Monday, December 16, 2013

A Black Ugg Boot Affair

Whoever thinks the ladies (and Gavin!) at the front desk don't have fun at work is entirely mistaken.

Proven by one long email chain and a size 8 Ugg boot.

December 11, 2013
From: Lilly 
Subject: A Black Ugg Boot Affair
Ladies and Gavin, 

If anyone comes into the York studio returning a size 8 black Ugg boot - our dear client Diana will be so very happy.

Someone left class with one Size 8 Ugg and left her with one Size 9 Ugg so now she walks down the street with one shoe too big.

I don't know if this Size 8 boot will resurface, but if it does please call Diana and deliver the good news.

If anyone can turn this into a Shel Silverstein poem I'll make you cookies.


From: Jaida
Subject: Re: A Black Ugg Boot Affair

It's like I read children's books for my job or something....

On the eleventh of December, of 2013,
Diana took class at York.
She took off her boots and hung up her coat,
then practiced her Down Dog, Cobra, and Stork.

Her class concluded in an hour or so,
And she floated out of the room in bliss.
But when Diana went to put her boots back on,
She noticed that something was terribly amiss.

Her favorite Ugg boots were of two different sizes -
One a size nine and the other size eight!
And when she searched the hallway for the missing boot,
she could not locate its orphaned mate.

She spoke with Lilly, working hard at the desk,
And together they looked high and low,
But sadly, the boot did not appear,
And Diana trudged away in sleet and the snow.

So now the front desk staff is left with a mystery!
Riddled with questions and doubt.
Will Diana ever locate the missing boot?
We will just have to wait to find out.

From: Chloe
Subject: Re: Re: A Black Ugg Boot Affair

How can ANYONE compete with that?!?! Not even going there.

From: Nicole
Subject: Re: Re: Re: A Black Ugg Boot Affair

Jaida, you're amazing.
The following is BASED on a true event...I like happy endings ;)

Twas the morning of the eleventh in December this year,
When little Miss. W awoke,
She thought to herself "I'm stressed as can be!
I think I'll take yoga at York!"
She scurried and hurried and ran straight to class,
Her size eight Ugg boots on her feet,
Once at York she slipped off those boots right away,
And laid them to rest on a seat.
What little Miss. W didn't know at the time,
As she ran in the room with a haste,
Was to the left of her boots was a seat just the same,
Where size NINE Ugg boots had been placed!
As their people took yoga, the boots stared in awe,
They had never seen something like them.
They played and they laughed and they shouted at once,
"We must see each other again!!!"
Time quickly passed and the class came to close,
And little Miss W appeared,
With peace in her heart, she slipped on her boots,
All her stress and worries had cleared.
But as little Miss W walked away down the street,
The toes on each foot felt quite strange,
Confused, she ran back and asked the front desk,
"My boots aren't the same! Who's to blame?!"
A giddy Miss Lilly at the desk there at York, said
"Oh my, I'm glad you came back!
For the woman with the other mismatched pair of boots
Will return again tomorrow, in fact!"
And there you have it--as the Ugg boots had intended,
Their brilliant plan firmly stay,
They will indeed meet again, their friendship still strong,
So till then, Happy Holidays, Namaste!!

Happy Holidays from the creative staff at New York Yoga! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yes, "Universal Practice" Does Include the Men!

Men, we understand the feeling of walking into a room filled with women and yoga mats can be daunting. Sure, you may have never come to practice yoga before because you believed that is was just about stretching and being in touch with your feelings. But, now that you're in the classroom and surrounded by female yogi's... you can't help but to feel out of place and uncomfortable. Halfway through the practice, you have most likely realized: this yoga thing it's exactly what you had imagined.

Here is what Stephen Walkiewicz at Men's Fitness has to say:
Going into my first-ever yoga session, I can see that I had this yoga thing completely misunderstood no matter how much credit I tried to give it. To me, it was just a silly stretch workout that vaguely had something to do with meditation-granola munching fluff. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's an intense workout that is physically and emotionally demanding.
More and more, we are seeing men taking the leap to join their first class and then coming back for more every day following. In Western culture, yoga marketing has been very faithful to female yogis by featuring women in clothing advertisements and yoga blogs. We believe yoga to be a universal practice, meaning all can profoundly benefit from being on the mat. Men, if you haven't made the jump to beginning your first class, don't be fooled by the view from outside looking in. Some of our most dedicated students and teachers are strong male yogis who have found the practice to be emotionally and physically challenging... so much so we see them every day of the week!

