Wednesday, September 27, 2017

september pose: half lord of the fishes

ardha matsyendrasana
How to do it:

1. Start sitting with your legs straight out in front of you. You may sit on a folded blanket or mat to help support your bottom.
2. Bend your knees, and slide your left foot under your right leg, placing it on the outside of your right hip.
3. Step the right foot over the left leg to the outside of your left hip. Keep your foot flat on the floor and your knee pointing up.
4. Place your right hand behind you. As you inhale raise your left arm up; as you exhale twist to the right and bring your elbow to the outside of your right thigh
5. Gaze over your right shoulder. Lengthen the spine and reach up through the crown of your head.

Stay for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and repeat on the other side

Benefits:
  • Aids in digestion
  • Stimulates the liver and kidney
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort and headaches


Thursday, September 7, 2017

august pose: bending tree

vrksasana variation
How to do it:

1. Start standing, shift your weight onto your left foot and bring the right sole of your foot to your inner left thigh.
2. Stand up tall, bringing the palms together in front of heart. Once you feel stable, raise the arms up overhead.
3. Release the top of your right hand to your right thigh.
4. Lengthen the left side of the body as you stretch your torso and lean laterally towards the bent knee.
5. Push your foot into your thigh and thigh into your foot to maintain balance and focus. For more of a challenge, gaze up towards the extended hand.

Keep hugging everything towards the midline and stay connected to your core. Hold for 5-10 breaths then slowly release and repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the legs, buttocks and things
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Relieves stress and fatigue

Monday, July 31, 2017

July pose: one-legged wheel

eka pada urdhva dhanurasana
How to do it:

1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat hip-width apart.
2. Bring your arms over your head, reversing your palms behind your shoulders so they are flat on the ground and your fingers are pointing towards you.
3. Lift your hips and head, lightly placing the crown of your head onto the ground. Hug your elbows in, lift the chest and start to lift the head and straighten the arms at the same time.
4. Maintain a steady breath in and out through the nose, and walk your feet back a few inches.
5. Slowly walk your left foot towards the midline. Raise your right foot off the ground and bring it into your chest. Hold and once you feel stable, reach and extend your leg up.


Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and switch sides


Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs and spine
  • Increases energy and aids with depression 
  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands



Friday, June 30, 2017

june pose: bound triangle

baddha trikonasana
How to do it:

1.Stand with your legs comfortably wide apart.

2. Inhale, raise your arms up shoulder height as you turn your right foot out 90° and your left toes in slightly aligning your heels.

3. Exhale, as you shift your hips over to the left, lengthen over your right leg placing your hand on your shin/ankle/foot/floor. Wherever it lands, do not force to go deeper.

4. Inhale, reach your left arm up to the sky, then slowly bring your arm around your low back. Reach your fingers to the inside of your right thigh (if available)

5. Do not collapse in your torso. Open the chest and draw your side ribs in. Press firmly into your feet and keep both legs strong and straight. 

Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits:
  • Strengthens and tones legs
  • Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings and calves; shoulders, chest and spine
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates abdominal organs



Saturday, May 27, 2017

may pose: baby crow

baby bakasana
How to do it:

1. Starting in a squat, separate your knees and walk your arms out in front of you.
2. Place your forearms onto the ground and wrap your knees onto the upper edges of your arms.
3. Gaze slightly past your fingertips and start to lean forward, keeping your knees hugging around your arms. Engage the core
4. Your face will be close to the ground, round the upper back and begin to lift your feet off the mat

Hold for 5 breaths then slowly release, bringing your feet to the ground.

Benefits:

  • Tons the core
  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms 
  • Improves balance and concentration




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

april pose: side plank with tree variation

vrksasana in vasisthasana
How to do it:

1. Start in plank pose, ensuring your shoulders are over your wrists
2. Begin to role onto the outer edge of your left foot, stacking your feet and bring your weight onto your left hand
3. Raise your top leg and bend the knee placing the sole of your right foot to your upper inner left thigh
4. Raise your right arm up, open the chest and gaze up towards your extended hand


Maintain a straight line with the body, engage your core and do not sink into your hips.
Stay strong in your arms and legs and breathe for 10 breaths. Release and switch sides


Benefits:
  • Strengthens the shoulders, wrists and arms
  • Improves balance and concentration
  • Strengthens the core









Friday, March 24, 2017

march pose: wide-angle seated forward fold

upavistha konasana
How to do it:
1. From sitting, start to extend your legs out to the side comfortably. You may sit on a folded mat or blanket for support
2. Outwardly rotate your thighs, so your knee caps point up and flex your feet, rooting down through your heels
3. Lengthen the spine, and begin to walk your hands forward, bending at the waist.
4. Maintaining a nice flat back, relax the shoulders and soften the back of the neck. You may bring your hands or forearms to a block for support

Benefits:
  • Stretch the back of the legs, inner thigh and groin
  • Opens the hips
  • Strengthens the spine





Tuesday, February 28, 2017

february pose: supported corpse

salamba savasana
How to do it:

1. Align the blocks, one on the highest level and other on the medium height.
2. Place a bolster or folded blanket to rest on the blocks for support
3. Lie with your back and head against the bolster
4. Legs can be straight out in front or bent (if bent, place blocks under your thighs for support)
5. Rest the arms by your side

Close your eyes and breathe in this comforting restorative pose for 5-10 minutes. To come out, slowly roll over to one side.

Benefits:

  • Calms the brain
  • Reduces stress and headache
  • Relaxes the body and helps lower blood pressure




Saturday, January 28, 2017

january pose: revolved garland

parivrtta malasana
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.
6. Straighten your left arm out on the inside of your left leg.
7. Revolve your chest open to the right and raise your right arm up. Gaze up towards the extended hand.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then release and switch sides.

Benefits:

  • Opens the hips, chest and shoulders
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves lower back tension 



Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017...I'm ready for you!

As I look back on this past year, I can't help but smile knowing I am surrounded by such amazing people. 2016 brought on many fun times, challenges, tons of laughs, but also loss, tears and change. What's life without any of that? When we least expect it, life throws us curveballs and we either have to choose to sink or swim through it.

Now this new year is all about doing what I love, being with those I love and striving to be the best version of myself, 365 days of the year. Our bodies are put on this earth for a limited time, so let's make it worthwhile. Quit dwelling about the past and focus on the present. Stop convincing yourself you can't, just go for it. Negativity brings bad energy to your mind, soul and body and reflects back on those around you. Keep your true friends close and say goodbye to those that bring you down. This is all about new beginnings.

As my holiday break of sleeping in late and staying in PJ's comes to an end and turns into early morning rises and downtown commutes, my reality and vision is still going to be very prominent. Focus, learn, balance, educate, teach, reward and give...all while having fun. If it's not fun, move on. 2017...I'm ready for you!

"Don't let the lessons, the experiences of the past, dampen your enthusiasm for beginnings. Just because it's been hard doesn't mean it will always be that difficult. Don't let the heartbreaks of the past cause you to become cynical, close you off to life's magic and promise. Open yourself wide to all that the universe has to say. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. Take time to honour the beginning" - Melody Beattie