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Carmen Aguilar
@cyogalab

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Yoga force🌬 flow explorer🏔 teacher 🎡 Chicago YTT 🚀 1/13-14 Rock Island 🌞 1/19-20 Costa Rica 🍍 1/21-27 Retreat ℹ️ @ www.labchicago.com Online classes:

Carmen Aguilar 🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣5️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 15.12.2017 05:07
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🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣5️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 Reclined Transversal #Splits or Supta #Samakonasana 📿❤️🙏 Time to work on those Transversal Splits! In my case, this pose came slowly and not gradually: for 5-6 years I’d get stuck at a certain angle, then one day, all of the sudden, I’d clearly open more, got stuck again and so on. This reclined version is easier on the knees but it requires a stronger hip flexion (unless you use weights or sandbags to help you) so, a prior step to this one, or a good pose to warm up, would be to do the same thing but with the legs up against a wall. Gravity will help you open the legs wider and, as long as you keep the lower butt touching it, it’ll help with the heel-knee-hip alignment. Avoid overarching the lumbar spine by pulling the navel in and engaging the flexors some more. You can also sit up and do regular Samakonasana, either entering from a wide standing position (Prasarita Padottanasana) or a seated one, opening the legs as much as possible. I think for most people the first entry works better because the hips are always aligned properly and, once more, gravity is constantly pushing down, stretching us. In the seated one, it’s quite challenging to level the hips with the knees and heels, making a complete straight line, and gravity isn’t there to lend us a hand. Going back to today’s reclined pose, make sure you don’t ‘cheat’ by bringing the legs closer, trying to touch the ground with those toes. Keep opening wide, making the inner thighs (not just the hamstrings), do their work. If you push with the hands on the heels, you’ll feel a deeper stretch. Once that’s comfortable, you’re ready to try it without hands and rest them in prayer like in the pic. More funky ideas to try in tomorrow’s post, stay tuned and let’s keep at it!! If you #practice, it’ll happen!!! For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar I’m flipping today’s pose and, instead of balancing on the crown o

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 14.12.2017 20:49
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I’m flipping today’s pose and, instead of balancing on the crown of our heads, we can do so on our sacrum. Even if #Lotus isn’t an option, you can fold the legs in a crossed legged position, or do a Half Lotus and just bend the other one in, so you can balance on the tailbone and test both: how steady you are and how much you can tuck the knees into the chest. The easier you do both actions, the more doable last night’s inversion. I’m wrapping my arms around the legs to make a ‘tight’ Lotus but you can do the same thing just engaging the flexors and it’ll feel closer to the real sensation. I also like both this pose and last night’s because, when I teach workshops, I find a lot of people struggle to get into Urdhva Kukkutasana (Lotus arm balancing) and, the main reason why they can’t pick their heads off the ground (assuming we start from Tripod, which is the easiest entry), is because the hips don’t drop enough, there’s not enough fold at the hip flexor crease, so they’re forever stuck in this back and forth motion, trying to shift from their heads into the hands, pushing strongly, but nothing moves. The hip fold is essential and, if you can sit down, cross your legs and bring them very close, maybe even touch, the chest, just using those muscles, you’re on your way to Urdhva Kukkuta…. time to unroll that mat and #keeppracticing… You can do this!! For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts ⬇️⬇️⬇️: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar Come practice with us today at #thelab if you're in #chicago and let's

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 14.12.2017 16:46
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Come practice with us today at #thelab if you're in #chicago and let's unwind from the week... We'll be here from lunchtime to the late evening: 12pm (level 1-2) with Gina 5:30pm (level 1-2) with Emma 6:45pm (level 1-2) with Paloma 8pm (level 1-2) with Emma We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

Carmen Aguilar 🙏❤️📿Day 1️⃣4️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 14.12.2017 04:36
  • 76

🙏❤️📿Day 1️⃣4️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀  Lotus or #Padmasana in #Headstand or #Sirsasana variant📿❤️🙏 This #inversion is more challenging than it looks, even if Headstand and Lotus are comfortable… just watch out for those last few inches where the kneecaps try to find the triceps and say hello to your core/upper body strength. Or say goodbye and prepare those butt cheeks for landing…. but, before that happens, keep reading for a minute: when you fold the legs in Lotus (if you can’t, do a Half Lotus/Half Crow kind of pose), guide the knees towards the back of the arms, pulling the navel in and, very importantly, maintaining the spine as straight as you can, for as long as you can. It’ll get to a point where you no longer will be able to do so and you’ll have to round, in order to tuck the legs into the chest. Keep engaging the hip flexors, press the arms down and lower the knees only to a point where you can still ‘recover’ and ‘undo’ the movement with your low back, like a scorpion about to sting with its tail. If you let impatience drive in the front seat, you’ll pass that ‘recovery line’ and, once you do that, your butt will find the ground before you’ll finish that thought. It’s better to NOT lower/not tuck all the way in, but ‘unroll’ and return back up because, that way, you’ll be gaining strength and muscle memory. Little by little, you’ll be inching your way down, until you’ll touch one day. Also, avoid putting extra weight on the head trying to get the touchdown. Practice both Lotus crosses (or Half Lotuses) and, for those not convinced about this, wait up for tomorrow’s alternative where we’ll work that hip flexibility and our balancing skills in a different way… Some extra padding right under the butt/legs can be a good idea, especially if you’ve never tried this before! Happy #practice!!! For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts⬇️⬇️⬇️ Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Español: @cyogalabenespanol Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar A milder way to stretch your hamstrings, especially if you’ve suffer

