Comment

Broga and Beer

It's (nearly) Movember — men's health month — and we're celebrating by bringin' broga back to Hilliard's Beer on November 15. That's right: Bros + Jasyoga = Broga.

Join us for an hour-long, mustache-friendly Jasyoga sesh complete with DJ Verse — We'll pre-game with Picky Bars and post-game with Hiliard's tallboys. Most importantly, we'll Hit Reset on stiff backs, hips, and hammies. No yoga experience necessary.

Please preregister — includes yoga, your first tallboy, and Picky Bars. Posse up the bros, and BYOM (bring your own mat).

Comment

Comment

Technique Tuesday — Motivation Meditation

Brianna aka B bustin' out the mental strength to crawl out of bed at 6am and climb this mountain.

Brianna aka B bustin' out the mental strength to crawl out of bed at 6am and climb this mountain.

The leaves are turning. The weather is cooling. The season is changing. The transition from summer to fall can be a bit abrupt in the Pacific Northwest. Our late Indian Summers keep our sunshiny spirits high well into October and then BOOM — it’s time for scarves, boots, and rain jackets. Once Halloween hits, it’s off to the holiday races, so it’s important to keep our crazy brains in check — to keep our minds strong — so that we can sustain balance and remain steady amongst the flurry of year-end activities.

Sometimes, mental strength manifests as simple motivation — to continue to wake up early even as the days shorten, to make it through your long weekend run even when it’s a little too chilly for comfort outside, or to make it to your Sunday yoga class even when you might be slightly hungover from tailgating the day before. Instead of focusing on how many steps are between you and your next finish line — whatever form that might be — focus on the step right in front of you. Just get up, just get dressed, just go. The key is to start from where you are because once you make that first step, you won’t turn back.

So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or lacking the motivation to make some moves, hit up this simple meditation to boost your mental strength:

Try it: Motivation Meditation

  • Stop right where you are and focus on your breathing. No particular pattern or pace required, simply breathe deeply — this will help to relax and invigorate you, which creates the conditions for optimal performance.
  • Once your breathing feels steady, "feel" for your intention. Don't try to think of something to do, instead see where your attention naturally goes. If a few things come to mind, just pick one thing, and turn it into a clear, action-oriented word/phrase.
  • Take a deep inhale while thinking “I will...”
  • Then exhale while thinking your intention. For example: Inhale "I will..." exhale "run hard today..." OR Inhale "I will..." exhale "stretch my hamstrings for 5 minutes..."
  • Continue for at least 2 minutes so that even the action/task at hand begins to feel more easeful.
  • Eventually, stop repeating the words, acknowledge the motivation you've created around your intention, and GO OUT THERE AND KICK SOME BOOTY!

Motivation is like a muscle. You gotta work it. Keep it simple. Keep it steady. Keep it strong, OMies.

Comment

Comment

26.2 is no joke.

Lulu finishing strong at the Portland Marathon.

Lulu finishing strong at the Portland Marathon.

A marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do. This year, I turned 30 and decided it was time.

I crafted a training plan for the Portland Marathon and did a pretty good job of sticking to it. As a former 5K racer, the long runs took some getting used to. But, the feeling of completing runs longer than I’d ever done before was exhilarating. And exhausting. Thanks to some serious Jasyoga stretching, strengthening, and recovery, I made it through all the training without injury (a feat in and of itself). By the time race day rolled, around I was ready.

Heading to the start line with thousands of other brave souls in the still-dark morning was exciting. It’s incredible that weekend after weekend in cities worldwide, racers of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds take to the streets and bust out 26.2 miles.

The horn went off and away we went. I knew I should start out slower than my usual race pace because I was settling in for a long haul. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that. When I realized I was still up with the 3-hr. pacer for the whole first half, I checked myself and settled back into a groove with the 3:10 group. By around mile 18, I was riding the pain train. I slowed to what felt like a glacial jog. Over the next few miles, the 3:15 pacer passed by… then 3:20… then 3:25. By mile 22, my calves had locked up and I had to walk. I’ve been racing competitively for 16 years and I have never walked in a race.  

