The Warrior Within: Study of the Bhagavad Gita

The blessed Lord said: The vision that you have just been granted is difficult to attain. Even the gods are always longing to behold me like this, not by study or rights or alms or aesthetic practice. Can I be seen in this cosmic form as you have just seen me only by single-minded devotion, can I be known as I truly am Arjuna, can I be seen and entered.  – Bhagavad Gita, 11:54

An epic tale that’s nearly 4500 years old, the Bhagavad Gita captures the essence of the warrior and how to deal with life’s intense moral decisions. 

The Gita is relevant today for its potent depiction of a conversation that illuminates the questioning we have within ourselves when we face the hard questions. Through Arjuna, the warrior, and his charioteer, Krishna—who represents God/Divine/total consciousness—the reader is presented with themes that illuminate the virtues to overcome life’s hardships. 

The Warrior Archetype lives in each of us. We call upon the warrior to act with courage, integrity, and devotion.

Action for action’s sake, non-attachment, and devotion are a few of the themes that arise in the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna. When examining the Gita, we can apply the essential concepts to our lives today, which is what makes this story so relatable and compelling.

The reader is able to identify with Arjuna as he prepares for war; the battlefield is the metaphor for any tough decision or event we must go through and face. 

One of the most celebrated legends of Indian philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita, appears in many, if not all, of Clara’s training. We discussed some of the key themes in our podcast discussion and how they relate to current events we experience as a global community.

Read the highlights from our talk below, or listen to the full discussion.

Dedication of a Warrior Yoga Class

This 2-hour class includes a bit of meditation, the Pavamana Mantra, and a dynamic vinyasa sequence that builds to a peak pose with an arm balance in Visvamitrasana.

Discussion on The Bhagavad Gita

CROThe Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna, the warrior, who’s standing on a battlefield about to go to war with his extended family. The reader witnesses his conversation with Krishna, his charioteer, his advisor, and also happens to be God. The entire book is a conversation between them about whether or not Arjuna should fight and why he should fight. 

The Bhagavad Gita presents a metaphor for wherever we’re standing on the precipice of a hard decision that we need to make. The conversation between Arjuna and Krishna is the questioning that we go through within ourselves. The narrative is, essentially, a tool kit on how to deal with intense moral decisions. 

SDTOne of the key themes in the Gita is the idea of action for action’s sake. And there’s a passage in the narrative where Krishna says that what happens will happen either way, whether or not you decide to act. I feel like that’s a bit of what we’re being swept up in right now, globally. We’re being asked to act for the greater good of humanity. 

CROBy being inactive, you are still choosing; you’re choosing. You’re choosing not to act, and it’s also creating an impact. So the question is: what kind of impact do you want to create? The quote you’re thinking of is action for action’s sake, not to bear the fruit of one’s actions.

And the idea of that as you do it, to get it done; you don’t do it for the result.

Let’s talk about in terms of what’s currently happening, the skeptics would say, you stand up and raise your voice, but does it even matter? Can we even make a difference? And what Krishna would say is that it doesn’t matter whether or not it makes a difference. You need to do it because that’s what needs to get done. 

SDTAnd by not attaching to a specific outcome because our ego is striving for that. The ego strives to create a narrative that we control. 

CROSpeaking to it in a larger platform, just in terms of the youth in America and the idea of not voting, a large movement of people don’t believe that they should vote because it doesn’t make a difference. So the question is, why even put energy towards something if it’s already been decided pre-decided. What’s the point of doing it? 

SDTThe practice then, taken from the Gita, would be to practice non-attachment to the outcome but still act. Do you think that our lives are mapped out? What is your take on the idea of fate? 

CROOne of the biggest things I believe in is that it’s not personal, that none of this is personal. 

I do believe that when particular energies come together, friction creates a particular trajectory.

I think of it more along the lines of when I make a decision, I’m propelling myself in a particular direction. I believe that wherever there’s an action, there’s a reaction. There are cause and effect.

The question of action becomes, how will you be an instrument for change?

That’s essentially what is happening in the world. And it’s what is happening in the Bhagavad Gita as Arjuna needs to be the instrument of change. He must act. To save his family. 

SDTArjuna plays a pivotal role because of his position in society within his family and the kingdom. Would you say that our position in society depicts how much of a catalyst for change we are?

CROThis brings up an interesting story that my dad told me about children in a playground. Researchers were trying to understand the rhythm of energy created on a children’s playground. There’s an energy that’s propelling everybody in a certain rhythm. Researchers wanted to know who was creating that rhythm? Is it the alpha child? What they realized it that it was a child that was playing by themselves and tapping the side of the sandbox.

And by tapping the side of the sandbox, it was creating vibration and energy in the field around it. 

The lesson is that sometimes it’s the quiet one that you don’t recognize that creates the change versus the one that’s being the loudest. 

SDTI’ll read from one more passage: 

The blessed Lord said: The vision that you have just been granted is difficult to attain. Even the gods are always longing to behold me like this, not by study or rights or alms or aesthetic practice. Can I be seen in this cosmic form as you have just seen me only by single-minded devotion, can I be known as I truly am are Arjuna, can I be seen and entered. 

CROPutting this passage in context, the great revelation is one of the chapters in the Gita. And essentially, what happens at the beginning of this chapter is Arjuna asks if he might see Krishna in his cosmic form. So Krishna reveals to him his cosmic form, which is life and death and everything in between.

Arjuna sees the interconnectedness of all things when Krishna’s divine form is revealed. Another way I think about it is it’s like tapping into the matrix and seeing the matrix itself. It’s something that you can’t understand and is overwhelming. 

Krishna reveals himself because Arjuna is the ultimate devotee and student of Krishna. And this occurs at the very beginning, before the battle when Krishna asks Arjuna and his cousin what they want to have on the battlefield as their weapons. And the choice is between an army or Krishna as the charioteer. Arjuna chooses Krishna without flinching. 

This is part of the ultimate test and a sign of pure devotion. Devotion is another theme of the Bhagavad Gita. It shows this idea of devotion to something bigger than yourself. 

Bhakti, which is devotion in Sanskrit, is the idea that you should do everything from a pure place in your heart.

