- Thai Yoga Massage
- Yoga Teacher Training
Martin Luther King Jr., learns of AHIMSA or NONVIOLENCE from Ghandi
We all know who Ghandi is as he heroically freed India from British rule. What we don’t all necessarily know is that he did it on the foundation of the Yogic Principle of nonviolence. This Yogic cardinal virtue is called Ahimsa. Ahimsa is an ethical concept meaning “not to injure”, “do no harm” or “non-violence”. In Yoga classes on the mat, we talk about Ahimsa in a micro sense referring to honoring your own limitations each day in your practice and moving your body in a safe way so as not to allow your Ego to push you into injury. How you treat yourself on the mat and how you deal with certain situations and postures translates directly into your life off the mat. Therefore, practicing Ahimsa in class opens you to the possibility of cultivating Nonviolence on a macro level. When you learn to honor your limitations and cause no harm to yourself, in the same light you learn to honor others limitations, you are able to identify when your Ego is running your program and you are inspired to act in a way that does no harm to those around you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. teaches nonviolence “Ahimsa” to in his church right here in the Old Forth Ward. What I am saying is that the Old Forth Ward is the epicenter of Yoga in North America. Forget Yoga Pants and Guru teachers from LA or NYC. The Old Forth Ward community changed the the entire global stage by practicing nonviolence. Yoga teaches us that mastery of the self cultivates mastery of the world around you. To stand in the power of nonviolence even under the most stressful and painful of circumstances is ultimate self control, it is living your Yoga.
My generation, Generation X, thanks you Martin Luther King, Jr. for teaching this principles to our community and our nation. I am humbled as I write this and honored to provide a studio just a few feet your birth and resting place where anyone can come to practice the beliefs you died fighting to uphold. Hotlanta Yoga honors you, thanks you, and promises to continue to fight for what’s right with the most powerful weapon known to man, nonviolence.
I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. a lot today.
Here are some final thoughts.
When looking for Yoga classes in Atlanta, look for a Yoga studio that works transitions. The transition between Yoga postures is just as important as the Yoga postures themselves. By working to move gracefully and with control through the transitions you cultivate core strength and agility that translate directly and immediately into your athletic performance off the mat. Just put your mat down anywhere and flow through some of your favorite postures, holding each Yoga pose for just one breath, and see how nice it feels! Check our Yoga schedule to jump in and work our transitions with Malia Hilliard.
Thought your teenage butt was gone forever? Not if you do this quick Athletic Power Yoga bootie lift every day!! Woot Woot!!
Practicing Kettlebells with your Yoga practice will give your body an athletic tone. You will enjoy the pain free flexibility of Yoga combined with the dynamic range of explosive movement.
I love Yoga. Since my very first class I understood that this was a practice that would bring me health and wellness for the rest of my life, so I dove in and healed my aches and pains. I love Kettlebells too. The first time I learned of Kettlebells was from a book called, The Naked Warrior by famed Russian Kettlebell Master, Pavel. It made since, when all else fails, how able are you really? How do I transfer my passion for movement off the Yoga mat and into everyday life? Kettlebell Yoga. Try it and you will find that they work perfectly together. This morning during one of my breaks from our New Years Yoga Retreat I shot this Kettlebell Yoga Warmup. Join us one of these days, you will love the results you gain during our Yoga retreats.
Evan “Eazy” Hall has always had an athletic background participating in everything from basketball to volleyball and even some boxing. Yet none of these physical practices ever left him feeling as happy and complete as yoga did. He was first introduced to yoga because of constant respiratory and back problems that he couldn’t find a solution for until he found yoga. Shortly after being introduced to the practice of yoga Eazy decided to pursue a career in it by receiving his RYT 200 hours, hoping to spread the awareness of the benefits of yoga to who ever would listen. He teaches everything from beginner yoga to meditation and pranayama but specializes in Rocket Yoga a progressive asthtanga style. A fun and charismatic individual you can expect plenty of laughter, a good work out, lots of inversions, and a welcoming atmosphere in all of Eazy’s classes.
Check him out Thursdays at 8:00pm & Sundays at 11:00am!
Let go and flow in this hour and a half, non-stop vinyasa class. Lights go off, glow sticks go on and amazing ambiant dance grooves take you out of the daily grind and deep into your inner journey.
See you this Friday Dec 5th for an amazing 1.5hour Yoga party.
