There is more to yoga than just poses! When practiced correctly, yoga is an incorporation of elements that nourish and develop the whole self: body, mind & spirit. Having been trained at one of the most reputable yoga institutes in the United States (YogaWorks NYC), Marla crafts each yoga experience in a balanced and flowing manner. Whether the goal is fitness, de-stress, balance, flexibility, injury recovery, etc., Marla combines the essentials of yoga to create the most beneficial practice for the pupil.
Safety is incorporated into all of Marla’s classes and private sessions. Not only do her abilities as an instructor prevent injury, but she can work with injuries in a gentle fashion that encourages healing and restoration (see testimonials for further reference).
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THE ESSENTIALS OF BREATH
In yoga, breath is called “Pranayama.” Prana means “life force” energy or breath sustaining the body. Ayama means “to extend or draw out.”
Pranayama is an important part of yoga. This type of controlled breathing brings fluidity and rhythm to each asana (yoga pose). Pranayama helps calm the mind, circulate energy through the body, and connect body + mind. With pranayama, the breath releases and channels the body’s stores of internal energy.
Further Pranayama benefits:
• Calms the mind, reducing worries and anxieties
• Improves focus and attention, helps remove “brain fog”
• Increases energy and boosts mood
• Boosts the immune system
• Rejuvenates body and mind
• May slow down the aging process
With step by step instruction, Pranayama is a part of every class taught by Marla and may vary according to the class theme, season, time of day or mood. Your practice today could begin by taking three deep breaths to center and connect with yourself!
THE ESSENTIALS OF ALIGNMENT
How one does a yoga pose absolutely matters! Alignment is not just about making a pose look pretty. In most cases, correct alignment is the safest way to do the posture. “Alignment” helps position the body in a way to feel the full benefit of the pose (physically and emotionally), while maintaining safety and integrity.
With smart alignment cues given by the instructor, you are encouraged to focus on a particular body part. Alignment teaches how to move your body safely and skillfully within your range of motion. Props are a wonderful way to help create better alignment in a yoga pose, even if there is tightness or tension. Alignment helps open up new awareness, freedom and ease in the body that translates into a more open, receptive state of being.
A good instructor addresses alignment from “the ground up” where each “platform” of the body is brought to awareness. With Marla’s YogaWorks NYC training and background, she provides concise wording and attention to detail. For example, she will gently guide you as how to align bones and engage appropriate muscles. Focusing on yoga pose actions, counter actions and complementary actions is also an important part of instructing proper alignment. Marla skillfully instructs her students through their yoga practice with precision, mindfulness, and clarity which generates optimum results.
THE ESSENTIALS OF FLOW
Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” It keeps you moving from asana to asana, linking each pose to an inhale and an exhale. Vinyasa Flow keeps movements smooth and continuous, which can help you stay present during yoga practice. Ultimately, this becomes a “moving meditation”, fluidly connecting you to the present moment. This style of yoga is great for working up a sweat because of the continuous sequences, linking pose to pose, and is great for getting your heart going even when the pace is relatively slow.
THE ESSENTIALS OF STRENGTH
Strength improves bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The body naturally loses lean muscle mass as part of the aging process. Yoga practice can help preserve your muscle mass. Stronger muscles help stabilize joints and aid in the prevention of injuries. Think of “catching yourself” from falling if you slip on ice or trip. This requires a strong core and good balance which can be developed through yoga practice. Strength training muscles also helps improve the body’s resting metabolic rate which improves it’s calorie burning efficiency.
In addition, strength is more than just physical. It has a positive effect on well-being such as, better sleep, confidence, resilience, and stress reduction. Yoga tones muscles all over the body, in balance with each other. This balance generates emotional and spiritual attributes as well. Spiritual strength helps keep a person centered in body and mind. On the emotional plane, strength is referred to as core strength. Core strength is the essence of who you truly are and the power to act authentically.
Yoga is a more well-rounded and balanced way to do strength training because it tones muscles all over the body in balance with each other. Through consistent yoga practice, Marla works with her students to help them achieve their personal strength goals. Feel free to contact Marla to discuss how you too may strengthen all levels of yourself through yoga and be who you want to be!
THE ESSENTIALS OF FEELING GOOD
Yoga practice is your time to connect with yourself, let go, and have fun while doing it. Take your practice to another level by infusing joy and humor into your daily life. It’s time to lighten up and unwind! Our lives have become so scheduled and controlled that yoga practice can seem like another “to do” on the list. Take the pressure off yourself and remember, even a few minutes of yoga breathing or stretching can clear your mind and most importantly, laugh and enjoy where you are in each day.
Having fun in yoga practice helps you lighten up in life. Discover spaciousness in body and mind with the extra lightness of being willing to play with a happy heart. We stay connected to the breath and maintain a peaceful, joyful presence with ourselves and others when we’re having fun. Joy, laughter and love are not only good for the soul, they ARE the soul! Consistent yoga practice can help you feel good on all the levels of your being (physical • mental • emotional • spiritual) which is why it’s a yoga essential!