pretty much everyone.  Second, I noticed that people of all different body types were modeling the leggings and further investigation revealed that Katie was offering leggings from sizes XS-3X, with no differentiation in price or availability of fabrics and patterns.  You guys – that’s special.  I don’t know if people realize how rare that is…so often plus sizes are relegated to limited patterns and colors or the upcharge is so outrageous, it’s ludicrous.  And, as much as I love companies that cater exclusively to plus sizes, I am so happy that Lineagewear is showing that you can offer a product across a large range of sizes that’s awesome for everyone.  I hope that other companies will follow that example. So let’s talk about the leggings…they’re...

Grounding Practices for the Holidays

It’s Thanksgiving week and I feel like the winter holidays are right around the corner! So I thought it might be a good time to talk about how you can use your yoga practice to work on grounding – i.e. finding steadiness and support through your connection to the earth.  This time of year feels anything but grounded to me – whether it’s the changes in weather, the super-long to do list, traveling, lots of social engagements – whatever.  This is a time when many of us feel pulled in 5000 different directions! For me this means that I get overwhelmed very easily. Feelings, good or bad, that might not send me for a loop normally are much more pronounced.  And I’m pretty much feeling all the feelings lately.  It’s been an interesting nine-ish months since I moved back to Brooklyn to try teaching yoga full time and I’m really not sure if I feel like I’ve been particularly successful at riding the roller coaster that this experience has been.  In general, I’m in favor of feeling all of your feelings (not just the positive ones) but it can be a lot! Some things have been so awesome, I can hardly believe they actually happened!  For example, the last week or so was an embarrassment of feel-good riches – working with Amber on developing Yoga Without Exception and teaching my first teacher training workshop for example.  But, I’d also be lying if I told you that I was where I thought I would be nine months in when I started this adventure.  To tell you the truth, I’m fairly frustrated...

Supportive Yoga Pose of the Month: November 2014

Uh…so what happened to October?  Anyways, November came in with a bang and cold snap!  Hope you had a great Halloween and you are looking forward to Thanksgiving (gratitude, pie, whatever!).  I’ve got two awesome workshops coming up!  There’s still time to register for my Teaching Yoga to Students with Larger Bodies workshop in DC at Lighthouse Yoga Center on Sunday, November 16th at 2:00pm.  I’m also super excited to be bringing my signature inversions workshop (for everyone, for wimps, for anyone who thinks they can’t do it, or hates the phrase, “just kick up”) to Brooklyn.  I’ll be teaching the workshop at Mala Yoga on Thursday, November 20th at 7:30pm.  Space is limited so please sign up in advance!! For some reason, this month seems like a return to home base a bit for me.  I adore fall in NYC so maybe that’s part of it – I can really celebrate being “home”.  It might be one of the Instagram challenges I’m doing this month (#fallintoalignment) which, at least for now, is focusing on foundational yoga poses.  Who knows?  So when I put out a call for requests on the Supportive Yoga facebook page, and someone suggested tadasana (mountain pose) – hi Terry! – it seemed just right for this month’s pose of the month.  Nothing fancy, but so important. Tadasana certainly looks simple, right?  We’re standing still.  On two feet.  What’s the big deal?  But there is so much going on in Tadasana if you do it “right”.  Let’s start, like my teacher, Tias Little, says, from the ground up.  The first thing I ask students to...

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