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Weekly Class Theme: Asteya

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

As we pursue our journey through the Yamas, we continuously connect with the ways in which we ought to carry ourselves in relation to our Self and the world around us. This week’s journey brings us to Asteya, or non-stealing.

Asteya is about more than just taking from others what does not belong to us. That is part of it, of course. But Asteya encompasses beyond what our definition of “stealing” might entail. This Yama asks us to examine the ways in which we might be stealing from others not just in material possessions but in terms of our present moment awareness (or lack of it), our energy and compassion towards another (or lack of it), and/or acknowledgement of someone’s thoughts or feelings (or discount of such things).

Asteya also puts us face to face in the ways in which we contribute to a messy world for future generations to deal with and the ways in which we contribute to a damaging future for ourselves. Non-stealing is all about walking this lifetime with integrity to uphold the beauty and magnificence of the world and to consistently take time to rest, reconnect, and re-align with ourselves to ultimately live with the best and highest intentions.

Pigeon on the Back

Doesn’t this pose look familiar?! Getting on the back allows the muscles in the back body to relax into the floor. This can give access to other areas of the body (in this case the focus is the hip/pelvis region) in order to do the intended work in the soft tissues.

How to:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and soles of the feet planted on the floor.
  2. Bring your right knee in towards your chest and externally rotate the leg at the hip to place your right ankle across your left thigh.
  3. Widen your right inner thigh and knee forward as you either keep the left foot planted or lift it off the ground to intensify the stretch.
  4. Keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed as you notice the sensations around your right leg and hip and try to release any gripping.
  5. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
  6. Your hands can come to your left hamstring, your left shin, or you can have one hand on your left leg and one hand on your right leg.

Wide Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Wide Leg Forward Fold

Sleeping pigeon pose requires one folded leg and one straight leg. The extent to which we can fold our legs depends on the extent to which we can straighten our legs. Working on straightening the legs fully will support the peak pose when we fold one leg and place some pressure on it.

How to:

  1. From low lunge, straighten your legs and pivot to face a side wall.
  2. Ensure your second and third toes are facing the side wall and are more or less parallel to one another.
  3. Take your palms to the floor so that your hands are in line with your feet, but keep the fingers and toes facing the same direction.
  4. Lift your kneecaps up to straighten your legs and use your legs to lift the hips up and pull the crown of the head towards the floor.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

girl in tree pose with arms extended up high

Pigeon pose has one straight leg and one folded leg, which is also the case in tree pose. This posture will contribute to training the lower body about the shape of sleeping pigeon pose.

How to:

  1. From mountain pose, lift your right leg up and fold the leg by bringing your right heel towards your right sitting bone. Press the four corners of the left foot into the ground and firm the thigh muscles to make a clear and straight leg.
  2. Externally rotate your leg at the hip and use your hand to guide your right foot to the inner left groin.
  3. Firm your right buttocks forward as you widen your inner right knee towards the right side wall. See that the toes are facing the floor.
  4. Take your arms up to the sky alongside your ears.

Sleeping Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotanasana)

How to:

  1. From downward facing dog, fold your right leg and bring your right knee towards your right wrist.
  2. Externally rotate the leg at the hip and place the right shin down on the ground with the top of the foot pressing into the floor.
  3. Lengthen your left leg towards the back of the room and press the outer ankle bone in towards the midline of your body so the foot is properly aligned.
  4. Walk your hands forward and fold over your right folded leg while keeping the hips squared to the front of the room. Notice the sensations around the hip and if there is any gripping or tension, try to be aware of it and see if you can soften.
  5. It is okay if your shin is not parallel to the top, short side of your mat. If the leg is folded properly, your shin will appear to be at more of an angle with your right knee towards the right side of the mat and your right foot towards the left side of the mat.
Girl in Camel Pose

Weekly Class Theme: Ahimsa

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

The Yamas + the Niyamas are the first two limbs of the eight-limbed path of Yoga. They are essentially guidelines, or ethical principles to live by.

In this article, we’ll explore the Yamas and how we can approach asana within this realm. Yamas, in Sanskrit, translates to restraints and represents areas to gain self-control over in regards to living in proper conduct with ourselves and others.

The Yamas, in English, are:

  1. Non-violence
  2. Truthfulness
  3. Non-stealing
  4. Non-excess
  5. Non-possessiveness

Today we’ll be looking at Ahimsa (in Sanskrit), translated to non-violence in English. Immediately when we see the word non-violence, it might be rather easy to tell yourself, “I’m not violent. I have never killed anyone or caused anyone physical harm.” But non-violence goes beyond these more physical forms of violence.

Ahimsa asks us to evaluate how we treat ourselves and how we show up in the world, as this has a direct impact on our relationships with the external world (when I say external world I mean everything outside of us, including other humans).

Demonstrating non-violence towards ourselves is not the easiest task and it is easy to go unnoticed. When was the last time you told yourself you couldn’t do something, and then proceeded to NOT do it? When was the last time you booked your schedule so heavily that you had no time for yourself? How about the last time you kept yourself in a spiral of victimization, guilt, or shame?

The truth is, we’ve all treated ourselves violently and this is not something to feel bad or ashamed about (as this would keep the violent streak going).

The first step in working towards true non-violence is becoming aware of when we are doing such things. And then once we’ve sharpened our eye of awareness, we can give ourselves the opportunity to make another choice. We can give ourselves the opportunity to do the thing that scares us, create more space for ourselves, and forgive ourselves even when we make mistakes. The way we treat others is a direct reflection of how we treat ourselves. The more that we can tend to our own inner peace, the more we can inspire others to do the same and feel safe within our presence.

Peak Pose: Came (Ustrasana)

I used to HATE camel and would avoid it like the plague. The reasons why I would avoid it, and why I think some other people find it not so enjoyable, is due to compression in the lower spine causing pain, light-headedness, and discomfort in the shoulders and chest causing difficulty in breathing. However, with time, patience, and compassion with practicing this posture…it has actually become one of my favorite poses – if I am prepared for it of course!