All actions become an act of devotion, meaning an offering to something greater or something outside of yourself. Devotion is the idea of surrender and of letting go of the person we think we are. It’s surrendering and softening into being the piece of sand on the beach. And that realizing that you are not the beach, you’re just a piece of sand and part of something that is much, much greater than you.

SDTWhich is why we can’t get attached or hung up on the result- because, in the end, we may never see the final result of our actions?

CROYes, and through the surrender, we let go of our suffering.

The ultimate goal of all, in Eastern practices, is to let go of all attachments to release the suffering.

We’ll always have pain, but suffering is a choice. And how we let go of suffering is we surrender. We surrender to all of it. We let it go so that we’re not holding on.

My teacher likes to describe it as life is like a flowing river. And attachments are what holds us to the bank of the river. What we need to do is let go and go and be with the river.

The momentum is the energy that is the divine, or whatever you want to call it. So the practice is to let go, to surrender to it, and release all attachments. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
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✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Purification Through Air: The Power of Pranayama

Breath is a powerful tool to ground the nervous system and produce calm in the body and mind. 

When you’re feeling overstimulated or experiencing angst or over-excitement, a few minutes of conscious breathing may be the remedy to settle your nervous system. 

No matter where you are, the power of pranayama is accessible. You don’t need any props or a yoga mat. 

Prana means life force. Pranayama is control or constriction of life force. It’s the energetic current created in the body we control by bringing awareness to the breath. Focused pranayama brings a state of calm to the body and mind, influencing the central nervous system to affect the hormones released, thereby shifting how we feel. 

The body is made up of energy lines called nadis, which affect the body’s subtle energy. There are three main nadis in the body: Sushumna, Ida and Pingala. Sushumna is the central channel that travels from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Ida is the channel that travels along the left side of the body, and Pingala is the channel that travels along the right side of the body.

Pranayama aims to understand the flow of breath by gaining awareness of how it lights up the nadis, shifts our subtle energy, and overall transforms how we think and feel.

Moving Meditation for Purification

In this short Moving Meditation class with Clara, you’ll move through various kriyas to purify the mind and body, pranayama to open and expand the lungs, and meditation to relieve stress and connect to silence.

Take a look at the four pranayama practices included in this short class. 

4-Part Breathing

Benefits:
This pranayama provides a sense of grounding and creates stillness in the body and mind. Great to practice if you have high energy and want to calm down.

How To Perform:

  • Inhale for the count of four.
  • Hold at the top for the count of four.
  • Exhale for the count of four.
  • Hold at the bottom for the count of four.

Repeat several cycles and then sit in meditation to be in how you feel. 

Kundalini Mudra

Benefits:
A clearing technique to purge excess energy by sharply exhaling through the mouth. This technique keeps the energy moving and high. Great to practice if you want to stay elevated and awake but still purge any excess stress or tension. 

How To Perform:

  • Inhale sharply through the nose and make a fist with your hands.
  • Exhale sharply through the mouth and sparkle out your fingers.

    Repeat several cycles speeding up or slowing down as necessary. 

Sufi Grinds

Benefits:
This moving meditation relieves tension in the low back and brings flexion/extension to the spine. Sufi Grinds draws the energy upwards from the root of the spine to the crown of the head. Great to balance any nervous energy and clear away static energy.

How To Perform:

  • Inhale through the nose and arch the spine as you lean forward.
  • Exhale through the nose and round the back as you shift backward.
  • Stay seated and draw circles with your body by rotating the torso.
  • Create larger and smaller circles and imagine drawing energy upwards from the pelvis to the crown of the head.
  • Root down at the seat to feel grounded as you move. 

Lions Breath

Benefits:
Lion’s Breath connects you to your inner child, creating a space for play to rid the body of amassed stress. It relieves tension, improves circulation, and opens the front of the chest, neck, and throat. 

How To Perform:

  • Exhale sharply out the mouth and stick out your tongue with your fingers anchored on the ground.
  • Add a growl or any sounds, including laughter, as you exhale.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Class of the Day Features:

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join the Shadow School Email Series

Sign up and receive your class of the day email for Shadow School.

A daily Lila Flow Yoga class is delivered directly to your inbox.

Benefits of the Shadow School Email Series

It’s your DAILY reminder to commit to 30 days of yoga—
with short, 20-40 minute practices that target the entire body to lengthen and strengthen specific muscle groups.

What you receive in the Shadow School Email:

  • Choose to practice with music or without music during your daily Lila Flow Yoga class. Both LINK options are provided in the Shadow School Email Series.
  • Complimentary mediation, restorative/yin, Yoga Nidra, mantra, and pranayama courses are provided.
  • The Lila Flow Yoga classes repeat week to week BECAUSE WE LEARN through repetition. ADDED BENEFITS: increased stability, mobility, and flexibility in your body.
  • Develop the discipline of daily practice and invest in your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing—the email adds a sublet prompt to commit to making it to your mat.
▹ Lila Flow Yoga class
▹ Optional meditation, pranayama, and manta classes
▹ Journaling prompts
▹ 30 days of yoga calendar
▹ Note of inspiration from Clara
▹ LIVE Lila Flow class schedule
▹ Save the LIVE class to a digital calendar

Lila Flow Yoga provides:

  • Dynamic and flowy classes to get you into your breath and body.
  • Build to peak postures with peak flows featuring Wave Theory sequencing.
  • Ground AND stimulate the nervous system through your breath.
  • Equal parts strengthening and lengthening muscles. 
  • Themed for the chakras, emotions, and body parts. 
  • LoFi music by Pete Wonder to dance through each flow. 

The Lila Flow Yoga Series includes 7 Classes

Each class relates to one of the seven chakras for you to connect to its energy.

Fear

A faster-paced and fiery class that builds heat and strength in the body. This class includes twists, leg balancing, hip and hamstring opening, and backbends. 

Releases: Fear

Creates: Power/Strength

Emotions: Grounded

Body Part: Legs

Chakra: RootMuladhara 

Element: Earth

Guilt

A dynamic class with simple transitions that features side waist, hamstring, and hip opening. This class is great for runners and cyclists as it lengthens the leg muscles and chest. 

