New Year, New Yoga Flows

seattle yoga photographyIf starting a yoga flow routine is part of your new year’s resolution, or if you’re just looking for some new moves, you’re at the right post. These beginner-intermediate yoga flows are a great place to start. And, you can do all of these in the comfort of your own bedroom, living room, basement, wherever you choose! The poses will do all the good yoga stuff…relieve tension and stress, build strength, and challenge your body with something new! (Check out how yoga benefits your body and mind here) I recommend going through this sequence slowly, holding each pose for 3-5 breaths, then repeating it and speeding it up to match one breath to one movement.

Corepower yoga instructor Elisa was my fabulously flexible model and will show us what to do…

Begin in a right leg runner’s lunge and set your left knee down on your mat. On an inhale, reach both arms overhead.

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As you bring your arms down, join your palms together and twist to the right.

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Return to center and repeat this flow on the left side. 

Next, begin in downward dog, and raise your right leg and shift forward to high plank. Bring your right knee to meet your left elbow. Return to downward dog with leg raise and repeat.

 

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Return to downward dog and repeat on left side. 

Now, from a standing lunge, clasp your hands behind your back as your chest and shoulders open up.
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On an exhale, raise your arms as you lower your chest.

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Return to standing lunge and repeat on the left side. 

From a standing position, raise your arms overhead and sit back in a deep squat.

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On an inhale, rise up and raise your right leg. As you exhale, bring your right ankle on top of your left thigh and sink into the stretch.
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Unwind your stretch, return to standing, then lift your right leg behind you bringing your arms back and lifting your chest.

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Return to the chair squat and repeat on your left side. 

Finally, from downward dog, raise your right leg. As you bend your leg, flip your down dog by  rotating your hips to the right and setting your foot on the ground. Raise your right arm for a deep side stretch.

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Thanks for trying out these yoga flows for the new year! If you’re interested in a vinyasa flow class, check out Elisa’s c2 6:00am class.

xoxo

Kate

Want more yoga? Check out these Morning yoga flows

Morning Yoga: 4 Stretches to Get You Going

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If you’re anything like me, getting out of bed in the morning is my least favorite part of the day. I’m stiff, sleepy, and sore when I wake up. I set a few alarms in the hope that I’ll be so annoyed with them going off I’ll have to wake up and get out of bed. It’s bad people. I’m not a morning person. I go out for a run most mornings, and I like to use that time to wake up and focus myself for the day ahead. I asked Jessica from Corepower Yoga to show me a few morning yoga poses that will warm up the body, improve circulation, and shake away the sleepies. She showed me 4 easy poses that anyone can do after getting out of bed.

Pose #1: Cat/Cow Flow (Bitilasana & Marjaryasana)

morning stretches yoga morning yoga stretchesStart in table top position (knees bent, arms straight, back flat). Now as you slowly breathe in, look up and arch your back. As you exhale, touch your chin to your chest, round your shoulders and back, and push into your palms for an extra shoulder stretch. Repeat these two movements 3 times to warm up your spine and shoulders.

Pose #2: Half Moon (Ardha-Chandrasana)
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Stand up nice and straight with your feet together. Bring your arms above your head and clasp your fingers together. Take a deep inhale and stretch up, and as your exhale, bend over to your left side. Hold the stretch for 3 breaths then return to the center. With your arms still overhead, look up, inhale and tip your shoulders back giving your back a long arch. Return to center and repeat on right side.

Pose #3: Gate Pose (Parighasana)

 

 morning yoga stretchesBegin by sitting with your legs bent underneath you and your right palm on the ground. As you inhale, slowly rise up and extend your left arm and leg out, while supporting yourself with your right arm and knee. Exhale and feel a long stretch from the tip of your toe to your fingertips. Stay here for 3 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Pose #4: Cat/Cow Lunge Flow
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Begin standing with your feet together. Slowly step your left foot back so you are in a low lunge. Drop your left knee to the ground as you look up and create an arch in your back. As you exhale, slowly straighten your legs and bring your forehead as close to your shin as possible. Repeat this flow for 3 more breaths then switch sides.