Supporting Pose 1: Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)

Bridge Pose

You might not think of putting bridge at the beginning of your asana class, but I like this pose as it establishes the firming in of the upper back (with the floor giving feedback), the sacrum moving forward (in this case up), and the outer hips compacting in to support the backbend. This would not be the very first pose I would do…I might start with some gentle twisting and perhaps a supported bridge before going into this very active posture.

How to:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and soles of the feet flat on the floor. Ensure the heels of your feet are underneath your knees.
  2. Press the backs of your shoulders into the ground to broaden your collarbones and press the back of your skull into the ground while maintaining the curve in your cervical spine.
  3. Firm your sacrum (bony plate on the posterior side of your pelvis) up towards the ceiling to lift the pelvis off the ground. Use the support of your outer hips moving in to direct the hips up. A block between the thighs is a good idea!
  4. Firm your upper back in as you walk your arms and shoulder blades towards each other under your back and on the ground.

Supporting Pose 2: Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

Side Plank

Side plank is another great posture to emphasize the support of the outer hips in lifting your body off the ground. This is an action that will greatly come in handy in camel! Side plank also gives an opportunity to press the sacrum forward, almost like you’re going in the direction of a backbend, but in this case you are working to get the hips in line with the feet and chest.

How to:

Supporting Pose 3: Warrior I

Warrior One Pose

Yet another great pose where the outer hips compact in so you can reach UP. Warrior I, like camel, requires the forward movement of the sacrum…like you are trying to move the pelvis towards a posterior tilt in order to align the spine well. The arms going up requires the shoulder blades moving towards one another on the back. Clasping the hands behind the lower back is a good option as well.

How to:

  1. Step your right foot forwards towards the top of your mat and your left foot about 3 feet behind towards the back of your mat and turned out at an angle (~45 degrees). Your feet should be widened so it’s as if your feet are on two different train tracks. Widening the feet also lends more support to the entire frame so feel free to widen the feet as much as you need!
  2. Bend the right knee to 90 degrees, or at least until the knee is over the ankle. As you press the right shin forward, press your left thigh back while keeping the hips more-or-less squared towards the front of the room.
  3. Compact the outer hips in and press your sacrum forward as you reach your arms up towards the sky.
  4. Firm your upper back in as you broaden your chest to face the ceiling.

Camel (Ustrasana)

Girl in Camel Pose

How to:

  1. Bring your shins to the ground about hip width distance apart from one another. When I say hip width, I mean at the width of your frontal hips points or in anatomy terms your anterior superior iliac spines (ASIS) – not to the widest part of your pelvis.
  2. Smooth your shins and flatten the tops of your feet to the floor. This is traditional as in Light on Yoga, you can tuck the toes if that feels better for you.
  3. Bring your hands to your lower back/pelvis region while you firm your upper back in and aim the elbows towards the back of the room.
  4. Press your sacrum forward while continuing to dig the shoulder blades into the upper back to open the front body forward and up. Imagine you are going up and over a large beach ball.
  5. If available, walk your hands down your legs to your feet so that the palms of your hands can connect with the soles of your feet. This is an anchor point for you to continue to work the backbend shape (pelvis forward and upper back in).
  6. Allow the head to eventually fall back so the throat can be open. This is if it feels okay and does not impact your breathing.
  7. To exit, return your hands to your lower back/pelvis and guide your way to a neutral spine and into vajrasana. Avoid going into a forward fold directly following the backbend. Always take yourself to neutral first and work from there.

Sources: The Yamas + Niyamas by Deborah Adele

6 Tips to Practice Mindful Eating

By Mindfulness + Meditation

Mindful eating is mindful living. It’s a practice that we do everyday to learn more about our thoughts, emotions, feelings, our actions, and reactions in order to cultivate health and contentment. And we use the same attitudes and qualities of mindfulness in how we approach food, our bodies, and our entire lives.

Mindful eating counts heavily on the connection we have with our body, such as listening to our body cues of hunger, fullness, taste and satiety, and actively using our five senses while eating: sight, smell, touch, sound and taste.

Connecting with our Body is a Natural Capacity

This is not hard as this connection with the body is an innate capacity, babies and young children do actually have that connection with their body cues of having enough. We often see babies stop drinking before finishing the amount of milk that is recommended for their age, and we also see young children leave food or ice cream on their plates and just walk away saying, “I’m full.”

Unfortunately, this natural connection weakens over time in part due to conditioning. Oftentimes as children grow up, parents tell them that they have to finish their food even if they have had enough. There is also a growing trend of families having their meals in front of the TV, or not having proper meal times, and just eating in the car between their after school activities or while doing their homework.

Eating also becomes an activity a lot of people do without much thought or attention. They don’t pay attention to what they eat or when their body is telling them to stop eating. They don’t distinguish between physical hunger and other triggers to eat.

The good news is that we can restore this ability with mindfulness practices. A consistent practice of mindfulness meditation is key to achieve this connection with our body and observe our thoughts and emotions and also identify our eating triggers and manage them. And the great new is you can start taking small steps right away that can help you eat more mindfully. Let’s take a look at some of those tips.

Here are 6 tips you can practice for mindful eating

1. Eat while justing eating

The first, and most important, thing I’d like to start with is that in order to eat mindfully, you should plan to just eat– as in eating without doing anything else aside from eating. That is without watching TV or working or driving, for example.

2. Tune inwards

Mindful eating actually begins before you are ready to eat. It starts when you first feel the urge to eat. When that feeling comes up, with your eyes closed or open, take three deep breaths and observe your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in your body. Notice if you experience any sensations of physical hunger, and if so, rate how hungry you are.

Then notice what are you hungry for, and if there’s a particular type of food you would like to have, then ask yourself will this food nourish my body and support my health? Will this food give me pleasure?

Then if you decided to eat…

3. Use all of your senses:

  1. Sight: With the food in front of you, notice what does it look like? Pay attention to the shape, colour, size…etc
  2. Smell: Then take a moment to smell the food, paying attention to the layers of aroma as they go through your nose. Really examine the food as if you’re seeing it and smelling it for the very first time
  3. Touch, sound & taste: As you bring the food to your mouth, slow down and chew slowly with your mind focusing on the process. Be aware of the texture of the food, the sound of the food while you chew and the taste of the food as it changes while you chew. Just don’t do anything else while you’re chewing, simply chew and pay attention.