Don't be intimated, it's your practice too. Here's to the man on the mat!

A few related articles of interest:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

At the front of the Room: Cara Cooley

Students come to her class to groove to the knockout playlists, to be moved by her magnetic personality and to be reminded that laughter is just as essential to yoga as any asana. Cara Cooley, is just one of our multi-talented, creative teachers at New York Yoga. In case you have never found the time to chat with her after class or hang with her after a performance, here's a few things Cara has to share with you.  

Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
Cara: I started doing yoga a lot on the road when I was touring with a musical. I started doing podcasts in my hotel room. I found I was able to stay grounded and healthy even in the extreme lifestyle being on the road creates. I came back to NYC and decided to get my teacher training so I could share what I had learned with others. 

Did you ever imagine doing something else? 
- I actually never really thought I would be a yoga teacher! I'm so glad I did though. I've been continually amazed how I've been pushed and challenged as a person in the process of teaching. 

What is the most challenging aspect of teaching?
- The most challenging part of teaching is learning that you really have nothing you can teach to anyone. I just try to create a safe, inspirational environment where I hope students can learn and grow. 

What is your favorite pose?
- My favorite pose always changes! Right now I'm into backbends so I love king pigeon. 

What is the most important lesson you have learned through your practice?
- The most important thing I've probably learned is still evolving and it's the ability to walk towards challenges in life without fear. To persevere and never give up. 

What inspires you most?
- I'm so inspired by music.

Do you have any talents your students may not know about?
- I play in a band! 

What is one thing you would like your students to know?
- I'd like all my students to know I'm so honored for the opportunity to lead them through their practice. 

You can catch a class with Cara at New York Yoga HOT:
Sundays: 8:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
Mondays: 5:15 p.m.
Fridays: 6:35 p.m.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Is Hot Yoga Safe?

hot yoga

A lot of people have hesitations about trying out Hot Yoga for the first time, and skeptics have probably been waiting for the medical study that backs up the spiritual benefits of a Hot class.

Click this link to see the article that has just that.

With proper hydration, according to the experts, Hot Yoga is perfectly safe. But, you know, we've been saying that for years!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Yogitales: Dayton Haigney

Yogitales are your stories. At New York Yoga, we are continually inspired by what we hear from our students, about how yoga has had a transformative effect on their bodies and spirits. We wanted to share those stories with our community of yogis, and Yogitales was born.

I started practicing yoga approximately five years ago.  The York studio is located in my neighborhood.  One day, I decided to take a class for no particular reason.  That night, I could not believe how open my shoulders and chest area felt- I was sold.

Like many, I initially thought that yoga was all about bending and flexibility.  However, I soon learned that yoga is more about strength building (in particular the core and lower back).  I'm an avid skier- the yoga has immeasurably improved my performance on the hill.  Skiing is mostly about a strong core (the balance and lunges also help), which yoga practice builds.

More importantly, yoga has a strong spiritual component.  I've always had a spiritual life.  When I started practicing, I did not grasp the yoga/spiritual connection.  I was especially weary of the references to ethereal energy.  That changed through a profound experience.  My wife, Alexandra (Ali), practiced yoga for many years.  I think she was one of the original members at NYY.  She battled stage four cancer for many years.  After a long battle, the disease started to approach the end stages.  At this time, she was living in California.  I mentioned to my favorite instructor, Rachel Page, that Ali had gone into hospice.  Rachel took an interest in her progress.  Ali passed on a Wednesday.  I was beside myself and went to Rachel's class in an attempt to inject some normalcy into the day.  At that point, I was still a relatively new practitioner and struggled to make it through classes.  At the beginning of class, Rachel stated that I had suffered a loss and asked that the fellow students send energy my way.  During the class, I felt like superman.  I mentioned this to Rachel following class.  She pointed out that it was because the other students had sent their energy to me.  I left the shadows of doubt and became a believer in the super natural powers of yoga.

Thank you New York Yoga for transforming my life.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Five Great Reasons to do Hot Yoga in the Summer!