Releases: Guilt

Creates: Connection

Emotions: Flow

Body Part: Hips

Chakra: SacralSvadhisthana 

Element: Water

Shame

A fluid class with playful transitions that keeps you guessing as to where this sequence is headed. Focusing on the core and back muscles, this class equally strengthens and lengthens the muscles attached to the spine.

Releases: Shame

Creates: Transformation

Emotions: Strong

Body Part: Core

Chakra: Solar PlexusManipura

Element: Fire

Grief

This class creates space to move through and express grief. Open your practice by shaking the arms, legs, and entire body to release stagnancy and physical tension.

Releases: Grief

Creates: Compassion

Emotions: Flourish

Body Part: Heart

Chakra: HeartAnahata

Element: Air

Heart Truth

A short class that creates space in the side body, shoulders, and chest to prepare for deep twists and backbends. The theme of this class is duplicity; what’s living in your heart may be different from what you’re communicating.

Releases: Duplicity

Creates: Inspiration

Emotions: Balanced

Body Part: Neck/Shoulders

Chakra: ThroatVishuddha 

Element: Sound

Maya

A playful class that moves through leg balancing poses such as eagle, half moon, and standing hand-to-foot poses builds strength and tests your balance. This class is themed for Maya, illusion, and asks that you breathe deep and call upon your divinity—your relationship to your soul.

Releases: Illusion

Creates: Illumination

Emotions: Peace

Body Part: Meditation/Visualization

Chakra: Third EyeAjna

Element: Light

Attachment

This class is great for anyone who works at a desk or commutes to work. With core and back body strengthening, you’ll release the muscles strained by sitting. Twists, heart-opening, lunges, and hamstring lengthening are featured. 

Releases: Attachment

Creates: Manifestation

Emotions: Connection

Body Part: Inversions

Chakra: Crown Sahasrara

Element: Ether

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes & a weekly LIVE yoga classor purchase the Play with a Purpose Bundle!

Join me for an experiential practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes & a weekly LIVE yoga classor purchase the Play with a Purpose Bundle!

How To Start A Home Yoga Routine

Did you disconnect from your yoga practice over summer break? It’s common (and healthy!) to put a pause on your exercise routine—especially if the sun’s heat and brilliant display beckoned playtime and activities outside. Taking time off from your daily yoga practice may help you feel refreshed when you return to your yoga mat.

Dropping your daily yoga practice may be vital to your commitment long-term. Consistency over intensity is key, and taking a week (or in some cases, a few weeks) off may benefit you in maintaining a healthy relationship with your yoga practice. 

Taking time off is easy, and It may feel hard to return to your yoga mat.

Obstacles to Initiating a Daily Yoga Practice 

Mental: Lack of time and resources. Resistance to starting a (new) habit. A desire to sleep in a little longer or watch Netflix before bed.
Emotional: Lack of motivation and inspiration. Avoidance of your emotions as emotions live in the body, and yoga tends to surface the stuff you mentally suppress. 
Physical: Lack of energy, body soreness, muscle fatigue, overall lethargy.

What Are The Best Tips to Start a New Routine?

Commit to just one thing. Make it easy for yourself; choose a specific time, duration, and yoga class, and commit to that one thing for at least a week. Start small; set aside a few minutes each day as a starting point and make a point of checking in and reflecting on your progress at the end of each week. 

Practice with Clara will support you in transitioning back to your yoga mat—through movement, mantra or meditation—with on-demand content and LIVE virtual events to provide you with the motivation and inspiration to reestablish a daily yoga practice. 

Here are a few questions you may ask yourself before you start:
  • What days best suit my schedule? 
  • What time of day is best for my schedule?
  • Do I need a calendar to track my progress and act as a reminder?
  • What am I avoiding when I don’t make time to do yoga? 
  • How do I feel before and after I do yoga?

7 Tips to Make it to Your Yoga Mat

  1. Set up your space. Create the physical space to set up for your practice. If you have the option of doing your yoga practice in a separate room from your work, set up your mat, props, and technology ahead of time, so it’s ready for you when you wake up or get home from work. If you don’t have a separate space to do your yoga practice, light incense or a candle, turn on music, or choose an item for your altar. It’s important to have a signifier for your routine, an item, scent, or sound, that helps you connect to your practice and get in the mood/zone. 
  2. Take ten deep breaths. The quickest way to drop into your body is through the breath. Your breath relates to how you expand (inhale) and contract (exhale) in your body; it stimulates or slows the nervous system and affects your mood. Deep breathing is shown to decrease the feeling of stress by slowing the heart rate and tells the brain to release endorphins that make you feel good. If you’re tight on time, taking ten breaths in child’s pose or a forward fold may help you feel more grounded, calm, and ready to face the next phase of your day. 
  3. Do sun salutations. Move the body and invigorate the mind, heart, and muscles with a few sun salutations. Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) is invigorating asanas (physical poses) linked together by the breath. Sun salutations create heat in the body, increase the heart rate, engage and stretch the muscles, and improve overall circulation. You may feel a boost of energy as you do sun salutations and release tension in the chest, shoulders, and back. Sun salutations are a great way to get moving and may inspire you to stay a little longer on your yoga mat once you’ve got your heart pumping.
  4. Get up a little earlier. Set your alarm 30-minutes earlier than you normally would, and come to your yoga mat for 10-minutes of movement, mantra or breathwork. It’s hard to commit to a yoga practice or exercise routine at the end of the day. When we wake up, we are clear and grounded from rest if we’ve slept well. Mental fatigue is an obstacle if you wait until after work to do your practice. 
  5. Include your family or friends. When you have people holding you accountable, you’re more likely to show up regularly for your routine. You will face days that you feel tired, grumpy, or disconnected, and you will not want to do your yoga practice. A friend or family member who will commit and practice with you may help you push past obstacles and stay focused. 
  6. Eat foods that support your practice. Certain foods bring you down energetically that affect your mental and physical capabilities. Eating the foods that nourish your body and make you feel good will support your practice. When you feel heavy, sluggish, bloated, or lethargic, you are less likely to want to move your body on your yoga mat. You should eat the foods that make you feel full and not dull, foods that are bright in flavour and easy to break down and digest. Check out the Guide to Ayurveda to see the foods, recipes, and beverages to support your yoga practice. 
  7. Join a 7-Day Sadhana Series or a 30-Day Virtual Yoga Challenge. Sign up for a series or a yoga challenge to reignite your dedication to daily practice. These events are virtual with on-demand content you can do at your leisure anytime, anywhere. Our community of yogis worldwide will support you from Canada to the USA, Europe and Australia. The community comes together to offer inspiration, encouragement, and motivation for the duration of the events. 
Transition Meditation

A brief meditation to ease you out of your workday; take this meditation on the bus, in the car, on your bike, or when you arrive home.

