Posts by Karyn Bristol
Ask The Teacher . . . What is Om?
Question: I really like starting class singing Om, but what does it mean? Answer: Om or Aum is a Sanskrit word meaning omnipresence, all-encompassing. It is said to be the sound of the universe, being the basic sound of the world – the word that contains all other sounds. Aum is spoken as three sounds ah–ohh—um–and is…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . What Are the Benefits of Restorative Yoga?
Question: I really enjoy your new Wednesday night restorative yoga class, but besides being restful, how do these postures affect my health? Answer: The postures we do in the class are adaptations of classic yoga postures, except you are supported by props such as chairs, blankets, blocks and the wall. When you are supported you do not…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . Why Is Shoulder Stand Called the “Queen of All Yoga Postures?
Question: Have you ever heard these phrases? “He shoulders the world’s problems” or ” I had to shoulder my way into the company.” Answer: The shoulders show our tension, sadness, depression, weariness and failures and for some, a hard life. When our shoulders are in alignments, away from the ears and chest lifted, we usually feel happier and…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . How to Start a Home Practice
Question: This is my first yoga class and I love it, but I want to do more than just come to a class once a week. What’s the best way for me to start practicing yoga at home? Answer: It’s terrific that you are feeling the benefits of yoga and that wanting to integrate it more into your…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . A Sutra Explanation
Question: The last time I visited the LA Iyengar Institute, I bought a T-shirt with a sutra printed on it. I have been asked by my students to explain the sutra. Answer: A sutra is a short writing that is packed with information, ideas, suggestions, wisdom and is a guiding light to self- realization. The sutras…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . When Am I Ready To Move Up A Level?
Question: I’m a Level 1 student. How do I know when I’m ready to move on to a Level 2-3 class? What’s the difference between the two levels? Answer: In the beginning level classes, students experience yoga primarily as a form of exercise or stretching. The asanas are often difficult and tiring for the beginner and beginners…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . When Will I Feel the Inner Peace?
Question: When will I feel the great inner peace that yoga is supposed to give us? Answer: Many yoga students are drawn to yoga in a quest to find inner peace. Yet that sense of calm and equanimity is not easy to attain. After years of standing, seated and inverted poses, you may find yourself wondering just…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . Can I Ever Do A Downward Dog With My Stiff Body?
Question: I have incredibly stiff quads and hamstrings and cannot touch my toes. I hate downward dog. Can yoga really help me? Answer: Adho Mukha Svanasana or dog pose is a challenging yoga posture. This pose requires a complete body awareness and all-around strength and flexibility. It may be that you cannot do the pose fully for…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . Why Do We Do Twists in Yoga Class?
Question: Why do you often have us do twists at the end of class? Answers: Twists are an important to our practice because twists are a force that will help us balance physically and energetically. By the end of a yoga class you have bent, turned, twisted, extended, contracted and rotated your spine in many ways. Doing a…Read More
Ask The Teacher . . . Why Restorative Yoga?
Question: A student recently asked, “I love a restorative yoga class because I like to have the space to relax, but how does the restorative class fit into the rest of what you are teaching?” Answers: This is a great question for me to consider because of my own relationship with restorative yoga. For years, I avoided restorative…Read More