Now that New York has finally decided to get the temperature on the same page as the calendar, and it's heating up out there, you may be skeptical about continuing your Hot Yoga practice through the summer months. It's easy to get into the hot room in the winter, when it's cold outside, and New York Yoga provides a respite from the winter chill.

But here are five reasons why you should continue working in the hot room in the summer, too, even though you are being tempted by the gods of central air conditioning!
  1. Hot Yoga can help acclimate you to the season’s heat. Your body cools itself more efficiently and effectively through sweat. So when you leave the yoga room, the outside feels cooler than inside! It works the other way around also—when the hot room feels cooler than the outdoors, practicing becomes a delight!
  2. Your muscles, joints and ligaments will already be nice and warm when you enter the studio, so you will likely find you’re more flexible and can go deeper into the postures during the summer. Stretching and strengthening your body with hot yoga is the best way to increase joint flexibility, core strength and spinal mobility.
  3. The summer heat can leave you feeling sluggish—Yoga is a great way to fill your tank with energy by increasing your oxygen intake and balancing the various systems of the body. Hot Yoga encourages you to stay well hydrated and to replenish your electrolytes regularly. This can be a great benefit during the hot summer months.
  4. Practicing Yoga will give you an advantage in any summer athletic endeavor you choose—swimming, hiking, sailing, biking, jogging, beach volleyball-ing…No matter what outdoor activity you choose, Yoga will increase your strength, stamina, balance and coordination. Not to mention, burning 800 calories or more per class will get you buff in all the right places.  You will look great and feel more comfortable and confident all summer long.
  5. Activate the immune system and lower your risk for illness by detoxifying your body in a healthy air quality exercise environment. High quality air exchange helps protect the body against infection. Get re-energized. Rejuvenate your body and clear your mind by practicing in a heated environment, spend quality ‘me’ time focusing on your own health needs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pose of the Month: Kurmasana

Pose of the Month
Kurmasana – Tortoise Pose
by April Evans

If you’re anything like me, you have seriously had enough of this Vata spring season.  Vata is the Ayurvedic dosha of air and ether.  It is associated with change and creativity, and is highly present in the transitory seasons of Spring and Autumn.  When we have a particularly Vata spring, where it goes back and forth from and rain to sun and hot to cold, we can get to feeling like the winds of change are dealing us some hard knocks.  We get to feeling too airy, too spaced out, too much like our feet aren’t on the ground.  It can be hard to make decisions, and for those of us who are naturally airy to begin with, we might experience anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings.

This month’s Pose of the Month is Kurmasana – tortoise pose.  For me, this pose is the ultimate grounding posture.  Just like a tortoise retreating to his shell, this posture always makes me feel safe and reminds me that no matter what is going on around me, I am always at home in my own skin.

*Balances Vata Dosha
*Calms the Mind
*Opens the entire back body
*Opens inner and outer hips
*Tones abdominal organs

How to do this Pose
There are lots of stops on the way to the full expression of Kurmasana – stay and breathe once you’ve reached your edge.  Remember, you don’t have to be able to hook your ankles behind your head to embody a calming inward gaze.  Also, this is not a pose to do cold.  Warm up the hips, hamstrings, and space between the shoulder blades before trying this pose.

1.  Come to sit on the mat.  Bend the knees a lot and place the heels on the ground about as wide as the mat.  Drape the torso down in between the legs.  For some, this will be plenty.
2.  Reach from the insides of the legs and take the hands to grab the backs of the ankles.  Begin to work the shoulders underneath the knees.  Squeeze the knees into the shoulders to feel the shoulder blades open up, continue to let the head drop and breathe deeply.

3.  Start to reach the arms out in a V shape behind you, and begin to extend the legs long into a V shape in front of you.  The forehead may come to the floor, or maybe the chest can extend forward and the breast bone and chin will come to the floor.  This is another great place to stay and breathe.

4. If this feels good, start to reach the hands toward the center of the back, and begin to wiggle the feet toward each other.

5. For the full expression, you may be able to find a clasp with the hands near the small of the back, and hook the ankles behind the head.