There are no props required so that you can do the meditation on the go.

This meditation invites you to surrender to your breath and envision it moving like water through your body to release stagnancy and flow through the rest of your day. 

What If I Cannot Do Yoga Every Day? 

Live your yoga—use this statement as your guide when you cannot make it to your yoga mat. Yoga is so much more than asana practice. It’s a philosophy for living and a way of being in the world. Yoga is how we breathe, think, speak, and engage with others. It’s living with more self-awareness and compassion, so we act with more integrity and make choices that benefit ourselves and the global community. 

Yoga does not always look like a 60-minute vinyasa yoga class; it may be a short meditation or mantra practice or a few deep breaths while you wait for the bus or walk to pick your kids up from school. Yoga is a state of being, so on the days you cannot make it to your mat, shift your mindset so that you can do your yoga no matter what! 

The quickest way to decrease stress that you have control over is through deep, diaphragmatic breathing.

Your breath works with the vagal tone to slow down the heart rate and mental fluctuations. Especially if you feel lethargic and unmotivated to move after your workday, a short meditation may be all you need to hit reset. Studies have shown that deep breathing through activities such as yoga improves your sense of well-being. From a pilot study on the role of deep breathing on stress:

The use of deep breathing techniques has lead to an effective improvement in the management of stress in daily life, and therefore, could exert positive influences on the stress conditions.” 

What Is Living Your Yoga? 

During a LIVE yoga class, Clara asked participants for their definition of freedom. Here’s what the community had to say:

Blissful. Choice. Peace. Space. Independence. Joy. Balance. Community. Mother Ocean. Abundance. Love. Solitude. Self-respect. Permission. Acceptance. Silence. Nature. Open. Spacious. Movement, Light. Equanimity.

This is what living your yoga looks like; it’s the process of opening yourself to new experiences, reflecting on how you feel and how you want your life to take form, and developing the discipline to show up for yourself every day. 

Yoga (re)connects you to your body, mind and soul through the poses, breathwork and philosophical questions. It asks that you feel your breath and how it moves through your body, so you might locate the places that require your attention. Unlike other physical fitness, yoga is a practice of self-reflection. Yoga strengthens the body and the mind; it asks you to focus your attention on your breath and move through postures that test your capacity to endure and release.

You may see and feel the physical changes in your body if you keep showing up; however, the greatest benefit of yoga is the sense of clarity and connection to yourself you receive when you make it to your mat. 

Transitional Playlists to Support Your Home Practice

Practice with Clara offers many playlists with classes to support you in making it to your yoga mat each day. These playlists provide classes that are short, simple, and open-levels. Some of the classes do not require a yoga mat so that you can do the practice anywhere, anytime. 

Let’s wake up and get the day started with a bit of movement and clearing breathwork to stimulate the digestive system and warm up the body. 

Let’s take a class to release any mental, emotional, and physical tension that accumulates during the workday. 

Let’s unwind with gentle movement, mantra, and meditation classes to settle the nervous system and create calm in the body. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Relieve Abdominal Tension with the Forrest Roll

For centuries, philosophers, psychologists, and scientists have questioned the human decision-making process with rhetoric to support an argument for either the head or the heart. The greatest love stories in literature capture this dilemma; consider the film Moulin Rouge by Baz Luhrmann. 

You must have faced a similar dilemma when assessing your relationships, work, and health. Do you follow your gut instinct, or do you weigh your options and go with the most logical approach? 

When you are healthy (your gut health is strong) and aware of how you feel (you process your emotions), you make decisions based on embodied cognition—meaning, you decide based on a blend of rational thought, intuition, and emotional association. 

Angst, discomfort, excitement; there’s a reason people say they get butterflies in their stomach when nervous. The neurons in the belly-brain are firing and sending messages via the vagus nerve to the brain. To relieve physical and emotional tension, you need to treat the body as you would the mind with mindful practices.

From Forrest Yoga, the Forrest Roll releases tension at the lower abdomen. This process works to lessen the physical and emotional strain on the body for you to feel more relaxed and connected to your belly-brain where intuition resides.

How the Forrest Roll Works 

The Forrest Roll creates constriction at the lower abdomen to restrict the flow of blood, massage the internal organs, and release the fascia that wraps around the muscles located at the belly.
This practice creates more space around the gut to breathe deeper and provides access to the hip flexors. 

A symptom of our society today is very tight hip flexors from sitting at a desk or in a car. Tight hip flexors cause pain in the low back and compression at the lower spine. To relieve low back pain, releasing the hip flexors is one way to create space around the tailbone. The Forrest Roll may also assist in relieving knots in the belly from fear, anxiety, and other emotional stressors. 

The benefit of such mindful movement practices is that you become more aware of how your body processes and receives information through the brain, heart, and belly to develop embodied cognition and act with greater clarity and integrity. 

The Three Brains: Mind, Heart, Belly

Neurological research supports how there are three brains for humans to exercise in the decision-making processes. The mind for analytical function, the heart for emotional processing, and the belly for intuition. This data supports and illustrates that combining the three brains is the best way to assess situations, avoid danger, and process information. 

Two systems in the body process and receive information. Instead of using polarizing language to create conflict and separation, these unique systems may be seen as complementary when deciding how and when to act. The mind-brain is slower to process information, rational, and deliberate, whereas the heart-brain and belly-brain are faster to process, intuitive-based and rely on emotional associations. 

Your belly-brain is where you connect to your emotional body. How you feel is intrinsically connected to what’s going on in your abdomen, thanks to the network of neurons that line the stomach. Extensive research has been done on the relationship between the brain and the stomach to illustrate the interconnectedness between mental clarity and digestive health. Whether a piece of food or an intangible idea, what you put into your body affects how you feel, think, perceive, and interact with others. 

