Mastering anxiety with the practices of yoga

Mastering anxiety with the practices of yoga

mastering-anxiety-programme-on-ekhartyoga
04 oct 2017 by 5613414712

Introducing James Reeves’ 8-part programme, with practices and techniques for both the body and the mind. Set yourself free from anxiety.

If you have feelings of anxiety, then you are not alone. A recent study conducted by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute associated anxiety to our fast-paced 21st -century social living. Being alive in our modern age means a susceptibility, or even pre-disposition, to feeling anxious. You may have heard the turn of phrase ‘the age of anxiety’ – well, here we are, but what might we do about it?

When we look at the word anxiety, we find it has roots in a sense that something is wrong either in our mind’s past or supposition about a future outcome. The Oxford English Dictionary defines anxiety as a, “Strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen”. We worry about a future outcome or something from our past. Whether it’s future or past tense (and we all know it can be quite tense!) there are some qualities that define anxiety:

  • We have a feeling that something is wrong, and it is often exactly that: a feeling in our body – nausea, tension, ‘dis-ease’ – and commonly we feel it in the abdominal area (but not exclusively)
  • We feel somewhat out of control, either of ourselves (how we acted or reacted) or of life (a circumstance that happened to us or might happen to us, that we’d hoped would go a different way)

So, we know that anxiety has a few common themes: it’s in the body as a feeling, it’s in the mind as a sense that something is wrong, and perhaps most importantly, it’s triggered by a sense of being out of control or a desire for life to be other than how it is.

To be human and to live in the stream of life means that we cannot be in control of all circumstances. Sometimes it seems we get to direct life whereas in other situations it seems life just happens to us. Despite fantasies about what yoga might be able to offer us, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to play god and be in charge of every circumstance. But can yoga practices help us to return to a sense of being in control of our lives? Can they help us be ok when we feel out of control, and set us free from those anxious feelings?

But can yoga practices help us to return to a sense of being in control of our lives? Can they help us be ok when we feel out of control, and set us free from those anxious feelings?

Working with the body

One of the greatest gifts that modern movement-based yoga has given us is a way to use our body to influence our nervous system and take back some control over our natural responses to those parts of life that feel scary. We can use movement and breathing techniques to calm our central nervous system and bring about a feeling of ‘ok-ness’ or safety. Practices that lengthen the out-breath and help us feel grounded, secure, and calm really help. The practices I teach have an almost exclusive focus on this approach. Why? I’ll ask you another question that might answer it for you: do you meet many people who need more stimuli in their lives? There are of course those who do, but the vast majority of us need to learn to calm down, slow down and get grounded.

Working with the mind

Here’s the kicker though. You do some movement practice (notice I’m not calling it yoga practice, because practising yoga is so much more than moving your body) and how long does the effect last? Maybe a few hours? A day? Maybe until you switch your phone on after class? (Top tip – don’t switch your phone on straight after class!). So we get anxious, then we get back on the mat, and we get calm again, and then life makes us anxious again and so it goes. How might we break free from this repetitive cycle?

So we get anxious, then we get back on the mat, and we get calm again, and then life makes us anxious again and so it goes. How might we break free from this repetitive cycle?

Anxiety begins in the mind, as ultimately, it’s our mind that is perceiving threats and reacting to those perceptions or comparing present events to our memories of the past. If we keep just working with the body, it is either a short-term fix or a lot of commitment to keep getting back to square one. There is a smarter way…

Who’s in charge?

As we start to delve a little deeper into the teachings of yoga we can see that looking at or even adjusting our responses to certain situations can be helpful, and that perhaps avoiding certain others is a better strategy. We are starting to manage our stress, and therefore our lives. But what about the things that are unmanageable?

I’d like to ask you a question, one that might make you feel a little anxious. Are you as in control as you think you are? Can you control your mind completely? Can you control others? And when you try to, how does it work out for you?