The next thing I knew, my boyfriend was running towards me. I took one look at him and burst into tears. He took my hand and we walked, him fetching water for me at the stations as we went. The 3:30 pacer passed us, then 3:35. “That’s Boston,” Chris told me, “do you think you can run?” I tried. Nope. So, we kept walking, my hand in his until mile 24, when he asked again if I could run. This time, we did. I ran (shuffled), Chris right beside me, all the way to the finish, where I crumpled into his arms in a heap of tears. Tears of pain, joy, deliriousness.

From a running perspective, that was a bad race — so bad that I felt embarrassed for the friends tracking my progress online. But, from a runner’s perspective, this is why I do this. 

“Really?” you might ask. Is it worth the early mornings, blood blisters, and (let’s be real) bathroom issues?

Yes.

I do this for the community — for people like Chris, who take my hand during the deepest, darkest hour and help me to find something more that I didn’t know I had. For Anny, my high school coach, who pushed me, believed in me, and loved me into the person I am today. For my college teammates with whom I spent countless hours traveling, eating, laughing, crying, sweating, and showering with, and who remain some of my greatest friends today.

I plod along, much slower than I once was, because I still have days where the air in my lungs and the ground under my feet make me feel like I’m flying. I know when I lace up my shoes and head out the door I’m exactly where I need to be. 

I run because I must.

And 26.2, you haven’t licked me yet. I’ll be back, wiser, stronger, and better from the experience — you can count on it.

Comment

Comment

Go into the feeling...

Making moves at the St. Edwards Harvest Half near Seattle earlier this month...

Making moves at the St. Edwards Harvest Half near Seattle earlier this month...

Taking a step back from teaching during this transitional phase — from full-time student to full-time nurse — of my life has given me quite the gift of space. In this space, I’ve had more time for my own yoga practice, and more time to reflect on the themes offered up to me by my teachers and teammates.

In particular, I’ve been thinking about one of Jasyoga’s focuses for this fall… Strength. I would be lying if I were to say I’m not a fearful person. I’ve been feeling especially nervous about my role transition at work. The approach I’ve taken is to tell myself to “be strong” by bottling my fears and pushing forward with clenched teeth. This hasn’t proven particularly productive. I realize now that the more I try to be strong by pushing away my feelings, the more strength I give to them.

Leave it to Elena Brower — the teacher of my teacher — to blow open the fault lines in my thinking with a simple pre-meditation practice. In her class (check it out on YogaGlo), she emphasizes creating space to simply feel how you feel and to accept feelings, rather than to "become" them, to create space around them, and as a result more clearly discern how you want to respond. I realized that, while I’ve been working to create space, I’ve missed the memo on acceptance. And, when I really examine myself, I realize that turning away from fear is the opposite of strength.

I’m beginning to accept that true strength actually means allowing yourself to be vulnerable — to feel anxious, to feel undone, to feel fear. Repression is not strength — it’s avoidance. So, the only way to truly embody strength is to bravely dive into the feeling and to sit with.  It’s only then that we’re able to choose how to react.

Honesty check again: I’ve discovered I’m quite skilled in repression. However, I am trying step-by-step, moment-by-moment, to find the strength to feel how I feel and know that that's okay. And that is strength.

Earlier this month, I ran my first trail race… Ever. It provided ample opportunity to practice this new mindset. As I stood on the start line with 13.1 miles of unknown trail lining the next few hours of my life, I felt nervous and fearful of the impending pain. Usually in these circumstances, my self-talk would have been something along the lines of “Kendra, you weenie. Stop being afraid it won't hurt.” Then, I remembered Lauren Fleshman saying almost every race she ever raced hurt… And I thought 'Well, if a pro-runner hurts when she runs, you don't stand a chance girl so go ahead, feel afraid, it's gonna hurt, and we are gonna do it anyway'." And I did. Yes, it did hurt like a mofo, but you better believe my body and mind were stronger (and fingers crossed a little faster!) in the end for it!

Comment

Comment

What does teamwork mean to you?

Teamwork.

Teamwork.

Can you feel the potent camaraderie around you? We're all on teams... in sports, in work, and in life. We're all doing something, all supporting something, all about something. Whether you're the pace setter or the role player, the coach, the captain, or the crazy ass fan, when you point your passion at something, you contribute to the success of the collective, the team.

A recent blog by Oiselle elite runner Kate Grace got me thinking a lot about teamwork. “A team is more than a uniform,” Kate writes. “It's encouragement and support before and after competition. It's frequent interaction, about running, but also just about the daily grind. It's friendly competition — pushing each other to the next level in workouts. It's running together, cheering on friends together at the water-stop.”

