Container Collective Bikes, owner/builder, Russ built a bamboo bike from poles to ridable in under 2 hours!
Give your bike a little love this spring. Once the sun appears again, the gears in our brains start spinning and we begin thinking about springtime biking. But before you hit the trail or the pavement, it's important to make sure that your bike is in good health. Check out the following tips to learn how to get your bike ready for a springtime ride.
Check out the transformation in John's downward facing dog pose in our last weekly private lesson...
Lakewood, Colorado bike shop owner, Russ Hopkins, went to Boston at the end of January to partner with Bamboo Bikes Beijing once again to lead a workshop in Boston, MA.
This awesome video was made by one of the workshop participants: Nina Pittas | Brookline High School '17 | www.ninapittas.com
Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog
asana = pose
While downward facing dog is considered a resting posture, many find it uncomfortable. Particularly on the wrists. The video below features Brittany (Container Collective Owner) and Stephanie (Yoga Studio Manager) in Lakewood, CO. In this video Brittany and Stephanie highlight some tips and tricks to make downward facing dog more enjoyable while ensuring proper alignment.
At our yoga studio in Lakewood, CO we commonly find that if you have super tight hamstrings, bringing some extra bend into your knees will help you get your armpits closer to your thighs while finding a nice straight spine. With bent knees and a straight spine, push evenly through all four corners of your hands, particularly push through the index finger knuckle. Pushing through the index finger knuckle will help ease wrist pressure and ensure proper upper body alignment.
"Bendier" people tend to end up swaying into their back which creates a curve rather than staying nice and straight. Bendier people should "knit" their ribs together while simultaneously pulling their shoulder blades together on their back. This will help them find a nice, straight back. For their lower body they should also bring a slight bend their knees while moving their sit bones closer to the ceiling.
Hand placement is critical to a structurally sound Downward Facing Dog.
-Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width.
-Fingers should be spread nice and wide on your mat giving you a strong base to work with.
-Weight should be distributed evenly through all four corners of the palms of your hands.
-Particular attention should be paid to the index finger knuckle. Really anchor this knuckle down to the floor. We commonly see this knuckle lifting off of the floor and this leads to wrist strain and pressure.
-All four corners of your palms pressing into the floor.
-Bring a grip through your finger tips so that your finger tips are anchoring just as much as the corners of your hands.
-With this alignment through your hands you will feel your forearms rotating in with a downward pressure while your upper arms rotate outwards.
Using these tips and tricks should bring added ease to your Downward Facing Dog and ensure happy hands and joints.
Video recorded in the Container Collective Yoga Studio in Lakewood, CO.
One of the things we see the most in a yoga class at our studio in Lakewood, CO ...
is unsafe alignment in one of the poses we do most at CCYOGA, chaturanga dandasana (chah-tuur-ANGH-uh dahn-DAHS-uh-nuh).
Half of the challenge is a mis-understanding of alignment. The other half is trying the advanced version of the pose, when the arm and shoulder strength is not quite there.
Even as a practitioner of yoga for over a decade, I still modify chaturanga and do it on my knees or don't lower all of the way to a 90 degree elbow bend.
Check out the video below of me and Stephanie (CCYOGA's amazing yoga studio manager) in Lakewood, CO walking you through three variations of chaturanga (4 legged staff pose).
In variation number one, after you shift your weight forward and lower your knees to the floor, you then lower only a third of the way down with your elbows pulled in to your sides, followed by lowering all the way to the floor, inhale as you rise to cobra, then release back to the floor before inhaling up to table top and exhaling back to downward facing dog.
In variation number two, you shift your weight forward and lower your knees to the mat, then lower halfway down to the floor bringing your elbows to a 90 degree angle, straighten your arms coming into upward facing dog and pushing the crown of your head toward the ceiling, then push back through table top on your way to downward facing dog.
In variation number three, you do a full chaturunga lowering from high plank to low plank (with straight legs) bringing your elbows to a 90 degree angle. You then straighten your arms moving in to upward facing dog followed by using your abs to raise your hips to the ceiling as you transfer to downward facing dog.
Following these tips and listening to your body, you can now safely add chaturunga's into your practice!
*Video recorded in the Container Collective Yoga Studio in Lakewood, CO.
Wanderlust Weekly: Congrats on the growth of Container Collective! What inspired it's creation?
Container Collective: My husband, Russ, and I were teaching at a boarding school in Utah in 2012. As we sat on the couch in the straw bale house that we built (with our very own hands) we talked about how coworkers would show up after work to practice yoga with me or to have Russ tune-up their bicycle. And so often, our house was the gathering place for casual hanging out or theme parties. We began to dream about one day owning a yoga studio/bike shop. That idea evolved over the next two years as we learned about shipping container homes and businesses when we were living in Beijing, China. Since we built our straw bale house and drove a car that ran on waste vegetable oil, it seemed fitting to have our dream business in some type of alternative structure. That's where the name, Container Collective came from. While we are still in the process of incorporating a shipping container into our current building structure, we still very much embody the name:
- At Container Collective Yoga we provide the container for transformation. Without mirrors, our classes leave you feeling open, invigorated, strong, and like you belong. Inspired by Baron Baptiste’s style of Power Vinyasa Yoga we empower you to shine your light from the inside out in our local Lakewood Yoga Studio. We love sharing yoga with students of all ages and ability levels!