Paradoxically, although it’s control that often triggers our sense of anxiety, when we’re able to let go of being in control of everything, we have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a vast and unbroken freedom. You see this sometimes, perhaps in its ‘worse’ incarnation, when people become so broken by life that they lose the will to fight a certain circumstance. They surrender and let go – though sometimes it’s called ‘giving up’. For some, this leads to a new lease of life, but it’s a brutal way to change your relationship with control. Rather than having life knock down that wall for us, it might be more skillful to slowly take it down ourselves, one brick at a time. We could begin to slowly unravel through the art and practice of self-inquiry and meditation.

Learning to truly, openly listen to ourselves

As we take time to be with our perceptions, they reveal our underlying feelings and beliefs about circumstances and life. Perhaps we always feel unsafe, but through really listening to what this fear has to say rather than trying to get rid of it, or deny its power, we might discover it has little to do with the now and everything to do with when we were three years old. We might see that we’ve been telling ourselves a story all our lives. As we meet that frightened three-year-old self and greet them with kindness, love and deep heartfelt listening, we have the opportunity to resolve and dissolve the fear. It’s not through rejecting or even fixing our anxieties, but through understanding and love that we can begin to break free from the control they appear to have over us.

It’s not through rejecting or even fixing our anxieties, but through understanding and love that we can begin to break free from the control they appear to have over us.

Does the thought of that make you anxious?

(See what I did there?)

I observe time and again how frightened people are of themselves – of their inner worlds. In that way, we might get stuck on our mat, keeping up the calm-down-get anxious cycle, yet all the while we are still running from ourselves a little bit. If, however, you feel ready to break this cycle and turn around to take a deeper look, then there are some tools available to you.

The Mastering Anxiety programme we have created for you on EkhartYoga is a way to take your first steps along this path. If you feel ready to not only discover how you can manage and control your physical anxiety effectively but also live a life where being out of control feels ok (or at least it feels ok not being ok!), then you could be really ready to live free from anxiety. Imagine that for a moment: being free of that feeling in your body and those thoughts in your mind. Tempting? Then come and join me, and set yourself free.

With love
James

Mastering Anxiety

Mastering Anxiety is a programme of 8 classes of talks and practices available to all EkhartYoga members. Watch James’ video below to find out more and visit the programme page to join. As with all our programmes, it is available for you to follow any time you like.

Categories: Yoga Tips

What is Hatha Yoga?

What is Hatha Yoga?

what-is-hatha-yoga-ekhart-yoga Andrew Wrenn Baddha Konasana
10 oct 2017 by (410) 530-4456

Emma takes us through the history, evolution and practices of physical yoga.

What exactly Hatha yoga actually is hasn’t changed for thousands of years, however our thinking and perception of it certainly has. Language is a powerful thing, and in different cultures the same word can have a variety of definitions, throughout the evolution of yoga practice, the same word – Hatha – has come to mean different things too.

Popular thinking ‘in the West’ (an all-too-common expression now), is that Hatha yoga is about balancing the body and mind. With ‘ha’ representing the esoteric sun, and ‘tha’ the moon, and the practice of Hatha yoga aiming to join, yoke, or balance these two energies.

A yoga class described as ‘Hatha’ will typically involve a set of physical postures and breathing techniques, practised more slowly and with more static posture holds than perhaps a Vinyasa flow or Ashtanga class. And indeed, that is how we describe our Hatha yoga classes on EkhartYoga.

Literally however, Hatha means ‘force’ and is more traditionally defined as ‘the yoga of force’, or ‘the means of attaining a state of yoga through force’. So Hatha yoga can be considered as anything you might do with the body, including:

Mark Singleton – author of Yoga Body, and a Senior Research Fellow at SOAS London University – spoke at a recent lecture I attended. He remarked; “what’s physical and what’s not is up for question. No matter what one does, isn’t it all physical?”.

