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
The 10-Transformation is complete, you look and feel amazing!!!! What's next?!?
If you are feeling up for it, you could do the whole thing all over again. (Just make sure not to do it for more than 20 days.)
If you aren't going to do another 10 days, it's great to have a plan for how you want to maintain the lightness that you've created. Personally, what I've done is to continue with the Core 3: 1 Power Shake/day (in the morning usually), 5 Super Amino 23/day (usually in the afternoon or before I take a yoga class), and 1 tbsp Apotho Cherry (every night before bed). But I've added back in light and healthy meals with tons of veggies and mea
What I've done for the last 6 months is, as a Purium Member, I have a backup order set up so I get a discount and the Core 3 automatically ships to me once a month. That's the most affordable way that I've found to do it. And it's become even more affordable since when I give away the $50 gift cards that I get as a member to people that want to use them, then I get $50 direct deposited into my bank account! Win Win!
Some great post cleanse recipes:
The recipes are from the "Recipes - For Purium Lifestyle" Facebook Page!!! There are tons of amazing recipes in that group!
Here is a high protein vegetarian dish I really like. Easy to make, filling and good hot or chilled.
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed cauliflower
1 cup steamed snap peas
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup cooked red lentils
2 hard boiled eggs, minced
Toss with a drizzle of coconut aminos, a dash of sesame oil, a pinch of cayenne and salt and a light sprinkle of sesame seeds. Makes 2 servings.
Some of my favorite flex foods...including a cucumber and blueberry salad!
steamed green peas,
sliced dates or raisins,
avocado, in small cubes,
pink salt and black pepper to taste.
Losely scoop it together and enjoy!
Stew ingredients for 3-4 portions,
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium butternut squash, cut in rounds then in small cubes
2 cups beans, I used kidney beans but into beans would also work
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. coconut sugar
pink salt and black pepper to taste, I added some veggie stock powder
handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Chop the onion and bake for 8 minutes in 2 tsp. coconut oil. Add chopped bell pepper and tomato, bake for another 6 minutes until a bit softened. Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh herbs plus 2 cups of water and let it cook for 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
Season to taste and when cooked stir in the fresh herbs.
Roasted Beet Hummus
2 small to medium beets,
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini
3 to 4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim the leaves of the beets so that just a bit of stem is left then clean and scrub them well. Wrap each beet individually in foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour.
Once the beets are done roasting, run them under cold water to make them easier to peel and give them a rough chop.
Add all ingredients into the food processor, except for the oil, and puree for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and continue pureeing for an additional 30 seconds. Slowly add the oil while the mixture is processing, adding more as needed, until nice and creamy.
Serve and enjoy!
When I was first introduced to yoga in small town in central Utah in August of 2004, a friend introduced me to some yoga podcasts that we did together. I found myself drawn to certain podcast yoga teachers. They were teachers that physically challenged me in the practice but were also bright and powerful lights inviting me to shine brighter, too. All through audio recordings. A few years into practicing yoga I figured out what the common thread was between those teachers I was most drawn to because of how they left me standing in a bigger way from their yoga classes. That common thread is a man named, Baron Baptiste.
Shortly before Russ and I moved to China I started my journey to becoming a trained yoga teacher and there was no doubt in my mind who I wanted to train with. It was Baron Baptiste!!!
My yoga teacher training journey as been like this:
It began in Sedona, AZ at the Baptiste Level 1 training where my major takeaways were a giant bag full of tools to help handle my personal baggage. Basically, if I wanted to invite others to shine their lights bright on the yoga mat and in life, then I needed to learn to address my B#%* S@#% so that I could lead by example.
When I got back from a year of living in Beijing I went to the Baptiste Art of Assisting Training in Savanna, GA where I was able to learn practical tools to get students into their fullest expressions of the poses with props and hands on assisting.
Then, in the fall of 2014, I found myself back in Sedona for the Baptiste Level 2 training where I was able to see that all of my Lakewood, CO yoga students show up to class with their entire life stories and dramas and I am invited to truly be of service to them via the practice of yoga.
All three of those trainings added up to a 200 hour yoga teaching certificate from the Baptiste Institute that cost me close to $10,000!!!
I am thrilled that Container Collective Yoga is going to be hosting a Baptiste Institute 200 hour Expand Your Power training at CCYOGA from February-May of 2017 for only $3,000 ($3600 if you signup after January 25th, 2017) in our Lakewood, CO yoga studio!!!
"Discover for yourself how Baptiste Yoga™ and the Baptiste Methodology™ applies both on and off the mat through yoga asana, meditation, discussion, personal inquiry, contribution, community building, hands-on coaching, assisting and practice teaching. Experience the freedom and effectiveness that emerges from this inspired and embodied practice of Baptiste Yoga™."
Talk about a full circle moment!!! Two years ago (in the last quarter of 2014) it was Ava and me (Brittany) and the wagon at free yoga in the park, with maybe one or two participants....Maybe!
On Saturday, October 1st, 2016 there were six of us Container Collective Yoga teachers leading the free yoga in the park class with twenty five participants ranging in age from 10 years old to 55 years old. Some of the them were first time yogis and other have been a part of our community yoga studio in Lakewood for over a year!
Mind BLOWN!!! Yes, please..Thank you...More of that!!!!
I'm beyond grateful for the CCYOGA teaching team and Lakewood, CO community surrounding us with so much light, love, and joy!
