Spring Clean Your Yoga Routine

Happy April, friends! Winter is past us (yay!), and spring is definitely in the air. So why not spring clean your yoga routine?!

We spring clean everything else—our homes, cars, shopping habits, diets, and more. But something that many of us do on a weekly (or even daily) basis is workout and exercise! Your body gets used to the same routines, so why not work new muscle groups and stretch different ligaments? It’s like a spring makeover for your mind, body, and soul.

Here are 5 ways to spring clean your yoga routine:

Swap your Restorative for Hatha

Or, if you want to get crazy, throw in a power class! But if you only attend the same yoga class time and time again, you won’t be pushing your body to discover new limits. It’s all about getting outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to move deeper and find the new within yourself.

Practice at a Different Time

Yes, really! Just as it’s important to shake things up when it comes to classes, it’s also a good idea to practice at different times of the day. By asking your body and mind to make a change, it improves your ability to be flexible with time and space.

This is good for you!

Double Up Your Classes

Think a 60-minute class is all you can do? No way! Why not try taking a more physically demanding class like Strong or Flow, then following it up with a Stretch or Yin? Think about the benefits your body would receive from committing to two hours of yoga every now and then! You’ll never know what this can do for you, until you try it.

Increase Your Time in the Studio

If you typically practice 2-3 times per week, why not try increasing that number? Challenge yourself to add another class or two to your weekly schedule, and be amazed at how that small increase changes your body and brain!

Combine Your Practice with Running

Yoga and running could not be more different—which is why they’re great to combine! The high-impact and fat-burning capabilities of running are a perfect complement to the gentle stretching and balance-building poses that yoga has to offer. Try alternating days, 6 days a week.

Push and test your body, and you’ll see better results. Or, if you already go pretty hard, slow down and attend those stretch classes. The bottom line, is that your body can benefit from switching up your routine. Here‘s a list of current classes we’re offering. Take a glance and see how you can spring clean your yoga routine!

To find out what’s new at Parallel Yoga, check out our Events & Workshop page HERE.


Yoga: Body, Mind, and Soul

The practice of yoga is one that is personal to each who participates. Although there are many different types of studios that offer many different styles of yoga, there are 3 core entities that can’t be manipulated or ignored if yoga is truly practiced properly. To fully embrace everything that yoga has to offer, the focus must be equal on the following:


Yes, yoga is good for your body. It helps to stretch and pull and bend the muscles and ligaments that are often overlooked. Postures assist with strength, balance, and increased blood flow. Your body reaps the rewards of increased lymph drainage and circulation to the extremities that are typically forgotten.

For these reasons, your body is thankful for your practice.


In yoga, we are taught to breathe mindfully and look within. We learn patience and self-love, acceptance for what we cannot change, and the joy of bettering ourselves for ourselves—not for anyone else. We learn to direct negative thoughts and kiss them goodbye, and we consciously allow ourselves to have the patience and humility that we need in order to grow and receive light.

For these reasons, your mind is thankful for your practice.


Yoga is not just about those who practice it—it’s about recognizing the strength we have as a community and the love we are able to show one another. It’s about togetherness, support, and oneness. Through the practice of yoga, we evoke our connection to the earth and to each other.

For these reasons, your soul is thankful for your practice.

So there may be different ways to approach the practice of yoga and different teaching styles, but in its essence, we can’t forget that yoga isn’t just about ‘getting a better bikini body’ or competing for ‘most toned abs’. Yoga is about finding ourselves—our true selves—and reaping the rewards along the way.

Body. Mind. Soul.

What does yoga mean to you?

Fascia and Flexibility

Most people believe that by stretching muscle groups, they will improve their overall flexibility, but that’s not totally how it works. Fascia, a protective casing around isolated muscles, is responsible for how flexible you actually are. If the fascia is pliable and soft, then your muscles are able to stretch more. But if your fascia is tight and under-worked, it becomes almost like thick, brittle plastic and prevents your muscles from stretching to their full potential. Left in this state, it also can lead to serious exercise-related injury.

There are 5 common muscles (or muscle groups) that often suffer from hard, thick fascia:


Hamstrings are the worst. The fascia that surrounds this muscle group is often super tight and inflexible, due to sitting or standing too much, as well as from not stretching properly after intense workouts. These suckers are persistently tight, and require daily attention.

One of the best hamstring stretches, is ‘legs up the wall,’ or Viparita Kirani. Simply lay on your back, facing a wall, with your bum pushed right up to the wall, and your legs straight up. Holding this position for a couple of minutes every day is great for your hamstrings, and also helps to recycle old blood that tends to pool in our feet when we stand and sit too much.

If this stretch is too easy for you, and you can’t feel a stretch, try doing a standing forward fold, or Uttanasana, instead. (Pictured below.)

Forward Fold


Hip soreness and inflexibility is a frequent complaint among people who engage in physical fitness. Often, the fascia surrounding the hip socket is so tight, that it prevents natural rotation, which in turn contributes to a tighter lower back and hamstrings.

(See how that’s all connected?!)