These words give a voice to the Truth that is Team.

One of the reasons I started building Team Jasyoga a few years ago is because I knew that athletes needed yoga and that Jasyoga would have a much broader impact — it would help more people — as a collaborative perspective/voice/team, rather than an individual effort. Just like your body is designed to function as an integrated whole, when we work together, our strength is amplified — optimized. Plus, teamwork keeps things real. Real fun.

So feel it, embrace it, be about it: Teamwork. And, no matter what kind of start line you're heading to this season, remember that every time you take a deep breath in... a slow breath out... everything you do to sustain balance will optimize what you bring to your team.

Here's what teamwork means to us...

"Together we know more than anyone individually... From my experience in community work and yoga teaching, the potential for what a team can accomplish with shared wisdom and gifts far outweighs what any single person can accomplish on their own.”
– Bree Dillon

“At Jasyoga, I really feel like I am working with a dream team. We all have a way of thinking, living, being that connects us. Not only do we work hard together, but we laugh together. We cheer for each other. We share lessons we learn along the way. We talk about our biggest dreams and always feel supported. We look to one another for inspiration. Even when we aren't looking it is easy to feel. Inspiration that comes from a combined effort, that sense of camaraderie from a shared experience, that is teamwork.”
– Brianna Sweeney

“When it comes to teamwork, I have always felt like this Phil Jackson quote sums it up well and speaks to the spirit of Team Jasyoga: ‘The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.’”
– Hilary Dahl

"Teamwork is jumping all-in — it's knowing that you must sacrifice the self for the collective. But, in sacrificing the goals and aspirations of the individual, much like in sacrificing the wants of the ego, you gain a tremendous amounty of community and support. In my experience, that makes space to set the bar even higher. What you can achieve as an individual is only enhanced by a team."
–Kendra Clawson

“I have one quote that I say at least once a week that definitely reflects teamwork — ‘Two brains are better than one’.”
– Duni Disston

“Teamwork equals making the impossible, possible. With a team, there is unlimited strength. Working together leads to success!”
– Riko Shimizu

What does teamwork mean to you?

Comment

Comment

Technique Tuesday — Side Plank

We’ve been talking a lot about side bending lately. However, ultimately the goal is to balance strength and flexibility, so now let's talk side body strengthening.

Because the majority of our movement is so forward-oriented — sitting, walking, running, cycling, etc. — the sides of the body tend to be not only tight, but also weak. When the muscles on the sides of your body are weak, they can’t do their job to keep areas like hips and core stable. As a result, your posture and form will suffer, regardless of your sport or activity — especially when you’re tired.

Side Plank is great because is strengthens the sides of the body as well as core. Hold for 5+ deep breaths before switching sides.

Try it: Side Plank

  • Come onto your right hand, rotating your arm so that the fingers point away from the rest of your bod — spread your fingers wide and evenly distribute your weight as you press down evenly (rather than loading up your wrist).
  • Straighten your legs and come onto the outside edge of your right foot, keeping your feet flexed, and stack the rest of your bod directly on top.
  • Engage your core to bring your bod into a long line, and reach your top arm up.
  • If that feels tough, lower your bottom knee to the ground for support (especially if you feel like you butt is sagging or your bottom shoulder feels unstable).
  • Turn your head wherever feels the most comfortable to your neck.
  • If you can keep everything stable, reach your top arm overhead, without side bending.

If you’re up for a few reps, try lowering down and resting in Side Lounge before repeating.

Lets see how you and your team are getting stronger: Share your strength pics on Twitter and Instagram with #teamwork and tag @jasyogaseattle @jasyogalondon

Comment

Comment

Strengthen Your Body, Strengthen Your Team

It’s go time: It’s Marathon Month, Cross country season is upon us, soccer, volleyball, and (American) football are underway, crews are taking to the water for head races, basketball preseason is near… not to mention new fall projects at work and beyond.

It’s time to be strong.

What does that mean, anyway?

I'll skip the scientific definition (nerd alert!) of strength and instead say that I equate strength with balance. When we’re in balance, things function more optimally and our strength is optimized.