-After the yoga class, several of us jumped on our bikes for a cruiser ride around Sloan's Lake. Fall was definitely in the air with the cool crisp air and leaves blowing across the bike path.
Then there was quite the party across the street at Joyride Brewing Company (a local Colorado brewery). Joyride owners/brewers, Grant and Dave, built bamboo bikes with us a year ago, so it was fun to support their biz by bringing our community to them!
We enjoyed bbq and beers and raffled off a ton of great stuff, including a bamboo bike frame, a bamboo bike building workshop, unlimited yoga, and private yoga lessons to our Lakewood, CO bike shop and yoga studio!
It'll be fun to see where Container Collective Yoga and Bikes is a year from now.
Things in works for Container Collective:
- As classes fill up we will continue to add more yoga classes to the schedule and even more fun yoga workshops!
- We will be finishing the remodel of the front part of the building this fall.
- We are planning to build a second yoga studio/room in the back of the building.
- We will be hosting our first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training this February-May..
- CCBIKES will be traveling around the country leading bamboo bike building workshops at high schools, universities, and police stations.
- Russ will be building custom bamboo bike frames for people in addition to teaching others how to build their own!
- I (Brittany) will be leading a yoga retreat to Nepal in October 2017.
- With the way bike service went this last season, we will definitely be hiring an additional bike mechanic for service/repairs in the spring of 2017.
The possibilities are endless for our Lakewood, CO yoga studio and bike shop!
It was the best gift he had ever given me!!!
It was a year and a half ago that Russ came home from China and handed me a beautiful bamboo bicycle frame. The amount of love and labor that he put into that frame brought tears to my eyes. It was a functional work of art that he had given to me!
Since then I have witnessed him teach over 70 people how to build bamboo bikes. With each bamboo frame building workshop he leads, I've been the official photographer, documenting each person building their frames. The care they take when they pick out the bamboo poles they want to use, and cut each piece to fit perfectly is so fun to watch. I especially love that moment when the poles fit together in the frame jig and it actually looks like a bike.
The second day of the workshop is mesmerizing as each person wraps the joints with carbon fiber thread and epoxy. After the workshops are over, I always ask each person if they had fun.
Their expression is always priceless. Because they don't auto respond with a resounding "YES!". They are thoughtful as they contemplate their answers, because the workshop is more than merely fun. Some of the words that have been used to describe the bamboo bicycle frame building workshops are:
Therapeutic. Meditative. Challenging. Rewarding. Awesome!
In this day and age of technology and social media, it has become more and more rare to spend two full days working with your hands to create something so unique and useful. And since we document you building your bike the entire process there is literally no need to even touch your cell phone in the process! So, that would explain why the process is so "therapeutic".
I also love the day about two weeks after, when the builder comes to pick up their completed bicycle.
(The frames need to cure for about a week after they are built and then Russ assembles the other parts that you choose once the frame is ready).
It was 2 months ago, when I was sitting in a meditation that I had a vision of myself wrapping carbon fiber thread around the joints of a bamboo bike frame and I remember smiling, when I realized that I had been secretly wanting to be in the CCBIKES bamboo builder club!
As CCYOGA is now two years old, I finally have the ability to take two full days off to build a bamboo bike with my own two hands so I am excited that November 5th-6th will be the days that I, too, become a bamboo bike builder!!!
Does anyone else want to join me?!?!
Text from the Lakewood, CO Sentinal News Paper Article by Clarke Reader
I’m from Texas, and my husband Russ is from Wisconsin. We met while he was in art school and I was dancing professionally in Chicago. We fell in love with Colorado before moving to Utah for eight years to teach at an international school.
While in Utah we built, with our own hands, a straw bale home and converted our car to run on waste vegetable oil before moving to Beijing, China, to teach dance and art.
We finally made it back to the city we’ve always wanted to live in and are proud to share our passions with the Lakewood community and beyond through The Container Collective.
As a certified Baptiste Yoga instructor, I strive to creates space for my students to feel comfortable and confident to stretch and move beyond their imagination, on and off their yoga mats. With a background as a professional dancer and dance instructor I try to make my yoga classes fun, fluid and challenging.
I get to watch a student walk through the door with the weight of their day on their shoulders. As they practice yoga they put their body into physically challenging positions that strengthen and stretch all parts of their bodies while being asked to breathe calmly. It is so rewarding to see each student transform over the course of an hour.
The yoga and biking lifestyle
For my husband, Russ, riding bikes isn’t just a hobby — it’s a lifestyle. While he was teaching in China for two years he apprenticed with David Wang of Bamboo Bikes Beijing to learn the bamboo bike-building process.
I moved to Lakewood from Beijing in August of 2014 and started Container Collective Yoga with free Yoga in the Park. I offered classes all around the Denver metro area to see which area had the greatest need for yoga. I was drawn to West Colfax because of the character of the people and the commitment to the arts and wanted to be a part of what made this area thrive again.
Russ moved back from China in August of 2015 to get Container Collective Bikes started by leading bamboo bike frame-building workshops, as well as doing bike repair and service.
What makes West Colfax special
We are excited about all that is happening with West Colfax and the 40 West Arts District. We love the character of the community and its commitment to growth. We’ve hosted several Mural Tour Bike Rides around West Colfax to celebrate all of the public art on display in the area.
If you have suggestions for My Name Is ..., contact Clarke Reader at email@example.com.
Clarke Reader, Lakewood, Brittany Hopkins, Russ Hopkins, yoga, cycling, Container Collective Yoga and Bikes, West Colfax, My Name Is