Winter in the North

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The winter is upon us full force in New York City and tomorrow I’m heading out of town to spend a week with family in lovely Paris. Posts have been slow for the past few weeks and now they’re going to grind to a complete halt until the new year, when there will be a few changes about the place:
  • New Blog: I use a wonderful app for the Mac called Rapidweaver to drive this site, but after four and half years, over 300 posts and a couple of hundred pages, the site is getting a little unwieldy and I’m hoping to streamline it a bit. At the moment I’m struggling to get Wordpress installed and I hope to port the blog over to that in the next week or two. All the posts up to now will still be archived and will be fully available and I’m planning to keep the crossover seamless, so that there will be no interruption for those of you who are subscribers either through Feedblitz or through RSS readers.
  • New Content: Doing the Year of Yoga this past year and the year before has been wonderful, but it’s taken up a lot of my focus and I am looking to do some more writing about the history and philosophy of yoga, as well as more articles about technique. My plan is to give the Year of Yoga a rest for 2010. You will still be able to access the past two series, and I will post links to them in the regular blog so that you do not have to go fishing for them if you decide you want to follow along.
  • New Blog Strands: I’m teaching a new class at Yogasana in Brooklyn next year. So, in addition to the Basic and Intermediate Practice strands, look out for a new, regular Restorative Yoga strand to expand your practice. Other planned strands include: “What is Yoga,” an overview of the goals and techniques of the practice; “The Story of Yoga,” an in-depth look at the history and culture of yoga; “Yoga for You,” a practical look at the big ideas of yoga and how you can apply them to your practice and daily life; “Essential Skills of Yoga,” an ongoing look at the important techniques that will bring a yoga practice of any level to life.
  • New Resources: There is so much material in the blog at this point. I’m planning on mining it for a series of booklets and monographs/references guides which I will make available over the coming months in the store.
  • New Store: Look for a new, improved bookstore hopefully by Q2 of 2010 featuring a hand-picked selection of books essential to the modern yogi.

If you happen to be in the New York area on January 1st, come join me in Brooklyn at Yogasana Center for a special 2-hour workshop to start your year right: “Reset, Restore, Renew,” from 4-6pm. (Though call in advance to reserve a spot. It usually sells out.)

So a lot to look forward to in the New Year. I hope you’ll continue to join me in exploring this profound and rewarding discipline of the body, mind and spirit. And if you’ve enjoyed the site, please spread the word. Readership has almost doubled in the past year, with over 200,000 page views and over 90,000 unique visitors. I’ve received wonderful emails from people all over the world. My thanks to everyone for the continued encouragement and support!

Happy holidays and a prosperous, joy-filled new year to all. See you again at some point in the first two weeks of January (Wordpress permitting!).

Om Shanthi
Witold
witold@wyoga.com


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More Erratic Posting

I’m going out of town for a few days, so I’m pre-posting a bunch of stuff this week. Things might also be a bit erratic next week once I get back, but I’ll keep a trickle of good stuff coming until I get back on track.

Happy practicing!

Witold
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New Look

As you may have noticed, we have a brand new look. The last template was with us for a good three years, but times change. All the bells and whistles should now be working properly, but if you find something that doesn’t work, drop me a comment if you would. I’d be grateful.

I’m off to practice some backbends...

Witold
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Site Update: Back Bends

Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose
Check out the newly-updated back bends section now featuring 25 new poses, from basic to advanced!









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Inversions Update

Pasted Graphic
No Practice Lab this week. Kristen and I were kinda wiped out by the clocks going forward this weekend and the soupy, rainy weather today, so we did some long-held restorative poses and pranayama. Great fun for us, but not so interesting to read about.

On the plus side, however, I’ve completely re-vamped the inversions section of the poses area with thirty-six (!!) new poses. I’ve gone a little crossed-eyed from all the image editing and typing, but I think it was worth it.

W
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Restorative Poses

Syanasana with Curtis
I was lucky enough to be able to do a photo shoot last summer of a bunch of poses (200 in 5 hours--an act of folly I do not recommend!) with help from my dear friends Lee and Curtis. I’m slowly getting around to processing them and adding them to the site. Just added are a whole bunch of new entries in the Restorative Poses section. I hope you’ll check them out and maybe give one or two of them a try. They’re great fun. My personal favorite at the moment is Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose).