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 13.12.2017 21:13
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A milder way to stretch your hamstrings, especially if you’ve suffered an injury, is to do so upside down, in an #inversion. Shoulderstand or #Headstand are great ones to test things out. If you’d like to challenge your balancing skills some more, try this version with the forearms in front of your face, holding opposite elbows and making a perfect triangle between those and the crown. Remember the lower the legs, the further over the shoulders those hips should go. Find a wall behind if you're not sure, or make the regular Headstand shape with fingers laced in the back of the head. Combine this with some core/back strengthener and lift the legs up/down a number of times. If you do it in Shoulderstand, keep reaching/extending through the toes, then go into Plow and keep walking the toes further and further away from you. Roll down slowly and come up into a seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana), then address standing poses like Triangle or Pyramid and, if all that works out, end with last night’s pose, maybe with one block under the feet… Adapt it to your needs and stop whenever it feels you’ve almost reached your max. You can do this!! For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner. For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar Come stretch, go upside down, sweat and leave happy and renovated!! We

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 13.12.2017 16:33
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Come stretch, go upside down, sweat and leave happy and renovated!! We'll be here until the late evening: 5:30pm (level 1+) with Ali 6:45pm (level 2-3) with Moises 8pm (level 1-2) with Veronica We can also still #yoga together through my Vimeo classes (link in the description above) or, for more info on my traveling schedule (or the studio's classes), visit labchicago.com and let's #keeppracticing together!!

Carmen Aguilar 🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣3️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 13.12.2017 05:23
  • 150

🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣3️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 Standing Forward Fold or #Uttanasana variant 📿❤️🙏 Reaching the fingers or palms to the ground is often considered a flexibility milestone, a way to measure how bendy we are. When I was a kid, one year in gym class, our teacher made us work, for the whole semester, on touching the floor with the palms and counting to 5 once we were there. I practiced it sooo much and, when the exam day came, I planted the hands down, counted quickly 1,2,3,4  but, before reaching 5, my hips have tilted so far over the heels, that I fell and, literally, rolled over. My whole body ached for days (both from the fall and the effort) but I got an A- (the highest I ever scored in gym class) because the teacher was impressed with my dedication… Years later, when I went to my first yoga class and had to try this, all these memories rushed back and I thought ‘if I couldn't fully do it when I was 12, how could it happen now?’ it turned out consistent practice and dedication goes far… at least 3 foam blocks, maybe more. Stories aside, I also couldn't do a comfortable standing fold so, trust me, it can be achieved. One of the many things that could be said about this pose is that, if you pull the navel in and engage the hip flexors, your hamstrings will feel more at ease to surrender and lengthen. As I mentioned a few days ago, there’s an equilibrium of ‘easiness’ (sukha) and ‘steadiness’ (sthira), so this is not just about ‘dumping’ forward, the more active the whole body is, the more well distributed the work load, hence easier the pose for each group of muscles. Modify and remove the blocks or lean against a wall to assist you straightening the legs/spine. Find the fold that works for you, be consistent and you’ll increase that #flexibility very soon. More ideas tomorrow!!For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar An immediate modification for last night’s pose is regular Shoulders

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 12.12.2017 20:28
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An immediate modification for last night’s pose is regular Shoulderstand, but this is another variant you can try, to build up strength and stamina. The further out the palms, the straighter the arms and the closer the feet, the harder it gets so, if you need to alter it a bit, start with those three and play around with them. Especially the hand distance, a few inches closer/further away, will make a BIG difference. Make it more comfortable for the wrists by turning the palms out, fingers pointing in opposite directions. Notice how the WHOLE front of the body, literally from the shoulders to the toes, is extremely active and engaged. Pull the navel in and aim to find that diagonal line (no butts high up!). Look straight down to lengthen the neck and feel free to try some push ups (even a ‘shy’ attempt to do so is challenging enough!) or put a pair of wool gloves or a couple of small towels, under the palms and ‘slide’ in & out carefully and slowly. Watch out for your nose and don’t go too far (absolutely NOT speaking from experience….). Knees on the ground is always a great modification to make things more feasible. #Bestrong and let’s go for it!! Good luck!! For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner. For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar Come practice with us at #thelab if you're in #Chicago and leave renov

