Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Michelle Kronenberg

Michelle Kronenberg

Our yoga teacher of the month is Michelle Kronenberg.

I was so fortunate to meet Michelle back in 1996, while breakfasting at the home of Nagaratna after practicing yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India.  What was most apparent when I met her was her sense of humor.  She was hilarious.  A New Yorker living in LA, and deeply immersed in a yogic journey of discovery.  She was completely in touch with all the humorous elements of her upbringing and her new-aged pursuits, and made fun of herself better than anyone else.  As I got to know Michelle a little better, her dedication to the practice of yoga and meditation was inspiring, as were the many profound insights she had to share.

Almost 20 years later, Michelle is a premier yoga teacher in Malibu, California.  Her passion and commitment to yoga are “the real thing.”  “This is what I do, this is my life,” she says.

Michelle brings a deep and diverse range of knowledge and experience, mixed with lightness and joy – to her classes.  Michelle has an Ivy League education of yoga training and it shows in her teaching.  She lived in India for a year and studied with Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system of yoga. In Pune, India, she also studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, the creator of the Iyengar system of yoga. Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Erich Schiffman, Lisa Walford and Guru Singh are more notable teachers from whom she has learned. Most recently she spent a month in Italy studying with Donna Holleman, an Iyengar-influenced teacher who has created her own system.

Her classes can be strong and yet incredibly precise. She never teaches the same sequence. “I teach for the moment,” she explains. “I want my students to come away from my class more aware and more centered, sharper and clearer,” she says. Her classes are laced with humor, “just so we don’t get too serious” during the practice.

“I use my practice to sharpen my mind and there is a freedom that comes from that,” she says. “It gives me respite from the unending chatter of the mind. That is what I share in my teaching and that is what I hope people leave my classes with. I hope they take that philosophy off the mat into their lives.”

“My life has been devoted to the path of self-discovery and yoga on so many levels.” She admits that it is not always an easy path, “but it is an amazing reflection for me to see myself and where I am in my life. In order to maintain my centeredness and bring myself back to a place of openness and self love, I use my sitting practice.”

As for her teaching, she notes, “I love to teach. I love the detail. I love seeing people come into their bodies and wake up. As a teacher you can see people start to breathe and feel truly alive. For me, the studying, practicing and teaching of yoga awakens a sense of presence, and the feeling of being present encourages my heart to soften and open,” she says. “When I live from my heart, I feel greater love and compassion for myself and others. My hope is that my students feel this as well.”

Michelle Kronenberg’s yoga schedule.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios

This post was written by David on February 11, 2014

Horse Stance

Horse Stance

In honor of the Year of the Horse, let’s review the horse stance. Stand with your legs wide apart, feet turned out at a diagonal, and bend your knees. Make sure your knees are tracking over your second toes. Hold your hands at your heart in prayer and keep your back straight and vertical. Keep your pelvis tucked under, making sure it is not sticking out behind you. If your hands are out at your side in ‘cactus’ position, then this pose is sometimes known as Moonflower or Goddess pose. Try lifting your toes, then set them down and lift your heels, alternating between them for a few breaths. This is a great grounding yoga pose.

Horse Stance

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on January 28, 2014

Make Yoga a Habit!

Make Yoga a HabitKundalini Yoga recognizes the soul as perfect, with no need for change, redemption or purification. As human beings, our lives are governed by our habits – good or bad. Things can change by our choices and our actions. We do sadhanas (committed prayers) and kriyas (techniques or practices within a yoga discipline to achieve a specific result) to change and challenge ourselves.

Research has shown that it takes 40 days to make or break a habit. If you have been trying to get to classes more often or just make time for practice, take the 40 day-challenge and make a commitment to practice at least once a day, twice or every day, whatever you think you can accomplish. Reward yourself and acknowledge your intentions and progress along the way. Let’s make yoga a habit.

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on January 15, 2014

Yoga for “Computer Hunch”

Dealing with “computer hunch” is becoming a more common problem today for Americans! A great way to combat the damage to your back and shoulders is with Dandasana, also known as Staff Pose. Staff Pose involves sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Curl your toes up and rest your hands on the floor with fingers pointing forward.

Within this pose, you can shift your hips forward, lift your ribs, and drop your shoulders away from your ears. These movements are a great way to remove tension and keep your back happy.

Computer Hunch

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on November 20, 2013

Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Kathy McNames

Our teacher for the month of November is Kathy McNames. Kathy is the founder, owner, and director of Yoga Vermont in Burlington, Vermont.

Kathy McNames

Kathy began studying yoga in California with Analisa Cunningham in 1983, and continued her studies after moving to Vermont in 1988. Her first experience with astanga was at Omega Institute in 1995, at a workshop with Beryl Bender Birch and Thom Birch. She has been a student of Beryl’s to the present day and has continued her study of astanga with various astanga teachers.

Currently she describes her teaching as “half the ashtanga traditional route, and half ‘see what happens.’” She very naturally balances her classes in this way, passing on her reverence to the ancient practice, while creating great spaces for her students to create and explore.

Kathy’s passion is always evident, whether pointing out yoga’s relevance in daily areas of life, or applying firm adjustments using hands, feet, body and soul. She gives you everything she has, and it makes her classes memorable.

Kathy is one of the most beloved and well-known teachers in the Northeast and travels extensively with her husband and son, bringing Yoga Vermont to lucky students everywhere. Visit Kathy at www.yogavermont.com or by email at kathy@yogavermont.com, and if you have chance, visit her on the mat.

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on November 11, 2013

Yoga for Sciatic Nerve Pain

I think all of us have, at one time or another, suffered pain in the sciatic nerve. This is the large nerve fiber that runs from your lower back, through the buttocks to the lower limbs. There are yoga poses that can stretch and expand these nerves to relieve pain and numbness. Try the pigeon pose, or if your knee does not like that pose, do the relaxed variation on your back.

Modified Pigeon Pose

Other poses to try to stretch those areas are the half-moon pose, the lizard and the locust.

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on November 6, 2013

Practicing Yoga Can Help Patients with COPD

A recent study just released discusses how yoga can improve lung function in patients who suffer from COPD. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, includes symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath.

According to the study presenter Dr. Guleria, “We found that yoga can be a simple, cost-effective method that can help improve quality of life in patients with COPD.”

Yoga for COPD

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on October 30, 2013

Yoga Kickstarter Program
MyYogaPro

Do you love yoga? Then you should definitely check out this Kickstarter project:
MyYogaPro

Posted under Styles of Yoga, Yoga Studios

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on October 28, 2013