Friday, March 25, 2016

Customized Spring Flow

My yoga style is normally very Hatha oriented meaning we do individual poses with long(ish) holds and breathwork, then move to another related pose, etc. I'll add in sun salutations (in some circles called vinyasa flows) if the group is feeling energetic (or I am) or it seems appropriate, and add in creative offshoots, but these don't make up the whole of class.

This week I've been working out the kinks of a little personalized flow to build some heat in the body, open the hips, strengthen the ankles, work on balance (vestibular orientation as well as we change directions), and in general have a little fun.

Time the inhales and exhales as they suit you, one pose, one 1/2 breath cycle OR take multiple breaths in each pose and use a single inhale or exhale to transition with focus to the next:
  1. Start at the top of the mat.
  2. Lift arms overhead for urdva hastasana (arms overhead mountain pose)
  3. Forward Fold (uttanasana)
  4. 1/2 lift (ardha uttanasana)
  5. Step back right leg to Ajenayasana (Lunge pose), Back foot on the toe, front knee aligned with with front toe, no further forward than the ankle. Hips face forward.

  1. Swing right arm overhead, keep left knee as is, drop the right heel behind the right pinky toe and peel the body open into Warrior 2.

  1. Sweep the right arm down and to the front, left the right heel and turn the hips forward returning to Lunge pose.
  2. Repeat the Lunge pose/Warrior 2 transition two more times, staying aware of the foot position, the gentle pressing open of the hips, the lowering of the shoulders while the lower arms lift to the upper arms.
  3. Pause the sequence in Warrior 2.
  4. Turns the left toes to face the same directoin as the right, having the body come to "star pose" or prep for Prasarita Padatonasan (wide legged fold, but no fold). 
  5. Bend into the knees gently, and then step the left leg to the right then hover the left leg off the ground (or knee at 90 degrees) for Eka Pada Tadasana (one legged mountain pose).
  6. Slowly turn the left knee out, press the left foot into the right leg for Vrksasana (Tree pose), raising the arms if you'd like. Level out the hips, lengthen the waist, lift the crown of the head up while pressing the standing foot down and hugging core up and in to the midline.
  7. Disconnect the left foot from the right leg, turn the knee back to the front, and gingerly step forward into a lunge again (you will be partly off the mat).
  8. Repeat the sequence: Lunge pose, warrior 2 transitions 3x.
  9. Pause in warrior 2

  10. Turn the left foot to the same direction as the right.
  11. Step the left leg to the right and hover the leg.
  12. Turn the left leg open for tree pose
  13. Take the left leg off the right this time and step back with the left leg starting back in lunge pose with the right leg in front. 
  14. Repeat this sequence twice with the right leg in front, eventually turning 90 degrees toward the side again then 90 degrees back to the front. When you step to hover one leg it will be right leg stepping to the left this time.
  15. From here, you can repeat the 1/2 sun salute (arm lift, forward fold, 1/2 left) and this time step back LEFT FOOT, repeating this same sequence with the left leg in back 2x, then switching once you have turned 1/2 way around to step the right foot back to bring you back to the front of the mat. 

At this it's up to you if you want to do a few sun salutations that include Chaturangas and down Dogs, building more heat for deeper or stronger poses like backbends, or other arm balances, or just pause, smoothing out the ragged edges of the breath, and preparing to slow down your practice.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Be Free

I am not someone that likes to be in photos. Not unlike many, I am hyper-critical of the way I come across in two-dimensions, and find it hard to look with loving eyes at my self in a static form. It's when I'm moving, interacting and breathing that I feel beautiful.

But sometimes, someone is able to capture the spirit of what you feel, when you aren't worried about what you look like. When you don't worry about smiling or "smizing" or how your teeth look or whether or nor you are sucking in your belly, or how your deodorant wore off a hour before. When you are just having fun being silly, among friends, a little self conscious but encouraged to be playful.

HP Hart (Good Eye Designs), a friend who has children that attend the same school as my son, is the resident photographer at the school, and captures amazing things with her lens. She is rarely without her camera, and she has an intuition about people and their expressions that goes beyond the image...far beyond.

I chose NOT to pose for her, and she caught me a little off guard just goofing around with a scarf. The yoga here is in the joy I felt allowing her to snap a few pics while I played, while I breathed, while I was FREE. Enjoy.

Monday, March 7, 2016

County Wellness & Lakeside Health Awareness Month

I want to give recognition to the hardworking folks at the California Health Network (founder Steve Lauria) for putting together the Lakeside Health Awareness Month and the Health Fair "It's How We Live" taking place this Saturday March 12 from 9-12 at Linda Lake Park.

You can view a video about this month's promotion here:

Learn more about the vendors that provide services in East County here:

There are two other Health Fairs happening later this spring too:

It’s How We LiveSaturday, March 12
Lindo Lake County Park
9841 Vine Street, Lakeside
Ballfield right after the running event “Run for the Arts”
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
It’s How We Live
Saturday, April 23
Spring Valley County Park8735 Jamacha Blvd., Spring Valley
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fallbrook Health & Fitness Fair
Saturday, May 14
La Paloma Elementary School
300 Heald Lane, Fallbrook
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Thank you CHN for putting BYOMyoga on your list of vendors that provide services in East County - I'm proud to be one!