Michi

Karma Dama - Vasisthasana

Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.

Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:

Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.

Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.

Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.

Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.

Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.

IMG_8756.JPG

Hello, yogis! Many times we use props as a way to back out of a posture or to get correct alignment. Today’s prop use was requested from some instagram followers after I posted the assist on my personal instagram. I personally dedicate this month’s pose to Jessica, because we all know she’s a plank goddess. Using a chair, you can rewake your core to help support you half way through your work day. Some great warm up postures for this would be core work on your back, plank, side bends, down dog, low lunge, half splits.

To start, pick you weak side (you know, get it over with first) and come down to your forearm parallel to the top of your mat and slide your legs under the chair about to the knee (this is easier) or half way to the shin (this makes it harder).

Sideplank_1.png

Now bring your top leg up onto the chair, either to the shin or up to the knee depending on your preferred challenging level.

Sideplank_2.png

Now use that core and lift those hips. The goal is to be a straight line, straight spine. Elbow should be under the shoulder. Don’t. Forget. To. Breathe. Flex through the feet and squeezing the thighs together will allow you to get a leg workout as well.

sideplank_3.png

Now, if you find this easy (bravo) you can play with adding movement to work yourself a bit deeper. Move your lower left behind the chair. Remember to keep the hips lifted and Don’t forget to breathe!

sideplank_4.png

Maybe now you bring the foot in front of you. The higher you lift the leg the more challenging this will be. You can even add circles with those toes, figure 8’s or bend the knee and bring it into your chest. Do whatever you need to make this playful and organic.

sideplank_5.png

Go forth and play yogis!

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (They/Them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - August 19th

“My truthfulness is a strengthening force.”

Happy Monday yogis! This week, we focus around our personal self doubt and the small triggers we project on others. Identifying the mirroring and noticing that the universe is showing us something in ourself in those around us. As a small disclaimer, I don’t relate this is situation of gaslighting or abuse, don’t ever believe you deserve abusive treatment. But when all the people in our lives are surfacing a trait, we are drawing these traits to us. If we don’t like this trait, we may be mirroring something we need to resolve in ourselves, to rid these forms of unhealthy bonds.

Off your mat, I invite you to practice staring into your own soul. If you’ve ever done this practice with someone else, you sit in silence for long periods of time and just stare each other in the eyes and take in the others soul. But with this, I ask you to practice with yourself, setting yourself in a comfortable seat in front of a mirror(close enough where you can see your eyes). Do some soul searching, notice and identify what you see, maybe what you like, what needs growth and what you can leave behind you.

On your mat, I invite you to get that self love flexing with some heart openers/backbends. Breath deep, find your truth and get it moving. We hold stagnant energy in our hearts. We limit ourself out of fear, giving ourselves false truths to believe. Opening your heart in your practice will guide you to open your heart and speak your hearts true mission.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - August 12th

“I am ready to share my authentic expression.”

Happy Monday yogis! As school returns, we may find ourselves in some places of being hard to get back into the swing of things. It’s hot as hell outside and all we want to do is permanently hide from the heat. This weeks affirmation allows us to get the creative juices flowing! Giving ourselves space to express ourselves, start that project we have put off, or simply be prepared for the work load that comes with school.

On your mat, I invite you to slow down your practice. We are caring plenty of heat from the external forces going on around us with this Texas summer, allow ourselves to find cooling energy internally to allow creative space to thrive. Breathing exercises like sitali pranayama in easy seat can cool the body and stimulate our expression of self. Hip opening yin postures and reflection can get that stale energy moving without over heating.

Off your mat, find that one project, just one, that you either started and never finished, or never started at all. Write it down, create it, take it from a dream in your head and make it reality. Using the creative stimulation inside of ourselves and projecting it to the external world, knowing the world could use you accomplishing this task.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - August 5th

“I am listening to my intuitive self.”

Happy Monday yogis and welcome to August. As school is coming close to starting, we are working to get ourselves out of the summer fog and back into our routine of hitting the books. This also means it’s time to line ourselves up to be on the correct path for us. This can be hard when we follow our logic based brains instead of our intuition, our gut feelings. The more we practice following our intuition the better we are to act in our best interest long term and not what society tells us is correct.

Off your mat, check in with your intuition before making decisions. Note, I say intuition and now your thoughts. Whether it’s a big or small decision, stop before deciding, take a deep breath, quiet your mind, tap into the feeling you have in your solar plexus and notice the answer that has been circling over and over again, calling to you. You’d be surprised as the week goes on, the more you follow your intuition, the stronger it becomes.

On your mat, nothing says follow your gut feeling like core and twist. Do a heavy meditation practice to quiet the mind and remove the thoughts our brain wants us to answer to at all hours of the day. Do a practice waking up that solar plexus and “ringing out” the things that don’t serve you, giving space for your intuition to thrive and speak to you. Notice as you build this strength and space, those decisions we are making off our mat, become just a little bit easy.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - July 29th

“I trust the presence of the universe in my life.”

