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


Sunday, October 25, 2015

october pose: mountain

tadasana
Have you been sporting your pink ribbons, because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This month I'm teaming up with Bankers Healthcare Group, a company that provides physician loans to medical professionals, to bring awareness to early detection of breast cancer. While this month is all about raising awareness to the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, we all should be informed every month of the year.

DID YOU KNOW?
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime!

WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Stay informed, stay healthy, and regularly perform breast self exams. Click here for a useful guide from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Mountain pose makes you feel strong and powerful. It improves your posture, strengthens your thighs, knees and ankles and helps firm your core.

How to do it:
1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Root down through your heels, spread your toes and balance on all four corners of your feet.
2. Lengthen the spine and reach up through the crown of your head.
3. Keep a neutral pelvis and find a comfortable position for your hands (either on your hips, by your side or palms together in front of your heart)
4. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. You may close your eyes and focus inwards.

Maintaining a balanced diet and active lifestyle can decrease your risks.
Spread the word so we can save more lives.




image source: Bankers Healthcare Group

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

september pose: gate

parighasana
How to do it:

1. Start kneeling on the mat, keeping your hips stacked over your knees.
2. Bring your hands to your hips and extend your right leg out to the side, aligning your right heel to your left knee.
3. Inhale, reach your arms up and over your head
4. Exhale, slide your right hand down to your leg to your shin or ankle as you open your chest, reaching your left arm up and over along side your left ear.
5. Keep your torso facing forward, and gaze towards your extended hand.

Stay for 10-15 breaths then slowly release and switch sides.

Benefits:
  • Stretches the sides of the torso
  • Stretches the shoulders
  • Engages the core and opens the lungs

Sunday, August 30, 2015

august pose: toppling tree

patanvrkshasana
How to do it:
1. Start by standing up tall with your feet about hip-width apart
2. Interlace your hands behind your back
3. Begin to shift your weight onto your left foot, as lean your weight forward and lift your right leg up and back behind you.
4. Keep your hips squared, engage your belly and focus on a point for balance.
5. Lift up through your chest and keep both legs strong and engaged.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly come up and repeat on the other side.


Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs
  • Improves balance and concentration
  • Stretches the shoulders 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

july pose: balancing table

dandayama bharmanasana
How to do it:

1. Start on your hands and knees. Ensure that your shoulders are stacked right over your wrists and your knees under your hips.
2. Shift your weight to your left hand as you reach your right arm out in front of you, in line with your shoulder.
3. Focus on a point for balance and raise your left leg up, keeping it parallel to the ground and ensuring your hips are squared.
4. Reach back through your left heel and reach forward with your right fingertips. Keep your spine nice and long and avoid arching into your back.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then release and switch sides. Complete about five rounds alternating between sides, then rest in child's pose. 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your core 
  • Helps relieve tension in the low back
  • Improves balance, focus and coordination