When it comes to yoga, people often assume it's all about stretching. It’s true: We stretch a lot. However, it's also a powerful means to build functional — practical — physical (we'll explore the mental side next month) strength. Many yoga poses cleverly mimic common sports movement patterns, helping to address both your prime movers (your big, visible muscles), as well as the smaller, intrinsic muscles that provide stability, create balance around your joints, and ultimately add power to your movement — kind of like putting a little extra spring into your step.

For example, most people can walk and run with relative ease, yet when ask I a group of runners (or any group of athletes) to do a simple Single Leg Balance, it quickly becomes, well, a shit show. That's because we commonly rely on momentum and our bodies are quick to compensate for lack of strength, rather than addressing it head-on. So, while Single Leg Balance mirrors the posture and lower body movement pattern required for walking or running, it's way tougher when we remove momentum from the equation and more muscles have to actually do their job to stabilize us.

Single Leg Balance. Not as easy as it looks...

Single Leg Balance. Not as easy as it looks...

Now, imagine how much more powerful of a runner you would be if you could Single Leg Balance like a Boss? Exactly. That's what I'm talking about: Building strength that's relevant to your sport.

With both your body and your team, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So, lets Hit Reset on our strength this month — bring it back into balance — by using simple yoga poses and sequences to build more integrated, functional strength for your sports, your work, and your life. Strengthen your body and you will strengthen your team. Together, we will all be stronger.

What does strength mean to you? How are you and your team getting stronger this month?

Share your pics on Twitter and Instagram with #teamwork and tag @jasyogaseattle @jasyogalondon

Comment

Comment

How Picky Bars HQ Hits Reset

Let's be real: "Balance" at the office sometimes seems counterintuitive. While your job might not always feel easeful, consciously "resetting" throughout the day can help you feel and perform your best, regardless of the task at hand. Plus, it's fun. This month, Picky Bars' Money Making Specialist and Oiselle pro runner Mel Lawrence shares the inside scoop on how the Picky crew Hits Reset at work and beyond...

Picky HQ can be stressful — orders in, orders out, meetings, competitive corn hole, brainstorming, and much more. Everyone needs to Hit Reset and this is how we hit it out of the park…

Sometimes we Hit Reset together and head out for a group run from HQ, followed by classic Jasyoga Legs Up the Wall. This is immediately followed by a game of corn hole, which gets everyone worked up into a competitive frenzy. Being around friends and coworkers is a great way to relax after a workday, but sometimes you need solo time to get refocused.

For example, Anna, our graphic designer, needs to get away from her huge computer screen. Staring at the little details on packaging and putting a lot of energy into deciding which color is better — Sea Green or Shamrock Green — is enough to make anyone go a little nuts. She Hits Reset by letting her creative juices flow on some good old-fashioned pen and paper.

Mike, our man with the mad packing skills, absolutely loves to snowboard. Urban legend says he's snowboarded every month of the year and well over 150 days a year. Those snow lovers can't board all the time, so while he waits patiently and does snow dances all summer long, you’ll catch him jamming to heavy metal while watching snowboard videos. 

Matt, our spreadsheet guru, is a die-hard New England sports fan, and his version of Hitting Reset is catching any Red Sox, Patriots, or Celtics game. He's a former competitive Nordic skier and knows the power of quiet meditative time, so sometimes he just needs some Legs Up the Wall and a power nap with the game on TV.

Patrick, our problem solver, is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. His “Reset” just takes a quick walk over to our favorite coffee shop, Palate, for a great cup of coffee.

And me? Well, after running, answering a plethora of emails, making it through a flurry of phone calls, and getting too worked up after a close game of corn hole, you’ll find me laying on the floor in “starfish.”

How do you and your work OMies #HitReset?

Comment

Comment

Technique Tuesday — Side Lounge

Alongside the transition into fall, now’s a great time to shift your perspective — and by that we mean get beyond your habits. By now, you may have heard us touting the benefits of side bending:

  • Get outside your habitual (forward-oriented) movement patterns
  • Keep the often-neglected sides of your body limber
  • Open up your lungs
  • Feels awesome

So, here’s another addition to your side body stretching arsenal. Because this one is passive, it’s more optimal to hit it up post-workout. Hold for 10+ deep breaths…

Try it: Side Lounge

  • Lie on your left side and lean your weight onto your left hand — your leg/hip/shoulder should all be in a straight line.
  • Set your right foot to the floor in front of your left thigh, so that your right knee points toward the ceiling.
  • Let your left shoulder move toward your left ear, while you keep your shoulder blade moving toward the center of your upper back.
  • You should feel a gentle “pull” all the way down your left side — if that’s too intense, lower onto your left forearm.

