All posts tagged: asanas

How to Have a Dynamic Yoga Practice

Yoga is an investment. Like money, we don’t want our practice to be a proverbial credit card, where we’re charging skills and tricks that our body actually can’t afford for us to do. We also don’t want to needlessly hoard our energy, so we must learn to invest ourselves and our energy wisely. As with most things in life, you’ll get out of yoga whatever you invest in it. This makes me oh so happy! Hooray! A predicted outcome: work hard, enjoy the results! On the other hand, this makes me feel RIDICULOUSLY GRUMPY: wait, what? Sooo…no coasting? Not even a little cheating?! DAMNIT! I guess I’ll have to rely on good old fashioned hard work when it comes to my practice. Oh, joy. But all good things are worth the effort, and yoga is at the top of that list. Because yoga allows for many modifications and no one is shouting at you to run harder, climb higher, pump heavier, the degree of intensity is a highly personal and regulated primarily by the individual. Pros: you …

Yoga Detox Moves

Spring is that fabulous time of year when cherry blossoms paint DC in pink, and new life unfurls itself by way of buds and leaves and grass. Everything feels fresh and new, and we want to feel that way too. After all, why should Mother Earth be the only one to get a facial, right? “Spring cleaning” is a common phenomenon of the season, but I think it’s partly because the season powerfully awakens in us the desire to detox and start fresh. We want to plant new ideas and watch them grow. Being a little OCD and still traumatized by the show Hoarders, I live a pretty minimal life, but I do love a good scrub down. It occurred to me that while it’s important to clean out my home, it’s equally important to detox our bodies. What an awesome opportunity to re-calibrate and renew ourselves from the inside-out. And fortunately, few things benefit a good detox like yoga. While I firmly believe the best detox is from a healthy food source like clean, …

The Quest for the Perfect Mat

Some girls obsess over finding the perfect shoe. It’s been ingrained in women since the dawn of time…or the telling of Cinderella at very least! But for the average yoga practitioner, finding the perfect yoga mat is like a search for the Holy Grail. We research, discuss, evaluate, analyze and generally lust over any and all mats that seem like they can help our journey onward. And trust, when it comes to our mats, Goldilocks has nothing on how picky we are. It must be slip free, grip tight, cushy but not too comfy, and of course relatively easy to carry around. There’s good reason for our mat love. In yoga we believe all the energy from our sessions gets stored into our mats. Whether or not that’s true, any yoga practitioner will swear by our personal mats and our attachment issues we develop for them. Finding the right mat can truly help your practice, so I’m taking the guesswork out of finding the right fit for you by reviewing different yoga mats I’ve tried …

Alis volat propriis: She Flies with Her Own Wings

Alis volat propriis is a gorgeous and inspiring Latin phrase that translates “she flies with her own wings.” I truly believe we as individuals are meant to see, be, and do great things…but we are often prevented from realizing our potential because there are people who devote endless amounts of time and energy to breaking the wings of others or stifling their flight. I don’t understand this. I truly can’t comprehend why people would want to hurt others or even wish ill will on them. The simple truth is, there are people out there who either simply don’t know how to be happy for others, perhaps because they themselves have experienced great hurt in their own lives and merely continue the cycle. Some lovely, beautiful spirits get completely crushed and broken under the weight of hurtful words and actions of these kinds of people. What a true tragedy, because the body heals faster then the heart ever will. On the flip side, sometimes we rely far too greatly on others, and we never reach a …

How to Do Vasisthasana |Side Plank

Vasisthasana is one of those fabulous asanas that’s a one stop shop arm balance. Not only will you get an intense ab workout that targets those often neglected obliques, but it tightens the entire core. It’s such a great pose, that it’s been borrowed by non-yoga workouts as a secret weapon for keeping abs tights and the waist small. It primarily strengthens entire core, but it also targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus in the hips, as well as the adductor muscles located in the inner thigh. But wait! There’s more! The secondary the side plank also works several other muscles that provide additional stability as you hold the position including the gluteus maximus, the quadriceps on the front of your thighs and the hamstrings on the back of your thighs. TIPS: Keep your shoulders, hips, knees and feet in one straight diagonal line, Important: make sure your neck and head continue the line of your spine. Keep obliques pulled up up up at all times to avoid hips collapsing. HOW TO: From downward facing down, come …

An Asana of Freedom: Wild Thing Pose

I absolutely love the yoga community on Instagram. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by the mutual journey I get to take with other yogini’s, and I am deeply moved when people take time to comment. It’s so uplifting! I try to do the same for others, because it honestly is such a lovely encouragement to me and I want to be that for others. I was recently tagged by a friend to do a stop, drop and yoga pose, and I thought over which one to do. I felt like so many people chose mind blowing poses that demonstrated such strength and inspiring skill. I was tempted to pull something similar out of my bag of tricks, but I felt moved to do one of my favorite poses: wild thing. To see tips on the pose, jump to the bottom of the page. I love the pose wild thing because it’s accessible at many skill levels, and it reminds us we’re all wild at heart and should never let life break us or totally …

How to Do: Sun Salutation B

So you’ve mastered the sun salutation A sequence and you just want to keep going? Of course you do! I actually love this sequence, and I’ll tell you why (you’re welcome in advanced): go through this five times and you’ll feel it in your legs and booty. “I don’t want a good butt!” said no one EVER. So get to it, little yogini 🙂 After you flow through the sun salutation A 5 times, you should start feeling much more flexible and warmed up. Tips: 1. Alignment not only helps you build strength by properly working muscles, it will also protect you limbs and joints. When your yoga instructor tells you make sure your knee is properly aligned, that means it’s not track OVER your toes or leaning to the right or left. It’s in a straight line. 2. Keep shoulders pulled down away from ears in all poses. If you feel them shrugging up into a “turtle neck” pose, gently roll them back down your back. 3. In chair pose, keep weight shifted to …

How to Do: Sun Salutation A

It’s easy to get mesmerized by fancy pants poses like eka pada Koundinyasana or some such other challenging pose. I really ignored the importance of the sun salutations for years, because quite honestly I’m a razzle-dazzle kind of girl. I like mind-blowing anything. The salutations were a bit of a yawn…or so I thought. But they’re actually a gorgeous incorporation of essential yoga principles. Ashtanga teaches the importance—scratch that, the necessity of having strong foundation poses and sequences. Most yoga classes regardless of style will often incorporate the sun salutation sequence, and when you can really nail this sequence and get great alignment, you’ll find it spills over to the more advanced poses as well. Here in your sun salutation, you can truly work on strength, breathing, and focus. And yes, a strong foundation gives you a solid foundation to build razzle-dazzle poses on, thank the inner light in you and me and just about anything else cuz I need some pizzazz in my poses! While I often did the sun salutations in classes, I …