Tuesday, May 31, 2016

may pose: lizard (dog optional)

Utthan Pristhasana
How to do it:
1. Start in a lunge with your right foot forward.
2. Bring both hands on the inside of your right foot, then start to walk your right foot out towards the edge of your mat (keeping your foot pointing forward)
3. Keep the length in your spine and reach your heart forward
4. Stay strong with your back leg and push back through your right heel.

*variations: back knee can come to the ground and bring hands or forearms to a block

Stay for 5-10 breaths and switch sides

Benefits:

  • Stretches and opens the hips
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Improves flexibility 

Friday, April 8, 2016

april 8, 2016 - international kids' yoga day!

Today marks the first annual kids' yoga day! I've been so blessed over the years to meet and teach so many wonderful children and this is a tribute to them.

This month I teamed up with Savvy Sassy Moms to bring awareness to parents and teachers to incorporate yoga into their child's life.

Take a moment and do your favourite pose with your little ones :)

Namaste xo

 
 
 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

march pose: low lunge quad stretch

anjaneyasana variation
How to do it:
1. Start standing at the top of your mat with your hands on your hips.
2. Step your left foot back, coming into a lunge with your right knee stacked directly over your right ankle
3. Bring your hands to the ground and drop your left knee down
4. Reach back with your left hand to grab your left foot. To modify, you may use a strap. For support, you can place a towel/blanket under your left knee.
5. To go deeper, reach both hands to your left foot and come upright.

Keep a steady gaze forward, breathe deeply and hold for 5-10 breaths.
Switch sides

Benefits:

  • Stretches your quadriceps
  • Releases tension in your hips
  • Strengthens your knees 


Friday, February 26, 2016

february pose: office lunge

alanasana variation
Our offices just went through major renovations and our desks are now programmable 'work center" stations which allow them to move up and down to the height we desire. This is great for the yogini like me since I like to be moving all the time! Sitting all day in a chair can cause a lot of strain on the body especially the low back, neck and shoulders. If you have the time, get up often and move your legs.

Here is a twist on a lunge:


How to do it:
1. Start standing in mountain pose.
2. Bring your hands to your hips and step back with your left foot coming into a lunge
3. Bend your right knee until it stacks directly over your ankle.
4. Keep your back leg strong, pushing back through your heel and lift up from your thigh
5. Engage your core, relax the shoulders and breathe deeply in and out through your nose.


Hold for 5-10 breaths then step your left foot forward and switch legs

Benefits:
  • Better balance and posture
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Improves hip flexibility


Sunday, January 31, 2016

january pose: one-legged chaturanga

How to do it:

1. Start in plank. Bring your shoulders stacked right over your wrists and push back through your heels.
2. Reach the crown of your head forward and keep one straight line with your body. 
3. On an inhale, raise your right leg keeping your hips squared. 
4. As you exhale, shift forward and lower down halfway to a four-limbed staff pose (chaturanga)

Hug your elbows close to your side body, stay connected to your core and breathe deeply. You may lower down all the way onto your belly or push back up to plank. Repeat with your left leg. 

Benefits:
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders and legs
  • Develops core stability 
  • Teaches proper alignment and prepares you for inversions and arm balances 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December pose: office chair twist

parivrtta sukhasana variation
How to do it:

1. Sit comfortably at your desk with both feet on the ground.
2. Lengthen the spine and reach up through the crown of the head.
3. Take a deep breath in to sit up tall, then as you exhale bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee and twist to the right.
4. Bring your right hand to the arm rest to twist from your belly and look over your right shoulder. If you want to go deeper, bring your hand to the top of the chair.

Stay for 5-10 steady breaths then release and switch sides.

Benefits:

  • Increases the flexibility of the spine and back
  • Relieves stiffness of the neck
  • Helps with digestion

Monday, November 30, 2015

november pose: supported bridge

setu bandha sarvangasana
Props needed: one block

How to do it:
1. Start lying down on your back. Bend your knees, bringing your feet hip width apart.
2. Walk your feet back, until you can touch the back on your heels.
3. Press into the soles of the feet and start to lift the hips. Place the block on the lowest level under your sacrum, right at the base of the spine (you may bring the block higher for a deeper backbend)
4. Keep your feet parallel
5. Soften into your low back, relax the arms and breathe.

Stay for one to five minutes, then slowly lift the hips and remove the block. Lower the hips down slowly, pause then hug your knees into your chest, rocking from side to side to massage the low back

Benefits:
  • Opens the chest and spine
  • Stretches the front thighs
  • Helps relieve back pain