– View all katzenjammer on EkhartYoga

Origins of the Hatha Yogis

At the same London lecture, Jim Mallinson – author of recent title Roots of Yoga – opened with an undoubtedly true observation; “Yoga has been turned into something you can ‘fit in’ to a busy modern lifestyle, but it came from something that was the complete opposite, and was viewed very differently to how we view yoga now”. Whilst the majority of us are ‘fitting in’ a morning practice, ‘dropping in’ to a class or ‘pausing’ to switch on a five minute meditation app, the ancient Hatha Yogis were renunciates – that is, they renounced their lives, families, jobs and worldly responsibilities in favour of a life as an ascetic.

The ascetic tradition emerged on the borders of India and Nepal, and aspects that came to be a part of Hindu tradition like reincarnation and karma were central to their thinking. These were the original Hatha yogis – and tapas, translated as ‘heat’, ‘glow’, ‘austerity’ or ‘discipline’ and referring to a sense of ‘burning’ off past karma and refining the body and mind, was their practice.

Focussed on enduring extremes and self discipline in order to perfect the body and senses, these Hatha yogis would perform difficult feats such as holding their arms in the air for decades, submerging themselves in cold water, never sitting down (not even to sleep), standing on one leg, or carrying out the ‘bat penance’ (hanging upside down). We may think these are part of an obscure and long-lost tradition, however these practices are still happening today, and there’s no sign of them becoming extinct any time soon.

The Buddha practised asceticism for a number of years – however, what many texts omit, is that he found no benefit in the practices for himself, and eventually rejected them. He tried extreme breath control and fasting, as did Jain monks, who would sit and fast until death in order to ‘burn up’ their karma and escape the wheel of rebirth entirely, or return to a more desirable life.

East to West

Originally, Hatha yoga practices were entirely focussed upon the breath and the means of controlling it. This way of practising has now come to represent just one of the branches of Hatha yoga  – 866-912-0077. Extreme breath control was essentially considered the ability to control prana or one’s own ‘life force’, and therefore the ability to control life.

These extreme bodily challenges and breathing techniques gradually became more accepted by society, and so the yoga postures and pranayama practices that came to develop in the years following are thought to originate from this. In a strange way, these extreme postures were a sort of performance; they created a ‘buzz’, attracted audiences and earned the Hatha yogis money, eerily echoing the modern day Instagram photos of difficult yoga postures earning ‘likes’ and sponsorship deals…

When India faced colonialism, many Westerners were able to see and experience Hatha yoga practices for themselves. Partly due to the introduction of less extreme-minded tourists in India, who knew of gymnastics, contortionism and body building, and partly due to ascetics who travelled to other lands themselves (such as Hatha yogis who were discovered by Alexandra the Great, and accompanied him back to Greece), the word on yoga began to spread.

When something spreads to different parts of the world, it can’t help but pick up influences along the way, and especially in the 1800s, contortionism, gymnastics and yoga postures do look almost identical. I suppose the only difference may have been the intention behind the practices; for either transcendence or treasures. Influences of body building and even European gymnastics began to merge with the original ascetic practices, and soon Hatha yoga became sequenced, taught to larger groups of people, and finally entered into Western consciousness when Vivekananda visited the US in the late 1800s and the first physical ‘performance’ of yoga graced the UK in 1893.

It’s important to understand that changes, evolution and ‘reinvention’ within Hatha yoga practices didn’t just take place in the West (we didn’t ruin yoga) but were happening across the East, too. Persia and other parts of the Middle East were also practising forms of Hatha yoga. It made up a part of Sufism, focussing more upon difficult postures intended to lead towards meditative practices.

The Evolution of Hatha Yoga

One of the long-standing arguments amongst scholars and academics within the yoga world is when yoga itself actually began. 5000 years ago, the Pashupati seal was discovered, showing a figure sitting in what appears to resemble padmasana (lotus posture). Many consider this to represent the origins of asana and yoga practice, and that it even depicts Lord Shiva. Others disagree and challenge that whilst the stone carving indeed dates back 2350-2000 BC, there is no recorded history or anything to prove that yoga existed for an entire 1,500 years after that. Other thinking suggests the carved figure is of a Eurasian tree god or even a goddess. The next discovery of yoga after the Pashupati seal was in the ancient text the Atharva Veda. This discovery suggests yoga didn’t even exist until 1000 BC.

