“Have you ever done yoga before?” says this vision of beauty standing in front of my desk at work.
At first I thought this young lady was kidding. I’m 6’1”, 225 lbs, an African-American male with a thick build. Yoga was probably the furthest thing from my mind.
“Uh, I can’t say that I have.”
“You should try it, you would really love it!”
Sure, I thought, why not. Sitting around Indian-style, listening to avant-garde Arabic music, and rolling my eyes in the back of my head seemed like a relaxing and interesting way to spend an afternoon.
The lady turned out to be the director of a new show called Inhale. And she wanted me to take a class to see if I wanted to be on the show. So with directions in one hand, and my old sweat suit, I went to try out. Continue reading
My back foot goes where? Curl my arm under my thigh? BALANCE?
My leg wobbles so much I’m sure I’m about to fall over. I’m discovering all kinds of tiny muscles in my feet and ankles that I never knew existed.
Just when I’m about to scream or die, Steve leads us out of whatever contortion we were in and we return to the comfort of Downward Dog. AAAaahhhhh.
That was my first yoga experience — ever. Staness, the producer/director for Inhale on oxygen, was looking for an absolute beginner to put on the show. However, that beginner first had to survive Steve Ross’ 90-minute class in his Brentwood studio.
To my surprise, I not only lived through this audition, I loved it. I’d always thought yoga was boring — but Steve’s music, sense of humor, and “power yoga” style made all the difference. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered why Steve ends each class with a relaxation session? Sure, it’s restful, but what does relaxation have to do with yoga?
Relaxation is a key component of yoga. Relaxation stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers the healing centers in your body. Relaxed breathing reduces your heart rate and calms the mind. Continue reading
Before you begin yoga, you should know something about correct breathing.
Yogic Breathing benefits you in terms of health and yoga. The breath, mind and body are closely linked, with one affecting the other.
Correct breathing can relax your entire body, purge your body of toxins and rid your mind of stress, anger, tension and worry. Continue reading
Q: How often can I do yoga?
A: You can do yoga as often as your body wants to, literally; the best rule of thumb is what makes your body feel good.
Q: I’m not very flexible, can I still benefit from yoga?
A: Yes, in fact, you are exactly who should be doing yoga. You just need to be aware of your limits and have patience with yourself. Some people are naturally more flexible, whereas others require daily practice.
Q: Does yoga relieve stress?
A: Yes, yoga is one of the best ways to reduce the stress in your life; yoga teaches you to relax and focus within yourself.
Ashtanga yoga, nicknamed “power yoga,” consists of a series of postures linked together in a continuous flow. Each pose glides into a counter pose.
Another crucial element is breath; breathe through your nose in rhythm with the poses. Continue reading
Yoga For Newbies
1. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
2. Make sure you have enough floor space so you can move without bumping into anything.
3. Practice with an empty stomach, two to three hours after eating and half an hour after drinking.