Happy Monday yogis! We are on the home stretch for mercury in retrograde. Wooohoo! As it begins to rotate the correct direction at the end of this week, we must begin to sort through our problems that came up during retrograde. Anything we held off from saying or doing, it’s time to bloom from this time of rest and focus and get ourselves ready to move full speed ahead

On your mat, do a slower practice, close down your eyes for the practice, focus in on who you are and what your inner light is guiding you too. This guide can be your next step, what confrontations need facing or just being fully present in your full body. Use this practice as a moving meditation, flowing where your inner light guides you and end your practice feeling fully refreshed and with clear intentions of the next step.

Off your mat, I invite you to perform activities that fill you up. Drink coffee with a book, garden, dance in your kitchen to your favorite album. That one thing that makes you happy, whatever it means to you. Give yourself that euphoric feeling. Let this one thing be your go to to channel the inner universe and bring you back into your body. Practice this anytime you need to revisit your true self.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Karma Dama - Virabhadrasana III

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)

Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.

Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:

Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.

Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.

Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.

Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.

Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.

IMG_8756.JPG

Hello, yogis! This months posture to help elevate your home practice with props is one of my favorites! It is simple yet can completely change how you see your body in Warrior III. You hear teachers say in this pose “its like a teeter totter, find that center balance.” But if you are like me, this cue meant little to how it applied to my body! Utilizing the strap helped me actually feel the sensation these teachers were always talking about. To get warmed up prep your body with postures like reclined hand to big toe, reclined hero, tiger pose, spinal balance, forward fold, chair, warrior I and II or just any pose you need to help warm your body and find stability.

IMG_0036.jpg

Now, if you are using ties to replace a strap, you may need to tie a few of them together before starting to get the length of your bodies worth. Then make a loop big enough for your foot nice and snuggly.

IMG_0037.jpg

I usually test it out by bringing my toes through it and swinging it around my shoulder to test it before trying to get my heel into it.

IMG_0049.jpg

Once you find a good length and loop that is comfortable. come into warrior I with the look on the back heel of your foot. The key to keeping the strap from popping off your heel is the key to being successful in this posture. You want to energetically and physically send energy through your heel by flexing your foot and pressing down. You may find it take a few tries to figure out what I mean by this, but once it clicks, that strap will be glued to your foot.

IMG_0068.jpg

Begin to pull on the strap with your hands while still sending energy through the heel. By having this energy going through both ends, you should find a simple lift off into warrior III. Find a spot on the floor to keep you stable and find strength. If you are still struggling to keep the strap on the foot, do this against a wall, allowing your back foot to press into the wall to help you find the sensation you are looking for.

Go forth and play yogis!

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - July 22nd

“I maintain healthy boundaries.”

Happy Monday yogis! If you are anything like me and the talk about what boundaries are either a new concept to you, or maybe this is the first you are hearing of it at all (which no judgement if it is). So let’s talk for a moment about the difference in healthy and unhealthy boundaries. You can have healthy boundaries with people where you don’t give people ALL your energy and you don’t allow others to pressure you into doing things you are uncomfortable with. Setting those healthy boundaries if “this is where I am, what I am comfortable with.” and so on. Unhealthy boundaries are always keeping people at arms length, giving others ZERO of your energy or time. It is up to us to find the balance without having too few boundaries and having too many. I am still on this teeter totter of finding the medium, which it forever a work in process.

On your mat this week, I invite you to have a practice around closing your hips and your heart. find yourself tucking inward, hugging yourself, giving yourself closure. Nurture your own growth on your mat, and say encouraging things, especially when you find yourself falling out of a posture or not going as far into the pose. instead of beating yourself up over it, find the language to nurture your body and find healthy boundaries and limitation in your posture. You’d be surprised how quickly the way we talk about our yoga practice seeps into our lives.

Now, if you read these regularly, you’ve probably figured out by this point that I am a list maker. So for this week, off your mat, I invite you to make a list. As short or as long of a list as you’d like of all the boundaries you want to set with different types of relationships, platonic, romantic, professional etc. As the week goes on and you find yourself in a comfortable spot, speak your truth to these individuals, then write it down, so you can establish that boundary for future encounters. This is something you can take past this week alone, its a never ending list making and scratching our ones we found are too extensive.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - July 15th

“I fill my own cup before I fill others happiness.”

Happy Monday yogis! I hope everyone is surviving this retrograde with ease. To build on this transition from last weeks intention of releasing the things from us that don’t serve us giving space for ourselves, this week we will build the needed tools to fill our own cup before giving everything we have to others. We cannot give to others if we are running on empty.

On your mat, find yourself doing a deep hip strengthening practice as we opened our emotions last week, these hip strengthening postures will allow us to take the openness and build strength to hold our own weight and fill ourselves with self love and happiness also focus on a meditation practice, scanning the body and begin to identify your own emotional level.

Off your mat, begin to determine what is considered self care, what may be the line of too much care of over consumption and where we could actual use community care. Finding these balances of when to take care of ourselves and when to hold space for others will allow us to in turn communicate with those in our lives and take where we need and give when we have something to give.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.