Yogacara Groupon Deals!

For the first time, Yogacara is being featured on Groupon! That’s right, now you can receive an up to 80% discount at your favourite yoga studios. Today’s Groupon is valid at both Yogacara studios, which are located on Trafalgar Street & West Broadway in Kitsilano and on Main Street at 29th in Vancouver. Choose between two options:

  • For $40, you get 10 yoga and Pilates classes (up to a $150 value).
  • For $90, you get 30 yoga and Pilates classes (up to a $450 value).

Never been to a Yogacara studio before? Check out our review of their lovely Kitsilano location here. Like what you see? Click here to to get your Yogacara Groupon!

[yogacarastudios.com]

Last Day Of Semperviva Friends & Family Sale!

Today (December, 6, 2011) is the last day of Semperviva Friends & Family Sale! Receive 20% off merchandise and prepaid memberships…

To receive the discount online simply enter the code ff11. Or visit us in store and save on memberships as well as our amazing selection of socially and environmentally conscious merchandise.

Buy 1 month, save $19.71
Buy 3 months, save $59.14
Buy 6 months, save $118.28
Buy 12 months, GET ONE MONTH FREE, save $338.43
Buy 24 months, GET TWO MONTHS FREE, save $676.85
Buy a 10 class card, save $27.80

**There will be a slight increase to membership fees effective January 1st, 2012. Discount does not apply to Yoga Teacher Training, Retreats, Gift Cards, or the 10.00 per week INTRO offer.

[semperviva]

Why Can’t We Just All Get Along?

I read an interesting article recently about snobbery in yoga.  Having been a Bikram yoga teacher since 2004. I have experienced my fair share of this.  It posed the question for me, why can’t we just all get along?

I completely understand why Bikram gets a bad rap.  Copyrighting yoga poses, “Mcyoga”, etc.   I have been in Bikram classes where the teacher has told students who come from other styles that they don’t practice “real” yoga.  However, the argument goes both ways.   I have been told that Bikram is not “real” yoga.  The negativty is not limited to Bikram yoga.  I have a friend who is a Yin teacher.  A Vinyasa teacher once told her that Yin is not considered yoga because the muscles are not engaged during practice.

Why all the bullying?  To paraphrase Abraham-Hicks, the more you push against something, the more you bring it into your experience.  Why can’t we just allow people to be who they are and practice the style of yoga they want to practice?  The next time you find yourself dissing a style of yoga, unpack that, really look at it.  I am sure you will find something within yourself that needs love and attention.  Yoga is good in my books, whether you want to practice Bikram, Yin, Kundalini, Iyengar, Ashtanga, etc.

I would like to know how others feel about this topic.  Any comments would be appreciated.

Namaste.

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: “Corporate Syndrome”

Have you heard the common terminology “Corporate Syndrome (CS)” otherwise known as “Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS),” in and around your office?

There seems to be a syndrome for every possible structural breakdown, “CS and OOS” are otherwise known as a combination of the elements of upper crossed syndrome (UCS) and the lower crossed syndrome (LCS), which we have featured in the last two “HIP” guide articles to happier movement.

Uniquely classified, as in individuals who exhibit elements of both these structural breakdowns and related symptoms/physical adaptations your body undergoes as a result of being in a seated position for far too long and progressively, and/or over a long period of time.

Due to poor ergonomics, most people in these situations either find themselves learning over a desk to read, or hunched at a computer typing all day. Mostly common in the corporate cruncher, or the student.

Since, changing careers isn’t usually an option for many of us, and school requires many months, years or fine tuned learning; the natural first place to start is to assess the symptoms and level of (dis)comfort?. The physical adaptations we generally
see as a result of this repetitive seated position you are most likely to “feel”if experiencing UCS and LCS include the following:

Upper Crossed Syndrome:

  • (shoulders round forward, chest tight)
  • Upper trapezius
  •  Sub occipital (neck is very tight, with orward head carriage)
  •  Deep neck extensors
  •  Pectoralis major
  •  Levator scapulae

Lower Crossed Syndrome:

  • Hips are tight and limited external rotation)
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip Flexors
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

The muscles that tend to be weak or lengthened include:

Upper Crossed Syndrome:

  • (postural muscles and posterior chain)
  •  Rhomboids
  •  Middle and lower trapezius
  •  Deep neck flexors
  • Scalene and deep neck flexors

Lower Crossed Syndrome:

  • (Pelvic stabilizers and posterior chain)
  • Glutes, and sub groups
  • Trunk (transverse abdominals & 4 pillars to intra abdominal pressure)

Other associated pain referral symptoms include:

  • Carpal Tunnel (forearm, and elbow pain referral)
  • Pelvic imbalances (hip hikes, anterior or posterior tilts)
  • Low back pain and SI joint pain referral

Does this sound familiar? If so proceed to the next step.

