YOGA ARTICLES

5 Reasons to Add Resistance Bands to Your Yoga Practice

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Resistance bands have been making big waves in the yoga world lately. They have shown to be an invaluable tool in redefining what it means to practice yoga in an interconnected way—meaning that when we move one part of our body against the resistance of the band, we are able to feel a clear reaction in another area of our body. You might say that using resistance bands can facilitate the mind-body connection. But that’s only one sliver of the positive impact that can result from using them.

Getting Creative With Props Made Me a Better Teacher

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

I'm often asked how I come up with creative ways to use yoga props. Well, for one thing, I’ve been fortunate to teach at places that encourage the use of props and that invest in props because they see their value in supporting students. 

I've also been lucky in drawing immense inspiration from brilliant teachers who use props in ingenious ways—teachers such as Carrie OwerkoJenni Rawlings, Alison West, and Jivana Heyman. But some of my favorite propped variations have arisen from experimenting in my own practice and working one-on-one with students. They are the results of trying to find ways to help myself and others to feel physically, mentally, and energetically connected to our yoga practice and to get closer to the intended physical target. 

Illuminate Half Moon Pose With These Two Strap Enhancements

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Nothing lights up the yoga room like students shining in half moon pose, or ardha chandrasana. As our limbs reach out in all directions, it’s as if we’re floating, suspended in space like the moon in the night sky. 

The brilliance of this pose derives from the enhanced proprioception it provides, which is a deeper understanding of where the body is in space. In this article, I'll show you two ways to practice ardha chandrasana with a strap, both of which come from the Iyengar method. These variations are designed to help you to feel your limbs emanating from the steadiness of your hips. This allows you to feel more grounded in the pose while maintaining a feeling of spaciousness.

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Chair Yoga Flow: A Dynamic Way to Sit and Practice

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Need to unwind? This creative flow gets your body moving every which way—with the added convenience of a chair. 

Maybe you’re someone who is accustomed to sitting for long periods of time (as so many of us are!), and you can’t make it to a yoga class. Or perhaps you find it difficult to leave your seat. This sequence offers an interesting and playful way to “sit” and practice. But don’t let that fool you—despite the support of your chair, you can still break a sweat.

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Make 5 Arm Balances Easier Using Just 2 Blocks

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Arm balances, which require lots of preparation, strength, and determination, are challenging for many yoga practitioners. But with props, we can access and sustain these poses much more easily, allowing us to build greater endurance and strength. While there are many ways to use props to help with arm balances, you can do a lot with a relatively minimal prop setup. As an example, I’m going to share how to use only two (yes, only two!) blocks to explore five different arm balances below.

3 Ways that Props Can Invigorate Your Bridge Pose

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

One of my favorite architects is Antonio Gaudí, and every time I practice bridge pose I’m reminded of his quote: “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”

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5 Ways to Start Teaching Yoga Right After Teacher Training

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Graduating from yoga teacher training is exciting. However, figuring out how to take your newly gained skills to the next level can also be daunting. During your training, you were in a supportive and lively environment while learning how to teach. Once you graduate, that space dissolves and you can feel lonely and downright bewildered about what to do next.

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A Challenging Crow Sequence That Won't Stress Your Wrists and Shoulders

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Have you noticed that sometimes sequences oriented toward arm balances can be so challenging that by the time you get to the actual fun of the arm balance itself your wrists and shoulders are kind of shot? That’s why I came up with this crow sequence. Check it out: Even though it’s challenging, I guarantee that it won’t waste your wrists and shoulders! 

How to Practice Firefly Pose at the Wall

By Allison Ray Jeraci​

Yoga International

Photo by Andrea Killam

Tittibhasana, or firefly pose, is an arm balance I’ve been working on for ages, often with very little satisfaction—until recently. But, little by little, my years of study, practice, and cue analysis have finally coalesced into some satisfying progress. One of my favorite personal discoveries (though I’m sure someone else discovered it before I did) is propping the pose at the wall. This version doesn’t make tittibhasana exactly easy, but it does offer enough direction and support so a struggling firefly can take flight with strength and courage. 

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© 2023 by Allison Ray Jeraci