Join Me to Explore the Origins of Love and Sirsasana

when the world comes crashing at your feet
it’s okay to let others 
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable 
of sharing your pain.

 

– rupi kaur – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

Wow, we are a little over halfway through our month of yoga together! YIP YIP!!

Well done to those who are showing up to their mats every day!!! As we know, the hardest part is making it to the mat, so good job, friends!!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we launched the first virtual challenge. I can believe it’s been a year since we went into lockdown. Vancouver is back on semi-lockdown with new restrictions. Who’s over this?? ME ME ME. You? You? I’m looking forward to when we get to look BACK on this. 

This week’s theme is community – heh – as of now, it’s still virtual, but we can still be here for each other. I hope you’re reaching out to your peoples, getting outside, and doing things that feed your soul and keep your spirits up. Me, I’m trying. Cooking, taking care of my house, going for walks with Alejandro and Karmen, and enjoying the sun we are blessed with lately. 

I love coming together as a community; Kula is my dharma, and it’s something I’m very much looking forward to when things eventually shift and reopen.


Community may be the very thread that holds the fabric of our lives together; it’s a space we may rely on with the support of like-minded people of similar interests. Coming back to the quote at the beginning of this email – it’s important to talk, express, and share how you’re feeling with your inner circle/support network – both the highs and lows. 

Questions to marinate on: 
  • For those of you in the challenge: what has changed in either your body, mind, or life since we started the challenge?
  • If you could describe how you feel right now in one word, what would it be?
  • How are you feeding yourself today?
  • Who is in your inner circle/support network? When was the last time you reached out and had a catch-up?

See the details for the upcoming LIVE classes:

Here’s the info on SATURDAY’S class:
 
The Origins of Love

This week’s myth comes to us from Greece. Clara first heard this myth in the play “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and loved it. It is Aristophane’s theory of the origin of love. Clara loved the perspective it gave on why so many of us don’t feel “whole.”

After the myth, we will work towards the inversion headstand, Sirsasana.

The class will work on opening shoulders, side waist, and hamstrings. We will strengthen our chests and core.

Props you’ll need 2 Blocks, 1 Blanket.

Spotify Playlist

Here’s the info on WEDNESDAY’S class:
 
Better Together

Join Clara and guest for a partner yoga class focused on the lunar/cooling part of the class.

You’ll learn how a few hands-on assists support your partner in exploring the stretch in their bodies.

A partner is not necessary for this class; you can still participate if you’re practicing solo.

We’ll be exploring 4 poses that include a twist, hip opener, and forward fold.

The class level will be open, but I will always offer modifications to make it accessible.

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

There is no Spotify playlist for this class.

Three New Classes on PWC:

Modifications for Common Injuries & Sensitivities

MODIFICATIONS FOR SENSITIVE KNEES

 

In this short tutorial, learn the various modifications for knee sensitivity or knee injury in a vinyasa yoga practice. Our knees take a bit of a beating in our day-to-day, so be conscious of the flexion and internal/external rotation around the knee joint to preserve longevity. Happy knees = happy people! 

WRIST MODIFICATIONS & STRETCHES 

 

In this short tutorial, you’ll see how to modify for a wrist injury and sensitivity in a vinyasa yoga class, plus some great wrist stretches to warm up your hands and forearms for arm balancing practices!

LOW BACK MODIFICATIONS 

 

Protecting and preserving the spine is one reason we practice yoga; this tutorial features the modifications for low back injury and sensitivity in common poses offered in a vinyasa yoga practice. 

The Various Lenses to Perceive the World:
An examination of systems that classify behaviors and energies. 

The way we view the world is subjective and assumed from our perception. Perception is the process of making sense of the various stimuli we encounter combined; interpretation is based on the meaning we assign to each event. How we form and apply meaning depends on our experience, cultural and socioeconomic context, upbringing, trauma, education, and inherited beliefs. 

No two people share the same sequence of experiences. Even twins, who’re conceived simultaneously, have unique experiences of being in the womb and are brought into the world at different times. As a result of the vast and diverse events we experience, perception, interpretation, and meaning are distinct to the individual. 

The way individuals assign meaning may seem confusing, eccentric, or upsetting to our own methodologies and may disrupt how we communicate and resolve conflict. 


When two people, or groups of people, do not see eye-to-eye on a subject, it’s usually a result of two opposing viewpoints of the world coming into contact. Our belief systems are a significant contributor to how we see the world and are generally linked to politics, culture, social structures, and religion. 

When our beliefs are challenged, we’re tasked with developing confidence and clarity in communicating the intentions behind our thoughts. Adversity may be a great teacher in showing us where our passion and principles align. Disputing the ideals and refuting the ideas of others may strengthen the bond we share with our tribe’s mythologies.

We may also use these experiences to practice radical acceptance for the alternate views and realities of others. 


Ahimsa is the Indian principle of non-harming or nonviolence, and it also relates to the concept of radical love towards self and others. From Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, Ahimsa is one of the five Yamas, which governs how we integrate with others and act with integrity. 
 

A practice of radical love towards self and others can be as simple as a practice of acceptance for how others live, act, think, feel, perceive, and assign meaning to the world and events. 

 

Throughout the centuries, humankind has created numerous methods to classify human personalities and recognize the various energies present in the world. An example of such classification would be the generations. Millennials and Gen Z belong to different ages marked by distinct personality traits; such concepts are devised by humans and don’t exist outside of the rhetoric we provide. 

Classification provides us with information to better understand ourselves and all the unique personalities we encounter. It’s a way to learn and appreciate all the qualities we perceive globally, especially the qualities we find upsetting or outrageous.

Here are a few of the methods used to determine a person’s personality and preferences:

Astrology 

 

A natal chart explains where the planets were in the sky when you were born based on your birth time, date, and location. Each planet symbolizes sets of characteristics that influence the individual depending on the planet’s position. Your natal chart is a more in-depth reading of your zodiac sign and goes into the planets’ features and their degree of impact. 

Zodiac translates from Greek as ‘cycle’ or ‘little circle of animals’ and is divided into 12 signs that correspond to the sky’s constellations. The Earth’s rotation at the exact time of your birth determines your zodiac. 

 


Jungian Archetypes 


Carl Jung used archetypes to express the qualities of the human psyche. According to Jung, every action and impression in the psyche is influenced by our ancestors. Jung believed that human behavior is a direct result of the efforts of our primates. The Jungian archetypes are universal models that represent patterns and symbols of innate human knowledge. 

Of the 12 archetypes, Jung focused on four: the Self, the Persona, the Shadow, and the Anima/Animus. Jung refused the idea that the human mind was programed solely by personal experience. Instead, he believed that every mind retains our ancestors’ unconscious aspects, primarily the primordial images that set the foundation for human existence. 

 


Enneagram Personality Types 

 
The Enneagram is a popular system of classifying personalities that share how people manage their emotions and interact with their environments. Nine personality types in the Enneagram illustrate how each of the types relates. Each type is attached to a core belief concerning how the world works, which drives the essential fears, motivations, and values of a person. Enneagrams show how different personality types react to stress and share distinct core beliefs and patterns upheld in society. 

 


Myers-Briggs Personality Types
 

Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine created the Myers-Briggs test based on the basic preferences of dichotomies described by Carl Jung. The purpose of the test is to identify the four primary cases devised by Jung and categorize 16 unique personality types that result from the individual’s unique preferences. 
 

The four dichotomies are:

  • Favorite world: inner versus outer worlds, classified as extroverted or introverted.
  • Decisions: based on logic or special decisions, classified as thinking or feeling.
  • Structure: a preference for decisions or the desire to stay open, classified as judging or perceiving. 
  • Information: based on how you take in information, classified as sensing or intuition. 

 


Ayurveda and the Doshas 

 
Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic practice and one of India’s oldest medicines, originating more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’ and is the sister science to yoga. Also called the Mother of Healing, Ayurveda’s practice is rooted in preventing the prevention of illness through balance and reflection on each individual’s diet, thoughts, relationships, environment, and activities of each individual. 

Ayurveda focuses on three energies that make up everything we see and every living being. In Sanskrit, these energies are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique blend of these three energies. The three energies are made up of the five great elements: air, ether, fire, water, and ether.

  • Vata: air and ether, governed by movement, creativity, flexibility, vision, space, and sound. In harmony, Vata is inspired and inclusive. Out of balance, Vata is anxious, fearful, and flighty. 
  • Pitta: air and fire, governed by digestion, metabolism, direction, absorption, assimilation, and intelligence. In harmony, Pitta is a leader and advocate. Out of balance, Pitta is angry, resistant, and jealous.
  • Kapha: earth and water, governed by structure, stability, patience, compassion, nurturance, and immunity. In harmony, Kapha is loving and vulnerable. Out of balance, Kapha is lethargic, withdrawn, and greedy. 
 


Joseph Campbell’s Character Archetypes


Campbell’s eight character archetypes are from his prolific novel, The Hero with A Thousand Faces, and outline archetypal character stages in well-known mythology. For creatives, the roles serve to create memorable literary figures. Similar to Jungian archetypes, the characters represent popular motifs exemplified in society and may inspire readers to apply similar characteristics to their own lives. 


 

Native American Totems 

First Nations tribes use totems to represent a sacred symbol, tribe, or individual. Some tribes connect the individual with spirit guides who act as protection. ToteTotems serve as physical reminders of the totems that are alive in the spirit world that act as guardian spirits of the individual or clan. 

Animals are often used as characters that present the qualities of the innate human process. Spirit animals are used to provide inspiration, counsel, and protection. 

