Tag: shannon herbert

Ten Styles of Yoga You Are Likely To Encounter

Ten Styles of Yoga You Are Likely To Encounter

Ten Styles of Yoga You Are Likely To Encounter

Shannon Herbert RYT 200

Whether you’re just beginning a yoga practice or have been practicing for years, it can be confusing to differentiate between the different styles of yoga being offered at various studios. To make things a bit simpler, here’s a quick look at some of the most popular styles of yoga you’re likely to encounter:

  1. Hatha: The word hatha means willful or forceful. It is also translated as “ha” meaning sun and “tha” meaning moon. Thus, hatha refers to the balance of both the masculine aspects, sun, and the feminine aspects, moon, within our bodies. Hatha yoga creates balance and flexibility within the body. Hatha yoga is a style that is designed to open the channels of the body to allow energy to flow more freely. Hatha yoga allows us to bring our attention to the breath, in an attempt to still the fluctuations of the mind. While Hatha is typically performed at a slower pace than Vinyasa, it is not to be confused with a gentle or restorative practice (see below). A Hatha yoga class will help to calm the mind but will invigorate the body and the spirit through the incorporation of many of the basic yoga postures. After a Hatha class, you can expect to more relaxed and for your muscles to feel looser.
  1. Vinyasa: When people are comparing yoga styles, the two most commonly compared are Hatha and Vinyasa. While Hatha is known for its balancing, Vinyasa is known for its flow. Vinyasa classes contain fluid movements, with each movement corresponding to the breath. The asanas (postures) transition from one to another effortlessly, similar to a dance. Depending on the class level, the vinyasa can be slow paced or can be upbeat and fast paced. A vinyasa styled yoga class will increase the heart rate and help you work up a sweat. If you are looking for a more workout style yoga practice, Vinyasa is a great option. Each Vinyasa class varies as teachers are constantly changing their flows. If routine is something you dislike and enjoy a yoga class that is new and different each time you take it, a Vinyasa style class might be perfect.
  1. Ashtanga: Ashtanga was popularized and brought to the West in the 1970s by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. It is a style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures. It is like vinyasa yoga, in the sense that each movement is linked to the breath. The thing that makes Ashtanga unique is that this style of yoga follows the exact same asanas in the exact same order each time. There are six series that are practiced sequentially as progress is made. This is a challenging, vigorous style of yoga. If you enjoy routine and a workout style yoga class, an Ashtanga class might suit you best!
  1. Iyengar: Iyengar yoga is named after its founder B.K.S. Iyengar. This style of yoga is heavily focused on alignment. Proper alignment is achieved through the use of props such as blocks and straps. This style is appropriate for all ages and abilities. Don’t let the use of props fool you though, this is still a challenging style of yoga, requiring intense concentration to stay perfectly aligned in the posture. If you are looking for a physically challenging practice and want to achieve proper alignment in your postures, check out an Iyengar class!
  1. Hot Yoga: In the simplest terms, hot yoga is yoga that is practiced in a heated room. The type of hot yoga practiced may vary. A lot of the time when people talk about hot yoga they are describing Bikram yoga. Bikram Yoga is a style that consists of 26 postures, each performed twice, in a room that is heated to about 105 degrees and 40% humidity. Each class lasts 90 minutes. It is a vigorous practice due to the heat, but the postures are all either beginner postures or easily modifiable. If it is not a Bikram class, some studios offer hot flow classes, which are vinyasa styled classes in heated rooms (around 90-104 degrees, varies based on the studio). Again, practicing in the heat is difficult but should not discourage any new yogis from attempting it. If you enjoy sweating…a lot, try a heated class, but make sure to bring water with you and to stay hydrated!
  1. LifePower: LifePower yoga is a style developed by Jonny Kest that has ties to both Asthanga and Vinyasa Yoga styles. LifePower yoga combines physical, intellectual, and emotional components, highlighting that the achievements and skills learned in class extend beyond the yoga mat and into the real world. This style of yoga is rich in its physical practice but also rich in philosophy. It is an extremely well rounded style, combining both physical and spiritual components.
  1. Baron Baptiste Yoga: Baptiste Yoga was originally developed by Walt Baptist and later evolved through his son Baron. Today, Baptiste Yoga is a vigorous practice performed in a heated room designed to invigorate the entire body. The aim of this yoga style is to create peace of mind, freedom, and the ability to live in the moment. The classes are similar to other power vinyasa or hot vinyasa classes, but what sets Baptiste yoga apart is its emphasis on personal growth. One of the main goals of Baptiste yoga is to enjoy personal growth both on and off the mat.
  1. Jivamukti: Jivamukti yoga was founded by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. The five tenets or principles of Jivamukti yoga are scripture, devotion, kindness, music, and meditation. Each of these are explored in a themed vinyasa style class. These classes are tough physically and include a lot of traditional spiritual elements, which have been removed in a lot of other Western Practices. If you are looking for a practice that has a heavy emphasis on spirituality and one that includes chanting and references to ancient scripture, then a Jivamukti class may be worth checking out!
  1. Yin: Yin yoga is a much more meditative practice. It focuses on postures held for longer periods of time to lengthen connective tissues. Yin yoga is designed to complement Yang yoga classes, the more vigorous classes such as Asthanga, Vinyasa, Iygengar, etc. Yin postures are passive. They are designed to allow you to relax and let gravity do the work. Your patience and focus will definitely improve after holding these postures for longer periods of time than you may be used to. If you are looking for a practice that is more meditative in nature or a class that will completely stretch you out, try out a Yin class!
  1. Restorative: Restorative yoga is sometimes offered as gentle yoga. It is a wonderful class for relaxing and overcoming injuries. A lot of props are used in this style to allow the body to experience the posture while exerting minimal effort. A restorative class might include more static stretching, holding stretches and postures for longer periods of time. The class is taught at a slower pace and is overall extremely rejuvenating. If you are nervous about a faster paced class, are overcoming an injury, or are looking for a gentler yoga experience, a restorative class may be just what you need.