According to scientific analysis, there’s a vast network of neurons that line the stomach that provides immense amounts of information to the rest of the body regarding how you feel and how disease is processed. Hundreds of millions of neurons in the stomach help you feel your inner world and connect to sensations in your body as you process the world within and around you. The stomach has more neurons than the spinal column and the peripheral nervous system, second only to the brain. 

The physical digestion of food helps you process nutrients to provide energy to the body and its systems. The abdomen is also the place where you digest and process your experiences. The mind-brain is where you attain consciousness and make decisions in your day-to-day. The belly-brain is where you connect to your emotions and the physical sensations that give context to your day-to-day experiences. 

Release Abdominal Tension with the Forrest Roll

If you have digestive issues (IBS), are pregnant or are on your moon, please be very careful as you come onto the roll or take the lesser variation with fists in a child’s pose. 

Watch the short tutorial on how to set up your roll on YouTube.

Contradictions

If the Forrest Roll is too intense:

Make two fists and tuck your fists into the lower abdomen and then take a child’s pose. The fists create stimulating knots on the lower abdomen; it’s less pressure than the roll. 

How to make the Forrest Roll:

  1. Create a little snail roll by rolling up your mat. 
  2. Fold the edges of the mat inwards. 
  3. Roll the mat up from one end until you have a small roll.
  4. Place the roll at the center of the navel and recline on your belly.
  5. Stay up on your forearms and extend your legs behind you.
  6. Hold and breathe into your abdomen for several minutes.
  7. Come off of your roll and lay your mat down on the ground. Take Balasana (child’s pose) or recline on your belly and breathe into your lower belly. 

Considerations

  • You may feel a pulsation around the lower abdomen and the navel; this is normal. 
  • You may feel a stretch around the groins and lower spine as the psoas release. 
  • You might use a rolled-up towel or blanket in place of a yoga mat. 
  • The more you bend your knees and prop yourself up onto your forearms, the less intense this will feel in your abdomen. 
  • Start slow and ease your way into the pose.
  • Try to hold this shape for 3-5 minutes. 

Benefits of the Forrest Roll:

  • The roll softens the muscles around the lower abdomen to give the organs an internal massage. 
  • Relaxing the abdomen around the roll provides more access to the psoas muscles, aka the hip flexors. A soft abdomen provides the psoas with a deeper release. The psoas becomes tight and stained from sitting and sit behind our guts, so when we soften the belly, we have more access to the psoas muscles in front of the spine. 
  • As the psoas release, you may feel a rush of energy down the legs (tingling or heat). 
  • The roll releases the psoas muscles at the front of the pelvis, which aids in decreasing low back pain—a good pose to perform before or after a backbend class. 

The Forrest Roll is a way to activate the digestive system through compression to the abdomen. Constricting the blood flow to the organs creates tension, so oxygen-rich blood flows through the body when you come off of the roll. When you restrict the blood flow, the release will create more space in the body and a surge in fresh blood to the restricted area— in this case; it’s the abdomen. This practice may encourage better digestion and healthier organs. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Classes to take with the Forrest Roll:

Where the mind-brain is rational and clear-cut, the belly-brain is abstract and non-linear. You may not know why you feel what you feel. Issues that arise in the gut may cause mental turmoil or physical angst from something ingested or an unprocessed emotion or unconscious idea. There’s evidence that supports how gut health can positively affect mood and anxiety via the vagus nerve. 

A vinyasa class featuring arm balancing as you move towards mayurasana, peacock pose. Twists, back strengthening, hip opening, wrist stretches, and neck release are featured in this class. 

Kapalabhati breath stimulates the digestive fires and creates heat in the body. This class works with the idea of inner alchemy as you’ll be invited to consider the challenges you’re experiencing on an individual or a collective level. What lessons keep showing up? 

A watery class inspired by Ana Forrest Yoga, you’ll move toward Dhanurasana (bow pose) as the peak pose. This class uses a bolster to support core strengthening and resistance; this action brings awareness to the abdominal muscles by pressing into the bolster.

Back and gluteal strengthening is balanced with side body and quadricep lengthening. Move through a fluid and dynamic flow to create heat and space across the chest’s front and back. 

The Role of the Vagus Nerve in Your Body’s Health

The vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in the body, carries information back and forth between the mind-brain and the belly-brain. The vagus nerve originates at the base of the head, where it connects to the brain and traverses down through the stomach. The vagus nerve connects to and transports information to the body’s major organs, including the brain, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, spleen, colon, and small intestine. 

The vagus nerve performs regulation of heart rate, respiration, and digestion. The vagus nerve balances the nervous system and triggers a response of the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as rest and digest mode. In rest and digest, you feel calmer and connected to creativity. Deep, slow breathing helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, as does yoga and meditation, and is a feature of the vagus nerve. 

Here’s how anatomy teacher, Erin Moon, shares the importance of the vagus nerve in managing stress:

“Anytime we deregulate, we work with polyvagal theory. Stephen Porges is the author of the Polyvagal Theory, whose research revolutionized our understanding of the polyvagal nerve. The polyvagal nerve is the tenth cranial nerve that starts at the brain and speaks to all body parts. 

The polyvagal theory essentially puts a brake on the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight mode, where we feel distressed or anxious. It can be a momentary stress event or ongoing stress event that tells your body to go into a fight or flight. You can strengthen your vagal brake the same way you strengthen a muscle. Working with polyvagal break asks the vagus nerve to do its fundamental job; to put on the brake and stop fight or flight to shift the body into the parasympathetic nervous system, aka rest and digest.

One of the greatest interventions that we have as yoga instructors is breathing techniques/pranayamas. Breathwork can be both excitatory and calming, like Kapalabhati breath or Nadi Shodhana. During pranayama, you’re going through a whole stress cycle; you’re asking the vagus nerve to take the brake off to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and then you’re asking it to put the brake back on to shift into the parasympathetic nervous system. With every breath, we’re practicing taking the brake on and off. Every time you take a breath in, it’s excitatory. Every time you take a breath out, it’s down-regulating.”  listen to the interview on the Practice with Clara podcast.

Why You Care About Digestive Health

Your emotions live in your abdomen; the belly-brain is where you identify unprocessed emotions and connect to your feelings. Fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger; all live in your gut. The roll may help relieve emotional tension and help you connect to how you feel by bringing awareness to the lower abdomen. 