A birth totem is assigned to your birth chart based on the moon and where and when you were born, similar to the zodiac signs. 

Similarly, the Hindu, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Aztec pantheons reflect energies present within the cosmos and the individual. The gods and goddesses are a way to perceive, receive, and channel the energies we wish to embody. 

 

These systems provide a way to examine others’ unique behaviors, intentions, preferences, and interests; some may consider such classifications solely for entertainment purposes, as generalizations and stereotypes are prevalent.

Or, we can recognize these systems as a method to develop a deeper understanding of the multifaceted personas and tastes we encounter in the world and means to create more awareness, compassion, empathy, and acceptance for diversity. 

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges and discover more reasons to join us. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes and connect with thousands of practitioners worldwide.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 
30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

Join Me for Live Yoga Classes to Salute the Earth

You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.

– Thich Nhat Hanh – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

We’re heading into week two of the 30-Day Challenge, which means we’re shifting our focus from the cosmos to the earth. With that, we invite you to examine all the ways we nourish and nurture Mama Earth.

Some cool facts to consider: 
  •  The Earth and the human body share many similarities, so in this way, you could say that how we treat the Earth is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. 
  • Earth and the human body are made primarily of water, and the body’s circulatory system mirrors the process of the rivers and streams that carry water all over the world to sustain life. The other way Earth and the body are similar is in how they present various ecosystems; the Earth is home to over 8.7 million species, and our bodies host roughly 10,000 species.
  •  The human body and planet Earth are also made from the same elements. In fact, we share 97 percent of our atoms in common with the rest of the galaxy. Oxygen accounts for more weight than any other element in both Earth and the human body.

To geek out even more on these fun facts, click here.

If you’re participating in the month of Seva, in the 50 Simple Acts booklet, you’ll see some of the ways we’re encouraging participants to give back to Mama Earth. Reducing our carbon footprint and examining how our actions impact the environment and all living beings on the planet is one way we send and receive compassion.  

 Questions for you to consider: 

  • When was the last time you convened with nature? Please take a moment to be grateful for its beauty.
  • Make a list of all the ways the Earth supports and nourishes you, then make a list of all the ways you reciprocate.
  • In what ways do you give back to the planet? 
  • What action will you take today to support sustainability for our planet?
This Saturday’s class was inspired by a creation myth I read in Braiding Sweet Grass.

A big thank you to all who recommended books a few months back in the FB group – I’m plowing through the list and enjoying the broad range!!

Sending love and a virtual hug,
Clara & the team. 

Saturday’s LIVE Class
April 10th at 9am PST
 

Turtle Island

This week’s creation myth comes to us from the First Nation communities of North America, specifically the North East.

We will begin the class with the myth of Turtle Island, then move into an open level vinyasa practice moving towards the forward fold & hip opener, turtle, kurmasana.

The physical practice will focus on opening the inner thighs, hamstrings, upper back.

Props needed: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

Next WEDNESDAY’S LIVE class
April 14th at 12pm PST

 

Earth Mandala

Join Clara for a 30-minute Hatha practice focused on opening all sides of the pelvis while moving through a sequence inspired by Shiva Rea’s mandala namaskars.

Great for after a run, bike ride, or a day of sitting.

Props required: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

🌎 
 

For your Seva this week, we invite you to examine the products you use daily and consider how they impact the planet we share. 

 

Two of our partners for the challenge, Tru Earth and Supported Soulfeature eco-friendly, biodegradable products to reduce our ecological footprint. 

Cosmic Influence of the Planets
(According to Astronomers & Astrologers)

The Greeks derived the word ‘planet’ from ‘planetes,’ which translates as ‘wanderer.’ Before 1543, when Nicolaus Copernicus produced the theory that the Earth and all planets revolve around the sun, the Earth was believed to be the center of the universe.

With advancements in technology, we’ve more data and details to enhance our understanding of outer space and how the Earth relates to the neighboring planets, stars, moons, and atmospheres. 

In 1992, the discovery of a new world named Eris caused astronomers to question the qualities of a planet and redefine the context of what makes a planet, a moon, and a star. Eris caused astronomers to strip Pluto of its label as a planet; Pluto is now a dwarf planet. 

In astronomy, there are eight planets. This consideration is based on mass and atmospheric gases. In astrology, there are ten planets. Astrology uses the planets as symbols of the different qualities and driving characteristics that govern various aspects of our lives. Each planet rules with unique energies, directives, interests, shadows, and values. 

The ten planets used in astrology include the seven planets considered by astronomers plus Pluto. The sun and the moon are known as the luminary planets. Earth is not considered as one of the governing planets in astrology as humans live on Earth. Astrology studies the movement of planets and how they affect our lives, and because we live on Earth, it cannot be considered. 

The ten planets of astrology make up the 12 Houses of the Zodiac. To know how the planets affect us and events on Earth depends on where they’re located in the zodiac at any given point in time. 

Here’s how it works: as the planets move, they orbit through the different zodiac constellations. A natal chart expresses where each of the planets were located when you were born. Understanding the planetary influence over the zodiac is one lens to examine how you interact with the world and express energy. 

☄︎ The Symbols and Characteristics
of the Ten Planets of Astrology ☄︎

☉ Sun ☉
Represents: ego-self
Rules over: Leo 

 

The sun represents our ego. As the center of the universe, it represents the core of who we are and our conscious mind. The sun is the driving force and light behind our personalities and reflects what gives life to the world around us. Sun signs are the most commonly known of the zodiac as it captures our passions, inner motives, and ultimate desires. The sun represents a more solar, active, masculine energy and is expressed in our public personas. Leo’s, ruled by the sun, love being in the spotlight and sharing their gifts with all those around them. 

☽ Moon ☽
Represents: emotional-self
Rules over: Cancer

 

The moon is our inner world. How we process emotions and intuit events is linked to the energy of the moon. The moon represents the private side of ourselves, the inner and hidden realms we explore alone. Moon energy is feminine, receptive, soft, and empathetic. The moon may also present the shadow side of ourselves that we do not want or allow others to see. Cancer’s ruled by the moon are often very in touch with their emotions and attune with ease to others’ feelings. 

☿ Mercury ☿
Represents: communication
Rules over: Gemini and Virgo 

 

Named for the Roman messenger god, Mercury affects how we communicate, express ideas, and reason. How we transmit, process, and assimilate information is affected by Mercury, which is why Mercury in Retrograde disrupts the flow of information and throws everything off-kilter. Gemini and Virgo, as ruled by Mercury, are intellectually sharp, witty, and capable of carrying on in diverse social groups and relationships. 

♀ Venus ♀ 
Represents: romance
Rules over: Taurus and Libra

 

Named for the Roman goddess of beauty and love, Venus reminds us to exalt in the world’s aesthetic pleasures through sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Luxuriating in romantic relationships and sensual pleasures is the typical style of Taureans and Libras. This planet also manages our finances and material possessions and how they relate to our values. 

♂︎ Mars ♂︎
Represents: action and assertion
Rules over: Aries  

 

Mars represents raw, passionate, determined energy; those with mars in their chart are natural-born leaders. Named for the god of war, Mars shows us how to pursue our wildest dreams and aspire to goals others wouldn’t dare leap for. Mars is our inner, primal instinct; it screams loud and clear from the depths of our bellies to tell us when, where, and how to act. Aries ruled by mars have the potential to become great and fearless leaders. 

♃ Jupiter ♃
Represents: opportunity
Rules over: Sagittarius

 

The largest of all the planets, Jupiter, is the symbol of abundance and growth. Sagittarians with Jupiter in their chart are naturally lucky, prone to take risks others wouldn’t, and typically herald good fortune for their efforts! Jupiter also represents healing and expresses the contraction and expansion that occur when we push past our comfort zone and test new boundaries. 

♄ Saturn ♄
Represents: discipline
Rules over: Capricorn 

 

Saturn is most widely known for the Saturn Return that occurs for individuals in their late twenties. Saturn Return refers to the moment when Saturn completes its cycles around the sun and arrives in the exact place in the sky that it was when you were born. Saturn is the disciplinarian. Setting boundaries, maturation, responsibility, and questioning one’s motives are the general themes for Saturn’s energy. Capricorns ruled by Saturn might use this hard-edge energy to pursue challenging aspirations and develop their higher self. 

♅ Uranus ♅
Represents: awakening
Rules over: Aquarius

 

Uranus is known as the Awakener for its ability to shake things up and invent new modes of power. This planet presents us with the unusual, the absurd, and the chaotic; riots and revolution occur through Uranus. Aquarians ruled by Uranus energy are quick-witted, inventive, direct, and utterly unique; you might call them the mad scientist.  

 

♆ Neptune ♆
Represents: intuition
Rules over: Pisces 

 

Neptune was the god of the sea, so it’s only natural that this planet governs Pisces. Neptune guides the world’s more subtle forces that diminish the ego and other superficial boundaries associated with dreams, intuition, and mystery. Neptune seeks and leads the individual toward fantasy; it’s the planet of escapism and exploring spiritual depths. Pisces are known for being dreamy and super sensitive to things others do not experience, which is Neptune’s influence. 

♇ Pluto ♇
Represents: the subconscious
Rules over: Scorpio 

 

Pluto represents the depths of the subconscious and hidden desires. Named for the god of the underworld, Pluto also symbolizes the power of transformation, regeneration and helps individuals shift their perspective to see events or themselves in a new light. Scorpios ruled by Pluto likely experience things in extremes; balancing light with dark, birth with death, and being an individual with joining the collective. 

