A Little Grand Canyon Eight-Angle Pose

New Years Resolution Day!

It’s New Years Eve and the partying is starting in few hours.  Lets ring in the New Year with a New You.  As I have said previously, for your New Years Resolution, make it something attainable.  Stick with it and make it a lifestyle.  Easier said then done I know, but try.  Saturday at Christmas with my dad, my step-mother mentioned something about healthy recipes.  I always say the same thing, I eat what I want to eat and then I work out.  I don’t believe in dieting because that makes you yo-yo in weight.  Or sometimes when you are done dieting you gain more weight later than you lost.  I believe in being healthy and active.  Give in to your cravings and then work them off.  Don’t deprive yourself of what your body wants unless its a dozen cheeseburgers. LOL

I am so in love with this pose!! The first time I saw it and tried it, was a disaster.  I couldn’t figure out where to put what and how to shift my weight so I stopped falling on my face.  But after much trial and error I was able to (Safely) do this pose on the wall of the Grand Canyon! You should have seen everyone’s faces’ around my sister and I as I did this.  That is the picture I should post here.  Hysterical! I’m about 3 feet from the edge here so plenty of room for falling but I mostly fall forward. 🙂 The trick to this pose is having the bottom foot support the top leg and engaging the core to keep you up.  Yes you have to have the arm strength as well but it is not as important as you think.

Todays pose- astavakrasana- eight-angle pose- Start off in dandasana  with both legs in front of you.  Place the right hand on the floor on the outside of the right leg and take hold of the left leg and bring the leg as high up the left arm as you can.  Press into the left hand on the floor on the left side of the right leg.  Press into the hands as you bring the right leg across the front of you to the left foot.  Cross the feet and lean forward as you extend the legs to the left straightening them as much as possible.  Stay here for a few breaths and then slowly come back to dandasana as you try the other side.  Remember it may be easier or harder as we are different on both sides.

What this pose works: adductors, triceps brachii, and the pectoralis major

Crow into the Light

Happy New Years Adam Eve! I’m sure you are asking yourself right now what am I talking about.  Well its the day before New Years Eve and Adam came before Eve. LOL

I have to say how happy I am with todays picture.  I took a couple inside the store and they didn’t look right.  I then went outside and saw how the sun looked and thought perfect! 🙂 All my employees here at work today asked how I got the picture to look like that and I said I can’t take credit because all I did was do the pose.  The sun is shining and I wanted to show it off a little bit.

This is such a fun pose. I love practicing poses that if you fall, you can make another pose out of it.  In side crow pose, if you fall just stick your top leg up into the air and call it Falling Angel! 🙂 My yoga instructor taught me that and I teach it now every time I teach this pose.  And yes I have been a falling angel many many times! LOL  In this pose, while it is an arm balance, it is important to press the hip into the arm as well. Now granted the knee goes into one arm and the hip into the opposite arm, not both the same arms.  This is until you have the arm strength to support your body on one arm.  Somedays I can, but most of the time I use both arms.  It is also helpful to prevent injuries to the wrists. 

Todays pose: Parsva Bakasana- Side Crow pose- Start off as you did with crow pose having both hands on the floor in front of you.  Turn to the right.  Bring your left knee to your right forearm and bring your left hip to your left forearm. Press the elbows into the knee and hip and the knee and hip back into the elbows.  Slowly bring the left foot up as you find your balance.  Let the left leg pick up the right leg as you start to lean more into the arms.  If the foot needs to stay down for the first few times, that is ok.  Nice deep breaths in this pose as you find something to focus on to keep your balance.  Slowly come back down and then repeat on the other side.  Do try the other side as sometimes it may be easier. 

What this pose works: external oblique, pectineus, adductor brevis, and triceps brachii

Hat Tipping Crow Pose

Its the last Saturday of the 2018 year! Hope everyone is enjoying their day and preparing for the New Year.  Has everyone made their New Years Resolution yet?  We only have 3 days left to prepare them so make sure you write them down.  I am so excited as I look ahead to the poses for the next few days.  My employees think I’m a little nuts because lets face it: I am! I love what I do and I love to teach others the passion I have for yoga. 

This is a fun pose especially today because I am wearing a hat. It looks so funny.  I told my employees that on the way here I had the idea of keeping the hat on for the picture because I thought it would be so fun.  Plus side is that you cant see my face because I’m laughing in the picture.  Abi was counting down as the iPad counted down and then said “Happy New Year” when it hit 0.  We have way too much fun here! It definitely makes it fun to work here when you enjoy the people you are with! 🙂 Shout out to Abi and Tammy as I know they are reading this! Love you ladies! 😀

Todays pose: Bakasana- Crow/Crane Pose- Start off having your hands in front of you.  Make sure you look out to start with.  Elbows should be bent.  Start to lean forward and rest your knees against your upper arms.  Slowly start to lift the feet off of the ground.  Find your balance and take nice deep breaths.  Hold for a few breaths keeping your head neutral.  Slowly lower the feet back to the ground. 

What this pose works: obliquus externus, iliacus, pectoralis major, infraspinatus, deltoideus anterior, trapezius, deltoideus posterior, sternocleidomastoideus, biceps brachii, coracobrachialis, triceps brachii, and the ilipsoas muscles. 

