Let’s End November with Love

It is the end of the week and the last day of November today. All my yoga classes for November are complete and now on to a new month. The month of December is always compact. We try to squeeze in holiday parties and cookie exchanges and Christmas dinner and shopping and wrapping gifts, and last but definitely not least, working holiday hours in a jewelry store! In my business this is our time to shine as I say and we have to make every second count! The best part of my job is making the gift receivers’ eyes light up when they open their tiny Paradise package! We might not get to see it but we know that they will love it! All of us here love making people happy; showing them that they are loved!

Today’s pose will help to rid the body of “love handles” as we call them. Lots of love is great but love handles can be gone. In this pose, take caution if knee and shoulder pain is present. Always remember if you feel any pain in the back of the knee to bend the knee.

Today’s pose: parivrtta Janu Sirasana- revolved head to knee pose- begin in Dandasana or staff pose. Bring your right foot in to the inner thigh of the left. Maintain having your left rib cage over that thigh as you raise the right arm into the air. Bend at the hips bringing your left rib cage toward your left thigh. Right arm reaches toward your toes. In my picture I am grabbing my left foot. You don’t have to grab the foot. Your right arm can be reaching over the ear. Gaze can be down, out, or up depending on your neck. I’m laughing in my pic because my cat Rahn decided to join me and lick my toes. I had to post that picture because he is so cute!

What this pose works: gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae, tibialis anterior, soleus, deltoideus anterior, erector spinae, infraspinatus, and the trapezius muscle.

Heart toward your knee and Head toward your Toes!

Happy Thursday everyone!

I hope your week is going well and that all the Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten.  Those binge eating poses that I taught all of you have hopefully been put to use and you haven’t gained a pound.  Ok one or two is alright!  If you have lost weight, I applaud you!  We have one more big eating holiday coming up and then it is New Years Resolution time!  I would estimate to say that 75% of Americans says they will lose weight or at least go to the gym for their New Years Resolution. I know I did 8 years ago and guess what, it was the best thing I could have ever done.  It lead me to yoga and now I have made a business out of it.  Sometimes it sticks! Don’t lose heart!

Todays pose is a great one for sciatica.  Yesterdays pose does put a lot of stress on the SI nerve but this pose helps it.  For those of you with sciatic nerve flares, please take caution as you do this pose but it should bring relief.  Make sure you do both legs as well.

Todays Pose: Janu Sirasana- head to knee pose-Sit in Dandasana and bring your right foot in to the inner thigh of the left.  Press through the heel of the left foot as you lift the top of the head toward the ceiling.  Hinge at the hips and bring your heart toward your knee and your head toward your toes.  Stay here for a few breaths with a slit bend in the knee if you need it.  Switch legs after a few seconds.  Repeat this pose everyday.

What this pose works: gastrocnemius, hamstrings, spinal extensors, soleus, and latissimus dorsi and also the SI nerve.

Early Morning Hamstring Stretch

Good morning to all my few readers.  Today has started out pretty good so far.  I’m a little sore from teaching two great classes yesterday but as they say, no pain no gain! My only wish is I would feel more pain in my abs telling me they are getting smaller and tighter!  LOL But alas I feel it in my arms and legs! Oh well.  I guess I will have to do more core work to get my six pack! 🙂

Unfortunately todays pose is not one for the core but it still is a great stretch.  This is one of those poses that is always hard for a ton of people because in general we have tight hamstrings unless we work them daily.  If you need to spread your legs a little, you can do that as well.  In this picture, it was the first yoga I have done so far today.  Another thing about this pose is to watch the back of the knees.  As I have said earlier, the back of the knees are full of little tendons that should not be stretched a whole lot.  They are very painful if stretched too much.

Todays pose: Paschimottanasana- seated forward fold- Sit on the floor in dandasana.  Made sure your sit bones are firm in the floor.  Inhale the arms up and exhale, hinge at the hips and at you come forward.  Make sure the knees have a soft bend in them.  Bring your hands to where you want.  You can grab your toes if you want or you can place your thumbs under your legs for a little leverage.  Stay here for at least 30 seconds breathing slowly.  Again if you feel any pain in the back of the knee please back off a little.

What this pose works: erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, scalp fascia, sacrotuberous, achilles tendon and the plantar fascia muscle.

Yoga to the Moon!

Morning glory on this beautiful Tuesday. It is 10:13am and I already taught a yoga class this morn. This morning, like all my yoga classes, was a fun class. I’m not a very serious person most of the time and I really love what I do so that always helps. We did a balance challenge today. Two of which you my readers have already done; dancer and tree pose! In a few days, I will teach all of you the other two poses which are star and flamingo pose. Both a good challenge in their own way.

Today’s pose is also a balance challenge. It is in my top 5 all time favorite poses! It is called half moon pose! So much fun! I remember the first time I did it! I fell in love! Now I love to tweak it and make it my own! This is a pose that you should practice with a block or a chair the first few times until you are comfortable!

