Kids Try Harder

November 1, 2017

It’s hard to know what you can do until you try. In my book, Watch Me Do Yoga, a young girl challenges herself to try yoga postures that may seem difficult.

Trying. Trying again, and gaining confidence. It’s all part of growing.

Martín tests his balance at Natural Yoga in Bogotá, Colombia. That’s my drawing on the wall over to the right.

Knowing the wall is close by can help you to find your balance…

Iyengar yoga trained Suzie Dodd teaches yoga to schoolchildren in County Galway, Ireland. She sent in this photo of a 15-year-old boy who practices tree pose on a balance board while wearing an eye mask. Now that’s quite a challenge.

…but some like a bit more of a challenge.

Brigitta Ortner’s granddaughter Charli Jane, gets a lift. Brigitta began studying Iyengar yoga in 1994, and is certified to teach at the J1 level.

It’s true that we all need a helping hand (or bolster!) sometimes…

Another of Suzie’s students: “a boy who is normally not very physical or involved, was surprised and delighted to be able do Bhekasana with the rest of the class”.

…but sometimes a little extra effort yields big rewards.

Suzie’s granddaughter, Fern in her version of Padangustha Dhanurasana (an intensified version of Dhanurasana).

Fern’s super vibrant drawing.

Fern, again, working hard to lift and curve. Bhujangasana II. This pose is preparatory to Rajakapotasana.

 

Pull, lift and curve: Dhanurasana. This is Vickie Ewell’s granddaughter Marley. Vickie is director at The Yoga Loft in the Village in Sheffield, Ohio.

With only 20 pupils at rural Carron National School, County Galway, Ireland, Suzie Dodd has them all practicing shoulder stand together. When they’re not practicing yoga, the children are teaching Suzie (a city girl) the difference between the “moo” of a cow, the “moouo” of a calf, the “muuuuuooo” of a cow about to be milked, and the sound of a bull, which is apparently “uuuuuuuuuu.”

After all that effort, it’s time for a little restorative Supta Baddha Konasana.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me photos of their kids who were inspired by Watch Me Do Yoga; please keep sending them in. I try my best to correctly credit all the photos, but if I’ve forgotten your child’s name, or the parent or grandparent who sent in the photo, please send it to me, and I’ll update the post.

©2017 Bobby Clennell.

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Props Workshop in NYC: September 24

October 14, 2017

Props: Awakening The Intelligence

I recently taught this workshop at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York. Props both inform us and ground us, holding the body secure and providing needed support. We explored the possibilities the props can unlock within the body in both familiar and lesser known set-ups. Here are just a few of the poses:

Adho Mukha Svanasana with rope. In this version, a small foam block was also used. Place the knot or small block where it is needed – where the intelligence needs to be bought to bear on area – and then slowly straighten the legs.  Not for beginners.

Parivritta Parsvakonasana toward the trestler.

Marichyasana III. The Simhasana (heart) bench provides help with the seated twists. I.e., provides access to the top of the sacrum so it can be lifted and moved into the body.

Marichyasana III again. Pushing against the curve of the viparita dandasa  bench to provide a fulcrum from which to lift the anterior spine.

Paryankasana with the simhasana bench.

Pariankasana with simhasana bench and platform.

Being dropped back to the viparita dandasana bench.

Parivritta Janu Sirsasana with a weight and trestler.

We were all very happy that Kevin Gardiner dropped by!

We finished with Bhishmasana.

Click to read my blog post about Bhishma.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

 

Hanging around with the kids

October 5, 2017

A yoga studio can be like a playground to young yoga practitioners. Their imagination can lead to some interesting set ups.

2-year-old Charli Jane came up with this set up all on her own. She likes to check out the ropes and props in her grandmother’s home studio, Toronto based Iyengar yoga teacher Brigitta Ortner.

Martín hangs out at Natural Yoga in Bogotá, Colombia.

Vickie Ewell’s granddaughter Marley likes to use the rope wall when she stretches. Vickie is director at The Yoga Loft in the Village in Sheffield, Ohio.

Balance with a wall, grab a brick, or hold a rope. It’s all fun. Kelly Biondo teaches at Namaskara Estúdio de Yoga in São Paulo, Brazil. Her young friends, Cauê (3), and brothers Noah (5) and Gabriel (6), all have moms who teach Iyengar yoga. What a great start.

Charli Jane has found a fun way to use the ropes, too.

Even relaxation can inspire an elaborate set up…

…but sometimes all you need is a folded blanket under your head.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me photos of their kids who were inspired by my book, Watch Me Do Yoga; please keep sending them in. I try my best to correctly credit all the photos, but if I’ve forgotten your child’s name, or the parent or grandparent who sent in the photo, please send it to me, and I’ll update the post.

©2017 Bobby Clennell.

Iyengar Yoga General Convention in Granada: April 21 – 23

September 11, 2017

The Iyengar Yoga General Convention in Granada was hosted by Asociacion Española de Yoga Iyengar.

Bharadvajasana. To turn to your left, lift your front spine. Pin your right hip down, press your right back ribs forward toward your right breast and move them away from your spine.

Ardha Chandrasana. On the left side, pin your left shoulder-blade and left buttock deep into the body, and turn the entire torso up away from the standing leg.