4. Chew slowly

Keep chewing while resisting the impulse to swallow, and when you decide to swallow, pay attention to how this feels in your body and to the intention of swallowing. And as you swallow feel the food moving through the throat, esophagus and resting in your stomach.

After you swallow, rest for few seconds before you take the next bite.

5. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions and distractions

While you are eating become aware of recurring thoughts or emotions, and when you notice that your mind is wandering, investigate your distraction and gently bring your attention back to eating.

6. Keep examining your hunger, fullness, taste & satiety

While eating gently notice your hunger and satiety levels, and then give yourself permission to stop eating when your body tells you so, when you no longer enjoy the taste as much, when you’re no longer physically hungry and when your stomach feels comfortably full and your satiety feeling gives you the signal of energy and well being.

With time and consistent practice, you can practice mindful eating, without closing your eyes, and while around people and no one will notice what you are doing.

Mastering the Art of Moderation

Each day should include moderate amounts of food that brings you pleasure. Moderation allows us to live at peace with our food, knowing that eating small amounts of the less healthy food, won’t be enough to disrupt the healthy relationship.

And with time and practice, you will master the art of moderation, you can really enjoy few bites of your favorite dessert and feel satisfied with few chips or crackers for a snack.
You can attend big holiday dinners without anxiety, and you can go to parties and buffets where multiple delicious foods are there, while feeling a sense of freedom that comes from knowing that you have mastered the art of moderation and you’re not going to overdo it, it comes from knowing that you can eat smaller portions and yet feel more satisfied.

You may not be able to do all of this today or by next week or month, but if you would like to learn more about mindful eating, check out our course where you will learn the practices and the skills to make these experiences your norm. You will lose weight if that’s your intention and maintain it without feeling deprived and without missing out on everything you love about eating.

Other Applications of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating extends beyond just eating, it also includes:

  • Planning — Being mindful while you decide on what to eat: look up recipes, make your grocery list, and being mindful while you are shopping for your ingredients.
  • Preparing for meals — Pay attention while you’re preparing your meal, washing the food, chopping, mixing ingredients, and how you present your food and set up the table when eating mindfully.
  • Cleaning up — Be mindful while you clean up after you finish eating, clearing the table, storing away leftover food, composting food or garbage, and washing the dishes.

What is Mindful Eating?

By Mindfulness + Meditation

Mindful eating is a hot topic that you’re probably hearing a lot about lately and that’s especially true because of food-related health issues we currently face.

However, even though mindful eating applies to issues today, it is not a modern-day invention. Mindful eating is rooted in the Buddhist tradition and is considered a fundamental aspect of living that helps prevent unnecessary harm to one’s body and mind.

The concept of mindfulness was first introduced to the West about 40 years ago. Mindful eating is one of the mindfulness-based interventions that was developed and studied over the past 20 years with ample research supporting its benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits…

Benefits of Mindful Eating:

  • Improved eating behaviors and patterns
  • Reduction in binge eating episodes and frequencies
  • Improved quality of diet
  • Increased body satisfaction and pleasure when eating
  • Improved metabolic outcomes
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Emotional balance
  • Increased self- compassion
  • Increase in positive emotional and psychological qualities
  • Improved distress tolerance
  • Increased meaning and sense of purpose

To help us understand what mindful eating is, we need to understand first what mindfulness is.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, moment-by-moment practice of developing awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. The “non-judgmental” part of the definition refers to the idea that mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and emotions without judging them, without believing that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.

The skill of mindfulness is to be able to place our attention where we wish it to go, and not where it is pulled to in the moment. And this skill can be cultivated through the consistent practice of mindfulness meditation as we sit or lie down and focus on our breath, bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions. The skill of tuning in to the breath for example, teaches us how to tune into our signals of hunger, fullness, cravings, enjoyment and more.

How mindfulness relates to mindful eating

Practicing mindfulness brings attention the following elements, which in turn can be applied to the act of eating.

Difficult emotions – like sadness, anger, fear, boredom, loneliness, or any other emotion that might be a trigger to eat.
Mindfulness helps us develop new skills to manage discomfort and emotional pain other than food.

Challenging thoughts – self judgement, critical thoughts, self worth, body image. People tend to respond with food to such thoughts, and most often use food as punishment. With mindfulness we acknowledge our thoughts and accept them without reacting. We accept our critical thoughts with self-compassion and an open heart.

Bodily sensations – we listen to our body cues, like physical hunger, fullness, taste preferences, etc.

What is true for us at the moment – we recognize our true needs, for example, do I really need a cookie now or is what I truly need a hug or a heartfelt conversation with a friend?

Healthy eating models – we learn about nutrition information like general awareness of energy value of food, quality of food, and awareness of portion sizes that may be helpful with our food choices.

How our bodies react to food – we learn how our body reacts to different types of food, what energizes our bodies, what makes us feel sluggish, what makes us feel bloated…etc

Applying mindfulness to eating

A Black man preparing a meal at the kitchen table

So applying mindfulness to food and eating is what is called Mindful Eating. Let’s take a closer look at what it is.

Mindful Eating Involves Connecting with Your Body

Mindful eating involves connecting with your body to listen to its signals and what it’s telling you, like when to eat and when to stop eating. What would you like to eat at a given moment and when are you no longer enjoying the food that you’re eating. All of these signals can be missed if we don’t pay close attention.
With mindful eating you also learn to distinguish physical hunger signals from other triggers for wanting to eat, because its very common that we confuse for example boredom or sadness for being physically hungry.

Mindful Eating Involves Managing Your Emotions

Mindful eating involves identifying and managing your food triggers, like the situations or emotions that trigger you to eat. It also helps us to identify and manage food cravings.

Mindful Eating is Not a Diet or a Weight Loss Plan

Mindful eating is not a diet or a weight loss plan, so there’s no deprivation in mindful eating. In fact, it’s the opposite. Mindful eating acknowledges that no one can tell you what to eat and how much to eat to feel satisfied. Only YOU can tell, by tuning into your body’s signals and making the food choices that work for you personally.

In mindful eating you learn about how your body responds to certain foods and again this helps you make the choices that would be nourishing for you.

