Do you have neck and shoulder issues? If so, it might be caused by tight chest and shoulder muscles. Stretch & Strengthen the Upper Body is designed to loosen the muscles of the chest, shoulders and upper back. At the same time, working the muscles of the arms to develop tone and definition. Here is a link to the class Next Level Yoga Upper Body Class
If you want “yoga arms” or are already buff but need some definition to really prime your entry to the “gun show,” this is the class for you. It starts out slow and easy, then builds some mobility in the shoulders with some gentle flow work.
Then on to some deep upper body stretches to really loosen the chest and upper back. Finally, a smooth landing on the mat with some reclined stretching and a nice, long final relaxation.
If you tried this class and liked it, please show your support by subscribing to the channel so you will receive an email message whenever a new video is posted.
If you liked the short tribute to Yin Yoga video, take some time and check out my Yin Yang Flow Yoga video which is now available on YouTube. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the channel to receive notice when a new video is posted. Or, you can always follow this link to the class: Yin Yang Flow by Next Level Yoga
Seek Balance in all Things.
This Yin Yang yoga video is designed to balance the sweet ease of a yin yoga class, with the spicy effort of a yang flow class. The first twenty minutes are slow paced, gentle poses. The middle 20 minutes are a slow easy flow designed to loosen the joints and get your energy moving. The class finishes with 20 more minutes of quiet yin postures for a soft landing into final relaxation.
Bring a blanket or big towel for some extra padding. The class is a little longer, but it will be worth the time. Put on some quiet music, take some time for yourself, you deserve it. Enjoy.
If you tried this class and liked it, please subscribe to the channel so you will receive an email message when a new video is posted.
Need a break? My short Yin Yoga inspired class is now on YouTube. Grab a blanket or big towel, find a quite spot and take 20 minutes to stretch and chill. If you like the class and can find it in your heart to subscribe to my channel, I would be massively grateful.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is based on the idea of yin and yang, opposing forces that retain balance in nature. Yin is the the cool, still and calm side, yang is the hot, dynamic and energetic side. As applied to the body, the yin is the tendons, ligaments and fascia while the yang would be the muscles and circulatory system.
In a Yin yoga class the poses are generally more gentle, held for a longer period of time, and closer to the floor. The idea is to place the body in a position close to the edge of the flexibility or range of motion, become still and allow the connective tissues to soften as time passes.
Seek Balance in All Things. This Yin Yang class is designed to balance the sweet ease of a yin yoga class, with the spicy effort of a yang flow class. The first twenty minutes are slow paced, gentle poses. The middle 20 minutes are a slow easy flow designed to loosen the joints and get your energy moving. The class finishes with 20 more minutes of quiet yin postures for a soft landing into final relaxation.
Please enjoy this short practice which is my tribute to Yin Yoga. I designed this session to introduce my public classes to the concept of Yin Yoga. This particular session is a portion of a longer one hour class which will be available on my Vimeo page, https://vimeo.com/user64021270 in the near future.
They are finally here! The videos that I have long promised to my live classes are becoming a reality. For those of you who take my classes, you know I change my theme and sequence each month. Sometime around the end of the month, I will be producing a video of that month’s class so you can replay your favorites.
Remember, this is no excuse to miss class, I still want to see you, in person, on your mat at least once a week. You are part of a community that needs you, whether you know it or not. I will link the classes here at Next Level Yoga when they come out, but you can always go to my YouTube Channel Tara Kestner Next Level Yoga YouTube Channel
Right now the videos are all free, in return I only ask that you take the time to subscribe to the channel and share them on your social media so we can build an online community, just like the great groups we have here in Ohio at the live classes and workshops.
WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT?
This class is beginner friendly and appropriate for all experience levels. It will be therapeutic yoga, designed to undo the damage done to the body either at work or just the stress of everyday living. Each class will have a nice balance of work for increasing flexibility, joint stability, balance and overall stress relief. Sound like something you need, then read on…
WHO’S IT FOR?
This class is available to active and retired firefighters and their immediate families.
Mondays from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm, please arrive at least 10 minutes before class begins. Starting date- November 16, 2015.
Toledo Firefighter Union Hall
714 Washington Street
Toledo, OH 43604
5 class pre-paid pass is $60.00.
Passes are perfect for those that know they want to commit to a class, but may not be able to make every week.
Drop-in price is $15.00 per class.
Not sure yoga is for you, try dropping into a class. This one class at at a time approach is a perfect way to test the waters with no long term commitment.
Cash, Check or Credit Cards accepted.
