PRO TIPS : 5 Reasons Why You Need a 6am Hatha Yoga Class

alameda oakland yoga studio

The ambrosial hours are the best time to practice yoga. Wanna know why? Before you start your day you can attune your mind, body and spirit. Many sages, gurus and healers have emphasized the importance of waking up during the “Ambrosial hours” (before sunrise) between 4 – 6am for yoga, meditation and prayer.

Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga emphasizes that enjoying a yoga practice early in the day helps to keep the mind quiet, and can help with concentration and focus throughout the day.

“There is a cosmic peace and serenity right before sunrise.  Changing your morning can change your life.” – Banyan Botanicals

Why this is the best time for an inspirational practice:
  • Early Bird Winners! You start your day winning and reclaiming balance in a positive and affirming environment.
  • Digestive Fire (Agni) – the abdominal organs are massaged at the top of the day with an early morning yoga practice
  • Healthy Posture – Most of us will be slouched over a steering wheel, phone/computer , children , desk etc. for most of the day. Align your spine first thing in the morning to combat the sedentary nature of work.
  • Coffee? Waking up the mind this early in the morning is better than a cup of coffee
  • Zzzz .. You sleep better, the adrenaline from movement in the morning is better than the evening. It’s often more difficult to go to sleep after yoga/exercise in the evening.
How can one prepare for an early morning practice?
  1. Turn of all technology 1 hour before bed
  2. Drink warm herbal tea before bed
  3. Set a soft gentle alarm clock for the morning

Enjoy or 6AM Hatha Yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday with Misia : )

New Classes on the Symmetry Schedule!

Symmetry is growing! We are excited to have several new additions to the schedule!  Check out these new and updated classes and be on the look out for more!

9:30AM Sundays – Vinyasa Flow with Anne Gregory

9AM Tuesdays  – Community Flow (only $10!) with Winona Farris

6AM  Thursdays – Sunrise Hatha Yoga with Misia Denéa (beginning 12/6/2018) 

6AM Fridays – Early Bird Flow with Tiffany Marquez

10:15AM Fridays – Fierce Fridays with Winona Farris

yoga studio symmetry alameda oakland

Sign up for your next class, here!

You’re Invited: A New Year’s Celebration to Connect to Your Truest Self

Oakland yoga studio Alameda As the end of the calendar year quickly approaches, I find myself reflecting on the multitude of intentions I’ve set for myself over the course of this year. Some set only for my practice, others for my whole day, still more for my entire life. Intentions that remind me of who I am and what is important to me.

For those that have not yet awakened with me during 6am Early Bird Flow, I will always invite you to bring an intention into your practice, sometimes as a dedication to something important, sometimes a strong statement of Self. In many classes, I will also share with my students my Present Intention as an offering to perhaps fuse into their own or just to hold as a gift.

With a New Year on its way, it’s easy to start thinking of the classic “resolutions” we so often set without realistic expectations or understanding of Life and Humanship as it comes in the inevitable waves that it will. As I’ve meditated on my own goals, with Yoga and beyond, I continue to receive so vividly the single Sankrit word: Sankalpa.

A Sankalpa is a Sacred Intention. An Intention that reaches to the depths of our souls and represents our truest heart and our deepest desires. -San- connecting us to our Highest Self, our Truth, and -kalpa- meaning a vow or commitment. In its truest essence, it will honor our deepest values in life.

Resolutions tend to come from a place of deprivation or a desire to change our essence,  whereas a Sankalpa honors the light and love that already exists within us and seeks to bring us closer to the fiber of our Being.

This New Year’s Day, I invite you to join me in an exploration of your own heart and mind to unlock and discover YOUR unique Sankalpa.

We will do some light journaling along with meditation and breathwork to sink in to our practice. We will then do a slow flow Vinyasa practice that weaves meditative movement with breath to strengthen the connections of mind to body. And finally, we will close with a release of tension through select Restorative poses, allowing the fusion of energy to solidify and rejuvenate the Spirit within.

Written by Tiffany Marguez. Tiffany teaches Early Bird Flow at 6am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

 

Take Advantage of our Happy Holiday Sale!

Grab a 10 Class Yoga Card for Only $108!

108 has long been considered a sacred and auspicious number in Hinduism and yoga. Renowned Vedic mathematicians viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence that connects us to our place in the cosmic order.

This is why you will find that malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads. Also, according to yogic tradition, there are 108 sacred sites throughout India. There are also 108 Upanishads (ancient yogic texts) and 108 marma points, or sacred points of the body.

This number appears again and again in Vedic astrology and similarly to the mantra AUM, connects us to the whole.

Buy Now! Offer ends 1/15/19.

Symmetry Student Celebrates 100th Class!