Join Me for a Yoga Class that Explores the Cosmos

The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts.
The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins.
The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever.
Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.


– D. H. Lawrence – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

We’re three days into Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge! I’ve themed the month of classes and content to explore various aspects of the universe, including the cosmos, Gaia (the earth), community, and the individual experience. 

Each week is based on one of the four aspects; the class offerings will include an origin story, themes, and postures to connect you to the concept. 

If you’re not participating in the challenge, I hope you take a little extra something away from the LIVE classes and the content we share this month. 
 

✨ A few things to note for April ✨ 

  • I’m offering two LIVE classes all month. You can join me every Saturday at 9 AM PST for a 60-minute vinyasa practice and Wednesday at noon PST for a 30-minute slower-paced practice
  • All LIVE classes will be available on-demand within a few hours after the event. 

  • We’re tracking our progress all month by typing YES after each class. You can participate by adding your comment to the class on the Apps or to the Facebook Group, where we upload the day’s class. 

See the details for the upcoming LIVE classes:

Here’s the info on SATURDAY’S class:

 

The Golden Egg – King Pigeon 

This creation myth found in the Rig Veda, one of India’s most holy and oldest books, states that the universe was born from a golden egg. Clara will begin by telling this myth and tying it into the practice working towards the backbend, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon).

This physical practice will open all front and sides of the pelvis, chest, and shoulders.

Props Needed: 1 Strap/belt, 1 Block
 

Spotify Playlist

Here’s the info on WEDNESDAY’S class:
 

Into the Stars

Join Clara for a 30-minute Slow Flow practice themed in the element of Space/Ether. This practice has no peak pose but instead focuses on creating more space in the body and mind.

Props Needed: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

Develop Strength in Mind & Body:

Three New Core Yoga Classes on PWC 

SIMPLE CORE 

A short and simple core class targets the four core muscles, the rectus abdominous, transverse abdominous, and internal and external obliques. A strong core assists in supporting a strong and healthy spine and prevents lower back pain. All movement comes from our core center, so developing the muscles to support movement is essential to our overall health and well-being. 

GOOD TIMES IN PLANK 

A quick session to ignite the core and strengthen the abdominals, this class is great to do as a warm-up before your workout or on its own. Core strengthening exercises bring awareness to the muscles that support the spine and enhance our ability to engage in activities. In this short class, explore plank sequences to develop strength in the core, arms, and back body. 

DANCING CORE 

An energizing core class to fire up your day, Ana Forrest Yoga inspires this class with abdominal strengthening exercises to target the deep core stabilizers. Do this class before your usual practice, workout, or on its own to build heat, strength, and clear static energy. Move through six core exercises and five poses to release the abdominals and create mobility in the spine.  

Ω  
Astrology: Scientific Myth or Madness?

An Approach to Stargazing in the 21st Century

Humankind has been seeking answers about the universe since the beginning of time. We’ve begged questions, created mythologies, and hosted experiments to better understand what the galaxies are made of. Philosophers, scientists, and artists all contribute to the vast narrative of what it means to be human and how we came to be. 

The study of astronomy has helped define our relationship to outer space and celestial objects. Astronomers use mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology to explain the origin and evolution of the planets, moon, stars, nebulae, and other celestial phenomena. Astronomy has helped us track the seasons and establish when to plant crops, measure time, prolong our species’ survival, and respond to potential threats from outer space. 

As we broadened our lens to take in the stars, we discovered that we are made of the basic elements of the universe. As Carl Sagan once famously said, The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

Astronomy is where the practice of astrology seeks its foundation; entirely different studies and conversely compared, astronomy and astrology have common roots in the investigation of the cosmos. Where astronomy fails to provide an answer, as modern science and technology go only so far, astrology attempts to provide the answers. 

Astrology considers celestial bodies, planets, and the movement of objects in space and their relationship to humankind and events on Earth. The earliest evidence of humans tracking the moon’s influence on the tides was recorded 25,000 years ago. The Babylonians were the first to create a system for astrology around the 2nd Millenium BCE. The Egyptians developed a system of time measurement based on the constellations they called the decans.   

Alexander the Great introduced the Greeks to the cosmological ideas of the Babylonians, and the theories of astrology were eventually passed on to the Romans. Astrology influenced Medieval Europe until the end of the Renaissance with the breakdown of Aristotolein physics; by the 17th Century, Astrology was considered divination. 

From India, the earliest mention of astrology is in the Vedas, one of India’s oldest texts containing Sanskrit literature and scriptures of Hinduism. 

Astrology is held in high regard in China thanks to Confucious, who once said, “Heaven sends down its good or evil symbols, and wise men act accordingly.” 

The Maya, Mixtec, and Aztecs utilized calendars linked to intricate astrological systems to answer questions of day-to-day life. Evidence shows that the Mayans also tracked planets’ movements, including Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. 

Considering how past civilizations have examined the stars and identified with the universe’s fluctuations, how do you regard astrology? Is it best considered a scientific myth established in astronomy, or is it madness? Should we refine our decisions based on the fullness of the moon or a shooting star?

Here are a few quotes from infamous philosophers, scientists, and artists that seek to resolve the mysteries of the universe.

We have peered into a new world and have seen that it is more mysterious and more complex than we had imagined.
– Vera Rubin, astronomer.

 

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves; we are underlings. 
– William Shakespeare, playwright. 

 

We have to be very careful not to impose our hopes and desires on the cosmos, but instead, in the scientific tradition and with the most open mind possible, see what the cosmos is saying to us. 
– Carl Sagan, astronomer. 
 
About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.  
– Kurt Vonnegut, writer.
 
Science, like every effort of thought, consists in interpreting experience… all human thought, including beliefs which appear completely absurd, is experimental and claims to be based on and confirmed by experience.
– Simone Weil, philosopher. 
 
Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.
– Maria Mitchell, astronomer.
 
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
– Muriel Rukeyser, poet. 
 
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. 
– Plato, philosopher. 
 
Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.  
– Christa McAuliffe, astronaut.
 
And what if the sky here is no different
And it is my eyes that have been sharpening themselves?
– Sylvia Plath, poet. 
 
A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician. 
– Hippocrates, physician. 

With Deep Gratitude to Our Partners

of Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge

DIVINE EAST

Divine East is one of our partners for the 30-Day Challenge! One winner will receive a mala made by the wonderful women, Sam and Danelle, of Divine East. 

Shiva’s Gift & Detox Yoga Classes to Remove Toxins

Wellspring of energy 
Rises in the body’s core
Tap it and be sustained.
Channel it, and it will speak. 

– Deng Ming-Dao – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,


We’re closing out the month honoring the Hindu god, Shiva, Lord of Destruction and Transformation. 


Shiva is the patron saint of yogis as his practice is that of meditation and dancing the tandeva, the dance of destruction. Yogis seek to connect with the Oneness of the universe – through meditation and are interesting in transforming themselves – doing their own tandeva.  

What Does Shiva Mean? 
Shiva = Sha + ee + Va
Sha stands for Shareeram or body
ee stands for eeshwari or life giving energy
Va stands for vayu or motion

Thus, Shiva represents the body with life and motion. 

This analysis brings us to the deeper understanding that Shiva is life, Shiva is potential for life, Shiva is all-encompassing – the universal soul or consciousness.

You can read more about Shiva and what he stands for, in this article

We call on Shiva when we want to transform and shift our current state—as the God of Destruction, Shiva is the warrior who appears when we need to let go, surrender, or fight to release whatever it is we’ve been holding on to. 

Questions to Consider:
✺ Are you seeking connection or transformation?
✺ How would you like to go about this, quietly or with a roar? 
30 day yoga challenge

In other news, the class playlist for Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge live!

For all those who are joining us on this epic exploration into the cosmos, you can preview the classes of the month in the playlist on the PWC apps. 

It’s never too late to join us: all non-members can sign-up for FREE with the coupon code ENERGIZE2021

Invite your friends, family members, coworkers, and anyone you know who would benefit from the motivation and inspiration we share in our 30-day challenges!!

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:
 

Shiva’s Gift

Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction, transformation, and dissolution. A more primitive form of Shiva is Agni, the god of fire. 

Join Clara for a fiery 60-minute practice focused on twists and arm balances. The peak pose we’ll be working towards is Koundinyasana 1.

What to expect: Outer hip opening, lots of twists, and core integration. 

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

The Benefits of Detox Yoga
(and classes for you to enjoy!)

Your body has all it needs to invigorate processes that aid in detoxification. The yoga poses stimulate the circulatory system, endocrine system, and associated organs to cleanse the body of unnecessary toxins and tension. Adhering to a specific diet and taking supplements are associated with a detox, though not necessary to feel rejuvenated and get the results you crave to restore your body to its optimal health.

Detox yoga stimulates three primary systems through specific yoga poses to detoxify and rid the body of waste. The three systems targeted in detox yoga classes include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, and the integumentary system (the skin).  Poses such as twists and inversions, increasing the heart rate through vigorous movement, and pranayamas that shift the body from fight or flight to rest and digest mode help detoxify the body.

Read on for a closer examination of how specific poses and pranayamas benefit the body through detoxification.

TWISTS 

The digestive system is affected when we twist. Twisting affects the large intestine and stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. The large intestine is where your body forms feces to excrete from the body. 

B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. When the twist is released, the digestive organs receive blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. Twisting to the left compresses the descending colon, which pushes everything in the direction to relieve digestive stress and assist in the digestive process to remove waste and excrement. 

