Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas pose: wheel

Urdhva Dhanurasana
How to do it:

1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent. Separate your feet hip distance apart and start to walk them back towards your hips so you can touch the back of your heels.
2.  Bring your hands behind you, bend your elbows back, palms flat on the floor, and fingers pointing towards your shoulders.
3. Press into your palms as you lift your hips to bring the crown of your head to the floor
4. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale firm your legs, press into your feet and hands to lift your head off the floor then straighten the arms.

Relax the head, soften your glutes and keep your feet parallel to the mat. Stay for 5-10 breaths then slowing tuck your chin in, bend your elbows and slowly lower down to the floor. Hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side to massage your low back.

Modification: bridge pose

  • Strengthens the arms, legs, abdomen and spine
  • Stretches the chest and lungs 
  • Increases energy 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

november pose: revolved chair

parivrtta utkatasana
How to do it:
1. Start standing with your feet together, toes and heels touching.
2. Bend your knees deeply, until your fingertips touch the floor by your side. Inhale raise your arms up by your ears. This is chair pose.
3. Glance down to make sure you can see your toes. Do not let your knees past your toes.
4. Bring your palms together at your heart. Take a deep breathe in, and as you exhale twist to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee.
5. Press into your palms, lift the chest and gaze over your right shoulder.

As you breathe into your twist, make sure your knees are together and toes are still pointing forward, parallel to the mat. Hold for 5-10 breaths, come back to centre and repeat on the left side.


  • Strengthens the hips and thighs
  • Chest and shoulder opener
  • Stretches your calf muscles 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

october pose: cross-legged seated position (aka easy pose)

How to do it:
1. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. You may sit on a blanket or block for support
2. Start to bend your knees, crossing at the ankles or shins.
3. Rest your hands on your thighs or palms together at your heart, and relax the elbows
4. Keep your neck neutral and lengthen the spine up to the crown of the head
5. Have a soft gaze in your eyes

You may stay here sitting in a meditative state for as long as you wish. Even out your inhales and exhales and clear the mind. When you are ready to come out, extend your legs forward and shake it out.


  • Calms the brain
  • Strengthens the back and spine
  • Stretches the knees and ankles 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

september pose: half lotus toe balance

padangustha padma utkatasana
How to do it:
1. Start standing up and begin to shift your weight onto your left foot.
2. Bend your right knee, and cross your ankle above your left knee.
3. Focus on a point to gaze at and bring your hands together at the heart centre (you may choose to stay here as the first variation)
4. Start to bend your standing leg, lean forward slightly as you begin sitting down into a one-legged squat
5. Lengthen the spine as you come deeper, lifting your left heel off of the ground, balancing on the ball of your foot (you may use your fingertips as a support when you come down)

Listen to your body and know your limitations. Stay for 5-10 breaths and slowly make your way back up into a standing position. Switch sides.


  • strengthens the ankles
  • opens the hips
  • develops balance and clarity of mind

image source: Laura May Photography 

Monday, August 25, 2014

inhale, exhale, goodnight.

As you begin to settle down from your day, ask yourself "Did I take a moment to breathe today?" Yes we all breathe, and that is why we are alive, however most of us do not take the time for ourselves to sit, reflect and catch a breath. I was asked by NYC-based memory foam mattress company Casper to share my favourite bedtime yoga poses, so here are some you can take to the bedroom after a long day. No props required other than your favourite mattress and maybe some pillows ;) Lie down, quiet the mind and wake up feeling refreshed!

1. Legs up the wall

  • Mild inversion, helps to calm the mind and release stress. Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet. 

2. Child's pose

  • Gentle stretches the hips, thighs and ankles. Relieves back and neck pain. 

3. Reclining twist

  • Aids in digestion. Improves breathing and calms the nerves. 

4. Forward bend

  • Stretches the spin, shoulders and hamstrings. Soothes headaches and anxiety. 

5. Sphinx

  • Mild backbend, strengthens the spine. Stimulates abdominal organs. 

