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Winter Yoga Mix Sequence

By Yoga Sequences

Anyone else trying to get out of the house during this winter storm? Me too, me too. Looking out my Iowa window, I see rain turning to ice, and more snow coming down. It looks like I might be house ridden for another day or so. Which for me, means no studio time. Which really disturbs my practice and the balance of my body. Not only having scoliosis, but having 2-13 inch rods in my spine, this cold weather makes my back hurt even more than a normal day. The aches and pains continue while the snow comes down.

So, if you are at home, or just need a quick sequence to follow along to, here you go! Move your body around to warm up!

Start Seated. Cross legged, or legs straight, whatever you decide. Take a few long inhales and deeper exhales. Set an intention within your body of what you would like to accomplish over the next few minutes. Continue to keep that intention with you while you move your body.

On your next inhale, reach your hands to the sky, on your exhale, bring your right hand along side of you and reach up and over your body with your left hand, stretching out your left side. Hold here for a few breaths. Come back to center. Same thing, other side. Repeat two more times on each side.

Press forward into a table top position. Making sure your shoulders are over your wrists, hips are over your knees. Spine will start long, if comfortable. Hold here, focusing on the intention you set, and focusing on the inhales and exhales. Then connect with your breath with the movement of your body. Move through your cat/cow poses during your breath, moving your spine from neutral to a C-shape for (cow) and then pressing the mat away from you into a cat back spine (cat pose). After a few breaths, come back to center, spine is neutral.

Tuck you toes, lift your sit bones, and press them back, lifting into a downward dog pose. Peddle your heals out for the first few breaths. Then walk your feet to your hands and grab for opposite elbows, holding in a forward fold. Feeling the energy move from your toes to your heels. Bring your hands to your hips, and take a deep inhale, coming into a standing position.

From here, you can move through a few Sun Salutations and then finish your practice the same way you started, coming back through your cat/cow poses and back to seated to stretch out your sides.

Take care! Stay safe out there Midwest friends!

Kela Marie

You can teach an old dog new tricks…

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi
I was miserable, that was my life in a nutshell. I was wearing about a size 20 and my health situation was terrible. I was taking depression medication. I had joint pain everyday. I could have lived on tums and I ate to fill a void and compensate with all that was going on in my life.  I could go into specifics regarding all of this, but why? The bottom line was I was miserable.
I had learned about the Whole 30 from my oldest daughter and cousin.  I tried it for 30 days and I lost over 20 pounds, then I went right back to the way it was, I tried again and lost weight then gained it back.  I felt so good at the end I just couldn’t transfer it over.  I was talking to a friend and she told me she was going to do a Whole 100 and I said without hesitation, I am in. The very next day I started the Whole 100 but I started things a little bit backwards.  I cleaned my cupboards, I made meals as I went.  I literally fought it the first week, to find a path…. and so my journey began. I never looked back.
I am going to skip to the end, I completed the Whole 100 and lost 17.3 pounds the first month, I was a size 16 when I started to a size 8.  I had a ton of non-scale victories (those victories that don’t register on the scale) which I will share with you when we meet.  I also want you all to know that I didn’t exercise once through this.  I wanted to focus on my food then move to exercise, you are all ahead of the game…being dedicated yogis.  I continued my journey and eventually bought my first pair of size 2’s.  I float between a 4 and a 2 and I can’t wait to share all of this with you. But the size doesn’t really matter, it is how I feel every day.
Take a chance, put yourself first and change your life.
Join me in our Whole 30 Challenge starting in January…

Different Days

By Yoga Inspiration

This side-by-side picture shows real life. Real life on my yoga mat. I have been doing yoga for over 10 years, and the picture on the left is a current picture of my forward fold. What does this mean? This means that every day is different on your mat. Each pose can be different. Each side of your body can be different. And that is ALL OKAY.

Let me explain the difference in the two pictures of what was happening in my life:

Left Picture:

Thursday Morning. I had just spent the last 3 days traveling from Iowa to New Mexico, in a car. That’s right – in a car. I was feeling super rough from traveling and sitting in the car for so long, plus not having my normal yoga practice or teaching schedule. Meaning, not a lot of movement that I am used to. I also was not feeling like being on my mat, but I know I needed some movement, and I really needed to see where I was at that day.

Right Picture:

Saturday Morning. 2 days after the left picture was taken. I had flown home, had some issues with flights, but made it into Chicago, and had a car ride home to the Quad Cities. I had just taught a hot class with my regular Saturday morning crew, who are all AWESOME. They lift me up each Saturday morning. Plus, I was home and felt back to a normal schedule at the studio.