Thanks to Jessica for the pose suggestions! Jessica teaches a variety of classes at Corepower Yoga. Yoga Journal has a fabulous index where you can find the pose you need for your body, check it out here. And, if you’d like to keep doing morning yoga to wake you up, check out this video.

 xoxo

Kate

Yoga Photography: Tobey in Barcelona

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barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-7barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-6Buenos días! Last year while I was doing this in Barcelona, Tobey and I found some time to sneak away and do an urban yoga shoot. You might recognize resident Barcelona muse & model Tobey from this shoot. We chose to shoot in the neighborhood of El Born because it has the perfect mix of beautiful architecture, wandering travelers, and charming quiet back streets. Tobey was fearless, moving through her yoga flows and maintaining focus despite people watching. All the qualities of a perfect model!

I love how graceful & strong she is in this vinyasa flow:

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Here we go with bound pigeon:barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-26Whew! Que tal guapa!

barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-28And how she just kills this dancer’s pose despite tons of people around and being in a very public park!

barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-18barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-33barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-32barcelona_spain_travelphotographer_yoga_travel_europe-34We found a more secluded and charming area for a few final balancing yoga poses

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Tobes, thank you again for being a beauty to shoot! You’re amazing.

And, because I can’t resist giving yoga advice, here are a few yoga videos I love!

Morning Yoga Sequence

Stretch & Strengthen Yoga

Standing Vinyasa Flow

Namaste & Abrazos,

Kate

Tobey wears a bra and shorts by Without Walls for Urban Outfitters.

Yoga Photography: Renata at Queen’s Bath, Kauai

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Alohaaaaaaa friends! Nearly a year ago, a friend and I tried living in Kauai for a short time. We bought one-way tickets, worked in a hostel, and bummed around the island for a little while. Ultimately, the lifestyle didn’t fit my chaos driven, east-coast personality, and that’s the short version of what brought me to Seattle. In the time I was there, I did pull together some amazing shoots! So, today you get to meet Renata! She’s a local yoga teacher and all about that aloha spirit. All of her classes are outside, by the ocean, which is just the best possible way to do yoga. Sun, palm trees, ocean waves and downward dogs. After taking a class from the beautiful Renata, I knew I had to do some yoga photography with her. So we did a little brainstorming of the coolest possible places to shoot in Kauai (that list is unfairly long) and decided Queen’s Bath at sunrise was going to give us the perfect mood for our yoga shoot together. PSA: be prepared to feel really inflexible after looking at these photos.

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yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5283yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5273yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5255yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5168yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5145yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5828Because who doesn’t love balancing poses on the edge of a lagoon? I know I do…

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yogaphotography_yogaportrait_seattle_yogakauai_yogaphotographer_queensbath-5104Queen’s Bath was always one of my favorite spots to visit in Kauai, and shooting there at sunrise with no one else around was highlight in my photography career! Renata’s insane flexibility and awesomeness only made it better. Yoga photography is the freakin best.

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And we can wrap up this post with some portraits, because I just love Renata’s natural beauty and that gorgeous island light! There’s nothing else like it!

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Check out Beach Yoga Kauai & make sure to look her up if you’re ever on the island! Thanks for being yoga model extraordinaire, Renata!

xoxo & aloha

Kate

Leslie in Woodland Park: Yoga Photography

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I love yoga photography. Probably because I love yoga in my non-photography life. I love the awareness and mindfulness it invites into my body. I love the way it makes me slow down. I love the reminder to JUST BREATHE, DAMMIT. And I love how beautiful and graceful it looks. Leslie is a yogi, a triathlete, a wanderlust junkie, and all around awesome chick to hang out with. She also has the gift of making advanced, contorted yoga poses look about as easy as sitting in a chair. So, a few weeks ago we wandered out to Woodland Park where we could feel all woodsy and nature-y while she did her thing. And man, did she look beautiful doing it!

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“Warrior pose battles inner weakness and wins focus. You see that there is no war within you. You’re on your own side, and you are your own strength.”

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Leslie recently wrote a beautiful post on her blog called, “Be a warrior, not a worrier.” She writes about different ways to cope with stress and anxiety in a healthy way. Definitely worth a read, it’s an inspiration to slow down, breathe, and remember what you already have. It’s advice we should all take to heart!

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“Yoga is really trying to liberate us from … shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing — I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body.” Rodney Yee

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leslie_portrait_seattle_yogaportraits_yoga_woodlandpark-4850And finally, this beautiful portrait of calm to end this post…

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Thanks for being such a joyful and peaceful model, Leslie!

xoxo, Kate

( Leslie wears clothing and uses a mat from Lululemon)

For any runners out there who neglect stretching their hamstrings as much as I do…try this yoga sequence your legs will be so happy.

 
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