Invoke Your Power In Bali: Yoga Retreat July 14-21

  
Escape from the routine of daily life and rejuvenate among the rice terraces, temples and palm fronds of beautiful Bali! 

  
Do you feel too busy to take time for yourself? Does it seem like no matter how fast you go, you aren’t getting anywhere? Then this retreat is for you! We often become separated from the joy of our true nature as we become immersed in the grind of work, stresses and worries. When we relax we reconnect to our true nature that is joy, love and happiness. It is our intention on this retreat to decompress, unwind and rejoin with the powerful nature that is at the core of our being. What does it feel like to aligne with the powerful being that you are? Find out in Bali! 

  
 
What Is Included: 

  • 8 day/7night stay at a 5 star resort
  • 2 excursions
  • 2 Yoga Classes a day
  • Inversion Workshops 
  • One 60 minute massage
  • Balinese purification ceremony
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 group meals (lunch or dinner) including animal protein options
  •  Welcome drink and 2 bottles of water per day
  •  Fruit basket upon arrival
  •  Scheduled shuttle service to Ubud (9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm) 
  • Roundtrip shuttle service to and from airport 
  • Ticket to Gunung Kawi 
  •  Soothe tired muscles after of day of play soaking in bathtubs as big as a hottub.
  • Optional guided Thai Massage workshop
  • Wifi and A/C in all the rooms 

Your days will begin saluting the sun in the gorgeous yoga Shala with glass doors overlooking the breathtaking rice terraces below. We will then eat a healthy breakfast and …..

  • Grabbing a bike and taking in the sites on a bike tour
  • Partaking in some much deserved pool time 
  • Journaling
  • Shopping in Ubud
  •  Hiking a volcano
  • Reading a book
  • Getting a massage
  • Participating in a Balinese purification ceremony
  • Discovering life in the local village
  •  Admiring ancient Hindu temples
  • Connecting with new and old friends 

    

Most lunches will be on your own as you follow your own path of delight and discovery. 

In the evenings we will rejoin each other for a strong or restorative practice followed by another nutritious and fortifying meal in the open air restraunt that overlooks the jungle paradise.

  
Later soak in your giant tub before the evenings festivities! 

  

Finally fall into a deep slumber in one of the stunning and well-appointed rooms at Puri Gangga  

 

A $500 non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Click below to make your deposit
Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Pricing: Please note that all prices reflect early bird pricing and go up an additional $250 after May 1st. 

Shared Rooms: 

  • Garden $2,589
  • Suite $2,363
  • Deluxe $2,211

Single Rooms: 

  • Garden $3,266
  • Suite  $2,879
  • Deluxe  $2,852

For more information e-mail ajoyfulyoga29@gmail.com or text or leave a message at (310) 985-0218. 
 

Bio: 

Angela’s world class Inversion Instruction will help your practice grow wings you never imagined.
After a life changing injury, Angelas Soul purpose unfolded down the path of yoga and today she teaches others to move beyond their fears and limitations. While her stunning mastery of advances poses provides inspiration, she maintains a magical knack for leading yogis straight into the achievement of postures they never thought possible, distracting them with humor, inspiring with music and leading with colorful metaphor.

Advertisements

Semi-Private Backbend Series with Angela Kukhahn at Yogaworks Southbay

Angela Kukhahn in King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) Photo by Jasper Johal

 

Hi Yogis!

For the month of September I will be doing a semi-private backbend series. The mini-workshops will take place at Yogaworks, El Segundo, CA every Sunday in September from 10-11am. If you have ever wanted to deepen your backbends, but didn’t know where to start, this series is for you! 

Benefits of Backbends:

Get Rid of Back Pain

Improve Breathing

Strengthen Legs

Increase Flexibility of Spine

Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Compress and Detox Kidneys, Liver and Adrenals

Alleviate Depression

Increase Feelings Of Hope, Happiness and Courage

Hope to see you there! 

 

 

Your Hands In Handstand: 7 Easy Tips For Better Handstands!

When it comes to handstand there is no better place to start than your hands!

Sure, it seems pretty obvious. However the hands are sometimes an afterthought for students whose minds are preoccupied with trying to get their bottom to float above their head.