No matter how old yoga itself is, the Hatha yoga practices and asanas that accompany it are contested at length too. Chris Tompkins – with three degrees in religion and Sanskrit, whom lectures and leads courses widely about yoga – teaches that the suryanamaskar (sun salutation) practices of Hatha yoga originated from the ancient Vedic texts and were practised by yogis. These texts date back to 1700 BC, but others such as Mallinson and Singleton state that no one other than ascetics were practising yoga until the 20th century.

Whichever view you choose to follow, there’s no denying the rapid speed at which Hatha yoga evolved, morphed and adapted over time. From being buried alive, holding a hand in the air so long the nails grow long enough to curl around the palm, practising complicated breathing patterns and reciting mantras for religious, ceremonial and sacrificial purposes, we now find ourselves in a much more comfortable and safe variation of Hatha yoga in the modern world.

Many of the postures we see today didn’t exist until Sandra Carson in Half Lord of the Fishes posethe explosion of popular yoga within the past 50 years. Ancient asanas were not merely postures to begin with, but mudras – intended to seal and direct energy within the body. Savasana was originally meant as a way to practise deep and esoteric visualisation and encourage subtle energetic changes, going far beyond just five minutes of relaxation at the end of a sweaty class (although of course relaxation is highly beneficial in a busy modern world!).

The seated twist pictured above – Ardha Matsyendrasana (half lord of the fishes) – is thought to have been born of the image of ancient Nath yogi and ascetic Matsyendranath, who can be seen sitting in a twisted position on top of a fish. orotherapy was originally named Kapalasana, however, the name disappeared for hundreds of years and re-emerged as Sirsasana.

The well-known text on Hatha yoga – The Hatha Yoga Pradipika – can be thought of almost as an anthology of many Hatha texts combined. It includes fifteen primary postures, seven of which are seated and eight non-seated, as well as an amalgamation of additional postures, totalling 84 asanas. This is the first time we know of an asana being reimagined as something other than a seated position for meditation. After all, the word asana means ‘seat’, specifically a seat for meditation. 84 is a number used over and over again in spiritual practices, representing a connection between the individual practitioner and the universe.

From just one known asana in the 13th century, to 84 sacred postures, to 112 in the 18th and 19th centuries, we now have a plethora of postures in the new millennium, from the most gentle and restorative, to the most challenging and pretzel-like.

To conclude

Whilst the origins and practices of the many aspects of yoga and Hatha yoga still remain shrouded in mystery, one thing is for sure – the Hatha yoga practices, including the asana, pranayama, mudra and mantra techniques many of us dedicate time to – create a change, and this is something they’ve always been intended to do. They can change how we feel not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. They can enhance feelings of happiness and wellbeing, help release sadness and grieving, encourage relaxation, dynamism, and though we may not all be able to become ascetics and renounce worldly responsibilities in favour of yoga practice, we can use our yoga practice to become more connected, vital and engaged with world we live in.

– View all (612) 743-0774 on EkhartYoga

Categories: 418-365-2678

Less Dukkha, more Sukha

Less Dukkha, more Sukha

Eliminating Toxins with yoga, EkhartYoga, Dukkha, Sukha
814580542117 oct 2017 by Jennilee Toner

How can yoga help us clear stale, stagnant space and make room for fresh, sweet space? Jennilee explains…

You may have heard the terms Dukkha and Sukha and wondered: “What are these things?”, “Where do I find them?”, “Do I need to get rid of or cultivate them?” and “If so, how do I do it?”.

Since I am a lover of these two words and their practical application when it comes to the human body, radiant health and Hatha-Vinyasa yoga, I wanted to share with you the concept of ‘Less Dukkha, More Sukha’.