Mindful Eating is Flexible Eating

There are no restrictions in mindful eating, because your life cannot be the same every day. You will be invited to parties, potlucks, and holiday dinners. You will go on vacations and you will have events at work. In mindful eating you learn how to enjoy the food on every occasion and event.

Mindful Eating Liberates from the Diet Mentality

Mindful eating is liberating. It liberates from the diet mentality and liberates from the burden of being obsessed with weight, body image and food related thoughts. And this energy can be given to other areas in your life that are more important and nourishing.

Mindful Eating is Balanced Eating

Mindful eating is balanced eating– eating in more balance with what your body needs at any given moment and in more balance with all the other aspects of your life, family, friends, work, hobbies, and entertainment.

And it doesn’t mean that you always have to eat as a response to physical hunger. Yes, sometimes we eat for comfort, or as a response to emotions, and yes we eat something just because we like it and we want to eat it and enjoy it, yet all of this is within balance.

Mindful Eating is Not About What you Eat, it is About How you Eat

Mindful eating doesn’t mean that you always have to eat healthy food. Mindful eating includes enjoying high fat, high sugar, high salt foods, but you learn the skills to maximize the enjoyment from eating a smaller quantity and in a way that is nourishing to your body and mind.

Mindful Eating Cultivates a Healthy Relationship with Food

With mindful eating we cultivate a healthy relationship with food where we can enjoy it without the feelings of guilt and shame. We approach our experiences with food and eating with the attitudes of non-judgment, compassion, kindness, patience, acceptance and open heart.

You can start practicing mindful eating today!

Learn 6 tips to practice mindful eating in another article written by our Mindfulness teacher, Rajaa.

Savasana Pose on a yoga mat on the floor

Weekly Class Theme: Ishvara Pranidhana

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

This week’s class theme is centered around the final niyama: Ishvara Pranidhana, which translates to surrender.

It makes sense that this would be the final niyama. Each niyama has shed some light on the specific duties and observances one should use as a guideline towards self-realization. After all is said and done, after we have purified ourselves, cultivated contentment, put ourselves through the fire of transformation, opened ourselves up to deep self-study, the only thing left to do is surrender.

Now, surrender does not mean throw your hands up, come to your knees, and stop acting. It is not a way to say “FORGET IT…I GIVE UP!” This is often how I perceive people in the west to approach this concept. Rather, surrender asks us to continuously show up with integrity to do the work while simultaneously giving in to the flow of life.

Like I mentioned, often when we hear the word “surrender” it can be taken as a negative. It can be seen as a failure…like we are giving up on an opportunity or like we are not living up to some set expectation. When we are asked to surrender we are asked to let go of our “control” of life. And this can be quite uncomfortable for many people, but it is absolutely necessary if we ever wish to liberate ourselves from the worries, anxieties, and fears that occur as part of living as a human on this Earth.

Ishvara Pranidhana calls forth the feminine nature in all beings and calls for us to soften and allow the winds of life to take us as they may. And if we are open to it, we may realize that the winds are actually taking us to a better place than we ever could have imagined.

Peak Pose: Corpse Pose (Savasana)

When I think of surrender, there is no other pose that comes to mind besides Corpse Pose, or savasana. Savasana is literally preparing the body for death and is the ultimate pose to release oneself to the currents of life. It is taken following work, whether that be pranayama, meditation, or asana and brings balance to the fire we bring to said work. While savasana may look easy, practitioners know that this can be one of the hardest poses to achieve. As soon as we start to steady the body, the mind goes wild and all we want to do is fidget and move. This pose requires a calm nervous system to support a calm body and calm mind. The ideas for this sequenced class is inspired by creating a well balanced class with poses intentionally geared towards grounding.

Supporting Pose 1: Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child's Pose

If there’s any pose that I’d choose to begin a class with to immediately begin to calm the nervous system to ready oneself for full surrender, it would be child’s pose. The head is lowered, the body is close to the floor and in a contracted position, and the body is symmetrical.

How to:

  1. From a tabletop position, take the big toes together and widen the knees enough so the pelvis can sit back comfortably over the heels of the feet.
  2. Rest your forehead on the floor. If your head does not reach the ground, take a blanket or block beneath the forehead.
  3. Stretch the arms forward with the palms and forearms relaxed on the ground, or wrap the arms around the legs to reach the hands towards the feet.

Supporting Pose 2: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior Two Pose

Warrior II being one of the main standing postures can be pretty familiar and grounding. It is one of the more accessible open hip postures and has the ability to open up the body in preparation for deeper work.

How to:

  1. Facing a long edge of your mat, stand with the feet about 3 feet apart from one another with the toes parallel to each other.
  2. Reach the arms out into a “T” away from the heart with the palms facing the floor.
  3. Open up the right hip and the right toes and bend the knee to 90 degrees so that the knee is above the ankle. 90 degrees is ideal, but if the body won’t allow this right away, shorten the stance and bend the knee until the knee is over the ankle. Ensure the weight is equal in both feet.
  4. Take your gaze over the right middle finger.

Supporting Pose 3: Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

Supported Shoulder Stand

Ending the class with inversions is a great way to reverse blood flow and calm the nervous system to ready the body for final rest. Supported shoulder stand is an accessible inversion for many students compared to regular shoulder stand and headstand. Legs up the wall is another option.

How to:

  1. Lie on the ground with the knees bent and soles of the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift the hips away from the ground and place a block on the lowest setting beneath your sacrum. Your sacrum is that bony plate on the back of your pelvis that combines right and left sides.
  3. Bring your knees in towards your chest to lift the feet off the ground and then reach the feet up towards the sky. This should feel *fairly* comfortable. If it feels like your legs and core are exerting a lot of energy to keep the legs up, the block may need to be adjusted or taking legs up the wall may be a better option.
  4. Allow your arms to rest by your sides and try to relax the head and shoulders.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana Pose

How to:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs and arms out at about 45 degrees.
  2. Allow your toes to fall out naturally and allow your fingers to curl naturally.
  3. Gently close the eyes as you let your breath come to its normal cadence. Allow yourself to simply rest. If it helps to concentrate on a body part or concentrate on your breathing, you can do that. But eventually the goal is to even soften concentration to let presence be present.
  4. Rest for 5-10 minutes. Comfort is key. You can place a blanket underneath your head, beneath your knees, or over your body.