When it comes to supporting the immune system and the overall health of the mind and body, stimulating the digestive system, known as Agni in Sanskrit, helps keep the body strong, safe, and healthy. The roll is one of the ways we stimulate good Agni in the physical body to reduce toxins and remove waste materials. 

Toxins are presented in many forms, such as food, intense emotions, or unnecessary violence. Healthy digestion offers an opportunity to prevent toxins from amassing and causing illness and imbalances.  

Ayurvedic Counsellor Maria Garre advised on how to purge the toxins that accumulate in the body: 

“There’s mental ama and physical ama. If we take care of our Agni and take care of our gut health and digestion, we don’t have to worry about ama. We focus on the positive, on creating strong Agni.” 

For more information on the energy and emotions surrounding the abdomen and gut health, please listen to the interview with Maria Garre on the Practice with Clara Podcast, or read the blog post.  

10 Tips for Creating Strong Agni:

  1. Do heat-building pranayamas, such as Kapalabhati breath.
  2. Do core strengthening exercises. 
  3. Release facial tension with the Forrest Roll. [ link ] 
  4. Eat foods that align with the seasons. 
  5. Drink herbal teas and lots of water. 
  6. Practice meditation and other techniques that soothe the nervous system. 
  7. Get enough sleep.
  8. Stick to a routine—cultivate a daily ritual around mindfulness.
  9. Consume less sugar and alcohol.
  10. Learn about Ayurvedic practices to support your immune system during fall.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga for Injury and Tips to Embrace Intuitive Movement

Learn to Give Your Body What It Wants

Intuitive movement is the practice of honouring what you feel and listening to your body’s needs. 

Avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are inherent. To prevent pain in the body, we instinctively breathe, move, and perform activities to lessen tension and aggravation. Refining how we listen and respond to the body’s demands is an important aspect of wellness. Similar to how we react to thirst and hunger, intuitive movement is essential to the body’s physical health.

Intuitive movement is moving with the body’s natural rhythms; it responds to the body’s needs by listening and responding to its sensations. It’s a way of connecting to the body to address how we feel. Standing up when we feel stiff, neck rolls to release tension, and stretching the arms overhead upon waking up are all forms of intuitive movement. 

Unlike exercise, intuitive movement isn’t concerned with burning calories, building strength, or enhancing flexibility. The benefit of intuitive training is that we get better at listening to our body’s needs to prevent injury and burnout. 

Your body wants to move, and it will let you know if you’re listening and receptive!

The caveat of intuitive movement is if we’re unaware of our bodies and push the feel-good sensations too far. The sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, works with the idea that like attracts like, and the opposite heals.

In yoga, we work with two types of students: those hypermobile who need to strengthen and those strong who need to lengthen. 
It’s important to remember that what feels good isn’t always the best for us, such as certain foods and substances that make us feel good at the moment but terrible later on.

Enjoy a slow flow yoga class.

These classes are slower-paced and feature lots of breath and flowing transitions.
This style of yoga allows you to connect to how your body feels and learn the foundational poses in a vinyasa yoga practice.

Tips to Embrace Intuitive Movement:

  • Do what feels right in your body.

Work with the sensation you experience instead of focusing on how the pose looks. Explore what stretch is being offered and create the shape that provides the sensation without strain.

For example, in pigeon pose, if the purpose is to stretch the outer hips, you may also take 90/90 legs or reclined pigeon. Such modifications are helpful especially if you experience pain at the knee or low back in pigeon pose. 

  • Move with breath.

Maintain a long, deep breath as you move through your practice and hold the postures. Your breath will let you know if you’ve gone too far by becoming restricted and short. Your breath should move into all four parts of the lungs throughout your practice; the front, back, and either side of the rib cage should expand with each inhale.

For example, if you have trouble breathing or find that you’re breath is constricted, come out of the pose or slow down so you can breathe deeper. 

  • Take days to rest and recover.

Allow the body to rest between bouts of exercise and excursion. This creates space for the muscles to relax and heal from strain. Savasana is the most important posture in practice as it’s where we rest to receive and integrate the benefits of the practice in the mind, body, and nervous system.

  • Switch things up.

Do different forms of exercise to target all parts of the body. This will enhance your ability to move, breathe, and intuit what your body needs as your mind, muscles, and nervous system respond to change. 

  • Create a ritual.

Make movement a part of your daily routine. The more we integrate mindfulness practices and exercise into our day-to-day, the better able we become at responding to stress. We experience stress in many forms; at work, in relationships, and during a yoga class when we stress our muscles. As we develop a more mindful response to stress that isn’t rooted in emotion, we create space to listen to our body’s needs and our intuition. 

Developing a sense of body awareness is essential to the body’s longevity and health. It’s advisable to work with a trainer as you develop an understanding of your body and what you specifically need.

Even advanced yoga practitioners and the best athletes have injured themselves from not listening to their bodies. It’s why the Ayurvedic practice of like attracts like, and opposite heals is so reassuring. Sometimes, we should do the opposite of what we crave to create balance. A hyper-flexible person may desire more lengthening, but they need strengthening to balance the two forces in their bodies.

Class of the Day Features:

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga for injury with modifications to maintain your practice

The classes in the How-To Guides to Align in Your Practice are meant to assist you with injury, sensitivities, strain, recovery, and offer tutorials on how to move through basic asanas. 

How to use props (and make your own), how to perform basic pranayamas/breathwork and postures, and how to modify for injury tutorials are featured in this playlist. 

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!

 

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. 

If you have low back pain, even mild low back pain, or aches, be conscious of forward folding and any poses where the spine is rounded. Be sure to bend the knees in your standing forward folds to relieve compression at the low back. 

In this short tutorial, learn the various modifications for knee sensitivity or knee injury in a vinyasa yoga practice. 

If the knee goes past the ankle into deep flexion, it is very unstable for the knee and may cause instability and further injury.

One thing to think about if you’re recovering from a knee injury is how to engage the muscles surrounding the knees to provide more support to the area. Engaging the hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner thighs helps create more stability around the knee join

It’s always helpful to ask, “what can I do,” instead of “what can’t I do,” when you observe what’s being asked of you during a class.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.
 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga for Sports to Enhance Your Athletic Performance

Enhance Your Athletic Performance

Simple stretches and strengthening exercises will help you release tension after vigorous activities AND build strength in lacking areas. 