INVERSIONS

The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected whenever we invert. Inversions allow fresh blood to be transported to the liver and kidneys to shift the blood cycle to the body’s tissues and organs. Inversions also change the flow of cerebral spinal fluid, stimulate the lymph system, and flush the adrenals to promote the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that make you feel good.  
 

VIGOROUS MOVEMENT

The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected by vigorous movement. The circulatory system consists of the heart and blood vessels. The lymphatic system consists of the spleen, tissues, and organs that remove toxins and transport white blood cells throughout the body. Lymph nodes are points in the body that filter the lymphatic fluid. 

Through vigorous movement, the heart rate increases and stimulates blood circulation, including blood and lymph fluid. As our heart beats faster, we may begin to sweat. Sweating is the release of toxins exiting the skin. Muscle contraction also triggers the lymphatic system to move fluids to remove bodily waste and carry white blood cells that fight and prevent infection. 

The integumentary system, the skin, is cleansed through sweating. As we sweat, hopefully, we drink more water to produce urine and clear the kidneys. 

PRANAYAMAS 

When the body is in a constant state of fight or flight, aka stress, this is very hard on the systems that promote good health and vitality. The digestive system, circulatory system, and immunity are all affected by hormones released when we’re feeling stressed. Cortisol is the stress hormone we experience during fight or flight and triggers the release of more glucose (sugars) into the bloodstream when we may not need it. 

Stress shifts our energy and refocuses the body’s vital processes on keeping the heart rate elevated to keep us alive when we’re in fight or flight.
Shifting the body’s energy into rest and digest mode benefits the digestive, circulatory, and lymphatic systems and maintains proper function. Focused pranayamas (breathwork) in yoga shifts the body into rest and digest mode. Deeper breaths slow down the heart rate and the body’s essential systems. Focused pranayamas such as kapalbhati, ujjayi, and 4-part breathing have a specific purpose and benefit overall relaxation. 

Wrap up your month with detox flow yoga to remove physical, emotional, and energetic blockages before we start the 30-Day Challenge in April!

For deep twisting to cleanse the digestive system, check out the Twists Collection.

Build a sweat to remove toxins and stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems in the Get Strong Collection.

Go upside down to recirculate blood, lymph, and spinal fluid flow in the Inversions Collection.

Shift the body into rest and digest mode to come back to neutral if you’re feeling stressed with the Mantra & Meditation playlist, where you’ll also find a selection of pranayamas to practice.

Did You Know…

You can develop the power, strength, and discipline to build towards a peak pose on Practice with Clara!

Choose from a selection of classes that scale to a peak pose or flow:

▴ Visvamitrasana ▴

▴ Dancing Shiva ▴ 

& More!

For more peak pose focused classes, check out these collections:

5 Ways Meditation Promotes Good Health & LIVE Meditation

meditation

“You dream of a new world to come, a new world to be birthed, a new dream to be dreamt.
In the dream, a flower grows, a lotus from which the creator and the creation will unfold.
From which light will begin to shine upon this vast dark sea, unveiling all the magic sleeping within.
From this flower, infinite worlds and universes will be born.
Each will contain a seed of light.
And these seeds will light the heavens for all to guide their journeys by.”


― Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Painted Oxen

Happy Spring Equinox, friends!

Tomorrow marks the halfway mark between the winter and summer solstice. The seeds we have planted in the winter months are beginning to surface from our interior universe into the material world. 

This is an auspicious time to set intentions, think about what you want to bring forth into the world and what you want to shed in the process. 

This weekend we’re hosting a special Spring Equinox Retreat to celebrate the shift of seasons.

In addition to the weekly LIVE class on Saturday at 9 AM PST, I’ll be hosting 2 LIVE meditations to open and close the retreat. 

You can see the full retreat schedule here and preview the list of activities, yoga classes, and yummy recipes we’ve planned for the weekend!

The vision for this retreat is to provide a space for us to reflect on what’s happened the past few months and what direction we’d like to go in the coming months; as we open to the warmth and abundance of springtime, now is the moment to cultivate the habits and rituals that will inspire us daily. It’s also a great time of year to clean and rearrange your house to help shift the energy of winter and call in spring.  

Questions for you to consider:
▴ What has happened in the past few months? What have you learned?
▴ What would you like to manifest in the physical world?
▴ What are three things you can do to change the energy in your house? 
▴ What daily ritual or habit can you start to help inspire and connect you?

The retreat is an offering, so feel free to attend as many or as few of the activities that suit your schedule. One of the benefits of online yoga is the freedom to choose where, when, and how you show up for practice. 

I cannot wait until we can come together and share physical space, and this spring equinox retreat is my way of gathering with the community we’ve created worldwide.

I hope you can join me for a live meditation or live yoga class. 

The retreat is FREE for all PWC Members, and you can always join for the 7-day free trial if you’re a non-member and want to join us.  

How You Can Make Meditation A Daily Ritual

A daily meditation practice doesn’t have to be complicated—even a short 2-5 minute meditation performed each day has many benefits that compound over time.

There is no prescribed way to meditate. For beginners, it’s best to start by focusing on the breath and breathing into all parts of the body to create space and calm. There are many different methods of meditation to accommodate individual preferences. 

Meditation is a state of mind, not an activity. Meditation may be performed sitting, laying down, walking, reading, writing, or performing other tasks that help calm the body and mind. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on your yoga mat; we can meditate while washing the dishes, picking our kids up from school, waiting in line at the grocer, or taking out the garbage. 

How long you meditate each day depends on your level and the style of meditation you choose. If you’re tight on time, 10-minutes of meditation is better than skipping it altogether. If you’re new to meditating, start with 5-10 minutes and add a minute or two each day. Ultimately, it depends upon the practitioner. 

If you’re not convinced that meditation is something you should include in your daily routine, read on to see the mental, physical, and emotional support meditation provides.

5 Reasons Cultivate a Meditation Practice
for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit:

1.

Meditation works with the vagal tone, which is the activity of the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve connects to the body’s principal organs, including the stomach, liver, heart, lungs, and brain, and is responsible for controlling the heart rate. By breathing deeply, we influence the vagus nerve and slow down the heart rate. A slower heart rate slows down the body’s vital processes, including the busyness of the mind.

2.

Theta waves, which are the brainwaves associated with healing and the subconscious’s powers, are released during meditation, dreaming, and deep sleep.
When theta waves are more active during meditation, it’s possible that the mind and body experience rejuvenation and growth. Theta waves help prevent burnout and healing from mental and physical stressors and are the source of our more creative and intuitive processes. 

3.

The release of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine during meditation may help manage anxiety and intense emotions. The lessening of the stress hormone cortisol reduces tension and angst.

4.

Meditation boosts the immune system by decreasing the stressors on the body.
When we hit the burnt-out zone, our immune system takes the hit and causes the body to become inflamed as a means to protect itself. Stress causes the body to stay in fight or flight mode, which takes its toll on the mind and body. Meditation shifts the body from fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system, into rest and digest, which is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s in rest and digest mode that we can recover and restore to a more balanced state. 

5.

The muscles relax when we meditate. Deeper breathing and stillness slow the body’s processes down, so we might passively release any tension we’re holding in the body or mind. Where yoga actively stretches to release the muscles, meditation creates space for muscles to soften and relax.

New to Meditation? —Here’s where to start!

⭐️ Open-Level Meditations for beginners:

Durga Meditation is a <5-minute meditation that focuses on the strength and power of Durga Maa. 

Use this meditation to connect to your inner warrior.

Mudra Meditation is a <10-minute meditation that includes Bhramari breath and two mudras to ease you into a meditation practice.

⚡️ Meditations for those who have a practice:

Ocean Meditation is a 15-minute meditation that features the rhythmic waves of the ocean. Take this meditation laying down or supported by a wall if you need to. 

You Who Has Been Seeking is a 12-minute meditation that asks you to sit with the simplicity of The Radiance Sutras. The offering of this meditation is to allow the poem’s words to wash over you and breathe into the feeling that the poem invokes in your body.

🕯 Meditation & Visualization practices:

Expand Visualization is a 15-minute meditation that taps into the expansiveness of the heart to bring more awareness to the breath, how you feel, and how you relate to the environments and individuals in your life.

Light Meditation is a 15-minute meditation that that moves through a body scan and visualization to help calm the nervous system.  

💫 Meditation & Movement practices:

River of Prana is a 20-minute class that features a moving meditation to connect you to your body and breath. This meditative flow class provides the space to ground through deep breathing and fluid movement from Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow, a rhythmic style of yoga that links the body to the breath to directly influence Prana (life-energy) through the body.

Pranayama Meditation is an 8-minute class that features a variety of kriyas (purification practices), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation.

If you know first-hand how good it feels to meditate and revel in the benefits, share your wealth with a friend—all new members of PWC get 7-days free!

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:
 

Vishnu is the Hindu god known for bringing balance back to the world. Join Clara for a 60-minute practice working on balancing on our hands.

What to expect: Core, chest, and glute strengthening. Hamstring, tricep, and shoulder opening. 

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

6 Ways to Celebrate Spring to Create a Strong Foundation

The monster I kill every day is the monster of realism. The monster who attacks me every day is destruction. Out of the duel comes the transformation. I turn destruction into creation over and over again.

– Anaïs Nin – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

 

The theme for the week is creation; in the LIVE class Saturday, I’ll share a bit about Brahma, the Creator of the Universe. 

It seems counterintuitive, but how we create ultimately depends on what we can let go of or destroy. Transformation requires the polarity presented in creation and destruction; we cannot manifest new ideas or experiences without making space first

To create, we need to establish a strong foundation for what we want to will into the world, be it a physical experience or a mental construct. As we move through March (in like a lion and out like a lamb), I’d love for you to examine your strength and how it contributes to your lifestyle in what you hope to create in the coming months. 
 