6.  Breathe deeply into the safety of your own little shell.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Practice your Pigeon

Pigeon Pose is a staple of most classes. But reading this recent interview with New York Yoga instructor Kristin Leal made us stop and think about what really goes into pigeon.

As with all things yoga, remember that your body is not the same as the body next to yours in class, just like no one else's practice is quite like your own. So take a look at what Kristin has to say, and as always, listen to your body.

We'll see you on the mat!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yogitales - Stacie Kallenberg

Yogitales are your stories. At New York Yoga, we are continually inspired by what we hear from our students, about how yoga has had a transformative effect on their bodies and spirits. We wanted to share those stories with our community of yogis, and Yogitales was born.

I first practiced yoga on Sunday, February 12, 2012.  This date will forever be ingrained into my brain because it literally changed my life forever.  I had been on bed rest for the 8 weeks prior with a severed left ACL and a torn right ACL. Then on that Friday (2/10/12) I was told by my orthopedic surgeon that I would never be able to run again.  I was devastated, having been a competitive marathoner and triathlete.  Trying to comfort me, a friend recommended that I try hot yoga as he said it would give me the same feeling as the "runner's high" and an incredible cardio workout.  So on a very cold February evening I decided I had absolutely nothing to lose and found New York Yoga.  And that was the day I was "born again"! Yoga enabled me to run again; however, that became secondary as it did so much more for my mind and soul than my physical being.

My daily yoga practice has become a liberating and cathartic addition to my life.  I am a  perfectionist, and as a competitive swimmer my entire life, as well as being a marathon runner, my entire life has focused on being the best, the fastest, and always competing with myself for a new PR.  I have found that yoga allows me to come to my mat and "practice" without being the best or the fastest and that is such a liberating feeling. For the first time in my life I give myself permission not to be perfect. I always say that my yoga mat is my "playground" for my soul.

Yoga is food and nourishment for my body, mind & soul. It is my gift/treat to myself everyday. Yoga is the gift that keeps on giving to the yogi and the world around them. 

I will move mountains (or at least my calendar) to make it to Jackie Simon, Jimmy Burgio, Alison Riazi, Dayle Pivetta, Ryan Lile, & Cara Cooley's classes at New York Yoga. They are AMAZING!!! They lead a very rigorous & challenging practice with a lot of flow, but at the same time they inspire yogi's with their insight, spirituality, awesome playlists and encouragement.  They truly represent yoga "union" at its best.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Still Haven't Tried Hot Yoga?

If you haven't tried our Hot Studio on 85th and Lexington, you may be missing out. Sweating through a hot yoga class helps remove unwanted toxins from the system and can loosen your muscles to get you even deeper into poses.

It's always nice to read someone's story about how they found hot yoga and made it a part of their life. Click over to this great piece on Mindbodygreen to read more.

Then close your computer, grab a towel, and meet us at the Hot Studio. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pose of the month

Pose of the Month
By April Evans
Forearm Plank

During the chilly month of February, especially the one we have been having here in NYC, keeping warm is a major priority.  Forearm plank is a great pose to warm up the entire body by strengthening the core while opening the heart. 
-Strengthens the abdominals
-Strengthens the legs
-Strengthens the back
-Strengthens the arms
-Opens the shoulders
-Opens the chest
-Opens the backs of the legs and arches
How to:
It is imperative that you respect the boundaries of your body in this pose.  If you are building strength, then apply the modifications listed below.  Be patient now and build strength honestly.  If you don’t, you will have to be patient later while you are healing after hurting yourself.
-Come to Plank Pose, the top of a push-up
-Lower the forearms down to the ground, stacking the shoulders directly over the elbows.  Fan the fingers wide, making two parallel lines with your forearms
-If you have trouble keeping the elbows from winging out to the sides, it can be helpful to wrap a strap tightly around the upper arms and place a block in between the hands as pictured below

-Press strongly through the heels to feel the legs engage. (For some bonus engagement squeeze a block between the thighs or press the heels into a wall.)
-The hips want to be in line with the shoulders.  It can be helpful to practice beside a mirror to see if the hips are sagging down towards Sphinx pose or hiking up more toward Dolphin pose.  If the hips cannot stay in line with the shoulders, lower the knees down to the ground.  Maintaining the integrity of a long spine is essential in accessing the strength of the abdominals for support in the pose.

