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

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.

A Little Help From the Birthday Girl

Only 7 poses left to do!

Today is a very happy day. It is my little sisters birthday! You, my readers, get the extreme privilege of seeing her for the first time in my blog picture as she holds my feet. Sorry to say but I did not master this pose before I had to perform this one. I’ve tried my hardest but I don’t have the core strength to make it happen. Regular handstands I can do all day but not forearm ones. I think it might also be my bad shoulder that prevents me from completing this one. Also I took down my 9 foot tree and carried a ton of boxes downstairs with my Christmas decorations in them. But today you get to see that I’m human and some poses require assistance.

This is called the feathered peacock pose. Anytime you want to practice a pose and aren’t 100% sure about something its always ok to have someone hold you up so you can get a feel for the pose. This is one where I needed help. You can also use a door or wall to help you.

Today’s pose: pincha mayurasana- feathered peacock pose- start off with your forearms on the floor and kick your legs into the air. Stay here for a few breaths. Use a wall, door, or another person to help you if you need it.

What this pose works: Triceps brachii, pectineus, adductor longus, Gracilis, iliacus, psoas major, diaphragm, quadriceps, rectus abdominis, deltoid, pronators, hamstrings, gluteus Maximus, and serratus anterior.

Into the New Year Peacock Style

Happy new year! Hope everyone has a year filled with joy, peace, and health!

Today starts the new year. The day when New Year’s resolutions begin. New Year, New You! As I sit here this morning thinking about all I want to accomplish (most of it yoga related 😊) I’m reminded how far I have come. When I first started yoga there was a lot I couldn’t do or that I was afraid to do. Then my health scare happened and I thought I would never be able to practice again. Through determination, practice and help from my friends I am able to show you this pose today!

Now this pose is not something you can just jump into and perform. It takes a lot of core strength, arm strength, and guts. I’m going to share with you something funny. So the first time, actually the first few hundred times, I did this pose I don’t know how many times I fell forward on my face. I practiced this at work a lot while my employees sat there and watched me and laughed. I have to agree with them it was very funny. I started off using the giant jumbo block and I placed it underneath my stomach. I wanted to practice just getting my head up and my legs up without doing it just on my arms. Well let’s just say that was a disaster.You have no idea how heavy your head and your legs really are until you try to let both of them at the same time. After about a week of me trying this many many many times, I finally was able to do it without the block. You have to basically Teeter totter your body on your arms until you find your center of balance. A very fun pose to laugh at yourself in.

Today’s pose: mayurasana- peacock pose. Start off placing your hand on the floor with your fingers facing your knees. Place a blanket on the floor in front of you where your head may land. Press your elbows into your rib cage as you slowly start to lift your feet off the floor keeping your head off the floor as well. You will not be able to stay longer than 20 seconds as this does present to your lungs and it’s harder to breathe. And as I said earlier, yes you will fall down but if you fall on your face just laugh and get back up. Try this pose a few times.

What this pose works: triceps brachii, spinal extensors, and the gluteus Maximus.