6. Corpse

  • Time to be mindful. Calms the brain and eases you into a deep sleep. Relaxes the body. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

august pose: sphinx

Salamba Bhujangasana
How to do it:

1. Start by lying onto your belly and bring your forearms onto the ground.
2. Make sure your elbows are directly underneath your shoulders
3. Root your tailbone down towards your heels and separate your feet a bit wider than hip width apart
4. Press into your palms to lift the chest, roll your shoulder blades down your back
5. Keep your neck neutral and soften your glutes

Stay for 5-10 breaths, then slowly lower down placing your palms one on top of the other, then rest your forehead on your hands


  • Strengthens your low back
  • Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders and abs
  • Helps relieves stress 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canada Day pose: one-legged downward facing dog

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
How to do it:

1. Start in downward facing dog. The same alignment principles apply.
2. Press down with your hands and begin to raise your right leg up.
3. Keeping your hips levelled, reach out through your heel and maintain the squareness in your shoulders.
4. Stay for 5-10 breaths. If you want to go deeper, bend your knee and start to roll your right hip open

Release your foot back down, drop your knees and rest in child's pose.


  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Calms the mind
  • Stretches the hamstrings and hip flexors 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

thank you Anamaya!

I just returned from paradise..Costa Rica! I can't even begin to express the joy it was to teach such amazing people from all over the world. I will cherish this memory forever in my heart and thank you to the amazing staff at Anamaya for making my stay so incredible. Below is my recap of my experience daily - Pura Vida!

Day 1:
As anxious yogis slowly start to make way into the main house, I am filled with excitement that this day has finally come. Almost two years ago I was here for a yoga retreat and now I am leading the class as the guest teacher...Surreal! And to top it off, I get to share this experience with my mom: my best friend and #1 supporter.
People from all walks of life, and as far as Australia and Austria come together for one common interest: yoga, mindfulness and pure total relaxation. This is the beginning for what lies ahead and I'm happy to guide them for the start of their day.

Day 2:
I wake up nervous and filled with excitement to teach my first class here! As people start to roll out their mats and make their way to the yoga deck, I am at ease...this is where I belong. I get past my nerves and guide them through a grounding practice of legs and feet to start the week.
After class, breakfast is served, pure organic goodness! We then begin an opening circle by introducing everyone and go over the intention for the week and what to expect. The week has just begun, so get ready for the ride: zip lining, waterfall hike, surfing, beach bonfire, salsa class, cooking class, massages and much more! 

Day 3:
This mornings practice was a HOT one! The first 10mins people were already is rainy season so the humidity is at it's finest. Today's focus was the hips - a common area that holds lots of tension as well as emotions. Surf lesson was cancelled due to the downpour this afternoon and I had the best massage EVER! Twice now at Anamaya was the best massages I ever had in my life
Friendships are starting to form and real deep conversations are had. 

Day 4:
We are all feeling the effects of the humidity, and our bodies are sore! I have my daily yoga practice but everyone is taking two classes plus activities on top of that is a lot for the body to take! Today's practice was on backbends and chest openers - finding a space out of love and gratitude I also taught a foundations workshop on proper alignment and breakdown common yoga poses and how to do it safely and effectively. - great learnings for everyone! Today's dinner was by far the best - spinach and black beans balls with baked polenta, mushrooms, zucchini topped with goat cheese and pesto = heaven! And baked banana with espresso cream to top it off! Yum
It's 9:45pm and I'm off to bed...I've been getting a good average of 7-8hrs of sleep every night and on the plus side, my mom has not been! 

Day 5: 
Even though we all are so tired and sore from the daily yoga, activities and crazy's class was all about core! 

We went into town and it brought back many memories of when I was here the first time - beach, gelato, souvenir shops and locals selling handmade items. 

I laid in the sun for a bit, then it was time to teach my second workshop - partner yoga! Everyone had a great time, shared lots of laughs and took tons of photos.
Once dinner hit, I was ready to go to bed, but we still had salsa lessons:) 

Day 6:
Bodies are sore and bloated! The humidity, activities and yoga is taking a toll on everyone - but in a good way! Today's focus was on shoulders and neck - feel good flow focusing on these common areas where people are tight. Some went to the butterfly garden while I laid by the pool...I def got a sunburn this time around! We went to visit Anamaya's farm, then it was a beach day! We had snacks while people surfed and took photos just before the sunset...everyone practiced their yoga poses on the beach and it turned into an impromptu photoshoot:) 

Back to the main house, we had dinner and a circus performance - fire artist, silk yoga, singing and dancing.
One more day left then it's back to reality! :(
Night night amigos 

Day 7:
Today is the last day:( we focused on bringing together what we worked on throughout the week and connected feet, legs, hips, back, core, chest, shoulders and neck - An all around feel good flow. I ended the practice by placing cold stones on the third provide a cooling effect but at the same time focusing inwards. It was another hot humid day, the last of the surfers went out while others chilled around the main house. There was also the cooking class and Spanish lessons going on. 