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2009: A Year of Basic Yoga

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Last year’s “Year of Yoga” got a great response from readers. The one problem for many of you was that the practices were too challenging, too advanced. I thought this year we might do something more inclusive.

This year's "Year of Yoga" is a much more manageable series of 365 basic practices, designed to be accessible for all regular practitioners of yoga. Each practice lasts approximately an hour and is presented with options for more advanced practitioners. Follow along according to the calendar day or drop in at any time, starting with week one.

Happy New Year. Hope you enjoy it!

Witold
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Away From My Mat...

I'll be out of town for the next couple of weeks, so I'll be posting weeks 17 and 18, the two-week recovery phase, later today. Also, the store will be closed until my return at the beginning of May.

Witold
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New Site Feature: Bookstore

I've added a new feature to the site: a bookstore. Right now all I have up are my two books and two fun practice charts, but I hope to be adding a collection of items of interest to the serious yoga practitioner to the inventory over the coming months.
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2008: A Year Of Yoga

I have an ambitious plan that I hope you’ll join in with me. I’m going to organize the bulk of the practice posts for 2008 into a year-long practice cycle, building on some of the long-term sequencing ideas I outlined in “Sequencing Over a Period of Time.”

This cycle will consist of 3 trimesters: two of approximately four months, one of two months. Each of these trimesters will include an “easing-in” preparatory phase, a consolidation phase where we will cycle through all the various poses that are standard for the intermediate practitioner and a progression phase where we will get to play with some of the more complicated poses. This will then be followed by a recovery phase where the practices will shift into a quieter mode to give you a chance to rest and integrate for a couple of weeks. July and August will be a super-long recovery phase, encouraging you to get out and enjoy the weather and to do other things with your body so that the practice does not become stale.
Read More...
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Call For Questions

I'm starting a Q&A feature on the blog for all things related to yoga, so send in your questions! Depending on the response, we'll see how often it will run, probably monthly or weekly to begin with.

Send your questions via the contact page.
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Site Update: Reclined Poses

Vishnu's couch pose
Check out the Reclined Poses section for 4 new poses:

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Anantasana (Vishnu's Couch Pose)

(And somewhere along the line I'm going to remember to get a picture of me lying back in Supta Tadasana. It's always the simple things that get neglected.)
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Site Updates

So, as you may have noticed, August was something of a wash-out in terns of blog posts. Hopefully it will pick up as we head into September. Here's a tiny update of some new pictures in the Arm Variations category.
Urdhva-Hastasana Urdhva-Baddhanguliyasana-fr Urdhva-Baddha-Hastasana Gomukhasana-4.1 Garudasana-side Pashchima Namaskarasana front
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Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Beginning This Fall

I am happy to announce that I am going to be Associate Director of a very exciting 2-year, 500+ hour Teacher Training/Advanced Studies Program at Yogasana Center in Brooklyn that will begin this Fall. Click here for more information.

Witold
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Reduced Service

Apologies for the limited postings to everyone. I have another 28-day cycle -- advanced, this time -- to post, but I'm heading off to San Francisco for a few weeks to study out there with Donald Moyer at the Yoga Room in Berkeley and to hang out and practice with my friend Sandy Blaine at her excellent studio, the Alameda Yoga Station. So posting will be sporadic until the middle of March when activity should pick up substantially. Stay tuned for the following:

• 28 days of advanced yoga
• Practice tips from Donald Moyer
• Basics for all levels of practitioner
• Big Ideas and applying them to your practice
• Anatomy and techniques
• Detailed pose instruction
• Practices, practices, practices
• Book recommendations
• Web resource roundups
• And, of course, more, more, more...

Until then, enjoy a few bits and pieces I've come across on my travels.

Witold
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Readership

I'm very excited to report a readership of 17,678 page hits total since starting the blog just over a year ago, with a monthly high of 2,878 hits in November! Readers come from as far afield as China and New Zealand.

Next time you swing by and you see something interesting, or find something helpful to you, post a comment, even just to introduce yourself. It would be great to get an idea of whose reading.

Thanks guys for your support.

Witold



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