Yoga can be used as a cross-training tool to help enhance athletic performance, prevent injuries, strengthen key muscle groups, and improve flexibility. Overall, yoga creates more space in the body and mind, which aids in mental clarity and performance whenever you engage in your preferred sport. 

Long, strong, and supple muscles and connective tissues allow the body to respond to its environment through an increased range of motion and better balance. As a daily practice, yoga aids in deep, relaxed breathing that calms the nervous system and stimulates brainwaves associated with creativity, euphoria, and clearheadedness.
Integrating the practice of yoga into your workout regime will improve your physical and mental performance; the psychology of sport is just as arduous as the physical commitment. 

On Practice with Clara, we’ve created the Yoga for Sports playlist with five unique collections that provide a weekly program to tend to the muscles strained from activity. The collections include Yoga for Runners, Yoga for Cyclists, Yoga for Swimmers, Yoga for Rock Climbers, and Yoga for Skiers/Skateboarders. 

Each collection features classes for the days you workout to complement your routine, courses for the days off with longer sequences, and courses for every day of the week with meditation and restorative yoga. Each collection also provides short tutorials featuring tips for injuries and modifications while you recover.

Why you should check out yoga for sports

  • Relieve sore muscles.
  • Strengthen lacking areas to enhance your skills.
  • Lengthen muscles to improve flexibility.
  • Improve overall agility and movement in day-to-day activities.
  • Restore injuries.
  • Take conscious rest on your days off.
  • Develop mindfulness practices to strengthen your mind and build new neural pathways.  

Class of the Day Features:

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Enhance your athletic performance.

Check out the Yoga for Sports Playlist—we have curated collections for cyclists, runners, skiers/skateboarders, swimmers, and rock climbers.

Integrating the practice of yoga into your workout regime will improve your physical and mental performance; the psychology of sport is as arduous as the physical commitment. 
In each collection, you’ll find:
  • Yoga for the DAYS OFF of the sport
  • Yoga for the DAYS ON the sport
  • Meditation for any day of the week
  • Tutorials for injury and modifications
The intention is to relieve the strain on the muscle groups used in each of the activities and strengthen the areas of the body that are neglected to create a holistic mind/body map for you to feel balanced.

Benefits of yoga for runners:

  1. Develop a strong(er) core
  2. Deepen your breath
  3. Feel the strength of your legs 
  4. Align with proper posture
 

Benefits of yoga for cyclists:

  1. Create space in your shoulders and chest
  2. Stretch your arms and wrists
  3. Lengthen your spine
  4. Unwind with meditation
yoga for sports
yoga for sports

Benefits of yoga for swimmers:

  1. Open your chest and midback
  2. Lengthen your inhales and exhales
  3. Release the hips, hamstrings, and glutes
  4. Restore with Yoga Nidra

Benefits of yoga for rock climbers:

  1. Release tension in the hands and wrists
  2. Unwind with poses close to the ground
  3. Stretch the front, back, and inner leg lines
  4. Open the front of the chest and side waist
yoga for sports
yoga for sports

Benefits of yoga for skiers/skateboarders:

  1. Strengthen your core muscles
  2. Release the front of the pelvis, hips, and glutes
  3. Open the front of the chest and shoulders
  4. Stretch your hamstrings and low back

Join me for an experiential practice

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

20-Minute Morning Yoga to Boost Energy

Short and fiery yoga practices to kick-start your day.

Take a 20-minute yoga class to invigorate your body and clear your mind before work or on your break.

When we ritualize our day-to-day activities, we have the opportunity to bring more awareness and self-control to the tasks we perform. A routine also acts as an anchor when we feel tired, angry, sad, stressed, anxious, and the many other uncomfortable states we experience outside of our control.

We cannot control all of the events that occur or how we feel all of the time; however, a morning routine reminds us of the things we can control. 

To create a morning routine, you may want to choose activities with a grounding effect, meaning actions that lower stress levels, release feel-good hormones, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. We spend a lot of our time in the sympathetic nervous system, aka fight or flight mode, which activates the body’s stress response. The parasympathetic nervous system, aka rest and digest mode, is the state where we feel clear, connected, and grounded.

Awareness of breath, breathwork exercises, stretching, and activities such as yoga, meditation, and martial arts, directly influence the nervous system, hormones, and brainwaves. We can shift how we feel and transform our perception of self and how we interact with our environment when engaging in yoga activities. 

Set aside 15-30 minutes for your morning routine; the more time you give yourself, the less rushed you’ll feel. 

For those who are busy, allocating a shorter amount of time is more feasible; it means we don’t feel overwhelmed by the commitment on days when we already feel tight on time. Even 5-10 minutes is more than enough time to set aside a simple ritual that helps us ground and anchor in a positive mindset. 

Tight on time?

Check out these playlists to take a yoga class before work or on your lunch break:

 

10-30 minute classes featuring Hatha, slow flow, and vinyasa yoga. 

10-20 minute core yoga classes to build heat and strength.

30-minute vinyasa yoga practices to flow and break up the stagnant energy. 

Invigorating activities to start your day:

  • A breathing exercise, such as inhaling and exhaling for the count of four; this style breathing has a calming effect on the nervous system. In 2-3 minutes, a breathing practice may help you feel calmer and is a great way to hit reset if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed.

  • Simple stretches, such as child’s pose, forward fold, hip opener, or other simple poses, release tension in the body. Stretching and physical activity releases hormones serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones, which help us shift how we feel. 

  • Journaling. Writing down our observations and how we feel is a practice of awareness; writing has a therapeutic effect and calms the nervous system. 

  • Meditation or mindfulness practice. Sitting or laying down for a visualization, body scan, yoga nidra, or meditation activates theta brainwaves. Theta brainwaves are connected to creativity, intuition, daydreaming and act as a repository for memories, emotions, and sensations. 

Class of the Day Features

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

5 NEW Morning Yoga Classes

See the new Morning Yoga Series playlist and select from five 20-minute classes:

1.

A fluid class featuring mandala namaskars from Prana Flow creates space and length in the body to prepare you for deep twists. 