Next, take a look at your chair and workspace. This is known as postural ergonomics. Your workstation and office seating has to support your body. Historically, the word ergonomics was just another name for “Human Factors”. Today, ergonomics commonly refers to designing a workspace environment that focuses on maximizing safety and efficiency.

Biometrics and Anthropometrics play a key role and in easier terms – your workspace is designed to your mechanics and what you require to make your job easier, to keep you healthy and for long term sustainability.

 

Even though you are seated you are still dispensing energy to hold you in that frame and when the body is expected to sit in the same, uncomfortable position for periods of time the body can experience a number of negative reactions including:

  • increased compressive load on the spine and pelvis
  • reduced blood flow to muscles resulting in compression of soft tissue and associated numbness and pain
  • increased pooling of blood in the legs and feet which further reduces blood flow
  • holding the body in one position means that muscles have to contract leading to tiredness and fatigue

Ergonomic intervention can help prevent and decrease the symptoms resulting in less absenteeism, better energy throughout the day and higher productivity/efficiency. Not to mention better posture overall. Using simple materials for intervention makes it feasible for workers to modify their own workstations to gain the benefit from basic ergonomic recommendations.

Lastly,  stay active outside of work, to include regular amounts of cardiovascular work,  strength, stability and mobility sessions. Yoga has we known has many benefits beyond just flexibility, it also reduces stress, reduces tension to your muscles and skeletal frame, and allows you to focus your attention on your body, mind and spirit.

Rasa Vinyasa: Embodying the Art of Yoga with Shiva Rea

Source: www.shivarea.com

An Intensive for Those Who Drink and Savor the Juice of Life

Shiva Rea is coming to Semperviva on Dec 10-11 for a Prana Flow workshop! Here’s the info from Semperviva’s website. Buy your tickets now  – this will be a fantastic and memorable weekend!

Rasa is one of the most sublime and rich understandings of the art of transformation to emerge from Tantra, yoga, Ayurveda and the arts with many beautiful interconnected meanings. Rasa is the “essence” of any aspect of creation – the sweetness of a mango, the light of fire, the experience of one’s own intrinsic nature; it is the process of rejuvenation and alchemy within Ayurveda, and the art of divine recognition through emotional and artistic transformation as the great sage Abhinavagupta describes as the “Self tasting the Self”. Without rasa, it is said, our experience of yoga and life becomes dry, rigid, routine. Rasa as the rejuvenative juice restores our essence and enhances our moment-to-moment satisfaction in being fully alive.

Our rasa immersion is dedicated to the art of inner-outer rejuvenation by cultivating the living nectar of the heart (maharasa). Shiva will offer pranarasaflow™ – an offering of practice, teaching and living in harmony with from the nine energetic rasas of tantric arts teachings with a focus on: Vira (potency, empowerment), Sringara (sublime love), Raudra (fierce love), Hasya (Supreme Delight), Karuna (compassion) and Shanti (living peace) to bring authentic flow to your practice, teaching and life. Live music, kirtan and classical music artists energizing live drumming to sublime flute will be integrated into the Prana Flow® yoga practices led by Shiva.

Shiva will teach how to live true to your inner alchemy in the flow of life and offer the flow of yoga with a full-spectrum, rejuvenative balance.

Dates: December 10th-11th, 2011
Times: 1:00pm to 5:30pm (Saturday)
12:30pm to 4:30pm (Sunday)
Location: Semperviva City Studio
Cost: $135.00 + HST (Saturday)
$125.00 + HST (Sunday)
$225.00 + HST (weekend)
Contact: 604.739.2009
[email protected]

The Food For All Summit

The Food For All Summit

With the holiday season fast approaching.  It is a time for us to reflect and be grateful for all that we have.  Not only are we lucky enough to be able to practice yoga.  We are fortunate enough to have access to an abundance of food.  This is not the case for billions of people around the world.  On November 30th, join me for a free one-day virtual event empowering you with practical tools and inspiration to make a difference and create a world where all are fed.  Please register at foodforallsummit.com.

 

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS)

To balance out our “HIP” guide to Happier Movement series, today’s feature, is yet another structural breakdown pattern we commonly see in today’s hustle and bustle of society. Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior or a recreational fitness enthusiast of any skill level, upper cross syndrome (UCS) and shoulder pain can affect you and they are often closely linked; no one is immune to injury.

UCS can affect your posture and the balance in your hips. UCS usually leads to a forward head posture/ head carriage, causing strain to the muscular attachments of the shoulder and shoulder blade. An anterior tilt and abduction (“flaring out”) of the
shoulder blades occurs, producing a rounded shoulder appearance, this strains postural muscles and stabilizers of the most important area of spine (and most often neglected;  which is our thoracic spine.

