All posts filed under: Yoga Tips & Tricks

What is vinyasa? Part 2.

Yesterday, I talked about vinyasa classes. So today, let’s chat about the vinyasa as a sequence of poses. When you go to a vinyasa class, and you hear the teacher say, “move through your vinyasa,” she or he is talking about three specific poses together: chaturanga dandasana (low plank), urdhva mukha svanasana (upward-facing dog), and adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog). Let me break down transitions into each pose and modifications. Vinyasas generally start from a plank position. I say generally because once you add jumpback/floating into the transition, you actually skip plank and go straight into a chaturanga. But that’s for another post on another day. 🙂 Exhale, chaturanga. From plank, shift forward on your toes so that the shoulders are forward of your wrists. This gives you room to bend your elbows into chaturanga, leaving elbows stacked over wrists. Chest is broad. Elbows stay in next to the ribs. Back is long and straight from your shoulder blades to whatever is touching the ground (toes or knees). The breath is an exhale as you lower …

9 Pieces of advice for new students

I can usually tell who the new students are in my yoga classes. They set up their mats on the edges of the room. They are constantly peeking their eyes open when everyone else has eyes closed. They fidget uncomfortably in savasana, and I can see their minds on overdrive, wondering when exactly the torture of lying still will end. If this sounds like you, no worries. There’s a short learning curve to get acquainted with your yoga practice. To ease into group practice more smoothly, here are my 9 pieces of advice to get the most out of your yoga class. Set up where you can see and hear the teacher clearly. This is especially important in a class set up where everyone is facing one direction. If you’re hiding in the back corner, you can’t see or hear, and the teacher has a harder time seeing you to be able to offer adjustments and cues. Grab a block and a strap, whether the teacher specifically directs the class to do so or not. …

Restorative poses to relieve illness pains

A nasty virus has been working its way through my family this past week. First, Bear Shark went down for a day with fever, and I basically held him for 12 hours, only getting up from the couch to go to the bathroom and to eat. A couple days later, the big kid had a fever and a throbbing headache. We spent another day on the couch while he rested up. And of course, I got the fun bug, leaving me laid up on the couch with a debilitating headache and chills, while the big kid seemed to rebound with energy. I’m still trying to get rid of my headache, but 5 days cooped up in the house, doing nothing more than comforting kids who are feeling blah… sigh. I can’t decide if most of my body aches are due to illness catching up with me or from sitting on the couch with my little sickies. When the chills got to me, I could do nothing more than curl up in a fetal position to stay warm. In …

Give that yoga mat a bath

Since I have another 3.5 weeks until potentially getting cleared for exercise, I thought it was the perfect time to give my yoga mat a bath. I can’t even tell you the last time I gave it a good hosing and soak. A wipe down, sure. But a full on bath? Probably when I first bought the mat to get rid of the rubber smell. There’s a 70% chance of rain today, so an indoor bath was in order. I used baby shampoo, figuring it would be gentle enough to not damage the material. Also, it’ll have a nice lavender smell so it’ll be clean AND calming. As for drying the mat, I don’t have a good indoor option. Lululemon’s The Mat is HEAVY and thick and would break our shower curtain rod or towel rack when soaking wet. So I have it draped across our patio furniture – at least until the rain starts. Then, I’ll bring it inside and lay it on some towels. (I’ve been hinting at my husband that I need …

Babies and… gas

After the first week of visitors and not feeling able to rest in my own home (like the midwife instructed), I put a kibosh on all visitors this past week except for my sisters who came to do laundry and cook for us. And boy, did that help! Anyone who’s been through postpartum recovery knows just how essential it is to get proper rest and nutrition immediately after the baby. There’s so much bleeding and leaking and no sleep and on top of that, the hemorrhoids (my god, the hemorrhoids!!!). But, this is not a mommy blog. This is a blog where I can reflect on what I’ve learned through yoga, and I knew I needed to listen to my body and make modifications to improve my health. As much as I wanted to be up and moving about my house like normal, I had to force myself to lie down (sitting hurt so much) and ask that the distractions of visitors be put on hold until I could heal. Like during pregnancy, no jumping, …

Don’t iron your Lululemon

I’m not the type to iron anything in my wardrobe. If it requires ironing, I pretty much don’t buy it (or I have my husband iron because I’m a klutz and will inevitably burn myself). So in conversation at work about clothing mishaps, a story was being shared about how in addition to splitting his jeans around the thigh, there was a horrible ironing accident with this guy’s Lululemon pants. Apparently, the heat from the iron stuck to the Lycra and ripped a huge hole. My first question to him was, “Who irons yoga pants?” (Since he’s a dude, they were probably not yoga pants but workout gear is still a little strange to iron, right?) I never got a clear answer to my question, but I did go on the interwebs to see what the deal was with ironing care. An official response on lulu’s Facebook page reads: Luon is an ironing don’t – the heat will severely damage the lycra. If you’re looking to iron, say, the Endeavor or Kahuna Pant, be careful. …

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