Now. Let’s look at the difference. Can you see it? Take another look and really think about the pose. Look how much deeper the pose on the right is, how close my torso is to my legs. See where the crown of my head is pointing? And how high my hips are?

This just shows that each day is different. Our practice will continue to change based on our dedication and our normal life routines. Things happen. Life happens. And that is ALL OKAY.

I’ll see you on your mat.


Kela Marie

Sunday Rainy Vibes

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

It’s been a rainy week here in the Quad Cities, and it looks like we are in for even more rain for the week. Which can lead to less motivation and a funky mood. We might be able to power through it, but who really wants to go outside when it’s pouring? In this morning’s 8AM class, I asked how everyone was doing before class started. Each of them mentioned the whether and how it was affecting their mood, daily plans, and motivation. Instead of my normal routine of flowing through the sun salutations, working breath to movement through our sequence, I decided to change the class up.

We started with a few sun salutations to increase heart rate and warm our bodies up. Then we went into some hip openers (Thanks Deb for the request)! After that, I took them to the wall. Which is one of my favorite ways to help student’s get deeper within their poses by using the wall for support. I tell my students they can easily maneuver through these poses while they are at home, or even at work! They absolutely loved it! Plus, we had fun with it which was great to boost their mood for their Sunday.

One of the best ways to move through a funky mood is to make some time for your yoga practice. Whether that is at the studio or at home, you will be able to boost your mood through yoga.

Here are a few poses to try to boost your mood:

Child’s Pose

Cat/Cow Poses using Inhale/Exhale

Tree Pose

Downward Facing Dog (better yet, a headstand for an inversion!)

Upward Facing Dog

Seated Meditation

Here is a picture of me adjusting student (and yoga teacher) Deb against the wall. It may look a little different, but she LOVED it! It definitely helped open her hips a little more with the help of the wall and the weight from me.



Want some Yoga Bucks?

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

So you’ve been going to yoga, learning the poses, learning to really love the sweat dripping off your skin, buying the Manduka mat and really feeling the yogi lifestyle. You love it and want everyone else to love it. So you start telling your family members and friends how great you have been feeling and hey look I can touch my toes now!  Well, we want to reward you for telling everyone how much you love yoga and Backwards Yoga!

For the month of March, we are running a referral program that gives back to YOU. For every NEW student you refer to Backwards Yoga, YOU will receive $5 in Backwards Yoga Bucks! The new student has to be new to the studio and attend at least one class. At the end of the month, we will add all of your earned Yoga Bucks and give you one gift card with the total amount of Yoga Bucks on it. You can use the Yoga Bucks on classes, passes, or merchandise. They cannot be used on special events or workshops. (Sorry!) You also need to use the Yoga Bucks in the month of April (Spring colors? yeah!)

The even more awesome thing about this referral program is that there is no limit to how many Yoga Bucks you can earn or use! If you have had your eye on a yoga towel or mat, now is your chance to earn rewards for it!

Contact any of our instructors for more details!


All You Need is Love Challenge

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

What is this challenge? It is a 5 day challenge to connect with the yogis around you! We will be working on partner poses that embrace heart-opening and trusting poses. Why are we focusing on partner poses? Well, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so we thought what a better way to connect? You can connect with your lover, friend or yogi in class! (Try with a complete stranger and you will trust them in the end – I promise!) Partner yoga is fabulous for building stronger communication and intimacy in just about any type of relationship – friendship, family member, significant other. Certain postures/poses and sequences are designed to create and nurture trust, strengthen communication and create a sense of laughter. These poses are supposed to be fun!

Do you ever walk into a yoga class and quickly search the room for a familiar face? Maybe you smile at the other, or lay your mat down next to that familiar face. We do these things because we want to surround ourselves with people we are familiar with, and also those with positive energy. We tend to have a more positive experience with a someone full of energy!

Day 1 Pose: Wheel Pose

Start with bridge with the knees facing each other. Maybe try lifting one leg at a time (each partner would be lifting the opposite leg) and try to connect the foot in the air. Tricky huh? This is all about balancing ourselves out and finding the connection with others.

If you feel comfortable with bridge, move to wheel. Start the same way, but lifting the heart to the sky. Once you are in wheel, try to connect the foot. This is even trickier (especially if you are short and your partner is tall). But once you find the comfort of the other person, you can relax the mind, knowing that your partner is there ready to stay with you until the end.


We can’t wait to see your poses and have you try new things!