- At Container Collective Bikes, we want your bike to be safe and comfortable, but we are not in the business of selling you parts you don't need. We empower you at your riding level to make your bike work for you. Come on in whether you need a tune-up or are ready to build a bamboo frame with us. We are the only space in the state of Colorado where you can build your very own, one of a kind bamboo bicycle. The creativity can't be contained at our Lakewood, CO bike shop!
Wanderlust Weekly: You've built a strong community following in Denver, what are some of your proudest moments?
Container Collective: One of my proudest moments was the first time we gathered as a community for 40 Days with CCYOGA (and each January since then). As each member went around the circle to introduce themselves I realized it was no longer a relationship between me and each student, but now each student was forming a connection with the others and that was when I realized I had created a community where people are authentically connecting. There have been so many proud moments in between, but another highlight was at our 2 year anniversary celebration. Since I had started out as a Yoga in the Park Meetup group we offered a free yoga class in the park for our anniversary, but this time it was not just taught by me, but it was co-taught by 6 of the 8 CCYOGA instructors! I'm also always so proud and happy on the weekends that Russ is teaching bamboo bike building workshops at the same time that yoga classes/workshops are happening!
Wanderlust Weekly: Entrepreneurs are constantly evolving, what upcoming news or developments can we look forward to?
Container Collective: We are currently in the process of adding a shipping container to the building with a mural on it!
We have our first 200 hour yoga teacher training coming up, a yoga retreat to Nepal and always tons of yoga related workshops.
The bike shop portion is growing fast in the area of bike repair and service. Russ is now selling completed bamboo bikes for purchase and traveling around the country to lead bamboo bike building workshops, in addition to the ones in our workshop in Lakewood, CO!
Just turned some dried grass sticks (a.k.a. bamboo polls) into the shape of a bicycle frame!
No big deal!!! 😏
Watch the videos below for a little tour of the process. Sorry the two of the videos are sideways. (user error :) )
Day one of the bamboo bike frame building workshop was spent cutting and shaping the bamboo polls to fit nicely together. At the end of that day of the workshop the polls were perfectly tacked together in frame jig to make sure my bamboo bike frame was straight.
Day two of the workshop was spent wrapping each joint with carbon fiber thread and epoxy specific wrapping patterns depending on the load each joint would take. It was a super sticky day and actually very therapeutic since I had to be very present to how many times I had done a wrapping pattern.
The bamboo bike frame has to cure for about a week and I have a little bit of sanding/filing to do in the joints before Russ will put all of the components on it to make it a ride-able bicycle!!!
So stay tuned for more pictures to come...
Another bamboo bike found its way home! Brian, who wrote an article about us for Westword Magazine last year was able to take this beauty home with him last week!!!
It is awesome how truly unique and custom each bamboo bicycle is! From the bamboo polls chosen for construction to the kind of wheels and bar tape you decide to finish it with! Russ even added a bamboo burned typewriter onto Brian's bamboo bike frame.
Other things to know:
Today in Liz's 9 am CCYOGA class I was exploring the help of my core (belly button to spine) in the transition from the high leg lift into the set through without momentum. In the low #crescentmoon I was really trying to pull my front leg hip back and down as I reached into the arch. Then opening my chest all of the way in the high lunge with airplane arms. That step forward to #chairpose #uttkatasana is quite the duzy on the supporting leg!!! I would like to keep my hips over my ankles more as I transition up to #mountainpose #tadasana and back into the forward fold #uttanasana ! Keeping hips level in #standingsplit is a fun challenge, and I am going to keep the lifted leg even straighter next time- I always think it's straight but without a doubt it could have even more support by engaging more through the quadricep. #warrior2 #virabhadrasana2 is nice, although a deeper lunge is definitely available. In the #reversewarrior I was playing with pushing my forearm into my hip crease to both lengthen my spine and assist in pulling shoulders away from my ears. In my transitions to #chaturanga I've really been trying to keep my torso parallel to the floor as I step front foot back to low plank, rather than tenting my hips to make it easier but not necessarily stronger. Notice how I lower my knees in my transition to #upwardfacingdog #urdvamukhasvanasana , I do that to protect my shoulders because they are not quite strong enough yet to push up from the 90 degree bend without strain- someday!!! And last, but not least, I really pull my belly button to spine to protect my low back in the transition from up-dog to #downwardfacingdog #adhumukhasvanasana