Today’s pose: ardha chandrasana- half moon pose. Start off in triangle with your left foot in front. Slowly start peeling your back foot off the floor putting the weight on you left hand. As I said please use a block or something to put your hand on and make sure it is 12-18 inches away from you left little toe. Turn your rib cage toward the ceiling and lift the right arm if and only if you are comfortable. Your gaze can be down or out or up. Whatever is best for your neck! Stay here for a few breaths and then slowly lower the leg and repeat on the other side.

What this pose works: tensor fasciae latae, iliacus, iliopoas, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, pectineus, and the sartorius muscle

Buried in Snow but Loving this Snow Day

Roll call! How many of you are buried under all this snow? I know today is cyber Monday and the kids didn’t really want to go back to school after the holiday but a foot of snow in November is taking it a bit too far! I hope you all remember the poses I wrote about yesterday before you step outside to shovel. Please warm up those muscles first and then proceed outside. Then when you come back in again remember to stretch especially your low back. I thankfully don’t have to shovel much today. My step father was very kind and came over and plowed my driveway! I greatly appreciate that! And so does my chiropractor! One less spot she has to fix!

On this beautiful snowy day, today’s pose is called Garland Pose! No idea way it is named that so if someone does please let me know because I’m curious. Today’s pose is great to stretch your ankles and lower legs. It is also a great core pose. A warning though, if you have knee issues this is not a pose you should try.

Today’s pose: Malasana-garland pose or wide squat. Stand in Tadasana we your feet should width apart. Bring your hands to Namaste hands or prayers hands. Slowly start to squat down until your elbows get inside your knees. Press the knees into the elbows and the elbows back into the knees. Life your chest and top of the head up. If you need to come onto the balls of your feet you can. Stay here for a few breaths and then you can come to sit on your bottom or slowly stand back up.

What this pose works: extensor digitorum longus, flexor digitorum longus, adductor hallucinate, abductor digiti minimi, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, gemellus superior, piriformis, quadratus femoris, obdurately internus, obdurate externus, and the gemellus inferior muscle.

Shoveling the Snow

As we all batten down the hatches in anticipation of this snow storm, I am here at work doing yoga and thinking about all my poses to help with shoveling.  One of the most important things to remember when shoveling snow is to try and push the snow instead of lifting.  I try to be “macho” and lift the shovel to try and quicken the process and end up at my chiropractors office in serious pain.  So you are not alone here! I have lived in my house for over 4 years now and I know my driveway well enough to know when to lift it for the cracks in the cement but it was a fun chore in the beginning.  I kept jamming the shovel into the cracks and that hurt.  At the end of last season, I finally bought a shovel I love.  It is lightweight and tall so no bending over to shovel for me!

Yoga is equally as important as a good shovel to me.  Keep in mind that you should always stretch and warm up your muscles before going outside.  This will help with any pain and strain the body may encounter.  After all the hard labor, you should always come back in and do more stretches.  Todays pose should not be the only pose you do.  You should also do Warrior II, Forward Fold, and some basic arm stretches for those biceps and triceps.

Don’t forget to post your pictures to my Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter!

Todays Pose: Prasarita Padottannasana- Wide-Stance Forward Bend- Stand in Tadasana and bring your feet apart.  Wider then your hips.  Toes should be facing out.  Legs are straight but not locked.  Slowly bend forward from the hips until you cant bend anymore.  You can bring your hand down to the floor, your ankles, or anywhere on your legs.  Stay here for a few breaths and then slowly bring yourself up.

What this pose works: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, tibialis anterior, erector spinae, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, diaphragm, adductor magnus, gracilis, popliteus, tibialis posterior, flexor halucis longus, and the flexor digitorum longus

Photo credit: Abi

No Power Yoga?

This morning I woke up early, or so I thought, to do some yoga and to start my day off right.  I looked at the clock and it said 4:05. I thought, wow that’s really early but the sun is out.  No that’s not right.  Then I looked at my phone and it said 7:15.  So much for my early morning of doing yoga.  The power went off at my house last night so my clocks were all off.  Have you ever had days like that? So here I am at work typing but don’t worry the day is still mighty young and I can do yoga here!  My employee, Abi, took the picture as soon as she came in to work so I could get my daily blog and pose written for all of you.

Todays pose is one of those that is a bit of a balance challenge again but I love it.  You can do this pose standing, as is the traditional way, or you can even do this on your knees if the balance is a bit much.  This is a great stretch for the legs.  Both legs really feel this one.  As with any poses, if you feel any pressure or pain in the back of the knee always back off and then slowly go back into it.  Never and I repeat NEVER have any pain in the back of the knee.  That is such a tender spot full of tendons and ligaments and we never want to hurt those.

Todays Pose: Parvottanasana- Intense side stretch or better known as Pyramid- Stand in Warrior II where your left leg is in front at a 90 degree angle over the ankle and you right foot heel is in alignment with the left heel and toes are turned to the right.  Turn toward your left leg and slowly straighten it.  Bend at the hips bringing your heart toward your left knee and head reaching for your toes.  Hands can come to the floor or they can be on blocks or on the ankle.  Stand here for a few breaths and then slowly come back up protecting your knee.  Then switch legs and repeat.

What this pose works: soleus, gastrocnemius, hamstrings, pelvic floor, quadriceps, gluteus medius and erector spinae