Questions for you to consider:
▴ Where do you feel strongest in your body? Why do you think this is?
▴ Where do you feel strongest in your life? Why do you think this is?
▴ Who in your life brings out your strength?
▴ What actions enhance your strength, and what actions deplete it? 

To create, we must have a strong foundation to stand upon, which is why the class’s focus this week is using the wall to build strength and stability. If you’re joining us at 9AM PST, have some space cleared at a wall for practice.

Join me SATURDAY, MARCH 13th, at 9AM PST 
for a dynamic practice that uses the wall to build strength and stability
Create a Strong Foundation

Here’s the info on the class:
 

Create a Strong Foundation

Brahma is known as the creator of the universe. He brought forth all that we see in the material world. All that is tangible is attributed to Brahma. 

Join Clara for a 60-minute practice using the wall to help strengthen the base of our poses. We will be moving through a standard vinyasa sequence, using the wall as our guide to getting stronger in our practice. There will be no peak pose. 

Props you’ll need: 2 Blocks. 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

6 Ways to Celebrate Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox takes place on Saturday, March 20th, with the invitation to shift with the seasons as the days get longer and lighter. Equinox is when the sun and moon are at equal points; it marks a transition into a new phase as we perceive changes in our environment. Trees blossom, flowers push up from the dark earth, birds return from migration, and wildlife is more abundant. It’s a time of renewal and a season to celebrate rebirth, be it physical or metaphysical. 
Ostara is the Pagan festival for Spring Equinox when Germanic Goddess Eostre is worshipped. Eostre is the Goddess of Spring and Dawn. For centuries, people have recognized Spring Equinox with festivals and feasts, gathering as a community to mark the transition from darkness to light. Easter, which occurs Sunday, April 4th, is named for Eostre; the naming originates in the late seventh and early eighth century from British Monk Venerable Bede’s writings.
We may not be able to gather for festivals and feasts at this time, but we can still observe the rebirth and richness of life and create rituals to salute spring.

Here are the 6 ways to celebrate spring equinox at home:

1 . Feng shui your living space.
 

Declutter your home to shift the energy as we transition seasons. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice to balance the Chi (energy) of the living space. The goal is to create harmony in the physical realm to influence the more subtle realms of living. 


General guidelines to feng shui include:

  • The commanding positions of furniture

  • Adding vertical lines and shapes

  • Maximizing light and space

  • Minimizing clutter and obstacles

  • Adding plants and aspects of nature


Check out this blog post for more feng shui tips.

2. Wake up 30-minutes earlier.

 

As the days get longer and temperatures increase in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re treated with the opportunity to make the most of our time. Waking early creates space to be productive and indulge in the leisure of doing what you love. It’s time to leave the slower-paced yin of winter and shift into a more solar-powered spring.

The Quick Class Before Work playlist provides 20-40 minutes yoga classes that get you sweaty and fired up for your workday.

3. Tend to your garden.

 

Spring equinox symbolizes new beginnings; it’s the time of fertility when the land ripens with nature and wildlife, signifying a transition and new life. Where winter invites us to slow down and become more introspective, spring asks us to tend to consider the seeds to plant and tend to our garden—be it physical or spiritual. 

 

Here are 5 easy veggies to seed that thrive in cooler climates: 

  1. Broccoli 🥦 

  2. Kale 🌞

  3. Lettuce 🥬

  4. Radish 🌼

  5. Snow peas 🌱

 

If you have a green thumb (or want one) now is the time to start considering what you want to plant if you want a pre-summer harvest!

4. Refresh your daily diet. 

Springtime is one of the best times to do a detox or a cleanse. Ayurveda Therapist and Yoga Teacher Maria Garre advised on the benefits of a cleanse during the equinox. 

One way to create good Agni is to cleanse; you want to cleanse to get rid of ama twice a year in the fall and the spring. You cleanse and detox when the sun and moon are balanced. You don’t cleanse during other times of the year; you want to cleanse closest to the equinoxes. During detox, you’re purging the physical and also the mental ama. Mental fear comes out during a detox. It can be very emotional and well as physical. 

We all accumulate ama throughout the year. Fall is a great time to clear and spring; spring is a time to celebrate renewal. Cleanses are a time to reset our mind, body, and spirit.” – Ayurveda Therapist, Maria Garre. 

For more on how to better digestion and work with your constitution, listen to this podcast with Maria Garre

For diet recommendations, check out the nutrition guides on Practice with Clara (PittaKaphaVata), and the practices to balance the elements in the Ayurveda Collection

5. Reconnect with your community. 

 

Springtime bestows gifts of light and warmth, which means we may gradually spend more time outdoors. Activities such as hiking, walking, running, and exploring nature with family and friends are a few activities to reestablish connections with the community that reduce screentime. 


If you’re feeling skittish toward in-person events, there’s an increasing amount of virtual classes, workshops, and retreats to participate and gather with like-minded individuals. 

Practice with Clara hosts a LIVE class every Saturday at 9am PST where yogis worldwide gather for myth, mantra, and a vinyasa yoga practice. 

6. Join us for a Spring Equinox Weekend Retreat!

This self-led retreat is free for all members of Practice with Clara and boasts a weekend of yoga, recipes, and activities themed for the spring equinox.

 

The weekend includes 3 LIVE classes for you to attend, in addition to on-demand classes you may do at your leisure.

 

The LIVE classes include:

  • Opening Ceremony & Meditation

  • Vinyasa practice with Live Q&A 

  • Closing Ceremony & Meditation

See the Spring Equinox Retreat Playlist.

See the full schedule, and don’t forget to mark the date on your calendars!

❀ Invite your friends, family, and coworkers ❀


With open-level classes and various activities unrelated to yoga, you don’t need to be a yoga practitioner to enjoy the retreat’s festivities. 

Living your yoga every day doesn’t necessarily mean making it to your yoga mat—which is one of the tenents we hope to convey at Practice with Clara. 

New members receive 7-days free to PWC on-demand & LIVE class content. 

Did you know...

Learn how to get into peak poses and prevent injuries on Clara’s YouTube Channel.

Why Is Doing Yoga Alone At Home So Hard For Me?

yoga at home

Do you struggle with committing to a fitness routine? 

Do you lack the inspiration to make it to your mat each day but know you feel better when you create space and time to exercise?

Do you have the best intentions when it comes to wellness but lack the motivation to meet them consistently? 

Do you struggle with responsibility and yearn for someone or something to hold you accountable to your fitness goals?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you’re not alone!

Sustaining any program takes patience, passion, and perseverance.

There will be days you want to hit snooze and take the day off, but if you plan your practices ahead of time, you have a better chance of instilling healthy boundaries to support your short and long-term goals. 

Commitment to home yoga practice starts by planning how often, what time of day, and where and with who you take a class. Preparing for each day will help you stay motivated, inspired, and accountable to a home yoga practice

 

Reason’s you may lack commitment,

(and excuses you may have already told yourself)

 

🏠 I don’t have space. 

💻 I find technology distracting.

📣 My kids/roommates are too noisy.

🦮 I prefer being told what to do.

🧠  I can’t focus my mind—I want to snack/stop/use the washroom.

😖 I feel frustrated guiding myself through a session.

🗝 I don’t know how proper alignment looks or feels in my body. 

 

Here's how to commit to a home yoga practice

In the details below, we promise to guide you through the how-to’s to set up an online home yoga studio

The Practice with Clara Program holds you accountable, provides motivation and support within a community, and offers dynamic and inspiring content to elevate your mental and physical health.

We do the planning and preparation, so you can focus on your performance and wellness aspirations.

The Objective of a Home Yoga Practice

(& what we hope to provide)

At Practice with Clara, we give YOU the tools to embody and enrich your home yoga practice with our online studio. 
 

Our goal is to: 

✺ Teach you how to move, breathe and BE in your body.

 

✺ Empower you to decide and choose classes for yourself, based on how you feel.

 

✺ Inspire you to dance and play in your body with purpose and intention. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Get invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

Before you initiate a daily at-home yoga practice, ask yourself:

 

▴ What physical changes do I hope to see?

▴ What mental/emotional changes do I hope to feel?

▴ What support will I need through this process? 

▴ Where will I create the space and time for my practice?

▴ How will the rest of my life change to accommodate a daily practice?

▴ How will I hold myself accountable?

▴ How will I track my progress?

New to yoga— here’s where to start

If you’re just starting a yoga practice, this series is for you!

New to Yoga Program

We created a program designed for new yogis and those recovering from injury. This program is done over two weeks and features Hatha, restorative, slow flow, and vinyasa yoga sequences.

The best way to learn anything new is through repetition.

WEEK 1

The first week we’ll start a bit slower with hatha yoga, which is known for being a bit more gentle and easier to follow.

WEEK 2

The second week we’re introducing vinyasa yoga, which is known for being a bit more fast-paced.

Remember that you can rest whenever you need to in a child’s pose or sit and watch the class. There’s no pressure to do anything or everything that is being offered.

How Practice with Clara Holds You Accountable

Staying motivated and inspired to show up for the practice is more sustainable (and fun!) when we do it together as a community.

We’ve created a system to hold each other accountable to show up for daily practice.

The PWC Program for Accountability:

✺ We share the Class of the Day playlist every month on the PWC Apps. This playlist comes with a downloadable calendar AND journaling booklet for you to track your progress and reflect on how you’re feeling and progressing through your month of yoga. 
✺ We post the class of the day every day to the community Facebook Group for members to interact with and share how they feel that day.
 

