It’s A New Day

So today is the day after.  For those of you joining in today, we have finished the book Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews.  I have decided I will probably do random sequences instead of another book as the sequences will include all of the poses we just talked about.  Today is going to be the most important sequence for a lot of people.  It is the sequence for aches and pains.  Of course any kind of movement is always beneficial to prevent aches and pains. As with anything new or a posture that is new to you, move slowly.  Listen to your body as it tells you whether it enjoys a pose or whether you need to back off a pose.  Use your breath to move through the poses in the sequence.  Approach each pose with care and ease.  If your breath becomes shorter, back off a little.  Always all time to adjust to each new position. 

Start off with cow face pose.  This is done while sitting with one leg stacked on top of the other, knees in alighment.  Make sure both sit bones are flat on the floor.  From there, move into cow face with the shoulder opener.  Whatever leg is on top, take the opposite arm into the air as you drop it behind your back and reach the other arm in front and all the way around to find your other hand. Stay here and then repeat on other side.  If you have 2 blocks available this pose helps the spine. You will be going into a supported bridge pose. Place one block on the tallest under your neck and another block on the lowest right under the low back.  Open up the chest and stay here releasing into the blocks for a few breaths.  Next, remove blocks and extend one leg out while crossing the other leg all the way across your body in a nice spinal twist.  Repeat with other leg.  Squat with neck release follows spinal twist.  Go into a squat position and lace the fingers behind your head and drop your chin toward your chest.  To close the aches and pains poses, release onto the floor with a rolled up blanket under your spine and feet together in butterfly.  Arms can be at a T position opened up the chest.  Close your eyes and stay here for a few minutes.  Imagine your favorite place and breath!

The Last Pose

Well we have reached the last day. 62 days and 62 poses. Of course there are many other yoga poses and variations of the poses I have done. I look forward to many many more blogs about other Pose and I may even start another book of yoga poses. We shall see where this goes. For those of you wondering, after resting almost all day and got a great sleep last night I am feeling so much better. I know not to do too much today because tomorrow I might regret it. But for know I feel good.

Today’s pose is one that is a counter pose to seated forward fold. I teach this pose immediately following seated forward fold. Try starting off with seated forward fold and then follow up with this pose. It will be most beneficial to your hamstrings. It will help you reach further toward your toes.

Today’s pose: purvottanasana- upward plank pose- start off sitting on the floor legs extended in front of you. Press your hands into the floor behind you with fingers facing your gluts. Reach your hip points up to the ceiling and point your toes. Stay here for a breath and then slowly come back down. Repeat if you would like and follow up or start with seated forward fold.

What this pose works: gastrocnemius, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, psoas minor, spinal extensors, triceps brachii, internal oblique, and the platysma muscles.

Yoga for the Cold and Flu Season

Well today I woke up finally catching a cold that my family has had. I was hoping I was immune from this one as I was just sick two months ago but alas here it is. One of the things that I have learned when it comes to sinus issues is that moving around the house helps me. When you don’t have a fever that is. And thankfully I don’t. I just have the sniffles, sneezy, and sore throat. Because of this, I will not be posting my picture. I look like Rudolph with my red nose and watery eyes. Hope everyone else is staying healthy.

A few months ago, I looked up some yoga poses for cold and sinus help. One of them was a headstand. I love to do headstands. They say it helps with congestion to keep the nasal passages clear. I have tried it and yes it does help. If you have a sinus infection no this is not helpful but harmful. This is something you should do before it gets to that point. Today’s pose also helps to clear the nose as you tilt the head back. I have tried it a few times today and hopefully I will be on the mend soon.

Today’s pose: chatus pada pitham: four-footed tabletop pose- start off sitting with your arms behind you. Bring your feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart. Press into the hands and feet and lift up the chest and hips and thighs. Bring the head in alignment with the spine and stay here for a few breaths. Repeat if necessary.

What this pose works: deltoid, triceps brachii, spinal extensors, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and anconeus muscles.

Side Plank to Prevent Side Stitch

To all my readers patiently waiting to hear how my run went, well it didn’t go exactly as planned.  It was a great run but I only ran 1 mile because I took my dog for his first ever outside run.  I have walked him many many times but never running. He was so funny.  I started off walking to warm up a little and then started to run.  He looked back at me like Ok we are running now.  He picked up his pace and off we went.  I did stop one time because I almost went tumbling over him as he stopped to smell a mailbox.  I had to walk that off a little but still ended up finishing my mile in just over 10 minutes.  Not bad for the first outdoor run since October! My neighborhood as a retention pond and walking/running around it is exactly 1.01 miles.