-Broaden the collar bones forward and let the back of the neck remain long
-Stay and hold for 5-10 breaths.  Smiling helps.
-Counter with a child's pose.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Teacher of the Month - February

Teacher of the Month
Peyton Biederman
By April Evans

Peyton's warm and friendly demeanor is sure to make anybody instantly comfortable walking into her class.  She enjoys exercising both body and mind, holding a MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance and a BA in Philosophy, French Literature, and Dance.  For her, yoga allows her to unite the body and mind in a very real way.  She is 500 hour certified, with additional certifications in Prenatal and Restorative Yoga.  It should be noted that as we interviewed she cooked dinner while playing with her cat, and before responding to any of the questions I asked, she giggled before speaking.  If you need a little sunshine, Peyton is sure to help brighten you up.

When did you first discover yoga?
It's a tricky question.  I was a dancer for a very long time and in my modern dance classes we did yoga poses, but it was more just for warming up before the dance combination.  So I was aware that I was doing yoga, but we weren't doing breath awareness or philosophy.  So that's been going on for many many years.  But strictly yoga, it's been about 7 years. 

How long have you been teaching?
It's kind of the same thing.  I taught dance before I taught yoga.  I've been a teacher for 10 years plus, I was teaching dance classes and company classes.  I got my master's in choreography and performance, then I started teaching yoga right after I got certified in 2010.  It was a linear transition from teaching dance to teaching yoga.

What makes your class unique?
Probably what makes everyone's class unique: it's just sort of being yourself.  It's hard to avoid being yourself.  I feel like we all follow certain templates, namaskars, and such.  I teach what I know, but then it's always so different because then it's fused through me.  Even if we were teaching the same exact thing it would be fused through your personality.  I really enjoy giving hands on adjustments.  It's fulfilling to know that I'm giving something back to the student very intimately. 

What is your favorite pose to teach?
I was thinking about this.  You know, actually I like teaching the very beginning if class when you first take your seat.  That centering at the beginning, that settling in.  Sometimes it’s the hardest to turn in and focus on your breath.  It's so difficult but so important and it all comes back throughout class. I often teach alignment cues and breath cues, you touch on the basic fundamentals you're going to come back to over and over again.  I like teaching virasana or supported fish, just getting people to recognize the simple basics like what's in contact with the floor.

What is your favorite pose to practice?
The poses that come easier for me that require flexibility like urdvha danurasana and hanumanasana, but because they come easily I practice the strengthening things like headstand or handstand or inversions.  It's nice to do what comes easily, but when you achieve something that was difficult you feel proud of yourself for pushing yourself.  My favorite thing changes every day: when is it not different?

What advice would you give to beginners?
Just come to class.  We were all beginners at one point and you have to start somewhere.

Advice for advanced yogis?
Take a beginners class.  Coming to class is the bottom line for everyone, but I think it's valuable to take a basic level class.  It can even be more challenging.  You might hold poses for longer,  and if you're coming into it already familiar,  you have the chance to use your perspective to go deeper that way.  I took a basics class today and I was like woo-hoo, I need to do this all the time.

What is your yoga pet peeve?
I try not to have them.  Ideally I want everyone to be on time and stay throughout class, but that's just not realistic.  I try to be open and understanding because we all have stuff going on.

How do you incorporate yoga into your daily life?
I try to use the path of least resistance.  My instinct is to be stressed, you know, riding the subway or something.  Yoga helps me pause before I react, I'm more patient when I'm practicing yoga.  My yoga practice helps me through my commute and I do a daily practice of pranayama for calming and the other many benefits.

What are your passions besides yoga?
Dance and choreography.  I was a dancer since I was 3, and although I don't perform or take class anymore, I still go see performances.  Linked to that, another side note would be music.  I have a lot of friends who are musicians and I like seeing live music.  I like hanging out with my friends, I like going to the beach and going swimming, dancing on the beach. Reading.  I was a writer for a long time because one of my majors was philosophy, one was French literature.  I've loved writing ever since I was a little girl.

Happy valentine's day! Thankful for all my teachers I'm grateful for being part of NYY.  Gotten to be close to some students, it’s a great place.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yogitales - Kaili Vernoff

Yogitales are your stories. At New York Yoga, we are continually inspired by what we hear from our students, about how yoga has had a transformative effect on their bodies and spirits. We wanted to share those stories with our community of yogis, and Yogitales was born.