Beloved Symmetry Yoga student, Greg Hartman, celebrated his 100th yoga class today in Valerie Tao’s lunchtime flow! Before walking through Symmetry’s doors back in April, Greg had only stepped on a yoga mat 4 times in his entire life. We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions:

Q: What brought you to yoga?
A: I had some persistent lower back pain and core weakness that I wanted to improve.

Q: Has yoga helped?
A: It totally worked!

Q: What keeps you on the mat?
Overall well-being and mobility. Helps me do my job as a dad.

Q: Have you noticed any other unexpected benefits?
A: Contentment.

Q: Anything else? 
A: Last month I was recruited by my son’s kindergarten teacher to lead his class through some yoga. The kids loved it!

We’re so grateful to have you as part of the Symmetry Yoga Community, Greg!

Support Fire Victims – Thursday Vinyasa Flow at 10AM

In an effort to help victims of the most destructive wildfires in California’s history, all of the proceeds from our Thursday Vinyasa flow class at 10AM on November 15th, 2018 will be donated to Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue. Hopalong is one of California’s leaders in providing rescue to animal victims of disastrous fires and has been working around the clock in response to the camp fire in Butte County. As the largest all-foster rescue organization Hopalong provides medical supplies, veterinary emergency care, transportation and helps reunite many displaced domestic pets with their original owners.  For the many families who have lost their homes, being reunited with their beloved pets provides some joy and relief amidst the sorrow.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from Thursday’s Vinyasa flow class at 10AM taught by Abigail Rauber will be donated to Hopalong & Second Chance Animal Rescue.  If you are unable to attend the class, but would like to support Hopalong, please direct monetary donations here. Due to time limitations and volunteer labor associated with material gifts, monetary donations are recommended to purchase only the items that are absolutely essential.  Hopalong is also looking for foster families and assistance with transporting animals from their Oakland location. To get involved, email Hopalong at info@hopalong.com

This post was written by Abigail Rauber. Abigail teaches Vinyasa Flow every Thursday at 10AM.

Cultivating Gratitude

When was the last time you said “Thank you”? Was it heartfelt? Was it genuine?

Cultivating a spirit of gratitude is a pathway to healing. We can all find ways to complain or be disappointed, it’s fairly easy to point out what’s wrong, what’s not working. We all have an inner critic, a voice that is fueled by the ego. This voice feeds our insecurities and if it goes unchecked can lead to bouts of depression and anxiety as well as an endless mental loop of mind chatter that does not serve our peace of mind.

The holiday season is approaching. This means many of us will review the year that has passed and gauge what needs to change for the year ahead. Would it hurt to try to add more appreciation , even when we are living in very bleak times? Many of us cannot bear to watch the news or we are triggered by social media because there is more and more heavy and dark articles about the violence and chaos that is being experienced through out the world. There are natural disasters, threats to vulnerable communities and their human rights …the list goes on.

Honestly the best thing we can do is take our yoga and meditation practice to the next level and sprinkle it with the goodness that is Gratitude. This can help balance the dark days that may be ahead of us. Perhaps we can find some Light and Joy on our healing journey path.

Let’s take a page from Marie Kondo. Kondo is a world renowned de-cluttering connoisseur:
“I urge [my clients] to try saying ‘Thank you for keeping me warm all day’ when they hang up their clothes after returning home.”
“… when we fold [clothing], we should put our heart into it, thanking our clothes for protecting our bodies”
“Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you… thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me”
“It’s thanks to you that I got so much work done today.” (talking to her shoes)

Here is your homework:
Create a Gratitude Journal.
List 3-5 things everyday that you are grateful for.
Really easy, maybe a stranger smiled at you during your commute to work… Perhaps someone held the door open for you at work .. Did you hear your favorite song on the radio? Did someone give you a compliment? Did you catch the sunrise/sunset? Did you spend time with your loved ones? Try it for a week and let us know how it goes.

Ready. Set. Go.

This post was written by Misia Denea, Misia teaches Sunrise Hatha Yoga every Tuesday at 6am, sign up here!

New at Symmetry – Community Flow & Fierce Fridays

We are excited to introduce one of Alameda’s finest teachers, Winona Farris, to our community! Winona will be teaching two brand new classes:

Community Flow – Tuesdays, 9-10AM 

Community Flow is a vinyasa flow class that we are offering at a discounted drop-in rate of $10. We are excited to offer this class to help make yoga more accessible to our community!

 Fierce Friday – Fridays, 10:15-11:15AM 

This is a vinyasa flow class open to all levels of practitioner. In this class you will synchronize breath with movement. The class will focus on creating a feeling of being grounded, dissolving anxiety and tension systematically through a present moment awareness of the feeling body, facilitated through conscious breathing. Students awaken their strength, energy, and flexibility in a fun atmosphere. The class will begin with sun salutations, progress through standing postures with a focus on balance, move into a seated series with an emphasis on forward folds, finally ending with finishing postures and a period for rest.

