Happy Souls Yoga

Yoga for everyone!

Offering Family Yoga for ages 2 and up! Spend quality time together as a family by practicing yoga through games, storytelling and music. Only $16 per family (up to 3) drop in rate Sundays from 10:30-11:15am at Yoga Alameda (1502 Park St., Alameda) Get your flow on! Offering Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow every Wednesday from 9:00-10:00am at Yoga Alameda (1502 Park St., Alameda). Childcare available. $10 drop in per participant and $6/child for childcare Visit http://www.yogaalameda.com for more info!

New schedule! Join me...

02.28.18 | Lotus Position | Padmasana

02.27.18 | Reclining Pigeon Pose | Supta Kapotasana

02.26.18 | Bound Angle Pose | Baddha Konasana

02.25.18 | Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend |
Upavistha Konasana

02.24.18 | Revolved Head-of-Knee Pose | Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

02.23.18 | Head to Knee Pose | Janu Sirsasana

02.22.18 | Half Lord of the Fishes | Ardha Matsyendrasana

02.21.18 | Pose after Low Lunge or Anjaneyāsana

I did it with my back toes curled to get a deeper stretch.

02.20.18 | Camel | Ustrasana

01.19.18 | Bridge Pose | Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

02.18.18 | Crow Pose | Bakasana

02.17.18 | Boat Pose | Navasana

02.16.18 | Extended Big Toe Pose | Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

02.15.18 | Tree Pose | Vrksasana

02.14.18 | Chair Pose | Utkatasana

02.13.18 | Wide Leg Forward Fold C | Prasarita Padottanasana C

02.12.18 | Triangle Pose | Trikonasana

02.11.18 | Warrior 2 | Virabhadrasana II

02.10.18 | Warrior 3 | Virabhadrasana III

02.08.18 | Warrior 1 | Virabhadrasana 1

02.08.18 | Low Lunge | Anjaneyasana

Benefits:
Releases tension in your hips. Stretches your hamstrings, quads, and groin. Strengthens your knees. Helps build mental focus.

How to:
From Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the right knee over the heel. Inhale and lift your torso to upright. Take your head back and look up, being careful not to jam the back of your neck.

02.07.18 | Downward Facing Dog | Adho mukha śvānāsana

Benefits:
The role of downward facing dog is vast. Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include: Stronger hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon. Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle.

How to:
Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. The fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top edge of your mat. Point your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.
Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands.
Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling, then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an "A." Imagine your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs. Do not walk your feet closer to your hands — keep the extension of your whole body.
Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis. As you lengthen your spine, lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling. Now press down equally through your heels and the palms of your hands.
Firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your index fingers into the floor. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the top of both shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades into your upper back ribs and toward your tailbone. Broaden across your collarbones.
Rotate your arms externally so your elbow creases face your thumbs.
Draw your chest toward your thighs as you continue to press the mat away from you, lengthening and decompressing your spine.
Engage your quadriceps. Rotate your thighs inward as you continue to lift your sit bones high. Sink your heels toward the floor.
Align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.
Hold for 5-100 breaths.
To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to your hands and knees.

02.06.18 | Upward Facing Dog | Urdva Mukha Svanasana

Benefits:
Improves posture.
Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists.
Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
Firms the buttocks.
Stimulates abdominal organs.
Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica.
Therapeutic for asthma.

How to:
Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. Place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Inhale as you press through your hands firmly into the floor. Press down firmly through the tops of your feet.

02.05.18 | Four Limbed Staff Pose | Chaturanga Dandasana

Benefits:
Strengthens arm, shoulder, and leg muscles.
Develops core stability.
Prepares body for inversions and arm balances.