For the frequent flyer however (see inspiring photo to your left of my teacher Krista Cahill by the incredible photographer Jasper Johal) the hands and wrists always come first when attempting handstand!

Like anything, it’s best to start at the bottom and work up. In this case the foundation is your hands and like any good foundation it must be laid properly.

The worst possible news for a house is having cracks in its foundation and the worst news for a handstand are poorly positioned hands. (A close second is a poorly positioned attitude, actually a bad attitude is worse…but I digress)

At any rate you are headed for trouble fast if you don’t get your digits and palms properly set up, so listen close future flyers!

Tips For Your Hands in Handstand

  1. Place your hands shoulders width apart with your hands slightly turned out.
  2. Spread your fingers wide apart. Reach the fingers forward and apart to spread the weight evenly. Uneven weight causes problems for the wrist. Your fingers should spread evenly away from the palm like the spokes on a wagon wheel.
  3. Pay special attention to your index finger and thumb rooting down into the mat.
  4. Then with your hands firmly planted on your sticky mat try to squeeze them towards one another like you are trying to wrinkle your mat between your hands. The mat will not actually wrinkle  but this action engages the muscles of the hands, forearms and biceps creating stability.
  5. Push into your hands! Trust that they will hold the weight of your body. (Be mindful however not to push out of your shoulders, keep your collarbones wide and your shoulder blades firmly planted on your upper back! More about that later)
  6. Do not let the wrists lift! As you jump from the back of the mat it’s tough not to let the wrists lift, but do your best. I took a workshop with master ashtangi David Swenson and he kept saying over and over again to “put the weight in your hands”. This is key! Imagine your hands are cemented to the floor, make them super heavy as you practice jumping into handstand!
  7. Grip with your fingertips. Think of them as your emergency brakes. These little guys will help you not to “Go flying over the handlebars” as my teacher Brock Cahill likes to say. (Your primary brakes are your core and serratus anterior muscle. Secondary are your forearms and fingertips.)

Happy Handstanding Yogis!

Yoga Inversions Pre-Flight Warmup

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

The Pre-Inversion Warmup

Before practicing inversions it is essential you warmup and stretch the muscles you will be using.
Your best bet if you are practicing at home is to warm up with a few Surya A’sSurya B’s and then do a few of my favorite pre-flight stretches and strength building postures listed below.
Happy flying yogis!

Keep Calm and Carry On: Equanimity of Interest

“To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity.”

What is Equanimity of Interest?
Equanimity of interest means we are just as excited about working the nuances of down dog as we are about working something we are really good at or the bigger, “grander” postures. (think handstand scorpion)
The difference between a beginner and an advanced yogi is the ability to stay focused, interested and calm no matter what discomfort arises.
Can you bump up against your limitations without running away? This may be the most important “yoga practice” of all.
Equanimity is the state of beingness where we are unattached and undisturbed. This does not mean we are aloof, on the contrary, we remain fully engaged in the present moment without feeling that we need to control the outcome.
We are not just interested in the postures that stroke our egos or bring us pleasure. At the same time we don’t avoid those either.
It is standing in the middle between avoidance and attraction. It’s neither heads or tails, it’s when the quarter lands on the edge and balances.
Our attention and interest in the “fine tuning” of the basic poses so to speak are the ultimately the building blocks we need build the bigger more “impressive” postures.
Patience, practice and dedication are the keys!
“When one is fully aware, one does not attach to the world, rather sees the world.” – The Bhagavad Gita 

Body Detox ~ 10 Amazing Yoga Poses to Kickstart Cleansing

Need a yoga detox routine?

Here is a quick body detoxifying yoga sequence! When you are feeling sluggish and need a full body cleanse these yoga poses will kickstart the process!

Even the best laid plans this time of year tend to get derailed by the many bbq’s, picnics and poolside  gatherings that are customary during the warmer summer months. As lovely as that mac n’ cheese, burger or in my case 5 gardenburgers (In my defense I didn’t eat the bun,..but did I really need 5 gardenburgers smothered in bbq sauce? ) looked the day before you end up waking up the next day feeling like you are about to give birth to a bowling ball. Ugh!