Yoga Sutra 2.15

Parinama tapa samskara duhkhaih
gunavrtti virodhaccha duhkham
evam sarvam vivekinah

 ~ The cause of suffering is change, longing, habits, and the ever-fluctuating activity of the gunas. Even the wise suffer, for suffering is everywhere.

Dukham (Sanskrit) or Dukkha (Pali) is referred to in Hinduism and Buddhism as suffering. Sukham (Sanskrit) or Sukha (Pali) means the opposite: comfort, sweetness or ‘quiet joy’. As a yoga anatomist I really enjoy the more literal breakdown of these words, as they describe good or bad space (in the body and/or the mind):

Du: Bad
Su: Good
Kha: Hole (early Aryan translation referring to the axle of a wheel), sky, ether, or space (later translation)
Dukkha: Stale, stuck, stagnant, uneasy ‘bad’ space
Sukha: Fresh, clear, sweet, easeful ‘good’ space

Sthira Sukham Asanam

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.46: Sthira Sukham Asanam, is usually translated as ‘a steady and comfortable seat’ for the purpose of seated concentration, meditation and absorption. In Hatha yoga this Sutra is used to describe the ideal equanimous experience in every asana (physical yoga posture). This experience, with practice, can be accomplished with a calm and focused attention to breath, bandhas, bone alignment, muscle activation and joint stabilization.

A more literal translation of Sthira Sukham Asanam is ‘to firmly sit/establish oneself / dwell in good space.’ I love this translation because in order to firmly establish oneself in good space one has to actively cultivate said good space (Sukha). Eliminating physical, emotional and psychological Dukkha – the ‘bad’ space – is necessary for this process of cultivation.

Making space for Sukha

During a 24 hour period, the human body moves through three eight-hour cycles:

  • From 12pm-8pm it receives and digests information and fuel (Appropriation cycle).
  • From 8pm-4am it assimilates this information and fuels it the best that it can (Assimilation cycle).
  • Finally, from 4am-12pm it eliminates all that is unwanted and unnecessary (Elimination cycle).

While we all know that everything we eat and drink leaves ‘waste’ that needs to be processed and excreted, it’s equally important to be aware that everything we say, feel, think and do also leaves a similar residue.

As Newton’s third law states: “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. While we all know that everything we eat and drink leaves ‘waste’ that needs to be processed and excreted, it’s equally important to be aware that everything we say, feel, think and do also leaves a similar residue. This ‘waste product’ from all physical, emotional, and psychological chemical reactions needs to be eliminated by the excretory system. In other words: getting rid of the Dukkha to make room for sweet Sukha!

7 Channels of Elimination

Our bodies and their internal systems are always seeking to maintain a state of harmony and balance (homeostasis). Metabolic waste is the necessary by-product of all the systems working together to achieve this homeostasis. In order for our body to rid itself of this toxic waste (Dukkha) we have at our disposal seven channels of elimination:

  • Blood – Liquid organ that transports nutrients throughout the body, removes carbon dioxide and carries waste to liver and kidneys.
  • Colon – Transports fecal waste out of the human body.
  • Kidneys – Filters the blood and produces the waste product urine.
  • Liver – One of the largest organs in human body. Builds, stores and eliminates chemicals. Removes waste from the blood.
  • Lungs – Exchange of gaseous energy happens in the lungs (oxygen-rich in, oxygen-depleted out). Oxygen is transferred from lungs into the heart where it is dispersed through the body via blood. Carbon dioxide is eliminated.
  • Lymph – The lymphatic system filters out bacteria and other foreign particles, supporting the immune system.
  • Skin – The largest organ in the human body. Toxins that are soluble in water can be eliminated by sweat.

*see also The Organs of Elimination

Getting rid of Dukkha with yoga!

There are so many fantastic ways we can rid ourselves of Dukkha with yoga. Sun Salutations and other creative and dynamic forms of 912-322-5959 increase our heart rate by getting the blood pumping oxygen throughout the body. This quickens the removal of toxins, encourages deeper breaths (greater gaseous exchange in the lungs – in with the fresh and new, out with the stale and old) and creates heat in the body (sweating out water-soluble toxins through the skin). Specific asanas stimulate and encourage organ mobility (every organ has its range of mobility in its cavity).