It is very important before any type of physical exercise like running/walking to stretch a little.  This is very important to prevent injuries.  It is also important to start to raise your bodies temperature and the muscles temperature to help prepare the body for any activity.  I like to prepare with a few stretches and activities.  A few that I use are single leg stretches, plank, side plank (todays pose) and forward folds.  All of these helps stretch my legs and core.  No side stitch while running for me.  I also teach my students how to take side plank and turn it into a bigger core exercise by taking the extended arm and bringing it all the way underneath the planted arm.  If stacking the legs is too hard, you can always have the feet side by side or have the top leg in front of you with the foot flat on the floor. 

Todays pose: Vasisthasana- side plank pose-start of in plank position or the top of a push up.  Turn onto the outside of the left foot and inside of the right.  Stack the feet if you would like and extend the right arm into the air.  Stack the arms on top of one another.  Lift up the hip point toward the ceiling and take nice long breaths.  Come back to plank and repeat on the other side. 

What this pose works: pronator teres, exernal oblique, flexor carpi radialis, triceps brachii, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and the peroneals muscles. 

Wheel for the Broken Heart

Another gorgeous January day! The temperature is above freezing and the sun is shining. After work today I am taking my dog out for a nice long walk. It might even turn into a run if I get ambitious enough. 😊 According to my training, I should be running 5 miles today. My mom and I are doing the Disney Princess 10K in February and I have been slacking on my running over the holidays. I know I shouldn’t have but everything else got in the way. You know how that is! I ran 2.5 on Thursday but not sure I’m ready for 5 today. We shall see.

Today’s pose is for all those women and men with broken hearts. It is supposed to open the heart and get the body moving. This pose is hard to start practicing as an adult. Our bodies don’t work the same or bend the same. It can be done but takes a little more time and patience. I usually teach this one with a fitness ball. If you sit on the fitness ball and then slowly bend backwards until your hands reach the floor you then have to push yourself up. This is the best way to feel the pose and still reap the benefits. Don’t get frustrated with yourself as this is a hard one the first few times. You need to have open shoulders and open hips.

Today’s pose: urdhva dhanurasana- upward bow pose/wheel pose- start off on your back and place your hands on the floor over your shoulders with your fingers facing your shoulders. Push into your hands and feet and press yourself up. Stay here for a few breaths and then slowly come back down.

What this pose works: anconeus, triceps brachii, deltoid, rectus abdominis, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus Maximus psoas major

Backward-bending Arm Balance

It was a lovely core day yesterday. Part of me is very thankful for my students that were in class because I needed it. I told them not to curse my name and so far no calls…yet! Lol On my morning off, I caught up on sleep and started cleaning my house. My furry monsters are everywhere! If you like black clothes, don’t come to my house except the day after cleaning day. Both my fur babies have tan hair and love up on anyone with black clothes! 😊 If you could only see my clothes in this pose, they are all over it as I didn’t clean before the picture, but after!

Scorpion has always been a pose I can’t wait until I have the right amount of strength (and guts) to practice in the middle of the room. I can hold it well enough once I’m in it but the security of the door/wall behind me is very comforting. This is a cross between forearm headstand and the pose we are practicing tomorrow. So I will leave that right there.

Today’s pose: Vrschikasana- Scorpion pose- start off against a wall or door for the first few times at least. Place your forearms on the floor and kick your legs up as with forearm handstand. Engage your core as you start to bend your knees and bring your feet to the back of your head. They don’t have to reach or touch. They hang right above you. Stay here for a few breaths. Then slowly bring your legs back down.

What this pose works: triceps brachii, deltoid, rectus abdominis, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and the psoas major muscles.

Its All in Your Head

Last night we went out to dinner for my sisters birthday and we took a limo there. We were riding in style! Shocked my sister as she wasn’t expecting a limo. As we were sitting around the table, I was thinking how much I don’t want to get a cold. My sister has been sick for a week and now my step father is getting sick. I know it’s that time of year but I just had a cold 2 months ago that I’m still not 100% recovered from! Airborne, washing my hands more frequently, and staying away from everyone (oh wait I work with the public) is something I am trying to do.

With that being said, today’s pose is a great one for allergies and cold repair. It is another one you can perform against a wall or door. It does take core strength but not as much as a handstand. I first saw someone in a yoga class go into this pose and thought wow thats awesome! I started to learn it and after about a week I was able to be in the middle of the floor performing this pose. I have done so much to improve and make this pose more advanced. I can be in a headstand and get my legs to go into a full lotus position. I have way too much fun! 😀

Today’s pose: salamba sirasana- supported headstand- start off against a wall or door. Now I have seen the arms in different positions. I prefer tripod but I have seen clamping the hands and having the forearms on the floor. You can choose which ever one you want. Strengthen your core as you lift the legs into the air. Stay here for a few breaths. If you have high blood pressure please do not stay more then a few seconds. Slowly come back down and repeat if you would like.

What this pose works: vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, rectus abdominis, serratus anterior, triceps brachii, hamstrings, spinal extensors, infraspinatus, and many deep neck muscles.