Here’s how you show up:

1. Type YES In the class of the day post comments in the FB Group.
2. Type YES In the class of the day comments in the PWC App. 
 
This method fosters responsibility to our intentions and wellness goals by sharing progress with the community. 

6 Benefits to Developing a Home Yoga Practice

 

1. Do yoga on your schedule. 

Cultivating a home practice with an online yoga studio means you get to choose where, when, and how you show up to your mat. Take a class in the early morning, on your lunch break, while the kids are at school, or right before bed; it’s never been earlier to curate a schedule that suits your needs based on what you need to get done in a day. 

2. Create a space that suits you.

Creating a space to do your practice is key to committing to your daily yoga practice. Setting up a specific area in your home to do your routine makes it easier to remove all distractions and separate the time you’ve committed to your health. Simplify the process by doing the same thing each time. Turn off all notifications, light a candle, dim the lighting; do the things that signify it’s time for your yoga practice so you can shift from the day’s activities and focus on YOU for that time. 

3. Tailor the classes to serve your wellness goals.

Group fitness is great for maintaining a consistent practice and boosting your health, but if you have specific goals in mind for your wellness program, selecting the courses that serve your individual needs and aspirations will help you succeed. Online yoga empowers you to choose the courses and collections based on what you want to do for your body and mind. Set your goal, and select the courses that will guide you in that direction. 

4. Explore new poses and practices.

Choosing from classes that explore and expand on postures you’ve never done before is a feature of online yoga that you have control over. In group yoga classes, you may not have time with the teacher to discuss a specific pose, the proper alignment, or breathing technique to benefit the practice. Online yoga provides the experience for you to search, learn, and practice the poses and pranayamas that are new to you or that you hope to develop.

5. Move out of your comfort zone!

Try the postures and pranayamas that you may not feel comfortable doing in a studio. At-home yoga practice supports your practice by giving you the space to do the things you may not do in public, so try the breathing techniques and poses that make you uncomfortable and get out of your comfort zone!

6. Appreciate solitude. 

At its core, yoga is about connecting to the self, exploring the body’s sensations, and observing the mind’s thoughts. As we develop our practice, yoga asks the practitioner to move beyond the superficial layers of the self and world to consider how we contribute to our communities. Sitting in solitude may bring up some of the more significant questions about who we are and how we want to appear in the world.

How-to guides to align in your practice

Choose from a selection of quick tutorials that demonstrate proper alignment and breathing techniques.

Ujjayi Breath in Vinyasa Yoga

With how-to videos on, modifications, and specifications on, but not limited to:
  • Downward dog
  • Plank pose
  • Crow pose
  • Chaturanga 
  • Knee sensitivity
  • Skull-shining breath
  • Block tutorial
  • Forward folds
  • Resting postures
  • Meditation postures

Creative, Balanced, and Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga

With courses that accommodate various levels, styles, and intensities

Accessibility drives the content created for Practice with Clara; the sequences and styles of yoga presented offer a wide-range of classes for you to choose from based on where you are at in your wellness goals.

Explore the Class Levels on Practice with Clara

⭐️  Open Level: Classes for yogis of all and any level, from beginners and those who are new to the practice to those who’ve been practicing for 10+ years. 

⚡️  Intermediate/Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 1.5 years and have a rudimentary understanding of the asanas and pranayamas. 

🔥  Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 3+ years and are well-versed in the poses and pranayamas to follow along in a faster-paced class.

**These are guidelines. Explore the different levels and see what works for you. The biggest thing to remember is to listen to your body. With the advanced classes, I’m teaching those who know the names and shapes of the poses. I focus less on anatomical cues and more on subtle/energetic cues. ** 

Select Your Class-Based on the Featured Collections

The Body Focus Collection focuses on a specific area to strengthen and lengthen the muscles as you progress toward a peak pose or flow.

Featured in this playlist:

  • Hip openers
  • Twists
  • Backbends
  • Arm balances
  • Leg balances
  • Inversions

Try this vinyasa class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

In the Anxiety & Stress Collection, choose from a range of classes depending on how you feel; some need to shake and move to clear anxious energy, while others need to be still, move slow, and ground.

One of the greatest gifts of yoga is how you can change your state of mind and body in a short period. These classes were designed to help relieve stress and calm the nervous system.

In this playlist, you’ll find:
  • Mantra
  • Meditation
  • Hatha
  • Slow Flow Vinyasa
  • Restorative
  • Yin

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

A Quick Class Before Work offers 20-45 minutes yoga classes for you to do before starting your workday—or on your lunch break.  
Choose from various styles to get your blood pumping and break a sweat to energize your body and mind.
In this playlist, you’ll find classes with:
  • Core
  • Slow Flow
  • Vinyasa
  • Hatha
If you need an even shorter class to get you through the day, try the Quick Fix Yoga Collection with <20-minute classes!

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

In the Alternative Yoga Collection, choose from various collections based on the esoterics of yoga; these courses were designed around the chakras, elements, and Ayurveda.

Explore esoteric themes in these yoga playlists designed to treat the subtle body and provoke a more thoughtful practice through the exploration of philosophical concepts.

In this playlist, you’ll find:
  • Mantra
  • Meditation
  • Hatha
  • Slow Flow Vinyasa
  • Restorative
  • Yin

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

The Get Strong Collection is designed for you to develop strength in body and mind, with classes that challenge your mental and physical discipline.

Creative sequencing with playful, fun, and dynamic transitions will keep you guessing where the classes are headed as you build toward a peak pose or flow.

Challenge yourself in body and mind by targeting the major muscle groups of the body and developing the strength to persevere through longer vinyasa sequences.

Featured in this playlist:
  • Backbending
  • Arm balancing
  • Inversions
  • Core strengthening
  • Leg balancing

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

Explore the New Releases playlist for new on-demand classes.

See what current members have to say:

Benefits of daily yoga practice:

 

⦿ Lengthen and strengthen muscles and connective tissues. 

⦿ Improve range of motion and rotation.

⦿ Support spinal health, circulation, digestion, respiration, assimilation, and elimination.

⦿ Improve physical and mental wellbeing.

⦿ Enhance attention and refine focus.

⦿ Stabilize physical body as well as emotional fluctuations.

Join the community, all new members receive 7-days FREE!

Choose from a variety of classes:

  • Vinyasa
  • Hatha 
  • Restorative/Yin
  • Meditation & Mantra
  • Prenatal
  • Slow Flow

&

Weekly LIVE classes and a LIVE Q&A with Clara and hundreds of yogis worldwide!

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Get invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga? 

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges and discover more reasons to join us. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes and connect with thousands of practitioners worldwide.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Morning Yoga to Strengthen and Energize Your Routine

morning yoga

Energize your body & mind with morning yoga

Starting the day with a short movement or pranayama practice energizes the body and sets a positive tone for the rest of your morning. 

The number oneeason to practice in the morning instead of later in the day is simple: we have more energy, clarity, and focus when we wake up. We’re better able to put our total effort and attention on our physical and mental wellbeing before the responsibilities and tasks of the day enter our psyche. 
If you lack energy and don’t feel in the mood for a vigorous morning yoga practice, cultivating the habit of waking up and spending 10-20 minutes doing Hatha postures or pranayama (breathing) techniques will support a more sustainable practice of making it to your yoga mat every day—no matter what occurred the day before. 

If you’re ready to MOVE and flow when you wake up:

Get your day started with a short and fiery practice.  

Morning Quickie

Start the day with this short class that has a bit of everything so that you are prepared for whatever the day asks of you. 

Expect sun salutes, core activation, hamstring & quadricep opening, twists, and ending with a guided meditation.

Five Benefits of a Morning Yoga Practice:

 

  1. The release of positive endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine have the power to shift your mental and physical state. The power of the yoga practice is in alchemy; we have the ability to shift how we feel and perceive ourselves and the world around us. The feel-good endorphins released have a positive impact on our bodies and minds, so that we may navigate the day with a more upbeat and productive mindset.

  2. Boosts blood and oxygen circulation through the body to improve the function of the organs. As we move and breathe through specific postures, no matter how quickly or slowly we shift from pose-to-pose, we provide our organs with an internal massage to enhance their function. The movement of fluids through the body, such as blood and lymph, cleanses the body of toxins to support immunity.

  3. Yoga and pranayama shift the body’s energetic state. As we’ve mentioned through the release of hormones and circulation, you’ll feel refreshed and energized and less likely to reach for a second or third cup of coffee. 

  4. Regular exercise reduces and regulates the amount of adrenaline and cortisol released in the body. Adrenaline and cortisol are known as stress hormones and helped us evolve as humans. Without these hormones, we wouldn’t have the capacity to fight or flee if in danger. Exercise is one way we place positive stressors on the body. 

  5. Physical activity fatigues the body so that we might get better rest. When we release excess energy, we have a better chance of falling asleep and getting proper rest. Over-excitement, angst, and nervousness represent an abundance of energy that may be balanced with physical activities like yoga.

The Best Morning Yoga Poses and Pranayamas

Do these yoga poses and pranayamas (breathing techniques) in the morning to stimulate the corresponding organs and hormone release to energize your day. 

1. Backbends

Backbends stimulate the adrenals. The adrenal glands are associated with the body’s fight or flight response and produce hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure, and the immune system. Due to the arch of the spine when we perform backbends in yoga, this may increase the force around the adrenals and stimulate the release of additional adrenaline into the body’s system. Too much adrenaline keeps us feeling awake and alert. 