Overdevelopment of the postural muscles creates a deltoid shear (crossing of rotator cuff under AC joint); which can easily progress and breakdown the mechanics of the shoulder and deep arm movement patterns leading to shoulder impingement, tendonitis and even bursitis syndromes (lions, and tigers and bears – oh my).

As we know our fascial system is the third top communicator in our body, and in upper crossed syndrome it’s functionality can breakdown compromising the superficial and deep front and back lines, along with the spiral lines when there is shoulder injuries connected to the UCS.

How is upper crossed syndrome related to our “HIP” Guide?

We know that when we make positive change in one movement pattern, all other movement patterns are impacted. our fascia, muscular system, nervouse system, and eveyother system for that matter, are all connected. In UCS is very common to see pelvic instability and a reduced connection to the trunk (loss of kinesthetic awareness). Why? Because of the constant compensation and over development of the muscles in the pectoral girdle; which then transfers load and energy inconsistently through the trunk to pelvis and onward, to the lower mechanics and lastly our feet.

How can you prevent USC?

  1. Recognize, identify and transform patterns of stress and tension through re patterning techniques. Deep breathing and meditation are key to establishing new patterns beneficial to the body and mind.
  2. Learning how to avoid postures that place stress on our neuromusculoskeletal system is essential in avoiding injury and poor posture mechanics.
  3. If you sit at a desk all day or are studying regularly, take breaks often and invest in a good hatha or yin style Yoga class. By, eliminating upper back and neck and stabilizing your postural frame can support better movement patterns overall.
  4. Explore simple methods of opening and re-strengthening upper body muscles that become imbalanced due to poor sitting habits and chronic work-related postures.

Modified Thoracic Mobility Posture

Try these great corrective Yin and Hatha style Postures to help prevent UCS:

1. Rib Pull and Thoracic Mobility Rotations

2. Supine Arm Circles using a Half Foam Roller

3. Extended Child’s Pose with High Hips

4. Gate Pose & Kneeling Side Bend

5. Triangle and Dancing Warrior Series

Rock Star Yoga

Lead singer of Maroon 5 and a judge on NBC’s The Voice, Adam Levine practices yoga religiously. He credits his daily yoga routine for sharpening his mind and chiseling his body.

Recently featured in an article titled Adam Levine’s Rock-Star Yoga, found in the latest issue of DETAILS magazine, Levine shares why he turned to yoga, his essential asanas, five yoga styles he swears by, and tunes from his yoga playlist. Read the full article here, and watch his following video:

Transformation at Kushala Yoga

The yoga studio formally known as Kula Yoga has recently changed their name to Kushala (Kushala is Sanskrit for well-being). This change is perfect timing as they are celebrating the expansion and grand opening of their new Port Moody location in Suter Brook Village.

Along with an amazing view and masterful instructors, the new location has two studio spaces, a retail shop full of yoga goodies, a tea lounge and a wellness center! There are also rumors that another location will be opening in early 2012!

What I love about Kushala is that they offer a wide variety of classes, so there is definitely something to meet everyone’s needs. Some of their more unique offerings include: Sunrise Hatha at 6am, Wild Thing Wednesdays (a class designed for more advanced yogis), Yoga 101 (for the beginner yogi) and Pre-Natal Yoga.

Kushala Yoga also specializes in teaching the philosophical side of yoga with courses such as: Prana 101 (students learn meditation and breathing techniques) and the Dharma Series that takes a closer look at Eastern philosophies.

What I enjoy most about Kushala is the extremely warm and inviting atmosphere that only a great yoga studio can provide!

For more about Kushala, please visit:

http://www.kushalayoga.com/

 


Lululemon’s Christine Day Named CEO of the Year

Lululemon's CEO, Christine Day. Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/23/ lululemons-christine-day-first-woman-named-ceo-of-the-year

On the heels of consumer backlash about the Ayn Rand-inspired quotation that appeared on some Lululemon bags (see story here), Lululemon has made the news again this week as Christine Day was named CEO of the Year by Report on the Business (and the first ever woman to do so!).

The Toronto Sun reports in an article this morning:

Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s Christine Day has become the first woman to be crowned chief executive of the year by a leading business magazine.

Day was chosen for “her ability to create a remarkable bond between the brand and its ultra-loyal fans,” the Report on Business said Wednesday.

Since Day joined the company in 2008, Lululemon has gone from a niche Vancouver startup specializing in yoga wear to an international lifestyle brand
worth nearly $5 billion.

Day has a knack for building strong corporate cultures and cult-like followings around consumer goods. Prior to Lululemon, she spent 20 years at Starbucks, where she held several key management positions.

Day – wife and mother of three now living in Vancouver – has a BA from Central Washington University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Last year, the magazine named Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Peladeau, Wind Mobile’s Anthony Lacavera and Shaw’s Jim Shaw CEOs of the year. Past winners also include  Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne and Fairfax Financial’s Prem Watsa.