So which one is right for you? Well that answer to that question depends on what you’re hoping to achieve from your practice. I, personally, enjoy incorporating a variety of yoga styles into my practice depending on what my body needs or craves on a particular day. My advice to those curious or beginner yogis is try out a variety of classes in a variety of styles to find a class that suits your needs! Yoga can be an extremely personal and intimate experience and it may take some trial and error before finding a class that fulfills what you are looking for. No matter what class or style you end up choosing, know that it is always YOUR yoga practice and YOUR yoga journey. Be sure to always tune in to your body and respect any limitations you may have.


Meet Shannon, the newest addition to the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team!

Meet Shannon, the newest addition to the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team!

Meet Shannon, the newest addition to the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team!




Laura Cipullo and the entire Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team are happy to introduce the newest member of our team, Shannon!

Based in northern New Jersey and New York City, Shannon Herbert is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga instructor currently studying Nutrition and Dietetics and Global Public Health at New York University. Shannon teaches yoga classes suitable for all levels, her classes ranging from beginner classes to more advanced flows. She also has extensive experience working with children and families. Shannon currently teaches classes at Sukha Arts Center in Harrington Park, New Jersey and hopes to bring her teaching to more people throughout northern New Jersey and New York City. Shannon joined our team this summer and now offers private yoga instruction through our practice in New York City and New Jersey.

Like many starting out, Shannon began practicing yoga for the physical benefits, yet the more time she spent on her mat the more she realized how yoga was changing her mind. The time she spent on her mat seemed to be the only time she felt at peace with herself and with the world. As her practiced developed, Shannon began to get more and more involved with the spiritual aspects of yoga. The more she learned about yoga’s history and teachings, the more she fell in love with the practice. Shannon quickly realized that this was her calling and soon thereafter began her yoga teacher training at Juluka Yoga Studio in Hillsdale, New Jersey under the advisement of Mandy Grant.

Shannon hopes to inspire others to reach their full potential; she strives to help others find peace and balance in the hectic world we live in. Whether you’re seeking an upbeat, energetic vinyasa flow or a slower more restorative flow, Shannon caters her classes to suit all levels and needs, taking particular care to incorporate meditative breathing exercises in each of her classes, to help calm the mind and relax.

