Back to the Core with Schuyler Grant
Schuyler Grant has been practicing and studying yoga for more than 20 years. Her signature style integrates the breath-based flow of Ashtanga with the precision of Iyengar. She is founder of Kula Yoga Project, co-founder of Wanderlust, and is dedicated to bringing her students deep and transformative mind-body experiences.
01: Day 1: Open the Abdomen
A healthy back starts with a sturdy core! Day 1 is all about mapping the body and understanding abdomen essentials for long-term strength. Begin by exploring various parts of the belly through gentle core work, followed by Uddiyana Bandha breathing with Cat-Cow variations and forearm plank. End with an abdominal massage on a rolled blanket to unlock the internal organs. Recommended props: Two blocks, blanket.
02: Day 2: Core Self-Care
Use the lessons from Day 1 to build heat in this core-focused yoga flow. Class starts with pikes and ab work to build awareness in the belly muscles, followed by countering with forward folds. Take note of the space in between each pose and let this newfound strength leads to mindful transitions. Recommended props: Two blocks, blanket.
03: Day 3: Twist + Remix
Incorporate core work into the world of twists! Twisting poses are fabulous for restoring the spine's natural range of motion, stimulating circulation, and cleansing the organs. Practice twists in lunge variations (Anjaneyasana), Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), and Chair (Utkatasana), ending with restorative blanket work to let your belly dissolve into bliss. Recommended props: Two blocks, blanket.
04: Day 4: Bend to Breathe
Backbending with back pain may sound counterintuitive, but Schuyler offers insight on how proper alignment can actually alleviate this discomfort. Begin with abdominal warmups followed by Plow roll downs (Halasana) and implementing backbends in classic asana. Peak in Camel (Ustrasana) — a great pose for silencing pesky back pain. Recommended props: Two blocks, blanket.
05: Day 5: Conscious Headstand
The key to stable inversions is a controlled core. In this final class, Schuyler focuses on using transitions to bring your feet and hips solidly overhead. Begin with a recap of your staple warmups, followed by a heat-building flow into handstand hops. Remember, “It’s not about the headstand, it’s about understanding the essential tools to launch you into a headstand!” You've got this. Recommended props: Two blocks, blanket.
06: Yoga Lab: Applying the Bandhas
Accessing the bandhas ("locks" or "valves") is a subtle process, deeply connected with the breath. By playing with these structures in your anatomy you learn to influence how energy (or "prana") flows through the body. In Back to the Core, Schuyler talks mainly about Uddiyana Bandha, the "Upward Flying" or "Abdominal Lock," but knowledge of all the primary bandhas (Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha) can help with stability, mobility, and tuning inward. Sit up comfortably on a block or a cushion and enjoy this 20-minute Yoga Lab with Schuyler.