 

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS)

Over the course of the last several weeks we have looked at specific muscular imbalances pertaining to the “HIP” and around the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip joint, as well as outlining each group of muscles and how they relate to a Yoga practice. Most commonly, muscular imbalances contribute to habitual overuse in isolated joints and faulty movement patterns, creating repetitive micro trauma, dysfunction and chronic injury.

As we continue to delve down the rabbit hole, in today’s article we feature the Lower-crossed syndrome (LCS). LCS is a postural, structural breakdown affecting the lower kinetic chain (lumbopelvic hip complex, knee, and ankle). Keeping in mind, that when one joint is compromised there are changes in functionality to all the other related joints.  In this case the hip-to-knee-to ankle relationship and associated muscular slings and fascia lines.

A visual representation of the LCS can be seen in figure 1, which is a classic example what you might see in a student or client exhibiting LCS.  The student presents an anterior pelvic tilt, which increases lumbar lordosis (swayback), and compensated with weak abdominals muscles. Kinaesthetically, the student will usually experience chronic low back pain, possible piriformis syndrome and possible anterior knee pain.

In LCS, the patterning of muscle imbalances will often lead to altered movement patterns, which we commonly see when the student is engaged in hip extension, hip abduction and trunk flexion.

This style of structural breakdown can develop when someone sits for long periods of time; leaning in a slightly flexed position…and in our society this is very common with our corporate age of technology. This causes the erector spinae and entire posterior chain to continually contract to hold the body’s weight upright while the constantly flexed position shortens the muscle length of the hip flexors.

Over time this causes theses muscles to adapt and  then shorten in length and tighten. LCS can also cause tightness in the adductors, external hip ligaments (TFL),  piriformis and even the glutes, making it difficult for the student to practice seated posture and spinal rotation (especially in the thoracic spine).

This coupled with reciprocal inhibition (the antagonists) are then lengthened and weakened, due to an unnatural compensation pattern induced by the effects LCS. These antagonist muscles include the gluteal group and the abdominals.  Remembering back to our earlier post called “BREATHE DEEP FOR INSPIRATION” we looked at the relationship and balance mechanics of what Tom Meyers described as the 4 pillars of proper posture and breathing mechanics; which then permits the diaphragm to lift the base of the ribcage upwards establishing energetic dynamics of the pelvic girdle and aids to properly pressurize the pelvic cavity and integrate the pelvic diaphragm and floor.

So how do we know if we suffer from LCS, and how can it be prevented?

First off, never self diagnose, seek the expertise of a professional in bio mechanics; like a physiotherapist or movement coach.

Secondly, the assessment should focus on a postural analysis, muscle length and strength screen and the testing of movement patterns for asymmetrical breakdowns.

If you do have students in your class who have been diagnosed with LCS, here are a few things to consider:

  • Suggest myofascial release for tight muscles before the class
  • Segmental facilitation – a movement coach can offer sequenced corrective movements
  • Tight muscles – add in movements that target the classic tighter muscles to increase
    tone and mobility
  • Strengthen the weakened muscles – add in postures that reflect strength holds for
    increased stabilization and joint integrity
  • Focus on retraining of Lumbo –pelvic hip complex movement patterns – this is usually
    done in a 1 on 1 private class
  • Postural and behavioral modification – usually done in a 1 on 1 private class

The key to sustainable pain free movement and balanced bio mechanics, is through prevention. Yoga is an exceptional way to connect with your inner physical self, achieve balance and equilibrium within the mind, body and spirit. Take the principles you learn on your mat and transfer those practices off the mat!  A 5 min Yoga break from your office is a great way to bring the zen-mode ambiance to work, home or playtime.

Yoga Food Drive Classes At Steve Nash Fitness World

Yoga Food Drive Classes At Steve Nash Fitness World

Steve Nash Fitness World Kitsilano location is currently offering karma (by donation) Hatha ” Yoga Food Drive” classes! Yoga Food Drive classes are sixty minutes long and are taught by their awesome yoga instructor, Derek. Currently the classes are being offered on Thursdays from 8:15am to 9:15am, and occasionally on Tuesdays from 11:00am to 12:00pm (call the club to verify, as times and days are subject to change).

Give back this season while benefiting from stress reducing Yoga! Our Yoga Fod Drive class at all clubs is open to all members and their non-member guests in exchange for at least 1 non-perishable food item. All donations delivered to local food banks by December 25, 2011.

Yoga classes at Steve Nash Fitness World are specialty classes that require an additional charge on top of your regular monthly membership — so Yoga Food Drive is a fantastic way to give back to your community, and get a deal on yoga!

Steve Nash Fitness World Kitsilano
#200-2150 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604-742-4440
stevenashfitnessclubs.com

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