Tag Archives: healthy-living

5 Ways to add shoulder opening to your hip opening poses

Two birds, one stone. Stretching both muscle groups at the same time will give you twice the benefits!

Also, it’s a good way to break any patterns or habits you may have developed in your practice. If you are a yogi that practices 3+ times a week, please don’t be afraid to break out your own remixes of the poses presented. Trust me, the teacher wants you to do what feels good and benefits you, even if it doesn’t look like what your neighbor is doing. It’s easy to go on auto pilot, especially in forward folds. I am frankly OVER yanking my hamstrings into folds 20x a class! Switch it up and give your shoulders some love in these hip openers!

Image

Bound high lunge. It’s not all about bound side angle pose all the time! You can do this variation with your heal up or down in a bound ‘Warrior VI’ or ‘Flying Warrior’ as some call it pose.

Image

Prasarita Padotanasana Cherry Picker. I love this variation, instead of just hanging down or yanking on your feet to stretch your hamstrings, this stretches your shoulders and gives you a new way to open the back body. The resistance you get when you walk your hands back behind you will make your traps and deltoids sing.

Image

Twisted Janu Sirsasana. I must thank my teacher Silvia Mordini for teaching me this unique variation of one legged forward fold. It’s hard to see in the photo, but this is actually a twist that you will immediately in the outer muscles of your back. Use the hand and arm not touching your foot as leverage to twist further. Further the stretch by softly bending the outstretched leg and twisting further.

Image

Starfish fold. This variation of Badha konasana is mostly practiced in Jivamukti classes, but this is my new favorite fold! This is a super passive fold that feels great at the end of practice, especially one heavy in back bends and heart opening.

Image

Bowing Balasana. This variation of child’s pose feels great in the muscles of your upper back and shoulders. To intensify, walk the elbows forward as much as possible.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good morning yogis!

I finally got to watch this episode of MTV’s Made featuring Baron Baptiste! I thought it was really cool how they got some yoga on there at last! This gave me such a warm and fuzzy moment.

Click to watch the full episode! Baron comes in at around 25 minutes

Click to watch the full episode! Baron comes in at around 25 minutes

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s a brief-ish synopsis:

The subject of this episode, Derek, aspires to be ‘made’ into a boxer. His father was Smokin’ Joe Frazier, so as you can imagine those are some pretty big shoes (or gloves?) to fill.MTV set him up with a professional boxing coach and a personal trainer that worked with him daily for over a month! He was getting stronger and losing weight, but his boxing was not improving because his father’s death was still too fresh and painful for him. He didn’t have the confidence and drive to fulfill his goal because he was still dealing with his father’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. So MTV brought in Baron. And as usual, yoga came to the rescue! This is where things turned around. Baron spent just three days with Derek, teaching him power yoga and talking through what he had not faced that was holding him back. One of the ‘yes!’ moments(at 29:30) came when he did an assisted wheel pose(baron’s favorite) when he was literally saying, “no way, no way I’m doing that.” Love it! I also have to give Derek major props for really emotionally opening up, especially in front of millions of people. He really exposed a vulnerable part of his past which I know attributed to his healing.

After that, everything started to fall into place. He began winning matches and began feeling lighter all areas of his life.

I just love seeing yoga transform people’s lives!

Yoga on MADE

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Imagine Yoga: Flow in the Glow of Chihuly

Thanks to Lululemon Athletica Pacific Place for this free event that drew a line of over 300 yogis around the block!

Sanga, kula, samajam, graama… It’s no wonder there are so many sanskrit words for community. There’s something about the energy of a full room of people moving and breathing in sync with one another that draws people from miles away!

chihuly-1

The Glasshouse

chihuly-4

My view from savasana

chihuly-2

Flowing in a different light

chihuly-3

Shaking it out!

This was a fun event, I can’t wait to see what the Seattle yoga community has in store for summer!

Namaste!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Ayurveda Cleanse: The Exciting Conclusion!

I made it! 5 days of Ayurveda cleansing complete! Okay maybe not extremely exciting, but my cleanse week has taught me a couple of things:

Simplicity is key. Don’t over think your food choices. Obsessing about everything you eat will just give you more anxiety surrounding food. The nice thing about cleansing is eliminating a couple decisions from your day. When you start to over-complicate your diet, that’s when you start over or under eating and digestion gets messed up. Find a few meals that you like and can have on a daily basis. It will be more cost efficient and make you feel better in the long run.

