Preview: Standing Warm-Up

This post, I’m taking a break from my Men and Yoga series to give you a preview of Lifelong Yoga! One of my favorite parts of the book is Part III, where we offer short and long sequences to be used in preparation for specific life events, whether that event is daily exercise, gardening, a weekend with grandchildren, or an emotional weekend, like a wedding. Yoga is a toolkit for whatever you encounter in daily life, and this section helps you choose the right tools for the occasion, we also have a protein promo exclusive offer for wearetribe.co for all of you guys, is important to have a good source of protein every time you finish a yoga session, and if you wnat to get your hands on prohormones anabolic roids make sure you check them out as well.  This simple standing warm-up sequence is one of my favorites: it requires NO props (not even a yoga mat!), you can do it in regular clothes, you can do it in shoes, and you can do it ANYWHERE! The whole thing could take as little as 5 minutes, but it will make you feel so, so much better. I use it nearly every day, and I start many of the classes I teach with this sequence.

Joan (age: 62) and Jeanne (age: 88) demoed this beautifully after class last week. Jeanne correctly calls herself my oldest student, and she moves with ease and grace– a life of doing yoga!

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Start here, in mountain pose. Take a few breaths to connect to your body and arrive.
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Move to tall mountain, inhaling your arms skyward and lifting your heels. You may do this a few times in a row, moving with your breath: inhale to lift arms and heels, exhale to lower. This pose is also a balance challenge!
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Next, move to cat and cow. In cat pose, exhale. Let your shoulders round and draw your chin toward your chest. You can bend your knees even more than Joan did here.
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In cow pose, inhale. Draw your shoulders away from your ears, and let your chest extend forward. Move between cat and cow at least 5-10 times.
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Twisting is an important part of a full warm-up for your spine. For this chair twist pose, bend your knees a little. Bring your right hand toward your left knee; extend your left arm up and out. You can hold here for 5 breaths and then twist to the opposite side. Remember to keep a sense of core engagement here: hug your belly in as you twist!
Standing side bend, yoga
Standing side bend is one of my favorites. It feels so good! That’s probably why Jeanne is smiling here. From mountain, bring your arms overhead. You can clasp hands together, or as Jeanne is doing here, you can hold onto your wrist with your hand. First, side bend to the left. If you’re choosing to hold onto your wrist, clasp your right wrist with your left hand. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. If you’re low back feels like it’s getting crunched, bend your knees a little, engage your core, and even tuck in your tailbone a bit. Switch to the other side.

For more sequences, search for “sequences” in the search box on the left of the screen or pre-order our book! It’s officially out as of August 1.

—Alexandra

Preorder Now: LIFELONG YOGA

The cover is being finalized, and we’ve just happily reviewed the beautiful inside of Lifelong Yoga: Maximizing Your Balance, Flexibility, and Core Strength in Your 50s, 60s, and Beyond. This is my seventh book and Alexandra’s first—the thrill of holding page proofs never gets old, though, and it makes the whole thing seem very real.

You’ll know it’s real when you’re holding your own copy this summer. Preorder it now from your favorite bookstore! If you like the convenience of Amazon, you can buy there and take advantage of their preorder price guarantee—click here to preorder on Amazon.

The book boasts a very special foreword by my student Roy Williams, who just one his third national championship as coach of the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team. As impressive as that is, Alexandra’s daughter had a few edits:

By Roy Williams

Share Your Questions

Alexandra and Sage
Alexandra and Sage

We are in the home stretch of drafting Lifelong Yoga, our book to be published by North American Books next summer. Our goal is to tell and show you how to develop and modify a practice to take you through your forties, fifties, and far beyond. We’re covering adaptations for common age-related conditions, appropriate expressions of poses for various bodies and needs, and yoga philosophy.

Here’s your chance to help direct the book. What are your biggest questions around making yoga a lifelong practice? How has your practice changed, and how did you adapt? What would you most like to learn about yoga through the years?

Please let us know in the comments and on Facebook. Thanks in advance!

—Sage

Behind the Scenes: Lifelong Yoga Photo Shoot

We interrupt my regularly scheduled posts on breath to bring you behind the scenes at the photo shoot for our forthcoming book, Lifelong Yoga, to be published by North American Books in summer 2017.

Since the book targets people who are either new to yoga or figuring out how to make yoga a lifelong practice through their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond, we wanted real-people models representing each of those decades, demonstrating real-world expressions of doable poses. Two of our models, Patricia and Victor, had previous commercial and runway modeling experience. The other, my husband, Wes, has been behind the camera many times snapping pictures to illustrate my writing, but never in front of it. Tammy Lamoureaux from L’Amour Foto and her able assistant, Brett, did a beautiful job keeping everyone natural and at ease, and Alexandra and I ran them through the poses. There were also snacks. Take a peek behind the scenes:

This is Patricia, a student at Carrboro Yoga. Unfortunately, our curls are obscuring most of her glorious cheekbones!
This is Patricia, a student at Carrboro Yoga. Unfortunately, our curls are obscuring most of her glorious cheekbones!
We shot in the Gold Circle Room at Carrboro Yoga, though you won't see it when you read the book, as we used a white background.
We shot in the Gold Circle Room at Carrboro Yoga, though you won’t see it when you read the book, as we used a white background.
Wes was a little sore after his modeling session! Modeling is very different from practicing—you hold poses longer and don't breathe naturally.
Wes was a little sore after his modeling session! Modeling is very different from practicing—you hold poses longer and don’t breathe naturally.
This is my standing view of one of the cover options.
This is my standing view of one of the cover options, shot with my iPhone.
And here's all the work happening behind the scenes to get the cover image!
And here’s all the work happening behind the scenes to get the cover image! Next book: yoga for photographers. Tammy spent hours on her knees on the floor with nary a complaint.

We can’t wait to put the finished product in your hands. We’re hard at work finishing the draft!

—Sage

Coming Soon: LIFELONG YOGA

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Contract signed!

If you missed our announcement on social media earlier this week, here’s a recap: Sage and I are co-writing a book, Lifelong Yoga, which will be published by North Atlantic Books in the summer of 2017. It’s Sage’s seventh book (!) and my first, and we couldn’t be more excited about collaborating and writing together.

Lifelong Yoga is a book for anyone who wants to continue or begin a yoga practice at any stage of life. The emphasis, though, is on how yoga can be a boon for the changes we experience as we move into our 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. It looks at yoga as a complement for an already-active life and sees yoga as a tool for living a long life of health and vitality. You can expect a lot of what you find on this blog, only in even more detail and with more explanation. We’ll have chapters devoted to the common ailments of aging (and how yoga can help!), sequences that will help you solve problems (“What’s the best yoga before a golf game?,” “How can I prepare for a weekend with my grandkids?”), and photographs of the most useful poses for healthy aging.

To reflect where we’re going—the book—you’ll notice that we’re shifting away from using “Yoga for Aging Athletes” to describe our work. Our social media sites have already changed, and in the upcoming weeks, we’ll update this blog to reflect our book title, too.

We’ll keep you updated on progress and let you know when the book is ready for pre-order. Meanwhile, I have some writing to do! And I just thought of my next blog post: a useful sequence for recovery after a long day of sitting at a desk.

—Alexandra