I’M INTRIGUED, TELL ME MORE….
**Don’t own a mat? No problem. Mats and props will be available for use at no additional charge, the only condition is you must let Tara know that you will be coming and need a mat before class.
** What should I wear and bring? Don’t feel awesome in spandex pants, no problem. Just wear something comfortable, Lightweight clothing is best, layers are your friend. I recommend bringing a beach size towel with you, the floor can be hard and cold.
**Drop in participation is welcome, so long as there is space available. If you want to drop into a class shoot me (Tara) an email at email@example.com before class just to ensure space is available and I have enough equipment on hand.
HOW DO I JOIN?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate if you want a pass or want to drop in. Message me on Facebook at Tara Kestner Next Level Yoga Ltd.
In the final installment of Yoga for Firefighters, Shoulder Edition series, we will put together the poses from Parts 1 and 2 into a sequence.
First, get comfortable. Wear something that allows you to move freely, but not so loose that it falls over your head. Second, since you are going to be on the ground, I suggest you use a yoga mat. If you don’t have a mat, try a beach towel. You may want to consider a little extra padding for your knees, you can fold up a blanket or towel for this purpose.
And finally a word about music. There is a big debate in the yoga world about whether you should play music while doing/teaching yoga. I am on record as a big, fat YES. Maybe it’s just my mind being a bit too dark and twisty to be alone in, but I like a little distraction.
That being said, the classic, new age yoga music is not my thing. Instead, I use a wide mix of music for yoga, tunes that I like but are not too upbeat. I have found old Motown is the universally accepted genre, but use what you like.
Let’s start out with a brief warm up. I like to use a simple vinyasa as a warm-up. What’s that you say, a vin-what-sa? Vinyasa is a fancy yoga word for breathing and moving, all at the same time, it’s gets the circulation going and gives you a chance to practice a little deep breathing.
It’s quite easy, start out by standing with your hands down at your side. With a big inhale, roll your palms up, thumbs back and lift your arms up over your head. Pause.
Then with a big, exaggerated exhale, bend your knees, to protect the low back, and swan dive down over the legs to a forward fold. Get yourself a nice roll going at a comfortable pace, inhaling up exhaling down, and continue for a full minute.
Here are some forward fold pointers.
After this brief warm up, let’s start out by getting and holding the shoulders in proper alignment with Extended Mountain/Upward Salute for 5 long breaths.
The details of this pose, as well as, Reverse Tabletop and Spinal Balance are here: http://nextlevelyoga.net/2015/04/29/yoga-for-firefighters-shoulder-edition-part-2/
Extended Mountain Pose or Upward Salute
After Extended Mountain, let’s work on some strength in Reverse Tabletop. Take this pose two times for about 3-5 long breaths, with a 30 second rest.
Reverse Tabletop works the same as Upward Plank, it is a personal preference thing.
After Reverse Tabletop, lets stretch out the back of the shoulder in Thread the Needle, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side (or 5-10 long breaths). The details of this pose, as well as, Anterior Shoulder Opener and Puppy pose are here: http://nextlevelyoga.net/2015/04/26/yoga-for-firefighters-shoulder-edition-part-1/
Thread the Needle pose
Now let’s hit the deck and move into Anterior Shoulder Opener for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side (or 5-10 long breaths).
Anterior shoulder opener
From here, push up to hands and knees, and move into Puppy pose for 30 seconds (5 breaths).
Finally, let’s finish this thing with a nice Supine Spinal twist for at least a minute per side.
Reclined Spinal Twist
For those of you who don’t need the visual, here is a list of the poses and times:
Warm up Swan Dive Vinyasa 1 minute
Extended Mountain/Upward Salute, 5 breaths
Reverse Tabletop, two sets 3-5 breaths each
Thread the Needle, 30 secs/1 min. each side (5-10 breaths)
Anterior Shoulder Opener, 30 sec/1 min. each side (5-10 breaths)
Puppy Pose, 30 seconds (3-5 breaths)
Supine Spinal Twist, 1 minute each side (10 breaths)
Total time- about 10 minutes
Give this a try a 3 or 4 times a week and see if you notice a difference in your shoulder health and performance.
If you are interested in trying an all-level yoga class, I have an open class which meets on Wednesday evenings at CPW Health Center, contact me for more information. Also, if you would like a live Yoga For Firefighters class, contact Lt. Joe Clark, or the Toledo Firefighters Health Plan and let them know you are interested.
We are working on getting a Yoga for Firefighters (and their families) class approved by the Firefighter’s Health Plan. The tenacious and dapper Lt. Joe Clark is spearheading this effort, but until that is off the ground, I wanted to address some of the specific physical challenges that firefighting creates.