Malasana (squat) twistTwisting asanas (think beyond spinal twists to eagle arms and legs twisting around each other!) are great for massaging our internal environment and aiding in the removal of waste products via the seven channels of elimination.

Backbends bring awareness and massage into the posterior body (great stimulation for the kidneys) and forward bends bring awareness and massage into the anterior body (great stimulation for heart, lungs, liver and colon).

Inversions encourage lymph and venous blood to return to the heart area with the aide of gravity (versus working so hard against gravity).

Balancing postures are also beneficial for the lymphatic system – if you let yourself wobble, hop and rebound a little (remember, the lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart of the cardiovascular system!)

Try it in class

(833) 639-0145(619) 223-9374

Everything we think, say, feel, eat or do leaves some sort of chemical residue/metabolic waste. This 30-minute detox flow will aid in the release of these toxins with movements of twisting and squeezing – Hatha / Vinyasa / All levels.

Categories: chrismation

Saddle pose variations

Saddle pose variations

Video of Saddle pose variations with Jose de Groot
24 oct 2017 by (602) 954-7078

Learn some different ways to set up Saddle pose so you can adapt it for your own body.

Saddle is a Yin yoga pose targetting mostly the large quadriceps group of muscles on the front of the thighs, as well as the hip flexors and the rectus abdominis – or ‘six pack’. It also gives some gentle compression to the lower back. The quads and hip flexors are rarely stretched in our daily lives and can quite often be stiff and short. So for many of us, spending any time in Saddle pose can be pretty intense – but as Anat Geiger explains in her class, nondisturbance, practising it is a great way of training your nervous system to relax under stress!

In this short video, José de Groot teaches some different 3175821770 so that you can adapt it to your own body and play with targetting different areas within the pose.

Saddle pose or Supta Virasana? Yin or Yang?

Saddle pose is similar to 866-765-0487 (Reclined Hero pose) but with some key differences:

Length of hold – In Yin yoga, poses are held for longer periods, up to 5 minutes, to access the deeper connective tissues (read why in 4244215807). In a Hatha or Vinyasa Flow yoga class Supta Virasana is more likely to be held for 5 to 10 breaths.

Stimulating the lower back – In Supta Virasana the tailbone is lengthened, while in Saddle pose the intention is that there should be a gentle compression in the lower back (a feeling of pressure but no pain or pinching). This is to target the L5 vertebra and the dense mass of connective tissue surrounding it. Watch Anat’s 2602066954 class for more about why this is important, especially as we get older.

Practising functionally – Supta Virasana is generally taught with the knees together and the “full-expression” of the pose is with the bum sitting in between the heels. However, in Yin yoga there is a stronger emphasis on practising functionally; adapting a pose to suit your body’s individual bone structure, tissues and proportions, until you are stimulating the target area (the quads in this case). For a talk and class on this topic watch José de Groot’s class 9012273536.

This is not to say that other styles of yoga don’t allow for any adaptations or are focused on the shape of a pose above all else. Practising functionally isn’t exclusive to Yin yoga, but it is one of its key principles and so Saddle pose can look very different from person to person.

Some variations of Saddle pose

Before you begin to lean back, set up your seat so that your hips are comfortable.

Internal / external rotation of the hips

Internal rotation or external rotation refers to the position of your thigh bone (femur) in the hip socket. Our hips are naturally going to be more comfortable rotating one way more than the other due to various factors (see Yoga Hip Openers). José shows you an easy way you can test this in the video above. If your hips are more internally rotated you might be able to sit comfortably between your heels in Saddle pose. If they are more externally rotated, try sitting on your heels or up on a cushion or block placed between your feet. Experiment with your knees together or apart.