Sitting with your feet together, knees out wide, is a great hip-stretching pose. You can do this two ways: you can assume an extended child’s pose (Balasana; pictured below), or you can simply sit up straight, on your bum, with your feet together in the middle, and knees out to the side, making sure you maintain a long spine and good posture (Baddha Konasana – Butterfly pose)

Either way, your hips are being stretched.

Other great hip openers include pigeon pose (Kapotasana) and frog pose (Bhekasana).

Parallel Yoga

Lower Back

Many people don’t notice how tight their fascia is in their lower back, but if you ever receive lower back massage, it’s typically painful and difficult to maneuver.

This is because of your tight core fascia.

The lower back is a hard one, so to properly stretch and work the fascia in this region (as well as the next region), we recommend using a foam roller. Foam rollers can be purchased for around $40, and they’re designed to work in a pressure-and-release type of way. That is, you place the roller on the base of your lower back, and then very slowly roll your body over the roller, holding in particularly sore or painful spots.

This type of fascial stretching isn’t nice feeling; it can actually be painful. But once that roller is removed, you can feel as instant release of tension as your fascia softens.

This works. You can purchase a foam roller at our studio, or you can also try using a tennis ball to relieve fascial tension.

Foam Roller


Like the lower back, quads can be difficult to stretch to the point of fascial release. Again, we totally recommend using a foam roller to help achieve the type of softening that will allow your muscles to stretch properly.

Laying on your stomach, place the roller just above your knees. Using your arms, slowly roll back so that your legs move across the roller. Pause at particularly tight spots, and breathe through the discomfort. The more painful this process is, the more you generally need to do it. Tight, plastic-like fascia needs to be stretched, because allowing it to get worse can contribute to exercise-related injury.

A great yoga pose for helping the fascia surrounding your quads, is dancer pose (Natarajasana).


Finally, we have the glutes. This muscle group is huge, and it has an equally huge job when it comes to maneuvering your body. Often people who have sore lower backs think that the lower back itself is the culprit. In actual fact, tight glutes can totally contribute to lower back pain!

Two fabulous poses that help to soften the fascia in this area are pigeon pose (Kapotasana) and figure-4 (Eka Pada Utkatasana). Deep lunges are also beneficial, and if you can hold them for more than a minute, your body will love you!

figure 4

By consistently working on softening and stretching our fascia, we can make huge strides to achieving better flexibility. If you’re interested in attending a yoga class that is absolutely fantastic for improving and toning your fascia, try restorative, or better yet, yin. For our class schedule, see HERE. For more on fascial stretching, click HERE.


Love, Parallel Yoga.

Yoga for the Brain

Any yogi out there knows that yoga works to tone muscles—all muscles—even muscles you didn’t know you had. (Am I right, or am I right?!) BUT: yoga is also a brain toner. Although today’s society places enormous value on being physically fit, a happy and healthy life is about achieving and maintaining a solid degree of mental health, too.

You might not see it, but our brains need fitness!

Yoga is amazing for working on the state of our mental health, and for many reasons. These include the following:

The very nature of yoga is mentally calming.

Think about it: yoga is a slow practice, with many poses held for a minute or longer. You are encouraged to breathe, clear your mind, and to focus on yourself. There is often calming, meditative music accompanying the class, and no one is forced to do anything that might be outside of what might be realistic for their own body.

If you come to class with your mind racing, you can pretty much bet money that it will not be when you leave, not that we’re encouraging gambling.

Yoga for the Brain

Yoga incorporates physical poses with mental strength and stability.

Often while being talked through a specific pose, the instructor will ask students to clear their minds, focus on the pose, breathe through it, and to acknowledge then send away outside thoughts not pertaining to the moment.

This builds mental strength.

When you can recognize a random thought, and mentally be capable of pushing it away for the purpose of maintaining a clear and positive mind, that’s amazing! By practicing yoga, we learn how to control negative thoughts and how to create and seek positive ones.

Honestly, it’s like free therapy with a side of stretch.

It forces you to breathe, and take a minute.

For those of us who are a little (or a lot) type-A, we sometimes need to be told to chill. We value lists and productivity and usually forget to take time to just be.

Yoga helps with that!

Think of savasana. Unless you want to be busted getting up and leaving in the last 5-10 minutes of your class, you have no choice but to lie down, get comfortable, and zone out. And? It’s considered just as valuable, if not more, than the rest of the class was.


Many poses allow for increased blood circulation to the brain.

Poses such as forward fold, downward dog, wheel, and others inherently increase blood flow and therefore oxygen to the brain. By being in a position where your head is physically below your heart, your brain reaps the rewards of extra oxygen circulation.

I mean, if our brain was where our feet are, we’d probably all be geniuses and very mentally healthy. Yoga helps us switch it up every once in a while!

Here’s the bottom line: yoga is not just a physical practice—it’s a mental one, too. The more you attend yoga, the stronger you can become everywhere. We might be a little biased at Parallel Yoga, but we think yoga should be covered by our medical plans. Right?! (Maybe we should all lobby for this…)

Namaste. Go feed your brain some yoga!