 Kaili Vernoff

I started a regular practice more than five years ago. I had dipped my toe in the yoga waters a few times- and always connected with the practice- but it wasn't until I read “Eat, Pray, Love” that I jumped all the way in. The author talked about bringing her yoga mat to Italy, and she said, "I already had a regular practice..." and all I could think was how much I wanted to be able to say that about myself and have it be true.

My life and body have changed incredibly since beginning a steady practice. I have lost twenty-five pounds, and while that is wonderful, to me it is not even the greatest benefit of my practice. One of my motivations for coming to the mat was a terrible tightness in my hips. I was only in my thirties, and couldn't even touch my toes without enormous effort and pain. I had a very young child and wanted to be able to physically participate in her life more. In five years I have not only relieved my pain, but my teachers now call me "gumby hips". I have found greater flexibility than when I was a child. Last year I went for a regular check up and my doctor told me that he believes I have added twenty years to my life expectancy, and said I now have the resting heart rate of a "serious athlete". I was grinning from ear to ear! In addition to these physical gifts, I am more patient, tolerant, kind, and gentle both with myself and others. I have learned through persistent practice that hard work does yield. As one of my teachers always says, "gradually but inevitably" we grow towards the yogi/mother/friend/person we aspire to be.

I learn new things about myself every time I enter the studio. There is always something new to learn, to reach for, and because class is always different, there is no possibility for complacency. I take that lesson into the rest of my day. I have also made wonderful friends at the studio.  It is an incredibly supportive community, and I would miss my yoga family terribly if I ever stopped coming!

New York Yoga has the best teachers in the world. Their entire roster of teachers keep me motivated and focused, but when it comes to broadening and deepening my practice, I've been especially inspired by Lisa and Lulu. These amazing women have been at the studio as long as I have, and have guided me, literally one breath at a time, to a new way of living.  It is clear they are students as well as teachers, and I benefit from their insights and progress as they continue to grow in their own practices.

I can never thank them, and New York Yoga, enough.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Keep Yoga in your Heart

Like you needed another reason to devote yourself to a strong yoga practice, but A small study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that yoga may benefit people who have atrial fibrillation.

Read more about it at Forbes.

And then get back to class. Keep yoga in your heart, in more ways than one!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pose of the Month

Pose of the Month:
By April Evans

 Rockstar is one of those amazing poses that blend strength with flexibility in a gorgeous and graceful way.  As we enter the New Year, many of us are making resolutions.  But if we think about it, most of these resolutions boil down to being stronger or being more open.  Rockstar is a beautiful physical manifestation of the idea that the willingness to be open requires an immensely strong foundation, and a strong foundation is made better by what it grows.

Opens the chest and shoulders
Opens the hip flexors and fronts of the thighs
Strengthens the arms, shoulders, upper back
Is energizing and combats depression

How to:
Ensure that the shoulders, hips, and core are sufficiently warm before performing this pose.  It’s a good idea to skip this pose of you have low back, shoulder, or wrist issues.

1. Come to Downward Facing Dog.

2. Reach the right leg up for Down Dog Split.  Spread the fingers and make the weight even between the hands.  Feel that the crown of the head to the right heel makes one long line.  Continue to press the chest back toward the thighs, maintaining a firm low belly by hugging the front bottom ribs closer to one another.

3.  Bend the right knee and open up the right hip.  Continue to square the shoulders to the floor as the hips continue to open.  Squeeze the right heel toward your bottom.  If you are very flexible in your hips, pull your left hip back in space and feel the left side body lengthen a bit and the low back broaden.  If you are building strength in the shoulders, back, and abdomen, this is the place to stay. 

4. Now let the chest open up under the right arm.  Begin to roll to the outer edge of the left foot.  Let the ball of the right foot land behind you and reach the right arm overhead. Reach the tail bone toward the left heel.

5.  Make sure the left leg stays straight (it’s basically in side plank), and press into the ball of the right foot to help lift the hips and chest higher.

6. Return to Down Dog Split, then Down Dog

7. Take a brief Child’s Pose, then repeat on the left side.