Yoga In Practice

Master instructor Stacey Millner-Collins of Columbia, South Carolina, teaches the foundations of yoga to the at-home student and encourages a daily yoga practice that is more than just physical exercise. Each episode focuses on a universal theme, such as "courage" or "the art of slowing down," and includes basic meditation and breathing techniques, further reducing the stress and anxiety associated with modern life.

Distributed by: American Public Television (APT)
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Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins first came to her yoga mat in 1994 as way to unite a dedicated physical discipline with a spiritual one. She has studied with numerous respected teachers, and is certified in Anusara yoga.

Breathing Into Awareness

Episode #101 · Yoga is a transformational practice of awareness that connects your body with your mind, and this helps you to truly appreciate each moment. To feel more centered, we must remember to breathe and live in the moment. Episode one teaches how to move in relation to our natural breath as a simple awareness technique, and how to align the general foundation of a pose to create overall steadiness and focus. The class builds to a basic balancing pose, Tree.

Stand In Your Light

Episode #102 · Episode two focuses on the principles of how to create a stable foundation with your hands and feet. Just like the foundation of a house, the foundation of each pose needs to be balanced and evenly grounded to provide a strong support for the rest of your body. Feeling this support in the body cultivates a sense of inner strength and joy. Learning to align the basic poses of Downward Dog and Warrior I starts with this foundation.

Cultivating Confidence

Episode #103 · Learning to trust yourself and to be authentically "you" is one of the greatest lessons that yoga provides. As one of Stacey's mentors likes to say, "Yoga is the art of getting good at being yourself." In this episode we learn to engage our muscles in standing poses, which allows us to "take a confident stance" and has a calming effect on our nervous systems. We focus on two key standing poses, Warrior II and Side Angle Pose.

Fearlessly Open Your Heart

Episode #104 · The French word for heart, coeur, is the root for the English word courage. When we practice courageously and focus on expanding our hearts, we leave class less fearful and hopefully more loving. Physically, we can experience this opening of the heart by aligning our shoulders and engaging our upper backs, which together, expands the chest. In this class we concentrate on poses that integrate the upper body, front and back...plank, yoga push-up, and cobra. You will need two blocks.

Steadiness and Freedom

Episode #105 · Everything in life pulses in a pattern of dualities...birth and death, day and night, yes and no. On our yoga mats the primary relationship we work with is between contraction and expansion. In poses, we contract muscles to find steadiness while simultaneously expanding through our bones to experience freedom. Understanding this pulsation within our body helps manage the inevitable ups and downs of life. Today's class explores this connection in Triangle Pose.

Learning to Do Just Enough

Episode #106 · In Sanskrit, the original language of yoga, the word for beauty is alamkara which roughly translates as "doing just enough." This concept is important in both our yoga practice and in our daily lives. Over-doing often leads to stress, burnout, or injury. On the other hand, under-doing means we haven't fulfilled our potential, and can lead to feeling unworthy or dissatisfied. In this class we explore what 100 percent or fullness means on any given day and for any given pose, while focusing on Revolved Triangle Pose.

Shining Brightly

Episode #107 · Like a flower, in order to grow and expand, we must be solidly grounded. What this means in yoga is that in order to shine and fully delight in the pose, one must root down first. In today's practice we explore the balance between staying actively engaged, or grounded, and extending upward and outward in Half Moon Pose. The sense of freedom found when we expand in any pose, both physically and mentally, encourages us to enjoy the fullness of the moment.

Being Steady in the Unknown

Episode #108 · This class builds toward a fundamental arm balance called Side Plank. In this posture it is important to create alignment and integration in the shoulders and core to support your weight while simultaneously maintaining balance. More than many postures, Side Plank encourages us to accept the possibility of "falling". This possibility asks us to consider who we are when we move beyond our notions of perfection, both mentally and physically. Holding steady in a challenging situation is an important lesson in yoga.

Learning to Slow Down

Episode #109 · The rapid pace of modern life compromises our well-being and ages us prematurely. Yoga teaches us that the present moment is the ONLY moment. This class focuses on the slow and steady practice of hip opening and forward folds. By learning to move more mindfully into each pose, to hold the pose while focusing on the breath, and to release the pose with the same attention that created it, we slow down and cultivate a moving meditation. This leads to a nourishing experience of slow self-reflection.

Opening to Self-Love

Episode #110 · The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. Until you have cultivated love for yourself, it is difficult to fully receive the love of others. We practice this in yoga by remembering our own value and worth even as we may face limitations in certain poses. We will explore the idea of self-love in this class by working toward a basic backbend, Bridge Pose, and focusing on opening our shoulders and chest...the "heart" of our bodies.