I am somewhat new to Yoga. The first class I participated in was great because it was a “Beginner Class” taught by an instructor by the name of Hannah/Hanna. I was able to comfortably follow and enjoy the class. Thereafter, the classes (two) I took (after Hannah’s/Hanna’s) were other levels classes of which I struggled tremendously; always a 1-2 steps behind. As a result, I never relaxed nor enjoyed any of the moments/process due I was on alert and on the watch-out for the next command/movement; ultimately defeating the purpose of getting the maximum benefit…
The other matter that was frustrating was being told to keep practicing of which I am quite aware of but what can one practice if one never is able to follow or “get the moves right” in the first place? Pointless statement.
Thanks for your great comment and observation. I’d like to comment on your points so I can share with you a bit of experience about this Yoga thing.
Firstly, your right. As a beginner, you gotta stick to beginner classes. That way you can learn the foundation of movements and the alignments for every posture, which is ultimately very important. We are an alignment based studio above all and recognize that even though it takes months and years to get comfortable with Yoga, we want it to be safe every time, and the best way to slow it down is to learn all you can from those basics class.
Yoga is a journey of health and wellness, it takes time. No one “gets it” in a few classes. I am 16yrs into my Yoga practice and I am still a beginner to my teachers. So, believe me when I tell you, I know exactly how you feel. My teachers teach Yoga that I struggle with in many ways. Sometimes I struggle with the postures other times with the rhythm. However, what I’ve learned is that it’s ok to be a beginner all over again.
With consistent practice you WILL get the moves right!
When any Yoga teachers say “keep practicing” it is referring to a saying from our mentor Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who was famed for saying, “practice and all is coming.” Think about it, PRACTICE AND ALL IS COMING. ALL! Everything you want is coming to you as you continue to come to your Yoga mat.
I would recommend 3months of practice 3x per week. It takes about that long to break your body into a new habit. By then you will no longer be a beginner. FYI, it take 7yrs of continuous practice to master anything. (irrelevant comment, just wanted to share that)
I don’t know if my response helps in anyway so in closing know that I really thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts down and I will look forward to seeing you for another class!
Today is your day! #liveyourtruth
Let’s let Supaman show us how it’s done.
See you @hotlantayoga tonight! #everydayissacred
Last week B.K.S. Iyengar passed away. Although I have not studied with him directly, I have studied indirectly with him for 15 years. I have always considered Iyengar’s teachings in every single posture on my mat and consequently I pass his instructions as a Yoga teacher on to my students. His book “Light on Yoga” was my first reference book and I cling to every memory of his words so that I can explain Yoga with the thoughtfulness and precision that he, my teacher, explains it. If you are in any way interested in Yoga, do not waste time with everyday teachers, go to the source, study B.K.S. Iyengars books. You will enjoy his depth of wisdom.
As for us at Hotlanta Yoga. We want to honor Iyengars life by sharing with you his teachings everyday. Thank you Mr. Iyengar for opening the way. For bringing Yoga to the West and for explaining Yoga in a way that we could all begin to understand it. Thank you for making this all possible.
Yoga masters have given a great deal of attention to pranayama – or Yogic Breathing- as both a healing and spiritual practice because of its many mental and physical benefits. By controlling the breath, one can control the prana- or life force that moves in and out of the body. Sounds pretty esoteric, but if you think about it, you stop breathing, you stop living. So there has to be something to controlling and increasing the breath, and ancient Yogis figured out what. They discovered that when you practice different ways of taking the breath in and expelling the breath out as well as retaining the breath, you can positively effect not only organs and muscles but your mental and emotional states, your appetite, your overall wellbeing and inevitably your vitality.
Think about the last time you got angry or scared. More likely than not your breath was shallow and quick. Your head got light and you felt disconnected from your feet and maybe your whole body. You might have even lost your ability to think clearly. This happens with stress too, because intense negative emotions are stressful – for the mind and the body- and sometimes even cause pain. (I get an acute stabbing sensation in my left shoulder every time I do my taxes!) Well, luckily, pranayama has an inverse effect on stress. Getting control of your breath literally gives you control of your emotional and physical response in any given situation. Staying calm isn’t just for the sake of your relationships, it’s for your health.
“Through the abundant intake of oxygen by its (pranayama’s) disciplined techniques, subtle chemical changes take place in the practitioners body. The practice of asanas (yoga postures) removes the obstructions which impede the flow of prana, and the practice of pranayama regulates that flow of prana throughout the body. It also regulates all the practitioners thoughts, desires and actions, gives poise and the tremendous will power needed to become a master of oneself.” BKS Iyengar
Pranayama literally means the restraint or control of the life force. According to the Sutras, the light within is covered by a veil of mental darkness, and all suffering comes from this muddied mind. Control the mind, and you control your mental, emotional and physical status. If you believe in manifestation and the power of positive thinking, (if you don’t, try willing a good parking spot next time you go to the mall) you can get how controlling your inner nature also effects the world you create around you and all that you attract into your life. A good yoga teacher incorporates pranayama into the yoga practice, (it is a cornerstone of all classes at Hotlanta Yoga) and one of the reasons yoga is so powerful and life changing.
