Meet Our Co-owner and Yoga Instructor, Beth Heller:
Favorite Pose: “No Hands” Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
“This pose is deceptively simple looking and may not look like a fertility pose at first glance, but it really helps students understand the sensation of pelvic alignment while stretching hamstrings, low back, quadratus lumborum, and oblique abdominal muscles. The key to the pose is a) not worrying whether the leg that is on the wall is straight, b) leveling the hip bones and c) extending upward from the waist to allow the hips to level. You know good things are happening when you start to learn how to drop the hip of the raised leg level with that of the standing leg while extending arms even higher. It’s possible to feel your oblique abdominal muscles (and sometimes the entire body) shaking while working on this “simple” pose and the feeling you get when you release is euphoric!”
Instructions: Stand a leg’s length away from the wall, ground through the standing leg and make sure the toes of the standing foot are pointing straight to the wall. Place the sole of the opposite foot on the wall, both knees softly bent at first, and the begin to straighten both legs to the best of your ability. Reach arms high. Focus on dropping the “hip point” of the raised leg even with that of the standing leg. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and switch sides.
Benefits: I love this pose because it’s a hip opener that also releases tension in the low back and pelvis. And, when you release the pose, there’s a definite “mood elevating” rush!
Meet Yoga for Fertility and Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Diana Zic:
Favorite Pose and Benefits : Tree Pose (or Vrikshasana)
“It helps to bring balance in my body when the world around me feel out of control. It strengthens the feet, ankles, legs, hips, abdomen and arms. Also, gives a nice stretch to the groin area. It’s great to bring focus and patience in the present moment. Also, encourages downward and outward energy (apana) in body.”
Meet Yoga Team Leader and Highland Park Yoga Instructor, Cassie Harrison:
Favorite Pose: Modified Half Moon Ardha Chandrasana
“When my students are in this pose or any standing pose for that matter, I ask them to focus all their attention on what they are feeling and doing in their physical body. To feel the muscles work and the sturdiness of their bone structure. If they are tight, begin to feel the release in the body. This pose is warm up for side angle and triangle poses.”
Instructions: Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Ground the feet and feel the legs strengthen. Lift both arms up towards the sky with an inhale, gaze to follow. Be careful to extend from the shoulders and lengthen the spin, but not to create tension in the shoulders and neck. Grasp wrist with opposite hand and arch to opposite side of the held wrist (I.e. Grasp right wrist with left hand and reach over the head to the left, arching the right side). Gently use the hand that is grasping the wrist to gently stretch and guide the arm up over the head. Lift out of the pelvis and lengthen through the side body, through the hips and down to the outside edge of the foot. Breath into the side body allowing an opening, lengthening & warming. Inhale reach, exhale arch. Try to keep body in one plane, keeping shoulders, elbows, arms in line with the body. Pelvis down is steady, unmoving.
Benefits: Standing poses provide grounding, help us feel confident, stretch the hips and groin muscles as well as strengthen our leg muscles. Excellent when feeling off-balance, out of sync with life.
Meet Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Kellie Greene:
Favorite Pose and Benefits : Tree Pose (or Vrikshasana)
“The pose is strengthening, balancing, and allows you to feel grounded. Adding tree pose to your practice can also strengthen and stimulate bone cells to make stronger bones. Practice with your toes on the ground or a block to start and build to your heel at your pelvic floor.”
Meet Yoga for Fertility Instructor, Alison Lautz:
Favorite Pose and Benefits: “My favorite yoga pose is Dancer’s pose (Natarajasana- Sankrit name). We all need balance in our life and Dancer’s pose is the perfect pose to weave more balance in. When you are fully concentrated on this pose and its proper alignment, you will find that all other concerns in the world seem to dissolve, because you’re in that focused state of mind. This is an opportunity to cultivate an ability to shift out of the multi-tasking mentality the world seems to demand and move into this essential, centralized energy and space. This spine strengthener has many great benefits. It tones and lengthens the entire leg and hip muscles. Dancer’s pose opens the chest and ribcage for your lungs to create more space for your breath. It also stretches shoulders and biceps; and most importantly, this pose improves balance and concentration.
Instructions: Starting from Tadasana (Mountain pose), release your right elbow to your right hip. The elbow crease faces outward and the palm faces up. Bend the right knee and grab the inside of the right foot with all five fingers of your right hand.Find balance by bringing your knees to touch and find your drishti, your point of focus.With every inhale, lengthen through the spine and all the way through your left fingertips. And with every exhale, slowly begin to kick your right foot into your right hand. Naturally, your torso will lower down and your left hand reaches out in front of you. Remember, to keep your hips leveled. So even kicking, even stretching.Hold this pose for at least five breaths, then repeat on the other side.”