Sore ankles / tops of the feet

9722769208If you have any strain on the front of your ankles because they are not flat on the ground, make a roll with your blanket and put it under your ankles where they bend – this also works well for Child’s pose.

Pressure on the calf muscles

If the pressure of the thighs on top of the calf muscles is too much, use a pillow and sit on that so that your hips are higher. You can also fold a blanket a place it between your thighs and calves. This will also take out some of the flexion in the knee.

As you begin to lean back, take it slowly bringing your hands behind you and perhaps coming onto your elbows if it feels ok. Keep checking in that you are feeling the sensation in your quads and not just in the knees. 

Pinching in the lower back

Jose de Groot in Saddle pose with the upper back raisedThere should be some compression in the lower back and this is one of the benefits of Saddle pose in comparison to Supta Virasana. However, if you experience any pinching – or the compression is too much – use cushions and extra props to raise your upper back.

Intensifying the stretch

Saddle pose with one leg extendedIf you are in Saddle pose but not feeling the sensation in your quads try some one-legged variations. Bring your right leg into Saddle pose and bend your left leg so your knee is pointing up with your foot flat on the floor. This takes out some of the tilt in the pelvis and gives an extra stretch in the quads instead. You can also use one-legged versions to target different areas of the quads as Jose shows in the video.

For a longer Yin yoga class on Saddle pose watch:

Categories: Yoga Tips

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610-955-7747

10 yoga classes for the desk-bound

Yoga classes for the desk bound from EkhartYoga.com
(443) 977-062701 nov 2017 by 5047006019

These yoga classes are dedicated to those of us who spend large chunks of the day sitting down at a desk.

They say sitting is the new smoking but for some of us it’s also pretty unavoidable. Whether you’re working in an office, studying at home or creating a masterpiece in a coffee shop, yoga can help to undo some of the damage.

These classes target those areas of the body where tension can often build up: upper back and shoulders, hips and lower back. You’ll also find classes to help you get out of your head and into your body – especially useful after a day in front of a computer.

4057291206 – David Lurey / 45 mins

A gorgeous slow and steady Vinyasa class – try this one before work too to get you in a calm focused state of mind.

2. A short psoas (class) – Sandra Carson / 30 mins

The psoas muscle can feel tight and short after a day of sitting. Lengthen it out with Sandra, our psoas queen!

3. Releasing rounded shoulders905-857-2941– Lisa Petersen /  15 mins 

A short Somatics sequence for anyone with tight pecs, sore necks, rounded shoulders, restricted breathing or ‘deskitis’.

4. Relax after work – Esther Ekhart / 30 mins

Grab a few props and relax the hips, shoulders, chest and back. Esther finishes with a meditation to soothe your busy mind.

5. Yin wall practice – MacKenzie Miller / 40 mins

Get your feet up with different versions of legs up the wall pose and take the tension out of your hips.

6. Yoga for your work break – Francesca Guisti / 25 mins

If you can get chance to practise in your lunch break, this class from Francesca will give you energy and focus you for the rest of your day.

661-395-3929 – José de Groot / 1hr

This Yin Yang class is great if you feel stagnant or tense in your upper body. If you have less time try saccharate.

8337208965 – Marlene Smits / 50 mins

Recalibrate and restore with Marlene’s powerful Kundalini-inspired class with movement, mantra and Pranayama.

9. Unwind your monkey mind! – James Reeves / 45 mins

A perfect mix of Hatha and Yoga Nidra for (as James says), for those of you who are desk-bound and all up in your heads with ‘brain-work’!

256-913-6166 – Nichi Green / 30 mins

Explore some Ashtanga-style poses to target those problem areas of the body that the desk-bound are all too familiar with. Great after driving or flying too.

More like this

You can find all these classes and more in my collection: Yoga for the desk-bound

If you don’t have time for a full class, read: Office Yoga, simple exercises for behind your desk

Download these classes to your app

EkhartYoga members can download these classes to our free (708) 647-2072. Switch off your wifi and practise without distractions!

Categories: Yoga Tips