The Art of Connection

Episode #111 · The art of yoga is really the art of connection. In our practices, we connect the body to the mind; the individual to the universal; the material to the spiritual-and, in this class, the front body to the back body. In yoga terms, the front body represents our individual ego and the back body represents an experience of oneness. Therefore, when we begin a pose from the back it invites us to connect to something bigger than ourselves. Moving from the back body requires us to integrate the strength of the front body. Today, we use this connection in Snowbird and Boat pose.

Where You Look Matters

Episode #112 · As we age things tend to get stuck, both in our perspectives and in our bodies. In yoga, rotated poses can help get us unstuck. Twisting is beneficial for our spines and our digestion, and helps to balance our physical energy. Such poses can also change our perspective from one point of view to another as we twist. In this class we learn the basics of healthy rotations to aid in cleansing our organs, reinvigorating our spine, and refreshing our perspective - because where you look matters.

Remembrance

Episode #113 · To forget is part of being human. In our daily lives we often forget the big picture, we forget love is our essence, and we forget that we are all connected. Forgetting, however, provides an opportunity...to remember...to awaken. Becoming more awake is a gift. On our mats we practice remembering by awakening the various parts of our bodies and unifying them as an integrated whole. This class addresses remembrance and the integration of the body in forward folds.

Our Breath Is Our Conversation with the World

Episode #201 · Focusing on the breath is one of the essential practices of Yoga. Breathing creates a dynamic conversation between ourselves and our surroundings, connecting us to the world. In this episode Five Point Star opens us to our breath.

Your Practice Is A Journey

Episode #202 · Like any journey to unknown places, the practice of yoga changes your experience and your perspective. Approach your practice today as you would any journey...with trust, curiosity, and courage. Bow Pose and Camel will help us to move into new experiences.

Nature and the Cycle of Creation

Episode #203 · When we become aware of nature, we begin to align to its rhythm, its cycles, its pulsations. As a part of nature, we can observe how our energy patterns change with the weather or the seasons. This class will culminate with an energetic pose, Wild Thing.

Find Balance to Find Peace

Episode #204 · Balance is a juggling act in our bodies and in our daily lives. To find balance in either requires us to embrace a true steadiness at our core. Yoga postures such as Revolved Warrior II help us find balance within the asymmetries of the body.

Finding Your Center

Episode #205 · When life is chaotic we need to find our center to help reestablish balance. In this practice we will use Triangle and Half Moon to teach us how to strongly plant our legs. By grounding our energy we learn to create inner balance.

Intention, Knowledge, and Action

Episode #206 · Practicing yoga brings our heart, mind and body together by setting intention through knowledge and action. This episode unites mind and body with a series of twists - Standing Rotation, Revolved Open Twist, and the apex pose, Twisted Sister.

Transforming Fear Into Joy

Episode #207 · Fear can be useful. It keeps us safe in uncertain situations, but it can just as easily block us from living fully. Through our sense of wonder, like a child, we can learn to embrace any circumstance. The arm balance called Crow can help us face our fears.

The Dance of Confidence

Episode #208 · This class reminds us to dance with life however it may unfold, and embrace the cycle of life in all its beauty, challenges and mystery. The apex pose, Baby Dancer, helps us to slowly open while maintaining balance and beauty.

Cultivate Self-Respect

Episode #209 · Yoga reminds us to feel an inner dignity and to cultivate self-respect. One frequently practiced yoga pose, beautiful in its shape, is Pigeon Pose. How wonderful that a common bird like a pigeon can be so beautiful and filled with inner grace.

Allow Yourself to Soar

Episode #210 · A well-known teaching from yogic philosophy invites us into a practice where "the posture is steady and at ease." The practice of any posture should be nourishing and revealing...the body toned and the mind tuned. In today's class we work toward steady ease with a balance pose, Eagle.

Become An Able Vessel

Episode #211 · It is our responsibility to support the beauty of the world. We support beauty by being true to ourselves. This requires a sweet discipline...to show up fully day to day, year to year. Start by being present in your practice today as we practice Full Wheel.

The Inner Fire of Transformation

Episode #212 · During your yoga practice you build heat. It is ignited by your desire to become the best version of yourself through the work of your body and your mind. Today we will practice a hip opener called Fire Log to remind us to stoke this inner heat.

Honor Your Inner Beauty

Episode #213 · There is a beauty and elegance in yoga. It encourages us to honor our bodies as sacred spaces. There are certain postures that are truly beautiful. Let's practice some of these today, a series of kneeling and seated poses.