Backbending is also very energizing due to the increased blood flow throughout the body, so if you do backbends in the evening, you want to be mindful of how close it is to bedtime. If you do backbends in the evening practice, add a longer cooldown to allow the body time to settle and ground. 

The other reason to do backbends in the morning is to open the shoulders and chest. Especially for those who work at desks, drive, or rock children all day, opening the chest in the morning to stretch all the muscles across the front of the chest feels excellent. 

Examples of backbends to boost the adrenals:

  1. Bow Pose
  2. Dancers Pose
  3. Wheel Pose

2. Twists

Twisting stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. When the twist is released, the digestive organs receive blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. Twisting to the left compresses the descending colon, which pushes everything in the direction to relieve digestive stress. 

Twists enhance the mobility of the spine. As we age, the muscles surrounding the spine become stiff and sticky, which leads to a decreased range of motion and discomfort in the surrounding areas. Twisting creates length between each vertebra to lengthen the spine and space between the bones. While core exercises create strength and stability, twisting creates length and improves range of motion. 

Examples of twists to stimulate the digestive system:

  1. Side Crow
  2. Revolved Triangle
  3. Revolved Halfmoon

3. Kapalbhati Breathing 

Kapalbhati is very stimulating and excitatory; it generates heat, enhances circulation and digestion, and improves liver and kidneys’ function. Kapalabhati translates from Sanskrit as Kapal, meaning the forehead, and Bhati, meaning light or knowledge. This pranayama brings lightness and clarity to the mind and frontal cortex of the brain. 

This pranayama style involves sharp, active exhales through the nose to stimulate the clearing of the lungs by clearing the stagnant air that collects around the sides of the lung cavity. The sharp exhale pulls the stale air in toward the center of the lungs and pushes it out. Energetically, we’re drawing the air upwards to revitalize the mind and body. The inhale is passive, and as kapalabhati breath is performed, the abdomen repeatedly contracts on the exhale and releases on the inhale. This pranayama is best done on an empty stomach during the earlier part of the day as its excitatory and stimulates the digestive fire.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced mental focus and clarity
  • Clearing of the lungs and nasal passages
  • Excitatory to stimulate blood flow and boost circulation
  • Tones the abdomen and lower organs
  • Sharpens senses and concentration
  • Balances nervous system
  • Stimulates the digestive fire and appetite 
  • Purifies the nadis (energy channels) of the body through prana (breath)

 

Do kapalabhati with Clara: 

  1. Learn how to do kapalabhati
  2. River of Prana
  3. Ignite

 

If you need a hot-minute to breathe and slowly receive the day:

Embrace body and breathe through simple postures.

We Are Energy

Wake up and treat the energy body through various yoga pranayama, circular movements for the joints, and breathwork from Chien Lung.

The subtle body, also known as the energy body, lives below the skin where Prana flows. Prana is the life force, or energy according to Ayurveda, which we work with primarily through the breath.

Featured pranayamas in this class include Boa’s Breath, White Leopard, Brahmari, and Bastrika Breath to strengthen your body’s Prana. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Receive invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

Short, Energizing, and Inspiring Sequences

The Morning Yoga Series treats you to <30-minute yoga classes

Explore the Class Levels on Practice with Clara

⭐️  Open Level: Classes for yogis of all and any level, from beginners and those who are new to the practice to those who’ve been practicing for 10+ years. 

⚡️  Intermediate/Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 1.5 years and have a rudimentary understanding of the asanas and pranayamas. 

🔥  Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 3+ years and are well-versed in the poses and pranayamas to follow along in a faster-paced class.

**These are guidelines. Explore the different levels and see what works for you. The biggest thing to remember is to listen to your body. With the advanced classes, I’m teaching those who know the names and shapes of the poses. I focus less on anatomical cues and more on subtle/energetic cues. ** 

⭐️ Open Level

Shakti Flow offers a dynamic and flowing vinyasa yoga sequence to energize the body through movement and breath. 

A sequence for play, self-exploration, and honoring the creative process, join Clara and the students of Lila Vinyasa Yoga for a Shakti-themed vinyasa flow.

 

Try this vinyasa class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

⚡️ Intermediate/Advanced

In Arise & Illuminate, greet the sun with several styles of Sun Salutations. 

This vinyasa yoga class opens with a reading of John O’Donahue to ease you into the practice with a meditative prayer.

A smooth and straightforward sequence to start your day, you’ll connect to your rhythm of breath as you cycle through several variations of Sun Salutations. A seated spinal twist to wring out the spine, inner thigh, groin, and hamstring stretching from the floor and a passive inversion with legs up the wall in Viparita Karani (dead bug pose) complete the class. 

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

🔥 Advanced

In this short and spicy vinyasa yoga class, Spice It Up, you’ll get your heart pumping and blood flowing to build heat and burn off any excess energy and tension. 

This class opens with shaking!

Shaking is therapeutic in that it moves all the stuff we’re holding onto in our bodies. You may feel lighter and warmer.

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

▷ Try the Morning Yoga playlist on practice with Clara. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Receive invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

See what current members have to say:

Benefits of daily yoga practice:

⦿ Lengthen and strengthen muscles and connective tissues. 

⦿ Improve range of motion and rotation.

⦿ Support spinal health, circulation, digestion, respiration, assimilation, and elimination.

⦿ Improve physical and mental wellbeing.

⦿ Enhance attention and refine focus.

⦿ Stabilize physical body as well as emotional fluctuations.  

Choose from a variety of classes:

  • Vinyasa
  • Hatha 
  • Restorative/Yin
  • Meditation & Mantra
  • Prenatal
  • Slow Flow

&

Weekly LIVE classes and a LIVE Q&A with Clara and hundreds of yogis worldwide!

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga? 

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges and discover more reasons to join us. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes and connect with thousands of practitioners worldwide.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Receive invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

The Practice with Clara Method to Decrease Low Back Pain

yoga for the low back

Support a healthy spine with yoga for the low back

Unlike fitness and workout routines, yoga aims to supplement your lifestyle by strengthening and lengthening the muscles and connective tissues to enhance your overall mobility.

How we move depends on how we take care of ourselves; we all have a signature style of movement that’s influenced by various external factors including but not limited to activity level, diet, location, relationships, work, and habitual patterns. 

Spinal health and mobility is a crucial component to how we move and breathe as we age. Wear and tear on the body are inevitable, especially if we partake in extreme activities or perform the same habitual routines with our bodies repeatedly. Examples of habitual routines include sitting at an office desk, carrying your child on a hip, cycling to and from work, lifting heavy objects, carrying serving trays, and so on. 
These active habits create imbalances in the body. We remedy imbalances in the body through intentional exercises such as strengthening and stretching. 

Back strengthening AND lengthening exercises support spinal mobility; a healthy spine = a healthy body!

The Practice with Clara Method to Decrease Low Back Pain

Decrease low back pain with three simple steps: stretch, strengthen, rest & recover.

Layering these three unique practices into your workout routine will lessen the chance of injury and keep your spine strong and supple. 

1.

Stretch and lengthen the muscles around the spine. 

Lengthening the muscles around the low back creates space around the sacrum and spinal column. More space means enhanced mobility, so we feel supple as well as supported in our low back. 

Tight hips and gluteal muscles may affect the low back as these are the muscles that attach around the sacrum and lower spine. When muscles are tight, they shorten and contract; this may cause the body to become imbalanced as the muscles pull against the connective tissues and bones. 

For example, if we have tight hip flexors (aka, the psoas), we may experience lower back and hip pain. The psoas is located deep within the core and attach to the spine and hip. By stretching the hips, we create length and space to avoid tension and pain. 

Here are the main muscle groups to stretch to ensure space and length in the low back:
  1. Hips – rectus femoris, iliacus, psoas, iliocapsularis, and sartorius muscle.
  2. Buttock –  gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. 
  3. Side body – quadratus lumborum, latissimus dorsi, tensor fascia latae.

2.

Strengthen the muscles around the spine to support the low back. 

Supporting the low back means strengthening the muscles along the spine. Stronger core and back muscles stabilize the pelvis and hips to decrease the risk of injury. The core and back muscles become weak when we sit for long periods—and we are more of a ‘sits’ culture now than ever before!

Strengthening the low back body and core muscle groups benefits athletes or individuals who train in other areas, such as runners and cyclists who depend on a stable core to support the activity. 

For example, a cyclist who sits on a bike for many hours must maintain proper posture in the upper and lower back and shoulders to avoid injury. A strong core and associated stabilizing muscle groups are necessary to maintain proper posture for the ride’s total duration. 

Here are the main muscle groups to provide strength and support in the low back:
  1. Core – traverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae.
  2. Back – lats, rhomboids, trapezius, erectors. 

3.

Recover and rest; give your body time to recuperate. 

Any well-trained athlete will tell you that days off are vital to your overall health and progression. In the yoga practice, the most important pose is savasana; during rest, the body shifts from an active to a passive state where cellular regeneration is possible. 

The longer the savasana, the better! And similar restful practices such as meditation, yoga Nidra, and body scan work to heal the mind and body during recovery. 