So what’s a person to do? Besides of course sitting around rubbing your tummy, groaning and muttering things like “I am never eating such and such (insert food you overindulged in) EVER again” to anyone who will listen?

Yoga to the rescue!!! Here are 10 detoxifying poses that will kickstart your digestion, elimination and get you back on your livers good side in no time!

Start with a gentle warm up, nothings fancy, just 5 Surya A Sun Salutes to get the joints, tendons and ligaments warmed up and the blood flowing to all the major muscle groups. As a bonus this alone is already helping the lymph glands to eliminate waste, and Cobra, Up Dog and Forward Fold are all excellent for detoxing as well!

Detox Pose 1: Breath of Fire.

Benefits: Breath of Fire is a super detoxifier as it works expel carbon dioxide. This is one of the ways the body expels excess acid. Exhalation of carbon dioxide represents an excretion of acids. So this breathing technique helps to restore the bodies pH. As an added benefit, Breath of Fire is also one of the most effective way to engage and strengthen your Transversus Abdominals which act as a corset around your middle!

Detox Poses 2 and 3: Navasana and Ardha Navasana Cycle (Boat and Half Boat) Go slowly and do 10-20 reps depending upon how strong you are. On the last Ardha Navasana hold for 30-60 seconds.

Benefits: Navasana works to clear gunk from the intestines while Ardha Navasana works to clear the liver, gall bladder and spleen. These will tone your abs and get you back into those skinny jeans pronto!

Detox Pose 4: Dhanurasana/Bow Pose. Do 3 rounds holding each one for about a minute with even breathing.

Benefits: The pressure on your abdomen when performing this pose aids in digestion, stokes the gastric fire and helps with in flatulence issues you may have.(Oh sure, you can play dumb..I believe it wasn’t you..really…)

Detox Pose 5: Child’s Pose/Balasana

Benefits: Stretches your lower back muscles around the kidneys bathing them in fresh oxygenated blood and compresses the liver and abdomen promoting digestion and de-bloating after a big meal.

Detox Pose 6: Bridge/Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana and/or Upward Facing Bow/Urdhva Dahnurasana Start with bridge and if your body feels open enough come into full wheel posture.

Benefits: Chest opening poses are good to counter congestion or stagnation. Backbends are also very useful to increase metabolism…and let’s face it we could all use a little extra metabolism after a big day of indulgence!

Detox Pose 7: Marichiyasana C (Seated Sage Twist)
Benefits: Yoga twists stimulate digestion and help with the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.

Detox Pose 8: Head to Knee Forward Fold Pose/Janu Sirsasana
Benefits: Forward bending poses are a good way to compress the abdominal organs. The digestive system is stimulated, helping with the elimination process.

Detox Pose 9 and 10: Plow Pose/Halasana and Salamba Sarvangasana/Shoulderstand Use several blankets to ease any tension on the neck. If you still feel tension take your legs up the wall instead into Viparita Karani.

Benefits: Inverted pose, such as Plow, Shoulder stand, or a simple “Legs up the wall” pose helps to drain accumulated lymph fluid from the legs and re-circulate it through the body. This benefits the immune system. Inverting is also good for increasing metabolism as it stimulates the thyroid gland!

Finish with Fish Pose,  Supine Twist and then rest in Savasana for 5-15min, you deserve it!

Is Patience Still a Virtue?

“A patient mind is the best remedy for trouble.” – Plaut

In the age of instant gratification, instant messages, and fast food is patience still a virtue?

We like things to happen fast!!! When they don’t we get agitated, we just want to get on with it already! Have you ever been in such a hurry that you imagined a problem that wasn’t there and in trying to “fix” it actually created a real problem? If you are like me and the other 99.9% of the humans, the answer is yes!

Yoga teaches us to pause in those moments where you feel your blood pressure rising, the old samskaras (habits) taking hold and say “Ommmmmm”

okay,..no I’m kidding (but I had to make sure you were actually listening and hadn’t gotten distracted!)

The Yoga Sutras says “The pain that has not yet happened is avoidable.”

How you ask?

Breathe!

Let’s face it, you aren’t doing yourself any favours by running out to meet your troubles halfway.

Patience young grasshopper!

Breathe. Meditate. Yoga. ..Ahhhhh…

Be patient, everything happens as it should.