Sources: The Yamas + Niyamas by Deborah Adele

Weekly Class Theme: Tapas

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

Over the past few weeks we’ve been taking a journey through the Niyamas, which can be thought of as duties or observances along one’s spiritual journey towards enlightenment. This week we are exploring tapas, otherwise known as self-discipline.

Tapas is directly translated to heat and refers to the act of putting ourselves through the fire to transform ourselves into our highest form of self. You know the quote “nothing good comes easy?” That’s tapas.

Take a moment to reflect on a challenging moment in your life…a breakup, death of a loved one, job loss, a pandemic? Whether you have gone through something in the past, or if you are currently working through something as you read this, you may be able to relate to the feeling of literally burning on the inside as you carry yourself through the fire.

The practice of tapas is not easy. It requires a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude to continuously show up regardless of the outer circumstances. In terms of our Yoga practice, we certainly will not want to show up every day. It’s not always easy to arrive to the mat, meditation cushion, sacred texts, or journal when things get tough, but it’s always worth it…no matter how long the practice or “how good” you think the practice was. Because with effort, discipline, and faith…on the other side of our challenge lies a much stronger and illumined version of YOU.

Peak Pose: Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat pose is a physically vigorous pose. For many, it requires consistent effort and practice to balance on the sit bones while straightening the legs and keeping the chest lifted. Not to mention it builds heat and requires core strength which are both appropriate in our discussion of tapas. Also, there’s an analogous meaning here with staying afloat despite any of the turbulent waves…

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

If you turn your screen upside down, downward facing dog is essentially boat pose in a different orientation. DFD gives the practitioner the firm ground to press into to learn the actions of straightening the legs, anteriorly rotating the pelvis, + firming the front ribs and upper back in which are all key alignment points in boat.

How to:

  1. Come into a high plank position with the arms and legs straight. Legs should be toned.
  2. Pike the hips up and back so there is a deep fold where the fronts of the thighs meet the pelvis. Lift the sitting bones up towards the ceiling.
  3. Firm your front ribs in, like you are filling out the lower back and firm the upper back in to broaden your chest.
  4. Press evenly through the hands and feet and allow your head to relax between your arms.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Similar to DFD, triangle teaches the practitioner appropriate actions of the legs, pelvis, and torso to serve alignment in boat pose.

How to:

  1. From warrior II, straighten out both legs and lift the inner arches of the feet to create integrity through the inner lines of the legs.
  2. Fold at the front hip (where the thigh meets the pelvis), take your torso into lateral flexion (or a side bend), and take your hand down to the ground, shin, or block. *We’re looking for the torso to be more or less parallel to the floor. The goal is not to touch the floor, especially if that puts you into poor alignment.
  3. Firm your front ribs in and firm the upper back in as you take your top arm to the sky.
  4. Your gaze can go up to your top hand or look straight ahead at the side wall you are facing.

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottonasana)

For this pyramid pose, we’re going to focus on the “wide” variation with the back heel lifted up to keep the hips squared and to give access to the straightness of the legs.

How to:

  1. From low lunge with your hands to the ground or blocks on either side of the front foot, straighten your legs and lift your sitting bones up (like in DFD).
  2. Press the roots of your thighs back to create a deep fold at the front of your pelvis as you draw your front hip back and back hip forward.
  3. Lift the inner arches of the feet (lifting the toes helps to lift the inner arches) to create integrity through the inner lines of the legs.
  4. Walk your hands back as you bring your nose towards your knee.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

How to:

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Take your hands to your hamstrings (back of your thighs) and gently pull to firm the upper back in (or draw the shoulder blades towards one another) and lift your chest. Be sure to pair this action with bringing the front ribs in so that you are not borrowing range from the rib cage to open the chest.
  3. Lift your shins so they are parallel to the floor. Spread your toes and lift the inner arches of the feet to create integrity through the legs.
  4. Reach your hands forward while keeping the upper back firmed in. You can choose to stay here.
  5. Straighten your legs as you reach the balls of your feet forward and up. Keep the thighs toned and breathe.

Sources: The Yamas + Niyamas by Deborah Adele

girl in crow pose on a yoga mat, knees resting on the back of the elbows

Weekly Class Theme: Svadhyaya

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

As we journey deeper and deeper into the Niyamas, it is like we are gradually unlocking pieces of wisdom guiding us closer to our true selves. To review, the niyamas are duties or observances that one engages in throughout their spiritual journey.

Svadhyaya is translated to self-study and is all about unpacking our unconscious beliefs, thoughts, values, and norms in order to connect with our divine selves. From our time in the womb to who we are now, we have been receiving and gathering input from all entities and people which surround us. This includes our parents, caregivers, family, friends, and wider social circles. This also includes our cultures, geographic locations, and environments from which we originate and/or live in.

Since we’ve been welcomed into this world it’s like we’ve been trying on and putting on different “outfits” in the form of different belief systems, opinions, and “rights vs. wrongs.” This has ultimately resulted in our current personality and who we perceive to be ourselves today.

The aim of Svadhyaya is to take off the outfits (most of which we didn’t even choose for ourselves) and to uncover the self which lies within. This self is unattached to certain beliefs, opinions, and rights vs. wrongs which allows there to be an ease when confronted with opposing views. This self is pure and does not combat others when there is a disagreement or when something doesn’t align. This self is aware that “we only know what we know” and encourages us to cultivate a beginner’s mindset in all that we do.

Once you let go of who you think you are, Svadhyaya guides you into a well of learning that never ends. Yoga equips us with the tools to handle such a never-ending well. Tools such as personal inquiry, asana practice, meditation, and study of sacred texts are all vehicles of self-study.

Svadhyaya is like the sword which everyone possesses but only few will choose to use it to cut through layers and layers of preconceived notions and established habits. It isn’t easy to partake in the task as this can release unpleasant feelings, it could cause us to question our current “identity,” and could lead us towards severing things and relationships which no longer serve us. But of course, the yogi knows what lies at the end of it all.