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 12.12.2017 16:48
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Come practice with us at #thelab if you're in #Chicago and leave renovated and relaxed... We'll be here from lunchtime to the late evening: 12pm (level 1-2) with Paloma 5:30pm (level 1+) with Emma 6:45pm (level 1-2) with Nicolette 8pm (level 1-2) with Gina Back on the road after the beginning of the year. Here are my first few stops in 2018: 🚀Jan 12-14: Rock Island, IL (www.tapasyogashala.com) ☀️Jan 19-21: Costa Rica @kramacostarica(www.kramayoga.com) 🏖Jan 22-27: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica retreat 🏜Feb 2-4: Hermosillo, Mexico (www.janakasha.com) 🌵Feb 16-18: Austin, TX (www.bodyandshinewellness.com)

Carmen Aguilar 🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣2️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 12.12.2017 05:04
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🙏❤️📿 Day 1️⃣2️⃣ of #ForTheLoveOfYoga with @cyogalab 🔀 #Candle or #NiralambaSarvangasana 📿❤️🙏 Everywhere I teach this pose it brings up a number of ‘ughhhh’, ‘this is sooo haaaaard’… even some cursing. I don’t think it’s that difficult, but it requires a certain alignment that’s not easy to hit. For starters, a lot of practitioners are not that ‘fascinated’ with Shoulderstand, so they don’t practice it, or they use it as a quick transition pose into deeper stretches like Plow. One of the lessons that Shoulderstand teaches is, check this out, to ‘stand/balance on your shoulders’…hmmm, we’re getting somewhere… if you NEVER (or barely) hold it, how can you practice your balance there? If you put too much weight in the cervicals, try placing a thick mat/blanket under the shoulder line. From my experience, a lot of people don’t tuck the elbows under ENOUGH to properly support themselves. You also need to reach up/project through the legs, engage the low back and the abdomen so the thick ‘belt’ between the ribs and hips is solid as a brick wall, nothing can bend or tilt it anywhere…Allow the chin to tuck deeply into the sternum and balance on the highest part of the blades. Press the triceps against the floor and lower carefully both arms, palms facing down, pushing strongly too. Squeeze elbows towards each other as well as inner legs together, to feel lighter. Think steadiness and strength. Gaze towards the toes and take a few long breaths. Start from the regular/supported version, find the most vertical line you can, then either stay there or attempt the unsupported one. If you #practice it consistently, I assure you, not only it’ll be very doable but it’ll also help you stabilize other inversions and arm balances. Time to unroll that mat or wait up for tomorrow’s alternative to continue to cultivate some #strength!! For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian

Carmen Aguilar Costa Rican yogis (and those willing to travel there!). My January ret

Nicaragua

  • 11.12.2017 23:51
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Costa Rican yogis (and those willing to travel there!). My January retreat in Santa Teresa is sold out but I'll be teaching @kramacostarica the weekend before, Jan 19-21, several workshops so, join me there!!! Can't wait to #practice with you guys, get a break from freezing temperatures and snow all around...❄️❄️☀️☀️ Yogis de Costa Rica (o para aquellos que quieran viajar a San Jose!). My retiro de enero en Santa Teresa esta completo pero también estaré en @kramacostarica el fin de semana anterior, enero 19-21, dando varios talleres, así que nos podemos ver allí!!! Tengo muchas ganas de practicar con todos vosotros, y también ganas de un poquito de sol, buena temperatura ☀️y playita después... 😎 nos vemos pronto!!! Besooooo!!!!!⚡️💥

Carmen Aguilar As I mentioned last night, an #armbalance that feels very close to tod

Carmen Aguilar - The Lab Yoga Chicago

  • 11.12.2017 19:34
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As I mentioned last night, an #armbalance that feels very close to today’s pose is this one, #Astavakrasana. We decided to take this shot from above for a few reasons: the first is purely artistic, to switch up the perspective (you can only take so many shots exactly the same way!); the second one is to prove the point that, no matter how much you lift, you’ll still be actively working the legs, core, back and upper body; the third one, that often gets overlooked in the ‘normal’ angles from which this pose is taken, is to highlight the strong hip flexion happening so the legs are very close to the body (easily seen in the pic here). If you have a few minutes today, let’s practice it a few times, placing the legs slightly higher/lower on the upper arm, and notice how that affects the whole pose… big time, right? The higher you go, yes, you’ll need more hip flexibility, but it’ll be easier to lift and hold the arm balance. You’ll also likely feel more connected to your lower bandhas, core, and, when the time comes to engage those ‘lateral’ muscles of the torso, it’ll feel the most natural action. Try both sides and notice if the ‘easier’ one is the one whose leg can climb higher. Flexibility helps build more strength and vice versa. Let’s give it a go and see if we can fly!! You got this, I know it! For more alternatives check out: @emma.rhiannon and @palomahuner. For translation in other languages, follow and check out daily these accounts: Russian: @cyogalab_ru Korean: @cyogalab.korean Portuguese: @cyogalab_portuguese Mongolian: @cyogalab_mongolian