As we all gathered around for closing circle toward the end of the evening, lots of emotions were coming up as everyone shared their experience here. It has truly been an incredible journey for not only me but every single person that attended. I'm thankful for all the wonderful people that I met and will cherish every single moment. Thank you Anamaya for the amazing opportunity and I'm grateful that I got to share this with my best friend - mom


Friday, May 23, 2014

may pose: crane

How to do it:

1. Start in a squat with your knees wider than your hips
2. Bring your torso forward as much as you can, squeezing your upper arms against your shins.
3. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the ground, still maintaining the connection with your arms and legs
4. Lift your hips and begin to shift your weight into your hands
5. Keep looking forward to help with your balance. You may start by lifting one foot up at a time, then once you feel stable both feet lift bringing them closer to your sitting bones

Stay for 5-10 breaths, then slowly come down into a squat position


  • Strengthens the arms and wrists
  • Strengthens the abdominal muscles 
  • Stretches the upper back and opens the groins 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

april pose: garland

How to do it:

1. Start standing up tall. Separate your feet a bit wider than hip width, and start to bend your knees sitting low in a squat.
2. Root down through your heels. If your heels do not touch the ground, you may roll the back of your mat to rest them there or sit onto a block.
3. Separate your knees wider than your torso, lift the chest and draw your sitting bones down.
4. Bring your hands to your heart, pressing your elbows against your inner thighs working to bring your thumbs towards the centre of your chest
5. Keeping a nice straight spine, reach up through the crown of your head.

Hold for 15-30 breaths. Release, straighten the legs, parallel the feet and fold forward relaxing the head


  • Gentle hip opener
  • Stretches the ankle, groins and legs
  • Calms the mind

Monday, March 24, 2014

march pose: eye of the needle

How to do it:
1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent
2. Lift your right foot off the ground and cross your ankle just above your left knee
3. Flex your foot and reach your right hand through your legs and interlace your hands on the back of your left thigh
4. Keep your right foot flexed to protect your knee. As you pull your left thigh closer, draw your right knee away from you, feeling the stretch on the outer right hip
5. Relax your shoulders

Stay for 30sec to a minute, breathe deeply, release and switch sides


  • Stretches the legs and safely open the hips 
  • Increases range of motion in the lower body 
  • Calms your nerves

Friday, February 28, 2014

february pose: wild thing

How to do it:

1. Starting in downward facing dog, raise your left leg up, bend your knee and open up the hip.
2. Begin to shift your weight onto your right arm and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot.
3. Place your left foot behind you, "flipping your dog", staying on the ball of your left foot and knee bent.
4. Lift the chest, arch your back and reach your left arm up and over.
5. Relax the head back, softening into your throat.

Stay for 5-10 breaths, then come back to downward facing dog. Repeat on the left side.


  • Builds strength in your shoulders and upper back
  • Opens up the chest and lungs
  • Strengthens the legs and back

Friday, January 31, 2014

january pose: locust

How to do it:

1. Start lying on your belly with your arms along side your body palms facing up and forehead resting on the ground.
2. Bring your legs together, push into the tops of the feet to engage your legs so your knees are off the ground
3. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale lift your chest, arms and legs away from the floor.
4. Keep your gaze down or slightly forward so your neck is long and in line with your spine.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then slowly lower resting your head to one side. Relax your arms and legs.


  • Strengthens the back arms and legs
  • Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly and thighs
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
Image Source:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

new year, new YOU! Happy 2014

December was a crazy month - holiday madness in full a good way! I started teaching at a local gym, went home to celebrate my birthday with my near and dearest, worked like crazy and spent our first Christmas together in Montreal. Needless to say, no time for a pose of the month:(

2013 was a great year, and 2014 will be even better. New beginnings, new memories, new adventures. Live your life to the fullest and take action for YOU.