About Winona Farris

Winona Farris took her first yoga class in 2006, after the birth of her first daughter. She hated it for a long time but somehow always left class with feelings of happiness and euphoria. These feelings were the driving force to maintain a regular yoga practice that helped her relieve aches and pains associated with being a new parent. After having her first and now second daughter practice along with her, she trained in 2011 with It’s Yoga Kids and received her Kids Yoga certification. Her goal was to get kids and families involved in yoga at an early age and start reaping in the benefits of what yoga has to offer. At the same time, she also wanted to deepen her own practice and love for Ashtanga. Winona received her 200 hour certification in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from It’s Yoga, SF in 2013. Not wanting to actually teach yoga, she, along with another yogi friend/instructor decided to hold classes in parks around Alameda just so they don’t forget their “teaching” voice. She hasn’t stopped teaching since! Winona’s vinyasa flow classes are ideal for all levels. From beginner to seasoned practitioner, she offers a playful class that reflects traditional Ashtanga asanas blended with The Rocket® yoga method. She encourages everyone, especially beginners to play with their edge and to never give up on the practice. Her classes incorporate pranayama and meditation all while practicing to a rockin’ playlist. Come as you are, leave class a better you! In the words of Guruji K. Pattabhi Jois, “Anyone can practice. Young man can practice. Old man can practice. Very old man can practice. Man who is sick, he can practice. Man who doesn’t have strength can practice. Except lazy people; lazy people can’t practice Ashtanga yoga.”

5 Reasons to Practice Warriors I & II

symmetry yoga alameda oakland standing poses workshopWarrior I & II have been two of the most challenging standing postures for me, both physically and mentally. Warrior I in particular is hard to get into; seriously, how do I square my hips in this pose? I also find both Warrior I & II difficult to hold without letting my mind wander. However, with enough practice, I’ve found these two warrior poses a key part of my yoga practice for 5 notable reasons:

  1. Warrior poses improve balance and coordination
     The practice of staying grounded increases awareness of the body in space. Ultimately, these standing poses encourage moving with ease and integrity. With better balance and body awareness, Warrior poses help decrease the risk of injury as as result of trips and falls.
  2. Warrior poses promote full-body strength building
    Isometric strengthening is the method of physical training wherein muscles contract without changing joint position. In the context of yoga, standing static holds are an example of isometric engagement. Benefits of isometric exercise includes, increased strength around the joints and increased muscular endurance. In particular, Warriors I & II, are the most beneficial when the lower body, torso and upper body engage against the resistance of gravity and opposing energies (head to toe, finger tip to finger tip as in Warrior II).
  3. Warrior holds are rationale for perpetual change 
    Yoga teaches that change is life’s only constant. Holding standing poses offers a chance to feel the fluctuations of the external world and the mind’s turnings. By grounding through the feet and clearing the mind with steady breath, the opportunity arises to tune in to the micro movements the body makes to steady itself. Ultimately, this connection speaks to the ever-changing physical aspect of living on a planet that rotates within a rhythmic universe.
  4. Warriors promote the mind/body connection
    I notice that when I am asked to hold any standing pose for a while my mind starts to wander. When I catch myself drifting away, that is when the work of the Warrior begins. Bringing attention back to the breath and staying curious with the sensations of the body help the mind quiet. In this quiet stillness, yoga offers an opportunity to connect deeply with the self.
  5. Warrior poses build courage
    Physical strength cultivated by Warrior poses, combined with a loving connection to the self in the midst of constant change is empowering. Acknowledging the self with equanimity and compassion yields an intimate quality that comes from the heart, courage.

This post was written by Mary Smith. Mary is a 200-hr. Vinyasa yoga teacher with over ten years of teaching experience and teaches Yoga and Power Plate classes at Symmetry.

Mary is currently offering our first ever Yoga workshop series: Elements of Yoga, a five-part series for all levels.
The second workshop in the series is: Stand Strong: Warrior Poses and Standing Balances and will take place on Saturday October 13th 1:30-3:30pm.

Sign up here!

Power Plate Open Studio

We’re excited to announce new Open Studio times for our beloved Power Plate members!

power plate symmetry yoga alameda oakland

The Open Studio is a time and space for you to take what you’ve learned from our Power Plate trainers and workout on your own, focusing on exactly what your body needs.

There is no teacher present for this class. Open Studio welcomes all fitness levels as long as you have taken at least 2-3 Power Plate classes at Symmetry Yoga before and have the basic skills to operate the Power Plate machine.

Come to Open Studio to improve your strength, endurance, flexibility, and overall fitness level at your own pace.

Days and Times:

Tuesday – 1:30–3:00pm
Thursday – 1:00-2:30pm
Friday – 1:30-3pm

**This is only available to clients who are on a Power Plate Unlimited Membership.

Sign up here!