If not on her mat, you’ll likely find Shannon running, practicing self-care, snuggling with her puppy, drinking tea, or spending time with friends and family.

Email laura@lauracipullo.com for more information or to set up a private session with Shannon and be sure to check out our Mindbody schedule for classes starting in January 2017.


Yoga for Digestion

Yoga for Digestion

Yoga For Digestion

by Shannon Herbert, RYT



We have all heard some of yoga’s amazing benefits: reduced stress, mental clarity, improved flexibility and balance, among many others. The benefits of yoga appear limitless. It helps our bodies feel good from the inside and out. Whether you’re dealing with bloating, indigestion, or other digestive ailments, a regular yoga practice may help improve your digestion. There are several poses that target the abdominal organs, primarily twists that help to massage the intestines, relieving the discomfort of stomach pains due to gas, bloating, or constipation. Try adding some of the poses below to your practice, along with deep breathing exercises, and reap the benefits of improved digestion!


Here are my top five yoga poses for digestion:


  1. Apanasana: Knees to Chest Pose
hp_280_01_fnlImage courtesy of yogajournal.com

Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. On an inhale, draw both knees into your chest, either holding onto each knee or wrapping your arms around your shins. Pull your knees closely into your chest. Hold this pose for three to five breaths.

Variation: On each inhale, pull the knees closely into the chest, tuck the chin in towards the chest. As you exhale, gently release to the starting position, holding onto each knee. Repeat this three or four times.


2.     Supta Matsyendrasana: Spinal Twist


Image courtesy of yogajournal.com

Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. On an inhale, draw both of your knees towards your chest. Extend your arms out to a T, and drop your knees over to the right side, your gaze will go to the left side. Hold the pose for three to five breaths before drawing your knees back into your chest and dropping your knees over to the opposite size.

Variation: For a deeper stretch, when your knees are dropped over to the right side, use your right hand to gently push your left knee closer to the mat. You can also extend the left leg out towards your right arm. This variation can be repeated on the opposite side as well.


  1. Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose


Image courtesy of yogajournal.com

Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you, sitting up tall with a straight spine. Bend your right foot and cross your right leg over your left leg, so that you right foot is planted firmly on the outside of your left thigh, your right knee will be pointing towards the ceiling. Placing your right hand behind you, inhale your left arm above your head. As you exhale, hook the left arm on the outside of the right knee, twisting deeply. Use each inhale to lengthen the spine, sitting up straighter, and each exhale to twist deeper. Hold this pose for three to five breaths, then switch and repeat on the other side.

Variation: Instead of keeping your left leg extended straight in front of you, you can bend your left leg so that your left heel comes on the outside of your right hip. You can repeat this variation on the opposite side as well.


  1. Parivrtta Trikonasana: Revolved Triangle Pose


Image courtesy of yogajournal.com

Start by standing tall at the top of your mat in Tadasana, Mountain Pose, with your feet together. As you exhale, step your right foot back about three to four feet behind you. Turn your right foot about forty-five degrees, so that your right toes are facing the right corner of your mat. Inhale both of your arms above your head, squaring your hips towards the front of your mat. As you exhale, bring your right hand down on the mat, on the inside of your left foot and extend your left arm towards the sky. Your gaze will go up towards your left hand. Make sure to keep the back heel grounded. Hold this pose for three to five breaths before switching and repeating on the opposite side.

Variation: If you have trouble getting your right hand on the mat, place your hand on a block to help you achieve the full twist of this pose.


  1. Paschimottanasana: Seated Forward Bend 
Image courtesy of yogajournal.com

Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Inhale your arms above your head. As you exhale, slowly hinge forward and lower your torso towards your thighs, keeping your back straight. Stay here for five to ten breaths.

Variation: If you have trouble reaching forward towards your toes while keeping your spine straight, wrap a strap around your feet, holding the strap firmly. As you progress in this pose, you can walk your hands further down the strap, pulling your torso closer to your thighs.

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