How to:
Begin in Plank Pose. Keeping your elbows directly over your wrists, slowly lower your body to hover a few inches above the floor. Keep your back flat.
Lift through your chest, keeping your shoulders in line with your elbows. Do not let your chest drop or sag toward the floor.
Fully engage your abdominal and leg muscles.
If the full pose is too challenging right now, come to your knees first. Then, lower your torso to hover an inch above the floor. This is Half Chaturanga.
Do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Keep them hugged along your ribcage, pointed toward your heels.
Press the base of your knuckles into the floor. Your upper and lower arms should be perpendicular, bent 90 degrees at the elbows. Do not let your shoulders drop lower than the height of your elbows.
Hold for 10-30 seconds, and then lower your body all the way to the mat and rest. More experienced students can press back into Plank Pose. Those practicing Sun Salutations can press forward into Upward-Facing Dog.

02.04.18 | Plank Pose | Kumbhakasana

Benefits:
Plank Pose tones all of the core muscles of the body, including the abdomen, chest, and low back. It strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders, and is often used to prepare the body for more challenging arm balances. Plank also strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine, which improves posture.

How to:
Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana. Then inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists, torso parallel to the floor. Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor.

02.03.18 | Half Standing Forward Fold | Ardha Uttanasana

Benefits:
Ardha Uttanasana stretches and lengthens your hamstrings, calves, and front and back torso. It also strengthens the back and spine, improving posture. Practicing this pose stimulates the abdominal organs and belly, improving digestion.

How to:
Begin in Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), with your hands or fingertips on the floor at the side of each foot. You can also rest your hands on your shins, or press your palms into yoga blocks at the sides of your feet. Inhale as you raise the front of your torso away from your thighs, straightening your elbows.

02.02.18 | Standing Forward Bend | Uttanasana

Benefits:
Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves
Strengthens the thighs and knees
Keeps your spine strong and flexible
Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
Calms the mind and soothes the nerves
Relieves tension in the spine, neck, and back
Activates the abdominal muscles
Eases symptoms of menopause, asthma, headaches, and insomnia
Stimulates the kidneys, liver, spleen
Improves digestion
May lower high blood pressure
Therapeutic for infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

How to:
Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your hands on your hips. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso. Bend your elbows and hold on to each elbow with the opposite hand. Let the crown of your head hang down.

02.01.18 | Upward Salute | Urdhva Hastasana

New month, new yoga challenge!

Benefits:
Urdhva Hastasana stretches the sides of the body, spine, shoulders, armpits, and belly. It tones the thighs, improves digestion, and helps to relieve anxiety and fatigue. It also helps to create space in the chest and lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma and congestion.

How to:
1. From standing, bring the balls of the feet to touch, leaving a narrow space between your heels. Ground down through the four corners of each foot. Lift and spread your toes—this will help you lift your arches and inner ankles and get a sense of where your midline is. Then engage your quadriceps. Maintain the lift in your arches and legs as you release your toes down.

2. Neutralize your pelvis by anchoring the tailbone toward your heels and moving the tops of the buttocks down. This helps prevent an exaggerated curve in the lumbar spine and keeps the lower front ribs from splaying out, which can interfere with maintaining a strong line of extension in both Upward Salute and Handstand.

3. Inhale your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor. Exhale to externally rotate from the top of the humerus bones, where the arms insert into your shoulders. Draw the bottom tips of your shoulder blades toward your spine, widen your collarbones, and broaden your chest.

4. On an inhalation, raise your arms alongside your ears. On an exhalation, root down through your feet.

5. Inhale to lengthen the sides of your waist even more and reach up through the crown of the head. Exhale to firm your arms closer to your ears and midline. Make sure your lower ribs are not splaying out. Keep your gaze at the horizon, your chin level, and your throat soft and open. Hold here for 8 breaths before exhaling the arms down.

01.31.18 | Corpse Pose | Savasana

Benefits:
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
Relaxes the body.
Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia.
Helps to lower blood pressure.

How to:
Savasana can be the most difficult pose of your practice. Although it looks easy, Savasana (Corpse Pose) has been called the most difficult of the asanas. Indeed, many yoga students who can happily balance, bend, and twist through the rest of class struggle with just lying on the floor.

Lie down on your back. As you recline on your yoga mat, place your feet spread slightly apart from each other. Put your arms at your side with your palms facing up. Your fingers should be curled up naturally.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe from your diaphragm, which is in your lower belly. Push out the muscles in your diaphragm as you inhale. Inhale for five counts. Then exhale for another five counts.
Repeat the breathing sequence until you feel relaxed.