So now that you know you have the sword, will you choose to wield it? (I’m not sure if this is an actual quote or not, but it came to mind and felt appropriate.)

Peak Pose: Crow (Bakasana)

The immediate subset of poses which comes to mind in regards to “self-study” is the forward folding family. YES crow is also an arm balance, but it is a forward fold as many of the arm balances are. This pose puts you into a position in which to fold into yourself and balance on the hands all while trying to overcome your fear or face-planting. If you ask me, there are PLENTY of opportunities for self-study here. Not to mention, it is quite a popular pose to teach!

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

girl sitting in thunderbolt pose

This is a great option for you students to begin class in. The legs are folded in half, which is a necessary action for crow pose.

How to:

  1. Sit on the floor with the legs folded, shins and tops of the feet pressing into the ground, and heels of the feet beneath the sitting bones. You can sit up on a block with your feet pressing into the edges of the block or you can put a slightly rolled blanket under the tops of the feet if there is a large space there.
  2. Place your hands gently onto your lap and sit so that your spine is long with the heart over the pelvis.
  3. Ensure the head is in a neutral position.
  4. Breathe smoothly.

Side Angle Pose (Parsvottanasana)

girl in extended side angle position with the opposite hand inside the left foot

Side angle with the hand on the inside of the leg is perfect for cultivating the leg + arm connection similar to what we will experience in crow! The arms going straight apart from one another (as opposed to the top arm over the ear) gives access to straightening the arms fully.

How to:

  1. From Warrior 2, take your leading hand down to the floor on the inside of your leg with your other hand straight to the sky.
  2. Bend deeply into the front leg and think about pressing the shin towards the front of the space.
  3. Straighten your arms towards the floor and sky as you reach them away from your heart.
  4. Your gaze could be straight ahead or up to the sky.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

girl in tree pose with arms extended up high

Tree pose has a folded leg that is the same vibe which we are going for in crow pose. Part of crow pose is alignment and strength to stand on the hands, but the other part is folding the legs to lift the feet off the floor.

  1. Stand in mountain pose.
  2. Stand on the right leg to lift your left leg up and fold it in half using your hands to help.
  3. Externally rotate (or open up) the left hip to bring the knee out to the side.
  4. Connect your left foot to the inner groin of your right leg.
  5. Reach your arms straight to the sky.
  6. Return to mountain pose or flow into another pose and then repeat on the other side.

Peak Pose: Crow (Bakasana)

girl in crow pose on a yoga mat, knees resting on the back of the elbows

  1. Start in a yogi squat, or low squat, position with your feet flat, knees wide, and legs folded.
  2. Place your palms flat onto the floor a few inches ahead of your feet.
  3. Lift your heels and pelvis up and begin to pull your navel in, coming in the direction of a cat spine.
  4. Once you feel your weight move forward and support beneath your hands, fold your legs to bring the heels of your feet towards your sitting bones.
  5. Draw your big toes together and attempt to straighten your arms (even if they don’t actually fully straighten) to lift your chest away from the ground.

Sources: The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele

Yoga Philosophy & How it Differs from Other Practices

By Yoga History + Philosophy

When I began studying yoga philosophy, I really started to see a lot of differences between philosophy that’s specific to yoga versus the general philosophies of life. There are a lot of different terms, teachers, and practices, which was so intriguing to me.

Some concepts were brand new, some seemed like common sense, and then others asked me to “zoom out” of what I already knew and asked me to look at things in a new way, (which was certainly challenging at first). But, when I started to have an open mind, I learned it was also a lot of fun and incredibly helpful to me as as yoga practitioner, teacher, and seeker.

These studies helped me understand why I’m here on this earth and they also helped me understand the people I interact with on a daily basis. When I started to study yoga philosophy, I realized I had the ability to widen my lens of understanding the world and also attempt to make sense of things that happen in this lifetime.

I was able to gain more compassion, have a better understanding of myself, and also hold space for other people in my life. These teachings gave me a greater grasp on the human mind, the soul, and also the concept of the divine.

As you study yoga philosophy, you’ll probably realize that it’s a bit different from other practices. This is a great thing because it’ll ask you to expand your mind and your heart and also provide you with more tools to connect with your students, friends, family, and co-workers in a much more meaningful way. The differences are really intriguing. Let’s dive into some of the main differences together!

The concept of time is a little different than what we’re used to

Yoga philosophy teaches about something called the yugas. The yugas are time periods that are hundreds of thousands of years old. Sometimes these are referred to as “ages” and you have to go through one age to get to the next age.

The first yuga is known as the golden age and is believed to be the age of absolute purity and goodness. In this age, people lived an incredibly long time, there was no war, and the divine was present in everything.

After the golden age came the silver age, where people continued to live for hundreds of years at a time without war or quarrel. However, it began to be a bit less pure than the golden age.

Next came the bronze age, where certain friction and quarrel began to manifest.

The age you are in now is called the iron age, where there is a lot of conflict and quarrel. You exist in a time where you are often confused about what the truth is and there are wars and conflict over who is right and who is wrong. This is one of the reasons why we need yoga.

Yoga philosophy teaches that there are actually four paths of yoga

The four traditional paths of yoga are jnana, ashtanga, karma, and bhakti.

Jnana yoga

Jnana yoga is a bit extreme because it requires its practitioners to leave all material possessions behind and commit to a life of serious study and meditation.

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is also a bit extreme, but not as extreme as jnana yoga. When I discuss ashtanga yoga here, it’s not the same as the physical practice you may already be familiar with. Ashtanga refers to an eight limbed path that helps you focus on how you are not our body or your mind and you are a soul.

Karma yoga

Karma yoga is the path that helps you realize that this world operates in a certain way and if you connect to doing good things without expecting something in return, you are much more content.

Bhakti yoga

Bhakti yoga is the path of living in the most loving way possible and it’s believed that this is the most accessible path because your true nature is all-loving. It’s also the path where you may connect to God, who is all-loving.

We’re gonna talk about God

It’s nearly impossible to study yoga philosophy without talking about or studying God. You can take a yoga asana class at a yoga studio or gym and never hear about God, but when you dive into the philosophy of yoga, God is brought up various times.