Ways Meditation Prepares the Mind and Body for Recovery: 

  1. Meditation works with the vagal tone, which is the activity of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve connects to the body’s primary organs, including the stomach, liver, heart, lungs, and brain, and is responsible for controlling the heart rate. By breathing deeply, we influence the vagus nerve and slow down the heart rate. A slower heart rate calms the body’s vital processes, including the busyness of the mind.
  2. Theta waves, which are the brainwaves associated with healing and the powers of the subconscious, are released during meditation, dreaming, and deep sleep. When theta waves are more active during meditation, it’s possible that the mind and body experience rejuvenation and growth. Theta waves help prevent burnout and healing from mental and physical stressors and are the source of our more creative and intuitive processes. 
  3. The release of feel-good hormones, serotonin, and dopamine, during meditation, may help with managing anxiety and intense emotions. The lessening of the stress hormone cortisol reduces tension and angst.
  4. Meditation boosts the immune system by decreasing the stressors on the body. When we hit the burnt-out zone, our immune system takes the hit and causes the body to become inflamed as a means to protect itself. Stress causes the body to stay in fight or flight mode, which takes its toll on the mind and body. Meditation shifts the body from fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system, into rest and digest, which is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s in rest and digest mode that we can recover and restore to a more balanced state. 
  5. The muscles relax when we meditate. Deeper breathing and stillness slow the body’s processes down, so we might passively release any tension we’re holding in the body or mind. Where yoga actively stretches to release the muscles, meditation creates space for muscles to soften and relax.

Yoga for the Low Back

On Practice with Clara, you choose from a selection of classes that vary in style, length, and level. We take care of the planning and preparation, so all you have to do is set up your yoga mat and select the class that suits what you need on any given day. 

Take these three classes to create space, strengthen, and restore:

1. Back Release

Back Release creates space in the hips and side waist to create space in the lower back.

A quick grounding floor sequence to create space in the lower back and calm the nervous system.
The whole class is on the back doing various hip and side waist openers, ending with a seated pranayama (breath work) and neck rolls.

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

2. Core Flow

Strengthen the core stabilizers to support the low back in Core Flow.

Based on Forrest Yoga’s core sequences, this short class was designed to build heat and to create core activation. If you’re practicing inversions on your own, this short flow is recommended to do prior to going upside down.
Also recommended before a vinyasa practice to bring more awareness into your core for stabilization. 

Try this class on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

3. Ocean Meditation

 

A short meditation inspired by the wind, waves, and sea; Ocean Meditation has a calming effect to calm the nervous system. 

Recovery and rest are essential aspects of healing, so take a moment to be still and breathe into your body. 

Try this meditation on Practice with Clara, new members get 7-days FREE!

Repeat these classes or build your own sequence to lengthen, strengthen, and restore the muscles of the low back.  With hundreds of classes to choose from on Practice with Clara, you have the freedom to choose from Hatha, Slow Flow, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, and Meditation courses. 

▷ Try the Yoga For Low Back Pain playlist on practice with Clara. 

Practice with Clara provides on-demand content with yoga and meditation classes. 

We also host weekly LIVE classes where members worldwide come together to practice. 

If you have a peak pose you want to try, or questions on alignment, injury, and recovery, we host a LIVE Q&A after the weekend LIVE class for students to talk to Clara! 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Receive invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

See what current members have to say:

The Myth of Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a natural, recurrent issue in most human beings.

No matter how old you are or what you do, everyone experiences some sort of low back pain. 

It’s a myth that you will never experience low back pain if you are healthy and active.

Pain in the low back may indicate an imbalance, or it may be a strain from activity. 

It’s important to listen to your body; don’t ever compare yourself to others when it comes to your health.

No two bodies are the same; no two people move and breathe in the same rhythm. 
Assess how you feel, observe your body’s sensations, and consult a physician or trainer who’s well-versed in the body and how to treat injury. 

Benefits of daily yoga practice:

⦿ Lengthen and strengthen muscles and connective tissues. 

⦿ Improve range of motion and rotation.

⦿ Support spinal health, circulation, digestion, respiration, assimilation, and elimination.

⦿ Improve physical and mental wellbeing.

⦿ Enhance attention and refine focus.

⦿ Stabilize physical body as well as emotional fluctuations.  

Join the community, all new members receive 7-days FREE!

Choose from a variety of classes:

  • Vinyasa
  • Hatha 
  • Restorative/Yin
  • Meditation & Mantra
  • Prenatal
  • Slow Flow

&

Weekly LIVE classes and a LIVE Q&A with Clara and hundreds of yogis worldwide!

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga? 

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges and discover more reasons to join us. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes and connect with thousands of practitioners worldwide.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Get invites to free yoga challenges, virtual retreats, the class of the day, & much more! 

Planting the Seeds and Tending to Your Recovery

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction

– Cynthia Occelli – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

The quote above hits home for me. This past winter, I feel as though my shell/identity cracked, and everything within me fell out. It was time to sweep away the old. I didn’t know what I would replace it with—or who I thought I was, or how I related to the world. My mantra for about 2 months was, “I don’t know,” heh— and it still is.

In the last week or so, I’ve been feeling something shifting and growing within me. It’s so cool to witness. I’ve taken out my tools (meditation, contemplation, observing my old patterns wanting to kick in) and have begun tending the soil of my soul, letting what needs to come up come out, weeding out what I no longer want. I don’t know what I want to plant just yet, but I am laying down a new foundation. 

This is the time of year to tend the soil and plant seeds you hope to see flourish in the coming months. 

Whatever we do now will directly impact our future. No matter how small the choices, we eventually see the efforts of our endeavors. If you’re not sure what, where, or with whom your next move/choice is—then continue to tend your soul’s soil and listen. 

 

Questions for you to consider:
▴ What would you like to plant in your garden?
▴ What would you like to see manifest in the coming months? 
▴ What are you ready to weed out?
▴ What would you like your mantra/affirmation to be for this next season?

Highlights in March  

  1. The LIVE class is now at 9AM PST Saturday to accommodate our friends on the east coast. 

  2. All LIVE classes for March are OPEN levels. If you want to know more about the levels on PWC, feel free to read this article

  3.  Each class will be available on-demand in three unique segments so if you want a shorter class, you can do just the vinyasa or meditation/mantra on your own.

  4. We’re hosting a self-led spring equinox retreat. I’ll be sharing details in an email soon!

Join me SATURDAY, MARCH 6th, at 9AM PST 
for a heart-opening and back strengthening practice
Tending the Soil

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:

As the snow of winter begins to melt, our bodies also need to thaw. During the cold months, our bodies naturally contract. Generally, the shoulders round forward, the front body contracts to keep the core of us warm. This week’s class is all about thawing out the front body. 

Join me for a 60-minute back strengthening and chest opening working towards Bow Pose. This class is inspired by my time with Ana Forest. 
Props you’ll need, 1 Bolster. 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

Reap the Benefits of a Quick Nighttime Stretch Routine

Slowing down and taking rest may as difficult as a rigorous routine for some, especially if you have a lot of fire in your personality! To coincide with our theme of planting the seeds and cultivating tapas (discipline), we’re highlighting the importance of rest and recovery and making space to unwind regardless of how busy your routine!

If you’ve ever tended a fire, you’ve seen how there are many layers to the flame. The outer-most layer is the grandest, sending flames and sparks into the ether, the middle of the fire is white-hot whirling, and the inner layer of the fire is where the blue flame glows darkly amongst the coals. The more we feed the fire, the bigger it grows and the more it consumes. If we stop feeding the fire, the flames subside and eventually fade, but the embers glow very hot and remain after the fire has died off. 

The fire embers represent the ability to sustain and maintain a specific state no matter what events occur in the external environments. The fire embers precede, support, and remain long after the flames and contain more heat. 

Restorative/yin yoga represents the embers of your practice. When we slow down and cultivate habits that allow intensities to diminish, we’re able to rest and recuperate; this is an essential part of any long-term practice, be it yoga, work, or relationships. 

 A nighttime yoga practice that’s slow, simple, and focuses on the breath allows the body and mind to shift gears from the busyness of the day (think of the flames in full-force) to the calm state of the embers.

Why Yoga Before Bed is Beneficial:

✺ Gentle and slow stretching shifts the nervous system into rest and digest mode (the parasympathetic nervous system) from fight or flight mode (the sympathetic nervous system), which causes the heart rate to slow down. 
✺ Stretching increases the blood flow and circulation to the muscles and brain, helping recover and repair tissues. 
✺ Stretching releases feel-good hormones, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which have a calming effect on the mind. The perception of pain lessens; it feels good and allows the body to enter a state of relaxation. 
✺ Stretching the body goes hand-in-hand with the breath; when we move slowly, we’re more likely to pay attention to how we breathe and breathe more deeply. The breath directly influences the vagus nerve that connects to the body’s organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, and stomach. By breathing deeply as we stretch, we slow the vagal tone, which affects each of the associated organs and systems. 
✺ Stretching before bed brings awareness to the body and the present moment. It allows the practitioner to focus on themselves and get quiet in body and mind through simple, slow movements. This is a great way to prepare for rest as the mind’s focus shifts from the busyness of the day to what’s going on right now.

Simple Stretches for every body

▴ Child’s Pose or Forward Fold ▴

▴ Reclined or Seated Bound Angle Pose ▴

▴ Reclined Spinal Twist ▴

▴ Supported Bridge Pose ▴

▴ Cat/Cow undulations from tabletop or seated ▴

BONUS: Shaking! Shaking hands, arms, feet, legs, and head may release energy that needs to shift before coming into restorative and restful poses. 

Preview a selection of classes that complete a quick nighttime stretch routine: 

Yoga Before Bed with Clara 

Or take a look at a few of our favorite classes to unwind before bed:

Did You Know...

See how to align in your practice with one of the how-to videos

Search a selection of videos on the proper alignment, way to do specific pranayamas, and tips on how to get into peak poses

Email us if you have requests for a how-to video!

Sending love and a virtual hug, 
Clara & the Team.