01.30.18 | Plow Pose | Halasana

Benefits:
Calms the brain.
Stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland.
Stretches the shoulders and spine.
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
Reduces stress and fatigue.
Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis.

How to:
Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down.
On an inhalation, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and hips up toward the ceiling. Bring your torso perpendicular to the floor. Straighten your legs and slowly lower your toes to the floor with your legs fully extended.
If your toes do not yet touch the floor, support your back with your hands. Lower your legs as far as possible, keeping your legs straight. Continue to keep your back supported if your feet do not touch the floor.
If your feet rest comfortably, extend your arms along the floor and interlace your fingers. Press your upper arms firmly into the floor, drawing down through the pinkie finger side of your hands.
Align your hips over your shoulders. Un-tuck your toes and press the tops of your feet into the floor.
Lift your tailbone higher, and draw your inner groin deep into your pelvis. Keep a space between your chin and chest, and at the same time, lift your chest to open the upper back. Soften your throat. Gaze down toward your cheeks.
Hold the pose for up to five minutes.
To release, support your back with your hands. Then, slowly roll down, one vertebra at a time, bending your knees if you need to.

01.29.18 | Shoulderstand | Salamba Sarvangasana

Benefits:
It aids digestion. ...
It helps relieve swollen legs. ...
It helps calm a headache. ...
It relaxes the mind. ...
It improves circulation to the upper body and brain.

How to:
Begin lying on your back with your arms by your sides, then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor.
With an exhale, begin to contract your abdominal muscles and press your upper arms into the floor to lift your feet and lower back away from the floor, drawing your front thighs toward your chest.
Bend your elbows and place your hands on your low back, then draw your elbows and shoulder blades toward one another. Spread your palms fully across your back body and continue to lift your hips until they stack directly over your shoulders and your spine is relatively perpendicular to the floor.
Keep your elbows approximately shoulder distance apart, actively countering the tendency for them to splay out to the sides, and ensure that more weight is placed in your shoulders and upper arms than your head and neck.
With an inhale, begin to extend your bent knees and straighten your legs. Keep your legs together and lift actively through the balls of your big toes, lengthening your tailbone toward the ceiling and extending through the inner edges of your legs.
Relax your face, throat, and jaw. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and move your sternum toward your chin. Gaze softly towards your chest.
Remain here anywhere from 5 to 15 breaths. To come out of the pose, bend your knees on an exhale, and gently walk your arms out from beneath you as you roll onto your back one vertebra at a time.

01.28.18 | Head to Knee Pose | Janu Sirsasana

Benefits:
Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression
Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins
Stimulates the liver and kidneys
Improves digestion
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis
Strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy (up to second trimester), done without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and front torso long.

How to:
Use a strap around your extended-leg foot if needed. Then, work on keeping your front torso long as you fold forward. Work toward bringing your belly to your thighs first, rather than bringing your head toward your knee. Never force yourself into a forward bend.

01.27.18 | Triangle Pose | Trikonasana

Benefits:
Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
Strengthens legs, knees, ankles, abdominals, obliques and back
Stimulates function of abdominal organs
Relieves stress
Improves digestion and constipation
Helps to alleviate back pain and symptoms of menopause
Used therapeutically for anxiety, infertility, neck pain and sciatica

How to:
Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.

Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
See also: Expand Mind and Body: Extended Triangle Pose

Exhale and extend your torso to the right directly over the plane of the right leg, bending from the hip joint, not the waist. Anchor this movement by strengthening the left leg and pressing the outer heel firmly to the floor. Rotate the torso to the left, keeping the two sides equally long. Let the left hip come slightly forward and lengthen the tailbone toward the back heel.

Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the torso. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left thumb.

Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up, strongly pressing the back heel into the floor and reaching the top arm toward the ceiling. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.

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Alameda, CA
94501

Opening Hours

Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00
Sunday 10:30 - 11:15
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