It’s important to point out that I honor and respect everyone’s religion, faith, and spiritual path and not everyone has to have a relationship with God to study yoga. However, you may actually see God being described as a greater, higher truth or as all-loving and all-blissful. If you can connect to those qualities, you can begin to understand God in yoga philosophy.

Krishna appears in various texts and teachings

There are many stories of Krishna that will show up throughout yoga philosophy and it’s common for a lot of us to immediately think of people dressed in orange robes, singing and dancing around city streets whenever we hear the word Krishna.

God actually wanted to have a full human experience and connect with people in a way where he wouldn’t be worshiped. There is a way a mother loves her child, a way friends love one another, and the way partners love each other together. This is a special experience that you can’t have with someone if you know they’re God, so Krishna has the ability to appear as a son, a friend, and a lover so the connection between him and others can be that much more loving.

You are meant to love

The concept of love isn’t exclusive to yoga philosophy and definitely appears in teachings all around the world and in many other paths and practices. As you study more and more yogic teachings, you’ll definitely see that the common thread is love.

If you are operating from a place of real love, you are the most content. All of the texts and all of the studies will ask you to dive deep into your mind and heart and take a look at what’s holding you back from experiencing and sharing a loving and blissful experience during your time here together on earth. When you surrender to love, you connect to your purpose.

Surrendering is a beautiful thing

Sarrangarti is the sanskrit word for surrender, which isn’t always in our everyday vocabulary. Sometimes, when you think about surrendering, it can make you think of admitting that you’re defeated or that we’ve given up. This is not the case in the context of yoga philosophy because surrender actually can be understood as taking shelter and seeking support.

The teachings dive deep into helping you realize that you aren’t on this path alone and when you feel like you want to give up or walk away, it’s an opportunity to recognize that you aren’t in full control and how that’s ultimately a beautiful thing.

Keep an open mind and an open heart

As you study yoga philosophy, the teachings will hopefully open your heart more and more in a way that allows goodness to flow in and out. These teachings are meant to help you remember who you are and why you are here. They’re meant to give you more tools to investigate your emotions, tendencies, and this beautiful human experience that we’re all having here together. Yoga philosophy helps you find ways to live peacefully with others and to find peace within your head and heart.

Studying yoga philosophy has been absolutely transformative for me and it’s something that I continue to study and share because it’s something I love! It’s been such a gift to see how deep the yoga practice can go and also how much there is to it. The learning almost never ends, which is definitely a comforting feeling since to learn meant to grow and I want to keep growing.

If these concepts interest you in any way, please check out our Yoga Philosophy course which will offer a much more in-depth dive into the texts and teachings of yoga.

YogaRenew students

Why Learning Philosophy is Good for Your Yoga Classes

By Yoga Classes, Yoga History + Philosophy

I need to be honest. When I first started going to yoga classes, all I wanted to do was move and breathe and be told what to do. I had way too much going on with work, my relationships, and different dramas in my life that I needed a break from.

Going to yoga was the only thing in my life that gave me a chance to collect myself and go back into the world with a better headspace, but eventually I started to catch myself running through to-do lists while I was in a warrior two or planning dinner while I was in savasana. My mind had gotten over the initial bliss that comes from the newness of yoga and I caught myself on autopilot more times than I’d like to admit.

I didn’t realize how much more there was to yoga until I found myself in a class with a teacher I’d never practiced with before. At the start of class, they started talking about this book called The Bhagavad Gita and how your mind can either be your worst enemy or your best friend.

They spoke about how yoga gives you the tools to be best friends with your mind and how you have the ability to control how you respond to things instead of being reactive. The teacher then told us to notice when our minds wandered off during class and to simply bring our attention back to our breath and what our bodies were doing. Anytime my mind wandered off, I remembered to watch my inhale and my exhale and be present.

After taking my first class that had a bit of yoga philosophy weaved into it, I became hooked on learning more about texts like The Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras. Lucky for me, most yoga teachers were discussing these texts before and during their classes.

A little over a year later, I completed my 200 hour teacher training and became a teacher too. As a new teacher, I found that studying yoga philosophy actually made my class planning more fun. I loved finding themes for classes and figuring out ways to keep my students engaged throughout class.

I still use my knowledge and studies in yoga philosophy to plan my yoga classes and to weave little reminders into my classes. I truly believe that learning yoga philosophy is good for your yoga class in so many ways. Here are some of my favorites:

1. You will teach your students that yoga isn’t just about the poses

Most people come to a yoga class to move and keep themselves strong and flexible. These are great reasons to practice yoga, but most people eventually get stuck or bored when something is just about being physical. Throughout the years, there have been so many fitness trends and so many new ways to stay in shape, but yoga is one of the few practices that’s stayed pretty popular. This is because it has such a rich history and so much important philosophy that goes alongside the physical practice.

The physical part of yoga is just one small practice amongst many, many others. Once you learn a little about the philosophy, you will see how helpful it is in finding ways to live a life that’s free from suffering. Teaching your students about yoga philosophy will help them realize that yoga is more than asana and there are so many beautifully moving parts that work together to create an experience as well as a way of life.

2. You’ll avoid burnout and boredom

If you’re currently teaching yoga, you may have had an experience or two where you felt like you were teaching the same thing, saying the same thing, and doing the same thing. This can happen when you don’t have inspiration to keep you inspired and fresh. There are only so many yoga asanas and so many ways to combine them safely, but there are endless ways to theme a class and create a mood for your students that’s inspiring and supportive.

Whether you like to give dharma talks or are required to give dharma talks, you’ll find that you’ll run out of ideas pretty soon if you teach somewhat regularly. When you study yoga philosophy, you’ll naturally come across tons and tons of possible themes for your classes and dharma talks. The themes that you find will also be deep, thoughtful, and substantial enough to weave through your classes and keep your students interested because they’re rooted in finding happiness and living a life that’s full of love and goodness.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this idea, a dharma talk is something yoga teachers may include at the beginning of their classes to:

  • Set a tone for the practice to come
  • Share important yoga philosophy concepts
  • Bring everyone’s focus to one specific point
  • Create a community
  • Give students a moment to settle onto their mats

Check out this 15 Minute Masterclass on giving Dharma Talks 👇

3. You’ll naturally create a supportive atmosphere

The fact that our true nature is all-loving is a teaching that’s at the heart of almost all yoga philosophy. When you begin to study this and tap into ways to practice it, you will naturally be more loving and more supportive towards yourself and towards everyone else in your life. What you study becomes what you live and what you live becomes what you teach, so you will be infusing your classes with a supportive mood that your students will want to keep coming back to.