In a normal breath you inhale 500 cubic cm and exhale the same. If you pull your abdomen in, you can exhale more- up to 1600 cubic cm, which will initiate a deeper inhale measuring 3700 cubic cm. Creating this deep circular breath increases your oxygen intake by 7 times. This increase in oxygen and expansion of the lungs does wonders for the body.
Alertness of mind
Eliminates excess mucous
Brings heat to the body when cold and cold when hot
Improves mental and physical performance
Expands lung capacity
Helps one to quit smoking
Reduces physical food consumption
Purifies and stimulates nervous system
Here are two of my favorite pranayama techniques. To practice pranayama, at first, you might want to sit cross legged against a wall or lay on your back so you are comfortable.
Ujjayi or Victorious Breath:
Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) helps calm the mind and body. It has a balancing influence on the entire cardiorespiratory system and releases feelings of irritation and frustration. At the end of the exhale you draw in your abdominal muscles to press all the air out of the lungs, which tones ab and core muscles and strengthens the pelvic floor. It creates heat in the body as well and is therefore commonly used during yoga asana (posture) practice.
How to perform Ujjayi breath:
Take an deep inhalation that fills the torso from the bottom to the top. With your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting your throat muscles. If you are doing this correctly, you should sound a bit like Darth Vader from Star Wars. Press all the breath out at the end of the exhale by drawing your belly to your spine. Release the stomach muscles for the inhale, again filling from bottom to top. Repeat.
Another way to get the hang of this practice is to try exhaling the sound “haaaaah” with your mouth open- like you are trying to fog a mirror. Now do it again but with your mouth closed, feeling the outflow of air through your nasal passages. Once you have mastered this on the outflow, use the same method for the inflow breath, gently constricting your throat as you inhale.
The goal is to slow the breath down to a crawl and to keep the inhales and exhales the same length, not to see how loud you can make the breath. Pushing the breath out while constricting the throat will harden the mind and reverse the effects of this deeply calming practice.
Nadhi Shodhan. Or Alternate Nostral Breathing:
A few minutes of Nadi Shodhan pranayama in a day helps to de-stress the mind and release accumulated tension and fatigue. It clears out blocked energy channels in the body, which in turn calms and centers the mind. Our mind has a tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future. Nadi Shodhan helps to bring the mind back to the present moment. It works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems, releases accumulated stress in the mind and body and relaxes it. It helps to harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality. Helps purify and balance the nadis- the subtle energy channels of the body, therefore ensuring smooth flow of prana. Maintains body temperature.
How to Practice Nadi Shodhan:
1. Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
2. Place your left hand on the left knee, palms open to the sky or in Chin Mudra (thumb and index finger gently touching at the tips).
3. Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril. We will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
4. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
5. Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
6. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
7. Complete 9 such rounds by alternately breathing through both the nostrils. After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keep your eyes closed throughout and continue taking long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort
Superficially, the muscles carry the Yogi through the air. However it is the breath which provides the necessary prana (energy). Prana is the basis of everything. It can be consciously directed to heal and strengthen the body. The breath becomes the Yogi’s key to health, strength, and vitality. Without breath there is no life.
Check out ‘Light on Pranayama’ by B.K.S. Iyengar for more great techniques and a deeper explanation of all the many benefits of this ancient practice.
Hot yoga is a broad term referring to any form of yoga practiced in a heated room. Temperatures range from 85 to 110 degrees and humidity levels vary. Sound like some sort of inhumane torture technique to you? Well don’t knock it till you try it. Hot Yoga has rapidly gained global popularity because of its many benefits. Read on and you might start to understand why so many people are hooked.
First of all, Hot Yoga assists your body in sweating out toxins while allowing you to safely go deeper into asanas (yoga postures.) And although all yoga benefits your body and psyche simultaneously by keeping the you present at all times through the use of yogic breathing, yoga in a heated room allows for less time spent warming up the body through activity, and more time spent on focused deep breathing and postures. The immediate results are weight loss, muscle and joint support, increased mobility, tension and stress reduction, detoxification, immune support, and increased performance.