Lets see how you’re shifting your perspective this fall: Share your side bend pics on Twitter and Instagram with #sidebend and tag @jasyogaseattle @jasyogalondon

Comment

Comment

#HitReset at Work

Feeling frazzled at work? No surprise there — from heavy workloads to long hours at your desk, the workplace is one of the most common places to find yourself out of balance.

That's why we're heading back to work (literally) this fall with our Corporate Team Training — practical workplace yoga sessions designed to strengthen your team and optimize your performance at the office and beyond. The Jasyoga approach helps to reduce job stress, and also relieve and prevent the aches and pains that accompany all that computer time. Sessions are easily integrated into even the busiest of schedules, and leave employees feeling limber, relaxed, and productive.

Need some help convincing your boss that putting your Legs Up the Wall will optimize your workday performance? Tell them this:

Aetna research has shown that employees who practice yoga enjoy a 33 percent reduction of work-related stress, and studies report that each dollar spent on yoga in the workplace returns approximately $3 to the employer in saved healthcare costs.

Plus, we're offering half-off an intro session to new corporate teams who join our roster this fall.

So, posse up your work team and lets Hit Reset at your office.

Comment

Comment

Technique Tuesday — Shift Your Perspective

Lets face it: We are creatures of habit. Mostly, we sit, walk, run, and, well, sit some more. Our movement (and lack thereof) and resulting posture is all very forward-oriented — the front of the body (especially across hips and chest) is shortened, the upper back is overstretched, and the head cranes forward. This is not a very balanced way of being in or using our bodies. More importantly, whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or office warrior, if you fail to remind your body what’s possible aside from all that flopping forward, it will literally forget.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to shift your perspective and bring things back into balance as a result. Our go-to: Side bends. We often recommend  this baby to help open up your lungs and stretch the connective tissue that spans your rib cage — optimal “side stitch” mitigation — but lets get side bendy this fall to also help get you outside your usual range of motion, keep the muscles that live along the sides of your body limber, and shift your perspective beyond your habits. This more balanced way of being affords abundant possibilities…

Try it: Criss-Cross Side Bend

This is our fave side bend variation. Hit it up immediately post-run or –walk, when you hop off your bike, or as a break from sitting at your desk or on your couch.

  • Bring your feet hip's width apart and keep your knees bent slightly.
  • Turn your palms forward and reach your arms overhead.
  • Cross your right arm in front of your left, bringing the backs of your palms together.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, keeping your feet flexed and knees slightly bent.
  • Bend your torso toward the left as you reach your crossed arms to the left —the bend should at the bottom of your rib cage aka the middle of your spine.
  • Be sure you don’t start to flop forward — if that’s tough, don’t bend quite so far.
  • Gently squeeze your inner thighs together to help you balance, while keeping the lower body stable — don’t let your legs/hips/low back move at all, especially as you deepen your bend.
  • Hold for 5–10 deep breaths before switching sides…

Bonus! You can also side bend while sitting or lying down. Follow the key alignment points above and get creative. Lets see how you’re shifting your perspective this fall: Share your side bend pics on Twitter and Instagram with #sidebend and tag @jasyogaseattle @jasyogalondon

Comment

Comment

Best Of: Picky Bars Recipes

From breakfast bowls to dessert, there's a lot of ways to grub Picky Bars. Here's the latest from Picky HQ in Bend, Oregon:

Over the years, we've been lucky to accumulate many recipes from Picky Club members and creative food geniuses alike. Here are some of our faves...

Crunchy Picky Granola Parfait
Original recipe from Laura Caccavo of Laura Running Wild

Ingredients:
6 oz. or 1 small container Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cultured Coconut Milk (or yogurt of choice)
1/2 cup blueberries (or berry of choice)
3/4 cup Picky Bars Crunchy Quinoa Granola (found here).

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients in the order listed. Or, get crazy, and split ingredients in half and do two layers of each.
  2. BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA! Enjoy.