4. The asanas are rooted in yoga philosophy

Did you know that the yoga asanas, or the yoga poses, all have their own story? When you study yoga philosophy, you’ll learn what the true nature of a warrior is, why some of the birds are inspired to fly, and how certain sages rose above suffering by conquering their minds. It’s sometimes said that the asanas embody the qualities that they’re named after, so when you are in a warrior pose, you are naturally calling in the qualities of a warrior. This can be really inspiring and helpful to teach!

There’s so much to uncover…

The more you study yoga philosophy, the more interesting it gets. It’s never been something that’s felt boring to me and it’s always been something that’s inspired me to teach more and more. Anytime I’ve ever felt stuck in a class plan or whenever I lacked inspiration, I always went back to my notes and books from my studies. Since yoga is a practice that goes beyond the physical, it’s incredibly important to understand the other elements that make up the practice.

If you are looking for an accessible and interesting dive into yoga philosophy, check out our course! It’s full of important information, intriguing stories, and endless inspiration!

Revolved Extended Side Angle

Weekly Class Theme: Santosha

By Yoga Classes, Yoga Teachers

The Yamas + Niyamas make up the first two steps of the 8-limbed yogic path. You can think of the yamas as ethical rules to cultivate in our lives to live a more yogic life. These include non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, and non-attachment. The niyamas are duties that should be tended to on the journey of spiritual enlightenment. These include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender.

In this blog post we’ll briefly discuss the second niyama, santosha, meaning contentment. In the modern world we live in, it is SO EASY to feel discontent. We feel discontent when we see other people “living their best lives…” in quotations because what we see is not always what is true. Discontent arises when we run away from present moment emotions or pretend they do not exist…”Me? Sad? Absolutely not.” Discontent appears the moment we begin to complain about what we do not have and when we start to wish we lived entirely different lives…”My job sucks, my partner sucks, I SUCK. If only things were different.”

Social media, and the general connectivity of the human population, almost seems to pronounce our shortcomings. We are constantly put into a state of lack. There’s always something new and upcoming…there is always something that will make our lives better. This combined with the fact that we live in a world of accessibility, of course discontentment can take us if we let it!

I don’t know about you, but this is NOT something I would like to continue to subscribe to. So how do we pause, wipe our lens clear, and instead cultivate deep content with our lives no matter where we are and what our current situation is?

We could spend all day talking about this, but I am going to give the broad brush stroke of awareness + gratitude. Developing an awareness of when we begin to slip out of contentment…when we start to envy someone, when we begin to ruminate on past actions, or when we start to wish we were elsewhere…and then dosing ourselves with gratitude is what can help us transcend into santosha.

Gratitude is the antidote to discontentment. And a deep trust in that where we are is where we are meant to be. All past actions and experiences have led to this present moment. There is nothing to be changed, altered, or forced any other way. Grounding ourselves in each present moment, regardless of the circumstance, will guide us towards experiencing contentment in ourselves right now.

Peak Pose: Revolved Extended Side Angle (Parivrtta Utthita Parsvakonasana)

This pose is physically taxing and requires awareness and steadiness of one’s center and ground. While this pose may not look so intense to some, anyone who enters into it knows that it takes practice enter into this pose and hold it. Also don’t be surprised if you get knocked off center a few times while practicing!

Child’s Pose with Side Stretch (Balasana)

A girl laying on the ground with her head down in child's pose and arms extended out to one side

Creating length in the sides of the body gives more space for twists to occur. This pose also generates a connection between the torso and thigh, which appears in the peak pose.

How to:

  1. Come into child’s pose with the big toes touching and knees wide enough for the torso to fit through.
  2. Walk your hands over towards the right side of the room until you feel a stretch in the left side of your body.
  3. When your torso touches your thigh, pick up the torso a bit, walk the hands over a little more, and then resettle into the pose.
  4. You can have your hands next to one another, or lay your left hand on top of the right hand.

Low Lunge Twist

A girl in low lunge twist on a yoga mat

Doesn’t this look just like the peak pose?! This pose creates the shape of revolved extended side angle, but in a much more accessible way.

How to:

  1. Starting from low lunge with the back knee lifted, keep your left hand on the floor and take your right arm to the sky.
  2. Turn your belly and chest from left to right.
  3. Take your right palm forward and reach the arm over your ear.
  4. The bottom hand can rest on a block if one has trouble touching the ground.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

A girl in eagle pose on a yoga mat

Eagle helps to compact the outer hips and steady oneself while the limbs cross. This is similar in our peak pose.

How to:

  1. Start in chair pose with the arms wide.
  2. Cross the right knee over the left knee, closing the space between the legs. Depending on leg length/circumference/mobility, you can single cross the legs (as pictured) or double cross the legs and wrap the right foot behind the left calf.
  3. Keep the outer hips compacted in as the hips remain low.
  4. Wrap the right arm underneath the left arm, lift the elbows to shoulder height, and take the fingertips to face the sky.
  5. Attempt to bring the palms together as your firm the outer shoulders in.
  6. Keep the crown of the head towards the sky.

Peak Pose: Revolved Extended Side Angle (Parivrtta Utthita Parsvakonasana)

How to:

  1. Start in low lunge with the back knee on the floor.
  2. Bring the hands into a prayer position in front of the sternum.
  3. Twist the torso from left to right and hook the left elbow outside the right leg. Compacting the outer hips in will assist the deep twist. Once the hook is established, lift the back knee up.
  4. Draw the shoulder blades together to widen the arms from the floor to ceiling, and then take your right palm forward and scratch the arm over the ear.
  5. In the traditional Iyengar version, the back heel is lowered to the floor at an angle making this an even deeper twist!

Sources: The Yamas + Niyamas by Deborah Adele