Wednesday, March 30, 2011

practice lightly...

Graceful motion on the mat
inspires a gentle footprint
in the world.
It's our practice,
allowing us to choose
the reflection
we leave behind.

Source:  Manduka, the world leader in yoga products

Friday, March 25, 2011

pose of the week: warrior II

Virabhadrasaana II
How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs comfortably wide apart. Turn your right toes out 90° and your left toes in slightly aligning your heels.
2. On an inhale raise your arms out to the side shoulder height, and as you exhale bend your right knee until it’s directly over your ankle.
3. Strengthen your back leg, and gaze over your right hand. Keep the sides your torso long and your shoulders directly over the pelvis.

Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat on the other side. 

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Increases stamina

*Don't mind the

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Greetings from beautiful British Columbia! I’ve been here for the last five days and it has been pure R&R with a little bit of an adrenaline rush. Revelstoke, BC is a small town surrounded by vast mountains, and I’m at the centre of it all, located directly on the resort just a step away from the gondola taking me 6000 ft atop North America’s highest vertical drop. Throwing all my fears aside, I tackled the runs with careful strokes, but it definitely wasn’t easy. I suffered a few bumps along the way, but got right up and tried again. I’ve already seen improvements, thanks to a great teacher. These words will always stick with me: “stay low, get athletic, arms forward, reach, plant and ski around the pole!”
My body is really feeling the after effects. I’m sticking with my stretching, doing some yoga every morning, but boy do I feel stiff. I can’t even touch my toes. My legs have officially given up on me. It is exhausting, especially if you are not used to taking 45 mins to an hour to get down. This resort really makes Blue Mountain look like a beginner run.
In the end, the view is well worth it. Fresh crisp air, mountains all around, newly groomed runs, and great company. You couldn’t ask for anything more. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

pose of the week: bridge

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
How to do it:

1. Start lying on your back, bring your arms by your side and bend your knees so the soles of your feet are grounded on the mat.
2. Walk your feet in closer towards your hips, so you can touch the back of you heels.
3. On an inhale press firmly into your feet as you lift your hips up. You may bring your hands onto your lower back for support, or begin to roll your shoulder blades under and interlace your hands behind your back.
4. Make sure your knees are directly over your ankles, feet are hip distance apart and toes are pointing forward.
5. Pull your chin away from your chest and draw your knees away from you.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release your hands and lower your hips down one vertebra at a time. Hug your knees into your chest. 

  • Stretches the chest, neck and spine
  • Alleviates stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache and headache

Saturday, March 12, 2011

five reasons to stay with the person you love

1. Love is a decision
2. There is no weakness in forgiveness
3. Someone new won’t be new for long
4. Often the person you are running from is you
5. You don’t need a reason

One of my favourite blogs I love to follow is divine caroline: great topics/advice given to women by women. It really does say a lot about relationships. If you are in one, appreciate and love it.
I came across this article the other day and thought I should share :) A detailed explanation of each reason is on their main site. Take two minutes out of your day to read. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

pose of the week: shoulder stand

                                                                                                                         Salamba Sarvangasana
How to do it:

1. Lie down with your arms by your side, then bring your knees into your chest.
2. Press down with your hands to lift your hips up over your shoulders, straightening your torso, and supporting your back with your hands.
3. Walk your hands up your back drawing your elbows close together.
4. Stretch your toes up and straighten your legs.
5. Keep your body perpendicular to the floor. If this is too extreme, you may just rest your hips in the hands for support or leave the hips on the floor only extending your legs up, pointing the toes to the sky.
If you feel any discomfort in the neck, then come out of the posture.

Hold for 10-20 breaths then slowly roll your hips down and hug your knees into your chest. 

  • Stretches shoulders and neck
  • Tones organs, legs and buttocks
  • Improves digestion
  • Calms the brain and helps reduce stress 

Monday, March 7, 2011

opening my eyes and mind to primary series

This past weekend, Stratusphere welcomed special guest Ashtanga yoga teacher David Robson, to lead primary series at the studio. This was such a special treat for us practitioners because he is hosting a 100hr immersion next month at the studio. Class was packed, energy was high and all smiles were filled across the room. To think, that I have been teaching for more than a year, and I have not met this man yet, or even practiced traditional Mysore (self practice) on a daily basis. What a disgrace and eye opener for me! My practice has definitely evolved in the last three years, but nowhere where it could be. For once, I lasted through the primary’s entirety, attempting EVERY pose in the series, much to my fear before I would skip or do something else. It’s ok if I didn’t get it right, that’s the whole part about yoga being a journey. It takes many years of practice and dedication, and I have accepted that. 
Now feeling the after effects of my body being sore in all places (very different than crossFit sore), a new goal has been formed. This summer, I will commit to one month of Mysore at least 3 days a week at the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto with the man himself, DR (that’s what we call him around here). It won’t be easy waking up at the crack of dawn, driving downtown to find parking, but it will all be worth it after: mentally, physically and spiritually. This is my journey…stay tuned. 

Image source: practice chart by Vicki Picone