The Picky Bars Mini Gluten Free Peanut Butter Pie
Original recipe from Lisa McClellan of RunWiki

What you will need: a small ramekin

Ingredients:
cooking spray
1 Picky Bar
3 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsppeanut or sunflower butter
2 tsp (or to taste) of agave syrup, honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp of milk or milk alternative, 1 teaspoon of chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips (optional), whipping cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Take your small dish or ramekin and lightly mist with non-stick cooking spray (be conservative). Using your thumb and forefinger, squish your Picky Bar down into the dish and gently push up toward the rim of the bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, nut butter, agave syrup, and milk until smooth and creamy. If you like it sweeter, add more syrup. Add more milk to thin if needed. Pour into your Picky Bar “crust.”
  3. Freeze for one hour or until firm.
  4. Set out for 5 minutes and allow to soften. EAT and enjoy!

Picky Bars Pudding
Original recipe from Laura Caccavo of Laura Running Wild

What you will need: 4 small ramekins

Ingredients:
Chocolate Pudding (for vegan version see here) whipped cream (optional)
4 Picky Bars (recommended: Blueberry Boomdizzle)
handful raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries

Directions:

  1. Start assembling the Picky Bars in circles around the top the ramekins without covering the base.
  2. Take the chocolate pudding out of the fridge and spoon a generous amount into each Picky Bar’d ramekin.
  3. Top chocolate pudding with a dollop of whipped “cream.”
  4. Distribute berries on top.
  5. Enjoy and Share!

Learn more about Picky Bars and the the Picky Club at pickybars.com.

Comment

Comment

Jasyoga for Cyclists aka how to optimize your ride...

The wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round… That means your muscles are hard at work, too! This hour-long sesh will break down the mechanics of spinning and help you identify what muscle groups need a tune-up so that you can cycle with more power and ease, no matter where the road takes you.

  • When: Saturday, August 23, 10–11am
  • Where: Our #outdoorstudio aka Green Lake Park (across the street from Super Jock 'n Jill — 210 E Greenlake Drive N)
  • Cost: $20

Please BYOM (bring your own mat) — we'll have a few extras.

Comment

Comment

Meet Team Jasyoga — Intern Riko Shimizu

Team Jasyoga is growing and we're psyched to welcome our new Intern, Riko Shimizu. Now heading into her senior year on the UW Tennis Team, Riko has been playing tennis since she was 8 years old. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, she has traveled the world (Morocco was her fave!) pursuing her passion, was consistently ranked in the top 20 in the U.S. pre-college, and has won national and international titles.

Lucky for us, she says Seattle was love at first sight. When we first met Riko while helping her UW team #HitReset, we were struck by her passion and her focus. Now,  as our intern, Riko is tweeting, wrangling deets, and helping to support other Jasyoga athletes...

Why have you joined the Reset Revolution?
After years of overtraining, injuries, and physical and mental fatigue, I realized that sometimes your body just needs a break! Just like how training for your sport is important, it's also extremely important to know when your body needs recovery and when to "Hit Reset."

How has Jasyoga helped you as an athlete?
It taught me the importance of taking care of my body, recovering, and de-stressing. As a student-athlete, you feel like you're constantly on the go, and there's so much time management that goes into balancing out the "student" and the "athlete." I knew that when Jasyoga came to work with us, it was the one day out of the week when I felt like I was allowed to totally let go, relax, and refocus. I believe it also helped us prevent injuries from overworking.

Fill in the blank: "Yoga makes me feel __________."
Strong and refocused.

Welcome, Riko!

Comment

Comment

Technique Tuesday — Shoulder Injury Prevention 101

Time to get your inner anatomy geek on... nerd alert!

Time to get your inner anatomy geek on... nerd alert!

Welcome to a special edition Technique Tuesday, brought to you by our very own anatomy coach — the one and only Richelle Ricard, the Yoga Engineer

Yoga is a special practice because of its ability to access all joints in nearly every range of motion — it’s an opportunity to get beyond our habitual patterns and counter our most repetitive movements. In daily life, we most often reach forward to our keyboard, steering wheel, dinner plate, etc., so our shoulder tissues become conditioned to a hunched-forward posture and susceptible to injury when we dive into more dynamic movements. Athletes in particular require a far greater range than these habits train us for, and yoga is a sure bet to gain the movement the shoulder blade needs for rowing, throwing, shooting, and much more.

