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yogaglo

Yoga Goals: Reinvent Your Wheel Pose

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Yoga Goals: Reinvent Your Wheel Pose

YOGA GOALS: REINVENT YOUR WHEEL

When I was a girl I spent a lot of time upside down in wheel pose. It was natural, painless, and took no effort.

In practice as an adult, we would do relays, racing each other through the studio — and we had conversations while doing timed one-minute holds!

Being able to get into wheel pose became a key to my well being emotionally as well as physically. It just puts me in a more uplifted mood. And lord knows we need a little reprise and sunshine right now.

But then, after spending two years working with a shoulder impingement (not from yoga) I had to lay off my wheel obsession for a while and abstain.

When my shoulder finally got better, my wheels felt totally horrendous! My body was so tight, I could not even talk while holding the pose and couldn’t wait to come down.

The good news? The extreme tightness definitely gave me insight into what it might feel like for those who have always had a hard time with wheel for whatever reason. We all have our assets, and back bending may not be one of yours - you’re still a good person!

Feeling this tight in wheel for me was unusual, but it got me thinking — through my own struggles in getting back to a comfortable wheel — about how I could open my body back up gradually so it could get closer to that pose.

And so I’ve been teaching a practice specifically designed to work toward wheel pose, opening the chest, the triceps, and the fronts of the hips along the way.

My goal for all yoga enthusiasts is to be able to do wheel pose…and still be able to talk.

Why is this important? Why set it as a goal?

Wheel is one of yoga's quintessential back bends. It provides a gateway to other advanced back bends, but more importantly, even if you never get there, the prep work has amazing benefits on its own!

Whether you take this pose to its full expression, or continue to build a solid foundation, you will stand a little taller, feel a little freer, and move about the world with a more open heart.

More Benefits of Wheel Pose:

  • Better posture

  • Longevity in your spine

  • Spinal health

  • Uplifted mood

  • Generous heart

Preparation to Work Toward Wheel
Here are just a few of the kind of stretches and poses you’ll want to focus on in your practice to get closer to wheel pose.

Stretch the Triceps

You can incorporate a tricep stretch in a standing pose like Warrior 2.

You can incorporate a tricep stretch in a standing pose like Warrior 2.

Open the Chest

Cobra with your hands elevated on blocks is takes part of the weight off your arms so your shoulders and chest can open more easily.

Cobra with your hands elevated on blocks is takes part of the weight off your arms so your shoulders and chest can open more easily.

Open the Hip Flexors

Poses that open the quads and hip flexors should be practiced almost daily if you want to have a wheel pose that doesn’t feel gripped with tightness!

Poses that open the quads and hip flexors should be practiced almost daily if you want to have a wheel pose that doesn’t feel gripped with tightness!

If you’re curious about pursuing wheel pose and the poses that will open your body up in the process, you might be interested in my program on Glo.com: Reinvent Your Wheel!

This is a workshop-style program and will help you gradually work towards full wheel, using complimentary poses, props and modifications along the way. There are just three thirty minute classes that progress in level from 1/2 to 2 and you can choose to move forward at your own pace, repeating any of the practices as needed.

Overall I hope that you’re feeling more positive about working toward wheel pose! Leave a comment with your progress!.

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The Unexpected Life Hack to Help You Excel in The New Year

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The Unexpected Life Hack to Help You Excel in The New Year

We live in a world that’s addicted to quick solutions, easy fixes, and anything brand new.

We want to hear the most recent podcast, to have the newest iPhone, and we can “Google that s**t” to get instant answers.

In a culture of instant gratification, it’s become increasingly difficult to remember that we’re part of a world that is made up of repetition of the ‘same old - same old’. We forget that nature itself repeats itself - it’s recursive:

The sun comes up every day and then sets.

The moon cycles monthly.

The deer in my backyard mate every November and give birth the next June.

Every 365 days we celebrate the holidays and then find ourselves on January 1st planning our next year.

Here we are, welcoming another year of life, and honestly it feels new, but it also feels the same - an annual repetition.

Does that seem like a let down? Well, it could feel like a let down if, like most of us, you’re addicted to the Smart phone, your feed, or how many likes you got on your Instagram post.

So here’s the life hack.

Recognize that everything repeats itself and start getting back to craving repetition and baby steps like a child.

Remember when you were a kid (or if you have kids now you’ll totally get this) and you asked your parents to read the same bedtime story book to you every single night? You didn’t care if you heard it over and over again! And god forbid they skipped a page, you noticed and called them out on it!

I think I’ve seen The Little Mermaid and the Lion King about 50 times because my little sister wanted to watch it every single day when I was her caretaker.