Hot Yoga and its purification methods have demonstrated to be exceptionally valuable for a range of issues. Still not sold? Read a little more about the incredible benefits Hot Yoga provides below:
Hot Yoga increases the rate of your pulse, and your body then has to work to thermo-regulate by escalating calorie expenditure. It does this by amplifying the oxidation of fat cells. The heat in the room makes even the slowest hot yoga class a sweaty one. One of my favorite sayings? “Sweat is fat crying.” Go to three Hotlanta Yoga classes a week for a month and you’ll see what I’m talking about. *Be sure to bring water and a towel.
Muscle and Joint Pain
Several joints, particularly the vertebrae, discontinue lubricating as effectively when a person enters into their thirties. Hot Yoga promotes joint lubrication that may alleviate common feelings of stiffness and soreness, both reactively and proactively.
Cold muscles tend to be more likely to tear while stretched. Hot Yoga advocates propose that stretching warm muscles is more effective and lets the practitioner progress deeper into poses. Since stretching is an efficient way to increase flexibility, Hot Yoga may help increase ones range of motion, thwart accidental injuries, and help you heal from prior physical traumas.
Exercise, deep breathing, and reflection have been proven to decrease anxiety and stress levels, and Hot Yoga combines all three. The psyche’s fight to concentrate on poses in a heated atmosphere distracts and distances the mind from all things outside the body. Lower stress levels allow for better sleep, improving the immune system and energy levels. Lower anxiety levels on the whole reduce weight gain, decrease the possibility of illness and injury, and calm heart-rates and blood pressure.
Raising your core temperature simulates a fever-like environment in your body which elevates white blood cell production, fighting viruses and bacteria. Your body also makes additional interferon, which raises the production of antibodies. Stress weakens the immune system, so activities that lessen stress also reduce vulnerability to health issues.
Many athletes take up Hot Yoga to improve their stamina and balance as well as increase their flexibility, all of which increase accomplishment levels and decrease injury risk in other physical activities. Well-stretched muscle tissue has improved range of motion and less risk of tearing. Joints in good alignment are less pain-prone in high impact physical activities. Yogic breathing increases oxygen intake, improving execution and stamina in cardio and anaerobic activities.
But these massive physical benefits are just a “side effect” of this mighty exercise. Hot Yoga challenges you to stay fully focused and present. It shares ancient techniques that tone every single part of you, including your mind. The more focus you have, the more precise and effective you become in everything you do.
Join us at Hotlanta Yoga today to experience the transformation. See you in class!!
Yoga for Runners is yoga focused on the muscles and joints stressed the most during a run and will prevent injury as well as lengthen the life of your running career. Running takes a serious toll on the body. And our busy lifestyles often make even a few moments of exercise difficult to come by. So skipping a much needed warm up or even a more important stretch after a run happens all too often.
During the course of an average mile run, your foot will strike the ground 1,000 times. The force of impact on each foot is about three to four times your weight. The pain most runners feel is not from the running in and of itself, but from imbalances that running causes and exacerbates. Damage to a runner’s body is more often the result of overuse instead of collisions or falls.
Too much pounding, tightening, and shortening of the muscles and not enough restorative, elongating, and loosening work will cause the body to compensate to avoid injury by working around the instability. Compensation puts stress on muscles, joints, and the entire skeletal system.
The body is the sum of its parts and impairment of one affects them all. A bad back is going to affect your ankles just as weak knees can throw off your hip alignment. For example, shin splints are the result of a seemingly minor misstep: an uneven distribution of weight that starts with the way the feet strike the ground. Each time the foot hits the pavement unevenly, a lateral torque travels up the leg, causing muscle chafing and pain up and down the tibia.
So how can Hotlanta Yoga help Runners? For starters, Yoga helps you to develop and maintain an appropriate range of motion around specific joints. It strengthens key muscles for better running and reduces muscle imbalances – If you’re off balance, every step you take forces the muscles to work harder in compensation. Tight muscles get tighter and weak muscles get weaker. A tight muscle is brittle, hard, and inflexible. Because muscles act as the body’s natural shock absorbers, ideally they should be soft, malleable, and supple, with some give.
Yoga postures require, and therefore cultivate balance. By increasing your core strength, yoga helps you to cultivate and maintain a balance in your body mechanics, increasing freedom of movement, expanding your bodies potential which will in time increase your speed and endurance and decrease pain in your lower back.
Yogic breathing will expand your lung capacity, increase your mental focus, and oxygenate all the cells of your body. Maximum oxygen intake is a crucial physiological variable determining performance and endurance for runners. Tension is the athlete’s downfall, and breath awareness is key to reducing it. And lastly, Yoga is a practice in relaxation. When you’re able to bring your body into a state of repose, as we do at the end of each practice, you become more effective at using and conserving strength. Relaxation allows you to burn energy at a more efficient level.