How about a Four-legged Stick Pose

What a crazy day today. My sister is really sick, my mother is on vacation in Mexico, and I am trying to keep it all together. I usually try to finish my blog by 10 but today I’m lucky to finish it at all. I went and opened up my store this morning and then came back home because I’m usually off Friday mornings. It is my morning to get things done around the house. I still have to go to work later because I cook on Friday nights but at least for now I’m home trying to get things done. I’ve decided I’m not putting Christmas away until New Year’s Day because I just don’t have time today. Have any of you ever had that day where there’s way too much to do and nowhere near as much time to finish it all in? So what does that mean? That means let’s pause and do a little yoga and play with my kitten!😊 he loves to play with his new toys. But then again so does the dog. Lol

Speaking of my cats, he decided to join me on today’s yoga pose. If you look closely at the picture you will see his ears in the foreground. Today’s pose is one that is considered an arm balance. When doing this pose you’re supposed to keep your elbows tucked in, not like a push up. They call it four-limbed stick or staff pose. Also great for the core.

Today’s pose: chaturanga dandasana- four-limbed stick pose- Start off in push-up stance pressing through the heels. Start to lower yourself down keeping your elbows tucked into your rib cage. Stay there for a few breaths. Then released down onto the ground. Repeat if you would like to. As you are doing this pose keep the core engaged and don’t let the belly drop down.

What this pose works: triceps brachii, spinal extensors, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, rectus abdominis, pectoralis major, external oblique, serratus anterior, quadriceps,and the gastrocnemius muscles.

Handstands on a Rainy Day

A very rainy day here in Illinois.  I’m beginning to think that the calendar is wrong.  We had our cold and snow back in November and now 40’s and rain in late December.  It feels so strange that New Years Day is less then a week now and this is our weather.  It feels so much like spring that I cannot wait until I get my house back together. I usually take down Christmas decorations on New Years Day. A few of my neighbors have already turned their lights off.  I think that is too early.  Most people, like me, have multiple Christmas gatherings and haven’t had Christmas with everyone yet.  This Saturday is Christmas with my Dad.  At my store and restaurant, I am still playing Christmas music.  Not ready to give it up yet. 

Todays pose is an experiential pose.  It is our own experience. Our pose. We can make of it what we can do.  You can try it out and play with it.  They say to start off by practicing handstand rocks.  That is where you practicing going into a handstand without the feet both going up in the air at the same time.  The other thing you need to do is practice this against a wall or door.  I love to practice handstands but I have to say I was a little afraid of doing a handstand in the middle of my jewelry store with all those showcases.  I can sometimes control what I am doing but with the fear of falling into the glass, I wasn’t as stable as I should have been and can be.

Todays Pose: Adho Mukha Vrksasana- Downward-facing tree pose- Start off on your feet.  Spot where you want your hands to go and place your hands on the floor.  If a full handstand is out of the question, try pushing yourself up for a moment and then coming back down.  Once you are up in the air, breathe the entire time.  Slowly come back out of it by bringing your feet back to the ground.

What this pose works: rectus abdominis, triceps brachii, pronators, spinal extensors, psoas major, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoid, internal oblique, external oblique, and the flexor carpi radialis muscles.

Overeating Up Dog

Hope everyone is hitting those after Christmas sales. I’m sure Christmas trees are 99% off today! Lol I usually hit Walmart the day after Christmas but this year I felt like I didn’t need anymore. I’ve lived in my house for almost 5 years now and cannot fit anymore Christmas decorations in the house. I like where everything is and don’t want to change it. My cat and dog loved all of their gifts. I believe the dog likes the cat toys more though. 😊 He has already destroyed one of the cat balls with the bell in it. My sister gave my cat a bunch of catnip toys and he loved them. My mom gave me a hot tub and I couldn’t be more excited. I have always had one until this house. I miss it dearly on those painful days. Really wish I could put it up by myself because that it what I would be doing tonight.

If you are anything like me, you ate way too. If this is true then today’s pose is the one for you. This is a great pose for over eating. Practice this pose in a sequence and it will be much more beneficial but it can stand alone as a great pose. I usually go from yesterday’s pose of downward facing dog to today’s pose of upward facing dog, with tomorrow’s pose in between. But you will have to wait until tomorrow to find out what that is! 😉 This Pose can also be done with the knees down if the wrist and arms can not handle it.

Today’s pose: urdhva mukha svanasana- upward-facing dog pose- start off in downward-facing dog pose. Come forward to plank (top of a push up) and come onto the tops of the feet. You can stay on the balls of the feet if you would like. Make sure your chest is in front of your arms and extend the neck as you lift the chin toward the ceiling. Stay here for a few breaths deepening the extension in the thoracic spine.

What this pose works: hamstrings, vastest lateralis, gluteus maximus, spinal extensors, triceps brachii, infraspinatus, adductor magnus, iliacus, pectineus, psoas major, and the diaphragm.

Christmas has gone to the Dogs!

Merry Christmas!

Yes I am still writing my blog on Christmas Day! If I don’t, then tomorrow will be even harder to write it. I hope everyone is enjoying their day and celebrating with family and friends. I stayed over at my moms house last night with my dog. Needless to say, my dog and her dog love to fight. Last night they were both perfect and today it’s been fight after fight.

Ironically today’s pose is downward facing dog. In this pose, it is also a fight. A fight to keep the shoulders rolled outward and head between the arms. A fight to press the heels back toward the floor and the sit bones lifted into the air. I have learned to find much comfort in this pose. This is a resting pose for me now. After practicing a lot of core work, I press myself back into down dog and find peace.

Today’s pose: adho mukha svanasana- downward facing dog pose-start off on your hands and knees and lift your sit bones up into the air. Legs should be straight but not locked. Keep the belly tucked into the ribs. Externally rotate the shoulders bringing the head between the arms. Send your tail toward your heels. Come forward to plank (top of a push up) and then press back into your dog without moving your hands or feet. Then you know your dog is in the right spot. Stay here for many breaths if you would like peddling the feet if you would like.

What this pose works: gastrocnemius, hamstrings, gluteus Maximus, latissimus dorsi, deltoid, quadriceps, serratus anterior, triceps brachii, and the intrinsic foot muscles.