Kids crave repetition. And they need it to learn and become masterful at life

When you read a book a for the second time, you are a different person than you were the first time around. That's what makes repetition interesting and not boring - it’s who you’ve become in between!

For example, it would be ridiculous to do one yoga class and then say, “Yep, I’ve mastered yoga -  been there, done that!”.  

Practice is practice - it’s not about completion and accomplishment, it’s about process and self discovery through, you guessed it, repetition.

If you’ve got a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) to grow bigger this 2018, it’s important to let go of the idea that you can reach that goal quickly without serious commitment, repetition, perseverance, study, and practice.

Any BHAG I've ever reached or art form I've mastered has come about from the repetition of baby steps and chunked down daily actions.

My 500 Hour level yoga teacher training students often share that they want me to give them more new material in my trainings. While I certainly strive to share new information that they’ve never heard before, I remind them about the importance of repetition too.

To become a great yoga teacher and yogi, you have to ‘lather, rinse, and repeat’ in multiple scenarios across a timeline of study until things are so familiar they become part of you. It’s why we encourage our students to repeat the same module topics multiple times if they want to!

Once you come to terms with the fact that mastery requires repetition, you will be aligned with the recursive nature of the Universe and mastery of your goals will be right around the corner.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Happy New Year, everyone!

If this resonates, leave a comment telling us about something you got really good at through repetition!

 

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Podcast: Saving the World with Yoga and Activism

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Podcast: Saving the World with Yoga and Activism

Podcasts have become so popular in the last year!

I hadn't been asked to be interviewed for a Podcast since 2011 and then out of the blue, last year I was suddenly on 5 or 6 different podcasts!

The latest interview was with Wild Ideas Worth Living, a podcast devoted to exploring what's possible when you have a wild idea and get up the guts to act on it despite self doubt, saboteurs, or the urge to talk yourself out of it! 

It was an honor to be considered someone who had done just that in life as a traveling yoga teacher.

Here are some of the things I get into in this nitty gritty discussion with Shelby Stanger.

  • What kind of food you eat at an Ayurvedic retreat.
  • The type of yoga workshop that I was teaching in Southeast Asia.
  • Tantric yoga doesn’t always have to do with sex.
  • How I got into yoga at a very young age.
  • Why I look so much younger than I am! LOL! Get my secrets.
  • How to make a living by following your passion.
  • The challenges of being a yoga teacher.
  • Why yoga should not be free.
  • The danger of over-promising.
  • Why I don’t separate politics and yoga
  • Activism + yoga = my passion.
  • How I trained to do yoga with marine animals.
  • How yoga teaches perseverance physically and mentally.
  • How I use meditation and visualization.
  • You become the company you keep.
  • There are no shortcuts.
  • It’s time to find alternative sources of energy!

Listen to the Podcast!

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Yoga: Not for the Faint of Heart

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Yoga: Not for the Faint of Heart

Swimming in 31 years of notebooks from my studies of yoga. (And there are a handful missing in this picture!) 📙📘📖📕📗📓📒

In this age of social media, sweaty yoga workouts, and quick rises to fame in the yoga world, people forget that studying yoga is physical, yes, but it's also academic and it takes TIME.

There is an infinite body of knowledge to tap - so much to learn, and so much to know. No one person could ever imbibe it all!

Studying yoga was never meant to be easy. It takes perseverance, dedication, and devotion. There is no such thing as overnight success yet the benefits are worth your efforts tenfold! 

Cheers to your studies!

AmyIppolitiYogaNotebooks

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Amy's YogaGlo Picks for the Week: Self Love Fest!

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Amy's YogaGlo Picks for the Week: Self Love Fest!

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Now is one the most important times in the year to keep up with your practice, but also one of the most challenging. There was such a great response to my last playlist of YogaGlo classes on Facebook that we’re moving it over to the blog and I’m releasing new, curated collections to help you all stay strong and motivated! The holidays are notorious for robbing us of personal time, overextending ourselves, and then getting stressed and resentful. You’ll have so much more capacity and energy to be on your A game and to be there for others if you stay connected to your self. So, let’s practice!!

We’ll start with this week’s collection: a SELF LOVE FEST! That’s right, this week it’s all about learning to cultivate love for yourself on and off the mat. Love for the beautiful body that moves you through life, for the mind that helps you make decisions and learn new things, and the heart that beams your light out into the world!

Game on for a great week of passionate practice:

Self Love Fest - Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2

You are Irresistible - Vinyasa Flow Level 2

Yes, You Matter! - Hatha Level 2

Appreciation Flow - Vinyasa Flow Level 1-2

Yoga for Bliss - Hatha Level 2-3

Enjoy your time on the mat and tell us how your practice goes in the comments section below!

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