Just remember, use vigorous Yoga to warm up before you run, not deep stretching. A proper warmup increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to the muscles. It prepares the body for increasingly strenuous activity, allows it to work more efficiently, and reduces injury risk by loosening you up. Save the deep slow stretches for after your run to be pain free and ready to hit the road again tomorrow!
We approach all our classes at Hotlanta Yoga with the purpose of cultivating radiant health and wellness by adhering to ancient principles of alignment and breathe. Healing the body and mind of tension so that we can experience true joy and freedom. Watch part 1 of this video and if you like also part 2 to get an in depth understanding of why we incorporate Iyengar’s Yoga teaching into our own.
The heart of teaching yoga is itself a form of yoga, requiring practice, self-reflection, compassion and sensitivity. A teacher with “heart” is a teacher who encourages and inspires, and who is attuned and sensitive to the needs and conditions of each individual student and also to the class as a collective entity unto itself.
For the student, the path of yoga is always personal, and the role of the teacher is to help each student discover the path that is right for that student. How to facilitate this process, how to encourage and direct each student in a way that services his/her unique needs and mindset — that is the art of teaching.
In our Teacher Training course, we will explore the art of teaching through a dynamic and conscious practice – Power Yoga- steeped in both the Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions. The idea is that deepening our personal practice informs our teaching, provides inspiration and gives us the confidence to teach from what we know. The focus will be a non-dogmatic and open approach to what is effective. We will focus on universal principles that apply across all yoga traditions. The course will simultaneously encourage each student to develop self-reliance, as well as compassionate support for the evolution and progress of others in the group.
Each session will focus on a variety of different themes over the course of the training and will include not only group asana practice, but also additional time for discussion, reading bodies and hands-on adjustments. The afternoon work will be reinforced during our morning Yoga practice, as we learn to fine-tune our practice in an individual way.
If your interested in our 200hr Yoga Teacher Training click here for more information.
We are excited to be featured as the Howell Mill, Atlanta Lululemon Studio of the Month for the month of June! One of our great instructors will teach the Lululemon community class each Saturday 9am to 10am the whole month! The location is 1168 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA and the phone number to the store is 404-898-0774. Hannah Rose will be up first on the 7th of June, Tracy Sharp teaches on the 14th, Damian Viera teaches the 21st and Malia Hilliard , former Lululemon Ambassador, teaches the 28th!
To celebrate, Hotlanta Yoga is offering a special discount and calling it the Lululemon FIVE Class Card for only $39. Click here to access the *SPECIAL*
Damian demonstrates a few moves of Thai Yoga Massage. It is a ancient massage technique practice and developed by the monks in the Thailand region of Asia. It was used to keep everyone healthy, it was part of the healthcare of that area for thousands of years. It has evolved over time with a combination of Chinese medicine and Yoga asanas in a massage form.
Respect to Unbeaten lightweight Nick Newell who won the XFC Lightweight belt and now is going to get a chance at the WSOF title! I just love this story.
“Obviously, I would love to be judged and recognized solely as a fighter and for my skills, positive or negative, as a fighter. But I know that I’m known as the guy with one hand who fights. But that’s OK. If I go to get a cheeseburger, I’m the guy with one hand who is eating a cheeseburger. It’s how people view me, but I’m more than that.” ~Nick Newell
This Prenatal Power Yoga flow is appropriate for pregnant women that already have a Yoga practice and are looking for a quick daily strengthening sequence. Just remember ladies, don’t over-stretch and don’t over do it.
It’s warming up and everyone is getting their Yoga groove back!
I’m looking for help from Yoga teachers to cover the expanding Yoga schedule and we are also looking for a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist to help cover our totally booked healing massage schedule.
Malia is about to have our baby! We are under five weeks till lil Emmanuella arrives and who knows she could arrive early! I need temporary and permanent help.
Is anyone interested in any of these open positions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org you can also comment on this blog or the Facebook page=)
Yes, this position pays.
Humble thanks for your help.
At anytime and at any moment, you can make the choice of greatness. We invite you to get physical, 6:30am Yoga Bootcamp classes @hotlantayoga will not only get you strong, powerful and flexible it will get you in the routine of doing great things, early and done.
I’m love that Hotlanta Yoga is teaching a strong and athletic Yoga flow, class after class I’m amazed with your commitment. AND! To those of you that are showing up to the Yoga Bootcamp, you have truly inspired me today, I’m impressed, humbled and in deep gratitude about how badass your practice is evolving! So happy for your breakthroughs! Good Job=)
6:30 AM (1hr)
Light Yoga flow focused on twisting.
Kettlebell work laced with core.
Sequences of jump rope, hanging knee-ups and handstands