You see in the picture above how the humerus (upper arm bone) has big bumps at the top? When we reach overhead, those bumps can compress the soft tissue that runs between the bones of the shoulder joint: code red! Also at risk is the labrum — the thin cartilage rim that helps keep the head of the humerus aligned with the scapula. The cure for injuries to these tissues is usually surgery, and most athletes can’t afford that kind of trauma and recoup time. Prevention is the key here, and one little adjustment will help ensure health, strength, and vitality in your shoulders for a lifetime.

The shoulder is capable of a very complex system of movements, but for our purposes, we’re going to focus on one potent movement: external rotation of the humerus. Whether you’re reaching overhead to shoot a basketball, or bearing weight while busting out push-ups, this movement will help align both your scapula and your humerus for efficient movement. External rotation of the arm (think turning a door knob) helps drive an action we call retraction, which is the action that puts the scapulae in neutral alignment — the place where it’s supposed to be — and gets it ready for action. External rotation also gets those boney bumps out of the way so that our soft tissues have smooth and roomy passage through the shoulder joint.

Try it: Externally rotate your upper arm bone

  • Stand straight with your arms limp.
  • Turn your palms forward and point the tips of your elbows back, instead of out to the side.
  • You will likely feel (subtly, perhaps) the scapulae hug gently toward the center of your upper back as your chest broadens — it’s automatic.
  • Now, reach your arms out to the side at shoulder height, palms down. Rotate your palms to face the sky and point the tips of your elbows to the ground — you might feel your chest broaden and shoulders drop slightly.

A little adjustment can go a long way. Even with your arms hanging at your side, you can feel the difference in your shoulders and upper back when you externally rotate your humerus. So remember, reaching in any direction or bearing weight in your hands requires awareness and intentional external rotation of the humerus. It’ll help keep you off the surgeon’s table and in the game.

Hit up Richelle for more practical anatomy tips for your sports and your life — she teaches regular classes and workshops in Seattle, and hooks up the best massage you will ever have. Learn more at unitytherapeudic.com.

Comment

Comment

#YogaAbs is back!

Six-packs might look nice, but functional — practical — core strength is what will help you prevent injuries and optimize your performance, no matter what the task at hand. Join Jasyoga Coach Bree Dillon for an hour-long yoga abs sesh (don't worry, we’re not gonna “crunch” for an hour) to learn effective tips and techniques to strengthen your deep abdominals, while toning up the surface layer…

  • When: Thursday, August 7, 6:30–7:30pm
  • Where: Our #outdoorstudio aka Green Lake Park (across the street from Super Jock 'n Jill — 210 E Greenlake Drive N)
  • Cost: By donation/pay what you want! Click the button below to reserve your spot, or just come drop-in!

Please BYOM (bring your own mat).

Comment

Comment

Join the #resetrevolution in London...

Finally — the Reset Revolution has arrived in London! Well, nearly...

Since my UK visa took much longer than anticipated, I've arrived in London just in time to turn around and head back to the Pacific Northwest for most of August to lead Jasyoga teacher training and road trip with Team Jasyoga to Oiselle's team camp (aka birdcamp) in Bend, Oregon.

Londoners: Thank you for your patience as I get things rolling. Classes are in the works for September and jasyoga.co.uk is up and running, where I'll post more updates for you soon. I can't wait to Hit Reset — use yoga to sustain balance for your sports, and your life — with you beginning this autumn.

In the meantime, whether you're in Seattle, London, or anywhere in between, please join the #resetrevolution expansion on Twitter and Instagram at @jasyogalondon. I'll share class, event, and training updates on these social platforms, plus plenty of UK shenanigans. And, if you see me running or stretching in Battersea Park (conveniently located across the street from Jasyoga London HQ), please say hi! In case you need a visual...

See you soon, OMies!

See you soon, OMies!

Comment

Comment

How to optimize your Saturday...

Posse up, hOMeboys and hOMegirls! We're heading to Hilliard's Beer at 10am on Saturday, August 2 for fresh grinds from Mmmhmm Coffee, Picky Bars, an all-levels Hit Reset sesh with Team Jasyoga alongside DJ Nighttrain, and Bing of Fire breakfast crepes. Get there early and you might even get a front row spot aka sunbathe pose access. It's what we call an optimal Saturday morning.

Please BYOM (bring your own mat) and preregister — includes yoga, your first tallboy, and Picky Bars.

Comment

Comment

Change your game. Help others do the same...