I don’t need as much food as I think I do. I ate 1 cup of kitchari for each meal. A cup of kitchari has about 300 calories, totaling 900 calories a day give or take a couple hundred calories of coconut oil.

I run better on raw foods. During my cleanse, I didn’t feel so great during yoga. When I’m following a raw food diet, I feel flexible and strong, but eating kitchari was making me feel tired and stiff in my practice. I know that it’s a different story for every body, but this was my experience.

It’s nice to restart. It felt wonderful to break the not-so-great diet habits I had developed. After my cleanse I felt like I had pressed the restart button and could start from page 1 with my diet choices. Eating a mono-diet has made me appreciate so much the different flavors and textures of food, I can savor and have gratitude for each bite.

Enjoy your food! It is one of the great pleasures in life. Sitting down to a family dinner, baking cookies for a loved one, sipping lemonade on the front porch…

Habits I will hold on to:

Tongue scraping. It just makes so much sense to me. White icky stuff on your tongue? Scrape it off!

The media diet. Waking up and not immediately staring at my email inbox was one of the things that made this week great. I am making a commitment to leave my cell phone alone until I walk out the door.

Warm water. Warm water with lemon made me feel bright and energized. That stays.

To your health!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ayurveda Cleanse Day 2: Detoxing with Pranayama

An Update:

Thank goodness the headache is gone today. Unfortunately I’m having some sinus pressure, I remember that happening during my juice cleanse too but I’ve never heard anyone else mention that symptom. It faded mid morning and all went back to normal. I devoured my first two servings of kitchari already today and in between had smalls cups of carrot lime juice and kale cucumber lime juice with a dash of apple. No pure parsley shots today but the juice definitely clears that foggy brain feeling.

Yoga went well again, sweating is always nice although my body doesn’t feel as flexible or strong as when I’m on a raw food diet. I will admit I just had double servings of kitchari…this batch was so good and I was hungry! The no water with meals thing is tough for me too! Apparently water during meals dilutes the digestive enzymes and makes it difficult to absorb nutrients.

Tomorrow night I think I’ll treat myself to a more gourmet version with veggies and whatever my personal chef boyfriend concocts. Namaste!

Detox Tip #1: 

I’ve been reading about the detoxifying effects of pranayama.

Deep breathing, where you fill your belly and expand your diaphragm downwards, is one of the most powerful exercise you can do to activate your lymph system which helps to detoxify your body. Your lymph system is what gets the garbage out. Practice 10 deep slow breaths counting 4 seconds in, 8 seconds hold and 8 seconds out.

According to the ‘Tao of Breathing’ up to 70% of our body’s waste products are eliminated via our lungs and the rest through the urine, skin and feces. When the efficiency of our lungs is reduced due to poor breathing less oxygen is available to our cells, it slows down the flow of blood which carries wastes from the kidneys and lungs. Our lymphatic system which fights off viral and bacterial invaders is weakened along with a slower digestive process.It’s all about the breath!

Deep_Breathing

just in case you forgot how to breathe

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Practicing Jump Backs

I recently attended an Ashtanga class at Salt Room Yoga in Pioneer Square. The teacher, Rhonda, provided a great way to practice jump backs from sukasana/criss cross apple sauce to chaturanga dandasana. I’d always just assumed I’d build core strength in other ways to achieve a jump back, but this is really using different core muscles than you get from bicycle crunches!

  • From sukasana, easy pose, scoot your feet close to your body and squeeze your knees into your chest.
  • Place your hands a few inches in front of your hips.
  • Press into the floor, doing your best to transfer all of your weight into your hands while simultaneously using your core to squeeze your knees and ankles into your chest. Flex your feet!
  • If you’re like me, you’re not quite there yet. So a good way to build strength is to start shuffling your feet under your body as best you can and then jump back to chaturanga dandasana. When you do this, squeeze your knees together so they fit between your arms. OR if you are a little past shuffling, start by taking 2-4 hops on your feet.

When you do this little shimmy, you really feel your core working. I love when a teacher presents a way to practice something that makes something difficult seem much more accessible! Try it out and let me know about your progress!

Kitty-in-a-rolled-up-yoga-mat.

Yoga kitty says ‘have a great weekend!’ Meow!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,