Uttanasana: Standing with the legs apart allows you to rest in the pose. Doing this pose with the feet together helps strengthen the internal pelvic organs.

Dandasana with a belt.

Salabhasana: when the torso is heavy and hard to lift, place a rolled blanket under the abdomen. Wind a belt three times around the wrists, pull the arms back and lift the chest.

Dhanurasana: Lift your thighs off the floor and push your shins back  until the front ribs are also raised up off the floor.

Urdhva Dhanurasana: Support this pose from your arms and legs, and do not initiate coming into the pose from your spine: Drive your heels into the floor, pull the backs of the thighs up toward the buttock crease. Roll the tailbone away from the waist and press it up. Press your hands down, revolve your upper arms in toward your head and neck, and pull the shoulder blades away from your neck and forward into your chest.

Beautiful entertainments.

These are the organizers. Take a bow ladies!

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Two workshops in the UK for teachers, April, May. 2017.

August 23, 2017

Iyengar Yoga Studio: East Finchley, London. Ropes Workshop.

Kapotasana on ropes with a partner.

Yogawest: Bristol UK. Toward Drop-backs.

Sirsasana into Viparita Dandasana. Make the shape of a wheel without loosing control of your shoulder blades.  Let your navel roll forward  before dropping back.

Stamp your heels down and press your tailbone up. Move the backs of your thighs toward the buttock crease, press your calves down and move your knees toward your chest. And most important, press your forearms into the floor, and don’t let your shoulder drop!

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Guangzhou: November 16, 17 and 19–22

July 9, 2017

Workshops in Guangzhou, China.

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A menstrual chart showing how estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the month.

Supta Konasana with toes braced against a wall, holding the ankles. The spine arches away from the floor.

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When you can’t lift the upper back any other way, practice Sirsasana with block support. Eventually, when the imprint of this support is remembered, you will dispense with the blocks.

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Sarvangasana with Chair. Pull the shoulder-blades up away from the floor, press them forward toward the chest, and roll onto the top ridge of the shoulders. Align the breast bone so that it stands parallel to the chin and perpendicular to the floor.

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I stay with Evelyn Lee, operations director of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China…

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….and her sister, Yucca Lee.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Kids Love Yoga

June 21, 2017

Yoga is fun to do all by yourself…

Six-year-old Marley, daughter of certified Iyengar Yoga teacher Vicky Elwell, expresses the sheer joy of tickling her toes with her hair: Rajakapotasana (King of Pigeons). Vicky’s studio, the Yoga Loft, is in Sheffield  Village, Ohio.

Playing on the ropes in the big kids playroom Adho Mukna Svanasana on the Ropes (Downward Facing Dog Pose).

… or with friends

Will these trees sway in the breeze: Vriksanana (Tree Pose)? Or be strong and steady, like a triangle: Uttitha Trikonasana? Helena and Irene Ortiz practicing with me at Natural Yoga, Bogota, Columbia. Photo by by their mother, Ilse Bedolla.

Curl up and around, or stretch up to the sky: Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Facing Interlocked Fingers Pose) from Sukhasana (Simple Cross Legs Pose).

Didi Hall’s grandson has an exquisite sense of balance. And his tree (Vriksanana) grows in unusual soil: Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)! Didi teaches at The Yoga Center Toronto.

Stand tall like a tree, with your roots in the ground and your leaves reaching for the sky.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me photos of their kids who were inspired by my book, Watch Me Do Yoga; please keep sending them in. I try my best to correctly credit all the photos, but if I’ve forgotten your child’s name, please send it to me, and I’ll update the post.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Taipei: October 28 – 31. 2016.

June 7, 2017

Workshops at Shelly Yoga, New Taipei City.

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Uttanasana with a chair. The heels control the lower legs and the sit-bones the upper. To elongate the hamstrings, anchor the heels to the lip of the upturned chair seat, and draw the sit-bones up away from the back of the knees.

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Uppavista Konasana/combined Marichyasana 1.

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Ardha Matsyendrasana with bolster and wall.

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Some lovely old artifacts.

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These were part of a collection displayed in a restaurant.

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I love these old fans!

© 2017 Bobby Clennell

Panama: September 22 – 25. 2016

May 24, 2017

Workshop at Fusión Panamá.

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Upavista Konasana at the wall with ropes. Those with tight hamstrings and a sacrum that tips back ward will benefit from this support.

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Parivritta Janusirsasana. Move your right-back ribs down away from your spine and revolve your entire right-side body forward. Make a diamond shape with your elbows: press your front elbow down, raise your top elbow up and back.

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Chatoosh Padasana. In order to get your tail-bone to lift – first press your heels down! Roll onto the tops of your shoulders and press your back ribs forward toward your head.

Container ship in the Panama Canal.

A container ship passing very slowly through the Panama Canal. This was the view from the yoga studio window.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Fernandina Beach: October 21 – 23

May 9, 2017

Workshop at Community Yoga, Fernandina Beach, Florida.

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I got a nice warm welcome.

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Baddangullyasana in Sukhasana.  Raise the arm-bones and simultaneously “fix” the inner deltoids and trapezium muscles onto the shoulder girdle.

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Sukhasana, with forward extension to the side.

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Parivritta Parsvakonasana on a chair. This powerful twist strengthens the lumbar spine.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.