Jasyoga 4-27-45.jpg

Ever wonder why we're always telling you to put your Legs Up the Wall? Whether you’re an athlete psyched about yoga, or a yogi psyched about sports, your chance to learn the magic behind this athlete fave and many more is coming up Saturday, August 9 at our Yoga for Athletes Clinic in Seattle!

By popular demand, we've condensed our 3-day Clinic into a 6-hour intensive that will help you learn to think critically about specific-use yoga solutions, and give you tools to help you grow as an athlete, yoga practitioner, and coach.

You will learn…

Via lectures, practice, critical thinking exercises, and group discussion, we will explore:

  • Benefits: how yoga will make you a better athlete
  • Approach: practical yoga solutions for athletes aka "Keeping it Real"
  • Sequencing: how to plan relevant, effective classes for jocks

The Clinic includes…

  • 6 hours of training in a small-group setting
  • Lectures
  • Practice
  • Critical thinking exercises
  • Group discussion
  • Clinic handout and worksheets
  • Certificate upon completion
  • Support from Erin and colleagues
  • Upon successful Clinic completion, trainees are eligible to apply for Jasyoga Mentorship and open coaching positions on Team Jasyoga

Refer a friend/teammate/colleague and get $25 off your tuition... posse up!

Comment

Comment

Be Healthy Without Being a Nut

Lauren Fleshman is healthy, but she definitely keeps it real.

Lauren Fleshman is healthy, but she definitely keeps it real.

Aka eat right and still have a life! As per usual, Picky Bars is keeping it real with their monthly guest blog...

Health and nutrition are a big deal. We get one body and one chance to use it! The way we treat our bods each day directly affects how we feel performing and living. That being said, sticking to a hardcore diet or regimen can be difficult and create a lot of unnecessary stress, which we all know is not healthy. So, as part of our guest blog series for Jasyoga, we’ve got some tips on how to live a life that is nutritionally, mentally, and physically healthful in a way that is realistic and sustainable for the long haul!

Tips

  • Get to the grocery store. Spending your pennies on quality colorful food is an investment. Buy the healthy stuff that appeals to you, rather than something unappetizing only because you know it’s good for you. It will rot in the fridge.
  • Pack your lunch. It’s easy to get stuck in bad habits. Birthday cake for lunch one day, coffee for lunch the next day, etc. Once you get in the habit, you can churn out a packed lunch in less than five minutes every morning — not to mention the time and money you’ll save by not eating out!
  • Treat yourself. Think of the things that you can’t imagine cutting out and save them for special occasions. The whole idea here is to be healthy in a way that is realistic and sustainable. Bold statements like, “I will never again drink beer or eat chocolate” usually result in temporary changes.
  • Make a plan. Decide what works for you and stick to it. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t work out! Skipping a day of exercise actually will not kill you.
  • Take into consideration overall health. How much are you laughing? Meditating? Being thankful? Giving to others? Removing stress from your life? All these things contribute to overall health in a very significant way as well — It’s about more than just diet and exercise.
  • Find friends or groups to exercise and set goals with! Knowing that someone else is holding you accountable to show up for a trail run prevents you from hitting snooze on your alarm. And, you can share memories and talk about life visions with one another!
  • Pack snacks. Eating frequently during the day prevents peeps from binging later in the day, and helps control blood sugar and metabolism. Avoiding the extreme mid-day energy drops is always a good thing! Can I get a Picky Bar?!
  • Try something new! Does the idea of going running every single day make you want to throw up? Fair enough — everyone is a unique individual and likes different things. Try rock climbing, mountain biking, or yoga. There are dozens of new activities to try!
  • Don’t “save up.” Just eat when you are hungry. And then stop. It’s important to refuel after an intense workout and the more often you eat, the better your metabolism will run — it makes sense.
  • Try to always combine a carbohydrate with a fat or protein. It’s not rocket science! It’s easy! Just add something that isn’t a grain or starch to something that is.
Mel Lawrence is running happy and healthy Like A Boss.

Mel Lawrence is running happy and healthy Like A Boss.

Lastly, remember to always enjoy your life! Try not to add all the extra stress that comes with trying to always be in control of what you eat. When you worry too much about it, you are taking away health from yourself in other ways. Try to think more of “big picture sustainable habits,” rather than wanting to quickly get in shape in the next month for swimsuit season. Love your life and yourself! Our bodies, hands, legs, heads, minds, and spirits are so wonderful and so capable.

Cheers!

Comment