First up, the shoulder. In order to understand which yoga postures are helpful to prevent shoulder injuries, and in the event that fails, promote recovery of shoulder issues, you have to know a little about the shoulder structure.
In short, the shoulder is built for mobility, not stability or strength. The shoulder joint (the glenoid socket) is a wide and shallow joint which has a large range of motion. Because of this huge range, injuries happen fairly easily. The supporting cast of the back side of the shoulder are the four rotator cuff muscles, the trapezius, the levator scapulae and the rhomboids. The pectorals support from the front, and the deltoids form the end caps.
Common issues include, tendonitis, bursitis and impingement (often vaguely called “rotator cuff injuries”). Cumulative stress on the shoulder is caused by repetitive movements, compression (being forced to bear weight) and sustained, awkward positional use (like overhauling a building). Any of this sounding familiar?
So how can yoga help? Well first of all, thanks for asking, good to see you are still reading, yoga can help a couple of ways. Yoga increases flexibility and range of motion, allowing you to move more freely avoiding impingement issues. Yoga poses which strengthen and condition the rotator cuff muscles add support to the shoulder structure. Finally, you can expect increased circulation to the shoulder to help avoid inflammation issues, and speed recovery should an injury occur.
Three of my favorite shoulder poses include Thread the Needle, Prone Anterior Shoulder opener (it doesn’t have a cute yoga name) and Puppy pose. First, Thread the Needle, great for opening that space between the shoulder blades.
Thread the Needle pose
Come to hands and knees, extend your right arm out to the side lining up the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Then feed the right arm (palm facing up) behind the left arm and lower down on the right outer shoulder, adjust yourself until you find a place where your head and neck are comfortable.
Start to walk the fingers on the left hand up towards the top of the mat, until you can gently press into the palm causing a little more sensation and rotation in the upper back. Hold for 5-10 long breaths and then switch sides.
Second, Prone Anterior Shoulder opener, is a fantastic pose to open the front of the shoulder. This is an easy pose to overdo so show some restraint.
Anterior shoulder opener
Lie on your belly, turn your head to the right (resting on your left cheek). Extend your right arm out and line up your index finger with your sight-line. Then turn your head to the left, so you are resting on your right cheek.
Start to roll onto your right side and bend your knees, bringing your left palm to the floor, close to your chest. If you are feeling a lot of sensation in the front of the shoulder stay here. If you need a little more, straighten your right leg and place your left foot on the floor behind you. Stay here for about 30-60 seconds, and then take it to the other side.
Finally, Puppy pose for an overall shoulders and the spinal stretch.
Come to hands and knees, keeping the hips over the knees walk the hands forward, lowering the chest towards the floor. Lower your forehead, (or possibly your chin) to the mat, draw your shoulder blades back and down into the spine and reach your hips for the ceiling. Hold for 5-10 slow breaths.
These three poses can help improve your shoulder health. In part 2 of shoulder edition, I will address the specific problem of labrum injuries, a craze that seems to be sweeping the nation.
We are starting a new on-going yoga class which will be open to the public, here’s the 411…
Hatha yoga is the name for the type of yoga generally practiced in the US. The word hatha translates to Sun and Moon, denoting the union and balance of opposing forces, heavy right? Basically, it means yoga with movement, postures and a focus on breathing for increased flexibility, joint mobility and stress relief.
This class is beginner friendly and appropriate for all experience levels. It’s designed to undo the damage we all do to the body either from athletic activity or just the stress of everyday living. Each class will have a nice balance of work for increasing flexibility, joint stability, balance and overall mobility. Sound like something you need, then read on…
Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:00. A starting date will be announced when a minimum number of participants have confirmed.
CPW Health Center
3130 Central Park West Dr. Suite A
Toledo, OH (419) 841-9622
6 class pre-paid pass is $60.00.
Drop-in price is $12.00 per class, subject to space availability.
Cash, Check or Credit Cards accepted.
I’M INTRIGUED, TELL ME MORE….
**Don’t own a mat? No problem. Mats and props will be available for use at no additional charge.
**Space is limited, therefore, participants holding pre-paid passes have first chance at class space (another good reason to buy the pass).
**Drop in participation is welcome, so long as there is space available. If you want to drop into a class you must check with Tara at email@example.com before class to ensure space is available.
HOW DO I JOIN?
You can email Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate if you want a pass or want to drop in.
You can call CPW Health Center (419) 841-9622 and tell them to sign you up.