2.

Start your day with a vinyasa sequence featuring classic Sun Salutations ‘A’ and ‘B,’ twists, hamstring lengthening, and pranayamas with Bhramari and Khumbaka.

3.

A fluid and dynamic class targets the back body and opens the side waist and spine to prepare for backbends. 

4.

Join Clara and the Lila Vinyasa Yoga Students for a short flow sequence to open the chest, shoulders, side body, and hips.

5.

Join Clara and the Lila Vinyasa Yoga Students for a short flow sequence to open the shoulders, side body, and hamstrings. 

Join me for an experiential practice

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Why Is Doing Yoga At Home So Hard For Me?

Do you lack the motivation to do yoga at home?

Have you suffered the loss of community to anchor your yoga practice? 

Are you in need of a little inspiration to reconnect to a daily ritual of mindfulness?

If you answered YES,
you’re not alone!

Sustaining any program takes patiencepassion, 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

(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. 

Commit to your yoga at home practice

Class of the Day

Each month, we share a class (or two) per day.

The Practice with Clara Program provides a monthly calendar of classes.

Our goal is to:

✺ Help you create a ritual of making it to your yoga mat each day.
✺ Make it easy to do yoga, with varied styles, levels, and lengths of classes.
✺ Support you in developing strength and space in your body. 

Ask yourself these questions to get started.

  • 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?

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Get the Class of the Day

We share a new Class of the Day playlist each month on the Practice with Clara Apps.

This playlist comes with a calendar for you to track your progress and reflect on how you’re feeling and progressing through your month of yoga. 

 

Benefits of the Class of the Day playlist

  • Each day, alternate class styles, lengths, and levels to avoid burnout and overuse of specific muscles.
  • A focus on balancing the muscles; equal days on and off strengthening and lengthening.
  • Peak Pose playlist prompts seasoned yogis to advance their practice.
  • Meditation and Yoga Nidra classes to ground and restore.
  • LIVE yoga classes with hundreds of yogis worldwide!
  • A holistic approach to sequencing stresses and strains the body AND leaves space to round and calm the nervous system.
  • Accessible for practitioners of ALL LEVELS.
  • You choose between 1-2 yoga classes per day to complete your daily class. 
 

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.
 

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.

Progressive series

to advance your yoga practice.

We share monthly yoga & meditation challenges for practitioners to strengthen their physical and mental bodies. 

6 Benefits to Developing Your 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. 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 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.

warrior-fire-flow

Yoga for every body

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. ** 

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

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. 

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.

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 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Morning Yoga to Strengthen and Energize Your Routine

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 one reason to practice morning yoga 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. 

Why do yoga in the morning?

  • Greet the day with your body and breath.
  • Do a quick workout right away, when you have time!
  • Stretch and release any tension from sleep.
  • Strengthen your core to support movement.
  • Clear your mind before work.
strong roots strong glutes

Benefits of a Morning Yoga Practice:

  1. The power of the yoga practice is in alchemy; we have the ability to shift how we feel and perceive ourselves. The release of positive endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine has the power to shift your mental and physical state. The feel-good endorphins released have a positive impact on our bodies and minds to 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, we provide our organs with an internal massage to enhance their function, no matter how quickly or slowly we shift from pose-to-pose. 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, you’ll feel refreshed and energized and less likely to reach for a second or third cup of coffee through the release of hormones and circulation. 

  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. Over-excitement, angst, and nervousness represent an abundance of energy that may be balanced with physical activities like yoga. 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.

▷ Take the 5 New Morning Yoga classes.

10-30 minute classes to do before work

  • Hatha, vinyasa, and core flow yoga classes.
  • Pranayama practices such as Kapalbhati, Nadi Shodhana, and Bhastrika. 
  • Sun Salutations to get the blood flowing and build heat. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

The best rituals to start your day

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 spine’s arch, when we perform backbends in yoga 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 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. 

2. Twists

B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. Twisting stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. 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. 

3. Core

Core strength is essential to the spine’s longevity, and mobility as the core muscles support the spine and affect the hips and pelvis.

A strong core means strengthening the transversus abdominis, internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, and the pelvic floor muscles. 

A weak core may result in lower back pain; low back pain indicates the need to strengthen the core, including strengthening the back body’s muscles known as the erectors. The erector spinae is the group of muscles and tendons that run laterally down the spinal column from the skull base to the sacrum beneath the lower back. 

Strengthening the core abdominals and erectors creates a corset to support the spine. In yoga, we use the definitions sukha and sthira to describe the qualities of a healthy spine. Suka translates as flexibility, suppleness, and ease. Sthira translates as stability and strength. Ideally, these two aspects are balanced within the spine and the overall posture of the individual. When we tend to one quality over the other, we’re more prone to injury. 

To strengthen the core and back muscles, here are a few exercises to do at home:

  • Bridge pose, locust pose, and plank pose with a block between the inner thighs to isolate the core stabilizers.
  • Small crunches with the lower back and back ribs compressed on the ground to maintain spinal integrity and length. The spine should be neutral during sit-ups and crunches, aiming for the spine’s minimal curvature and the back pressed to the ground.
  • Leg lifts, either one or two legs at a time, depending on how you feel, with the back compressed to the ground. This action may be done with bent knees as toe taps to begin. 
  • Side plank poses to target the side body and obliques.
  • Leg and arm extension from plank pose or tabletop if a plank is too much; this strengthens the core and the erectors. 

These actions will engage the gluteal muscles (buttock) and hip flexors (muscles at the front of the hips) to create stability throughout the entire body and not just the core and back. 

A practice that focuses on core engagement may be performed several times a week. Ideally, 2-4 times weekly. It depends on the practitioner’s level and how their body feels. Other muscles step in to compensate for the fatigued area when we’re tired, so it’s all about listening to your body and addressing where you are at each day over pushing through a set plan. 

4. 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 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

Backbends

Examples of backbends to boost the adrenals:

 

Twists

Examples of twists to stimulate the digestive system:

Core

Do these classes to strengthen your core: 

Kapalbhati Breathing

Join me for an experiential practice

▷ Visit the Morning Yoga playlist and choose from open-level, intermediate, and advanced morning yoga classes. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

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